Title: Knickers
Author: firegoddess
Rating: To be safe, I'm going to say R although only some of it is. If anyone wants to read the NC-17 chapters that I've written for this story but can't post here, please go to my yahoogroup here: http/groups. I Own Nothing
Spoilers: Anything before HBP….I started writing this before the 6th book came out
Summary: Harry receives an…unusual package in the mail…

Chapter 1: Sexiest Man Alive

"Oh bloody hell," Harry Potter cursed as he opened one of the large envelopes that had been owled to him that morning at the Burrow. Indeed, now that Voldemort had been defeated and he was finished at Hogwarts (these events were cathartically close together, the final battle occurring on his birthday the summer after he had left his seventh year), he had been at odds with himself over where he would live. At first, he had thought about moving into a flat but Molly Weasley had quickly vetoed that idea After all, as soon as he finished school and, not to mention, the war, he had accepted the offer the Chudley Cannons had extended to him in January of his last year at school. Ron, Harry remembered, had thrown him a party to commemorate the occasion (and to convince his best friend to take the offer; at the time, Harry had been a tad preoccupied with training for the final battle). He travelled a lot with the team therefore, making paying rent on a flat he rarely lived in pointless. And Harry had to admit to himself that it was comforting to be mothered a bit after the years of living with the Dursley's and the ever-constant stress that had been Voldemort. There were other reasons too; actually one reason in particular, but he wasn't comfortable thinking about it too much. It tended to depress him. Right now though, he wasn't thinking about that. No, at the moment he was more concerned about the pile of envelopes that had been dropped next to his breakfast plate not more than five minutes ago.

"What is it, Harry?" Ron asked, taking a sip of his pumpkin juice. He abruptly spit it out though, catching Harry in the face with the spray as he took in the object that his best friend had pulled from the envelope. "Bloody hell! Are those what I think they are!"

Harry nodded, running a hand over his face to clean the juice Ron had got on him while continuing to dangle the lacy red knickers he had received gingerly from a single finger. "Yes, Ron, yes they are."

"Give one of those envelopes here then," Ron reached across the table. "Maybe there are more."

"Ron!" Harry shot him a scandalized look, the blush that had started to emerge on his face at the first 'surprise' growing.

Ron looked at him as he opened the next envelope and smirked as he took out another pair, this time a black G-string –complete with a picture of the owner. "There's a picture in this one!"

"Pictures in what one?" Hermione inquired as she and Ginny entered the kitchen from the yard. They had already been to Diagon Alley and back by the time the boys had gotten up.

"Nothing." Harry's face went the colour of an extremely ripe tomato as he desperately tried to hide the two pairs of knickers that were lying incriminatingly on the kitchen table.

"Red lace, Harry?" Ginny grinned teasingly, picking the knickers in question up and looking at them. "I always thought of you as a grey cotton kind of bloke but hey, whatever does it for you…"

"They're not mine," Harry hissed uncomfortably, his face burning hotly.

"Well, what about these then?" Hermione casually picked up the black g-string and held it up for closer inspection. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted the picture of a buxom blond wearing the same pair of knickers she was holding. With a gasp of shock and disgust, she dropped the G-string abruptly. "Oh my God Harry, what…?"

"I know, I can't figure it out either." He took his glasses off and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I just woke up this morning…"

"Afternoon," Ginny interjected accusingly.

"Afternoon," Harry corrected himself, shooting Ginny an annoyed look before putting his glasses back on and continuing with his story, "And about 50 owls came into the house leaving these envelopes." He motioned to the stack that still sat next to him on the kitchen table; thicker than they should have been, thanks to whatever illicit contents the females of the Wizarding world were apparently plaguing him with today.

Ginny's eyes twinkled. She knew something he didn't…

"What?" Harry spat out in an exasperated voice.

"I know something you don't know…" she said in a sing-song voice.

"Ginevra Weasley, you tell me why I've received two pairs of knickers today or I swear…"

"What?" she said in a challenging voice.

"I will tell your mother," Harry's eyes narrowed in warning, while Ginny's eyes widened in fear. She knew that although she was 22 years old, she was still afraid of what her mother would do to her sometimes. "Fine, but you're not going to like it." Ginny sat down and fumbled in the bag she had brought back from the Alley. "I picked this up when Hermione was in Flourish and Blotts." She slapped a magazine down on the table.

Harry looked impatiently at the magazine and inwardly recoiled as his picture, decked out in his Quidditch robes, winked back at him.

"You, my friend," Ginny leaned forward and smirked in amusement. "Are Witch Weekly's 'Sexiest Man Alive'."

"But," Harry stammered, flabbergasted that Witch Weekly hadn't even consulted him before putting him on the cover. Indeed, the Wizarding world was extremely behind the times when it came to things like this; they had lawyers but they hadn't yet reached the point where anyone would sue a media outlet or person for slander. This is how Rita Skeeter had got by with writing so many negative articles on his life back in his Hogwarts days. "No one even told me this was happening…"

Hermione rolled her eyes, flopping down in the chair next to Ron and grabbing his fork. With a sigh she took a heaping forkful of his scrambled eggs and put them in her mouth. "When have they ever, Harry?"

"Hey!" Ron cried, reaching for his fork back and wincing as Hermione hit his hand hard. "Get your own!"

Hermione turned a bemused eye onto her spouse and snorted. "No. When you're five months pregnant, we'll talk." She put another bite in her mouth and closed her eyes as the taste of well made scrambled eggs and a touch of curry burst on her tongue. Harry had obviously made these. They were too good to be Ron's. "It's your fault anyway."

Indeed, she and Ron had got married right out of Hogwarts and were expecting their first child now that Hermione had deemed that the timing was right. After all, not only was Voldemort dead, but both she and her husband had secure jobs. Ron was an analyst for the Special Ops section of the Aurors and Hermione was Hogwarts' new Transfiguration professor. They lived at Hogwarts during the school year but for the summer, they were staying at the Burrow.

Ron exchanged an amused look with his wife and gave up, shifting the plate over in front of her. "Here, finish it then."

"Thank you, Luv," Hermione dropped a kiss on her husband's cheek and turned her eyes to Harry, who was eying the rest of the envelopes warily now that Ginny had dropped the bomb about the 'Sexiest Man Alive' cover he had won. "Wait, Harry. How'd they get the picture for the cover then?"

Harry winced. "Do you remember my first season with the Cannons?" At the group's nod, he continued. "Well, we had some publicity shots taken to announce my recruitment onto the team." Harry quirked an eyebrow, "That's one of the ones they didn't use."

He sighed. "I don't get it though, I've been with the Cannons for four years now and I've never received underwear in the mail. Just letters."

"Well you weren't the 'Sexiest Man Alive' then were you? Besides, the Cannons screen your fan mail, Harry. I should know. I did the screening for the past year and a half and you have received knickers and other…things before," Ginny smiled wickedly, remembering some of the items Harry and the rest of the players had received. Everything from love notes to bras. She had indeed been one of the assistant managers to the Cannons last year and in charge of the screening itself. She had recently gotten a place on the Holyhead Harpies as a Chaser though and decided to leave the Cannons. This was the story as everyone else knew it. They all thought she had left because she had gotten a better paying position, and furthermore, one which allowed her to pursue the sport that she loved and was more than capable of playing- and winning. What they didn't know was that the real reason she had first joined Chudley as Assistant Manager and then left for Holyhead had nothing to do with money and everything to do with Harry Potter.

Widening her grin, Ginny threw herself back into the conversation, knowing that the train of thought she was currently on would only depress her. After all, Harry Potter was perhaps the thickest individual she had ever met. The only way he would ever notice the feelings she still had for him was if she sent him her OWN underwear on a silver platter and she wasn't about to do that anytime soon; she did have her pride after all. With a sigh, she turned her attention to the rest of the envelopes that still sat on the kitchen table like extremely warped Christmas presents. "Now, let's see what else you were sent in the mail by your adoring public Mr. Potter…"