A/N: Throughout this story we
have borrowed bits of dialogue and situations from other works besides
POA. In this chapter, we owe apologies to the following: Star Wars,
Shakespeare, Moonlighting, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and
possibly a few others. We may also have taken one or two digs at J.K.
Rowling, but it's all in the name of humor. We love her and the world
she created for us to play in.
Harry Potter lay in bed playing with his wand. No,
not that wand. The other wand. He missed his friends, particularly his
friend Hermione Granger, the cleverest witch of her age. Summers were
dreadful. He never seemed to know quite what to do with himself when he
wasn't playing with his wand. He was a bit put out because Aunt Marge
was coming to visit the next day. He hated Aunt Marge.
If only Hermione were here. She'd know what to do about Aunt Marge, Harry thought.
Unfortunately, without Hermione's guiding influence, Harry wound up
blowing up his Aunt. He found himself on the street the next evening,
sitting on the curb alone, wondering what he should do next.
"What would Hermione do?" he wondered.
Suddenly, the playground equipment began to move of its own accord in
an ominous and vaguely threatening manner. Harry suddenly felt more
confident. He had been in many similar situations with Hermione. It was
obviously time to panic. He began breathing heavily and whimpering
(because, of course, Ron had frequently been along for the ride in
these situations, too). Lacking the ability to show any further emotion
convincingly, he quickly whipped out his invisibility cloak and hid
beneath it, thus completely missing the mangy, half-starved,
not-very-large dog in the bushes. The dog shrugged and bounded away.
When Harry felt he had whimpered long enough, he decided it was time to
advance the plot. He stood up and fell backwards over his luggage.
Nothing happened. Scratching his head, he looked skyward to find an
origami crane spiraling gracefully down towards him. It read:
You forgot to stick out your wand.
Love from, Hermione
Harry unzipped his pants. Another crane appeared, this one squawking
and flapping in his face. It unfolded itself and howled in a booming
NOT THAT WAND, STUPID! THE OTHER WAND!
"Oh," Harry muttered. "Well, I forgot to visit the loo before I left anyway."
When Harry finished his, ahem,
business, he drew the proper wand out of his pocket and held it out.
With a loud BANG, the Knight Bus appeared. The door slid open, and
Harry was surprised and somewhat baffled to see a Shrunken Talking Head
with dreadlocks, singing.
"Letting the days go by, let the
water hold me down, letting the days go by, water flowing underground,"
it sang. Then it noticed Harry. "Welcome to the islands, I mean, the
Knight Bus, mon. Hop on board!"
"But...what happened to Stan?" Harry asked. "I thought he was supposed to be the conductor."
"Budget cuts mon," the Shrunken Talking Head said in a terrible
Jamaican accent. "His salary went towards the grasping corporate
monster also known as Industrial Light and Magic. Most of the real
people have been replaced with CGI characters. Lucas is trying to fund
the next Star Wars film, you know. I've been promised a bit part as
Jar-Jar Binks's long lost cousin. Now get on, mon. We ain't got all
Harry tossed his suitcase onto the Knight Bus. After
being slammed around several times and experiencing molecular
compression at the quantum level, they arrived at the Leaky Cauldron,
where Harry was greeted by the Hunch Back of Notre Dame.
"Good to see you again, Harry, good to see you," the Hunch Back said.
Harry looked around and wondered if he had somehow wandered into the
wrong book. "Um, excuse me, but Joanne didn't mention the Leaky
Cauldron had changed owners."
"Harry, don't know you me?" the Hunch Back asked.
Harry squinted at him. "Tom, is that you? What happened?"
"I accidentally served Alfonso tea with cream and no sugar instead of
tea with sugar and no cream. In return, I lost 30 IQ points and gained
a hump." "Be careful, Harry. I fear you're in grave danger. Now come
along. Minister Fudge is waiting."
Harry followed "Tom" up the
stairs. They paused outside a great wooden door. Harry could hear
muffled voices from inside, arguing.
"No, no, no. No lime
green in my movie! It's not artistic--it's too damn cheery! It ruins
the ambience. Take that costume away and bring me something in a nice,
Harry looked at Tom, whose arms were folded across his chest.
"Aren't we going inside?" Harry asked.
"Just a minute."
Finally a loud buzzer sounded on the other side of the door. Tom
promptly opened it and ushered Harry inside, where they found Minister
Fudge wearing a somber, grey pinstriped suit.
be glad to know the Oompa Loompas located your Aunt Marge and rolled
her to the pressing room. She'll have no memory of her ordeal, only a
few stretch marks, but on a woman of her stature, who would notice a
few extra?" the Minister said cheerily.
Tom stood in the
background, loudly cracking nuts that nobody was going to eat. When
Harry glanced over, Tom shrugged. "I don't know why. It was in the
script," he said by way of explanation.
Harry shrugged, and looked back at Minister Fudge. "Minister, aren't I going to be punished?"
"Ordinarily, Harry, you would have been sent to Azkaban, but we simply
don't have time. It's almost time for Hermione's grand entrance. Now,
follow Tom upstairs. You'll be staying overnight."
then?" Harry asked. "There's two weeks until school starts again, and I
just can't go back to the Dursley's. Plus, I still need to purchase my
"Harry, don't be silly. Your books are waiting for you in your room, and I've arranged for school to begin day after tomorrow."
"How'd you manage that?" Harry asked.
"The same way I arrange for September First to fall on a Monday every
year. It's best not to question these things, Harry. The less you know
about such things, the better. Now run along." The minister shooed him
Harry followed Tom up the stairs. After wrestling with a
huge, hairy book that resembled a tarantula with fangs, he fell
immediately asleep. He was awakened the next morning by a loud clatter.
He turned over to find that Hedwig had smashed through the window,
carrying in her claws a large birdcage, the door of which had obviously
been gnawed open. Harry smacked himself upside the head.
"Hedwig! I completely forgot I left you locked in your cage at the Dursleys'! Clever girl."
Hedwig whapped Harry upside the head with the birdcage, knocking him
out cold. When he came to, he found her chasing an origami crane about
the room and screeching madly. Finally, she snapped her beak upon the
unfortunate piece of paper and carried it to Harry.
"Thanks, girl. And I'm really sorry."
Hedwig flew to her perch, turned her back on Harry and began preening her feathers. Harry unfolded the origami crane. It read:
You're going to be late for my grand entrance! Hurry up and get downstairs!
Love from, Hermione
PS Make sure to brush your teeth, wear your green checked shirt, and for Pete's sake, comb your hair. Harry quickly dressed and groomed himself as Hermione instructed, and then he walked downstairs.
Wow, it sure is bright in here, he thought. Guess Tom's been redecorating.
Suddenly, all of the patrons of the Leaky Cauldron halted their
activities and gathered at the back of the room facing the door. Harry
paused on the stairs, wondering what was up. Slowly, the door opened to
reveal Hermione Granger in all her perfectly coiffed glory. Around the
pub, the patrons began clapping softly. Hermione took several bows,
beaming brightly, then reached behind her and picked up the second
ugliest cat in the world.*
"Hermione," Harry said, "where did you get this...thing?"
Ron Weasley stepped out of the crowd of applauding patrons. Harry hadn't even noticed he was present.
"That is Hermione's new, highly intelligent and butt-ugly cat,
Crookshanks. It seems to have taken an immediate dislike to poor
Scabbers," Ron moaned miserably.
Ron would have said more, but Hermione interrupted.
"Ronald, Crookshanks likes Scabbers just fine, especially
sautéed with a little garlic. He's a cat. They eat rats,
it's their nature. Besides, Crookshanks would probably be doing you a
favor taking that decrepit old rat off your hands. I've always thought
there was something decidedly odd about it."
continued to babble. Harry, after wondering briefly when Hermione began
calling their best friend "Ronald", tuned her out completely and began
wandering around the pub greeting the rest of the Weasleys. Percy stuck
out a hand for Harry to shake.
"'All right there, Percy?" Harry asked.
Percy held up a note card. It read:
Harry. I'm Head Boy this year. I'd love to tell you all about it, but
my lines have been deleted in order to devote more screen time to
Hermione. You shan't see me again, except for approximately thirty
seconds outside the Gryffindor common room three months from now during
a crisis that Hermione is obviously too busy to manage.
Percy beamed at Harry, who shrugged and moved on. He thought he caught
a glimpse of Ginny, blushing madly and hiding behind a stone column.
The twins passed a piece of news-parchment towards Harry, but it was
time for Hermione to speak again so he didn't have time to read it.
Hermione was nudging Mr. Weasley forward.
"Go on, tell him," she whispered.
"Well, if you're certain, Hermione," Mr. Weasley hedged, also whispering.
"Of course I'm certain. I'm the cleverest witch of my age. Besides, it's time to advance the plot."
"Very well." Mr. Weasley turned towards Harry and spoke in a normal
tone. "Harry, come with me. There's something I must tell you."
Harry followed Mr. Weasley into a secluded corner of the Leaky Cauldron.
"Harry, you must promise me you won't go looking for Sirius Black."
"Who?" Harry asked.
"Sirius Black, the murderer who escaped from Azkaban Prison. He wants to kill you."
"But what about Voldemort?" Harry asked, puzzled.
"Oh, he's on vacation in Tortuga. He'll be back in the next book," Mr. Weasley assured him.
"Oh. But who is Sirius Black, and why does he want to kill me?" Harry wondered.
"Those kinds of details aren't important, Harry. Alfonso and Steve
decided there wasn't enough room for that much dialogue. Besides, they
couldn't figure out a way for Hermione to be the one to tell you. After
all, she's a muggle-born and she's only thirteen. She doesn't know
bollocks about Sirius Black."
"Oh. Ok." Harry shrugged and
went about his business. He took a seat on the bench at the table with
everyone else to await further instructions from Hermione. The next
thing he knew, they were on the Hogwarts Express, wandering along the
corridor in search of a compartment.
"How did we get here?" he asked.
"Dunno," Ron replied. "I don't have any lines until a few minutes from
now, when it's time to be comically frightened." He fell silent and
followed Hermione obediently.
"Scene transition, Harry,"
Hermione replied. "Oh, there's some really cute ones later on with the
Whomping Willow. You know, Alfonso does seem to have an unusual
fixation with that tree, not to mention an inexplicable vendetta
against blue birds."
Hermione led them to the last available
compartment, which was occupied by a sleeping stranger. Harry looked
around behind them.
"Where is Ginny? And Neville?" he asked. "Shouldn't they sit with us?"
"Hermione can only share a scene with a maximum of three other persons," Ron whispered to Harry. "It's in her contract."
Harry briefly appeared puzzled. "That's going to make attending classes rather difficult, isn't it?"
"Oh, don't worry," Ron said. "We have a grand total of five classes
this entire year, and she only shows up halfway through each of them.
We'll make do."
Hermione glared at Ron, who appeared chagrined and immediately fell silent once more, until Hermione elbowed him.
"Huh? Oh. Sorry. It's easy to miss your cues when all your dialogue has
been given away." Ron cleared his throat. "I wonder who that mysterious
looking bloke is?" he pondered aloud in a stage whisper.
"That is Professor R. J. Lupin," Hermione replied in a knowing tone.
"How do you know?" Harry asked.
"It's written on his traveling case," Hermione replied. "Furthermore, I've just about decided he's a werewolf."
"Why on earth would you think that?" Harry asked.
Ron muttered something under his breath that sounded like "reading ahead in the script."
Hermione ignored him. "His shabby robes, his grey pallor coupled with
the fact that the full moon was last night, the mysterious scars across
his face, and the faint hint of wolfsbane potion in the air," she said,
"Hermione, that's bloody brilliant!" Harry
exclaimed, completely in awe of his friend's deductive powers. Ron
snorted in disgust and started out the window as Harry continued. "What
should we do about it?"
"We should wait until a pivotal moment
in the plot, where I shall then reveal to him that I have known his
secret all along and proceed to scream shrilly at him for having
betrayed us all."
"Oh. If that's what you think is best, then," Harry said doubtfully.
"Trust me, Harry. I have it all figured out," Hermione assured him.
Just then, the train came to an abrupt halt, throwing Harry, Hermione and Ron to the floor in a great heap.
"Well this has all the makings of good trio-smut," Ron joked, leering
at Hermione. She smacked him on the arm as she disentangled herself
from the two boys.
"I am NOT that kind of girl," she chided him.
"That's what YOU think," Ron replied.
Surprisingly, Professor R.J. Lupin was still sound asleep. In fact, he
didn't seem to have been disturbed by the sudden jolt in the slightest.
Harry poked him once to be sure he wasn't actually dead. Then the
lights went out.
"What's happening?" Harry asked. He heard muffled smacking noises coming from the bench across from him.
"Mmmf, no Ron, that's my foot. Aim a little higher."
More smacking noises.
"Hermione, can't you wear a front-clasp once in a while?" Ron complained.
"Hey!" Harry cried. "None of that, now! We're only thirteen!"
In the darkness, Harry could barely see the two figures across from him separating.
"Sorry," Hermione said sheepishly. "Just got a bit carried away, there." She elbowed Ron again.
"Huh? Oh. Um...." Ron paused, produced a thick sheaf of parchment from
thin air and consulted it briefly. "Leaky Cauldron...no, ah, here it
is." Ron tucked the parchment away, then placed his hand against the
window and stared out of it with a terrified expression. "There's
something m-m-moving out there," he announced in a quavering voice.
"Oh, Ronald!" Hermione cried, clutching at Ron's arm and jumping into
his lap. Ron rolled his eyes, then dutifully held Hermione to keep her
from sliding to the floor.
Harry began shivering. "Who turned on the air conditioning?" he asked.
Professor R.J. Lupin was still sound asleep. As the children watched,
ice began forming over the window. Then a shadow appeared at the door
to the compartment, and a bony, arthritic looking hand slid back the
doorway. A great, scary looking Thing draped in a tattered black sheet
(which resembled a ghost costume Harry had worn for Halloween when he
was six) came strolling in.
"We're looking for Sirius Black," the Thing wheezed.
"He's not here. Go away!" Hermione shouted.
The Thing shrugged and looked at Harry. "Eh. You've got messy, black hair. You'll do."
The Thing pulled a hose out of it's robes, flipped a switch at the end
and loomed ominously over Harry, holding the hose over Harry's mouth.
Harry felt a great vacuum pulling the air out of his lungs.
"What do I do?" he screamed at Hermione. Though the words were muffled by the hose, Hermione had no trouble understanding him.
"Can you hear anything, Harry?" Hermione asked.
Harry listened carefully. From a great distance, he thought he detected a woman screaming. He nodded frantically at Hermione.
"Is it your mum?" Hermione asked excitedly.
Harry batted the hose away and looked at Hermione in exasperation.
"Hermione, my mum's dead. Has been for years. How the hell would I know
what she sounds like?"
"Search your heart, Harry. Those we
love never really leave us," Hermione said in a heartfelt voice. Ron
shot her a disgusted glance before cowering in fear once more.
Harry replaced the hose and listened again. Sure enough, Hermione was
right, as usual. It was indeed his mum screaming; Harry had no trouble
recognizing her voice even though she wasn't saying anything, and even
though Harry had been only one year old when she had been murdered. He
nodded at Hermione again.
"Well, what are you waiting for, Harry? Pass out!" Hermione commanded.
So he did.
When Harry came to, Ron, Hermione, and the professor (who had finally
woken from his nap) were all watching him with expressions of deep
"What was that thing?" he asked.
"That was one of the dementors of Azkaban," Hermione intoned dramatically.
The professor cleared his throat sharply, and Hermione glanced over at
him. He shook his head at her, and Hermione snapped her mouth shut,
"That was one of the dementors of Azkaban," Professor Lupin intoned dramatically. "Here, have a chocolate. It helps."
"Chocolate? It felt like that thing was trying to suck out my soul. How the ruddy hell is chocolate going to help with that?"
"I find chocolate is the universal cure for anything that ails you,"
Hermione said loftily. When Professor Lupin passed the candy bar to
her, she snapped off a huge chunk, far more than her fair share. When
her companions glared at her, she shrugged, as if to say, "So?"
Harry chomped on the chocolate, then asked with his mouthful. "How did we get away from the dementor?"
Ron rolled his eyes. "Hermione talked it to death." He pointed to a
shriveled, black heap in a corner, which appeared to be the remains of
"Oh. Ok," Harry said, nodding. He had no problem
believing that Hermione was fully capable of talking someone to death.
She was, after all, the cleverest witch of her age and had been known
to drone on and on about subjects that even Professor Dumbledore seemed
to know nothing about.
Harry suddenly found himself in a
carriage. It was pouring down rain, but through the storm he could make
out a street sign that pointed one way to Hogwarts, and the other way
to Hogsmeade. Harry had no recollection of ever hearing Hogsmeade being
mentioned before. He wondered if it was a new housing development; they
tend to spring up over night, after all. The next thing Harry knew, he
was sitting at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. At the front of
the room he could hear strains of beautiful music. When he leaned
around Ron to get a better view, he saw Hermione alone at the front of
the Hall, holding a toad, singing three-part harmony by herself, while
the toad appeared to be carrying the baseline.
Ron did a double take. "How'd she get up there? She was just sitting here a moment ago!" he exclaimed.
"Beats me," Harry replied. "I didn't even know she could sing. In fact,
I was almost certain she couldn't carry a tune in a bucket."
"And since when do we have music before the feast, anyway?" Ron
complained. "I'm hungry. I've got bloody little else to do in this
production. The least they could do is let me eat."
turned and glared at them, holding his finger to his mouth. Ron rolled
his eyes, but they listened to the rest of Hermione's recital quietly.
When she finished, the room erupted in thunderous applause. Even the
Slytherins were gazing raptly at the accomplished diva. Hermione bowed
modestly, handed the toad to Professor Flitwick, then took her seat at
the Gryffindor table.
Professor Dumbledore (at least, Harry
thought it was Professor Dumbledore, his hair appeared to have changed
from white to grey since Harry had seen him last) rose from his seat
and shuffled up to a podium that practically hid the man from view.
"Where did that come from?" he whispered to Ron.
"The video game," Hermione whispered back before Ron could reply.
"Don't you remember? In the Chamber of Secrets video game, that podium
held the spell books you found."
"He looks ridiculous behind it," Harry mumbled. Hermione didn't seem to agree, so Harry said nothing further.
At the podium, Dumbledore was happily snuffing and re-lighting candles,
and appeared to be talking to himself. After several moments, he seemed
to become aware that the entire student body was staring at him
"Oh. Good gracious, is it my turn? I was
waiting for Hermione. Well, then, let's get started." He paused a
moment and took a deep breath. "I've come to wiveth wealthily in
Padua," he began.
Behind him, Professor McGonagall hissed to get his attention. "Psst, wrong script!" she whispered.
"What? Oh. Dear me." He scratched his head in confusion, and then
started again. "Friends, Romans, country-men, lend me your ears."
Professor Snape shook his head and buried his face in his hands. "Wrong
script," he muttered, loudly enough for at least half of the room to
"Horsefeathers. I know I've got it written down here
somewhere," Dumbledore mumbled as he rummaged around in his robes. "Ah,
here it is." In one hand, he grasped a sheet of parchment. As the
students looked on, he bent over and began fumbling about behind the
podium. When he straightened, he was holding a weathered looking skull.
"Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio!" Dumbledore's voice rang out triumphantly across the Great Hall.
To his utter astonishment, the entire student body called back in unison, "WRONG SCRIPT!"
"Oh, bloody hell!" Dumbledore furiously. He looked behind him and called out, "Line, please!"
Professor Flitwick crawled under the table and scooted over to
Dumbledore, who leaned down to listen as Flitwick whispered in his ear.
"Are you crackers? I would never say such a thing!" he exclaimed loudly.
Flitwick nodded and backed away. Dumbledore straightened and faced the
students once again. "Nitwit, blubber, oddment, tweak?" he uttered in a
The students looked around at each other, nodding and making noises of general assent.
"Wonderful. Now, I had some very touching remarks prepared about
turning on lights in the dark, and warnings about dementors, but they
weren't that important anyway, and I'm cutting into Hermione's screen
time. I'm hungry. Let's eat."