Harry's Got a Brand New Hag


Story Summary:
Harry and Ginny set off to find Potter Manor. It's not a long walk, but they still manage to get snowed in... (Written for the SIYE Cold Outside challenge.)

Harry's Got a Brand New Hag


Harry’s Got A Brand New Hag

The clicking of the rails slowed as the train pulled up. The door hissed open, and two figures in heavy coats stepped out into the blizzard.

“Well, that was new,” Ginny’s voice muttered. She helped Harry lift the heavy case out onto the snowy ground, then turned and followed Harry’s example in looking out into the snowstorm.

She turned with a start as the train door wheezed shut. Another moment, and the train lurched forwards with the high-pitched whine of magilectric motors. It quickly built up speed, clattering down the road; the rails curled up behind it and retreated into the shadows under the carriages.

“It’s a new idea from the States,” Harry said, turning to her. “The Knight Train. The original goes from Atlanta, Georgia to New Orleans. Home of the blues, apparently. There was a leaflet about the original on board this one – apparently it goes through St Louis, Joplin, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Gallup and Flagstaff too. I don’t know why the ticket collector had that big wig, though, it didn’t say.”

They turned to the lane going up the hill beside them. It was covered with heavy snow, though unlike the unploughed areas on either side it was at least navigable. They set off, trudging through the ankle-deep snow.

“You’re sure you got the right stop?”

“Yeah, it should be right up here. Potter Manor. Or, you know, something. Or Evans Lodge. Why do they all use family names for the houses, anyway?”


“I mean, Malfoy Manor, Toad Hall, Long –”

“Toad Hall?”

“Oh yeah, you weren’t with us that time. It’s a long story. Anyway, Longbottom Abbey – that place is huge, by the way. Apparently Neville’s never even been inside the East-Noreast wing. Anyway, there’s the Palazzo Mahoosivo Dumbledori down in Venice. Even the Creeveys live at, I kid you not, Creevey Duplex. Wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t just a three-room flat with a loft space.”

“But still... Oh, what about Bill and Fleur? Shell Cottage?”

Harry snorted derisively.

“Sounds good, doesn’t it? ‘Look, wizards can be imaginative after all,’ right?” Ginny nodded. “That’s why they bought the place off Mr and Mrs Shell three years ago.”

Ginny pondered for a moment, then turned to Harry triumphantly.

“Tony Desert. At the ministry. What about him? His place is just called 27 Pontefract Lane.”

“Nope.” Harry shook his head. “That’s just where he lives when he’s over here. He’s American, remember? He owns a hotel in Las Vegas, lives there.” He spotted a sign, half-hidden by snow. “Hill Grange, could that be it?”

“Wait, you don’t even know what your house is called?”

Harry glared at her, mildly irritated. “Well, Gaksnik just said that I owned a property up here and that it was my ancestral home. He gave me directions and keys and everything, just not the name...”

He brushed some snow off the sign.

“Oh, twenty miles.” He glanced at the directions. “Not that one, then.”

Four mocking tones drifted out of the storm as the two of them continued up the hill. Neither noticed them, for the tones were non-diegetic.

* * *

The driveway up the hill was longer than they had expected. They had been walking for two hours, and the snow was if anything getting deeper. Harry glanced at the directions in his hand, and shook his head.

“It’s gone. All washed out.” He ran his finger across the paper, and it came away smeared with blue ink. “We could have hours to go.”

“Coming up on ten o’clock, too,” Ginny said, checking her watch. “We could freeze.”

Harry eyed the trunk which followed a few yards behind them on dozens of tiny legs.

“You like camping?”

She followed his gaze. “Seriously?”

Harry nodded.

“You did a Moody?”

Harry nodded. And grinned.

“All right.”

They made their way a few yards off the road into the shelter of a cluster of fir trees. Harry propped the trunk against one of the trunks and opened the lid. Metal brackets formed a ladder down into a warm, flickering orange twilight.

“So what’s this thing like inside, Harry?”

“Wood panelling, fireplaces, leather armchairs, the works. Go on, down you go.”

She shot him a glance. “Okay.”

“Oh, I forgot to mention one little thing,” Harry began as she reached the bottom of the ladder.

“What? By the way, is it supposed to be this cold down here?”

“Well, the wood they used for the chest...” He started climbing down the ladder, closing the lid behind him. “It’s apparently very sensitive to, um, morphic res... reasoning?”



“And it’s snowing outside.”


“A blizzard, in fact.”

“Well, I suppose so.”

“Could that be why there’s no panelling or armchairs? Or works?”

“That, um, could certainly be possible.”

“Could be, in fact, why it seems to have produced, and I don’t want to put too fine a point on it, an igloo?”

Harry reached the bottom of the ladder and stepped onto a packed snow floor.

“Um, yes.”

And it was. A large igloo, but an igloo nonetheless. A fire that seemed to be made of ice flickered in one corner, and a trench around the walls ringed a foot-high platform covered with reindeer pelts.

“It’s homey, though.” Ginny looked around with a coy smile. “Nice pelts.”

Harry held up something that looked like a small camp stove. “You should call the Burrow. We said we’d tell them when we arrived, and your mother will start to worry. They’ll be pacing the floor by now.”

“Aah, what’s the hurry?” She pulled him onto the pile of pelts and wrapped her arms around him.

“We should at least be able to say that we tried.”

Ginny harrumphed. “Fine.”

She took the device from him and ignited it. A sheet of flame licked up, and the press of a button sent a puff of floo powder into it.

“The Burrow.”

Harry went exploring while Ginny was on the floo. As he sauntered around – how did the trunk manage to make a hot tub out of ice? – he caught the odd word from Ginny’s end of the conversation. “We’ll be good,” she had promised, but something in her voice suggested to Harry that she hadn’t specified in exactly what way...

He returned to her side a few minutes later as she turned out the flame.

“All done?”

She nodded, then let her eyes flicker to the pelts as a sly smile spread across her face.

“It’s... cosy in here, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it’s not bad...” Then it hit him. “Oh. You mean cosy...”

“Yes,” she breathed.

Harry pulled back sharply.

“We probably shouldn’t. I mean, there’s bound to be talk tomorrow then. Hermione will be sus... there’ll be plenty implied, defin... I mean, your aunt’s mind is, really, y’know, vicious, and... well, maybe a drink instead? I mean, they’ll be spreading rumours already, so...”

Ginny rolled her eyes.

“Harry, they’ve been suspicious since we started going out. They’ve been certain since the wedding, and we haven’t really given them any cause not to be with those thin walls.”

“Well, no, but still, here, I mean... Well, Molly will be upset if... I mean, just minutes after talking to her...”

“Harry.” She clapped her hand over his mouth. “You know what she gave me just after the wedding? A book. She gave me a book about this, Harry.”

“Yes! Of course, she gave you a book! It probably talked about how it was naughty and dirty and bad and should be avoided at all costs, right?”

“Well, it was more a book of ideas. Mum had added a few post-its of her own.” She sighed introspectedly. “Quite a lot of post-its, really.”

“Post-its about how it was...” Harry faltered. “Um. Bad, and, um, not good?”

“Harry,” Ginny purred, pressing him down onto the pelts. “Do I make you nervous?”

Harry gave in.

“Oh, sod it.” He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her down to him, kissing her frantically.

“I keep telling you, Harry,” she said between kisses. “There’s nothing more dangerous than a girl with charm.”

* * *

A while later, Harry’s ego was at full power, having been severely stroked by over an hour of, he considered, considerable enjoyment. He was celebrating in what, after an accidental visit to a muggle club, had become his own inimitable – and very private – way.

Harry’s feet blurred across the floor, until he reached the wall, kicked one foot into the air, spun twice and dropped to one knee. Ginny was instantly at his side, draping a blanket over his shoulders.

“Get up, Harry. Come on, get on up...”

At this, Harry seemed to be once more infused with energy, and he sprang to his feet, letting the blanket cascade, forgotten, to the floor. He zipped once again across the floor, feet flailing.

"Stay on the scene," he shouted, striking a dramatic pose, "like a... like a sex machine!"

“Um, Harry...” Ginny giggled, “you might want to get back under the blanket.” She flicked an eyebrow pointedly. “It’s, um, a bit cold in here.”

He followed her gaze. His ego shrank momentarily.

“Oh, right.”

He bopped back across the room, muttering “...and there was dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’” under his breath.

A moment later he was humming, as if he knew what would follow. Which, to be fair, he probably did.

“Oh, that feels good,” he breathed as Ginny’s hands gently massaged his neck. She nodded, with a smile.

“I knew that it would.”

He turned over and grinned at her, at which point we shall leave them for the sake of decency. But in the course of what followed, at least two bonus phrases and several dozen James Brown references took place.

Suffice to say that she let Harry, as Elvis put it, take her to that wonderland that only two can share, after which other songs were featured. And not to be too indelicate, but they went Way Down, decided to indulge in A Little Less Conversation, and soon found that it was getting Too Darn Hot. And the temperature was indeed low.

It is perhaps fortunate that neither of them had a camera, and that the wizarding world has no internet.

* * *

They found the rest of the night highly enjoyable. Neither of them had ever seen ice cubes in a hot tub before.

* * *

The next morning they set off bright and early at the crack of eleven o’clock. Only a few dozen yards further up the road they found, half-covered in snow, a brass gatepost with a granite plaque attached. A few deeply engraved letters were visible above the snow:


Harry reached out and touched the plaque. As his fingertips touched the granite, the snow shifted as the engravings reformed beneath it. Harry brushed off enough of the snow to uncover the plaque. He smiled proudly.

“Well, it’s this one. Shall we?”

Ginny grinned broadly at him and took his arm.


They set off down the lane, wading through the waist-deep snow, while Ginny cast a fond glance back over her shoulder at the plaque.

Harry Potter, Esq.

Baby It's Cold Outside lyrics by Frank Loesser.