Harry Potter and the Fresh Blood Prince
A/N: Once more, I warn you that a dream inspired this story. Prepare for some serious wackiness. Also, thanks to everyone who reviewed. I am amazed at the enthusiastic response I got. I'd expected at least a couple of people to offer either me or my boyfriend some therapy. But anyway. Read on...
Story so far: There is a goldfish in a bowl on Harry's bed. This Fish can turn into a man. This man drinks fresh blood for nourishment. During his previous visit to Hogwarts, Tom Riddle allowed him to kill Binns to get this fresh blood, but Harry likes most of his living Professors too much to make Fish a similar offer.
Later that day, as soon as they found a free hour together, Harry, Ron and Hermione tromped their way across the snow to Hagrid's hut. Hermione was trying to melt a path through the snow, but Harry was going too fast for her to keep up. Finally, Ron gave up.
"Are we trying to run away from somebody here?"
Harry glared at him. "I've left Fish alone up in the castle. We can't take all day - there's no telling what he'll do!"
"But Harry... are you sure you really saw this man?" Hermione said from behind him.
Harry stopped abruptly and turned around, and Hermione nearly ran into him.
"He's a fish, not a man. Look, I didn't dream this or anything, OK? If you don't believe me, you don't have to come with me."
Hermione looked stubborn. "But Harry," she said, in a terribly patient voice, "don't you see? I tried to look it up, but there's nothing - nothing! - about goldfish with the ability to turn into human beings. No books, no research parchments, nothing! And... Madame Pince laughed at me when I told her what I was looking for," she said, glaring reproachfully at Harry.
Harry was growing increasingly irritated. "Well there wouldn't be anything in a human library, would there? Fish is a fish. Maybe there'll be something in fishes' libraries!" he huffed. "And since humans can't possibly read in fishes' libraries, we'll just have to ask Hagrid if he knows anything about this!"
Hermione stared at him as if he had gone quite mad, and then began to walk ahead again, muttering under her breath. Harry followed after her. His mood didn't improve when he saw her roll her eyes in Ron's direction.
In a few minutes, they were knocking on Hagrid's large, wooden door. Hagrid answered the door, wearing goggles and a large, grimy apron. Standing in the middle of Hagrid's cramped hut was a gleaming motorbike.
Ron was staring at it as if he'd never seen anything like it. "What's that?" he whispered in an awed voice.
Hermione was looking at it with her eyebrows knitted close together. Before she could say anything, however, Harry jumped in. "Wow, Hagrid! Where did you get a motorbike?"
"Anybody want some tea?" Hagrid asked in a loud voice, avoiding Harry's eyes and walking to the small stove in the corner of the room.
Ron, meanwhile, seemed to be catching on. "A motorbike? It's one of those ... loud Muggle things Dean talks about? The one Colin's dad's got?"
Harry nodded, running his hands over the smooth leather seat. "You know, I had a dream I rode a motorbike once - a flying motorbike. It was great."
A loud clatter sounded from the other side of the room, and Hagrid roared an oath. He had dropped the kettle he had been holding on his toes. And the door to Hagrid's hut opened again, and Professor McGonagall came in, looking scandalised at what she'd just heard.
"Good morning, Hagrid," she said, in a tight voice. "I just came by to see if you had any... er... earwig repellent. Professor Snape has been setting them loose in my cupboard again."
"Jus' a minute, Professor, jus' a minute. Er... help yourself to some biscuits while I get it."
Professor McGonagall sniffed. Then, shrugging, she reached and took a biscuit, and took a small bite out of it before she noticed Harry, Ron and Hermione.
She raised her eyebrows questioningly at them. It struck Harry that Professor McGonagall might know about Fish, too - fish becoming humans was a form of transfiguration, after all.
"Er... Professor?" he said, hesitantly.
"I was just wondering..." he began to trail off, because Hermione and Ron were shooting him exasperated looks.
"Well?" Professor McGonagall asked.
Ignoring Ron and Hermione, Harry took a deep breath and plunged into his story. McGonagall listened with rapt attention, her face growing more and more serious as Harry described Fish, and related the entire conversation with him.
"And then, I don't know how, but he just seems to have got back inside the castle somehow, because he was back in his bowl this morning. I've left him locked in my trunk up in Gryffindor Tower, but I don't know if he can break free," Harry finished.
McGonagall seemed to snap out of her shock. "Come with me, you three," she said, and set off at a running pace back towards the castle.
Harry, Ron and Hermione hurried to catch up with her. Hermione looked bewildered that McGonagall was taking this seriously. "But Professor, is there really a way for fish to become human?" she asked, panting as she waded through the snow.
McGonagall sighed. "Not that I know of, Miss Granger. However, Harry's explanation of Professor Binns's death fits all the facts - we have never been able to explain it. We must proceed on the assumption that everything that Harry has narrated is true."
They had reached the entrance hall. McGonagall turned to the trio. "You three, please go to the Headmaster's office immediately and inform him of this. I am going to retrieve this Fish from Gryffindor Tower."
The ghost of Sirius stopped them on their way to the Headmaster's office.
"Woooooo," said the ghost.
Harry, Ron and Hermione stared. "S-S-Sirius?" Harry stammered.
"Sirius?" enquired a flabbergasted voice from behind them. It was Professor Lupin. "Wh-wha- why-..."
The ghost put an end to Lupin's stuttering. "Wooooooooooo," it said, again. Hermione took a step back, and grabbed Ron's hand. Ron looked at her, bewildered.
"It's only a ghost, Hermione. You're not scared, are you?"
"Wooooooooooo," came the voice of the ghost, shutting conversation off again.
Harry, meanwhile, began to come to his senses. His eyes narrowed as he regarded the ghost with suspicion. Was it really Sirius? Or was Fish masquerading as him?
As if in answer to his thoughts, Fish himself floated out from behind a pillar, grinning eerily. "Ooh, is that Professor for me?" he asked, his eyes planted eagerly on Lupin.
Harry sprung into action. "Stupefy!" he yelled, pointing his wand at Fish.
Fish ducked the spell, his grin turning into a sneer as easily as Fish himself had turned into a man. "Here's someone else you might want to meet, Harry," he said, gesturing towards the pillar he had been hiding behind.
And as Harry watched, out floated the pearly white, translucent figure of James Potter.
Harry nearly dropped his wand in surprise. Behind him, he heard Lupin gasp, and actually drop his. Ron and Hermione seemed dumbstruck by the whole affair.
Fish, taking advantage of the diversion, ran towards Lupin, knocking him off his feet, and grabbed Lupin's wand. Without waiting a single moment to gloat, he pointed the wand at Lupin and killed him.
It was over in a split-second. Ron was the first to react. He jumped bodily on Fish, yelling loudly for help. His long, gangly arms grasped Fish in a vice-like grip around the torso, and began to squeeze the breath out of the creature. Harry stood rooted to the spot, looking from Lupin's body to Fish to Sirius behind him, and then to the ghost of his father standing behind Sirius. His eyes were wide with shock, and he was utterly unable to move.
Hermione, like Ron, also seemed to be reacting. "Ron!" she cried, "I know what to do. When I say now, let Fish go, and let me take care of him!" A pause. "NOW!"
Ron let go of Fish, and Hermione pointed her wand at Fish and yelled, "GET LOSTUS!"
But Fish was too clever for them. He ducked the spell neatly, and Get Lost spell hit Sirius instead, and Sirius began to walk in continuous right turns, turning and turning until he went right out of Hogwarts and got hopelessly lost.
Undeterred, Hermione tried again, but Fish ducked once more - and this time, the spell hit James Potter's ghost, and he, too, began to take continuous right turns.
"Dad!" yelled Harry, trying to grab onto him. "Wait, dad!"
But there was nothing Harry could do. On and on James went, turning right over and over again, until finally, he was gone, just the way Sirius had gone.
Harry looked around at Fish, quivering with rage. "YOU!" he screamed. "Just WAIT till I get my hands on you, you rotten f-"
A stern, icy voice interrupted, "That is quite enough, Mr. Potter."
Harry whirled around. He hadn't noticed anything in his absolute anger, but in through the window flew Hagrid on his gleaming motorbike, Professor McGonagall sitting side-saddle behind him. McGonagall had her wand trained on Fish as she spoke to Harry. "Now," she said, "is this the fish you were telling me about, Potter?"
"Yes," said Harry.
"Oilium!" cried Professor McGonagall, and her spell hit Fish straight in the chest.
Harry, Ron and Hermione watched fascinated as Fish began to scream. His face, his hands, his torso, his legs - everything seemed to be melting and dissolving into some kind of glowing, golden, gooey substance. After a while, Fish began to resemble an oversized, shining goldfish, but even that began to melt until all that was left was a puddle of shimmering, oily liquid floating in the air.
The liquid moved of its own accord towards the motorbike, and Harry shouted in surprise, "Look out!" but McGonagall waved him to silence. The oil ignored McGonagall and Hagrid completely and instead began to pour itself onto the mechanical joints of the motorbike.
"This motorbike will never creak again," McGonagall said.
Then Hagrid and McGonagall dismounted from it, and Hagrid came to Harry. "This was Sirius's bike, Harry," he said. "Sirius would've wanted you ter have it."
Harry gave McGonagall and Hagrid and Ron and Hermione a wide grin, and accepted the flying motorbike.
But he shouldn't have been so happy about it. The bike never did get creaky joints, but because the essence of Fish was in it, it kept breaking down often, and never worked very well again.
More A/Ns: As I said in the previous chapter, "Fresh Blood Prince" is what my boyfriend insists on calling HBP. Yes, this is his dream.