As Kenton and I passed through the gates of the palace, and headed towards the stables, I spotted Harry sitting alone with his back against the old oak doors hugging his knees and looking rather lonely.
‘Harry? Why are you sitting there all on your own?’ I asked, sliding off Perseus’ back and passing his reins to Kenton; walking towards him.
Upon hearing my voice, Harry looked up and it was then, as he raised his head, that I noticed the expression of pain and worry on his face as he leapt to his feet and sprinted down the wide marble steps; almost knocking me over as he slammed into me and wrapped his toned arms around me in a warm yet almost choking hug.
‘Don’t ever do that to me again!’ he whispered angrily as he buried his face in my neck and hugged me closer. ‘I couldn’t find you anywhere. Do you have any idea how worried I’ve been?’
‘Oh Harry. I’m so sorry, I should have come and spoken to you before we left; Kenton offered to give me a tour of the forest past the palace’s apple orchard on horse-back and we wanted to do it before dinner’ I replied, returning the hug with all the love and remorse I could muster.
‘You should be sorry; scaring me like that’ he admonished, pulling away and looking at me with those beautiful eyes of his.
‘Tell you what,’ I told him, taking his hands in mine ‘I’ll make it up to you tonight after dinner, or tomorrow. What do you say to that?’
‘Can you teach me how to use a bow and arrow?’ he asked.
‘What?’ I replied, surprised and confused at the same time by his request.
He smiled bashfully and scratched the back of his head as his cheeks turned pink. ‘I saw you training with Jaron from my bedroom window.’
‘B-but that was only my first time with a bow – a-and one arrow. Just because I got a Bull’s Eye on my first try, doesn’t mean I’ll get another one’ I protested.
‘You told me you’d make it up to me, and I want you to teach me archery.’
‘Why can’t I teach you how to ride a horse instead?’
He laughed and grinned at me. ‘All right I’ll make you a deal; after dinner, you get one shot at the target and if you hit the ring first from the centre you teach me horse-riding – but if you hit the Bull’s Eye you become my archery instructor. Either way, I know you’ll do a great job.’
I blushed beet-red and sucked in my lips as I looked away from his piercing gaze.
‘You don’t have to do anything to get me to teach you something, you should know that by now’ I mumbled, not looking back at him as I crossed my arms over my chest, and trying to resist the smile tugging at my lips.
‘That’s my girl!’ he exclaimed, grinning and fist-pumping the air.
I looked at him in surprise; he’s never used that phrase with me before…it felt nice.
‘All right! Chow time!’ he exclaimed, draping his arm over my shoulder and tugging me towards the palace, as he shot Kenton a look.
Is it just me, or was that the back off look that a boyfriend would throw at another guy he thinks is trying to take his girl?