"This is all my fault, Harry." Ginny sighed, turning deliberately away from him as she used her wand to sweep away decades of greasy dust from the interior of an old cabinet. "You've not said a thing since, er, you know, so I gather you're quite angry."
"Angry?? No, no, no." Harry stretched warily away from corner where he was vanishing mouse droppings and peered into the corridor to make sure they were alone. "I was deathly afraid I'd die laughing in front of Filch and get our detentions doubled!"
"Laughing? Whatever about?"
With one final glance out the door, Harry turned with an ear-to-ear grin. "Didn't you notice? After your little explosion, Warrington, uh... had a wee bit of an accident."
"Accident??" Holding a half-dusted urn, Ginny turned to him with wide eyes.
"You didn't see that wet spot?"
"Wet...? Oh my!" Failing to stifle a hoot of hysterics, Ginny sputtered straight across the urn, raising an eruption of dust.
"Mind your step, Gin'." Reaching over, putting a hand on her arm lest she teeter over, Harry eyes turned, incidentally, to the newly exposed bronze surface on the urn. He stared. "Hey, what's this?"
"What's what?" Wiping away a couple of tears from her eyes with her free hand, Ginny turned her attention to the partially exposed engraving. "St. Jerome's Church, Godr..." Squinting, she extended a finger to wipe away some remnant dirt, and was about to read the last of the name, when-
"Gak!!" Both student felt a sharp tug somewhere in the pits of the stomachs, and the filthy store room swirled away into darkness...
Eep! And what happens next, pray tell?
Do let us all know how it all turns out, or kick off your own Portkey misadventure for SIYE's Portkey Challenge (2018-1). Awards will be made for Most Adventuresome, Most Romantic, Best Overall, and People's Choice. Completed stories must be submitted by midnight, March 15, in order for award announcements to be made on April 1.
Please note rules for challenge stories (including some judge-requested modifications): submissions must be stand-alone short stories (may be part of a series, but must contain introduction, climax and resolution all in Challenge entry), and the stories must be marked as complete by deadline. Each submission must be shorter than 20,000 words; R-rated stories are discouraged, and judges are not required to read them.
Readers: we are always looking for new judges, so some additional volunteers are always apreciated! If I don't hear from anyone, I may trying twisting a few arms...
Finally, please use this space to continue casting votes for the 2018-2 challenge topic. Additional suggestions are encouraged but top current choices include:
1. Years into their marriage, Ginny discovers something surprising about Harry. Tell us about it.
2. Auntie Muriel announces that she will take her tea at the Burrow next Sunday. Excuses fly as everyone tries to avoid attending. Will anyone escape?
3. Tis the Valentines feast at Hogwarts, and something is odd. The pumpkin juice tastes suspiciously good, and all who drink it are behaving strangely. Uh oh.
4. A debilitating accident brings Harry's and Ginny's hectic schedules to a screeching halt. How will things change as the couple adjusts to a slow recovery?
5. My, how the kids have grown! And didn't you notice how  was looking at  yesterday? Oh dear, I'm afraid it's time for... 'the talk'.
6. Harry has never been abroad before. His first trip is with Ginny. Where do they go, and why?
7. Late at night, a hooded stranger appears at Harry's bed and casts a spell. Another does the same to Ginny. The mysterious pair meets in the Common Room. After a kiss, they whisper, "That’s done. Now, for the great adventure." What happens next?