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Title: Harry Potter and the 4,149-Page Breakup
Author: VAC
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: HP/SS (previous HP/TR, mentioned TR/DM)
Summary: AU. Harry’s decides to deal creatively with his most recent breakup.
Disclaimer: Belong to JKR. Six-page stare compliments of the SS Sssssss.
Day: 1

“GET OUT AND STAY OUT!”

Harry slammed the door and stomped back into the living room. Why did his boyfriends always have to end up being absolutely psychotic? Couldn’t he settle down with someone normal for a change? His most recent boyfriend, a member of the Committee on Experimental Charms, had ended up grabbing an extra set of sheets from the linen closet and taking them into his office at the Ministry of Magic. Harry hadn’t seen him again for the next five weeks.

He’d always told Harry: “If I want to become Minister of Magic someday, I need to work especially hard during my early years. That’s the best way to get a recommendation. I’ll get promoted to junior minister and then department head and then Minister of Magic . . .”

“And then what?” Harry would ask, only half-kidding.

“Well, after all that, I guess that I’ll just have to take over the world!”

Harry took the steaming cup back into the living room and plopped down onto the couch. That bastard had taken four years of his life – and for what? Sure, they’d had their good times like any other dedicated couple. They’d bought front-row tickets to the Quidditch World Cup; they’d taken long Sunday afternoon walks down Diagon Alley. They had the requisite scrapbook full of photographs, documenting the fact that those four years hadn’t been a complete waste. But he had never really appreciated Harry; he’d spent the entire relationship living as a fucking self-centered megalomaniac in his own delusional fiction.

Harry glanced over at his desk. The muggle laptop had become a source of comfort over the past couple of weeks, making him forget his thoroughly neglectful boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend, he should say). He sat down and turned on the computer, thinking about the perfect way to get back at that bastard who’d walked out the door not more than fifteen minutes ago. He wanted to take over the world? Harry would make sure that he got his chance.

He opened up a new document and began typing: “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

*****

“No, don’t hold back! I want you to write about the thick, oozing pustules covering his nose!”

“That’s being too nice. Let’s not even give him a nose.”

His best friend, Ron Weasley, had come over once he’d heard the news. He’d suspected that Harry might be a little bit upset about the breakup – but he hadn’t expected to find him typing away on his keyboard like nothing had happened. Once Harry had explained his new form of breakup therapy, Ron had been only more than glad to help him along in the healing process.

“There was a face, a face that looked a whole lot like a donkey’s arse . . .”

“Ron, you’re ruining the dramatic tension. There was a face, the most terrible face Harry had ever seen.”

“Good one, mate. Understated yet effective.” They both poured another shot of vodka, downing them in a single gulp. (They had decided a few hours ago that tea just wasn’t going to cut it tonight.) They were on page 364 and they’d finally gotten to the best part, the part that they’d been waiting for all along. They’d finished the exposition (using a few of the more memorable characters from their childhood) and they were now prepared to put Harry’s ex-boyfriend in front of the literary firing squad.

“And now he’s going to ask me to join him. Better save your own life and join me. So you can have really dull, depressing sex once a month. And sometimes I’ll even fall asleep in the middle of foreplay. And you’ll have to jerk yourself off in the bathroom – again.”

Ron poured another celebratory shot of vodka for each of them. “Now’s your chance, Harry. You can finally vanquish him once and for all.”

Harry looked at Ron as if he’d gone absolutely insane.

Vanquish him? Are you kidding? This is the best time I’ve had in four years. I’m keeping him around for the sequels.”

*****

By the end of the week, most of Harry’s friends had read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. His “breakup therapy” has become a major success amongst his small group of readers. All of them were wondering what the Dark Lord Voldemort was going to get up to next. While some of them thought that he was being a little bit self-centered by making himself the admired and exalted Chosen One, they all admitted that they couldn’t wait until the next installment in the series. They were particularly amused by the characterizations of their former professors.

“Oh, that sounds just like McGonagall!” Hermione Granger exclaimed during Chapter Seven: The Sorting Hat. “I miss those days. Everything was much simpler when our biggest problem was which House we’d end up getting sorted into. I mean, something that inconsequential –“

“Wait a moment, Hermione,” Ron interrupted. “That was not inconsequential. Just imagine if you’d been sorted into Slytherin. You’d have been –“

“Wearing a green scarf instead of a red scarf, Ron. That was about the only difference.”

But everyone’s favorite part of the illicit little novel (not including Harry’s therapeutic boyfriend-bashing) was a well-remembered professor from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

“The delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses . . . did he actually say that during the lecture?” Hermione asked, slightly concerned. “Because honestly, that sounds a little bit suggestive.”

“Whatever,” Harry grumbled. “He certainly wasn’t ensnaring my senses.”

“Well, you certainly seem interested in writing him,” Hermione commented, scanning through Chapter Eight: The Potions Master. “I mean, look at all of these pages dedicated to him. Your character spends an awful lot of time thinking about him . . .”

“Yeah,” Ron added, snatching the book away from his girlfriend. “His character spends an awful lot of time thinking that he’s greasy . . . sallow . . . what other complimentary adjectives do you have in here, Harry?”

“Biggest git of all time?”

“Which page?” Ron asked, flipping through the pages excitedly.

“Not in there, Ron. But that’s all right. I think that I have an idea for a great follow-up . . .”

*****

Harry came home from the Leaky Cauldron, smiling like the holidays had come early. Rita Skeeter, the shameless Daily Prophet reporter, had somehow gotten word that he’d written an interesting novel and assured him that if he wanted the work to be published (anonymously, of course), she had some connections in the muggle world that might be able to make that happen. He’d signed away the rights to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone willingly, promising that he’d contact her as soon as he’d finished writing a sequel. He couldn’t wait until word got around to that bastard back at the Ministry of Magic – if he ever decided to separate himself from his piles of paperwork.

He got home to find a letter on the living room table. He recognized the handwriting immediately and tore open the envelope.

Dear Harry,

I just wanted to apologize once again for the way that our relationship ended. I know that you understand that I need to focus on my career at the moment. But please know that I’ll always remember you fondly and that I hope that we can remain friends. I still keep photographs of us hanging on my walls at home. Lucky that we recorded our memories in some more lasting way than ink.


Harry almost ripped up the letter and cast a quick incendio on the scraps. However, he decided to keep reading.

On that note, I’ve heard that you’ve written a novel. I never knew that you were interested in literature! Please send me a copy if you get the chance. I can’t wait to read what you’ve been working on over the past couple of weeks.

Yours always,
Tom


And at that moment, Harry could have just about murdered him. So he decided to do the next best thing. He turned on his laptop and began getting his ideas in order. How could he even think about writing him a letter! He’d walked out on him; he’d chosen a fucking desk job over an affectionate and caring boyfriend! Harry quickly scanned the letter once again. “Lucky that we recorded our memories in some more lasting way than ink, huh?” Harry muttered. “Well, guess again, you self-centered git.”

*****

“No way, I’m not even going to bother changing his name! I want everyone in the world to know that my ex-boyfriend is a domineering little fucker who should be avoided at all costs. He’ll never get laid once the sequel hits the shelves.”

“I wonder if he’s read the first one,” Ron asked, glancing over at the stacks of paperback copies on the living room table. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (written by JK Rowling, of course) had become an overnight sensation and readers were already speculating about the sequel. “I can’t believe that they’re calling this series children’s literature,” Ron commented. “Maybe it’s because you cut out the part about the foreplay . . .”

Harry just typed frantically at the keyboard, trying to get all of his thoughts out onto the computer screen in record time.

“What are you typing now?” Ron asked.

“I just found my ex-boyfriend’s secret diary.”

There was a prolonged pause. And then Ron literally started rolling around on the floor, convulsing with laughter. “Secret . . . oh, for fuck’s sake . . . secret diary . . . please tell me he actually had one . . . that’s fucking priceless . . . ”

“I don’t think so . . . but now everyone in the world will think that the best manipulative, scheming plot device he could come up with . . . just makes him look like a pre-teen girl.”

While Ron was looking away from the computer screen, Harry might have typed something about Tom’s “jet-black hair.”

*****

Harry bit his lower lip and pressed the delete key once again. He’d been editing and re-editing Chapter Eleven: The Dueling Club for the past three hours. No matter how many times he re-wrote the lines, he was never satisfied with Snape’s dialogue. It just didn’t have the same self-assured arrogance, the same bitter disdain, or the same sardonic wit that he remembered.

Harry wondered for a moment if “sardonic wit” could be misconstrued as a compliment. He quickly corrected his thoughts: “ . . . or the same dishonest and completely biased snark that he remembered.” That sounded a whole lot better inside his mind.

He didn’t even know why he was spending so much time worrying about that. The novel was about Tom Riddle after all; he’d only started writing the damned thing so that he could openly bash his ex-boyfriend. In a creative and productive manner, of course.

There was a loud bumping noise indicating that Ron Weasley had flooed into his living room. “What’s happened?” Ron asked, dusting himself off. “Did you finish the novel?”

“Yeah, just finished a couple of hours ago.”

He scrolled down the document, locating Chapter Seventeen: The Heir of Slytherin.

“So I finally get down to the Chamber of Secrets and your little sister’s lying on the floor, nearly dead.”

“I still don’t know why we had to bring my little sister into this whole mess,” Ron muttered. “She’s still thinking that you might come around and marry her someday.”

Harry ignored him. “So she’s nearly dead and standing next to her is . . . Tom Riddle.” Ron peered over his shoulder at the computer screen.

“Hey, I’m not seeing anything in here about infected sores, disgusting deformities, or incurable halitosis. All I’m seeing here is tall, dark, and handsome. You aren’t thinking about trying to get back together with him, are you?”

“No, of course not!” Harry exclaimed, perhaps a bit too defensively. He had been feeling a little bit lonely recently. He’d pulled out the scrapbook a couple of days ago and had even found himself thinking: “You know, those four years weren’t that bad.”

Ron still didn’t look completely convinced. “So what happens next?”

“So we find out that Tom Riddle’s actually Lord Voldemort. Then he orders his basilisk –“

“His giant snake?” Ron looked even less convinced (if that was even possible).

“Yeah, he orders his basilisk to attack me. Then the basilisk gets blinded and I take the sword of Gryffindor and plunge it into its mouth. Then I take one of the basilisk’s fangs and plunge the fang into the secret diary, destroying the memory of Tom Riddle. For this novel, at least.”

Ron didn’t say anything for a few moments; Harry began to wonder if the ending of his second novel wasn’t any good. “So let me get this straight,” Ron began. “You go down into the Chamber of Secrets looking for a giant snake. Then you plunge your massive sword into its open, sucking mouth. Then you take the long, thick fang and plunge that into Tom’s secret diary. That about right?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

“ . . . Harry, I think that you need to get laid.”

*****
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was even better received than the previous novel had been. Harry even overheard some wizards talking about the series in Diagon Alley. One of them was grumbling about how the series obviously violated the Statute of Secrecy and the real author (who couldn’t possibly be Harry Potter, the young curse-breaker living down in Otterton) should be brought before the Ministry of Magic immediately. Harry certainly hoped that he wouldn’t have to appear before a committee of ministry officials that probably would include his ex-boyfriend. However, the other wizards in the group seemed to think that the series was nothing but a good laugh. They, like most of Harry’s friends, seemed to enjoy the Hogwarts professors the most.

“Oh, that Severus Snape was a mean ol’ bugger,” one of the wizards chuckled. “This Potter bloke’s got him down perfect.”

When Harry returned home from a long day at the office, he found another letter on his living room table.

Harry,

Not amused.

Sincerely,
Tom M. Riddle


Harry tried to convince himself that he felt vindicated – instead of just empty.

*****

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban didn’t come quite as easily for Harry. His godfather, Sirius Black, passed away that year and he ended up writing a lot about him (and he resolved to include a traumatic death scene in a future novel that would make all of his readers cry almost as much as he had). He didn’t receive any more letters from Tom and he had to admit that his feelings of all-consuming hatred towards his ex-boyfriend were diminishing. Tom just didn’t seem that important anymore. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban turned out to be his best novel yet – and that one didn’t even feature Lord Voldemort. Maybe he should consider doing away with his antagonist in the next installment . . .

Harry wrote a slightly larger part for Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He wasn’t a better character; he just had more lines.

Harry Potter strolled into his office on Tuesday morning, thinking that today would be like any other day. However, he found a copy of the Daily Prophet lying on his desk. He wondered if someone had left their copy behind by accident; everyone knew that Harry didn’t read the newspapers. (He had once called the feature articles paranoia and conspiracy theories.) He opened the newspaper up to look at the front page – and immediately saw why the paper had been left on his desk.

Ministry Official Tom Riddle Engaged to Multi-Millionaire Draco Malfoy – Did the Harry Potter Book Series Bring Them Together? (More on A2)

Harry just stared at the article for about three minutes. Co-workers passed by his desk (one even put some paperwork in his mailbox and asked him to finish up his weekly report) but he still didn’t move from that spot, nor could he take his eyes away from that sickeningly sweet photograph of the happy couple on the front page. He finally managed to form coherent thoughts and within seconds, they could be heard all over the building:

“NO FUCKING WAY.”

Harry flooed directly to the Burrow, home of the Weasley family, and immediately found his best friend fixing his breakfast in the kitchen.

“NO FUCK–“

“I take it you’ve seen the cover of the Prophet,” Ron surmised, summoning some toast from across the room.

“How could he?” Harry fumed, sitting down at the kitchen table. “How could he move on like I meant nothing to him?”

“Well, honestly mate, it’s been a couple of years. It’s about time that both of you were moving on with your lives –“

“He’s engaged, Ron. There’s a different between moving on with your life and getting engaged. Especially to Draco Fucking Malfoy.”

“Yeah, that part I couldn’t quite understand. He’s just so . . .”

“Nauseating? Shameless? Depraved?”

“Actually I was thinking ‘pointy’ but any of those would also work.”

“What can I do, Ron? I thought that I was through getting bent up about this whole situation. I thought that I’d finally managed to forget all about him . . .”

“Well,” Ron smiled, leaning up against the counter and licking some marmalade off his fingers. “I reckon we’ll do what we always do.”

Harry looked at him blankly for a moment – and then reflected his mischievous grin right back at him. “I guess it’s time to bring our favorite character back for a few more chapters.”

*****

“Well, I’m glad to see that you’re no longer accentuating his assets,” Ron sniggered, scanning through Chapter Thirty-Three: The Death Eaters.

“Are you kidding?” Harry scoffed. “Look at this chapter. Voldemort looked away from Harry and began examining his own body. His hands were like large, pale spiders; his long white fingers caressed his own chest, his arms . . . Hey readers, Tom Riddle enjoys tying up underage boys, torturing them with sharp objects, and then practically masturbating in front of them. Maybe I should find a way to include his address in this novel so that they can send him some fan-mail.” Harry scrolled back to the beginning of the text and began typing in something about a house located in Little Hangleton. He then started scanning through the text, looking for more juicy passages to recite to his best friend.

Ron watched while he scrolled . . . and scrolled . . . and scrolled . . . “Harry, how many pages did you write?”

“752.”

What?” Ron stared at him, completely aghast. “752 pages? Harry, are you really sure that Tom’s worth all of that?”

“752 pages is nothing. He’s going to end up with an epic.”

*****

Harry Potter officially had a cult following on his hands. It’d gotten to the point where both muggles and wizards alike would come up to him in the streets and comment on his remarkable resemblance to that fictional character, Harry Potter. The scar that he’d gotten as an infant in an unfortunate automobile accident (the one that claimed his parents lives) had become a cultural icon. He’d become a registered trademark – Harry Potter™. No one would have ever thought that Harry Potter, the inconspicuous bloke down on Merton Road, would have become a pop culture phenomenon.

He should have been having a good time. For once in his life, he had plenty of galleons, plenty of opportunities, and plenty of offers for one-night stands.

But he found himself just feeling lonely. He’d quit curse breaking when it became apparent that his fifth novel (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) was going to be a major undertaking. For the first time, he found himself wondering exactly where this story was going. He’d never even thought about an ending because these novels were never supposed to have been published in the first place. They were supposed to have been his private ranting sessions, his rage against the machine (or rage on the machine, at any rate). But now he was a respected author with a dedicated fanbase of millions – and he needed to deliver.

So he locked himself up in his room and tried to come up with a convincing plotline. However, for the first time since the breakup, he found himself going through writer’s block.

“I’ve never been this discouraged in my life, Ron! It’s like every idea I come up with just falls apart a few pages later. Or they just turn out to be complete and utter crap. I read an idea to JK’s editor a couple of days ago and she laughed at me for thirty minutes straight.”

“What was the idea?”

“ . . . Harry gets impregnated through an ancient ritual with Voldemort’s child and ends up as his prisoner until the Order of the Phoenix rescues him and performs an magical abortion to destroy the evil growing inside of him?”

Ron looked at him blankly for a few seconds. “Yeah, that’s . . . not good, mate.”

He couldn’t hear Harry mumbling “didn’t think it was that bad.”

Harry typed a few sentences . . . and then deleted them . . . typed a few more sentences . . . and then deleted them . . . He finally started banging away on the keyboard: “I can’t stand writing these books anymore! I’m coming to terms with the fact that my relationship’s ended! I don’t need this as breakup therapy anymore! I can deal like everyone else in the world!”

Ron gently removed Harry’s hands and took the keyboard away from him.

“Okay, you need to stop typing in Caps Locks and calm down.”

*****

Severus Snape, potions master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was not looking forward to staring another year. Then again, he couldn’t remember a single year when he had been looking forward to teaching another class of insipid dunderheads about the properties of runespoor and glumbumble. But he always found the first lecture to be the most bearable part of any school year. He’d spent years developing the perfect introduction to potions – the right combination of phrases to inspire simultaneous inspiration and trepidation.

He also had a bit of a penchant for the dramatic, truth be told.

Snape started off the class by taking roll call (the sooner he learned all of their names, the sooner he could begin deducting points) and then started his famous first lecture: “You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making . . .” he began, noticing that some students were giggling a little bit and whispering to one another. He continued: “As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins . . .” Snape was surprised to find that about half of the class was reciting the lecture along with him. They already knew the words and they were delivering them verbatim, as if they’d written the lecture themselves. He stumbled over the next couple of lines: “Bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses . . .” and then he stopped speaking and let the class finish the introduction by themselves.

“I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death – if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.”

Snape paled noticeably. They already knew the entire lecture, right down to the dunderheads line. How was he going to be able to command their respect now? If they could recite his first lecture, did that mean that they’d memorized every subsequent lecture as well? And how the bloody hell had they gotten their grubby little hands on copies of his lectures to begin with? He immediately went up to one of the children who’d been reciting the most eagerly.

“You! What would I get if I added powered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

“Draught of the Living Death, sir.”

Taken aback, he walked up to another student. “And you, where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?”

“Stomach of a goat, sir.”

Clearly in shock, he walked up to yet another child, one that looked particularly stupid. “You!” he exclaimed, desperately. “What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?”

“They’re the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite, sir,” the child replied, obviously not quite as stupid as he looked.

Snape didn’t know how to respond. They already knew all of the material for the first class. What was he going to teach them? Should he move on to tomorrow’s material, next week’s material, or perhaps he should just move them into their second year now? He walked quickly back to the front of the class, rummaged through his notes for a couple of seconds, and then slammed his book shut in discouragement. He glared at the class before shouting only one word:

Explain.”

*****

Harry was up late again, typing another nonsensical chapter (filled with wizard angst), when he heard a soft tapping noise. He opened up the living room window and took the letter from the unfamiliar tawny owl outside. For once, he didn’t recognize the handwriting on the envelope. “Probably too distracted with his new fiancé,” Harry snipped to himself, opening up the letter.

Dear Mr. Potter,

I would remind you that characterizing a respected professor as a dedicated practitioner of the Dark Arts is nothing short of slanderous. I must ask that you cease publishing your shameless lies about me immediately or else I shall not hesitate to ask the Ministry of Magic to take immediate action.

SS

P.S. Also stop plagiarizing my lectures in your amateurish series. Although I’m pleased to see that you retained at least some small part of your education, my students should not be able to recite my speeches along with me.


Harry didn’t need to ask who “SS” could be. He felt the familiar hatred from his schooldays bubbling up inside of him. “Amateurish?” he declared, crumpling up the letter and tossing it into a corner. “Amateurish? I don’t think so . . . Snivellus.”

That night, Harry Potter broke through his writer’s block for good.

*****

After Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix became an international best seller, Harry Potter received an invitation to come and give a seminar at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on literature in the wizarding world. Harry couldn’t believe that he’d been asked to lecture in an academic context (especially on a series that, in his opinion, had no literary merits whatsoever). However, he accepted the invitation because writing the series had made him want to revisit his childhood. He thought that he might get some inspiration for his sixth novel, which had yet to be named.

It also didn’t have a plot yet. And he wasn’t quite sure how the characters were going to be developed. But he knew that he was going to have Snape murdering the most sympathetic character possible and then fleeing the scene of the crime in a display of shameless cowardice. He’d written that scene first actually.

He arrived at Hogwarts and was immediately greeted by Professor McGonagall who congratulated him on his accomplishments. She admitted that she’d only read the first novel but she had thoroughly enjoyed his portrayal of her and the other staff members at Hogwarts. She mentioned that the headmaster, in particular, had been especially pleased with the accurate depiction of his speeches and that he used his famous “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” speech again as an homage.

Harry wondered if he was going to be quite as pleased when one of his professors blasted him off of the Astronomy Tower.

After he dropped of his suitcases, he decided to go to the Great Hall for some lunch. He couldn’t believe that almost a decade had passed since he’d graduated from Hogwarts; it seemed like yesterday that he’d been sitting at the Gryffindor table, roaming the hallways in the middle of the night and getting into tons of trouble. He smiled; those had been the days.

Dumbledore immediately beckoned him over to the staff table. “Welcome back to Hogwarts, my dear boy,” he smiled, his eyes twinkling merrily. “I must admit that I’ve become a dedicated reader of your novels. Although I really must apologize for not warning you about your godfather in the last one; I should have known that they’d try and lure you to the Department of Mysteries. My condolences.”

Harry thanked him (wondering, as he had during his first year, if their headmaster was simply eccentric or completely insane) and wandered over to the only available chair at the staff table, which happened to be right next to Severus Snape.

“Good afternoon, Potter. I thoroughly enjoyed your last literary abomination, especially the part about you being an self-righteous little brat who goes prying around in everyone else’s business.”

“Oh, shut it, Snape,” Harry mumbled, sticking one of his green beans with the prongs of his fork. He might as well resign himself to the fact that Snape wasn’t going to shut up until he was done eating – so he decided to eat quickly and get out of there as soon as possible.

“I was amazed by your accurate depiction of your father. He really was quite the sympathetic character, wasn’t he? Not to mention the fact that you perfectly capture your ability to learn new skills. Your complete incompetence in Occlumency, for instance, greatly reminded me of the inadequate work you used to do on a daily basis during your lessons. And I couldn’t have been a more satisfied reader when your mangy mutt of a godfather became a member of the dearly departed . . .”

Harry got up from the table, shoved some cookies into his briefcase, and started to leave when Severus added: “And, for the record, Potter: my underwear happens to be black – not dingy gray. If you don’t believe me, I would be more than willing to prove that fact . . .”

Harry practically ran out of the Great Hall.

*****

Over the next few weeks, Harry began thinking about ideas for his next novel. The Daily Prophet speculated about rumors and theories in a column called PotterPress. (Harry noticed that Snape made sure to read that part of the Prophet each morning, although he tried to hide that fact by pretending to read the Obituaries column on the opposite page.) Sometimes, he’d find little tidbits of information about Tom Riddle’s activities in the column. He was “taking time off” from his fiancé, had received loads of threatening messages by mail, and had been summarily dismissed from his position at the Ministry of Magic.

“Too high profile at the moment,” the Minister had commented. “But we’d be glad to have him back once this Potter business has ended.”

Harry had received an absolutely explosive Howler the day after that article had been printed. The entire Great Hall had watched while Tom Riddle offered up his ideas on how to make the series better. Harry wrote a quick response:

Tom,

Don’t think that you can do that with a wand. But I’ll keep it in mind.

Thanks for the ideas!

Best wishes,
Harry


Even Snape looked slightly amused.

*****

One morning at breakfast, Harry decided that Severus Snape was going to be the central focus of his next novel. That would only make sense, after all; Snape was going to blast the headmaster off of the Astronomy Tower in the end. However, Harry had realized that he didn’t know enough about his former professor to write him as a developed character (instead of a series of witty one-liners). He decided that he was going to have to do some research.

“Sir, I was wondering if I could follow you around for a couple of days.”

“Potter, please tell me why I would allow you to be in my presence any more than absolutely necessary?” Snape asked, covering one of his students’ essays in layers upon layers of red ink.

“Because I need to do some research for my next novel. You’re going to be the titular character.”

“Severus Snape and the Increasingly Annoying Former Student?”

“Erm, no. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You’re the Half-Blood Prince.”

“Really? I thought I might be Harry Potter,” Snape smirked, unrolling another parchment and immediately taking three points off for misspelling sopophorous. He suddenly got up and left the room. Harry just stood there, wondering if he had just been summarily dismissed. Suddenly, he heard from the adjoining room: “Doesn’t ‘following me around’ involve following?”

Harry quickly followed him into the room next door.

*****

Harry spent the next couple of weeks observing Snape’s daily activities. He was sort of surprised to discover that his professor had a life outside of the classroom. He’d always just assumed that whenever class was over, Snape would simply disappear into a mysterious puff of smoke. However, he actually spent his spare time reading great works of literature (although the Harry Potter series seemed to be missing from his bookshelves) and writing articles for various potions journals.

Harry spent most of his time sitting quietly in the corner, flipping through Quidditch magazines or scribbling down notes for his next book on napkins, while Snape read or wrote. However, as the weeks went by, he began to find himself enjoying his former professor’s company. They rarely (if ever) spoke to each other but it was nice having someone else around.

And then halfway through the second week, Harry began to realize that he was looking at Snape. It wasn’t just an occasional glance to make sure that Snape wasn’t going to pull out a wand and Avada Kedavra him into the next life either; it was more like a prolonged gaze of interest. And Harry found himself wondering if he’d been drugged because, all of a sudden, Snape was beginning to ensnare his senses.

In the next book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry decided to write about a potions textbook. One that never kept him company (not like Tom’s) but one that he enjoyed all the same.

He also made sure to include that Tom Riddle was splitting his soul and inserting the fragmented bits into objects called horcruxes. Because that was the closest he could get in children’s literature to calling him a whore.

*****

“WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?”

Those were the words that greeted Harry when he returned from a brief outing with his friends. Snape was standing in the middle of the living room, pages of the first draft of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in his hands, looking absolutely livid. Snape ripped up the pages and tossed them to the floor (and Harry briefly wondered if Snape knew that the work had been saved on a hard drive back in his bedroom).

“So not only do I spend my time dabbling in the Dark Arts, I also was willingly help aspiring young murderers, was responsible for your parents’ deaths, and then proceed to assassinate my employer? What exactly are you trying to do here, Potter? Get me fired?”

“Oh, come on, Snape,” Harry sighed, dropping his briefcase in the corner and taking off his coat. “It’s just a children’s book. And besides, you get redeemed in the next one.”

“Oh, thank you,” Snape replied, sardonically. “Because that will certainly assure parents when they read that their children are attending school with a professor who occasionally dabbles in homicide.”

“I don’t think you come across that bad. I mean, you end up being the Half-Blood Prince, right?”

“So the parents will at least know that I’m able to invent spells that cause incurable, gaping wounds.”

“If you’d bothered to even read the book,” Harry snapped, “you might know that my character happens to respect and admire your character. I spend the entire book thinking that the Half-Blood Prince is intelligent and interesting and attractive –“

“Attractive?” Snape raised his eyebrow but Harry ignored the interruption.

“And yes, I don’t know that you’re the Half-Blood Prince but that just shows that even though I don’t think that I can trust you, I feel that I can trust you. It goes beyond thought right down to instinct, which is much more powerful after all and –“

“Attractive?”

“Oh, shut it, Snape.”

“As I recall, I’m not the one you call ‘handsome’ about a dozen times during the novel . . .”

“Just giving credit where credit’s due,” Harry mumbled, scuffing his shoes on the carpet.

“And I think I even have a quote in here . . .” Snape bent down and shuffled through the scraps of paper on the floor. “Oh yes, page 603. ‘Potter belongs to the Dark Lord.’ And here I thought you two had broken up.”

“We have,” Harry responded, perhaps a bit too defensively. “I just . . . keeping with the characters, you know.”

“Oh, come on, Potter. You have a six-page stare back in the second book.”

“A . . what?”

Snape quickly made his way to the book and tossed some of the heavier volumes to the floor. Far back behind stacks and stacks of potions textbooks was a complete collection of the Harry Potter series. Even more surprising was the fact that they appeared to have all been read numerous times. Harry noticed that some of the page-corners were even torn down and, as he looked closer, he could have sworn that he’d seen notes in the margins. Snape flipped to a familiar section: “The six-page stare. Page 307: ‘Riddle nodded, not taking his eyes off Harry’s face.’ Page 309, top of the page: ‘Harry stared at him.’ Eight lines later: ‘Harry stared at him.’ Some more. Bottom of the page: ‘Riddle’s eyes never left Harry’s face. There was an almost hungry look in them’ . . .” Snape continued to flip through the pages, making verbal notes whenever he’d come across some subtext. “And here we have some more prolonged glances across the Chamber of Secrets. . . and there’s an ‘odd gleam’ in his hungry eyes . . . and then look at that! His ‘expression grows hungrier!’” Snape slammed the book closed. “And then you shove your sword into his giant snake’s –“

“Open, sucking mouth,” Harry sighed. “Yeah, I already know.”

They both stood there in silence for a moment before Harry crossed the length of the room and pressed his lips to Snape’s. The kiss was deep and passionate, everything that a first kiss should be. However, Snape’s first words when they parted were:

“You’re still not over him, are you?”

“Not really,” Harry admitted. “But let’s consider this a first step.”

*****

Soon after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released, Harry Potter discovered the joys of fanfiction.

He soon realized that the real thing was much more enjoyable. However, he was extremely thankful to the shippers over at the SS Illegal Substances for giving him some interesting ideas every now and then.

*****

“You know it’s time,” Snape sighed, lying on the bed and reading the newest issue of Potions Quarterly. Harry was still sitting at the desk, typing away at the keyboard. He’d been sitting there all day, cranking out the final chapters of the final novel.

“I can’t believe this is the end,” he muttered, coming to the scene that he’d been avoiding since the beginning. “You know, everyone thought that I should just kill him off at the end of the first book.”

“Why didn't you?” Snape asked, sounding like he already knew.

Harry shrugged. “I thought it was because I enjoyed writing all sorts of awful things about my ex-boyfriend. But now, I’m starting to think that I kept him around because I didn’t want to admit that our relationship was over.”

“And now?”

Harry hesitated for a moment. “Well . . . I guess it’s time to end it then, isn’t it?”

Harry put his fingers on the keys and typed out the following words: “And Harry, with the unerring skill of the Seeker, caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, and Harry stood with two wands in his hand, staring down at his enemy’s shell.” And it had ended mundanely – a four-year relationship that had meant everything to Harry ended in one quick minute in a cramped bedroom.

Their epic was finished; it was time for Harry to begin his next great adventure.

He snuggled into bed, looking completely contented.

“You’re through with him?” Snape asked.

Harry nodded, leaning over and kissing Snape. The kiss was deep and passionate, everything that a twenty-eighth kiss should be. However, Snape’s first words when they parted were:

“Thank Merlin, I thought you’d never shut up about him. I mean, you had a twelve-year-old calling him ‘handsome,’ Potter. Isn’t that along the lines of pedophilia? And then you grew up a couple of years and suddenly, he was handsomer than ever. You just couldn’t leave well –“

“Hey, I can still write your death scene into this novel, you know.” Harry turned on the lights and returned to his laptop. After a few minutes, he came back to bed, looking thoroughly satisfied with himself. He turned off the lights and rolled over to go to sleep.

Severus couldn’t stop himself from asking. “So how exactly did you decide to get rid of me in the end?”

“Death by unusually large snake.”

Snape snorted and grabbed the boy, pulling him closer. “Get over here. I’ll give you an ‘unusually large snake,’ you impertinent child . . .”

FIN
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oh dear mother of fanfic. That was hilarious! (And real.) I started to crack up pretty loudly at:

Hey readers, Tom Riddle enjoys tying up underage boys, torturing them with sharp objects, and then practically masturbating in front of them.

Oh this is love.
Thanks so much! Glad that I could brighten up your day!

(Oh, the GOF graveyard scene. So wrong in so many ways. You should have seen me when the film came out. I was cracking up and no one in the audience could understand why . . .)
You know, the HP series is actually very very suggestive. I never saw that before.

I must really thank you for that.

Dear God that was funny as hell... And the way Snape dies, the context! It's Priceless!

I always knew there was something between Harry and Tom(Voldie) otherwise I wouldn't be such a big shipper of them, but my Snarry wins out everytime. I've actually stopped reading stories because they made certain characters (Snape) evil and cruel to Harry with no redemption, or they kill him off.
The HP series is EXTREMELY suggestive. There's practically subtext on every page. Makes you wonder what JKR was thinking when she was writing . . .

I started out back in high school as a dedicated HP/TR shipper (since that just seemed obvious after CoS and GOF). Nowadays, I write primarily HP/SS but I still go back to my roots sometimes . . .
Excellent! I love this, what a brilliant fic! So funny, and it explains a lot...
Exactly! Why else would the Chamber of Phallic Symbols be canon?

Thanks so much!
OMG! *cackles* Thank you for the laughs; I really enjoyed this, especially the "open, sucking mouth" bit. *glee*
Nothing like a giant basilisk to start your relationship off right . . .

Thanks so much!
ROTFLMAO!1

This was f-ing brilliant!!
Thanks! Glad that you enjoyed reading!
Totally amazing!! Brilliant, fun, and the most original point of view I've seen in months. I can't even pick a preferred phrase, I'd have to choose the whole fic!
*bows in awe and run to bookmark it*
So much Icon Love. I've been waiting for them to make the American McGee film adaptation for years. It looks like the project's finally getting underway and should be coming out next summer. (Fingers crossed.)

Thanks so much for reading! I'm honored to be on the bookmark list!
Absolutely the most amusing fic I've read in ages. I love it when I read a totally new concept like your's. (write on!!!!)
Thanks so much! I thought it was time to write something a little bit different . . .
*laughs self to death* Oh, cripes, brilliant.
(Brings back to life.)

(Using one of the many techniques used by Snarry fanfic authors post-DH.)

Thanks so much!
You force me to see canon in a whole new light. Which is one of the best things that fanfiction can do for us.

Thank you very much. I enjoyed this a lot.
(Blushes.) Thanks!
R.O.T.F.

I'm not even finished reading, and I have to point out bits that got me:

"I still don't know why we had to bring my little sister into this whole mess," Ron muttered. "She's still thinking that you might come around and marry her someday."

Harry ignored him. "So she's nearly dead and standing next to her is . . ."


Snark!

"So let me get this straight," Ron began. "You go down into the Chamber of Secrets looking for a giant snake. Then you plunge your massive sword into its open, sucking mouth. Then you take the long, thick fang and plunge that into Tom's secret diary. That about right?"

*cackles*

And yay, in comes a reference to CAPSLOCK!HARRY! :)

Snape was surprised to find that about half of the class was reciting the lecture along with him.

Lol! A wonderful idea I've not seen used in fic yet...

The Six Page Stare- and Snape quoting from it: Priceless!

And the last line? Brilliant!
Snape would quote from the Six Page Stare.

He's secretly an HP/TR shipper. He just wants to get in on the action. (Who wouldn't want some of that unusually large snake?)

Thanks so much!
BWAHAHAHA

Absolutely effin' hilarious! Wonderful!
Thanks! (And Icon Love.)
OMG! Thank you so much for posting this; it really made my day! Every time I turned around I would find myself literally laughing aloud! All the little in-jokes (the six-page stare, CapsLock!Harry) just added to all the wonderful ways you made the lovely subtext of canon twist to fit your plot! I just loved it!
This is priceless! I really enjoyed it. So funny!
Oh...my...god...*is dead 'cause of teh laughter* You have killed me! You wanna know how many times I laughed like a hyena while reading this? I counted! 13 times! You are a master at teh funny! I bow down to thee! In other words, I LOVE THIS FIC LIKE WHOA! :D
That was absolutely hilarious. The idea, the dialogue. Just awsome. Thank you.