The Sugar Quill
Author: Imogen & Firebolt909 (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Sex, Socks, and Slugs  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.

JKR's characters and world. Sorry for what I'm doing to them, but it was all written for fun andI hope you have a good giggle J It'd never happen in real life ~ no one could be so unlucky! Note: This fic is rated "R" for adult themes.

A/N: This is the first real collaborative effort between Imogen and Firebolt909. It came about through many IM’s, much giggling, a bit of tweaking here and there, in between Imogen asking Firebolt909 what exactly she planned to do with the rest of the story and Firebolt909 replying “I’ll know when I write it!” Ron’s voices appear courtesy of Firebolt909 and the naughty poems appear courtesy of Imogen and the world and characters are JKR's. Thanks to Thing1 for the idea of sweating books and to D.H Lawrence for inspiring the sex scene. No socks were stolen during the making of this story.

Continued from Socks, Sex and Snape

***

They went up the astronomy tower

For some solitude, more than an hour.

A passionate kiss

Leads to sheer bliss

When a young maiden's deflowered.

*****

Harry circled the goalposts, the wind whipping through his hair making him feel alive once more, despite a distinct lack of sleep the previous night. The weather was becoming warmer now, leaves shooting forth as far as the eye could see and covering the greyish boughs of winter with new life. He glanced briefly over at Ron, who caught his eye and then looked quickly away. Harry sighed, and with a heavy heart descended to discuss the new manoeuvre with his Chasers. Ron had barely spoken to him since Snape had discovered his socks in one of the library study rooms a few nights before. To a large extent, Harry couldn’t blame him for feeling like this. Ron’s detention was to be served this evening, in fact, and Harry knew without a doubt that Snape would make it as unpleasant as humanly possible. Ginny had tried to talk to Snape, to admit that it was her fault, but this had only made matters worse.  

Over the past two years, Ron had become very used to seeing his little sister with Harry, and after the initial shock had worn off, he was actually quite relaxed about the whole thing. There was always the odd comment to tease, mainly telling Harry to put her down or to watch where his hands were going, but it was all done in good humour. This was different, though. Ron was clearly bothered about why Harry and Ginny were down in the library study rooms in the dead of night, and also what they had been doing for Ginny to have the socks off her feet in the first place. It didn’t take a genius to put the two together, and Harry was pretty certain that Ron had worked out that they were actually now sleeping together. Or, to put it more accurately, they were trying to. 

Hogwarts, as they had discovered, seemed to be the most difficult place in the world to be alone together. Their first time had been remarkably easy, mainly because it was Christmas and Ginny had her dormitory to herself. Despite his initial fears of hurting her, it had been perfect. He could remember the sheer pleasure of waking up early, feeling her nestled contentedly in his arms, the warmth of her body pressed against his. The night before had been beyond anything he could have ever imagined, a sharing of everything that they were, a giving, as the last barrier between them was removed with both tenderness and passion. Subsequent efforts, however, had met with various excruciatingly embarrassing interruptions, which had left them both bright red, in fits of laughter, and totally frustrated by the whole thing. Ginny still got the giggles at the very mention of House Elves, and Harry still couldn’t bring himself to look Snape in the eye after he’d almost caught them devoid of clothing in the library.  

Looking back over the past few weeks, he had to admit they had been remarkably unlucky, especially that worst time of all when…. Harry blushed fiercely just thinking about that. Hogwarts was as busy as King’s Cross Station in the middle of the night, and Harry was starting to think that they might have a better chance of not being disturbed if they just went for it right in the middle of the marble staircase. Trying to be discreet, just didn’t seem to be working. Not that they even had a chance to do that at the moment. Ron was behaving like one of those nesting mother dragons at the Triwizard Tournament, desperate to protect Ginny, whatever the cost. The fact that she didn’t want protecting hadn’t occurred to him. Every time Harry attempted to go anywhere near her, or slid out of bed to see her, Ron was there, barricading his way. Various charms were cast over the dormitory door to stop him leaving during the night, and more than once he’d been soaked to the skin by cold water magically drenching him as he reached the doorway. It had certainly cooled his ardour most effectively, but had definitely not improved his mood. 

He swerved to avoid a Bludger, which whistled past his ear, and then caught sight of a familiar slight figure on the ground heading their way. Her masses of red hair, glinted in the evening sunlight, and Harry could only grin as he watched her. Ron, or no Ron, he loved her, they were going to find an opportunity to be together, and he could definitely kiss her now. He plunged into a steep dive, heading towards the ground, the crispness of the air filling his lungs, and clearing his mind. He hurtled further still, and drew up to a standstill right beside her. Abandoning his Firebolt, he enveloped her in a massive hug.

"Thought I’d come and see you," she smiled up at him. "I’ve been missing you."

"Don’t hold your breath," Harry groaned, nodding towards the place where Ron was descending steadily in their direction. "I still think he’s about ready to murder us."

"Well, let’s give him good reason to," she giggled impishly, stretching up to kiss him. The blissful darkness of oblivion swept over him as their lips met; nothing existed but her. Even Quidditch lay forgotten in another world.

"Ginny!" Ron’s voice shattered the dream-like state, and they quickly broke apart.

"Yes?" she said, smiling up at him with a very innocent expression. "Is there a problem?"

"Yes! Well…no! I mean…yes…" Ron stammered, turning slowly purple.

"What do you mean, Ron," she said icily, her eyes beginning to narrow dangerously and glitter. "Do you have a problem with Harry being my boyfriend now? You’re behaving like a complete prat, you know."

"It’s not Harry, it’s just…" he spluttered, clearly out of his depth.

"Well, if you don’t have a problem with Harry, leave us alone," her voice was steely.

"Fine, then!" he snapped. "Do what you want."

"Oh I will," she grinned wickedly. Then she stretched up to whisper in Harry’s ear. "Astronomy tower at midnight?"

"Definitely," he said, knowing that it would be the perfect time for them to abscond, with Ron securely out of the picture.

*****

Ron was up to something, that much was obvious to Harry. He’d been very quiet all evening, and Harry noticed on several occasions that Ron was almost smiling in a not-so-friendly sort of way in his direction. This did not bode well for one who was once again trying to be alone with his girlfriend.

Hermione was sitting next to Ron, her long bushy hair flying about madly as she ploughed through her homework. She hadn’t been very pleased with Harry and Ginny herself, and had acted very coolly towards them since the incident. As the large grandfather clock chimed nine, she looked up from her History of Magic essay and said, "Ron, you’d better be heading down to the dungeons. You know what he’ll be like if you’re late." Snape had made Ron’s detention start at 9:13, using the odd number to keep Ron on his toes.

"Yeah, I suppose so." Ron glowered at Harry one last time, before he reluctantly rose from his chair and with a heavy sigh, slouched off out of the portrait hole to face his doom.

Harry felt awful, he really did, but just the same, he couldn’t help the little lurch that his heart gave when Ginny came flying down the stairs in her normal fashion, nothing but a whirlwind of red hair and laughter.

"Hi there!" she said, as she flopped down beside him, and gave him a quick kiss. She smiled up at him and Harry felt his insides melt instantly into a puddle on the floor. "Where’s Ron?" It was the worst thing she could have possibly asked.

"He’s just had to go to detention—the detention that you got him into!" Hermione snapped, her hazel eyes flashing furiously as she jabbed her eagle feather quill in Ginny’s direction.

Ginny’s face fell. "I’m really sorry about that and I tried to explain what happ—"

"Sorry? For nearly getting caught doing—"

"What you and Ron have been doing since last summer," Ginny retorted, her flaming red hair swirling furiously around her and her eyes glittering in the candlelight, revealing her to be just as angry as Hermione. Harry swiftly shuffled back in his seat, not wanting to get involved in what was promising to be quite a row between the two girls, but yet also wanting to jump to Ginny’s defense. He blinked suddenly. What had Ginny just said? Had he heard her right? Surely not.

Hermione flushed a bright red. "Yes," she admitted. "But we don’t get caught, do we?"

"Only because you have that nice, big bedroom all to yourself as Head Girl," Ginny shot back, making Hermione turn even redder.

"You’ve been doing what?" Harry stammered, feeling completely at sea with this new twist in events. He was looking at Hermione like he’d never seen her before. "With Ron?" he asked in disbelief.

Hermione, who was now almost crimson with embarrassment, sighed and gave him an exasperated look.

"Of course with Ron," she hissed beneath her breath. "Who else did you think it was likely to be? The entire Slytherin Quidditch team?"

Harry opened his mouth to say something, but couldn’t. He stared in amazement at Hermione, not even knowing how to go about registering something as earth shattering as that news. She tutted angrily and submerged herself in her essay once more. Ginny immediately sprang up out of her squashy armchair, grabbed Harry’s arm and pulled him across the room with a force he’d not thought possible from such a small creature. Crookshanks simply yawned and stretched in his seat beside his owner, watching their every move through his intelligent amber eyes.

"It’s not fair," Ginny grumbled, as Harry sat down on the small sofa behind the dormitory stairs and she wriggled beside him. "We didn’t mean to get anyone in trouble!"

"They’ve been doing it for how long?" Harry stuttered, his mind still incredulous about the previous conversation.

"About eight months," Ginny giggled suddenly, twisting in the seat so that her back was leaning up against Harry. He buried his nose into the sweet, clean hair that clung to his shoulder. "I bet it must be nice to not have to worry about house-elves, or teachers, or…or…" She stopped, and Harry could feel the heat rushing to her cheeks. She was obviously thinking about that

*****

Ron Weasley glowered at the mountainous pile of slugs before him, glistening repulsively in the candlelight. The dungeon was chilly at that time in the evening, and Ron’s mood deteriorated further with the sight of Snape leaning back in his chair, reading an essay, with a satisfied smile on his face. Ron grasped another slug, feeling it squelch and slide beneath his fingers. Silently, he cursed Ginny and Harry. Detentions with Snape were bad enough at the best of times, when you’d done something to deserve it, but to be here because he’d got the blame for them sneaking out to... to do that... in the library of all places! He shook his head, in disbelief, and squeezed the slug forcibly, making the eyes shoot out of their sockets with a satisfying popping noise. He made a mental note to kill Harry when he got the chance; Harry should have told him what he was planning with Ginny, and then he could have murdered him earlier and saved them from all this bother.

Ron heaved a sigh, and seized another slug. Admittedly, his own relationship with Hermione had developed to a similar point over the summer, but that was different. They were both eighteen now, and had discussed it through like the mature adults they were. Ginny, on the other hand, was his little sister. How could Harry even think about doing anything like that with her? Ron shuddered.

He was just going to have to stop them, that was all. The water charm cast over the dormitory door seemed to be doing the trick and preventing further nocturnal wanderings, although Seamus had been less than impressed when he had been drenched by it. All Ron needed to do was ensure that Harry and Ginny didn’t get the opportunity to do anything like that again, and that shouldn’t be too difficult. Ron suddenly paused, and nodded thoughtfully. They were going to be up to something tonight whilst he was stuck in detention; he was certain of it. He knew that mischievous expression on his little sister’s face all too well, and it had been there when she was talking to Harry on the Quidditch pitch earlier. There was no question, Ginny was up to no good, and Harry was involved. Thankfully he had a plan.

*****

"Ginny, will you stop that!" Harry hissed into the starlit darkness of the Astronomy Tower. The journey from the Gryffindor common room to the tower had been relatively uneventful, if not completely silent, due to Ginny’s giggles when they had passed a house-elf who was busy checking inside a broom cupboard.

"I’m so sorry, Harry," she chuckled, as she pulled him towards the window and wrapped her arms around him. "But it’s just so funny! Who would have thought we’d have been reduced to doing this?"

Harry suppressed a smile as he kissed the top of her head. Yes, it was rather funny, everything they had been through these past few weeks, and had he felt less frustrated, he probably would have joined in laughing along with Ginny. However, Harry was getting sick and tired of these near misses, especially when he had a sneaking suspicion that Ron was now joining the fates against them. Harry’s mind was also still reeling over Hermione’s revelation, and it had gradually dawned on him that Ron was acting like a complete hypocrite. It was enough to make Harry wish that Hermione had an older brother, preferably one the size of Crabbe and Goyle.

Ginny was trying desperately to choke back her giggles, but was failing dismally. A single tear of laughter trailed down her cheek as she spluttered something incoherently about books sweating in fear and paint cans blushing.

"Will you shush!" Harry breathed into her ear, grinning when he felt her shiver from the sensation. "Or you’ll get us caught this time."

"Sorry," she whispered, sobering quickly and caressing his cheek. "I do love you, you know."

"You must," he chuckled, running his fingers gently down her spine, and feeling her back arch towards him in pleasure. "I can’t imagine anyone else putting up with all this, just to be with me."

"Well, let’s just make the most of the time we’ve got now," she smiled, stretching up to kiss him with her eyes sparkling. "Before we get interrupted by a tap dancing tribe of goblins."

The kiss drew him in, melting him into her, into blissful darkness. The warm moisture of her mouth, and her roving hands sparked a tingling fire, which spread rapidly throughout his body and mind. He was hers: totally and forever.

Stars twinkled knowingly beyond the window, and the night air sighed, stroking the leaves of the Forbidden Forest and making them quiver. The wind teased at the branches, swirling lightly, then retreating, before breathing on them once more. Blossom tumbled gently to the earth beneath, where it lay unnoticed. An owl hooted, breaking the stillness of the night, the long quavering cry of the manticore responded, echoing across the grounds. And then there was silence.

 

*****

 

Ron grabbed a final handful of slugs and started removing their eyes into the copper bowl before him, as quickly as he possibly could. When the last one was taken care of, he looked down at his watch in relief. Quarter to one in the morning. Sweaty, smelly, and covered in remnants of slug, Ron crept out into the dungeon hallway, where the single flaming torch cast eerie light across the stone floor. A pair of lamplight yellow eyes stopped him dead in his path.

"Hello there, Crookshanks," he said quietly, reaching his hand out to give Hermione's bandy-legged ginger cat a good scratch behind the ear. Crookshanks leaned into his hand and purred. Ron and Crookshanks may have started off on the wrong foot years ago, but they both seemed to get along much better now, and Ron had a sneaking suspicion that this may well have to do with their mutual admiration of Hermione.

"How did you get on with your little assignment?" he whispered. Crookshanks let out what Ron thought of as his version of a meow and circled once on the spot before hurrying back down the hallway, his bottle-brush tail held proudly in the air. He led Ron towards the main hallway, up the marble staircase, and through a maze of shadowy passages, twisting and turning through the school. Ron followed stealthily, taking care to keep out of the moonlight and skirted the edges of darkness. His heart beat nervously against his ribs for fear of coming across Filch or Mrs Norris. Neither, however, were to be seen.

The final corridor led to the Astronomy Tower, and he suddenly paused at the foot of the stairs. For the first time, he actually wondered what he would find when he went up there and it made him blanch slightly. Although he really wanted revenge, the concept of catching them in flagrante delicto caused his stomach to churn. He couldn’t imagine anything worse. Through the heavy silence of the night, he listened in trepidation for any sound that might give him a hint of what sort of activity was going on inside before he went any further.

*****

Harry lay on his back, his breathing steadily returning to normal, as he stared up at the ceiling of the Astronomy tower, watching the bewitched image of the starry night outside. Constellations glittered clearly through the infinite ebony depths of the sky, and his eyes wandered idly over them, and then to Ginny, who was curled up tightly beside him, her head buried somewhere between his shoulder and the crook of his neck. She made a tiny snuffling noise, which caused his heart to skip a beat, and a laugh of sheer delight threatened to explode from within him, for no reason whatsoever. It was ridiculous the effect she had on him, but he adored it. A feeling of happiness trickled pleasurably through him, increasing until it was cascading like a waterfall. Ginny brushed against his cheek, with a tiny fluttering touch, and he hugged her tightly in his arms loving the feel of her, her scent, and even the taste of her kisses which seemed to be indelibly imprinted upon his lips.

"I could just lie here forever," she whispered, staring up at the stars above their heads. "This is wonderful."

"Schedar’s bright tonight," Harry observed, agreeing with her wholeheartedly. He kissed the top of her head gently. "Must mean something good. I’ve not seen any house elves since we got here."

"That’s my constellation," she chuckled gently.

"Yours?" he asked in amusement, shifting a little so he could see her face.

"Yeah," she smiled contentedly. "Cassiopeia. You know, when I was little my dad used to show me those stars, and tell me the ‘W’ was for Weasley."

"Well isn’t it?" Harry teased her gently.

"Of course it is," she smiled. "Dad always told me the story of those stars too. He used to tease me so much, saying I’d turn out just like Cassiopeia did and be really proud of how I looked, thinking I was even more beautiful than the Nereids." She paused and giggled. "Hardly likely, is it? Not with this red hair and all my freckles. Anyway, poor old Cassiopeia’s got her punishment. You can see her there in her chair, hanging upside down for most of the year."

"Ginny Weasley," he said sternly, kissing the tip of her nose, and reassuring the very same freckles she’d just offended. "Those Nereids haven’t got a look in."

"Flatterer," she giggled, and stared thoughtfully back up at the stars. "Which one’s Ursa Major again? I can never find it without my text book."

 

*****

Ron paused awkwardly beside the door to the Astronomy classroom, Crookshanks winding in and out of his legs, threatening to trip him up with affection. He frowned slightly wondering what it was that made him feel like he was totally in the wrong by being here. Perhaps he was being a bit high-handed where Ginny was concerned. Even a blind man could see how much in love Harry and Ginny were, and Ron knew first hand how much it had cost them to be together. Maybe he should just go back to the common room and let Harry and Ginny owe him one for the detention. They could name their firstborn after him. Ron felt himself reddening at the prospect, and sincerely hoped that particular happy event was a good way off on the horizon.

He was about to leave the landing when he heard their voices, talking quietly, and he edged anxiously back to the doorway, listening intently to what they had to say.

"You know," he heard his sister’s soft voice say thoughtfully. "I’ve never really thought about how these things fit together before."

Please don’t let my baby sister be talking about what I think she’s talking about.

"Look here," Harry’s voice responded to her. "See how it goes up, right there. Try tracing it with your finger."

He’d better be showing her how to sketch or something. Yes, I’ll just wrap that thought around me like a warm blanket.

"I’ve never looked at it like this before," she said, with a little giggle. "Show me again."

"It’s easy when you know what you’re looking for," Harry replied. "Use that point right there to guide your way. That’s it."

I’m going to murder Harry with my bare hands.

"Got it!" Ginny squealed with delight.

Ron didn’t stop to think; in fact, he was relying on gut instinct and fury. He burst into the Astronomy Tower with his wand out, shouting, "WHAT IN HELL IS GOING ON HERE?" It would have been funny to see Harry and Ginny leap up, turn, and yelp in unison. However, Ron wasn’t laughing at the moment. He surveyed the scene.

Harry went totally white, and needed only a ruff around his neck to look like Nearly Headless Nick, the Gryffindor ghost. His hair, which was normally so untidy, stuck out at even odder angles, and his glasses rested crookedly on his nose. Ginny turned as white as Harry had, then slowly her skin took on a very dark reddish hue, from the very tips of her ears, right down to where her neck met the dark wool of her rather rumpled Hogwarts robes.

Well, at least they’re clothed. Thank God for small things.

"Ron! What are you doing here?" she asked, in a deceptively quiet tone.

"Me?" Ron was far too furious to take any notice of her. "Me? Don’t try and blame me for this. What are you doing here?"

"Is this because of the socks?" Harry asked, the whiteness of his demeanour now mottled with splodges of angry red.

Socks?!? You are…doing…stuff with my sister and I’m supposed to be mad about socks!

"It’s not just that," Ron snapped. "I knew you two would be out tonight, doing something... something like this."

"Something like what, Ron?" said Ginny, her voice rising in anger with each word she spoke. "We’re merely up in the Astronomy Tower, discussing constellations. As if that’s any of your business!"

Yeah right. Is that what they’re calling it these days?

"Yeah, constellations. That’s right," Ron retorted scornfully. "I heard you Gin."

"Heard what exactly?" Her voice cut through the air, sharp as a knife. Ron knew that tone well, and flinched slightly. Ginny’s temper was savage, and he’d been on the receiving end of it before. She took no prisoners when she was in a mood like this.

Hmmm. Perhaps a different tactic would be wise.

"Er…" Ron faltered, heat flooding his face as he recollected the conversation. "How…um…things fit together." He saw his sister and his best friend exchange puzzled glances. "Oh for heavens sakes!" he yelled at them. "I’m not stupid you know."

"You’re doing a pretty good impression of it from what I can see," Ginny retorted bitterly. "Harry was showing me Ursa Major."

"I’m sure that wasn’t all he was showing you," Ron spat back, before he could stop himself.

"WHAT?" Ginny shrieked. Ron saw Harry put his arm around her to calm her, but the sight of him holding her merely added fuel to the fire. He was so comfortable in the way he touched her, seemed to know his way around her body so easily.

"Tracing things with your finger, Ginny?" he reminded her, of what he’d overheard. He watched her carefully, and was delighted to see realisation slowly dawning across her face. She glanced up at Harry and, to Ron’s amazement, both of them began to chuckle.

"It’s like this, Ron," she said, biting her lip to calm herself. "If I start from Cassiopeia, and trace my way over here like this," she demonstrated with her finger as she spoke. "Then I find the lowest star in Ursa Major."

"Well, what about the ‘point right there to guide your way’?" he blustered, looking at Harry, who was now choking back the laughter quite visibly.

"Polaris," he spluttered, sinking onto the floor and burying his head in his knees to muffle his hilarity.

"You mean you weren’t…?" Ron stammered incredulously. "Are you sure?"

"Ron," Ginny giggled. "It’s really none of your business, but I’m definitely sure there was nothing going on just before you barged in. I think I’d have noticed if there was. Other times, I refuse to vouch for. That’s entirely between me and Harry."

Ron felt his cheeks growing even hotter, and he found himself unable to look at either Ginny or Harry. The embarrassment factor of what he’d just done began to sink in, and he groaned to himself. How could he have been so stupid? Neither of them were going to forgive him in a hurry for this. What on earth had possessed him?

"Ron," Ginny said firmly, taking control of the situation. "I suggest you go and have a nice hot bath or something. I think Hermione might well object to the delightful smell of eau de bats livers, or whatever that is."

"Slugs," Ron replied sheepishly, and gave them an apologetic smile. "Sorry," he muttered. "I’ll…er… I’ll leave you to it, then."

 

*****

The heavy oak door creaked to a close behind Ron, and Harry breathed a sigh of relief. That had been almost as close as their encounter with Snape. If Ron had arrived a mere fifteen minutes earlier, he would have been greeted by a completely different scenario, and a good deal less clothing. A broad grin spread across his face at the memory.

"Can you believe him?" Ginny said incredulously, still staring at the space in the doorway Ron had just occupied.  Harry pulled her closer, his hands gently running up and down her back to soothe her.  "Thinks I'm still a baby or something, how dare he just barge in when we…when we..," Ginny paused and giggled.  "It was funny though, wasn't it?"

"Yes, it was," he grinned, leaning over to kiss her deeply. He felt her quiver beneath his fingers. "Although if he’d turned up a few minutes earlier, it could have turned out like that again."

Ginny blushed, but grinned impishly up at him. "Oh, I’m sure I can make Ron live to rue the day. I’m just glad he’s not observant at the best of times."

"Why’s that?" wondered Harry. She pointed towards the window, and when Harry saw what was there, he began to laugh. Due to a reduction in sock stealing potential, Ginny had been forced in to wearing her own stockings, and the ones she’d been wearing earlier were still hanging where they’d been flung in the haste of the moment; delicately draped over a telescope in full view of the entire room.

"He’d have had kittens if he’d seen them," she laughed.

"Well, you heard your brother," he said, grinning wickedly at her.  "He's leaving us to it.  Be a shame to waste the opportunity."

*****

Night disperses and the dawn starts breaking

The drama and laughter all are fading.

The moral is, when the earth is rocking

Never forget where you’ve put your stockings!

 

 

//
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