Short, almost forced, and I don't care. It got updated. That's all that matters. Author Note at the end to explain Sacher. Thanks for reading and reviewing!
Part 8. God Has an Amusing Sense of Humor
Chocolat leapt to her feet after her senses returned to her. How dare that man be here! He was supposed to be dead! Her voice was thick with rage and confusion and carried loudly over her hands slamming into the counter. "SACHER!"
Sacher lifted a single eyebrow as the young woman in the front row with flaming red hair who had nearly jumped across her desk. The only think holding her back was her muscle-man neighbor whose reaction times were pretty quick for a boy his age or size. There was rage in her eyes that he didn't understand; he'd never met this woman before in his life. The hate was unmistakeable and Sacher spoke slowly in reply. "Can I help you, Miss?"
"Don't play dumb with me you bastard! Why I sho-mph!"
Marron begged for forgiveness in his head the moment he shoved his hand over Chocolat's mouth to cut her off. Though, he was thankful Gateau took it upon himself to grab her; Marron wasn't sure he could hold Chocolat back when she was angry. Despite what it looked like, there was a very good chance that this was just a misunderstanding on her part. It was in everyone's best interest to lie low until they gathered more information. Though, the likeness was uncanny. "Forgive her, Professor. You resemble someone we used to know who hurt her very deeply. I was a little shocked myself, so it was only natural she'd react this way. I'm sure it won't happen again."
"I see. I can assure the young lady that I've never met her before in this lifetime." He watched as the girl was dragged back down into her seat by her companions all the while remaining tense. She sent a scowling look to her raven-haired Slytherin friend and Sacher stored that away for future information. It wasn't often that Slytherins and Gryfindors stayed in each other's company willingly. "Well, at the very least let's not have any more outbursts of that nature in my classroom."
"Of course, sir." Marron nodded and looked over Gateau at Chocolat to gauge the woman's reaction. She had her arms crossed over her chest, but she was remaining quiet.
Sacher sighed inwardly as he stared at those three; they were going to be trouble. "Now, unlike in my other classes where I have to figure out what they've studied and what they have not thanks to your ever changing professors, this is a first year class so we can start from scratch. Please open your books to page twenty and we'll take a look at..."
As professor Sacher continued on with his first lecture, Gateau leant down next to his partner who was still tense. "Are you okay?"
"Do I look okay?" Chocolat whispered back harshly. "That's Sacher. I don't care what he says."
"Well, for right now just take it easy." Gateau almost rubbed her shoulder, but thought better of it. "We'll figure this out later."
"I'll be fine, Gateau."
"If you two would like to hold a conversation during my lecture, than please leave the room." Sacher glared at the two who had caused a disturbance earlier. "You're distracting from the material."
"We're done." Chocolat's voice was clipped as she opened her book. Gateau looked as if he was going to say something, but she cut him off with a glare. The bulky man stayed quiet.
"Now then, as I was saying..."
Marron was running through as many possibilities through his head that he could to figure out why this Sacher Torte look-a-like was here or could exist. However, he wasn't able to come up with any valid theories. Instead of worrying about it too much, Marron opened his text book. If this really was Sacher, the one that they knew, than he'd give himself away somehow. They just needed to watch him carefully for any slips. Granted, for all Marron knew it was just the doppleganger effect.
"But Momma!" Daughter cried out as the wise woman sat in her throne. She was out of breath and her wings were drooping. Carrot and the others had been missing for close to a week already! "There's no sign of them anywhere!"
"Calm yourself, Daughter." Big Momma sat her hands in her lap as she played the information over in her head. She had sent her sorcerer hunters on a routine mission to check out Cake Short and his experiments. The old man should not have given them any issue. Momma wasn't even quite sure if he was the culprit and even if provoked without reason would probably let something slide. "Mille Feuille, take Cinnamon Tea with you and go see Cake Short."
"Of course, Momma." The purple haired Haz Knight bowed before walking out of the hall. Despite what she told the winged girl, Daughter, if she was calling her Haz Knights in to investigate she was surely worried. He took a breath and put a smile back onto his face. On the bright side, he'd get to go see his favorite band of hunters. Teasing Carrot was far too much fun; that thought in mind Mille Feuille held his skipping until he was out of sight.
"Do you think that they're okay, Momma?" Daughter rubbed her hands together. The rag tag group of hunters had never been missing for this long. "I'm getting really worried."
"I know, Daughter." Big Momma opened up her arms to let the girl nuzzle in for a hug. Maybe she should contact Sirius and have him pay a visit as that always seemed to calm the younger girl down. "But don't worry, wherever they are we will find them. I know that they're alive."
"Yeah." Daughter started to snicker. "I bet Carrot's being an idiot and hitting on all the girls like he usually does."
"I'm sure that he is." Big Momma chuckled and set a caring hand on the girl's head. She was a sweetheart. "Are you jealous?"
"Of course not!" Daughter huffed and crossed her arms. "I just feel sorry for him after what he'll look like when the Misu sisters get done with him!"
Big Momma laughed and was thankful for this little bit of cheer. She did hope that they were alright. For now, all she could do for them was pray and hope that her Haz Knights came through for her.
"You're kidding?" Carrot munched on a muffin as he leant over the eating table. "Looks and sounds just like old Sacher?"
"The resemblance is uncanny, Brother." Marron nodded in his seat. He made sure that his voice was low to keep this information from prying ears. Normally he'd wait to have this conversation with his brother at a later time, but Filch was more strict than ever recently with Brother's free time. "If not for his lack of recognition, I'd think it was Sacher Torte, too."
"Think it's an act?"
"I'm not sure." Marron sighed. "If it is, it's very convincing. He was clearly confused when Chocolat confronted her."
"How's she feeling now?"
"Chocolat's still upset."
"Yeah, I could have told you that." Carrot signaled over his shoulder at the sisters both sitting at the Hufflepuff table. They were sitting close to each other and he couldn't see their faces. The muscle man of their group was sitting backwards on his bench at the Gryffindor table watching them. "How's Gateau taking it?"
Marron sighed and took another bite of his own food. "Better than his partner."
"Well, I've figured that much." Carrot took another bite. That jerk of a grounds keeper had forbidden him from eating on shift because he was getting crumbs on the floor. He was hungry! "She told Tira yet?"
"I believe she's explaining the situation now." Marron looked over his brother's shoulder to confirm. "Yes, Gateau's making sure she stays calm, if even from a distance."
"That's good." Carrot yawned and stretched out on the table clearing a plate to the side. He was wiped and a change of topic was in order. "How are classes?"
"Fairly simple, actually." Marron shrugged. "The technique is different but the concept's the same. It's not different from the Eastern Magic I've already learned."
"Or you're just freakishly good at this stuff." Carrot chuckled as his little brother frowned. He had to get in his teasing sometime.
Marron huffed. "What about you? Aren't you supposed to be taking lessons, too?"
"Not enough time. Filch is keepin' me too busy." Carrot stretched his arms behind his head and looked around as everyone started to finish eating and walk out of the room. "Speaking, looks like dinner's over. Guess I gotta' go back to work."
"Ah, what a shame." Marron sighed as he set his fork down and stood as well. The dishes removed themselves and Marron was happy to not need to clean up. "I'll try and stop by to change your wards before curfew, Brother."
"Sounds good." Carrot pushed up from the bench himself. "But for now, the slave driver's calling. See-ya later, Marron."
Carrot waved goodbye to his brother as he and the other students started filing out into the hallway. The brunette looked around the room quickly before grinning and sneaking out among them. You couldn't give orders to someone you couldn't find, after all. Carrot successfully snuck by the grumpy gatekeeper and his cat to make it out into the hallway. He hung back on a wall for the mass of the students to clear before he started walking in the opposite direction.
To run straight into a familiar blonde student.
"Watch where you're going!" Malfoy snarled as he pulled himself up from the floor. How dare that, that, well Malfoy wasn't sure what he was but he was sure the man had dirty blood! "Do you even know who I am?"
"Uh, that Malfoy kid who keeps giving my little brother a hard time?" Carrot glared down. He remembered this little brat oh too well. "Sorry for knocking you down."
"Oh please, you don't know anything." Malfoy huffed. "One word from my Father and I can have you out of here."
"Look kid, just keep walking. This wasn't a big deal." Carrot promptly ignored references to the boy's heritage.
"Don't call me a kid!"
"You're younger than me." Carrot crossed his arms. "I'll call you what I want."
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Well you're a dimwit."
"Actually, I'm a love machine." Carrot grinned as he was conveniently distracted by a much prettier little blonde walking on the opposite side of the otherwise empty hallway. "Now if you'll excuse me"
"Get back here, I wasn't done yet!" Malfoy shouted. When the man didn't stop Malfoy narrowed his eyes. He'd show the Glace brothers just who was boss around here! "You stop when I say stop! Take this!" Malfoy shouted as he pointed his wand. "Stupify!"
"Shit!" Carrot tried his best to dive out of the way, but was unsuccessful. He cried out when the curse smacked him hard in the leg. He moaned in agony as the direct blast of magic overloaded the wards; he could feel them shrinking and flaking off of his skin. He growled gutturally and held onto his head as the transformation started taking place. He only hoped that Marron and the others were close by to stop him.
Malfoy stared as the brown haired man growled and twitched on the ground. But instead of paralyzing the idiot, he was growing fangs and his legs had ripped through his pants to transform into...a snake tail? "What's going on?"
"That's what I'd like to know." Carrot moaned and held his side. The transformation was finished, but he could still feel magic very slowly seeping in. It felt a hundred times worse than when he first was in the castle without Marron's wards! He looked at his hands and down at his legs and cursed before turning to the blond boy. "Jeesh! Did you have to half-ass the spell? That puny little thing didn't even have enough kick to finish the transformation! Now look at me! I'm half-snake!"
"But...that's not what was supposed to happen..." Malfoy trailed off as the man stood upright on the tail. This was ridiculous!
"Yeah, well it did." Carrot looked at his lower half in disgust. He pointed to it angrily as he continued to berate the blonde. "Couldn't you have at least used a magic that would have made down there more endowed?" Carrot got a dreamy look on his face. "Man, I remember when I was half horse. Man was I packing!"
"What?" Now Malfoy was just confused. What on earth was he talking about now? "You're insane."
"No, I'm pissed." Carrot snarled. The magic kept creeping into his system and he knew that it wasn't going to be long before he really lost it and got nasty. "If I remember correctly it's against the rules to use magic in the halls, right?"
Malfoy gulped when the man grinned and his now elongated canines peered through. Glace's breathing was getting heavier and his eyes were slowly slitting. Whatever transformed him seemed to still be happening. "What are you?"
"Dangerous." Carrot chuckled and leaned forward so that he was truly towering over the boy. He slammed the end of his tail on the ground for emphasis. "Now get the hell out of here before I really get pissed off and let Filch have his way with you for breaking school rules."
Carrot laughed when the Malfoy boy started to sprint away. That would show him to mess with either of the Glace brothers any time soon. Though, Carrot was glad the kid didn't have much 'umph' behind the attack. Even if it hurt like a bitch, being half-transformed meant he still had his wits about him. Carrot looked down at his hands and sighed at the claws his nails turned into. He'd need to go find Marron to fix this.
"Bloody hell! What happened to you!?"
Carrot turned around to see a very stunned red head, a pretty little bookish brunette, and Harry staring at him. He tried to smile and held his hand up in a wave. "Um, what's up?"
"He's a naga." Hermione pointed out as she walked closer. "Is this a spell or were you always like that and just using a disguise?"
"What's a naga?" Ron squinted as he thought and looked towards Hermione.
"Half-snake, half-human. Like a centaur or mermaid, but with a snake as the other half." Hermione rattled out quickly. "But that's not important."
"Are you okay, Carrot?" Harry walked over next to his new friend from the summer. He hadn't seen him since school started so he had been curious about what he and his friends were up to. But he wasn't expecting this. "Do you need to see the nurse?"
"Oh, no." Carrot rubbed his hair and winced. He could still feel the magic seeping in and needed to get out of there before he lost it. "It's a long story but I really need to see Marron. Do you know a fast way to the Slytherin dorms?"
"Yeah, sure." Harry nodded and started walking towards the dorms. Carrot slithered beside him and Hermione and Ron trailed behind.
"Great, cause this is starting to hurt." Carrot itched at his newly growing scales and hoped they got there quickly.
"I still can't believe he's here." Tira spoke softly as she stared at her hands in her lap. Her older sister sat next to her on the courtyard bench and Gateau was leaning against a pillar. They had explained the situation over dinner, but she still couldn't believe it. She tried to look for Sacher at the teacher's table, but his seat was empty. "Are you sure?"
"Marron still thinks it's someone else, but there's no mistake." Chocolat's fingers were tight around her skirt. "It's Sacher. I'm sure."
Gateau shook his head. "As much as I'd like to agree with Chocolat, we should probably lie low until we're absolutely sure. For starters, we saw Sacher die. So why is he here?"
"That's just what we need to find out." Chocolat stood up from the bench and dusted off the back of her robes. "But for now, we should probably head back to our rooms."
Tira nodded. "Yeah, I have homework to do yet. And a few of my classmates offered to show me around before curfew."
"I'm glad you're making some friends over there, Tira. I'd hate for you to be all by yourself." Chocolat smiled.
"Thanks, sister. But I'll be fine." Tira laughed. "Just don't you and Gateau get into too much trouble."
"Trouble, us?" Gateau laughed. "Who do you think we are?"
Tira pushed her glasses up higher on her nose and smirked. "Trouble."
"Brother!" Marron rushed down the stairs and across the common-room when he spied Carrot in the middle very clearly half transformed. "What happened?"
"Malfoy." Carrot glared. It had been hell getting inside of the stupid dungeon between waiting for someone to let them in to scaring off the kids who wouldn't leave Harry alone. He'd never understand this whole house bickering thing that was going on. But, that Adrian kid happened to walk by and was kind enough to see the problem and let Carrot and the Gryffindors into the room. He needed to fix this now before anyone else asked a question. Though, Carrot was surprised by how little people questioned his transformation. "Can you fix this?"
"Of course." Marron nodded before pulling Carrot along up to his room. The other three followed quickly behind. Once he had waved the other dorm mates out of the room (with Carrot looking as fierce as he did they didn't question) and after making sure the room door was shut, Marron pulled out a seal and slapped it on Carrot's chest. He pulled out another six or seven to help drain the magic. "Just hold still."
"What are you doing?" Hermione asked as she walked over to sit on a bed. She watched carefully as the pieces of paper started to turn black and crinkle.
Marron peeled off a full seal and crinkled it into a ball where it turned into a tiny plush of a snake. A second one followed suit and was quickly replaced with a new one. "They absorb the magic."
"That's wicked." Ron picked up the small snake and poked at it. It was pulsing slightly with an odd energy. "But I don't get it, why'd you turn into a snake in the first place?"
"It's a long story and I'd rather not go into it-yeowch! Careful Marron."
"Sorry Brother." Marron bit his lip. That last ward had stuck to his skin and pulling it off took a bit of said skin with it. "But really, this is a situation unique to my Brother. Please don't trouble yourselves."
"Dude, he's Harry Potter. Trouble is like his middle name." Ron laughed and slapped an arm around his friend.
"Ron." Hermione scolded. When the two boys quieted, she turned back to the two brothers. "Though, I will admit I'm also curious."
Carrot shrugged and looked down at his now human hands. As the magic was absorbed he could feel his human form returning. However, he looked down at his legs and remembered something important. "You guys got an extra robe or something?"
"Because when my legs turn back, I'm not going to have any pants." Carrot stated bluntly before rubbing his chin. "Though if the lovely lady wants to see my goods, who am I to den-OW!"
"Behave yourself, Brother." Marron ripped that last one off harshly on purpose. "What would Tira or Chocolat say?"
"Don't side with them." Carrot huffed, but took the robe that was handed to him and covered up the snake half. "Thanks, Harry."
"No problem." The Boy Who Lived looked at the other man and watched carefully as a ward was added, it turned black and the motions repeated. "So, you're sucking magic out of Carrot and he turns to normal?"
"But that doesn't make any sense." Hermione pushed. They had told them to stay out of it, but she'd never read about anything like this before! Curiosity and knowledge were getting the best of her. "How did he absorb the magic and transform in the first place?"
Carrot rolled his eyes. "I'm cursed, alright? My body absorbs magic, decides what type it is and then reconfigures my body into one of the different animal signs in my body."
"In other words, magic spells are utterly useless against my Brother." Marron smirked as the last of the magic was drained out and his elder brother's legs was returned. He started to attach the normal wards to help tide his brother over for the night. "There you go, all done."
"Wow, that's a wicked ability." Ron looked in awe as the man stretched and all the pieces of paper covering him. "Looks like a pain though."
"Tell me about it. This place is loaded with magic in the air and I'm absorbing it like a sponge." Carrot moaned when he saw the clock. "And I'm totally late for my runs! Filch is going to kill me. See ya later!"
"Brother." Marron sighed as Carrot raced out the door, clad in only his torn shirt and Harry's robe wrapped around his waist. "He's hopeless."
"Is he really going to be okay?" Harry ventured.
"Oh yes, he'll be fine." Marron laughed. If Harry knew what usually took place to turn Carrot back to normal he wouldn't question the quick and painless absorption of magic he just saw. However, the others had noticed his door open and were starting to filter back into the room. "Though you guys might want to head back to your own dorm before my less than pleasant housemates get to you."
"Yeah, see you later Marron!" Harry waved.
"Bye mate!" Ron added in and trailed out after Harry with Hermione following. Marron waved after them and stretched. It was a bit early, but he decided to turn in early for the night. The long haired beauty pet Dusty quickly before pulling the curtains around his bed closed. He'd deal with Malfoy, Sacher and the rest after he'd slept.
AN: Sacher as the DADA Teacher. To pull this off I've combined a bit of canon from both the anime and manga. For the manga - Sacher's physical death. From the Anime, at the end when the characters died their souls ended up in a parallel universe. Same concept, Sacher died and his soul went to Harry's world. As in the anime, time differences do not apply, so Sacher has lived his entire life in Harry's world - as to whether he'll remember his past life or not, you'll have to read and find out.