Ginny knew there was something wrong from the moment she awoke the
first morning of classes. Her blankets were twisted around her body and
her face was hot and sweaty. Then, as she realized where she was, and
that Hogwarts was still quite safe, Ginny allowed herself to relax. Her
dream left her feeling unsettled, however. She carefully extracted
herself from the comforter-cocoon wrapped around her legs and quietly
padded over to the window sill for a glass of water. She made an effort
to be quiet, lest her roommates question her early-morning wakefulness.
Sipping the cool liquid, Ginny tried to rationalize her dream. Harry hadn't been taken by Voldemort again. He was safe in his bed in the boys' dormitories and would be at breakfast that morning. But the fear did not diminish.
was a dream she had had a few times since her bond with Harry had
solidified. The details changed from dream to dream, but it always
involved Tom Riddle and ended with Harry being taken away from her
while she was powerless to stop Riddle.
With an inward sigh,
Ginny set her glass down, found her well-worn pink slippers, slipped on
her too-small dressing gown and shuffled out of her room.
Arriving downstairs, Ginny knew she was wrong in an instant. Harry was not asleep in his bed. He was staring at the long-dead embers in the fireplace of the common room.
sleep?" she asked as she sank down on the cushion next to him. The
faded red velvet was cold and Ginny shivered, wishing the fire was lit.
Harry looked up and shook his head. "You?"
dreams. I've all but forgotten what they were about, though," she lied,
not wanting to bother him with her silly fears. Then with another
shiver, she mournfully turned to watch the dead fire as if it were
still burning. "I'm cold."
Harry's responded exactly as she
had expected, opening an arm in invitation. Ginny sat closer to Harry
and leaned against his warm torso. When he had clamped his arm around
her, she could feel his heat radiating through her gown and pyjamas.
"How can one person be so warm?" she asked.
Ginny felt him shrug and hold her tighter, running his other hand through her hair. "Maybe it's because I just got out of bed?"
"Maybe," she murmured. "But I just woke up and I can't keep an ounce of heat in me."
her toes underneath her legs, she cuddled even closer to Harry, trying
to absorb every bit of the heat his body was producing. Of course, she
would probably cuddle up to him regardless of how cold she was, but
having an excuse made it that much better.
Ginny let out a contented sigh. "This is nice, Harry."
"Yeah," he said, now making lazy circles on her arm with his fingers. "It is."
"Are you scared of what people will think of us?" she asked. "Of what they'll think when they see us together?"
Harry snorted. "No. I'm actually more concerned how you'll be with all of this. I'm not exactly the safest..."
Ginny sat up with a start, breaking out of his grasp. "Harry Potter. Don't you even finish that sentence. We've already had this conversation and you know darn well how I feel about it."
Wide eyes crinkled at their corners. Harry chuckled and pulled her back into his arms. "What I was going to say was, of all the boyfriends you could have, I'm the least safest for your privacy. If my fourth year is any indication, you'll be on the front page of the Prophet by the end of the week."
relaxed and mentally chided herself for jumping to conclusions. "I'm
sorry, Harry. I thought you were going back into the pity-pit again.
Can't be too careful about that, you know."
again. "Right you are, Gin. Thanks for being there to pull me out, but
I promise," he said as his eyes flashed in the dim light. "This year
will be different."
He said it with such conviction that Ginny
had no trouble doubting him. She snaked her arms around him and gave
him a squeeze. "You can bet on it, Harry."
Great Hall seemed livelier than it had at the feast last night. Harry
and Ginny walked into the Hall, their hands linked in a way that still
made Harry feel inexplicably happy. As they were early, they had their
pick of seats and chose the middle of the table, their backs to the
"Excellent," said Ginny as they started to dish up their plates. "Blueberry scones and treacle pudding."
Harry raised an eyebrow. "You eat that for breakfast?"
fork Ginny had been using to stab scones was suddenly in Harry's face.
"One word about my eating habits and you'll be roasting on a spit."
Instinctively slinking away, palms stretched out in submission, Harry said, "No need to get violent."
dropped her arm and turned back to the task of piling food onto her
plate. "You're an idiot when it comes to girls, Harry. But I'm willing
to cut you some slack if you'll study."
Harry swallowed. "I'm not that hopeless, am I?"
spoonful of treacle hovered over her plate, Ginny's arm frozen in the
motion of plopping it onto the already loaded ceramic dish. "Do you
really expect me to answer that?"
Making his best goldfish
impression, Harry's mind floundered for a safe answer. When Ron and
Hermione showed up a few minutes later, he decided that he was better
off letting it slide.
"You get the timetables?" Harry asked Ron as he sat down on the opposite bench.
"Nah," said Ron, filling his own plate faster than Ginny had. "I figure Hermione can handle that one."
next to Ron, Hermione glared at him and promptly hid her half-filled
plate with an ostentatiously coloured book. "The timetables weren't
ready when I went to fetch them," she said, her eyes never leaving her
book. "Professor McGonagall will be handing them out in a moment."
Sure enough, the head of Gryffindor was already walking down the table, giving small rectangular cards to the students.
Divination," exclaimed Ron after he swallowed a mouthful of eggs, with
a morbid look at his own schedule. "First thing on a Monday, too."
clucked her tongue. "You should have switched to Muggle Studies like I
suggested, Ron. Then you wouldn't be taking that...class today."
"But I got an 'O' in Divination, Hermione. I had to sign up for it."
When Hermione didn't respond, Ginny piped in. "What have you got first, Harry?"
of answering, he simply handed the card to her and sighed. Their O.W.L.
results had arrived the day he and Ginny had first kissed under her
house. Harry had been a bit distracted at the time and hadn't given his
letter another thought. After that day followed Ginny's birthday and he
had been in a coma for the rest of that week. It was only after he
became stranded at number four, after he had told her in a round-about
way that he liked her, that he had had an opportunity to read the
"Potions?" Ginny said woefully. "Good luck with that."
said Harry, wondering how in the world he had scored an Outstanding in
that particular subject. Defence and Care of Magical Creatures were one
thing. Even the Excellent he had been awarded in Transfiguration wasn't
too much of a stretch. But Potions?
Harry looked up and caught Hermione's eye. "Thanks, Hermione."
"You're welcome," she said, beaming.
I wouldn't have so much as passed the exam, let alone got an 'O'
without your help. How Ron passed Divination on the other hand...."
"Oi!" Ron said with mock indignance. "Just because I'm good at something none of you are...."
threw a wadded-up paper towel at her brother. "Shut it, Ron. I'm happy
you did so well in the dingbat's class, but you don't have to pretend
to hate it. If you're really good at it, then dive in with both feet.
It's the only way to do it."
Harry and Ginny shared a private smirk. Jumping in with both feet had certainly worked for them.
"They're doing it again, Hermione," Ron said. "Looking at each other."
"Is it a crime to look at my boyfriend,
now?" Ginny asked, snuggling up to Harry. Inside, Harry gave a private
cheer. It was the first time she had ever used that appellation and
Harry decided that he could get used to it.
"I think it's
sweet," Hermione interjected, not giving Ron a chance to respond. Then
she shut her book with a snap and stuffed it into her bag. "We're going
to be late for Potions, Harry."
Ron closed his mouth and sent Hermione an odd look.
Harry got up and gave Ginny's shoulder a squeeze. "See you at lunch, Gin. Good luck with Trelawney, Ron."
Potions classroom was on the bottom floor of the castle and was tucked
away from every other student and teacher. It was dank, dark, and
lifeless there, and Harry couldn't help but think of it as a prison.
Potions Professor breezed into the classroom just as Harry and Hermione
found a seat together near the back. The other students quickly sat as
well and Harry was amused to note that the entire front row was devoid
"As this is the N.E.W.T. level Potions class,"
Snape said as he whipped around to address them. "And seeing as how you
would not be here without having shown extraordinary skill in the art
of potions-making...." Snape's eye bore into Harry and Harry made every
effort to not flinch. "I would hope that you will all display an
equally extraordinary effort in your class this year."
was as greasy as ever, both physically and in the manner with which he
treated his students. Harry slunk down as far as he could in his chair
before Hermione poked him in the side. "Pay attention," she whispered
through the side of her mouth, her eyes never leaving Snape's face.
Harry couldn't focus on Snape, or he would begin to recall all the
times Snape had humiliated him, or all the unfair and mean-spirited
things he had said to Harry. Instead, Harry looked about the room and
realized just how exclusive a club he had joined.
still there, though his two companions Crabbe, and Goyle were not.
Neither was Pansy Parkinson. Instead, there was Blaise Zabini, the
skinny, tow-headed boy that had lived in Draco's shadow for the past
"Today we will be doing a simple potion that even
the luckiest among us could brew." Snape once again cast a withering
stare at Harry while Malfoy let out a small laugh. "Instructions on the
board," he said with a stiff wave of his wand. "You have two hours."
sat at his desk and immediately concentrated on the papers there. Harry
began to unpack his potions' kit with Hermione. "My cauldron or yours?"
Harry asked quietly.
"Yours," Hermione answered. "Mine's still not been cleaned properly since last term."
Hermione sniffed and ducked her head, using a trembling hand to wipe at
her eyes. "What'd I say? I'm sorry," Harry said desperately, trying to
figure out how a dirty cauldron would be cause for tears.
"It's fine," she said shakily. "I'm fine."
finished unpacking her kit, placing her measuring spoons, ladle,
chopping block, knife, pestle and mortar on the table. "Let's just get
this potion brewed."
"Listen, Hermione," Harry said as he
positioned his cauldron on the burner and lit it with his wand. "It's
not fine. I know you well enough to know when something is bothering
you. Is it something I said? I didn't mean to upset you, I...."
sighed and plastered a smile on her face. "When did you become
sensitive?" she asked sardonically. "Ginny's been good for you, hasn't
Unwillingly, Harry grinned at the thought of Ginny. "Yeah," he said. "I guess so."
Harry," Hermione continued as she began chopping thistle roots. "The
last time I used my cauldron was for the Potions O.W.L. Things were so
hectic with studying for the other exams that I didn't get to clean it
properly. Then we went to the Ministry and...Sirius." The last word was
said so quietly that he almost didn't hear it. A fresh wave of tears
spilled down her cheeks and she ducked away again.
smile slipped off his face with that one word. How stupid was he to
assume that he was the only one to feel Sirius' loss? Ginny had already
pointed that out, but here was his best friend, grieving for Sirius
just as much as he had been. The difference, he realised, was that she
hadn't had the chance to talk things out like he had. "Hermione," he
said placing his hand on hers. "I know exactly how you feel."
Hermione blinked rapidly and wiped at her eyes. "Really?" she asked.
"Really," he said, pulling into an awkward one-armed hug. "If you need to talk about it, I think I could help."
wiped her eyes on his robe and pulled back. Snape was giving them an
odd look and stood up. "Let's get working, Harry," Hermione said
quickly. "We'll talk more later."
blood-replenishing potion was quite easy and Harry took courage from
the fact that Snape had only told Harry off once for talking to
Hermione, and not at all for how he was brewing the potion.
At lunch, Harry found his seat next to Ginny and breathed in her pleasant smell to banish the musty ones from the dungeon.
sat down beside Hermione a few minutes later. "Blimey, Harry," he said
as he filled his plate. "Without you in class, Trelawney doesn't have
anyone to kill off in her predictions. I don't think this year's going
to be nearly as exciting as last year."
"With Umbridge gone, we can only hope that there will be less of that sort of excitement," Hermione offered.
Charms certainly wasn't exciting," Ginny said, blowing a loose piece of
hair from her face. "Flitwick's got this mad notion that we need to
know how to enchant Muggle objects."
"Muggle objects?" Hermione asked.
"Dad would be in heaven," remarked Ron, though the large wad of sandwich in his mouth made it tough to decipher.
"I thought you liked Charms," Harry said. "I mean, you beat Hermione's score! How could you not be excited about – OW!"
heel was twisting into Harry's toes and when he finally jerked his foot
free, he slammed it into one of the table legs. "OW!" he said again.
"What'd you do that for?"
Instead of answering however, Ginny simply pinned him with an evil glare. Harry looked at Hermione who was gaping at Ginny.
"You beat my score?" she asked. "Which one? Why didn't you tell me?"
winced and looked slowly over the table. "I, uh – It was the end of
year exam. Professor Flitwick told me when I was in the Hospital Wing
and I totally forgot about it until..."
"She told me at the Burrow," Harry interjected.
"Yes," Ginny said through clenched teeth. "And you were supposed to keep it to yourself."
Harry winced and moved his feet away, bumping into Seamus next to him.
"Sorry," muttered Harry distractedly.
"'S alright," Seamus replied, returning to his conversation with Dean.
"But it's wonderful!" gushed Hermione. "I'm so happy for you."
– You are?" Ginny asked. Even without the link being active at the
moment, Harry could tell that Ginny had not expected that reaction. "I
thought you'd be..."
"Jealous?" Hermione laughed. "Why would I
be jealous about that? Now if you get eleven O.W.L.'s...then we might
have to have a talk. But you should have told me, Ginny."
Ginny exhaled. "I know. I'm sorry for that, but it honestly didn't occur to me at the time."
who had been watching the exchange with mute fascination, gave Harry a
significant look and said, "And I can guess what's been distracting
"Yeah, yeah," Harry said automatically, polishing off
his juice. "Let's get to Transfiguration before McGonagall turns you
into a Puffskein."
"Good morning, sixth years," greeted Professor McGonagall upon entering class.
"Good morning, Professor McGonagall," chorused the class.
shifted in his seat as he sat in between Hermione and Ron. He watched
Hermione flip her book open to the first chapter and position her quill
over a blank piece of parchment. "Welcome to N.E.W.T. level
Transfiguration," McGonagall continued. "As some of you may be aware,
the Ministry has instructed the school to screen all sixth year
students for the potential to become Animagi."
A ripple of
hushed conversation erupted in the normally silent classroom. Their
professor seemed to have anticipated this and let the conversations run
their course before continuing.
"The test is straightforward
and will be administered to each person in turn. Do not be alarmed if
you don't demonstrate ability at this time. While it is rare for a
witch or wizard to develop the skill to become an Animagus after their
seventeenth birthday, it has been known to happen.
"While I am
administering the test, the rest of you will be outlining the first
chapter in your books on the Animagus in preparation for human
transfiguration later in the week."
McGonagall produced a clipboard and began reading down the list. "Abbot, Adams, Bones, Boot. Follow me."
Hermione looked crestfallen. "But I already outlined the first five chapters."
sniggered into his hand while Harry opened his own book. "Then you
wouldn't mind helping us understand it while we write ours, right?"
Shaking her head with a smirk, Hermione said, "I suppose."
Ron tapped a happy tattoo on his desk with his thumbs and said, "Let's get to work, then. Weasleys are always last anyway."
reading went well and Hermione made sure it was quiet, too. After a few
minutes, she was called to go with Justin Finch-Fetchly and Gregory
Goyle and when she returned, looked devastated.
"It's all right, Hermione," soothed Ron. "You can't be expected to be good at everything."
only sniffed in response, plastering a wooden expression on her face.
"It would have been nice to be a cat or something, but I suppose the
training would have taken forever. I just can't devote that sort of
time when we have N.E.W.T.s coming up."
Harry caught a look of
incredulity from Ron and was impressed that he didn't remind her that
the N.E.W.T.s weren't for another twenty months.
Soon, it was
Harry's turn and he followed the Patil sisters to a small room at the
back of the classroom, Parvati giving him odd, surreptitious glances as
Harry had never been in this room before and
immediately noticed that the entire back wall was taken up with books.
There were two sofas facing opposite each other and a small desk. Harry
sat in between Padma and Parvati while they waited for Professor
McGonagall. Parvati was entirely too close for comfort, but he found
himself unable to move away, pinned on the other side by her twin.
Parvati was brushing her hand along Harry's thigh, and smiling at him
in a very distracting way.
Turning to a small cabinet with
glass doors, McGonagall extracted three vials of a light green liquid.
She cleared her throat and gave Parvati a significant look.
Patil," she said, nodding at Padma. "Drink this please, and tell me
what you see." As Padma got up, Harry all but flew to the other side of
the couch. He did his best to ignore Parvati's frown.
Padma reached out a shaky hand, and after a moment's hesitation, emptied the vial with a single swallow.
eyes shut and she threw out her hands as if she were afraid of falling.
"I see..." she started. "I see something small and black. It looks like
a bird." Padma fell to one knee and dropped the vial. "It's flying!
It's a – a raven!"
Opening her eyes, a large grin on her face, she turned to look at McGonagall. "Does that mean...that I'm...?"
Miss Patil, it means that should you pursue it, you have the ability to
become an Animagus." McGonagall was scribbling something on her
clipboard and then said, "You may have a seat."
Padma stood and taking note of the way Parvati had chased Harry to the seat she had formerly occupied, walked to the other sofa.
"Now you, Miss Patil," said McGonagall with a nod towards Parvati.
let out a small breath of relief as Parvati stood to take the vial in
McGonagall's hand. She drank the potion and closed her eyes. A few
minutes passed without a sound from the Gryffindor girl.
"Miss Patil?" asked McGonagall, who was looking at her watch. "Can you tell me what you see, please?"
Parvati's face crumpled. "Nothing!" she shrieked. "I don't see anything. Please let me see something."
quite all right, Miss Patil. Not all witches or wizards are able to see
their Animagus form under the influence of this potion."
Parvati opened her eyes and a tear fell down her cheek. "But my sister could!"
McGonagall produced a handkerchief and handed it to Parvati. "There is
nothing to be done about it, however. Have a seat and we'll finish with
Parvati dabbed at her eyes and sat next to her
sister, who began to speak to her in hushed tones that sounded exotic
and soothing to Harry.
"Mr. Potter?" prompted McGonagall.
stood and walked over to the spot Parvati had been standing in. Looking
at the vial, he vaguely wondered if his father had taken this test
after already becoming an Animagus.
The potion was tasteless,
but burned the back of his throat when he swallowed it. His eyes
snapped shut and he was presented with a dark, misty environment. There
was nothing in the vision and as the mists billowed around his minds
eye, Harry thought he would catch glimpses of a dog or a large cat, but
nothing ever materialized.
"Nothing," Harry said finally, opening his eyes to see a flash of something on his professor's face.
"Very well," she said. "Let's get back to class, then."
The walk to Charms was short, so they found themselves outside the door, waiting for Professor Flitwick to let them in.
at least you weren't the only one that didn't see anything," Ron said
to Hermione, who, despite her efforts to the contrary, was still
visibly unhappy with the Animagus test.
"I don't want to talk
about it, Ron," she said snappishly. "We've got loads better things to
worry about besides rare magical talents that none of us have got."
"Padma saw something," Harry said. "She said she saw a raven."
then, Professor Flitwick arrived and opened the door. As Harry began to
follow Ron and Hermione into the class, a hand touched his shoulder.
"Harry? Can I ask you something?"
turned to see Parvati looking up at him with dark eyes. "Sure," Harry
said nonchalantly, trying to appear as if nothing had happened in
"I was – I was wondering if...Ron said anything to you about me this summer?"
head twitched a fraction in the motion to tell her no, he hadn't. Then,
as a flash of a forgotten conversation appeared in his head, Parvati's
actions during the Animagus test started to make sense.
"Um...actually...yeah, he did."
Parvati smiled and started to
rub circles on the hand Harry was holding his bag with. "So...what do
you think? About you and me?"
Feeling cornered, Harry backed
into the doorframe, but as Harry retreated, Parvati advanced "I, uh....
Well, you see, it's just that..." His heart was beating loudly in his
chest and Harry wondered why she was making him so flustered.
put her free hand onto his shoulder as she leaned in to whisper in his
ear, "I promise that I've got over the Yule Ball incident, Harry."
finding his control, Harry took both of her hands in his, biting his
lips together before he spoke. "I can't, Parvati. I'm seeing Ginny now
"Ginny Weasley?" Parvati said with a sudden scowl. "What could you possibly see in her?"
it was Harry's turn to frown. "Listen here, Parvati, she's smart,
funny, pretty, and a great kisser." Harry's cheeks coloured for a
second when he realised what he was admitting, but he continued
regardless. "I'll not have you say a bad thing about her."
looked stricken and pulled her hands free. Just as she was about to
reply, Professor Flitwick appeared in the doorway. "Mr. Potter? Miss
Patil? Class has started and we are all waiting on you. I do not wish
to assign detention the first day of classes."
and threw her hair back, and then with a cold glance at Harry, walked
stiffly into the classroom. Harry followed and groaned as he realised
that everyone in the classroom had heard their conversation.
"Relax, Harry," said Hermione as he sat down between them. "You handled yourself just fine."
snorted and chanced a look at Ron. He was busy turning in his text to
the first chapter. When Harry decided that Ron either didn't hear them,
or was unconcerned about what he had heard, Ron leaned over and
whispered, "We'll talk about your knowledge of Ginny's kissing prowess
With a nod and a sigh, Harry flipped to the same
page as Ron and tried to listen to Flitwick as he began to lecture on
charming complex objects.
Ginny packed her bag
slowly as she rose from her last class of the day, Transfiguration. Her
dorm mates had already left, twittering to each other about two
Hufflepuff boys in their year.
"Miss Weasley? Take this as you
leave, please." Professor McGonagall was busy packing away the mice
they had been Transfiguring into budgerigars, but held out a slip of
parchment in her hand.
Slinging her backpack on her shoulder,
Ginny approached her professor and took the note. As she walked slowly
out of the classroom, she broke the seal with her finger and read:
Please report to the Headmaster's office after dinner.
frowned. Had she already broken some rule without realising it? Was
there more punishment associated with her duel from last year?
Folding the letter into fourths, she stuffed it into her pocket and walked back to her room.
Ginny arrived at dinner, Harry told her that he had received an
identical note. They decided to walk there together. The stone gargoyle
opened automatically when they approached it. Harry's hand was in hers
and she smiled when he gallantly helped her onto the steps, as if she
would have trouble keeping her balance. Not wanting to bruise his ego
just yet, she didn't say a word.
The door to Dumbledore's office was already open and as they stepped of the stairs, he waved them in.
Inside, Dumbledore was deep in conversation with the Head Boy and Girl, Roger Davies and Cho Chang.
led Harry over to a small loveseat in the corner of the office while
Roger and Cho continued their conversation with the headmaster.
Prefects have agreed to keep regular patrols running throughout the
year, but I don't see how that's going to help," Roger was saying. "If
You-Know-Who were to break into Hogwarts, what good would a couple of
Cho seemed to be agitated, but didn't say anything.
pair of eyes, alerted to the situation is all that may be required to
pass along a warning to one of the teachers, Mr. Davies," Dumbledore
explained. "While Voldemort is a powerful wizard, I think there exists
at least one example in your own house of a student who can hold their
own in a sticky situation."
"What about Hogsmeade visits?"
asked Cho, who turned to see Harry and Ginny sitting on the sofa. Her
eyes flicked to their intertwined hands. She turned quickly back to
"They will continue on as before, but we must be
prepared to change the schedule. Additional Aurors will be assigned as
guards during the times we will allow students to visit."
three of them sat in silence for a beat, then Dumbledore said, "If
there's nothing else, I have another matter to take care of."
stood stiffly and walked to the door, not sparing a glance at Harry or
Ginny. Cho, however, stood and made a deliberate effort to stare at
Ginny and then Harry in turn, as if she could not quite believe that
they were there, before she shook her head and walked behind Roger.
was about to walk over to Dumbledore's desk when the elderly wizard
stood and approached them. "Let us make this a little more casual, eh
what?" he said.
Dumbledore sat in a small, cushioned chair
across from them and produced two slips of parchment. "I called you
here tonight to discuss a spell I'd like to perform with you both at
the end of the week."
"What kind of spell?" asked Harry. "Does this have anything to do with our bond?"
it does, Harry," said Dumbledore as he handed them both one of the
parchments. "You'll find that I have already secured permission from
your guardians and that in order to proceed, I only require your
"You never said what kind of spell it was," Ginny pointed out. "And you didn't tell us how it relates to our bond."
twinkling eyes, Dumbledore leaned forward and touched Ginny's hand. "My
dear.... I will answer all of your questions on Saturday. I am needed
for a meeting with the Order in a short while and must make this visit
brief. What I'd like you to do tonight is to think about what's coming.
Think about how both of you will play a role in the war that is already
marching on to an uncertain conclusion." He said this last bit with a
significant glance at Harry.
"Oh," Harry said. "So is it some kind of protection spell, then?"
"In a manner of speaking, it is," Dumbledore answered. "But you needn't worry about the particulars just yet. What I can
tell you, is that if we cannot perform this spell together, Voldemort's
hand will be strengthened considerably and both of you will be at great
risk. Greater than at any time since his return."
begins the sequel to "Consequences of the Heart." I've got what I
think is a good plot worked out, though there are some 'lean' spots
right now. The first four chapters are outlined and I've written
the 'climax' scene already, as well as various bits of dialogue and
such throughout the story. If all goes well, this will be about
twenty or thirty chapters long. "Napkins" is one of those US/UK
words that mean entirely different things, but Americans wouldn't know
what a "serviette" is, usually. So I had Ginny throwing a paper towel.
Thanks for reading and give my betas John and Sherry a pat on the back
if you're able. :-D