the Stink Sap Fight
Sometimes the most straightforward things can turn out in
ways you never expect. Without really
planning it, you end up in a situation that simply surprises you. When faced with the unexpected, experience has
taught me it’s best to be fearless. As
the sister of two of the biggest jokesters of all time, I can say I have seen
innocent fun go completely and sometimes ridiculously out of control. Therefore, I can’t hold anyone but myself
responsible for what happened over Christmas break.
It was my sixth year and my homework is really stacking up
at a rate, which seemed to defy space and time.
I was so stressed by the workload that I was barely able to think
straight any longer, so I decided to stay at school over Christmas. Ron and Hermione were going to her parent’s
house, and mum and dad were going to Romania again. Only Harry and a few others would be staying
in the castle and I thought I’d get a good bit of studying accomplished.
I have to admit at this point that I had another reason for
staying. Harry hardly seemed to notice
me, but I watched him whenever I had the opportunity. Regardless of what I told Ron, any other boys
I have dated were simply a diversion, as I waited for Harry to finally decide
that I’m the one for him. Knowing Harry
as I think I do, from watching him over the past five years, I know he cannot
be pushed. He needs to come around to
this on his own. I can wait. At least that’s
what I’ve told myself up until tonight.
Geoffrey Hooper, Jack Sloper, Andrew Kirke
and Harry….and of course, me. We
were the only Gryffindors left in the castle for the holidays and the gobstones game we had been playing was messy, disgusting,
and loud. This was due both to the gobstones themselves, which had sprayed us all,
unrelentingly, since the game began, and because the boys had long ago decided
that I was not to be treated as a tender female, but as one of them. They had not revised their stories, or their
language, as we played three long games in the late afternoon.
After the third game, the boys were keen to find something
else to do; something which would be fun and dangerous, or at the very least,
against a half dozen school rules. I had
a choice of playing along with them, or going back to my Transfiguration text
book, which sat reprovingly on the table a little way off. I decided I needed this break and smiled my
assent to my ‘pack’ members. They had
settled on a game of hide and seek, but in true ‘male’ fashion, weren’t calling
it that. They had come up with a set of
elaborate rules, but in the end, it involved us all running around the castle,
avoiding teachers, and one another which sounded like hide and seek to me.
The twist to the game was the load of stink sap balloons that
each of us would carry, and use on others we encountered. Andrew quickly made up enough for each of us
to have three. He obviously had practice
at this and had a large, secret stash of stink sap stored up. I suspected my brothers were keeping him well
supplied. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes had
just completed their annual Christmas sale.
Stink sap had been on close-out.
While the balloons were being produced, I nipped up to the
dormitory to change out of my robes, and into jeans and a sweater. My real reason for changing was to put on my
trainers. Rubber soles were much quieter
than my normal school shoes. It wasn’t
that I thought I could win the game, but…well…I guess I did fancy winning the
game and wanted to improve my chances.
The last thing I did was to tie my hair back in a ponytail. Looking in the mirror, I thought, Ginny Weasley, you’re such a tom-boy
Soon we were all off, running as silently as we could down
halls and up stairways. We were to
disburse ourselves for a count of one hundred and then seek out one another and
try to hit each other with our stink sap balloons. Just a
little innocent fun is how Jack Sloper put it, grinning like a nine year
old. I imagined detention looming large,
but I was caught up in the moment. After
the count, I was on the fifth floor and there was no sound from any
direction. I decided to climb to the
next landing and go across to a hidden passage to the fourth floor. Up I climbed and I tiptoed carefully along
the corridor. A faint shuffling noise
caught my attention up ahead. Andrew
Sloper had been wearing his robes; a bad choice in a game like this, since they
were now sticking out from behind a huge stone vase up ahead. I flattened myself against the wall and eased
on down the hall until I was close enough for a strike.
I made a purposeful noise to draw him out. Andrew flung himself into the hallway,
thinking he had the upper hand, and in that moment, I pelted him with one of my
balloons. I didn’t wait around for the
results, but ran in the opposite direction before he could retaliate. Andrew groaned loudly at the same time as a
muffled splattering sound echoed in the silent hall. Then I heard him cry, “Weasley!” I skidded around the corner and made for the
hidden passage by another route. I
almost ran smack into Geoffrey who luckily was looking the other way. I had to duck into a classroom and then out
into another hallway to escape him.
I took a different corridor and descended the steps to the
fourth floor. This floor was rather
dark. Some of the torches must have
burned out. Suspicious, I
thought. I was on the verge of pulling
out my wand and using the Lumos spell when I realized that would give away my
position to anyone hiding on this floor.
I walked along to corridor, keeping near the right hand side. Suddenly a shape leapt out of the shadows and
fired a balloon in my direction. It
burst on the floor in front of me, showering my pant legs and shoes. I lobbed one at the retreating figure and hit
him in the back of the head. “Argh!” I heard him cry.
The figure spun and charged back toward me as I unleashed my final
balloon. Just before the balloon hit, I
recognized him as Harry.
My last balloon exploded against his chest. I turned to run, and he chased me. The floor was sticky from the balloons that
had already splattered on the floor. I
slipped as he grabbed for me. He caught
the waistband of my jeans and I fell, sliding along the floor. Harry had tumbled to the floor with me, and
we were now shrieking with laughter.
Still gripping the back of my jeans, Harry shoved his last balloon up
under my sweater and then slapped it hard, where it ruptured and soaked me with
disgusting sticky sap. We climbed to our
feet and it was clear that we were both covered in the revolting stuff.
Harry used his wand to rekindle the torches. The floors, walls and portraits had taken
quite a bath in slimy green sap as well.
The stench was horrible. The sap
was sticking to both of us, making us look as though we had some sort of
horrible disease. We stood facing each
other, trying to suppress our laughter.
“Got you good,” I said breathlessly.
“Got you first,” said he.
Just then a furry flash streaked away toward the
staircase. Filch’s cat. We were about to be in huge trouble. It only took a moment until I heard the sound
of feet slapping on stone as they ascended the steps. The owner was most certainly Argus Filch. He was bad enough, but someone else was
prowling the castle, as there were more than one set of feet approaching, and
they were coming from more than one direction.
I froze, but Harry grabbed my hand and pulled me along a narrow
corridor, through a tapestry and up another flight of stairs. He looked around a bit desperately for a
hiding spot. I did not hold out much
hope that we would escape Mrs. Norris, who was probably hot on our trail.
Then from below, I caught the melodious tones of Professor
Snape’s voice yelling to Filch to block the other corridors. Harry seemed to have an idea though, and I
sprinted with him, as silently as possible, down the hall and around a
corner. Harry stopped, winded, in front
of a door. “Pine…Fresh,” he managed,
gasping for breath. The door of the room
swung open and we pelted inside, and Harry pushed it shut, locked it, and slid
to the floor, winded.
It took me a moment to realize that we were now locked in a
bathroom; a very nice bathroom by Hogwarts standards, but a bathroom, none the
less. White fluffy towels were lying in
a pile, a large picture of a mermaid decorated the wall and a huge, sunken tub
surrounded by lots of water taps which big enough for half a dozen people that
filled one end of the room. Great, I thought, at least I can wash some of the stink sap off my hands and face, and
maybe my shoes. I walked over to the
tub and turned on a jeweled tap.
Fragrant water poured from it, hot and steamy. I turned on another, and bubbly foam came
“Harry,” I whispered, “Come look at this!” I said, trying a
“I know,” he said, shushing me as he pressed his ear to the
door. I groped in my pocket and pulled
out a set of extendable ears. Fred had
told me to carry a set at all times in case of need. What a
brother, I thought with a smile. I
tossed them to Harry who caught them easily, and immediately knew what to do
with them. While he put them in his ears
and listened, I amused myself with more of the taps. The water level rose amazingly fast and soon
there was a full tub of perfumed water and bubbles.
I sat down and pulled off my shoes and socks, rinsing them
in the water. The sap was not easy to
remove, but the perfumed water helped.
I grabbed a towel and dampened it and then began wiping off my face. Finally, Harry came over to where I was
cleaning up, and crouched down beside me, so he could speak quietly. I must admit that I felt a bit of a flutter
being so close to him like that, even though he smelled as bad as I did.
“Ginny,” he said, “Snape and Filch are charging up and down
looking for us. Filch is going on about
skinning whoever plastered stink sap all over the floors. Snape mentioned this bathroom, but they know
none of the Gryffindors who stayed at school are prefects, so they think we
don’t know the password. We may be safe
here for awhile, but we’ll never make it back to the common room until they
give up.” Harry looked toward the
door. “If we get caught smelling of this
stuff, we’ll be in detention with Snape for a month.”
Harry was right, of course.
We had to clean ourselves up.
“Emm…I guess we could clean it off our clothes,” Harry said.
“But then our clothes will be soaked,” I reminded him. I
stood up and wandered across the room hoping for inspiration. There was a cupboard of some kind in the
corner and I opened the door to inspect it.
A note tacked to the inside said that you could hang towels and things
up inside and they would be dried.
I grabbed up one of my socks and hung it from a hook inside
the cupboard, and warm dry air began to swirl about the sock. I explained my find to Harry. “Great,” he said, as he quickly stripped off
his sweater, tee shirt, shoes and socks.
I looked over at him as he dropped to his knees next to the tub and
began scrubbing the sap out.
I cleared my throat, “Harry?” I said. “All of our clothes are covered in sap.”
“Ya,” he said as be continued scrubbing, “It’s some nasty
“Well, we’ll have to wash all our clothes, won’t
we? Otherwise we’ll be caught.”
“Sure,” he said, rubbing a particularly nasty patch. Then comprehension dawned. “Oh!...well,
I wondered for a brief second how long it would have taken
him to catch on, if I hadn’t helped him out.
We’d have to strip completely and then wait around that way for the
clothes to dry before we could safely return to our common room. Harry was looking perplexed as well as
embarrassed. Ok, it’s rather sweet that he’s embarrassed. I was sure he was thinking how much easier
this would have been if I were Ron or Jack, or Lee, and not a girl.
I’m sure that many
potential solutions to our problem would have been possible at this
moment. I voiced the only one that I
could think of at the time. “Look Harry, we can work this out. We’ll just agree not to look at each other
and we can wrap up in these towels.” You see, I felt it was my place to make
this suggestion, since I knew Harry would never suggest it, and I couldn’t
think of anything else we could do if we hoped to escape punishment.
Harry cleared his throat, and nodded his head to himself and
then looked up at me. “Is that ok with
you?” he asked.
“Sure, why not?’ I said with as much nonchalance as I could
muster. Inside, my stomach felt like a
mass of squirming snakes. I swallowed
hard. I was going to be locked in a
bathroom, in a towel, with the boy I secretly loved. Never a dull moment.
Sometimes we make a decision that seems so logical at the
time but we end up in a place we never imagined we would. “So, we won’t look at each other,” I
confirmed. Harry nodded and turned away
facing the opposite wall. I did the
same, but I hesitated. I could still
leave and take my chances. Maybe I could
sneak past Filch, Mrs. Norris and Snape.
Just then, there was a long stream of muffled curses coming
from the floor below, as Filch discovered another sap covered portrait. Just
get it over with, Ginny. You had to
play; now you have to face the consequences. I stripped off my clothes, then grabbed up a
towel and wrapped it around myself quickly.
Kneeling down by the tub, I started cleaning of my clothes. It took several minutes. After they were sap-free, I wrung out the
excess water and went to hang then up.
During this whole time, I had been trying to pretend that I was alone,
or that this was a perfectly normal situation.
As I turned away from the cupboard, I saw Harry look over at me. I hoped my towel was long enough and I
smoothed it down in front.
Harry hung up his clothes.
Then he came over to me. “Ginny,
you have sap on your back and your neck.”
I reached behind my head, to my neck. I had to catch the front of my towel which
was suddenly in danger of falling. My
hand came back with stink sap stuck to it.
“Well, you have it all in your hair,” I said irritably.
“I know,” said Harry.
“Ok, then, we’ll have to get in that tub and get ourselves clean too.”
It was a seemingly sensible solution, wasn’t it? If we couldn’t be caught covered in, and
smelling of stink sap, then we had to wash it off. OK,
stop thinking about it and just get it over with.
“You’re right of course,” I said.
“I can’t believe how rational you’re being. I think most girls would be pretty
unreasonable in this situation, I mean covered in smelly stuff and all…,” but
he didn’t finish the thought.
I looked at the tub and thought, at least there was a thick
layer of bubbles over the whole thing.
Once we were in the water, we’d be covered up. This was so embarrassing it could hardly get
worse, I thought. I was proved wrong by
that. I walked to one end of the tub and
he walked to the other. I sat down on
the edge and slid into the water in my towel.
The towel was immediately heavy and wet. I pulled mine off and began using it to get
the remaining sap off me. Harry was
attempting to remove sap from his hair at the other end of the pool. The suds were thick and the hot water was
relaxing. Things could be worse, I
thought. Only my shoulders and head were
above the water. Harry, being a bit
taller was more visible.
“Harry?” I said tentatively, “Can you see if I’ve gotten it
all?” I asked, turning my back to him, and lifting my hair out of the way.
I thought he’d just confirm that I my neck was clean, and
leave it at that, but he strode across the tub and said, “ Hand
me your towel, there’s still a lot of it back here.” I passed him my towel back
over my head and I crossed my arms over my chest, as Harry scrubbed my neck and
back. He had to put a hand on my
shoulder to steady me in the water, and a shiver went through me. Thank the stars for thick foamy bubbles.
As I stood there, I tried to think about the twins, and what
they would do in a similar situation. Whenever
I needed courage, I always thought about those two. Ron and Percy never seemed as tough or clever
was Fred and George, and they often gave me an extra shot of courage or daring,
when I thought of them. In this
situation, they were not much help. They
would be happy to be skinny-dipping with the opposite sex. The other side of the coin was that they’d
certainly do what ever was needed to avoid punishment by Filch or Snape.
Perhaps I should just try to keep my mind on something
mundane and soon this would all be over. I’ll think about knitting hats. I was a terrible knitter, so perhaps I should
have chosen some other mundane thought, as everything made me think about how
we were nearly naked in a tub together.
It didn’t take long to figure out how the situation could
get worse. I was taking long steadying
breaths as Harry ran the towel up and down my back and neck. Does he have to do it like that? “Is it gone yet?” I asked impatiently.
“Just about,” he said, rubbing my neck and shoulder a bit
more. “Ok, can you get the back of my
head?” he asked, turning his back to me. SEE, silly girl, he was just helping you out,
and remember that you asked him to. I held my
towel in front of me and took the towel he handed me. I began to clean sticky, smelly sap out of
his hair. Harry crouched
a bit lower in the water, to help me out; dunking under the water to rinse when
I asked him to.
I idolized my brothers, Fred and George. They were fearless and they always told me
that a good bluff would get you through a lot of trouble, if you just had the
stomach for it. The thing that happened
next pushed me just about as far as fearlessness could go.
I was trying to rinse the back of Harry’s head, which I had
liberally plastered with my last balloon, and at the same time, hold a soaking
wet towel across the front of me in the water.
It would not seem to stay up by itself.
Just then a new conversation from the hallway caused both of us to stop
and face the door.
Snape was snarling at Filch that the ‘culprits’ had to be
somewhere and that he was going to check all the locked rooms on the
floor. “Do you know the password for
this bathroom?” he snapped at Filch, whose muttered answer was not clear. “Never mind then,” said Snape and we heard
clearly, “Alohamora,” followed by a click as the door latch released.
I gasped, but Harry hissed, “Hold your breath.” Then an arm wrapped around my waist and
pulled me hard down under the water, where a second arm wrapped across my chest
holding my shoulders down.
I have found, on the occasions I’ve gone swimming, that
holding one’s breathe is quite a bit easier if one is distracted from thinking
about breathing. Therefore, it wasn’t so
very hard to hold my breath, for the last thing on my mind was breathing. Harry and I were crouched on the bottom of
the pool, my back flatten against his chest and his knees on either side of
mine. At least my towel was covering
something on the front, fat lot of good it was doing at this moment. I tried not to move for fear of what he or I
might end up touching, and the calamity that might cause.
I vaguely heard the distorted voice of Professor Snape
thundering, “What slobs these perfects are.” I desperately tried to force my
mind away from the bottom of the tub and up to the room where I tried to
quickly account for the things we had brought with us into the room. Nothing should have been left lying about for
Snape to see. All our clothes were in
the drying cupboard… as long as he didn’t look there; Please don’t look in there….or decide to drain the tub;
PLEASE DON’T LET HIM DRAIN THE TUB.
The sound of a door slamming, followed by Harry releasing me, was a
mixed blessing. I had a momentary view
of a naked Harry standing up and I broke the surface of the water gasping for
air, with a face that I was sure was as red as my hair.
“The nasty git didn’t catch us!” whispered Harry
enthusiastically. “That was amazing! You
must be good luck, because he’s always catching me.”
I was at a lost as to what to say. Harry had obviously been focused on hiding
from Snape and had not been thinking about us being pressed together,
naked. I released a small sigh of
relief. “And, by the way,” he said, “Nice bum.”
I turned and splashed water at him, and smiled. Fearlessness
I said to myself, but I knew I had gone red again.
I reckoned the clothes were dry and thought I should check
them. I asked Harry to turn around so I
could get out and have a look. As soon
as I was out of the water, I grabbed a fresh towel from the stack and wrapped
up in it. The clothes were nicely dry
and warm. Harry got out and I averted my
eyes until he had a towel on as well. We
dressed in silence, appreciating the warmth of the freshly dried garments. I toweled off my hair and pulled it back into
its ponytail to make its wetness less conspicuous. Harry did his best with his hair and we
checked each other over for any remaining signs of stink sap. There were none.
We went to stand by the door and listen. After ten minutes of no sound at all, Harry
thought we could chance it. He put a
hand on the door knob, then stopped and turned to me. “You’re the bravest girl I know.”
I smiled up at him.
“I, well…I think you’re great,” he said, blushing a
bit. Then Harry Potter leaned toward me
and kissed me.
thought, what better time would there be?
I put my arms around his neck and kissed him back. “I think you’re great too,” I said in a
That was quite an evening.
We returned to Gryffindor
Tower to find none other
than Professor Snape sitting in our common room with a sour, angry look on his
face. When we came through the portrait
hole he made quite a show of getting to his feet and sweeping his black robes
around himself, before starring down his long hooked nose at us.
“Why are you here?” asked Harry, before Snape could speak.
“Hold your tongue Potter.
Professor McGonagall is away from the castle so it has become my very
unpleasant duty to check up on the Gryffindors. Where, pray tell, have you two
been? It is now fifteen minutes past your curfew.” As he talked, he seemed to
be trying to sniff the air around us for signs of stink sap, and it was
everything I could do to keep a straight face.
“Just up at the Astronomy
Tower, sir,” said Harry in
a casual tone, which my brothers would have praised. “A bit of star gazing. Sorry we’re late.”
Snape strolled around us once, glaring, as we waited for his
pronouncement. I knew he was thinking it
over. The curfew didn’t mean much over
the holidays and we were only fifteen minutes late, plus he had no evidence to
convict us of the stink sap fight.
“Don’t let me catch you out of bounds again,” he said
finally, and stormed from the common room.
Harry and I spent the remainder of the evening on the couch
by the fire, holding hands and talking.
I can honestly say that I had thrown my last stink sap balloon that
night. As for anymore skinny-dipping
with Harry, well… a nice girl wouldn’t tell, and a Weasley would bluff,