I do not own Harry Potter or anything to do with the books/movies. And before I get it pointed out… The house-elf curse is something I made up for this story.
“Willow…” Harry grunted as she was hiding beneath the covers and counting the seconds between lightning strikes.
The louder the boom the more she whimpered and moved about.
“It’s just a storm…” Harry assured as he peeked under the covers.
She had her legs tugged beneath her and was shaking all over. Lightning struck something nearby and she scurried over and was hugging his neck. The hold was so tight she was almost choking him.
“Easy…” He murmured as he was prying her off him.
Harry rolled off the bed and took her by the hand.
“Willow doesn’t want to sleep in the drawer.” She softly cried as Harry went to place her in the area he’d set up for her.
“But I need my sleep and you’re keeping me up.”
The thunder sounded and Willow climbed up his pant leg and was hugging his neck again.
“Willow will be still. Willow won’t make a sound. Please don’t put Willow in the drawer.”
He sighed as she had her face buried into his chest.
“Fine… But you have to keep your word.”
She nodded and he headed back towards the bed. Harry shook his head and looked to the ceiling as she still had a good hold on him.
“Aren’t you supposed to be protecting me?” He teased and she lifted her head.
“Willow will always protect Harry Potter.” But as she said this another boom sounded and she jumped.
Harry covered his mouth in laughter.
“Would Hedwig like some more?”
Harry’s owl nodded and Willow placed another piece of bacon into her mouth. Harry listened in for a bit as the two seemed to be in deep conversation and were chirping back and forth. Willow would pat Hedwig on the head every now and then. Harry placed the covers back over his head and groaned into his pillow.
“Ah master is awake…” Willow whispered.
Harry lowered the sheets and a tray of food appeared in his lap.
“Eat up. Master needs his strength.”
Harry scooted up in the bed and Willow placed Hedwig back into her cage.
“I’m sorry but I can’t. I have to fix breakfast for …”
“Already done. If you eat now you’ll be done before they are.”
“Master needs to trust Willow and eat.” She said as she’d the picture of his parents in hand. The elf had this certain beam about her as she put it back.
And just as Willow had promised Harry had just enough time to finish his plate, before his Uncle Vernon called for him to clear off the table and do the dishes. Willow sent him a wink and snapped her fingers. The tray disappeared and Harry was quick to get dressed. To his amazement the Durley’s had quite a feast.
“Showing off I see…” Dudley voiced but was picking at his teeth with a toothpick.
“I just thought you might like a nice breakfast, that’s all.” Harry replied with a shrug.
“Sure you did.”
Harry didn’t comment and cleared off the table.
“You’ve been holding back on us boy.”
Harry rolled his eyes as he filled up the sink. He listened to the Dursleys’ bellyache the entire time. When he finished with the dishes, he dried his hands.
“Sorry… I won’t make as big of a breakfast tomorrow.”
His uncle grabbed him by the arm and jerked him over.
“You will fix this only instead of bacon I want those little sausages. Pet, what is the name of those little sausages I like?”
She gave the name and his uncle nodded.
“Yes… that’s right. And I expect buttermilk instead of blueberry pancakes.”
“Oh and we have a guest coming over tonight. You’re to stay out of sight and out of mind. So if you need to go to the bathroom you had better take care of that now.”
Harry nodded and was quick to grab his stuff so that he could shower. He had 10 minutes to take care of whatever he needed. Once he finished they locked him away. Willow was kicked back on Harry’s bed and looking awfully mad.
“Is everything alright?” He softly questioned.
“Willow mustn’t speak ill of master’s family.”
Her arms were folded about her chest and she was eyeing that door with unreserved hatred. He jumped however as everything within his room disappeared. It was soon replaced with a weight bench, a bar, various weights, and a stationary bike.
“Master must be at his strongest…” She said with a simple nod.
“But… If they see this…”
“Master must trust Willow. Willow will not let master get into trouble.”
“So you want me to workout?
“Isn’t that what master wants? To be at his best?”
“Well yes, but…”
“Then Willow must give master whatever he wishes.”
“And what will you do during?” He questioned seeing the workout clothes she’d laid out for him.
A book appeared in her hand. He raised his brows as she pretended to read it but was holding it upside down.
“What book are you reading?”
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
He tilted his head as she flipped through a page. Still she continued in holding it upside down. Harry walked on over and turned the book right side up. He tapped his finger along the title.
“It’s Alice In Wonderland actually.”
“I know what it is!”
He covered her mouth and listened making sure the Dursleys hadn’t heard her. She moved his hand after.
“They cannot hear us. Willow has everything taken care of.”
She turned another page and Harry cleared his throat.
“Okay then. How about you read to me while I workout?”
The elf lowered the book.
“Master wants Willow to read to him?”
He nodded and got on the weight bench.
“Are you sure it won’t be distracting?”
The way she said this sounded almost ‘human’.
“Nope. I happen to love Alice in Wonderland.”
“Oh… well… okay.”
He watched as she turned that book all sorts of directions.
“Once upon a time…” She began but kept flipping through the pages and turning the book every which way.
It was apparent she’d never even heard of Alice in Wonderland as her version of the story was much different. But Harry said nothing as he lifted those weights. An hour had passed and she was struggling to make an ending to her story. Harry stopped what he was doing and used a nearby towel to wipe the sweat from his brow. He drank some of the water she had set out for him. His arms and legs were shaking as he wasn’t used to lifting weights. In fact he was slightly embarrassed even if it were a house-elf, she was still a girl. Harry plopped himself down beside her and peered over her shoulder.
“That was a great story.”
“Did master like it?”
“Oh very much. Although it wasn’t quite the version I remember.”
“You see Alice wasn’t a cat but a little girl.”
“How strange indeed. I didn’t realize books could change that drastically.”
Willow closed the book and Harry took it from her hold.
“Would you like to hear the version I know?”
Willow looked to Harry in surprise.
“Master would read to Willow?”
Harry nodded and opened the book. Harry read the first sentence but ‘struggled’ with one of the words in the second. He pointed the word out and asked for Willow’s help. Her bottom lip quivered and she covered her face.
“Is something wrong?”
“Willow has lied to master. Willow is very sorry. Willow don’t know words.”
Harry nodded and looked to be in thought.
“Would you like to learn?”
Willow lowered her hands and had this hopeful look about her.
“Master would teach Willow to read?!”
Before long a month had flown by, this felt odd to someone like Harry. Usually the summers dragged. But he knew he owed a large part of that to Willow. There was just something about her. He found himself enjoying her company. And this was despite the usual with the Dursleys and the run-ins he had with Dudley and his dreadful friends. But thanks to Willow they hadn’t any recollection of that day in the park. Willow kept Harry protected, well-nourished, and had him on a full on workout routine. That felt strange as well but Harry could see where she was coming from. It was her job to make sure Harry had everything he needed and his physical health was included in that. In return, Harry taught Willow how to read and write. There were a few times she struggled and got embarrassed but Harry did his best to encourage her and pushed her to keep going. And it seemed to pay off as she read Alice In Wonderland without any help whatsoever now. Harry chuckled as she was jumping up and down on the bed after.
“I read it all by myself!”
“That you did.”
And that was another thing he noticed. The more he worked with her, the better she spoke. Willow reached over and tied one of the straps to her raggedy dress.
“You know I have some scrap material you could use…” Harry offered.
The elf looked to him wide-eyed.
“So you could make you a dress…” He further explained seeing the slight fear in her eyes.
It was a known fact that if a master presented his house-elf with actual clothes he was setting them free.
“No harm in that…” he said with a shrug.
“Oh…” She said with a touch of relief.
“It’s okay. Willow doesn’t need a new dress.”
Harry frowned on this. She had been wearing the same ‘dress’ since Harry first took her in. She kept herself well-presented but the dress itself was practically nothing now.
“Willow… I want you to make yourself a nice dress.”
“Oh no, master. I do not need such things. I am quite happy serving you.”
Harry shook his head and came to his feet. He went to the closet and gathered a box. His Aunt Petunia had a habit of throwing things like this away. Harry would find them and for whatever reason he’d pocket the material and put it aside. He opened the box and he could see the perplexity in her face. She wanted to look but wouldn’t allow it. She reached for the lid and closed the box.
“Willow is happy with what she has.”
He opened the box once again and took out some of the purple crotchet material. He held it against her.
“This color seems to suit you. I bet you could make something very pretty.”
“But it isn’t right…”
“Because it is against the rules.”
“What rules? You serve me, don’t you?” But even as he said the words it felt strange.
“Well yes, but…”
“Then make you some dresses. Besides it’s just us and you deserve something nice.” He said with a shrug.
“Are you sure?”
Harry sort of laughed.
“Yep.” He called out.
He heard Willow sigh.
“Okay you can open them now master.”
Harry couldn’t believe the difference. He smiled and did a small golf clap.
“Take a look in the mirror!”
The elf blushed and made her way over. She had a big grin on her face but that was soon to fade.
“Willow?” Harry called out with concern.
“It’s very pretty.”
“Then why are you crying?”
“Master wouldn’t understand.”
“You’re right I don’t…. You did brilliant. It looks store bought!”
Willow nodded but had her face covered. Harry reared back as Willow climbed into her drawer and hid her face into her little pillow.
“If master wouldn’t mind Willow just needs a few minutes.”
“Um… okay. Sure…” He said as he exited the room.
He grimaced as he could hear her outside the cupboard crying her little eyes out. Harry wished he could help but he hadn’t a clue what was wrong in the first place. He thought she looked nice. Harry cringed as he could hear his Uncle Vernon pulling into the drive. Just as he was to warn Willow, the crying came to a stop. He peeked inside and she was nowhere to be seen. He gave a simple nod and shut the door. His Aunt Petunia and Dudley were off visiting a family member. Harry could smell the alcohol on Vernon’s breath the moment he entered the door. And he was in a ‘mood’. But Harry knew he had to tell his uncle about the lawnmower. He’d run over the pull string by accident and now it wouldn’t start. Sure he could’ve had Willow ‘patch’ it up for him. But she was doing so much for him already, it felt wrong to even ask. It was bad enough she covered his chores for him 80 percent of the time now. So it went to figure that the one day he did them without Willow’s help. He managed to mess up the lawnmower.
“I just needed you know about the lawnmower…” Harry started to say.
His uncle lifted his head as he was sitting on the couch – half out of it.
“What about the lawnmower?”
Harry drew back a breath and explained what happened with the pull string. And for whatever reason that seemed to give his uncle all the energy he needed. He sprang off that couch, unfastened his belt and ripped it off his pants. Harry spun around in attempts to get away from him. But the belt hit and Harry gasped back and reached to his back. But when he did that his hands got hit as well. His uncle was unrelenting as he took that belt all across Harry’s body. His uncle grabbed Harry by the hair and went to hit him in the face. But he staggered back and fell against the coffee table. When he did this one of the pictures fell off the wall and hit his uncle right in the temple, knocking him out. Harry snapped a look towards his bedroom and he saw Willow leaning against the doorway. She was eyeing his uncle down and shaking all over.
“Willow broke master’s rule. But this time Willow is not sorry. Willow won’t let anyone hurt Harry Potter.”
Harry wasn’t sure what to say. It took everything within him not to flat out cry. If it hadn’t been for her he’d have taken an even greater beating. Willow snapped her fingers and Uncle Vernon was suddenly on the couch and everything was back in place. Willow had tears in her eyes as she headed back into Harry’s room. Harry swallowed back and headed there as well. What he hadn’t expected was for Willow to hug him and cry into his shoulder. He just sat there and found himself hugging her in return.
“Okay, your turn.” Harry said as he took a swig of the butterbeer.
Willow giggled and spun the bottle. It stopped on the black Bertie Bott’s every flavored bean. Willow cut Harry an apprehensive look.
“Go on…” Harry challenged with a wrinkled nose as he was still dealing with the pencil shaving taste in his mouth.
Willow picked up the bean and placed it into her mouth. Her eyes widened and she choked back. Harry died of laughter. She grabbed the butterbeer and took a decent swig.
“Vomit!” She declared after and Harry laughed even harder.
“I bet… I know I wanted to on that last one!”
“No Willow means it taste like vomit!”
Harry spun the bottle and it landed on a yellowish color. He feared it would be earwax but was relieved to find it was caramel. Willow hiccupped and covered her mouth with a giggle. Harry reared back in realization.
“Are you drunk?”
Willow fell back and reached to her belly in laughter.
“Willow believes so, yes.”
Harry grabbed the butterbeer and placed it beyond her reach.
“I think you’ve had enough.”
The elf frowned and cut him a challenging glare.
“But Willow wants more.”
“Sorry but no.”
Willow folded her arms about her chest and was pouting. Harry laughed finding it rather adorable. He hadn’t realized that house elves could get drunk like that. She came to her feet and reached for the butterbeer. Harry shook his head and held her in place.
“Perhaps it’s time for bed.”
“Can Willow sleep in master’s bed?”
She smiled and the butterbeer and every flavored beans disappeared. He watched as she went and said goodnight to Hedwig – a nightly routine of hers. Hedwig responded by rubbing her head against Willow’s. Willow kissed the top of Hedwig’s head then she climbed onto Harry’s bed and crawled into the covers. Harry sighed as he got into bed and cut off the lamp.
“Harry Potter is Willow’s bestest friend.”
This caught Harry by surprise and he felt a little choked up.
“Well I’m proud to be that.”
“I can’t believe you’ve never watched anything on the telly!”
Willow put a finger to her lips shushing him. Harry chuckled as Willow stuffed popcorn into her mouth and was completely engrossed in the show they were watching. The Dursleys were currently on vacation so that gave Harry a week to himself. Something he was looking forward to. Of course they had a list a mile long of rules and chores he was to do while they were away. But Willow already had everything taken care of. So outside his usual workout sessions and her reading, they had the rest of the time to do whatever they wanted – as long as they stayed indoors of course. Something Harry hated. He wanted to show Willow so much more. He’d a feeling that she’d lived a very sheltered life. Just some of the things she said and did were a bit of a red flag. Sure she was a house-elf and their sole purpose was to serve their masters. Their master’s happiness was theirs. And Harry understood that and didn’t wish to interrupt the house-elf code. But something about Willow was so different and he got the feeling that she didn’t particularly enjoy being a house-elf. He’d free Willow if he could. But he knew the risks and he couldn’t bear the thought if she couldn’t find a new master. Or worse… if she went back to the Malfoys. The mere thought had him cringing.
“What a fuckwit!” Willow exclaimed causing Harry to jump.
That was another thing… She had a horrible habit of swearing. Something he knew she had picked up from the Malfoys.
“Alexander! Can’t he see that Christine is head over heels for him! They’re the perfect couple. Why does he want anything to do with that little hussy!”
“Hussy? You mean Jessica?”
Willow nodded and stuffed more popcorn into her mouth.
“She’s not a hussy… not really. Just…”
Willow sent Harry a detestable glare.
“Be nice…” Harry scolded.
“But she was dating Mark, Travis, and then it was John. AND NOOOW she’s with Alexander. Christine waited for him all this time and for nothing!”
Harry nodded gathering where she was going with this.
“I suppose I see your point.”
“So master agrees then?”
“That Jessica is a hussy!”
“You and that mouth.”
“Does Willow have something on her?” She asked and wiped her face clean.
Willow grabbed the remote and was changing the channel before the movie was even over.
“Willow! I was still watching that.”
“Willow doesn’t like that movie and it is bad for master.”
Willow held the remote out of Harry’s reach. He sighed as she went as far as to climb the furniture so that he couldn’t get it back.
“Willow! I want to see what happens next!”
“Master already knows.”
“No I don’t! I’ve never seen this movie.”
Harry jumped up and grabbed her by the ribbons of her dress. She struggled in his hold. Harry held his hand out in a chiding manner. The elf frowned and bitterly placed the remote back into his hand.
“Willow is welcome.” She hissed causing him to laugh.
He put the TV back on the right channel. But found himself wondering why she hadn’t just used her magic in order to change the channel herself. Willow spent the rest of the time sighing off and on.
“Hush now… I’m trying to hear this.”
Willow went to argue this but thunder sounded and she hid behind Harry. He could feel her hiding her face against his back. Every time… he wondered what the big deal was. It was just a storm. He thought it odd considering how brave she was when it came to everything else. But the moment a storm would blow in she’d turn into a skittish little kitten.
“Easy!” Harry said as the storm grew louder and she was climbing up on his shoulders.
Lightning struck something nearby and the power went out. Willow whimpered out and fell. Harry was quick to catch her. He had her cradled in both hands and she was covering her face and shaking all over.
“Hey… you’re okay. See?”
Harry swallowed back as she was in literal sobs.
“Willow… You’re safe. You know that, right?”
“Willow doesn’t like storms.”
“I know… but there’s nothing to fear. Look, I’ll show you.”
He came to his feet and headed towards the door.
“Please master, don’t make me go out there.”
The way she said this had him pausing at the door. He gave a simple nod and decided it might be best to call it a night.
Harry rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked to the time. It was four in the morning and Willow was tossing and turning in her sleep.
Please… Willow cried.
Sev… make him stop!
Harry reared back wondering what she was dreaming about. This would happen every now and then and every time it had to do with the Malfoys or Dobby. But this was the first he’d ever heard the name ‘Sev’. A few minutes went by so he figured whatever she was dreaming about had finally passed. He tucked her in and closed his eyes.
Daddy! Noooo please daddy!
Harry shot up and Willow was swinging her arms and kicking legs about, screaming.
“Willow!” Harry called as he shook her awake.
She shot awake and she leaped off the bed. The elf backed herself into a corner and started to rock back and forth. The storm they had tonight was worse than usual and he hadn’t any doubt that’s what set her off. Still… Daddy? Do house-elves even refer to their parents as such? He wasn’t sure how that worked.
Harry rolled on out of the bed and inched his way over.
“Willow… it’s me… Harry.”
The elf blinked a couple of times.
“Harry Potter…” She murmured and he nodded.
“My new master…”
“Willow’s bestest friend…” She whispered and her eyes came to a close.
Harry scooped her up and placed her into the drawer. He took a couple of minutes to make certain she was going to be alright before heading back to bed.
“Don’t give up now! Master is pushing 100!”
“I can’t…” Harry grunted as he was covered in sweat.
Willow patted him on the back as she was sitting on it.
“Just three more!”
“97…” Harry groaned as his arms were shaking.
Harry paused once again and Willow sighed.
“99…” he said through gritted teeth.
“100!” Willow exclaimed as he dropped down.
Willow giggled and roughed up his hair.
“Harry Potter can do 100 pushups, 100 pullups, and can lift 205!”
Harry reached for his water and Willow had it appear right before him. Willow jumped down and Harry rolled over. When he sat up he downed the entire bottle of water. Willow handed him a towel afterward.
“What?” He questioned as Willow was staring.
“Master is going to have the ladies chasing after him even more now!”
“Thanks but I somehow doubt that.”
“Master is quite buff. Master might win over Ms. Granger!”
Harry choked back a bit and hit at his chest. Willow giggled.
“But we’re just friends.”
Willow noticed the rather gloomy look in his eyes.
“Did Willow say something wrong?”
“Actually I was just wondering if I’ll even see my friends this year.”
“And why wouldn’t master see his friends?”
“I used magic remember? I know that it was in self-defense but still… I have no real proof of that.”
Willow smiled and handed Harry another bottle of water.
“Willow has taken care of everything. Harry Potter can go to school. Willow takes good care of her master.”
“Wait… you mean to say that you managed to seal that from the order?”
“But Professor Snape…”
“Master mustn’t worry about anything. Willow won’t keep master from going to school. No matter what anyone else says. Willow knows it would break master’s spirit. Dobby don’t understand. He will be very mad with Willow. But Willow understands her master and his needs.”
“Why would Dobby be mad?”
“Because Dobby told me I must do everything within my power to keep new master from going to school.”
“What?!” Harry sputtered with a sense of Déjà vu.”Again?! But why?!”
“Because master’s life is in danger. But Willow knows it’s in danger no matter where master goes. The dementors came after master even when he wasn’t at school and Willow was proved wrong. They hurt master in public place, in front of muggles. Willow is still very sorry.”
“Willow we talked about that. It wasn’t your fault.”
“Willow knows you will be safer at school. And Willow believes in facing your fears instead of running from them. Willow will be there to protect Harry Potter. Willow will not let anything happen to her master. Willow is only happy when master is happy.”
Harry smiled on this.
“Willow, I think you know me more than anyone.”
Willow smiled in return.
“Willow…” Harry whispered in a scolding manner.
She was a wiggling mess in that backpack of his. He smiled as he heard her giggle.
“What are you doing in there anyhow? It’s safe now, you know.”
Willow poked her head out of the backpack and smiled seeing as how they were on the train. She climbed on out of the bag and dashed on over to the window.
“Willow is going with Harry Potter to Hogwarts!”
Harry came to his feet once he saw Ron and Hermione making their way over. They greeted one another with hugs and took their seats. Willow giggled as she caught Hermione giving Harry the once-twice over. And Hermione wasn’t the only one to take notice of Harry’s transformation.
“Did you get stung by a bee or spend the entire summer learning about the benefits of milk?” Ron asked.
“And where are your glasses? Did you forget them? Honestly Harry, you’re the worst!” Hermione added.
“Don’t need them…” Harry replied with a shrug.
“What do you mean you don’t need them?!”
“Well at least you were on time… for once.” Ron said.
“You have this one to thank for that.” Harry pointed to Willow.
Hermione’s smile faded into that of a frown.
“Did we not talk about this before we parted ways last year?”
“Hermione…” Harry groaned.
“And what is she wearing? She looks like a little doll.” Ron uttered.
Willow tapped Harry on the arm.
“Willow will give master his space so he can be with his friends.”
Harry sighed knowing her reasoning. Still he wished Hermione and Ron would lighten up and let it go already. Willow was quick to vanish and Ron sighed as if in relief.
“She’s not that bad…” Harry defended.
“You’d like her if you’d give her chance.”
“I don’t see how. She’s annoying that one.”
“You barely know her.”
“Just a few minutes is enough.” Ron replied with a shrug.
“Well you had better get used to it.”
“Surely you don’t mean to keep her – as in permanent…” Hermione threw out there.
“And why wouldn’t I?”
“You know why…”
“Hermione you know could happen… I can’t take that risk.”
“Then we’ll find her a new master. We have an entire year to figure it out.”
Harry frowned and shook his head in disbelief. He couldn’t believe the way Ron and Hermione were acting. He found himself somewhat embarrassed. This had him thinking back to last year when his name got put into the Goblet of Fire. Even Hermione questioned him on whether or not he’d done it. And even though she said she believed him… she kept her distance not wanting to take sides. He figured she of all would understand where he was coming from when it came to Willow. But he could see it in her eyes. She truly thought ill of him. Like he were no better than the Malfoys at this point and all because he had a house-elf. She hadn’t a clue and that rather irked Harry. He thought they knew him better than that. He hadn’t taken Willow for his own gain. No. He did that for HER sake. But that’s just not the way they saw it. And something about that had his blood boiling. This made twice where his friends had looked down upon him. His hands balled up into fists and he gazed out the window.
“What’s with you?” Ron questioned as he was stuffing his face with some of the treats off the cart.
“Nothing.” Harry lied.
He just wasn’t in the mood. Especially considering they hadn’t even arrived at Hogwarts, yet they were already giving him hell.
“Hermione’s right, you know. We can find a way to get the house-elf off your back. We’ll find her a new master in no time.” Ron declared and he patted Harry on the back.
“I’m her master…” Harry spat; surprising everyone, even himself.
He didn’t give them the chance to even react. Harry was quick to his feet and he headed into another cabin. He was looking out the window and doing his best to calm down, when he heard a familiar laugh. Harry looked towards the cabin across the way and was surprised to see Luna and Willow sitting together. They were chatting up a storm and giggling.
“Oh hello, Harry!” Luna called out.
He rather blushed once he realized they had caught him looking over.
“Willow thought master was sitting with his friends.”
Harry wasn’t sure how to respond to that.
“You can sit with us Harry, if you’d like.” Luna offered.
“I offered Willow some jelly slugs but she said she had to have your permission…”
“Willow you don’t need my permission for things like that.”
Luna smiled and handed her a bag.
“See?! I told you he’d be fine with it.”
“Just no butterbeer…” Harry said with a wink and Willow frowned.
“But it’s really good.”
“A little too good.” Harry reminded and she giggled.
“Would you like some, Harry?” Luna offered him a bag of slugs as well.
“Master seems sad…” Willow said with concern.
Harry forced a smile.
“I’m okay Willow. Honest.”
Willow shook her head.
“Willow has made things difficult for master.”
“Why would you say that?”
“Because master’s friends don’t really like Willow.”
Luna looked towards the cabin Ron and Hermione were in then back to Harry in surprise.
“Why don’t they like Willow?! I think she’s lovely!”
Harry drew back a breath wishing he had the answer for that himself. He wholeheartedly agreed. And he couldn’t help but to feel as if his friends had just given him an ultimatum in a roundabout way. If that were the case Harry wasn’t so sure he could chose if it came down to that. Then again… he thought real friends shouldn’t put you in that position in the first place.
“Well Willow is more than welcome visit whenever she wants.”
“Oh we’re going to have a wonderful time!”
Willow let out a tiny burp and was quick to cover her mouth. But to her relief Luna and Harry merely laughed.
They hadn’t been at the school for long when Harry saw Lucius and Draco making their way down the hall. He sighed as they looked to be on a mission of sorts. Draco had that lip of his curled and he was eyeing Willow in particular. Willow stood her ground before Harry and had her arms folded about her chest.
“We need to talk…” Lucius whispered as he was looking about the area with unease.
“I don’t believe we have anything to talk about.” Harry said and gestured for Willow to follow him.
“On the contrary…” He said as he and Draco steered the two onto a nearby patio.
Lucius had his son keeping watch as he was talking to Harry.
“We’re going to need the house-elf back.” He sternly acknowledged.
Harry sort of laughed, “funny.”
“Do I look like I’m joking, Potter? You’re to free this elf and hand her over at once!”
“Or what?” Harry spat and placed the elf behind him.
“Do you really wish to challenge me?”
“You’re the one threatening me… As for the elf, you had your chance. She belongs to me now.”
Lucius gritted his teeth and went to put his hands on Harry. The man was sent flying back and Willow stepped out from Harry’s protective hold. The Malfoys took a step towards them but Willow had that wall of hers up.
“Willow will not serve the Malfoys again. Willow would rather die.”
Draco laughed, “careful what you wish for…”
Harry aimed his wand their direction and Draco rolled his eyes. Lucius raised his hands but with a cocky grin.
“Easy now… You wouldn’t want to get into trouble on your first day, now would you?”
“Would he?” Harry replied in return as he was eyeing Draco down.
“We better go…” Draco said with slight panic to his voice.
Lucius sighed and gave a simple nod. Once they were out of sight, Harry shook his head.
“They’ve got some nerve.”
Willow nodded in agreement.
“What are you two doing out here?”
“Great view?” Harry smarted and Willow stifled a giggle. Snape shook his head.
“Back inside, both of you. The welcome ceremony starts in less than thirty minutes.”
Snape regarded the house-elf in thought.
“And you cannot accompany Mr. Potter. You will have to find your place in the kitchen with the other house-elves.”
“Yes, sir…” Willow replied respectfully and Snape gave a simple nod.
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