This is rabbit's fault. This spun off of "Balance."

And too many chocolate chip cookies.

The characters and places are not our doing.  The vignette is.  Please don't sue us, we spent all our money on chocolate chip cookies.

            rabbit and ~v~Jinx~v~


            They could hear Snape's tantrum coming all the way down from the dormitory, echoing along the corridor that led to the Slytherin Common Room.

            "Transfigurations," Lucius Malfoy bet, holding up a galleon.

            Gavin Goyle lifted his head out of his Charms textbook and blinked up at the coin, then slowly produced one of his own. "Charms."

            Vincent Crabbe looked at them, and frowned, and returned to his Herbology reading.  Severus was good at Herbology, which left that right out.

            A small, thin boy whose school cape made him resemble nothing so much as an irate bat stamped into the room, lugging two ponderous tomes, and flung himself and the books along the full length of the nearest couch.

            Goyle, who didn't fancy a lapful of greasy hair, quickly moved to the table Crabbe had claimed earlier.

            Snape let out a sort of snarling sigh of absolute frustration. "It doesn't make sense! And I've done the reading – twice now!"

            "What's that, Sev?" Lucius inquired, turning the galleon thoughtfully in his hand. 

            "I could turn the bloody hedgehog into a pincushion if she'd just give me a cauldron and three hours!"

            "Pay up," said Lucius.

            Goyle tossed over a galleon; Lucius caught it in midflight.

            Snape was still ranting.  "Look deep, she says!  How'm I supposed to look deep when she won't let me cut it open?"

            "If she'd let us cut it open, all I'd need would be five minutes and a bit of sawdust." Lucius shrugged.  "There's your pincushion."

            "Wretched things," muttered Snape.

            "Which wretched things would those be, in particular?  Anyone I know?" inquired  Narcissa Beauregard, who always seemed to show up when Severus was pitching a fit; she enjoyed making things worse, and it was just too easy.

            "Hedgehogs," supplied Goyle glumly.  He too had yet to succeed in the assignment, and the test was tomorrow.

            "Oh… transfiguring them?" asked Narcissa.

            "No, we're training them to dance," grumbled Snape.  "Of course transfiguring them!"

            "It's not going well," allowed Lucius. 

            "Mine bit me," said Goyle.

            "Mine had an accident on the desk," muttered Crabbe.  "I think on purpose."

            "You have to make them want to change," Snape mimicked McGonagall's snippy instructions. "What am I supposed to do, think like a hedgehog?"

            "Maybe we could force them to read these dry old texts," suggested Lucius.

            "That could inspire change," grumbled Snape, "or outright madness…"

            "I did fine with mine," chirped Narcissa. 

            The boys turned suspicious gazes to her.  Narcissa was not going to be Head Girl any time soon.

            She smiled, enjoying the collective male attention, and shrugged.  "I just told it, 'the pins won't hurt anymore, if you become a pincushion'."




            The next day, the row of Slytherins near the front of McGonagall's Transfigurations class successfully completed their hedgehog assignment in record time.

            They then sat back and relaxed, and turned smug gazes on the harassed Gryffindors in front of them, who were still trying to keep their hedgehogs from crawling off the desks.

            All in all it netted them fifty points for Slytherin, and the entertaining sight of Sirius Black going off to the hospital wing for treatment of a nasty bite.

            The school year was definitely improving.









Author Note:

            For more fun in a later year, please read "Stuck in the Muddle"