Hey guys! Paradigm is on hiatus for a bit so I can get the next installment together (think of it like the break between seasons on your current Netflix show) so in the mean time I thought I'd do a quick one-shot. I hope you enjoy! I'm going to try and get Paradigm sorted by the end of the summer (provided life doesn't get too end-of-the-worldy), so with any luck the chapters will start trickling out again mid-to-late March. Fuck man, I need a time-turner. Although, I'd probably get my schedule jammed up then too...
Anyways, enjoy! Harry Potter, but it's Rick and Morty. As always, J.K. Rowling owns everything Harry Potter related (along with Bloomsbury Publishing?), and Rick and Morty is the beautiful brain secretion of Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon, and Cartoon Network. (And on a side note, doesn't Mary Grandpre's cover art for HBP look a little Rick-and-Morty-esque with the green themes and the portalish pensieve? I think so!)
And, as always, wubba lubba dub dub, nitwit, blubber, oddment, tweak!
Harry Potter and the Half-Dumped Pints
The side of Harry's mouth pressed against his window, his nose smudging ever upward as his snores dropped him lower and lower in his seat. His hair was a fright; a mess of shaggy black covering the famous scar upon his forehead. The rest of him didn't look all that put together either: his glasses hung askew on his face, and his jeans and jumper (as well as the black wizard's robe on top of them) were rough at the seams, and ragged at the knees and elbows from years of use. The only indication as to what young Harry had in mind before falling asleep that evening lay in his fingers, which were sinking further and further toward the floorboards and yet still somehow clutched around a bit of paper that contained a barely-legible promise of rescue.
Looking upon this, one might think it odd for him to be asleep at this hour - it was a summer holiday, after all, and he was a sixteen-year-old boy. But it would be remiss of them to forget who he was and the situation he was in. Not only was he separated from his friends, but he had once again found himself trapped in the company of people who had yelled and bullied and abused him for the entirety of his life thus far, and in so doing had instilled a great deal of anxiousness and frantic worry into his character. He was also finding that, with the events surrounding his life building year after year toward some terrible destiny, he was becoming further and further encumbered by angst, frustration, and exhaustion at the world around him. These things in mind, his sleeping against the window might be completely understandable.
So it was he snoozed, peacefully, his breath fogging the view of the orange streetlamp on the other side of Privet Drive (fogging, that was, until it evaporated, whereupon he exhaled and fogged it over again), when the lamp's glass suddenly shattered, its filament bursting with an electrical POP.
Harry jerked awake. Immediately, apprehension shot through his chest. He saw someone approaching - none other than Albus Dumbledore, a bottle in his hand and a stumble in his walk. Dumbledore's voice came loud and muffled through the glass.
"Ha, take that, you stupid light -" he said. "Two centuries of electric technology and you can't even withstand a simple rock."
"Aw, jeez," Harry moaned, imagining the soon-to-be chaos.
He lept from his seat and vaulted the mess of his teenage room, stumbling over his open trunk and muttering "Oh man, oh jeez," under his breath. He tugged open his door just as the doorbell began clanging off, its button mashed over and over again by the ancient and wise Dumbledore beyond. He only made it halfway down the stairs before the door burst open and Dumbledore came spilling in, knocking over the entry table and smashing the pot of flowers there on the hallway floor.
"Wh - whoops," Dumbledore burped.
"Ohhh," groaned Harry. "Professor, where have you been? I've been waiting since seven, Professor -"
"HARRY!" shouted Dumbledore, catching sight of him. "HARRY! DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE?"
"W - what -?"
"That was a reference, Harry!" he said. "A - uurpp - a reference! In the movie they had me shout at you, totally ruining the cool and - bruhpp - calm spiel I've got going on -"
"Oh jeez," said Harry. Dumbledore wiped drunken spittle off his lips. "You're in a right state, Professor," he stammered. "What did you do to that streetlight?"
Thoughts of police involvement and the breach of the International Statute of Secrecy were swarming in Harry's head.
"Nothing, Harry!" Dumbledore said, gesturing wildly with his bottle and slopping onto the floor.
"Aw, jeez, Professor, someone could have heard -"
"I did nothing!"
"But - oh man, you made it explode, Professor -" he said, digging his fingers into his hair.
"I used my Deluminator, Harry!" Dumbledore shouted. "That's all!"
"N - n - no you didn't, Professor! Doesn't your Deluminator only absorb light?"
"I used my Deluminator!"
"But - the glass shattered, Professor, I heard it explode -!"
"I cast a spell, Harry!"
"Wh - wh - what? A spell? I thought you threw a rock!"
"I cast a spell!"
"Really, Professor, someone could have heard, they could have called the cops -"
"Calm down, Harry!" said Dumbledore, getting cross. But Harry's worries were on a roll.
"And - and then, and then you come in here, knocking over Aunt Petunia's flowers, Professor - oh man she's - she's nuts about her flowers, Professor, she's going to be pissed -"
"Do you want to know what spell I cast, Harry?"
"What if someone shows up? What are we going to do?"
"It was Wingardium - uurp - Wingardium Shut-the-fuck-up-osa, Harry," he said.
"Wha…" Harry said, stopping. He stared at Dumbledore.
"Maybe you'll learn it someday," Dumbledore said, and took a drink. "And I don't give a shit about what your Aunt thinks," he went on, sticking a finger at him. "And you shouldn't either. I'm here to take you away from all that, Harry. And the first thing you need to know, is that I don't give a shit about cops. Who the fuck do you think I am?" he said. "I'm Albus Dumbledore. Albus Fucking Dumbledore," he said, pointing his thumb at his chest. "That's actually my name now. I got it legally - bruppp - legally changed at the Ministry. It's true. You can look me up."
He took another drink.
"Oh jeez," said Harry - "is that why Scrimgeour was so mad at you? I read something about that in the paper -"
"Scrimgeour can suck my wand, Harry. Suck it real good. A big, sloppy suck, right until - right until I cast Bombarda and blow his fucking brains out."
"What?!" he shouted, eyes boggling. "That's the Minister of Magic, Professor!"
"And I'm Albus Fucking -"
Suddenly, the kitchen door banged open and Vernon came striding into the hall.
"What the BLAZES is going on out here?" Vernon yelled. "Who the devil are you?"
"Oh, oh, look at this Harry," said Dumbledore, leaning back in mock fright. "The big man of the house, coming to - bruuppp - assert his authority over me! Oh no, what am I to do? If - if only I weren't the most powerful wizard in the world, Harry. In the entire goddamn world. If only I wasn't a literal GOD next to this bumbling excuse of a human being." His wand appeared in his hand. It was like he'd pulled out a gun - Vernon went stiff. "Oh wait... I am," said Dumbledore. "My - my god, Vernon, is it the complete lack of vegetables in your diet and the never-walking-anywhere unless it's to your car, or were you just born that fat and - and - uurpp - and ugly?"
Harry stared. Whatever hopes he'd had of the evening were plummeting into his stomach. Vernon's face turned red.
"WHAT ARE YOU - YOU SAY - HOW DARE - YOU COME INTO MY HOME -"
Vernon was rapidly losing the ability to speak, his mouth twitching and spittle flying from his lips like an angry cat. Harry tried to divert the situation.
"Professor - what's - what happened to your hand?"
"Nothing!" said Dumbledore, not even bothering to look at the blackened, raisin-y appendage at the end of his arm.
"Literally nothing, Harry. Don't worry about it. Dont - don't even know what you're talking about. Now where's your - uurppp - where's your toilet, I need to go throw up."
Dumbledore went into the sitting room. Vernon's twitching rage-noises were building to something that sounded much more threatening, and worried about what further havoc Dumbledore might cause, Harry chased after him. He'd hoped they'd be leaving straight away. He'd hoped Dumbledore would show up and say "Ready to go, Harry?". But of course, that actually happening was about as unrealistic as the Dursleys remembering his birthday last week.
Coming into the sitting room, Harry saw Dumbledore fall face-first into Vernon's prized armchair and heave himself into a sitting position. Dumbledore sat upright for a moment (one eye slightly lower than the other, some spittle still on his lips), before promptly bending to the side and puking into the nearby potted plant.
"Now, wait just a bloody second!" Vernon roared, appearing behind Harry. "This is my home! I demand to know what your business is!"
"Vernon?" said Aunt Petunia shrilly, entering the living room with Dudley. "What's happening?"
"This madman just barged in and started destroying the place!" said Vernon, gesturing at Dumbledore. "No doubt one of the boy's lot, look at the way he's dressed -"
"Get him out, Vernon!"
"Goodness sake, what do you think I'm trying to do, Petunia!"
"He's making a wreck of the place, my flowers are smashed to the ground -"
A loud bang sounded. Everyone shrieked and dropped to their knees, their hands over their head.
"Sorry I had to do that," said Dumbledore, putting his wand away (it appeared he'd fired off an acoustic burst). "But you were all just... just so goddamn annoying. And you shouldn't be talking to each other. You see each other everyday, and you're all very boring. So you should be talking to me. Now - Petunia? I think you - rurrp - I think you got my letter last summer?
She stared at him, face full of distress.
"The one that exploded?"
"That's exactly right. Bravo, you remembered," said Dumbledore. "Glad that left an impression. Now unless anyone wants any more exploding, everybody better sit down. Ooo, that scared you, good. So take a seat. I've got some - uurrppp - some stuff I gotta talk about. I've got three things I gotta talk about. That's why I'm here. Three things. Very important. Now, sit down, here -"
He swung his wand, and the couch scooped up the frightened Dursleys like a chair-lift at a ski slope and returned them (and itself) to its original position.
"Good," said Dumbledore, blinking. "Okay. Now, before we begin, we gotta lighten the mood. It's - it's stiff as fuck in here. You're all a bunch of stiff, up-tight Muggles. You gotta relax. You gotta lighten up." His eyes went to the bottle in his hand. "Hey - here - have some of this," he said, hoisting it. "It's just what you need. You guys gotta try some. Madam Rosmerta's oak-matured mead, it's the - uurp - it's the best. It really is." He stuck it toward Harry, a drunken grin on his face. "Harry. Harry, you've got to try some."
"Aw, jeez, Professor," said Harry, uncertain.
"Take it. Take the bottle, Harry."
"I don't know if I -"
"It's okay. Take the bottle."
"Ugh... okay," Harry said. He went to take it (if only to stop Dumbledore from drinking more), but Dumbledore suddenly tugged it away.
"Actually, hold on. Wait a second, Harry."
He took a few gulps.
"Okay," he said. "Okay. And hey, drinks for everyone -"
Out of thin air, a spread of three glasses appeared. He poured the bottle sloppily across their tops, filling each halfway and spilling most on the carpet.
"There we go," he said, and flicked them across the sitting room where they drifted toward the Dursleys.
"Professor -" said Harry - "I thought we were leaving?"
"One second, Harry. Hold your - hold your hippogriffs. I've got something to say. Something reallll important, Harry. But first, you gotta try this."
He stuck out the bottle again. Harry's eyebrows furrowed, getting annoyed.
"Professor, I'm not sure if I -"
"Drink it," Dumbledore insisted. "It's the best, Harry. I swear it is."
"Professor, I don't think -"
"Take it, Harry."
"Don't be a little bitch, Harry. Don't be a little bitch. You're being a bitch. Come onnn. Drink it."
"Look, sir, I don't want -"
"Come on, Harry," Dumbledore said. "Take a drink! Don't be a bitch! Don't be the pissy, whiny loser bitch your Aunt and Uncle brought you up to be!"
"You gotta learn how to take charge, Harry," said Dumbledore. "You gotta learn how to break free of your past, Harry. Take charge of your destiny! You're the Boy Who Lived, Harry! You're the chosen one! You're… you're meant to bring balance to the force, Harry!"
"What?" he said, cocking an eyebrow.
"You've - you've got to take charge, Harry! know it's a lot to take on. I know it's a lot of responsibility. I've had to do that kind of thing myself. I've had to do a lot of that kinda thing. Trust me. But I'm here for you. I'm going to show you the way. The way of Wakanda, Harry."
"The balance of good and evil, Harry. You're the Chosen One. You can't be - you can't be the chosen one if you've never had a drink of Madam Rosmerta's oak-matured mead, Harry -"
Unless he did something, Harry could see this continuing on for quite a while.
"Ugh, fine!" he said, and swiped the bottle from Dumbledore.
He took a swig, eyes squeezed shut as the tang of Dumbledore's warm spit and the bubbly, fruity mead hit his lips. It actually wasn't bad, he thought. It reminded him of sparkling cider from the Three Broomsticks.
"Hey hey!" cheered Dumbledore, grin breaking out across his face once more. "There we go, Harry! That's what I'm talking about! You know, I didn't think you'd do it! I gotta be honest, I didn't think you had it in you! I thought you'd pussy out and be a little bitch, but look at that, way to go!"
"Can we just hurry this up?"
"Ye… uurpp… yes," Dumbledore said, settling back into the chair. "Yes. But first, I got three things I need to talk about. That's what I said. That's why I'm here. Three things. Okay, you ready? Everybody ready?"
Everybody was clearly ready. Even the Dursleys were waiting on him (and decidedly not looking at the freakish magical glasses of mead which were bobbing around in the air around them).
"Alright," said Dumbledore. "Here we go. Item number one. So, you remember how - how you got Sirius killed last month."
The events of that night, which had been tormenting Harry's dreams for weeks, suddenly swept over him. He gaped, hurt by Dumbledore's insensitivity.
"God, Professor, I don't know if I want to talk about that right now -"
"Well - urrp - he left you all his shit."
Harry paused. "He left me -?"
"That's right, Harry. Grimmauld Place. It's yours"
"But I thought he hated that place?"
"What?" said Dumbledore. "You thought he hated it? Oh no, Harry, don't know why you'd think that," he said, rolling his eyes. "He loved that place! It was his favorite place in the world! Don't - don't know why you'd think he hated it, what gave you that idea?"
Harry furrowed his eyebrows again.
"Wait -" said Vernon. "The boy's got a house?"
"The only problem is," said Dumbledore, as if Vernon hadn't spoken at all, "is that - that there might've been some enchantments on it. So things aren't so easy, of - of course. The Black Family might've put spells on it that prevented him from giving it to you. We're still running tests. So the Order's cleared out for now. The Order of the Phoenix, Harry," he said, wiggling his fingers. "Ooo. How's that for a name drop? How's that for some exposition? It's been an entire book since last time, so now we've got - we've got to remind the readers of everything that happened all over again. The last book was even CALLED The Order of the Phoenix, but since we obviously can't trust people to retain something as simple as the title of a book, we've got to spend the entire first chapter going over it all again, almost like we're expecting them to just have picked up the sixth installment in a book series, without ever having touched the first five. In fact, we did the same thing last time, and the time before that, it's like a formula, we're in a children's book, Harry -"
"The POINT is - is that the house might belong to Bellatrix Lestrange. Brouppp. Ooo, there you go, another name drop for you."
"What?" said Harry, clutching the bottle - "Bellatrix?" He pictured her crazed face as she blasted Sirius through the Veil. Indignation surged. "No way!"
"Well, obviously -" Dumbledore started.
"- She killed him, Professor!" Harry burst on. "We - we - we can't let her have his house! Oh jeez, we gotta do something!"
"Well obviously we don't want that to happen," he said.
"Oh jeez, Professor!"
The horror of the situation was crashing over him.
"Harry, relax!" said Dumbledore, sitting forward in his seat.
"She could be over there RIGHT NOW, Professor -"
"Harry, listen to me!"
"That - that stuff is his, she can't just come in and take it -"
"We can't let her have it, Professor!" Harry said, digging fingers into his hair.
Dumbledore jumped to his feet and seized Harry by the shoulders.
"Harry!" he said. "You gotta calm down, Harry!"
"Ohh, Professor, we gotta go, what are we doing -!?"
"Listen to me, Harry!" Dumbledore said, spit flying from his mouth. "Listen to me! We don't know if it belongs to her, alright? We don't know!"
"Ohh - oh no, oh -!" said Harry, eyes boggling madly, mead slopping out of the bottle.
"Listen to me you, little shit! We don't know, okay?" Dumbledore said, continuing to shake him. "If it belongs to her, there's nothing we can do, and there's no point in worrying about it! It'd be pointless, Harry! And if the house doesn't belong to her, then everything's fine, and we don't need to worry about it then it either! So there's no need to worry about it at all! There's no point, Harry!"
Harry's head was lurching back and forth.
"But we don't know if it's hers or not!" Dumbledore shouted. "That's the problem! That's - that's what we've got to figure out right now!" Bits of spit landed on Harry's cheeks. "That's what the big deal is! So calm down!"
Harry was sweating.
"Wait - so -" he said.
"Thankfully, I've got a test," said Dumbledore, shoving him away and plopping back into the armchair. "A real easy test, Harry. Real simple. It's going to solve all our problems."
The sweat oozed from Harry's hair and beaded on his temple. He grasped the bottle with both hands. Dumbledore raised his wand, and another surge of apprehension shot through him.
"What are you -"
"Just relax, Harry. It's gonna be fine."
Harry bit his lip, the sweat drop sliding further. There was no stopping Dumbledore, he knew. So he just had to trust he knew what he was doing. Dumbledore might be crazy, but he was the most powerful wizard in the world, and hopefully had a plan for this.
"Real easy," Dumbledore repeated, eyes blinking in drunken stupor, Harry saw in concern. "Real quick test."
"WILL YOU GET THESE RUDDY THINGS OFF US?" Vernon shouted.
Dumbledore twitched his wand and instantly all the Dursleys were petrified, their arms and legs tucking in close to their bodies while the glasses continued to bounce on their heads.
"Real easy," he said again.
Harry wondered if Dumbledore was about to pass out. But then he raised his wand again and swung it down. A loud crack split the air, and an ugly, old, bloodshot-eyed, rag-covered house-elf dropped to the carpet and started screaming.
Harry boggled. Terrified screams came from the Dursley's petrified mouths.
"AAAAAAAHHHHH!" screamed Kreacher.
"Professor -!" said Harry.
"AAAAHHHH! I won't!" cried Kreacher. "MmmmAAAAHH! I won't! I WON'T!"
"PROFESSOR -" shouted Harry.
"I WON'T, I WOoOOooN'T!"
"Give it an order, Harry!" yelled Dumbledore.
"I WON'T, I WON'T, I WON'T!"
"PROFESSOR!" said Harry.
"GIVE IT AN ORDER, HARRY!" Dumbledore said, jumping to his feet.
"WHAT DO I SAY?"
"OH, JEEZ - OH MAN -"
"I WOOON'T! MmmoOOoooooOOAAHH I WON'T!"
"BE QUIET, KREACHER!" Harry screamed. "PLEASE BE QUIET!"
Immediately, silence fell (aside from Harry's panting and the continued muffled screams of the Dursleys). Kreacher clutched at his throat, but sure enough, he'd gone quiet. Harry thought he was on the verge of having an aneurysm.
"Well hey, there you go," said Dumbledore, collapsing back in the armchair.
"Professor! Wha - why did you bring him here?"
"That was the test, Harry!"
Kreacher fell to the floor and smashed his fists onto the carpet.
"That was the test?" Harry cried.
"Of course it was, Harry!" said Dumbledore. "You - you think I'd just bring him here for no reason? You think I'd just - just bring him here, to a place he obviously hates? To the world of Muggles? I mean, no offense, but seriously, you think I'd be that cruel?"
Harry moaned, thinking that was very much a thing Dumbledore might do.
"But this is good news, Harry," he said. "He's yours now."
"That's right, Harry. You now own another being. You're a regular slave-owner, Harry."
"A slave owner?" he repeated, eyes widening.
"Oh jeez, I don't want to be a slave-owner, Professor!"
"Oh, you don't, huh?" said Dumbledore, eyebrows furrowing. "Then I guess we better just set him free then, shouldn't we? Better just let him go on his merry way, and run off to Bellatrix and tell her all our secrets, huh? Better just let him go, and blab about everything he's heard over the last year," he said, spreading his arms. "Let Voldemort in on all our plans. Great idea, Harry. Real smart move, why didn't I think of that?"
"Oh jeez - what do I do, Professor?"
"That's up to you, Harry. That's - that's not my problem."
"Professor, please, I don't want to look after him! I don't know what to do!"
"Ea - uurp - easy. Give him an order."
"What do I tell him?"
"I don't care," said Dumbledore, eyes going to the bottle in Harry's hand. "Tell him to go jump in a lake."
"Jeez, I'm not going to tell him to kill himself, Professor..."
"Then do something else, then! Send him to Hogwarts if you want, I don't care."
Harry thought for a second. That might not actually be so bad.
"Er… yeah," he said. "Kreacher... go - go and work at Hogwarts, with the other house-elves. If you want."
Kreacher got up, eyes insane with hatred, and snapped his fingers - he disappeared in a cloud of dust. Harry was mortified.
"Jeez," he said.
"Great," said Dumbledore. "That's item number one out of the way."
"Wait -" said Harry. "That's it? What was the point of that? Why - why did you go and bring him here?"
"My god, think about it, Harry," said Dumbledore, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Sirius owned Grimmauld Place. He owned all the Black family property. That includes house-elves. So if you own Kreacher, who absolutely does not want to be owned by you, yet still obeys your orders... then you own him, and therefore the rest of it."
"Yeah. Try to keep up."
Harry's eyebrows furrowed again.
"Great," said Dumbledore. "So, item number two. Want to know what item number two is?"
"It's why you've still got that bottle in your hand."
The bottle zipped out of Harry's hands and back into Dumbledore's. Dumbledore drank, gulping.
"Item - bruuuhhppp - item number three, then."
"Really, Professor?" said Harry.
"Item number three is, you're coming back here next summer."
"What?" said Harry.
This didn't strike the Dursleys well either, who all groaned in protest through their clamped mouths.
"WHAT?" said Dumbledore, jumping out of his seat.
The Dursleys froze.
"You got something to say?" Dumbledore went on. "You - you all think you've got an option here? Well - you do have an option, as a matter of fact. Either Harry comes back here, or I do something that makes that house-elf's life look a lot better than yours. I don't know what. But I can get pretty creative, and you don't want me to get creative. Okay?"
"But, Professor, can't I just go to the Weasley's?" said Harry.
"The Weasley's?" said Dumbledore, turning on him, drool in his beard. "Listen Harry, you've got some special enchantments here. Pretty goddamn special enchantments, if I don't say so myself. And I do say so, because I made them. As long as these people -" he said, pointing at the Dursleys - "agree that this is your home, and let you live here, then your mother's protection stays in place. That's powerful stuff, Harry. Stronger than Hogwarts, not gonna lie. And the Weasley's? They don't have shit. Not shit. The - uurp - the Death Eaters come around there, it's not gonna be good, Harry. Not gonna be good at all. Trust me! So if you really want to go, if you really want to throw away these enchantments, and put the Weasleys at risk like that -"
"- Okay, fine, jeez," said Harry.
"- Because it's your life, Harry. Big man Harry over here, if you really want to do it - if the Chosen One really wants to have everything his way, put the family that's welcomed him year after year in mortal peril -"
"I'll come back, okay?" said Harry, annoyed. "And you were the one telling me I was the Chosen One, that's - that's not something I wanted, Professor."
"Good," said Dumbledore. "Good. You take advantage of these enchantments, Harry. Because they're not gonna last much longer. Once you're seventeen the protection's out the window. It's gonna be a whole other ball game then, believe me. But don't worry about that now. That's in the future. That's a problem for future Harry."
He leaned back to pull on his mead, but found the bottle empty. He frowned.
"Look, for now, take advantage of this while you can," he went on, "because - urrp - because it's a pretty goddamn impressive enchantment. And YOU -" he said, starting toward the Dursleys - "and YOU let him come back. That's part of the deal. Remember, you WANT this to be his home. You WANT to welcome him. Because if you don't, it's gonna make me mad. And you don't want me mad."
The Dursleys didn't move, as they were petrified.
"Plus, like, what the fuck," Dumbledore went on, shaking the empty bottle and magically refilling the liquid all the way back to the top, much to Harry's dismay. He took another swig. "He's your - ruuurrppp - nephew! Your goddamn nephew. Your - your dead sister's kid," he said. "That's pretty fucked up. I mean, I'm not here to judge," he said, raising his hands in a stand-off kinda way, "but that's pretty fucked up. I mean, I guess it could be worse, look at your own kid. Look how fucked up he is. He's sixteen, I'm guessing?"
The Dursleys sat there.
"- And he's, what, fourteen stone?" Dumbledore went on. "Eighteen? Holy fuck. I mean, not that I care, but you're doing irreparable damage to him. My god, Petunia."
Petunia's eyes widened. She avoided his gaze in embarrassment.
"And you want to know something else? I remember your letter," he went on. "That's right, the one you wrote as a kid. I got it. Remember my reply? Well, I could've turned you into a witch at any time. I could have done it."
He took another swig.
"I remember you begging to come to Hogwarts. And you could have. It would've been so easy. But I can't just turn everyone into a witch, Petunia. They have to deserve it. And you were jealous, and whiny. I sent you a rejection to see how you'd take it, and you only got worse. So it's, it's your own fault. You didn't come to terms with things. And look at you now."
Petunia was still looking away, but Harry saw her face going red and her eyes glossy. She'd really written him a letter? And Dumbledore was just going to tease her about it? It wasn't like he had a lot of sympathy for his Aunt, but still...
"Anyways," Dumbledore burped. "That's it. That's items number one, two, and three. That's all I got. You got your - you got your shit, Harry?"
Harry's eyes widened. They were finally leaving! And, he realized worriedly, he hadn't packed yet.
"Oh man, give me a second!" he said, speeding out of the room.
"Really Harry?" Dumbledore called. "You haven't packed your shit?"
"I - I didn't know -"
"You didn't know if I was coming? Didn't I send you a fucking - uurp - owl, Harry? Saying I would pick you up? Do I really - really seem like the type of guy to do that? Leave your neurosis out of my schedule, Harry, I've got shit to do."
Harry gave a frantic apology and raced up the stairs to his room. He threw his robes, magic supplies, parchment, and anything else he could think of into his trunk. His heart beat in his chest, excitement swirling with anxiousness - he was finally leaving! He grabbed Hedwig's cage (who gave a bothered hoot) and went back down the stairs to find Dumbledore in the middle of another monologue. The frozen Dursleys watched him with the glasses sitting on their heads. Disappointingly, Harry saw Dumbledore's drunkenness was returning full-force.
"- And they just hauled her off!" Dumbledore said loudly. "Right off! Of course, centaurs have never much liked people, and to go and insult them like that… I mean, I'm not going to say she was asking for it, but if you're going to be an enormous bitch to everyone it's going to come back to you at some point. That's all I'm going to say. Of course, I still went in and - uurrp - and rescued her, because you can't just have people getting abducted. Particularly considering what they were going to do. I mean, all centaurs are male, right? So where do more centaurs come from? Huh? People don't - brupp - people don't think about that."
"Professor, I'm - I'm ready!" said Harry.
"Harry!" said Dumbledore, lurching out of his seat and stumbling across the room, an affectionate smile appearing on his face. "Look at you, you little rascal!" He tripped and caught himself on the couch, spilling mead all over Dudley and Petunia. "Look at you… you got your owl, and your books, and everything, all ready for another year at Hogwarts!"
"Yes, Professor -" said Harry.
He didn't want to be in the Dursley's house another second longer.
"I remember when I first came to Hogwarts! Treasure these years, Harry!"
"I - I will, Professor. Can we go now?"
"You betcha, Harry. You betcha. Just one thing. One thing real quick. Get out your Invisibility Cloak, Harry," he said, swaying.
"You want my Cloak?" Harry said, extracting it from the mess of his trunk.
"That's right, Harry," said Dumbledore. "Dangerous times, Harry. Dangerous times."
"You mean with the Death Eaters?"
"That's right, Harry," he said. "But don't worry about that."
He raised his wand and (before Harry could even properly latch his trunk up again) made a sweeping movement, disappearing both Harry's trunk and Hedwig into the air with jarring cracks.
"What - what'd you do?" said Harry.
"Don't worry about it," said Dumbledore, a drunk smile still on his face. "Just sent them to the Weasley's. Don't worry your little head. They're safe and sound, right outside their front door." He took another swig of mead. "Probably. Now - uurp - let's go!"
One blackened, raisin-finger pointed into the air, he led the way toward the entryway. He stepped over the spilled flowers.
"Nice - uurp - agapanthus, by the way," he called to the sitting room. "I'd say they were flourishing, but looks more like they're floor-ishing. Ha. Maybe clean up your house before people come over. Now come on, Harry!" he said, and left through the front door.
"Wait!" said Harry, hurriedly stuffing the Cloak in his pocket.
Dumbledore was rapidly stumbling away down the drive. Harry cast a look at the Dursleys, hesitated, then raced after him.
"Wait! You forgot to un-petrify them, Professor!"
"My - my aunt and uncle and cousin, Professor!"
"Oh. Nevermind that," he said, "it's temporary. Just temporary."
"Sure. I don't know. But come now, I thought you hated them. Don't tell me you've - uurpp - you've come to care for them?"
"No... not - not really, but -"
"Good! Sheesh. First Snape, now you, everybody's getting sentimental on me."
Harry cast a look back at the Dursley's house. The front door was still open, but Dumbledore was moving much too quickly for him to run back and close it. Hopefully they'd un-petrify soon and could take care of things.
"Snape?" he asked.
"Yep!" said Dumbledore, belching loudly.
It didn't seem he was going to expand on the matter.
"Was - was all that stuff you said to Petunia true?" Harry asked. "About being able to turn people into witches?"
"Ha. Of course not. That was just to make her reflect on her actions, and better herself. Always do a little bit of good everywhere you go, that's what I say!"
Harry's eyes went hard, thinking Dumbledore's definition of "good" was pretty far from the standard.
"The - the only real way to make someone magic is with a witch-or-wizard mother or father," said Dumbledore.
"Huh? But I thought my Mum was Muggle-born?"
"No such thing as Muggle-borns, Harry! Her parents might have been Muggle, but I bet her mom was getting a few magic lessons on the side, if you know what I mean."
"No shame in it, Harry! Monogamy isn't real! We're all primates! Marriages are just a tradition from old days when people died all the time, and traditions are for idiots! Do you know how many Muggle women I've - I've impressed with my magic abilities, if you know what I mean?"
"Wh - wh - what?"
"Hey hey, maybe I'm your Grandpa, Harry!" he said, elbowing Harry roughly. "Who knows? Call me Grandpa Albus! Grandpa Abe! What do you think of that?"
"Are you serious?" said Harry, hardly believing his ears.
"Abe and Harry!" he said.
"Relax, Harry, that was a joke! Of course your Mum's Muggle-born! Wouldn't that be funny though?"
"No, I don't think it would, Professor!"
Dumbledore took a drink.
"Aw jeez," said Harry. "Where are we going?"
"We're - uurpp - we're off on an adventure, Harry. You and me, twenty minute adventure!"
"Are we going to fight Death Eaters?"
"Then why have I got my Invisibility Cloak?"
"You're asking too many questions, Harry!"
"Just keep it on you, alright? Dangerous times!"
"You - you think we're going to be attacked?" he said worriedly, looking around the dark Privet Drive. He remembered the Dementors last summer.
"Not a chance, Harry. Noth...uurpp…nothing's gonna fuck with us while I'm here. I'm Albus Fucking Dumbledore! But I want you to keep your Cloak on you at all times, got me?" he said, slinging an arm over Harry's shoulder. "That's realll important. All times, okay?"
"Just in case, Harry!" said Dumbledore, standing upright again. "Don't worry about it! Definitely - brupp - definitely nothing to do with any plots involving my death, and keeping you out of the way, you little hothead!"
"Nope, no plots here!" he said, almost lurching off the sidewalk. "Nothing involving your death either!"
"Just you and me, off on an adventure!" he said. "Abe and Harry!"
"PROFESSOR!" said Harry, feeling like he was losing his mind.
"Abe and Harry!" he declared. "Twenty years, Abe and Harry!"
"Maybe just one year!"
"One year until my cursed hand kills me!"
"Abe and Harry!"
"Ohh - oh - ohhh!" Harry moaned, digging his fingers into his hair.
"One year until my plot goes through and I die!"
"Abe and Harry, Abe and Harry!"
And so the two continued on down the sidewalk, angry Muggles turning on their lights in their houses, a streetlamp dripping sparks onto the pavement, and everything in utter chaos up until Dumbledore seized Harry by the scruff of his robes and whirled them away with a loud crack.