Ron and Hermione gasped.
"That's not funny," Hermione said quietly.
"What's not funny?" the boy demanded.
"Saying you're James Potter."
"I didn't intend it to be funny!" he protested. "I am
James Potter! When the lights went on in the compartment, I sat there and expected
to see Sirius and Remus-" at this, he scowled, "-and Peter! And there you two
are, and I didn't even know who you were! And then, to top it off, everybody's
been calling me Harry! Who's Harry?"
"He's-" Hermione, perhaps guessing what Ron was about
to tell him, smoothly interjected, "-our best friend." James nodded.
"Oh," he said easily, "all right then." Hermione leaned
over and whispered in Ron's ear, "We should pretend we don't know who he is,
or who his friends are, all right?" Ron nodded. Hermione then tapped James'
head with her wand and said clearly, "Oculus Verde." James' eyes became green.
She struck his forehead and said, "Illus Harry's scar." When she was done, Ron
immediately asked, "Who're Sirius and Remus and them?", obviously pretending
not to know who they were. James didn't catch on.
"They're my best friends," James explained. "Only I
don't think Remus is anymore," he said darkly. "I think - we think - that he's
gone over to the Dark side. You know, that he's been giving You-Know-Who information."
"Oh, don't worry," Ron reassured James before Hermione
could stop him, "he's not the traitor." James raised his eyebrows.
"He's not? How d'you know?"
"I have my sources," Ron shot back. James laughed and
his brow smoothed out.
"Good enough," he agreed. "Now, what year is this?"
"1995," Hermione replied. James whistled.
"That's twenty years in the future!" he said incredulously.
"All I remember is the train stopping, and then everything went black. I woke
up in your compartment!"
"Most likely," Hermione reasoned, "Harry's gone back
in time and is with your friends." Ron laughed.
"That would be funny, considering-" Hermione clapped
her hand over his mouth.
"Considering nothing!" she said sharply, and James had
enough presence of mind not to ask.
"So Snape works here," he marveled. Hermione let go
"Yes," Ron said resentfully, "and he's an evil git."
James let out a shout of laughter.
"He always has been! And I see he still doesn't wash
his hair," he added as an afterthought. Hermione giggled and shook her head.
"Wanna play a trick on him?" Ron's eyes lit up.
"Yeah!" James got a wicked grin on his face and leaned
back in his chair.
"You know, if this is truly 1995, and we play this trick
that I've got in mind, it should scare the hell out of him."
"Don't swear," Hermione said automatically.
"Thank you, Lily," James shot back sarcastically.
"Ooh, is Lily your girlfriend?" Ron demanded. James
"God, no. I hate her!" Hermione snorted.
"Anyway!" Ron said loudly. "Why would it scare him?"
"Because we played this prank on him last year. 1974,
that is," James said quickly.
"Yeah, I figured. But wouldn't he know who you were,
then? I mean, that you were James?"
"I don't guess so, even though Sirius created the curse,"
James answered casually.
"All right, then," Ron said eagerly. "Fill me in." James
grinned and began to talk.
* * * * *
The next morning dawned bright and early, but Ron Weasley
and James Potter were too busy in the common room to notice.
"Slytherin dekor James Potter!" Ron declared. The hex
immediately took effect, and Ron burst out laughing. James did not think it
was so funny.
"You were supposed to do it to the chair! I don't want
to look like a Slytherin!" Ron shrugged, unable to say anything through his
"Well, when we do it to Snape, we'll just change the
"Slytherin" bit," James said decidedly, tapping himself with his wand and muttering,
"Revenir." When the trio walked into Potions, Ron and James were very prepared.
"Today," Snape announced, "we will be making a Detection
Potion. If you make it correctly, the taker will be forced to tell of any misdeeds
he performed that day." He began calling off pairs. "Against my better judgement,
Weasley, you and Potter will be together. Weasley, you're taking the potion."
"You'll have to do the hex, then, James," he whispered.
"All right. I can do that," he whispered back. "Start
chopping the Nebblewatt root. I'll crush the Monklor seeds," he added a bit
louder, for Snape's benefit. Ten minutes later, when Snape passed by, the potion
was a bright bubbling cerulean blue, just like it was supposed to be. Snape
said nothing. Ron surreptitiously slipped his wand from his pocket, pointed
it at Snape and hissed, "Gryffindor dekor Severus Snape." Immediately, Snape's
hair became bright red, a lion appeared on the back of his robes, the trim at
the bottom and neck became gold and the sleeve hems became scarlet. GRYFFINDOR
IS THE BEST etched itself in gold letters all over the back of his robes. Snape
did not notice Ron’s mutterings, but all the Gryffindors immediately began to
laugh. Snape’s face became murderous.
“You will pay attention!” Nobody bothered to listen.
“Twenty points from Gryffindor!” he roared. Nobody stopped
“One hundred points from Gryffindor!” Even this, which
would have otherwise immediately halted all noise, failed to calm them.
“WHAT IS GOING ON?” Nothing happened, other than everybody
immediately beginning to laugh even harder.
In the midst of all the laughter, James whispered, "Immunisé,"
to Ron before turning his wand on Snape and hissing, "Playwizard bunny dekor
Severus Snape," and watching in amusement as the Professor's body began making
changes. His waist became tiny, his hips wider, his chest voluptuous, his walk
swaying and his Gryffindor-ish robes became very form-fitting. His red hair
swirled gracefully around his long, slim neck neck. Only his face stayed exactly
the same. He looked exactly like a dressed Playwizard bunny with Professor Snape's
face. Snape still did not seem to take in what was going on, despite the roaring
laughter all around his. He merely sashayed back to the front and began yelling
at the class to settle down. The musical voice coming from his mouth did nothing
to halt the laughter. Before Snape noticed his new bodily features, James whispered,
"What's that do?" Ron asked quietly.
"That makes it permanent, until I remember the counter
curse because I’m the only person who can take it off.” And all his robes are
like that now. Oh, by the way, I cast an Unreveal Charm on you. It means the
Detection potion won't have any effect on you, even though you're the one who
cast the original spell.” James grinned wickedly. “That is, if Snape’s still
here at the end of class to make you take it. You don't mind, do you?" Ron started
to shake his head, but Hermione leaned over just then and hissed, "Is this your
work?" James grinned evilly and nodded.
"You bet it is!" Hermione laughed.
"Excellent job. He had it coming to him." Ron started
to say something, surprised at her lenience, but it appeared that Snape had
caught onto what Ron and James had done to him.
"James Potter..." he muttered, swayed quickly down the
row of cauldrons and seized James, lifting him by the neck of his robes.
"I thought you died years ago, James," he growled. James
plastered on a rather convincing confused look.
"James was my dad, Professor Snape. Are you all right?"
Ron stifled his laughter.
"Quite all right. I believe Sirius Black invented the
hex you just cast on me, and if I'm not mistaken, you cast a Permanence spell
on me as well, just like you did in 1975, and I want to know what you're doing
here after all these years, especially in a sixteen-year-old’s body." James
"I don't know what you're on about, Professor," he said
sweetly. Snape dropped James.
"When did you and Lily Evans get together?" he spat.
Hermione tensed. James' face screwed up.
"Lily Evans? I hate Lily Evans! She's such an insufferable
git!" Snape stared at him.
"James Potter," he whispered. James sighed.
"I suppose," he said resignedly. Snape stared for a
few more seconds, and then dropped like a stone to the floor, out cold. The
room was utterly silent.
"I think," James said brightly after a few moments,
"that he's passed out." Chaos ensued.