A not-so-serious little one-shot which sort of pokes fun at all the rumored Book 6 titles that were going around before HBP actually came out...
SPECIAL DISCLAIMER: I don't own Bastet, either; she was the ancient Egyptian cat goddess. However, I'm sure that the ancient Egyptians won't mind if I borrow her for this one little fic...
NOTES: It's amazing how one seemingly useless or unimportant bit of information or trivia can stick out in your mind, making you think about it. This fic is an example of such an idea taking root and causing a fic to be written about it. (In this case, it was how the ancient Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet or Pasch or whatever she's called, has been viewed by Egyptians over time.) This is post-OotP AU. Also, this is a not-so-serious humor fic, meant more for the sake of poking fun at all the clichÃ©d book title rumors.
/"Harry Potter and the Alleged Artifacts,"/
Dedicated to Fangalla Marie, whose parodies were influential in my writing this.
/Also dedicated to Alara Moonrunner to beta-reading this fic./
Also, I wish to acknowledge someone who I shall not refer to by name here but instead refer to as Qlxvobm.
It was an evening on the weekend, the Order of the Phoenix returned to their headquarters at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, completely exhausted and worn out. Once again, they had just gone on a quest to prevent some powerful magical artifact from falling into Voldemort's hands...
...And had narrowly escaped with their lives after finding out that no such artifact even existed to begin with.
"Well, another night, another mission wasted," Harry commented, throwing himself into a comfy armchair in the kitchen.
"But then again, as we all know," Ron said, turning to face Harry, "we can't allow Voldemort to get his hands on anything powerful, so these claims need to be looked into."
"Yeah, I know, Ron. So, what have we tried to 'prevent Voldemort from acquiring,' again? I remember something about the Pillar of StorgÃ©..."
"The Green Flame Torch..." Ron added.
"The Fortress of Shadows..." Ginny added.
"The Middle Finger of Merlin..." Luna chipped in.
Everyone turned to look at her with funny looks. "Don't be silly, Luna," Hermione said. "Why would anyone want Merlin's /middle finger/, of all things?"
Luna shrugged casually. "Well, maybe they would want something with it. They did the same thing with Galileo centuries ago after he died, didn't he?"
Hermione considered that, looking thoughtful. "This is true," she conceded.
"As fascinating and enlightening as this discussion may be," Dumbledore said, "We still have to be ever watchful and vigilant for anything else Voldemort may try, or anything that should attract his interest."
Just then, something occurred in Harry's mind. He was definitely looking forward to getting rid of Voldemort once and for all. And he had a crazy idea in his mind... but that old saying just crazy enough to work also then came to mind.
"I have an idea," Harry said aloud, breaking the relative silence of the kitchen. "I say that now we set up a trap for /him/."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "A marvelous idea, Harry. But what did you have in mind?"
"Well," Harry said, turning to face Bill, who was sitting next to Fleur, "I've been reading some of those books which I've borrowed from Bill, and I found something... rather interesting. You see, I'm still a little cheesed off at Voldemort for that one time for when he transfigured some rubble into Gryffindor-looking lions and nearly had me mauled to death with them. Now, I found something interesting in that book. That Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet... she wasn't always worshipped by the ancient Egyptians as some loving cat goddess. Actually, Bastet was originally a fierce and vengeful goddess, portrayed as a lioness, but from around 1000 BC she became more peaceable and took on the shape of a cat."
Everyone took this in, and after pausing for a moment, Harry continued with his explanation and idea. "So... maybe we can have Voldemort go chasing after the, oh, I dunno... 'Beastess of Bastet' or something."
Dumbledore thought this over, and eventually wore a nice wide smile in his face. "I like it."
Harry grinned. "Thanks, Professor, glad to hear that. So, when can we get started on this... plot of ours?"
/The next week.../
Voldemort was flanked by his loyal Death Eaters as they slowly marched through an ancient Egyptian crypt, light pouring from their wands to illuminate the corridors.
"So we're looking for some artifact of the ancient Egyptian cat goddess... it's just too bad we couldn't use Wormtail as bait or something," Lucius Malfoy commented. (Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew had been captured not long after the end of Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts.)
Finally, they came into a sacred chamber, where cat paintings lined the walls, leading up to an altar where there was a box, which presumably had the Beastess of Bastet within it.
Voldemort approached it, anticipation and greed gleaming in his sinister red eyes... he opened it...
...And found a parchment note inside.
Frowning slightly, the Dark Lord removed the small scroll and unrolled it, reading it.
You kept leading us into traps for magical artifacts that didn't even EXIST. Allow me to return the favor.
Happy trails in Hades!
Voldemort was about to unleash a roar of fury, but it snagged in his throat as he began to notice something happening.
A black cat appeared, gazing intently on Voldemort with its amber eyes. The snake-faced sorcerer thought he had nothing to fear - until its eyes dangerously flashed gold and it began to /grow/...
...And moments later, in its place stood a gleaming black lioness, its golden eyes glowing to in such a way that they made Voldemort's own blood-red eyes look like pitiful fakes.
For one of the few times in his life as a Dark wizard, Voldemort felt /FEAR/.
The torches then dimmed so it was almost in pitch-black darkness, but Voldemort couldn't tear his gaze away from the vicious beast now prowling towards him.
With a scary hiss that almost made Voldemort himself lose control of his bodily functions, it lunged straight at him...
And the last sound Voldemort ever made was a bone-chilling, earsplitting shriek...
Hundreds of miles away, over in England, Harry felt it happen. The plot worked; they took in some poor, starving cat, put some spells on it, and made it lie in wait for Voldemort to come along. They'd go back later to retrieve the cat, but in the meantime, Harry had a special announcement to proclaim:
"That's it. Voldemort's dead. Let's party!"
A/N: So, how was this? Personally, I kind of liked it myself... that is, even though it wasn't too serious, as far as my HP fanfics normally go...
IMPORTANT note about the titles used here (i.e. "Green Flame Torch"): No offense to anyone who actually used these as fanfic titles!
Note about the whole "Galileo's middle finger" thing: This is indeed true. No lie, no joke.
Note about the thing with Bastet and how the goddess was viewed over time: This is also indeed true. It says so in my copy of /The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology/, by Arthur Cotterell & Rachel Storm.
Anyway, thanks for reading this, I hope you liked it! -Quillian