To the Masses: my project group ditched me, so I have some time at school to start chapter three. I was going to update a different story, but…well, I didn't feel like it. The last chapter was edited for grammar and spelling errors, and I'll do my best while proof reading the next chapter. I only have about an hour left on this computer, so I'm sure the top half won't look so bad.
Special thanks to ForeverEmrys, because he calls me on my bullshit and asks a million and one questions so I can fill my own plot holes. Thanks to JasonDragon64, for helping with pranks. Also 27quill, for the help with British idioms and all of those details I can never remember.
Oh no, only 57 minutes left. I lost time, because I needed to use the restroom. (Later: I got about 1400 words done.)
Soundtrack: Turn Me On (Nicki Minaj), Glad You Came (The Wanted), Smooth Criminal (Glee Version).
Warnings: OOC & AU, slash, confusion, illegal activities (that you shouldn't try at home), cultural misunderstandings, and more.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Glee.
"A good friend is cheaper than therapy," Unknown.
Puck decided Harry was a cool little dude, as they lounged on the new couch at 1427. Sirius and Remus had left not soon after they had, taking their own truck down to some auction house to fill in the blanks of their house. They found this awesome couch, ugly as all hell, but it was deep enough for Puck to lay on his back and fit comfortably. There was some butt-ugly stain down the side, but he'd seen Remus' calculated gaze and figured it would be gone soon. They'd also purchased one of those wing-backed chairs that old people liked, a sturdy coffee table, and mismatched chairs for the kitchen. They'd stopped by long enough to drop that stuff off, make sure they had both eaten lunch, and were gone again.
Harry hadn't found any furniture he liked for his room at the thrift stores or the warehouse overflow places, except for a lantern shaped light fixture. He did find a deep chair with a Union Jack pattern for the living room, a hookah shaped lamp that was sitting against the far wall, and a giant wooden mushroom they were using as a side table. One thing was apparent, when Sirius had rolled into the house and seen that fungal shaped piece of furniture and his entire face lit up, they were weird. It was still the cool kind of weird, because no one was touching him in a naughty place or looking at him like they were wondering how many limbs they'd have to chop off before he fit in a trashcan, so Puck didn't mind.
They had to stop off at a craft store on the way back, much to Puck's annoyance, because the kid wanted thread and sewing needles. That might have just been an excuse to scope out some paint supplies, because he ended up buying plenty of that too. Puck could respect that though, because his sister had to wear a lot of his old hand-me-downs and taking the sides in made all the difference, and his Bubbe told him that shit was hard work. Harry was all the cooler for not even thinking about taking the easy way out (which, to Puck, involved stapling the hems rather than sewing them properly) and getting shit done. That was why they were camped out on the funny smelling couch instead of vegging in front of a television. He was almost desperate enough form something to do, to contemplate pulling down one of those books and finding out what words looked like.
Puck had planned to spend the second half of his day doing just that, back at his own place. His end of the deal was over and the kid had four big, black trash bags full of new (to him) clothes. He would have been happy to stop by later, when the needle and thread was put away and maybe they'd purchased a television (as old as it was likely to be, with dudes like the Black-Lupins) but the kid stopped him when he was just about to leave, with a simple question.
"Shall we talk about Shane now?" the kid had apparently been waiting the six hours it took for them to shop to ask that question, if his tone was any indication. Puck wondered what kind of person would rather plot revenge than buy new clothes. So he asked. "It's not revenge," Harry spat out a little bitterly, "it's justice. What kind of teammate runs at the first sign of danger, not that Remy is dangerous (that was a sack of lies), instead of helping a friend?"
"We're not exactly friends," Puck told him. That was when he kicked back on the sofa and propped his feet up on the kids lap without asking. Harry didn't push his feet off, he just continued to thread the needle and got to work on whatever it was he was doing to that black shirt.
"You're on a sports team with him. You said so earlier," Harry pointed out. They had talked a little bit about what kind of character Shane Tinsley was, but then Harry would lose focus on what he was supposed to be doing and Puck would change the subject. Otherwise they'd still be at the diner and clothes shopping would have extended another day, and he had work then.
The way Harry said it though, it was as if friend was implied just because they played ball together. There was a time he would have believed that, but then he joined Glee and realized that they weren't as tight as he'd always thought. Those guys on the team never stuck up for him, they would have sooner joined forces against him. At one point they did, and he'd ended up locked in a porta-john. He didn't want to think about that, but just because Tinsley was on the same sports team as him didn't make them bros. He'd only considered taking Shane with him because none of his gleeks would even think about pulling a prank like that, and Shane had actually volunteered.
"Nah, the football teams not all like that," Puck explained, "me and a few of the other guys actually catch a lot of shit for being in Glee club." He paused and raised his head just enough to see Harry's confused stare directed at his clothing. He'd been explaining a bit about American culture to the kid, because he didn't have any previous exposure like most people with televisions did. "That's a show choir. We pick songs to perform at competitions and stuff, with a bit of choreography."
"Why is it called a Glee club then?" Harry asked him. Harry had actually been asking a lot of questions. It was kind of hard to convince him that Puck wasn't going to rip his head off just because he didn't know, but once he opened up Puck actually had to start telling him to shut up.
Puck shrugged, "because music makes people all happy, I guess. Not that depressing piano shit though," he added for clarification. "That shit makes me want to set someone on fire."
Harry grinned a bit, remembering the Yule ball and how his peers went crazy for the music. He'd never felt that, but perhaps that's because the wailing of the band made him want to light someone on fire as well. Several someone's in fact, most of them had started calling him a 'crazy midget' not too long after the first task. He also remembered the classical music, which reminded him that he needed to suggest to his dads that they get a piano. "So you were saying," Harry reminded him, as they both seemed to get lost in thought.
"Yeah, so football's kind-of split up now. You've got football players that only play football and maybe do some other extracurricular. Then there are guys like me, who do Glee. Shane's one of the sports only guys. He's got decent grades and all, but he's not very street-smart. He actually called me up and offered when he heard I was planning something on the new neighbors." Puck lifted his head again, "No offense."
"None taken," Harry said. He'd reassured Puck a few times already that none of them were mad, but the bloke kept expecting them to suddenly blow up in his face. "You do know that the only reason Sirius and Remus were annoyed was because you got caught, right?"
"No shit," Puck sounded surprised, as if they hadn't been trying to explain that all along. "So you're saying if I pulled it off clean they wouldn't have gotten mad at all?"
"They would have thought it was brilliant," Harry established, "you even leveled the furniture with wooden blocks. They would probably have been impressed. Remus has really good ears though, so you never would have gotten away. There's nothing they hate more though, than a Wormtail."
"A wormtail?" Puck asked, as if he couldn't believe that combination of words had just come out of his own mouth.
"Yeah," Harry explained, "a betrayer, someone who turns on their friends because they're scared and pathetic." There was a story behind that, Puck could tell, but the kid was all flushed in anger just thinking about it and he was holding a sharp thing, so he didn't comment. He would later though, like he would do a lot of things, when the needle was gone. Wormtail was kind of fitting. It sounded slimy and unreliable, and kind of reminded him of Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings. Speaking of, that was an old copy of some Tolkien he spied in the corner, maybe he would return later with his reading glasses and nerd out a bit.
"So what are you going to do about it?" Obviously it was his operation, because Puck was so used to people bailing on him that he almost didn't care anymore. All that was left was an occasional pang of some unpleasant emotion, and then he'd move on. "Slash his tires?" he suggested, mostly because he knew how.
Harry made a face as he resumed his sewing, Puck was sure that was fifty cents wasted because the kid wasn't measuring. At least it would still make a good grease rag. "No, that's obviously illegal."
Puck was tired of raising his head just to gauge the kids facial queues, so he abandoned the comfort of lying flat on his back and sat up, turning to the side so he could get a better look while the kid kept on with his art project. "So what are you saying?" he was getting a little fed up with all this confusion, and what was so wrong about a good old tire-slashing job anyway?
"It's too obviously illegal, and easily detected," Harry explained. He didn't use that tone most people did, that implied he was stupid. Like the way Rachel talked all slow and tried, but failed, to use simpler words. Usually she just ended up talking herself into circles, and Puck would just be annoyed. Nah, Harry set about explaining it to him like he was just kind of new to the game, which he wasn't, but he also had the feeling that if there were professional pranksters then the Black-Lupins would be it. Mushroom shaped furniture aside. "If we go about with a series of smaller, less obvious things, we could carry the farce on longer. It would prolong his suffering, and I've the feeling it's not expected of you."
"Yeah, I'm more of a 'punch you in the face' kind of dude, so whatever," Puck agreed. Yeah, that kid may know what he was talking about. "So you want to soak his underwear in liquid heat?" That usually got the guys clutching at their junk in confusion and pain.
Harry thought about that one for a moment and shrugged. "I might be able to get a hold of some swelling solution. We could save that one for later, and use it on the entire rubbish-football team. When your dancing friends are conveniently occupied with something else, of course." He held up the black shirt and admired his work, Puck couldn't really tell the difference though. "If Remy were home, he'd say we need to collect the essential information first. Like, when is he out of the house, what toothpaste does he use, when are his parents at work."
"What does it matter what toothpaste he uses?" Puck wondered. The other two questions make sense, and he knew getting Tinsley out of the house would be easy enough, he did still have some connections.
"To replace it with a duplicate full of foot cream, of course," Harry said nonchalantly, he pulled the shirt back in his lap and began the process of threading his needle again. "Or a red iso-active dye. So when it comes in contact with his saliva it turns red and he thinks his mouth is bleeding. Oh! Perhaps put gelatin in his toilet."
"Okay, you're getting way too happy. Cool it a bit." Puck advised rather crudely. There was nothing wrong with being a little excited for a project like that, but Harry was almost bouncing in his seat. "So you're saying we need to do some recon?"
Harry nodded, "we can start with what you already know and collect the rest a bit later. I have to be here at ten, unless his house is within a one mile radius." Yeah, Puck wasn't even going to ask. Harry knew though, that Sirius and Remus had set up a ward at that distance, that detected persons with evil intent and Harry's own specific location. They were even working on a Marauder Map type project that they had hanging in the office, just in case their location was made known to the wrong people.
"Right, so Tinsley is kind of an idiot. He's got decent enough grades and enough sense in him to make it through the day. He hangs out mostly with Adler and Ramirez," and Puck went on to outline everything he had ever observed about Shane Tinsley, including his height, weight, and usefulness as a sports player. It only too half an hour and when he thought he'd run out of things to say Harry would prompt a question and Puck would do his best to find an answer in his own memories. The black shirt was deemed done, even though Puck had no idea what was done to it, and Harry had started to work on matching pants. Puck got into a little bit of what he knew about Tinsley's closest friends, his schedule, and then they finished that all up with what Puck new about the next day.
"Karofsky's having some kind of going away party, apparently his folks want him to transfer to some other school 'cause of all the trouble he was in last year," Puck added. "He'd be gone most of the day."
Harry smirked a bit, in a creepy kind of way. Usually the kid looked vaguely confused or just plain happy, like being in Lima was the best thing that ever happened to him. It wasn't so bad though, Puck admitted, because he was a pretty cool kid and he did have a point about the wormtails, and team mates. The Glee crowd probably would have stuck by him, except maybe Artie, but he needed a head start anyway. Even goody two-shoes like Hummel an Berry would have stuck around, they'd have been shaking where they stood at the very least, but they'd have stayed. Except they wouldn't have even gone in the first place, because they knew better. If they had though, Puck kept thinking as he ran down the internal Glee cast list as he waited for Harry to come right out and say what nefarious little thing he was plotting.
Sadly enough, Puck thought, he already recognized that look of evil.
He'd only seen in once, when a sales lady at one of those warehouse overflow stores had looked down at him and wanted so badly to refuse to let him purchase that Union Jack chair. Harry had that same little look on his face right before he opened up his pie hole and a steady stream of condescending wrath had poured out. It sounded so nice when delivered with a silky voice and British accent, but he'd told her in no uncertain terms that he was going to purchase that chair and she had no right to assume he was up to anything. Furthermore, just what did she think he was going to do with that chair, she was in luck that he was feeling gracious enough to overlook her presumptuous treatment of him, also her hair looked like something had crawled through it and died. Yeah, that was an expression worth remembering, especially now that the kid knew where he lived. He really should have thought about that earlier. He didn't really have to worry though, because Harry also seemed to have some pretty strong morals and turning on Puck might make him a betrayer.
He was safe, for the moment. Most likely.
"I've got lock picks if you've got the bollocks to sneak into his house while he's otherwise occupied," Harry challenged. "We should plan a preliminary round of mishaps before we go in, so the pain of the trip isn't completely worthless. Then return later with a second wave of misfortune." It sounded almost musical, the way he spoke about it. Mishaps and Misfortune, Puck played with those words in his mind, of course the challenge was already accepted. He didn't have to say it out loud, the part he planned to play didn't have to be put into words.
Keys rattled just beyond the front door and they both turned to watch Sirius and Remus' grand return. Remus pushed his friend through the door while Sirius was holding onto a cardboard box that looked to be full of random bits and bobs. From where he was sitting, Puck could clearly see a silvery hand sticking out from over the top. "There's another chair and an French armoire in the back of the truck."
Naturally Puck had to see what he was talking about. The chair, of course, was an old electric chair from he-didn't-want-to-know-where with the leather straps still attached, and apparently an armoire was a gateway to Narnia. Harry took the chair and placed it at the far end of the long library, and placed some paisley cushion on it, like that made it any better. Puck helped Remus with the armoire, which they moved up to Harry's room.
"Dude," Puck shouted when the portal to Narnia was finally placed on the floor, "did you hand paint all this? Fucking awesome!" When he didn't come back downstairs Harry grabbed a hold of one of the trash bags full of clothes and hauled it upstairs, because he might as well put some stuff away while he went to retrieve the older boy. Puck's face was only an inch away from the wall when Harry finally got there.
"Yeah," Harry said casually, only slightly embarrassed at the enthusiasm. He looked around at his replica of the Forbidden Forest, with it's lush trees and magical flora. He slid a hand down a painted trunk and remembered what it was like to meander through the outskirts with his friends, helping Hagrid out when he needed some extra scouts, and the fun they had just wondering. There was a pixie here and there, as well as other tiny magical beings that lurked about. It was the most peaceful place he knew.
Harry set the bag down on the floor and pushed it against that wall. He'd alter those clothes when it became too late to sit in the library and he just couldn't get to sleep. The rest would stay downstairs, since it was apparent most of his time would be spent there. Remus was still there, waiting for Harry to tell him where he wanted the elegantly carved second closet. Harry would probably use it for art supplies, or maybe he'd use his larger closet for those. There were a lot of clothes though. So Harry and Remus pushed it against one wall while Puck walked around the room and investigated the mural until he felt awkward standing in someone else's bedroom by himself.
"So are you joining an art club?" Puck asked when he reached the library again, the electric chair was still there and still creepy. Sirius had gone about setting his little trinkets around, so a golden frog on the mantel, and what looked like a human skull sitting on their kitchen table. Harry was eyeing the last piece, and he really needed to stop. It was creepy enough without having drawn the attention of one of the most mischievous people Puck ever had the misfortune of coming across.
"Is there an art club?" Harry asked, which Puck found unusual because he'd never heard of a school without some sort of creative program and art was usually at the top of the list. McKinley had one, but wasn't all that great, but they had one. Harry could totally take them by storm and show all those country hicks how it was done, like a British Invasion of Awesome.
"Hell yeah," Puck said. He didn't mention that the art kids usually got a wide berth because some of them regularly forgot to shower and the other kids were spaz's. The art track wasn't as hated as Glee, because nothing was as hated as Glee, but they were pretty low on the food chain. Puck had a feeling that if he did join he'd be considered one of the creepy artsy kids that would probably go all Columbine on their asses if anyone made fun of him. He didn't seem the type, cause he had a strong family structure and all, and he seemed really happy, but the allusion of being an unstable psycho might work in his favor. Harry would need it to, because he crossed certain gender lines, was tiny, and didn't look like he could take care of himself at all. Puck knew better though, which was awesome.
"You should join," Sirius encouraged, pulling a stone idol out of his box. He spent a moment admiring the curves of the tiny Venus before setting it on the kitchen table. Then came another book, old and cracked, with no title. He turned to Puck, "His old school had no art program, purely academics. How any creative types flourish there is a mystery."
"We flourished," Remus reminded him, picking up the idol and carrying it onto the living room to place it on the mantel.
"Oh yeah? What did you do?" Puck asked them. They didn't seem like the artist type, despite the fucking weird things they kept bringing into their house.
"We are the humble purveyors of mischief, perfecting the art of no-good for twenty five years," Sirius replied proudly. Then is disposition sagged, and he said "holy fuck I'm old."
"We're not even forty yet," Remus said, bored as he walked through the kitchen with Harry's completed shirt and pants, and into tossed them into the laundry room. "Speaking of," Remus said when he'd settled himself in an orange table chair, "what have you planned for that," he paused to think of a word.
"The wormtail?" Puck supplied, remembering the word Harry had taught him earlier. Sirius tilted his head back and belted a barking laugh, with no reservations.
Remus smiled in a sad sort of way, "yes, the wormtail. What do you have planned for him?"
Puck felt nervous, like he was turning in a homework assignment he didn't know was due. Like that essay in freshman year that he actually did, about Jews after World War II. He'd poured his being into it, and he failed. The teacher never told him why, but it felt like that moment right before he got his grade back.
Harry brought his sewing with him and sat in the lime green chair, still keeping eyes on the skull. Puck sat across from him, in the Titan red chair, and when he did Harry prompted him to answer with bony toes to his shin. So Puck outlined what they had worked on earlier, including the summary of what he knew about Tinsley, concluding with their plan to scope out his place the next day.
"Not bad," Remus congratulated. Puck wilted just a bit, but in all appearances he hardened. That was the most thought he'd put into anything in a really long time, but it was just 'not bad.'
"Moony," Harry said in a heavy tone that he tried to make light and positive, but felt like he was asking for more. "Moony, he did a good job and you know it."
Remus broke into a grin, "it's not bad," he repeated, but the way he said it made Puck feel thign there was a bit more. "He can do better," Remus, but Harry had called him Moony, didn't say it like he was disappointed. He sounded like couldn't wait for the better. It was nice. Strangers who let him into their home and punished him with shopping, after knowing them for less than a day, and he had expectations that didn't include him going to jail.
Puck nodded and the tension around his eyes was let lose.
"There is definite room for improvement," Sirius agreed without malice, and admiring a white ceramic cup. He placed it on the table and pushed it towards Harry, "do something with that, pup."
"Sure," Harry said, dropping his sewing needle into it just before he began pulling at the fabric and giving his clothes a critical look. "Noah and I have everything under control," he reassured, then correct himself, "under as much control as he could possibly have."
"Noah," Sirius said and turned to Puck with a curious expression. Then he traded some look with Remus, probably exchanging some unknown Marauder signs. "It's a good name," he finally said.
"And you both got weird names," Puck returned. that was the end of that conversation.
Puck had to leave not long after, he needed to get some grocery money from his ma while she as home. Then he needed to get some laundry done, and fix that damn bathroom door for the sixth time.
They'd see each other the next day anyway, after Puck dropped his sister off at a friends place. They still had to scope out Shane's place. It reminded Puck of a few of the military based video games he'd played in the past, so he knew the value of collecting information. His least favorite missions had been all about that type of work, but it was necessary. They were talking about a real life campaign though, and that was fucking exciting.
All the while he was pciking up food he wondered if he needed to wear his porch-nailing clothes, which were used for other pranks too, usually the night time excursions. The more he thought about it hte more sure hew was that he shouldn't. They could get caught, and his no-good ways weren't exactly a secret. there was a chance that set of clothes could be identified for exactly what they were.
Yeah, he'd just dress normal. That way, if they were seen, he'd just say he was showing Harry around. They probably should have worked on a cover story. It helped that he knew where Harry lived, so he'd just walk over there and ask. It would be even better if they'd get a freakin' phone, or at least get Harry a cell or something. If they didn't they might have to work out some old school short wave radio thing, or train up some birds or something.
Just as he was contemplating their long-distance communication issue his phone went off, playing 'Don't Stop Believing,' so he knew it was Finn. Probably asking about how the visit to the new neighbors went down, and he wasn't really sure we wanted to tell him that he'd been caught and spent a day with some pretty wacky people who treated him like he had a brain.
He answered anyway, giving a standard greeting of 'You got Puck.'
"Hey," Finn's voice filtered through. He sounded a bit nervous, but he probably expected the worst, like Puck getting caught and sent to the slammer for vandalism. His step-brother probably didn't help a lick, probably outlined all the things that could go wrong as some sort of sly, shorter brother type retribution. "Drove by the old Attaway House today, saw your work."
Attaway was the creepy old dude that lived there before, and died when they were still Freshman. That house had been empty since then, because all the locals thought it was haunted and not problem telling anyone looking to buy it. Usually high school kids partied there, but no one ever spent the night. Not until Puck, anyway. With the obvious exception of the familiy that lived there. "Yeah, the dudes there aren't so bad," Puck certainly wasn't going to tell him that they were the coolest old guys since their Glee instructor, because he felt a sudden urge of protectiveness. A split second of self evaluation and he decided he liked having them to himself, and he worried a bit that Harry would find Finn way cooler and decide to take him on the Tinsley Mission.
"They saw you? You talked to them?" Finn asked, and Puck could hear Kurt in the background shouting questions he wanted Finn to ask. Even the rainbow parade of Lima was curious to know what kind of family would move into the death trap that was the old Attaway house. "What are they like?"
Puck didn't really want to say, he decided as he calculated prices of generic cereal compared to the rich-white-folks brand. "Yeah, my lookout tucked tail and ran, didn't even give a shout when some guy walked up. They let me go, figured I was just some stupid kid," it wasn't strictly true. They did let him go, with a punishment that was actually kind of fun once he got past Harry's jumpy tendencies, and most people their age thought all kids were stupid, so there -no lie.
"Bro, you got to stop jerking around like that," Finn warned. Puck was touched, he truly was, as he decided on the generic fruit loops, and not because the colors reminded him of the chairs surrounding an old wooden table at the Black-Lupin house.
"Yeah, I fucking got the memo," he replied, "I figured it was way too close a call, and I got like -responsibilities and shit now." He knew Finn would just assume was talking about Beth, but he also knew how well Puck too care of his mother and sister, but he wasn't going to say anything about either, because he had a badass reputation to uphold. He didn't say a word about the things he'd learned about planning better and shit.
"Okay bro, just," Finn didn't know what to say next, because he was hardwired to avoid emotional things like 'be careful,' especially when he knew damn well that Puck wouldn't. "You up for some Modern Warfare?"
He was, but he had priorities. "Can I use your washer?" he asked, because they had one of those awesome energy efficient Maytag's that could fit an entire elephant.
"Of course dude," Finn replied, "see you in an hour?"
"Yeah, an hour," Puck confirmed, and they hung up without saying goodbye because they were hard like that.
An hour later and Puck was observing the enemy, checking his surroundings, and kept a look out as best he could, just like he'd been taught.
To Those Who Just Read: I didn't get done what I wanted to, but I can just add that to the next chapter. That draws things out a bit...oh well. Nobody worry about Hedwig! I have a plan!
Song suggestions are welcome.
If you're going to review, please do so in complete sentences. Thank you,
The Administration (Al)