The Morning After
Harry / Ginny / Hermione ship
Dean let out a pitiful groan as someone very rudely shook his shoulder. Without even looking, he moaned out, "Lemme die in peace."
He heard a chuckle, and a familiar voice said, "Drink this, and you'll feel better."
Very carefully and very slowly, Dean levered himself into a sitting position. After such a Herculean effort, he was saddened to realize that it didn't improve his situation at all. Instead, a vial of green swamp slime appeared in his line of vision.
Dean almost lost control of his stomach at the mere sight of it. "How in the name of Merlin do you expect me to drink that without barfing it right back up?"
"Trust me, it'll make you feel better in about five seconds."
Knowing he had nothing to lose (he felt that a quick death might actually be a blessing at this point), Dean took the vial and tossed it back.
His next five seconds were among the worst he'd ever experienced. His stomach was turning itself inside out, his lungs were filling with pus, and his nose and throat had been dipped in raw sewage. That's what it felt like, anyway.
Miraculously, he didn't die, implode, or spontaneously combust on the spot. Instead, he actually began to feel much better.
Looking up at Harry, he asked, "What was that stuff?"
Harry nodded in agreement. "Works, though." He helped Dean pull himself upright.
Once up, Dean looked around, not all that surprised to find himself in the bathroom. A running shower explained the sound of rain he'd awoken to. "What happened?"
"Inebriating Vapors and lots of firewhiskey, mostly," Harry answered.
Dean pulled a face but nodded. Holding up the empty vial, he asked, "Did you make this stuff?"
"Yep. Seventh year potions does have one or two redeeming features."
"I guess so. Thank you."
Harry just nodded back.
"As you were kind enough to make it, I'll —"
Dean was interrupted by the appearance of a naked Lavender Brown walking into the room. She graced the two wizards with a dazzling smile and then unceremoniously entered the shower stall that was in use.
"Dean, please leave," Lavender's ordered sweetly.
"Harry, are you out there?" Seamus's voice rose above the sound of the shower.
"Yes," Harry replied, grinning at Dean's dumbfounded expression.
"Could you cast a Silencing Charm for us? Then could you and Dean please leave and close the door behind you?"
"Sure thing. You have fun."
"We most certainly intend to," Lavender responded. "You too, Harry."
Harry waved a hand at the shower stall, and the sound of running water immediately stopped behind the wall of magical silence. He turned to Dean. "Can you get potions to Neville, Parvati, and the sixth years minus Ginny and Colin?"
Dean nodded and led the way back into the dormitory room.
" . . . whether we can both marry him or if we'll have to settle for mistress or concubine status," Hermione was saying.
Harry and Dean stopped short at hearing this.
Harry's smile blossomed.
Dean's jaw dropped as he took in the scene, which included a whole lot of bare witch-flesh in Harry's bed.
Noticing the new arrivals, Ginny said politely but firmly, "Dean, leave."
Gathering up his motor skills, Dean obediently turned and headed toward the door, stopping only long enough to pick up the remaining hangover cure doses.
In a surprisingly husky voice, Hermione said, "Harry, take off that robe and get in here."
The last thing Dean heard as he left was Hermione casting a Silencing Charm. He shook his head in amazement and turned toward the sixth year boys’ dormitory. There, he found four empty and unused beds. Even the bathroom was empty, much to his exasperation.
Not having any choice, he went down to the common room and headed toward the girls' staircase. At its base, he looked quickly around the empty common room and whispered the password, distantly thankful that he'd heard the Weasley twins use it several years previously.
The girls' dormitories, he discovered, were numbered in the same way as the boys'. He reached the sixth year room first and entered hesitantly.
He was immensely relieved to find the expected six sixth year Gryffindors collapsed in three of the beds.
Making his way around the room, he woke all six up and gave the potions to them with a minimum of trouble. He then made a hasty exit when the first Silencing Charm went up.
Heading up to the seventh year girls’ dormitory, he poked his head in and was surprised to find Parvati and Neville curled up and looking quite cozy. Both were as underdressed as everyone else had been.
Shaking his head at the incredible luck that all of his housemates were showing, he began to wonder if the Inebriating Vapors were still affecting all of them. Inhibitions certainly didn't seem to be a problem for anyone this morning, even after taking the hangover cure.
Shaking himself back to the issue of Neville and Parvati, he entered and gently shook Parvati's exposed shoulder.
"Oh, Nevvie, again? You're an insatiable animal, aren't you?" she mumbled, causing Dean's eyes to widen.
His brain then threatened him with a complete meltdown at Neville's answer of, "Only for you, Parv-love, only for you."
In a last ditch effort to retain his mind, Dean loudly cleared his throat.
Two pairs of eyes shot open.
"Dean," Neville growled out, eyes bloodshot but still promising a painful death if crossed, "unless you're here to tell us about a Death Eater attack or the castle being on fire, leave."
"Dean, leave NOW," Parvati interrupted him, glaring out from a mass of absolutely adorable sleep-messy black hair.
Knowing his welcome (if he'd ever had one) had worn out, Dean turned on his heel and put the two vials on the nearest nightstand. "Hangover cure," he explained curtly, making his escape.
The door slammed shut and made a squelching sound the instant he'd cleared the threshold.
Clambering down the stairs and hoping he wouldn't run into anyone on the girls' staircase, Dean tried to make sure all of the sixth and seventh years had received Harry's potion. He frowned when he realized that the only two he couldn't definitely account for were Ron and Colin.
He then came to an abrupt halt when a string of facts led to a startling conclusion.
Harry had indicated Colin and Ginny were the only two sixth years he had given potions to himself. He'd further indicated that Parvati and Neville were the only seventh years he HADN'T given a potion to by that point.
Dean himself had seen (or at least heard in Seamus's case) every other sixth and seventh year aside from Ron and Colin.
If Harry said he'd taken care of the two, then Dean had no reason to doubt him.
Neither of them were in the other three dormitories or any of the four adjoining bathrooms.
So Colin and Ron had either already left the tower or . . .
Ron's four-poster bed's hangings had been closed.
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Dean Thomas had a very difficult time keeping the grin off of his face as he walked into the Great Hall and sat down next to Susan. Knowing that the Inebriating Vapors were still affecting him in spite of the hangover cure, he consciously limited himself to only kissing her on the cheek. He didn't want to get his girlfriend or himself expelled for lascivious behavior in the Great Hall, no matter how attractive the option seemed at the moment.
"Why're you in such a good mood?" she asked around a yawn.
His eyes sparkled. "Oh, you know, just the end of NEWTs."
Having dated him for most of the two previous years, she could tell that his answer wasn't the truth, or at least not the complete truth. She was about to question him further when she was interrupted.
"Mister Thomas?" Professor McGonagall's voice spoke from above the couple.
Dean turned around and smiled up at his head of house. "Professor. What can I do for you this fine morning?"
"Might you know why you're the only one of my senior Gryffindors that has thus far managed to make it down to breakfast, despite the fact that it's becoming quite late?"
His lip twitched at her inadvertent confirmation of Colin and Ron's location. "I saw most of them this morning after I woke up, ma'am. As far as I know, they're all still in the castle, if that's your worry."
She frowned slightly. "Not precisely what I was concerned about, though it's good to know. Where are they? Are they all well?"
"Oh, they're definitely okay. Nobody's hurt or sick. Well, nobody's sick anymore."
"Anymore? Mister Thomas, are you going to tell me where they are or not?"
"To the best of my knowledge, all of the sixth and seventh years are in the four dormitories, Professor."
"I'm going to have to drag this out of you, aren't I? What did you mean by saying that nobody's sick anymore?"
"Well, ma'am, Harry was kind enough to brew a potion that helped a great deal."
McGonagall studied the cheerful but strangely evasive student in front of her for several silent seconds. "Do I really want to hear this story?"
Dean answered carefully, "There's no reason for you to be concerned for any of them, Professor."
She nodded slowly. "Very well. Answer me one last question, then. Considering that it's after term, would I find any school rules being broken if I were to visit Gryffindor Tower?"
Dean valiantly fought his smirk. "No, ma'am."
She nodded decisively. "Very good, then. Thank you, Mister Thomas. I shall not delay your breakfast any longer. Miss Bones," she nodded to the Hufflepuff visiting the Gryffindor table and walked back up to her seat at the head table.
Susan rounded on her boyfriend. "Okay, spill!"
The look in his eyes totally belied his innocent expression. "What do you mean, dear?"
She almost growled at him.
Chuckling, he held up his hands in an expression of surrender. "Okay, short version: sixteen students, one of the Weasley twins' new inventions (which hasn't worn off yet, by the way), several bottles of firewhiskey, and a game of magical Truth or Dare minus the Dares. I woke up in the bathroom with Harry handing me a dose of hangover cure. Seconds later, Lavender walks past without a stitch of clothing on and joins Seamus in the shower. As far as I can tell, among the fifteen students aside from myself, they only needed seven beds. When I left every dormitory after handing out hangover cures, I heard Silencing Charms going up. I'm just glad Professor Flitwick taught us all the Contraceptus Charm recently."
He smiled at her stunned expression. "So how was your evening, Suse?"
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