Dave didn't think he'd ever been quite this miserable in his life, and that included the time in fifth grade when everyone found out that he'd been the first one to grow pubic hair. He winced and held the ice pack to the massive bruise forming over his eye, silently fuming at the stupid Glee club, their stupid teacher, stupid Finn Hudson, and stupid Kurt Hummel. He hated them all.
He heard the door to the nurse's office swing open, and a few seconds later the curtain surrounding the exam table he was sitting on was pushed back, revealing Santana staring at him disapprovingly, still clothed in her frumpy costume from rehearsal. She'd tied her frizzed-up hair back, though, making her face appear even harsher than usual.
"What do you want?" he snapped, keeping his eyes on the floor.
Santana huffed through her nose and snatched the ice pack from him, pressing it against his bruise hard enough so that Dave was pretty sure she was making it worse. "What, a girl can't visit her boyfriend after he got the shit kicked out of him by a guy with less coordination than a two-year-old?" she retorted dryly.
"You know, the more you freak out any time someone calls you gay, the more people are going to figure out that you're barfing rainbows in your closet." Dave said nothing, and after a few moments of silence, Santana continued. "I don't understand you. Don't you like performing? You had fun with Thriller."
Dave sighed. "I don't think we should date any more."
Santana didn't bat an eye. "That's fine," she said, moving the ice pack to his split lip. He figured that since Prom was over and done with, she didn't need him any more. "But tell me why you can't seem to be in the same room as Finn without starting a headbashing contest."
"I don't want to talk about it," he mumbled.
Santana tossed the ice pack on the bench beside him. "Clean up your own damn face, then." Once she was gone, Dave picked it back up.
It had all started two weeks after Prom when Mr. Schuester had pulled Dave into his office after class. Dave sat in the chair across from Schuester's desk and asked what he wanted to talk to him about.
Schuester regarded him with a strange mix of sympathy and sternness. "You're falling behind on your Spanish homework," he said. "You have been for the past few months, actually. I'm starting to worry about your grade."
"Yeah, sorry," Dave said, shifting in his seat. "I've just been having trouble keeping up with everything lately."
"I don't want to pry, Dave, but is there something going on at home?"
Dave shook his head. "No, nothing like that."
When Dave didn't offer any further explanation, Schuester leaned his elbows on the desktop and began to rattle on about how he just wanted to help. Dave turned out the lecture, nodding every couple minutes, until he heard the phrase "join Glee club."
He did a double take. "Wait, you want me to do what?"
"I want you to join Glee," Schuester repeated, holding up a hand to stop Dave's protests. "It'll just be for a few weeks, until the end of the school year. If you join, I can give you enough extra credit so you can stay on the football team next year."
"Can't I do something else? Like, I don't know, extra study hall or something?"
"Dave, this isn't just about homework and grades. It's about you."
Dave stopped at that. "I don't get it."
"You've been a member of the Bully Whips for about two weeks now, but I think it's time you took it to the next level. I've already talked this over with Miss Pillsbury and Principal Figgins and they agree."
"But I've been doing awesome with the Bully Whips!" Dave complained. "You think I want to wear a beret in front of the whole school?"
"The work you've been doing so far is really great," Schuester agreed with a nod. "But if you really meant the apologies you gave to Kurt and the rest of the club, then you can't just do one thing and leave it at that. You have to go all the way, and I think that the next step you take should be experiencing for yourself what it's like on their side of the tracks."
"Every single person in this school is going to make fun of me," Dave insisted, reaching for a Hail Mary even though he was ninety percent sure it wouldn't work. "Even Azimio'll probably slushie me."
Schuester didn't take the bait. "I hate to say it, Dave, but I think that might be what you need."
Dave stood outside the door to the choir room for several minutes on Monday afternoon, trying to decide whether or not to go in. It wasn't too late to back out. He could just turn around, walk to his car, and go home.
But, damn it, he really wanted to be on the football team next year.
Steeling his nerves, he finally forced himself to push open the door.
The Glee kids were all clumped together on the risers, talking and laughing amongst themselves, but as soon as Dave entered, every single head turned in his direction, their eyes either widening in shock or narrowing in suspicion. Mr. Schuester, who had been standing by the piano sorting through stacks of sheet music, was the only one to greet him with a calm "Hey, Dave, we were just about to start. Grab a seat."
Dave silently took a chair away from the rest of the kids. Rachel and the Asian chick both shot him dirty looks over their shoulder, and Mercedes was the first to demand, "Mr. Schue, what the hell is he doing here?"
"I have to admit I'm confused as well," Rachel added. "Didn't the football boys already serve their time in the Glee club?"
"Dave is joining us until the end of the year."
The room suddenly erupted into loud protests, and Schuester nearly had to yell to get them to quiet down. "Guys! Relax. First of all, it's only until school lets out for the summer, and it's up to Dave whether he joins again next year. Second, since Nationals is over, you don't need to compete with him. And third, our goal from now until the summer is to garner interest for next semester so that we can try to secure another few members. Having the Prom King in the group will probably make Glee seem cooler to the people who think it isn't."
There was a smattering of grumbles as the group considered his logic, but there were no more outbursts of rage. Dave was surprised at how quickly Schuester had managed to convince them without revealing the real reason that Dave had joined.
"Okay, no more arguing, guys," Schuester ordered, retrieving a thick stack of stapled pamphlets from the piano top and handing them out. "This is going to be your assignment from now until the end of the year. In order to get people to think that Glee club is cool, we need to be performing something that's cool."
Rachel immediately cut in. "Um, no offense, Mr. Schue, but we tried that approach at the beginning of this year and it didn't work at all."
"Actually, it did work, but you sent the top candidate to a crack den instead of the choir room," Quinn snapped.
"…Right," Schuester tried to keep the group's attention on track. "Which is why this time, instead of performing one or two spontaneous numbers in public, we're putting on a musical."
"Do you not remember what happened with Rocky Horror?" Kurt interrupted. "This plan is already doomed to fail, and we haven't even put it in motion."
Schuester smiled and patiently said, "Ladies and gentlemen, please take a look at the title page of your scripts."
Dave frowned in confusion and, along with the rest of the kids, glanced down at the packet he'd been given. Only four words graced the front page:
A Very Potter Musical
A/N: This was actually inspired by a review submitted by Rapp Fan to my other Glee-and-Harry-Potter-nerdyness fic titled Of Comparisons And Harry Potter, which you should read if you haven't. So a huge, massive, totally awesome THANK YOU to Rapp for giving me the spark to start this fire. And also, thanks to SpookyKat (ever my braintwin) for helping me come up with the title.