Content Harry Potter
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Author Notes:

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

With a half-hour's time to kill before meeting Luna and Susan for dinner, Hermione dragged Harry into the Hogwarts Library. Madame Pince looked up and frowned; Hermione's unlimited borrowing privileges had left a measurable dent in the collection, and she was no doubt back for more.

“What's it to be this time, Miss Granger?” she asked.

Hermione smiled. “Do you have any books on marriage customs within the wizarding world?”

After responding with a terse smile and an aloof cocking of one eyebrow, Madame Pince nodded and led them to a section that Hermione had never given more than passing thought to before. Along the way Harry took in the stares of the students who were following their hand-holding movements, and tried to give them a confident smile.

Madame Pince stopped and pointed at two shelves “Never thought I'd live to see the day that you'd be interested in this particular topic, Miss Granger,” she whispered. “Congratulations.”

Hermione muttered, “Thank you,” but otherwise ignored the comment, as she was already busy reading book titles sideways.

“Looks like half of the books on these shelves have been checked out,” Harry noted.

The librarian nodded. “It's very popular with the Sixth and Seventh-Year witches…almost as popular as the section on Quidditch is with the male students.” Harry snorted, figuring that he could have found the library's Quidditch section in his sleep.

Hermione frowned, not finding what she was looking for amongst the titles present. “Do you have anything on wedding spells and rituals? I'm looking for information on the Betrothal Spell.”

That produced a snort from the spinster. She smiled, and said slyly, “You and half the witches in the castle, my dear…come this way.”

Madame Pince returned to her desk, and used an unlocking charm keyed to her wand to open one of its drawers. She pulled out a rather thin and dog-eared pamphlet titled, “I Do, But I've Done it Before: the Betrothal Spell and Other Purity Charms,” and gently handed it to Hermione.

“Pages have been magically repaired so many times it's a wonder there's anything left for the ink to sit on,” the librarian muttered. “Mind you, that's a reference copy that can't leave the library.”

Hermione smiled. “Of course, Madame Pince, thank you for your assistance.” She grabbed Harry's elbow and steered him towards her favorite desk back by the Restricted Section. Looking over his shoulder as they moved, Harry spied a couple of students craning their necks in order to see where they were going. Thinking that nothing would be accomplished if the curious got any bolder, Harry cast a mild repulsion charm within the aisle, then joined Hermione at the table.

He chose a chair opposite hers, and then leaned forward, asking, “Do you think we could be any more obvious that we're a couple now?”

Hermione thought for a moment. “Is that something that you'd rather hide?”

“Of course not,” replied Harry. “It's just that…well, during the two minutes we were in the stacks with Madame Pince at least five students got up and left…no doubt to spread some juicy gossip. I don't mind when it's the truth, but I'm sure it's already beyond that.”

“Really?” she asked. “What would they be gossiping about?”

“Oh, come on, Hermione,” Harry said. “You could have been a little quieter when you asked Madame Pince for that marriage customs book.”

Hermione smiled. “Yes, I imagine that I could have. Hope that you're not too mad at me.”

“Merlin, no.”

“Because I'd be happy to make it up to you.”

Harry was startled when he felt a toe start to snake its way up his leg.

“Behave, Hermione,” he warned.

“Alright,” she replied with a little pout. “Want to lean over my shoulder and read with me?”

“Erm, no thanks,” Harry replied. “Don't trust myself not to start nipping at your ear.”

His girlfriend smiled, then reached down her jumper top.

“Hermione!” Harry hissed.

“What?” she replied innocently, as she pulled out the shrunken rucksack that she wore at the end of a chain. Harry just shook his head.

Hermione expanded the rucksack, opened the flap, and looked inside. She pulled out a quill and some parchment and placed them on the desk. While rummaging for her inkbottle she pushed the quill off of the desktop with an elbow.

“Oh drats,” she said with a smile. She leaned forward, so that her breasts rested on top of her arm, and asked, “Harry, be a dear and retrieve my quill for me? I think it rolled underneath the desk.”

Harry squinted a bit at Hermione. Her toes had left his trouser seam, and from the way she had squirmed in her seat he was quite confident that her knees were presently spread far apart. Deciding it was time to tease the teaser, he Accio'd the quill without getting up from his chair and handed it to her with a smile.

“Oh you're no fun,” Hermione pouted.

“Later, Luv,” he promised. He then asked, “So are you going to tell me why you want to know more about the betrothal spell?”

“Sure…I just wanted to get a good idea of how much fun we can have without losing our haloes.”

Harry smirked. “I would think it would be easier just to write down everything that Susan disclosed when the Headmistress asked if she was a virgin.”

Hermione wrinkled her nose. “Oh, that might be a good start, but I'm confident that I could think of a few things that she hasn't.”

“Oh I don't know,” Harry replied. “She does have a good head start.”

“As far as you know.”

Harry's eyes went wide, before Hermione reassured him.

“I'm kidding,” she said. “Just because she's ahead of me in acting on her thoughts doesn't mean I haven't stockpiled a few myself.”

Harry chucked, then shook his head in a bit of disbelief. “I am a lucky bastard,” he noted.

“And don't you forget it,” admonished Hermione.


The next ten minutes passed relatively quietly. Hermione took notes at a furious pace as she made her way through the pamphlet's text. Harry used the time to reread a letter that Neville had sent the day before about the DA. With the three of them away from Hogwarts more often than not, Harry had decided to take on more of an advisory role to the group, which was now an official school organization four times the size of the original. Neville now was the leader, and Harry had been very pleased at how his friend had risen to the task.

Harry was considering whether a Co-Ed Naked Dueling Club (TM) would be better off on its own, or act as an offshoot of the DA, when he heard his girlfriend swear like a sailor.

He looked up and scolded her.

“Sorry,” she responded. “Still…bugger it all!”

“Really, Hermione…you wouldn't want to be kicked out of your second home, would you?”

She let out a deep sigh, and then dropped her quill on the desktop.

“Harry, we can't do it in the pensieve.”

“What?” Harry asked. “I thought we proved that we could have pensieve-sex.”

Hermione reached up to massage her temples. “Well, yes, Harry…we can shag in the pensieve. The problem is that if we do, I'm pretty sure that we'll both lose our virginity.”

“Outside of the pensieve as well as in?”


“Even if Mr. Phoenix doesn't come close to your roost in real life?”

“Afraid so.”

“Can you tell me why?”

Hermione renewed the silencing charm on the table, and then began to explain.

The pamphlet that she'd been reading described not only how the betrothal spell work, but why it had been developed in the first place. For many centuries the virginity of a witch was prerequisite to the consummation of an arranged marriage. A witch that lost her virginity before marriage was considered an outcast, disowned by her family and treated little better than a squib. The ability to mask the scarlet status of a young witch had therefore been a very marketable commodity. Healers had developed a spell that would repair a broken hymen for a hefty price, but after a few too many apparently “virgin” births a countermeasure was developed.

The Betrothal Spell acted as a type of looked into a witch's mind to determine whether she had smutty memories that contradicted a physical inspection. This was the reason why it worked on Hermione and Luna, even after their “accidents;” so long as they knew they were still virgins, the spell revealed them as same.

Harry frowned. “Why couldn't a witch just have her memories “fixed” with an obliviate spell at the same time that her hymen was repaired?”

Hermione gave him a rueful smile. “Because how a girl loses her virginity is one of her strongest and most deep-seated memories, Harry. The obliviate spell needed to upend and erase it would need to be so strong that more often than not it would erase every other memory as well.”

“Including the memory that she was a witch that could perform magic, and the knowledge of how to do magic?”

Hermione nodded. “Making her a squib, which is worse than being an unmatchable non-virgin witch.”

Harry thought. “So you think that if this kind of spell is smart enough to suss out a shag memory, that my sweat would as well?”

Hermione nodded. “Both of us would remember what we did in the pensieve.”

“Happy memories, I hope,” Harry said, earning him a smile from his girlfriend.

“So what now?”

Hermione paused in thought. “So now, we work on your control in real life, with fingers and hands…”

“And a mouth, too?”

“You'd be so lucky, Potter.”

“Yes,” Harry agreed, “I would.”


Harry and Hermione were oblivious to what lay ahead as they packed up and made to return the betrothal spell pamphlet to Madame Pince. In the twenty minutes time since they had disappeared into the stacks, the number of students “studying” in the library's main area had doubled. The two most obvious rumor-spreading fish-out-of-water types were Pavarti Patil and Lavender Brown. They knew Harry and Hermione well enough to realize what it meant when other students who had tried to spy on the pair returned from the stacks dazed, confused, and clueless, and had staked out a position near the library's exit.

The two let out small squeals when they spotted Harry and Hermione leaving the book stacks hand-in-hand. They rushed up and flanked the pair. Lavender responded to Madame Pince's shushing by casting a mobile cone of silence spell (given its utility during gossip sessions, it was the only charm that Lavender was anywhere close to being able to cast nonverbally).

“So, Hermione,” Pavarti asked, with a smile, “what's new?”

Hermione looked at Harry, who rolled his eyes and projected an “I told you so” expression towards her. She then sighed and tried to humor Pavarti. “Oh, same old thing, fighting Dark Lords, staying up on my reading…”

“Yes, we can see that,” Lavender quipped, as she tilted her head to take in the pamphlet title. She smiled, “Care to explain the hand holding, Harry?”

Harry snorted at Lavender's directness and smiled. “We got hit with a disabling hex that forced my wand hand to be stuck to Hermione's?”

Lavender giggled as she grabbed Harry's arm and squeezed. “And just who threw that hex at you, Harry,” she asked rather breathlessly, “Cupid?”

Hermione gave her dorm mate one of Luna's patented serenity smiles. “Right in one, Lav….and the hexes will be flying in reverse direction if anybody tries to replace my hand with hers.”

Lavender let go of Harry rather quickly. “Okay, okay,” she replied.

“I'd ask you to feel free to spread that warning around,” Hermione stated, “if I didn't already know that you'd be doing it anyway.”

“Why we'd be happy to spread the news,” Pavarti said. “Anything we can do to support the war effort, and Harry….and you of course, Hermione.”

It was Hermione's turn to roll her eyes as they reached Madame Pince's desk. She laid the pamphlet down and mouthed a silent “thank-you” to the librarian, as she was standing outside of their moving silence cone.

Harry and Hermione left the library with the two witches attached to their sides. As they walked down the hallway Pavarti asked, “Any particular reason why you were reading that pamphlet, Hermione?”

“Yes,” Harry replied brightly. “The two of use were trying to figure out if we could have guilt-free mind-blowing sex inside of a pensive and still be considered virgins.”

Lavender snorted. “There are easier ways than that, you know,”

Harry tried to appear cross. “Did you actually think that I was serious?”

Lavender and Pavarti looked across at each other for a moment before replying (in unison), “Yes.”

Harry and Hermione shook their heads with resignation. Hermione then said, “Look Lavender, I will neither confirm or deny our intentions with that book. But on the off chance that you do know something about it, we'd be interested to hear.”

“You mean you weren't able to immediately figure out that pensieve-sex still counts?” Lavender asked.

Hermione stopped and stared at Lavender rather incredulously. “How did you know that?”

Lavender shrugged, “Pavarti and I practically memorized that text during fifth year as we looked for ways around it.”

“Why whatever for, Lavender dear?” Hermione asked with false sweetness.

Pavarti giggled. “Why, to ensure that our virtue is still intact on our marriage day, silly.”

It was Hermione's turn to giggle. “No offense, Pavarti, but after all of the boytalk I've overheard you sharing with Lavender it's hard for me to imagine either of you two passing a betrothal spell test.”

Pavarti pouted, “Hermione, I'm disappointed that you think so little of us.” Then she winked. “Knowing the ins and outs about how a wizard can be in and out without tripping up that damn betrothal spell is something we've thought about for a while now.”

Hermione snorted, while Pavarti grabbed her arm conspiratorially. “Not to change the subject, but we heard a very racy rumor today that you are the proud owner of a transfigured Muggle stapler.”

Both Hermione and Harry mentally swore at Tonks. Rudely.

“Ridiculous. Why would I want such a thing?” Hermione asked cautiously.

“Given the supposed size of that monster, what witch wouldn't?” Lavender quipped. She grabbed Harry's arm again and said, “Sorry if we might be talking about you in the third person, Harry.” Pavarti and she broke out into loud giggles that bounced off of the cone of silence's invisible walls.

“Is there a point to bringing this unfounded piece of gossip to our attention?” Hermione asked.

“Why yes, I do believe that there is,” Lavender replied. But before she had the chance to elaborate they rounded the corner of the hallway and found themselves at the entrance to the Great Hall. A large crowd of students were queued for dinner and the chance to spot them. Someone shouted “There they are!” and all heads turned towards the four Gryffindor students. There was an immediate cacophony of shouts and noises and applause. A bright flash went off, revealing the vantage point that Colin Creevy had staked out with his camera.

“Bugger,” swore Harry, under his breath.

Lavender pulled on Harry's arm. “Perhaps we should find another place to continue this conversation?”

Harry nodded, as part of the crowd started to surge towards them. All four turned tail and ran.

He led the three witches down one hallway and then another. Thanking the Fates that this new hallway was empty, he ducked behind a suit of armor and opened one of the secret doors that he'd found using the Marauder's Map.

“Come on,” he admonished. They followed him and scrambled into the hidden passageway.

Once Harry closed the door, the passageway was pitch black.

“Hey!” Hermione said sharply as she grabbed a hand. “Whoever is squeezing a bum has caught hold of mine, not Harry's.”

“Think I didn't know that, Hermione?” Harry said sweetly in her ear.

Lavender and Pavarti, who wouldn't have minded a little groping of their own, settled for a good giggle as Harry cast a Lumos spell to show the way.

After they had traveled fifty feet or so, Hermione decided to pick up the interrupted conversation. “So Lavender, what were you saying about the Betrothal Spell?”

Lavender thought for a moment before remembering her train of thought. “What if we were to tell you,” she finally said, “that Pavarti and I have an ironclad way of getting around purity charms?”

“I would say that I'm not surprised,” Hermione said with a bit of curtness.

“What sort of way would you be talking about?” Harry asked with a bit of curiosity.

“Well,” Pavarti replied slowly, as she prepared to set the hook, “it might be that we have the female equivalent of that stapler.”

“What would that be?” Hermione snarked. “A transfigured donut?”

“Better,” replied Lavender, “A custom-fitted artificial vagina.”

“Blechhh,” said Hermione.

“You mean one of those anatomically-correct muggle blow-up dolls?” asked Harry.

“No, something much more life-like,” Parvarti claimed. “It's an adhesive strip.”

“Huh?” asked Harry.

“An adhesive strip doesn't sound very life-like to me,” Hermione stated.

“Depends entirely on who it's stuck to, and where,” Lavender replied.

Harry turned a corner, and led them to a spiral stone staircase. After a few moments of silent climbing, Harry turned and said, “Okay, so you've caught our attention…what would this adhesive strip have to do with any transfigured stapler Hermione might have?”

“Notice that he isn't denying it, Lav?” Pavarti asked.

“Hard not to,” Lavender replied. “Speaking of hard,” she said, “Pavarti and I were thinking about an exchange.”

“What?” asked Hermione, “You want me to give you the stapler?”

“Oh, no,” Lavender replied sweetly. “But thanks for confirming it exists.”

Pavarti nodded. “We don't want it…we just want to see it, and maybe transfigure copies, and then we'll show you our Pleasure Strips.”

“Pleasure strips?” Hermione asked.

“Copies?” Harry asked.

“Sorry, Hermione, that's what they're called,” Pavarti explained.

Harry shook his head. Just how in Merlin's name did he get involved in this conversation? He stopped at the head of the stairs, turned towards Lavender, and asked, “What makes you think that if there was a transfigured stapler that Hermione would be carrying it around with her right now?”

Lavender said nothing in reply. Rather, both she and Pavarti turned and looked expectantly at Hermione. Hermione, for her part, just stared at the ground and bit her lower lip.

“Hermione?” Harry asked.

She looked up at her boyfriend rather guiltily. “Well, you never know when something like that might come in handy,” she explained.

Harry shook his head and walked down a new hallway as the laughter echoed around him.

Once things calmed down behind him, Harry asked, “So you two will show us this artificial what-ever, but only if Hermione shows you the stapler?

Lavender nodded. “Just think of it as `I'll show you a copy of mine if you show me a copy of yours'.”

Harry shook his head. “Fine…just so long as I'm not there to witness the exchange.”

“Why Harry,” Lavender said as she batted eyebrows. “Just what do you think we'd be doing once we get your stapler and our pleasure strips together?”

Harry didn't dare voice what he was certain they would do, if Hermione let them. “So are you two carrying your strips along too,” he asked, “or do we have to go somewhere for you to retrieve them?”

“Oh, Harry, it's not like we wear them all of the time,” Pavarti replied sweetly.

“So they're in your dorm room, then?”

The two witches nodded.

Harry turned, put his ear to a bare wall, and after listening for a moment opened a hidden door.

“We're just down the hall from the Fat Lady,” Harry stated, as he pointed out the door towards a much more familiar-looking passageway.

Harry stepped out into the hallway and allowed the three witches to pass. As Lavender gave the password Hermione turned, grabbed Harry's hands, and pulled him into a kiss.

“Sure you don't want to see what these two are up to?”

Harry sighed, then shook his head. “I might want to see it sometime if you'll share the memory, but I don't think I want to be a part of it….you run along.”

Hermione smiled and gave him another kiss. “Thanks. You know, my wild side might just become good friends with these two….where will you be?”

Harry pulled his invisibility cloak from his rucksack. “Think I'll go find Neville…got a suggestion for him.”

Hermione cocked her head. “That suggestion wouldn't involve Susan, would it?”

Harry replied, “She would be so lucky.”

“Sure,” Hermione agreed, “but the real question is whether Neville will get lucky, right?”

Harry kissed the top of her forehead.

“Go on, they're waiting,” he said. “Just remember that I'll want to live vicariously through your memories later on.”

“Should that make me less naughty or more naughty?”

“What do you think?”

Hermione looked down at his trousers and smiled. “I think that Mr. Phoenix has already answered for you.”


Harry had a fair idea on what he and Neville would find after he completed his “walk & think” in front of the Room of Requirement - it wasn't the first time he'd been there with thoughts of a quiet place to eat and talk. The Room was sentient enough to know that familiarity lent itself to comfort, and opened the doorway into an unoccupied but cozy-looking pub that Harry knew well.

“Nice place you thought up, Harry,” Neville said as they slid into a corner booth.

Harry nodded. “It's is the spitting-image of a pub that Ron, Hermione and I like to frequent.”

“A quiet bit of the Muggle world when you need a break from the Wizarding one?”

“Something like that,” Harry said with a grin. He then called for Dobby.

The house elf appeared instantly, wearing an apron and a bar towel draped over a shoulder. “Yes, Mr. Harry Potter, sir?”

“Something from the kitchens, please, Dobby?” Harry asked.

“Right away, Mr. Harry Potter, sir,” Dobby replied. He then asked, “Will Harry Potter's `Mione be joining Mr. Longbottom and Mr. Harry Potter?”

“No, Dobby,” Harry replied. “Hermione is spending some time with her dorm mates.” He paused, and then said, “Which reminds me…Hermione won't have eaten either…will you please bring something for the three of them to eat to her room?”

Dobby's big eyes grew even larger, and his lower lip began to tremble. “Erm..Mr. Harry Potter, sir…,” He looked down and grabbed his ears.

“Dobby,” Harry said, “Care to tell me what makes you reluctant to bring Hermione some food?”

Dobby nodded. “Dobby loves Harry Potter's `Mione. Dobby would do anything for her, and bring food to her but…”

“Dobby, have you had some kind of bad experience in their room?”

The house elf bobbled his head somewhere in between a nod and shake. “One time Mr. Harry Potter asks Dobby to bring food to her room, but his `Mione wasn't there. But Miss Brown and Miss Patil were, and…Dobby would be a bad elf to say anything more.”

“Dobby,” Harry asked with some worry, “Lavender and Pavarti didn't make you do anything to them or for them, did they?”

Dobby shook his head. “Oh, no…they were laid down under a bright light, with no clothes on.”

“Oh,” said Harry. “Were they upset that you popped in on them that way?”

Dobby slowly shook his head again. “No, Harry Potter sir. They's asked Dobby to oil them down and be their `Towel Boy.'”

Harry laughed. “I don't know if that would qualify as abusive treatment or not…would it be easier if I asked Winky to bring them some food?”

Dobby nodded excitedly. “Thank you, Mr. Harry Potter, Sir, that would be fine.”

Harry thought for a moment. “Do you still have that keg of real ale I smuggled into the castle last visit?”

Dobby nodded.

“Then pump out four pints for Neville and me, and have Winky bring a round to the girls.”

“What if they don't like Muggle ale?” Neville asked.

Harry thought. “Then bring the extras back here, okay Dobby?”

Dobby nodded, and then disappeared. He returned a moment later with four full pint glasses on a bar tray, which he levitated in between the two young wizards.

Neville grabbed a glass from the tray, then looked at the remaining three and asked, “Are we splitting these, or…?”

Harry snorted as he grabbed a glass with each hand. “Yeah, thought we'd save Dobby from making another trip.” Taking a deep breath, then exhaling, he added, “Besides, after these two I'm planning on switching over to firewhiskey.”

Neville laughed as he grabbed the other pint. “Long day, then?”

“That would be an understatement,” Harry replied. “Amazingly wonderful day, in a lot of ways, but long and eventful.” Thinking of his impending visit to the Granger's, he added, “And it's not even close to finished yet.”

Neville nodded, thinking better of pressing for details. That his friend had sought him out meant that Harry had something to get off of his chest, but past experience suggested that Harry would want to do it on his terms, and at his own pace. Neville took a sip from his glass, and then decided to prod very, very gently. “Well that would explain the spike in `Trio rumors' today.”

Harry looked at Neville with a bemused expression, just as Dobby returned with two plates of steaming hot pub grub. He thought about fishing the pensieve from his pocket, but decided against it. There wasn't time to show him what happened, and he didn't quite trust himself to edit out the more embarrassing personal bits.

“Neville,” Harry said, “It's important for you to know what's really going on.”

Neville gave Harry a “I'm listening” kind of nod, which encouraged Harry to provide a ten minute summary of the day while they ate…the poison pool, the negotiated deal with the hag, the revised deal with the hag, and the decision that Hermione and he had made to forego the spell-spanking option. While he did mention that all of this had forced Hermione and him to realize their feelings for each other, he left out all of the revealing bits about their bits that had catalyzed their discovery.

Neville listened to the amazing story with rapt attention. Not just because it was a compelling yarn, but because he knew Harry had a reason to be telling him these things. Halfway through the story he figured out where his role might come to play, but said nothing until Harry finished the recap.

“So let me see if I've got this straight,” Neville finally said. “You were on the hook for one vial of, erm….'double pure sweat' is what you called it, right?…but then you made a deal to provide five vials of the stuff in exchange for the antidote now, and an extra week's time to collect it.”

Harry nodded. “Either five of the `double pure' stuff, or two of the `triple pure”…our choice.”

“And this `triple pure' sweat could be collected from either one extra-sweaty virgin wizard warrior, or two normal-sweaty virgin wizard warriors?”

“Yes,” Harry acknowledged. “The sweat can only be collected from the time the virgin wizard, erm…enters the witch until the time he comes. Our hope is that with a week's time, and some practice, Hermione and I can stretch that time period out long enough to allow Susan and Luna to collect multiple vials.”

“But if you don't last long enough, or if something goes wrong….”

Harry smiled. “Then we'll need another virgin wizard that can cast a corporeal Patronus.”

Neville nodded, barely able to contain his excitement, “And that virgin wizard would need to…work…with two virgin witches to get that second vial?”

Harry gave a confirming nod. “Probably three…two to collect the sweat.”

“So…have you lined anyone up for the job, yet?” Neville asked off-handedly.

“Erm, no,” Harry admitted. “I knew for sure that you and Ron could cast corporeal Patronuses when I made the deal, but I guess I sort of assumed that one or both of you would not only still be a virgin, but would be willing to lose the virignity if need be.”

The “if need be” part brought a laugh from Neville, as he drained his first pint and took a healthy nip from his second.

“Harry, you do know that I've only come close to casting a fully-formed Patronus that one time when I worked with you, right?”

Harry nodded. “It was corporeal, though.”

“Barely,” muttered Neville. He took a draw from his glass, and then added, “All you could tell from looking at it was that it had four legs and was bigger than a breadbox.”

“Still,” Harry replied, “that's better than most wizards can do. And I'm certain that you could do better with proper motivation.”

“If you say so, Harry.” Neville thought for a moment, then asked, “So would I need to furnish my own virgin witches, or would they be provided?”

“Neville,” Harry said with mock shock, “such a thing to ask!” He then took a dramatic pause before replying. “The whole point about brokering that second deal was to avoid asking anyone to do something that they wouldn't want to do otherwise. Everyone would be working on a completely consensual and voluntary basis.”

“So right now,” Neville mused, “The cast of characters involves you and Hermione, with Luna and Susan collecting sweat?”

“Yeah,” Harry confirmed. “Luna and Ron would be a second couple, but not for a while…it'll be four or five days before Poppy will let him out of the infirmary.”

“Thought you had a week?”

“We do,” Harry replied. “But during that time, research is needed on the spank-sweat option, and Luna and Susan need to practice collecting, and Hermione and I need some alone time to work on, erm…my control.”

Neville chuckled. “So you need a sweaty stand-in, until Ron gets out of the infirmary?”

“You'd be far more than a stand in,” Harry replied. “There some work to be done with the spell-spanking that I want no part of. You might be the star of that show, if it suits your fancy.”

“But you wouldn't need me to be the back-up virgin with Ron and Luna available, right?”

Harry snorted. “Again, I'm not sure. I assumed that you and Ron were qualified, erm…virgins, but I never really did confirm that point with Ron….imagine I should confirm that you're…erm…qualified as well.”

“What do you mean, Harry,” Neville said with a smile. “You've seen my Patronus.”

“You know exactly what I mean,” Harry replied.

“Yes, Harry,” Neville replied. “As much as it pains me to say it, your assumptions about my love life, or lack thereof, were correct.”

“And that's something you'd be willing to change?”

“What teen-aged wizard wouldn't?”

“Erm…Colin Creevy?”

“Good point,” Neville snickered. “Not that there's anything wrong with that.”


“So about my earlier question, then,” Neville asked. “You and Hermione are together…congratulations, by the way, about time you wised up…and Luna and Ron are a couple, but me and, well…who?”

“Ah, yes…” Harry agreed. “The million galleon question.” He gave his good friend an appraising look. “Neville,” he asked, “do you know just how much you've taken to your leadership role within the DA?”

“Nothing that I could have done without your help,” Neville admitted.

“Don't sell yourself short,” Harry replied. “I haven't been around the Castle much this autumn, but I have noticed how well you carry yourself during the training sessions. Hermione has too.”


“Yes, and if what Hermione's told me is true, she's not the only witch in the group to have noticed your transformation into a tough and buff wizard.”

“You're putting me on, Harry.”

“No, no…I'm not, really. Look, it's not for me to notice these things…I'm that clueless git that took forever to realize how much Hermione and I fancied each other, right? But she's said that…well, maybe you should tell me. Are there one or two witches that you might fancy…ones that you've spent some extra time with arms around them making sure that their wand movements are correct?”

Neville hemmed and hawed for a moment before admitting, “Maybe.”

“And maybe if we were to ask Susan Bones, Lavender and Parvati to consider working with you that the one you might fancy would be on that list?”

Neville smiled. “I'd say more than `might' fancy, Harry.” After a moment, he added, “and maybe more than one.” He then frowned, adding “But wouldn't these witches need to be virgins as well?”

“Yes,” Harry replied. “they would…but you've never been one to believe the rumor mill, right?”

“Certainly not.”

“Good, then,” said Harry. He added, “Anyone else I should include in that list?”

Neville paused for a moment and thought. “Well, maybe…Padma Patil…just in case?”

Harry smiled as he nodded and looked down at his watch. “It's half-six, no time like the present.” He quickly took a quill and some parchment from his rucksack and scrawled out messages to Hermione, Luna and Susan. He then called for Dobby, and asked him to deliver the messages with Winky's help.

Five minutes later Hermione entered the room with Lavender and Parvati. Harry and Neville stood to greet them.

“Thanks for the food and drink, Harry,” Hermione said brightly, as she placed her hands on his hips and gave him a kiss that elicited giggles from the other two witches.

“My pleasure,” Harry replied, as he allowed Hermione to scoot past him into the booth.

“Yes, Neville,” added Lavender, “you two were very thoughtful.” She grabbed Neville's hand and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek as she slid into the booth opposite Harry and Hermione. Neville stood gobsmacked and blushing, forcing Parvati to push him into the booth next to Lavender. She then scooted into the booth on Neville's other side.

“So how was your little talk?” Harry asked.

“Very revealing,” Lavender quipped.

“I'd say more breathtaking than revealing,” Parvati added.

“We imagine you might think so as well,” said Lavender, giving Harry a wink.

Harry closed his eyes and shook his head slightly in resignation. “Helpful all around, then?” he asked, with a glance towards Hermione.

She smiled. “You'll see that it was very helpful.”

Harry left it at that, as just then Susan Bones arrived. A moment later Luna arrived from Ravenclaw Tower with Parvati's twin sister. Harry enlarged the booth and had Dobby bring a round of ales and butterbeers. The newly arrived witches all offered Harry and Hermione their congratulations, which Harry accepted with some amount of bashfulness.

After a few more minutes of chit-chat, Susan decided to cut to the chase. “So, Harry, you mentioned in your note that there were some things that needed to be discussed and planned?”

Harry nodded. “So there are, ladies…Neville, would you please join me out on the dance floor?”

The request brought some laughs and cat-calls as the two young wizards scooted out of the booth and stood before the group of teen-aged witches.

“I'm betting that all of you have at least a rough idea of what's happened today, and I'm trusting that Luna and Susan will be able to fill you in on the details while Hermione and I are away from the castle.”

“You mean we won't have Hermione's help with the arithmanic equations?” Luna asked.

“No,” Hermione said. “Harry and I will be out of the country for a few days.”

“Really?” Harry asked.

Hermione nodded. “Later, Harry.”

His “Yes, dear,” reply drew giggles and grins from his audience.

“So, as Hermione and I will be gone, we need to ask some or all of you to help pick up the slack with the tasks at hand.”

Susan squinted a bit and cocked her head to one side. “Ahh…so I take it that Neville is the mystery virgin gladiator?”

Harry nodded while Neville looked down at the floor self-consciously.

“So you're assuming that while you're gone that he'll stand in your place, and that we'll…”

Harry shook his head. “No, Susan, I'm not assuming anything. I just thought that I bring you all together to lay out the possibilities. It'll be up to any or all of you to decide what to do from there.”

Lavender Brown looked at the two wizards with circumspection. “Well, are you certain that all of us are qualified?”

Harry snickered. “Fair question, Lavender. I can't cast the betrothal charm to prove everyone's virginity, but perhaps Neville can demonstrate that he's a powerful enough wizard for the job?”

Neville looked at Harry rather sharply. “What are you doing?” he asked Harry out of the corner of his mouth.

Harry smiled, then leaned forward to whisper something into Neville's ear. Whatever he said brought a smile to Neville's lips, and he nodded. Neville took a few steps away from Harry, drew his wand, and after five seconds of closed-eyed concentration, yelled out, “Expecto Patronum!”

A corporeal life-sized Siberian tiger sprang out of Neville's wand-tip and let out a roar that drew “oohs” and “aaahs” from his audience. The tiger turned towards Neville and bowed his head slightly, before running a lap about the room just over everybody's head.

Neville looked just as surprised as everyone else.

Harry smiled as he drew his wand and summoned his own corporeal Patronus. The stag that leapt from his wand tip trotted over and lowered his antlered head to the tiger's. A few seconds later the stag raised its head back up and the tiger roared once more. The tiger then proudly sauntered over towards the witches, stopping in a hover a few feet over the table. It then sat back on its haunches and swished its tail over Susan Bones's head.

When the witches all looked up, Lavender, whose head was directly under the feline's belly, cried out, “Titan's testicles! Neville's tiger is hung like a horse!”

This observation elicited confirmatory expressions of appreciation from the other witches.

“Wow, Neville,” Susan said, “when you produce a fully-formed Patronus you produce a fully-formed Patronus.”

Harry chuckled. “And you know what they say, Susan, about a wizard with a well-endowed Patronus.”

Parvati snorted as she stole a glance over at Harry's stag. “By Merlin he's right. Lavender…compare Harry's stag with Hermione's stapler!”

“Stapler?” asked Padma. “I thought that Hermione's Patronus was an otter.”

Parvati reached over and grabbed her sister's arm, with a promise to explain later. Meanwhile, Susan began ogling Neville Longbottom in an entirely new light.

An alarm chime sounded from Harry's wristwatch. He glanced down, then announced, “I'm sorry we can't stay and chat, but Hermione and I are needed elsewhere….Luna, can I place the continuation of this conversation in your hands?”

Luna smiled and nodded her head, saying that that it might be better to have Susan's hands wrapped around the conversation, so that they couldn't be roaming elsewhere. Harry laughed out loud, then clapped an astonished-looking Neville on the back.

“Good luck, mate…not that I think you'll need it.”

Hermione and Harry then left the room and started to make their way to the Headmistress's office. Along the way, Hermione asked, “Just what did you say to Neville to make his Patronus shine?”

Harry chuckled. “I suggested that instead of thinking about the happiest experience in the past that he concentrate on just how happy he would be if he were to get sweaty with any or all of the other girls.”

Hermione shook her head in wonder and smiled. “Harry, I'm starting to get seriously worried about your Slytherin side."

“I thought you liked my snake.”

“Prat.” A beat later Hermione asked, “So is Neville really well-hung?”

“How would I know?”

“Well,” Hermione reasoned, “You do have gang showers in the boy's dormitories, right?”

Harry snorted. “Okay…I'm confident enough to bypass the indignation…but it's not like I've ever seen him, erm…excited.”

“But if you extrapolated from soft to hard, maybe using Mr. Phoenix for comparison?”

Harry thought for a moment. “Well if that's the case, then I'd say that that the maxim I made up about a wizard and his Patronus actually holds true for Neville.”

Hermione smiled. “Thought so.”

Harry tried to change the topic. “So I take it from Parvati's comments to Padma that you showed them the stapler?”

Hermione shrugged. “It was part of the deal.”

“And, erm…were copies made?”

Hermione used the hand not entwined in his to grab his arm in reassurance. “Don't worry, Harry…you'll see. They thought it was amazing.”

“I'm more worried about what they'll do with it, rather then what they think of it.”

“What…afraid that they'll go into the magical dildo business?”


“Come to think of it, it would be a very profitable enterprise,” Hermione teased. “That stapler would be a very popular model…you could even provide an endorsement.”

“Yeah right…I can see it now…witches lined up wanting me to autograph their copies.”

“No worries there…they wouldn't want the ink to wear off in the wrong place.”

Harry shook his head and sighed.

“Of course,” Hermione continued, “Lav and Parvati might want to diversify. Wouldn't put it past them to have a full-scale Neville version by night's end.”

“Oh great,” snarked Harry. “Why don't you suggest that they get copies of all the great wizard's wands…witches could start trading them like Chocolate Frog cards!”

Hermione nodded, as if she were seriously considering his comment. “They'd need some catchy marketing, though.”

“What, the product isn't good enough to sell itself?”

“Oh, of course it is, Harry….just that they'd sell better with distinct model names.”

“What, something like The Phoenix?”

Hermione shook her head. “That's my pet nickname Harry…I wouldn't dream of lending it out.”

“Well, that's reassuring.”

“Better just to call it something like the Harry 2000.”

Harry snorted. “Well if you're going to rip-off broom names the Neville 2000 has a better ring to it.”

Hermione smiled. “Now you're getting into the spirit, Harry.”

“So instead of riding on a Nimbus, witches would be encouraged to ride on a Neville?”

“Why not?” Hermione asked. ““I'd daresay that I'd rather ride on Mr. Phoenix than on a broom any day of the week.”

“That can be easily arranged, you know.”

“Yes, Harry, I know.” Hermione then stopped in the middle of the hallway and pulled him into a tongue-probing kiss. When she pulled back to catch her breath, she asked, “Just promise me one thing, Harry,”

“What's that?”

Hermione cooed as she brought her lips next to his ear and whispered.

“A very bumpy ride.”


It was 10:30pm later that night when Hermione led Harry to the guest bedroom in her parent's home, having been at the Grangers for a little more than a half-hour's time. They'd suffered through a tedious meeting of nearly the entire Hogwarts staff, convened by the Headmistress to discuss exactly what to do about the sweat collection needs. Harry quickly saw the benefits of independent action, as Professor Slughorn, Professor Vector and Madame Pomfrey all jockeyed for control of the sweat research. He finally had stood and stated that he and Hermione were needed elsewhere, and would be away for most of the week. Harry suggested that in their absence, any decisions made by the staff should be discussed with Neville, Susan and Luna. He then dragged Hermione away from the table before she or anyone on the staff had time to object.

A short brisk ride on his Firebolt took Harry and Hermione outside of the Hogwarts wards, where they apparated to The Leaky Cauldron. Hermione used the bar's floo connection to make a private call, telling Harry only that she'd explain after he saw her pensieved memory. They then took a short cab ride to the Tower, where they had a car parked for under-the-magical-radar transit. With the city's street long past rush hour, it only took thirty minutes time for Hermione to drive them to her parent's suburban residence.

Harry's fears for a chilly reception at her parent's house turned out to be totally unfounded. He thought that it might have helped that, after they had explained (in a highly edited manner) all that had transpired since the morning, he had asked to talk with Mr. Granger privately. During that conversation, Harry asked for his permission to “court” his daughter. Roger Granger mentioned it somewhat odd to be asking permission to court a girl he was already living with, but said that Harry's concern meant a lot to him. He even congratulated Harry for his newly admitted relationship with his daughter.

It was her father's words that were the front of Harry's thoughts when he noted, “Well that went better than I thought.”

“I’m not surprised, they both really do love you like a son, you know.”

“Yeah, I know,” he replied, as he bent over to open the enlarged overnight bag and removed his change of clothes and bathroom kit. “It's kind of nice, actually.”

Hermione smiled as he sat next to her and pulled him into a kiss and embrace.

“Hey!” Harry said with mock seriousness after they broke contact. Taking care to observe a parental request, he whispered, “Not with the door open, you minx.”

“Oh you're no fun.”

“Well if that's what it takes to keep me in your parent's good graces,” Harry replied, “then call me Mr. Boring.” He then stood up straight and retrieved his pensieve from his pocket. Enlarging it with his wand, Harry asked, “So is it `later' yet, Hermione?”

She smiled as she pulled out her wand. “Oh, I suppose so.”

“Should I call Dobby?”

“That's okay,” Hermione replied, as she focused her thoughts. She pulled a silvery strand from her temple and cast it into the pensieve, which Harry had set on the bed. “I'll keep watch while you dive in.”

“Awww,” Harry pouted. “Don't want to do some pensieve-petting?”

“I didn't say that,” Hermione replied. “You were the one worrying about what my parents might think if they walked by…need I remind you what the two of us looked like after we pensieved this afternoon?”

“Good point.” Harry then waggled his eyebrows. “Anything you want to disclose before I see it with my own eyes?”

“Just what do you think we did, Harry?”

“Well, you were asking about being naughty.”

“Oh, please,” Hermione replied. “File those three-way girl-on-girl-on-girl ideas away in your dreams.”

“Who says they aren't already there?”



“Go,” Hermione commanded, “before I fish that memory out.”

“Yes, Dear,” Harry replied, earning him a swat on the arm as he turned his focus to the pensieve's bowl.


Harry's field of view slowly resolved to reveal a space that was similar in size and layout (if not decor) to his own seventh year dormitory…a bit more pink, and a lot less Quidditch on the walls. Hermione, Lavender and Parvati were spread out within a small sitting area that consisted of a couch, club chair and low table. It looked as if they were sitting where a four-poster bed should have been, and a brightly lit vanity sat in lieu of a desk, leading Harry to conclude that Hermione had allowed her dorm-mates to make use of her space.

An open bottle of firewhiskey and half-filled glasses in the hands of each of the three witches suggested that they'd been drinking even before Harry had sent the round of ales to their room. Lavender and Parvati had also taken the liberty of shedding their school robes, and traded their uniforms for flannel pajama bottoms, fluffy slippers and hoodies.

He watched as pensieve-Hermione put her glass down onto the low table and got the ball rolling.

“Alright, you two,” Hermione said. “I should warn you that I intend to share a pensieved memory of everything from this point on with Harry. You should act and talk as if he's in the room with us, because in a way he will be.”

“You mean he's got a pensieve like a barrister or the DMLE?” asked Parvati, who had heard wireless dramas describe such things on the WWW.

“Even better,” replied Hermione. “He's got Dumbledore's big pensieve…the kind that you can dive into, and walk around in.”

Lavender thought for a moment. “Does that mean he can open up my knickers drawer and take a peek inside?”

“No,” Hermione replied. “He can't manipulate anything that's part of the memory, so he'd only be able to see what's in plain sight.”

“Well then, we'll have to fix that,” Lavender said with a wink, as she lept up and dashed over to the other side of the room. She opened the top drawer of her dresser, pulled out a lacy black bra in one hand, a teal-colored silk slip in the other, and shouted, “Here you go, Harry, have a good look!”

Hermione shook her head and sighed. “No need to shout, Lavender…he'll be able to hear you just fine. Even if you whispered, he can walk up right next to your lips to listen.”


“Sure,” Hermione replied. “He could even walk inside you, as if he were one of the ghosts.”

“And see what I could see with my eyes?” Lavender asked.

Hermione nodded. “He can even see what I can't right now…the pensieve memory will show him the entire room, and not just my field of vision.”

Lavender smiled, then dropped her undergarments onto the floor, and pulled the waistband of her pajamas out in front of her. Looking down, she announced, “Good view of the knickers I'm wearing and more, if you want, Harry.”

Hermione coughed loudly, stood and turned to face her dorm mate squarely, with hands on hips. “You didn't forget what I said about any witch that wanted to replace my hand with hers, did you Lavender?”

“Of course, I didn't,” Lavender said sweetly as she winked at Parvati and let the waistband snap back.. “Just having a bit of fun.”

Parvati smiled as she took her friend's cue and, with Hermione's back turned, grabbed her sweatshirt-covered breasts and pinched her nipples for the invisible audience of one. She then dropped her hands innocently back down to her lap before winking back at Lavender and adding, “Yeah, Hermione, just a bit of fun.”

“Any particular reason why you two would want to tease Harry?” Hermione asked.

Lavender smiled. “Oh, we're not teasing Harry, Hermione…we're teasing you.”

“Yeah,” added a smiling Parvati, “You're so much easier to fluster now that you've got a boyfriend to protect.”

Hermione shook her head as reached for her glass of firewhiskey and emptied it. Realizing that it was her third drink of the day, she wondered if circumstances prompted the firewhiskey, or the other way around.

“Okay, you two, we did come up here to do more than gossip and drink?”

“We did?” Lavender asked.

“Yes, Lavender, we did…now, you two were talking about your `Pleasure Strips'?”

“And you were talking about your transfigured stapler?”

Hermione nodded as she opened her enlarged rucksack. Looking up and noticing that the other two hadn't moved, she insisted that the displays occur simultaneously. Lavender and Parvati sighed before they retrieved fist-sized golden boxes out of their chest of drawers. Returning to the sofa, they laid the boxes down on the table. Hermione did the same with her rucksack, and on the count of three each witch revealed her treasure.

Pensieve-Harry's eyes followed the phallus as Lavender snatched it from the table and shared a careful and caressing inspection with Parvati. His focus thus distracted, he didn't see Hermione reach into the boxes and pull out two thin flesh-colored strips of material and spread them out on the table. By the time he did notice, Hermione had already cast several diagnostic spells on the two objects, and was presently prodding one of the two strips with the tip of her wand.

Harry got down onto his hands and knees and crawled into the table's image to get a better view of the strips. He quickly realized that Lavender and Parvati had accurately described them: three-dimensional anatomically correct representations of a female's vagina. And based on the differences in labia size, shape and skin color, Harry bet that each wasn't just any old vagina, but a hairless full-scale model of their owner's real bits.

He watched with fascination as Hermione laid Lavender's strip down onto the table top and spread the faux outer labia with her wand tip. When she gave a tentative push, the wand tip disappeared without resistance, only to reappear when Hermione quickly pulled it back out.

Hermione smiled in realization as she pushed the wand back in, this time halfway down its shaft. Harry, who had yet to share that realization, ducked his head down under the table to see where the wand went, only to find an undisturbed undersurface. Amazed, he popped his head back up to find that Hermione had picked up Lavender's Pleasure Strip with one hand, and was pumping her wand in and out of the strip with the other. Again Harry noticed that the back side of the strip showed no disturbance as the wand disappeared.

Hermione then interrupted Pensieve-Harry's thoughts with a question. “Can I steal you two away from my stapler long enough to answer some questions?”

Lavender noticed what Hermione had been doing and quipped, “Well it didn't take you long to figure that out…do you want me to provide the sound effects that go along with that motion?”

“No thank you,” Hermione replied. “I've heard you making those kind of sounds before.”

Parvati chuckled. “So what do you want to know, Hermione?”

“I guess my first question is where does the wizard's wand go when he slips it inside these things?”

The other two witches looked at other and shrugged, before Parvati admitted, “Haven't a clue.”

“Haven't a clue?” Hermione asked incredulously. “Do you know what the insides of these fake vaginas most likely are?”


“They're probably either portals into a parallel universe, or worm-holes to a different part of our universe.”

Lavender and Parvati looked at each other and shrugged again.


“So?…So when a wizard sticks his willie inside it's probably appearing out of thin air in that other world!”

Parvati thought for a moment, then asked, “And?”

“And? And what would you do if all of a sudden a disembodied penis appeared right in front of your face?”

“Erm….give it a good firm shake?”

“And what if you were a carnivore, rather than a witch?”

“Hmmm….guess it'd depend on how hungry I was.”

“Exactly!” Hermione cried out. “Don't either of you care about the possibility of a boy losing something rather important inside one of these things?”

Parvati shrugged. “Well, Poppy has helped more than one boy whose bits have been hexed off before, hasn't she?”

“Besides,” Lavender added, “it did come with a money-back guarantee.”

“Oh, I'm sure that'd be comforting to the wizard in question,” Hermione snarked back. After a bit of scowling, she calmed down to ask a few more basic questions.

“So where did you get these things?”

“South India,” Parvati replied. “From a witch that works at my uncle's wizard resort in Kerala State.”

Hermione nodded, recalling that Lavender had accompanied Parvati during a visit her relatives that past summer. “So your uncle helped you get these?”

“Oh, no,” Parvati replied with a smile. “It was Mum that arranged all of it.”

“Your mum?”

“Sure,” Parvati said. “Maintaining one's technical virginity is even more important in India than it is here in England…these things have been used as protective devices for more than two hundred years.”

Lavender added, “Her mum talked to mine, and both figured out that with the uncertainties of the war that the Hogwarts broom closets would be busier than normal this autumn.” She shrugged her shoulders. “Guess they decided that this was an effective safeguard.”

Parvati nodded, adding, “It's also the ultimate in `safe sex' devices.”

Hermione snorted. “So does the guy even know?”

Parvati smiled. “Boys are clueless to begin with, but why don't you judge for yourself?”


“By using a finger instead of that wand, you silly girl.”

Hermione initially cringed at the idea, but got over her insecurities with thoughts of objectiveness and scientific inquiry. She put her wand down, and with a great deal of caution inserted the tip of her index finger.

She jumped when Lavender let out a loud moan.

“Oh, that's not funny,” Hermione said, after she realized she was being teased again. She had her answer with only a fingertip's worth of observation, but pushed in and up to her second knuckle just to be sure.

“It feels just like it should feel,” she said with amazement. “Even the angle is right.”

“Of course it is,” Parvati replied. “That's the top of the line model. Custom made and fitted.”

Hermione nodded as she compared the two strips. “I can see the differences in the details.” She then noticed that Parvati's model was longer than Lavender's. “So what's with the extra length?” she aske Parvati.

Lavender jumped in with the reply “Parvati's mum sprung for the super-deluxe extended version.”


Lavender gave Hermione a wicked grin. “It has an extra hole.”

Hermione paused for a beat before letting out an “Ewwww!”

“Oh Hermione, don't be so prudish,” Parvati teased. “After all, that extra hole is why the thing was invented in the first place.”

“How so?”

Lavender snickered. “The story goes that the first strip was created by a witch whose wizard husband wanted to have anal sex.”

“Oh, that makes sense,” Hermione replied. She then smiled, and asked, “So do they come with instructions on when to fake cry in pain and how to walk stiffly afterwards?”

“Oh sure,” Parvati said saucily. “They have a class for that after the final fitting.”



Hermione laughed a bit at her own innocence, then asked. “Is there a reason why they're hairless?”

“Makes for a tighter fit,” Parvati replied.

“Do you really use adhesive then?”

“Just the magical kind,” Parvati replied. “Whole point is the avoidance of pain, right?”

“Well, that and deception,” Lavender added with a grin.

Hermione gave Lavener's strip a closer look. “So does it mold itself over the real curves and ridges?”

“Absolutely,” Parvati replied enthusiastically. “Tight enough for the guy never to know the difference, even when his face is buried.”

“Want me to demonstrate?” Lavender asked.

“Erm, no, that's quite unnecessarily,” Hermione replied. “So the tongue disappears too,” she decided, before asking, “And you really don't feel anything when the wand is pumping away?”

“Just the external pressure,” Lavender replied. “Like someone's giving you a good rub through your knickers.”

Another question popped into her head. “So if the witch that's wearing one of these really doesn't feel any internal friction from entry, why is it called a `Pleasure Strip'?”

“Oh, that's talking about the wizard's pleasure.”

“But he really shouldn't notice the difference, should he?”

“Well sure, if it's a custom job that's attached to a witch in the right place. But think about some wizard stuck out in the middle of nowhere without a witch in sight and with urges that need fulfilling.”

“What?” Hermione asked. “So a wizard will buy a generic version of one of these to replace or instead of the real thing?”

“Sure,” Lavender replied. “Why not? It isn't any different than a witch who buys a dildo, right?”

“Erm, guess I never thought of it that way.”

Lavender smiled, saying, “All's fair in love and sex toys.”

At that moment Winky appeared in the room with a tray of food. The memory began to fade just as the three witches put their toys away to make room for their dinners, and a moment later Harry found himself pulled back into the guest bedroom.

“Welcome back,” Hermione said. She was lying on the bed with her torso propped up by her elbows.

“Good to be home,” Harry replied with a smile, as he tilted the bowl towards Hermione and she retrieved her memory. As Harry shrunk down the pensieve she asked, “So did you learn anything?”

“Other than it's impossible to tell whether Lavender's carpet matches her drapes?”

“Yes,” Hermione said, “other than that.”

“Well, it sounds like a fun toy….if you can get your hands on one.”

“Lavender offered to lend me hers.”

“Ugghhh,” Harry replied, “You did politely decline, of course?”

Hermione reached over and pulled Harry's head into an embrace. “Of course I did, silly…no real need to, after that floo call I made.”

“I suppose you booked a vacation for the two of us to visit India for a few days?”

“Better than that…I got Parvati's mum to see if she could jump the year-long queue of witches waiting for their own fitting.”

“Really? So how long would it take?”

“Oh, only a day or so…we leave tomorrow afternoon, right after my doctor's appointment.”

“How'd you manage that?”

“Mr. Patil's high up in the Indian wizard consulate. He's going to arrange for us to use their open portkey connection between London and Delhi.”

“So if it only takes a day for the fitting, when are we coming back?”

“Five days from now.”

“And we'll use those extra days to…”

“To practice, of course,” Hermione said with a smile.

“So when do we pack?”

“Oh, no need to pack anything,” Hermione replied. “It's an all-inclusive resort, right down to the robes and sandals.”

Harry pouted. “So does that mean you won't be bringing the green thong?”

Hermione smiled. “The beach there is clothing-optional.”

Harry let out a soft laugh. “Perfect for the budding exhibitionist.”

“Is that a complaint?”

Harry kissed Hermione on the forehead. “Most certainly not.”

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