Harry finds himself careening through the very FABRIC OF TIME ITSELF - because he swallowed a Time-Turner.
“Silly Muggle, Time Travel’s for Wizards”
AS WE FINALLY (SWEET MERLIN, IT’S BEEN FAR TOO LONG) RETURN TO SEE OUR EPONYMOUS HERO, Harry had experienced a tad of the following:
After swallowing a conveniently small Time-Turner, Harry finds himself careening through the Fabric of TIME ITSELF. If you can believe such a thing. So Harry finds himself feeling up Cho at a Yule Ball here, planting the seeds with Susan Bones there, and topping it off with some mysterious business with the Headmaster – who just might be thinking of Obliviating Our Hapless Hero. Horrific, innit? But luckily, a stroke of serendipity! Professor Sorting Hat has Harry swallow a not entirely drug-free lemon drop, causing him to break through the VERY FABRIC OF HIS OWN MORTAL TIMELINE. Where he winds up annoying the Marauders and somehow befriending a befuddled Snivellus Snape – ah, but here’s where things get interesting: because Harry has managed to convince Snape to get together with the “comely but wan” Narcissa Black. Talk about a match made in Azkaban! Or perhaps a better pun instead. So, let us all sit back and enjoy watching in bemused detachment as Harry says:
“So, um, Professor Snape, is it?” Harry wasn’t quite sure as to the extent of the effects of his madcap adventures through TIME ITSELF (those words just feel like capital letters, don’t you agree?). So Draco was now Drakon – or maybe he wasn’t. AND WHAT IF: Snape somehow had gone back from his proper British name of Snivellus to the bizarrely American “Severus”? Harry couldn’t hold back a shudder at the thought of such a terribly stupid name afflicted even to his old buddy and enemy Snape. Nobody deserved to be called “Severus” – not even Voldemort himself.
Snape looked back at Harry with a confused expression.
Suddenly Harry realized something
“Professor! Your… your hair!” Harry’s mouth hung open in shock.
Snape looked a bit worried at this odd outburst.
“It’s… slightly less greasy! Could it be? Did you hook up with Narcissa after all?”
Snape held his temple and groaned in an exasperated tone. “Potter. Shut up. You know very well Narcissa and I have been having some minor… issues lately. She insists on coddling Drakon, whereas I know… but I’m not getting into that with you, Potter. Now sit down!”
Harry sat. Then Harry asked a question. “What am I doing here Professor Snape?”
“Occlumency lessons, Potter? Surely you haven’t forgotten that already. The Dark Lord can’t have addled your brains so soon.”
Harry frowned and rubbed his chin in a thoughtful manner. “So what is this mysterious Occlumency, anyway?”
“What? It protects your mind, you numbskull. Have you forgotten everything I’ve taught you?”
Harry smiled and shrugged. There was only one answer he could give. “’Fraid so, Professor. Guess Voldemort screwed up my brain but good!” Harry had no idea how this could actually happen, of course, but he figured Snape would get it. And by a freak coincidence, he did!
“Very well, Potter. Then let’s start from the beginning… again.” Snape looked somewhat pleased at this, perhaps because he enjoyed Potter humbled and stupid. Nah, couldn’t be, he was probably recalling his favorite joke (What’s the difference between a first year Gryffindor and a pile of excrement? One smells horrible and is waste that needs to be cleaned up – and the other is a pile of excrement! Hilarious, Snape. You’ve outdone yourself yet again).
What followed was a well, to be quite frank, brilliant explanation of both the theory and practice of Occlumency presented in under twenty minutes time (get it? TIME? Perhaps the joke is a bit belabored here. Terribly sorry.). Snape may indeed be a bloody annoying git of the highest order, but he was pretty bloody smart when he needed to be. Harry understood it all and mastered it extremely effectively to the point where Snape was actually a touch surprised.
Yes, this lecture was wondrous beyond all measure, and if ever heard or read, would instantly provide life-changing insights even to the most unmagical Muggle. Unfortunately I don’t quite remember how it goes. Ah well, moving on.
“Well, um, good work, Potter,” Snape managed to say. Snape didn’t like admitting it, but Harry Potter had managed to both simultaneously impress and depress him. “I can’t actually view your memories at all, and you’ve managed to somehow marginally recover from what is apparently very long-standing brain damage. Don’t know why I never noticed it before.”
“My brain does feel better, Professor, thank you.” Harry offered graciously. Now Harry was not a sudden Ravenclaw or anything so ridiculous, but he had managed to get some long lost wits about him. Hey, Harry. Good work. I’d like to say you deserve it – so I will. You deserve it, Harry Potter.
“Now, we actually have some time.” Snape realized. “Perhaps we can go over some advanced spellwork. You might be capable of achieving some level of adequate competence,” Snape added begrudgingly.
“Great and fantastic!” Harry exclaimed.
The smell was what did it. Did you know that Muggle scientists have said that humans remember events more strongly when connected by smell than any other sense? It’s probably true that I’ve heard that. So Harry realized exactly where and when he was (book two, chapter seventeen) and didn’t actually need to see the Basilisk to realize it was there.
“Oh, Crapwarts!” Harry cursed. The scaly behemoth twisted toward the now startled and a bit scared Harry. But the sight of that snake, huge though it may be, provided Harry with a sudden bit of luck. “Don’t kill me!” Harry hissed in sudden and unintentional Parseltongue. The Basilisk paused.
“Wait, did you say DON’T kill you?” It hissed in confusion. The great beast glanced back at a now completely off guard Horcrux-Riddle Ghost and blinked in surprise. “Say, compared to this one, you aren’t all there are you, Slytherin Heir?”
Harry realized he had not a moment to lose. “Accio Diary!” The Diary flew through the air, and Harry quickly Banished it at the Basilisk’s gaping mouth, who bit down on it reflexively.
Riddle looked astonished. “Nooooo!” He protested as he faded away into nothingness.
“Oh great, now what?” The Basilisk asked.
Harry frowned. He hadn’t actually thought it through that far. “Why don’t you, uh, go feast on the Acromantulas in the Forest?” Harry suggested mildly.
The Basilisk actually managed to look thoughtful. “Little speaker, that’s just crazy enough to work!”
The Basilisk laughed (well, hissed really).
Harry gave the Basilisk a friendly hug (avoiding the gaze, of course). It looked like he had made a new giant, scaly friend. The Basilisk turned away suddenly, and a sudden bit of acidic steam arose from the ground.
“Say, you’re not crying, are you?” Harry grinned knowingly.
“Uh, no,” The Basilisk sputtered (quite impressive to hear it in hisses). “Just got a bit of something in my eye. Dust. That’s it, dust.”
Harry blinked back a sudden wetness of his own. Really, the Basilisk was just like his other friend, Ron. They both could consume their weights in cattle hourly, and they were both misunderstood. Ron wasn’t the stupid moron who cared only for Qudditch everyone thought – no, he was just a lonely soul who wanted a friend. And it was the same for the monstrous snake. The Basilisk wasn’t a terrible monster out to kill muggleborns – it was just lonely as well. Slytherin and Riddle just ordered it about. But Harry, well, you know how Harry is.
Always bloody getting involved, Harry is. Should’ve predicted it by now, I suppose.
“What’s your name?” Harry asked.
The Basilisk blinked in surprise. “I believe I am called ‘The Basilisk’.” It replied.
Harry nodded. It was a fine name, indeed. “I’m Harry Potter. A pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise.” The Basilisk agreed. “Say, want to go for a ride and watch me kill some giant spiders?”
Harry leapt up in joy. “Do I ever! Let’s show those bloody arachnids who’s boss!”
The Basilisk felt an odd sense of joy and fulfillment. Was this… happiness? Satisfaction? It looked like the beginning of a magical friendship.
A Boy and His Giant, Monstrous, Horrific Snake
By Harry Potter and The Basilisk
Harry was a sad, lonely, little boy, who had been raised by fools, and hardly ever snogged a fetching young lass. The Basilisk was a millennia old freak of nature who had never had a true friend.
Together, they shared both kills and laughs.
Apart, they were nothing but a Boy-Who-Lived and a Ruthless Killing Machine. But once joined, they fit like two pieces of a two-piece puzzle. And the puzzle was a picture of a boy riding a Basilisk. That’s like a double metaphor or something.
Onward, Harry and Basilisk – GO!
It would be quite a fun night.
A few hours later, Harry curled up next to his new friend and yawned mightily.
“That was impressive,” hissed The Basilisk.
Harry chuckled. “Thanks.”
At this point in the story you may be wondering if Harry has forgotten all about Ginny, who had been in significant danger of perishing due to the efforts of the Riddle-Ghost Horcrux. I’m afraid that, as usual, you are quite correct. No, she’s not dead (sorry to disappoint you). But she was in a coma of sorts, and yes, this would cause some other changes down the line. I think you see where this one’s going. So I won’t spoil it for you.
As Harry prepared to drift off to a well-earned slumber, he felt a rumbling in his abdomen.
“Oh, that’s right. Forgot about that.” Harry realized, remembering all at once.
“Forgot what?” The Basilisk inquired sleepily.
Harry shook his head ruefully. What a crazy adventure, eh? Harry found the whole thing quite a lot more fun now that he had mastered Occlumency and befriended The Basilisk. It looked like things were on their way up, right? Right?
“I’ll see you at dinner, Harry,” Hermione said to Harry. “We had a good session today.”
“Thanks?” Harry said in an unconvincing manner. “You did quite well too?”
Hermione looked surprised, but then she smiled. “Thanks, Harry. Oh, and I think Susan had a question for you.”
“Oh, all right, thanks Hermione.” Harry looked around the mysterious room he had no knowledge of. Apparently he had landed in the fifth book – probably somewhere chapter twenty-oneish… but let’s be honest, here, things have already changed quite a bit. Why, the events of chapter twenty-six may very well have occurred instead in CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO. I couldn’t begin to imagine it. Firenze in St. Mungo’s? PREPOSTEROUS.
“Harry, you were magnificent today.”
Harry turned at the familiar voice to see something quite… unexpected. Susan Bones, now quite a bit older (fifth book, after all), was stretching, her… lovely… low-cut… shirt quite obviously pushed out right next to what Harry imagined was his face. Although at the moment he was actually three feet away… still seriously, can you blame him?
“Susan... did you… when did you get… the… stuff I sent you?” Sounds bad, but Harry was actually able to be this legible only thanks to his Occlumency Mastery. I think we all know what he’d sound like otherwise (Like Ron).
Susan smiled and walked in what can only be described as a sashay over to Harry. “You’ve been a great friend all these years, Harry. Even if I was disappointed with the Yule Ball.”
“The Yule Ball? Didn’t you... have some sort of a date? The Ball?”
Susan shrugged as she put her arms around Harry’s shoulders. “Yeah, but I would’ve told him to bugger off. You know, it’s not easy getting you away from Cho. I think she’s getting suspicious.”
Harry blinked as this began to process, his brain starting up again. Did she say…?
“Oh, is she? That’s not good, is it?”
“You’re bloody right it’s not!”
Susan whitened and released Harry. She smiled in a faltering manner (hey, Puffs are loyal, not brave! Give her a break!). “Cho, um, great to see you!”
Harry noted that Cho did not exactly look pleased, and seemed to not quite believe Susan. He wasn’t sure if he believed it himself.
“Enough of this nonsense, Harry. You’ve been sneaking off with Little Miss Pulchritude far too often. Don’t think I haven’t noticed!”
Susan pouted in confusion. Hey, Puffs are loyal, not smart! So her vocabulary isn’t as good as yours. Give her a break.
“You’ve got to make a choice, Harry,” Cho said slowly.
Susan straightened and her eyes narrowed. “You know, she’s right. I don’t really care to be the ‘other woman’, just the ‘woman’.”
“Oh, you’re a woman, now?” Cho sniped.
“At least I look like one,” Susan snapped back.
“Oh, hell,” Harry said insightfully. “Can’t we postpone this a bit while I process all this?”
“I don’t think so,” Susan said, getting a bit angry. “What, you think I’m just a scarlet woman or something? I won’t accept that from you.”
“Harry, just decide between us, or we’ll hex your nuts off!”
Harry didn’t quite know whether to cheer or cry (callback!).
Harry did not burp.
END OF PART THREE
Next time on Harvey Potsler and the Temporal Digestive Tract: