Notes: Many thanks to Intertran for the translations, WebMD for the medical stuff, the Encyclopedia Mythica for the animal names later on,

Warnings: Mention of possibly squicky sexual things, but not discussed in detail.

Rebellion? Or Not?

Harry looked up as the owl with his school letter flew into the window at #12 Grimauld Place, smiling at the thinness of it. "This year's looking better and better," he pointed out when his friends' letters were just as thin. He laughed as he read. "Only one class to buy books for!"

"That means you've got research papers most likely," Molly said from near the stove. "Be sure to buy a lot of paper this year, dears." She smiled at her Ron, who nodded and groaned. "Remember, there are many things that will be going on this year that you'll want to take notes on. They don't always let you keep the books."

"What books?" Hermione asked.

"No one told you?" Fred asked from his spot at the table. The three younger students shook their heads. "Blimey. Should we, George?"

"No one told us," he said, shooting a glare at their older brothers, who were still around to fight the war with them.

Charlie grinned. "We were told not to warn you guys."

"About?" Harry asked. Everyone looked at him. "It's not like Hermione and I have family that could warn us," he said reasonably.

Molly walked over, frowning at her twins. "Don't wind them up that way." She smiled at them. "You'll be getting a short class on sexual education this year, Harry."

Hermione burst out in giggles. "Is that all? In the muggle world, we get that starting when we're ten!" The guys at the table sighed and shook their heads. "Just the basics I suppose? Fertility and infertility? Pregnancy and diseases?"

Molly nodded, giving the precocious young woman a pat on the shoulder. "That and some veiled hints about how to please a mate and the like as well." She looked at the list. "Hapsburgs, why do I know that name?" she said, staring at Bill, he had the education most similar to hers.

"They ruled Austria for years," Harry told her. Hermione looked at him. "I did a report on them in Primary school," he defended. "Horribly inbred during some points in history but so very powerful. They all but named the heads of the other houses."

"I guess we're doing breeding and conservation in Magical Creatures then," Hermione noted, picking up her letter again. "It says the other books are about breeding." She shrugged. "Harry, what about this ancestry table thing?"

Harry picked up his letter to look at it, finding that mention. They would need a family ancestry chart for a first term project. His note had a little note in purple ink underneath that entry. "It says Remus has one for me to use," he said, handing his letter over. "When should we go for our supplies?"

"We'll go tomorrow," Molly assured him. She went back to her cooking, bringing back a new bowl of scrambled eggs. Her sons dove into it like they were starved, the poor dears. "Charlie, did you have anything that could help the children this year?"

"I've got a good pamphlet on why we conserve the magical species and how we do it," he admitted. "Stuff to recruit mostly." He smiled at them. "Any of you fancy working with dragons?"

"It depends, will there be reporters there?" Harry asked with an easy grin.

"If there are, you could have a dragon eat them," George suggested.

Fred laughed. "Don't be mean to the poor dragons. Charlie will get pissed and beat you again."

Charlie rolled his eyes. "No, there shouldn't be, Harry. I know you've got more important things to think about than your future after the war, but think about it. You and creatures seem to get on real well. Ron's the same way. Him and creatures and herbs." He shrugged. "We'd be happy to host you. It'd bring a lot more people into the field, even if you didn't give any interviews and you headed to one of the most reclusive habitats to work with ice dragons."

"I'm thinking it's going to be necessary to hide somewhere," Harry agreed, looking at him. "Is it hard?"

"Oh, yeah, and messy and nasty too," Charlie said with a grin. "There's been times when I had to shovel...." He caught his mother's glare and toned down what he had been about to say. "Nests," he completed. "I've had to nurse sick ones who couldn't go outside and new mothers who were too weak to eat, much less hunt. It's got its rewards though. You get a lot of quiet time to think and privacy. Though I can't see you working with dragons. Maybe unicorns or something fast like that."

Ron's ears pinkened. "Don't you have to be pure to do that?" he muttered.

Bill chuckled. "Not really. There's adaptive devices so nothing impure touches them. We had to capture one out of a tomb recently. It fell in." He kicked Charlie under the table. "Who do you think's teaching the mating class this year?"

"It's a female's turn," Fred told him. "We had Vector."

"That means it's either Pomfrey, Sprout, or McGonagall," Molly said thoughtfully. "The others don't seem like they'd teach it." She smiled at Ginny as she came in. "Good morning, Ginny." Her daughter grunted so she handed her a steaming mug of tea to get her going..

"If it switches off, then will she have Snape for it?" Ron asked the twins. They laughed and nodded, clapping him on the back. "Good." He grinned at her. "No letter?"

"It came, I have it," Molly told him, going to get it for her. "We'll be going tomorrow."

"Yes, mum," Ginny said, sitting down to read it. "Wow. I need books this year," she announced.

Hermione looked at the list. "I have most of those. You can *borrow* my copies, as long as I get them back afterward. It will keep me from having to cart them to school with me, yet keep them nearby in case I want them."

"You take your texts from all your years?" Charlie asked. He was starting to wonder what was wrong with that girl, she was worse than the missing Weasley prat.

She nodded. "It's reasonable. That way I have a reference and I don't have to worry about storing them at home while I'm gone and asking for them to be sent on. After I did that twice in my second year, my mother simply sent the whole stack back. I routinely bring my entire library with me. I have it upstairs if you'd like to look through it."

Charlie looked at Bill. "Were you that bad?" he asked, looking a little confused. That was too serious for his tastes.

Bill shook his head, smiling back. "Not even close. Percy only kept notes for each year, but I routinely forgot to bring my books." Ron glared at him for daring to say that name but he ignored it this time as well. It's not like Percy was You-Know-Who.

"Oh, I don't use them much after my first few weeks," Hermione assured them. "They become reference after I've read them." She gave them a brilliant smile. "I'm trying to get Ron into the habit of studying before it's needed but he never seems to listen."

Harry coughed. "Hermione, I think you've impressed them enough," he said gently, cracking the twins up again. "What other books do you bring? All I ever hear about is the history book."

"Oh, I've got sixteen other books I bring out of my collection. My mother was quite pleased that I decided to bring history books on our trips last year, said it gave me a firmer footing in the subject." She looked at Molly. "Who would I talk to about which University I wanted to go to? My mother wasn't sure it was an option but I thought it surely must be. She wanted me to send some information to her about the different choices and about which programs I wanted to look into."

"Check with Minerva, Hermione. I know she went to one of them, she has a Mastery in Transfiguration," Molly told her, giving her a gentle smile. "I'm sure if she doesn't have it, she'll know who will." She brought over some toast and put it down in front of her own daughter. "What were you thinking about doing when you finish, Ginny?"

"Leaving the country," she said through a yawn. Her mother looked hurt. "To get away from the war, mother. I'm good enough at defending myself but I know I'll turn into a twittering idiot during a real battle. Therefore I'm going to remove myself from the path of danger."

Molly gave her a hug. "I understand, Ginny, and I support you in that. When you figure out what area you want to work in, you tell me and we'll discuss it." She sat down with her own breakfast, smiling at them. "Eat up. We've got a long day of dealing with the attic."

"Kreacher did leave a mess when he died," Harry agreed dryly, digging into the generous plateful of food. "Mrs. Weasley, can I pop back now and then to have you feed me?" he asked, giving her a smile.

"Of course, Harry. It's not a large problem. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of each other during the fighting." She reached behind Hermione's back to touch him on the arm. "You just eat and we'll figure out what you're doing later." He nodded, digging in.

Ron kicked Harry under the table when his mother went into her inevitable rant against the twins' behavior. "Suck up," he mouthed.

Harry grinned. "Better her than my aunt," he hissed. Ron giggled and kicked him again for being so mean. "Mrs. Weasley, should we worry about dress robes this year? I overheard someone saying something about another Ball."

"Oh, yes, dear, there's always a ball for the seventh years," she assured him. "It's usually seen as a way to announce that you're picked a fiancé or something. You can go with whomever you choose but make sure everyone knows if they're not your final choice for a spouse." She looked at Ron. He had grown up to be bigger than any of her sons, save Charlie, and nothing in the family closets would fit him. Even Charlie's clothes would need to be fixed to fit him. Ron had larger arm muscles and was a good two inches wider. She looked at Harry, who winked at her. "Harry, I don't want you to buy Ron his robe this year," she said firmly.

"Oh, come on," Harry sighed. "At least give me some fun, Mrs. Weasley. Hermione won't let me help her pick out anything either."

"No. I'll find something for him." She and he shared a look and he got his most mischievous grin, letting her know she had already lost the war somehow. He stood up and walked over, leaning down to whisper something in her ear. She looked so sad when she heard his reasoning, patting on the hand in what looked like sympathy to anyone watching. "Fine. I'll allow it this time," she said quietly. "No other times. Do you hear me?"

"Sure, but I reserve the right to help Ginny too. It's only fair. You won't let me pay rent or my part of the food bill and I eat more than the twins and Bill combined."

She frowned at him. "You're not a bother."

"Yes, ma'am," he said cockily.

She glared and he winked, making her realize he was stubborn enough to be one of hers. "Fine. But no more offering to pay for things like the food bill." She looked at the twins. "You two either!"

"Bite me," George told her firmly. "If I want to pay for Ron to grow more, I will!"

Fred grinned, patting George on the hand to calm him down. "This way we can make sure Ginny is put in something stunning enough that no one will care about her freckles and will marry her anyway," he offered.

Ginny, who hadn't had enough tea yet that morning, glared at him. "Why would anyone care that I have freckles, you dumb ape? I happen to like women, and where they go, the freckles don't show."

"Ginny Weasley!" Molly shouted.

Ginny blushed. "Sorry, mum." She quickly sipped more of her tea.

"Really?" Bill asked, looking down at her. "Have someone in mind that we should threaten...I mean, meet?"

Ginny shook her head. "Not at the moment. All I know is that having six of you above me turned me off blokes forever." She gave him her sweetest smile. "I've seen more than enough of the male form to realize that hanging things are disgusting."

Charlie spluttered. "Ginny!" he said, looking and sounding shocked. "You're not even of age yet!"

"Yay," she said blandly. She looked at Hermione. "How about you? Into guys?"

Hermione blushed. "I tend to look at the person, not the internal or external factor of their genitalia," she said calmly.

"Really?" Fred asked, leering at her. "Looked at a lot, have you?"

She was still blushing, but the look she sent at him made him shiver. "A classical education includes a lot of art with naked people. I've seen more than my fair share represented and once in person. Why? Wanting to suggest that I compare yours?"

"No," he squeaked, shocked beyond belied. This was Hermione Granger? The know-it-all and prude they had teased last summer? His twin brother gave him a gentle pat on the leg, letting him know it was all right and the world hadn't really shifted into some strange alternate universe.

"There's artwork of naked people?" Ron asked, looking confused.

"There's a lot of artwork with naked people," Hermione said, after clearing her throat to get rid of the blush. "The greater majority of art that's not a still life or a landscape is about naked or semi-naked people."

"I looked in your books. Was that guy David cold?" Ginny asked.

"Who was David?" Ron asked.

"It's a famous statue," Harry said with a grin, measuring off a small distance with his fingers. Ron burst out in giggles. "According to my art history class before I came, there was a thought that said the guy portrayed in that statue was the artist's teenage lover."

"Since we're questioning and all, Harry, got any shockers like that one?" Bill asked with a grin. His mother swatted at him but didn't connect. "It's only fair. The world will want to know."

"I've decided I'm not going to deal with that issue until after the war is done. I can't imagine having to leave a lover behind. Therefore I'm not worrying about it, I'm going to ignore those urges, thank you."

Charlie laughed. "Sure you are," he said smugly. "That doesn't happen for most of us."

"Percy managed it," Bill told him.

Charlie looked at him. "Really?" Bill nodded. "How?"

"The Gallo Ignarus Orbis charm along with the Libido Constrixi potion," Harry said firmly. "It's an ancient Church spell."

"That's tough for you," Ron said, grinning at him. "How often do you have to cast that one?"

"Every morning," Harry sighed. "I do the potion once a month."

"Maybe if you didn't, you'd be in a better mood most mornings," Ginny pointed out. Her mother opened her mouth and she drank some more of her tea. "Sorry, Harry."

"Not a problem," he said lightly. "I can't afford to lead someone on and then have to abandon them. It's not the best, but it works." He picked up his own tea to sip. "Ron, how about you? Got any good prospects? I know Hannah Abbot's been after you now for a few months."

"She only wants my help with something," Ron said flippantly. "I'm observing the field and watching for the perfect person," he said calmly. "When they come...."

"You will?" Charlie teased. Molly threw her spoon at him. "Sorry, mum."

"No more talk like that at the table," Molly said firmly. She smiled at her son, being supportive. "It's always a good thing to wait until you find someone you at least like for your first time."

"Who said I waited?" Ron said, starting to laugh. "I thought we were talking about long-term relationships, mum."

She sighed and shook her head. "My family is going to kill me yet," she moaned, holding her aching head. "Ron, no illegitimate children," she ordered when Hermione patted her on the back.

"I know my spells," he defended. He looked at Ginny. "At least you don't have to have this talk," he said quietly, glaring at her.

"No, but I'm not a guy either. If I slip up, it's a bit more obvious," she smirked. Molly got up and stormed out of the kitchen, leaving them there.

"I think she might be crying," Harry offered.

The twins got up and went to comfort her, reminding her that Charlie and they hadn't given her any so there was a good chance Ron wouldn't. For some reason, it didn't seem to comfort her at all.


Arthur Weasley took the boys aside later that night, in private, to talk to them. "I know there's something that comes over every seventh year," he said gently. "It makes you want to rebel, to do stupid things that will make you feel more like an adult." He gave them an encouraging smile. "We went through it ourselves. Molly went to get drunk one night and I got tattooed," he said, rolling up his sleeve to show off the mark on his shoulder. He quickly put it back down. "It's a normal urge, boys. I promise that whatever you do, as long as it's legal, will be fine with us, but please, *please* don't do something that will harm you forever. All right?" They nodded so he smiled. "Thank you. And remember, we're here whenever you want or need to talk to us about these things. We may be old, and may not have done anything wild in our youths like you've already done, but we will do our best to understand. I promise I won't laugh or say mean things, no matter what you do."

Ron looked at his father. "You're acting like our brains are going to go to mush soon."

Arthur nodded. "That usually does happen at least once," he agreed happily, smiling at him. He clapped his son on the back. "Don't worry, son, it'll be fine. You may even get the thing you've been wishing for if you're lucky. Just remember to try not to kill yourselves rebelling and to try and stay safe while you do it. We don't know what's going on with the war and we'll need you both healthy. Besides, it would break our hearts if you got permanently hurt while striking out an individual spot for yourselves."

Harry nodded. "How did you hear about my...." He waved a hand and Arthur's eyes widened. "Oops, sorry, sir."

"Harry, you did what?" Arthur asked. Harry blushed and whispered in his ear, also giving the reason. "Ah." He nodded. "Ron, don't try that. Your mother will throw fits about that one because it could mean lack of grandchildren and you know she's been looking forward to grandchildren." He patted Harry on the back. "Be confident, Harry. Many people will see that as something that proves you're stronger than the evil bastard." He hugged both boys. "Now go to your room and go right to bed," he ordered gently. "Remember, if you need us, we're here." He smiled as they walked away, then flopped down into a chair with a sigh of relief. "Just one more to go through that seventh year rebellion," he said happily. "Then they'll be the ones going through it as the parents." He smiled as his wife came in, hugging her gently. "Do you ever regret that we got married while we were drunk, Molly?"

She laughed and kissed him on the cheek. "No, Arthur. It loosened me up to what I wanted anyway." She sat in his lap, giving him a cuddle. "Are they already feeling it?" He nodded. "Then we'll have to trust the teachers to keep them sane this year," she said happily. "They did so for us, they can do it for them."

"Hopefully," Arthur agreed gently, stroking down her back. "Did you know Harry was pierced?" She shook her head. He nodded. "He is."

"Well, it's removable," she said gently. "He'll be fine." She gave him another kiss, drawing his mind away from the shady and fuzzy memories of their own rebellion back to her right now. "Only Ginny left, Arthur."

He smiled. "Thankfully."


When classes started, the seventh years had an additional class to go to, one that happened each Wednesday afternoon right before dinner. The first group into it was Slytherin and Gryffindor, and they were glaring at each other as McGonagall walked in. "Separate by houses," she ordered. "Mine in the front, the Slytherins in the rear." She waited while they shifted around. "Thank you. That way no interhouse shenanigans can occur." She pulled herself a little straighter. "For the next six weeks, we will be discussing a most delicate subject. Let me make this clear. You are not to spread this new knowledge around the school. The Ministry does not want you to learn most of this, but we feel that it is more necessary than not. So you will let me go through with this class and then you will have a study hall until next term." Everyone stared at her and she smiled. "Good. I will be moving through this quickly to spare all of us embarrassment, but my door is open to any student who needs to ask me more personal questions in private." She uncovered a stack of books. "These will be yours, and again they should not get out of your grasp." She pointed at two students in the front row. "Hand them out," she ordered, moving around to pull down a chart. "We will start today with the basics, how people become boys and girls." She smiled at the muggle borns. "How many of you have had this lecture before?" They all raised their hands. Hermione kept hers up. "Yes, Ms. Granger?"

"Ma'am, just wondering about the scope and the grading of the class," she offered. "Are we going to get into techniques, charms, or fertility rites?" McGonagall blinked a few times and she chuckled. "Sorry, Professor. Just wondering. Most of the muggle born children had all that in the year before we started here." The Slytherins all gasped and she looked back at them. "Normal muggles hit puberty on average at age twelve. It's a way of putting off early childbirth." She turned back around. "I know my school gave us disease, contraception, and biology lessons. Is that what we're doing in here?"

McGonagall walked back around the desk. "Yes," she announced, nodding. "That is most of the course, Ms. Granger. How extensive was this education?"

"I can have my book sent if you want," she offered. "Our health books cover many topics, from hygiene to this."

"Mine gave out a sample pack," Harry said, shifting in his seat.

"Of what?" Pansy asked. "Women?"

He looked over his shoulder at her. "Condoms, tampons for girls, razors, neat little stickers reminding you to use the condoms." He shrugged. "It's preventative." He looked at the teacher again. "It also gives the pervs that all young teens become one class that they wouldn't dare skip out on for six weeks each year."

One of the girls raised her hand. "Our school had a mother and a pregnant teenager come in to talk to us, Professor. That way they could tell us all the nasty things about being pregnant and how much worse it was when you were too young."

Neville ended his yawn. "Mine just told us not to," he offered with a shrug. "They were sure none of us would want to because they told us all sorts of nasty stuff that happened to wicked people who had sex."

Professor McGonagall blinked a few times. "I see," she said finally. "How very...interesting," she noted, not saying that it was revolting to hear about such classes. "I would appreciate seeing those books, if only to see how our studies compare." Hermione nodded and made a note on her paper. "Anyone else as well if they feel like it." She cleared her throat. "Your education in here may not be as explicit, but we will tell you everything we feel you should know. It will probably also help those of you in Magical Creatures since you're doing lessons on conservation and breeding." A few students laughed, mostly Gryffindors. "For now, let us start with the basics, how one becomes a witch or a wizard." She pointed her wand at the chart she had pulled down earlier, before she had been shocked. "On there is the basics of gestation, what an infant goes through before it is born to select a gender." She walked back to it. "As you can see, the child first starts out looking nominally female, though there is no real sex at this point. As time goes on, the primary nerve bundle becomes either the clitoris or the penis, though they both have the same amount of nerve endings in the organ. The skin that would have created the vaginal column changes into that which holds the testicular sack for gentlemen. The ovaries turn into the testes if the baby is a male."

Pansy raised a hand. "Does the baby choose or do the parents?" Even her own house groaned at her for that question.

McGonagall smiled at the girl. "There are no such things as stupid questions, Ms. Parkinson. Remember that. It is better to be informed. No, the child does not choose. When a man and a woman come together, he ...injects his seed into her. Her seed has the components for either gender and his has the deciding point of the mix."

Hermione looked back at her. "It's like this," she interrupted. "There's these things called 'genes'. Not the things that people wear, these determine what you're going to look like, what works and doesn't work on you, and how you react to a lot of things. When thinking about reproduction, the genes are split in half for each egg or sperm. That means that each females read an 'x', which is the basic building block. Men's have either an 'x' or a 'y'. Depending on which one hits the egg determines which sex the baby will become. If the 'y' one hits, it becomes a boy." The Slytherins looked a bit scared of that explanation so she shrugged. "I have a wonderful book in my locker about that. I figured I'd need it as a reference during Magical Creatures. It's to explain it to younger children, but it has most of that information in it. It's called genetics if you wanted to see if the library had anything on it."

"Hold on, you mean the *males* determine which sex the baby is?" Draco asked.

Hermione shifted more so she was staring at him, then nodded. "Unless you do it radically different than the rest of us, yes." She considered him for a moment, he was smart enough to treat her books correctly and she hated ignorance when she could cure it. "I'll send the book to you if you wanted to see."

McGonagall cleared her throat again. "She is correct, Mr. Malfoy, it is your seed that will determine whether it is a boy or a girl." She smiled at the girl. "I would like to look at that book as well, Ms. Granger, thank you for your help on that matter." She went back to her lecture. "This is a difficult process for the child to go through and it happens sometime during the fifth month of pregnancy, or just a bit before." She smiled at them. "If you open your new books to the first chapter, it has all of that in it."

Neville raised his hand. "What about the rumors that there are people who are both?" he asked. The Slytherins made scoffing noises.

"That is an unfortunate deviation of nature," she informed him. "It does happen." The Slytherins' mouths opened en masse. "It does not happen often. If you would like to research that matter, then I can suggest a few very good books for you to look through. You can even make it the subject of your upcoming paper." He grinned and nodded. "Good boy, Mr. Longbottom. Now read." She walked around the room, stopping to tap Harry on the shoulder. "See me after class," she said quietly when he looked up. "About your potion." He nodded quickly and went back to reading.

Ron was muttering as he read, mostly complaining about his brothers not telling him about this stuff. When he came to the description of that type of healer, he raised his hand. She walked over and he pointed at the word. "Can I do that?" he asked.

She smiled and shook her head. "You'd need excellent potions grades, Mr. Weasley." He sighed and slumped down a little. "See me later and we'll discuss it otherwise." He nodded, letting her comfort a few of the horror-stricken Slytherin students. Had they thought it was like animals or all done with spells? Their parents were quite often in the dark themselves, that's why these classes were convened. There was no telling what some of the students had been told at home.


Harry stayed behind, leaning against a desk to look at her. "Mr. Potter. The knowledge of your... potion and charm work has leaked down to Professor Snape. I'm not sure who let on, but he said that the one you're using has a finite limit and should not be used every month." Harry shrugged. "It can make you permanently infertile."

"With what's going on, are we sure that's going to be a worry for me?" he asked.

She frowned. "I should hope it would be for you if not everyone else," she said sharply.

He grinned. "I haven't given up, but I'm trying to be realistic here, just like you ordered me to last year when I started to go off. I'm going to fight in a long war and there's every chance I may not come out the other side able to deal with people if I live. Having children is far down my list of worries."

"Fine." She sat down and looked at him. "Still, he wants you to use a different potion. The older version is much safer and able to be used once every quarter of the year. Would you care to switch?"

"I don't care one way or another," Harry told her. Then he shrugged. "Any funny side effects?"

"A few, but nothing worse than what you're going through now." She gave him a smile and handed over a piece of paper. "This is the pass to get that book out of the library. The potion's name is Constrictum Iucunditas and he said it should be near the end of the third chapter." Harry nodded, making a note on the form. "When you find it, you are to hand me a copy, make one for yourself, then report to Professor Snape to have him show you how to make it." He nodded again. "Good boy. Now go put away your things and go to dinner." He nodded, jogging out. She went limp in the chair. "I hate this class," she told herself. "Thankfully, I'll have Severus to help during the all male classes." She forced herself to get up and head back to her normal classroom and office. The door sealed behind her, operable only by her and only for the seventh years.


Hermione walked into the library, handing over the three books she carried to Draco personally. "I want them back," she said firmly. "They're part of my personal reference set and I'm going to pass them on to my own children some day." He shrugged, looking like he was scoffing at her concern for mere books but she knew he valued knowledge and he wouldn't rip them or throw them. "Thank you. If you need any help, I'm going to help Harry in the back corner." She walked over there, sitting down beside him. "Do you need any help?"

"This is a restricted potions book," he said before she could touch it. "It's a burner." She withdrew her hand. "I'm only copying down something from it. You can help after that," he said, shooting her a grin. He went back to his copying, finding his place quickly. As soon as he was done and had checked the surrounding pages, he closed the book, watching as it relocked itself. He carried it back to the librarian carefully, earning a smile. "Thank you, Madam Pince." He walked back to his table, taking the potion from her hands. "Sorry, not for you."

"You're switching potions?"

"Professor Snape told McGonagall that I had to." He grimaced. "I could care less actually, but the other one can make someone permanently infertile." He pulled out a few more sheets of parchment. "I have to make copies for them."

"That's fine. Want help?" she asked, nudging him. "Ron's coming."

"Sure. It'll go faster. Just forget it after you're done or something so I can't be blamed for corrupting you." Ron walked over and flopped down across from them. "How was the tryouts?" Harry asked as he wrote.

"Blow that off," Ron snorted.

Harry looked at him. "I can't. It's for that potion I take." Ron grimaced. "Sorry, but I'm getting it switched around on orders." He grinned. "How did they go?"

"I've weeded the lot, like you asked. It's a hopeless thing though, not many are really good."

"That happens," Harry said with a shrug. "Not everyone can be as brilliant as me and the twins." Ron kicked him under the table so he grinned at him. "Sorry, and you." He went back to his copying but the outraged scream from one of the Slytherins stopped him, making them all look that way.

"That's only supposed to happen to us!" Pansy shouted, storming over. She slammed the book down on the table, looking at Granger. "Are you telling me *muggles* go through that as well?" she demanded.

Hermione looked at the page, about breastfeeding, then up at Pansy, nodding. "It's fairly standard. Though many mothers don't feel the need or the desire to feed their children like that so they use bottles and formula instead."

"What's formula?" Pansy asked, scowling at her.

"Fake milk," Ron told her. "Like when a mother dries up. It comes in a can and you add water. We had to do some to a cat once."

Pansy glared at him. "That's unnatural!" She stormed back to her table, taking the book with her.

Hermione shrugged. "It happens. Sometimes mothers are too busy or there's other reasons why they can't do that," she said quietly.

"I was bottlefed," Harry admitted. "It's not like my aunt would have breastfed me." He finished his copy and checked Hermione's, taking it from her when he noticed words missing. He copied that one quickly and stood up. "I'll see you guys upstairs, I've got to go see Snape," he sighed, heading down to do that. He knocked on the dungeon's door, handing over the copy for the dour Professor when it was opened. "Professor McGonagall said I was to report to you?" he asked as he was let in.

Snape looked at the copy, the better of the three from what he could see. "Yes. The one you were using had flaws." He looked at the boy. "This one is easier."

"What are the side effects?" Harry asked. "I know the other had dizziness and things like that."

"This one as well. I'm sure you'll be able to work around it." He looked the boy over. "Are you sure this is necessary?"

"Yes," Harry said simply. Snape arched an eyebrow so he went on. "With my life, it's not reasonable to expect someone to live in it with me yet. This cures that."

"Yes, it does," Snape agreed, sighing mentally by the look on his face. "You couldn't simply not date?"

"I tried that, there's temptation out there and I want to get close to it." Harry sat at the first seat, getting comfortable. "I can't risk having someone become a target and I can't risk someone figuring out that I have a weakness like someone that I run to for comfort. If I do, then they're probably dead. The temptation is too great for someone my age. Therefore, I've decided on this path. If you don't want to help me, I'll do it myself."

Snape snorted. "I have no doubt of that, but you would botch it. This potion takes the utmost skills."

"That's why I was going to have Hermione work on it with me," Harry said with an impudent grin.

Snape shook his head. "It is beyond even her meager abilities." He pulled down his book and looked over the copy. "At least it let you copy all the words." He looked at the boy. "Which one did you show it to?"

"Hermione, but she wasn't copying all the words from my copy."

"Yes, only those who need the spell may copy it," Snape agreed, putting his book back up. "Very well, it has decided you are worthy. We'll see if you can follow complex orders." He pulled down a cauldron. "This will be drunk the first new moon of each new quarter of the year."

"That's before three of the quidditch games," Harry pointed out.

Snape looked at him. "Choose," he said meanly.

Harry glared back. "I could leave behind children," he pointed out. "How much longer will this battle go on if history repeats itself?"

Snape pulled down another book and opened it, showing him. "Copy that one. It will do you better," he growled, going back to his desk to grade summer essays. "Quickly now, I do have a life."

"Of course you do," Harry agreed as he settled in to copy. "Everyone has a life." His 'but me' was kept inside. He knew Snape had caught it when he looked up at him. "I'm fine."

"I'm sure you believe you are," Snape pointed out. "Are you truly?"

"It's better this way." Snape started to say something but he butted in. "Drop it, sir. I don't need the advice." He copied it quickly then pushed the book away. "This seems easy enough. I can probably brew this during all those detentions you give me for someone else mucking up." He stood up. "Was there any special preparations that have to be made with this one?"

Snape glared at him. "Think you know it all?"

"No, I simply read the notes," Harry pointed out. "I don't want to take up any more of your valuable time, so I'll let you get back to your life, sir." He walked out, heading back up to the common room. He sat down beside Hermione, who was reading of course. "Help me make this the first time?" he asked, handing it over.

She looked at it, frowning at the penmanship. "Only if you translate it."

"Snape switched my potion on me yet again. He said this one was better still." She looked at him and he shrugged. "He has a life. He said so."

"Fine," she agreed. "Put it into legible handwriting and I'll help you, Harry." She kissed him on the cheek. "That was very nice of you to make Ron get a robe that he liked, even though it doesn't look the best on him."

"I got him the other too, it's being delivered," Harry said, glancing around. Cold hands grabbed the back of his neck. "Hi, Neville. Long night in the greenhouse?" He looked back at him, giving him a smile. "What's up?"

"Can I have your help with my project, Harry?" Harry nodded. "I'm going to need blood."

"For what?" Hermione asked, looking at him.

"For my bloodroot plant," he said firmly. "That's my project, I'm going to grow one so we can use it in a spell to spare Harry during the war."

"That's fine, Neville. If Madam Sprout and McGonagall agree," Harry assured him. Neville beamed and went back to his study area. Hermione opened her mouth. "I know," he told her, holding up a hand. "But it could be a big help." He grabbed his bag and opened it, pulling out the little book they had gotten earlier. Hermione snatched it from his hand. "I wanted to move onto the next chapter."

"She said we can't show it to the younger students," she said coolly. "Take it upstairs."

"Fine." He sighed as he stood up. "I'll see you tomorrow then." She sniffed so he went up there to study on his bed. It was comfortable enough. When Ron came in a few hours later, he had gone all the way through his book. The only difference from his health books had been the charms and potions. Ron flopped down next to him, pulling him back to restrain him. "What!" he complained.

"Hermione's pissed at you," Ron told him, giving him an extra squeeze. "She wanted me to hit you but this is as far as I want to go." He let him go and sat up, giving him an expectant look. "So, anything good in there? Tips, dirty pictures, anything fun?"

"Not a bit," Harry said with a grin. "Most of it's old hat to me if you want help."

"Nah, I'm pretty good at most of it," Ron said with a wicked grin. "Wouldn't the twins just shit if they knew what I did on the weekends?"

"Hermione definitely would," Harry pointed out.

"Yeah, that's why I don't tell her," Ron agreed. Harry laughed, swatting affectionately at him. "What's that about a new robe? Hermione was blathering something in between her rant about you and the book-wrecking Slytherins."

"Hmm? Nothing. I was thinking about my robe not being right for me. I still don't like it."

"It's all they had, Harry," Ron said with an eye roll. "It was that or green."

"I know," he agreed. "It doesn't mean I have to like it. I was going to look at the shop in town the next time we head down there. Wanna help?"

"Sure." Ron gave him a shove. "You bought me more than one?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah. I figured you'd need the other one for a job interview or something."

"Thanks. Now what did you say to upset mum? The twins were glaring at you the day we took the train." He got comfortable.

"When I told her I'd buy you the dress robe, she glared at me."

"I remember that. You said something to her then. Was it continued?"

"No, I simply told her that spending it on you was better than having it languish in a vault until my will was probated in ten years. It wasn't like I was going to be able to spend all that."

"You're not dying," Ron said firmly, losing his smile.

"We don't know that," Harry reminded him. "Trelawny has been right in the past. She might be right about me dying. If so, I might as well take precautions." He shifted uncomfortably. "I told her later that night where my will was."

"No wonder," Ron whined. "You depressed her. She'll kick your ass for that, mate."

"She's got to stand in line," Harry said dryly. "Besides it's a moot point. I had to do it anyway, Ron. It's better to get it out of the way now, before my relatives can complain about it."

"Yeah, but still, Harry. It's depressing."

Harry shrugged. "Welcome to my life, Ron. Do you think I want to live here?"

"No." He gave him a hesitant grin. "Do you think Ginny really likes girls?"

Harry nodded. "Yup. She's been snogging one of them." Ron groaned and he hit him in the head with a pillow. "Behave, Ron. She'll be whoever she becomes. We can't dictate that for her or she'll hate us both."

"She's my sister, I'm supposed to dictate who she dates."

"No, you're supposed to be supportive and threaten him to treat her right," Harry told him. "Or at least that's what all the books say." He shoved him off his bed. "There, now I feel better."

Ron grinned. "You're a touchy git tonight."

"Shit happens," Harry said with a smirk. "Just think, tomorrow we have Magical Creatures. Think we should wear shirts that say bloodlines are for creatures?" Ron snorted and shook his head. "You're sure?"

"Yeah, let's wait until they figure out they're nothing more than beasts of burden to their parents." He climbed up onto his own bed. "I'm going this weekend."

"Ron!" Harry said, throwing the book at him.

"Fine, I'll leave you alone about it for now," he said, tossing it back. "Sorry, Harry. But maybe it'd make you happier."

"Ron, if I did, I'd go through this school like a fire and then you'd never get any."

"I'm bigger," Ron taunted.

Harry looked at him. "I like giving pleasure more than you do, twit. Girls like me because of that." He closed his curtains to stop that argument.

Ron let out a small whine. "I'm a good lover to my women."

"I'm sure you think you are," Harry said with a small chuckle as Ron came through the curtains, tackling him to wrestle with him. "If you keep this up, everyone will say we're together again," he said between laughs.

"Shit, we don't need that," Ron said as he backed off. "Sorry, Harry. My mother said she'd bean me if I took advantage of you that way." He grinned. "Though if you took advantage of me...."

Harry shoved him off his bed again. "No, Ron. You're cute and all, but I don't think you could handle me that way." He sealed his drapes and lay down, curling up around his extra pillow. Hopefully Ron would quit nagging him soon. Hopefully he wouldn't get Hermione into it. Of course, if he did, he could always send her out to spy on the death eaters he supposed. No more nagging and whining all year. He shook his head. No, that was a bad thought and he shouldn't have those. Something thumped against his curtains. "Go away, Ron."

"Sorry, Harry," Dean Thomas called. "You all right?"

"Just tired."

"'Kay, we'll be quiet."

Harry listened to the giggling people and rolled onto his back. Thankfully the potion was still active and he wasn't reacting to the lusty sounds going on outside his little haven of solitude.


Hagrid looked out at his class, the first of the year. "This year, we're going to be working on breeding and conservation stuff," he announced. "By next class, I want you to have gone through the section on the unfortunate people." He pulled Ron out of the way of the unicorn in the paddock; it wasn't feeling well and he doubted that Ron would make it feel better.

"They're on humans," Draco said in derision.

"They relate," Harry told him. Hagrid smiled and waved for him to continue. "When an animal is inbred and has problems, most people don't make note of it, they simply put them down. So the only real records we can study are human."

"Good job, Harry," Hagrid agreed. "Five points." He looked at Malfoy. "There's been some in the more pure families who have been put down but they're never talked about. After we've got the problems down, then we'll start work on gene lines in our own families."

"I'm sure that will be fascinating, but why would we bother to?" Malfoy sneered. "My own line is nearly perfect."

"Then three years ago your cousin didn't die havin' a malformed one?" Hagrid asked him. Draco hissed and glared. "It's a known fact, it was in the paper. Ask yer mother." He looked at the rest of the class. "For this year, you're gonna pick an animal. We've got some of the other years' magical creatures or you can do one simply on paper if you're more concerned about that stuff." He looked directly at Malfoy when he said it. "For those of you who want to do it together, that's fine with me, but no more than two to a pair." He looked at Harry. "This one's a fair treat, but we'll have to be careful with who gets near her."

Harry looked at the beast, then shrugged. "I doubt she'd like me."

Ron snorted. "Better you getting stabbed than me. My mum would kill me if I died from that." He looked at Hermione. "On your own or not?"

"I'll do one by myself," she told him. "You work with Harry." Ron nodded and looked at Harry, who shrugged. "I'll do a hippogryph since I've already got stuff started on them," she offered.

"Good on you," Hagrid agreed, smiling at her. He dug out the parchment with that assignment on it. "That's for you. There's a few in the stables for the lessons." She nodded, heading that way. "Anyone else?"

Harry looked at the unicorn. "We could. Bill said there's stuff to negate our taint."

"Do we have any of that?" Ron asked. Hagrid nodded. "Cool. Will it let us pet them?" Hagrid shook his head. "Shoot. I heard they were really soft."

"They are," Harry said quietly, then he shrugged when Ron and Hagrid both looked at him. "I petted the one in our fourth year." He crossed his arms over his chest. "It's up to you, Ron, I don't care. Just make it something we can come down and play with."

"Then I guess we'll go with a different thing," Ron told him. "What's back there, Hagrid?"

"Well, your brother dropped one of his little things off in our care for the first term," he admitted sheepishly.

"It's not Norbert, right?" Ron asked. He shook his head quickly.

"Is it a steamer?"

"Nah, it's poisonous," Hagrid said happily. "It's a coiler not a steamer."

"Then we'll do that. If worse comes to worse, we can ask Charlie for help," Harry decided. Hagrid beamed at him as he handed over the assignment sheet. He led Ron off to the stables, stopping when they saw the purple scaly thing. "Is this it?" he asked. "It looks really small."

Hagrid came running. "No, stay away from that, Harry," he told him, moving him away. "Those are dangerous for anyone not pure." It tried to snap at Ron, making him pause. "It didn't snap at you," he said, looking at Harry.

"It'd be unfair to have someone that way and have to leave them," Harry said dryly, looking at the purple thing again. "What is it?"

"We'll be goin' inta them next term. The dragon's in the back, beside where Hermione is." He shooed them that way, watching as they walked away. He put back up the sign telling the students this one was dangerous and went back to talk the others into taking an animal or two.


Ron looked up as McGonagall walked in, putting his book down. "Professor, there are things in here that I don't understand," he admitted when she smiled at him.

"Such as?" she asked gently.

"Such as, there's the mention of 'deviant things' and it doesn't say what. How do we know if we're not doing it right?"

She sat down in her chair and looked around. "Do any of the rest of you feel bothered by that question?"

"I think you partner should know whether or not you're doing it right," Pansy snorted.

"That wasn't my point," Ron said, shooting a quick glare at her. "I know how to please someone, I was wondering if some of the stuff we're doing is deviant."

McGonagall started to blush. "I'm sure if your partner thinks you're doing it right, you are. They should be able to tell you if you're not."

"Is what the book's talking about the kinky stuff?" Draco asked.

McGonagall's blush got a little brighter. "In part. There are things that are considered deviant to most people and some others that it thought so only by a few people in the world."

"Like for some particularly dry and boring people, oral sex might be considered perverse?" Hermione suggested. The other house all gasped. "Oh, grow up! It's not that bad. Really. It's actually a little fun when it happens to you."

"Know that for a fact do you?" Millicent Bullstrode sneered.

Hermione looked back at her and nodded, blushing herself. "Yes, actually, I do." She turned back around at the shocked looks. "Really! Did you think I was some pure little creature? I'm just as sexual as the next person in this room."

"More so than some of us," Pansy muttered, making Hermione flinch. "Professor, what about my mother's collection of books on dragons and maidens, or even the older unicorn and maiden stories?" Everyone in the room turned to look at her. "They were my grandmother's, mother found them among her things and kept them as a curiosity. She showed me last year. They weren't *graphic* or anything."

"You mean porn's been around longer than the current century?" Hermione asked. "I thought that industry was rather new and related to cinema."

"As long as there have been humans there have been smutty thoughts, writings, plays, poems, limericks, and art," McGonagall said, on a firmer footing now. "The fact that the muggles took their new technology and raised that to a new level should astound no one. We all deal with it in our own ways."

"There's real art with naked people?" Pansy asked.

Hermione pulled an art book out of her bag and handed it back to her. "Here, look at the pictures and cogitate on them."

Ron looked at her. "Would you mind using a smaller word? That sounded faintly dirty, Herm."

She laughed. "Then I'll change it to ruminate, how's that?" she asked with a pat to his arm. He nodded, happier with that one.

Pansy had turned to Draco, who gave her more synonyms for the first word. She flipped open the book, directly to the statue of David and gasped. "She has dirty stuff!" she exclaimed, holding it up. "She's carrying it around the school where just anyone can find it!"

McGonagall walked back there. "Michelangelo's David. It's a classical piece of artwork; though I never did stop to consider his impact in that manner."

"It's dirty!" Pansy said, starting to get hysterical.

Ron leaned over but talked loud enough to be heard. "What would she think of those muggle movies?"

Hermione laughed. "The poor thing would probably faint."

"Movies?" Draco asked.

Ron looked back at him and smirked. "Movies," he agreed, turning to look at Harry. "Bet your cousin's got a few of those."

"Many and he plays them just loud enough to be irritating," Harry agreed lightly.

"Is he desperate?" McGonagall asked.

Harry looked at her and nodded. "Have you ever seen my uncle?" She nodded quickly. "Dudley's twice his size now."

"Then I feel sorry for the boy. He obviously can't control his impulses." She took the art book back to the front. "Yes, this is classical smut," she agreed, starting it at the front of the room.

"Please don't drool on my book," Hermione put in quickly. She looked at the teacher. "You could let the Slytherins borrow it, I can make it available to my housemates tonight or this weekend if they wanted it."

"I'm sure you could," McGonagall agreed, nodding. "Are there any other questions, outside of Mr. Weasley's deviant one?" No one said anything. "Then we'll get onto that today for a bit. After the normal lecture. For right now, we'll be discussing hormones and their impact on your daily lives." She cleared her throat when the student with the book moaned and she quickly handed it on. "Thank you." She smiled at them. "How many of you know what hormones are?" Everyone raised their hands. "Yes, Mr. Malfoy? You can enlighten us?"

"They're the nasty things that make you look at the inappropriate members of the opposite sex," he told her.

"That is one function, yes," McGonagall said quickly. "More importantly, they are what drive your sexual urges." She looked at him. "For some, the urges are enough to get past the 'wrong kind' that has been drilled into their skulls."

"Not everyone thinks that way," Ron pointed out.

"Even among the more tolerant there is often a great deal of discrimination of a logical partner," she informed him. "Would you date an Asian witch, Mr. Weasley?"

"I guess that depended on whether or not she liked me," he put in. "I leave that stuff to the girls. I figure they'll tell me if we're doing more than snogging."

She rolled her eyes. "That, children, is the classic hormonal response. I knew one of you would have it." She frowned at him. "Talk with your older brother about how to take the edge off."

"I'll be doing that after I get back to my room," he said smugly.

"You disgusting thing," Draco snorted. "Can't you wait until the lights are off, like a proper wizard?"

Ron looked back at him. "Darkness isn't necessary," he said dryly. "I happen to like to look at my partners. Groping in the dark is fun and instructive, but looking means you don't poke them in awkward spots." He looked at the teacher again. "What is considered deviant by the majority, Professor? Things like toe sucking?" He thought fast to come up with something clean to add.

"Things like multiple partners?" Harry suggested, smiling at him.

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking," Ron agreed with a grin. "Where is the line?"

She sighed. "Fine, we'll continue with this discussion. It's obvious the hormones have overcome the rest of your brain, Mr. Weasley."

"I know about hormones, ma'am, I've got older brothers. Having to watch the twins make their moves on the ladies showed me enough about that. Personally, I'm a great believer in 'each hormone for themselves'." The other Gryffs laughed, remembering one of the twins having that motto when he wanted to get snogged or shagged.

"I can't wait until Professor Snape has your sister," she sighed.

"I doubt she'll get much from him, Professor," Hermione told her. McGonagall looked at her and she mouthed a word, making her nod. "Speaking of, are we going to cover alternate sexual experiences?"

"Huh?" Harry asked, looking at her. "You lost me there, Hermione."

"Being gay or bi," she said, smiling at him.

"Oh, that." He nodded. "Hopefully. I don't understand that one at all." He looked at the teacher. "Can we?"

McGonagall sighed. "Let me get through the next three lectures and we'll cover whatever your hormone-sopped minds can come up with, even toe sucking and having the lights on." She looked at Ron. "May I?" He nodded. "Good. Though, the answer to your question is no, toe sucking isn't considered deviant, just something that most people wonder why it'd be done." She pulled down the next chart in the row. This chart holder was only used in this class but it was surprisingly well-oiled. "That reminds me, next week, only the males need to attend. The week after, only the females if you don't mind."

"Won't we need to know?" Hermione asked. "We have to deal with them."

McGonagall looked at her. "This section is only for the boys so they feel more comfortable with asking questions about women." Hermione nodded, that made sense. "Thank you. May I continue?" Everyone nodded, paying careful attention. She said some of the most interesting things. "Thank you." She pointed at the chart. "As you can see represented here, the organs we talked about last week regulate and demand that these new hormones be produced. That means in each of you there rests a demanding little organ threatening your body with chaos if its demands are not met." The students snickered at that. "You think I'm kidding?" She flipped open the art book to a particularly graphic painting and showed an enlarged version of it. "How many of you can think of anything other than her attributes?" Harry was the only one who raised his hand and he quickly put it back down when she smiled at him. "How many of you who are not taking potions?" No one raised their hands and most of the boys were drooling. She changed the picture to one of a man and the girls all blinked at it. "Ladies? The same question if you wouldn't mind?" Two girls raised their hands, making her look at them. "Ms. Granger, you do not find it difficult to think?"

"No, Professor, I like different things in my lovers, mainly a brain. Muscles aren't my thing."

"Your thing?" Draco sneered. "You have a *thing*?"

Hermione looked back at him, sneering back. "Yes, I happen to know exactly what turns me on. Overly muscular men are not it." She turned back around then got up and found her favorite picture, found by the page being a bit warped from her drooling. "That's more my taste," she said, showing it to him. He 'eep'ed and went flush. "Do you have any other questions about my sexual habits, Malfoy?" He shook his head and she put the book away. One of the students behind her snatched the book from her bag, thumbing through it. "As long as I get it back by tomorrow morning," she sighed.

McGonagall nearly laughed. The girl was quite sure of herself. "Now that we've discovered how hormones can rot your usually workable minds, let's move on to their effect on your bodies." She pulled down the next chart, showing a graphic picture of a penis.

Ron's hand shot up. "Professor, my brothers said they forgot to ask. What's average?"

"According to a few scientific studies among the muggles approximately five and a half inches is the average," she said firmly. "Though most men seem to think seven is and that they have that much, no matter what they have."

Harry snorted and nodded. "Yup, they do, and it crosses over too."

"Seen many of them, Potter?" Pansy asked.

He glanced back at her. "My cousin came in and tried to threaten me with his tiny one. Thought two and a half inches was scary."

"Let me guess, you scared him and made him cry by molesting him?" Draco said snidely.

"No, all I did was stand up. The clothes I was wearing let him know exactly how large I was. He squeaked and complained to his father, who said he was a late bloomer in that area." He shrugged smugly. "He thought it was unfair."

"If he wasn't so fat, maybe it'd help," Ron said, nudging him. "You're not particularly large, Potter."

"I know. Professor, do men actually measure themselves? That seems rather pointless."

"According to some of the male professors that have given this class, I'm lead to believe it is something that all men do at least once in their lives, or they have a lover do for them, just so they know." She looked at the two hulking figures behind Draco. "It's called insecurity. You may ask Professor Snape about that when he does his section." She turned back to the diagram. "This is a male organ, fully unaroused. Ladies, I know some of you have seen one, please do not tell us how they compare. I know this one isn't drawn to scale."

"It's also uncircumcised," Hermione pointed out.

McGonagall nodded. "Most wizards are in Britain. You'll find different standards on that matter around the world." Ron's hand inched up.

"It means the foreskin hasn't been taken off," Harry told him, shifting uneasily. Ron nodded, looking happier again as his hand went down. "Professor, is that a mole on it?"

She looked at it and brushed the spot of dirt off. "Thank you, Mr. Potter." She looked at the group again. "Shall we continue?" Everyone nodded; engrossed in the diagram she had up. They were sure if she continued she'd get to the female ones eventually.


Harry flopped down on the couch, looking at Ron, who was grinning. "Feel better now that you've worn out those hormones?" he teased.

Ron nodded. "Haven't done much with them yet today but I just heard there's a chance I can do that later." He tossed a pillow at Harry. "Wanna join me?"

"No." Ron opened his mouth and Harry threw the pillow back. "You know it won't do anything for me, especially with that potion in me."

"Why do you take that anyway?" Ginny asked as she slid down next to him, then shimmied to adjust her skirt. "It seems like such a waste of time."

He gave her a little shoulder nudge. "Because it's hard to be me, Ginny. Temptation to be like your brothers is everywhere. I really can't do that to anyone though."

"Harry, a meaningless thing isn't going to hurt anyone," Ron pointed out, moving to a closer seat. "I promise, it won't."

"Ron, even if it doesn't mean anything, feelings can still get in the way. I don't want to inconvenience anyone that way." He looked down at his lap. "It could be worse, I know my body and how it reacts. I got that message all too clearly. Not only didn't I learn anything for six weeks, I basically spent my whole time in the loo."

Ron chuckled. "I went through that for about six months. I finally figured out how to deal with it."

"So did I, I take a potion to make sure I don't get out of control."

"Yeah, but imagine what'll happen when you finally get off it," Ginny pointed out. "You'll wear the poor girl out, Harry."

He nudged her again, grinning at her. "Don't worry about it, I'm sure it'll be fine. I'll make sure she's very happy with me."

"Yeah, but you could be dealing with it now and not have it gang up on you," Ron pointed out.

"Ron, I can't. Okay? Trust me, I tried, it didn't work. Besides, nothing and no one here sparked my interests that way. So it's useless to even speculate about me going with you to wherever." He looked at his best friend, who looked like he wanted to protest. "Please, drop it."

"Fine," Ron sighed, shaking his head. "I'm sure the twins or Charlie could help you with that if you'd ask."

"Ron, they're your brothers, not mine. Besides, what I was going through was abnormal according to the doctor I snuck out to see."

"Abnormal?" Ron asked. He saw Hermione's head perk up. "Later," he hissed, shifting back. "So, have you taken any thought of getting fun things attached to you? I hear nipple rings are the rage in the muggle world."

Harry blushed. "Let's not go there either, Ron. Trust me, you don't want to go there." He stood up. "I'll see you at practice." He headed up to their dorm room, and smiled when he heard footsteps behind him. Ron pounced him, it could only have been Ron with as big as he was. "I'm not showing you!"

"I think I'd have noticed something like that," he teased, letting him go. "Give. It's not fair that you're not sharing stuff."

Harry looked at him, one eyebrow going up and a smirk on his face. "Ron, really, no. If I showed you, you'd never be able to look at me again." Ron's mouth opened. "I mean it. No!" he went into the bathroom, knowing Ron wouldn't follow him in there.

"How bad can it be?" Ron called.


"Sorry, Harry. I won't pry." He grinned meanly. "But we are making verritassium this term," he pointed out to himself.

"I heard that," Harry called.

"Brat." Ron flopped down on his bed, watching as Harry came out in his boxers and a t-shirt. "Ready for a nap?"

"Yeah. Wake me up for practice."

"Not a chance. If you can't get up, then you shouldn't be napping."

"It's a side effect of the potion," Harry sighed. "It's starting to run out again."

"Oh. Sorry." Ron grinned at him. "See, that means it's meant to be. You could come with me tonight."


"Fine," he said, frowning at him. "You're no fun."

"I'd rather be no fun than to hurt someone."

"Fine," Ron sighed. "Be that way." He watched as Harry lay down. "You're going to miss dinner?"

"Probably," Harry agreed. "I'll snatch something later."

"I'll sneak you up some muffins or something." Ron watched as Harry fell asleep, frowning at his back. He didn't like this idea but his mother had told him not to nag the boy about it. Well, she didn't know everything, he decided. Harry needed to be nagged. He wasn't the same guy he was last year. Though he didn't remember all the time Harry said he spent in the bathroom. Where had he been?


Ron looked over their dragon as Harry joined him, frowning at him. "I think its sick."

"I think so too," Harry said, frowning at it. "It's too bad you can't speak snake," he told it. "If you could, you could tell me." He looked around. "HEY, HAGRID!" he yelled. Hagrid came running so he pointed at the dragon. "Is he supposed to be mud brown?"

"No," he said, shaking his head. "The poor thing doesn't like its diet. Charlie said it'd get used to it, but it's still sickly."

"What does it eat?" Ron asked.

"Charlie said it preferred goats, but I'm not sure why it won't like the pigs we've gotten it." He scratched his head. "I don't know. Why don't you call him?"

"I think it's got an injury," Harry said, pointing at the leg that had just moved. There was a sore on it that looked inflamed. "Will it bite me if I go in?" Hagrid nodded. Harry handed off his stuff and stripped down to his shirt and pants. "Ron, pull your wand and ready a sleep spell." He slowly opened the door and started to hiss at it. "It's all right. I'm here to help," he told it. The dragon's head followed him as he knelt beside it. The dragon didn't look like it fully understood him, but it was content enough to let him close for now. "I'm going to look at your leg." The dragon's tail came around to curl around his waist. "I'm trying to help." He looked it in the eyes, until it looked away. "Good dragon." He patted it on the neck. "The scales are warm and dry," he said in normal speech. He touched the spot, making the tail jerk his middle. "Hey!" he complained, glaring at it. "You'd rather be in pain?" He looked back at Ron. "Toss me my wand."

Ron tossed it over, watching as Harry dug it out of the hay it landed in. "Was it bitten?"

"I don't know yet," Harry told him. "Luminos." The wand tip lit up, letting him see the wound better. "He's got a massive splinter in it."

"It's a girl," Hagrid told him.

"Fine, *she's* got a big splinter of wood in her leg," Harry corrected, sharing a look with the dragon. He caught sight of the nether regions and looked back at Hagrid. "If it's a girl why does she have a testicular sack?" He looked at the wound again, gently touching the area around it. "It's infected, it's oozing nasty crap from around it." He stood up, unwrapping the tail. "Come on, let's get you outside into the light. We'll send Ron up to get Madam Pomfrey for you," he said calmly.

"Harry, he'll escape," Hagrid warned.

"Ron, get me the silver rope for the unicorn. We'll do it that way." Ron nodded and took off to get it, handing it off before going for the school's nurse.

Harry got the rope around the dragon's neck. "Come on, stubborn. Let's go get some sun." The dragon snuffled his stomach, but limped after him, out into the unicorn's pasture. The unicorn trotted over. "Hey, now," he warned, holding up a hand. "This one's sick, you can share." He glared at the unicorn until it trotted off again. "You don't need that, do you?" he told the baby dragon, sitting down to stroke it gently. His new position also allowed him to put the rope around his middle so the dragon couldn't leave. Hagrid walked out, leaning on the fence. "We've got it."

"Fine, I'll stand here and watch. Charlie'd be mad if he got away."

"I'm sure Charlie would only yell at me," Harry told him. "The unicorn looks pissed."

"She's a right bint when the mood takes her," Hagrid sighed, agreeing. He dug out a few carrots and walked over there to tend to her. She was special and deserved the treats.

Ron came out with Snape instead of the school nurse. "She said to bring him," he panted when Harry looked at him. He whistled at the wound. "That doesn't look pretty."

"I'd say it's only a few days old. The dragon's not foaming at the mouth," Harry told Snape. "We noticed his color was off today."

"That's fine. Do you have him?"

"Firmly, but watch out for his tail."

"I'll get that," Ron said as he climbed over the fence, sitting down to hold and pet the tail. "Charlie said most of you lot like to be petted this way."

"Try petting him in the direction the scales lay," Harry noted, smiling at him when Ron got hit on the cheek. "That'll be a pretty scar."

Ron wiped the blood off, offering it to the tongue hanging out. It lapped it up and seemed to grin at him. "Just remember, I'm not dinner, I'm a guest." He looked at Snape, who was shaking his head as he got down to examine it. "Will he be okay?"

"He should be fine," Snape told them. "It's a large sore but once the splinter is removed he'll lick it clean."

"Eww," Ron told him.

"That's normal behavior for an animal, even slightly intelligent ones," Snape informed him stiffly. "You suck on your finger after a papercut, they lick wounds." He pried the splinter out, tucking it into a bag then he cleaned off the wound with a damp cloth. That too went into the bag. He looked over at Hagrid. "Do you think you could extract some of the beast's poison for me?"

"Sure. Not a bit of a problem. Charlie has me bleedin' his gums each week." He smiled at the dragon. "You feel better now?" It growled, making him back off. "Fine, just don't hurt no one." He helped Snape back across the fence and looked at the boys. "You can't leave him out here."

"We can't put him back in there, the wood looked like it had come from the stables," Ron told him.

"Besides, isn't this type supposed to live in an underground warren?" Harry asked.

Hagrid smiled. "How'd you know?"

"We looked him up," Harry and Ron said in unison.

Hermione came walking over. "I thought it was necessary," she told him. The dragon growled at her. "Fine. I won't bring over any poultices or anything," she told it.

"Just bring us a damp cloth, it's dry," Ron told her.

She got them a bucket and a few rags, standing well out of the way as they bathed the poor thing. It looked much happier with life by the time they were done. "Good job," she praised. "It's almost back to its normal color." She smiled at an open space. "Can we put the hole there, Hagrid?" He looked at where she pointed and shook his head, putting it in another spot. A big hole with a little straw hut covering it was created for the beast's warren. "That's not much."

"No, but it can dig," Harry said as he led the little dragon out by the silver rope. It strained and pulled to go toward the stable but it let up when it saw where he was putting it. It ran into the burrow, only letting Harry take off the rope. He even got to toss it aside before the dragon pounced him and drug him in too, curling up on him. "Ron?" he called. "Hermione? Hagrid? I think we just developed another problem!"

Everyone bent down to look in the hole. "We'll get you free," Ron promised, looking at the dragon. "Let him be. He's got flying practice tonight." The dragon snuffled Harry's chest and put his head in the center of it, glaring at everyone who might want to take his new friend, especially Hagrid. "Want me to call Charlie now, Harry?"

"If you wouldn't mind," Harry agreed dryly. "It'd look bad if I wasn't on the field." Ron nodded and rushed off.

"I'll bring down some water for you, Harry," Hermione said, rushing off herself. Her own creature was trying to beat up on the unicorn.

"All right in there for now?" Hagrid asked.

"Sure," Harry said, waving a hand. "I don't think much'll happen. Just make sure Charlie comes soon, this hole isn't that comfortable."

"Allright then," Hagrid agreed, giving him a smile. "Did it speak snake?"

"It might have understood a few words but it never answered," he admitted. He looked at Snape. "Got any bright ideas, sir?"

"It's the after-effects of your potion. You've become irresistible to it," he said with a cruel smirk. "I knew something like this was going to happen." He walked off, his cloak flapping in the air.

A few minutes later, Draco's face appeared. "Are you that deviant? Trying to be like Pansy's grandmother?" he asked with a cold smirk.

"No, the dragon thinks I'm a good body pillow. He hasn't tried anything yet." He gave him one of his best smiles, irritating him. "Don't worry, if he tries anything I'm sure you'll be the third or so to know from my screaming." The dragon lunged and snapped at Draco, making him run off. "Thank you, dear. That was very nice of you," he said, scratching the regal head. "How did you know he irritates me so?" The dragon looked at him and snuffled at his nose then laid his head back down.


Charlie looked up as the waiter came rushing over to his table, eyes going wide as he bent down to whisper in his ear. "I'll be right back," he told his school friends, going to take the floo call. He waved at his brother. "What happened to the dragon?"

"It's kidnaped Harry," Ron said bitterly. "It's pulled him into it's new burrow and is using him as a pillow." He saw movement behind Charlie and nodded at him. Charlie casually tripped the person listening, then looked at him again. "We started out by taking a splinter out earlier. Then we rinsed it off because it was really dry, it was the next thing we could think of doing, and then we gave it a small burrow with a shelter. Then suddenly the daft thing decides to pull Harry in with him and use him as a bloody body pillow, Charlie!"

"I'll be up in a bit," he said calmly.

"We've got practice tonight!" Ron said, starting to lose it. "We have to have him there, he's the captain!"

Charlie laughed. "Calm down, Ron. It'll only be an hour or so. Get one of the elves to bring him some food. Get them to bring the little bugger a steak or two, raw, and then sit there and read him your homework or something. Reading to that one puts him to sleep for some reason." Ron nodded, looking relieved. "I'll be up in about an hour. Do you think you can handle it until then?"

"As long as it doesn't try to eat him," Ron told him. "Right now it's curled up on his chest."

"That's fine," Charlie agreed. "It takes those moods." Ron frowned at him. "It did it to me once, I had to wait three days to be rescued. It'll be okay, Ron, just stay calm, feed them both, and then read to them. It'll be fine." Ron nodded and his head disappeared. Charlie shook his head and groaned. "Kids," he whined. "This is why I'm not having any of my own." He went back to his table. "Sorry about that, the dragon I put up at the school decided to kidnap one of the boys."

"Did it eat him?" the lone female at the table asked.

He grinned and shook his head. "It's a cuddler. He decided Harry made a good pillow."

"Potter?" another friend asked. He took a sip of his drink and nodded. "Well, you've got to stop him! It can't eat him, Charlie!"

"It's not going to," Charlie said with a grin. "He likes to cuddle. Trapped me once for three days. My brother Ron's soothing it at the moment. By the time I get up there, it'll want to give him up." He winked. "Don't worry, it'll mean that the boys will want to follow in my illustrious footsteps."

"Yeah, but they've got a few years before that happens," the female said bitterly, staring at another table.

Charlie looked that way, then gave her a mean smirk. "That's why I've been...encouraging the twins to train them." They all stared at him, mouths open. "Can you think of anything *he'd* hate more? His eternal enemy able to laugh at him?" He took another drink but his former best friend took the glass from him.

"I think you've had enough of those," he said smartly. "You'll need a clearer head to deal with the dragon." He gave him a winning smile. "Maybe you should import humans for a bit, Charlie."

"I've tried that, my boss got really pissed at me for it," Charlie admitted. "Didn't like my taste in maidens at all." They all laughed at him.


Harry rolled his eyes as Ron started to read again. "Why are you reading to me out of that book?" he asked. Ron had managed to crawl inside with him about a half-hour earlier and they were illuminated by wand light.

"Because it's the only homework I have," Ron admitted with a grin. "It's either that or we talk about breeding lines and I think that'd be more icky."

"You sound like a girl," Harry teased. The dragon shifted, seeming to purr. He started to pet it again, making it purr louder and vibrate his chest painfully. "Hey! Switch to my stomach or something." The head shifted down, vibrating his stomach instead. "Thanks." He looked at Ron. "Let's talk about something else. If I wanted to think about sex at the moment, I'd ask Parkinson."

Ron snickered but put the book back into his bag. "Okay, about what?"

"Um...." Harry shrugged. "Pick a topic."

"The new team?"

"Miserable and we need the practice."

Ron nodded. "We do. Charlie promised he'd be here soon."

"Good," Harry agreed, glancing at Ron's watch. "How much longer do you think? I'd like to go to the bathroom."

"He said he was once stuck for three days," Ron said as he curled up again, resting his chin on his knees. "Is he treating you well?"

"Very. He's been very nice, letting me drink the water first and everything."

"You know what they say about maidens and dragons," Ron quipped, not able to hold it in any longer.

"I'm not that innocent," Harry told him, starting to blush. He looked at the dragon, who was sniffing his stomach. "What? I'm not." It firmly put its head back down in the middle of his stomach and started to purr. "Hey, Ron, think I could get away with him as a familiar? Even Malfoy would shit about that."

Ron snorted, shaking his head. "I doubt they'd allow it, even for you, Harry. Though you could ask. It'd be neat and unusual. Plus he seems really protective of you, he might bite any Death Eater who came close."

"Maybe he and Croonshanks would get together to fight evil?" Harry asked, starting to grin. The dragon nuzzled him harder and he felt a twinge start in his stomach. "Hey! Careful! Keep it up and I'll have to go to the loo." The dragon sniffed his stomach then turned and started to carefully dig, making sure none of the dirt hit Harry or Ron. He got out of the way and seemed to grin.

"I don't think he wants to give you up," Ron pointed out dryly, starting to laugh. "He built you an outhouse."

Harry sat there with his mouth open, slowly starting to whimper. That's when Hermione tried to interrupt again. He had to lunge to stop the dragon from going for her. "Out!" he called, struggling with the little beast. It was much stronger than it looked. "Granger!"

"Sorry! I brought food!" she called as she ran back to the school as fast as she could - directly into Snape's chest. "I set the dragon off, is it coming?" she panted, trying to keep herself upright by holding onto his arms.

He shoved her off him with a glare for being so familiar. "I am not a clutching post, Ms. Granger, five points off Gryffindor." He looked out at the burrow, then at her. "No, it's not coming." He looked over her. "What did you do to set it off and has it eaten Mr. Weasley yet?"

"No. I walked out with food for them and it tried to eat me." She smoothed back her hair. "How much longer should we wait before calling Charlie again, sir?"

"Until he comes. I'm sure he'll be concerned about his brother." He walked away, going out to look at the dragon for himself. He noticed the new hole. "Was it digging itself a bedroom?" he asked. "These type seem to nest."

Ron looked at him, quickly swallowing his bite of roll. The dragon snatched the rest of it from his fingers, carefully so he wasn't nicked. "Hey!" It seemed to grin at him and he looked at Harry. "Table train your pet, Harry." He looked at Snape again, seeing the amazed look. "Harry mentioned he'd need the loo soon if it kept purring on his stomach so it dug him a hole."

Snape's mouth snapped shut and he looked at Harry, who was nodding. "Fine, make fun of me if you want. You can only suffer in class," he sneered.

"We're not!" Harry said, letting the dragon curl back up on his stomach again. He wiggled and it sniffed him again, going back to its digging. "See?"

"I'm guessing the purring is massaging his guts," Ron put in. "I think he'll need some paper or something, sir."

"Your brother should be here soon," he said coldly, heading back into the school to have a *discussion* with Dumbledore. "The dragon has taken a liking to him," he announced as he walked in. He found Charlie Weasley sitting in there sipping at some coffee. "Your beast is now digging him a latrine so it doesn't have to let him go."

"It built me a whole room," Charlie told him, sounding even and calm. "How's Ron doing?"

"It snatched a roll from his fingers."

"It's bored and wants a toy," Charlie said, finally smiling. "I knew it had to be something like that." He stood up. "I'll get them freed, but we'll have to watch them. If he's picked up Harry as a cure for his boredom, he might try to follow him around a few times before getting the point." Snape and Dumbledore both looked alarmed. "Harry's his new teddy," he explained, putting it into simpler terms. "He's a baby." He shrugged and walked out, taking his coffee with him. It was killing the aftertaste of the cheesecake with caramel that had been a bit too burnt. "Oy, Ron!" he called as he walked. The dragon's head popped out. "Okay, or you," he said with a grin, crawling inside the burrow. "This is nice of them to make you," he said, scratching the knobby head. "How you doin', Harry?"

"I need to use the loo," he said, holding his stomach. "I got purred on for over an hour."

"Go ahead, I'll keep him busy. Take Ron with you. Just remember to come back each day for about an hour. He likes you two or else you'd already have been breakfast." Ron looked at him like he was odd. "No one ever says anything about what you eat for breakfast," Charlie said with an impudent grin.

"Mum sure does. I tried a ham sandwich this summer and she about walloped me," Ron told him as he scratched the head. "We'll see you tomorrow, Seamore." He slid out, taking his books with him.

"Seamore?" Charlie asked Harry.

"Ron named him. I think he's more of a Roger Moore myself." He grinned at the dragon. "Tomorrow afternoon then?" It headbutted him back into the wall. "Ow!"

"Let him go," Charlie said calmly. "I'll stay for a bit. They'll be back each day." The dragon gave him a pitiful look. "I'm sure they like you a lot, kid. Go, Harry."

Harry slid out of the burrow and headed for the castle as quickly as he dared, darting into the first bathroom. He pushed past the Slytherins inhabiting it. "Sorry, purring dragons means your guts go funny," he said as he shoved Goyle out of his way.

Draco looked at the stall door, then at Goyle. "Did he shove you?" he asked. Goyle nodded. "Potter! This is our bathroom!"

"Then you go sit with the dragon and let him purr on you," Harry shouted.

"Oooh, did it scare you?" Goyle taunted. The noise Harry let out made him wince and wave a hand around.

"No. It was the purring. Like a cat lying on your stomach purring for too long. Ask the girls if you don't understand, I'm sure one of their cats purrs." He flushed the toilet and came out to wash his hands. "Thank you." He walked out, more calm now, and headed to change his clothes and go to practice. He walked out and noticed he had a visitor. "Charlie?" he yelled.

Charlie waved from his seat. "He's insistent."

"Wonderful." Harry gave it a gentle pat before taking off. The dragon roared and jumped. "Hey! You don't fly!"

"Bert!" Charlie snapped. "You don't have wings. Come sit and watch." He patted the seat beside him and it gave him a dirty look. "Now, or I'm going to put you back in your nest." It slithered up to sit next to him, watching the flying going on. "Good boy, Bert," he said, patting him gently. "You're gonna have one hell of a story to tell and I'll try to convince him or Ron to come work with us soon enough." The dragon licked his fingers then went back to watching everyone fly.

Up on the brooms, Ron looked at Harry, then at the stands, then back at Harry again. "He followed you!" he shouted as Harry zipped past.

Harry shrugged. "He's not being mean."

"I feel like Hagrid," Ron said more quietly as Harry floated closer to him. "We're keeping a dragon?"

"You were the one who invited him into the dorms," Harry said with a grin. "Maybe he'll curl up on the foot of your bed, keep your toes warm." He winked and zipped off to help the chasers set up.

Draco slinked out, sneering at Potter until the sharp teeth nearly took off his scalp. Then he screamed like a little girl and ran back to the school to complain about the beast.

Charlie patted Bert gently. "Don't feel bad, I don't like him either," he admitted with a grin.


McGonagall caught Ron and Harry as they walked in, dragging them up to the Headmaster's office. She pushed them in first, watching as the dragon curled around them. "It was waiting outside the house, crying pitifully."

"I don't know how it tracked us," Ron told her, scratching the poor thing. "You're just lonely, aren't you? There's none like you here and my mean big brother left you here." The dragon licked him and he laughed. "Thanks. Even better than Croonshanks doing that to my nose last year after the liver incident."

"I thought we weren't going to talk about that again," Harry said dryly as he sat down. The dragon curled around him. "Don't ask me, I'm only a student," he said before Dumbledore could say anything.

Dumbledore chuckled. "At least it's an original excuse, Mr. Potter. We can't let this continue though, and you know it."

"Hey, he likes Charlie."

"Mum would never let him sleep in the house," Ron pointed out, nudging Harry. "Did you see? He tried to bite Malfoy at practice."

"I didn't," Harry admitted, looking down at him. "Don't do that, they'd taste bad," he told it. The dragon crooned and curled tighter around him. "I'm guessing we're surrogate Charlies at this point," he told the Headmaster.

"Is Hagrid pouting?" Ron asked. McGonagall nodded. "Shoot. Maybe we'll get this one to play with him too."

"That would be the ideal solution," Dumbledore agreed. "As is, if we can't solve this, we'll have to move you out to his nest for a few days."

"What about showers and the like?" Harry asked.

"Those would be in the pitch's changing rooms," Dumbledore told him. "We still can't allow you bond that closely, boys. It is against the law."

Mr. Filch came in, slamming the door. "The beast left muddy footprints all over," he said in disgust, glaring at it, then the boys. "You should have to clean those up."

"We didn't tell him to come in while muddy," Ron told him. "Besides, there's no mud outside."

"That is a good point," McGonagall said quietly. Filch glared at her and she glared back, making him flinch. She turned back to face the headmaster. "What are we going to do about this?"

"Charlie's coming back tonight. We'll see what they can arrange. I'll allow both boys to skip their morning classes if this takes most of the night," he decided. "Tell me tomorrow what's being done about this." Everyone nodded. "For now, take him back outside. Being inside a school probably isn't comfortable for him."

"Actually, he's a diamondback viper dragon, sir. They're born and used to living in ancient temples and things," Harry told him. He looked at Ron. "I still don't think he speaks snake."

"Dragon's probably an offshoot of reptile," Ron said with a shrug. "Come on, we'll get to camp out tonight. Maybe we can practice our fire spells." He dragged Harry up and looked at the dragon. "If you wait outside for us, we'll be down in twenty minutes," he offered. "We've got to get stuff to sleep on tonight." The dragon crooned at him, nudging him with its nose.

Harry got down to look in its face. "If you wait outside, we'll be right out. We have to get more clothes and pillows. Got it?" The dragon made the same pitiful noises at him. "We'll even bring snacks, how about that?" That got perked-up ears. "Okay, go wait for us and we'll be right out." It lumbered off, Filch following it to make sure it left and didn't eat anyone. "Ron, get food. What did you want from your trunk?"

"My pillow, a few blankets, my books, some clothes, and get my bath stuff," Ron said as he jogged down the stairs in front of Harry. "Regular snacks and meat for the darling?"

"Sure," Harry called, taking off for the tower at a dead run. He ran inside and everyone stopped what they were doing to stare at him. "The dragon's going to be following Ron and I about for a bit," he explained quickly. "We've quickly become it's teddy bear and blankie. We're going to be out there for a few hours, until we get this solved. Hermione, if you find anything, tell us." He ran up to get their bags packed and bring down the stuff they'd need to camp out. He found an older Defense book in his trunk that he hadn't noticed and pulled it out to look through as well. Never too early to start. He floated the whole mass down the stairs and outside, meeting Ron beside the burrow. "Dobby helped?"

"The house elves are all scared of him and they said it was an offering to keep him out here. Dobby just said you were very brave to protect the helpless house elves from the big, mean, house elf eating dragon." He followed Harry inside, noticing that the space had been expanded. They now had a few higher spots to sit on, and the old hole was now a lot bigger, plus it had something that looked like leaves. "Wow. He furnished it for us," Ron said, smiling and petting the poor thing. "Okay, we'll stay tonight. We'll work on everything else tomorrow. Good enough?" It knocked him to his rear and nuzzled him, purring a bit. "Thanks, you." He scratched it while Harry set up their beds. "You brought two pillows?"

"I've had a sinus thing for the last month," Harry told him. "It keeps me from choking on the snot in the middle of the night." He flopped down and pulled over the big box of food, laying out the first steak in the clear spot between the beds. The dragon quit molesting Ron and scarfed it, grinning at him. "Want another?" he asked, digging one out. That one got eaten quickly too but the next one was denied as the dragon laid down, watching them both settle in. "Do you wonder if Charlie does a lot of this?" Harry asked suddenly.

Ron laughed. "Probably." He pulled over Harry's bag to look through it. "Did you remember my shampoo?"

"It's in the plastic bag in your spare pillow case, along with your outfit for tomorrow," Harry told him. He patted the blankets. "You've got to admit, he did a great job of smoothing the ground out. There's no rocks or bumpy spots."

"He probably hates those too," Ron said with a grin for the dragon. "You take very good care of us," he told it. It licked his face then Harry's. "Yeah, we like you too, Seamore."

The dragon settled in to be petted and adored by the boys. It would get what it really wanted tomorrow, the boys would help him get a maiden like the dark one had promised.


Bill came back with Charlie, armed with a camera for their mother. She refused to believe it wasn't a joke. They got down into the warren and he whistled. "This is nice," he told his younger brothers and Harry. He snapped a picture of them then another where dragon was curled up around the boys. "That's for mum. She didn't believe us, thought it was a joke," he said as he stuck it and his jacket outside. It was rather warm in there. "How are you guys?"

"You know how cats knead?" Ron asked. Both older brothers nodded. "It was doing that with the middle of the six feet to my back. It felt really nice."

"It does," Charlie agreed with a grin. "So, can I convince you two to come work with me now?"

"Sure," Harry agreed. "Will they all be like this?"

"Not a chance," Charlie admitted with a laugh. "Plenty have worse tempers. I think this guy wants something from you."

"As long as it's not sex, I'll gladly let it cuddle up. It's warm," Ron told him.

Charlie felt along the baby's head, frowning. "You are a bit warm there, Bert."

"His name's Bert?" Bill asked. "You named an African dragon Bert?"

Charlie looked at him. "I've already got one named after each of you lot." He looked at the boys. "What happened earlier?"

"He had a splinter. We led him outside, let Snape take it out and clean it up, and then we led him in here and he pounced me," Harry told him, accepting his turn of the kneading.

"Where?" Bill asked, looking the little thing over. The tan body was about four feet long and it was low to the ground because of its six legs. "I can't see a wound."

"It's on the rear right leg," Ron said, pointing at it. "He's been good and licked it a few times."

"Harry, don't do that to his ears, that sets off a mating urge," Charlie said quickly. Harry removed his hand and the dragon seemed to sigh. "You can scratch but don't massage his ears, they're sensitive."

"Sure, Charlie. Do you think we'll be able to go to Herbology tomorrow?"

"Not a chance," Bill told him. Harry grinned. "I'm sure you don't mind that at all."

"As long as we get to go to town this weekend and we get to class Wednesday night," Ron told him. "Hey, Harry, if you can't go to Herbology, you can't go to Potions either," he happily reminded. Harry sighed in joy at that thought.

Charlie laughed, shaking his head. "Fine. We'll get you out of classes tomorrow and I'll be up on Saturday." He pulled out a small leather case and the dragon moaned, hiding his head against Harry's chest. "It's not that bad, it's not the rectal one this time," he soothed, sticking it up a nostril. When Bill's watch said it was time, he pulled it out to look at it. "It's not too high," he said, giving the thing a pat to the side. It looked at him, giving him a pitiful look. "What? You can go bathe in the lake. I'm sure the squid won't get you." It nuzzled him back into Bill's side, purring at him. "Yeah, I like you too, Bert. It's all right. You can keep the boys until Saturday and I'll be back up then to check on you if you want." It licked him, settling in to cuddle in under Charlie's chin. Charlie scratched his side gently, earning more fierce purrs. "Yeah, you're a good boy, Bert."

Bill looked at him. "Do you get to do this all the time?"

"No," Charlie told him. "I usually only get to do this with the young ones. The older ones all get fussy and try to flame you." He looked at Ron. Then at Harry. "It's usually pretty calm, unless you're actively taming one. This one was hatched under my tent one night. He's very fond of people; an odd trait for diamondback viper dragon."

"Wow," Harry said, shifting closer. Bert whipped around, snuggling into him now. He smiled at Charlie. "Sorry, didn't mean to take away your cuddles."

"Pfft," Charlie snorted, waving a hand. "It's nothing, Harry. I'll have him all to myself back at work." Bert's tail was thrashing around a bit so he nudged it with his foot. "Do you want to spend the holidays eating fruitcakes again this year?" The long tongue attacked him again. "Okay! I'll even get one that's soaked in rum. We'll ask mum, how's that?"

"It eats fruitcake?" Ron asked.

"It's not supposed to," Charlie admitted with a sheepish grin. "It snuck into my flat last Yule and curled up on the couch with me while I was napping. Decided to eat the fruitcake Great Aunt Emma sent me. Then he went on to eat the rest of them that I had stored over the last ten years." Bill and Ron both laughed. Harry looked confused so he explained it to him. "Great Aunt Emma's fruitcakes are a bit soused," he told him. "They're about a-hundred-eighty proof by the time she's done."

"I've had fruitcake," Harry told him. "It was good except for the candied fruit."

"Have a headache the next morning?" Bill asked. Harry nodded, grinning at him. "Figg?"

"Actually, yeah, it was Arabella Figg who gave it to me."

"It was probably Great Aunt Emma's then," Charlie agreed. He nudged Bill. "Did you want to come up for the holidays?"

"Sure, why not," Bill said with a shrug. "If you think you'll have room."

"I have the feeling that he'll have a new friend by then. They usually get very cuddly right before they start their search for a mate." Both boys' eyes went wide. "What?" he asked patiently. "I doubt it'd be you two."

"Harry tried to speak snake to him earlier and he didn't respond," Ron told him.

"Hmm. Dragon is a different form of reptile. It's almost a side language." He shrugged, still looking happy. "I doubt you two proposed to him. You'd already have been molested if that were the case."

Both boys sighed in relief.

Bill laughed. "The trouble you get into, Ron. Maybe you shouldn't work with Charlie if you're going to do that stuff."

"I can't come work with you," Ron scoffed. "I'm not that great in charms."

Bill laughed and pulled him over for a strong hug. "It's the same ones over and over. You learn and then get a lot of practice. If you wanted to, I'd gladly put your application in." Ron beamed at him. "Though I've got a job that's about as lonely as Charlie's. I see more goblins and trolls than I do people most months."

"I'll think about it," Ron promised.

"What about Ginny?" Harry asked.

"They won't take girls," Bill told him. "Girls have monthlies and that can't be tolerated in the field. There's too many things that are attuned to girls. If she wanted to work on stuff, she'd end up working in the main bank." He stared at Harry for a minute, his head tipped to the side. "Do you think she'd like it?"

"I don't know," Harry admitted. "She's really good in Charms and in Defense," he offered.

"Then I'll talk to her about it," Bill agreed easily.

Charlie looked at him. "I'd feel better knowing she was somewhere safe."

"Paris? Deep in a vault underground?"

"Is pretty safe," Charlie agreed.

"She's been getting good Potions grades too," Ron put in.

"Oh, then we've definitely got spots for her," Bill agreed. "I'll have to spring her this weekend and bring her around to talk to someone. 'Specially since she said she wants to leave the country for the present time." He grinned at Charlie. "Think you could get some of your buddies up here from your job?"

"Probably. We've lost a quarter of our staff in the last two years and haven't hired anyone," Charlie said thoughtfully. "I'll owl or something and suggest someone come up and recruit among these guys." He ruffled Ron's hair. "It'll all work out in the end. I'm sure it will."

"I'd hope so," Harry said dryly. "One day I'd like to have a normal life."

"We'd all like that for you, Harry," Bill agreed, smiling at him. "How is your extra studying going?"

"Better," Harry admitted. "I was left alone all summer." He shifted a bit. "Hey, Bill, if I wanted to get an earring, where would I go in Hogsmeade?"

"You know that little jewelry shop off behind Madam Rosemerta's?" Harry nodded. "Not that one. The other's a bit harder to find, it's behind Zonko's and it's got a better selection in the usual price range." He looked at Charlie. "Why don't you take the little bugger out and get him some water? He's shedding and even I can see the steam." Charlie and Ron got him outside and Bill shifted closer. "Why do you need a new hole in your body? It's for life you know."

"I've already got one," Harry admitted with a blush. "I need something to put into the hole." He looked Bill in the eyes. "Of a spell grade quality."

Bill nodded. "I thought it might be for some sort of protective charm for Ron," he said with a small smirk. "Don't worry, he won't protest. He's been dreaming about getting a nipple ring now all summer." Harry blushed. "Not for Ron? You have someone else in mind?"

"No!" Harry swallowed. "Well, I was going to find a way to ward Ron so I could send him away from the fights," he admitted quietly, glancing outside, then back at the big brother. "I need it for me this time, Bill. It's really important. The one I have isn't keying right to the spell in the school."

"What sort of charm do you have on?" Bill asked. Harry leaned over and hissed something in his ear, making him blush. "Oh!" He blinked a few times. "Why?" Harry hissed something else, which made him shake his head. "I didn't think that would be a problem, but okay," he agreed. "Go there. Is that a problem?"

"It hurts, Bill. It really does. It won't go away and it aches."

Bill patted him on the shoulder. "That's fine then, Harry. Is that why you're doing that spell and potion thing?" Harry nodded. "Well, damn! Charlie thought you were afraid."

"You can't let it get out," Harry begged. "Please?"

"I won't," Bill promised with a grin. "The muggles can't cure that? They can cure the opposite affliction."

"The doctor said he might have to cut one of the nerves." Bill winced and curled up on himself. "Yeah, so the spell and potion seem to be the better alternative."

Bill nodded. "I'd have gone for that too. But to pierce it?" Harry nodded. "You're much braver than I am," he said weakly. "I wish you all the luck finding something." Ron crawled back in. "Hey, go with him when he goes to get that new earring of his. That way you can ask about the nipple ring stuff. Fred was saying he might buy one for you if it wasn't too much, just to shock mum and dad."

Charlie and the dragon came in. "I thought that was George."

"It could have been both of them," Harry put in with a grin.

Ron beamed. "Sure. Saturday?" he asked Harry, who nodded. "Cool. Which store?"

"The jewelry place behind Zonko's should have it," Bill told him. "That's where I got my last one. If not, there's that store in that little dark alley." He looked at Harry. "Come to think of it, start there. They'd be most likely to have what you wanted."

"Okay," Ron agreed, settling in when the dragon came back in and plopped itself into his lap. "Are you sure we didn't offer to mate with it?"

"I'm sure," Charlie agreed. "I'll put a call in to see if our speaker can translate for you. He's got a spell for it." He looked at Bill. "We should probably give mum those pictures so she can rant at Dumbledore." Bill nodded. "You guys behave and I'll tell the Headmaster you're stuck down here until I can come back on Saturday." He waved and then he left.

"Treat Ron to a frog or something, Harry. Bribery works with him." He looked at Ron. "You just behave, don't make dad come up." He grinned and slid out of the burrow, following his little brother up to the school to report in, and to talk to Ginny.


Harry looked over as Ron popped out of the bathroom. "Done?" Ron nodded, tucking his shirt back in. "Then let's go, since Bill ordered me to take you with me."

"You don't have to," Ron offered like a true friend.

Harry grinned. "Nah, but I'll be dumping you to look at your own stuff while I talk to the guy," he told him, walking Ron toward the road. They had spent another night in the warren with the dragon and Charlie had just sprung them. "Maybe we'll miss everyone."

"Hermione wanted us to have butterbeers with her when we're done," Ron put in as he followed. He loped a few steps to catch up with him. "So, why are we looking at earrings?"

Harry blushed. "I'll tell you sometime soon," he promised. He saw one of their teammates and waved, but not enthusiastically so they wouldn't run over to join them. "That's the only stop I have to make, that and to get a new pen, what were you going to get?"

"I need some more paper," Ron said in disgust. "My last roll got wet when my conditioner spilled." He flipped some of his wet hair back off his forehead. "Think I should get the mop cut?"

"I think your mother will be cutting it for you if you don't," Harry reminded him, giving him a friendly nudge. "Bill's really cool. He didn't say anything to me about getting pierced."

"He's got one of his own," Ron pointed out. "That would make him a hypocrite and I know Bill doesn't like that word." He nudged Harry. "If I ask, do you think he'd help me pick out my own earring?"

"Sure," Harry agreed. "I don't see why not. At the very least he'll be able to tell you how much it'll be and if he can do that." He glanced at him. "You still want a nipple ring, don't you?"

Ron nodded, looking at the students coming closer to them. "Let's not talk about that out here, or I'll start to ask you about yours," Ron said quietly.

"Sure." Harry watched as one of Malfoy's thugs went running. "Was he eavesdropping?"

"No, he's been running. I bet Draco threatened him again. Either that or they've pulled a new batch of cookies out of the oven and he's hurrying while they're still fresh," he said with a grin.

"I could go with a cookie or two myself," Harry noted, starting off at a run. He held onto his pocket, making sure his money pouch wouldn't come out. Ron ran with him, laughing when they passed the goon, who was bending down breathing hard. They made it to the treat shop and inside, smiling at the woman behind the counter. "Cookies?" Harry asked, barely out of breath.

"Usually it's one of the big Slytherins who come running," she teased, giving them a smile. "I just pulled some peanut butter chip out and a few chocolate chip."

"I want one of each," Ron said, digging in his pocket.

Harry shoved him, handing over some money. "I want the same please and I'll get both. I'm having a good day, the dragon isn't following us." He grinned at Ron, who was frowning at him. "My treat. Next time you get it, or you can buy me a butterbeer before we go back."

"Sure," Ron agreed, shrugging at the simple request. He accepted his two cookies while Harry got his change. "Thanks, mate," he said before taking a bite. Goyle walked in and they slipped past him, nibbling contentedly. "Paper then the store?"

"Sure. That way your mother doesn't yell at me for you not getting paper." He walked on the inside of the street, Ron would fuss otherwise. Ron had this idea about protecting him.... They walked into the quill and paper shop, Harry finding the pen he used quickly, and one he really liked but he didn't feel like spending his last few galleons on a new pen that fancy. Maybe for the holidays, to treat himself. He watched as Ron checked the prices, then shook his head and used his wand to float a few coins into his pocket.

"Harry!" Ron said indignantly.

"What?" he asked innocently, nibbling on his second cookie. He waved at Hermione through the window, getting one in return. "There went Hermione and Neville's trying to catch her."

"Hopefully he won't trip and put her into the dirt again," Ron said, walking over his box of paper. "I don't need the help."

"Of course you do. Otherwise I'll have to buy more paper," Harry pointed out with a grin. Ron rolled his eyes. "Get the big box, Ron. I know you'll need it. Hermione will have us revising by the holidays." He shuddered and did as he was told. "Besides, I like doing these little things for you," he said with a small grin. "I'd do it for Hermione but she's always got money these days."

"Yeah, I heard something about her and a patent," Ron said with a diffident shrug. He would not be jealous of his best friends, he simply wouldn't. "One of these days I'll get around to paying you back."

"Hey, if we both go work with the dragons, we can share a flat or something and I'll make you do all the dishes," Harry suggested. Ron laughed and hugged him. "Deal? You'll quit being awkward whenever I do nice things for you?"

"Sure," Ron sighed, paying for his paper. "Thanks." He accepted the bag and they walked toward the joke shop, then around it to the jewelry store nestled behind it in the alley. They walked in and Ron sneezed at the herbs burning next to the door.

The proprietor looked at them. "This way, boys," he said with a smile.

"I need a barbell," Harry told him. "Spell grade if you've got it." Ron looked at him, blinking a few times, mouth slightly open. "My present one doesn't like the spell I use," he said with a shrug. "It worked fine until we came back." He looked at the owner again. "Do you have any?"

The man looked him over, lingering on Harry's crotch, then in his eyes. "All I've got is a sixteen gauge," he told him. "Pure silver and excellent for certain types of spells, including impotence spells." Harry nodded, smiling at him. "You've got the aura clouding of one who works with magical beasts, Mr. Potter." Harry flinched and he laughed. "Don't worry, I don't tell anyone's secrets. Too many have been spilled in here over the years, including my own."

Ron leaned over Harry's shoulder to look in the case. "Where are the nipple rings?" A small tray of silver hoops with stones was pointed at. "They're pretty," he said.

Harry sighed. "Ron, please," he begged. "Your mother will kill me."

"You said you wouldn't mind if I asked," Ron reminded him with a grin. "How much to get one done with that stone?" he asked, pointing at a small blue stone.

The owner looked at him, then pointed at another one. "I'll do that one for you for thirty sickles, ring included." Ron's eyes widened. "Or you could go with the diamond-like one for the same amount. It's a cheaper crystal and it'd probably fall out soon."

"No, I like that," Ron told him. He dug around to see how much change he had.

Harry looked at the man. "How much for mine?"

The man looked Harry over, then pointed at a small dragon earring. "I can change yours for you, sell you that one and put it in for four galleons," he offered. Ron's eyes widened.

"Pure silver?" Harry asked. The man nodded. "Absolutely pure?"

The owner pulled out a small package, letting him pick it up to look at the marking on it. "Stamped by Gringotts silversmith personally," he told him, smiling at Ron. "How about it?"

"Harry, look, they've got a dragon that looks like Bert," Ron said, pointing down at it.

"That's a viper dragon, son."

"Yeah, and one's taken up with us. He follows us everywhere," Ron told him with a slight grin. "My brother brought him up so we could do some bloodline work with him."

"Ah! Rumors have been spreading about you three. Did it really kidnap you?"

"Only at first," Harry said, putting down the package. "Then we went of our own free wills to keep it calm and out of the school. It's been great, we've gotten off class because it likes to follow us." He grinned. "That's a lot bigger than my current eighteen gauge."

The owner nodded. "True, but it might fit if the hole is loose enough. We can try. Oh!" He pulled out a case. "I had a dream about this last night." Both boys perked up and stood straighter. "I knew someone was going to come in today that would need something like this." He opened the top of the velvet case, showing them a large silver bracelet/cuff that had a stone on the center top, an armband made the same way and a silver necklace with a matching stone joining the sides. "It's powerful magic, boys, but dark." Harry winced. "It's protective, but it can be very bad."

"Protective how?" Ron asked, bending down to look at it. "It's pretty."

"Some of the deadliest things are," Harry reminded him. "What are they for, sir?"

"They're to let you draw on the power of someone else, or to let them draw on yours when they need it." Harry noticeably looked interested. "I think it'd be a great help to you."

"But dark magic?" Harry whispered.

"It's all in how you use it, kids." He closed the case. "That's frightfully more expensive, but I thought I should tell you, you being who you are and all." He smiled at Ron. "Made up your mind yet?"

Harry considered his options, then Ron and his earlier promises. "He'll get that one," he said, pointing at a blue stone that matched Ron's eyes. "I'll get it for him if you'll send the description up to Professor Snape and I'll let him decide if I can get it." Ron looked at him, looking confused. "Who would know more about such things?" Harry asked quietly, glancing around.

"Good point. The slimy bastard would know," Ron agreed. "How much is that?"

"Thirty five galleons, though I'd knock two off for you guys." He smiled at Harry. "This week only."

"I'd have to go to Gringotts," Harry told him.

"We can do an IOU slip."

"Huh?" Harry asked.

Ron laughed. "No one told you?" Harry shook his head. "They're credit slips. You sign it and the guy sends it to the bank and they send him the money."

Harry hit himself on the head. "That's so much easier than carrying around a sack of money. How many stores in town do that?"

"Only a few. The robe shop, me, the herbalist who does the dark arts orders." He smiled. "I'll send it to Severus, see what he thinks." He put the case back and relocked the door in front of it. "You sure about that blue one?"

"It matches his eyes," Harry told him. He pulled out the money for his own and the dragon earring, plus Ron's, putting it on the counter. "Can we change it now? I didn't do my spell this morning."

"Sure," the owner said, flicking his wand at the door. "Right through the back door, boys." He pointed at it, grabbing the earrings to bring with him. "Which one of you wants to go first?"

"Let him go, I want to know where that goes," Ron said, looking at Harry. "You said you were going to explain, start," he ordered, crossing his arms.

Harry sighed and dropped his pants, sitting in the chair. "Have you heard of priapism, Ron?" Ron shook his head and the owner hissed. Harry looked at him and nodded. "I found out this summer." He looked at his best friend again, grabbing him when he felt the cold fingers touching his present piercing. "What it means is that the stupid thing won't go down, ever, even when I'm not using it." He squinted as the bar was withdrawn.

"Just calm down," the owner said quietly. "It shouldn't hurt much and I'll use healing syrup on it," he soothed. He looked at Ron. "It also means that he's done this so he can't get hard. It irritates it and makes sure the blood goes back out."

"But isn't that a good thing?" Ron asked.

"Ron, it's not because I want it to get hard, it's just hard, all the time," Harry told him. "It hurts and it burns. The doctor I saw this summer suggested he might have to cut the nerve since this was from the damage I took during a Crucio."

"You saw a healer about this?"

"Well, no, I saw a muggle doctor," Harry admitted, squeezing his eyes shut as the larger bar came toward him. He squeezed Ron's hand as it was slid in, stretching the hole slightly. Then the bad thing happened and the open end got stuck. He felt fingers opening it up further to let it go through, then two more fingers helping. "Thanks, Ron."

"For this, you owe me a longer version of the story. How did you get that one?"

"I changed a bit of money and went to have it done," Harry whispered, eyes squeezed tightly shut as the barbell end was twisted on. He let out a few deep breaths. "When I walked in to talk to the guy, the one that the people I asked said is the best, I ran into a chaos wizard and his new concubine. He helped me get what I wanted if I pleased his girlfriend. "

"But you said it hurt."

"With my tongue, Ron," Harry ground out, panting. "That aches," he pointed out.

"Give it a few, it'll make your ear feel better," the guy said as he unwrapped the dragon earring. "Want it to wrap around the top of your ear like it's laying on it?" Harry nodded quickly, biting his lip. "None of that now, you're a big boy and you can handle a little pain."

"He sometimes get sudden nerve spasms," Ron said quietly.

"Oh. Sorry about that."

"It's okay," Harry said, forcing his eyes open. He looked in the mirror as his ear was pierced, smiling at how natural the little dragon was laying and how it blended with his ear color nicely. "Thank you." He pulled back up his pants and stood up, getting out of Ron's way. "Your turn."

"I hope mine hurts less," Ron said as he pulled off his shirt.

"It should. Nipples aren't half as sensitive as a prick," the owner pointed out. He heard the bell ring and stood up, walking out to talk to the man. "Boys, the man you wanted to talk to is here," he called.

"Send him back if he wants to," Harry called. He looked at Ron's chest. "I never noticed, your left side is smaller."

Ron looked down, then at him. "It is?" He stood up to look in the mirror. "Huh. It is." He shrugged and grinned. "Should I get it on that side, to compensate?"

Harry held it up to each side. "Maybe. I would but that's me. Piercings are personal things and shouldn't be dictated by anyone else." He looked over as the owner came in with Snape, handing over the earring package.

"I want it on the smaller side," Ron told him.

"Sure thing." He unwrapped it and pulled a new needle out, quickly doing it while Ron yelped. "Here we go." He slid the ring in and closed it with his wand. "The opening charm is directly opposite the stone at all times," he instructed. "Clean it really well for the next few days." He put on a dab of healing syrup then a bandage. "Keep that on for a few hours and it'll look like it's been there forever," he said with a smile.

Harry looked at the professor, who was looking fairly confused. "It's a bribe for him not to tell about mine," he told him.

"I see." He looked at the boy. "Why would you need one, Mr. Potter?"

"I'm priaptic."

Snape winced, understanding everything now. "Very well then. Yours is spell grade?"

"Now. The chaos wizard who helped me said the other would work but it wasn't working well enough in the castle. I needed an ice pack last night." Snape nodded quickly.

"Was that what the ice was about?" Ron asked. Harry grimaced but nodded. "Wow. That has got to suck badly." He stood up and pulled on his shirt. "Any other instructions?"

"Have Harry take a long soak tonight if possible and no playing with it. It's in just the right spot to grab some of the nerve attention. Got it?" Harry nodded. "Good. Severus, I have a protection and drawing trio that I thought the boys might need some day. They wanted your opinion."

"I figured you'd know the most about them," Harry pointed out.

Severus Snape looked at them. "It would help," he admitted after a moment's pause. "They can't be removed once they're gifted. It could very well burn you and whomever out if you do so. Whichever pieces you don't gift you'll have to wear yourself as the primary owner, which means that Mr. Weasley, who I am presuming is the intended recipient, would be able to draw enough to kill you." He looked at them, then at the man. "Which stone?"

"I've got one with a bloodstone setting and one with an emerald setting, Severus. I know of one that has a pure diamond one, but it's hellishly expensive."

"I've got money," Harry pointed out. "Which would work best?" He looked at Snape again.

Snape sighed. "We'll discuss this tonight, while you're making your potion." The boys nodded and slipped out of the store, remembering their packages before they left. "Why now? Why not in his fourth year?"

"Because the rumors are picking up again, Severus. The boy will need them to be protected and this way he can," he said quietly. "I'd personally go with the bloodstone."

"They're not like that. There is no lust between them." He sat down in the chair. "How much of a discount did you give them?"

"Young Mr. Potter picked out a blue aquamarine for Mr. Weasley, said it matched his eyes," he said with a smile. "Are you sure there's no lust there?"

"No, simply a tight bond of brotherhood. Mr. Weasley likes him I believe but Mr. Potter is scared," he sneered. He wiped his expression at the frown. "It is rather tragic."

"No, tragic is if Weasley can't break it. They're good at that you know." He grinned. "So, how are yours doing?"

"Fine. I have one that's a bit tarnished. Did you sell Mr. Potter pure silver?"

"As pure as possible. Mr. Weasley's as well." He winked. "Better to be safe than sorry and young Mr. Potter can easily turn it into a portkey to send the young man away if necessary." He reached behind himself, dragging over a case. "Which one of yours?"

"My protection amulet." He took off his robes to expose it.


Harry looked at Ron as they sat drinking butterbeers at the Three Broomsticks, then at Hermione. "Ron said you did something with a patent?" he asked.

She blushed and looked down at her lunch. "I found a new way of doing a luminosity spell," she admitted shyly. "The Spells board granted my patent and has included it in the official books." She looked at him, noticing something on his ear. So she reached over to brush the hair out of the way. "When did you get that?"

"Just now," Ron said smugly. "To remind us of Bert."

"I'm getting a protection charm put on it," Harry told her.

"I'll do it later for you," Hermione said quickly, giving him a smile. "If your scaly friend will let me."

Harry nodded. "Sure. Can you do a portkey spell on Ron's to take him to safety if necessary?" Ron opened his mouth and Harry kicked him under the table. "Argue and I'm going to take it back. I promised your mother I would find a way to embed a portkey into you when we talked the night before we left. She wanted a way to have you sent away right before you died." Ron slumped. "I would have gotten it anyway, but I think it'd be perfect, Ron." He kicked him again, grinning at him. "If you're good and accept it, I'll buy you three frogs."

"Harry," Ron sighed. "I don't need either of them. I didn't want it for that reason."

"I know, it's just convenient. Or we could go back and I'll get you another one and we'll put it on that one," Harry offered. "A navel ring?"

Hermione looked at Ron, the layout of the table was letting her see all of his face. "He doesn't have an earring."

"Or we could get you one of those," Harry offered.

Ron shook his head. "Mum would crap," he said lightly. "You're serious?" Harry nodded. "You'd get me a belly button ring?"

"I'd even get you a matching set," Harry offered. Ron perked up at that.

"What piercing?" Hermione asked.

Ron grinned. "I'll show you later. It's bandaged for a few hours." He looked at Harry. "What do I have to do for this treat?"

Harry leaned closer. "When I'm ready to try this out, you help me find someone," he whispered. Ron's eyes bulged but he nodded. "Deal?"

"Deal!" Ron agreed happily. "Let's go! We'll even bring Hermione with us if you want."

"Sure." He finished his butterbeer and put money down on the table. "What do you think about that set?" he asked as he slid out of the seat.

Ron and Hermione followed him outside, one taking each side of him. "I think it'd be helpful but I'm not sure I like the implications. It could really hurt you, Harry."

"Or it could really help us during a critical fight," Harry offered. Hermione coughed and they looked at her. "Sorry. The guy who did my earring and changed my other one has this set that will let one person draw energy off another," he explained quietly.

"That's dark magic," Hermione said in a hiss, stopping them.

"Wouldn't that depend on the use?" Ron asked. "For us to be able to draw off Harry, or for him to be able to draw off us?"

Hermione shook her head. "I won't go along with that. There's been too many times when we needed to all fight at the same time." Ron shrugged. "It's dangerous!"

"That's why I'm going to take Snape's suggestion on it," Harry said, glancing around.

"Why would you be asking *him* anything?" a familiar voice said from behind them. Pansy. Dirt!

Hermione looked at her. "He's thinking about getting a permanent spell laid on himself, one to repel dragons. He thinks Snape would know best about those."

"Oh." Her face fell. "Fine, be that way. Keep your little secrets," she said, flouncing off ­ directly to Draco to report to him.

Hermione looked at Harry. "It would be found out," she pointed out, hands on her hips. "What would Dumbledore say, Harry?"

"That I was trying to take care of Ron?" he suggested, looking concerned. "I'll take the advice, okay?"

"Yes, you will," she all-but-ordered. "That is something I will tell on you about. Do you hear me, Harry Potter?"

"I hear and obey," he teased, smiling at her. "Come on. Let's do Ron's navel and then we'll talk to Snape tonight." He led the way, walking into the shop. "Hi. Can Ron have a matching navel one?"

The owner laughed. "Sure. Piercings are like potato chips, once you have one you can't really stop until you're full." He grinned at Ron. "You sure you want a matching one?" Ron nodded. "Okay then. Come back with me. Professor Snape is in the back looking at the drawing set." He looked at Hermione, then back at the boys. "Your best friend?"

"Our best friend," Ron agreed. "Fussy girl sometimes, complete with her Fussy Girl heroine cape, but still a friend." He bounced over, looking at the package. "Will this match exactly?"

"No two stones match exactly, young Weasley, but they will look wonderful in the hair around your navel. It's just slightly darker." He looked at Harry. "And both are spell grade. I forgot to mention that before."

"That's good, I'm laying a portkey spell on that one," Hermione told him. She blinked as Ron took off his shirt and headed for the back. "Just like that?" she asked, following.

Harry handed over the money on the price tag with a wink. "I like spoiling them. She'll have something to nag at besides me and the dragon." Hermione shrieked, making them walk back there. She was gasping and pointing at Ron's chest. Harry looked at the hole. "That ring really does go well against your skin and the hair," he agreed with a grin. He looked at her, then at Ron. "Think we should tell her about my problem?"

"I think she'd scream about it and everyone would know," Snape said from the other side of the room. He watched as Ron's navel dangle was put in, then as Hermione charmed it for him. "Very well done," he said dryly. "What I would expect from someone who changes established spells."

She looked over her shoulder at him. "I got more light from it," she sneered back. "I'm working on a potion one now, want to see it?"

"Hermione!" Harry snapped. She grinned at him, then back at Snape. "It's the shock, sir, don't let her get to you." He cleared his throat. "About that set?"

"I think it would be worthwhile," Snape admitted. "But I would not put Ms. Granger into it."

"I wouldn't do that anyway. We fight together."

"Yes, for that reason and also because the female energy could be explosive against your own, Mr. Potter." He looked at Ron, watching him play with his new rings. "Do that in your rooms!" he snapped.

Ron grinned at him. "I plan on that too." The owner of the shop laughed, handing him back his shirt. "Thanks. Did Harry pay you?" Harry nodded. "No fair, I could have gotten this one."

"So you'll buy more frogs," Harry said with a shrug. He looked at Snape again. "I promised his mother I'd get him an embedded portkey if at all possible."

"Very well done," Snape admitted dryly. "If I were you and in your position, and if I could find another person to take the second piece, possibly two more to keep Mr. Weasley intact and at your side, then I would get it," he admitted. "If you do so, you need to put it on before you walk back inside the castle. Carrying it in will get you caught and the Headmaster will frown for many weeks about it."

Hermione looked at Harry. "I told you so," she reminded him. "It's dark magic."

"It is, but it's useful and it can be protective if you use it right," Snape informed them. They deserved to know the risks, they were nearly adults now. Even if he did want to talk down to them. Holding himself from doing so was quickly giving him a headache, he'd need a drink after this meeting.

Ron looked at him. "I'm going in on it," he announced. "I'm usually too full of energy anyway." He looked at Harry. "I'll ask Charlie if you want." Harry shook his head. "Are you sure?"

"I am," Harry told him, an idea forming. He walked over to his professor, getting in his face so they could hiss at each other. Snape finally nodded. "Is that why it's dark?"

"Yes," Snape admitted. "I doubt he'd fall for it."

Harry sneered. "So? It's a plan."

"Yes, it would be, but that would be dangerous and foolhardy."

"Or we could use it on Lucius," Harry pointed out. Snape's eyes widened and he smirked. "Have him give it or just use the bugger. He's not doing anything."

Snape laughed. "That would be the darkest of the dark uses, Mr. Potter. Thank you for that laugh. The very thought of you doing something like that has made my week." He looked at Hermione. "Her worries bear some weight. Discuss this with Mr. Weasley's mother, she knows of such things."

"Yeah, but she throws fits," Ron pointed out.

"Not in this instance," Snape told him. "Call her tonight." He walked past them, leaving the shop.

Harry looked at the owner. "Which one?"

"He thought the emerald set would go better," he said with a shrug. "I thought you and young Weasley here were lovers."

Ron snorted. "Not hardly. Harry doesn't take hints and he's staying away from that."

"Why?" Hermione asked. "Do I have to do a charm on anything of yours, Harry?"

"Just the protection charm on the earring," he told her with a grin. "My other one only I do." She stared him down, making him blush. "No, Hermione, I'm not telling you. It's bad enough I had to see a doctor about it."

"It's better to see one than to lose the thing," the owner told him. Ron looked alarmed, grabbing his own to protect it. He laughed. "You didn't realize it could be like that if the blood wasn't released? It'll die like a toe you keep the blood in with a rubber band." Ron shuddered and curled up around himself. "Sorry."

Harry nodded. "Now you see why I'm not taking chances," he teased.

Ron nodded. "Hell yeah! If that ever happens to you, I'll do what I can, Harry, I promise."

"What is going on?" Hermione asked, clearly out of patience with them.

Ron and Harry shared a look. Then Harry looked at her. "Swear not to spread it around?" She nodded, giving them her impatient look, the one she reserved for lying students. "I have priapism." She blinked a few times. "Named after the Greek God...."

"I've seen his statues," she said, thinking about it. She looked over his body, her eyes tracking to Ron. Then her eyes widened. "Oh, no," she whispered. He nodded. "You got *that* pierced!" she screeched.

Harry wiggled a finger in his ear. "I had to, it keeps it down, Hermione."

She shook her head. "Oh, God. I'm sorry, Harry." She hugged him. "I'll find whatever I can about it. Maybe there's a magical cure or something."

"I looked it up and there's the cockring spell and the potion to keep it down. The doctor said it might go away in a few years."

"It's a common side effect of the cruciatus to have nerve damage," the owner said gently. "In this case, his are misfiring. The piercing is helping that. So is the spell." He looked at Harry. "If you haven't cast it, I'd do it now. Give it a chance to settle in while your friend calms herself."

Harry pulled his wand and quietly cast the locking spell, feeling it take hold. "That is so much firmer," he said, wiggling a bit.

"It should be. Your other was silver, this one is silver treated to accept spells being used on it." He smiled at Hermione. "I could do a wonderful set of earrings for you," he offered.

She touched her ears. "I've always wanted them done. On different sides?"

"Or the same," he offered. "Or even one like young Harry's." He pointed at the dragon. "You could put your own protective charm on it."

Dumbledore came walking into the back room, and the bell hadn't dinged at all. "Hello," he said affably. "Harry?" Harry looked at him. "That is dangerous. Worthwhile, but dangerous. You will talk to Molly yourself tonight, in person, and tell her about it." Harry nodded. "Good boy." He smiled at them, then at Ron. "Oh, my," he said, looking at the two earrings his student wore. "Don't those hurt?"

"Not today," Ron said happily, sliding out to put back on his shirt. "Harry, I'm going to drag Hermione to the sweet shop."

"I'm coming," Harry said, grinning at Dumbledore. "Do you like my dragon?"

"I was trying to ignore it. Boys should not wear earrings, it is part of the dress code," he pointed out.

"My hair covers it."

"Yes, that is the only saving grace. You don't have any others, correct? Nothing like what Mr. Weasley has?"

Harry shook his head. "I don't have my nipple or my navel pierced, sir, I promise." He hurried after his friends.

Dumbledore smiled at their backs. "That was obviously a lie of sorts."

"Only of omission. He doesn't have either of those spots done," the owner told him. "Would you like to look at them?"

"No, I leave that to Molly since she and Arthur have one." He smiled and strolled out, heading back to call Molly and tell on her baby son.


Molly walked into the common room, smiling at Ginny. "Where is Harry, dear?" she asked pleasantly.

"Upstairs, mum." She held her arms up and got a hug. "Are you going to rip Ron a new one for getting a bellybutton ring?"

"He did?" she asked. Ginny nodded. "No, I expect it's a charm in hiding," she told her. "Did you want something like that?"

"Eww, mother!"

"Sorry." She gave her a pat and handed over a fabric wrapped bundle. "You left this on your bed, Ginny." She headed up to the boys' room, tapping on the door. "Boys?" Harry opened the door. "Ah, there you are." She walked in and shut the door, looking around.

"Neville's in the bath. He fell and scraped his back," Ron told her, putting aside his books. "Look, mum!" He pulled off his shirt to show her the two earrings. "Aren't they cute? Harry picked them out for me."

"I do like them," she admitted, giving him a hug. "They match your eyes perfectly."

"That's what I said," Harry said as he sat on his bed, facing them. She sat down, looking at him. "I know why you're here, besides to chew me a new one."

She laughed. "I have no intention of doing that, Harry. Ron's father and I have a pair that we wear. I'm here to give you facts, not to make up your mind for you."

"Really?" Ron asked. Molly nodded, touching her wedding ring. He looked stunned. "I thought those were heirlooms."

"They are, from your father's family, Ron. When we pass on, one of you will be able to use it on your own mates." She looked at Harry. "The ones you were looking at were trios?" He nodded. "Those are more for battles so I suppose it's appropriate," she admitted. "I don't want you linked to Ron. He'll stand beside you."

"That wasn't my intention," Harry told her. "I wanted one on him so he could draw from me when he needed to. The same as I charmed his bellybutton ring to be a portkey." She smiled at that. "The other is decoration."

She laughed and reached over to hug him again. "I understand, Harry, I really do." She smiled at her son. "He's very easy to spoil." She ruffled Ron's hair, making him blush. "Even though he has such sluttish notions sometimes." She looked at Harry again. "It would be worthwhile, but you can only use them on people you trust implicitly. If you dare use them for dark purposes Dumbledore has promised to hand you your piercing." Harry nodded, curling up a bit. "You agree?" Harry nodded. "Then I'd let you and Ron bind yourselves that way, but it would make you weaker, Harry. Ron's not as strong as you and he'd draw off you more."

"I did some reading, it said you could block the other out," Ron offered. "Hermione all but shoved the book at me," he said when she looked skeptical.

"She's already said she's not allowing herself to be used that way," Harry told her.

She nodded. "That's fine, Harry. I agree. I don't know how you'd find two other people at this point though."

Neville coughed. "If we're talking about what I think we are tons of us would do that for Harry."

"It's permanent, Neville. Until you die," Ron told him.

Neville shrugged. "How many of us would die for him anyway?"

"Good point," Ron agreed, looking at Harry.

"I don't want that sort of responsibility," he told Neville. "If they want to fight with me, then they're more than welcome to, the same as you are. I won't take their lives to bulk up my own powers."

"There is another way," Molly promised. She gave him a long look. "There is a way to bind you and Ron together that would allow for some limited drawing but nothing drastic like that set. The man has something that will do that. That also has the advantage of marking all those who are on your side and willing to bind themselves to your side. I will allow that, Harry, for both Ginny and Ron if you wanted." He shook his head. "No, dear?"

"I'm not involving Ginny. She's suffered enough," he said quietly.

"That wouldn't do more than let you know if she needed you. It's a lighter version of the Dark Mark, only on something they could take off."

"I'm having mine embedded," Ron told her. Neville nodded, coming over to join them. "Neville, you're bleeding again," he complained. "And you're dripping on my bed."

Molly sighed and pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket, turning the boy around to tend to his back. "What did this to you?"

"Crabbe," Neville said succinctly. "He tripped me, grabbed my ankles, and dragged me for a few feet so Draco could taunt me again," he explained when she gave him a motherly frown of concern.

"I tried to get him to go upstairs and complain," Harry told her.

"I know you did. Bullies like that are often overpowering and overlooked." She looked at him. "I can't promise the other way is any less a bit of dark magic than the binding sets, but I can promise it's easier for all of you to take. Dumbledore does not know I know about them and won't be able to tell if you use them. The only person who might be able to would be McGonagall, because cats can sense dark magic sometimes."

"Then Hermione's cat would go ballistic," Ron pointed out. Harry grinned at him. "Mum, would you be mad?"

"No, Ron, you're an adult now, you know your own mind about this subject. I do ask that you make an intelligent choice based on information, which I've given you a lot of. If you decide to go this way, then that is your life. I will expect Harry to try and make sure you make it all the way through the war, but otherwise I can't say anything to you." She kissed him on the cheek, then hugged Neville. "Your parents would be happy to know that you were fighting, young man. I remember them fondly and they would be very proud of you." Neville clung to her, letting her comfort him. "Shh, it's all right. Harry, if you did, they're not that expensive either. The emerald set that you would have gotten would have been about fifty galleons." Neville pulled back, giving her an incredulous look. "Really, they're very expensive. Only one wizard makes them now." She tweaked his chin. "You will go upstairs, young man, or I will write your grandmother myself." Neville nodded. "Good boy, Neville. I remember when you were days old and I first saw you. You tried to pee all over me." Neville blushed and grinned, heading to pull on some sweats so he could get treated. "His family was always so nice. Such loving parents." She looked at Ron. "I'm glad that you've made friends with him. He's a very nice boy."

"He is," Ron agreed with a grin. He looked at Harry. "You in?"

"I can deal with that," Harry agreed. "Dumbledore won't know?" She shook her head. "Should we inform McGonagall?"

"I wouldn't, it can only cause a fight," Molly offered. "But that is up to you."

Harry nodded. "Then we'll do that. Ron, you tell Hermione, see if she'd rather do that. Or you, Mrs. Weasley, since she's about to scream at us. She's rather shocked at Ron for getting holes put in his body."

Ron grinned. "But they feel as good as all those stories said they do," he told his mother.

She patted the side of his face, giving him a sad smile. "I don't know how I ended up with five sluts as sons, but don't corrupt Ginny, Ron. Let her pick her own path." She stood up. "I'll see you both soon. Be good to Charlie's friend." She gave them more hugs and then left them.

"Why isn't the dragon up here now?" Harry asked Ron.

Ron shrugged. "Maybe he's tired of us." He laid back on his bed. "Either that or he's trying to find a way to sneak in."

"Hagrid will help him with that," Harry agreed, laying down himself. "Hey, Ron?" He got a grunt in response. "I won't tell anyone about the dragon's tail trying to get you while you slept." Ron sat up and looked at him. "It's their main sexual organ according to the stuff Hermione found," he said with a grin.

"You nasty bugger!" Ron said, picking up his pillow and hitting his best friend with it. "I'm going to tell Charlie on you."

"Hey, he didn't try to molest me, just you. I stopped him," Harry said with a smirk as he caught the pillow before it could smash his nose. "Think we should try to find it a mate? It seems to be wanting one."

"Sure, we'll bring him to sex class with us and see if Pansy likes him." Ron took his pillow back and pounced Harry to play-pummel him. "You're still a nasty bugger, Potter." He looked over as the door opened, getting off the bed. "How's your back, Neville?"

"She fixed the scrapes right up," he said happily, holding the door open. "Ginny found him outside." Bert trotted in and wiggled it's way onto Ron's bed, settling in on the comfy surface, taking most of it.

"Harry, shove over, I think he's officially taking my bed," Ron groused, climbing in beside Harry. Bert seemed to grin at him. "Yes, even Charlie would be proud of how clever you are, Bert. You did very good getting into the school." Bert put his head down, still giving them a smug look. He sniffed Ron's pillow, then sent it onto the floor, stretching out more with a sigh of relief. "Fine, you stay there."

"Ron, my bed's not big enough for the both of us," Harry pointed out in his driest voice. The rest of their roommates came in and they waved. "He wanted Ron's bed. Anyone want to sleep with him?" They all shook their heads. "I meant Ron, not the dragon."

"Sure, send him over," Dean said, grinning at Ron. "I want to see what Hermione was complaining about." Ron took off his shirt and the guys gathered around to touch them. "Wow." He noticed Ron was getting hard. "It helps that?" he squeaked. Ron nodded quickly. "Well, shit. Harry, where's the shop?"

"In the alley, there behind the herbalist we're supposed to go to." He nudged Ron. "How long do you think it'll be before someone gets a dressing ring?"

"What's a dressing ring?" Neville asked, staring down at the dragon. "Can I pet you?" he asked finally. The dragon lifted a leg so he stroked over the foot. "You're softer than I thought you should be." He looked at Ron and Harry. "What's a dressing ring?"

"It's called a Prince Albert these days," Harry told him. "It's a piercing that starts behind the head of your cock and comes out the slit. In the old days, it was used to hold blokes down in those tight pants they used to wear, so no women were offended by their stiffies."

The other guys laughed. "Malfoy," the agreed, nodding. He would surely be the first one.

"It's supposed to feel incredible," Harry offered.

"I think I'll stick with a nipple ring," Dean told him, giving him a pat. He walked over to look at the dragon, smiling down at it. It lunged up, making him shriek, but it only licked him. "Damn!"

Ron laughed. "That's why he's a viper dragon, Dean." Seamus giggled. "Just wait, he likes to cuddle."

"And watch out for the tail," Harry warned. "It's a sexual thing for it." They all backed away from the dragon's tail, but settled in to try and pet it.


Professor Snape stalked into the sex ed classroom, slamming the door behind him. "As much as it pains me to say so, I am your instructor for this section," he sneered. "There will be no stupid or moronic questions," he said, glaring at Ron.

Ron raised his hand, still smiling. "Sir, I only had one. What exactly is considered deviant by the greater wizarding community. Professor McGonagall said she couldn't answer that."

"Why are you worried about such things?" Draco sneered. "Think you are?"

"I'm wondering how far over the line I've already went," Ron said with a smirk. He turned back and found the professor looming over him. "It's the truth."

"I'm sure it is," he sneered. "You and your brothers should all have been made castrati when you were children."

"They can't sing on pitch now," Harry told him. Snape glared at him so he grinned. McGonagall had let it slip that no points could be taken away in this class. "He can't. He's tone deaf. It wouldn't have done anything other than make him look more like his sister and more fey."

"How would you know?" Crabbe asked.

Harry glanced back at him. "A good education in history." He looked at Snape again. "Besides, think of all the things the twins would have gotten away with if they had been done that way. Delicate little fey creatures who might have had most of their house sticking up for them because they were so delicate."

Snape snorted. "If you think that, it's your delusion, Potter. We'll see how you feel about it some other time." Harry's eyes narrowed and he smirked more at him. "You had something more to add?"

"Yes, sir," Harry said. "Someone in one of the other houses didn't feel brave enough to ask you themselves. Where does *your* sexual preference lay and can you explain being gay to both classes?"

Snape spluttered, backing away from him. "Who asked you to say that?" he demanded. Harry shook his head, keeping the smile off his face. "I will know."

"Sir, it was asked in confidence. The student didn't feel brave enough to ask you to explain what gay sex felt like and if you knew firsthand. I will say they are male and in one of the houses." He looked back at the shocked and pale Slytherins. Then back at Snape, making sure he drew the implication he wanted him to draw.

Snape stormed back to the front. "I will say this on my orientation, I prefer minds and mental skills, not a physical semblance of beauty. As for gay sex, do you not know, Mr. Potter?"

"No," Harry said honestly. "You know very well I'm holding off until after the war, sir. I don't want to have to deal with complications." Snape glared at him and he tipped his head. "So, does it feel good, sir?"

"I suppose it would. That is one of the accessory functions of the prostate," he ground out. "It can also hurt if not done in the correct manner."

"What correct manner?" Goyle asked. Then Draco and Crabbe both slapped him. "Oww, sorry, sir, no disrespect meant," he begged.

"This doesn't fit in with my question at all, right?" Ron asked. Snape groaned as he sat down, holding his head already. "My mother said being gay was just fine."

"Are you now?" Draco hissed.

Ron looked back at him. "No." He grinned. "I'm more indiscriminate according to her. I'm waiting for the cuddling stuff until after the war like Harry is but I can't be celibate. It's all fun for me," he said with a smug look. Harry kicked him. "Sorry, Harry, but I don't have the self control you do," he pointed out. "You can even look at candy and not eat it for hours on end."

"Stop this discussion!" Snape yelled, standing up and glaring at them. He took a deep breath. "If you wish to go over the mechanics of deviant or obtuse sexual practices, we can do that," he said more calmly. "If you want to go over the mechanics of male-to-male sex we can do that as well. I will not allow this to become a discussion on certain people's sex lives!" They nodded, looking attentive. He snatched at the chart, pulling down the female parts chart, then had to put it back up and pull down the correct one after it. "This is the male anal tract." He tapped his wand on a little red spot. "That is the prostate. It feels good when your rub across it....


Harry and Ron walked out of the class, eyes wide. Snape had went into some things that they hadn't thought were possible. Small fuzzy creatures, whole bodies, household objects? "Wow," Harry said finally as they headed down to collect their dragon.

Ron nodded hard. "I had no idea. I'm missing out on stuff," he whined. Harry turned and hit him on the arm, unstunning them both. "Sorry." He shook his head. "I don't understand why some people would want that."

"Because they're like that I guess," Harry said with a shrug. He heard a high-pitched squeak and hurried to check on the house elves. He found Bert laying in the middle of the floor, his stomach bloated. "He ate a house elf?" he asked.

One of the nearby house elves shook her head. "He steals steaks for dinner," she said, giggling at his confused look.

Dobby popped up. "He come to steal food, we feed him," he explained. "He very naughty, but he not eat us."

"I'm sure he is. Come on, Bert, so you can crap outside and you don't mess up somewhere they have to clean," Ron said, helping the dragon to his feet. They walked the dragon outside, just in time. He got a little sick then decided to eat it again. Both boys looked sickened and turned away, waiting until he was done to give him more walkies.

Zabini walked out, sneering at them. "So, Weasel, how high do you score on the deviant side? Figured it out yet? Can you even count that high?"

Ron flipped him off. "There were only three things in there that I've done. You? Screwed any fuzzy creatures recently?" Blaize glared at him and the dragon groaned, making him run away. Ron looked down at him. "Got a sore belly, don't you?" he teased. "That's what happens when you let them stuff you full. I'll have to call Charlie about that, Bert."

"He'll know what to give you to help your stomach," Harry soothed, getting down to stroke the baby's back. "You rest and find a sunny spot. We'll see you after dinner." Bert licked them both then waddled off to find a large spot of sun to spread out in. It flopped down with a sigh of relief, his tail tip twitching in the sunlight. They turned and found Snape standing behind them.

"What did you do to the dragon this time?" he sneered.

"He snuck down to the kitchens and the house elves stuffed him full so he wouldn't eat them," Ron told him, then he shrugged. "I was going to ask Charlie what to do about his upset belly."

"He'll probably handle it on his own," Harry pointed out. "He's already puked once and reate it."

Snape's lip curled up more. "Go inside, the both of you." They hurried inside and he went to look at the little dragon. The beast's stomach was still rotund. "Did you eat one of them?" he asked. The dragon hissed at him, spitting some venom his way. "Fine. I'll be sure to tell your handler that you were naughty." He saw Charlie pop in down the road and waited while he jogged up to where the dragon was resting. "He gorged himself," he said when Charlie got to his knees beside it.

"They'll do that if you leave them near food," Charlie told him, giving him a smile. "Sir, if you don't mind me saying, you look like hell. Did you have a rough day?"

"Your brother's doing," he said, turning on his heel and stomping off. He sent a house elf to tell the boys that the older Weasley was there.

Ron ran outside, hugging Charlie. "He snuck into the kitchens and the house elves fed him while we were discussing deviant and unusual sex stuff," he told his older brother.

Charlie stopped to look at him. "No wonder he looked so rough!" He gave Ron a light shove. "What did you ask that sent him that way?"

"Well, first Harry asked him if he was gay, suggesting that one of his own house asked him to ask," Ron said with a grin. "Then Crabbe gave me the perfect straight line to ask about unusual sex stuff." He leaned closer. "Snape knows some freaky stuff, Charlie!" he said quietly. "He talked like he had done it all!"

Charlie laughed. "You never know with that man, but I doubt it. For all the gloomy bastard he seems, mum seems to think he's a pretty normal guy where it counts." He stroked the small stomach and the dragon belched. "Excuse you." The dragon burped again then hissed something. "Thank you, Bert. What did he eat?"

"The house elves said steaks," Ron said with a look at the round stomach. "It looks more like he ate the whole cow."

Charlie nodded. "Yeah, it does. Well, we can give him some Pepto and he'll be fine. Poor little guy. Did he puke?"

"And ate it again," Harry said as he joined them. "McGonagall wants to know what we did to Snape." He grinned. "I told her you asked your deviant question and I asked what gay sex was like because I didn't understand it at all." From inside the castle, someone screamed. An older male someone if the voice was carried faithfully through the halls. "It sounds like someone's asked him to clarify something," he quipped. Ron giggled and Charlie looked at him. "He's the one who brought up most of them. Ron only asked what the deviance line was."

Charlie looked at his little brother. "Doing it in public, sucking on things for too long and enjoying it too much, doing it with more than two people, doing it to raise power, and any combination of those."

"Thanks, Charlie, I was wondering if toe sucking was."

Charlie shook his head. "I'll never understand that one, Ron. Do you actually do that?"

"Only for one person," he said smartly. "For the rest, I tend to lick other things."

Charlie laughed. "Good, I'm glad you're a normal guy."

"Yup, no gerbils for me," Ron said proudly. Charlie wavered, but held on and didn't pass out.

"Or massive body parts," Harry offered.

"True, or massive body parts, though that did sound ...interesting in some ways," Ron admitted. Charlie seemed to pluck up. "Oh, hey, and I definitely don't fit into the people he was talking about who liked cats that way. Do you think that's Filch's problem?" Charlie wavered again and Ron decided to push his luck. He'd be able to brag about it. "Or maybe his thing is that he's missing having the two people in there at once and doing it in the daylight?"

"Maybe that's why Snape's so grouchy, he's like Draco and has to have the lights off."

"Nah. I guess Snape's missing his school days. I bet he and Lucius were buddies in the orgy room. Speaking of, Harry, if you want, I'll bring you in there."

"With our luck, we'd have to bring Bert," Harry pointed out.

"Enough," Charlie said weakly. He looked at Ron. "Gerbils?"

Ron nodded. "He said there's myths about them in two different directions. Wanna hear?" Charlie turned green. "Sorry."

"How?" Charlie asked. He shook his head. "I don't want to know." Ron leaned over and told him *exactly* what Snape had told them and he did pass out after shuddering in revulsion.

"Yeah!" Ron said, getting up to jump around. "I finally got Charlie! Not even the twins have gotten Charlie to turn green *and* pass out in one discussion!" He danced around some more, until Bert tripped him and made him fall down to cuddle him. "Sorry, little guy. Charlie said Bert needs some of that Pepto stuff you were talking about."

"I'll get some from the infirmary," Harry said, grinning at him. Charlie was starting to come around. "He was yanking you, Charlie."

"Hopefully he'll never *try* any of that."

Ron looked at him. "I have taste," he pointed out. "I like normal sex with a lot of people. That isn't so bad. Now Percy," he started. Charlie clamped a hand over his mouth.

"Don't start on Percy," he said quietly. "Please. I don't want that image stuck in my head."

"How about Malfoy then? Or his goons?" Harry asked with a wink before leaving them alone.

"Or hey, how about this and the twins," he said, whispering something else in his ear. Charlie pushed him of and wiped his ear off. "Sorry, did I spit?"he asked with a grin.

"Why do you and Bill have it in for my poor mental condition? Both of you try to give me nightmares. Don't you guys love me?"

"It's because you're so sensitive," Ron assured him. He grinned. "Bill and I do it because you're the one who'll give us the best reaction."

Charlie considered it. "I will give you ten galleons if you tell Bill and the twins that last thought," he said with his most cruel smirk. "Twelve if you make any of them pass out."

"What if I make all of them pass out?" Ron asked.

"Then I'll up it to fifteen, the last five paid on my next payday," he promised, holding out a hand.

Ron shook it. "Deal," he agreed. He glanced around. "I wonder if she has any."

"She usually doesn't. Hey, Bert, wait here for Harry, we'll be right back, guy," he said, taking Ron off and apparating him back to the Burrow. "Mum, do you have any Pepto?" he called. "Oy, Bill, come hear what Ron learned today in class." Bill walked in and drug Ron outside. He watched as Bill smirked back at him, then he slowly became green and wavered. Ron said one last thing and he fell to his knees but didn't lose real consciousness. Until Ron leaned down and said something else, then he was out like a light.

"No, dear, I don't," Molly said as she walked into the kitchen. "Does your friend need it?" She looked around but only saw Ron.

"Yeah, the house elves stuffed Bert full of steak. He's laying in the sun belching." He smiled as Ron strolled back in. "She doesn't have any, let's check with the twins." They waved and got kisses and hugs before disapparating and going to the shop. Ron strolled over to brag to George what he had learned. George quickly passed out.

Ron looked at Fred, who was staring at him. "You know that look that you claimed is the Percy Special Patented Look Of Irritation With The Real Humans?" he asked Fred.

Fred nodded. "The one like he broke the broomstick off in his bum?" Ron nodded. "What about it?"

"I've found the cause. Professor Snape told us to today. It was a small, fuzzy animal!" Fred slowly turned grey and joined his brother on the floor. "Pay up," he said with his meanest smirk. "They're going to have nightmares for weeks!" Then he cackled.

Charlie paid him the first ten. "I get paid next week, I'll send the other five then," he said, giving him a hug as they headed back to the school. Harry had some Pepto. "Oh, good, I took him to see if Mum had some."

"If you're going to engage in incest, do it where we don't have to see it!" Goyle yelled from the doorway. "Dinner!"

Ron laughed. "It's a hug, you moron," he called back. "Brothers hug each other when they do good." He sneered as Goyle came closer. "I took your question to my brothers and they all passed out after saying you were a right barmy git," he said with fond intolerance. He heard Harry snickering. "I even got the twins," he crowed.

Charlie patted him on the back. "Now I can replace the mental image he gave me with them passing out." He smiled at Goyle. "So, does that sort of thing interest you? I've never understood why people would break the species barrier." Goyle whimpered and ran back inside.

"Charlie, you are the coolest," Harry swore, getting down to bow to him. "I could never do that to him." He dosed their friend and stood up. "There. You stay in the sun, we'll be out after we eat, Bert." The dragon looked at him and belched, but didn't try to move. He handed over the bottle of Pepto. "I gave him two cups like the nurse suggested."

"That's fine," Charlie said with a grin. "Remember not to think of your lesson over dinner, boys." They nodded and headed back inside. He hoped they got as bad a case of indigestion as his poor friend had. Or possibly as he had.

Bill appeared and stormed over, giving him a hard shove. "You set me up!" he said angrily.

Charlie grinned at him. "Payback for the Ron-looking stripper at my last birthday," he sneered. They shared a laugh. "He made the twins pass out!" he said happily.

"Yes!" Bill shouted, high-fiving him. "Not even I've done that. How much did it cost you?"

"Fifteen galleons since you all passed out."

"I only wobbled."

"Bullshit," Charlie said with fond tolerance. "I was watching. You lost it totally." He beamed. "I'm so proud of Ron."

"I'm wondering if there's worse stuff Snape told them," Bill said thoughtfully.

"Let's find out," they said in unison, hoping for something that would make the twins suffer the way they had at their hands.

Back at the joke shop, the twins were sending an apology to Percy for all the nasty stuff they had ever said about him. Ron had topped them and they weren't even going to try to get him after that one. "How would one do that?" Fred asked finally.

"Shut up," George told him. "I don't want to think about that. Ever. Think of happier thoughts! Quick, before the image sticks!"

"Half-off sale for the Gryffs?" Fred suggested. "The girls naked? All three of them? The whole game fully naked? The one against Hufflepuff with that sweet chaser from our sixth year?"

George hit him on the arm again. "Thoughts that don't give me a stiffie. I doubt I'll ever be hard again."

Fred gave him a hug before he could start crying again. "It's all right. We'll have to get Ron back and make him disgusted and give him gross thoughts."

"But he won!" George complained. "I can't come up with a sicker thought than that one."

"Shh. If we have to, we'll sic dad on him." George laughed and nodded, accepting the comfort from his twin. He wouldn't have to think those nasty thoughts alone. They sent the owl off, making sure their names were signed on it. They could never be that mean to their siblings, Ron was obviously working with the Dark Arts books too often.


Draco Malfoy watched as two of the three 'fabulous ones' headed into McGonagall's office. Hopefully she would ream them good for their stunt today. Even if she didn't he would get them. There was no way they'd be allowed to do that to his friends. Or even his enemies. That had just been horrible. Snape was even now getting drunk to forget what he had told them and to duck the angry parents of the disturbed students. He had thought about putting some of the instruments that Snape had described earlier into their room, but he had no idea what a few of them were, much less where to find them on short notice. He was so sickened by the discussion Weasley had forced Snape to go into that he was tempted to call his mother for her help, but even she couldn't get that image out of his head. He touched the necklace she had put on him this summer to remind him that she had control of his life, and she was his anchor to proper behavior.

No, this was something he'd have to do on his own. McGonagall laughed so she must not know. Maybe he'd inform her what sort of deviant Weasley really was. Yes, that would be an acceptable place to start, that and tell her how Potter wanted to be castrated. He did have detention with her tonight. He lurked until the other boys left, then strolled into her office. "Ma'am, may I *please* put off my detention," he begged. "Weasley's mental problems are giving me a drastic headache and I'm about to pass out from the visions." She looked at him, seeming to scoff. "Please, Professor? I promise to go right to the infirmary and take something for it. I keep seeing the image of Potter begging to be castrated and Weasley molesting the animals."

She snorted. "Nice try. Now you have two nights." She smirked at him. "I listened in, Mr. Malfoy," she said at his shocked look. "I do every year." She gave him a smug look. "I could give you three days?" she suggested when he didn't move. He stomped off, and she smirked at his back. "It happens every year," she told him. "Do get used to it. You have some of the most deviant people in your own house, Mr. Malfoy, because the societal standards are more strict for those of higher and more visible families." She looked at him. "Though I will suggest Mr. Filch and Professor Hagrid take special notice of their animals." He shuddered. She smiled as Harry walked in. "Is there a problem?"

"Professor, I forgot to ask when I was in here, who would I ask to check my piercing? It's still sore after my size change this weekend."

"Madam Pomfrey might not be of any help," she agreed, considering it. "You could ask Professor Snape, but I fear he's not feeling well at the moment." Harry nodded. "I could check it."

The boy blushed, which Draco noticed. "Oh, please, it's just a hole in your ear," he sneered.

"Actually, I have an alternate dressing ring," Harry told him. Draco looked confused. "It's a Victorian thing, Malfoy, look it up," he sneered. "I'd have Ron do it but he's a bit ...hyper about it and he flinches a lot each time he sees that part of me."

She nodded. "Then I can look it over and check for infection if you'd like. I promise to be appropriate and you can have another male in the room if you choose."

Harry shrugged. "I'm not embarrassed by it anymore, I've had to have myself examined there too many times since the problem cropped up. The guys and us had a talk about pierced things. They think it's a bit extreme but they said it's my body." He looked at Malfoy. "Are you easily sickened?"

Malfoy sneered. "I have an iron stomach."

"Good." Harry dropped his pants and boxers, letting her look at his piercing, staring Malfoy down. He knew the exact minute Malfoy noticed where he was pierced, and then the moment he passed out. "Hmm. That was simple. I'll have to remember that." He looked at his teacher, who was laughing. "Sorry, Professor."

"It's not a problem, Mr. Potter." She let him go and went to wash off her hands. "I'd say it needs some healing salve personally. It's still a bit red around the hole where they connect. Was it forced in?" she asked as he pulled back up his clothes.

He nodded, staring down as he buckled his belt. "It's a size larger than I had been wearing, it's all he had." He looked at her. "Should I go to Pomfrey with that?"

"Ask for some salve and tell her it's a minor quidditch scrape so she doesn't scream and rant at you," she advised. "Suggest she give you the clear and alcohol free one as well." He grinned, nodding. "Good boy. Go ahead and go, I'm going to revive Mr. Malfoy." She waited until Harry was gone to kick him in the ribs with a delicately pointed boot. "Get up, Mr. Malfoy!" she snapped when he groaned. "You are bordering on having a fourth night." He whimpered, looking up at her. "For obvious reasons, you should probably not talk about his piercing. Of course, I'm sure he wouldn't care if you spread it around the entire school." She helped the boy up and gave him a light shove toward the animals. "Clean the cages, Mr. Malfoy, you can be ill on your own time. Your bad taste today in my class was not enough to give me sympathy for you."

Draco shuddered, making little whimpering noises. He would be calling his mother that night! She would make it stop!


Harry walked into breakfast the next morning and the Headmaster waved him forward immediately. He heard the whispering and looked at one Ravenclaw talking about his hole. "It's actually not that painful," he said with a smile. The boy went pale and nodded slowly, like he was humoring him. Harry shrugged and walked up to the dias, looking at the Headmaster. "Yes, sir?"

"Harry, are the rumors true?" he asked.

"That I have a piercing there? Yes, sir. It's a cure for a problem I have."

"What could that possibly cure?" Madam Sprout asked quietly.

Harry went up on his toes. "Ask Professor Snape, Professor. He knows all about it. He can brief the entire staff." He smiled and then looked back at the headmaster. "He was there when I had my rod changed." He grinned and went to his seat, sitting down.

Hermione looked at him. "How did you do that?" she asked quietly. "I didn't want to ask before, but thinking about it hurts *me*."

"I went and had it done," he told her in a normal tone of voice. "You know why." She nodded quickly. "You looked it up?" She nodded again so he buttered some toast to nibble on. "Find anything else?"

"Just what you're doing now," she admitted. "I'm so sorry, Harry."

"Ehh. It's not a problem." He grinned at Ron as he walked in. "Malfoy told everyone."

Ron laughed. "Wonderful. Are you gonna give a free show?" He nodded at where Harry's zipper was down.

"Oops." He did up his zipper, wincing when it hit something. "Um, need to do the potion thing," he said, excusing himself. He went up to the high table. "Professor Snape, did I finish my potion last night?" It was handed to him and he drank it quickly, sighing in relief as he went back down again. "Thank you, sir."

"Was that to heal it?" Madam Sprout asked. Harry shook his head and nodded back at Snape. "Fine, I'll get it from him," she sighed, watching as the boy went back to his seat. "Severus, he said you could tell us what was going on."

The Potion's master growled at her, making her flinch. "After you eat."

"Some of us wouldn't like that sort of information on a full stomach," the headmaster told him.

Severus led the way out of the dining hall, into the room where the first years were stored until they were sorted before the Welcoming Feast. He quickly told them what he knew of Harry's condition and explained it to those who looked extremely confused. They filed back in and almost none of them ate. He looked at Potter. "Mr. Potter, you will be seeing me after school," he announced. "That way anyone who has a question can ask you in the hearing of a responsible adult."

"Yes, sir. After dinner?" Snape nodded. "Thank you, sir. Can I bring Bert?"

"I'm sure the dragon can stay outside," he sneered. Bert's head popped up from under the Hufflepuff table and he hissed at it. "Outside!" he ordered, pointing. Bert hissed at him and went back to the lap he found very nice, even if she didn't smell quite right for a mate. "Potter!" he warned.

"Bert," Harry and Ron called, bringing him over. The plate of sausages was put down and the little dragon engaged in his second favorite activity, eating.


Harry walked into the Potion's classroom and put down his bag, hopping up to sit on top of a table. The teacher glared at him. "You said I was here to talk to people," Harry said as he pulled out a bag of ice and put it under him. He gave the teacher a bland look. "Changing room."

Snape groaned and shook his head. "Surely there's another way."

"I can ice it, I can have the blood sucked out of it, or I can find a cure to my nerves freezing up and shutting my blood vessels down. Got anything for any of those?" he asked dryly. Professor McGonagall walked in and he waved. "You had a question?"

"I've never heard of that problem," she said quietly. Harry pulled the book out of his bag and flipped to the ribbon, handing it to her. "Thank you, Mr. Potter." She read it quickly, then looked at him. "How on earth?"

"Cruciatus," he said simply, then he shrugged. "It makes my nerves freeze sometimes." Draco, Pansy, and Crabbe walked in, making Harry smile. "Finally figure out what a dressing ring is?"

"We want proof. There's no way a human can pierce themselves there," Crabbe snorted.

Draco backed off. "I'm only their escort," he said, turning away. The very thought sickened him.

"Actually," Harry told them, "there are a number of ways to pierce one's tool." He pulled down his pants, lifting himself up to show off the little barbell in the space between the end of his head and the shaft. "I could go to a higher gauge soon, but I don't think I want to distort the skin that much."

"What's with the ice?" Pansy asked.

"I have priapism, that means it won't go down," Harry said as he reclothed himself. Her mouth opened. "It goes up because my nerves are freezing. It never goes down. If I don't control it, it'll eventually fall off." Crabbe and Draco both shuddered and he pointed at Snape. "Ask him what happens when you tie off some part of the body and restrict blood flow out of it."

"It dies slowly and painfully," Snape agreed, staring at him. "Perhaps you should get that looked at, Potter. It was an ungodly shade of purple."

"That's why I have the ice," Harry said, reapplying the ice pack. Draco looked at him and he shrugged. "I got hit one too many times. It sucks to be me in more ways than one."

Draco shook his head. "I can't see Voldemort being that strong." Snape barked a laugh and he glared at him, making Snape take notice. "My *mother* agreed with me," he said coldly. "Potter must have a higher pain tolerance than the Dark Lord. He'd never even think of that as a torture."

"No, he's used hot irons on someone's," McGonagall told them.

"That was my father," Draco said dryly, glaring at her as well. He looked at Potter. "You're keeping that?"

"I might have to get another," Harry told him. "The potion didn't work this time and I don't particularly feel like losing my prick this month."

Pansy shuddered, letting Crabbe wrap her in his arms. "Potter, you're either more stupid, more stubborn, or more willing to do harm to the world than the Dark Lord. I may not support either of you, but I respect you enough to not get in your way." She walked out, taking her comfort snuggle with her.

Draco looked at him. Then he started to sneer. "I certainly don't like you and I think you're stupid to be doing it this way."

"It's either this or a blood drain into it," Harry said, making the other teen clap his hands over his ears and run out. "Sorry," he called after him. He looked at McGonagall. "Any hope of this not reaching the papers?"

She nodded. "Molly called in a favor. She told them it was a hoax, you simply got pierced in an inappropriate place in a fit of rebellion. The same as her son did."

"Ron's only got a nipple ring and a navel dangle," he pointed out. Snape shuddered. "They look very good on him, Professor Snape. The stones match his eyes perfectly."

Snape stood up and went to his cabinet, pulling out a glass bottle and taking a long drink of it. "What ever happened to the old ways, when a boy would get a tattoo that was later turned into a protection or a wellness charm?" he asked McGonagall.

"The guy who pierced me said I could do that when I noticed a photo on his board," Harry said happily. Snape shuddered and hurried out, going to get sick.

"Please don't, Harry," McGonagall said calmly, patting him on the hand. "Even if it helps." She put the book down on the table and left him there, uncomfortably on his ice pack. After an hour of ice and no change, he packed up his things and walked up to the infirmary, waving at the nurse as he walked in. "It won't go down again." She gave him a sympathetic look and a pat. "It's been five hours, Madam Pomfrey. The doctor said I should get help after three."

"Did the ice help at all?" she asked. He handed it over with a head shake. "That's fine, let me look at it." She led him into a treatment cubicle and closed the curtains around them, watching as he disrobed. "Has the piercing usually worked?"

"Yes, ma'am, but I had a massive nerve surge today. I thought I was having a heart attack." He laid back on the bed and covered his eyes with his arm, letting her prod him however she wanted. When the cool hands were removed, he moved his arm to look at her. "Can you make the blood drain?"

"I can use a leech," she offered. He gave her a horrified look and she chuckled. "It is an acceptable method, even in the muggle world these days, Harry." She gave him a pat on the stomach. "Or I could use a little bloodletting charm."

"Can't you unfreeze my nerves?"

"They're in a strong clamp, I can't work on them until I've let some of the blood out. Each condition is feeding off each other." He nodded and covered his eyes again. "This may sting," she warned, raising her wand.

"NOOOO!" Draco yelled, running in to stop her. "Don't let him get you involved in this," he begged. "There's go to be more healthy ways of wearing this out. My mother said I was to stop all work on him!"

Harry sat up and slugged him, knocking him out. "Shut up!" He flopped backwards. "It can't hurt worse than the needle aspiration they did that first time," he told her, closing his eyes again. He winced as his skin parted and some of the blood was released, then sighed as he felt himself unswell. "Thank you. Is there any damage?"

"Not a bit," she promised, giving his covered face a smile. She quickly fixed him up and put on a nerve block, then patted him on the chest. "There you are. I want you to rest, either in here or back in your house."

"No offense, but every time I stay in here I have nightmares about what's just happened." He stood up and put back on his pants. "Thank you, Madam Pomfrey."

"Next time, start the icing after one hour, Mr. Potter," she said fondly, giving him a peppermint imp. "There you are. I'll deal with Mr. Malfoy." Harry nodded, popping the treat into his mouth as he walked back to his tower slowly. That did sting. She sighed at Malfoy, who was still unconscious. Then she lifted him with her wand and plopped him none too gently onto a bed. "There, you can stay there," she announced, going to make a note on Harry's chart. She went back to her research on what to do about this problem. With the Death Eaters running willy-nilly around the world these days, there was no telling how many other poor boys and men would have this sort of problems. And at Harry's age too.

Harry had gone back to his room and had pulled out the piercing magazine he had picked up on the way to get his first one done. He smirked as he copied pictures and then called his owl to him, sending them to Malfoy in the morning's mail.


Harry looked over as his mail arrived, smiling at Malfoy, who was glaring at him. He felt a nudge and looked at Ron. "What?" he asked innocently.

"What did you do?" Neville asked.

"He seemed so interested in what I've done to myself that I found a few more pictures of things I could do. I figured he'd help me choose another one if I needed it." He grinned as his friends snickered.

Malfoy screamed and hopped up, pressing his back against the wall and pointing at it.

"Potter!" Snape yelled.

"Just a helpful tutorial, sir. I wanted it to be anonymous, that way he could get over it in peace." Harry gave him a warm and friendly smile. "I'm trying to be helpful, really I am."

Goyle looked at the pictures, then at Harry. "Don't those hurt?"

"Hell. Yeah."

Ron laughed. "Even my navel ring hurt," he shouted over. "Can I see those? Someone suggested I might want one to make it feel even better."

"Ron, I've got a magazine upstairs," Harry promised.

"Let me see them first," Snape ordered. Goyle brought them up, pinching them between his first finger and thumb so he wouldn't have to touch them more than necessary. Snape flipped through them, getting more and more sick looking as he went. When he came to the one with the tattoos and multiple piercings, he had to run and get sick, again.

Ron trotted over to grab them, bringing them back to his seat. "I didn't know you could pierce that," he said as he sat down, flipping through them. "Harry, if you get another one, I'll be your piercing buddy, hold your hand and all that," he offered as he handed back the pictures.

"Sure, Ron. That's got to be better than doing it by yourself."

Hagrid walked down. "Give them here, the teachers want to burn them," he said quietly. Harry handed them over, giving him a smile. "It's not right."

"No, but it's necessary," Harry told him. "It's this or it'll fall off."

"It could do it anyway," Hagrid pointed out, turning to walk away.

"No, the blood goes out of it most of the time," Harry noted. "Before it stayed in there, like putting a rubber band over an organ and leaving it there." Hagrid shuddered but he burned the pictures.

"Harry, we'd like to confiscate the magazine as well," Dumbledore told him.

"I need it for reference, sir, it's got my care instructions in it," Harry told him. "How long it'll take to fully heal and all that good stuff."

"Then we'll put it into Professor McGonagall's care and you can get it from her for any reason. Mr. Weasley, you don't need to know."

"I do so," he said firmly, scowling at the headmaster. "You never know when it'll come in handy. I might even do it for a profession."

"What about Bert?" Harry asked, seeming to pout.

"Okay, as a hobby and a side profession," Ron said with a grin. "D'you think mum would mind if I learned how to do that and to tattoo things?"

"Probably not, you've got a small talent for art. You'd need to draw a lot more," Harry warned. Ron nodded eagerly. "That's fine then. Over the holidays I'll bring you to the guy who did mine and you can ask him, then you can see about adding magical ones on top of it."

"That would be cool," Ron agreed. "Hey, Harry?" Harry looked at him again, letting his fork drop. "If it doesn't stop, what's going to happen?"

"They'll have to put some sort of drain in," he said quietly. "Or I'll have to find some other way to let the blood out."

Ron nodded. "I hope we don't have to go to that," he said, giving his best friend a pat on the back. "You'll really introduce me?"

"Sure," Harry agreed, grinning at him. "You seem to have a good handle on what it takes and you like the stuff." He noticed Snape coming back in. "Sorry, sir."

"Do not show such disgusting things again," Snape threatened. "Fifty points from Gryffindor."

"For what? Being helpful?" Harry snorted.


"No," McGonagall said quietly, glaring at him. "The boy was trying to find some acceptance and to get your student to leave him alone. Mr. Malfoy interfered in Mr. Potter's legitimate medical treatment last night. If you take points off him, so shall I off Mr. Malfoy."

"Fine," Snape said bitterly. "Then I won't take points, he'll only have a detention tonight." He looked at the boy. "I'm sure you'll find it educational."

"I'm sure, sir. My aunt always said I was good at scrubbing things." Ron snorted and Ginny glared at him. "What? She did, she said I was good at it," he said seriously. "She also said it was all I was good for," he admitted at the continued glaring after Hermione joined in. He smiled at them. "I did learn how to do it properly."

"Harry!" Hermione said in disgust. "Don't say things like that."

Ron gave him a friendly shove. "Please. Otherwise I'll have to tell mum and she'll have a *talk* with your aunt again."

"Yes, Ron," Harry said calmly, giving him a sideways smile. "Friends?"

"Still, you big goof." He gave him another shove then looked over as someone led the babbling Malfoy out of the dining hall. "I must say, for that little bit of pain, it may just be worth it to get one myself."

"Mother would kill you," Ginny said firmly. "Harry, does it hurt now?"

"Not at the moment," he said with a smile for her concern. "It was fixed last night after Malfoy hit the floor." She smiled and dug into her eggs. He looked at Ron, who was frowning. "She's like my sister," he said quietly.

"Yeah, I know," Ron agreed, eating himself full. He waited while Harry ate, then escorted him to class. They had Charms together and it was easier to go together than to save a seat most of the time.


Harry noticed Draco was stalking him but he ignored him in the finest fashion. Of course, he and Ron continued to talk in his presence about getting more piercings if they wanted or needed. Ron found the magazine fascinating, so fascinating that he wanted to know if he could get a subscription to it. Harry thought it might be a bit hard to do, but they researched and found a wizarding tradebook about piercings and tattoos and *they* offered it as a side subscription. Harry got it for Ron for his birthday, making the other boy tear up and hug him so hard he had bruised ribs for a few days. Hermione was still giving them disapproving looks but then again it wasn't her body.

Ginny, surprisingly, was all for Ron doing that. She said it was neat in a 'weird and creepy' way and that it was his body to ruin. She didn't even tell their mother about his new hobby.

Ron was pouring through all the literature and had started to write letters to gather information. Professor McGonagall was shocked at his enthusiasm for the subject, it was only surpassed by his taking care of Bert the dragon and quidditch - and quidditch was quickly falling behind.

Harry had a few problems readjusting to flying now and then, but he managed to get over most of it. On the really bad days, he cast an ice charm under the careful watch of Madam Hooch so no one could say he was cheating. Maybe the best thing of all were the letters he was getting in support of him against the Dark Lord. The news hadn't made it into the paper, but a number of people were sending him letters of support. It might have been because everyone was counting the years until he graduated, or it could be because the other students were passing the news back to their parents and it was being passed on, something like what Pansy had told him. He was getting weekly letters of support from a lot of wizards and witches, all of them saying how brave he was and how they were waiting for him to kick Voldemort's ass. He was storing them all in a box in his trunk, but he was going to need to get a second box soon. Sure, there were hate letters, but he generally laughed at them.

The next Hogsmeade weekend was coming up and he and Ron discussed the necklaces his mother had told them about. Hermione was all for that one, she would even wear one, but she was pushing them to tell McGonagall. That's how Harry found himself outside her classroom one night and he didn't even have detention. He stuck his head in and noticed Millicent Bullstrode did so he waved the teacher into the hall. "Could you take a walk with me? I need to talk to you about something important, not about my condition, and Hermione said she'd kick my ass if I didn't tell you before we did it."

She pursed her lips. "Can't this way until after detention?"

"Sure, if you'll give me a pass and don't ground me," he offered.

She smiled. "That has never been a problem for you before, Mr. Potter. Meet me outside. It's supposed to be a beautiful night." He nodded and hurried back to his dorms to get his cloak and map. She walked back into her classroom and saw the student openly eavesdropping. "You will not do anything about it," she ordered as she sat down to read Ron's latest magazine. It had a few history lessons on why people tattooed and pierced things. Fairly fascinating reading.

Later that night, Harry snuck up on his teacher, sitting down next to her on the rock and making her jump slightly. "Sorry," he said, pulling the cloak off his face. He thought it was only polite; no one from the castle could see him but she wasn't talking to empty air. "You know what Ron and I were offered in the shop that day?" She shook her head and he groaned. "Okay, long story short, the guy who pierced Ron has a few drawing and power redistribution sets."

"Oh, my," she said quietly. He held up a hand. "You're not?"

"I'm not planning on that, Mrs. Weasley talked us out of it. She did suggest that we do something like a pendant with a mark on it, something like what we did for DA. She finally sent us word of who could do that sort of thing." She nodded slowly. "She also said it's slightly dark magic and that *you* would be able to sense it. Hence Hermione getting on our butts about telling you beforehand. Mrs. Weasley thought you'd throw a fit and we should wait and explain later."

She swallowed. "Do you have the description with you?" He pulled something out of his pocket and handed it over. It was what she thought. "This is very dark magic, Harry. Very ancient and dark magic." She looked at him. "It is every bit as powerful as the Dark Mark is." She considered it. "It would help you quite a lot," she agreed. "It would let you know who was loyal." She shifted toward him. "How much do you know about this?"

"We've done a bit of research. Molly suggested something like putting it on a pendant. Something that could eventually be taken off." She shook her head. "No?"

"No, to fully link it to them, like what the Dark Mark does, it has to be part of them. Something like Ron's piercings or your dragon. A pendant would let you know if there was a problem but it would not link you the way she thinks because it only lays on top of the skin." She hung her head. "I knew this suggestion was going to be coming from somewhere. Albus was musing on it the other day. Severus was going on about how it would kill his mark and set it off each time someone wearing it was in the room. You are correct, it will do what you want, even in the pendant form, just not deep enough," she said to ease his hurt look.

"Then we can't?"

"You shouldn't, not yet," she told him, reaching over to touch the boy's head. "I want to find you some resources before you do it. If you're going to set my nerves off each time we cross paths in the halls, I want you to know what you're getting into." He nodded. "You'll wait?"

"Gladly," Harry agreed. He heard snuffling noises from the burrow. "That's Bert. Ron's waiting for me in there."

She smiled. "Try not to bring him to class tomorrow, Harry." She handed back the paper. "See me tomorrow after our special class and I'll give you a pass to find the books." He nodded so she left him there, letting him go talk to Ron. She walked into the library, nodding at the librarian, Irma Pince. "I need the books on the Legate theories," she said quietly. "I need a slip for Mr. Potter and his friends to get into them." Irma gasped and she grasped her by the arm. "You cannot tell Albus. They were willing to put on binding jewelry, Irma. Molly Weasley suggested a pendant system and it won't work as well as they think," she said, glancing around. None of the students were paying her any attention. "Get them for them and let them into it." The librarian nodded. "Thank you." She walked away, heading to talk to Severus. He was easily found watching one of her poor boys scrub cauldrons. "They want to do a Legate," she said quietly, sitting on the edge of his desk. He slowly put down his mug of tea and looked at her. "Molly suggested it instead of the jewelry you found them."

He swallowed. "How?"

"Molly suggested a pendant."

"It wouldn't be strong enough, it could easily be fooled. Even my own is easy enough to get around," he hissed.

She nodded. "I'm suggesting something like an earring. Something not noticeable and removable. Can I count on you to answer questions?" He nodded. "Thank you." She walked away, leaving him to his desires.

Severus nodded at the boy to go away then sat there and stared at his covered arm. Could things possibly get worse?


Harry was let into a special reading room, finding his friends already in there. "What's all that about?" he asked as he plopped himself down.

"McGonagall had a few special books pulled for us," she said, shoving over the one she was reading. "About the pendants."

"Already?" Ron nodded. "Anything horrible?" Harry asked.

"Yes and no," Ron told him, shifting to look at him. "She was right, it would be too weak on a pendant, we'd have to pierce everyone's ear or something." He grinned. "But Hermione just found something interesting in a book we weren't supposed to get."

"There's an older marking," she said quietly, tapping the book. "This one. If I'm reading it right, and I definitely want to talk to Bill Weasley about this, then there's an older marking system. We can use it to mark everyone. No outward marks, no hard charms on special jewelry. Simply an awareness of what's going on. People can cast it on their own."

"The bad side is that you can't call for help, you can only ask for it," Ron put in grimly.

"Which is nicer and better anyway," Harry agreed. Ron frowned at him. "I don't want to compel people, Ron. How long will this war last? It'll piss people off."

"This way you can't be sure that one of the Dark Lord's people won't add themselves," Hermione told him. "That is the major downside."

"Then again, you could use that to your advantage. It'll let you check up on anyone who has the charm active. We can use it to find meetings and things."

Harry leaned back. "Is it hard?" Hermione shook her head. "Like squibs can do it not hard?"

"It's harder than that, but Neville should be able to do it, and so should someone like Goyle and Crabbe," she told him.

He looked at Ron. "Would it be helpful?"

"Extremely," Ron pointed out. "Especially if we can get the other side to register themselves. Or even just one without them knowing we can read them."

"What will it do to the rest of us? The ones who are watching and everyone else?"

"With each capture and death, it'll tell them," Hermione admitted. "It'll not only be a warning not to go somewhere but that there's active fighting in that area and whether or not people linked in the spell are dying. That could upset a lot of people and they'd take it off."

"Or it could excite a bunch and we'd have people who haven't practiced anything outside their normal hexes in years coming to help," Ron pointed out.

"How is this better?"

"It's an ancient white magic charm, Harry. That alone will soothe some people. With those of us who are close, we can do the other one. I'll still agree to let you do it on me. I'll even let you have my ear pierced if you want. It'll be like our DA coins, with an added one for those you trust and can count on."

He thought about it. "How would we get the information out?"

"Easy, we start it around the school," Ron said with a grin. "Just like with your problem. The kids tell their parents, the parents tell their friends, and whammo, you've got a pile of letters taller than Hagrid."

Harry grinned. "Good point. Hermione?"

"I'd vote yes to doing it with a step system," she told him. "It'd be safer because only the people you know you can trust would be somewhat linked to you. The others would only have an awareness of what you were doing."

"Can we turn it on and off?" Ron asked.

Hermione shrugged. "It doesn't say we can't. We can activate it and then push it to an inactive state I suppose," she told him. "Use one central thing to active them all?"

"Something small that can be passed off," Harry said thoughtfully. "What about taking it on and off?"

"That can be done with both tiers once we've got it set up," Hermione told him. "I know we can take the earrings off and it'll stay on the jewelry but not in our minds."

"Which makes it six steps better than the Dark Mark," Ron pointed out helpfully.

"It also means you can take it off to do something and forget to put it back on," Harry reminded him. Ron nodded. He sighed. "Okay, bring this idea to McGonagall, see what she thinks." Hermione nodded, smiling at him. "If this will fly, we'll bring it DA first." They both nodded. "Good, now let's work on the bloodline project, okay? I'm way behind." They smiled and pulled out that stuff to go over it with him.


During their next Sex class, Bert came with them. He wasn't feeling nice toward the other animals so Hagrid had told the boys to bring him around with them. They could keep him in line and he wouldn't dare hurt another student. The boys realized after a few minutes that Bert had never been in here before, the last time he had been in the school he had stayed in the kitchens. He was now sniffing laps, edging ever closer to the back. Both of them kept one eye on him while one asked a question about romance. It would have been so ironic if Bert had chosen Pansy to play with, but he chose Goyle instead.

"Bert," Ron warned. Bert firmly put his nose in Goyle's lap. Goyle was looking like he was ready to shit his pants. "Now, Bert," he said, pointing at the spot he had set up beside him. "He doesn't play well with others." Bert sighed and sat on Goyle's feet, nuzzling him.

Harry got Malfoy before he could get the dragon. "Bert, he doesn't like other boy beasts. He only likes girl beasts. Pick someone that likes boy beasts," he pleaded. "It'll make you happier."

Bert sighed and moved on, going to Pansy this time. He stared at her for a few moments then sat next to her feet, getting comfortable. This one was warm, like him, and this one smelled right when he walked past. He really would have preferred a boy beast but mating could be done with the girl beasts and he supposed he could produce offspring. Hmm, he could smell her now. His tail was starting to twitch and wind up her leg. The two who had promised to help him find a mate in that awkward formal language one of them spoke weren't looking. Maybe he could firmly link himself to his mate before anyone noticed. He heard the girl beast's squeak as his tail moved up her leg, but she didn't shift away or try to hurt him, she must be in heat he supposed from her smell.

Harry glanced back at the dragon, thinking it had been too long since he had moved. His eyes went wide and he nudged Ron, who's eyes also went wide, then he raised his hand, making the teacher look at him. He mouthed the words and she grimaced, walking up to where the dragon was, speaking in Pansy's ear. She squealed in disgust and kicked at the dragon, getting up and running out of the room crying. Everyone looked at the little dragon, who was trying to follow, no matter that Ron was trying to hold him in place. Harry thought quickly and floated the little beast up, letting Ron jump off. "Bert, you can't do that to her without her permission!" he told him. "And I doubt she'd give it." The dragon gave him a murderous look. "Don't you even! We're going to see Charlie right now." He stood up and floated the dragon off, taking him to the Burrow. "Mum!" he called. "We need Charlie really badly."

She hurried out, wiping her hands off on a towel. "What happened to his friend? Is he hurt?"

"Just his feelings. We wouldn't let him ...seduce his maiden in the sex classroom." Her eyes widened. "So we *really* need Charlie. She's a Slytherin though so most of the rest of us thought it was appropriate, but we don't think he should continue his seduction at the school."

Molly nodded a few times. "I know just where he is," she promised, going to get him.

Charlie apparated in a few minutes later and looked at the dragon. "You had to go for the girl, didn't you?" he asked in disgust.

Harry shook his head. "No, he had to go for the Slytherin girl who admitted her mother had a dragon and maiden porn collection, along with a few unicorn and girl pieces, from her mother." Charlie's eyes went wide. "When Ron and I caught him, he had his tail most of the way up her skirt. I don't know what to do about this." He put the baby dragon down. "You might want to have a talk with Pansy too, before she beats mine and Ron's ass. We were in sex class."

Charlie groaned and shook his head. "Fine. Thank you, Harry. You probably saved his life. Such deviance would have him put down fairly quickly." He clapped the boy on the back. "Off you go, back to school." Harry nodded, disappearing. "You just had to go for the girl," he said with a sad head shake. "What am I going to do with you?" He suddenly smiled. "I'm going to let the big guy handle it," he decided, going in to use the floo to call his boss. "We've got a problem with Bert," he announced when the head appeared. His boss blinked a few times. "He just tried to jump a girl."

The boss scowled. "Are you at the school?"

"No, one of the kids my ma's all but adopted brought him to the house to separate them. She's at the school. I'm at home." Bert stuck his nose under Charlie's arm. "Yeah, you're here too," he said, giving him a head scratch. "There's a complication too," he said with a grin. "Her mother and their family have *stories*."

"Stories," he said flatly. Charlie nodded. "Oh, shit, Charlie, can't you have normal problems? First you get the dragon drunk and now he's going for the women!" He signed off and came through a moment later, frowning at the little dragon. "You snot," he told him. "Come on, we'd better get her told before you do something rash." He and Charlie took the dragon to the school, it wasn't safe anywhere else, then went to talk to the Headmaster and have the girl brought up.


Pansy stormed over to the Gryffindor table during dinner, glaring at them. "I hope you're happy! You perverted a magical beast!"

Hermione looked at her. "If you had bothered to read those books your mother had, you'd know that some beings are just perverse," she said quietly. "He was like that before he came. Meeting them didn't do anything more to it. He's always been around people, probably because of that."

Pansy gaped at her. "You mean, snot-faced bitch!" she screamed. "How dare you blame this on me!"

"I'm not," Hermione snorted. "I'm saying the dragon was that way all along, you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time." Pansy stomped off and she looked at the guys again. "Did they fix him?"

"They've put a charm around his den so he can't come out unless Charlie or I are there," Ron told her. "It wouldn't take for Harry for some reason." He looked over as Pansy burst into tears. "Is she really upset?"

"Possibly," Hermione agreed gently. "She's not faking much if she's faking at all." She glanced over then back at Harry. "Are you all right?"

"I feel off," he admitted. "Nothing major." She gave a significant glance to his stomach and he shook his head quickly. "No, not that. Just deep down funny." He shrugged and ate another bite of beef. "It'll sort itself out. Do we have permission?"

"I talked with McGonagall last night and she said it was a workable plan."

Harry got a sudden funny feeling. "Hermione, put everything we've done into a binder or something," he requested. "I don't know why, but I want it all together for some reason."

She smiled. "Already done, Harry. I've got all our research, all our extra spells, plus a copy of what we're doing with the earrings and the pendants stored in an air-tight document box under my bed. Just in case something happens to us, or in case we can finally shelve for a few months." He smiled at her.

Ron pulled out a magazine but Harry put it away. "It's on tattoos," he whined.

"Snape's looking," Harry told him, giving him a wink. "Hey, Ron, if this is all over with, how are you going to get *friendly* on a dragon preserve?"

"I was hoping I wasn't going to have to think about that yet," Ron sighed. "I guess I'll have to bring someone with me or find someone down there on the same shift or whatever they call them." He gave him a pitiful look. "Harry, if we go to the same place, will you stay with me?"

"Sure," Harry said, giving him a smile. "I still don't see how two blokes go at it though."

Ron snorted. "I'll tell you later." He noticed Harry was wincing before he did. "Harry?"

"Harry, your scar's glowing," Hermione put in at almost the same time, frowning at his forehead.

He reached up to touch it. "I think he's in an odd mood," he said, looking confused. He looked at the head table, noticing Snape's lips were pressed together and he was subtly pressing his marked arm against the chair's arm. "He's getting both of us," he said quietly, continuing to touch it.

"Leave it for a few minutes," Hermione suggested.

Ron leaned closer. "Could this be an attack?" he hissed.

Harry shook his head. "I know when he's close by. He's nowhere near us." He caught McGonagall's eye as he rubbed and she nudged Dumbledore politely, leaning over to say something to him. "I'm going to the infirmary." He started to wobble. "Ron? Help me up there?"

"Sure." He stood up, helping Harry off the bench and out of the room, taking him up to the infirmary. Madam Pomfrey rushed out to meet them, already clucking in consternation. "His forehead was glowing in the Great Hall."

"Snape's in pain too," Harry said as he allowed himself to be put onto a table and examined. "Thanks, Ron."

"I'm staying."

"It's easing," Harry told him.

"Was it a sharp pain, like before?" Ron asked. Harry slowly shook his head. "Then what was it?"

"It slowly built then washed over me and now it's fading again," he said, still frowning at the ceiling. "I think I'll be fine by bedtime."

"Okay, Harry. I'll tell Hermione. Maybe she's got something in her box of goodies." He jogged out, going back to the Great Hall.

Madam Pomfrey looked at it again. "Were you rubbing it?" He nodded. "Does it still hurt?"

"Not as much. It's a dull ache," he whispered. She smiled at him. "I've never felt it like this before. I'm used to the gloating feeling, the sharp stabs of pleasure, but never this. It felt...odd, like it was ...unexpected or something, I don't know," he said finally. She nodded, giving him a hopeful smile. "The pain's mostly gone now too."

"No after effects?" He shook his head. "How about the other problem?"

"It's not gone off today," Harry told her. He sat up with her help. "That's another odd thing. I felt a tug on it then nothing. Like my nerves were seizing up again but it didn't swell."

"Maybe we should check on that as well," she suggested, pulling the curtains.

Downstairs, Snape was looking at his arm like it didn't belong to him. "That didn't feel right," he told himself, and the teacher next to him.

"Why not?"

Snape looked at her. "Because it wasn't the regular pain. It was different," he said with a scowl. "I don't know how."

"Maybe you should go see Poppy," Dumbledore said just loud enough for Severus to hear him without looking at him.

"It's stopped."

Dumbledore did look over at him. "Really? No after flashes?" Snape shook his head. "No lingering pain?" Snape shook his head again, scowling worse. "Then what was that?"

McGonagall cleared her throat. "Harry was drug up there by Ron. Maybe you should go anyway. Between the two of you, you might be able to figure it out."

Snape nodded, standing up. "I think I shall. This was an extraordinary event." He walked out, still frowning at his arm.

McGonagall looked at Dumbledore. "Perhaps we should call a meeting tonight of the Order?"

"Perhaps," he agreed seriously, taking a sip of his wine to fortify himself. "We know it's not an attack."

"No, they'd both be on the ground if that were it," she agreed quietly, looking at Ms. Granger. "She thinks something's up too."

"Let us call a meeting for tonight. You tell the Weasleys," he ordered. "I'll call in the further flung members." They stood up and walked out together, each of them heading to their offices to start the calling circles.


Nothing was found that night so things went on like normal the next day, even though Harry and Snape both had felt those odd surges twice during the night. They hadn't even been painful enough to fully wake them; Poppy noticed that they were clutching their respective marks while they slept and had woken them. That's how Harry found himself in Charms sandwiched between his friends. He was feeling a tingling in it, like someone had applied a self-heating salve to his scar. Then suddenly he felt something break, and it made him smile.

"Harry, you're bleeding," Hermione said, noticing the single, thin line of blood trailing down Harry's forehead.

Ron jumped and quickly pressed his hand over the mark. "Help me get him upstairs," he said urgently. Harry had never *bled* from there before. They got him hustled up to the infirmary, and the boy was still smiling. "What is wrong with you? Did it turn your brains to mush?"

Harry looked at him, a beautiful smile on his face. "It's over," he said quietly. "I don't know how, but he's dead." Everyone flinched and stepped away from him. "I have no idea what's going on," he said, still smiling, and now starting to giggle. He hopped off the bed and ran down to the dungeons, bursting into the Slytherin/Ravenclaw seventh year potions. Snape stared at him, mouth open. "It broke! I felt it break!" he shouted, hugging him.

Snape pushed the boy back. "Define your supposition," he said coldly.

Harry took him by the arm and led him into the hall, shaking him a bit. "I felt him die!" he said happily, grinning again. "I felt the scar bond snap and I felt him die!"

Snape rolled up his sleeve and found his mark was dark, like smoke was clouding it over. He looked at Harry and dragged him up to the Headmaster's office. "Something happened," he pronounced as they walked in the upper door.

Dumbledore looked at them. "What? Another attack? Harry, you're bleeding," he said, starting to frown. "Why are you bleeding?"

"I felt him die!" Harry said urgently. "Send someone to check! Now! He's in Devonshire!"

"Fine," Dumbledore said slowly. He looked at Snape's arm and his eyes narrowed. "We'll just see. Come, the both of you. We'll head there ourselves." He took them with him, using a portkey to the house the bastard was using that week. They found the Crabbe house decimated, like hundreds of people had run through there and thrown things around. There were bodies everywhere. Most of them had been stabbed. They found the one they were looking for, still tied to a bed. His body had been mutilated horribly, his entire body filled with cuts, bruises, and gaping wounds. He saw Harry's head tip and looked in the same direction, shuddering. Someone had done to Voldemort what he had done to many witches. Someone had also pierced the corpse. There was no blood around the wound and it wasn't filled, but it was recent. He could see the tears on the skin.

Snape turned around and retched in a corner.

Harry picked the opposite corner.

Dumbledore calmly called in the aurors and the Minister of Magic. The aurors walked around in a haze for a bit before letting them go. All the bodies were carted off to find out who had done this since Potter clearly hadn't. Dumbledore stopped them both before they walked away. "We cannot let this news out until it is official. Do you understand? Not even to Mr. Weasley."

"I already told him he died," Harry said, shrugging at the hurt look. "He was in the infirmary when I figured it out." He looked over as Fudge walked out, a cloth pressed to his mouth. "When will we know who did this?" he called.

"Worried they'll come after you next?" Fudge sneered.

Harry straightened up. "No, I'd like to thank the vigilantes who did this." Fudge glared at him. "I could make a statement if you won't," he offered with a mean smirk.

"There will be a statement made tonight," he said firmly. "You can wait that long." He looked at Dumbledore. "Your doing?"

Dumbledore shook his head. "Not in the least," he said calmly. "Had I known about this, I might have been here and stopped the carnage part of it." He activated the portkey, taking him and Harry back to the school. Severus would come eventually. "We will not say anything," he warned Harry. "Wait for the official announcement, it will make the Ministry feel better and we may know more about what happened by that time."

Harry nodded, going back to class, looking dazed. He found Ron waiting on him in Potions, even though he didn't have the class, and no one in the teacher's seat so he cleared his throat. "Professor Snape will be back shortly," he announced. "I think." He shrugged at the Hufflepuff's confused looks. "I don't know when." He sat down next to Ron, looking at him. He finally nodded quickly. Ron hugged him, smiling brightly. "We can't say anything," he whispered.

"I won't," Ron promised. Ron continued to grin, nodding when Hermione looked at him. She smiled back. "How?" he whispered.

Harry glanced at the other side. "Later, Ron. It's gross." Snape stormed in and Harry flinched, giving him a desperate look. The Potion's master looked at him, looking serene and calm. "Sir?"

"Everything is as it was a few moments ago, Mr. Potter. There is no telling who." He walked into his office and pulled out the WWN radio, setting it up on the desk. Then he turned it on and sat down. "We will have a study hall today while we wait on information," he announced. "Sit quietly so I may listen." They nodded and pulled out their books, knowing something extraordinary was going on because Snape *never* called a study session. A few of them looked over at Harry, and saw how calm and unconcerned he looked. He and Ron were even joking quietly with each other. Something about names for beasts. Snape turned up the radio when he heard the formal announcement start, then hit it with his wand. "Sonorous," he said coolly.

"At this moment, we have a breaking news announcement from the Ministry," the witch said breathlessly. "All we know is that it concerns You-Know-Who."

Minister Fudge's voice came over as he cleared his throat. "Today, the wizarding world has seen a great achievement by an unusual source." He cleared his throat again. "It was during an earlier call to a reported battle that we found the remains of what appears to be a great many death eaters." Everyone in the class gasped and looked at Harry, who was crossing his fingers. "It is also," Fudge continued, "impossible to tell who did this heinous act." The students groaned. "The bodies were savagely attacked. As was the body of their leader. I have personally talked to Mr. Potter and he assures me he was in class the whole time, but he did feel it."

Harry cheered, Ron along with him.

"Wait," Snape warned.

Harry and Ron settled down to finish listening.

"It is our hope that the group responsible for this steps forward. As of this moment, we are not sure if they constitute a threat or not. We ask that they get in touch with us at the earliest possible moment." Fudge cleared his throat again. "Again, I have to announce that You-Know-Who is dead and most of his regime went with him."

Snape flipped off the set. "Do any of you know anything?" Everyone looked at Harry.

"You guys have seen us here," he reminded them. "I only left after it had happened to make sure it did. Whomever did this has my greatest thanks and my warmest wishes for happiness." Ron hugged him. "Get off," he said with fond annoyance, giving him a light shove.

Hermione raised her hand. "Sir, if it's an unknown group, could they be in trouble with the Ministry?"

"They very well could be," Snape agreed lightly, standing up. "What they did is called vigilantism. It means they acted for the greater good outside the law." He looked at his students. "If you know who did it, tell them to keep it to themselves." He tipped his chin up and looked smug. "There was no spell which could tell them who had done this when they checked the bodies."

The room went nuts, cheering and talking and laughing and back slapping each other, starting off the celebration for the entire school. That night, dinner was not a solemn or quiet affair. Many students got hold of champagne somehow, and the distributer/smugglers had cut their prices in half so *many* students had some champagne. Many students complained of headaches later from the noise and the booze, but Madam Pomfrey was so happy she didn't chastize anyone. Not one student got detention that day from Filch or Snape. Even Pansy and Bert were in the same room, albeit with bodyguards to protect her virtue. She found a scale in her clothes the next morning and put it with the one that had been delivered with her breakfast that morning.

Over the next week, the gaiety smoothed down into general good moods all-around. Even Snape was seen to be in a good mood. That weekend was a Hogsmeade weekend and the whole school was participating in this mellow buzz of good will toward their fellow brothers. Or at least that's the reason the Slytherins gave when caught with their pants off in the presence of Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs. Not that anyone was going to try and tell them different. No one really wanted to argue with Crabbe and Goyle when their buggering by two toy-wielding Hufflepuffs was stopped by their capture.

All in all, it was a festive mood that took over the school. The aurors came for Harry's file of 'I'm with you' letters to see if anyone had written anything about the incident. They found one but couldn't trace it to anyone.

Even Malfoy and Potter were seen to shake hands instead of duel in the halls after Magical Creatures.

Slowly the school settled back into the usual routine. Classes, tests, papers, Slytherin sniping, Gryffindor rebuttals. It came to a head during Magical Creatures one week, near the end of the bloodline project. Draco was complaining that this was too much like what his family did when they planned marriages. That's where Ron came in with the t-shirt that said 'pure bloodlines are for creatures'. Draco took offense and tried to hit him. Harry stepped in and hexed him instead. Then he got Ron for his bad taste, just lightly reprimanding him and telling him he should wear it in the halls, not to the class he had with them. The good mood was going to be ruined.

Hagrid pulled the threesome aside after the class, staring at them. "The shirt is true, but some people take great stock in that," Hagrid reminded him.

"Yeah, and it's silly," Ron pointed out. "Think about how much inbreeding Draco's family has had."

"And yours, Weasley, as loathe as I am to admit it," Draco sneered.

Ron nodded. "And mine. That's why I'm not taking up with a purebred. Mum and dad wanted one of us to, but to bring in blood from other countries."

Draco frowned. "Just because our family tree has marks on children that we can't get with because they're too close doesn't mean we're creatures," he spat.

"No, it means you're inbred and being treated like one," Ron pointed out dryly.

Harry and Hagrid stepped back to watch. "Hagrid, why can't they find traces?"

"There's three ways no trace was left," Hagrid said quietly. "They shielded more powerfully than the wizard doing the charms. They were muggle. Or they were magical creatures." He looked down at the boy. "Why?"

"I'm thinking it's the last," Harry told him. "Some of the marks suggest something like a veela. Something with sharp claws or curved blades if they were human by the pictures they released last week."

"It'd have to be a family troupe. There was too many victims for just one," Hagrid said with a smirk. "We'll never know. Thankfully. I can't stand the thought that we'd be scared of someone new."

"That's why I was asking." He looked up at him. "Dumbledore never answered my question. What about the prophecy?"

"Ah, now prophecies, those are tricky things. It said you'd never lived until the other died." Harry nodded, that was generally known throughout the school and the Order. "What do you call what you're doin' now, Harry?"

"Living a normal life," he admitted, then he smiled. "So it's not physical living, it's having my own life, one that's not centered on that big goober?" Hagrid nodded. "Cool. Thanks." He looked over. "They're kissing," he said, looking disturbed.

"Well, they're not that related," Hagrid pointed out. "Only fourth cousins or somethin'." He walked over to separate the boys. "None'a'that in front of me and Harry."

"Sorry, were you stimulated?" Draco sneered at Harry.

Harry shook his head. "Not really. I still don't see what two guys get out of it. It can't feel that good."

"I'll prove you wrong yet," Ron said with a grin. He wiped his mouth off, it was really damp. "Did you spit on me?" he asked. Draco made a scoffing noise and walked off, wiping off his own mouth. "Come on, Harry. We'll deal with the blonde booger later."

"I've never seen a *blonde* booger, only green and yellow ones," Harry said with a grin, taking off before Ron could pummel him for the bad joke.

"Harry!" Ron sighed, chasing after him.

Hagrid shook his head. "Those boys," he said fondly. He didn't care that he had included Draco in that for once, the boy had been kissing Ron. He guessed he was okay enough for now.


Later that night, Ron cornered Harry. "I think it's about time we completed your education, Mr. Potter," he said, trying to imitate Snape but missing because his voice wasn't deep enough. "You are to serve three detentions with me this week." He grinned. "Then we'll answer all those nasty questions for you, Harry."

Harry shook his head. "Ron, it's not a good idea. What happens if I get stuck 'up' again?"

"Then we take you to the nurse and she'll treat you again and you won't even have to tell her why," Ron said, sitting next to him. "It's not like she'll ask. She never asks me when I come in with problems after sex."

"If you say so," Harry agreed, lightening up. He really did want to know what two guys got out of it.

Hermione rushed in and over to them. "Pansy's been getting scales," she panted. "I overheard her in the halls."

Ron's eyes went wide. "Dragons only willingly give scales to their mates," he said quietly, looking around. "I've got to tell Charlie, he wanted to know if this happened," he said, heading for the fireplace. He disengaged the first year talking to his mother by begging and then set himself in front of it to call his big brother, and when that didn't work, the preserve itself. " Hi, it's Ron Weasley," he told the receptionist. "The girl here, the one that the dragon bothered, is getting *scales*." Her eyes went wide and he was immediately connected to Charlie's boss. "Hi again," he said weakly. "She's getting scales."

"Shit. We'll be up tomorrow. Is he still outside?"

"Unless he's found a way to get free of his den, he's staying outside," Harry said as he walked over, waving as well. "When you guys come up, bring someone up to recruit," he suggested with a grin.

The boss smiled at him. "I think I can handle that part with Charlie. We'll see you boys in the morning." He signed off.

Ron let the first year have the fire back. "Thanks." He looked at all the curious people. "If any of you guys see Pansy in the same room as Bert, and she's not being guarded by someone stronger, run for help," he told them. That got a few nods. "Really. The dragon likes her." The older students looked alarmed and the younger ones looked confused.

"Plus, anyone who thinks they might like to work with magical creatures," Harry offered, "can probably talk to the guys coming up tomorrow to deal with the dragon problem. They're from a preserve so they'll probably know about other types of things you can do with animals." That got more favorable looks and he and Ron shared a look. "Yes?" he offered.

Ron nodded. "I think so. Charlie had to do an internship to make sure he could do the work. We could sign up for one of those. It'd only be a year."

Harry beamed. "I think I could like that notion."

He led Ron off, going to talk to Hermione. They decided to send a letter via house elf to Malfoy to warn him. He was the top dog in his house and he had sworn to protect Pansy in front of her and her mother. Hermione quickly wrote the note and Harry summoned Dobby, who sent it over there with another house elf since he wouldn't personally go near Draco. Then they sat back to wait. It was only twenty minutes before someone was pounding on their portrait for entry.

"That would be the prat," Ron said happily, and the trio walked out to look at him, having an odd meeting in the halls. "Charlie and his boss are coming up tomorrow," he said in greeting.

"What do the scales mean?" Draco asked. "Someone's pen tip is sloshing ink."

"You need your eyes checked," Harry snorted. He looked at it. "Never mind, it got wet."

Hermione crossed her arms and glanced around. "Getting scales from a dragon is like getting a jewelry from humans," she told him. He flinched. "She's been getting a lot, after she receives a hundred Bert will consider her his official mate. That's about how many it takes to line a nest. After that, he'll be expecting young from her."

Ron shook his head. "Where did you get that?"


"Oh." He shrugged and looked at Malfoy again. "She'll have to give back *every* scale if she wants to be rid of him.

"Otherwise it's like she's playing hard-to-get," Harry added for good measure. Draco went paler and leaned against the wall. "She doesn't have all of them?"

"We did something with one of them," Draco admitted, scrubbing his face with his hands. "All right. So we'll have to guard her better?"

"I've already warned our house to tell someone if they see her in the same room as him. He's a sneaky little guy so I'm not sure what he's capable of," Ron admitted. "I thought I saw him last night but when I looked he wasn't there."

"You'll need to put Pansy in a locked room, one without windows or vents and only a single door for at least tonight," Hermione instructed. "Then you'll need to ward it so only someone you personally trust to guard her can open it, and not her. There's a few rumors in those books that dragons can use something like a fascination on their victims after so much contact." Draco nodded shortly and stomped off. "And Draco, if it does happen, she'll be badly hurt. The tail spines may retract, but they'll come back out afterwards." He shuddered, heading off at a run for the dungeons. She smiled at them. "See, it makes him feel better," she said with a wicked smile.

The boys laughed, sure Draco was going to be sitting up all night because no one in Slytherin trusted each other.


Draco barged into Snape's classroom, dragging his Head back to his office. "Pansy's been getting scales," he said.

"I know."

"Weasley called in someone. Granger said it's like she's accepting jewelry." Snape's eyes went wide and his nostrils flared. "They suggested we put her into a locked room without any access and only someone we trust would be able to get the door. Granger said there were fascination rumors."

Snape nodded. "I've heard a few," he admitted. He forced himself to calm down. "The dragon can't get in."

"Weasley said he thought he saw him last night."

"We'll use the old marriage night room," Snape said, walking out, Draco following obediently behind him without being told. He ordered a house elf to get that room ready and they went to collect Pansy together. She was sitting on her bed brushing her hair. Snape grabbed her by the arm and hauled her up and out of the room, heading for that one.

"What are you doing!" she shrieked. "Let me go! I haven't been bad in weeks!"

"Shut up!" Draco said harshly. "Those scales were an engagement gift!" She passed out. He glared at her. "Prissy bitch," he said derisively. He floated her up, following Snape again. The room they were let into was plain. No pictures. No windows. No doors. The bathroom area had a screen in front of it and it had a bed. That was it. He put her onto the bed and they stepped back, him watching as the door was set to Snape personally. "I could help," he offered.

"No, you can't," Snape said firmly, looking down at him. "Go back to your house. The dragon knows you guard its intended and it knows it will have to go through you." Draco shuddered and went back to his rooms to hide. Snape went to have a conference with the headmaster, telling him what he had done.


Harry was called into the office the next morning to meet with McGonagall and Dumbledore. He gave them cheezy smiles because he was in a good mood this morning. Bert had been found outside Pansy's door crooning at her and she had been found leaning against the other side making similar noises back. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person in his book, not even Malfoy. He took the seat Dumbledore indicated, still smiling. "What did you need to know, sir?"

"First, Harry, we have to tell you this. The aurors found a house elf locked in a closet at the scene of the massacre," Dumbledore said gently. "He said the group had captured a few wild magical creatures and were torturing them for fun. He had hidden because the harpies were scaring him."

Harry laughed. "Harpies? My bet was on veelas," he said with a shrug.

"They had one of those as well," McGonagall told him. "There were over twenty creatures in that house that night by the elf's story." She patted him on the hand. "How are the reporters treating you?"

"Just fine. A few have asked why it wasn't me. I reminded them I was in school that day and I was just happy it was someone. Or something," he said with a shrug and another short grin. "Is that going to be released?"

"It is, it's coming out tomorrow." Dumbledore cleared his throat. "His body was claimed."

"Who would want it?" Harry asked.

"We're not allowed to know," McGonagall said stiffly. "Therefore we want you to keep all the information you have and store it." He nodded quickly. "Good boy." She gave him a pat on the wrist. "You don't want to be an auror?"

"The only reason I wanted to be an auror was because I needed to be on the front lines of the fight," Harry pointed out gently. "Since I don't need to fight right now, I'd rather be somewhere reporters couldn't get to me, I'm not famous enough to garner special treatment, and I can't be accused of trying to use my fame to get things. Besides, I kind of like the little critters. Dragons means I can still fly."

"You could play pro," she offered.

He shook his head. "Not according to the person I talked to last year."

"Oh." She shrugged. "I'm sorry, Harry."

He grinned. "I like the flying part. The sport itself was more because I could be me up there and I could be known for doing something really well, not something I'm used to. Besides, Charlie said there's a try-out next year sometime. Ron and I are both signing on for a one-year trial if they'll let us."

"Good," Dumbledore agreed happily. "Are you leaving over the holidays?"

"Only if they want to do a lecture series or something," Harry told him. "Isn't Charlie here yet?"

"They're due in about an hour," she informed him. "Do you have any questions?"

He looked at her. "Would it be all right if learned the animagus things now?" She looked shocked. "You told me I couldn't before because it was too dangerous. I'd like to try. Ron would too by the way."

"Fine. I'll have the materials you'll need to study sent to you," she said, giving him a slight smile. "Remember, even when you are out in the middle of the woods in Romania, you are still a favorite student of mine, Harry."

He laughed. "Be honest," he told her, leaning over to gently kiss her on the cheek. "I know very well if I had been anyone else you would have kicked my butt out by my third year." He stood up and nodded, walking out so he could go back to class.

"He has a point," McGonagall sighed.

"I'm sure we still would have made allowances. After all, we didn't kick out the Weasley twins," Dumbledore said gently. "Besides, if he wasn't himself, then he wouldn't have had to get into so much trouble," he said with a smile. "Yes, the boy has grown up," he sighed. "I shall miss him while he's away."

"He'll be coming back?"

"One day Hagrid will have to retire," he pointed out. "Who better to teach than him? Plus, by then he should be out from under this affliction and we'll be able to make sure his line continues, just in case."

She shook her head. "Let him be, Albus. Let him have a normal life with few worries for a while. Even if someone pulls off the impossible, it will be harder for him to find minions this time." She stood up. "I'd better write the auror academy and tell them that Harry doesn't want to go after all, that he sees no need for it now. I'll let him read it later." She walked out, letting him play in the dynastic universe in his mind.


Charlie smiled as Harry and his baby brother walked in together, patting them on the back. "Boss, this is Ron and Harry there," he said, pointing at them. "They want to follow in my glorious footsteps and keep troubles like Bert safe and well."

The boss looked at them, paying particular attention to Harry. "I'm sure Ron can do the work, young man, what can you bring to our humble little preserve?"

"Top ratings in Magical Creatures, mostly top ratings in Herbology, adequate ones in Potions, and a slight advantage of knowing more stunning and freezing spells than anyone recently?" he suggested with a smile. The boss laughed, clapping him on the back. "Not to brag or anything," he added with a grin.

Charlie nudged him. "You pompous git," he said with a grin of his own. "Not modest at all, are you?"

"No," Harry said smugly. "Not according to many people."

Ron rolled his eyes. "He's hiding something, Charlie, make him tell me."

Harry looked at him. "If I did, you'd throw a fit and it'd look bad," he said dryly.

The boss looked at them. "I can pretend not to hear anything."

Harry shrugged and looked at Charlie, who also shrugged, so he looked at Ron. "Someone actually claimed Voldemort's body from the morgue," he said. Ron blinked a few times and slowly sat down in the chair Charlie put behind him. "So I was warned to store all the stuff we've done, become paranoid like Moody, and keep practicing."

Ron shook his head. "That sucks, mate."

"It does," Harry agreed, "but I figure I can do that *and* have a normal life." He grinned suddenly. "Though I was asked why I wasn't trying to sign onto a team."

"Because tryouts are next year?" Charlie suggested. Harry nodded. "Don't worry, we'll give you a day off for that most likely."

"Cool. I can fly down there, right?"

"It's still the easiest way to get around," Charlie quipped. "I do it at least twice a week. We even get some pickup games going sometimes. We've got a few former beaters working in the woods with us."

"Cool." Harry looked at Charlie's boss. "Can we do a one year trial period? Ron thought it might be possible. That way we can see if we're good at the work and you'll have enough time to get all the funny ideas out of our heads."

"I usually prefer those sort of trials," the boss agreed, looking at Ron, who nodded quickly. "Are you sure, young man? I know you've been working with the one here, but most dragons aren't that calm, cuddly, or odd."

Ron shrugged. "I've seen Charlie's singe marks and all that stuff. To be truthful, it was yours or Bill's job and I think the idea of being enclosed in little spaces like he is to be nasty and grave-like."

"All right then. Let me give you both the introductory packets," he said, handing them over with a smile. "I will be back just after Valentine's Day to talk to both of you. In there is a small research paper you'll have to write on your own time so you know what the job entails. I'm sure you could probably get some credit for it with your Creature's teacher."

"Hagrid's a sweetie," Charlie agreed. "Loves his animals."

"Why isn't he doing this then?" the boss asked.

"Hagrid had an unfortunate incident," Charlie admitted. "Norbert came from him."

"Ah!" He nodded. "I understand. That one's enough to put anyone off dragons." He caught Harry and Charlie's look. "What?" he asked patiently.

"Hagrid got accused of something and his wand was taken from him," Harry said quietly. "He's very good with all creatures, but he tends to like the more deadly ones."

"Yeah, put him with the nastiest of the nasty and he considers them friends, even spiders," Ron agreed. "I love the guy though," he said with a shrug. "He's a good friend."

"He is," Harry agreed quickly, nodding. "I love the guy. He's always been like family to me but I'm not looking forward to his lessons on manticores at all."

"Manticores?" Ron asked.

Harry nodded. "Spring term. Along with a Boobrie, a Cusith, a Makara, a Roc, and a Yara-ma-yha-who according to the syllabus." Ron looked confused. "They're in the book," he said with a grin.

Ron looked at his brother. "Huh?"

The boss laughed. "At least he's smart enough to know when to ask questions, unlike some," he said staring down Charlie. Charlie gave him a cocky grin. "Don't worry, only four of those will eat you, boys. Isn't the last a vampire-like creature?"

"According to the book, it's a blood sucker through the suckers on its fingers and toes, then it swallows the person whole, but then spits it back up a few hours later. The person loses some height and eventually turns into a forest animal if they're caught repeatedly." He looked at Ron. "Speaking of which, I asked McGonagall about the animagus stuff. She said it's not too dangerous for us anymore."

"Cool," Ron breathed. "What were the others?"

"Let's see if I remember these," Charlie said, looking at the ceiling. "The Boobrie was a water bird that liked Scottish salt water. The Roc was a giant bird. The Makara was a half animal-half fish creature that needed a lot of room to swim; ours was part hippo but the tradition was part elephant. What was the other, Harry?"

"The Cusith."

"I don't remember that one," he said, looking at his boss. Who shrugged.

Harry beamed. "I had to look them all up when I read it over last night. The Cusith is a dark green hound with a braided tail that's supposed to round up women for the fairy folk so they could be used as wet nurses. There's talk about us getting a Safat too, a bird who never lands and lays eggs in mid air."

"Isn't madness supposed to come from the shells?" the boss asked. Harry nodded. "Then I guess you guys were right, he is an interesting teacher." He smiled at them. "I can't promise we've only got dragons, but most of the rest of the creatures won't come near a human. You'll be as safe as we can make you." He looked at them. "You two got any questions?" They shook their heads. "Then I do have to give you one piece of advice. If you turn into a creature at will, we can't really hire you on."

"I still say that's not fair," Charlie told him. "Animagus are only really clever wizards."

"I know, but I didn't make that rule and I can't break it."

"So if we do, and we register, we're excluded automatically?" Harry asked.

The boss nodded. "Yeah, basically," he said with a grin, understanding what Harry had just asked. "The people who own the property are a bit odd like that but what can you do? We'd have to find a really powerful group and have them create us a spot otherwise."

"Or spend some of the donations we get on land somewhere safer," Charlie put in. His boss looked at him. "I thought I showed you that ad." His boss shook his head. "Oh, man." He hit himself on the head. "There's an estate up for grabs. The late wizard Robertson just gave up and croaked. He was in tax debt because he refused to pay them on the grounds that he thought they were unfairly levied against him for studying the Dark Arts. It's a steal and he's got a lot of properties around the world. We could get off that donated land and move to a larger place. Hell, his place in Albania is four times the size of the present preserve, not to mention the one in the Peruvian highlands and the whole island in the South Pacific, somewhere near the Northern Mariana Islands. That one's a bit of an ecological disaster and he promised to rehabilitate the land, but he's got like seven properties besides those. It's going up next week at Christies. If we do get it, I want the one in Azerbaijan. It's on the sea coast and it's supposed to be really pretty if we can clean up the pollution issues."

"Shit," the boss sighed. "When did you hear about this?"

"Last night while I was going through your overdue mail."

The boss frowned at him. "I've been busy, you know we're short handed."

"I know, but think about what we could do with all that space. They were predicting it'd go for about ten to twenty million pounds. If we bought it, we could break up the one island and sell it to the people who want to rehab it. We could use the rest of the space to sort it out by species. You know we've had to turn away a few that won't do well in our winter."

The boss nodded, looking down at the desk. "How would we get that much money?"

"We've got that much in the funds," Charlie told him quietly. "The donation fund for our expansion." The boss looked at him. "We do, your last memo to the board, that I helped you write, said so."

"I'll check. Is that the wizarding part of Christies?" Charlie nodded. "Well." He smiled.

Harry coughed. "If not, I might be able to kick a little in. I'm not fabulously wealthy, but I've got a few dollars stashed away and you're a better way to blow it than on chocolate frogs." Ron looked at him and Harry wasn't sure if Ron wasn't going to start crying 'heresy' at him or not.

Ron shook himself. "You might ask Dumbledore for help too," he put in. Charlie looked at him funny. "Make it a way for some seventh years to get some practice over a summer internship or something?" he suggested. "For those who want to do the work but don't know how to get into it? Not everyone has a big brother that works with the beasties."

"True," Charlie agreed, looking at his boss. He grinned. "Besides, the guy owned a theme park in Texas. That should have paid for nearly everything but he blew his money on stupid stuff, like renting out a state for his hundredth birthday celebration."

"How old did he live to be?" Ron asked.

"Ninety-six. He paid for it in advance and his will stated he didn't want the money back," Charlie told him with a shrug. "At least pop around and talk to them, boss. Think about all we can do."

"Okay!" he said firmly. "You nag like a woman sometimes, Charlie Weasley."

"He gets it from Mum," Ron agreed dryly. "It's where he was the good one for most of his life, until the prat came along."

Charlie snorted. "Not even close. It was because she had to nag me and Bill to be good all the time. Unlike the twins, we listened," he said, giving Ron a fond look.

"Hey, after the twins, I was virtually ignored because she didn't think I could cause more trouble than them," Ron reminded him happily. "Ginny and I get away with a tremendous amount of shit that you wouldn't have."

Charlie laughed. "Like the flying car?"

"Yeah, I only got a howler," Ron said smugly. "Mum would have killed you or Bill, but being after the twins made it not see that bad I guess."

Harry snorted. "Your mother knows you could never measure up because after Percy the twins seemed even worse than they were."

Charlie and Ron both laughed. "Yup," they agreed.

The boss shook his head. "I'm so glad I only have a sister," he said, sending a silent prayer up at the ceiling. "Okay. That's all from you two. You can chat later. I'm leaving Charlie here until we have to take Bert back. Get those essays done and I'll collect them in February. Did you tell anyone else we were going to be here?" he asked Charlie.

"No, but we did," Ron told him. "A few of the younger kids wanted to talk to you guys I think." He shrugged. "We never get real people from real jobs here."

"Yeah, we only get pamphlets and talked to by the teachers," Harry agreed.

The boss nodded. "If we can pull this off, we'll definitely be up here recruiting. We'll need the extra people to move everything." He looked at Charlie. "Where did this information come from?"

"Their notice of sale. I laid it in the middle of your desk."

"Charline cleaned."

"Ah." He nodded. "The old, odd people's daughter would take that away. I think it said the guy's name was Charlie something or other." He shrugged. "Not a clue." He looked at the boys. "Go ahead back to class, you'll be seeing me soon enough." They nodded and left. "So?"

"I think they'd both do great. You were right, Potter doesn't use his fame to get things."

"Harry's an odd little duck," Charlie admitted, scratching his head over an older scarred spot. "His guardians are bastards. The boy doesn't really like people because everyone watches him, like you did, but he likes Ron. Leaving them together is probably the best thing possible. Plus, Harry's got other skills that could be put to good use. If you look, he's a treat at Charms and Transfiguration." The boss nodded. "Just think about him working out of the healer's tents. Plus, Ron's got the nurturing instinct in the family, that's why he took to Harry so fast. Their first day, on the train and all that, and they were best friends because Ron didn't make a big deal about who he was. Put them on nursery duty at first. They might not be able to handle the breaking, but the watching jobs and the nursery things are all them."

"Sure, Charlie. Why would you want to go to Azerbaijan? I'd have thought Peru would be more to your tastes."

"I thought it'd be warmer there," he said with a shrug. His boss nodded. "No?"

"Nope, not really. It's between Iran and the Ural mountains." Charlie shuddered. "We'll see what we can do. Would you feel funny working over top of those two?"

"Not in the least," Charlie told him. "Ron and I aren't that close, but I can give orders and he'll take them. He'll argue with anybody who tries to give him ones he thinks are dumb. Oh." He grinned. "Ron's got a side hobby he wants to take up. He's into poking holes in things."

"Such as..."

"His nipple. His belly button. Harry's got one somewhere too," he said with a grin. "Ron wants to learn how to do that and how to tattoo."

"Well." He blinked a few times. "Doesn't that hurt your nipple?"

"Ron says it feels good," he said with a shrug. Someone opened the door and he smiled at the fourth year Hufflepuff female. "Come on in, we only eat food around here." She laughed at the joke and waked in to ask about what they did.


Charlie looked up as Harry ran over and hugged him. "What did I do to deserve that?"

"My nerve damage went down some today," he said happily. "Madam Pomfrey said it was twenty percent less worse."

"Congrats. Why do you have nerve damage?" Charlie asked, looking slightly confused.

Harry blushed. "Bill never told you?"

"Nope." He patted the ground and Harry slid down beside him. "Does this have something to do with your piercing? I remember overhearing Ron say something to Bill about it working. It seemed odd at the time."

"I have priapism," Harry told him. Charlie shuddered. "You're the first one outside of the nurse and Snape who knew what that was without me having to explain it," he said happily. "Basically, it's from the cruciatuses I've taken, I get nerve seizures. They simply freeze and don't tell the blood vessels to undilate or to let the blood back out. So I got pierced because it not only anchors the cockring spell, but it aggravates the nerve when I get hard and helps it go back down faster. But now, with the damage going back down, I might be able to be a normal guy and get laid soon," he finished happily.

Charlie clapped him on the back. "I'm happy for you, Harry. Why didn't they put you on medicine to dilate your blood vessels the other way?"

"Because I'm active in sports and they tried it for a few days, but a paper cut bled for nearly an hour," he admitted. "When I had my second one that wouldn't go down I snuck out to the doctor on my national health card. He did the tests, put me on medicine, but it made me bleed too much, so he took me off it and I went searching for magical means." He shrugged.

"The spell and the potion," Charlie said. Harry nodded. "Do they work?"

"I've only had four bad one so far this year and only two where the nurse had to intervene."

"Congrats then. I hope you find someone who makes you want to get hard for the right reasons." He gave him a grin. "Ron?"

"Keeps telling me he'll help me figure out what two guys get out of being together," Harry told him. Charlie burst out laughing, nodding. "Yeah, I thought so too." Harry leaned closer. "Did you know we had orgies here?" he asked quietly. Charlie nodded again. "I didn't until Ron told me," he said with a frown. "You'd think that all the sneaking around I did I would have found them by now."

"The room's shielded. Only those who have gained permission from the person who does the locking spells can find the room." He clapped him on the back, deciding he liked this addition to the family. Harry definitely made life interesting sometimes. "Have you told Ron yet?"

"Nah, I'm supposed to be in class," Harry said with a naughty grin. "Hey, Charlie, can I drop out now and still come work with you guys?"

"Sorry. Graduation is required by us," he said with a faint smile. "Not that it keeps out some of the dumber jocks, but it helps weed them a bit by giving the people who do interviews a reason to make them go away." He nudged him as Bert took a running leap and landed across their laps. "Hi, Bert," he sighed.

Harry hugged his half of the dragon, around the middle. "Hi, Bert. We've missed you. Even Ron has." Bert looked back at him and wiggled, seeming to grin. "Yeah, I know you like Ron too. We'll bring him out tonight if you want." He looked at Charlie. "If we do, we'll have to watch him, right?"

"I doubt he'd go for anyone else, he's picked the mate he wants."

"Dragons don't do it for stress relief?"

"No, most animals don't. Only people, Harry."

"Cool. Another insult I can level at certain blond prats." He winked and got out from under the dragon, but Bert pounced him again. "Okay, I'll stay. I won't go to Charms." Bert licked him on the neck and settled down on his back, kneading him with all six legs. "You are better than a massager, Bert. Thank you."

Charlie laughed. "There's something to be said about a human doing it, but that's really more for when you've got a lover doing it for you."

Professor Flitwick stomped out and glared at him. "You have a test today, Mr. Potter. You may not skip my class or I will fail you."

Harry looked up at him, giving him a look. "Sorry, sir. I came out to check on the dragon after my checkup in the infirmary and forgot."

Flitwick noticed the dragon was standing on him, moving. "Is he stomping on you? Are you hurt?" he asked, glaring at Charlie. "Why aren't you stopping him?"

"It's okay, Professor, he's kneading," Harry offered.


"Like a cat," Harry said as he got free, but Bert pounced him again, kneading him some more. "Bert, I've got to go take a test, big guy." Bert leaned over and purred in his ear, going back to his kneading. "Professor, can you just give me detention and let me do it tonight?" Harry offered. Flitwick shook his head. "I didn't think so. Charlie?"

"You'll have to learn how to deal with this yourself if you're going to work with dragons," he said fondly, smiling at the professor. "Give him a mo to figure it out. Try changing positions, Harry."

Harry flipped over under the dragon, looking up at him. "Bert, I'll let you walk all over me later," he said, giving him a head scratch. "For right now though, I've got to go with the nice professor and take a test. Then I'm all yours for the rest of the afternoon since I've got the other section of Herbology today and all Neville wanted was to take my blood. Okay?" Bert leaned down and bumped noses with him. "I promise I'll be right back."

"Get off," Charlie sighed, hauling the dragon off him. "Get up, Harry. He doesn't bargain well." Harry stood up and scratched the baby gently. "Go, he'll be fine with me." He rolled his eyes as soon as Harry turned around, delighting the professor. "He'll learn fast enough, most dragons don't do reason well." Flitwick giggled as he walked Harry inside.

Harry slid into his seat and shrugged at Ron. "Later," he mouthed. He took his test and the special quill, starting work on the material he hadn't really read yet. He could do the practical but the theory was stumping him this year. When they were done, he found Ron waiting on him and nudged him. "It's down twenty percent."

"Congrats!" Ron said happily, hugging and thumping him on the back. "That's great news, Harry!" He grinned. "Did you get some Bert pouncing in?"

"He was kneading my back when Professor Flitwick came out to remind me of the test," Harry agreed, walking Ron toward the greenhouses. "Tell Neville I'll be out here." He walked over to the burrow and looked inside. No dragon. He looked around, frowning. No dragon. "Hagrid?" he called, noticing him close by. "Did Charlie take Bert?"

Hagrid walked over. "No, he's lookin' for the little guy right now. He escaped 'bout four minutes ago I think." He grinned. "Maybe you should help since he likes you so much."

"Yeah, I probably should," Harry agreed, giving him a smile. "Thanks, Hagrid." He jogged to the greenhouses and inside. It was a joint Slytherin class again this year. "Pansy, stay in here," he ordered. She sneered at him. "Bert's gotten free." She turned pale and wavered, but Goyle caught her. "Sorry. Ron, Charlie's looking for him." He looked at the teacher. "May Ron and I be excused to help his brother look for the dragon?"

"Of course," she said, smiling at him. "Give us a moment to take some blood for Mr. Longbottom's project?" Harry nodded and let Hermione do it for Neville, she was faster. Once they had a small bag of it, he followed Ron out, meeting up with Charlie in the entry of the school. "Any luck?"

"Harry, you're bleeding," Charlie noted, handing him a rag. He watched as Harry tied up his arm. "What's wrong?"

"Neville's doing a bloodroot for a project," Ron told him. "Where haven't we looked?"

"I looked around Charms, around the sex ed classroom, and around where they've been putting Pansy at night," Charlie admitted. "That leaves everywhere else."

Harry grimaced. "Okay, Ron, you do Gryff just in case he wanted your bed again and the kitchen. Charlie, you do Potions since Snape hates me and the dungeons. I'll do this floor." They nodded and headed off, Harry going to the bathroom first. No little dragon in there. He checked each room that didn't have a class in it, figuring that if he were in a class there would be screaming and it'd be easier to find him. He moved up to the second floor, going toward the sex ed classroom, and found a larger room with a nest set up. He frowned and looked around. "Hey, Dobby?" he called quietly. Sunny popped in, one of the other house elves. "I need you to show Charlie Weasley this room," he told him. "We think this is where the dragon's escaping to at nights." She nodded, looking fearful. "Don't worry, he's not hungry," he said with a smile. "Have you seen him in the last little while?" She nodded. "Where, Sunny? It's very important we find him before he gets hurt."

"He in big scary room," she said, taking his hand and leading him down there, opening the door for him. He found the dragon laying on the floor. "He hurt?" she asked as Harry hurried to check him. "We put him in here away from things."

Harry looked at her. "I need Snape and I need Charlie. Can you please get them?" She nodded and hurried out, leaving the door open. "Hey, Bert," he said calmly. The dragon growled at him. "I know, it hurts, but I'm going to try and fix it, okay?" He lit his wand, then found a candle and lit it instead. "There, some light to work with," he said soothingly. He saw the wound and frowned. "I wish you could talk, Bert. I'd like to know who stabbed you." He heard running footsteps and looked over his shoulder. "Hey, boss. He was stabbed."

"Shit!" He bent down to pick up the dragon, narrowly missing being bitten. "Stop that, we're trying to help. Harry, muzzle him." Harry looked at him. "I know it's not nice, but animals bite when they're in pain and dragons, for being smart, are still animals."

"Sorry, Bert," Harry said as he wrapped a magical band around the dragon's snout. "I had a house elf send for Charlie."

"Good. Let's get him into the hall." He blew out the candle as he walked past it, letting Harry kick the door shut. Charlie and Snape both came. "The kid's right, he was stabbed."

Snape looked at the wound. "There's no bleeding," he noted.

Harry touched it. "His skin's ice cold."

Charlie pulled out his little kit and stuck the thermometer under the dragon's tail, making him flinch. "Sorry, Bert, but you know the rules. Was the room cold, Harry?" Harry shook his head, taking off the rag and using a clean part to touch the edges of the wound. "What are you doing?"

"Seeing if there's congealed blood. If not, isn't a leeching potion the bigger problem?" Harry asked.

Charlie nodded. "Good point, kid." He looked up as Ron came running. "He was stabbed."

"Well, fuck me," Ron said angrily. He got down and held the dragon's head in his lap. "Don't worry, we'll fix you right up, Bert. You're a good diamondback viper dragon and we won't lose you." Charlie smiled at him. "What? He's like a little kid to me some days, like some demented third year or something."

Charlie laughed. "I feel the same way about you some days, Ron. You keep doing that. Harry, shift over some, okay? Let Snape get in there?" Harry shifted over, handing him things when he demanded from the bag he had carried down. Charlie removed the thermometer and looked at it. "Fifteen and a half degrees lower than it should be," he announced.

Harry waved his wand. "Thermanis," he hissed. A warm cloud of air wrapped around the dragon's back. "How's that?"

"Good," Charlie admitted, surprised. "Where did you learn that?"

"Quidditch practices under Oliver. It comes in handy after a rainy practice," he said with a short grin. He touched the wound. "It's sunken in."

"It is," Snape agreed, once again inserting something. He pulled out a piece of metal and tossed it aside. "We'll deal with that in a moment." He pulled his wand and slowly healed the inner wounds. "That's as much as I can do," he announced. "He'll need a more dragon-oriented healer to do more than merging the torn flesh." He stood up and looked at Harry. "You found a nest?" Harry nodded. "Where?"

"The second floor, just above the Great Hall, but off to the left side," he said. "Sunny the house elf knows where I found it, I told her to find Charlie and show him before she told me where he was."

"Fine." He picked up the piece of metal carefully, taking it and his bag back to his classroom.

Ron looked at Charlie. "The infirmary?"

"I doubt she'd let us," Charlie said dryly.

"Yay, he's injured."

"Ron, Madam Pomfrey doesn't want him in there because he might snap," Harry said gently. "Charlie, can we take care of him in Gryff?"

Charlie looked at his boss, who shrugged. "At least it's mostly clean, being a guy's dorm and all."

"It's pretty clean," Ron defended. "Hermione keeps going on cleaning binges and makes us clean our own rooms."

"She's still on her elf rights kick," Harry told him. "She's sparing the house elves having to pick up Dean's underwear." He looked down at the wound. "It's still pretty big. I'll leave it up to you guys, Charlie."

"Doesn't your teacher have an infirmary for the animals?"

"That's usually called the spot in front of his fire," Ron told him.

"Harry, go ahead and remove the warm air," Charlie ordered. Harry canceled the spell. "Good job. Boss, I think Gryffindor would be more comfortable overall. If not, we could move the boys down to a special room and keep the dragon in there."

"The blokes in our room don't care if he's in there," Ron assured them.

"Yeah, but he's injured and sore dragons have tempers," Charlie's boss told them. "They do things like bite and hiss and spit venom. He won't be like he was last week for a few more days at the least."

Ron looked at Harry. "You think we could be given a special room?" Harry shrugged. So Ron yelled this time. "Headmaster?" he called out. McGonagall came a few moments later. "Gee, he gets the Headmaster," he said dryly.

"He's on an important call," she said primly. She looked at the wound. "Oh, my. Who did that?"

"We don't know yet," Harry told her. "We're looking at how to treat him right now, Professor."

"Sick dragons bite," Ron told her. "Madam Pomfrey already doesn't want him and Hagrid doesn't have the space in front of his fire with the unicorn being ill and shedding parts of her horn."

She pursed her lips. "You want to take up space in your rooms?"

"No, because he might bite," Harry told her. "Is there anywhere else we can stay with him for a bit? Charlie'll need a room anyway."

"They're used to indoors and he's toilet trained," Charlie offered, giving her a hopeful look. "We'll do a charm to keep him inside the room."

She sighed. "Fine. There is one. Bring him this way, boys." She walked away, leading them to a small guest suite nearby. "Mr. Potter and the younger Mr. Weasley may stay for as long as the dragon needs them, but they are to spend most of their time in the tower still," she ordered. The boys nodded and grinned at her. "I'll have Poppy send down bandages and things that might help." She went to talk to the school's nurse, giving her the information. Then she went to tell Dumbledore, who seemed impressed that they cared enough not to have put it down immediately.


Harry rushed into dinner, giving Hermione a look. "Someone stabbed Bert earlier, Ron and I are taking shifts to take care of him," he said as he loaded up two plates. "We're in the second floor guest room, the one with the flower picture in front of it with that old woman in the rocking chair." She nodded as she watched him. "Thanks. The house elves were all busy and we're too tired and messy to go raid the kitchen." He smiled at her. "Figure out who stabbed the dragon if you can? Oh, and we've got news so come down tonight."

She nodded again, watching as he ran back out. She looked at Ginny. "Did you get most of that?"

Ginny laughed. "Yup, sure did. They're in the second floor guest room with the rocking chair woman and the flowers because someone stabbed the dragon." Hermione scowled. "Plus, they've got news so they need your presence after you help figure out who did it." She picked up her glass of juice to sip. "He said they would have raided the kitchen but he thinks he's dirty at the moment. Which he was kind of grungy, a little. I guess."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "I'm betting Ron's worse then." She refilled her plate. "How would one find out how stabbed a dragon?"

"Hermione, are you feeling all right?" Neville asked. "Usually by now you'd be running for the library."

"I'm perfectly fine," she said firmly, staring him down.

Neville stood up and went to the top table. "Professor McGonagall, Harry just told Hermione that Bert was stabbed and asked her to find out who." She nodded, expecting that. "She's not running for the library yet. She asked Ginny how to find out who."

McGonagall took one last bite and came down to drag the girl up to the infirmary to be checked over. There had to be something wrong with her. Poppy quickly found the charm and released the girl, and they watched as she ran out, sobbing tears for the poor dragon. She smiled at the nurse. "That's better," she noted, walking out to go back to dinner. She smiled at the Headmaster. "All solved," she announced as she ate. "You might want to find out who cast the stultifying hex," she told him.

The Headmaster scowled at Draco. "Malfoy, come here please," he called quietly. The boy stood up and walked up to stand in front of him. "A hex was cast earlier that could only have come from a much harder charms book than most students know exist. Was it you?" he asked blandly.

Draco shook his head. "Not that it isn't a good idea, but I haven't touched Granger recently." McGonagall's eyebrow started to arch. "It was rather obvious when you dragged her out of here and the gossip going around. Which one?"

"Stultifying," she said coolly. "It is not allowed in the school, Mr. Malfoy."

He nodded. "Of course not. Though it was rather clever of whomever. It's her worst fear come to light," he said with a smile as he went back to his seat.

She grimaced. "For once he didn't do it," she said in amazement.

"I know, but then who did and who stabbed the dragon?" Dumbledore asked, both of them looking down at Snape. "Did you find the culprit earlier?" he asked.

Snape nodded. "I've found the knife but it was discarded in the trash in the third floor girl's bathroom. Why?"

"Stultifying hex," McGonagall told him.

Snape's lips pursed. "I haven't seen that one executed since Mr. Crabbe's father did it on James Potter," he said, looking down at the boy. "Crabbe," he snapped, making him look away from watching Pansy. "Here, now," he ordered, pointing at the spot in front of him. Crabbe walked up and stood at attention, staring over his shoulder. "Was it your knife?" he asked. Crabbe shook his head. "Was it Goyle's knife?"

"No, sir," Crabbe said honestly.

"Was it you who hexed Ms. Granger?" Dumbledore asked. Crabbe looked at him. "Answer me," he ordered.

"I'll wait in your office, sir, so you can call my parents while I'm questioned," he said stiffly, walking away. Draco looked surprised but quickly erased it from his face. "I'll see you later, I hope," he said quietly as he gathered his books. "Wish me luck." He headed up to the Headmaster's office, going to wait in there.

Dumbledore finished his dinner, not going any faster. The wait would only scare the boy more.


Hermione knocked and was let into the recovery room, smiling at the boys. "Hi. Sorry about earlier, Harry."

He shrugged. "I figured you were thinking," he said with a faint grin. "How did someone like Crabbe learn that hex?"

"It's all over the school," Charlie said helpfully when she looked confused. "One of the house elves told us."

She grimaced. "He said it was a favorite of his father's. He had been taught it to use on Draco. It seems he used it a lot on Draco." She walked over to look down at the wound Ron was carefully cleaning. "That looks nasty," she noted, handing over a book on herbal cures. "Here, for his healing." She sat down and waited until Harry had found one and handed it to Charlie. "What sort of news did you have?"

"Two things, and one's good," he said, smiling at her. "My nerve test today came out with twenty percent less damage."

"Congratulations, Harry," she said happily, smiling at him. "Now what's the bad news?"

"Someone claimed Voldie's body from the morgue," Ron said bitterly. "We're not sure what's going on."

She nodded. "I thought it had to do with him. Of course, the box is still under my bed. I was going to take it home during the holidays." She pulled something out of her pocket and tossed them to Ron. "Would those do?"

He handed Harry the cloth and looked at the needles and the earrings. "Definitely." He looked at her. "Do we really need this? It's only a possibility."

"There's only four in there, Ron. Enough for the three of us, and one for someone if we find a mate." Ron grinned at her. "If necessary, we can use the DA coins or something. We should put around a warning."

"The Ministry will shit bricks," Harry told her. "Big, shiny, smelly adobe bricks." She giggled and Charlie laughed from where he was putting together a poultice. He looked at her. "Are you sure you want to do that?" She nodded. "It'll create more stress."

"Better to be stressed than to go through this a third time. Do we know who took the body?"

"No one's saying," Ron sighed. He looked at her. "I've been reading on how to do ears and talking with the guy in town. He taught me how to do all the possible ear positions. I can do ours tonight." She perked up. "Harry, where do you want yours?"

"Next to my dragon," he said quietly, putting a new pad onto the wound and tying it down. "There, that's enough for now probably," he told the baby dragon. It snuffled at him and he removed the band, getting down to hug him. "I'm sorry it hurts and we have to tie you down, Bert, but you're dangerous when you're in pain." He stroked the beast's chin, making him purr slightly. "Give us a few more days and you'll start to feel like your old self." He scratched the area above the wound, earning a growl, so he quit. "That's fine, whenever you're ready, big guy. I'll be on the couch if you want to cuddle." He shifted until he was sitting again and looked at her. "I'm not against telling everyone, but I think it'd panic them unnecessarily. I'd like more information before we go to the group."

"That's fine, Harry. I'm sure we'll figure that out soon enough," Ron agreed. He looked at Hermione. "Since you don't have a date, I don't have a date, and Harry's still refusing to date, should we go to the ball together?"

She laughed. "Who said I don't have a date?" she teased gently. He glowered at her, making her laugh harder. "I don't, Ron, but you assume so much about me."

"That's because we're always together," Ron reminded her. "I knew you weren't seeing anyone." Hermione blushed. "Really?" he asked, grinning at her.

"You and Ginny?" Harry asked. She looked shocked and he shrugged. "You're always around us," he reminded her again. "Some of us notice these things."

Ron frowned at him. "Bastard. Why didn't you tell me?"

Charlie came out with a soaked cloth. "Her and Ginny?" he asked, looking at Hermione. "You'd better treat her right, or I'll sic the twins on you."

She laughed. "I'm sure I'll be a tragic figure when they're done, but I don't think we're serious." She watched as the boys applied the poultice then helped rebandage the dragon's side. "There," she said, kissing the dragon on the side of the snout. "You've been very good. You deserve a treat. What would you like?" He purred at her. "No, I can't get Pansy," she sighed. "Food I can do, maidens I can't." He shifted toward her. "I'm not that pure," she said with a smile. He slumped down again. "Would you like some hamburger?" The dragon purred again so she went to get some for him.

Ron looked at Harry. "I guess that means we'll be going together," he said dryly.

"Ron, I'm still not gay."

"True, I haven't taught you that yet," he said with an evil smirk. "Don't worry, we'll get to that once we're done with Bert's healing." Harry rolled his eyes and curled up on the couch. "Hmm, presenting yourself?" he teased.

"Smutty perv," Charlie said with a head shake. "Harry, don't let him talk you into it. He can't be that gentle with as often as he goes on about it. The more he brags, the less he knows." He gave Harry a pat as he walked past him. "I'm going to nap. Wake me before you guys fall asleep or if something happens." He closed his bedroom door. Then he opened it. "Ron, no sleeping with Harry in here, it'll give Bert hope that he'll get his girl." He closed the door again and locked it this time.

"Sure, take all my fun," Ron said sadly, shaking his head. Harry nudged him with his foot, making him grin. "Ready for your first lesson?"

"Ron, we can't do that in front of the dragon!" Harry said.

"Harry, it's not like he'll care. He's a dragon, they do it differently." He slid up beside his best friend and kissed him gently, then licked his lips. "You don't slobber, I like that about you." Harry punched him on the arm, making him grin again. "Ready for more?"

"Sure, why not," Harry sighed. "I haven't been snogged recently and at least then I'd know." He initiated this time, a little hesitantly, but slowly getting firmer. Then he noticed the dragon staring and pulled back to frown at him. "Don't watch," he complained. The dragon snuffled at him and shifted over to sit in his lap, curling up under his chin. "We adore you, Bert, but you're not getting anything more than cuddles from me." He scratched down the back gently. "See? I told you doing that around him was a bad idea."

Ron grinned and took the little dragon to hold. "Here, you cuddle me and Harry can rest against us, how about that?" he soothed, letting the dragon settle himself into his lap. Harry settled against his side with a yawn and they all got comfortable waiting on Hermione.


The time came as it did with every class for them to move on. McGonagall gave them one last lesson in 'safe and effective' sex and then released them, sighing in relief. She had decided long ago to have a drink after this particular year was done. Thankfully, Severus would b doing next year and she'd only have that one girl's-only class to teach for him. She watched as the students trotted out, paying particular attention to a certain redhead. "Mr. Weasley!" she said sharply, making him flinch. "What are you doing to that boy?"

He grinned at her. "Talking him into bed?" he lightly suggested.

"I'm sure he doesn't need your help making up his mind," she said, glaring at him. "You may not 'talk' people into your bed, they come because they want to."

Harry grinned at her. "It's okay. I still don't understand what two guys get out of it." She started to open her mouth and he held up a hand. "I doubt it's something you can clarify, Professor, don't worry about it. Ron's been promising to show me so I'd know, which is the only way to learn something like that, and we're setting a date for our next discussion."

She pursed her lips. "You will go to the infirmary and get some oil, Mr. Weasley. It's kept in a small cabinet in the back." He nodded. "You will use a lot of it. We still cannot risk either of you."

Ron laughed. "Trust me, I treat him like the national treasure he is," Ron promised with his most smug grin. He put a hand on Harry's back and walked him out, taking him to dinner. "I can't believe she'd think that of me," he groused, but he was still smiling so he wasn't too upset with her.

"Well, she did just get finished telling us how to be gentle and generous with our affections," Harry said with a grin for him. Ron winked at him and tried to kiss him but Harry ducked and jumped ahead, grinning back at him. "Brat," he said fondly.

Harry laughed. "All the time, why did it take you so long to notice?" He turned around in time to barely not run into Bill. "Hi, Bill. Come to see Charlie?"

"No, you," he said with a smile. "I'll send him on in a moment, Ron." Ron shrugged and left, heading in to stuff himself full. "How's your condition?" he asked as he led Harry off to an empty classroom.

"Getting better," Harry admitted as he looked at the older man. "I've got another test tomorrow to make sure the twenty percent less I showed up last time was real." He smiled. "The piercing may be able to handle the rest."

"Hmm." He faced the younger man, looking him over. "You are treating Ron correctly, right?"


Bill frowned. "Harry, we have to have this talk, it's either me or dad."

"Fine," he said, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms. "I treat Ron very well. Besides, we're not together that way. We're only together because he's bored and I wanted to know some stuff. He's still going out to meet his friends all the time and all that good stuff."

"Do you want him to stop that?"

Harry brayed a short laugh. "Why would I? Ron and I are best friends. We're doing the equivalent of fooling around." Ron burst in, panting. "What's wrong?" he asked, shifting mental gears to defensive. Something must have happened, Ron was red faced.

"Small attack in town," he panted, leaning on the doorway. "We're wanted, Harry."

"All right." He handed Bill his bag and took his wand, taking off his robe as he walked. "We'll talk after this, Bill." He and Ron ran out, heading down to help. They found the small skirmish and waded in to stop the few Death Eaters, who all looked fairly weak and sick, from hurting anyone else. It was a nasty fight and a few of the townspeople helping died, but only serious injuries happened on their side. During most of it, Ron and Harry were back-to-back, taking on anyone around them who dared come near their favorite teachers. Ron was responsible for Madam Sprout not being killed because he put up a quick reflector charm in front of her when someone cast at her by accident. Harry took a hex in the arm, but it would be fine with some treatment. Ron had a cut on him from a whip hex, but he was stoically managing not to scream in pain. The last Death Eater fell with a scream of triumph from Ron's wand and a small cheer went up. Harry and Ron leaned against each other while the bodies were checked, letting everyone see them as fine. Harry felt it was important to show they were fine so they were the last to be treated, only going when McGonagall and Snape both dragged them off. Lucius Malfoy was found among the dead, and the children were duly sent for so they could be told. The prison was called while McGonagall told the students, and then the aurors came and asked for reports from everyone. That's how Harry and Ron missed dinner, and most of breakfast the next morning. It was only Ron begging that finally got them food. When they were done, they gratefully trooped up to their rooms and flopped onto a bed, face down, and snored. They could wake up for dinner.


Hermione smiled as the boys came in. "You two are insane," she said, handing over a bowl of potatoes. Ron smiled as he sat down, taking most of the bowl's contents for his plate. "You're just now getting up?" she asked.

"We didn't get to bed until first class," Harry said through a yawn. "Tomorrow's going to be a bitch, I doubt I could sleep again right now." He accepted the food from Ron, smiling at him. "Wonder what we missed."

"You missed Draco Malfoy kicking his father's body so hard he broke his foot," Ginny told them. "Then he went to call his 'mommy mistress'.

"You missed McGonagall and Snape getting into it in the halls about you two fighting," Hermione added, smiling at Ginny.

"If you two kiss in front of us, I'm going to puke," Ron noted.

Neville leaned closer to Ginny. "You also missed the wonderful near shutdown of the school. The Ministry decided we had something to do with the remaining death eaters dying after they escaped from jail. Dumbledore about fried Fudge this time. He actually raised his wand then shook his head and walked off muttering to himself." Harry snorted at that. "That's why we have an auror here even now and he's glaring at you, Harry," he said with a discreet point.

Harry looked at the head table, noticing the man glaring at him and Ron. He nudged Ron, nodding at him, then they waved cheerfully, making the man choke on his present bite of food. They went back to their dinners. "I wonder if this is how the twins felt," he said lightly as he cut into his dinner.

Ron nodded. "Most likely. We'll have to ask them the next time we see them."

"When might that be?" Ginny asked.

"The holidays," Ron told her.

"Ah!" She grinned and looked at them. "Who are you two going to the dance with?" They shrugged. "No one in particular?"

"Not a chance," Ron snorted. "We're leaving for a year with Charlie this coming summer." She squealed and hugged him. "Thanks, Ginny. Now eat, you're already short enough, we can't let you shrink any more; mum would accuse me of washing you in hot water again." She giggled and dug into her dinner, subtly shifting closer to Hermione on the bench.

Hermione looked down at Neville. "Dear, move down so she can." Neville blushed and shifted back to his original spot, letting Ginny shift back. "Thank you, now I can move my arm." She gave a look to the boys. "Did Bill jump you both?"

"Only me," Harry said lightly. Someone up at the head table tapped a glass for attention so he shut up, not adding that he had told him off.

Dumbledore stood up. "Good evening, students. As you very well know, the Ministry has imposed a curfew on you tonight." Harry's snort of derision was clear in the quiet room, making Dumbledore smile at him. "We do ask that you follow it. It appears that there's one escapee that has not been caught so please be careful tonight."

"Is he going to check under our beds too?" one of the younger Gryffs called. The rest of the table laughed.

Hermione stood up. "He's right, Headmaster, for all that was a silly suggestion. We lived through enough to know our precautions. Let your Prefects handle the houses tonight."

He smiled. "That is a good suggestion, but one I cannot support, Ms. Granger. If I could," he said with a genteel wave of a hand at the auror, "I would." The students gasped. "There will be no harming him tonight or they'll send two next time," he said gently. "You will follow the curfew tonight."

Ron raised a hand, getting a nod. "What about those of us who have things we need to do? Like us helping with Bert?"

"Bert is fine," Hagrid told him. "Checked on him myself this afternoon." He grinned at him. "You and Harry could stay with Charlie tonight. There's room in there."

"Indeed," Dumbledore agreed.

"Not a chance in hell, sir!" one of the younger female Gryffs yelled. "If we're under attack, we're keeping Harry close by." The rest of the table nodded, supporting that idea. "We'll even take in Bert and Charlie for the night. He was one of us, he understands."

"That's fine," Dumbledore agreed.

The auror gave him a shocked look. "You allow that dragon around the students? He's a wild animal!"

Ron stood up. "Blow it out your bum, you stupid prick," he scoffed. He went on before anyone could chastise him for his manner of speaking. He just knew his mother was already writing out a howler so he might as well give her something to write about. "Bert's been inside the school before. He's followed us to class, been in Gryff before, and has generally made himself useful by scarfing any bits of food we're tired of. We even keep him away from the Slytherins." He sent a smug look at the gasp from the Ravenclaws. "It'd be nasty, dear, get over it already." He looked at the auror again. "If necessary, we can move Bert. He was in a better mood yesterday from what I remember."

Dumbledore nodded. "That would be fine, as long as you two and Charlie stayed right with him." They nodded. "Thank you. Do sit and eat. You haven't had food all day."

"That's what woke us up," Harry said with an impudent grin. He dug back into his meal as soon as he sat down, making sure Ron did the same.

"As noted, there is a curfew tonight that begins after dinner. We do not want anyone to violate it. We do have a means of finding out who is doing it tonight if the owner of that means will hand it over for tonight only." He caught Harry's glare. "That was not a request." He looked at the rest of the room. "The rest of you will be expected to spend a quiet night not torturing something." He sat down again, looking at the auror. "There, do you feel better now?" he asked in his most grandfatherly and soothing tone, cracking up a few of this teachers.

"Much. Who has this magical means of you seeing who is out of their tower?"

"Mr. Potter," McGonagall said. "I believe you'd better talk to the boy, Albus, he's looking a tad bit rebellious at the thought of giving it up."

"But he will," Dumbledore promised, smiling at her. He looked down at Harry, who flipped him off with a smile. "Oh, dear," he said, still smiling. "He's not in a good mood, is he?"

"No, he's not. I've never seen him do that to you before. Behind Severus' back, and my own when he thought I wasn't looking, but never yours." She smiled and pointed at the spot in front of her. "Now," she mouthed. He wiped his mouth and wandered up there, giving her a pleasant look that didn't reach the green flaming orbs in the least. How could any boy shoot that much hatred out of his eyes? "Mr. Potter, it will be in my personal possession all night," she said gently.

"If it's that useful," the auror started, but stopped when the glare/smile was turned on him.

"It only works on the school," Harry told him. "You're not touching my family's map." He looked at her again. "Mostly because I sent it off last week," he said with a smile. "I sent it to the bank."

"I'm sure you did," Albus said dryly. "Considering I know you used it last week."

"Yes, but it started to get a tear in a corner so I carefully put it in plastic and sent it off to the bank to see if they could fix it." He shrugged. "Sorry, sir." He went back to his seat, digging in again and talking with his friends.

McGonagall leaned over. "I believe he's having another episode, he only gets like that when he's in pain," she said gently.

"Hmm." Dumbledore looked down at Ron, nodding at him to take Harry upstairs when they were finished. Ron frowned at him and walked up there. "We noticed Harry seems to be in a bit of pain," he said quietly. "Take him upstairs to the infirmary after you're both done, young man."

"Sure." Ron went back to his seat and Harry sent another glare their way.

Dumbledore sighed. "I wish he had other problems."

"What sort of problems does he have?" the auror asked, more than loudly enough to be heard. Everyone in the hall looked at him, then at Harry, who shook his head.

One of the Slytherins decided to show their ass. "His piercing's probably a bit tight," he said meanly. "Going up again, Potter?"

Harry looked at him. "If I'm lucky, it'll go back down without anything like a charm to open the skin again," he agreed dryly. "Thank you for informing him, Zabini. I'm sure he's going to take great comfort from the knowledge of my piercing." He looked at Ron. "Want to show off yours if I have to show off mine?"

"No!" McGonagall said quickly. She glared at the auror. "Shut up, you idiot!" She stood up. "Mr. Potter and Weasley are released to go to the infirmary, go now," she ordered. They refilled their plates and took their dinners with them, Hermione and Ginny following. She looked around. "The nature of his piercing is not to be bandied about," she said calmly. "It's bad enough he had to get it. He's having another episode. Do stop discussing it now, thank you." She sat down again, glaring at the students.

"Why does that upset you so?" the auror asked, this time more delicately.

"Because Mr. Potter and his amazing pierced dick are troubling to most thinking people," she snapped. Albus patted her on the hand. "I'm sorry," she said, taking a few deep breaths. "I don't know what's come over me."

"He's broadcasting negative feelings to turn us against each other," Severus said from his end of the table. "That was probably also Mr. Potter's problem." He carefully ate another bite of food. "If he continues, I cannot promise that I won't retaliate sometime tonight, Headmaster. Fair warning."

Dumbledore tried to shake off the miasma of anger that was indeed flowing over him. He looked at the auror. "Leave. Now." The auror opened his mouth but he found it filled with a gag and he was sent shooting out of the room under the power of someone's wand.

"When and with who is my detention?" Hermione asked quietly, getting a lot of laughs. She looked at her head, whose eyes were very open. "I have a headache, ma'am, from them." She gently touched her new earring then went back to her dinner. She looked around the table. "Just because I did it doesn't mean you can," she ordered firmly. They smiled and chatted with their friends, the mood of the room rising again as the mental stink went farther and farther away. "That portkey spell is very powerful," she told Ginny conversationally.

Ginny nodded. "Really, really powerful. How's Ron doing?"

She concentrated on the small tickle that she felt from the earring. "He's disgusted I think." She shrugged. "Not a clue why."

"They're probably having to do a bloodletting again," McGonagall said from behind her. "Ms. Granger, that was most inappropriate."

Hermione smiled at her. "Harry's still a bit pissed, Professor. It's the link." McGonagall glared. "No?"

"No. My office, directly after dinner. That was uncalled for." She glanced around. "But very well done," she whispered. "Ten points." She went back to her seat, talking with the headmaster about what her punishment should be.


Ron looked at Harry, who was now recovered, and then at Hermione, who was sulking because she had gotten a week of detention with Snape for it. "I still say it was brilliant," he told her. He looked around. "Can we sneak out tonight?"

"Nothing's open," Harry pointed out dryly.

"Yeah, but that's not the point," Ron said with a grin. "We can be rebellious and show them that we know our own minds. We're not helpless first years anymore and can take care of ourselves." Ron grinned brighter. "Not that we didn't take care of ourselves in our first year. Besides, we haven't snuck out since I kidnaped you last year to make you give up that horrible, nasty distance you were putting between yourself and us, Harry. I want to sneak out," he whined. "Please?"

"Ron," Hermione said, glaring at him. She nodded at the little dragon watching them. "I think he'll need us more tonight."

"I'm all for a night on the town," Harry agreed, "but she's right, Bert needs us. Charlie entrusted us with his care."

Ron sighed and walked over to the room where Charlie was staying, pounding on the door. It opened and he pushed his brother back inside. "We're going out tonight to protest this unfair curfew. Do you want us to bring the dragon with us or not?"

Charlie burst out in giggles. "Good on you, Ron, I won't tell mum if she doesn't hear about it from the papers." He patted him on the shoulder. "Go, have fun, you'll have to start working soon enough. Make sure you don't get caught." Ron beamed and headed out, taking Harry and Hermione up to their room. "Oy, Bert," he called, bringing the dragon trotting into his room. "You're staying here, little guy. Curl up and help me read." He laid back down and the dragon curled up behind him, purring against his back as he nibbled at the fruitcake Charlie had found him. "Good boy, Bert." He scratched at the head as he went back to his book, until his arm got tired and he fell asleep a few minutes later.

When Bert noticed, he got his most sly look and he took his drunk butt out of the house, going to search for his woman. The dumb humans thought they could keep them apart, but he would show them! He started his summoning scents, bringing his woman to him.


Harry and Ron stumbled up from the hidden passage together, grinning at each other's hisses of pain. Hermione shook her head as she followed them up to their house, letting them in. She watched as they walked up the stairs, shuddering at what the boys had done to themselves this time. She decided she should at least try to take a nap, she wanted to be there when McGonagall caught them in the morning.


Dumbledore looked up as the doors opened, smiling at the Golden Trio as they walked in. "Did you have a good night?" he asked.

Ron looked at him. "Sure did," he said happily. "By the way, we got that other guy. The tattoo artist was nice enough to let him go first so he could be taken with his new artwork already in place after he followed us." He sat down and yelped, then slowly lowered his rear again. "Ow. Harry, we forgot the healing salve," he complained.

Harry nodded as he sat down too. "Yeah, we did," he agreed. He noticed the curious looks. "I took him to meet the guy who did my barbell because he said he wanted to learn," he told them. They all nodded and went back to their breakfasts.

"Potter!" Malfoy yelled as he walked in. "Where is Parkinson!"

Harry shrugged. "I don't know, where did you stash her this time?" he sneered. Draco's face went red and he guessed that Bert had escaped. "Hermione, my wand?" he asked, taking it back since she had confiscated it a few moments earlier so he wouldn't hex someone who had jostled into him. He summoned the Marauder's Map and activated it, frowning. "Why is there an auror laying on the ground outside?" He looked at Draco and pointed at the dot. "There she is. Feel better now?" Draco snatched the map to look at it, but Harry took it back. "Mine, thank you." He deactivated it, earning an interested look. "Family heirloom," he said smugly, tucking it down the front of his shirt. His eyes went wide and he had to take a deep breath. "Ow," he said finally. Ron grinned at him. "Keep it up, Weasley. I know your sore spots and I can get them easily."

Dumbledore walked over, Snape and McGonagall behind him on either side. "Where is Ms. Parkinson and which auror is outside?" he asked quietly. Harry took out the map and muttered the incantation so no one could hear it, then handed it over to Dumbledore. He sighed and showed Snape, then showed McGonagall. They headed off, her to get the girl, him to kick the auror before bringing him to the infirmary. "Where did you go last night?"

"Ron wanted to meet the guy who did my barbell, to see if he could find out where to learn how to do that sort of thing," Harry said, snatching the map back and restuffing it down his shirt. He winced again as it hit one of the sore spots.

"Take off your shirts," he ordered, crossing his arms. "While you're at it, take out the extra earrings in your ears."

"We can't, sir, they're binding us together," Ron said, touching his top one, the little azure stone he had put into all their ears. The others, now they were just fun and his. Though he still wasn't sure about the one going through the dangly part in front of his ear canal or the one going vertically through his entire ear. He gladly stripped off his shirt, letting the older man see what he had done last night.

For the first time in known history, Albus Dumbledore passed out.

Harry looked at the tattoo on Ron's chest, then at him. "I still say the color's off," he said conversationally.

Draco, who hadn't moved, stared, blinked a few times, then stomped off to tell his mother.

Harry snickered and looked down at Dumbledore. "Hey, someone wake him up, he still wanted to see mine," he said happily.

"Harry!" Hagrid called, shocked to the core at his behavior. "What do you think you're doin'! Ron, put a shirt back on or I'm tellin' your ma on ya." He stomped over and lifted Dumbledore's limp body up, taking him to the infirmary. "Poppy," he bellowed. "Ron made him pass out."

"Really? What did Mr. Weasley do this time?" she asked as she went for the smelling salts.

"He and Harry snuck off last night to talk to the guy who did Harry's thing." He frowned at her. "Ron's got color and all sorts of stuff on him." Her eyes widened. "Would you please talk to the boys? They're going wrong."

"Of course," she said gently, giving him a smile. "Send them up here." She snapped open the bottle and held it under the headmaster's nose, making him choke and wheeze. "What was it a picture of?" she asked when he came around.

"My bird," he said miserably. "My poor Fawkes is now art." He sat up, holding his head. Minerva walked in with the poor girl and he looked at her. "You need to have a talk with those boys," he said firmly.

She laughed. "Me? You're the headmaster as you so kindly reminded me last night, Albus."

"That's it!" Poppy yelled. "I'm calling Molly!" They flinched, she would throw a tantrum that might bring the school down around their ears. She looked over as Snape walked in with a limp body of his own. "What happened to this one?"

"He was pushed off one of the walkways," he sneered as he dropped the body onto the bed. "I'm sure we'll get invaded again for it." He looked at the Headmaster, who was still pale. "What happened now? Did St. Potter do something else to himself?"

"Him and Ron both," Hagrid said sadly, shaking his head. "They're goin' dark, I know they are."

"You will deal with this for us, won't you, Severus?" the Headmaster asked in the finest 'passing the buck' that had been seen from him in years. "We're at our wits end over the boys and their fighting and all that." He waved a hand around. "Please?"

Snape sneered. "You simply don't want to have to look at them," he scoffed. He looked at the nurse. "Check them over then send them to me." She nodded and he stormed off, going to have a drink before he saw whatever gross sights had disturbed the other, older people in the school. Being the youngest teacher present was sometimes odd, this being one of them. He had his own tattoo on his back from when he had hit that seventh year rebellion. It must be built into the doorway, all seventh years had it. He had finished his drink when the boys were brought in by the nurse, who handed him a sheet of paper. He looked at the writing on it, then at her. "All this in one night?" She nodded, lips pursed, and went back to her patients. Snape looked at them, then closed the door. "Shirts off," he hissed. They shrugged and took their shirts off, showing him the new holes, the new tattoos, even Mr. Potter's newest piercing. "Is it supposed to help?" he sneered at Harry.

Harry nodded, pulling his pants back up and hopping up onto the table. "Definitely. It's cleared it right up. My morning stiffie went down immediately this morning with the right encouragement," he said happily. "All it cost me was about six galleons changed over." He looked at Ron. "For both of us." Ron grinned so he looked at the teacher again, brushing some of his hair out of his face. "Sorry if it upsets anyone, but really. It is my body."

"Ours," Ron agreed, leaning against the table.

"Why don't you sit?" Snape suggested coolly to Ron.

"Because the tattoo on my rear still hurts and Madam Pomfrey refused to give us any healing salves," he retorted. "Sir, why are *you* doing this?"

"Because the Headmaster, in his *infinite* wisdom, decided I was more suited since I am the youngest teacher," he said coldly. The door opened and Malfoy was shoved in with a note, then it was closed again. "What?" he demanded.

Draco sulked as he handed over the letter. "From my mother," he said miserably. He caught sight of Harry's chest, then Ron's chest, then whimpered. "Do you have no respect or shame!" he demanded. "Mutilating yourself doesn't make you popular or anything! Nobody will like you more because of this!" he said, starting to sound hysterical.

Ron looked at Snape. "Can I hit him?" he pleaded. "Just once?"

"No," he said firmly, sighing as he sat behind his desk. Next year he would have to beg for there to be a younger teacher on the campus, he loathed this time and he'd have to deal with the female Weasley if there wasn't. He was sure she was going to be worse. "Draco, sit," he ordered. Draco sat, pouting at him. "What they are going through is the normal seventh year rebellion. Each student has it in their own way. You became Pansy's knight and they went to do odd things to their bodies." He cleared his throat at the boys laughter. "Now, we will have to solve this somehow. There's not much more you two can pierce."

"We can do our tongues, our eyebrows, the bridges of our noses, or even the sides of our noses," Ron put in. "Plus, there's about six genital piercings we don't have between us, we could ring our belly buttons, we could put multiple ones in the ones we already have, and did you know you could pierce just a piece of skin? One girl I helped with last night had a pierced breast, the top part through the skin. Just a stud to highlight a present tattoo." He looked at Draco. "Apparently she was a fan, she had a gold dragon that she was highlighting the talons of."

"You helped?" Draco asked.

Harry glanced at him. "Ron was so knowledgeable about it and kept asking questions that the guy taught him some more when Ron admitted that he was learning." He looked at Snape again. "I feel better now if it matters, sir. Your talk certainly helped me feel better about my rebellion."

Ron snickered, leaning his head against Harry's shoulder. "You are so bad," he gasped.

Snape shook his head. "It does not matter, Mr. Potter, though I am glad to be of some *help* to you in this matter. You will have to remove all piercings that are not in line with the school's code."

"Technically, the school's codes don't forbid body piercings for seventh years," Harry told him. "Only for those fifth year and below. It's written as claim markings done as piercings, not body piercings. These have nothing to do with claiming anyone, sir." Snape's face went pale. "We had Hermione check."

Ron nodded. "She had the book memorized."

Draco glared at them. "You are perverting wizard kind," he sneered. "I would expect something like this from a mudblood, but from you, Weasel? What will your parents say?"

Ron looked around. "Got any floo powder so we can find out?" he asked. Snape's hand shook as he pointed at the small jar of it. Ron walked over and tossed some in, smiling at them before calling out his mother's name. "Molly Weasley." Her head appeared and he grinned at her. "We got caught sneaking back in last night," he told her. "Come see the pretty stuff so you can yell now instead of later?"

"Of course," she said calmly. "We figured it would be something like that after we learned what poor Harry had to do because of his condition."

Harry waved. "I got another one, Mrs. Weasley, it helped loads."

She laughed. "I'll be right there, step back, Ron." He did so and she stepped out of the fire. She looked at Harry's chest, then at her son's bare chest, then at Snape. "At least it's not horrible looking or disfiguring," she said lightly. She used some floo powder to call on her husband, who also came to look at the boys. They examined each new spot, except for Harry's new genital one, then said something nice about each one. They finally looked at the boys. "Do you feel better now?"

"Fully," Ron agreed. "I now know how to do most piercings. The nice guy even gave me a copy of his training manual," he said happily. "He told me who I could go to so I could learn tattooing, there are short classes you can take and then apprentice yourself if you want instead of just a straight apprenticeship."

"I thought you were going to work with Charlie," Arthur said calmly.

"Oh I am, but I want to learn this before I go," Ron told him, grinning at him. "The guy in town's been helping me a lot."

"Good for you, son," Arthur said happily, clapping him on the back somewhere other than the newly tattooed spots. Draco and Snape both gasped, making him laugh. "We knew it was going to happen," he said gently. "At least they were careful and reasonable. Nothing's horribly disfiguring, nothing's dangerous, and nothing's going to alter their abilities." He smiled at Harry. "Molly said you had to get another one because of your problem?" Harry nodded and started to undo his pants, but Draco's shriek and scuttle from the room made him pause. Once he was gone, he finished and showed it off. "My," Arthur said, forcing himself to smile. He looked at Harry. "Didn't that hurt?"

"Yeah, but Ron held my hand through it," Harry assured him, pulling back up his pants. He glanced at Snape, then at Ron. "Maybe he should have a drink," he suggested lightly. Molly searched the room, coming up with his stash and a glass, which she forced into his hands so he could gulp the scotch down. Harry looked at Ron's father again. "I really am happy with myself, Mr. Weasley. Plus, I had a normal reaction this morning that went right back down."

"Good for you," Molly said happily, hugging him. Then she hugged her son. "You boys behave for the rest of the year and we'll throw you a graduation party. How's that?"

"Not necessary, but okay," Harry said with a shrug and wicked grin. "We'll be fine, Mrs. Weasley. Throw us a going away party instead."

She laughed and hugged him. "Of course we will." She bustled her husband out and left after a cheery wave and another reminder to be good.

Snape looked at them. "Go away," he said quietly. They grabbed their shirts. "Put on your full uniform and leave," he said more firmly. They put on their clothes and left, going to wait on their second classes. He got up to pour himself another drink and put a sign out that said he was canceling classes while he went to look something up in the library. The Headmaster had told him to fix this and fix it he would. There would be no problems after the holidays if he had his way.

Next year, this would be someone else's duty he silently vowed. He would not be plagued by this again!


Draco sneered as he saw Harry and Ron walk in. "Look, it's the needle lovers," he said loudly.

"Not particularly, but the end result is often fun," Harry said dryly as he took his place at the Herbology table. "After all, each piercing is in a nerve bundle and that nerve usually does a lot for sex." Draco's eyes widened. "What? Shocked more?" he taunted. Ron snorted as he moved closer to him.

Hermione cleared her throat. "Boys," she sighed. "I had to watch it, I don't need to hear about it now." Everyone looked at her. "I wasn't about to let them out by themselves! Think about what they would have done without a responsible person there!"

Even the Slytherins agreed that would have been a bad thing, most of them nodding and turning pale as their minds showed them images of what might have been.

Madam Sprout bustled in and stopped to look at Ron's earrings. "I didn't know you could pierce that spot in front of your ear," she said happily. Then she moved on to get the plants they were working with and start the small lecture about how they were supposed to *water* the plants, not let them die. When she was done, she handed both boys a small tub of salve with a smile. "Put some on each thing. You may retire to the next greenhouse if you need privacy."

"Yeah, I do, the tattoo on my rear hurts," Ron said, giving her a gentle hug. He knew he could smoosh her if he tried. He and Harry retired to salve each other, coming back to find the greenhouse quiet. "What happened?" Ron asked as he handed back the spot.

Madam Sprout grimaced at Crabbe and Goyle. "Someone decided to cast a viewing spell," she said gently. She looked at Harry, who shrugged.

"It helps," he told her. "I was perfectly normal this morning." The Gryffindors cheered and clapped, the Slytherins were giving him fearful looks. "It really didn't hurt all *that* much," he said with a grin. They, nearly in unison, fell to their knees and bowed to him. "Um, thanks, I guess," he said, shrugging at the teacher again.

She smiled. "It was felt you have proven that you're tougher and stronger," she said gently. She looked at Ron. "How about yours? Do they feel all right now?" He nodded, blushing a bit. "I didn't know those things could be pierced either."

"He didn't want them to do them all in one night, but they pushed and prodded until he allowed it," Hermione said, glancing out the door. "Get up," she complained. "Snape's coming." They all stood up and went back to what they had been doing. She looked at Madam Sprout. "May I get some of that as well?" she asked gently. "My numbing charm is wearing off." Everyone, Gryffindor and Slytherin, stopped what they were doing to stare at her. "Ron talked me into it," she groaned. "Please?" she asked the teacher. The tub was handed over. "Thank you. I'll be right back. I'm going to the loo." She hurried off at an awkward gait, walking like she was sore there.

Ron looked at Harry. "I wonder if hers hurts more than my ball one did," he said.

Snape walked in and slammed the door. "Weasley, Potter, my office, now," he demanded.

"Sir, did you want Ms. Granger as well?" Harry asked as he gathered his things. Snape glared at him more coldly so he left her things there, following Ron. "What did we do this time?"

"You were seen," he said, shoving them. "What did you think you were doing leaving the door open while you touched yourself that way. A fourth year saw you!"

"I locked it," Ron defended. "Your house has a bunch of pervs who cast a viewing charm!" Snape gave him a shove and Ron glared at him. "Do it again," he encouraged. Hermione came trotting over, still walking slightly funny, but better. "Who unlocked the door?"

"Madam Sprout worried because she said there was an automatic unlocking after ten minutes because of the nature of a few of the plants in that greenhouse," she panted, leaning on Harry's arm. "Ow." She glared at Ron. "I'm going to hit you for talking me into this."

"You need a warm bath," Harry soothed, patting her on the back.

"Her too?" Snape shouted. "You corrupted Granger!"

Dumbledore came running, getting between them. "I'm sure it will be fine," he said calmly. "Ms. Granger, are you all right?"

"Just being rubbed wrong," she said as she stood up. She cast the numbing charm on each of them and they all sighed in relief. "There," she said, happier now. "Give us a few days and we'll be right as rain, sir."

Snape glared at her, looking down his nose at her hair. "Where did you get done?" he demanded.

She glanced at the boys, who shrugged. She decided to be candid, it might freak him out worse and then they might get the whole week off potions. "I had a vertical hoodie put in," she told him. "Ron talked me into it with about an hour of whining. It's supposed to feel magnificent after it heals, it's the time before that's the problem though."

Dumbledore caught Snape's arm before he could raise his wand. "We'll deal with them, Severus."

"Molly's already said it was all good to her as long as we're happy, sir," Harry said helpfully.

Dumbledore looked at them, then cast a sleep spell over the trio. "I'm taking a vacation this summer, Severus, a real one. Would you like to go with me?" he asked conversationally.

Snape looked at him. "I fear I may be in recovery in the hospital." He looked at the trio. "What are you planning?"

"I don't know, but we've got to stop this before it gets worse." Harry moaned and he sent them all up to the infirmary. He would not do what he wanted, he would not lock them somewhere and force them to get along. It wouldn't do any good, the young people involved had enough control to last long enough to force him to let them go. "We'll figure it out tonight."

"Let them be," Snape sighed. "I'm tired of fighting this battle, Albus. They're nearly adults if they aren't already. Let them have their petty squabbles and their petty arguments."

"Do you really want the future of the wizarding world to be run by them?" he asked.

"No, but I'm sure they'll grow up sometime. Mr. Malfoy will be married off soon enough, as will Mr. Weasley if his mother has any sense. Mr. Potter plans on hiding in the woods. We'll deal with it and move on. The worst they can do is social sniping." He slumped a bit. "I'm too tired to deal with the seventh years anymore. Find another." He walked off, going to his rooms.

Dumbledore frowned at him. That had been a bit too melodramatic for his Potion's master. What was he playing at now?


The boys walked into their fourth classes of the day, looking a bit better than they had that morning. Madam Pomfrey had relented when she found Hermione's ring, after giving her an hour and twenty minute lecture on how dumb that was and how bad it could hurt her... performance. Hermione had told her that it was sore, but that she could already find a lot of pleasure from it, complete with a catty grin. So the nurse had basically thrown up her hands, given them healing potions, and went to have a drink with a quick side prayer that they wouldn't encourage anyone else to do something that extreme. She couldn't take more cases of that or she'd join Professor Snape in his incumbent alcoholism. Ron sat down and smiled at their housemates. "We're back."

"So we can see," Lavender Brown said, looking over at him. "How could you do that to Hermione?"

"Ask her what it's doing for her," Harry said smugly. She gasped and stared at him, making him nod. "It rubs in *just* that perfect spot."

The Divinations teacher cleared her throat. "Mr. Potter, please do not discuss such things. Such items on you can only cloud your inner eye and will not allow you to *see*."

"Actually, I see better now," Harry assured her. "It brings focus." She stared him down and he shrugged. "It does. Doesn't it, Ron?" Ron nodded, still wishing they had other things to replace this class with after their OWLs. "Didn't one of the people we studied last year have a navel ring to yank on to give them additional focus?"

Her lips pursed. "That was an aberration. It is not healthy." She turned and went to her chair. "This class, we will be combining methods. Take out your star charts and the tea things." She settled herself in, wrapping her scarves around her.

Harry and Ron looked at each other, then went to do that. They had mutually decided to make it a wonderful show thanks to her objections. They were really starting to like this rebellion stuff.

During the tea drinking portion, Lavender leaned over again. "Harry, did it hurt?" she hissed. He nodded. "Is it worth it?"

Ron looked at her and nodded. "I've had much more intense feelings," he whispered back. "Harry's gone back to being fully normal."

"Wow." She went back to her work, smiling at them. "Can I try it out, Ron?"

He smirked. "The guy said four weeks, but with the healing potions we took it should be fine to do it soon." She beamed and he grinned. "Lunch?"

"Sure, I want to see." She smirked at Harry then went back to detailing her star charts by the random laying of the tea leaves.

Ron nudged Harry. "Just think, two more weeks of being normal and you can work on yours," he said happily. He stared at his leaves. "Harry, is that a unicorn or a sword?"

"Ron, it's phallic, no matter which it is," he pointed out. "One's just more pure." He looked at his own and saw ...nothing. The leaves were laying flat. There were no separations that might outline a picture. There was nothing. He looked up and then down at his leaves. He had never seen anything so perfectly squashed before. Lavender shifted over to look, and he gave her a helpless look. "Huh?" he asked. She shrugged. "You either?"

"No, I always get something," she told him. She motioned the teacher over. "There's nothing in his leaves and they're not too wet."

Trelawny looked down at the perfectly flat, smooth set of leaves. "Did you disturb them?" Harry shook his head, and by this time, everyone was looking. " Hmm. Even I will have to look this one up, I do not have any idea. It is very rare that *nothing* shows up." She went to her books, carefully choosing one and flipping through it. She finally closed it and then sighed, turning to look at him. "It appears to mean that there is no future, or that the future is so open that any prediction at this time would be damaging to the very stream of history." She crossed her arms. "Whose were you working on, Mr. Potter?"

He looked at the top of the page. They were supposed to have changed. "I think it's mine," he said, frowning at the cramped writing. "I was helping Ron last night and we accidentally switched." He looked at her again and shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine this time, Professor. What would you like me to do? I can't mark it."

She walked back and put a grade on his paper. "That is fine. It happens rarely. Do think and consider your future later, it may help you on the test." She nodded at him. "Leave." Harry nodded and left, going down to grab a snack. She looked at Ron's leaves, then at his paper. "That is a unicorn," she said firmly.

Ron pointed. "That looks like a sword hilt, ma'am."

She took the leaves carefully to a candle and illuminated them from behind. "So it does," she sighed. "Fine. You obviously have better things to be doing today if this is true. Do try not to get harmed too badly when you climb out on the roof tonight." She took his paper and he left as well. "Does anyone else feel the spirits moving around them to assist them? It was obvious that the spirits had a hand in helping those two." Most of the class raised their hands hoping to be let out early too. "Excellent. You are truly a mark to my good teaching that the spirits would physically manifest to aid you in your projects."


Ron walked into the tower that night, weaving a bit but smiling happily. He flopped down beside Harry, grinning at him. "I feel wonderful."

"Was it good?" Harry asked, glancing at him. The grin said it all. "Good on you, Ron. Don't you have an essay due tomorrow?"

"Pfft. It's all but done. I did it this weekend so I could have fun this week." He grinned at Hermione. "The healing potions worked more than well enough," he assured her. She gave him a smile. "I feel *much* better," he kinda-purred. He stretched out, putting one arm behind Harry's back. "So, Harry," he said, grinning at him.

"Ron, I still have to do that essay," Harry mumbled, looking at his papers.

Ron took his pen and put it aside. "Do it in a while," he soothed, giving him a smile. "It's nearly ten."

"I know it is, but I've got to finish it." Harry picked up his pen but Hermione took it from him. He gave her an incredulous look. "You're not letting me do my homework?"

"If you don't humor him, he won't let either of us get our work done." She looked at Ron. "If I let you steal him for a few minutes, would you go to sleep?"

Ron beamed. "What a wonderful idea. Hey, Ginny," he called across the common room. She looked over and then stood up and walked over. "Hermione's ring's now firmly healed and she needs to try it out. Isn't that your job?" he taunted.

Ginny looked at him. "What makes you think we haven't?" she retorted. Ron blinked a few times. "Girls can hide in closets too," she said smugly. She saw the look on Harry's face and laughed. "What? I am his little sister. Jeez, Harry, Ron's affectionately known as the slut of Gryffindor. The only person he hasn't done is the slut of Slytherin."

Ron blushed. "There have been times where I wasn't sure who it was," he said quietly, making his sister choke and pull Hermione away from him before she could get corrupted.

Harry nudged him. "That's why orgies are bad," he said with fond tolerance.

"Nah, they're good, even when you don't know everyone there. Come on, Harry. Let the girls be shocked."

"Let me finish my essay. I've got another two paragraphs to write and I'm done for the night." Ron nodded, grinning at him. He settled in to finish writing, ignoring the hand that was subtly playing with his thigh as best he could. He did stab it once with his pen, but that only earned a chuckle in his ear. He looked up and found a privacy barrier up. "Hermione!" he said in disgust. "Can't you wait?"

"We did it for you two," she called through it. "Ron was being a bit..."

"Obvious?" Ginny put in with a giggle.

Ron smirked at him. "See, they're all for it too."

"They're not the ones who have to kiss you after you ate fish for dinner," Harry told him dryly, going back to his essay. The last few sentences were barely recognizable as words due to Ron's drifting hand. He finally gave up and put everything away, then punched Ron on the arm. "If I get a failing grade, it's your hand's fault."

Ron smirked. "I'm sure we'll be fine, Harry. Let's go upstairs?" Harry shrugged and they packed everything in, heading up to their dorm room. Ron stopped in to brush his teeth, which Harry said a silent thanks for, while Harry put up his books and laid out everything for in the morning. When Ron came back, he was stripped down to his boxers and had scrubbed his face thoroughly. "Harry," he called as he walked over to him. Harry swallowed when he saw what Ron was wearing. "Get onto one of our beds." Harry sat on his, staring up at Ron. "Good boy." He climbed on and pulled Harry fully in, then closed the curtains and put up a silencing charm, a locking charm, and an anti-scrying one because he wouldn't put anything past a few of their dormmates. He got them situated and kissed him again, gently and slowly working his way up to making Harry moan. When he did, he pulled back. "Should I move on to the next lesson?" he whispered, tracing patters with his fingertips on Harry's chest. Harry's eyes widened. "Or not. We can stay right here."

"Ron, I went up and it's not hurting," Harry whispered. Ron beamed at him. "Maybe the healing potion did a bit more than we thought?"

"Maybe," Ron agreed, one hand shifting down to touch the hardness. Harry hissed. "Sensitive?"

"Very. But that was nice." He grinned and sat up, taking off his shirt. "I think I'd like to stay at the seminaked and groping stage, Ron."

"That's fine. Groping was the next lesson anyway."

Someone on the other side of the bed coughed. "Guys?" Neville called.

Ron uncast the silencing charm but Harry stopped him from speaking. "What?" Harry called, coughing to bring his voice down to its usual register. "What's wrong, Neville?"

"McGonagall just showed up, we're apparently having a seventh year meeting."

"Well, dirt!" Ron said bitterly. He summoned his clothes and let Harry out first so he could dress. Some of the guys would look. He walked out with his pants on and his shirt on but unbuttoned. "Did she say why?"

Neville nodded, pointing at Ron's chest. Ron groaned. "We're down in her classroom. Come on." He led the way, letting them put on shoes or slippers. When he walked in, McGonagall was still frowning. "Sorry, Professor, they were napping."

Harry sat in his usual seat, with Ron right behind him. "Ma'am, we heard this was about our method of stress relief?" he asked bluntly. It was nearly eleven and he was tired. This could have waited until Saturday morning.

She grimaced. "In part. It has to do with many things. That is the least of them." She crossed her arms. "The reason we are here is to discuss the sudden urges most of you have to cause havoc and chaos for the staff, simply because you're at that age." Everyone glared at Harry and Ron. "It's not only them," she said tolerantly, "though we will not tolerate them doing anything further while they are in school." She looked at all three of them, then smiled. "It is a grand tradition that every year the seventh years go through a sort of rebellion. It usually starts around Halloween and ends right after the holiday break. We, the staff and myself, do not mind that this happens. We went through it ourselves. We do want you to come to us when you feel such urges because the world is still a dangerous place and many people are not careful simply because they're wizards and witches and they're powerful." She gave them a more confident smile. "It has also come to our attention that this year's class had particular stresses on it that the other years have not, and that you're probably reacting to those as well."

Ron raised his hand. "Professor, not to interrupt, but are you giving us the same 'be careful and you can tell us anything' talk that my father did?"

She nodded. "Most likely. Your parents' rebellion period ended in them getting married one night while thoroughly drunk." Ron giggled. "If you think that's funny, there was an incident earlier where Professor Snape and Madam Pomfrey had to intervene. Someone wanted to try piercing their own nipple." Ron winced. "If you would kindly tell me who does such things in town, I can refer the poor girl there."

"I can," Ron agreed, "and I'm learning from him. I even charge cheaper rates." The other students mumbled a bit. "Not that I'm going to do more than ears, nipples, and navels, Professor," he said at her shocked look. "I'm learning how to do tattoos too."

"I'm sure it will be an interesting sideline to your future plans," she said calmly. "The real reason for this talk is to make sure that none of you try something that will ultimately hurt you. If you ask myself, or Mr. Weasley or Potter, about piercing things, we can tell you all about it. The pain, the good feelings afterwards, and all the care instructions." She laughed lightly. "For those who are truly brave, you can ask Professor Snape about tattoos." That got some raised eyebrows. "Not that one. He has one on his back from his own seventh year."

Harry raised his hand. "Is he no longer drunk?"

"Yes, as far as we can tell, he passed out before dinner and slept it off," she said happily. "Never have I seen three students drive a teacher to liquor in that manner, Mr. Potter. Whatever did you do?"

"Um, we were given some healing salve and put it on our newest holes and tats," Ron told her, blushing a bit. "During Herbology, in another greenhouse of course. But I think Hermione knocked him out."

"All I did was mention my own piercing," she said primly. McGonagall looked at her. "What? Did you want to know where?"

McGonagall walked back and whispered in the girl's ear, making her nod. "I have one of those. I understand, dear. It does feel incredible."

"Vertical or horizontal?" Hermione asked. McGonagall frowned at her. "Sorry, Professor, I didn't mean to be impertinent."

"That's all right, Ms. Granger. That is all part of this rebellion time. We expect you lot to be surly, nasty, and vulgar. The same as we expect to have at least one case of alcohol poisoning after a weekend in town and we expect at least one person to try some illegal substance that makes them believe they can fly off the Astronomy Tower." She smirked at them again. "I hear such things are fun, but they really do leave you with the most horrible headache and ungodly taste in your mouth afterwards."

Harry smirked at her. "Did Snape try that?" he asked. She laughed, shaking her head. "I was wondering since someone the other day was talking about him 'flying'."

"No, that has nothing to do with the Astronomy Tower, Mr. Potter." She shook her head. "As long as all of you get the point that you can come to myself or any staff member about the feelings you're having, you may go back to bed. Mr. Weasley, please stay so I can get that name," she ordered. They filed out, going back up to their rooms. She looked at him once he had written it down for her. "How much do you know?"

"He let me do a few ears and the guy that Harry and I went to let me do a few nips and a belly button," he said proudly. "I'm still shaky on tattoos, I'm not that great an artist, Professor." He glanced at the door. "Did you hear? Harry's fully normal again with this last round."

She gave him a gentle hug. "I'm ecstatic for him, Ron. Try not to take him downstairs the next time you go." He looked stunned and she laughed. "I helped join the cloaks, young man. Though the circle has been going nearly as long as the school has." She pinched him on the nose, a familiar and nice gesture from her. "Go back to molesting young Mr. Potter. I'm sure you're teaching him quite a lot about male love." He nodded and ran out, going back to tell Harry what she had admitted. She laughed as she sat behind her desk, looking at the name. "That's who did mine when he was in school," she said happily. "He always had the most gentle touch with delicate things."

Upstairs, Ron was getting kissed to take all those nasty mental images out of his head. Otherwise he'd never sleep.


The next morning, the boys were in a rush so Harry got what Ron affectionately called his 'five minute fisting' and they went to class with Harry in a daze. Ron was very proud of himself, everything was going really well in his life. One of the Hufflepuff girls had asked him to pierce their ear and he had for seven sickles plus an earring of her choosing. She was happy with the new look and Ron was getting even more smug. He did send an owl down to the man teaching him to set up a time to finish learning how to pierce from him, and to let McGonagall have notice in what he was trained to do so far. When he got back the one saying he probably wasn't trained enough to do any of them on his own, without supervision, he found the girl and they snuck down into town so his work could be checked over. He was reluctantly given the okay to do ear, nipples, and navels, but nothing further. They snuck back in and were caught but Ron handed over his letter of acceptable objects to poke holes in, making Snape groan and walk away shaking his head, without taking any points. That night, he and Harry curled up and Ron was a bit more considerate. The handjob took nearly fifteen minutes this time.


Dumbledore, after having gotten Ron's approval letter, decided it was time to quit passing on this responsibility. Obviously Minerva and Severus couldn't handle the young man. His own parents hadn't wanted to intervene. Harry's new piercings were still giving him the willies and he hated how the boy was treating himself, even though he couldn't stop it. He decided on a brash plan, calling in some stronger familial support. Maybe it would be a bonding experience and maybe the older Weasleys could curtail the younger two, before Ginny got into the act. She had been asking her brother about getting her ears done earlier when they had walked past him. He quickly wrote out a note about how distressing Ron's recent rebellion was to the entire school, and how he was dragging Harry down with him, then sent it off to Charlie. The older four or five Weasley children would deal with the younger two he was sure. Besides, Charlie needed to check on the dragon again. He was still trying to send scales to Ms. Parkinson, he hadn't given up in the least.


The twins looked up as their older brothers, minus Percy of course, walked out of the floo. Fred took the held-out letter, reading it quickly. "What'd he do?" George asked, going back his accounting project.

"Some more metal, some tattoos. We were going to kidnap the boys this weekend and spend a night in town in true bonding fashion," Bill said with a smirk.

Both twins looked at him. "Like you did to us?" Bill and Charlie both nodded. "Have you told our mother yet? She swore she'd skin you after we got so sick."

"I'm sure those two can handle it better," Charlie noted smugly. "I've seen a few of them already, very interesting. Plus, Ron's learning how to do that sort of thing."

The twins burst out in giggles. "Should we kidnap them or simply wait for the next weekend in town?"

"I think old Dumble's ready to kick them both out so we can probably get away with kidnaping them," Bill assured them. "You two pull that part and we'll work on getting us a room at the Leaky for the night." They nodded. "Good. Tonight?"

"Sure." They looked at the calendar. "The boys should be fine to go for the night, it's Thursday, we can have them all weekend."

George looked at Fred. "Which do you want?"

"Oh, I think I want the studmuffin Harry," Fred assured him. "You get our baby brother." He looked at the older two. "Should we try for Ginny as well?"

"Nah," Charlie said with a wicked grin. "What're they going to do to her?"

George pulled out a letter from Hermione, a private communique asking them to find her a certain type of earring. "They've managed to corrupt Granger," he said proudly.

"Ron supposedly helped put in her ring himself," Fred agreed just as happily.

Bill and Charlie looked at the request, then at them. "Where would one put one of those?" Charlie asked calmly.

The twins checked the store but it was empty for the moment. "In her hood," Fred told him. He gave his brother's crotch a pointed look, making sure he understood where it was resting.

"I heard she's wearing blue steel at the moment," George added.

"They got Hermione Granger, the worst book nerd *ever*," Bill said, "to loosen up and get a piercing?" The twins nodded. He looked at his brother. "Are you *sure* you want them working with you?"

Charlie beamed. "Sure am. They can do the tagging," he said happily. "I hate tagging the poor beasties. They always look so hurt when I do it."

Bill shook his head. "Fine. Go get them, boys, we'll get a room." They headed out to do that while the twins put up a sign about them being gone on family business tomorrow and Saturday and changed clothes.


McGonagall looked up as the Weasley twins walked in, wearing all black and sunglasses for some reason. She blinked a few times as they each grabbed a boy and gave her silent nods before taking them away. "Dumbledore," she groaned, shaking her head. "That was not the right thing to do!" She went to have a with the headmaster about his plans. She wanted them to live!

Ron struggled in the firm grip. "Ow! Let go!"

"Shut up," George said from Harry's other side. A small six-legged, tan dragon leapt in front of their path, hissing and spitting at them.

"Do stop it now, Bert, thank you," Fred said firmly, walking around him. He was on a leash and couldn't really reach them.

"Down, Bert, they're Ron's nestmates, they won't hurt us," Harry called as he was drug away. "Where are we going? And can't we even eat first? It's nearly dinner."

"You can eat when we get there," Fred responded coolly. They gave the boys a nudge. "Apparate to the Leaky."

Harry looked at him. "We're not legal for that," he reminded them. "Just because I get away with it sometimes doesn't mean I'm going to flaunt it."

"Now," George ordered. "We've already cleared it and you're taking your test tonight anyway." The boys sighed and popped themselves to there, stunning Arthur, who hadn't known Ron was 0able to apparate yet. They appeared behind the boys, arms crossed. "Did they pass?" they asked the examiner, who was Charlie's friend and had agreed to run a private test for them so no one else caught wind of it.

"I'll need one more, a short hop across the room," he said, pointing at the chalk target. "Land there, boys." They groaned and did it again, landing there. He clapped and signed off on their licenses, handing them over with a flourish. "Now, let's finish your licensing."

"If we license other things, we can't get our jobs," Harry said calmly. Charlie looked at him and he shrugged. "Sorry."

"Nah, it'll be fine, Harry. He ...." He looked at his friend. "How did you know?"

"I can tell," he said smugly. "Let's see, a fox for Mr. Potter and a bobcat for young Mr. Weasley," he said, looking them over. He looked at the twins. "No little sister?"

"She's not ready for this yet," they said in unison.

"She's a lynx or something similar," Harry admitted. Ron nudged him. He grinned. "Should we nark on Hermione too?"

"She's registered," Arthur told them. "Charlie, is that true, they can't work if they register?"

"On our current site, nope." He shrugged. "The owners of the land said animagi creep them out so it's a rule for letting us stay."

"Any news on that new property?" Ron asked hopefully. "So we don't get flamed and put into prison?"

Charlie's friend laughed. "That's not the problem, boys, really." He smiled at them. "Charlie, tell them the good news?"

"We got it," Charlie said smugly. "One of your first tasks is going to help set up the new nursery and breeding pens in Albania."

"I'm so happy, Charlie," Arthur said, giving him a smile. "Boys, you will register," he said firmly.

"Yes, sir," they said together. Harry signed the forms, then let Ron sign his while he talked with the examiner. "Is there one for doing odd magic?" he whispered. The man nodded. "I think I'll need that one too."

"I know, Mr. Potter. It's been on file since you were born. Do you have an area of interest?"

"I seem to do okay with flame spells," Harry offered. "Plus the language thing."

"All right, we'll mark it down as creature abilities and leave it there. Those are in the Mysteries Department if you ever want to look at your file." Harry nodded. "Good boy. Anything else?"

"We don't have to register our tattoos or anything, right?"

"Not unless you want to," he said happily, leading him back to Ron's side. "Harry just asked an interesting question. Did you want them to register Ron as studying magical markings, Arthur?"

Arthur smiled. "If Ron would like to. It's a fascinating area and he can do it in his spare time."

Ron's whole world brightened when he heard that. "Mum won't mind?" he asked. Arthur shook his head. "Then hell yeah I want to," Ron told the examiner. He filled out those forms too with the biggest grin. "Um, we'll have to write down the ones we helped with so far," he told Harry. "Strip off for a few."

"Not down here," Arthur said quickly. "Let's go up to the suite we've taken for the night, boys." He led the way, letting them inside. As soon as they were, he watched as Harry and Ron both stripped down. He noticed a few crude drawings on Harry's side. "Ron, did you start these?"

"I'm working on my art skills, dad," he said happily. "Harry's agreed to let me draw on him."

"He used a permanent marker so we're waiting for it to wear off," Harry said dryly, nudging Ron. "You helped with most of my last ones, plus that one this morning and Hermione's."

"Plus six or seven others," Ron admitted, writing down descriptions of Harry's many body additions. He stuck his tongue out while he tried to explain Hermione's and every other one he had helped with in clinical terms. He had to use a new form for the room due to Harry's. Then he signed it and handed it over. "That's all I remember," he admitted. "My present teacher gave a letter to the school about what I've learned so far."

"Excellent, young man," the examiner said with a smile. "Charlie, your brother and his lover are exceptional."

"We're not like that, we're simply good friends," Harry said quickly, wanting to quash that rumor before it started again. Arthur smiled at him for it. "We don't need Ron stalked again by girls hoping to get me this year by killing him," he reminded Ron's father. The twins giggled. "Sorry, but we don't."

Fred turned Harry around to look at him, shaking his head. "Why did you have to get *that* pierced multiple times, Harry?"

"I'm nominally priaptic," Harry told him. "At the beginning of the summer, I was so bad they were doing blood letting to cure it. That's brought it down to the normal level. I now have normal responses." The examiner 'eeped' and hurried out to file his forms. He hadn't needed to hear that. Though he would look it up. And possibly tell a few people because it was just too juicy to keep to himself.

George shook his head. "That had to have stung." He looked at Ron. "You might as well strip too so we can make fun of your tiny body."

"I'm bigger than you," Ron smirked, stripping off his clothes.

Arthur looked at the tattoo he hadn't seen last time. "No wonder you couldn't sit the last time I saw you two," he said.

"Sorry, dad, but Harry's more open about that stuff than I am," Ron told him.

"It comes from having people examine it and stick needles in it," Harry told him, flopping onto a chair without putting on any clothes. "I had six different doctors in to test me this summer, not to mention all the nurses looking in and the technicians for two tests, then Madam Pomfrey, Snape, McGonagall, you, the piercer, and Malfoy three different times."

"Good point," Ron agreed, picking his own seat. Bill pulled him up so he could finish looking him over. Ron shifted so his ball ring was showing. "Cool, huh?"

"Mam will kill you if it hurts having grandchildren," Bill reminded him. He shook his head. "Well, it's made you prettier, Ron." He grinned at them. "We were asked to intervene, give you guys one last wild weekend before you settled back into your jobs as role models for the younger kids. Dumbledore's so vexed he's decided to put a ban on body jewelry after your year, possibly on all jewelry, just in case."

Charlie laughed. "It won't stop anyone, but we thought we'd do a bit of wish fulfillment for the weekend. What did you guys still want to do? Get drunk? Get high? What?"

"Not that I encourage such things," Arthur said as he smiled at them. "So I will leave you in your big brother's hands, boys. Do be careful and remember to tell Ginny it wasn't that fun so she won't want to try it." He left them alone, locking the door behind him.

Harry looked at Ron. "Think we should 'fess up?"

Ron nodded. "Probably." He looked at his brothers. "We did those two last year," he told them. They all stared at him. "We've been dealing with life and death situations so we decided to try it earlier," he explained.

Harry nodded. "The same as we've been shifting forms now since last year, though Hermione struggled with it until this year. She only recently managed it. She's overly controlling her body and mind, couldn't let it go and go with the magic." He grinned at them. "But if you guys want to get drunk, we'll join in. Ron's found a wonderful taste for ouzo and I've got one for sherry, vodka, and tequila."

All four older Weasleys gaped at them. The twins looked to the older ones on how to manage that. The two older ones simply looked at each other. George finally spoke up. "This is what fighting all the time does to you?" he asked quietly.

"Somewhat," Harry agreed.

"It's also dealing with Harry's family, being the youngest male and having to make a name for myself, Malfoy, and all that other good rot we have on our shoulders," Ron put in. "Mother alone makes it clear I'm the only hope for the future of the family and I don't want kids."

"We'll have some some day," Fred defended.

"Would you mind telling her that?" Charlie asked. "She's been nagging me again because there's no women where I am, and where the boys are going." He looked at them again. "Okay, so you're more worldly than most people think and a lot more sly. A fox, Harry?"

He grinned. "I was nearly put in Slytherin," he admitted. The twins' eyes went wide. He smiled at them. "See, and you wondered why I supported you two."

"You did what?" Ron asked, looking at him.

"He gave us his tournament winnings," Fred said, scowling at him. "I thought you weren't going to tell him."

"I wasn't, but now seems like the time for spilling all sorts of nasty secrets," Harry said, crossing his feet. "So I should probably admit that I inherited Sirius' diary of apparatation coordinates around the world." Bill's face lit up. "Along with his compass and his diary of 'loose places to play in' as the book was called." Charlie blinked at him and Ron gaped. "Sorry, Ron."

"That's okay," he squeaked. "When did you get that?"

"This summer. The person handling the will thought it was strange, but Moony refused it and it went to me instead. They thought I was demented, him having supposedly been the one who betrayed my parents, but I explained that he was the only one who knew my parents that well. That I could probably find some of their stuff among his." He looked at the standing Weasleys. "Sit," he said gently. "Should I order drinks?"

"Get me one," Bill agreed. The twins simply nodded and Charlie shook his head slowly. "Beers, Harry, nothing harder for now."

"Okay." Harry grabbed his clothes and put on the basic minimum, then went down to get them drinks. He had to call over to the bank, getting them to bring him his monthly allowance from his vault. He had set it up so he was getting sixty galleons a month in allowance and the twins hadn't let him bring the stuff he had stored in his trunk. The goblin had him sign six forms but then he had the money and thanked it gently, making it run in fear. He turned to look at the bartender. "Hi, Tom. We want beers, one for each of us," he ordered, putting down a galleon on the bartop.

"You're not old enough to order those yet," Tom said, looking him over. "For all that you're beyond being young any more, Mr. Potter."

"Yeah, but they're in shock," Harry told him. "Ron and I just admitted to breaking under the stress last year."

Tom shook his head. "Have one of the older ones come down," he said, pushing the coin back. "They check those things you know."

"Sure." He jogged back up the stairs, handing the coin to Bill. "I'm still underage."

"Good point," Bill said, going down to order them beers, and himself a quick shot. He came back with the tray and a bell to summon the house elf for their future rounds. He handed Harry his beer. "I got imported, that's okay, right?"

"Fine with me," Harry said happily. "I had to drink weak swill all summer." He took a sip and moaned. "Good beer," he sighed, looking happy.

Ron tasted it and looked at him. "You and your fancy stuff. Drink Killians, it's a family tradition and you might as well dye your hair red as is." He did drink it though, one never refused to drink a free drink.

"That would be one way to not get as noticed," Charlie put in, regaining his equilibrium.

The twins laughed. "Hey, Harry, should we take you out this weekend and do some impression management?" He grinned at them. "Seriously, you could use the new clothes."

"I know, but I didn't want to be obvious about it." He grinned. "We're still getting hell from the press. If I'm seen celebrating, we'll get it worse in the papers."

"Then we'll take a family outing," Bill said firmly. "Ron needs some new clothes of his own too. Especially since he's going to need to have his stuff broken in before he starts work."

Charlie beamed. "Too true. Harry, you'll need flannels, jeans, t-shirts, and things like that. You too, Ron. You're both going to be under me at the first new site in Albania for now. Then we're moving somewhere else after the holidays to set up there. You two are going to be on straight nursery and infirmary duty, got it?" They nodded, taking sips of their beers. "Have you finished your papers yet?"

"We were going to do them once the term tests were done," Harry told him. "Over the break or something."

"You know you can't use me as a source, right?" Charlie asked. They nodded. "Then what do you know about nursery duty so far? Focus on that end, I doubt either of you have the ruthlessness it takes to train a dragon."

"We know enough from helping Hagrid with Norbert," Ron told him. "Steamers are kept in the fire's ashes, they eat brandy soaked meat. They're hell on you because they bite and burn."

Harry grinned, nudging him. "I looked at the paper, we can use Hagrid as a source and the books we went through for that." He looked at Charlie again. "Plus, we've got the stuff from Bert to add, some infirmary details we've had to look up after you left. Both of us even know how to shovel the future fertilizer."

"Good," Charlie said happily. "That's a bit more extensive than most people do. Do your research though. You will need it." The boys both nodded and he clapped his hands, taking the remaining beer on the tray. "Thanks, Bill."

"I figured you'd need it sooner or later," he said, not looking at Ron's piercings. "Ron, would you put on pants? Please?" he begged.

George nodded Fred. "Now all we have to do is get the little bugger laid."

"I'm a top member of the meeting area in the dungeons," Ron said between sips.

"Not you, Harry," Fred told him, scowling at him. "How did you get in down there already? It took us months."

"I got invited as a guest and was allowed to come back as often as I wanted," Ron said smugly. "But you're right, Harry could use the experience. Oh, Charlie, Pansy's still getting scales, only now she's hoarding them. We heard her in creatures saying she's making a necklace out of them." Charlie sighed, taking a larger drink. "I think she's going to ask for permission to come to the preserve soon."

"She can come over the holidays. I'll tell my boss to check up on her." He looked at them. "We get about one a year and they usually leave fairly quickly too, once they see what's going on."

"Ron, do not say a word that would sicken us," Fred said quickly when he opened his mouth. "You gave us such bad mental images we apologized to Percy because we could never be as mean as you were." He sniffed and his twin patted him on the back.

"The prat even came to see if we were laughing at him, then realized we weren't," George agreed. "We told him what you had told us and he's a bit miffed at you at the moment."

"He should expect it, I'm not the nice one, that's Bill," Ron said dryly, finishing off his beer and taking Harry's from him. "Ta, mate."

Harry took it back. "Take my beer again, Ron, sleep by yourself tonight."

Ron grinned. "But you make such a nice teddy, Harry. You're not really furry, but you're very cuddly."

"More than we wanted to know," Bill said quickly.

Harry looked at him and finished off his beer, putting down his mug. "Ron's decided to take my education in hand so he has a fuck friend when we're working on the preserve with Charlie."

Charlie looked at Ron. "That is an excellent idea. There's *no one* there to sleep with if you get desperate."

"What about off times?" Harry asked.

"We go three weeks on, one week off, and the nearest town is about sixty miles away," Charlie admitted. "They've got three hookers and you get tired of them after the first time. They've got no imagination, no skill, and they're all over forty." Both boys shuddered. "So it's wise of you to come in with an agreement in place. Ron, you treat him right or else," he warned. "I can and will take him from you." Harry gave him a look so he smirked at him. "I've got my own set of quidditch balls and I'm in charge of recreation."

"Okay, what do you like?" Harry asked quickly. "Ron's not taught me that much...." Ron gave him a shove and he grinned at him. "Sorry, Ron, but it is quidditch."

Ron shook his head. "Trust me, you won't want my brother, I'm better, Harry."

"Ron, it's quidditch," Harry repeated.

Ron looked torn. "Shit," he sighed, hanging his head. "Charlie, do you have an assistant I can do for the right to play?" he said pitifully. "I'm not really into you, big brother."

Charlie laughed. "I'll let you both off easy, how's that?" he teased. They smiled again.

Fred nudged George. "And they say we're the odd ones?"

George nodded. "True, but a lot of people think we're going to find a single lover and put them between us."

"Nah, you two will find two and switch off," Harry told them.

"He's twigged to our plans," George said in awe.

"Damn, he is bright and witty," Fred agreed, frowning at him. "Harry, have you heard from the lovely Ms. Bell recently?"

Harry nodded. "She sent me a lovely letter recently telling me off because all the metal must affect my flying. She threatened to tell Oliver on me."

The twins laughed and nodded. "I'd say you're in for it when he gets back from his road series," they agreed in unison.

Charlie grinned. "Be thankful he's not on your house team now, Potter. Think about how long that lecture would have been."

Harry beamed. "I think we could have worked it out. Oliver's a nice guy, but I think he'd understand about needing a few of them to be healthy. Besides, I can fly around them, all it took was a bit of practice. It was harder to fly when the problem wasn't handled."

"Good point," Bill agreed. "You're really cured?"

"At least for now," Harry said happily. "If we go find me clothes, can I get something in leather or dragonshide?"

Charlie shook his head. "One'll get you eaten by a creature and the other will piss them off."

"I won't wear them around the dragons. Leather's not that great for working and bending, Charlie, I just want a pair of leather pants."

"Fine," he said with a grin. "But it's you who's going to be bitten."

"We'll find a dragon repelling charm," Ron promised, patting him on the leg. "Harry, can you spoil me again this weekend and I'll give you a good few lessons on me?"

Harry looked at him. "You mean you bottom?"

Ron shrugged. "Sometimes, when the mood takes me, but not usually. I'm willing to sometimes though," he said with an easy grin.

"Hmm. We'll have to figure that part out," Harry said, blowing a kiss at him. "Your mother will kill you if she hears about that."

"Yes, she will," the other Weasleys agreed.

"And while we're on the subject of sex, how do you have sex with those things in?" George asked.

Harry looked at him. "They're designed for it. It drags a little more but I'm not finding it difficult so far."

"You have to watch out for them knocking into your teeth," Ron assured him. "Other than that, they seem to all lead right back to your cock and it makes you want it more. You should try one, George."

Fred shook his head. "Then I'd have to get one and I won't. I refuse to mutilate my body that way."

"What was your rebellion?" Ron asked him.

"We slept with a few blokes," George sighed, looking at him. Then at Bill. "Yours?"

"Earring. Charlie?"

"A few orgies," he said, frowning at Ron. "You've got the whole family beat in one," he promised, grinning at him again. "Put on clothes and we'll force Harry to spoil you, or we will since your birthday's next month."

Ron beamed. "Or you could sneak back into the school and get my money bag from where I've been doing some piercings," he offered. "I've saved a bit of money to treat myself to stuff."

"Save it for our kit," Harry told him, standing up and grabbing his underwear. "I should probably put that back on, huh?"

"Yeah, you should," Bill agreed, smiling at Harry's back. He looked as Harry bent over to put them on, then put back on his pants. "Quidditch really does a lot for the bottom."

"It does a lot for arms too," Ron said, showing off his own muscles. He threw on most of his uniform and followed his best friend out the door. "We'll be back," he promised.

"What a threat, huh?" Charlie smirked as he followed them.

"We're making sure they have appropriate school clothes," Bill told him.

"It's not every day that you turn eighteen," George agreed, watching as Fred passed him to walk out first. "Hey!"

"You came out of mother first," Fred reminded him, following his big brothers.

"That's not my fault, the mediwitch picked me," George complained, catching up with him.

"Boys!" Bill yelled back. "That's an old argument, pick a new one!"

"Fine, he got laid first," George said, pouting at his twin.

"I offered to share," Fred reminded him warmly.

"Boys!" Charlie complained. "We're in public!"

"But it's fascinating," Ron added. Charlie gave him a little shove. "Sorry." He grinned, totally unrepentant for saying so.


Harry walked into school Sunday night and was still walking funny. They ran into McGonagall and Snape waiting for them. "Did you get *more* done!" Snape demanded.

"No, it's this bloody thong," Harry complained, pulling it down again. "It's cutting into my arse like you wouldn't believe." He shrugged and strolled up the stairs. "I'll have to remember not to wear anything under these next time. Regular pants weren't like this with the thong."

McGonagall was still gaping when Ron walked in. His hair was fixed so it was now longer, as long as Bill's and pulled back with a small silver dragon band. His shirt fit his body and seemed to flow across his muscles, which you could now see he had. His leather pants were very tight and tucked into a pair of leather boots. She blinked a few times, and he grinned. "What happened to you?" she squeaked, then cleared her throat. "I thought they were supposed to help you get back to normal."

"It's an early birthday present," Ron said happily. "Charlie helped us get our kit together and Bill bought me some occasional clothes." He trotted up the stairs, his boot's taps clicking on the marble in the quiet hall.

"Potter!" Snape demanded, following once he shook himself free of his shock. The Gryffindor portrait opened for him without him pausing. "Potter! Weasley!" he snapped. They came down from their rooms, both of them looking comfortable in their clothes. "Why do you look like you were turned?" he demanded.

Harry looked at Ron. "Do you want this one?"

"No, go right ahead," Ron said, waving a hand. They had picked up on some of the twins' mannerisms over the long weekend. It was enough to make Ginny giggle in her seat and Hermione blink a few times as she noticed they were back.

Harry looked at the professors. "We weren't turned, we're both wearing silver, sir." He came down to the floor and turned for his inspection. "Do you like it? It was a treat for myself for being so good this weekend. I needed to do some shopping anyway because I've outgrown everything." He looked at McGonagall. "I'll continue to wear the ill-fitting things until my uniforms come in. They're on back order, Professor."

She nodded quickly. "You have grown," she agreed, looking him over. She noticed his feet and the expensive looking loafers he was wearing. "No boots?"

"I bought some, but I need to soften the leather first," he said with a shrug. "Charlie said they're practical since we found a way to treat them against the dragons thinking we're wearing dead cows." He looked back at Ron then at them again. "I helped them treat Ron to an early birthday present. Ron's now listed as studying magical marking techniques." The room clapped politely. "That means he'll be able to put on protective charms and the like when you do tattoos or piercings." That got some more clapping.

Ron came down the last few steps to stand behind Harry, putting his hands on his shoulders in an unconscious, proprietary gesture. "We were good all weekend; we didn't get drunk, we didn't do drugs, and we only did some minor shopping." He blew into Harry's hair, releasing some of his highlights. "I like that look on you but you need more."

"Ron, you can't do hair," Harry reminded him. "You're no good at it." Ron pulled him back against his chest. "We've also solidified our life choices in regards to our future and our relationship. We're not *together*, but we're very good friends who pretend to be." Snape blushed. "Did you need to know anything else?" They shook their heads. "Then may I borrow you, Professor McGonagall? I noticed someone went through my trunk and I wanted to count the money I had in your presence since the bag looked a little flat."

"The house was broken into last night by a few of the younger Slytherins looking for notoriety," she admitted calmly. "I will look over all these new clothes before I allow you to wear them, even on the weekends." They nodded. "Then we will do that. Professor Snape, did you have more to add since they were obviously so good this weekend?"

"I don't believe it," he said, glaring at them. "You will undergo a check of your persons to make sure you have not violated the rules further." He crossed his arms and sneered at them.

"Here?" Ron asked. "In front of the younger kids, sir?" He stopped Harry from unbuttoning his shirt. "Harry's enough of a nudist as is, did you really want to encourage that?"

"We'll do it in your room," McGonagall said, letting them lead the way. "The rest of you stay down here."

Once they were gone, Ginny looked at Seamus and Dean. "Was it just me or did my brother actually"

"He did," Dean agreed, getting thumped by Hermione for it. "Ow! Harridan!" He rubbed his now-sore arm. "Why was Harry walking so funny?"

Seamus gave him a smug look. "That particular stride has a name, it's called the thong crawl. That's because it's crawling up you and you want to pull it back down but don't dare because you're around people." Hermione glared at him and he flinched, getting out of range of her hands and books. "Please don't hit me."

Ginny shook her head. "Harry Potter wears thongs?"

"He didn't used to wear leather either," Hermione pointed out dryly, looking up the stairs. "Oh, to be a fly upstairs right now."

"Speaking of, do you think we'll see it in the paper?" Ginny asked. Snape stormed past them, the very air around him clouded by the steam coming from his ears. "Was that 'they were good and he's pissed because he can't punish them' or they weren't and he's stunned again?"

"I'd say the former," Hermione said, looking up the stairs again. McGonagall was coming down with a leather jacket and a jingling bag. "You're confiscating it?"

"No, Mr. Potter can't find a place to hang it so I'm letting him borrow a hanger in my office," she said calmly. "The Slytherins who broke in did more than steal some of Mr. Weasley's magazines, they stole about twenty galleons off Mr. Potter. Ms. Granger, as head girl, you will have to add that to your report." Hermione nodded. "Thank you."

Ginny gave her a begging look. "Did they do more?"

She shook her head, still in that stunned/calm/peaceful state. "No, they did not. Your brother received a complete set of piercing equipment, including boxes of disposable needles, along with some new jewelry and a great deal of clothes." She cleared her throat. "Mr. Potter also managed to splurge himself into poverty for the week and he's very proud of himself for it. He's presently washing a highlighting charm out of his hair." She wandered out, still not totally aware of the world around her.

Hermione, Ginny, and the boys who were in Harry and Ron's room ran up the stairs to see for themselves. Harry came out of the shower and Ginny dried his hair for him, then they all sighed at the stark white highlights he had mixed in his dark mop. It was just over-the-top enough to look good on him. They went through each of the boys' new clothes so they could admire them. Harry and Ron brought out the bags they hadn't let the professors see, sharing the goodies and putting the rest away.

Ginny looked at her present from the twins, then at her big brother. "Pranks?"

Ron shook his head. "The sex shop. An informational book on liking girls. They said you should be able to do it right. You've got to hide it though."

"Thanks," she said with a grin, sitting down to read it. "I didn't know I could do that," she said every few pages, reading quickly. Hermione had to drag her back to her room and take the book from her. Ginny gave up for the night and pounced her to try out some of those fascinating things.


Monday morning came as it was want to do, and found the boys dressed up since it was a holiday and they didn't have classes. They intentionally picked the outfits that had made the twins stammer, then went down to breakfast together. The others in their group walked around them, giving them some cover. When they walked in, whispers started going from table to table, making many a person crane their necks to look at them. Harry and Ron took their usual places and pretended to ignore it while listening to all the gossip. The majority of the students had them making dark deals to be 'hot' and 'powerful looking'. As if! They were hot in their own rights. Quidditch did wonderful things to the body. They glanced at the head table and McGonagall nodded that she approved of their outfits. Snape wasn't present, someone further up the table thought he was having a migraine.

Finally, the Slytherins couldn't stand it any more. No one should be more talked about than them. This was war! They stood up and got a good look at Harry and Ron, then went to talk about how to get even with them for being like that. They weren't the richest, the best, or the most pure. They could not get all the attention and desire in the school. Malfoy particularly didn't like them taking his attention. He found the outfit his mother had wanted him to buy for courting and put it on, looking at himself in the mirror. Silk, lovely green silk, and he still didn't look at hot as Weasley with his *hair* and his *muscles*. He sat down to pout, ripping the crotch seam in his pants. This was just so unfair! When his housemates came to get him for lunch, he changed into his favorite comfort clothes and headed down to eat, mainly eating the desserts. A few of the girls gave him sympathetic looks, they knew they had no chance with either stud. He decided during his second dish of cheesecake that he had to do something to get the attention off them and back where it belonged. A snippet of rumor from down the table hit him and he started to consider it. He could get Weasley to pierce him and say he had touched him inappropriately. Then people would frown at Weasley again for being the dick he was. He waited until after lunch then hunted them down outside. "Weasley, Potter," he said, pulling up every ounce of 'cool' he possessed. "I want Weasley to work on me," he announced.

Ron looked over from painting his nails. Harry was taking most of the bench, spread out on his stomach while he read, and Ron was sitting between his legs facing the opposite direction. His bottle was resting on the bend of Harry's knee. "On what part of you? I'm not certified to do many parts yet."

"I want a PA," he told them, tilting his chin up. "From everything that's been said about yours, it seems to be excellent for self-stimulation."

Ron nodded. "I like it," he admitted. "I'm not qualified to do that yet, Malfoy. I can give you the name of the guy who's teaching me."

"No, I want you to do it. If I go somewhere official my mother would throw fits. I'll pay for it of course. Sixty galleons?"

Ron hissed and Harry caught his eye, giving him a long blink. Ron calmed himself, not thinking about the money. "If I do you without being certified, they'll take my training license away, Malfoy." He capped his polish and blew on his nails as he faced the boy. "I can bring you to the guy I'm training with and have him watch me as I do you, but I can't do you here. He's a cool guy, he handles some of Snape's needs. Doesn't tell parents or anything." He waved his hand in the air. "I still don't like this color, Harry."

Harry changed it to a metallic blue. "There," he sighed, going back to sunning himself.

Draco looked down at Ron's hands. "Nailpolish is for girls," he sneered.

"And the price just went up," Ron said smartly, flipping his magazine open. "The guy I'm working with is behind the herbologist we're supposed to go to in Hogsmeade. I'm sure he'll cut you a deal." He flipped to the article he was reading on tribal tattoos. "Harry, these are really cool. They're pictograms in a way according to Bill, only on the body to tell the story of the person's life."

Harry looked at the pictures. "They're patterns," he noted. "I'd prefer actual pictures to patterns."

"How about down your sides?" Ron asked. "They'd go well with the permanent marker I accidentally used on you."

"We'll see if you can draw them on paper first," Harry promised. He noticed Draco gaping. "I'm letting him draw on me, not tattoo me, it's good practice." He went back to his new book, a wonderful fantasy novel about a world with special white horses. He now had the whole series upstairs. "You're blocking the light, Malfoy."

"Why won't you do me?" Malfoy demanded a little loudly. The nearby students looked at them with interest.

"Because I'm not losing my training license days after getting it," Ron said warmly. "I can take you to the guy I'm working under and he can watch me do a piercing on you, but I'm not doing it without his authority. Screwing up on a PA can lead to impotence, infertility, and in rare cases an infection so bad you lose the dick. I'm not risking my license because of your vanity," he said as he turned the page.

"You need the money," Draco hissed.

Ron patted Harry's rear, making him wiggle. "I have a mate with money, Malfoy. Harry and I have started an official partnership in our mutual interest. Not exactly lovers, but more than good friends." He turned past the ad for the new tattooing machine. "I'd like to learn how to do it the old fashioned way first," he noted to his magazine.

"It takes forever, Ron. Learn the modern way then work backwards," Harry told him. He turned the page on his book. "Even if he put in a Prince Albert for you, Malfoy, he still wouldn't be alone in a room with you. Training regulations and practice regulations say he has to have someone medically trained to handle emergencies in there with him and there has to be a witness in case something happens. Sorry. You'd get me or Granger, even if he were willing to break the rules." Malfoy stomped off. "Good job, Ron," he said quietly, glancing at him. Ron lifted his sunglasses to grin and wink at him before going back to his article. "See, you can resist temptation." Ron spanked him again, making him wince as his cock piercing hit the bench. "Ow, these are thin."

"Sorry, Harry, I'll make it better later. I think you're ready to move onto blows tonight."

"Cool. I wondered what receiving one felt like." Ron snorted. "I'd better, Ron. I'm not your bitch and cash cow."

"I never said you were, you're my partner in naughtiness," Ron said, giving him a leer and an eyebrow wiggle. Harry rolled his eyes and went back to his book. "Harry, can we go somewhere for the holidays if we leave campus? Like take your godfather's book and find a house of ill repute?"

"Sure," Harry agreed, going back to his reading. He was really liking this series. These Companions were kind of neat, he wouldn't mind being a Herald in the least. "Ron, we need to see if this realm exists so we can join it."

"I'll read it after you're done," Ron promised absently, engrossed in his own article. He gently stroked Harry's calf as he read, totally unconscious action, but still comforting. He wasn't sure why anyone would tattoo their arsehole, but he was sure they liked it.


Dumbledore was in a blind panic. He had overheard, on purpose, the Malfoy/Weasley encounter and it had turned his insides cold. He called out to his last source of hope. "Remus, I need you," he said quietly, startling the werewolf. "Your nephew needs you. He's starting down the wrong path in life and I'm very worried."

"What is he doing?" Remus asked, coming through the fire to meet with him. He looked where the Headmaster pointed, frowning. "Is that *Ron*?" he asked. Dumbledore nodded. "He looks...different. The last time I saw him was this summer." He looked at his old friend. "Start from the top," he demanded, willing to take on this burden. He was Harry's only surviving relative. He only hoped he could help.


Harry looked up from his reading as a shadow fell across his book, smiling at the man standing there. "Hi, Uncle Remus," he said happily. He nudged Ron, making him look up too. "Look who Dumbledore called in this time."

Ron waved. "Hi. Do you like it? It's an early birthday present," he said, holding out his arms.

Remus smiled. "I want to hear your sides of the story before I say anything," he said quietly. "May we go talk?"

"Sure," Harry agreed, sliding off the bench and standing up. He put a marker in his spot and dusted off his knees, following his uncle inside with Ron. "What did he tell you? That we're going bad and wrong?" he asked as they took over a sitting room.

Remus nodded. "Pretty muchly. I'm hoping this is the normal seventh year rebellion, boys."

"Actually, I'm happy with everything I've done," Harry assured him, getting comfortable. "I wasn't very happy at the beginning, when I had to do something due to a medical condition, but I'm very happy with myself now. I'll even accept the risk that I might not like my tattoos when I'm fifty or sixty."

"Tattoos, piercings, new clothes...." Remus shook his head. "Are you trying to reinvent yourself, Harry?"

"No, I'm finally letting myself be me," Harry said gently, giving him a smile. "This me has been waiting on the chance to come out. Now that I can have my own life and not a long, drawn-out war for a life, I can be myself, Uncle Remus. This is me." He gave him his happiest grin, and he noticed his uncle had relaxed. "I'm sorry the Headmaster's worried, but what did he expect now that I'm free? For me to continue to be the withdrawn little boy who's been so horribly treated his whole life?"

"Albus thought they were being nice," he said gently.

"Bullshit," Ron snorted. "He admitted to Harry that he knew they weren't the best parents. He said it was protecting Harry and making him stronger. He knew everything they did." He pushed his sunglasses up to sit on top of his head, then had to untangle his hair from the nose pieces. "Now I know why Bill warned me long hair was a pain."

Harry grinned at him. "You promised to keep it for at least two months," he reminded him.

"I'm not cutting it, I need to find a way to keep it from flying away," Ron assured him. They looked at Remus again. "What do you have doubts about?"

"Ron, this really is more about Harry than you," Remus told him.

"Sure," Harry agreed.

"Right," Ron agreed.

"We're sure it's all about the Headmaster being worried about Harry not caring that there might be another fight," the boys agreed together.

Remus leaned back. "Are you aware that you sound like Ron's older brothers, the twins?" he asked dryly.

Harry nodded. "Definitely, Uncle Remus. We have now for most of the year." He shrugged. "Accept me for who I am, priapism, dick piercings, and all. Or not." He leaned against Ron's side, letting him soothe the ache of the words he had just said.

"Oh, I do," Remus said quickly, smiling at them. "Why would there be a third fight?"

"Someone actually claimed Voldemort's body to bury him," Ron told him.

"We were warned to watch out for a third go-round."

"Shit," Remus sighed. "What are you doing after school?"

"Working with Charlie," they said together.

"Boys, that's creepy," he pointed out gently, giving them a smile. "Please stop that." He looked them both over, shaking his head. "Harry, you've got priapism?" Harry nodded. "Are a few of them curing it?" Harry nodded again, smiling now. "Fully?"

"Fully," Harry agreed. "I'm still going down slowly but I'm going down on my own, without any bloodletting or anything drastic."

Remus nodded. "Ron, are you taking good care of Harry? He is the more emotionally fragile of you two."

"I take good care of Harry," Ron reminded him. "I always have. Besides, we're not *together*, we're more a matter of convenience. If we find someone else, we'll put them between us and move on."

Remus shook his head. "Those sort of arrangements almost never end up with the couple finding other people, Ron. The only one I know of that managed it was Sirius and James, and that's only because James found Lilly and she forced him to choose." Harry went a little pale. "Then I seemed to inherit Sirius." He looked at his nephew. "Harry, speaking of inheritances, stop it. I don't need the monthly allowance."

Harry shrugged. "Tough, it wasn't me, it was in the will," he said smugly.

"Hmm." He looked in the boy's eyes and saw that he was fighting a losing battle. "Fine. Give me his compass and his book of whorehouses and bars." Harry sighed and Ron shook his head. "Now, boys. I know you have it on you. You'd get into a lot of trouble. Wanted men don't go to nice bars, they go to seedy and dangerous places where the patrons like to stab and kill each other for blinking wrong." Harry summoned them and handed them over after a short caress. "You will forget any coordinates you might have memorized."

Ron gripped his head, blinking at the scene that took him over. "Bloody hell," he whined. "I thought we were joshing the biddy," he complained.

Remus smirked. "Not a chance. You've got enough metal on you to pick up satellite signals, Weasley. What was it?"

"Us, coming home from the bar, Harry's got a broken wand and many bruises. I've got two broken arms. We ran into mum's china cabinet, the one with the blue dishes." Harry groaned and shook his head. "We tipped it over. Mother was not happy." He shook his head again. "For ten seconds of film, I seem to get a lot of information."

"Feel lucky, you could get cryptic ones, then you'd have to turn into Trelawny," Harry teased, poking him a bit. Ron pounced him, kissing him hard. "Ron! Not in front of Remus or the dragon!"

"Naughty you, Harry Potter," Ron said, smirking down at him. His sunglasses fell off, hitting Harry on the forehead. "Why don't you get these?"

"I've got the evil early warning and detection system," he pointed out. "You get the graphic early warning danger system. It's fair."

"Then how do we make Hermione get some of these?" Ron asked.

"A few too many blows to the head," Remus put in, reminding them he was still there. "Weasley, get off Potter. I don't want to see you grope him." They separated, giving him stereo shrugs. "Have I mentioned that you echoing each other is disturbing?"

"Just the once," Harry put in.

"But you hide it so well," Ron added with a grin. He took back his sunglasses. "Did you want to see them? We're used to the teachers and nurse demanding to look at them."

"Even Fawkes that once," Harry reminded him.

"True, he came over and stared at my chest, then cheeped at me," Ron agreed happily. "I think he approved of being art."

"It's only fitting, he did save us that time," Harry agreed.

Remus groaned and covered his eyes. "Boys." They looked at him. "You are *worse* than the twins. You get lost in your own world." He stood up, taking the book and compass with him. "I'll see you over the holidays, Harry. Stay here, Molly and Arthur are doing a family reunion." He gave them both hugs. "Behave and try to leave Albus alone. He's old and he doesn't remember his own seventh year rebellion. He actually thought Ron was courting you, Harry, by piercing things for you."

Harry snickered and shook his head. "Ron's helped with most of mine but he's not courting me. We're close enough and the only person who can understand us is Hermione." Ron shuddered. "Hence us getting together. Uncle Remus, can you pass on a message to Draco Malfoy's mother too?" Harry asked as they walked outside. Ron gave him a strange look. "He seems to be so concerned about what we've done to ourselves, yet he wants one of his own. I think he's a bit confused. He's acting like he's a toddler with a new baby in the house."

Ron nodded. "True! He just asked me to work on him. Offered me a lot of money too."

Remus groaned. "Don't take it, Ron. He's setting you up and you know it."

"That's why I didn't take it," Ron said smugly.

Remus gave him a pat on the back. "Good boy, Ron. Now you treat Harry right and remember that he's fragile. He's much less used to being close to someone than you or I are." Ron nodded, giving him a patient look. "Thank you. Remember, you can write me whenever you want."

"Sure thing, Uncle Remus, I'll write soon," Harry said, giving him a hug. "Have fun in the bars. Don't get hurt." Remus shook his head as he walked away. He looked at Ron. "And you thought we only had to go through that with your brothers," he scoffed.

Ron nodded. "I did actually," he agreed, taking Harry's arm so they could go back to reading in the sun. "Can we pop around on your relatives, send them into shock maybe?"

"No, I think it would probably kill Uncle Vernon. He'd swear up and down that it was the school's fault and I'd have to point out that his own son doesn't like women, he likes women to take him and tie him down. The poor bastard would probably have a heart attack."

"So, can we?" Ron asked again, grinning at him.

Harry pinched him. "Bad idea, Ron. Naughty you. Just for that, I'll expect two blows."

"Hmm. I think we can work on that," Ron agreed, as he settled down with his magazine again. Someone had shifted it but hadn't taken their spots or their reading materials from their bench. He glanced around but none of their 'crew' was anywhere nearby. Hmm, must have been spontaneous curiosity.


As time came and went, the two boys carefully became closer. They decided to wait on that final step until Harry was sure he was ready, and not shaking like a leaf at the very thought. Ron was happy enough with his new snuggly and his time downstairs, which Harry didn't mind him continuing. Most of the teachers had decided that they were taking over the world from a dragon preserve. One of them had even leaked that theory to the press, but Harry's answer of 'why would I want it' was seen by most as humorous. Some people got pissed but it was quickly explained to them by the majority who knew Harry, and had relented to give interviews, that Harry didn't like most of the world because they stared at him. Molly had been quite eloquent in her defense of the boys, but then again they were her child and her all-but son-in-law.

Dumbledore continued to be upset and wary of them, mostly because he wasn't sure they had settled down and weren't going to do something else that might give him a migraine, make Snape go on another drinking binge, and nearly get the school shut down. He had forbidden Ron to pierce anyone inside the school so he was now doing it on the edge of the forest and the road to Hogsmeade each night. They had found a wonderful shrunken tent that suited their purposes and it could be taken down to pocket size when necessary. They decided to keep it for their preserve kit because it was so handy.

Harry finally got his boots broken in and wore them almost everywhere. The only place he didn't wear them was at practice and only because they were too heavy. They threw off his balance a little to the left. This year's team was shaping up wonderfully. They had won both games so far and were ahead in the points for the year since Snape was so disgusted he turned green each time he looked at Ron or Harry.

So time moved on until it was the night before the Seventh Year Ball. The night after that was the Yule Ball and they had decided to go together, if only so they didn't have to bother with finding a date who could match their clothes. Being the night before, Ron had finally talked Harry into trying actual sex. Even bottoming. He had carefully prepared his new lover, making sure he was very slick and open. Then he had slid in. At the moment, he was doing short 'rabbit' strokes to find Harry's prostate. The guy was in a bit of pain because it was his first time. Harry shrieked when he found it and he smiled, pulling back gently and hitting that same spot again. "See, it's worth it," he said in Harry's ear. His hair was loose and cascading down around them, creating a red curtain effect around Harry's head.

"Ron, slower," Harry begged. "Please?"

"Sure, Harry." Ron stretched himself across Harry's back, taking his hands to hold. "Now that I know where it is, I can make you fly later," he promised, giving the hands he held a little squeeze. Harry gasped something and Ron rolled them onto their sides. "Sorry, forgot I'm bigger," he said with a small smile. He nipped Harry's shoulder. "Tell me when you're ready."

"I thought the ache was supposed to get better," Harry said quietly.

"It will, once you're fully into it. That's the whole point of having the prostate there, Harry." He stroked over the firm stomach. Harry had started doing situps each night before bed and it was toning the already impressive muscles. He found the limp cock and stroked it slowly, making Harry hum because he knew what he liked. "Ready?"

"Slowly, long and slow," Harry pleaded.

"Of course. Now that I know where that spot is, I'm never going to forget it," Ron promised, pulling back slowly. Harry's moan this time was a thing of beauty. He slid back in, earning a higher pitched one. He smirked because he was *good* and repeated the action, going a little bit harder. He could feel the interest starting to harden Harry and teased him there too. Soon he had Harry begging for a 'righteous fucking' and gave him what he wanted. Harry's scream probably woke someone in the girls' dorm but they didn't care and neither would the girls, they'd only giggle at them tomorrow. His own quieter grunt was muffled by the back of Harry's neck as he bit into the tanned skin.

"Ow! Bloody biter!" Harry complained, swatting at him.

Ron licked over the spot. "Sorry, Harry. I couldn't resist marking you." He licked over the spot a few more times and heard Harry moan. "Do you like that?"

"Ron, bath," Harry ordered. "Or I'm never doing it again."

Ron pulled back and turned so Harry could face him. "Was it that bad? I tried to make it gentle."

Harry grabbed Ron's chin. "I know it's been a while since you first took it, but I .. AM...SORE," he said slowly and clearly. Ron beamed. "Bath?"

"Sure, we'll even have one together," Ron soothed. "You curl up there for a few and I'll run you one." He hurried out of their bed and into the bathroom, running them a bath in the only open tub. He thought about putting in some of Harry's bath salts but decided it'd probably hurt him so resisted the urge to make them smell alike. He went back for Harry, carrying him into the bathroom like a true gentleman lover to a newly popped virgin, in his book, setting him into the warm water. "Shift up," he ordered gently. Harry did so and Ron crawled in behind him, getting comfortable so Harry could rest against him. When the water was high enough, he used his toes to turn off the tap so they wouldn't have to move.

"Mmmm," Harry said sleepily. "Thank you, Ron. It was nice."

"You're welcome. Anytime you want, Harry."

"Ron, I'm still sore," Harry pointed out. "I doubt you're touching me there for a few weeks."

"The more often you do it, the less stretchy pain you feel," Ron breathed into his ear. Harry swatted him so he gave up trying to talk him back into bed and enjoyed the quiet time they were sharing. Quiet, personal time was at a minimum in the school. That's what happened when you shared a room with three other guys.

They slowly fell asleep in the warm water, comfortably snuggled together in the perpetually warm water. That's how their roommates found them that night, and giggled mercilessly at their bodies, and that's how they were found in the morning, with more giggling at their wrinkly bodies. When the giggling didn't wake them up, Neville went running for a camera and took their picture, which also didn't wake them up. They were so worn out and comfortable that they slept though breakfast and the first period bell. Which is why McGonagall found them cuddled together like that in the perpetually warm water. Her shriek did wake them up, and fairly quickly at that.

"What are you doing! Did you molest him!"

"It was consensual," Harry said, yawning and resnuggling into Ron's chest. "Go away."

"Like hell!" she said firmly, grabbing him by a free spot on his ear. "Get up now, Mr. Potter! Right this instant!" She dragged him out of the tub and to his bed, pushing him down onto it. "You will dress yourself. You will appear in my class in no more than ten minutes. The both of you!"

"Yes, Professor," Harry said sleepily, laying down again. He did miss the warm body that usually blanketed his, but he could still sleep alone.

"Weasley!" she yelled. "Get out now!" She went to pull him out too, having to take him by the arm and help him out because he was still yawning. "Now! Before I tell the Headmaster you've been engaging in sexual contact in the bathroom!"

"I did not," Ron complained, laying down beside Harry. "I did him right here, we simply snuggled afterwards. First times are often painful and he needed the soak," he defended, blanketing Harry like usual. It worked out well, he hated to sleep flat and alone and Harry liked to cuddle. He had already gotten used to this and refused to give it up. "Wake us up for breakfast."

"You've already missed it," she said firmly. She heard footsteps on the stairs and looked up. "Why me, Merlin? Haven't I been good?" she hissed. She looked at the door as it opened, showing Ms. Granger and Charlie. "Good, you can deal with the sexual leaches. They're stuck together." She stomped out, going back to her sane spot, her classroom.

"Wouldn't a soak help that?" Charlie called after her. She shrieked again.

"I'm guessing she pulled them out of the bath since their bed is wet," Hermione said, looking down at them. "You two do know that you're naked, correct?" They flipped her off. "See if I'm nice enough to save you food again," she sniffed. "I should feed it to Charlie."

"I'm fine, thank you, Hermione. Why don't you leave it there? Ron looks like he got his brains screwed out." Harry's nod of assent cracked him up and he smiled at her, who was shaking her head. "Go back to class. I'll get them up and moving." He waited until the door was closed then spanked them both, hard. They jumped and flailed, staying awake this time. "Be thankful it wasn't Mother, Ron, she'd have demanded a bonding ceremony."

"She's already all but gotten one," Ron complained, rubbing his backside. "What are you doing here?"

"Hiding from Great Aunt Emma and her fruitcake. McGonagall is about to have fits over you two." He looked at Harry's rear. "Ron, you should be more gentle with him," he said, scowling at him. "He's red!"

"We were in the bath all night," Harry defended, rubbing his rear. "I don't think I want to share with you, Charlie, quit looking." Charlie grinned and sat on what had once been Ron's bed. "What time is it?" he asked, fumbling for his glasses.

"Halfway through first class," Charlie said helpfully. Both boys groaned and went hunting for clothes and nutritional bars, something Harry had picked up during their last trip into town. "How's the paper coming?"

"I started mine," Harry admitted.

Ron grunted around his mouthful of oatmeal and fruit. "Starting after tests," he said before taking another bite. He found a tie and slid it on but didn't do it up. He started to gather his hair up but sighed and let it go when he realized it had bad static cling, doing Harry's instead. Harry swatted at him, trying to put on a shirt, but he managed to get it looking better with a few passes of his fingers. "There." He plucked another bar out of the box and looked at his big brother. "How do we look?"

"Like you're really tired," Charlie noted. "Have you been studying?"

Ron nodded. "Yup. Hermione's been grinding us down about the NEWTs and the term tests." He found his shoes and watched as Harry slipped on his loafers. "Not your boots?"

"They're still damp from yesterday in Magical Creatures," Harry mumbled. He took the biscuit sandwich Hermione had made them, handing the other to Ron as he nibbled. "Thanks." They followed Charlie down the stairs, all of them pausing as the bell rang. "What class is it again?"

"Second now," Charlie said, clapping them on the back.

"Eww, Potions," Harry sighed. "Have fun napping in the library, Ron." He waved at Charlie. "Stick around and I'll see you tonight, after I make Snape ignore me for another hour." He headed that way, remembering to walk carefully because these shoes were slick. He remembered he had left his bag upstairs and his wand as well and walked back that way, passing the teacher. "Just got up, forgot my book," he mumbled as they passed each other.

"Really?" Snape asked, turning to look at him. "What makes you think you had the right to sleep in, Mr. Potter?"

Harry stopped to look at him, still too close to sleep to be anything but blunt. "Because my ass hurt after Ron and I got done last night and we soaked together all night?" he suggested. "We were just woken up in the tub as a matter of fact." Snape turned green and hurried off. Harry continued his trek for his necessary equipment, waving at Charlie as he walked past him. "Books and wand." He grabbed both their bags, bringing them down to the bottom of the main staircase. He sent Ron's to him and went back to class, where he was ignored. It was verging on the point where Snape wouldn't even grade his potions, just give him the standard 'satisfactory' so he didn't have to look at him. He sat down and listlessly fixed his potion beside Hermione, who kept looking sideways at him. "We're fine," he promised.

"We all heard what you said," she hissed, she wasn't immune from having points taken off for speaking. Snape glared at her. "Sorry, sir," she said, going back to work.

"First times usually hurt," he said quietly, next to her ear. She jumped and he shrugged, going back to his own potion. "Hermione, not those yet," he noted. She put down everything and took a few deep breaths to rebalance herself and get herself back into the potion's mindset. Then she started to work again, but her mind was clearly drifting. Harry took the ingredients from in front of her, using them on his own potion while she daydreamed.

"Ms. Granger!" Snape yelled when he noticed she was smiling at the ceiling. "What are you doing!"

"Thinking, sir. Sorry." She looked at her pile of ingredients and noticed they were missing. "Did I add them too soon?" she asked Harry. He grinned and shook his head. "You nasty bugger," she complained, taking his to prepare.

"If you cannot keep your mind on your work, I suggest you leave, Ms. Granger," Snape ordered, pointing at the door. "I do not wish to hear more about Mr. Potter's sex life or your part in it."

She looked stricken. "Sir, I'd never touch Harry that way."

Harry patted her on the back. "It's all right, Hermione, the important people in your life know that about you. Go ahead and go, Ron's in the library." She nodded, walking out. Harry looked at Snape, then grinned slowly. He checked, it was a seventh year class. "Sir, I had a question about something I saw in the muggle world, relating to the special class we all took earlier this term." You could hear Snape's teeth grind together as he pointed at his office. Harry slid off his stool and went that way, followed by the teacher. "Sir," he said, pulling the magazine out of his bag, "why would people pretend to be animals?" he asked as he opened it to that article and pushed it over.

Snape looked at the pictures of the people dressed in animal costumes, then the headline 'Plushies and Furries Do the Town.' He looked at Harry. "Get out," he managed to get past his grinding teeth.

"But I don't understand why someone would want to do it like that," Harry said honestly. He really couldn't. "Why be a stuffed animal to have sex?"

"Out!" Snape roared, jumping up. Harry shrugged and walked out, going to the library for his own nap. Snape pounded his fist into the desk but it made the magazine change pages. Now you could see that the people in the animal costumes were having sex. His eyes widened and he started to babble. The title said it all, 'Deviant Desires'. He sat down, starting to cry. Why him! It was third class before someone thought to come check on him and they found him still in the midst of a breakdown. He was lead out by one of his loyal younger Slytherins and up to the infirmary.

Madam Pomfrey came walking out, then took one look at him and sealed a space off for him. "It's all right, Severus, you won't have to work with them next year," she soothed. "The nasty students can't come near you, not even the rebelling ones."

He looked at her, looking miserable. "Did you know muggles dressed up as furry creatures to have sex?" he asked. She looked stricken. "One of them just told me. I can't take this any more."

"Shh," she soothed, putting him into the bed and knocking him out. She looked over at the student. "Go back to class. I'll send someone down to cover it." The student nodded, heading back at a run, probably to spread the gossip as well. "You poor man. Those seventh years should be locked up for a few months." She went to call the Headmaster, who went to personally oversee the class until Professor Flitwick had a free period.

He found the magazine on the desk while examining the office and flipped it to the cover. Then he groaned and sat down to look through it, just in case he had to teach next year's sex education class. "They do what with stuffed animals?" he said in disgust. "Can't they find other muggles? There's plenty of them. Oh," he said after reading the explanation, "they are the stuffed animals. How very odd."


Harry looked up as Draco slammed open the greenhouse door and stomped over to them. "What?" he asked patiently. He was finally awake now.

"What did you do to Professor Snape!" he shouted. "You made the poor man cry!"

"You did?" Ron asked, giving Harry an interested look. "How did you do that?"

Harry looked at him and shrugged. "I asked that question we had about why someone would want to be a stuffed animal."

"Oh." Ron nodded. "Yeah, I still don't get that. Did he have an answer?"

Harry shook his head. "Not really. He yelled at me to go away." Draco gave him a shove, back into a Creeping Death vine. Fortunately, Hermione and Neville got him free before it could latch on and kill him. "What? I wasn't there! I asked, he told me to leave so I did! What makes you think it was me?"

"Because you were the last one to see him normal!" Draco shouted, balling up his fists. "You sick, perverted, abnormal bastard, you nearly drove him to suicide!"

"I did not," Harry snorted.

"He was crying!"

"Good job," Ron said, patting Harry on the back. He looked at Malfoy. "Did you stop to think that it might have been another of us? Harry was just the trigger?"

"No! No one else saw him after Harry did!" He took a swing at Harry but Harry gave one sharp blow to the chest and Draco went down. "I will see you expelled!" Draco shouted, getting back up with some help from his friends. "You're trying to kill a good man who never did anything to you!"

"I'm not," Harry told him. "I simply asked him a question and he snapped. Maybe I was the thing that tripped his breakdown, but I'm not the only one who's sickened him recently, Malfoy. Or should I not mention your new necklace?" Malfoy's face went red even as his hand drifted up to touch it. "I asked so that he could be prepared to give that information next year if someone wanted it," he finished coolly.

"And for our own knowledge," Ron put in.

Harry grinned at him, nodding. "And for that. I still don't understand why people would want to dress up as stuffed animals."

Draco shrieked in outrage and tried to hit both of them, landing a few blows in his anger, but Ron alone could take him in a fist fight, together they overpowered him quickly and trapped him on the ground, sitting on him until he quit struggling and screaming.

That's when Madam Sprout stepped in. She hadn't wanted to get between them, or get hit by accident, so she had waited patiently for someone to trap the hysterical young boy. "What is this about?" she asked calmly, looking down at Malfoy.

"I asked Professor Snape a question pertaining to the special class the seventh years took earlier this term," Harry told her. She nodded for him to go on. "It was something that frankly neither Ron nor I understood the mindset of and since he did such a good job teaching us about other mindsets we figured he would be able to tell us about that one as well."

She smiled. "That is a perfectly reasonable assumption. Perhaps I could help on that topic?"

Ron cleared his throat, getting her attention. "Why would someone dress up as a stuffed animal to do that?"

She blushed. "I'm supposing it's comforting. Like hugging a stuffed bear when you're young, only now you're holding a real one and interacting in a manner."

"But both parties are dressed up," Harry told her.

"Mutual comfort or something along the lines of animal instincts," Hermione put in. "I had been ordered out of the dungeons by then, Madam, but I know Harry's been trying to figure that out for days."

"So I asked him in the privacy of his office," Harry continued. "He ordered me out, I left. Then this class Malfoy comes in screaming that I nearly drove him to suicide."

"Which would have been well beyond Harry's usual means," Ron put in.

"Are you aware that you're sounding like the twins?" Madam Sprout asked them. They grinned and nodded. "Just making sure." She nodded for them to get off Malfoy and helped him up, dusting him off. "That is where I noticed you were foaming at the mouth, so you can now explain yourself, Mr. Malfoy. Why did you nearly rip a door off the frame, attack them, and scream in my greenhouse?"

"They've nearly killed my head of house," Draco said, still outraged but no longer screaming. "He's in the infirmary having a breakdown because of Potter!" he spat. Literally, right at Harry's feet. "He's never done anything against you, Potter, you leave him alone. You and your deviant little fuckbuddy."

"Mr. Malfoy, you will not utter such language in the presence of a female," Madam Sprout snapped. He went pale. "Thank you." She looked at them. "The only course of action I can see is for you three to go up to see the Headmaster. Perhaps he can calm you down enough so you can see that it wasn't *only* Mr. Potter's fault, and he can inform Mr. Potter of how to treat Professor Snape in the future." Draco glared as he wrenched his arm free, stomping off. "You as well, boys." They grabbed their stuff and headed off, Neville jogging out to give Harry his reading book. They trudged up the stairs and into the office, sitting down on either side of Draco since he had taken the middle seat and you didn't really rearrange the seats on Dumbledore.

"Boys," Dumbledore said calmly. "What did you say to Professor Snape?"

"I asked him a question about a sexual practice neither of us understood, sir," Harry said honestly. "Ron and I have no clue why people would want to dress up as furry animals, or even as stuffed animals, and have sex."

"We've been trying to figure it out on our own, but only Harry has him this year so he volunteered to ask him during a lull in the class so he could tell me," Ron put in. He patted Harry's leg. "Calm down. I'm sure he wasn't suicidal."

"No, Professor Snape wasn't suicidal, no matter what Mr. Malfoy was screaming. He has, however, had a small break with reality for a few hours now. Harry, I do believe you were the last straw this time, and probably a number of the other ones. Your recent attitude toward the teachers has been noted and discussed."

"I've been nothing but courteous to them," Harry defended. "I've even been nice to Professor Snape! He's the one who's taken to ignoring me. For that matter, I should protest my grades in there since he's not actually looking at my work, only giving it a 'S' and moving on."

"Still, you are a bit different," Dumbledore said cautiously. He could see Harry on the verge of a royal snit fit and he didn't want to have to obliviate Malfoy when it happened. "Mr. Malfoy, you now have three detentions with Mr. Filch for fighting. You may leave."

"No, he stays," Harry said, making the door slam without touching his wand. He hated when he did that but this time he wasn't even going to feel sorry.

"Harry," Ron said softly.

"No, Ron! I've been nothing but nice and decent for the last few months. I haven't been overly angry, I haven't been overly snide, I haven't even gotten into trouble! Neither of us have! It's clear that some people aren't happy that we're no longer under their thumbs and that they're afraid of things getting out." He stood up, bracing himself on the desk so he could lean closer. "I have done *nothing*," he hissed. "I asked a legitimate question and now I'm being punished because one of your teachers has been going funny for months. I didn't start this fight but I damn well will finish it, Dumbledore. I'm not a lapdog, not Ron's, not yours, not anyone's. The fighting is over and I deserve to have a fucking life!"

Ron stood up and pulled Harry back, gently stroking his back. "The prophecy supports you, Harry," he said softly. "It said you could have a life once he was dead." He looked at Dumbledore. "How dare you treat him like he's still some helpless warrior-slave!" He glared at Malfoy. "Get over yourself. If Snape has a problem with us, he's more than adult enough to come to us and *talk* to us. Unlike his usual ignoring of us. Everyone's noted, including you, that Snape's been ignoring Harry since September. Well before our night out or that small battle." Draco got up and stormed out so he turned his glare on Dumbledore. "Harry's himself, and he's happy. You may not be happy with who he is, but you helped make him this way. As my mother says, you made your bed, now you can lay in it and get smelly from the dirty sheets." He led Harry out and downstairs to the bathroom to help him finish calming down. "Stupid bastard knows everything that goes on in this school, he probably even has a portrait in your family's house, and he still expects you to be a little boy without any will."

"It's okay, Ron," Harry said quietly. "Just hug me?"

"Sure." He grinned as he pulled Harry into his arms for some comfort, kissing him on the forehead. "I'm supposed to be calming you, not the other way around."

An older man in a portrait on the wall near them coughed. "Excuse me." They looked at him, Harry shifting so he was facing that way but not stepping away from Ron's hold. "The Headmaster didn't do it on purpose, boys, he really didn't. I've been here long enough to realize that, it's more that he doesn't understand you young things today."

"The man told an eleven-year-old not to go fight the great evil that was giving him splitting headaches, without telling him *why* it was giving him splitting headaches," Harry told him. "He was a teacher before, right?" The old man nodded, giving them a sad smile. "Then he should have known better. And Ron's right, he knew what was going on each and every year and *never* stepped in to stop it."

"Even the Headmaster is not omnipotent, boys. Really." He gave them an encouraging smile. "I personally have seen many boys come out of the headmaster's office. He's against anyone who picks an unusual manner of expressing themselves. He doesn't really understand the artistic, the sensitive, or the genuinely sweet and innocent like that Longbottom boy. The fact that you two have found vastly different personalities than who he thought you were actually like has stumped him and it's not a comfortable feeling. Even though most people can accept you as the beings you are, he hasn't wrapped his mind around it yet."

"That's his problem," Ron said calmly. "Not ours. I'm not myself to make him comfortable. I'm me to make myself comfortable." Harry gave him a squeeze. "You can tell him we said that too." He kissed Harry on the forehead. "Think we should head out for a bit tonight? Just to let you calm down?"

"I'm fine, Ron." Harry arched into Ron's fingers as he teased the nipple rings. "Ron! I need comforting, not that! And not in front of the portraits either! I don't want to be watched by anything!"

Ron gave him a small grin. "Harry, we can almost read each other's minds, I know what you need to comfort you." He gave him a short kiss, making him smile. "I'm right, aren't I?"

Harry moaned and leaned into the careful touches. "Yeah, you are. It is comforting to me. Don't pull on those."

"I'm not, I remembered you changed back to the rings last night." He turned them so Harry was against the wall, letting him rest there while he teased and played with his best friend.

"I think I'm going to go visit someone else's painting," the portrait said, hurrying away.

The boys laughed. "Damn, you are good, Ron Weasley."

"I know I am, but I'm matched by your brilliance, Harry Potter." He unzipped the dark pants and slurped greedily at the thing poking out at him. "I like the days when you forget to put on underwear."

"It hurt, and for that matter, my rear still does."

Ron undid the pants fully, turning Harry around. "Let me fix that for you," he said gently, teasing the sore spot with his tongue.

"Ron!" Harry said, outraged that he was being so lewd in public. "We're not even in a stall!"

"No one's coming in here, and if they are, they'll leave," he promised, teasing Harry some more until he groaned and went limp under him. He turned the other young man around and sucked him slowly, making Harry come and nearly pass out. "There, how's that for comfort?"

"You are the most comforting," Harry agreed, giving him a smile. "But you're brushing your teeth before you kiss me. I can remember where your tongue was."

Ron laughed as he shifted over to rinse out his mouth, coming back to grab a kiss. "Better?"

"Much," Harry agreed, using his wand to pull up his pants and rehitch them. "We can't sneak out tonight, it's the stupid ball and it's mandatory."

"Maybe we're being banned from it for lewd and obnoxious behavior," Ron said with a wink. He looked toward the door as someone knocked. "What?"

"Bloody bastard, go away!" Harry yelled.

"It's me," Hermione called, walking in. "Sprout sent me. Dumbledore called down and told her he wanted to see you two again but you never returned. I figured you'd be in the bathroom cuddling by now." She gave them a look, noticing how rumpled Harry was and Ron's swollen lips. "Really! Can't you two ever stop that?"

"No," Ron said.

"Why should we?" Harry asked.

"I was comforting him," Ron agreed.

"It was magnificent for what it was," Harry offered.

She held up a hand. "Stop, now." She turned and walked out, heading back to class to report she had found them and that they had been told to go back up to the office.

Harry led Ron by the hand he was holding, taking him up to the office again. "You sent for us?"

"You didn't go back to class?" Dumbledore asked gently.

"No, I got him calmed down," Ron said, sitting down and pulling Harry into his lap. He was still smaller and it comforted him to be held this way. "Why? Did you want to insinuate more things about us being evil, lazy, or cruel?"

"I said no such thing," Dumbledore reminded him.

"All but," Harry pointed out. "Which neither of us deserved. You may not remember your seventh year, but we're happy with ourselves. If you can't be happy for us, then that's your problem, sir." He stood up and pulled Ron with him. "Ron pointed out something earlier that is true. We can almost read each other's minds anymore."

"We're also the only one who can possibly understand the other. We've been there for all of it together, along with Granger, and we're not taking up with her. She only likes tiny little geeky men and my sister," Ron told him, shrugging at his stunned look. "C'mon, we've got to eat lunch or we'll never hear the end of it."

Harry nodded, giving him a smile. "Hey, Ron, when are you going to show me what you were drawing earlier?"

"After you buy some more paper," Ron said cheekily as they walked away.

Dumbledore frowned. Those two had their own little world and obviously no one else was invited. It made getting through to them very frustrating.


Harry wandered into the pen and paper shop in Hogsmeade that afternoon, even with full permission , which was amazing for him. He found the boxes of paper he and Ron usually used, and looked for the biggest box they sold. He felt an arm move across his shoulders and a familiar scent hit his nose. "Oliver?" he asked, turning to look at him.

"How'd you know?" he asked with an easy smile.

"You still wear the same aftershave!" He hugged him as hard as he could, making his former captain 'oof' with surprise. "You're finally back?"

"I am, and guess what I had waiting on me as soon as I walked into my mother's house," he said dryly, touching an earring. "Letters and cuttings from all your former teammates who are dreadfully worried about you. The last one was from the twins, who said you were still normal, just freaky because you were tied with Ron somehow."

Harry laughed. "Yeah, Ron and I have formed a companionable agreement." He gave him another hug. "Let me get the paper and I'll walk around with you for a bit." He looked at the saleslady. "Do you have a bigger box than the ten pound?"

"We've got a case in the back," she offered dryly. "Why do you need so much, Mr. Potter?"

"Ron's working on his tattooing skills on paper. He needs the art practice."

She laughed and pulled down a roll of parchment, double width of the usual paper and about seventy feet long. "We've got this. It's a bit better in quality."

"Expensive too probably," Oliver said as he walked Harry over there. He felt the exposed edge, whistling. "Thick and heavy."

Harry felt it, then looked at the tag. "That's not that expensive!"

"It's going out of style. They're discontinuing this color." She patted it. "We've got four rolls left."

Harry pulled his money pouch out of his leather jacket's pocket, looking inside it. He looked at her. "I only brought three galleons with me," he said, making a face.

"We can do a credit slip," she assured him.

"Okay. Then we'll take two rolls and the pen I've been seriously wanting," he said, pointing at it. "Are they serrated down the center?" She nodded. "And at the normal page length?" She shook her head. "That's fine, we'll cut it off. It'll mean no more little pieces floating around like confetti." He filled out the slip and put his vault number on it, then let her sign it. He looked at the roll, then at her. "Bag?"

"We'll ship it to the school," she promised, waving a hand. "Go wander and buy some chocolate for your young man."

"Thanks," Harry said, giving her a grin, then Oliver one. "Where were you headed?" he asked as they walked out of the shop. "And how did you know where I'd be?"

"I cast a location spell," he said simply. "Are you happy?" Harry nodded. "And comfortable?"

"It took a few weeks after the first one to quit feeling the stupid thing when I flew, but then again I didn't have any healing salve or anything with me." Oliver shuddered. "Sorry, Ollie."

"It's not a problem, Harry, the same as it wasn't during that one away game when you talked in your sleep."

"I did?" Harry squeaked. He pinched him. "You said I didn't."

"Well, you did," Oliver said with a sheepish grin. "We told you how brilliant you were and how proud your parents would be. You seemed to accept it and felt better in the morning." He put his arm back across Harry's shoulders. "You're not going to play pro?"

"I haven't been approached and the one coach I got the nerve to approach said I wasn't that great," Harry told him simply. "I was going to do the general tryout next year." Oliver nodded. "Did the twins or anyone tell you that Ron took over your spot?"

"No," Oliver said with a grin. "He any good?"

"It took him a few games to learn to ignore people but yeah," Harry said. "Not great, like you are, but good enough for a house team definitely."

"That's wonderful then. Should I come up and threaten the boy with my broom to treat you right?"

"Honestly, Ron treats me like I'm some fragile ornament," Harry shared, shifting closer so they could talk more quietly. "Everyone's threatened the both of us to treat each other right. Charlie's taken us under his personal care since we're going to be working with him for the next year." That got a small smile. "Did you know Charlie when he was in school?"

"I was just starting his last year," Oliver told him. "He was a nice guy, helped me find my spot on the team." He gave Harry's neck a squeeze. "Are you spoiling Ron? I figured you for a spoiler."

"Oh, I am," Harry agreed with a bright grin. "I love to spoil Ron, he's always so nice about it. He hardly ever complains that I'm spending too much on him." He gave his old friend a squeeze. "You should come up and talk to him. Maybe you could teach him how to block a shot with his broom tail like you used to do."

"That takes a lot of skill," Oliver pointed out, "but I could try." They looked up toward the castle. "What's been goin' on up there?"

"Well, let's see. Snape's in a snit about my body modifications." Oliver snorted about that. "The first really was necessary."

"So I heard. Why does he care?"

"He's in charge of students having the standard seventh year rebellion," Harry said dryly. "Malfoy told me I broke him earlier today, make him cry and have a breakdown."

Oliver laughed, shaking his head. "I always knew you were special, Harry. How are the Headmaster and McGonagall?"

"She's doing well. She never jumps on Ron and me for being ourselves. She's carefully cautious about what we do, but she's taken the time to listen to what Ron wants to do to help him figure out what he's trying to find. The Headmaster is just pissed at us for being ourselves. He told us earlier we were disturbing to him." He shrugged at the incredulous look. "I'm not the most accommodating person, Oliver. I have a life and a style I enjoy and the Headmaster doesn't understand. He pissed me off so much I closed a door without my wand or a hand."

"I remember those fits you could throw when you got so pissed at the world," Oliver said gently, giving him a smile. "How are things beside that?"

"Ron's really great. He calmed me down earlier with a snog in the bathroom. Classes are classes. Tonight's the seventh year ball." He shuddered. "I'm not really looking forward to that."

"Ahh, go show them what you're made of," Oliver teased, winking at him. "You're young and the teachers already know you can show your asses. So do so. Ron's got to be trouble, he's a Weasley. He'll go along with it."

"I'm sure," Harry agreed with a small laugh. "Did you know, Ron and I are most often told we're too much like the twins for our own good?"

"No, but one of them did mention it," Oliver pointed out. "I thought they were playing."

"Nope." Harry shook his head, looking down at his feet. "Ron and I are a lot alike. We can almost read each other's minds after all we've been through."

Oliver stopped them, making Harry look up at him. "Then I'm happy if you are," he said gently, smiling at him, a true big brother sort of smile. "With what you've done, you should be happy and sane for once in your life." He saw something out of the corner of his eye and rolled his eyes in response. "Tell Ron I wasn't going to kiss you when the paper comes tomorrow, okay?"

"Yup. You're like my big brother and I adore you that much, not more," Harry quipped. "You taught me one of the few things that makes me happy."

Oliver gave him a hug. "I'm glad I could do that, Harry. You're an incredible player and I hope you make a pro team, or that you find working with the dragons and Ron suit you and you can play down there."

"Charlie's in charge of it and he promised we could, even if we didn't sleep with him," Harry said with a slightly naughty grin.

Oliver tipped his head back and laughed. "I'm sure he did." He ruffled Harry's hair. "You go back to the school and I'll see you in a few weeks. We'll do lunch after my next game, during the holidays."

"Sure," Harry said happily. "Can I bring Ron?"

"Sure," Oliver agreed. "I don't know him that well and if I'm going to be a good big brother, then I'd better get to know him, right?" Harry beamed and ran off after one last hug. Oliver shook his head, sighing in regret. He'd have to talk to his coach about watching the kid, but he'd also have to warn him about the earrings. They weren't regulation in the league. He wouldn't say anything to Harry, they obviously made the little guy happy and it was a great improvement over the kid he had seen through the first four years of his life, and from the stories the twins and everyone had told him about Harry's last few years. He looked around but apparently the bag he had been picking up was missing. He went back to the paper shop, finding it had been sent on for him. He bought himself a new pen, that way he had no excuses not to write letters on his next road trip series.


Harry smiled up at Ron while they danced that night. "Did I remember to mention that Oliver invited us to lunch during the holidays?"

"Once or twice," Ron said tolerantly. He kissed him on the nose, having to only bend a little to reach it. Harry had grown another inch it felt like. "Do you have a crush on him?"

"Well, he is cute," Harry admitted with a devilish grin, "but I see him like a big brother. Did I ever tell you about that away game?" Ron shook his head, spinning them around. "We only had one room."

"That much was a rumor around the school. Malfoy groused so much about having to share the bed with the rest of the team that we figured Oliver must have arranged it that way."

"He swears he thought there would be two rooms for each team. Anyway, I spent the first night curled up against his chest, we were the dividing line between the boy's side and the girl's side." He pinched Ron's rear, making him jump, then he grinned. "I also slept between the twins and the first thing I thought the next morning was that it was like sleeping next to you, only doubled."

Ron chuckled, a warm and happy sound. "I'm glad you thought of me at all that weekend with the three women there." He stole a fast kiss, anything more wouldn't be allowed. "How do you feel now?"

"Better," Harry admitted. "I'm a lot more calm." Ron's hand brushed past the crack of his ass and he moaned. "How did you do that?" he whispered.

"Easy, your body decided it was a wonderful experience, sore muscles and all, so it's told itself to actively welcome me the next time." He grinned and winked. "Which will be about ten minutes after we get out of here."

Harry blushed and hid his face on Ron's shoulder. "You are a naughty perv, Ron."

"You knew that before you took up with me," Ron pointed out.

"Yeah, I did," Harry agreed, grinning into the soft fabric. "Are you wearing the other one tomorrow?"

"Sure, why not." He glanced around as the music cut out. "I think we should stop for a few minutes." Harry quit moving and pouted at him. "The music stopped."

"Oh. Good point." Harry led Ron back to their table and sat them down, sipping on some of the punch that one of the elves delivered to them. He thanked it with a nod and slowly slid his hand down to tease Ron's thigh. "Don't," he warned when Ron shifted.

"Harry! And you say I'm the naughty perv," Ron whined.

Harry grinned. "Yup, you are. You say things that inspire me." He slowly slid his hand up the trim thigh, making Ron blush. "Relax, there's a table cloth and a number of couples are doing the same thing."

"So I noticed, but still," Ron said. "What's gotten into you? You never want to be watched."

Harry leaned over to steal a real kiss, his hand finding the prized spot it had been looking for. "Oliver said we should show our asses."

"I don't think he meant literally," Ron said with a grin. "We've got five more months, Harry, then you can be the biggest bloody perv in the world." His eyes bulged as the fingers gave him a little squeeze. He grabbed his punch to sip, feeling the potion move through him. "Harry, lust potion," he said.

"Not in mine." He handed over his glass and Ron tasted it, looking confused. "There are times when I want to play, Ron. If you don't like it...." He started to move his hand but Ron grabbed it to put it back. "Are you sure?"

"Harry, I adore you, that's why I let you take care of me. If you want to play, and it doesn't get us kicked out, then I'm all for it." He finished off Harry's punch since it was potion free, letting his boyfriend grope him under the table. "The music's starting again."

"Yay, my thong is getting tight." Ron leered at him. "It is. So is yours." He gave him another squeeze before palming it to stroke gently. They shifted closer and watched the other couples dance until Ron had to cast an obscurity charm around their table so they wouldn't really be noticed by anyone. "Damn, I want to suck you so bad," Harry whispered once the charm was up.

"Harry," Ron moaned. "Do we really have to stay longer?"

"Until the awards. But we can go to the loo. We wouldn't be the first couple."

"Harry, if I take you in there, you're going to come out walking funny," Ron promised. Someone coughed from behind them. "Bloody hell."

"Next time, make the charm go all the way around you, boys," McGonagall said firmly.

Harry smiled at her. "I saw Oliver today."

"And did he make you want your boyfriend even worse?" she teased lightly.

Harry nodded. "Oliver's like a big brother to me and he thinks Ron's really neat; he gave me permission to shag him on a table if I wanted to." Ron's 'eep' was audible enough. Harry grinned at him. "He did say to show our asses."

"I don't think he meant literally, Harry. Please remove your hand from Ron's pants." She took the punch Ron held out, taking a long drink to cool her blush, grimacing as it went down. "Where did you get that?"

"The house elves brought it," Harry told her. "Mine was normal."

"I'll have Severus check it." She walked away, finishing the obscurity charm for them. They obviously had other things that they'd rather be doing and this way they could do it in peace and be ignored while doing it. She handed the remaining punch to Severus, who sniffed and groaned. "It was given to Mr. Weasley when they sat down."

"What are they doing about it?" Severus asked.

"It's a light dose," she pointed out, but she was starting to sweat. "They've put up a shield, thankfully." She noticed his look at the tables and smiled as she moved closer. It might be affecting her, but she wasn't in the mood to care at the moment.

"Minerva, go sit down," he ordered. "I have an antidote already made for such potions." He went to retrieve it before she could jump him. Doing so made him walk past Mr. Weasley, who gave him a smug smile, but Mr. Potter seemed to be missing. When he looked back from the door, he saw Mr. Potter had reappeared. Had he brought that cloak down with him? He snorted in disgust at the horniness of teenagers then went to get the potion to cure all that.

Ron kissed Harry gently, tasting himself. "I wish you had brought down the cloak," he whispered. Harry chuckled and licked his lips. "Okay, now what should we do?"

"Unless we're going to be really sneaky, we can't do what you were wanting."

Ron looked at his watch. "When were those awards supposed to be given out?"


"It's only nine-twenty," he complained.

Harry gave him another kiss. "That gives you forty minutes to get back up and to tease me into not asking you to bottom."

Ron licked his lips, giving him his 'special' smile, the one that had gotten him down into the orgy room. "Why, Harry, why would I want to do that when you know you like doing it so much?" he asked in a husky voice. Harry groaned and leaned closer, stealing a real kiss. "We should dance for a bit."

Harry put Ron's hand on his crotch. "Fix this then we will."

"If I do that, everyone will know," Ron reminded him. He pulled his wand and applied the cockring charm that Harry used to use each morning, making him whimper. "Just until after the awards," he promised. "So we don't have to worry about spot cleaning later." He stood up and forced Harry back onto the dance floor with him, glancing down at himself to make sure he was fully covered after Harry's treat. They danced slowly, letting Harry rub himself against Ron's body and letting Ron feel Harry up. When the awards were started, Harry was all but panting and Ron was hard again and mentally wishing they'd all hurry up. Who cared who he cutest couple was? The most odd one went to them and he hopped up to get it, giving everyone a wave as he leered at Harry. It was the next to last award. He was stopped by the Headmaster before he could leave the dias.

"Harry, if you wouldn't mind coming up here?" he called. Harry's groan could be heard as he stood up. He caught Ron's eye and mentally tried to take himself down a few notches, but had to stick with putting his hands in front of his obvious distress. He stood slightly behind Ron so he'd be in a deeper shadow. "Thank you," Dumbledore said, smiling at them. "Between these two and Ms. Granger, who had to leave earlier due to that unfortunate punch incident, the life of this school has been changed and we want to thank them for that." Everyone clapped and a few whistled at his announcement. "For that reason alone, we have a special award, known from now on as the Weasley Trouble award. As it was pointed out to me earlier, Harry might as well be a Weasley." That got a few laughs. "They all deserve this award. If it had been around a few years ago, the twins might have received it had they made it to the Seventh Year Ball. Please, feel free to share it with them," he said, handing over the small gold plaque. "Would you like to say anything?"

Harry was handed the mic and looked at it for a second before saying anything. He looked at the crowd. "I'm sorry so many of you had to get involved in the trouble that came for me, but I am glad that Ron was there with me, to help me manage the trouble and get past it." He smiled at Ron and handed over the mic to the real Weasley.

Ron looked at the plaque, then at his bouncing lover. "This is so special," he said happily, grinning at them. "And to think, my mother thought I was being good up until our fifth year!" The crowd laughed and clapped. "Now I really can get one over on the twins." He held it up and took Harry's hand, walking them out slowly. As soon as the music started, they ran for the doors, heading up to their beds.

A few minutes later, Minerva McGonagall turned to the Headmaster. "Albus, where are the boys?"

He looked at the table, then shrugged. "Having a snowball fight perhaps?"

"Ah, they're shagging again," Professor Flitwick said happily. "Mr. Potter looked like Mr. Weasley had teased him mercilessly after that quick blow under the table." Everyone who had heard, which included the nearest couples on the dance floor, looked at him. "It was obvious, and not the first one tonight," he said happily. "Headmaster, am I teaching the seventh year class next year?"

"Yes," he said, nodding. "Thank you for offering." He clapped him on the back. "That would save Severus a bit of sanity I believe." He smiled at the students. "Do have fun," he prodded. They went back to their dancing, talking about the subject many of them would be dealing with later, sex.


The next night, the regular Yule Ball was held but the boys had decided not to go and to have the room all to themselves. Harry once again found himself under Ron, but looking up at him this time. "I didn't know we could do it this way," he noted, smiling up at him.

"Sure we can," Ron agreed, grinning back. "Just think, by the end of the holidays I'm going to have you loving this so much you'll beg, Harry," he said in a husky voice.

"As long as I get to reciprocate sometimes," Harry reminded him dryly. He winced as the fingers started to work him open. "I still can't get used to that."

"Just relax," Ron soothed, slowing down. Harry relaxed under his fingers and he got the point. Harry wasn't like his playtoys in the orgy room. He wasn't always ready. He didn't want it to go fast so they could switch to the next pair. Harry wanted the cuddling, the slow, the touching. He did something to Harry that he rarely did with any of his lovers, he kissed him all the time. Most of them may get a peck on the cheek now and again, but no real kisses. He realized Harry was more important to him and that he was probably in over his head because he did feel something for him that would be complicated if they ever broke up, but then again he was trying to have sex so these weren't his uppermost thoughts at the moment. They'd hang around long enough and he'd get back to them after sex in the morning since neither of them were leaving for the holidays. Harry moaned and shifted, pushing back against his fingers. "Starting to like this?"

"I am," Harry agreed. "Isn't there another position though? My back's going to hurt and my hips are already aching."

"Sure. We can spoon. It's one of my favorite positions because you can cuddle during it." He shifted, withdrawing his fingers so he could put Harry onto his side. He greased himself down then wiped his hands on the babywipes they had bought for such things. He curled up behind Harry, slowly shifting into him, one long, slow, smooth glide into the tight warmth. Harry sighed in pleasure, going limp in his arms, so he stopped, letting them lay like that for a while, until his dick got insistent. "Ready for more?"

"Yeah," Harry said, smiling by the joy in his voice. "I feel connected like this, Ron."

"It's good that you can feel me, Harry," Ron teased. Harry reached back to pinch him on the thigh. "Sorry." He kissed him on the shoulder. "Physically connected?"

"Like I'm part of the world, not floating just out of reach of it." He shifted a bit and Ron slid both his legs between his to give himself room to move. "I like this."

"I've always liked this position, except with girls. It's harder to reach into them in this spot." He shifted out and back in.

"Do you still like girls?"

"I'm still young enough to be indiscriminate, Harry. You are too."

"But I'm not. I like the cuddling stuff more."

"That's because took all that stuff to suppress your hormones. Once they fully kick in, you may be the horniest creature on the planet."

"Or I might not. I wrote Remus and he said my mother was fairly randy but that my dad had to be talked into it each time." He felt Ron shift back. "Sorry."

"No, it's not a problem," Ron assured him. "Just don't talk about my parent's sex life."

"I don't think your parents have one," Harry assured him.

Ron grinned. "Thank you." He gave his neck a kiss. "That's the only bad thing about this position, I can't reach the best places to kiss."

"I never imagined you for a kisser."

"Me either, but I seem to enjoy it with you."

"We're seriously together, aren't we?" Harry asked with a touch of humor.

Ron sighed. "I think we may be. Do you want me to stop seeing other people?"

"I want you to be careful, but I'm not going to be able to keep up with your sex drive, Ron. You're a monster in the sack."

Ron laughed, licking up Harry's upper arm. "I am not, I just take horny spells."

"Every Thursday night?"

"Okay, so maybe I am hornier than most of the boys. You could come with me you know. I can get you invited." Harry turned his head so they could look at each other. "Really, I can. I'd even put you on the outer edges of the group so you wouldn't be forced into doing as much work. We have rules so no one would know it was you, or even that it's me. Some people might have guessed, but no one can say for sure and no one can talk about what goes on in there." He cuddled Harry back to him. "Maybe that first night, when your hormones take over?"

"We'll see," Harry agreed, smiling back at him. "Can you maybe shift a bit? I'm feeling warm." Ron pulled back and thrust in gently, making Harry sigh in please. "Yeah, like that." Ron laughed in his ear, doing it again even as he took Harry's hands to hold. "Can we do this in the halls?"

"Everyone's probably wondering why we haven't yet," Ron agreed happily. "Does that mean you can write bad poetry?"

"I can try," Harry offered. "Did we get the paper?"

"Not yet, why?"

"I bought you the big serrated rolls that were going out of stock," Harry told him. Ron hugged him tightly. "It's two sheets wide by seventy feet each roll. That way there's no more permanent marker accidents."

Ron kissed him on the ear. "I do adore you, Harry, you spoil very well. Were they expensive?"

"Not half as much as your present."

"I didn't need another one."

"The paper was in self defense," Harry said, giving the hands in his a squeeze. "The other is a present."

"Okay, but I didn't get to get you anything yet."

"We'll go tomorrow before we start the paper," Harry promised. Ron grunted his agreement, starting to move faster. "Slowly, Ron, please?"

"Harry, I've only got so much self-control," Ron begged.

"You're already getting two orgasms to my one, it's not fair to you," Harry complained.

"Fair to me?"

"I fall asleep after mine, you're doing more work," Harry pointed out.

"Harry, I like doing this sort of work. It's much nicer than doing homework or any other sort of work, even poking holes in bodies isn't as fun as doing this sort of work inside you. This is how *I* spoil *you*. So drop it." He sped up a bit and freed a hand to play with Harry's cock, making him groan and shift. Harry came not long after he did and they laid there together, Ron smiling when he heard the first snore. Yes, Harry had more self-control but he always took a nap after it was over with.


Ron looked up as Madam Pince brought them over a few mugs of juice. "Thanks," he said with a smile. "We're not the only ones here, are we?"

She laughed. "No, you two aren't making more work for me." She glanced around. "Where is your other half?"

"Looking up a charm Professor Flitwick mentioned to him," Ron said with a slight head shake at her interested look. "It's not a nice something, it's more a treat for me."

She laughed. "Mr. Potter, all ...extreme charms are in the blue Charms section," she called, walking back to her desk. Halfway there, she slipped on a puddle of water that some unthoughtful poltergeist had put onto the floor when her back was turned. She fell with a small scream of terror, and the boys were right there beside her when she came back around. "Boys, I think I need Madam Pomfrey, would one of you call her?"

"I can do one better," Harry promised with his best confident look. "I've had a lot of practice with stretchers." He summoned one and put her onto it, carefully floating them up to the infirmary. Ron had run ahead to alert the nurse so she met them at the door. "Peeves put down water earlier, we saw him do it," he explained. "She fell, was out for nearly two minutes, and she screamed like she broke something."

"Thank you, Mr. Potter. Did you check for any broken bones?"

"Only for her neck," Harry admitted. Madam Pomfrey clicked her tongue. "Sorry."

"That's all right, speed is usually of the essence in these cases." She transferred the poor librarian to a table and shooed both boys out of the way so she could examine her. Then she sighed. "You've broken that leg again, Irma. You know I can't fix it this time." Madam Pince groaned. "We'll just have to move around it. I'm sure you can find a capable helper among the seventh years."

"Hermione would probably kill to do the job," Ron put in from his seat on another bed beside Harry.

"Should we close up the library, Madam Pince?" Harry asked.

"Stamp your books for the rest of the week, dears, and take them upstairs with you. We'll lock the doors later." They nodded and left, leaving her and the nurse looking together. "Granger would be power-happy," she whispered.

"Yes, but she knows that library of yours like only you do," Madam Pomfrey said with a smile. "Let me tell the Headmaster so he can lock the doors for you and put up a sign. If worst comes to worst, those two can do it over the holidays until you find someone else to help you with that weakened bone." She hurried off to call the Headmaster, then came back and dosed her patient with pain killer.

Dumbledore walked into the library, glancing around. "Is anyone still in here?" Harry's head popped up from behind the desk. "What are you doing back there?"

"She said to stamp our books for a week, Headmaster. We're trying to find the correct stamp."

"Here it is," Ron said as he popped up as well. "How do you set it?" Harry took it and spun the little dials until they had a week to bring the books back, stamping them all quickly and efficiently. "There." He smiled at the Headmaster. "Will she be all right?"

"She'll be fine, boys, even though her leg bone is weak and can't be healed." He watched as they left with their stacks of books, Harry coming back for the rest of their things right before he locked the doors. He watched them disappear before going up to check on his librarian. He smiled down at her, noticing how glazed her eyes were. "Irma, did you have a helper in mind?"

"The boys would be fine," she said happily. "I'll take applications when the students come back."

"I'll send out letters of announcement," he soothed. She gave him a sleepy smile. "You rest, dear, I'll handle the library and tell the boys how to do things for you." She nodded, closing her eyes. He glanced at the nurse. "Was that the drugs talking?"

"No. She knows they're the only ones here who can deal with a book. None of the smarter Ravenclaws stayed, Malfoy went home to be courted by a family for a political marriage now that his mother has cured his aggression problems, Parkinson, Crabbe, and Goyle all went to that dragon preserve together - though the boys left a few days later because of her letter. Send her up here when they get back, Albus, I'll probably have to heal something on her." She tucked her fellow staffmember in and then looked at him again. "The boys will be fine. Both of them know what books are and how to treat them. Be sure to pay them, it will make it seem more like real work to them."

He nodded at the sensibility she gave him. "I shall do that." He walked out, going up to Gryffindor to interrupt their cuddling-while-reading time. "Boys?" he called as he walked in. "Harry? Ron?"

Ron skipped down the stairs a moment later. "Harry's in the loo, what's wrong?" he asked, looking worried. "Did someone already revive You-Know-Who?"

Dumbledore shook his head. "Nothing as dramatic as that. Madam Pince has suggested you two be her helpers until the other students come back." Harry came down the stairs, looking interested. "We'd pay you a small salary for the few days of course, nothing exorbitant, but definitely something."

"We're having lunch with Oliver Wood two days after Christmas, would that still be okay?" Harry asked. Dumbledore nodded. "Then we can do that. It will give us more time to work on our papers for the preserve." Ron looked at him and he grinned. "We won't even have sex in there."

"Thank you, boys. When Madam Pince wakes up, I'll let her know you've accepted. We'll try not to take up all your holiday." He nodded at them before leaving.

"We won't have sex back in the reading rooms?" Ron asked, looking smug. "Harry, you're becoming a regular exhibitionist."

Harry blew him a kiss. "You're making me that way, Ron. I doubt I could even tease someone else in public." He jogged back up the stairs, getting the bottom position of the cuddle this time. Ron flopped down against his chest, making him go 'oof' but otherwise they were comfortable as they read the same books for their papers.


Oliver smiled and stood up as Harry approached the table. "Ron's not coming?"

Harry grinned and gave him a hug. "He is, he's just running behind. Madam Pince had him shelving books up on the mezzanine level." He sat down.

"How did you two manage to get detentions over the holiday?" he asked, still smiling. It had to be one hell of a story for those two.

"We didn't," Harry admitted. "She fell and broke her leg so we're being her faithful assistants." He leaned closer. "She keeps sending me to the Charms section to look up naughty stuff, Oliver. Ron's really starting to think she's cooler than she appears to be." He sat back as someone clapped him on the back. "Hi, George. Ron's running late."

"Of course he is," Fred agreed as he walked up to them, getting in the back seat of the table. "Showering or fixing his hair?"

"Neither. Madam Pince had him up in the restricted upper sections shelving."

"How did you two get detention?" Katie Bell asked as she joined them.

"She fell and broke her leg," Ron said as he jogged over. "Hi, all," he said with a grin and a wave. "Let me guess, we're having a team reunion?" Everyone nodded. "Am I still invited?"

"You're playing on he house team, that means you're allowed," Oliver assured him. "Besides, you're a date as well. I don't know why anyone else didn't bring any."

"Because we're all single," Fred told him.

Ron nodded. "They are."

"Otherwise we should have heard about it," Harry agreed, looking at Katie. "We should have gotten a room."

Oliver looked around, the restaurant was full. "I tried."

Harry smiled at the waiter as he came over to put down more glasses. "We seem to be having an impromptu house team reunion. Are there any bigger tables or places where we can be noisy?" He casually flicked his hair out of his eyes. The waiter's eyes went wide and looked around the table. "Fred, George, I promise Ron and I will be good if you do," he said as the waiter went to check.

"That thing has good effects?" Katie teased.

Harry shrugged. "Not usually. I got a letter from the bank today saying they were stealing my money so I'm going to threaten them Saturday."

"Can I come with you and visit the twins?" Ron asked.

Harry smiled. "Of course, Ron. You know I like it when you're there while I threaten miserable beings who are trying to make my life difficult." The other two chasers everyone at the table had played with walked over, followed by someone in a suit. "Either that's a manager or a date."

Oliver smiled at the manager. "Hi," he said, standing up to make room for the ladies. "It wasn't really planned this way. I only told one of them." He looked at Katie, who winked and grinned.

"We're happy to have you back in the country, Oliver," Alicia said smoothly, smiling at the manager. "Please may we have a bigger table or somewhere we can get loud?"

The manager looked around the table, noticing the three women, the three redheads, the one with the scar, and the professional quidditch player. "I suppose we do have a special meeting room," he admitted. "It will add a five galleon tip to the bill." Harry shrugged. "Then we can do that." He led them to the room, stopping Harry to look at his forehead. "It's glowing," he said quietly.

Harry frowned as he tried to look up. "Ron, is my scar glowing?" he asked as he walked in. Everyone looked at it and nodded. "Well, dirt!" He smiled at the manager. "Thank you. I usually only get pain so I wasn't paying attention to it." The manager nodded and left. He closed the door behind himself and walked over to the larger table. "Ron, I think I'm going to be working on my leather boots and jacket tonight, just in case."

"Sure, Harry, I can help you soften the leather some more." He grinned at the twins, who were looking a little shocked. "It's not like you can fight in a cloak."

Fred nodded. "Good point," he agreed.

"But why would it be necessary to fight?" George finished.

"Because someone claimed his body," Harry told them.

"And we're not sure who or if they're bad," Ron finished.

The ladies all looked at Oliver, confused looks on their faces. "It's from all the time they've spent together. Harry says he can all but read Ron's mind now," he explained.

George smirked at them. "Mother was most impressed."

"And rightly confused. We usually do mostly whole sentences. They do single words," Fred told them.

Oliver clapped Ron on the back. "We all knew it'd have to happen to another Weasley if it hit one of them."

"It'll help when we're on the preserve," Ron agreed.

Harry smiled at him. "Think about how much easier it'll be during the infirmary and nursery times."

"We won't have to..."

"Schedule anything, we'll just do it," Harry finished happily.

"I'm sure Charlie will be pleased for you," Fred told them, patting them on the back.

"When do you leave?" George asked. "So we know when to expect the letter begging for translations."

"If our papers are acceptable, sometime just after my birthday," Harry told him.

Someone knocked so Ron answered the door, letting McGonagall in. "Well, we're all here now," he said happily.

Harry looked at her. "Did someone break into Greenhouse Four?" She looked confused so he lifted up his bangs. "It's glowing."

"I'll check on Mr. Longbottom's bloodroot plant as soon as we get back," she promised. "For right now, I am here to spread some holiday cheer and to welcome Oliver back to the country." She ruffled Harry's hair. "We will deal with the bad things later, Harry."

"Sure." He grinned at Ron. "Since we're here anyway, should we go threaten the bank later instead of this weekend?"

"Sure," Ron agreed. "How did they say you've gone through nearly five-hundred-fifty galleons in seven years?" Everyone hissed.

Harry nodded. "That's why we're going to go threaten the bank," he said, still smiling. "I know I haven't spent more than three thousand total since I was eleven."

"How did you spend that much?" Angelina asked.

Harry grinned. "Ron's present this year was really pricey," he explained with a gentle shrug. Ron looked stunned. "It's back in the dorm, on your old bed." He smiled at his boyfriend. "I thought it'd make you happy."

Ron beamed. "I'm sure it will, but what is it?"

"You don't want the surprise?" Harry asked.

McGonagall rolled her eyes. "And once again they're in their own world," she announced, cracking everyone else up. "They do this all the time. The only people who can understand them are Ms. Granger and Mr. Longbottom."

"Harry," Ron breathed. "You didn't."

"I did," Harry said with his brightest grin. "And a magical generator to run it too."

"The fourteen-hundred?"

"The sixteen-eighty," Harry said proudly. Ron squealed and threw his arms around Harry, hugging him so hard they were dancing around together. "I bought you ink too," Harry groaned.

"Harry, I do believe I should bear your children," Ron said with the most smug look on his face.

"Ron, I don't like kids," Harry complained. "They're all either like Dudley or the twins, the only difference is whether or not they have malicious intent."

"Ms. Granger was nothing like them," McGonagall put in.

Harry looked at her, realizing that there were still people around. He gave Ron a pat and was let down. "She was so. She soaks up all that knowledge so she can shove it in someone else's face. It's bullying by knowledge instead of brute strength, therefore with malicious intent." He looked at Ron. "If you want kids, you're the daddy and I'll be the 'uncle' who lives with the daddy."

Ron beamed. "I'll table the discussion for ten years, how about that?"

Harry nodded. "That's reasonable. By then, your mother will be having conniption fits if she doesn't have grandchildren and I might like people by then."

"We'll have kids some day," George defended.

"We simply have to find a few women first," Fred agreed.

Ron looked at them, then snorted. "You're going to be old bachelors because every woman is going to distrust your motives when you want to cuddle. They'll think it's all a big joke." He grinned at the ladies, who blushed as a group. "The only ones who might suit you are over there. I'd start wooing now so they quit seeing your scrawny second year bodies."

Katie laughed. "Ron, you are still such a pisser," she said, shaking her head. "We see their scrawny fifth year bodies, from that time when they couldn't keep any weight on them."

George clapped his hands together, rubbing them gently. "We have a bathroom twice the size of the Prefect's one back at Hogwarts. Plus walk-in closets and a double bedroom with two king sized beds," he offered.

Fred nodded. "Our spouses would also expect to have ten percent interest in the store each, not a majority but enough to have a say if they got pushy and a small dividend payment each year."

"They made seven thousand galleons last year," Harry offered.

Ron nodded. "Plus you could probably bargain for all the pranks and jokes you could ever want."

Harry looked at him, then frowned at the twins. "Why don't I get that benefit?"

"We gave you Ron," George said dryly.

"We figure he's all the joke you'll ever need."

"Ron is not a joke," Harry defended. "He's a naughty perv who's tainting my former good boy nature, but he's not a joke."

Ron beamed at him. "That's right, I'm training you to be my perfect mate, Harry. Sex in public and all."

Harry grinned at him. "You'll be tied down later then?"

"Hmm. Only if you can find the other velvet tie. I think Neville may have taken them home on us so we couldn't use them again and keep everyone up."

Harry shrugged. "I know where the sex shop is and they had a few on display. I've even got money back in the room."

Ron beamed. "Sure. Maybe I'll even let you talk me into a new thong."

"Ooh, the sparkly one?" Harry teased.

"Or the velvet one," Ron agreed. Harry grabbed him and kissed him.

"That's the other occupant of their little world," McGonagall said. "Sexual tension. We're fairly surprised when Harry makes it to class with clothes on and neither gets jumped during their shared classes."

Oliver coughed. "Unless you're doing a free show, let's order," he said calmly.

George and Fred groaned and shook their heads. "They're lost. It's no use," they said in unison.

The women looked at each other and walked over, one taking each boy and Alicia getting between them so they couldn't go back to it. She found herself kissed before the boys realized it and blushed. "Thank you for that wonderful present, boys, but I don't think you want a girl between you."

"I'd be fine with it now and again, "Ron assured her, giving her a hug.

"But I still think girls are scary and vile creatures," Harry promised, grinning at them. "Sorry. Ron just ...inspires me sometimes."

"Be inspired in the library," McGonagall said with a blush of her own. "Irma has quite the dirty mind and is probably going to laugh if you jump each other in front of her."

Ron grinned at her. "She keeps sending Harry for the smutty and naughty charm books anyway," he assured her. "She sends me to look in the art and marking ones."

Harry beamed at the room in general. "Today I learned how to do a charm that made it feel like you were being caressed from across the room, she thought it was magnificent how Ron blushed so brightly."

Ron swatted him, giving him a short glare. "Keep it up and I'll get that book too," he threatened. "Let's see how you like it while I'm in study hall and you're in potions."

Harry grinned. "Think it'd make Snape cry again?"

"Probably," Katie agreed dryly.

Angelina looked at them. "Why was he crying?"

"Harry was the last straw and he had a small breakdown," Ron said proudly.

"They've even driven the poor man to drink," McGonagall admitted with a faint sigh of wistfulness. "That's why they were given the new Weasley Trouble award at the seventh year ball."

"They named an award after the twins?" Katie snickered. They puffed up their chests. "Too bad they never got it themselves."

"You never realize how brilliant someone is until they're gone," Fred said with a hand wave.

"Let's get food," Oliver suggested. They nodded and sat down around the table, the twins between Ron and Harry just in case, and opened their menus. The conversations went back to more general things, what everyone else was doing, the current pro teams, things of that nature, and everyone was soothed by it.


Harry felt the first stab of pain in his scar and looked over at Ron, who was napping. He carefully slipped out of bed and changed into his favorite leather pants, a silk shirt that made him look hot and dangerous in his opinion, and his leather jacket. He was putting on his boots when Ron woke up.

"Let me get dressed and I'll come too," Ron yawned, sitting up and rubbing his eyes.

"It's not necessary," Harry said with a smile. "I'm going to the bank, then to get some chocolate." Ron looked at his outfit and Harry smiled. "I'm teasing, Ron. It's a good feeling for me to tease everyone." He grabbed his wand and something from his trunk that Ron couldn't see, then walked over to the door. "I'll be back in a bit. You behave for McGonagall and everyone." He smiled as he closed the door, locking it with a special charm he had found a few days earlier. He jogged down to the main floor, then over to the office, walking up into the Headmaster's office casually. He took Gryffindor's sword off the shelf and waved. "Ron's locked in," he told Fawkes, Dumbledore wasn't in there. "Tell someone to let him out later." He winked and strolled off, the sword over his shoulder carefully so it wouldn't cut the leather. His spare wands were in the special holders sewn into the back of his jacket. He waved at Snape as he walked past him. "Going to kill something, be right back," he said cheerfully, disappearing before the Professor could even get his mouth around a syllable. He landed in a small clearing, looking around. "This looks eerily familiar," he said jovially. "Oh, idiots, come out so I can go back and have sex!" he called. "You Death Eaters are cutting into my shagging time." A few of them came out of the woods, staring at him. He smiled. "Thank you." He saw where they were all looking and turned around, smiling at the Dark Lord standing there. "You again? Can't you stay dead? It'd be a nice change. I haven't had a headache from you in months and Ron and I were just about to go again."

Voldemort looked at this impudent creature and then burst out laughing. "The stories are true, Harry Potter is insane," he said happily.

"No, just tired of this," Harry sighed, dropping the sword. He pulled his usual wand, and one of the other ones. "Bury!" he cast, opening the ground around the Death Eaters and burying them up to their necks as it filled in around their fallen bodies. He looked at the Dark Lord again. "Shall we? I really want to get back to my mate and his version of playtime. It's much more fun."

Voldemort glared at him. "Of course you do. You don't wonder how I came back?"

"Longbottom's bloodroot plant?"

"Very good," he patronized. "Any other ideas?"

"A few," Harry agreed glibly. "Let's dance and get this over with. Like I said, I have sex to get back to. You made me lock my lover in our bedroom and he's going to be pissed when he figures it out. I'm going to be giving oral sex for days to make up for it."

Voldemort raised his wand, looking at it. "We'll simply lock again."

Harry shrugged and dropped his wand, shifting hands with his second one and pulling his third. "No we won't. I'm a bit smarter now; though how you expect to beat me as a seventh year when you couldn't as a fourth and as an infant I'm not sure." They faced off. "Let's just stand here, real duels are dull and boring. You'll shift before it's time, I'll have to apparate away. It'll get messy because I'll hit your followers first." He glanced back. "Oh, by the way, Crabbe, Goyle, and if Parkinson is here, we've heard from the preserve. Bert, our little dragon buddy, is more than happy with his trio of mates." They gasped and he shrugged. "What can I say, Pansy brought them into it." He looked back at the shocked Dark Lord. "What?" he asked patiently, crossing his arms. "Didn't expect it from me?"

"You're not Harry Potter," he sneered. "Harry's never been like this."

"Maybe you should ask Dumbledore about that," Harry suggested dryly. "He keeps saying the same damn thing since I found out who I really wanted to be. But that's okay, we only have to deal with him for another five months, then I can go play nursemaid to some dragons with my Ron." He raised his wand. "Any time now, really."

Voldemort glared. "All in good time."

"I'm still young and impatient. I have things to do. I have a life," Harry said dryly. "So let's do this so I can get back to it faster." He cast the first curse. "Crucio!" Voldemort screamed in pain. "Did you think I didn't want it enough?" he taunted, shifting to the side before the other wizard could hex him. "I happen to like my life, thank you." He cast another one, making the Dark Lord's robes fly off him and his wand went with it since he wasn't holding it too tightly. "Do you think my parents would be pleased if I played with you or not?" he asked the buried people.

"Not," they agreed.

"Thanks for the opinion," Harry said with a quick smile at them. He kicked a few of them on his way past them, picking back up his sword. "So, let's finish this now," he said cheerfully. He took one long swing, before the Dark Lord could do more than look up at him as he found his wand, cutting off his head. The Death Eaters wailed. "Oh, shut up!" he yelled. "What did you expect? I've got *sex* to get back to!" He stabbed the sword down a few times into the deflating chest cavity, freeing the heart. He pulled it out and held it up, then lifted up the head. It was still blinking. "Huh. Strong magic, huh?" He looked at the remaining Death Eaters, one had died. "I'll be right back," he said with a reassuring smile. "Wait right there like good little boys and girls and I'll bring you back a treat." They groaned. "No, I won't bring Ron back and have sex in front of you, how vulgar do you think I am?" He smiled as he apparated to the ministry. The reception/guard looked at him in shock as Harry held the head up. "I think I need to see Fudge. Would that be permissible?" The guard nodded numbly and produced a glowing dot, leading him away. "Thank you," he said, waving the heart. He followed it to the top office, kicking the door since his hands were full. "Did you want his heart or his head?" he asked when Fudge stood up. He held them both out with a smile. "I figured I should probably present the other to the Department of Mysteries since he got brought back a third time by someone and his head's still living."

Fudge sat down, pale as a ghost. "Potter," he squeaked.

"Very true," Harry said patiently. "Which do you want?" The heart gave a lurch in his hand and Fudge screamed, backing away from him. "Window!" Harry said quickly, but Fudge had already opened it and jumped out. He frowned at the head. "See what you made him do?" It laughed at him so he shrugged, looking at the dot. "Department of Mysteries?" he asked. It wobbled and flew off, going to lead him there. This time he knocked with his foot. "Hi," he said as someone answered the door. "I just killed him and his head's still living and his heart's beating every now and then, which made Minister Fudge jump out his window. Which part did you want? I'll give the other to Dumbledore."

The Mysteries person let him in, waving at everyone. "He's got a living severed head."

"And it's the Dark Lord, yet again, since someone revived him after Fudge let him go. By the way, someone might want to go scrape him off the pavement." He handed over the heart to the person holding the plastic box. It lurched and the agent screamed. "It's all right, I'm sure he'll regenerate. Could someone please get the aurors to follow me back? I think we're going to have to grind him up a bit."

"No!" Voldemort's head whined. "Not that!"

"Oh, shut up!" Harry said in disgust. "You're not scary, people aren't afraid of you, and you're still only a head." He shrugged at the wary look. "He took me away from sex with my Ron."

"Then let's get you back there quickly," one of the female agents agreed, nodding at him to follow her. She led him personally down to the aurors, walking directly into the top office there. "Mr. Potter seemed to have a problem earlier, which he mostly solved. We'll need you to go with him to collect the rest of the body for pulverization."

The head auror looked at Harry, then snorted when the head was held up. "Wonderful. Again?"

Voldemort opened his eyes. "Can't you just put me in a box or something? You're pulling my hair."

Harry looked at him. "I'll use you as a football in a second." The head wisely shut up and Harry looked at the auror again, who had the exact same look as Fudge had. "Please don't jump. It's bad enough Fudge did that when I went to him about this."

"Let's go," the head auror said, pulling himself back together again. "How will we do this?"

"I'd say something like a neutralizing and suspension solution with a gram or so of bones in a lot of little, tiny bottles," Harry suggested. "Sell them as souvenirs so the parts can't get back together, in case they regenerate, and give the proceeds to the school? We really could use all new quidditch uniforms."

"That's fine, Mr. Potter," the head auror said, giving him a sideways look. "We don't know who could do that though."

"Anyone got a chipper/shredder?"

"A what?" the mysteries agent asked.

"It's to chew up branches and leaves." Harry turned to walk backwards so he could look at her. "They're very handy. If not, can we stop and rent a chainsaw? I'm really quite pissed at him. He made me lock Ron in a room." They stopped to look at him. "Not *forced* forced, but I had to so he wouldn't follow," he said with a sheepish grin. "I'm in deep if this takes too long."

"Then we'll collect your future brothers-in-law, the twins, and we'll have them help us," the mysteries agent said calmly.

"Cool. Can they have a few bones if they want them? Just to find something *useful* to do with them?"

"Of course," she agreed happily. She sent a guard to retrieve them while Harry took them back to where he had been. They found the Death Eaters being uncovered by someone with a shovel, and the body wiggling around, the hands patting the ground to find the head. "Well!" she said in disgust.

Harry picked up his usual wand, pointing it at the person unburying his victims. "Impedimentia." The Death Eaters howled in outrage. "Shut up!" he shouted. "Come up with a useful present I can get Ron so he won't be so pissed with me." He handed Dumbledore the head as soon as he popped in with most of the other teachers, giving them a smile. The twins came soon afterward with a few more aurors. Harry disappeared and came back with a chainsaw, starting it with an unholy look of glee. "Hold his head up," he encouraged. "I want him to see this! It'll be *neat*!" He grinned at McGonagall and Snape. "I've *always* wanted to do this, ever since I saw it in a movie. I'm satisfied enough with him to not even follow up and go chase after Dudley with it." He revved the engine on the chainsaw and tipped the blade down, cutting off a hand. "Yeah!" he said as the gore splattered. "Just like in the movies!"

The head auror looked at Dumbledore. "This is what you get for putting him with those muggles," he said coldly. "Never do it again!" He took the chainsaw from Harry, handing it to one of the twins, who shrugged and completed what Harry had been trying to do, only without the enthusiasm. "Harry, maybe you should go find a present for your Ron," he said carefully.

Harry beamed. "I'll find one before going back. This time, I'm going to make sure the sucker's in little pieces, even if I have to grind up each bone myself." He winked. "It really is the only way not to have to do this again in ten years or so."

"Of course," he agreed. Anything to humor the lunatic. "You'll need to get the ...stuff off that jacket and your other clothes before they set."

"Harry, the dry cleaner's down about six shops from ours," the twin not using the chainsaw told him. "Head to the shop, you can help us grind from in there, we've got a marvelously secure workshop." The mysteries person looked at them. "We deal with things best left lying alone," he pointed out.

"Good point. You guys pack up each part into a plastic bag. You," she said, pointing at Snape. "Go find us a lot of formaldehyde. We're crushing him up into little vials and suspending it so he can't get back together again." Snape looked sickened but went to do that. "Good, Headmaster, I want you to help bottle things. Young Mr. Potter suggested we sell them as relics to raise money for new quidditch uniforms."

"My team's comfort is always in my mind somewhere," Harry agreed dryly, smiling at the teachers. He looked at the remaining twin. "Did I leave some clothes there?"

"It's in the closet, Harry," the twin handing off the chainsaw told him. "Mine I think." The other twin shook his head. "Or not. You'll find it."

"Cool. Will you help me find a present for Ron for running out like that?"

"Sure," the free twin agreed, nodding. "Go change. Before the blood sets in and ruins your leathers." Harry grabbed the sword, handing it to Dumbledore handle first, then his three wands, taking them with him.


Two days later, Harry looked over as the last vial was filled and labeled. "Did anyone ever get Ron out of the room?"

"Flitwick did," Fred assured him. "He can undo any charm that any student has ever thought of."

Harry beamed. "Cool. Now all I need is a present." He waved. "I'm heading back to get snogged to death." He strolled out of the lab and down to the bank, going to talk to the manager. "Is my money back yet?" he asked. The manager looked at him and Harry took the bandage off his head, making him flinch. "Now if you wouldn't mind. Before I have to file charges. I know very well I never agreed to any sort of fees being paid to you guys, nor was I ever informed of them. If my money is not returned immediately, I'll not only file theft charges, but I'll change all my money and move it to muggle accounts. They give better interest."

The goblin gave him a harsh look. "It is as it should be."

"Bet me," Harry snorted. "Somehow, over nine-tenths of my fortune seems to have disappeared this year. Fix it, before I do," he said coldly.

"It has been returned, I assure you," another goblin said from behind Harry. Harry looked down at him. "You did not have to drag the press into it."

"I hadn't, yet," Harry told him. "How much is down there?"

"Nearly a million galleons," he said bitterly. "With the accrued interest and all the misappropriated money being returned, plus your second inheritance."

"Cool. I'll want four hundred thousand changed into muggle money and shifted to a muggle bank since I'm leaving the country for good this coming summer," Harry said, walking out. He went to the nicest shop in the alley, starting there with his apology.


He knocked on the dorm door, smiling when Ron answered it. "I'm sorry," he said, holding out the packages.

"That's one way of putting it," Ron agreed, not letting him in. "I'm still pissed."

"I know, but I can't bear to see you hurt, Ron. I wanted you here to protect the school in case I failed."

Ron glared at him. "That doesn't even make sense, Harry!"

Harry walked in, the boxes still in his hands. "Ron, I'm sorry," he pleaded. "I really am. I can't bear the thought of you getting even a scratch from someone like him. Please, please, let me beg and apologize?" He plucked the middle box off the pile. "I brought you chocolate frogs, with the new series of cards." Ron's mouth twitched as he took the box. "I brought you something really nice," Harry said, handing over the smallest box, from the jewelry store. "And I brought you something I was going to buy you for your birthday," he said, holding out the large, flat box. "Please, Ron, forgive me?"

Ron sighed. "You look so pitiful, like I took your broom away." He gave him a short kiss. "You're going to be apologizing long after the other students come back." He sat down to unwrap the long box first, his mouth falling open when he saw what was in it. "You bought me a trench coat!" he shrieked, grabbing Harry to hold. "You adorable fuckup, I love you for this!" He pulled it out to try it on and it fit *perfectly*. He grinned at Harry, who was giving him a shy look. "Fine, I accept your apology, but you're still going to be begging later. I'm not helpless."

"No, but I went a little insane while I was facing him and I didn't want to make you see that." He winked. "Can you wear just that later?"

Ron chuckled. "Sure, Harry. What's from the jewelry store?"

"A matching set of jewelry for your holes," Harry said proudly. "They were very confused until I told them what you needed them for." He held out the box while Ron undid the bow, gasping at the matching sapphire piercing jewelry inside. "Do you like it?"

"I adore it!" Ron said, giving him a crushing hug. "We'll have to change it all tonight." He grinned. "What's the other, chocolate frogs?"

"From the newest series, straight from the back room and the unpacked boxes," Harry said proudly. "They don't go on display for another two weeks."

Ron tore that box open like he hadn't the others, looking at the different wrappers. "Oh, wow," he breathed. He smiled at his mate. "Apology accepted." He gave him a short kiss and stripped off, then put back on the jacket.

That was how the rest of the students found them when they came back a few hours later, Ron with his new leather duster on and Harry naked and begging underneath him.

"Gee, Ron," Dean said, looking at them. "That's a new look for you."

"Yes, and I'm enjoying the hell out of it," Harry told them. "Go away."

"Obviously you are," Neville said with a grin. "You missed dinner."

"Neville, I slew the Dark Lord not even three days ago, Ron's making me regret locking him in here so he couldn't help. Unless you're watching, go away."

"Okay, Harry," Neville agreed, closing the curtains around them. The other boys laughed, shaking their heads. Harry and Ron were just a trip sometimes. After the first few shrieks of pleasure and begging, they put a diversion charm on the noise. It made it go somewhere else. They didn't care where, as long as it was somewhere else.

Of course, the Slytherins in the girls' sixth year dorm cared, but why would Gryffindors care about their opinion?


Harry and Ron walked into breakfast holding hands the next morning. Dumbledore stood up and clapped, making Harry blush and Ron look really confused. "What? It wasn't that spectacular, I've done better to him in the past," Ron told them.

"Not the sex," Hermione called, sounding exasperated. "The slaying."

"Oh, that," Harry said with a shrug. "He was interrupting my sex time." Ron nodded his assent and the whole school clapped. They took their seats, getting all the full bowls and plates first.

"Damn, Harry, we should do this every day," Ron whispered, making Harry crack up and cling to him as he laughed. "Is your paper done?"

"Not quite. I've got another two feet to write for the minimum length," he admitted, digging in. "You really are a naughty perv, Ron," Harry said with a grin.

"Yeah, but you like me like this," Ron teased.

"No, Ron, I believe I love you like that," Harry said with a grin. Ron hugged him as hard as he could, cracking a rib. "Oww!"

"Oh, for Merlin's sake, quit!" Hermione complained.

Harry looked at where Ginny was sitting. "Put her into a better mood. She'll probably be going to ask Madam Pince for the position of her assistant later," he suggested. Hermione's eyes popped. "She fell and broke her leg over the break. Ron and I were helping."

"I'll go right now," Hermione said, rushing out to do that, smoothing her hair as she went.

"She's going to be hell on us," Ron pointed out dryly, feeding Harry a bite of toast. "Eat so you have energy for more apologies after Magical Creatures."

"Hmm. More apologizing? Why should I? I've done everything I can to make you feel sorry for me," Harry said with a cute little smirk. "I think it's your turn to feel the heft of Harry's real apology, from the bottom." Ron's eyebrow inched up. "All six inches and five around of it." Ron grinned and nodded. "So hurry up and eat, that way we don't have to wait that long." Ron drug him out of the room, going to have him feel that right then.

"I agree with Harry, they're both pervs," Ginny put in, making the table laugh. "Hey, is anyone going to buy a vial of Dark Lord solution? Harry wanted the money to go to quidditch uniforms and I'm going to try out for seeker next year." The students looked interested, but clueless so she looked up at the head table. "Headmaster," she called. He smiled at her. "When do the vials go on sale? I'm speaking as an interested person who might need a uniform the proceeds are going for."

"Tomorrow, Ms. Weasley," McGonagall said calmly. Everyone stared at her. "Mr. Potter felt the only way to make sure this sort of thing didn't happen again was to separate out pieces of him and bottle them as grisly souvenirs. He also suggested the things go to fund all new quidditch uniforms."

"Good old Harry," one of the Ravenclaw beaters called out, "always thinking about quidditch." That got some laughter and various people throughout the day asked her where they could buy a vial and how much they were going for.

The End.