Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Voters Are Speaking

Part 7- Combinations

by BrianJ 2 reviews

The field starts to shrink as teams realize that they can be more creatively wrong than any individual.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Erotica,Humor,Romance - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2008-12-25 - Updated: 2008-12-26 - 2800 words - Complete

Disclaimer: I clearly had some catching up to do!

Shortly before noon on Sunday, Neville proceeded down to Greenhouse Six. Harry had suggested that this would be a good time to get some work done on his Herbology assignment. While the project wasn't due until January, it was a good idea to take extra time when working with Louisiana Spitting Sumac. Neville learned this from painful experience the previous month- one pruning had been slightly off, dousing him with venom that sent him to the hospital wing for three days with terrible itching all over. The plant was much taller than he was, and its pot was set on the greenhouse floor; he had to kneel to work with it properly.

A few minutes later, Neville was carefully aligning his scalpel for the next cut when he heard the greenhouse door open.

"Harry? Are you here?" a female voice queried.

Neville set his blade down and looked around, to find a pair of legs next to him, clad in winter-weight tights. Nice legs, he thought to himself... then he looked up to find Mandy Brocklehurst's face smiling down at him.

"Mandy? What brings you here?" Neville replied in surprise.

"Harry wanted to talk to me here about... something," Mandy said while tailing off at the last minute.

"I know about the election, Mandy," Neville said gently. "Harry asked me to come here."

"But why?" Mandy inquired.

"Because... because we got to talking on Friday, Harry and me. Mandy, I've enjoyed working with you in Herbology this year. I like the way you smile, and the way you brush your hair back before you start every day's work. I catch myself looking at you every once in a while," Neville said in a rush. "I figured that, even if you're going to say no, I ought to tell you how I feel at some point. I think you'd be great for Harry, and I hope you win, but I'd have liked to get to know you better." With that, he returned to the sumac.

A few seconds later, he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Neville, I have to admit that I kind of like you too. You didn't have to join the DA or go to the Ministry with Harry, or do all the other things you've done- I've heard about them from the other girls. And I've looked at you a few times, too. You're becoming a good-looking guy, even if you haven't noticed." Although Neville had inherited his father's height or lack thereof, the baby fat had melted off, and his face now looked open and friendly without seeming too round.

"Thanks, Mandy. Would you like to go out sometime? I'd like to finish working with this sumac now, but maybe we can do something this week," Neville replied hesitantly.

"I'm sure we can, Neville. Can I help?" Mandy suggested.

"Sure. Could you hold this frond for just a minute? The last time I cut it, the plant spat in my face. That was no fun," Neville remembered.

"At least it wasn't that bubotuber they had us working with before. Sumac doesn't raise those awful boils," Mandy replied, kneeling next to Neville.

"They showed us mandrakes way back in second year, so logic and the greenhouses don't always mix," Neville answered as he lifted the scalpel.

To his surprise, Mandy started laughing. "That's a good one, Neville! I'll have to remember that. You know, you look even better when you laugh..." As she said that she placed the hand not holding the sumac leaf under Neville's jaw and looked into his deep brown eyes.


The second application of the hair potion was going even more smoothly than the first. This time, Lavender had changed into a bikini while Hermione continued to wear her old one-piece.

"When Harry and I talked yesterday, I told him that I'd help you with your wardrobe. With the work we're putting into your hair, it doesn't make sense not to look at your clothes at the same time," Lavender mused while carefully smoothing Hermione's hair.

"What's wrong with my clothes? I think they look alright," Hermione said, somewhat defensively.

"Alright isn't good enough when you're competing against eight other girls, Hermione. I know that most of your clothes are at least a year old, and they don't take your latest year of growth into account," Lavender explained. "After we're done here, I'll let you look in my trunk and see if you find something you like for our next Memory Ball. Transfiguring clothes shortens their lifespan, but it'll be fine for once or twice, I think."

"You sound like you've got something in mind," Hermione replied, shrewd as ever.

"I've got an idea, but I'm still fleshing it out. I think it'll combine your experience- what you've been emphasizing all along- with a new theme that the girls will appreciate more," Lavender said.

"Tell me more," an intrigued Hermione said.

Lavender was happy to. "Well, I call the idea '3 AM,' and it would work something like this..."


Late that afternoon, Neville and Mandy finally returned to the castle. There was dirt on the knees of Mandy's tights and a grin on each of their faces.

"I just have to take care of this, Neville. I'll be right back, I promise. Then you can finish what you started," Mandy said saucily.

"Nate!" she called when arriving in Ravenclaw Tower. "I'm going to need your help right now!"

A minute later, a big smile spread on Nate's face as Mandy spoke in their private meeting. Anything worth doing is worth doing to win, after all, and his probability of winning had just gone way up.


"She WHAT!?"

"She dropped out, Megan. Mandy's not standing any more," Susan Bones replied, setting down the Ball.

"Does it say why?" Megan demanded.

"Nope. 'I have decided that it would be best for Harry if I did not stand. I ask my supporters to vote for someone else.' That's it," Susan summarized.

"So... that means Luna is the only Ravenclaw candidate left, right?" Megan inquired.

"That's true, Megan," Susan answered.

Megan paced back and forth. "This means that Luna's going to get most of the Ravenclaw vote. We've got to unite Hufflepuff to have a chance," Megan muttered. The conclusion was inevitable; she just didn't want to say it.

But she gathered her courage and did. "I'm going to drop out too. I've been in last place in every poll so far, and I'm still having trouble coming up with something that makes my campaign special." True enough; Megan's deep voice and nice legs didn't seem to be making an impression without, say, Susan's connections to the Ministry or cup size. "I'll make sure to endorse you, if that helps. And maybe, when Harry's nailing you to a mattress or a wall somewhere..."

"MEGAN!" Susan was simultaneously scandalized and deeply moved.

"... You'll think of me, won't you?" Megan pleaded.

"Of course I will, Megan. You've been a good friend for too long for me to forget you. And maybe I can convince Harry to 'hammer' you once or twice," Susan said, grinning.

"Oh, don't make promises you can't keep, Su," Megan said with a sniffle. "You deserve to be with Harry. I'll go and fetch Laura."


By coincidence, Hermione's hour of three AM was also the time at which Daphne and Pansy snuck down to the Slytherin common room. The Balls from Mandy and Megan had reached Slytherin House that evening, and they didn't need Astoria or Blaise to tell them that they now faced the probability of a divided house that was already likely to suffer from low turnout. They'd been checking the viewer Pansy had placed in the common room since before midnight.

"Finally! I don't know what Draco's problem is, and I don't want to know. Thank God he finally went to bed," Pansy muttered as they descended the staircase.

"Such a caring girlfriend you are," Daphne smirked.

"Oh, come on. Do you think I'm lying when I tell you that he tried to hump me like a dog in the street last week? Or that he barely lets me sit down without trying to run his hands up my legs? Or that he's hung like a boiled baby carrot?" Pansy shot back.

"Not even a little bit," Daphne responded defensively. "He was enamored with me for about a month last year, and that was quite enough, thank you very much. Ruined a perfectly good dress, too." Daphne was a head taller than her friend, with most of that difference in her strong, dancer's legs. Her bust was actually a bit bigger than Pansy's, but looked smaller because it was on a larger frame.

"Do you think she'll be there?" Pansy inquired.

"Petal and Stamen have been our house elves longer than I've been alive, and they take orders 24 hours a day," Daphne responded. "Mum will get the message as soon as she wakes up, and she'll send it on to your mum and to her. I'm sure they'll be able to meet very soon."

"Daphne, I can't be stuck with Draco forever. I can't! This is my best chance to slip away with my parents' permission, sort of. Your dad's... in with mine. The other boys they'd accept are even worse!" Even in silence and isolation, the words Death Eater would not pass her lips.

"I know," Daphne said, putting a hand on Pansy's cheek. Pansy trembled as the taller girl rubbed her face. "I'm sure there's a way for us to both get what we want." Daphne moved to the fireplace to send their message.


The observer at the noon meeting would have noted that the gazebo was surrounded by a perfectly maintained garden in the classic English style, with well-trimmed, vibrant green grass and carefully ordered rows of flowers along the walk from the manor house. He would be captivated by the scent and soothed by the sounds of the wind rustling the foliage.

Then the observer would realize that it was in fact the eighteenth of November, feel the chill of the wind, observe the falling snow, and wonder how he could have seen the garden. For that reason among others, the property's owners had placed a great deal of time and effort into repelling any such observers as well as to the spells that maintained the garden year-round.

The three women sitting in the gazebo contrasted sharply. One was a relatively short woman with black hair in a pageboy style, the second an Amazon with long black locks spilling down her back, and the third was as tall as the second but a bit slenderer, with long, straight blonde hair. All were wearing thick woolen cloaks, opened slightly as a concession to the heated gazebo.

"You requested this meeting, Chloe. What's on your mind?" the blonde asked the taller black-haired woman.

"I believe that I have told you about the election at Hogwarts in four days." Receiving nods, Chloe Greengrass continued. "Two of the other candidates have dropped out, leaving our daughters running against two candidates whose Houses may unite behind them. Early this morning, Daphne sent me a message urgently asking me for my advice. She knew that Wilbur would not be returning for some time due to his... outside activities."

"My husband has given my daughter funding for her campaign. He will not be pleased with her or with me if she withdraws. Need I remind you what form that 'displeasure' would take?" The others shuddered at Violet Parkinson's words. "I don't mean to offend, Chloe, but has Wilbur placed any such pressure on your daughter?"

"Not directly, no," conceded Chloe.

"Then it would make sense for Daphne to withdraw and support Pansy. Otherwise, Alfred would be very cross. I have trained myself in Occlumency, but I have no illusions that I could keep him and the others from learning about the Coven for very long," Violet detailed.

"Is that a threat, Violet?" Chloe seethed, but the blonde put a hand on her arm.

"Chloe, surely you don't think that you could stand up to their torture forever," the blonde replied mildly.

"You're right, and I apologize," Chloe replied.

"Don't worry about it, Chloe. We're under great stress, and I can't really blame you for snapping every once in a while," Violet replied. "I hope that you understand my point, though."

"I do," conceded Chloe.

"Ladies," the blonde said after a few seconds, "we do have a way of relieving some of that stress we're all feeling. She rose, walking to the center of the gazebo; in her high heels, she was a truly commanding figure. "This was, after all, the other reason that we started this coven." With that, she lowered her cloak, revealing her body clad in a thin white gown. Cut in a classical style, the gown did nothing to hide her large round breasts, her hardening brown nipples, or her long, finely curved legs. Her skin was lightly tanned and smooth, with no hair below her head.

"Just out of curiosity," Narcissa Black Malfoy queried, "have either of your daughters been... close to Harry?"

"Mine was on Friday night," Violet said breathlessly. Narcissa could still be a little overawing, even after all the time that they'd known each other, especially when she put effort into it.

"And did she discover anything about his... attributes?" Narcissa sat next to Violet and pushed her cloak off her shoulders. Unlike Narcissa, Violet was wearing a sensible dress, even if it did flatter her svelte figure.

When Narcissa fixed her with a stare, Violet continued. "I believe he's about even with all of our husbands." A dismayed look from Narcissa brought a giggle from Violet. "Put together, I mean. Twenty-five centimeters was her best guess; she didn't get to actually see it, of course."

"Oh, you tease," Narcissa growled as she pulled Violet in for a deep kiss. "You don't have to be anywhere this afternoon, did you?" she asked as she pulled back.

"No," Violet gasped. "Alfred thinks I'm visiting a client."

"And so you are," Chloe said, moving forward and dropping her cloak. Her white cotton tank top and shorts weren't quite as revealing as Narcissa's gown. Of course, her sizable bosom and big hips filled them out very nicely, and her tan was deeper than Narcissa's, making for a fascinating contrast.

"If Pansy wins, should we invite them over some day?" Violet gasped as Narcissa ran her hands up Violet's legs.

"Oh, more than one day if I have anything to say about it," Narcissa growled as her head dove between Violet's thighs.

Chloe started to undo Narcissa's gown from the back, and that was the last coherent conversation from the gazebo for quite some time.


Meanwhile, for the third and final application of the hair potion, Lavender decided to dispense with her swimsuit altogether. "Nobody's coming, Hermione, and we won't stay for very long," she explained. After a minute, Hermione decided to do the same; this was as good a time as any for a proper bath.

While waiting for the potion to take its effect, they went over the final wording of the script that Hermione would use, and Lavender described the outfit that she had in mind. It would have to be let out a bit in the chest and hips, but as Lavender quipped, "If there's anywhere you want an outfit to be stretched, those are the places."

"Lavender, I haven't been properly thankful for your help, have I?" Hermione asked.

"Nothing to thank me for yet, Hermione. We still haven't had the election, and we need to talk to Katie and Angelina tomorrow just to make sure we're still running. Gryffindor can't afford to split its vote three ways," Lavender countered.

Hermione turned around suddenly as Lavender squawked. "If there's one thing being around with Harry has taught me, it's to appreciate the effort, even if not everything goes perfectly." With that, she kissed Lavender on the lips and held her tight around the waist.

"Hermione! I didn't, I mean," Lavender sputtered.

"You didn't like it?" Hermione asked with mild alarm.

"I did, but it's just that I wasn't expecting-" Lavender was cut off.

"I really do think you're pretty, Lavender. And I guess, I was trying to let you know how I feel about your help," Hermione replied, still fishing for words.

"Well, thank you too!" Lavender giggled. "Now turn back around so I can take proper care of your hair!"

"Would you like to help me after the election, with Harry?" Hermione inquired.

The resulting yelps made Hermione wonder if Lavender was doing something she shouldn't, but she felt both of Lavender's hands kneading her scalp.
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