"Feel the melodrama, people!"
Or, Twenty-One Letters to the Order of the Distinctly Dead Dodo
Letter Eight - "Feel the melodrama, people!"
It had taken three days to drain the House of Black, dry everything off and discover what had happened to the goldfish (Luna and Neville had bribed Kingsley into conjuring several large fish tanks to house their new pets. Both had then vanished from the cleaning attempts as they were too busy trying to name their fish).
And yet, despite all the work that had gone into righting the situation, no one had yet managed to discover how it had happened. The majority of the inhabitants of the house were of the firm opinion that Harry was somehow to blame, and Luna, Fred, George and Tonks, as the ones believed most likely to be conspiring with him, were all questioned thoroughly.
For once, all four were entirely innocent (of that particular prank, at least) and the questioning was widened to everyone under fifty, not including Severus. After all, everyone knew that there was no way Severus would be helping Harry with anything, let alone pranks. Also, he was the one doing most of the questioning.
Still, no culprits were found. Eventually Dumbledore even questioned Minerva, Arthur, Molly and Moody (and Moody questioned him). After that, even Severus was interrogated thoroughly.
By the time those three days had passed, everyone had pretty much given up on finding out how Harry had pranked them, or at the very least, known about the prank.
But because everyone had been so preoccupied, there had been no time to attempt to speak to Harry about his apparent skunkdom.
The morning that they were awaiting Harry's next letter at the breakfast table, Luna and Neville were the last to join them.
Charlie, who was a closet romantic and also somewhat of a conspiracy theorist, gave them a sly grin. "So, where have you been?"
Neville blushed at the implication, but rolled his eyes as he sat down. "Not wherever you think I've been."
"We've been in the fish room," Luna said, voice deadpan. "The difficult task that we have undertaken is almost complete."
Ron raised an eyebrow at Neville. "Difficult task?"
The other boy snorted. "I'd like to see you name seventy-nine fish."
"Surely you can't tell them apart?" Tonks asked incredulously. No one really heard the question Remus asked at the same time, which had been "didn't you start with eighty?"
"Of course we can," Luna refuted. Her voice still held no inflection, and it was gaining her odd looks from a few of the others. "Of course, the task of naming them became a little less tiresome when Sushi ate Squishy the First. The name Squishy became available again, you see. Therefore we bestowed the name upon Squishy the Second."
Thankfully, everyone was saved from commenting upon this when Hedwig flew through the window, and Remus found himself silently thanking Harry as he relieved Hedwig of the letter. She remained perched on his shoulder for a few moments until he realised why she was still there and gave her some bacon.
Hedwig then soared back out the window while Remus read the letter. He blinked several times, shook his head rather violently, and tried again. No, it had not been a figment of his imagination. He sighed and reread it aloud to the astonished ears of his housemates.
Have decided to stop making such a fuss about being an ex-ghost malformed skunk. I get the feeling that perhaps you don't all believe me to be telling the truth.
Instead, I shall angst. Feel the melodrama, people!
Oh woe is me! Oh woe is me! I used to have a Hamster Tree! But it was eaten by a newt, and now I have no cuddly fruit! Oh woe is me! Oh woe is me! I used to have a Hamster Tree!
Insert more angst and melodrama here. I am far too busy with my Potions essay to be emo any longer.
"Potions essay?" Severus said weakly. "He's actually doing his potions essay?"
Luna snatched the letter from Remus and read the 'Hamster Tree' paragraph out again, singing it to the tune of 'O Christmas Tree'. She still managed to keep her voice expressionless, though.
"Well, at least he's over the zombie skunk thing," Tonks said in a falsely bright voice. "That's a good thing, right?"
"Is it just me, or is he getting more insane with each letter?" Ginny mused.
"It's just you," Luna said flatly.
"Ignore Luna," Hermione sighed. "He's getting even more insane, somehow."
"Evidently so," Severus murmured. The man had been visibly shaken by what he thought was irrefutable proof that Harry needed to be removed from the Dursleys immediately. "This is Harry Potter we're talking about! He shouldn't be doing his potions essay! It violates the natural order of things!"
"There, there, Professor," Luna comforted, voice still blank. "If it makes you feel better, Neville and I will name one of the fish after you. Perhaps one of the Siamese fighting fish."
In no way did this make Severus feel better, and so he left the table for his potions lab and some therapeutic brewing.
The Hamster Tree song is not mine. I shamelessly stole it from Clive Barker's book Abarat.