Disclaimers: This is the space for highly technical jargon that informs
you, the reader, that we, the authors of this fiction, make no money and have
no claim on these characters. Etc. ad infinitus.
Dedications: On Circe’s side…to Poppy P who showed me this idea when I
was at a terribly low point in life. Thanks for this and for the dancing man.
You were a friend when I really needed friends. To Jane, for coming up with
the idea that became chapter two; dude, you are brilliant. Finally, a thank
you to Taradiane; her Christmas card was unintentionally perfect.
Poppy: Wow! I can’t believe the wonderful response to ch
1. Thanks you guys! And kudos to our reviewer googligoo who pointed out that
the “You threw off my groove!” bit in chapter one was from Disney’s “The
Emperor’s New Groove”. (I just love Disney movies!) Like Circee said in her
dedication, chapter 2 would not have been possible w/out Jane. Huggles to
her! One more chapter of our silliness coming right up!
The Yule Bra
The Adventure of the Yule Bra and the
It came from Madam Malkin’s,
black, shiny, and twinkling with sequins. It twisted its way through her
dreams; light leaping joyfully between the glittering flecks it was encrusted
with. It was not happy, however. It was dark; dark with a dangerous yearning.
In her sleep, Sybil Trelawney
Oh, Holi…no. Not again,
please. It hurts you so.
I can’t help it Ford. I have
to try. Help me?
For you, anything. Even this.
She gasped awake, the dream
lingering in the summer heat. For a moment Sybil started around her tower
room, the haze of incense blinding her as she tried to remember where she was
and what her dream had meant.
“I have to warn them!” she gasped
as her surrounding reasserted themselves and she realized what her dream
meant. “I must! The Sight demands it!” She took only a moment to throw her
shawl over her shoulder and add a few more bangles to her wrist before she flew
out of her room as only one possessed of the Inner-Eye and a Vision can.
“Sir Cadogan!” she gasped to the
portrait on the landing. “Dumbledore! Is he in his office?”
The noble night looked up from
where he lay on the painted hills. “Nay, lady. The good man is taking lunch
with the others of your worthy profession.”
“Thank you!” she called behind her
as she raced for the Great Hall.
“It is my honor, fair lady!”
It took several long minutes to
work her way down to the Great Hall and she paused in the entrance hall for
several more to make sure that her face wasn’t shiny-red from exertion. Then,
feeling the full weight of her gift, she strode to the doors and threw them
open. “I have seen it!” she cried out to the professors sitting at the lone,
long table in the center of the room.
Nobody looked up from their fish,
save Dumbledore. “Sybil! So very glad you could join us,” he smiled.
Sybil opened her mouth in shock,
trying to speak around her sudden wordlessness. “I…” she managed after a
moment. “I have seen great danger, Headmaster!”
“You too, eh?” Hagrid strode in
behind her and took a seat at the table and tossed back a glass of water in one
gulp. “I need summat stronger,” he said loudly and a mug of mead appeared on
the table. “Keep ‘em comin’.”
Minerva looked startled. “Hagrid?
Sybil glared daggers at the other
woman. “I have seen it,” she stated loudly and clearly. “I have seen
it in the tea leaves,” she decided suddenly. “A portent of doom and despair
“I’ve seen it in the tree leaves,
me,” Hagrid called out, pouring a second mug of mead down his throat. “In the
Forest, Professor Dumbledore, sir. I’m not goin’ back in there, either.”
Snape, who had ignored all of them
until Hagrid’s third mead, suddenly shot to his feet. “What’s in the forest?”
he was ridged and the hand on his own mead was white-knuckled tight.
“Dunno,” Hagrid said, shrugging.
“But everything in there’s scared o’ it. Aragog, the Centaurs…had three
unicorns show up on th’ doorstep last night ‘n more this morning. Dangerous
things, moving out there.”
Dumbledore moved quickly away from
her, Sybil noted, and directly to Hagrid’s gigantic side. “Can you tell us
more, Hagrid?” he asked. Sybil glared.
“No’ much, Professor. Summat
black and kinda glimmer-y like moving in the trees. Din’ see it long ‘fore it
dropped down on me. Soft it was, wrapped round my head for a bit, choking me
off. When I came to, it was squeezin’ me round the middle. Hurts to breathe
Madam Pomfrey scurried over from
her seat. “Let’s check you out! Dear, those look like burns at your
neck! And you have cracked ribs, Hagrid.”
Hagrid nodded. “Thought I might.
Whatever tha’ thing is out there, it’s small and it’s fast an’ it’s dangerous.
I’m not goin’ out there while it’s loose. Nearly killed Fang, that thing—hit ‘em
with summat. He’s sleepin’ on my bed, if you want a look at him, Matron.”
Madam Pomfrey hurried out as the
other Professors gathered around Hagrid, pressing him for details. Sybil
huffed. “I have heard its voice,” she shouted over the din. “I know this
creature on the astral plane.”
With a glare, Trelawney
continued. “Headmaster, I might be able to find this creature using my gift of
the Eye and the Sight.”
“Hagrid,” Minerva said loudly,
“Don’t you think it’s your duty to stop this madness?” Sybil had the distinct
impression that the Transfiguration’s Professor was not talking about
the dark creature in the forest.
“No, I don’, Professor,” Hagrid
said around a mouthful of chips. “I’m not goin’ back. Tha’ thing has got
Aragog and his mess o’ kids runnin’ scared.” He paused and shifted a look over
to Professor Sprout. “Uh…nobody go into the greenhouse sheds without me with ‘em.”
Frustrated, Sybil stomped her
foot. “I will go after this creature!” she’d show Minerva. “The Cards have
all pointed to my facing this dark menace. I must go!” She turned, bowing
slightly to Dumbledore. “I will be on my way…the hour of my destiny
Dumbledore smiled benignly. “If you
feel you must, Sybil, than you must.”
“One cannot thwart destiny, no
matter how one might try,” she said mistily.
“One may also not smack sense into
certain people, as much as they might wish to try,” Minerva muttered behind
Sybil tensed but ignored her.
‘She’s just jealous,’ she sniffed to herself before speaking, still holding
onto her soft, reverent tone. “I take my leave of you all, my dears. May I
soon be back amongst you once this shadow fled our home.”
“Not if you’re back,” somebody
mumbled, but since Sybil couldn’t tell if it were Severus or Minerva she didn’t
bother to glare, lest she capture an innocent party in her gaze.
“Goodbye my dear friends,
for I must prepare myself,” she said sharply and turning on her heel she
stalked towards her tower to mediate on her destiny and clear her mind,
ignoring the sounds of a betting pool being started in her wake.
* * *
Some called the Forbidden Forest
‘the Dark Forest’ and Sybil understood why it was; there were dark creatures
that dwelled beneath the large, light-blocking trees. She stood long at the
edge, reconsidering going and wondering if she shouldn’t maybe take Hagrid’s
crossbow if she did go in. In the end, Minerva’s pointed questions,
called from the great oak doors, had pushed her past her hesitation.
Now she wandered dark paths that
felt of evil to her enhanced senses. She scanned the trees, mindful of Hagrid’s
story, as she walked…humming a song about streams and pools being wet and cool
to keep herself company.
“Lady!” a shape reared out of the
“Don’t you touch me!” Sybil
screamed before she realized what confronted her. “Oh, I mean…I saw you coming
to aid me, Centaur.”
The half-man looked quizzically at
her, “No, Lady. There’s something back there,” he jerked his head from the
direction he had come. “I decided to take Hagrid up on his offer of sleeping
in the school dungeons.”
Sybil rubbed her eyes and stared
hard at the creature before her. It remained a Centaur. “Oh.”
“You speak too much, Bane,” another
Centaur nearly ran into the first. “Venus is flashing bright and shall turn
her face against you if you continue to speak thus.
“Dry up, Ronan, you don’t want to
stay here either.”
“My good Sirs er…beasts,”
Professor Trelawney interrupted them. “I seek this creature for my Sight
revealed it to be my destiny to destroy it. What might you tell me of it?”
Ronan looked frightened. “We do
not speak of it!”
“It attacks by light, Lady,” said
Bane, rolling his eyes. “Blinding flashes from all directions it aims at your
eyes. It leaps, wrapping itself tightly to your body, wriggling and tightening
even as you push it away.”
“It attacked the community of Aragog,”
Ronan volunteered with a sour look at his kinsman. “It tangled their legs,
blinding their eyes with light and with blows. It stuck not to their webs! It
cares not which species you are or your goals. It leaps from the back of a
hard monster that will knock down all in its path.”
Bane nodded. “Harm not the flying
shadow, for the blue beast will destroy you.”
“And don’t let the shadow reach
your chest, whatever you may do!”
Sybil nodded. “And what of Venus,
Something rustled in the bushes
and both Centaurs started. “Venus? It’s a planet,” Ronan said as the two
galloped from the path, racing for the Hogwart’s grounds.
“That wasn’t helpful,” Sybil
grumbled as she continued walking. “Why couldn’t they have told me more about
the influences of Venus on this creature? Honestly.”
She continued deeper into the
forest, stopped once by unicorns that trembled and sweated with fear, horns
lowered like weapons. She hadn’t been able to question them, of course, but
she’d noted the way they scanned the treetops and startled at every loud rustle
in the undergrowth. They’d also dodged her reassuring pats, staring hard at
her shoulder until she realized that her robes had slipped down to reveal the
strap of her bra. They had eased once it had been covered.
“Poor creatures,” she whispered to
herself as she walked. “They thought I was but a girl until a symbol of full
womanhood was shown to them. I shall have to do my best that I don’t frighten
any more of the fair woodland creatures,” she decided.
A second later she was screaming.
“DRAGON! HELP! Hagrid! Minerva! Somebody! DRAGON! Before her, in
a green clearing full of light, lay a large, black monstrosity; “The Vision
didn’t mention dragons!” Sybil wailed.
Alarmed by her screams, perhaps,
the dragon pulled its head away from the bushes to stare at her. It snorted a jet
of flame and Sybil screamed again before she realized that the smoke from the
short-lived jet hung in the air, forming a picture. The shape of the smoked
showed a dragon, presumably the one before her, and a large deer. Slowly the
dragon before her opened its mouth and issued another jet of flame. The
picture formed in this smoked showed the dragon with half the deer in its
“Oh,” Sybil said, studying the
picture. “You’ve just eaten.”
The dragon’s head moved sinuously
up and down in a nod.
“I see. I…maybe you can help me,”
she said. It was a long shot; after all, what would a dragon know about stars
The black dragon unfurled its
wings and flapped them once in a sort of shrugging manner.
Good enough, Sybil decided. “I’m
looking for a dark creature that roams this forest. It’s attacked a community
of Acromantulas and the Centaurs are fleeing before it. Do you know this
The dragon recoiled, the great
eyes darting to the treetops and the forest floor in obvious terror. It
trampled in a quick circle, scanning and shaking.
“You know it?” Sybil cried
excitedly. “Tell me what you can!”
With wary eyes the dragon issued
more flame and smoke. Pictures formed; a napping dragon, a disturbance of the
ground that roused it, a dark shape flying through the air and landing on the
dragon, binding its wings. The dragon was breathing fire.
Sybil clapped her hands. “It came
to you and you fought it! You have vanquished my foe and I…” she trailed off
as the black dragon made more pictures.
A hobbled dragon, as the black
thing wrapped itself around the dragon’s legs; a dragon laid low as it’s
middle was squeezed so hard that fire couldn’t issue forth; the dark shape
leaving when the dragon had been about to pass out.
With dread, the Professor
interpreted what she’d been shown, “You were helpless against it and it let you
go? But what was it? Did you perceive it clearly?”
The dragon raised its great head
and nodded once more, slowly. Flame came forth and Sybil stared, stunned, as a
“But that…” she breathed. “That’s
just a bra! I’m wearing one right now!” She tugged her robe down to show the
dragon the strap. “Brassieres don’t…wait!”
The dragon had taken flight. It
roared loudly and the sound was not anger, it seemed. Sybil watched it fly out
of sight in the direction of the castle. She hoped the others could deal with
a marauding dragon; her destiny lay elsewhere.
“And if what everybody is saying
is true,” she whispered to herself, “then it is a grim, grim destiny I face.
Oh, what my Gifts demand of me!” She laid the back of her hand to her forehead
and swooned for a moment, leaning against a tree.
After several moments of swooning,
Sybil pushed off into the forest once again. Twilight was approaching and the
hour of her triumph, or her death, drew near. She knew it was so for the
Inner-Eye didn’t lie and twilight had a harmonious resonance with destiny.
“Creature?” she called out as
twilight dimmed into near-darkness. “Show yourself! Your destiny is come for
you!” Her pronouncement would have been classier if she hadn’t tripped on an
upraised root. She cursed in irritation. “Lumos,” she raised her
What the light revealed made her
scream long and hard and then she passed out cold.
* * *
“Sybil?” Professor Flitwick was
standing over her, wand still against her chest. “Sybil?”
“Filius?” she breathed, sitting
up. She was at the edge of the forest. “How? How did I arrive here?” The
last thing she remembered had been the dazzle of light and the horrible shine
of the unknown creature.
Dumbledore stood peering into the
trees, but turned at her question. “How indeed, my dear Professor. What can
you tell us of your journey?”
“I walked deep into the forest,
guided by the cries for help on the astral level,” she whispered, trying her
best to inject strength into her weary, frail voice.
Somebody, sounding suspiciously
like Vector, snorted.
“I encountered Centaurs beset by a
shadow…I brought down the wrath of Venus upon the creature and it fled deeper
into the forest as the Centaurs ran for the safety of the open school lawns.”
“Yup, Ronan and Bane said they’d
had a talk wi’ somebody strange,” Hagrid confirmed loudly. There were several
surprised looks and Sybil glared at all of them for a moment before she
“I chased the shadow, aided by
unicorns for they sensed my good and innocent nature,”
This time, she was certain, it was
Filius snorting. But as he soon began coughing, she forgave him, knowing he
hadn’t meant to sound so…derisive.
“Four hours I traveled, seeking
the shadow. It could not hide from my Gaze and I tracked it to a clearing
where a dragon lay wounded.
Minerva sighed loudly, “You healed
it, I presume?”
“Yes,” Sybil snapped. “It was
wounded.” She took a deep, cleansing breath and meditated on Minerva’s
jealousy until she was calm. “I drove the shadow away from it at great peril,
for it was holding down the dragon’s wings and legs, preventing it from
releasing fire. I could have been scorched, but my Sight revealed that I would
not be harmed.”
“Ah, yes,” Dumbledore nodded
Sybil beamed. “Indeed,
Headmaster. I kept after the shadow and confronted it in a lair of gleaming
silver. It was a long, tiring battle, but finally it sounded a final cry and
the light from its scaled body dimmed and I was victorious. I…” she frowned.
“I am unsure of how I made my way here.”
Severus coughed loudly, suddenly.
It sounded vaguely like Lockhart, and Sybil glared at him.
“My body must not have been as
tired as my astral self and carried me here,” she theorized.
Minerva coughed suddenly but Sybil
didn’t bother to listen to see if it sounded like ‘Lockhart’ or not.
“I’m sure it’s as you say, Sybil,”
Dumbledore said soothingly. “Perhaps a nightcap for all of us?”
The idea was greeted with a chorus
of agreement and Sybil allowed Madam Pomfrey to help her to her feet.
Professor Hugglebum, the Muggle
Studies Professor frowned, looking back into the forest. “I could have sworn
that a turquoise Ford Anglia with a black satin bra over its rear-view mirror
ejected her out of the backseat and then drove back into the trees.”
Sybil decided to faint
dramatically as a spate of coughing and sneezing, sounding oddly like ‘you did’
broke out amongst the other Professors. In her swoon, she dreamed.
I couldn’t, Ford. I just
couldn’t. I would have clashed with those horrible bangles.
She was probably your last
chance to be fulfilled, Holi.
I know. I…I just couldn’t
leave you, Ford. I’d rather hang on your mirror for a thousand years than
You’re welcome to stay for two
thousand years, if you like. I am glad you’re with me.