The Sugar Quill
Author: Cogito Ergo Sum  Story: A Change of Fate  Chapter: Chapter Two
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Chapter Two

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 of Ron.

"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 shuddered.

"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 laughter.

"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." Ron nodded.

"You'll have to do the hex, then, James," he whispered. James nodded.

"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 laughing.

“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, "Behaltus."

"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 smiled innocently.

"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.



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