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Only Sue

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“Don’t move,” hissed Edward. “Don’t even breathe.”

Kat tucked her legs up on the sofa and watched as Edward picked up the final two cards and gently placed them on top of the eighteen-level-high tower. He held them in place for a moment, feeling to make sure they were stable, and then let go.

[BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!]

Edward automatically sprang to his feet. The vibrations in the air this caused were strong enough to knock the house of cards over, three hours’ work toppling to the ground in an instant.

“Are you surprised?” Kat asked. “Card houses are magnets for the Ironic Overpower. You might as well stick a neon sign over your head saying ‘Ironic Overpower, Please Strike Me Down’.”

Edward didn’t answer, instead picking his way through the cards to reach the console and turn it off.

“What have we got today?” asked Kat.

“Hermione’s twin. Blatant Sue, obviously. Bad SPaG. And… I think it could be even worse than the last one.”

“That’s impossible!” Kat exclaimed. “It couldn’t get any worse than the last one without being Legendary!”

“You can talk about the Ironic Overpower!” said Edward, slightly annoyed at Kat’s hypocrisy.

They looked at each other and sighed. “Well,” said Edward, “let’s get it over with, then?”

“Yeah,” muttered Kat. “But if this is as bad as it looks, I may have to pay a visit to the Flowers.”

They began gathering up the equipment they needed: Kat picked up her notebook and pencil, the Invisibility Cloak and crash dummy, and her Muggle-use wand (plus, most importantly, the Bleeprin) while Edward grabbed the CAD, his rifle and a few spare bullets, and the D.O.R.K.S.

As Kat began neatly packing all of the equipment in her backpack, Edward configured the disguise generator. “Generic Students again?” he asked.

“Guess so,” replied Kat.

Edward pressed one final button and a portal appeared into Generic Space. “Ready?”

“If I have to be,” replied Kat, swinging her backpack over one shoulder.

“Let’s go,” said Edward, and they stepped through the portal into the fic, Edward pulling the crash dummy’s cord as soon as they were in.

“Hermoine Holly darling, breakfast’’s ready “

“Great,” said Edward, staring around to try and work out what was actually going on. “First word is a mini-Aragog.” He grabbed the RA from Kat and keyed in the coordinates for HFA.

Kat watched the scene as it slowly resolved into a Sue and a mini-Aragog getting out of bed. When Hermione’s name appeared again, spelt correctly this time, the mini was replaced by the real Hermione Granger and it crawled gratefully through the portal Edward had opened.

Kat reached for her notebook and wrote down a charge of creating mini-Aragogs. She watched as the Sue tripped over a pile of books and then they went downstairs.

“Okay,” she said, “so she’s clumsy and she’s the fastest runner at her school. Why am I not surprised?”

“Because we’ve been doing a lot of these and there isn’t really much variety?”

“That was meant to be a rhetorical question,” said Kat.

The Sue landed on the last step and flew ahead and crashed into the newspaper stand in the corner.

“Accidental magic or speshul powers?” asked Edward. “I’m voting for the latter.”

“I vote accidental use of speshul powers,” replied Kat with a wry smile.

Holly claimed that the wind had carried her, and her mum was rather sceptical, which was at least reasonable.

“Did you actually see a boy’s parents die”

“Oh, no,” muttered Kat.

“I even saw a giant - a hairy one taking that one year old boy in a flying motor bike “

The agents looked at each other for a long moment before Edward silently pulled a pack of Bleeprin from his pocket and offered it to Kat.

She smiled a little, took one of the tablets and swallowed it just before a short time skip. They were still in the same place although it was unclear how much time had passed.

“Hang on…” said Edward, looking at the Words… “so they’re in the kitchen or dining room or wherever they eat… and Hermione has just opened the door… and the Sue can see the guest? How does that work?”

“Spatial distortion,” replied Kat. “It’s best not to think about it too hard.”

The visitor, it turned out, was Minerva Mcgonnagal. Edward opened a portal to HFA, which Mcgonnagal quickly scuttled through, seemingly just as keen as the agents to get out of the fic.

“I wish we could leave that easily,” said Edward regretfully.

Kat frowned. “We’ve only just started,” she said, “let’s at least try to be optimistic.” But she didn’t look exactly happy.

The Granger twins introduced themselves, and then when their father asked Mcgonnagal why she had come here and how she knew our names, the mini-Aragog Mcgonnagal returned.

The twins introduced themselves and the other twins were not very interested to discover that the Sue’s middle name was Heather.

“Back so soon?” asked Edward. “I should really have checked first to see if you appeared again.” He did so, and found that Mcgonnagal appeared once more, towards the end of the chapter.

Then they began to list the speshul things the Sue had done, although at least it wasn’t too exhaustive, only stating that she’d made fire with her hand when she had been really angry.

The fic also gave a plausible example of Hermione’s accidental magic. Then (to the agents’ horror) Hermione’s mother suggested that the Sue should “Tell her about your dreams sweetie, she might know something”.

The Sue did. Professor McGonagall didn’t shed any light on it, even though she clearly knew what it was. This was the last appearance of Mcgonnagal, and so Edward sent her back to HFA, clicking her pincers angrily as she went.

Then they quickly portaled through the Hogwarts letters being given and into the next chapter, where Mcgonnagal showed up one more time.

“We not be liking these nassty fics,” she said.

“Me neither,” replied Edward grumpily. The agents sat through the pointless filler scene, and then were jerked through a time skip to just in front of Gringots the mini-Aragog. Since the bank was actually described, the real Gringotts did appear.

Edward sent the gold-coloured mini straight to HFA.

The Sue was scared of the Gringotts goblins, saying I mean their really evil. Kat scribbled down a charge for confusing “there” and “their” as well as one for saying goblins were evil. “They’re not!” she protested. “They just have a different system of morality!”

While she was still writing, the agents were pulled through yet another time skip to the way into Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters, where Hermione, the Sue and their parents were about to go through.

“So… what exactly was the point in that Gringotts scene?” asked Edward.

“What exactly was the point in the entire story, more like,” replied Kat as she watched the Sue showing off how brave she was by volunteering to go first.

“Oh, that one’s easy,” said Edward. “It’s here so we can go into it and bang our heads against walls. I’m half convinced the Flowers write these things themselves just to keep us busy so we don’t blow anything up or set anything on fire.”

Kat glared at him as they walked casually towards the barrier between platforms nine and ten. “You know that’s not true, Edward,” she said. “And I don’t go around blowing things up or setting them on fire.” She stretched out to touch the brickwork of the wall and felt her arm go right through it.

“There are compensations, though. Like being able to walk through walls occasionally.” She stepped forward so that her whole body was inside the wall. “That never gets old.”

Edward, not so enthused about walking through walls, merely stepped through to the other side just in time to watch the Sue having a “conversation” with Draco Malfoy, who called her filthy.

“Well, at least we know which side this one’s on,” he said. “There are only two kinds of ‘Sues: those that are sorted into Gryffindor and hang out with the Trio and hate the Slytherins, or those that are sorted into Slytherin and hang out with Draco and hate Dumbledore and Ron and sometimes even Harry.”

“Considering she’s Hermione’s twin, she was hardly going to be the latter.”

“Oh, you never know, she might have thrown in some cheap angst about how her sister’s too naïve to see how evil Dumbledore isn’t or something like that…”

“You’re too cynical.”

“I’m not cynical, I’m experienced.”

The twins were too busy bickering to notice the incoming end of chapter and so fell through the transition to the next chapter.

“Has anyone seen a toad”

The chapter began as it meant to go on: lots of dialogue, barely any detailed description, and improper punctuation.

The area was rather ill-defined, in fact fuzzy, but the agents still slipped into the next-door compartment to avoid being seen by the Sue as a scene very similar to canon played out. Holly recognised Harry as the boy from her dreams but said nothing to him.

“Do we have enough charges to kill yet?” asked Kat. “Because I’m getting rather fed up with this stupid fic and this stupid Sue.”

“Me too. She’s my kill, though – you had the last one.”

Kat lay back on the seats, deciding she couldn’t be bothered to argue. Some things were just not worth the effort and killing Sues didn’t really make her feel much better, however annoying they were.

Edward offered her some Bleeprin, which she took gratefully and swallowed two tablets at once.

The Sue managed to skip nearly all of the way through the train journey in just a few short sentences, and the agents portaled straight into the next chapter, which began with the arrival at Hogwarts.

Edward grabbed the D.O.R.K.s and adjusted their disguises to make them look like first-years so that they could join the boats. They joined a couple of vague, shadowy bit characters in one of the boats. To the agents’ resigned sighs and to the Sue’s utmost pleasure (I’m being sarcastic ) Harry, Ron, Hermione and the Sue all shared a boat.

The Sue merely sat there, close to tears for some bizarre reason, and so the agents relaxed and enjoyed the boat ride before slipping away before the Sorting Ceremony while the Sue was using her elemental wind powers because Draco Malfoy had made her angry.

Unnoticed by anyone thanks to the SEP field, Kat took a seat at the Ravenclaw table (slightly annoyed and resolved to make Edward sit with the Hufflepuffs next time) while Edward snuck across to retrieve the mini-Aragog Griffindor which had appeared while Professor McGonagall was giving the first years the basic information.

Edward and Kat let the mini stay between their feet as it showed up another couple of times. Hermione was Sorted first, into Gryffindor as per canon.

Kat jotted down a charge for random misplaced capitalisation as the Sue came up to the Sorting Hat (although she didn’t actually put it on). The chapter ended in a “cliff-hanger” even though it was perfectly obvious what was going to happen next…

‘Griffindor ‘

“Poor mini,” said Edward as it scuttled from the Sorting Hat over to the agents.

The Sue hurried to the Gryffindor table and then flew the hat back to Mcgonnagal.

“Hello again,” said Kat to the second mini, jotting down a charge for not simply leaving the hat on the stool.

The Sue had a slightly angry conversation with Ron, for some reason the agents couldn’t work out. “Oh, no,” said Kat, “there’s no paragraph breaks.” Edward nodded, already able to feel the compression caused by the lack of breaks. One of the mini-Aragogs sitting next to them suddenly called out “Potter, Harry!” Kat was puzzled for a moment, but then glanced at the Words and saw that Professor McGonagall’s name had been misspelt once more. Griffindor also respawned. After Harry’s Sorting, there was a time skip through everyone else being Sorted to when we were all eating. The agents found themselves unwillingly munching some dull, tasteless Generic Food. “Stupid Words,” said Edward. Kat jotted down a charge for it. Nearly Headless Nick floated over to the Sue and she screamed as he appeared next to her.

Then, thankfully, the unbearably long paragraph ended and the agents could breathe again. Edward sent the two mini-Aragogs, neither of which showed up for the rest of the chapter, back to HFA. “See you soon, I expect,” he said grumpily with a wave.

“Hello sir Nicolas, have a nice summer? “ The fic didn’t state who asked the question, so it was merely heard as a Generic Voice.

“Charge,” said Edward, watching as Nicolas the mini-Aragog scuttled towards them and pre-emptively opening a portal for the mini to escape from the fic, which it did, Griffindor following it.

“Terrible,” replied the ghost. “Once again my request to join the headless hunt has been denied “

“That didn’t happen until second year!” said Kat angrily. “Stop distorting the timeline!”

“You might just as well tell a fish to stop swimming,” replied Edward.

Kat sighed and nodded. “And she’s distorted space as well,” she added. “Nick just walked away, now he’s talking to Ron and Hermione?” She noted down a charge for this and then Edward opened a portal into the next chapter, skipping past the mangled version of the conversation between Nick and the first-years.

The agents hopped through the portal and joined the back of the line of first-years, who were being lead to the Griffindor tower by Percy the prefect.

“Hello again,” said Edward to the mini.

“This fic keepss bringing us back, it does,” it clicked in reply. “We not be liking this nassty fic.”

“Oh well, better send you back to HFA again,” said Kat. “Until next time.”

Edward hesitated, snorting as the Sue was taken by surprise by a stair which changed direction, and then opened a portal for the mini to scurry through.

“Catapult Draconis “ said Percy to the Fat Lady.

“Catapult?” echoed Kat incredulously. “Last time I checked that was not correct Latin. I mean, how can you even get it that badly wrong?”

“Spellcheck,” replied Edward. “A mangled half-remembered version of “caput” might be automatically corrected to “catapult”. Although that’s not an excuse for it.”

The agents followed the group of first-years through the portrait hole and flung themselves down on the nearest armchairs.
******

The asterisks fell from the ceiling and landed just next to the agents, but before they had a chance to pick them up, We were in Tansfiguration.

Edward rolled his eyes and opened a portal to HFA for Tansfiguration and the other mini Mcgonagall, but the moment the two minis were gone We were in potions.

“What the – this is just a load of pointless scenes – you could just give us more than four sentences before you switch to a new scene – “

In Potions, the Sue was sitting next to Harry. Snape’s dialogue was messed up, little to the surprise of the agents. Kat wearily wrote down a charge for it.

“This is just so pointless,” she muttered as Harry failed to answer Snape’s questions. During the asking, two minis were spawned: bezor and wolvesbane.

Edward rolled his eyes. “Yup,” he replied, opening another portal to HFA.

The Sue then glared at Harry and wondered Why is this guy so dumb??

“Is she talking about Harry or Snape?” asked Kat.

“Who knows?” replied Edward, ducking the stray question mark and reluctantly opening a portal into the next chapter, which was the scene from the movies where Seamus failed to turn his water into rum – except it was also the scene in which Neville’s Remembrall was introduced, only without Draco Malfoy showing up at all…

Since the scene, whatever it was, was as short as ever, the agents didn’t bother trying to work out what was going on, instead charging for time distortions and portalling into the first flying lesson.

The Sue used her elemental powers to summon the broom to her hand.

“Right,” snapped Kat, “that is it. I have had enough of this stupid nonsense.” She stepped forward until she was standing directly in front of the Sue.

“Who are you?” asked Holly.

Kat debated saying something dramatic or a snarky one-liner, but decided she couldn’t be bothered to think of one and that sort of thing was more Edward’s style anyway.

“Holly Heather Granger, also known as Mary Sue,” she said, flipping open her notebook to consult the charge list, “you are charged with –

“Kat,” hissed Edward, still trying to be discreet, “what are you doing?”

“– creating mini-Aragogs, having elemental powers, having prophetic dreams about Harry Potter – “

“You’re not meant to charge her yet!”

“– horrendous Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, generalising an entire race as being evil for no reason at all, making a Ridiculously Long Paragraph – “

“The Flowers will be mad!” said Edward. “And this lot could do stuff, we’re meant to get her alone!” He gestured to the canons, who were standing around looking completely clueless.

“Since when were you the one telling me to care about the Flowers?” asked Kat, and then continued: “creating more mini-Aragogs – oh yeah, how did I forget being the uncanonical twin sister of Hermione Granger, distorting the timeline, writing short scenes in which nothing happens purely to drive the agents mad… anything else, Edward?”

Edward shook his head.

“The sentence is death. You’re not allowed any last words, I’m in a bad mood. Edward, you have ten seconds to kill her before I do.”

Edward very quickly pulled out his rifle and began packing a few rounds of ammunition into it, but it took him too long.

“Too late,” said Kat, “time’s up,” and she pulled a dagger from her pocket and thrust it into the heart of the still bewildered Sue, which immediately began folding back up into the yellow Crash Dummy.

Edward quickly gathered up the Crash Dummy and opened a portal back to the RC before any of the canons started acting strangely. He wrapped one arm around his sister and began to lead her through, but she shook him off.

“I can walk on my own, thanks,” she said, stepping through the portal.

Considering the circumstances, Edward decided it was probably best to neuralyse the canons. He pulled out the device and said “If you could just look this way…”

Once he had the attention of the canons, he said calmly, “There was never any such person as Holly Granger, and my sister and I weren’t here.” He pressed the button, and as a flash lit up the air, he stepped quickly through the portal and closed it behind him.

Kat had turned away and was busy unpacking her bag and putting the equipment away.

“Kat?”

She turned around, but said nothing.

“You okay?”

Kat nodded.

“We need to talk.”

She shot him a look. “No, we don’t,” she said. “I’m the ymbryne here, I’m meant to be looking after both of us. I don’t need you looking after me.”

“Kat… please tell me you’re not going insane. Because you’re probably the only thing keeping me sane… and I…”

“Mushy emotional stuff doesn’t suit you, Edward,” said Kat, and there was a playful glimmer in her eye once more. “I am not going insane; I’m trying to stop myself from going insane. That fic was driving me crazy, so I had to put a stop to it before I did anything stupid.”

Edward didn’t quite know what to make of this explanation. “You did something stupid… to prevent yourself from doing something stupid?”

“No, what I did was not stupid, it was a calculated risk.” She heaved out a long sigh, and for a moment she looked a lot younger than twenty. “I… I just can’t take much more of this… I needed to make it stop.”

Edward had no clue what to do or say. Kat was right: he was no good at mushy emotional stuff. “Well, you did. So it’s all right now.”

“Yes,” said Kat quietly. “For the next ten seconds. Until the console beeps again, and we have to go through another monstrosity, and that makes it worse. And then it happens again. And again. Until I can’t take it anymore.”

“I always thought if one of us went insane, it would be me,” Edward remarked.

“I am not going insane,” said Kat, giving him a Look. “I’m trying to stop myself going insane. Have you actually been listening to anything I’ve been saying?”

“Of course I have!” protested Edward.

Kat sighed. “Look, it’s okay, I think I’ll be all right. Do you want to play cards?”

“Sure,” said Edward – and then realised that the cards were all still jumbled up on the floor of the RC.