Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling owns all things Harry Potter.
A/N: I witnessed an incident of streaking on campus last week that inspired this bit of fluff... Please note that this story contains significant amounts of nudity and sexual innuendo. If this offends you, please do not read it.
The First Sign of Spring
There was only one thing that could bring the students of Hogwarts together, across house lines, rich and poor, pureblood and Muggleborn alike... the Seventh Year Streak.
It happened every year, after the snow started to melt and the temperatures climbed above freezing. One day at breakfast, one seventh year boy would nod at another, who would nod at someone else. By the end of the first lesson of the day, every boy in the year would have gotten the message.
Shortly before dinner, they would meet under the stands of the Quidditch pitch, every seventh year boy, without exception. They would leave their robes and run, clad only in their shoes, down to the shore of the lake, then return to the pitch on a course which took them within view of the castle. When they returned to the pitch, they would smile and laugh, and clap each other on the back. They would dress themselves and straighten each others' ties, not noticing the color. Then they would return to the castle without having spoken a word.
It was tradition, and it bonded them better than any of Dumbledore's attempts to promote house unity. How could you truly hate someone once you had run naked with them?
Most of the school was oblivious to the tradition. The male faculty presumably knew of it, having participated during their own seventh years, but they did not speak of it. It would have been disastrous if some of the female staff members, say, Professor McGonagall, ever learned of it, and all care was taken to make sure they never did.
Despite the secrecy, there were always a few observers. Two sixth year boys from each house were chosen each year to carry on the tradition. They were present in order to learn the rules and route, so they could inform their classmates the next year. In addition, there were always a few stray students who happened to be out for an evening walk, and were treated to an unexpected sight. Of course, when the sixth year boys approached them to suggest that it would be in their best interests to keep quiet about the whole thing, they tended to nod and smile and do just that.
But this year, things were going to be different. One person knew of the tradition, and she had no intention of keeping the information to herself.
As spring approached, Ginny Weasley watched the seventh year boys in the Great Hall very carefully. She was much more observant than anyone would expect, and quite adept at eavesdropping. She had learned of the Seventh Year Streak two years ago, after the fact, when she heard Fred, George, and Lee sniggering. Apparently the sixth year Gryffindors had threatened to equip a third year Hufflepuff with a complimentary set of antlers if he didn't keep quiet.
The previous year, Ginny had witnessed the Streak for herself, hidden in the branches of a tree near the lake. The sixth year enforcers, including Harry Potter and her brother Ron, never knew she was there. They would pay for that lack of attention now. She had planned a prank to rival Fred and George's portable swamp. She would catch the whole seventh year class starkers, for all the school to see.
It was Terry Boot, a Ravenclaw, who gave the first signal. Ginny watched the web of subtly nodding heads spread through the Hall, and smiled to herself. Today was the day and she was ready.
For the last month, Ginny had been secretly brewing Sticking Solution. The potion would lose potency if made in large batches, so she brewed a small amount each day, and hoped that she would have enough finished when the time came. By her calculations, she would need one more batch to be sure she could capture the whole group of seventh year boys, but she could make that after lessons. Once they were caught up in the goo, Ginny planned to release fireworks to alert the rest of the school to their presence. There would be nothing they could do, as they obviously would not have their wands with them. She couldn't wait to tell Fred and George about it later.
After lessons, Ginny quickly whipped up the last batch of the potion, and hurried out onto the grounds to lay her trap. She chose a spot that was visible from the main doors of the castle and that the boys would pass on their way back from the lake. Their route passed near a small ridge where she planned to hide to see the results of her handiwork. It would also be a safe place to set off the fireworks. Ginny carefully spread the Sticking Solution over the grass, then settled into her hiding place to wait.
She soon got her first glimpse of the streakers, as they ran towards the lake. They were too far away for her to identify individuals, but her heart began to pound. It wouldn't be long now. They neared the lake then looped around and headed in her direction.
Growing up in a household filled to the brim with boys, Ginny had seen more than her fair share of the male form. And yet, this was a sight to behold. Her heart rate sped up further. Even Neville Longbottom, who appeared to be quite chubby under his robes, had surprising... assets. And he was nothing compared to some of the Quidditch players. Harry Potter, Terry Boot, and especially Draco Malfoy, had bodies that made her knees weak. She forced herself to look away and take a deep breath. She had to concentrate.
Harry Potter reached the patch of Sticking Solution first, and Ginny held her breath to see what he would do. He slowed down a bit and pulled hard at his feet, as if he had stepped in discarded Drooble's Best Blowing Gum. And then to Ginny's horror, his foot pulled away as if gum and not
Sticking Solution attached it to the ground. It should have held him fast. The same thing seemed to be happening for the other boys as well. Ginny watched, aghast, as some of them seemed to have trouble similar to Harry's while others ran right on through without even slowing down.
Something had gone terribly wrong.
Little did Ginny realize it, but things were about to get worse. She watched as all the boys but one freed themselves from the goo and ran off in the direction of the Quidditch pitch. It seemed, though, that at least a little of the Sticking Solution had done its job. Draco Malfoy's feet were firmly attached to the grass.
Ginny watched, fascinated, as Draco glanced quickly around him, then crouched down to examine the grass nearby. He looked in several directions, then nodded to himself. When he began to untie one of his shoes, she shifted uncomfortably. His head shot up and he looked directly at her hiding spot.
"Who's there?" he asked warily. "You might as well come out, because I will find you eventually, and the more you make me chase you, the less you will like what will happen when I catch you."
Ginny didn't move a muscle.
Draco continued to watch the ridge as he quickly untied both shoes. He stood carefully on top of the shoes to avoid the goo, then took a giant leap away from them. He landed in some of the less effective Sticking Solution, but quickly freed himself from it.
Draco began to move in Ginny's direction with the grace of a cat. He seemed unfazed by the fact that he was now completely nude. And the look in his eyes was almost feral. Ginny was transfixed–she couldn't move even if she had tried.
He soon mounted the ridge and caught sight of Ginny and her hair. "Well, well, well, if it isn't a little weasel," he drawled with amusement. His words snapped her out of the daze she had been in, and she scrambled to her feet.
"What do you want, Malfoy?" she asked warily, moving backwards away from him.
"The more urgent question, I think, is what you want," he said, continuing to move towards her, his eyes never leaving hers. "Why would you lay out Sticking Solution? I suppose you couldn't catch a man any other way?"
"No!" she yelled, bristling at the suggestion. "It... it was a prank!"
"Oh, I see!" he exclaimed, his voice dripping in sarcasm. "It was a prank! And I'm sure a good little Gryff like you wouldn't even think to look at what was on display!"
At this Ginny, couldn't keep her eyes from flitting down to look at his body. When she looked back at his face, he was smirking. She blushed. "That's what I thought," he said smugly.
"Oh!" she exploded, suddenly enraged. He was dead on, yet entirely wrong at the same time. "You conceited prat! This had nothing to do with you!"
"Ah, I see! It was Potter you were trying to catch! I should have known, with the way you follow him around."
"Bollocks! It's been years since I followed Harry around! I was trying to catch all of you!"
"So you like to share? I could get into that," he said suggestively, at the same moment he pinned her back against a tree. Ginny had been so intent on yelling at Draco, and trying to avoid him, that she hadn't paid any attention to where she was going. And now he had her cornered.
"What else do you like, Ginny?" he asked quietly, placing an arm on either side of her so she couldn't get away.
"Argh!" she yelled, full of frustration with him, but mostly with herself for getting into this situation. "It. Was. A. Prank. I was going to trap you all, set off fireworks to attract the school, and enjoy your collective humiliation from afar." Ginny's face was red with exertion by this time, but Draco just seemed to be amused by her perturbation.
"Too bad you are too pathetic a Potions student to know not to brew Sticking Solution in such quantities," he prodded.
"Of course I didn't brew it in that quantity! I'm not stupid!" she responded, huffily. "I brewed a little every day!"
"Ginny, Ginny, Ginny," he said with mock regret, eyebrow raised in half laughter. "You didn't forget that Sticking Solutions only stay at full potency for thirteen hours after they're brewed, did you?"
Ginny froze for a moment. She had forgotten that little tidbit. So that's why it all went wrong! Draco must have ended up stuck in today's batch, and the rest was no longer strong enough to hold a person in place. All she wanted to do was get away and mourn her disastrous idiocy in private. She raised a hand to push Draco away, then stopped just before her hand touched his bare chest. She had forgotten his state of undress.
Draco looked at her with an amused expression, and said tauntingly, "Oh, go ahead! You can touch! Don't let me stop you."
Ginny's mind was torn by indecision. She didn't want to touch the slimy ferret, but she did want to get away, and couldn't see another way out besides pushing him away. But while her mind debated, her body acted. She reached out and delicately traced a small finger down the center of his chest, following it with fascinated eyes.
This seemed to surprise Draco, as he let out a small gasp at her touch.
"Do that again..." he said. Ginny expected him to finish the thought with something like, "...and I'll hex you into next week." But he didn't. Confused, she looked up into his eyes. They were darkened with a hint of his previous anger, and amusement, and... something else.
He stepped closer to her and whispered, "Do that again."
He kissed her then. It was commanding and possessive, but contained the barest hint of pleading. Ginny stiffened at first, but then gave in to his demand and to whatever sensation had caused her to touch him in the first place. She fell into the kiss, and he deepened it in response. One of her hands twined its way into his hair. The other hand, the one that had traced its way down his chest, had been waiting patiently on his hip and now, of its own accord, moved further down, grasping his bare bum. Draco moaned at her touch and pressed more firmly against her, freeing his hands to roam as well. One cupped her cheek as the other skimmed her curves.
It was a kiss like nothing Ginny had ever experienced before, and if she could think coherently, she would have suspected Draco felt the same, due to the way he seemed to be devouring her. Eventually, they both needed air and pulled away.
Still panting, Draco looked into Ginny's eyes and said, "You seem to have an unfair advantage as far as clothing goes." She glanced briefly down and remembered that she was fully clothed while he was completely nude. Her hands automatically moved to the clasp of her robes. He quickly reached to stop her.
"You misunderstood me," he whispered, using his other hand to pull her wand effortlessly from her pocket. He turned halfway in the direction of the Quidditch pitch, waved Ginny's wand, and muttered "Accio clothing."
Ginny felt a surge of disappointment as Draco's robes and underclothes came flying in their direction. He pulled away to dress himself, and Ginny berated herself. For a moment she had thought he had meant... Apparently not. What was she thinking, anyway, enjoying that kiss? He had only done it to intimidate her, or bend her to his will in some other way. She was stupid to fall for his manipulation. She picked herself up intending to storm back to the castle.
Ginny had turned her back on him when Draco said quietly, "Ginny, wait."
She stopped, but refused to turn around. "Why should I?" she asked stiffly.
"Because I think you misunderstood again," he said, moving to stand behind her and slipping an arm around her waist.
"You were playing with me. What is there to misunderstand?" Her voice was bitter.
"I wasn't... Okay, at first I was playing with you. But after..."
"But nothing! It's just revenge for you. You're probably leading me on so you can drop me later and get a good laugh with your mates. Well, I won't give you the satisfaction!" She started to pull away, but his grip was like iron around her waist.
"Ginny," he said, burying his face in her hair. "Dinner is about to start. And I, for one, am hungry after the exertions of the day. I... I suggest that we return to the castle, eat, and then meet near Barnabas the Barmy afterwards." He nibbled tentatively at her earlobe, and whispered, "Then maybe we can pick up where we left off." Ginny relaxed into his arms. He might be playing with her, but he sounded almost genuine. And even if he was, well, it just might be worth it anyway.
"After all," he continued, breathing into her ear, "you had planned on fireworks today. The least I can do is make sure you see stars."
At this, Ginny turned around in his arms and smirked up at him. "Well, they were my brothers' fireworks. It will take quite an effort on your part to make up for missing that."
"Somehow," he said, kissing her gently on the nose, "I think I can handle it."
"We'll just have to see about that!"
"And maybe later," Draco added, grinning, "I'll show you how to properly brew a Sticking Solution."
"Oh, shut it!" Ginny admonished, swatting him lightly on the chest.
"And then, if you're lucky, I'll show you a better way to use it..."
As they started moving toward the castle, Ginny reveled in the sensations of spring and of Draco's arm wrapped firmly around her waist. Maybe today hadn't been such a disaster after all.