Characters (in order of appearance): Harry, OFC, Ron, OMC, Shacklebolt, Skeeter, Molly, Ginny, Hermione, and a second OFC
Warning (highlight to view): For my own cultural bias.
Word Count: 825
Summary: Wizards occasionally take leave of their senses, think with their pricks, and require the correction of witches.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Mine are large, round, lovely, and not for you, thank you very much. Thank you, Shog, for beta'ing. ♥
"Geroff!" Harry shouted, appalled, as he seized the hand grasping his bollocks and pulled it away. "You didn't even wait for an answer!"
"But surely you're not so uptight!" the woman called after him, as he strode as quickly away from her as he could without running. "I'm just demonstrating how much I apprecia—"
Back in his office, Harry encountered Ron and Chambers, another male Auror in his unit, both of whom looked shocked. "What the hell is going on?"
Ron mumbled something, shifting in his chair.
"What was that?"
"It's the 'Bollocks Appreciation Project'," Ron said, his voice strained. "Some of the girls came up with it after our last pub crawl."
"You've seen the buttons?" Chambers asked. "The ones that say, 'I'd BAP that'?"
Harry had, but he hadn't known what they were about. Now that he knew, he didn't like it any better. "That's ridiculous! Who in his—her—right mind would think it's appropriate to grab a bloke's bollocks?"
Ron flushed and mumbled something again.
"Would you try to speak clearly?" Harry demanded, collapsing into his chair.
"Our fault, I think."
"How's that? I didn't ask anyone to grab my—"
"Yeah," said Chambers, "but we did get a bit rowdy last night, remember?"
Harry flushed. He had no clear memory of the celebratory pub crawl he'd made with the Aurors, male and female, in his unit—and their partners. "We got a little wild, but—"
"We asked some of the birds if they'd mind, uh, I mean, we were talking about freedom and such, and started talking 'bout sex, and then—"
Harry stared at Chambers in horror, his memories returning. "Oh, Merlin. Is that why Ginny's not speaking to me? Because I . . . ."
Because he'd behaved like a loutish arse and asked her if he could touch her breasts. In public. As if she were some kind of object for his amusement. Shame spread through him as Harry resolved never to drink again.
"Were there any pictures?" he whispered.
Chambers laughed. "Genius there," he said, nodding at Ron, "made a point of 'appreciating' Skeeter's assets."
Ron buried his head in his arms.
"Fuck," Harry said.
"Shacklebolt's going to kill us," Ron said, without raising his head.
The door opened. All three wizards tensed and turned their heads towards it.
"Hullo, Minister Shacklebolt," Chambers said, sounding almost completely composed.
"Boys," Shacklebolt replied, his tone rather pointed. Throwing several BAP buttons onto Harry's desk, he demanded, "So, which one of you do I have to thank for the honour of being groped this morning?"
Ron snickered, but one look at Shacklebolt's face quelled his nervous mirth.
"You're in violation of several rules of comportment!"
"Sorry, sir," Harry, Chambers, and Ron said, as one.
"Er, what can we do to fix this?" Harry asked. "I hardly remember—"
"Well, Rita Skeeter certainly does. I've just had an advanced look at her article."
"What? Wait," Ron said, his tone hopeful. "If she's not published it, then—"
"Hello, gentlemen," Rita Skeeter greeted them, stepping into the office from behind Shacklebolt. "The Minister was good enough to volunteer you for a little project of mine."
"I'm intrigued, you see, about what life as a junior Auror is like, and I thought it would be lovely to write an in depth article about it—about you, all of you—so I'll be your constant companion for the next few months," Skeeter continued, beaming at them. "Of course, my . . . assets notwithstanding," she said, glancing quickly down at her chest, "I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to refrain from appreciating them."
"I trust you'll be cooperative with Ms Skeeter, gentlemen," Shacklebolt said sternly, "and allow her access to your home lives, as well."
"Ginny's going to kill me," Harry muttered.
"I shouldn't think so," Skeeter said, smirking. "She'll be far too busy editing my copy to do that."
In Molly's kitchen, several witches sat around the table, drinking butterbeer and giggling madly while Transfiguring a pile of BAP buttons back into regular ones.
"I expect that will show them," Molly said, tossing another small button into her sewing basket. "Well done, girls!"
"It was your idea, Mum," Ginny answered, grinning.
"Yes, well, I just wish Ron hadn't been so bloody stupid," Hermione said.
Mary Chambers giggled. "Did you Skeeter's face? I thought she'd hex his bollocks off!"
"Oh, this is so much better," Ginny said. "The DMLE will get some good publicity, Skeeter will get a much better story, and the boys will behave themselves from now on—plus, they'll be making this up to us for ages."
Hermione snorted. "What will you do to show Skeeter the 'softer side' of Michael, Mary?"
"He likes to knit," Mary replied, one corner of her mouth twitching, "and I think the public would be interested to know that."
The ladies, having made their point and saved their gentlemen from a potentially career-ending indiscretion, spent the remainder of the evening plotting the forthcoming embarrassment of their lesser halves.