Author: Brian64 PM
After a long day helping to save the wizarding world from the dementors, Harry's just looking for a quiet drink at the Snout's Fair to relax. He wasn't expecting a drink called 'Bane' though. A oneshot set in Arabella & Zsenya's 'After the End' setting.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Parody - Harry P. - Words: 3,363 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-18-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3842257
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Bane by Brian64
Harry slid onto a stool at the Snout's Fair with some relief. It had been another long tiring day with the likelihood of more long tiring days to follow. He thought about sending a howler to Molly for dropping Charlie on his head when he was a baby.
He hadn't seen it happen of course, but it was obvious wasn't it? Ride bloody dragons around Azkaban to keep the dementors from leaving? What sort of git comes up with a plan like that, it was mental!
Almost as mental as accepting the bloody job when it was offered! he thought, reluctantly deciding that Molly's butterfingers aside, it was his own fault he hadn't send an on owl back to tell Charlie to sod off.
Besides, if he was honest with himself he knew he'd be just as tired if he'd accepted Oliver's offer as starting Seeker for the Cannons. Oliver 'Dark-Lord-in-training' Wood was not known for his mercy during Quidditch training.
He sighed as he realised that even after he'd turned Voldemort into an ex-dark lord, it looked like hadn't fulfilled all the requirements of his 'saving-people' thing yet. Maybe he should try out a new moniker? Maybe 'The Boy-Who-Needs-To-Grow-A-Pair-And-Do-What-He-Wants-For-A-Change'?
Goldie gave him a curious look and reached under the bar for a dusty bottle. He poured a liberal quantity into a mug and placed it in front of Harry, who peered inside.
"What's this?" Harry asked looking suspiciously at the glowing purple concoction in the mug.
"Dat is Bane" Goldie replied.
Harry frowned at the name and sniffed warily at the drink in front of him. The lack of any discernible aroma was not helping.
"Don't vorry, I tink Bane is not to be killing you " Goldie said before grumbling his way back to the other end of the bar and his other customers.
Harry checked his pocket to make sure he still had his bezoar handy. Despite Goldie's reassurances, he'd seen first hand the effects some of his experiments had had on other, less suspicious patrons in the past. He thought pocketing the little kidney-like stone before coming here made perfect sense and silently thanked Moody's seemingly endless cries of CONSTANT VIGILENCE!
Well, no use putting it off any longer he thought to himself.
Keeping one hand glued to his bezoar, he somewhat shakily raised the mug of Bane to his lips.
He took a sip and swished it around his mouth to try and sample all of the flavours.
"Merlin's Beard!" he exclaimed, resolving to simply swallow the next unknown concoction anyone ever handed him and have done with it. Might as well go straight to the Avada without taking on the Crucio as well he thought absently.
He wondered idly how the purple colour had been obtained when clearly this brew's main ingredient must have been some old Polyjuice potion. Either that or one of Ron's old socks.
"This is really good" he said, hoping Goldie couldn't practice Legilimency, and determined not to show any weakness. "I seem to have finished this one, have you got any more?"
As he finished the mug, Harry wondered idly whether the taste would grow on him. He suspected not, and the only thing likely to be growing would be some unidentifiable fungus on his tongue.
"Can I buy a bottle to take back when I'm done by any chance?"
He suspected Ron would soon be learning to pick up his old socks and stop leaving wet towels in the bathroom.
Unbeknownst to Harry, Ron was already seated at the far end of the bar and had spotted his friend walking in. He'd been deciding whether to move over and see if Harry wanted to talk when he'd noticed the direction of Goldie's hand. His eyes widened as he realised what Goldie was pouring Harry.
He sat back further in the shadows with a smirk on his face. This was going to be just too perfect, and his only regret was that he didn't have a camera. If he had one, he knew a couple of girls back at Remus' lodge would happily pay galleons for photos, and he wouldn't have been averse to taking money from his sister or his girlfriend. There was always room for an extra galleon or two in Ron's pockets.
Harry sat back a little getting a slight buzz from the Bane he'd been drinking.
He noticed his hands had started to turn a pale lilac and wondered how much more he'd need to drink before he started to turn the same colour his uncle Vernon was able to achieve at the mere sight of an owl. Or his wand, or any comment about his old school, or... himself.
He grinned, thinking that with a little help from his invisibility cloak he should be able to switch the Dursleys' grape juice with Bane without too many problems. The trick was going to be working out how to watch the outcome of the prank!
Amazing how this stuff grows on you he thought, as he noticed a new wart on his left hand that hadn't been there when he sat down at the... wherever he was.
He looked around. Wherever he was looked like an ok sort of place, but the stools were way too close to the floor. He seemed to think it was perfectly reasonable that if a stool was at a decent height above the ground, then his legs would most likely be bent at the knees a little.
For reasons that presently escaped him, his legs were currently straight and parallel to the floor.
Was the stool really that low when he sat down on it? He looked over at the bar which was starting to look decidedly floor-like, then looked up. "Ahhh, that's where my stool got to!" he exclaimed delightedly, proud to have solved that minor mystery and resolved to regain his perch.
Purple wasn't such a bad colour really, he thought, as he carefully scaled the east face of Mount Stool. He might have to see if he could dye a couple of his green t-shirts later as they'd clash horribly, but on the other hand, his new skin tone was bound to look spectacular next to Ginny's hair.
Having returned to his stool, Harry watched as a man walked up to the bar and stood next to him.
"Goldie, I need something strong that will make me go to sleep. I'm supposed to be at work in 5 and a half hours, and then I'm working for at least 13..."
"Juz taka drarf uv dreemlz zleep" Harry offered helpfully before staring back at his mug of Bane.
Aikio couldn't help but wonder at the look the obviously drunk young man next to him was sharing with his drink. He hadn't seen that particular glare since his old duelling practice lessons in his Defence Against the Dark Arts classes. He almost expected to see him draw his wand at his mug and yell Protego!
He looked again. No, not Protego, more like a Diffindo or something nastier.
He grinned, thinking of the many hangovers he'd endured himself and resolved next time he decided to get drunk he might very well be sharing a similar glare. He took the flask of dreamless sleep Goldie handed him, gave a couple of cheerful goodbyes and left.
Harry looked down at his Bane. How was it that he could pluck up the courage to face and defeat Voldemort and his death eaters, but the thought of swallowing any more Bane caused a twitch in his left eye?
He barely noticed as Draco took the vacant stool next to him and ordered a drink.
"Goldie, I need something strong, what have you got?"
Harry looked up and slid his mug of Bane over to Malfoy.
The challenge was obvious to both of them.
Draco took the mug and then drained it. "Thanks Potter" he sneered, then smirked at the look of total disbelief he saw on Potter's face. Oh this is just too perfect! Draco thought as he ordered Banes for himself and Potter, then took a seat over at one of the tables where he could keep an eye on him.
As Goldie placed the new mug of Bane in front of Harry, the nearby patrons were thoroughly delighted.
They'd found Harry's reactions to it to be the best entertainment they'd had all week, and as much as they'd admired his skill in disposing of the last mug, they were also very disappointed as this likely meant the end of the show.
What was to be done with all of the popcorn they'd summoned to enjoy the scene that had been playing out?
With the new mug delivered however, they returned to their popcorn and watched as various emotions played across his face.
"That one had to be fear" the first whispered.
"Are you sure?" the second argued, "I thought it looked more like surprise, you know, like a 'where the smeg did you come from - I thought you were dead' sort of look".
"No, it was just before that one"
"Oh... well what would you call that one now? Is that anguish?"
"It does look like it doesn't it... because there's acceptance... and there, I see resolve!"
"Yep, resolve. I reckon he must have heard a prophecy... something like 'The one with the power to vanquish the Bane approaches...' if you get me?"
"So you're saying... he feels he has to do battle with his drink? I think you've had a little too much of Ogden's finest..."
"You think so? So tell me why he looks like he's about to draw his wand and curse his drink then."
"Well there could be lots of reasons..."
"Well there could be a fly in there that he's going to levitate out of it"
"Flies won't go near it. Besides, Bane'll dissolve any insects unlucky enough to come in contact with the stuff."
"Well ok… but if he fights it, then he won't have to drink it will he!" Second stated with a look of triumph
"Shhhh, Keep it down" a third patron muttered, joining the discussion and reaching for some popcorn.
"Do you think he's going to drink it?" First asked the new arrival.
"Of course, I'd bet a galleon on it" Third replied.
"I'll take that bet" said First quickly, slapping a galleon on the bar. He'd just seen what could only be described as a look of total revulsion appearing on Harry's face.
The three watched as Harry raised his cup and drank the Bane.
"You know, you really shouldn't bet against a Gryffindor's courage" Ron said, pocketing the galleon he'd just won and returning to the shadows. Dammit! Even Remus would have paid for some photos!
First winced and started slowly smacking his head against the bar.
Oh Merlin, this mug tastes just as bad as the first! Harry thought to himself.
He'd somehow hoped that having a new bottle opened might have improved the taste, but clearly it was the same feculent vintage as the first.
He doubted the drink really should have been named Bane, as it simply didn't sound offensive enough. What about Blast-Ended Skrewt juice? Speaking of which, he ought to send an owl to Grubbly-Plank, and see about placing an order. Malfoy's birthday was coming up.
He looked across at Malfoy who appeared to have swallowed the Bane he'd offered him without any ill effects at all. Where was the involuntary gag reflex? The pupil dilation? Even the little beads of sweat that he knew dotted his own eyebrows? There was bound to be a reason for it but he just couldn't think what it was.
Thinking... it wasn't all that long ago that he used to be able to do that, and he felt a little nostalgic at the way his thoughts used to run a little more fluidly.
Speaking of which, he remembered drinking stuff that ran a little more fluidly as well. He peered into his mug again and resisted the urge to prod the contents. It almost looks as though it wants to climb out of the mug and crawl along the bar on its own… That would make a great story, but only if it happened to someone else.
He sighed and decided it was time to switch beverages to some form of wicked strength espresso, but what to do with the rest of this mug?
He looked around to see if he was being observed, drew his wand and muttered Evanesce.
The empty stool next to Harry attracted another new customer; this one complaining of a headache and asking for suggestions.
Goldie looked thoughtful. "Hmmmm...Vat about some of dis bubbly black stuff? It vill probably get rid of de headache for now... He trailed off, looking as though he was about to say more and was deciding whether to do so or not. "I tink you probably be getting dat headache back later though" he finished.
Harry peered inside his cup and swore.
Instead of vanishing the contents of his half-full (or was that half-empty?) mug, the spell appeared to have stimulated the Bane into spontaneous reproduction. His mug was now completely full and not the least bit empty.
He listened to the conversation next to him and seized his chance as though it were a snitch.
"Here you go" he said, handing over his mug. "You won't have any trouble with your headache after drinking this".
No, he thought, you'll be far too concerned with your taste buds, your skin turning lilac, growing warts and wondering where your stool got to when you find yourself on the floor to be worrying about a little thing like a headache.
Mrs Headache didn't miss how quickly the mug had been pushed towards her, and even with her headache wasn't blind to the likely reason for the generosity.
"Errr, lets just make it a headache potion and a cup of tea Goldie, ok?"
Harry looked anxiously across at the mug of Bane he'd passed over to Mrs Headache on the next stool.
She hadn't made a move towards it yet, and as things stood now it looked likely that she'd continue to ignore it. Did that mean it was still rightfully his until claimed? What if she left the bar without handling the mug at all?
Sweat started to break out in more than just little beads on his forehead.
Sweet Merlin! That means it's probably still mine.
He imagined bartenders had some form of Priori Incantatum to determine who last handled a mug, and had a feeling the Daily Prophet would hear about it if he simply abandoned it. His imagination and long experience with the press easily supplied the likely headline. Saviour of the world meets his match! by Rita Skeeter.
Giving it away had seemed to be the only other way to get rid of it, other than drin.. No, don't go there, he cautioned himself as he battled a brief panic attack.
He looked over at the mug again and noticed a tendril of Bane starting to creep up the inside of the mug. He doubted allowing the Bane to escape counted as an accepted method of disposal either.
He sent a stinging hex in the mug's direction and watched as the Bane settled down again before putting his face in his hands and rubbing his temples. It was his own stupid fault. He could have said he was allergic to glowing purple mixtures, but noooooo, he just had to go and accept Goldie's recommendation.
He glanced over at Goldie as a thought occurred to him as though placed directly into his head. This might even be payback for my last prank. That thought sobered him quickly as he considered it. Yes, it made perfect sense!
A broad smile appeared on his face for the first time since taking his first sip of Bane. This was now a challenge!
He reached over for his mug with a questioning look at Mrs Headache, then reclaimed his Bane after receiving a nod.
Giving the Bane a glare that suggested an Avada Kedavra would follow if it didn't behave itself, he quaffed the lot in several long swallows.
So that's how Malfoy did it he mused. There's obviously something in the Bane that responds to the thoughts of the drinker, and since he was initially expecting the worst, that's exactly what he got.
'Hey Goldie", he called over happily. "Tell me more about that bubbly black stuff..."
"Oh dat is called Dementor's Kiss. I am tinking you vill like it" he said pouring a mug and placing it in front of Harry.
Harry caught a faint whiff from the mug and paled. Couldn't quit while you were ahead could you Potter. He thought to himself, and wondered whether an evancese would work any better on this drink.
Ron was nearly beside himself trying to contain his laughter, though from what he could see, Malfoy wasn't making any effort to hide his own glee as tears streamed from his eyes and he clutched his sides. Git! He thought, without any of his usual venom. He could hardly blame him as he thought again that this really was just too perfect.
He made a note to owl Colin tomorrow about getting a camera. He was more certain than ever that Sirius would pay top galleon for photos of his godson, and there were bound to be other visits to the Snouts Fair. Next time though he'd be prepared…
Well there it is, my first ever fanfic completed. I can only hope in years to come I won't be looking back at it and cringing too much.
This story is mostly a collection of posts made on the PFW forums, which can be found at If there's anything more enjoyable than reading fan fiction, it would have to be signing up to a forum, getting sorted into a house and then role playing your way through a simulated Hogwarts (if you want to post in character of course). Personally, I think its – to borrow a phrase - "bloody brilliant!"
Anyway, while nearly all of the posts in the Three Broomsticks forum used and adapted for this story were my own, I do need to give full credit to Aikio, Dobby, Alchemage, Julia, Adribetty, Meg and all the other PFW regulars I've no doubt overlooked for their contributions and motivation as well. I'm not sure whether Dobby knew what would happen when she first offered me a cup of Bane in her bar.
Of course I could hardly fail to mention the setting for this story. If you haven't already recognised the pub and bartender, yet, then do yourself a favour and read Arabella and Zsenya's "After the End".
Do I need to mention that all things Harry Potter belong to JK Rowling? Of course not. I have no intention of messing with her copyrights, and neither should you.