A/N: This story takes place approximately 16 months after the events of Phoenix.
Harry watched with a languid smile as Ginny leaned away from him and re-fastened the important buttons on her shirt. With a happy sigh, she slid off his lap, twisted sinuously, and curled neatly beside him on the sofa. His left arm fell into its place around her.
"You have the best ideas," he said, his voice a low rumble.
"Thank you. I'm enjoying it myself."
Harry quirked an eyebrow. "We're not done?"
"You never know," she said, smiling up at him.
They sat quietly for a while, letting their pulses and their hormones settle. It was after midnight, and they were alone in the common room. They had been much more restrained when others had been present, but even then they had known that no-one would try to stop them. The lingering disfigurement of Harry's face and the glittering ring on Ginny's finger were enough to deter everyone else in the tower. Once, early in the year, an enterprising sixth-year prefect had attempted to send them to bed at midnight, and the growing legend of Ginny's quick and decisive response ensured that absolutely no-one disturbed them again. Even the Head Girl and the seventh-year boys' prefect, who had proved their courage beyond all possible doubt, knew better than to bother Harry and Ginny when they were absorbed with each other.
"We really should take more breaks," Ginny said. "N.E.W.T.s are important, but I feel like this is the first time we've spoken in months."
Harry grunted. "Try telling Hermione that."
With less than two months before they sat their N.E.W.T.s, Hermione had become an absolute terror. Harry appreciated her commanding attitude in many ways, but as usual she was simply much more dedicated than anyone else. Even Ginny, who was more studious than he had ever been, admitted that Hermione did not know when to stop.
Harry's musings were interrupted when Ginny straightened abruptly. She twisted to face him, bracing her hands on the sofa beneath them, and only the radiant excitement in her eyes managed to keep his attention away from the fascinating curves of her body. "I have an idea!" she said.
He had no clue what the idea was, but he was already in favour. "Oh?"
"We need to do more snogging," she said, nodding firmly.
"Sounds rough," he said, "but I'm up for it. What else?" He tilted his head in a way that was becoming meaningful between them.
The curve of her pink lips was everything he could have asked for. "You never know," she repeated. "But we'll start with snogging."
"What's the plan, then?" Harry asked. She clearly had a plan, and he was definitely in favour.
"I think we should try snogging in different ways."
Harry blinked. "What? Are there methods or something? Schools of thought?"
"No, I mean… directions, for example. Look." She sat up, straddled him again so that she faced him squarely, and leaned forward to kiss him very thoroughly.
"Oh, I see. I definitely see," Harry said breathlessly when she released him.
"And now this." Ginny glanced quickly around the sofa and then stood up. She walked around the end, leaned over the plush arm, and kissed him again with her head almost sideways compared to his. "Different directions, right? Straight on, and at an angle. It feels different."
"All right, I get that."
"So we find new ways to snog every time. Never the same one twice." She dropped down into his lap again, sitting sideways.
Harry thought for a moment and then grinned. "You're on. But I have a slight modification."
"Oh?" she asked, but her mischievous grin was the only answer he needed.
"I think we should always do it someplace forbidden," Harry said with mock seriousness. "I haven't broken nearly enough rules this year. It feels unnatural."
"So you want to sneak into broom cupboards or something?" She shook her head. "I really thought you had more style than that, Harry."
"Who said anything about broom cupboards? We're not fourth-years, and that's not nearly creative enough. I was thinking of… oh, I don't know… maybe on Flitwick's desk or something."
Ginny giggled. "That is more creative."
"And someplace different every time," Harry added. "If we're going to do it, let's do it right."
"Okay. That's two directions and one location for tonight. I suppose it's not strictly forbidden to snog in the common room, but it's close enough to get us started."
Harry tried his best to look solemn. "The longer we do it, the more likely it is to be against the rules, I'd say."
Ginny lay back, pulling him down on top of her on the sofa.
By the fifth night of their 'experiment,' as Harry and Ginny came to call it, they had exhausted the simplest locations — including Flitwick's desk — and the usual positions for snogging. When everyone else had gone to bed that evening, Harry went to his trunk and returned with the Nimbus Two Thousand that Professor McGonagall had given him, his Invisibility Cloak, and the Marauder's Map. After ensuring that they knew where the various professors and prefects were, they opened the common room window, mounted the broom, and covered themselves carefully in the Cloak. A few minutes later, they landed atop the tower containing the Headmistress's office.
The top of the tower was a flat expanse of stone surrounded by battlements and broken only by a heavy wooden trapdoor in the centre. For a moment, painful memories attempted to swarm Harry's mind, but Ginny squeezed his hand, and the dark thoughts fled. She pulled him around until his back was to the Astronomy Tower, and then she reached up to kiss him.
"We've done that one already," he said when she dropped back onto her heels.
Ginny grinned and shrugged. "That was just for fun. Up you get." She stepped back out of his arms and watched him expectantly.
Harry sighed. "How did I manage to wind up on this end, again?"
"Careful planning on my part. Up!"
He set the Invisibility Cloak aside, climbed back onto his Nimbus, and rose a few feet in the air. Once he was in position, he waited as she cast a Cushioning Charm on the stones below. Then he carefully turned sideways on his broom so that he was facing away from her. Being very careful and moving very slowly to keep the broom from drifting, he shifted until the broomstick rested at the back of his knees. With a convulsive sort of here-goes-nothing motion, he let his hands and his weight fall away from the broom, and he ended up hanging upside-down with his legs hooked firmly over the Nimbus.
"Thanks loads," Harry said, rolling his eyes as blood rushed into his head. "C'mere."
His head was only a few feet off of the ground, so Ginny stepped forward and kneeled. After a bit of adjustment on her part, their faces were level, and she leaned forward to kiss him.
Harry braced his hands on her shoulders, and she wove her fingers into his dangling hair. Within a few seconds, he had lost himself in the kiss. With her lips moving gently against his — even at such a strange angle — he was able to forget that he was dangling from a broom on top of a tower in the middle of the night. He forgot about the blood rushing to his head and the broom handle digging into the backs of his knees. For a few moments, kissing Ginny was the only thing that mattered in the world. Their tongues intertwined in different ways when one of them was inverted, and the new sensations were electrifying.
She pulled away, but only far enough to separate their mouths. She kept her shoulders steady under his hands. "Still good?" she asked.
He was starting to feel very short of breath, but he smiled. "Still good. You?"
"It's fun not having to worry about our noses," Ginny said. "You need to shave your chin, though."
"Noted. Can I get down?"
"Yep." She kissed his nose lightly and backed away. Harry swung his body up and caught the broomstick in both hands, and then he relaxed his knees. His legs slid free, and his feet found the top of the tower. Straightening, he lowered the broom, and Ginny pushed her way under his left arm to support him while his blood redistributed itself.
"Thanks," Harry said, squeezing her shoulders affectionately.
Ginny looked curiously around the top of the tower. "Do you suppose she has a mirror or something to keep an eye on this place?"
Harry snorted. "If she does, we'll know about it very soon. Let's get out of here."
By the eleventh night, they had settled into a sort of routine of the un-routine. Harry used the Marauder's Map to find them places to snog, and Ginny seemed to have an endless list of different positions she wanted to try.
That night, they sneaked out of the common room under the Invisibility Cloak and made their way to a part of the castle that neither of them had ever visited. The map provided several very helpful passwords, and half an hour later they crept inside a darkened suite of rooms.
Harry pulled the cloak off of them and lit his wand. "Wow."
He had expected the rooms to be dusty, at the very least, and he would not have been surprised to find them completely empty. Instead, the small flat was immaculate and furnished with serviceable furniture. Brand new candles rested in sconces and atop candelabras, and wood waited in the fireplace.
"Where are we?" Ginny asked in a hushed voice.
"Unused professor's quarters," Harry muttered, extinguishing his wand and using it to light the candles.
She spun to face him, her eyes wide with shock and glittering with excitement. "You're joking!"
"Nope," he said, grinning. "Vector's rooms are just through that wall," he pointed to his left, "and Slughorn's are over there. This suite has been completely unoccupied for the last week. I reckon it's what Trelawney or Firenze would use if they had normal rooms."
"Told you'd I'd found a good one for tonight."
Ginny smiled at him. "You most certainly did. Can you imagine if everyone knew about this place?"
Harry snorted. "There'd be a waiting list as long as your arm." He waited a few moments, watching her peer around the three-room suite. When she wandered into the bedroom — which was as neatly made as everything else — he followed her. "Well?" he asked at last.
She was still gazing around the room, obviously fascinated. "What?"
"Your part, Gin," he said, leaning against the doorframe.
"Oh, right." Ginny glanced around and then walked over to a low table in a seating area near the bed. She tested it with her hand before climbing up to stand on it. Then she held her arms out to him invitingly.
Harry stepped up to her and found his eyes level with her collarbone. His arms fit comfortably around her hips. "Just this?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said, grinning down at him. "It finally occurred to me that for all the odd things we've tried, we've never found out what it would be like if I were simply taller than you. So here we are."
"Fair enough." Harry moved closer to her and tilted his head back, letting his arms rest on the curve of her bum. Ginny leaned down, her hands at the back of his neck.
Snogging felt very different as the shorter person. Even when Harry moved up to his tip-toes, as Ginny often did, he felt the odd tension of keeping his neck arched as he moved his lips and tongue. Still, it was not too difficult to adapt, and within a minute they were kissing as enthusiastically as ever. Harry took advantage of his position to move his lips to her neck, across the hollow at the base of her throat, and then down the opened collar of her uniform shirt.
"I see some advantages to this position," he said as his mouth brushed the first swell of her chest. He let his hands slide further down her back, gently kneading her soft flesh.
Ginny clenched her hands in his hair, holding him close. "Yeah," she whispered. "I also see some advantages to this location." With a hand on each of his shoulders, she held him steady, gave him a moment's warning, and then leapt down into his arms. Her strong legs wrapped around his waist, and he continued to caress her bottom as he supported her weight. Harry stumbled backwards a few steps until his legs found the bed.
An hour later, they crept out of the room. Among other things, they had explored several different positions for snogging — though they had not kept track at the time — and they had most definitely found a forbidden location. They promised each other they would revisit it soon.
By the eighteenth night of the experiment, Harry and Ginny were becoming truly creative in their arrangements. They had already snogged in various locations in the castle and on the grounds, including one memorable evening in the cold water of the lake. Ginny had found truly bizarre ways to make their lips meet, culminating in a tandem broom ride around the battlements during which they snogged over Ginny's shoulder while Harry flew.
Thus, they had proceeded to very daring locations and rather difficult positions. That night, Harry had decided to try the Great Hall itself, which was quite risky given all of the patrolling traffic in the Entrance Hall nearby. Similarly desperate, Ginny said they had to find a way to kiss while both of them — not just one — were upside-down.
Harry was up to the challenge. He taught Ginny the Levicorpus spell, which soon had him dangling head-down above the high table. Red-faced and laughing, he then cast the charm repeatedly on her until she wound up in the right position, hanging less than a foot away and facing more-or-less in his direction.
Giggling, Ginny grabbed the front of Harry's shirt with one hand and pulled herself to him. Wrapped in each others' arms, it was not difficult to remain relatively still, and they began their experiment in earnest.
Harry found it easy and familiar to kiss Ginny in that position. Their heads were both oriented normally, and they really only had to breathe a bit more often. In fact, the most unusual feeling was Ginny's hair. Instead of a silken veil cascading down her back and across his arms, it hung below them, and Harry found that he missed the soft, sweet-smelling tresses.
He forgot about her hair when Ginny slid her delicate hands into the back of his trousers. When fabric brushed against his hands where they rested on her waist, Harry realised that Ginny had stopped holding her skirt 'down'. He did not mind in the least. He let his hands wander over her exposed hips, bum, and thighs, and when he un-tucked her shirt, it also slid up her body to give him access to her waist and her back.
When he pushed the shirt down a bit further to uncover her breasts, however, Ginny started and pulled her hands out of his trousers. Her face was scarlet already, but Harry saw the pink tinge of a blush spreading down her chest. "Err… bit visible, aren't we?" she asked, pushing her skirt back into its usual position.
He felt more heat rush into his face and ears, and he hastily re-tucked her shirt for her. "Sorry."
"It's okay," she said, grinning. "Shall we get down?"
"Yeah," Harry said. "Hang on."
He fished his wand out of his pocket and pointed it at her. Liberacorpus! he thought with the gentlest flick of his wrist.
Slowly and sedately, Ginny turned in mid-air and sank back onto her feet. When she was stable, she used the same charm to lower him gently to the ground.
They stood for a moment, smiling sheepishly as their dizziness faded. "Well," Ginny said eventually, "I'd say that position was a rousing success." Her head was tilted to one side, and her eyes sparkled with mirth.
"Err… yes. Yes, it was," Harry said. "Got a bit carried away, is all."
"I just didn't fancy showing my knickers to the Fat Friar if he happened along." Her grin became absolutely wicked. "Other than that, I didn't mind at all, so it's probably a good thing we stopped."
He snorted softly. "Yeah. Another minute or two, and…" Harry trailed off into a meaningful shrug.
"Now there's an experiment."
Ginny picked up the Invisibility Cloak from the nearest table. "Come on, let's go."
Harry took her hand, and they walked back towards the main doors. After listening carefully for a moment, he eased one of them open. Ginny pulled the Cloak over them both, but just as they were about to step out into the Entrance Hall, they heard footsteps and voices approaching. Harry and Ginny backed out of the doorway and froze, hoping no-one would notice that the door was ajar.
The footsteps stopped, and there was no sound for a few moments. "Aren't we supposed to be patrolling?" Ron asked in a low voice.
"There's no rule that we can't make a few stops along the way," Hermione said breathily.
"Oh, I'm not objecting," Ron said. "I just wanted to clarify that we're allowed to stop and break a rule while patrolling the castle looking for rule-breakers."
"We are," Hermione said firmly. "Come on."
The footsteps sounded again, and a moment later Ron and Hermione passed in front of the doors to the Great Hall. Ron had his arm around Hermione's waist, and she was leaning her head against his shoulder as they walked. Harry did not fight his smile. Even after so many months, he was always thrilled to see his best friends healthy and whole.
When the sound of the two prefects' passing had faded, Ginny released a loud breath. "Merlin, that was close. If they'd come by even two minutes ago…"
Harry nodded. "And we're lucky they were too wrapped up in each other to notice the door."
Ginny grinned mischievously. "The irony is that the experiment was her idea."
"Yeah." She pulled the Invisibility Cloak off of them again, allowing for easier conversation, and smoothed her hair. "Hermione told me one night that she thought it would be fun to see how many different ways there are to snog. I couldn't resist finding out."
"And here I thought we were being clever all by ourselves."
"We added plenty of our own ideas," Ginny said firmly. "And she was never going to go through with it."
Harry glanced back towards the entrance hall and smirked. "I dunno. From the sound of things, she was working on snogging while walking. That's pretty advanced."
Ginny waved her hand dismissively. "We did that in the first week." She sighed and looked up at Harry with a wistful expression. "I think it might be time to end the experiment, Harry. If we keep on like this, we're either going to end up in the hospital wing, or we're going to cause a dreadful scandal and end up in detention for the rest of the term."
"You're probably right," he said. "That's a bit more rule-breaking than I really had in mind."
She reached up and stroked his disfigured cheek before threading her fingers into his hair. "That doesn't mean we can't keep taking breaks from our revision, of course."
"Of course," Harry said, grinning. "We can just enjoy our newfound knowledge rather than expanding it." He leaned down and kissed her quite thoroughly. "So, would you say our experiments were successful?"
Ginny slid her arms down his chest and around his back, pressing their bodies together. "Very much so, Mr. Potter. You?"
Harry knew just what she wanted. He kissed her again and said, "Extremely successful, Future-Mrs.-Potter."
Her joyful smile took his breath away, as it always did. "I love you, Harry," she whispered.
"I love you, too, Ginny," he said. Grinning against her lips, he added, "I'm amazed this hasn't even cost us any house points."
"I'm sure we'll manage it another time."
"Who said we're done with this time?" Harry closed the last centimetre between their lips, and they spent some quality time exploring the first and best way to snog. They never noticed when the door to the Great Hall swung silently closed.