Authors Note: I do notrepeat, DO NOThave any rights to
these characters, or to the song lyrics used. All characters herein belong to
JK Rowling. The song "Oxygen" is ©2000 Lakota Recordings Ltd, written
by Mark Greaney, and performed by JJ72 (fronted by the angel-voiced Greaney.
Honestly, if youve never heard of them, theyre worth the search.
Go ahead! Ill wait
Many, many thanks to my beta-reader Doctor Cornelius for his extremely helpful
suggestions, and for all the rest of the Sugar Quill gang for being such a warm
and welcoming community.
Goin So High
(or, We Dont Need Oxygen)
It was an usually hot and sultry summer that year in most
parts of the British Isles. Harry would normally have been comfortable in his
jeans and t-shirts well into August, but here it was barely July, and he was
Despite the heat, though, this was turning out to be the
best summer he could remember. Two weeks into the holidays, word had come from
the Weasleys that Harry could stay with them, escaping the horrid Dursleys for
almost an entire year. Then, almost as soon as hed gotten settled in at
the Burrow, letters had arrived from Hermione, inviting Harry, Ron, and Ginny
to stay at her home for a few weeks. "Its about time you learned
something about how Muggles live," Rons letter had said.
While Harry had his own theories as to Hermiones ulterior
motives, he had to admit she had a point. Earlier in the week, he and his friends
had gone shopping in a nearby Muggle town, where Harryhaving wisely changed
a few galleons into sterlinghad broken down and bought new clothes. As
hed always been of the impression that weather in the Midlands was rather
mild, he hadnt thought to bring many shorts. After all, the shorts he
did have were more of Dudleys cast-offs and large enough that they
hung down well past Harrys knees (which rather defeated the purpose of
wearing shorts in the first place), so the thought of buying new summer clothes
seemed rather a good idea.
Harry lay stretched out on the grass, his eyes closed against
the harsh summer sun. An amused half-smile crossed his face as he recalled their
shopping trip, which had marked Ron and Ginnys first foray into a purely
"Harry, look! Its a-a
Ron had shouted, his nose pressed against the window of an electronics store.
"Its television, and keep your voice down,"
Hermione had hissed back at him.
Spending the summer with Hermione had so far proved to be an eye-opening experience
for the red-headed siblings. Ginny had discovered Muggle make-up and fashion
magazines, and could now deftly apply hints of colour to her face in a way Ron
(and, to a certain extent, Harry) found highly unsettling. Ron, for his part,
seemed to be spending more and more of his time with Hermione, sometimes even
to the exclusion of his best friend and his sister.
Surprisingly, Harry had actually been enjoying his
return to Muggle life. Hed taught Ron to play games on a Playstation ("borrowed"
from Dudley; it still worked despite having been thrown through a window), learned
how to rollerblade and surf the internet, and had even managed to get his hands
on several Muggle candy bars hed begun to miss.
All the same, in the afternoons and early evenings, he often
found himself in Hermiones large garden or in the nearby park, practising
his flying and diving. He usually stuck to the shady left side of the garden,
where a row of thick trees blocked the lone neighbours view, or else covered
himself with the Invisibility Cloak. He knew Hermione would throw a fit if she
knew, but as she and Ron spent the afternoons elsewhere, there seemed little
danger of her finding out.
Harry rolled over, and pulled himself to his feet. He yawned
and stretched, allowing himself to bask a little longer in the rays of bright
sunlight before reaching for his Firebolt and cloak
except, his cloak
wasnt there. Thats funny; Im sure I brought it out,
he thought. Maybe I left it on the table
? He glanced over at the
garden furnitureno cloak. Mustve left it inside, he said
to himself. Too hot to wear it anyway.
As he picked up his broom, he heard snatches of song wafting
from the direction of the house. It stopped, then started again, much louder.
Again, Harry smiled to himself. Part of Ginnys unnerving transformation
had been her discovery of Muggle music. Shed borrowed a portable stereo
from Hermione, and listened to it almost constantly. Every time she heard a
song she liked, shed turn the radio up loud and sing along. There was
something about the wanton way Ginny enjoyed the musicsinging out-of-key,
snapping her fingers, moving in a sinuous, snakelike way, luxuriating in the
Well, something about it disturbed Harry even more than the new
brightness in her cheeks and cut of her clothes.
Judging from the sudden leap in volume, the song must have
been one Ginny was particularly interested in. Harry paused ever-so-briefly
to listen to the music, before mounting his broom and kicking off into the air.
short sleeves and warm skin
losing coins calling next of kin
dropping words about the city were in
ponds compressed by heavy air
us without care
just sprawling there
Harry flew up to the treeline and swooped back and forth
a few times to get himself warmed up. It delighted him. No matter how many times
he took to his broomstick, the novelty of it never wore off: the giddy, dizzying
feelings as he defied gravity, as though his earthly problems were being stripped
away, even for just one second, in which time itself was suspended.
When he reached the crest of a dive, a line of the music
would come floating up to him
gods in our world
and Harry felt it, as he hung weightless in
the air. He savoured the feeling of wind in his face, and the thrilling, sinking
sensation in his stomach when he plummeted towards the ground, as though it
were some divine ecstasy.
But about the third time this happened, and as the rapture
wore away, Harry became suspicious. Hurtling towards the ground again, he wondered
why the music was so loud, and why he could hear the lyrics so clearly. Surely,
Ginny was inside, where shed been every afternoon
Or was she? Harry thought, pulling his broom around
seconds before he plowed into the rhododendron. Come to think of it, he hadnt
actually seen Ginny much, aside from mornings and nights
Just then, out of the corner of his eye, a movement caught
his attention. With all the instincts of a trained Seeker, he hurtled towards
what appeared to be a small, pale, disembodied hand. When he was within feet
of it, a sudden shriek of surprise caught him off-guard, the hand vanished,
and he barely missed flying into the side of the house.
airports and undergrounds
waiting to find the unfound
rising to pure insanity
here when you want me
true love has no simplicity
"What do you think youre playing at? You could
have taken my head off!" screamed Ginny, once she found her voice again.
She was red-faced and sitting bolt-upright, the Invisibility Cloak thrown back
and falling loosely around her. She snatched up the small stereo from where
it had fallen in the grass, and slammed it back on the table. She turned back
to Harry, her arms crossed and face set in such a way that Harry couldnt
help but be reminded of her mother.
Slowly, Harry shut his jaw, which had dropped open in shock.
"Perhaps Im mistaken, but arent you the one spying in the garden?"
he snarled, before picking himself and his Firebolt off the ground. Harry felt
the glare of her eyes while he checked to make sure everything (especially the
Firebolt) was in one piece. Aside from shaken nerves and possibly wounded pride,
though, there seemed to be no lasting damage. Breathing hard through his nose,
he turned his attention back to the youngest Weasley.
gods in our world
It was several moments before Ginnys voice broke through
"Im not spying, you know," she said
"Then why have you been hiding under my cloak?"
Harry retorted, wincing at how harsh his voice sounded.
Ginnys expression softened somewhat, and she dropped
her gaze to her feet. "I didnt think you wanted anyone to see you
but I love to watch you fly." She began to blush. "You seem to enjoy
it so much. Your face just lights up whenever you get near a broomstick."
Harry laughed nervously, and looked down at his Firebolt.
"Yeah, I do. Theres nothing like it
not even a Muggle rollercoaster.
Not that Ive ever been on one." He forced himself to look at Ginny,
who was smiling shyly back at him. "Dyou, er
Would you like
to have a go? Um, on my broom, that is."
Ginnys face broke into a huge grin. "Of course
I would! Its been ages since Ive been on a proper broom, and even
then, Charlie wouldnt let me go very fast."
"Well, I dont know how fast itll go with
both of us on it
"Both of us?" Her eyebrows lifted. "Whatre
you saying, that you dont trust me alone with your broom?"
"You just said youre not used to a racing broom!"
Harry snapped, immediately regretting it. "And, er, I wanted to show
you a dive or two."
Ginny gave him a wry, sideways glance, and took the broom
from Harry. She positioned herself onto the front, and Harry jumped on behind
her, wrapping the Invisibility Cloak around them. He felt her tremble as he
put his arms around her, his hands covering hers where they gripped the broomstick.
Then, in one fluid, practised motion, he kicked off from
the ground and pulled the nose of the broom up. Ginnys small shriek of
surprise was lost in the wind as they rocketed over the treetops.
you and i were going so high
the air is getting thin
but our land does not breathe in
and we dont need oxygen
its dreams that bind and locks us in
the rest are impaled by sense