Harry pushed his glasses up his nose and hurried down the empty hall as quickly as he could. Quidditch tryouts had gone on longer than he had expected them to, so now he was going to be late for Divination class. He tried to be as quiet as he could as he made his way to the Astronomy tower, hoping no prefects managed to dock Gryffindor points for his tardiness. Or worse, Snape. Even getting his hands on the coveted position of Dark Arts professor somehow had done nothing to improve the man’s prickly personality.
He was almost at the stairs that led up to the tower when Harry heard a familiar voice speaking around the corner. Dobby? What was he doing here?
“But... Dobby does not understand!” The elf stammered and Harry imagined Dobby wringing his hands. “The professor will have to repeat his request.”
“I need twenty bottles of butterbeer. And three bottles of Firewhisky.” A male voice replied matter-of-factly, one Harry didn’t recognize but since Dobby had called him a professor, it was clear who the speaker was: Harley Morenstein, the new Potions professor. But why was he getting Dobby to find him so much food? Was he planning something for class?.
Dobby sighed. “Very well. Is there anything else?”
“Yes. I’ll also need a hundred chocolate eclairs and treacle tarts each. Don’t forget the roasted chickens and lamb chops. Actually, throw in some kippers, too.”
“How... how many kippers does the professor want?” Dobby asked.
“All of it.” Morenstein said, as if it was no big deal to ask for Hogwarts’ entire stock of... well, anything.
Realizing he was going to get an earful from Trelawney if he didn’t hurry up, Harry kept walking and left the puzzling conversation behind.
Later that day in Potions, Harry relayed the strange conversation to Ron and Hermione, but they didn’t know what to make of it, either. There was not much time for discussion, Morenstein was punctual and loud, drowning out all conversation with his booming voice.
“All right, listen up, you juvenile lamewads. As you heard from Dumbledore, the name’s Professor Harley Morenstein. But you can refer to me by my true name, Sauce Boss McSuperFly.” He paused dramatically, as if he was waiting for something to happen, but the students just exchanged confused looks with each other. With a frown, Professor Morenstein pointed his wand at Hermione. “Seriously, write that down.”
Hermione did as she was told, the rest of the class following suit.
“Harry, what the bloody hell is a sauce boss?” Ron whispered, scribbling the name across his parchment.
“No clue.” Harry replied, not caring much as long as Morenstein was easier on him than Snape had been.
Dinnertime arrived later than Harry had hoped; Defense Against the Dark Arts had been another gruelling catastrophe, even with Ron to keep him company and buoy his spirits. Once they made it to the Great Hall, the two of them plunked down on either side of Hermione, who was already busy studying.
“Ancient Runes is going to be quite interesting this year.” Hermione commented, not even looking up at them from the textbook she was engrossed in. Harry shrugged and reached for a roll while Ron sighed and attempted to pull the book out of her grasp.
“You’re going to need some food to fuel that huge brain of yours, aren’t you?” he commented, which made Hermione relent. She was about to serve herself a leg of roasted chicken when there was a bang and commotion from the doorway. The three of them turned to see Professor Morenstein shove Filch aside and briskly stride inside with a couple of unfamiliar men in tow, one wearing a pair of extremely shiny sunglasses that completely hid his eyes from view, the other with a shaved head. Harry felt slightly disconcerted. Morenstein already seemed like a bit of a loose cannon; there was no telling what he was up to now. Why had Dumbledore hired him as Potions professor, anyway?
“Who is that?” Hermione whispered in a tone with something close to awe, her textbook (and dinner) completely forgotten.
Ron frowned. “What do you mean? You were in Potions class like the rest of us.”
“Not Professor Morenstein, the other one. The...” Hermione snapped her mouth shut and blushed slightly, which is when Harry noticed that a number of other girls were whispering in each other’s ears and giggling as the man with the shiny sunglasses walked by, his robes billowing behind him.
“Really, Hermione?” Ron muttered, watching the trio of men head to the front of the hall.
Morenstein took out his wand and cast a spell that caused softly epic music to play in the background. “Wizards and witches, prepare for your taste buds to be annihilated by awesomeness. It’s gonna feel like manticores are dancing in your mouth. Right, Muscles Glasses?”
The be-goggled man to Morenstein’s left merely flexed in response. Harry could hear the girls audibly swooning. He shook his head and looked at Ron, whose arms were crossed as he glared at the professor and his friends.
Suddenly, a handful of house elves appeared, carrying a several of the biggest trays Harry had ever seen, loaded with stacks and stacks of food.
“You guys think you’ve had casserole? Think again, fools. My casserole is going to knock you out like an Expelliarmus.” Morenstein waved his wand in front of several plates and the food floated out and began to assemble into massive layers. “We’ve got lamb chops we marinated in Firewhisky, roasted chicken also marinated in Firewhisky, fried sausages, kippers, and fourteen stone worth of Cornish pasties. Or as I like to call them, CP’s. Turn up the swag, Tyler.”
The man with the shaved head pulled out his wand as well and the two of them used spells to weave the meat together. It was then that Harry realized that Ron’s jaw was hanging open with a trickle of drool running down the corner of his mouth. Can’t say I blame him. Harry didn’t even care that there was no reason for Morenstein to do what he was doing, it was brilliant.
“Vegetables in casserole? Sauce Boss don’t roll like that, suckers. We’re adding baconated baked potatoes instead.” Muscles Glasses waved his wand and in the potatoes went.
“I think I’m in love-” Ron blurted out. Seamus’ eyes were the size of plates. Even Harry could feel himself salivating.
“Top it all off with more cheese than you can handle. Havarti, Gouda, mozzarella. And some béchamel, too. Them Frenchies be loco. But this ain’t over yet, player. We’ve got some butterbeer batter and deep frying action.” The casserole emerged from a large pan of hot oil and was now ready, a mountain of wonderful fried meat too good to resist, its rich scent filling the Great Hall.
“That’s... a lot of meat-” Hermione said, a rather unimpressed look on her face.
“Exactly. It’s beautiful-” Ron replied, ready to leap up and devour the whole thing himself.
Morenstein turned to his friend. “Muscles Glasses is hungry, he’s ready to get it. But he’s going to have to wait...” Muscles Glasses looked at Morenstein with what could only be anger. “...because he’s got a special treat for the ladies.” Muscles Glasses nodded, placated, and with a flick of his wand several plates that hadn’t been touched began to move and Harry saw that they were full of desserts.
“All the honeys are gonna dig the mother of all pastries. We’ve got the dough.... oh yeah, we’re rolling in that dough. We’re rolling some nut brittle up in this motherf-” Somewhere above, an owl hooted.
“Chocolate eclairs, chocolate eclairs, we got chocolate eclairs for days.” Morenstein chanted as he and Muscles Glasses stacked the delicious treats inside the dough shell. “Keep that pastry greased with our custom butterbeer and melted butter glaze. Now that’s the illest.”
Now it was Hermione with the giddy expression on her face. Again, Harry couldn’t blame her.
“Treacle tarts for all you hot tarts out there. Cherry gateau, custard, crumpets.” The desserts went flying in one after another. “We’re about to change the game with some bacon candied in Firewhisky... witches love Firewhisky. Keeping it local with some spotted dick. Lots of spotted dicks.” The dessert was now done as well and everyone, witches and wizards alike, was buzzing with anticipation.
Morenstein addressed the Hall. “What you know about chowing down, haters? Forget all that stiff British upper lip business. This meal’s made of win, so everyone better dig in.”
Without a word, Muscles Glasses used his wand to cut a slice of the giant fried casserole and basically planted his face inside it, the juices running down his chin and robes. Tyler did the same with the dessert, chocolate coating his face as Morenstein turned up the volume of the epic background music.
That was all anyone needed. Harry found himself leaping out of his seat and bolting towards the casserole and cramming as much as he could into his mouth. It was delicious beyond belief, the best thing he had ever had the fortune of tasting. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Professor McGonagall walk into the Hall and nearly faint at the sight of Hogwarts’ students gorging themselves like animals.
Morenstein looked down at the students with a pleased expression and suddenly cut the music.
“Next time, we eat a horcrux.”
--- end ---