Disclaimer:Harry Potter is the property of J.K. Rowling. I’m making no profit from this story.
“What do you mean you lost it?!” Fred demanded. “This won’t work without it.”
“Shhh, I’ve got it here somewhere,” George replied, continuing to search the innumerable pockets in his robe. It was very handy to have hundreds of pockets, but most annoying when you couldn’t find the right pocket.
“Hurry up, he’s going to be out of the shower soon. If he catches us, it’ll be ruined!”
“I know. We’ve been waiting too long for revenge to blow this now.”
“I’d still like to know how he managed to transport us completely starkers into The Three Broomsticks. It was brilliant, but I never touched anything suspicious.”
“Never fear, brother mine, this will be perfect. Ah, here it is,” George brandished a tiny bottle of crimson liquid.
“Is that all that’s left?” Fred asked.
“Well, we had to use some when we made that animated doll for the prank at Christmas.”
“Yes, well, we have to be careful. Who knows when we’ll be able to get more, and it’s a goldmine for playing pranks on Harry.”
George snorted. “You bet it is. Playing pranks on Harry is practically more fun than annoying Snape. Do you have the incantation ready?”
“Take Is Cruor, Ut Strenuus Key. Transporto Gero Ut Link Est Infractus. Operor Non Sino Transport. Activus, Portus,” Fred recited, as George added the blood to the robe. The bloodstained cloth glowed brightly until the incantation was finished. Then the robe flashed and the stain disappeared. “Okay, do your bit.”
“Supellex Supellectilis Infitialis Foveo.” George swirled the tip of his wand three times to the right and twice to the left before snapping his wrist and touching his wand to the robes. Nothing happened.
“You pillock! I knew I shouldn’t have left that to your poxy spellwork,” Fred whispered furiously.
“Just give me a second. This part is way harder than your part.”
“Idiot,” Fred replied.
“Shut up, shut up, shut up, I need to concentrate.” George repeated the spell, this time lifting his wand slightly higher before snapping his wrist and touching it to the robe. The robe flashed brightly before disappearing and then reappearing. “Ah, that’s got it.”
Fred chortled. “This is going to be perfect.”
“Quiet, the water’s turned off,” George said only just loud enough to be heard. “Quick, hide!”
“Shhh!” Fred cautioned as he and George scrambled into Harry’s wardrobe.
George lay sideways in the wardrobe so that both could see out the door, and watched as a rather naked Boy-Who-Lived emerged from his bathroom. “Merlin, I’d kill for a camera right now, we could make a bloody fortune.”
They watched as Harry’s eyes lifted and scanned the room. Fred kicked George for attracting Harry’s attention. Harry went back to getting dressed. He was combing his hair and had not yet put on his robes when they heard Ron pound on the door. “Harry, let’s go, mate!”
“In a minute,” Harry replied.
Harry threw his robes on, and made one more vain attempt to fix his hair.
“Okay, when they leave, you grab the Map and Cloak; I’ll get the windows.”
“This is going to be classic.” Fred giggled inanely, followed moments later by George.
“Shhh!” they whispered at each other.
When George got back from applying the Weasley brothers’ patented locking charm to all the doors and windows, Fred was still fishing around in Harry’s trunk. “Got them!” Fred brandished the Marauders’ Map and Harry’s shimmering Invisibility Cloak.
Ginny was not happy. Time seemed to be passing extra slowly today.
It was Saturday—three days since the Headmistress had called Ginny into her office. People might say that Ginny had been anxious to see Harry. Idiots, who had never met Ginny, might say that for example. Anybody who had actually seen Ginny Weasley in the last month knew she was driving the entire castle mad with her need to see him.
Ginny had never considered the possibility that Harry might defeat Voldemort and she still wouldn’t be allowed to see him. As Harry wasn’t a student, he was not allowed on Hogwarts grounds and in the more than a month since he’d finally nailed Voldemort’s coffin shut, the only contact she’d had were just three long letters from him. They were very nice letters, Ginny did not want to disparage the letters, but she desperately needed to feel that Harry was indeed okay—to see that he wasn’t brooding, or upset, or somehow damaged from the hell he’d been through.
There had been a general hope in the castle that the staff might lift the ban on Hogsmeade weekends for the rest of the year, now that Voldemort was dead. But as it was so late in term, the professors had not wanted the OWL and NEWT students to be distracted by a day of freedom. This was partly because the testing period had to be extended, after an attack on the Department of Magical Education. Many of the testers had been killed, and consequently the examinations would take twice as long as usual. Why Voldemort chose to attack the Department of Magical Education was beyond Ginny, but she chose to take it as a personal affront that Wilkie Twycross, the only certified Apparition instructor in all of Great Britain, had been killed. As a result, she would not be getting her Apparition license this summer when she turned seventeen. Even if she had managed to sneak out of the castle grounds, she would have been hard pressed to get to Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Muggle flat in the Lambeth section of London. She didn’t know exactly where it was, and according to Harry’s letters, it wasn’t the kind of neighborhood where one goes for a stroll looking for an address.
Wednesday morning at breakfast the Headmistress had stopped at the Gryffindor table and asked Ginny to drop by her office during Ginny’s free hour after Charms. She felt rather bad for staring in shock at Professor McGonagall when she informed her that Harry would be visiting the school on Saturday, and that, if she wished, Ginny could have two hours to spend with Harry before he needed to leave the grounds. Harry just had to finish his meeting with the Headmistress first. Her response was somewhat unexpected by both—she had burst into tears and nearly tackled Professor McGonagall in a hug.
She hoped the points she had lost for Gryffindor wouldn’t cost them the House Cup. It would be a sad day if they lost because of a mistimed hug. But she would have to worry about that later. Today was Saturday and Harry was ten minutes late. Ginny was beginning to worry. This was on top of the regular worry that she always felt as a result of not having seen Harry in almost a year.
Harry was supposed to meet with McGonagall from one to two, and after the meeting she would be called, but if Harry was late that might mean she would get less time with him afterwards. She wasn’t sure she could forgive him for that. Where was he?
Unconsciously, she began pacing. Then, glancing down from the window in the Gryffindor common room, she saw three tiny figures moving near the gate. He was really here. She took a half dozen steps towards the portrait hole before remembering she had to wait until after his meeting with McGonagall. It would be unbearable to see him, and touch him, and then have to wait another hour to really talk to him. She had decided yesterday that she wouldn’t greet him when he arrived, but wait until she was called. Ginny stopped breathing momentarily and then gasped for air as Harry, Hermione, and her brother disappeared around the front of the castle. How would she make it another hour?
“Ginny would you mind not pacing?”
“Huh?” Ginny asked.
“Would you mind not pacing? It’s obnoxious to keep wandering back and forth in front of our table,” Neville replied.
“Oh right, sorry.”
Neville was studying with Ginny’s roommate Agnes. Well, it might be a stretch to call it studying; they appeared to mostly be studying each other. They had been going out officially for three months now.
“Is that really true?” Agnes asked.
“It sure is, and it can also be used to clear up acne, I had to use it on mine last year. Haven’t had a problem with it since.”
“That’s amazing,” Agnes gushed.
“Stink Sap,” Neville said succinctly. “Never doubt its usefulness.”
“You’re so brilliant,” Agnes simpered.
Ginny wanted to retch, she really did. She loved Neville, but how he could continually natter on about plants was beyond her. Who cared? Now that they were going out, Agnes’s hanging on his every word seemed only to encourage him. It was impossibly dreadful, listening to him droning on about this boring plant, or that bit of fungus. He seemed to get worse about it every year.
“Ginny?” A third year named Margo tapped on her shoulder.
“The Headmistress says you have a visitor waiting in the Entrance Hall. It’s Harry!” the girl nearly shouted.
Ginny ran down the corridor, knowing full well that running was not permitted inside the castle, but it was almost twenty after two and she couldn’t waste another minute of her time with Harry. She’d made it down two floors but had to get halfway across the castle to the next set of moving staircases to the entrance.
“Ms. Weasley, no running in the corridors! Ten points from Gryffindor.”
“Bollocks!” Ginny muttered. She’d lost another ten points—that was thirty five this week!
“Sorry, Professor Vector,” Ginny said, turning briefly to the older woman.
“I’ll take another five for your vulgarity.”
Ginny had to bite her tongue to keep from repeating the swearing. She heard giggling behind her, but didn’t have time to look.
“I’m really sorry, Professor. I’m just…it’s…Harry’s downstairs.”
Professor Vector gave her a knowing smile and nodded. “You may go, Ms. Weasley.”
Ginny smiled gratefully and walked away as fast as legally allowed. It took her several more minutes to reach the Entrance Hall.
There he was! His back was turned to her, but his perfectly messy black hair was unmistakable. Finally. Finally. Finally! She brushed through the entry where Harry was talking amicably with someone and grabbed his shoulder, turning him so she could fling her arms around his neck, and pull his head down into a desperate kiss.
She had had not so much as a peck on the cheek since the morning of Dumbledore’s funeral, and her need was overpowering. She pressed her lips to his, and clutched his head. Harry seemed briefly surprised, but finally, slowly, his arms found their way around her, and his lips began gently, teasingly, to respond to hers. Her mouth was barely open and his kiss was searing and sultry. This, she thought, was what it was like to kiss the person you’re meant to be with.
“Twenty points from Gryffindor, Ms. Weasley. That is not appropriate behavior for this castle.” She heard the voice of McGonagall chastise her.
She whimpered slightly, and knew she had to break the kiss. She’d lost sixty points this week, thirty five of them just today. Against her will, she pulled back slightly and examined him. He looked relaxed and happy; well really, he just looked delicious.
“Hi, Harry,” she said sheepishly as she unwrapped her arms from his neck and took a step back.
He grinned widely at her, but as soon as her hand ceased touching his there was a flash, and he disappeared!
Ginny looked around frantically. “What was that?” she screamed.
She turned and looked at Professor McGonagall, but the Headmistress had a confused expression on her face. Ron and Hermione looked equally confused.
“What was that?” she repeated, but there was no answer. That was until, once again, she heard laughter, and then she’d had enough.
“Accio Invisibility Cloak,” Ginny called, making the summoning motion with her wand. Her twin brothers became instantly visible on the other side of the Entrance Hall, and they could contain their laughter no longer.
“Oh, man, I wish we could see Harry right now,” the one on the left chortled.
“I bet his face is priceless,” the other snorted.
“He knows better than to start a prank war with us now, I’ll bet.”
“What have you two idiots done?” Ginny demanded. “Where’s Harry?”
“Well, he’s having a little time alone to consider why he thought it was a good idea to send us starkers into The Three Broomsticks,” the one on the right—she thought it was Fred—said between laughs.
“You two do realize that I’m going to kill you, don’t you?” Ginny growled.
The laughing stopped instantly. The one she thought was George gulped visibly. “Hey, short stack, it’s just a lark, you know. Harry’s been giving as good as he gets. We had to uphold the family honor.”
“How dare you! I haven’t seen him since Bill’s wedding. I’ve been waiting for so long, and now…now, it’s ruined.” Her eyes began to water but she fought back the tears. “Don’t you two imbeciles understand how hard this last year has been? Do you know what it’s like being stuck in this castle for the last year, completely cut off from my family and the people I love most? I’ve been miserable, and finally, finally I get a chance to see Harry, and don’t have to pretend that I don’t care…” Ginny trailed off, her anger making it difficult to speak.
“I can’t stand it any longer, get him back here right now!” Ginny brandished her wand menacingly at the twin on the right.
“He’ll be back,” the twin on the left said.
“Yeah you should thank us,” the other added.
“Why?” Ginny’s eyes narrowed.
“-- when he does come back--”
“-- he’ll be wearing--”
“-- nothing but his pants!” The two of them started chortling again, and Ginny lost it.
“Muci Vespertilionida!” Ginny slashed her wand across first one and then the other. Their eyes bulged comically as they realized what was about to happen.
“Ms. Weasley!” McGonagall interjected. “However much they deserve it, I cannot allow you to cast hexes on people in my school.”
Ginny smirked as their noses deformed, and sticky green bats burst forth flapping and scratching at her brothers. Ron was wincing and Hermione had a shocked look on her face.
“I’m sorry, Professor, but if Harry doesn’t make it back before dinner starts, I might not get to see him until I return to London, and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to make it!”
“I understand your reasons, Ms. Weasley, but you should allow the staff to handle this.” Professor McGonagall walked over to the stricken young men, each holding their hands over their eyes to keep from being blinded, and tapped them on their noses with her wand, causing the bats to turn back into their bogey form. Everyone in the entrance save Professor McGonagall was shocked, standing with their mouths agape. So far as any of them knew, there was no counter curse to the Bat-Bogey Hex. Professor McGonagall studied them all for a moment.
“What? I taught Transfiguration at this school for more than thirty years, you thought I couldn’t reverse a mild Transfiguration hex?” McGonagall asked huffily.
She turned to the twins, their faces covered in just regular non-bat bogeys. “Now Messrs. Weasley, I know you were not invited here today. Would you mind telling me how you came to be in my castle?”
“Erm…” The twins exchanged a look. “We’d prefer not,” they replied.
“Well, then, I’m afraid I must report this intrusion to the Auror office in Hogsmeade. Unwelcome guests are not permitted on the Hogwarts grounds.”
Ginny laughed. “Now you’ve done it.”
“Don’t worry, short stack, we always have an escape plan!” George grinned deviously. Fred dropped something on the ground and there was a loud bang as the entry hall filled with a dense grey mist. Ginny heard McGonagall and Hermione casting charms to clear the air, but by the time she could see anything again, both the twins and the Invisibility Cloak were gone.
Harry found himself in the middle of a field. His wand was out and he was crouched on the ground, almost before he’d finished appearing. There was a house in the distance and trees on the other side, but he had no clue where he was. He sighed. Was this a Death Eater trap? Or, more likely, was this some stupid prank of the twins? He’d just got the most wonderful and unexpected kiss from Ginny, a kiss he’d been fighting for all year. He’d been given two hours with Ginny by Professor McGonagall and the clock was ticking.
He attempted to Apparate to the gates of Hogwarts, but found that he couldn’t.
“He,y mister! How did you get here?” a voice asked.
Harry turned around to find a young boy. He really didn’t need this today. “I walked,” Harry replied.
The boy gave him a disbelieving and disgusted look. “No, you didn’t. I was lying in the grass over there, and you weren’t here one minute and then you just appeared from nowhere. It was magic!”
“No, no,” Harry sputtered. “There’s no such thing as magic.”
“Then how did you appear from nowhere?” the boy asked.
“Erm…would you believe that I’m an alien here to study Earth, and my ship just beamed me down?” Harry asked skeptically.
“Wicked! For real, mister?” the boy said in wonder. “How come you look like a person?”
“Oh, well, I’m in disguise. This way I can see how people behave normally. We don’t want people to know we’re studying them.” Never mind the fact that I told you within five seconds of meeting you, Harry thought.
“That’s so cool, I’ve always wanted to meet an alien. What’s your name?”
“Erm…” Harry thought hard. “It’s Air-ee Pot Tahr.”
“Hello, Air-ee Pot Tahr, I’m Brian,” he said extending his hand. After Harry shook it, the boy said, “If you want to fit in around Earth, though, you need to change your glasses. Nobody here would ever wear dorky-looking glasses like those. Oh, and you need to get some trousers and a shirt. Nobody would ever wear whatever that is, except maybe in church.”
“Uh,” Harry replied. He’d always rather liked his glasses. They’d been his first real possession. It had been surprising to learn that letters have definite shapes. He’d quickly learned to read, once the school nurse demanded the Dursleys buy him some glasses. They had, of course, insisted that Harry get the least expensive frames possible, and he’d had them for the last twelve years. He was just thankful that now he could get them perpetually repaired by Hermione.
“So where are you going?” Brian asked him.
“I need to find somewhere I can learn about history. Do you have a place with a lot of books here?”
“You might find something like that in Douglas.”
“Can you point me in the right direction?”
“It’s that way.” Brian pointed. “But it’s too far to walk.”
“Thanks. Farewell, Brian.” Harry waved.
“Goodbye Air-ee Pot Tahr. Come back and visit sometime.” Brian waved enthusiastically.
Harry started walking in the direction of town. He hopped over several short stone walls and finally reached a small, unpaved country lane. He stuck out his wand and waited.
After a few minutes he gave up and started down the lane. He’d been walking for almost half an hour when he reached a large road. He’d been trying to Apparate every ten minutes as he walked, but so far he couldn’t get out of wherever this was.
Finally deciding that an Anti-Apparition ward big enough to cover this much area—somewhere he’d never even heard of—was unlikely, Harry started casting revealing spells on himself. He glowed completely blue. He was covered in magic. Swearing loudly, he cast Finite Incantatem all over himself, but it had no effect. More revealing spells showed him to be still highly enchanted. He glanced at his watch. He only had thirty five minutes before his time with Ginny was over. He emptied his pockets, but still he was glowing, and finally he removed his robes. Blushing by the side of the road, even though nobody could see him standing there in just his pants, he cast the revealing spell once more, and found himself to be enchantment free.
Harry found the nearest two things he could, a pair of stones, and Transfigured himself a very uncomfortable pair of trousers and a shirt, and, after putting them on, Apparated to the gates of Hogwarts. The gate, thankfully, still allowed him to pass and he sprinted toward the castle.
When he was within sight of the entrance, a small, redheaded figure sprinted towards him and he couldn’t help smiling. He captured her in an embrace as she flung herself hard into his chest.
“I didn’t think you were going to make it back,” Ginny whimpered against his chest.
“I had to find a way! I needed to hold you. I didn’t want to wait another month.”
“Thanks for coming back; I’m going to kill Fred and George.”
“I’ll get them back,” Harry replied.
Harry heard the incantation from behind him, two voices calling, “Finite Incantatem.” Harry cast two Petrificus Totallus spells at a seemingly unoccupied space of land before looking down at himself, realizing once again that he was wearing nothing but his pants. He blushed slightly under Ginny’s hungry gaze, before he heard cheering from the castle. Harry and Ginny looked up toward Hogwarts and all along the front were students making their way to the Great Hall for dinner. Students were waving and cheering from the parapets and windows. Harry’s blush got much deeper and he gulped. He walked over to the area where he’d cast the Petrifcation spell and removed his Invisibility Cloak from Fred and George, slipping it over his own body until just his floating head remained.
Fred and George stood frozen in mid-snicker.
“You want to take a walk?” the mostly invisible Harry asked Ginny.
Ginny glanced up at the faces at the castle all watching them. “Yeah, I’d like that. What about them?”
Harry erected a small bubble around the twins so that nobody could touch them. “They can just sit like that until we get back.”
The two of them walked around the edge of the lake until they were hidden by a grove of trees. They kissed a little and talked a little, but time was against them.
“Will you come to collect me at platform nine and three quarters?” Ginny asked.
“Wouldn’t miss it,” Harry replied. “And McGonagall has let us re-enroll for next year so that we can finish school with you.”
“I can’t believe you’re going to be here for my seventh year!” Ginny bounced excitedly.
Harry brought her into a hug, her body disappearing as well, so they were just two disembodied heads. “I love you, Ginny, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“I love you, too.” She kissed him again, groaning as she pulled away. “I wish you didn’t have to leave.”
Harry grinned. “I’m not staying at the Dursleys’ this summer and I have my Apparition license. I’m going to take you out so many times you’ll be sick of me by the start of next term.”
Ginny kissed him fiercely. “Not bloody likely,” she gasped as she pulled back.
“I better go.”
“Yes, you’d better.” She sighed.
Thirty minutes later Fred and George landed completely starkers in the center of the pitch at Stamford Bridge during a Chelsea vs. Liverpool match. The sellout crowd of just over 42,000 roared as they appeared and they saw security headed towards them, running at full speed.