"Doesn't that kind of run counter to everything our house stands for?" asked Susan Bones, tilting her, letting her red hair fall on her shoulder, as behind her, Hannah Abbot stopped her effort of braiding it properly (as Susan, quite plainly, could not do it herself).
"Au contraire, my little amigos!" spoke the purple haired Goddess of Hufflepuff. Literal goddess, not the usual meaning.
"Think about it. In order to nap all the time, you need to do your work really, really fast, so that you have more free time" explained Harry, gesturing with his hands. "And in order to do your work really, really fast, you need to work really, really hard."
Most of the members of Hufflepuff nodded appreciatively at the unquestionable logic. Harry wanted to thank Narcissa for explaining to him how to manipulate the Hufflepuffs in an easier way than how he'd originally intended to. And to think, he'd thought of exemplifying the House's values for years as he preached the one True faith! That would've been slow, inefficient and way, way too tiring.
He just wished Neptune didn't spend as much time with Proffessor Malfoy as she did, becuase she was learning French and mixing it with Spanish and sometimes Japanese in her sentences, and while Harry could understand her just fine, it was still annoying.
"Plus faith is the ultimate form of loyalty, right?" asked someone, to murmurs of agreement and assent from the house.
Neptune grinned widely as everyone saw the merit of her faith. Hah! Take that, Lonely Heart! She was always going on and on about how it was hard to gain new followers while keeping the old ones, and how Neptune's lazy disposition and tendency to do everything at the last minute would never serve her in this endeavor! And here it was, being the main reason why the start of her quest to turn this school to her whorship was so succesful!
"So... how do we sign up?" asked Justin Finch-Fletchly.
"It's really easy! And fun!" Neptune said, smirking to herself.
"Shouldn't you do this in Purple Heart form?" asked Harry, raising an eyebrow. "It makes it all more official. And you're less likely to screw it up," he added, in a lower tone.
He was right, Neptune knew, but she still pouted for a few seconds. "Okay, I guess!" she finally relented, knowing it would be more work to do it unless she let her, ugh, responsible alter ego handle it. "Behold!"
A column of light surrounded by strings of numbers illuminated the Hufflepuff common room. The boys who had already entered puberty began to drool. As did two or three girls.
Susan Bones looked confused, even as her friend went beet red from behind her. "I don't see what the big deal is," she mentioned, frowning slightly. "Aunty's are bigger," she said.
Purple Heart smiled warmly at everyone. "I am Purple Heart," she spoke, allowing her power to enhance the effect by allowing her to give Gravity the middle finger. She pulled a small purple and black rectangular tablet from her cleavage, that quickly expanded into a rectangle that wouldn't look out of place on an adult's hands. Even if that adult's hands were covered by gauntlets whose fingers ended in pointy claws. "And this, is what is called a handheld console," she explained, as Harry removed his own console from the pockets of his robes and turned it on, ignoring everything else as he set about beating Neptune's high scores on the games he had installed.
When she'd found the time to set them in the first place, he'd never know, but he'd keep replaying Green Hill Zone until he could beat her in time, score and ring count. It wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't clear she'd been screwing around when she'd put the records in place to begin with!
Why was this a problem, you may ask?
Well, Planeptune's latest handheld prototype had an incorporated AI, and they were still ironing out its kinks. One of them was the fact that the AI was a complete dick muncher, and it liked to remind Harry that he sucked in comparison to his patron goddess...
"Whose idea was this?" asked Hermione, glaring at Severus Snape, at his desk, and at the total lack of protection for the students. "Seriously! No goggles, no approns, no safety measures... nothing! This is just asking for a lawsuit," the angry muggleborn ranted.
"Miss Granger, please refrain from questioning the traditions we've upheld for ages. If you haven't noticed, Wizards are a very hardy and resistant lot. Were your eyes to be destroyed in any way, it takes me roughly an hour of work to brew a potion to regrow new ones. We can regrow and repair limbs and heal all sorts of infections and maladies. Believe me, Miss Granger, if we do not offer safety measures, it is because we believe in the law of survival of the fittest," explained Snape, feeling vindictive and deciding that Granger really needed to understand she wasn't in the muggle world anymore.
"What's that mean?" an ignorant dunderhead asked.
Snape rolled his eyes. "Potions kill in one of two ways. The first is intentionally, through lethal or weakening potions that have such as their specific task. For obvious reasons, I won't be teaching you how to do that, as very few of you will see yourselves in my NEWT potions class. There's also accidental kills, which happen due to freaky accidents involving exploding cauldrons. The first is business, the latter is a favor to society."
"This is much harder than the way I usually do stuff," mentioned Neptune.
"Ah, yes, Miss Neptune... a goddess," said Snape, rolling his eyes. He was doing that a lot in this class. He'd seen Longbottom make a cauldron explode by boiling water. This class was just boring filler until he got to watch the oddly entertaining and hilariously awful experiments in potion making Longbottom engaged in. "What, pray tell, would your method be?"
"I dunno! I usually just gathered the ingredients in the list that came with the product proposal and then had the people at the synthethization building make it for me. Or ask Gust to do it if she's available," said Neptune.
"It surprises me a lot, I can tell you that," said Snape, dryly. "Regardless, I don't care enough about this class to actively teach you. So I'm just going to give you the instructions and point out everything you're doing wrong, but not tell you how to correct it. Sink or swim, people!"
Easiest class ever, if that's all he had to do... the real difficulty came from passing this class with Neptune as his partner.
He knew what to expect. He didn't even flinch when he saw Neptune lackadaisically handle their ingredients, disregarding the possibility of her hurting herself with the knife they'd been provided. He didn't even care about the careless way in which she went about preparing the potion. He wasn't even surprised when the resulting potion was rubbish. It was a wonder it hadn't gone boom. He had laughed his ass off, watching as Snape became infuriated by Neptune's antics.
Even when the professor took away the knife, Neptune just pulled out a rather large curved sword, a katana that could cut through steel and still give you a perfect tomato slice, from her inventory and proceeded to use that instead. Of course, the highly magical weapon had the side effect of contaminating the ingredients, making them practically useless. After destroying most of their workstation, she grew bored and stopped her actions, as Snape was approaching apoplexy and thus incapable of providing her with amusement with the faces he made as he saw the brutalization of his beloved art. Harry managed to turn out a perfect potion, using materials he'd unfortunately been forced to steal from others' tables (it was surplus anyway!) using Hermione's as a guide. He just wished he had the foresight to store a few ingredients away from Neptune's reach, since it would have made completing the potion way easier.
All in all, this was just like when Nepgear tried to teach Neptune how to bake. Harry had learned enough that his cakes were actually better than Nepgear's (mostly because she couldn't keep her skills sharp, what with having to do two CPUs' workload on top of her own and all), but Neptune had just made mess after mess.
"Truly, Severus, you are letting your bias poison you against blameless students. You can't truly blame the son for the sins of the father. If we subscribed to such a philosophy, I believe many of us would still be serving life sentences in Azkaban," spoke Narcissa Malfoy, brushing off imaginary dust from the sleeve of her robe as she adjusted her seat on the round table that had been put in the middle of an out of the way classroom in the castle.
The monthly staff meeting always took place in a random classroom with privacy charms up the wazoo. Traditions, even the dumb ones started by drunkard founders, had to be upheld.
"Just because you've been sleeping with her-" countered Severus.
"Alas, much as I wish I could have a taste of the luscious breasts that our... extraordinary guest presents, she spends most of her time in the form of a very young girl. I am, contrary to popular belief, not a pedophile in any way, shape or form and not even my powerful libido can carry me through in such a situation," admitted with quite a bit of sorrow Narcissa.
"That's code for 'I couldn't seduce her', isn't it?" Septima Vector commented wryly.
Aurora Sinistra snickered.
"Oh, shush, both of you!" McGonagall said, rolling her eyes. "Is there anything important to report, Narcissa?"
"Beyond their complete ignorance of even muggle social customs?" the referred to witch asked, smiling slightly at seeing McGonagall stop just short of hexing her for the cheek. She'd always liked to rile up the Gryffindor head of house. She threw the most hilarious tantrums. "I believe they intend to convert Hufflepuff house to their beliefs. They came to me, requesting aid in such an endeavor, considering I can get away with doing what I do, they figured I had ways to manipulate people into doing what I want."
"They are correct, of course, even if they are too young to understand your, ahem, ways," commented Snape, wiggling his eyebrows.
Quirrel had a happy and vacant smile on his face as he drooled at the image of Narcissa's... ways.
"I'm fairly sure that miss Neptune is a fair bit older than I am," Albus Dumbledore spoke, nodding to himself. "I've been told I give of this feel of power, age and wisdom to people who come face to face with me. I felt the same when I stood next to my master, and I feel an extremely noticeable pressure when I stand in the same room as she does. The magical sense I possess can only be developed through years of work on it, I wouldn't be surprised if most of you couldn't replicate it, but you must trust me on this," said Dumbledore, gravelly.
"She still looks, and acts, as if she were a first year girl," pointed out Pomona Sprout. "For all we know, her body's shape corresponds to her mental maturity," she added.
"So, since nothing of any value has been discovered, we shall do as we always do," spoke Dumbledore.
"Stick our heads in the sand like a particularly dumb ostrich and pretend nothing is wrong?" asked Vector, looking bored.
"No, that's just McGonagall," countered Kettleburn, nursing a bite wound covered by bandages.
"Ha ha, very funny. Let's see how you laugh when I transfigure your underwear into sandpaper," said the transfigurations teacher, waving her wand in a threatening way.
"You know, before I saw these, I would have always thought they would be extremely serious and boring," commented Narcissa, looking at nobody in particular.
"This is a school run by Albus Dumbledore," commented Filius Flitwick, who had been calmly sipping his tea and just laughing at the staff's banter.
"Point," Narcissa admitted.
"I was here when Dippet was headmaster," said Sprout, sighing. "Now those reunions were boring! I swear, it was as if his one task in life was to make our lives miserable!"
Having been quietly in the background, professor Cuthbert Ghostman Binns (whose name was incredibly appropriate), now took center stage and snorted. "I was here the last time a Black was headmaster. I still recall Phineas' first staff reunion like it'd happened yesterday."
"Oh? Would you mind sharing the story?" Narcissa asked, truly interested by the teacher that was no longer droning about the Goblin Rebellions since he wasn't intentionally trying to intentionally bore the staff.
"Well, I was sworn to secrecy for most of what happened there, but I can tell you that there's a memory of it in a pensieve locked inside my desk on my classroom..."
"Ignoring that entirely, what are your thoughts on any... unusual power... that might have been displayed by our guest?" asked Dumbledore, looking at Quirrel in particular, but he was too out of it to answer.
"So far, her abilities are a solid average, but that could be her holding back on purpose," Flitwick said, being the best analyst for his sort of situation as a former dueling champion (and coach, for a whooping three weeks until he beat the crap out of a stupid apprentice for sucking too much and then got fired). "I'm mostly sure of this because she is perfectly on par with Harry when she wishes to be, and Harry is a prodigious student... when you can convince him to work, at any rate," said the diminute charms teacher.
"Quite. Even his potions, much as I loathe to admit it, turn out perfectly when he is motivated to work," such as by strong sleeping draughts that would prevent one from being rudely awoken or potions that helped one relax better. "And I do believe he did most of the work, as this Neptune is perhaps the laziest thing to have ever existed."
"So far, the most interesting feats she has shown have to do with sheer presence, durability or strength. It seems to me that she has a lot of raw power, but no idea how to use it right."
Albus nodded. "It fits with my original assesment of her and the other goddess with which she seems to share a pantheon, although the other one gave me the impression that it wasn't so much laziness holding her back as it was a sense of playfulness."
"So, our tactics for whatever the Dark Lord might try this year?" asked McGonagall, having stopped berating the two teachers that had taken to annoying her this meeting.
"I say we just wait and let him impale himself against Potter's protector," said Flitwick, shrugging. "It ought to be easier than making some sort of grand plan."
Dumbledore nodded in acceptance.
"After all, it isn't as if we're protecting something that the Dark Lord wants, so why would we expect him to fall into a trap of our making?" asked someone, and then Dumbledore felt slightly silly.
"What sort of idiot would bring such a thing to a school filled with children?"
The Lord of the Light had a sinking feeling his staff wasn't as unaware of his plans for the Philosopher's Stone as he wished they were. Oh, well, it was bound to wind up ending in hilarity anyway...
Later, that night...
Narcissa plunged her face into the Pensieve, and then she saw as the most lecherous man in her ancestry, when he was still a handsome sixty year old man, came running into a classroom, clearly running late.
"Good news everybody! We're all gonna get laid!" declared the Headmaster, and the staff cheered.
"Well, it's nice to know I'm not the only pervert in the family, I suppose," said Narcissa, as she removed her head from the scene of debauchery and lechery. "But I don't think I can stand up to Grandpa Phineas' legacy... Ah, if only I had some help..."
"I just got this really tingly feeling in the back of my neck," Plutia commented, from where she was using a plushy of Neptune as a pillow. "I already miss Neppy and Harry!" she concluded. "I guess a visit wouldn't be too out of place..."
Even though it'd been only a couple of minutes since she last saw them, Plutia decided she missed her bestest friend ever and her sort-of-kinda-maybe surrogate offspring, and thus she'd pay them a visit! Besides, the only thing Plutia had taken with her about the whole 'time dilation' stuff that Histy had explained had been "time goes by a lot slower here, so I can get a lot of naps there without upsetting Histy!"
It didn't truly matter to her that interdimensional travel was probably murder on Planeptune's finances. It didn't matter anyway, since Nepgear was working on turning out a profit from it (it helped that the one gate between Ultradimension and Hyperdimension gamindustri happened to be on Planeptune territory on both ends...), and it was only a matter of time until they could afford to pay for the materials for another of those machines Nepgear made based on input from both Histoires.
Who knew that there were schematics for an interdimensional travel device in Histoire's pages?
Regardless, she was already thinking of how she'd surprise her friend! Maybe she'd even get to see Neppy put on the Iris Heart costume she'd worked so hard to make?