The Harry Potter universe and all the characters in it belong to J. K. Rowling. I get nothing out of this except enjoyment.
My take on the wizarding world in the Harry Potter universe is that it is rather conservative socially, particularly in terms of clothing. There are some indications in the books that styles are 50 to 100 years behind the muggle world. In my stories I've extended this to the concept of modesty in attire, including swimwear. Mrs. Weasley, for instance, would be scandalized at the bare summer clothing and miniscule bikinis that muggle girls wear. I assume as well that this would extend to any form of nudity in social situations.
But … what if this were not the case? What if there were certain situations in the wizarding world where nudity was acceptable, or even considered the norm. A possible analogy in the muggle world would be saunas in some parts of Europe, which are customarily used in the nude, even in mixed company. And of course there is also the example of topless beaches, where women casually bare their breasts, even though they wouldn't think of doing so in any other public place.
There is the scene in Book 7 where a mixed group of Harry's friends (4 males and 2 females) take polyjuice potion, and then proceed to disrobe without giving it a second thought. Only Harry is perturbed, wishing 'they would show a little more respect for his privacy as they all began stripping off with impunity'.
So maybe wizards are, in fact, comfortable with nudity in some cases. Far fetched? Probably. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't make an interesting story. And what might this situation be where nudity is accepted? You might have a good guess, but read on to find out.
The scene in this story takes place in sixth year, a few weeks after the quidditch tryouts, but well before Hermione asked Ron to Slughorn's party, Harry and Ron discovered Ginny and Dean snogging in the hidden corridor, or Ron and Lavender's public display of affection after the first quidditch match.
A Revealing Rendezvous
Harry's letter included a surprise: He had been made Quidditch Captain.
"That gives you equal status with prefects!" cried Hermione happily. "You can use our special bathroom now and everything!"
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Chapter 6.
Harry Potter wandered into the Gryffindor common room, looking for a place to settle in for the evening. He'd be on his own tonight because it was the first of October and Ron and Hermione would be leaving for their monthly prefects meeting soon. Just as he selected a nice, out of the way spot and was about to sit down, his two best friends appeared from the dorms, ready to head off. But Hermione paused, looking around the common room until she spotted him, and hurried over.
"Harry?" she inquired with a slight catch to her voice. "H…how would you like to come with us tonight?"
Harry was confused and turned a questioning look to Ron. To his surprise, the redhead frowned briefly, but then shrugged. "Sure, why not?" he decided. Still perplexed, Harry rose and followed them out the portrait hole.
"I don't get it," he wondered. "Why …?"
Hermione cut him off before he could finish the question. "The monthly meetings are held in the prefects' bath," she revealed. Harry's eyebrows rose at this disclosure, still not comprehending. "I told you, you're allowed to use it now," she continued. "And I thought you might like to join us." Harry noticed that her face was turning pink. Thinking back to the conversation she was referring to, he had briefly wondered at the time why she'd brought that up, but he hadn't followed up on the topic, his mind being naturally more focused on quidditch just then. But now …
"You meet in the bath?" he asked disbelievingly, trying to envision in his mind exactly how that would work.
Hermione nodded, reddening further. "Yes. In the bath."
Harry turned now to Ron, the obvious question on his face. Ron grinned and nodded. "Yep. Good times, mate."
Harry remained silent during the rest of the walk to their destination, trying to wrap his mind around what it sounded like his best friends were telling him. They weren't really about to go for a nude swim with their fellow prefects. Were they? Surely Ron was about to turn to him at any moment with a smirk and tell him they were just having him on. Wasn't he? Except … this wasn't the kind of joke he could ever imagine Hermione playing. Was it?
When they reached the door and Hermione gave the password, Harry hesitated before following the other two inside. One way or the other he'd know now. As he entered the luxurious bathroom that he'd only been inside the one time, during the Tri Wizard tournament, he noted that it was exactly as he'd remembered it. Ornate fixtures, diving board at one end of a pool sized bath, mermaid mural on the wall. Except …
There were naked people in the water.
He blinked several times, resisting the urge to rub his eyes in disbelief. Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil were already in the pool, and Ernie Macmillan and a rather well endowed Hannah Abbott were just getting in. Beside him, Ron was removing his robes and underwear, but Harry's attention was now firmly fixed on the female member of the Gryffindor trio.
His mouth went dry as she quickly stripped to reveal pale blue matching bra and knickers. She shot him a shy glance as she unhooked the bra, turning away slightly to hide her blush as she slipped it from her shoulders. Another glance preceded her removal of her knickers, and Harry struggled to swallow the large lump that had formed in his throat. With one final glance over her shoulder she walked to the pool and joined her fellow prefects.
"Well, go ahead." Harry was finally snapped out of his immobility by Ron's voice at his side. He shot a look at his best mate, who merely gestured to Harry's still clothed form. With a smirk at his open-mouthed stare, Ron ran up to the pool and jumped in with a big splash.
Finally regaining his senses, Harry hurriedly shed his clothing, and moving as quickly as he could, slipped into the end of the pool away from the others. Any thoughts of remaining unobtrusive vanished as Ernie waved to him and called out a welcome.
"Hey Harry, nice to have you join us," the self-important Hufflepuff declared. "Make yourself comfortable while we hold our meeting."
Congratulating himself for having the presence of mind to leave his glasses on, Harry took the opportunity to study the gathering of his classmates. There were seven prefects from his year, gathered in a circle, discussing whatever it was that prefects needed to discuss. He noted immediately that Hermione was between Ernie and Anthony, and as he might have expected, was earnestly expounding on some point or other. While she was talking Ernie casually put his hand on her shoulder, and she just as casually shrugged it off.
Harry felt a tightening in his chest, as though something large and scaly were clawing at his insides. With a frown he recognized that he was extremely jealous at the familiarity the other boy was displaying with Hermione's unclothed body – a familiarity that should have been reserved for himself … or possibly Ron? His frown deepened into a scowl. Why wasn't Ron keeping her away from the other guys? As his gaze moved around the circle he saw Ron on the opposite side, next to Hannah. Very close to Hannah, in fact.
Harry shook his head – was he dreaming this? He tried splashing some water on his face, to no effect. He really was standing here in the prefects' bath, naked, observing a completely businesslike meeting of the sixth year Hogwarts prefects, also fully naked. And everyone was acting like it was perfectly normal.
As soon as the meeting ended Hermione turned his way and smiled, then swam over, doing a passable breaststroke. When she reached him she gave him another shy smile and stood up. Harry suddenly realized that the water in this part of the pool was waist deep.
Ten seconds later she cleared her throat.
Harry started breathing again and promptly began to apologize profusely for staring at her. "Oh! I'm sorry. I didn't … I mean … well, I shouldn't have …" Hermione smiled and reached out to give his arm a squeeze of reassurance.
"That's OK, and very understandable," she assured him. "I certainly did plenty of staring my first time." She went on to inform him that she'd discovered during the past year that it seemed perfectly acceptable at these meetings for the participants to check each other out. Harry noticed that while she was explaining this, her gaze dropped downward, and he had to fight the impulse to cover his bits.
"Believe me, it was all quite a shock to my middle class morality," she continued, trying but failing to suppress a smile at his reaction. "As soon our first meeting last year ended I cornered Ron and demanded to know what was going on." Harry grinned at the thought of how that conversation must have gone. Hermione caught it and nodded with a grin of her own. "He just shrugged like it was no big deal," she huffed. "Turned out it was just another one of those odd things in the wizarding world that everyone assumes you know about. It's evidently considered a bonding time for the prefects."
Harry took a moment to process this information, and Hermione moved to his side and turned so both of their backs were to the wall of the pool. Now that she was no longer in his direct line of sight (or more specifically, now that those lovely breasts were no longer in his direct line of sight) he was able to relax a bit, although he still couldn't resist an occasional glance.
Looking around at the rest of the prefects, it finally dawned on him that there was one missing, which came as a definite relief. No Malfoy. Hermione heard his relieved sigh, and correctly interpreted.
"Yes, I feel the same way," she confided. "Him not being here makes it much easier to deal with. He came to the first meeting last year, loudly announced he had no intention of bonding with mudbloods and blood traitors, and left. That was before anyone had even got into the pool, and I was like you were just now, standing there petrified." She paused and gave him an apologetic smile. He knew it was for springing the whole thing on him as a surprise. But given their current position, he certainly wasn't upset with her. He gave her hand a squeeze in response and smiled back. "Pansy stayed that time but has rarely showed up since," she continued, nodding toward the other Slytherin prefect, standing a little ways off by herself. "I'm actually surprised to see her here today."
Harry nodded, still working on taking it all in. "Just how 'friendly' does it get?" he wondered, noticing some of the interactions among the other prefects. Ernie and Anthony were standing pretty close to Padma now, and Ron and Hannah were giggling together at the other end of the pool.
"There's an unspoken line that's not crossed, at least not in this room," Hermione responded. "I assume it's magically enforced somehow. No overt sexual contact allowed." Harry watched as Ron picked up a laughing Hannah and put her over his shoulder with her bum in the air. He gave it a few swats, then rubbed it once for good measure, and flipped her into the pool. Upon surfacing, she immediately jumped on his back and dunked him.
"There certainly doesn't seem to be any restriction about touching," Harry noted dryly, shaking his head in amazement. Hermione moved closer and took hold of his arm, while pressing herself into his side. Harry's eyes widened and he turned toward her, which had the additional (and unintentional) effect of increasing their body contact.
"No, she replied in a low voice. "That's one of the reasons I asked you to join us. I'm tired of fending off Ernie and Anthony." Harry promptly scowled at the thought of Ernie or Anthony touching her. Knowing exactly what he was thinking, Hermione smiled broadly and hugged herself against him. Harry's mind was once again awhirl as he struggled to assimilate this new revelation.
"What about Ron?" he stammered, very aware of the contact her breast was making with his arm. "I thought you and he …?"
Hermione's face dropped. "It's the same as it always is whenever we're together and there's a prettier girl than me around. He ignores me and pays attention to her. He headed for Hannah the first day and every meeting he spends all his time with her." Harry shook his head and began to object but Hermione cut him off. "You know he does," she declared, her voice heating up and breaking slightly. "Just think about it – Fleur, during the tournament and this summer at the Burrow, Madam Rosmerta whenever we go to Hogsmeade, Lavender at the quidditch tryouts. Every time. So, as soon as he saw gorgeous Hannah naked …"
"What do you mean? You're as good looking as Hannah!" Harry asserted fiercely. But then he broke off and swallowed uncomfortably as he noticed Hermione's eyes shining. He began to worry that she was about to hug him, and didn't think he could handle her chest pressed against his without reacting in an embarrassing way. That would certainly not be appropriate for best friends! Suddenly he realized the implication of what she'd just admitted. She'd as much as said that she wanted him touching her rather than the other guys.
"You … me?" he choked out in amazement.
"Oh Harry, didn't I tell you that you were more fanciable than ever?" she reminded him softly. Their eyes met and Harry's breath caught in his throat. This couldn't be happening to him, could it?
Before they could sort out their feelings any further, an interruption suddenly appeared in the form of a naked Pansy Parkinson. Ignoring Hermione, she moved right up in front of Harry, practically shoving her breasts into his chest.
"Nice of you to join us, Potter," she purred. "I had hoped you had better taste, but I see I was mistaken. What a pity." She sneered at Hermione, then turned back to Harry. "It would be a shame to sully the Potter line with mudbloods two generations in a row." With that she pushed between the two Gryffindors and pulled herself out of the pool, bending at the waist so that her arse was right in Harry's face. Once on the pool deck she took her time drying herself off making sure to give Harry a full show of all her assets, then haughtily left the room. Hermione scowled after her, fighting hard not to sink to Pansy's level with a scathing comment of her own.
Harry picked up on his friend's reaction and quickly reassured her. "Don't mind her, she's a cow," he declared firmly. He had to admit that physically, Pansy had developed an imposing figure. She was nearly as tall as he was, and had impressive curves in all the right places. She'd apparently even had her nose fixed. If she had the inclination, she had both the body and attitude to be a fashion model in the muggle world, and probably the personality as well.
Hermione abandoned her attempt at self-restraint. "She's a slut," she hissed. "She's been shagging Malfoy since fourth year, but has put a move on every guy here." She now understood the reason for the presence of her Slytherin nemesis this evening. Somehow she must have caught wind of Hermione's plan to invite Harry to the meeting and decided to cause trouble. Harry's eyebrows rose in surprise at Hermione's revelation, and again, she read his thoughts. "Yes," she smirked. "Ron's reaction was particularly amusing."
Harry chuckled heartily at the image, then cocked his head at her. "But I thought you said that wasn't allowed."
"Not in this room, but it's considered acceptable if more explicit stuff happens elsewhere," Hermione explained. "And in fact, lots of prefects do hook up. For example, remember Percy and Penelope?"
Harry nodded. "So, any of these?" he inquired, gesturing at the rest of the pool.
Hermione shook her head. "It doesn't seem so. I know there's nothing going on between Ron and Hannah outside these meetings. And I haven't seen Padma with either Anthony or Ernie, at least not in that sense." She paused and gave Harry a significant look, which he correctly interpreted as meaning, 'and what about us???'
Harry's face flushed as he recalled the blatant implication in Pansy's words about the two of them. Hermione moved closer again, leaning into his side. His arm, seeming to act on its own volition, found its way around her waist, causing her to sigh contentedly as she leaned her head against his shoulder. Harry was finding it difficult to breathe again, very aware of the places where their skin was touching. He also was painfully aware that a part of him had responded to his thoughts. In other words, he was hard as a rock.
Trying to ease the sudden tension, Hermione resumed telling him about the relationships among the other prefects. "Padma avoids Ron, as she's still miffed about the Yule Ball," she disclosed with a smirk, eliciting a grimace from Harry as he recalled his own less than gallant behavior at that event. "Ron, as you can see, 'plays' with Hannah. Anthony and Ernie are friendly with everyone; usually I hang out with them and Padma."
Having given him enough time to gather his wits, she now glanced down impishly at his erection. "Impressive, Mr. Potter," she announced primly. "Definitely an Exceeds Expectations, perhaps even an Outstanding."
Harry wondered if he had the courage to reply in kind, and decided to go for it. "You inspire me, Miss Granger," he whispered in her ear. He felt her body shudder against his, and his confession prompted a full, face to face hug. Harry wondered aloud if he was dreaming. Hermione laughed and hugged him tighter, then pulled away, her eyes twinkling.
"Perhaps we should go over and join the others?" she suggested with a salacious grin. "Let Padma check you out?"
Harry groaned. These kinds of thoughts were doing nothing to relieve his problem. "And next I suppose Parvati will hear about it, then Lavender, then the whole school will be discussing the assets of the Boy Who Lived?" he complained.
"No, there's another rule," Hermione assured him. "Whatever happens in the Prefects' Bath, stays in the Prefects' Bath." Reluctantly, Harry assented to her suggestion.
But instead of swimming back to the other group, Hermione climbed out of the pool, intentionally giving Harry same view he'd received from Pansy. She proceeded to walk calmly (Harry couldn't believe how composed she appeared, up there on the pool deck on display in front of everyone … Merlin she looked good!) to the diving board. After a brief pause, she did a graceful dive into the water.
Harry couldn't take his eyes off her, and noticed that the other males in the pool had stopped their conversations and were doing likewise. When she surfaced, she waved at him to join her and they both swam over to where Ernie, Padma, and Anthony were standing. There they had an amiable chat, although Harry noticed that Hermione made sure she kept hold of his hand or arm. Soon Ron and Hannah joined the rest of them.
While no one stared too overtly, there was no question that everyone looked. Harry took the opportunity to make some comparisons. Padma, along with her brown skin, black hair and dark brown eyes, had a petite figure, with small but nicely formed breasts. Pale, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Hannah, by contrast, was a bit on the heavy side, with considerably fuller breasts than Hermione. Harry quickly decided that he preferred Hermione's body, with her light tan and attractive, even eye-catching, but not overwhelming shape. He also realized that Ron had a preference for more buxom women, considering the impressive bust lines of Madame Rosmerta, Fleur, Lavender, and Hannah. All blondes too, come to think of it.
Harry was still flying at full mast, but was somewhat comforted to observe that the other guys were in at least partial stages of arousal. He received sympathetic looks from each one of them which were easy to interpret – 'Don't worry, it happens to all of us, too'. He wasn't at all sure what the smiles from the girls meant, and decided that he didn't really want to know. (In fact, it was, 'Hermione is one lucky witch!')
After a while, Hermione evidently decided that the other girls had enough opportunity to ogle her man, and stepped in front of Harry. Taking his arms, she wrapped them around her waist and leaned back into him. It was a clear signal that she was staking out her territory; making her claim – so obvious that even the males at their most dense were able to pick up on it.
With Hermione's bum now pressing directly into his erection, Harry wondered if they were pushing the limits on sexual contact. Not particularly wanting her to move, he decided that it was OK if no one else could see it. Fortunately, Hermione considerately refrained from wiggling against him, which might have set off an irreversible reaction.
Harry couldn't help but notice the unhappy expression on Ron's face at this unexpected development, but after hearing what Hermione had told him earlier, he couldn't bring himself to feel sorry for his friend. Tough luck, mate, you had your shot at her and blew it.
At the end of the hour, as they were dressing and getting ready to leave (and Harry was trying to avoid staring at his new girlfriend putting her knickers and bra back on) Hermione pointedly asked if he'd be joining them at future meetings.
Harry met her eyes and grinned. "It would be my pleasure."
Many Years Later
"Mummy! Daddy!" Rose shouted as she held up the telltale badge that had been enclosed with her Hogwarts letter. "Look, I'm a prefect!" Hermione hugged her daughter and proclaimed how proud of her she was. "Oh, I hope Louis got it too!" Rose continued excitedly. Across the table Harry and Hermione's eyes met.
A/N 1 No deeper meaning to this one – it's just a bit of fun. That's two stories in a row set in the Prefects' Bath, but it has such great potential for amorous activities!
A/N 2 I surprised myself – I wouldn't have thought I'd ever write a H/Hr story based on the disaster that was Book 6. Alert readers may have noticed that the infamous scaly chest monster even managed to make an appearance.