Summary: Harry takes a field trip to 1942, and discovers the legendary Terrors of the Hogwarts halls: four mischievous girls that not even Albus Dumbledore can control. Wait a moment. Who's that mystery boy in the mirror?
Warnings: Major Character Death, Other Sensitive Topic
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. I guessed Rolanda Hooch's first name. The 'chandelier episode' I borrowed from Minerva McDore's 'Into the Lion's Den' (with permission) because I loved it too much. The fic was inspired by that one.
Author's Notes: Most of this fic will take place in the 1940s at Hogwarts. I hope I haven't made the plot so confusing that no-one can follow it. I knocked two years off Minerva McGonagall's age, but apart from that it's consistent with post-OotP canon.
Nostalgic Accounts of Professional Pranksters, or The Bumper Book of Don't Do That! (Title shortened to fit)
I: The Hogwarts Four
Prologue: Truth or Dare
Prologue: Truth or Dare
For Minerva McDore as thanks for the chandelier episode!
It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish
The Founder's Room, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, 1942
The school body had dubbed these girls the 'Hogwarts Four', in honour of the Founders, as one was from each House. The staff had secretly dubbed them the Four Terrors – not that they would ever admit to the girls what an impact they had on the Professors. If they knew it could be disastrous.
As they came from separate Houses and none really got on well with their housemates, the headmaster Professor Dippet had granted the Four a common room to themselves – although the girls regarded it as a privilege, it was simply because the librarian was sick of chasing them out for being too rowdy.
It was in this common room the four girls sat one Saturday afternoon.
The Founder's room was decorated in all the House colours, with a portrait of each of them on each wall. It was unusually quiet today. The Founders were getting slightly on edge, waiting for pandemonium to break out.
The first one was sitting straight up, legs crossed, on the chair nearest the fire. There was a tortoiseshell cat curled up on the rug in front of her, a heavy book on her lap and glasses perfectly set in place. A few whisps of black hair were curling free of her long plait, hanging over one shoulder. Her sharp green eyes scanned the page, flickering in annoyance. The reason for them doing that was slouched in a very undignified position the other chair.
"Come on Mina, it's your turn," the second girl wheedled.
"Stop it Ro, I'm trying to concentrate!"
A third girl looked up from the floor where she was shuffling the Exploding Snap cards with the fourth and said, "Ro, leave her be if she doesn't want to."
"It's not the same without all of us." Ro had short, cropped mouse-brown hair, unusually yellow eyes like a hawk, a lean athletic figure, and was the tallest of the group. The girl who had addressed her was the shortest: she was dumpy, with soft brown eyes and red-tinted, dirt-smudged hair that curled slightly around her round face. Her partner, more absorbed in the cards than she, had milky skin with scatterings of freckles, shoulder-length blonde waves and pale blue eyes that were completely focused on the floor.
"Fine, I'll join in!" Mina snapped, closing her book sharply and making them all start. The moment the anger appeared it evaporated, revealing a mischievous look in her eyes as they fell upon the scattered cards.
"Come on you two, help us put these away!" the smaller girl said, rubbing her nose with her finger.
"We're coming, Pomona; keep your hair on." Mina put her book aside and she and Ro crouched on the floor.
Ten minutes later the Four Terrors had packed away the cards and were heavily involved in a new game.
"Your turn, Poppy. Truth or dare?"
The fourth girl chewed her lip seriously before deciding, "Truth."
Ro rubbed her hands together. "Who's the best-looking boy in the year?"
"ROLANDA! Do you EVER think of ANYTHING else but boys and Quidditch??"
Poppy and Pomona shared a Look. Out of the four, Mina and Ro were the ones who were at each other's throats most. Anyone outside the group would say it was because one was Gryffindor and the other was Slytherin. They knew it to be the fact that they were best friends.
Pomona cleared her throat. "Mina, you can't ask Ro a question till it's her turn." Poppy sniggered and the other two glared at her.
"Fine, answer the question then, Poppy. Who's the best-looking boy in the year?"
It took a minute for Poppy to answer. "That's a tough one, but … I think Tom Riddle is."
Ro raised her eyebrows. "Really? I'd have thought he would be more Mina's type." Mina glared at her. "You know how she is with dark-haired guys."
"Rolanda Hooch, you're going the right way for a Silver Arrow up your -"
"AHEM!" Poppy interrupted. "What is wrong with you two today? Will you just pack it in? Pommie and I would like to get through the afternoon unscathed."
Mina sighed. "Fine. Who's turn is it now?"
Fifteen minutes passed, with all four avoiding scratches.
"Mina, truth or dare?"
"Before you ask her, Ro," Poppy cut in, "we all know Mina's crush, so it's pointless asking her about that."
"Good point. Okay Mina, describe your dream future – and the name Albus Dumbledore is NOT allowed to appear in it."
Mina blushed furiously and sent her a death glare before taking a breath.
"Um … I'm not sure, I've never really thought about it." She bit her lip, looking at the floor. "I'd quite like a career in something important – maybe Healing. Or an Auror. Or perhaps teaching."
Mina shot Rolanda a Look. "Transfiguration, of course. Or Defence if I can't get that job."
"What about besides your career?"
"I don't know … Maybe get married somewhere along the line. But it would have to be with someone special." The other three exchanged knowing looks. "Maybe children … I don't know."
"If you had kids, what would you call them?"
"Oh … I quite like Jasmine for a girl. And … Luke for a boy. And if I had another girl, she'd be Susannah, and if another boy, then Harry."
"I like those names," Poppy mused. "If I have kids first I'll pinch them."
"You will not."
"I've always thought Mina would have kids first," Pomona said thoughtfully. "I'm not sure why."
"I think you will," said Rolanda, "or Poppy."
"Ten Galleons on Mina," Pommie grinned.
"Excuse me?" Mina exclaimed. "Ro!"
"What? Anyway, it's Poppy's turn now."
Mina didn't speak to Rolanda until her next turn.
"Truth or dare?"
"You know what Ro's going to ask you, Mina. Go for dare this time."
"Fine … Dare."
All four girls' eyes shone with excitement and mischief as Rolanda leaned forward to whisper in Mina's ear. Her green eyes went suddenly wide.
"You want me to do WHAT???"
"Honestly Mina, it's not going to do any harm or anything. It'll just give him a bit of a shock."
"You said dare; you've got to do the dare or a forfeit!"
"What's the forfeit?"
"Declare your undying love to him in front of the entire school."
"And drop your robes as you do it!"
"Um, you know what? I'll take the dare. BUT you all have to come with me; I'm not getting into trouble on my own because of something stupid Ro asked me to do!"
"That sounds reasonable," Pomona said quickly before the two could start a cat-fight. "We'll come with you, Mina."
"But she's got to do it on her own!"
"Yes, yes. C'mon girls, I say we do it right now – I'm hungry and I want dinner."
"Fine." All four girls left the common room. Mina was quiet. Normally, Ro's dares weren't particularly dangerous, but this one could end up seriously backfiring. A crystal chandelier dropped at that height could kill someone. Although Ro had assured her that they'd make sure no-one was close enough for it to hit them, Mina had a bad feeling.
Her bad feeling turned out correct. Poor Professor Binns.
Next Chapter: Harry arrives!