This story is set before the release of the fifth Harry Potter movie and in that strange and wondrous alternate universe where fictional characters from the novel converse, somewhat angrily, with adaptation-makers.
A QUICK NOTE: What you need to know before reading is:
1. This isn't – or at least it isn't REALLY – a Malfoy/Ginny romance story. It is a little bit, but in the end it's a just-for-fun parody.
2. If you come across a similar story by someone named erm, don't be alarmed. That was us. An unedited and unfinished version exists on , and both stories are based off of one erm and ata wrote many eons ago which has since disappeared.
Though it is an easy mistake to make, neither ata nor erm is Shakespeare or JK Rowling.
In hindsight, we should have known that an atrocity like this was inevitable.
That still doesn't make it any less awful for all of us devoted Harry Potter fans. The rosy cheeks of excited enthusiasts as we entered the theatre, the silence still as death as we watched it unfold before us, the pale, sickened expression on our faces as we stumbled out into the blazing sunlight, still in a bemused shock, JK Rowling on the news, shrugging helplessly and repeating over and over the words that brought no consolation. "I don't know what to tell you. I don't know what to tell you."
But how exactly did such butchery come to be? What we mean to ask is: when? When was the "Boy Who Lived" forever tainted in our minds? When did we completely lose him into oblivion?
We suppose that it all began on that horribly stormy day so long ago…
The scene is a park. It is approximately 11:36 p.m. Everything is encased in darkness. The shot falls on a boy. His face is not seen, it is hidden in shadows. He sits on a swing, rocking slightly backwards and forwards. His head is back and he gazes at the sky.
[Enter DUDLEY, PIERS and other GANG MEMBERS.]
PIERS: Guffaws. Man, that was some goooooood tea!
[The other gang members snigger stupidly, one or two of them smashing into the jutting edges of the jungle gym]
1ST GANG MEMBER: I is gotta go home, man. I is got a curfew.
2nd GANG MEMBER: Whacked out, man.
DUDLEY: Oh well, jolly good, we'll see each other tomorrow for another tea-time rendez-vous, wot, wot!
2nd GANG MEMBER: Totally, Big D.
PIERS: S'later, Big D.
[The others call vague farewells, and Dudley walks away from them. They stumble around and fall one by one into a creek]
[Cut to the boy in the shadows, who is looking at Dudley. We see now that it is HARRY POTTER]
HARRY: Calls in a mocking voice Yo, Big D!
DUDLEY: Looks over quickly, and face falls. I say. It's only you.
[Harry falls into step with Dudley]
HARRY: So, you're Big D now, huh –
"Wait! Wait just a second!" Harry injected.
What looked like almost fifty people were huddled together, each of them staring at a fat script in Hermione's hands entitled, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the film version."
All of them looked at Harry as he leapt from the huddled group of people and waited for them to turn and face him. "That is NOT – Dudley doesn't talk like that!" Harry sputtered.
"Harry dear, just calm down," Molly Weasley said, patting Harry's arm. "You can't expect everything to be exactly as it was in the book," she said as soothingly as she could.
"But this is ridiculous!" Harry pried the Molly's hand off of his arm and rushed back to the group. He took the script rather forcibly from Hermione and skimmed through it. "He doesn't talk like a jolly old chap, he's – I DO NOT wear eye make-up and have bloody scars up my wrists!" he screeched suddenly, staring, horrified, at the script.
"Harry, come with me, we'll get you some warm milk…" Molly was Mollying immediately. She turned to the twins and said in the lowest voice she could manage, "Put a little something extra in there, George, to calm him down. Harry," She reverted back to her louder voice, "we'll go through it with the writer and see what we can do, come on."
The characters in the studio's immaculate atrium spread out a bit. They had come to check out the newest script for the next Harry Potter movie before the actors and film crew would actually bring it to life.
A small group of paler characters clung together, timidly saying to one another, "Oh, don't worry, they can't cut you, you're integral. Me, on the other hand –" "No, no, you're the important one. Without you they've got nothing, don't you worry."
Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore stood together, mostly sure that they would be in there (though you never know, really). They did, however, have their own concerns.
"I'd better not be the dumb sidekick again," Ron complained. Dumbledore shook his head sympathetically.
"Well, at least the movie Ron actually has red hair," Hermione fumed. "Me, on the other hand…. Sure, bouncy, shiny, perfectly tame locks are nice. If only I actually had them." Dumbledore chuckled in a quasi-sympathetic way.
"Oh poor you, being gorgeous. At least you're not walking into walls and having all your best lines stolen or cut out altogether -"
Two large doors flew open.
In walked an alarmingly vast man.
The room went silent. "Give me the script!" The man barked.
Molly bustled to the man, her eyes wide with fright. She handed him the script, and he took it without looking at her.
He balanced it in one hand for a moment, and then ripped it in two.
Hermione's mouth fell open, though she closed it almost immediately. One or two of the paler characters fainted, and even the daring ones gave one another uneasy glances.
"I am the new director they've only just hired two seconds ago," the large man explained indifferently. "And we will be using the script written specifically for me by my own writers. Not this." He threw the indicated halves of once-script to the ground.
"It will be magical… More magical than any previous Harry Potter movie. It will be… Romeo and Juliet!"
"That muggle play about angsty teenagers?" asked Arthur incredulously.
"Waiiiit…" Harry said suddenly. He lumbered over to the man and looked up into his cold eyes. "That doesn't make annnny… It doesn't mmmake… I don't…" He crashed to the floor.
"Might have over done it," George muttered sheepishly.
The man looked at Harry interestedly for a moment, and then said, "No, it will not be Romeo and Juliet… It will be: Malfoy and Ginny!"
And so It Begins… For Real This Time
"Now loudly and with feeling!" barked the huge director.
"Again?" Ron complained.
"Until it's perfect," the director replied.
A large group of characters stood on a partially-built stage. Sets were being tentatively constructed – many of them had been torn down just yesterday. Everyone sighed, and a few grumbled quietly.
Nonetheless, they rang out, "Two households, not anything alike in dignity, in fact, one family couldn't afford pus, and the other could afford lots of pus, and the rich family had the mannerisms and moral values of pus while the others had morals and niceties of exactly the opposite of pus, somewhere in pus-ridden England, but we lay our pus – I mean, scene, in Hogwarts. Ancient grudge burst forth to new mutiny like putrid spewing pus from a colossal boil, and civil blood (with optional pus) makes civil hands in need of a vanishing spell, and some pus."
"What on earth IS this?" Hermione exclaimed, unable to contain herself any longer.
"You're right," said the director firmly. He took a pen to his script and tossed it to Hermione. "Those changes should do."
The characters gathered around the script and chorused, "Two households, more or less alike in pus, in fair pus, where we lay our pus. From ancient pus break to new pus, where civil pus makes civil pus unclean."
"Oh, honestly," Hermione snapped, storming off the stage.
"Yeah, I agree. This movie isn't about pus, and it certainly isn't about a tragic romance between Malfoy and Ginny!" Harry said boldly.
"Well then, Mr. Potter, exactly what should this movie be about?" the director asked, leaning back in his chair.
"Hmm, lemme think. Could it possibly be about… oh, I dunno… ME? Harry Potter? The guy in the title?" Harry roared.
"You may have a point, Mr. Potter, but I believe you've forgotten an important piece of the puzzle," the director said mysteriously. "What about the Order of the Phoenix? That too is in the title of the novel. That too is an extremely important aspect of the novel, and of the entire series."
"Yes, wonderful, the Order is important, but your version has nothing to do with the Order anyway, so your point is irrelevant," Harry said smugly.
"My point's relevance is like the setting sun: it varies in time and in colour, but in the end it always sets," the director philosophized, a hand over his heart.
Harry stared at him.
"In fact, my story is about the conflict between the Order and the Death Eaters, which is far more important than a stupid angsty teenager, wouldn't you say?" the director continued unconcernedly.
The characters all shifted uneasily, and Harry said nothing further.
"Again!" the director barked.
"Two households, more or less alike in pus," they all rang out. Even Hermione returned to join them, although she still seemed irritated. "In fair pus, where we lay our pus. From ancient pus break to new pus, where civil pus makes civil pus unclean. From forth the fatal pus of these two foes, a pair of star-pus'd lovers take their pus. Whose misadventured piteous overthrows, doth with their pus bury their parents' pus. The fearful passage of their pus-mark'd pus and the continuance of their parents' pus, which, but their children's pus, naught could remove, is now the two hour's traffic of our pus."
"Beautiful!" cried the director in elation.
"Aaand… go," called the director from somewhere in the darkness.
Crabbe and Goyle shifted uneasily on the cardboard Hogwarts Express set, but nevertheless they began to read through their lines.
"Damn bitch, I will not carry these anvils!" shrieked Crabbe.
"Yeah," Goyle guffawed stupidly. He stopped as confusion spread across his broad face. "Wait – what?"
"I'm not going to carry these anvils." Crabbe repeated.
"Oh," Goyle affirmed. Then, "Wait – why would you? Those aren't ours."
"Dude, what couldn't you do with seven anvils?" Crabbe asked him happily.
"Well, a lot of things." Goyle responded, squinting as if thinking about it was a painful task (which of course it was).
"Imagine the people we could drop them on!" Crabbe laughed. "Like… the Weasleys."
The studio audience erupted into gasps and oooohhhs.
"Huh, yeah, those filthy blood traitors," Goyle agreed.
"On second thought, maybe we should get these anvils, so we can drop them on… the Weasleys." Crabbe muttered.
"No, no, remember what Voldie said: 'The killing remains in the hands of the adults, children. Now run along and play with your fuzzy rabbit slippers," Goyle reminded him.
"Actually, they were fuzzy bunny slippers," Crabbe told him smugly.
"Still. This isn't something for us to do. It's an adult thing."
"Uh, if you think I'm gonna sit about this year letting those Order jerks gallivant about, then you're even dumber than you look," Crabbe snapped. "I'll kill them in ALL the duels."
"Crabbe, you can't even brew a gumbo potion, and we can put whatever we want in those," Goyle reminded him seriously.
"So? I'll just – hey! Goyle! It's a… Weasley," Crabbe hissed excitedly.
It was true – Ron was now on set. He neared, and, upon noticing the two hulking boys, he stopped and paced more warily towards them.
"Go, fight with him. I've got your back!" Crabbe said.
"Oh, sure, you've got my back. That's rich," Goyle stammered.
"Seriously! Go!" Crabbe pushed him directly into Ron's path.
Ron leapt backwards out of the way, spilling his opened bag of Every Flavour Beans.
"Hey! Watch where you're going, blood traitor!" Goyle spat.
Ron raised his eyebrows and moved to pass them. Goyle, thinking quickly (but idiotically) shoved his thumb into his mouth. The stubby digit was caught between his teeth, and he made a "Nyah!" sound similar to that of a child who sticks out his tongue. Ron stopped moving at once and looked incredulously from Goyle to Crabbe.
"Did you – did you just bite your thumb at me?" Ron asked.
"Uh, Crabbe!" Goyle cried, "Will I get in trouble if I say yes?"
"I don't know!" Crabbe told him. "I don't really think it's such a big deal…"
"Uh, yes, I bit my thumb, but not at you," Goyle told Ron, reasonably enough.
"Oh," Ron said pleasantly. "Well then, I'll be on my way…"
"You smell!" Goyle burst.
"Yeah!" Crabbe backed him up. "And you're the ugliest girl I've ever seen! Even I wouldn't go out with you!"
Ron stared at them openly now. He had a look of stunned amusement plastered on his face.
"What are you talking about? I'd go out with her," Goyle said. He winked cheekily at Ron.
"You do know I'm Ron Weasley, right? The guy you've hated for four years because I'm friends with Harry Potter?" Ron asked, smirking.
"She's a filthy blood traitor!" Crabbe gasped. "Her and her good-for-nothing weasel family. The lot of you should stop reproducing! There's quite enough of you as it is."
Apparently, that did it for Ron, because he leapt at Crabbe with an astonishing amount of valour. Crabbe was surprised for a moment, but he and Goyle recovered from shock quickly enough to seriously outweigh Ron. Before they could do any real damage, however, Percy arrived.
"Stop, you insubordinate ruffians! I shall have you all sent to Azkaban for this!" cried the gallant Percy, brandishing his wand with one hand and pushing his horn-rimmed glasses up the bridge of his nose with the other.
All three boys stopped moving immediately. Silence descended upon them.
"Percy," came a gravelly voice from somewhere within.
Percy's head snapped up.
"Fighting with… teenagers?" The voice seemed amused. "That's so like a little Ministry lap dog. Turn around, and fight me, a real dog, instead."
Percy turned slowly. Crabbe and Goyle gasped. For standing there, with the strange train-wind blowing in his dark, luxurious hair, was Sirius Black.
"Uh…" Percy said. His eyes slid offstage to the dark – somewhere in the dark, where the director sat.
"CUT!" came the furious bark.
Everyone groaned. Ron got up and glared at his estranged brother.
The ground shook, and the groaning stopped. The director was taking heavy steps. When he reached Percy (who was sweating profusely) he peered at him, blinked, and then roared, "WHAT?"
The wind blew Percy's red hair straight out from his head. It stuck that way. Percy trembled and then peeped, "I was just… wondering… what this has to do with -"
"AGAIN?" The director roared. "I have told you all. This is my movie. My way. No more questions!" He stomped off, but then turned around. "Ladies and gentlemen, we will continue this tomorrow, when we have had some rest."
And then, he was gone.
"This is stupid," complained Ron furiously as he rejoined a bunch of the off-stage characters.
"Tell me about it. I haven't seen a movie this bad since The Viking and the Dog," squeaked tiny Professor Flitwick.
It was almost eight p.m. by the time the director stopped them. A magnificent pink sun was finally making an appearance in the sky as it set; its dim light peeked lecherously through murky clouds.
The dismal weather, added to everything else that has happened that day, left the cast of characters rather distraught.
"The Hogwarts Express, I ask you!" Percy spouted. "As if someone in my position and dignity would make an appearance on that train! I am the Junior Assistant to the Minister for Magic!"
"Shut it, Perce," Sirius sighed wearily, ruffling the younger man's hair. "It doesn't make sense for any of us."
Percy glared at Sirius and whipped out a comb. "I will thank you, sir, to NOT touch me."
"Hey Perce," began Fred. Percy snapped his head warily in the twin's direction. "Get lost."
"I had hoped," Percy huffed irritably, "that this new… situation… which we find ourselves in, would produce a more fraternal and familial affection between us, but apparently you're all still too arrogant to get past my success." With that, he, now muttering violently under his breath, stormed to the other end of the studio lounge to join the Ministry lot. Molly's eyes welled up, and Percy's brothers all looked several shades angrier. Ginny took a moment to watch her estranged brother babble to Fudge, and as she looked away she met the brief and icy gaze of Draco Malfoy.
Malfoy turned to a sympathetic Pansy and whined, "This SUCKS! I would never stoop so low as to fraternize with a filthy blood traitor!"
The Weasley boys leapt to their feet and Percy snapped pompously, "Well now, that certainly wasn't warranted," but Ginny looked absolutely unperturbed.
"Even if you did stoop, I would never let a little galleon-licking snot like you come within two miles of me," she called cheerily, biting into an apple.
"As if anyone would want to be within two miles of you. The stench would make them sick," Malfoy retorted swiftly.
"Why don't you go roll in the filth that spawned you?" snarled Ron.
"Ron, just ignore him. He's just a waste of time, energy, and space," Ginny told her brother, but Ron still looked murderous.
"Let all the demons of hell crawl from the pits of your depths of your hollows of your void!" Bill screamed, frothing at the mouth.
"Let the dogs feast on your flesh," started George.
"And let the apes dip their fingers experimentally in your blood!" finished Fred.
Ginny rolled her eyes.
"Draw, if ye be men!" shouted Charlie. The Weasley boys brandished their wands like swords and Malfoy and his lot flung theirs out as well. They danced towards each other like twitching stick bugs. Ginny threw her hands up exasperatedly and started talking to Hermione.
"Now, really, this is quite unnecessary!" Fudge exclaimed as Ron danced past him with a mixture of movements that resembled either an Irish dancer or a rather large crab.
"The Minister is right," Lucius Malfoy drawled, clapping Fudge on the back heartily. "We don't want to take away the Dark Lord's opportunity to finish you all off himself, now would we?"
"Yes, quite so, quite – wait, what?" Fudge asked, staring at Lucius.
"Nothing, nothing, my good man," Lucius said calmly, as several Weasleys crab-danced past him.
"Will you stop this? It's most undignified!" Percy sputtered. "If we could just have some decorum here -"
His next words were drowned out by Sirius's growl as he leapt at the Ministry men. "How dare you ignore Voldemort's return?" he shrieked. "You're worthless, the lot of you! As bad as the Death Eaters!"
"Who are you to say what's worthless?" Narcissa declared. "You betrayed your own family! Blood traitor!"
"It will be my pleasure to wipe the last of you from the face of the earth!" Sirius bellowed, turning to a dog and leaping at her throat.
At once the ridiculous crab-dancing ended and spells bounced from the walls. Crabbe sank to the floor in a pool of his jelly-legs. More sinister curses flew from the adults. The Order had leapt into action behind Sirius and the other Death Eaters had come to the Malfoys' aid. The Ministry wizards went after the Order, and Malfoy cowered in a corner.
Ginny, who had been left alone (Hermione had joined the fray and was currently screaming obscenities about House-Elf enslavement at a very terrified-looking Fudge), saw her opportunity and shot a bat-bogey hex directly at Malfoy. He recoiled even more, tearing at the large flapping things attacking his face.
"HI-YA!" Molly shrieked, head-butting Lucius Malfoy with deadly accuracy. He collapsed and began to blubber.
"Oh, you're dead now, oh, you are so dead!" Goyle yelled gleefully, advancing on Ron, but he slipped in the puddle of Crabbe's legs and knocked himself out.
Percy called, "Stop, stop, this is ridiculous, you're all acting like savages –" and then he was turned into a leek.
Amazingly, every last one of them stopped immediately and stared at the towering figure who had appeared. The leek was the only one moving; he rolled over to Fudge and halted.
"Drop your wands." Dumbledore ordered. They all obliged. "This is the third time a fight has broken out between you all. It is completely unnecessary. When we have a problem, we use our words." Dumbledore smiled at each of them as if they were all three-year olds. "If," he began, "there is another disturbance, I shall have no choice but to kill you. Have a pleasant evening!"
Everyone glanced at each other uncertainly. Percy the leek sprouted whiskers.
"Hmmm," hmmmed the Director, peering unseen from behind a large fern with a small video camera. "Excellent, excellent."
The fight that had occurred the night before had evidently calmed everyone down, for they went about their grueling tasks almost cheerfully and without any complaint. Tensions had been relieved, which could be no more obvious than when Lucius grinned hugely at Molly when he walked by her on the way to a new set, although that may have been due to his new-found fear of the woman.
They were moving on chronologically. Today the Director had them act out Romeo's big introduction and the unfortunate invite that would, the Director said, lead to at least two horrendous deaths.
"The sooner Romeo dies the better." Malfoy had drawled.
"Who says it's only a metaphorical death?" the Director had asked. Malfoy had laughed. The Director narrowed his eyes. Malfoy's pale face had gone quite a bit paler.
Now Malfoy was on an outdoor set. It was beautiful: the sun was a realistic bright yellow ball and real sycamores rose all around him. Fairies were only visible when they moved about – the light was too bright.
He sat cross-legged and waited as another scene was acted out.
Percy was quite violent about remaining at Hogwarts. He insisted that it simply didn't make sense, so the Director allowed Pansy to play the part of the Hogwarts Benvolio.
Pansy was on the Owlery set. She read aloud a letter that had been stamped elegantly with the wax Dark Mark.
"Dear Pansy, our son – you may know him, he's the pale one who looks like a rat – is such a drag. All he's been doing is moping about. Seriously, can you go find him and cheer him up? He likes hanging around sycamore trees. Thanks a bunch. Sincerely, Lucius Malfoy."
"Well, thanks for reading that out loud," said Seamus sarcastically. "I was really interested in finding out all about it."
"Shove off, Finnigan," Pansy snapped, turning up her nose at him and prancing away.
Harry sidled onto the set that Pansy had just vacated and stood directly in the center. He narrated, "Pansy, being the lovesick girl that she was, went out straightaway to find her Dracsie Shmaksie."
Pansy skipped jollyishly through the sycamores until she reached Draco.
"Hey, Dracy Baby!" she shrilled. Draco turned to look at her and sighed hugely.
"What's wrong, Dracsie?"
"Will you stop calling me that?" he snapped.
"Sorry, Draco," she said, her eyes wide. "I'm just worried, that's all. So are your parents, actually. Tell me what's wrong!"
She plonked herself down beside him and started slapping him on the back in a concerned way. He glared at her, but instead of taking the hint she began to hit him harder.
"STOP!" he screamed. She yanked her hand away and stared at him.
"But Draco found that he couldn't keep it inside any longer. He took a deep breath and turned to Pansy and finally, finally, he spilled his guts," Harry said dramatically.
Draco rolled his eyes, but he continued. "I – I'm in love."
Pansy squealed excitedly. "Who with?"
"A… girl," Draco told her.
"Well, that narrows it down," Pansy said sarcastically.
"It sure does!" said an oblivious Hagrid, propped up on his elbows, legs kicking slowly out behind him.
"What are you doing here?" Draco demanded.
Hagrid shrugged and hopped off.
"Which girl?" Pansy asked.
Draco stood up and paced around his favourite sycamore. "He thought," began Harry, "of the exquisitely sweet pain that shot through his stomach every time he thought of her. That never ending sensation that doubled in extravagance every time he saw her, that ever-present longing -"
"Oh, be quiet, Potter." Draco complained.
"Actually, that was quite a bit more than I had in the script," the director mused. "You're improvising, Potter?"
"Yeah," Harry said slyly.
"Very nice. CONTINUE!" Harry, Draco and Pansy jumped, and immediately went on.
"I'm in love with – FLEUR DELACOUR?" Draco bellowed, staring at the script in shock.
"WHAT?" Pansy shrieked.
"What's wrong now?" the director complained. He joined the three on the set.
"Fleur Delacour?" Malfoy demanded.
"Fleur Delacour?" Pansy demanded.
"Fleur Delacour," the director said regrettably, shrugging. "I couldn't think of anyone else."
"I thought I was supposed to be in love with that Weasley girl," Draco said.
"No, she's Juliet. You're not in love with her until you see her for the first time," the director explained patiently.
"I thought I was Juliet!" Pansy exclaimed.
The director sighed. "No, you're Benvolio. You know what, just CONTINUE!"
"Uh," began Harry, "meanwhile, at the Burrow…"
The Burrow looked fabulous. The quaint and strange little house had been decorated on the outside so that it resembled a palace. It had been draped with shiny silk and had been turned a glimmering gold colour. Fairies skittered about here as well, and white-gold roses grew and were strewn all about. Molly was darting about among the chickens, manically fixing any tiny imperfection.
"The Weasleys were having everyone back from Hogwarts over to the Burrow for Bill and Fleur's engagement party, which, for dramatic purposes, has been moved up an entire book. In fact, there never was an engagement party, but the point is, it's on soon," Harry narrated.
"ARTHUR!" shrieked Molly. Arthur tumbled from the roof of his now-gold house and landed at Molly's feet. He was tangled in more of the silk that dripped from the house. "You're not finished with the silk inside?" Molly asked as if Arthur had just informed her that the world was coming to an end.
"Not – not quite," wheezed Arthur.
"So you've not yet gotten word to the kids?" Molly asked.
"Not – not quite," wheezed Arthur.
Molly threw up her hands in frustration. "I'll just have to ask Fred!" she grumbled.
"For Fred," began Harry, "had a supersonic owl that could travel at the speed of light. It happened to be perched just above Mrs. Weasley's head."
"Go tell Fred to invite these people," Molly said, and handed the owl a list, "for the party tomorrow, at six o'clock sharp. Got it?"
"Right-o, marm," said the bright yellow owl in a deep voice.
It sped away.
"Back at Hogwarts, Fred was leaning out of a window."
On the Gryffindor common room set, Fred was staring down at the grounds in a reflective sort of way.
"You know," he said to George with a sigh, "Hagrid's hut would look much nicer in magenta."
George nodded, a dreamy expression on his face.
"Suddenly, Fred's owl came crashing through the portrait hole," Harry narrated loudly, over the loud squawks and screams that had filled the set upon the owl's arrival.
"YOU DON'T KNOW THE PASSWORD!" roared the Fat Lady from her frame. "YOU SHALL NOT ENTER!"
But the yellow owl had smashed through the wall, and several students were screaming.
"Fred," the owl said pompously, as people ran around behind him, arms over their heads. "Your mother has a message for you." With a tinny ding, the bright yellow owl dropped the list into Fred's hands. It was faded, inky handwriting that may have been scrawled by a madman in a fast-moving car making frequent jerking stops. Then the owl was off.
Fred looked at the list mournfully.
"This is in dad's writing," he informed the wall. "I can't read dad's writing."
"Fred plodded to the Entrance Hall, wondering how he was going to read the names scrawled on his little slip of parchment," Harry narrated. The Entrance Hall set was brimming with extras (these people had gained quite a bit more colour now that they had a role to play). Fred strolled about aimlessly when a large garbage can was dropped onto his head by a cackling Peeves, and he tumbled down the marble staircase.
"OW!" Fred roared.
Draco and Pansy, who had been returning from their rendezvous by the sycamore trees, stopped and looked down at him.
"What's this?" asked Pansy curiously, picking up the slip of parchment. "A party?"
"Yeah," said Fred, looking up at her with the garbage can still on his head. "And I - say," he said with sudden realization, "Can you read it for me?"
"Sure," Malfoy shrugged, grabbing the parchment from Pansy. "Okay, it says: The following are to be invited to Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's engagement party," after reading this Draco abruptly stopped talking and Harry sidled in.
"Draco's heart gave a humongous wrench as he read Fleur Delacour's name," Harry drawled sickeningly. "His voice was slightly strangled as he read the rest of the message, thinking only of the fact that Fleur Delacour was to be married."
"Beautiful," sobbed the director. "I just love improvisation. Continue."
Everyone stared at the enormous man for a few moments in alarm, before returning to the script.
"And Harry Potter," Malfoy finished. "Got all that?"
"Yeah," said Fred, pulling the garbage can off of his head and bending down to tie his shoelace. "You guys can come too, if you like. In exchange for reading the note. We'll be at The Burrow."
"We'll think about it," Draco said.
Fred straightened up again, and his wizard's hat slipped over his eyes. Ignorant to this, he leaned close to Draco and Pansy to whisper to them.
"As long as you don't invite any Death Eaters, or members of the Ministry," he muttered. "You know, that would cause trouble and everything."
He swept around and pulled his hat up again. "Thanks for the help!" he called, running up the marble staircase to catch up with a bewildered Colin Creevey.
"I've just had an amazing idea!" Pansy squealed. "Let's go to this party, and then you can go and compare Fleur to all the other pretty girls! You'll get over her that way."
"Fine, I'll go," Draco began, lumbering away towards the dungeon staircase at the other side of the Entrance Hall set, "but only to see her again."
"Just wait till he sees me… in my stunning new dress robes!" Pansy shrieked.
"Never mind." Pansy grinned slyly as they headed down to the dungeons.
"If you were looking at the outside of the Burrow you'd never know the chaos erupting within," Harry said smartly, "but as there were only a few more hours to prepare for the Engagement Party, all was not well."
He was standing on the lawn amongst the chickens who pecked on and on, oblivious to the bedlam raging inside. An enormous gold banner was suspended magically in the air. Glittering letters spelled out, "PERCY IS A BIG FAT GIT". The message then dissolved to form a new one, "also CONGRATULATIONS BILL AND FLEUR."
"Harry, get inside and do some chores!" bellowed Ron.
Molly Weasley was in her element. She wiped sweat from her brow and shouted to make herself heard over the copious bubbling pots on the stove.
"Ron, put away these clothes – I don't care if they're not yours, do it! – and Hermione, it's lovely to have your cat here, but can you please put him away and clean up his fur? Charlie, for heaven's sake, wash your hands, what were you doing, making mud cakes? Don't you mutter at me, I know I told you to de-gnome the garden, but that's no excuse for not – where HAS Ginny gone? Ginny? GINEVRA WEASLEY! Oh, hello, George, dear. You've put up the banner, then?"
"Yes, mum. You can't miss it," George panted, tumbling into the last chair in the kitchen as Bill magicked the table through the door.
"George, I told you to make it tasteful!"
"It's in gold and white like I asked?"
"Yes. It's big, is all."
Molly's eyes narrowed suspiciously, but as she opened her mouth to continue, Fred apparated to his twin's side. Molly jumped, and noticed that a good many of the pots on the stove were boiling over. She whipped out her wand and waved it around, hollering to her sons over her shoulder.
"Will you two put yourselves to good use and find your sister? She's a bridesmaid, for heaven's sake!"
"She's feeling under the weather, mum. Lying down, so she'll be ready for the party," Fred called over the hiss of the bubbling water. He leaned towards his brother and added, "I was testing the new concept on her… it's not pretty, she's in a right state…"
"WHAT?" shrieked Molly, who had apparently heard despite Fred's deliberately low voice and the roar of the frothy water.
"Mum, I'm only joking, calm down," Fred said, grinning.
"What's wrong with Ginny?" Molly persisted, glowering; Fred's smile flickered and died.
"She's – well, she's done something weird. She was trying to curse me, but she hit the mirror. Don't worry," Fred added swiftly, "we can put her right."
"Quickly! It's nearly time!" Molly yelled, rushing over to her cooking which was now squawking and emitting emerald sparks.
The twins flew up the stairs. They opened Ginny's door and ducked a variety of heavy objects she was pelting at them.
"You – unbelievable – take – that!" she screamed as she whipped everything in reach at them.
"Stop, Ginny, or we won't fix it!" Fred yelled.
Ginny made a furious sound, but ceased throwing things at the twins. Fred sank onto her bed and George circled his sister.
"Interesting affect," George commented. Fred nodded thoughtfully.
Ginny looked like she was about to burst into flame. Her freckled face was contorted in fury and her bright red hair was sticking out in every direction. She looked daggers at Fred as he joined George, surveying her from different angles.
"So, the Nosebleed Nougat definitely needs work," George muttered.
"I'd say so. We don't want people's noses falling off; they'll start to resemble You-Know-Who," Fred agreed.
Ginny made a sound that resembled Crookshanks spitting and leapt at Fred, hitting every part of him she could reach.
"Ow – Ginny stop! We – we can – Stop!" He seized her by the shoulders and held her away from him. "Look, we can't fix it now, we have to adjust the antidote so that it will re-grow your nose, and that will take a couple hours."
"So what am I supposed to do?" Ginny shrieked. She sounded oddly nasal. "Should I just waltz downstairs without a nose and hope no one will notice?"
"Well, yes," Fred said.
"And when mum goes ballistic, because she will, I'll tell her you gave me a sweet that made my nose shrivel up and explode!" Ginny screeched.
"Is that what happened?" George asked happily.
"Yeah, it was bizarre." Fred grinned.
Ginny stared from one twin to the other. "Fine," she said with a dangerous air of finality. She smiled the smile her mother donned on her face when she, Molly, was beyond fury. The twins shrank back. "I'll go ask mum to fix my nose, I'm sure she can."
"No!" bellowed the twins together. Ginny reached out her hand for the door knob, but Fred and George seized one of her arms each.
"You wouldn't do that, Ginny!" Fred begged.
"She'll murder us, and then you'll have that on your conscience!" George added.
"She'll destroy our whole operation! Our futures will be ruined! You can't, Ginny, we'll fix your nose! We'll give you a better nose!" Fred cried, falling to his knees.
George copied him and added, "Just one night without a nose, please! For your favourite brothers!"
"You are not my favourite brothers." Ginny said, completely deadpan, but she had to swallow a smile first. This was not lost on the twins.
"Oh, right, we forgot, you like Percy best." Fred grinned.
"Do not!" Ginny shrieked, but she was smiling openly now.
"Then who?" George asked. "Surely not Ron."
"Of course it's Ron!" Fred told his twin. "Because it's thanks to him that she has access to Harry!"
"Not!" Ginny yelled. She grabbed a handful of each of the twins' hair and knocked their heads together. They stood up, dazed, and she added solemnly, "I don't have a favourite brother."
"Thanks for the sentiment, but we have a favourite sister," Fred muttered, rubbing his head. "Fleur will take the cake, when she's married in and all. She probably won't abuse us as much as you do."
"That's nice," Ginny grinned, "but I'm the one getting my ears yelled off for you."
"Well, then they'll match your nose," George sighed. The three left her room together.
"Aaaaaaand… cut!" cried the director. "Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. So far it's working fantastically. Anyone want to grab a coffee tonight?"
The characters glanced at each other, bemused, but Harry spoke. "Hang on, before you go do that, why don't you explain to me again why I'm only the Narrator when I happen to be Harry Potter?"
"For the last time, Harry, it's my movie and I'm doing it my way. And I thought you were having fun yesterday with the improv!" the director said.
"Draco taunting gets old fast," Harry complained. "My name is in the title, remember?"
"Harry, your roll is still very important. For example, I require you for the musical number!"
"The what?" Harry asked.
"Aaaaaaaand… ACTION!" bellowed the director.
"La la la la, la la la la, la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…
Oh, I'm just a whippersnapper granddad,
with several thousand sickles that I want,
to convert into lovely lovely galleons,
and a goblin and a suit of armour as well," Hermione's otter Patronus sang shrilly.
The suits of armour galloped on set with the various Hogwarts ghosts and Peeves, all of whom provided the background lyrics:
"Dum dum dum
do do do do do do do, do do,
la la la la la la looo, loo loo,
da da da da da da da."
As they did that, the students lined up and Professor Flitwick, for continuity's sake, conducted them.
"How we all love Hogwarts, oh yes, it's true,
we love to go to class and learn how to put a charm on you,
and we think it's great that we've got fabulous potions to brew,
so grab a bottle of butterbeer and join in all the fun too."
"Come on Harry! It's time to get Sorted!" yelled Ron.
"But we've already been Sorted!" Harry replied, perplexed.
"I'm a little Sorting Hat, short and stout,
come and sit with me and your House I will shout.
If you're ever blue or green or red,
come talk to me and we'll find you a bed."
"That was the worst Sorting Hat Song I've ever heard," Harry said, rubbing his ears distastefully and glaring at the now magenta Sorting Hat.
"Harry Potter, Harry Potter, what shall we do,
Harry Potter, Harry Potter, time to sort you!" cried McGonagall, staring at her scroll.
Harry rolled his eyes and stumped to the stool. He sat and jammed the Sorting Hat on his head.
"Hmm…" muttered the Sorting Hat. "Interesting... Plenty of courage, I see, not a bad mind, either, but where to put you?"
"I know how this goes," Harry said to the hat. "I tell you not to put me in Slytherin and you put me in-"
"Not Slytherin, eh? You could be great, you know, it's all here in your head-"
Harry sighed. "Dumbledore says that I can't be in Slytherin because I choose not to be, which makes me different from Voldemort," he recited.
"If you're sure... better be, SNUFFLEPUFFSKEIN!"
"But that's not even a House!" cried Harry.
"Time for my cameo!" the director cheered. He flew on screen and grinned at Harry. "Go on Harry, off to your Common Room!" And he, the director, threw Harry out of the window.
"And now we're back at the Burrow," a disgruntled Harry began, picking a twig out of his tangled black hair. "How did we get here? We were at Hogwarts last night."
"I don't know what you're talking about, Harry," the director responded airily, before beginning to whistle a tune. "Continue."
"So the party started. Everyone showed up," Harry droned.
"Such passion, such emotion," the director sniffed. "It's no wonder you're a sort of important character." Harry glared furiously as the scene commenced.
It was the night of the next day, and dress-robed wizards and witches were gliding into view. The Weasley family was assembled outside the house, and Molly was whispering conspiratorially to Ginny.
"Now, just look straight ahead, pretend you look normal," she continued. "Try not to say anything, you sound like you have a head cold."
"Mom, I look like You-Know-Who, I don't think it matters what my voice sounds like," Ginny snapped.
"Well, if you hadn't tried to curse your freckles off in the first place, you wouldn't be in this mess!" Molly concluded in a furious whisper. Ginny nodded, glaring at George who caught her eye and grinned toothily.
"Hang on," Arthur piped up suddenly. "What are they doing here?"
"All the Weasleys turned in unison to see Draco and Pansy sidling onto the scene," Harry sighed.
"More to the point, what is she wearing?" Ginny giggled, suddenly forgetting her lack of nose.
Pansy was strutting along, wearing elaborate golden yellow robes covered in feathers. Draco cringed every time he looked at her, dressed in simple emerald green.
"Forget pug, she looks like a chicken," Harry commented gaily. The director hit him over the head with a baton.
Pansy sauntered up to Ron and Ginny, who stood side by side in the ensemble. "Hello, Weasels. Nice party you got here, how much was it to rent the pig sty?" Ron was about to retort, but Pansy had moved on, dragging an embarrassed Draco behind her. She stopped at Bill and Fleur. "Congratulations to the happy couple," she sneered. Draco looked up at the magnificent Fleur hopefully, but Pansy had already pulled him into the party before Fleur had time to look back at him.
"We can rid of them if you want, dad," George offered.
"No," Arthur sighed. "Let's not cause a scene. Let them stay."
"All the Weasleys stared at him in awe, but he had had his say, and was now examining an electric can opener with great interest," Harry narrated.
"Inside at the party, Draco was sitting alone at a small table as Pansy did the chicken dance. He sighed, staring at Fleur as she chatted animatedly to Charlie, but Hagrid soon got into his line of vision, and he looked away. He spotted another girl, a girl with blazing red hair, sitting with her back to him. For some reason," Harry realized suddenly, "he didn't think she was a Weasley. What's with that?"
"Shut up, Harry, and do the lines."
Harry was defeated, and continued. "He received a great shock when she turned around."
"Uh, why doesn't she have a nose?" Draco wondered aloud.
"No, Draco, you're astounded by her beauty," the director told him. "Try that again."
"Okay. Uhh... Oh, wow." And then Draco whistled like a jerk, and hid his face as Ginny looked over to see who had done it.
"Nice!" the overjoyed director gave him the thumbs up. "Don't stare at me like I have three heads, continue!"
"Who was that?" Ginny snapped. She was only three tables away, and Draco flushed. "Was it you? You there, covering your face as if you just whistled and then you were too much of a coward to even look at me and face the fact that you just whistled at me like I'm just some piece of meat when I turned around, was it you?" When Draco didn't answer, she shrugged. "Guess not," Ginny mused to herself, turning back around to watch Harry do the robot.
"Beep, beep, boop. I'm a robot," Harry grinned.
"Harry, say your lines," the director threatened.
"Oh, sorry." Harry turned to read the script, which was disguised as Dean Thomas. "So Draco forgot about Fleur. That was fast."
"I have never seen a greater beauty in my life," Draco recited, not quite as enthusiastically as was necessary. "I must find her again."
"Even though she had not gone anywhere," Harry added. When the director gave him a threatening look, he added, "because he was so lost in love that he's gone temporarily loopy. Right?"
"Right," the director nodded in satisfaction, petting a potted cactus. "Continue."
"My love, my love, to whom I have never spoken, your noseless splendour is more than my heart can take!" Draco raised a hand to the sky. "Please look over, now, and see me here, as I act like a prat, raising my hand to the sky. In the name of all that is pus!"
"Ginny heard this speech and was deeply moved," Harry stated.
Ginny's face was turned, her shoulders shaking. Soon she could not hold it and burst into laughter.
"What is this?" boomed the director. She quieted.
"Sorry, but... oh, whatever," she said nasally.
"Continue," the director waved her on.
"I wonder who he is," Ginny said.
"I wonder who she is," Draco said.
"I wonder who they are," Dumbledore pondered.
"The party was winding down. Ginny and Hermione sat together in a corner of the Weasleys' yard," Harry narrated.
"I dunno, is it just me, or is pumpkin juice getting a little old? Sometimes I just want something else. Like water," Hermione said musingly, picking at the grass.
"Who is that?" Ginny asked, nodding towards a pink-haired party guest.
Hermione turned to look. "I think her name is Tonks. She's an Auror."
"Huh," Ginny replied thoughtfully. "And… who is that?"
"If I had to guess, I'd say that's Xenophilius Lovegood," Hermione giggled, staring at the eccentrically dressed man.
"And who's that?" Ginny asked once more.
"Ginny, that's Malfoy," Hermione said, raising her eyebrows at her.
"WHAT? No it's not!"
"Yes, it really is. Just wait – wait – now, look! You can see his whole face, it's Malfoy."
"MALFOY?" screeched Ginny. "But – but – his words were so…" and she shot a deeply derisive glance towards the director, "beautiful."
"What words, 'I am a complete prick'?" asked Ron, who had just sidled up behind them.
"That can't be Malfoy," Ginny insisted. Hermione shrugged at her and got up.
"Come on Ron, let's stop Harry from reading our stash of offensive Daily Prophets. He's likely to blow his top if he sees what they've been printing. See you later, Ginny."
"What? But Hermione, I was about to ask you to dance!" Ron complained.
"Pffft, no!" And he burst into hysterical laughter. "I can't believe you fell for that!"
Hermione stalked off, glaring daggers at everyone, and Ron followed her at a trot, still laughing. Ginny paid them no attention.
"My only love sprung from my only hate," she casually recited, reading it from Dean's back. "Oh ye gods, no, why, ay me, oh anything of nothing first create and it is the east and I am the sun, arise, fair sun, and slay the envious moon and all that wot. And to sum all of that up, I am in love with a guy who is a total shit and that really sucks. Oh woe is me."
The Director shouted, "And… scene! That was fantastic, okay thanks everyone, we meet again tomorrow morning for Act 2!"
He stomped off, leaving terrified characters in his wake. But as most of the cast departed, sighing heavily, Ginny seized Malfoy above the elbow and pulled him behind a gnome-infested shrubbery.
"Get your hands off me!" snarled Malfoy.
"Trust me, it gives me no pleasure to be anywhere near you, Malfoy. I just thought that we could help each other, that's all."
"Help each other how?" Malfoy asked suspiciously, eyeing the wand Ginny was clutching.
"I have a plan to derail this thing," she said. "I did some reading. I know what's coming. And I have to tell you, I'm not interested in being Juliet, especially if Romeo here is someone like you. So, I'm going to sabotage the entire operation. And I need your help to do it."
That was... really long.