Harry stared intently at a small scuff mark on the wall directly behind Kingsley's left ear, trying to keep his expression smooth and neutral around the headache pounding in his head. It was completely unfair that he was being reamed by his supervisor first thing Thursday morning, when all he wanted was to drink a dozen cups of tea and take another headache potion to deal with his hangover.
If only Kingsley would finish. Harry had seen Ron heading for the tearoom as he was on his way to Kingsley's office. And for whatever reason, the tea Ron made tasted like ambrosia…
And if Harry didn't make it before Ron's pot was gone, he'd probably be stuck with the stuff that Robards brewed. Rumor had it he used water straight from the Thames. It certainly tasted like it. Harry's stomach rolled at the very thought.
Harry blinked, realizing the scuff was no longer in his eyeline, replaced by Kingsley's annoyed face. "Sir?"
Kingsley sighed, rubbing his forehead. "You weren't paying attention to anything I said, were you?"
"I'm sorry, sir. My head…" Harry winced a little to get his point across when the throbbing headache made finishing the sentence feel more trouble than it was worth.
"Fine. I'll summarize." Kingsley gave Harry a flat stare. "Your stunt last night leads me to believe you need to reacquaint yourself with Section 12C-2 of the Auror Code. I’m transferring you to Apparition, effective immediately, where you will remain until you've administered the Hogwarts Apparition Exam in May. You will also be taking over the classes. Thursdays after dinner."
Harry gaped. "What— But what about Twycross?"
"Wilkie is currently recovering from Spattergroit, and will be retiring after this year, anyway." Kingsley shot him a stare that quickly turned foreboding. "Think of it as training in case you need to stay in Apparition permanently."
The throbbing behind Harry’s forehead promptly doubled at the mere thought. He bit back a sigh. "Yes, sir."
"Now get out. Go get your things moved to the Apparition Office. Rosemary is expecting you."
“Rosemary—” Harry began, because transferring him to Apparition was punishment, but Rosemary was just unfair. The look on Kingsley’s face darkened and intensified, and Harry’s protests died in his throat. “Right. Rosemary.”
And then he stood and made his escape, heading straight for the tearoom where he found Ron stirring sugar into his cup of tea. He looked up when Harry walked in.
“How’d it go?” he asked, tapping his spoon briskly against the rim of his mug before he set it aside.
Harry’s hangover tapped out a staccato pulsing against the inside of his skull to match the sharp clink of silver on porcelain. “They’ve decided to stick me in Apparition for a while. It’s supposed to teach me a healthy respect for the rules or some rubbish like that, I think. Kingsley was too busy giving me stern looks to really explain his reasoning.”
“You,” Ron said, looking highly amused. “Learning a healthy respect for rules. I don’t think you’d know what rules are if they came up and bit you on the arse.”
“I know the rules, you wanker,” Harry said. He threw a teaspoon at Ron’s head and missed. “I was rat-arsed, I’m not stupid. It’s not like I Apparated into Mr Smythe's bathroom on purpose. And anyhow, I was off-duty. What I do in my personal time shouldn’t have consequences at work.” He scowled at where the spoon had landed against one of the skirting boards. “It’s entirely unfair.”
Ron Acciod the teaspoon with a sigh and dropped it into the sink. “Well. A while in Apparition won’t be so bad, I expect. It’s not too bad so far as punishments go.”
“That’s not all,” Harry said. “They’re also making me administer the Apparition Exam at Hogwarts. And take over teaching the classes.” He picked up the kettle and found it empty. “What the hell? You just made this.”
“Fowler,” Ron said.
“Bastard,” Harry muttered, dropping the kettle down onto the counter with a loud clang, which his throbbing headache immediately regretted. Auror Fowler owned a coffee mug roughly the size of a standard size two cauldron, which, really, was just bloody unnecessary.
“You didn’t save me a cup?” Harry was a little offended. He absolutely would have saved Ron a cup. Apparently he was a better best friend than Ron was. So was Hermione. She would have saved him a cup. Hermione could be his best friend from now on, Harry decided.
Ron shrugged again.
“Bastard,” Harry said morosely. Definitely Hermione, then. She’d probably give him a headache potion, too. Harry loved Hermione.
“Cheer up, mate,” Ron said with a level of cheerfulness that made Harry, what with his departmental transfer and his hangover and his pitiful lack of a decent cup of tea, sort of want to hit him. “They’ve probably got tea down in Apparition.”
“Know what else they’ve got down in Apparition?” Harry said, eyeing Ron’s mug and trying to work out whether he could get away with swiping it. “Rosemary.”
Ron laughed right in his face. The bastard.
Rosemary wasn't that bad, Harry told himself repeatedly as he carried a box of his things to the Apparition Department. She could be nice. Cheerful. Jolly. Perky. Ebullient. Chirpy. Harry grimaced and resolved to send Hermione a very sternly worded owl about the word a day calendars she insisted on giving him every Christmas.
She could be all those things. He'd seen it. But she also terrorized the floor with her charts and schedules and organizing. Her revenge on Williamson (a truly demonic bit of shift scheduling which the sods in WR insisted was legal but still left him unable to determine what day or time it was for a month) after he'd complained about her not getting him a file quickly enough was still the stuff of legend.
And that was all right. Williamson was an arse, and Harry could be nice to people. He’d be very careful to be nice to Rosemary and not give her a reason to arse around with his schedule. That just left her tendency to be annoyingly cheerful, and the delegation. Which, as the witch in charge of running Apparition, delegation was pretty much her entire job description. But she had a reputation for going about it in the manner of an overbearing older sibling, and took great and obvious joy in sending her underlings off on tasks that she wouldn’t want to do herself.
Rosemary was nominally part of DMLE, one of the Secretaries to the Undersecretary or something. Ministry positions and hierarchy had always given him a headache. But she'd been shuffled to Apparition when the former Secretary had come down with Vanishing Sickness and they'd not been able to find her for six months, and by then Rosemary was as much a part of the Department as the Apparition Rings used in the Hogwarts Exams.
"Good morning, Harry! I hear you had a rough night?"
Harry straightened abruptly, before he turned to blink owlishly at the grinning Rosemary. "You're sneaky."
And he cursed himself, because that was totally not what he wanted to say to get on her good side, but she cackled. "Oh, you sure did, didn't you? I heard Savage was spitting nails when he took the call. Eight Obliviators out of their beds at half two, all on overtime. Kingsley gave him a right bollocksing."
Rosemary stopped talking and peered at him. "You've got that blank stare thing going. You had your tea yet?"
He shook his head, still blinking. "Why eight Obliviators?"
"Tearoom's just through there; be a love and bring me one, too."
Harry blinked down at the box in his hands, then the door to the tearoom. Rosemary sighed. "Honestly." She flicked her wand, and his box sailed out of his hands and through an open doorway on the other side of the department. "Tearoom. Three sugars and a splash of milk. Get your head together, we can have a gossip, and I can catch you up for your class tonight."
Harry groaned, trudging to the tearoom. He only hoped they had headache potions as well.
Hermione was not his best friend.
"You should have set a Portkey to go off at the end of the evening like I did."
Harry frowned at Hermione, cheerfully eating her salad. "It was Ron's birthday! How was I supposed to know when it would be out?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You know what time Tom closes the bar.”
Harry scowled into his bowl and viciously stabbed a chunk of tomato with his fork. He honestly had no idea how he could have been so mistaken as to think Hermione was his best friend. Ron was Harry’s best friend, always had been and always would be. Ron knew how to commiserate properly when a bloke was feeling down; Hermione just brought out logic.
“You could have offered to share yours,” Harry said.
Hermione raised her eyebrows. “I assumed you’d have the forethought to arrange for your own transportation home at the end of the night. You’re an Auror, Harry. I know you know how to think tactically.” She crunched into a slice of cucumber.
He hated it when she started using all those big words at him. It reminded him, "Your bloody page a day word calendar thing is a menace. Are you aware I spent my morning thinking of synonyms for 'cheerful' when I was talking to Rosemary? I think she thought I was on Forgetfulness Potions."
"No, she just thought you were hungover." Hermione took another bite, chewing quickly. "And I'm glad that you're getting some use out of it. You should read things beyond case notes and Quidditch periodicals."
"I do read." Harry muttered, finally leaving off the tomato and turning his fork on a crouton instead.
Hermione huffed quietly. "But don't worry about Rosemary. She knows most of this is new to you. She'll help you out."
"Yeah, like she helped Williamson."
“Williamson is an arse,” Hermione said, waving her fork dismissively, and Harry rolled his eyes. "You're impossible when you're in this mood, you do know that, right?"
"Why are you taking Rosemary's side? I thought you were my friend." Harry stuffed a bite into his mouth, aware he'd lapsed into whinging.
"I am your friend, Harry. Which is why I'm calling you on your bullshit." Hermione pointed her fork at him, lettuce dripping a bit of vinaigrette back into her bowl. "Suck it up and take your punishment. You've no one to blame but yourself."
"What I don't understand is why they needed eight Obliviators. And why didn't anyone Obliviate me? I'm the one who saw Mr Smythe naked in his tub. Who takes a bath at half two, anyway?"
Rosemary laughed. It surprised Harry whenever it happened, but she seemed to have a good sense of humor. He avoided saying anything about her schedules, though. Just to be safe. "Why you ended up in your neighbour's bath is what I want to know. Have some practice going there?"
"I have no idea. I was just trying to get home."
"Insufficient Deliberation." Rosemary nodded sagely, taking a large slurp of tea. "It always fucks with Destination. But look on the bright side, you're the biggest non-Splinching incident to hit the Department in the last decade. You'll be the stuff of legend until something better comes along."
"Oh god, I hope that's soon."
Rosemary snorted. "Just enjoy you've an actual office through the end of April, you wanker. Not sharing space with all those stinky gits in the bullpen."
"My friends in the bullpen…" Harry muttered, looking around his small office. Then he blinked when Rosemary tossed a balled up bit of parchment at him. "What was that for?"
"Because wishing for something better to come along is like that Chinese Curse. The one about living in interesting times? And I don't want to deal with anything more interesting than Tuesday."
She said that last part a little bit too brightly, and it set Harry’s nerves immediately on edge. "What's interesting about Tuesday?"
Rosemary's smile went manic. "Ooooh, Tuesday. Tuesday is Mrs Periweather and Persimmon."
"I hope you know that none of those words make any sense when said together like that."
"No, I can't spoil it for you." Rosemary rubbed her hands together in glee. "Everyone should get to have their first experience with Mrs Periweather unsullied by expectations."
"That sounds like a horrible plan. And I have no idea who Mrs Periweather is."
"Don't be a big baby. You'll be fine. Think of it as your welcome to the department."
"I thought that was you telling me how you take your tea."
"Your other welcome to the department. Though I have to give you credit, you make my tea better than Twycross ever did."
"My purpose in this department. Provide you tea and entertainment while you take the piss."
"Why do they call you dim? It usually takes people a lot longer to pick up on that."
"Ha ha ha. Thanks a lot."
"You're very welcome." Rosemary laughed.
“What is the point of my life?” Harry sighed.
Hermione looked at him from across the table, the dim light of the pub doing absolutely nothing to hide the amusement in her eyes. “Rough day? Usually you don’t start asking existential questions until you’re three or four pints in.”
Ron snickered into his pint glass, and Harry aimed a kick at his shin under the table, missed, and hit the table leg instead. Which, really, he should’ve expected that. It was pretty much how his entire day had gone.
“It’s all right, mate,” Ron said, misinterpreting Harry’s wince. “I’m sure you’re doing very important work in Apparition.”
Harry glowered at him. “Do you want to know what I did today? Today is Tuesday. Tuesday is Mrs Periweather and Persimmon.”
“I…don’t know what that means,” Ron said, glancing over at Hermione, who shrugged.
“Neither did I. Now, however, I do.” Harry glared at his pint, and took a large swallow.
Ron and Hermione exchanged a look, and then Hermione was the brave soul to ask, “So, what does that mean?”
“Imagine this,” said Harry, leaning back in his chair. He set his glass down with a decisive thunk. “I am in my office, my very tiny office. My very very tiny office that makes my Auror cubicle look bloody enormous. I am at my desk, trying to sort through Apparition Applications. Do you have any idea how ridiculous the application form is if you don’t get licensed through a school?”
It was a rhetorical question, but Hermione piped up, “Oh yes, it’s one of the things the Ministry really ought to change. I’ve written several letters about it to the Wizengamot already, but now that you’re working in Apparition yourself, perhaps we could—”
Ron cleared his throat pointedly. “Not the time, Hermione,” he murmured, making a shoddy attempt to use a cough to disguise his words.
Harry decided the best course of action was to ignore the both of them or they’d get caught up in a conversation about the outlandishly outdated forms that churned sluggishly through the Ministry’s official channels. Which, fair point. Some of it was ridiculously antiquated and the ones that required being filled out in triplicate especially were an astronomical waste of time. But. Mrs Periweather. Persimmon. Harry plunged onward in his tale of woe. “So there I am, neck-deep in paperwork when there comes a knock on my door. And do you know who it was?”
“Mrs Periweather,” Ron said at the same time Hermione chimed in, “Persimmon?”
“Have you two never heard of a rhetorical question?”
“Why ask if you don’t want an answer?” Ron shrugged.
Harry aimed another kick at him, and hit the chair leg this time instead. Even though Harry hid his wince this time, the amused look Ron sent him said that Ron knew exactly what had just happened.
"Mrs Periweather is a breeder of champion kneazles." Harry went on, ignoring them. "Every Tuesday, she has an appointment with Pretty Kneazle Boarding and Grooming in Surrey."
"Is that supposed to give us more information, mate?"
Harry ignored the interruption. "Persimmon is her latest champion. He weighs as much as a cauldron full of Dreamless Sleep and has the disposition of a blast-ended skrewt. Mrs Periweather doesn't have an Apparition license, it having been revoked approximately sixty years ago, and Persimmon cannot go through the Floo as it inspires projectile vomiting."
Both Ron and Hermione flinched at that. "But what does that—"
"Wilkie Twycross has been Apparating Mrs Periweather and Persimmon to and from their appointments for the past thirty years. That's several generations, all named Persimmon, mind, and Mrs Periweather isn't going to let a little thing like a shift in employment stop her from going to her groomers every week.
"And Rosemary just stood there behind Mrs Periweather and laughed at me the whole fucking time. Kind of like you, you arsehole." Harry aimed another kick under the table, this time finally connecting with Ron's shin. Or at least he thought he had. Ron was clutching his stomach and tears were rolling down his face from laughter rather than from pain. Even Hermione was laughing, the traitor.
"Rosemary said she wanted me to discover Tuesdays unsullied by any expectations. I should have known to call in sick. I really should have."
"I'm sorry, Harry." Hermione wiped her eyes and took a breath, looking distinctly not-sorry. "How long did you have to wait at the groomers?"
"I didn't wait. She Flooed back to inform me it was time to pick them up and take them home again three hours later."
That caused another burst of laughter from Ron, and Harry shook his head. "Bloody wankers, the both of you." He then proceeded to ignore them and drink his beer.
Ginny came to the table a bit later, bringing with her a fresh round of pints. She slipped into the seat beside Harry and greeted him with a quick bump of her shoulder against his. “How’s life in Apparition treating you so far?” she asked, nudging one of the pint glasses over to him.
Harry groaned and dropped his head to the tabletop. “Fucking Persimmon.”
“What?” Ginny asked, looking around the table.
“Don’t ask,” Ron said, reaching over to grab a fresh pint for himself. “Harry’s still traumatized.”
“By persimmons?” Ginny asked. “What’s that got to do with Apparition?”
“Persimmon is a kneazle,” Hermione explained.
“Persimmon,” Harry said into the tabletop, “is not just a kneazle. Persimmon is a purebred kneazle, a shining example of decades of careful breeding whose esteemed lineage is longer than my left arm. Persimmon is the fucking pinnacle of kneazle-dom.” He huffed. “I called Persimmon ‘just a kneazle’ and Mrs Periweather hit me with her purse.”
“Mrs Periweather?” Ginny echoed.
“Don’t ask,” Ron said again. “Don’t you care about Harry’s trauma at all?”
“Not when Harry’s trauma involves purebred kneazles and him getting hit with purses, no,” Ginny said. “Then I want to hear more about Harry’s trauma.”
Harry tried to kick her and whacked his ankle painfully against the leg of her chair. “Fuck,” he sighed. He really should stop trying to do that. He should stop assuming that anything today would go right.
“Don’t listen to Ron,” Hermione said dryly. “Ten minutes ago he laughed so hard at Harry that his drink came out his nose.”
Harry decided he needed new friends. A whole new set. These ones were all terrible.
"So Harry is traumatized by kneazles and Ron's snorted his beer in the first hour being here. Sounds like a party." Ginny held her glass out to Hermione, who rolled her eyes but grinned as she clinked it. "Seriously, though. This is so much more entertaining than the usual Auror gossip you spend the first hour with."
"Like your Harpies gossip is any better."
"Harry listens to my Harpies gossip. And Seamus always tries to get info for the betting pool." Ginny took a big gulp of beer, turning back to Harry. "Did she hit you hard? Kneazle scars? Pooped on?"
"The trauma. It just seems a big word for meeting some old lady and her kneazle."
"What?" Ginny looked across to where Ron was once again laughing and Hermione carefully studying her glass. Then there was a thump, and Ron jumped, reaching for his leg.
Of course Ginny's kick landed.
"It's apparently part of my job description to Apparate Mrs Periweather and Persimmon to and from their grooming appointment every Tuesday."
Ginny stared at him expectantly. "And…?"
"What do you mean, 'and'?"
"You survived Hogwarts, and that's what you call trauma?"
Hermione burst into laughter at that, and Harry threw a napkin at her. "I hate all of you. I'm never buying you birthday presents ever again."
"Oh, speaking of, how did you two enjoy that Strap-O-Magic prototype from George?"
Harry burst out laughing as Ron and Hermione turned equal shades of red, and took a large gulp from his pint. Ginny cackled, rubbing her hands together, looking ready to take the piss out of them both for the foreseeable future when Seamus walked up, plopping down next to Ginny and shoving her tight against Harry. "Hey, mate. How goes Apparition?"
Harry dropped his forehead to the tabletop again. Then gave it an extra thump just for good measure.
“Don’t ask,” Ron said.
Rosemary's shout brought his head up quickly enough his neck twinged, and he stood and raced around his desk to the door. Looking around the department, it all seemed completely normal, and he frowned. "What's up?"
"Splinching. Don't know who, but we just got a report of pieces found at the Apparition Point beside Gringotts. We'll need to collect them and take them to St Mungo's. Check for anyone missing bits, and get a Healer from Spell Damage to sign off on form 68-J." Rosemary flapped an inch-thick stack of parchment at him. "And by that, I mean you."
Harry sighed, crossing the department and taking the stack from her. "Thanks. No, really."
"Hey, it's your job now. Take one of those, too." Rosemary pointed at the listing stack of boxes beside the door. "We keep them charmed with Impervius; we use them for specimen transport."
Harry rolled his eyes and grabbed a box from the pile. It had a star on the top and “Converse” printed in large letters on the side. “Er,” he said. “This is…”
“...a Containment Receptacle for Acute Preservation of Accidentally Splinched Specimens,” Rosemary said, staring him down.
“Yes, but,” Harry said, holding up the box and giving it a little shake. “This is a shoebox.”
“No,” said Rosemary slowly. “It is a very carefully charmed Containment Receptacle for Splinching accidents which might occur in public.” She snapped her fingers twice. “Come on, Harry, Apparition Accidents occur in Muggle areas more often than not, as you should know.”
Unfortunately, Harry did know. Still, he couldn’t help lifting up the lid to take a peek inside, and. Shoebox. It even had a sheet of white tissue paper tucked snugly inside. But one look at Rosemary convinced him not to press his point. If she said it was a charmed receptacle of Splinching accident specimens or whatever, he’d just go along with it. Easier all the way round, like that.
“Right,” he said, closing up the box and tucking it securely under one arm. "Am I ready now?"
Rosemary gave him a long look, then she nodded. "Yup. I'll see you in a few hours." She turned back to her office.
“A few… wait, a few hours?”
Rosemary’s laugh echoing down the hallway really didn’t bode well for him. Harry looked down at the thick stack of parchment he held in his hand and sighed.
It wasn’t until he’d made his way down to the Atrium that it occurred to him that Rosemary hadn’t mentioned what specimens he’d be retrieving. She’d told him to take a shoebox, so presumably whatever Splinched bit he’d been sent to collect would fit inside. Or, Rosemary had made a point of mentioning how the box was charmed, maybe it had some sort of extension spell on it, undetectable or otherwise?
Harry sighed again as he waited his turn for the Floo. He rather wished Rosemary would do more explaining and less ominous cackling. One would be useful. The other was just annoying. Really, it was enough to make Harry miss Kingsley and his stern looks.
When he reached the front of the queue, Harry made sure he had a firm hold of both box and paperwork, and Flooed to Gringotts. He stumbled out of the Floo, ignored the look the nearest Goblin gave him as he tracked soot across the shining marble floor, and headed outside to the Apparition Point round the side of the building.
Standard Warding Spells shimmered in the air around the Point, and a single Patrolman stood guard.
“All yours,” the Patrolman said, snickering before he ambled away.
And oh, Harry did not like the look on that man’s face. Not one bit.
Well. Best get on with it. The sooner he got started, the sooner he’d be done and could go back to sitting around his tiny office and being bored out of his skull. Harry made short work of dismantling the protective Wards. When they fell and Harry got his first look at the specimen he was meant to collect, he couldn’t help the full-body flinch of sympathy for the poor bloke who’d had the accident.
And indeed it was a bloke; the evidence was lying right smack in the middle of the Apparition Point.
“Nnnggh,” Harry said, flinching again as his brain helpfully supplied a colorful mental picture of what it must feel like to have one’s cock and balls Splinched off. He took a deep breath, then another, and another. Right. He had a job to do here. He was a professional. He was here to help.
Stepping up, it suddenly occurred to Harry that he hadn’t brought anything with which to pick up the… the specimen, yes, that was a nice safe word for it. And it seemed rather rude to be handling some other person’s bits without permission, even if he was handling them with the intention of reuniting them with their missing owner. Rosemary could’ve warned him about this. He’d at least have brought gloves. Maybe tongs. Or something. Didn’t the Apparition department have some sort of protocol in place for situations like this? If they didn’t, they certainly ought to. Harry might institute it himself when he got done here. Absolutely bloody ridiculous, sending him off armed with a shoebox and a stack of paperwork.
Well, he’d just have to use what he had.
Harry crouched down beside the specimen and opened the shoebox, taking a moment to fold back the tissue paper inside. He set the stack of parchments beside the specimen, and used the tip of his wand to prod it carefully onto the papers. Using both hands to hold the papers steady, he transferred it neatly into the box, tucked the tissue paper snugly around it, and closed the lid.
He mentally applauded himself for a job well-done: transferring it into the Containment Receptacle without touching it or dropping it. And then immediately worried about enclosing it like that. Presumably the box had protective charms on it, but Harry wasn’t entirely convinced that Rosemary wasn’t just fucking with him, sending him off into the field with a regular old Muggle shoebox. Better safe than sorry, he figured. Using his wand, Harry spelled a series of small holes into the lid to give it a bit of air.
Then he tucked the box securely beneath his arm once more, picked up the stack of parchment by the corner, and Apparated to St Mungo’s.
The Apparition Point had been closed off, and after the pleasant quiet of the empty street, the noise and bustle of the hospital's lobby was almost a shock.
He'd never realized how busy St Mungo's could be on a Wednesday morning. The Welcome Witch's desk was surrounded. There was a tired looking man holding a toddler who seemed to be belching fire every twenty seconds. An elderly pair of witches were supporting a third, who was clutching a viney plant and whose skin was beginning to turn green. A large family was standing to one side, each clutching a vial and with steam coming out their ears. A crup was barking and straining at its leash to make brief lunges at a pair of teenagers sitting on the floor eating pasties.
Harry clutched his box a little bit tighter—he had a brief and mildly horrifying vision of what might happen if he dropped it and its contents flopped out onto the floor in front of everyone—and joined the end of the queue.
When he finally shuffled his way to the front of the line, he didn't even have time to open his mouth before the Welcome Witch flicked a bored glance at the box in his hands and said, "Spell Damage, fourth floor."
"Er," said Harry, blinking a few times. "But I haven't said..."
"You're from Apparition, aren't you?" she asked briskly, and nodded to the box. "Take that up to Spell Damage. Ask at the desk for the Healer on duty." She frowned a bit at him. "Are you new?"
"Sort of?" Harry tried to say, though it came out rather like a question. Technically he was new to Apparition, though not to the Ministry, and didn't feel like explaining the circumstances that'd landed him in this new (and temporary, Harry reminded himself, very temporary) position.
She gave him a look that had entirely too much pity in it for Harry's comfort. "I expect we'll be seeing a lot more of each other in that case." She put out her hand. "Muriel," she said.
Harry shifted the box and paperwork, and took her hand and gave it a shake. "Harry."
Her eyes swept meaningfully up to his scar. "I know. Go on up, now. Fourth floor."
"Thanks," Harry said with a little sigh.
He took the lift up to the fourth floor, sharing the ride with a young lady who had large bunches of broccoli sprouting from her ears. They exchanged awkward smiles when the doors opened, and Harry gestured for her to go first. He let her approach the desk before him since she was suffering actual spell damage whilst he just had a cock in a box, and while the Mediwitch tried to explain to her that she needed to fill out paperwork before she could be seen by a Healer and the young witch asked "What?" a lot and cupped her palm round the green florets blocking her ears, Harry stared idly around.
The Spell Damage waiting room had a lot of posters lining the walls, cheerfully recommending that witches and wizards ought to practice safe spellcasting. In a pinch? Don’t risk a Splinch! Call the Knight Bus! advised one, complete with a picture of the aforementioned bus being boarded by a smiling witch. Don't drink and Apparate! proclaimed another in a cheerful red font, just above a cartoonish illustration of a sad wizard standing some distance away from his left arm, a pint glass still clutched in its hand, while a group of horrified Muggles looked on. That struck a little close to home for Harry, so he studied the floor tiles until it was his turn at the desk.
"Hello there!" the Mediwitch greeted him cheerfully as the broccoli woman sat down with her paperwork and a quill.
"Yes, hi," Harry said, setting his box on the edge of the desk. "I need to see the Healer on duty. The Welcome Witch sent me up here. I'm from—"
"Apparition, yeah?" the Mediwitch cut in. She nodded toward the box and gave Harry a rueful smile. "We see a lot of you folks in here. Especially round holidays. Don't even get me started on Beltane. It's a madhouse in here, arms and feet everywhere! One year we had an entire box of ears. Had the devil's own time matching them up to their owners again. Somehow we ended up with one left over." Her gaze went a little distant. "I wonder what happened to it..."
"I'm sure it was fine." Harry gave the box a little nudge, returning her attention to the matter at hand. "If I could just...?"
“Ah, yes,” the Mediwitch said. “Let's see, we've just had our shift change. I'll just check to see who’s on now...” She rifled through her paperwork. “Ah-ha, here we go!”
If he’d been asked just ten seconds earlier, Harry would’ve said with one-hundred-percent certainty that scooping a disembodied penis off the cobblestones was the absolute lowest point of his day. But ten seconds earlier, Harry wouldn’t have known that he’d be forced to present said disembodied penis along with an inch-thick stack of paperwork to Healer Malfoy.
Some strange sort of desperation that, no, his day couldn't possibly get that much worse had Harry asking, “Sorry, didn’t quite catch that. Who am I taking this to?”
“Healer Malfoy,” the Mediwitch repeated with a smile Harry couldn't quite comprehend someone using while saying Malfoy's name. "Exam room 12. I'll let him know you're waiting and he'll be in just as soon as he finishes up with the patient he's currently seeing to."
He hadn't misheard. He hadn't really thought he'd misheard, but he'd certainly hoped he might have. Harry sighed and picked up his box. "Thank you," he said, for lack of anything better to say, and headed off to exam room 12.
Harry greatly disliked St Mungo's. The cool, dry air. The faint antiseptic smell that he knew would linger on his clothes when he left. The clean white walls and gleaming tile floor. As an Auror, he'd had his fair share of injuries that brought him here. He knew Malfoy had gone on to become a Healer, but by some entirely uncharacteristic stroke of luck, Harry had never encountered him. At least here in St Mungo's. He encountered Malfoy in other places much more often than he was entirely comfortable with. Especially when Malfoy insisted on showing up to Pub Nights. But in a non-professional setting, Harry could easily avoid him in the crowd. And alcohol went a long way toward making Malfoy more tolerable.
No such luck here. Well. At least Malfoy wouldn't have to do anything directly to Harry. And Harry could leave straightaway afterward, no chance of being admitted. Although, he thought while glancing down at the stack of parchment balanced on top of the box, this still might not be finished nearly as soon as he'd like.
"See you in a few hours,” he remembered Rosemary telling him.
It was even worse now that Harry knew exactly who he'd be spending those few hours with. The only consolation was that Malfoy was the one who'd have to fill out form 68-J in its entirety. That was nearly enough to make Harry feel sorry for the bastard. Nearly. But not quite.
He slipped into exam room 12 and found that the room was roughly as he expected. Walls painted in that cold color halfway between pale green and light blue. Maroon cabinets lined one wall, with a steel sink and exam table. On the walls were posters, each beginning to curl up at the corners, portraying smiling Mediwitches and -wizards waving their wands at afflicted wizards and witches; removing green spots, a partial transfiguration into an edition of the evening Prophet, and mushrooms sprouting from their hair.
None of them were reattaching a penis. It was a somewhat comforting thought.
Harry dropped the forms and, more carefully, the shoebox on the exam table and shoved his hands in his pockets, wondering how long Malfoy would make him wait.
Not long, as it turned out. He'd just decided to poke through some of the informational pamphlets laid out on the countertop—much like the posters they were annoyingly cheerful and contained an entirely unnecessary number of exclamation points—when Malfoy strode in, robes flapping behind him.
"Potter." Malfoy gave him the briefest of nods before crossing to the exam table and reaching for the stack of parchment.
“Mind the top sheet—” Harry began, but Malfoy had already touched it.
“What was that, Potter?” he asked without looking up as he inked his quill.
Harry didn’t see how informing him, ‘That had penis on it,’ could possibly do anything even remotely useful for their working relationship. Sometimes ignorance was bliss, wasn't it? He coughed once, awkwardly. “Er. Never mind. Thought it was slipping.”
“I assure you I’m more than capable of handling parchment,” Malfoy sniffed, briskly filling out his name and credentials on the first page of the form.
And in any case, Harry figured that as a Healer, Malfoy had probably put his hands on far worse than penis paper. “Right,” he said. “Carry on.”
Malfoy paused in his writing mid-word to give Harry a flat look, then went back to filling out the form. His handwriting was still the same precise cursive Harry remembered from Hogwarts. Finishing up the first page, Malfoy flipped it over and set it to the side, then took out his wand and flicked it at the box. The lid flipped back, the tissue paper folded open, and Malfoy glanced down at the specimen and did an almost comical double-take. His expression did an odd sort of twitch before settling into a bland professionalism.
“Well,” he said finally, looking back up at Harry. “It was very kind of you to wrap it up for me.”
So much for professionalism. Malfoy was an arsehole.
Harry scowled. “I didn’t wrap it up, the paper was already there and I just,” he said, broke off, huffed a sigh, and started over. “It’s a Containment Receptacle for—”
“—for Acute Preservation of Accidentally Splinched Specimens. Yes, Potter, I am familiar with it,” Malfoy cut in. He flicked his wand again and the specimen rose neatly from its packaging, hovering in midair. He blinked at the box, and reached out to close the lid. “Why are there holes in this?”
“Erm. Came like that.”
The unimpressed look Malfoy aimed at him said that he didn’t buy it for a second.
“Don’t look at me,” Harry grumbled. “I’ve only just transferred to Apparition. I hardly know anything about what goes on there.”
Admitting his ignorance seemed to mollify Malfoy somewhat. “Well, I suggest when you get back you submit this Containment Receptacle for examination. Whatever blithering idiot,” And here he aimed another sharp look at Harry which was, frankly, uncalled for, “poked a bunch of holes in this may have damaged the charmwork.”
“Right,” said Harry, his desire for this conversation to come to an end outweighing his desire to argue with Malfoy. “I’ll be sure to do that.”
Malfoy returned his attention to the matter at hand. He briskly filled out another page of paperwork, then took out his wand again and turned to the cock in the box.
"Hm," Malfoy said, leaning down. He gave it a little prod with his wand. The penis continued to lie there. He ran the tip of his wand up the underside from base to tip.
The penis twitched. Harry blinked a few times. No, definitely not his imagination. The penis really had twitched and was now beginning to harden. Malfoy gave it another stroke with his wand and, yes, no question about it. It was getting hard. Malfoy swapped his wand for his quill and used the feathery end to give the penis a tickle. It twitched again.
"Hm," he said again, sounding for all the world like he was contemplating some intense philosophical question or contemplating some intriguing medical mystery.
"Erm," said Harry. "What are you. Why are you doing that?"
"I'm testing its reactions," Malfoy said calmly, like tickling disembodied penises was something he did every day. Harry had briefly considered studying to become a Healer after the War, when he'd wondered if joining the Aurors was really what he wanted to do with his life. For a short time, he'd thought that it might be nice to help heal people instead. In this moment he was suddenly very glad he hadn't.
"Okay. But. Why?" he asked, unable to help himself as Malfoy gave the penis another tickle, got another twitch, and used the quill to jot down a few notes on the stack of paperwork.
Malfoy ignored him as he took up his wand to cast a few spells at the penis, and nodded to himself as the colored sparks of magic fizzled and died out. He made a few more notes on the paperwork before he snapped on a pair of gloves and picked up the penis to give it a few brisk strokes. It firmed up in his hands, and Malfoy set it down on its end, the balls drawing up closer to the shaft as they made contact with the chilly steel of the exam table. It wobbled a bit, but stayed upright looking all big, and. Perky. Very perky. Almost intimidatingly perky.
"I've got good news for you, Potter," Malfoy said, stripping off his gloves and pitching them into a nearby bin. "It's not real."
"What do you mean, it's not real?"
"Exactly what I said," Malfoy told him with an impatient little frown pinching the corners of his mouth. "It's not real."
"But," Harry said, looking down at the cock. Lacking any further attention, it had begun to droop a little, like a flower in need of watering. "It looks real."
"Yes, it certainly does," Malfoy agreed. "However, I can assure you that it's not. 'Is this a Splinching accident or a very realistic sex toy?' is unfortunately a question many Healers find themselves answering at one point or another in their careers. It's not the first time I've done it, and Merlin help me I'm certain it won't be the last."
Harry spared another moment to be grateful he wasn't a Healer. "Oh."
"Yes, oh." Malfoy picked up the penis, and Harry noticed that it started perking up again when he touched it, and dropped it back in the shoebox. "So while this has been fun, lost sex toys are not my department."
Malfoy left the exam room in another swirl of robes. Harry stared at the stack of forms and shoebox, and felt the dreadful certainty that lost sex toys were about to become his department.
Rosemary cackled. Harry was beginning to think this would be her usual response to anything that sucked about his life. "You were saying you wanted something to happen that would be a distraction from eight Obliviators? Well that takes it!" And then she pointed at the cock that was sitting in the middle of his desk. "This will be the talk of the department for centuries."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Someone left a very realistic fake cock at an Apparition Point. This'll be break room gossip for a week at the most."
"Centuries," Rosemary repeated, and Harry didn't think it was just his imagination that she sounded gleeful about it.
"Right," Harry said. "Centuries. Whatever you say. Look, can I get rid of it now?"
Rosemary shook her head. "It's office policy that we hold onto any items left at Apparition Points for 60 days." She dropped an intimidatingly thick stack of parchment onto Harry's desk with a thump that made the cock wobble. "Fill those out and then box it up and take it over to Lost and Found." She jerked her thumb down the hallway. "Last door on the left."
Harry sighed a bit to himself as she left. He looked at the cock. He looked at the stack of paperwork. He looked at the cock again. He looked at the clock on his wall. It was five til, and there was no way Harry was staying overtime to get this done. Everything would be waiting for him bright and early tomorrow morning. He would just take care of it then.
Standing up, he gathered his things, left the paperwork on his blotter and the cock pushed to the farthest edge of his desk, and headed down to the Auror department to meet Ron and Seamus so they could head to the pub together.
Harry was whistling when he arrived at the Ministry that morning. A visit to the tea room for tea for himself and Rosemary left him feeling ready to face the three-inch stack of Lost and Found forms, and an extra Cushioning Charm on his chair left him feeling sneakily decadent and like all was well with the world. He even grinned fondly at the cock on the corner of his desk. Telling his friends about it had kept them buying his pints all evening.
Ron and Seamus would doubtless be by later in the morning to see it. Put it through its paces. Harry snickered to himself as he grabbed his quill and slid the first page of parchment closer.
He'd finished his tea and fifteen pages of parchment when he heard a commotion just outside the department. He poked his head out of his office and then went to join Rosemary, who was standing in the department doorway, watching whatever was going on in MLE.
"What's up?" Harry whispered to Rosemary as he took in the frantic scrambling of blue and red robes.
"No idea. Member Bartram came stomping in from the lift about five minutes ago. Straight to Kingsley's office. MLE's been like a kicked bee's nest ever since."
Harry let out a low whistle. Members of Wizengamot coming to MLE was never good. They brought chaos at best, and mounds of unnecessary paperwork at worst.
"Poor bastards," Harry said, suddenly feeling a lot more cheerful about his own mound of unnecessary paperwork, though he did feel a little bad for Ron and Seamus. When a Member of the Wizengamot came down to MLE, everyone in the department got caught up in the ensuing storm. Drinks would probably be on Harry, next pub night. Which, even that thought cheered him because it meant that someone else's life was currently worse than his.
Together, they lingered near the doorway and watched the bustle for a few minutes. Harry was just about to go back to his office when a red-faced young Auror came running over.
"Rosemary?" he asked.
Harry didn't miss the way Rosemary flinched back half a step. "Yes?" she said, voice remarkably steady when her posture said she’d rather like to flee.
"You're needed," the Auror said, gesturing across the hall. "If you'll follow me?"
Rosemary sighed, shoulders slumping. "Be a dear and put the kettle on, would you? I've got a feeling I'll need it by the time I'm finished," she told Harry before nodding to the Auror and following him over to MLE, her chin up and her shoulders squared.
Harry watched as they made their way down the long aisle between Auror cubicles and then slipped between the massive doors that led into the briefing room. As much as he wanted to find joy in Rosemary getting dragged into whatever was happening over there—at least as much glee as she'd shown in sending him to fetch the fake cock—he couldn't quite manage it. Getting called out by name was never a good sign when it came to situations like this. And if the situation was spilling over into Apparition, there was a chance Harry himself might be at risk for getting pulled in. He turned away and headed to the kitchenette to get a kettle going for when Rosemary returned.
When he finished, he left the hot kettle under a Stasis Spell and returned to the doorway to take another peek across the hall. Still nothing much to see, just the continued scurrying of red- and blue-robed figures. Harry watched for a minute or so, then wandered back to his office and his pointless paperwork. He'd made it through another three pages when there came a knock on the door.
"Come in," Harry called, expecting Rosemary, clutching a cup of tea and bringing him gossip.
Instead, the red-faced young Auror stepped in, and Harry's heart plummeted to his toes.
"You're needed, I'm afraid," he said, and had the decency to sound apologetic about it. That alone set Harry more on edge than the fact he'd been summoned to the meeting in the first place. "If you'll follow me?"
Reluctantly, Harry clambered to his feet and trailed along behind him into MLE and the briefing room.
When he entered, all eyes turned to him. "Have a seat, Potter." Kingsley gestured to one of the empty chairs around the long table. Harry crept forward, sitting beside Rosemary and as far away from the fuming Bartram as possible. Kingsley's expression revealed nothing, but Robards was red-faced and Rosemary was pale and clenching her fingers against the arm of her chair.
"Mr Potter. Yesterday you brought what you thought was a Splinching accident to St Mungo's. Is that correct?"
He blushed. Because joking about a disembodied cock with Ron and Seamus was one thing, but discussing the particulars with Kingsley Shacklebolt was something else entirely. "Er, yes."
"And it turned out to be a," Kingsley let out a quiet cough, "a sex toy?"
If only the floor would open up and swallowed him whole. "Yes, Sir."
"Did it by chance look something like this?" Kingsley placed a box on the table before him. It was white and appeared to be lacquered and very expensive, the sort of box Harry would associate with fine jewelry or fancy perfume. Harry pulled it closer and saw Accoutrements embossed on the top in curly blue script, and then in smaller blue lettering below that, Customized Personal Devices for the Discerning Witch or Wizard.
He glanced around the room, but everyone seemed to be staring at him. He lifted the lid, and peered inside at… well.
Harry supposed it looked a bit like the cock currently sitting on the corner of his desk. If one could say a chihuahua looked rather like a rottweiler because they were both dogs. But it was huge. Intimidatingly large, even flaccid and nestled in the silky-looking blue cushioning inside the box.
Harry cleared his throat, noting a piece of cardstock resting beside it, and pulled it out. And then he gaped, because, "The Vicious Cockmonster? Really?"
Robards' face went redder, and Rosemary coughed. Member Bartram opened his mouth, but Kingsley spoke over him. "This box was sent to Member Bartram's residence by post owl first thing this morning."
"It is an outrage! An affront to public decency! What if my grandchildren had opened the box? I want whoever sent this arrested!"
A muscle in Kingsley's jaw twitched, and he cleared his throat. "And as we've an Auror already familiar with the…items in question due to his current assignment in the Apparition Department, we are turning over this case to him."
There were about a million things Harry wanted to say in response to that. Starting with hell, no and going through every possible combination of the words no, never, nope, never, nay, not in a million years, no way, and Harry cursed Hermione and her stupid calendar again. But all he could say with Kingsley and Bartram both staring at him was "Yes, Sir."
"Take the box. I'll sort out a more formal briefing once you've had a chance to compare the two… items."
Reluctantly, Harry did as he was told and took the box. His hands left smudgy fingerprints on the glossy lacquered surface as he tucked it securely beneath his arm. Rosemary was giving him a desperate sort of look, and Harry gave her a small shrug in sympathy as he turned his back and made good his escape.
Many of the Aurors were peering over the tops of their cubicles, but as soon as Harry opened the door they all ducked down out of sight, eager to avoid drawing any unnecessary attention to themselves. Harry sighed a little to himself and snagged a stack of evidence envelopes and copies of the paperwork he thought he’d need before he left the Auror Department and went back to his office in Apparition.
After a short detour for a nice bracing cuppa, Harry set the box in the middle of his desk and closed his office door very firmly. He took a sip, then another sip, then decided it’d be best to get this over with. Dawdling only prolonged his misery. Harry set his mug aside and opened up the box. Removed the glossy instruction card and set it aside as well. Then with a swish of his wand he lifted the cock from its cushioning and levitated it gently to sit on the edge of his desk beside the other cock he’d found.
A slip of folded parchment in the bottom of the box caught Harry’s attention, and he lifted it out and unfolded it.
Member Bartram, the note read. For best results, I recommend that you kindly remove the stick from your arse before use. Enjoy! It was signed simply, A concerned constituent.
The slip of parchment had been tucked away beneath the Cockmonster’s rather impressive set of bollocks, and Harry spared a moment’s thought to be grateful that Bartram obviously hadn’t removed the cock from the box and discovered it, otherwise that meeting would’ve been a lot worse. Harry didn’t even want to think of Bartram’s outrage if he’d seen it.
Harry cast a few lazy charms at the parchment, but didn’t pick up anything from it other than the words had been spelled onto it instead of written. It meant that they didn’t have the advantage of matching it to a person’s handwriting, but there was a small chance they could lift the sender’s magical signature from it if they hadn’t been clever enough to mask it. Worth a try, Harry thought.
He tucked the paper into one of the evidence envelopes he’d brought with him and rifled through the stack of paperwork until he found a Request for Magical Analysis. He clipped that to the open envelope to send off later, then turned his attention to the instruction card.
Remember to take CARE of your new cock!
Cocks should always be stored in a cool, dry location.
Always clean directly after use by activating our built-in Cleaning Charms.
Remember to deactivate any spellwork that you may have selected during use.
Enjoy your new cock!
With proper maintenance, our products are designed to bring you pleasure for many years to come!
Harry snorted. It read a bit like those stupid informational posters that plastered the walls at St Mungo’s, adverts for the Knight Bus and five helpful tips to recognize Dragon Pox. He idly wondered whose job it was to print up informational pamphlets and instruction cards, and whether the staff at St Mungo’s and Accoutrements had sent off to the same person to have theirs done. He flipped the card over, and found a list of instructions for activating the cock’s various functions.
Despite himself, Harry couldn’t help being impressed. That list was… comprehensive, to say the least. According to the pamphlet, the cock vibrated and thrust and pulsed, all of which were fully customizable to whatever frequency or rhythm the user desired. The cocks could be curved to ‘provide maximum pleasure!’ and the length and thickness could be adjusted to an extent, though the information card recommended ordering a product with specifications closest to those the user required ‘for the best possible experience!’
Harry had never seen so many exclamation points in his life.
He skimmed down the list, until he came to the very bottom:
In a hurry? read the card. Try Prestissimo Erectus to fulfill your needs instantly!
"Prestissimo Erectus?" Harry read aloud without thinking as he tried to parse his way through the Latin.
Both cocks sproinged to attention, and Harry nearly fell off his chair.
"What," he said, blinking at the cocks, eyes darting helplessly from one to the other and back again. "What the hell."
He hadn't even cast a spell, just said the words. Which, it turned out, was enough. All of our products are now charmed for hands-free operation! proclaimed the card in cheerful blue lettering. No wand necessary!
"Oh my god," he said, desperately scanning the rest of the card. There had to be some way to undo that.
There was indeed a way to undo it, Harry discovered unhappily. There were three ways. The instruction card assured him that the cocks would respond 'realistically' to 'manual stimulation.' Which. No. No way. Option two was another charm Harry could activate that'd ensure the cocks would 'come' when he did. Which. Also no. Absolutely not. The third option was to simply leave them be. The card informed him that the Extra-Strength Endurance Charms would ensure him three hours of continuous use after which the cocks would return to their inactive states on their own.
And that sounded perfect to Harry. He'd just ignore them for three hours, the problem would take care of itself, and Harry would never again utter the words 'Prestissimo Erectus' in his life. Lesson learned.
He pulled out his paperwork and began to copy down the details of his case so far. Ignoring the cocks on his desk went mostly okay. Sometimes he'd catch movement out of the corner of his eye. The big one throbbed from time to time, and the smaller one sometimes shivered eagerly. Harry angled his chair away from them, fixed his gaze firmly on his papers, and did his best to pretend there weren't two very erect penises sitting on his desk.
And that was all right until he got to the fourth page of the form that called for a verification of the filing of form 68-J. It took Harry a moment to place why that form sounded familiar. When it clicked in his mind, he put his head down and thumped it against the desk.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw both cocks twitch.
Harry groaned and wondered how this had become his life.
Maybe he could talk Rosemary into making an exception. The second cock had come neatly packaged up with a card that explained its purpose. It was clearly not real. Certainly it wouldn't be necessary to get it verified by a Healer, would it?
He rolled his head to the side as his gaze slid toward the cocks. The Cockmonster looked even more monstrous from this vantage point, towering above him like some sort of horrible throbbing monolith. He didn't think he had a shoebox big enough to transport it, and he was not walking into St Mungo's with that thing on display.
Harry was surprised it took Seamus and Ron until nearly the end of the day to stop by his office. He'd spent most of the afternoon expecting them, counting down the minutes until the three hours were up and praying they wouldn't stop by before then. He really really really didn't want to explain the erections to them.
"I'm shocked it's taken you this long to show up," Harry said, sweeping his paperwork into a haphazard pile.
"Are you kidding?" Ron asked. "We weren't going to come anywhere near you until all the particulars of the case had been settled."
"Couldn't risk Kingsley deciding you needed an Auror liaison to help you out," Seamus added.
"Oh no," Harry assured him, slumping back in his chair. "Kingsley was very adamant that I take sole responsibility of this case. I think he's still narked about the bathtub thing."
"You mean the time you accidentally Apparated into a Muggle's bathroom while he was having a bath?" Seamus asked gleefully. “And they had to call in eight Obliviators to deal with it?”
"Yes," Harry said flatly, cutting off any further rehashing of those particular events. "That."
Ron, the bastard, snickered.
"So those are the cocks?" Seamus leaned in close, examining both from every angle. "And they really get hard?"
"React pretty normally, yeah."
Seamus poked the Vicious Cockmonster, jumping back a step when it started to swell. "Holy shit! And someone Owled that to Bartram?"
"Along with a note telling him to shove it up his arse."
Seamus whistled, and Harry glanced over at Ron, who had edged away from the cocks and was staring at them with an odd expression on his face.
"They look so real. Like someone's real cock. Like it just..." His face had gone somewhat green, and Harry was reminded of his own initial reaction.
Harry glanced back just in time to see Seamus had picked up the box and was reading the top. "Accoutrements? Ha, nice. Sounds pretty classy for a cock in a box."
Harry snickered. "Yeah, I thought so too. I mean, this case is going to be a pain in the arse, pun intended, but at least it sounds fancy, I guess.."
Ron snorted, finally coming close enough to prod a penis himself. "So weird seeing them sitting on your desk like that. Maybe we can get you some pants to cover them up with."
"Yeah, because that's so much more subtle. I'll stick with the naked cocks, thanks. I'm hoping they scare Mrs Periweather off when she comes by on Tuesday."
"I dunno, mate. That sounds like the kind of thing that can get a report on your file."
"And where are they going to transfer me? I'm already in Apparition. And Kingsley put me on this case specifically." He grinned. "He can hardly fault me for having case notes on my desk. It shouldn't be my responsibility to Apparate people places, anyway."
He glanced over to see that Seamus had flipped open the evidence folder, looking at the card that'd come with the Vicious Cockmonster, and Harry snatched it out of his hands.
"That's evidence," he said firmly. "Unless you're offering to help out on this case, in which case it's all yours." He waved the card at the two cocks perched on the far corner of his desk.
"Nope," Seamus said with a grin as he set the box back down. "All yours, Auror Potter."
Harry gave a mental sigh of relief as he tucked the card safely away in his case file. He couldn't imagine the nightmare it'd be if Seamus and Ron found out about the hands-free options detailed in the instructions. That was the absolute last thing Harry needed.
Rosemary did not, in fact, believe that skipping form 68-J would go over at all with, as she put it, the ‘twats down in Filing’ and handed over the familiar stack of parchment. "I don't see what your problem is, it's not like you're the one filling it in."
"It's just such a waste of time! It's not real! Why does it need a Healer's sign-off?"
"Maybe to be sure someone didn't make a fake box to hold a real splinched dick?"
"That they enchanted? It's got…" and Harry leaned in, glancing around the office. He lowered his voice because he knew if word got out, he’d never see the end of it. "It's got hands free enchantments. So it can do its… thing. You know. While you do yours."
Rosemary's lips twitched. "You mean…." She made a surprisingly obscene gesture, and at Harry's nod, started cackling. "Oh that's brilliant. Maybe we should take them home. Try them out."
"No. No, no, no, no, no, no."
"Aw, where's your sense of fun? You really don't want to give them a go?"
"Which? The one I don't know where it's been, or the one that I know where it was going?"
Rosemary just grinned at him.
He shook his head. "You're a pervert."
"Your case. No one would have to know."
"And because it's my case, I'd be responsible for about a hundred kinds of mishandling of evidence."
"I'm just saying… You could take that big one with you to St Mungo's to get a sign-off, then go straight home to drop it off because you can't take a thing like that with you to Hogwarts, and no one would have to know what you got up to in the overnight."
"First of all, no. Second, have you seen the size of that thing?"
Rosemary smirked. "Yes. Yes I have. It was sitting tall and proud on your desk for several hours this afternoon."
"Ugh, don't remind me." Harry frowned back at his office. "You're sure I can't skip it?"
"Sure you can skip it. If you want those wankers down in Boring Archives, Records & Filing sending the file back and requiring you re-fill the entire thing." Her smirk grew into an amused grin. “They’ll send you a nasty memo about it, too. Someone down there loves sending memos. You’d make their afternoon if you gave them half an excuse to send another.”
"Fine. I'll drag that monster to St Mungo's. Tomorrow. For now, I need a pint before I face the little hooligans." Harry had also considered becoming a professor before he’d joined up with the Aurors. Running the Apparition course at Hogwarts had assured him he’d made the correct choice of career.
"Cutting out early, are you?"
"You're the one who said I could go to St Mungo's now. Besides, I've been filling in forms all day. This sets me ready to actually start looking up Accoutrements tomorrow. And, you know, whoever ordered a giant sex toy sent to a Member of Wizengamot."
And at that, Rosemary snorted. And then Harry looked at Rosemary. And that was the end, because the fact that someone had actually sent a giant cock to a Member of Wizengamot was just too perfect, and soon they were each holding onto Rosemary's desk and gasping for air.
"Wonder if we can give them a gold medal along with the slap on the wrist."
"Harry Potter! I'm shocked at you!" Rosemary giggled again. "What if a child had opened that box?" And he never knew she could do such a spot-on impression of Bartram.
"Alright, now you're just scary."
Rosemary smirked. "Get out of here if you want me making excuses for you. And you owe me breakfast in the morning. I want something yummy."
"Yes, your majesty."
Harry made sure he was at work on time Friday morning, bearing a mochaccino and muffin for Rosemary. He caught her mid-yawn, and she waggled her fingers at him before stretching a hand out for the coffee. "Offering accepted," she grinned. "How's Hogwarts?"
"Much better after a pint in me, thanks. I still can't believe any of them will be in any shape to pass their Apparition Exam next month, but I'm surviving them at least."
"Brilliant. There's another penis on your desk, by the way."
"What?" His voice came out a squeak, and he tossed the muffin bag at Rosemary's head when she started laughing. "You are a menace."
"Oh, it was worth it. You should have seen your face."
"You are a horrible person."
"You just can't take a joke."
"The cocks on my desk are not a joke!"
"Am I interrupting something?"
Harry spun around, taking in Hermione's amused expression from where she stood in the doorway. There was a thunk, and the volume of Rosemary's laughter increased and Harry closed his eyes and took a breath, wishing once again that this wasn't his life.
"Good morning, Hermione."
"Morning, Harry. Good morning, Rosemary."
Harry glanced over to see Rosemary waving at Hermione, still laughing too hard to answer. He sighed. "What's up?"
"I'm just being nosey. A sex toy being sent to Member Bartram has become the talk of the Ministry."
"Fuck it all." And at Hermione's continued expectant look. "Oh, fine."
Hermione made an odd noise when she looked in on his desk. "You're really just leaving two penises on your desk?"
Harry glanced back over his shoulder, her expression seemed to be caught somewhere between exasperated and amused. He smirked, shrugging lightly, and rounded his desk and sat in his chair. "Active case. I keep other bits of evidence on my desk. And it's not like they're real penises."
"You're the one who came to see them."
Hermione sighed. "Yes, all right." She approached the desk, bending down to examine the first dick. "These are very realistic. They behave normally?"
"Completely. Er, well, they've got a hands-free keyword, but that lasts three hours. And that's not really normal but…"
Hermione prodded the Vicious Cockmonster, tickling it in a way he did not want to think about when connected to Hermione because Ron and he just needed to Obliviate that out of his head right now. "And someone sent this to Bartram?"
"Along with a note telling him where to stick it, yeah."
Hermione snorted, and then she coughed and quickly smoothed her expression. "What a horrible thing to do."
"Why, yes, Hermione, that sounded completely convincing."
"Well… If anyone deserves being told to shove it, it's Bartram."
It was a mistake, encouraging her. Harry really should have known better. Did know better, in fact, but if an enormous fake cock wasn’t an excuse for his temporary lapse in judgment, Harry didn’t know what would be.
Too late. Hermione’s mouth pursed into a firm line and her chin came up and her brows drew together.
“Harry,” she said, and paused to draw in the sort of deep breath that meant she was about to start talking and didn’t plan to stop for as long as she was physically able. “Bartram’s policies are some of the most absurd, antiquated, abhorrent, amoral—”
“That’s a lot of words that start with A,” Harry broke in, more than a little worried that she intended to work her way through the whole alphabet.
“I can think of at least one more,” Hermione said grimly.
But before she could continue, there was an apologetic tap on the lintel. "Sorry, but Harry, you need to get that form signed off before Kingsley starts asking questions."
Harry groaned, and Hermione shot him a questioning look. "68-J. An inch-high stack of parchment I need to take to St Mungo's sot some poor healer in Spell Damage can tell me that the cock isn't real. Supposedly for Splinching cases, but apparently for suspected and potential Splinching as well."
Hermione quirked an eyebrow. "I bet Bartram's responsible for at least half of the Ministry's inability to move beyond useless paperwork."
"You're just being spiteful now."
"Nope, it's true." Rosemary cut in. "If you check the minutes, he's voted against the last seven motions to reduce paperwork. Got a cousin in charge of Boring Archives, Records & Filing."
Hermione nodded sagely. "Ministry nepotism at it's finest."
Harry sighed. "No wonder someone sent him a giant cock and told him to shove it up his arse."
Rosemary and Hermione both laughed at that, and Harry sighed. "Well, back to St Mungo's for me, I guess. Ugh, why did Kingsley make this my case?"
"Aww, poor baby. Thanks for the muffin. I'll see you in a bit."
Harry heaved another sigh, and Hermione came around his desk and gave him a quick hug. "Have fun with your cocks. Good luck at St Mungo's. I'll see you at the pub this evening."
Harry just grunted in response.
Harry dumped the Vicious Cockmonster in its original packaging before Flooing to St Mungo's. Sparing a wave for a harassed-looking Muriel (and the dozen or so people clamouring at her desk) he took the lift to Spell Damage.
Spell Damage was, again, blessedly quiet, and he approached the desk quickly. "Quick sign-off. It's not a splinch, but needs a Healer's say-so."
"Quick you said? Right, go to room 3 and I'll send someone in."
Harry nodded, and obediently followed the wave to the room in question.
Of course it was Malfoy who walked in five minutes later. Because Harry’s life couldn't be easy for just one day.
"Potter." Malfoy gave a brief nod. "Something quick, Indira told me."
Harry gestured to the Accoutrements box on the exam table and the forms beside it. "Same as last time, but need you to certify it's not, in fact, a penis."
Malfoy's face did a weird twitch. "You're bringing me another penis?"
"I don't like it any more than you. But this one got sent to a Member of Wizengamot, and it's suddenly my problem."
Malfoy continued to blink at him. "So… any sex toys found by the DMLE are now your job?"
"Well, not when you put it like that." Harry coughed, imagining mountains of sex toys: vibrators and strap ons and plugs and beads and needing to bring them all to Malfoy. He did a twitch of his own at that. "But gotta show a strong face when someone sends that to Bartram." He gestured to the box, which Malfoy flipped open.
"Hm. How they expect him to find room for it with that stick shoved so far up his arse…" Malfoy's words trailed off as he reached for the box of gloves.
"You sound like Hermione,” Harry grumbled. “And pretty much everyone else but Kingsley." Personally, Harry suspected Kingsley shared everyone’s views, but was prevented from actually voicing any of them for the sake of professionalism.
Malfoy gave a faint grunt in response, grabbing some gloves and snapping them on. This time, however, he bypassed the tickling and the sparks and the prodding and went straight for it, wrapping the cock in his fist and pumping it briefly.
The Vicious Cockmonster perked right up, just like the last one had, and Malfoy sighed. "Where's the form?"
Harry held out the stack of parchment as Malfoy carefully deposited it back in the box. "68-J? It's not a Splinching."
Harry shrugged. "Apparently it's what they need if it's not a Splinching, too. I'd take it up with those wankers down in Filing, but Hermione's been working on them for five years now, and if she can't get through, I have no hope."
Malfoy sighed, and Harry felt a pang of sympathy as Malfoy summoned a quill and started filling them in. "As well you shouldn’t, I suppose," he said without looking up. “Granger’s rather difficult to ignore. And you…” He glanced briefly up at Harry before returning his attention to the stack of forms. “Well,” he said as if that was all that was to be said about that.
And like that, Harry's sympathy disappeared, and he glared.
Malfoy never glanced up again to notice.
And because his life went like that, when he arrived at the pub, Dean and Pansy were sitting in the booth together, arguing about the placement of Orsino Thruston's wedding pictures in the special edition of the Prophet earlier in the week.
And Pansy wasn't so bad, except for the part where she and Hermione would spend all evening trading increasingly elaborate insults as the drinking progressed, but Pansy sometimes also meant Malfoy, and Harry was feeling right about done with Malfoy for the day.
"Potter!" Pansy looked up as he slid onto the bench, and grinned at him. "I've been hearing rumors...."
"Fucking Merlin," he sighed.
"What's this about you collecting sex toys?"
Harry glanced between Dean, who gave him an innocent expression, and Pansy, who looked ready to eat him alive. "Has Malfoy been—"
Pansy blinked, "Draco? What does Draco know?"
"How do you…?"
"Oh, darling, I lunch with Rosemary twice a week."
Harry found himself not at all surprised. Pansy seemed to know all of the people who took the most pleasure from terrible things happening to him. "I hate you."
"Yes yes, you do that. I apparently need to talk to my best friend about what he knows about your sex toy collection."
"Okay, one, it's not a sex toy collection, and it just sounds dirty when you say it like that. It's part of an open investigation, and as such I cannot comment directly. Two, if you're going to take the piss out of me about the cocks on my desk, you need to provide me with a lot more beer first."
"Deal." Pansy raised her hand above her head, snapping until the barkeep rolled his eyes and sent a pint her way. She slid it across the table in his direction before leaning forward until his vision was filled with her face and cleavage, and grinned at him. "Spill."
He leaned back, holding his pint defensively. "Nothing really to spill. Apparition got called for a Splinching because the toys are really realistic. Malfoy knows because Ministry bureaucrats require potential Splinchings to be signed off by a Healer. Malfoy's just been the one on shift."
"That's about the least interesting case notes summary on sex toys I've ever heard. Did you take classes in boring?"
“It’s called being professional,” Harry said archly, taking a much-needed gulp of his pint. “I’m fairly sure you haven’t heard of it.”
“You’re honestly trying to tell me that you Aurors are so concerned with being professional?” Pansy asked, rolling her eyes. “Please. I have met Finnegan, you know.”
She had him there. Seamus was a damn fine Auror, though his methods and demeanor when interacting with the public tended to be a bit unconventional. Seamus liked to call it things like ‘easygoing and friendly’ and ‘connecting with people on a more personal level’ and ‘all these stuffy rules are a load of codswallop anyhow, Harry, you know they are.’ Kingsley, on the other hand, tended to refer to it as things like ‘a right pain in my arse’ and ‘are you trying to convince me to take an early retirement’ and, most popularly, ‘damnit, Finnegan, have you never heard of regulations?!’ Harry mostly just called it a headache and tried to stay out of it as much as possible.
Pansy raised a brow at him when he didn’t respond right away, and Harry sighed and took another drink from his pint. “Go bother Seamus, then, if you think he’s so unprofessional. He’ll be more than willing to blab about an open investigation.” And right now, having Seamus lay out the particulars of how Harry’s life had gone particularly pear-shaped over the past few weeks was preferable to being forced to do it himself.
“It’s cocks, Potter. Fake cocks,” Pansy said, tapping her fingernails on the tabletop. “And I’ve already bought you a pint. You owe me.”
No such luck, then. And Pansy was like a barnacle: sticking tenaciously where she was least wanted, and sharp enough that he had to be plenty careful in getting rid of her. And, oh. Now she was giving him a look like she could tell that he was drawing unflattering comparisons to sea creatures, and Harry was almost afraid she knew what he was thinking. She couldn’t, could she? He was mostly certain she didn’t know Legilimency.
“Potter,” Pansy said sharply, and then snapped her fingers at him. “Out with it, or I really will go ask Finnegan.”
Harry gave her a petulant look. “I already told you to do that. Can’t threaten me with my own suggestions.”
Pansy made a small thoughtful humming sound. “Yes I can, because I don’t think you’ve thought it through. He does tend to talk rather loudly, doesn’t he? Do you really want the entire pub to know about your case?”
Damn her, she had a point.
At that point Harry was rescued by Malfoy sliding into the seat beside Pansy, and Harry’s irritation with her was swept away in a wave of gratitude for the timeliness of his appearance. Then Harry realized he was feeling grateful to Malfoy of all the bloody things and ended up feeling twice as irritated as he had to begin with. He drank more of his pint.
“Leave the poor boy alone, Pans,” he said, sounding positively cheerful.
Harry sent him a glare, and couldn’t help but notice how Malfoy looked much better than he had the last time Harry had seen him, though to be fair it might’ve been that the lime green robes and the harsh lights of St Mungo’s didn’t do terribly flattering things to his complexion. Made him look all washed-out and sickly. Sometimes Harry was surprised that Malfoy, vain as he was, had signed on for a profession that involved lime green clothes and harsh lighting. Or that he hadn’t had his father buy up St Mungo’s and change the uniforms. Or something.
“I just want to know about the sex toys,” Pansy said, sounding almost sulky about it, like Harry was the one being unfair about all this.
“Ongoing investigation,” Harry muttered into his pint glass, for all the good that did.
Malfoy looked between the two of them, then a slow smirk spread across his face, spelling trouble plain as day. “Well luckily for both of us, Healer-patient confidentiality doesn’t apply to fake cocks,” Malfoy said. He leaned back in his chair and stretched his legs out under the table. His feet bumped into Harry’s and he didn’t apologize.
Scowling a bit, Harry resisted the urge to kick him in his stupid bony ankles, and shifted his chair over. “There’s really nothing to tell,” he said.
"There isn't much," Malfoy agreed, leaving Harry feeling completely wrong-footed by Malfoy bypassing the opportunity to take the piss out of him. But then he opened his mouth again. "Fabulously realistic-looking sex toys, the largest of which," he continued, measuring the length of the Vicious Cockmonster with two hands, "was sent to Bartram, I heard."
At the mention of Bartram, Hermione appeared, as if by magic. It reminded Harry a little of how Crookshanks could be summoned from a dead sleep by the sound of a can opener. He looked morosely down into his pint glass at the two inches of beer sloshing in the bottom. That wasn’t nearly enough to get him through this conversation. He reached out with a foot and shoved the chair to his left away from the table just in time for Hermione to slip into it.
He then proceeded to ignore the entire conversation. He didn't even care anymore. When he waved at the barman for another pint, Hermione was repeating the rant about Bartram and nepotism that she'd probably been building up to deliver in his office earlier. Letting her words wash over him, nodding in the gaps, was something he'd mastered years ago, and he concentrated on drinking his pint.
He was jostled out of his reverie when Ron thumped him on the shoulder. "Why are we talking politics? Why aren't we talking about the fact that Harry's got not one but two fake cocks in his office?"
Hermione shot Ron a stink eye. "We talk Auror cases all the time. And when Ginny's here, we talk Quidditch. You don't see me complaining."
"But politics." Ron's voice had a decided whine to it, which told Harry he'd had at least four pints by this point, and Hermione had likely been on a while.
He stared down into his own empty glass. "At least tomorrow is my day off. No cocks."
Ron nodded. "No cocks on Saturdays."
Malfoy rolled his eyes, and muttered something about "Section 109-J-17" and Hermione was off again.
It was actually a bit frightening that she and Malfoy seemed to be agreeing on something. And that Malfoy was agreeing with anything. Usually he gave the impression of arguing for the sake of arguing, but Harry wasn't going to underestimate just how universally hated Bartram was, so it probably made a strange kind of sense.
It ended up an oddly pleasant evening. Even if he did end it feeling a lot more sympathy for whoever sent Bartram the penis.
The best thing about being transferred to Apparition, Harry thought to himself while lying flat on his back in bed, with the sunlight peeking through the curtains, was that while he was technically on-call on the weekends, he wasn't on shift. That meant Saturday and Sunday were pretty much guaranteed to be for lie-ins until May.
He could do lie-ins until May.
Of course, the balance was middle of the night drunken Splinchings on Fridays and Saturdays, but those were when he was still up, anyway. And he could take a Containment Receptacle thingie to a Splinch point, and drop it off at Spell Damage while drunk himself, and it would be someone else's problem until Monday.
Well, that and Tuesdays. But he didn't want to spend his weekend thinking about Tuesdays. Harry didn’t even like spending his Tuesdays thinking about Tuesdays.
Although, all things considered, Apparating Mrs Periweather and Persimmon to and from the groomers wasn't too bad a trade for weekend lie-ins, either. Especially when his bed was so comfortable.
The only cloud on the horizon was large and penis-shaped. Because he had to at least make his search for whoever sent Bartram the Vicious Cockmonster seem convincing.
Which was of course when his Floo chimed and the Ministry Welcome Witch's voice carried through his flat: "Auror Potter, please report to Apparition immediately."
Harry groaned and pulled his pillow over his head.
Apparition was empty when he arrived, which, after years in the never-quiet Auror Department, made him feel off-balance and wary. He passed Rosemary's desk, and then opened the door to his office. "Arthur?"
"Harry!" Arthur beamed up from his position in Harry's visitor's chair. He had a Muggle magazine on his lap, opened and displaying a picture of an engine. "Good to see you! I was just going to leave this here, but Kingsley sent around a note saying anything like this needs to be brought immediately to your attention. And I didn't want to bother you at home… Work and home should stay separate, I know! And I wouldn't want to stress you!"
Harry could only watch in horror as Arthur pulled a hat out from under his chair, reaching in and pulling out…. Oh, god.
"This hat ended up in Misuse this morning. Addressed to me, for some reason." Arthur shrugged before smiling back at Harry. "It's got a faulty Extension Charm and this penis was inside."
Harry could feel all the blood leaving his face as he stared at the penis in Arthur's hand. The very familiar penis in Arthur's hand. "Harry? Do I give a statement or just leave this with the other penises on your desk?"
Harry coughed, tearing his gaze from his cock to Arthur's kindly face. "Please don't say penis again."
"Harry." Arthur's smile warmed, and he dropped the penis back in the hat and patted Harry's arm. "It's really all right. Nothing to be bothered about." And when Harry continued to stare, "Do you think I've not seen a few penises in my time?"
Harry covered his face. "Oh, god. Please, just put it down on the desk and promise me you'll never say that again."
"Of course. I'll see you tomorrow at dinner. Molly's making treacle tart, especially. Don't be late!" Harry continued to stare at the empty chair as the sound of Arthur's happy footsteps quietened down the hallway.
Of course Arthur was happy. He hadn't just received a replica of his own penis. Because Harry had known at a glance that the penis in the hat was his, delivered by Arthur Weasley on his day off.
Harry turned his attention to the hat, desperately hoping that he was mistaken. Upending it carefully, Harry's penis rolled out. He took a moment to hope that the similarity was just a coincidence, so he nudged it over with a quill. And then that hope died; it had the same freckle on the right side, right near the base, that looked kind of like Belgium, and which begged the question of just how the fuck someone had made a sex toy of his penis. And why? And who? And how much would Harry murder them when he found that out?
Then the day got worse when Seamus poked his head in with a "heard you were in today" and asked him for lunch and saw three penises on his desk where there had been two. And then he laughed as he made Harry tell him the full story.
And while at lunch, he commented that the new penis looked an awful lot like Harry's. Which, yeah, after that many years of communal showers in the Gryffindor dorms, Harry probably should’ve seen that coming and left the newest cock hidden away in its hat.
Of course, when Seamus made the connection, he announced it loudly. In front of Ron. Who looked liked the Christmas Train of Piss Taking had arrived early.
The only good thing about stomping into Spell Damage after lunch on Saturday with his cock in a hat was that Malfoy looked as miserable as he did. "That's not a Containment Receptacle."
"It didn't come from an Apparition Point. Was left with Arthur Weasley."
"So you are in charge of any sex toys coming to the Ministry." Malfoy’s foul mood took an obvious and swift turn towards giddy, and Harry had to quash the desire to punch the stupid smug expression right off his stupid git face.
He settled for slapping the stack of forms down on the exam table with a loud smack. "68-J again."
Malfoy shot him a glare, annoyance quickly overwhelming the amusement. "I am aware of the forms needed to do my job, Potter."
“Sorry,” Harry said, not sounding sorry in the slightest and also not caring enough to even try. “I thought we were stating the bloody obvious. The hat is not a Containment Receptacle. I am primary on this stupid bloody case. This is form 68-J. We are both standing in St Mungo’s.”
“Good thing,” Malfoy snapped. “You might want to stop by the first floor on your way out. Perhaps they can extract whatever crawled up your arse this morning and made you such a ray of fucking sunshine.”
“You’re an arsehole.”
Malfoy snorted. “Your professionalism is astounding.”
“Sorry,” Harry said again. “But professionalism went out the window around the time it became my job to collect cocks from around the city.”
Malfoy gave him another glare, then upended the hat so that the cock flopped onto the exam table. “Well,” he said, frowning. “It’s certainly quite a bit smaller than the last one.” He poked it with his quill.
“The last one,” Harry ground out, “was a bloody monster. Of course anything else looks small compared to it.” Malfoy’s eyebrows arched as he gave Harry a skeptical look, and Harry huffed out a breath. “I’m just saying,” he muttered. “It’s not really a fair comparison.”
“Potter,” Malfoy said, his face suddenly very sympathetic as he reached out and touched his fingertips to Harry’s forearm. “Are you defending it? Do you… feel sorry for it?”
“Oh, fuck off,” Harry snapped, shaking free of Malfoy’s fingers.
Malfoy cackled and turned away to snap on a pair of gloves. “Honestly, Potter. It’s a fake cock. It hasn’t got feelings, you know.” He adjusted the snug cuffs around his wrist. “And while we’re at it, nor has it got ears. I promise you it neither knows nor cares what I say about. I mean, I understand that you’re the Saviour and all, and you probably can’t help yourself rushing to defend anything you feel could use your aid, no matter how small or helpless—”
“Oh, fuck off,” Harry snapped again. Really, how could someone possibly be this insulting and obnoxious without even realizing the full extent of it? Then again, Harry supposed he and Malfoy had always had a sort of sixth sense for getting under each other’s skin, a strangely preternatural ability to tell when a particular jab was hitting its mark and really pissing off the other one.
The worst part of it was that he couldn’t say anything about it. Even if the thought of admitting to Malfoy that the cock lying on the exam table was an exact replica of Harry’s own didn’t make him want to sink through the floor, it’d only motivate Malfoy to be about a thousand times more obnoxious about it. Oh god, the commentary. The mere thought of what Malfoy might say made Harry cringe. Nope, there was nothing for it. Harry was forced to stand aside and suffer in silence.
He didn’t see how this could possibly get any worse.
Except. He should really stop thinking things like that. Because then it did get worse. It got much worse when Malfoy picked up the cock and gave it a few brisk strokes. Just like the others had, it began to firm up and. Harry felt his face go suddenly hot, and there was no way Malfoy wouldn’t spot his blush if he looked up. But thankfully, Malfoy’s attention never wavered from the hardening cock in his hands. He was frowning a bit in concentration, brows drawn and his lower lip tucked between his teeth.
And. Oh. That was a whole different sort of problem, Harry found.
Because it was entirely unprofessional of him, but suddenly Harry couldn’t stop thinking about Malfoy looking that intently at his actual cock, about Malfoy’s hand wrapped firmly around him and sliding up and down his length in smooth, even strokes. It was horrible, and distracting, and involuntarily compelling. Malfoy’s hand drifted lower to give the bollocks a fondle, and what was left of Harry’s composure snapped.
“Is that entirely necessary?” he demanded as Malfoy hummed thoughtfully and stroked the shaft again.
“Just testing the reactions,” Malfoy said, but he did finally put the cock down and took up the quill again.
What followed were forty of the longest minutes of Harry’s life. Malfoy was exceedingly thorough in his examination of this newest cock, laying down his quill every few pages to poke and prod at it with his gloved hands, while making exceedingly annoying little thoughtful humming sounds before returning his attention to the form and filling out each section. Harry had never cared much what Malfoy had written before, but this time he felt his curiosity rising higher and higher every time Malfoy finished a page.
Later. He’d take a look at the report after he got back to his office. Not because he cared what Malfoy thought of this newest cock. But because it was his job. As an Auror. A temporarily displaced Auror, but Harry prided himself on his solid work ethic. In fact, he should probably read over all the other forms as well. Not that Harry particularly cared to hear Malfoy’s opinions on the other two cocks. Because Harry didn’t care about Malfoy’s opinions on any cocks. But there might be a clue in there somewhere, some lead he could track down. And it was Harry’s job to find whoever was responsible for this and make sure they were punished to the fullest extent of the law. Sending the cock to Bartram? That was funny. But this? This was over the line.
It was amazing what being confronted with an unnaturally accurate replica of one’s own genitalia did, motivationally speaking.
“Potter,” Malfoy said, sounding half exasperated and half amused, and Harry realized Malfoy had been trying to get his attention for some time. “I’m finished, if you’d like to stop cluttering up my exam room?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Harry said, collecting the thick sheaf of paperwork and stuffing the cock back into the hat. His mind was still occupied with running through his potential leads and what forms he’d need to submit to follow them through. “Thanks, Malfoy,” he said as he turned to go.
“You’re quite welcome,” Malfoy replied, sounding faintly off-balance.
Harry nodded and left.
Back at the Ministry, he settled in at his desk. He sat the newest cock in line beside the other two and took a moment to pray that he’d crack this case before he ran out of space on his desk. He finished up his request for Magical Analysis on the note that had been sent to Bartram and sent it off to be processed, then pulled out a blank sheet of parchment and began to make notes.
The biggest lead he had to work with was this new cock. The only way Harry could think of to explain that level of accuracy was the use of polyjuice. Someone had snagged a hair of his, mixed it up with polyjuice, and… gone about it from there. (Harry was sure there were some very complex and sophisticated steps involved in duplicating his penis, and he was perfectly happy not thinking about any of them in any great detail.) Unfortunately, none of the ingredients used to brew polyjuice were regulated by the Ministry, and most of them were very commonly used in other potions as well. Which didn’t bode well for that avenue of investigation, but there was still only one Harry Potter. Which meant Harry had a starting point. He inked his quill and began a list of all the places he’d visited in recent memory.
The only bright point in his day was reading through Malfoy’s commentary about the cocks on the forms he’d filled out. Despite his cracks about Harry’s cock being small (which, it wasn’t, it was a perfectly respectable size, thank you very much) the rest of his descriptions were surprisingly complimentary. ‘Exceedingly well-formed specimen,’ he’d written. And Harry couldn’t say why exactly he was so pleased about that.
Harry woke late Sunday morning from an extremely distressing sex dream in which Malfoy touched Harry with blue-gloved hands and each time Harry got close to coming, Malfoy would stop and make notes about his performance on a thick stack of forms, nodding thoughtfully to himself as he did.
It felt like a sign. A great big flashing neon sign that today was going to be that kind of day. The kind of day where his friends were arseholes. And then he remembered he was due for lunch at the Burrow, and that Arthur Weasley had brought in Harry's cock the day before. And Seamus had told Ron all about it at lunch.
Ron keeping his mouth shut was too much to hope for. Hermione would know, which meant Ginny. Which meant George. Which meant that by the time pudding was served, the entire table would know it was Harry's cock in that fucking hat.
And then he'd… He had no idea. Probably drink way too much. Maybe he'd accidentally Apparate into Mr Smythe's bath again. Maybe he'd manage to Splinch himself.
But no, with his luck, that would end him up in St Mungo's, waiting for Malfoy to reattach something.
Something like his cock. His cock, which twitched at the thought. He lifted his sheet and stared at it, half-hard after the stupid dream about stupid sodding Malfoy.
After arriving at the Burrow and exchanging hugs and greetings, Harry was certain he was prepared. He made his way over to the couch where Ron was sitting and plopped down beside him. He took one look at Ron's face and spoke quickly to head off the piss taking. "Someone has to be using Polyjuice."
He could literally watch the gears shift, as Ron went from arsehole best mate to trained Auror. "Makes sense. If it really was that exact. Unless it's someone who has been up close and personal with your bits. You think any of your exes could do it?"
"No." Harry kept his words flat, as the last thing he needed was to add his exes to the current list of things his friends were giving him shit for. "Unfortunately, Polyjuice ingredients are easy to get. And I can think of a bunch of people who'd be able to brew it and who see me often enough to get my hair. Including you."
"You think I'd do it?"
"No." Harry muttered. "But Seamus might."
Ron laughed. "You really think Seamus would do that?"
"Would? Yeah. Did?" Harry sighed. "Not so much. He looked way too gleeful when he worked out that it was mine. And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is I had to take it to St Mungo’s to have it inspected by Malfoy. Do you know he examined and took notes on my cock for forty minutes? Commenting all the while, comparing it to that Vicious Cockmonster."
“I can’t wait to hear what Seamus thinks of this,” was all Ron said as he attempted to stifle his laughter.
“I want you to think about this very carefully before you go running your mouth to him,” Harry said. “If this person is creating replicas of actual people’s cocks, it’s not entirely unreasonable that yours might turn up at some point. And unless you want that to become common knowledge, I suggest you set a good precedent here.” He and Ron stared at each other for a moment, then Harry laid down his trump card. “I’m not above spreading around pages of form 68-J. You know how Malfoy feels about gingers.”
Ron made a face at that. “You do realize Seamus is going to find out whether or not I tell him.”
“Yeah, but I’ll take the few days’ respite. As long as he's not thinking about the how, he's not coming up with even more interesting ways of making my life hell. Besides, I thought I was supposed to be your best mate."
Ron shrugged. "I can visit his cubicle without seeing his penis."
Harry wasn't sure if he was lucky or not that Molly called everyone to the table. He knew he wasn't when, as he sat down, Ginny piped up with, "So, Harry? How's Apparition treating you now? I've heard so many interesting things about your new juris-DIC-tion."
Dinner went downhill from there.
After the excitement of Saturday and the ensuing embarrassment of Sunday dinner at the Burrow, Harry was almost relieved when the next week was relatively uneventful. Although he made a disappointingly small amount of progress in his investigation, only two more cocks appeared between Monday morning and Friday afternoon. He was called to retrieve the first one on Tuesday, which actually worked out in Harry’s favor as it meant he missed ferrying Persimmon and Mrs Periweather to and from the groomer’s. Rosemary’s scowl as he hurried off down the hall warmed him to the very bottom of his heart, and he couldn’t resist waggling his fingers at her in a cheerful wave as the lift doors slid safely closed.
The second one appeared on Wednesday morning. Both of the cocks were blessedly unfamiliar to Harry, and even though Malfoy had been the Healer on duty both times Harry visited St Mungo’s with a Containment Receptacle in one hand and form 68-J in the other, that turned out to be not quite so bad. Certainly it wasn’t any worse than what Harry had come to expect from him. Malfoy was an arsehole, and always seemed to be more amused than he should be by Harry bringing him cocks, but he wasn't going to question Malfoy's sense of humor too closely. He really didn't want to know. Especially where penises were concerned.
Harry just handed over the forms and kept his responses as monosyllabic (and he spared another moment to curse Hermione’s calendar) as possible, and things seemed to go pretty smoothly from there.
Looking back, that should’ve tipped him off that things were about to take a turn for the terrible. Because that was just how Harry’s life worked. Things proceeded smoothly for just long enough to allow Harry to build up a bit of false hope, and then promptly went sideways.
The call for the third cock of the week came in just before Harry left for lunch on Friday. Still blissfully ignorant of what was to come, Harry took it as a bit of well-deserved serendipity when the location turned out to be the Apparition Point near that new Indian place he’d been meaning to try. Even when he got there and realized he’d forgotten to bring along a Containment Receptacle, his good mood didn’t waver. He just took out the foil box his lunch came in and used the paper takeaway bag to pick up the cock and transport it back to the Ministry.
Back in his office, he set his lunch and his drink down on his desk, then carefully slid the cock out of the bag so it sat on the edge of his desk beside the other five.
“Bugger,” Harry muttered when he saw that his lamb vindaloo had leaked on the inside of the bag and the newest cock was now smudged with sauce.
The absolute last thing he needed was to bring a disturbingly realistic sex toy to St Mungo’s reeking of Indian food, so he grudgingly took up a paper napkin and gingerly dabbed it clean. At first he tried to ignore how it firmed up a little from the attention, but that just made it easier to wipe down so Harry went with it. He tried not to think too hard about it, and it all worked out all right.
Cock now as clean as he could get it, Harry crumpled the paper napkin and tossed it into the bin before he began to distractedly shovel forkfuls of vindaloo into his mouth while shuffling through his paperwork, filling out his portion of form 68-J with the location the latest cock had been found and when the call had come in.
A glimmer of light caught Harry’s eye, and he turned quickly to see ripples fading from the surface of his drink, though he didn’t think he’d bumped the desk. Frowning a little, he held himself very still and quiet, watching warily, but nothing more happened. Probably just his eyes playing tricks on him. It’d been a long week, after all. He ate another bite and picked up his paperwork again.
Another glimmer. Harry looked back at his drink and, yes, those were ripples. What the hell was shaking it? Harry hadn’t bumped the desk, he was sure of it this time. Moving slowly and carefully, he sat back in his chair. Barely a minute later came another ripple and… a brief buzzing sound?
Harry looked around his desk, then around his office, but saw nothing that immediately leapt out at him as a potential source for the strange sound. He was just about to dismiss it as his ears playing tricks on him when the sound came again, and this time it didn’t stop. And the source of it…
The newest penis had a vibrate function. Lovely.
For a long moment, Harry just stared dumbly at it. Because, how had this become his life? The penis had begun to quickly firm up from its own vibration, and Harry knew from personal experience grudgingly gained over the past week that once the penises got hard, they usually took their sweet fucking time to deflate again. And that as terrible as it was to have a line of flaccid penises lined up on his desk, it was infinitely worse to have a line of erections there instead. When they were erect there was twitching. And throbbing.
Harry gave the Vicious Cockmonster a wary glance as he drew his wand.
“Finite Incantatum,” he said, swishing his wand at the vibrating penis. Then again, more desperately, “Finite Incantatum!” The penis continued to vibrate, the sound growing louder the longer it went on. It was fully erect now, flushed red and straining up towards the ceiling. “Oh god, stop. Stop!”
The penis was now vibrating so hard that Harry’s whole desk shook with it. His drink sloshed from its cup. A picture frame clattered down onto its face. And. Oh no. No. The other penises had begun to grow hard as well. The buzzing sound filled his small office, loud enough now that Harry worried it could be heard from the hallway.
The idea of someone coming in to investigate what sounded like an entire horde of angry bees and instead discovering Harry with six erect penises on his desk filled him with panic. On the heels of that came the horrified realization that although by some miracle he’d thus far avoided discovering exactly how realistic the penises were when they ‘came,’ if the vibrations kept up much longer Harry was going to find out firsthand.
He was going to find out six times.
No. Harry refused to have this be how he ended his week. He had to make this stop. He tried another three spells and then in desperation, he whacked the rogue penis with form 68-J.
Was that his imagination or did the vibration dim? He hit it again, and again, and kept hitting it until it finally stopped. Then hit the rest until they deflated. Or mostly deflated. The second penis he’d picked up this week only grew harder when he slapped it with the stack of papers, twitching eagerly with each blow.
“God,” Harry said, slouching down in his chair. He was breathing a little hard.
The masochistic penis bobbed in place, and Harry was so done with this. He took the shade off his lamp and dropped it on top of it so at least he didn’t have to look at the fucking thing. He hoped it’d go down soon. He sighed and slid his fingertips up beneath his glasses to rub tiredly at his eyes.
The reprieve lasted just long enough for Harry to drop the paperwork and pick up his fork, and then the cock started vibrating again. The lampshade swayed as the masochistic penis responded readily.
“Oh for the love of—” Harry muttered, then snarled off a Stasis Charm to keep his lunch warm, dumped the stupid arsehole vibrating cock into the nearest Containment Receptacle, and stormed off to St Mungo’s.
The ride up to Spell Damage was one of the most awkward experiences of Harry’s life.
The Containment Receptacle did nothing to muffle the cock’s frantic buzzing, and the other three people in the lift with Harry kept slipping him sidelong glances while he concentrated on keeping a firm hold of the box. The cock gave a hard twitch, jostling the lid, and Harry gritted his teeth and tightened his grip and tried not to imagine how bloody embarrassing it’d be if he dropped the box and the vibrating cock flopped out onto the floor right here in front of these unsuspecting people.
For the first time since this whole mess had begun, Harry hoped Malfoy would be the Healer on duty. This whole thing was horrible, and the one small sliver of silver lining in all of it was that he got to drag Malfoy into all this horribleness right along with him.
Also, Malfoy was the one who had to fill out the lion’s share of the paperwork.
By the time the lift doors opened and Harry stepped out into the waiting room, the cock was twitching constantly, loud thumps against the cardboard sides of the Containment Receptacle punctuating the ongoing drone of its vibrations.
He forced a smile for the Mediwitch at the desk. “Hi. I’ve got—”
“Exam room 4,” she interrupted, raising her voice to be heard over the rambunctious cock in the box. She looked like she was struggling not to laugh at him. A part of Harry wanted to be upset, but honestly he couldn’t find it in himself to blame her. “Sounds urgent. I’ll send Healer Malfoy right in.”
“Thanks,” Harry said, turning to make his way to room 4.
Once inside, he dropped the Containment Receptacle on the steel counter. And realized his mistake a split second later. The metal surface amplified the buzzing and set the glass canisters of cotton balls and tongue depressors clattering alarmingly, their contents rattling around inside them. A box of exam gloves went tumbling to the floor. Harry grabbed the Containment Receptacle and all but threw it onto the exam table, and hit it with a Sticking Charm a moment later.
Which worked well enough, until a particularly enthusiastic twitch against the lid sent the cock popping up like a jack-in-the-box.
Which, of course, was exactly when Malfoy walked in.
Malfoy’s expression slid through several rapidfire emotions—surprise, curiosity, disbelief—before it settled into something resigned and a little bit plaintive.
“What did you do to it?”
Harry threw up his hands. “Why do you think I did anything to it?”
“Because that,” Malfoy said, waving a hand to indicate the cock, as if Harry could possibly mistake him for referring to anything else, “is not supposed to do that.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed. “How do you know what it is and isn’t supposed to do?”
Malfoy snorted and snatched the stack of paperwork away from Harry, flipping angrily to the first page. “It’s a sex toy, Potter. Do you think that thing is in any condition to be shoved up someone’s arse?”
Well. He had a point, there.
“Which leads me to believe that you’ve done something to it,” Malfoy went on, signing his name to the bottom of the first page with a little flourish. He leaned closer to the cock and poked it with his quill, then froze and sniffed. “Why does it smell like curry?”
Harry sighed. “Vindaloo,” he said, then mumbled, “Might’ve spilled some on it.”
“Spilled some…” Malfoy repeated, then broke off. “The coriander.”
“Coriander!” Malfoy snapped at him, irritated, like Harry was supposed to know what the bloody fuck that meant.
He stared at Harry until Harry gave in, otherwise they’d be here all bloody day. “What does that mean, Malfoy?” he ground out, and made his voice go a little mocking as he added, “I don’t understand, please explain it to me with your giant brain.”
Malfoy scowled a little bit and jabbed the cock again with his quill. “The coriander in the vindaloo must have interacted with the enchantments on the.” He broke off, glancing down at the cock which had twitched hard enough to tip out of the box entirely and was now slowly buzzing its way toward the edge of the table. Malfoy hit it with a Stasis Spell and it froze in place. Harry’s ears rang a bit in the sudden silence. Malfoy gave the cock another glance and sighed. “The enchantments on the specimen,” he finished.
Harry blinked at him. “Coriander?”
“Coriander,” Malfoy confirmed. “The properties of coriander were covered in seventh year potions. However, I believe you were otherwise occupied for that lesson.”
Harry waited for him to go on, for some snide comment or subtle dig about their past history. But it never came. Malfoy just stated the facts calm as could be and turned back to his paperwork.
“But,” Harry began, and broke off. Malfoy looked up and arched a brow expectantly at him, so Harry sighed and went on. “Coriander messes with charmwork?”
“It can,” Malfoy said, continuing to fill out the form. “Especially complex and delicate spellwork. Which of course the spells on these would have to be, to make them so lifelike. Whoever enchanted these must be tremendously talented.”
“Wish they’d use their talents for something worthwhile,” Harry grumbled.
Malfoy shrugged. “Everything’s worthwhile to someone, Potter,” he said. “But whether or not you see them as worthwhile, you do have to admit the quality of charmwork on these things is impressive.” He swished his wand over the frozen penis and nodded at the ensuing shower of silver sparks.
“All right,” Harry sighed. “I’ll admit they’re an impressive bit of magic. However, I’d find it more impressive if I didn’t have to run around collecting them from all over the city.” He sighed again, deeper and more put-upon. “Or keep them on my desk.”
Malfoy stopped writing. “You keep them on your desk?”
“Have to,” Harry muttered darkly. “They’re evidence in an ongoing investigation.”
“Right,” Malfoy said, shaking his head a little as he bent over the papers again. “I just assumed you’d keep them in boxes.”
“Boxes?” Harry repeated.
Malfoy gave him a flat look. “That is what the Containment Receptacles are for, aren’t they? Containing specimens?”
“It’s my understanding they’re for Splinched body parts, not sex toys,” Harry said, feeling a bit silly even as he protested, because mismanagement of office supplies wasn’t something he’d ever concerned himself with before.
“You use boxes to bring them here.”
“Because the alternative is showing up with a cock in my hands,” Harry huffed, trying not to imagine the looks that would get him in the lifts. “Honestly.”
The corner of Malfoy’s mouth twitched like he wanted to smile. “I’d pay to see that.”
“So would a lot of other people. The Prophet, for instance. Also, any other magazine or newspaper. Can you imagine? I’d make the front page.”
“You always make the front page,” Malfoy pointed out dryly. “But at least this way they’d have to blur out the hand holding it.”
“Hm,” Harry said. “Maybe I could hold it in front of my face. That’d probably make the picture worthless, wouldn’t it? If they couldn’t tell it was me.”
“Hardly,” Malfoy scoffed. “You always wear those stupid shoes.”
Harry looked down at his trainers. “What’s wrong with my shoes?”
Malfoy snorted but didn’t elaborate. Probably for the best, that way. They’d been having a relatively nice conversation. Civil. Friendly, even. Malfoy’s dry tone had edged dangerously close to teasing at one point.
It was really fucking weird.
“I’m going to go get a cuppa,” Harry said abruptly. “Do you mind if I step out for a sec?”
Malfoy waved him off, his quill skritching quickly across the papers spread over the table before him.
Harry hesitated with his hand on the doorknob. “Er. Do you. Want anything?” he asked. “I could get you some tea. Or something. If you want.”
“Tea, if you don’t mind,” Malfoy said, sounding faintly surprised. “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it,” Harry said, fervently meaning just that. Offering to fetch tea for Malfoy, and Malfoy acting grateful for it. It was bizarre enough to make his head explode.
Harry took his time making the trip down to the canteen and then back, two paper cups in hand. He stopped in the lobby to have a bit of a chat with Muriel, then took the lifts back up to Spell Damage where he nodded to the Mediwitch on duty at the desk and went down the hall to the exam room. Balancing the cups precariously in one hand, he opened the door and had just enough time to register the faint glimmer of Shield Charms before Malfoy hit the cock with a Finite.
The spell released in a backlash of energy and the cock exploded off the table, slammed against the ceiling, bounced back down to ricochet off a Shield Charm protecting the exam table, and hurtled straight at Harry.
He flung himself out of the way with a startled sound that was most definitely not a shriek and fell flat on his arse. Both cups of tea splashed all over him, and the cock flew past and out into the hallway where it bounced off the opposite wall and fell to the floor, buzzing loudly and drifting in a lazy circle, rather like a boat with one oar.
For a long moment, Harry stared dumbly at it, his brain still desperately trying to process what the fuck had just happened. And then the sound of a door opening down the hall kicked him into action. He scrambled into the hall and snatched up the cock and all but threw it back into the exam room. He didn’t mean to aim it at Malfoy but Malfoy caught it on what seemed to be pure blind instinct so it was probably okay, no harm done to either Malfoy or the cock, and Harry hurled himself into the exam room after it and slammed the door behind him.
“What,” said Harry, “the fuck was that?”
There were a few long, stunned seconds of silence. And then Malfoy blinked bemusedly at the vibrating cock in his hand, and began to laugh.
Harry had heard Malfoy laugh before, cruel or derisive or mocking, but never like this. Open and deep and a little helpless, and...nice. Very nice, actually. Malfoy had a surprisingly nice laugh, and it did something strange and a little fluttery to the very pit of Harry’s stomach.
He couldn’t help it, he laughed a little bit too. Thought briefly about making a joke of it, about how back in school they should’ve charmed the Snitch into cocks and Malfoy would’ve beaten him every game because he apparently had no trouble catching those. But no, he shouldn’t say that, Malfoy would probably take that poorly, and Harry had sort of enjoyed the lack of antagonism of today’s visit.
So he asked again, “What the fuck was that?”
“Stasis Charms work by repressing an object’s natural energies and refocusing them inward,” Malfoy said, tossing the cock into the Containment Receptacle. “It’s like how when you put a Stasis Charm over a cup of hot tea, you get a puff of steam when you release it.”
Harry’s gaze wandered from the cock to the ceiling. “Oh,” he said.
“Yes,” Malfoy said, disabling the Shield Charms with a sharp slash of his wand. “In any case, here’s your paperwork, and here’s your… specimen.”
“Right,” Harry said, casting a quick spell to dry himself off before taking up the proffered items. “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it,” Malfoy said, still looking highly amused.
“Well, see you round,” Harry said.
“Not for a while. I’m on holiday for the next two weeks,” Malfoy said. “Any more penises you find before then? Someone else’s problem.”
“I am jealous. Incredibly jealous,” Harry said. Inside the box, the cock stopped buzzing. That made him nervous. “Well. Best get this back to the office. Enjoy your holiday. And, er, sorry about the tea.”
“That’s fine,” Malfoy said. “You wore it well.”
Harry snorted and left. As he waited at the lifts, he caught himself smiling a little, and wasn’t that strange?
Harry found himself wishing he could take a holiday of his own when he got back to the office that afternoon and discovered that someone had been by in his absence. They’d taken the replica of Harry’s cock and stuck it to the seat of his chair with a Sticking Charm that Harry spent a good ten minutes trying to unravel before he sighed in defeat and tossed his wand aside, resolved to just grab a chair from the small guest seating area near Rosemary's desk.
And then realized that whatever bastard had done it (Harry’s money was on Seamus) had also stolen his lunch.
As the next week progressed uneventfully, Harry found himself growing more and more worried. The sudden lack of cocks made him anxious, he found. Ron told him he ought to be glad of it. Gave him a friendly clap on the shoulder at the pub and suggested the case might be over. No more cocks. (Seamus didn’t even bother trying to hide his disappointed look at that. “No more cocks,” he’d echoed desolately, and Ron gave him a clap on the shoulder too and said, “Cheer up, I’m sure something else ridiculous will happen to Harry soon. That’s how his life works.”)
Which was true, unfortunately. That was exactly how Harry’s life worked, which was why this sudden normalcy left him on edge.
He was relieved to get a call to respond to a Splinching on the following Monday: Day Ten of No Cocks. He grabbed a Containment Receptacle and headed for the scene. And instead of the cock he’d expected, he found a nose. Harry blinked down at it. Well. That was a lot creepier than he thought it’d be. But, duty calls and all that. He packed it away in the Containment Receptacle and bundled it off to St Mungo’s, where Healer Reynolds grumbled a bit as he filled out form 68-J and then briskly reattached the nose to the middle-aged man to whom it belonged.
And other than a nightmare about Voldemort that night, a thoroughly ridiculous affair where Harry chased him around trying to stick a nose on his face, nothing at all remarkable happened for the rest of the week. Harry’s uneasiness grew by leaps and bounds. At least he’d made it through, he comforted himself as he packed up his things on Friday evening. It was officially the weekend, so he could just put it from his mind entirely until Monday morning.
So of course, he was called in on Saturday.
At least they’d waited til mid-morning to summon him to the Ministry to fetch the latest Splinching. He’d had a bit of a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast, so it certainly could have been worse.
He gathered up a Containment Receptacle and the paperwork, took a deep breath, and went to the Apparition Point specified in the report.
The first thing he noticed when he arrived at the Apparition Point at Diagon Alley was the half-dozen people standing around. The second was George Weasley, crouched over something on the ground. Harry groaned, pushing his way through the crowd and past the Aurors blocking the Apparition point.
"Don't touch that, it's evidence."
George grinned up at him, standing and brushing his hands on his trousers. "Too late."
"What are you even doing here?"
George raised an eyebrow at him, turning to look at the large Wheezes sign just beside them, and then back at Harry. "It's a sparkly penis. Next to my shop. Of course I'm here. The poor bloke who found the thing thought it was something of mine."
Harry took a closer look at the cock on the ground. George was right. It was… sparkly. Not just glistening slightly, but covered with silver and gold glitter. "Oh, what the fuck?"
"It's pretty brilliant, really. I've been experimenting with sex toys. Nothing ready for the masses yet, though."
"So, you've really gotta take that to St Mungo's?"
"Even though it's sparkly?"
"And you've got to get a Healer to sign off?"
George snickered. "Oh well, carry on then."
Harry sighed. "You're going to tell Ron about this, aren't you?"
"Nah." George shook his head, and Harry bent down to slide the cock into the Receptacle. "I'm gonna tell everyone about this."
Harry hated his life.
St Mungo's was busy as well. Because apparently the thing to do on a Saturday was to make Harry's day a little more difficult. He trudged across the floor, skirting around the crowd at Muriel's desk, and stood in line to wait for the lift.
Which was full.
Sighing a little, Harry squeezed into the crowded lift. He kept a tight hold on the box to keep the lid firmly affixed, pressed the button for the fourth floor, and—
“Is that smoke?” wondered a woman from behind Harry. “I could swear I smell smoke.”
Now that she mentioned it, Harry was pretty sure he could smell something burning. It took him a few seconds to connect the smell of burning cardboard to the box in his hands. Which was currently on fire.
“Oh!” Harry said. “Oh my god.”
Because the box was on fire and he should probably stop holding it.
His half-panicked brain took that last thought and ran with it; his hands opened, the smoldering box dropped to the ground and, to Harry’s horror, the penis flopped out, a bright jet of sparks still shooting from the tip. Then there was screaming and confusion as everyone tried to put as much distance between themselves and the sparking penis as they could in the confines of the lift. One particularly brave woman kept her head about her and doused the burning box with a firm Aguamenti. The penis twitched when the cold water spreading across the floor touched it, flopping over to shoot sparks in the opposite direction, and there was more chaos as everyone scrambled to get out of its path.
Harry hit it with form 68-J, and kept hitting it until it stopped sparking.
He couldn’t look at the people around him. Instead he stripped off his outer robes—the Standard Auror Safety Spells with which they were charmed would prevent them from catching fire—and flung them down over the penis, bundled it up inside them, and frantically jabbed the door open button.
Much like the vibrating cock had when Harry had resorted to percussive maintenance to control its malfunctioning spellwork, only a few seconds passed before the sparklepenis was back to shooting sparks from its tip. He could hear the sharp fizzle-hiss from within his bundled-up robes.
“Sorry,” he muttered as the doors opened on floor three and he elbowed his way out, fleeing the lift as fast as he possibly could without resorting to knocking anyone over. “Sorry, ‘scuse me, sorry.”
He ran to the stairwell, ducking inside and hurrying up a flight to Spell Damage. The witch blinked at him, but before she could comment, he broke in "I need a room, this is on fire."
She gaped, and then pointed across the hall to an open door. He hurried in and dumped the bundle on the table. Then he stood back out of the way. Just in case. He couldn’t hear anything from within his bundled-up robes, and didn’t see any smoke. Still. No sense in taking risks with it.
He’d only been waiting in the exam room for a minute or so when Malfoy slammed in, looking tired and grouchy. His cheeks and nose were pink with sunburn.
“Five minutes, Potter,” Malfoy snapped. “Five more bloody minutes and my shift would’ve been over and you would’ve been another Healer’s problem.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Nice to see you too. Glad you’re looking so relaxed from your holiday.”
Malfoy visibly gritted his teeth. “My holiday was perfectly lovely, thank you for asking. It’s the coming back to find that they’d arsed up my schedule and put me on the overnight shift that wasn’t lovely, as is being forced to stay overtime because of you and all your bloody paperwork.”
“It’s not my paperwork,” Harry said. “I hate it as much as you do.”
“But you’re not the one filling it out, are you?” Malfoy said, snatching the stack of papers right out of Harry’s hands. “What the fuck did you do to this?”
Harry hadn’t noticed the papers had got singed. Must’ve been when he was trying to get the sparklepenis to stop sparking. He shrugged.
Malfoy glared at Harry’s robes bundled on the exam table. “Do I want to know?” he asked.
Harry shrugged again and yanked his robe away with a flourish. The sparklepenis tumbled out and landed heavily on the table, glittering brightly in the harsh light of the exam room. When it struck the table, it began shooting sparks again. Thankfully it landed aimed away from Malfoy. Malfoy was already in a mood today. Harry didn’t want to know what he’d do to Harry if the penis had shot sparks directly at him.
Malfoy, meanwhile, appeared to have been struck speechless. His mouth worked open and closed a few times before he managed a single flat, “What.”
“Well,” said Harry, tucking his hands into his pockets. “Yes.”
“What,” Malfoy said, “did you do to it?”
“Why do you always think it’s something I did?” Harry asked. “Okay, the vibrating vindaloo prick was my fault, I accept responsibility for that one.” When Malfoy gave him a sharp look at that, he rolled his eyes. “Promise I didn’t spill curry on this one. I found it like this.”
“Do I even want to know why you’re carrying it around wrapped up in your clothing?”
“Because the Containment Receptacles aren’t fireproof, I just discovered.” Harry gestured at the jet of sparks, which had shifted from red to orange to gold. “And believe me, I’m going to write a strongly worded letter of complaint to the arsehole who designed them.” Maybe he’d get Hermione to help him. She was always on about safety and… paperwork. And things like that. He wasn’t entirely clear on what it was she did all day, but she’d never been one to turn down a good letter-writing campaign. Harry would bring her a bottle of wine tonight and they’d make an evening of it.
“Well, we’re going to have to work out how to make it stop,” Malfoy said, fisting his hands on his hips. “I can’t examine it in that state.”
Harry eyed Malfoy for a second, then plucked the stack of paperwork from his hands and brought it slamming down on the cock. The sparks fizzled and went out, and Malfoy looked pained as Harry handed him the papers back.
“You,” he said faintly. “You do realize that the purpose of bringing it to me to examine is to ensure that it doesn’t actually belong to anyone, right?”
“You’re joking, aren’t you? Malfoy, that thing is covered in silver and gold glitter and shooting rainbow sparks. I may not be a Healer, but I’m pretty sure it’s not real.” He shrugged. “Hitting it only works for a little while. You should get your exam done before it starts up again.”
Malfoy stared at him a moment, mouth opening and closing like some sort of exotic fish before closing with a snap. He turned and began waving his wand at the half-limp cock, ignoring Harry entirely. Harry could see the muscle jumping in his jaw, and his wandwork was particularly sharpish and prickly.
He didn't finish the exam before it firmed up again. But Malfoy was apparently in no mood to take any more bullshit from sparkly penises, and shot a strong enough Stupefy at it to make Harry cringe in sympathy.
It deflated instantly, and Malfoy left it and the completed paperwork on the exam table without another look or word to Harry.
He took the penis and the paperwork and returned them to the Ministry feeling strangely disappointed.
April meant the Apparition Exam, and Harry felt some measure of relief when on 1 May, he deposited the rings back in the closet and gathered his effects and the seven penises, six in the box, one still stuck to the fucking chair, to take back to his cubicle in the Auror Department.
Rosemary shooed him off with a rather threatening promise to keep in touch, and then Harry dropped the hat over his penis and wheeled the chair out of Apparition and down the hall through DMLE.
It attracted a lot more notice than he wanted, as the chair had begun to squeak as soon as he crossed through the doorway. Heads poked out as he passed, but Harry ignored them as he continued on, pushing the chair and box and cocks along the hall.
When he arrived at his cubicle, he groaned. There was a caseboard on his back wall, covering his poster of the Appleby Arrows, and on it were pictures of cocks. Seven of them. Filling the top half of the board. Each neatly listed in order found, and then numbered, labeled, and with locations marked.
And named. Harry recognized Seamus's handwriting.
Peter the Penis. The Vicious Cockmonster. Harvey Porter. Willy the Weiner. BDSM Cock. Vindaloo. Sparklepenis. And a note charmed to the frame indicating all the room on the 'Bottom Half of the board for More Cock!!'
Harry was going to kill him and his fucking capitalization and exclamation points and innuendo.
He sighed, pulling a stack of training manuals off the shelf in the back corner and hitting it with a quick Scourgify. He placed the BDSM Cock, Vindaloo, and Sparklepenis on the shelf which he mentally dubbed the Bad Cock Corner, and where they hopefully couldn't cause him more trouble. After a moment’s deliberation, he put Vicious Cockmonster over there, too. Not because it was ill-behaved, but the throbbing sort of freaked him out. He wheeled his old chair into the front corner beside the ficus Neville had given him, and peeked under the hat, prodding the cock half-heartedly with his wand. Just in case Seamus's Sticking Charm had finally worn off. Which of course it hadn't. Then he put the others on his desk, lined up as he'd done in Apparition, so anyone passing by would know he was working on it. Them. Cocks.
"Hey! Welcome back! I brought you tea! And I made biscuits." Oh, biscuits. Yes, Ron was always his best mate.
Then Harry turned and his smile fell. Ron was grinning like a loon, holding a cuppa in one hand and a plate of penis-shaped shortbread in the other. "You are a horrible person and I hope you get Dragonpox."
“Had it as a kid, can’t get it twice,” Ron said. He thrust the plate at Harry. “Biscuit?”
Harry reached out and grabbed the plate in one hand, and a biscuit in the other. Whatever the shape, Ron made delicious biscuits, rather like his tea. "This is the only reason you're not dead right now." And he took a large bite.
"Yeah, okay." Ron wandered into his cubicle, peering at his desk. "Where are the others? You had more."
Harry tilted his head back, nodding Ron toward the shelf. "Out of the way where I don't have to look at them."
"And you didn't put…" Ron leaned in, dropping his voice to a loud whisper. "You didn't put Harvey over there as well? Where you wouldn't have to… look at it all day?"
Harry made a face. "Sticking Charm is still stuck. So I put the hat on it. Cover it, I mean."
Ron stared at him a moment. Then he closed his eyes, taking a biscuit off the plate and stuffing it into his mouth. "You can't just keep handing me these things and expect me to keep my mouth shut. It's not fair."
"Oh, like you've reached some sort of quota for picking on Harry today."
Ron gave him a sad look. "I'm trying to be your friend."
"I'll take back the biscuits."
Harry clutched the plate, and then grabbed his cup for good measure.
"Oy Harry!" Seamus poked his head in behind Ron. "Oh, biscuits."
Harry briefly pondered trying to keep Seamus from the plate, but sighed, holding it out. "Hey, Seamus."
"Glad to see you back." He nudged Ron over and stole one of Harry's biscuits. Harry took another as the plate was beginning to look very picked over. Then he put it on his desk, standing in front of it, hoping to block the view.
"Good to be back." He took a large slurp of tea. "Did you miss me?"
Seamus snorted. "Not like Apparition's too far away."
"Yeah, what are they doing there now? Is Twycross back?" Ron glanced around as if Twycross was going to pop out from behind a cock or something.
Harry shrugged. "Now that exams are over, I think Rosemary's handling most of it. That and sticking a trainee in to babysit. Pretty quiet there most days when there aren't any cocks."
Ron and Seamus glanced sideways at each other, then broke out in laughter. "Cocks. Best thing that happened to Level Two in centuries."
"Yep. And we wanted you to know, Harry, that we support you, and your cocks, completely. It's why I made you the cockboard. It's like a caseboard, but cocks."
And they burst into laughter again, and Harry just sighed and sipped his tea. "Speaking of cocks, feel ready to release your fucking Sticking Charm? That's evidence you're tampering with, you know."
Seamus leaned slightly, before he reached around Harry and stole another biscuit. "Nah. You're nowhere near closing this case. It's fine."
"It is a penis on a chair. Thanks to you, I had to steal a piece of office furniture from another department. I'm probably going to get a nasty memo from Furnishings & Utilities about it."
Seamus, the bastard, shrugged. Ron took the last biscuit from his plate.
Harry needed different friends.
It was three more days, days filled with quiet since Harry was still considered active on the Cock Case, and he was still waiting for authorization for the address search on Accoutrements and the results of the Magical Analysis on Bartram’s note, before Rosemary stuck her head in shortly after 4. "Halloo, sunshine. Miss me?"
"No." He grinned, and Rosemary chuckled back. "How was your Tuesday?"
"Oh, fine. Li did a bang-up job with Persimmon."
"Hopefully not literally?"
"She apparently loves kneazles." Rosemary shrugged. "Blasted thing seemed to like her, too. Mrs Periweather told me what a wonderful change it was from your ugly mug."
"Hm. So are you here to complain about your trainee being boring or just here to chat?"
Rosemary grinned, and he felt something low in his stomach drop. She held up the Containment Receptacle she'd deliberately hidden behind the wall of his cubicle, and gave it a little jiggle. "Got a report of a cock for you."
After following Rosemary back to Apparition to pick up 68-J, because of course she didn't bring it with her, and exchanging awkward greetings with a very amused Trainee Li, Harry took the forms and Apparated away.
This cock was located unfortunately close to the Apparition point at one of the Highgate Ponds, which, as it was the first truly glorious day in May, were quite busy. Harry nodded to the Auror and Obliviator standing at the edge of the path, and quickly scooped up the cock before ducking back to the Apparition Point and away.
He spent his walk through St Mungo's feeling rather grateful this call came in late enough to head immediately to the pub after.
Malfoy was looking annoyed when he walked into the exam room, but his face positively lit up when he saw Harry waiting for him. "Oh, wonderful! I was just thinking I needed to see another dick today."
Harry blinked, and then blinked again. "I could be coming in with a real Splinch, you know."
Malfoy snapped on his gloves, flipping open the Receptacle. "Mm. And I could be calling you a dickhead. You'll never know."
Harry sighed. "I want a new Healer. This one is an arsehole."
"See, this is why I enjoy our time together so much. Usually when I have to deal with the amount of shit you provide, it smells much worse."
With that, Malfoy tipped the penis out of the Receptacle, and leaned forward, examining it closely. Very closely.
"This one appears to have something on it." He glared accusingly at Harry.
"Dirt, probably? It was on the ground. You know, where it's dirty."
"They haven't been dirty in the past. They have, on occasion, had your lunch on them, however. Pardon me for being cautious."
"Oh my god. I am not an idiot—"
"—and I'm not going to get curry on anything else."
Malfoy made a quiet noise, but turned back to look at the cock, casting a tentative Scourgify at it, and nodding when whatever he saw on it had vanished. "I suppose that's true. You always were much better at keeping your food in your mouth than Weasley."
"If that's meant as an apology, it's a crap one."
Malfoy turned to look at him, fluttering his eyelashes, "Oh I'm so sorry for accusing you of ever being careless with evidence." Then he reached over, grabbing the cock from the table and giving it a brief, suggestive flop right at Harry's face, all without breaking his challenging stare.
Harry could feel the blood rushing to his face, what blood wasn't headed south, that is, and he coughed, eyes skittering around the room. "You're the one mishandling evidence."
Malfoy laughed at that, loudly at first, and then a lingering chuckle as he set the penis back down on the table and grabbed the stack of forms. "All right. Yes I am, rather. But your face..."
Harry resisted the urge to ask what exactly about his face, and instead focused on how grateful he was for Ministry-issue heavy woolen robes, which were doing an excellent job at hiding the fact he was still half-hard from watching Malfoy wave a cock at him.
Harry engaged in a frustratingly slow-paced stream of correspondence via interoffice memos for three bloody days before he gave up and went down to Boring Archives, Records & Filing in person.
“Yes, I’m positively sure that I filled out the request correctly and submitted it to the appropriate subdepartment,” Harry told the bored-looking wizard manning the front desk. “And yes when I didn’t receive a response in twelve to fourteen business days I immediately submitted form 129-Q.”
The wizard blinked slowly at him. “And did you wait three to five—”
“Yes I waited three to five days for a response and when I didn’t get that I contacted you via interoffice memo, and all I learned is that the lot of you—” —are bloody useless, he barely stopped himself from saying aloud. “...are looking into it.”
The wizard shuffled some papers around on his desk. “And as we said in each of those memos, we’ll contact you when we have more information regarding…” He frowned down at the paper.
“Regarding item B-5 for case number 187-245-M-72 submitted for Magical Analysis nearly two months ago via request 7258-12,” Harry said. He’d written the bloody numbers so many times in the past few days that he could probably rattle it off in his sleep.
That earned him another slow blink. “Yes. Well. As you were told via memo, we’re looking into it. I see here that request 7258-12 was flagged for priority analysis and sent down to the Unspeakables for a trace. They tell me they never received it.”
“So what you’re telling me,” Harry said, trying to force his hands to stop clenching into fists, “is that you’ve lost my evidence.”
“I’m telling you,” said the wizard blandly, “that we’ll contact you when we have more information regarding your request.”
“Right. Thanks,” Harry said, not even attempting to keep the sarcasm out of his tone.
He turned and stomped off, leaving Filing behind and good riddance to them. Lost his evidence. Unbelievable. Not that he’d held out much hope that the personalized note included with the cock sent to Member Bartram would turn up much of anything, but unfortunately it was the most solid lead Harry had on the case. Hermione was so right; there was too much paperwork and the number of channels those forms were rerouted through before they reached the place they were meant to go… It was more than a little ridiculous.
“No luck?” Seamus asked when Harry passed by his cubicle. He came out and trailed after Harry.
“No,” Harry said, slowing his pace a bit for Seamus to walk with him. “No one knows what’s happened to it. As far as they’re concerned it’s a great bloody mystery.”
“Hm,” Seamus said. “None of your other leads are panning out?”
“Arrgh,” said Harry.
“That bad, huh?”
“Arrgh,” said Harry again, turning into his cubicle. He flung himself onto his chair.
Seamus leaned in the doorway. “You seem frustrated.”
“Possibly because I am,” Harry said, letting his head thud against the back of the chair. “This case is cursed. That’s the only explanation.”
“Harry Potter and the Case of the Cursed Cocks?” Seamus suggested.
Harry threw a balled-up piece of parchment at him. “Shut up. It is. That’s the only reason for how awful the whole thing is. My evidence going missing. The lack of clues.”
“Don’t forget when you got called in on your day off so that Arthur Weasley could give you a replica of your own—”
Seamus broke off laughing as Harry threw a cock at him.
“Mishandling evidence!” Seamus said, tossing the cock back to Harry, who replaced it in line on the edge of his desk.
“Fuck off,” Harry told him, picking up a folder. “And you can talk about ‘mishandling evidence’ to me when you release the bloody Sticking Charm on the chair.”
“Nah,” Seamus said. “Harvey’s quite comfortable where he is.”
Over in Bad Cock Corner, the Vindaloo cock began to vibrate, and Harry sighed and hit it with a Levitation Charm so it could shake all it wanted without bringing down the whole shelf or exciting the other cocks. The shelf wasn’t quite tall enough to accommodate the Vicious Cockmonster when it perked up all the way, Harry had learned. That’d been rather a low point in the case for him, prying a fake cock from where it’d wedged itself in his bookshelf. He only counted himself lucky that no one had been around to witness that.
“Does it do that often?” Seamus asked curiously.
Harry sighed and tossed the file back onto the desk. “Are you doing anything useful here or are you just bothering me?”
“Just bothering you,” Seamus said, wandering in and picking up a quill from Harry’s desk. He poked idly at BDSM cock.
Harry snatched the quill away from him. “At least you’re upfront about it.”
“Oh, right. And Rosemary was in earlier looking for you.”
Harry groaned. He knew what that meant.
The latest cock appeared to be just that: a cock. It wasn’t sparkly or vibrating, and was blessedly unfamiliar to Harry.
Harry was immediately suspicious.
His suspicions only grew when he was called to collect another cock just a few days later, and found that it was an exact duplicate of the last.
The week after that he was called to collect yet another cock and found that it was identical to the previous two. Maybe a little quicker to respond to stimuli than the other two lookalikes, but other than being a little more sensitive it was the same in every way Harry could tell.
“It’s just weird, is all,” Harry said when he took the third one to St Mungo’s. He’d forgotten to grab a Containment Receptacle on his way out of the Ministry and had been forced to wrap it in yesterday’s Prophet. When he dumped it out onto the exam table, he found that it’d gone mostly hard just from being carried around. “Well.”
Malfoy noticed, because of course he noticed. He snorted. “I think it likes you.”
“It’s just sensitive, I think.” Come to think of it, the previous cock had perked up a bit more than Harry expected when he touched it to transfer it from the Containment Receptacle to the end of the growing line-up decorating his desk.
Malfoy hummed thoughtfully to himself as he pulled on a pair of gloves and picked it up. He gave it the usual brisk strokes that Malfoy always used to test for… well, Harry had no idea what Malfoy was testing for, other than ‘reactions.’ There was nothing in the thick stack of paperwork that asked for how readily a fake penis achieved an erection. Harry had checked.
Still, no matter the reason for it, Harry had to repeatedly suffer through watching Malfoy’s long fingers wrap around cock after cock and wank them firmly. He tried and failed to avert his gaze as Malfoy stroked, frowned, and stroked some more.
“Hm,” he said, turning to Harry. “This is very odd. Judging from how it reacted to simply being transported here, I assumed it was highly sensitive. But I’m not getting nearly the reaction… oh. Well. This is interesting.”
Malfoy turned away, wanked the cock. Turned back to Harry and wanked the cock. Turned away again. Harry had no idea what he was doing and was a little afraid to ask.
Then Malfoy turned back toward him, with his arms extended and a terrifyingly intent expression on his face. He moved slowly but steadily towards Harry, cock held out in front of him like some sort of perverted divining rod.
“What,” said Harry, backing away. “What are you doing. Stop. Stop doing that.”
Because, oh my god, Malfoy was wanking a cock at him and Harry was in no way prepared to deal with any of this.
“Touch it, Potter,” Malfoy said, thrusting the cock at him.
“What,” Harry stammered out. “Have you lost your mind? No! I’m not going to touch it.”
Malfoy brandished the cock at him again. “Touch it, Potter! This is important.”
“I’m not,” Harry began, still backing away. “I can’t, I don’t have gloves on.” It was fairly thin, so far as excuses went. But it might delay what Harry now miserably suspected was the inevitable. At least by a minute or two. He’d take anything at this point.
Malfoy lowered the cock a fraction. “Are you serious?” he demanded. “Potter. You brought this to me wrapped in a newspaper.”
“You’re wearing gloves,” he pointed out childishly.
“I’m a Healer. It’s procedure that I wear gloves at all times when performing a physical examination,” Malfoy said, shoving the cock at him again. “Now touch it.”
“Oh my god,” Harry said. He reached out and gingerly poked it with the tip of one finger.
The cock twitched.
“Very interesting!” Malfoy said gleefully, poking at it himself to no effect, before pushing it at Harry again. “Touch it again. Give it a good wank, if you’re so inclined.”
Harry was increasingly suspicious that Malfoy was fucking with him. “I am most certainly not inclined,” he snapped.
“Why not?” Malfoy asked, frowning down at the cock in his hands. He turned it over, as if examining it for some flaw. “It’s a very nice specimen. Lovely proportions. Couldn’t ask for a nicer looking cock, really.”
Scratch that. Harry was definitely certain that Malfoy was fucking with him.
“Be that as it may,” Harry said, “I’m not wanking that thing.”
Malfoy snickered, and it really wasn’t fair he could look so nice whilst being such a git.
“Fine, fine,” Malfoy said, putting it back down on the exam table. “But I really did have a point. It’s not just sensitive; it’s only sensitive when it’s near you.”
Harry blinked. “You’re joking.”
“Afraid not,” Malfoy said.
“That,” Harry began, and broke off. Because it really made a terrible sort of sense. “Someone’s doing this to me deliberately.”
"Afraid so." Malfoy looked positively gleeful. "Terribly sorry, really," he continued, sounding about as not-sorry as Harry had ever heard him. "Unless, of course, you're doing this yourself. These are all looking rather similar. I wonder if a Geminio would also properly copy the charmwork."
"What? Why would I be doing this on purpose?"
"To see me, of course. You always seem to come when I'm on shift. Suspicious, really."
"I. You. No." Harry felt he should add more to it, a stronger denial, but his brain rather shut down.
Malfoy pressed one hand dramatically to his heart. "You don't want to see me? I'm hurt."
"No, I. You." And then, when Malfoy broke into his stupid fucking-with-Harry grin, "You're an arsehole." Maybe the chest-clutching should’ve given it away a moment earlier, but Malfoy had always been an overdramatic git. It was sort of hard to tell when it was put-on and when he was being serious.
Malfoy cackled, dropping the cock and reaching for the forms and his quill.
Unfortunately for Harry, the pattern continued. Every three or four days, a new cock would appear, looking identical to the one before it. And each one was increasingly friendly toward Harry and Harry alone. And, oddly enough, so was Malfoy. Harry hadn’t had a good argument with him in… well, it’d been about a week, now. Maybe two weeks? Harry honestly couldn’t quite recall when the last time he’d had a good fight with Malfoy had been.
There was still bickering, of course. And Malfoy poking a bit of fun at him. But it was edging closer and closer to the sort of bickering and fun-poking that Harry’s friends did with him.
Then again, all of Harry’s friends were arseholes. Maybe it made a strange sort of sense that Malfoy should eventually join them. Although, when Harry’d thought to himself he needed new friends, this wasn’t quite what he had in mind.
Still. It was sort of nice.
Of course, that’s when Malfoy threw him off balance yet again.
The fourth of the CopyCocks, as Seamus had dubbed them (“Get it, Harry? Like copycats, but cocks. Because they’re penises,” he’d said, grinning broadly, and Harry had groaned and told him, “That’s awful, Seamus. You should be ashamed of yourself. Now shut up and go away.”) appeared bright and early on Monday morning.
Harry woke up late and in a state of mild panic from the nightmare he’d had. He’d been back in Hogwarts at the end of his first year, working his way through the puzzle rooms to get at the Sorcerer’s Stone. Except when he went into the room with the flying keys, they were all cocks. Hundreds upon hundreds of tiny winged cocks zipping through the air, and Harry had to collect all of them for evidence. Then, in that strangely seamless way that dreams did, the room shifted and became the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, the flock of cocks became one giant penis that chased him tenaciously through the air and ejaculated fire when it got close.
It was all fairly horrible.
The rest of the morning continued apace. Harry burnt his toast, and spilled his tea, and then when he finally made it into work—only five minutes late—he was greeted by Rosemary grinning broadly and waving a Containment Receptacle at him.
Harry sighed and held out his hand. “Where is it this time?”
“Lucky for you, you won’t even have to leave the building. It’s in the Atrium.”
“Convenient,” Harry muttered, heading downstairs.
He hadn’t bothered to ask Rosemary for more detailed instructions because if she hadn’t offered them, he figured he wouldn’t need them. And indeed he didn’t.
When he walked into the Atrium, he found a small crowd of witches and wizards gathered around the Fountain of Magical Brethren. And, wonderful. Lovely. Looked like the areshole leaving the cocks around was back to making political statements.
After the war, there’d been an enormous debate over whether the fountain ought to be restored to its original design or if it should be replaced by something else. Hermione and been heavily involved in campaigning for it to be replaced, and she’d dragged Harry into the cause right along with her. Member Bartram had been the champion for having it restored to its original design, citing in keeping with tradition and protecting wizarding history as reasons for it. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that when the new fountain went up, all the other figures were identical to the ones that’d stood there previously, except for the wizard. The new wizard’s face bore a striking resemblance to Bartram.
And someone had come along and charmed a penis to stick squarely to the center of his forehead.
There was absolutely no way this wasn’t deliberate.
Harry had to get it the fuck down before Bartram saw and promptly lost his shit over it. He couldn’t take another interdepartmental meeting. Not today. Not ever would be fantastic as far as Harry was concerned, but especially not today. When a standard Finite Incantatum and Summoning Charm failed to bring the cock down, Harry panicked a little bit. Without stopping to think, he tossed the Containment Receptacle and 68-J aside and waded straight into the fountain, climbed up onto the dais, shimmied his way up the wizard, and pried it off with his bare hand.
The cock came loose far easier than he expected, and Harry wasn’t braced for it. His wet trainers slipped on the bronze and he didn’t have a good handhold. Harry knew better than to hope that no one had captured a picture of him losing his grip on the wizard and toppling back onto his arse with a splash, CopyCock Number Four clutched valiantly in his hand. At this point, he only hoped it wouldn’t end up in the Prophet.
Without looking at any of the bystanders or reacting to the smattering of applause his stunt had earned him, Harry hauled himself out of the fountain and made his way, sodden robes dripping and wet shoes squelching with every step, over to the nearest Floo.
It wasn’t until he stepped out into the lobby at St Mungo’s and cast a hurried Drying Charm on himself that Harry realized he’d neglected to pick up the Containment Receptacle after he’d retrieved the latest cock, and also said latest cock apparently liked him enough to go hard just from Harry touching it. Or maybe it just like traveling by Floo, some preciously optimistic corner of Harry’s brain suggested. He scowled and blocked it out.
A bunch of daisies sat in a vase by the Welcome Witch’s desk. As subtly as he was able, Harry sidled up, cast a discreet Duplicating Charm, and then jammed the erect cock down amongst the blossoms. Muriel was on duty again this morning, and she gave Harry a sidelong glance but otherwise didn’t pause in directing a young witch with a Venomous Tentacula tangled in her hair up to the third floor. Harry fluffed the flowers around the CopyCock to hide it as much as possible, nodded good morning to Muriel, and walked to the lifts.
When the doors slid open, Harry shuffled inside along with several other people.
“What floor?” asked the man who ended up nearest the panel of buttons.
“Fourth, please,” Harry said. “Thank you.”
At the sound of his voice, the flowers rustled ominously. Harry clenched his jaw and stared resolutely at the ceiling. The witch with the Venomous Tentacula peered curiously at the bouquet, but Harry didn’t make eye contact, and she exited the lift before she could ask him about it.
On the fourth floor, Harry was directed to exam room 9. He set the vase of flowers on the counter, considered unloading the cock from it, but figured what the hell. He sort of wanted to see the expressions Malfoy’s face would make if he had to do it himself.
A few minutes later, Malfoy swept into the exam room. He came up short when he caught sight of the flowers.
“Really, Potter?” he asked, raising his eyebrows. “You’re going to give the Mediwitches all sorts of ideas about us, bringing me flowers at work like this.”
Harry snorted. “I’m in here several times a week bringing you penises. I’m sure they’ve already got all sorts of ideas.”
As he spoke, the flowers rustled and Malfoy went very still.
“And speaking of penises,” Harry said, gesturing grandly to the vase.
“Oh Potter,” Malfoy said, looking vaguely pained. “You didn’t really, did you?”
Harry shrugged. “So. Funny story. I sort of lost the Containment Receptacle as I was retrieving this one and had to improvise.”
As he spoke, the CopyCock in the vase grew harder. The tip of it peeked shyly from among the daisies, and the look on Malfoy’s face made everything about this awful morning pretty much worthwhile.
Harry couldn’t help but laugh, and Malfoy aimed a sour look at him. It probably would’ve been a lot more effective if he’d been able to fight back his smile all the way. Eventually he gave in and chuckled, rubbing a hand across his forehead.
“I feel like this just gets more and more ridiculous,” he sighed.
“Just wait,” Harry told him. “I might’ve made tomorrow’s Prophet.”
“Yeah. You know the wizard statue in the Fountain of Magical Brethren?”
“The one that looks eerily like Member Bartram?” Malfoy asked.
Harry snapped his fingers. “That’s the one. Well, the latest cock was found charmed to his forehead.” He paused a moment, remembering. He hadn’t had time to really enjoy the image it presented, what with panicking and trying to get it down, but he was very much enjoying the memory. “It fit quite well, too. The balls rested over his eyes, the cock drooping down over his nose. It was actually something of an improvement, in my opinion.”
“I’m sure Granger will be over the moon,” Malfoy said dryly.
“Probably. Anyhow, I had to climb up there and get it down by hand. I’m sure someone got a picture of that.”
“I’ll keep an eye out for it,” Malfoy said. “I can just see the headline now: Counterfeit Cock Causes Commotion at the Ministry.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “More like, Harry Potter Pries Penis from Public Sculpture. They’re not going to miss the chance to attach my name to it.”
Malfoy snickered. “Errant Organ Apprehended by Expert Auror,” he suggested. “Ooh, Chosen One Wrangles Wily Willie.”
“Oh my god,” Harry said, wincing. “That’s awful.” Then, “Fake Phallus Freed from Famous Fountain. And the worst part is, I promise you that whatever the Prophet comes up with will be even worse.”
“I ought to write in the Wily Willie one,” Malfoy said, pulling a pair of exam gloves from the box on the counter. He was still smiling.
“Don’t you dare,” Harry told him, unable to maintain any sort of indignation about the possibility of Malfoy owling the newspaper, not when he was half-distracted by Malfoy’s smile and half-distracted by his entirely inappropriate reaction to Malfoy’s hands in those blue gloves, now that some horrible part of Harry’s brain had made the connection between blue gloves and Malfoy stroking cocks and refused to let it go. Harry managed to pull himself together enough to threaten, “If you do, I’ll be forced to give them an interview about all the cocks. I’ll be sure to mention the bang-up job the on-duty Healer at St Mungo’s is doing, examining them. Very thoroughly examining them.”
“I absolutely would.”
They held their mock stand-off for a few seconds, then Malfoy rolled his eyes. “Very well, then. I’m forced to keep my brilliant headline to myself. Though, maybe I’ll let it slip next pub night. It’s really too good to allow it to go unappreciated.”
“You wouldn’t,” Harry said.
“I absolutely would.”
“No you won’t. Because if you do, then Hermione will come up with a dozen better ones in about ten seconds flat, and then you’ll sulk about it.”
Malfoy frowned, then shrugged. “Point. I swear that woman has memorized the dictionary.”
“Second year, I think,” Harry said. “She went on a kick about expanding her vocabulary. Went straight through the whole thing, cover to cover. Took her about four days.”
“The frightening part is,” Malfoy said after considering that for a moment. “I’ve no idea if you’re joking or not.”
Harry just smiled. The vocabulary expanding kick had actually come about two years ago, and hadn’t gone much further than word-a-day calendars for everyone each Christmas. But Hermione’s vocabulary was formidable enough that the dictionary thing was entirely plausible.
Malfoy turned to the vase and rummaged around in it. The latest CopyCock was still mostly-hard when he pulled it from the flowers, but he still gave it a few strokes, probably more out of habit than anything else. “Form?”
It took Harry a moment to tear his gaze away from Malfoy’s hands to realize what Malfoy was asking for. “Bugger,” he said. “I left it back at the Ministry.”
“Not to worry,” Malfoy said, setting the cock aside. He pulled open a drawer and produced a fresh copy of the paperwork. “I’ve got it here.”
Harry blinked at him. “You keep copies here?”
“After you brought me the form that’d been partially lit on fire, I thought it best to be prepared,” Malfoy said, inking his quill and starting in on the first page.
“But… Wait. You couldn’t know which exam room I’d be sent to. Are you telling me you stocked every one of them with 68-J?”
Malfoy shrugged, but his cheeks went a little pink.
“That’s… surprisingly nice of you,” Harry said.
“Well, you brought me flowers. The least I could do is have your paperwork on hand.”
“You liar,” Harry said with a laugh. “You had no idea about the flowers."
“Knew it was only a matter of time,” Malfoy said, glancing up at Harry. “As you said, you’re bringing me cocks several times a week. I knew I’d wear you down eventually.”
Was this flirting? It felt a bit like flirting. But this was also Malfoy. And Malfoy plus flirting just didn’t add up.
“I’m keeping them, by the way,” Malfoy went on. “Just so you know.” He looked Harry up and down and a slow smirk tugged at his mouth. “I mean, a handsome bloke brings me flowers at work, it’d be rude not to accept them.”
Flirting. This was definitely flirting. From Malfoy. At Harry. Malfoy was flirting at Harry and Harry had no idea what to do with it. Was Malfoy fucking with him again? What if Harry responded in kind and it turned out Malfoy was just making fun of him? Or, what if he was serious and Harry ignored it, and then Malfoy thought he wasn’t interested? Which would actually be worse?
“Well,” Harry said slowly after a few long seconds. He took a deep breath. “I figured we’ve reached the flowers stage of our relationship. Maybe in a few more cocks I’ll buy you a drink next pub night.”
Malfoy’s cheeks went a little bit pinker, but his smile turned sly. “I’ll hold you to that. Normally I make a bloke buy me dinner before any cocks get involved, but I suppose I can make allowances for the peculiarities of the situation. I’ll settle for a drink.”
"Well, I mean if we're doing everything else backwards."
"We're not doing everything backwards. Cocks then flowers then drinks. Everything except cocks is in the proper order."
"Hm. And if I'm the one bringing all the gifts, shouldn't you be the one buying?"
Malfoy scoffed. "Cocks hardly count as a gift. You're the one who keeps them."
"Alas, not mine to keep. If it wasn't for bloody Bartram, the whole lot would be off in Lost and Found by now. Only question is whether this manages to be enough of a reminder to get Kingsley breathing down my neck again."
"Cheer up, Potter." Malfoy gave him something that actually looked like a genuine smile. "We'll always have St Mungo's.”
On Tuesday, Harry found himself actually hoping for a new cock to appear, just for the chance to pop over to St Mungo’s and maybe see Malfoy again.
None did. It was still his life. He sent another half-hearted memo to Filing to see if they'd located his evidence, but he knew it was mainly just for the record of having done it. The evidence itself was lost, but it wasn't his fault if he kept asking for it. Or something. At the very least he was giving those wankers another excuse to send him a snide memo.
Fuck. It was no wonder he missed Malfoy. The case was nothing but a frustration. And not that Malfoy wasn't frustrating, but he was exciting as well. And when he was staring at the line of penises on his desk, it was frustrating and boring. And it was amazing how much he could miss Malfoy in just a single day.
Luckily, CopyCocks Five and Six showed up on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, and each one was increasingly excited to make Harry’s acquaintance. CopyCock Five shivered eagerly whenever he spoke; CopyCock Six liked him so much that the bloody thing maintained an erection simply from being in the same room with him.
Honestly, they were freaking him out more than a little. He and Malfoy spent a while testing Number Six, just out of a morbid curiosity to see what it would do. It trembled at the sound of his voice from behind a closed door. It throbbed when he touched it. Most entertainingly, when they stuck it to the exam table and Harry walked around in a slow circle, it swayed toward him like a compass needle following magnetic north. Harry insisted on putting it back in the Containment Receptacle after that. He’d made it this far without seeing how realistic any of the cocks were when they ‘came’ and he’d rather like to keep it that way.
So when he got the memo that another cock had been discovered on Friday, dread settled like a stone in the pit of Harry’s stomach because if it was another CopyCock, it would almost certainly be worse than the last.
Harry couldn’t imagine it being worse than the last, but he expected he’d be able to picture it quite vividly by the end of the day.
On the bright side, if it was worse, he’d probably get to hear Malfoy laugh about it. When he wasn’t being cruel, Malfoy had a surprisingly nice laugh. He’d heard it quite a lot this week, as the flirting had kept up as well. It was still a little weird to Harry, because it was Malfoy, but he couldn’t ignore the way his breath caught to see Malfoy’s smile, or the way his idle thoughts had increasingly fixated on blond hair and pointy features. The whole thing was strange and a little tentative, but somehow it also felt very very comfortable.
Though that might’ve been the amount of bickering they did. Honestly, at this point in his life Harry wasn’t sure he knew how to have any sort of relationship with another person that didn’t involve some amount of bickering.
As he left his cubicle to respond to the latest cock discovery, the line of CopyCocks on his desk bid him goodbye with increasing levels of enthusiasm. The first one in line barely twitched in his direction, while the last—which still, days later, remained fully erect any time Harry was in the room with it—swayed longingly in his direction like a sunflower following the sun.
This cock was at 10 Downing Street. Charmed to the fucking front door. Apparently they were moving on to Muggle political statements. Harry was so entirely done with all of this.
Malfoy opened the box and unceremoniously dumped the cock onto the exam table. It flopped for a moment like a fish out of water, its bollocks wobbling and flushed head peeping from the foreskin as it continued to shiver. Malfoy looked amused with the faintest touch of horror seeping in at the edges of his expression, and Harry didn’t blame him. It reminded him of nothing so much as a small dog so excited and eager to be petted that it couldn’t keep from quivering with anticipation.
“What, did you spill vindaloo on this one too?” Malfoy asked.
“No,” Harry said, easing around to the other side of the exam table, putting some distance between himself and the newest cock. “I promise you this thing hasn’t come into contact with any cumin.”
“Coriander,” Malfoy corrected absently as the cock began to flop and wriggle its way nearer to Harry. “What on earth is it trying to do?”
“It likes me,” Harry said, pained. He shuffled back another few steps. “It really, really likes me and I don’t know how to make it stop.”
“Have you tried hitting it with a folder?” Malfoy asked.
The cock reached the end of the table and seemed to curl in on itself a little, tensing, its bollocks swaying in a way that reminded Harry of a cat wriggling its hindquarters as it prepared to make a jump.
“Oh my god,” Harry said, backing up until he bumped against the wall, and Malfoy came to his rescue with a strong Sticking Charm.
Just in the nick of time, too. The cock tried to follow Harry and ended up dangling over the edge of the table. It drooped a little, but rallied quickly, twitching determinedly in Harry’s direction.
"Well." Malfoy said, eyeing it a moment. "That's new."
"That's new? That's all you have to say about that?" Harry could easily think of about a dozen more descriptive adjectives for it than that. He didn’t even need Hermione’s calendar for it.
"Hm?" Malfoy turned to Harry. "It is new."
One particularly purposeful twitch made the exam table wobble. Harry shuffled over a bit to hide behind Malfoy.
“Scared, Potter?” Malfoy asked, his voice more teasing than mocking.
“Absolutely,” Harry said. “I am completely afraid. Because that thing is incredibly disturbing. Distressing. Dangerous, even. And whoever made the bloody thing is depraved."
"Granger's not the only one reading the dictionary, I see."
“I was very close to her for most of my formative years,” Harry said. “I can’t help it if I’ve picked up a thing or two.”
“Self defense?” Malfoy asked. He sounded genuinely curious.
“Something like that,” Harry said.
On the table, the cock was now doing a repetitive reaching... thing. Stretching in a way he had never known a cock could do, before springing in again. The table was starting to wobble rather rhythmically, and Harry spared a moment to hope the soundproofing of the rooms held, as it sounded rather like he and Malfoy were… well. Like they were doing something that would get them written up at best, fired at worst, if they were doing it on the job.
He snickered, then abruptly stopped when the cock redoubled its efforts at the sound, leaving the table to squeak ominously.
"Is it supposed to do that?"
"Why are you asking me?" Malfoy turned wide eyes on him.
"I mean… The table. Is it going to hold up?"
"It…should?" Malfoy reached out to steady the table, then with a second hand. "Hm. Would you Stupefy it for me?"
Harry gladly fired a stunner at the stupid cock, finally breathing a sigh of relief when it drooped off the edge of the table, dangling limply.
"These tables are made to withstand a great deal of weight and force. But apparently not while rocking."
"Sex on St Mungo's tables is a no-go. Got it." And then he blushed, because there was flirting and there was flirting and that may have crossed the line into bad chat-up territory.
Malfoy simply shot him a look, before he smirked. "Who wants to have sex on the job, anyway? Much less fun than advertised and more trouble than it's worth."
And didn’t that put all sorts of exciting mental pictures in Harry’s head. Harry swallowed and did his best to focus on the cock at hand and not the one in Malfoy’s pants, and what he may or may not have done with it while on the clock.
"Now," Malfoy continued, turning back to the cock and grinning at it. "Let's take a look at you."
Harry was required to stun it three more times over the course of Malfoy's examination, just because every time he opened his mouth, it perked right back up again and continued its attempts to reach him. It put a damper on the whole flirting thing, because Malfoy was getting obviously annoyed by the second perk-up.
It was a relief when Malfoy took off his gloves and glowered at it. "All right, Potter. It's all yours."
“I can’t take it back like that,” Harry said. He didn’t want to take it back at all.
“Here,” Malfoy said. He grabbed one of the glass canisters from the counter and dumped out the cotton swabs it held, used a stern Wingardium Leviosa to get the cock inside, and screwed the lid on tight. “There you go. Don’t say I’ve never done anything nice for you.”
The cock tapped forlornly against the glass side of the canister until Harry reluctantly took it from Malfoy. The cock pressed itself up against the glass that separated it from his palm. Harry sighed. Bad Cock Corner was nowhere near enough distance for him with this one. But he thought he had some Peruvian Instant Darkness powder that might do the trick. He could pour some into the canister. Out of sight, out of mind. Right? The cock began to rub itself against the glass, and Harry gave Malfoy a plaintive look.
“Malfoy,” he said helplessly.
“Your kicked-crup expression doesn’t make this any less funny, Potter,” Malfoy said, laughing a little. “Sorry.”
“You don’t sound sorry at all,” Harry grumbled, though he couldn’t help smiling back. Malfoy’s laugh did things to him. Strange, fluttery, squirmy things to his lungs and stomach.
“I’m not, really. But I thought it was the sort of thing I should say.” He watched the cock in the jar. Its ongoing rubbing against the glass was making it harder. “Are you really going to take that into the lifts like that?”
“You do recall that you’re the one who gave me a clear glass jar to put it in?”
And he walked out, leaving Malfoy looking equal parts scandalized and amused.
The new penis waiting for Harry at King's Cross a week later looked different than the previous seven. It looked different from most of the penises currently in his office, as it was striped in red and blue and looked more fake than any but Sparklepenis. Harry stared at it, unwilling to touch it, waiting for the trick.
It didn't do anything, which was not at all comforting. Harry had learned to be wary of things that looked innocent. And also of things that looked unusual. It occurred to him that this case might be making him a touch paranoid.
The Patrolman on the scene coughed, and Harry shot him a dirty look. He didn't want to say anything. He didn't want to touch it. The memory of the most recent cockhead pressed forlornly against the glass of the specimen jar on the shelf behind him, attempting to peer through the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, or worse, tapping for Harry's attention from its place in Bad Cock Corner whilst Harry sat very still and very quiet until it stopped, was enough to make anyone cautious.
Anyone. Not just Harry. See? Not paranoia. Just a healthy dose of caution.
The Patrolman coughed again, and Harry sighed. The cock didn't twitch. He leaned down slowly, placing the open receptacle beside it. Still nothing. He finally rolled it slowly, carefully, into the box using the lid, just in case his touch triggered… something.
It lay quiet and passive, no buzzing, no sparking, and Harry could feel his dread growing by the minute.
He held the box at arm’s length the entire trip through St Mungo's. The Mediwitch who directed him to exam room 8 didn't so much as bat an eyelash.
Harry laid it slowly, gently on the table. Not willing to jostle it in case it… did something. He didn't even know what he was doing with these cocks anymore. His life was a neverending nightmare of cocks. Big cocks, small cocks, sparkly, vibrating, and now striped.
Someone, somewhere, hated him. Someone with an extremely warped sense of humor.
He would have thought it was Seamus, but knew that if it was, it would have been worse. At the very least, there’d be more explosions.
Malfoy sighed as he came into the exam room. "You again? Didn't I just see you in here? Taking up residence?"
"Oh, you know, I can't stay away. Duty calls and all that."
Malfoy laughed, giving the cock on the table a sharp flick. "This one's different, at least."
Harry made a face at him. “Different. New. What’s with you and completely underselling how entirely bizarre this whole thing is?”
Malfoy shrugged. "It is different. No use worrying about that yet."
"Oh and when do you start worrying about it?"
"I don't. You come in, bringing me a new cock each time. I do a thorough examination. Chat up a piece of heroic eye-candy, send you all on your way when I'm done. What do I have to worry about?"
"Heroic eye-candy?" Harry repeated, equal parts thrilled and appalled by Malfoy’s phrasing.
"Of course. I don't talk to you for your brains." But the grin Malfoy shot him at that took the sting out of the words. Harry had no idea how he managed that.
Harry snorted. “Don’t lie, Malfoy. You’re only talking to me for my cocks.”
“If you want to be technical about it, then yes, I’m only talking to you because I’m the Healer on duty up here and it’s my job to deal with you,” Malfoy said loftily, then smirked. “But more often than not it does turn out to be the best and most exciting part of my day, frightening as that may be.”
Harry grinned at him. “I could say the same.”
Malfoy's smile at that wasn't the smirk Harry was expecting, but a small pleased thing. "Well then. Wow me with your cocks. And your vocabulary. I've heard you might be more than just a pretty face, what with Granger's rubbing off on you."
"Just. Don't mention Hermione and cocks and rubbing off in the same sentence ever again, okay? Please?"
Malfoy made a face. "Point taken. But it's true that I like big things… like… vo-cab-u-la-ry." And at that, Malfoy picked up the new stripey cock and gave it a brief wank.
Harry could feel his vocabulary turning right off, as his brain abruptly shifted to small words. Like 'cock' and 'wank' and 'Malfoy' and really his entire relationship with Malfoy and cocks was just "Pavlovian."
Malfoy's smirk faded into an expression of bewilderment. "Pav-what?"
And oh god, Harry said that last bit out loud. "Er. Pavlovian. Muggle thing. Polysyllabic." He attempted to give an expressive gesture, but felt he probably was just flapping awkwardly.
"Polysyllabic? Be still my heart." Malfoy grinned. "Do you know what that actually means?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "Of course I know what that means. Many syllables."
Harry coughed, and Malfoy's grin sharpened. And Harry didn't know how that was possible. "Pavlovian. Refers to Pavlov, the Muggle who studied conditioning." Malfoy wanked the cock again. "So, Pavlovian refers to a situation where a positive or negative stimulus is used to change a response to something neutral."
Malfoy lowered the cock, peering at Harry through his long pale lashes. "So I have no idea what about our situation could be seen as Pavlovian." And the bastard gave the cock another wank, and Harry didn't know if he wanted to laugh or punch him or snog him until he couldn't see straight.
"You're a wanker," was all he managed to say.
Malfoy grinned, glancing down at the cock in his hand. "Guilty."
And all Harry could do to that was laugh.
Harry came into his cubicle, smiling in spite of himself, only to find the expression fade abruptly into worry when he saw Seamus spinning in his chair. He thought back to his earlier idea, that Seamus was somehow behind this whole thing, and wondered if it was true.
"Oh! Hey Harry! How's it going?"
"All right…?" Harry noticed the Cock Casefile open on his desk, and glanced around. Seamus didn't seem to have done anything, and he crept further in, towards the Bad Cock Corner.
"Don't look so worried. I just wanted to see the new one."
Harry said nothing, as he eyed the shadowed specimen jar closely. He simply opened the Containment Receptacle and tilted it toward Seamus.
"What? Striped like a Union Jack? Who'd want that?"
Harry shrugged, placing the cock on the shelf and then crossed to his desk, closing the folder in what he hoped was a casual fashion. "I don't know who'd want any of these."
Seamus spun around in his chair once again, and Harry eyed the entrance of his cubicle. "You here to finally let that Sticking Charm go?"
"Nah. Something I wanted to try."
Harry frowned. "Wha—?"
Harry backed quickly out of his cubicle, but it was too late. Sixteen cocks perked up, the hat flew off his chair from the force of his cock's sproinging; Vindaloo vibrated hard enough that the specimen jar holding the creepily clingy CopyCock nearly toppled off the shelf, Sparklepenis started shooting sparks five feet in the air, the new penis, which Harry knew he was right not to trust, started whistling 'God Save the Queen' at a shocking decibel, while the Vicious Cockmonster started to throb along in time.
Harry shot a Sticking Charm at the specimen jar to keep it from toppling to the ground, and then turned and walked away, feeling overwhelmed and done. Heads were popping over cubicle walls all over the department, and Seamus ran up breathlessly behind him. "What was that?"
"They don't turn off for three hours unless you want to… get them there. Which I'm not doing. Have fun with that."
Malfoy had used a Stupefy to great effect, but Harry thought he’d keep that bit of information to himself. Seamus deserved it.
"You wanted to see. You said the trigger phrase. Your problem now. I'm off to the pub."
Harry looked over to see Robards rushing across the room towards them, red-faced and fuming. He grabbed Seamus by the arm before he could duck away. By now, most of the department was standing on their desks or crowding out of their cubes to watch.
"Potter! What! You!" Robards stopped in front of them, his breath harsh in their faces as he sputtered over the horrible whistling.
"Seamus was fucking with my casenotes and triggered the activation keyword on the cocks, Sir."
Robards rounded on Seamus. "Stop them!"
Seamus glanced helplessly from Harry to Robards.
"Three hours, Sir. Unless he's gonna go rub them all off."
Seamus turned green, and there was a round of laughter from the Aurors around them. Harry started off again.
Harry stopped and held up 68-J. "Gotta file this on the newest one. Just came in to drop the evidence at my desk, first." He gave Robards and Seamus each a jaunty salute before continuing along toward Apparition.
Rosemary gave him a high-five just inside, out of view of Robards, and he grinned. It felt like the first thing to go right in the entire stupid case.
When Harry got the memo from Rosemary on Tuesday morning, alerting him to a new cock at the British Museum, he pondered just leaving it there. The case was still at an obnoxious standstill, due to nothing so much as Ministry bureaucracy.
Really, were it not for the months of piss taking, plus the fact that a perfect replica of his cock was still attached to a chair, he'd write the whole thing off as Bartram reaping the benefits of the mountains of red tape he was more than half responsible for.
Even Kingsley had stopped making noises about it. Hell, after The Incident In His Cubicle ("Ejaculation of cocks, Harry. An E-jac-u-la-tion of cocks. Because of the Latin", he remembered a drunken Hermione informing him and the entirety of the bar several nights previous), even Seamus was avoiding all mention of them.
But it was personal. And the Museum meant families, and for all he didn't give a shit for Bartram's grandkids, he didn't actually want to be responsible for the corruption of children, or difficult conversations for their parents. So he made his way to Apparition.
"Hey, Rosemaaa—oh. Good morning, Mrs Periweather."
Mrs Periweather glared at him and sniffed, cuddling Persimmon closer before turning back to Li. Harry pointed at a Receptacle and waved at Rosemary before snatching it and ducking back out.
Luckily, Tuesday was apparently a slow time at the Museum, at least that morning, and Harry made his way quickly to the cock waiting for him. On a bench. Someone had apparently assumed it was an exhibit and set a little gate around it. Otherwise, it was perfectly normal, unfamiliar; Harry didn't trust it, but thought that nothing could possibly top what had already happened.
Then he mentally kicked himself for the thought, because if anything was guaranteed to make his life go wrong, it was thinking it couldn't possibly get any worse. He shot the penis a glare, just in case, before rolling it into the Receptacle.
Well. If nothing else it was an excuse to visit Malfoy.
Except when he arrived at St Mungo’s and the mediwitch on duty on the fourth floor directed him to exam room 5, Malfoy wasn’t there.
“He’s assisting with an emergency case down in Potions and Plant Poisoning,” Healer Reynolds said gruffly when Harry asked about it.
“Oh,” said Harry, anticipating a long and awkward visit as Healer Reynolds poked and prodded and filled out the mountain of forms.
But to his surprise, Healer Reynolds cast one single solitary spell at the cock, then filled out the top page of form 68-J, initialed page two, then flipped all the way to the final page and ticked off two boxes before initialing again. He shuffled the papers together, tapped them on the exam table to straighten them, and handed them back to Harry. All of thirty seconds had elapsed.
“Wait,” Harry said. “That’s it? That’s all you needed to do?”
Healer Reynolds gave him an odd look. “Is there anything else you needed from me?”
Harry looked down at the papers in his hands. “Er, no. I guess not. Thanks. I’ll just…go now.”
It gave him plenty to think about, back in his cubicle that afternoon. The way he figured it, one of two things was true. Either Malfoy had no idea he didn’t need to fill out form 68-J in its entirety for every fake cock, which Harry rapidly dismissed because Malfoy seemed to be remarkably fastidious in his work. Or, he knew he didn’t have to fill out form 68-J in its entirety every time, but did it anyhow as an excuse to force Harry to spend roughly an hour with him one on one with each new cock.
Which was utterly mad. And Harry thought maybe he should be annoyed at how much time Malfoy had made him waste over the past couple of months. But, especially knowing Malfoy’s stance on unnecessary paperwork in general, there was something undeniably sweet about him suffering through stacks of pointless forms just for the excuse of spending time with Harry.
After the flirting, it was pretty clear what his goal was. And Harry couldn’t deny that it’d rather worked.
There was, of course, another penis. A penis that, to Harry’s dismay, looked exactly like the line of six on his desk. A penis that looked like the penis in the darkened specimen jar in the Bad Cock Corner. A penis he’d really hoped he was done with.
A penis that was fucking with him, Harry, specifically, as it was laid out neatly at the Ministry Apparition Point. Right off the Atrium. Again. And this one was still in its box and everything.
He stood a moment, staring down at it and concentrating on his breathing. He was uncertain if he was more likely to chuck the stupid thing into the wall or break into hysterical laughter. Because there was a dick in a box waiting for him. There. On the floor.
Harry leaned down, flipping the lid closed, and stared a moment. He'd never gotten authorization to trace the information linked to the pseudonym and company, lost wherever lost forms met their end, but something in the looping script, or maybe the angle he was looking at it, pinged familiar to him.
He frowned, picking up the box and wandering to the lift, stepping on and then off again automatically when it reached Level 2.
He'd just made it back to his desk when it hit him. He rushed to his case notes, flipping through until he came to the 68-J Malfoy had signed off on, the one that was a bit charred about the edges. He'd duplicated the page, replacing it with a clean copy when Filing had sent it back to him for being defaced.
The looping script crammed onto the form almost matched the script on the box in miniature, and Harry took a deep breath, flipping the box open again and digging around inside. Malfoy's handwriting was loopy and fancy enough that it could still be a coincidence. The cock rolled out, coming to a standstill beside the others on his desk and he stared at it a moment, waiting for it to do something, anything, before looking at the care card.
Which was exactly the same, except for one very important difference. Under the CARE section, the last letter now read:
Ensure the product never comes into contact with coriander, as that may disrupt the charmwork and cause it to behave erratically.
He wondered how he could have missed it. He distinctly remembered thinking in the beginning that the stupid acronyms reminded him of the safety posters plastered all over St Mungo's walls. And after the incident with the vindaloo, he knew Malfoy would be the only one who would know to change the original instruction.
Luckily, he didn't need to wait on Ministry bureaucracy to tell him where Malfoy lived. He'd been there in the past, at a party that Pansy had thrown to celebrate Dean's promotion. He knew just the Apparition point to use.
He banged on Malfoy's door for nearly a minute before it creaked open and a small house-elf glared up at him. "You is to be having patience. Master Malfoy is not here right now."
"You get that fucking wanker here right this instant, or so help me I will arrest him at work and make the biggest fuss I can cause and he will never be able to set foot into St Mungo's again."
The elf gaped, and then turned to dash further into the house. Harry followed, slamming the door behind him. Once inside, he looked around, trying to determine the best place to give Malfoy a piece of his mind. He could hear the elf squeaking frantically from somewhere deeper in the house, and he spared a moment to regret giving Malfoy the home field advantage.
Everything gave Malfoy the advantage though, which Harry was feeling heartily sick of, so he simply entered the room to the right, looking around at the dark wood and books and contemplating hexing the lot.
His hands clenched at that thought, and he only realized then that he was still clutching the newest cock in one hand, and the box in the other.
Just as well. Malfoy could sign 68-J and then shove it up his—
"Potter?" Harry turned to see Malfoy standing in the doorway, wearing his lime green scrubs and looking completely bewildered.
"You… You…." Harry stalked over to him, raising the cock and shoving it in his face. "You."
Malfoy blinked, swallowed, and his eyes darted between the cock and Harry's face. "If you have a new specimen, you really need to bring it to St Mungo's."
"Fuck that. This case has been the biggest pain in my arse for months and it's all your fucking fault."
Malfoy swallowed again, his adam's apple bobbing, and Harry was abruptly aware of how close he was standing. That realization was quickly followed by another: that he didn't know what he wanted more, to punch Malfoy or snog him until he begged for mercy.
Not that he expected Malfoy to ever beg for mercy. It didn't seem a very Malfoy thing to do. But he was enjoying the thought enough that when Malfoy did finally open his mouth, the lack of 'More' or 'Oh yeah' was a surprise.
"How did you…?" Malfoy's voice was hoarse and he trailed off with a cough.
Harry's frustration surged back to the fore. "I'm a fucking Auror. And a good one, regardless of what you might think. Fucking great laugh you've been having at me. Always coming in, always to you, with a new cock in my hand. And you fucking planned it all, the flirting, everything else, for what? Just to fuck with me?"
Malfoy stepped back with each question, and Harry followed, not stopping until he had marched Malfoy back out of the room and across the hallway, right against the wall.
"Well. Yes. A bit. Granger said you wouldn't find out…"
Harry's thoughts skidded to a halt, because "Hermione? What the fuck does Hermione have to do with this?"
Malfoy blinked. "She… She ordered the cock. For Bartram. I knew she ordered it of course, and in exchange for keeping it quiet, she used her position in the Unspeakables to ensure the business wouldn't be traced to me." And after an obvious examination of Harry's face. "You… didn't know?"
It made a strange kind of sense. Hermione hated Bartram. And she'd been by Harry's desk to casually ask questions after the big fuss with Kingsley, and as far as Harry had been able to determine, his trace was lost somewhere in the Department of Mysteries. Only one thing was wrong. "Hermione's not an Unspeakable. She works on Level One. For Kingsley."
Malfoy's lips twitched. "What does she do on Level One, exactly?"
He coughed. "Paperwork that is so very exciting for a brain like Granger's?"
"I…. But…. She…. No. You. I know what you're doing. You're trying to distract me." Harry shoved the cock back in Malfoy's face, ignoring the frantically awkward expression he saw there. "You knew I would get this! You had to know I would guess. It was all boxed up in the Ministry. You changed the card!"
Malfoy shoved the cock away from his face and laughed. "All right. All right. Yes I did. I didn't expect you to come here, though."
Harry deflated slightly at Malfoy's sudden capitulation. "But. Why?"
"Well." Malfoy coughed, gathering himself. "It was funny. You came in all red-faced and lost and, well, I couldn't resist messing with you."
"But the flirting. And my cock. How?"
Malfoy sighed. "How to which, precisely? How was I flirting? By leaving sex toys lying around at Apparition Points when you told me specifically that they were your responsibility and you were keeping them on your desk."
"How did you make my cock?"
A shrug. "Polyjuice. Easy enough to get your hair, or any Auror's really. Either you're laid up at St Mungo's or I see you at a pub night."
Harry shook his head. "And in what universe is sending someone cocks a valid flirting technique?"
"Well it worked. You flirted back."
"That was when I thought we were in this together! United in our misery! I just want to strangle you right now!"
Malfoy laughed again. "If you were going to strangle me, you would have done it in the initial burst of indignation."
And Harry couldn't let that stand. He dropped the box and the cock, reaching out and wrapping his hands around Malfoy's stupid neck. He had a brief moment to savor the sudden silence and Malfoy's surprised git face, before he yanked Malfoy forward and kissed him.
Malfoy started laughing again, a low chuckle, but now he was kissing Harry so that was okay.
Harry had a moment to be grateful that he'd managed to get Malfoy shoved up against the wall, because leaning in on him was really rather brilliant. Much better way of flirting, snogging up against the wall like a normal human being, than sending fake cocks by the dozen.
Harry pulled back. "Flowers are a reasonable present to send to someone you fancy. Booze. Tickets to Quidditch."
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Sending cocks got you into my examination rooms."
Harry leaned in again, something about hearing words coming out of Malfoy's mouth filling him with the desire to Shut. Him. Up. Harry foresaw lots of arguments and snogging in his immediate future.
After a moment, he pulled away again. "Normal people ask to meet up for lunch. Or dinner. Or whatever."
"Merlin, Potter. Are you going to fuss or are you going to kiss me?"
"I'm multi-talented." But he pulled Malfoy close once again, leaning in hard, until Malfoy gasped. "And you're not complaining too much."
Malfoy made a noise of frustration, grabbing great handfuls of Harry's hair and pulling him in again, and then it was the dizzying feel of Harry’s tongue against Malfoy's, of gasping breaths, of never having enough air. Shutting Malfoy up like this was markedly better than listening to him be an arsehole, and Harry made a mental note to do it more often. Frequently, as Malfoy was guaranteed to always be an arsehole.
It was almost a surprise when Malfoy's hands left his hair, trailing around his shoulders to begin wiggling in to work at the clasps of his robes. Harry pulled back, gasping what felt like his first full breath in ages, and dazedly took stock of the situation.
Malfoy, flushed and gasping. His hair was a mess and his lips were cherry red and swollen. Harry rocked his hips forward, his hard cock rubbing against an answering hardness, and there was a thump as Malfoy's eyes drooped and his head dropped back against the wall.
Harry rocked again, and Malfoy let out a small needy noise, one Harry was fairly certain he wasn't even aware of making. That fact, more than anything else—that the always-collected Malfoy was reduced to mussed hair and unintentional noises—was the biggest turn-on of the entire bloody situation. Harry grabbed the hem of Malfoy's scrubs, jerking them up and over his head, causing his baby-fine hair to fly up with static.
Harry had a moment to find the entire situation strange, that he and Malfoy, regardless of how they'd been dancing around each other for weeks, had managed to make it to the half-naked and snogging part, when Malfoy's eyelashes fluttered again, and he turned a baleful gaze on Harry.
"The purpose of this entire snogging thing is not to just stop in the middle of it."
Harry grinned, and Malfoy's gaze sharpened. His fingers were back, working on the line of closures running the length of the front of Harry's robes, keeping up a steady stream of muttered complaints; "don't know why I even bothered with you," and, "all you do is stop halfway through," and "fucking Gryffindors."
Harry laughed, working his own hand down the front of Malfoy's trousers and giving his cock a squeeze.
His worrisomely familiar cock.
"You fucking wanker!" Harry pushed away, feeling Malfoy's fingers scrabble against his open robe. He gave Malfoy’s trousers a jerk, and stared down at the cock he'd seen eight times before.
"You. I can't believe you. After everything, I can't believe you sent me your cock eight bloody times."
Malfoy huffed a sigh, wiggling out of his trousers and pants, and kicking them off his ankles. "Oh, please. I've been sending you cocks by way of flirting and you're surprised that I made sure you have multiple copies of mine?" Malfoy paused and raised his eyebrows. “And need I remind you that mine liked you best?”
Harry just shook his head, because phrased like that, it made a bit of sense. Stupid sense, and he was really starting to worry about Malfoy's mind, but sense.
He worried about himself at that, too. That Malfoy's crazy cock logic was starting to seem… reasonable.
"Merlin, Potter. Are you going to get naked or am I going to write this off as a loss and go back to work?"
Harry glanced back up, taking in Malfoy's expression. He looked all prickly and huffy, but something in his face or his voice hinted that Harry's answer was in fact very important.
It was all a bit much to take in. Harry wasn't going to fool himself; the… camaraderie he'd come to enjoy with Malfoy would end if he stopped this here. And, he really didn't want to. Didn't want to lose it. Didn't want to stop.
But if he did continue, if he took off his robes, if he let Malfoy get those long fingers under his clothes, he'd likely face a future of… he didn't even know. Piss taking, definitely. Malfoy being an arse pretty much any time he opened his mouth. Not to mention that if Malfoy thought cocks were an appropriate courting gift, his birthday was going to be very interesting.
"At least I know you've got some idea of how to handle a cock," he commented instead, working quickly on his buttons. "And don't even," he continued when Malfoy opened his mouth, likely to say something arsey. "No other Healer I saw for normal Splinchings spent nearly as much time 'testing reactions'."
Malfoy leaned in, all hot breath along Harry's neck. "But it got you all hot and bothered, Potter."
"Fucking perv, is what you are."
“Pot, kettle,” Malfoy shot back. “I saw you watching.”
Harry finally wrangled his robes into a ball, great bloody thick Auror wool uniforms all heavy and hard to get off for safety. Malfoy's stance against the wall was now less of a shoved-there sprawl than a lazy recline. His hand was loose around his cock, wanking slowly, and he grinned at Harry. "Touch it, Potter."
"I'm not wearing gloves." Harry grinned and reached out, giving it a poke, and watched it bob in Malfoy's grasp. Malfoy huffed a sigh as Harry batted his hand away, finally grabbing his cock and giving it a tug. “It’s a very nice specimen. Lovely proportions. Couldn’t ask for a nicer looking cock, really.”
"Merlin, Potter, do you ever shu—mph." was all Malfoy got out before Harry leaned in again, snogging him silent.
There were several moments of breathless kissing, as Harry slowly worked Malfoy's cock, before Malfoy finally began tugging at Harry's flies. Harry tightened his grip slightly as he felt the first grasp of Malfoy's fingers, narrow and tight, wrapping around his own cock.
"Careful, Potter." Malfoy's voice still managed to sound arsey, even as he gasped for breath. "I understand it may have been a while since you handled a real live cock and not a toy, but you can do me actual damage if you squeeze too hard."
Harry grinned, twisting his hand on the upstroke. Malfoy's gasp at that was quickly followed by a squeeze, and Harry’s own cock was suddenly caught in a painfully tight grip.
"Problem with Polyjuice, or the cocks in general, is they give no indication how the real thing would behave when faced with similar circumstances." And Malfoy's hand was moving quickly, dragging Harry closer to the edge than he was ready for. And Malfoy still managed to sound like he was giving a fucking History of Magic lecture while he was doing it. "So while I can experiment, wank, whatever, the reactions are inherent to the device, not to the model."
"Oh my god." Harry's hand slowed to a stop, and Malfoy let out a whine. "You wanked while you were Polyjuiced as me?"
Malfoy stopped his own pulling. "I had access to your cock. What did you expect me to do with it?"
"Do you fuck yourself with your own cock, too?"
Malfoy laughed. "Why? Did you?"
"Mm. I notice you’re not saying you didn't want to." Malfoy gave a little wriggle at that, causing his cock to slide a bit in Harry's grip, and Harry could only shake his head. "You obviously need more practice. I can send you more."
"No!" Harry decided then and there that his idea of keeping Malfoy quiet through snogging was the right one, and proceeded to do just that. Malfoy speaking, hell Malfoy thinking, was more than he could possibly hope to deal with. Instead, he concentrated on the feeling of his lips clinging to Malfoy's, the hard heat of Malfoy’s cock, the thing Malfoy was doing to his bollocks on the downstroke.
Harry found, with Malfoy’s mouth very thoroughly occupied with his own, that it was easy to lose himself in this, the slick press of Malfoy’s lips and tongue, the hard hot length of Malfoy’s cock in his hand, the tight squeeze of Malfoy’s fingers around his own. Malfoy was making the most delightful little whimpering sounds against Harry’s mouth, his breath catching, and Harry shifted a bit more of his focus from his own pleasure to taking care of Malfoy’s, just to keep him making those lovely noises.
He could tell when Malfoy got close: his mouth went slack against Harry’s, and his hand on Harry’s cock stuttered and then stalled. Harry redoubled his efforts, sliding one hand between Malfoy's back and the wall and down, rubbing firmly down his crack to press against his hole.
And that made the best noise of all: a half-choked moan as Malfoy’s grip went lax around Harry's cock and he began to spill in hot wet spurts over Harry's hand.
Harry just grinned, pulling away as Malfoy's eyes slowly blinked open, pupils blown and dazed-looking. "I win."
Malfoy blinked twice more as his gaze sharpened. "I'm the one who came, I rather thought I won."
"I got you off."
"I could stop now."
"You already have." Harry whined, rocking his hips forward in Malfoy's slack grasp.
Malfoy sighed. "All right, but only because your face is so pathetic right now."
"So kind." And then Harry let out a very manly squeak when Malfoy tightened his fist, stroking Harry's cock with a vengeance. "Oh. Oh, fuck."
"Mmm. Maybe later. You still owe me dinner first, Potter."
And fuck, but Malfoy's hand felt perfect, tight and smooth and oh god Harry was lost. Completely lost. He leaned in, kissing Malfoy frantically, knowing he was too close for anything but sloppy, breathless, gasping kisses. Malfoy's hand was tight on his cock, his other was gentle, cradling his head. Malfoy pulled back, pressing Harry's head firmly against his shoulder and murmuring in his ear. "Come on. Come on." And Harry was helpless to resist. Malfoy's words and hands pulled his orgasm from him, unraveling him like a thread.
Harry had barely caught his breath when Malfoy gave his hair a light tug. He didn't want to move. Malfoy's shoulder was surprisingly comfortable for being so bony. Finally, with a chuckle, Malfoy wiped his hand on Harry's shirt before sliding his fingers under Harry's chin and tipping his head up. He gave Harry a heart-stoppingly sweet smile, and Harry found himself grinning back like a lovesick fool.
And then he opened his stupid git mouth. "Have fun with my cock. I know it's not as good as the real thing, but it will give you something to entertain yourself with while I'm at work."
And Harry could only laugh.
When Harry returned to work the following morning, pleasantly sore and a little sleep-deprived and still in yesterday’s clothes (though that was the nice thing about uniforms, wasn’t it, that no one could tell if it was the same one from yesterday?) he discovered Ron lingering in the doorway of his cubicle.
“What’s going on?” Harry asked. He squeezed past Ron and found Hermione briskly packing away the cocks into a cardboard box.
“Word’s come down from on high,” Ron said. “They’re transferring the case to the Unspeakables. Ridiculous, if you ask me, wasting resources like that.”
Harry, who had been staring a hole through the side of Hermione’s head, turned back to Ron. “More ridiculous than sticking an Auror with it?”
Ron shrugged. “Guess not. But when it was you, it was funny. Anyhow, I figure Bartram’s still kicking up a fuss about it. Must’ve been whinging an awful lot to get the case kicked over to the Unspeakables.”
“Bartram,” Hermione muttered angrily, pitching the cock in her hand into the box with more force than strictly necessary. Which, if she was going to toss around cocks, at least she’d picked the one most likely to enjoy it. Harry could see BDSM cock’s excited twitching from across the cubicle.
“Oh yeah,” Ron said gleefully. “And then the Unspeakables sent up to Level One for someone to go fetch all the evidence for them. And guess who got stuck with that job?”
“You needn’t look so cheerful about it,” Hermione said primly, pausing for a moment to cast a spell on Creepily Clingy CopyCock’s canister lid to affix it firmly in place, so that none of the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder could spill out in transit. “I’m very busy. Right now I’m in the middle of overseeing forms 76-D, -G, and -J, and it’s really quite…”
The minute she started naming forms, Harry could see Ron’s eyes practically glaze over. Only this time, now that he was looking for it, he also saw the way Hermione looked rather satisfied at that. She slipped Harry a wink as she packed up the last of the cocks.
“Anyhow,” she said, hefting the box and balancing it on one hip to give Harry’s arm a pat with her free hand. “Looks like you’re back to boring Aurorwork, now. When I dropped off the paperwork to transfer the case, Kingsley mentioned he was putting you with Ron.”
“Ah,” Ron said, grinning. “The string of break-ins on Diagon. Exciting stuff.”
“Furthermore,” Hermione began, but was interrupted by a sharp buzzing sound from inside the box.
Looked like Vindaloo Cock had gone off again, and it must’ve been right up against Sparklepenis because seconds later a jet of rainbow sparks erupted into the air.
Hermione sighed. “Well. We can talk later, I suppose,” she said with a nod to Harry. And yes, they’d definitely be having words later if Harry had his way about it. “I’d best get these to where they’re supposed to be.” She gave Harry a purposeful smile. “Don’t worry, Harry. I’ll take care of everything. You needn’t worry about this case for another second.”
With that, she turned around and strode off, head held high and somehow managing to look regal and imposing even with a box full of cocks, her march down the corridor accompanied by a loud buzzing and bright bursts of sparks. Halfway to the door, slightly tinny notes of ‘God Save the Queen’ echoed back to Harry and Ron. Hermione didn’t even flinch.
Well. Harry had been pondering what to do with a case he couldn’t close on account of not wanting to arrest either of the guilty parties. But he supposed Hermione would just make the whole thing conveniently disappear.
“She,” said Harry as Hermione rounded the corner and disappeared from view, “is terrifying.”
“Er, yeah?” Ron said, giving Harry an odd look. “We’ve known that since first year, haven’t we?”
“Yeah,” Harry said. “But sometimes I’m reminded all over again.”
“Come on,” Ron said, nudging Harry’s arm. “Let’s go see Kingsley so you can sign off on the transfer, and then I’ll get you caught up on the break-ins case.”
“Yeah, all right,” Harry said. He lingered for a moment, looking around his blessedly cock-free cubicle, then followed Ron down the hall, feeling better than he had in a long time. Aside from his arsehole friends and a new boyfriend who apparently thought that eighteen fake cocks was an acceptable way to woo someone, Harry’s life was entirely back to normal.
For now, at least.