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CHAPTER 3: Kisses Unexpected

Harry changed his clothes to the most decent things he had, pocketed his wand, and took out a small roll of money that he had from all of those times he worked for Mrs Figg during the last few summers. It would be enough for him to buy some food to eat, and for any bus tickets he might need. He went back to the kitchen and saw his uncle comforting his aunt. Harry silently picked up the copy of the paper with the job listings on it and headed out of the house. He went to the park and sat down on one of the benches, flipping through the sections as he did so until he found a few descriptions of jobs that seemed to suit him well. Harry was now wondering how in the bloody hell he was going to get to a job. He stopped by one of the shops and bought a map of the city. He marked down the locations of the jobs from their advertisements and began his search.

Later that day, Harry looked at his watch and frowned. It was 4 pm and he sighed as he scratched off the last ad on his paper. He had applied for several positions and had been immediately turned down at some and filled applications for the others. He hoped that they would call him, but somehow he felt that they wouldn’t.

“I suppose I should best be getting home and I’ll try again tomorrow,” He began walking down the street and when he rounded a corner he passed in front of a construction site. The crew was just beginning to break ground, and Harry noticed the large sign by the entrance.

Help wanted. No experience necessary.

“Well, I don’t have any experience, so that should work well.” He muttered to himself and crossed the street, heading towards one of the workers as he did so. The man working on the site was tall and muscular, and he was wearing an old pair of jeans and white sleeveless t-shirt with a pair of sturdy steel-toed boots. A blue hard hat was on his head. His skin was dark from working under the sun since the construction season had picked up in the spring. He was holding a plan of the grounds, studying it.

“Excuse me, where can I inquire about a job?” Harry asked the man who turned to observe him.

“Right here.” The man replied, “I’m Larry, and you are?” He said extending his hand.

“Harry, Harry Potter, sir.” Harry replied shaking his hand. Harry was so glad that this was not a wizard in disguise, or if he was, he was good at keeping his surprise. No matter how old or young a wizard Harry met, they always had a reaction to his name.

“Well, do you have any experience in construction Harry?” He asked.

“Erm, no sir.” Harry replied and bit his lip.

“How old are you?” Larry asked noticing that Harry was a teenager.

“I’ll be 16 in a couple of weeks.” Harry replied worried that his age would be too young.

Larry laughed at Harry’s concern. “15, 16 – old enough for me. That’s not a problem. We do need people, so tell you what, I’ll give you a week’s probation and we’ll see at the end of the week how you fare. Deal?” Larry asked in an easy going manner.

“Erm, yeah. That sounds great,” Harry said with a huge smile. “Is there something I need to do right away?” Harry asked feeling glad that he had found a job, and he knew that he would work hard and maybe Larry would let him stay.

“Just go inside that office there and tell Lucy you are there to fill out a job application and paperwork. Oh, and tell her you will need a hard hat and a pair of boots.” Larry said and sent Harry on his way.

A while later Harry walked out of the office feeling quite contented. He had a job! Then it struck him that he didn’t even know how much he was going to get paid. He flipped through the pages in front of him and stopped at a copy of his contract that he had signed.

“Wow!” He whispered when he saw the amount of his wages “£5 times 9 hrs a day…” Harry couldn’t believe it! That was a lot of money for a 15 year old.

“Harry!”

Harry looked up to see Larry striding over to him. “Lucy got you all sorted out?”

“Yep.” Harry replied.

“Good, let me give you a quick tour and introduce you to the crew.” Larry said motioning for Harry to follow. “You need your hat on at all times when you are here. It’s for your safety… and my arse.” He smiled.

After the introductions were over, the grounds were toured, and Larry told Harry what some of his jobs might be, he said farewell to him, and Harry headed home. He left the hard hat at work, where the workers had some lockers to place personal items, but the new steel-toed boots he took home. They were his after paying the company’s sponsored discounted price which would be deducted from his first week’s cheque.

It was 6:30 by the time Harry got home, and he entered cautiously through the back door around the kitchen. He noticed his Aunt Petunia was finishing dinner and he closed the door. Petunia turned around to look at Harry but didn’t say anything. Harry could see her face had discoloured where Dudley had hit her, but he chose not to comment. He had seen something in the way she looked at him, but he found himself unable to decipher what it was as he walked through the room to the other door, intending to leave for his room.

“Dinner will be ready in half an hour.” Petunia said to him before he left.

“Err, thanks.” Harry replied not knowing what else to say, and headed to his room.
He was confused by her actions. She rarely spoke to him unless it was to belittle him or yell at him for not doing some chores. He had expected her to scream at him to get to cooking dinner now that he was home, but she hadn’t.

As he walked up the stairs, he met his uncle coming down. Vernon glared at him, and they stood glaring at each other for a moment. Vernon noticed the papers and the box of boots in Harry’s hands, and before he could say something Harry beat him to it.

“I got a job.” Harry spoke quickly. Vernon looked surprised for a second, but he masked it quickly.

“Cleaning toilets I hope.” Vernon glared.

“If you care to know, no, I am not going to clean toilets, I actually have a job at a construction site.” Harry said and fled up the stairs, anger welling inside him.

“GOOD!” Vernon yelled after him “Maybe some hard honest work will finally knock some sense into you!” He shouted to the top of the stairs and Harry slammed the door to his room. “AND BE SURE TO HAVE RENT TO ME BY THE END OF THE MONTH!” He bellowed and stormed to the living room.

****


Harry lay exhausted in his bed. Today it was Saturday, July 20th, and he had been at his job for four weeks now. He had worked a 12 hour shift today and he felt dead. But the money was well worth it. He would be getting paid time and a half for today’s work, and that alone would be enough to finish the first month’s rent. Harry stood up and headed to the bathroom to clean up. Chaffy, one of the guys from work was going to pick him up this evening as they were going to someone’s house for a birthday party. Chaffy was two years older than Harry but he had dropped out of school last year and had been working with Larry’s crew ever since. Several people from work were going to be there, as well as other people who hung out with Chaffy and Harry had at first declined, but he had eventually given in. He wanted nothing more than to sleep, but he thought that maybe a night out was in order. He had been paid yesterday for last week’s work, and he felt he deserved it. Besides, he had hung out a few times with Chaffy and his friends, and they seemed alright. One of them reminded him of Ron, minus the red hair. He had to admit that he’d had a great time with them last time.

Before he left the room, Harry heard a rapping on his window. He went over to it and an owl was waiting with a letter. He took the envelope from the beautiful short-eared owl he didn’t know, and offered it some water and a piece of dried bread that Hedwig hadn’t finished. The owl nipped his fingers in appreciation, and then left through the now open window.

Harry!

How do you like my new owl! Her name is Dievieta. I know, weird name, but I think it means Goddess in Latvian or something like that. My parents got her for me when we came back from Russia last week, they said they’re certain I did well on my OWLs and they wanted to give her to me before we left on our trip to Greece. I think that they just don’t want to have to see Pig here so often; he’s broken a few of my mum’s things and she’s not particularly happy about it.
I’m also going to go Bulgaria to see Viktor, you can imagine what Ron had to say about that! What a git! Anyway, I got your letter, and I am so happy that things seem to be going alright for once. When I get back, I’ll stop to visit you at work again. It was such a sight to see you with a hard hat. Ha! Take care, and I’ll send you a post card from Athens!

Hermione


Harry smiled after he read the letter, but still his stomach churned. He had forgotten about his OWLs. He wondered when he would be receiving them, but decided not to worry about those tonight. He placed the letter in the trunk where he kept his private things. Half an hour later Harry sat in the driveway waiting for Chaffy to show up. He saw a pair of headlights coming down the street, and he jumped to his feet.

“Hop in.” Chaffy said and Harry jumped into the front seat. “We’re going to stop by Becca’s house first.” Chaffy said as he changed gear. Becca was a girl that Chaffy had a crush on, but hadn’t told yet. She worked at the little café across the street from where Harry and Chaffy worked.

“So, who’s going to be there?” Harry asked as he put his seatbelt on. He never felt quite secure with the way Chaffy drove; it sort of reminded him of being on the Knight bus, but in this case the cars would not magically jump out of the way.

“The whole gang I presume, you’ll get to meet everyone finally. We’re going to meet at Nancy’s house. You’ll get to meet the other girls too – Nancy’s roommates. Quite hot ones and two of ‘em are single. One of them is some pretty hot girl that moved from Central America a few months ago.” Chaffy said wiggling his eyebrows up and down at Harry. Harry only laughed.

Harry, Chaffy and Becca arrived at the party, and Chaffy introduced him to the people Harry hadn’t met already.

“Here.” Someone shouted at Harry and he caught the bottle of beer. He wasn’t sure he wanted to drink this stuff again, but he opened the bottle and took a swig. He pulled a face, but it wasn’t as bad as last time.

Several hours (and beers) later, Harry and the remaining people staggered about dancing to the music, and laughing at some of the stupid things the guys were doing. Harry felt so free, with nothing in the world to worry him.

“I need to use the loo.” Harry drawled as he staggered about towards the bathroom. He walked down the hallway of the flat towards the end of the corridor, found the toilet, then was walking back, when a door opened and someone grabbed him, pulling him into the room and pushed him onto a bed. In a flash, Harry found someone pressing her lips onto his, and he was quite surprised.

Veronica, the girl whom Chaffy had said was single and from Central America, had been hanging out with Harry most of the night. He had had a great time with her, and had even kissed her one time (through her insistence) but he hadn’t refused. He had been rather nervous at first, but either Veronica didn’t notice or didn’t care. He remembered his kiss with Cho the previous year, and had felt rather clumsy for the lack of experience. But Veronica only giggled at him, and teased him with one more kiss. The fact that Harry was intoxicated also helped his bravery; otherwise he would not have normally been this carefree. Veronica had left the living room a while ago saying that she was tired and was off to bed. Harry, of course had said goodnight, disappointed, but stayed behind with the guys.

“I knew you would come.” She said as she kissed him again.

“Huh? Erm…” Harry had no idea what she was talking about, but she kissed him again and then he felt her hands slip under his shirt. This was a completely new experience for Harry, and it didn’t help matters that the room was spinning about and he couldn’t really tell what was going on. Somewhere in his inebriated mind he thought that he better stop whatever it was that was going on or soon would be, but his body responded to her touch. He felt her hands slip down the length of his stomach, and that was the last thing he remembered.

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