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Author Notes:

Disclaimer:  Not my characters, no money being made, etc., etc.

The lagoon’s warm waters and gentle drop-off were just forgiving enough to convince Hermione and the Patil twins to give carpet piloting a go.  Manuel was disappointed that they chose not to wear the thongs he had selected for them during this effort…until the first time each witch fell into the water and climbed back onto their carpets in their wet, clingy undergarments.

And fell they did.  The small circular pillows called “kazipo” that were used to steer the magic carpets were incredibly responsive to the slightest shift in weight…a good thing when you were chasing the snitch in a pick-up game of carpet quidditch, but not so good when you were just strting out.

Through trial and much error, Hermione and the Twins finally figured out on their own how to keep their carpets steady as they hovered a few feet over the water.  They built upon this success by drifting out to the mouth of the lagoon, where the shallow jade green waters met the darker, deeper blues of the open sea.

“I don’t dare look over my shoulder,” said Hermione, as they hovered in an inward-facing three-pointed star. “Am I giving Manuel a look up my slip?”

Padma lifted her head for a glance back towards the beach and smiled.

“No worries, Luv…your slip is clinging too tightly against your legs and bum to offer him a view of your yoni.”

“Thanks, that makes me feel so much better.”

“We could always head back to the beach and put our saris back on,” Parvati offered.

“And give Manuel an even closer look?” Hermione asked.

“There’s always those thongs,” Padma teased.

“Oh, right…let’s leave nothing to his imagination.”

“Okay, so we’ll hover out here until our clothes dry,” Parvati replied, as she reached back and pulled the clinging fabric of her own slip away from her skin.  She glanced back towards the beach and shook her head.  The manservant assigned by the Maharajah to look after them while they dodged the MoM’s international arrest warrant had a wide smile on his face…and a noticeable bulge in black trousers.

“I’m surprised that Manuel hasn’t applied a notice-me-not charm and pulled it out for a tug,” she complained.

“Can’t hardly blame him,” Padma snarked.  “The way that that you can see the color of Memsahib’s nipples through her wet choli.”

Hermione scowled, and risked losing her balance by releasing a white-knuckled grip on her carpet fringe just long enough to reach down and splash a handful of water towards Padma.

“Notice-me-not’s might not be such a bad idea,” the target said with a smile.  “With the way that Aya is minding and monitoring, could be the only way any of us finds relief.”

“No wand use on the island, remember?” Hermione asked.  “And as for any of us getting off…how many hours is it until Auntie’s next house visit?”

“Too bloody long,” Parvati pouted.  “But that just means that Harry gets some relief.”

“Patience, Parv,” Hermione advised.  “Who knows what she’ll let you two get away with now that I’ve raised the bar.”

“You mean swallowed the bar?” Padma teased.

“Hush!” Hermione hissed, sending another splash of water towards her lover. 

“So how should we choreograph Harry’s next treatment?” Parvati asked. 

“Imagine Auntie will have a say there,” Padma replied.  “Not to say that Harry shouldn’t have a say as well.”

“You’re assuming that he’ll have a chance to speak, in between Aya stuffing her fingers in his mouth,” Parvati pouted.  “Her treating all of us like children is going to get really old, really fast.”

“For a good cause, though…isn’t it?”  Hermione asked.  “If suffering under your nanny’s eye is the only way your parents will let you two stay here?”

“What’s your excuse, then?” Parvati asked Hermione.  “She’s not your nanny, is she?”

The Muggleborn witch shrugged. “No, she isn’t.  But that doesn’t mean that I have anything to gain by ignoring her, or by disrespecting her position and her culture.”

Padma sighed, and started to challenge Hermione’s viewpoints.

“Actually, I don’t think that you are considering her position…”

“Padma! Parvati!” a voice called out from the beach.

The three teen-aged witches turned towards the call, and spied Aya waving them back towards shore.

“You were saying, Love?” Hermione sighed. 

“We could always pretend that we can’t hear her?” asked Parvati.

“No, let’s head back,” said Hermione, “before she tests the range of your tethers.”

Padma nodded in agreement, as she reflexively grabbed the charmed silver band that rested snugly against the cartilage in her left ear.

Of the three, Parvati had had the most success flying her carpet “by the front of her pants” (even though she wasn’t wearing any at the time), so she took the lead back to shore, slowly tugging the other two as they each held onto an ankle. 

“I am going to be so happy on the day that Aya loses control of these charmed earrings,” Parvati said.

“Depends on who she hands the tether too, though…doesn’t it?” asked Padma. 

“Not to mention where you decided to wear it,” Hermione added with a thin smile.  “Honestly…let’s set aside the issue of clitoral piercings for now.  The idea of my husband having that kind of control over me...”

“Like you said, Sweetheart…depends on whom she gives it to,” Padma replied.  “Auntie doesn’t seem to have suffered.”

Parvati waggled her eyebrows and said, “So what about you, Hermione? You’re so concerned with respecting cultures…will you get a charmed piercing if the two of us move ours down there?”

Hermione snorted.  “Not unless Harry gets a matching ring and gives me control of it.”

“Now that would be an interesting wedding ceremony,” quipped Parvati.

“Settled on Harry, then?” Padma teased.

“Haven’t we all?” Hermione said with a smile.

“I don’t think I could settle on Harry,” Parvati said seriously.

“What?” her sister asked.

“I said that I don’t think I could settle on him,” Parvati repeated.  “Bounce up and down on him? Sure, no problem.  Or grind on him, or rub on him….”

The laughter that this joke generated carried the three witches into shore. 

Aya had a very scolding tone to her voice as she tossed Padma and Parvati their saris.  The haranguing didn’t let up until they had both rewrapped their skirts and draped their shawl tops over their wet cholis.  The Twins took this in stride, until their nanny grabbed them each by hand and tried to drag them inside the hut. Their insistence that they be allowed to help Hermione dress was met with grudging acceptance.

Hermione shook her head. “You two…you don’t have to help if she wants you inside.”

“Are you going to have Manuel help wrap your skirt, then?”

The manservant in question quickly stepped up.  “I would be very much pleased to be of assistance to Memsahib!”

Aya rewarded Manuel’s eagerness to please with a cuff to the back of his head.

“I bet he would be pleased,” Padma muttered.

Parvati used the momentary distraction to explain to Hermione that their nanny wanted them to practice their needle work…a task that Aya insisted (in Malayalam) that she need not share. The twins were ready to protest this exclusion, but Hermione held them back, whispering that she wanted to ask Manuel a few questions outside of the nanny’s earshot. 

As the Muggleborn witch watched the other three women walk back inside the hut, she wondered what exactly the nanny was saying as she scolded in her native tongue.  Hermione decided to add language lessons to the wish list of things to do while they lay low on the island. 

“Eef eet would please Memsahib?” Manuel asked, in his mock Spanish accent.

Hermione glanced over her shoulder towards the manservant, who was now standing in the shade of a canopy that was supported by over four bamboo corner poles.  Manuel had somehow managed to pull a small rattan table and a much larger cushioned rattan chair out from the magically-enlarged container of beach gear, and had positioned the chair so that it faced out towards the lagoon.

“Memsahib would be most comfortable here?” he asked, motioning for Hermione to have a seat.

She would have rather there had been two seats so that they might talk on more equal terms, but Manuel would have none of that suggestion.  Hermione sank into the thickly-cushioned chair, adjusted her skirt, and tried to make herself as comfortable as possible, given the way that he was hovering over her.

The tall, iced-filled, lime-garnished glass that he conjured (literally?) from the box offered the possibility of making the task of getting comfortable just a bit easier. 

“Cool drink, Memsahib?”

Hermione nodded her head in thanks as she took the glass in hand and sipped from its straw.  With the Ayurvedic diet regimen that they had been following, she had assumed that she had been offered the South Asian version of a “kiddy cocktail.” 

The distinct taste of juniper berries and the burn in the back of her throat tested that assumption.

“Is that…what…a gin and tonic?”

“Is it pleasing for Memsahib?”

Hermione thought about chiding the manservant for answering a question with another question, but it really was pleasing, and she was eighteen and legal to drink alcohol, so did it really matter?  She took another long sip, then rested the glass on the small side table and smiled.

“That was very pleasing, Manuel.  Thank you.”

“You are most welcomed, Memsahib,” he replied.  Then he looked towards the sun and shook his head.  “The sun will be strong today…Memsahib should have proper protection.”

Hermione shook her head, wondering if he was going to push the idea of oil rubbing again. 

“The sunscreen salve should still be working,” she noted.  “And so long as I am here, and in the shade…”

Hermione’s reply dropped off when she notice that Manuel wasn’t listening…that he couldn’t listen to her so long as he was leaning over the edge of the magically-enlarged box with his head and arms completely inside.

She watched with increasing amusement as he frantically searched for what he was certain she needed most.  One object after another was retrieved, then tossed aside…a full set of snorkel gear, a tiger-skin rug, a badminton set, all twenty-two volumes of an old Muggle encyclopedia...

“Ah, yes, yes!” Manuel declared, as he pulled a steamer trunk out of the box and set it down on the sand. He opened the heavy brass latches, pushed open the top, and let loose a small mountain of vintage women’s clothing.

Hermione frowned at the pile of pretty petticoats, corsets, and stockings.

“I’m quite happy wearing a sari, Manuel.”

“Yes, Memsahib,” he replied, totally ignoring the meaning behind the statement as he continued his search.

As Hermione watched Manuel push aside one Victorian-era outfit then the next, she shook her head, and wondered how any of the “real” Memsahibs of the British Raj had been able to stand the heat with all of the layers, long sleeves, and high-necked collars.  Not to say that the skirts and blouses and undergarments weren’t beautifully tailored, or made from the finest of fabrics…because they were.  A wistful smile grew on Hermione’s lips as she imagined how much fun she would have had as a child, playing dress-up with the contents of the trunk.  That smile grew as she imagined how much fun a bushy-haired, green-eyed daughter might have in some future game of dress-up…especially if that game was played with her black-haired half-sisters...

A shout of triumph brought Hermione out of her daydreaming.  She looked up at Manuel, and arched her eyebrows over what he was proudly holding in his hands.

“A sola topi, Memsahib,” he declared.  “Proper protection for Memsahib and her most beautiful skin.”

“Looks more like a pith helmet to me,” said Hermione.

“Yes, Memsahib.”

“Yes it is a pith helmet, or yes I hear what you are saying?”


“Oh, never mind. It’s, erm…lovely, Manuel.  Very practical, I’m sure…dead useful if we were on safari.”

“Yes, Memsahib.” 

“But we’re on the beach, aren’t we?”

Manuel’s shoulders slumped.

“So, sorry, Memsahib…one moment, please.”

The manservant tossed away the khaki-covered helmet and dove back into the trunk.  He emerged holding a lilac-colored hat that had an eight-inch wide floppy brim. It was possibly straw-woven, but it was hard to see any of the straw that was hiding behind the burst of oversized flower blossoms that nearly completely covered the hat.

It was the kind of hat Hermione imagined Augusta Longbottom might wear to Ascot, if only there was a vulture perching on its oversized brim.

“Very, erm…regal, Manuel.  I could easily see the Queen Mum wearing that kind of hat.”

“Yes, Memsahib!” he replied brightly, not catching the left-handed compliment.

“But so long as I’m in the shade, is there really a need for me to be wearing any kind of hat?”

Manuel frowned.  “Every memsahib must be wearing a hat when the memsahib ees out in the sun,” he said quietly.

“Except when you’re encouraging her to wear nothing more than a thong?”


“Oh, nothing,” Hermione quickly replied.  Not wishing to review the entire contents of the trunk, she leaned towards it and spotted a simple, wide-brimmed, creme-colored straw hat whose only adornment was a three-inch wide gold silk band.

She pointed, and asked, “How about that one, Manuel?”

The man’s eyes went wide.  “Of course, Memsahib!  A most excellent choice!”

Hermione smiled, and allowed Manuel to set the selected hat down upon her mass of bushy-brown hair (ignoring the fact that this might allow him to look behind her shawl top and down the front of her choli top). A wide smile formed on his face as he took a step backwards.

“Ees most appropriate that Memsahib be selecting Memsahib’s hat,” he declared.  “Eet was once worn by the Maharajah’s Auntie.”

“Really?” Hermione asked.  “This was fashionable to wear in Travancore?”

“Yes, Memsahib.  Very popular style for all of the memsahibs.  So beautiful.” he gushed.  “But still…one moment, please…”

“Oh, now what?” Hermione muttered to herself, hoping that Manuel wasn’t going to pull out a parasol and expect her to carry it around the island.  She was pleasantly surprised when instead he retrieved a pair of quite-fashionable (and quite modern) Muggle sunglasses.

“Would Memsahib wish something to read?” Manuel asked.  “The day’s newspapers, perhaps?”

“They can be delivered out here?” she teased.

“Yes, Memsahib,” was the serious reply.

Hermione chewed on her lip for a moment.  Her eyes drifted towards the beached sailboard, and she sighed.

“If only there was a bit of wind,” she lamented.

“Right away, Memsahib!” Manuel declared, as he rushed back towards the charmed box and dove back into it.

Hermione snorted.

“I suppose you have an eight-knot breeze hiding in that box?”

“Yes, Memsahib, I have very, very many knots for you!”

The proof soon followed, when Manuel pulled out a long wooden handle.  Dozens of overlapping peacock feathers were tied (with knots) to the end of that handle, splayed out to form a fan fit for a sultan.

Or a Maharajah.  Or, apparently, a memsahib.

Hermione tried not to giggle as Manuel began to wave the feathered fan in her direction.

“I was talking about sailboarding, Manuel.”


“It’s a lovely gesture…but I don’t think your arms are strong enough to create a breeze that could fill the sail.”


“So it was just a bit of confusion…you really don’t have to do that for me.”

“Yes, Memsahib,” the manservant replied, as he continued to slowly wave the oversized-fan.

“I’m serious, Manuel.”

“Yes, Memsahib.”

Hermione sighed, frustrated by the selective comprehension gap.  He was acting so much like a house-elf…so insisting on pleasing her…

The comparison drew any potential admonishments over servitude up short.  It had taken a long time for her to understand why her campaign to free the Hogwarts house-elves had been so misguided and so unwanted by those she was claiming to help.  A long time…and a lot of pushing before Dobby was willing to bravely set her right over the need for house-elves to bind themselves to the magic of the families they served (or to the castle itself, in the case of Hogwarts).  This was obviously something different…Manuel was not a house-elf.  He did not need to be bound…as far as she knew.  Or assumed?

“Manuel, you’ve been brilliant this morning…I’ll be fine just sitting here on the beach, sipping my cool drink.  You don’t need to fan me, or serve me.”

“Yes, Memsahib.”

“Yes, you understand me, or yes, you do need to serve me?”

“Eet ees my job, Memsahib.” 

Hermione shook her head, and took off her sunglasses, hoping that looking directly into the servant’s eyes would help convey the seriousness of her beliefs.  “You really don’t have to work that hard, though,” she said.

“Yes, Memsahib.”

“You do take breaks, and days off, and have vacation time…right?”

“I am very happy to be serving Memsahib.  Eet ees not something that requires me to take days off.”

“Why not?”

Manuel shrugged (while still slowly pumping the fan in Hermione’s direction.)

“Eet ees what I do, Memsahib.  Eet ees my station…my purpose.”

Hermione frowned.  “You mean it’s something related to caste?”

“No, Memsahib…eet ees…magic can bless those born in any caste.  Being Manuel…Eet ees being related to something that I very much enjoy, and eet has always been that way.”

The thought of enjoying getting smacked on the head led Hermione to wonder whether there was a streak of masochism at work here.

“So you don’t mind being cuffed when someone that you’re serving is displeased?”

Manuel smiled.  “Eet ees no problem, Memsahib.”

Hermione sighed, giving up the argument…for now. 

“Well, again…I just want to say how brilliant you’ve been…if only Aya acted a bit more like the way that you do.”

Manuel frowned just the slightest bit.

“Eet ees not right how Aya ees acting, Memsahib, but…Aya ees also behaving as Aya should.”

“What?  It’s wrong, but she’s acting right?  I’m confused.”

“Yes, Memsahib…Aya ees also confused.”

“Confused about what?”

The manservant stopped fanning, and thought for a few moments.  Hermione’s hopes that this might be the start of a serious discussion were dashed when he then shook his head and asked, “More cool drinks, Memsahib?” The question was rhetorical, though, with the glass replaced by a fresh gin and tonic before she could reply.

Manuel smiled, and said, “Memsahib will be very much happy and Aya be very much acting as she should when Memsahib ees acting as she should, Memsahib.”

Hermione winced as she sipped the new drink and mulled over the manservant’s extensive use of the third person…it was far too similar to the way that Dobby spoke.  And then there were the continued references to Raj-era women of the British Empire.  When Padma or Parvati teasingly called her “Memsahib,” they did so with heavy doses of playful irony.  She wondered if he was actually serious.


“Si, Memsahib?”

“When you say I am a memsahib…is it because I am female and English?”

“Si, Memsahib,” he replied, starting to fan her once more.

 “Just like the English women who lived here before Independence?”

“Si, si.”

“Does that mean that every female Brit that holidays in India is a memsahib, then?”

“Oh, no, Memsahib…these others, they are not…they are not memsahib.”

“Why not?”

“Because…they are…as Memsahib says…they are making their holidays, and dancing, and acting as prostitutes as they lie almost naked on the beach.  They are not making a proper home for their sahib.”

Hermione frowned.  “So you are saying that Harry is my sahib?  My Master?”

“Eet ees not true, Memsahib? You did not come to India to be with your sahib, and to care for him?”

“Yes, but…”

“And you will be staying with your sahib eef he becomes the Maharajah’s royal warden, no?”

“Well, we haven’t made any long-term decisions, but…and it’s not as if we’re married, Manuel.”

The manservant grinned.  “Yes, Memsahib.”

Hermione sighed.  “So you’re saying that the only way to keep Aya from treating Harry and me as if we were children under her charge is to treat Aya as if she was a servant?”

Manuel’s eyes lit up.  “Exactamente, Memsahib!”

“And for me to treat you like a servant as well, Manuel?  You want me to be Sybill?”

The manservant frowned. “To be running Sahib’s household like Sybill? Si.  Pero…to be Sybill?  No, Memsahib…ees no good eef Sybill be wearing Memsahib’s beautiful bathing costume.”

“Don’t see any good if I wore it either, Manuel.”


“That thong you gave me.”

“But Memsahib would be looking very beautiful!”

“I’d also be looking like all of the English girls on holiday here…didn’t you just called them prostitutes for how they dressed for the beach?”

“Si, Memsahib.”

“So why would I want to show that kind of disrespect and make you think of me that way?”

“No ees disrespecting because Memsahib ees so very beautiful.”

“That doesn’t make any…those girls on holiday are beautiful, not me.”

“Memsahib ees very beautiful.”

“But you would still be thinking I’m acting like a beautiful prostitute if I wore that thong, right?”

“No, Memsahib…ees very much different,” Manuel claimed.  “This ees very much a private island, and you would be wearing your swim costume to please your sahib.”

“You’re saying that it’s okay to act like a whore, so long as I’m Harry’s whore?” Hermione asked with a raised voice.

“No, Memsahib…I am very much sorry that my explanation…my English…eet ees so poor…”

“No, Manuel…I’m the one that should be apologizing…I just don’t understand…just trying to be respectful of your country and your culture…”

“Memsahib is very much appreciated for wearing her most beautiful sari, and eating our food with her fingers, and for trying to be the same as her most beautiful female lovers, but…”

“What do you mean?” Hermione asked with a blush.  “Padma and Parvati are just good friends.”

Manuel replied with an enigmatic smile.

“Yes, Memsahib…and Memsahib be doing very good for her sahib by bringing her most beautiful lover friends into his household.”

Hermione snorted.

“So you’re saying that it’s perfectly acceptable for me to walk around here in a thong, so long as it’s for Harry’s benefit?”

“Yes, Memsahib.”

Hermione still wasn’t convinced. 

“So what would Healer Patil say?” she asked.  “She’s already told me that she appreciated the fact that I chose to wear a sari on the beach.”

Manuel considered the point for a few moments.

“Memsahib was covering her most beautiful bits on the public beach in Kovalum, si?”

“Si,” Hermione replied, smiling after catching her fall into Manuel’s Spanish-speaking shtick.

“Memsahib ees being respectful, then, by not showing her most beautiful bits to all of the men there.  Here…ees no problem.”

“But you’re a man, right Manuel?”

“Si, Memsahib.”

“So why isn’t that a problem?”

Manuel chuckled.  “Ees no problem, because I no remember how beautiful your bits are, Memsahib.”

“But you would still perv on them now, though…right?”

“What I am thinking or dreaming ees of no consequence, Memsahib.  I am just Manuel, the manservant.  I see, but I do not see.”

“You mean you perv, but you do not perv?”


“Never mind…still don’t think Auntie would approve…even if I did claim it was for Harry’s benefit.  He’s not even out here right now.”

A wide grin formed on Manuel’s face.  “Si, Memsahib, but I think…that eef you tell him about your most beautiful swimming costume, and how you warm your most lovely bum een the sun…the idea will be pleasing to Sahib?”

“So would walking around starkers,” Hermione snorted.

Manuel’s breath caught in his throat.  “Ees no problem warming all of Memsahib’s lovely bits, eef Memsahib decides eet ees making Sahib happy.”

“What if I decide that sharing a bed with my Sahib would be best?” challenged Hermione.

“Ees no problem.”

“Really?  And Auntie would think the same thing?”

Manuel shrugged. “Healer Patil ees not making problems for Memsahib this morning, when Memsahib be worshiping and kissing Sahib’s lingam and swallowing Sahib’s seed, no?”

“I wasn’t worshiping his…but how did you…?”


“Oh, Merlin,” Hemione sighed.  “But…yes, you’re right.  She didn’t interfere because it was therapeutic.”

“Si, Memsahib.”

Hermione let out a deep breath that was filled with exasperation.

“So what if I decided that it would be best for my sahib if Padma and Parvati joined us in bed?” she challenged.

Manuel frowned.  “Sorry, Memsahib, but eet would be a more difficult issue,” he replied.  “Eet ees they who are being minded by their Aya, not Memsahib.”  He shrugged, then added, “Perhaps eef the Healer…she decides that eet ees necessary for Sahib’s recovery?”

“Yes, well…it does sound like I need to have a rather frank discussion with the Healer this evening,” Hermione decided.  “So in the meantime…what?”

Manuel nodded towards the Muggle snorkel gear that he’d earlier tossed aside.  Then he set down the long-handled fan, reached into his pockets, and pulled out a bottle of sunscreen salve and the royal blue thong he’d picked out for her use.

“I would be most pleased to assist Memsahib in the hour before lunch,” he declared with a smile.  “The reef is beautiful to see, and eef Memsahib wishes my help putting on her lovely swim costume to swim in the lagoon, or for me to be rubbing the sunscreen on her most beautiful body?”

Hermione rolled her eyes, then glanced towards the hut.

“Excuse me for a moment, Manuel.”

“Of course, Memsahib.”

When the Muggleborn witch walked into the magically-expanded interior, she found Padma and Parvati toiling with embroidery needles in hand under their nanny’s watchful eye.

“Harry still asleep?” she asked.

“Yes, Aya just checked a few minutes ago,” Parvati replied.  “Nice hat.”

“Oh…thanks. And right, then.  Could I borrow one of you for a few minutes?”

“I’ll go!” the Twins said loudly, and in stereo.

Their elderly minder clamped down on their enthusiasm with a scolding in Malayalam.

“Is there a problem?” Hermione asked.

“Aya is quite insistent that we need to practice our needlework to have any hope of being proper wives,” said Padma.

Hermione drew in a deep breath, and held it while she considered her response.  Deciding that maybe it was time to test out Manuel’s opinions about reining in the nanny, she walked resolutely towards the other three and grabbed Padma’s wrist.

“I need you to attend on me now, Padma,” Hermione said quite firmly.  She caught the nanny’s gaze and held it as she added, “Unless Aya thinks it proper that a manservant help a memsahib with her dress?”

The nanny muttered something under her breath as she rose from her chair.

“Thank you Aya, but I need a handmaiden, not a nanny,” Hermione said, shaking her head.  Channeling a bit of Malfoy, she sweetly added, “Perhaps after I begin bearing my husband’s children?”

The elderly woman held Hermione’s gaze for a moment, then sat down and waved her off with another muttered comment.

Hermione smiled.  “Parvati, what did your nanny just say to me?”

The brown-skinned Gryffindor’s eyebrows rose towards her hairline.  She glanced over at Aya, then looked back to Hermione and gave her a sly smile.

“Well, Aya certainly didn’t say anything bad about you, or how you might be corrupting Padma and me, because that would be very disrespectful to Memsahib, who is, after all, not her charge, and is a guest of the Maharajah…right, Aya?”

The older witch shook her head dismissively.  Not bothering to look up towards Hermione or Padma, she instead turned her focus on Parvati’s embroidery work.

“Ah, good that we’re all agreed on that point,” Hermione replied with a sly smile.  “Thank you, then, Aya…I’ll have your charge returned shortly.”

Padma decided to wait until Hermione led her outside to offer up her own comments.  She had to wait a bit longer than that though, once they caught Manuel spying into the opened doorway.

“Most excellent, Memsahib!” he declared, clapping his hands together with delight.  “Ees exactly correct for Memsahib’s station!”

“What station is that, Hermione?” Padma asked.

“Just…not here,” Hermione asked, pulling Padma away from the hut.

“Who are you, and what have you done with my girlfriend?” the Ravenclaw whispered.

“Shush!” the bushy-haired witch replied, trying to keep the giggles under control.  Once they arrived at the canopied area, Hermione turned towards Manuel and smiled.

“You can set the costume and oil down on the table…Padma will help me with the thong.”

The giggles threatened once more when Hermione spied Padma’s reaction out of the corner of her eye, and noted the look of excitement on Manuel’s face.

“Very, good, Memsahib!” he exclaimed.  He placed the thong and sunscreen that he’d been holding down onto the table, and then took one step backwards, as if waiting for a new request.

Hermione chuckled.  “I’ve all the help I need, Manuel…you can go now.”

He smiled, and did the figure-eight head bob thing again.

“I will be very pleased to be watching for dangers as Memsahib ees doing her snorkeling.”

Padma choked on a bit of spittle as Hermione picked the thong up off of the table.

“Yeah, I bet you’ll be pleased,” she muttered.

Hermione shook her head.  “Be nice, Padma,” she whispered.  As she lifted her shawl off of her shoulder, she raised her voice and added, “You can just as easily be watching from over there by the hut, Manuel.”

“Yes, Memsahib,” he replied with a smile.

Hermione stared at him as he still stood in place, and cursed her imprecise language.  Of course Manuel was capable of watching by the hut…he just didn’t want to.

Getting into the spirit of Manuel’s role-play, she grabbed one of the flippers and swatted his shoulder.

Now, Manuel!”

The tuxedoed man ducked away from a potential second strike and began to giggle as he walked briskly away from the two witches.

“Yes, Memsahib!” he declared.  “Very good, Memsahib!”

Padma watched in shocked silence as the manservant scampered back towards the hut.  When he was halfway there, she hissed, “What the fuck, Hermione?”

“Language, Padma!”

“Answers, Hermione!”

“Well…don’t want to make it too easy for Manuel to perv on me, do you?” the Muggleborn asked, as she dropped the flipper onto the rattan table and picked up the thong.

“So you’re really going to wear that thing?”

“That’s the plan, at least,” Hermione replied brightly, as she pulled her sari shawl off, then stuffed the swim costume down the front of her choli top.

Padma’s eyes went wide.  “I thought that was supposed to cover your other bits?”

Hermione followed Padma’s gaze and smiled.  “Just tucking it away for a moment.  I’d have asked you to hold it for me, but I need you to grab that peacock feather fan and hold it in front of my bits.”

The Ravenclaw looked nervously over her shoulder towards the smiling manservant.  Hermione shrugged with indifference as she undid her skirt and let the fabric drop to the sand.

“Or don’t help,” she stated. “Guess he wouldn’t be seeing that much more skin than if you did.”

“Just a second!” Padma whispered, as she quickly retrieved the fan and held it in front of Hermione’s slip.

“Thanks,” the bushy-haired witch said.   She leaned forward and stole a kiss from Padma’s lips.

“What are you doing?” the brown-skinned witch demanded, trying to keep the fan moving in tandem with Hermione’s hips.

“I’m going snorkeling in the lagoon,” Hermione replied, as she hooked her thumbs underneath the waist band of her slip and pushed it down towards her ankles.  “This would just get in the way.”

Padma gasped at the sight of Hermione’s bared, bushy mound, and nervously rechecked the height of the feathered fan.

“So the answer is swimming bare-arsed naked?”

“I won’t be naked…although…guess it’s fair to say that I’ll be essentially bare-arsed,”  Hermione quipped.  Then she pulled the bit of fabric and string out of her cleavage and added, “I’ll keep my choli on, though, and still have my fanny covered…as long as I figure out how this straps on again.”

“Merlin!” Padma hissed, as she struggled to keep the concealing splay of feathers where they needed to be as Hermione stepped into the thong. “And it doesn’t matter that Manuel will be perving on your arse as you splash around?”

“Ooh, you’re so fanciable when you’re jealous, Luv.”

“No, I’m serious?”

“So am I,” Hermione replied, double-knotting the waistband of her new swim costume.  She teased Padma with a bit of bum wiggle as she reached back and adjusted the thin bit of fabric that was pressed in between her cheeks.

“Does it look good on me?” Hermione asked, spinning around in a pirouette.

“Damn it, girl…keep doing that and I’ll be the one giving Manuel a show.”

“Oh, relax, he says that there’s magic that will keep him from remembering what he sees, right?”

“And you believe him?”

The bushy-haired witch shrugged as she reached down and adjusted the front of her swim costume to cover a bit of wayward hair.  “Doesn’t make that much of a difference does it?  Besides, if this was a beach in France I’d be going topless as well.”

“Well, if it hasn’t escaped your notice, Hermione…we are in India, not France.”

The Muggleborn smiled as she reached up and cupped the other witch’s face with her palm.

“Now, Padma, you really shouldn’t be talking smart to your memsahib, should you?”

The Ravenclaw snorted.  “And that’s the other thing…what was with you going all alpha bitch on Aya?”

“Moi?” Hermione teased.  She toned down her playful expression just a bit, then added, “I just had a very informative chat with Manuel, who basically told me that if we’re going to have any fun on this island outside of Harry’s treatments that I had to start acting like the memsahib that I am.”

“And you’re okay with the idea of treating people as servants? Of having servants?  What happened to the founder of S.P.E.W.?”

“She grew up a bit, and recognized that I can’t expect everyone or every being to conform to my occasionally misguided and myopic viewpoints.”

“So when in Rome, act like the Romans?”

Hermione sighed and shook her head.  “Just the opposite, actually…when in Rome, stop trying to act like you are a Roman and accept the fact that you’ll always be an English girl in their eyes.”

“So no more saris…it’s all proper English behavior and proper English knickers, then?”

The Muggleborn smiled.  “I didn’t pack any knickers…did you?”

“You know what I mean,” Padma replied. “And hurry up, my arms are getting tired.”

“So drop the fan, then,” Hermione replied.  “You’ll have to at some point so that you can rub sunscreen on my bum.”

Padma gave yet another glance over her shoulder.  “Are you sure, Hermione?”

“What’s the matter…my arse too ugly to be seen?”

“Merlin, Luv…as if you and your cracking arse need to fish for compliments…I’m talking about flashing that arse at Manuel over there.”

Hermione decided to put the issue to rest by stepping away from the peacock feathers and waving towards the hut.

“Hey, Manuel. thanks!” she called out. “I love this shade of blue…you were spot on with your color selection.”

“Very pleased to have pleased Memsahib,” he called back.

There was only a moment’s hesitation before Hermione turned towards Padma and gave Manuel a much better view of the business side of her swim costume.

“Seriously, Padma,” she said.  “I really don’t want a sun-burned bum…unless you’d rather I ask Manuel to cop a feel?”

The Ravenclaw witch rolled her eyes as she reached for the salve. 

“Come here, then…I imagine that this is all part of the show as well?”

“It’s not a show…I really do want to check out the lagoon.”

“And Manuel really does have a stiffie, now,” Padma snorted.

“Ah, but would you, Luv…if you had the right plumbing?”

Padma chuckled as she squeezed a dollop of lotion into her hand, then slapped it onto Hermione’s right cheek.

“Shall I show Manuel just how much you’re revving me up right now?”

Hermione giggled.  “Incremental steps, love…don’t want to give the poor bloke a heart attack.”

“At least he’d die with a smile on his face,” Padma replied, as she began to spread the sunscreen across her lover’s flesh.


It was Padma’s sister who was dispatched from the hut forty-five minutes later to deliver the news that Harry had woken from his morning nap and was eager to eat lunch.

Parvati smiled, and shook her head in disbelief as she looked out at the lagoon.  Hermione was floating face-down on the water’s surface, breathing (apparently) through a tube as she slowly kicked her flippered feet.  The thin strip of dark blue fabric that snaked in between the Muggleborn’s exposed bum cheeks contrasted brilliantly against her exposed pale white flesh. 

Parvati’s smile faltered when she realized that she wasn’t the only one enjoying the view.   Manuel was standing by the canopy, holding a large fluffy towel out in front of him for Hermione’s eventual use.  He either was too enraptured to notice, or two randy to care that the bottom edge of this towel was perched on the bulge in the front of his towels.  Parvati suspected it the former, as he didn’t seem to notice when she snuck up on him from behind.

 “Owwww!” Manuel howled, after Parvati slapped the back of his head.

“Quit perving on Memsahib’s bum!” 

“Yes, Memsahib!”

“And quit calling me Memsahib!” Parvati added.  “Only makes it worse for my sister and me.”

“Yes, Mem…”

A raised open hand caused Manuel to reconsider.

“Yes, Miss Parvati.”

“That’s better,” the Gryffindor witch declared. 

Manuel nodded. He turned back towards the lagoon, exposing the back of his head to another blow.


“Eyes this way!”

“But I must…”

“Sahib is awake and hungry,” Parvati declared.  “Aya wants you to start in on lunch.”

“But…I must watch over Memsahib, in case…”

“I can guard her bum just as easily as you can.”

Manuel shook his held towel to make a point. 

“But I must be ready to help Memsahib with her shower!” he insisted, nodding towards an oversized shower head that now hung in the center of the canopy’s shade.

Parvati snorted, both at the man’s plans, and at the lack of any kind of privacy screening.

“I can do that job as well,” she declared.


“Don’t start that ‘que’ nonsense with me, Manuel!”

“Yes, Memsahib….oof!”

“Get going!” Parvati chided, yanking the towel out of his grip.  As he lunged forward to retrieve it, she twisted her body and used that momentum to pull Manuel past her. She then added to the manservant’s momentum with a swift kick in the arse.


The manservant stumbled forward a few steps, then caught his balance.  He turned to face Parvati and smiled, deciding that a potential glimpse under Parvati’s raised skirts was worth another arse kicking.  But he reconsidered when she appeared to be lining up at a different target, and scampered back towards the hut with his hands protectively covering his bits.

The teen-aged witch looked seaward, towards the teen-aged witch who was floated gently on the water’s surface as she slowly kicked her flippered feet.  Parvati rather liked the idea of helping Hermione rinse off…so long as she didn’t have to do it out in the open.    

The teen-aged witch looked up at the position of the charmed shower head, and estimated both the height of the canopy and the distance between the bamboo poles that were supporting it.

“Might just work,” she said to herself.  “Manuel?” she shouted.

“Yes, Miss Parvati?” the manservant called, running back towards the canopy.

“Do you have any spell-o-tape?”

“Yes, Miss Parvati,  inside the house.”

“Then fetch it for me please,” the teen-ager replied.  “Along with another sari from my trunk.”


“Surely you don’t expect Memsahib to wear that one?” Parvati asked, pointing towards the sari that Hermione had been wearing (which was now hanging neatly on the back of the rattan chair).

“Ah, yes, Miss Parvati,” the manservant replied, as he stepped towards the chair.

“Leave it…and go!” the teen-ager instructed.

The manservant frowned.  The teen-ager raised her hand in warning.  The manservant scampered away.   


Hermione was getting much better at not aspirating seawater…it had been hard resisting the temptation to smile at the amazing reef structure below (and loosen her suction on her snorkel mouthpiece). She had gone ten minutes straight without accidentally breathing water into her lungs...right up to the point where somebody decided to give her bum a hard slap.

“Hey…gurgle…spit…gasp…what the hell?” she shouted, once she’d raised her head above water, pushed  the snorkel’s mouthpiece away from her face and spit out a bit of saltwater.

“Our boyfriend is awake…thought you might want to know,” Parvati said playfully, as her carpet hovered just above the water’s surface.

“A simple tap on the shoulder would have worked,” Hermione stammered.

“But you were giving me a much easier target to reach,” the prone witch teased. 

“Oh, you…give me a hand, then?” Hermione asked.

Parvati didn’t need to have been sorted Ravenclaw like her sister to fall for that trick.  She darted out of Hermione’s reach and giggled. 

“Sorry, only one person per carpet.  See you back on shore, Memsahib Mermaid.”

Hermione kept her head above water and her bum below it during the swim back to the beach…making it that much easier to growl at her old dorm mate. Once she was close enough to shore, she slipped the flippers off of her feet and waded the rest of the way.

“You know you look sexy as hell coming out of the water like that,” Parvati said with a smile.

“Guess I’ll have to work on my angry pout, then,” Hermione replied, as she tossed the snorkel gear back towards the canopy. “What’s with the hanging laundry?”

Parvati grinned as she followed Hermione’s gaze towards the canopy.  Sari skirts and shawls were stretched between the support poles on three sides, forming a fabric-screened enclosure that was opened only towards the lagoon.

“Memsahib needs to shower off the saltwater.”

Hermione rolled her eyes…then rolled them again when she spotted the shower head.

“Right here?  Out in the open?”

Parvati giggled.  “Could’ve been worse…Manuel didn’t have any of these saris rigged up when I got here.”

“Where did he go, then?”

“Preparing lunch, supposedly.”

Hermione snorted as she walked into the shade and touched one of the walls.  There were two pieces of fabric per side that screened views from a foot off the sand to a height just above their heads.

“Were one of these mine?” she asked.

“Yes, Memsahib,” Parvati replied.  “Manuel says that there are plenty of beautiful dresses for Memsahib to wear in that trunk.”

Hermione shook her head as she glanced over at the box of vintage clothing.

“I will if you will,” she muttered.

Parvati frowned.  “As much as I’d like to…Aya won’t let me.”

“Let you do what?”

“Wear any Western clothing.”

Hermione arched an eyebrow.  She wanted to ask why, but she also wanted to get back inside now that Harry was awake.

“So let’s drag the trunk behind these screens, and you can at least try some of the outfits on while I shower.  And if Aya comes out to complain…well, we’re about the same size.  You can just tell her that you’re seeing what might fit me as I wash-up.”

Parvati’s eyes lit up at the suggestion.

“Yes, Memsahib!” 

Once the trunk was brought behind the fabric walls, Hermione slipped out of her wet choli top and thong and slipped under the charmed shower head’s warm spray of water.  Parvati rushed with delight over to the trunk, and quickly pulled out a purple whale-boned corset.   Hermione thought about telling her girlfriend that corsets were typically worn over chemises and bloomers…but then thought better when Parvati slipped off her choli and slip and shimmied into the vintage garment.

Resisting the temptation to wrap her female lover in a wet, naked bear hug, Hermione turned away and reached for the bar of soap that Manuel had left for her use on the rattan table.

Parvati frowned as the untied corset slipped down to the ground.  She pulled it back up, then turned towards Hermione to ask, “How do you fasten this…?”

The question died on Parvati’s lips when she spied Hermione bent at the waist, waving her bum (and more) as she washed the tops of her feet. 

The untied corset dropped to the ground a second time, as a second naked witch walked under the warm spray of water.

“Please, Memsahib…this is my job,” she cooed, as she stole the soap out of Hermione’s hand and dropped down to her knees.

Hermione caught her breath, and cast a nervous glance towards the opened side of their makeshift enclosure.

“But…you said that Harry is awake?”

“And I’m sure that Padma will be more than willing to keep him entertained for a few more minutes,” Parvati replied.

Hermione moaned as her lover ran the soap bar up the inside of her thigh.

“But what if…what if Aya comes out here and sees us…?”

“Then she’d run the risk of Padma taking the opportunity to worship a certain lingam.”


“Will come out here and insist that he help you with your shower if I don’t,” Parvati replied, as she got up from her knees and stood face-to-face with Hermione under the shower spray.

Hermione giggled.  “Well, we mustn’t let that happen,” she replied, tracing a finger down the other witch’s neck.

“Yes, Memsahib,” Parvati grinned, rubbing the soap bar across Hermione’s lower belly.  The bushy-haired witch stretched her arms out to pull her lover into an embrace, only to have that lover duck under her arm and spin behind her.  Parvati pressed her breasts against Hermione’s back, reached around, and pressed the soap bar against her lover’s fanny.  The brown-skinned witch thought she had pushed too far when the bar was snatched away from her grip.  But then Hermione snapped the soap into two pieces, spun around, and pressed half of the bar back into Parvati’s opened hand.

“Did you rinse off the salt water from your skin after all of that falling off of your carpet?” Hermione asked. 

The brown-skinned witch smiled and shook her head.

Hermione waggled her eyebrows and licked her lips.

“Then there’s more than one carpet that needs cleaning…isn’t there?” she asked, dragging the remaining half of the soap bar through her lover’s pubes.

The low-pitched moan that escaped from Parvati’s mouth was interpreted as an affirmative response.


“Memsahib must let her humble handmaiden rub her dry!” Parvati declared, all too few minutes later.

“After you just rubbed me wet?” Hermione quipped, as she toweled off the inside of her own thighs. She then nodded towards the choli and slip that Parvati had already put on.  “Take down your sari from the poles …we really should be getting back inside.”

“But if I do that…Memsahib is still naked!”

“So I’ll slip on my slip and choli as well.”

“Yes, Memsahib.”

“And will you stop it with the Memsahib business?”

“Yes, Memsahib,” the brown-skinned witch grinned, as she poked the corner of her own towel into Hermione’s belly-button.


“It is proper that you allow your handmaiden to dry you off, Memsahib,” Parvati teased.  “Otherwise this might be misinterpreted as two very close friends playing naughty games on the beach.”

“So there might be advantages to you doing a bit of role-play as well?” she asked.

Parvati nodded, and bowed her head submissively.

“Yes, Memsahib.”

A smile formed on Hermione’s lips as she pushed Parvati’s hand away and stepped towards the trunk of clothing.

“Come on, then,” she said.  “Let’s see if we can find something proper for your memsahib to wear that isn’t too hideous or too hot.”

Parvati thought that was a brilliant idea, and immediately reached for the purple corset.

“Not that!” Hermione declared.

“Yes, Memsahib,” her lover replied, as she began to press one dress after another against Hermione’s naked body.

“And is it too much to ask for something that dates from this century?” the Muggleborn asked, pushing aside yet another set of petticoats.

“Yes, Memsahib.”

Hermione sighed.

“So, Parvati…just to be certain…there will be no need for this Memsahib business when it’s Auntie who is chaperoning, rather than Aya?”

 “Yes, Memsahib.  Then we change roles, and we both become Harry’s nursemaidens.”

“And instead of naughty fun on the beach, we’ll call it therapy?”

“It’s worked so far, hasn’t it, Memsahib?” Parvati asked, as she dug towards the bottom of the trunk.

“Whoa…here we go,” she exclaimed, pulling out a daring low-cut dress.

“Oh, my,” Hermione giggled. “Is that a dress, or a slightly larger thong?”

“Exactly,” Parvati replied brightly, as she bent down and held the dress open for Hermione to step into.

The Muggleborn chewed nervously on her lip as Parvati pulled the slinky bit of gold silk fabric up over her hips.  The material clung to her curves almost as well as her wet slip, although the hemline was modest enough, covering her knees. But calling the dress modest flew out the window once she reached down and grabbed what was supposed to cover her chest.

“This is it?” she asked, pulling the halter straps up and holding the ends behind her neck.

A wide smile was on Parvati’s lips then helped tie the ends together. 

“It looks gorgeous on you!” she declared, dragging her fingers down Hermione’s uncovered back.

“Manuel must have slipped this one on purpose.”

“Would have had to slip this in as well” Parvati noted, placing the creme-colored straw hat on Hermione’s head.  “They match, and they’re both closer to the 1940’s than 1840’s.”

Hermione shook her hat-covered head as she stepped away from Parvati’s fingers and stared down the front of the dress. 

“There’s no way I can wear this!” she declared, trying to stretch the luxurious fabric across more of her exposed flesh.

“But it looks brilliant!  Harry will go bonkers over it!”

“Like you aren’t perving on it as well, what with the way that my baps are exposed!”

Parvati snorted as she moved to Hermione’s side.

“You can’t see any more than when you’re just wearing a sari top,” she noted.

“There’s a difference, though.”


 “Because it’s a Muggle dress,” Hermione replied.  “It’s expected that you’ll have the sides of your breasts exposed when you’re wearing a sari without a choli underneath.”

“I’m quite certain that the Muggle who made this dress expected the sides of your breasts to be just as exposed,” Parvati quipped.


“And when you think about it, this is actually more conservative than a sari.”

“How do you figure that?”

Parvati grinned.  “It covers your sexy belly-button, Luv.”

“That’s about all it covers,” Hermione muttered, as she shimmied her shoulders and watched how poorly the fabric kept pace with the sway of her breasts.

“Let’s ask Harry’s opinion,”  said Parvati.

“Yeah, we know what he’ll think.”

“Okay, then Manuel.”

Hermione snorted.

“Okay, okay, that’s just as pointless,” Parvati teased.  “But who is to say…somebody had to have worn this dress at some point, right?”

“Fine, then…let’s find something just as revealing for you to wear!”

“Now that…like I said, that can’t happen,” Parvati said with a deep sigh.  “At least so long as Aya is around.”

“But you are still wearing a choli under your shawl?  Is it because of Manuel?”

Parvati shook her head.  “No…Manuel’s too busy perving on your bits to care about the sides of my baps.”

“Then why…?”

“Aya insisted that it was proper.”

 “Then why is she showing off the sides of her saggy breasts?”

“Because she’s just our nanny…she apparently doesn’t count.”

“Count for what?”

“Count as someone who Harry might perv on,” Parvati replied.

“That doesn’t make sense, if it’s Harry who she’s worried about.”

“Yeah, we tried to explain that he’s seen us wearing just the shawls, but Aya wouldn’t budge…maybe you could reason with her?”

Hermione frowned. “No, you’ve already tried that.”

“Maybe you can insist that we need to go without cholis as part of Harry’s treatment?”

“Auntie might be the one to help on that point,” said Hermione.  A sly smile formed on her face when an idea came to mind. She reached out, and hooked a finger down the front of Parvati’s top.

“Take it off, baby.”

Parvati grinned.  Assuming that her incredibly bright girlfriend had a plan in mind, she was quick to comply with her Memsahib’s demand.

“Right then…just need to find you the right pair of knickers…” said Parvati.

“No need,” said Hermione.


“And we’ll leave off on shoes and accessorizing.”

“Awww…you’re no fun.”

“Who is no fun, Parvati!” Hermione asked, as she slipped on her sunglasses to complete (in her mind) the outfit.

Parvati cocked her head to one side, before figuring out the question.  She submissively lowered her eyes and replied, “Yes, Memsahib.”


By the time that Hermione walked back inside the hut and entered the dining room, Harry had been transferred from bed to palki and carried to the head of the table.

“Oh, my….wow!” he exclaimed.

“Do you like the dress, Harry?” she asked, taking off her hat and sunglasses while trying to appear far less nervous than she really was.


“Absolutely brilliant!” Padma added, from her spot at the table.  She enjoyed it even more when Hermione leaned down to kiss Harry’s cheek.

“I feel so underdressed now,” he complained.

Hermione ran her hand down Harry’s bare chest.  “Enjoy your nap, Sweetheart?”

“Not half as much as I’m going to enjoy lunch!”

“Good,” Hermione purred.  She started to pull out the chair next to Harry’s palki, only to have it ripped away by Manuel.

“Allow me, Memsahib,” he said with a grin, as he offered her a seat.

Hermione smiled at the offer.

Harry didn’t smile at the way that Manuel leaned in between his girlfriend and him, or the way that he was staring down his girlfriend’s dress as he pushed the chair up to the table.  He wanted to cuff the manservant for his cheek, but without use of his arms he had to settle for pushing Manuel away from the table with a well-placed head butt.

“Ow!” Manuel yelled, as he grabbed his arm and dashed back into the kitchen.

“Be nice, Harry,” Hermione chided.

“I’m the only one who gets to look down your dress,” Harry declared. 

“The only one, Harry?” Hermione asked.

He stared at her for a moment, wondering why she had challenged his claim.  Then he heard someone loudly clearing her throat on the other side of the table and chuckled.

“Sorry, Padma,” he said.  “How about I’m the only bloke that gets to look down the front of Hermione’s dress?”

“I’m willing to share,” the Ravenclaw said with a sly smile.  She glanced towards the entrance frowned. “Speaking of sharing, where is my sister?”

“Should be here momentarily,” said Hermione.  “We were using our saris to block the view of our shower.”

Our shower?” Padma asked. 

Hermione smiled.  “Saltwater isn’t good for the skin, Luv.  Maybe I’ll help you rinse off after lunch.”

“Well, alright, then,” Padma replied.

“Definitely sounds alright to me,” Harry quipped.  “So you three went swimming in the lagoon?”

“More falling than swimming,” Padma quipped.  “Except for Hermione, of course…so how uncomfortable was it to swim with that thong on, Memsahib?”

“Thong?” Harry wheezed.

Aya’s entrance into the dining room kept that question from being answered.  The old witch gave a disapproving look towards Hermione’s dress, but didn’t say anything about it.

The nanny had plenty to say, though, when Parvati entered the dining room with only a sari shawl covering her chest.  She said it very loudly in her native tongue.

Hermione frowned, and leaned across the table towards Padma.

“Is there a problem here?”

Padma snorted at Hermione’s question.

“Our nanny thinks that Parvati is dressed too casually for the dining room,” she quipped.

“Really?” asked Hermione.  “Aya?”

The older witch was still too busy dressing down Parvati to respond.

Harry leaned over and whispered into Hermione’s ear.

“Are you two trying to stir up trouble on my account, Sweetheart?”

Hermione nodded and whispered back, “Will it bother you if the Twins and I did pack away our cholis? Or if I did wear dresses like this so long as we’re here on this island?”

Harry snorted.  “Are you kidding me?”

“Trust me, then?”

“Of course.”

Hermione smiled warmly, and kissed Harry on the cheek.  Then she turned and insisted on Aya’s attention.  The nanny rolled her eyes and said, “Oh, Memsahib?” (Yes?)

“If we were eating lunch in a restaurant in one of the magical districts of Travancore, would the women sitting at the other tables be wearing cholis under their sari tops?”

Aya shrugged and shook her head.

“Translate the question for her, Padma.”

“She understands English, Memsahib.”

“Perhaps, but I don’t want there to be any possibility of misunderstanding.”

The Ravenclaw nodded, and did the requested translation. Aya sighed, and waved her hand dismissively.

“She says that we’re not in a magical district right now...Memsahib.”

“Aren’t we in a magical household, though?”

Padma translated, then translated the response.

“She says that that cholis are appropriate for young Indian ladies so long as Harry is at the table, Memsahib.”

“I see,” Hermione replied.  “Ask her if she is aware of the fact that the Maharajah has made Sahib a job offer.”

“You mean me?” Harry whispered during the translating.

“Of course,” Hermione whispered back.  “I’ll explain later.”


Padma said, “She knew about the job offer, Memsahib, and I took the liberty of reminding her of that fact.”

“Good,” said Hermione.  “This job will require Sahib to visit Travancore’s magical districts, and interact with other witches and wizards, don’t you think?”

Aya sighed.  It was clear she understood Hermione’s English, and was only pretending not to.  Hermione didn’t need help translating the eventual response.

Oh, Memsahib.”

“Then Padma and Parvati should dress as you are right now…and prepare Sahib for how witches dress in these magical districts.”

Aya scowled. Hermione ignored the scowl, and turned towards her translator.

“Padma, if you don’t mind…would you help prepare Sahib for the Maharajah’s employment?”

The Ravenclaw grinned. 

“Yes, Memsahib!” she replied, reaching for the buttons of her choli.

The smile on Harry’s face was just as wide as he watched Padma slip out of her choli right there at the table, giving him an “accidental” nipple slip.  Hermione was smiling too, although her gaze was divided between Padma’s nipple, Aya’s scowl, and the “thumbs-up” signal that a giggling Manuel was giving her from the kitchen doorway.

“Manuel!” Hermione called.

“Yes, Memsahib?”

“Less giggling, more lunch!”

“Right away, Memsahib!” he replied, rushing to remove the domed silver covers to their plates.

Aya ignored the vegetarian meal in front of her and reached towards Harry’s lunch plate.  Hermione pushed Aya’s hand away before it touched any of his food.

“From now on I will help Sahib take his meals,” she said sternly.

The nanny protested in Malayalam, but Hermione didn’t back down.

“Are you the Twins’ nanny or Sahib’s nursemaid?” she asked.

The older witch held Hermione’s gaze for only a moment before backing down.

“I am Padma and Parvati’s nanny,” she declared in Malayalam.

Once translated, Hermione nodded in agreement. “And I am Sahib’s Memsahib…right?” she asked, as she picked a mixture of curried vegetables off of Harry’s plate and held it out in front of his lips. 

Aya nodded. 

Hermione smiled in triumph, then turned towards Harry.

“Well?” she asked, nodding towards the food on her fingertips.

He grinned, and tried to do the figure-eight head nod response.

“Yes, Memsahib,” he teased, before lunging his opened mouth towards Hermione’s fingers.

The smile on Harry’s face as he sat for that noontime meal was not that much brighter than the smiles on the faces of the other three teens.  Or Manuel’s, for that matter…although Harry was trying not to think about that too much.  The stories told as they ate their meal did a good job of holding his attention…from the humorous descriptions of carpet flying attempts, to an accounting of the contents of the trunk of clothing and box of beach gear, to Hermione’s vivid descriptions of the reef and all of its colorful inhabitants.

“You should have seen it, Harry!” she exclaimed.  “Dozens of different types of tropical fish, and Moray eels, and lobster, and giant sea turtles…..”

“Don’t think you’d have gotten him to look at anything other than your swim costume, Hermione,” Padma teased.

Harry arched an eyebrow.

“So should I see this swim costume as well?”

Hermione glanced towards Aya and shook her head.

“Maybe later,” she muttered.

Harry smiled at the way Hermione’s cheeks were blushing.  He leaned towards her, and whispered a question into her ear.  She gasped in surprise, both at the question, and the fact that Harry had asked it.

“Well?” Harry asked.

Hermione looked down at her plate, and shook her head.

Harry leaned towards her and whispered a second request into her ear.

“Maybe later!” Hermione whispered back.


Hermione snorted, and replied, “Yes, Sahib.”


When lunch was over Manuel and Padma carried Harry’s palki into the sitting room…the Twins had talked about the embroidery project that Aya had them doing, and he wanted to watch their work.  This allowed Parvati to pull Hermione aside.

“So what did Harry ask?”

The Muggleborn witch looked around, then whispered conspiratorially into Parvati’s ear.

“He asked me to prove that this dress is the only piece of Muggle clothing that I’m wearing right now.”

Parvati snorted.

“You promised to show him later, then?”

Hermione shook her head and smiled.

“I promised to fulfill his second request.”


Hermione chuckled.

“Do you know how we’re rationalizing certain acts by saying that we’re acting with Harry’s hands?”

Parvati giggled.

“He wanted you to rub one off right there at the table?”

“No …he wanted me to ask if you would be his hands.”

A breath caught in Parvati’s throat.  “So he wanted me to rub one off right there at the table?”

Hermione laughed and shook her head.

“Of course not, silly,” she replied.  “Harry wanted you to do what he can’t right now…to reach under the table, drag your fingers up the inside of my thigh, and push my skirt up high enough to show him that I wasn’t wearing Muggle knickers.”

Parvati’s eyes dilated.

“He actually asked that?”

Hermione snorted.

“Our Sahib is a randy little bugger, isn’t he?”

Parvati giggled.  “Oh, he’s randy alright….but little?”

Hermione joined in the gossipy giggling.

“Certainly wasn’t little sitting there at the table…did you see how hard he was?”

Parvati snorted.

“Oh, right,” Hermione teased.  “Silly question.”

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