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[personal profile] last01standing
Title- Harry and the Life Eaters
Author- [livejournal.com profile] spastic_visions and [livejournal.com profile] pyro_wizzard
Rating- pg-13 (violence, death and potty languege)
Summary- Post HBP. Not DH compatable. Featuring, zombies, horcruxes, death eaters, life eaters, the first annual interhouse exchange program, and of course, Harry Potter: High School Dropout. A HP parody of slightly less than epic proportions
Disclaimer- Neither of us are JKR.

1-4 5-8 | 9-12

Dear Readers,

This is the chapter that killed our notebook. RIP, notebook, RIP.
-spastic_visions

Chapter the Fifth

By dinner, it seemed that Hermione had denounced both Harry and Ron and begun talking with Malfoy. Harry prodded at his food, pointedly ignoring Sirius’s finger which had fallen onto his plate when the corpsified professor had stopped to say hello.

“That’s unsanitary, mate,” Ron said, wrinkling his nose in disgust. “You have no idea where that’s been. This is Sirius’s finger we’re talking about.”

“What finger?” Harry asked, looking at his place in honest confusion.

Ron hesitantly plucked the pinky from Harry’s plate. “I guess I’ll get this back to Professor Black.”

Harry looked up eagerly. “Oh, I can give it to him. I’m going to stop by his office before curfew. What is it?”

Ron groaned, wrapped it in his napkin and handed it back to Harry with a reserved smile. “You’re taking this denial thing way too far.”

Harry’s eyes were alight with genuine confusion. “What denial thing?”

Ron gave up. “Why do you reckon Hermione’s talking to Malfoy?”

“Looking for a new boyfriend,” Harry deadpanned and then smiled at his friend’s expression.

“What?” Ron choked, voice strangled.

“Relax,” Harry soothed, “I’m joking. I haven’t got a clue as to why she’s talking to him.”

“But you think it could be flirting?” Ron was panicking. “It can’t be flirting! She’s going out with me, Ron, not Draco with his bad boy charm and smoldering good looks, she’s going out with me!”

“I’m sure there’s no flirting,” Harry said, a faintly amused grin on his face.

“How can you possibly know that?!?!? Oh God, I’ve got to stop him before he starts making hot monkey love to my girlfriend!!”

Harry blinked as Ron made his way to Malfoy’s side and put his hands around his throat. Harry briefly considered breaking up the fight, but then he remembered that Malfoy was bottom-feeding scum that didn’t deserve to live, so he turned back to his place and finished his potatoes.

When he’d cleaned his plate he glanced back over to the fight, saw that Ron was winning, smiled faintly and sauntered out of the hall.

In the great hall, he had to pause as someone came sprinting down the hallway, nearly knocked him over and kept running. He squinted after the figure. “Neville?”

He got no answer so he shrugged and turned to the opposite direction where there were twenty or so Slytherins standing there with pitchforks and torches. They stared at Harry for a long moment and then continued on down the hall in the same direction as whoever had sprinted away.

“They’ve been through five times already,” a voice called. Harry glanced to the staircase where a fifth year Hufflepuff was sitting and munching on a bag of popcorn.

“What are they doing?” Harry asked in confusion.

The Hufflepuff shrugged and said, “Interhouse Exchange Program,” as if it explained everything.

_______________________________________________________________________________



The Dark Lord’s evil lair was dark, evil, sinister and filled with henchmen and lackeys that unfortunately, had quit their day jobs to become full-time bringers of doom. This would have been well and good if it didn’t leave them hours of doom-free time in the brightness of the day. Needless to say, it got pretty dull.

“I’m bored,” said Death Eater 1 petulantly

Death Eater 2 looked up from his newspaper. “Why don’t you go torture the muggle?”

Death Eater 1 looked over to the muggle in the corner cage and let their lip curl a little under their mask. “He’s unconscious. They’re no fun unless they scream.”

“So torture the ministry official!”

“Someone accidentally made him crazy,” complained Death Eater1. “We had to kill him yesterday. There’s nothing to do!” And then, suddenly, an idea occurred to him. He knew what villains did in those contraband muggle movies. “Want to have sex?”

Death Eater 2 lowered their paper. “We’re required to wear masks at all times and robes tend to be baggy and in ally honesty, your voice could go either way. I’m not looking for that sort of adventure.”

Death Eater 1’s body slumped. “Shucks. I guess I stay bored, huh?”

“A Death Eater should always be able to amuse themselves with their dastardly deeds. It’s in the recruitment brochures.”

“Why are we called Death Eaters anyway?” Death Eater 1 asked. “I mean, couldn’t eating death be interpreted as a positive thing? No one wants to die.”

Death Eater 2 shrugged. “It’s propaganda. It doesn’t need to make sense.”

“I mean,” continued Death Eater 1, “eating life would be so much more intimidating. If I ate your death, you would live, but if I ate your life, you would die. The whole thing’s a misnomer. We should be called the Life Eaters. It would be much more intimidating.”

Death Eater 2 opened his mouth to say that was stupid, but then he paused because, when he thought about it, it wasn’t stupid. “You’ve got a point,” he admitted grudgingly.

Peter Pettigrew walked into the room and Death Eater 1 was quick to involve him in their argument. Death Eater 2 watched his face contort in thought. Pettigrew nodded twice and said, “I’ll pass that thought along to the Dark Lord.”

He left and the two remaining Death Eaters exchanged shocked looks. “Shit,” said Death Eater 2. “I think that idiot took you seriously.”

A smile formed behind Death Eater 1’s mask. “You know, the title Dark Lord is equally ridiculous.”

Death Eater 2 glared in his direction. “If you say another word, I will kill you.”

And he meant it too. He was evil. That was the kind of shit they were allowed to do.
Outside the Defense Against the Dark Arts room, two third years were attempting to levitate a quill and were having no success. “Floatis!” the taller one cried. “C’mon, floatis!”

His friend seemed to be stifling laughter. “Maybe you should be listening to Professor Flitwick instead of Professor Black…”

“Dude, Black survived a fifteen month brush with death, I’ll take his word over Flitwick’s any day.”

“Try again!”

Harry rolled his eyes and pushed himself into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. Sirius was sitting at his desk and drinking something that looked suspiciously like Snape’s Zombie Drought. But being in denial, Harry did not notice.

Zombie!Sirius looked up, grinning oafishly. “Harry, my boy! What brings you here?”

Sirius’s inconsistent characterization gave Harry pause, but he quickly dismissed it. “So you’re channeling Professor Lupin now?”

There was a slight delay before the laughter. “I never thought I’d end up as a teacher. James would never forgive me.”

For a brief second, Harry’s eyes welled up with tears of orphan!angst, but undead!godfather!joy overruled it. He looked at the steaming potion on zombie!Sirius’s desk. “What’s that?” he asked curiously, covering up him momentary woe.

Zombie!Sirius followed his gaze to the desk, eyebrow falling off in his panic. “My death cheating potion!” he cried.

“Sounds useful,” said Harry, grabbing for it. “I’m going on a Horcrux finding journey. This would be loads of help. Mind if I have a sip?”

“NOOOOOOOOO!” zombie!Sirius cried, jumping on the table and snatching the potion from Harry’s arms (because, you know, it would be cheating to have the same death scene twice). A tooth fell into the glass, splashing some of the liquid into Harry’s face. Harry blinked.

“You need to see a dentist. That was just unsanitary.”

Zombie!Sirius grinned, grasping the potionand turning his back to Harry. “Excuse me for a second. I will be with you shortly.”

Harry shrugged and sat down. A book of zombie!Sirius’s desk was open to the page on Zombies (Inferi!). Remembering the potion from Snape’s class, he picked it up and read a few random lines.

The skin should have a sickly green paller

Behavior changes to how the zombie master had percieved the zombie in life.

Body parts have the pesky tendency to detatch but can easily be reattached with a muggle contraption called a hot glue gun.

“Harry!” Sirius said jauntily. Or maybe he only looked jaunty because of a poor reattachment of his eyebrows. “What’s this you say about Horcruxes?”

Harry’s sense of self preservation was warring with his denial and in his head he debated on wheither or not to tell Sirius everything. His self presevation lost the battle. Big time.

“I think I know where Voldemort’s soul part 4 is…”

_______________________________________________________________________________



Pettigrew was on his knees before Voldemort. (No, not like that, you pervert!) “Master! I have been hearing dissent in the ranks about the name Death Eaters.”

Voldemort attempted to give him a death glare, but sadly, Peter Pettigrew just wouldn’t die. Snape’s death glares were far better than Voldemort’s. “Wormtail, I honestly don’t give a damn. How many muggles have you killed today? You really need to consistantly make your quota of evil or else, I will have to kill you.”

Peter’s sense of self preservation was an even bigger wimp than Harry’s. “But, my lord, they make a very convincing argument. Have you realized that eating death could be interpreted as a positive thing? Eating life would be far more intimidating.”

Voldemort glanced from side to side and weighed his options. Anamagi were useful, but the other side already knew of Wormtail’s rat-form and had probably put up mouse traps everywhere to catch him. And he wouldn’t shut up. Voldemort narrowed his eyes and leveled his wand on the babbling rat. “DIE INFIDEL!”

And then there was a smoking pile of charred dust right where Peter Pettigrew had been.

“Life Eaters,” mused Voldemort and turned to the henchmen at his side. “Contact my PR person. We are going to have a little name change.”

_______________________________________________________________________________



The seventh year Gryffindor’s dormatory was silent save five boys snoring in their beds. Draco Malfoy stood in the doorway staring at them. Harry slept with a knife on his nightstand, Draco noticed. He suddenly found himself holding it. It was such a shiny, pointy knife.

Harry’s exposed neck was practically screaming, ‘SLICE ME!!!!!!’

And Draco was a slave to the whims of Harry’s neck, so he pressed the shiny, pointy blade to his jugular. Harry was done for before he even realized what had happened. His eyes opened wide and he gurgled in surprise.

Draco shuddered unapologetically and sneered, “Like you didn’t see this coming….”

_______________________________________________________________________________



Dear Readers,

This chapter had plot. Aren’t you proud? It might be a bit hard to notice, but I promise, it was there… Then again it’s been so long since we updated, I’m not even sure we remember this ‘plot’…Also, DEAD HARRY!!! YAY!!! ( you can tell I wrote this chapter, huh?)

-spastic_visions

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Chapter the Sixth



Harry woke from an unusual nightmare involving Voldemort slapping him in the face with a fish at about 6:30 in the morning. Ron was just slipping into his school robes.

“Hey, Harry, how’d you sleep?”

“Not too bad.” Harry put on his glasses and struggled to keep the all-consuming ANGST AND WOE from his voice. “What about you.?”

“Well, actually, we all had to get up late last night because of Draco.”

Harry rolled his eyes and began pulling off his pajamas. “What did that sod try to do this time?”

“He was trying to cut your throat, mate. Luckily, he was using one of Fred and George’s bewitched knives and it kept turning to rubber whenever it touched anything.”

“What? You’ve got to be kidding.” Harry gathered up his book bag and followed Ron to the door.

“Nope. I even feel a bit sorry for him. He was so upset, we had to sit with him in the common room for an hour before he stopped crying.”

In the common room (blissfully empty of any sign of Draco Malfoy) the two boys met up with Hermione and all three headed off to breakfast. In the Great Hall, they crowded together at the abandoned end of the Gryffindor table. “Right,” Harry began. “You know we have to stop Voldemort by destroying all his horcruxes. Well, I’ve finally got us a way out of school and into Hogsmeade tonight.”

“Oh, that’s brilliant Harry. How?” Hermione asked.

“Professor Black gave me a free one day pass to Hogsmeade so I could buy some ingredients for his daily potion.”

“Oh,” say Ron, “the zombie thing.”

“Inferi,” corrected Hermione.

Harry, rather spectacularly, failed to hear her. “Anyway, I reckon we start looking around for any sign of Voldemort and the next horcrux.”

Ron’s brow wrinkled in confusion. “Wait, I thought we didn’t know what his horcruxes were? I mean, wasn’t that supposed to be the whole plot of this book?”

Harry and Hermione shook their heads sadly at his ignorance.

“Ron,” Hermione said slowly, “remember that Dumbledore told Harry that it was the snake?”

Rob’s brow crinkled again. “What snake?”

“The great bloody snake that’s always with Voldemort! Named Nagini. It’s only been around for three years or so!” Harry rubbed his forehead. “Anyway, I thought I’d, you know, ask around about it. To other snakes… like you know…” He shifted in embarrassment.

Hermione patted him on the arm.

“That sounds like a wonderful idea, Harry.”

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

Four hours and twenty seven minutes later…



Hermione and Ron sat on a fallen tree trunk in the woods near the shrieking shack. Harry was a little ways away, crouching down as though he were looking at something on the ground. Ron yawned, stretched and draped his arm across Hermione’s shoulder.

“I wish he’d hurry up. He knows I have quidditch practice to get to.”

“Oh Ron, I’m sure he’s doing the best he can. We’ve just seemed to hit a bit of a dead end.”

Ron sighed. “At least we got all the stuff for Sirius’s zombie juice so coming out here wasn’t a complete waste of time.”

“Inferi,” Hermione corrected automatically.

“He’s not a zombie!”

“Oh, Harry.” Hermione twisted around to see him. “Did you find anything?”

“Yeah, there’s this magical snake at the pet shop, Ssssarrg… uh, sorry, it translates to something like Fat Horace. Anyway, apparently he’d escaped for a while and made contact with Nagini so I think the pet store’s our next stop.”

_______________________________________________________________________________



Tinkle.

Hello there, can I help you?” The overly cheery manager of the store stopped pricing owl cages long enough to flash them a huge, fake smile.

“No thanks, we’re just looking around.”

“Well, if you need anything…” He grinned again, then whipped back around and returned to pricing cages.

“Come on Harry.” Hermione grabbed Ron by the hand and lead them both to the back of the store which was lined with glass walled aquariums.

Hermione and Ron hung back in the aisle and Harry stepped up to the cages.

“Ssargath ssussrex?” Harry said. Which one of you is Fat Horace?

“Sssssssssssssssssss,” said the snake. That one.

Harry stepped over to where a huge Burmese Python lay basking in the rays of a heat lamp.

“Fat Horace,” Harry hissed.

“Yeah, what’s it to you?”

Harry crouched down until his face was level with the snake.

“I have a few questions for you”

“Oh yeah? Well what’s in it for me?”

“Uh, what?”

“I know what you’re after and where to get it, but you, Harry Potter, are going to have to help me first.”

“With what? What do you want?”

“Well, I’m in quite a predicament here, (out of no fault of my own) being falsely imprisoned in this tank. Here, you bust me out and I’ll take you to Nagini, that fine piece of scale.”

“But you’re huge! How am I supposed to get you out of here?”

“Not my problem, buddy-boy. You’re the one of the wizardly inclination. Figure something out.”

The snake relaxed again and returned its full attention to sun bathing. Harry sat back, astonished. How was he supposed to figure out something like that? That would need cunning and… “Hermione! I need your help!”

Twenty minutes later, Harry, Ron and Hermione wondered nonchalantly out of the store, holding the door open for a few seconds longer than was necessary.

After they had gone a safe distance from the store, they ducked into an alley. Hermione pointed her wand at a patch of noting on the ground. “Reapparo.”

Where there had been empty air moments before, there was now a fifteen foot snake. Harry knelt down next to the snake. “OK Fat Horace, your side of the deal. Where is Nagini?”

_______________________________________________________________________________



Dear Readers,
Believe it this chapter began something resembling plot. Strange but true...
-ITL

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

spastic_visions would like to issue a WARNING on this chapter for... of forget it, you'll figure it out.

Chapter the Seventh



It was a stupid plan. Quite possibly the stupidest plan they had ever tried. “This is a stupid plan,” Ron said. “Pretty much they stupidest plan we’ve ever tried. And we did try to take down a troll that one time and then there was the flying car debacle and then…”

Harry cut him off. “Those don’t count. Hermione wasn’t there. None of the plans we’ve made with Hermione have been stupid.”

“This is a stupid plan,” Hermione confirmed.

“Fat Horace agrees with me.”

“I just wanted out of the cage. I NEVER agreed to pull a fast one on the Dark Lord. I thank you for your help and all but…”

Harry kicked the snake and hissed, “You’ll do it or all Hogwarts will be eating snake tonight.”

“You wouldn’t…”

“Oh, try me.” Harry smiled brightly and turned to Ron and Hermione. “Fat Horace is up for it.”

“Fat Horace is suicidal then,” said Ron. “I wouldn’t willingly enter a room with Voldemort much less swap places with his favorite pet. When that guy gets angry, death is just about your best option.”

“I hate you hero-types. Got no qualms about sacrificing pathetic little animals to your cause.”

“I only protect puppies, bunnies and Christmas.”

“I don’t even look like Voldemort’s freaking snake.” Fat Horace protested. “For one, she’s female and a rather fine looking one at that…”

“She’s Voldemort’s soul incarnate.” Harry snapped. “That’s just gross.”

“Hey, snakes have needs.”

“I am not having this conversation with a reptile.”

“Hey Harry,” Ron said. “This talking to the snake in snake language this is all well and good, but you know we’ve got better stuff to do.”

“Like what?” Harry asked. “Nothing big will happen before May. You know Voldemort never does anything first semester.”

“You know,” Ron said uncomfortably. “Plot stuff. You need to find a horcrux before everyone stops paying attention to us.”

“Right,” Harry said. “Plot.”

“I hate you all,” said Fat Horace.

_______________________________________________________________________________



After Hermione threatened to beat Draco up, he told them the path to the Dark Lord’s evil lair. He also said they were stupid pea-brained idiots and quite possibly suicidal for wanting to attack the Dark Lord in the first place.

“I thought you wanted me dead,” Harry said. “I am, after all, your arch-nemesis.”

“Maybe,” said Draco, leaning closer for a moment, “I was only jealous.”

Harry’s glasses sparkled in the torchlight and Draco’s pale blond hair shined with an incandescent glow. Harry could hear Draco’s slightly erratic breathing and he leaned towards him, drawn by (omg!) the subtext and then Draco’s hands shot to Harry’s neck in a violent effort to strangle him. Harry’s eyes were bugging out, face blue from strangulation. The line between love and loathing was oh-so-very fine.

Unfortunately, since it was not the end of the chapter yet, Hermione intervened before Harry got too brain damaged.

“C’mon,” she said, handing him his firebolt. “We’ve got plot to do.”

Harry nodded once and they ran off, leaving Draco alone and confused.

_______________________________________________________________________________



Ron had a problem. They were flying to Voldemort’s top secret lair in the middle of the night in order to implement the world!stupidest!plan and hopefully steal part of Voldemort’s soul.

And Fat Horace was riding with him.

That’s right folks, it was Snakes! On a Broom.

Fat Horace shifted his weight and Ron nearly lost control of his broom, only narrowly avoiding a weather balloon.

“That’s it!” Ron screamed. “I’ve had it with this motherfu—”

“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, Ronald,” Hermione called sharply. “You’re not Samuel L. Jackson and these books are supposed to be children friendly.”

“But the slashers got their moment last scene!” Ron protested. “Why don’t I get my cussing?”

“Because Ronald," Hermione explained, “you are not Samuel L. Jackson.”

“Bollocks,” Ron said.

“We’re here,” said Harry.

_______________________________________________________________________________



Their plan was as simple as it was moronic.

“Explain this to me again,” Hermione said.

“‘Mione, it’s not terribly difficult,” Ron said.

“I know, it’s just every time I hear it, it sounds so idiotic that I’m sure I must’ve missed something.”

“It’s like this,” Harry said, shoving Fat Horace into Hermione’s arms. “I’m going to go to the front door and ask if Voldemort wants to duel. He’s going to come out to that king of all baits and his snake will follow close behind. So while I distract him, you swap out Nagini with Fat Horace and make a quick getaway.”

“But,” Hermione said slowly, “won’t that leave you alone with Voldemort and about two hundred Death Eaters?”

“Don’t worry,” said Harry. “I have a plan. It’s practically foolproof. I’ll be fine.”

“You sure about this, mate?” Ron asked. “I mean, you have already died three times this story. I think someone might have it in for you.”

“I hope Voldemort peels every inch of skin from your body and boils you in a vat of your own blood,” Fat Horace said. “If I hadn’t been defanged, I’d have done it myself. No wonder Description: livejournal.com profile] spastic_visions has it in for you.”

“Oh, whatever,” said Harry. “Let’s just shut up and implement the plan already.”

So they did. Ron, Hermione and Fat Horace went to the bushes to hide and Harry marched up to the front door of Voldemort’s secret hideaway and knocked twice.

“Password,” a voice drawled from behind the door.

“I’m Harry Potter,” said Harry Potter. “Tell the Dark Lord I’ve come to duel.”

“Ha, ha,” said the Death Eater. “Very funny, but not the password. Leave or I’ll melt your testicles.”

“No,” said Harry. “Look, Mr. Death Eater, sir, it really is Harry Potter here and I really have come to duel.”

“First off,” said the Death Eater, “we’re Life Eaters now. We’ve decided that eating death could have positive connotations and secondly, there is no way Harry Potter is stupid enough to come here without any back-up.”

“Look, just open the door and I’ll prove I’m Harry.”

“Very well,” the Death Eater cracked open the door and peered at Harry from behind his death mask. “So it is you,” he conceded. “I will inform the Dark Lord that Harry Potter had some sort of ill-formed trap waiting for him.”

“Thank you very much,” said Harry and stepped back outside to wait.

Voldemort didn’t keep him long. In fact, after only two minutes the Dark Lord emerged, pulling on a winter robe that had FEAR ME emblazoned on the back. Nagini trailed after him. “Potter,” he greeted, “I grow bored with your childish antics.”

“Lord Voldemort,” Harry said. “I grow bored with your face. You are a murderous, stinking poopy pants and I’m going to kill you for all the things you ruined in my life: my parents, Cedric, Sirius, my childhood…”

“Is that all?” Voldemort asked sounding more than a little bored with Harry’s orphan angst. “I was in the middle of my foot massage and Doctor Who starts in five minutes.”

Behind Voldemort, Harry could see Ron and Hermione making the snake swap.

“You know what?” said Voldemort. “I might as well kill you now and be done with it.” He drew his wand. “AVADA--”

“OH MY GOD!” Harry screamed, pointing wildly off to his left. “What the hell is that thing?”

Voldemort looked. When he did, Harry darted to his Firebolt, mounted it and zoomed off after Ron and Hermione.

Voldemort shrugged. “I’ll just kill the brat some other time.”

_______________________________________________________________________________



“That was brilliant!” crowed Ron as they dragged Voldemort’s snake into the Gryffindor common room. “Fantastic!”

“I can’t believe something that idiotic actually worked,” said Hermione. “This defies all logic.”

“What do we do now?” asked Ron. “We’ve got the third part of Voldemort’s soul…”

Harry shrugged. “I’ll go grab Gryffindor’s sword. We can chop the snake up.”

“You’re going to kill it?” a new voice asked incredulously.

Harry whipped his head around only to see the fiery red hair of his forbidden love, Ginny. His brain glazed over in a lovesick stupor.

“Look at it’s little snaky face,” Ginny said, turning the snake’s eyes towards Harry so he could get the full effect of the hypnotic gaze. “You took her out of a bad environment,” Ginny said, absently stroking her scales. “She only wants to be loved…”

“Ginny,” Ron said softly. “She’s part of Voldemort’s soul. Remember Tom Riddle’s diary and how he turned you into his bitch? The snake’s kinda like that.”

“No she’s not!” insisted Ginny. “She’s just misunderstood. Go ahead, Harry. Pet her.”

It seemed like a good idea when Ginny said it so Harry bent over and put out a hand…

Which of course was immediately bitten because Voldemort’s soul strongly objected to being fondled by Harry Potter.

So Nagini emptied enough poison into Harry’s veins to kill a couple dozen elephants which killed Harry himself in a matter of seconds.

_______________________________________________________________________________



Dear Readers (possibly without the 's,' don't think there's many of you),
We were at this point in the story locked in a valiant effort to finish it before JKR. We failed miserably. 
-

Description: livejournal.com profile] spastic_visions

 

 

 

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 Chapter the Eighth

 



Harry groaned and rubbed his forehead. This dying every other chapter thing was starting to get tedious. Ginny was watching him sheepishly from one of the overstuffed armchairs next to the fireplace, Hermione was sitting next to him on the carpet and Ron was nowhere to be seen.

Harry sat up. “OK, how did I survive this time?”

Hermione pushed a strand of hair out of her face. “Well,” she began, “Ginny was the one who sucked the poison out of the wound.” Harry’s face lit up. “But Ron was the one who gave you CPR.”

Harry’s face fell. He turned the color of zombie!Sirius’s skin.

As Harry made retching sounds and began scrubbing out his mouth with the hem of his robe, Ron entered the common room from the entranceway holding a large silver sword casually in his hands. The large double-edged sword was as long as his leg and had enormous rubies embedded in the hilt. Ron tossed the sword onto the carpet beside Harry and suck into a chair next to his sister.

“Well, I took the snake down to Hagrid. He said he’d take care of it for us. I told him we’d found it on the grounds but I don’t think he believed me.”

“So, it’s definitely dead then?” Harry asked.

Ron nodded. Next to him, Ginny blushed a deep red. “So,” she asked looking much abashed. “Shall we get down to dinner?” Without waiting for an answer, she hurried through the portrait hole towards the Great Hall. Ron’s head turned to watch her go.

“I wonder what’s gotten into her?” he asked, looking perplexed.

“Oh, Ron,” Hermione replied, gathering herself off the carpet. “She’s embarrassed.” She nodded towards Harry. Ron stood and helped Harry to his feet.

“What, about the snake? It’s not like she knew it would go for him. She’s always been a bit stupid about animals.”

The three of them stepped through the portrait hole and headed to the main hall. “Anyway though, Harry, what do you reckon?”

Harry shot him a confused look. “About what?”

“You know, about the horcruxes,” Ron replied.

Hermione shushed him as a small group of Ravenclaw second years walked past, talking animatedly about theoretical physics. Hey, they were Ravenclaws.

Harry leaned in and began speaking in a hushed tone. “Well, it’s one down, but I wish we knew what the others were.” Harry was racking his brains, trying to come up with some clue that he might have missed that would point him in the right direction. “Hermione, what do you…” He turned to his left and realized that he and Ron had been walking on their own for the last few paces. “Hermione?”

They both turned around where Hermione was staring at the wall on her left with a look of shocked wonder. Ron took a step towards her, clearly confused. “‘Mione, what are you doing?” Harry was wondering the same thing.

She looked at them both; then broke into a brilliant grin.

“Oh Harry, Ron, don’t you know where we are?”

They both looked around the hall. “No,” Ron replied. “Where are we?”

But Harry was staring at the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy on the opposite wall with a look of dawning comprehension. He remembered from his fifth year when Dobby the house elf had told him about a room, a room that contained whatever you needed, whenever you needed it. He locked eyes with Hermione. “The room of requirement.”

She nodded.

Ron gave a startled noise and Harry turned to look at him, a giant grin spreading over his face. “But would that work?” Ron asked breathlessly. “I mean, it feels like cheating, you know. And well…” He lowered his voice to just above a whisper. “would you-know-who let his stuff end up at Hogwarts?”

Hermione answered in the same breathless tone. “He wouldn’t have a choice, would he? The room gives you what you need,”

Harry was staring blankly at the empty stone wall. Could it really be so simple? After years of fighting Voldemort, could it really end this easily? It was like what Ron had said: it almost felt like cheating. “Stand back,” he said suddenly, surprising Ron and Hermione out of their argument. “I-I-I have to try.”

They both stood off to the side, staring at him with rapt attention. He began pacing back and forth before the wall, concentrating. We need the horcruxes, he thought, the last of the horcruxes, please. There was a small thunk and he heard Hermione and Ron gasp. He looked to his right. A large, heavy oak door had appeared in the center of the wall with a brass handle set into it just and the height of his hand. He looked back at Hermione who returned his glace with trepidation. Ron gazed eagerly at the door. Harry turned, placed his hand on the door and...

“What are you doing here!” A familiar wheezing voice cut through the silence. Filch here, now!

Harry cast a desperate look back at the door which was standing as solidly as before.

Filch pointed an accusing finger at them as Mrs. Norris turned her lamp-like gaze on them. “Here now, what are you three up to?” He squinted at the door. “Planning trouble are you?” he asked with barely suppressed glee.

“We…” Harry began and was interrupted by Filch.

“You lot should be at dinner. Go on.” He shooed them down the corridor.

They went quietly. As they rounded the corner, Harry glanced back over his shoulder to find that the door had vanished.


_______________________________________________________________________________



At dinner Ron sat picking at his shepherd’s pie, grumbling, “That stupid, lousy git! We’re trying to save the wizarding world and he goes and messes it all up!”

Hermione looked up from the book she was reading (Dangerous Curses and How to Break Them, by Dirk Newton).

“Ron, for the last time, we can go back to the room after dinner. It’s not like Filch gave us detention or anything. “She shook her head and returned to her book.

Harry was thinking, his fork twirling idly around his plate. Why hadn’t he thought of it before? The Room of Requirement, after all, had been such a large plot point in book five… His musings were cut short by a loud screech. Harry looked up to see, much to his surprise, a large tawny owl landing in front of him with a red letter in his beak. At the sight of it, his scar began to prickle painfully.

The owl dropped its letter in Harry’s plate and took flight. Draco Malfoy, sitting a few seats away gave a loud burst of derisive laughter. “Everyone look! Someone’s sent Potter a howler!” He grinned eagerly as Harry held up the now smoking letter by the corner.

Ron stared at it nervously. “Blimey, Harry, who do you think sent it?”

“Only one way to find out,” Harry said grimly.

Using his knife, he carefully slit open the howler. Immediately, a hugely magnified voice began shouting to the Great Hall, accompanied by a surge of pain from his scar. “HOW DARE YOU SEEK TO DESTROY THE GREAT LORD VOLDEMORT WITH SUCK A CHILDISH TRICK!!”

Ron’s fork fell to his plate with a loud clatter.

“FOR ONE THING, I AM NOT STUPID. I COULD TELL THAT YOU WERE UP TO SOMETHING WHEN YOU ARRIVED AT MY DOOR WITH SUCH A PATHETIC EXCUSE. SECONDLY, I CAN SPEAK TO SNAKES TOO, YOU IDIOT!!! YOU THINK YOU ARE THE ONLY PARSELTONGUE ON THE PLANET?!!?!!?! ALL YOU BLOODY TEENAGERS ARE ALIKE, THINKING YOU’RE SO SPECIALY. I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU ARE MY ARCH NEMISIS!!!!! NEXT TIME AT LEAST TRY TO INCLUDE SOME LEVEL OF COMPITANCY IN YOUR PLANS.!!! GREAT. NOW ALL THIS SHOUTING HAS GIVEN ME A HEADACHE. SOMEONE GET ME A WILLOW TEA! ANYWAY AS I WAS SAYING, HARRY POTTER. I AM COMING FOR MY SNAKE AND WHEN I DO, I AM GOING TO KILL YOU AT LAST AS I SHOULD HAVE DONE SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO.”

This was followed by a burst of cruel laughter. “WHAT? YOU IDIOT, I ONLY TAKE MY WILLOW TEA WITH MILK AND NO SUGAR!!! FOR GOD’S SAKE, STOP SIMPERING YOU PILE OF… WHAT?... IT’S STILL ON? TURN IT OFF BEFORE I…”The howler abruptly cut off, leaving a stunned silence in the Great Hall as the words sunk in.

Harry suddenly realized that every eye in the school was on him. Even the teachers were staring.

“What!?” he shouted. “He never does anything before the end of the term!”

To a chorus of “He’s right” and “We’ve got months at least!” the hall slowly filled with noise again.

Unseen by anyone, the howler gently floated down to the rough surface of the Gryffindor table where it crumpled into a small burning pile of ash.

_______________________________________________________________________________





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