Harry and Ron stepped through the fat woman painting into the Gryffindor common room in some consternation. "I hope Hermione hasn't passed us completely," Ron said. "I can't believe she took summer classes."
"I would have if I could," Harry said, "but I didn't have the O.W.L.s to manage it. Remember, her last letter said she was going to go on to post-graduate work." They waved to familiar friends and began introducing themselves to the new students. Quite a lot of the younger students kept passing them and then looking back at Harry and stopping dead in surprise.
After eight years, Harry was used to being stared at. The dark Lord Voldemort's attack on him as a baby left him a distinctive lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead, and the reputation of being the only person Voldemort couldn't kill outright did the rest, with some help from the reputation Harry had built for himself since. After discovering he was a wizard and could attend Hogwart's School of Wizardry, Harry had gotten wind of several of Voldemort's evil schemes and had thwarted them all. He had faced death, humiliation, basilisks, dragons, evil wizards, malicious spells, foul odors, the undead, and even the Inland Revenue and remained unscathed. Oddly enough, Voldemort's schemes seemed to be losing oomph, as if he could no longer pull together enough power to get a really good evil plan together. The last attempt had been to place Harry on a chain letter mailing list.
As more and more students kept staring at him, Harry began to realize that there was a different class of attention. He recognized the star-gazers, the well-wishers, the groupies, the jealous, and the envious, but he kept noticing female students looking at him in a funny way, almost as if they were hungry. One pretty blonde student even went so far as to lick her lips and use her hand to smooth out the front of her robe, although Harry hadn't noticed any wrinkles..
Ron noticed it as well. "Cor, Harry! You outta be able to get some serious schtank this year! And we're finally of legal age to learn Sex Magic, so you'll have an excuse and everything."
"But why are they staring at me? Why not both of us?" Harry asked, blushing furiously.
"Well, look at you. You've been playing tournament-class Quidditch for eight years, you're in fantastic shape, you've got the scar (chicks love scars, Harry), and Daniel Radcliffe turned out to be a hunk."
"Look, there's Hermione!"
Hermione Granger was standing at the bottom of the steps to the girls' dormitories. Harry and Ron dashed towards her and then stopped dead. Hermione had changed over the summer. The difference was so great that Harry was forced to realize that he hadn't really been paying attention the last few years. The mass of curly brown hair was still there, but it was arranged in an artful way to frame her face and curl over her shoulders. Her face was more angular, with high cheekbones and clear milky skin. The prominent front teeth were still there, but they only served to push her lips forward in a very interesting manner, making her look as if she was always just about to eat a strawberry. Her robes had changed as well; they fit quite a bit better, for one, and the neckline seemed much more fascinating than before. She had a thin leather belt around her waist, from which hung several small silk pouches and which incidentally accentuated her lush curves. Heavily orchestrated music began playing. "Hi Harry, hi Ron!" she called, and went to hug them both.
"Um, cough, wow, Hermione, you're looking really, um, good," Ron blurted out. Harry just nodded and concentrated on trying to breathe normally.
She preened. "Thanks! I've been studying up on Sex Magic, it's dead easy. Did you get all the stuff on your list for this year?"
Both teens looked down and nodded. "Yes, " said Harry glumly. "We had to go to a different section of Dragon's Alley for it, some shop called Lord Chumley's Marital Accoutrements and Novelties for the Gentleman. I don't even know what half of this stuff does! And a couple of the items sort of look like wands, but I tried swishing them about and almost got arrested!"
"You'll see. The girls get a different list, I got everything at Victoria's Sorceries. I'll show you later, if you're good" she said, not noticing the way both Harry and Ron's eyes widened, "but you've both got to get to "Beginning Erotimancy". I'll see you after." She turned and walked up the stairs with a wiggle.
Ron looked at Harry. "We're in for it, aren't we?"
The two boys ran into Professor Winkledoof's class just on time. This class was all boys, for some reason, and Harry's heart fell as he spotted Draco Malfoy and his goons on the other side of the room. The professor, a short, stocky man with questionable hygiene, was busily making extremely detailed chalk drawings on the blackboard. The drawings appeared to be of some sort of intricate plumbing system, and resmebled slightly the more primitive sketchings Harry had seen in the boy's lavatory. There were several posters hanging about the walls, with mottoes like "Safe Spelling", and "Wrap It Before You Wave It". There was what appeared to be an inflatable witch, a small trampoline and a spool of thick rope over by the closet, and there was a large wooden trunk labeled "Toys" next to Professor Winkledoof's desk, which was almost invisible under the stacks of paintings and etchings. Harry and Ron looked down; at each student's place was a brass spigot maked "Lube", a soft towel, and a small parcel of square foil packages labeled "Lord Chumley's Preventatives - Ribbed". Some of the boys had apparantly already opened theirs and there was a spirited balloon fight going on in the back of the room.
Professor Winkledoof finished his drawing, turned to face the class, scratched himself, and began. "Right! Welcome to 'Beginning Erotimancy'! We'll jump right in to give you a taste, right? Wave yer wand over your goodies and say 'Phallus erectus'!"
Harry looked around to get an idea of what "goodies" was supposed to mean, and then, blushing, he followed instructions. "Phallus erectus!" he commanded. Instantly he felt a strange warmth, which turned into an abrupt and slightly painful swelling and tightening beneath his robes. At first he thought he had inadvertantly transformed part of himself into a snake, but talking to it had no effect. Next to him he could hear Ron waving his wand frantically and mumbling, "Please, dammit, c'mon, don't do this to me..." The boys around him were having varying degrees of success; Harry wasn't surprised to see Malfoy sitting tall in his chair with a smug expression.
Class ended early after an explosion came from the back of the room and Neville's high-pitched shrieks filled the air. "That explosion was a bit... premature, wasn't it Potter?" laughed Malfoy.
The next class was with Professor Snapes ("Aphrodisiacs and their Abuses") but they had more than a half-hour to spend so they went back to the Gryffindor rooms. Harry was still puzzling over what he had seen. "What were those diagrams on the board? You think he's trying to sneak into the pipes of Hogwarts to do some dastardly deed? Maybe there's underground caverns besides the Chamber of SecretsTM, that diagram looked kind of like the opening of a hidden cavern," Harry said. Ron looked at him with an odd expression.
"You didn't get out much at the Dursley's, did you Harry?"
"No, you know that. What's that got to do with anything?"
"Nothing, nothing," Ron said hurridly, "only you might want to, you know, check out the library for some extra biology studying this term."
"Now you sound like Hermione."
"Yeah, and about Hermione. You know how she loves showing off how much she knows about magic, right? I'm thinking that..."
They said the password ("doggin bat!") and entered the common room. Hermione was sitting in one of the high-backed armchairs in front of the fire, studying an odd-looking device. "What sort of magic wand's that, then?" asked Ron.
Hermione smiled a cat smile. "A Hitachi," she said. "Why are you chaps back so early? Finish too soon?"
"No, but Neville did," Harry said. "Madam Pomfrey looked at him and shook her head, said something about cold compresses."
Ron cleared his throat. "Um, Hermione, I was wondering... I mean, it seems that Harry here is a bit, um, lacking, in certain basic instruction, and I was wondering if you could help him out. And me too, if you're not too tired." Hermione seemed delighted, and stood up with a flourish.
"I'd be happy to," she said. She looked closer at Harry, paying particular attention to the chest and arm muscles developed through years of Quidditch. "I'd be very happy to. The only person I had to study with over the summer was Colin, and he wears out too quickly." She reached into one of her pouches, grumbled, and then reached into a diferent one. "Shouldn't have been there... okay, this is the easiest one to master, it's called Attraction. With a small effort you can cast a spell on a person and make them think you're the sexiest thing they've ever seen." She threw a small handful of glittering dust in the air, waved her Hitachi through it and chanted, "Glamourus Meus!"
Suddenly, in Harry's eyes Hermione was stunning. She had already been attractive; now she was maddening. He could feel the snake tranformation in his robes again as he lurched towards her, determined to get her and... and... well, he didn't know exactly what yet, but whatever it was he was going to do it really hard. Hermione smiled at him. "See? Easy. And you turn it off with just a snap of the wand." She jerked her wand between them and down, but it had no effect. She looked at it and ducked around the back of the chair as Harry stepped forward. "Sorry, I'll try that again." She did; it didn't.
Hermione looked up with resigned good humor and held her arms out. Oh, well, something went wrong, and now she had to deal with a lust-crazed Harry Potter. No worries, she had hoped for that anyway, just on somewhat more equal terms. Maybe this way they could get the awkwardness out of the way and then they could... Behind Harry's quivering body she could hear that all the conversation in the room had stopped, and low moans could be heard. She stood up and peeked over the back of the chair.
Everyone in the room was looking at her like a starving dog looking at a steak, and they were all walking stiffly towards the chair. Even some of the figures in the paintings seemed to be trying to climb out of the frames. The fat woman painting slid aside and more boys (and a few girls) from the other Houses came in, followed by several professors. Through the window she could hear Hagrid's great booming voice, "Aragh! I've gone and raised the biggest beast of them all! C'mon, me lad, let's put you to good use!" Even the male owls in the room seemed alert and ready to swoop, and Ron's owl Pidwigeon was scrabbling at the bottom of her robes, trying to find a way in.
Frantically she tore through her pouches, only to find that all of her other powders had been replaced with sugar packets. Someone had sabotaged her spell! And now it looked as though she was going to suffer for it, unless her summer lessons could help her triumph over 65 males (and a few females). She took a deep breath, snapped her head to the side to crack her neck, and stepped forward...