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"Gah, I'm bored, entertain me!" Hermione turned to pester Harry.
"It was your suggestion we come to the library."
"But look how lovely it is outside. Besides, I think we both need some time away from the books."
Harry knew that she was referring to his potions text book with its annotations by 'The Half-Blood Prince' but he had to admit the weather was good for January. Hogwarts had been playing host to some remarkably good weather recently. The rest of the country plagued by Dementors dragging fogs, drizzle and depressing weather with them. Hogwarts was free of their scourge, so all the good weather had made their way to hang around the old castle.
"I'd never thought I'd live to see the day when Hermione Granger would become bored with a library." Harry laughed.
"Bloody men." The witch grumped. "Look at me, I'm a young, attractive woman, it's a weekend, I should be out having fun with my friends, however Ron is busy with Lavender and Ginny is off with Dean, so it's just me and you bucko."
Harry felt a pang of pain as she mentioned Ginny's name, he didn't like that she was with Dean. He knew that Hermione was upset about Ron, so he decided to humour her and agreed to head out into the grounds.
They met up half an hour later outside the main door of the castle. Harry, as was his norm, was wearing a pair of stonewash jeans and a t-shirt. Hermione turned up in a light summer dress. Harry couldn't help checking out his friend, a girl who tended to stick with the jeans and t-shirt route herself, and liked that the dress finished nicely above her knee and showed a fair amount of cleavage. She was carrying a straw shoulder bag into which she had packed a picnic.
She took his arm and led him down towards the Black Lake. After half an hour or so they ended up overlooking a small beach separated from the rest of the shore by rocky outcrops. After they had climbed down onto the sand, Harry was aware of how quiet it was, they couldn't hear any of the other students, and there was no wind passing through the trees above the small cliffs.
Hermione drew out her wand and pointed it at a boulder and muttered some words Harry couldn't quite make out. The rock transfigured into a deckchair. She repeated her spell on another rock and produced a twin of the first deckchair. A smaller rock was turned into table between the two.
Sitting down, they snacked on the sandwiches and cakes that Hermione had brought, and washed it down by some lemonade. It was after this that the witch stood up and started to take off her dress.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Sunbathing, come on, join me."
Harry watched his friend take off her dress revealing her white cotton underwear. While he had caught her once or twice 'by accident' over previous summers in various states of undress, he hadn't got the chance to look her over properly for a long while.
He admired how slim and demure she looked, like Ginny she was a pale skinned girl of classical beauty. Her long legs looked smooth and silken while the simple bra only highlighted how she was no longer a girl, but now a woman.
Thanking his stars that he had chosen today to wear clean underwear, he stripped off his t-shirt and jeans. He saw his best friend give him the once over, maybe her eyes lingered a bit longer over his grey briefs and the bulge they were not exactly hiding.
Out of the bag, Hermione produced a tall, stoppered, bottle and two glasses. Harry looked at the label: Laird McTavish's Single Malt Firewhiskey, aged 75 years.
"Wow, where did you get this?"
"I was going to give it to my dad for his birthday, but there is some stupid law that we can't give Muggles Wizzarding drinks. Apparently it is against the Statue of Secrecy."
"But your dad already knows about magic, he has a witch in the family."
"Exactly, but no, if I give this as a present to him, then the Ministry will confiscate it. Of course, the salesman only told me this after I'd bought it, after he'd talked me into buying a very old bottle. So then I was thinking that I'd give it to Ron for Christmas, but obviously that didn't happen."
"I don't know Hermione, but I think he'd have preferred it to that necklace Lavender bought him."
"True, but anyway, I thought that instead of everybody else trying to spoil my fun, I might as well enjoy it myself. Of course, a good whiskey is always made better shared."
She opened the bottle and poured out two large measures. The friends touched glasses and then drunk. Harry felt a warm sensation filling his body as if a smouldering fire was lit inside him, then suddenly the heat got too much for him and he opened his mouth to let the cooling air in. To his surprise, a lick of flame shot out his mouth as it opened, and the sensation vanished, leaving him with just the aftertaste that reminded him of opened presents and friendship. He caught a glimpse of Hermione breathing out fire and was at least reassured that it wasn't just him this was happening to.
"Wow. Sorry Harry, I forgot to warn you that old Firewhiskeys may taste smooth, but they literally have a fiery kick to them." With that she took another sip. Harry did likewise.
" ... and another thing," the young witch had, by now, finished off a few glasses of the spirit, "what goes from Platform nine and three quarters during the rest of the year? Are there any other trains? It seems at bit of a waste to have this whole extra station, with who knows how many platforms, and for there to be only the odd train to Hogwarts every year. Where do you think the rush hour train from platform 2 and a third goes Harry? What about the witch who sells sweets on the train, what does she do for the rest of the year?"
After a few more sips she started again.
"Harry, you know what I want to know, why do they all have to be so ginger? Mr Weasley, the only ginger wizard we know decided to marry the only ginger witch we know. Yes, it is all well and accepted that they are cousins and that most pure-blood families are all related, but why do the Weasleys have to look so obviously related? I bet they did actually bond over what it was like to be ginger in a non-ginger world."
"It's all a bit presumptuous isn't it Harry? Because we are magical, have a place at Hogwarts. My parents obviously let me go there because I wanted to go. Dumbledore visited us the year before and explained about Hogwarts and what I could achieve there and it sounded fascinating, but nobody mentioned that if I wanted a real job, a Muggle job, that I'd be stuffed. How am I going to apply to university with OWLs and NEWTs, what good is an OWL in Muggle studies going to do me at a job interview in the Muggle world? Say I wanted to be a Dentist like my parents or an Astronaut? Sure, I bet there is some way of inventing the certificates, but they I won't have any of the knowledge will I? It's like I've been marked down to have a role in the magical community without even asking me."
Harry sighed to himself, after all, he'd been marked by fate to be The Chosen One ™ and he certainly didn't have a choice in that. He looked at the bottle and saw that between then, they'd drunk a third of the bottle and Hermione was never the best at holding even her Butterbeer.
"Maybe you'll be lucky and getting killed by Voldemort before you have to apply to NASA. Perhaps we should lay off the Whiskey for a while." He suggested.
"Yeah, you're right Harry, of course, you're right. Look at us, we're next to a lake, why don't we go swimming?"
"Because I don't have my trunks with me."
"And I don't have a costume with me, why not go skinny dipping?"
While he wanted to see his friend naked, and so did the alcohol, the shy part of his personality wasn't so keen to reveal himself.
"Hermione, it's January, the water will be freezing and there are a lot of rather unfriendly creatures in the Black Lake."
The witch muttered something to herself, grabbed her wand and walked towards the shore. She waved it at the water and muttered an enchantment. A patch of water, almost the size of a swimming pool started to change colour, changing from the foreboding dark greeny-brown that it normally was, to a tropical turquoise.
"There you go Harry, for the next hour that water will be as warm as the Caribbean in summer and none of the lake's creatures can or will go into it."
Harry didn't have much time to dwell on what excuse he could use next. Hermione pointed her wanted at him and with a flick and a call of 'naturistnudium' she transported his pants a few feet to his left, leaving him naked.
"Fucking Hell Hermione, what was that?"
"It was a spell I read about, it removes somebody's clothes quickly."
"And you didn't choose to share this spell with us?"
"Oh yeah, I'd give you and Ron a spell that could make anybody naked. How long would it be before you were removing all the girl's robes in the school?"
"I thought you wanted Ron to undress you?" Harry snapped at Hermione, who stuck her tongue out at him. "Anyway, I'd have thought it'd be great fun to try on Malfoy, like during a Quiddich match."
"Oh, I hadn't thought of that." Hermione admitted, disappointed.
.... There is more of this story ...