Categories > Books > Harry Potter

Severus Snape and the Accursed Nephew

by Aelfwine 2 reviews

Sixth Year AU. The Wizarding World is safe from Voldemort. Many other evil forces remain; for instance, Snape's 5 year old American nephew, Dennis the Menace.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2008-03-08 - Updated: 2008-03-10 - 6929 words - Complete

"Severus Snape and the Accursed Nephew"
Episode 25, Harry Potter: The Animated Series

An Harry Potter fanfiction
By Andrew yclept Aelfwine

Characters and situations of the Harry Potter series belong to J.K. Rowling, and are merely borrowed for this non-commercial fanfic.
Dennis the Menace (fortunately) isn't mine, either.
One proverb borrowed from Robert Rankin's Raiders of the Lost Car Park, which everyone ought to read who can get their hands on a copy.
Another quote taken from Mel Brooks' classic Spaceballs.
This fic fully Law of Fives compliant. fnord
Warnings: Gratuitous silliness. Out-of-characterness. Fourth-wall violations. Parodic elements. Polyamoury. Femmeslash. Boyslash. Suggestive elements. Song parody. Yours Truly. References to Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord Voldemort, by the nicknames "Voldie" and "Tommykins". Gamer!Draco. Fangirl!Ginny. Stoner!Dumbledore. Pervert!NearlyEveryone.

Pairings/Triplings/Insert-Number-Here-ings: Draco/Blaise/Pansy/Millicent; Harry/Hermione/Ginny/Luna/Lavender/Parvati; Ron/Padma; Snape/McGonagall; George Washington/Martha Washington/Marquis de Lafayette; Elvis/Nixon

Thanks to Azurelunatic for the lovely fanart and the improved name for Draco's favourite RPG.

This resulted out of an email conversation with Suika Roberts.
However, she oughtn't be blamed-the evil is entirely mine:-)

Some blame does rest with the French translator who IMHO made Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone into /Le Petit Nicolas à l'École des Sorciers/.

I don't think I would have otherwise brought up Dennis the Menace
and Harry Potter in the same sentence.

For the record, Harry Potter: The Animated Series doesn't exist (yet). If it ever does, it probably won't look anything like this.

Breakfast time in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Judging by the sky-ceiling, it's a sunny autumn day. Fluffy clouds are drifting overhead, along with a Boeing 747, a hot air balloon, and the Enterprise-D.

Closeup on the Staff table. Rubeus Hagrid has a pint of stout and a plate of scrambled eggs, fried mushrooms, and what appear to be kippered gerbils, which Severus Snape is eyeing with evident distaste. Snape's breakfast consists of a boiled egg, two pieces of white toast, and a litre of coffee. Professors Pomona Sprout and Xiomara Hooch also sit at the table.

Snape: "Good Lord, man, how can you stand those... things at
seven in the morning?"

Hagrid: "Sev'rus, yeh need t' eat up. Not having a proper breakfast, it'll be the death of yeh. Now, why don't we call down to the kitchen and have 'em rustle yeh up some nice poached hedgepigs, eh?"

Snape turns green.

Minerva McGonagall enters from the left.

McGonagall (sitting down at table, next to Snape): "Good morning! Did you sleep well, Severus?"

Snape: "God's wounds, woman, you know I didn't."

Sprout: "Minerva! How could you?"

Hooch [laughing]: "Fair play to you, Minns!"

McGonagall: [blushes] "It's not like that. Severus and I ran into each other last night in the Owlery."

Last Night:

The Owlery, a great room containing row upon row of long perches, something like library shelves, upon which owls of various sizes and colours sit. Two are snogging, several are reading newspapers or books, one is sleeping with a bowler hat tipped over its face, and four are playing cards. Through the single large window, a Gothic arch, we see night sky and stars.

McGonagall, in her professor's robes, has just given an owl a letter.

Snape, bleary-eyed, wearing a green dressing gown and fluffy black and white bunny slippers, enters the room.

McGonagall: "Hello, Severus. You look awful."

Snape: "And well I should, Minerva. My dratted brother is coming on holiday from America."

McGonagall: "But, Severus, that's wonderful. Travelling all the way across the ocean to visit-"

Snape: "And he's bringing my nephew, Dennis. The child is a monstrosity. An horror. A vision of the abyss."

Several bystanding owls: "A menace!"

Snape: "I didn't ask you."

McGonagall: "And when did you see him last?"

Snape: "Twenty years ago. And I barely escaped with my life. He got into my supplies. And mixed soda water with powdered asphodel, aspartame, and Opal Fruits! He made McGuffin's Draught of Mortal Peril, Minerva. By accident! Even Longbottom hasn't done that."

McGonagall: "I'm sure he was just a little boy playing. Why, he must be a fine young man now."

Snape: "That's the problem. He was five years old then. He's five years old now. And he'll be five years old in the twenty-fifth century."

McGonagall: (gasps) "The... Petrus Pannus Curse! Severus, how horrible."

Snape: "He is."

McGonagall: "Severus, you wretch. I meant how horrible for his family."

Snape: "I'm part of his family, and it's quite horrible enough for me."

Cut back to the Great Hall. Closeup on the Gryffindor table. Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Ginny Weasley sit together on one side of the table. Opposite them sit Séamus Finnigan, Neville Longbottom, and Dean Thomas.

Ron: "Snape's up to something. I know it."

Hermione: "Oh, get off it, Ron. Snape's on our side, remember?"

Ron: "Go on, 'Mione. Don't tell me you really believe all that double agent business. Just because he helped us set up You-Know-Who with that posh job at EuroDisney doesn't mean he's not evil. Why, he could be... he could be... plotting to... to... do something really villainous. Like..."

Harry: "Like what, Ron?"

Neville: "Like becoming the Dark Lord himself?"

Ron: "Nah, too obvious."

Séamus: "Like having a torrid affair with Professor McGonagall?"

Dean: "Like playing centre for Manchester United?"

Hermione: "Like writing trashy stories about the staff and students at an exclusive wizarding school and how they're carrying on with each other in the least likely combinations imaginable?"

Ginny: "Ooh, slash! Nummers!"

Ron: "I don't know, okay?"

Cut to the Slytherin table. Pansy Parkinson and Millicent Bulstrode sit in the centre of the table, facing the camera; opposite them sit Blaise Zabini and Draco Malfoy.

Pansy: "Something's up. Watch the Professor."

Millicent: "He keeps edging away from McGonagall, but who can blame him? I saw her pinch his arse last week."

Pansy: "Can't fault her taste in men, at least."

Blaise: "Mmm, not at all. I'd..." [Draco glares at him.] "Not that our Malfoy isn't even more fetching."

Draco preens.

Slytherin extras: (singing, to the tune of "The Ode to Joy")

"Draco, Draco, Draco Malfoy
He's Hogwarts' most gorgeous boy
There's no lad whom we would rather
Played with us and naughty toys.

"Golden hair is much more fetching
Than great scars and taped-up specs
And we're certain that H. Potter's
Wouldn't match our Malfoy's pecs."

Cut to Gryffindor table. The shot widens out, revealing that Alicia Spinnet and Katie Bell sit with Harry, Hermione, and Ginny, in the midst of the Gryffindor extras.

Ron: "Crummy lyrics."

Pansy: (voice only) "Let's see you write better, Weasel."

Ron: "And what if I did?"

Neville: "I'd be forced to tie up and deprogramme you."

Alicia: "May I watch?"

Katie: "Harry, they said Malfoy's pecs are better than yours. You mustn't back down from a challenge like that!"

Alicia: "Strip off your shirt, Harry, do! For the honour of Gryffindor!"

Gryffindor extras: "For the honour of Gryffindor! Let the battle of the pectorals begin!"

Ginny: (makes inarticulate growling noises)

Ron: "Merlin! Wouldn't that be a sight?"

Ginny: "Brother or not, hands off our Harry or I'll hex you."

Alicia: "Perhaps you should wrestle him, Harry."

Katie: "I've some oil here in my bag."

Hermione takes out a dagger and begins cleaning her fingernails.

Harry: (to the tune of "Frère Jacques" ("Lazy Andy.")):
"I'm not listening,
I'm not listening.
Not at all,
Not at all."

In the potions lab, Snape is stirring something in a cauldron. As he stirs, he sings:
(to the tune of Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns, and Money")

"I went home with a nixie
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the Dark Lord, too?

"I was gambling in Knockturn
I took a little risk.
Send anyone but Potter
To get me out of this.

"An innocent Potions Master
But somehow I got stuck
Teaching Harry Potter
That's just my rotten luck."

There is a knock at the door.

Snape: "Not now, you fool! I'm in the midst of a very sensitive experiment."

Goyle [voice only]: "Please, sir! A little boy's come through the fireplace in the Common Room! He's evil, sir! Evil!"

Snape: "Don't be ridiculous, Goyle. That fire's not connected to the Floo."

Little boy's voice: "Uncle Sevvy! Uncle Sevvy!"

Snape: "Merlin's toenails!"

He lets go the stirring stick and turns toward the door. Before he can reach it, the door is blown down. It falls to the floor,clipping Snape's toes.

Snape: "Ow!"

A little blond boy stands in the doorway, dressed in muggle clothes, except for his wizard's hat, which is worn askew, looks to have been squashed and pushed back into shape several times, and is being sat upon by a large frog. A y-fork catapult hangs from the pocket of his short trousers. This is Dennis Snape. Behind him, Goyle stands as if frozen, a look of shock on his face.

Dennis: "Hi, Uncle Sevvy!"

Snape falls over in a faint. The cauldron boils over with green goo, which coalesces into a blob and begins to creep toward the door.

Dennis: (pulls on Snape's nose) "Uncle Sevvy? Wake up, Uncle Sevvy!"

Snape: "I would prefer not to."

The green goo creeps toward Snape and Dennis.

Dennis: "Hi, green goo!"

The green goo develops eyes, which go wide in fright. It very quickly creeps back into the cauldron.

The Potions Classroom. Slytherin and Gryffindor students sit two by two at rows of tables. We open with a wide-angle shot and close to focus on Goyle. He is talking to a rapt audience of Slytherins, with a couple of Gryffindor extras hanging on the fringe. Vincent Crabbe, the Random Slytherin Girl, Lucas of Slytherin, and the Random Slytherin Boy are closest to him.

Random Slytherin Girl: "And what did he look like? Tell us, Goyle, won't you please?" She flutters her eyelashes.

Goyle: "Well, he was... monstrous! He looked just like a little kid, but you could just feel the evil coming off him. Like, like..."

Random Slytherin Girl: "Like the /Dark Lord/, Goyle? Oh my..."

Goyle: "Nah, not like that. I met the Dark Lord, once, and he was just like your uncle Artemius-- "

Random Slytherin Girl: "I haven't got an Uncle Artemius."

Crabbe: "I haven't got one, either, Greg. You know that. You have, and Draco has, and... who else's got an Uncle Artemius?"

Lucas: "I've got an Uncle Artemius. He changed his name to George and ran off to America, and they say he makes those Muggle picture shows."

Random Slytherin Boy: "Right, Lucas. Tell us another big'un, eh?"

Goyle: "All right, he was just like my Uncle Artemius. Except he drank brandy instead of sherry, and he didn't get up and dance the fandango on the table after the cheese course, and he looked like some big snake-thing. But other than that he was just like my uncle Artemius."

Crabbe: "Professor Snape's nephew drank brandy?"

Draco (comes in and sits down beside Goyle): "No, you witless dolt, the Dark Lord drank brandy. Go on, Goyle, ignore these prats. Tell us about Pofessor Snape's nephew."

Goyle: "Well, he was just... evil. Like he looked like a little kid, but he wasn't, right? And he grabbed Professor Snape by the nose and... I fought him, really, I did, but he was too... too... strong, and... I can't talk about it..."

Random Slytherin Girl: "Alas! Poor, poor Professor Snape."

Lucas: "You tried, man. And there's none of us could have done any better, I'm sure of it." [He puts his arm about Goyle.]

Goyle: [sniffs] "I tried, I did..."

Snape: [sweeping through the door] "You tried what, Goyle?"

Goyle: "Err... nothing at all, Professor."

Random Slytherin Girl, Random Slytherin Boy, Lucas: "Oh, Professor, you're /alive/!"

Snape: "Yes, yes, yes, of course I'm alive. I spent years as a double agent for Stumblebore and Lord Voldie, didn't I?"

Random Slytherin Boy: "Professor! We mustn't call him that!"

Snape: "Random, I'll call Little Lord Tommykins what I damned well please. Fifty points from Slytherin, and if you dare correct me again then as God is my witness you'll serve detention taking my nephew to Muggle tourist attractions."

Goyle: "Sir!"

Snape: "Don't interrupt me, Goyle. Five points from Slytherin."

Crabbe: "But, sir..."

Snape: "Five more points from Slytherin, Crabbe. As I was saying, it takes far more than a dreadful nephew, bruised toes, and close proximity to the explosive suicide of a terrified cauldron-full of semi-sentient green goo to send a Snape to his honourable ancestors."

Random Slytherin Girl: "Sir, look out! Above you!"

Snape [looks up, an expression of horror on his face. The camera pans up, following his gaze, to the chandelier, from one spoke of which Dennis hangs by his hands]: "Saint Dunstan's toenails! Dennis, come you down from there at once!"

Dennis: "Uncle Sevvy! This is more fun than monkey bars!" He swings to another spoke. His frog familiar still sits atop his hat. Jump cut to the chain of the chandelier, of which one link is breaking.

Snape: "Loki take it!" He draws his wand. "Wingardium-- !"

The chandelier falls before he can finish his spell. When the dust clears, Snape stands, his wand still raised, with the hoop of the chandelier round his neck. His black robes are covered in dust. Dennis sits on Snape's shoulders. His frog has not moved from his hat. "Wow, Uncle Sevvy, that was fun! Can we go see the giant squid now?"

Snape: [sighs theatrically] "/May /we go to see the giant squid, Dennis."

Dennis: "May we go see the giant squid, Uncle Sevvy?"

Snape: "Yes, Dennis, we may. Class is dismissed. Highest marks for the term and five hundred points to the house of any student who develops a cure for the Petrus Pannus Curse." [Snape disentangles himself from the chandelier and steps out the door, Dennis still on his shoulders.]

Neville: "But... that's impossible! The most brilliant witches and wizards of history have devoted centuries to finding a cure. Flamel couldn't do it. Hawking failed, and the shock drove him mad. They say ever since he's riding about in a wheeled chair and thinking he's a Muggle physicist."

Hermione: "They just hadn't the right motivation."

Neville: "Five hundred points?"

Hermione: "Five hundred points, and Harry Potter's handsome arse."

A montage of still shots.

Dobby the House Elf, screaming "Harry Potter must save us!" Dennis, wearing a home-made North American Plains Indian warbonnet, has caught him by the foot. A suction cup arrow is stuck to Dobby's back. In Dennis' free hand is a rubber tomahawk.

A crowd of First Years running down a hall in panic from Dennis' frog, which somehow has grown to approximately the size of an hippogriff; a closeup focuses briefly on one boy's Gryffindor badge.

Hermione and Ginny in the Room of Requirement, seated at a table which is covered with quills, scraps of parchment, beakers, and bits of other representative Potions equipment; on one wall hangs a crude sketch of Dennis, several darts stuck in.

Harry and Draco on their brooms in full Quidditch kit, caught at the very moment of dodging a barrage of projectiles; they are ignoring the Snitch which hangs over their heads. On the ground, Dennis has a peashooter raised to his lips. In the background, Ron and Goyle, side by side, are fleeing.

The Staff Room Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall sit at the long table. McGonagall has a cup of coffee, whilst Dumbledore has a steaming teapot and a delicate china cup and saucer.

McGonagall: "Will you do nothing about the boy, Albus?"

Dumbledore: "Severus? He's grown up into a fine man, hasn't he, Minerva? And not one so much younger than you."

McGonagall: "Albus, I'm not talking about Severus. I'm talking about his nephew."

Dumbledore: [takes a long drink of tea] "You shouldn't feel guilty for fancying Severus, really. Why, if I were eighty again..."

McGonagall: "Severus' nephew is the problem. The boy's a muck savage."

Dumbledore: "Oh, he's only a touch rambunctious. And it's not as if Severus had any part in his raising. You shouldn't blame a man for how his nephew-- "

McGonagall: "Albus! I amn't talking about Severus. Dennis is shaking Hogwarts to its very foundations! He's an imp of chaos! He's Peeves' best friend! He's a whirlwind of wild magic! He's a menace!"

Dumbledore: "Do try some of this tea, Minerva. It's my favourite Jamaican blend. A cup or two always helps me to see things in a better perspective."

McGonagall: "I don't want tea! I want Dennis gone!"

Dumbledore: "Now now, Minerva, there's no sense being jealous of your beau's nephew. It's silly, really. Have a cuppa, now. As the Muggles say: 'When the going gets tough, the tough get stoned out of their boxes.'"

An explosion shakes the room.

McGonagall: "Blessed Mother of God, he's at it again!"

Dumbledore: "I started off smoking, of course, but really tea is so much more civilised. And Aberforth used to borrow my pipe when he couldn't find his own, and opium was always his little vice. Nothing wrong with that, of course, only it used to give me such headaches."

McGonagall: [runs out the door] "Thanks for being no help at all, Albus."

Dumbledore: "Any time, my dear Minerva, any time."

The hallway outside the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room. Ron has just given The Fat Lady the password and is just about to go inside.

Draco: [coming into the scene]: "Weasley! Wait up a moment."

Ron: "What for, Ferret?"

Draco: "Isn't it obvious?" [steps close, whispers] "Because something has to be done about the Menace."

Ron: "What is this, Carriageways and Cars? I play chess, Malfoy, not that juvenile rubbish." [Draco glomps him.] "Gerroff!"

The Fat Lady: [giggling] "Oh my, such naughty lads..."

Draco: "Silly Weasel, you know you like it." [whispers] "Dennis, you git. Professor Snape's nephew. Now let us in. I need to talk to Potter."

Ron: [whispers] "Why?"

Draco: [whispers] "Because I'm proposing an alliance."

The Fat Lady: "Someone's on the other side. You might want to...sigh... disengage."

Draco: [whispers] "Now let me in, or I'll not let go."

Ron: "All right, all right."

Draco: [lets go] "You know, you're rather dishy when you blush. If you weren't a Weasley..."

Ron: "Thank God I am." [They step aside for Parvati Patil andLavender Brown, who walk down the corridor, arm in arm. Ron and Draco step inside.]

The Fat Lady: "Don't they make such a sweet couple?"

sound of a smack, as of a hand on a skull

Ron: [voice only] "What was that for?"

Draco: [voice only] "C&C is not 'juvenile rubbish'"

The Room of Requirement, currently serving as a potions lab. Glass tubes now snake everywhere about the room, and four spinning hamster wheels are connected to a mysterious apparatus which sparks and whirs. A still bubbles in the corner. A nearly life-sized drawing of Dennis has replaced the sketch of the previous scene. It sprouts not only darts but several knives, a butcher's cleaver, and a pair of javelins. Books overflow the table and are stacked on the floor in great piles.

Ginny and Hermione sit at the table. Ginny is scribbling on a scrap of scroll with a stick of charcoal, whilst Hermione has laid her head on an open book and fallen asleep.

Ginny: "If we wire a twelve grain cube and a thirteen grain sphere of Philosopher's Stone in sequence, negatively charge the Sacred Squirrel of the Tribe of Elraan Hub'rd, connect them to the skull of Alexander Hamilton and energise the apparatus whilst chanting the secondparagraph on the 666th page of the Black Grimoire of Redmond in parallel minor seconds, we might be able to reverse the Petrus Pannus Curse.

"Of course, there's a fifty-five percent chance we'd merely summon Hastur to take possession of Dennis' body. And it's only a five percent chance that possession by Hastur would render him more harmless than his present state. Not good enough."

Hermione: "Is it any use, Ginny? Any use at all? Nothing works. The Curse is unbreakable. Neville's right. Even Hawking couldn't, so why should we even have made the attempt?"

Ginny: "In the words of Captain Taggart, 'Never give up! Never surrender!' The darkest hour is the one comes just before the dawn, 'Mione. Why, even now, the solution might just come walking straight into the room."

Luna Lovegood walks in through a blank wall: "Hello? Is this the Room of Requirement?"

Ginny: "Luna-chan! Ohayo! What brings you to our little den of Potions otaku?"

Luna: "I don't think that's exactly correct Japanese."

Ginny (blushes): "Sorry. I'm reading too much anime fanfic these days."

Luna: "Don't mention it. You're very fetching as Fangirl!Ginny."

Ginny blushes more vividly.

Hermione: "How did you get in here, Luna?"

Luna: "There I was, just walking about the halls, thinking to myself 'How can I get Harry Potter and the two prettiest girls in Gryffindor to bed with me?' when I felt the most indescribable urge to walk straight into a blank wall. And sure enough, here I am. Although... where's Harry? And where's the bed?"

Hermione: "Luna! I never..."

Ginny: "Mione! Luna may have the key to our problem. If you meant to reverse the Petrus Pannus Curse, Luna, how would you go about it?"

Luna: "Hmm. You could use Philosopher's Stone, wired in sequence, but that's too hard to find, especially at the level of purity we'd need... You could use the Black Grimoire of Redmond, but no, too many risks... Might I have a look at what you've done so far?"

Ginny: "Absolutely! Here, sit down, I'm getting up to stretch my legs. And would you take a cup of tea?" (she walks out of the field of view, presumably across the room.)

Luna: "As long as it's not the Headmaster's favourite blend. That makes me inarticulate and stops me walking straight lines." (she flips through the pages of Ginny's notes.) "The skull of Alexander Hamilton, interesting approach... Oh, Hermione, what were about to say?"

Hermione: "I never... (whispers) thought your favourite fantasy would be the same as mine."

Luna: "Well, actually, that's my second favourite fantasy. My favourite is when we three take Harry to Stonehenge and..." (she leans close and whispers in Hermione's ear.)

Hermione: "Oh, Luna, that is lovely." (They look into each others' eyes for a long moment, then kiss. Hermione's chair abruptly transforms into a couch, on which Luna and Hermione cuddle.)

Ginny: (coming into the scene and setting a steaming teapot down on the table) "Luna! 'Mione! Time's a-wasting."

Hermione: "Oh, go on, Gin. Or, on second thought, don't." (She reaches out a hand and pulls Ginny close. We hear a startled squeal from Ginny, see Luna's arm snake round her back.)

Fade to black.

The Staff Room. Snape is reading a letter.

Cut to text:

"Dear Sev,

"Thank you so very much for taking care of Dennis whilst Augusta and myself are attending the convention. Cast-and-forget shoe-cleaning spells are such a promising field.

"There's a talk scheduled about the latest developments in ordure-repellent potions. I just know you'd be fascinated; rest assured that I'll owl you my notes.

"Have you considered taking your next sabbatical in America? The company would pay you an handsome consultant's fee, I assure you.

"Dennis is become so very fond of his uncle Sevvy. He drew us a picture of the two of you playing with the good old Squid on his last postcard.

"Well, I've got to run. Today we're taking a coach tour to the Trois Lutins distillery. You know how Augusta loves their pumpkin eau de vie.

"Your affectionate brother,

Snape: "Having a fine time, aren't you? Whilst your dratted offspring shakes Hogwarts School to its foundations. Caligula, our father named you all too well." [He shakes his head.] And I thought appointing your favourite horse a Vice President was far as it went."

McGonagall: [creeps up behind Snape, puts her hands over his eyes.] "Guess--hiccough--who, Severus."

Snape: "Minerva, please..."

McGonagall: "You're no fun, Severus." [She steps round the chair, a little unsteadily, and hops into his lap.] "But you've surely grown up handsome, my little snakeling." [She holds up a flask.] "Poitín. My sister's husband's uncle's second cousin made it. Do take a dram, Sevvie."

Snape: "You're drunk, Minerva."

Minerva: "Of course I am, Sevvie. Dennis the Menace is wrecking Hogwarts, and there's no power can stop him. So why not get drunk?"

Snape: "What about... oh bloody hell, I suppose you're right." [He takes the flask from her hand and knocks back a slug. His face turns red, his eyes and nostrils widen to three times their normal size, his hair stands on end, and his eyebrows jump off his face and up nearly to the ceiling. Seconds later, everything settles back into place.] "Quare stuff."

Minerva [Kisses him on the cheek and snuggles closer.]: "Good man, Sevvie."

Hogwarts from the outside, with a sunrise in the background. A cock crows.

Cut to Hagrid's hut. A dragon sits atop the roof; it opens its mouth and crows again. Immediately afterward, it belches. The flaming burp sets fire to the thatch; very quickly the dragon pats the fire out with its tail, looking both ways as if to be sure no one has seen.

Cut to the halls of the castle, where students are hurrying about with boxes and casks and bits of odd equipment.

Argus Filch and his cat, Mrs. Norris, stop a pair of students who wear brown cowled robes and are accompanied by two steampunk robots. One is a barrel branded "Saml. Smith's Yorkshire Best Mild Butterbeer," fitted with a glass globe and attached
telescope in place of a head; it rests on four small spoked wheels. The other is humanoid, the colour of tarnished brass, riveted together, with a faucet for a nose and a handlebar mustache made from a pair of small brushes. A smokestack sticks out the top of his head, and he wears a monocle.

Filch: "Bit early for you lot to be up and about, ent it?"

Cut to Filch viewpoint shot. We see the two students in brown robes are Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley.

Draco: "You did not see us."

Filch: "I did not see you."

Draco: "These are not the droids you are looking for."

Filch: "Those are not the droids I am looking for."

They pass on their way.

Ron: "Nice Jedi mind trick, Malfoy."

Draco: "Merlin's toes, Weasley, whoever told you about the Jedi?"

Ron: "Hermione made us watch one of those Muggle picture shows. 'Star Warts,' I think it was called.

Draco [shakes head]: "Blasted Muggles. What will they show next, the secret warehouse in America with the Ark of the Covenant in it?"

Dobby the House Elf, voice only, from the barrel-shaped droid: "Would Ron Weasley let Dobby out now? The smell is making Dobby sick!"

Winky the House Elf, voice only, from the humanoid droid: "Could Winky trade with Dobby? Winky doesn't mind smell of Samuel Smith's."

Cut to Filch and Mrs. Norris.

Filch: "Snotty little Jedi git. Does he truly think I'd fall for that dusty old mind trick? Why, back when I was a Stormtrooper I'd have-"

Mrs. Norris: "Meoowww!"

Filch: "Yes, love, I know they're fighting the Menace. Do you think I'd've let them be otherwise?"

Cut to the Great Hall. Along with light clouds and the rising sun, the sky-ceiling shows a classic Fifties-style flying saucer, a blimp, and a flock of pterodactyls.

Harry and Hermione are setting up a pair of elaborate devices resembling late Renaissance laser cannon, each engraved with cabalistic signs and connected by a thick cable to an oversized hamster wheel. The hamster wheels are empty at present; Luna is sitting on the floor with the four horned hedgehogs which will motivate the wheels, feeding them oatcakes and beer. Across the room, Ginny stands staring through an old-fashioned brass transit; she directs Harry and Hermione with waves of her hands. They are setting the fluted muzzles of the cannon to converge on an innocent-looking bowl of cereal and milk. Next to the bowl is set a box; for a second the shot tightens on the box so we may read its label: "Root Loops. Made of genuine Idaho potatoes,sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, and mangel-wurzels, sweetened with real corn syrup."

Harry: "You're sure this will work?"

Hermione: "As sure as we can be. Dobby's cousin at Father Christmas, Ltd. put our figures through their Cray-Trismegistus III. If we can keep both beams on Dennis for the full 17.773 second burst, we've got a better than 96.55% chance of breaking the Petrus Pannus."

Ginny: "Assuming both femurs truly belonged to Rutherford B. Hayes, of course."

Luna: "Professor Lupin's French cousin stole them himself out of the headquarters of Bones and Sculls, America's most selective conspiracy and rowing society. How could they not be?"

Harry: "Who was Rutherford B. Hayes, anyhow?"

Ginny: "Some American president. Chiefly notable for... something, I'm sure."

Luna: "He forced a bill through the American Magical Congress that prohibited hunting of the Lesser Texas Semi-Carnivorous Shrub. Unfortunately, the Shrub was not endangered, and the resulting increase in its population drove the American Aquamarine-crested Snorkack to the brink of extinction."

Hermione: "T minus two minutes, twenty-three seconds. Look alive, people." She withdraws a stopwatch from her pocket.

Harry and Ginny station themselves by the switches that trigger the cannon. Luna places the hedgepigs inside their hamster wheels.

Ron: "Dobby, are you ready? Winky?"

Dobby, still inside the barrel: "Dobby is ready, Ronald Weasley! Lock and load!"

Winky, inside the humanoid: "Winky is ready, fuckin' A! Cocked, locked, and ready to rock!"

Draco [sighs]: "Would you remind me, Weasel? Why did we let them watch all those American war pictures?"

Ron: "Because 'preparing the house elves' gave you an excuse to watch Muggle films without compromising your Malfoy dignity, Ferret?"

Draco: "You're the one who said we all had to see those 'Highlander' things. And you know how that turned out, once the house elves got enthusiastic."

Ron: "Well, none of them were badly hurt. And Madam Pomfrey sewed all the heads and limbs and bits back on, didn't she?"

Random Slytherin Girl, from down the hall: "Dennis approaching! Repeat, Dennis approaching! Operation Red Jane is go!"

Ron: "I suppose the House Elves aren't the only ones who saw too many American war pictures, are they?"

Draco makes a rude gesture at Ron.

The droids move out into the middle of the hall. Within seconds, Dennis comes into view.

Dennis: "Robots! Cool!" He approaches, and the droids run. Winky's brass humanoid runs with a clumsy stride, making clanging noises and emitting puffs of smoke from its stack. Dobby's barrel glides along on its wheels.

They run through the halls, Dennis in pursuit, passing students and house elves and Filch with Mrs. Norris on his shoulder. They round one corner and pass a miniature bleacher full of cheering mice waving flags. Rounding another, they speed through a battlefield on which dozens of inch-high tanks are contending, pink against green; several from both sides are crushed in their wake.

The pursuit continues past an oblivious Snape and McGonagall, snogging in an alcove, and into the Great Hall.

Dennis [catching sight of the cereal]: "Root Loops! My favourite!" He plonks himself down by the cereal bowl and begins to eat. The cannon open up, projecting a purple beam. Dennis continues to nosh, paying no mind as a purple field forms around him, crackling with small lightning bolts.

Hermione clutches her stopwatch so tightly that her fingers visibly dent the case. At last she makes a chopping motion with her other hand. The beams shut off.

Dennis stands up. An unaccustomedly deep voice issues from his mouth, with reverb, and his eyes glow red: "Ha ha ha ha! Once again, Evil triumphs because Good is dumb! Pitiful fools, you did not realise that mangel-wurzels only make the Spirit of the Petrus Pannus Curse stronger!

"Now I shall spread my shadow across the entire Earth! And all will grovel at my feet! Your televisions will show only explosions and car chases, and no mushy stuff! Comedians will tell 'knock-knock' and 'what's grosser than gross?' jokes! And your beer will be replaced with sticky fruit punch and fizzy neon-coloured soft drinks! Ha ha ha ha! This message has been brought to you by the Council for the Advancement of Lesser-Known Demonic Forces. Have a nice day."

Random Slytherin Boy: "But we're wizards. We haven't got televisions."

Crabbe: "Explosions and car chases? Whatever this telly-vision thing is, it sounds grand."

Hagrid [walking into the Hall, whistling, his umbrella tucked under his arm]: "What's this, now? Why's that Dennis got them big red eyes?"

Random Slytherin Boy: "He's possessed by the Spirit of the Petrus Pannus Curse. Apparently we're meant to grovel."

Hagrid: "Petrus Pannus Curse? Why, me old dad used to cure that all the time. His gran gave him the recipe. I've a bottle here in me coat pocket. Come you here, lad, let Uncle Hagrid set you right."

Dennis [still with reverb]: "No!!!" Hagrid grabs him and sits on the nearest bench, sitting the boy down on his knee. Taking out a flask, he puts it to Dennis' lips.

Hagrid: "There, lad, drink it down. I know it tastes nasty; I'm sorry for that, but we've no cod liver oil to cut the taste."

Dennis: "Noooooooooo!!!!" The reverb cuts out midway through, and his normal voice returns.

Hagrid: "Good lad. All better now?"

Dennis: "I think so, sir. Would you tell me where I might find a complete set of Shakespeare's works? I feel as if my education has been sorely lacking."

Hagrid: "Shakespeare? As yeh wish, of course, lad, but I'd suggest yeh start with the Anglo-Saxon elegies. Best ter learn yer English literature straight through from the very beginning, as me mum always used ter say, like."

Ron: "I thought his mum was a giant."

Hermione: "A giant who knew her literary canon, evidently. Unlike some wizards."

Ron: "Should I take offense?"

Hermione: "Yes."

McGonagall and Snape are standing by the gates. A red Triumph convertible has pulled up; behind the wheel sits Caligula Snape, a man in a lavender pinstripe suit with blown-dry black hair, remarkably clear skin, and a Snape nose. The woman next him,
Augusta Wetherford Snape, has blonde hair put up in a neat chignon and wears a linen blazer; she might be Narcissa Malfoy's American cousin.

In the back sits Dennis. His tee shirt is replaced with a pressed green, silver, and black sport shirt, and his pointed hat looks brand new. His frog sits on his shoulder, and now wears horn-rimmed glasses.

Dennis: "I say, Uncle Severus, thank you so much for all your kindness. I hope I've not been too much bother..."

Snape: "Not at all, Dennis, not at all."

Cut to Snape's fingers, crossed.

Cut back.

McGonagall: "Perhaps you might come here in a few years, Dennis? We can always do with students of your... unusual talents."

Snape [his eyes go wide for a second]: "Of course, Dennis. I expect with a little more experience you'll be a fine Potions maker, just like your father."

Dennis: "Oh, you're too kind, Uncle Severus, too kind. I'm honoured by your request, Professor McGonagall, but I believe my mother wishes me to begin at Salem Academy, her old school. Perhaps I might spend a year here as an exchange student."

Caligula: "Forgive me, Severus, Madam McGonagall, but we're due to catch a Portkey for Italy."

Snape "Of course, Cal. Enjoy your trip."

Dennis: "Goodbye, Uncle Severus! I'll send you a postcard from the Uffizi Gallery!"

Snape and McGonagall wave goodbye. As soon as the Triumph is out of sight, Snape turns to McGonagall.

Snape: "My dear Minerva, are you quite all right? Did I just hear you inviting Dennis to return?"

McGonagall: "Well, he did right by us in the end." [Glomps onto Snape and kisses him.]

Snape: "That he did. As long as Pomona doesn't kill us."

McGonagall: "Oh, she's not that angry." [A large fanged red apple comes bouncing from inside the gate. Its next landing will bring it down directly where Snape and McGonagall stand. McGonagall picks Severus up and swings the pair of them out of its path. The apple bounds out of the picture; moments later we hear an almighty splat

Snape: "I suppose this means the Whomping Willow will smell of apples for the next fortnight."

Behind them we see Sprout jumping up and down in fury.

The Great Hall at evening. The sunset is glorious. In one quadrant of the sky two fleets of blimps are battling, firing broadsides of giant suction-cup darts at each other. In another quadrant a pterodactyl flies away towards the horizon with a silvery flying saucer clasped in its talons.

The Gryffindors, Slytherins, and Ravenclaws are all sitting together at a single great table. Harry, Draco, and Ron are standing by the door, talking, as if they've just got up from the table. As we watch, Hermione, Luna, and Ginny join them, standing very close to Harry.

Harry: "I 'ave to say, Draco, I always did think you a right git. But as we've shed blood an' sweat an' tears together battling Him Who Can Be Named, But We Don't Want to Name Him Cos He Might Come Back-"

Ron: "Harry! Remember what you always used to say about Voldemort? Refusing to name someone just increases their power!"

Harry: "But I don't want to... all right. Denys-"

Hermione: [whispers] "Harry, it's spelt D E double-N I S."

Harry: "Pronounced the same, ent it?"

Hermione: "Well, close enough. But why...?"

Ron: "Cos it sounds more British."

Hermione: "But that's silly. Really, I--" [Luna whispers in her ear. She blushes.] "Oh, just get on with it, all right?

Harry: "As I was saying, the Menace, I came to the realisation that you was a right solid bloke. A man I'd be proud to call a mate. Even if you are a toff, an' go walkin' about with that nose of yours turnt up--"

Hermione: "Harry! For Merlin's sake, you don't talk that way at all. You're from Surrey!"

Harry: "Oh, right. Sorry."

Draco: "Don't mention it. Although I have to confess I find that rough working class argot quite... manly. Care for a spot of the old public school vice, now we're friends and all that?"

Luna, Ginny, and Hermione draw their wands. The air crackles with magickal energy.

Hermione: "This isn't slash. And he's mine. All--" [Luna and Ginny glare] "ours! Ours, I say!"

Draco: [shrugs] "A fellow can try, can't he? So, I'm off to have a go with Pansy and Millicent. And Blaise Zabini. Who is, of course, a lovely specimen of the female gender."

Hermione: "Isn't Blaise a lad?"

Draco: "Well, yes, but I thought..."

Ginny: "All we care is that it's not /Harry/-slash."

Draco: "Lovely. So, I'm for the dungeon. Have a good shag with your harem, Harry."

Harry: "Mmmph." [Luna and Ginny have him bound, gagged, and slung beneath a broomstick.]

Ron: [Backs away from the scene.] "I'm leaving now. Goodbye."

Still walking backwards, he bumps into the front of a tall girl's black robe. The shot pans up, and we see first a Ravenclaw tie, then a pretty honey-brown face which looks much like Parvati's. This is Padma Patil. Her arms close around his chest.

Ron: "Err... Hello, Parvati. Ah, aren't you still crushing on Harry?"

Padma: "Silly boy, I'm Padma. Can't you tell me apart from my sister yet?" [She takes him by the shoulders and turns him round.] "You know, you never did kiss me good night after the Yule Ball. I suppose I'll have to take what's owed me right now. And a bit of interest besides."

Ron: "Help! I'm about to be--"

Padma: "I've a girl's uniform in just your size, Ronniekins. And motorcycling kit in mine. Won't you come and play at dressing up?"

Ron: [whispers] "ravished."

Padma: "Quite right, love."

[Cut to Parvati and Lavender]

Parvati: "Well, a third-share of a really extraordinary boy is better than a whole-share of a mediocre one. And a third-share of two cute girls more than makes up the difference."

Lavender: "Third? I make it a fifth share of a really extraordinary boy, and a fifth share of four cute girls."

Parvati [her eyes light up]: "Lavender? You mean..."

Lavender: "Of course. Hermione and Ginny and I had a little talk after you fell asleep last night, and Luna said yes at breakfast."

Parvati: "So, that's why you smelt of Hermione's soap this morning. Lavender, you pervert!"

Lavender: "Yes. Do you mind?"

Parvati: "Not in the slightest." [She glomps Lavender.]

Afternoon. Snape and McGonagall are walking arm in arm in a meadow; in the background we see Hogwarts Castle. There is a sudden noise, as of a huge rubberband snapping. A fusillade of carrots just misses them.

Cut to Sprout, beside a giant catapult, jumping up and down in fury.

Snape: "This grows tiresome."

McGonagall: "I did think she'd have given up the assassination attempts by now."

Nearby a bush rustles vigorously.

Harry [voice only]: "Loves, I'm a bit knackered..."

Ginny [voice only]: "Oh, Harry, darling, it's sweet Lavender's turn..."

McGonagall: "Hmm, I suppose that's one potential solution to our Pomona problem."

Snape faints.
Here Endeþ ðe Episode.
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