Your Place Or Mine?
(Author's note: This story was written for the H/G ficacfest challenge at LiveJournal. I wanted to write a fairly standard body swap story, but it just wasn't happening. For that story, you can try Switch! by Celestine de Karamel where Ron and Ginny swap bodies for a few days. I couldn't think of much new to add to that, or think of a way to do it better - it really is a very good story - so it became, over time, something completely different while still, I hope, containing a few moments of body-swap fun and extra-corporeal exploration. Incidentally, the challenge specifies a minimum of one week, which is why it tails off a little at the end.)
"Mmm... That's nice..."
"Are we... Should we... I mean, do you think that..."
"Okay. I mean, if you want to."
"I do. I really, really do."
"Right. I mean, good. I mean, me too."
"Well, yeah. Aren't you?"
"Of course, but I didn't think you would be."
"Well, why not? It's my first time as well, you know."
"I do know, but it doesn't seem very important, after-"
"It is. It really is."
"Well, we'll probably need to be wearing less clothes..."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I mean, of course, it's just..."
"We don't have to. I mean, if you're not ready."
"I'm sorry. I should go."
"No! I mean, I... I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay?"
"Are you okay?"
"I'm okay. Go, I'll see you tomorrow."
"Just... Just go if you're going."
The problem, Harry had decided, was the females of the species. They changed. When he'd been eleven, for example, Hermione had just been a girl, and he'd been a boy. She was better at school stuff, he was better at sports and fighting Dark wizards, that was how it should be. Other than that, there weren't any real differences. When they went to the toilet, he used the left door, she used the right one. That was about it.
Then, just before third year, things had changed a little.
He'd had weeks to roam free in Diagon Alley, and then, on the last day, Hermione, Ron and the other Weasleys had appeared. It had come as a great surprise to Harry that Hermione had legs, moreover that she might be wearing shorts.
The following day, they had returned to Hogwarts, and Hermione's legs had disappeared under her robes for the rest of the year, but it had sparked something in Harry that he found he wasn't quite able to ignore.
There had been Cho, for instance, in the match against Ravenclaw. The following summer, there had been swimming with Hermione and - he still felt a little guilty about it - Ron's little sister Ginny in bathing suits. Then there had been the Yule Ball, and the proliferation of slightly revealing outfits that had revealed heretofore-unsuspected shoulders, and calves, and even - he frowned slightly - cleavage.
Harry knew that, as people matured from childhood to adulthood, they grew up. But he hadn't been prepared, he admitted to himself, for Hermione, and Ginny, and all the other girls he knew, to grow out.
Breasts. Hips. Bottoms. All of a sudden, the girls he'd previously counted as friends were becoming something other than that. Parvati, with her carefully styled hair. Lavender, with her swaying hips. Hermione, with her knowing smile. Luna, with her seemingly endless legs. Ginny, with her curves that invited endless caressing. Harry had struggled to ignore them all as his sixth year began, conscious of the impending fight with Voldemort that would potentially decide the fate of the entire wizarding world.
Then, to everyone's surprise, Voldemort had launched an ill-conceived assault on the school at the start of that October and he and his Death Eaters had been soundly defeated. Harry himself had captured Walden Macnair, Peter Pettigrew and Lucius Malfoy, before driving his wand through Voldemort's heart.
And that had been that.
In the rush of relief that followed Voldemort's defeat, it seemed as though the teenagers of Hogwarts were trying to make up for lost time in their relationships. Partners changed almost from lesson to lesson, it seemed, and Harry watched on in a slightly bewildered manner as Ron and Hermione went from screaming to snogging in the space of one afternoon. Seamus quickly earned himself a reputation as the school heart-breaker, his Irish lilt and twinkling eyes charming seemingly every eligible female. Dean, meanwhile, was engaged in an intricate on/off relationship with Ginny Weasley which confounded Harry and many other observers. Ron was heard to mutter darkly about Dean 'using' his sister, but Hermione kept him occupied enough that he apparently wasn't a major annoyance to the couple.
Harry took refuge from the flying hormones with Neville, initially, as the two of them supervised the much-depleted Defence Association. By Christmas, however, Luna Lovegood had joined Neville under the mistletoe growing in Greenhouse Six and the two were, probably, a couple.
In January, Harry attended Hogsmeade by himself, and found himself falling into conversation with Susan Bones of Hufflepuff. To his mild surprise, he found himself sneaking out of his dormitory later that night to join her by the lake, where he quickly found himself catching up to his friends in terms of experience.
January passed pleasantly enough, and Harry and Susan parted ways before Valentine's Day, knowing that their passionate relationship would burn out eventually. They were left with pleasant memories, but Harry's satisfaction was spoilt when Ron let it be known that he and Hermione had shared a very intimate afternoon in the Shrieking Shack.
To Harry's disgruntlement, Seamus quickly joined Ron's club too, with Ravenclaw's Lisa Turpin his willing assistant. The following week, Neville quietly admitted that he and Luna had slipped off to Greenhouse Six one evening. A few days later, Ginny and Dean's relationship became permanently off when Dean and Lavender celebrated Gryffindor's Quidditch victory over Hufflepuff all through the night.
At the end of the year, there had been a Ball to mark the end of Voldemort's reign and, according to Dumbledore, the wonder of instant custard. Harry avoided the entire thing, a brief and misguided relationship with Slytherin's Daphne Greengrass having bitten the dust when Draco Malfoy announced to the school that he had slept with her behind Harry's back.
On the night of the Ball, Harry had settled down for an evening of fire-staring, and possibly a spot of reading Which Broomstick? if he felt equal to the excitement. To his surprise, he had found that he had company in the very pleasant form of Ginny Weasley, who had also passed on the opportunity of going to the ball. They fell into a conversation that lasted far longer than the ball, and which covered such diverse topics as Voldemort, Tom Riddle, porridge, Texas, bell ringing, dancing, art, the Chamber of Secrets, Ron's snoring, Quidditch, insane team captains who bugged their players around the clock, relationships, exes, the best broom-cupboards for snogging in, respective levels of 'experience' and, finally, just before four o'clock the following morning, exactly what it was like to kiss each other.
Now, nearly a year later, Harry and Ginny were viewed as the steady couple of Hogwarts, and while others had hopped in and out of bed seemingly on a whim, They had abstained for reasons neither was quite able to put into words. The time had come for them to go a little further, Harry knew, but a part of him located somewhere other than just below his waist seemed to object to the idea. Harry knew the part of himself very well indeed. It was the part of him that couldn't stand losing a Quidditch match, the part of him that hated people learning spells quicker than he did, the part of him that very badly wanted to return to Privet Drive just once more in order to hex the Dursleys into many-tentacled, drooling mockeries of their previous forms for the way they'd made him feel miserable and insignificant for years. It was also the part of him that had dwelled on the day he had walked in on Ron and Hermione in the boys' dormitory, and which thought occasionally of the long-ago sight of Dean Thomas caressing Ginny's neck and making her shiver.
Harry's pride had made him pull away the night before. He wanted Ginny to enjoy herself when they went further, he knew that his friends appeared to be skilled lovers, he wouldn't settle for less than the best for his girlfriend. Harry was used to being the best, and this was going to have to be one more area where he proved it.
He stood up, sighing as he did so. There was really only one person he could talk to about this.
"Yes?" Hermione looked up from her book, saw the look on her friend's face, and quickly found a bookmark to keep her place. Setting the book aside, she schooled her features into those of someone ready to be on the receiving end of a long rant.
"Oh, yes," Hermione smiled. "How was it?"
Hermione let her smile fall a little, and cocked her head on one side. "Well you couldn't expect the first time to be amazing-"
"Nothing happened," Ginny sighed, running her hands through her thick, red hair. "He didn't want to."
"Really?" Hermione asked. "That must be a first. What happened? Without details, please."
Ginny pulled a face at her friend, but dispiritedly, and sighed.
"Everything was going fine. Then I suggested that we... Harry just froze. Then he got up and left."
"Did he say anything?"
"Just that he was nervous."
"It is understandable, Ginny."
"I know! I mean, I was nervous too, but that shouldn't scare him off, should it?"
Hermione adopted a pose that she privately thought of as 'The Wise Woman'. She found that it had helped a lot when dealing with friends who were panicking slightly about their love lives. Half of the girls at Hogwarts, it seemed, saw her as an expert on boys. Sometimes, she wondered why.
"Everyone is different, Ginny. You have to remember that Harry grew up starved of affection, and you did start dating nearly two years before him, unless you count whatever he had with Cho as a real relationship. You're more used to all that side of things. You and Michael were quite serious, you and Dean as well. Harry had a couple of brief relationships, but even your time with Dean was longer than all the relationships that Harry was in before you."
"He's scared off because of my experience?" Ginny wondered aloud. "But I don't have any experience. Not of that!"
"Maybe he has performance anxiety, then?" Hermione offered. "He is used to being the best, after all..."
"You want my advice on how to make sure Ginny will be satisfied when you sleep together?" Neville stammered. "Usually people just want me to help with their Herbology..."
"Neville, I don't know who else I can ask! I know how nervous you were when you and Luna started going out, then one day you were all calm and happy. I know that wasn't the night you and Luna went to the greenhouse, so what changed?"
"Harry, I'm not sure I can help-"
"Please, Neville," Harry said. "I just want to make sure Ginny enjoys herself the first time we..." he tailed off.
Neville's shoulders sagged, and he groaned. "I can't believe I'm doing this... Harry, there's a spell, okay? It's called 'Cerebrum Copulatus' and it'll let you learn what a girl will and won't like. I'm not saying that it'll make you perfect, but if you're worried about measuring up to everyone else then I suppose it might be a good place to start."
"And is it safe?" Harry asked.
"Luna used it on me so I wouldn't be as nervous, and so I'd be really, really good as well," he added, as an afterthought.
Harry squeezed his eyes shut and tried to think of anything other than Neville and Luna together. It was frustratingly like not thinking of a pink rhinoceros, and even his Occlumency training didn't allow him to completely scrub the image from his mind.
He opened his eyes again, and focused on Neville.
"Take me through it?" he asked.
Neville nodded. "The spell will teach you the sort of things you want to know, okay? Luna used it on me before we..." he tailed off
"And you're sure it works?" Harry asked.
"Positive," Neville assured him. "You'll know what you need to do to make sure Ginny enjoys herself."
"Right. So what do I need to do?"
"Just relax." Neville said, before raising his wand.
Harry shuddered, but closed his eyes and thought of Ginny. He didn't want to think about Neville waving a wand at him.
In the common room, Ginny sank into a chair beside Ron and Hermione, and began to search her bag for a quill. Her hand found a luxurious eagle-feather quill that Harry had bought for her, and she sighed as the memory of the previous night. For a moment, she forgot her Ancient Runes homework, closed her eyes, and allowed herself to imagine what might happen if she could somehow set Harry's mind at rest.
Neville watched as Harry's eyes flickered open. He lurched forward, and Neville caught his arm. Harry looked up at him curiously, as though he hadn't expected to see Neville there.
"Neville? What are-"
Neville thought that Harry looked very confused, his eyes crossing behind his glasses as though he was trying to look at his own mouth.
"Harry? Are you-"
"What? Harry's not here, Neville. Did I do something to my throat? Why am I here? What happened to me, anyway? Last thing I remember, I was in the common room."
Neville looked at his friend with a mounting sense of dread. He had a horrible feeling that something had gone wrong with the spell.
Harry's eyes flickered slightly, and he took in the warmth of the common room about him. Even without looking, he could tell he was in his favourite chair by the fireplace. His feet brushed against the carpet as they swung idly between the legs of the chair, and he reached up a hand to brush a ticklish strand of hair away from his nose.
He paused, with his hand halfway across his face.
My hair's not long enough to tickle my nose, he thought. And my legs are too long to just brush the carpet. I'm too big for this chair now, anyway, and since when did I start wearing perfume on my wrists?
He opened his eyes properly, and saw Hermione smiling at him.
"Did you have a good sleep?" she asked.
"What-" he asked, before stopping. He tried to look at his own mouth for a second before giving up. In doing so, however, he realized that he wasn't wearing glasses, and that this didn't seem to affect his eyesight at all. He also noticed that the strand of hair brushing across his nose wasn't his usual raven-black, but instead a fiery orange that seemed to perfectly match that of Ron's hair.
"Are you feeling alright?" Hermione asked.
"Fine," Harry said, standing abruptly. He stumbled, and caught the edge of the table to hold himself up. He stared at his fingers, shorter than he was used to and with a pink glossy tint on the nails that he recognized from someone else's hands, rather than his own.
He stood up, slowly, carefully. He looked around, adjusting to life viewed from a height he'd not been since he was fourteen or so. Ron, in particular, looked huge as he unfolded himself from his chair and walked towards him – her – Harry realized with a jolt.
"Ginny? Are you okay?"
Harry looked up, experiencing for the first time the red-hot blush that ignited his face in the way that had caught his attention so many times before he had truly come to know Ginny Weasley.
"Yes, Ron, I'm fine," he replied.
Neville had given Ginny a highly abbreviated version of events leading up to what she was gradually coming to accept as the switching of her mind with Harry's. She seemed to be taking it surprisingly well, in Neville's opinion, and as they approached the Ravenclaw common room, she was staring avidly at the back of Harry's hands.
Ravenclaw's portal guardian, a short doctor with a long stethoscope, hurried off to find Luna inside the common room. Neville stood with Ginny in silence. He wondered briefly what was going through his friend's mind, but stopped wondering quickly as she began to pull the hem of Harry's robes upwards. Neville had a shrewd idea of which part of Harry's body she was about to look at but had no idea of what he should do about it. Fortunately for him, the portrait swung back and Luna appeared, wearing a hair band that seemed to be made of torn chocolate frog cards.
"Neville," she said. "You're early. And Ginny is with you."
Not for the first time, Neville goggled slightly at his girlfriend before his mind caught up with hers.
"You know that this is Ginny?" he asked, pointing at Harry's body.
"Of course," Luna replied. "Anyone would know, looking at her. Did you teach Harry that spell I used on you?"
Neville glanced at Ginny, and then nodded. "Cerebrum Copulatus, y- Oh no!"
"Neville, did I not tell you that it has to be used by the two people involved?"
She looked curiously at him.
"If it's used by anyone else, the person it's cast on won't learn how to please their partner," Luna told him. "They'll switch bodies with them instead. I suppose they can still learn how to please them that way, as well. It's just a matter of experimentation."
"I suppose mispronouncing the spell won't have helped matters, either?" Neville asked rhetorically. "Well, how do we get them back?" Neville asked, wishing more than anything that he could wake up and not have to deal with a world where Luna was suggesting that Harry and Ginny take matters into their own hands. "Can we just reverse the spell?"
"Oh no," Luna said, looking away from where Ginny was experimenting with taking Harry's glasses off and putting them back on again. "The effects will last for a week or so, more or less. The more strongly the couple feels about one another, the longer it will last."
Neville looked at Ginny, who was now, apparently, trying to see her new hair without the benefit of a handy mirror, and groaned.
Neville bade Luna a good night after rearranging their date for that night. He dragged Ginny back through the halls of Hogwarts, managing more by luck than judgment to avoid any of the teachers or, worse, Peeves on their way back to Gryffindor tower. Neville had briefly considered going to Professor McGonagall or Madam Pomfrey, but how could he broach the subject? That he and Harry had been discussing sex magic? That Ginny was currently in residence in her boyfriend's body? That Harry might now be with Ginny's fellow sixth year girls in their dormitory?
It didn't seem that there was a single good way to bring it up, really.
Finally, the Fat Lady hoved into view, and Neville heaved a sigh of relief. In the Gryffindor common room, at least, there might be a brief respite from the insanity that had reared unexpectedly.
As the Fat Lady swung aside, however, he knew that it had been a vain wish.
"Sod off!" the red-haired girl in front of Ron was screaming.
"Ginny, just tell me what's wrong and I'll leave you alone, okay? Did Harry do something?"
"No! Get lost, Ron, and stop being a pain in the arse!"
"I'm trying to help!"
"Well you're not managing it!"
"If you just told me-"
The two redheads turned as one to look towards the portrait hole. The black-haired figure beside Neville strode forward and laid a hand on Ron's chest.
"Let me handle this, Ron. It's okay."
Ron subsided, and returned to his place beside Hermione, glaring daggers at Harry and Ginny as they walked away. Neville, feeling pulled towards the pair of them, trotted over to where they had taken a seat.
"This isn't a dream, is it?" Ginny asked, glaring at the two of them. "I'm really stuck in Harry's body."
Harry and Neville looked at one another, and then nodded meekly.
"I think it's time you told me what's going on," Ginny declared, staring dispassionately at her usual body. It squirmed in its seat as Harry tried to avoid meeting his own eyes.
"There was a spell," he said at last, his voice sounding high even for a girl. "It was supposed to... Oh, Merlin. Neville, help me out here?"
Ginny swung her emerald gaze onto Neville, who stepped back quickly. It was disconcerting to stare into Harry's eyes and realise that he was not behind them, not least because the ferocious glare that pinned him in place was almost enough, he was sure, to make anyone realise that it was Ginny doing the looking. Watching his friend use Harry's body almost as though she had been born to it was downright unsettling. As Neville struggled to think of something to say, Harry reached up to adjust his glasses. Realising that the body he occupied didn't wear glasses, he instead patted his face, exploring the features.
"Well?" Ginny snapped, dragging him back to the matter at hand.
"Er, well what?" he asked.
"Would you care to explain to me exactly why I closed my eyes in my body and reopened them in Harry's?"
"Not really," Neville replied. He sighed. "Look, I was just trying to help Harry, okay? It's not my fault if the spell went wrong."
"I'll be the judge of that," Ginny replied, cocking her head to one side and reaching up to run a hand through her hair. She grimaced as she realised that Harry's hair was too short to make that a particularly satisfying experience. She rounded on Harry, glaring down at him as he sat in his chair. He played nervously with the hem of the skirt he was wearing.
"Stop that," Ginny snapped. He released the material and stared up at her as she crossed her arms. She made a tutting sound and glared down at her chest, which in her present form lacked anything much for her to cross her arms over.
"Harry, somehow or other we've switched bodies. Why isn't important right now, although you can be certain I'll be finding that out before much longer, do you understand?"
Harry pursed his lips and nodded, clearly unhappy. Neville thought he might have an idea why. Having to admit to his girlfriend exactly what spell the two of them had been trying... Neville shook his head in sympathy.
"Right, so, what are we going to do?" Ginny asked
"I think the first thing to sort out is where you two are sleeping tonight," Neville said.
"Don't be daft, Neville," Harry said, standing up. "We'll sleep in our dormitories, of course."
"Yeah, right, erm..." Neville paused, wondering exactly how to frame his next question. "Which one, though? Do you want Seamus watching you get undressed with the body you have right now? Or do you think you should go and watch Ginny's friends get undressed?"
Neville watched as the truth hit Harry. His cheeks, pale to begin with, lost all semblance of colour. The fiery hair that marked all the Weasleys was the only splash of colour above his collar, it seemed. As Neville and Ginny watched, Harry looked down at his new body. He looked up again, eyebrows knitting over brown eyes in a manner Neville remembered from Harry's lectures at the DA meetings.
"We'll have to use the Room of Requirement," he said at last. "It's the only place. And Neville, you can't tell anyone about this, alright?"
"What about Ron and Hermione?" Ginny asked. "They'll be able to tell."
"We're going to have to make sure they don't," Harry said. "Ginny, to be honest, I don't much feel like being all coupley with you when you're in my body-"
"The feeling is entirely mutual," Ginny assured him.
"Right, fine," Harry pinched the bridge of his nose, the fingers of his right hand automatically curling to hold the spectacles that he was not, at the present time, wearing. "I imagine it's simplest if we pretend that Ron was right and we have had a massive argument."
"Pretend? Harry, the only thing stopping me hexing your arse right now is that when I get my body back, I don't want it covered in scars and bruises."
Harry's brown eyed gaze met Ginny's green glare for the first time since the spell had been performed.
"I'll go and get my Invisibility Cloak," he said. "This should all look better after some sleep."
And before Ginny and Neville could say anything, he was heading up the stairs to the boys' dormitories, skirt swishing about his legs as he went.
Harry pushed the door to his dormitory open and strode in. There was a startled yelp from Dean Thomas as he dived behind his bed.
"Hey! I'm getting changed here!"
"Oh, shut up Dean," Harry replied absently. "It's nothing I haven't seen before."
"Ginny!" Dean gasped.
"Thomas!" Ron snarled, leaping from his bed onto Dean.
"Fight!" Seamus grinned, and took up position on his bed to watch his friends scuffling.
Harry was momentarily torn between grabbing his Invisibility Cloak and running, and helping Dean defend himself against Ron. As tempting as it was to watch Ginny's ex-boyfriend get beaten up – and Harry felt that Dean had to bear some of the blame for his current predicament for apparently being a good enough boyfriend to make Harry feel inadequate – Harry eventually decided on grabbing his Cloak and hauling Ron off Dean. It took much longer to do in Ginny's body, he noted sourly, then it would have done in his own.
With Dean and Ron separated, Harry beat a hasty retreat from the dormitory before either of the boys could question his presence. Hurrying down the stairs to the common room, he was relieved to see that the others hadn't moved.
"What took you so long?" Ginny growled.
"Nothing," Harry replied.
"Well, come on then."
"What?" Ginny asked, an air of long-suffering about her that made Harry wince.
"Well, I think that Ron may think that you slept with Dean now," he answered.
Harry and Ginny left Neville in the common room. They bickered in whispers all the way to the Room of Requirement, and when the door to the Room opened, neither was surprised to see a pair of single rooms presented to them.
"I'll see you in the morning, Harry," Ginny said shortly, shutting the door of her room in Harry's face. Harry went into his room and collapsed onto the bed, falling asleep before his head hit the pillow.
Harry snuck into Ginny's dormitory during breakfast the next day. Stomach rumbling, he grabbed a few changes of clothes from her trunk and dashed back to the Room of Requirement. He fumbled through changing his clothes with his eyes shut, managing to put on his bra only by fastening it around his ribs and then turning it around him. Even so, he felt that he probably had it on wrong somehow, for it seemed to be far too tight and he was finding it difficult to breathe, something he didn't remember from the previous day.
He stumbled into the Great Hall with only a few minutes to spare. Ginny was there, chatting to Hermione about their Charms class that morning. Harry would be expected to join Colin Creevey and the other sixth years in Transfiguration that morning, he knew. He brightened slightly. As long as he was in Ginny's body, he would be repeating classes from the year before. At least he didn't have to worry about that.
He took a seat next to Ron, who looked at him curiously, before turning back to his bacon. Harry checked himself over quickly, but didn't see anything amiss. He tried to engage Ron in conversation about Quidditch, but Ron just grunted and stared suspiciously at Hermione and Ginny. Harry looked at the pair of them, and suddenly realised what Ron found strange.
At every meal, he would sit next to Ron, and Ginny and Hermione would sit opposite them. It had been that way for nearly a year, longer, in fact. The four of them had been almost inseparable since the fall of Voldemort. Harry wondered if Ginny had noticed how strange it seemed for 'Harry' to suddenly be so friendly to Hermione, and at the same time to ignore Ron as completely as it seemed 'Harry' was now doing. Their usual way of sitting balanced things, but Ron, at least, seemed to have noticed the imbalance of this morning's arrangement.
When the bell rang for the first class, Harry watched the others disappear in the direction of the Charms classroom. Harry turned to join the other sixth years and fell into step with Colin Creevey, wrapping his robes around him against the chilly spring morning as they crossed one of the courtyards towards Professor McGonagall's classroom.
Harry sat next to Colin in the classroom and tried to remember what he had been studying at this time the previous year. He thought that it had been Elemental Transfiguration, and when Professor McGonagall entered with a sack of logs floating after her, he remembered that Ginny had said that they would be studying fire.
Within a few minutes, Professor McGonagall had set fires roaring on the desks in front of them, and Harry's classmates were removing robes and jumpers as the temperature soared. Harry stripped off his robe along with the rest and turned to Colin.
"Shall we get going then?" he asked, and then stopped as Colin seemed to be frozen in place. "Colin?"
Colin blinked several times, and then raised his gaze to meet Harry's eyes. "What? Yeah, right Ginny. Let's get going."
Harry caught Colin sneaking sideways glances at him all the way through the class, and resolved to ask him about it when the lesson was over. As McGonagall vanished the dripping ice sculptures which the class had conjured from the flaming logs, however, one of Ginny's friends approached Harry with a knowing smile on her face.
"Seeing Harry tonight, Ginny?" she asked, winking.
"Sorry?" Harry asked, looking at her curiously.
"You're a bit more up front than normal," the girl grinned, nodding at Harry's chest.
Harry looked down at his chest. What?
"I'm surprised McGonagall didn't say anything," the girl continued as they walked out of the class. "She normally has a go at us if we try and get away with push-up bras."
Harry stumbled, and caught himself. He watched the girl walking on with a stunned look on his face, and then hurried off to find Ginny.
Harry dragged Ginny into the Room of Requirement, which now took the form of a clothes shop changing room, complete with full-length mirror.
"What's the problem, Harry?" Ginny groused.
"This is the problem," Harry replied, pulling open his robes. Ginny's eyes widened at the sight of Harry's chest.
"Where... How... Harry, what did you do to my breasts?"
"I didn't do anything! I just put on one of your bras and now Colin Creevey can't take his eyes off my chest!"
"Colin?" Ginny asked, momentarily distracted. "Really? From what I've always heard, I thought Eloise was more than enough for him."
"Harry, just take off your shirt, will you?" Ginny sighed. She had left a perfectly good mug of hot chocolate by the common room fire to sort this out, and was beginning to question the depth of her commitment to her boyfriend. "You must have it twisted or something."
Harry felt a little strange taking off his top in shirt of Ginny. Even though it was her body he was showing her, he felt very self-conscious.
Ginny cocked her head and stared at her freshly revealed bosom.
"I think I know the problem. That's one of my old bras. Did you take it out of my trunk?"
"All my bras were in the wash yesterday, and the house-elves always leave them on the bed when they're done. Just go and get them from there. And keep your robe on."
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" he asked.
"Oh, I really am," Ginny replied, snorting. "I'm getting a head start on the NEWT work for next year, but as I haven't finished my OWLs yet, all I've managed to do is melt a desk with a bad Dissolving Charm. Then Daphne Greengrass asked me out because she 'can show you a better time now than that Weasel tramp'. It's been great!"
Harry hung his head.
"Look, I hate this, okay? I wish I'd never talked Neville into doing that spell on me. I wish it hadn't backfired."
Ginny stared at him, her green eyes glinting behind her glasses. Harry noticed absently that she wore them perched on the end of her nose, while he preferred to keep them pushed up. He wondered how she could see properly.
"You still haven't told me what the spell was supposed to do in the first place."
Harry sighed, and picked up his shirt again.
"It was supposed to teach me how to make you enjoy our first time," he said. "On Saturday, I got so nervous about messing things up that I couldn't do it. I didn't want our first time to be terrible when all the other boys are supposed to be so good."
Harry watched as the expression on his face softened. Almost for the first time since the switch, Ginny was looking at him with something other than anger in her eyes.
"Harry, if you were that nervous, then you should have told me," she said, exasperatedly.
"I wanted to, but it seems so stupid. You're the only person I've been this far with, Ginny. I don't know what to do."
"Harry, I haven't been that far either, you know that? Even with Dean, we didn't do all that much."
"I know, but a man's body is a lot simpler than a woman's, Ginny."
Ginny turned away from him, but looked back, a small smile on Harry's lips as green eyes sparkled in a very Ginny-like way.
"Well, I can't pretend that I love the situation that you've dropped us in, Harry, but I'd say that right now you have the perfect chance to get to know a woman's body. Inside... and out."
Harry watched her leave, mind racing as he considered her words. Slowly, he let his shirt fall to the ground, and then turned to face the full-length mirror. At first, he felt a little uncomfortable, but as his eyes traced over the curves of Ginny's body in the mirror, he felt more at ease. Reaching behind him, he unclasped the fastening of his skirt and let it fall from his body.
Slowly, admiringly, he drank in the lines of Ginny's body, the swell of her breasts, the flaring of her hips, the graceful curves that he had felt so nervous about now seemed so natural.
He watched as the familiar Ginny blush erupted across his chest, spreading up across his neck and into his cheeks. A thought had occurred to him that he wasn't entirely sure how to cope with, but, after all, hadn't Ginny suggested he take the opportunity to get to know her body?
And didn't he want to know what worked and what didn't work?
And to do that, didn't he need to explore her body a little?
Ginny looked up, her eyes blinking behind the glasses Harry always wore. Her mind was still rebelling against the idea of needing to use glasses to see properly, but it was starting to come around. Her eyes focused slowly on Ron, who was looking at her in concern.
"Is something the matter?" she asked.
"Do you know where Ginny is?" Ron asked. "Colin said she wasn't in her lesson before lunch."
Ginny felt the familiar blush start, but knew from long experience of being around Harry that it would cause barely a faint tinge on his cheeks.
"I don't. I saw her at break-time, but not since then," she replied carefully. Ron moved off, and Ginny made her way to the Room of Requirement. With a small smile, she noticed that the door was locked, and she walked away to face the horrors of seventh year Potions.
"Feeling better?" Ginny asked Harry as she settled in beside him at breakfast. Hermione and Ron were yet to appear, and Ginny wanted to find out what it was that Harry had been doing with her body.
"Yeah. I slept well last night."
"I can imagine," Ginny replied. "Your door was locked when I checked on you last night. Ron was wondering where you'd gone off to, though, and you skipped classes yesterday afternoon. I suppose I'll end up doing the detention for missing Ancient Runes. At least Trelawney won't mind if I miss a lesson."
Harry looked up, grinned wolfishly at her and bent across to whisper something in her ear that made Ginny blush what would have been a deep crimson in her own body. Harry, she noticed, didn't even tinge a slight pink, suggesting that he was at least comfortable with her body. Angry though she still was with Harry, she decided now that there would likely be a time when she wasn't angry with him, and on that day she'd see if he was as good as his decidedly explicit word.
Looking at him, sitting there innocently as though he'd suggested nothing more untoward then a cup of tea after classes, it occurred to Ginny that she hadn't really explored Harry's body in the same way, and wondered why the thought hadn't occurred to her. When she'd been getting changed, she'd kept her eyes up, but now she wondered whether it might be possible to skip some of Harry's lessons and make her way to the Room of Requirement. She wondered as well whether the full length mirror would still be there too.
"There you are!"
They looked up. Ron was glaring at Ginny.
"Where'd you get to yesterday? And why'd you skip classes?"
Harry looked at his temporary brother, apparently lost for words.
"It's my fault, Ron," Ginny heard herself saying. She had barely become used to hearing Harry's voice coming out of what she supposed she had to call her mouth, but now it seemed again to be a stranger's voice. She winced as Ron turned to look at her. "I, I mean we had an argument. I was trying to apologise to Ginny just now. It's my fault she skipped lessons yesterday."
Ron glared at Ginny, who shifted uncomfortably in her seat. For the first time, she understood why Dean had never wanted to commit fully to a relationship with her. Ron looked positively fearsome as he glared at her now. It seemed that the bumbling, well-meaning older brother had about him a truly scary air. She felt deeply unsettled at the sight of it.
"I'll, er, I'll let Ginny tell you all about it," Ginny said, standing up and hurrying away from the table.
Hermione caught her up outside the Great Hall.
"Harry, are you okay?" she asked. "You know that Ron's just being protective, don't you?" she asked. "You knew what he was like before you started dating Ginny, and you've seen him like that often enough. It doesn't matter how many times I try and convince him you wouldn't really hurt Ginny, he does love her and he'd do anything to stop her being hurt."
"I know!" Ginny said, as much for something to say as anything else. Harry and Ron had squared up to each other before? And to hear Hermione talk about Ron loving her, Ginny, so easily... Ginny realised that there were times she didn't fully appreciate her brother or, it seemed, her boyfriend.
"Hermione," Ginny said slowly, not wanting to trip over what she felt were the wrong words. "Do you remember the first time Ron and I argued about me dating Ginny?"
"Of course," she replied, smiling slightly. "The morning after you kissed Ginny for the first time, you took Ron aside and told him that you wanted permission to date his sister. Ron was all for it, but every now and again he feels he needs to remind you that he's still her brother. You know what Ron's like."
"I do," Ginny replied, thoughtfully. "Thanks, Hermione."
Ginny endured the rest of the day with Ron glaring at her. Every chance she had to talk to Harry seemed to be closely monitored by her brother, apparently intent on ensuring that his sister was being treated correctly. Eventually, Ginny wanted to scream. Much as she appreciated Ron's reasons for monitoring her, she felt that the supposed fight between herself and Harry wasn't sufficient for him to continue glaring at her as though 'Harry' had violated some deep and sacred trust. Sweet as it was for Ron to be so concerned about her, he needed to learn to respect her boundaries.
The portrait hole swung open, and she looked up to see Neville and Harry coming in together. Ron looked up too, his face almost unreadable as he looked at the two of them, but then he glanced in Ginny's direction, and a flash of... something crossed his face. Ginny let her gaze shift away from Ron back to Neville and Harry, and then back to Ron again. He was looking at Neville with a suddenly obvious expression on his face. Ron was angry, angry at Neville.
Ginny let a slow smile cross her face. Ron thought that Neville was moving in on Ginny after she and Harry had had an argument. The whispered exchange he shared with Hermione focused her attention, and despite Hermione's incredulous look at Harry and Neville, and the clear shake of her head, Ron continued to cast suspicious looks at Neville and Harry as they sat with Dean and Lavender. With a shake of the head of her own, Ginny turned back to her work.
Later that night, she set off for the Room of Requirement - so far, no-one had asked where she went at night, but she knew that she'd have to come up with an excuse the longer this went on. She sighed as she walked three times past the spot on the wall where the door, wondering if, at some point, she was going to have to kiss herself to assure Ron that he didn't need to worry about Neville stealing her away. What Ron really needed, she decided, was a good kick in the -
She looked around, relieved to see Luna Lovegood smiling serenely at her. It was nice to have someone around who could see the real her. Harry - erotic suggestions aside - and Neville had been treading on eggshells around her since Sunday night, although she admitted to herself that her anger had begun to fade. While she would certainly have to punish them for what they'd done with their spell, she wished that they'd show a little more Gryffindor courage. She wouldn't literally bite their heads off, after all.
"Hello Luna, how are you?"
"Happy, thank you. How are you?"
"Okay. Just wishing that I didn't have to deal with Ron hassling me. He thinks that 'Ginny' and Neville are dating or something."
"Oh," Luna replied. "He must not think that Neville cares very much for me, then."
"Oh, Luna, no, I'm sure he doesn't think that," Ginny replied, cursing her brother for landing her in her current position. "Oh, I need to get some sleep. Luna, I'll see you in the morning, okay? And don't worry about Ron, he's just overprotective."
"It would be very sweet, if he didn't overdo it," Luna replied. "He reminds me of a Ten-Fingered Tandrathun, protecting its young so much it smothers them. The young have to bite the parent to get some air."
"Right, right," Ginny sighed, opening the door. "Sounds like Ron. Maybe I will turn around and bite him one day. See how he likes it."
"I heard Hermione Granger saying he likes it very much," Luna offered as a parting thought, leaving Ginny with a revolted look on her face.
Ginny dashed into the Room of Requirement desperate to rid herself of the thought of her brother and best friend nibbling one another's...
She shuddered, stripping off Harry's robes desperately in an effort to purge her mind of the horrific images which seemed to be stuck there. She even tried not thinking of a pink rhinoceros, but to her horror found that it was easy to not think of a pink rhinoceros when your head was full of images of your almost-naked brother and his almost-naked girlfriend.
And then Ginny turned around, all thoughts of almost-naked Ron and Hermione were driven from her mind.
In the mirror in front of her was an almost-naked Harry. Only his underwear remained, and Ginny stared hypnotized as the figure in the mirror hooked its thumbs into the waistband of its boxer shorts and slipped them to the ground.
Later, Ginny slipped into bed, a thoughtful expression on her face, green eyes gleaming in a satisfied way. As she slipped off to sleep, the thoughts in her mind became jumbled a little, and fond memories of Harry's bare buttocks - for Ginny had wished for and received a second mirror opposite the first so she could see the back of Harry's body as well as the front - became mingled with thoughts of a baby Ten-Fingered Tandrathun biting hard on Ron's bottom.
Harry sat in the Great Hall, chatting idly with Neville. He felt vaguely guilty about occupying so much of his friend's time, but rationalised it by deciding that Neville's mispronounced spell was to blame for his present situation, and that Neville would have to serve as company as much as possible to prevent Harry mixing too freely with Ginny's friends. It had startled Harry a little to realise that, other than the DA members, Harry knew very few people in Ginny's year and trying to keep up with the gossip made his head spin. Ginny's year seemed even more inclined to move in and out of relationships with one another than his year had been.
Welcome to a Voldemort-free Britain, Harry thought. Maybe I should warn them about having too many relationships going on. That's how I ended up in this mess in the first place.
Harry's mode wasn't improved by the sight of Ginny entering the Great Hall. She was dressed impeccably whereas he, even after three days practise, was still struggling to get a bra on properly. He was profoundly grateful that at least it was warm enough for summer uniform and he could wear long socks rather than tights.
As Ginny drew nearer, Harry's stomach shifted uncertainly. Although unfamiliar on his face, the look Ginny was wearing suggested that she had something up the sleeve of her robes, and that he, Harry, was going to have to be involved. He wondered what trick Ginny had concocted that would work with him in her body. He reached up nervously to fiddle with his spectacles, then grimaced as he realised they were perching on the end of his nose which, along with the rest of his body, was being steered towards him by Ginny. In lieu of any other nervous habit, he began to drum his fingers on the table as Ginny flopped into the seat opposite him.
"I like this body," she declared. "Much longer legs. I can get about a lot quicker."
Harry stopped fidgeting hopefully.
"Does that mean you're not angry at me anymore?" he asked.
"No," she said. "But I have found a way that you can pay me back for this mess you've landed us in. Both of you," she nodded at Neville.
"How?" Harry asked, glancing at Neville, who looked as pasty faced as he felt.
"Harry," Ginny grinned, "I'd like you to meet your new boyfriend, Neville."
Surprisingly, Harry warmed to the task of being Neville's girlfriend very quickly.
"I've had enough of Ron dropping hints to me about how I'm supposed to be behaving around you," he told Ginny. "It's almost worth anything to get him off my back."
"Does he go on that much?" Ginny asked.
"About once a month," Harry said, pulling a face and nodding at the same time. "Probably when Hermione's got other things on her mind."
Ginny sighed as she bent down to look under a desk. She had to hold her glasses in place to see clearly, but there was nothing much to see under the desk anyway, other than a discarded chocolate frog card.
"Merlin?" she asked, picking it up, and showing it to Harry. He shook his head, bending down to look under the sofa.
"Already got it. Where is he?"
"If I knew that, we wouldn't be searching," Ginny sighed.
"It's your own fault," Harry replied, opening a cupboard in the corner of the common room and ducking the bats that flew out. He struggled with one that got trapped in his long, red hair. "Imagine telling Neville that he had to be my boyfriend for the rest of the week. No wonder he did a runner."
"Not helping," Ginny grumbled, scraping her fringe off her forehead. "We've checked the greenhouses, the Quidditch pitch, the Room of Requirement, even Moaning Myrtle's toilet. Where else is there?"
"He could be with Luna," Harry suggested, finally releasing the bat from his hair. "Can you get into the Ravenclaw common room?"
"No, but Luna is on my side, remember? She'd send him back to us. Where's the last place you'd expect Neville to be?"
"Snape's dungeon," Ron said, entering the common room through the portrait hole. "You two back together then?"
"Not at all," Harry replied smoothly. "I want Harry here to come with me and admit that Neville is a better catch than him."
"Neville?" Ron replied blankly.
"Ron, I'm sorry, I know you're Harry's best friend, but as I was saying to him, he just doesn't do it for me the way Neville does," Harry added. "So I'm going to go and find Neville and see if he'll break up with Luna for me."
Ron looked from one to the other as though suspecting a joke. Unseen behind the sofa, Harry trod on Ginny's foot, making sure not to leave any bruises in case he ever had to use the foot again himself.
"That's right," Ginny agreed explosively. "Ron, tell her she can't just dump me for Neville. I mean, I know he's supposed to be great in bed but shouldn't she give me another chance?"
"Neville?" Ron repeated, looking slightly green around the gills.
"Yes, Luna's told me all about him," Harry smiled. "Apparently he knows how to find all her sensitive spots. I'm looking forward to it. After dating Harry, it'll be a very pleasant change."
He smiled at Ron, and swept off through the portrait hole, Ginny trailing after him with a very hang-dog look behind her glasses.
"Neville?" Ron repeated, to an empty room.
"That was amazing!" Ginny enthused as they headed for the Potions dungeon. "Where'd all that stuff come from?"
"Oh, one time I overheard Lavender and Parvati talking," Harry said.
"Really? About who?" Ginny asked curiously.
Harry set his chin in a way that looked very reminiscent of George and Fred.
"OK, it doesn't matter," Ginny relented. "You could at least try and gossip like a girl, though."
"I already have to dress, walk, talk and act like a girl. That's enough," Harry replied, peering around a corner in case they ran into a teacher. He knew that he, Ginny, was supposed to be in class at that moment, and he was pretty sure that in his previous life he should have been in Charms with Ron and Hermione.
"Well, it's your own fault if you do," Ginny sighed. "You shouldn't have done that spell, should you? I don't understand why you're so nervous about us anyway, Harry."
"I just wanted you to enjoy it. I know we haven't gone very far, but I love being with you, Ginny, and I just want to make you as happy as I can."
"And you thought that having Neville shove a sex manual into your head would help, Harry?"
Harry shrugged, wincing slightly as his breasts bounced from the movement.
"No bra?" Ginny asked, momentarily distracted.
"I gave up," Harry replied, shrugging again in a carefully minimalist way.
Ginny looked up from her body's chest and stared into Harry's dark eyes.
"Harry, listen to me. I don't care if our first time doing something is good or bad, do you understand? The only thing that's important is who I'm doing it with."
"I believe you," Harry replied. "I really do. But I just want to be the best I can, Ginny. There's a part of me that feels like I'm competing against the others. I hear them talking about sex all the time, and I'm the only virgin in the dormitory, and I like taking things slowly with you and it's not like I could ever talk about the things we do with Ron around - not that I would anyway - but I'm used to being the best and I want you to be able to boast about me if you want to and I want to know that you're having as good a time with me as you possibly can do."
Ginny stared at him as though trying to decide whether to kick him or kiss him. He tried to penetrate the depths of the green eyes behind the thick lenses, but felt locked out. He couldn't think of it as looking at himself in the mirror, for his face looked so different when worn by someone else. The quizzical slant to the eyebrows reminded him of Percy, the slightly dilated nostrils came from Ron as he struggled with his Divination, the narrowed eyes came from the twins... It was possible to see Weasleys in the expression.
And then something happened, some slight shift in the muscles and Harry's face smiled wickedly before his eyes. The green eyes gleamed as a torch guttered beside them, and for a second their leafy green colouring became a deep, autumn brown.
Ginny Weasley stared from behind Harry Potter's face and smiled.
"I'm going to hold you to that," she said.
"I'll enjoy doing it," he replied.
"I hope so. You'll be doing it a lot," she replied.
"Every chance I get."
"I take it that it's okay if I do it for you as well?"
"Whenever you want."
"Every chance I get."
They stood, scant millimeters apart, staring into one another's eyes.
"But I'm not going to kiss you right now," Ginny said, stepping back.
"Merlin, no," Harry replied, pulling a face.
"Can't wait 'til we get our own bodies back, though."
"Yeah. Neville reckons it could be a while though."
Ginny lead the way down to the dungeons. As she laid her hand on the handle of Snape's door, she turned and gave a wicked grin.
"Just think of all those pent-up urges we'll have when we do get our bodies back, though. Of course, we have to get Ron off our backs first."
She shoved the door open and strode in, Harry half walking, half lustily collapsing after her.
"Look, it's bad luck mate, but you have to fight for her," Ron encouraged, staring with a very worried look across the table at lunch.
"She's made her choice," Ginny replied, taking a huge mouthful of trifle to try and hid the grin threatening to split her face in two. On the other side of the table, Harry was feeding Neville a forkful of lasagna. Ginny shook her head. Harry was laying it on so thick, she couldn't believe Ron hadn't guessed yet.
"But, I mean, look at them. She's all over him, mate. Poor old Neville looks done in. I bet he'd be delighted to get rid of Ginny. I know she can be a pain at times-"
"Oh really?" Ginny retorted, glaring at Ron.
"Hey! It's true! I know you never said anything about it, but didn't you ever get annoyed by the way you could never get rid of her for five minutes?"
"No," Ginny replied coolly. "Never."
"Blimey, really? I know with Hermione, I need a bit of time to myself occasionally."
"It was never that way with us," Ginny said, as Harry ran his fingers through Neville's hair. "It was nice to have someone around, just someone to relax with."
"Yeah, well, now Neville's going to get Ginny all relaxed in Greenhouse Six," Ron grumbled. "Did you hear her last night?"
"She might not do it," Ginny said. "Maybe she's just doing it to wind me up."
"Nah, she's winding me up if anyone," Ron replied. "If it were you, she'd be off snogging Malfoy. But she's always going on about how annoying it is that I keep an eye on her, and I can't exactly go and stick one on Neville, can I? He hasn't done anything so far. Surprised Luna hasn't said anything, though. Don't suppose I've got much to worry about if Neville isn't even interested in Ginny."
"Yeah," Ginny replied, absently. As Ron scowled down at his stew, Ginny shot a look at Harry, who just shrugged and poked Neville in the ribs. Neville muttered something, but sighed and took on the aspect of a man doing something he'd rather not do. He bent towards Harry and, tucking a curl of red hair behind his ear, whispered something that made Harry's eyes slam open.
Ron happened to look up at exactly that moment, and Ginny grinned over his shoulder as Harry appeared to have a minor fit. After several seconds, he breathed again and some of the colour returned to his cheeks. Ginny could see Neville grinning slightly and her smile widened. Harry leant forward and from the way the tips of Neville's ears reddened, Ginny suspected that he'd repeated what he'd said to her two days beforehand.
Ron had frozen, fork halfway to his mouth. Slowly, his hand fell back down to the plane and he rose unsteadily to his feet.
"I can't watch this," he said. "Ginny's trying to make me angry. All this is because of Sunday night. I'm not falling for it. I'm going to the library. Keep an eye on them, Harry?"
Yeah, sure," Ginny replied, watching discontentedly as her brother slipped away from Harry and Neville's fawning over one another.
Ron didn't reappear all afternoon, even going so far as to skip dinner. Ginny paced in front of the common room fire, Harry and Neville watching her from one of the nearby sofas.
"We're going to have to increase our efforts," she declared. "You two are going to have to do more than just flirt with each other."
"More?" Neville asked anxiously. "I'm not snogging Harry."
"I'm not exactly heading the queue to snog you either, Neville," Harry retorted.
"I'm not talking about snogging each other," Ginny replied. "Just holding hands, maybe a little hug now and then. Is a peck on the cheek too much to ask?" she prodded.
Harry looked as though he was about to protest, but then he looked down at his body and sighed. Sinking back into his seat, he laid one hand over his eyes and nodded.
"Good," Ginny grinned. "Ron's face is going to be a picture."
Ginny had been right. Ron's face was a picture. The sight of Neville walking into the Great Hall hand in hand with 'Ginny' left the red-headed boy's jaw hanging. Hermione lifted it up into a closed position until Ron seemed to get the message. Ginny smiled into her cup of tea as Neville and Harry too their seats opposite them.
"Good morning everyone," Harry said brightly. "Hermione, do you like my nails?"
Harry flashed a set of bright green nails at Hermione, who nodded appreciatively. Ron's expression, if possible, soured even further.
"Green, Ginny?" he asked. "That's Slytherin colours."
"Oh, Ron, come on," Harry laughed lightly, resting one hand on Neville's. "Would you rather I wear bright read nail polish? I'm sure you know what they say about girls who wear red nail polish."
Neville leaned towards Harry and whispered something in his ear. Harry giggled and slapped at him, adding "Later," in a whisper that seemed to carry as far as Ron, Hermione and Ginny and go no further.
Ginny risked a glance at Ron, who was rapidly going red as he tried to pretend he wasn't watching the performance in front of him.
Finally, Ron got up and left, Hermione tailing after him with an apologetic shrug to the others.
"He's going to blow. And soon," Ginny declared, as Harry extricated himself from Neville's lap, where he'd somehow ended up.
"How much longer?" Harry asked, a little irritably. "And Neville, what in Circe's name are you carrying around in your pocket?"
To Harry and Ginny's surprise, Neville blushed from the roots of his hair to the collar of his robes, and probably for some way further downwards as well.
That afternoon, Ron spent his time glaring Unforgivable Curses at the back of Neville's neck in Potions. Snape twice deducted points from Gryffindor for Ron's mistakes, and when his and Dean's cauldron superheated and managed to melt both the desk and the flagstones below, Snape put the two of them in detention for a week.
Ron's mood was so foul that when he threw himself into his seat at dinner, the entire Gryffindor house table levitated several centimetres into the air and crashed back down again, much to everyone's surprise. Harry and Neville wisely sat well apart from one another.
Later that evening, a marginally calmer Ron ordered the Quidditch team to bed as they had an early practise the next morning. The last game of the Quidditch season was approaching, and Ron was demanding peak efficiency from his players.
As Ron disappeared up the stairs, Ginny stopped Harry and Neville.
"Tomorrow. We'll let him sleep on it and cool off, but he'll be brittle, like an ice sculpture. It'll only take one good shot to break him, and tomorrow's the perfect opportunity."
"How?" Harry asked, exchanging a glance with Neville. Both looked glad that heir charade was soon going to be over.
"Well," Ginny grinned. "I think that it's time you and I discussed our relationship, don't you, Harry?"
"Right, team, here's the plan. It's Ravenclaw next week, we've both got two wins, so whoever wins will get the Cup. It's that simple." He continued, slightly louder. "Now, Beaters, it's simple, knock 'em off their stick. Chasers, get the Quaffle, play it fast and simple, and get it through their goal hoops as often as possible." He paused, then continued somewhat louder again. "I'll try and stop 'em scoring and our Seeker- HARRY! GINNY! SHUT UP AND LISTEN!"
"Give me strength," Ron muttered. "Do you two think you can keep your mind on the game? Just for today? Is that too much to ask?"
"Won't happen again."
"It had better bloody well not do," he replied. "Right, mount up and get going."
After five minutes of warm-up formation flying, Ron released the Quaffle and Harry took up position next to the two other Chasers. After seven years as a Seeker, Harry found it strange chasing after the Quaffle, but he'd handled the large, red ball often enough in practises that he was able to keep up. More difficult was adapting to Ginny's aging Comet 260. Light though Ginny was, the broom still seemed to be crawling in comparison to his Firebolt which, he noticed, Ginny was really putting through its paces. Then and there, he decided to let her use it the following year. He knew that Sirius would appreciate the broom being used, and he still wasn't sure what he'd do with his life after Hogwarts.
Of course, he thought as he glanced down at his body, I may be here for another year yet. Maybe Ginny'll fail my NEWTs and she can take them next year with me.
Harry's thoughts snapped back to the present just in time for him to throw himself forward on his broom and narrowly avoid being speared on the end of his Firebolt. He threw an angry glance over his shoulder and yanked the Comet around, ignoring the Quaffle as it passed behind him, ignoring Ron's yell and angling his flight towards Ginny.
He called out to her, angrily, and she topped in mid-air. For a second, he forgot who he was, and was going to remonstrate with her for poor flying, but the glint in her eyes and the smirk on her face reminded him, and rose slowly to a halt, sitting opposite her in mid-air.
"In a rush to get back to life without a girlfriend, Harry?" he shouted.
"Just wanted to show you that I'm not the only one around here who's fast, Weasley," came the reply.
The practise was beginning to slow, the team distracted by events above them.
"I'm sure that polishing that broomstick of yours will be a real comfort on those lonely nights!"
"Love the nails, Ginny, but I hear it takes a bit more than green fingers to get Neville to start growing!"
The team had given up all pretense of practising.
"Oh, I know how to get a real man going, Harry, and if it didn't work out with us then I think that says more about you than me!"
"Be thankful for Neville, Ginny. You got lucky there, but all I have to do is snap my fingers and I'll have a dozen girls ready to do whatever I want!"
Even Ron was slowly coming towards them.
"Go and enjoy your groupies, then, and I'll be with someone who cares for me for who I am, and not what I can give him."
"Good for Neville, you never gave me mu-"
Ron spoke quietly, but he was now sitting in between them, looking back and forth with a look of absolute calm on his face.
"On the ground, both of you, now," he declared, and they were dropping downwards almost without realising it. "The rest of you," he yelled. "Get back to it. Now!"
Ron joined the two of them on the ground and glared at them.
"I don't know what you're playing at, but stop it now. I know you're faking, all right?"
"What?" Ginny gasped, staring at surprise at her brother.
"I don't know why, I don't care why either, but I know that you would never say things like that to one another unless you were playing a joke on one another. Now, I won't have you messing up my Quidditch practise, got it? We've put in a lot of hard work this year, and I won't have you spoiling things for the people who actually care about the Cup."
Ginny and Harry looked at one another guiltily.
"Now, have you got this out of your systems?"
"Right, you've got two minutes to tell me why this little show was necessary."
Ginny and Harry stared at one another, unable to decide who was going to argue their case.
"I just wanted you to leave us alone," Harry said, staring at Ginny and trying desperately to portray her frustration. "No-one I go out with is good enough for you, even Harry, but you should know he's the best there is," he winced a little. "He'd never hurt me, Ron. You should know that. I'm seventeen, anyway. I can look after myself. You'd already slept with Hermione by the time you were my age, for Merlin's sake!"
Ron's mouth tightened into a thin line, and he stayed silent.
"Like it or not, Ron, this is the way things are. I'm with Harry and that's not changing. Everyone else has accepted it, so I think it's time you do, too. Totally, completely. No more protective moments, no more taking Harry aside to remind him to behave himself, no more making sure I'm in the common room before curfew-
"Just stop it, Ron, okay? Or, and I mean this, Harry will start to do exactly the same things to you and Hermione that you do to him and I, and then you'll see for yourself how irritating it is to have someone try and stop you showing the person you love just how much you love them!"
There was a slight gasp from Ginny as she looked at Harry in surprise. Ron looked at Harry too, the two red-heads holding each other's gazes for several long seconds. Finally Ron looked down and shook his head.
"Ginny, you're my little sister, and I'll never stop caring for you, but maybe I've been overdoing it."
With great difficulty, Ginny stopped herself from snorting.
"I didn't realise you were so serious about Harry. I guess I didn't want to realise. I guess you're not a kid anymore, huh?"
"Not for a long time," Harry replied.
Ron said nothing for a long moment, then turned to Ginny, holding the black-haired figure in his gaze for a long moment. "If you ever hurt my sister, I'll hurt you, understood? Same goes for all our other brothers, too. Even Percy."
Ginny nodded once.
"Right. See you up in the air, then."
He mounted his broomstick and rose shakily into the air, before yelling angrily at the four other team members.
Ginny and Harry looked at one another nervously. Ginny opened her mouth to say something, but Harry stepped forward and pressed a finger to her lips.
"Not here. Not now," he said, as Ginny's green eyes glinted in a suspiciously tear-like manner. "Let's get through this practise, yeah?"
Ginny let out a frustrated breath, and nodded. Mounting their brooms, they rose back up into the air, but their hearts and minds weren't on the practise and Ron called the session to a premature halt soon after.
Harry and Ginny stared at one another across the rug laid in front of the common room fire. They shared a common thought, but the idea of exploring their own naked bodies was not one that particularly appealed to either of them.
Neville approached timidly. "Um, Harry? Ginny?"
Ginny looked up, pushing her glasses up on her nose as she did so. "It's okay, Neville. We sorted things with Ron. You don't need to hold hands with Harry anymore."
"Oh, good," Neville smiled, looking deeply relieved. "But it's not that. Luna's outside. She wants to see you."
The three Gryffindors joined Luna outside the common room. Luna was wearing her radish earrings and a number of chunky rings on her fingers. From the way Neville glanced gingerly at the rings, Harry guessed that they were going on a date somewhere, and that Neville was a little worried about Luna's jewelry and how it would feel against certain parts of him. He winced, and tried not to think of a pink rhinoceros.
"Luna? You wanted to see us?" Ginny asked.
"I did," Luna replied. "I found out how long the effects of the spell you used will last. Do you want to know? I imagine you're enjoying life in each others bodies. I imagine I would."
She smiled at Neville, who shifted uncomfortably.
"Please, Luna. How long will it last?"
"A week. No more, possibly less depending on how much you care for one another, but the longest it will last is a week."
"So, by ten o'clock tomorrow..." Harry sighed in relief.
"I thought you might want to know. Well, come along Neville. We're using Engorgement Charms tonight, remember?"
They walked off, leaving Harry and Ginny to dash for the Room of Requirement, which was now equipped with two large showers so that they could spend a very long time scrubbing themselves clean.
Harry and Ginny had sequestered themselves in the library for most of the day. After a week away from their usual lessons, they found that they had a lot to catch up on. Still, with Hermione's notes, they struggled through, although one or other of them checked the clock on the library wall every few minutes.
"This is ridiculous," Harry declared, running his hands through his long mane of hair. "I want my body back!"
"We've still got... five hours," Ginny replied, checking the clock.
"We could go to Madam Pomfrey," Harry suggested. "Say we're worn out from exam revision and ask for a Sleeping Draught."
"No, no good. Fred tried it once when he had a row with Angelina and didn't want her yelling at him all day. Madam Pomfrey sent him off and told Angelina where to find him."
"Yeah. But," she slammed shut the heavy textbook in front of her. "You're right. This is ridiculous. There must be something we can do."
"Exploding Snap? Chess? Going to see Hagrid?"
"No, no and no," Ginny sighed. "I don't want you burning any bits of me, which you will, because you're horrible at Exploding Snap, Harry."
Harry shrugged listlessly. His breasts stayed in place this time. He'd finally mastered the complexities of bras that morning.
"If we play chess, Ron'll show up and demand to play the winner. I'm not in the mood to pretend to be you, so that rules out Hagrid's as well."
In the end, they went for a walk in the grounds, being careful along the way to avoid Greenhouse Six.
"Did you mean what you said yesterday? To Ron? About how you feel about me?"
Harry paused, and then nodded.
"Yeah, I did. Do. I do."
"I don't know why it took so long to say, but it's true. I love you, Ginny."
"I love you too."
Long after sunset, the two of them could be found curled up under an oak tree, staring over the lake in the warm spring evening. As the stars began to come out, they drifted off to sleep.
Harry awoke to see the moon beaming down on them. He yawned, and scratched the side of his face. Ginny woke up too, and stretched.
"Hey," she said, her voice raspy with sleepiness. She brushed her long fringe from her eyes.
"Hey," he smiled. He pushed his glasses up his nose and smiled down at her.
They realised at the same moment.
They dashed through the corridors, diving behind statues and into dark alcoves to avoid ghosts and teachers and arrived outside the Room of Requirement, gasping for breath. Harry bent forward, hands on his knees while Ginny walked back and forth three times in front of the door. Harry could hear her muttering "...double bed, double bed..." under her breath and smiled to himself.
The door in the wall appeared, and Ginny grabbed at the door knob, but she pulled her hand back with a moan of frustration.
"What's wrong?" Harry asked.
"Look," she replied, pointing at the door knob. Harry leaned in closer.
Do not disturb.
The Room of Requirement is in use.
Occupants: Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger
This room is in use until 0730 Monday morning
"Well..." Words failed Harry. He stared silently at the sign.
"My bloody brother..." Ginny paced back and forth in front of the door. "Now what are we going to do?"
Harry lifted his gaze to meet hers. Green eyes glimmered in the half-light of the corridor.
"If Ron's busy in here, then he's not in my dormitory," he said.
Ginny stopped pacing.
"And an Imperturbable Charm should be enough to give us a bit of privacy," she said.
"Yeah," Harry replied.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Ginny asked.
"Nothing," Harry replied. "Except..."
He leaned forward and whispered in Ginny's ear. She closed her eyes and hissed out a long, slow breath through her teeth.
Harry took her hand.
"Now we're ready," he declared.