Harry runs into a spot of trouble
"That Old Sinking Feeling"
Previous, Harry had frustratingly endured some of the following:
Harry was smashing his way through time, as per usual, when he made a few brief stops to master Occlumency at the hands of a slightly less greasy Snape and then become fast friends with the Ancient Monstrous Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. But then, Harry jumps forward to the Room of Requirement, right after a DA meeting, and discovers he has been cheating on Cho with Susan Bones. And oh, hello Cho! Did you hear all that? Let's shudder in sympathetic terror and join Harry as he sputters:
"Now, now, ladies," Harry sputtered. "I'm sure we can come to some sort of reasonable solution where everyone's happy. Let's just take a step back and figure out how we got to this situation."
Cho snorted. "Oh, as if it's that difficult. Susan has been practically throwing herself at you for ages. I just assumed you weren't reciprocating, but perhaps I had been foolish indeed."
"You're just a fling," Susan retorted. "Harry knows that he has true love with me."
"True Love?" Cho repeated sarcastically. "You are such a little girl."
"Shut up you old hag!" Susan screamed.
"Now hold on just a minute!" Harry interjected, although he was somewhat curious to see the two fight - but that probably wouldn't have ended well... Right? No, probably not.
Harry sighed dramatically, getting a germ of an idea. "I don't know how this happened, but I assumed you both knew about each other. I actually thought you were coordinating so we could each have time."
The two girls looked quite shocked.
"Are you just trying to cover?" Cho asked, although she sounded just a bit unsure.
Yes, that's it, Harry. Now reel them in, you clever dog, you.
Harry scoffed and chuckled. "As if I could fool you two."
Both girls couldn't help but like that particular comment.
Now Harry put on his very best sad face and turned away from them. "But I suppose, if neither of you want to keep this going, I'll understand. And here I thought we were just about ready to bring on someone new."
Oh, honestly Harry. They aren't going to fall for that one. Quit while you're ahead, won't you?
"Wait a moment, Harry," Cho grabbed Harry's arm and turned him around. She then looked at him with a bit of a calculated expression. "Who are you thinking about asking to, um, join with this arrangement?"
"Is it someone I know?" Susan asked in curiosity. It seemed her Hufflepuff love of sharing was overriding her jealousy. Very good luck, Harry. Suspiciously good, if you ask me. "Is it Hannah?"
"Um, well, there are a few possibilities," Harry answered vaguely, not having honestly expected any of this to work. "Sure, she's someone I've considered."
"Another Hufflepuff?" Cho shook her head. "If we're to have any sort of balance, we need a Slytherin."
Susan scowled. "That's ridiculous. There aren't even any attractive Slytherins in either of our years."
"Oh, I don't know about that," Cho smirked. "I can think of one. I assume you know whom I mean, Harry?"
"Yes, of course I do," Harry lied boldly, willing to agree to just about anything at this point. "And I think it's a smashing idea. Would you like to broach the subject with her?"
"Why don't Susan and I both talk to her?" Cho suggested with a wicked grin. "Together, I'd imagine we can be rather persuasive."
"Ooh, all right!" Susan bounced up and down, disconnecting Harry's brain for a few seconds. "That sounds so sneaky and fun! Who is this girl?"
Cho blinked in surprise. "I'm surprised you haven't already figured it out. It's obviously - "
Then Harry burped.
Harry whirled around, taking no note of whom he might be bumping into. Huh. But who could those girls have been talking about? Harry didn't really know the Slytherin girls well at all. There was Pansy, the pug-nosed girl that Draco - no, Drakon, right? - owned. Well, whether it was a Malfoy or a Snape, Harry didn't want any of those sloppy seconds. There was the tall, ugly girl. And the plain one. And the boy who looked like a girl - but that one didn't count. And yes, Harry now recalled, there was one fairly attractive girl in Slytherin that year - but what was her name?
Who was the mystery girl?
And the better question is, dear reader, is whether or not you have pieced together the intentionally ambiguous clues and figured it out, or whether you just don't even want to bother. Well, if that's your attitude, perhaps I won't tell you.
As Harry got his bearings, he quickly realized he was in that old chestnut, chapter eleven of book two. And there was Lockhart, beaming stupidly, and Harry's good chum Snivellus Snape, looking murderously at the foppish DADA Professor.
Both Snape and Lockhart swivelled at Harry's interruption.
"No, I mean the Defense Professor. I want to challenge you to a duel!" He then winked at Snape, who looked extremely confused.
"A decent exhibition," Snape said, recovering quickly. "And a student couldn't hurt you, Gilderoy, could he? And you're expert enough to use non-lethal spells, true?"
"Um, yes," Lockhart sputtered nervously. "Obviously."
"Great!" Harry leaped on the stage. "Three two one let's duel! Transfiguro Amphibio!"
Instantly Lockhart changed into a small frog.
"Whoops!" Harry said insincerely. "I thought he would block it. Professor Snape, you believe me, don't you?"
Snape snorted. "As if you'd be capable of intentionally hurting anyone."
Harry chuckled and smiled. Good old Snape, always having his back.
And now Lockhart was a frog.
"Hmm, I don't know how to change him back," Harry admitted.
"I'm sure someone will get to it," Snape said absently, although it would turn out that everyone would conveniently "forget". But Lockhart would end up doing quite well for himself as the most handsome frog in the swamp near the Lake.
"Oh no!" Lavender wailed.
"Now who are we supposed to adore?" Parvati sobbed.
"Well," Harry said. "You could always try me."
"Excuse me?" Lavender said, shocked.
"I think I'm rather dashing, don't you?" Harry grinned at the two girls.
They both giggled.
"Hmm," Parvati said, looking over Harry carefully. "Perhaps I shall have to think on this."
"Good idea," Harry winked, then suddenly doubled over in pain. His stomach twisted in horrific agony and Harry suddenly began burping every few seconds or so.
And then the wave of images rushed past...
Quirrell crumbling into dust...
A party in the Quidditch locker room, with folks in various states of undress...
Harry riding a bloody dragon...
Vernon shouted angrily. "Damn it, Poodley! That bloody goblin Crumblesnuck will be here for dinner any minute! Up to your room!"
Flash. Flash. Flash.
Dumbledore saying nonsense, "Awniqke, drawven." Harry replied, "Huh?" And then it was gone.
McGonagall, furiously shouting, "Mr. Potter, leave the girl's dorm this instant!"
Someplace odd, a dark room, surrounded by glass orbs, which all begin shattering, showering Harry with glass.
And then Harry was in the Great Hall, standing on the head table, right in the beginning of what should have been the fifth book. Singing a song that he didn't recognize.
"Cry me a river..."
A song that didn't yet exist.
And then suddenly the throngs of girls watching him sing began to shriek and rip off their clothes.
And then Harry was back at the Sorting way back in the first book. The Hat looked over at Harry, sitting at the Gryffindor table.
"Potter!" It shouted in his head. "Summon me! Now!"
Acting by instinct alone, Harry Summoned the Hat to his hand. And then everything faded away.
Harry found himself sitting in a small hut, holding the Sorting Hat. And then a pair of pants jumped up from a chair and waved a pants leg.
"Ah, you're finally here," it said in Harry's head. "I'll go get him then."
The pair of pants fluttered out of the small hut. Harry made to follow, but the Hat cleared its mental throat.
"Don't go anywhere," it instructed. "This hut is keeping you from travelling in time."
"Oh," Harry said simply. "Um, what's the deal with the pants?"
The Hat chuckled. "Isn't it obvious? Those were Merlin's Pants?"
The Hat was seeming a tad too smug at that point.
"But wait..." Harry said slowly. "Does that mean that the pants went to go get..?"
"Merlin, yes," an old man interrupted from the entrance of the hut. "Greetings, Harry Potter. Pleasure to finally meet you again."
END OF PART FOUR
Next time on Harvey Potsler and the Temporal Digestive Tract:
Harry frowned. "Now, how in the bloody hell can you SPOILER the SPOILER"?
Merlin chuckled. "I said the same thing myself when I was your age. But I had a far nicer beard."