Courtesy of SilverWolf7007
Chapter Six – Final Preparations
Seven weeks had passed.
The students and staff of Hogwarts, not to mention the general public of wizarding Britain, were eagerly anticipating the opening night of the Hogwarts' play (though the title of said play was still being kept secret).
The cast of said play, however, were far more reluctant, and most inhabitants of Hogwarts had taken to avoiding them at all costs. Colin Creevey, who had not been as cautious when attempting to photograph during a rehearsal, was still in the Hospital Wing two weeks later.
Dumbledore had been disapproving, but Harry had not received any punishment.
After the first week, Dumbledore had arranged for them all to share a suite of rooms in the guest quarters of the castle. If nothing else, this saved Ron from an awful lot of pranks.
However, there was now only one day until the premiere performance of the play.
This meant, of course, that the cast were in a foul mood.
The morning began quietly.
Harry, who was now sharing a room with Draco, Blaise and Seamus, was the first to wake.
He decided to leave his roommates alone, for once, and instead made his way into the room next to theirs, which was being shared by Neville, Justin and Dean.
With a smirk, he cast a few quick time-based spells before ducking out again and heading for the next room and his last targets.
Having also decided not to target the females today, he stepped carefully into the room Sirius was sharing with Oliver, Fred and George.
This was the tricky part.
He was about to pull a prank over three of the most noteworthy pranksters to ever grace the halls of Hogwarts, not to mention ex-Quidditch captain who he knew was liable to yell himself hoarse before beating him to death with a broom.
Silently, he cast his spells.
No one woke.
Harry watched in silence for several minutes before setting up his recording charms and dashing for cover.
Moments later he was back in Neville, Dean and Justin's dorm and setting up the forgotten recording charms in there.
Again, he left hastily, going back to his own room.
It was peaceful.
Harry woke the suspicious Draco by shaking his shoulder. After informing the blond of who he had chosen to prank, he went to wake Seamus.
Draco quickly woke Blaise and explained to him, while Harry ended up being tackled to the ground.
"Ow! Seamus! Get off!"
Sheepishly he did so, but he still had his wand drawn and aimed at his friend. "Har, it's not that I don't trust you. It's just that I've shared a dorm with you for five and a half years now."
Harry shrugged. "Its fine, I don't blame you. But just so you know, the pranks aren't on our dorm this morning."
Seamus grinned suddenly. "In that case, I'm going to get dressed. Don't want to miss the show, after all."
The other three followed suit.
Someone was screaming. That was the first thing that registered in Minerva's mind as she awoke.
The second was that it was not simply a wordless scream, and that there were in fact seven or so voices involved.
And those voices were cursing Harry.
This was not an unusual occurrence, of course, so she rolled over, planning to go back to sleep.
That is, until she recognised three of the voices.
If anyone had dared to mention how fast she moved for a 'lady of her age', she would have felt quite justified in murdering them. However, everyone was far to focussed on the fact that someone, presumably Harry, had just managed to pull a prank over Sirius Black and Fred 'n' George Weasley.
Of course, the first prank victims she saw were the boys from the third dorm. Justin was sporting a bright pink elephant's trunk, ears and tail, Neville appeared to have become part tree, and Dean…
Dean was being carried around in a jar in Neville's branch – er, hand. He was, at a vague estimate, six inches tall. Not to mention his mouse whiskers and tail.
Minerva stared at them for several moments before hurrying further forward, dying to know what Harry had done to the others.
Sirius was plotting death, and for once his intended victim was neither Wormtail nor Dumbledore.
Harry needed to die. This was a view shared by Fred, George, Oliver, Neville, Dean and Justin.
Of course, there was one little hitch in Sirius's plan to kill his godson – he had a current inability to move according to his own wishes. He had been subject to the whims of an insane Gryffindor.
Not only was he entrapped in the sorry excuse for a dress he would have to wear in front of thousands of people the following night, but he had the tail, ears, nose and paws of his Animagus form. He was also wearing a studded leather collar, which had a leash attached to it. Across his back was a sign professing him to be Flint's Bitch.
Oliver, who appeared to be a clone of Marcus Flint wearing tight pink leather pants with a purple padded bra and green stilettos, had the other end of the leash attached to his hand.
George had, for a reason that became apparent moments later, been turned into a large glass of milk. His lower legs were still visible at the bottom, his arms poked out the sides, and his face could be seen glaring at the door to Harry's room through a thin layer of milk.
As for Fred…
Harry, showing great bravery, poked his head out of his room (where he had been hiding since Oliver had begun threatening his access to glitter) and sent Fred a smirk. "Run, run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the GingerFred man!"
Fred attempted to leap at Harry, who ducked back and slammed the door, laughing.
For a few moments, there was silence.
Luna was the only one who dared to break it. "GingerFred, your gumdrop buttons appear to be falling off."
For the first time, Harry had decided to have the cast crash the staff table.
This probably would have worked better for him if he hadn't been running from almost half of them in fear for his life and glitter.
Nevertheless, he arrived in the Great Hall with Draco, Blaise, Seamus and Luna in tow, while Minerva, Tonks, Hannah, Padma and Parvati attempted to aid the other seven with their de-pranking and anger management.
Harry headed straight for the Staff Table, where he immediately dropped down beside Severus, who turned and raised an eyebrow at him. "Potter, aren't you a little lost?"
The Gryffindor beamed at him. "Not at all, my dear Professor. I am in fact completely and utterly aware of my current location."
Draco leaned around Harry to shrug and grin at his Head of House. "This really means that he's attempting to settle his nerves by annoying anyone and everyone he can. Including, of course, the staff."
"You should have seen what he did to the others," Seamus snickered.
Remus's eyes widened in horror. "Don't tell me you pranked Minnie!"
Harry snorted. "Even I'm not that insane. No, I just turned Nev into a tree, Dean into a part mouse, part Tom Thumb, Justin is part pink elephant…"
"Sirius is Flint's Bitch," Blaise continued, "Oliver is Flint in drag, George is a glass of milk, and Fred…"
"Is GingerFred," Luna finished with a vague smile. "His gumdrop buttons keep falling off. It is really quite amusing." Her smile turned into a somewhat confused frown. "I don't understand why he seemed to become so upset when I offered to find some icing to stick them back on with, though."
Both men were staring at the five students in utter shock.
This lasted until the remaining cast entered the Hall and they were able to witness the majority of the costumes for themselves.
Sirius and Dean were the lucky ones who were back to their (relatively) normal selves. The others weren't quite so lucky.
Oliver stalked up to the table, stood across from Harry, and treated him to a very grave look. "I'm very unhappy with you, Harry."
Harry hung his head. "I'm sorry, Oliver. It's just the stress of this play and everything…"
The ex-Gryffindor held up a hand, halting Harry's speech. "Look, I can forgive you easily. Even for making me look like Flint." Harry stared at him in disbelief. "GingerFred makes up for it all."
Fred's icing-eye twitched.
Breakfast ended. So did the spells Harry had left on his friends.
Dumbledore switched the Hall from dining room to theatre and sent his cast backstage to change for their last dress rehearsal.
When they eventually emerged, he Twinkled proudly. "All right everyone. We're going to go over Scene Three again, and try to work the last little kinks out. Luna, Harry, Minerva, Seamus, Dean, Neville, if you wouldn't mind…"
Reluctantly, they stepped onto the stage and took their places. The others took seats and prepared to act as an audience.
When Dumbledore gave the nod, Luna lifted her large black leather, silver titled makeshift storybook that held a copy of the script inside, gave a sigh, and began to narrate.
"Cinderella was unhappy with her lifestyle. Being in the same family as two overgrown garden gnomes caused her great discomfort."
Minerva, Dean, Seamus and Neville were seated at a table, eating toast. Harry stepped onto the stage, wearing his lovely grey sack. He turned to Minerva. "Hey Mum, could I have some breakfast?"
"Don't you think you're being a bit unreasonable?"
Harry nodded. "Yes, sorry. How about something to chew on?"
Seamus sneered at him. "Why don't you try your leg?"
Everyone else at the table laughed. Harry sighed.
As Neville opened his mouth to say his first line, there was a knock on the door to the Great Hall.
Dumbledore frowned, but moved to answer it. Severus spoke to him for a few moments, attempting to catch a glimpse of the cast inside (and failing).
The Headmaster returned to his curious actors. "I'm afraid the Minister has arrived to discuss some important matters with me. I trust you can rehearse on your own until lunch?"
They all answered in the affirmative and watched him leave.
The moment he locked the door behind him and closed it, effectively locking himself and everyone else out, they raced for the change rooms.
They spent the rest of the day playing what they liked to refer to as 'hiding from Dumbles and not in any way, shape or form rehearsing for this damned play'. They even skipped lunch.
When they tentatively entered the Hall for dinner, they half expected the Headmaster to chastise them for skipping out on their last full day of rehearsal.
Instead, the crazy old man and his senile Twinkle allowed them to take their seats at the Slytherin Table before standing up and drawing the attention of the students to himself.
"I have a really bad feeling about this," Harry muttered. Draco just nodded in resignation.
"Students, please allow me a few moments of your time. I wish to extend a formal invitation to you all. This time tomorrow, we will be setting up for the premiere of our very own play, and I wish for you all to attend and support our cast."
"I feel a Twinkle coming on," Neville sighed mournfully.
True to Neville's prediction, Dumbledore treated the entire Great Hall to a particularly blinking Twinkle. "Our actors and actresses have worked very hard over the past seven weeks to prepare this entertainment for the wizarding world, so let us show our appreciation!" With this, he began to clap, inducing applause from his students. The Twinkle tried to take over the Hall.
Harry allowed for the applause to die down and for the Twinkle to fade in its intensity somewhat before he gestured for his fellow cast to follow him.
They did so, as did Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Lavender, Remus, Severus and Jason.
Eventually they ended up in the room at the back of the library again, which had become their sanctuary and hangout since the first time.
Jason lit the fire.
There was even more silence.
"You know, if we kill him now, we won't have to go through with the play tomorrow night."
Harry pouted at Dean. "I wanted to say that!"
"Get over it."
"Boys," Hermione sighed. "You can't kill the Headmaster. You have to go through with it."
"Besides, we want to see it," Ginny pointed out. There were several agreeing nods from the non-cast.
"I hate you all," Luna stated, smiling at the fire.
"I'm sending you all to bed now," Remus told the cast. "You all need your beauty sleep."
Draco winced and avoided looking at Seamus and Dean, for some reason.
Severus eyed them. "Bed. Now. Before you lose what little sense you have left."
The cast trickled out of the library and to their quarters.
Remus looked around at the students in the room. "You should probably head to bed as well."
Lavender raised an eyebrow. "Today was the last day of classes, as I'm sure you know. We can actually sleep in tomorrow, which negates a cause for an early night."
"Oh yeah," he muttered sheepishly. "Heh, I think I'm getting tired myself…ah well. Goodnight all."
They watched him leave.
Severus sighed and stood also. "Try not to stay out too late."
Theodore followed him out, giving the Gryffindors a quick wave.
The four of them glanced at each other for a few moments before quickly heading back to Gryffindor Tower.
After all, it was entirely likely that someone would be pranked tomorrow morning, and they didn't want to miss it.
This chapter took forever to get finished, but it finally, finally is!
Kurai Shinigami – When I started the chapter (for the third time) several weeks forward, I wasn't planning to put Scene Three in at all. I'm glad I did though, since you had your beanie-bag chair and popcorn all ready. Heh.
hi – Thanks, glad you liked!
Shinigami – Hm, well I didn't put Neville in a dress because I'd already decided on Seamus and Dean. That's about all the reason I have.
Almara – Oh yeah, he's definitely going down. I like the attitude of your minions, but Harry has claimed vengeance against the Twinkle and Headmaster for himself, and damn but that boy is possessive!
kate – Thank you!
Okay, if anyone else didn't get a reply with the review reply thing, then feel free to slap me. Gently, though! Seriously, I'm fairly sure I got everyone, but a few said I'd already replied, which I cant remember doing but may have done back when I first posted the last chapter.
Anyway, shutting up now. I hope you enjoyed!
Next Chapter: Chapter Seven - From Absence to Stage Fright to Oh My God!