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Chapter XXII: finding the inner stag


Why is it, when your looking for that someone, you find no one, but, once you find it, a lot more choices start showing up? But, if you leave that first love, then, they all start drifting away? Is that love's way of testing your true feelings or to” -Anonymous

“So tonight’s the big night—stag and hen party, the single event that will make all the work we’ve had to put into this wedding worth it,” Hermione commented as she and Harry sat at the kitchen table eating their breakfasts, each reading their sections of the prophet.

Harry grinned as he raised his eyes from the paper that he had been so focused on and rested them on her. “Any chance you’ll finally tell me where the hell you’re holding that saucy little fest of yours that Luna turns bright red at whenever mentioned?”

She smiled widely as she motioned for him to lean in closer. When he complied, however, she merely whispered “not a chance” in his ear.

She gave him a quick peck on the cheek before getting up and letting out a laugh that continued as she left the kitchen and climbed up the stairs to her room to change for work.


“Wait, there aren’t any strippers here,” pouted a more than slightly disappointed Ron as the group walked into the hotel lobby where the stag party was being held.

Harry winced, he had honestly been hoping that Ron wouldn’t notice—sadly, however, it seemed as if he wasn’t as oblivious in regards to all things women, as Harry had prayed. Figures that that’d be the one time that the quality that his best mate was known for would somehow miraculously fail him.


“Bloody hell mate!” Dean groaned when he noticed the guilty look on Harry’s face.

“Oi, I couldn’t help it, Hermione made me promise that if we didn’t have any female strippers here than they wouldn’t have any male ones. I was trying to help you out mate. Do you really want some bloke in a thong shaking his arse in your fiancée’s face?”

“What are we doing?” Ron grumbled, slightly put out. But it was the lack of further whining that told Harry that Ron did, in all actuality, prefer losing the slags and making sure that the missus didn’t come in contact with any over having a classic stag party.

“Well I rented out an entire section of the high rollers casino.”

“Booze and betting, I do believe that those are two of my favorite things,” Seamus grinned, throwing an arm around Harry’s shoulder as Harry led them to the area where the stag party was.

“You’ll be learning a very important lesson tonight mate,” Fred told him.

“And what’s that?” Harry asked him with a quizzical look.

“Why to never bring an Irishman to an open bar, of course,” George told him, rolling his eyes at Harry’s stupidity as he threw an arm around him, letting Harry lead him to the tables.


“So how did Neville, Seamus, Dean, and Fred manage to pass out in the salon?” Hermione asked with a yawn as she walked into the kitchen only be met with the sight of Ron, who laying on the kitchen’s island, Fred, who was well on his way to falling asleep at the table, and Harry, who was prepping some breakfast for himself.

“Kind of a late morning for you, love, isn’t it?” Harry asked her with a grin as he moved to embrace her.

Hermione, however, thwarted whatever pathetic attempts on his part by pushing past him to get to the coffee machine. As she prepared herself a cup she turned to face Harry, cocking an eyebrow at him. “Why are they out there?—And, more importantly, why is Seamus almost naked except for that little birthday cone covering the ‘little leprechaun’?”

Ron snorted. “Little leprechaun, that’s funny. Have to give you points on originality there, Hermione.”

“Thanks, now one of you better answer the bloody question.”

“There was an open bar,” Harry told her with a shrug.

“That’s it, nothing more exciting?” she asked in surprise as she grabbed a croissant off of Harry’s plate.

“Oi, I’d just finished toasting that and putting the nutella on it—have some respect woman! And, wait, what’s wrong with my party?”

“Well it doesn’t seem terribly original is all.”

“Oh, and you could do much better after banning the use of strippers?” he haughtily asked her.

“One word: transvestites,” Hermione admitted with a blush, nervously biting her lip, as he stared at her in disbelief.

“Pardon? I don’t think I quite heard you correctly.”

“What?!” Ron asked, suddenly sitting up in a rare state of shock that could only ever bring Ron out of one of his self-induced comas.

“A mate of mine took me to this club a while ago and the transvestites were more like entertainers—it’s actually pretty cool. Very fun to be with, very colorful people—do have problems with some of their choices in shoes though… I mean I know that the entire idea of it all is to be as extravagant as you can be, but, really, one of them are going to break their neck in those sooner or later… or maybe they already have,” Hermione rambled.

“I thought you promised Harry that there’d be no strippers. Don’t you dare tell me you used those womanly wiles of yours to con him—you know how weak he is with you!” Ron exclaimed.

“Oi!” Harry complained. “I’m right here you know.”

“Did you not hear a word I said, Ronald? They’re entertainers, not strippers. Besides, it’s not as if they’re interested in us or anything. We don’t really have all the necessary equipment to sate them, and, honestly, since when are you such a prude?”

“Since when aren’t you?” he retorted.

She shrugged. “It may not exactly by my sort of a thing, but Luna deserves a fun and out there hen party. I’d like to think that I, at least, achieved that much.”

“There’s fun and then there’s too much fun,” Ron grumbled.

“There’s also bloody genius,” Harry grinned, still chuckling at the memory of Hermione’s extremely periodic and concise analysis of the party she threw.

She grinned as she turned to him. “Glad you think so, so I’d say that this means I won the bet then…”

“Seems so-”

“Wait, you had a bet going over who would throw the better party?” Ron interrupted in disbelief.

“Well, if it helps, it was to solve a very important issue,” Harry assured him sympathetically as he sent a Hermione’s way.

“Like what?” he asked with a snort.

“Who gets to decide where we go to dinner for our first date,” Hermione grinned, a slight tint slowly showing on her face as she made the admission.

Ron opened his mouth to respond, but no sound was emitted when he did. He just stood there, a finger raised as he prepared himself to make a very important note, but he couldn’t find the words. Finally, he let out a sigh of defeat. “So where will it be then?”

“I’m thinking Greek, I have a craving for some musaka,” she admitted with a grin.

“I know some good places for Greek food,” Ron told her with a grin.

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