This Holiday-themed one-shot is in response to Kittenshift17's prompts in our FB group, The Death Eater Express yesterday. Those of you in DEE know she posted these prompts for Thorfinn, but Orias Mulciber is my baby, and those who read the prior Orimione Holiday one-shot know his love of sweets.
Like the aforementioned prior Holiday one-shot (Hermione Granger and the Biscuit Thief), this is Yes, Professor-adjacent, but you do not need to have read that fic to read this one.
* Orias Mulciber (who appears in a number of my other DE fics) is my take on the canon character of Mulciber.
Brock O'Hurn as *Orias Mulciber
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter, or any affiliated characters and make no profit from this story.
AND THEN CAME HALLOWEEN
(A Holiday One-Shot)
Minerva McGonagall pinched the bridge of her nose, her eyelids drifting closed as she sighed. Opening them, she clasped her hands before her and fixed her gaze on the pair facing her desk.
Miss Granger gaped at her, the picture of innocence. The young woman's hands folded in her lap, she seemed afraid to so much as breathe until the elder witch spoke, first. Though, she'd decided to stay on as librarian now that the school—and indeed, Wizarding Britain, itself—was in rightful hands, once more, Minerva still saw her student, the tiny wild-haired bookworm.
Mr. Mulciber, on the other hand . . . .
The mountain of a wizard managed to look only larger folded into the chair facing the headmistress' desk, not to mention how he dwarfed his—oh, dear, sweet Merlin, the older woman could barely think the words—his fiancée, seated so demurely beside him. He also managed to exude a completely irreverent air, that Minerva was starting to remember quite well, and not at all fondly, from his own time as a student. The reformed Death Eater serving out his probation as the new DADA teacher had actually been doing surprisingly well in his new profession.
Now, as the couple waited on pins and needles for the headmistress to speak.
Now, as they stared back at her, their skin dashed with multi-hued, sparkling soot from spell back-fires, and their hair—dear God, their hair—stuck out in all different directions, half-melted sweets mixed with their frazzled locks.
"All right," Minerva said, pausing a moment to clear her throat. "Which one of you wants to explain to me precisely what happened?"
Mulciber opened his mouth to respond, something Miss Granger caught out of the corner of her eye, and she immediately piped up.
"Well, you see, Professor, you know how I'd offered to assist the kitchen staff in preparing the foods for tonight's Halloween feast?"
The elder witch nodded, propping an elbow atop her desk and dropping her chin against her palm. "Go on."
Exchanging a glance, the couple traded some look Minerva couldn't quite read before the young woman went on.
Miss Granger sighed, her petite shoulders drooping as she shook her head. "I was preparing a cake for decoration, when . . . ."
Hermione set out the jars of assorted sweets at perfectly—spaced intervals. The arrangement was intended to make the process of decorating the cakes more precise and less time consuming.
Ticking off with her finger what was where, she nodded to herself and then turned back toward the fantastic chocolate cake one of the elves had just brought to her. The beautifully decadent creation had cooled enough to start trimming, and now . . . .
That fantastic and decadent chocolate cake was missing. Vanished from right behind her.
Frowning, she looked about. Perhaps one of the elves had taken it back for some reason?
She wiped her hands off on her apron as she called out to them, "Excuse me? Did anyone move the cake that was just here?"
The kitchen staff looked up at her answer—they were normally so nice and open with her—only to have their enormous eyes go wider, still. They all shook their heads in silence and returned their attention to their current tasks.
She arched a curious brow at the creatures' collective reticence. They were never so quiet—not since Voldemort's fall, anyway. In their own element like this, they were usually quite chatty.
"So," she started, folding her arms under her breasts. "No one knows what happened to it, then?"
Again, her question was answered with silence. Although, she did notice one of the elves glance—for the barest, most fleeting second—toward one of the pantry cupboards.
Dropping her arms to her sides, Hermione sighed. Bloody hell. Not this, again.
The witch scowled. Pushing up her sleeves, she stormed—on quiet footfalls, so as to not alert him—over to the indicated cupboard. Slipping her fingers around the handles of the tall, slender double doors. With another sigh, long and suffering, she wrenched open the cupboard.
Orias froze. His jaw open, he was just about to take his first bite. Darting his blue-eyed gaze over to meet that of the fuming witch, he offered her a charming grin.
Oh, he was going to find out which of the elves had ratted him out. "Little witch. I was only . . . ." He glanced at the massive cake in his hands, though in his hands it didn't look quite as large as it actually was.
"I was counting out sweets when all of the sudden, I turn around to find the cake they were meant trim gone. And what do you think I should find?"
"The wizard I intend to marry stealing a cake meant for children. Honestly! And in the same cupboard where the biscuit incident happened? You really need to find a new hiding place when you sneak baked goods, you . . . giant."
"Well, this one's simply no good." Nodding, he turned to face her, fully, as though he didn't have a triple layer chocolate cake in his hands. "See, I'm sparing the children, really."
Her brows shot up. "I told you I'd make you one of your own if you only left the treats alone."
He huffed and squared his shoulders, looking indignant. "So just make the students another and this one will be mine."
Hermione propped her fists on her hips and shook her head. "Oh, you must be joking. I was going to make you a human-sized one. That one there is large enough to stuff every first year for a solid week."
"I'm sorry, has my large stature suddenly slipped your notice? Human-sized, she says, really, now."
She bit her lip, holding in a laugh at his affronted tone. "No. You're not having that cake."
Orias tipped his chin back in defiance as he arched a brow. "Oh, really?"
Gritting her teeth, she said, "I just told you no, Orias!"
That brow still lifted, he held her gaze as he raised the cake toward his lips.
In a blink she'd drawn her wand, lifting the batch of decadent chocolate straight from his hands. It happened so fast that by the time he reacted, she had the cake half-way back to its rightful place.
Frowning at her retreating back as she followed the cake while guiding it across the room, he drew his own wand.
Hermione let out a surprised squeak at the mild stinging hex that bit her right on the bum. Her concentration broken, she lost hold of the cake.
With a triumphant grin, Orias managed to redirect his wand to capture it before it hit the floor. He nearly didn't have it in him to chuckle at noticing her rubbing a hand over her lightly-wounded bottom from the corner of his eye.
She was vaguely aware of the kitchen staff ducking for cover as she spun on her heel and tried to pull the cake back the right way. In a physical tug-of-war, she'd obviously never stand a chance against him, but this was magic, and in this, she could so handle him.
"Just let go, already," she said with a shake of her head.
"You let go, little witch."
"Orias, you're being ridiculous! I already said I'd make you another one."
Smirking, he raised brow. "I want this one."
"We can't always get what we want, my love."
He laughed, narrowing his eyes at her. "How funny you should say that, because I always do."
Hermione heard it, the sudden inhale not far from her. She knew she only heard it because she stood closer to the elves than he did. And so the elf's overly-loud sneeze didn't catch her off-guard.
But the unexpected noise interrupted Orias' concentration, causing him to lose his hold on the cake.
Unprepared for the immediate lack of tension, the cake snapped out of Hermione's hold, as well, instead flying back toward her.
The witch ducked just in time to miss catching a face full of chocolate, but the jars . . . . All her pretty, perfectly placed jars of sweets—the ones she was going to use the leftovers from to make Trick-or-Treat bags for the first and second years . . . .
That beautiful chocolate creation, all three enormous layers of it crashed into the table where her jars were organized. In the chaos of shattering glass and flying sweets, the elves jumped to defend the witch and wizard.
The little creatures tossed out wordless charms, separating the harmful shards of glass from the chunks and bits of colorful, flavored sugar.
Hermione shrieked, as in the middle of the commotion, another mild stinging spell bit her on the bum. Furious, she spun on her heel to face the wizard.
"What the bloody hell was that for?"
Oh, the look on Orias Mulciber's handsome face . . . . Hermione actually thought he might cry as he said, "You killed the cake."
"Oh, for the love of . . . you can't kill a baked good, you silly mountain, you."
His eyes shot wide as he shifted his attention over the top of her head. At the same moment, she became aware of the elves muttering anxiously to one another.
Turning back to face the mess, once more, she felt her jaw drop open in shock. The magic the elves had shot out to protect them mixed with the sugar, a glittering cloud of alternating pastel colors hung in the air. That was when Hermione remembered . . . .
These sweets had come direct from Honeydukes.' Some of them were enchanted to produce one effect or another.
She started to backpedal as she tried to untangle in her mind the chances of this happening. The two different forms of magical energy mashing together to create some sort of . . . some sort of . . . .
"Convergence?" Orias breathed out the word in shock. "Bloody hell."
Hermione shook her head. "No one is going to believe—"
"But that's when the cloud sort of . . . burst," Hermione finished with a shrug. Her gaze was in her lap as she twisted her fingers before her. "And here we are."
When her story was met with silence, the younger witch warily lifted her head. The headmistress had tipped her chin up, watching her former favorite student with narrowed eyes.
Exhaling through her nostrils, Minerva nodded slow and turned her head to pin Orias with a withering glare.
He gave a start to find her attention on him. "What?"
"Anything you would care to add to that story, or amend, Mr. Mulciber?"
There was that charming grin of his. "You're asking for my version of events, Headmistress?"
She nodded, again. "That would be correct."
Chuckling, he shrugged and kicked back in his chair. "Well, if you really want to know—"
Hermione shot out her arm, cutting him off by clamping her fingers across his lips.
Orias arched a brow in a suggestive expression as he met his fiancée's gaze.
Her features pinching in an anxious expression, Hermione let her hand drop as she turned in her seat to face Professor McGonagall, again. "Yes?"
"Is there some reason you don't want me to hear Mr. Mulciber's version of events."
With an uneasy smile spreading across her lips, Hermione said, "Actually, there is, Professor."
The younger witch cleared her throat, nodding as she once more dropped her gaze into her lap. "Professor, if you've any sense of propriety, at all, I would humbly suggest you never listen to one of Orias Mulciber's stories."
Her eyes widening—why, yes, she really was starting to recall his time as a student—Minerva suddenly felt rather certain she probably did not want to hear his version of events, after all.
"Very well." The elder witch folded her hands atop the desk again and nodded. "Since this was an accident, there won't be a penalty this time. However, I would suggest you two keep your . . . . disagreements away from the pantries in the future. You may go."
The couple thanked the headmistress for her leniency and excused themselves from the office.
As they made their way through the corridors back toward their shared faculty quarters to clean up, Hermione was aware of Orias walking a few paces behind her. She could feel the weight of his gaze on her.
Halting, she turned to look up at him. "What?"
"Shame on you, little witch."
Her brows shot up and her jaw fell open. "What for?"
He smirked, catching her chin between his fingers and pulling her close for a breathless kiss before he answered, "Because, for once, the Orias Mulciber version of events is exactly what happened."
She bit back a laugh and shook her head. "Well, sure, but I wasn't about to explain to Minerva McGonagall just how you managed to get sugar down there."
He uttered a scoffing sound. "Well, sure, but the story about how you chose to clean off that sugar—"
"Never talking about that," she said with a playfully scandalized gasp.
Orias snickered as he watched her turn and start toward their quarters, once more. "Spoilsport."
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!