Harry Potter and the New and Improved Vanishing Cabinet
by Criminally Charmed
Disclaimer - Harry Potter and Company belong to JK Rowling; the Muppets and, consequently, the song "Rainbow Connection" (although I only use one line) belonged to Jim Henson and are now part of Disney Inc. And I can't imagine either entity sharing. EVER.
Harry Potter smiled – something the population of Hogwarts Castle was, for the most part, getting used to.
At the end of Harry's fifth year at Hogwart's, Harry had led five of his friends (now collectively known as the Ministry Six) to the Ministry of Magic, in what could have been a horrible event. Voldemort had set a trap, luring Harry there with a vision of his beloved godfather, Sirius Black, being in danger. But at the close, all had ended well. Sirius was alive and now had custody of Harry (and man, had that annoyed the Dursleys – something that still confused the heck out of the teenager), and Voldemort was gone, destroyed once and for all by Harry.
But not Harry Potter.
Oh, the entire wizarding world thought it was Harry Potter. But Harry, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom – the only three of the six who had made it all the way into a small room with an odd veiled portal – knew the truth. Together with a few trusted adults – Sirius, the man's cousin, ("Don't Call Me Nymphadora") Tonks and their former Professor, Remus Lupin – the students knew that Moldy-Voldie had been blown to bits by Crazy Harry – a Muppet.
Harry had tried to explain what had happened, but two things prevented it. One, being "the-boy-who-destroyed Voldemort" assured that Harry could demand a real trial for Sirius, which quickly cleared the ex-convict. With his compensation from the Ministry for wrongful imprisonment, Sirius had bought a nice house in Hogsmead, complete with a special room for Remus…well, the guy had a room in the main part of the house, but the "special" room was for his, um…his "time of the month". His family house had been sold – to Narcissa Black Malfoy, his cousin. Sirius couldn't stand the place, and had promptly used the money to create a scholarship for in-need muggle-born students, named in honor of Cedric Diggory, something that touched many hearts – and soothed the guilt Harry had felt over the other young man's death at the end of his fourth year.
The fact that it went to muggle-borns annoyed the Malfoys and made Sirius' day...
Oh, and the second reason Harry didn't explain why he wasn't the one who really destroyed Voldemort?
Because no one believed him. Really – the idea that a Muppet had destroyed the most feared Dark Lord that most of the Wizarding World could remember was foolish. It was far more believable that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had been destroyed by the last scion of an old and noble house like the Potters.
Even Hermoine Granger – usually the voice of logic and reason – had failed Harry. When Harry tried to tell his friends and other fellow Gryffindors – along with a few strays from the other houses – the muggle-born witch had smiled and nodded but he later heard her "explaining" to the others what had "really happened".
"Harry," Hermoine had gently explained, "is really a gentle soul. The idea of having led us into a trap and being forced to kill Voldemort was more than he could deal with. The Muppets are a product of make-believe, of the innocence of childhood. And with some people," she stressed, eyeing Seamus Finnegan who had the grace to blush, "calling Harry a liar, it was a very difficult year. Now, the nicest thing we can do for our friend is to let the matter rest. If Harry doesn't want to talk about it, we won't. Harry may never be able to admit that he was forced to kill someone – even a monster like Voldemort."
Harry had sighed and looked over at Neville, who was next to him on the stairs as they were coming back down to the common room. His fellow Gryffindor shrugged and smiled at Harry, who rolled his eyes. So he was still kinda crazy, only now it was in a good way. Well…if it was the best he could get, Harry would take it.
So it was after what had to be the best summer Harry could remember – frequent days spent at the Burrow, helping the twins to prep their new shop, even a real vacation to the Gold Coast in Australia with Sirius, where Harry discovered surfing in the ocean wasn't all that different from doing it on your broom, except there was no snitch to catch in the ocean – that Harry was now back in school. Remus was even back as Defense Professor, another concession allowed when Harry told the press that he learned the best from the werewolf. Sirius would be providing back-up for Remus' "sick days" much to Professor Snape's disgust – a bonus in Harry's eyes.
Frankly, Harry's life was so much better now, he couldn't think what could possibly go wrong.
Harry James Potter should have really known to never, ever, think anything like that.
Laughing and joking, Harry made his way to charms, ignoring Ron's half-hearted attempts at glares. The ginger was torn between seeing his friend so happy – even he could admit that if anyone deserved to be happy, it was Harry – and annoyance at was making Harry so happy. A tentative romance had begun to bloom between Harry and the youngest Weasley, the only daughter, Ginny. It had started as the pair was frequently thrown together over the summer and was sealed when Harry had shyly asked Ginny to the Halloween Dance.
"I saw Ginny's new dress robes," Hermione teased Harry as the trio entered the classroom, Ron glowering fading when Lavender smiled at the Gryffindor keeper. The curvy girl was proving a thankful distraction to Ron's annoyance of his sister and best friend's combined love life.
Harry smiled, not realizing he was now be glared at by Michael Corner, Ginny's ex-boyfriend. He didn't see the Ravenclaw often, but Charms was a Gryffindor-Ravenclaw pairing.
"Yes, Ginny mentioned it," Harry admitted. "Sirius dragged me to Gladrags to get dress robes before school started. She was glad that her parents could do the same."
"I guess," Ron said as he pulled his attention away from Lavender's, um, assets. "The fact that Dad was one of the people in the ministry who believed in you all along helped his career. A raise in pay helped my parents to more easily afford a few things – Ginny's dress robes among them."
"And what dead relative's robes will you be wearing, Weasley?" Michael Corner snickered from a few row behind him.
"For your information," Hermione primly told the Ravenclaw. "Ron's brothers gifted him with a wonderful set of dress robes after they became successful entrepreneurs."
"Yeah," Ron muttered to Harry. "And I wouldn't touch them until I had Bill thoroughly check them for curses or jinxes."
Harry snickered, glad that his silent partnership in the twin's joke shop was helping more than one Weasley; for if there was any family in the wizarding world that deserved some blessings, it was indeed the Weasleys.
The students fell silent as their teacher, Professor Flitwick, entered the room. "Hello, students!" the diminutive man beamed before launching into today's lecture on defensive charms. Several former DA members found the class excessively easy and soon Flitwick was using them to demonstrate several charms.
Michael Corner continued to glare at Harry Potter. He didn't care what Ginny said – he knew that the real reason she had dumped him was to go out with "the boy who lived". Several Ravenclaws tried to point out to Michael that the pair hadn't begun to formally date until just before school had restarted and it was how much time Harry had spent with the Weasleys over the summer that had sparked a romance. But Michael would have none of it. Harry-freaking-Potter was wealthy, famous, athletic and now was even showing him up in the class taught by Michael's head of house. He would get him if it was the last thing he did.
"Professor," Harry asked politely. "What is that odd cabinet in the corner?"
Flitwick looked to where Harry was pointing, beaming once more as he looked at the boy. This Harry – relaxed, well-fed and happy – now was a clearer reminder of Lily Evans Potter, who had been one of the Charm's professor's favorite students. Lily would have taken note of the cabinet as well.
"I am not exactly sure, Mr. Potter," Flitwick admitted. "With the fall of He-Who…" Flitwick braced himself under Harry's disappointed look before steeling himself and continuing.
"With the fall of Vold-Voldemort," Flitwick stammered, relaxing when Harry smiled in approval. "With his fall, many magical items and some that were just valuable antiques, have flooded the market. Borgins and Burke held a special auction during the summer. You can feel the magic off of the cabinet but no one was sure what it did. I didn't really have time to study it at home so I asked it to be delivered here at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, it took up too much space in my quarters, so I have it here." Seeing they had much of the class's attention, Flitwick frowned.
"Now, no one is to get any ideas," the professor admonished. "Magical artifacts that we don't know what they do are not to be touched by students. In fact, maybe I should remove it to an empty classroom."
With another smile at Harry, Flitwick moved onto another student, admonishing the girl to watch how others were doing the charm.
Michael glared again at Harry, before trying the charm once more. It was a charm that was originally used to simply move things but duelers had found useful to cause their opponents aim to suddenly shift. Unfortunately, in his fury, Corner not only missed his target – Harry – but mispronounced the spell.
As the spell hit the cabinet in the corner, causing it to shake briefly, everyone stared at it before twisting around to see where the spell had come from. A furious Flitwick stomped over to his student.
"Mr. Corner, consider yourself very lucky that you missed your target. And yes, I know where you were aiming. Such behavior – and poor elocution - is unworthy of someone from Ravenclaw – something you can consider tomorrow night while in detention."
"But – but tomorrow is Halloween, Professor," Michael protested. "And the night of the dance!"
"You should have considered that before casting a charm that could have harmed a fellow student, Mr. Corner." Flitwick's cold look made many in the classroom recall that the man had been an internationally ranked dueler at the highest level.
With his usual beaming smile back in place, Flitwick turned back to the class. "Everyone who has successfully completed the spell, congratulations – no homework this weekend. If you haven't, I want a five page essay on its uses, misuses and what can happen if mistakes are made. You are my Newts students, I expect a lot more from you. A LOT more," Flitwick added with a final glare at Michael.
The students quickly filed out of the classroom, several who had not completed the class assignment talking to those who had gotten it first. Michael Corner stayed behind long enough to be told that his detention would be with Professor Snape, who had volunteered to chaperone anyone foolish enough to ruin their own holiday in order to get out of chaperoning the dance or watching over the younger students. The first through third years were getting the rare treat of heading to Hogsmede in the evening to try out a muggle holiday tradition – trick or treating. Snape had undoubtedly thought he would have a quiet evening of potion-making as a student would have to really mess up to be denied celebrating Halloween.
Well, Flitwick mused as he escorted Michael to his office to deliver the "good news" to Professor Snape, this certainly qualified.
As the door to his office shut behind him, Flitwick never heard the door to the cabinet open or a small voice call out, "Hello? Hello?"
A small frog crawled out of the cabinet, jumping lightly to the floor. Robin looked around before sighing. "I don't think I am in the Muppet Theater anymore."
The sun rose in the sky over Hogwarts the next morning. This was not an uncommon occurrence – it tended to happen every day. But today a small frog was watching it, smiling as he hummed a tune he had heard his Uncle Kermit singing.
Harry Potter was enjoying a quiet moment himself. His dorm mates preferred a good lie-in, but Harry was too used to being awaked early – by either Aunt Petunia's shrill orders or some of Padfoot's hi-jinks. Dobby had gotten used to this as well, and would frequently bring Harry a cup of hot chocolate and a breakfast sandwich. Harry smiled his thanks as the house elf popped away, thrilled at having served his hero once more.
Suddenly, Harry began to hum a tune before he started to sing. "Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me."
"You know my Uncle Kermit's song?" a small voice popped up.
Harry whirled around, nearly spilling his hot chocolate. To his surprise, a small frog was sitting next to him. "Um – hello? Who are you?"
"I'm Robin. Do you know my Uncle Kermit? You know his song. He has a couple, but I like that one."
Before Harry could decide if his long-awaited nervous breakdown was occurring or not, Dobby popped in again. "Froggy? Froggy must have escaped Potions-Master-Snapies' rooms. Bad potions ingredients, bothering Mr.-Harry-Potter-sir. You shoulds not be bothering him."
Dobby reached down to grab the petite amphibian only for a frying pan to suddenly smash into the house-elf's head. "I is sorry, Master," Dobby whimpered before turning to his attacker, never noticing Robin scurrying away.
"Dobby is free elf!" Dobby screamed at the man – Man? – in a chef's uniform. The man began a rambling of words in a language Harry had never heard before. Dobby and the chef vanished from sight, leaving Harry wondering if he had imagined the whole thing. With a sigh, he decided his roommates had the best idea. Heading back to sleep right now sounded wonderful.
"Hey Harry," Neville grinned as he sat down on Harry's bed.
Harry blinked before reaching out and grabbing his glasses.
"Nev, I had the strangest dream," he muttered. The two boys had become much closer in recent months, ever since the whole incident at the Ministry. It helped that Neville was one of only two students who not only heard what Harry said, he believed what Harry had said happened.
Then again, it helped that Neville had been there.
"Like what?" Neville asked.
"I thought I saw Robin and the Swedish Chef," Harry said morosely.
Neville raised one eyebrow. Thanks to Luna and Harry, the pureblood had been exposed to all things Muppets.
"Have I gone nuts, Neville?"
Nudging the other boy, Neville grinned. "No more so than usual."
Pushing Neville off of the bed, Harry got up himself. "Come on, Nev – I want to meet up with the team – Our first quidditch match is next week."
Knowing how nervous Harry was about this being his first year as Quidditch captain, Neville did what only a real good friend would do. He began to tease Harry.
"Just be careful, Harry," Neville teased. "You don't want to get hurt and miss the game – or the dance tonight."
Harry just grinned. "Ginny is on the team, remember? She may be a chaser and not a beater, but she still watches my back. And few people want to miss with a ticked off Ginny Weasley."
Neville and Harry were laughing and joking before they left the dorm. They never saw Gonzo slip into the room. But a bleary-eyed Seamus, waking after having a few too many (illicit) fire whiskies the night before, certainly did.
"Hello," Gonzo said cheerfully. "Have you seen a small frog, goes by the name of Robin? Um, hello?" When Seamus failed to answer him, Gonzo shrugged. "Hmm. Guess not. I'll just keep looking."
Seamus silently slipped from his bed, pulling his three remaining bottles of fire whisky from his trunk, putting them in the trash. "Me Da always said, when you start to see things like that, it's time to get rid of the hooch. Well, at least it wasn't a pink elephant, was it? Then again," he muttered, "at least you can tell what an elephant is. Not sure what that was supposed to be."
Draco Malfoy was annoyed, to put things mildly. His father had lost a great deal of influence since the Dark Lord had been defeated. But, as his mother had phrased it, they had to consider themselves lucky. Sirius Black had forced a Wizard's Oath on Lucius, or else he would, as head of the House of Black, dissolve the Malfoys' marriage, and reclaim Narcissa's dowry – something Lucius couldn't afford. (Supporting Voldemort had not been, apparently, an inexpensive endeavor.)
Sirius Black was clever, Draco could admit. He didn't require the Malfoys – as Lucius was head of the family, his oath would cover the entire family – to support the Light. But they could no longer support the Dark. Gray was apparently an acceptable alternative.
Once this was done, Draco had been almost pleased. After all, now that Sirius Black was cleared, and Draco was his only male relative, surely he was the man's heir. Nope. Harry-Bloody-Potter, the Boy who Lived, the Defeater of Voldemort, was his cousin's godson and heir.
"Potter, Potter, Potter," Draco muttered. "Is there anything he doesn't get?"
"Potter?" an elegant voice asked. "Do you know Harry Potter? He's such a dear boy."
Draco spun around, ready to tell the voice's owner off. "Listen you…" The Malfoy Scion found himself unable to speak. "Um, I think you may have had a spell gone wrong. Do you know you look like a pig?"
"Silly boy," Miss Piggy cooed. "I am Miss Piggy – star of stage and screen. But I am currently looking for my dear Kermit's nephew, Robin. The little sweetie came through a cabinet in the Guest Star's dressing room. There is a reason we keep that cabinet locked. But you know how little tadpoles are. Have you seen Robin?"
Draco's eyes went wide. "A frog? You are looking for a bloody frog? Lady, the only thing I would want a frog is if I wanted to dice him into potions parts. As for you, the only way I would want to see you is served with eggs and pumpkin juice, you escapee from a home farm – OOF!"
With the threat to Kermit and his nephew – or at least that was how Piggy interpreted it – the celebrated swine's eyes began to narrow and her lips tightened. But it was the nasty comment directed at herself that snapped her final straw. "Hi-yah!" Piggy cried out, karate chopping the teen in his gut, knocking him to the floor.
"You, young man, are in serious need of a lesson in manners," Miss Piggy declared as she tossed her blonde locks over her shoulders. "In fact, you remind me of a nasty, rude man I met a few months ago. I think his name was Lucy Malady. Such a silly name for such a silly man – well, I certainly taught him a lesson."
Miss Piggy strolled away, never glancing back as Draco weakly forced himself into a sitting position. "Lucy?" he muttered before smirking. He strongly suspected he knew the real reason why his father had been "recovering from a riding accident". In the world of pureblood aristocracy being injured by a non-pureblood was scandalous. To be injured by a talking, haut-couture wearing farm animal? His father would never live it down if it were to get out.
Draco wondered how he could use this knowledge to his benefit. As he shakily regained his footing, the Slytherin Prince knew he was getting that new broom he wanted for Yule.
Harry smiled and patted his fellow quidditch players on the back as they headed to the locker room to clean up after their practice. He was about to enter the locker room when he heard his name called.
Ginny Weasley ran up to Harry, glancing at her brother, standing behind her boyfriend. "Ron, unless you want to witness your baby sister trying to suck your best friend's tonsils out, you should head into the showers."
Ron couldn't get out of there fast enough.
Harry grinned at Ginny and gently kissed her. "I rather like my tonsils just where they are."
"Why would your tonsils go anywhere unless you're sick? You aren't sick, are you Harry?"
The couple whipped around and was startled to see a frog talking to them.
"Kermit?" Harry said in surprise. "What are you doing at Hogwarts?"
The amphibian smiled at the teens. "Oh, my nephew, Robin, came through a cabinet in one of the dressing rooms and ended up here. Have you seen him?"
Ginny blinked. "Seen a tiny, talking, frog? Nope – can't say I have."
Harry nodded and sighed. He should have known it wasn't a dream. "I believe I saw him this morning. That is, if I would have also seen the Swedish Chef."
Kermit sighed, the way parents – or parental figures – have for ages. "Yes, several of us have come through a magical cabinet to retrieve that scamp. Well, if you see Robin again, try and keep him where I can find him."
Once Kermit was gone, Harry turned to see Ginny looking at him, her eyes wide. "Um – Ginny, are you ok?"
"You were serious, weren't you?"
"No, he's one of a kind."
Harry sighed. "Yes, Ginny – Voldemort was blowing to bits by a Muppet. I tried to tell everyone but no one believed me."
Ginny grinned. "You know, this will make a great story for our kids someday."
Laughing, Harry kissed his girlfriend. "So am I still your hero?"
Kissing him back, Ginny wrapped her arms around his neck. "Since I was eleven, my knight in sweaty quidditch gear." Wrinkling her nose, the only Weasley daughter stepped back. "Ugh – I think someone needs a shower."
"Maybe," Harry teased as he slipped into the boy's locker. "But I love you anyways."
Leaning against the door, Harry laughed as he heard Ginny cussing. That girl had learned some very creative swears from her brothers…was that gobbledygook?
"Fighting with my sister? Not smart, mate – not smart at all." Ron said as he emerged from the showers, a towel wrapped around his hips as he used another to rub his hair dry.
"Worry about your own love life, Won-won," Harry snickered as he entered the showers.
Ron snorted as he bent down to rub his hair harder. OK, Lavender wasn't the brightest tool in the shed but at least she admired Ron's…well, honestly, Ron wasn't sure why Lavender liked him. Ron did rather fancy Hermione but his other best friend seemed to tolerate him at best some days.
"At times I think I am just a running gag in this show," Ron muttered.
"I know how you feel," a new voice said.
Ron looked up to see what looked like his teddy bear – before the twins turned it into a spider, of course. It even wore a tie and had a beat up fedora. "Teddy?" the redhead whispered, wondering if the twins had found the stuffed animal in order to play an elaborate prank on him. If they had – damn, they were good.
"Teddy? Nah, I'm Fozzie. Have you seen a little frog by the name of Robin?"
"No, mate – sorry."
The bear shrugged. "Well, he's gotta be here somewhere. I guess I can just keep hopping along? Get it? Hopping? Wacka wacka!"
Ron stood for a moment, wondering if he had finally lost it. Soon Harry was back out, rubbing his own hair dry. "Still not dressed yet, Ron?" Harry teased.
Looking at his best friend, Ron sighed. "Harry, would you promise me something?" When Harry nodded, Ron said, "Promise me you will tell me if I go completely and utterly bonkers?"
Harry just shrugged. "Sure Ron - anything else?"
"No, no that would be about it."
Dolores Umbridge had apparated to the gates of Hogwarts. In the months since she had been forced from the school, Dolores had seen quite the reversal of fortune. Cornelius had managed to remain Minister of Magic – by the skin of his teeth and at the sacrifice of Dolores. But she understood. It was in order to maintain his position, allowing him to enact needed changes.
Sadly, none of these changes were occurring. Instead, many of the edicts Dolores had pushed into place, both at the ministry and at Hogwarts, had been swept away. Sirius Black, once he was cleared, had assumed the roll of Head of Family and pushed his "reformist" agenda through. Oddly enough, even the formerly ultra-conservative Lucius Malfoy seemed cowed by the ex-con.
Realizing she could do nothing at the Ministry at the moment, Dolores had managed to convince her new supervisor; Madame Marchbanks that surprise inspections of Hogwarts may be needed. Dolores had bristled at the reminder that she carried no true authority, but she was convinced that once she got evidence, it was only a matter of time before her star would again be on the rise.
Dolores was equally convinced that Dumbledore's Golden Boy and his pet Werewolf would be the weak link she could use to jumpstart her career once more.
Umbridge froze. No, no, no. Turning slowly, her jaw dropped. "No," Dolores murmured. "My mother assured me when I was younger…You are not real."
Not having really heard her – she was speaking rather softly - Kermit smiled and moved forward in the friendly manner he was so known for. "Cousin Dolores, I'm looking for Robin -"
"No!" Umbridge screamed as she turned and ran away.
Kermit watched her moving rapidly, not towards the small village but into the nearby forest. "She must be going to look for Robin – that was sweet of her. But I already checked there. Oh, well."
Harry was putting on the finishing touches to his formal wear, sighing as he tried once more to flatten his hair.
"I don't think you can do anything with it," a small voice said.
Glaring at the mirror, Harry sighed. "Yes, you've told me so before."
"I have? When did I tell you that?"
Harry froze and slowly turned around. There was no one behind him but the mirror wasn't the one who had spoken after all. But there was no one behind his either…then Harry looked down.
A small frog looked up at Harry with a smile. "Hi, I'm -"
"Robin," Harry supplied, "the nephew of Kermit the Frog."
"Yes!" Robin said excitedly.
Harry sighed. "Do me a favor, stay here." Looking around, Harry sighed again before calling out, "Dobby!"
Dobby popped in, rolling in combat with the Swedish Chef. As the pair exited the dorms – still fighting – Harry looked at Robin, now seated on Harry's bed and they both sighed.
"Winky?" Harry called out, smiling when the slightly tipsy house elf showed up. Kneeling down, he put a hand on her shoulder.
"Winky, I need you to watch Robin here until either his Uncle Kermit shows up or I come back."
Looking at the tiny frog, sitting on the bed, admiring a copy of "Beedle the Bard" that Remus had located – it had been left behind by Lily and Harry the last time they had visited the werewolf and the man had held onto it for years – Winky sobered quickly. "Yous wants Winky to watch a child?"
Beaming, Harry nodded only for Winky to look confused. Leaning forward, she whispered to Harry. "Does Mr-Harry-Potter-sir know that is a frog?"
"Yes," Harry nodded again before walking out to look for Kermit.
Winky sighed before climbing up to watch over Robin. A child was a child, and watching over a child was her ultimate purpose. But wizards could be very strange…
Belletrix Lestrange smiled in her madness. It had taken her a while but she had finally fled from the Muppet Theater. She was back in the Magical World, back at Hogwarts. Surely she could seize Harry Potter from here and take him to her Master. That would secure her place by the Dark Lord's side…
"Woman, woman, woman…"
Realizing Animal had followed her as well, Bellatrix hid in a closet, only to hear a scream. Peeking out of the closet, the Death Eater was amazed to see Sybil Trelawney running down the hall, the Muppet close on her heels.
"Why you fickle little…" Bellatrix's lower lip trembled for a moment. "Just so you know," she yelled after Animal. "I dumped you!"
Tossing her head, Bellatrix strolled down to the dungeons. Surely Snape would know what was going on.
As the Halloween Dance was getting started, McGongall came running up to Dumbledore.
"Albus," the usually unflappable Deputy Headmistress groaned. "The Weird Sisters cancelled at the last minute! What do we do?"
"Yeah," Remus laughed. "Not like we can just plug in a cassette, now can we?"
"What's a cassette?" Sirius asked as he finished levitating the last of his share of the decorations. The students were starting to line up to enter the Great Hall but the part-time faculty member was unflappable. As far as he was concerned, a party could happen as long as there were Mauraders around…
Just then, Harry ran into the room. "Um, Siri – have you seen Kermit?"
"Kermit is here?" Sirius asked. "Hey, how about that Miss Piggy?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "Really, Sirius? Really?"
"No, we haven't seen him," Remus interceded. Harry went to turn when Remus asked, "Harry, the band cancelled at the last minute. Any ideas?"
Looking pensive, Harry nodded. "Yes, I do have one. Let me find Kermit first," he said before running off.
"Kermit?" Dumbledore asked. "Does Harry know a student who can play an instrument? That could be lovely. See Minerva – it will all work out fine. Lemon drop?"
Bellatrix slipped into Snape's classroom as he lectured a student.
"Really, Corner – trying to attack Potter in the middle of class? Did you really think Professor Flitwick wouldn't notice? Potter is once more the hero of the Wizarding World, what with his destroying the Dark Lord…"
"No!" Bellatrix screamed. "No one can destroy our Lord!"
Snape jumped in front of Corner, determined to protect his student (even if the boy was the dumbest Ravenclaw ever).
"You lie!" the mad-woman continued to scream. "This is the proof I need to give the Dark Lord that you are indeed a traitor. No," Bellatrix hissed. "I won't give you the chance to talk your way out of this. I will destroy you. I will detonate these potions and destroy this entire school."
"Did you say detonate?" Crazy Harry popped up.
Snape pushed Michael Corner under his desk before hastily calling out "protego!"
But even with the shield spell, both were knocked unconscious. When they were found, hours later, neither recalled why they were there. It was presumed that Bellatrix Lestrange had attempted to attack and Snape cast a hasty spell, stopping the evil witch but severely damaging his own lab. As a result, the professor was removed from teaching for a month as he recovered and the lab was rebuilt.
It was the best month ever for most of the students.
Harry ran down another corridor before screeching to a halt. Looking in an empty classroom, he saw Kermit trying to calm the gathered Muppets.
"Yes, I know you have been trying to find Robin, but – oh, hello, Harry."
"Hello, Kermit," Harry said politely. "Robin is up in my dorm room. I have a babysitter for him."
"Thank you, Harry," Miss Piggy cooed. "You are the sweetest boy."
"Yeah," Fozzie agreed. "Can we do something for you?"
"Well," Harry said. "We do need a band for our dance."
Animal came running into the room, hiding behind Zoot who blinked in confusion. Dr. Teeth nodded to Janice and Floyd.
Floyd in turn nodded to Harry. "We would be honored. But…we don't look like we belong here, ya dig?"
"Don't worry," Harry grinned. "I have that covered." Pulling out his wand he waved it at the band. "Confudo Muppeto."
Where the band had stood were some of the strangest looking people – then again, for a rock band, they probably looked fairly normal.
"Alright, this will only last eight hours, but the dance ends about midnight. You should be good."
Kermit smiled at Harry who grinned at him in return. "You're welcome at the dance, as well."
The frog shook his head. "No thanks – I need to get Robin home and then Piggy and I have an interview on Meet the Press in the morning. Need to look our best, you know." Looking around, Kermit smiled at his friends. "You're welcome to stay until the band comes home."
"Maybe…" Fozzie said but Harry interrupted.
"The younger students are trick or treating in the village, no one will realize you aren't in costume. And there is a joke shop."
"This bear is out of here!" Fozzie cried, running from the room.
Gonzo looked puzzled but Harry just smiled. "And the house next to the joke shop raises prize winning chickens."
"Woo-hoo!" Gonzo hooted as he followed his friend to the village.
Just then Dobby and the Swedish Chef popped through, still wrestling. As the vanished through a wall, Harry eyed the Muppets.
Kermit shrugged. "I'm only laying claim to the one in the hat."
The group turned to leave, only for Professor Trelawney to enter the room, slightly breathless. She patted down her hair, blinked her myopic eyes in what she thought was a flirtatious manner and smiled.
"Has anyone seen a small, red-headed love god? If you do, send him to my tower – I will be waiting in – breathless – anticipation."
After the woman had left, everyone stared at the red-headed drummer, who shrugged and muttered, "Uh?"
"You know," Harry said finally. "I think I never, ever want to know – alright?"
"Agreed," everyone echoed as they left the room.
It would later be agreed as well that the band – a group of unknowns discovered by Harry Potter – made the Halloween Dance one of the best and least drama-free celebrations Hogwarts had ever seen. The band would occasionally make appearances in the magical world, made easier by Sirius convincing Professor Flitwick to sell him the cabinet.
And if Sirius occasionally disappeared through the cabinet as well, Harry never commented on it. Like he said – there were some things a guy just never wanted to know.
A/N - Because all my husband asked for for Father's Day was a sequel. Sorry it was late.