Written for the Classic Canon Challenge, with big apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer whose "Wife of Bath's Tale" I used as a springboard for this story.|
Iambic pentameter! Rhyming couplets! Some vague semblance of a plot! What more could one want in a challenge story??
(AU. Spoiler warning for all the books through OotP. Oh, and when the story takes a left turn into complete silliness toward the end, please avert your eyes and pretend you haven't noticed.)
The Wizard of Hogwarts' Tale
by Beth H.
(c) March 2004
In JKR's own version of HP,
A subject much like Muggle chemistry
Is taught at Hogwarts School, but here . . . it's not.
No Potions master feuds with Harry Pott - er.
Okay, that didn't scan. Let's start anew:
"It is the end of summer . . . ." (That'll do!)
It is the end of summer - some months after the battle with Voldemort's
Death Eaters at the Ministry of Magic - and once again, Albus Dumbledore
has called Harry Potter into his office for a long-winded (and ultimately
unsatisfying) discussion about the war against the forces of the Dark.
Harry, confused as always about the *point* of this conversation, rises to
take his leave and return to the Burrow where he's been visiting the Weasleys,
when the headmaster asks him to stay for a moment.
"Oh, Harry," Dumbledore said, "By the way,
I fear I have yet one more thing to say.
No doubt it will surprise you when I show
I have not quite disclosed all you must know."
"Surprise?" thought Harry. "Hah! Not anymore.
Half truths are all I get from Dumbledore."
He sat back down and sighed and crossed his arms
Across his chest, then waited for those charms
To start . . . yes, there! Those eyes were twinkling madly,
An almost certain sign things would end badly.
"Sir, if this is about the prophesy,
I understand; it's either him or me."
"Yes, Harry, that is true, and yet I fear
There's one last bit of it for you to hear."
"There's more?" asked Harry. "What more could there be?
Some fact kept from me by the Ministry?"
"The Ministry is - unaware, as yet
Of this. It is, well . . . rather delicate."
Headmaster Dumbledore then waved his hand;
A sheet of parchment came at his command.
"You'll see when you read all that's on the page
The need to wait until you came of age."
He took the parchment. What could Albus mean?
Why hold things back until he turned sixteen?"
Half through his reading, though, he pulled up short:
"Sex magic?!" Harry choked. "With Voldemort?!!"
"Oh no, my boy," the headmaster opined.
"That's just a standard clause; pay it no mind.
No . . . further on, you see the small print here
That says you must quite Riddle in a year?"
"A year?" asked Harry.
..................... "Yes. Well . . . and a day;
That's standard for these legends, so they say."
"What happens if I don't do as it said?
If I fail to defeat him . . . I'll be dead?!"
The headmaster looked grave and said, "That's true.
But Harry, we all have great faith in you.
Now go, my child, and learn what you must know."
And on his pilgrimage the boy did go.
He took his wand, his cloak, his broom in hand,
And started on his journey through the land.
While forces of the Light and Darkness warred,
He sought the means of killing the Dark Lord.
All those that he encountered on his quest
Were questioned if they knew what means was best
Of crushing You-Know-Who, but never two
Folk could agree on what the Boy should do.
Some said blood magic was the only way,
While others said that Charms would save the day
Said Quidditch fans: "A bludger to the head
Will guarantee that he will soon be dead!
One woman (not a witch) drew him aside,
Said "If You Are Prepared..." but then she sighed
"No . . . though you must defeat Lord Voldemort,
I think my plot should be the last resort."
Three hundred-sixty-six days took their toll
Yet Harry was no closer to his goal.
He started back to school on weary feet,
Aware that he must soon admit defeat.
Then - halfway through the dark Forbidden Forest -
He heard a lovely sound (an all-male chorus?).
Or, no . . . one voice. A silky baritone
Was chanting incantations all alone.
He neared the sound, then saw a ghastly sight -
(Oh, Merlin! What an unappealing wight).
Hunched o'er a cauldron, robed in deepest black,
There stood a wizard slicing eye of yak.
His nose was long and hook'd, his teeth were yellow,
He truly was an unattractive fellow.
His head was covered with long, greasy hair.
Then he looked up - fixed Harry with a glare -
"This forest's out of bounds to boys at school;
What makes you think you needn't heed the rule?"
Young Harry held in check a rude retort -
"I seek a way to vanquish Voldemort."
"Don't use His name!" the ugly wizard hissed,
Then scowled and rubbed his arm and clenched his fist.
"I'm sorry," Harry sighed, and turned away.
"It's just . . . well, I was well prepared to pay
For any help that you might give to me.
The need is rather urgent, don't you see?"
"And what," the wizard drawled, "would you then give
If I give you what you need . . . Boy-Who-Lived?"
"Whate'er you want is yours!" the boy replied.
"Whatever I am able to provide!"
"By chance, it just so happens that this brew
Will kill the Dark Lord if it's used by you
(Coincidence, you say? Well, yes . . . that's true.
Don't whine about a plot device or two)
"Just used by me?" said Harry warily.
"There isn't more you aren't telling me?"
"Don't be a fool," the wizard said, but then
He muttered,"Merlin, let this boy like men."
"I knew it," Harry sighed. "Deep in my heart,
"I knew that somehow sex would play a part."
The wizard raised an eyebrow. "Well, of course.
How else could any potion have the force
To bring the Dark Lord down?" He turn'd away,
"But if it's all too odious, please . . . do say."
"No," Harry said, "I promised. It's . . . okay.
Um . . . Sir?" he added, "if it's all the same,
Before we shag, might I please know your name?"
The two returned to Hogwarts, side by side,
And in a trice both men were whisked inside
By Aurors waiting at the castle gate.
Said one, "I hope and pray you're not too late!"
They gave the password, climbed the winding stair,
Then Albus indicated to the pair
That all were eager to hear what they knew.
Young Harry took a breath, and he went through
The unsuccessful year he'd had, but how
This Potions master - "Well, it's his turn now.
He understands the way this works the best.
Please, Headmaster, let Sev'rus tell the rest."
And so while Harry stood there looking tragic,
Snape gave a summary of how this magic
Would end the Dark Lord's evil "If," he said,
The Brewer and the Hero go to bed."
"You're certain that's the only way to do it?"
"Yes," Snape replied.
....................."Then I shall leave you to it!
Fare well, dear boy. Give Riddle my regards!
I'd love to help, but it's not in the cards."
Then Dumbledore, the Aurors (and House Elves)
left, leaving Snape and Harry by themselves.
For half an hour, Harry learned the way
To use the potion that was made that day.
Snape taught the spell to cast, the stance to take,
The way to tell the real Lord from the fake,
The danger if his wand was not held steady
Then finally Snape knew the boy was ready.
"Well, off I go," said Harry,"Wish me luck!"
Snape cleared his throat. "Have you forgot . . . our fuck?"
"Oh. Right." said Harry, stopp'd short at the door.
"I'll just lie back and think of . . . Gryffindor."
Snape sneered. "Is this the way of Godric's house?
It seems you have less courage than a mouse.
What is my fault? For Circe's sake, say it!"
So Harry said "You're . . . such a nasty git!
You're greasy, ugly, old, and . . . other stuff!"
Snape shrugged and crossed his arms. "That's true enough."
"I'm sure," said Harry, desperate as could be,
"Hermione would have advice for me.
I just remembered . . . somewhere in her books
Was such a tale as this . . . a hag whose looks
Were loathsome, and the knight she took to bed
Said looking at her, he wished he was dead.
Then she gave him a choice (I'm sure that's right)
The crone became a beauty overnight!"
Snape snorted, "Ah, the tales those Muggles weave.
Which only fools like you would e'er believe.
Why e'en when I was young in Slytherin,
No tale like that would have me taken in.
"Wait," Harry said. "What did I hear you say?
Was Slytherin your house 'back in the day?'"
"Of course," sneered Snape, "What other would it be?
What other house would suit a man like me?"
"You're him!" Young Harry cried. "I know it's true!
The one they called the Sex God - aren't you?"
"Well, once I was," Snape muttered. "Long ago.
But that was . . . Potter! Where did my robes go?"
He glared, but Harry laughed and locked the door,
Then tripped him, stripped, and took him . . . on the floor.
Across the room, the Hat began to grin.
"I knew that boy belonged in Slytherin."
Feedback: beth-h @ mrks.org
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