A/N: Ms Rowling owns the characters, Mr Banville the concept of a physics trilogy, and I believe Mr Jack Ichiouji of SQ indirectly influenced some of the scenes herein (in particular the line about tickling someone’s ovaries). Any resemblance to anyone else’s work is entirely unintentional and will hopefully be accepted as honest albeit unconscious flattery.
Harry Potter was having a positively delicious dream that young men of his disposition, and not a few young women, tend to have. The exact particulars of his delightful fantasy, as you might expect, were not fit material for general discussion. Suffice it to say his imaginings involved several things he had not yet tried but had given active consideration, except this time they involved someone he couldn’t quite recognise, someone who most certainly wasn’t Cho Chang.
Dreams, as you might have the pleasure to know, are peculiar things, and can occasionally be influenced by external stimuli. Harry, for instance, had been paying very little attention to the rather massive Hebridean Black soaring to the east of him and the mysterious maiden momentarily next to him. Or at least not until it poked one of its massive foreclaws into his ribs.
‘Poke him again,’ said a vaguely familiar voice. The dragon, whom now had quite human but still very strong and hard fingers, complied.
‘Mmph,’ Harry pleaded with his pillow. His head was aching, his mouth felt painfully dry, and his stomach churned fitfully. He wondered what had made Lord Voldemort either so happy or angry to make him feel so terrible, so that he might tell someone, perhaps even Dumbledore, about whatever it was Riddle was planning, but his dream had been, well, pleasant. Rolling onto his back, he confronted a very strange sight. Fishing for his glasses, which weren’t where they ought to have been, he realised he faced the two eldest Weasley brothers, and that there was something rather strange about the room in which he found himself.
‘Wha’sgoingon?’ he spluttered, clutching his splitting head.
‘That’s precisely what we would like to ask you, sleeping beauty,’ Charlie murmured. His smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. Indeed, along with his latest spate of mostly healed burns, the second Weasley brother was quite menacing.
‘For instance, what are you doing in our sister’s room?’ Bill whispered as he paced quietly at the foot of the bed.
Harry had never been in Ginny’s room before, but now that he thought of it, it did appear to be distinctly different from Ron’s room. In fact, given his present circumstance, frighteningly female.
‘If that’s what passes for chat-up lines these days, I’ve been going about things all wrong,’ Charlie muttered to his brother.
Bill briefly stopped pacing and turned to face Harry. ‘We also found this,’ showing Harry an empty nettle wine bottle, ‘beside the bed.’ Bill’s face bore an expression of barely controlled fury, but Harry noted a glint of malice in the man’s eye.
‘So, where is she?’
Harry regretted what he said next immediately as he uttered it: ‘Who?’ At least the dark haired boy had the decency to grimace at his mistake.
‘How dare you forget our dear sister so quick!’ Charlie hissed. ‘Here you are, lounging in her bed after you had just done who knows what. I’m appalled!’
‘We should tell Ron,’ Bill said, scowling intently at Harry.
‘No,’ Charlie rejoined with a smirk. ‘The twins.’
Bill seemed genuinely worried about that prospect. ‘I dunno,’ he pondered. ‘That might be too cruel.’
‘Well, at the very least Dad will have to know.’
Harry meanwhile, had gone from embarrassed – any young man could tell you why – to dreadfully terrified and was presently trying to burrow his way through the bed. The mention of Mr Weasley, however, stopped him cold. ‘No, please, I, well, er…’
‘He’ll never survive,’ Charlie grinned malevolently.
‘But if Mum finds out, we’ll all be in for it,’ Bill declared. ‘“How could you allow your poor sweet sister to become a scarlet woman under this very roof!”’ he said, doing a frightfully good impression of Mrs Weasley.
Charlie rose from the bed, although not without forcing Harry back down as the teenager tried to make a break for it. ‘Think of our family’s honour, Bill,’ the dragon keeper argued. ‘How can we let this scoundrel get away with taking liberties with that innocent girl?’
Memories from the day before were starting to filter through Harry’s mind. None of those recollections involved him or his best friend’s sister getting involved in any intimacies. He did, however, faintly remember finding the bottle along with Ron and Hermione…
Hermione, of course, insisted that they ought not partake any of the booty, which, likewise needless to say, prompted Ron – being the discoverer of said bottle – to argue in favour of its immediate consumption as an aid to Harry’s foul mood. Harry, or so he thought he recalled, agreed with Hermione, remembering how drink failed to cure Sirius’s misery. At the same time, he wanted to drown out Hermione’s constant prodding for him to discuss his godfather’s loss. Thus, instead of listening to the voice of reason, he embraced the cause of frustration and was facing the consequences.
As some of the truth was finally revealed to him, Ginny entered her room. She wore a light cotton bathrobe that – although it revealed nothing – emphasised everything, placing Harry once more in a somewhat embarrassing predicament.
‘Oh, Harry,’ she swanned in, a bright cheery smile glistening across her face. ‘You were absolutely wonderful last night,’ she proclaimed, alighting upon the edge of the bed. ‘You’ve truly made be feel what it’s like to be a woman!’
Bill and Charlie glowered murderously at Harry, who thought once more about burrowing through the bed and floor to safety. ‘Er…’ In spite of his mystified panic, Harry recognised something unsettlingly Lavender-like in Ginny’s new demeanour.
‘I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve all ready told Mum and Dad about us,’ she informed him, banishing all thoughts but immediate survival from Harry’s mind. ‘They’re preparing the banns as we speak! Of course, we’ll have to wait until we’re of age, but for now, I suppose we can live in sin,’ she announced with fluttering eyelids.
Harry scurried from the room as fast as his feet would take him. Never again would he drink so much, or fall asleep in a strange bed. But he might, just might, reflect on Ginny in that bathrobe…
Bill and Charlie hugged their sister in succession. All three were having terrible difficulty in suppressing howls of laughter at their poor victim, but sour, dour brooding Harry had deserved it.
‘You put Fred and George to shame, Ginny,’ Charlie chortled.
Bill affected a more serious tone as he spoke to her. ‘Just remind me to never, ever get on your bad side,’ he requested. ‘Now, what should we do about the other two…?’