Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
Does anyone actually read this notes? Even if you don't, might as well say.
One: thank you to the people who reviewed. I appreciate it, really. Reviews make people happy, and I'm no exception. Though I suppose this story is going to drop dead at some point.
And, Two: The next two chapters will come fairly quickly, because they've been already been rewritten for a while. All they need is a quick edit. But after that, you're in for a long wait. If I/you are incredibly lucky, then a week, maybe a month. If not? Two, three, maybe four years? After chapter five, I've got only a half-written chapter six - writer's block on that one - and because I wasn't smart and didn't have any plot for the first time, I have no plot for the second time around. Gonna have to think about it...
I'm not very good at thinking about things.
Like I said, you're in for a long wait.
In Which Comes The Sue
I'll have a look inside your mind
And tell you where you belong!
Quipea Roldgang ducked out from under the Sorting Hat and stumbled to the House table. Ravenclaw was a bit of a surprise. For one, her family never really had a House legacy. People of her family were a mixed-up mush of all the Houses. Her own immediate family was an example; Father was a Gryffindor, Mother was a Ravenclaw, her older sister was a Slytherin, and her barely older brother was a Hufflepuff. And, for a more personal reason, well, she just never considered herself smart.
She mechanically clapped for the next Ravenclaw person Sorted. Oh well, if the Sorting Hat thought she was smart, then she had to be smart. That, or she just wasn't brave enough, hard-working enough, or cunning enough to be put in the other Houses, and Ravenclaw had been the default because she was at least slightly smarter than the average wizard. Which was fine, she acknowledged that she wasn't all that good at all the other House's traits. Blue and bronze were nice colors, anyway. Eagles were nice too, even though she really didn't get why the House mascot was an eagle when the House was called Ravenclaw. Ravens were nice too, because they were the House mascot in the movie (maybe, she wasn't really all that sure, possibly, it was just a very, very warped picture of a black eagle – which, now that she thought about it, she wasn't sure existed in the first place). And, really, she wasn't angsting over the hat's choice of House, so she supposed she was okay where she was. Although the reason why she wasn't complaining could also be that she was the fact that she was glad it was over. She didn't like people staring at her like she was their dinner. Staring at her, smacking their lips, getting fork and knife ready to cut into her, and blood everywhere, and cannibalism – Argh! Mental images! Mental images!
While Quipea was scrubbing away at her eyes (rationally, she knew it wouldn't do any good; irrationally, she thought that if she could just scrub this part harder…), she barely noticed someone sit down right next to her.
"Hiya!" said a cheerful, slightly manic, voice.
"AAck-!" Quipea choked on her own spit. (Yes, that is possible.)
"Huh, um - Oi!" Somebody clapped her roughly on her back. "Sorry!" the voice said sheepishly, in the same cheerful, slightly manic tone. "Didn't mean to!"
Coughing, Quipea looked up. Smiling awkwardly at her was the girl who had just been Sorted. "Sorry," she said. "Didn't think you'd choke – I mean, there wasn't really much you could actually choke on because there wasn't any food and I thought – well, first I thought you were overreacting because-" Babbling, Quipea decided hazily. She didn't think Ravenclaws babbled. Gryffindor, maybe, Hufflepuff, maybe. It wasn't like those two houses actually prized the ability to talk without spilling your guts. Though, if anyone from Slytherin babbled, they probably would have been slaughtered immediately by their Housemates. It'd give a pretty bad image to the House that prided itself on cunning. Cunning people weren't supposed to babble. "Well, yeah but I didn't see any food – sorry- I didn't realize that you would – Choke, and if you choked you would die and if you died I would be in really really big trouble, because dying ain't all that good, you know? Dying isn't living and then I'd be accused of murder and that wouldn't be good because I'd be sent to Azkaban and then I would get my soul sucked out and that would be bad. And-"
"Apology accepted," Quipea rasped, hoping that she wasn't drawing that much attention. Really, she wasn't, as the very loud clapping noise made by everyone clapping for the next person Sorted covered the more quiet noise of somebody choking to death, but she didn't know that.
"I, uh, well-" the girl scratched the back of her neck – "yeah, I'm still sorry. I'm Anise Tillspur, by the way. Who're you?"
"Uh – Quipea Roldgang."
"Well, Quip – Quip –Qui – you've got a really strange name, do you know that?"
"Duly noted," Quipea replied wryly. She had no idea how her author had managed to choose that name. It started with 'Q', too, an already strange letter to start a girl's name. But it was her name, nevertheless. Granted, 'Anise' wasn't much better, but it was a little shorter, and there wasn't a big debate on how to pronounce it (actually, there was, between Anise's author and the majority of the audience, oddly enough, even though Anise had a perfectly correct and normal pronunciation, but she didn't know that).
"Can I call you Quip?" Anise asked, fixing her gaze on a nearby floating candle.
Quipea also looked at the floating candle. Although she was no Muggleborn, that was just plain strange. (In the back of her mind, she wondered how the wax wasn't dripping on them.) At least the purebloods used chandeliers. Crystal, sometimes diamond, embellished with silver, chandeliers (sometimes with emeralds), but chandeliers. "Sure. Okay." Were the floating candles actually book-canon? She couldn't remember. She knew they were canon in the movie, but she just wasn't sure about the book. She decided to ask. "Anise, were there floating candles in the book?" The question was vague enough that, if Anise had been a very minor canon, only mentioned by name, she wouldn't know what Quipea was talking about in the first place.
"Well… wow. I don't know," said Anise, sounding stunned. Quipea raised an eyebrow. This wasn't the response she was hoping for. It was vague enough that meant either Anise was an OC too, or she had no idea what Quipea was talking about. Great. More complications. She shrugged. Probably wasn't important, and – wait. The moment an OC thought something wasn't important (the expression on her face was slowly changing from indifference to horror), then author would decide that, yes, it would be important, and yes, you're stupid for not thinking so. Quipea didn't mind that. That wasn't important (she shuddered as she used the word again). But what was important (shudder) was exactly what the author would do to make something important. Maybe a quest, or a side-story. Or maybe something vicious including an army and some dragons. She shuddered. No, don't think about that. Concentrate on the Sorting. The nice, non-threatening, Sorting with the singing Hat and the Ravenclaw and the Slytherin and the Gryffindor and the Hufflepuff.
And quickly, time passed, until, finally, 'Whitby, Kevin!' was called (Hufflepuff), many of the students became silent, waiting Dumbledore to give his speech, and, more importantly, get the food.
Of course, that didn't happen.
Instead, a girl strode up to the little Sorting stool. Normally, anyone older than a first year sitting on aforementioned stool looked ridiculous (think giant sitting on a water fountain), but this girl managed to pull it off, with a regal, imperious air. Of course, this girl wasn't any normal girl. This girl had raven-dark, midnight black, gleaming hair, shining with sparkles like rainbow-diamond-ruby-topaz-emerald-stars. This girl had striking gray eyes (grey sounded much better to the girl, it was supposed to be more British, right?), tinted with the slightest tinge of sapphire blue, stormy and cloudy, with flashes of lightning, doves flying through the sky with olive branches in their beaks, and no sign of the storm ever relenting, rain sheeting down, along with golf-ball sized chunks of hail, and -
That metaphor was a bit overextended. To the author, it sort of stopped making sense halfway. To you, Honored Readers, you might have a more vivid imagination than the author does. To you, Honored Readers, you might have been able to make some sense out of that metaphor. To you, Honored Readers, if you do, then the author wonders how you can imagine golf-ball sized chunks of hail and olive-branch bearing doves in someone's eyes. Especially since the hail is specially sized at golf-ball sized, which is definitely bigger than an eye. The author certainly can't imagine that in a logical setting. Of course, a school of witchcraft and wizardry wasn't exactly logical, in that sense…
Quipea was just as confused as the narrator (yeah, yeah, yeah, the author is being inconsistent, narrator, author, there's not that much of a difference) was, though for a much different reason. Being an OC, she could hear at least some bits of narration. Including the one I'm using right now, but that's not really important. What was important was how she could hear every single, mind-wrenching, disgusting, horrifying, screwy, gruesome (could go on for a while, but for plot's sake, we'll stop here) piece of Purple Prose (or, if you prefer, Urple Prose, the difference is that Urple is just that much more painful to the eyes) used.
"Dear Quippy," Anise said gravely, "That – that, is a Mary Sue.
Quipea stared in disbelief at the angrily muttering girl. Well, she didn't know that the Sue was angrily muttering, but you certainly do, dear readers. "That's a Sue?" Quipea asked incredulously. The cause of her disbelief? The appearance of the Sue. I imagine that she thought a Sue would be grand, and dramatic, and curvy in the right places. The only Sue-like thing about the girl was a thin coat of shimmering golden, diamond, gem-like glitter. If you removed the glitter, you would have a fashionably pretty girl in dark, raven-feathered robes, which were trimmed with embroideries, encrusted with jewels, with a flared, ruffled skirt.
Anise glared at Quipea as if she could read her mind. "Oh, I know what you're thinking. That's what they want you to think." Then she wrinkled her nose. "Wait, 'fashionably pretty?' 'Raven-feather robes?' That's your idea of normal?"
Neville Longbottom never thought of himself as a very capable wizard. The rest of the school agreed.
His Transfiguration was awful, his Charms decent, Potions downright abysmal (Snape didn't do much for his self-esteem). He was all right in Astronomy, but nobody ever seemed to remember that anyway. Then Care of Magical Creatures, which classes made him afraid for his life on a very regular basis. Then Divination, which most everyone hated anyway. Next came Defense Against Dark Arts; decent again (the only time he really enjoyed that class was when Professor Lupin was teaching – not a lot of people knew why Lupin quit, but they sorely missed his lessons). The only real bright spot on his school career was Herbology, which made him wonder why he was a Gryffindor in the first place, since Herbology was a Hufflepuff subject. He wasn't brave, or, failing that, arrogant or outgoing or something, or even all that good at Transfiguration (the Gryffindor subject). He definitely wasn't smart or ambitious like Ravenclaw or Slytherin. No, he was an average sort of wizard, who simply wanted people to leave him alone in his own quiet corner of the world. That really made him wonder why he wasn't a Hufflepuff. Not many Hufflepuffs stood out, after all.
So, when he noticed something unusual about the girl who was much prettier (and odd-looking) than any girl he'd ever seen, he thought nothing of it. After all, who noticed what Longbottom said? (He noticed that, even if a wizard or witch was homeschooled, they always attended their first year at Hogwarts, and that, if someone didn't attend the first year, the Sortings would be done, very discretely, before the school term actually started, by one of the professors. That, and when he was looking at the girl, all sorts of metaphors came up in his head which didn't even make sense.)
Besides, even if one was a first year, one did not jam a Sorting Hat on your head, demand to be Sorted, and have a verbal argument with a hat on where you should be Sorted. (Well, he saw one first year do that once. The Sorting Hat didn't seem very happy.)
Oddly enough, although the argument was rather loud, no one seemed to notice at all.
"Don't – no, I don't want you here! I will not Sort you!"
"Oh yeah? You refuse me? Look here, bud. You are a Hat. HATS do not argue with their OWNERS!"
"You do not own me!"
"YOU SERVE HOGWARTS!"
"Yes, I SERVE HOGWARTS! Not YOU, you miserable little-"
Finally, after a while (a full hour – some of the students started grumbling), the Hat gave a great shudder, and screamed out, "SLYTHERIN!"
The girl smiled, and made to take off the Hat. Unfortunately, the Hat wasn't done yet.
"GRYFFINDOR! HUFFLEPUFF! RAVENCLAW! ELF! PANCAKES! SLYTHERIN! SPARKLYPOO! KHAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!" Then, before anyone could make a move, it burst into flames and started screaming, running on the stubby, ragged remains of its brim to the Gryffindor House table, where it did one final flip before it collapsed into ash.
Neville blinked. On Hermione's suggestion, he'd skimmed through Hogwarts: A History a few times. There was a section especially made for the Sorting Hat. And this was not supposed to happen. His memory wasn't that good, but he was pretty sure that that could on no terms be actually possible. Maybe he was hallucinating. It wouldn't be the first time (and unfortunately, probably not the last).
In fact, he probably was.
Oh well. He'd wait through the speech, enjoy the food, and then forget any of this ever happened.
Yes. That would work.
Because nobody noticed what Longbottom said.
"How is that possible?" Quipea asked, eye twitching. The question was easily lost in the sea of murmurs and screams. The Sue's Sorting had raised a lot of confusion and surprised. From her viewpoint at the table, she could even see the professors gaping. Even Dumbledore. Now, dear readers, you should know that if Albus Brian Wulfric Percival Dumbledore is surprised, He-of-the-Madly-Twinkling-Blue-Eyes, the Phoenix Headmaster, He-of-the-Strange-Sometimes-Glowing-Purple-Robes, the Lemon Drop King – then there is definitely something wrong.
"It… It isn't," Anise replied, in an awed tone of voice, which quickly turned to annoyance. "Why didn't I think of that?"
Quipea looked back at Anise with an impeding feeling of doom. "What do you mean?"
"Well, I don't really like Sues, they're really, really irritating," Anise said, keeping her eyes on the heap of ashes that was the Sorting Hat (which was sending up a new little gust of emerald-silver sparks). "But I gotta admire what they can do for drama." She nodded, her eyes closed. "Yep! Just look at that. Us OCs couldn't get a better reaction if we tried." She immediately had a thoughtful look on her face. "But of course, that's only because our authors aren't as wacky…"
"Um." Quipea sincerely hoped that she wasn't stuck with someone insane. Please. Not again. Not after that last story. She was not going to end up jumping off the building because her friend had gotten such a convincing argument that she simply had to do it. Or end up painting the entire house (while Roldgang was an old family, it wasn't necessarily a rich family) pink in the name of pranking. Or something.
Finally, after a while, Dumbledore began clapping mechanically, the twinkle gone from his piercing blue eyes. The professors followed suit, though the applause was scattered, as if they were too shocked to properly give a standing ovation. Or, well, sitting ovation, since none of them really cared enough to stand up. In fact, none of the students cared enough to clap. They were staring rather blankly at the heap of ashes that used to be the Sorting Hat (now it was sending up little bronze-blue tongues of flame).
Of course, none of the Slytherins would ever dare be so undignified as to gape like those uncivilized apes! Well, no, not exactly. Normally, they would, but now, they were gaping. Rather openly, in fact. Only a few Slytherins weren't shocked enough to completely lose their pureblood composure. Their very dignified, not gape-y, pureblood composure.
And with a world-weary, downtrodden voice, Albus Dumbledore, sounding like he desperately needed a lemon drop, said the doomed words. "Please, since the Sorting Hat has-" and here he mumbled something that sounded very similar to "spontaneously combusted" – "feel free to choose whichever House you would like." The creepiest part was that he was still smiling the grandfatherly smile that made you instantly feel guilty for, say, stealing a cookie five years ago.
Quipea still didn't regret taking that cookie. Because, come on! It was triple-chocolate-chip! Chocolate cookie, with chunks of more chocolate, all dipped in chocolate. Delicious. And she was never sure how to make some herself…
And the Sue, seemingly looking unguilty for making the Hat spontaneously combust (bitch, Quipea thought rather uncourteously), gave a beautifully grateful, yet ungrateful at the same time, smile. "Thank you, Headmaster," she said in a respectful tone that was somehow condescending at the same time. Then she went off to sit with the Slytherins, who were looking quite disgusted. Quipea could see one Slytherin quickly edge away from where the Sue was sitting. She commended the Slytherin for good sense.
After all, Slytherins and Ravenclaws were like brothers and sisters and sisters and brothers. Except Ravenclaws tended to stay neutral in public opinion. Everyone put up with Ravenclaws. Poor Hufflepuffs didn't have quite the same House immunity, being sneered at and pitied by many of the other Houses. Something about being leftovers.
Speaking of leftovers, the food the house elves prepared must have gotten cold by now.
Quipea was starving. She hadn't anything to eat on the train (too busy looking out the window and thinking imaginative thoughts and reading, being the bookworm Ravenclaw she was), or before that – she'd been too nervous too eat. And when the food arrived to the Great Hall, the food would be cold. Dear Merlin. Fuzzily, she thought she was overreacting, but dismissed the thought and starting hoping the house elves had a way to keep food warm after it had been sitting on the plate for more than an hour.
Quipea was not disappointed. Her smile grew, as she noticed drifts of steam rising from the food. Hot food. Warm food. Not-at-all cold food. Like roasts, and hams, and roast chickens, and soup, and…
Her eyes glazed over (like glazed donuts, only not as tasty, and not edible, and probably not covered in chocolate) as she took in the entirety of the banquet. Anise chuckled as she picked up her fork. "First time at a Hogwarts feast?"
Quipea could only nod. She had never seen this much food in her life. Of course, that wasn't really saying much, because she tended to exaggerate lots and lots of things. Really, even her memories were a bit exaggerated as well. It didn't really help with tests and quizzes and things like that.
Then something registered in her mind. "What do you mean, 'first time'? I'm a first year! Of course it's my first time?" Huh. That statement came out as a question. Not exactly what she wanted, but a question must always have an answer, and she would very much like to know that answer.
Anise gave her a look that could have been called a frown. It actually looked a little like a very demented smile. Quipea couldn't decide which. "Well. No. Not necessarily." Anise bit into a baked potato. "We'll-" And then Anise's speech turned into a collection of incomprehensible mutters. Quipea, not knowing how to understand someone when their mouth was entirely full (most of her family were either too absorbed in their own thoughts or in their food to think about talking to someone else during a meal), simply nodded and concentrated on a sizable wedge of frosted chocolate cake (she wasn't the type of person who cared whether dessert or dinner came first. And, well, if it was there…).
"What?" Hermione repeated blankly, as she stared at the heap of ashes that was the Sorting Hat (now it was emitting a strange, thick, red-gold smoke).
Now, dear readers, you should know who Miss Hermione Jean Granger is. She is a bookish, enthusiastic, bushy-haired, tiny genius, who would have done rather well in Ravenclaw. While some of what I said is debatable (I haven't forgotten about the movie, where her hair is wavy, not bushy, and the fanfiction version of Hermione, Miss 'Curves-In-All-the-Right-Places' and 'oh, I totally don't care about homework anymore!'), the majority of it is true, if you remember. Now, if you would remember, Hermione having to repeat things is a common occurrence, needing to slow down to explain her intentions (and homework) to her less-than-sharp peers. But having to repeat things since she is confused – that is when you know something is surprising.
Next to her, in a similar state, was most of the Gryffindor House table.
Harry Potter, Boy-Who-Lived (I do hope you know that, since it would rather ruin the point of reading fanfiction if you didn't) was openly gaping at the Hat. As was the rest of the Gryffindor House table. Some were eating. Some were drinking. Some, even more, were taking out their wands with suspicious eyes. And all of them were openly gaping. Really, it is quite possible to eat and gape at the same time. It is simply the matter of keeping your eyes focused upon an object while doing something else. Of course, not a lot of Gryffindors were neat, mainly because, since they were looking at the Hat (now there were little yellow and black diamonds floating above it), they weren't quite as focused on their food as they should have been, resulting on little splatters and splats all over the very nice tablecloth.
Absently, Hermione reached for a goblet of pumpkin juice. She missed by a couple of inches and ended up knocking it over with her arm. It spilled onto the tablecloth and dripped onto her lap. She barely noticed.
She had noticed the girl's strange appearance, yes. It had to impossible not to. What the girl was wearing was strange, bizarre, and garish, with an oddly pretty undertone to it (she wasn't sure how, it was so covered in glitter and ruffles that normally, it could barely be even called pretty), but it was nothing, nothing at all. What was important was the Sorting Hat.
Hermione winced as she thought about it. Such an ancient relic, made by Godric Gryffindor himself. And now it was….it was…
She glanced at the ashes again (now it seemed to be sprouting flowers) and whimpered.
Fried. Destroyed. Broken. Burned. Killed. And really, it did seem to be killed. Because, even though it was a Hat, it was a Hat that had, three years ago, spoken to her and Sorted her. Or, if not killed, (she eyed the red and gold roses the Hat had generated) driven mad. It was…sad.
It was horrible. Some of the first years didn't think so. Having just gotten here, most of them didn't know what was unusual or not. In fact, one of the first years applauded the Headmaster for such a good display and cheerfully said it was a fun way to start the year.
Fun. The destruction of a highly valued item of Gryffindor. Fun. Hermione couldn't see the connection.
Ron Weasley finally broke the state of shock (which was rather unusual for him. He wasn't normally a peacemaker. He was more of the one who needed to be at peace). He said, simply and plainly, "That's just not normal."
Hermione shook her head, partly to agree with Ron, partly to clear her head. "No. It isn't. You can't break the Sorting Hat just by putting it on." She thought about it some more, and corrected herself. "No normal witch could, I mean."
"So you think the girl's odd?" asked Harry, as he glanced at his steak.
They stared at him, then at the glitter-encrusted girl.
"Okay. Stupid question. I know."
"So. What do you think about the Sue?" asked Anise.
Quipea looked back at the Sorting Hat (now it seemed to be growing glowing crystals). "Erm."
Anise nodded with the utmost seriousness. "Erm. That's a good answer."
"Yes. Rather accurate, in fact."
"You don't think I already know that?"
Kaliana Zenith Eventide Veraharthe (for that was who the Sue was) sighed a beautiful sigh like a breezy wind sweeping gently through silver bells and gracefully rubbed her piercing sapphire-emerald-amethyst-diamond-glitter-pearl eyes.
To put it in a rather un-Sue-like way, she felt like shit.
Another silver-bell sigh. She wouldn't normally say it like that, (so crude. She would have rather said, 'charmingly sleepy') but that was indeed what she was. Master gave properly dramatic instructions (of course, drama is good), but lately, everything Master did was about drama. Drama didn't help her here. Even though she was a Sue, she hadn't gotten any instructions. The necklace that was supposed to take her back in time wasn't simple to activate. It was complicated, weavingly intricate, to the point in which, that if she hadn't been a Sue, she might have never solved it. You had to sing to it, with a very specific song, to a specific register. Then, you tapped another specific spot in a specific place on the jewel. Specific as in, if you were a millimeter off, it would not work. Then you had to dunk it water, weld a silver chain to it, still submerged, within a time limit of ten seconds, encrust it with glitter, sing a specific note, defy the various laws of physics, the universe, and existence…
She shuddered, her shivers like the shakings of a dainty cherry blossom in the breeze. No. She was not going through that again.
But the fact remained that she was exhausted. Mentally, physically, and magically. One could not twist the mind, the body, and the laws of the universe without feeling, at the very least, a little tired. Mentally, Kaliana flipped through the script embedded into her mind. She still could go ahead, hide exhaustion for a little while yet, at least as long to put on a stunning, yet polite, yet flirty, yet chaste smile to the (male! Or female, she wasn't that picky, anyway, and she was a Sue, if she really wanted to, she could simply just change her preferences) prefect that would escort her to her dorm. Fulfilling that plot of hers was… no, not difficult, nothing could be that difficult for a Sue after all, just… tiring.
She'd have to hook up with Draco Malfoy, and get several other boys to fall hopelessly in love with her. She stifled a yawn. Normally, she'd be up to the challenge. After all, no matter how snobbish Draco Malfoy could be (and yes, she admitted he wasn't perfect) he was still hot. But again, she was exhausted.
Hmm, which would she rather do, go make small talk with a guy with cool gray eyes, a good body, and amazingly silvery-blond hair, or go to sleep?
Sleep, she decided.
Sleep, and go into nice, peaceful, oblivion.