A/N- Wow, a review ransom granted and then some! More than double, actually! Ah, I love this section. Still, I'll probably be beaten or lose a few hours of sleep in writing this! Heehee… We're in the middle of a scary packing storm, and I swear that Canadian (why Canadian? I live in OH, and I figure it's a better shot if I say somewhere almost bordering me…eh?) terrorists have blown up my room. Gah… Still, this is definitely more fun! A word to the reviewers: xPussyWillowKittenx- -grins- It was some fun thinking about that. I might even put in a bit more of the Dursleys. Still not too sure… Angel of Slytherin- I warned you it'd be crazy! Heehee…, diamond004- Thanks! Most of my stories are "different" –grins-, Enoon- Like I said, I love this section. –grins- Thanks for the compliments! Lonely Magician- Thanks! Yeah, I based it off of it, but none of the chars will show up. Gryffindor620- You were pondering what I was! Well, probably at least. Heehee.. most of my HP stories end up that way… Hermione-Granger17- I had fun writing their descriptions, too. I love being crazy… heehee Kallan Myers- I can hear the WTF from here –grins- but thanks for reviewing! Nymoue- Cool… another "strange"! Heehee… thanks for the compliments! PhiloNysh- Ooooo, "Extremely well written, and highly entertaining"? I'm gonna get a big head. –grins- Merci beaucoup! LoonyLupin- Thanks (Yay! Favorites…! I feel so lurved!) luvsirius- Oh, a faithful reviewer! Thanks for the compliments! eat paper- Merci!! I'll try to keep it up!
Thanks to everyone else, too… I just thought this was getting a bit long, but I really appreciate the reviews! Anyhow, what I'm trying to say is that you're all very nice for using the periwinkle box and meeting my goal! And yes, it was weird. And it will most likely stay that way. –grins maniacally- Consider yourself warned.
Chapter Two: -cue David Bowie music- Ch-ch-ch-changes…
A few minutes later, Hermione woke up, half on and half off a strange floral couch in a stuffy living room cluttered with tiny porcelain ornaments and family pictures.
It was all a dream…Her brain insisted, and yet… she didn't think that even her imagination could come up with something that weird. She sat up and rubbed her head, only to find a stag's head bending uneasily down toward her.
I think I need to lay down again…She thought uneasily, unable to repress the events of the last quarter-hour in her memory, try as she might..
"Oh, God, Harry." She murmured anxiously, "What did you do?? It's not underage magic, is it? Fudge could try to expel you again! And these sorts of charms are very advanced--"
"I didn't do anything!" Harry protested, supremely panicked, "This has never happened before! Besides, you're doing magic illegally with that whole transformy-thingy, too!"
Hermione groaned and buried her head in her arms, half in hope that she'd been hallucinating and that her friend had not suddenly turned into a demented full-sized version of Bambi.
"Harry," she murmured from between her arms, "This is dire. It's border-line animagus, for goodness sakes! It's highly dangerous if you don't know what you're doing! You don't want to end up with permanent antlers, do you?"
Harry moaned and shook his head in frustration, taking out a few shelves of Petunia's porcelain knick-knacks and sending the shards crashing to the floor. Hermione slid away from the wreckage slightly and kicked a particularly ugly china frog's head across the room miserably.
"This is bad, Harry. Really, really bad."
"I don't understand it either, but what's so bad, besides the obvious? It's not like anyone saw…"
Hermione paled and groaned.
"It's not that simple! Everyone is coming here; I just came first to get the Dursley's out of the house. Which was eerily easy, by the way."
Harry sighed and tried to find a comfortable way to sit with his new form, which resulted in the demise of Petunia's collection of ceramic pigs. The living room was beginning to look like the proverbial bull-in-a-china-shop had rampaged through… or to be more accurate, stag.
"Yeah, well they have had some bad experiences on my birthday. They wanted to be prepared to run away." Harry muttered bitterly, "Not that I have a problem with that. Best birthday gift they've ever given me, actually."
Hermione made a sympathetic noise, and Harry shook off his bad temper, remembering what she had just told him.
"…But who is everybody? The Order?"
Hermione blushed furiously and said mumbled something underneath her breath.
"What?" Harry asked impatiently.
"See, last year when you were shut up here all summer, I got to thinking about how bad it's gotta be living with relatives that don't acknowledge you—or worse, hate you. I mean, you haven't had a decent birthday in 15 years! So, I…err… thought that we'd throw you a surprise party. It's just—the members of the Order weren't exactly thrilled about it."
Harry rose to his feet (or, to be more precise, hooves) furiously and snorted.
"What's their problem now?"
"Well, most of them didn't want to take the risk of us drawing attention to ourselves by planning such a noticeable convention. The protection here might guard you and your family, but Dumbledore wasn't sure what would happen when we came out again, you know? He thought that it was possible that an attack like last year's could occur, and he didn't want to risk leaving the Headquarters unmanned." Her voice took on a very slight tone of exasperation, "He keeps on telling us that we have to be careful now that Voldemort has risen again and that rashness is fatal and that this sort of war is played by watching and waiting. That's why I haven't been spending the summer with my parents and why he rather disapproved of this. It's like shining a big beacon on something that would have otherwise been overlooked."
Harry scoffed softly and Hermione grinned rather evilly.
"But, you know, you always manage to get yourself into some kind of trouble over summer break, so we decided that we should be here to help you out when you do. So we snuck out for the day, and Tonks gave me a dormant charm to disguise myself."
Hermione looked at Harry's puzzled face and gave him a very fake know-it-all sigh. Ron had acted the same way when Tonks had brought up dormant charms, even though Flitwick had to have brought them up around two times in passing. Of course, in six years together she'd grown accustomed to the fact that Harry and Ron seldom paid attention in class, and a question like this was downright welcome compared to some of the others she'd been asked that day. At least she knew the answer to this one…
"A dormant charm is usually in the form of a written charm, such as the type often found in Chinese magics. You transfer the power of the charm or spell into a physical form, usually on paper, and when it is ready to be invoked, the maker or even someone else can use the power imbued in it. Even muggles have shown a slight ability to work them. Tonks was the obvious one to make my disguise spell; it's a very low-key version of her metamorphagus abilities… it only holds for around a half-hour at a time. She even helped me plan the whole thing out. She was rather upset about missing out on coming, said that now she'd joined the Order, she never had any fun. Still, she thought that living vicariously through me was the next best thing. The plan was for me to send a signal to the others when I'd gotten rid of the Dursleys, so I did before you—err--"
Hermione grinned sheepishly and cut herself off, remembering that the others were due any minute and that Harry was still in his less-than-natural form.
"This calls for drastic measures, Harry. It might take some doing, but I think I'll have to tamper with the structure of the charm." Harry gave her a blank look and Hermione sighed, pursing her lips and pulling quill and a rectangular card out of her cardigan pocket that shimmered with a pulsing multihued light, knowing that he wouldn't know just how difficult this would be. With a look of intense concentration, Hermione scribbled two long sentences in what looked like close to scientific formula and shoved it at Harry, who looked at it warily.
"Come on, take it already! It'll only hold for a half-hour, but hopefully it's enough time for you to change back from whatever this is. We'll activate it when—"
She was interrupted by the doorbell's ring, which set both she and Harry into a state of panic
"…they come to the door."
She tossed it into his hands, her eyes widened in panic.
"Now, to activate it, you—"
She stopped, stunned, however, as the air around Harry began to shimmer slightly, replacing the stag with Harry's normal body… in nothing but his boxers. Hermione blushed through her puzzlement and thrust a rather ugly throw blanket from the couch at him, careful not to look below the waist.
"Put that on! What the hell happened to your clothes?? And why did the charm work without you invoking it???" Hermione screeched embarrassedly while the doorbell (most likely rung by Ron) continued to chime annoyingly about twenty times a second.
"I don't know if that was it… but what--?" He began.
"Just use the damned charm, just in case. Say Metamorphagus and it should work. I'll stall them or something! Hide… or at least get dressed!" Hermione flustered, rushing to the door.
And so Harry sprinted up the steps, knowing he was about to miss the beginning of his first birthday party that he could remember.
A/N- Ok, not as funny as the first one (I think…) but this one had to be kinda expository… See? I think I explained most of the plotholes. Patience… And I think I'll try to update it again by Sept.7th (when my school starts), but no guarantees until I post another chappie of all my other stories. We'll see how much attention the periwinkle box gets, too. -winkwinknudgenudge- I have some… interesting ideas for this. Bwahahaahaha -hackhack- ha! But if you want something really madcap, check out my -insert blatant self-advertising here- new chapter of Why Me?, a Harry-Hermione body switching story! Heehee.. ok, you can just ignore my ramblings now.. Anyways, thank you very much for reading and give your attention to the periwinkle box!!!