Author's Note: So, this one-shot is kind of an experiment. Here's the reason. For years my family has insisted that the only funny thing about my sense of humor is that I think I'm funny when I'm so unfunny that it's funny. (And if you understood that, I'm impressed!) So, I was pretty sure I wasn't really funny. Then I started posting on this site, and I wrote a few humorous one-shots for the Coldfire Trilogy fandom - and one of the few other authors who write for that fandom told me that I'm hilarious! So now, I don't know what to think! This is to test the waters of a more heavily-traveled fandom, and determine once and for all if I'm actually funny. If I get reviews saying this fic is funny, I'm going to shove them in my cousin Helga's face and tell her, "Hah! See, I AM funny! Some people online said it, therefore it must be true!" (Helga, if you read this, that last sentence is an example of a technique called 'sarcasm'. It is widely regarded as a very successful form of humor.)

Warnings: Slash, language, debatable humor. Excessive use of puns. Mentions of MAD magazine. (What, me funny?)

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter (boo hoo!). I do not own MAD magazine (Thank God!). I do not own any of the characters appearing in this fic - nor, in fact, any Harry Potter characters at all. *pouts* Would someone like to give Draco to me as a belated birthday gift? I'd be a very happy dragon... *bats eyelashes and tries to look cute* Not working, huh? Damn. Oh well, Harry can have him, I suppose. *sulks, in a very majestic and dragonish way*

A.N.2: Just in case any of the readers of Seeing, Believing, Dreaming, Deceiving are worried - no, I'm not losing interest! What do you take me for, a dragon or a speckled toad? (Eh, family joke there. Sorry.) So anyway, the next chapter will be up very soon - it's just that my family was here for 'moral support' after my accident, and we were arguing about my sense of humor again. 'Cause that's really the way to cheer up a girl who just had flesh-eating bacteria infesting her semi-broken leg, right? NOT! Ahem. Bad dragon. Behave.

A.N.3: Fic title is a line from "Bashing the Balrog", a filk song by Leslie Fish. Something of an RPG tribute song with, of course, a tip of the hat to the Lord of the Rings. Bashing the Balrog is like taunting Tom Riddle - a very, VERY bad idea! Just to warn you all, there's not much real backstory here, at least compared to how I usually write. It doesn't really make sense or have a large amount of explanation for the way things are, it's just a silly little story to prove that I can crack a joke just as well as the next person.

"So, this rope walks into a bar."

Groans rang throughout the Gryffindor common room. Ron clamped a pillow around his head to muffle both ears, eyes wide.

"Don't listen to him, guys! Don't even look at him! You'll only encourage him!"

Drunk on the thrill of recent Quidditch victory, the lingering high of his last clandestine meeting with his lover, and a generous dose of Firewhiskey, Harry was undeterred by his best friend's lack of enthusiasm. "The bartender says, 'Hey buddy, we don't serve ropes in this joint. Get out.' So the rope goes on his way."

The Gryffindors sank back into their seats with expressions of pure despair etched across their faces. Hermione had told them earlier that evening, before she left for her extra-credit Arithmancy lesson, not to let Harry drink under any circumstances. They were now wishing, not for the first time, that they had just listened to Hermione Granger.

Harry waved his arms vaguely as he spoke, looking rather like a windblown scarecrow, except for the half-empty bottle of Firewhiskey in his left hand. "The next night, the rope walks in, and the bartender says, 'Listen bud, I told you once already. We don't serve ropes!' So the rope just sighs, and walks back out."

Harry paused for a dramatic effect, took another swig of Firewhiskey, and hiccuped loudly. He paused for a moment, swaying slightly as he tried to remember his place in the story. "Where was I?" The faces of his fellow students lit up with desperate hope, then Harry hiccuped again. "Oh yeah." Their faces contorted back into dismay. "So the next night, the rope walks in again, except this time he looks like hell. He's all twisted up and looped around himself, and his fibers are all worn and chafed. The bartender says to him, 'Look, mister, how many times do I gotta tell ya? We don't serve ropes here! You're a rope, aintcha?' The rope looks at him and says glumly, 'Nope, 'fraid not.'!" Harry burst out laughing at his own joke, then collapsed back onto the couch. "Get it? Frayed knot?"

Seamus slid forward off the couch onto the floor and dropped his head onto the low table with a loud thunk. "Blimey. And I thought Fred and George were annoying drunks. Why these fucking awful jokes? Why can't he just sing like a normal drunken idiot?"

"You ought to know by now that it's contrary to Harry's nature to do anything normally." Neville said gloomily.

The sixth-years and seventh-years of Gryffindor were throwing a riotous party in the Common Room.

Harry had reached the level of inebriation where everyone is a long-lost friend, whether they're really an enemy, or an acquaintance who's been sitting next to you for the last six hours. In colloquial terms, he was pissed as a newt. He was smiling giddily around at his friends when his gaze zeroed in on Ron, and his eyes lit up. "Hey, Ron, I've got a great joke!"

"SAVE ME!" Ron bellowed, flinging himself at Dean. The black boy allowed the redhead to cower behind him, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Where is he getting all of these horrible goddamn puns?"

"He reads MAD magazine." Seamus muttered. Seeing his friend's puzzlement, he waved a hand. "It's a Muggle comedy magazine, but the founder and some of the editors are wizards, so it has the worst humor of both worlds."

"Two peanuts walk into a bar." Harry proclaimed. This was met with tolerant gazes from most of his friends, and a startled blink from Neville, who looked at Seamus and mouthed, how can a peanut walk into a bar?

How can a rope walk, or talk for that matter? Seamus mouthed back. He's fucking plastered, Neville, just go along with it.

Harry grinned dazzlingly as he delivered the punchline. "One of them was a salted!" He burst out laughing again, drained the Firewhiskey, and proceeded to laugh until he rolled of the couch and lay sprawled across the rug, still shaking with mirth.

His friends watched speculatively. "Do you think we ought to tie him up or something?" Seamus asked curiously. Met with shocked stares, he added quickly, "For his own protection, y'know. And to keep him from drinking any more before Hermione can sober him up."

"Amen." Ron said fervently, shooting a quick Body-Bind Curse at his sloshed friend. They all sighed in relief, and agreed to levitate him back onto the couch and leave him there while they went in search of their resident genius.

Minutes after they had gone to find Hermione, Colin Creevey wound his way through the thriving party and up to the couch where Harry lay petrified. He was wearing his customary ecstatic grin, clearly delighted at being needed for something. "Hey Harry! I've got a message from Professor Dumbledore, he says you need to go to his office right away, it's really important! Say, did someone put a Body-Bind on you? That wasn't very nice! Here, let me fix that!"

~HP~HP~HP~HP~HP~

Hermione turned a truly baleful gaze on the four boys. "Someone had better have a very good explanation for this."

"I don't get it!" Neville protested, scratching his head, bewildered. "We left him right here! He was under a Body-Bind, how could he have gotten away?"

Hermione pursed her lips, brown eyes flashing. The Muggle metaphor of a wet hornet did not do her justice. She more greatly resembled a wet Horntail - Hungarian, that is. "Well, since you lost him, I suppose you will be going to look for him, right?"

"Yes, Hermione." they chorused despondently. Hermione smiled beatifically.

"I'm sure Harry is very thankful to have such selfless, devoted friends."

~HP~HP~HP~HP~HP~

The door to Professor Dumbledore's office swung open, and Harry poured in, clutching a new bottle of Firewhiskey he had procured from the drinks table on his way out of Gryffindor Tower. His eyes fell on the person sitting in the chair in front of Dumbledore's desk, and his whole face lit up. "Tom!"

He practically flew across the room and flung himself into the Dark Lord's arms. Riddle chuckled at the shocked expression on the Headmaster's face, looking down at his young lover in amusement. "You've been drinking, haven't you?"

"Yep. 'M three sheets to the wind." Harry agreed, grinning and stumbling over the words slightly, before bursting into song.

"Pour your brother one more round,

Pick each other off the ground:

Let another chorus sound -

Pour your brother another round!

Draw another draught for me,

Drink 'til I'm too blind to see -

This one's done, pray, get me three!

Draw another draught for me..."

Riddle raised an eyebrow at Dumbledore, who cleared his throat awkwardly. "Yes, well, this would seem to substantiate your claims of having a relationship with Harry... I suppose-"

"You let your students drink?" Riddle asked, watching with satisfaction as Dumbledore squirmed.

"Well, I do not encourage underage drinking, of course. And certainly not on the school grounds! It is simply that, in light of Gryffindor's winning the Quidditch Cup again this year, I allowed a small celebration in the Tower this evening, and it seems that in the absence of regulation it has gotten a little out of hand..."

"Beidh aonach amárach i gContae an Chláir

Beidh aonach amárach i gContae an Chláir

Beidh aonach amárach i gContae an Chláir

Cé mhaith dom é, ní bheidh mé ann?

Níl tú a deich ná a haon déag fós

Níl tú a deich ná a haon déag fós

Níl tú a deich ná a haon déag fós

Nuair a bheidh tú trí déag beidh tú mór!"

Harry had shifted seamlessly into singing something raucous and strident in Gaelic, slithering onto the chair and draping himself across his lover in the process, and Riddle snickered. Dumbledore actually scowled slightly as he adjusted one of the many silver instruments on his desk. "Yes, well, I shall have to send one of the professors down to break it up. You have explained that you and Harry are lovers now, Tom, but you have yet to explain your presence here."

Harry was still singing.

"Oh, the good ole' hockey game

Is the best game you can name

And the best game you can name

Is the good ole' hockey game!"

"That's enough of that nonsense, love." Riddle said, smirking as he shot a Sobriety Charm at the emerald-eyed teen sprawled across his lap, followed by a judicious Aguamenti.

Harry spluttered and bolted upright, pushing his dripping bangs out of his eyes, looking highly put out. "Fuck, Tom! That was entirely unnecessary! I wasn't drunk!"

Both Riddle and Dumbledore blinked. "You weren't?" Dumbledore inquired, looking amazed.

Harry snorted. "Of course not, I'm not stupid. If I actually downed a bottle and a half of Firewhiskey I'd be dead of alcohol poisoning. The only time Ron and the others will put up with my jokes is when they think I'm drunk, though, so I pretended. Besides, I wanted to see if I could make myself sing badly enough to fool you."

"You certainly fooled me, you little minx." Riddle said wryly, before curling a hand around the back of Harry's neck and yanking the boy into a rather enthusiastic game of tonsil hockey.

Dumbledore yelped, scandalized. "Harry! Tom! For Merlin's sake-" He was cut off by a sharp screech from Fawkes, who buffeted him on the back of the head with one wing. From its perch on the shelf, the Sorting Hat chuckled.

"They're both Slytherins at heart, Albus, you know they won't listen to you."

Dumbledore pressed his hands firmly against his temples in a desperate attempt to stave off his approaching headache. Only when the two lovers finally parted for air did he looked up, blue eyes flashing dangerously.

"If you two are quite finished defiling my office, I would greatly appreciate if you could tell me why you're here, Tom."

"Oh, did I forget to mention?" Riddle asked, eyes gleaming. "I'm here to depose you, of course." He pronounced this in the tone one might use to inform a friend that they were going to make a pot of tea.

Dumbledore's eyes opened so wide that his spectacles fell off of his crooked nose. "You what?"

"Yeah, Tom's decided you're not doing a very good job of keeping me safe." Harry said brightly, winding his arms around Tom's neck. "He's taking over the management around here."

Riddle didn't even wait for Dumbledore to open his mouth again, simply flicked his wand and muttered the Killing Curse. The elderly wizard keeled over, and Riddle kissed Harry again, beaming. "Shall we go tell your friends of the new arrangement, love?"

~HP~HP~HP~HP~HP~

The four Gryffindors had met up in the corridor near the Headmaster's office, having searched nearly the entire school with no luck. They were beginning to be seriously concerned. Dean shook his head, looking troubled.

"No luck, mates, no sign of Harry. Where do you think he's got to?"

Seamus opened his mouth, but before he could speak, two figures turned the corner and headed toward them. It was Harry, grinning like the Cheshire cat, arm-in-arm with none other than Tom Riddle. He beamed at his speechless friends, waving lightly.

"Hey guys. We're just on our way to make an announcement - Tom's taken over Hogwarts, we just thought we'd let everyone know. See you later!"

Tom smirked and dragged the teen onward, around the far corner and out of sight. There was a soft thud as Neville dropped to the floor in a dead faint, and Ron blinked, dazed and bewildered.

"Bloody hell. How much did we have to drink?"

...

...

So, there we have it. I don't think it's my best humor piece ever, but I think I did pretty well. Please, review and let me know what you think! I reeeaaalllyyy want to prove Helga wrong! First song is Pour Your Brother by Heather Alexander, second one is Beidh Aonach Amarach by Gaelic Storm, the third is The Good Ole Hockey Game by Stompin' Tom Connors.