Author's Notes: In today's installment, we owe apologies to
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (in particular to Seth Green, who apparently
ad-libbed the scene that I have borrowed) and to Lord of the Rings,
and probably a few other shows/movies/books, but I'm too tired to go
through and catch them all. Oh, and Trys says the cute little cards
with the comments in absence of spoken dialogue are a direct rip from
WB's Loony Tunes.
Ron grinned widely and
prepared to spear a chicken leg with his fork as Harry reached for the
shepherd's pie. Before they could fill their plates, however, a nasal,
whiny voice carried over to them from the next table.
"What is this place?"
Harry and Ron turned to look at each other with identical expressions
of disbelief, then turned to look behind them. Draco Malfoy was seated
directly across the aisle, along with Crabbe (or Goyle, Harry could
never tell them apart) and another boy that neither Harry nor Ron
"How'd I get here?" Malfoy wondered aloud,
gazing at the scenery around him. "Who are you?" he asked to the boy
seated next to him. "For that matter, who the hell am I?"
again," Ron muttered to himself. He reached into his robes and withdrew
the same sheaf of parchment he had consulted on the train. As Harry
looked on, Ron climbed over the bench and walloped Malfoy upside the
head with the heavy roll of parchment.
"Ow!" the blonde boy whined. Then the foggy expression in his eyes cleared. "Thanks. I needed that."
As Harry watched, Malfoy's hair sprung free of its confining gel and
fell into his eyes. His tidy school uniform morphed into a ripped pair
of denim trousers and a skin-tight T-shirt bearing the logo "N-Sync"
across the chest.
"Ron, what did you do?" Harry whispered. He
began quivering, either in terror or in repressed desire, he couldn't
be entirely certain which. All he knew was that strange things were
afoot in the Great Hall.
"Instant transfer of essential
knowledge through Osmosis. You'll find it comes in handy quite often
this year," Ron whispered back.
His earlier confusion
forgotten, Malfoy turned his trademark sneer upon Harry. However, when
he spoke, Harry had to struggle not to laugh. For some reason, Malfoy
seemed to be incapable of speaking without a distinct whinge.
"Is it true, Potter? Did you really faint? Did the evil, ickle
sheet-covered balloons scare you?" Malfoy abruptly stopped speaking,
and a strange look crossed his face. "NOOOO!" he screamed in a
high-pitched voice that was not unlike Hermione's. "Crabbe! Goyle! You,
new guy! Help me! They've turned me into a sniveling twit!"
Malfoy ran screaming from the room, followed by Crabbe, Goyle, the New
Guy, and a simpering Pansy Parkinson. Harry and Ron nearly fell off the
bench laughing. However, when they turned back to the table to resume
their feast, they suddenly found themselves climbing up the staircase
instead. Harry looked around wildly.
"What happened to the feast?" he asked, bewildered.
Ron looked around, too. "But...chicken, and mashed potatoes,
and...DAMMIT, I'M STILL BLOODY STARVING! WHERE IS THAT MOTHER-EFFING
CUARON? I WANT MY UNION REPRESENTATIVE!"
desperately to quiet Ron down, to no avail. Suddenly, another origami
crane fluttered down from above, and landed on Ron's shoulders,
chirping. Ron, however, was still ranting at the top of his lungs and
didn't notice, so Harry plucked the note from his shoulder, unfolded it
and began to read aloud. Ron stopped ranting long enough to listen.
Mr. Cuaron asked me to tell you that Gryffindor has been docked 50
points because of your outburst, Ronald. Only Harry is authorized for
the use of caps-lock in this film. See you two in the morning.
Love from, Hermione
An expression of fury crossed Ron's face. Without a word he grabbed the
crane from Harry, wadded it up into a small ball and crammed the entire
thing in his mouth at once. Once he had chewed and swallowed, he
emitted a loud belch.
"Well, that's somewhat better. Now I'm only incredibly ravenous instead of bloody starving," he grumbled loudly.
"Don't worry, mate," two identical voices piped up from behind Ron and
Harry. They turned to find Fred and George. "We're looking out for you,
Fred reached into his robes and brought forth a small box of animal crackers.
"One bite of these is enough to fill a growing boy's stomach," he said
with a grin. "Plus, you can make nifty animal noises with all your best
pals so the audience can squee madly over a brief moment of
male-bonding that has nothing to do with the plot, but is nevertheless
obviously far superior to anything that Joanne Rowling ever wrote."
"Says who?" Harry asked.
"Well, it must be. It made the cut when precious little that actually
HAPPENED in the book did. After all, who wouldn't be charmed by a group
of 13-year-old boys eating crackers? We figure there must be homosexual
subtext in there somewhere...but damned if we can find it. Anyway,
enjoy, little bro."
"Thanks." Ron started to tear into the
box, but he stopped suddenly, and looked up at his older brothers
suspiciously. "Where'd they come from?" he asked in a dubious voice.
"Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. They're a proto-type. We traveled forward in
time to find them just for you two lucky blokes. By the way, Harry, did
you hang on to that newspaper we gave you?"
"What newspaper?" Harry asked, confused.
"The one we gave you in the Leaky Cauldron that you glanced at for
approximately three seconds. Really, you ought to go and find it. We
didn't get our pictures in the paper for nothing, you know."
Harry's eyes suddenly widened. Noting Harry's terrified expression, the
twins turned to find a huge, glowing portal opening behind them. They
tried valiantly to escape, but with a wet, sucking slurp, they vanished
into the gaping maw of the portal, which then closed with a snap.
"Aren't you supposed to be blubbering in terror right about now?" Harry said to Ron.
"Somehow, I just can't bring myself to care," Ron replied. "What's the
hold up on the stairs? Move, you bloody prats! Has Neville forgotten
the password again?"
"Of course not," Neville said in a
pitiful tone behind them. "That would require my being important enough
to speak more than a single word at a time."
"Oh, yeah. Sorry, mate," Ron replied. "What's the hold up, then?"
"Well, the scene's not over 'til the fat lady sings," Neville replied.
The three boys groaned in unison.
"Please, somebody just kill me now," Ron said. "It's only going to get worse from here on out."
Neville clapped him on the back. "Sorry, mate. We have to be here for
Harry's sake. He still doesn't have a clue what's going on, you know?"
Trevor croaked loudly, and Neville covered the toad's ears with his
hands. "Oh, and let's not forget our main purpose here: comic relief."
"You mean that charity that Joanne contributes to?" Harry asked.
Neville sighed. "No, Harry."
"What, then? I don't understand."
"You're right, Neville. I know you're right." Ron shook his head sadly. "Poor Harry."
"What?" Harry asked, bewildered.
"No. It's best if you just don't know." Ron stared forlornly at his friend.
The boys waited patiently until the scene-stealing portrait shattered a
glass and finally opened to let them pass through to the common room.
They trudged up the staircase and got ready for bed. When Harry's
stomach growled loudly, Ron threw him the box of animal crackers Fred
and George had given him.
"Here. Eat up.”
Harry took a cracker and passed the box around to his roommates.
Just as he started to chomp his teakettle-shaped cracker, Seamus began
dancing his monkey cracker around in the air.
"Oh look! Monkey. And he has a little hat...and little pants," Seamus said.
"Yeah, I see," Harry replied, nodding.
"The monkey's the only cookie animal that gets to wears clothes. You know that?"
Harry nodded. He was beginning to have serious doubts about Seamus's
mental state, but Seamus didn't seem to notice. He continued chattering
as if nothing was amiss.
"So I'm wondering, do the other
cookie animals feel sorta ripped? Like is the hippo going, 'Hey, man.
Where are my pants? I have my hippo dignity.' And you know the monkey's
just, 'I mock you with my monkey pants!'" Seamus imitated the monkey's
voice in a French accent.
"The monkey is French?" Harry asked, inching slowly away from Seamus.
"All monkeys are French. You didn't know that?" Seamus asked. Next to
him, Dean began tugging on the sleeve of his pajamas. Seamus turned to
look at Dean.
"What?" he said.
Dean held up a card. It read:
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Seamus muttered. "Hey, at least it was funnier than a bunch of teenaged boys sitting around on their four-posters making animal noises."
As the boys finished eating their crackers, Harry noticed Ron wrapping the remaining crackers in large, green leaves.
"Ron, what are you doing?" Harry asked.
"Rationing them, Mr. Potter,” Ron explained in a serious tone. “I want
to make certain we have enough for the school year. I've read the rest
of the script. We don't get to eat anything again until we go to
Honeydukes in Hogsmeade. Fortunately, Alfonso has mastered the art of
the time warp, so it really isn't that long from now."
“Really?” Neville piped up. “How’d he manage that?”
a little fuzzy on the details, but I think it had something to do with
sacrificing blue-birds in the name of Chronos, or some such nonsense,”
Ron answered before yawning hugely. "Anyway, I’m beat. Let's turn in."