Title: Sex in the Village
Author: Morrigan (email@example.com)
Archive: Fanfiction.net, FictionAlley.org
Pairing(s): Many, various
Warnings: het and slash
Feedback: Please, more!
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns the Harry Potter characters. HBO owns the "Sex in the City" stuff. I only make claim on the perversion.
Notes: Many apologies for this taking so long. I really hope to have the next chapter much sooner than this one. Life has a tendency to get in the way of what we WANT to do.
Breakfast the next morning was a rather grim affair. Hermione and Ron flanked Harry, desperate to provide whatever support they could. Seamus was across the table, looking upset and saying little as he ate. Hermione knew Harry hadn't said anything about Malfoy yet, so it was still The Curse that was bothering him. Not that The Curse wasn't worth being upset about, she told herself hastily, but there was a lot more going on now.
Parvati and Lavender were a few seats down, discussing something Hermione couldn't quite make out, although she heard Fred's name mentioned a few times. Ginny was at the end of the table and looked disgruntled. Her hair was back to its usual red, and apparently her temper was matching it this morning. She'd growled at Hermione's hello, and a few minutes ago she'd all but chased Neville out of the Great Hall when he attempted to sit by her. Poor Neville, looking crestfallen, had moved to the opposite end of the Gryffindor table and taken a place by Dean.
Hermione sighed a bit and looked around again. She wanted to be able to help all of her friends -- it was something she'd always done -- but she was also worried for herself. She still didn't know what to do with Ron's marriage proposal, and while she rather wanted some time to give it a good mulling over, she really couldn't at the moment. She was pulled from her thoughts as hundreds of owls swooped through the air.
"Oh good, mail's here..." Ron said. "I'm expecting a letter from Mum."
Hermione turned to look at him just as a large brown owl dropped a letter onto Harry's empty plate. Hermione sucked in a breath as Harry pulled out the piece of parchment. He went even paler, handed it to her, and then looked Seamus in the eyes.
"It's from someone claiming to have the cure for the curse." Harry swallowed hard and then looked at Hermione. "Can you see if it's safe?"
Seamus gasped and Ron looked up from the letter Pigwidegeon had brought him. Hermione looked over the spell on the parchment. It did seem to be in order. She gave it back to Harry.
"It looks fine, Harry," she said reassuringly. "I think you should go ahead and perform it."
Harry gulped again and looked at Seamus. "Are you ready?"
Seamus looked nervous but nodded. Harry pulled his wand out of his pocket and with more careful wand movement than usual said, "Touchus Normalus!"
Harry, Ron and Hermione all stared at Seamus. He stared back, and then tentatively reached a hand out to touch Harry's. Then he took Harry's hand in his and smiled broadly with tears shining in his eyes.
"It worked!" he said in a choked voice, his brogue more pronounced than normal. "Oh Harry..."
Harry also looked on the verge of tears. "We've got a bit before Herbology... D'you want to take a walk before class?"
Seamus nodded and then both boys stood. Harry put a hand on Hermione's shoulder and said, "Thanks. I'll talk to you both later," and then met Seamus at the end of the table. They joined hands and left the Great Hall together.
Ron slid over next to Hermione, taking Harry's place. "Well, at least that's over!"
"Oh Ron, you know it isn't. You saw the look on his face when he told us last night."
"What, the look that said he'd swallowed something too disgusting for words?"
"Besides that. The look that said 'I can't wait for another helping.' Safe and easy have never been Harry's way when it comes to anything."
Ron's face distorted briefly. "I refuse to believe it. How could he possibly want anything to do with that sodding jerk? Especially after what he did to Seamus!"
Hermione sighed. "I'm not certain. All I know is that when it comes to matters of the heart, nothing is ever simple."
Parvati sighed the sigh of the seriously fed-up. Lavender looked up from her poached egg and asked, "What's wrong?"
"It's Fred," Parvati replied. "I just don't know what to do with him."
"And this is different from most other days how?" Lavender said, grinning.
"I know it's rather a constant, but I'm being serious here."
Lavender didn't trust herself to say anything, as Parvati was nearly always serious. Her sarcastic wit was as close as she ever came to joking around. Parvati continued.
"I thought Fred was really beginning to settle down a bit. He and George have had the joke shop going for over a year now, and it's flourishing. But now..."
Parvati heaved another sigh. "Fred says he's bored. George is much more into the shop than he is, and could run it alone. So Fred... Fred wants to try his hand at stand-up comedy on the wizard nightclub circuit."
Lavender opened her mouth and then closed it again. After a moment, she found her voice.
"But surely that's not such a bad thing. Fred is terribly funny."
"It's not that I think he'll fail, necessarily, although I wouldn't think he'd be an immediate success. It's that I have definite plans for my future! You know I want to go into wizarding law. How can I possibly manage that and have a boyfriend who can't seem to live with the least bit of stability?"
Lavender looked concerned. She knew Parvati took her future career more seriously than everything else she was serious about, and while Fred's latest scheme didn't seem to threaten things any more than usual, she could see how Parvati would think differently.
"You aren't saying that you want to break up with him, are you?"
Parvati put her head in her hands. "I don't know! I love him -- I'm just not sure I can handle living with that sort of uncertainty."
Lavender sighed. That was definitely the crux of Parvati's problems, generally speaking. But it was one of those things where knowing didn't necessarily lead to a solution.
Ginny stalked through the hallways of Hogwarts on her way to Transfiguration, her final class of the day. She'd been in a horrid mood all day since last night and was still extremely angry. She simply had to find a way to get back at Malfoy, and it had to be something that no one else would do -- or even think to do. Surely she could come up... Ginny suddenly stopped in mid-stride, causing a Ravenclaw second year to walk right into her. She turned to snarl at the younger student, who promptly stammered an apology and ran off. Ginny barely noticed. She had an idea.
A wicked smile played across Ginny's face as she continued down the hallway, reassured that soon things would once again be right in her world.
Hermione smiled, feeling very content. Another satisfying day of classes was over, she was sitting in the Gryffindor common room, snuggling with her boyfriend, and talking with her best friends. Harry and Seamus were sitting on a couch in the corner, holding hands and talking quietly. Hermione wasn't certain that Harry had mentioned Malfoy's involvement in the curse yet, but she couldn't entirely blame him if he was holding off. They'd had a difficult couple of days, after all.
Parvati was writing a letter, Lavender was working on her Divination homework when she wasn't talking, and the only one missing was Ginny. She'd said she had some studying to do at the library.
There was a sudden tapping at the window. Harry looked up and said, "Hedwig?" but the owl at the window was a dark brown, not snowy white.
Parvati went to the window and allowed the owl in. It promptly went to Hermione and offered its letter to her.
Hermione sat up and untied the letter from the owl's leg, then pulled out the parchment and read it.
"Well, who's it from?" Ron asked.
"Oh, it's just from my penfriend in Australia!" Hermione said with a smile, while giving Parvati and Lavender a look.
Parvati cleared her throat and said, "Hermione, do you suppose you could come upstairs and talk with Lavender and me? Girl troubles, you know."
"Oh, of course. You don't mind, do you Ron?" Hermione answered, giving Ron a kiss. "Goodnight everyone!"
Harry and Seamus waved, and Ron headed off to play Wizard Chess with Dean while the three girls headed up to their dormitory.
They closed the door to the room and Parvati flopped onto Hermione's bed. "Out with it. Who's really written you?"
"It's from him," Hermione gulped and pulled out the letter, handing it over to Parvati. "The Snitch."
Lavender's eyes went wide. "The Snitch?! But you haven't seen him since fourth year, have you?" She hurried to read over Parvati's shoulder.
I will be playing against England in two weeks. I would like very much to see you after the match. Please let me know when the next Hogsmeade weekend will be, and perhaps we can have a meal together then.
I await your owl - V.
"Oh my goodness!" Lavender exclaimed. "What are you going to say?"
Hermione sank down to the bed and looked at both girls. "I haven't the foggiest idea..."