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PtQ in a Nutshell
The Condensed Version for Busy Witches
by Minerva McTabby
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CHAPTER 24

Snape: Take one nervous brat. Summon pissed-off parent. Sit back with a butterbeer. Showtime!

Lucius: Ah. Yes. My offspring with the Slytherin Deficiency Disorder. Care to explain why you're suddenly into tickling sleeping dragons?

Draco: Well, umm... it's sort of what you said as I was leaving...

Lucius: What? All I said was "Hogwarts can get cold, better pack a sweater."

Draco: Oh... er, I thought it was "Voldemort's getting old, better attack strega."

Snape: [*groan*]

Lucius: Gods! That's the *lamest* excuse I have *ever* heard. Draco, you're grounded!

Draco: But... but, Dad...

Lucius: No parties, dates, or Death Eater initiation till you've passed a hearing test, an I.Q. test, and the Zabini Revenge test.

Draco: Eeep!

Lucius: This is the worst blot on the family name since Claudius Malfoy's little accident with the Kneazle in 1863... Severus, do some attitude adjustment - I'm running late for squash with the Dark Lord. Ciao!

Draco: [*pureblood heir stress*]

Snape: [*aside*] Gaaah, I hate it when he looks at me with those big puppy-snake eyes... Time for The Talk. Draco, listen up. I'm only going to say this once. I am - but I'm not, of course. You might be, but you aren't; though he is, and I could be. But she was, so I am. You might not be... if she isn't - or is - and you do, or don't. I can't be, but you may be, though you don't have to be. But you should. And she can, and she will. However, if you do, and she doesn't, you might not be what he is, or I was and may be, and you may not have to become. Am I making myself clear?

Draco: Wow... that's very Zen, sir.

Snape: Either that or Nietzsche. No wonder I can never remember if my middle name is Angst or Agenda. Now get out.


CHAPTER 25

Draco: Hey, Zabini! I may be trying to turn over a new leaf here, but my image demands that I insult your baby bodyguards at least once.

Blaise: Don't be ridiculous - what you really want is to snog Florian - well, he's so adorable, doesn't everyone? [*demonstration*]

[Readers: *quick show of hands* Yep, at least half of us want to snog Florian! And the other half might consider it if he were older.]

Snape: Miss Zabini! Fifty points from Slytherin, for gratuitous snogging of a SRIG [Strega-Raised Impressionable Guy].

Blaise: [*fluffing up*] Oh, yeah? Well, fifty points from Slytherin for *not* snogging Hermione! Even though both of you - and the quetxal - and Goddess knows how many other people/creatures out there - are obviously *aching* for it to happen.

[Readers: From your mouth to Her ear. *crossing fingers*]

Snape: Guess it's time for me to remind you that being strega doesn't mean you can do anything you damn well please. You can't play around with Florian's feelings. And you most certainly can't take house points off me!

Blaise: [*sniff*] Oh, go ahead and rub it in! I *know* I'm only here as a device for exploring the riveting Issues in the torrid romance between Mr SRIG MagicHands and Miss GiftedGryff... I'll bet I don't even get any lines after [*cough*] Chapter 30. [*cough*]

Snape: Merlin's hangnail, if you start moaning about how tough it is to be an OC -

Blaise: I'm not an OC! I get mentioned in canon, dammit!

Snape: [*snerk*] Right. Let's see you be strega if you're androgynous, Mr/Miss Zabini Mystery.

Blaise: But I'm trying so hard to be a good supporting character... come on, you know I wouldn't have snogged Florian at all if the plot hadn't called for you to have another flashback about your mother!

Snape: Fair enough... Look, cousin, what say we forget the house points - you think over what I said about SRIGs, and I'll put in a good word for you with the Author.

Blaise: [*beaming*] And you think about what you'd like to do with Hermione, right? Needs, wants, power, revenge, requests, that sort of thing.

Snape: Don't worry. Every single neuron not dedicated to Potions or Death Eaters is already working on that one.


Herm: Oh my, I have *so* many wants and needs... Whatever am I going to do with this power thing? Hi Blaise, how was Snape?

Blaise: You're in luck. He's doing requests.

Herm: Super! I think I'll ask him to join S.P.E.W. - or be nice to Neville Longbottom - or wear Gryffindor colors for a week -

Blaise: [*WTF?*] Thank Circe I've got the revenge sub-plot to keep me busy; if I had to be the matchmaking type of OC in *this* fic, I'd go nuts, strega or not.

Herm: My ethics are telling me to do something clean and noble, but my guts keep babbling about snogging... am I making any sense at all?

Blaise: Hello? Earth to Hermione? Let's go to the library. I need to get a certain book, and you need to read the entire shelf I get it from.


Harry: Why has Malfoy crawled under the table?

Herm: That book. Ever read "Sex in Quidditch"?

[All the Quidditch players roll their eyes.]

Ginny: The Quidditch technique book that's sort of a cross between literary criticism and a sex manual: "The Phallic Symbolism of Broom Handling", "Simultaneous Scoring: Myth or Magic?", "Catch the Snitch Faster by Thinking of It As a Clitoris"... No serious player would be caught dead with that thing.

Herm: Plus it's quite insulting about anyone who *doesn't* play Quidditch - says we're sublimating - imagine! And as for spectators being the equivalent of voyeurs...

Ron: Excuse me, but this is meant to be revenge on Malfoy... how, exactly?

Herm: Well, it'll confuse the crap out of him. A specialty of strega, so I'm told.

Ginny: Two Sickles says Malfoy believes the chapter about pelvic thrusts as a substitute for Braking Charms.

Harry: [*grin*] I'm so looking forward to the next game against Slytherin...


With apologies to Sphinx for perverting her celebrated book title. She, like Riley, is free to hex me anytime.