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From: Minerva

To: Head of Houses

Subject: This evening’s event

I have spoken firmly with Ms Weasley concerning her actions in disrupting tonight's dinner.   She is most apologetic, and has acquiesced to receiving a weeks worth of detention with our caretaker.

From a disciplinary point of view, I felt the incident was not worth the removal of house points because members of all four houses were involved.

From a personal point of view, might I add how proud I am that a fifth year student managed to beat the combined forces of two sixth year and one seventh year student.   Proof once more that bravery and courage can overcome most obstacles.


From: S Snape

To: The heads of the lesser houses

Subject: Re: This evening's event

I have given Pansy two weeks detention.   One week for her participation and one week for losing to a /Weasley/ of all people.

I find it horrific to think that they were fighting over Potter.   If this doesn't swell that boy's head to astronomical proportions I'll eat my cauldron.

And Minnie, it's not nice to gloat.


Advocating the end of silly wand waving for fifteen years

From: Lesser houses indeed!

To: The stuck up Slytherin and my other two colleagues

Subject: Re[2]: This evening's event

Severus, one day you are going to have to remove that plant from up your $^%.

I've talked to Susan, and to be honest, I felt so sorry for her I let her off with no punishment.   The poor girl has a bit of a crush on Mr Potter.   I was so pleased to see a Hufflepuff putting herself forward like that, I felt there was no need for anything additional.   Her Avis spell was extremely well performed.   Not as well as the Bat Bogey hex of Ms Parkinson though.

I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a meal so much.

Oh, and I agree Minnie, definitely not a points issue.   You might want to warn Ms Weasley that if she does manage to lose Harry, there are several girls waiting eagerly in the wings.


From: The charming gnome

To: Minne, Sevvie, and Pommie

Subject: Re[3]: This evening's event

What fun!

There was some wonderful charm work on display; I must get Ms Weasley to demonstrate that Locking charm in class one day.   Fantastic display of quick thinking, and definitely the sort of thing we will need when fighting He-who-must-not-be-named.

It was definitely not a points issue.

I had a word or two with Ms Chang, and she will be helping me in detention for the next week.   I can't have my senior Ravenclaw prefect engaged in a cross-school fight — and losing.  

Does anyone know a spell to recreate what happened before they burst through the door?   Rumour has it that there was a running battle between the four of them that I for one would love to see.

Severus, my good fellow, you are going to have to lighten up on Harry.   Have you thought about the future at all?


From: Don't call me Sevvie

To: The irritating gnome

Cc: Those other two

Subject: Re[4]: This evening's event

What do you mean by "Have you thought of the future at all?"

And call him Voldemort; it always irritates me when people give him euphemistic names.   It's not as if he can intercept these Mmails, they're on a private M.A.N.

And Pommie, your fondness for plants is NOT shared by everyone at this school, and please believe me when I say that I do not have anything, plant or otherwise, shoved up my %&^.


Advocating the end of silly wand waving for fifteen years

From: I'm NOT obsessed

To: The grumpy one

Cc: Minnie & the Gnome

Subject: Re[5]: This evening's event

Well you certainly act like it.  Perhaps you're just blocked up; have you been eating enough fibre recently?

I'm sure Poppy can help you out — or give you one, what ever you'd prefer.

Pommie — what's a M.A.N.?

From: The gnome-meister

To: The short sighted Slytherin

Subject: Re[6]: This evening's events

Severus, you've been riding Harry for his entire time here, and, understandably, he thinks of you as someone just below Voldemort (Happy?).

Have you considered what's going to happen when he wins and becomes Minister of Magic in a few years’ time?

I hear there's a great school in Siberia that always looking for new teachers.   I'd pack warm clothing.


From: Not just a potions master

To: The technophobic plant lover

Cc: Minnie and the Gnome

Subject: Re[7]: This evening’s events

Yes, I have been eating my fibre, thank you very much.   I'd appreciate it if you could keep your smutty innuendos to yourself.

And if you'd pull your head out of a plant pot for a few minutes, you'd know that M.A.N is a Magical Area Network.   When you create your Mmail with an internal Hogwarts destination, it stays in the building, and as such is completely secure.   It's only when you send it to an external address that it goes onto the WizardNet, and that can be intercepted if someone wastes enough time doing it.

If you want something really insecure, send something through the WizardNet/MuggleNet gateway.   I know for a fact that the Ministry, the Prophet, and the Death Eaters monitor all the traffic through there.


Advocating the end of silly wand waving for fifteen years

From: Going paler than normal

To: The charming professor

Cc: Plant girl and Cat girl

Subject: Potter as Minister

Do you really think that a: Potter will beat Voldemort?   And b: he'll end up as Minister of Magic?


Advocating the end of silly wand waving for fifteen years

From:   Is that an insult?

To: Dungeon Lurker

Cc: The small one and the plant lover

Subject: Re: Potter as Minister

Will Potter beat Voldemort?

I certainly hope so.   He's our only hope really, but can you think of anyone else you'd want in his position?   You all know how close we came to having Neville as the chosen one.   I know he's in my house, but the very idea is enough to make me consider changing into my cat shape and finding a nice Muggle to live with.

Can Potter be Minister?

Two days ago I would have said unlikely, until I had this talk with Ms Weasley.   That is one extremely ambitious girl, who I believe has decided that if she has anything to do with it Harry will end up as Minister.   She has enough ambition for both of them and probably more.

I agree with Filius, Sev; you need to get over the fact that James could be an arrogant arse at times (yes, I loved the boy, but even I could see it) and get to know Harry properly, or I can see you putting in a bulk order for thermal robes.   He might not be the sort to be that petty, but Ms Weasley is.


From: A charming personality makes up for a lack of size

To: Has had his head in his cauldron for years

Cc: Pretty pussy & plant potter

Subject: Re[2]: Potter as Minister

I agree completely with what Minnie said.   If someone pushes him in the right direction, there's nothing he can't do.   You should see some of the charms he pulls off in my classroom; they make ME jealous, and I've been teaching for thirty years.   He's inherited all of his mother's talents, and a lot more.  

To change the subject slightly, were any of you watching Mr Weasley's face after Ms Weasley’s rather convincing invitation to the dance?   He was both horrified and terrified.   Rumour has reached me that her six brothers have decided that their younger sister is not old enough to date yet, and have frightened off both her previous boyfriends.   I do wonder if they are going to take that route with Mr Potter.


From: Taking his head out of the cauldron

To: The charming professor Flitwick

Cc: Minerva and Ponoma

Subject: Re[3]: Potter as Minister

*Sigh* Perhaps you are right; it's becoming tiresome to keep up this animosity after all these years anyway.  

Still, your comment on Mr Weasley has reminded me of something...   I've just had a great idea; I'll put it in another Mmail.


Advocating the end of silly wand waving for fifteen years

From: Severus Snape

To: All Staff @ Hogwarts

Subject: The upcoming war

No, not the one with Voldemort - the interesting one.

After a discussion between me, Minnie, Pommy, and Fillie, it has become obvious that last night's distraction could be the start of something a lot bigger.

The six Weasley boys are against their sister dating anyone till she is 24.   I happened to stumble across the twins having a quiet word with Dean Thomas — I had hoped they'd never set foot back in Hogwarts again, but that's not the point — they explained their position, and threatened the boy with some rather dire punishments involving parts of his anatomy and a permanent shrinking charm.  

With Ms Weasley’s rather public declaration of interest in Potter, I feel that, as teachers, we need to step into this immediately.

So, I'm offering:

4-1 odds on the Weasley boys winning

2-1 on Potter winning

The rules are simple — The Weasleys win if Potter and Ms Weasley break up.   Potter wins if they are still together at the end of the school year.

All bets are void in the case of Voldemort killing the boy — I don't think we'd care either way if that happens.


Advocating the end of silly wand waving for fifteen years

From: Prophecy Girl

To: All staff

Subject: Re: The upcoming war

Severus, I will place 20 galleons on the Weasley boys, I have foreseen their victory.


Cross my palm with silver and I'll tell you your future

From: Poppy

To: All Staff

Subject: Re: The upcoming war

I'll put 20 on Harry.   Any boy who's spent as much time in the hospital wing as he has, and survived, should have no problem getting the girl he wants.


From: Deputy Headmistress McGonagall

To: All staff

Subject: Re: The upcoming war

I'm truly disgusted that the upstanding denizens of Hogwarts faculty would denigrate themselves to such a level that they would bet on a student’s love life.

That said...20 on Harry ;)



From: Hoochie Momma

To: All staff

Subject: Re: The upcoming war

My money's on the Weasleys.   Why?   Well, apart from Charlie being almost as good as Harry is in the air (and as I always say, you can tell the worth of a wizard by how he flies), they have the twins on their side.   20 on the Weasleys


"Hey Harry," Ginny said with a tired smile, as she plopped herself down unceremoniously on his lap.  

"Hey Gin," Harry replied.   "Will you go out with me, properly?"

Ginny twisted slightly to look at his face.   "I thought I asked you out earlier?"

"No, you asked me to the dance.   I'm asking you out as a boyfriend/girlfriend type thing."

She gave him her brightest smile, touched by his willingness to make sure that they had a formal relationship.

"I kept you some dinner."   He pointed to a tray next to her; a warming charm was giving off a faint golden glow.

"Awww, thank you," she kissed him on the cheek as briefly as she could before reaching for the tray.   Her exercise running across the Hogwarts grounds and casting several spells, followed by the endless lecture from McGonagall, had left her famished.   She noted that he'd managed to get all of her favourites and felt that a week's detention was definitely a cheap price to pay for a thoughtful new boyfriend.

"So, what was all that fuss at dinner about?"

"Well," Ginny mumbled, in between bites.   "The four of us were looking for you all afternoon. Where were you, anyway?"

"I'll tell you later.   Continue your story."

"We all met up at Hagrid's hut, where Dumbledore told us you were in the Great Hall, so we had a bit of a fight to get to you first."

"Why?" Harry looked a little confused.

"We all wanted to ask you to the dance; as it's a Sadie Hawkins, who ever she is, the girl asks the boy."

"Yeah, I've read my mail now.   But why would you need to fight them to get to me?"

"So I got there first," Ginny said, as if it should be obvious.  

A sudden frown appeared on Harry's face.   "Do you think I would have said yes to them if they had asked first?"

Ginny, with her head down, as she was concentrating on eating, missed the look.   "Well, yeah.   It doesn't matter now, I won."

With a move that would later frustrate the heck out of Ginny, as she tried to work out exactly how he moved from under her without her even noticing, Harry stood in front of her.   "Ginny, I believe that respect is an important part of a relationship.   I would have turned down anyone else who asked me out, because I've started to have some strong feelings for you.   Do you really think so little off me that I would kiss you like I have been, then accept a date with someone else?   I'd hoped that you knew me a little better than that.   I'm going to get some sleep, we'll talk tomorrow."

Harry turned on his heel, leaving a shocked girl behind him.   A girl who banged her head repeatedly against the back of the chair a few seconds after he was out of sight.

"That didn't go well," Hermione, who had been sat silently watching them, said softly.

"No, not really," Ginny agreed.

"I guess we both kind of underestimated him," Hermione offered.

"Yep," Ginny agreed.   "You know, after all my thoughts about how he can defeat Voldemort, and how he can do anything, I still fell into same trap that everyone did and thought of him as plain Harry."

Hermione nodded, "Me too."   It was an unusual feeling for the intelligent girl to realise she had been a bit stupid.  

"I'm banking on him to stand up to my brothers, and then at the first sign of trouble, presumed he couldn't handle himself.   Bugger!"

Hermione laughed softly, she couldn't help it.   The expression on Ginny's face had set her off.

"Any idea on how I should handle this?   If you have quite finished with your sniggering?"

Hermione managed to control her laughter.   "Actually, yes, I have.   Apologise directly; he'll respect that.   Anything else will mean you haven't listened to him."

Ginny nodded, and then smiled.   "Ok, now that's out of the way.   I need the help of 'Hermione's Spy Network'."


"Your study group, silly.   I know you have friends in every house that owe you big time.   I'm going to need them to help destroy Malfoy's reputation."


"Master of monosyllabic questions today, aren't you?" Ginny smirked at her friend.   "Because he called me a whore and offered some cash so he could sleep with me."

Hermione’s jaw dropped open.   "That greasy git!"

"Yeah, I kneed him in the crotch, but he's getting out of hand."

"Good!" Hermione said approvingly.   "What's your plan?"

Ginny’s expression changed, turning to a combination of mischievousness deviousness that would have made her twin brother both proud, and relieved it wasn’t aimed at them.   "Destroy his reputation and make him a laughingstock."

A hundred memories of insults from Draco ran through Hermione's mind, so she pulled her chair neared Ginny and leant close.   "How are you going to do that?"

Anyone nearby would have wondered at the cause of the hysterical laughter that sprang from Hermione's mouth.   Fortunately, everyone else was in bed.

From: Ron

To: My older brothers


It's happened.   What the hell are we going to do now?


From: Bill

To: My younger brothers


Ron, are you absolutely sure it's a Code 1?


From:   Ron

To: The Weasley boys

Subject: Re[2]: CODE 1 EMERGENCY

Yes, I'm bloody well sure.   This afternoon our little sister pounced on Potter, snogged him in front of the entire school, and asked him to the dance.

Then, I happened to be using the extendable ears for a bit earlier today, and Potter definitely asked our little sister out on a date.


From: The twins

To: Ronniekins

Cc: Older brothers

Subject: Re: Re[2]: CODE 1 EMERGENCY

Damn it, Ron.   We knew this would happen!   He's been the most dangerous guy from the start.   She had a huge crush on him, and that was BEFORE he saved her life.   Ron, it was your job to ensure that he only thinks of her as a sister.   What happened?

Fred & George

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes — coming soon to Diagon Alley.

From: Ron (-niekins)

To: The terrible twosome

Cc: Other siblings

Subject: Re[4]: CODE 1 EMERGENCY

I bloody tried, all right.   I encouraged him to look at her like I did, to protect her like I did, and to vet her boyfriends like I did.   I had him convinced as well; I pointed him in Cho's direction as obviously as I could, even though I can't stand her.   I even had a plan to try to get him to date Lavender.  

I just didn't think about our sister snogging him in public.   I'm not bloody psychic or omnipresent.


I just remembered that when Ginny told me she knew we'd stopped her relationship with Dean, she swore that she would let her next boyfriend "Find out what is under her robes!"

Ron — getting worried.

From: Percival C. Weasley

To: Boys, Weasley.

Subject: Ginny

Gentlemen, throwing around blame is not going to help here, although Ron, you and I will be having a talk about dereliction of duty.

I believe that the first course of action must be to procure a Unicorn to test Ginny, just to make sure.


The information in this Mmail is confidential and may be legally privileged.   It is intended solely for the addressee.   Access to this Mmail by anyone else is unauthorized.   If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful.

From: Charlie

To: The boys

Subject: Re: Unicorn

Guys, while I agree with the principle of getting a Unicorn, if I remember my Care of Magical Creatures lessons, they will only come out for female virgins.   While this is what we want to check, I see no way of actually getting hold of one ourselves.


Draconis dominium

From: Bill

To: The others

Subject: Re: Re: Unicorn

Well, don't look at me; I'm dating a half-Veela.  


From: Forge

To: Youngest male relative

Cc: Everyone else

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Unicorn

Don't look at us either; we live with Katie and Angelina.   Neither of them would be any help.   Guess it comes down to the baby of the group.  Ronniekins honey, get Hermi to help.

Fred & George

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes — coming soon to Diagon Alley.

From: Don't call me Ronniekins

To: Bog off the lot of you

Subject: Re[4]: Unicorn

Not that it's any of your business, at all, but Hermione and I are both past the legal age of consent.   We can't help either.

As entertaining as it is for me to see that all of my brothers are having a healthy sex life, checking whether or not Ginny is still untouched is not a priority at the moment.   Harry would never rush into that — remember he's honourable?

So, how are we going to persuade him that it's not a good idea for him to continue dating Ginny?


From: Bill

To: You little devil

Cc: Other brothers

Subject: Plan against Harry

Our little Ron’s all grown up.   We should really send you some Firewhiskey to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Ok, so people, I'm guessing that a simple word won't actually be enough.   What ideas have we got?   Something to do with public nudity is always a good first warning shot.


From: Gred

To: Brother's mine

Subject: The Super Weasley Bros to the rescue

Attachment: Harry_Plan.pmt


Find attached our plan.   As long as Ron follows the instructions, Harry'll get a warning like he won't believe.

Ron, you'll have to sneak out tonight to receive our owl.

Fred & George

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes — coming soon to Diagon Alley.

From: Fred

To: George

Subject: Do you think we've done the right thing?


I think we have a bit of a conflict of interest going on here.   I mean, we like Harry as it is, and he is our major investor.   We do kinda owe him big time, and he did save Ginny's life...



From: Fred

To: Twinly goodness

Subject: Re: Do you think we've done the right thing?

I know what you mean.   Let's see how this prank goes.   If he stays with Ginny, then we can legitimately say that he's passed the Fred and George test and can date her without us interfering.   Then we could possibly meet with him for dinner and kinda apologise.

Normally, we'd be right with our brothers, but this is Harry, and like you said, we do like and trust him.


"Help?"   Ginny asked, as she sat down on the edge of Hermione's bed.

"Morning, Gin," Hermione yawned.   "What do you need help with?"

"I need help with my apology to Harry."

"Huh?   It's still a little early, Gin."

Ginny smiled.   "I want to look cute, young, and innocent."

"And you've come to me because?"

Ginny shrugged, "You're a girl."

"So are you," Hermione sighed.   "Lav?"

"What?"   Lavender asked, poking her head out of the curtains that surrounded her bed.

"You know you said you owed me for letting you borrow my essay?"

"Yeah?" she asked sleepily.

"Ginny needs some makeup help; she's making an apology and wants the appropriate look."

Lavender seemed to wake up with a start.   She bounced out of her own bed, and dived onto Parvati's.   "Parv, wake up, we've got an emergency make-up job."

Parvati woke instantly.   "Cool.   What's needed?"

"Apology look for Ginny, she's dating Harry now."

Ginny wondered how the hell the girl knew that.

Parvati climbed out of her bed, and looked at the younger girl.   "Right.   You, sit down there!   Hermione, go to her room and have a look through her clothes.   Anything pale is good; white is better.   If it's a little small that would be perfect.   Bring back what you find; we can always Transfigure it if needed.   Lav, get your makeup kit out.   This is going to be fun."

Hermione watched Parvati with an almost open-mouthed stare.   She had never seen the flighty girl like this; she was as intimidating as an army sergeant.

"Come on, Hermione, move," Parvati encouraged her.

Shaking her head, the Prefect went to do what as she was told.

Five minutes later, Ginny was looking at herself in the mirror.   Her hair had been straightened a little, and was pulled back into a loose ponytail, with a couple of strands curling cutely around her face.   Her brown eyes, her most prominent feature, had been subtly emphasised, making them look larger than normal, and she had the faintest hint of colour on her lips.   The idea of the lipstick, she was informed by Lavender, was to give the subconscious impression of arousal, to get Harry thinking in the right direction, and not about the apology.

The idea of looking young and innocent had been thrown out of the tower window.   Looking innocent was fine, Lavender told her firmly, but the last thing she wanted was Harry to start thinking like one of her brothers.

Hermione had found an old summer dress, which was a size too small.   A little magical enhancement, with Parvati's careful guidance, had made the dress a little longer, so that it was decent lengthwise.   Chest wise, she wasn't so sure.   With a frankness that the younger girl found disturbing, Lavender had simply grabbed her boobs and pushed them together and up.   Parvati used a binding spell to hold them in place for a second, while they took measurements, and then cast a spell on her bra.   The result was a cleavage that the small girl had never expected.

"The good thing about this," Lavender explained calmly, "is that there's no padding involved, so that if you get in a situation where Harry is exploring, all he finds is pure Ginny, no embarrassing moments."

"So?"   Parvati asked when they had finished.

Ginny turned and hugged them both, one at a time.   "Thank you."

"Any time, Ginny," they both said as one.  

"We enjoyed this immensely," Parvati continued.   "So whenever you want our help, let us know.   We heard what your brothers have been doing, and we think it sucks, so we're happy to help."

"Now," Lavender smiled.   "Remember what we told you.   Go and see Harry.   We want to see your makeup nicely mussed when you've finished."

Ginny laughed and blushed at the same time.

Hermione peered out the door.   "Harry's waiting for you downstairs," she whispered to the girl

"Oh," Parvati said suddenly.   "Make sure that you pause as soon as he makes eye contact, give him a chance to see what is approaching him."

Ginny took a deep breath, gathered her courage, and slowly walked down the stairs.

Harry was sitting in one of the seats, brooding a little.   He'd been a little harsh last night, in that he hadn't really given Ginny a chance and been a bit hasty.

He looked up at the door to the girl's dorm, and his mouth dropped open.

Ginny walked through the door, pausing for a brief second so that he could get a good look at her clothes.

Harry's gaze started at her feet, and slowly moved up her legs.   The short white dress was showing a lot more of them than Harry had ever seen before, and he liked what he saw.   As his eyes moved up, he couldn't help notice how the material hugged her hips.   He gulped audibly as his eyes moved higher, and he found himself staring directly at her breasts.   Without thinking about it, he licked his lips hungrily.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Ron pulling out his wand, then his friend fall to the floor as spells from Parvati and Lavender hit him.

Harry eventually tore his eyes away from Ginny's chest, suddenly glad he was sitting down and wearing loose robes, and moved his gaze up to her eyes.  

"Hi," Ginny greeted him softly, as she paused in front of him.

"You're gorgeous," Harry whispered.

Ginny smiled softly, tilting her head, baring her neck in sub-conscious vulnerable manner.

"Harry, I wanted to say I'm sorry for not trusting you to say no to the other girls."

Harry shook himself out of his stupor.   "Ginny, I'm falling for you, hard," he confessed.   "It did hurt, but I didn't need to storm off like I did.   So I apologise as well."

Ginny smiled warmly and moved closer.

Neither of them noticed that Ron was desperately trying to free himself from the spells, or that Hermione quietly cursed him, freezing him once more.

Harry moved to his feet, showing the same suddenness he had the night before.   One second he was sitting down, the next he was up, with no apparent movement in between.

He moved nearer his girlfriend, and lightly brushed one of the strands of hair behind her ear.   "Can I kiss you now, properly?   Not a surprise kiss, or a pounce kiss, or a stolen kiss, but a proper one, between a boyfriend and a girlfriend?"

Dean watched the two of them with a bittersweet expression on his face.   It suddenly hit home just what he had given up, and he regretted it.   A few seconds later, his expression turned into a slight smile, it was so obvious that Ginny had never felt the sort of love for him that she obviously felt for Harry.   He might have had her for a few weeks, but Harry was going to get her for life.

He still liked Ginny, and definitely liked Harry, so he gave them his blessing.   His eyes flickered over to Ron, who he still held responsible for his break-up.   He saw that he was slowly recovering from the latest spell, so pulled his wand, and cursed him again.   The git wasn't going to break up this moment.

Ginny nodded, tilting her head back and parting her lips a little.

Harry's hand curled around the back of her head, softly playing with the hair at the base of her neck.   He held her still as he moved down and gently touched his lips to hers.

Ginny moved her hands up, wrapping them around his neck, and lifted herself against him.  

Lips met lips and as the two of them kissed each other without hesitation, without doubt, without the need to think about where they were, or about having to break the kiss and vanish.

Harry slid his arms down, holding the slim form of his girlfriend tightly against him, as his tongue softly pressed against her lips.   She opened her mouth, responding to his entreaty.

They both felt the same thing - this was where they belonged.   As they kissed without pressure for the first time, both decided that they would do this for the rest of their lives.

They slowly broke the kiss.   Harry placed his forehead against hers, and smiled softly, looking deep in her eyes.   There was no need for words.

As one, they turned and walked out to breakfast, Ginny shooting a huge thank you smile, over her shoulder, at Hermione, Lavender, and Parvati.

Hermione turned to the two girls, "Thanks."

Lavender smiled.   "We still owe you.   We did that for Ginny and Harry, not for you.   We were talking about this last week.   Harry desperately needs a girlfriend, someone to look after him, keep his feet on the ground, and give him a reason to fight.   Anyone would crack under the pressure he is under.   I'd hate to be charged with saving the world."

Hermione gaped at her   and Parvati laughed softly.   "Surprised to hear maturity from us?   I don't blame you, but we're not totally obsessed with boys, make up, and clothes.   We know what is going on in the world as well.   We've both thought about dating Harry after all, he is incredibly cute but we wouldn't be any good for him.   He needs someone strong and brave who will stand with him no matter what.   Ginny is perfect for him."

Lavender nodded. "Harry's going to need all the help he can get from his friends.   If something we're good at can be of service, we'll be there every time."   She giggled suddenly. "Now that we know it’s Ginny, we can start preparing her outfit for the next ball.   We're going to make her the most beautiful girl there, not that that will be a major challenge."

Parvati smiled, as another thought hit her.   "Have either of you even seen that much emotion on his face before?"

Ron was left on the floor, in a quandary.   He wanted to update his brothers on what had happened, but didn't want to confess that everyone in Gryffindor seemed to be against him.

From: Hermione

To: Mmail Group: Study

Subject: Favour


Draco Malfoy has gone a step to far in his latest insults, and Ginny's decided to do something about it.   I'm helping her, and said that I would ask for your help as well.  

Basically, we're going to destroy his reputation.   The plan is below, encrypted to prevent the wrong people from reading it.   You'll remember it from that Muggle study session we had.


Ginny's Plan —

Ng fbzr fgntr bire gur arkg srj jrrxf, va gur terng unyy, Tvaal vf tbvat gb fgngr pyrneyl gung Qenpb vf tnl.   V'z gura tbvat gb onpx ure hc, nf vs vg'f gur zbfg boivbhf guvat va gur jbeyq, naq gung rirelbar xarj vg.   V gura jnag rirelbar ryfr gb nterr.   Gur vqrn vf gb znxr vg frrz gb rirelbar yvxr rirelbar xarj gung Qenpb vf tnl, ncneg sebz gurz.   Guvf jnl, vg fubhyq orpbzr na npprcgrq snpg dhvpxyl.

From: Roger

To: Hermione

Cc: Study group

Subject: Re: Favour


I think that I speak on everyone’s behalf when I say that we'll do this, and do it happily.   Not as a favour to you, but to get our own back at the Slytherin slimeball.  

I'll see if I can get Terry to help out as well; he might be able to add some valuable realism to the idea.

Tell Ginny that she's a genius!


From: Your loving Godson

To: Padfoot the stupendous

Subject: Lessons

Sirius, I was thinking this morning — I know that's strange, but it was either that or sleep in History of Magic.   I think it's time I learned to Apparate.   I really don't want to be in a situation like at the end of the Triwizard Tournament, and I think it would give me an advantage next time Tom and I have one our Tête-à-têtes.

Of course, I know I'm not supposed to learn till next year, which is why I'm asking you, Mr 'I became an illegal Animagus’, as you understand that sometimes the rules shouldn't be followed.


From: Sirius

To: Remus

Subject: Harry

Moony, old chum, what does Tête-à-tête mean?

Just had an Mmail from Harry, asking me to teach him how to Apparate.   The letter was perfect, tugged on my heart strings, gave some solid reasoning and directed me away from whatever the real reason he wants to learn is.   I'm so proud of him.

What do you think?


woof woof

From: The learned Moony

To: I thought you could read

Subject: Re: Harry

It's French, basically means head to head.

As for Harry's suggestion, it's actually not a bad idea.   I'd advise a word with Dumbledore before hand, but let's face it if we say no, he would only go and teach himself anyway.


From: Sirius Black

To: Headmaster, Hogwarts

Subject: My godson


I received a curious Mmail from Harry this afternoon, requesting that I teach him to Apparate.   I talked it over with Remus, and we agreed that it would probably be a good idea to teach him early, so that he's not stuck in a situation like at the end of the Tri-wizard tournament.

Do you have any objections?


From: Albus Dumbledore

To: Sirius T Black

Subject: Re: My godson


Wonderful idea actually.   You have my permission to teach him; I'll make sure the Ministry has no idea what is going on.

I'm glad to see that Harry is thinking ahead.

Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and Chairman of the International Confederation of Wizards  

From: Your wonderful Godfather

To: The lucky kid

Subject: Re: Lessons

It's your lucky day.   I've cleared it with Dumbledore, and we can start whenever you want.


woof woof

From: A happy godson

To: Wonderful godfather

Subject: Re[2]: Lessons

Padfoot, that's wonderful.   I'll see if I can arrange for a couple of hours a week where we can meet in private.   I don't want anyone knowing about this till I'm ready.

Oh, I've got plenty of money, haven't I?


From: A suspicious godfather

To: Harry James Potter

Subject: Re: Re[2]: Lessons

What are you up to?


woof woof

From: Completely innocent

To: Sirius and Suspicious

Subject: Re[4]: Lessons

Me? all.   Well, it's just that there's a ball coming up, and I'm taking Ginny.   I'd like to be able to dance with her properly, so was thinking about arranging for another couple of hours a week where I could pay a dance instructor to come and give me lessons.

It's the sort of thing that a normal person would be able to ask their Mum...but...


From: I love that boy

To: Rabid werewolf

Subject: Him again

Just got another Mmail from Harry, asking if he has any money.   I asked him why, and it turns out he wants to pay for dancing lessons, so that he can treat Ginny properly at the next ball.  

Could you please organise a dance teacher for him — two to three hours a week at Hogwarts, I don't care what it costs, just charge it to my Gringotts account.


woof woof

From: I’ve had all my shots

To: You're the one that scares people during the day

Subject: Re: Him again

He is pretty damn loveable, isn't he?   This is the sort of thing that Lily would have loved doing.   I'll see what I can do; it shouldn't be a major problem.   How is he going to arrange for the free time, and do it privately?


From: I'm scary?

To: I've seen you naked, now that's scary!

Subject: Re: Re: Him again

Yeah, he said he'd have loved to ask his mum about this.   No idea how he's going to find the time, but he's the son of one Marauder, the godson of another, and an extremely close friend of the third.   He'll find a way.


woof woof

From: Harry Potter

To: Professor McGonagall

Subject: Unusual request


This may seem a little strange, but I need a way of legitimately being out of the company of Ron, Hermione, and Ginny for around two hours a time, two days a week.   I was wondering if you could give me a detention?


From: Deputy Headmistress McGonagall

To: Potter, Harry J

Subject: Re: Unusual request.

Mr Potter,

I'm afraid that you are going to have to tell me what is going on before I can acquiesce to such a vague request.


From: Begging nicely

To: My wonderful head of house

Subject: Re[2] Unusual request


I need it for two reasons.   I've arranged for Padfoot to start to teach me to Apparate.   It's been cleared with Professor Dumbledore, and that would take up one of the sessions.   The other is that I need dance lessons for this year's ball; I really don't want to let Ginny down.


From: Minnie

To: Albus

Subject: Harry


Just had the strangest request from a student ever, he actually wants detention.   Harry informed me that he has received permission to learn to Apparate early — a decision I whole-heartedly agree with — and that he needs some private time to learn to dance for this year's ball.

I must say, that Harry has a unique skill of being able to tug on my heartstrings, more so than anyone else.   Every time I see that hair and those eyes I just want to mother him to death.


From: Albus

To: Minnie

Subject: Re: Harry

I don't think that detention is a good idea.   People would ask why — and knowing Harry and his godfather, if you told them that, they'd come up with something, and I rather like my school intact.   I'll tell people that Harry is having supplementary Occlumency lessons with some external teachers.  

Yes, Harry does look like the best of James and Lily mixed up, and without James' less attractive personality traits.   There's nothing wrong with giving him a bit of mothering, Min; he needs it more than anyone else.


From: Your head of house

To: Don't beg, it’s beneath you

Subject: Re[3] Unusual request


I've talked to Professor Dumbledore, and he decided it would be better if people thought you were getting supplementary Occlumency lessons two times a week.   Come to my office tomorrow and we'll arrange suitable times.


Ron sneaked out of the Gryffindor common room at 2am.   He was wearing Harry's cloak and had the Marauder’s Map firmly in his hand.

He made his way to the Owlery, carefully avoiding the school caretaker.   Once there, the owl from his brothers arrived bang on time with the package he needed.

He crept back down to his dorm room and sat on his bed with the curtains pulled tight.   Fred and George were nothing if not thorough; everything was provided.

He pulled out the first vial, a powder called "Alarm Clock Eliminator" guaranteed to ensure that your victim slept for exactly thirty minutes past their alarm clock going off.

The second vial was "Subtle Stink Bombs," designed to ensure the victim would take a shower as soon as possible, but not actually smell like a prank — perfect for getting people out of the way for a few minutes.

Ron crept over to Harry's bed and carefully poured both vials onto the boy.  

Returning to his own bed, Ron went to sleep, full of excitement for the next day.

"Harry, Harry, wake up, you’re late."

Harry opened his eyes blearily, before looking at his watch.   "Damn it," he swore under his breath, "I'm supposed to be meeting Ginny for breakfast."  

He swung his legs over the edge of the bed, and reached for his shirt.   As he breathed in, he realised he really needed a shower.   "Go to breakfast, Ron, I need a quick shower first."   In his tiredness, he forgot that Ron was firmly against him and Ginny being together.

As soon as Harry entered the shower, Ron started to move.   He pulled out the "Port Door Paste," and carefully placed it around the doorway from the bathroom to their dorm room.   He touched his wand to the command strip, and commanded it to port its victim to the Great Hall, and the message it was to deliver.

With that done, Ron sprinted down to breakfast, determined not to miss the show.

Ginny looked up as Ron sat down, a little out of breath.   "Where's Harry?" she asked.

"Having a shower," Ron said innocently.

"What have you done?"   Ginny demanded.

"Nothing," Ron replied with a slight smirk.

There was a sudden crack of what sounded like thunder, and a huge voice said, "This is your only warning.   Stop your relationship now!"   Everyone looked around, as Harry suddenly appeared in the Great Hall wearing only a towel wrapped around his waist.

Some of the students started to snicker, the quicker ones realising what was happening.

Ron was delighted.   This was better than he had hoped for, because Harry often got dressed in the shower room.   His friend would be mortified!

Unfortunately for Ron, things quickly got a lot worse.   When public nudity had been suggested, the image that had flown through Ron's mind was of Harry naked.   The only problem was that his image was two years out of date.   Two years of puberty, hard duelling, and Quidditch had taken its toll on Harry's body, leaving him nothing to be ashamed off.

Harry glared directly at the Gryffindor table and placed his fists against his waist, looking extremely annoyed.   He didn't realise that his pose emphasised a lot of the extremely healthy muscles on his torso.  

He hadn't expected those prats to actually prank him like this.   Well, if they thought he was going to dump Ginny because of this, they obviously didn't have a clue who they were dealing with.

"I hope you realise that this means war!" he ground out through his teeth, before turning and stalking out of the hall, head held high.   He paid no attention to the murmurs of appreciation he was receiving from most of the females there, who hadn't realised exactly what was under his ill-fitting robes.

Ginny, on the other hand, did notice the murmurs.   She got to her feet, and hissed loudly, "Back off.   This is one witch who does not share!"

Most of the witches went quiet, determined to talk about what had just happened out of her earshot.

Draco Malfoy got to his feet, as though he was going to deliver a stinging remark, everyone should be able to see him make it.   Ginny caught the movement out of the corner of her eye and sent a quick prayer of thanks to whatever deity was looking over her.   This could not be better.   "No, Draco," she said loudly, much louder than her first threat to the other witches in Hogwarts.   "I won't share him with a guy either."

"Wait a second," Hermione exclaimed, her voice calibrated to reach every corner of the Hall.   "Draco's gay?"

"Of course he is," Roger Davies called, from the Ravenclaw table.      

"You didn't know?"  Hannah Abbot, from the Hufflepuff table, sounded surprised.   "I thought that everyone knew."

"Yeah," Justin Finch-Fletchley agreed.   "Everyone knows that Draco's as bent as a 3-Galleon coin."

"A pretty good kisser, as well," Terry Boot, one of the openly gay students, announced with a saucy smile.

"I knew when I looked as his hair.   No straight man pays that much attention to his hair," Dean joined in.   As he was not a member of the study group, Ginny knew he had no idea this was a set-up.   "And that explains why he is always following Harry around!"

Draco was completely frozen in place; he had a 'deer in the headlights look'.   "I'm, I'm not gay," he stuttered.

"Draco," Ginny smiled at him, her voice warm and caring.   "It's okay; no one here is going to think any less of you because you're gay.   It takes a lot of courage to come out of the closet like you have."

"Yeah," Hermione put in.  "I'm impressed that a pure-blood can go against his family's wishes with such courage, Draco.   Bravo."   She started to clap.

Ginny joined in a second later, the rest of the Gryffindor table a second after that.   Within ten seconds the rest of the school was on their feet, applauding Draco's decision to come out of the closet so openly.

Professor Snape was the only teacher who knew exactly what was going on.   He'd overheard the altercation outside his dungeon, and Ginny's threat to destroy the young Malfoy's reputation.   The girl had taken her chance magnificently, in a way a true Slytherin would be proud off.   It made him think though, as he clapped along with the rest of the school.   It looked like Filius was correct.   If you combined Potter's ability with someone who could think like a Slytherin, you would have a very powerful force.   In that second, Snape switched sides.   He caught Ginny's eye and gave her a quick wink.

"Twenty points to Slytherin for Draco finally openly admitting his sexuality."  He knew that his words would make it seem like he had known all along that Draco was gay.   It would serve the little oink right.   The oily brat thought he could play in the big leagues, did he?   Well, this was Snape's revenge for Draco spying on him for the last six years.

Ginny looked shocked for a second, till understanding flittered across her face.   She offered a faint bow of thanks to the Slytherin professor, then turned and followed her boyfriend out.

Draco was incredibly red, and had absolutely no way of denying it now.   He didn't know what to do.   Crabbe and Goyle looked at him, and then both turned and walked away as quickly as possible, leaving him without his body guards.   Pansy Parkinson was looking at him with contempt.   "Well, that explains why you are such a crap kisser," she stated loudly, threw her hair back and marched out of the Hall.

"But..."   Draco called after her, only he was unable to find the words to continue.

All around the great hall, the same conversation took place a hundred times.

"Did you know Draco was gay?"

"Of course, didn't you?"

The blond boy was no longer Malfoy, a figure to be feared.   He was now just Draco, a brave boy open about his sexuality.

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