The Sugar Quill
Author: Steppenwolf  Story: The Power of Suggestion  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: None of the characters, places, alcoholic consumables or plot idea belong to me

Disclaimer: None of the characters, places, alcoholic consumables or plot idea belong to me. They are the property of either JK Rowling or JennyElf, captain of challenges. The jinx is the property of myself and Neville - we may share if we're feeling generous. No one is entirely sure who the cards really belong to.


Author's Notes: Naturally, I praise Ara Kane for her beta'ing skills. And I thank Ara and Fee for their giggles and praise. I feel loved!


This is a parody. I don't expect the DA partook in a game of poker at any time during their fifth year, but wouldn't it be funny if they did? Oh, and please forgive me for not actually knowing how to play poker. My knowledge of the game is limited to what I saw on Ocean's Eleven, and I was distracted by Brad Pitt at the time.




The Power of Suggestion


Ron Weasley was trying very hard not to smirk at his cards. More precisely, he was trying very hard not to smirk at the mental image of his friends' faces when they saw his cards.


Across from him, Hermione Granger attempted to compose herself. She wasn't doing a very good job; her hands trembled slightly as she held her cards and Ron watched her swallow several times. She looked nervous.


So she should be, he thought deviously.


By now, they were all uncomfortably aware that Ron was good at poker. Everyone but him had lost several items of clothing. Harry Potter in particular, who had never had the opportunity to play poker of any kind before, was attired only in his Gryffindor tie, a pair of odd socks Dobby had made him, and black boxer shorts with Golden Snitches flying magically around the hem of each leg. Had any of them been completely possessed of their senses, they would have said Ron was unreasonably good at poker. Unfairly good, perhaps. Fortunately for Ron, they were not in complete possession of their senses, and no one had accused him of cheating.


Not that he was. It was all just one long streak of luck.


'Nother jrink?' Seamus Finnigan asked Neville Longbottom, holding up the almost empty bottle of his own, distilled-in-the-boys-dormitory-closet Firewhiskey. Neville accepted, just a little wobbly and rather giggly.


Apart from being only partially clothed, Ron and his friends were also only partially composed. All composure had been left behind somewhere on the third floor hours ago. Each had a bottle of butterbeer or a glass of Seamus' special-blend Firewhiskey in hand as well as their cards. Not their cards, though. Ron had nicked them from Fred and George, who had nicked them from Filch, who had "confiscated" them from Peeves. The Red Hot poker cards tended to periodically scorch the players hands if they felt that the game was getting too sober, adding to the utter disarray of the game on the Astronomy Tower roof.


'Ready, then?' Hermione said in a tense, clipped sort of voice. Oh yes, she was definitely nervous.


Luna Lovegood was the first to lay down her cards. She had nothing. She'd been doing surprisingly well, really, only losing her jumper, shoes and socks so far.


Good poker face, Ron speculated. Luna didn't look anything but mildly surprised, no matter what her cards were.


Seamus was next. He laid out his cards with a grin. Two pair.


Harry sighed heavily as he put down his hand. Nothing again, the poor bloke. When would he learn to fold?


Hermione... nothing. Ron's smirk became suddenly much harder to control.


Neville, not much, but enough to keep his shirt.


Ron very slowly laid down his hand, savouring the looks on their faces. Just as he'd imagined them.


'How do you do that!' Hermione cried into the general uproar. Neville was giggling again, and Seamus was laughing loud enough to wake Snape down in the dungeons. Harry's face was pale and stricken - he looked as though he might be sick. Loony Luna blinked owlishly at Ron, her hand over her mouth to smother her laughter.


'You either can or you can't, Hermione,' Ron said smugly. He could, and she couldn't. She bloody couldn't!


'Both socks, Harry!' Neville said gleefully as he watched Harry tug aggressively at one yellow and red striped sock. 'You've got to take off both socks!'


'Who made up that bloody rule?' Harry grumbled indignantly.


They're a pair Harry,' Hermione said rather loudly. 'Therefore they count as one item of clothing, not two.' Ron narrowed his eyes at her. She was changing rapidly from flushed pink of butterbeer and mirth to white, then back to pink.


'Mine aren't a pair! Look at them, there's nothing matching about them!'


'Dobby gave them to you as a pair, and you're wearing them as a pair, so you have to take them off as a pair!' She was redder now, but looking quite a lot more flustered than she needed to be over Harry's ruddy socks.


'Don't think you can get out of this by debating what makes a pair of socks, Hermione!' Ron announced loudly. He wasn't going to let her distract everyone away from the fact that she had to take something off, too. Loony had already taken off her tie. Hermione had to lose either her blouse or her skirt. Ron didn't care which, as long as she did it. Blouse or skirt, skirt or blouse. They would both revealed very interesting, never before seen, parts of Hermione. Blouse. Or skirt.


'This is so unfair!' She sounded thoroughly exasperated with him. He couldn't keep from smirking any longer.


Hermione began unbuttoning her blouse.


'What in Circe's name are you doing?'


Six heads snapped around to look at the trap door that led to the lower levels of the Astronomy Tower and the rest of the castle. There standing next to the trap door, red-faced, bright-eyed, and messy-haired, was Ron's sister Ginny.


'Nice o' you to pop by!' Seamus grinned toothily at Ginny, holding up the bottle of Firewhiskey in offering. 'Wanna join us?'


'Join you!' Ginny blinked in astonishment at what Ron supposed was a rather interesting sight, what with them all being half-naked, drunk, and singed around the edges from the stupid cards. He warded off the sudden mental image of his sister playing strip poker with them. That was just wrong. He'd have to kill Seamus for suggesting it later.


'I don't want to join you! What are you doing?' She practically screeched that time.


'Don't have a hippogriff, Gin,' Ron tried to reason with her. 'It's only poker.'


'Only...' Ginny glared at him, looking frighteningly like their mother. 'Strip poker! Do you know how much trouble you'd be in if a professor found you! You and Hermione are prefects! You're... drinking! And... curfew! And... Hermione... your blouse!' Ginny's shrieks trailed off into a shocked whisper as her eyes fell on Hermione. 'It's undone!'


Ron spun around just in time to see Hermione gasp in fright and yank her blouse closed with trembling hands. Her face blanched white again when she realized Ron was looking at her.


Damn. So close.


Ginny had found her voice again. 'Whose idea was this?'


'Ron's,' Neville, Seamus, Luna and Harry said promptly. Ron was disgusted to see that Harry had pulled on his shirt and was buttoning it quicker than you could say "Bertie Botts' Every Flavour Beans." Bloody Ginny, interrupting a perfectly good winning streak.


Ginny didn't seem at all surprised by the announcement that Ron had led them astray. Instead she levelled her glare at Harry - who avoided it, searching instead for his trousers. 'And you all decided to go along with the great bollocking prat?'


‘Actually, that was Neville's fault,' Loony Luna said in a pleasant voice. She blinked dreamily at Ginny, apparently not at all concerned with the circumstances.


'Neville... What?'


'Neville performed a Suggestion Jinx,' Hermione explained breathlessly. Ron was pleased to see she was suitably flustered by his sister's appearance.


'Huh?' Ginny gazed blankly at them.


'I did a Suggestion Jinx!' Neville boasted. 'Almost everyone had left, but I wanted to try it, and it worked!'


Hermione elaborated. 'Casting a Suggestion Jinx on a person renders that person susceptible to any suggestion made to them.'


'But you all can't have been susceptible...' Ginny trailed off in exasperation. Ron thought she looked astonishingly like Molly Weasley again.


'Well,' Hermione said faintly, 'Neville's getting rather good at jinxes.'


The silence that followed was maddening.


Ginny glared at them each in turn, reserving especially heated looks for Ron, Neville, Hermione and for some reason Harry, who had managed to get his trousers on at last.


'Why in Merlin's name did you suggest playing strip poker?' Ginny finally screeched. Damn, she hadn't run out of steam yet. She definitely was a Weasley woman.


'I dunno!' Ron tried desperately to defend himself. 'I guess it was the Firewhiskey talking.'


'Firewhiskey! This just keeps getting worse! Who's idea was the Fire-bloody-whiskey?'


'Seamus,' they all said in unison.


'Te celebrate, y'see,' Seamus tried to look sincere.


Ginny was positively fuming now; everything from the neck up was red as Gryffindor Quidditch robes. Ron had a fleeting image of her head exploding from the pressure, and wasn't sure it would be a bad thing.


'So, let me get this straight. Neville managed to jinx you all, including himself apparently - rather good at jinxes my Aunt Fanny!' Ron wanted to tell Ginny they didn't have an Aunt Fanny, but there was no way he was interupting a Weasley woman in a fury, 'and Seamus, being the mad Irishman that he is, suggested you celebrate Neville's skill with a bit of alcohol. You got sloshed, and then my tremendous git of a brother suggested you play a bit of poker. On the top of the Astronomy Tower. Where half the school has probably heard you!'


No one spoke. They were too busy avoiding Ginny's eyes.


'You're... all... bollocking... mad.'


'Please just lift the jinx, Ginny,' Hermione said in barely more than a whisper. 'We'll be in awful trouble if we don't go to bed right away.'


'Finite Incantatem,' Ginny said stiffly with a wave of her wand. 'And may I make a suggestion?'


'What's that?' Ron asked wearily.


'Never try the Suggestion Jinx again.'


'Oh, I don't know,' Neville said brightly. 'It was kind of fun!'

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