Hary Potter and The Marauding Champions

By NonsensicalRants

Chapter 2:

Headmaster Woes

One of the great joys that comes with age is the transition all must go through where they cease to care about making themselves presentable. This opens up an entire new world of wardrobe possibilities bearing never before imagined comfort.

Pyjamas, underwear and socks - especially socks - of the softest cotton and fleece made up the majority of Albus' clothes. Even his most extravagant and bizarre robes had an internal lining of fleece enchanted to be even softer than when fresh out of Muggle factories. With the added benefit of cooling charms he was practically wrapped in a laundry pile of blankets even in the throngs of the most blistering summer.

Yes. In these ways life becomes all the more excellent with age, as if father time is making up for the many things he takes from you along the way.

Today, Albus Dumbledore had planned to test out several new items of interest. Namely, a new item of foot apparel and a new breakfast goody.

Unfortunately, what he thought to be socks were in fact some kind of running shoe so form-fitting that they looked to be painted on. They were rather snug, and comfortable in their own way, so the aged headmaster of Hogwarts took to walking forwards, backwards and side to side in his sleeping quarters until he felt relatively accustomed to them.

He decided to challenge himself and try to get through the whole day wearing these so-called minimalist shoes. Indeed, he was dying to go outside and walk in the grass with them. Perhaps he should cast an illusion to make them appear like his normal, less-bizarre but still rather striking, boots.

It would make for a good challenge of concentration and durability, at the very least.

With that new experience out of the way it was time for breakfast, and oh boy did he manage to find the most interesting food.

Once a week he'd make his way to a Muggle store and browse through the foods looking for something new and exciting. He would usually restrict himself to the confectionary aisle, but occasionally branch out to trying chips, soda's and frozen dinners. He'd even tried one of those energy drinks once.

It had very nearly killed him.

This week he'd taken a stroll down the breakfast aisle and marveled at the world of cereals that could pass for desserts. He had opened each and every box to take in the smell, and by smell alone he picked out this week's breakfast. He, of course, made sure to repair the damage to the packages he'd opened before paying for the three boxes now sat on his breakfast table.

Fruity pebbles.

Merlin almighty! What divine being invented these? They smelled like heaven itself had crawled into his sinus cavity and set up temporary residence therein whenever he took a whiff.

He still had time to wait for his morning newspapers to arrive so Albus had to wait before actually digging in. Not the Prophet, he doesn't read those until the "official" breakfast in the great hall. Nay, his real breakfast is a peaceful time, accentuated by Quibbler ridiculousness and Marmaduke comics.

It should be arriving any moment, but until then he busied himself by separating the colorful "pebbles" by color and filling his bowl with the yellow ones. Presumably, i.e hopefully, they would be lemon flavored.

He was all but ready to pour the thick goats milk Aberforth had sent over the other day when a plain-looking barn owl came in through a round skylight in the ceiling above his head. He had barely grasped the pair of magazines in his hands when another bird came in and landed beside it.

Albus could only stare at the beautiful creature. At first glance he thought it a swan of the purest white, the minor peppering of black only serving as an accent. But the sharp beak and gold, intelligent eyes, to say nothing of the long, roping feathers cascading from her back like drapes, revealed her true identity.

"You're a phoenix!" He gasped just above a whisper.

And what a unique Phoenix she was! In all his research and hands-on study of the creatures he had never known them to come in any color outside of the gold and red combination he and those of his former school house love so much. This one certainly wasn't an albino, it lacked the pink iris' that came with such a genetic abnormality.

What's more it was very obviously female, if the shorter length of her tail feathers were any indication. It had long been theorized that the Phoenix's were artificially created by ancient wizards using peacocks as a base, and this indication of sexual dimorphism would certainly add credence to this theory.

His breakfast plans now thoroughly forgotten, Albus put out his arm for the bird and she graciously perched onto it. He made haste for the door to his office hoping to compare his fiery phoenix to this snowy variety.

Could it perhaps have magical abilities wholly different from the creature of fire beside his desk? Could it transport people in bursts of ice and snow? What miracle of healing and medicine would come from extracting her tears? Was she in season and visiting his office in search of a mate in his handsome companion? How could that be when it was widely known that the number of phoenixes in the world had remained consistent since they first appeared? What of her tail feathers? Would they make wands with new and strange properties?

He must find out!

Making his way to the bookshelf that served as a secret passage he browsed for his copy of Jean Wilder's Young Frankenstein, novelized edition, and pulled it from the shelf. He was a sucker for the classics and with the book's removal the entire shelf parted to give passage to his office.(The candle opens his bathroom.)

And there, sitting on his perch was Fawkes... Naked.


He leaped down the steps from his desk to his sad friend.

The plucked bird turned his back on him in shame, letting out a miserable trill as it shivered from the cold. Even as a reborn chick after a burning day, Fawkes had never been so completely bare as to be mistaken for a blob of black and grey.

Who? Who would do such a wretched thing to a creature as pure and beautiful as a phoenix? This went even beyond the of horn-hunters who tranquillize unicorns and leave them to live the rest of their lives bereft of their magical gifts.

As he caught sight of the white pheonix's backside he spotted a speck of red and gold in the bush of white. He plucked it, and before his very eyes the snowy phoenix shrank and morphed into a snowy owl.

Hedwig barked once in annoyance before taking her leave by flying out through his office window.

He let go of the feather he'd pulled from the bird and watched as it zipped a beeline to his own avian friend where it lodged itself back into the scaly skin of his neck.

A sneaking suspicion wound it's way under the headmasters skin, a suspicion that beckoned him to the window where he gazed out at the roofs of Hogwarts Castle. All along the buttresses, crockets and finials were perched an endless sea of phoenixes. A phoenix of every size and color, each clearly annoyed and looking to him for help, and each liable to hail from the school owlery.

Albus ground his teeth; a habit he had thought broken some fifteen years earlier when he last woke to a scene as impossible as this.

There was only one group, one entity, capable of doing this. Of so casually breaking well-established laws of magic, indeed probably unknowingly, just for the purpose of ruining his morning.

To pull this off, somebody would have had to break into his office, plucked every feather from Fawkes(A bird capable of escaping any situation in a burst of flame.), taken them to the owlery to use for temporarily transfiguring the owls there into actual phoenixes(Despite zoological to magizoological transfigurations thought hitherto impossible.), and all without him noticing.(No.)

As loath as he was to admit it, the ancient enemy and counterweight to the power wielded by the Hogwarts faculty had returned. An organization reborn every generation since the school's founding, one foolishly hoped gone forever.

"Marauders..." Dumbledore all but snarled, still grinding his teeth.

He needed to warn the other. Unfortunately, whoever de-feathered Fawks saw fit to steal the portraits of his many contemporaries, so he'd have to find another way to get the word out.

Harry, Fleur, Cedric and Viktor sat around the so-called New and Improved Marauder's Map.

It wasn't a particularly good map, if Harry were to be completely honest. It showed very little of the castle ; displaying most of the grand staircase, a bit of the third floor corridor and Dumbledore's office, the path from the grand staircase to the owlery, the path from the staircase to the Rose Retreat, the path to the Gryffindor common room and some of the school grounds.

It didn't even bear marks or names for the people walking around.

"I thought you said the map showed all of Hogwarts." Cedric pointed out.

Harry shook his head. "This isn't the map."

He then had the bright idea to fish through the pockets of his own robes and found the original, Along with another new white one.

The others repeated his action and soon enough the quartet was sitting around no fewer than five Marauder Maps, a mountain of empty candy wrappers, one jet-blue glass eye, several unmarked and half-fill potion vials as well as two invisibility cloaks.

They all shared a series of concerned glances. The clues to their late night activities were starting to paint a frightening picture.

They all drew out their wands and repeated the infamous oath on the four new pieces of parchment.

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

As the words echoed through the greenhouse each of the maps activated.

The original in Harry's hand worked as originally designed, whereas Fleur's displayed the four new names and the distinction of being the Bauxbaton edition. Harry's newer parchment, which Krum had co-opted, declared itself the Hogwarts edition and Cedric's -

"Mom edition?" Harry read aloud with incredulity.

Cedric shrugged. "Ministry of Magic?"

Harry nodded. The suggestion made sense.

"But zen why do all of ze maps show 'ogwarts? And so very leetle of eet." Fleur pointed out.

And indeed they all mapped out exactly the same areas as Viktor's. Wouldn't you expect the Durmstrang and Bauxbaton editions to show, you know, Durmstrang and Bauxbatons?


They all turned to Cedric who had touched a corner of his own map and all of the ink, save for the introduction, vanished into pure white parchment.

They all leaned over to see the part of it he had tapped to find it occupied by four rectangular spaces. Each rectangle bore the name of one of the four institutions. Cedric's had M.O.M in the topmost rectangle, Harry's had Hogwarts, Viktor's Durmstrang and Fleur's Bauxbatons.

They all repeated Cedric's action and switched between the locations. Each time they need the rectangle they indicated became bolder, but all were blank save for the incomplete map of Hogwarts. Though, on closer inspection Fleur's did show the interior for the Bauxbaton's carriage and Viktors the Durmstrang ship. They were rather small illustrations so they could be forgiven for taking so long to spot them

"I zink I 'ave figured out what we deed last night." Fleur broached.

They all motioned for her to explain, even though Harry was pretty sure he had a similar idea.

"I propose 'arry and I sneaked to professor Moody's office, where we retrieved ze map and stole his eye, returned here where ze four of us attempted to, how you say, reverse ze map."

"Reverse engineer?" Harry said.

"Oui! Zat."

Those were Harry's thoughts exactly. And obviously their attempts failed, or were incomplete by the time they passed out the night before. That still didn't explain a few things though.

"Vere did the other cloak come from, then?" Viktor asked.

"Probably also from Moody's office." Said Cedric, lifting the soft fabric from the floor. "If any of the teachers owned one, it'd be him."

"And the method to what parts of the castle we bothered to map out?" Harry asked.

Cedric shrugged.

"I think they're just the routes to important places. This here is Dumbledore's office." He said, pointing at the spot on the third floor before moving his finger to the school grounds and lake. "The Bauxbatons carriage is here, and the Durmstrang ship is there."

Harry and Viktor nodded, but Fleur disagreed.

"Mmm. I do not zink so." She said, shaking her magnificant head. " We would not have inked zis by 'and. Were I to help make zis map, and I zink I did, I would have placed tracking charms on the maps and enchanted zem to fill in ze dimensions as we physically explore."

That made a bit more sense.

"I think Dudley has a computer game that does that."

"What's a computer game?" All three of his wizard-raised companions asked?

Harry sighed in exasperation. The ignorance wizard-raised people had towards the Muggle world astonished him sometimes. He had to get this back on track.

"But that would mean this map displays exactly where we explored last night. Did we really have enough time to explore all of this area even after sneaking into Moody's office and studying the original?" Harry pointed out. "Just making these would have taken us hours."

"Ve need not have explored as a group." Viktor countered. "I bet anything ven one map adds a new area, the others are updated as vell."

That was... plausible.

"So, after reverse-engineering the map, some of us went back to Moody's office, someone went to the owlery, someone explored the grounds, someone went up to Gryffindor Tower and someone went to Dunbledore's office?"

The others nodded. Several, if not all, of them must have gone to multiple places. Sadly, the map didn't indicate the order of places visited, but they were definitely onto something here. It was as he was contemplating what paths might have been taken when his edition turned a vibrant pink.

"What the hell!"

Fleur waved her wand to dispel the color-changing charm she had used on her own map. As it returned to white so did the others.

"Well, zat confirms your theory Veektor." Said Fleur. "Changes made to one map are made to all."

Cedric rent the air with the sound of tearing paper and Harry turned to him in time to see his edition of the map knitting itself back together. He noted that the other maps did not mirror this damage.

"Only magical alterations it seems, and in-built self-repairing enchantments. Neat!" The Hufflepuff seeker announced.

After that they threw restraint to wind and tested the map for EVERYTHING.

Harry couldn't resist testing it's abilities to insult people who didn't know the pass phrase, and wasn't disappointed. Fleur attempted to transfigure her parchment and discovered that they were resistant to being altered in such a way. Cedric charmed his into every color imaginable, altered it's weight and testing summoning charms on his while Viktor tested his version's ability to repair itself from different types of damage, from slight burns to water damage.

It was when Viktor decided to start hurling curses at his map, curses that somehow translated to the other editions to strike the person holding one, that they decided they should put the kibosh on that.

"Ow wong unwil I can fweel my tongue again?" Cedric asked after Viktor reversed the Russian neck-tie curse.

Viktor shrugged. "An hour? Maybe two."

"Fanks affhole."

That concluded their testing of the maps. With a series of "mischief managed" they returned the maps to normal and pocketed them.

"Vat should be do vith the eye and cloak?"

That was a good question. None of them wanted to risk being caught with either. It would be pretty damning. In the end, Fleur opted to wrap them in some spare parchment and bury then beneath the rose bushes. They'd figure out what to do about them later.

"The only mystery that leaves are these vials." Harry said as he lifted one and examined it.

It was a dark blue in color with a slightly white sheen, as if reflecting moonlight.

"I eemagine eet is a potion." Fleur offered.

"Rather astute of you." Viktor deadpanned.

Fleur scowled at the Bulgarian.

"But a potion for what? It looks like we already drank half of each, so the vials would be two doses?" Harry rationalized.

"Maybe it is a notice-me-not potion?" Viktor offered. "They're the only thing that comes to my mind for something ve vould have used last night."

"Are they normally this color?" Harry asked.

"I vould not know. I have only heard of them. Very rare, very powerful and VERY illegal. Not just for their criminal uses, but because if brewed incorrectly it could leave a person unnoticeable for the rest of their lives." Viktor deflected.

Cedric kept his silence, which was probably for the best since he was doubtful to be understood. This is why Fleur's silence was all the more conspicuous.

"Fleur?" Harry asked suspiciously

She was staring at her still-charred hands with deep consternation, but glanced between her peers almost fearfully when Harry said her name.

"I am a quarter-Veela." She said simply.

Harry fought a snicker at the 'revelation' but listened on all the same.

"Part-Veela only inherit zee allure. It eez the full Veela, a woman born with an x chromosome from both parents of Veela descent, that can transform." She explained.

As she said this she allowed her hand to extend back into the sickly black talons that had grasped Harry so roughly just earlier that morning. He half-expected balls of fire to erupt from her now clawed fingertips, but only saw the air distortion from heat radiating from them.

"And yet, I can do zis!" She exclaimed. "How?"

Harry came to the same conclusion she must have come to, that whatever this potion was it had allowed her to transform just as those cheerleaders at the world cup had. But then what could do that?

"I fwink I know." Cedric tried to say, barely legible. "Harry, wha wush shu weashon for she owed mawauders names?"

Harry parsed his meaning as the Hufflepuff pointed to the original map.

"Oh. Um. It's a long story." He pre-empted. "Moony was a werewolf, and his three friends found out. They were apparently retarted because they decided to become animagi so they could keep him company on the full moon."

And then it clicked. He knew what it was, but couldn't believe they would be stupid enough to go through with it, even while drunk.

It was a potion that Harry was certain he could have gotten his hands on by taking a quick trip to Hogsmeade, where a surviving member of the Marauder's was staying. Remus had warned him that Sirius held a secret hope that he, Ron and Hermione would someday come and ask to be inducted. He had warned that Sirius had started brewing this very potion the day after his escape on buckbeak and planned to gift it to them for Christmas, and would have were it not for Remus putting a stop to it.

Lupin made Harry swear to never ask, to never try and pursue his godfather's dream, and yet he had broken that promise last night. He had visited Padfoot's cave and asked the question Harry knew Sirius had been dreaming of since that night in the shrieking shack.

"These are forced animagi potions." He told them, clenching his teeth in self-loathing. "They force the drinker, rather painfully, into their animal form. It's fatal to drinkers who don't have animagi forms(most people) and excruciating to those who do, so it's banned internatonally. Anybody with any sense goes through the much longer process of discovering their form."

He turned to Fleur, trying to will her to feel how remorseful he was telepathically.

"Apparently it makes part-Veela regain the ability to... Well, that." He finished, indicating her hands.

She hid them beneath her arms and gave a meek saw.

"Ne ne ne, none of that!" Viktor bellowed before she could really let the waterworks fall. "This is a blessing, and I vill not have you pitying yourself, Firebird."

She didn't perk up until she heard the name at the end, and Harry felt himself perk up with her.

"Right! The new Marauder names! It's us!" Harry suddenly realized, feeling rather stupid for taking so long to figure that one out.

He turned to his copy of the new and improved Marauder's map and activated it.

"Firebird." He said, pointing at Fleur. "Trionskin.."

"That vould be me." Viktor interrupted.

"What makes you so sure?" Harry asked him.

"Trion means saw in Bulgarian." He said simply.

Harry shared a confused glance with Cedric and Fleur, they both shrugged.

"Saw-skin?" Viktor ebbed them on while making some motion at himself.

The trio shrugged again.

"A shark! Ebasi!" Viktor said, throwing his arms up in exacerbation.

"Oooooh!" Harry echoed with understanding."But that leaves Paddlecul -" Fleur giggled at the name. " - and Voulgeneb, but who is who?"

Harry motioned between himself and Cedric. There was a rather simple way to figure out who was which name, take the potion AGAIN and see who fits which name, but Harry would rather not have to relearn the painful way what his form was. He rather liked the idea of not having to remember taking it last night, but they hadn't seen fit to properly log the information in a journal.

"Something with a paddle for a, well, whatever a cul is-" Fleur giggled again. " - and something with a nose shaped like a voulge. Isnt that a type of spear?" Harry reasoned, ignoring his sort-of-girlfriend's childish antics.

When Cedric nodded at his question Harry went on. "Well, of the two of us I'd like to think I'm more at home in the air so your animal form must have a paddle for a cul. Now if Firebird can stop giggling long enough to tell us what cul means we can move on."

She was smirking from ear to ear and blushing slightly, but obliged.

"Eet means fanny." She said.

"Fanny? I don't..." Viktor started with his "I need an English lesson" voice but Harry beat him to it.

"It's a beaver." He explained. "It's the only thing that has a paddle for a butt. And I think it matches a hard-worker like Cedric rather well."

Cedric shrugged and nodded, apparently happy with the news.

"It could also be the platypus." Viktor offered, sounding almost defensive as he did so. "Do not discount the noble platypus."

Harry, Fleur and Cedric guffawed at the suggestion and he got even sulkier than usual.

"Everyone discounts the noble platypus." Viktor grumbled as he crossed his arms.

Harry decided to ignore his friend's antics and moved on.

"So what kind of bird has a beak shaped like a voulge?" He asked Fleur specifically, seeing as Cedric could not speak.

Fleur frowned and took to appraising him like a piece of art. Harry supposed that if anybody could see into his soul and describe it's shape, she was his best bet at the moment.

"I like to think you are a 'andsome 'awk." She said as she lightly ruffled his still bedraggled hair.

"E does wike oo fwy fwast." Cedric added, helpfully.

Right! And hawks are the fastest flyers in the world, if he remembered right. But that still didn't add up.

"No, Hawks don't have beaks in that kind of shape. They're hooked. And they're birds of prey, which I don't think suits me." Harry countered.

They quickly gave up on any hope of figuring out what kind of bird he could be without a reference book handy, and no-one was willing to force-feed him the potion. And so heyt said their goodbyes and went their separate ways.

They all had places to be.

Harry was looking forward to the long, hot shower that awaited him in Gryffindor tower. So preoccupied with anticipation was he that he absent-mindedly said the password for the portrait and continued walking... straight into a stone wall.

Rubbing his nose, Harry looked up to discover that the fat lady portrait was gone. Frame and all.

It didn't take the boy-who-lived very long to guess exactly who had removed her from her resting place. After all, there were only four suspects. A shame none of them would be able to locate her due to their minor amnesia.

He was still under his invisible cloak, as he didn't want anybody to see him with a face covered in vibrant kiss marks. He could conceivably sneak into another common room. The Slytherin entrance would open for any parseltongue, even without the password, and neither Ravenclaw nor Hufflepuff even used password.

But all three of those options required a long walk and Harry didn't want to have one of those right now. And so he did what any desperate Gryffindor would do, and as many had done before.

He walked into the nearest abandoned classroom, climbed through the window and shimmied along the ledge that lead all the way to the dorms.

He himself had done this exact same thing once before, but he had been twelve then and the ledge had been much wider in proportion to him at the time.

"Okay Harry. Deep breaths." He muttered to himself as he went along. It quickly became a mantra as he repeated it some dozen times.

Eventually his path was blocked by an obstacle that was easily circumvented two years earlier, but now proved impassable. A small arch growing from the wall that he was now too tall to duck under. The edges were smooth and he had no chance of getting a grip to climb across.

The wind was blistering cold and he needed to get around it to reach the boys dorms. But then again, there was a window to the girls dorm not three feet from him.

... Should he?

He was still garbed in an invisibility cloak, and with two spells he could silence the window and put a wind barrier on it so as not to wake any of the girls. He could totally pull off sneaking through, out to the common room and up to the boys dorms. Yeah!

Steps one through three of his plan were executed flawlessly as he cast the two spells on the lowermost window and crawled through. Step four hit a bit of a snag.

You see, the dorms are organized by year, with the bottommost being seventh years and a few sixth years who were of age and the topmost being filled with first years. This was so that if Hogwarts was ever invaded, then the youngest among them would be most protected. So you'd think Harry would be more at risk of being caught by the most advanced witches of the school, but that wasn't what stopped him in his tracks.

No, the real issue here was that the seventh year dorm was an utter pig sty.

Clothes, makeup, perfume bottles, trash, hair products, strange creams and - ehem - feminen hygeine products littered every solid surface. There was not an inch of free space on any of their desks or dressers, nor an inch of visible floor beneath the mountains of clothes.

Fortunately it didn't smell particularly bad, but that was more due to the cacophony of perfume barely masking the odor he could detect just beneath the surface.

Harry knew that with every step he took, he risked stepping on an unseen cat. And that would certainly cause enough raucous to wake up the softly snoozing beauties surrounding him.

Keeping his eyes on the floor instead of Angelina's bare legs and nearly transparent nightgown was difficult enough without his discovery that her yearmate to Harry's other side liked to sleep in the nude. And apparently hated sheets. And didn't care to close the curtains on her four-poster bed. And was STACKED!

No! Focus! Stupid, sexy upperclasswomen and their nudist ways.

Through strength of will alone he eventually made it to the door, silenced it and snuck out. He was nearly to the stairs leading down to the common room when he passed the open door to the communal shower.

If he thought the girls dorm room was disgusting, well, let's just say his bar for what counted as filthy was raised(Or maybe lowered?) somewhat by the sight of the girls showers. He needed to get out of there!

He reached the top of the stairs and groaned. The common room was already full of people trying to get through the now non-existent portrait hole. It would be a challenge to sneak past them but what other option did he have? Risk jumping the distance from the girls patio to the boys patio and break his neck in the process?

He could sneak back into the girls dorm, exit through a different window and continue shimmying along the ledge to the boys dorm.

Nah. Too tired.

He took the first step down the stairs and didn't get the chance to take a second as the air was rent with an ear-splitting scream. Before Harry could figure out the source the steps beneath him vanished, turning the stairs into a slide that sent him tumbling down.

He landed, exposed, at the feet of his best friend with the entire Gryffindor population minus Owl and Newt students.(They slept in).

Now, most people would assume the teenaged boy tumbling down from the girls dorms in an invisibility cloak had been attempting to sneak up. The collage of vibrant kiss marks on his face, and widening grins and burst of giggles from those who were currently examining him, told Harry that a rather different assumption would fill today's rumors.

"Er, hi Ron" Said Harry as he ignored a snickering Lavender Brown and the gaggle of her younger counterparts. "I don't suppose there's any chance I can convince you all that this doesn't look the way it looks?"

Ronald Weasley dignified Harry with a sympathetic smile and slowly shook his head.

"Yeah. Didn't think so. It's gonna be one of those days, huh?"

Ronald Weasley dignified Harry with a sympathetic smile and slowly nodded his head.

With the benefit of hindsight, Harry realized that he should have simply summoned his Firebolt and flown to his dormitory window.

Madame Maxime Olympe had expected to have a peaceful and relaxing Saturday.

Her normal routine of rolling out of bed, walking to the bathroom and having her morning tinkle was rudely interrupted when she reached for a handle only to have her fingers brush coarse fabric. Rubbing the last dredges of sleep from her eyes she returned to the task at hand and fixed her most heated glare at the fool blocking her path.

"Pashhhwooord?" The morbidly obese woman slurred, waving an empty bottle of wine about.

Olymbe scowled at the lack of propriety and all-around absurdity of the situation.

"I am ze 'eadmistress of zis establishment, and I insist you allow me through!" She demanded.

The fat, gaudy woman blew a raspberry in lieu of an answer.

"Why I never!" Olympe scoffed at the unladylike behavior.

She decided it was too early to deal with this and made to exit her private quarters in search of the public lavatory, only to be blocked by yet another portrait.

"Have at thee, foul heartbreaker!" The highly energetic knight challenged as he brandished a hefty sword at her.

Whichever order trained this sad excuse of a knight clearly failed to impart the proper discipline and behavioral norms of chivalry. Pointing a greatsword at a lady? Honestly!

"Oo are you!?" Olympe demanded again.

"Sir Cardigan! Noble knight, here to lay anguish upon the wretch who dared to toy with the heart of a man so pure and full of love as our dear Rubeus!"

Olympe could only scoff at the absurdity of such a statement.

"And whenever deed I do such a zing to zat oaf?!" She screeched.

"Oaf!" A third intruder screeched in return, and Olympe whirled to see that the third wall to her private quarters was covered from end to end in a tapestry.

On this tapestry was a party of women from every race, both human and demi-human. A dignified Countess stood shoulder to shoulder with a negro girl attendant(A.N-1), a Cherokee chieftain's daughter and kimino-laden Geisha from the far East. To either side of this queartet were women of more magical origin, a fully enraged Veela beside a glass tank out of which hung an equally incensed mermaid and a naked, but intimidating, centaur mare who hid her otherwise bare chest with angrily crossed arms. On the other side was a goblinet wearing a dress literally weaved from gold thread made all the more extravagant in comparison to the rancid pillowcase worn by the female house-elf beside her.

Enclosing the entire group of women were two, massive feet she deduced belonged to a giantess who was far too large to fit on the tapestry.

"You would call the man who shared his love of beasts, giving you and your champion a CHANCE at winning this god-forsaken tournament, an oaf!"

It was the Countess berating her. Needless to say her, overly-full bladder was not inspiring the headmistress to respond with a level head.

"Of course I call 'im an oaf. I call I'm an oaf all ze time. He loves eet!"

"A moron he would have to be, to invest even a moment of his finite and precious life to an ungrateful harpy like you!" Said the goblinet.

"A wench who denies what she is." Added the negro girl.

"A woman who cares more about feigning a reputation of being a breed she is not despite the whole world having eyes to see through your self-delusion." Added the mare.

"A disgusting creature who soaks up the love and affection of a wonderful man but gives none in return." Added the Veela.

It was all difficult to make out their incriminating words over the literal screeching of the merwoman and the much more long-winded rants of the Japanese and Indian women, who had taken to their native tongues for the purpose of insulting her. Regardless, Olympe still caught the gist of it.

When a sudden shout of "hear hear!" and similar phrases of agreement erupted from the fourth wall of her quarters she was confronted by the entire roster of former Hogwarts headmasters and headmistresses. Each and every one of them shouting her down for her treatment of her fellow half-giant.

She fell to the floor in a fetal position, tears streaming down her face and hands wrenching fistfuls of hair from her scalp; a habit she had thought broken in her fourth year of school, when she had mistakenly thought that she'd become immune to the teasing of her peers.

"You don't deserve the affections and kindness of such a man!"

"A harlot is more honorable in her act than you!"

"How dare you lead a man on, letting him believe you loved him!"

This last one was by the drunken fat woman, and for some reason her words were the last straw.

"But I DO love him!" She screamed.


Each and every figure adorning her walls, and there were many, softened in both posture and facial expression. It was the female elf who finally broke the silence and spoke for the first time.

"You love whom, miss?" She squeaked politely.

"I love 'a-a-agrid!" She cried, stuttering out the first syllable of his name as the first bits of pee began to run down her thigh.

The portraits responded with uproarious applause. So loud were their celebrations that she almost missed the loud creaking from behind her.

Olympe turned to see that the portrait blocking entrance to her private lavatory had opened to grant her access.

"That is indeed the password." Said Sir Cardigan before swinging open himself. "You may pass."

Olympe ignored him as she rushed/hobbled through the open portal provided by the fat lady and, foregoing any sense of propriety or privacy, hiked her silk nightgown all the way to her naval before dropping onto the custome porcelain seat just before the dam broke.

As the heavenly sense of relief faded it took her hysterics with it. Witht last sniffle from her crying fit Olympe Maxime returned to her senses and gaped at the epiphany she had denied in herslef for months now.

"I love 'agrid!" She whispered to herself in horror, but not quietly enough for her uninvited guests to hear.

"That's the spirit!" Sir Cardigan yelled through the still open lavatory door. "Yell it to the heavens!"

Olympe groaned into her hands. This wasn't supposed to happen! She wasn't supposed to fall in love! She couldn't! Not after what happened with that seventh year boy when she first attended Bauxbaton's all those years ago.

"Oh merde! What am I to do?"

One thing was certain. Today was looking to be a hat day.



This should go without saying, but when I write from a characters perspective I describe characters and locations using vocabulary that I think fits the character. I do not believe Madame Maxime views women of African descent as any less human than she views herself, she just refered to them the way a dignified woman in a middle ages culture would.

I realize some readers may be offended by this, but um, tough shit? I prefer to read the uncensored Huck Finn any day of the week and I am positive Mark Twain wasn't racist. So sue me.

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