The Sugar Quill
Author: Poppy P (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Broom Shed Incident  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.

A/N: I do not own the characters, place names or anything you may recognize. It all belongs to JK Rowling. I am not looking to make a profit off the story. It is purely for entertainment purposes. Kudos to Dr C for coming up with the great Ravenclaw password (or should we thank Poe?). This is a sort of prequel to my other story here at SQ, I’m Like a Bird – a Percy Story. Thanks to Zsenya for beta-reading and especially for all her hard work at SQ.

Ludo Bagman’s eyes darted about the Great Hall in desperation. It seemed like he had spent half the Yule Ball being thwarted by redheaded boys. Just how many children did Arthur Weasley have anyway? First, those obnoxious twins had accosted him. Then, he spotted Harry Potter and wanted to chat with him about the second task of the Triwizard Tournament, but couldn’t because he walked off with a redheaded boy wearing maroon dress robes and a scowl. Now he was stuck with Crouch’s young assistant who was droning on and on about something or other. Bagman looked enviously at Dumbledore who was dancing spryly with Poppy Pomfrey. They were giggling like a couple of schoolchildren.

Well, he was not going to spend the rest of his evening listening to Pompous Percy. He cleared his throat as the Weird Sisters ended another song.

"Excuse me Percy, but I promised Poppy Pomfrey a dance and I see that Dumbledore has finally tired out. You understand, don’t you?"

"Of course," But Percy hadn’t even gotten the words out before Bagman was gone.

Hmph! Thought Percy, Bagman had not shown much concern over cauldron bottom thickness standards.

Percy noted that the table was empty now and he was alone. He had hardly noticed when Ron got up and left with Harry. He looked about for his other siblings. Fred was making a spectacle of himself on the dance floor with Angelina Johnson. George, Lee Jordan and some of their delinquent friend were egging them on with loud cheers and whistles. Percy rolled his eyes in disgust. Absolutely no dignity those two. He made a mental note to tell their mum about Fred and George’s conversation with Bagman. Apparently they hadn’t given up on the joke shop idea.

Percy looked around for his sister Ginny. Perhaps she had some other useful information on his brothers that he could share with Mum. But she was also out on the dance floor. Ginny was dancing with the Longbottom boy at arm’s length. Every once in a while Neville seemed to pull Ginny closer, but she would pull firmly back. It looked as though they were playing some odd sort of tug-of-war rather than dancing.

Percy’s shoulders slumped dejectedly. Now who could he talk to? Of course he knew almost every student there except for the foreign ones. He had just graduated last year. But for some reason they all seemed so young and silly. Then it hit him: Penny. He almost felt bad that it took him so long to think of her. She was his girlfriend after all. He had been seeing Penelope Clearwater for the past three years. She was currently in her last year at Hogwarts. He hadn’t even had a chance to owl her about his promotion and tell her that he was coming to the Yule Ball in Mr. Crouch’s place. Poor thing, he mused, she was probably sitting in the Ravenclaw common room right now, studying for her N.E.W.T.’s and missing him. He had been neglecting her lately. Of course she understood, Percy assured himself. After all, he was a Ministry official now.

They had seen each other off and on during the summer. That had been a real challenge. Her parents, being Muggle, were a bit more liberal about dating, but still, they would definitely not take kindly to their seventeen year old daughter spending the night with him. At Hogwarts it had been easy enough to sneak into an empty classroom as long as they watched out for Mrs. Norris. The summer, however, was a different story. Wizard transportation certainly had its drawbacks. It was very difficult to have a private, romantic and safe interlude on a broomstick. If Mr. Weasley still had his car, that problem could’ve been solved. Thanks to Ron, however, that was out. Added to the problem was the fact that Mr. Clearwater was leery of having Penny flying off on a broomstick with Percy. He had never quite gotten used to the idea that his daughter was a witch. They had finally worked out a system where they used the underground to meet in obscure parks around London where they took up residence in various gazebos and kiosks. Casting a first rate Concealment charm became somewhat of an initiation to their lovemaking. All Percy had to do was mention the charm and Penny got goosebumps. Still, Percy couldn’t wait until next year when she was out of school and they could see each other more often. Work permitting of course.

Percy made his mind up to surprise Penny that instant. This would be the perfect opportunity to sneak into an empty classroom as everybody was at the Yule Ball. He wondered what Penny would say about his new robes.

He was making his way through the crowded hall, intent on getting to the Ravenclaw common room, when he spotted her.

Penny was sitting at a table littered with napkins and empty butterbeer bottles; talking animatedly to a blond-haired boy he didn’t know.

Percy stopped and stared at her in disbelief. Penelope looked beautiful. Her long, curly hair was pulled away from her face and hung down the back of her robes in dark waves. She was wearing burgundy robes that perfectly matched the flush on her cheeks. Her gray eyes were bright and sparkling as she carried on her conversation with the blond boy. Percy willed her to look at him, and a moment later she turned towards him. Her eyes widened in disbelief then pleasure and she hurriedly excused herself and rushed over towards him.

"Percy!" she exclaimed breathlessly, "What are you doing here?" She squeezed his hand and pecked him on the cheek.

Percy answered back automatically, though his voice sounded odd and nasally to him. "I was promoted today and they asked me to step in for Mr. Crouch as he’s not feeling well. What are you doing here?"

Penelope looked slightly taken aback by his question. "Well, I had no intention of coming, but Pierre asked me to accompany him as a friend because he didn’t want to sit here all by himself. Luckily I packed these dress robes for graduation. I almost changed my mind though, which is why we came in late. I hadn’t noticed you here until just now."

Percy had only heard one word during this whole exchange. "P-Pierre?" he asked.

"Yes," she smiled, "he’s from Beauxbatons. We met in Arithmancy class and he’s so nice!

You’ve just got to meet him. I told him all about my wonderful boyfriend with the big, important Ministry job." Her eyes sparkled with amusement. Was she mocking him? Percy allowed himself to be steered over to the table where the blond boy stood up and shook his hand, murmuring greetings in a heavy French accent. They sat down in an awkward silence for a few minutes. Penny glanced from Pierre to Percy a couple of times, then stood up quickly, pulling Percy with her. "Pierre, I hate to leave you alone, but would you mind terribly if Percy and I went for a little walk? We’ve not been able to get together for ages." She smiled brightly at Pierre who looked chagrinned but nodded.

Penny and Percy made their way out the entrance hall and down the castle steps into the cold night air. They walked towards the rose garden but were put off by the numerous couples in various make-out stages. Penny sensed they were in need of a private place to talk so she suggested, "Let’s take a walk down by the lake. It’s a bit chilly out, but I daresay you can cast some of the best Robe-warming charms I’ve ever seen." She raised her eyebrows with the innuendo, but he ignored her and quickly muttered the charm over them. They headed out towards the lake. They walked around it in silence, under the cold, crisp night sky speckled with stars. They were making their way towards the Quidditch pitch when Penny couldn’t stand the silence any longer.

"Percy, is something is wrong?"

He stopped walking and stared down at her. She was a tall girl, but he was taller. "You’re a clever little Ravenclaw, what do you think?" he asked through gritted teeth. "I find my so-called girlfriend at a dance with some bloke I don’t know, having the time of her life. Don’t you think something’s wrong?"

Her eyes widened with surprise. "You’re upset about Pierre?"

"Pierre and Penny, how very cute," he sneered. "Of course I’m upset about Pierre!" He began walking around the Quidditch pitch, his feet making crunching founds over the frozen ground.

Penny panted, trying to keep up with him.

"I told you we came as friends."

"Yes, it looked pretty friendly to me alright."

"Percy," she grabbed his arm and swung him around to face her. "Do you seriously think I’d betray you in front of your brothers and Ginny?" she asked earnestly. "I told you Pierre is a friend."

Percy crossed his arms over his chest and turned away, making a derisive noise.

"Percy, I would think you of all people would be pleased by my friendship with Pierre," continued Penny as Percy gave her an incredulous look. "Weren’t you the one that stressed the importance of establishing ties with foreign wizards and witches?"

Percy’s eyes flashed coldly. "Establish ties with them, not shag them!"

Penny gasped in shock then pulled her hand back and slapped Percy across the face with all her might. He clutched the side of his face and staggered. Penny’s chest rose and fell with every ragged breath. "How dare you?" she asked in a deadly quiet voice. "How dare you even insinuate that? When have I ever given you reason to doubt me?"

Percy stared at her mutely, hand still clutched to his cheek that burned red in the moonlight.

Penny continued, "I’ve never even had another boyfriend. You were the first in all aspects and you," her voice softened so that it was barely audible and she looked down at the ground, "you know that." She looked back up at him, eyes overflowing with tears.

Percy slowly lowered his hand from his face. "You…you struck me. No one’s ever…I mean, not even Mum…" he trailed off.

She immediately felt contrite. She put her hand on his hot cheek. "Oh Percy, I’m so sorry. It’s just that you made such a ridiculous accusation about Pierre and I."

"Well," he said, "it’s just that you look so beautiful and when I saw you with another man I…"

"Percy! I told you we came as friends. Besides," she added as an afterthought, "Pierre is gay."

"Yes, but I…" Percy stopped abruptly, "Come again?"

Penelope smiled at his bewildered expression. "When I told you we came as friends, I meant it. Pierre is gay. He’s quite taken with Draco Malfoy you know."

"Oh." Percy felt a hot flush creep up his neck and over his ears. "So you came as friends?" he asked sheepishly.

"Absolutely. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to owl you about attending the ball with my friend."

Percy sighed deeply. He hated admitting he was wrong. "I guess, I’m sorry too. I should’ve owled you about my promotion and stepping in for Mr. Crouch. It’s just that I got so caught up telling Mum about it and shopping for dress robes, that I forgot."

Penny ran her hands across his chest, over the dark blue material. "They’re very nice. You look so distinguished and handsome…" her voice trailed off as Percy’s chest puffed out with pride under her hands. They looked into each other’s eyes and were just drawing together for what promised to be a passionate kiss when they were startled by a peculiar sound.

"What was that?" Asked Percy alarmed.

"Dunno, but it sounds like it’s getting closer."

Percy looked around frantically. "I can’t get caught in a compromising position with a student. I’m a Ministry official!"

Penny felt slightly annoyed at his comment, but refrained from saying anything. She squinted into the darkness and saw that the noise was coming from a large figure looming towards them. "Percy, that looks like Hagrid, and it sounds like…it sounds like he’s crying."

Indeed, the loud snuffling noise was getting louder by the second as Hagrid drew closer. Unable to summon much sympathy for Hargrid due to his predicament, Percy blurted out, "The broom shed! I think we can make it there without Hagrid spotting us. Quick!" He grabbed Penny’s hand and rushed inside the shed at the end of the Quidditch pitch. Percy leaned against the door, trying to catch his breath as Penny peered out of the tiny broom shaped cut out on the door.

"Poor Hagrid, he sounded miserable. I doubt he would have noticed us in his condition. Percy, what are you doing?"

Intrigued at finding himself alone in a darkened room with his girlfriend, Percy had suddenly lost his trepidation of being caught doing something unbecoming of a Ministry official. In fact, he had just about one thought left on his mind now.

"Penny," Percy’s hot voice against her neck and the way he pressed himself up behind her, clutching at her waist, made Penny forget about Hagrid as well. "Penny," he repeated, "I’ve really missed you." He turned her around gently so that they were facing each other.

"Have you?" she asked breathlessly.

His response was muffled by the scalding kisses he trailed down her face and neck. "Very much. You know I’m busy with work, but I do love you Penny." He pushed her against the door of the broom shed, continuing his path of kisses.

"Oh my." She clutched at the back of his neck, running her fingers through his thick hair. At last, she pushed him back gently and looked around the darkened room. "Percy," she was quite breathless now, "do you think we could…um…you know, here?"

Percy lit his wand and looked around the room. Apart from the broomstick stands and the brooms themselves, there wasn’t any furniture in there. There was a cloak hanging on a hook on a wall. Percy supposed he could spread that over the floor. No, he thought, it was too cold for that. Suddenly Percy was struck with an inspiration. He grabbed the closest broom within reach, which turned out to be a Cleansweep Five.

He motioned for Penny to stay where she was. Percy placed the broom in the middle of the floor, pointed his wand at it and uttered a few words. In an instant, the broom was transfigured into a bed that took up most of the broom shed. Penny smiled in admiration and said, "Wow! I’ll have to thank Professor McGonagall on Monday."

"Professor McGonagall?" Percy frowned, "Why?"

"For that impressive bit of Transfiguration."

Percy smiled, and then said in a low voice, "Really? Well, I’ve got some other skills I’d like to share with you Miss Clearwater."

Penny felt her face flush in the darkness and started to sit down o n the bed, when Percy stopped her. "Wait," he pulled the old cloak off the wall, shook out the dust and draped it over the bed. "Don’t want to catch cold now, do we?" He twirled his wand in the air and pointed it at the cloak. A red rose blossomed in the center of the garment, then a pink one, then another red and so on as it stretched out towards the four corners of the bed. When it finally stopped, a quilt of pink and red roses covered the bed.

"Oh Percy!" she gasped as he led her by the hand. They stretched out on the bed and Penny waited for Percy to use his wand to cast a Disrobing charm on her. He really prided himself on his Disrobing charm. She was surprised when he put his wand aside and began undoing the clasp on her robes with his own hands.

"I want to do this myself tonight, Penny."

Penny had a feeling the night’s surprises were far from over.

*****

Several hours later, Penny faced the frowning portrait of Rowena Ravenclaw that guarded the entrance to the Ravenclaw common room.

"Two o’clock in the morning! Is this really a sensible time to come in young lady?"

"Please keep your voice down!" Penny whispered frantically looking over her shoulder for a sign of Filch or Mrs. Norris.

"Very well, but next time, see that you get in at a decent hour. Password?"

"Yes fine. Nevermore." Penny jumped as she thought she heard a noise. "Nevermore." she repeated.

The portrait slid to the side, revealing the entrance to the Ravenclaw common room. Penny slipped in and proceeded to make her way past the blue sofas and armchairs when a soft voice said, "Lumos." Penny froze in terror, and then relaxed as she saw Cho Chang, Mandy Brocklehurst and Padma Patil sitting up from various sofas pulled closed together and rubbing their eyes.

"What are you lot doing down here?" asked Penny, plopping herself down at the end of Cho’s sofa.

"We fell asleep chatting about the ball," said Cho with a yawn.

"Did you have a good time?" asked Penny.

"I didn’t," answered Padma petulantly. "I had a horrible date. Then I tried flirting with that Beauxbatons boy you cast off Penny, but he was interested either! I think he fancies Pansy Parkinson. He kept glancing at her table all night." Penny smiled

"Anyway," said Mandy, "Cho had a good time, and she got the best Christmas present."

"Did you now? And what was that?"

Cho smiled shyly and glanced at Penny, "A new boyfriend."

Penny paused, then it registered. "You and Cedric?"

Cho nodded, breaking out in a wide grin. Penny shrieked and hugged Cho tightly. All four of them sat giggling madly until Penny shushed them, reminding them of the time.

"Yes Miss Prefect, and where were you until just now?" asked Padma cheekily.

"I…er…was…" Penny stammered.

"No need to explain, we can see it on your face, you scarlet woman, you." teased Mandy as a deep blush crept over Penny’s face.

"We saw you leave with Percy," explained Cho.

"Sarah Fawcett told us she saw you walking past the rose garden," said Mandy.

"Looking for a more private place, hmm?" asked Padma sweetly.

"Are those rose petals in your hair Penny?" asked Cho in astonishment. Penny ran a hand through her bedraggled curls and brought forward a handful of pink and red petals. She felt that if she turned any redder her whole head would pop off. Penny tried to look severe but ended up joining the trio in a helpless fit of giggles.

Mandy tried to stifle her giggles with a cushion. "And here we were making fun of Lisa Turpin and Terry Boot because they snagged her robes on some thorns trying to get away from Snape."

Cho wiped away tears of mirth. "Tell her about Roger and the Beauxbatons girl."

"Oh yes," began Padma breathlessly. "Lisa said at least they weren’t as bad as Roger and Fleur Delacour. In fact, they’re probably still picking thorns out of their bums as we speak!"

Penny fell back against the sofa shaking with suppressed laughter. "You’re horrible!"

"So really Penny," pressed Mandy, "how did you get rose petals in your hair?"

"Yes, what did you two do?" insisted Padma, "Stand on your heads?"

After another giggle fit, Penny proceeded to tell the girls about the broom shed and the rose petal quilt. The younger girls pressed her for more information, but she refused to give any details. It wasn’t ladylike and she was a Prefect after all.

Padma pouted, "No fair! How come you got the Weasley stud and I got the Weasley dud?"

Penny patted her hand, "Now Padma, give the boy a chance. Ron’s still young after all."

"Hmm," said Mandy thoughtfully, "I wonder if Ron Weasley is good at Transfiguration?"

"Well, maybe when I get over being mad at him, I’ll find out," declared Padma.

In the ensuing fit of laughter, none of them noticed Roger Davies come down the boys’ staircase. "What’s with you girls? Don’t you know there are people trying to sleep here?" he asked, outraged. Roger whirled around and walked stiffly up the stairs.

"See," whispered Mandy, "thorns in his bum!"

The End

//
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