Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Hogwarts Too Exposed - A Slytherin Among Us

The Verdict

by Neil 1 review

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 ...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance - Characters: Draco, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Snape - Published: 2006-04-06 - Updated: 2006-04-07 - 7497 words

Hogwarts Too Exposed - A Slytherin Among Us Chapter Twelve

The Verdict

"All rise." A solemn voice commanded.

Sam stood petrified as the judge entered the courtroom. This was it. In a few minutes, she would know whether her future would be one of happiness or one of despair. The testimony today had appeared to go rather well, but there was no reading Judge Ebony Jones' face. Had she seen through the lies and bigotry, or was she blind to the truth and as prejudiced as most of the wizarding world seemed to be?

"I take the welfare of children extremely serious," Judge Jones began. "The human offspring is the frailest of all creatures and requires the nurturing of caring parents well into their teens. Sometimes even the most loving parent can unwitting create a volatile situation that puts their child at peril."

Sam hung her head and closed her eyes, fearing her worst nightmare about to come true.

"For this reason it is imperative that a judge listens closely to all testimony and takes into consideration all evidence," Judge Jones said passionately. "I personally prefer to go a step further in my hunt for the truth. I like to talk to the child, if they are old enough to carry on a meaningful conversation. This morning I spent an enchanting two hours with young Timothy. You would be amazed at the fountain of information that spews from a three-year old when they are encouraged to speak.

"Miss Bowman, I'm pleased with the job you've done up to now raising your son. I especially like the fact that you have taken such an open and honest approach, dealing with things such as his paternity. It is evident Timmy loves Mr. Weasley very much; he constantly refers to him as daddy, but Timmy is also aware that he is not his real father.

"I was especially impressed that you had informed Timmy that his birth father lives nearby and that you wanted them to meet. This to me was a positive sign that you put what is right for your child ahead of your personal feelings.

"Mr. Malfoy, I applaud a man who, when finding out he is a father, steps forward to take responsibility. I, however, question the methods you have stooped to use in your effort to gain custody. As I said the first day of this hearing, I am only impressed with honest testimony and undisputed evidence. I question the truthfulness of your testimony when compared to the evidence presented by the defense.

"I find it difficult to believe that a young lady, who had maintained her virginity throughout university, overnight turned to a life of prostitution, and since you obviously presented her with a false name, I tend to consider the balance of your story to be just as false. I would have thought much better of you had you simply told the truth. You would not have been the first man that lied to a girl in order to get her into bed.

"The courtship, or lack of same, is at this point a non-issue. The question at hand is which couple will provide the must secure and nurturing home for young Timmy.

"I was much impressed with Miss Weasley. I believe her to be an extremely loving person, and I have no doubt that she would do her utmost to make her marriage succeed and to be a good mother. But Timmy already has a natural mother who has done an exceptional job of child rearing. If the case were predicated only on the abilities of the mother, I would certainly lean in favor of Miss Bowman. Nothing against Miss Weasley, but after all Miss Bowman is the natural mother and has three positive years of experience behind her.

"But this case is not based only on the ability of one parent to raise a child. We must look at both parents and also consider if either pairing creates an unsafe, possibly dangerous environment for the child. On this issue, the nod would on the surface seem to go to Mr. Malfoy.

"Unfortunately, at this point, our hearing seemed to lose its focus and, instead of concentrating on the child, took on the appearance of a muggle witch-hunt. I'm appalled that wizardkind seems hell bent on punishing two of our greatest heroes simply because they enjoy nude recreation. I was always raised to judge a person by their actions and how they treated others, not how they dress or, in this case, don't dress.

"I certainly do not see the connection between nudity and creditability that Barrister Bullchip tried assiduously to forge.

"Mr. Weasley, you are a werewolf, an undeniable fact. I was very much surprised to find that even young Timmy is aware of this. He told me that daddy becomes extremely sick each month and goes away to stay with Aunt Hermione and Uncle Harry. They protect him and make sure he doesn't hurt anyone.

"Life does not come with one hundred percent guarantees, but I feel everything humanly possible is being done to prevent Mr. Weasley from hurting Timmy, Miss Bowman or anyone else. Should he be prevented from parenting a family simply because he has a sickness, a controlled sickness?

"I find the charges of child endangerment absurd and totally unfounded. The entire handling of this case has been a travesty of justice and it will, I promise you, be thoroughly investigated. Thankfully, Miss Tonks was present to prevent a true tragedy.

"And so comes the time for me to render my verdict, but before doing so I want to make it perfectly clear that I expect both birth parents to have a part in this child's life. Should you not be able to accomplish this agreeably, I will set requirements.

"Above everything else, a child needs to know they are loved. Mr. Malfoy, you and I define love in a different way. There is no doubt in my mind that you desire to have custody of your son, but I'm not totally sure of your rationale. I don't feel love is the primary reason. A few weeks ago, you asked Samantha Bowman to marry you so that you and she could raise your son together. From your testimony, it would seem apparent that your proposal was not based on love. Yet, now merely weeks later, you are posed to marry Miss Weasley. I question your sincerity and ability to sustain a lasting loving relationship.

"For that reason, among others, I declare that Timothy Bowman will remain in the custody of Samantha Bowman." The judge glanced in the direction of Sam and Ron, who had wasted no time entering into an embrace. "Professor Granger, will you please meet with me in my chambers."

Hermione looked at Harry questioningly as Timmy was brought into the courtroom and immediately ran to the open arms of his mother. "I wonder why she wants to talk to me," Hermione said worryingly.

"Probably wants to give you a warning about using the floo network when you're starkers," Harry said kiddingly. "I'm sure it's nothing to worry about."

Hermione, however, wasn't nearly as confident as she approached the judge's chambers and knocked on the door.

Harry turned his attention back to Ron and Sam when Hermione's bushy head had disappeared through the door.

Sam and Ron were talking animatedly and looking in the direction of Draco Malfoy, who was now standing, talking dismally to Ginny. Suddenly, Ron and Sam started walking in Draco's direction, Sam still clutching Timmy tightly in her arms. Harry watched, his heart in his throat, fearing the worst.

Sam approached Malfoy and timidly said, "Draco, I'd like you to meet someone."

Draco turned abruptly ready to swear, but found he was looking in a mirror, a mirror that reflected an image of a three-year-old Draco Malfoy.

"Draco, I'd like you to meet your son," Sam said cautiously, not sure what reaction to expect for either boy or man. "Timmy, this is Mr. Malfoy, your father."

Father and son simply stared at each other, Draco at a loss for words and Timmy only three and confused.

Timmy was the one that first spoke. "You look like me," he said innocently, "but more used."

Despite his efforts to the contrary, Draco's face broke into a faint smile. "That's me," he said. "Used and abused."

Ginny grabbed Draco's hand and squeezed it tightly.

"Malfoy," Ron said, seeming to be struggling to force the words out. "Sam and I take Timmy to the park at the end of Hogsmeade every Saturday about noon. If you'd like, you can join us this week."

Draco stared at Ron in disbelief. "I might just do that," he said, nodding his head. He turned to Sam. "You've done a good job." Quickly he turned away hoping no one had noticed the unmanly tear in his eye. Draco ushered Ginny to the doors of the courtroom as Sam and Ron watched.

"It's all right Draco," Ginny said reassuringly. "We'll have children of our own as soon as we're married."

"Yes," Draco agreed. "But there's hardly any reason to rush that now any more, is there?"

Ginny looked at Draco as if he had just ripped her heart from her chest and smashed it on the floor.

"You two are amazing," Harry said, as he and Tonks approached Sam and Ron. "I doubt I could have been that gracious."

"Don't look at me, mate," Ron said defensively. "It was all her doing. Sam had a knife to my back and was threatening to take away all my treats."

"Daddy likes his treats even more than I do." Timmy said innocently.

"I somehow get the feeling Timmy and Ron are taking about two very different type of treats." Tonks said with a laugh.

Sam blushed, "Quite different."

Tonks grasped Harry's hand and kissed him on the cheek. "It's been good to see you again, Harry. I have to get to the office. They want me to hand in a written report of what happened last Friday. I'm off suspension and Anders is on. Give Hermione a kiss for me," she said as she hugged both Ron and Sam.

"Thanks Tonks," Sam said, tears in her eyes.

"My pleasure," the Auror replied.

"You know," Ron said tentatively. "You should wear your hair like that more often. It's very becoming."

"I forgot all about that," Tonks said, as she turned to leave. Abruptly, the hair became frizzy and turned a vivid greenish blue.

"There's only one Tonks," Harry said as they watched the Auror free her robes from the courtroom door's handle.

By the time Hermione left the judge's chambers, the courtroom and gallery had emptied. Sam, Timmy, Ron and Harry were the only ones remaining.

"Well, at least your not in handcuffs," Harry joked. "What did she want to talk to you about?"

"You wouldn't believe the difference," Hermione said, excitedly, "When she takes those robes off it's like she transforms into a different woman. I could have talked to her for hours."

"Thank you for not doing that," Harry said, "but what did she want?"

"Well, actually three things," Hermione said. "She wanted to assure me that you and I would not receive any problem from the court system concerning any of the girls and the nudist issue. Ebony thinks it's ridiculous how it is being blown out of proportion."

"Ebony?" Sam said questioningly. "You're now on a first name basis with the judge?"

"Yes, she even offered me a job if Hogwarts gives me the boot," Hermione said, trying to sound upbeat.

"That was right nice of her," Ron said. "What was the third thing?"

Hermione looked sheepishly at Sam and Ron. "Ebony says it's been a long time since she's performed a marriage ceremony.

Ron and Sam just looked at each other, speechless.

"But here, now!" Sam said, both loathing and loving the idea. "But we don't have rings or a license."

"I have the rings," Ron said, hopefully. "I don't go anywhere without them."

Sam looked desperately at Ron. Just ask me! Just ask me! She kept saying to herself.

"I doubt the license would be a problem," Hermione interjected. "Ebony brought up the idea and she is after all a judge."

Timmy looked quizzingly at Ron, "Are you going to marry Mommy and be my real Daddy?"

"If she'll have me," Ron answered, his body trembling as if his life hung in the balance. Ron took Sam's hands in his and dropped to one knee. He looked up at her loving face. "You alone hold the power to grant my heart's desire. Please, say you love me and that you will become my wife."

Sam sank to her knees opposite Ron and put her arms around his neck, drawing him closer. "I love you, Ronnie. Nothing could make me happier than spending the rest of my life in your arms. Yes, I'll marry you."

Timmy, who had been standing next to Hermione, hurried over and put his arms around both Ron and Sam. "Can I get married with you?"

Ebony Jones stood at the door to her cambers watching, confident that she had made the right decision.

"How soon do you think they'll need us to leave the castle," Hermione asked glumly as she and Harry trudged their way to Headmaster Snape's office.

They hadn't even unpacked yet. The message they had received was to report to the Headmaster's office immediately upon their return to Hogwarts and that is what they were doing.

"You're certainly the eternal optimist, aren't you?" Harry questioned, although he too felt like he was taking that last walk that ended with the dementor's Kiss.

"I consider myself neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but rather realistic," Hermione said as they reached the spiral staircase and just stood there looking up. "You're acquainted with the Board of Directors. Do you seriously think we stand a chance? We were on the front page of the Daily Prophet totally nude, not exactly proper conduct for Hogwarts Professors, and I extremely doubt that Playwizard Magazine is going to superimpose any black bars over my features in their publication."

"No, I doubt they will," Harry said gloomily. "I wonder what type of photos we can expect?"

Hermione face turned quite red. "I doubt we'll see any head and shoulders shots. That rag seems to concentrate primarily on the pubic area of the body," Hermione said as she squeezed Harry's hand. "I think I know what one of the pictures will be."

"You do!" Harry said in surprise. "But we never saw anyone take your picture."

"No, but we have a good idea of when the charm was removed and...." Hermione hesitated a moment and then started fresh. "That morning when I came down to the pool to wait for you, there was no one about except for the girls and a few of their friends, frolicking at the far end of the pool. I knew you'd be along shortly so I just straddled a chaise lounge and watched the girls fool around for a time. After a bit, I leaned back and obviously fell asleep.

Hermione had a look of horror on her face. "If that's when he removed the charm, I was practically laying spread eagle."

To Hermione's great surprise, Harry seemed nonplused at her revelation. "It's just another part of your body, Love, and, I might add, just as beautiful as the balance of you."

Hermione looked at Harry in disbelief. "You're starting to sound like the girls."

"Only because they're right," Harry responded. "You laying there nude was completely natural and innocent."

Hermione just shook her head. "To you and the girls maybe, even possibly to other nudists, but I doubt many that buy the magazine will think of innocence and purity when they scan the pictures. They will forever more think of me as a slag."

Harry was at a loss for words. His wife was in no way a slag, but she was right. A huge percentage of the wizard world would soon regard her as such, once those pictures were published.

Harry was about to knock, when the large doors of the headmaster's office swung open and Professor Snape beckoned them to enter.

"The hearing went well, I understand," Snape said, evidently already aware of most of the details. "And Mr. Weasley is to be congratulated on his marriage."

"Yes," said Hermione, wondering how Snape had become so well informed so quickly.

"Please, have a seat and I will bring you up to date on occurrences here at the castle," Snape said.

Hermione and Harry nervously took seats, both wishing that Severus would skip the small talk and get to the point of this meeting.

"I was extremely impressed with Jamie Zacherley's performance as a substitute Professor. It is my understanding that she intends to train as an Auror, after her time at Hogwarts is complete. She might want to reconsider; the young lady has a talent for teaching."

Hermione and Harry exchanged glances, pride evident on both their faces.

Severus' expression abruptly took a more somber quality. "As you might have surmised, the arrival of the owls at breakfast this morning caused quite a stir. Young people, for the most part, have a rather immature attitude toward nudity. Fortunately, the Gryffindors, being aware of Jamie, Caitlin and Emily's backgrounds, formed a wall of support around them. The group was joined by many friends from Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw and even a hand full of Slytherins."

"All three girls showed admirable spirit," Severus added. "I feel Jamie and Caitlin will weather the tempest unfazed. They have a great deal of support within their house. Emily, on the other hand, I fear has a much rougher road ahead of her. The vast majority of Slytherin house has ostracized her and those that supported her. I fear they all face a coarse year, as do you both."

"Then we're still employed," Harry said, seemingly amazed.

"At least for the moment," Severus said. "If I had a Galleon for every owl that board members and I received today, I'd be considerably rich; however, I don't and therefore still sit behind this desk of responsibility."

"What did they say?" Hermione asked half-heartedly.

"What didn't they say is a more fitting question?" Snape answered. "You're welcome to read them if you care." He pointed to an, until now, unnoticed pile of envelopes in the corner of the room. There must have been thousands of letters forming an avalanche vulnerable mountain. "I saved them for you, except of course the howlers. I actually thought at one point I would go deaf from the screaming.

"In the morning, the letters were running about fifty/fifty. As many people were supporting you as wanted your naked butts kicked out," Snape said, straight-faced. "But that changed when you both testified and even more when the judge rendered her verdict. I'd say you ended up with an eighty-five percent approval rating. What most likely swayed the board most was the large number of parents that threatened to shift their offspring to either Beauxbatons or Durmstrang if either of you were terminated. So your jobs are secure until November fifteenth

"November fifteenth?" Harry questioned, not immediately remembering the significance of the date.

"After which Harry will most likely still have a job, but the Playwizard slag will be out on her arse," Hermione responded angrily.

"I wouldn't have put it quite that way, but yes, I'm afraid so," Severus responded, his face now pained. "The Board reluctantly agreed to disregard the photo in the Prophet because of the fact that you were both discreetly covered. They are not at all happy with you being nudists, but, in their words, understand that extremely intelligent and gifted people quite often have eccentricities."

"They called us eccentric," Hermione responded, with amazement. "Why didn't they just say we were weird or odd, it means the same thing."

"Hermione," Severus said, calmingly, "You have to take into consideration that the average age of the Board members is one hundred and forty. Plus, they don't personally know you both like I do, but regrettably, they were flawlessly clear and adamant on one count and that was in print nudity. Should pictures of either of you show up at anytime without the benefit of those little black bars, you will be discharged straight away."

Hermione reach over and squeezed Harry's hand "At least we'll still be able to live here as a family," she said, trying to find a bright side to a dismal situation. "But I'm going to miss teaching ever so much."

"Damien, isn't the news wonderful," The Great One said, excitedly as she entered her hidden headquarters.

"I thought it would have distressed you," Damien said, looking rather confused.

"Upset me! Impossible! The news my spy brought me is wonderful," Emma Wrong said happily, lifting the crystal glass of white wine, which sat upon the table in the centre of the room.

"Oh! Then you haven't talked with Madam Hooch," Damien said nervously, realizing that he would now be the one to break the bad news.

"No, I haven't," Emma Wrong answered; coming to the conclusion that Hooch was plainly looking for her in order to give her some disappointing information.

"Evidently, we are not talking about the same news," Damien said, now trembling.

"Obviously not," the Great One said, her mood now changed to one of anger.

"Perhaps you'd care to share you're positive information before I tell you of our disappointing find." Damien said as he tried unsuccessfully to blend in with the furniture. It was at times like these, that Damien wished he had paid more attention when Disillusionment Charms were taught.

"Very well," Emma Wrong said begrudgingly. "Good news first. As you are aware the custody case concluded today, and not surprisingly, the Weasel and his bitch won. Truthfully, I could not give a damn who has custody of the little bastard, as long as they keep him healthy until the time of his sacrifice. I was more interested in hearing the private conversation after the hearing, so I had Crabbe hide in the courtroom under an invisibility cloak. Mind you that was no easy matter, considering his considerable bulk.

"Most of what he overheard was useless dribble, but he did return with one piece of worthwhile information. It seems that your girlfriend is pregnant."

Damien appeared shaken at this information.

"Oh come now, Damien. She's married to the man. I'm sure they do the dirty deed on a regular basis," The Great One chuckled, "or did you think she was pining away, saving herself for you. Good god man, she doesn't even remember you. Forget her. That perfect little naked body you adored will soon be nothing but a memory. Besides her usefulness to us will be exhausted once the baby is born.

"The important thing is that we're closer to our goal. We will soon have the second heir." The Great One smiled triumphantly.

"Excuse me," Damien said meekly. "That's what Hooch and I wanted to speak to you about."

"Have you discovered the identity of the healer and the seer?" Wrong asked excitedly.

"Not exactly," Damien, shilly-shallied. "It's Draco Malfoy." Damien gulped hard. "His ancestral link to Lord Slytherin is a sham."

"What?" The Great One shrieked.

"It seems his father paid to have numerous documents altered in order to gain favor with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Malfoy is no more the heir to Slytherin than I am."

"Damn!" the Great One vented, throwing the glass across the room barely missing Damien. "Just when I thought we were making progress. And I was so looking forward to seeing Weasley and his tart cry over the body. Hell, I can still kill the little bastard if I want. But if he's not the heir of Slytherin, then who is?

"Do you think they'll be allowed to continue teaching?" Caitlin asked as Emily, Jamie and she headed for the staff quarters.

"The fact that they were at the head table for dinner is a good sign," Jamie answered encouragingly.

"I think the whole subject is ludicrous," Emily added angrily. "Everybody knows they're the two most excellent teachers Hogwarts has."

"People just don't understand naturism," Jamie said, dejectedly.

"Yeah! And it's easier to discriminate against something you don't understand rather than take the time to learn about it," Emily said, her voice echoing her frustration.

Once they reached the quarters, Caitlin went to open the door and then paused. "What do we do once we get inside?" she asked.

"What to you mean?" Jamie questioned.

"Well, normally I'd strip out of my garments," Caitlin said, confused. "But under the circumstances, maybe we should stay dressed."

Jamie looked at Caitlin perplexed. "I hadn't thought about it, but you're probably right. Harry and Hermione will undoubtedly want absolutely nothing to do with nudity after what has occurred. Hopefully, in time, we can go back to being nude here, but for now we should probably stay dressed."

Emily looked aghast. "You're not serious? All day long, people have been taunting me about being a nudist. I've been so looking forward to getting up here and relaxing. Now you want me to keep these on," she said, looking disgustingly at her clothes.

"Stop thinking about yourself and think of Hermione and Harry, especially Hermione." Jamie said, irritably. "If it hadn't been for us, neither one of them would have even considered naturism. They wouldn't have gone to that resort, and none of those pictures that Playwizard Magazine has would exist."

Emily sulked as they entered the door. Jamie was correct, yet it didn't seem right or fair. No one had forced Harry and Hermione to be nudists. They tried it of their own free will and they both now loved the way of life, especially Hermione. The entire family had a brilliant time on vacation. What they did hurt no one. But now, because of some git of a photographer, they were all going to suffer. Emily was in fact sickened at the prospect.

The sound of the door initially startled Harry and Hermione, who were cuddled by the fire, talking. Harry looked at the girls and then with an upbeat voice said, "We were wondering if you three would be joining us tonight," he said. "Why don't you grab a butter beer and then sit down? I imagine we have lots of stories to swap."

"See," Hermione whispered to Harry as the girls went into the kitchen area. "Things are changing already. When have you known them to not shed their clothes the moment they entered the door?"

"And when is the last time you and I cuddled with you fully dressed?" Harry asked. "If you don't want things to change, then you can't be part of the change."

"I know you're right, but being nude makes me think of that photographer and what pictures he might have taken," Hermione said, depressed. "I'm not embarrassed any more to be seen nude, but that magazine has a tendency to print rather extreme close-ups. I'm not looking forward to people asking me to autograph a picture of my most intimate parts."

"No one would ever do that," Harry said.

"No," Hermione said, trying to be more realistic. "I doubt any one would be so crass to ask that, but that doesn't mean the magazine won't print it. They're known for their crude pictures."

Harry nodded his head in agreement as the girls entered the room and plopped down. "How bad was it for you this morning when the Daily Prophet was delivered?" Harry asked.

Jamie quickly explained how at first they were ready to flee the Great Hall, but then their friends and fellow Gryffindors gathered around them in support. Hermione was extremely pleased to hear that even some Slytherins had given moral support.

"I always knew Doris Burke was special," Hermione said, quite pleased. "She actually hugged all of you?"

"Yeah!" Said Jamie. "She asked if we could become friends; perhaps make up for the last five years. I feel like I've missed out, not having her as a friend until now."

"And three of your dorm mates joined you?" Hermione asked Emily. "That's impressive!"

"I thought someone else might support me, too," Emily said rather sadly. "But I was happy that Becky and Marta joined Kim and me."

"Enough about us," Jamie finally said. "We'll survive. What about you guys? How did the Board react to the picture and article in the Prophet?"

"They reluctantly accepted the fact that we are eccentric nudists," Harry answered. "We can keep our jobs; at least for the moment."

"They actually referred to you both as eccentric?" Caitlin asked. "I guess that means they think the whole family is odd?"

Harry nodded his head. "What do you mean by 'for the time being'?" Emily asked concernedly.

Hermione gazed in the direction of her youngest daughter. "It means that in all probability, Harry's job is secure, but when the December issue of Playwizard is distributed, I'll be sacked."

All three girls looked in Hermione's direction and as one cried, "No!"

Jamie and Caitlin ran and threw their arms around Hermione, but Emily instead ran to her bedroom, tears flowing freely from her eyes.

Hermione went to get up and follow Emily, but Harry indicated for her to stay with Jamie and Caitlin. Instead, Harry got to his feet and headed for Emily's room.

She hadn't closed the door and Harry was rather taken aback when he reached the threshold. Emily had literally thrown herself on the bed and was stretched out with her head buried in the bed pillow. In her present position, the short skirt she wore was incapable of covering all it was in theory designed to cover up. Harry turned his head to leave and then realized how silly he was being. He wasn't seeing anything he hadn't seen a thousand times before; it just seemed wrong because she was dressed instead of nude.

He sat on the side of the bed and started stroking Emily's hair as she continued to cry. Neither spoke for quite some time. Finally, Emily said, "It's all our fault. If it wasn't for us, you and Hermione would be normal people, a young couple with a baby on the way. You should have never taken us in; we've ruined your lives!"

"Emily, look at me," Harry said firmly.

Emily slowly turned on her side as Harry leaned over and tenderly kissed her cheek. "Slytherin," he said, shaking his head with a sly grin tugging at the sides of his mouth, "will you get it through your head that you, Jamie and Caitlin are the best thing that ever happened to us? Not once has Hermione or I regretted the choices we've made."

"Surely you regret going to Cap d'Adge," Emily said between sobs. "I'm not going to be a nudist anymore. It causes too much pain for the people I love." Emily buried her head in the pillow once more.

"I'm sorry to hear that," Harry said as he stood up and started quietly undressing. "Hermione and I have every intention of remaining naturists. We were hoping to have a family nature swim in the Room of Requirements tonight, but I guess you can still come along and wear a top and shorts."

Emily turned her head to look at Harry and was shaken to find him standing next to the bed totally exposed. She hadn't seen him this way since vacation. "In spite of everything that's happened and even considering the magazine?" She asked.

"You girls have said it a million times; we're not hurting anyone by being nude. We have no intentions of changing a life style we have come to appreciate. Certainly! Hermione is upset about losing her position, but we are what we are. People either accept that or we move on."

"Can I change my mind?" Emily said hopefully as she started taking her shoes and socks off.

"I was hoping you would," Harry said gladly as he watched Emily hop to her feet and quickly remove her skirt and blouse.

"I'm taller than you," Emily said, finally smiling as she continued to stand on the bed and put her arms around Harry's neck. "Will you carry me, Dad?"

Harry put his arms around Emily's waist and was about to draw her closer when she said, "Just this once, will you please carry me properly so I don't fall."

Harry looked at Emily questioningly, not quite understanding how she wanted to be held.

"My real father always held me under my bum. It's really much easier to pick me up that way."

Harry reluctantly proceeded to do as Emily suggested. "Now lift me," Emily said, as Harry picked her up. Emily wrapped her legs around his waist. "Isn't that better?

Harry was a little uncomfortable at first. Then, he thought about how he and Emily were holding each other and realized that they were not holding each other any differently than the way many other children were held by their fathers' in public. The only difference was that those other children and their parents were always clothed.

"Do the others know we're going swimming?" Emily asked excitedly, practically bouncing in Harry's arms."

"I'm hoping that Hermione told them and that they're all ready," Harry said, as he carried his daughter out of the room.

"Good you're all set," he said as he saw the three attractive witches in their robes standing near the door. He assumed they were naked underneath.

"We're ready," Hermione said light heartedly. "but I hope you two don't intend to walk through the halls like that?"

"We most certainly do," Harry said as everyone, including Emily, looked at him in alarm. "Well, maybe we'll cover ourselves with my invisibility cloak? Will you run get it Emily?"

Emily quickly returned with the cloak, and soon three witches were headed for the Room of Requirements followed closely by a giggling sound that seemed to emanate from thin air.

"Are things back to normal then?" Caitlin asked as the three girls hurried down the stairs from the faculty quarters.

"Hardly," Jamie said. "That was simply a show for our benefit. Don't get me wrong; I think Harry and Hermione have come to enjoy naturism and fully intend to continue the practice, but they're both miserable. They just don't want us depressed or taking the blame for what has happened."

"Then you think Mum will be fired?" Emily asked forlornly.

"Unfortunately, I don't see any way around it," Jamie responded. "The Board of Directors would fire her even if the pictures were tastefully shot and only of her topless. I've seen a few copies of that magazine, and I'm sure the pictures will be anything but refined."

"Then in your view, there will probably be close ups of her twat?" Emily asked.

"That's not a word I like to hear you use," Jamie said, admonishingly. "but that's exactly what I expect. Since we never saw anyone, I'm sure most of the photos were taken with a telephoto lens and most likely when Hermione was in an awkwardly exposed position."

"Is that legal?" Caitlin inquired.

"Yes, we were in a public setting and it was our choice to be nude." Jamie explained. "Having appeared in two teen pageants, I imagine there are oodles of pictures of me floating around; of course they're muggle photos. I know both pageants were video taped, but that was done in an appropriate way, not unprofessionally."

"He had to be a wanker; no self-respecting photographer would take nude pictures of a person without their permission," Emily said with anger.

"I'm disgusted with the management of /Playwizard Magazine/," Jamie said just before the girls broke company. "It's one thing to print their type of pictures if the girls willingly pose and are paid, but to ruin someone's life and cause him or her to lose their means of employment so that you can make money with unauthorized pictures is revolting."

The girls parted, Emily heading for the dungeons and Slytherin House, Caitlin and Jamie to Gryffindor Tower. They all had an empty feeling.

"That was fun," Hermione said two hours later as Harry held her in his arms. "but you and the girls have a tendency to get rather rough. I have scratch marks all over my body."

"At least your reproductive system can't be used as a lifeline," Harry said.

"Not, hardly!" Hermione said, stunned by Harry's comment. "What happened?"

"It was when Emily and Jamie were swinging Caitlin back and forth, holding her hands and feet. They ended up sort of tossing her at me. Caitlin kind of panicked as she went under water and just grabbed anything she could to hold onto."

"And the something was your penis?" Hermione said dazed.

"Obviously, it was an accident; she simply questioned if she had hurt me. It's not just talk with the girls; the three of them actually don't think it's a big deal to touch or be touched anywhere when it's not sexual."

Hermione nodded her head in agreement. "I know what you mean. In an effort to dunk me, none of the three hesitated to grab any part of me. It gave them an unfair advantage until I decided enough was enough."

"What did you do?" Harry questioned.

"I started using their tactics," Hermione said innocently. "It really caught Jamie off guard the first time. She had the funniest look on her face. Not upset, but like she had just lost the advantage she had over me. Harry, it amazes me how much those girls have changed me. I wish I had grown up being a naturist."

"If you had, would you have told Ron and me?" Harry asked out of curiosity.

Hermione smiled and then blushed as she gave Harry a hug. "I wouldn't have had to tell you. You would have noticed."

Harry visualized Ron and him walking the halls of Hogwarts under the invisibility cloak with a naked Hermione between them.

"Harry, how do you do it?" Hermione asked.

"How do I do what?" he asked

"How do you avoid being excited when you are around the girls? I would think that just seeing Jamie naked would cause you to have a reaction; she's so beautiful. How can you control yourself around them?" she asked

"It's a case of mind over matter. I pretend they're someone else."

"Someone else?"

"Yes, when the girls are around, I imagine that Caitlin is McGonagall and Emily is Grubbly-Plank."

"And who is Jamie,"

"She's been different people, but I find that Dolores Umbridge seems to turn me off the most."

"And just what Professor do you think of when you make love with me?"

"I've tried thinking of Snape and Malfoy," Harry said facetiously, "but that didn't produce the desired results. So I visualize the most beautiful witch to ever grace the halls of Hogwarts, Hermione Granger.

Hermione awarded Harry for that response by kissing him fervently. Her life was being torn apart, but she had what was most vital for her survival, his love.

Harry awoke at around three in the morning to the sound of sobbing. He moved closer, holding his trembling wife in his arms and gently caressing her back. He didn't ask why she was crying; he already knew.

"Harry, am I selfish?" Hermione finally asked, ending the silence.

"You!" he said incredulously. "You're one of the most giving and selfless people I've ever met."

"I don't feel noble. I should be happy and content. After all, I have you, as a husband. That alone would make most women feel blessed. And then I have three wonder girls that I cherish and that love me in return. I'm well educated, a hyperempath, and I've just been offered a wonderful job with a prestigious judge. I'm young, could train for any career I'd like, but yet I'm miserable, and it's not because of the pictures. I'm, most certainly, not happy with the thought of men wanking off to my naked image or people viewing close-ups of my privates, but I'm not going to hang my head in shame. I didn't intentionally pose for lurid pictures. They were taken without my knowledge when I was doing purely innocent activity.

"It's just..." she hesitated. "Harry, I don't want to start a new career. I was meant to be a teacher and I love teaching here at Hogwarts. No matter what else I do, I'll never be happy and content like I am here. It's just not fair. I worked so hard and now in a little more than a month, it will be history."

Harry held her tightly, but said nothing. No words could relieve the pain Hermione was feeling. Once again, Harry felt helpless; he was letting his wife down. Men are supposed to be heroes and protect the ones they love from sadness and danger. Last winter, Hermione had been practically stolen from his arms, and he was unable to rescue her. Now, she was about to be mortified and lose the teaching position she coveted, and again, it seemed he was powerless to aid.

The warm early September days soon gave way to the brisk days of October. The once green trees for a short time displayed their glorious fall colors before becoming bare, ready for winter. With, homework, exams, Quidditch practice and the incessant badgering from her fellow Slytherins, Emily didn't get to see much of Caitlin and Jamie during the next month. Except for class, she also had little contact with Harry and Hermione, but it was evident that her Mum was dreading the passage of each day. Hermione's vibrancy and smile dimmed with the knowledge that her time at Hogwarts was quickly drawing to a close.

Soon, Halloween was nearly upon them and all the houses were preparing for huge parties. Jamie and Caitlin reminisced about the previous year when they had found themselves completely nude in the middle of the Gryffindor common room; one of them due to an accident and the other by choice. This year, both doubted they would even attend the party. It somehow seemed wrong to party with Hermione about to lose her job.

Harry and Hermione had run out of options. Seamus had tried everything imaginable from a legal standpoint to stop publication of Hermione's pictures, but as they had expected, those efforts were fruitless. Harry had even owled Playwizard Magazine asking to meet with the editor in hopes of somehow persuading him not to publish the pictures. He received no reply. They had both accepted the inevitable.

Friday, October 22, 2004

He had waited outside in the hall for her to leave the common room; finally at last, she was alone. Why was she avoiding him? He felt they had a wonderful relationship and thought she sensed the same. Yet ever since they had been intimate, things seemed different. She had agreed and actually seemed to be just as eager as him, but now she gave the impression of being so distant. She appeared to circumvent being alone with him, even avoided talking to him whenever possible.

The boy remained out of sight as he followed her down steep staircases and through long corridors. Finally, he saw her enter the library. He was about to corner her; finally they would talk. At last he would learn why she was steering clear of him.

As he reached the library entrance and gazed about the huge room; it appeared empty. She was no place to be seen. Slowly he walked past row and row of books.

At long last, there she was in the medical section nervously reading a book. When he spoke her name, the girl's face flushed and she clutched the open book to her chest. He gazed at her questioningly as he took the book in his hand and read the chapter heading, /Pregnancy: The First Stages/.

He looked at her, a combination of shock and fear covering his face.

She broke into tears. "But they don't tell you how to stop it!" she said in panic.

End of Chapter Twelve

Thank you to everyone that took the time to review chapter eleven. I think that chapter received the most reviews of any I have so far written. I find it hard to express in words exactly how good that makes me feel.

Thank you also to my wonderful betas: Amber, Paul and Peter. Sometime I should post a chapter without having them beta it first. Then you'd all realize how good they are and how important they are to our story and me.

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