Special Note, March 6, 2006: This story is currently undergoing massive editing. I have taken down most of its chapters to do this. I WILL be putting them back up, slowly but surely. Thank you to all reviewers, and sorry to all those who were upset by my tearing down of the story. I tried to e-mail everyone who sent me a PM, e-mail, or confused review, but I don't think I succeeded. Again, I'm very sorry. Hopefully the story has improved, however. Anyone who has read it before will probably not need to reread it; the basic plot remains the same.
The Prank War
Author's Notes: This story takes place during seventh year for the trio and will contain spoilers. It does use things from the fifth book, but I for one am sad to see Sirius go and am going to keep him alive. There will probably be a bit of sexual suggestiveness in here, as well as swearing, but most of it's going to be plain old fun.
Several things are different from the books in this story, in addition to Sirius still being alive. (Please, do not ask me for an explanation as to how he escaped the Department of Mysteries. An AU fic where Sirius is alive means, at least in this case, that Sirius never died in my world.) Other differences include that McGonagall is younger, only a year or two older than the Marauders (James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew); both Harry and Ron are prefects; and Voldemort is dead, as are Lucius Malfoy and the majority of the Death Eaters. I'll try and remember to stick a warning in an author's note if I change anything else along the way. Nothing from HBP—any revelations, such as Snape being a half-blood and being evil, etc.—will be used, unless otherwise noted in author's notes.
Summary: Harry and the others are enjoying their last year of school by taking part in one of the most time-honored traditions at Hogwarts: the seventh year prank war. The war with Voldemort may be over, but the war with Malfoy is just beginning… and when Malfoy plays a horrible joke on Hermione, the Gryffindors swear revenge.
Disclaimer: I don't own what I don't own, including but not limited to Harry Potter and its universe.
P.S. The story starts in late October, just a few days before Halloween.
Professor McGonagall ended their lesson early and turned to face the Gryffindors, her expression stern. "I am well aware that it is time for seventh year prank war," she said, her voice cold. A few people exchanged guilty glances or mischievous grins, already having pranks in mind. "For years the staff and I have been trying to do away with such nonsense as a prank war between the Houses, but the whole thing amuses the Headmaster greatly. As such, I have a few words of caution."
"McGonagall can't stop us, so she's lecturing us," Ron whispered to Harry and Hermione eagerly. Harry nodded to himself; this seemed just the sort of thing the unconventional Albus Dumbledore would allow that would drive the teachers to the brink of insanity.
"First of all, pranks are punishable, if they are against school rules, damage school property, and/or especially if they are dangerous. Anyone initiating a dangerous prank will be subjected to far worse than detention, am I clear?" Several students nodded. "Second, I highly discourage this activity; performing practical jokes will make you a much bigger target for receiving them, and while dangerous or otherwise harmful pranks can land you in all sorts of trouble, it doesn't mean that you can't be hurt if someone wishes to execute one at your expense. So… be careful." She hesitated, pinching the bridge of her nose beneath her glasses.
"Finally…" She sighed. "Watch your back. We are Gryffindors, and as such we are usually on the receiving end of Slytherin pranks, which are usually very nasty and quite frankly a reason to always be on your guard and hold your tongues. Slytherins can be quite vengeful."
Hermione sighed and Ron and Harry winced; Draco Malfoy was certainly going to use this as an excuse to do his best to torture them.
"Ravenclaws are not to be crossed, either; they are clever, and can create frighteningly elaborate jokes that can leave you in a most uncomfortable position," McGonagall continued. "Hufflepuffs, too, can be tricky—they aren't afraid to work for what they want, they feel a strong sense of loyalty and justice, and they have a determination that baffles many. I remember people talking for years about Amos Diggory's revenge on some Slytherins, and members of the Bones family have caused havoc for hundreds of years. And of course, do not discount your fellow Gryffindors. It is rare that Gryffindors act out of petty revenge, but Gryffindors are quite daring and some will do anything for a laugh. Yes, Mister Weasley, I'm talking about your brothers… and don't smirk, Mister Potter, I nearly strangled your father and his friends for a few of their actions when they were at school here, and your mother was quite an annoyance herself, Head Girl or not." She looked at Hermione as she said the last bit; Hermione fingered her Head Girl badge nervously.
When the bell rang the whole class was talking about their professor's warning. "I wonder what your mum and dad did to McGonagall, Harry," Ron mused as the three of them headed for the Great Hall.
"I'd die to know… McGonagall was a grade ahead of them, and she came back to teach their seventh year, I believe," Harry said. "Or maybe she was two grades older, I can't remember."
"Well, we'll ask Sirius next time we see him. So… what are we going to do to Malfoy?" Ron asked eagerly.
"No idea just yet… maybe we can contact Lupin and Sirius, they'll have some ideas… people say the Marauders were just like Fred and George, maybe worse."
"I'll write to Fred and George, too—they might even send us some stuff from the joke shop at a discounted price…"
"You guys," Hermione said timidly, "maybe we should just leave Malfoy alone."
The two stopped to stare at her in shock. "What!" roared Ron.
"We could get in trouble… I could lose my Head Girl status, and you both could lose your prefect status… think what our parents would say…"
"How can you be chickening out? This is the perfect excuse to really lay into Malfoy!" Harry said, amazed.
The three entered the Great Hall for dinner and sat down, arguing back and forth over their food and pumpkin juice. They didn't even notice Malfoy and his lackeys, Crabbe and Goyle, standing behind them until Malfoy knocked over Hermione's goblet. Harry caught the cup before it could topple to the tablecloth. "Oops," Malfoy snickered, and stalked off.
"That was… lame," Harry said, frowning.
"Snape was staring at him… they're going to talk to him," Hermione told him. "But if that's the only thing he can think of, he's not worth it, you see?"
"He probably had something really nasty in mind, but realized Snape was watching," Ron argued.
Hermione was about to reply when Lavender Brown sat down next to them and raised her goblet. "A toast," she said cheerfully, "to the start of a beautiful war."
They all clinked glasses and drank—even Hermione, who was scowling. "So," Lavender continued, "what are you going to do to the Slytherins? Half the Gryffindors—and probably most of the rest of the school—already have bets on you three getting Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson, everyone's saying that between your little ongoing fight with the Slytherins and your connections to the Weasley twins, you'll kick ass. Don't disappoint us, either, I've got ten Galleons that you guys will have the best prank."
Hermione started to roll her eyes and think up a good lecture about rules, but suddenly she felt incredibly sleepy. "I think I'll go up to bed… been staying up late studying for ages." She couldn't suppress a yawn.
"Want us to come with you?" Harry asked, concerned. Hermione had been fine a few seconds ago.
"No, finish eating, I'm fine."
Hermione got up and left, and Ron and Harry began discussing ideas for the prank war with Lavender, Parvati Patil, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, Neville Longbottom and Ginny Weasley. They were all so intent on their conversation that none of them noticed Professor Snape stumbling sleepily out of the Great Hall.