Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Not Again!

Chapter 15

by Forty_Two 2 reviews

The untimely demise of Greenhouse #1

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Humor,Parody - Characters: Harry,Hermione - Warnings: [!!!] [V] [?] - Published: 2016-04-02 - Updated: 2016-04-02 - 2297 words

Chapter 15

"This situation is not only intimidating to my Badgers, it's downright dangerous!" Professor Sprout addressed the impromptu staff meeting just after lunch. "Headmistress, something must be done!"

"Now, Pomona..." McGonagall stalled.

Sprout was not to be put off. "First the Ravenclaws and now the Slytherins!" she gave Filius and Horace each a disdainful glance. "My Hufflepuffs are threatening to march into the Great Hall with enchanted hoes slung over their shoulders!" the very protective Head of House threatened.

"Shovels," Professor Kettleburn suggested. "Or perhaps pitchforks. "Unless they want to be referred to as the Hufflepuff Hoes," he shrugged.

This observation did nothing to calm Professor Sprout, of course. "And your three!!" she rounded on what was left of the Care of Magical Creatures professor, who was also the Acting Head of Gryffindor. "You don't even make an attempt at corralling them!"

"I've got only one arm left," the man raised it as evidence, "and it's busy managing the cane I need, due to my missing leg."

"A cane you've probably had made into a magical staff!" Sprout accused him.

"So what if I have?" he responded. "No rule against it!"

"There! You see, Minerva! As Headmistress, you simply must do something!" Pomona shouted in an atypical fit of frustration.

"I'm only the acting headmistress," McGonagall reminded everyone. "Until the Board of Governors appoints someone on a permanent basis, I must defer any decision on this matter."

"That does it!" Sprout threw up her arms in exasperation, if not defeat. "Filius! Come with me!" She stalked out of the staff meeting, the confused Charms professor hurrying along behind her as she marched out of the castle and down to the greenhouses.


The mood was much merrier in the Gryffindor common room as the afternoon staff meeting was breaking up. The Lions were still rehashing their encounter with the Snakes that morning.

"I thought Goyle was going to wet himself when Crabbe set his robes on fire!" Seamus laughed.

"That's what they have Parkinson for!" Lavender joined in. "She wets everyone!"

"It's a good thing you threw up that shield spell," Hermione told Mary Sue. "That was very quick thinking!"

"It's a reflex," the Girl-in-Black shrugged. "For explosions and fires - Protego first and ask questions later."

"Can you teach us the spell?" Hermione wanted to know.

"Maybe," Mary Sue looked around the common room. "It's a bit advanced for first- and second-years, so what you lack in power, you'll have to make up for in technique. You older lot should have no trouble," she grinned evilly.


That was Friday. Monday evening brought with it another surprise: this time it was House Hufflepuff that marched into the Great Hall. Beside each Badger walked a pitchfork.

Yes, walked.

Professor Flitwick had been coerced into charming each and every one of them to make the pitchforks walk on their four tines. They reminded Harry Potter of rather uncoordinated cats whose legs were spread out side-to-side instead of front-to-back. Imagine a cat trying to walk sideways and that was pretty much the effect.

First the Slytherins started laughing, then the Gryffindors. The Ravenclaws withheld judgment, trying to decipher the pitchforks' charmed gait and discussing whether it could be improved upon. Eventually the 'Claws decided that what they were seeing was the best possible algorithm, under the circumstances, and they all stood to applaud the 'Puffs' ingenuity. This put a huge grin on Filius Flitwick's face, of course.

House Hufflepuff marched up to their table, commanded their pitchforks to "Guard!" and then took their seats.

The Snakes and the Lions suddenly stopped laughing. Ravenclaw remained standing, watching expectantly for something to happen. Nothing did, and so the 'Claws grudgingly sat down and started passing the platters of food around. It was maybe fifteen minutes later that something interesting did happen, however. One of the pitchforks suddenly started trembling. Slightly at first, then more violently.

Fred Weasley held his wand under the Gryffindor table, trained on the pitchfork standing directly behind his brother, George. George was unaware of the situation developing behind his back until suddenly and without provocation (as he would later claim) he was attacked! The charmed pitchfork had finally had enough and decided to counter-attack. George Weasley was closest, so he bore the brunt of the pitchfork's retaliation.

"OW!!" the redhead cried out as the pitchfork's wooden handle demonstrated that it was not only multi-jointed, it was also quite nimble. It proceeded to beat its tormentor about the head and shoulders until with a swish of mithril, it was cut in half.

"Hey!!" its owner, a Hufflepuff named Ernie Macmillan, shouted as his pitchfork lay twitching on the floor. Ernie reached for his wand but any attempt at responding with violence to the killing of his new pitchfork was discouraged by the pointed ends of two scimitars only inches from his nose.

Professor Sprout arrived on the scene a second later. "Put those swords away!" she commanded. "NOW!!" As three swords found their scabbards once more, she turned to George Weasley. "Detention, Mister Weasley!" she said sternly. "And for you three as well!" she turned to Mary Sue and her two proteges, "and ten House points from each of you!" At George's indignant expression, Fred could hold his laughter no longer. "I should have known you'd be involved, Mister Weasley!" Sprout glared across the table at Fred. "Detention and ten House points from you as well!"

"What about my pitchfork!" cried Ernie Macmillan as he watched it slowly cease all movement. "I think it's dead!"

"Come see me later tonight," she told her first-year. "Professor Flitwick charmed some spares. You five," she turned back to the Gryffindors, "will meet me at Greenhouse #4 at seven o'clock tonight. Wear your oldest robes."

"Oh no," Hermione's lip trembled as she muttered to herself, "I've been given a detention. I hope this doesn't go on my permanent record... and I don't have any old robes!"


"Cheer up, young one!" Fred put his arm around Hermione's shoulder as they made their way back to Gryffindor tower. "This will allow you to enjoy the full Hogwarts experience!"

"Right!" George piped up. "Do you see me protesting? I was framed by my troublemaking brother, here, and I'm not complaining - not at all! This is an opportunity!"

"An opportunity!?" Harry asked. "An opportunity for what?"

"For mischief, of course!" Fred grinned.

"I'm in!" Mary Sue smiled at Hermione, trying to cheer her. "With two third-years accompanying us, what could possibly go wrong?"

Harry looked over at George, just in time to catch the grin he shared with his twin.


"Alright you lot!" Professor Sprout greeted the five Gryffindors at the entrance to Greenhouse #4, "I've got a delivery of several tons of dragon dung back there," she nodded to the rear of the greenhouse, "and I need it divided up evenly between all seven greenhouses. There are five pitchforks," she pointed. "Get to work!" With that, she walked over to a small tool shed and removed a sixth pitchfork, then she strode back up the path to the castle with it.

"There! You see!" Fred nudged Hermione. "An opportunity!"

"You call this an opportunity?" Harry wrinkled up his nose at the thought of all that dragon dung.

"Of course!" George grinned. "When was the last time you were faced with all seven greenhouses," he swept his hand to include them all, "unlocked and unsupervised!"

"I'll take Greenhouse #1," Harry offered.

"But there are six greenhouses that need dragon dung and only five of us," Hermione immediately sussed the problem.

"Seven," Mary Sue corrected her.

"Six," the younger witch insisted. "Number four already has its share of dung."

"Which leaves us one pitchfork short," Fred grinned.

"And we know where we can find one," George nodded to the tool shed.

"After you, brother mine!" Fred gestured.

Curious, the other three followed.

"Guard!" Fred commanded as he stood in the doorway. A dozen pitchforks against one wall snapped to attention. The twins grinned at each other. "Walk!" Fred ordered and waved them to the door. The pitchforks remained rigidly at attention. "These have to be the ones Flitwick charmed," Fred frowned. "Sprout mentioned that he'd charmed some extras."

"Maybe these were defective," Harry offered.

"Follow!" George gave it a go, turning and walking out the door. He had no better luck than his twin.

Mary Sue pushed past George and into the shed, drawing her mithril sword as she went. "Now you lot listen and you listen good!" she commanded the pitchforks. "Do you see this sword? Do you know why Sprout came in here and went off with one of your brothers? It was to replace an enchanted pitchfork that ran afoul of this sword!" she threatened. "Now the new command is 'March!' and anyone who is too dim to understand that will have a little chat with my sword, here. Now, MARCH!!"

Four dozen metal pitchfork tines began moving up and down in unison.

"Buckets! We need buckets!" Fred shouted, running back into the tool shed. Soon each pitchfork was bent at the middle, a bucket hanging from its horizontal 'arm.'

"Pair up!" Mary Sue commanded. "Each one fill the other's bucket with dung! You two," she pointed, "deliver yours to Greenhouse #1. You two - Greenhouse #2." The pairs of pitchforks marched off as they received their assignments.

"And that's how it's done!" Mary Sue said smugly.

"Wow! That was brilliant!" Hermione applauded her idol.

"Well done!" George nodded appreciatively. "Fred? Shall we see what secrets the upper years' greenhouses hold?"

"Lead on, brother!" Fred replied and the two made a beeline for Greenhouse #7.

"What's that?" Hermione pointed to a nearby plant.

"Bubotuber," Mary Sue informed her. "Don't get any of the pus on you," she warned.

"Gross!" Hermione wrinkled up her nose. She backed away from the plants and then wandered off exploring Greenhouse #4 on her own.

Harry was content to watch the charmed pitchforks do their work, filling each other's buckets and then marching off to deliver their dung. Mary Sue stood there as a sort of overseer, making very sure that the pitchforks obeyed her orders. It was slow going, but at least the students were not the ones getting their hands dirty.

Hermione quickly grew bored with the plants in Greenhouse #4 and she wandered next door to see what revelations awaited in Greenhouse #3. After studying the Puffapods, she proceeded over to Greenhouse #2, and eventually to Greenhouse #1. It was there that she discovered that Mary Sue's instructions to the charmed pitchforks had been incomplete. The Girl-in-Black had ordered them to 'deliver' the dung, but not precisely where or how.

"HELP!!" shouted the brightest witch of the age as she was ambushed by a wall of overgrown Devil's Snare. The pitchforks assigned to Greenhouse #1 had interpreted 'deliver' as 'fling the contents of the buckets at the nearest plants' and those plants happened to be Devil's Snare. Having been grossly over-fertilized, the treacherous vines were now growing at an alarming rate! "HELP!!" Hermione screamed again as her arms and legs were quickly ensnared and immobilized.

Mary Sue and Harry came running at sound of the panicked call. "Watch out for the Devil's Snare!" Hermione warned, but she was too late. As her rescuers rushed into Greenhouse #1 their feet slipped and slid on the dung-covered wooden flooring, sending them both sprawling into the waiting Devil's Snare. Within seconds they found themselves in the same predicament as the witch they were trying to save - bound and immobilized.

"DON'T PANIC!" Hermione shouted, trying not to panic, herself. "Struggling only makes things worse!"

It was at this point that the two charmed pitchforks marched in once more, flinging dragon dung in all directions before marching out again for another load.

"We're in deep shit here, Harry," Mary Sue observed, somewhat calmly.

"Scatologically speaking," Hermione added, noting her own ruined robes.

"I was referring to the danger, not the dung," Mary Sue snipped.

"Oh! Dangerologically speaking, then," Hermione corrected herself. "What are we going to do about it? Can either of you reach your wands or swords? My arms are bound."

"I can't move!" Harry reported.

"I think I might be able to reach your sword," Mary Sue said, trying to snake her wrist through the vines. "Got it!! INCENDIO!" shouted the Girl-in-Black as her fingers closed around the hilt. The Devil's Snare shrank back fearfully.

"HEY!!" Harry protested, "That was right next to my leg!!"

"Quit whinging! INCENDIO!" Mary Sue sent off another spell from Harry's Acromantula sword. This sent the Devil's Snare into a hesitant retreat. "Keep burning it!" she commanded once her arm was free of the vines, said arm automatically reaching for her own mithril sword.

"INCENDIO!" Harry's voice replaced Mary Sue's as the evil vines were pushed back even farther.

"What about me?" Hermione whimpered from the other side of the aisle.

Her plea was answered by several swishes of mithril, leaving hundreds of wriggling tendrils writhing on the dung-covered floor. Unfortunately, the cuttings took a liking to the potent fertilizer and immediately began to root.

"LOOK!!" Hermione pointed at the floor in horror as she managed to free herself. "INCENDIO!! INCENDIO!!" she shouted, drawing both her sword and her wand and casting spells with both hands.

"INCENDIO!! INCENDIO!!" Mary Sue and Harry joined in the two-handed casting as the trio backed toward the door.

"What's going on over here!?" the Weasley twins came running up, their wands drawn.

"Devil's Snare!! It's out of control!! INCENDIO!! INCENDIO!!" Hermione shouted back. The twins immediately joined in, adding to the inferno that was now Greenhouse #1.

That's how Professor Sprout found them when she returned, all five casting "Incendio!" into the open doorway of the greenhouse as if their very lives depended on it.


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