Hell hath no Fury
Hearing Dumbledore announce that the Triwizard Tournament would be hosted that year at Hogwarts found Harry repeatedly dropping his head against one of the tables in the Gryffindor common room. Everyone else had gone to bed already and, finding himself unable to drift off and visit Morpheus, Harry wanted to be by himself. With a final, particularly loud, thud, Harry's head came to rest on the ancient wooden table.
"I'm not sure you have enough brain cells to chance losing any more like that, Harry." Startled and a bit dazed, Harry jumped a bit before lifting his sore head and looking to identify who had snuck up on him.
It was Hermione.
Not feeling particularly amused, Harry turned back around. Grouchily, he replied, "Maybe not, but I just know this tournament is bad news."
Behind him, Hermione was nodding, "With your luck, I can see why you feel that way. In first year you had to deal with the Troll, Quirrell messing with your broomstick, Norbert, detention in the Forbidden Forest where Quirrell attacked you, the house shunning you, and Quirrell nearly killing you beneath the trap door. Second year you had to deal with Dobby stealing your mail, the Whomping Willow, Lockhart, Dobby and the Bludgers, the Heir rumours, the Parselmouth rumours, being shunned, me using Millicent's cat's hair in the polyjuice potion, the Acromantulas in the Forbidden Forest, Lockhart trying to Obliviate you, and then nearly being killed by the Basilisk. Third year, you nearly got your soul sucked out by a Dementor on the train, the scare with Sirius sneaking in, Dementors nearly getting you again and falling off your broom at the Quidditch match, me being an idiot about the broom even if I was right about it being from Sirius, Sirius attacking the Fat Lady, everyone expecting you to die, and finally the whole mess with Sirius and Peter and time turning. Even this year, you've had to deal with the attack at the Quidditch World Cup."
Harry snorted in response. "Thanks for the reminder, Hermione. Like I hadn't already been wondering if I might be better off at the Dursleys. At least there I know to expect it."
Narrowing her eyes, Hermione filed his comment away for the future. Remembering how she bungled the Firebolt issue, she decided to move on. "Sorry, Harry. So what specifically has you worried about the Tournament?"
Gesturing for Hermione to join him at the table, and waiting for her to sit, Harry mulled over how to describe what he was feeling.
"I guess I'm worried I'm going to get dragged into the whole mess. Add in a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, when all three others have tried to kill me, even if Lupin didn't mean it, and I think I'm feeling justifiably paranoid about this year. Other than you and Ron, I don't seem to have any allies, especially among the staff, and even you two I've had issues with." Raising a hand to stop Hermione before she interrupted, he continued.
"I know about the broom and why you did what you did but we didn't talk for a while because of it. That's on both of us so I say let bygones be bygones. And then, Ron made that whole mess worse." Harry paused as a thought hit him. "Plus, the more I think about it, I realize what a horrible influence he's been on me. Playing chess instead of doing homework, flying the car to school, fighting with Malfoy, I know I'm responsible for not handling things better but being around him doesn't help."
Hermione reached over and laid her hand on top of his. "Things will be okay, Harry. We'll get through everything just like we have the last three years."
"But that's what I want to avoid. I don't want to have more years like those. And even though I try not to, I can't help thinking about it all and it gets to me."
Letting silence reign for a moment, Hermione just held Harry's hand.
"Sit up, Harry," she intoned. "I'm going to try something."
Giving her a querying look, Harry complied. She stood up and moved behind him, laying her hands on his shoulders. Harry tensed at the contact.
"What are you doing?" Harry asked.
"Just relax and let me try something."
Hermione squeezed her hands, feeling the tension in Harry's muscles. Feeling the pressure, Harry closed his eyes and let his head fall back a bit. He had never felt anything so nice. A moment later, Hermione dug into the muscles with her thumbs and he could not stop the moan of pleasure from escaping his lips.
"That feels amazing, Hermione. I've never felt anything so good. What are you doing."
Continuing to work on his shoulders, Hermione replied, "I'm just rubbing your shoulders. You could say I'm massaging the muscles in them but this isn't all that much. Some people do this for a living, though they often massage the back, arms, legs, neck, pretty much everywhere, not just the shoulders."
Another moan escaped Harry as she shifted her hands to let her thumbs work down along his spine. Hearing such things made Hermione blush. Harry's moans sounded rather erotic to her teenage ears.
Nothing else escaped his lips for several minutes as she continued her work. Hermione even asked a few questions but Harry was apparently a bit too out of it to respond. Finally, her hands strained, she stopped her ministrations.
An unintelligible muttering answered her.
"Harry, wake up."
Groaning, Harry forced himself to pay attention to the Angel behind him. "That was amazing. I never knew anything could feel that good."
Hermione was glad he was facing away as a blush lit up her face. "It wasn't that big of a deal, Harry. I'm just glad it helped you feel better."
Quickly standing up, Harry grabbed Hermione and maneuvered her into the chair he had previously occupied. "You have to let me return the favor."
Despite her protests, Harry got her into position and focused on how she had started on him. Gently digging his thumbs into the muscles of her shoulders and upper back, Harry quickly silenced his friend.
Many long minutes later, Harry was glad for being on the Quidditch team. Having to hang on to his broom during the long hours of practice had strengthened his arms and hands so he could continue plying at Hermione's muscles for a long time.
It was past midnight when Harry finally brought his efforts to a close.
An unintelligible muttering answered him.
"Hermione, wake up."
Watching her twist about and roll her shoulders, Harry gently helped her stand up. Hermione was rather unsteady on her feet. As she regained her bearings, she noticed it was the first time in months her back was free from the pain her books and assets caused.
"You're a bloody natural, Harry."
Snorting at his friend's language but choosing not to make a point of it, he helped her over to the heavily cushioned sofas by the fireplace. "I'm glad I could return the favor."
Now Hermione snorted. "Returned the favor? I think you overpaid any debt a few dozen times over. That was marvelous! Your hands are magic, no pun intended. I can't think of a single girl that wouldn't be putty in them."
It was Harry's turn to blush.
"Well, I haven't been the best friend, so can we just say I'm working on paying off overdue debts?"
Turning a stern eye towards him, Hermione spoke. "Harry, no one is a great friend all of the time. But that's what makes people friends. Friends overlook faults and mistakes and we try to do better. It isn't a stated requirement, but that's just what friends do."
Harry nodded, knowing she was probably right. Plus, arguing with her never ended well.
"I know," he answered placatingly, "but I'm really only friends with you and Ron. And I think it would just feel weird to rub his, or any other guys', shoulders."
Hermione tried to suppress a giggle but utterly failed.
"Besides, even with my magic hands, I know something is going to happen to make the school turn on me, guys and girls."
The two remained in silence for a bit, basking in the dying embers of fire. Hermione shifted a bit and leaned into Harry, resting her head on his shoulder.
"Do you trust me, Harry?"
"Of course I do. Where is this coming from?"
"You need allies if you're going to prevent the school from turning on you this year. We haven't found any help when we went to the professors, so we have to find it from the students."
"I happen to have just experienced a wonderful talent of yours that I think we can use."
Harry cut her off. "But Hermione, you're my friend. I don't mind rubbing your shoulders, but the rest of the girls in the school? Even if I was comfortable with it, I won't have the time. I just spent over an hour on yours and the only reason I could was because we're both Gryffindors and share a common room after curfew."
Hermione reached up and cupped his cheek with her hand. "Don't worry. I have an idea, Harry."
Hermione spent the next few weeks talking up Harry's magic hands to her dorm mates, including the gossip queens Lavender and Parvati. By the end of September, every girl was in on the supposed secret that Harry's massages were so good they would turn a girl to jelly but he was enough of a gentleman to never take any liberties.
When October finally started, Hermione approached Harry.
Taking a deep breath, Harry tried to mentally prepare himself.
A handful of minutes later, Harry was waiting in an old, unused classroom. Dobby had helped by stoking a fire so the room was comfortably warm, and Neville had provided several plants to provide a pleasant, but not overpowering, aroma. In the middle of the room, cleared of old desks and other refuse, sat a padded table. Off to one side was a cushioned chair, intended for someone to lean forward against rather than back. Off to the other side of the padded table was a small table will an assortment of biscuits and sandwiches as well as a pot of fresh tea. Two chairs bracketed the table.
The door opened, revealing Hermione and Lavender. Harry went numb, mumbling a greeting as the two girls made their way over to the tea. After a few minutes of gossiping, and Harry trying his very best to ignore the innuendo spilling from Lavender's mouth about Harry "having his hands all over her", the tea was consumed, the biscuits were eaten, and Hermione escorted Lavender over to the other chair.
"Okay, Lavender. Since this is your first time experiencing Harry's hands, we need to take it slow. When it comes to his hands, there is such a thing as 'too much of a good thing.'"
Positioning the other girl on the chair, Hermione continued.
"What's going to happen is that Harry is going to stand behind you and start rubbing the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and upper back while you lean into the padding. Depending on how much you can take, we may then transfer to the table where he will massage your entire back and, with your permission, arms and legs."
Lavender's grin looked positively lecherous.
Hermione ignored Lavender, resuming her prepared speech. "I will remain in the room the entire time. While Harry is a gentleman, and would not do anything untoward, it is for his reputation's protection as much as yours."
Rolling her eyes, Lavender interrupted Hermione. "I know, I know. You went over that point. 'It's non-negotiable.' You've made that very clear."
Lavender continued, mumbling a few unflattering things about Hermione and her presence that were pointedly ignored by both Harry and Hermione.
"Very well." Hermione pointedly stated. "Harry, if you will."
An hour later, Lavender could not tell where she ended and the universe began. Harry had started by gently laying his hands on her shoulders and using the heel of his hand to apply pressure and slide his hands from her neck out.
After a few minutes of divine pleasure, Lavender had fallen asleep. Once she regained a bit of awareness, she realized she felt like jelly. Every bit of tension in her body from before was gone. She knew there were magical equivalents but nothing compared to what Harry Potter had done to her body.
Turning about to look for him, she only found Hermione.
"He left just a few minutes ago. He was hoping to stay until I managed to rouse you but he had to leave for a bit. Ron then came and dragged him away. Harry managed to stop by and tell me what was going on. Apparently Ron felt that it 'wasn't right' for Harry to be cooped up with two girls when he could be playing chess. Harry tried to disagree but Ron was most insistent. Thankfully he didn't learn the secret of Harry's hands. None of the boys would take it well if they learned what Harry could do to us girls. They'd feel quite threatened."
Lavender looked quite put out with what Ron had pulled.
"I've never felt anything like this. It's simply amazing."
Hermione nodded her agreement with a small smile on her face.
"So when can I have him do this again?"
Tapping a finger against her chin, Hermione looked like she was pondering. "As much as I wish it were otherwise, we can't keep Harry all to ourselves. Too many other girls have heard about Harry's hands. If we tried to downplay it, they'd see right through us."
Slowly pacing, Hermione looked to think about a solution to their predicament.
"How about, if you share a glowing review, keeping it from the idiotic boys of course, I'll make sure Harry works you in early? Say, same time next week?"
Lavender nodded furiously as the pair walked out the door.
A thud echoed in the Great Hall.
Hermione gently lifted Harry back upright, pointedly ignoring the large red spot on his forehead. With a bit of prodding, she managed to get him to stand up. Nodding at him, she encouraged him to follow the plan.
With a loud, clear voice, Harry spoke.
"I did not enter my name for the Triwizard Tournament. I will not participate."
Silence reigned for several long seconds then everything seemed to happen at once.
Pandemonium erupted as everyone in the Great Hall started shouting. No one could make any sense of the noise but it was clear that the girls of Hogwarts were unhappy with the boys. Several had even taken to threatening the boys at wandpoint to "shut up, sit down, and let Harry talk."
Dumbledore fired off a spell that sounded like a cannon blast. The Great Hall quickly quieted.
"Harry, we can sort this out later, but you need to go join the other champions in the antechamber for now."
Harry shook his head.
"I will not in any way cooperate with any instruction that might imply I accept participation in the Triwizard Tournament."
The Great Hall erupted once again, forcing Dumbledore to fire off several more cannon blast spells.
"Harry, my boy, while I understand your frustration, let us head to the antechamber to resolve this issue."
This time, it was only the girls of Hogwarts that raised a ruckus. There was one key difference, however. All of the girls' ire was directed at the Headmaster. A few of the girls were loud enough that their objections were clearly heard above the general clamour.
"How dare you try to make him compete!"
"Don't you dare make him accept a contract!"
"Go choke on your beard you old man!"
Cannon blasts filled the air as Dumbledore tried to restore order. When the Great Hall finally quieted once more, the Headmaster turned to Harry only to be interrupted by the Head Girl.
"Professor Dumbledore, it is clear that Mr. Potter does not wish to have anything to do with the Triwizard Tournament. I believe it is an intelligent decision on his part to not comply in any capacity with the confirmation process of the champion selection. Should you or any professor or guest attempt to force the issue, then it is my responsibility as Head Girl to protect him and I will carry out that responsibility to the utmost of my ability."
Dumbledore attempted to reply only to be cut off by every Hogwarts female student drawing their wands. Taken aback, he failed to notice one Hermione Granger subtly escorting Harry out the door thanks to every other girl moving to block his line of sight.
Clearing his throat, the Headmaster made another effort to speak.
"While your attitude is quite admirable, as is the apparent attitude of every other female student we have here at Hogwarts, it is imperative-"
No one saw Pansy Parkinson cast the first spell at Dumbledore, but everyone saw the hundreds of spells that flew his way.
The next evening, the Goblet of Fire was found burning again in the Great Hall. No Hogwarts female was to be found at supper that evening. Neither was Harry Potter.
The same three champions had their names spit from the Goblet whereupon it promptly extinguished itself.
Somewhere in the mess of the previous night, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody had been caught in the side by a rather nasty cutting hex. It also split open his flask which caused Polyjuice Potion to spill all over the floor. Within an hour, the no longer disguised Bartemius Crouch Jr was detained by Aurors, the Triwizard Tournament champion selection voided, and every student witch at Hogwarts had written home to explain, in excruciating detail, what had happened.
Once Barty Jr had started screaming his head off, ranting about how his master would kill Harry Potter, an angry mob mentality had taken over the witches.
Two months later as the new year dawned, Harry found himself curled up in front of the Gryffindor common room hearth with Hermione, resting his head on her lap.
"So now every supposedly Imperiused Death Eater has been retried and put in Azkaban. Since several were 'upstanding members of society' who regularly donated to Minister Fudge, the DMLE launched an inquiry. He resigned last week before all of his dirty laundry was aired out for the whole world to see."
Harry just let Hermione continue to play with his hair. He now had doubts as to whether her rubbing his shoulders was the best feeling in the world.
"Since you stood up to the Headmaster, a lot of people have started questioning him and his decisions. He'll likely have to step down as Chief Warlock any day now."
"I'm just glad I don't have to compete in that stupid tournament. I mean, dragons? Who in their right might thought dragons would make for a good task in what's supposed to be a competition to foster international relations?"
Hermione's fingers paused at a soft chime. She checked her watch before sighing.
"Sorry, Harry. Time for your next appointments. We have more girls to put to sleep and make them think you're putting your hands all over them."
Harry let out a long-suffering sigh.
"Who is it this time?"
Looking at a notebook, Hermione answered, "the Head Girl followed by Pansy. I think I'll actually have to let you give them a real massage one of these days to thank them for their help."
Chuckling, Harry knew what Hermione was going to say next.
"Just remember. The only girl you actually put your hands all over is me."
Harry smiled as he rose from his lying position. "It's amazing how none of them have figured out that we potion them with the tea and just cast a few spells. Most of the time, we just study while they're asleep."
Quietly giggling, Hermione started making her way to the portrait hole, holding onto Harry's arm. Leaning in, she whispered, "we won't be studying tonight. I need to feel your hands on me without a silly robe in the way."
Surprised laughter filled the corridor as Harry picked Hermione up and ran, carrying her to the unused classroom.
This is a plot bunny that visited me while I was reviewing several old plot ideas that PaxHumana and I had noted down. Once again, his efforts as a beta reader have proven invaluable to me.
Often, many of my ideas are good for little more than a single scene or don't fit the "I have an Idea, Harry" theme causing me to note them down then effectively abandon them. It is not that they don't interest me (I wouldn't come up with them otherwise) but as widely varied as they are I'm not sure how to handle their publishing as I complete them. Here is where I would like the opinion of my readers:
Many of you have followed or favorited this story specifically, and some have done so for me as an author. I greatly appreciate your patronage but wonder if you would prefer I A) generalize "I have an Idea, Harry" to be a general drabble collection, B) leave this one alone and stick with the theme while creating a second general drabble collection, C) find relating themes and create several drabble collections (similar to what I have done here with the "I have an Idea, Harry" line), or D) publish them individually as one-shots?
These are four options that I have come up with, but I'm not restricting the future of my drabble writing to those four. I do have several other ideas that are more conducive to longer stories (20k minimum) in the works, but this request for input is purely focused on these shorter drabbles.
Thank you for taking the time to read and, hopefully, provide feedback on my work.