“Feel free to lord it over Hermione all you want.”
Or, Twenty-One Letters to the Order of the Memory-Challenged Chicken
Letter Ten – “Feel free to lord it over Hermione all you want.”
The fact that they hadn’t anticipated it in the least was ridiculous. They should have, really, because they all knew that Harry had a bizarre and perverse sense of humour, and that he sometimes took a bad joke too far.
It was very early on what promised to be a very beautiful Friday morning, and many occupants of Grimmauld Place were waking up earlier than usual because the house seemed too hot.
“There is sand in my pants,” Ginny muttered, still half asleep. Hermione and Luna opened their eyes for the first time that day to stare at her. Well, Hermione did.
“Mine too,” was Luna’s response as she leaned over the side of her bed. Hermione shifted her attention from Ginny to the blonde, wondering what she was doing.
After several minutes, Ginny got out of her bed and headed into the adjoining bathroom, returning moments later with a glass of water that she emptied over Luna’s rather sad-looking sandcastle. “It’ll never work without water, Luna.”
“Oh, why thank you, Ginny. I appreciate your assistance.”
Hermione just continued to stare from her bed as the two younger girls, Luna still leaning down and Ginny kneeling on the floor, began constructing a small fortress.
Minerva, Molly, Arthur and Albus were seated silently at the kitchen table drinking tea and doing their absolute best to ignore the desert that the house had transformed into.
Eventually, Molly broke the silence. “Well, at least the house isn’t filled with fish, or any other creatures.”
“As far as we’ve been able to determine as of yet, at least,” Minerva said darkly.
Arthur opened his mouth to speak, but never got the chance, as Severus stormed into the kitchen looking utterly homicidal, a worried Remus on his heels.
“What has happened?” Albus inquired. He and the others watched curiously as Severus began brewing coffee.
Severus just growled in response and started searching through the drawers for something.
Albus, Minerva, Molly and Arthur turned as one to Remus, who was hovering halfway between the doorway and Severus and seemingly torn between amusement and horror.
“Remus?” Molly prompted after several moments.
Remus cleared his throat and gave them an awkward, tense smile. “I’m afraid that Severus had an…unpleasant…surprise when he awoke this morning.”
“Go on,” Arthur encouraged.
He opened his mouth to do just that, but it snapped shut again when Severus pulled a very large knife out of the bottom drawer and began moving towards him with a triumphant smirk.
Molly let out a startled shriek, worried that Severus was about to attempt murder.
Remus just sighed and stood his ground. “No, Severus.”
The potions master stopped moving, but continued to hold the knife out in front of him. “Remus…”
“I can understand your displeasure, Severus, but I do think that your current actions are a tad too extreme.”
Severus seemed about to begin a long rant regarding exactly why he was not acting extremely and that his actions were completely justified, but Kingsley, Charlie and Bill walked into the kitchen at that point, all looking utterly confused.
“Severus,” Kingsley began, apparently not even noticing the overly large knife being wielded by the man. “Do you happen to know why there’s a camel in your room?”
“Because I’m having camel fillets for breakfast,” Severus replied flatly, lifting his knife meaningfully. “Now if you’d all get out of my way, Remus, I would like to get on with preparing my meal.”
“I…see…” Bill murmured. “Actually, that’s a lie, I don’t see.”
Remus rolled his eyes, stepped forwards and stole the knife from Severus, tossing it carelessly to the other side of the kitchen, where it embedded itself in the wall.
Everyone stared at it.
“Severus, sit down.”
Not being entirely stupid, despite his immense rage, Severus did so, attempting to conceal a wince.
“What happened to you?” Charlie asked, perhaps unwisely.
“The camel bit him,” Remus explained shortly. “Now he’s cranky.”
Ron woke up in the living room, noticed that it seemed to resemble a desert, saw Tonks, Fred, George, Neville and Moody all asleep at various points around the room, and wondered what the hell had been slipped into his pumpkin juice last night.
The others awoke slowly, aided by Hermione dragging Ginny and Luna down the stairs and scolding them loudly for, apparently, not checking the sand they were playing with carefully enough.
“How were we supposed to know the stuff was infested with scorpions?” Ginny protested.
Hermione continued her lecture as everyone else joined them from the kitchen and sat down, with the exception of Severus who loomed by the doorway menacingly and glowered up the staircase whenever he thought Remus wasn’t paying attention.
Finally, once everyone was as comfortable as they could be with the copious amounts of sand in various obscure places, it seemed as though the semi-regular meeting about ‘what the hell happened to the house this time’ was ready to start.
However, Hedwig flew through the open window and perched on the back of the chair Luna had claimed, offering up her letter.
Luna took it calmly, dusted off some rather suspicious sand, read it, smiled, and pocketed it.
There was a collective twitch from everyone else.
Severus, never exactly patient at the best of times and currently in a somewhat testy mood, strode over to the blonde and held out a hand pointedly.
Luna smiled up at him. “Can I help you, Professor?”
Deciding not to risk the man’s wrath for the moment, Luna handed it over.
Severus read it. Severus then quite calmly handed it to the nearest person who was not Luna, walked over to a wall and slammed his head into it. Remus pulled him away and shoved him onto a couch.
Ron looked at the letter he was now holding, shrugged, and read it aloud to sate everyone else’s curiosity.
Are we there yet? Oops, wait, sorry, wrong letter. Been there, done that. Terribly sorry, I’m a tad distracted.
You see, I now have irrefutable proof that Crumple-Horned Snorkacks do, in fact, exist. There is one perched on my head.
Luna, I will never doubt you again. Feel free to lord it over Hermione all you want.
If I ever find my camera, I will take a photo. If not, I will just bring the Snorkack with me to Hogwarts.
Wow, all this excitement is leaving me a little parched. It’s almost like being in a desert. You know the feeling?
Are we there ye – damn, that’s a surprisingly hard habit to kick!
PS. For future reference, am still alive.’”
It was Molly who managed to sum up what everyone was feeling in just two words.