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 “I'm going for a glass of water,” Harry said abruptly.  “I really can't listen to you two argue anymore.”

He turned, ignoring the stunned silence behind him, and climbed through the portrait.  He paused and turned his head.  “Might I suggest that you either kiss, or stop being friends?  You both spend all your time fighting and I can't tell if you're going through the most ridiculous case of unresolved sexual tension, or if you really don't like each other. 

“If you're staying friends because of me, don't.  If, however, this fighting is some sort of weird flirting, just get to the kissing point, and then we can all be happy.”

Harry let the portrait shut behind him, and took a deep breath.  He'd wanted to say that to his friends for longer than he could remember, and hopefully now Ginny and Seamus would either date, or stop the arguing that was driving him insane.

It didn't help that Hermione was 'studying' with Blaise Zabini, although exactly how much studying you could do in a cupboard he wasn't quite sure.  He sighed; thinking of Hermione like that always depressed him a little.  He'd been convinced that Ron and Hermione would be perfect for each other.  Well, they were - perfectly awful. 

They had gotten together, spent two days snogging the life out of each other, had a massive argument over Ron's inattention during the build up to a Quidditch match, and Hermione's, as Ron had so delicately put it, “Having her head stuck so far up her arse, you could see her hair by looking down her throat.”

Based on that comment, Ron’s career as a diplomat for the Ministry of Magic seemed assured.

It had been the most spectacular break-up seen for many years at Hogwarts.  It had also been the end of the Golden Trio, as their classmates occasionally referred to them, as neither Ron nor Hermione could stand to be close to each other for several weeks.

Hermione had found solace in the library, and it hadn't taken long for her to find that, despite him being a Slytherin, she had a lot in common with Blaise, and they'd started dating.  He was pretty sure now that they'd end up married.  They had this goofy look on their faces when they were together and just seemed to fit.

He still spent some time with the two of them, just as he did with Ron and Luna. 

Now, that was a pairing *that* still freaked him out slightly.  Sure, Luna was a nice person, but she was still as nutty as a fruitcake.  On the other hand, she was dynamite in bed.  A fact he had absolutely no wish to know, but Ron had insisted on telling him anyway.   He'd asked if he thought that Luna would mind him boasting, and he'd said, “No, of course not.  She'd find it curious, and invite you to watch anyway.”

That offer had been the subject of quite a few nightmares for him.  Seeing Ron and Luna 'doing it,' was only slightly more attractive than the idea of seeing Draco and Voldemort go for it. 

Harry’s mind immediately shuddered to a halt.  He really, really, *really* needed therapy if the idea of Draco and Voldemort even percolated into his mind. 

Actually, both Ron and Hermione were now better friends than they had been at any other time.  Hermione didn't care what Ron did with home or schoolwork, and so didn't nag him, and because of that Ron didn't try and irritate her so much.

He, of course, was spectacularly single.  Gloriously single.  Beautifully single.  He'd come close to dating Ginny, simply because she was there, but he'd come to his senses when she'd dumped Dean and tried Neville for a bit.  He thought of her as a really close friend...but not one he'd ever like to date. 

Having seen Ron and Hermione self-destruct with such amazing ineptitude, there was no way in Hell he was ever going through anything similar. 

Because of the splitting up of the trio and Hermione and Ron finding different partners, he'd had more time, and had become a little closer to Neville, Dean, and Seamus.  Nice guys, all of them, and while they'd never be as close as he was to Ron and Hermione, they made for good evenings sitting around talking.

Dean was currently dating Susan, having dated Lavender just after Ginny. 

From what he could tell, Hogwarts had some sort of curse - so that as soon as people hit sixteen - or fifteen in Ginny's case - they went opposite sex crazy and started to live real life soap operas.  For some reason, he'd thought that the wizarding world would be free of that sort of thing, but alas, it was just as chock full of teenage hormones as the Muggle world.

Of course, having a war going on at the same time added just that extra dash of dynamite to a flammable situation.  He was willing to bet galleons to gobstones that the war had been used as a convenient excuse for illicit activities by half his year.

Without realising where he was going, he found himself outside his favourite retreat, and knocked on the door.

“Come,” the stern voice echoed through the stone statue.

Harry tapped the statue’s nose, and waited as it rolled to one side.  “That's a really ostentatious door,” he noted as he walked in.

“You think it's too much?”

“Yep.  It would ruin your reputation if the rest of the school knew.”

“Oh pish, Harry.  Drink?”

“Water would be nice.”

“Water?”

“Yeah.  Strange, I know.”

“So what brings you to my room this evening?”

“Too many rampaging teenage hormones.  How have you stood it for all these years?”

“Practice Harry.  And the knowledge that birth control is readily available helps a great deal, too.”

“It is?”

“Yes.  We tried banning sex in your parents’ time.  That was a disaster; we had five pregnancies in short order.  As soon as you ban something, perfectly normal students jump on it like it's the Philosopher’s stone.”

“Interesting analogy.”

“Would you prefer it if I said, ‘like it's the key to defeat Voldemort.’”

“Probably, yes.”

“Here, drink your water.”

“Thanks.  So, am I the only person who thinks that Ron and Luna are going to get expelled?”

“No.  We have a bet going on.  Well, everyone but Professor Snape, obviously.  My personal feeling is some time in the New Year.”

“That long?  I expect them to be caught in flagrante’ delecto before Christmas.  Of course, that’s because they've already borrowed my invisibility cloak once.  And that’s the last time, I can assure you.  It took me an age to get the smell out!  And you know what Snape's nose is like.  I was standing very still, as he walked past, and it was a close thing.  I could see his beak twitch.”

“Harry!”

“Oh please.  You know how I feel about him.  And don't start with that ‘try getting to know him’ nonsense - I tried that, he acted like he was twelve, and I no longer care.”

“Anyway, Ron's already hinted that Luna wants somewhere more public to announce her love of searching for one-eyed trouser snakes, so I reckon they'll be discovered doing it on Snape's desk before the end of term.”

“Hold on one second, Harry.”  The professor opened a large book and scanned down the pages.  “That's not taken; do you want to put some money on it?  The pot's at two hundred galleons at the moment.”

“Sure, how much is the entry?”

“Five galleons.”

“You've got forty people in there?”

“All the teachers, and most of the adults in Hogsmeade.”

“I'd have never thought that Hogwarts had such a seedy underbelly.”

“You think the Professors spend their nights marking exams and drinking tea?”

“Well, yes.  Apart from Snape, obviously.  I always pictured him drinking blood and engaging in masochistic acts of perversion.”

The professor laughed.  “Just remember Harry, just because I've told you, doesn't mean that you can tell anyone else.”

“I know,” Harry smiled reassuringly.  “I appreciate being given a bolt hole like this.  This has been the weirdest year of my life so far.  And I've faced Voldemort.”

“You know, you need a girlfriend.”

“Oh don't you start.  I don't see a Mr McGonagall lying around in wait.”

“Be that as it may, Harry.  I do still remember what it was like when I was young.”

“If you're going to tell me you had a crush on Dumbledore, I really don't want to hear it.”

“In his hey-day, Albus was voted Most Eligible Wizard six years running.  A record that even Lockhart couldn't beat.”

“Now why didn't I know this several years ago when it would have been useful?”

“For many very good reasons,” McGonagall replied calmly.  “Not least of which was the bottle of fire whiskey Albus gave me for keeping silent.”

“Now you see, there's another thing that would have been nice to know.  Anyway, having a girlfriend seems like a lot of hassle for very little reward.”

“Much as I hate to encourage you, you might find it relaxing to get rid of certain tensions.”

“I thought that's what copies of PlayWizard and the shower were for.”

“Harry!  There are some things that even I don't want to know.”

“What, you thought I didn't?  I might be a girlfriend-less loser, but even I understand the pleasure of a little release every now and again.

“But let's move on, because I've just realised where this conversation could go, and I'd never be able to sit in your class again.”

“Quite.”

“Okay, Draco is planning on adding something to your food on Friday.  He wants to get back at you for that detention you gave him.  I had a quiet word with Dobby, and he's going to switch the plates so that Snape has it.  I'd appreciate it if you stop Snape from accusing me, and point out that Draco will probably have the antidote in his pocket.”

“You could have just stopped it altogether,” McGonagall said with a sigh.

“Of course I could.  But as I saw absolutely no reason to do so, I have no regrets.”

“You're as bad as your father.”

“Why thank you; that's the nicest thing anyone's said to me in a long time.”

“Get out of here, you young whipper-snapper.”

“Certainly, old crone.”

“Crone?  Crone?  Why, I can still take you to task for that young man.”

“Excellent, so you'll help out at the DA Meeting tomorrow?”

“I'll duel you, yes.  Show you there's life in these old bones yet.”

“See you tomorrow.  And thanks.”

“Anytime, Harry.”

Harry crept out of the room silently, and ghosted his way down the hall.  As soon as he was in a more public part of Hogwarts he walked normally again.  His friendship with Professor McGonagall was probably the biggest shock of the year.  After Ron and Hermione's big fight, he'd fled, and ended up alone on the Astronomy Tower roof.  The Professor had joined him, not explaining how she knew he was up there, and for the first time, he'd really opened up to her.

In a way, it had been the start of him growing up.  McGonagall had treated him as an adult, and he'd responded in kind.  Finding out that the professor had a sense of humour, that was completely corruptible when it came to gossip, and was fun to talk to, too, had shook his world almost as much as realising that Ron and Luna had screwed under his cloak.  And he still needed to have a word with Ron about that.

He walked into the Room of Requirement, deciding to practice a bit more.  Voldemort was in one of his silent phases.  This meant that he was either coming up with new plans to torture Harry, or he really was into boys, and the Death Eaters were being good Death Kneelers.

Perhaps McGonagall was right, that he needed to get a girlfriend after all.  He seemed to have sex on his brain at the moment.

He absently swayed back as a hand shot towards his face, and acting on instinct; he caught it, twisted it hard in the opposite direction, and introduced his assailant into the wall, hard.

“Ouch!” a female voice cried. “I'm sorry.”

Harry sighed audibly and released the girl.  “Exactly why were you trying to hit me?”

The longhaired girl looked at him and mumbled, “Scientific tests have proven that one of the best ways to get a reaction out of someone who's a little depressed is to slap them.”

“And you thought you'd practice this on me, why?”

“Well, I've noticed you've been depressed for a long time.  And your friends don't seem to be worried about it, so I thought I'd do something to try and help.”

“And exactly why are you so interested in me being slightly depressed?”

“Well, obviously you've got to defeat Voldemort.”

“And?”

“Well, that's it.”

Harry sighed audibly.  “Did it ever occur to you that I might not actually be depressed, that I might just have a lot on my mind?”

“You never smile anymore.”

“I never smile in public, you mean?”

“Well, yes.”

“I don't suppose you know that I'm taking Advanced Occlumency, do you?”

“Oh.”

“Indeed.”

“Part of Occlumency is learning to control your emotions, so that you may appear stern and unyielding at times,” she reflected aloud.

“Excellent.  Ten house points to Ravenclaw.”

“Wait a second, how do you know I'm not Parvati?”

“You're a different colour to her.  She's more red than you are.”

“That's possibly the most bizarre thing I've ever heard anyone say.”

Harry sighed again.  “Your aura.  Yours is mainly blue, with hints of red.  Parvati's is red with hints of blue.”

“You can see auras?”

“Evidently.”

“You don't have to be so sarcastic.”

“I think you'll find that I do.  All heroes are either sarcastic or taciturn.”

“Taciturn huh?  That’s a big word for a Gryffindor.”

“I’m a Gryffindor who's best friends with Hermione.  Some of it rubbed off.  And teasing the Gryffindor Golden Boy?  That’s mighty brave for a Ravenclaw.”

“Not really, you're Harry the Hero.”

“So you think I'm harmless?”

“To innocent Ravenclaws, yes, you are.  To Voldemort, I hope not.”

“I'm a little impressed that you can say his name.”

“It took a lot of practice, but you don't respect anyone who can't say it.”

“True,” Harry admitted.  He looked at her, and flipped back to his earlier thoughts about having a girlfriend.  “But you're wrong.”

“About what?” she asked, looking confused.

“Innocent Ravenclaws aren't safe from me.”

“What?” she squeaked.

Harry grabbed her arms, and raised them above her head.  He was several inches taller than her, and it was child’s play for him to lock her hands together and against the wall and above her head with one hand.

“I can be quite dangerous,” he informed her, allowing his eyes to twinkle.  Eye twinkling had actually been a lesson he'd taken with Dumbledore.  He'd always thought that it was natural, but it turned out that it was a part of Occlumency, and he'd enjoyed learning how to do it.

“You can?”

“Yes,” he growled.  With his free hand, he caught her chin, raising it to force her to look into his eyes.  “I can be.”

“Now what?” she asked, a slight smile on her face.

Harry paused.

“You see, you're a hero.  I'm an innocent maiden.  You're defenceless against my charms.”

“You read too many novels.”

“Don't you think that I'm pretty?”

“You're the most beautiful girl in the school,” he said simply.  It was true, most of the seventh years were average, and while there were other pretty girls in the school, no one matched the Patil twins.

“I'm a twin.”

“I know, but I don't like red, remember?”

“Then thank you.”

The door to the Room of Requirement opened, and Neville walked in.

“Neville,” Harry said calmly, not taking his eyes of Padma.

“Yes, Harry?”

“Leave.”

Neville snickered.

“If I hear anything about this,” Harry said calmly, “you're going to be my demonstration puppet in class tomorrow.  And I've got some particularly nasty curses I was saving just for Draco, but I'm willing to pass on that.”

Neville's gulp was audible across the room.  “I've not seen a thing,” he assured them.

“Excellent.  Lock the door behind you.”

“Yes, Harry.”

“See,” Padma smirked.  “Gryffindors you can handle.  But give you a maiden and you're putty.”

“Why are you pushing me?”

“Because I don't want you to stop.”

“What?”

“Oh please, you think that Luna is the only Ravenclaw with an adventurous streak?”

“What?”

“Is this more of that famous Gryffindor wit you were talking about earlier?”

“Wench.”

“That's more like it; you're even talking like a hero now.”

“Exactly what did you mean by that Luna comment?”

“Well, where do you think that Luna got all her ideas from?”

“I shudder to think.”

“Good point.  Actually, it's down to a study session we all had at the start of term.  While you and the Gryffindors were doing heroic things, we broke into the restricted section of the library.”

“If you open the red book on the second shelf to page 16, and say, 'I promise to use the information I find for pranks,' the alarms turn off.”

“And exactly how do you know that?”

“You Ravenclaws don't know everything.  It was part of me being heroic.  All heroes know the secret combination.”

“Anyway, after a lot of work – and you will never tell anyone that secret by the way, it would devalue our work.”

“That’s pretty convoluted logic.”

“Shh.  Anyway we picked up every book on sex in there and had a study session.  Did you know that there's a spell to remove some bones so that you can get into some really strange positions?”

“No.  And I'd rather not.  I'd be thinking of Ron and Luna doing it.”

“She’s a determined girl, that one.  Ron had no chance.”

“Do I want to know?”

“I thought Ron told you everything.”

“I finally had to cast a silencing spell on him.”

“Really?  Do you use magic for everything?”

“If I need to, yes.”

“No wonder you're so good at it.  Anyway, she sent Ron a message, walked in naked, and told him they were going to search for Narbuckles.”

“What are Narbuckles?”

“I have no idea at all.  Ron agreed, and according to Luna, swore that he could see them an hour later.”

“Stop!” Harry groaned.  “Why is everyone in this school sex mad?”

“They're not, actually.  It just seems that way.  Ron and Luna are the only couple having sex.  Everyone else just talks about it a lot.”

“How do you know that?”

“You know, you should be a Ravenclaw - you're very inquisitive.”

With a loud bang, the door flew open as it was magically unlocked, and Draco Malfoy, accompanied by Crabbe and Goyle, stormed in, wands at the ready.

“I told you you'd pay,” Draco snarled.

“Excuse me one minute,” Harry said to Padma politely.  He turned, and without hesitation threw two fireballs at the bodyguards.  They both jumped out of the way, straight into the two Stunning spells he'd sent after them.

“Didn't anyone tell you it's rude not to knock?”

Draco looked at his two fallen bodyguards and gulped. 

“You didn't use your wand,” he whined.

“I know,” Harry agreed.  “It's a talent.  And now I'm afraid I'm going to have to kick your arse.”

Draco gulped once more, and raised his wand.  “Stupefy!” he chanted.

Harry rolled his eyes and let the spell hit him.  “That tingles,” he muttered.

“About the paying,” Draco said, a nervous smile appearing on his face.  “I was only joking, of course.  And I am sorry for interrupting.”

“Your problem, Draco, is that you're a coward on top of being incompetent.  If you were merely one or the other, I could accept it.  But not both.”  He closed the distance between them in the blink of an eye, without and further formalities, introduced his fist to Draco's jaw.  Draco's jaw protested at the introduction in the most strenuous way it could - by breaking into several pieces.

Harry sighed, pulled out his wand, and healed the jaw.

“You can do wandless magic?” Padma gasped.

“Indubitably, my dear Padma.”

“And you've read Conan-Doyle.”

“Reading isn't just the prerogative of the Ravenclaws.”

“What are you going to do with them?”

“Dunno,” Harry sighed.  “Obliviate them.”

“Well, why not Obliviate them, then put them to sleep, strip them, cuddle them up together and let them be discovered somewhere.”

“That's pure evil.”

“It is?”

“And pure genius.”

“Oh. Then, yes, it is.”

Harry casually cast a series of spells without bothering to say the incantation.

“I didn't quite realise just how good you are,” Padma said quietly, after watching that demonstration of power and ability.

Harry shrugged.  “Where were we?”

Padma grinned and undid her robes, letting them fall to the floor.  “I think you had me against the wall,” she said, raising her hands above her head again.

“And I think you had your robe on.”

“The school uniform is perfectly decent.”

“When it's not a few sizes too small.”

“So I might have accidentally put on an old shirt.”

“Accidentally?”

“Mmmm hmm.”

“You were going to tell me how you knew that people were just talking about sex.”

“Oh, Ravenclaw spy network.”

“The Ravenclaws have a spy network?”

“Of course.  The Hufflepuffs don't care.  The Gryffindors are too noble, and the Slytherins are too clumsy.  Ravenclaws know that knowledge is power, and knowing what is going on keeps us going.”

“Oh,” Harry said, as he reached up to hold her hands in place again.  “I haven't heard any rumours about you dating.”

“True.  It's hard being a twin.”

“Why?”

“The first thing a boy asks is if Parvati and I share everything.”

“Why would they want to know that?”

“Are you serious?”

“Shouldn't I be?”

“They were asking if Parvati and I would share a boy.”

“Ewww.”

“What?”

“I said, ewww.  I like your sister from a distance, but have no wish to get close to her.  And besides, wouldn't that be incest?”

“Most boys seems to think that it's not, if we're identical.”

“And people wonder why I'm standoffish.”

“Now would be a good time for you to kiss me.”

“It would?”

“Yes.”

“Sorry.  I'm not going to kiss someone I'm not dating.”

“Then bloody ask me out.”

“Have patience.”

“Screw patience.”

“I thought you Ravenclaws were patient?”

“You try being patient with a boy with intensely green eyes, who's just knocked out three goons without trying, who doesn't think that a threesome with my sister is a good idea, and who is holding you against the wall where you’re defenceless and completely open to molestation.”

“That sounded like a hint.”

“It was.”

“Same thing with the kissing.  Not till we're dating.”

“Bloody hell, Harry.”

“Voldemort, remember him?  He's got this grudge against me.  Something about us wanting to kill each other.  Anyway, if you're with me, you become a target.”

“We're already against him, Harry.  Me dating you isn't going to change that.”

“You'll have to come to DA meetings more often, probably all the time, as you're going to have to learn to defend yourself.”

“I've dropped one of my subjects to give myself time.”

“Exactly how long have you been planning this?”

“Ever since I realised you weren't going to date Ginny.  There's a bit of a race on to see who can get to you first.”

“There is?”

“Yeah.  Quite a few girls from all the houses.  Fortunately, I'm smarter than they are, and they've been distracted.”

“Modest, aren't you?”

“Who's the one who's going to get kissed pretty soon?”

“If we start dating.”

“Yes, yes.  I know.  Now, I've answered the Voldemort question.  We've established that I'm good-looking.  I think I've made it pretty clear that I want you.  Exactly why aren't we kissing?”

“Because we're still not dating.”

“Bloody ask me then.”

“You know, you swear a lot.”

“Perhaps if you'd engage my mouth in some other activity it wouldn't be a problem.”

“What do you think of Madam Puddifoot's?”

“It looks like a teddy bear vomited inside it.  And before you ask, yes, I like Butterbeer.  As long as your homework is done, I'm happy to help with pranks.  I like to fly, but I've not got the competitive edge for Quidditch.  I like Hagrid, apart from his cakes, and what I want is to be a part of your life, and for you to be a part of mine.”

“How did you know what I was going to ask?”

“I told you, I've been planning this for a long time.  I'm methodical Harry.  Step one, check that we're compatible.  Step two, eliminate the competition.  Step three, come up with a unique introduction to get noticed.”

“So that slap was a fake?”

“Of course.  I recognised the training, but it got you talking.  Admittedly, there was a lot I didn't know, and how well you can fight is definitely one of them.  And you're more intelligent than I thought, which was the one thing I was worried about.”

“What were you going to do if I hadn't been?”

“In the words of a famous newspaper: make my excuses and leave.”

“Do you fancy coming to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow?”

“It's not a Hogsmeade weekend.”

“That's something you'll have to get used to if we start dating.  I don't pay much attention to the rules.”

He let his hands drop, and stared hard into her eyes. 

“Look, joking aside, dating me isn't going to be easy.  I can be as moody as hell, I do have a psychopath after me, and I have some very unusual friends, which include an Acromantula, a Hippogriff, a house-elf, a werewolf, and a Professor.  I can get into a fight for my life just by coughing at the wrong time, and there will be times I can't look after you.”

“None of this is news to me, Harry.  First off, I refuse to believe that you can be moody through a kiss.  Second, I'm a Ravenclaw - I'm going to be excited to meet your interesting friends.  Sure, I may be a little nervous, but I know you wouldn't let anything happen to your girlfriend.

“And finally, let's duel.  Now.”

“Duel?”

“Yes.  It's simple, if I last for two minutes against you, you ask me out, and I get my kiss.  If not, we put this on hold while I practice some more, and then we try it again.”

“And I'm supposed to wait for you?”

“Yes.”

“Okay.”

Padma smiled and pulled out her wand.  She walked across to the other end of the Room of Requirement, although her route did somehow allow her to step on Draco's hand as she passed.

“Ready?”

Harry nodded, and watched closely, not making any move.  “Aren't you going to put your robes back on?”

“First rule of life, Harry: Use what ever natural advantage you have.”

Harry smiled slightly and nodded.  “Good advice.  Start when you're ready.”

Padma nodded, and launched Expelliarmus at him. 

“I've not got a wand, that spell doesn't...” The end of his sentence never actually came, as he twisted violently to avoid a stunning spell.  He quickly raised his shield, mocking himself for underestimating her.  She was obviously a very determined girl.

He launched a fireball at her, curious to see what she would do.  She took the easy option and dodged it, firing a curse straight back at him.  He swayed casually to one side, and launched a series of low-level curses.

Padma cast her own shield spell, which managed to absorb his spells.  He then shoved both his hands forward, throwing a full strength curse at her.  Her shield shattered, and she stumbled backwards but didn't fall. 

Instead, she threw some of her own curses back, growling a little as she did so.

He smiled and diverted the spells with a wave of his hand.  He then pushed forward, as two balls of light exploded from his hands, travelling almost faster than he could see.  The spheres picked her up and carried her back to the wall, pinning her there.

He stalked over, and noticed a slight sheen of tears in her eyes. 

“Only one minute, fifteen seconds,” she mumbled, a tremble in her voice.

“Padma?”

“What?”

He almost smiled at the disappointment he could hear in her voice.  “Will you go to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow as my girlfriend?”

“What about the two minutes?”

“Only Dumbledore and Voldemort would be able to last two minutes against me.”

“Oh, then yes.  Please, yes.”

He smiled at her, moving closer to her, deliberately invading her personal space. 

“So you're not going to mind if I kiss you now.”

She shook her head and smiled encouragingly.

He leaned in and touched his lips to hers, gently moving against her.

“That wasn't what I expected,” she whispered against his lips.

“Good, or bad?”

“Very good.  Gentle, tender, caring.  I just forgot for a second that you're not normal.”

“Not normal?”

“A normal boy who had a girl tied to the wall like this would be forceful, demanding.”

“You seem to know a lot about boys, considering you haven't dated.”

“I have a sister with extensive experience, remember?”

“Oh, yeah.  Would you like to try a passionate kiss?”

“I don't think a girl has ever been asked that before, in quite that fashion.”

“As you said, I'm not normal.”  He released her hands from the spell, and watched as she wrapped them around him, and pulled him in for a much longer kiss.

“How was that?” he asked, as they slowly parted.  He took a breath at the radiant smile she sent him.

“Perfect,” she exhaled.  “Just so you know, I kept the best sex book, and the best way forward is to start at page one and do it step by step.”

He laughed softly, “We've only just kissed for the first time.”

“Close your eyes, Harry.”

“Okay.”

“Was it only a kiss?”

He opened his mouth, and then shut it again.  Was it only a kiss?  No, it was more than that; it was a promise, and a commitment. 

“No.”

“Exactly.”

“Why don't you come back to the Gryffindor Common Room with me?  I've got a sudden urge to show off my new girlfriend to the world.”

“Okay,” she smiled.  “Do you mind if I put my robes back on?  What you get to see and what I'm comfortable with everyone else seeing is a little different.”

“Don't ever be something you're not with me,” he said quietly.  “Just be honest, and we'll be fine.”

“I will be, but there's a different side to that as well.”

“There is?”

“I need to grow as well, and I'll need pushing and helping to do so.  You're a lot more grown up than any other student here; it's one of the reasons I was attracted to you in the first place.  I saw that you can help me overcome some of the inhibitions that are standing in my way.  So sometimes, you're going to have to make sure I take the hard decision, wear the dress that's a little racier than normal, and walk with you down the dark alley, not the light one.

“And I'll make sure you don't forget what you are fighting for, that you have someone to lean on when you need it, and that you get good grades.”

He laughed softly, and then pulled her close and kissed her lingeringly.  “You know, when I said I was going for a drink of water, the last thing I expected was to end up dating the most beautiful girl in school.”

She smiled, “If it hadn't been today, it would have been later.  And if the worst came to worst, I was prepared to do a Luna.”

He laughed again.  “I think I'm disappointed.”

“I wouldn't be,” she said as she nuzzled into his face.  “You'll enjoy it a lot more when we start going through the book.  The first chapter is how to strip.”

“I think I'm going to enjoy studying with you.”

“Damn right you are.  And when you get start getting A's, we start getting into the second chapter.”  She leant up and whispered into his ear, and laughed as he blushed bright red.

He wrapped an arm around her, “Come on, girlfriend, let's go face the others.”

“'Kay.”

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Author Notes:

Well, this is all Crys' fault. He posted in my Live Journal that I could write a story with the summary of "Harry goes for a drink of water," and people would read it. Well, I can't let that sort of challenge go, so here is the first in a trilogy of stories about boring events. The other two are "Watching Paint Dry," and "Watching Grass Grow."

As a warning, these stories are NOT Harry/Ginny, and are quite definitely NOT Ron/Hermione. If your ship affiliation is so much that you can't read anything else, turn around now. Leave. Desist and leave the swimming area now, Mister, there are sharks around.

I've been experimenting with styles a little in these stories, so I would advise you read closely, because if you skim read you will probably get a little confused. Note: I'm not apologising, merely explaining.

Thanks to [info]ohginnyfan, [info]pixiellie, [info]c_cliodne, and [info]elsielann for the pre/betaing, in such quick times.

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