Nudity, love triangles, pregnancies and death, coupled with Quidditch, deceit, injustice, adventure and mystery. Sounds like another tranquil year at Hogwarts. Join me for Hogwarts Too Exposed - A ...
Not the Foggiest Idea
Tony and Amanda had allowed Alex and Jamie to take the lead as they made the return journey to Hogwarts castle. "How did it go?" Amanda asked, her hand trembling in Tony's firm but sweaty hand.
"Okay, I guess," he answered disconsolately. "We were able to schedule the procedure. It's just that I wish there was another way."
"So do I," Amanda said squeezing Tony hand tightly, "but we've been over this hundreds of times. This is our only way out."
"I know. It's just that I don't like the type of people we've been forced to deal with. I'm worried about your safety," Tony said, unable to look into Amanda's face.
"I'll be fine," Amanda said, trying to reassure herself, as much as Tony. "Besides, you'll be by my side the whole time, holding my hand. You'll protect me and make sure everything goes all right."
"They won't let me," Tony said dejectedly. "If anyone besides you shows up at the contact point, everything is off."
Amanda just nodded her head and once again said, "I'll be fine." Although her voice sounded resolute, her quivering body betrayed her true feelings.
"What's going on, Alex?" Jamie asked in a soft, but firm, voice.
"What do you mean?" Alex answered, as innocently as possible.
"Alex, please give me some credit," Jamie said. "Amanda tried to sell me the story that you were off with Tony buying my Christmas present. I know you better than that. You plan things out too carefully. You would never try to sneak off and purchase a present right under my nose."
"No, I wouldn't," Alex said, guiltily. "Jamie, I can't tell you what I was actually doing. Tony asked for my help and swore me to secrecy."
"I didn't think we had any secrets from each other," Jamie said, sounding extremely hurt.
"Jamie, please trust me on this," Alex begged. "I don't like keeping anything from you, but it's imperative that I maintain Tony's trust so I'm kept aware of what is transpiring."
Jamie squeezed Alex's hand, looked him in the eye and said pleading, "Please, just tell me that Amanda isn't pregnant."
Alex looked at Jamie, amazed at her intuitiveness. "I only wish I could."
"I thought we'd never get them to leave," Emily said as she turned away from the closed door.
"Especially Randy," Caitlin added. "He seemed genuinely concerned about Kim."
"I think he fancies her even bald," Emily said. "Do you think you can help her, or should we wait for Mum?"
"My regeneration powers are much stronger than Mum's," Caitlin said with conviction. "Do you think Kim trusts me enough to let me try?"
"I hope so," Emily said, optimistically. "She can't spend the rest of her life in the loo crying."
"Suppose you try to get her to come out while I clean up the place." Caitlin suggested. "It will be hard enough explaining Kim being hairless. I don't want to do that and have to give details on the boys being here."
"I'll second that," Emily said as she knocked on the bathroom door. "Kim, the boys are gone. Will you please come out and let Caitlin endeavor to help you?"
Slowly, the door opened, and Kim stepped out. The girl was naked except for her skirt, which instead of being belted around her waist was instead secured at eyebrow level so that it hid her hairless head.
"Does she really think she can help me?" Kim asked timidly.
"There is a good chance," Emily said encouragingly. "I'm sure the hair would grow back naturally of its own accord in time. I must redo the spell twice a week to prevent the growth of my pubic hair. Since a hyperempath can actually cause the regeneration of a body part, causing your hair to grow, theoretically, should be simple. By the way, you really handled Randy seeing you nude quite well."
"I was rather preoccupied," Kim answered, actually giving a weak smile. "I only had two hands and arms. It might sound silly, but I was more embarrassed to have him see me bald than to see my other parts."
"It doesn't sound silly at all," Caitlin said as she joined Kim and Emily. "I could walk down the main street of Hogsmeade completely starkers and not be the least embarrassed, but not bald. Like you, I'd want to run and hide. Suppose you lie down on the couch and let me see what I can do."
Kim stretched out on the sofa with her skirt-covered head against the armrest. "Let's try the eyebrows first," Caitlin suggested, as she got on her knees and started gently stroking the area where Kim's eyebrows should be with her fingertips.
Within seconds light strands of hair appeared. "It's working," Emily shouted gleefully. "I'll tell you when they're the right length." Almost instantly, Emily told Caitlin to stop.
"Let's do the eyelashes next," Caitlin suggested. "Do you want normal or long and alluring?"
"I'll be quite happy with my dull old lashes," Kim answered as Caitlin began running her fingers gently down Kim's eyelids."
"That looks good," Emily said after only a few seconds. "You're amazing!" Emily seemed in awe of her 'sister's' ability.
"I know you're embarrassed, but you're going to have to take that off your head," Caitlin said sympathetically to Kim as she indicated the skirt presently concealing Kim's baldness. "With any luck, it won't take long."
Kim sat up and reluctantly removed the covering so that Caitlin could caress her entire head. Caitlin barely touched her scalp when a fuzz covering appeared followed by an appearance that resembled a boy's very short crew cut.
"Caitlin, stop." Emily shouted excitedly. "Kim, you have to watch this. It's amazing. You're going to be able to have any length hair you want. Let's go in Mum's room so you can watch in the mirror and decide on a style."
What had moments before been a tragedy had now suddenly turned into great fun. The girls ran into the room, with Kim, at first, not wanting to look in the mirror, but eventually obliging. She was ecstatic to see that she once again had eyebrow and lashes, but was not terribly thrilled with seeing herself with a boys' style crew cut. As soon as Caitlin began running her hands over Kim's scalp, however, the hair again began to grow.
"How long do you want it?" Caitlin asked, sounding like a hairdresser.
"It was shoulder length," Kim answered, and then looked yearningly in the mirror. "Do you think? Would it be asking too much? I've always wanted really long hair; hair that actually covered my bottom."
"Your wish is my command," Caitlin said as she continued stroking Kim head. Within a minute, Kim had beautiful silky hair that extended to the desired length.
"You look absolutely breathtaking," the voice said. "I haven't seen hair that long and lovely since I was owned by Lady Godiva."
"Who's there?" Kim asked, nervously looking around the room.
"That's just the mirror," Emily said, matter-of-factly.
"Your mirror talks," Kim asked, her voice sounding shocked. "Can it see us?
"I don't actually see, but rather reflect," the mirror said, answering Kim's question.
"I don't think I'll ever get completely accustomed to the magical world," Kim said anxiously. "Can we go back in the other room where there are no mirrors to watch us?"
"Sure," Caitlin answered accommodatingly. "I imagine we're done anyway. Your delicate body hair should grow back by itself in a few days." Caitlin glanced at Kim crotch. "It might take awhile for that to get like it was. Did you want me to help it along?"
"No," Kim answered, uncomfortable with the thought of Caitlin touching her there. "This whole episode started with me wanting that removed. If I decide to let it grow back, I'll let it do it on its own."
"Are you sure?" Emily asked out of concern. "Will you be okay with Denise and Janice seeing you like you are?"
"After what happened to me today, I think I can handle just about anything," Kim said, smiling for the first time since she had been rendered bald.
At that moment, the door opened. Harry and Hermione having returned from Hogsmeade. Neither was stunned to find the girls in their quarters, but they were staggered by Kim's hair.
"How did your hair become so long?" Hermione asked, obviously flabbergasted at the sight. "Did you cause it to grow longer?" Her first thought was that Kim had Animagus abilities.
Kim hemmed and hawed at first. "No! Caitlin lengthened it," she finally answered. "I told her how I always wished I had hair this long, and she only had to stroke it a few seconds before it became like this."
"I don't think I've every seen anyone with hair that length before," Harry said, finding it hard to not stare at Kim.
"You never cease to amaze me young lady," Hermione said, putting her arm around Caitlin. "Is there no limit to your abilities?"
"Mum, speaking of my abilities, can I start giving you full body massages?" Caitlin asked.
Everyone just gazed at Caitlin questioningly.
"Why on earth would you suggest doing such a thing?" Hermione asked, completely befuddled by Caitlin's request.
"Actually, Madam Pomfrey initially planted the idea in my head the other day when she was training me on how to control my hyperempathic abilities," Caitlin explained. "We started to talk about you and what part I might take in the delivery of the baby, if allowed. She talked about some of the negatives of childbirth, such as varicose veins, stretch marks, and the premature sagging of breasts."
"What does any of that have to do with giving Mum massages?" Emily asked impatiently.
"Pomfrey says that if a woman receives full body massages at least twice a week from a hyperempath, she won't experience any of those problems," Caitlin explained.
Harry looked questioningly at Hermione, as if to seek verification.
"Is that true, Mum?" Emily inquired excitedly. "You should let her do it. Why take the chance of losing that gorgeous body if it's not necessary?"
Although he didn't say a word, Harry's face seemed to show agreement.
Hermione's face colored. "I couldn't let you do that," she said, mortified. "When they say you must touch and massage everywhere, they actually mean everywhere." Hermione was embarrassed at the thought of anyone touching her other than Harry, but then she looked at Caitlin. The young girl's face now carried a heart broken expression.
"But I love you," Caitlin sobbed. "I'm your daughter. Mothers and daughter should help each other, when they can."
Hermione wrapped her arm around Caitlin's shoulder. "But you have helped me," Hermione answered. "If it hadn't been for you, I would have died last year."
Caitlin looked at Hermione disappointedly. "I didn't realize it was a once and done thing. I was hoping that you'd always be there for me and that I could always be there for you, not only in life threatening situations."
Hermione looked to Harry for support, but could immediately tell by his expression that on this issue he seemed to be siding with Caitlin.
"I'm not vain," Hermione said, truthfully. "I like to exercise and take care of myself physically, but I realize age, gravity and babies change a person's body. I'm not going to look in a mirror and cry if my breasts aren't quite as perky or I have a few stretch marks. My only concern is that I safely deliver a healthy baby."
"But why should you let that happen when I can prevent it?" Caitlin practically begged.
Hermione studied Caitlin's face carefully. "This means an awful lot to you, doesn't it?" she asked. "Why are you so concerned if I look a little older?"
"Because," Caitlin paused, "although you're my Mum and I'll always love you as such, when I'm your age I want people to think you're my sister like they do now with you and Jamie. Besides, I think it's neat that Dad can't tell you and Jamie apart when he's blindfolded. I have the ability to help you continue to look as great as you do now. Please let me?"
Hermione knew she was losing the battle. She always had a difficult time saying no to Caitlin. "Okay," Hermione said, undecidedly. "When do you want to start these massage treatments?"
"Madame Pomfrey says the sooner the better. Why not now?" Caitlin asked enthusiastically.
"Oh! Can Kim and I watch?" Emily asked excitedly.
"You most positively cannot," Hermione said, unconditionally. "I have enough qualms about this. I'm most unquestionably not turning it into a sideshow."
"Does that apply to me, also?" Harry asked.
Hermione nodded her head. "I'm sorry Harry, but if we're going to do this, it is going to be private between a hyperempath and her patient." Hermione looked at Caitlin uneasily. "Let's get started before I lose my nerve," she said, heading for the bedroom.
Hermione closed the door and was just about to disrobe when the mirror spoke. "Professor Granger," the mirror said in what was unmistakably a concerned tone. "May I have a moment with you in private, it's rather important."
The mirror's concern was instantaneously transferred to Hermione. Never in the six years that she had possessed the mirror had it requested to speak to her with such unmistakable unease, yet alone in private. "Caitlin, I'm not backing out, but can I have a few minutes alone with the mirror before we start?"
Caitlin had also noticed the disquiet in the mirror's voice and gave her mother no argument. As soon as the door closed behind Caitlin, Hermione turned and spoke. "Is there something wrong? What have you seen," Hermione asked, almost in panic.
"Miss Thatcher's hair is beautiful, isn't it? I've always enjoyed reflecting images of women with long hair," the mirror answered, forlornly.
"Yes, her hair is lovely," Hermione responded, "but surely your reason for asking to have a word with me wasn't to discuss Kim's hair."
"Do you remember when we had the conversation about how it would drive people mad if they worried about how each action they took affected their life and that of others?" the mirror inquired.
"Yes! I remember that," Hermione answered, extremely concerned where this conversation was leading.
"I should take my own advice," the mirror said gloomily. "Miss Thatcher is going home for Christmas. Nothing you or anyone else can do will prevent that from happening. During her holiday, her stepfather will try to take advantage of her."
Hermione was aghast. "But certainly it can be avoided! I'll get the Headmaster. You can tell him what you've seen. We can make her stay here at Hogwarts."
"Sadly, some possible futures show you trying to do just that, but to no gain. The mother is a Muggle. She will not believe anyone and insists her daughter be allowed home. It will happen; we can not stop it." The mirror made the state of affairs sound hopeless.
Hermione sat down on the edge of her bed, tears filling her eyes. "If there is nothing I can do to stop the bastard from attacking her, why do you tell me this? What will become of her?"
"Most futures for her look desolate," the mirror confessed. "In some he impregnates her; in others, she is molested and badly beaten. Many show her in the mental ward of St. Mungos. Sadly, in most, she takes her life."
"No! That can't happen," Hermione demanded. "We just can't sit back and let this happen. Certainly, not all her futures show lack of hope."
"All but a very few. That is why I felt the need to talk to you."
"Alex, how can you expect me to just sit by and not do anything?" Jamie shouted, frustration coating her every word. "Amanda may no longer consider me her best friend, but I still care about her."
"Don't say that," Alex scolded. "Amanda loves you."
"She certainly has an odd way of showing it," Jamie said with frustration. "Why didn't she tell me she was pregnant? I could have gone to Hermione and gotten her some proper help."
Alex put his arm around Jamie and pulled her closer. "That's exactly why she didn't tell you," he said consolingly. "They didn't want her or the Headmaster or their parents knowing. They want to take care of it themselves."
"Take care of it themselves? What do you mean take care of it themselves? Jamie asked, looking dubiously at Alex. "You make it sound like they're planning to abort the pregnancy." She studied Alex's ashen face. "No! Alex, please tell me that's not what they purpose to do. They'll be sent to Azkaban."
"That's why I have to talk them out of it," Alex said solemnly. "I went with Tony to make arrangements for the procedure today. If the abortion takes place, I'm as guilty as they are."
Jamie was horror-struck by the thought of any of them spending even one hour in Azkaban. "We have to go to Harry and Hermione," Jamie begged. "We can trust them; they'll help."
"We can't; at least not yet. Give me time to talk to Amanda and Tony and try to reason with them.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Harry and Hermione had not spoken to anybody about their get-together with Luna Lovegood. Although Luna left them with the impression that the magazine would not be distributed, she had to contact her father, who owned the publication, for final approval. Tuesday, Harry had received a protected package containing all the negatives and a letter from Luna assuring him that all printed copies of the magazine had been destroyed.
This morning when Hermione read her copy of the Daily Prophet, she was lastly able to breathe a sigh of relief; her nightmare was over.
Playwizard Magazine Unearths a Conscience
By Justin Finch-Fletchley
This reporter has learned to expect the unexpected, but yesterday's news conference by Playwizard managing editor Luna Lovegood caught me completely by surprise. Of all the publications in the wizard world, Playwizard is the last I ever expected to demonstrate knowledge of a distinction between right and wrong.
You, therefore, can imagine my shock when Luna Lovegood announced that the magazine was canceling their December issue. Miss Lovegood stated that the issue, which was to contain the widely anticipated nude photos of Hermione (Granger) Potter, would not be published. She further acknowledged that the publication had no future plans to publish the pictures of the famous witch.
When pressed for an explanation, Miss Lovegood said that from the onset the magazine had qualms about publishing the unauthorized pictures. The ultimate decision to cancel was made after Playwizard Publications learned that the Governors of Hogwarts had decided to dismiss Professor Granger upon distribution of the magazine.
"Hermione Granger is more than a beautiful witch," Miss Lovegood said. "She is a hero of the wizard world and an icon to wizard youth. For Hogwarts to lose her as a professor would indeed be a travesty. Playwizard Magazine refuses to be the justification used by the prehistoric minded panel, known as the Board of Governors, to remove her from the position she justly desires. We apologize to our readers, but feel we must do what is in the best interest of our world."
This reporter must confess that he was somewhat looking forward to seeing the attractive professor displayed au natural, but applauds Playwizard for their courageous and undoubtedly costly decision.
As Hermione handed the Daily Prophet to Harry, he noticed something he hadn't seen in nearly two months; his Mione had regained the smile he loved so much. "Luna stretched the truth slightly," he said smiling widely, "but what's important is that you'll be staying at Hogwarts."
Hermione and Harry embraced, forgetting for the moment that they were having breakfast in the Great Hall. Those students who subscribed to the Prophet had quickly spread the good news, and when the couple embraced, loud applause and whistles echoed through out the Hall.
Hermione blushed, as she wiped a tear from her eye. "Do you think that now we'll be able to get back to a normal life?" She asked Harry after the applause subsided.
"I think, Mione," Harry said, giving his wife a smile, "that you and I will never come to know the true meaning of a normal life."
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Hermione was surprised to awaken to the sound of silence. For the previous three days she had both gone to sleep and woken to the sound of rain being pelted against the windows by heavy winds.
The weather the previous Saturday for the Hogsmeade visit had been beautiful. By Tuesday, however, the sky had turned overcast, and it had begun to rain heavily. Each day, it seemed, the weather had turned steadily worse as the first Quidditch match of the season drew nearer. Emily's practice session, scheduled for Friday afternoon, had even been canceled due to the intense winds and drenching rains.
"I think it finally stopped raining," she whispered to Harry, lingering to kiss his ear. "I imagine they'll get to play today."
"Of course, they'll play," Harry said groggily, as he opened his eyes. "Quidditch is never canceled because of the weather. Don't you remember me playing during that horrible storm in third year? I thought one of us would either be blown off our broom or be hit by lightning."
Hermione shivered at the memory. "I'd rather forget that game," she said, fretfully. "When the dementors caused you to fall off your broom, I thought you'd be killed." She hugged Harry tightly. "I wouldn't admit it to myself, but I think I already loved you back then."
"We were both quite young and didn't even realize what love was," Harry said. "My feelings for you have always been more than simple friendship. I always knew you were special, but I never realized how special until I almost lost you."
Harry began to get playful, and Hermione knew that unless she stopped him quickly, they would once again be missing breakfast. Normally she'd favor sex over food, but not on a Quidditch day when one had no idea what time his or her next meal would be enjoyed. Plus today was special; Sam and Timmy were joining them for breakfast and the game.
"Not this morning Mr. Potter," she said with a laugh. "I'm not going to the Quidditch match starving." Hermione jumped out of bed quickly and was about to head for the bath when she looked back at the brooding Harry.
"You are such a baby." Hermione said, shaking her head in dismay. "Why don't you join me in the shower? You do such a thorough job scrubbing me up," she suggested naughtily as she peered out the drapes to confirm the weather.
Harry promptly bounded out of bed and darted to join her. "Are you sure they never cancel Quidditch games?" she asked, holding open the drapes. "Not even you could catch the Snitch today."
Although Harry and Hermione were both now standing in front of the window totally exposed, they had little fear of being seen, for they couldn't see more than two feet outside of the window. As they looked about, they felt as if they were floating in a cloud. Not only couldn't they see any of the castle grounds, but also they were unable to see any other parts of the castle.
"I've never seen such a thick fog," Harry commented. "If this doesn't thin out before the game, it will be total pandemonium."
"We could probably watch from here and get just as good a view of the game," Hermione said sarcastically. She shook her head as she thought about the imminent game. "I never thought the day would come that I'd be cheering for a Slytherin team."
"Nor did I." Harry stood behind Hermione with his hands grasping her stomach. "Our child's starting to show," Harry said lovingly.
"That's what the girls said the other night when they took my picture," Hermione said, blushing. "I swear, all three of them are going to end up being photographers for Playwizard. They seem to love embarrassing me by taking those nude pregnancy shots."
"Have you shown Jamie the Playwizard pictures yet?" Harry asked sheepishly.
"I showed all the girls," Hermione confessed. "Of course, I got Jamie's permission first, since most of them were of her."
"How did they react? Harry asked. "Were they upset?
"Just the opposite," Hermione said, amazed. "None of them even found the close-ups of my pubic area offensive. I'm glad they are so open about nudity, but sometimes they scare me. Nothing seems to disconcert them."
"I know what you mean," Harry said showing the concern of a father. "At times I wish they were more modest. Speaking of being modest, how are your massages with Caitlin going?"
"Harry, Caitlin makes me feel like I'm a silly little girl," Hermione said, uncomfortably. "I'm all shaky and nervous, and she is so calm and professional. It doesn't seem to faze her in the least to touch me anywhere. As much as I enjoy naturism, I don't think I could ever take it to the next step like the girls have."
"They certainly are different, - very different and very special." Harry glanced at the clock. "Speaking of being professional," he said with grin, "if you want a truly professional scrubbing before breakfast, we best hit the shower."
"Are you nervous?" Kim asked, as she watched Emily squirm and pull at her clothes.
"Not especially," her friend answered. "It's this sodding Quidditch outfit. It's so bulky and restrictive. I don't know how they expect a person to move about in it, and all this cloth creates a wind drag. It would be so much better if we all flew naked."
Kim giggled. "Normally I think you overdo the whole nudist thing, but I must admit I wouldn't mind seeing some of our players nude."
Emily mocked a horror stricken expression. "Kim Thatcher, I'm shocked! One might get the impression that you're interested in more than the broom that the male players have between their legs."
Kim blushed a bright red. "It's not just that," she said. "Well, that is part of it. You've seen hundreds of men and boys naked. The most I've ever seen is drawings and statues. I admit that I'd like to see the real thing."
Emily laughed. "I'll ask Randy if he's willing to give you a showing."
"Don't you dare," Kim begged, turning even a more brilliant shade of red.
"Emily certainly doesn't take after you when it comes to pre-game nervousness," Hermione said, as Harry and her took seats next to Ron and Sam. "Look at her joking around with Kim and shoveling down her breakfast."
"I'm sure she's nervous," Harry said assuredly. "She's just much better at hiding it. I used to always wear my emotions on my sleeve in full view of the whole world."
"Good morning Aunt Hermyme, Uncle Harry," Timmy said excitedly. He was sitting on his mother's lap supposedly eating breakfast, but much too distracted by all the activity in the Great Hall.
Harry and Hermione greeted Timmy and then exchanged pleasantries with Ron, Sam and the others seated nearby.
"Horrible day for Quidditch," Harry said, sounding irritated.
"Yes, Severus and I were just discussing the weather," Ron answered. "The sensible thing would probably be to postpone the game, but scores of parents and relatives are already here. Many don't like to Apparate and, therefore, fly in ahead of time and spend the evening in Hogsmeade."
"Then the game is still going to be played?" Hermione questioned.
"Yes," Ron answered, "but it will be a farce! The chasers won't be able to see to pass the Quaffle, the keepers won't be able to block shots on goal and I have no idea how the Beaters will know where to hit the Bludgers."
"And," added Harry, "the Seekers will never see the Golden Snitch. I doubt this game will end today unless the fog lifts."
"I'm going to the Idditch game, Aunt Hermyme," Timmy stated proudly.
"So are we," Hermione answered. "We're going to be sitting together, not that there'll be much to see."
"How are the players going to even see each other?" Sam asked. "There is always the concern of collisions occurring, but today I would think that it would be an almost certainty."
"Severus and I had the same concern," Ron agreed. "We're going to have the players attach wands to their brooms sticks. The Hufflepuffs will emit a yellow light and the Slytherins a green. It will be of little help game wise, but hopefully might avoid a midair collision. I sincerely doubt there will be much high speed flying under the current conditions."
Hermione simply shook her head in disbelief. To her mind, nothing justified playing a Quidditch game under these conditions. She was about to say so when the owls entered the Great Hall with the morning mail.
"Nothing seems to prevent the owls from making their deliveries," Sam commented as a large barn owl swooped near her and deposited a letter next to Hermione.
"Big birdies," Timmy exclaimed as he quickly slipped off his mother's lap and sought refuge under the table.
Sam stared at the letter Hermione was holding. "That's Muggle mail isn't it?" She asked after noticing stamps pasted on the front.
"Yes," Hermione replied. "Harry and I both have acquaintances in the Muggle world, so we maintain a post office box in Hogsmeade. An owl then delivers any mail we receive there."
Hermione quickly opened the letter and began reading it as the others continued to discuss the Quidditch game. Hermione didn't notice Severus approach and put his hand on Ron's shoulder.
"It's from Michelle Wolfskill," Hermione said excitedly after finishing reading the letter.
At first Harry simply stared at Hermione questioningly, then he smiled with recognition. "Michelle from Cap d'Adge?" He asked. "What caused her to write?"
"It seems that instead of going to Cap d'Adge this summer, they are going to take a cruise," Hermione said. "Michelle says a number of the people we met will be going, and she wondered if we would be interested or knew anyone else that might be."
"A cruise," Harry said, thoughtfully. "I've always wanted to go on a cruise and now that your job is secure.... What do you think of the idea, Mione?"
"I love it," Hermione said, excitedly. "I'm sure the girls will be thrilled, too! Michelle sent all the information. Let's discuss it as a family and see what they think."
"See what who thinks?" Ron questioned, after finishing his discussion with Severus.
"Harry and Hermione are considering going on a cruise this summer with the girls," Sam said, envy evident in her voice.
"Sam and I were talking about possibly going on a cruise as a sort of a honeymoon," Ron declared. "Wouldn't it be fun if... Nah, I guess you guys wouldn't want us around."
"Nonsense, I think it would be wonderful if we all went," Hermione said, hesitantly. "It's just that...."
"You think Ron and I should discuss it together before making a decision," Sam said, interrupting Hermione. "Oh! Look! The students are starting to head for the pitch."
"I should get out there, too," Ron said, giving both Sam and Timmy a hug and kiss before excusing himself and scurrying off.
"Sam," Hermione said, uncertainly. "You do realize that this is a naturist cruise, don't you?"
"That's one of the reasons why I'm so excited about going," she replied slyly. "I just haven't quite figured out how to break the news to Ron yet."
As the Slytherin team made their way to the entrance of the Great Hall, something happened that had never occurred before in the history of Hogwarts. They were approached by a group of Gryffindors with their hands extended to wish them luck.
Jamie gave Tony a quick kiss on the cheek and then embraced Emily. "Good luck, Sis! Be careful out there."
As Alex, Caitlin, Matt, Amanda and Randy crowded Emily and Tony, Jamie turned to Doris Burke. At first Jamie extended her hand, but then instead pulled Doris into a hug. "Good luck friend," she said sincerely.
As the hug ended, Jamie noticed that Doris' eyes were watering. "Is something wrong," she asked with unease.
"No," Doris said, a tear dropping from her eye. "Something is right. For the first time since I've been at Hogwarts, I've been hugged and wished good luck by someone who wasn't doing it out of house loyalty or for personal gain, but rather because they sincerely meant it. It feels good."
Jamie gave Doris another brief hug before the balance of the team whisked her off.
When they reached the castle entrance, it was evident that the fog hadn't lessened. Visibility was still practically non-existent, as too was the path leading to the Quidditch pitch. It looked more like a well-trodden swamp than a path.
"Wait," ordered Hermione. "I'm not about to try to walk through that slop." Hermione took out her wand. "Sam, if you'll just hold Timmy and then take Harry's hand."
Sam did as instructed and then watched as Hermione uttered an incantation that produced what looked like a large electrically charged saucer beneath their feet. Slowly, it lifted them about a foot off the ground.
"Do you have room for one more?" Draco asked, as he burst out the castle door.
Hermione and Harry exchanged questioning glances as Timmy yelled, "Hi Double D."
"Hi Draco," Sam said in a pleasant voice.
Without waiting for Hermione or Harry to respond to his request, Draco jumped onto the magical plate and grabbed Hermione's free hand. "I assume you know how to maneuver one of these?" Draco asked, with his usual sarcasm.
"We're about to find out," Hermione said, confidently as she pointed her wand in what she thought was the general direction of the Quidditch pitch. The group, still holding hands, started to float across the sodden grounds.
"Where do you learn how to do all these spells?" Sam asked with admiration.
"I read a lot," Hermione answered to laughs from both Harry and Draco. "It's just a variation on /lengigum leviso/. The disc doesn't actually exist; the image is only present to make you feel more secure."
"Are you going to your first Quidditch game, Big Guy?" Draco asked Timmy.
"Yes! Did you play Idditch, Double D?" Timmy inquired of Draco.
"Yeah! I played a little. Didn't do too badly either, except when I played against him." Draco indicated Harry. "I never saw anyone as lucky as your uncle at Quidditch."
Harry didn't say anything, just smirked and shook his head.
Hermione gave Sam a questioning look, "What is a double D?"
Malfoy answered before Sam had the opportunity. "Come now Granger, certainly you know your own cup size."
Harry probably should have responded callously to Draco's remark about Hermione breasts, but he was too busy laughing as Hermione blushed.
"Draco, you're such an ass," Sam said. Although it was evident that she was also trying to stifle a laugh. "It stands for Daddy Draco. Once Draco started seeing Timmy regularly on weekends, we had a problem with what Timmy should call him. Calling both Ron and Draco daddy would be confusing, so Draco came up with Double D."
"I thought it was cute - until now," Sam said straight faced. "I didn't realize Draco only came up with it so that you would both be a Double D."
Even Hermione and Draco couldn't help but laugh as they traversed the fog covered ground. Considering how much they'd grown with her pregnancy, her breasts might indeed now qualify for that distinction.
"Where is Ginny?" Hermione asked, as the group started climbing the stairs to the viewing stand.
"She's staying at the Burrow for the weekend," Draco answered, his face taking on a furrowed expression. "It seems that our, 'on-again, off-again', relationship is in an off-again phase."
No one commented as they took their seats. Word had spread through the staff that Ginny was rather miffed at Draco for indefinitely putting off their wedding date.
"Well this should be exciting," Hermione said sarcastically, barely able to make out the hazy circle of yellow and green lights at the center of the field.
"This is going to be an extremely difficult game to play," Ron said, frustration evident in every word. He knew the players were gathered around him because of the misty lights that surrounded him, but he couldn't make out one single solitary face.
"The Headmaster has placed a spell on the hoops so that they will chime whenever a goal is scored. Also, the Quaffle will emit a blinking white light and the Bludgers will shine a constant red." Ron sighed. "Unfortunately, I doubt you will have much time to react, but then again I think the Beaters will be hard put to find a target."
"Now, I want a nice fair game," Ron said to the shrouded players surrounding him.
"Excuse me, sir," said a timid bodiless voice, which Ron recognized as Emily's. "Will the Golden Snitch be illuminated in any way?"
"Yes, but it will only intermittently blink varying colors," Professor Weasley responded. "Mount your brooms, please."
Emily went to thrust her leg over the broomstick only to find her boot stuck ankle deep in mud. Instead, she lifted her robes and guided the broom underneath her.
Ron gave a loud blast on his whistle, and slowly the broom extricated Emily from the ground. She felt like a Mandrake about to be repotted. Her feet felt exceptionally heavy, but she was unable to see them to find out exactly how much mud was clinging on them.
The seventh year Ravenclaw game announcer, Jason Turner, squinted as fifteen misty lights rose up, high, high, higher into the air. "It would seem that they're off," he said, not the least bit assuredly. "I would imagine that someone might have located the Quaffle by now, and if so, he or she is probably trying to find the proper set of hoops."
Jason had no more than spoken when the sound of a gong vibrated the air. He held his notes to his eyes. "Gong is Slytherin, bell Hufflepuff. It sounds as if Slytherin has scored. I wish I could tell you who or if the Keeper even tried to stop them," he said with frustration.
Another gong sounded. "That was fast," Jason commented. "Someone did something to get the Quaffle back. Slytherin 20, Hufflepuff 0."
"Mummy, what is he talking about?" Timmy asked. "I can't see the Quabble or anybody on a broom. How does he know...?"
Without warning, Draco pushed Samantha and Timmy to the floor as a red streak narrowly missed hitting them both.
"Thank you," Sam said, rather flustered as she got back to her feet and tried to calm Timmy. "If it hadn't been for you, we'd be spending the game in the hospital."
"Glad I was here," Draco responded unemotionally. "I can't believe that idiot Beater, hitting a Bludger near the stands with this visibility.
"That makes the score Slytherin 300 and Hufflepuff 340," Jason Turner said disgustedly, three hours later. "This is a high scoring game. It's a shame none of us got to see any of it. I wonder if the Keeper from either team has even tried to block a goal?"
If she hadn't been astride a broom, Emily probably would have fallen asleep during the first two hours of the game. Not only hadn't she seen a sign of the Golden Snitch, but also no other players had even come near her. She had actually reached the point where she wished someone would bat a Bludger in her direction just to give her something to do.
Finally, about an hour ago, Doris Burke had checked on her, asking if she had even caught a glimpse of the Golden Snitch. Emily was comforted when told that none of the other players had spied it either.
That was then. Now, the only thing Emily could think about was using the loo. Don't they ever take a time-out for a piss! Emily's bladder felt like it was on the verge of bursting. She made a pledge that she would never, ever again drink as much milk and juice before a game as she had today.
Once more she wished she were flying naked. It might not seem very lady-like, but she could just fly over the Forbidden Forest and relieve herself. She wondered enviously if any of the male players might have done this even now. At times like these, she could see definite advantages in being male.
She was daydreaming; wondering if it were possible to transfigure a body part just long enough to get relief when she saw what appeared to be a blinking red light in the distance, but then it was gone. It didn't look like the light given off by the Bludgers, so she decided to investigate. Instead of flying directly in the direction the light had come from, she decided to approach it from the side.
When she reached the point from which the light had originated, she found nothing. She was about to return her full attention back to her bladder, when a green light blinked not move than five feet away from her. It was the Golden Snitch just out of her reach! This most likely would be her only opportunity. She made for the Snitch, but it had sensed her. She had no idea where she was going or who or what was in front of her, but Emily knew she could not let the Snitch get more than a few feet ahead. Otherwise, it would be lost in the fog.
The Snitch alternately climbed and dived while changing directions trying to lose the Slytherin Seeker. Emily, however, was gaining on it; she could now make out the fluttering wings on the little round ball ahead of her. Suddenly, the Golden Snitch went into a dive and headed in the direction of the ground. By now she had no idea of her altitude and just prayed that the Snitch knew when to pull out of the dive.
Unexpectedly the Snitch pulled out; so did Emily. She felt her leg brush the ground as she leveled off. It was now or never; she slid up as far as possible on her broom. Emily wrapped her legs tightly around the broomstick and stretched both arms toward the Snitch. She grabbed for it just as a Bludger glanced off her left shoulder and hit her directly in the jaw. Emily winced with extreme pain as she was hurled from her broom and buried face down in the muddy pitch. She groaned as she felt her bladder lose control just before she passed out.
End of Chapter 15
As always, I would like to thank those of you who took the time to review.
Thank you also to my wonderful betas: Amber, Paul and Peter.
Want to be advised of new chapters and get to read them first? Join Hogwarts Exposed