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The Sorting of '91

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Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; August 31st, 1991; 11:32 P.M.

Another year had come, another invasion, and he was ready.

It hadn't been easy, evading both Headmaster and Custodian (Hah! There was an excellent joke) while making extra preparations during the summer. If last year had been any indication, it would be needed. Apparently, getting a "head start" was considered advantageous among the enemy. Or, they imagined he'd go for older women. Or men.

It didn't matter. The enemy would be terminated regardless. He would make sure of it. Or rather, his soldier would make sure of it, as ... unstable as he was.

Sadly, his soldier hadn't been a particularly sane man in life, and death had done him no favors. He had become more paranoid than that one friend of the Headmaster's, the smart one (Loony Ear? No, that didn't sound right. Oh, he was getting faded. Crazy-Eyes?). He saw the enemy everywhere, and had become rather nonsensical in recent decades.

Still, Peeves was a good man, and would be as efficient at scouring the castle of Mary Sues as ever. The Bloody Baron was sure of it.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ; September 1st, 1991; 5:57 P.M.

Who did she think she was fooling? Everyone but him, apparently, going from the way the Assistant Headmistress was smiling at the little bugger.

As far as the enemy went, she was positively subtle. Which was worrying, considering the Potions Professor was smiling (There was teeth. And he wasn't trying to make her cry. There were teeth) at her when she appeared to merely be a Class Two, instead of a Class Five. Quickly, he gave her a once-over for hidden powers - Standard perfect glossy chestnut-mahogany-auburn-with-blue-highlights hair down to the ankles, an innocent, charmingly crooked smile with teeth that belong on a model - Merlin, were those curves on an eleven-year-old? - blue eyes that flashed purple every thirty seconds, and - of course was holding hands with the Boy-Who-Lived and the Malfoy Heir while Yet Another Weasley stared on enviously. Because holding hands with only one would be too subtle.

Still, fairly standard. Except for the name. Merlin's Beard, that name. The Bloody Baron could only gape as he moved invisibly to the front of the Great Hall.

"Lucindiana-Alanna Jacqueline Precious Allouette Aubergine-Sapphire Septima Philomena Rosara Aurora-Dawn SnowKrystal Moonlight Skymidalawalker-Smith!"

It bore saying again. Merlin's Beard.

Grudgingly, he had to admit to admiration for the Assistant Headmistress for managing that ridiculous name in one breath; and perhaps, he admired the Professor slightly more for having some sense in looking confused as she watched Miss Skymidalawalker-Smith sweetly sashay up to the stool. Professor McGonagall had always been one of the more sensible ones when concerned with the enemy, unlike some Heads of Houses he could name. Honestly, it was becoming ridiculous, the Baron thought, as he warily took note of the increasingly (Disturbingly) soppy look on a certain supposed Slytherin's face.

He moved behind the Sorting Hat, half-listening to the inevitable conversation between Professor and Enemy while gesturing to Peeves to bring in the Flawed Blade, carefully taking note of the strong shimmer of enchantment around the hilt, checking for weakness.

The enchantment of the sword, the Baron remembered, created a paradox. The Sword was the embodiment of a character flaw; specifically, jealousy. Usually, the paradox created by contact would immediately destroy the Enemy. The Baron, however still had to deal with melodramatic last words. But that was what Peeves was for.

"Miss Skymidalawalker-Smith? Would you mind answering a question for me?" Well, well, well, the Transfiguration professor was at it again. This should be good.

"Of course, Professor McGonagall. I'd love to. But please, you must call me Aura. I couldn't bear it if you couldn't call me, an amnesiac with a terrible mysterious history you have never heard of or cared about until now, this very moment, by my private nickname." Aura gushed.

Oh, Hell. She couldn't even be original.

"Really. If you insist." Professor McGonagall was unamused, softening her countenance only as Aura the Enemy wilted, ever so slightly. Inexplicably, the Bloody Baron began to feel sorry for the Little Monster before shaking it off. None of that now. Though, he couldn't help but wonder why he had chosen to sympathize with this particular abomination. It was, after all, rather standard.

The Baron dismissed the thought shortly after and returned to listening in, and would have cackled if it wouldn't have given both himself and his hard-earned reputation away. He leaned in to better hear the quiet conversation, remaining carefully aware of both the stares garnered by the pair (Still disturbingly fond from the Slytherin Head of House) and Peeves closing in, who was now beginning to hum what sounded suspiciously like "God Save The Queen". Well. At least he knows where his priorities lie. As long as he doesn't leave the job unfinished, it matters not.

Minerva McGonagall, however, had yet to finish with the enemy, seemingly possessing a minute of indecision of all things before blurting, "Did your parents name you Aubergine-Sapphire for your eyes? It's just that they're so lovely, I couldn't help but wonder, Aura."

And I had such high hopes for you, Professor. Acting outside your character so. Your aunt the Dowager Countess would be quite disappointed in you. Sapphire and Aubergine indeed. The Creature's eyes were plainly azure and lavender. Wait, what?

Aur-The Little Abomination beamed at the acceptance, joyfully assuring the Professor that yes, she was quite correct, Aura's parents had named her after her unique eyes, and could the Professor speak to her about her parents sometime? It was almost enough to make one sick with happiness, even with a stoic being such as himself. Wait, happiness? Since when did he, the Bloody Baron, feel happiness for these creatures, let alone twice in -

And it clicked. The particularly flowery name, the feelings, a Certain Potions Master smiling. With teeth, no less.

The enemy was no Class Two. She was a Class Six. Bugger.

If it were possible for the Bloody Baron to bang his head against a wall, he would have. He clearly was becoming too faded if he couldn't recognize a Class Six when he saw one. Sixes such as the Brat-Who-Should-Have-Been-Drowned possessed Empathic abilities, and it was vital that she was neutralized by Peeves before she managed irreparable damage to the timeline. Wouldn't do to have Mr. Potter and the Potions Professor getting along. I fear the man would never recover.

Quickly, without a care for whether the Apparently Empathic Brat would see him (They all could, the little bastards; whether they knew about his job was another matter), he made for Peeves. Who was holding the Flawed Sword rather strangely across his chest as he floated towards the Monster, with his hands moving up and down the middle of the Blade as he now sang. Odd.

"-God save the Queen - "

"Peeves!" He hissed. "Peeves! I need you to - "

" - She's not a human being, and there's no future -"

Oh, fantastic. He was parodying "God Save the Queen" now. That was just wonderful. He recognized this song, too, from somewhere in the recesses of his mind. Some hooligans from Godric's House had thought fit to play this song many times - thirty years ago? - twenty years? - fifty? - who knew anymore - a long time ago. The Baron had possessed a raging headache for a week. And ghosts couldn't even have headaches.

Peeves launched into yet another verse, and the Baron snapped, the urge to strangle someone, be it poltergeist or Enemy unbearable. If you want something done right, it seems you have to do it yourself. Helena was right. Drawing on every inch of ghostly power and temper he possessed - Exacerbated by the memory of his former Lady Commander - the Baron glided up to the malicious spirit, and reached up to grab the Flawed Sword at the exact same moment he telekinetically hurled Peeves through a soppy looking Potions Professor, who promptly burst into tears.

"Severus? Are you feeling alright?."

"It's just s-s-so sad, F-filius. She's ju-just so w-wonderful and can only go in one out of the four houses - "

The Charms Professor nodded sagely. "You have a point there."

And promptly drop-kicked any hint of a real personality out the window as he, too, began to sob.

The Baron spun around sharply, and stalked - well, glided - towards the now Perfectly Patient Empathic Enemy, who was currently was somehow managing a rather masterful combination of innocence, worry, and excitement without throwing a single hint of constipation into the mix. As he neared the Little Git, he purposefully ignored the embarrassing display by the Slytherin Head of House - Merlin's beard, he was starting to wonder when Severus Snape had turned into such a sop; In his day, restraint was the by-word of any true Slytherin - "

But before the Baron could proceed any further in his disgust, the Empath-Who-Should-Just-Die-And-Save-The-Baron-Another-Impossible-Headache gave a positively endearing - positively infantile - squeak when the Sorting Hat quite joyfully dropped over her head, ready to declare she would be placed in a new house and was both the last descendant of Merlin and Harry Potter's long-lost twin sister, all at once. He still couldn't figure how that worked.

The Baron felt a thrill of glee. It'd been a while since he'd been in the field. Quickly, he calmed himself down, reminding himself of the important task at hand. Dramatic timing was essential. An anticlimactic ending would ensure the Enemy would never be able to reincarnate as a Class Eight or, Merlin forbid, a Class Ten. At least the rest of the Enemy did not warp the universe as they saw fit. Well, mostly.

He came to a stop behind the Little Brat, and waited as the Great Hall became thick with anticipation while the Hat pretended to deliberate. Good. All the easier a kill. The Baron carefully maneuvered so as to be a meter in front of the Empathic Nemesis, waiting for her eyes to predictably widen in disbelief before revealing himself to the school, the Flawed Blade raised high. Screams rang throughout the Hall. Peeves cackled off to the side, no doubt scaring "The ickle firsties just a little, nothing permanent, Mr. Bloody Baron, sir, it's good for them!"

"My dear boy," The currently - though just how current was debatable - delusional Headmaster began, no doubt ready with a grand speech about the Super Specialness of the Brat and her Great Destiny and how a grumpy git like the Baron should stay out of it. All said kindly and with great sensitivity, of course.

The Baron, to put it frankly, outright ignored him and his ramblings. He glided up the aisle, raising the Flawed Blade threateningly as teachers and students alike sobbed at what clearly was the all-too-soon tragic demise of their Savior. Though, how she'd outdone Potter in that respect, the Baron wasn't quite sure. Really, she wasn't even a particularly outstanding Mary Sue. Rather standard, he couldn't help but think once more. He yanked the Sorting Hat off the Brat's head, pointing the Blade at the Creature's pale, smooth throat.

"Now see here, my boy, that young lady is the ..." Why, I'd almost call that pearl-clutching, Headmaster.

"Please, sir, she's my sister, she's the only family I've got left!" Wait until Book Three, Mr. Potter. And since when did you become psychic? This isn't one of your OP stories, you know.

"B-b-baron, as t-the D-d-defense t-t-teacher, I must insist - " The Baron silenced him with a look. Did the man just squeak? The quality of teachers these days - "

Helpless sobbing that sounded suspiciously like the Potions Professor interrupted his mental ramble and - Oh, I am finished with this nonsense.

And the frustrated ghost yanked the Flawed Blade back before swinging it toward the Emeny's shoulders, bracing himself against the storm of emotion from the Empath-Who-Really-Was-Just-Too-Much, stopping a centimeter from her shoulders at the last possible second amid the caterwauling, and lightly tapped her at the shoulders.

The Little Abomination collapsed with a wail of "Draco!"

Said "Draco!" attempted to rush forward, but was repelled by water balloons with no apparent source; at least until familiar cackling pervaded the air.

The Baron turned away in an odd mixture of disgust and pride. At least Peeves hadn't completely lost it. Wouldn't do for the Malfoy Heir to become permanently out of character.

The Potions Professor continued to sob, muttering the Dying Brat's name over and over as he leapt over the table in an attempt to reach the Enemy; at least, until his cape caught on the edge of the table and he stopped in mid air before collapsing on the table, a shuddering, pathetic, hopelessly OOC wreck. If the Bloody Baron had still possessed a wand, he would have hexed the so-called Slytherin back to normal. Merlin's Left Eyebrow, man. It's not like you're going to remember her or any of the other five Monsters you already cried over tomorrow, anyway.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; September 1st, 1991; Six hours later.

"Didn't you hear her last words, Mr. Bloody Baron, sir?"

"No, I most certainly did not, Peeves. Do you think I would be asking you otherwise?" snapped the irate Baron. Peeves flew back, his face taking on a rare cowed expression before answering, "S-she said h-her sister was coming, sir. Ickle Brat called the unknown her real sibling, Your Bloodiness, sir."

"Oh? I don't suppose she happened to name this real sister?" The ghost drawled. To his surprise, Peeves paled further, nodding.

"Yes, sir. Well, not really, sir." The Baron scowled; Peeves flinched.

"It's a yes or no question, cretin. Not that difficult, even for you. Answer and be done with it."

"I am, Mr. Bloody Baron, I promise! She claimed it was someone called ... Ebony. Or Enoby. Little Lucy wasn't clear. Her author wasn't either. "

A Class Nine? Merlin, he needed a drink. The Baron, to put it succinctly, was quite simply not paid enough - or at all - for this shit.