Disclaimer: I do not now, nor have I ever, owned Harry Potter. I don't own Batman, either, which is where the title came from.
A/N: This was my submission for the hg_seasonsfest, Summer 2010 fic exchange on LJ. If you have a chance, check it out. The mods do a fabulous job. This was written for fbo66. The first thought I had when I received my assignment was, 'Ah, crap. Why'd they have to go and make me write for one of the mods? Don't they know I'm going to crack under the pressure!' Head hit desk with an almighty thump. And then I heard Jack Nicholas' voice say, "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?" Jack morphed into Luna (which is a story in and of itself that, sadly, I will never have the courage to write) and inspiration struck. And poor, poor Harry...well, you'll just have to read what happens to poor, poor Harry.
A/N2: Also thanks to J for all of her beta work. She is good at picking my hard work apart and making it all nice and shiny. And her whip makes that loud, twanging-crack sound. She's brilliant. Scary, but brilliant. =)
Have You Ever Swum with the Nargles by the Pale Moonlight?
Harry licked his lips once more, but like the past fifty attempts, this didn't help. They were dry, cracked and slightly sunburned and all of his attempts to moisten them only stung.
He had a very good reason to wish his lips were nice and moist. But at the moment, it appeared his very good reason was more interested in talking to her friends from Hogwarts and to Dean than in Harry's lips.
It was karmatic justice, really, and probably the best birthday gift Harry could give Ginny. 'No,' he thought, surreptitiously sliding his hand into the pocket of his baggy shorts. 'Third best. If only I could get her away long enough to give her the other two!'
The day had been a lonely and frustrating day, following three very lonely, very frustrating months. Harry had hardly had a moment alone since the Battle of Hogwarts. He felt like he'd been pulled in hundreds of directions at once: attending funerals and banquets, helping rebuild businesses and policies, while simultaneously studying for special N.E.W.T.s testing and his Auror entrance exam. It had been an exhausting three months, but he had put his foot down for today. The grand reopening of Quality Quidditch Supplies didn't need Harry Potter to make an appearance on some random Monday in August. He was right where he wanted, no, needed to be – at Ginny Weasley's seventeenth birthday party.
Unfortunately, the day hadn't gone at all like he had been planning. Mrs. Weasley had already been up (at 4:30 in the morning!), so Harry hadn't been able to make a special breakfast for Ginny. He hadn't been able to save a seat for her, as George had slid into the place on Harry's right unexpectedly while Mr. Weasley had occupied Harry's left.
Harry had tried, in vain, to follow her up to her bedroom after breakfast to give her his gifts, but Hermione had stopped him. Her lecture on why he shouldn't wait until the last minute to shop and that he really needed to plan ahead meant he was unable to explain to Ginny why there hadn't been a gift from him amongst the pile she had opened after breakfast. He rather thought his gifts were better received in private.
Instead, he got to see the flicker of disappointment in her face when Ginny realized there was nothing from Harry for her to open. It was like a punch in the gut when he recognized that look – he'd seen it on her face many times before, but had never understood it. He couldn't think of enough words to describe what sort of a prat he had been for years that he had never noticed Ginny by the age of twelve.
With new resolve, Harry had made another plan to finally tell Ginny how he felt and give her his gifts. 'Perhaps we could go for a fly,' he thought to himself while imagining riding on the same broom and landing in some picturesque meadow where he would proclaim his undying love for the red-head.
'Undying love?' He shrugged his shoulders at the thought. That was probably a little too dramatic, but he was fairly certain she was it for him in the love department.
But when he said something vague about a fly sounding nice, all of Ginny's brothers suggested Quidditch. It wasn't a bad idea, after all. Harry and Ginny were put on the same team and there was no denying that with the two of them, their team was soundly beating Bill and Charlie's team. Just when Harry thought he could kiss her again in a post-Quidditch victory haze (an audience of her brothers be damned), he noticed that there were a number of people at the Burrow that weren't red-heads watching the impromptu Quidditch match. When Ginny's final goal brought the score 150-100, signalling the end of the match, Harry was on the other side of the pitch. He watched as she streaked to the ground to be mobbed by the new people instead of celebrating with him in the air.
They had been invaded by Ginny's friends. He hadn't figured Ginny's friends in his loosely made plans for the day. Sneaking her away from her family wasn't the easiest task, but it was significantly easier than sneaking the birthday girl away from her guests.
He watched and waited all day. He was sociable with the people he knew a little (like Demelza and Jimmy), was genuinely pleased to spend some time discussing various topics with some he considered to be his own friends (Neville and Luna) and was as polite as he could be with the giggly girls he vaguely recognized. One of them might be named Bridget, but who knew for sure?
All in all, while it wasn't what Harry had had in mind, it wasn't a bad way to spend a day. As the day wore on and more people showed up, it seemed that perhaps getting Ginny alone would be a possibility. It might be easier for her to not be missed in this crowd than it would have been amongst just her family.
So there Harry sat in the Burrow's garden, drinking a Butterbeer and enjoying the gentle breeze that had ushered in the evening hours. Ginny's brothers had already left for their respective homes, except Ron, but Harry didn't want to know to where Ron and Hermione had disappeared. Mrs. Weasley had mentioned turning in early after checking that there was still plenty of refreshments and Mr. Weasley had gone back to the Ministry earlier in the day.
As the early evening set in, Harry scanned the crowd from his spot for his favourite red-head. He found her in the corner with Neville, who was giving Ginny a brotherly kiss on the cheek and calling out his goodbyes, and Luna, who was speaking with Seamus and Dean.
Harry bolted upright. 'Seamus? Dean? When did they get here?'
"Seamus! Dean! When did you get here?" Harry hoped his voice sounded pleased as he walked over to the small group, because he really was happy to see them both, just not at this particular moment.
"Ah, now Harry," Seamus chuckled and with one long arm pulled a blushing Ginny to his side. "When we heard the prettiest lass in Gryffindor..."
"Just in Gryffindor, Seamus?" She giggled and bumped Seamus' hip with her own.
"Too right, lass, I'll not make that mistake again! When we heard that the prettiest witch in Hogwarts was havin' a birthday, well, we couldn't pass up a chance to steal a birthday kiss or two from her now, could we?" Harry barely kept his mouth from falling open in disbelief when Ginny giggled again and stood up on her tiptoes to kiss his former dorm mate...on the cheek. The quiet sigh of relief at the chaste kiss and how their bantering had quickly changed from flirting to sibling-like teasing didn't go unnoticed by Luna. Harry hadn't realized she had moved from her spot by Dean to stand by him.
"You know Harry, when Nargles find a person they like, it doesn't matter if there is mistletoe around or not. They will attach themselves to that person and cause all sorts of trouble. Have you ever considered bathing naked in a pond by the light of the moon? It is one of the few ways to get rid of these pests and you need to do something soon. A large colony seems to have taken a liking to you and could be affecting your reasoning skills. The only other way to get rid of them is to have sex, of course, but with the Nargles distracting you, you may forget to use the Contraceptive Charm. Just to be safe, I'll perform it for you now. It'll last up to twenty four hours in case you have an opportunity to have sex to rid yourself of the Nargle colony," Luna said all of this rather quickly. Coupled with her usual, dreamy voice, it was difficult for Harry to follow. He was, understandably, taken completely by surprise when she pointed her wand at his bits and said a spell he knew only in theory. The icy blue spell hit right on target. Harry gasped for breath and fell to his knees at the painful, cold tightening sensation that spread throughout the sensitive area.
"Luna!" Ginny rushed to Harry's side, rubbing a soothing hand on his back as he struggled to draw air into his lungs. The pain had faded slightly, but the cold, burning sensation hadn't died away. Vague words from the group around him filtered through, none of them making much sense as he concentrated solely on the pain.
"...must be...first time...!" Neville was hissing something quietly.
Luna sounded agitated, instead of her usual dreamy voice. "...but I assumed...staring at...all day! Anything I can...must apologize!"
Two sets of arms lifted him up by his elbows and, though his vision swam with the sudden vertigo, he recognized them instantly as belonging to Seamus and Neville.
"Come on, Harry, you need to lie down." Neville's quiet voice was reassuring, even though Harry winced in pain at each slow step.
"We'll set ya up with a warm cloth for your bits, too." Harry didn't miss how wry Seamus sounded and felt a wave of gratitude for the Irish boy that there was no laughter in his voice, especially since, at that moment, he heard the other boy's best friend laugh loudly.
"I can't believe Potter's still a virgin!"
The full body blush that Harry experienced at having those words said loudly enough that there was no way the entire garden had missed them did nothing to make him warm up at all. But Seamus' words did.
"Bah, Dean acts like he didn't just discover sex a month ago, the prat." Harry could almost hear Seamus roll his eyes.
Neville snorted. "Or that there are far more virgins out there than not. Don't worry about it, Harry. Besides, it's not like he's going to impress Ginny at all by making fun of you. I'd be surprised if she didn't hex him."
They all paused for a moment when they heard Dean scream and then start yelling "Geroff!"
Neville chuckled as the three began moving towards the Burrow once more. "Doubt he'll get rid of those for at least a half hour. Git should have known better."
Harry opened his mouth to ask Neville what Ginny had hit the prat with, but all that came out was a moan. He couldn't wait until he was lying down again. The movement did not help at all.
Just to make it worse, he could hear Mrs. Weasley bustling at that moment. The watering in his eyes had stopped a little and he could tell he was in the kitchen now.
"Oh dear! What happened? Did George put something in the punch? Harry, dear, you're looking a little green. I'll get you a Stomach Soothing Draught."
"Er, Mrs. Weasley, ma'am, it ain't the punch that did this to Harry. It was, er..." Seamus trailed off, embarrassed. Neville seemed to be at a loss of words as well and there was no possibility that Harry could get an intelligent remark out.
Not that he was about to tell her that Luna had cast a Contraceptive Charm on him and he was currently in a massive amount of pain. 'Sex is not worth this,' was all he could think of.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, Ginny and Luna had trailed in behind them. "Mum, Luna cast the Contraceptive Charm on Harry."
He couldn't focus well on what was happening, as Harry was staring at the floor, but he could well imagine Mrs. Weasley swinging to look at Luna with blazing eyes.
"Why, in heaven's name, would you need to cast a Contraceptive Charm on Harry?"
Luna was back to her dreamy voice again. "He seems to have a colony of Nargles following him around. There are only two ways to get rid of them. Harry either needs to bathe naked in a pond in the light of the moon or have sex. Nargles can really distract a person, so I cast the charm for him so that he wouldn't have to worry about it if he had a chance to have sex in the next twenty-four hours."
"Oh. OH! Harry, you poor dear! Luna, that charm is very potent the first time a boy uses it on his penis." If he hadn't been already doubled over in pain, Harry was certain those words would have made him die of embarrassment. "If the boy is a virgin, the charm should only be used along with a mild warming potion and only if the boy's penis is completely erect. After the first time, the body is able to adjust to the pain and it lessens more with time."
Apparently, only Mrs. Weasley and Luna were not wishing they could sink through the floor during this conversation. Neville and Seamus kept whimpering and Ginny had hissed, "Mum!" several times.
"Oh, well, I suppose that means that Joe really wasn't worried about dying a virgin. I suspected that much." And with that, Luna wandered off, humming to herself.
"Don't ask Mum, please don't ask." Mrs. Weasley seemed to agree with Ginny's pleas and kept her opinions to herself. She directed Seamus and Neville to take Harry up to Percy's old room and bustled about directing orders to Ginny on finding a pain potion and a cloth.
It was nearly ten o'clock when Harry finally snuck out of his room. He wasn't racked with pain anymore, though his bits felt tingly. The only thing he could compare it to was when his foot fell asleep.
The party was still going in the back garden, though it was slightly more raucous but not out of control, thankfully. No one wanted to bring down the wrath of Molly Weasley. Harry quietly made his way to the front of the Burrow, and then skirted around the party. His destination was the Burrow's pond. He liked going out there to clear his mind whenever things got too much for him and right now he needed the serenity it offered.
He was relieved to find that no one from the party had thought to have a late night swim. In no time, he was sitting on the edge of the dock, his shoes abandoned before he'd even stepped onto the worn wooded platform. With a sigh, he slipped his bare feet into the cool water and calm finally settled in.
He was a prat, a git, an arse for waiting this long to get back with Ginny. He had hung his hopes on winning her back on her birthday and every plan he had thought of had blown up in his face. But why had he waited this long? It wasn't as though she was like Fleur, expecting little tokens of affection in the way of flowers or jewellery. She wasn't like Hermione to want every detail planned. She wasn't Audrey who wanted perfection or Angelina who loved extravagant gestures.
She was simply Ginny, and that summed her up rather well. She was straightforward and no-nonsense and it was time he started treating her as Ginny and stopped trying to be someone he wasn't.
Unfortunately, as insightful as this thought was, his momentary surge of brilliance didn't stretch to how he was going to accomplish the task. Harry sat on the edge of the platform, gazing out into the dark waters when a stroke of inspiration hit. 'Maybe Luna was right! A swim might help me think more clearly.'
He took off his glasses, laying them to the side carefully, before standing up and pulling his shirt off in one smooth motion. His shorts quickly followed. Then Harry stood there, biting his lower lip for several heartbeats before deciding to go for it. 'In for a Knut, in for a Galleon, after all,' he thought as he shucked off his pants and then dove into the pond.
He swam slowly, enjoying how the water felt caressing his body. It really wasn't a different feeling than when he wore his trunks, but the added danger that someone could catch him when he was swimming starkers at night made it feel different.
The realization of what he should do was slow in coming, but obvious. When it finally struck, Harry stood up, the water coming up to his chest. He stared off into the distance. "I'll just walk up to her, say, 'Hey! I still fancy you. Do you still fancy me?' Then I'll kiss her and we'll either be together again or she'll hex me."
"Or perhaps she'll sock you one in the nose, you prat!" The familiar voice and the feel of small hands grabbing his sides from behind made Harry jump, yelping as he did. He lost his footing on the slippery bottom of the pond and fell forward, getting a nose full of pond water. When he surfaced, sputtering and trying to get his wet hair out of his eyes, it was to a laughing Ginny.
"Wh-What are you doing here?" Harry blushed when his voice went an octave higher than it had been in over two years.
Ginny gave him a cheeky smile. "I followed you down here. I've got to admit, Potter, you've grown up." She paused while Harry tried to stammer out a response. "You looked like you were having fun, but you know, Mum always told us we were never allowed to go swimming by ourselves. So I thought I'd better do the responsible thing and go skinny-dipping with you."
It was then that Harry noticed that there were no blue straps over her shoulders. The water was deep enough that he couldn't verify for himself that Ginny was, indeed, naked, but the lack of swimsuit straps was convincing evidence.
"B-but what are you d-doing here?" It wasn't the cool water or slight breeze that made Harry shiver; it was arousal. Ginny was naked, NAKED, an arm's length away. It was amazing that his brain was still functioning at all.
"Well," she drawled, moving slightly forward. "I figured it was time that I stopped waiting for you to do something and just take the bull by the horn." She raised an eyebrow at him and smirked, but Harry was clueless as to what she was trying to say. He could only focus on one thing.
'GINNY'S NAKED! GINNY'S NAKED! GINNY'S NAKED!'
Then his world tilted as he felt something (please, PLEASE, let that be her hand!) grab his penis. "Don't you think it's time I took the...tiger by the tail, Harry?" She purred, giving a gentle tug that Harry was compelled to follow. The uneven bottom of the pond made him stumble right into Ginny, causing them both to fall under the water in a tangle of limbs.
The unexpected dip didn't cool Harry off, but it did clear his head a little. As much as he wanted to find out exactly what sorts of things he could get up to while naked in a pond at night with Ginny, it wouldn't be right to start something without telling her how he felt first. While Ginny tried to drag her long, wet hair off of her face, Harry stepped back and took a deep breath.
"Ginny," he began. She looked up at him. It was then he noticed they had moved to a slightly shallower spot in the pond. Instead of just her collar bone, now Harry could see the tops of her breasts.
He closed his eyes. "I, er, really like you. I fancy you, a lot. I want to," 'Find out how good your naked skin feels against mine when we aren't falling into the pond,' "be with you. You know, do couple-type things."
Ginny was silent for several moments, making Harry wonder if she had left him. He opened his eyes to find that she was still there, but had her head cocked to the side. It was a stance he was familiar with – it meant she was contemplating something.
"What sort of couple-type things?"
Harry mumbled, "I dunno...just stuff." The way her hair reflected the moonlight was distracting him.
"Hmm, well I don't particularly care for Celestina Warbeck, so listening to her on the wireless is out." She shifted slightly towards Harry.
"I don't like her either," he replied.
She brought a finger to her lips, as though she was thinking very hard about something. "I don't think you'd really enjoy it if I read to you, either, do you?"
Ginny moved closer, this time reaching up to trace her fingers lightly from Harry's shoulder to his elbow. He shivered at the sensation.
"N-no," he gulped. "I'm not fond of being read to."
"Although, perhaps it would be nice to go hunting for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks together," she breathed as her body pressed against his. "Imagine cuddling up together in our tent while we waited for the Winter Solstice to arrive in Sweden."
Harry gulped, trying very hard to focus on Ginny's words instead of how her curves were caressing his chest. The thought of going camping in the winter in Scandinavia to search for imaginary beasts would normally seem like an insane plan, but all he could focus on was how Ginny's naked breasts would feel against his chest if they were wrapped up inside a sleeping bag together.
"That, er, sounds like a brilliant couple-like activity," he gasped.
"Really," she murmured, stretching up and wrapping her arms around Harry's neck. "How about we just snog?"
Harry had no time to give a positive response before her lips pressed against his. He reacted on instinct, clutching her hips to his frame and meeting her enthusiastic kiss with his own. It became more heated, mouths opening, tongues sliding against each other and hands exploring. The night time sounds of owls and insects around the pond drowned out their quiet moans and whispered words of encouragement and endearment.
They made good use of being in water - Harry used it to lift Ginny up in his arms and bring her breasts closer to his mouth. She threw her head back and clutched at his hair, making it impossible for Harry to move, not that he minded in the least.
But Ginny wasn't one to stay still for long and soon she was wiggling her way out of his arms. The moment she was down, her hands were on his penis again. Harry knocked her hand away, his mind flashing to that one glorious day down by the lake in his sixth year. He'd never had the chance to reciprocate how wonderful she'd made him feel that day.
"Show me," he whispered, catching her intense eyes. Ginny caught her lip with her teeth revealing her nerves, but then she smiled, giving him a hard, blazing look and guided his hand to her body.
Touching Ginny, making her tremble and moan, wasn't like anything Harry had ever experienced before. It was arousing, nerve-wracking and overpowering. His fingers slipped and slid over bits he couldn't see and he could hardly believe he was touching her right, but she never complained. Harry groaned in unison with Ginny when his fingers found her opening and sunk in. It became hard to catch his breath. Images of that camp in Sweden filled his mind, of making...
"Oh God, Ginny," he groaned, burying his face in her neck. "I love you so much, want you forever..." His confession stopped abruptly when Ginny threw her head back, crying out and he felt her clench around his fingers.
The next few moments, Harry hardly dared to breathe. His hands were now clutching her hips again and he watched her chest heave, though it was fuzzy as Ginny was leaning back from him. He was aroused to the point of pain, but time stood still for him, waiting for the witch in front of him to respond to him in some way.
Finally, her breathing slowed and she looked at him with heavy-lidded eyes and a satisfied smile. "That was brilliant, Harry." She got closer and Harry could see her eyes sharpen and take on a teasing glint. "Come here, Tiger." She purred out the words and he quivered with anticipation. The wait lasted barely a breath; he sighed as her hand closed around his erection. Two of her short fingernails light scraped his penis and he hissed at the sensation. It didn't hurt, but it caused the left-over tingling feeling from the charm to intensify.
It felt good.
The groan came from somewhere deep in his chest, probably from that damnable chest-monster. It was like nothing he had felt before and he wasn't sure if it was because of the charm or Ginny or both. Or maybe it was because it wasn't just a pretty red-head girl touching him this time, but the witch he would gladly get rid of Nargles with or follow to Sweden if she wanted to search for Snorkacks in the dead of winter. But the thoughts were fleeting as her hand moved faster and he felt his orgasm rush through his entire body.
Tremors rippled through Harry and into Ginny when he wrapped his arms around her and drew her into his body. Once he finally stilled, she pulled back and tilted his head up. "I love you, too, Tiger."
Harry chuckled. "We ought to get out and get dressed. I still have to give you your birthday present."
Surprise filled Ginny's eyes for a split second, before they lit up with happiness. "You didn't forget?" she whispered.
He shook his head. "Of course not! I just didn't want to give it to you in front of anyone else."
They slowly made their way back to the dock, pausing several times to embrace or share a sweet kiss. When they finally reached the ladder that was attached to the side of the dock, Harry took a deep breath and went first. The thought that Ginny would actually see him naked for the first time made him feel curious – it was frightening and exciting at the same time. (It didn't count that she had spied on him before, since he hadn't known she was there). The giggling didn't help, but he was determined to be the gentleman. When Ginny began to climb up to join him, he turned his back while he struggled to pull his pants over his wet legs.
"For Merlin's sake, Harry. Didn't you bring your wand? Here, let me." That was all of the warning he received before he felt a warm breeze flow over his body, drying him instantly. He whirled around, startled, and quickly shut his eyes. Ginny laughed again.
"You can look, you know. I want you to look."
Harry opened his eyes back up, huffed that he couldn't really see her, and then dropped to his knees to search for his glasses. The moment they were on, he looked up at Ginny.
"Beautiful," he breathed, causing her to blush.
"You're rather handsome yourself, you know." Harry was certain he'd never flushed that red in his life.
After Ginny dried herself, they both dressed quickly, though Harry left his shirt off as Ginny had stolen it. Once she was safely covered, Harry pulled the small box from the pocket of his shorts.
"It isn't much," he told her, ruffling the back of his hair nervously. "I just wanted to make you understand how much I care for you. I think I've loved you for awhile, but I finally just realized it." With that, he thrust the box into her hands. Ginny gave him a curious look, but smiled and pulled the lid off of the box.
Inside, strapped down, was a Golden Snitch. The confused smile on her face made Harry realize she wouldn't have any idea as to the significance of this Snitch.
"That's the Snitch that started it all," he whispered, tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear.
"But Harry, I have the Snitch that I caught the day you first kissed me," she said before Harry cut her off with a kiss.
"No, I started having feelings for you long before then. They weren't as strong, because I'm a blind idiot, but they were there. This," he said, touching the Snitch almost reverently. "This is the Snitch you caught in your fourth year, right out of Ch-, er the Ravenclaw Seeker's hands."
Ginny looked up at him in awe. "Really? That long?" Harry just nodded as his girlfriend pulled him into another intense kiss. Like fire on parchment, it took seconds for their passion to ignite. In no time, they were delving hands under each other's clothing, and Harry finally lay back onto the dock with Ginny on top of him.
"Quiet Ronald! If you breathe one word about how your little sister shouldn't be doing the same things you talk me into doing, I swear you won't be capable of doing those things for years!" Harry didn't bother opening his eyes. The brightness behind his lids made it obvious that it was morning, the hardness against his back was the dock and the weight on his chest was Ginny.
It was just as obvious that Ron and Hermione were the ones to discover that Harry and Ginny had spent the night by the pond together and that they were only partially clothed.
"Do you really think I'm that stupid, Hermione? I'm glad the prat finally got back with my sister. I just don't want to see it."
"Just like they don't..." Their voices trailed off as his two best friends moved away from the pond. Apparently they were going to act like they hadn't found anything interesting.
He nudged Ginny several times before she finally sat up, rubbing her eyes tiredly. After a good morning kiss, they redressed. Ginny pulled Harry's shirt off to give to him and pulled her own on, as well as her shorts. Harry buttoned his own shorts back up, but didn't bother to tuck his shirt in.
"What are we going to tell your parents?" Harry didn't think the Weasleys would kick him out of their home, but he also didn't think they'd appreciate what he had been doing with their only daughter. Or what he planned to do again.
Ginny tilted her head to the side and then gave Harry a very sly grin. "We'll just tell Mum that you took Luna's advice on getting rid of the Nargles without using the charm and I was there to make sure you did it safely."
Harry doubted that Mrs. Weasley would appreciate this at all, but Ginny was his girlfriend again and she'd said she loved him! That was the only thing that really mattered to him.
Although...perhaps he needed to start looking at how one went about arranging camping trips to Sweden to hunt for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks.