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Molly J. Ringwraith

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, condensed, Part Two (of Two)

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, condensed, Part Two (of Two)

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Harry Potter
All right, my furry little problems, the second half is here...

By Molly Winter (a.k.a. Molly J. Ringle, LemonLye, MollyRingwraith, etc.)

Same caveat as before:
Yes, you can link to it. Yes, you can friend me. Yes, you can repost it elsewhere, as long as you keep my name on it--but for the love of mercy, put it under an LJ-cut. No, you can't change or add a few lines and put your own name on it as an author. No, you can't pretend you wrote the whole thing. You will be caught. My loyal minions will find you and make you wish you had never discovered the web.



RON and LAVENDER are making out again. HARRY and HERMIONE are pretending not to watch.
HARRY: Aren't you going to forgive Ron?
HERMIONE: Not as long as he's trying to start a campfire by rubbing against Wavender that way.
HARRY: Okay, well, aren't you at least going to believe me now about Draco and Snape being evil?
HERMIONE: Nah; you're pretty much always wrong.


HARRY: How about you? Will you believe Snape's evil?
DUMBLEDORE: Nah. I still trust him.
HARRY: But--
DUMBLEDORE: Hush. Into the Pensieve.


YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Eck. Does nobody dust in this part of England?
MORFIN: You look like that thar Muggle.
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Take it back, filthy peasant! I'm here to seek my wizarding ancestry.
MORFIN: You ain't but half-blood. You's the son of them Riddle folk.
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Oh, really? (does the Jedi mind-trick thing with his hand) When the Muggles turn up dead tomorrow, you'll say you killed them.
MORFIN: I'll say I killed them.
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: And you'll send me any pretty artifacts you have lying around.
MORFIN: Send you artifacts.
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: And dancing girls that pop out of a cake, every year on my birthday. Chocolate cake. Cherry filling. Gold bikinis, on the girls.
MORFIN: Cake. Bikinis.
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Jolly good. My work here's done.


YOUNGER SLUGHORN is petting the head of YOUNG VOLDEMORT, who leans on his chair and smiles up at YOUNGER SLUGHORN.
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Here, sir, have some more pineapple, and tell me about the teachers who are retiring and what exactly goes on behind the scenes at this school.
YOUNGER SLUGHORN: Ah, Tom, you're the cutest thing, with your pineapple and your long eyelashes. I'd be happy to tell you that (in new and obviously dubbed-over voice) *you'll come to great evil someday! I can sense it! Don't ask me any more questions; I won't answer them!*
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Sir, just one little question: tell me about Horcruxes.
YOUNGER SLUGHORN: Aww, Tommy honey, here's the thing about Horcruxes: (dubbed-over voice) *I won't speak of them! They're definitely bad! Won't tell you!*


DUMBLEDORE: So, did that seem at all artificial to you?
HARRY: Uhhh, yeah. I can do a better dub-and-remix job with iTunes. So what did Slughorn really say?
DUMBLEDORE: That's your new job, Harry. Find out. No point talking to me again till you do; out you go; nighty night.



HARRY: Making this antidote is too complicated. What does the Half-Blood Prince say? (looks it up)...Shove a *what* down their throat?
SLUGHORN: Time's up! Harry?
HARRY: Um...here. (hands SLUGHORN a bezoar, which apparently is some kind of goat kidney stone)
SLUGHORN: Hah! Very good!
HERMIONE: (to HARRY) I hate you.
HARRY: Hey, Professor...what do you know about Horcruxes?
SLUGHORN: Nothing! It's just a rumor! I was innocent! Leave me alone!
SLUGHORN sprints out of the room.


WILKIE TWYCROSS: Hello. I am your Ministry Apparition instructor, and I quite possibly have the snappiest British name of anyone in the book. Now--attempt to Apparate yourselves into the hula hoops in front of you.
STUDENT 4: Aaagghhhh! My leg!!
STUDENT 91: I think I just left my cuticle in another dimension!!
STUDENT 52: Where is my spleen?? I'm dying! The agony!!
STUDENT 84: My eye! Oh my God oh my God oh my God!
WILKIE TWYCROSS: Lovely. Good work, everyone. We'll pick up here, same time next week.


RON: Mmm. Chocolates.
HARRY: You know, it's odd; Malfoy keeps disappearing off the Marauder's Map. Can't figure it out.
RON falls on the floor clutching his heart.
RON: I can't take it! I'm so in love! Oh, Romilda, Romilda!
HARRY: What? Oh, you stupid git, you ate the love potions.
HARRY drags RON to SLUGHORN's office.
SLUGHORN: He'll be fine. Drink this.
RON drinks some antidote, and suddenly looks horrified.
RON: I didn't say the "L" word to you, did I, Harry?
HARRY: Yeah, you did. That is--not *to* me, exactly, but--why? What are you getting at?
RON: Nothing. Got any booze, Professor?
SLUGHORN: Of course! Always happy to liquor up the 16-year-olds.
SLUGHORN pours them some mead. RON takes a swig and pretty much dies. HARRY grabs the nearest goat stone and shoves it down RON's throat. The book says RON's body goes limp and still, but somehow the READERS are not actually worried that ROWLING would have killed off RON just now.



CONSCIOUS WEASLEYS: So Ron will be okay?
PROFESSORS: Who would do such a thing?
HARRY: Death Eaters. Helloooo.
PROFESSORS: Aw, come off it, Harry.


HARRY wakes up with a bandaged head.
HARRY: What happened?
MADAM POMFREY: Cracked skull. Remember how you let McLaggen play on your Quidditch team, since Ron was indisposed? Yeah, well, he kind of clobbered you. Accidentally, of course.
RON: (from his bed) Haha. Guess I'm not the suckiest Keeper ever.
HARRY: Course not. Say, your sister didn't happen to come in here and hug me and kiss me and cry over me while I was unconscious, did she?
RON: Huh?
HARRY: Nothing. You know, I was thinking about Malfoy...
RON: Jeez, marry him already.


RON is asleep.
HARRY: By Jove, I've got it! Yo, Kreacher! Dobby!
KREACHER and DOBBY appear.
KREACHER: Words can't express how I hate you.
DOBBY: Shut up, ugly nasty house-elf! Dobby will stick his socks up your nose! Harry Potter is the most wonderfulest person ever!
HARRY: What I need you two to do is follow Draco Malfoy. Figure out where he goes. Ask him if he'd be interested in catching a movie with me sometime. No no, cancel that last part. Damn slashers; putting thoughts in my head.



DUMBLEDORE: Have you found out what Slughorn really said to Voldemort about Horcruxes?
HARRY: Well...no...there was this thing I had to do...and then this other thing...and...okay fine I suck.
DUMBLEDORE: As long as you know it. Right, it's time for Guess That Memory!


YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Oh, Lady Hepzibah, what *lovely* knickknacks you have! I do so wish I could "borrow" them from you. A cup with the Hufflepuff badger...a locket with the Slytherin snake...my my, how lucky you are. Here, let me stir your cocoa for you. With my back turned.


HARRY: So, he was collecting tacky Hogwarts artifacts.
DUMBLEDORE: Precisely.
HARRY: Maybe he could take one of those god-awful paintings we have in the hall. Nobody would miss them.
DUMBLEDORE: Er...yes. Anyway, one more memory: in you go!


VOLDEMORT: Hello, Dumbledore. Please ignore my skin condition and my red eyes. I have allergies. I was wondering...might you need a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?
DUMBLEDORE: If it's you, hell no.
VOLDEMORT: Then you have elected the way of pain. (flounces out)


HARRY: Huh. I would have thought, with his temperament, he'd want to be a dentist. Why did he want to teach?
DUMBLEDORE: Oh my, look at the time! Talk to you later.


HARRY: Sweet! Dobby and Kreacher found out where Malfoy's been going: the Room of Requirement! Which I totally should have guessed, since that's where the rest of us went when we didn't want to get found.
HERMIONE: That's nice. How's that memory from Slughorn going?
HARRY: Shut up.
HARRY spends a long time trying to get into the Room of Requirement and failing utterly, but does cause a few giggles by whispering "You're very pretty, aren't you?" to GOYLE, who is outside the room disguised as a girl. Also, MOANING MYRTLE talks about some boy who's sensitive and sweet and spends a lot of time crying in the bathroom. This will matter later, mostly to FANFIC WRITERS. In addition, DEPRESSED!TONKS shows up again. It goes about like this:
HARRY: Wotcher, Tonks.
DEPRESSED!TONKS: Hi. Came to see Dumbledore.
HARRY: Oh. How's the Order going? I mean, no one writes to me anymore, since Sirius...
HARRY: (to HERMIONE, later) She was in love with Sirius! It's obvious!
HERMIONE: Whatever. How's that memory of Slughorn's coming along?
HARRY: Shut up.


HARRY is reading a note from HAGRID.
HARRY: Ewww. Aragog died, and Hagrid wants us to come to the funeral. Heading out at night to stare at the world's hugest dead spider--you know, in a book full of gross things, this is actually one of the grossest.
RON: Not going.
HERMIONE: Me neither.
HARRY: F*@%$# cowards, leave me to do everything.
That night, HARRY takes a swallow of Lucky Drink, and begins to see the world as a brighter place.
HARRY: I think I'll go to a rave! Or, okay, a funeral will do.
On his Invisible way out the door, he shimmies against GINNY.
GINNY: Damn it, Dean, stop that! That's it! We're through!
HARRY grins, and continues on. He encounters SLUGHORN outside, and removes the Invisibility Cloak.
HARRY: Hi, Prof! Ain't it the loveliest evening? Want to come with me and pet a dead acromantula?
SLUGHORN: Heck yeah!
I cannot comment in too much detail about ARAGOG's funeral. As stated, the notion of a gigantic dead spider is too incredibly revolting. Suffice it to say that SLUGHORN takes some venom from ARAGOG that's worth so much he'll probably be sending out spam emails to advertise it (subject line: "Spider Venom Cheapest Ever!! emasculate bangkok fermentation"), and SOBBING!HAGRID ends up pouring copious amounts of wine for everyone.
HARRY: Another drink, Professor?
SLUGHORN: Absurtutely! Thankoo.
HAGRID: *snore*
HARRY: Oh Professor, you're so smart and so understanding, I...(pretends to wipe away a tear)...I hoped I could talk to you about Voldemort killing my mom and dad...
SLUGHORN: Oh, my poor boy. Your mother was my hottest student. I mean, brightest. Of course you can talk to me.
HARRY: Then...you'd help me?
SLUGHORN: In any way I can, any way at all.
HARRY: Give me the rest of the Horcrux memory?
SLUGHORN: Oh, well, screw that.
HARRY: Please, please, please? In honor of my hot mother?
SLUGHORN starts blubbering, pats HARRY on the head, and extracts the memory for him.
HARRY: Booyah! (kisses the Felix Felicis vial) I love you. Now maybe I ought to sneak into the girls' dormitory before it wears off. Nah, being a virgin is too much fun. I'll visit Dumbledore instead.



HARRY: Sorry to show up in the middle of the night, but--
DUMBLEDORE: Had another saucy dream about Miss Weasley? Wanted to discuss it with a grown man? I assure you, it's perfectly normal, and in fact--
HARRY: Whoa hey! No fair doing Legilimens! Anyway, um, no; I got Slughorn's memory...
DUMBLEDORE: Ah. Thank God. If I had to lecture one more teenager on magical birth control this week, I would have gone insane.


YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Sir, just one little question: tell me about Horcruxes.
YOUNGER SLUGHORN: Aww, Tommy honey, here's the thing about Horcruxes: they're real dangerous, but if you want to know...
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Oh yes, sir, ever so much.
YOUNGER SLUGHORN: Well, you know The One Ring? How Sauron contained some of his power or soul or something in it, so he couldn't totally be destroyed as long as the Ring was out there?
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: Only nerds read that book, but yeah, I've heard of it.
YOUNGER SLUGHORN: Similar deal. Except here, you have to kill someone in order to split your soul and stuff a piece of it into a ring, or a ceiling fan, or a tea cozy, or what have you.
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: (eager) What if you've already killed, like, three or four people? Could you get started right away?
YOUNGER SLUGHORN: Uh...why do you ask?
YOUNG VOLDEMORT: No reason. More pineapple?


HARRY: Oh. I begin to see the problem.
DUMBLEDORE: Yep. So, there was the diary, that was one Horcrux. But chances are he made seven, so we're nowhere near finished.
HARRY: Well, crap. Where are they?
DUMBLEDORE: Been wondering why my hand's all burned?
HARRY: Yes. Have we finally reached the point in the plot where you tell me?
DUMBLEDORE: Marvolo's ring. Bit of a curse when I de-Horcruxed it. Oops. And the other Horcruxes: there's probably the locket, the cup, maybe the snake, something Ravenclaw-ish, something Gryffindory, something borrowed, something blue...hell, I don't know.
HARRY: Well, if you find one, I'll help you smash it to bits.
DUMBLEDORE and HARRY then go on for five or six pages about the prophecy and whether HARRY is really meant to do this, or obligated to do that, or what exactly; and the whole thing is a little too much like the duller conversations about Fate in the 'Matrix' movies; and anyway the upshot is, yeah, HARRY will help DUMBLEDORE destroy the Horcruxes.


HERMIONE: Neato! So you'll be out to destroy Voldemort!
HARRY: Well, I have been trying to do that for years, but yes. So, what's new around here?
RON: Lavender and I broke up. No biggie. Ginny and Dean too. ...Harry? You still with us?
HARRY: I wasn't thinking about your sister! Don't hit me!
RON: What?
HARRY: ...nothing...
HARRY obsesses about his romantic dilemma for a while. The book says, and I quote, "The battle still raged inside his head: Ginny or Ron?" As a consequence, several dirty-minded READERS snicker. Then he swings into the 7th-floor boys' bathroom and finds DRACO sobbing at one of the sinks while MOANING MYRTLE tries to console him.
HARRY/DRACO SHIPPERS: (nearly fainting) Oh my God, it's the best hurt/comfort setup ever!!! Hug him!! Hug him!!!
DRACO sees HARRY, wheels around, and tries to send the Cruciatus curse at him.
HARRY/DRACO SHIPPERS: Okay, well, close enough!
HARRY: Sectumsempra! Whatever that does!
What it does is knock DRACO to the floor with blood pouring from half his body.
HARRY: Yikes. Er...I, uh...
SNAPE bursts in and does some magical first-aid on DRACO, then turns to HARRY.
SNAPE: You have detention in the worst way. Don't you dare move.
SNAPE takes DRACO to the hospital wing.
HARRY: 'Kay, the Half-Blood Prince should put a warning on that one.
HARRY/DRACO SHIPPERS: Did you see how in love they were?? They were on the floor in the water and the blood and the tears, and Harry felt bad, and oh my God it was beautiful!!
OTHER READERS: Yeah, um, maybe if Harry really cared, he would have actually apologized. Or sent some flowers to the hospital wing. In fact, he still should; I mean, just as a matter of etiquette.


SNAPE: Your detention task is to organize Salazar Slytherin's Rolodex files. He knew thousands of people but, sadly, could not alphabetize to save his life.
HARRY: (smirk) Compared to Detention with Dolores, this ain't nothin'.
READERS: So at Hogwarts, if you nearly kill someone, all you get is detention rather than, say, expulsion or *prison*? Man, why didn't I go to this school?


HARRY wanders in after detention to find the place exploding with confetti.
RON: We won the Quidditch Cup! Isn't that awesome?
HARRY: Yee-haw!
HARRY grabs GINNY from the crowd, and dips her halfway to the floor in a kiss like the soldier and the nurse in that famous WWII V-J-Day picture. REST OF GRYFFINDORS freeze in shock.
HARRY: Oh, uh...is this OK, Ron?
RON: Eh, whatever.
HARRY: Shall we go for a stroll, then, m'dear?
GINNY: Aye aye, Captain.
READERS WHO ARE HELL-BENT ON SEEING HARRY WITH HERMIONE, DRACO, RON, LUNA, OR ANYONE ELSE: No! No!! *No*!!! You're ruining it, Rowling!! I hate you!!! I'll never read your books again!!!!
NORMAL READERS: Think maybe you're overreacting *just* a tad?



HERMIONE: We should really find out who the Half-Blood Prince was, don't you think?
HARRY: (on the carpet, with his tongue in GINNY's mouth) Uh-huh.
HERMIONE: I mean, clearly he or she was someone rather dangerous.
HARRY: Mmhm.
RON: I don't know; the bezoar thingy saved my life, so-- oy!! Harry, get your hands where I can see them!!
READERS: Or, here's an idea, Ron: grab Hermione and start doing the same thing.


TRELAWNEY tumbles across the hallway in front of HARRY.
HARRY: Need some help, Professor?
TRELAWNEY: Gracious! I was only trying to hide my empties in the Room of Requirement...
HARRY: That is incredibly sad.
TRELAWNEY: But some git was in there, yelling "I'm the man"!
HARRY: It's Malfoy! Come on, let's go tell Dumbledore.
TRELAWNEY: Nice guy, Dumbledore. I remember when he hired me, we were having the loveliest chat, and then Severus Snape fell on the floor from out of the broom closet...
HARRY: Snape heard the prophecy?? Uh-oh.
HARRY: Nothing! Got to run and see Dumbledore alone now; take care. Oh--and slingshot your empties into the Forbidden Forest; that's what all the students do.


HARRY: Now you listen to me. I...where are you going?
DUMBLEDORE: To destroy a Horcrux. Coming?
HARRY: Oh. Well...I guess...
DUMBLEDORE: Something wrong?
DUMBLEDORE: Aw, come on. Spill it. Fight with your girlfriend?
HARRY: No, dammit! Snape's evil, like I've been saying all along! He totally--wait, hang on, I need to turn on the caps lock of rage--HE TOTALLY TOLD VOLDEMORT TO KILL MY PARENTS! HE KNOWS THE PROPHECY! AND YOU HIRED HIM ANYWAY, YOU DIMWIT! WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO, RUIN MY LIFE?
DUMBLEDORE: Okay, so he did tell Voldemort. He's really sorry, though.
HARRY: How can you trust him?
DUMBLEDORE: I just do. Coming?
HARRY: But--
HARRY: (sulky) Yes.
DUMBLEDORE: Going to do whatever I tell you?
HARRY: Fine.
DUMBLEDORE: Even if it's "Squeal like a piglet and run away"?
HARRY: Yeah.
DUMBLEDORE: Good. Go get your cloak.


HARRY bolts into the room.
HERMIONE: Wow, where's the fire, dude?
HARRY: Take the map! And the lucky potion! Watch Malfoy and Snape! Call the Coast Guard! Raise the terror alert level to orange! Grope Ginny goodbye for me!
HARRY dashes off.
RON and HERMIONE glance at each other.
RON: Which of us is supposed to do that last bit, I wonder?



DUMBLEDORE and HARRY Apparate onto the cliff.
DUMBLEDORE: This is the cave where Voldemort caused those two kids to lose their minds. Want to go in?
HARRY: Sure.
DUMBLEDORE: Let's see...the entrance is concealed with magic...how do we open it?
HARRY: Tried the Elvish word for "friend"?
DUMBLEDORE splashes some of his own blood on the wall instead. That does the trick. They enter the cave, which has a big underground lake.
DUMBLEDORE: Don't disturb the water.
HARRY: Big thing with tentacles going to reach out and grab me?
DUMBLEDORE: We'll find out when we take this boat into the water to get the Horcrux.
They start gliding out into the lake in the world's dinkiest lifeboat.
HARRY: Professor! There are dead things, dead faces, in the water!
DUMBLEDORE: I swear to Godric Gryffindor, Harry, if you don't stop quoting 'Lord of the Rings', I'm going to throw you in.
They get to a small rock in the middle of the lake, and find a basin full of glowing green liquid.
DUMBLEDORE: Interesting. Can't scoop it away, splash it, Vanish it, or do anything else. Seems I'll have to drink it. Harry: I order you to make me drink this.
HARRY: What, are we in a fraternity now?
DUMBLEDORE: Bottoms up.
DUMBLEDORE starts drinking goblets full of the green stuff. In what actually is an effective and painful scene, HARRY makes him keep drinking it. Finally DUMBLEDORE is on the ground and HARRY is freaking out, and at this moment the INFERI (a.k.a. Dead People in the Water) choose to climb out and advance upon them. Nearly-Unconscious DUMBLEDORE uses a Burning Ring of Fire to chase them away, and he and HARRY, with the Horcrux locket from the basin, make their escape.
READERS: Too cool. Can I just say, I can't believe it took this long for zombies to show up in this series.


HARRY and DUMBLEDORE Apparate back into Hogsmeade.
HARRY: Eeek! There's a Dark Mark over the school!
They grab some brooms and fly to the top of the Astronomy Tower. HARRY is about to run inside for help, when DUMBLEDORE silently immobilizes him. HARRY falls into a dark corner where he can conveniently still see everything without being seen. DRACO rushes out onto the roof.
DRACO: So I have you alone at last, Dumbledore. Your days are over! The day of the Death Eater is here! And now, you shall die.
DUMBLEDORE: Okay. Let's get on with it.
DRACO: Right...yes...but...first I need to brag! We've been plotting to kill you all year, right here under your nose!
DUMBLEDORE: I know. And now you've got me. Go ahead.
DRACO: Not without telling you how I did it! Do you think I studied all those James Bond villains for nothing?
DUMBLEDORE: All right, how'd you do it?
DRACO: In the Room of Requirement, there's a Vanishing Cabinet. I had it mended! And found another one, in Dark Side R Us, which leads to the first one! So we had a secret passage into the school! Ha, ha, ha!
DUMBLEDORE: Very clever. Need to work on your evil laugh, by the way.
DRACO: Shut up! I'll kill you!
DUMBLEDORE: So you said. Didn't work too well when you tried to get the evil necklace and the poisoned wine to me. Not that you minded nearly snuffing a couple Gryffindors, of course.
DRACO: That was clever of me too! Let me tell you about it. Madam Rosmerta has been under the Imperius Curse. She gave Katie the necklace. And sent in the wine.
DUMBLEDORE: (yawn) Fascinating. So, Dark Mark up there: your work?
DRACO: One of us, yeah. Someone is actually dead, too. Big fight going on down there, our people against yours.
DUMBLEDORE: I imagine so. Now, have you thought about what Voldemort will do to you if you fail to bump me off?
DRACO: Well...he told me, actually. At first I thought he would chain me to his side and make me wear a demeaning skimpy outfit, but as it turns out he'll just kill me. (sighs and lowers his wand) I admit I've been a little disturbed about that. Been taking a lot of long walks by myself, doing some crying; tried my hand at poetry...
DUMBLEDORE: Come to our side. We can help you. We have a witness protection program kind of thing; you'll dye your hair, take a new name, write an obituary for your old self, forget the poetry...
Just then, a bunch of DEATH EATERS burst onto the roof. With them is SNAPE. There's a little bit of snarling about who gets to kill DUMBLEDORE and everybody else in Hogwarts, since DRACO is wimping out, but the important thing is this:
After the discussion, SNAPE walks up to DUMBLEDORE, and points his wand at him.
SNAPE: Avada Kedavra!
DUMBLEDORE takes the death ray in the chest and plummets off the Astronomy Tower. FROZEN!HARRY would scream "Nooooo!" just like FRODO at the Bridge of Khazad-Dum, but he's frozen, so he can't.
READERS: That did *not* just happen.
READERS all flip back a page and re-read that passage, then continue onward with their mouths hanging open.


HARRY gets unfrozen. He chases the DEATH EATERS down into the Tower and finds himself in the middle of an all-out wizard brawl, Good v. Evil. HARRY, like the READERS, kind of just races through all this, only pausing to see if anyone we know is dead, because he (like us) is more interested in whether DUMBLEDORE really got killed by SNAPE or not. There was a safety net down there, right? He had an Avada-Kedavra-proof vest on, right? Out on the lawn HARRY catches up with SNAPE.
HARRY: Cruci--
SNAPE: Nuh-uh.
HARRY: Ow! Impedi--
SNAPE: Nuh-uh.
HARRY: Ow! Sectum--
SNAPE: Nope, not that either. I *am* the Half-Blood Prince, by the way; I can totally block anything you try to do.
HARRY: Nooo! It's not possible!
HAGRID and BUCKBEAK swoop out and join in the fight. SNAPE and the other DEATH EATERS run away.
HAGRID: Whew, good thing I got out here before anyone really got hurt, eh, Harry? Say...what's that at the base of the Astronomy Tower?
They push through the crowd staring at DEAD!DUMBLEDORE. HARRY kneels and picks up the Horcrux locket. There's a note inside: "Dear Voldemort: I took the real Horcrux. This one's a fake. Ha ha ha. You suck and I hope you die. Love, R.A.B."
HARRY: Well, damn it all.
READERS: Regulus Black! Regulus Black! I was the first to say it! W00t!


GINNY guides HARRY into the hospital wing, where BILL is all bandaged up and unconscious, and other GOOD GUYS are scraped and bruised.
HARRY: So what's up with Bill?
GINNY: Got bit by the bad kind of werewolf. He might be kinda wolfy from now on. We're not sure.
RON: Dumbledore would know. Where is that lazy sod, anyhow?
GINNY: He's dead.
HARRY: Snape killed him.
EVEN-MORE-DEPRESSED!LUPIN starts weeping in a corner. So do MADAM POMFREY and MCGONAGALL. Just when READERS think they can hold it together, FAWKES THE PHOENIX starts singing mournfully outside somewhere. READERS grumble and look for a tissue.
MCGONAGALL: Snape? No...surely not...
HARRY: Is it rude to say "I told you so"?
HERMIONE: We're so sorry, Harry! We screwed it all up! We let him get away!
HARRY: Yeah, well, as long as you know that.
FLEUR and MR. and MRS. WEASLEY rush in.
MRS. WEASLEY: Oh, our poor rabid Bill! And he was going to get married, too. Shame he can't now.
FLEUR: Excusez-moi? He eez brave! I love heem all ze more! And you theenk his scars will not be sexy?
READERS: Damn it, now even Fleur is making me cry. How does that work?
DEPRESSED!TONKS: See, Remus? *She* doesn't mind marrying a part-wolf.
DEPRESSED!LUPIN: I'm too old for you...too furry...
DEPRESSED!TONKS: No you aren't, you bloody fool.
REMUS/SIRIUS SHIPPERS: He's not interested. You can tell. It won't happen.
MCGONAGALL: Well, I guess I'm headmistress now. I'd like a word with Harry and all the remaining non-traitorous heads of houses, please.

In the headmistress's office, there is now a portrait of DUMBLEDORE, sleeping. MCGONAGALL turns away from it.
READERS: Dude. Wake him up! He's dead, he doesn't need to sleep! Wake him up and talk to him!!
MCGONAGALL: So, everybody. Think we should even bother opening Hogwarts next year? The place is kind of a death trap.
FLITWICK: Let's let the governors decide.
MCGONAGALL: Yeah, okay. On another note, etiquette question: if we all wear black at the funeral, it isn't going to look like we worship the Dark Lord, is it?



TONKS and LUPIN, no longer entirely depressed, are holding hands.
REMUS/SIRIUS SHIPPERS: Argh. Damn it, Rowling, it was funny when you did it to the Harry/AnyoneButGinny shippers, but it isn't funny now!
REST OF READERS: It is, actually.
MERPEOPLE rise up out of the lake to sing a lament. HAGRID is bawling. GINNY is crying. RON and HERMIONE are weeping into each other's long flowing tresses. Finally HARRY is crying too. READERS grumble again, and go fetch the entire box of tissues, realizing this is not going to be a single-Kleenex chapter.
HARRY: Ginny...I'm going to say what Spiderman and Superman and all the other superheroes always have to say to their girlfriends...
GINNY: Putting yourself in pretty high company there, aren't you?
HARRY: You're in danger if you're with me. I can't let that happen. I'll come fetch you when the world's totally safe, okay?
GINNY: Yeah. Figured.
HARRY: (chucks her under the chin) Here's looking at you, kid. If you ever need me, just whistle.
HARRY turns and bumps into SCRIMGEOUR.
SCRIMGEOUR: Harry, my boy! The time has never been better to join the Ministry, so--
HARRY: Screw you.
HARRY, RON, and HERMIONE start walking across the grounds.
RON: Think we ought to come back to Hogwarts next year?
HARRY: Don't see the point. I'd rather hunt down the Horcruxes.
HERMIONE: Then we're coming too.
HARRY: Suit yourselves. Hey, have you guys kissed yet?
RON: Nah. Saving that for Book Seven.
They shell out cash and hand it off to other READERS.
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