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The Virgin Count by Wizardora
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: Muffliato
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The Virgin Count
“Merlin Harry, this lesson is so boring!” Ron sighed, slumping his head into his arms, folded across the desk. He showed no signs of doing any work although the rest of the class were scribbling furiously, trying to keep up with the complicated diagrams and Transfiguration theories that McGonagall’s chalk was writing rapidly on the blackboard. Hermione stuck her tongue out in concentration; the boys felt she would only disapprove if she found them using Muffliato in what she deemed a very important lesson, and so she had been excluded from the boys’ hushed conversation.
“Tell me about it. I hate theory. McGonagall really is laying it on thick. I’ll never be able to copy down everything she says.” Harry replied out of the side of his mouth, his diagram of the wizarding anatomy looked nothing like the descriptive drawing on the board. It looked more like a wobbly stick-man. Ron’s page was blank.
“I’ll just get Hermione to give me the notes afterwards.” He shrugged, closing his eyes as though he were bored enough to sleep.
“But you’re not exactly in her good books at the moment are you, Ron?” Harry glanced at his lazy friend, considering the very same idea of putting down his quill and convincing Hermione to let him copy her notes after class.
“Oh yeah.” Ron sat up looking miserable, recounting the events that had happened several nights previously. “Those canaries were really painful y’know! I’ve still got bruises!”
“But you have Lavender to kiss it better don’t you?” Harry couldn’t stop himself, and he grinned as Ron looked as grumpy as ever at the prospect of kissing his girlfriend.
“Shut up!” Ron nudged Harry playfully, giving Harry’s drawing dodgy legs as his quill was knocked. Harry laughed to himself and started to get on with his work again, already a page and a half behind Hermione.
Ron paused for a moment before saying, quite randomly, “Harry, how many people are in this room?”
“Count them yourself!” Harry told him, raising an eyebrow, crossing out a spelling error on his parchment.
“I just mean… out of the people in here… I just think…” Ron stumbled, clearly trying to tell Harry something, but seeming quite embarrassed about it. Ron was not the best person at expressing himself. “... maybe we’re in the minority.”
“Minority of what?”
“Well…” Ron turned red, “…virginity I suppose.” His ears turned a deep shade of crimson.
“What? Where did that thought come from?!” Harry had never really thought about it. He had been more concerned with the Dark Lord trying to kill him. Losing his virginity just wasn’t as big an issue on his agenda.
“I dunno. Me and Lavender were talking about it earlier…”
“You haven’t…?!” Harry interrupted him, revolted by the idea of Ron and Lavender in such a position.
“No, no! Nothing like that!” Ron was quick to deny. “We were just… talking about it. And she said that she’d… done it. And I suppose I was embarrassed that I hadn’t.” he admitted, twiddling his thumbs on the desk. Harry had put down his quill now, losing track of the work.
“Really? Lavender? With who?”
“Seamus.” Ron said jealously.
“Seamus has lost it?!” Harry was astounded! When did his friends have time to build these kind of relationships? When they weren’t finding Horcruxes and such things he supposed.
“Yeah – see what I mean? We’re in the minority, Harry! Everyone’s done it apart from us!” Ron snapped, “We’ve got to be the only virgins in the whole school!”
“What about… err… Neville?” Harry suggested, not wanted the label of virgin to be etched on his forehead next to his scar.
“Good point.” Ron sighed with relief that he wasn’t the only one. “Us and Neville. That really brings us level with the majority of people having sex.” He added sarcastically.
“The Patil twins?” Harry asked.
“True. Deffo virgins.” Ron decided of the two girls.
“You can’t tell.” Harry protested, not convinced by Ron’s instinctive assumption. “Maybe one of them has.”
“What? One loses their virginity before the other?” Ron asked in surprised.
“They’re just twins, Ron.” Harry told his friend. Sometimes he worried about Ron’s lack of common sense. “They’re not Siamese twins or anything.”
“I just thought they’d… I dunno… arrange so that they’d lose it at the same time.” Ron said casually as if it were perfectly normal. Harry, however, did not want that image in his head.
“What? That’s ridiculous! What about your brothers? They’re twins! Do you think Fred and George would lose it simultaneously?”
“They did.” Ron told Harry seriously.
“WHAT?” Harry was taken back by this. He’d never even thought about the twins in that sort of context before. He couldn’t believe it, pranksters that they were, that they would pull something like that off. This conversation was surreal.
“Yeah, they’re always bragging about it.” Ron explained. “In their sixth year, the night of the Yule Ball.”
“Wait… didn’t Fred take Angelina?” Harry asked, appalled by the behaviour of his Quidditch team captain.
“Yep. And George took Katie Bell.”
“So they’ve both…”Harry nodded, now oblivious to the rest of the lesson going on around them.
“Yep.” Ron said bitterly. “I'm surprised they haven’t recounted the story to you Harry, they recite it every chance they get. Show offs.” Harry just shook his head,
“I won’t be able to look Angelina in the face at quidditch practice now.”
“Why do you think I kept dropping the ball every time she passed it to me?” Ron told Harry of his first quidditch practices with the Gryffindor team.
“Nerves?” Harry offered, hoping that Ron’s incapability at quidditch did not involve sordid thoughts about his captain.
“You don’t know where those hands have been Harry. It’s disturbing.” Ron shivered, trying to rid himself of the graphic images in his head. “I don’t want to know!”
“Ergh!” Harry agreed, at the same time feeling rather immature about their reaction to the subject matter.
“It’s depressing.” Ron crossed his arms and sank lower in his chair. “I reckon I’m the only member of my family who hasn’t popped their cherry.”
“Bill?” Harry questioned
“Oh he’s a right Casanova! More conquests than Don Juan himself!” Ron had grown up with regular accounts of Bill’s.
“Apparently Romanian girls don’t need much persuading.” Ron winked.
“I hope he hasn’t.” Ron said, a flicker of hope for his damaged ego. “But he did have that thing with Penelope Clearwater didn’t he? What she saw in him I’ll never know.”
“Err… Ginny?” Harry asked a little reluctantly. He wasn’t sure he wanted to hear the outcome of this.
“I really don’t want to think about it thank you, Harry. She’s my kid sister.” Ron stopped him right there.
“Has she… with… err… which one?” Harry tried to sound uninterested, but felt himself stammering with rage at whoever had been that intimate with the girl.
“God only knows.” Ron shuddered. “My best guess is a fair number of times with a fair number of blokes! This is disgraceful Harry, my little sister has had more action than me!”
“There’s bound to be more virgins than just us, Ron!” Harry tried to cheer up his friend, whilst trying to ignore what had been suggested about Ginny’s virtue. “I know; we’ll write a list of people we think are virgins, how’s that? Then you’ll see just how many people are in this supposed ‘minority’.” Harry suggested. It would be more amusing than Transfiguration theories at any rate.
“Deal. What should we call it?” Ron said, handed Harry his blank sheet of paper to write on.
Harry's quill paused when the title should be before saying, “The Virgin Count!”
He scrawled at the top of the parchment,
The Virgin Count
1. Ronald Weasley
“Oi! Don’t put me first! Then I’ll look like a right pumpkin-head!” Ron protested, but it was no good.
“Too late, I’ve already written it.” Harry laughed, writing himself beneath Ron.
2. Harry Potter
“Fine. Don’t forget Neville!” Ron added hastily.
3. Neville Longbottom
“Who else?” Harry asked, glancing up to check that McGonagall wasn’t looking in their direction. Muffliato didn’t make the teachers blind.
“The Patil twins.” Ron remembered. “Although do you think on of them should go in a ‘maybe’ column?”
“O…K…” Harry said as he titled the right side of the page ‘maybe’.
4. One of the Patil twins
The other Patil twin
“Cho Chang?” Ron asked Harry.
“What are you asking me for?”
“You would know Harry!” Ron told him, thinking that if Cho and Harry hadn’t done it, then Cho would be most likely to confide in Harry about doing it with Cedric.
“Maybe.” Harry felt stupid for not knowing, adding her to the ‘maybe’ column.
“Probably at it with Ginny.” It rolled off Harry’s tongue bitterly, the jealousy taking him over.
“HARRY!” Ron hissed loudly, pulling a face.
“Sorry!” Harry shook his head.
“Don’t say things like that!” Ron shuddered again, refusing to think about the sorts of things his sister gets up to with the many men she finds herself with.
“Draco Malfoy?” Harry changed the subject from Ginny.
“Blatantly had it on with Pansy Parkinson.” Ron stated. “There’s a reason the Slytherin common room is in the dungeons Harry; what’s done down there is best left down there. I assume all Slytherins to be un-cherrified.”
“Including Crabbe and Goyle?” Harry smirked. Ron tried to hide a laugh as the teacher looked in their direction.
“No, you’re right. Put Crabbe and Goyle on the list!” he chuckled.
“Virgin. He’d be first to tell us if he wasn’t.” Ron rolled his eyes, not one for tolerating arrogance.
“Same. Ego issues. Tosser.”
“Luna?” Harry questioned, unable to combine Luna with sex. She was just too innocent and… well… crazy for anything like that.
“She’s too… Luna to think about sex.” Ron observed.
“I dunno, I reckon there’s something going on between her and Neville…” Harry told his friend of his suspicions.
“But we put Neville on the list.”
“You’re right. Luna and Neville are too much like… Luna and Neville to ever have sex.” Harry laughed.
“Who else do we know who might or might not have lost their err… innocence?” Ron asked.
“Hermione?” Harry said, knowing this name would receive an avid response from Ron.
“Virgin.” Ron said confidently, unsure as to why Harry would question she wasn’t. Hermione stuck her tongue out in concentration again, unaware of the conversation concerning her happening in the seats next to where she worked.
“What makes you so sure?”
“No. No! She wouldn’t… she couldn’t… but…” Ron dismissed the idea but then looked at Harry for assurance.
“It’s a possibility.” Harry said, trying not to mention the name ‘Krum’ in front of Ron. “I’m putting her on the maybe list…”
“Don’t!” Ron objected suddenly.
“I don’t want her on the ‘maybe list’.” Ron sounded like a selfish child who didn’t want to share his toy. “It’s Hermione!” He said by means of justification.
“So? What about Krum?” Harry regretted dropping the name as soon as it left his lips.
“What about Krum?” Ron asked, not believing for one second that Hermione would join Fred, George, Katie and Angelina in losing their virginities on the night of the Yule Ball.
“They were close weren’t they?” Harry said tenderly.
“She would have told us.”
“Why would she?”
“Because… because… ask her.” Ron commanded, getting frustrated.
“You ask her!” Harry refused.
“No way! Like you said, she’s in a mood with me!”
“I can’t ask her now, she’s writing down work for Transfiguration!”
“Just write her a note or something.”
“Saying what? ‘Sorry to disturb Hermione but did you and Krum ride the hobby horse while I was off doing the Triwizard Tournament?’”
“Yeah!” Ron wasn’t sure why, but he really needed to know. He really needed to be reassured that Hermione was still… well… the Hermione he thought he to be.
“I don’t think she’d be too pleased with me, Ron.”
“Please ask, I want to know!”
“You seem very interested in her…” Harry observed, winking at his friend to try and lighten the mood, “are you sure you’re not…”
“No.” Ron said straight away, his ears and cheeks blushing for the second time. “I’m just… indifferent.”
“Indifferent?” Harry was not convinced.
“Yes. Oh, um. Is that the bell? I err… better be err… off to copy those Transfiguration notes… see ya Harry!”
- - -
authors note: please review and let me know what you think ;P
Chapter 2: The Girls Bathroom
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The Virgin Count
The Girls Bathroom
“Yes. Oh, um. Is that the bell? I err… better be err… off to copy those Transfiguration notes… see ya Harry!” Ron grabbed his stuff and practically fled the classroom.
“Whats up with him?” Hermione asked, neatly placing her books in her bag; she treated all literature with tender loving care.
“Oh, nothing. I erm… better go virgin… I MEAN JOIN HIM!” Harry said, unable to look Hermione in the eyes after the conversation they’d just had about her.
“Right.” Hermione sneered sarcastically, “I’m fine here, really.” She hated it when the boys went off together for some male-bonding time. These days she just felt like the third wheel. Well, the fourth wheel now that Lav-Lav had joined the scene.
“Oh… okay.” Harry stammered, not picking up on Hermione’s temper, “See ya round, Hermione…” but then he paused as if he was going to ask her something. His mouth opened and closed again.
“You’re doing a great impression of a goldfish, Harry.” Hermione said, raising an eyebrow and crossing her arms, “Do you want to ask me something?”
But Harry’s eyes grew wide in horror at this confrontation and he hastily collected his books in the same slap-dash fashion as Ron and ran from the room, avoiding eye-contact with his classmate all the while.
Hermione rolled her eyes- boys could be so strange sometimes. Then she noticed the boys had left something on the desk,
“Hey Harry! Your notes!” But he was most likely half-way to the common room by now at the speed he left the classroom.
Oh well thought Hermione I’ll just give this to those pea-brained losers later, after their man-time…
But something caught her eye and stopped her train of thought- This was not Transfiguration notes!
“The Virgin Count?” Ginny asked in amazement, holding the paper up close as if she had misread what it said, her mouth was open, “The Virgin Count?”
“I know what it says!” Hermione snapped. She had read and re-read the list all day and knew it off by heart, “But what about Freud’s theory on Transfiguration? What about their N.E.W.T.s? This is all they have to show for an hour’s lesson!”
“Freud has a theory on Transfiguration?” Ginny pulled a face, “Isn’t he the guy that thinks everything revolves around sex?”
“I think you are referring to the Oedipus complex…”
“Well then this,” Ginny flapped the piece of parchment up in the air, “is some twisted background research!” She slumped against the wall.
The two girls, in true girly fashion, had always held important girl-to-girl talks in the girls bathroom. No-one ever came in since the chamber of secrets had been opened and the basilisk laid the smack down on the muggleborns. So Moaning Myrtle was pretty much all the company they had.
“I think you’re missing the point here Ginny.” Hermione said as she splashed cold water on her face and looked in the mirror- she was looking particularly flushed today, “Those boys were supposed to be working in that lesson!” Ginny’s eyes widened further,
“I’m missing the point? Hermione, you’re missing the whole bloody plot! In case you haven’t noticed- I’M NOT EVEN ON THE BLOODY MAYBE LIST!” Ginny screwed it up into a paper ball and threw it at the sink. Hermione instinctively sought to rescue it; she had issues with harming pages of any kind.
“Well…” Hermione mumbled, “Perhaps they forgot about you.” She offered, but it was no use- everyone knew of Ginny’s reputation whether it was true or not.
“No, ‘mione.” Ginny sighed, “They think I’m a slag. Harry thinks I’m a slag!” Hermione rolled her eyes at her friend,
Well maybe if you didn’t play tongue hockey with every Tom, Dick or… Larry, then maybe he’d consider you to be an innocent young lady! Hermione though, but after seeing Ginny’s face she realised she’d said it out loud. She clamped her hands over her mouth,
“Oh! Sorry Ginny! I didn’t mean… I only meant…”
“Well if that’s what you really think!” The red-head huffed, “Give me the list.”
“Give it to me.” Ginny used a tone reminiscent of her mothers’, “Enough of this crap about violating the written word, Hermione, and it’s only the boys’ scribbles!” Hermione reluctantly handed over the list to her hot-tempered friend. Ginny smoothed it out again and produced a black feathered quill from her robes. She leant up against the mirror and wrote in clear red ink, under the virgin count;
“Can I put you on the Virgin Count Hermione?” she asked angrily and slightly sarcastically.
“Yes! Of course you can!” Hermione was quick to reply, blushing furiously. Ginny almost cracked a smile as her friend’s ears turned red.
“So you and Krum never…?” Ginny asked, grinning.
“Never what?” Hermione challenged, daring Ginny to imply such a thing.
“Err… played hide the German sausage?” Ginny said, chuckled at her own euphemism.
“No we didn’t!” Hermione revealed indignantly.
Ginny wrote underneath herself on the Virgin Count before she scribbled across Hermione's name, striking her from the 'Maybe List'
“Oh don’t cross my name out like that! I’ll look like a right pumpkin-head!” The words escaped Hermione’s mouth before she could stop herself, it seemed like she didn’t have control over her tongue any more. Ginny burst out laughed; her anger had subsided.
“You sounded just like R...”
“I just meant it will make it look like I’ve… done it and crossed myself off!” Hermione blushed an excuse.
“Talking of crossing people out…” Ginny hummed gleefully as she drew a line through 'Luna Lovegood'.
“You. Are. Joking!” Hermione gaped; her mouth was wide open.
“I joke not!” Ginny giggled again.
“Luna got the VIP tour of Neverland?” Hermione made a mental note to punish herself later for her crude turn of phrase; obviously Ginny was rubbing off on her, “With whom?”
“I’m not at liberty to say.” Ginny mimed zipping her lips closed as she sat back triumphantly folding her arms and legs.
Hermione sighed, but didn’t press it further. Even though she was dying to know, she was not immature enough to start protesting- ‘Tell me! Tell me!’
“Fine.” The brunette said, “I can top that.” She struck through 'One of the Patil twins'.
“Psh! Big Deal!” Ginny dismissed.
“Uh-uh, I haven’t finished yet!” She said as she struck through 'The other Patil twin'
“The night of the Yule ball. At the same time.” Hermione smirked.
“At the same time?”
“Of course, twins always lose their virginities together; just look at Fred and George.”
“Oh yeah. Merlin do they like bragging about that!” Everyone knew about Fred and George’s double seduction. Well, everyone apart from Mrs Weasley who they thought it best not to divulge to.
“It’s disgusting what Lavender and those girls talk about in the dorm at night.” Hermione pulled Ginny out of her thoughts about her brothers.
“Lets just say I’ll never eat clam fritters again, if you know what I mean.” Hermione shuddered. Ginny looked at her, confused- she did not know what Hermione meant.
“Okay.” She switched the subject back to the list, “Who did the Patils do the hanky panky with?” Ginny fiddled with her hair, plaiting the strands that fell messily across her face.
“Who knows? I try to block out the tittering of those vile, vulgar bimbos.” Hermione tossed her hair back and sucked her teeth in distaste,
“Tittering?” Ginny couldn’t stifle her smirk. Hermione broke into a smile,
“I’m sorry- that was inappropriate, wasn’t it?” The friends laughed, “I just can’t stand that little gang of sluts!”
“That wouldn’t have anything to do with one of them clinging like a leech to Ron’s lips now would it?” Ginny taunted Hermione. Her friend was not amused.
“Why would the desperate doings of two hormonal-driven morons affect me?” Hermione glared in the other girl’s direction.
Ginny shrugged in despair, she couldn’t understand why Hermione couldn’t just admit her undying love for her older brother. After all she, Ginny, had come to terms with her undying love for Harry ages ago. There was no point in denial- she may as well confront her feelings,
“You know he’s on the list.” Ginny said, with a sideways smile.
“Who?” Hermione asked innocently as if they hadn’t been talking about Ron at all, but they both knew who Ginny was referring to,
“So hows that going for ya?” Ginny crossed her palms behind her head in a relaxed and satisfied stance.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Hermione lied. Ginny thought her friend sounded more and more like a prude old woman everyday and rolled her eyes at her.
“I mean- what is your opinion of Ron being virginal?” Ginny paused, but got no reaction, “Come on Hermione- you must have an opinion. You always have an opinion!”
“I have no opinion.” Hermione stuck her nose in the air, “I’m indifferent.”
“Indifferent?” Ginny was not convinced.
“Yes, indifferent! Why should it matter to me what he is doing or not doing and with whom?”
“No reason.” Ginny sighed- she gave up! The love-rays between Ron and Hermione were so painstakingly obvious and yet the couple themselves were oblivious, “So,” She yawned, changing the subject again, “Who else can we put on this list?” Her quill dwindled on the empty space under Hermione’s name.
“I don’t want anything to do with that list thank you very much!” Hermione retorted, “It was written by testosterone-ridden imbeciles who care more about sex than they do about their N.E.W.T.s!”
“Duh.” Ginny observed, “You just described the entire male race. Although I’m such I can contribute something to this manuscript…”
“Merlin, Gin,” Hermione’s eyes grew wide, “And you wonder why you have a reputation?”
“Those are just the ones that qualify to be on the Virgin Count.” She admitted, ashamedly.
But the girls were then interrupted by a sudden childish cackle from the end cubicle of the girls’ loos,
“Oooh! What naughty things are you two talking about now?” Moaning Myrtle floated over the top of the cubicle door and glided towards them, “Oooh, the gossip I overhear sitting on the u-bend pipe!”
“It’s not overhearing, Myrtle, its eavesdropping.” Ginny snapped. Myrtle’s light-hearted mood evaporated,
“Fine! I was going to give you a few surprising names to add to that silly list of yours but I shan’t now if you’re going to be so rude!”
“It’s not our list!” Hermione protested, but to no avail.
“Names?” Ginny was paying attention now, “Who Myrtle?”
The apparition tutted and wagged her finger at the pair of girls playfully, “Nope. Myrtle can keep a secret.”
“Come on, Myrtle, you know you want to tell us.” Ginny tried to persuade her. Hermione was horrified.
“Ginny! I really don’t think…”
“Shan’t, shan’t, shan’t!” Myrtle cackled again, somersaulting over their heads.
“Then write them down here.” Ginny reached out to give her the pen, knowing full well she could not take it. Myrtle stopped twirled and her lip started to shake, “Oh that’s right!” Ginny pretended to remember, slapping her palm against her forehead “I forgot you can’t hold it, being dead and all. I guess we’ll never know those names of yours, Myrtle.”
Ginny winked at Hermione, “Come on, Hermione. We better throw this piece of tat away- there’s nothing new to add…” She dragged Hermione to the door,
“Wait!” Myrtle squealed in a high-pitched tone, “Why doesn’t anyone ever want to stay and talk to me? Why doesn’t anyone ever come to see ugly, four-eyed, pimply Moaning Myrtle?”
“Maybe it’s because she refers to herself in the third person all the time.” Ginny muttered under her breath. Hermione was shocked, but Myrtle was too busy sobbing to have heard. “I suppose we could stay… if you gave us those names.”
“Ginny!” Hermione couldn’t comprehend the cheek of her friend sometimes- the things she would do to get what she wants! No wonder she wooed all those lads with her skills of manipulation.
“Okay.” Myrtle bought the act, “But you can’t tell anyone!” The ghost held a finger up to her lips as if to say ‘shhh!’.
“I will take it to my grave!” Ginny giggled- she couldn’t help herself. Myrtle let out a loud wail, “Oh I’m sorry Myrtle- that was an unfortunate turn of phrase.”
“Yes it was.” Hermione mumbled.
“The name is Draco Malfoy.” Myrtle spilled the beans between her retching of tears.
“WHAT?” Hermione shouted an outburst uncontrollably.
“Really?” Ginny sneered, adding the name to the list, “And how would you know?”
“Oh he’s always in here.” Myrtle told them, “He’s so heroic! That arrogance and cockiness is just an act- inside he’s a genuinely hurt and insecure boy, who needs a big hug.” She sighed.
“Well then it’s a shame you’re so transparent then, Myrtle or else you could give him one- it sounds as though you’ve got a little crush brewing there.”
“No!” Myrtle denied almost as fiercely as Hermione had done earlier, “He just comes to see me. He talks to me. He cares about me.”
“Sure he does.” Hermione huffed, “Draco Malfoy cares about a muggleborn ghost.”
“You’re just jealous!” Myrtle concluded, but Hermione snorted, “So are you going to stay and talk to me too? Like friends?”
“No.” Ginny said flatly, “Get lost Myrtle.” And she grabbed Hermione’s hand and fled the bathroom as not to drown as Myrtle wailingly splashed down the toilet.
Once outside Hermione snatched her hand back.
“I hope you’re happy!” Hermione said, feeling bad for the upset ghost, “I suppose you think that was fun?”
“Sorry.” Ginny shrugged, “But Draco Malfoy!”
“Ergh. Sounded to me like there was more than talking going on between those two in that bathroom!” Hermione insinuated, not even sure about how that would work.
“Well then- lets get to work!” Ginny went to link arms with her friend, but Hermione broke off again,
“It you think I’m going to have anything to do with writing anything else on that list you are very much mistaken!”
“I wasn’t talking about writing on it!” Ginny sighed- Hermione lacked common sense sometimes- her morals ruled over her, “We’re holding the biggest potential scandal Hogwarts has ever seen! Lets go and have some proper fun!”
And before Hermione could protest strongly enough that she didn’t want to ‘have fun’ with the Virgin Count, she was dragged off by Ginny to the direction of Gryffindor Tower.
author's note: Thanks for being so patient! It's finally up! I know this chap isn't as funny as the first, but I promise that the girls get up to some cheeky things in chap 3- this is more of a lazy, linking scene...
I was going to go in the direction of 'Why is she called Moaning Myrtle' but I thought that might be taking things a little too far!
Anyway, thanks for taking time to read and pretty please leave a review for me ^_^
Chapter 3: A Little Fun
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Dedication: I'd like to dedicate this chapter to Ella Black, 'Cute Jimmy' and other such New Zealanders who found themselves talking about this story in their orientation class!
and also major credits and kudos to Weirdism as I used her idea in this chapter!
The Virgin Count
A Little Fun
“Have you checked in your bag?” Ron asked as Harry combed every inch of McGonagall’s classroom, although he himself was perched on a desk eating an apple as he watched Harry scan the room in frustration,
“And imbetween the pages of your books?”
“And in the socks inside your trunk where you like to keep things that you figure no-one else will find?”
“Yes. I’ve looked everywhere! That was a very embarrassing document, Ron! I’ve searched every nook and cranny for it- it’s not there!” Harry looked very flustered; he couldn’t imagine how humiliating it would be for The Virgin Count to fall into the wrong hands… if Ginny found out…
“And you’re sure you didn’t write in invisible ink?”
“YES!” Harry shouted, “You’re not exactly being any help Ron! Could you at least help me look?”
“Sor-ry!” Ron answered, sliding off the table and throwing his apple core in the bin. It missed, but he levitated it in anyway, “Accio Virgin Count!” he called. The boys waited a few moments but nothing happened, “It’s not here.” He concluded.
“Thanks.” Said Harry, sarcastically, “That was great help.”
“Well you were the one who had it last! How am I supposed to know where you misplaced it?”
“Where I misplaced it? Maybe if you hadn’t run off like a little girl when I mentioned Hermione’s name I wouldn’t have misplaced it!” Harry had come to share Ron’s paranoia about the whole school being sexually active while they remained decidedly inactive, “Don’t you care that the whole of Hogwarts is going to know we’re… virgins… if we don’t find this list?”
“Of course I care!” Ron yelled, “Our reputations are at stake!”
“What reputations?” Harry raised an eyebrow at Ron. He wouldn’t exactly call them the most lusted after boys in the school- girls were hardly falling at their feet. Ron shook his head in disbelief at his friend,
“Harry. You’re a dragon-fighting, damsel-rescuing, Quidditch-playing, basilisk-duelling, horcrux-finding, Gryffindor-swording glorified hero! Having officially laid the smack-down on You-Know-Who countless amounts of times, winning the Triwizard tournament, training Dumbledore’s army, as well as getting substantial grades in your O.W.L.s… if you can’t get laid… who the hell can?”
“Most of that was by fluke…” Harry protested, endearingly ignorant of his ridiculous modesty.
“But you forget, Harry. It’s not just about us. Hermione’s reputation is at stake too!” Ron started to look mortified at this thought, “What if people think she’s done it? We should never have put her on the Maybe list Harry! Her esteemed chastity is on the line!”
“‘Her esteemed chastity?’ have you been reading Jane Austen again, Ron?”
“Well she is chaste.” Ron commented, strongly in denial of anything physical that had ever occurred between her and Victor Krum.
“She might not be!” Harry snapped, still unsuccessful in his solo search for the list, as Ron sat himself back on the table again, “There’s a good reason Hermione’s on that list Ron, and it starts with ‘Kuh’ and ends with ‘rum’.”
“She is on the list!” Ron huffed like a pestilent child. Harry sighed; he could never get Ron to be rational.
“Well you’re not being objective sitting there like that, are you? Let’s just find the list and get out of here!”
“Find what?” A high-pitched female voice asked from the doorway; it was McGonagall, “What are you boys doing in my room at this hour? Shouldn’t you be having lunch in the great hall?”
“Err… yes… well we erm… Harry?” Ron turned the attention to his friend.
“We… ah…” Harry stumbled; neither boys could bring themselves to tell their head of house exactly what it was they were looking for (and had produced in her class that same morning).
“Is it that you’ve both finished your homework already and want to do some more research for extra credit?” Minerva McGonagall asked hopefully, but from the horrified expressions on the boys’ faces she derived that her suggestion wouldn’t be happening any time soon, “Then what is it that you want, I’m very busy?”
“We just lost something, professor.” Harry answered for them, praying that she wouldn’t volunteer to help them look for it, which of course she did;
“Oh? Not your Transfiguration notes I hope? Whatever it is, I’m sure it can’t escape three pairs of good eyes, tell me what is it you’re looking for and I'll aid you in your search?”
Ron shot a panicked look over to Harry as if to tell him to improvise.
“Oh look! There it is!” Harry threw his hands up into the air in feigned surprise at nothing in particular whilst anxiously looking for something to pass off as a lost item. A short pause followed while none of them moved until the teacher said;
“Where?” McGonagall asked. Harry had not moved from his spot, and although he had recognised some object, he was strangely hesitant to retrieve it. The boys were acting very oddly today.
“Yes. I see it.” Ron nodded a little too vigorously, but he wasn’t even looking in the same direction as Harry.
“Where?” The teacher pressed.
“Err… THERE!” Harry yelled in triumph as he spotted something, he picked the tiny thing up off the desk, “THIS!” he showed her the miniature creature in his gently cupped hands.
“A spider?” McGonagall asked, unbelievingly.
“Yeah… come on… err... Jeffery… found ya little buddy… right Ron?” Harry looked to his comrade for reassurance, but Ron was white as a sheet and was having some trouble swallowing, “Right, Ron?”
“Humphflemflffl.” Was the only noise Ron managed to make.
“Are you alright Mr Weasley?” the Gryffindor head of house observed, “You look a bit peaky?” When Ron failed to answer her she turned her attention back to Harry, “You know, I’ve got some fascinating books on arachnids in Transfiguration if you wanted me to…”
“Err, thanks professor but I think we’ll take a rain-check on that one. After all, Ron’s looking a bit unwell, better take him to the nurse and I’ve got to get Jeffery here back to the… web.”
“Hendlephelmbulflfff.” Ron agreed. And, for the second time that day, the two boys exiting the classroom with as much haste as their gangly teenage legs could carry them.
As soon as ‘Jeffery’ had been safely disposed of, Ron let out an enormous gasp of air as if he had been holding his breath ever since his first set eyes on the eight-legged invertebrate,
“Don’t scare me like that again, Harry!” He panted, the colour slowly returning to his cheeks, “And make a mental to put her on the list as soon as we find it.”
“No; McGonagall. She seriously needs to get out more.”
“But I don’t want to ‘have fun’!” Hermione protested to her friend for the umpteenth time. The two girls were waiting for Harry and Ron to appear in the Gryffindor common room. Well, Ginny was waiting for them, but Hermione refused to have anything to do with the list.
As Ginny was about to tell the self-righteous girl to let her untameable, bushy hair down for once, Harry and Ron appeared in the portrait hole.
“Hey boys!” She jumped up excitedly, but the boys looked miserable and unimpressed by her enthusiasm, “What’s the matter?”
Hermione spluttered something that sounded like “unbelievable!” and crossed her arms and legs away from the trio in profuse disengagement. Ron made a face at her behind her back.
“Nothing.” Harry shrugged he slumped into a nearby armchair.
“Lost something?” Ginny asked innocently, “Not their virginities that’s for sure.” She added sotto voce to Hermione, who snorted in disapproval of Ginny’s inappropriate comments.
Ron, who thought Hermione was snorting at him as he sat down next to her, growled in response, “Maybe. What’s that to you two?”
“Nothing.” Ginny shrugged innocently, mimicking Harry’s melancholy mood, “Only it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve lost something would it, Ron?”
Ron raised his eyebrows,
“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked.
“Well, are you telling me that you’ve never had that experience?” Ginny stroked her chin quizzically. She tried to hide an amused smile and she studied the puzzled expression on her older brother’s face.
“No. Yes. I don’t understand you, Ginny?”
“Well that’s certainly not a first.” Hermione snapped, still facing away from the rest of the group, apparently absorbed in the latest edition of ‘witch’s weekly’ that was sat open in her lap.
“As a matter of fact we did lose something.” Ron said through gritted teeth; somehow Hermione's every movement seemed to infuriate him to the point of extreme angst, “Transfiguration notes, and we went back to McGonagall’s classroom to look for them.” He told Ginny, but his glare was fixed on Hermione.
“I’m sure you looked really hard.” The redheaded minx nodded. This humour was lost on the boys, who hadn’t a clue why she was acting so strangely. Harry and Ron exchanged a perplexed glance, “Did you do it?”
“Do what?” Harry asked, suspicious of the buoyant state that Ginny Weasley was in.
“Find whatever it was you were looking for of course!”
“Yeah.” Ron laughed with Harry, “It had eight legs and it was called Jeffery.”
“Did it take you a long time? Or was it over very quickly? Prematurely even?” Ginny cocked her head to one side inquisitively.
“Ginny, are you feeling okay?” Ron was beginning to worry about her bizarre behaviour.
“I’m fine! But how was your search? Pleasurable? Did you have a darn good time?” Ginny answered, but before the boys could throw yet another bewildered look her way, Hermione made a incomprehensible outburst;
“What was that Hermione?” Ginny snapped out of her good mood and snatched ‘witch’s weekly’ out of Hermione’s hands,
“OW! Papercuts! Hermione protested, twisting around to face her friend with an expression of rage on her face.
“What’s this Hermione? Checking up on our horoscope are we?” Ginny said playfully; why did Hermione always have to be so awkward? “What starsign are you? Virgo? Really? Are you are Virgo too, Ron?”
“No… I’m… a… Pisces?” Ron told her; she knew that so why was she asking? If he didn’t know better he’d say that Ginny and Hermione had a little private joke going at the expense of Harry and himself.
“And a Pisces is what?”
“And what would that make a Virgo, Hermione?” Ginny asked her prude friend. Hermione’s lips curled,
“A VIRGIN!” Hermione yelled at the top of her voice. Everyone in the common room turned to stare at her, “Touched for the very first time! Like a Virgin! When your heart beats both in time!” And then she turned on her heel and stormed off in the direction of her dormitory.
“Well that’s the cherry on top of the cake.” Ginny commented and Ron looked at her as if she was stark raving mad,
“What has gotten into her today?” he exclaimed,
“What hasn’t got into Hermione… that would be more telling…” Ginny winked at Harry, “Lets just say that the letters Krum has been sending her have become very… graphic.”
“What.” Ron said. It wasn’t a question. His face was as white as a sheet.
“Well, I better be off now; lots to see, lots to do…” Ginny trailed off as she skipped merrily out of the portrait hole trying to hide her laughter.
The two boys were quiet for a moment. In fact, Harry had been quiet for quite some time, trying to fathom out the peculiar behaviour of the girls,
“Ron, are you okay? Ron?”
But his friend looked as if he’d just seen a ghost; his freckles stood out colourfully against his wan skin, his mouth open and his blue eyes were wide and staring, petrified, into space. His fingers clawed at the arms of his chair before he curled his hands into tight fists; his knuckles turning white with force.
“She’s on the maybe list.” Was all Ron managed to hiss.
Harry empathised with his friend; these were the same raw emotions that Harry felt whenever he saw Ginny with Dean, or whoever she was going out with that week. He wanted to do something to help.
“Um… I’m sure it’s just Ginny playing us up, y’know?”
“Why would she do that?” Ron asked and Harry had no answer for him, “You’ve got to ask Hermione, Harry. I’ve got to know for… for… the purpose of… um…”
“Sure Ron.” Harry assured him, not wanting to hurt himself in thinking of an actual reason for his interest in Hermione’s virginity other than his undying love for her, “I’ll ask her. I promise.”
And with that the boys left the common room, mumbling plans on how they were going to get their friend to confess. Their mumbling sounding alot like,
"You ask her!"
"No you ask her!"
“There are some odd goings-on here today.” Neville observed, commenting to Seamus as he picked up the edition of witches weekly that the group had carelessly discarded, "Personally, I'm a Leo."
Not to make another tasteless quip about virginity, but it was a first time for Hermione. Not paying attention in a lesson that is. She could hear Snape’s monotonous drawling at the back of her mind, but her line of conscious thought was somewhere else entirely;
I’m not boring, am I?
She asked herself. She knew she had always been quiet, sensible and reserved. Hermione was an intellectual. She thought herself modest, shy and that her downcast looks portrayed her in a favourable light; intelligent, virtuous and chaste.
But apparently people were not convinced by this and found her prude, pretentious and snobbish.
Where along the line did I become such an elitist snot?
She glanced over to where Harry and Ron sat next to her in obvious states of daydreaming similar to her own. They had entered the lesson with such suspicious secrecy that Hermione thought they might have some sort of ridiculous plan that involved the trio getting expelled, or close to it, as per most of their ‘adventures’ at Hogwarts.
Alas, she had not been let in on the secret.
They must think me so condescending that they don’t even want to include me in their foolishly 'brave' tomfoolery anymore.
She watched the two boys more intently. What were they thinking about now? Something interesting, or at least what today’s generation called ‘interesting’. Like how many Berty Botts Every Flavour Beans they could fit in their mouth without choking to death. Or how cool it would be to put a love potion into Snape’s pumpkin juice. Or how daring it would be to break the school rules.
None of these subjects enthused Hermione as she regarded them as childish nonsense, but she was determined to try something new and get away from her hoity-toity self for one moment.
Sex. Now there was a universal theme for every boy’s mind. Wasn’t it only this morning that Harry ad Ron had created that infamous list out of their fascination with the opposite sex? It was worth a try, wasn’t it?
If those hormone-driven morons can daydream about copulation, then why not I? There must be some fun in it somewhere or else they wouldn’t bother.
Hermione told herself. She was quite excited; embarking on some new adventure in her subconscious that she had not exercised before.
Okay. Something simple to start with. Erm… Harry naked… ERGH!
Hermione had to give the adolescents of today some credit; this was a disgusting prospect! However do they manage to dream of such a pursuit?
I must persevere in order to understand my peers.
Harry naked [she shuddered, but forced the image to stay in her mind] and err… in a barn somewhere. Isn’t that every male fantasy? Innocent country-girl meets rugged-farm-worker and they go at it in the hay? Oh this is ridiculous…
The boys looked positively nonchalant! Hermione was trying desperately to hide the distaste from her face and yet there the boys were obviously thinking about sex (well, what else could they be thinking about?) and were yet so quiet and deadpan about it all?
Yes. So. Harry naked in a barn. With erm… me? And there’s a haystack. And a loft. And a hoe. Oh! A hoe? Please some class if you will! Enough with these lewdy innuendoes!
This was so difficult!
Harry naked in a barn with a hoe and a riding saddle? And he’s erm… putting the riding saddle on a horse… AARGH! HARRY NAKED ON A HORSE!?!
Hermione spluttered a gasping cough at the nauseating image in her head as if she was trying to spit her thoughts out through her mouth.
“Have you got something to say, Miss Granger?” Snape asked in his bemused tone of voice, as ever. The class turned to stare at her and she blushed intently,
“Good. I would hate for this class to be interrupted by your arrogant lectures and textbook extract recitals any longer. Twenty points from Gryffindor.”
Hermione sighed. Harry looked at her sympathetically but Ron only mouthed ‘Nice one’ at her with infantile hostility.
And so Hermione went back to her attempt to reach social normality; thinking about sex. But after that last image of Harry naked on a horse (Ergh! She blocked it out again!) she began to wonder if she was really missing anything after all.
Stupid Harry on his stupid horse. Stupid Snape and his stupid grudge against Gryffindor. Stupid Ron and his immature…
Ron. Now there was a thought. Inconceivably, a new string of thought fabricated in her brain without any encouragement needed,
Ron working late at the muggle office. He undoes the top button of his shirt as he pushes the button to call for a lift; he’s not going to walk the twenty flights of stairs down to the entrance of the office building. He loosens the tie on his dark suit as I walk up behind him in my tight pencil skirt and pinstriped blouse. We nod mutually at each other as the lift doors open. No one gets out; everyone has already gone home and we’re the only two to enter the elevator.
“Ground?” he asks tiredly. I nod and he presses the key for the ground floor. The dial begins to go down. He pulls at the collar of his shirt; the air conditioning in this place leaves much to be desired.
Suddenly the system jams and the lift slams to a grinding halt. I wobble on my stilettos and he instinctively reaches out a hand to steady me,
“Y’all right?” he asks, ever so close, the hard muscles on his arms keeping me balanced.
I only blush as a reply, trying to mumble a word of thanks, but I get caught in his magnetic blue eyes and then he leans in towards me…
“WHAT?” Hermione yelled as she felt someone nudge her and bring her back to Earth out of her happy reverie. Once normality set in again she found the eyes of every student in the class gawking at her in amusement and bewildered shock.
“Miss Granger?” Snape asked, seething with hatred for this pupil.
“What… was the last thing you said, only I missed it in my notes?” Hermione rushed quickly to think of an reason for her cry whilst she wished that there was something somewhere she could use as a fan after that escapade in her head. Snape sneered contentedly,
“If you weren’t concentrating hard enough then I suggest that you work on that yourself rather than disrupting the learning of worthier students.”
Hermione breathed a sigh of relief; he had bought her justification for the outburst.
“And, incidentally,” Snape added, “I’d appreciate it if your kept daydreaming to outside of my classroom. Muggle offices are hardly relevant to 'Methods of Potions Brewing'” He spat before returning to his monologue.
Hermione froze. She had forgotten that Snape was a fully accomplished leglimens. Her cheeks grew hotter than they already were after her tour around the imagination with Ron. She was going to have to find a different means to exterminate her haughtiness.
Then she felt something in her lap; it was a screwed up note. She glanced at Harry, who had been the one to nudge her in the first place, but he was staring to the front once more. Usually her rational sense of right and wrong would lead her to ignore this distracting rubbish but the new Hermione was rebelling against the rules. She opened the paper tentatively as not to make any noise; she had had enough of being singled out in Snape’s lesson for one day;
Are you a virgin?
She had to hide a snort of laughter as she re-read the six words scrawled onto the parchment. Was this the secret agenda that the boys had been hiding? They were working up the courage to ask her this stupid question as to remove her from the maybe list and place her firmly on the Virgin Count? Or had they figured out that Ginny now owned the list after her unsubtle teasing that afternoon?
Hermione didn’t know what came over her as she felt the spirit of Ginny pick up her pen and reply;
Yes. Of course. Meet me room of requirement tonight at midnight. I thought you’d never ask!
Love Hermione x
authors note: I hope that was more amusing than chappy 2, I certainly enjoyed writing it (I have been known to drift off into such daydreams in lessons at my own school!). Please leave a review or check out my 'meet the author page' if you have any questions.
Chapter 4: That Love Logic
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That Love Logic.
Luna was waiting patiently on the bench in the courtyard, swinging her legs absent-mindedly. She was watching the fountain opposite her intently, as if looking for a sign of life from the statuette of the Magical Madonna, water cascading from her cauldron. Of all things to think of an inanimate object, she wondered if it was lonely, trapped on a stone island with no sign of rescue from any handsome and preferably topless sailors. The poor thing was practically shipwrecked.
“Luna? Hey, Luna? Luna!” A voice was pulling her from her reverie.
Neville had been clicking his fingers in front of her face for a fair few minutes, calling her name until she finally surfaced from her thoughts.
“Oh. Hi, Neville.” She smiled as if this greeting was perfectly normal. Where Luna was concerned ‘normal’ was some uncommon rhinoceros creature with ram-like horns that could burp the alphabet.
“Hi, Luna.” Neville replied, used to this method of approaching Luna, but with undertones of nervousness. He had come to visit his Ravenclaw friend for a reason.
He sat down beside her, trying to see what on Earth had captivated her attention for such an intense period, but only saw the floozy in the jacuzzi that was the statuette in the Hogwarts fountain.
An awkward silence passed as both teenagers exchanged looks. Luna’s was of blissful, friendly ignorance. Neville’s was of worry and apprehension. Luna looked at him, and then he looked back. Then they both looked at the fountain. Then to each other. Then Luna looked back at the fountain and Neville continued looking at her, until she turned to face him again. It defined pubescent bumbling down to a tee.
Then, without any sort of warning Neville thrust a piece of parchment Luna’s way. Possibly because he had got so fed up of the strange pattern of looking from the fountain to Luna that he had become dizzy and was holding his arm out for support.
“Oh!” Luna smiled, “A gift!” She was overcome with gratitude.
“I was in the common room checking out my horoscope in a copy of ‘Witch’s Weekly’” Neville chatted anxiously, “and this fell out of the magazine at the page with an article on Celestina Warbeck’s ‘Kiss and tell’ romp with serial memory-obliviator and housewives’ favourite, Gilderoy Lockhart.”
“Aw, that’s sweet, Neville!” she squealed.
“Why? Warbeck’s off her rocker! She was warbling on about this extravagant top-secret affair, but then excused that she couldn’t remember that it existed because he’d used a memory charm on her! I mean how…?”
“I mean for the gift.”
She reached over and hugged him so tightly that he only just managed to squeeze out saying, “It’s not so much a gift, but something I thought you should see…”
She kissed him lovingly on the cheek.
“Luna!” He wiped at the burning spot instantly. “There are people around!”
This didn’t dampen her spirits and she unfolded the ‘gift’ with enthusiasm. She read it’s contents, not at all surprised that it was not a conventional love-letter, more like a list of names. Not that Luna had the capability to look surprised, her eyes were wider than the largest of saucers, they were engorged to the size of dinner plates, and her eyebrows were so highly arched that she struck the continual expression of slight shock.
The Virgin Count, she read. What does this mean? Still, it was the thought that counted, not the virgins. Besides, Luna was hardly one to abide by convention. For her last birthday, her father had bought her a bathrobe made of very rare material; the stuff that the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ were made out of. Need I say more?
“Oh wow! Thank you Nev!” She exclaimed.
“Don’t call me that in public.” Neville tried to hush her playful name for him whilst shielding his face with his hand so as not to be seen by passers-by. He didn’t like drawing attention to them, he got enough stick from his peers for being his general self without Loopy Loony Luna Lovegood added to the mix. It would soil his outstanding reputation… if he had one.
“Some girls expect flowers and chocolates and heart-shaped things from their lovers…”
“Shhhh! Don’t say the ‘L’ word, someone might hear you!”
“… and that’s all in good spirit, but this present is extra special because it’s personal. You’re a very special boy, Nev.”
“And err… you’re a very ‘special’ girl, Luna.”
“Thanks! It means a lot that you took the time to write this, let alone research it so that you could determine who should be crossed off!” she beamed, “A Virgin List! It’s inspired Neville, really it is…”
“Hold up there, Lune!” Neville raised a hand in alarm to stop her. “I didn’t write it!”
“That doesn’t matter to me, it’s the sentiment behind it…” she held the parchment to her chest so tightly that Neville had to tug hard to free it from her grip.
He pointed out the list, “No look – Harry and Ron are at the top of this list, and earlier in the common room they were acting strangely along with Ginny and Hermione. This is another one of the ‘members only’ in-jokes, I know it! Do they forget that we’re in the DA too?”
“Nev, I think you need to get over Dumbledore’s army, it kind of died after last year.” Luna patted him on the head reassuringly, but he swatted her hand away in a quick reflex action. “Sorry,” she added, “I’d forgotten about your intimacy issues. It’s perfectly normal, the healer said with your condition, one is five Wizards…”
“Luna! There’s people about!” Neville turned a deep shade of purple with embarrassment.
“‘People’ didn’t put you off that time when we…”
“Luna!” Neville practically gagged her as several seventh years walked past, eyeing them suspiciously. Neville smiled at them as they walked on, before releasing Luna.
“Neville! I didn’t know you were into…!”
“Stop that!” Neville snapped, but in a stage whisper, waggling his finger at Luna. He felt as if he lost his sanity when he was around her. “You’ve made me forget what I was saying…”
“Knowing your memory, that thought train will be lost to us forever then.” Luna observed, shaking her blonde hair loose from her shoulders.
Neville paused for thought before saying, “That’s right. I was bringing the list to you because you’re crossed off.”
“That’s because we had sex Neville.” For someone so dreamy, it often shocked when Luna cut straight to the point with blunt logic. He guessed that’s why she was put in Ravenclaw, every now and again, if you watched hard enough, she came out with pearls of wisdom.
“Shhhh!” Neville interjected, “We don’t want the whole world to know! Which is why I’m putting an end to this ‘list’ nonsense! Who have you told? Why is it public knowledge?”
Neville’s hand was visibly shaking as he held up the parchment in Luna’s amused face. She snatched it from him and quickly scribbled his name out from ‘The Virgin Count’ using a quill that she kept tucked neatly behind her ear.
“There. Problem solved. Now we’re equal.” Luna smiled at her logical solution, but Neville looked as if he was about to tear his hair out.
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” He shouted, so loud that a flock of threstals grazing in the forbidden forest could hear, and promptly left their food in fright, flying upwards. So much for not drawing attention to them. Now the whole courtyard was staring.
“I’ve crossed you off. Now everyone will know about both of us, rather than being misled that it was just me with someone else. I thought you’d be pleased?” She continued smiling, her eyes as wide and as shiny as the crystal balls Trelawny kept in her attic classroom.
“Luna, has anyone told you you’re about as subtle as a bludger through a window? In fact, you’re as subtle as you throwing the bludger through a window, with you on the other side catching it and throwing it back saying ‘Nice one, Luna! That was subtle!’. You’re about as subtle as Ron and Hermione’s obvious love-rays.”
Luna raised an eyebrow at Neville. She couldn’t help it. Her friend’s breakdown of virgin-paranoia was highly amusing. It was virginoia!
Neville shook his head, “Sorry, that was a terrible extended metaphor, I can’t help it I use complicated imagery when I’m nervous or stressed…”
“I know, Nev. The healer said…”
“No, Luna!” Neville stopped her right there. “No, no, NO! Listen carefully when I say: I don’t want anyone to know about us, or what the healer said, or that you modelled your bathrobe for me, understand?” He kept looking over his shoulder as if to find an expectant eavesdropper there.
“Why?” Luna asked.
This stumped Neville to some extent, because he didn’t have an answer for this question other than ‘BECAUSE YOU’RE A FREAK!’ and he didn’t think that was true. In truth, I suppose Neville was afraid of what Harry thought of him. Always Harry’s loyal friend, it didn’t seem right that Neville had a life experience that his hero didn’t. It wasn’t love-logical. So, in response to Luna’s question, Neville went for a more plain explanation.
“Luna. We had a one off thing. One. Off. That’s why they call it a ‘fling’, because if you say ‘one off thing’ very fast then that’s what it sounds like. And, yes, we may have… copulated…”
“Copulated? Do you have to put it so clinically?” She laughed.
“… but that was the end of it. Remember? We decided not to see each other like that again. We decided that some bathrobes were better left in the closet, if you know what I mean? Am I right?” Luna nodded, albeit burst bubble, but legs still swinging happily under the seat of the bench.
“Oh. Okay Nev, err… Neville.” She replied, her smile wavering slightly. She looked so vulnerable and sweet that Neville wanted to give her a big hug.
“It’s okay, Lune.” He nodded solemnly, glad that they could finally come to some sort of agreement over this whole ‘love-logic’ thing.
“Can I ask you just one thing though, Neville?” Luna asked of him.
“Anything.” Neville replied, placing a hand supportively on her back.
“Do you want to do it again?” She offered. The look of shock on his face prompted her to add, “Now?”
A brief pause ensued while Neville stared with disbelief at the blonde.
“Go on then.” He caved in and kissed her full on the lips in front of the whole courtyard. The pair were so enthusiastic they didn’t even notice the shadow of someone fall upon them.
“Well isn’t this cosy?” The taunting sneering tones of Draco Malfoy caused them to part instantly, “Longbottom finally got himself a girlfriend at last? Although I suppose you’d have to be as loopy as old Loony Lovegood to shack up with that.” He lifted up a set of Weasley Wizard Wheezes’ extendible ears. “Amazing what reception you can get on these… Its like pornography for the ear canal…”
“Piss off, Malfoy, you big pervert. Just cos you’re not getting any doesn’t mean you can encroach on everyone else’s good fun. Now go back to your crochet set, you old maid.” Neville found himself saying. Luna had really loosened his tongue.
Taken aback by this out-of-character retort from weedy Longbottom, Malfoy was stunned into silence. He tried to think of comeback quickly, but only opened and closed his mouth like a goldfish, dumbfounded.
Luna laughed, “Maybe we should find somewhere a bit more… private?”
- - -
Hermione is working late at the Ministry of Magic. She is wearing a tight pencil skirt and a tight blouse, stretched tightly across her chest. I loosen my collar as she drops her wand on the floor and bends over to pick it up. All too soon we’re both packing up to go home. She beats me to the door and so I have to endure watching her walk down the corridor in that skirt until we reach the lift.
“Going down?” she asks, politely.
“I wish.” I mumble to myself before replying, “Yes.”
And so we enter the elevator. Its silent at night, there are no memos flying around to disturb us. The woman on the intercom coolly announces our departure from the department.
Hermione catches me gawking at her and I blush a deep scarlet. She smiles cheekily back. I’m about to open my mouth for an icebreaker when the lift slams to a halt. Hermione wobbles on her six-inch killer stilettos, revealing a garter belt holding up her suspenders from the high slit in that amazing skirt. I jut a hand out to help her balance. She places a soft hand on mine in thanks.
“Sorry for the delay. This vehicle is malfunctioning. Please be patient while we fix the error.” The woman’s voice tells us.
But she’s still holding my hand. And despite the obvious difference in strength between us, she is the one pulling me closer with a dreamy look in her eye.
“Ron…” She starts to say, and I’m suddenly very aware that my jaw has dropped.
“Yes…?” I manage to whisper hoarsely. I’ve waited for this moment…
“Hi guys!” A cheerful voice calls down the lift shaft. We break apart at once.
“Hi Harry.” We reply.
“Since when are you the maintenance man?” I ask him, snapping fiercely.
“Hey, this is your fantasy, Ron.” The smiling boy beamed back. “Ron. Ron? Ron!”
“Ron! Hello? Anyone home?” Harry called Ron back into the world of conscious thought.
This would usually prompt an irate repartee from the fiery redhead, but considering the circumstances today, Ron chose to ignore Harry’s existence.
“Merlin, Ron! You were away with the fairies there! Daydreaming were we?”
“About Lavender.” Ron defended, although no one had yet accused him otherwise. Then he remembered that he was not speaking to Harry, and turned his back on his best friend.
Harry sighed, “Talk to me.”
“There’s nothing to say.” Ron fixated his gaze at an interesting pattern on the wallpaper of the Gryffindor common room.
“I didn’t ask her to say that in a note! She wrote it!” Harry protested, “You know I only think of Hermione like a sister. A platonic, non-sexual sister that is, not an incestuous Freudian sister, obviously. How was I to know that Hermione had those kind of feelings for me?”
Ron guffawed loudly at this, much to Harry’s annoyance, “What?”
Ron had to turn and look at his friend when he said, “Harry, do you honestly think that there is any chance on Earth that Hermione would fancy you?”
“Of course, in her note…”
“Lies and deceit!” Ron contradicted, “She’s having you on!”
“She… might not be.” Harry objected, suddenly rather defensive about the whole subject, “There might be a chance that…”
“No there isn’t.”
“But you said! You said I was a basilisk-duelling, Gryffindor-swording, genuinely dashing hot rod!”
“I never called you a ‘hot rod’, Hazza.” Ron raised an eyebrow, “And I meant that about girls without brains, or possibly blind women.”
“Thanks, Ron.” Harry seethed.
“Pleasure.” Ron grinned.
“So I take it you’re talking to me now?” He added, at least one positively thing had come out of this conversation, Ron was finally speaking to him again after the whole ‘Hermione’s-note-of-implied-rampant-sex’ debacle.
“Well, at first I thought maybe you two were playing a practical joke on me. Y’know, ‘Ronald Weasley, dumbass sidekick gullibly falls for mischievous prank’.” Ron explained, “But now you’ve told me that you actually thinks she’s got the hots for you…” He laughed again at this, much to Harry’s aggravation, “… then I guess she’s trying to fool us both.”
“I still don’t see why you think that Hermione was lying in that note! It seemed pretty sincere to me!” Harry argued, folding his arms childishly.
“Isn’t it obvious, Harry? And they call me the dumb one!” Ron said, smug that, for once, he was the Ravenclaw who had uncovered this mystery before ‘the-boy-who-lived’.
“What do you mean?” Harry pulled a confused face.
“She knows about the list!” It was simple love-logic.
“What!” Harry exclaimed, his facial features as contorted as ever, “How did you figure that one out?”
“Think about it, Ginny was acting pretty strangely earlier aswell. She was making a lot of innuendoes that were a little too ironic considering we’d just written up a list of virgins, Harry.”
“Now I come to think of it…!” Harry put two and two together and got… Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny… FOUR! “Hermione was singing that Madonna classic with a little too much bravado…”
“The sickle drops! What do you want, a slow clap?” Ron rolled his eyes, something he’d never thought he get to do, “I’ve been onto those minxes since the very start, Harry! For the-chosen-one, you’re really not that bright.”
“Oi!” Harry protested.
“But they don’t know that we know.”
“What? You’re not making any sense, Ronald.”
“They’re playing with us, Harry! They’re laughing at us! They know we’re virgins!”
“Oh Merlin… well then… what do we do?” Harry asked, dumbfounded and slightly put out that he didn’t already have a plan, but Ron was way ahead of him, twirling an invisible moustache.
“We call their bluff! We play her at her own game! WE’RE GONNA GIVE HERMIONE THE NIGHT OF HER LIFE!”
“I beg your pardon, Won-won?” Lavender had sneaked up on the ginger mastermind just in time to hear him bellow his last line of dialogue, “But you said you’d spend the night with me…?” Ron flushed a hue deeper and darker than his house colours.
“He’s err… washing his hair.” Harry came to his rescue, smiling at his best friend’s girlfriend. Ron mimed a thumbs-up to him behind her back.
“With you?” She asked Harry, raising and eyebrow and crossing her arms.
“… yeah.” Harry answered, “Ron’s not quite got the ‘lather, rinse and repeat’ action down to a tee, so I said I‘d… help out?”
Ron’s thumbs up turned into a glowering rage and an emphasised thumbs-down action at his poorly improvising friend.
“Oh. Then I guess that’s alright…” Lavender shrugged and walked off.
“Oh. That was strange.” Harry commented when Lavender was out of earshot. “I wasn’t expecting her to take the excuse that easily…”
“Merlin, Harry! Lather, rinse and repeat? Thanks a bunch!”
“Never mind that, I’ve just got Lavender out of your hair… literally. Now what about this cunning plan of yours?”
“Well,” Ron smiled, “It’s a simple matter of love-logic…”
- - -
author's note: I'm sorry guys and girls, it was another one of those linking chapters again. I was umming and ahhhing about putting it up (I hate it) but if I don't then the next chapter won't make sense... :( anyhoo, please leave a review, tell me how I can improve it!
Chapter 5: Love Shack
[Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]
“I’m not sure this is such a great idea, Ron,” Harry hissed, catching a glimpse of his reflection in a nearby window.
His hair was slicked back with enough grease to rival the lovechild of Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy. Plus the liberally applied ‘tinting gloss’ added to Harry’s cheeks and lips by style guru Ron Weasley made him look like Professor Slughorn in drag.
The usually un-used dressing table in the boys’ dorm was covered in various lotions and potions they’d found at the bottoms of their trunks; unopened toiletries that were once Christmas presents from estranged relatives. Not to mention the freebies Fred and George offered from their ‘Pygmy Puff Cosmetics’ range when the boys informed the twins of their prankster plans. Their hamper contained everything from powder puffs, to complimentry breath mints to a contraption that said on the label that it was an 'eyelash curler', but Harry and Ron steered well clear of it just in case.
“You look ravishing, Harry, don’t be so stupid.” Ron couldn’t hide the sarcasm in his voice, “Hermione will drop dead at the sight of you... Stone. Cold. Dead.”
“That’s reassuring, thanks Ron.”
In truth, Harry couldn’t care less what Hermione’s reaction was to this humiliating get-up. She’d seen him sweating, bleeding, covered in muck and dust and whatnot on their adventures to date. But he had a sneaking suspicion that, if Ron was accompanying Harry, there was a good chance that Ginny would be waiting in the wings for Hermione. This was not the impression he wanted to make in front of her; like he had taken styling tips out of Argus Filch’s handbook.
“Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this,” Harry repeated, flinching away from the boy in the mirror.
“Hazza!” Ron exclaimed, taking Harry by the shoulders. “Don’t you get it? This isn’t about us anymore! They have our list, we know they have our list and they know that we know that they have our list and they’re trying to out-list us, do you really want that to happen?”
“I’ve no idea what you just said,” Harry said, his eyes glazed over, confused.
“It’s a simple game of ‘Chicken’, Harry. Surely you’ve played ‘Chicken’?”
“No, but I have the feeling I’m the one who’ll end up with egg on my face,” Harry shook his head, bewildered by Ron’s enthusiasm. “I don’t think even Fred and George have ever taken a prank this far! Maybe you’re taking this a little too seriously, Ron?”
Truth be told, Harry was right. For some reason Ron felt more driven than he had ever felt before, even when he was out on the Quidditch pitch. He couldn’t understand why, all he knew was that the thought of Hermione winning over Harry made his stomach curl up and fists clench. He was as angry as hell at her for playing the player and she was going to pay. They were going to win.
Ron opened his mouth to explain this to Harry, when suddenly the door clicked open and the sound of Neville’s voice could be heard:
“Yeah, Lavender said the boys would be out all night washing each other’s hair or so we’ll have the place to our-- Harry! Ron!” Neville exclaimed as he saw the boys in the room, quickly slamming the door. “Err... Hi!”
Harry and Ron were sure they heard a muffled ‘ow’ from the other side of the threshold.
“Who were you talking to?” Ron asked, suspiciously.
“Err... uhhh.... no one! Just me,” Neville stuttered, “talking to myself.”
His cheeks were flushed pink and his lips were a raw red. Harry wondered if Ron had let Neville borrow his tinting gloss. Why the crimson-blushing ginger would need red tinting gloss in the first place was beyond Harry’s imagination.
“Why? What are you guys doing?” Neville threw the question back at them.
Ron and Harry checked themselves; brushes, curling tongs and tinting gloss in hands. They’d been caught red handed!
“Nothing!” Ron said out of habit, wishing he had an excuse ready.
“Lavender said you were in the bathroom,” Neville questioned.
“Yes. Washing hair,” Ron nodded, vigorously.
They could hardly tell Neville that Ron was preparing Harry for some Hot Rumpy Pumpy with Hermione Granger in the Room of Requirement, could they?
“But... you’re not now?” Neville quizzed.
Ron gave Harry a panicked look that said, ‘Help’ but at the same time said, ‘Please don’t put your foot in it again by saying something stupid like you usually do!’
“Um... we were in the bathroom... but then we finished and Ron said he’d give me some um... tips, you know, for men’s cosmetics,” Harry wished he’d kept his mouth shut; he was awful at making up excuses.
“Yeah,” Ron added, giving Harry a look of disgust, “because Harry over here has an oily T-zone that I said I’d take a look at.”
“Oh right!” Neville laughed. “There’s nothing a good exfoliation won’t fix, Harry! My pores are murder, they really are.”
An awkward silence followed as the boys sized each other up, unsure of what to do. Ron looked at his feet. Harry’s eyes shifted from the window to the floor. Neville’s eyes flitted between the two boys and then back to the dormitory door. Merlin, this silence was long.
“So...” Neville finally chimed in, “I’d better be off...”
“But you only just got here!”
“Yes, I did,” Neville observed. “But... I... err... have somewhere to... um... be... I’ll be... maybe... back about... erm...”
He turned to go, opening the door.
“Oh, Neville!” Harry called after him.
“Your shirt’s on backwards.”
Neville look down to see that this was, indeed, true.
He shrugged, “I know.”
And then he left, closing the door behind him.
“What the hell was all that about?” Ron asked, letting out a sigh of relief.
“I don’t know,” Harry told Ron, “there have been some strange goings on at Hogwarts these last few days.”
“Yeah!” Ron shook his head. “Tell me about it!”
- - -
And speaking of strange goings-on at Hogwarts, Hermione was also being groomed by a Weasley (no pun intended). As soon as the tale of Harry’s note was relayed to Ginny, the red-head had been set on carrying it out to a tee. The girls were already in the room of requirement, doing last minute preparations for Hermione’s night of ‘steamy passion’ with Harry.
As the red-head touched up Hermy’s roots in a last minute inspection, the brunette sighed, “Why I am doing this again?”
“Do I have to explain?”
“Yes, excuse me if I have reservations about a ride on the Hot Tamale Train with my best friend,” Hermione snorted.
“Nobody will be riding anything, Granger, with or without a spicy Mexican dish. We’re doing this for Honour!” Ginny stuck her nose in the air in a dignified manner. “The boys started that list, and now they’re going to pay the price for trying to bluff their way out of it!”
“We’re doing this for womankind, Hermione! We’re taking a stand against the conformity of the man. The man! If Harry and Ron think they have the right to ask you about your sexual relations so that they can categorise you on some list, they can stick their phallic shaped-egos in a place where only Lavender and Seamus have been!”
“Thankyou, Miss Pankhurst, but if your next sentence starts ‘I have a dream...’ I’m walking out of here,” Hermione shook her head.
“We’re doing this for feminism, Hermione, say it with me!” Ginny demanded, passionately.
There was a flash of something exciting and altogether scary in Ginevra Weasley’s eyes in that moment that made Hermione want to run from the room. One thing was for certain, when a Weasley said something like that, she meant it.
“Feminism. Got it.” Hermione told herself, pressing heavily painted lips together.
“Now do you want to see how pretty you are?” Ginny asked, holding up a mirror.
Hermione took a deep breath, telling herself to trust Ginny and the...
“GINNY! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY HAIR?” Hermione shouted, seeing herself in the mirror. “I look like a Swedish porn star!”
“Nonsense,” Ginny laughed, clearly enjoying herself, “Svetlanka Von Winklepicker has a very subtle, sophisticated style!”
Although girly makeovers were not her forte, she had had fun dressing Hermione up like a big ridiculous Barbie doll. Harry had to know that the girls meant business.
“It looks as if Crookshanks died on my head!”
“It’s a beehive.”
“Well it better brush out... this instant!” Hermione tried to flatten it, but her feisty forward-thinking friend had already charmed it into place, aided by some extra-mega-strength magical hair-hold spray from ‘Glamorius Glitter’s’ Witchcare range.
“Tough. It looks gorgeous.” Ginny told Hermione’s reflection.
“I’ve seen better perms on a poodle!” Hermione shrieked.
“More like ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’!” Hermione wailed. “What will Ron say when he sees me like this?”
Ginny paused in mid brush-stroke, trying desperately not to snort a laugh, “When who sees you?” she asked Hermione to repeat.
“Harry,” Hermione said, oblivious to her slip of the tongue. “Why, what did I say?”
“Nothing,” Ginny grinned to herself.
Suddenly the girls could hear male voices growing louder up the corridor.
“He’s coming!” Hermione panicked.
It was too late to repair the damage Ginny had done. The made-up Hermione made a mental note never to forgive her friend for this, and to make her pay later. Until then, she just had to keep reminding herself this was for Feminism. Feminism.
“Good luck!” Ginny whispered. “You’ll be fine, hang in there. Just remember what I told you and I’ll just be behind this curtain if you need any help.”
“Ginny, why am I doing this again?”
“Relax! All you need to do is put the moves on Harry, like we talked about and he’ll run a mile! It’s simple!”
“Wow, my self-esteem sure took a boost from that, Gin. Thanks.”
“You know what I mean. Once we win the bluff they’ll be grovelling at our feet, begging an apology for writing that stupid list.”
“Quick! They’re here!”
Ginny dashed behind the curtain just as the door to the room of requirement opened.
- - -
Harry paused, with his hand on the knob (so to speak), before turning back to Ron.
“What?” Ron hissed, his head poking out from the invisibility cloak that Harry had lent him.
“How’s my breath?” Harry asked, exhaling into Ron’s face.
“Err... could be better, admittedly,” the Weasley choked, “but I think I’ve got some mints in my pocket... here you go!”
Ron extended a hand out from nowhere with a packet of the sweets. Harry took one and swilled it around his mouth appreciatively.
“Cheers, mate,” he whispered, but still hadn’t pushed the door to.
“Harry, you’re stalling!” Ron read Harry’s mind, “You’ll be fine. All you need to do is plant some suave moves on that prissy priss until she gets freaked out and bottles it. Then, by rights, the list is ours.”
“What do you mean ‘by rights’?” Harry was sweating an uncomfortable amount.
“The laws of ‘Chicken’, my friend,” Ron grinned from behind his invisible cover. “Never fear, I’ll be right beside you every step of the way.”
“For some reason I don’t find that particularly reassuring, Ron.” Harry breathed, shakily, “I’m sure this is illegal.”
“I hope so otherwise it’d be no fun. Now open that bloody door before Filch catches us!”
- - -
Harry entered the room and quickly turned his back to close the door after himself, making sure to leave enough room for Ron to slink through and witness the rendez-vous.
“Oh! Hi Harry!” Hermione turned to face him.
He hardly dared look around.
Ginny cleared her throat as Harry shut the door behind himself.
“I mean... err... Hello there, stallion!” Hermione took her pitch down two octaves, talking in a husky drawl.
Harry turned around to meet his date and got the surprise of his life!
“Holy mother of back-combing, what in the name of Mundungus Fletcher is that on her head?” Ron hissed from his invisible hiding spot.
“I think its Mrs Norris,” Harry mumbled under his breath to his friend.
“Wow, Hermione, you look...” Harry wasn’t quite sure he wanted to finish that sentence. He was taken aback, literally knocked back a few steps by the hairspray vapours that were chemically dissolving his nostril hairs.
“Yes?” Hermione glared, unappreciative of the look of shock and disgust on Harry’s contorted face.
“Erm... your hair...” he gulped.
“Looks like... a... a...”
“Like a what?”
“A bit like my Aunt Marge.”
“What the fungus did you just say?” Ron hissed from behind him.
“The one you got expelled for when you blew her up at home one summer?”
“Well, thanks, I guess,” Hermione glowered, “You’re such a charmer.”
“Stay in character!” Ginny hissed from behind her friend, poking her gently in the back with her wand. “Bat your eyelashes or something!”
Hermione began fluttering her eyelashes seductively in her date’s direction. Feminism. This was for Feminism.
“Feminism, my face!” Hermione murmured under her breath.
“Hermione, have you got something in your eye?” Harry asked, politely; girls liked guys with good manners, right?
“No,” Hermione scowled, her best efforts scuppered.
“She’s flirting, you toadstool!” Ron whispered urgently to his clueless friend.
“How was I supposed to know? She looked as if she was having a seizure!” Harry whispered back through gritted teeth.
“Maybe it’s just the lights,” Hermione suggested, taking out her wand, “Maybe it would be better if we dimmed them.”
She waved her hand across the room and the candles flickered until a more intimate lighting filled the room.
Once the mood was set, she gestured to a seat next to her, “Perhaps you’d like to sit down?”
“That would be great,” Harry walked, shaking, over to his purely platonic friend.
“How about a drink?” she offered, tilting her head, coyly. Those years of watching Lavender and Parvati practice pouting in the mirror had paid off!
She poured them both a double Fire Whiskey, thinking they’d need it.
“To us!” they clinked their glasses together. “Cheers!”
Sure enough, they both downed the lot.
An awkward silence crept up. The couple sat as far apart as was courteous on the chaise, smiling at each other, wondering who would be brave enough to make the first move. Hermione wished she could summon more drink.
Ginny poked her friend with her wand again, through the curtain.
“Ow!” Hermione gasped, forgetting her friend was there.
“What?” Harry asked, suspiciously, fidgeting with his empty glass.
“I... said... err... how... hot it is in here!” Hermione improvised.
“Well covered!” Ginny praised.
Then she took of the black shawl that was covering her shoulders to reveal a low-cut silk slip in blue with a black lace trim, so short that a slither of thigh could be seen at the top of her suspenders. These belonged to Ginny, of course.
“Or uncovered, should I say?” Ginny chuckled to herself.
Harry’s eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. He couldn’t stop staring at Hermione’s cleavage!
He heard Ron inhale sharply, “Holy Gobstones! Where has she been hiding those Quaffles?”
Hermione sat patiently, waiting for Harry to stop gawking. However, he couldn’t draw his eyes away, much to Ginny’s envy and disgust.
“Say something!” she ordered to Hermione, jealous of the attention she was getting from her number one crush.
“So...” Hermione jumped straight to the chase. “Have you ever played the pink oboe before, Harry?”
“No, I don’t play any instruments...” He laughed awkwardly, shuffling uncomfortably on his chair, still staring at his friend’s chest. Platonic or not, where had those been all his life?
“Right,” Hermione sighed. Why were boys so clueless? She was sure she could hear Ginny face-palming behind her.
“Pick your mouth from up off the floor and make your move, Casanova!” Ron told Harry, who snapped his head up straight away, forcing himself to keep focused on her eyes instead of her... eyes.
“So... Hermione...” Harry started, stuck for words: how was he supposed to woo Hermione? Do people even say ‘woo’ anymore? It’s so old-fashioned! Only over-50s woo anything, not that he wanted to be thinking about that! Eugh! Quite off topic! ‘Seduce’ was probably the better word, but it sounded so manipulative...
“Yes?” Hermione snapped, impatiently.
“Well...” Harry said the first thing that came to mind. “I’ve been really trying, Hermione, trying to hold back these feelings for so long. And if you feel like I feel, sugah, c’mon, woah, c’mon, woo...”
“Let me stop you right there, Harry,” Hermione winced, “those are the lyrics to ‘Let’s get it on’ by Marvin Gaye.”
“Oh!” Harry realised. “Sorry, I guess what I’m trying to say is that what I feel is getting stronger and strong. And when I get that feeling, I need sexual...”
“Healing?” Hermione finished. “That’s another Marvin Gaye classic, Harry.”
“Is it? Are you sure?”
“Yes,” Hermione sighed in frustration.
“Sorry, I’m not very good at this,” Harry apologised, looking down at his fidgeting hands, “It’s just that your note took me by surprise, I must say, when I found out yesterday, don’t you know that I heard...”
“If you say ‘heard it through the grapevine’ I might kill you, Harry.”
“How did you know...?”
“Just forget it,” Hermione sat back and folded her arms in annoyance.
She took a deep breath, trying to keep control of the situation... but eugh! What was that stench?
“Wait... what’s that smell?” she sniffed the air again.
“Huh?” Harry asked. “Oh, I’m wearing aftershave if that’s what...”
“No, no,” Hermione sat up, “like... is that... garlic?”
“What? I don’t smell anything!” Harry said, confused.
“It’s coming from you!” Hermione gagged. “Have you eaten garlic?”
“No! I just had a breath mint actually and...” Harry said, but then realised... two words. Fred. George.
They must’ve had a right laugh slipping joke breath mints into their hamper of freebies from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes!
“Sorry, Hazza, must’ve picked them up from dressing table on the way out the door,” Ron whispered, apologetically. “I’ll kill those identical good for nothings later!”
“Pants,” Harry grumbled.
It looked as if the prank was over. There was no way Hermione would want him now.
“No! Don’t let him get away! Don’t let him back out!” Ginny seethed from behind her curtain. “Feminism, Hermione! Feminism!”
“Actually, I quite like the smell of garlic on a man,” Hermione winked, seductively, playing up to it like Ginny instructed her too.
“Really?” Harry perked up, maybe the boys were still in for a chance.
“Oh yes,” Hermione smiled, “I like the taste too!”
And without further ado she leaned in and pressed her lips against the Harry’s stinking mouth!
Ugh! Hermione thought, this is the most disgusting thing ever! Even worse than kissing Harry, he has to smell to high heaven of Italian garnish! If only I didn’t have to breathe through my nose! Oh Merlin, I think I’m going to hurl! Hold in there, Hermione! This is for feminism! We can’t let the boys leave with the list! We can’t let them win! Now just back up and think of something sexy. Uhh... what worked before? Oh, that’s right. Ron and I stuck in a lift, no garlic involved whatsoever... hmmm... that’s a nice image...
Oh! My! Merlin! Harry’s mind was buzzing, this was like kissing his sister! If he had a sister that is... the closest thing he had to a sister. Other than Ginny, of course, except... that idea doesn’t seem particularly repulsive. Oh Merlin, help me and my weirdly incestuous thoughts! Just try and imagine Ginny kissing you instead of Hermione, and forget that her hair reminds you of Aunt Marge... eugh! Now there’s a disgustingly repulsive incestuous thought that no one needs to think about...
Harry broke apart from Hermione instantly.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY?” a boy shouted, but it wasn’t Harry.
“What?” Hermione said, momentarily dazed and apparently oblivious to her little outburst. “Who’s there? Who said that?”
Ron had no choice but to let the invisibility cloak drop.
“AHA!” Ginny jumped out from behind the curtain.
“YOU!” Hermione gasped at Ron, appalled at herself for how she had behaved in front of him, oblivious to his presence the whole time.
“YOU!” Ron yelled at Ginny, drawing his wand and pointing it furiously at his little sister. “I might have known!”
“And we got away with it with the help of you meddling kids!” Ginny laughed, drawing her own wand on her brother. “Now hand over the list, we won it by rights!”
“By rights?” Harry shook his head in disbelief, how could siblings be so competitive?
“You did not!” Ron fumed. “Tart in Blue Satin over there called out my name, we win fair and square!”
“What did you call me?” Hermione said, enraged, but then checked herself. “Wait, what did you say? What did I say? What’s going on?”
“Never mind, Hermione, I’ll explain later, but for now I think we better stay out of this one,” Harry observed.
Sure enough, the Weasleys were shouting and swearing in full flow as if their friends didn’t exist. Hermione and Harry suddenly felt very small, trapped in between two fiery red-heads, in the eye of the storm – a Weasley-off! Apparently sibling rivalry came before everything...
“... oh, don’t be so ridiculous, Ron! We know that you wrote that stupid list!”
“But you’re behind this charade! Well, it wouldn’t be the first time you were behind something!”
“I BEG YOUR PARDON?”
“Now, Ronald, I think it’s best if we just all calm down...” Hermione stood up boldly.
“You can keep out of this and all!” Ron shouted, his ears turning an unfortunate shade of purple. “You’re as bad as Ginny, flouncing around after Harry like a... a... strumpet with a mullet!”
“IT’S A BEEHIVE!” Ginny defended, her wand arm shaking at her older brother.
“I err... think it’s best that we leave now, Ron,” Harry stepped in, trying to steer his hot-tempered friend towards the door.
“I intend to!” Ron spat. “As soon as those teases return the list to us!”
“You’ve got some nerve, Ron!” Ginny barked. “After all the trouble that stupid Virgin List has caused, what makes you think we’d return it to you?”
“That’s Virgin Count to you!”
“It’s not even accurate!”
“Wait,” Hermione stopped everyone in their tracks. “You boys haven’t got the list?”
“No, we haven’t. Or did you think that Harry genuinely wanted to shag you?” Ron snarled.
“Ronald!” Hermione glared at the fuming adolescent until he shut up. There would be time for his comeuppance later when she was less embarrassed about calling out his name when kissing Harry. “Well I think you should know that we don’t have it either. The point of this... meeting was for us to win back the list so that we could destroy it and the damage it has caused.”
“What damage? What are you talking about?” Ron was seeing red, and unable to think straight. Maybe it was all that tinting gloss, Harry almost looked radioactive in this light.
“I’M A VIRGIN, RON!” Ginny wailed, her wand wobbling in her hand.
“Really!?” Harry spoke up a little too enthusiastically, and then cleared his throat in a correctively manly way. “Ahem. I mean... err... really?”
“Yes,” Ginny lowered her weapon, “and I don’t appreciate the whole school thinking I’m a big slag because of some stupid list that you two sons of a Mandrake made up.”
“Ginny,” Ron said softly, as if he was about to apologise, “the whole school thinks you’re a slag regardless, list or no list.”
“WHY YOU LITTLE...!” Ginny flared up again.
“Wait!” Hermione stopped them. “Speaking of ‘list or no list’, hasn’t anyone realised something yet?”
“What?” Ron barked.
Hermione sighed. Did she really have to spell it out to them?
“If Ginny and I don’t have the list, and you and Harry don’t have the list, then who does?”
A small silence echoed in the room as it dawned on them. The. List. Was. Missing.
“Holy Chocolate Frogs...” was all Ron managed to croak.
“Then, I guess... I’m sorry for deceiving you, Hermione,” Harry said.
“That’s okay,” Hermione nodded, “I’m sorry for behaving the way I did.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry too, Hermione, Ginny,” Ron mumbled.
“And I’m all well and sorry too, but that’s not going to get us that list back!” Ginny sighed as she lowered her wand arm. “It could be anywhere by now!”
“It’s fine,” Hermione reassured everyone, a plan already forming in her head, “it can’t have gone far, all we need to do is re-trace our steps. We’ll do it Scooby doo doggy style: split up and look for clues. Me and Ginny will go together and you and... what’s so funny, Harry, Ron?”
“Doggy-style!” the boys chorused, snorting guffaws and giggles.
“Idiots,” Ginny mumbled under her breath, “We better take one each, Hermione. Those imbeciles will never manage anything on their own.”
“Fine!” Hermione said. “Harry and I versus you and Ron?”
Everyone looked slightly uncomfortable for a second.
Ginny spoke up, “Or um... I could go with Harry and...”
“... and I could go with... Hermione?” Ron shrugged indifferently, as if the pairings made no difference to him.
“Yeah, sure, whatever,” Hermione said impatiently, leading the way out of the room, wand first.
“Okay,” Harry said, trying to keep a massive grin at bay as he and Ginny exited together.
“Everyone meet back at the common room in an hour, now go!”
- - -
author's note: OMG SO MANY APOLOGIES FOR THE LATENESS OF THIS CHAPTER! There are so many reasons why this chapter didn't make it for so long, but I don't want to make excuses. I promise I will nto be taking that long with chapter six even if it kills me. On a separate note, did you enjoy it? Thanks for reading, please leave your thoughts x x x