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During the night it had rained and now as the sun began to rise a thin mist covered the ground, curling around the tents and muffling all the sounds of the woods as it slowly came awake.

In camp the groups began to stir. Aggie riffled through her pack looking for the morning’s breakfast supplies, while Own hunched over the dead campfire silently coaxing the new flame to grow. Both had now completely woken up compared to their companions Cooper, Lei and Tyler looked like zombies moving through the mist completing their rituals.

“Cooper, could you be a sweetheart and go check to see if Emma and Charlie have gotten up?” Aggie paced a gentle hand on his arm to grab his attention.

Cooper looked at her blankly for a moment before rubbing his eyes and nodding. With a groan he suffled over to the only tent still occupied and poked his head in.

“’S time to get up.” Cooper mumbled before turning back out. He halted a few steps away before spun back around and shoved his head through the flaps again.

Emma paused on her way to the washroom and Charlie was sitting on the side of his bed rubbing his face to wake himself up.

Emma raised an eyebrow at Cooper’s expression before Charlie looked up, “Everything alright Coop?”

“Yea, bloody brilliant.” Cooper mumbled before he pulled his head out of the tent again and walked back to the campfire. It was official Cooper did not like mornings like this, waking up this early in the morning two days in a row messed with a man’s head. He could have sworn he saw Charlie and Emma together on Charlie’s bed. Shaking his head to clear the image he took the mug of tea Owen held out for him.

Emma collapsed against the door of the washroom, and released the breath she was holding. Opening her eyes she looked over to Charlie who had collapsed onto his bed. She gave her heart a moment to stop drumming in her ears before she spoke, “Bloody hell…that was…”

“Too close.” Charlie finished for her. There was a moment of silence before he began to chuckle, “I’ve never seen anyone move so bloody fast! Not even Fred and George move that fast when our mum’s about to box their ears!” Charlie sat up and ran a hand through his messy hair, “Merlin woman…”

Emma blushed a slight pink, “Oh yea? You should have seen your face! Priceless.” She giggled – she’d prefer the term chuckled, Emma doesn’t giggle.

“Seriously though…Emma. What were you doing in my bed?” Charlie stood up.

“I don’t know. I don’t remember walking over there.” Emma copied Charlie and ran a hand through her hair.

“You’re gonna’ tell me that you honestly don’t remember?”

“Er, yea. I don’t remember, I use to sleep walk when I was younger…but I haven’t done it for…well…years. Merlin I remember dreaming about my grandmother’s old house…” Emma shrugged and closed her eyes to concentrate. “I use to play there when I was little.” When she opened her eyes Emma had to bite her tongue – which really hurt – to keep from yelping in surprise.

Charlie had come up to stand directly in front of her face – successfully pinning her to the door – and invading her personal space. He was wearing a wicked smirk, and he had leaned in so close when he finally spoke Emma could feel his breath on her face.

“You practically jumped me there Thumper.” His eyes were locked with Emma’s and he still had that annoying – yet devastatingly sexy – smirk.

“D-did I?” Emma stammered out before catching her breath. “That explains it! I thought you were my grandmother’s bed!”

Charlie blinked, “Wait…what?”

“My grandmother had this bed in her guest room, I loved to jump on it. It was always so…Squishy.”

Charlie leaned back and looked down at himself. “I’m not squishy!”

Emma gave a wicked smirk of her own, “Whatever you say Chubby Cheeks.” Then she slipped into the washroom and locked the door behind her before Charlie could say anything more.

She braced her hands on the sides of the sink and studied her reflection in the mirror. With a deep breath she willed her heart to slow down and the rosy flush she had developed to disappear. It didn’t work.

Quickly turning on the tap Emma splashed her face with cold water and began to relax. As she did so she listened to Charlie outside her door. She could hear him packing up – he’d be changing his clothes right about now – while slowly she too began to dress for the day.

Unnerving, that’s what it was – the whole situation – just plain unnerving. Emma couldn’t honestly barely remember the last time she slept-walked. It was at Hogwarts when it happened – she was sure of that – Dumbledore was the one who found her, all cozzied up to the statue of the one-eyed-witch. Talk about embarrassing!

Granted the Headmaster just picked her up and carried her back to her dormitory; he was really sweet about the whole situation. Emma didn’t get in trouble for being out after curfew – which did surprise her – not to mention the fact that the older man could lift her – not that she was heavy, or that Dumbledore was weak – it didn’t even seem to take much effort. The next day when she was asked to go to the Headmaster’s office, the man had just smiled – the one that he’s so famous for – and gave her a small potion recipe to help her sleep.

Emma had taken it last night – right after dinner and just before meditation with Lei – it just didn’t seem to work.

Emma sighed, maybe it was because she was excited – stress and nerves always seemed to make the sleep walking worse. That’s what it had to be, just the excitement about finally getting to work up close with dragons.

Buttoning the last button on her blouse Emma stepped out of the washroom. Charlie had apparently gone outside, which was a relief. Emma stepped over to her bed and began to pack everything back up. She didn’t want to think about Charlie, with his red hair and adorable freckles – no – he was just her friend – who just so happened to be in a serious relationship – about become engaged.

Then why was the guy hitting on her? Was he even hitting on her? Emma sighed – she seemed to be doing that a lot lately – and hefted her pack onto her shoulders. Too much thinking for so early in the morning; Emma wanted food, and she knew Aggie had breakfast ready.

Across the camp Charlie was busying himself with the maps – or at least that’s what it looked like – in truth he was just trying to find an excuse to keep away from everyone else. They had made good ground the day before, in fact, if everyone could be ready to go in less then an hour – and kept the pace up today – Charlie was sure that they could make the summit the following afternoon.

That would be a blessing, he’d have his own room again. Not that he didn’t mind sharing – growing up at the burrow you learned to share – but sharing a room with Emma…that was a little difficult.

She was a great roommate, polite, entertaining, and didn’t snore – maybe mumbled a little in her sleep but that’s was more cute then annoying – she was ideal for a roommate except for the fact that Emma, was a ‘she.’

An attractive ‘she’.

Highly attractive.

Charlie groaned, and rubbed his face in frustration. What was he doing back there? He was so caught up in teasing Emma – watching how she got all jittery and flushed just tickled him – Charlie didn’t even realize what he was doing until she shut the washroom door in his face.

That had snapped him back to his senses. Logically he could reason his behavior to simple harmless flirting – all the guys did it – what guy wouldn’t get a kick out of watching a female friend get that jumpy? Not many females reacted to him like that anymore – it was like he was back in school – girls here were a little…bolder? No, that wasn’t the word…suggestive…no…agreeable. That was it. The girls here weren’t flustered by male attention, they welcomed it.

It was rewarding to feel that power over a girl; the ability to make them blush so easily was worse then any drug. Emma had given him that drug too, he never felt that way around Vicky.

“Vicky…” Charlie groaned again.

“Thinkin’ about your hunny-bunch?” Charlie sat back startled when Lei spoke up.

He was leaning on a nearby tree munching an apple; and of course, grinning ear to ear.

“What?” Charlie asked.

“Don’t act all confused, I saw you. Sittin’ over here, brooding; you already missing your lovely lady?” Lei laughed and took another bite, “You’re whipped, you know that? If I were you I’d just marry the girl before she goes running off with some other bloke.”

Charlie folded up the map. “The day I take relationship advice from you is the day…” he paused to think up a good analogy, “the day Chelsea there smashes his own guitar.”

Lei shrugged, “’Sup to you; but I’d listen closely, you’re not gonna’ find many girls hotter then Vicky who are willing to settle down ya’. Especially when you’re gone half the year playin’ with them giant lizards; take advantage of the blessing Charlie.”

Charlie walked over and slung his arm around the shorter man’s shoulder, “You know what Lei, I think that was the most profound think you ever said.”

“What! No way! I’ve said plenty better…I just can’t think of them right now.”

The group had broken down camp and was on their way sooner then Charlie had hoped and by now they all sat around a small stream for lunch. They had passed the midway point a few hours back which meant everyone was pleased that by tomorrow night they would be at the summit camp.

Emma had wandered off – not too far like Aggie had cautioned – she was having the time of her life climbing up the small boulders to look at the surrounding area. The clouds from that morning’s rain had disappeared and the sky was beautifully clear.

Emma glanced over when she heard something behind her and she saw Cooper easily scale the boulder – which took her a good ten minutes to do the same – smiling as he came up to her.

“Hey.” It was all he said before folding his long legs beneath him and sitting down next to Emma.

“Hi. Come to enjoy the view too?”

“Yea, it’s gorgeous up here. Course you haven’t seen the view at the Summit. When the sun comes above the horizon and lights up the whole valley, just makes your heart soar.”

Emma laughed, “Poetic. Never figured you for a poet Coop.”

He had to laugh at that, “I can be, when the situation call for it.” Cooper looked down at Emma, “I wanted to talk to you though.”

Emma blanched, quickly she began to think up a good explanation for that morning – figuring Cooper might not believe the whole ‘I was sleep walking’ even if it was the truth.

“Remember yesterday, when I came to talk to you?”

“Er…yea. After you broke up…”

“Yea that. I told you that I was in love with someone else…” Cooper was watching Emma closely.

“You don’t have to worry, I won’t tell the guys what you told me.” Emma patted his arm to reassure the large man.

“Thanks, but I uh…I really wanted to talk cause, well Emma, I need to tell you. That person I was talking about… I felt it was only right that I told you…um you know… who it was.”

Emma squeaked in her surprise, “You don’t have to!” Eyes huge she scrambled to face Cooper. “Look it’s none of my business! You don’t have to tell me anything!”

“But I want too.”

“What! I…er…I mean, why? Why me?”

“Um, cause you’re a girl.” Cooper said it as if it was the most obvious answer.

“Aggie, she’s a girl.”

Cooper just shrugged, “Naw, she’s a woman.”

Emma raised an eyebrow, “Are you calling me a child?”

Cooper’s laugh boomed in the quiet clearing, “No! didn’t mean you were a child, I just thought, well my sisters were always butting in. Girls want to know everything about relationships…I just thought you’d be the same.”

It was Emma’s turn to laugh, “And what about me makes you think I’m a normal girl?”

Again Cooper laughed, “Do you realize how amazing you are?”

Emma flushed bright pink, “Thanks,” she mumbled, her cheeks going slightly pink.

Cooper leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. “C’mon doll, we better be heading back to the gang. Time to start back up the mountain.”

Cooper slid down the boulder ahead of Emma – and much to her relief – didn’t see the bright blush she’d developed.

“How’s it going?” Tyler had slowed down to walk with Emma, it was the first chance the two had to really talk.

Currently the two were holding up the back of the caravan the group had made, and since the sun was setting they walked side by side in order to keep an eye on each other.

“Oh, it’s alright.” Emma had to take a deep breath before she continued. “I am a little out of breath though. I thought I was in better shape then this, pathetic I know.” She smiled weakly.

“Naw, it’s not really. Most people feel the same way on their first trip up the mountain. And honestly I think everyone has said the exact same thing. Always going on about how in-shape they thought they were. In reality, your never in-shape enough unless you’ve been up here before.”

“Really? How come?”

“It’s all about your lungs. The altitude is why your out of breath, the higher up we go the less oxygen there is to breathe. Everyone gets out of breath. I did, and I’m a singer I take pride in how big my lungs are.” Tyler smacked his fist against his chest.

Emma smiled and gave one short exhale of laughter.

“Don’t worry about it Em, you’re doing really good. Last bloke we had to take up here was out of breath by the first day and throwing up by lunch the second.”

“He was throwing up?”

“Yeah, altitude sickness, it’s a problem here. Even the base camp is high enough to give some people trouble. Lack of oxygen also makes your blood thinner, easier to bleed to death that way.”

Emma paled.

“On the bright side though, you get piss-assed drunk a whole hell of a lot faster!”

“TYLER!! DID I JUST HEAR YOU CURSE?” Aggie’s voice echoed back through the woods.


“All you blokes tease her like that? Calling her your mum?”

Tyler shrugged, “Sure, up here you develop bonds pretty fast. Have to be able to trust your partners when dealing with dragons. It’s like marking territory in relationships.”

“You’ve completely lost me.”

“For instance, Aggie. For the longest time she was the only female up here; but she was Owen’s wife so ‘out of bounds’. At first me and the other blokes didn’t know how to treat her – how to act around her – then Lei goes and gets himself hurt doin’ something stupid – like usual – and after treating him, starts this three hour long lecture on maturity. Ever since then she’s in our mummy territory. Nobody messes with mummy.”

“Oh.” Emma looked at the path in front of her feet. “So…um is it too early to ask what territory I’m in?”

Tyler was quiet for a moment. The time seemed to drag out so long that Emma thought he wasn’t ever going to answer.

“It’s hard to say Emma. Your new, in the beginning I’ll admit that I tried to treat you as just another bloke; however,” he cleared his throat nervously, “After the first night and the whole knickers incident.” Now Tyler gave a nervous laugh, “You’re definitely not a bloke. At least not to me; I cant say about the other guys.”

“But if I’m not just another bloke, what am I? What am I to you that is?”

Tyler laughed, “I don’t quite know, too early to tell. What do you hope to be?”

“Friends. Good friends.”

“Well then, Emma Watts, that’s what you are. Glad to be your mate.” Tyler swung his arm our and smacked Emma on the back – hard – and she went stumbling forward.

“Merlin! Sorry Emma!” Tyler reached out to catch her before she fell on her face.

“TYLER DID YOU JUST PUSH EMMA!!” Aggie’s voice came back.

“NO MUM! I’M PLAYING NICE!!!” Tyler called back while grinning at Emma. “See what I mean? She out ‘mum’ and nobody messes with mum cause she sees all!”

The sun had completely set by the time Emma fell into her bed. It had been a long day and by they reached a good spot to camp for the night Emma was exhausted. Every muscle in her body felt drained and every limb had invisible led weights tied on. She was barely able to stay awake for dinner which meant that embarrassingly enough she had to prop herself up on Cooper’s shoulder, just to keep from drowning in her soup.

To make matters worse Lei had insisted that Emma join him for mediation and yoga – the stupid git had a point though – if she didn’t stretch he muscles tonight she she’d be sore in the morning.

Outside Emma could here the others cleaning up dinner, Aggie – what a wonderful woman she was – had excused Emma from night chores on account that Emma was suffering from altitude sickness.

It wasn’t that is was impossible to breath up here, Emma wouldn’t have really noticed the difference if Tyler hadn’t explained it. Emma would have just reasoned it out to being out of shape; course that’s what you get when you sit behind a desk all day.

“Emma? You still awake?” Charlie poked his head into the tent.

The two had avoided each other all day – well sort of – they weren’t purposely avoiding one another, it was more or less an unspoken agreement that others in the group were far more entertaining. There were a few times when they walked together, but during those periods they didn’t socialize much.

“Nope. Sound asleep.” Emma muttered into her quilt, she hadn’t even the energy to move her head. In fact only half of her body was even on the bed to begin with, her feet – boots still on – were technically still on the floor. It seems as if Emma had jus folded in half in order to lie on her bed.

“Are you alright?” Charlie finally stepped completely inside and came around to look at his oddly prone friend.

“No. Not alright. Too..too…” Emma’s feet began to slide against the floor but she didn’t even bother, with a small whimper she let herself slump to the ground. “I’m done. Sleeping here.”

Charlie bent down and hooked his grip under Emma’s arms to hoist her up onto her bed. “Alright,” He began to untie her shoes as she just slumped on her side. Within moments her breath had slowed and she was fast asleep.

Gently Charlie took of Emma’s boots and removed her jacket before he pulled the quilt up over her and tucked her in.

(A/N: Aww i liked this chapter, lots of flirttaition, yeppers very fun! i hope you liked it. if you did.....REVIEW!! if you didn't...REVIEW. i like advice! and if you don't know what to say in a review i'll help you. just type this : "i would like to see Emma develop a romantic relationship with...*here's where you put your choice* the coming chaptes!" see easy as eating pie! i'd love you opinion on romance!! thanks!!)

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