A Harry Potter fanfic by canoncansodoff

Disclaimer: Not my characters, no money being made, etc., etc.

Chapter 3: Testing the Idea


Hermione's parents were relaxing in the glass-roofed conservatory when the swimming pool inspectors finished their work and headed back towards the house.

"Looks promising, based on facial expressions," Emily observed, as she took a sip of tea.

Her husband looked up from his crossword and frowned.

"Is Hermione afraid that her professor will get lost between here and the pool, or is there some other reason she's holding her hand?"

"Hush, you," Emily scolded. "And focus on what's important. Hermione needs all of the support and reassurances she can get."

"And I think differently?"

"Your Monty Python jokes, dear...her best friend's nearly burnt to death and your idea of comfort is quoting the Holy Grail?"

"Broke the tension, didn't it?"

"Yes, well...so would turning you into a newt."

The four witches then joined the Grangers, giving Roger no chance to reflect on his wife's observations (much less develop the appropriate Python-inspired retort).

"Hey Mum, hey Dad," said Hermione. She then turned to Septima and added, "See, I told you that my dad liked to do the crossword on Sunday mornings."

"Guess he just likes doing his wife better," Madame Pomfrey whispered to McGonagall.

"Ssshhh!" cautioned a snickering Headmistress.

"So is the pool going to work out?" asked Roger.

Hermione nodded. "We think so...but we'd like to run a few tests before we bring Harry here."

"With your permission, of course," Septima added.

"Of course you have our permission," Emily replied. "But out of curiosity...what sorts of things are you planning?"

"Changing the pool's shape…need to make it easier to treat Harry without his body floating to the surface," replied Hermione. "We'll also need to swap out the pool chemicals for magic."

"Magical chlorine?" asked Roger.

"Disinfectant charms instead of chlorine...Harry's burns would react badly to the chemicals."

"Oh, that makes sense...and cut down on costs. Can you use magic to heat the pool as well?"

Hermione nodded. "Hadn't considered that, but it makes sense."

Roger smiled as he thought of the lower energy bills. "I love magic!"

"Yes, well it's not a perfect cure," Hermione replied. "Part of our testing will determine just how frequently the charm will need to be applied to the water."

"So you'd be swinging by each morning to clean the pool?"

"Erm...more likely that we'll need to clean the water every few hours," McGonagall offered.

"That often, huh?" asked Roger. "Why would that be?"

Emily sighed. "Really, dear, just because it's the weekend, doesn't mean your brain can go on holiday...I imagine that a germ-free environment will be critical, given Harry's burns."

Hermione nodded. "And we do have to be realistic...once Harry is off the stasis charm and using gillyweed the pool water will get dirtied."

"Why is..." trailed off Roger. He then squinted and said, "He'll be peeing in our pool, won't he?"

"Just as if he were a fish in a fish tank, Dad," Hermione replied. "He'll need to eat in the pool, and pee and...do all of his bodily functions underwater."

Roger scowled a bit. "Aren't there any underwater magical toilets that can be installed?"

"Do you think that there would be much of a market for that sort of thing, Dad?"

"Well, I wouldn't really know, since I'm a muggle, right?"

"I believe that we're getting ahead of ourselves," Madame Pomfrey stated. "Our immediate concern is to get Mr. Potter into some fresh mud, and treat his burns."

"Of course it is," Emily replied. "Is there anything that Roger or I could do to help?"

The four witches looked at each other, then collectively shook their heads.

"I think we've got it covered for now, Mum."

"Well then," Emily said, "would it be possible for Roger and I to watch? We'd promise to stay out of your way."

"Why would you want to..."

"It's just that...well, despite the fact that we've known about the wizarding world for several years, and have magical protections on our house, we never really seen a lot of magic being done."

"And we'd love to see just what my little girl has learned at that school of yours," Roger added.

"Oh," Hermione replied flatly. "Well, now might not be the best time, and I won't be the one casting spells during the tests."

"No matter to us," Roger said. "Call it a need to satisfy our curiosity."

"I think it best for you to keep your curiosity contained a bit longer," McGonagall advised. "Hermione could always show you a few things now, or later, since she's of age, but it would be best if you didn't witness the testing."

"Why is that, if I might ask?"

"Because, Daddy," Hermione explained reluctantly. "We've decided that anyone that is in the pool with Harry needs to leave their swimming costumes on the deck."

"What?" asked Roger.

"It's a matter of air bubbles," Septima quickly explained. "Any bit of trapped air inside of our bathing costumes would have the potential to burn Harry if he came in contact with it."

Upon hearing the response, Hermione's father couldn't help but imagine the four witches nude. From a theoretical standpoint, of course, given that his daughter was one of the four. The Arithmancy professor looked to have a fine, thirty-year old hard body, but the other two women were...well, he could do without the imagery.

"Well if that's the case, then my husband can stay inside," Emily decided. "I certainly wouldn't have a problem."

"Yes, but...well, it's more than that," Hermione admitted. "We need to test whether the burn salve will actually work when applied underwater."


"And to do that we'll have to treat some actual burned skin," Hermione added. "I am going to be test subject."

"Absolutely not, young lady," Emily firmly stated. "I'll not have you suffer that kind of pain out of some misguided sense of..."

"It's not misguided, Mrs. Granger," Septima said softly. She gave Hermione a furtive look and added, "We don't like the idea either. But there's a risk to taking the time to try and heal Harry's burns before he's encased in fresh mud, and Hermione's made a rather convincing argument that this would better quantify that risk."

"But the pain...and the scar tissue?"

"We've figured that part out, Daddy," Hermione said reassuringly. "I'll only have a small part of skin on my leg burned, and only after I've been placed under the same stasis spell that Harry's under. We'll have burn salve on hand, and if it doesn't work underwater, it certainly will heal the burns once they fish my body out of the pool. And since I'll be healed before I'm pulled out of stasis, I won't feel a thing...probably won't even realize that I'd been burned."

"If that's the case, Hermione, then there is no way you could keep your mother from watching over you," Emily said firmly.

"Actually, a Petrificus spell would freeze you in your tracks."


"Yes, mum...you're right, mum," Hermione said reluctantly.

"Of course I am, sweetheart."


Hermione's mum was impressed by the straight-forward and cooperative approach taken by the four witches as they made their preparations. One of the things that she was please to notice was how Hermione was treated as a peer by the other three witches, despite the fact that she was barely out of school and much, much younger than them. Except for the Arithmancy professor, whom Emily decided could was in her late twenties.

Another thing that Emily noticed was a tattoo in the shape of a small golden ball with fluttering outstretched wings. That this tattoo was revealed when her daughter stripped off her t-shirt brought her immediately out of observation mode.

"Hermione…what is that on your back?"

The young witch's first reaction was to glance towards Septima Vector, for a shared sardonic grin.

"Told you that she'd notice straight away," said the older witch.

"How could I not notice a tattoo that's six inches wide?"

"Especially when it's flapping its wings," added Pomfrey.

"Flapping its wings?" asked Emily.

"It's a magical tattoo, mum," Hermione replied. "It's animated, but you can only see it move it you are magical yourself."

"Merlin, Hermione," Minerva exclaimed. "When did you find time to get a magical tattoo?"

"April," Hermione replied. "During that last off-campus excursion, when we found and destroyed the last horcrux...Ron insisted that we celebrate, and well...we did."

"Rather odd placement, though, isn't it?"

Hermione looked over her shoulder, and shook her head. "The base of the spine is actually a rather popular place for a tattoo…at least amongst muggle girls and young women."

"But a snitch, Hermione?" asked Minerva. "You'll confuse poor Harry something fierce!"

Hermione blushed. "How do you think?"

"Well, I'd think it obvious," the Headmistress replied with a grin. "He's a seeker, and will be conflicted between reaching for the tattoo and reaching for your fanny!"

"No. it's a perfect location," quipped Poppy. "Just picture where the tip of his broomstick would be pointing towards as he reached for it."

The jokes caused Hermione to blush even more deeply, even as she laughed along. But what Emily noticed with far more interest was Vector's reaction. While McGonagall and Pomfrey were cackling away, the younger witches shared a "look"...the kind of shared glance that married couples can use to convey entire conversations without using words. And then there were the other looks...stolen glances as Hermione and Septima stripped off their knickers (Vector had volunteered to be the one in the pool to apply the burn salve). The two weren't checking each other's bodies out as much as they were checking Emily's reaction to their actions.

As if it wasn't clear as day to Hermione's mum...there was something going on between the two of them. Hermione may have been hiding it better, or simply didn't feel quite as strongly for the older witch as she did for her. But the look of fear in Septima's eyes when Hermione was put in stasis, the anguished expression when McGonagall shot a focused flame of fire from her wand towards her daughter's left calf, the joyous relief when Hermione was "brought back to life" pain-free...those were the looks of a lover.

That Hermione might have a female lover didn't shock Emily...while Roger still was clueless, her daughter had been quite open with her mother about her interest in bisexuality. But then Hermione's two closest friends were boys, and Emily would have thought that any exploration of her "other side" would have been done in the girls dormitories at school. Certainly not in the classroom, or within the bounds of an apprenticeship to a woman who was older than her mother. Even if she was a witch and looked fifteen years younger than her mother.

On the scale of the things before them, this was a relatively minor issue for Emily to worry over. Roger would have thought differently, but what he didn't know...It was interesting, though, that Hermione had the reaction that she did when there was talk of Harry groping her fanny. There were some three-way dynamics there that would likely need working out...

But first things first. As she had told her husband, Hermione was far too busy saving Harry's life for Emily to raise the issue, and ask for details. But if and when they succeeded, and the threats had diminished, Emily would definitely be looking for answers.

And in the meantime, she'd just keep looking. Looking closely.


Roger Granger had found it impossible to focus on his crossword while the five women were away…just looking at the fence, and thinking about his daughter willingly subjecting herself to third-degree burns, made him want to rush across the garden and force them to stop, and damn the nakedness.

Hoping that out of sight was closer to being out of mind, Roger left the house, crossed the street, and started in on his other weekend hobby...rebuilding the motor and refitting the interior of his 46ft vintage narrowboat.

In times of frustration, banging a misbehaving fuel pump with a spanner was far more therapeutic than pushing a pencil point across and down a puzzle. Especially when his wife and daughter weren't around to scold his language. That kind of freedom was taken advantage of thirty minutes later, when Roger was fighting a losing battle against a fuel pump.

"Well, to hell with you, you miserable piece of shite," he cursed. "You can take your leaking petrol and lube a self-buggering reach-around!"


The sound of his wife's voice caused the not-so-mild-mannered dentist to lift his head, without mind to the lack of clearance.

"Doh! Bloody buggering hell!".

"Are you quite finished with your cursing, dear?"

"No, come back in a few minutes."

"What, and miss your creative use of the Queen's English?" Emily teased. "So, I'm curious...how would a fuel pump perform a self-buggering reach-around?"

"I was just upset..."

"But it doesn't make sense, dear. I mean...even if the pump had a penis, and was flexible enough…or long enough… to bugger itself..."

"Yes, yes, quite right, dear..."

"So if the fuel pump is buggering itself with its own penis, what would it grab during the reach-around?"

"Nothing, dear. It was just a figure of speech..."

"None that I've heard, Roger. I mean, if you want to curse when you're alone, at least be logical about it."

"Yes, dear...so I imagine that Hermione came through the testing, since my language is holding your attention so well?"

Emily grinned. "Yes, she's fine, and the testing went well...the salve healed Hermione up underwater, so they've gone off to gather supplies for the run with Harry's body later this afternoon."

Roger nodded, as he leaned up against the opened cabin door. "So what was it like?"

"It was amazing...and quite frightening, of course...my heart nearly stop when they petrified Hermione, and then they burned her, and buried her in a vat of mud, and sunk her to the bottom of the pool, and..."

"But she came through it okay?"

Emily nodded. "Just as she predicted...the stasis spell that was cast on her made it as if she was frozen in time...didn't feel a thing, or even remember any of it."

"Suppose you had the worst of it, then."

Emily nodded, choosing not to tell her husband everything that she had seen.

"So when are they coming back?"

"Shouldn't be too long," Emily replied.

"Anything that we can be doing in the meanwhile?"

Emily shrugged her shoulders. "I don't think so…I felt rather helpless, just standing there..."

"Nothing us mere muggles can do to help?" Roger asked.

"Not unless we could wield a….yes, I think there's a way I could contribute."

"How's that, dear?"

Mrs. Granger replied by taking a step forward and reaching for the fire extinguisher that her husband kept (and occasionally needed) next to the engine hatch. Taking hold of the plastic nozzle, she extended it out and waved it around.

"Look honey, it's a muggle wand that can cast a firefighting spell!"


Having watched the test run with her daughter's body substituting for Harry Potter's, Emily Granger was far more at ease when the process repeated for real a few hours later. More nervous, of course, because the stakes were so much higher given Harry's injuries, but if the worst Emily had to worry about was the possibility that her naked daughter and her mentor were holding hands under the water's surface, she'd be happy.

Emily had goaded her husband into running down to the Home-Improvement warehouse store to clean out their supply of fire extinguishers. The half-dozen red metal bottles immediately caught the others' eyes when she wheeled them into the pool area on a cart and unpacked them. But Hermione quickly caught on to their utility, and did the necessary bit of muggle-magical translation so that the others understood as well.

The witches were getting help from a few house-elves this time around, including one that Hermione had introduced to her. Dobby was a strange little being, with an interesting command of the English language, but he was obviously fiercely loyal...not only to "The Great Harry Potter, Sir," but "The Great Harry Potter, Sir's Missy Grangy" as well.

At the Headmistress's request, Dobby and the other house-elves had popped away, only to return a few minutes later "carrying" a large vat of mud with them. This vat was levitated into the pool, towards the shallow end that McGonagall had transfigured to facilitate Harry's treatment. Meanwhile, the test vat that Hermione had used earlier in the day sat submerged in the deep end, with a layer of "fresh" magical mud lining its base.

Once the container holding Harry's body was submerged, Septima and Hermione moved to opposite sides of it, while Poppy and McGonagall stood by the water's edge. The medi-witch was casting a constant stream of diagnostic spells towards her mud-covered patient, as Minerva carefully vanished the metal vat. The hard-packed mud retained the molded shape of the vat's interior, until Hermione and Vector began the painstakingly slow process of carefully removing the layers that surrounded Harry's body.

They worked one body part of the time, trying to sap the last bit of magical energy out of the mud, even as they removed it. Hermione gasped when she uncovered the first bit of exposed flesh...a charred big toe. She had seen Harry's body like this within the projection, and still had nightmares that relived seeing him burn on the field of battle. But to see it again, even distorted as she looked down into the water, was disheartening. Fortunately, the job of monitoring Harry's magical reserves had been passed to McGonagall, so that Poppy could supervise the other two witch's work, and talk them through the application of the burn salve that was held in submerged open containers by their sides.

Hermione had started at Harry's toes, and was working upwards. Septima worked from the top of the head down. Emily couldn't help but smirk as the two approached his body's mid-section…Septima appeared to slow her pace just enough so that Hermione got to Harry's penis before she did…except that her daughter couldn't bring herself to treat that part of his body.

"Do the bits, girl," Poppy said a bit sharply. "We've time for your modesty or coyness."

Hermione's eyes went first to the medi-witch, then to her mum. Both seemed to be focused on holding in some snickers.

"Yes, Madame Pomfrey," she replied, as she started to remove the concealing mud.

"You'd think she'd be motivated to make sure that part of the boy is healed up first," Poppy muttered.

Emily didn't know quite what to think as she watched her daughter delicately apply salve to Harry's now uncovered penis. She seemed a bit embarrassed, while Septima seemed bemused. Not wishing to dwell on the sexual connotations, Hermione's mum focused on something more analytical.

"Strange that both of his heads are burned fairly equally," Emily observed.

"How's that, Mum?"

"I wouldn't expect it…unless he was casting spells naked."

"Sorry…I'm not following."

"Was he dueling starkers?"

"Of course not," Hermione replied. He was wearing battle robes, with dragonskin armor underneath…same as I was."

"Socks and boots too?"


"Curiouser and curiouser, then."

"Why would you think that curious?" asked Septima.

"It's a matter of available fuel, Professor," Emily replied. "Fires burn by consuming the available oxygen that is in the air. He might have had a bit of air trapped in his boxers…"

"He wasn't wearing boxers, mum."

"Oh, well, it doesn't matter…in his Y-fronts, then…"

"Wasn't wearing those either…Harry wasn't wearing anything underneath his armor."

"And you know this how, young lady?"

"Erm…because I was in the Infirmary and monitoring his body's projection when Poppy vanished his armor?"

That didn't make complete sense, but Emily let it pass.

"The principal is the same," she stated. "Skin that is exposed to the air should have more severe burns than his covered parts."

The three older witches didn't have a clue as to what oxygen was, much less follow Emily's logic. So it was up to Hermione to reconcile the apparent discrepancy.

"I see the problem…Mum, you're thinking like a muggle."

"Do I have an alternative?"

"Erm, no…it's not a putdown, just an explanation. Magic plays by its own set of rules, and magical fire doesn't need oxygen to burn."

"Really?" Emily asked. "So, you've been humoring me all the time that I've been holding this rather cumbersome fire extinguisher?"

"Not at all, Mum…I'm fairly certain that it would work."

"But it works by removing a fire's source of oxygen??"

"And it does that by creating a barrier between the burning object and the surrounding air," Hermione replied.

"Now I'm the one not following."

"It's all about intent, Mum," Hermione explained. "The Dark witch or wizard that created the curse that struck Harry didn't know anything about oxygen, or the fire triangle. Their intent was a curse that caused skin and lungs to burn if it had any contact with air. You could smother him in a blanket, but as long as there was some air trapped underneath the blanket, he'd continue to burn."


"So you understand, then?"

"Not really, but that's okay."


The first phase of Harry's Hydrotherapy was completed once Hermione and Septima finished removing all of the old mud casing, and replacing it with new mud after his skin was treated with burn salve. Given the extent of the burns, several applications of salve would be needed before Harry's skin was healed to the point where he could be brought out of stasis without immediately experiencing excruciating pain.

They had decided to keep Harry in the pool, inside the submerged vat and underneath a thin layer of mud. With an eye towards monitoring both his health and the pool's water quality, the Grangers invited their daughter and the other three witches to stay for a celebratory poolside dinner.

Now that the threat to Harry's life had diminished, and the mood was much more relaxed, Roger considered the dinner conversation fair game for Python references. When his daughter complained, he switched over to giving grief over her tattoo (she had dressed in shorts and a bikini top once Harry's treatment was finished). Not wishing to explain why she had chosen both the design and its placement, Hermione tried to change the topic.

"So, Daddy…how would you like to use the pool for more than just a few months each year?"

Roger replied with a grin and eyebrows that waggled towards his wife.

"For swimming, Daddy…use the pool for swimming more than a few months each year."

"It'd be wonderful…got some glass dome magic up your sleeves?"

"No, we're going to need something that provides a little more shade than that."

"How so?"

"We were discussing the issue of the sun adversely affecting Mr. Potter," Poppy explained.

"But I thought the curse kicked in with exposure to air...is it sunshine instead?" Roger asked.

"It's the sunburn that's at issue, actually," Minerva replied. "Harry's new skin will be quite sensitive as it heals."

"We have a pool cover to help keep the heat in at night, if that would help."

"That would probably work," said Minerva, "but then we wouldn't be able to see Harry, and that would defeat some of the purpose of submerging him in water, rather than mud."

Emily paused for a moment, and then asked, "Hermione, could you add some sort of magical sunscreen to your salves?"

Her daughter bit her lower lip, and nodded. "I'm pretty certain that we could, but might take a bit of time to develop, and well...we've come up with a quick solution, if you both are willing."

"What's that pumpkin?"

"Mr. and Mrs. Granger," Minerva asked, "would you consider allowing us to enclose the pool within a building?"

"You mean make it an indoor pool?" Roger asked. "You think that kind of construction would be a quick solution?"

The Headmistress nodded. "I don't see why we couldn't have something built within a day's time."

"Just a day?" asked Emma. "So you're thinking of something simple...an overhanging roof, supported by posts?"

Minerva shook her head. "No, we were planning a proper building, unless you'd rather have just the roof."

"And that could be done in a day?"

McGonagall shrugged her shoulders. "It could be less, actually."


"It's the start of summer holidays, Mr. Granger," the Headmistress explained. "I've got nearly a hundred house-elves at Hogwarts with little to do now that the students are gone. Half of them are already showing signs of depression, and the others are bouncing off the castle's walls."

"House-elves?" asked Emily. "Hermione, are they the poor enslaved creatures that you were trying to free a few years back?"

Hermione nodded, and blushed a bit with embarrassment. "I've learned a few things since that time...I still think it's wrong to enslave them, and it's horrific how some of them are mistreated, but...their happiness really is tied into how hard they're working."

Roger let out a small sigh. "But then there's the city planners, and the neighborhood council...they'd have to sign off on the construction proposal."

"There's people at the Ministry of Magic that deal with hiding new magical buildings and residences from the muggles," Hermione replied. "And the notice-me-not wards that you and mum have been taking full advantage of would keep the neighbors from asking questions."

"Really?" asked Roger. "A new building constructed in our garden overnight, and they wouldn't notice it?"

"No, they'd be able to see it," offered Hermione. "They just wouldn't think it was anything out of the ordinary...they'd likely act as if it's always been there."

Septima added, "It's the same thing that would happen if a neighbor were to snoop and spy you standing starkers in your garden. They could be looking straight at your bits, and not think it extraordinary."

Roger snorted. "I think that I should be offended by that remark."

"No, no...it's not your bits that they'd consider to be unremarkable, rather the fact that they're uncovered."

Emily was about to launch into a tongue-in-cheek defense of her husband's equipment when Hermione grabbed her arm.

"Oh, no, mum...we are not going to be discussing this point further..."

"Would it be easier if we talked about exposing my breasts instead of your daddy's bits?"

"Well...yes, but..."

"They'd be a good test," Roger muttered. "The pervy kid next door's been trying to catch Emily topless for ages," .

"Hush, Roger," his wife chided. "So the point to all this is...we could walk around starkers, and the neighbors wouldn't bat an eye?"

Septima nodded. "So long as they were looking from a vantage point covered by the notice-me-not charms."

"Oh, no," Hermione whined. "Please, mum...you two aren't going to run starkers through the garden all the time now, are you?"

"Heavens, no," Emily replied.

"That's good."

"Not really," Emily lamented. "Takes the fun out of running naked from here to the pool if there's no risk of getting caught by the neighbors."


"Just taking the mickey out of you, pumpkin," her dad replied with a smile.

"No I'm not," Emily protested.

"Can't we get back to the point?" Hermione asked with exasperation.

"Yes, dear," Roger said with a grin. "And that was..."

Everybody needed a moment to think back to the point where the discussion had deviated.

"We were talking about the Ministry of Magic's work when witches or wizards have homes within mixed communities," Septima offered.

"Ah, yes," said Roger. "So your Ministry is going to be willing to help us with the City?"

"They're obligated to, since it would be a witch's residence," Minerva stated.

"A witch's residence?" asked Emily. "But neither Roger or I are magical, unless..."

When Hermione's parents darted towards her, she sighed and offered a weak smile.

"Mum, Dad...would it be okay if I moved back in with you for a while? Along with a few of my friends?"

"Friends, pumpkin?"

"Just temporarily," Hermione stated. "We've talked about how we're going to need to closely monitor Harry's conditions…and well, Mum herself mentioned that I would need some help."

Roger nodded. "How many friends are we talking about?"

Hermione glanced towards her Arithmancy professor, and chewed on her lower lip.

"We were thinking of a rotating watch, Mr. Granger," Vector replied.

"Please, it's Roger, right?"

"Erm..yes, sorry, Roger…two witches at a time, start with eight hour shifts, so…six total, including Hermione."

Emily raised an eyebrow. "Hermione, you'd be welcomed, but our house isn't all that large…"

"No worries, mum," Hermione replied. "We'd add a living area to new building."

"Any idea on what this would cost?"

"Won't cost a thing, Roger," Minerva McGonagall stated. "The house-elves can use salvaged materials and furnishings from the unused portions of Hogwarts Castle."

"We wouldn't want to impose…"

"No, you'd be doing us a favor," assured the Headmistress. "Harry Potter was injured in defense of the school, not to mention the wizarding world. The school will see to his treatment needs, whatever and wherever they are."

Roger nodded. "So…an enclosed aquatics facility with living quarters for six…witches, did you say?"

Hermione nodded and smiled. "We're quite certain we can get suitable female volunteers."

"Volunteers who would help rub salve all over Harry Potter's naked body, all the while wearing as little as he is?" Emily asked with a smile. "Where do I sign up?"


"What?" Emily asked with an arched eyebrow. "This whole scheme is medically necessary, right? There's not going to be any sexual antics going on, is there?"

"Of course this will be a medicinal treatment program," Madame Pomfrey declared. "And as for sexual antics…"

She smiled, and declared, "I can guarantee that nothing will happen beyond the observed baseline of activity."

Roger didn't immediately get the joke.

Emily did, and blushed. If her morning shag with Roger was an established baseline, what could go beyond it?

She then thought of a few things, and decided that it wasn't such a high baseline after all.