Word Count: 560
Warnings: Raunchy humor, implied wanking
Summary: At the Auror Academy, Harry finds himself struggling with his least favorite subject again.
Notes: Written for hpgw_otp's anniversary fic and art challenge Paper, Diamond, and Every Year In Between. My prompt was "Lace."
What's Wrong With This Picture?"Concentrate, Potter."
The Auror aimed her wand.
Harry scrunched up his face, shutting his eyes tight, gripping the edge of his stool. After five seconds, the instructor lowered her wand.
The other trainees tittered.
"Honestly, Potter, I'd have expected better from you." She walked to the front of the classroom, rifled through some files, and opened one.
"Potter, Harry James. Mastered the Patronus charm, age thirteen. Defeated the Dark Lord, age seventeen. Failing Basic Occlumency, age eighteen." She snapped the file shut. "Did you or did you not study Occlumency with the greatest Occlumens of all time, Severus Snape?"
"Erm...our lessons didn't go very well."
"Yes, I can see that." She sighed and raised her wand again.
Harry squirmed, his brow furrowed in concentration, for all of four seconds before she lowered her wand.
"Lace...tablecloth." She smirked. "I gather tatting is a hobby of yours, Potter?"
The class tittered again.
The Auror strode back to Harry, stopping inches from his face.
"Perhaps, having seen so much action in the War, you find this subject boring."
Harry shook his head. "No, ma'am."
Her eyes narrowed. "You'd do well to begin taking this class seriously, Potter. Only sheer dumb luck saved you from this form of interrogation when you were taken to Malfoy Manor." She turned and strode the length of the classroom, staring at each of the trainees in turn.
"Out in the field, tables can turn in an instant -- any of you could easily find yourselves on the wrong end of a dark wizard's wand. Aurors have died for wont of the ability to conceal information from their captors. What you learn in this classroom could mean the difference between life and death -- not just for you, but for your fellow Aurors, as well." She turned to face Harry again, raised her wand.
Three seconds elapsed until she lowered it.
Loud guffaws broke out around the room.
The Auror scowled. "I cannot fathom, Potter, why frilly household linens hold such fascination for you, but if you wish to have any hope of graduating from this Academy, you'd be well advised to set your mind to the subject at hand."
Harry swallowed hard. "Um, actually, I'm doing loads better than I did with Professor Snape."
She rolled her eyes. "In that case, it's a wonder he let you live." She turned her back on him. "Class dismissed."
Harry leapt off his stool and tore out of the class, racing across the grassy quadrangle to his dormitory. He sprinted up the stairs to his room and threw open the door. He pulled a photograph from beneath his pillow, closeted himself in the adjoining bathroom, and locked the door.
Two minutes later he emerged, red-faced and sweating, a ridiculous grin plastered across his face. He propped the photograph on his desk, stared at it for a long moment, then pulled a quill and a page of parchment out of the desk drawer. He dipped the tip of the quill in his inkpot and began to write.
Thanks for the letter and the picture -- LOVE the lace knickers. There's just one thing wrong with them: they're not in my mouth.
Miss you like crazy, too.
P.S. -- please don't send any more photos until I've passed Basic Occlumency.