Hey, look, we're back. How were your summers? I moved back in with my parents and struggled with depression, but I got a job at Panera Bread, so I'm breaking even.
"Why are we going to Hagrid's hut?" Morty asked.
"We got a letter from him inviting us to come," Harry replied.
"You mean this dirty rag covered in greasy scribbles?" Hermione held up the item in question. "It's completely unreadable."
"I think he's illiterate," Morty noted.
"So is Ron, so I've learned to read pictograms." Harry gestured to the scribbles. "That one is a nut, which is almost hut, and that one is a dime, which is almost a nine."
"Why wouldn't he just draw a hut and a nine?"
"I think he's visually dyslexic."
"That explains his love of dangerous animals," Ron muttered. "He must mistake them for caterpillars or something. I bet that's why he invited us, he's got another beast to show off."
"What kind of beast could be worse than a Cerberus?" Morty asked.
"A dragon?" Harry was staring at the egg and shaking with excitement. For once he actually looked the part of a little boy. "Wicked!"
"Shhh!" Hagrid put a sausage finger to his lips. The egg rocked menacingly for a few moments, then went still. "No loud noises. You'll make 'im cranky?"
Hermione pinched the bridge of her nose. "Hagrid, I hate to sound like Harry, but what the fuck are you doing with a dragon?"
Hagrid beamed. "I won 'im in a card game!"
"Exploding Snap?" Morty asked.
"Magic: The Gatherin'."
"Hagrid, I don't know if anyone has told you," Ron began. "But owning a dragon in the United Kingdom is a felony. You could go to Azkaban for this. You need to get rid of it, immediately."
"But think of the cool shit you can do with a dragon!" Harry said enthusiastically. "You could ride it!"
"Extremely dangerous," Hermione said.
"You could train it to destroy the homes of your enemies and eat their children!"
Ron shrugged. "He makes a good point, Hermione."
"You were the one who suggested getting rid of it in the first place!"
"And I changed sides. Harry won me over. That's how debates work."
Hermione grabbed Hagrid's hand. "You need to tell Dumbledore immediately before anyone finds out."
"Tell Dumbledore what?" Heads spun towards the doorway, where Draco Malfoy stood, arms crossed.
"Haven't you learned to knock?" Ron hissed.
"The door was open," Draco said. "Well, it was unlocked. Well, I forced it open." His eyes widened at the sight of the coal fire. "Is that a dragon egg?" He glanced over at Hagrid, and a malicious grin spread across his features. "Well, well, seems the giant has been up to no good."
"Draco, be reasonable," Hermione said. "If word of this dragon gets out, Hagrid could lose his job."
"An excellent point," Draco said.
"Draco, look out!" Harry yelled, pointing to a spot behind the Slytherin's head. Draco whirled around in fear. Harry took the opportunity to draw something from his robe and fired. A second later, a Malfoy-shaped block of ice stood frozen in the doorway.
"Oh, god, Harry, what have you done?" Morty shouted.
"I've bought us some time to think. Nobody touch him, or he might shatter into a hundred pieces, and I won't have that on my conscience again."
"You've done this before?" Ron asked.
"You have a conscience?" Hermione asked.
"The egg is hatching!" Hagrid said, jumping for joy. Draco's frozen form tottered, then fell over, breaking in half at the waist.
The room fell silent, all eyes staring in mute horror at the now very dead Slytherin. A moment later, all hell broke loose.
In the midst of the chaos and screams, no one noticed the dragon climb from the fire and escape up the chimney pipe.
Next time on Ballfondlers:
"We need to get that horse pregnant, or the president will die!"
"I'll do it."
"No, Albert, don't be a hero. Think of your prior arrest record!"
"I must, Barbara. Doctor, hand me that can of Crisco, and put on a collection of Barry White's greatest hits!"
"You're My First, My Last, My Everything?"
"No, goddamnit, I need a deep cut!"
Rick felt his pocket vibrate and hit mute on the remote. "Hello?"
"Morty, hand the phone to Harry, you're not making any sense."
Someone grabbed the phone from Morty. "Hello, Mr. Sanchez?"
"Who is this? Where's Harry?"
"He's currently being sick in the corner. This is Hermione Granger. I'm his friend."
"Nice to meet you, Hermione. How's Harry doing in his classes?"
"Very well. We both wrote a paper on Centaurs that got the highest marks in Defense Against the Dark Arts."
"That's my boy. So, what're you calling about?"
"Harry says you can help us."
"What did he do this time?"
"Harry hit this one student with some sort of ice gun, and now he's in several pieces on the floor. If the school finds out, this will go on my permanent record. Also, we'll probably be killed."
Rock rubbed his temples. "Not again," he muttered. "Alright, Herman-"
"I need you to put this kid's body on ice."
I'm coming over. H*OOOW* do I get to this school of yours?"
"Are you a wizard?"
"Then you'll never get past the Muggle-repellant wards of the castle."
"This ward, it repels anything non-Magical?"
"No, just muggles."
"There aren't any other kinds of muggle."
"Okay, I've got a plan. Be there in ten." He hung up and turned the TV off.
"Where you going, Rick?" Jerry asked as his father-in-law stomped out of the room.
"I have a corpse to clean up."
"Don't tell me what to do."
"Put your back into it!"
"He won't fit."
"We'll have to remove his head. Ron, give me a hand."
"I am not breaking Draco into more pieces!"
"Well, he'll never fit if we don't break him down. Hagrid, hand me that hacksaw."
"I don't approve of his, 'arry."
"Then you should've gotten a bigger icebox!"
"Well, well, well. To quote the great wit and chronic alcoholic Dorothy Parker: What the fuck did you do this time?"
All eyes scanned the room for the source of the voice. "Rick?" Harry asked. "Where are you?"
"On the table, Harry."
"Oh, goddamnit," Morty said.
A small figure hopped around on top of the table. It looked like a pickle, mainly because it was a pickle. With a face. "I turned myself into a pickle!"
Ron's mouth dropped open. "What in Merlin's name is that?"
"That's my dad," Harry muttered.
"I thought he'd be...taller."
"I'm a pickle, Harry!"
Harry rolled his eyes. "I can see that."
"I turned myself into a pickle, again!"
"Pickle Rick's BAAACK, baby!"
"Enough with the catchphrase, Dad."
"Where's the stiff?"
"He's over here, Mr. Sanchez," Hermione gestured to the icebox.
"Carry me over," Ron picked Rick up and gave him a better viewpoint. The pickle whistled. "Yep, he's dead. No fixing that."
Morty started shaking. "You've gotta fix him, Rick! I can't go to prison! I bruise easily, and I get nervous in public showers!"
"No one is going to prison. Also, Morty, that shower joke: way offensive. Like, sexual assault on women is a serious subject but if a dude gets prison-raped it's funny? Really disappointed in you, Morty. Anyway, my ship is parked outside. Everyone but the giant grab a limb."
"What do I do?" Hagrid asked.
"If anyone comes looking for the kids, stall them. Do whatever you have to do!"
"We are so fucked," Hermione whispered.
Beth had just pulled into the driveway and was pulling groceries from the trunk when her father's spaceship pulled in beside her. She raised an eyebrow as four kids piled out of the car, her son and step-brother dragging an oversized cooler, and a frizzy-haired girl carrying a pickle. "Hi, Baby," the pickle said. "How was your day?"
"I don't want to know," Beth said flatly, then turned and walked away.
"Lay him on the table in the garage."
"Where's his other arm?" Harry asked.
"Oh, shit, I think I left it back at the hut."
"Oh, wait, no, it fell under the driver's seat."
"Now what?" Harry asked.
"Now open the left-hand cupboard."
Harry obeyed. "Rick, there's nothing in here but a bag of quicklime and some shovels."
"Y*epppp*. Morty, you and the ginger go out back and start digging."
"We're supposed to save Draco, not bury him!" Hermione exploded.
"Do you know how ridiculous you look shouting at a pickle?" Harry asked. He got a fist to the face in response. "Ow, my fucking nose!"
"We can't save Draco, but we can do something even better," Rick said. "Harry, grab the portal gun and set these coordinates."
The boy ran as fast as his legs could carry him. His father had told him to run, to not stop running. He'd sacrificed himself to the abominations so his son could get a head start.
He looked behind him and screamed. The creatures were still following, their many eyes fixed on him, their many mouths salivating. A rock tripped him up, sending him collapsing onto the ground. They were almost on him. The monster lunged forward, its three jaws unhinged.
Then it violently exploded, coating Draco in gooey viscera.
"Nice shot, Morty."
A hand reached out and pulled Draco to his feet. His eyes widened as he recognized the faces of his rescuers. "Granger! Potter! You can't be here! You're dead!"
"Alternate universes, kid."
"Is that pickle on your shoulder talking?"
"Listen up, kid. You're kinda fucked if you stay in this universe. I'll admit, this is kinda my fault. Well, not my fault, another Rick's fault. Unless you want to stay here and become a Cronenberg's breakfast, you'll listen and listen good."
Minerva McGonagall was frantic. The staff had fanned out across the entire Hogwarts property, checking every imaginable spot. Sunrise was due any minute, and there was still no sign of the missing students.
She entered the Groundskeeper's hut to find Hagrid sitting at the dining table, looking shellshocked. "Hagrid! Potter, Sanchez, Granger and Weasley didn't return to the Gryffindor common room, and I am told by Severus that Malfoy is missing as well. Have you seen them?"
Hagrid fixed his thousand-yard stare on the Deputy Headmistress. "Dragons," he said.
"Hagrid, have you been 'round the Hog's Head again?"
"I'll take that as a yes. Why is the floor covered in water?"
"Remind me to tell Aberforth not to let you in there anymore."
"Morning, Professor," Harry and Co. piled through the hut's door, followed by Malfoy, who was looking around as though he were in a dream. "Heard you were looking for us?"
"Shut up!" McGonagall said, causing Potter to flinch. McGonagall waved her wand, slamming the front door and locking it. With another wave, five chairs pulled themselves out from Hagrid's table and arranged themselves in a row before her. "Sit down, all of you!" The students sat down silently. "I am going to go full Scots Fury on you five, and if a word of this reaches the Headmaster, you'll all wish you hadn't."
"Scots Fury?" Ron asked.
Hagrid dove under his kitchen table and shoved his fingers into his ears, and clapped a kitchen pot over his head as a makeshift helmet.
"An ancient McGonagall family magic," Hermione whispered. "Few have seen it in action and survived to tell the tale."
"I've changed my mind," Draco whimpered. "Take me back to the Cronenbergs."
What ensued was a barrage of unrepeatable (and, thankfully, mostly untranslatable) creative Gaelic invectives of the sort not heard since Robert Burns stubbed his little toe on the leg of his coffee table. The windows of Hagrid's hut blew out. Birds in the Forbidden Forest took to the skies en masse. A unicorn dropped dead in shock, after which it was beset upon by a mysterious hooded figure. On the battlements of the Astronomy Tower, Snape paused from his search and cocked an ear. "Good god," he muttered, then fell into a coma from which he would awaken ten days later with no memory.
Twenty minutes later, the door to Hagrid's hut swung open, discharging five ashen-faced students.
Hermione's hair looked as though it had been put through a wind tunnel. "Dear god," she said.
"I THINK SHE BLEW OUT MY EARDRUMS!" Ron shouted.
"WHAT?" Morty asked.
"HE SAID HE THINKS SHE BLEW OUT HIS EAR DRUMS!" Harry replied.
"WHAT?" Ron asked.
"I SAID YOU SAID YOU THINK SHE BLEW OUT YOUR EARDRUMS!"
"I CAN'T HEAR YOU! I THINK SHE BLEW OUT MY EARDRUMS!"
"Forget it, that joke's getting old," Harry muttered.
"Potter," Harry turned. Draco stood awkwardly, eyes on the ground. "I just wanted to say, thank you for rescuing me. After all I've put you through this year, I'd never expect you to do something like that."
"Well, I already killed you once, I wasn't going to let you die again."
"Nothing. Go on."
"Just know that I'm forever in your debt." The Slytherin extended a hand. "Friends?"
Harry shook his head. "Nah."
"I don't need your friendship. If anything, I need you as a nemesis. It keeps me motivated to succeed. Also, I just don't like you. Like, I instinctively hate you. You have the most punchable face I've ever seen, and even if we were friends I just wouldn't be able to help myself. What I'm saying is, I want to punch you, go away."
"Oh," Draco frowned. "Well, then, fuck off and die, I guess."
"Likewise. See you tomorrow. Also don't think too much about the fact your original parents are dead and that you're only here because I need you to replace the one I murdered."
Harry patted him on the shoulder. "Yeah, have fun dealing with that. Goodnight."