Disclaimers: This is the space for highly technical jargon
that informs you, the reader, that we, the authors of this fiction, make no
money and have no claim on these characters. Etc. ad infinitus.
Dedications: On Circe’s side…to Poppy P who showed me this
idea when I was at a terribly low point in life. Thanks for this and for the
dancing man. You were a friend when I really needed friends. To Jane, for
coming up with the idea that became chapter two; dude, you are brilliant.
Finally, a thank you to Taradiane; her Christmas card was unintentionally
Poppy: My greatest and humblest apologies to Circe.
Obviously this was intended to be a Christmas story. Well…apparently it’s
Christmas in May for me. A great big thanks to two of the funniest SQ moms:
Circe (who did 99.9% of the writing) and to Jane for her wonderful idea. They
are the best!
The Yule Bra
By Circe, Poppy and Jane
The Advent of the Yule Bra
It came from Madam Malkin's, black, shiny and twinkling with
sequins; Lavender could see it clearly in her mind’s eye despite the fact that
it was concealed in the most delicate, beautiful wrapping paper that Lavender
had ever seen. Tiny, fragile flakes of snow drifted serenely across ice-blue
tissue paper and inside…inside…
“It’s here, Parvati,” she whispered. “I was so afraid it wouldn’t
get here in time for the Ball, even with
the express owl, but it’s here!”
She twirled, falling across her bed with a joyful laugh, clutching her package
Parvati giggled, sitting down with a bounce on Lavender’s bed. “I
can see that,” she said, and squeezed her hand. “Open it!”
Lavender didn’t need the urging. “Ready?” she breathed as she
slid one finger beneath the edge of the wrapping; the other girl nodded,
eagerly leaning forward. The door thumped open rudely before Lavender could do
more than open a line down the center.
“Don’t let me disturb you,” Hermione said brusquely. “I just came
up for my Bertie Botts Beans. We’re sharing sweets down by the fire;
everybody, I mean. You should bring down your Whizbees.”
“After this,” Lavender said absently. She lifted the package
slightly to show it off. “The Holidaze Brassier arrived this morning.”
“The…Oh,” Hermione said it in such a strangled sort of off-hand
voice that Lavender looked up at her.
And grinned. “Want to see it?”
“It’s just undergarments,” Hermione blushed. “Really.”
“Have a look at the wrap, then,” Parvati laughed. “It’s a tricky
charm to have the snow falling like this, I’m sure. See how it made snow
drifts at the bottom?”
Lavender giggled when Hermione actually came closer and then she
tore the paper off. They all three let it settle onto the floor without
notice. The bra was, quite simply, breathtaking; the catalog pictures hadn’t
done it justice.
“Ohhhh,” Lavender heard the sigh but didn’t know which of them had
uttered it; perhaps it had been all three of them together.
Hermione recovered herself first. “Really! It’s just a bra!” she
snorted, but, Lavender noticed, she didn’t leave her place on the floor by
bed. The Holidaze brassier twinkled charmingly
“Not just a bra,
Hermione,” Lavender said with a grin at Parvati. “It’s a limited edition; just
for the holidays and the Triwizard Tournament. And it’s magic.”
Parvati frowned. “Magic?”
“Yes,” she breathed the word out, still hardly daring to believe
it. “Magic. At its initial sewing it’s reinforced with spells to…for…” she
sat up suddenly, flustered, clutching the half-unwrapped bra to her chest;
Hermione startled backward as it nearly hit her face.
“Lift?” Hermione and Parvati traded looks of confusion.
Lavender dropped the package and gestured helplessly. “A lift.”
“Oh,” Parvati knelt at the side of the bed and peered down at the
That was Parvati’s no-nonsense we’re-in-so-much-trouble warning
Parvati held up the slip of paper that was tucked in behind the
bra. “My aunt Sita is a seamstress; this has a magical garment warning. Parvati
read the tag aloud, “Warning, this garment is charmed for individual use only.
Failure to follow appropriate fitting procedures may result in garment
deviations. DON’T DO IT!” She turned to Lavender with a frown, “This tag
means that you’re supposed to have had yourself measured for this; by a qualified seamstress.”
Lavender shifted. “I took the measurement from my others.”
“Lavender…” Parvati studied the sales slip intently. “Lavender!
This is entirely not your size!”
The bra moved beneath Lavender’s stroking her fingers, nudging up
like a cuddling kitten. She ran one finger over the delicate sequins along the
edge of the bra. It moved again and she sighed. “So I ordered them up a bit;
I’ve been growing.”
Parvati folded her arms and looked very regal, glancing from her
friend to the nuzzling bra; Lavender wondered anew at Seamus choosing her over
somebody like Parvati. “Lavender, I know. It’s important and it’s Seamus…but
this is magic. Believe me, these types of spells aren’t harmless! The
measurements have to be exact or the spells won’t work right.”
“How so?” Hermione had been sitting quietly, looking from the bra
to the Madam Malkin’s catalog on the night table.
“I’m not exactly certain,” Parvati frowned.
“So there might not be any problem at all.” Lavender put her arm
around her friend, “Parvati, relax. It’s just one size bigger.” Two, really.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s not that
big of a difference.”
Shaking her head, Parvati returned the one-armed hug. “I’m not so
sure. Let’s owl my aunt and ask her. She’s right outside of Hogsmeade, so
she’ll be able to let us know what could happen to you before we have to get ready for the Yule
Ball. If she says any word against it, you just won’t wear it, okay?”
Lavender collapsed back on the bed with a sigh, “Parvati, Fleur Delacour
is part veela. I have to look my best.
It’s probably a good thing that
it’s a size bigger in the…well; it probably means that there’ll be a larger…er…lift.”
A quill and parchment were thrust into her hand. “Write.”
Hermione tutted and retrieved her bag of jellybeans. “I’m going
down; come along whenever you’re ready. Everybody is having loads fun.”
“We’ll be along,” Parvati waved her off. When Hermione was gone, Parvati
eyed Lavender meaningfully, “We’re not leaving this room until we write my
aunt. And we’re staying right here after lunch.”
Lavender sighed and loaded the quill. “Really, Parvati,
everything is going to be fine. It’s not a big deal.” But it would be. Even
as she wrote, Lavender knew it would be. It was going to be the most memorable
night of her life.
* * *
“It just doesn’t feel right, Lavender,” Parvati’s voice carried
a restless edge of anxiousness and it seemed, for a moment, to fill the entire
fourth-year girl’s dorm.
Behind her dressing screen, Lavender
rolled her eyes. “We waited all
afternoon.” A very boring afternoon, at that; much of the time filled with the
Wireless, experimenting with hair, and Parvati’s pacing to the window and
back. Lavender did her best to sound soothing. “Hermione’s even gone down
to the Ball before us. If the Holidaze Brassier was any danger your aunt would
have written to us by now.”
“Still…” Parvati’s voice had only grown
more ill at ease. “Are you certain that you want to wear it?”
Lavender adjusted the straps on her
shoulders and beamed at her reflection. The bra had already given her exactly
what she wanted and was now bouncing the soft candle light between its
sequins. “Oh, yes.” She closed her eyes as the bra tightened around her in
what seemed like a small, reassuring hug. “It’s absolutely perfect.”
Seamus, when she met him down in the
common room minutes later, obviously agreed. “Hi,” he said. “Ready to go?”
His eyes said so much more, Lavender thought and she hugged herself with glee.
The Holidaze Brassier hugged her, too.
“Of course,” she giggled to him, grinning over her shoulder at Parvati. Parvati
was busy with Harry and Lavender giggled again; Professor Trelawney had been
“See you downstairs in a bit, Lavender,” Parvati
leaned over her shoulder to say. “We’ve got to go now because Harry is a
Champion. Will you be all right?”
“Fine!” Lavender said cheerfully at her
friend’s concerned look. The bra had just shifted a bit under her robes. It
was just the sequins, she thought, seeking light to catch; honestly, Parvati
was more of a worrier than Hermione.
The bra was fine. It was perfect. In
fact, Dean stared at her for a full thirty seconds when he came over to talk to
Seamus about seeing a football game together over summer holiday. Lavender
shifted, slightly apprehensive as the bra hugged her yet again. Really, the
affection was getting to be a bit much.
“Uhm, Lavender?” Ginny Weasley had
wandered away from Neville and was eyeing her closely. “Are you feeling okay?
Lavender smiled brightly as the Holidaze
Brassier shifted upwards. “Wonderful! Just excited, waiting for the Ball to
start.” The bra made another, larger, shift up. “Seamus!” She leaped
forward, clutching his arm and hoping that her move had drawn attention from
the bra’s. “Let’s go down, shall we?
Seamus blinked, looking puzzled. “Aren’t
we supposed to wait if we don’t have partners from other houses?”
“It must be nearly time!” She smiled as
sweetly as she could, hooking her arm through his. “Let’s go down now.”
“Gryffindors?” Professor Flitwick’s head
popped, quite literally, through the portrait hole. “Ah! Gryffindors!
Professor McGonagall has asked me to lead you all down to the Yule Ball.”
With a shrug and a small smile, Seamus led
her out of the tower. “Huh. I guess spending extra time on Divination really
worked for you.”
He’d noticed her extra sessions with
Professor Trelawney? He’d noticed her!
She shivered, just a tiny bit. “Oh, I guess it has,” she said as nonchalantly
as she could. “Professor Trewlawney does
say that my Inner Eye is very perceptive, of course…but that’s nothing without
“Oh. Yeah, I’ve heard that,” Seamus
He had? Lavender gave a little sigh.
Seamus wasn’t like the other boys; he was special. He was worth the Holidaze
Brassier that shimmied as they walked through the entrance hall and positively writhed as they sat down at a table with
Dean, Susan, and the Creevey brothers.
“Colin! Dennis!” Lavender smiled brightly
at them as the magic bra twisted and squeezed. “Where are your dates?”
Susan looked at the boys hopefully as
Seamus and Dean, as one, slumped forward and dropped their foreheads to their
“I came with Hannah,” Colin beamed. “But
she’s sitting with Justin; the Justin who was Petrified. And I told Hannah I’d
only come with her if she could get a friend to bring Dennis, right Dennis?”
Dennis nodded enthusiastically. “Colin
said the Ball was going to be fantastic and I couldn’t miss is, didn’t you,
Colin? And he’s right! It is fantastic. Eloise is around somewhere, I don’t
know where. But it’s fantastic in here, isn’t it? Isn’t it, right?”
Colin grinned, “I said it would be! I
knew it had to be because of all the feasts we have. They’re all great and I
used to tell Dennis about them before he got his letter. Didn’t I, Dennis?
And wasn’t I right?”
Lavender sighed; she’d known better,
honestly. “That’s great, Colin. Dennis. Are you ready to order?”
Ordering food, and the ensuing explanation
of how it was done and how it managed to be that way, didn’t keep the Creevey
brothers from prattling; Lavender didn’t care. The Holidaze Brassier was
moving and it was no longer comforting at all. It was creepy and a little
disturbing and Lavender was beginning to think that Parvati had been right
about it all along. She was so preoccupied that she didn’t even realize the
Champions had been called out to the dance floor until Dean whistled
Parvati looked lovely and, despite Harry’s
lack of dancing skill, graceful. Lavender squirmed as the bra positively heaved.
“Are you all right?” Susan asked for the
fifth time, eyes concerned and straying to the spot on her shoulder where the
bra’s straps had decided to slide around as though searching for a better place
to pinch and dig in to her.
With a shake of her head, Lavender pushed
her chair back from the table. “Actually, I’m…” Going to change, but she
didn’t get to say it. Seamus had stood up and was now looking down at her.
With a shrug he nodded in the general
direction of the dance floor. “You look really nice. Want to dance?”
She forgot the bra, despite its
wriggling. She forgot how pretty her friend looked on the arm of a school
Champion. She forgot everything but Seamus and the fact that he had asked her
to dance with him. And, she thought with a tingle, he’d done it in exactly the
same way as he had asked her to the Yule Ball. He was so very sweet.
“I’d love to,” she beamed at him, and got
to her feet. She hooked her arm though his because he had his hands in his
pockets and lead him to the dance floor. The bra jerked as she stood close to
him and put her hand on his shoulder.
“Lavender?” Seamus asked; tenderly,
Lavender sighed to herself.
“Seamus?” she breathed. It ended on a
gasp as both cups of the Holidaze Brassier punched forward, hitting one after
the other into her date’s chest. She flung her arms around him, stepping
flush against him and smiled with all her might.
Blinking rapidly, Seamus put his arms
around her. “Uh…are you…feeling all right?” Lavender winced as he glanced
down at where they were mashed together.
“Fine!” she chirped. “I just love this
song, don’t you? It talks about a Seer, you know!”
“Oh. I didn’t know that.” He looked away
and blinked again. “Parvati’s staring at us.”
Lavender flushed scarlet at the straps of
the bra bunched into what felt like loops as large as Binky’s ears had been. “Really?”
The straps came down with a snap and Lavender felt the coming punch of the
cups. She stepped back quickly. “Goodness, dancing makes me thirsty!” The
cups narrowly missed Seamus and she smiled up at him, flustered and hoping he
hadn’t notice that her chest had thrown itself forward by over six inches of
“Sure.” Seamus seemed to be watching the
other dancers. “Do you want to um...” he paused and dodged the bra’s next
attempts to hit him. “Get some drinks?”
“Oh…um…could you? I need to slip off to
the powder room.” And remove this bra,
she thought, smiling hard. She didn’t wait for him to agree before making a bee-line
for the door, hoping that the bra would behave until she could get to the
It didn’t. It lashed out as she passed
Fred and Angelina, the straps acting almost as miniature arrows shot from her
shoulders. One narrowly missed Angelina’s eye, taking out a large section of
her elaborate hairdo…the other struck Fred smack in the middle of his forehead,
making him stumble. “Hey! You threw off my groove!” he shouted as the nearby
dancers gave a sigh of relief.
“I’m sorry, you’ve thrown off Mister Weasley’s
groove,” a snide, silky voice announced over Lavender’s shoulder. She spun to
face Professor Snape. “Detention, Miss Brown. And you, too, Weasley.”
Lavender nodded jerkily. “Yes, sir.” Anything
to get out of the Great Hall and get the Holidaze Brassier off. With a cruel
smile Snape swept off to ruin somebody else’s fun. The bra shot both cups at
his back and Lavender had to clutch her hands to them to keep them from
attacking a professor. “Sorry Fred! Angelina!” she streaked off in the
direction of the loo as Anglina called after her, asking if she was all right.
The girl’s toilet was brightly lit and
deserted as Lavender slipped into a stall and reached under her dress to unhook
the belligerent bra. “Off you come, you wretched bit of satin,” she muttered
as she passed it down the sleeve of her robe. The hook caught on the inside
of the cuff as the rest of the bra slid out.
All holiday hell broke loose.
It was only as the light from the candles
hit the sequins that Lavender remembered their propensity for movement and
their magical duty to catch the light and the eyes of men. “Oh no,” she closed
her eyes tightly as the bright candle light dazzled between the sequins.
The bra snapped out, knocking open the
door of the stall, pulling Lavender along behind it by the sleeve of her robe.
She clung to the frame, hoping against hope that once the Hoildaze Brassier
found no men in the girl’s room it would leave off its mad pursuit. Instead,
the bra arched like a bow and shot itself towards the door...just as Penelope
Clearwater came in.
“Sorry! I’m sorry!” Lavender called to
the flattened Prefect as the bra pulled her out onto the dance floor and
wrapped itself around Crabbe’s head.
Screams erupted. “What is that?”
“What’s going on?”
Planetary Theory! It’s attacking!”
“Help,” Lavender whimpered as all eyes
swung to her. “Oh this can’t be
happening. Help me…” she begged fate.
Fate, however, did not help. It sent
Viktor Krum running across the room. “I know vhat this is!” He was shouting. “Herm-own-ninny,
stay back! It is Beaded Boob Binding Lethibra! Ve haff them at my home! I vill
Lavender closed her eyes as he drew his
wand and more disaster loomed. The sight of the wand seemed to have moved all
the students in the hall into taking action; every wand at hand flashed out,
gleaming in the light from the hundreds of candles and the flashing twinkle of
the Holidaze Brassier. “Help me,” Lavender whispered again.
“Get it!” Terry Boot cried. “Help's on
the way, Lavender! Chestus Releasus!”
“Terry, no!” her eyes sprang open and
latched onto her cousin as the bra whipped her in a circle, tightening its hold
on its victim.
The bra, perhaps sensing the spell aimed
its way, released Crabbe and whipped out like a boomerang, knocking Terry’s
wand to the floor.
There was more screaming as hexes and
curses began to fly. Draco Malfoy leapt onto a table, wand blazing, and hexed
Professor McGonagall as she hurried to center of the dance floor. Lavender
tumbled to the floor as her unmentionables shot her across the room in a wide
arc, knocking students and teachers into the walls and down to the ground.
“I’ve got it!” Neville cried as he darted
into the bra’s path. Lavender closed her eyes again, not wanting to see the
carnage Neville and the bra could cause. “Brazierrus Removus!”
The band of the bra snapped up, the
fasteners hitting Neville hard in the eye and he went down, hands over his
face. Madam Pomfrey, whom Lavender had seen rushing to her aid, changed
course, conjuring an ice pack out of thin air as she went. The bra dodged,
twisting its way through the crowd.
“We’ve got it!” Colin and Dennis came at
her from different sides, apparently hoping to snare their target between them.
Lavender fumbled desperately for her wand.
“Expelio Boobus!” Dennis cried as Colin
swished and flicked and called out a spell of his own.
The bra reared, and Lavender felt the
shoulder of her dress take the blow the bra had ducked. “No!” she shouted,
trying to wave off more spell-work; but she’d used the wrong arm to wave. The Holidaze
Brassier swung though the air and suddenly the cups where full of the Creevey
brothers. It shot them, like a slingshot, through the crowded room and they
slammed, as one, into an approaching mass of Beauxbatons students.
“I vill take care of it!” Viktor Krum was
still approaching and the bra slithered away from him, the straps snapping out
wildly as it approached the stage where the Weird Sisters had stopped playing
to stare. The light gleaming off their instruments seemed to infuriate the
already wild bra.
Lavender gasped as it sent several sequins
flying into the hand of Donaghan Tremlett, the bassist. “He was the cute one,” she shrieked at the bra as it
knocked Viktor’s approaching feet out from under him by tying its free band and
one strap around his knees. The bra slid itself, and her, into the middle of
the dance floor again, evading the hex Seamus, Dean, and Terry were aiming at
“Try to ’old on to Adeline, ’Ogwarts
girl!” Fleur Delacour appeared above her, shining like an angel, just as
Lavender felt somebody grab her ankles. “You must try to be still so I can
Lavender glared at her. “How in Galleons
could you miss me?”
the French girl cried, holding her wand aloft. Every light in the hall went
out and the screaming grew to a deafening level.
“Quickly!” a voice near Lavender’s knees
called out. “Zere is not much time!”
“Where ees it caught, ’Ogwarts girl?” Fleur’s
voice demanded out of the darkness. “Soon ze others will think to return ze
lights and we must be done by then or all will’ave been in vain!”
Lavender didn’t question them or their
knowledge. “My sleeve! The left sleeve at the cuff!”
“Sabine, open ze doors!” the voice at
Lavender’s knees called, though it didn’t rise above the screaming. “Fleur?”
Fleur was tearing at Lavender’s sleeve,
breathing hard. “A moment!”
“Hurry!” Lavender cried out as
Dumbledore’s voice rose above the noise of the crowd. She felt something rip,
heard the rending fabric and something flashed by her face so quickly that it
stirred her hair.
“Stand en arrriére! Tout le monde, se tiennent
en arriére!” The voice could only have belonged to Madame Maxime.
Fleur and Adeline took up the cry. “Stand
back! Away from ze doors!”
“What’s going on?”
Dumbledore’s voice silenced everybody with its power. The room was silent save
the slamming of the doors into the Great Hall. “What has happened here?” Each
word seemed to be a distinct sentence in its own right when spoken in such a
furiously quiet tone.
The hall broke out into terrified babble.
“Black!” “Sequins!” “Nearly killed us all!”
Lavender slumped, pressing her overheated
cheeks into the cool stone of the floor.
Fleur, still lovely, knelt and pulled her
to sitting, “Listen to me, ’Ogwart’s girl. Say not a word about ze Holidaze
Brassier. Eet will not bother zem again for eet ’as run to ze forest. Eef ze
bra cannot give lift, ze sequins must ’ave light. Eet is gone to mirror
starlight and moonlight. We are all safe now.”
Dumbledore’s voice stopped Lavender from
replying as his shadow suddenly loomed over her. “Miss Brown?” he enquired.
Lavender glanced at Fleur.
“Headmaster, sir I…it…”
Fleur stood, shaking her hair back like a
brilliant waterfall. “A Beaded Boob Binding Lethibra. We ’ave them in France; we also ’ave a better way of dealing with zem than
shooting ’exes in crowded rooms.
“Is that so, Miss Brown?” Dumbledore’s
gaze was piercing.
But with the Beauxbatons girls sitting
with her, and Parvati’s sudden, furious hug, Lavender felt she could stare down
anybody. “I guess so, Professor. I’m not sure what happened.”
After a long moment, Dumbledore nodded.
“Madam Pomfrey,” he called loudly, “shall see to the injured. Professors, if
you would kindly lend a hand to setting things to rights?”
Lavender let out a sigh of relief and
allowed Parvati to pull her to her feet, hugging her again. “Next time I’ll
listen to you, I think,” she giggled as relief bubbled in her veins.
“Uh, Lavender?” Seamus walked towards her,
stopping five feet away. “I’ve got those drinks you wanted.” He held up two
well-shaken, half-empty bottles of butterbeer, filled with mostly froth;
stepping carefully over Viktor, he moved closer, handing her one bottle as the
band began to play.
“Thanks, Seamus,” Lavender smiled as she
took a drink of foam.
Seamus nodded. “Um…I guess we could dance
again, if you’d like,” he muttered as Paravti and Fleur left with a strange boy
in Beauxbatons robes.
“I’d like that a lot,” Lavender told him,
depositing her bottle on a nearby table and stepping into his arms.
“Magical, really magical!” Parvati snapped
as they climbed the stairs to Gryffindor tower. “Harry Potter is the worst
date on the planet. He’s lucky Donatien was so wonderful or else he’d be on
the business end of my wand!”
Lavender nodded in agreement. “I can’t
believe he didn’t dance with you more than the once! Seamus danced with me twice
after the Holidaze Brassier went
Parvati snorted. “That’s because Seamus
is much more mature than Harry.
And Ron! Did you hear what Padma said about him!”
“I did!” Lavender shook her head as they
made their way into their dorm room. “She said…Oh, no!” There was an owl
flying wildly around the ceiling of their dorm, hooting loudly.
“Aunt Sita!” Parvati exclaimed as Lavender
wrestled the letter, marked extremely urgent, off the owl. “What’s she say?”
With a groan, Lavender showed her the letter.
Don’t even attempt to
wear it! Those spells are too focused! If it can’t perform its job, that bra
will go crazy! Don’t even TOUCH it!
“We must have just missed it,” she sighed
as Parvati tossed the letter into the dorm’s fire.
“I’m sorry, Lavender,” Parvati sighed,
moving behind her changing screen. “Let’s just go to bed and hope nobody talks
about another stupid Ball ever again.”
Lavender giggled. “It’s okay. Even
though things got really messed up, it was only about ten minutes and…and it
was…the Weird Sisters were really good.” Lavender didn’t duck behind her own
screen to change. Instead she wandered to the window, looking out over the Forest and trying to forget her aching feet from dancing with
Neville and remember what it had been like, exactly, to dance with Seamus.
A movement at the edge of the forest
caught her eyes and she leaned closer to the glass, eyes narrowed. Something
shone brightly in the dark and she grabbed her wand. “Lumos,” she whispered. The beam of light
from the wand sparkled faintly of…a chrome bumper? Something large and blue,
with chrome, moved at the edge of the forest. And somehow, inside of it,
something shiny, black, and coming from Madam Malkin’s, caught the light of the
wand and made it dance.
Lavender had time to smile and wish her Holidaze
Brassier ‘goodnight’ before it disappeared into the Forest with a wild Ford Anglia.