It was a cold night outside Gryffindor Tower. The wind whistled around, but the fire in the Tower was quite enough to keep the occupants warm. Perhaps, too warm.
Many of the students had retreated to bed, but a few insomniacs remained, the ones important to this story being Fred Weasley, his twin George, and his little brother and sister, Ron and Ginny. There was also Harry Potter, who had broke many a girl's heart, and Hermione Granger, a bookish, studious sort of girl who was in love with Ron Weasley, and everyone but her and him knew it.
We set our tale on the night of February 14, a day when Hogwarts was alight with Valentine's Day celebrations. All over the school, even at this hour, couples could be seen in empty classrooms, but these students had celebrated Valentine's Day in their own special way. Fred and George had spent the day with their girlfriends, missing all classes. Harry had simply ignored the holiday, and Ron and Hermione had kept shooting each other glances. Ginny Weasley had doodled hearts all over her Transfiguration notes, and had charmed her mirror to say, "Harry will love it" whenever she looked at it.
And so the night began.
Perhaps there was something in the air that night that incited mischief and rule-breaking, for goodness knows Hermione Granger would not be caught doing so otherwise. Or perhaps all the students were under the Valentine's Day charm. Whatever it was, something of a not so rule-abiding nature was going to happen.
The students were bored, but they did not want to go to sleep quite yet. They knew if they did, they would lie in bed with their eyes wide open, so instead they lingered, doing nothing, really, at all.
And as the wind whistled around Gryffindor Tower, Fred Weasley had an idea.
"STRIP POKER!" he yelled, and the occupants of the room were quite shocked as they turned to him.
His twin, who, like many twins, could practically read his mind, said, rubbing his hands together, "Excellent."
The rest of the students filling the room made "Er…" sounds, and looked rather confused.
"Now?" asked Ginny.
"Here?" asked Ron.
"Why?" asked Hermione and Harry in a single voice.
"Now, here, because," George replied, and he was already conjuring up a set of cards.
Hermione, who I have already established was the law abiding one, looked shocked. "We can't!" she exclaimed, and her voice was high.
"Why not?" asked Fred, as if it were a perfectly reasonable thing to do. And perhaps, for him, it was.
"Because…because…" she stammered. But she could not think of a reason that night. Perhaps the smoke from the fire had altered her brain, for at most times, she was able to recall the rules at the drop of a hat. And there certainly were rules against this.
"Excellent; then we're playing," said George, and began to deal them all in.
Harry was blushing bright red, for he was one of those boys that turns as red as an apple. Ginny was studying her feet, and Ron was looking at Hermione.
"I'm in," said Ron, and the game began with that.
At first it seemed quite simple, dealing out cards, then playing poker. But it came to pass that not a one of them knew the exact rules that converted poker to strip poker, and there was a bit of a mess.
After a time, one of them came up with a solution. "The person that has the lowest," he said, "has to take off an article of clothing."
Now anyone who has played strip poker knows that this is not quite the way to do it. But it worked for these six as they discarded and picked up new cards.
Perhaps it would be prudent at this time to describe these six, and what they were wearing. Of course, they were all wearing the uniform Hogwarts robes. Underneath, Harry was wearing slacks and a maroon sweater, with an undershirt. Ginny was wearing a short skirt, and a white shirt, with a heart embroidered into the pocket, knee-high stockings, and shoes. Hermione was wearing a skirt that reached the floor and a button down white shirt with a camisole underneath. Ron was wearing gray trousers, and a blue button down shirt, with an undershirt. Fred and George told me that they would prefer that they keep to themselves what they were wearing, but it is my firm belief that they were not wearing very much of anything at all under those Hogwarts robes. We shall never know, however, for those two scheming boys are quite good at poker.
And so they drew more cards. For some, a poker face came naturally, and Harry's _expression didn't change. Hermione, however, was making horrible faces. To each his (or her) own.
And such came the time to bet, but they had forgotten completely about betting. Instead, they just put down their cards.
"I have two pair," said Hermione, and she put down two threes and two eights.
"Three of a kind," said Harry, throwing down three jacks.
Ginny had a determined set to her pretty mouth as she said, "Straight," and produced just that.
Fred announced he had a straight flush, and George a four of a kind. They all looked at Ron.
Annoyed, he threw down his cards. "A pair of aces," he grunted.
With much hooting on Fred and George's part, and blushing on Hermione's, he bent down and removed a shoe.
And the game went on, until only Fred and George had their Hogwarts robes left, and everyone else had taken them off. And they realized it was beginning to feel quite chilly, and each wanted to suggest going to bed. Perhaps it wasn't chilly, though; perhaps they had a bit of a fear of losing – badly. That was a legitimate fear, but as no one spoke up, the game went on.
Hermione proved to be quite bad at poker. She had lost her earrings, her hair tie, both her shoes, and her socks, when it came time for the next turn.
Perhaps something was in the air that night that made her draw those fateful cards, but she did. And once again, she ended up with absolutely nothing.
Blushing to the roots of her hair, she unbuttoned her shirt, and folded it neatly. It must be said that Ron stared quite boldly at the way the camisole clung to her developing figure.
They drew again. Hermione ended up, this time, with a straight, Ginny with a pair, Harry with a flush, Ron with two pair, Fred with three of a kind, and George with a full house.
Ginny, who had already lost her shoes and one of her socks, pulled off the other sock, leaving her feet bare. When George complained about the "stench that suddenly filled the room" she kicked him quite hard under the table, but it was, of course, only to be expected.
And the game went on. Eventually, Harry lost his socks and shoes, and Ron had lost his shirt. Fred and George, to the disgust of everyone else, hadn't lost anything at all. It seemed even in this they must be the same.
And the hand of fate dealt a most unexpected blow. Ginny, with a full house, full expected to be safe, only to learn that everyone else had a card ahead of her.
Now this put her in a bind. She had lost her earring, socks, and shoes, and all that was left was her skirt and her shirt. As Fred and George catcalled, she turned a bright red and took her skirt off under the table. It was unfortunate for her that she was not wearing a slip or a camisole that day. She tugged her shirt down as far as it would go (as many of us would do, I am sure) and sat with as much dignity as she could muster at the table.
And so they played, on and on. Harry soon lost his shirt, and was then dealt a crushing loss. Sighing, he unbuttoned his pants – his undershirt was thin and he actually was getting cold – and let them fall to the floor in a heap. Much to the amusement of everyone else, his boxers were pink, with red hearts.
"I was just getting into the holiday," he defended himself, but Hermione and Ginny couldn't look at him with a straight face for quite some time. And I'm sure that many women would feel the same.
Fate once again turned against Ron, who was beginning to protest that he'd never wanted to play in the first place. He took off his undershirt, and it cannot be left out that Hermione could not keep her eyes off his bare chest.
The game went on, and all were having a good time, laughing and talking. Fred and George both lost their shoes and socks.
Then, once again, they lay out their cards on the table. Ginny had a pair, Harry a full house, Ron two pair, Hermione a straight, Fred a full house, and George a flush.
It was Ginny now.
Suddenly, the expressions of Fred, George, and Ron changed drastically and they turned on Harry, as was to be expected.
"I don't like this game anymore," said Ron loudly.
Harry, who was quite looking forward to Ginny's next move looked disappointed.
"Me either," said Fred. "Wouldn't want anyone's eyes wandering." He sent Harry a menacing glare.
"Oh, shut it you three," said Ginny, for it was true she had no patience for her brothers' protectiveness. Within seconds she had her shirt off, and was crossing her arm over her tad-too-small bra modestly. Fred and George looked stunned, and Ron jumped up and covered Harry's eyes.
"Ginny, put your shirt back on," he hissed. He needed to hold Harry tighter, because Harry was struggling to get out of his grip.
"No," she said quite simply. "So let Harry go."
Ron's eyes widened. "You can't!" he said. "I'll…I'll write to Mum!"
Ginny glared at him, and Hermione looked annoyed. One could tell she often felt this way about Ron.
"Let him go and let him look, Ron," Hermione said impatiently. (She was often impatient with Ron, if truth be told.) "She doesn't have a problem with it."
And indeed, she didn't; she was enjoying the attention.
"She's just a baby!" George protested. This was, perhaps, the wrong thing to say, because a few seconds later he said "Ow!" very loudly, and it is widely believed that Ginny kicked him. Hard.
Finally Ginny stood up, and wrenched Ron off of Harry. "There!" she said impatiently. "See?"
And see he did. Ginny seemed to remember herself, and sat down hurriedly, blushing all over. Fred cleared his throat loudly. "Gin, I'm disqualifying you right now," he said. "I don't think he needs to see you take off any more."
"Isn't this strip poker?" she asked playfully. I don't believe she had any intention at all of playing any further, but it did seem rather fun to play with her brothers' minds. "I haven't stripped yet." Her hand went to her back, as if to unbutton her bra.
Suddenly, everything seemed to happen at once, as these things have a tendency of doing. Hermione's eyes widened, and Harry's eyes stayed fixed on Ginny. He moved his elbow and knocked over the wobbly table, but he didn't notice. Fred and George yelled, and Ron jumped up to stop his sister from doing what he knew she would surely regret one day.
And in the midst of all this, Minerva McGonagall hurried to Gryffindor Tower to see was all the commotion was about at nearly midnight, only to find her students in various states of undress, and the common room in utter chaos.
Oh yes, it was a Valentine's Day to remember.
author's notes: I was sort of iffy about this story, and tried a completely new style than I've ever tried. It turned out nothing like I imagined it, but I suppose that's all right. Anyway, please review and tell me what you think!