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John Egbert and the Goblet of Sick Fires

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Your name is ARADIA MEGIDO and you are super psyched about the EXCAVATION you are about to carry out. You have been horns-deep in every relevant book you can get your prongs on for the last THREE WEEKS (even a couple from the RESTRICTED SECTION), and you are pretty sure you are on the edge of a breakthrough: all that remains is to dig an enormous hole in a place nobody else needed or wanted a hole to be.

Specifically, in the middle of the FORBIDDEN FOREST.

You are well aware that this is against the rules, and if you are caught you will be in detention until your O.W.L.s. You are also aware that going into the Forbidden Forest is roughly the arboreal equivalent of strolling face first into the hot and hungry maw of a Hungarian Horntail, especially for a FIRST-YEAR, which is what you are.

This is, in fact, basically the worst place you could possibly have picked to go dig an enormous hole.

But that's okay. You've brought COMPANY.

 

> Be the company.


You are TAVROS NITRAM and you are having second thoughts about this. Actually they're closer to fifteenth thoughts – the number has been steadily climbing since you stepped out of the cosy depths of the Hufflepuff common room and embarked on this ILL-ADVISED EXCURSION.

You wouldn't be surprised if one or more of you came out of this with debilitating injuries that impacted your day-to-day life for years to come, and it would be your own stupid dumb fault for hanging out with people from MUGGLE FAMILIES who don't properly comprehend how HORRIBLY DANGEROUS this kind of thing is.

That's what VRISKA would say, anyway – or, at least, you think that might be what she'd say. She might also say that wussing out now when you'd already agreed to come along would make you a LOSER BABY COWARD, and then laugh at you. It's hard to tell, with Vriska.

You kind of think you might be okay with being a loser baby coward, actually, because it is pretty DARK out here and also kind of COLD and SCARY – but Aradia is really nice and you'd feel really bad if something happened to her and her muggle friends because they didn't know a WEREWOLF when they saw one.

Not that it's a FULL MOON or anything, but you can NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL.

Anyway, you guys have a GRYFFINDOR with you. Gryffindors are totally brave. So you'll be okay.

Right?

 

> Be the Gryffindor.


Your name is KARKAT VANTAS and you think this is a terrible idea. You're only even here because your stupid friend asked you to come. Why did you say yes? Oh right, because he's the only asshole in this entire stupid school so far who you know well enough to actually care about, and it would COMPLETELY FUCKING SUCK if your childhood friend went and got himself partially digested by a BROWN-NOSED HOGGLEDYSPLOT or whatever cutesy bullshit name some douchebag in a pointed hat decided was a good idea to give something with glowing red eyes and five sets of pharyngeal jaws that eats children.

Especially just because he has a CRUSH ON A GIRL. What a loser.

Speaking of shit decisions made by wizards, whose stupid idea was it to put a secondary school next to a forest full of HIDEOUS MAGICAL ABOMINATIONS? Everyone in the entire magical community is completely maggotfuck grubloops – you included. You could have just gone to your LOCAL COMPREHENSIVE back in TOWER HAMLETS, where the only threats you would have had to face would have been reasonable ones like drug abuse and thirteen-year-olds with knives, but no, you're sneaking into the forest of death with three incompetent wizards in training like this is some kind of horrifying potentially lethal boarding school adventure for idiots in the 1950s.

Fuck your life.

 

> Be the loser with a crush on a girl.


Your name is SOLLUX CAPTOR, and if you could read the manner in which you are being introduced, you would probably object to it, especially since your good buddy Karkat certainly has no room to be calling anybody a LOSER. Besides, you don't have a crush on Aradia, you just REALLY LIKE HER – even if you are thinking of upgrading it to crush status if both of you make it out of here alive. Which you're pretty certain you will. You've always been sensitive about IMMINENT DOOM – much as Aradia says she has always been sensitive about GHOSTS, which is certainly one of the reasons you guys have HIT IT OFF.

Normally you wouldn't get involved with shit like this, but you don't really have anything better to do of an evening, these days. Not that technically speaking that justifies DELINQUENCY, but if people wanted you not to break the rules in OVERT PHYSICAL WAYS then they should have thought of that before they sent you to school in a magical castle where ELECTRONICS DON'T WORK.

Still, even if you're surer than average that none of you are going to die (here) (tonight), the Forbidden Forest is PRETTY DAMN CREEPY. You'd probably feel safer if you had TELEKINESIS or EYE LASERS or something, but you definitely don't have either of those things. You have a 11-inch hawthorn wand with a phoenix feather core, with which you can reliably perform Lumoth and Ecthpelliarmuth and not much else. Thuckth to be you I mean sucks.

At least Aradia knows where she's going. At least, you REALLY HOPE SO.

 

> Aradia: Consult your map.


If your research is correct, the ruined foundations of the castle's centuries-abandoned TROLL WING, from the days when TROLLS and HUMANS studied apart from one another, should be located at the BIG RED X. Unfortunately, between the big red X and the edge of the forest, there is basically NOTHING BUT TREES. Trees in the dark. This makes navigation very slightly difficult.

It's a good thing you mastered a COMPASS CHARM so you can oh shit what was that.


 

> What WAS that?


Oh. It's a SQUIRREL.

You are slightly less PARALYSED WITH FEAR than you were five seconds ago.

Then again, perhaps you shouldn't be.

 

tavr0s
0_0
are there any really danger0us magical creatures that l00k exactly like nutbeasts

nOT, tHAT i KNOW OF, oR HAVE EVER BEEN TOLD ABOUT,
uHH, bUT, i MIGHT BE WRONG,

thii2 ii2 the FORBIIDDEN FORE2T you guy2.
even iif that thiing ii2n't magical iit'2 probably 2tiill eviil.
ii bet iit'2 ju2t waiitiing for the chance to riip niitram'2 bulge off wiith iit2 teeth 2o iit can take iit away to feed to iit2 naked mammaliian off2priing.

dO YOU, uH, THINK THAT'S REALLY A THING, tHAT COULD HAPPEN,

IT'S COMPLETELY POSSIBLE, SO HOW ABOUT WE KEEP FUCKING MOVING INSTEAD OF STANDING STILL AND STARING AT IT FOR HOURS LIKE HUGE BRIGHTLY LIT IDIOT TARGETS FOR WHATEVER HULKING VENOMOUS MONSTROSITIES ARE LURKING AROUND THE NEAREST TREE?

i think thats a g00d idea
were nearly at the ruins anyway
i think

 

> Aradia: Cast compass charm.


You cast a compass charm, which conveniently works like some kind of ILL-DEFINED MAGICAL GPS. It turns out you were right – you are nearly there. Just a little further ahead ...


this is it!

er.
not to que2tiion your authoriity AA but...
ii don't 2ee any ruiin2.
thii2 kiind of ju2t look2 liike the la2t three cleariing2 we pa22ed through.

yes
thats why we have t0 dig

OH REVOLTING MAMMALIAN MOTHER OF FUCK WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS.

 

> Defodio.


This RIGOROUS MANUAL LABOUR is ARDUOUS AS FUCK.

 

==>


uUHH, aRADIA,
i THINK, i MIGHT HAVE FOUND SOMETHING, tHAT COULD BE, pERHAPS, uSEFUL OR RELEVANT,

 

> Excavate.

It doesn't take the four of you long to get your excavate on. If you'd been MUGGLE ARCHAEOLOGISTS, you would doubtless have been here for HOURS, if not DAYS, chipping away at things with ASSORTED TINY TROWELS, but liberal use of digging spells has the task accomplished in a matter of minutes. Magic sure is awesome!


 

> Aradia: Admire your discovery.


You admire the fuck out of it. This is way more awesome than DIGGING UP OLD LENGTHS OF CLAY PIPE IN YOUR BACK GARDEN WITH A SPOON, which until now has been the scope of your archaeological prowess – not that you are about to admit that to your FRIENDS, who clearly think you are an EXPERT.

You have to admit this is more than you expected to find. You were imagining some worn foundations, perhaps the remains of a basement if you were lucky, but these look like part of the building's actual WALLS. And as if that wasn't enough to get you nerdstoked, they're covered in all these STRANGE SYMBOLS…

 

> Aradia: Examine the strange symbols.


They don't look like anything you've seen before. Perhaps they're some kind of HIEROGLYPHS. You'll have to take a picture or twelve and then see if there's anything in the library that'll help you analyse them, and then come back with a little brush and DUST THINGS.

This is S0 C00L.

 

> Aradia: Examine the other strange symbols.


These ones look like RUNES of some sort. They're kind of FAMILIAR – maybe you saw them in one of the books you've been reading??

0_0

God, this is just too much for you.

You get completely carried away and take a RUBBING.

 

> Karkat: Get bored of this shit.


You already did that half an hour ago. Megido's been freaking out about this archaeological fuckery for LIKE A MILLION YEARS, as if a ruin in the forest is any kind of big deal when you're all constantly surrounded by MOVING STAIRCASES and MOVING STATUES and MOVING PHOTOGRAPHS and roughly a million other kinds of things moving which shouldn't move in any rational comfort-fostering universe. You sometimes find it difficult to believe that she's actually from an ordinary muggle PUPAHIVE like you and Sollux.

Sollux, who is gazing on in rapt attention as she spews some excitable Ravenclaw bullshit about translating these crumbly hieroglyphics. Geez, he is so totally PALE for her that it's kind of disgusting. Who does he even think he's kidding?

You should have stayed in Gryffindor Tower to play HORRIBLE DETONATING CARDGAMES with LEIJON. This is fucking ridiculous.

 

> Karkat: Abscond.


Are you fucking KIDDING? That's an even worse idea than coming out here was in the first place. Do you look like you want to get MAULED? And, perhaps more importantly, do you look like you know how to cast a COMPASS CHARM? (Answer: you DON'T.)

It couldn't hurt to wander the perimeter of the clearing, though, you guess. You know, to make sure no THREE-HEADED TROLLDEVOURING ABOMINATIONS are lurching out of the undergrowth.

 

> Karkat: Trip.


Your foot comes into contact with what you assume must be a ROCK, rather than any kind of object with too much PLOT SIGNIFICANCE to go ignored after being accidentally UNEARTHED, and you plummet gracelessly to the ground like a swan.

A dead swan.

 

> Be Tavros.


You are now TAVROS NITRAM again and you just watched Karkat fall over like the elegant specimen of trollhood he is. Being the GOOD HUFFLEPUFF that you are, you hurry over to help him up and ask if he's okay.

But wait. What's this?

 

> Tavros: Pick up the weird ball.


It's completely white and perfectly spherical. If you were familiar with MUGGLE HUMAN SNOOKER, you might think it was a CUE BALL, but you don't, so you are left to assume it's some kind of WEIRD MAGICAL ARTIFACT.

You are, of course, correct in this assumption. What would a muggle sports device be doing out here, anyway?

It feels a little weird when you pick it up, but not in any way you can actually pin down. If you had to describe it you'd probably say it kind of makes your SOUL ITCH. You think that might sound a bit stupid, though, so you're pretty glad no one's asking.

 

> Tavros: Show the others what you've found.


You were going to do that, but everyone is busy screaming.

 

> Tavros: Scream also.


Yeah, that seems like a good idea.

 

> Everybody: Run.


That seems like a pretty good idea too.

You all flee harder than you've ever fled before (mostly), but your tiny first-year legs are so small, and the ACROMANTULA (for that is what it is) is gaining on you quickly.

The spider is simply too fast.

If only you had some kind of MAGNIFICENT STEED who could outpace the beast whilst carrying you on its STRONG back.

 

> Mars: Be bright, tonight.


Mars is already bright tonight, doofus!

If you were a classy astrologically educated CENTAUR like this guy then you would know these things.

 

> Be the centaur. Rescue the troll kids.


You are now the centaur, and you are rescuing the troll kids.

Your name is AURTHOUR. You are a little bit sick of having to save lost biped children from TERRIBLE DANGER, but whatever, it happens, and you are STRONG enough to carry at least four of them at once and outrun a massive spider at the same time.

Sometimes you wonder, though, what douchebag in a pointed hat decided it was a good idea to put a school full of children next to a forest full of hideous magical abominations. Surely no one with the little ones' safety in mind. Whoever it was, they NEED TO GET THEIR PRIORITIES SORTED.

Honestly, these children could have been killed.

Or worse, EXPELLED.

Ah well, better haul these poor whippersnappers out of the forest so you can fob them off on the CANTANKEROUS GROUNDSKEEPER before they try to make SMALL TALK WITH YOU.

 

> Be the cantankerous groundskeeper.


Your name is SPADES SLICK.

You have been the groundskeeper at Hogwarts for several years now, and so far nobody has mistaken you for JACK NOIR, a corrupt Ministry official partially responsible for implicating the last MINISTER OF MAGIC in a TERRIBLE FROG-RELATED SCANDAL that forced her to resign, and also wanted by the law for KNIFING SOME PEOPLE UP.

This is only to be expected, of course, since you look nothing like that guy. I mean, he didn't wear an EYEPATCH, or anything.

Currently you are KEEPING WATCH OUTSIDE YOUR SWEET PAD.

Actually that is a lie, your pad is not sweet at all. It is a ramshackle, tumbledown hut next to a forest full of monsters. As groundskeeper, you have a SPECIAL UNDERSTANDING WITH THE BEASTS OF THE FOREST – which is to say that the beasts of the forest understand that if they LEAVE THE FOREST, you will KNIFE THEM UP – but it is still a rubbish place for a house, and "ramshackle" and "tumbledown" are still just infuriatingly twee ways of saying "shit".

You are lingeringly bitter that, when PROFESSOR SCRATCH took you on as a member of staff in an uncomfortably magnanimous second-chance sort of gesture, you didn't get a CUSHY TEACHING JOB, like SOME PEOPLE YOU COULD NAME. This is mostly because your skillset does not extend far past KNIFING PEOPLE UP, but you like to pretend it is because of BLATANT FAVOURITISM ON THE PART OF THE HEADMASTER.

At least your role as groundskeeper means you don't have to spend too much time interacting with OBNOXIOUS CHILDREN, though. In fact, you've gone all day without so much as clapping eye on a single one of the blighters, which is exactly the way you like things to be.

It is, of course, not how things are going to remain.

 

> Slick: Have your evening ruined by the sudden arrival of a centaur.


Oh god damnit.

You tell the MOUSTACHIOED MANHORSE that he had better not plan on sticking around much longer if he doesn't want to be SHOWN YOUR STABS.

He tells you he is only here to deposit a couple of ARMFULS OF CHILDREN, who he found being menaced by an ACROMANTULA in the DEPTHS OF THE FOREST.

You remark that if they were stupid enough to go into the forest then they probably DESERVED TO BE EATEN BY SPIDERS, which earns you a selection of tiny horrified trollstares.

 

> Slick: Fail to be moved by the troll kids' puppy eyes.


Nope.

Nope.

N – well, you can't really tell, with those glasses. Does he even have pupils? Whatever, that's a nope anyway.

And nope.

Wait.

Aw, shit. It's that one kid.

 

> Slick: Vaguely regret not leaving that one kid to bleed out in an alley.


Sometimes, when nobody with a higher PULCHRITUDE STAT is available, your job means you have to round up muggle kids for whom it isn't as straightforward as writing a letter to convince their legal guardians that it would be reasonable to send their eleven-year-olds to a MAGICAL WIZARD SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Usually this means TROLL CHILDREN, because most of them are raised in COMMUNAL PUPAHIVES and it can be hard to make everything official without someone having to cast a few MEMORY CHARMS.

It was on one of these excursions that you wound up having to save this stupid kid, Kerchak or Marmite or what the fuck ever, from getting his ass handed to him by a bunch of TROLL THUGS who were giving him crap for having the WRONG COLOUR BLOOD or some STUPID TROLL BULLSHIT LIKE THAT, and now he thinks you're his DAD, or whatever other kind of weird troll relation would imply you GAVE A SHIT ABOUT HIS PROBLEMS.

You tell him to stop goggling like an idiot, which only seems to make him more impressed. Maybe it's the dulcet tones of your GRUFF, NO-NONSENSE EAST END ACCENT. Probably it's just because someone stacked his cocoon the wrong way up.

Oh well, nothing for it but to send AURTHOUR on his merry way and set about herding these stupid children back to the castle. You make sure to be as cantankerous about it as possible, in the hope that this will put the lot of them off trying to engage with you ever again.

Karkat is probably a LOST CAUSE, though.

 

> Trolls: Return to your dorms like good students.


If you were good students you wouldn't have been digging up the Forbidden Forest at midnight. Anyway, all four of you are abuzz with conversation about your exciting adventure, which would have to be cut woefully short if you were to abscond to your respective houses straight away.

 

WOW, I NEVER WANT THAT TO HAPPEN TO ME AGAIN.

mE, eITHER,

2eriiou2ly that ii2 way clo2er than ii ever wanted any part of my face two be two a centaur'2 reekiing 2weaty armpiit.

i, tHOUGHT THAT PART WAS KIND OF FUN, aCTUALLY, hE WAS REALLY, uH, nICE,

well ii gue22 iit beat2 beiing 2piider food.

YEAH, BY AN EXTREMELY NARROW MARGIN.

im s0 s0rry guys!
if id kn0wn this was g0ing to happen i w0uldnt have asked you to come
but
im still really glad y0u all did

oH, wELL, tHE PART WITH THE SPIDER, wAS REALLY AN EXPERIENCE i THINK i COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT, iF, uHH, i HAD BEEN GIVEN A CHOICE ABOUT THAT, bEFOREHAND,
bUT, i LIKED MEETING aURTHOUR, hE WAS REALLY FRIENDLY, aND HELPFUL,

yes
n0t like mr slick

oh my god what a grouchy 2ack of pii22
diid you 2ee hii2 face, he looked liike 2omeone had a2ked hiim two ma2h hii2 own 2hame globe2 iintwo a pa2te and 2pread iit on profe22or 2nowman'2 morniing charred wheat 2liice2.

HEY, SLICK'S NOT THAT BAD.
IT'D CHAFE MY NUB TOO IF I KEPT HAVING TO DEAL WITH TOTAL MORONS WANDERING INTO THE FORBIDDEN FUCKING FOREST IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
IT'S CALLED THE FORBIDDEN FOREST FOR A REASON, BECAUSE IT'S FULL OF HORRIFIC TWENTY-FOOT SPIDER MONSTERS.

ehehe riight ii forgot about your enormou2 boner for the ground2keeper.

FUCK YOU, CAPTOR. THIS WAS A BIG FAT WASTE OF EVERYONE'S TIME ANYWAY AND

n0 it wasnt!
i t00k s0me ph0t0s and i g0t s0me rubbings 0f the inscripti0ns s0 n0w ill be able t0 l00k all 0f it up in the library
we might even have f0und s0mething n0 0ne else knew ab0ut before!

AWESOME.
THAT WAS SARCASM, BY THE WAY. IN CASE YOU COULDN'T TELL, FROM MY TONE OF VOICE.

cram a bulge iin iit vanta2, no one care2.

oH, i FORGOT,,,

huh?
0_0

i, uHH, fOUND THIS, wHEN WE WERE DIGGING,
i WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU BEFORE, bUT, tHAT WAS WHEN THE, uH, sPIDER SHOWED UP, aND MENACED US, aND IT DIDN'T SEEM LIKE, aN OPPORTUNE TIME, tO INFORM YOU,

 

> Tavros: Produce the peculiar orb.


You rummage in the pockets of your robes. Unfortunately, the weird ball you found in the forest is conspicuous only by its absence.

oH,
oH NO,
i THINK, iT MUST HAVE FALLEN OUT, wHEN aURTHOUR WAS RESCUING US,

0h n0
what was it

iT WAS, a WEIRD BALL OR SOMETHING,
iT WAS ALL WHITE, aND, i DON'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS FOR, bUT, uHH,
i THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN IMPORTANT,,,

imp0rtant
what d0 y0u mean

i DON'T KNOW,
iT FELT IMPORTANT,

IT FELT IMPORTANT? SERIOUSLY?
SHIT, WE'D ALL BETTER HEAD RIGHT BACK OUT INTO THE DEATH FOREST TO PICK THE FUCKING THING UP IF NITRAM THINKS IT FELT IMPORTANT

stop it karkat
it might have been suffused with magical energies 0r s0mething!
0_0

yEAH, pROBABLY SOMETHING, aLONG THOSE LINES,

whatever dude ii bet you've done u2 all a favour.
iit wa2 probably cur2ed or 2omethiing.

either way we cant g0 and l00k for it n0w
well get in even m0re tr0uble if we d0nt get back to our d0rms

eheh yeah e2peciially you KK
you 2hould get back two gryffiindor tower before profe22or renegade hexe2 your a22 for iillegal lurkiing.

 

> Days in the future, but not many…






Chapter Text


You are the GOBLET OF FIRE.

It is midnight on the night before October 31st, 2010, and the time has come for you to select the champions for the upcoming TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT.

This is the first time you have been called upon to do this since that time in 1994 when you got dicked around with so you would select FOUR champions instead of the customary THREE. Since you are an impartial inanimate object, you are incapable of emotions like hope, but if that were not the case you would certainly be hoping that things go more smoothly this time round.

Everybody else certainly is.

But honestly, they must be pretty confident about it if they’re willing to give it another shot after what a catastrophe it was last time.

HEADMASTER SCRATCH was pretty insistent about it, in any case.

Not that you’re actually worrying about this. You’re only here to select the Champions: one from Durmstrang, one from Beauxbatons, and one from Hogwarts.

You decide to get on with it.

 

> Examine Durmstrang candidates.


You already selected a Durmstrang champion while we were busy expositing.

It’s this chick. Doubtless we will find out more about her later on.

 

> Examine Beauxbatons candidates.


You’ve selected a Beauxbatons champion too! Boy does that hat look stupid.

 

> Alright, then, examine Hogwarts candidates.

You decide to only examine students from fifth year, because they are the only ones anybody reading this is interested in. You will do this by house, starting with the GRYFFINDORS. Also, alphabetically by surname, because you are being written by someone who is REALLY KEEN ON ALPHABETISING.


As such, the first student to fall under your scrutiny is one JADE HARLEY. She comes from a respectable magical family, but her parents died when she was a baby in a tragic dirigible accident that she scarcely remembers, and so she has lived with her Grandpa in GIBRALTAR ever since. He is an important guy who spends a lot of his time ABROAD, doing work for the MINISTRY OF MAGIC, so he has never had as much time for her as he would have liked.

But that’s okay. She has her awesome dog BEC when she’s at home, and here at Hogwarts she’s made a whole lot of really great friends. When Grandpa won’t be around at all during the holidays, she often goes to stay with them, which is always fun! This summer she stayed with her friend ROSE LALONDE. Rose’s Mum was really nice and kept going out of her way to be a good host, but Rose just seemed kind of annoyed by it. Or SEETHINGLY BITTER, in fact. Jade doesn’t really get it – she thinks her friends kind of take their awesome parents for granted!

(Except DAVE, perhaps.)

Jade is brave and ingenious and has no qualms with turning to her friends for help when she needs it. She wouldn’t be a bad choice for Champion at all. Admittedly her round glasses, green eyes, dark hair and dead parents might give onlookers a case of worrying deja vu, but that’s not your problem. You’re just a cup.

 

==>


This is NEPETA LEIJON. She grew up in BELFAST in a GREENBLOOD MUGGLE PUPAHIVE, which is kind of like an orphanage where young trolls are raised communally after they pupate. Sometimes they are taken under the personal wing of an individual adult troll, but this is very, very rare among muggles. Back at home Nepeta takes care of a veritable swarm of stray cats – in her first year she tried to bring all of them with her to Hogwarts, but she was ultimately only allowed to keep one. She selected POUNCE DE LEON, who is pictured here draped over Nepeta’s head like a stylish hat.

Pounce is possibly part KNEAZLE, but frankly who cares, this kind of thing never turns out to be relevant to the plot.

Nepeta probably wouldn’t be a completely awful Champion, but despite your lack of emotions you do have a sense of self-preservation and you have no desire to be crushed in the STRONG grip of Nepeta’s MOIRAIL for putting her in danger – er … That is to say … You are completely impartial, but you just think she might be better suited to making banners and cheering. Yes. Right.

 

==>


This is TEREZI PYROPE. She comes from the UK’s sole WIZARDING PUPAHIVE, located slap bang in the middle of WALES. Magical troll children are all raised in the same Pupahive, rather than being segregated by blood colour, like muggle trolls usually are, because their numbers are relatively few. As such, in the wizarding community, adult trolls from the higher end of the haemospectrum often adopt younger ones to raise them themselves, in order to protect them from having to mingle with lowbloods.

This never happened to Terezi, but it did happen to her childhood best friend, VRISKA SERKET, when they were both six years old, and they didn’t see each other again until Hogwarts. They had a messy falling-out in first year over a disagreement about rulebreaking, and then an even messier one in third year over something a little more serious. All the same, Vriska asked her to the YULE BALL in fourth year in a flushed capacity, after she broke up with her matesprit KARKAT VANTAS, in a desperate attempt to patch things over. It was an UNMITIGATED DISASTER. There are third-years who still have SCARS.

Terezi is BLIND, but she was hatched with a rare and bizarre kind of MAGICAL SYNAESTHESIA which she has learned to use to compensate for her loss of vision. She’s exceptionally cunning – the Sorting Hat nearly put her in Slytherin – and, as Champion, she would be sure to fight fair. It might interfere with her newly-appointed PREFECT DUTIES, which she carries out with utmost seriousness, but you’re sure she could deal with that.

 

==>


This is DAVE STRIDER. He comes from a long line of pureblood wizards that has had the misfortune to culminate in his BRO. Although the Strider name is an old and valuable one, Bro raised Dave in a flat in a muggle housing estate in LONDON, because he moves in a mysterious way. Consequently Dave has been amply exposed to MUGGLE CULTURE, but he doesn’t know his shit quite as much as he likes to pretend he does.

Bro Strider is kind of a weirdo, but he’s also a master of irony and a renowned wizard with his own chocolate frog card. He was Head Boy and captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team when he was at Hogwarts, and Dave is probably never going to fill his impressive ironic ninjashoes. He couldn’t even make Quidditch captain – not that he begrudges JADE the position. He is a pretty good CHASER, though.

He is also a PREFECT. He is not sure how this happened except that Professor Renegade, the Gryffindor head of house, seems to like him a lot for no readily apparent reason, and Dave isn’t complaining. Much. Few things are as ironic as his impeccable uniform and corridor patrols, although he doesn’t take it as seriously as his co-prefect TEREZI.

He’s a competent wizard for his age, with quick reflexes and a heroic streak, and the Triwizard Tournament would be a convenient way for him to prove himself. Of course, he’d also be pretty likely to get himself hurt, but that’s all part of the challenge. No big deal.

 

==>


This is KARKAT VANTAS. He grew up in a LOWBLOOD MUGGLE PUPAHIVE in LONDON, where it was more or less impossible to hide his freakish blood colour from his hivemates and custodians. Fortunately this is not a society that culls its mutants, and so he has never had to live in fear of government-sanctioned slaughter, but his blood has certainly never made his life easy. It’s less of a big deal here at Hogwarts, though, mostly because the increased integration of trolls and humans means the wizarding community is a little bit less hung up on blood colour, but he is still super anxious about the fact that his irises are starting to turn red.

In first year Karkat thought everything about wizard culture was completely stupid. He still thinks it is pretty fucking dumb now that he is a fifth year, but that doesn’t mean you’d be able to get him to voluntarily part with his WAND or BROOMSTICK. (As of last year he’s the Gryffindor Quidditch team’s reserve KEEPER, because the regular keeper has an unavoidable habit of FALLING ASLEEP BEFORE MATCHES sometimes.)

He desperately wants to be Hogwarts Champion so he can try to prove his worth, and also possibly win back the heart of Terezi Pyrope, the troll of his dreams – but honestly you are pretty sure he would be REALLY BAD AT IT. He has potential, but not this kind of potential.

 

> Examine Hufflepuffs.


This is JOHN EGBERT. When he is not at school he lives with his ordinary muggle Dad in an ordinary muggle house in WILTSHIRE, but he is really enthusiastic about Hogwarts and he has been since he was eleven. Everything here is so cool – the moving staircases, the secret passwords, the magic spells, the broomsticks – John thinks flying is maybe the best thing about being a wizard, except for how many more great opportunities for pranking people there are when you can do it with real life magic. His prankster’s gambit is totally through the (enchanted!!) roof since he came to Hogwarts.

He can just about deal with the owls dropping letters from his Dad in his porridge every morning telling him how proud he is. He thinks if he had a son who was an awesome wizard he would be proud of that kid too, much like Nic Cage is of Jay Baruchel by the end of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Still, he could stand to hear it a little less often.

He’d be a good Champion. Sure, he’s a little weird – or a lot weird, really – but his heart’s in the right place and he’s a good wizard, and you think he could handle it well.

 

==>


This is KANAYA MARYAM. Unlike most trolls, she was raised neither in a PUPAHIVE nor by another TROLL; her custodian is a MOTHER GRUB who elected to abandon her egglaying duties in order to LIVE HER OWN LIFE. She keeps a wordpress blog titled THE LIBERATED GRUB. Kanaya finds her sort of embarrassing, but loves her dearly.

Kanaya spends much of her time at Hogwarts either in the library or in the Advanced Herbology greenhouses. This gives many people the impression that she is the quietly studious type, but in the library she is usually furtively reading titillating novels about the Dark Arts, and only the Advanced Herbology students fully appreciate how much chainsawing is occasionally necessary to deal with a Venomous Tentacula.

She would probably be well capable of dealing with anything the Tournament could throw her way, although she is a little on the flighty side. Not really an obvious choice for Champion, but probably a decent one.

 

==>


This is TAVROS NITRAM, another product of the wizarding Pupahive in Wales; he probably has a solid magical heritage, but troll witches and wizards of low haemocaste are typically imagined, logically or not, to be of less pure magical background than highbloods. That said, Tavros’s general attitude of AWE AND DELIGHT when it comes to everything about Hogwarts doesn’t help when it comes to people mistaking him for MUGGLE-HATCHED.

He likes a lot of things about magic, but he especially enjoys Care of Magical Creatures and Quidditch. The UNFORTUNATE INJURY he suffered in a game against Slytherin in second year wasn’t enough to make him quit his position as SEEKER, because you don’t need functional legs to fly a broomstick. It still kind of sucks that there’s no way to fix his legs with MAGIC, though, even if Hogwarts and its MOVING STAIRCASES make getting around in a wheelchair a lot easier than it could be.

Being chosen as Champion would certainly be good for his SELF-ESTEEM, but like hell you care about anybody’s self-esteem. You’re a piece of enchanted crockery, you can’t feel empathy.

 

==>


This is FEFERI PEIXES. Although her blood is more MAGENTA than any other troll at Hogwarts – and indeed than has been seen in Britain for CENTURIES – her background is entirely MUGGLE. Trolls in Britain have no official MONARCHY, but Feferi has still been the focus of much attention ever since she pupated, and it has taken quite a lot of effort and a number of MEMORY CHARMS to persuade the number of watchful eyes on her that there is nothing unusual going on and she is definitely not attending any kind of SECRET SCHOOL FOR WITCHES AND WIZARDS.

Much as Tavros is generally assumed to be of “impure” heritage, Feferi is considered by blood purists to have more of a right to magic than her lowblooded muggle-hatched brethren. The haemospectrum’s intersections with wizard/muggle relations is KIND OF FUCKED UP. Feferi is determined to use the inevitable sociopolitical sway she’ll have in adult life to try to make things better, though – to the quiet dismay of her MOIRAIL, who “took her in” when they were in first year, insisting that she needed someone from a proper wwizardin background to showw her the ropes.

Feferi’s an accomplished witch and she’s already used to media attention, so she could probably handle the pressure of being the Hogwarts Champion. You think she’d be a good choice, and she thinks the Tournament is going to be really EXCITING regardless of whether she gets chosen.

 

> Examine Ravenclaws.


This is SOLLUX CAPTOR. He comes from the same lowblood pupahive as KARKAT, and, while he shares some of his childhood friend’s negative feelings towards wizarding society, he’s been a lot more tolerant towards life at Hogwarts ever since he started working on means to integrate muggle electronics with magic. He’s gotten his computers to work in his dorm, at least, and if the weird shit he’s managing to do with coding lately is anything to go by he might actually be on the edge of developing a COMPLETELY NEW KIND OF SORCERY. (There’s a lot you can get done when you’re trying to distract yourself from the fact that your MOIRAIL has been HORRIBLY EMOTIONALLY DISTANT for two years. Recently he’s been getting closer to FEFERI, though, which is making him feel a lot better - even though that could be just as much of a problem considering she HAS A MOIRAIL ALREADY.)

Feferi often tells him that he should start a magical technology company when he leaves Hogwarts and develop magical integration with the Internet - to ensure that the magical community doesn’t fall too far behind muggle progress and try to help witches and wizards see that muggles aren’t so distant and weird. He guesses that would be a good idea, but mostly he just wants to be able to do magic and program computers at the same time.

He wouldn’t be a great choice for Champion; he’s extremely competent, but he’s also extremely preoccupied. He probably wouldn’t find the tasks as engaging as the things he challenges himself with, and he wouldn’t enjoy the scrutiny or pressure.

 

==>


This is ARADIA MEGIDO. She grew up in a muggle pupahive in EDINBURGH at the lowest end of the haemospectrum, and despite what this would dictate in the eyes of blood bigots and magical supremacists, she is a skilled, intelligent witch who knows how to KEEP A SECRET.

She used to be really enthusiastic about ARCHAEOLOGY. In her first year she led a secret midnight expedition into the FORBIDDEN FOREST to dig up some CENTURIES-OLD RUINS, which turned out to be covered in BAFFLING RUNES AND HIEROGLYPHS. One set turned out to be ANCIENT ALTERNIAN (because Alternia was actually a place, just like ATLANTIS was actually a place and DRAGONS are actually real), and the other set weren’t anything she could find any reference to, anywhere. She didn’t have much success in translating either of them. In her first year she decided it couldn’t be really important, so she put it on the back burner while she focussed on her schoolwork, and goofing off with her friends, and other normal twelve year old stuff.

In the last couple of years friends haven’t been so much of a concern for her, though, and she’s found the time to resume her efforts at translation. Putting it off, she has come to realise, was a GRAVE MISTAKE. It’s a good thing she doesn’t have emotions any more, otherwise she might be PANICKING, a little bit.

The enthusiastic, adventurous Aradia of two years ago would have been excellent Champion material, but enthusiasm hasn’t been her strong suit for a while now – and besides, she has much more important things to be getting on with. You should probably leave her to it.

 

==>


This is EQUIUS ZAHHAK. He pupated in the same wizarding Pupahive as TEREZI and TAVROS, but he was taken into the care of an older blueblooded troll at a very early age, to be raised in the lap of HIGHBLOOD WIZARDING LUXURY. His was the kind of upbringing that usually results in SLYTHERINS, but, while Equius came out of it with a probably unhealthy fixation on traditional haemocaste rules, he possesses neither ambition nor much cunning and wound up in RAVENCLAW, enthusing about FINE ART and POETRY and assembling intricate but vaguely troubling magical AUTOMATONS.

Although, in addition to holding the haemospectrum in higher regard than probably anyone else at Hogwarts, Equius considers witches and wizards from non-magical backgrounds to be inherently inferior, his moirail is the muggle-hatched greenblood NEPETA LEIJON. At least green blood is pretty respectable, though, and it could be worse – he has for some time been inwardly torn up about his heart’s yearning for one of his muggle-hatched classmates whose blood is maroon, which is basically THE WORST IT COULD POSSIBLY BE.

The problem is only intensified by the fact that Aradia has been appointed PREFECT alongside him. They are working alongside one another in positions of equal authority, which is honestly more than Equius can handle. Of course, she doesn’t seem to reciprocate his passion, but perhaps, after he finishes helping VRISKA with this TOP SECRET PROJECT, that might change…

He wouldn’t be a bad Champion, but, if you are entirely honest with yourself, allowing him to represent Hogwarts probably wouldn’t make the school look very good. At all.

 

> Examine Slytherins.


This is ERIDAN AMPORA. He was snapped up the second he pupated by one LUCIUS HIPPOCAMPUS, a wealthy and politically influential troll wizard who didn’t want to see a youngster of his own blood colour raised among landwelling trash, and has been raised to believe in the superiority of both magical folk and sea trolls. His MOIRAIL has had a bit of a positive effect on him in this regard, but there’s only so much she can do.

He used to hang out with VRISKA SERKET a lot, catching unfortunate first-years in the crossfire between their PRETENDY FUNTIME PIRATE BATTLES, but they’ve kind of drifted apart in the last year or so. In reality this is mostly because she got bored of him, but since Eridan got made PREFECT he likes to pretend it’s because he is too good for her, and has taken to trying to win the black attentions of his fellow Slytherin prefect ROSE LALONDE instead (even if nobody is quite sure whether humans actually have black attentions.)

He has also taken to wearing LEATHER TROUSERS, drinking too much COFFEE, trying to be a GREAT SARCASTIC WIT, and complaining melodramatically in a way that he thinks is charmingly over-the-top but is actually just IRRITATING AND WHINY. This would work a lot better if he actually had any minions to hang off his every aristocratically pronounced word, but even first- and second-year Slytherins think he is a BIG JOKE.

As Champion he probably wouldn’t be a COMPLETE FAILURE, but he’s definitely not at the top of your list.

 

==>


This is ROSE LALONDE. Her life prior to Hogwarts was never particularly normal, but the only wizards it contained were the fictional ones with which her mother liberally adorned their home. When she received the Hogwarts letter delivered by owl, Rose was convinced it was a continuation of this theme and went along with it with the kind of awed, unquestioning cooperation that she was sure could only be interpreted as CYNICAL SUSPICION.

It took until the end of her first year at Hogwarts for Rose to come to terms with the fact that the entire magical community was not, in fact, an ELABORATE CHARADE orchestrated by her mother, but fortunately she’d spent most of the year passive-aggressively throwing herself into it wholeheartedly and memorising the ABSURD FANTASY LINGO, so she wasn’t behind on her classes or anything.

She’s still a pretty excellent student, although she is a little keener than ideal on the DARK ARTS. She has been full of awkward questions since her first Defense Against the Dark Arts class and never shown any sign of letting up, to Professor Renegade’s great dismay. She has been caught sneaking into the RESTRICTED SECTION on several occasions, and has got away with it scot-free countless more. Despite this, she has managed to make PREFECT, probably due to bias on the part of the HEADMASTER.

She’d be in with a good chance of winning, if you picked her as Champion. Her methods would be unorthodox and she would almost certainly cheat, but she’d do well. Definitely worth considering.

 

==>


This is GAMZEE MAKARA. He is a pretty chill guy, and he always has been, even after the older troll who originally took him in left him at the communal wizarding Pupahive and never came back. After all, Gamzee made some pretty good friends there.

He’s made some pretty great friends at Hogwarts, too, even if all his classmates in SLYTHERIN are, he thinks, a little high-strung. A lot of the time they tell him he should be in HUFFLEPUFF instead. Gamzee thinks being in Hufflepuff would be pretty cool, but he thinks every house is the bitch’s tits in its own special way and Slytherin is great too.

He knows you’ve just got to be chill with what life decides to be all up and handing you, and Slytherin’s certainly never felt wrong to him.

Gamzee would be a completely rubbish Champion. He probably only even put his name in because he wanted to see the flames light up. While you admit it is a pretty tubular phenomenon to witness, you still kind of resent him for WASTING YOUR TIME.

 

==>


This is VRISKA SERKET. She started life in the communal wizarding Pupahive alongside TEREZI, TAVROS and GAMZEE, but when she was six years old an older blueblood decided she’d be better off in her care than in with the others. Thanks to her CUSTODIAN’S PROJECTED INSECURITIES, Vriska has been left with a plethora of ISSUES when it comes to MAGICAL HERITAGE and HER OWN SELF-WORTH, and she mostly takes these out by BULLYING OTHER STUDENTS, especially ones from muggle backgrounds and lowblood trolls. On occasions it’s been worse than bullying, but she tries not to think about the stuff she actually FEELS BAD ABOUT.

Against all expectations, though, she’s wound up good friends with a muggle-born human kid. She and JOHN have always gotten along pretty well, but it’s only since last year that Vriska’s managed to get over her prejudice-based insecurities and fear of her custodian’s judgement enough to admit to herself that she enjoys palling around with John much more than she ever liked running around with ERIDAN hexing unsuspecting Hufflepuffs and pretending to be pirates.

(Not that pirates aren’t still REALLY COOL. Few things, in fact, are cooler.)

Vriska’s yearning for glory and tenacious pursuit of victory, along with her undeniable skill as a witch, makes her an obvious choice for Champion. It’s not your problem, after all, if it winds up going to her head.

 

> That's enough examining. Make a decision already.


Welp. This is a tough one. There are a lot of candidates who are more than worthy. The Champion you select will undergo DANGEROUS TRIALS, have a shot at RICHES and GLORY, and be the focus of a great deal of IRRITATING MEDIA ATTENTION for the duration of the school year. The way the Triwizard Tournament unfolds will depend significantly on this choice.

Who do you pick?

 

> Announce the Champions.

After a suitably suspenseful pause (you like nothing more than being suitably suspenseful), you set about announcing the names of the hapless teenagers who will be forced to participate in the Triwizard Tournament.

There’s just one thing you have to sort out first.

Remember these guys?


You can’t announce their names if they don’t have names yet. So what are they called?

 

> Enter names.

Ah yes. That's it. All right, then, here we go.


It is the morning of October 31st, 2010. The Great Hall is packed with students – those from Hogwarts, and the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. PROFESSOR SNOWMAN, the Deputy Headmistress and a lady you would think far classier if she did not choose to light her cigarette in your flames, has taken her place at your side, ready to pluck the scraps of paper from your fiery maw and announce them to a hall full of excited students. Finally satisfied with your choices, you set about spewing the names forth.

Professor Snowman catches them as they emerge, and intones the names of the lucky teenagers in a tone of voice that strongly implies she has somewhere else, somewhere better, she could be.

 

> Be the Champion.


You are ANNA ERLING and you have just been selected as Triwizard Champion for DURMSTRANG. You are OVER THE MOON and totally not a LITTLE BIT NERVOUS about facing TREMENDOUS DANGER or anything, no sir. This will be TOTALLY AWESOME and

 

> No, not that Champion.


You are TUMULU PACCLÉ and you are now the Triwizard Champion for BEAUXBATONS. As Beauxbatons’ best student, this is absolutely WHAT YOU EXPECTED TO HAPPEN and you are by no means SHITTING YOUR PANTS WITH JOY OVER THIS TOTALLY PREDICTABLE OUTCOME because that would be

 

> No, not THAT Champion, either.


You are JOHN EGBERT. As of three seconds ago, you are the Triwizard Champion for HOGWARTS.

You have NO IDEA HOW THIS HAPPENED.

Chapter Text

John: Question these proceedings.


guys i didn’t even put my name in there! don’t you have to put your name in to get chosen?

S)(OR—E you didn’t, John!

no, seriously!

I Am Sure We Are All Impressed By Your Commitment To This Charade Of Modesty John
But Your Name Must Have Been Inserted Or Else You Would Not Have Been Selected

aND, i BET YOU’LL BE A GREAT cHAMPION, aND SHOW EVERYONE, tHAT hUFFLEPUFFS AREN’T USELESS, oR STUPID, oR PATHETIC, oR ANY OTHER THING LIKE THAT,

Yeah! Now get up there and look H-EROIC!!!

You get up there and look … like a huge dork, you are pretty sure of it.

 

> John: Search the Great Hall for a sympathetic face.


DAVE and KARKAT are both making the same exact faces they always make, but you are pretty sure they’re pleased for you. You hope so, anyway – you know both of them put their names into the Goblet of Fire, even though Dave pretended he was TOO COOL TO GIVE A SHIT, and Karkat said this was yet another example of the wizarding community’s callous and disturbing fixation on MAIMING AND SLAUGHTERING ITS YOUNG. You sure hope they’ll believe you when you tell them you didn’t put your name in the cup! JADE will probably believe you, at least … she looks pretty excited, but she usually knows what’s up.

You turn your attention to the SLYTHERIN table, where your friend ROSE is no doubt ready to psychoanalyse the hell out of your insistence that you totally didn’t mean for this to happen, and your friend VRISKA is …


… Oh geez.

 

> John: Abscond.


You can’t abscond! Not while Professor Scratch is making his IMPORTANT HEADMASTERLY SPEECH about what a momentous occasion this is and how he is sure all the Champions will do their best to make their schools proud. You are just going to have to sit this out and let the guy from the DAILY PROPHET take unflattering pictures of you.

 

> John: Answer probing personal questions.


The reporter asks each of you what spurred you to take on this MOMENTOUS CHALLENGE and whether the TENDRILS OF FEAR SQUIRM IN YOUR GUT now that you are forced to face the CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DECISION.

Anna Erling says she was BORN READY FOR THIS.

Tumulu Pacclé insists he wouldn’t acknowledge the squirm of fear if its tendrils attempted to THROTTLE HIS WINDCHUTE.

You say you’re not really sure, actually, but you’re hoping you don’t die or anything because that would really suck, ha ha.

You get the feeling you’d be making Hogwarts look better if you’d actually been expecting to have to answer these questions. The other guys really seem to know what they’re talking about, probably because they’ve been pinning all their hopes and dreams on this moment for the last month and stuff.

The Daily Prophet guy ushers you all off to question you away from the noise of the GREAT HALL, and you wind up having to answer questions about your FAMILY (one dad!), your FAVOURITE COLOUR (blue), whether or not you have a GIRLFRIEND (nope), how likely you really think you are to DIE HORRIBLY and what you anticipate will be your GRUESOME DOWNFALL if you do, before you are allowed to leave.

Sometimes you think Karkat might be a little bit right about wizards.

 

> John: Retreat to the denlike safety of the Hufflepuff basement.


That seems like a good idea. But first you want to find your friends from the other houses and make sure there aren’t any hard feelings or –

Psssssssst! John! Over here!!!!!!!!

 

==>


hey, vriska! why are you hiding in this alcove?

It doesn’t matter! There are more important things to 8e discussed right now.
Like: how does it feel to 8e a TRIWIZARD CHAMPION?

oh, uh. kind of weird, actually!
i’m not really sure how it happened…
but now everybody is asking me all these probing personal questions, and taking pictures of my face, and expecting me to fight monsters and maybe die horribly.

Don’t 8e stupid, John! If anyone is going to die horri8bly, it will defin8ely 8e those other losers, and not you.
You are going to 8e the 8EST Champion, it is 8asically an inevita8ility and always has 8een.

ok, your unquestioning support is pretty reassuring.
but i didn’t even put my name in! i’m pretty sure you have to put your name in to be champion, and i did not put mine in there.

I know you didn’t!

really?

Duh! Of course I know you didn’t put your name in, you would have told me if you were going to.

well, yeah, but –

That’s why I put your name in for you. ::::)

wait.
what?

 

==>


Well, you o8viously weren’t going to do it yourself, so I decided to take the initi8tive!

but… i thought you wanted to be champion!
you’ve been talking about how awesome the triwizard tournament is going to be since the start of term!
c’mon, vriska, you would have been way better at this than me.

Well, I WOULD have 8een a great Champion.
8ut what if that dum8 go8let didn’t work that out????????

well, it is kind of supposed to be an impartial judge whose omnipotent decisions are ultimately indisputable.

Pfffffffft, everyone TELLS you that, but those stupid ancient magical artifacts can 8e so unreliable! I mean, look at Pyrope, there’s no way a sneaky underhanded 8itch like her 8elongs in Gryffindor. And If the Sorting Hat can screw up, then so can the Go8let of Fire.
Entering 8OTH of us meant there was twice the chance of one of us winning, which means twice the chance of this tournament 8eing as awesome as it deserves to 8e!

bluh, i suppose so. i just don’t know if i’m ready for this!

Oh come oooooooon, John! If you were selected, that means you’re ready for it! Duh!
In fact you were pro8a8ly 8orn ready, you just didn’t know it yet.
You wouldn’t have 8een chosen to comp8te in a glo8ally respected and prestigious teen wizard compet8tion if you weren’t ready for it.
So don’t worry! You are going to 8e fine. I 8elieve in you!

well, i guess i can’t argue with that logic…
i mean, if you really think i can do this … well, how bad can it be, right? it’s not like i’m the chosen one or the heir of anything that’ll mean anyone is gonna want to rig the entire tournament specifically to try and murder me.

That’s the spir8t!
You don’t need to worry a8out any of that life-thr8tening danger stuff, because there is no way you are going to die, or even be horribly maimed. I’m going to m8ke sure of it!
Then again… You would look really cool with an eyepatch.

ok, i am pretty sure losing either one of my eyes is a thing i would prefer to avoid.
no offense, but it does not look like fun.

It is not fun.
But it DOES look gr8!
So don’t worry. Even if something terri8le happens, I know you’ll come out of it looking stylish!
Now let me t8ke a look at your cool map.

 

> John: Let her take a look at your cool map.


Your cool map – or, to give it its proper name, the MARAUDER’S MAP – is completely awesome magical artifact that has been in your family for YEARS.

TWO years.

You found it tucked away inside a copy of COLONEL SASSACRE’S DAUNTING TEXT OF MAGICAL FRIVOLITY AND PRACTICAL JAPERY in the school library when you were in third year, and it has never left your side since. It took you a while to work out how to get it to work, but it has been an invaluable tool in your ONGOING CAMPAIGN OF MAGICALLY-AIDED PRANK ACTIVITY, and also occasionally for SOLVING MYSTERIES.

You do not know where you would be without it.

Sometimes Vriska likes to use it to get the drop on her Gryffindor rival TEREZI PYROPE, who you think might be her TROLL HATE GIRLFRIEND or something but you AREN’T REALLY SURE. You get the feeling Vriska isn’t really sure, either.

Oooooooohh, what’s she doing in the dungeons?

uhm, prefect duty, probably.

That’s just what she wants people to think! She’s up to something, I know it…….. But not for long!
I gotta go, John!
Remember, you are going to 8e the 8est Champion!
8ecause I am going to 8e the 8est coach!
By our power com8ined, we are t8tally going to win! GO TEAM!!!!!!!!

 

==>


Well, that was a little weird. But also pretty usual for a conversation with Vriska. You still can’t believe she put your name in the Goblet of … okay, no, you can totally believe it. This is completely typical, and if you were, say, witnessing this as some kind of fan-created depiction of fictional events on the internet, you would totally have seen it coming a mile away.

Oh well. Maybe this will be kind of fun! Especially if Vriska’s going to help you out. She is always really helpful when it comes to tough homework assignments and stuff like that – that’s how you guys became friends, after all. You might even win the Tournament, which would, you can’t deny, be pretty great, even if you would probably have to contest with THE MOTHER OF ALL PROUD FATHERLY BAKED CONFECTIONS on your return to Wiltshire.

Anyway, it’s gonna be a while before they announce when the first task will be, so you have a lot of time to GIRD YOUR LOINS.

What will you do now?

 

> John: Gird your loins.


You gird the fuck out of those loins. No loins have ever been girded as hard as these ones. If some kind of RESPECTED AND PREDIGIOUS LOINGIRDING CONTEST were to be held right here and right now, your loins would be the UNCONTESTED VICTOR. No one can hope to beat you in a GIRD-OFF. You are simply the best there is.

Of course nobody can see how outrageously girded your loins are because of the FORM-CONCEALING ROBES you are wearing, and also because they are out of frame.

And, really, you are OK with that.

 

> John: Entertain fantasies of glorious victory.


AUUUUGHHH.

You won't be doing THAT again.

 

> John: Consult map for the location of Gryffindor peers.


Just the Gryffindors? Well, OK, you guess.

Looks like Dave is hanging out with Tavros outside the BROOM SHEDS – man, you are going to have to have a word with Tavros about fraternising with the enemy. He could be sharing all kinds of important team secrets out there! OK, no, you are kidding. You don’t even have any important team secrets yet this year! You just like to ACT LIKE YOU DO, to throw your opponents off. Stuff like that is why you are Quidditch captain (or, as you prefer to put it, SPORTBUDDY PALCOACH).

Nepeta is in the RAVENCLAW COMMON ROOM with her creepy moirail boyfriend guy – or at least that is what you think he is? Troll romance kind of confuses you sometimes. You know that’s kind of a douchebag human thing to say, but whenever Karkat tries to explain it to you he always gets really worked up and it just makes less and less sense to you each time. Possibly this is the result of the residual mental block on the subject that your brain instated after Karkat decided you were his DESTINED HATEHUSBAND in first year. You are so glad he got over that.

Speaking of Karkat, the map says he and Jade are in GREENHOUSE FOUR with Kanaya. The little dot labelled KARKAT VANTAS is kind of moving around a lot in there, which you think probably isn’t that great for any of the plants? But you never know. Magical flora is pretty weird!

And Terezi is still in the DUNGEONS, probably doing prefect stuff like deducting points from first-years for not tying their shoelaces up properly.

You think Terezi is pretty okay, even though Vriska is always telling you she’s an egr8g8ous 8itch. OK, so there was that time last year with the Potions homework and stuff, but that was totally an accident. Or at least you are fairly sure it was. Terezi apologised, anyway. In any case, she and Dave are really good friends, so she can’t be all that bad!

Looks as if Vriska is heading down there, too, though. Maybe you should go after her to make sure nothing terrible happens, like at the YULE BALL last year.

… Or maybe you should just leave them to it. That would probably be better for everyone involved.

 

> John: Have terrifying flashback to last year's Yule Ball.


You …

No. You can’t. You can’t do it.

It was just TOO HORRIBLE.

You had to cast a memory charm on CASEY, your adorable first-year hanger-on, just so that she could sleep at night again.

Sometimes you wish you could have done the same for yourself.

 

> John: Fondly regard your pet first-year.


Casey is actually a third-year now, but she will be a dear sweet first-year forever, IN YOUR HEART. Even though she is also your EQUAL as a member of the HUFFLEPUFF QUIDDITCH TEAM this year.

You can’t fondly regard her, though, because she isn’t here. She’s probably back in the Hufflepuff Common Room, waiting to goggle in awe at your brand new TRIWIZARD CHAMPIONHOOD. You’ll see her later! But you have some other people to check up on right now.

 

> Be the other people John has to check up on.


You are now JADE HARLEY.

You are in Greenhouse Four with your fellow Gryffindor KARKAT VANTAS and your Advanced Herbology classmate KANAYA MARYAM. You and Kanaya came down here to repot the VANISHING PUMPKINS after Professor Scratch finished talking about the Triwizard Tournament. Vanishing Pumpkins are tricky to deal with because of their tendency to disappear when startled – doubly so because they can reappear at any point in space-time – so you have to be extra careful.

Karkat joined the both of you about 15 minutes ago in order to complain about John’s stupid Triwizard Champion face. He has, however, been forced to put complaining about John’s stupid Triwizard Champion face on the backburner, mainly because he is now busy tangling with the LESSER GNAWING MUSCLEVINE.

It has never liked him.

 

> Examine Durmstrang candidates.


No way! You wouldn’t want to damage an innocent plant! Karkat totally provoked it with the overemphatic hand gestures he was using to describe how unattractive John is.

He’ll be fine, anyway – Kanaya’s just gone to get her CHAINSAW.

 

==>


OH HOLY FUCK NO
KANAYA I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS

Calm Yourself Karkat
You Are Overreacting Needlessly

 

==>


OH GOD OH GOD OH MAN OH GOD

 

==>


Karkat’s fears are unfounded. The mere sound of Kanaya’s chainsaw has every plant capable of independent movement (a lot of them) shrinking away like a slapped puppy.

A few of the Vanishing Pumpkins vanish. This is a pain, but you knew it was going to happen sooner or later because one of them showed up in your dorm last week, looking upset.

The Lesser Gnawing Musclevine retreats to its corner, and Karkat is deposited unceremoniously in an oversized plant pot.

 

> Jade: Help him out of there.


You helpfully relocate your friend with the aid of a LEVICORPUS charm. He insists he could have gotten out of there on his own, but you know better – you got stuck in that same plant pot last week when you were trying to trim the WARBLING MUSK IVY, and Kanaya had to use like three GREASING CHARMS to extricate you.

FOR FUCK’S SAKE JADE IT’S LIKE YOU WANT TO HUMILIATE ME

thats right karkat im totally going out of my way to make you suffer and not trying to help you out at all!

IT SURE SEEMS LIKE IT, FUCKARSE!

geez stop flailing!! youre going to knock over the mandrakes >:(

FUCK YOUR MANDRAKES.

fuck YOU!!

 

> Jade: Drop him.


You lower him to the ground. Violently.

He calls you a PUS GARGLING ARSE LIMPET.

You drop a vase on him.

Behind you, Kanaya quietly covers her face with one hand, probably to disguise the fact that she is smiling.

 

> John: Arrive just in time to see Karkat cowering in a ceramic-dusted heap on the floor.


hey guys!
whoah, karkat, what are you doing down there?

FUCK OFF AND DIE, EGBERT.

hi there mr champion!

Its Good To See You In High Spirits John
I Hope That Being Selected As Hogwarts Champion Wont Take Too Much Of A Toll On Your Personal Well Being And Academic Performance

SERIOUSLY? I HOPE YOU GET MAIMED.
HOW DID YOU EVEN GET SELECTED, I THOUGHT YOU DIDN’T PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF TERRIBLE DECISIONS.

i didn’t!
but it turned out vriska did.

LIKE ANYBODY NEEDS TO BE TOLD VRISKA SERKET DID. SHE PROBABLY PUT HER NAME IN EIGHT INDIVIDUAL TIMES.

no, i mean, she put my name in.

really?? like without asking?
thats kind of irresponsible of her :/

I Am Sorry To Admit That I Knew About This All Along
And Really I Would Have Told You Sooner But She Forced Me To Take An Unbreakable Vow After She Confessed Her Plans To Me

ha ha yeah, vriska is really enthusiastic about unbreakable vows.
but it’s ok! i think it’ll be fun! she said she’d help me out and everything, she’s gonna be my coach.

I Suppose Thats The Least She Can Do

yeah… :/
but im sure youll be fine! if anyone can win the triwizard tournament its you

wow, do you really think so, jade?
hehe i hope so, that would be pretty cool! i mean, as long as my dad doesn’t show up to the ceremony… bluh.

YEAH, I CAN ALREADY SEE YOU CAPERING BLITHELY TO VICTORY LIKE YOU DO AT QUIDDITCH EVERY YEAR.
YOU KNOW, AS LONG AS SERKET’S FUMBLING ATTEMPTS TO WOO YOU DON’T KILL YOU FIRST.

ha ha, woo me?
wait, do you really think –

Of Course Not
Vriska Is Merely Attempting To Coast To Glory On Your Coat Tails
I Am Wholly Sure Her Motivations Have Nothing To Do With Any Sort Of Veiled Romantic Intentions

VEILED? ARE YOU FUCKING –

 

> Karkat: Meet Kanaya's very meaningful death glare.


UH, I MEAN, RIGHT.
THAT WAS A JOKE, AND THERE IS DEFINITELY NO REASON TO PUT ANY UNFERTILISED CLUCKBEAST OVULATIONS INTO YOUR BIZARRE HUMAN METAPHOR BASKET OVER IT. BECAUSE IT WAS A JOKE.

Ha Ha

HA HA.


man, karkat, we really need to work on your pranking skills.
that was pretty feeble!

YES YOU’RE RIGHT
I’M TERRIBLE AND MY SENSE OF HUMOUR IS TERRIBLE.
I DON’T KNOW HOW I CAN STAND LIVING WITH MYSELF FROM DAY TO DAY KNOWING I AM SUCH A POOR HAND AT JAPES AND MARAUDING.

hehe, well, good thing you’ve got a master to learn from.
i’d stick around to give you some tips, but i’ve gotta go and find dave and rose! i just wanted to make sure there weren’t any hard feelings about the whole champion thing.

Mm
My Feelings Are Entirely Soft I Assure You

yeah!! youre going to be a great champion i know it
and just you wait
im going to annihilate your quidditch team while youre distracted by all your big important triwizard stuff! hehehe :)

RIGHT, NO HARD FEELINGS.
THAT STUPID CUP PROBABLY SENSED THAT I HAVE BETTER SHIT TO DO WITH MY TIME THAN GET MORTALLY WOUNDED BY VICIOUS MANEATING FREAKS OF NATURE THAT NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD PUT WITHIN HALF A MILE OF A SCHOOL FULL OF MINORS.

ha ha, right. don’t worry, karkat, i know you would have made a totally dashing champion!
but, ok, i’ll see you guys later!

oh
wait a second!!
if youre going to find rose
will you take her this for me? she said she needed it for one of her defense against the dark arts projects

oh, uh. sure!
what even is it?

Its A Knotted Phloxroot
In The Wrong Hands Its Extremely Dangerous And I Am Not Certain I Feel Comfortable With The Idea Of Lalonde Using It
As A Prefect I Feel I Am Obliged To Protest

well rose is a prefect too :/
im sure she knows what shes doing!

To Be Perfectly Frank
Thats What Im Worried About

 

> John: Captchalogue the weird root.


You have got absolutely no idea what that means.

Instead you stow the KNOTTED PHLOXROOT in the pocket of your robes, where it nestles safely (kind of) alongside a number of other, mostly less dangerous items, and leave your cool Herbology friends (and Karkat) to their cool Herbology shenanigans (and Karkat stuff).

Your pockets now contain the following:

• the ROOT that Jade just gave you to pass on to Rose.
• the MARAUDER’S MAP, an invaluable aid to pranksters everywhen.
• a quantity of POCKET FLUFF, as of yet mercifully non-sapient.
• two NOTES that Karkat chucked at you during a Potions lesson on Friday, even though he sits right next to you in Potions and he could have just passed them to you instead of getting up and pretending he had to go get more bezoars just so that he could throw the notes at the back of your head from the other side of the classroom. He is always doing stuff like that, it is part of his unique charm.
• an out-of-date and much-folded WEASLEY’S WIZARD WHEEZES CATALOGUE.
• a slightly battered packet of CANARY CREAMS, because you never know when is going to be the most hilarious time to trick someone into getting TRANSFIGURED INTO A GIANT YELLOW BIRD through the innocuous act of EATING A BISCUIT.
• an AWESOME PICTURE that Vriska drew in glittery gel pen of you and her as PIRATES. Glittery gel pens are among the very few things about muggle culture Vriska is willing to concede are worth her time, alongside Nic Cage, fast food, and motorbikes.
• a folded PHOTOGRAPH OF CASEY, which you carry with you everywhere, like any PROUD FATHER would.
• a CONFOUNDING AND IMPRACTICAL MIXTURE OF MAGICAL AND MUGGLE LOOSE CHANGE.

Your pockets are pretty great, but you knew that already.

 

> John: Survey the picturesque landscape as you step out of the greenhouse.


It is a BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Okay, no, it’s kind of grey and mediocre and it’s probably going to rain later, which is why the Hogwarts grounds aren’t exactly thronging with students despite the fact that it’s a SUNDAY. Most of them are inside, like sensible people.

You should probably go and see ROSE now, since you have her freaky magic plant in your pocket and you don’t want it to get ACCIDENTALLY SQUASHED or TRANSFORMED INTO A CANARY.

A quick check of the Marauder’s Map reveals that she is in the SLYTHERIN COMMON ROOM.

 

> Be Rose.


You can’t be Rose, because she is in the Slytherin Common Room, and you can’t get in there if you don’t know the password. In order to get into the Slytherin dungeon from outside, you first need to be someone else who knows what the password is.

This is really pretty stupid, but that’s what you get when you install a contrary magical security system like the one at Hogwarts.

 

> Be another Slytherin.


You are now TROLL SNAPE. Unfortunately, you aren’t going to be checking in on the Slytherin dungeon any time soon. You are busy in your OFFICE, marking POTIONS HOMEWORK.

God do you hate marking homework.

If you want to get into the Slytherin Common Room any time soon, you will have to be somebody else.

 

> Be somebody else.


You are now EQUIUS ZAHHAK.

You know the password to another house’s common room because Vriska shared it with you, so that you could help her with a project of hers. You are not really helping Vriska for her own sake, though, despite the fact that the two of you have KNOWN EACH OTHER SINCE CHILDHOOD. You are helping for the sake of your rustblooded yet PROFOUNDLY ALLURING classmate, ARADIA MEGIDO, to whose breast Vriska promises this project will restore the passion that Aradia has, for the last two years, mysteriously lost.

You’re not sure why Vriska is so devoted to this project. She insists that it’s simply to see if she can, but that’s PRETTY OBVIOUSLY A LIE. She gets all flustered and high pitched when you press the matter, though, so you don’t bother any more.

You don’t really like coming down to the Slytherin rooms – although your CUSTODIAN was always a little disappointed that you didn’t get into Slytherin, you have always privately been of the opinion that there is something a little CLASSLESS about a dungeon, and you much prefer living in a NOBLE, JUTTING TOWER – but you’ve been making a lot of progress lately and you really need to talk to Vriska.

You intone the PASSWORD, which is CHIMERA’S CLAW, and the hidden door rumbles open for you.

 

> Equius: Enter the Slytherin Common Room.


The Slytherin dungeon is, theoretically, your mollusc – but there seems to be no sign of Vriska. Only the muggle-born human ROSE LALONDE occupies the common room, reading some of her SUSPICIOUS LITERATURE.

You clear your throat.

D —> E%cuse me

Zahhak. To what do I owe the dubiously moist pleasure of this intrusion into the Slytherin Common Room?

D —> I am 100king for your housemate
D —> Serket
D —> We are working on an e%tracurricular project together and it is imperative that I speak with her
D —> Do you know where she might be located

I last saw her fleeing to the girls’ dormitory with a multicoloured face. Another casualty of her duels with Pyrope, I expect, unless one of her other victims has mustered the courage to rise up against the spidery oppressor.
Would you like to leave a message for me to pass on once she’s restored her features to an acceptable monochrome?

D —> The girls’ dormitory
D —> Oh dear
D —> Er
D —> No, thank you
D —> I must speak to her myself

Vriska has emphasised the secrecy of your project countless times, and besides, the materials you need to give to her are absolutely not the sort that ought to be left in the hands of someone else.

Although troll romantic inclinations mean there is little reason for you to take human gender segregation seriously, RULES ARE RULES, and the thought of breaking them makes you … SWEAT …

D —> Perhaps you could inform her that I am waiting to see her
D —> I will wait here

Lalonde makes it clear that she is less than delighted to oblige, but she leaves her book on the chair and disappears up the FORBIDDEN STAIRWELL, into the realm of … whatever it is goes on in girls’ dormitories.

(You have only seen two girls’ dormitories in your time at Hogwarts. One was in the dead of night and you left as swiftly as you could, and the other was the Gryffindor dormitory inhabited by your moirail, which was a DEN OF INIQUITY AND ROLEPLAY. You are never going back in there, even if its inhabitants do all share a respectable keenness for MAJESTIC BEASTS.)

You are left alone in the Slytherin Common Room.

Minutes pass and there is no sign of Lalonde’s return.

What do you do?

 

> Equius: Attempt to sneak into the girls' dormitory to see what Vriska and Rose are up to.


No, no, no, no! That would be DEEPLY IMPROPER, especially since Lalonde is a HUMAN, and so she is presumably ATTRACTED EXCLUSIVELY TO MALES. For some reason this means that if you intruded on her sleeping quarters she would FAINT, or something. You think that’s how it works, you’re not entirely sure – perhaps it’s something to do with the mammalian vascular system? The point is you are not going up there, no way, no how.

 

> Equius: Quickly skim Lalodne's suspicious literature.


The curiosity is just too much for you. Even though you are quite sure that the book is infected with a combination of terrible lurgies – HUMAN, MUGGLE, and probably EVIL – you pick it up and give it a cautious examination.

You do not feel any kind of jolt of incapacitating peasant malevolence as soon as your fingers brush its leatherbound cover, but you are sure these things can be SLOW-ACTING.

The book is titled HOW TO ABUSE THE DARK ARTS. This is terrible. Where did Lalonde even acquire a book like this? You quickly put it down, lest anybody suddenly enter the common room and get the wrong idea about your own reading habits.

 

> Equius: Crush the book in a STRONG fist and whinny.


That’s absurd. You have far more dignity than that.

You regard the book, placed carefully back where Lalonde left it, with a disapproving snort that might be regarded as equine by a biased observer. You will have to talk to her about her choices in reading material, one prefect to another, as soon as you get the chance.

 

> Equius: Get the pumpkin.


What pumpkin?

 

==>


Oh. How inconvenient.

Carefully, so as not to crush the pumpkin in your STRONG hands, you set it to rest on the sleek, classy coffee table. You will return it to the GREENHOUSES once you have finished speaking with Vriska.

 

> Equius: Go see what's going on in the boys' dormitory.


Yes, that sounds like a good idea. Perhaps by the time you return, Vriska will have done too. Maybe you can try to talk some sense into MAKARA, if he’s there.

You ascend the stairs to open the door to the fifth-year boys’ dorm, but it is locked. Ordinarily your STRENGTH would be able to open any door, but the ones at Hogwarts lock with magic, and also that would be e%traordinarily rude.

Someone inside is muttering angrily to themselves, but the heavy oak door makes it impossible for you to discern their words. It sounds like AMPORA, no doubt sulking over his failure to be selected as TRIWIZARD CHAMPION. Not that he deserves it, lousy seadweller.

Perhaps you had better go back down to the common room. Or – oh, fiddlesticks, you had DEFINITELY better go back down to the common room. You just realised you left your little bag of VITAL INGREDIENTS on the table with the pumpkin. You don’t know what you would do if someone ended up taking it – or opening it up. That would be dreadful. This will not do at all.

 

> Equius: Descend.


D —> Lalonde
D —> You will put that down at once
D —> I command it

Zahhak! There you are! Don’t you know it’s 8ad manners to keep a lady w8ting?

D —> My profound apo100gies, Serket
D —> Lalonde, the contents of that bag are 100% private


Are they really. You know, one might say it’s my duty as a prefect to examine any suspicious parcels left unattended in my common room.

Can it, Lalonde! And give me th8t! It’s important and it’s none of your snooty prefect 8usiness!

Your combined attitude is hardly convincing me that the pair of you are engaged in any sort of innocent venture, I’m afraid. I’ll have to take a look.

 

> Rose: Open the bag.


… It’s … hair.
Do you know, at any other school, this would be intensely disturbing. If I’d had the sense to decline the letter I received at the tender age of eleven, instead of believing it was an overcomplicated hoax orchestrated by my mother, finding something like this in the hands of one of my fellow students would be the subject of schoolwide gossip and horror.
Once again I thank my lucky stars I have been given the chance to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where a sweaty leather baggie full of hair is an unremarkable, day to day occurrence.

D —> Oh
D —> Sugar
D —> I can e%plain
D —> It’s –

Centaur hair! For Zahhak’s dum8 wand, that he’s always 8r8king.
We’re trying to find a way to strengthen it! He just doesn’t want anyone to know a8out it 8ecause he’s em8arrassed! Hahahahahahahaha.

D —> I
D —> Yes
D —> That is the truth
D —> Now hand it over
D —> At once

You are both appalling liars and I am ashamed to share a house with you, Serket. This is –

Accio hair!!!!!!!!

 

==>


You are Vriska Serket.

In addition to being rainbow coloured, your face is now covered in Aradia Megido’s hair.

This is not your day.

Chapter Text


You are now John Egbert. Again.

Weren’t you supposed to be going to talk to Rose in the Slytherin Common Room?

You totally were, you just got a little sidetracked because you ran into TEREZI on your way down and she cornered you to talk about JEW STUFF and also how your tie was not done up right, as is her wont.

Honestly until you met Terezi you didn’t know trolls could even be Jewish, but she hit you in the face with her WAND CANE and told you you were being a HUM4N J3W R4C1ST when you said that so you haven’t mentioned it again.

Karkat says she is CONNECTING WITH HER HERITAGE, which you think has to be a good thing, even if he rolled his eyes about it a lot and said that tracing your ancestral lineage was POINTLESS MASTURBATORY BLUEBLOOD HORSESHIT. You told him maybe he should try it anyway because it might be fun, which was about when he HEXED YOU.

Cultural sensitivity can be kind of a minefield sometimes.

 

> John: Get on over to the Slytherin dungeons already!


Good plan! You really need to get this WEIRD ROOT to Rose before it starts to stink up your pocket and Terezi notices.

You bid farewell to Terezi, who doubtless has some terrified first-years with UNTUCKED SHIRTS to loom over, and make your way to where you know the entrance to the Slytherin Common Room is hidden.

You give the last password Vriska told you, but nothing happens – it’s the weekend, which means there’s a new password, and you don’t know it yet.

But that’s okay. Vriska’s probably back down in Slytherin if she’s done fighting with Terezi, which means you have an AWESOME TOP SECRET METHOD of letting her know you need her to come and open the door for you.

 

> John: Perform secret whistle.


You lean against the wall and whistle a CATCHY TUNE!

Any average passerby would assume you were just chilling out in the dungeons and whistling for fun like the cool guy you are, on account of how you are being TOTALLY CASUAL and not looking at all furtive whatsoever. The way you are waggling your eyebrows significantly is just part of the CUNNING CHARADE.

No one ever suspects a thing. You and Vriska are the coolest.

 

==>


whoah, vriska, what happened to your face?

Pyrope happened! That witch is trou8le.

oh yeah, i met her in the dungeons on my way over!
she looked pretty unscathed, haha.
not that i don’t bet you put up a fight, because i know you are pretty great at duels.
the gr8est, even! hehehehehe.

Damn str8 I put up a fight! And I would have won if she hadn’t pulled her dum8 rain8ow hex on me.

rainbow hex, huh?
i’ll have to get the incantation for that one…
but, uh
what’s with the beard?

The beard?
Aw shit, I thought I GOT all of that! Stupid goddamned rust8looded –

huh?

N8thing!!!!!!!!
It’s n8t import8nt!
Look, John, I’m kind of 8usy here
With really important stuff!
For, uh
Care of M8gical 8eards class!
Right!
It’s top secret.

haha, that isn’t a real subject!
i bet if it was rose would be really good at it, though.
but, seriously, what’s the deal?

I told you, John, it’s a secret!!!!!!!!

seriously? :/
so top secret you can’t tell me?

Yes! Geez.

well… ok. i guess.
i came to see rose, anyway.
is she in there?

Pfffffffft, like you don’t know already.
Yeah, she’s in there, getting her uppity prefect 8ullshit all over the Common Room!

you mean reading a book, right.

Yeah I mean reading a 8ook. Sheesh, just come in already.

 

> John: Come in already.


You follow Vriska into the DANK GREEN BOWELS of the Slytherin Common Room.

They are not actually that dank, even though the dungeon is LITERALLY UNDERNEATH THE LAKE, but the green lights that line the walls give everything an underwater sort of feeling. No wonder this is the house sea trolls usually get sorted into.

As you expected, Rose is in the Common Room already, along with … Equius Zahhak, of all people. Vriska grabs him by the arm as soon as you guys get up there and hurries him up the stairs to the girls’ dorms. He doesn’t seem all that pleased about it but she’s pretty insistent, by which you mean she KICKS HIM IN THE SHINS until he GETS A MOVE ON.

There is definitely something fishy going on there and you aren’t sure you like it.

what’s up with them?

All I know is that there’s a troubling excess of hair involved, and if I’m honest with you I’d prefer not to know any more.

yeah… vriska was really shifty about it. :/
i hope it’s not something… i dunno…

I’m almost certain that it is.

hey, i didn’t even say an adjective!
and anyway, vriska’s not really that bad.
i mean, she likes people to think she’s that bad, but she is pretty cool and nice, really.
most of the time.

John, I’ve slept in the same dormitory as Vriska Serket for more than four years. I’d like to think of myself as a capable judge of her character.
I know that for some reason you’ve managed to fall into her good books since last year, thus managing to escape personally experiencing the full brunt of –

bluuuhhh, rose, it’s fine!
it’s not like i don’t know about the stuff she did in second year!
or the stuff she did in third year.
or the stuff that happened… at the yule ball… last year…

 

> John and Rose: Observe a moment of silence for the events of last year's Yule Ball.


You both fall quiet, briefly taking on the glassy-eyed stare unique to those who have witnessed first hand that thing that Vriska did with the butterbeer, and the spiders, and all that fire.

… look, what i am saying is that she wouldn’t do any of that stuff now.
vriska is great and we are pals and that is that!
none of that is even the point, anyway.
i came here because jade asked me to give you this.

Hm?
Oh, the knotted phloxroot? Jade said it wouldn’t be ready for another week. I wonder what happened.

shrug!
it’s ready now, i guess.
kanaya seemed pretty dubious about it, though. what’s it for?

My Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts project.
Don’t worry, it’s completely harmless.
Maryam is simply overcautious. The purpose of the subject is to gain a better understanding of the Dark Arts, after all. There’s no point in studying an area like this if you aren’t going to get a bit of practical experience.

um… no offense, rose, but that sounds kind of ominous.
i’m pretty sure that dabbling in the dark arts is more dangerous than dabbling in vriska serket, i am just saying.

Dabbling in Vriska Serket, hm?
Is there something you’re not telling me, John?

what? oh, dude, no!!!
that is not what i meant at all.

 

> John: Cast around for a suitable distraction from the idea that you might be dabbling in girls.


… rose, is that book seriously called ‘how to abuse the dark arts’?

Oh, no! You’ve caught me. I have been following a step by step guide to Dark Wizardry, in the hope that I, too, might one day enjoy the privilege of having the wizarding world fear to refer to me by anything other than a childishly vague pseudonym.

c’mon, seriously?

Of course not. It’s one of the assigned texts for Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts.
It’s satire, intended to educate through humorous dissection of the clichéd pitfalls into which the average practicioner of nefarious magicks thoughtlessly tumbles.
There is an entire chapter on sinister cackling.

ohh, duh! i guess that’s pretty obvious.
it sure would be stupid if someone thought that was a real serious book about how to be evil.

Yes. Immensely.
Honestly, John. Do you really think I’d leave the dangerous eldritch texts pilfered at midnight from the Restricted Section on display in the Common Room where anybody might see them?
Perish the thought. I could be expelled.

ha ha, rose, you are such a joker.

Mmm.

 

> Hours in the future, but not many...


A ROGUISH LITERATUS scours forbidden bookshelves for a turpitudinous tome.

 

> Be Rose.


You are now Rose Lalonde, in the Restricted Section, in the future, and you may have been exaggerating a little bit when, earlier today, you assured your good friend John that the phloxroot was an unobjectionable facet of a benign school project.

(Strictly speaking “today” is no longer a pertinent term, as it is a quarter to one in the morning, but you will contrarily continue to think of it as “today” until after you have slept.)

Technically, as a RESPONSIBLE PREFECT, especially one studying ADVANCED DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS for your OWLs, you do not need permission to go into the Restricted Section. You can just waltz the fuck on in there any time you like. But it really wouldn’t look very good for a responsible prefect to have all of the books you’ve smuggled out of here late at night over the course of the last year or so on your borrow list. There is, after all, only so that much claims about DADA projects can excuse. Besides, some of them are the kind of books you’d need a teacher’s note to borrow even if you were Head Girl. More than a couple of the books stowed away in the trunk under your bed are the kind occasionally possessed of TROUBLING SENTIENCE, the sort of books that leak dark magic like radiation, the dangerous kind of book that students are not, under any ordinary circumstances, permitted to actually remove from the library.

Despite this, you are currently seeking to add another one to your collection, a grimoire penned by a 17th-century warlock who specialised in mind magic. You are completely sure you are in the right section, but despite your best efforts you can’t seem to find it.

What will you do?

 

> Be the other person in the library.


That’s impossible. The library is empty.

The air that hangs between the bookshelves is still and dry, filled only with the dusty vanilla scent of old paper and the faint hum of centuries of gently accumulating magic.

Nobody is here but you.

You made sure.

You are completely alone with your crimes.

 

> Be the other prefect.


There are a number of other prefects you could be, but only one of them is currently both awake and patrolling the corridor outside the library, so you will have to be that one.

You are Kanaya Maryam, Hufflepuff prefect, and this isn’t normally your “beat”, as some of your Gryffindor peers would put it, but certain factors have compelled you to go out of your way to be here.

Everything is as quiet and dark as it should be at this hour of the night – except, of course, for the faint glimmer of lumos light emanating from within the library.

Just as you suspected.

You will have to investigate further.

 

> Rose: Accio grimoire.


The thought of a SUMMONING CHARM crosses your mind – repeatedly – but you dismiss it, and for good reason. For all you know the book could be in another witch or wizard’s sticky rulebreaking paws already. You can’t have it squirming desperately for escape from under someone else’s bed when they might notice. That would be practically inviting suspicion.

It would be really, really terrible if anyone was suspicious of you, after all.

 

> Rose: Ask your cue ball.


You mean like the useless piece of junk Serket keeps in her sock drawer? Don’t be ridiculous. What would you even do with one of those?

 

> Rose: Summon familiar to find book.


You don’t have a familiar. Your beloved JASPERS died under MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES last year – he was quite old, but you suspect FOUL PLAY all the same. You have thought about acquiring a new pet, but it is still TOO SOON FOR YOUR BEREAVED HEART.

Besides, Jaspers was a CAT. Cats don’t fetch things – they are far too stupid to learn how to perform useful tasks. (You are, however, the kind of person who prefers to believe that it is because they are too INTELLIGENT AND ALOOF, even though that MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL.)

You examine the shelves one last time; the grimoire you seek remains conspicuous only by its absence.

Wandering too deeply into the Restricted Section can be dangerous – you recall stories of older students who went to catalogue some distant volumes and NEVER RETURNED. You laugh in the face of grimoiredark library peril, of course, but it would be deeply unwise to venture into uncharted shelfterritory without making the CORRECT PREPARATIONS.

You had probably better return another time. Asking the librarian would, of course, do away with the possibility of actually removing the grimoire, because you would be cast into suspicion as soon as the book’s absence was discovered, but you could just take some notes.

You could have just taken some notes for most of the books you’ve stolen over the last couple of years, to be honest. You don’t actually NEED to keep them locked up in a secret trunk under your bed.

But addiction is a powerful thing.

 

> Rose: Abscond.


You cannot abscond.

Lalonde
I Might Have Known

Maryam. What on earth are you doing up this late? Prefect duty doesn’t ordinarily require that we walk the corridors after midnight.

No Indeed
And Yet Here We Both Are
Flouting The School Rules With Reckless Abandon
But As Long As We Are Speaking In Terms Of Duty
I Felt It Was Mine To Act On My Suspicions

Your suspicions.

Yes

Please, tell me more.

Earlier Today Zahhak Came To The Greenhouses To Return One Of Our Errant Squashes
Under Ordinary Circumstances I Do Not Permit Him To Linger As His Presence In A Building Constructed Primarily Of Glass And Filled With Delicate Vegetation Is Less Than Ideal
But He Insisted On Remaining To Inform Me Of His Concerns About Our Fellow Prefects Conduct
That Is To Say
Yours

Is that so.
It wouldn’t strictly speaking have been “earlier today”, you know, since it’s technically Monday now.

Im Aware Of That
I Am Contrarily Choosing To Refer To It As Inverted Comma Today Inverted Comma Until After I Have Slept In Order To Minimise Personal Chronological Confusion
Stop Trying To Change The Subject

I’m sorry.
Tell me, Maryam, what on earth could I have done to rouse the suspicions of our perspicacious colleague, and in turn yours?

He Asserts That You Left Immensely Dubious Reading Material In Your Common Room
Of The Sort That Strongly Implied An Unhealthy Interest In Pursuing The Dark Arts
He Insisted that
What
What Is So Humorous

Maryam, the only reading material I left in the Slytherin Common Room today was How To Abuse The Dark Arts by Aloise Trump – a title I’m sure you’ll recognise, since it’s a set text for a subject you study.

What
Are You Sure

Of course I’m sure. Even if I was reading dangerous literature, why on earth would I leave it lying around the Common Room where any oaf could see it?
I know people think Slytherins have no decency, but I’m sure even my housemates would have something to say about it if I did something like that.
Zahhak was simply confused. But good on him for trying to do the right thing, I suppose.

So Youre Saying You Dont Steal Dangerous Books On Dark Magic From The Restricted Section In The Dead Of Night
Is That Correct
Is That What You Are Asserting Here
In The Restricted Section
Surrounded By Dangerous Books On Dark Magic
In The Dead Of Night

But I’m not stealing any dangerous books on dark magic, Maryam.
There are no eldritch volumes of dark wizardry concealed in the folds of my robes.
You can check, if you want, but of course I’d have to return the favour – you’re sneaking around the Restricted Section at one o’clock at night too, after all.

 

> Kanaya: Ensure that Rose is not hiding any tiny grimoires in her brassiere.


No! That would be STUPID. You would be playing right into her hand.

And yet...

… you cannot deny that the idea of allowing yourself to be drawn into Lalonde’s sinister web of THINLY VEILED SAPPHIC EXPLORATION is an undeniably appealing one. Wasn’t the forbidden allure of the thought of cornering a POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DARK WITCH in the Restricted Section what spurred you to you take this matter into your own hands in the first place?

Yes, yes it was. Don’t try to make excuses. You are kidding precisely nobody.

 

==>


Very Well

 

==>


 

> Be Vriska.


You are now Vriska Serket. In the hours since you last appeared, your face has been restored to a NORMAL, HEALTHY SHADE OF GREY, and you have managed to clear almost all of the hair off it. You are taking advantage of the current dearth of prefects in your dorm room to consult the USELESS PIECE OF JUNK YOU KEEP IN YOUR SOCK DRAWER.

You’ve had this thing since you found it in your first year. It has been a source of much tribulation, but you absolutely could not have it falling into anybody else’s hands. Besides, you tried abandoning it, in third year. It didn’t like it.

Sometimes, it speaks to you, but it’s been quiet for a while now – it’s only spoken to you once since you decided to embark on the SECRET PROJECT for which you’ve enlisted Equius Zahhak’s help, in fact. You suspect it is ANNOYED WITH YOU, and to be entirely honest you take pleasure in this suspicion. It serves the damn thing right.

Tonight, though, you need to ask it for help.

 

==>


You give it a shake, but no well-spoken murmur is forthcoming.

The ball is being difficult.

C’mon, you piece of shit! You got me into this dum8 mess and you’re going to help me fix it or I’m gonna dump you at the 8ottom of the l8ke like i should’ve done years ago!

Your words have no apparent effect.

Ugh!!!!!!!!

 

> Vriska: Fling the ominous sphere across the room in a moment of impassioned frustration.


It bounces off the bedpost of one of the other inhabitants of your dormitory, one of the ones NOT RELEVANT ENOUGH TO THIS STORY TO HAVE A NAME, with an audible THUNK.

 

==>



Ugh, finally!
Wh8t is your PRO8LEM?
I asked you for help, you’re supposed to HELP ME!

Your calmness does you credit, Miss Serket.
That was a joke; an inversion of the truth for comic effect.
The dry tone of voice in which the statement was delivered only served to accentuate the humour.
You understand, of course, that in ordinary discourse I would never tell you a lie, but I cannot resist an opportunity to exert my not insubstantial wit.
Ha. Ha. Ha.

Wh8tever!
Are you going to help me or not?

Of course I’m going to help you.
That’s what I’m here for, after all.

Yeah right!
I haven’t heard shit from you in months.

My earnest apologies. I had been under the impression you were making excellent progress on your own.
Far be it from me to hinder your development as a sorceress by denying you the opportunity to learn things for yourself.
Besides …
The last time I really went out of my way to lend you my assistance, you attempted to do away with me altogether.
I’m sure you remember.

 

> Vriska: Remember.


Of course I remem8er.
Why do you think I need your dum8 help?!

 

==>


So you’re sorry, then.
And I expect you want the same from me.
I confess that’s not quite within my capabilities, but –

I don’t care!!!!!!!!
I just want you to tell me what I need to do to make this stupid spell work.

And which stupid spell might that be?

Don’t play dum8! You know exactly what I’m talking a8out. I’m trying to undo the 8ullshit that you –

Ah. Of course. The spell to restore what might, if we were content to define these things in simplistic and drastically inadequate terms, be referred to as Aradia Megido’s soul.

 

==>


The solution you seek can be found in the grimoire you’ve already removed from the Restricted Section.
I’m not sure why you’re asking me, honestly.
It’s right there.
You must know that. Why would you take it if you didn’t?

Come on! That thing is the size of my head!
Do I look like I have the time to read through every single page of that ancient dusty piece of shit???????? I’m a 8usy witch!

Yes, with a lot of enchanted irons in the magical fire – I know.
But I think you’ll find that taking the time to read it will be worth your while.

As if! It’s so 8oring I could choke on it, if I wasn’t already choking on the dust!
Just tell me where to find it!

Patience is a virtue extremely becoming of any young lady.
Good night, Vriska.

 

> Vriska: Scream “Fuck you!!!!!!!!” and shake the cue ball violently up and down in the futile hope that the voice will return to respond to your ire.


It does not.

You waste almost ten minutes on this tomfoolery, until one of your STILL-UNNAMED DORMMATES peers out from behind the curtain around her bed and blearily asks what the hell you are doing.

 

> Vriska: Tell her you were having a bad dream and hide the cue ball up the leg of your pyjamas.


Fortunately she is sleepy enough to buy it, the promise of a reprieve from shrill 2am swearing enough to send her back into the warm embrace of sleep without hexing you.

You shove the stupid ball back into your SOCK DRAWER, glare briefly at the HEFTY TOME at your bedside, and wrap yourself up in your bedsheets, thanking your lucky stars that LALONDE isn’t around to PEDANTICALLY DEDUCT POINTS FROM HER OWN HOUSE for that little outburst. Wherever she actually is, anyway.

Not that you care. She could be partaking of FORBIDDEN SAPPHIC PLEASURES in the RESTRICTED SECTION with your EX-MOIRAIL right now and you would not give any shits.

You decide to go to sleep.

 

> Rose: Partake of forbidden sapphic pleasures in the restricted section with Vriska’s ex-moirail.


… Well.

Um.

Hmm.

Best leave them to it, I suppose.

Chapter Text

It is now 7:30am, a much more sensible time to be awake if no more pleasant for the average teenager.

You are DAVE STRIDER, and you have just woken up in the fifth-year Gryffindor boys’ dormitory. The unruly sun has just begin to call on you through windows and through the heavy red curtains surrounding your four-poster bed, so you have already donned your SHADES.

You have a TYPICAL DAY OF WIZARD SCHOOL ahead of you. It will be entirely normal and in no way marred by any disappointment you may feel at not having been selected as HOGWARTS CHAMPION. It is, after all, not like you didn’t expect it to be someone like John.

You have an hour and a half to eat breakfast and ready yourself for the magic of learning before lessons start.

What will you do?

> Dave: Wriggle into your binder like an eel.


It’s not like the other boys in your dorm don’t know by now that biology didn’t hand you the torso you signed up for, but that doesn’t mean you’ve gotta give everyone an eyeball fulla teats first thing in the morning.

 

> Dave: Examine headboard.


The centrepiece of your headboard, like the headboard of everyone else in the dorm, is the CREST OF GRYFFINDOR: a LION OR RAMPANT ON A FIELD GULES, whatever the fuck that means. What you actually know about heraldry more or less boils down to two simple rules: if it has a TONGUE, it must be STICKING OUT, and if it has TOES, they must all be POINTING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. The lion or on your headboard embodies both of these rules, but, considerate gentleman that you are, you decided some time ago to help the poor guy out by drawing some shades (sable) onto him in MARKER PEN.

Scattered about this paragon of splay-toed leonine triumph are a number of scraps of paper bearing NOTES and DRAWINGS contributed by yourself and various CLOSE FRIENDS in the couple of months since this term began. Of particular consideration are:

  • A TOTALLY FRESH RHYME about QUIDDITCH started by TAVROS NITRAM and finished by yourself, because there is nothing you enjoy more than telling people that you are a PIONEER IN THE FIELD OF WIZARD RAP. This is the opposite of a thing that is true.

  • Assorted GENTLY DEFORMED ANIMALS drawn for you by the inhabitants of the fifth-year Gryffindor girls’ dormitory (JADE, TEREZI and NEPETA) in order to provide inspiration for the creation of your own FURSONA.

  • A FILTHY LIMERICK ABOUT YOUR BROTHER from the nib of Terezi’s tealest quill.

  • Scraps of HOMEWORK (this is ironic).

  • Some SKETCHES for an IRONICALLY TERRIBLE COMIC that you dream of being able to broadcast to an unreasonably large audience. If only some sort of medium existed through which information could be displayed publicly and instantaneously to anybody across the world who chose to access it.
    Sometimes you just feel like something is missing from your life.

 

> Dave: JUMP OUT OF BED, PUT YOUR SWAG ON, TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR SAY WHATS UP


A more than acceptable course of action, and one you take immediately – that is, if we are to assume that SWAG here means ROBE AND WIZARD HAT.

Lookin’ GOOD.

After a moment’s consideration, you ditch the hat.

 

> Dave: Search dormitory for signs of Lil’ Cal.


You give the dorm your customary morning once over to ensure the absence of your brother’s OWL.

Usually Cal only drops in on you at the breakfast table, but there have been exceptions – the times, for example, that you have woken from a particularly unsettling nightmare to find him staring down at you from the canopy of your four-poster, like a ghastly feathered ninja in a backwards cap.

Unless he is lurking behind the bed curtains of one of your dormmates, though, there is no sign of him at all this morning.

Here’s hoping it stays that way.

 

> Dave: Check on your still-sleeping dormmates.


No can do. That would mean coming up with NAMES for at least three of them. The only people in this dorm room who are allowed to have names are yourself and KARKAT VANTAS, who has, it seems, already vacated his four-poster to go do whatever it is stumpy little trolls do with themselves at seven thirty in the morning.

You’d probably better follow his example and ditch the dorm room before any of these guys wake up and you have to interact with them. God forbid any of them wind up getting TEXT COLOURS or TYPING QUIRKS.

 

> Dave: Descend.


You head downstairs to the Gryffindor Common Room, where you find your CO-PREFECT waiting for you, folded into one of the comfy armchairs like a daddy long legs with an agenda.

HELLO D4V3
YOUR3 SM3LL1NG V3RY H4NDSOM3 TOD4Y >:]

ok what do you want

C4NT A G1RL COMPL1M3NT H3R F3LLOW PR3F3CT ON H1S 4TTR4CT1V3 SC3NT W1THOUT W4NT1NG H1M TO DO SOM3TH1NG FOR H3R

nope

F1N3 >:/
VR1SK4 1S UP TO SOM3TH1NG

wow thats brand new information

SHUT UP D4V3 1M S3R1OUS
1V3 B33N TRY1NG TO C4TCH H3R 4T 1T FOR W33KS BUT SH3S TOO SN34KY FOR M3!
1 N33D YOUR H3LP

yeah sure ok

WOND3RFUL
M33T ME 1N TH3 4STRONOMY TOW3R AFTER C4R3 OF M4G1C4L CR34TUR3S 4ND 1LL F1LL YOU 1N >:]

the astronomy tower seriously
whats the plan we shack up for a few rounds of tonsil hockey and wait for serket to turn herself in out of sheer jealous disgust
please ms pyrope ill do anything just get your tongue away from that human boys oesophagus

1 H4V3 NO 1NT3R3ST 1N YOUR HUM4N TONS1LS D4V3!
1M NOT 3V3N SUR3 WH4T TONS1LS 4R3

the most erotic organ in the human body
but ok
fine
its a date

TH4NKS D4V3
YOUR3 MY F4VOR1T3 D3PUTY

 

> Dave: Exit the Gryffindor Common Room.


Time to leave Gryffindor Tower and hustle on down to the Great Hall, so you can provide your ripe young brain with the nutrients it needs to spend the rest of the day absorbing knowledge.

You clamber out of the SECRET ENTRANCE. It used to be guarded by the FAT LADY, but she resigned at the beginning of this year after being DEFACED BY AN UNKNOWN ASSAILANT, and has had to be replaced.

 

> Dave: Regard replacement painting.


The piece that now hangs in the Fat Lady’s place depicts an EPIC MOUNTAINTOP BATTLE between a MUGGLE SPORTS PROFESSIONAL and some kind of ANATOMICALLY DUBIOUS HORSE. In theory they are supposed to demand a PASSWORD from would-be entrants to the Common Room, but, being as the both of them are LOCKED IN ETERNAL COMBAT, neither ever does.

The Headmaster claims it represents COURAGE.

 

> Dave: Brave the moving staircases.


God damn it.

The frequency with which this persists in occuring would, you think, make a good subject for some kind of NONSENSICAL RUNNING GAG, but, lacking as you are a means of disseminating this joke to the teeming masses, this thought is of little reassurance to you.

 

> Jade: Be alerted to your housemate’s plight by your Quidditch captain senses.




It would be pretty cool if Quidditch captain senses actually existed and were not just something that John made up, but as it is you are adequately aware of Dave’s unfortunate tumble by the fact that you just saw and heard him plummet past you, screaming like a first-year.

You had probably better do something, otherwise you will be down one Chaser in the upcoming match against Hufflepuff.

 

> Jade: Retrieve Firebolt from wizardly robes.

Firebolt? Geez, what is this, 1993? You don’t have a Firebolt. You are, however, carrying your trusty CLOUDMAIMER, which you proceed to put to use.


 

==>


geez dave
when did you get so heavy??

my hero

 

==>


wHOAH, dAVE, aRE YOU OKAY,

hes fine!
just a little shaken up hehe

thats ok you guys carry on
its not like im right here or anything
just nearly plummeted to my untimely death no big
how the fuck did you get down here so fast anyway nitram

oH,

 

==>


tHE STAIRS, cAN BE PRETTY CONSIDERATE, iF, yOU ASK THEM NICELY,
aND DON’T TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED, oR STICK CHEWING GUM ON THE UNDERNEATHS OF THE BANISTERS,

 

> Dave: Proceed to the Great Hall.


The Great Hall is, as ever, bustling with students going about their magical morning business beneath the magnificent canopy of the enchanted ceiling.

It is truly a spectacle.

The camera focuses on your face to avoid paying for the special effects.

 

> Dave: Stop off at the Hufflepuff table.


hey! what's up!

not dave, thats for sure!

haha, what?

she means i just took an unannounced nose dive past 50 feet of disapproving renaissance beards lovingly rendered in oil paint
double-teamed by gravity and bullshit enchanted stairs

oh, man, again? dude, maybe you should buy better shoes.
or, like, watch your step or something, i’m pretty sure that doesn't happen to most people the way it keeps happening to you.

cmon man you live in the basement what do you know about stairs

hEY, uH, dAVE, iS THAT YOUR OWL,

what

 

==>


It is indeed your owl.

Lil Cal drops a WEIRD, KIND OF LUMPY LOOKING ENVELOPE into your waiting hands, perches on your shoulder, and waits.

 

> Dave: Give Lil Cal a nervous fist bump.


Why would you be nervous about giving a fist bump to your BRO’S AWESOME OWL? Fist bumps are Cal’s currency: where other owls demand head scratches or owl treats or a chunk out of their owner’s ears, Cal desires only that you touch your smooth human knuckles to his weird sort of hairy bird ones.

The bump delivered, Cal promptly disappears, with a swiftness that startles your classmates but leaves you UNFLAPPED.

 

==>


i cant believe your bro actually trained his owl to give people fist bumps……

i know its pretty awesome

haha, not really.

shut your chump mouth egbert i dont wanna hear it
look i gotta check out this weird kind of lumpy looking envelope ill catch you guys later

 

==>


aCTUALLY i THINK dAVE’S OWL, iS A LITTLE DISQUIETING, iF THAT’S OK FOR ME TO SAY, wHILE HE’S NOT HERE, wITHOUT BEING UNACCEPTABLY RUDE,
nOT THAT IT DOESN’T DESERVE LOVE, oR, aFFECTION, oR APPRECIATION, lIKE ANY LIVING THING,
bUT, i DON’T LIKE THE WAY IT LOOKS AT ME,,,

i dont really like the way it looks at anything :/

yEAH,,,
i FEEL THAT WAY ALSO,

 

> Dave: Check out that weird, kind of lumpy looking envelope.


Away from the bustle of the Great Hall, you give the envelope an examine.

Normally, correspondence from your Bro comes exclusively in the form of IRONIC RAP HOWLERS. Even when he sends you packages, there is invariably a red envelope tacked onto the outside, ready to burst in to flames and hellaciously rhythmical shouting if not opened in time.

This envelope is different. It is decidedly BROWN, kind of CRINKLY, and obviously contains something with more dimensions than a simple letter.

And that’s not your Bro’s handwriting.

 

> Dave: Open it.


The shit is this? Who in hell would be sending you jewellery?

 

> Dave: Contemplatively turn the shitty jewellery over in your hands.


On reflection, that may have been a bad idea.

 

==>


0_0