Our dearly beloved ladytory
put out a challenge for us to brighten her day with a HP (is there any other kind) fan fiction. Because Tory is such a special being, I could not refuse.
The requested scenario: Write me a drabble, ficlet or fic about an HP character that has had a really bad day/week at work and how someone they love chooses to brighten their day/ help them feel better/ get rid of some stress.
Title: And just when you think it can't get worse...
Word Count: 2504 (plus tax)
A/N: Thanks must go out to ladytory
for her encouragement and quick beta, as well as to tajareyul
for her on-the-spot beta (patience is not my most prominent quality) and for stroking my ego! Thanks ladies!!! All other mistakes are most definitely mine!
Disclaimer: If I was JK Rowling, I wouldn't be sitting on the floor typing this. I would have bought a chair.And just when you think it can't get worse...
Harry Potter woke up that morning with the feeling that life would just be better if he could roll over and close his eyes again. He had had one of those restless nights where odd dreams had plagued him and interrupted his sleep. He could not remember what he had dreamt about, although an image of Goyle, a pink tutu and the portrait of Barnabus the Barmy came to mind. But not even that slightly amusing thought could ease the odd feeling that was growing in his stomach. “Stop being such a Trelawney!” he picked himself out. “Today is going to be just fine.” He then tried to ignore the small feeling in his stomach that chuckled mockingly, as if daring him to put a bet on it.
As the morning progressed, Harry started to think that his stomach had made a good point. Everything did seem to be going wrong. The first thing that happened was that he discovered that he was out of coffee. This was not a good sign. No day without a caffeinated kick-start would turn out well. He settled for tea, (“There is caffeine in there - somewhere!”) and sat at his kitchen table to read the Daily Prophet. No new Dark Lords; no one had died; … ewww … Millicent Bulstrode had agreed to marry Crabbe; and the Weasley twins had come up with another line of products to instil fear in the Hogwarts teachers. Harry was just starting to relax, thinking that all was right in the world (well… Crabbe and Millicent being the exception, but he couldn’t do anything about that,) and that his stomach had been wrong, when he turned over the paper to the Sports Section. Montrose Magpies get new coach!
Vow to reclaim the league trophy!
“Oh shit!” Harry jumped up from his seat at the table so quickly, he spilt the remainder of his tea over the Prophet. His eyes flew to the clock in the kitchen. “Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit! Fifteen minutes!” Abandoning all thoughts of breakfast, Harry dashed down the passage to get ready for the practise he had completely forgotten. How could he have forgotten! He had been looking forward to meeting the new coach. He did not know who the coach was by name, but apparently it had been he who had managed to fix the Chudley Canons and get them to actually come second in the last British/Irish League Championships. Harry had chuckled at the Canons’ new motto: “Never ask for outside help again.”
But Harry didn’t waste time thinking about any of that now. He raced to find his Quidditch robes. They were exactly where he had left them – soaking in soapy water in the basin. He let out another string of bad words as he hurriedly tried to get as much soap out of his robes as he could in 30 seconds. They were still slimy when he cast a quick drying charm on them. He then raced around trying to find the rest of his uniform. His heart plummeted when he saw his underwear hanging over the arm of a garden chair outside. Suddenly, the answer to the question he had once sarcastically asked Hermione came to mind. “What does a bachelor want with a tumble dryer?” Now he knew. He tiptoed over the frosted grass and grabbed his underwear. To say they were ice cold was, well, very accurate. He dressed, completely understanding the expression, ‘freezing your bollocks off’, and ran to the fireplace. “Shit! Shit! Shit!” There was no Floo powder! And Apparition was not an option. His flat had the same anti-Apparition wards on it that Hogwarts had. He had learnt his lesson within the first 5 minutes of owning his flat as girls from all different walks of magical life literally decided to pop in and visit him.
He raced for the door, grabbing his keys and wand. He fiddled hurriedly with the five locks (the war had to have made him a bit paranoid after all) and cast a sealing charm on the door just to be sure. He turned and ran down the flight of steps that lead to his door. In 2 minutes, Harry ran back up the steps, fiddled with the locks, disabled the sealing charm and ran back inside his flat. He returned a few seconds later with his Firebolt under his arm and once again fumbled with the keys.
Harry sprinted down the road, racing to the point where he knew it would be safe to Disapparate. This, he realised, was the only problem of living in the middle of a completely Muggle neighbourhood. He might not have hoards of witches waiting outside his flat to see him, but it definitely made a hasty retreat difficult.
Suddenly, a burst of white-hot pain shot across his cheek followed by a warmth that began to run down to his collarbone. Harry spun on his heel and turned to find Malfoy, Goyle and Nott stepping out from the nearby shadows. They looked pissed (all meanings of the word implied). Harry guessed that they were also not ecstatic about Crabbe’s engagement.
The battle that ensued was ruthless. Harry opted for stunners, while the former Death Eaters threw any spell at him that they could remember. By the time the Aurors finally arrived, Harry had piled the three stunned attackers against a wall with a note explaining that he was late for Quidditch practise and that that he was sure they could deal with them without him.
When he skidded to a halt in the Magpie’s Quidditch Stadium, he was only 5 minutes late. The sight of the new coach made him freeze on the spot and forget the excuse he had been working on on his way there. It was a woman. That wasn’t the part that stunned him though. It was her looks. The new coach had arms that competed in size with the legs of a rhinoceros. Muscles bulged out from under her taut skin, giving the appearance that her skin was battling to find room for them. Her strong, square jaw looked like it would be at home at the front of the Hogwarts Express and her tapered waist made her look like something from a Muggle caricature.
The new coach turned to look down at him. “You’re late!” she barked.
“Sorry… three… attackers… Death Eaters…” Harry panted, extremely disorientated and briefly forgetting how to construct a lucid sentence.
“That’s no excuse!” the woman boomed at him. “You killed Voldemort. Three Death Eaters should not be a problem.”
“I-I…” Harry didn’t know what to say, so he just stood there looking like a fish out of water.
“Well, don’t just stand there. Sit down with the rest of your team mates.”
Harry eyed the frosted ground where the rest of the Magpies were sitting. Resignedly, he took his place on the frozen ground. And he had just started to get some feeling back in his bum.
The new coach began her speech in a loud, authoritative, booming voice. “My name is Pugnacious Militant Savage. You can call me whatever you like. I don’t care. I am here to turn you from the losers you are into the champions you once were. From this moment on, you will eat, drink and sleep exercise! There will not be a moment wasted! You will not sit idly! Idleness is for the weak! Idleness causes laziness! Idleness weakens the body and slows the reflexes! From this moment on, there will be never-ceasing, always active, non-stop, physical EXERCISE! AGILITY, STRENGTH AND STAMINA! FIVE HUNDRED SIT UPS!”
The Quidditch players jumped with fright and immediately did as they were told.
Savage continued with her diatribe while the players grunted, sweated and tried to keep up with the count she was banging out on her thigh with her wand. “Quidditch is not just fun and games, or just flying around on a broom. You need to be athletes, and ATHLETES I WILL MAKE YOU! AGILITY, STRENGTH AND STAMINA!”
The 500 sit ups were followed by 50 laps around the pitch, which was followed by 500 push ups, which was followed by another 50 laps around the pitch, which was followed by many sets of weights, which was followed by 500 sit ups, which was followed by 500 push ups, which was followed by amnesia on Harry’s part, as he decided it was easier to not remember what he was doing. By the time they were allowed on their brooms for their regular practise, Harry’s arms were shaking so badly, he didn’t think he would be able to hold on. It was pure skill that kept Harry on his broom (because by this stage he knew that he couldn’t rely on luck), and it was only after one of the Beaters dropped his bat because it was too heavy for his screaming muscles, that they were grounded again. Harry never thought he would ever be so relieved to get off his broom.
“Pathetic!” P.M. Savage barked at them. She proceeded to walk up to the two Beaters, grab them by the neck of their robes and lift them off their feet. “AGILITY, STRENGTH AND STAMINA!” she barked again, before effortlessly lowering the Beaters to the ground.
Much later that afternoon when they were finally dismissed, Harry felt like a boneless, muscle-less flobberworm. He dragged himself to the fireplace in the manager’s office using his Firebolt as a crutch to keep himself upright. The manager, probably out of pure sympathy, gave him a bag of Floo powder ‘on the house’. Not wanting to linger in case the deranged coach saw him and had any more ideas, Harry stepped into the fireplace and Floo-ed home where he gratefully allowed himself to slump to his knees and roll out the fireplace. The floor felt so comfortable, just where he was…. Harry kept his eyes closed and allowed the sensation of sleep to wash over him.
And then, something tickled his sense of smell. It smelled like flowers. It smelled like Ginny.
“Ah,” Harry thought, feeling a sense of relief wash over him. “I am dying and death smells like Ginny. How nice…” And then he heard her.
“Harry? Harry, is that you?”
“Agility, strength and stamina,” Harry mumbled into the carpet in response. Faintly, he heard a gentle giggle in the background.
“I thought I might find you in this state.”
Harry heard light footsteps approaching him, and he opened an eye. “You’re laughing at me,” he groaned.
“No, I’m not. We had her at the Harpies a few months ago. I came home just like you.”
Harry gave her as much of a suspicious look as his muscles would allow. Oddly enough, the only thing that seemed to be easy to do at that precise moment was drool.
“That woman is a … a … I don’t know what.” he mumbled.
“Well, she isn’t normal, that’s for sure. Rumour has it that she has arm-wrestled mountain trolls and won,” Ginny commented. “And did you notice that her initials are PMS?”
“Great,” Harry groaned.
“Anyway,” she said, getting to the point and kneeling down next to him. “I thought I would come bearing gifts and relief.”
“Gifts and relief! Sounds good. Especially that relief part.” Harry managed to chuckle before groaning as his stomach muscles objected to the tension.
Ginny rolled him onto his back and unfastened his robes. With a lot of manoeuvring, she managed to get them off him and toss them to the side. His t-shirt was sent flying in the same direction moments later.
Harry was rolled back onto his stomach. He heard her taking a lid off a potion bottle and then, suddenly, the most amazing feeling overwhelmed him as she placed her oiled hands on his back. It felt like… like warm honey was flowing under his skin warming his muscles, but leaving behind the calm, soothing feeling that the sound of the sea has on a tired soul. He groaned as her hands worked their way slowly up his back and across his shoulders and then in small circles up his neck.
She rolled him over again so that he was laying on his back, looking at her through very lazy eyes. The feeling was better than any magic Harry had ever felt before. The tearing ache in his muscles disappeared as her hands roamed firmly across his stomach and over his chest. She massaged the muscles in his exhausted arms, kneading them gently in her hands.
Ginny then began tugging at the fly on his trousers.
“Are you trying to take advantage?”
Ginny looked at him humorously. “For some reason, I think that would be rather a waste of my time.”
“As much as I hate to admit it, I think you are right.”
Ginny tugged his trousers down to his ankles and soon they too were laying on the floor by his robes, along with his socks and shoes. She then began rubbing the magical oil into his legs.
“Merlin, Circe and Dumbledore, you are good at this.” A satisfied yet lazy expression was plastered over his face.
Ginny just chuckled at him in reply. She patted him gently on the hip, plastered a kiss on his relaxed mouth and then stood up.
“Hey! Where you going?” Harry tried to sit up, but nothing happened.
“I thought I would get your stuff ready for tomorrow.”
Harry watched as Ginny cast spells on his clothes on the floor. They were cleaned, ‘ironed’ and ready for him in a matter of seconds.
“You know, you are very good at that,” he commented.
“Well I should be. I had to let my mum win at least one battle. Besides, this way is a lot easier than the Muggle way.” She then sent a few other spells around his flat, cleaning up the tea that had stuck the Prophet to his kitchen table, straightening a few chairs and generally giving the place a ‘facelift’.
“Wow, you must teach me that spell.”
“I already have, twice in fact.”
“Well, I can’t get it right.”
“I wonder why,” she grinned, rolling her eyes at him. “It doesn’t involve a Dark Lord, Death Eaters, Dementors or a dragon. You really need someone to look after you.”
“There's a permanent position open. Are you volunteering?”
“Hmm, are you asking nicely?”
“If I asked nicely, what would you say?”
“Well, only if you asked really
nicely, I would say yes.”
“Well then, I am asking really, really
nicely.” Harry put on what he hoped was his most charming smile.
“Then I suppose I am saying yes.” Ginny bent down and kissed him. “Now, lets get you off to bed. I’ll head off home so you can sleep.”
“You can’t go home,” Harry said, crossing his toes and trying to look sympathetic. “I don’t have any more Floo powder.”
“Well then,” she leaned down and kissed him again, “I suppose I’ll be staying here then. I have ‘volunteered’ after all.” -- Fin --