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As with yesterday, today saw Rabastan and Elea once again in his secret place.

Like yesterday, they had packed lunch and taken the carpet to fly out to this hidden locale.

In fact, minus Rabastan showing Elea photographs, not much was different.

Well. He wasn't planning on spending his afternoon as a jaguar. That too made it different.

Today, he'd had other plans, and before they'd left, he'd explained his idea.

Elea was, well. The thought of what he had in mind was both exciting and quite frightening as well.

They sat at the stream together in silence, their bare feet dangling in the cool water. Elea had another flower in her hair, just like the one from before.

"Mmmmmmm...," she murmured, contented.

While the day was hot, the water had the desired effect of cooling her down.

"I should bring you out here more often if you enjoy it that much. Hell, you should see it during the autumn. Or the winter. It's so quiet and still."

"We could do that. But I'd rather enjoy it while it's summer out."

With that, she leaned back and stretched out on the rocks, an arm shading her eyes from the bright sun.

Rabastan, seeing her this content, was considering changing his mind about today's activity, and offering to reschedule what he'd had planned.

A fish jumped from the water.

Overhead and about, birds and insects called, and a small animal darted amongst the trees.

Yes. They could just do this all day. They didn't have to do what he wanted to do.

But then Elea spoke.

"So. About your little idea. I'm still up for it if you are."

"You haven't changed your mind? We could just do what we're doing now. Or something else besides this."

Elea gave him a rather feline grin.

"That we always have time for."

He coughed, startling something nearby. Something that quickly jumped into the water.

Rolled onto her side, with her head propped up, she gave his thigh a poke.

"So. Basically, what you plan to do is carry me about on your back?"


"Which is something people from your world would do?"

"Of course. It's quite popular."

"Well. If you're going to be carrying me about the countryside, you might want to get into shape first."

He got up, then extended Elea a hand. She took it, and pulled herself up onto her feet.

"You sure you want to do this? You could fall."

"I'll hold on tight. I promised you that."

He nodded, closed his eyes, and concentrated, making sure beforehand to give himself enough room first.

"You weren't kidding, love. They are big."

I know. Goodness, Elea. You don't have to do—

She placed a hand on his muzzle to silence him.

All right. Though I have no idea how to make it easier for you to get up. It's not like you've had to lift yourself up onto something that's as tall as you are.

"Try kneeling or something."

With these legs? Elea, I have no intention of putting my arms in plaster for the next month while I recuperate.

"Lie down then?" she offered, and he nodded, then laid down on the grass.

"What now?"

Put one leg over my back until you're seated with a leg on each side. Then I'll get up.

"Okay." For the first time, she sounded uncertain.

It's safe. I promise.

Hands placed on his shoulders to steady herself, Elea swung her left leg over his back, then sat down.

"Okay. What next?"

Grab my mane. And hold on. I'm going to get up.

He paused.

I'll get up slowly so you won't fall off.

It wasn't easy, what with his size and the way his legs worked, but he did.

It didn't stop Elea from yanking on his mane as the two of them rose from the ground, and he nearly cried out in pain.

"Althea bless me! This is... This is... Wow!"

Are you alright?

"I'm more than alright! Though, I have to admit it is a little scary."

If you want off...

"No, no. I'm fine."

Keep hold of my mane. I'm going to walk now.

He did. Slowly. So as not to unseat Elea and give her a nasty tumble.

"This is truly something. People do this all the time."

Not as much as they used to, but yes. They do.

He set up a slow, steady pace, gradually circling as much of the perimeter as he could.

"I think I like this, Rabastan. This is quite enjoyable. Too bad your other forms aren't suited for this."

"Horse" is good enough for this kind of thing.

He carried her like this, sometimes moving slow, sometimes a little quicker. And sometimes he'd just stand there and let her examine things from her elevated vantage point.

"Nothing like riding a carpet. At all."

She stroked his neck, admiring the feel.

Two hours later though, and they had to put an end to Elea's first lesson in riding horses.

"I'm sorry love, but as much fun as this is, I'd really like to get off now. My legs are sore."

Moving to lie down again, Elea gratefully dismounted, and began the process of soothing her legs.

Did you enjoy that?

"Oh yes, very much," she said, rubbing her calves and thighs. "I'd like to do that again sometime."

Next time I will bring a rope so you can have something else to hold onto.

"I didn't hurt you, did I?"

Not at all, he lied. I just think it would be more practical.

He paused.

I will change back now.

But before he did, he gave her a playful nudge with his head, causing her to let out a shriek of surprise.

"Rabastan! Stop that!"

He was grinning when he returned to human. Just in time to receive a clod of mud to his chest. Elea had scooped some up as he was changing.

That led to the two of them cavorting in the stream, tossing water at each other. Laughing the whole time.


"I'm sorry I ever treated you the way I did. When you first told me you were sick. I should've been more understanding."

They were snuggling on the blanket as the sun began to set.

"No. You were right to be afraid. I had been careless, when I should've been thinking more about others' safety. I thought I had taken all precautions. Until you pointed out my oversights."

He sighed.

"And I could've hurt you."

"You didn't, though."

He gave her a squeeze.

"We should head back."

"Not right now. In fact, I think I'd like to spend the night out here. Sleep under the stars."

"I never took you to be a woman for the outdoors."

She laughed.

"There's a lot about me you don't know."

She snuggled up closer. They would snuggle for quite a bit later.

"Thank you Rabastan. For everything."


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Rabastan Lestrange

April 2016

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