Disclaimer: All things Harry Potter belong to the talented, wonderful, and fantastic JK Rowling, whom we all wish would write book 5 faster. Jessica, Rose, and any other original characters are mine. 'One Fine Day' belongs to 20th Century Fox and (I guess,) director Michael Hoffman. Plot is mine, mistakes in spelling are mine. The title was shameless paraphrased from the wonderful Piers Anthony's Xanth novel, "The Color of her Panties", but that's probably as far as the similarity goes. (It's been years since I read that book, so if there are more similarities, my apologies to Mr. Anthony and no plagiarism or borrowing was intended).

A/N: One down and two to go. This one was already mostly written, so the next chapters will follow every few days, even if it's a pathetic story. Only two half finished D/G's still on my 'puter, then I can concentrate on writing the great American novel (or just a decent short story that might get published in Ladie's Home Journal or Family Circle)!

The Colour of Her Knickers

Ginny Weasley was up early, eager to get started. Today would be the first day of her sixth year at Hogwarts! And this year was going to be different from her other years; she was no longer infatuated with Harry Potter! She would NOT spend the entire year letting him dictate whether it was a good day or a bad day by merely either noticing or not noticing her. Not that he'd done so on purpose, but Ginny wasn't going to waste any more time waiting for him. And, maybe this year she would decide to go out with one of the other boys who had tried to gain her attention in past years. If they hadn't all given her up as a lost cause, that is.

Ginny grinned as she sat up in her small bed. If they'd given her up, she'd just have to convince them that she was, in fact, available this year. Ginny glanced across to the small cot that had been set up in her room, where Hermione Granger lay, still sleeping. The long, bushy chestnut hair was spread enticingly across the pillow and Ginny was thankful Ron wasn't here to go 'ga-ga' over Hermione and start baby talking to her, as the couple had been disgustingly prone to do lately. Ginny mused that a few years ago she would have been on the cot, and Hermione, her brother's girlfriend and one of Harry's best friends, would have been sleeping in Ginny's bed. But Hermione had lost 'guest' status some time ago, and could now be treated like visiting family. Indeed, Ginny generally thought of her as a sister most of the time. They weren't the best of friends at school, but whenever Hermione was visiting, Ginny felt she could confide almost anything to the older girl.

Unfortunately, Ginny also felt just a little jealous of the older girl. Not because of her intelligence or that she had Ron and Harry for friends, but because Hermione was what Ginny had always wanted to be: pretty. Not that Ginny was ugly, of course, but her flaming Weasley hair, longish nose, pale skin and freckles were more 'striking' than pretty, or even cute. And she'd inherited her father's height and slight build so at five feet and just under ten inches she was hardly what anyone's idea of 'cute' might be! And where Hermione was softly rounded and curved, Ginny was still angular and, well, unendowed. At least that was how Hermione put it. Actually, Ginny figured her one really great feature was her dark brown eyes. Her eyes were large, the brows well-shaped and the lashes dark enough to not need the assistance of mascara. If only the women in her society wore veils; then Ginny's best asset would be enhanced. With a small snort, she shrugged to herself for being so picky. Just last night, when she was bemoaning all her faults, Hermione had rallied Ginny with the list of boys who had cried on her shoulder over Ginny's infatuation with Harry. She grinned again. Hermione was right, of course. Despite what she thought were her flaws, some of the boys at least, had been interested.

Ginny threw back her sheets and swung her legs over the side of the bed. "C'mon, Hermione," she called, picking up her pillow and tossing it at her friend's head. "Rise and shine!"

Hermione grumbled and craned her neck to see the alarm clock on the table. "Bugger!" she hissed in a sleepy voice. "It's still only five a. m.! We don't have to leave for two hours!"

Hermione then grabbed Ginny's pillow and buried her head under it.

Ginny shook her head, still grinning. At least she would get the shower and the hot water first for once. As she gathered her shower things, she remembered another reason to look forward to this year: new clothes!

Ginny showered in leisure and then wrapped her terrycloth robe about her. She wrapped her towel around her head and padded quietly back to her room. She moved to the chair where she'd laid her clothes out the night before, reverently touching the new robe, blouse, and skirt. Even though she had been the only girl in the family, she didn't often get new things either. Usually her stuff was handed down from female cousins or bought second hand. But this year, with only Ron and Ginny to provide for, and with Dad getting paid a percentage in the twins' gag shop in return for his initial investment, the Weasleys had been able to get the two youngest new robes, uniforms and casual clothes. They'd still had to get used book, but Ginny didn't care about that. Who cared if your books were tattered? But there was one thing Ginny had wanted that Mum had flatly refused to get her. She'd wanted nice, pretty knickers.

Her mother had looked at her assessingly, then had looked out the kitchen window to where Ron, Harry and the twins, down for the weekend, were tossing a Quaffle around. Then her mother's normally open, friendly face became very rigid and decidedly unfriendly.

"And what, pray tell, young lady, would you be wanting with 'pretty' knickers? What's wrong with the nice cotton ones you always get?"

Ginny felt herself blush at her mother's obvious assumption. "Good grief, Mum," she whispered, mortified at the thought and at the possibility that one of the boys might hear the conversation. "It's not like THAT! I just want something pretty, to make me feel, you know, feminine!"

Her mother was still looking suspiciously at her but only said, "Well, that's too bad. We haven't any money to waste on things like fancy knickers. Honestly! The idea!"

Her mum had turned back to making preparations for dinner, still grumbling about ungrateful children and daughters who wanted to grow up too fast. Ginny slunk out of the kitchen, feeling relieved to have gotten off so easily. Who would have thought her mum would have a fit about new knickers? Ginny had plodded up the stairs and into her room. Before she could throw herself on her bed and have a good cry over the general injustice of the world and parents in particular, Hermione rose from the cot she'd been sitting at.

"Er, Gin, I couldn't help overhearing your conversation with your mum," she began, looking torn between amusement and embarrassment.

Ginny glanced at the heat register set into the floor and nodded. "Yeah, I know. The vent comes up direct from the stove. I used to listen in on them all the time."

She sighed and flopped onto her bed. "But it's so unfair!" she wailed.

Hermione came over and put a sisterly arm around Ginny's shoulders. "Yeah, it's unfair," she agreed.

They sat quietly for a few minutes, then Hermione removed her arm. "Uh, Ginny," she began hesitantly.

"What?" Ginny said irritably. Hermione was interrupting a very satisfying bout of self-pity.

"Er, I could, uh, oh, never mind!" Hermione got off the bed and walked toward the door.

"Wait! You could what?" Ginny asked suddenly.

She looked at Hermione's face, seeing the same expression the older girl wore whenever Ron or Harry convinced her to do something against the rules. "What, Hermione? Tell me!"

Hermione bit her lip nervously and started to wring her hands.

"Oh, goodness," she said quietly. "I hate going behind your mum's back. But I know what it's like to want something pretty, even if no one else will see it!"

Ginny was off the bed and grabbing Hermione's hands in a second. "What!?" she demanded, her voice low and urgent. "Can you help me? Please?"

"We-ell," Hermione said in an agonized voice. "I might be able to, but I don't have much money! And it would mean leaving Diagon Alley when we go shopping tomorrow!"

Ginny almost jumped up and down in excitement. "Money's no problem!" she insisted. "I've still got all the money the boys sent me for my birthday!"

She hurried to the little ceramic bank she kept on her dresser and removed the stopper. Then she carried it to her bed and began to pour out the contents. Several coins spilled from the bank until she had a small mound of knuts and sickles, with the odd galleon thrown in there. She looked up hopefully at Hermione.

"Will that be enough?"

Hermione finally sighed and smiled. "I'm sure it will be plenty," she'd said, resigned.

Hermione had come up with a plausible excuse to detach both girls from the rest of the Weasleys and Harry. She'd said there were some 'girly' things she wanted to buy and she wanted Ginny's help. Mrs. Weasley was still giving her daughter and Harry questioning looks, but seemed satisfied that neither was interested in the other. So, with the parental blessing, Hermione dragged Ginny away from Clan Weasley and toward Gringotts.

"I'll have to exchange your money for you," she'd told Ginny. "I already have an account there, and they're used to seeing me."

After changing the wizarding money for Muggle money, the girls hurried to the Leaky Cauldron. They removed their robes, revealing the tee shirts and jeans each had worn. Draping the robes over their arms, they stepped into Muggle London.

The whole trip had been exhilarating. Ginny had seldom been in the Muggle section except to go to Diagon Alley or the train station. Hermione had led her only a few blocks away where there were small shops and boutiques of all types. Some of the items displayed in the large glass windows were familiar, like baked goods, clothing, and even a pet store. But some of the items were beyond Ginny. One shop had dozens of black boxes of varying shapes and sizes, all with buttons and numbers and dials on them. Hermione called them 'stereos, CD players, and boom boxes' and said they variations of the radio the Weasley family used to listen to the Wizarding Wireless Network. Another shop had large, colourful posters plastered in the windows with pictures of actors and actresses. Hermione said it was a video rental shop and you could rent motion pictures to watch at home without having to go to the cinema. Since Ginny had only a vague idea of what she was talking about, she only nodded. Until she saw a poster with the words 'One Fine Day' across one of the posters over the picture of a dark haired man laughing with a blonde woman.

"Hermione," Ginny had squealed, grabbing the other girl's arm. "That man looks just like Professor Lupin!"

Hermione glanced at the poster, then looked more closely. "Hey, you're right! I never noticed before. Professor Lupin looks like George Clooney!"

The man in the poster, who didn't move (a fact that had disconcerted Ginny at first) indeed had the same sunken, sad eyes and dark hair with just a touch of gray throughout, especially at the temples. Shaking her head, Ginny allowed Hermione to drag her away, telling her they couldn't take all day.

Finally, they stopped in front of a boutique that had several very daring slips and brassieres on display in the front window. There was a discrete curtain behind the display so the interior if the shop was hidden from public view.

"Well, here we are," Hermione said firmly.

Ginny swallowed nervously and nodded. Now it came to it, she wasn't sure she could just stroll into a store and purchase lacy knickers! Hermione grabbed her arm, though, and dragged her to the door.

"We might get caught going back to Diagon Alley," she muttered. "And I'm not getting in Dutch with your mum for nothing!"

The girls had entered the store, and Ginny felt like she was in heaven. There were undergarments of every description! From brassieres to camisoles, from plain cotton knickers to sexy, silky little wisps of fabric with only a string up the back to cover the bum! Ginny knew there were shops of this sort off of Diagon Alley, but she'd never been able to venture into one, and she was more likely to meet someone she knew there than here. Hermione led her to a section where the wares were displayed on small hangers and came in every colour from white to black to metallic green to animal prints and every conceivable colour in between. Ginny blushed and backed away from some particularly garish zebra striped items and moved toward a display of pretty pastel 'briefs'.

"I thought you wanted something different," Hermione asked, although her relieved expression belied her words.

"I do, but I'd feel like the 'whore of Babylon' in those things," Ginny admitted, gesturing to the other display.

"Good!" Hermione said with feeling. "If your mum catches us, she's going to think these things are mine, and she might wonder exactly what Ron and I are going to be up to!"

Ginny giggled nervously, then moved on to a display that read 'French Cut'. She looked at the price tag, a large affair with a female model wearing the said 'French Cut' knickers while discretely folding her arms across her bare bosom. The model was extremely thin, very much like Ginny, herself. But the garment was flattering, all the same. The cut actually made her look like she had full hips!

"These!" Ginny said, determinedly.

Hermione looked at the price tag and shrugged. "At least they're decent. And you could buy four or five pairs and still have money left over."

Ginny gasped! Four or five pairs! Maybe she could find a bra to match, or one of the full slips like she'd seen in the window! With Hermione's help, she selected four pairs in different colours, then, daringly, added one black pair. Hermione added up the prices, and pulled Ginny to the display of bras. She was able to get two, from the same maker, that matched two of the pairs of knickers. Hermione frowned.

"You know, Gin, if I helped out a bit, I think maybe you could manage one slip. Want to look?"

Ginny didn't need to be asked twice. She found a soft, silky slip with adjustable straps and a bit of lace at the bottom. It would come just short of the hem of all her school skirts, but possibly peek out when she sat. She mentioned this to Hermione who, feeling more comfortable now that Ginny had chosen pretty but sensible items, laughed.

"Of course it will peek out when you sit. That's the attraction! Just that suggestion of more will drive the boys mad!"

Ginny blushed, but took the slip and everything else up to the cashier. The woman at the counter looked carefully at both girls before lifting a brow. "School shopping?" she asked in a satirical voice.

Ginny and Hermione looked guiltily away until the woman chuckled. "Don't worry, loves. If you'd chosen some of that other lot, I might give you a hard time. But this," she gestured to Ginny's purchases. "Innocent fun, yeah?"

As the girls hurried back to the Leaky Cauldron, Ginny marveled at their luck. "Imagine! Everything at twenty per cent off! The ice cream's on me!"

Coming back to the present, Ginny blushed again as she moved her new robe and uniform off her new, pretty underthings. They hadn't been caught, and now all the items except what she was wearing today were buried deep in her trunk. She touched the knickers once more, marveling again at how soft they were, despite not being silk.

"Synthetic fabrics," Hermione had explained. "Inexpensive, wears great, lasts forever and doesn't fade. Only problem is some people are allergic to them. Not you, though," she added quickly. "You've worn rubber gloves in Potions, right? No problem, then."

Ginny heard her mother stirring in her parents' bedroom and dressed quickly. It wouldn't do to have her walk in on Ginny, as she was likely to do, and find her new underthings.

The Hogwarts Express left from Platform 9 ¾ exactly on time and was soon chugging along smoothly. Ginny had left Ron, Harry and Hermione to find her own friends and a compartment. The train seemed strangely empty, and she was easily able to get a compartment for herself and her four friends, girls from both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. When they'd been traveling for some time, one of the girls, Rose Thornhill from Ravenclaw, finally commented on the lack of students.

"I know," Ginny agreed quietly. "My dad says that lots of families just up and left the country. Worried about You-Know-Who!"

Jessica Mowbry, another Gryffindor, said, "My dad says it's mostly just the Slytherins not coming back to Hogwarts. He says they all transferred to Drumstrang!"

"Good!" Sally Hawthorn, the other Ravenclaw declared. "Pack 'em all off to where they belong. We don't need 'em here, anyway."

Ginny bit her lip. How could she tell them that the sorting hat had quietly mentioned that she might do well in Slytherin, herself? And her mum and dad had some friends, not many, but some, who had been in Slytherin? She knew most of the witches and wizards that went bad were from that house, but that didn't mean all of them were evil. Not any more than it meant all Gryffindors were paragons of virtue and honor. Just look at Peter Pettigrew! But she couldn't tell them about Peter, either, because she only knew about their former rat and his real identity from careful eavesdropping when Ron and his friends didn't know she was listening. But she could and would tell them that that kind of blind prejudice was just as bad as the anti-Muggle filth lots of Slytherins spouted. Before she could, though, there was a knock at their compartment door.

The old witch who pushed the refreshment card opened the door. "Anything off the cart, dearies?"

The girls made their purchases and settled back for the remainder of the long trip to Hogwarts. Ginny had just enough left from her shopping spree and assault on Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor to get a pumpkin juice and a chocolate frog. The previous topic, the lack of Slytherins, had been dropped for the more interesting topic of boys.

They were warming to their subject when the door to the compartment opened and Seamus Finnegan stuck his head in.

"Hullo, girls. Miss me?" Seamus beamed at the girls and they all smiled back.

Seamus wasn't handsome, exactly, but he was funny, outgoing and great company. And he had the gift of making whoever he was with feel special. Rose scooted over to make room for him, drawing instant protests from the other girls.

"Not to worry, ladies," he assured them with a smile. "There's plenty of me to go round!"

Ginny grinned at his antics. She was pretty much immune to his charm, being in the same house as he was, but she still enjoyed his company. Soon they were all chatting companionably, not noticing the passing of time. Seamus was keeping the girls amused with what were probably highly exaggerated tales of how he spent his summer, when he suddenly leaned forward.

"Look!" he said, reaching into the pocket of his robe. He pulled out a small box and held it for them all to see.

"I caught this little bugger just as it was about to sink its fangs in me! Small, but deadly, is this little creature."

The girls were staring raptly at the box, which looked for all the world just like an ordinary box, about the size of a fist. Ginny, alone, seemed to notice the mischief in his eyes, and started to back away, but too late.

Seamus tore the lid off and several fake snakes leaped out, causing the girls to squeal and jump in alarm. Jessica jumped back so fast, she knocked Ginny's pumpkin juice out of her hands and right onto her new robes and blouse. Now Ginny jumped up and squealed! Her new clothes!

Seamus' laughter dried up abruptly when he saw the tears in Ginny's eyes. Ginny looked down at her sodden robe and plucked it away from her sadly.

"Ginny, I'm sorry! I didn't expect--," he started, but she cut him off.

"It's nothing, Seamus, don't worry about it!" she said, her voice quavery. "I'll just pop into the loo and wash up."

Ginny fled before anyone could stop her. She knew it was stupid to cry over something so minor, but she'd wanted, just once, to show up at school looking just as great as everyone else. Now she'd show up stained and wrinkled and could only thank the fates that most of the Slytherins really were absent. At least she wouldn't have to listen to any of their snide remarks. And tomorrow she'd be clean and pressed and she'd pretend this hadn't happened. Then she remembered her new bra!

Rushing into the small bathroom, she shoved the door closed and practically ripped off her robe. She dragged off her school tie and fumbled with the buttons of the blouse. Shrugging it off, she looked hesitantly into the mirror, then breathed a sigh of relief. The pale blue, silky bra was untouched. Grimacing, she stopped up the drain and ran the taps into the sink. She would have loved to have been able to just wave her wand and make the pumpkin juice disappear, but her magical talent wasn't quite up to that. She would have to do it the hard way. As Ginny immersed her blouse in the water and began to scrub at the juice stain, she thought how unfair it was that her mum and dad didn't let them practice even simple spells like cleaning spells at home. Not until they'd graduated.

The stain was coming out, and Ginny thought with relief that at least she wouldn't be stained. And even if she was a bit rumpled, those who would be rude enough to say something about it, like Draco Malfoy and his crowd, weren't even here to say anything. She wrung the excess water out, wondering if a miniature nova spell might help her blouse dry faster. Ginny was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't hear the door handle turn. It wasn't until she heard an all-too-familiar voice say, "Go on, I'll catch you up," that she realized someone had opened the door at all.

Ginny spun, her damp blouse clutched to her chest, and saw Draco Malfoy standing just inside the doorway, his tall body blocking the exit, his cool gray eyes staring at her.