Chapter 1 : Hen Night
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Tom was wiping down the bar, as per usual. The place was pretty dead, even for a Wednesday night and there wasn’t much to do expect wipe the counter with his filthy rag. He had just sighed and considered closing early in favor of some sleep when the door chime tinkled and was soon drowned out by a large amount of giggling and shrieking. Several young women stumbled into the bar together, dressed in the most unusual outfits. They all seemed to be wearing a great deal of make-up, argyle sweater-vests, miniskirts, and various mismatched stockings paired with sky-high stiletto heels. That must be why they stumbled into his place: their shoes had them totally off-balance. Altogether there were about a dozen of these oddly-dressed girls. Tom’s brows knitted together in confusion.
“Oi! Tom!” One of the girls had caught his eye and greeted him with a smile of recognition.
“Oh my gosh! It is Tom! I can’t believe he’s still here!” Now they were all staring right at him.
“May I help you ladies? Are you lost?”
“Oh Tom, don’t be like that! You know me!” The first girl had taken on an admonishing tone. He held his confused stare. “It’s me, Hermione Granger! I know it’s been forever, but do you remember I stayed here about ten years ago one summer? I was with Harry Potter and the Weasleys! And my cat Crookshanks was always running around chasing your mice!”
“Goodness me! Hermione Granger, it is you!” To be fair, she looked much different than she had at thirteen and the make-up was atrociously heavy. But it was the same girl. It was hard to forget her face when it was plastered all over the Wizarding papers and magazines after the war. He looked around at the other girls’ faces, trying to find familiarity under the rouge and lipstick. One girl’s red hair stood out. Or maybe it was the sparkling plastic tiara that had a bride-and-groom ornament revolving on top and the pink feather boa tied around her neck. “Ginny Weasley?” She blushed.
“Yeah, it’s me.”
Hermione smiled even wider after that. “Tom, have you heard that Ginny here is getting married?”
“Oh yes, to Harry Potter, right?”
“Correct. This,” she gestured to the other women and the bar, “is her Hen Night.”
Realization dawned on Tom. Well, this was going to be interesting.
Two hours later:
“Tom! Tom! Tom!” The barman turned back to the very drunk bride-to-be for about the fiftieth time in the last hour. She got really high-pitched and screeched his name obnoxiously if he ignored her calling for too long.
“What?” He was past being polite to her.
“Tom, what’s your last name?”
“Your last name! We were talking,” she pointed at the other Hens, “and none of us know your last name. You’ve always just been ‘Tom the barman.’”
“It’s Twinklefairy.” The girls all tittered into their Tequila Sunrises. It didn’t matter what he told them. He could have said Jacobs or Bartholomew or Voldemort and they would have had exactly the same reaction. Best to just make stuff up.
The bar was now bursting at its seams with witches and wizards. Some had heard about Ginny Weasley’s Hen Night and came to watch (or make things worse). Others had been passing though to Diagon Alley and had been thoroughly distracted by the spectacle. Some blokes were hanging around, trying to snag a drunken Hen. Tom was the busiest he had been in six years since the death of the Dark Lord. Everyone was toasting the bride-to-be.
“Ginny! My bright ray of sunshine! You are the luckiest girl in the world! Professional Quidditch player, Harry Potter’s bride, and you’re hotter than a Horntail’s breath! To you!” Hermione must be lit.
“Here, here!” the bar shouted.
“Ginny! How about a game?” Her fellow Harpies chaser was literally bouncing in her chair with excitement.
“Ooh, a game? What game?”
“I Never?” Gee, great idea, Hermione. The shooters were probably killing all her brain cells.
“I’ll go first! I never…,” Hermione paused for dramatic effect, pretending to be thinking hard, “kissed Harry Potter!” Ginny stuck out her tongue and took a drink.
“Fine, I never… slapped Draco Malfoy in the face!” Hermione and a couple of other girls took sips of their drinks. “I guess he’s pretty unpopular, huh, Hermione?”
“S’pose so. Angelina, do you have one?”
“I never… snogged a guy in a Hogwarts bathroom!” One girl grimaced and drank.
“Parvati, you sneaky wench!” Ginny exclaimed. “Dish!”
“Oh, it was terrible! I don’t want to talk about it!”
“No, you have to tell! It’s part of the rules of Hen Night. You have to do what I say.” Ginny was being very bossy. That was usually Hermione’s job.
“Fine. But only because you asked so nicely.” Ginny didn’t even bother looking sheepish. “D’you remember that bloke from Beauxbatons? Nice looking, asked me to dance when Harry was being a prat? No offence, Ginny.” All the girls who had been at the Yule Ball nodded. “Well we went to Madam Puddifoot’s on the next Hogsmeade weekend and we were having a really good time, so he walked me back to the castle afterwards. And we were down on the second floor on the way to Gryffindor Tower when Peeves came bounding down the hall. Miserable poltergeist. So we dove into the first available room. The girl’s bathroom.”
“No!” whispered Hermione. Apparently she already understood where this story was headed.
“Yes! Well, we were both pressed against the door, listening for Peeves, when the boy got kind of… excited. I guess he had an overdeveloped sense of adventure. He wanted to snog right there by the toilets! So we start snogging and then…” she paused dramatically, “Moaning Myrtle floated right in!”
“No!” shouted all the Hens.
“Yes! Oh Merlin, it was so embarrassing! She started shrieking at us about how we had no respect for the dead and we were snogging right in front of her when she had never gotten kissed in her whole life. She started screaming and howling and making this awful racket, so we tore out of there as quick as we could. And then we ran into Peeves.”
“NO!” Everyone in the bar, even the non-Hens, was staring at Parvati in shock.
“YES! He had heard the whole thing and started making disgusting smooching sounds and singing dirty songs. He chased us down the hall, throwing chalk-filled erasers. My robes were ruined! And needless to say, after we escaped, I never heard from that Beauxbatons boy ever again!” After Parvati had finished her story, the entire bar was silent and staring, the only noise coming from the Wizard’s Wireless in the far corner. It was eerie. And then, as if to make up for the silence, it got extra noisy, all at once. Glasses were clinking, people were shouting, drinks were ordered and subsequently spilled. The Hens all roared with laughter.
“How about a new game?” suggested Hermione between giggles.
“Please!” begged Parvati. Hermione walked over to the nearest table to the bar and approached a gentleman wearing a black bowler hat. They had a brief conversation and the man removed his hat and handed it to her as Hermione gave him a kiss on the cheek. She flushed as she brought the hat back to her party and gave a huge smile.
“Well girls, I think it’s time to play the Bridal Scavenger Hunt!” A few of the Hens tittered excitedly. Hermione whipped out her wand from her knee-high stocking and conjured up several pieces of parchment and an inked quill in front of each girl. “Ladies, write down a dare or an item to be found on each piece of parchment and place it in the hat. Then we start drawing!” The Hens all scribbled furiously, the feathered quills waving like rock concert fans. Hermione was the first to finish and placed all her parchment slips in the bowler hat. After a few more minutes, all the Hens had finished and Hermione was mixing up the parchment pieces in the hat. She offered it to Ginny.
“Bride first,” she said with an evil little smirk. Ginny drew and read aloud.
“’Collect 3 guys’ names and business cards.’ Well that doesn’t seem so bad. At least I don’t have to snog anyone.” She turned to the barman. “Tom, can I have your business card? I already have your name, now.” She smiled and winked at him. He might have thought she was cute if her false eyelash wasn’t falling off and hanging in her eye like a many-legged insect.
“Sorry, miss. I don’t have business cards. What’s the point? Everyone already knows where I am.”
“Oh, bollocks!” Hermione laughed and pushed Ginny in the direction of a table full of businessmen who all wore pinstriped robes and had briefcases.
“Go on, Gin! It’ll be fun!” As the bride-to-be walked away, Hermione dug into her small beaded bag and started pulling out fleshy strings and passing them out to each Hen. “Look, they’re Extendable Ears, let’s listen to her!” A few minutes passed while Ginny attempted to get business cards from the wizards. They all laughed as one drunk foreign wizard thought she wanted to get a room with him and tried to squeeze her bum. She slapped him hard across the face and he toppled backwards off his chair. Ginny got her last business card from his friend who roared with laughter and told her she had spunk. She smiled and skipped back to her barstool, flashing the cards like they were badges of honor.
“Well done, Ginny!” Parvati exclaimed.
“You next, Hermione! I hope you get one of mine!” Ginny shook the bowler hat under her friend’s nose. Hermione confidently pulled one out and unfolded it.
“Snog the next bloke that walks in the bar.” Her face fell. “Oh no!”
“Oh YES!” all the Hens replied. They all shooed her to the front door of the bar to wait for her man. After a few tense minutes, the Hens had gone back to chatting about Ginny’s businessmen and sipping their drinks. The tinkle of the bell over the door caught their attention and Ginny almost fell out of her stool from turning to look so quickly. They all gasped in surprise.
“I’m really, really sorry about this, Neville!” And Hermione wrapped her arms around him and kissed him full on the mouth. She pulled away and started running back to her friends and Neville had a dazed look on his face, as if someone had put a particularly strong Memory Charm on him. He smiled and walked back out of the bar. The Hens were all holding their sides and shrieking with mirth. After a few minutes they calmed down as much as possible and Hermione was shaking the bowler hat under Parvati’s nose. She dipped her hand in and withdrew a slip.
“Oh no! I got my own! Buy the best looking bloke in the pub a shot to take with you!”
The night continued on in this fashion for another couple of hours. Ginny had taken one of every type of shot on the official menu and a few more that people made up. She had also unwrapped ten gifts with racy lingerie inside (holding them up for the pub’s approval) and one “marital aid” that she hastily hid back in its box, blushing madly. Tom had performed six refilling charms on his tequila bottle alone.
“Blaise Zambini is sexy!” One Hen shouted at the top of her lungs.
“Oh yes! I certainly agree!” came Hermione Granger’s reply.
“No!” shouted Ginny Weasley. “No! You can’t, Hermione! You just can’t!”
“And why not?”
“Because I think he’s sexy…” Ginny Weasley’s voice was so small and quiet, but all the Hen’s heard and started laughing.
Tom was about to cut the bride-to-be off for the night when she suddenly grabbed the now-empty-of-dares bowler hat from the counter and retched into it. Hermione finally realized the night was pretty much over and grimaced apologetically at the man who belonged to the hat, supporting Ginny on the way out the door. Most of the Hens trickled away with their center of attention, but a few had remained behind, chatting up blokes—one was already snogging in a corner with someone who looked part-troll.
It was finally closing time and Tom resumed wiping down the counter and shooing out drunken merry-makers. As he locked up downstairs and counted the number of Galleons he made, Tom chuckled when he decided to buy Harry and Ginny a very lavish and expensive wedding gift.
A/N: Just some good-humored fun. I was having the most difficult time ending things for this fic, but it’s finally over and I’m decently satisfied with it. If it amuses you, I’d appreciate a review. This was for ylime's "The Setting Challenge" where I was asked to write a fic taking place in the Leaky Cauldron.