Author has written 2 stories for Firefly, and Harry Potter.
Hello all :). If you're currently reading this, then you're probably looking at getting a bit of insight into my life - either that or you're just very, very bored. If it's the latter, I suggest you skip this first paragraph, and continue down to the "Funny Harry Potter Excerpts", as they really are...funny. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. Insight, yeah - well, I'm Sara. I turned fourteen last month. I suggest you do not judge my writing capacity by my age ;). Hm. I love Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Keira Knightley, Angelina Jolie. I hate soap operas and Sarah Jessica Parker is hideous. Harry Potter is, quite obviously, one of the best books ever written. I also enjoy a lot of Bryce Courtenay, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Shakespeare, Andy Griffins for light reading, Morris Gleitzman (I've actually met him!), and loads of others. Firefly is a brilliant TV show, and is probably tied with Doctor Who for me. That being said, Serenity is one of my favourite movies. I pretty much write for anything I enjoy. Some other movies that I like are: Pirates of the Caribbean (first movie only; the other two were crap), Shrek (again, first only), Billy Elliot, A Knight's Tale, Love Actually, Taxi, Pride & Prejudice, 10 Things I Hate about You, The Dark Knight, X-men (1 and 2 only because the 3rd was sorely disappointing), Rocky Horror Picture Show, and so many more. Well, if that isn't enough insight, I could also mention that I love the singers P!nk, Missy Higgins, James Blunt, Matchbox 20, Coldplay, U2, Gabrielle Cilmi, Katy Perry, Natalie Imbruglia, Kisschasy, Evanescence, David Bowie, K.D. Lang, Linkin Park, Goo Goo Dolls, REM, Ricky Martin, Nickelback, OneRepublic, Alanis Morisette, Train, Dido, 3 Doors Down, Good Charlotte, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles, Queen, and, of course, Mr G from Summer Hights High ;). Yeah, you're probably getting sick of me now, so I'll finish this off with some references:
OK, now that that is over and done with, we can get to the more interesting topic (drum roll!)...
¤ Funny Harry Potter Excerpts ¤
"Arthur, is that you?"
"Yes," came Mr. Weasley's weary voice. "But I would say that even if I were a Death Eater, dear. Ask the question!"
"All right, all right... What is your dearest ambition?"
"To find out how airplanes stay up."
Mrs. Weasley nodded and turned the doorknob, but apparently Mr. Weasley was holding tight to it on the other side, because the door remained firmly shut.
"Molly! I've got to ask you your question first!"
"Arthur, really, this is just silly..."
"What do you like me to call you when we're alone together?"
Even by the dim light of the lantern Harry could tell that Mrs. Weasley had turned bright red; he himself felt suddenly warm around the ears and neck, and hastily gulped soup, clattering his spoon as loudly as he could against the bowl.
"Mollywobbles," whispered a mortified Mrs. Weasley into the crack at the edge of the door.
"'Harry Potter knows that he can confide in me with complete confidence,' I told them. 'I would rather die than betray his trust.'"
"That's not saying much, seeing as you're already dead," Ron observed.
"Once again, you show all the sensitivity of a blunt axe," said Nearly Headless Nick in affronted tones.
"Do you remember me telling you we are practicing nonverbal spells, Potter?"
"Yes," said Harry stiffly.
"There's no need to call me 'sir,' Professor."
"You'd think people had better things to gossip about," said Ginny as she sat on the common room floor, leaning against Harry's legs and reading the Daily Prophet. "Three Dementor attacks in a week, and all Romilda Vane does is ask me if it's true you've got a Hippogriff tattooed across your chest."
Ron and Hermione both roared with laughter. Harry ignored them.
"What did you tell her?"
"I told her it's a Hungarian Horntail," said Ginny, turning a page of the newspaper idly. "Much more macho."
"Thanks," said Harry, grinning. "And what did you tell her Ron's got?"
"A Pygmy Puff, but I didn't say where."
"And that's Smith of Hufflepuff with the Quaffle," said a dreamy voice, echoing over the grounds. "He did the commentary last time, of course, and Ginny Weasley flew into him, I think probably on purpose, it looked like it. Smith was being quite rude about Gryffindor, I expect he regrets that now he's playing them - oh, look, he's lost the Quaffle. Ginny took it from him. I do like her, she's very nice..."
"But I thought he liked me," Myrtle said plaintively. "Maybe if you two left, he'd come back again. We had lots in common. I'm sure he felt it."
And she looked hopefully toward the door. "When you say you had lots in common," said Ron, sounding rather amused now, "d'you mean he lives in an S-bend too?"
"Did you hear, there's supposed to be a vampire coming?"
"Rufus Scrimgeour?" asked Luna.
"I - what?" said Harry, disconcerted. "You mean the Minister of Magic?"
"Yes, he's a vampire," said Luna matter-of-factly. "Father wrote a very long article about it when Scrimgeour first took over from Cornelius Fudge, but he was forced not to publish by somebody from the Ministry. Obviously, they didn't want the truth to get out!"
(Talking about Inferi in DADA...) "When we come face-to-face with one down a dark alley, we're going to be having a look to see if it's solid, aren't we? We're not going to be asking, 'Excuse me, are you the imprint of a departed soul?'"
Fred, George, Harry, and Ron were the only ones who knew that the angel on top of the tree was actually a garden gnome that had bitten Fred on the ankle as he pulled up carrots for Christmas dinner. Stupefied, painted gold, stuffed into a miniature tutu and with small wings glued to its back, it glowered down at them all, the ugliest angel Harry had ever seen, with a large bald head like a potato and rather hairy feet.
"And the steam rising in characteristic spirals," said Hermione enthusiastically, "and it's supposed to smell differently to each of according to what attracts us, and I can smell freshly mown grass and new parchment and -"
But she turned slightly pink and did not complete the sentence.
"But you are normal!" said Harry fiercely. "You've just got a-a problem-"
Lupin burst out laughing. "Sometimes you remind me alot of James. He called it my 'furry little problem' in company. Many people were under the impression that I owned a badly behaved rabbit."
"Harry Potter!" bellowed Hagrid, slopping some of his fourteenth bucket of wine down his chin as he drained it.
"Yes, indeed," cried Slughorn a little thickly. "Parry Otter, the Chosen Boy Who - well - something of that sort," he mumbled, and drained his mug too.
Pointing his wand at nothing in particular, he gave it an upward flick and said Levicorpus! inside his head.
There was a flash of light and the room was full of voices: Everyone had woken up as Ron had let out a yell. Harry sent Advanced Potion-Making flying in panic; Ron was dangling upside down in midair as though an invisible hook had hoisted him up by the ankle.
"Sorry!" yelled Harry, as Dean and Seamus roared with laughter, and Neville picked himself up from the floor, having fallen out of bed. "Hang on- I'll let you down-"
He groped for the potion book and riffled through it in a panic, trying to find the right page; at last he located it and deciphered one cramped word underneath the spell: Praying that this was the counter-jinx, Harry thought Liberacorpus! with all his might.
There was another flash of light, and Ron fell in a heap onto his mattress.
"Sorry," repeated Harry weakly, while Dean and Seamus continued to roar with laughter.
"Tomorrow," said Ron in a muffled voice, "I'd rather you set the alarm clock."
"An Unbreakable Vow?" said Ron, looking stunned. "Nah, he can’t have... Are you sure?"
"Yes I’m sure," said Harry. "Why, what does it mean?"
"Well, you can’t break an Unbreakable Vow..."
"I’d worked that much out for myself, funnily enough."
"I thought you lived in that girls' bathroom?" said Harry, who had been careful to give the place a wide berth for some years now.
"I do," Myrtle said, with a sulky little shrug, "but that doesn't mean I can't visit other places. I came and saw you in your bath once, remember?"
"Vividly," said Harry.
"Oh, there you are, Albus," he Slughorn said. "You've been a very long time. Upset stomach?"
"No, I was merfely reading the Muggle magazines," said Dumbledore. "I do love knitting patterns."
"Very well then," said Dumbledore, pushing open the broom-shed door and stepping out into the yard. "I see a light in the kitchen. Let us not deprive Molly any longer of the chance to deplore how thin you are."
"This is your copy of Advanced Potion-Making, is it, Potter?"
"Yes," said Harry, still breathing hard.
"You're quite sure of that, are you, Potter?"
"Yes," said Harry, with a touch of more defiance.
"This is the the copy of Advanced Potion-Making that you purchased from Flourish and Blotts?"
"Yes," said Harry firmly.
"Then why," asked Snape, "does it have the name 'Roonil Wazlib' written inside the front cover?"
"When we were in Diagon Alley," Harry began, but Mr. Weasley forstalled him with a grimace.
"Am I about to discover where you, Ron, and Hermione disappeared to while you were supposed to be in the back room of Fred and George's shop?"
"How did you...?"
"Harry, please. You're talking to the man who raised Fred and George."
He (Slughorn) seemed remarkably unabashed for a man who had just been discovered pretending to be an armchair.
"How do you feel Georgie?" whispered Mrs.Weasley.
George's fingers groped for the side of his head."Saintlike," he murmured.
"What's wrong with him?" croaked Fred, looking terrified. "Is his mind affected?"
"Saintlike," reapted George, opening his eyes and looking up at his nrother. "You see...I'm holy. Holey, Fred, geddit?"
Mrs.Weasley sobbed harder than ever. Color flooded Fred's pale face.
"Pathetic," he told George. "Pathetic! With the whole world of ear-related humor before you, you go for holey?"
"Ah well," said George, grinning at his tear-soaked mother. "You'll be able to tell us apart now, anyway, mum."
"The sooner this wedding's over the happier I'll be." (Ron)
"Yeah" said Harry, "then we'll have nothing to do except find Horcruxes...It'll be like a holiday, won't it?"
“I was awake half the night thinking it all over, and I believe it’s a plot to get the house.”
“The house?” repeated Harry. “What house?”
“This house!” shrieked Uncle Vernon, the vein in his forehead starting to pulse. “Our house! House prices are skyrocketing around here! You want us out of the way and then you’re going to do a bit of hocus-pocus and before we know it the deeds will be in your name and—“
“Are you out of your mind?” demanded Harry. “A plot to get this house? Are you actually as stupid as you look?”
“How’s Norbert doin’?”
“Norbert?” Charlie laughed. “The Norwegian Ridgeback? We call her Norberta now.”
“Wha—Norbert’s a girl?
Ron, you know full well Harry and I were brought up by Muggles!” said Hermione. “We didn’t hear stories like that when we were little, we heard ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and ‘Cinderella’—“
“What’s that, an illness?” asked Ron.
But before Uncle Bilius went loopy he was the life and soul of the party,” said Fred. “He used to down an entire bottle of firewhisky, then run onto the dance floor, hoist up his robes, and start pulling bunches of flowers out of his—“
“Yes, he sounds a real charmer,” said Hermione, while Harry roared with laughter.
“Never married, for some reason,” said Ron.
Somewhere in the distance they could hear Peeves zooming through the corridors singing a victory song of his own composition:
We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the one, And Voldy’s gone moldy, so now let’s have fun!
“Really gives a feeling for the scope and tragedy of the thing, doesn’t it?” said Ron.
"What are you doing with all those books anyway?" Ron asked.
"Just trying to decide which ones to take with us," said Hermione. When we're looking for the Horcruxes."
"Oh, of course," said Ron, clapping a hand to his forehead. "I forgot we'll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library."
“You know how to drive, I take it?” (Dedalus) asked Uncle Vernon politely.
“Know how to - ? Of course I ruddy well know how to drive!” spluttered Uncle Vernon.
“Very clever of you sir, very clever, I personally would be utterly bamboozled by all those buttons and knobs,” said Dedalus.
He was clearly under the impression that he was flattering Vernon Dursley, who was visibly losing confidence in the plan with every word Dedalus spoke.
“If you think I’m going to let six people risk their lives - !”
“ – because it’s the first time for all of us,” said Ron.
“This is different, pretending to be me – ”
“Well, none of us really fancy it, Harry,” said Fred earnestly. “Imagine if something went wrong and we were stuck as specky, scrawny gits forever.”
“You can’t do it if I don’t cooperate, you need me to give you some hair.”
“Well, that’s that plan scuppered,” said George. “Obviously there’s no chance at all of us getting a bit of your hair unless you cooperate.”
“Yeah, thirteen of us against one bloke who’s not allowed to use magic; we’ve got no chance,” said Fred.
“Arthur and Fred – ”
“I’m George,” said the twin at whom Moody was pointing. “Can’t you even tell us apart when we’re Harry?”
“Sorry, George – ”
“I’m only yanking your wand, I’m Fred really – ”
“Enough messing around!” snarled Moody.
“Do ghouls normally wear pajamas?”
“No,” said Ron. “Nor have they usually got red hair or that number of pustles.”
Harry contemplated the thing, slightly revolted. It was human in shape and size, and was wearing what, now that Harry’s eyes became used to the darkness, was clearly an old pair of Ron’s pajamas. He was also sure that ghouls were generally rather slimy and bald, rather than distinctly hairy and covered in angry purple blisters.
“He’s me, see?” said Ron.
“No,” said Harry. “I don’t.”
Ron: “Sure you’re not thinking of Gorgovitch?”
“Dragomir Gorgovitch, Chaser, transferred to the Chudley Cannons for a record fee two years ago. Record holder for most Quaffle drops in a season.”
“No,” said Harry. “I’m definitely not thinking of Gorgovitch.
“I try not to either,” said Ron.
Hermione made purple and gold streamers erupt from the end of her wand and drape themselves artistically over the trees and bushes.
“Nice,” said Ron, as with one final flourish of her wand, Hermione turned the leaves on the crapapple tree to gold.
“You’ve really got an eye for that sort of thing.”
“Thank you, Ron!” said Hermione, looking both pleased and a little confused.
Harry turned away, smiling to himself.
He had a funny notion that he would find a chapter on compliments when he found time to peruse his copy of Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches.
“Seventeen, eh!” said Hagrid as he accepted a bucket-sized glass of wine from Fred.
“Six years to the day we met, Harry, d’yeh remember it?”
“Vaguely,” said Harry, grinning up at him. “Didn’t you smash down the front door, give Dudley a pig’s tail, and tell me I was a wizard?”
“I forge’ the details,” Hagrid chortled.
He held out his hand, and Scrimgeour leaned forward again and placed the Snitch, slowly and deliberately, into Harry’s palm.
Nothing happened. As Harry’s fingers closed around the Snitch, its tired wings fluttered and were still.
Scrimgeour, Ron, and Hermione continued to gaze avidly at the now partially concealed ball, as if still hoping it might transform in some way.
“That was dramatic,” said Harry coolly.
Both Ron and Hermione laughed.
“And as for this book,” said Hermione, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard … I’ve never even heard of them!”
“You’ve never heard of The Tales of Beetle the Bard?” said Ron incredulously. “You’re kidding, right?
“No, I’m not!” said Hermione in surprise. “Do you know them, then?”
“Well, of course I do!”
Harry looked up, diverted. The circumstance of Ron having read a book that Hermione had not was unprecedented.
Luna: “Daddy, look – one of the gnomes actually bit me!”
“How wonderful! Gnome saliva is enormously beneficial!” said Mr. Lovegood, seizing Luna’s outstretched finger and examining the bleeding puncture marks.
“Luna, my love, if you should feel any burgeoning talent today – perhaps an unexpected urge to sing opera or to declaim in Mermish – do not repress it! You may have been gifted by the Gernumblies!”
“Expec – Expecto Patronum,” said Hermione. Nothing happened.
“It’s the only spell she ever has trouble with,” Harry told a completely bemused Mrs. Cattermole. “Bit unfortunate, really.”
Hermione: “’And Death spoke to them – ’”
“Sorry,” interjected Harry, “but Death spoke to them?”
“It’s a fairy tale, Harry!
“Right, sorry. Go on.”
“Why are they all staring?” demanded Albus as he and Rose craned around to look at the other students.
“Don’t let it worry you,” said Ron. “It’s me. I’m extremely famous.”
The real Harry thought that this might just be the most bizzarre thing he had ever seen, and he had seen some extremely odd things. He watched as his six doppelgangers rummaged in the sacks, pulling out sets of clothes, putting on flasses, stuffing their own things away. He felt like asking them to show a little more respect for his privacy as they all began stripping off with impunity, clearly much more at ease with displaying his body than they would have been with their own.
"I knew Ginny was lying about that tattoo," said Ron , looking down at his bare chest.
"So that's little Scorpius,"said Ron under his breath. "Make sure you beat him in every test Rosie.Thank God you inherited your mother's brains."
"Ron for heaven's sake,"said Hermione, half stern, half amused. "Don't try to turn them against each other before they've even started school!"
"You're right, sorry," said Ron. But unable to help himself, he added "Don't get too friendly with him, though Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood."
"There was the sound of pattering feet, a blaze of shining copper, an echoing clang, and a shriek of agony: Kreacher had taken a run t Mundungus and hit him over the head with a saucepan.
"Call 'im off, call 'im off, 'e should be locked up!" screamed Mundungus, cowering as Kreacher raised the heavy-bottomed pan again.
"Kreacher, no!" Shouted Harry.
Kreacher's thin arms trembled with the weight of the pan, still held aloft. "Perhaps just one more, Master Harry, for luck?"
"We need him conscious, Kreacher, but if he needs persuading you can do the honors," said HArry.
"Thank you very much, Master."
"There was a clatter as the baskilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.
"Is this the moment?" Harry asked weakly, and the when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. "OI! There's a war going on here!"
Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other.
"I know mate," said Ron who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a bludger, "so it's now or never, isn't it?"
When he straightened up again, there were six Harry Potters gasping and panting in front of him. Fred and George turned to each other and said together, "Wow -- We're identical!"
"Teddy's back there," James said breathlessly, pointing back over his shoulder into the billowing clouds of steam. "Just seen him! And guess what he's doing? Snogging Victoire!"
He gazed up at the adults, evidently disappointed by the lack of reaction.
"Our Teddy! Teddy Lupin! Snogging our Victoire! Our cousin! And I asked Teddy what he was doing--"
"You interrupted them?" said Ginny. "You are so like Ron--"
Harry seized the wand lying beside his camp bed, pointed it at the cluttered desk, and said, "Accio Glasses!"
Although they were only a foot away, there was something immensly satisfying about seeing them zoom toward him, at least until they poked him in the eye.
"Slick," snorted Ron.
"Well, what else can I say?" Ron shouted, and Harry was glad that Ron was fighting back.
"Oh I don't know!" yelled Hermione with awful sarcasm. "Rack your brains, Ron, that should only take a couple of seconds-"
"Our Headmaster is taking a short break," said Professor McGonagall, pointing at the Snape-shaped hole in the window.
“Look, if I picked up a sword right now, Ron, and ran you through with it, I wouldn’t damage your soul at all.”
“Which would be a real comfort to me, I’m sure,” said Ron.
"Rubeus Hagrid (.) well-known gamekeeper at Hogwarts School, has narrowly escaped arrest within the grounds of Hogwarts, where he is rumored to have hosted a 'Support Harry Potter' party in his house. However, Hagrid was not taken into custody, and is, we believe, on the run." (Lupin)
"I suppose it helps, when escaping from Death Eaters, if you've got a sixteen-foot-high half brother?" asked Lee.
"It would tend to give you an edge," agreed Lupin gravely.
"Mind you, if all the alleged sightings of him are genuine, we must have a good nineteen You-Know-Whos running around the place." (Fred)
"Which suits him, of course," said Kingsley. "The air of mystery is creating more terror than actually showing himself."
"Agreed," said Fred. "So, people, let's try and calm down a bit. Things are bad enough without inventing stuff as well. For instance, this new idea that You-Know-Who can kill with a single glance from his eyes. That's a basilisk, listeners. One simple test: Check whether the thing that's glaring at you has got legs. If it has, it's safe to look into its eyes, although if it really is You-Know-Who, that's still likely to be the last thing you ever do."
"And the rumors that he keeps being sighted abroad?" asked Lee.
"Well, who wouldn't want a nice little holiday after all the hard work he's been putting in?" asked Fred. "Point is, people, don't get lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that he's out of the country. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but the fact remains he can move faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo when he wants to, so don't count on him being a long way away if you're planning on taking any risks. I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but safety first!"
"This girl is very nice-looking," Krum said, recalling Harry to his surroundings. Krum was pointing at Ginny, who had just joined Luna. "She is also a relative of yours?"
"Yeah," said Harry, suddenly irritated, "and she's seeing someone. Jealous type. Big bloke. You wouldn't want to cross him."
"Mum! I can't give a professor love!" (James)
"But you know Neville-"(Ginny)
James rolled his eyes.
"Outside, yeah, but at school he's Professor Longbottom, isn't he? I can't walk into Herbology and give him love.."
"You must kill me." (Dumbledore)
There was a long silence, broken only by an odd clicking noise.Fawkes the phoenix was gnawing a bit of cuttlebone.
"Would you like me to do it now?" asked Snape, his voice heavy with irony. "Or would you like a few moments to compose an epitaph?"
Hermione slid out of her bunk and moved like a sleepwalker toward Ron, her eyes upon his pale face. She stopped right in front of him, her lips slightly parted, her eyes wide. Ron gave a weak, hopeful smile and half raised his arms.
Hermione launched herself forward and started punching every inch of him that she could reach.
"Ouch - ow - geroff! What the - ? Hermione - OW!"
"You - complete - arse - Ronald - Weasley!"
She punctuated every word with a blow: Ron backed away, shielding his head as Hermione advanced.
"You - crawl - back - here - after - weeks - and - weeks - oh, where's my wand?"
Fred and George, however, found all this very funny. They went out of their way to march ahead of Harry down the corridors, shouting, "Make way for the Heir of Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through..."
"You're alive," she said blankly to Harry.
"There's no need to sound so disappointed," he said grimly, wiping flecks of blood and slime off his glasses.
"Oh, well...I'd just been thinking...if you had died, you'd have been welcome to share my toilet," said Myrtle, blushing silver.
Hermione, however, clapped a hand to her forehead. "Harry -- I think I've just understood something! I've got to go to the library!" And she sprinted away, up the stairs.
"What does she understand?" said Harry distractedly, still looking around, trying to tell where the voice had come from.
"Loads more than I do." said Ron, shaking his head.
"But why's she got to go to the library?"
"Because that's what Hermione does," said Ron, shrugging. "When in doubt, go to the library."
They were almost at King's Cross when Harry remembered something.
"Ginny--what did you see Percy doing, that he didn't want you to tell anyone?"
"Oh that," said Ginny, giggling. "Well--Percy's got a girlfriend."
Fred dropped a stack of books on George's head. "What?"
"It's that Ravenclaw prefect, Penelope Clearwater," said Ginny. "That's who he was writing to all last summer. He's been meeting her all over the school in secret. I walked in on them kissing in an empty classroom one day. He was so upest when she was--you know--attacked. You won't tease him, will you?" she added anxiously.
"Wouldn't dream of it," said Fred, who was looking like his birthday had come early.
"Definitely not," said George, sniggering.
George looked up in time to see Malfoy pretending to faint with terror again.
"That little git," he said calmly. "He wasn't so cocky last night when the dementors were down our end of the train. Came running into our compartment, didn't he, Fred?"
"Nearly wet himself," said Fred, with a contemptuous glance at Malfoy.
Percy had what were possibly the least helpful words of comfort.
"They make a fuss about Hogsmeade, but I assure you, Harry, it's not all it's cracked up to be," he said seriously. "All right, the sweetshop's rather good, and Zonko's Joke Shop's frankly dangerous, and yes, the Shrieking Shack is always worth a visit, but really, Harry, apart from that, you're not missing anything."
As though an invisible hand were writing upon it, words appeared on the smooth surface of the map. "Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people's business."
Snape froze. Harry stared, dumbstruck, at the message. But the map didn't stop there. More writing was appearing beneath the first.
"Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git."
It would have been funny if the situation hadn't been so serious. And there was more...
"Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor."
Harry closed his eyes in horror. When he'd opened them, the map had had its last word.
"Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball."
Ron was staring at Pettigrew with the utmost revulsion.
"I let you sleep in my bed!" he said.
"Sure you can manage that broom, Potter?" said a cold, drawling voice.
Draco Malfoy had arrived for a closer look, Crabbe and Goyle right behind him.
"Yeah, reckon so," said Harry casually.
"Got plenty of special features, hasn't it?" said Malfoy, eyes glittering maliciously. "Shame it doesn't come with a parachute - in case you get too near a Dementor."
Crabbe and Goyle sniggered.
"Pity you can't attach an extra arm to yours, Malfoy," said Harry. "Then it could catch the Snitch for you."
"Well...when we were in our first year, Harry-young, carefree, and innocent-"
Harry snorted. He doubted whether Fred and George had ever been innocent.
(Harry, just being greeted by Percy) "Harry!" said Fred, elbowing Percy out of the way and bowing deeply. "Simply splendid to see you, old boy-"
"Marvelous," said George, pushing Fred aside and seizing Harry's hand in turn. "Absolutely spiffing." Percy scowled.
"That's enough, now," said Mrs. Weasley.
"Mum!" said Fred as though he'd only just spotted her and seized her hand too. "How really corking to see you-"
Trelawney: "Would anyone like me to help interpret the shadowy realms within their orb?"
Ron: "I don't need help, it's obvious what this means: there's going to be loads of fog tonight."
"Where is Wood?" said Harry, suddenly realizing he wasn't there.
"Still in the showers," said Fred. "We think he's trying to drown himself."
"Professor Dumbledore - yesterday, when I was having my Divination exam, Professor Trelawney went very - very strange."
"Indeed?" said Dumbledore. "Er - stranger than usual, you mean?"
"I told you!" Ron hissed at Hermione as she stared down the article. "I told you not to annoy Rita Skeeter! She's made you out to be some sort of - scarlet woman!"
Hermione stopped looking astonished and snorted with laughter. "Scarlet woman?" she repeated, shaking with surprised giggles as she looked around at Ron.
"It's what my mum calls them," Ron muttered, his ears going red.
"Yeah, someone might slip dragon dung in it again, eh, Perce?" said Fred.
"That was a sample of fertilizer from Norway!" said Percy, going very red in the face. "It was nothing personal!"
"It was," Fred whispered to Harry as they got up from the table. "We sent it."
Dudley had done the thing he was threatening to do since age three: He had become wider than he was tall.
One of them was a very old wizard who was wearing a long flowery nightgown. The other was clearly a Ministry wizard; he was holding out a pair of pinstriped trousers and almost crying with exasperation.
"Just put them on, Archie, there's a good chap. You can't walk around like that, the Muggle at the gate's already getting suspicious-"
"I bought this in a Muggle shop," said the old wizard stubbornly. "Muggles wear them."
"Muggle women wear them, Archie, not the men, they wear these," said the Ministry wizard, and he brandished the pinstriped trousers.
"I'm not putting them on," said old Archie in indignation. "I like a healthy breeze 'round my privates, thanks."
"Mad-Eye Moody?" said George thoughtfully, spreading marmalade on his toast. "Isn't he that nutter-"
"Your father thinks very highly of Mad-Eye Moody," said Mrs. Weasley sternly.
"Yeah, well, Dad collects plugs, doesn't he?" said Fred quietly as Mrs. Weasley left the room. "Birds of a feather..."
"OH NO YOU DON'T, LADDIE!"
Harry spun around. Professor Moody was limping down the marble staircase. His wand was out and it was pointing right at a pure white ferret.
"I want to fix that in my memory forever," said Ron, his closed and an uplifted expression on his face. "Draco Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret..."
"Don't be prat, Neville, that's illegal," said George. "They wouldn't use the Cruciatus Curse on the champions. I thought it sounded a bit like Percy singing... maybe you've got to attack him while he's in the shower, Harry."
"Enjoying it?" said Ron darkly. "I don't reckon he'd come home if Dad didn't make him. He's obsessed. Just don't get him onto the subject of his boss. 'According to Mr. Crouch...as I was saying to Mr. Crouch...Mr. Crouch is of the opinion...Mr. Crouch was telling me...' They'll be announcing their engagement any day now."
Ron: "Who're you going with then?"
Ron: "What? You've already asked her?"
Fred: "Good point. Oi, Angelina! Want to come to the ball with me?"
Ron: "I could've taken those mer-idiots any time I wanted."
Hermione: "What were you going to do, snore at them?"
(Harry considering whom to tell that his scar hurt) As far as informing the headmaster, Harry had no idea where Dumbledore went during the summer holidays. He amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his long silver beard, full-length wizard's robes, and pointed hat, stretched out on a beach somewhere, rubbing suntan lotion onto his long crooked nose.
(Harry, reading Ron's letter) ...Thought I'd send this with Pig anyway.
Harry stared at the word "Pig," and looked up at the tiny owl now fluttering around the light fixture on the ceiling. He had never seen anything that looked less like a pig.
"I've got two Neptunes here," said Harry after a while, frowning down at his piece of parchment, "that can't be right, can it?"
"Aaaaah," said Ron, imitating Professor Trelawney's mystical whisper, "when two Neptunes appear in the sky, it is a sure sign that a midget in glasses is being born, Harry..."
He therefore had to endure over an hour of Professor Trelawney, who spent half the lesson telling everyone that the position of Mars with relation to Saturn at that moment meant that people born in July were in great danger of sudden, violent deaths. "Well, that's good," said Harry loudly, his temper getting the better of him, "just as long as it's not drawn out. I don't want to suffer."
"Excuse me, I don't like people just because they're handsome!" said Hermione indignantly.
Ron gave a loud false cough, which sounded oddly like "Lockhart!"
"Oh, am I?" said Ron peering down at his predictions. "I'd better change one of them to getting trampled by a rampaging Hippogriff."
"Don't you think it's a bit obvious you've made these up?" said Hermione.
"How dare you!" said Ron in mock outrage. "We've been working like house-elves here!"
"Oh Professor look! I think I found an unaspected planet! Oooh, which one's that, Professor?"
"It is Uranus, my dear," said Professor Trelawney peering down a the chart.
"Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?" said Ron.
"Mr. Weasley, it's Harry.. the fireplace has been blocked up. You won't be able to get through there."
"Damn!" said Mr. Weasley's voice. "What on earth did they want to block the fireplace for?"
"They've got an electric fire," Harry explained.
"Really?" said Mr. Weasley's voice excitedly. "Eclectic, you say? With a plug? Gracious, I must see that... Let's think...ouch, Ron!"
Ron's voice now joined the others'.
"What are we doing here? Has something gone wrong?"
"Oh no, Ron," came Fred's voice, very sarcastically. "No, this is exactly where we want to end up."
"Yeah, we're having the time of our lives here," said George, whose voice sounded muffled, as though he was squashed against the wall.
"Why weren't you two at dinner?" she (Hermione) said, coming over to join them.
"Because - oh shut up laughing, you two - because they've both just been turned down by girls they asked to the ball!" said Ginny.
That shut Harry and Ron up.
"Thanks a bunch, Ginny," said Ron sourly.
"All the good-looking ones taken, Ron?" said Hermione loftily. "Eloise Midgen starting to look quite pretty now, is she? Well, I'm sure you'll find someone somewhere who'll have you."
But Ron was staring at Hermione as though suddenly seeing her in a whole new light.
"Hermione, Neville's right - you are a girl..."
"Oh well spotted," she said acidly.
"Well - you can come with one of us!"
"No, I can't," snapped Hermione.
"Oh come on," he said impatiently, "we need partners, we're going to look really stupid if we haven't got any, everyone else has..."
"I can't come with you," said Hermione, now blushing, "because I'm already going with someone."
"No, you're not!" said Ron. "You just said that to get rid of Neville!"
"Oh, did I?" said Hermione, and her eyes flashed dangerously. "Just because it's taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn't mean no one else has spotted I'm a girl!"
"Wild!" he said, twiddling the replay knob on the side. I can make that old bloke down there pick his nose again ... and again ... and again. . ."
"I was saying that Saturn was surely in a position of power in the heavens at the moment of your birth...your dark hair...your mean stature...tragic losses so young in life...I think I am right in saying, my dear, that you were born in midwinter?"
"No," said Harry, "I was born in July."
Ron hastily turned his laugh into a hacking cough.
"Of course we still want to know you!" Harry said, staring at Hagrid.
"You don't think anything that Skeeter cow - sorry, Professor," he added quickly, looking at Dumbledore.
"I have gone temporarily deaf and haven't any idea what you said, Harry," said Dumbledore, twiddling his thumbs and staring at the ceiling.
"What are you working on?" said Harry.
"A report for the Department of International Magical Cooperation," said Percy smugly. "We're trying to standardize cauldron thickness. Some of these foreign imports are just a shade too thin - leakages have been increasing at a rate of almost three percent a year--"
"That'll change the world, that report will," said Ron. "Front page of the Daily Prophet, I expect, cauldron leaks."
"Mr. Crouch?" said Percy, suddenly abandoning his look of poker-stiff disapproval and positively writhing with excitement. "He speaks over two hundred! Mermish and Gobbledegook and Troll..."
"Anyone can speak Troll," said Fred dismissively. "All you have to do is point and grunt."
"Mr. Crouch!" said Percy breathlessly, sunk into a kind of half-bow that made him look like a hunchback. "Would you like a cup of tea?"
"Oh," said Mr. Crouch, looking over at Percy in mild surprise. "Yes — thank you, Weatherby."
Fred and George choked into their own cups. Percy, very pink around the ears, busied himself with the kettle.
"You’re not by any chance writing out a new order form, are you?" said Mrs. Weasley shrewdly. "You wouldn’t be thinking of restarting Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, by any chance?"
"Now, Mum," said Fred, looking up at her, a pained look on his face. "If the Hogwarts Express crashed tomorrow, and George and I died, how would you feel to know that the last thing we ever heard from you was an unfounded accusation?"
"But I think Durmstrang must be somewhere in the far north," said Hermione thoughtfully. "Somewhere very cold, because they’ve got fur capes as part of their uniforms."
"Ah think of the possibilities," said Ron dreamily. "It would’ve been so easy to push Malfoy off a glacier and make it look like an accident... Shame his mother likes him..."
"Harry’s got a long way to go before he finishes this tournament," she Hermione said seriously. "If that was the first task, I hate to think what’s coming next."
"Right little ray of sunshine, aren’t you?" said Ron. "You and Professor Trelawney should get together sometime."
"You’re joking, Weasley!" said Malfoy, behind them. "You’re not telling me someone’s asked that to the ball? Not the long-molared Mudblood?"
Harry and Ron both whipped round, but Hermione said loudly, waving to somebody over Malfoy’s shoulder, "Hello, Professor Moody!"
Malfoy went pale and jumped backward, looking wildly around for Moody, but he was still up at the staff table, finishing his stew.
"Twitchy little ferret, aren’t you, Malfoy?" said Hermione scathingly, and she, Harry, and Ron went up the marble staircase laughing heartily.
"Colin, I fell in!" he (Dennis Creevey) said shrilly, throwing himself into an empty seat. "It was brilliant! And something in the water grabbed me and pushed me back in the boat!"
"Cool!" said Colin, just as excitedly. "It was probably the giant squid, Dennis!"
"Wow!" said Dennis, as though nobody in their wildest dreams could hope for more than being thrown into a storm-tossed, fathoms-deep lake, and pushed out of it again by a giant sea monster.
"He's not even good-looking!" she (Hermione) muttered angrily, glaring at Krum's sharp profile. "They only like him because he's famous! They wouldn't look twice at him if he couldn't do that Wonky-Faint thing - "
"Wronski Feint," said Harry, through gritted teeth. Quite apart from liking to get Quidditch terms correct, it caused him another pang to imagine Ron's expression if he could have heard Hermione talking about Wonky-Faints.
"Maybe he'll believe I'm not enjoying myself once I've got my neck broken or - "
"That's not funny," said Hermione quietly. "That's not funny at all." She looked extremely anxious. "Harry, I've been thinking - you know what we've got to do, don't you? Straight away, the moment we get back to the castle?"
"Yeah, give Ron a good kick up the - "
"Write to Sirius."