A/N: Well, here it is! This is the scene that we've been referring to as that in the previous two stories. We've had a blast writing this, staying up really past our bedtimes, ignoring work, and generally being the two silly monarchs that we are. No socks were stolen during the writing of this story, and the towels are on loan from Firebolt909.
JKR would be appalled if she knew we were doing this to her innocent characters….they however, don't mind a bit and are looking forward to more steamy adventures.
Socks, Sex and Soapsuds
Harry Potter sat in the heady atmosphere of the Divination classroom at the top of North Tower. The fire blazed fiercely in the grate, despite the golden beams of sunlight streaming in through the windows of the circular room. The perfumed air made Harry's head spin, and it was only the company of Ron that made these lessons even remotely bearable. Harry glanced over at him, and saw his best friend staring in bewilderment at the crystal ball in front of him. If truth be told, neither of them had ever seen anything in Divination, but their powers of invention were beyond compare. They could cheerfully predict their own deaths in a variety of tragic circumstances without any need for magic at all.
"Look carefully into the crystal," Professor Trelawney's voice wavered mistily around the classroom. "Make a note of what you see there, and then try to interpret it."
"D'you think the old bat'll notice if we skip the crystal ball bit?" Ron muttered to Harry, reaching for a piece of parchment and his quill. Harry choked back a laugh. His friendship with Ron was just about getting back to normal. Things had been a bit strained recently as Ron had believed, quite reasonably, that Harry was up to no good with his little sister. Harry was eternally grateful that Ron wasn't the most observant of people, as he had narrowly avoided catching them at it in the Astronomy Tower last week. Thankfully Ron had believed their star gazing story, and was even more embarrassed about the incident than they were. This had given them a bit more leeway in their nocturnal wanderings, and they'd retreated into a particularly quiet and pleasant spot in the storage cupboard at the back of Professor McGonagall's Transfiguration classroom, from which they'd both emerged some time later with somewhat irrepressible smiles on their faces.
Harry grinned broadly at the memory, but seeing Ron shoot him a quizzical glance, he focused his attention on the swirling mist within the crystal ball, expecting to see nothing. However, this time was different. Harry stared in amazement as the mist began to clear, and images shimmered and swayed into clearer focus. He blinked to make sure he wasn't imagining it. Then he saw what the image was, he felt his cheeks start to burn. No, this wasn't happening. It couldn't be. How could he be seeing… that in the crystal ball?
Transfixed in horror, his eyes widened as he surveyed the luxurious marble room, the fluffy white towels, and the solitary painting on the wall of the blonde mermaid. The candle-filled chandelier glimmered through the darkness, casting into relief two embracing figures: one with long flowing red hair which glittered in the soft light, and the other was taller, with a dishevelled mop of untidy black hair, sticking out in all directions. Harry knew what was coming, but, however much he wanted to, he simply couldn't tear his eyes away from the scene.
They'd slipped out of Gryffindor Tower slightly earlier than normal, just before Filch started his rounds with Mrs Norris, searching out errant students for inventively horrible detentions. Ginny had complained of a headache earlier and had disappeared up to her dormitory, but what none of the others realised was that she was back again a little later, safely hidden within the folds of the invisibility cloak. They left the common room together, Harry keeping a weather eye on the Marauder's Map for signs of anything or anyone heading in their direction. They weren't quite out of bounds yet, but if he was confronted, he had a story already concocted that should keep him out of trouble.
They wound their way down some stairs and through the maze of dimly lit corridors, Ginny darting up to him and tickling him gently and making him giggle aloud, before wriggling away again so he couldn't catch her.
"Stop it!" he hissed beneath his breath, and then gasped as he felt her invisible hands caress him. "Ginny!" he whispered breathlessly, not knowing whether to be horrified or delighted by her behaviour. "Let's wait until we get there OK?"
Harry heard a low chuckle from somewhere behind him. "It's more fun this way, don't you think?"
"Stop giggling before Filch hears you!" Harry whispered urgently. He groaned loudly as he felt those invisible hands on him again, this time running down…down…
"Better get inside then, so I can have my wicked way with you." Ginny's breath was hot against his ear. He swallowed. Rounding the final corner, he was relieved to see their final destination in sight.
Hurrying up to the door, he glanced quickly around him to ensure that he was indeed unobserved. Harry leaned carefully up to the statue of Boris the Bewildered and whispered the password; something that he prayed Ginny couldn't hear. A raucous cheer went up from the nearby portrait of an all male Quidditch team, and a torrent of horrified laughter by his ear made him blush; Ginny had indeed heard him. Harry felt the need to defend himself.
"I didn't make it up! It was Seamus' turn for the password," he protested vehemently, feeling his face becoming even hotter.
"What did you say?" Ginny gasped out between giggles. "Now, the question is, Mr Potter, can you identify where on the female body that might be?"
Harry looked steadily at the spot where he thought Ginny was, and a slow grin spread wickedly across his face.
"Give me a few minutes, Miss Weasley, and I'm sure I can show you."
He felt a small breeze drift past him, and he followed her into the Prefects' Bathroom, locking the door firmly behind him.
The cloak fluttered like silvery gossamer from her fingers, and the figure he adored more than any other reappeared before him. The soft candlelight shimmered from the magnificent chandelier overhead, catching the coppery highlights in her flowing red hair, and her face lifted to him with such a smile of pleasure that it almost made his heart stop. He pulled her swiftly into his arms, loving the feel of her against him, and sought out her lips, dissolving into a world where only they existed.
Small hands travelled, roving across his body, and questing inquisitively under his dressing gown, creating tingling fires as they passed by. Her dark brown eyes were filled with passion, fuelling his own. He caught his breath, as the lightest of touches brushed across his bare stomach, filling his mind with nothing but her, and his desire to love her.
His own hands were equally busy exploring, marvelling at being able to touch her. Gently, he pulled back the folds of her dressing gown feeling goosebumps appearing where he trailed kisses down her neck, making her quiver. His eyes widened, as her robe slipped off her shoulders and crumpled around her feet on the floor.
"Gin," he gulped, unable to tear his eyes off her. "I can't… I can't believe that's all you were wearing. What if someone had seen you?"
"I was wearing the invisibility cloak, silly," she chuckled. "Who could've seen me besides Mad Eye Moody?"
"Trust me, Ginny. He'd be missing the rest of his nose if he ever saw you like this," he said, before bending his head to kiss her again. His hands roved down her back, enjoying the sensation of the softness of her skin against his, and the way her back arched in such pleasure at his caress.
Harry shifted uncomfortably against the plump cushion in the armchair, acutely aware of the oppressive heat in the room, as he gazed at the scene unfolding before his very eyes in the crystal ball. His eyes covertly darted over to Ron, desperately hoping that he wasn't paying any attention to Harry's furiously flushing face or the physical reactions he was having elsewhere. What Ron would say if he could see his little sister like that just didn't bear thinking about. But Ron was staring into his own globe, wearing an expression somewhere between amazement and extreme horror. As though sensing Harry's eyes on him, Ron looked up, still stunned from the visions his own crystal held.
"What do you see?" Harry asked curiously.
Ron's ears immediately turned pink and he moved uneasily in his chair. "N-Nothing," he stammered. "Nothing at all. What about you?" Ron leaned sideways to gaze into Harry's crystal.
"Nothing!" Harry yelped in alarm, slightly too loudly, making Lavender and Parvati, who were at the next table, glance over at them. "I don't see a thing," he hissed in a lower tone. Ron nodded, and in unspoken agreement, both immediately returned their attention to their respective crystal balls.
Harry lowered himself gradually into the warm water of the swimming-pool-sized bath, the deep foam tickling his skin as he sank. Steamy scented clouds cast a haze around the room like a mirage, and he floated briefly backwards before reaching his hands up for Ginny. Harry's arms trembled as he lifted her into the water, hearing her small gasp as the heat touched her skin, making it glow a shell-like soft pink that matched the shade of her cheeks. She giggled softly, and drifted into his arms, kissing him again, and again.
"This is nice," she murmured, tiny ringlets drifting seductively around her face, having escaped from the restraints she had imposed upon her hair. Harry couldn't help but watch entranced as a tiny droplet of water fell from one of the tendrils and trickled down her cheek. He reached out, and gently smoothed it away, smiling into those wonderful brown eyes, into the soul of the woman he loved.
"I want this to be perfect," he whispered, enjoying the new sensation of exploring her skin beneath the warm water, to be able to move with her so easily, limbs entwined in the liquid weightlessness of their world. His eyes focused on her face as she gasped and leaned back into his fingers, responding to his every touch. Circling slowly, their embrace became tighter, ever more intimate, as lips sought each other out with love and desire.
A splash and an intimate chuckle echoed around the bathroom. The air swirled heavily around them, condensation covering the mirror so that only a shadow of reality remained. Soft sounds whispered through the chamber, and the two figures in the mists of the crystal ball blurred into one.
"What do you see, my dear?" The airy voice of Professor Trelawney gave Harry the scare of his life. Eyes wide, he looked up to see her thin figure standing over him, her enormous spectacles reflecting his shocked, reddened face.
"N-Nothing but sex… socks!… I mean socks!" Harry stuttered, his voice emphasising the last word more loudly than he had intended, hoping to cover up his blunder, and desperately praying that Ron wasn't listening. Professor Trelawney seemed to not have noticed it either because she was looking rather disappointed.
"No signs of danger then, my dear boy?" she asked. "No sign of terror, no indication of the horrible fate that awaits you?"
"Er, no," Harry replied, with a nasty sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, well aware of the horrible fate that was about to occur. "Just socks." An idea instantly sprung into his head. "They have been stolen though," he added brightly.
"Hmmm…" Professor Trelawney said thoughtfully. "Stolen items are never a good sign. Didn't I tell you earlier in the week that when Mercury is in the Twelfth House that…"
"Oh yes!" Harry exclaimed quickly, not wanting her to launch into another long explanation of nonsense.
"And what about you, dear child?" Trelawney asked Ron, thankfully losing all interest in Harry and his socks. "What do you see?"
Ron's entire face now glowed like the sun, making his vivid hair pale in comparison. "Uh..." Ron never took his eyes away from his crystal ball as he replied, "Uh...I see...bubbles. Yeah, bubbles. You know, like from a bath."
Harry's head snapped up so fast it almost gave him whiplash. Bubbles? Ron couldn't be seeing what he was seeing, could he? No, no. It wasn't possible. For one thing, Harry would be lying on the floor in bloody bits after Ron got through with him. But what
could Ron be referring to? Despite his own embarrassment, Harry had to hide his grin behind his hand before he was drawn back to the inevitability of his fate in the crystal ball.
Harry chuckled quietly at the cry Ginny had just uttered, making her eyes flutter open, and a grin spread across her flushed face.
"Hey, it's not my fault," she teased him, somewhat breathlessly. "You're the one doing this to me." Her eyes twinkled mischievously. "Don't stop, though!"
"Ginny, I think I can safely say that at this point it would be next to impossible for me to…" He happened to glance over her foam-covered shoulder and his voice dried up and died away completely. And that wasn't the only thing. It seemed that the impossible could happen.
"Oh, don't stop because of me either," a glum voice echoed through the room. "I mean, nobody notices I'm here anyway."
"Wh-what?" Ginny gasped, eyes widening in horror She quickly pulled herself up and wriggled tightly against Harry's chest, where he wrapped his arms around her protectively.
Through the steaming mists of the prefects' bathroom, a silvery white shape could be seen distinctly, sitting cross-legged and floating above the bath. Myrtle regarded them curiously through her thick spectacles, a superior smile flickering across her face. Harry felt desire drain from him like the bath had suddenly been transformed into the Hogwarts lake on the frostiest of mornings. His heart was thumping unpleasantly quickly and he could feel his face heating to a shade of brightest red, not entirely dissimilar to Ginny's crimson complexion. Myrtle continued to stare at the pair of them, and thoughtfully picked at one of her spots.
"You haven't been to see me recently," she said huffily to Harry.
"Well, I've… er… I've been busy," Harry stuttered, his brain whirling in overdrive. Even with the thickness of the foam, it must have been relatively obvious what they had been doing, and he knew for a certain fact that if Myrtle didn't keep this to herself, they could very well be facing expulsion. Why, oh why, hadn't he remembered Myrtle's appearance in this very bathroom back in his fourth year.
"I can see that," Myrtle said pointedly, nodding towards Ginny, who was turning even redder. "You looked very busy with her when I got here."
"When exactly did you get here?" Harry asked nervously, trying to work out how much Myrtle had seen. A smug smile spread across Myrtle's face.
"Oooh, wouldn't you like to know," she said, looking at him with undisguised relish. "I've seen and heard some very interesting things in here tonight. This sort of behaviour would have never happened in my day, although I remember Olive Hornby being caught after hours with Orion Williams in Greenhouse Five. They were just kissing though, nothing like this."
"Were you spying on them as well, Myrtle?" Ginny said furiously, and with a quick embarrassed glance at Harry, she swam for the side of the bath, leaving him feeling oddly bereft.
"Not spying," Myrtle said indignantly. "I was only watching out for her. You know what these boys can be like sometimes."
"Not really, Ginny muttered grimly, levering herself out, in a rush of water and soapsuds onto the marble floor. "I only know what Harry's like. What did you do that I haven't to find that out, Myrtle?"
Harry watched in fascination as the ghost's face flushed a shade of deep silver. She looked uncertainly at Ginny, seeing the trails of bubbles covering a few parts of her anatomy like patches of extremely scanty clothing.
"This is a boys bathroom," she said self-righteously, after a very long pause. "And you are most definitely not one."
"Neither are you, Myrtle," Ginny snapped, wrapping a fluffy towel around herself, still flushed with embarrassment. "But you obviously think it's all right for you to be in here. Imagine what the prefects would think, to find a ghost ogling them through the taps."
"I should tell Dumbledore, I should," Myrtle half-sang, a glimmer of malicious intent surfacing as she swooped through the air.
"Don't do that, Myrtle. Wait a minute," Harry interrupted, heading over as quickly as the water would allow. He was about to get out, when he realised that Myrtle was eyeing him with interest, and sank back down into the foam, making sure he was properly covered.
"Ginny, can you throw me a towel?" he asked desperately. "Please?"
Ginny grinned slyly as she spotted his predicament, and slid a towel mischievously through her hands.
"A towel, you say? Is this what you want?" she grinned impishly. Harry sighed heavily. He might have known. When did a Weasley ever pass up the opportunity to tease, and Ginny was certainly not going to let this one pass by, even given the severity of the situation.
"Please," he begged, sounding ever more desperate.
"Come and get it," Ginny grinned wickedly, backing up from the edge of the bath, and swinging the towel tantalisingly from her hand.
"I think I like her," Myrtle commented, absently picking a spot on her chin.
Ginny's gaze snapped back to Myrtle. "Go away now, Myrtle. You've seen enough here already."
"Well, it's not like I haven't seen him without clothes on before," Myrtle protested, gesturing at Harry, who had now almost completely submerged himself into the foam to hide his embarrassment. He might have known she'd bring that up! "But he's grown a lot since then," Myrtle added seriously. "A lot."
Ginny let out a surprised peal of laughter. "I'll bet he has," she gasped out, nearly doubled over with giggles.
"Please may I have the towel now?" Harry said through gritted teeth, really not liking the direction this conversation was taking. Ginny grinned, and threw it over. He wrapped the towel around him, making sure he had everything concealed. It slipped a bit from his soapy hands, and he made a desperate grab at it.
"Here let me help you," Ginny said, her eyes sparkling in the candle lit room. Harry backed up a bit. When she was in this sort of mood, he didn't trust her an inch. She smiled at him. "That's enough, Myrtle," she said to the enthralled ghost. "The show's over."
"OK," Myrtle said, sounding very disappointed. "If you come to visit me, I'll tell you about the first time I caught him in here."
"I'd like that," Ginny chuckled.
"GET OUT OF HERE, MYRTLE!" Harry bellowed. "Before I kill you," he added, completely forgetting that she was already dead.
Myrtle's eyes filled with silvery tears and she began to sob. Harry suddenly realised with a jolt that she was incredibly sensitive to references about not being alive.
"How could you?" she wailed noisily. "You know that I'm... that I've been…" And before Harry could say another word, Myrtle she swept theatrically into the air, sobbing as if her heart would break and disappeared back into the tap. There was a moment's silence.
"Nice going," Ginny nudged him, blushing furiously once more. "This'll be all over the school in about five minutes."
"No, it won't," Harry shrugged. "She's probably so upset that she's gone to drown herself in the s-bend or something."
"I'll have to talk to her, just in case," said Ginny giggling wickedly, her brown eyes sparking in the soft candlelight "Besides, we can compare notes."
"I think we will leave the lesson here for today," came a misty voice, causing Harry to jump and break away from his vision. The images in the crystal ball faded until only the normal transparent orb remained. Lavender and Parvati groaned in disappointment from the next table over, not ready to depart from their favourite lesson. Frankly, Harry had seen enough.
Harry gathered his things, not daring to look at Ron, who still seemed a bit rattled about his own experience. Harry wondered again what it was that he had seen, but knew that asking would involve curiosity in return. In unspoken consensus, both boys made a rapid beeline for the trapdoor, nearly knocking over both Neville Longbottom and Seamus Finnigan in their haste to escape.
"One more thing," called out Trelawney, just as Harry's hand had touched the trapdoor.
"I would like a detailed description of your visions to be written. Due in for Monday. Have a good weekend."
Ron swore violently under his breath. Harry agreed.