The Kindly Ones
Disclaimer: This disclaimer is as much of a legal defense, as tissue paper is going to put out a bushfire.
The man gave a shrug which indicated that, although the world did indeed have many problems, this was one of them that was not his.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Soul Music)
". . .pass the eggs Harry." The plate of fried eggs was already in his hand and halfway across the table before Harry awoke.
The plate slipped through his fingers as he realised that instead of standing in one of the many hallways webbing Hogwarts, contemplating a life of piracy to escape what ever Snape was going to do with him when he regain consciousness, he was sitting down in the great hall enjoying a - he looked down at his plate - breakfast of baked beans and bacon.
"Harry, you idiot." He looked back up at Hermione, who had been the one asking for the eggs. The forgotten platter had landed in a pot of porridge and had splattered egg yolks and oats across the table.
The porridge dripped in a rather fetching way from Hermione's nose.
"I . . .I . . I'm Sorry."
The last thing he remembered was standing in that hallway, standing over a bloody Snape and wondering if he could commit suicide before Snape woke up and made his world a small and painful one.
Mouth moving before he could think. "I'm dead. So very, very dead"
"You will be when I get through with you." Wiping her nose with a hand she flicked her fingers at Harry, he didn't even blink as the yolk splattered his glasses.
"He's going to kill me." This was muttered through lips that were turning white in terror. Luckily the rest of the table was enjoying the prospects of an incoming food fight to notice Harry's mumble.
"Harry, I'm going to kill you if you don't wipe that dead fish look off your face and talk to me." Ron who had been splattered by some of the porridge, but had not been distracted from finishing his own plateful swallowed and watched Hermione whose face was turning red.
"He's going to rip off my head and spit down the hole." Harry stared over Hermione's head at a future only he could see.
Standing up he paid no attention to the plates and cutlery he sent flying, crying out in terror he scrambled out from behind the bench and ran out of the hall. Pushing other students out of his way as he ran. He did not notice the food fight that had started up behind him, the Gryffindor table rising to the challenge.
Someone was poking him, who would dare poke him. He'd bite their stupid finger off. With a tired hand he swiped out, knocking the hand away. The boy kept his head down and his eyes shut as he tried to claw a few more seconds sleep before he had to face another mindless day at Hogwarts.
Arms crossed he rested his head and sighed. Last night should have been quiet, what with Harry 'born to annoy and bedevil Draco Malfoy' Potter gone back to his own room .
Hopefully far enough away that he could keep their dreams separate at least for one night. He was a growing boy he needed his sleep. And for the past week with its exciting events, he had developed a strong wish to slam his head in a door until stars appeared.
Someone was poking him again. Snatching out a hand his head still down, Draco missed and heard someone giggling.
" I'm trying to sleep here." Last night instead of his hoped for dreamless rest he had returned to the blood red sea landscape into which he had found a dreaming Harry wondering.
Though now, the rolling sky above the sea was an oppressive constantly moving thunder cloud. Between the sea and the sky his head felt like it had been trapped in a vice and on waking he felt as though a freight train was running over his brain.
"Draco, you've got to see this." Draco heard Pansy, to whom the poking finger belonged.
"Draco is out of his mind right now. If you want to leave your name and number he 'ill get back to you." Tightening his shut eyes Draco ignored Pansy.
"Harry Potter has gone bug eating crazy." Pansy tried to entice Draco from his slumber.
"Harry Potter is by definition crazy." Draco muttered and hoped she would go back to eating her breakfast.
"He's throwing food at his little friends." Pushing himself up, Draco sighed.
"Fine, you've got my attention. Now what has wonder boy got up to?"
Pansy who was sitting across from him and could see the Gryffindor table behind his back laughed at something she could see over his shoulder.
"You have got to see the look on his face Draco. It's priceless. It looks like someone told him they had killed his owl by reaming it with his broom."
"Thanks for the mental image Pansy."
"You're welcome." Draco had felt the sudden presence of Potter as Pansy had pointed it out but he was trying hard to ignore it.
"And, now he's leaving like his pants are on fire." Pansy turned to watch Harry scuttled out of the hall so the ill-aimed bowl of baked beans sent with an ill-timed curse by Ron at Hermione smacked her hard in the side of the face.
At her indignant scream Draco was forced to look up. Tomato sauce and beans dripped down her head, and Draco remembered how excited she had been by her new hair cut the week before.
Her eyes had turned a very threatening shade of red, Draco knew when to duck. Jumping under the Slytherin table he watched a return volley of breakfast dishes from his from his house mates; toast, porridge, sausages, and the like, flew through the air towards the Gryffindor table.
The latter were busy with their own little civil food fight and were caught by surprise by the other house's involvement. Bedlam broke out.
Draco watched from the doorway of the great hall, after crawling under the tables, as Pansy managed a direct hit at Ron Weasley with a large plate of poached eggs, cackling all the time.
The teachers had either left or were watching behind glass shield. Draco wondered where Professor Snape was, usually he would have squashed the food fight faster than lightning.
With a shake of his head he wandered off back to his room for a quick nap.
Rushing round the corner of the hallway, his mind five miles behind wherever his body was, Harry hit the newly mopped floor with the heel of his left foot and, in a move that would have got him $10,000 if someone had recorded it on tape and sent it into funniest home videos, he wind milled down the hall. Slipping and sliding on wet stone, till he reached the thrust out pole-arm of a standing suit of armour and caught himself right between the legs.
Nothing is funnier than someone being hit in the genitals. It can make anything funny. Think about it.
Take the most embarrassing, moment in your life. Say when you walked back from going to the bathroom on your first date and had tucked you skirt into your underwear.
Now imagine your date as they're laughing at you, being kicked in the groin. It's much less embarrassing now isn't it?
Curled tight into a Harry's world was a small flaming ball of hellish pain
"Harry Potter." He thought someone might be reaching for his shoulder but he didn't know as he thought his testicles were trying to crawl out of his mouth.
"Take a deep breath.." The hand jerked away from him and he heard the voice hiss in pain.
"Sssssaa, You do know when to pick your moments?" Harry took this for a rhetorical question and wished he was dead.
"Well isn't this a fine mess." If Harry had been able to listen he might have heard the bewilderment. But the harsh grinding pain was taking up all of his attention.
Through watering eyes Harry looked up into the face of Mr. Scuta. Who was frowning down at him in mild puzzlement.
Scuta helped Harry hobble his way to a nearby class room to recover. With a glass of water and a nod. Scuta left him to clear up the wet floors. After several minutes which to Harry were made up of pain filled seconds he could string together some thoughts.
The last thing he remembered was standing there in the hallway near the 'Gallery of Gossip', looking down on a bloody whipped Snape. He had been furious at the professor with some sort of divine anger. Harry whimpered, why did this sort of shit happen to him. Had he been standing at the front of the line when weird mystical crap was being handed out?.
From late last night, to this morning he had no memories. Hopefully this meant that what he did remember was just a dodgy hallucination caused by his ancestor's vices.
Taking a deep breath he tried to think clearly, which was sort of difficult what with the throbbing agony.
First of all the noises and colours he had been experiencing for the past week had stopped. No blue lights, no weird voices.
Second, He didn't seem to be missing any limbs, so nothing could have happened last night, or Snape would have ripped his arm off and beaten him to death with it.
Third, maybe if he just calmly ignored the last week it wouldn't have happened.
Fourth, he heard the sound of a mob of students outside the classroom, he needed to get to class.
Snape was probably contacting the aurors right now. Still hobbling Harry rubbed his head, bugger it to going to his first class. First he was going to the hospital ward to get an ice pack and some 'get rid of the freakin' pain' potion.
Draco woke as his peers rushed back from breakfast to clean up and grab their books. Shaking out his robe, Draco made sure his hair was perfect and joined them in their mad rush to reach class on time. He had unhappily not been able to grab a quick shut eye as for some reason he felt he should have been in pain and hadn't been able to drift to sleep in fear of something nasty happening to him.
First class was astrology, theory. They were studying star charts for the next practical lesson on Thursday night.
The sky had always fascinated Draco. Each star seemed to have been placed in the firmament of the arching sky like a diamond on a bed of velvet. When he had been a child, before leaving for Hogwarts his Mother would sit with him in the summer when the nights were warm and point out constellations she created herself.
Like 'Cerberus the Hound of Hades', which made sure all good little wizards ate their broccoli and cauliflower or he would come down and chew their kidney's out through their spines.' Narcissa had taken a proactive stance on parenting.
And in a quest to curb her stories Draco had been forced to discover what the stars might actually be saying.
Once the class had settled into place the teacher had passed out the star maps. The teacher had then retreated to their own desk to hide behind a copy of Owl Fanciers Digest.
"Read pages 54-78, and answer the questions of page 75." The class was left alone. Despite what many people would have you believe it is not undying action every minute at Hogwarts. Minutes ticked away slowly as they do in most schools till it came time to change rooms. Potions was next.
On reaching the potions room he was surprised to see Madam Sinistra at the front of the class. He never expected to see anyone by Snape standing up there.
In fact when the time came for the cranky old bastard to retire, he thought they would need to drag him out kicking and screaming. The man enjoyed tormenting children too much to give up. Even when he was sick he loved sharing his misery with others.
Professor Sinistra was sitting behind the front desk flipping through a pile of notes. Draco caught the sleeve of a third year that was leaving the class. The little brunette her hair held out of her eyes with butterfly clips tried to jerk out of his grip but he held on.
"What's with Sinistra?" The girl glanced back at the woman who was marking something down with a red quill.
"Why isn't he sitting like a gore crow at the front of the class?" The girl shook her head and jerked her arm out of Draco's grasp.
"How should I know. I got to get to my next class." Draco didn't watch her run down the hall to catch up with her friends.
With a shake of her papers the dark haired Professor stood. "Right, Professor Snape is ill. He will not be teaching class today. I am sure you are sad to hear this."
The sniggers of delight died down.
"We will be continuing with some theory work in your text book until Professor Snape returns. Please take out your books and turn to,' she looked down at the papers in her hands,' page 65 and read the next two chapters. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to not bother me."
With that, the professor sat back down and got back to marking papers with her red quill.
"Are you going to Hogsmeade this week?" Vincent sat next to Draco in potions, turned to face Draco. Despite what most people thought, he did have two brains cells to rub together and could hold a decent conversation.
"I'm likely too. I've lost my pen knife." The blade had gone missing before the drama on the Quidditch field and Draco needed the little knife to sharpen his quills.
"That little gold thing your mummy gave you?"
"Yes that one." Draco picked at the edge of the lab table with a finger nail when the laboratory's door opened behind him. Turning around he watched Harry Potter limp in, looking worse for wear and clutching an out of class slip in his hand. Vincent leaned over and whispered in his ear.
It looks like Snape isn't the only one that's sick."
On spotting Madam Sinistra sitting behind Snape's desk, Harry sighed with relief. What ever punishment he was facing was put off for another few hours. The nurse had sniffed at him when he presented himself, gave him an ice pack and told him to get back to class with her note.
On receiving his nurse's note Madam Sinistra didn't take her attention away from here papers. "Just sit down Potter, and follow the notes of the board."
Ron had saved his usual seat and pulled his stool out for him when he hobbled over to him. "Mate, what the hell happened to you?" Ron hissed as he sat down.
"Pain, humiliation, the usual." Harry didn't bother getting out his books. Laying his face down on the desk he closed his eyes and tried not to move.
"Oh right, the usual." Ron nodded and got back to the magazine he was reading behind his work book.
"Hey check this out." He shoved the dirty mag under Harry's nose, with a view of the 'Witches gone Wild' centerfolds magically bouncing bosom Harry felt something try to stir, causing the fading pain to 'funnily enough' rise again and moaned.
"You bastard." Ron looked hurt.
"Oh, don't worry." Shaking his head Harry reasured his friend, and put it back down on the table.
Purple steam was billowing out of the caretaker's office. Filch was using an old family recipe on his persistent cold. William who knew that Filch was going to be suffering for a good while longer, because he was the one who had cursed him, was sitting down at his own desk shoved into a corner of the already overcrowded office.
"That's a nasty burn. 'Sniff' you've got there Mr. Scuta." Filch had his head over the bowl from which purple smoke was emerging. William looked distractedly from the palm of his left hand, a bright red burn covering most of the hand with which he had touched Harry Potter.
"Yes, it is, isn't it?"
I have not abandonded this story. I just got distracted by many, many shiny things.