Disclaimer: Who, me? No, no, I'm still in school- 'smatter a fact, I have exams starting tomorrow, er, make that later today...
Two months, nearly thirty scrolls, two-er, one mentally scarring universe jump, a cauldron of Shock Absorber potion, and unabashed profiting from clueless friends had been conquered; The Dissertation of Immediate Doom to Anyone Who Looks At Hermione Wrong, or The Erudite Being's Guide to Complex Arithmanthetic Equations and the Subsequent Daily Applications Thereof (as named by Ron Weasley and correctly titled by Hermione Granger) was complete.
After preliminary reviews, Hermione had been called to Dumbledore's office to meet with the director of the Department of Mysteries, an oddly cheerful old man who introduced himself as "Bond, Jimmy Bond." In exchange for a section detailing one more trial run of the array, as experienced by one of her associates (Hermione felt a sudden need to give Harry and Ron a raise to reflect the status change from minion to associate), Director Bond offered her a spell development apprenticeship with their top R&D unspeakable-a man named Q that caused both Bond and Dumbledore to break out into slightly terrified smiles of delight.
Unsurprisingly, Hermione was on her way to the boys dorm, bacon sandwich bribes in one hand and an ominous, handwritten packet labeled Hypnotism, Reverse Psychology, and the Strange Effects of Excessive Presence of the Color Orange in the other.
And thus a monster was born.
The Universe Hopper's Handbook of Crucial Details You Don't Know Yet:
How to Not Mess Up or Die and Other Important Stuff Like That
assembled by Ron Weasley
anecdotes by Hermione Granger
I, Ronald Bilius Weasely, all around awesome wizard and best friend of notables Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, am here to tell you the important things to know when friends/loved ones/crazed strangers decide to drag you on a dimension hopping terror-venture. The things on the list have all been tested in the experiences of me and my two best friends, Harry and Hermione, and through our blood, sweat, tears, and cries of unspeakable terror, I have brought you this guide so maybe you won't die of fright like I did that one time with the scary Hufflepuffs. Um, that never actually happened. Yes. Uh, yeah, Harry and Hermione! You've heard of us-The Golden Trio! The Gryffindor Trio? Those, um, Bastards that Keep Losing Our Points? No? Fine. Those names are stupid anyway. To the list.
1. Just because Laws (like gravity) are Laws here in our home universe doesn't mean a thing when you arrive in a new universe. Laws (like gravity) might actually be something like... mushrooms, instead. Mmmm, mushrooms...
The thing that jerked Harry from his intense perusal of the strangely blocky landscaping and mysteriously floating gold cubes and brick blocks was, unsurprisingly, a high pitched squeal from Ron. Hermione, lounging comfortably on a floating brick wall Harry might have been able to reach by standing on his own shoulders, scooted to the edge for a better view of Ron's impending freak out.
"He finally saw the walking mushrooms," Hermione snickered, watching Ron run towards their lofty perch and briefly wondering why he wasn't trying to weave around and confuse his pursuers. Harry noticed Ron was quickly approaching the narrow (but apparently bottomless) ravine located just before the floating ledges the luckier members of the trio had landed on, pulling out his wand and preparing to catch Ron with a quick charm.
"Wingardium Levio-oof!" Ron landed with a thump on Harry. Hermione, whose entire torso was dangling midair while she watched the comedy stylings of her best friends, watched in shock as a groaning Ron was shoved away by Harry who, inexplicably, had shrunk to half his original height and flickered out of existence several times before (apparently, hopefully) stabilizing.
2. Just because something is a completely boring object of no significance in our world doesn't mean it will be a completely boring object of no significance in every world. We met this one guy, right, he was a wizard. Well he had a staff, and do you know what he used it for? A torch. He had a staff and he couldn't even make a portkey, and Charlie taught me how to do that ages ago!
With little choice but to press on and search for help, Hermione, Ron, and half-Harry began walking away from the marching anthropomorphic mushrooms that had slowly populated the ledge on the other side of the ravine. Ron kept glancing from his feet, to Harry, and back, looking more horrified with each circuit. Hermione was attempting to comfort Harry and stifle her giggles, but more often than not was running ahead to bounce on the heads of more ridiculous creatures.
At one point, Ron took the lead, but after standing too long on the lip of an enormous green pipe and being shrunken by a freaky flower with dangerous teeth, Hermione retook the lead and led the trio to a castle.
"What do we do now?" Harry asked, leaning against the locked castle door. Hermione began pacing, muttering the various unlocking charms and a few all purpose unlocking words (her favorites being alohomora, open sesame, and mellon) trying to open the door. Ron, being Ron, decided to see how high he could jump. Unfortunately, his small stature prevented him from retaining control of himself, and he was blown into the nearby flagpole-which opened the locked door for unfathomable reasons. Hermione shrugged and led the way through the dark portal.
The trio landed with a thump in what seemed to be a miniatures map, combined with a board game. Each landmark was accompanied by a red or blue dot, like the blue dot they landed on after stepping through the castle door.
"Some kind of transport-very similar to my runic array. I wonder how they negated the fire effect? Perhaps it was-"
A blur of green, yellow, and spikes rushed past Harry, Ron, and Hermione towards the looming castle. Hermione shook herself away from the shiny, distracting puzzle dots sprinkled across the ground.
"I guess there's a village that way. Come on, we're only two... um... dots? Warp points? Death traps...? away, it shouldn't take us too long to get there..." Noticing the minion associates were about to protest, Hermione began to crouch as though preparing to jump. The trio's pace promptly jumped from "Going backwards there, chaps" to "Sprinters on your marks!" to "Strength-Enhancing Potions Scandal Looming."
3. Just because that guy you met is trying to liberate a princess doesn't make him a good guy. He might actually decide you're better off used as turtle shell target practice.
One horrifying underwater journey complete with carnivorous fish monsters later, the trio arrived back on the miniatures map, watching as their red dot turned blue. They ran to the castle (whose path was no longer blocked by that weird force field that prevented movement even though the entrance to said castle was clearly visible), looking for a villager, a hospital, or maybe even a pay phone. Unfortunately, it was another death trap-now with more fire and zombie dinosaur-turtles. Very confused, and happy that the Universe of Illogical Wizard Types (usually) made more sense than the current verse, the trio finally found the baby dino-turtle that brushed by them on the path.
Being kind Gryffindors, they agreed to help the spiky lizard rescue his mama from an evil mustachioed man known only as 'Mario.'
Being Gryffindors, when said Mama arrived and turned out to be the kidnapped princess of the neighboring kingdom, the trio grabbed the girl and started running. Luckily-although again, inexplicably-there were several vehicles labeled as 'karts' lying around to use in the getaway. Unfortunately, the demon-turtle and his even more terrifying father could also drive, and kept launching green projectiles, and sometimes homing red... explosive things, and in one unfortunate incident, caused the equivalent on a miniature nuclear explosion with a flying blue homing attack-shell thing. Someone-likely Hermione-thought to herd the lizard turtles away from the door, and Harry played Reductor Curse Target Practice (ten points if you get 'em in the stomach, fifty for the head!) while Ron finally managed to enchant a portkey to the front door of the castle, and so when everyone grabbed hold he activated the charm and whisked the group away to the miniatures map.
The princess, who managed to fill nearly every single princess stereotype one can imagine (but was rather terrifying behind the wheel), pointed out a small (mushroom shaped) hut as a temporary safe house and off they sprinted.
4. Just because the princess' chief adviser looks like a mushroom doesn't make it okay to eat him. He will get angry if you try, chase you around with his walking stick, and begin every other sentence with "Back in my day-!"
Ron managed to enter the doorway at exactly the same time as Harry, resulting in the two being stuck in the extra small door of an already small house. Hermione, angry because of the frizz generating static electricity of the aforementioned blue shell explosion, felt no shame in banishing Ron into the small room. His stomach, smelling the stew simmering on the open fire, chose that point to take over the upper brain functions and eat the first food source to be found. As he was facing the princess' adviser at this point (and honestly, all of the advisers were rather mushroom-like... and she did say she was from the 'Toadstool' kingdom)...well. This adviser was a bit older, and had the good sense to carry a cane to "wallop some sense into these young whippersnappers!" as he so charmingly put it. He was also, Ron came to find out, a motivational speaker, who believed very strongly that positive change only came from respecting yourself, but most importantly your elders. ("Uphill both ways, fifteen miles in the snow young man! I doubt you can even count to fifteen!)
4. Just because eating flowers is weird at home means nothing in a new verse: maybe they're delicious (so says a very odd man we once met-Willy Wonka, I think), maybe they're calming (we put flowers in tea, or something, right?), and maybe they give you superpowers (well, if you're an Italian plumber).
The plan was set, the trap laid out. Mario picked up a smiling red flower, scarfed it down, and got in position to open the door. A strange triple musical scale split the air, and Mario began flickering. Worried he was about to shrink (and thus be in an even more ridiculous amount of danger) Hermione rushed forward, but Mario turned red and white and began juggling fireballs, smirking evilly. Ron, awed, picked a second red flower growing from the floating brick block and (of course) ate it.
5. Just because everything else is weird and different doesn't mean the dangerous thing you finally run into won't be. Like fire, you know? Always dangerous except with floo powder.
Ron then (of course) started to juggle the fireballs-poorly-and lost control. Hermione and Harry, having just regained their original heights after the original journey to and flight from the castle, glared at Ron from their unsatisfactory new heights. He waved at them sheepishly, and consented to draw out Hermione's array according to her exact instructions while the pained roars of the terrifying lizard-turtle-spiky-demon and the victorious cheers of Mario sounded from the next room to make up for it.
Strangely enough, fire-powered Ron had the unintentional effect (or possibly the poor drawing skills) to change the very similar safe/fiery passage runes to the completely different icy slide rune-so all was, eventually, forgiven.
"You know Hermione, if we brought the Death Eaters on one of these trips, who's to say they wouldn't end up being, maybe, flattened by one of those blue shells, or some other horrifically convenient mode of death we stumble into next?"
Hermione considered Harry thoughtfully, a manic gleam lighting her eyes. Harry started inching away, thankful when Ron's presence distracted Scary Mione back into hibernation while Grammar Nazi Hermione picked apart the essay.
"Well, let's start with the basics I suppose- ah, Ron, why do you have two number fours?"
"Because fours protect you from spiders Mione, spiders. The most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered insects you ever set eyes on! They can leap about-they've got huge sharp-" Ron wiggled two fingers in front of his mouth to represent fangs, and attempted to hiss threateningly so that Hermione would understand the vicious nature of Killer Rabbit Spiders.
Hermione only smirked and nodded, "Whatever you say Sir Robin."