I hated to admit it, but we were bored. We had spent years fighting off Riddle– of running from terrors and fighting for our lives– and now we were expected to have a normal year at Hogwarts. It was barely even Hogwarts anymore. Not for us, at least.
All us seventh years who never got to finish school were allowed to go back. Rather than stick us with our fellow Gryffindors, McGonagall enlarged the Head Boy's and Head Girl's room to fit Ron, Harry, Draco, Neville, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and I. Being the only girl, I was constantly inviting Luna and Ginny to hang out in our common room. Nobody complained since Harry and Ginny, and Neville and Luna were officially going out. Draco never said much of anything to any of us, but Harry told me that his mother forbid him from saying nasty things to us. All part of the being reformed act, he's said.
"I'm bored," I said as I worked on my Arithmacy essay. Ron gave me a startled look.
"Hermione bored? While doing homework? I'm shocked," Ron said, shaking his head in disappointment. I rolled my eyes.
"Honestly, I am too," Ginny said. She was sitting at Harry's feet working on a Charms essay. While Ginny was technically a seventh year, she had to finish all the sixth year work that she had missed from having to go on the run. It was the same way for Luna, Draco, and Neville.
"You were never even fighting Riddle," Harry said while lazily practicing some easy Transfiguration.
"I know. But while you were running around doing interesting stuff there was at least something to watch," Ginny complained. Harry rolled his eyes.
"Hey guys," Justin said as he came into the common room. "You won't believe what I found." He was holding a long scroll and, by the looks of it, it was a list of some sort.
"Blibber Dungets?" Luna asked, causing Neville to give her an appreciative smile. While Luna was still as spacey as ever, she was as bored as we were. She used her free time making up imaginary creatures just for the purpose of confusing Justin about them.
"No, ah, not whatever you said," Justin said, pausing for only a moment. "It's a list. I found it in the girl's bathroom."
"What?" I asked. "Why were you in a girl's bathroom?"
Justin blushed. "That doesn't matter, but the point is this list is golden."
"What is it? A list of the top hot guys at Hogwarts?" Ginny asked. "Because I've seen a lot of those, and they aren't accurate."
"No, it's a list of ways to annoy Snape," Justin said, smiling.
"Let me see," Ron said, grabbing the paper. He started reading before bursting out laughing. "Oh man," he said, "he would kill you for that."
"What?" Harry asked, looking up. While Harry greatly respected Snape after the Final Battle, he still didn't like him.
"Here. Number eight," Ron said, handing the paper over.
Harry started laughing before passing the list to Ginny, who then passed it to me. I skimmed over the list (the word shampoo popped up more than twice) while grinning slowly.
"I think I know how to make our year a little more interesting," I said, focusing on number 28: Send him love letters from Trelawney.
"Are you kidding?" Ron said. "You're the one always telling us to respect Snape!"
I grimaced. "I know. But you know, I know, and everyone else knows that all he is a grumpy old bat. At least we'll have some fun this year, and maybe we'll get him to lighten up."
"If he doesn't kill us!" Neville exclaimed, grabbing the list. "Number 54: Tell Snape that you're the father of your child. In the middle of the Great Hall. If he denies it, run away screaming that 'I thought we had something special!' He would kill us!"
I rolled my eyes. "Well we'd obviously not do things on the list that require us ourselves to do anything drastic. We could do stuff like… Number 16: Dress up as Snape for Halloween. He couldn't do anything but assign detentions and dock points. First off, he can't dock points from us," I said, "and camping in the middle of nowhere without any food is a lot worse than scrubbing a caldron without magic."
"I think it's a fantastic idea," Draco drawled as he came down from the boys' rooms. Some of us cursed.
"It was just a joke, Malfoy," Ron said quickly. "No need to go running to Snape to tattle on us."
"No, Weasley, I was being serious. Snape should be knocked down a few pegs. Besides, if you want to annoy Snape, you'll need the Slytherins on your side," he said matter-of-factly. We all gaped at him.
"I think that this would count as inter-house cooperation," Luna said in a distant voice. "If we get caught, that's what we can blame it on."
"You're brilliant!" Ron exclaimed, hugging Luna.
"That's fine and all, but what if he find out?" Neville asked.
"Blame it on me," Harry, Draco, and I said at once.
"I'm the smartest girl in the school, they won't expel me," I said.
"I defeated Riddle, they really won't expel me," Harry said.
"I don't care if I'm expelled," Draco added.
"I'm happy to let you all take the blame," Ron said, "as long as someone does number 32: Publish a newspaper called the Daily Snape. Have it include every single thing that Snape has done for the entire day. All we need is Harry's invisibility cloak for that one. We'll just have to follow him around a bit, then transfigure an old copy of the Quibbler and leave it around where everyone can get to it."
Ginny snatched the list again. "It's almost October. If we factor in holidays and those random days where Snape just disappears, we still wouldn't have enough time to do all the things on this list! There is over 500 things on here!"
"Well," I said, smiling, "we better get to work."
I looked around the classroom. I was glad that Snape was still stationed in the dungeons, even though he taught DADA, simply because that meant that it would take exactly five minutes for him to get back to his classroom if Luna sounded the alarm. What I had to do wouldn't take five minutes, but it might take me that long to hide myself.
I slowly pulled all of Lockhart's books out of my bag. Not only were they my Lockhart books, but I also collected them from everyone else who was in on the plan. Since Harry's autobiography was unread and had his signature, I decided to put it in the center of Snape's desk. The rest I laid artfully around the classroom. I was going to leave it at that, but I decided that an Enlargement Charm and a Sticking Charm were needed.
I felt my DA coin grow hot in my pocket, so I quickly headed for the door. I put a simple detection charm on the doorway, so that I would know exactly when to signal Ginny. Even though it was a very simple prank, I couldn't help but hope that it worked. If it did everyone, especially Neville, would be that much more excited to get on to the next prank.
When I was safely in another part of the castle, I felt the ping that signaled Snape entering his classroom. I quickly spelled the DA coin to alert Ginny, so that she could finish carrying out the plan. I then headed to the Great Hall for breakfast. We wouldn't know how things went until after Ginny's DADA lesson, when we would all meet back at the Eighth Year's common room.
"How'd it go?" Ron asked as I sat down. "He was already in a foul mood when he left this morning. He muttered something about his coffee tasting funny."
Harry snickered. "That would be my fault. I convinced Dobby that Snape wanted vomit flavored Berry Bott's Every Flavor Bean dissolved in his coffee from now on."
"Number 334?" I asked, impressed. I was wondering why Harry had sent out a large order to Honeydukes.
"Yeah. I gave about forty vomit flavored beans to Dobby. I told him that if he ran out to come to me. I saved the earwax one too."
"And you looked through how many bags of beans?" I asked. How much time would that have taken?
"Nope. I just Summoned them," Harry said with a grin. He looked over my shoulder and his grin faded. "Oh no," he muttered. Neville, who had been silent until that point, looked around in alarm, as if Snape was going to spring up from nowhere and put him in detention.
"He kicked me out," Ginny said with a somber face. "But," she continued, grinning, "I still saw enough to make it worth it. We can go up and watch now, if you want. Snape's so mad that I don't think he'd notice if I showed up late for class."
"I don't want you late," I said, weighing the pros and cons, "but let's go!" I grabbed some pieces of toast and threw a meaningful glance at Malfoy on the way out. He had been sitting alone at the Slytherin table, as usual, and seemed like he could do with a laugh. I used the DA coin to talk to Justin, and Neville just grabbed Luna from the Ravenclaw table. We were soon alone in the Eighth Years' common room with Harry's Pensive.
"Don't be trying to get a look at anything but Ginny's memory," he warned Draco. He had bought himself a Pensive as soon as the war was over. There were a lot of gruesome things that had happened over the years that he didn't really want to remember all that much.
"Like I'd be interested in your past," Draco said. Nevertheless, he was showing interest in the stone bowl filled with silver liquid. I stepped in front of him casually and looked down at the Pensive to block off his view. It looked like a scene from the Final Battle was floating to the top.
"Got it?" Harry asked as Ginny removed her memory of Snape.
"It feels weird… but yeah," she said, pushing the memory down.
"Now, everyone just stick a finger in, and we should be able to go in," Harry instructed. He did as we were told. Nothing happened.
"Perhaps at least one of us has to stick out head in?" I suggested. Harry nodded and slowly lowered his face into the Pensive. I thought that we'd have to view the memory one-by-one after all, until I felt myself falling into the memory.
We were in the hallway, right outside of the DADA classroom. It looked just how I left it only a quarter hour before. Ginny slowly walked up to the door and knocked. Already, we could hear cursing coming from inside.
"-vain prick, stupid arse-" Snape whipped the door open. Ginny jumped a little in surprise, but quickly remembered the plan.
"Hello, sir, I was wondering if you could help me for a second?" she asked, already trying to edge into the classroom. Even though Snape had blocked the classroom with his body, we could still see past him to where Lockhart's face towered over everything.
"I'm busy," he growled. He tried closing the door, but Pensive-Ginny smoothly slipped into the classroom. Only one of the books had been removed, and the biggest one with Lockhart's signature was still smoldering.
"I didn't know you were a Lockhart fan, Professor," Pensive-Ginny said with wide eyes. Real-Ginny giggled behind me.
"I'm a great actress," real-Ginny said.
"I'm not," Snape growled. "What do you want, Miss Weasley?"
Neville was shaking in fear just from memory-Snape. Luna put a comforting had on his back and whispered something about Nagini.
"Well, its just that I don't have any other male teachers, besides Hagrid, Professor Flitwick, Professor Slughorn, and- er, Firenze, and I was wondering if you could help me out with something?" Pensive-Ginny asked. Ron and Harry were already grinning. While we hadn't worked out exactly what Ginny would say, we knew that with her mind, it would be brilliant.
"What do you want, Miss Weasley?" Snape ground out. "This is hardly a good time for me." Out of the covers of one of the over-sized books, Lockhart winked at us.
"I was just wondering," Pensive-Ginny said in an innocent voice, "what-if-you-know-that-a-boy-likes-you-but-he's-re ally-famous-and-you-don't-know-whether-or-not-you- really-like-him-as-much-as-he-likes-you-but-you-re ally-want-to-like-him-and-have-his-children-?"
"Miss Weasley! That is enough! Get out!" Snape almost pushed Ginny out the door before slamming it in her face. Ginny giggled and quickly slid an Extendable Ear under the door.
"-Merin's arse. Who the fuck hates me this much that they would…? Fucking tosser, Lockhart." Something exploded. "Bloody students. Bet it was a Gryffindor. I'll talk to Minerva about her bloody students. She thinks they're all fucking sunshine and bloody kittens…" Something made a very large ripping noise. "I'll make her a bloody kitten!"
We came out of the Pensive doubled over in laughter. Even Draco, who usually didn't show emotion around us, was chuckling.
"I've never heard him swear like that!" Justin exclaimed.
"You should have heard him at Order meetings," Harry said with a smile. "He has a filthy mouth. He just doesn't use it around students."
"I've really got to get to class," Ginny said, kissing Harry on the cheek returning the memory to her mind.
"Me too," Luna said serenely. "I have Charms with the Hufflepuffs," she said before drifting out the door.
"And I've got Muggle Studies," Neville said, following her out.
"That was brilliant," Ron said. I nodded while catching my breath.
"I've somewhere to be," Draco said before also leaving the room.
"Why did he even agree to help us?" Harry asked once we took a seat. I shrugged as I un-shrunk my toast and began nibbling on the corners.
"Probably because he's planning on turning us in," Ron said, narrowing his eyes.
"No, he signed the paper. He knows what will happen to his flawless face if he tells," I said. I didn't know why Draco wanted to prank Snape either. It wasn't like Snape had ever done anything to him.
"Well then, I guess time will tell," Harry said, taking the list out of his bag. "Now, what other things can we do today?"
"Miss Granger, what are you doing?" Snape asked, looming over me. I was pretending to read something under my desk as he lectured to try to get him to do exactly what he was doing at that moment.
Quick-as-lightening, I pinned a SPEW badge onto his robes.
"Rallying for house elves, sir," I said in an innocent voice. He nearly growled at me as he whipped the badge off and threw it in Harry's direction. For DADA me, Harry, and Justin were grouped with the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws since there was such a large number of students in the Gryffindor seventh year. Neville and Ron got to take class with the Gryffindors, as well as the Slytherins and Draco.
"Ten points from Gryffindor!" Snape exclaimed.
"But sir, you can't deduct house points from-" Harry was cut off.
"Eighth year students, yes, I know. Ten points to Gryffindor," Snape growled. It probably killed him to give us our points back. That was a bonus to this little prank. "You may write me an essay, Miss Granger, on how you became such an insufferable know-it-all." The rest of the class laughed, but I wasn't the least bit embarrassed. Seeing Snape half-dead on the floor of the Shrieking Shack and helping stop him from going beyond the veil made his petty bards a lot less potent than they used to be.
We were to watch one of Draco's memories, this time. We crowded around the Pensive and got ready to fall in as Draco deposited his memory and lowered his head to look. We fell and found ourselves in the dungeon corridor that Draco had advised us to use. Only Slytherins knew where Snape's quarters were, and thanks to Draco, so did we.
Harry and Draco were quickly moving down the hall. Draco muttered a few spells and Harry fell to the floor while ropes slowly covered him. Draco dragged Harry in front of a painting of a grumpy looking wizard, knocked, and fled across the hall to hide himself under the Invisibility Cloak.
Snape opened the door slowly and looked around in confusion. He took a step into the hall and looked around, before finally noticing Harry. He scowled.
"What's the meaning of this, Potter?" he barked. Harry, being unconscious, didn't hear him. "Bloody Boy-Who-Lived. Boy-Who-Lived-To-Be-A-Pain-In-My-Arse is more like it." Snape revived Harry quickly and unbound him. He snatched the tag off of his sweater that read Merry Christmas Severus.
"Professor?" Harry questioned, squinting up at Snape. Harry must have taken acting lessons from Ginny, who was quite enjoying herself as she watched Snape blow up like a bullfrog.
"What are you doing here Potter?" Snape demanded. "What is the meaning of this?"
"I dunno, sir," Harry said, slowly standing up. "I thought I was on my way to the Great Hall…"
"Dunderhead, get back to your common room," Snape growled before slamming the door shut. Harry smiled and looked around the empty corridor until Draco's head appeared.
"I knew I saw your head in Hogsmead…"
The memory dissolved and we landed back in our common room. Everyone was grinning. Especially Harry.
"I'm surprised that he didn't kick me while I was down there," Harry said. "I could have sworn that my ribs were sore when I got up…"
"I might have put a bit more effort into the Stunning Spell than actually necessary," Draco confessed with a bad innocent look. Ginny laughed and slapped him on the back. Draco looked surprised before smiling slowly.
"So, what's next?" Ron asked, looking at the list.
"Halloweens coming up," Neville said. "I think we should try number 390, if that's okay…"
Luna smiled and kissed Neville on the cheek. "I knew you'd get into the spirit," she said in an unusually clear voice.
"Cheers for Neville!" Ron announced.
"Hip hip, Hooray! Hip hip, Hooray!"
A/N: Disclaimer: I own nothing in this story. Harry Potter and friends belong to Rowling. If you Google "404 Ways To Annoy Snape" you can find the list I'm using, which is also not mine. This is obviously an AU story and I'll try to keep everyone from being too OC.
Reviews are always welcome!