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Broomhilde and the Founders by momotwins
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: A Gratuitous Masked Yule Ball
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The hill on which would someday rest the institute of magical knowledge, from whence had sprung many heroes and many villains, was currently bathed in the glowing moonlight of a waxing gibbous moon, walked upon by two young magical couples who spoke in soft tones to each other, having just met in person after long and intricate correspondence regarding many and varied topics of magical import and discovered now in person that they had much in common and a strong attraction and were even now sharing confidences, even while this sentence vies for the longest and most circuitous run-on used this year on the archive.
At the moment, the only thing on the grounds were the two young people and their conversation. They had met, with two other leading magical folk of the time who were mysteriously only in their early twenties and quite nubile, to discuss forming the very institute of magic previously mentioned in the preceding paragraph which you probably did not finish reading.
“I feel as if we've known each other for ages,” said the man, who greatly resembled a villain in a 1920s-era silent film, though of course he could not know this. “You can call me Jonas. I have two brothers.”
His companion smiled serenely. She wore a dress that had been hand-embroidered in gold and silk threads, her hair laboriously curled in gold ringlets, and was a dainty one point six meters tall and weighed approximately ten stone, though she only copped to nine. Please see the appendix section 9(c) for her full life history, favorite food and colour, and a detailed description of every hairdo she has worn throughout her life. Thus ends the narrative of Helga Hufflepuff's appearance.
“I have only a single brother. He calls me Montana, and I've been thinking of using it as an alternate identity, either to begin a singing career, or simply to fight crime, possibly while singing,” she confided to her companion, who had previously vouchsafed to be legally named Salazar Slytherin.
“It's a lovely name,” Salazar 'Jonas' said.
Helga 'Montana' batted her lashes at him. “It means mountain in the Latin. He means no untoward inference from the diminutive sobriquet.”
“I love intelligent women,” he growled, pulling her close.
She put a delicate hand to her pale forehead. “Finally! A man who appreciates me for my mind, rather than my appropriately-located curves.”
He picked up one of her lovely, pales hands and trailed kisses up to her elbow. “Would you care to attend the Gratuitous Masked Yule Ball with me tonight?”
“Thank the dear Merlin!” exclaimed Helga. “I've been singing 'Someone Freakin' Ask Me To The Yule Ball' for days.”
Salazar was nonplussed, or confused for those who do not have a wide vocabulary. “Why should I thank Merlin? The bugger owes me ten Galleons.”
“I've no idea, it's a wizarding expression. It doesn't have to make sense.” Helga paused to regroup and continued, “Will we attend separately, not telling the other what we will be wearing, so that we may either touchingly find each other and fall for each other all over again, or fall for others, thinking they are us, thus creating a dramatic chain of events wherein we become jealous, hate each other, and require a second masked Yule Ball later in the year in which to touchingly find each other and fall for each other all over again?”
“The former, I believe,” he said, after a pause during which he worked out what she'd said.
Her tawny lashes fluttered to her rosy cheeks in disappointment. “Must we? I so looked forward to slapping you, or dashing the contents of an anachronistic champagne flute in your handsome, chiseled face.”
“Well, this is only a one-shot, after all. There isn't time for a Superfluous Masked Yule Ball as well as a Gratuitous Masked Yule Ball.”
“Very well,” she said, sliding away from his warm embrace. “I shall run along and, in the five hours before the ball tonight, prepare an elaborate costume that would normally require weeks of effort on the part of several skilled seamstresses, and do my hair, and Apparate to a MAC counter to have my makeup done.”
“MAC counters won't be invented for nearly a thousand years,” he reminded her tenderly.
“Cursed luck. I'll do it myself then. I'm also skilled in the classical arts of complicated hairdressing and stage makeup, you know.”
They passed a couple in the shadows on their way back to the inn. Godric Gryffindor was clutching Rowena Ravenclaw in his arms and singing 'The Night Is Young And You're So Beautiful' to her again. Rowena looked slightly uncomfortable but was smiling gamely as Godric tried out his newly-mastered vibrato. Helga and Salazar stopped for a moment to sing backup and perform a brief chorus line before continuing on their way.
The small coach inn at which the foursome were staying, which inexplicably threw a large Yule Ball every year in a magically expanded root cellar, was crowded and bustling with elaborately-dressed witches and wizards. The annual Yule Ball was in full swing, with a chorus of banshees singing florid organum music and a goliard sneaking through the crowd singing slightly less elevated and therefore slightly more interesting poems set to lute.
Salazar, alias Jonas, was sipping a glass of wine with Rowena Ravenclaw, who was drinking pumpkin juice. She did not drink... wine, though she was quite fond of the juice of a hundred pumpkins. They were watching a young woman dance with a rather hairy baron. The young woman waved as she noticed their attention.
“Who is that?” Salazar asked idly.
“My daughter, Helena.”
He raised an eyebrow that had been expertly plucked to appropriately sinister dimensions. “She can't be more than five years younger than you!”
“Well,” Rowena said obligingly, “Due to an interesting and amusing mix-up with a time-turner, she is in fact ten years my elder.”
“Time-turners won't be invented for several hundred years,” Salazar pointed out.
“Nevertheless,” she said.
“Next I suppose you'll tell me I'm her father,” he scoffed.
“Now that you mention it-”
Salazar's eyes bulged slightly. “Now hang on a minute!”
“Not that - I was going to tell you, she is in fact your grandfather's uncle's brother's grandson's niece.”
“Oh?” Salazar, being an evil genius and therefore well schooled in systems of kinship, nodded in instant understanding.
“Yes, by your second cousin Ludwig. Don't tell Godric, of course, he thinks she's my elder sister.”
He bowed gallantly. “Anything for you, my dear lady.”
A poltergeist floated past them, playing an anachronistic saw. They mused upon its melody for a moment, then Rowena remarked, “I've betrothed her to Baron Bingledack.”
“Zangelbert Bingledack?” Salazar nodded. “A fine pureblood family.”
“Yes, I thought so. Though of course later he'll murder her in a fit of psychosis, but you know how it is.”
“These things happen.”
A girl in her late teens suddenly appeared in the middle of the ballroom. The small crowd in which she had appeared backed away from her in alarm. Godric stepped forward, raising his hands for calm.
The girl looked around wildly, her frizzy brown hair whipping into her face. “Wh-what year is this?”
“Gregorian or Julian?” asked Godric.
“Crap,” said the girl, still looking around. “This is the Middle Ages. Too many turns. I'm due to fall in love with Sirius Black and/or Remus Lupin in 1977.” She pulled a small hourglass out from inside her robes and turned it over a few times, then she disappeared into thin air.
Rowena turned back to Salazar. “You were saying?”
Godric slammed his fist down on the table, causing the tankards to jump in the air and overturn, spilling lukewarm ale. “If we put the greenhouses there, there won't be room for the Olympic-sized swimming pool!”
Helga hurriedly mopped up the ale with the end of the floor-length beard of one of the neighbouring patrons of the inn. “Why on earth would we need a swimming pool?”
“Sport is important,” Godric said solemnly. “The Ultimate Fight Club death arena will go here, and over here will be the sword training grounds...”
“Swords?” Rowena said archly. “That sounds dangerous. I thought we agreed to stick purely to magic, thereby allowing even the non-sporty to attend?”
“Only sporty people are worthwhile,” said Godric. “Besides, there's plenty of room on the grounds. And look how roomy the lake is, we can move the mating pair of giant squid that I got off a fellow in the pub.”
“Giant squibs?” Rowena said in alarm.
“No, no, squids,” Helga said patiently. “Why a pool, though?”
“I'm only thinking ahead,” Godric said loftily. “Someday there may be a water-based version of Quidditch for which the students will require an Olympic-sized swimming pool.”
“Well then, they can bloody well install it themselves. Let's just concentrate on the castle, and let future headmasters decide on where to put the pool, shall we?”
“Perhaps we should build an additional room into the castle,” Rowena said thoughtfully. “So long as we're thinking ahead, I mean. A multipurpose room, should any of our students need a space in which they might hold meetings for an illegal club, or possibly even hide out with the opposite sex...”
“Well, all right, but let's be practical here,” Helga said. “It will need to double as a bathroom and broom closet as well. Right?”
“If we're adding a multipurpose room, then I'm building my monster room,” said Salazar, folding his arms across his chest.
“No monsters,” Godric said with finality.
“You never let me do what I want,” Salazar said, stomping his foot in vexation. "You're getting your sword-fighting training grounds, so it's only fair that I should get a monster room."
“No one's getting anything. Swords and monsters have no place in a school,” Rowena told him sternly. “There's no educational value in being eaten by a manticore or a basilisk.”
“Ah, but no one would have to get eaten by them, if they'd been trained in sword-fighting in my Ultimate Death arena,” Godric said triumphantly.
Salazar was grumbling under his breath as he examining the large blueprint that was spread out on the table. “Look, I could put it right there, under the girls' lavatory, there's plenty of room-”
“No monsters!" Godric shrieked.
“It's just as well, anyway, this sketch is getting far too silly,” Helga said briskly.
“Well then, I think now might be time for something completely different?” Rowena vanished the blueprints from the table and rose gracefully, pulling a mask out of her bodice and slipping it over her face.
“We have time for a Superfluous Masked Yule Ball after all!” Helga cried happily as a maid named Broomhilde handed her a mask and a large pair of wire-and-net fairy wings.
A/N: This one goes out to Girldetective85. Bonus points if you identified my inspiration here: Eddie Izzard, Mel Brooks, The Parselmouths, clichéd vampire films, Terry Pratchett, Monty Python, and certain teenage pop culture references that I'm undoubtedly too old to know about myself but yet my kids aren't old enough for me to know through them.
Chapter 2: The Wheel of Plot Devices
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At the Superfluous Masked Yule Ball, Helga and Godric were performing the Cupid Shuffle and chatting about how Salazar's beard put them in mind of a small breakfast roll. They were now together, after a brief interlude in a broom cupboard had led them to discover their true feelings for each other.
Being entirely superfluous, nothing much else happened at the ball, though there was some discussion about throwing an Extraneous Masked Yule Ball next year in addition to the Gratuitous and Superfluous balls, and about how grateful everyone was that the story hadn't turned out to be a one-shot after all.
Fortunately for everyone, Wizard Feud was looking for contestants, and as the leading witches and wizards of the time, the host immediately owled them to be on the show the next day after their nap and afternoon tea.
Merlin, the show's host, was dressed in his usual spangled purple robes. They'd been shortened this year to mini-robes, in an attempt to garner more ratings for the flagging show. Since Merlin had quite knobbly knees, the mini-robes were not having the desired effect. However, studio executives were already discussing replacing Merlin with the young and nubile sorceress Morgane le Fay, upon whom the mini-robes would look much better.
“And now,” said Merlin, sweeping his long beard back and holding the narrow microphone in a tender two-fingered grasp, “for our first category! Plot devices!”
Rowena and Helga jeered at the Wizard side of the feud, knowing that plot devices were rampant for females, while males were mainly relegated to footing the shopping bill and having the occasional nookie in a broom cupboard, and therefore the two witches had a better chance at getting a correct answer than the wizards, who were likely to say something ridiculously unlikely, such as 'sword fight' or 'defeating bad guys'. Godric and Salazar looked disgruntled.
“First up, the women!” Merlin called, and they screamed, leaping around and skipping down to the centre of the stage arena.
“We asked our viewers what they would most often have their characters do to occupy time in a story. Have a guess there. Something that might serve as a plot, go on.”
Rowena and Helga conferred for a brief moment, then broke apart.
“Shopping trip!” Rowena yelled, clapping frantically. Helga was jumping up and down at her side, yelling, “Whoo!”
Godric and Salazar looked repulsed.
“Right, something to be a plot device, and you said shopping trip,” Merlin repeated unnecessarily, as game show hosts do. “Let's see if it's up there. Survey says....” And he gestured at the board floating in midair above them. Shopping trip popped up with thirty-six percent. “Shopping is there! Well done, ladies!”
Rowena and Helga hugged each other and scampered back to their places. Godric made a gesture at them that was considered rude in seventeen countries.
“Now for the men!” Merlin cried. “Next category... Subjects you might find taught at magical schools.”
Salazar and Godric conferred behind a pink parasol for a moment, and Merlin repeated, “Subjects you might find taught at a magical school. Your answer?”
Godric looked triumphant. “Urbology!”
“I'm sorry?” Merlin's ancient and lined face screwed up. “What was that?”
“Urbology?” Godric repeated cautiously.
“What, like the study of urban places?”
“I think he means Herbology,” Rowena said, after a whispered consultation with Helga, who will, for purposes unnamed, henceforth be renamed Tiffany.
“Why is he not pronouncing the aitch then?” Merlin asked suspiciously, glaring at Godric.
“I'm secretly an American, if you must know,” said Godric, pulling up his robes to reveal socks knitted in the stars and stripes of the US flag. “We don't pronounce the aitch in urbs.”
“It's pronounced herbs,” Merlin informed him. “Because there's a bloody aitch in it, for the love of me.”
“Look, are you going to accept my answer or not?” Godric demanded.
“It is the same word, after all,” Tiffany said fairly.
“She's right, you know,” Rowena said. “It's simply a regional linguistic difference, and besides, we shouldn't judge him for speaking like an American when we ought properly to be speaking Old English, or Anglo-Norman, all of us – though I can read, so I'd also speak Latin Vulgate - though I'm not sure if the Norman conquest has actually happened yet, what year is this, anyway? - after which we properly should be speaking a langue d'oïl or possibly even Old French-”
“All right, all right, for my sake,” Merlin said irritably. “We'll accept his answer already. My beard!”
They all looked at his beard.
“What about it?” Godric asked.
“It's quite nice,” Tiffany said.
“Wish mine would grow that long,” added Salazar, fingering his small, pointy goatee.
“I'm taking five hundred points from all of you for sheer stupidity,” Merlin informed them. “My toenails, you're all ridiculous!”
“This game is ridiculous,” Rowena said. “I told you we should've just played Wheel of Plot Devices.”
“This wouldn't be happening if Morgane were up there in mini-robes,” said one backstage studio executive to another, who nodded sagely.
“Ridiculous would be a good spell word, don't you think?” Godric said thoughtfully as the group broke up and started wandering off. Salazar hung back to have a word with Merlin, who was still muttering self-referencing oaths under his breath.
“You still owe me ten Galleons,” Salazar told him.
“My beard, I had it here a moment ago,” Merlin said, patting his robes theatrically. “Must've left it in my other pants.”
“You mean trousers? This is the United Kingdom, or will be eventually. We say trousers. Pants means underwear. I think you've been hanging around Godric too long, next thing you know, you'll start saying center instead of centre.”
Merlin ignored that. “No, I meant pants. I keep my money there. Safest place.”
Salazar looked revolted. “Nevermind, keep the ten Galleons.”
“Cha-ching!” Merlin cried, pumping his fist.
“Salazar, my love!” Tiffany waved a dainty handkerchief at the tall dark man as she hurried down the stairs.
“Who are you, then?” Salazar asked, looking her up and down.
“It's me, Tiffany.” This did not engender recognition in his dark orbs, so she essayed again. “We had a moment together? Last chapter, before the Yule Ball, which you spent flirting with Rowena, you dastardly dastard,” she added.
“Weren't you called Helga then?” he asked suspiciously.
“Oh. Only, I could swear you were.”
“I don't know what you're talking about,” Tiffany said airily. “Tiffany is such a pretty name, why would I want to be called Helga?”
“Tiffany sounds a little invented to me. Anachronistic at least,” Salazar said.
“My middle name is Moonstone-Starbright-Broomhilde-Angela-Darling.”
“What? This can't be right.” Salazar threw up his hands. “I don't even know what's going on in this scene. I'm calling my agent. Where's the author, anyway?”
“She's down there on the ground, curled in a foetal position,” said Rowena, peering out of the screen.
“What, are we supposed to just write ourselves now?” Godric huffed, offended.
“I think she's been letting us do that all along, to be honest,” Rowena told him.
“Is that allowed in the terms of service and site rules?”
Rowena shrugged. “I don't think she can help it, we're uncontrollable.”
“It should all be over soon, she looks like she's gotten hold of some chocolate now,” Tiffany noted. “That usually means she's going to go shop on etsy for a while, or have a bath and read a sleazy romance novel. This chapter could end at any moment, or this scene at least.”
“I hope so, this is really bad,” Salazar said, looking around at the screen. “Have we even got a plot?”
“No, just a lot of disjointed scenes,” Rowena said.
Salazar sighed. “Well, I suppose since we've already broken the fourth wall, we may as well – Hang on, what's that?”
They all turned to examine the large black thing that was slowly taking shape in the air.
“I think it's an asterisk,” Rowena said, peering at it.
“Thank God, that means this scene is over,” Salazar cried in relief, as the world around them dissolved into the typographic symbol.
Helga, who had left the Witness Protection Program and no longer needed to pose as Tiffany, was walking down the corridor of the partially-constructed castle with the maid and construction foreman Broomhilde at her side, dictating instructions for the new tower being built. She pushed aside a piece of canvas blocking a corridor and led the way through.
“And through here we'll build – what the...”
Helga's jaw dropped open. The love of her life (A/N: Godric Gryffindor, for the record – I realize that may not have been clear thus far, since he was with Rowena in the last chapter and only got together with Helga a couple hundred words ago) and her best friend (A/N PS: Rowena Ravenclaw) were kissing in the corridor next to a partially-completed gargoyle statue.
A creature completely failed to claw its way to life in Helga's chest. But she was quite upset.
“No ding-ding vithout the vedding ring!” shrieked Broomhilde, who was very Catholic and did not believe in premarital snogging.
“Broomhilde! Go clean the chamber pots!” Helga ordered, and the maid left in tears. Helga returned her attention to the pair in the broom cupboard as Salazar strolled up the corridor.
“What up, dawgz?” he asked jovially, throwing up a gang sign. Rowena smiled and waved as she adjusted her clothing, but Helga had eyes only for Godric and ignored Salazar completely.
“Why are you back together with her?” she demanded hotly. “I thought we had found true love!”
“What can I say, I'm an animal,” said Godric, who suddenly had a Welsh accent, smiling modestly. Rowena batted her eyelashes at him.
“I'll never, never, never, never, NEVER forgive you!” Helga cried.
“Aw, don't be that way, pet,” Godric said, chucking her chin gently. “I know I said that was true love, but that was only because I didn't realize this was true love.”
“Well, all right,” said Helga. “I suppose we can be friends again, since you really really really REALLY love Rowena, who is, after all, my dearest friend.”
Rowena looked flattered. “Oh Helga! And we've never even really hung out, and we've nothing in common!” The two women hugged tearfully, and Godric smiled at the emotional reunion between longtime friends, who'd met last week.
Salazar raised a hand cautiously. “Sorry, didn't you say your name was Tiffany?”
“What?” said Helga. “Of course not. I'm Helga.”
“Oh.” Salazar was getting a headache. “Is this chapter over yet? I feel very confused, and need some time to process things. Possibly with my therapist.”
“I think that's a lovely idea,” Rowena said. “Why don't we all Apparate to group therapy and talk this out?”
“Will there be a Death Arena?” Godric asked hopefully.
“Or a monster room?” Salazar added.
“I'm sure we can find a therapist to suit our needs,” Helga said firmly.
And they all held hands and sang songs, and played with blocks, and had a tea party, and played games the rest of the afternoon.
A/N: And in this one, which is dedicated to Georgia Weasley, I have to add thanks, props, shoutouts, etc. to: Family Feud, people who say “thank Merlin” constantly in their fics, people who put author notes in the middle of their paragraphs, the always brilliant Eddie Izzard, Hooked on Phonics videos, and of course, Mel Brooks' seminal epic Men in Tights (“No ding-ding vithout the vedding ring!” - for Jules).
Chapter 3: A Troupe of Strolling Players Are We
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A/N: I've decided to write in the first person, just for a few scenes or maybe the whole chapter. Whatever, I don't know, r&rkplsthxbbqchatspeak.
I'm just an average teenager leading an average life at an average school of magic. With boyfriends, tests, teachers, and Quidditch, what's a girl to do? My name is Salazar Slytherin, and this is my story.
Well, I tell a lie, but hey, I'm the bad guy, you have to expect that of me, right?
At the moment, I was having an argument with Rowena Ravenclaw, who was having delusions of grandeur again. Rowena often had these delusions.
“As you know,” she drawled, “I have a great and powerful power with the power to save or destroy us all. Powerfully.”
“What sort of power?” I asked.
“Details are unimportant,” she said.
“It's probably love,” whispered Helga. “It's always love. Like how on multiple-choice you can just guess C?”
“What? That's ridiculous.” I scoffed scoffingly at her ridiculous statement. Love was obviously not powerful. Only power was powerful. And I was way more powerful than she possibly could be. I had a wicked cool goatee, after all, just like it says in Chapter 1 of the Evil Overlord Handbook. She didn't have a goatee. What a poseur.
“And I enjoy giving people inexplicable nicknames that neither suit them nor make sense linguistically,” Rowena informed me.
I was intrigued. “Bloody marvellous. D'you think you could give me one?”
“I shall call you... Lazzy. With a short 'a' sound.”
“How about Lazar?” I asked hopefully. “With a long 'a' like laser?”
“Well now, that would just be silly,” said the brunette.
I never remember people's names, and often refer to them only as “the ginger” or “the brunette” in my internal narrative. This often got confusing when more than one brunette or ginger or blonde was present, but that didn't deter me.
Godric turned up then with a pretty young woman on his arm. She wore far too much make-up and a diaphanous set of pink robes.
“This is my baby mama,” Godric said. “She calls me Gordic, isn't that sweet?”
I scoffed at his scoffworthy scoffment. I mean statement. “What, that she doesn't know how to spell or pronounce your name properly?”
“Yeah, you know spelling and accuracy are way overrated.”
Godric's baby mama waved. “I like Gordic better than Godric.”
“I didn't know you had children,” Rowena said suspiciously. “Why didn't you ever invite Helena over for a playdate?”
“Because we have quintuplet boys who are only one year old, and Helena's thirty-seven,” Godric said.
“She could babysit,” Rowena said.
“I need a babysitter,” said Godric's baby mama. “It's bloody hard looking this good with five babies. Takes me all day.”
“You used to look better,” Godric told her.
“You try feeding five one year olds!” screeched his baby mama.
“We're not having any children,” Helga whispered to me, as Godric and his baby mama screamed at each other.
I nodded back fervently.
A/N: Whatever, I'm bored with 1st person. Let's go back to 3rd person semi-omniscient now, kthxbye.
Helga and Lazzy had become telepathic through the power of their powerful magic love. Details on how this occurred are unimportant.
Lazzy listened to the internal monologue running through Helga's head. Her thoughts were a whirl, thinking about her plants, magical theory, her hair, whether or not she'd left the gas on at home, whether she ought to be wearing white shoes after Labour Day, why she even knew about Labour Day since it's an American holiday that wouldn't be invented for hundreds of years, to what use she could put that Mimbulus mimbletonia she'd had in her garden for ages now, and whether or not she ought to have a slice of cake today.
Is this how you think all the time? He sent through their link.
Yes. Why can't I hear your thoughts?
Helga stared at him. You're not thinking about anything?
Not at the moment.
Lazzy shook his head a bit, as if he had water in his ear. If this is how women think all the time, I might go insane hearing your thoughts nonstop. Maybe this telepathic link thing is a bad idea. Is there a way to turn this off?
Helga had a look of concentration. I can hear crickets now, and what sounds like knuckles dragging on the ground. Is that male thoughts?
Definitely a bad idea.
Rowena brewed them a potion to reverse the effects of the love-telepathy link. They both breathed a sigh of relief as their heads were once again their own private space.
“Anyone who thinks sharing your every thought is a good idea is completely mental,” Lazzy said.
“Amen to that,” said Helga.
The castle was finally completed, notices had been posted advertising for students, and the first of them were beginning to trickle in, looking impressed by the highly advanced indoor plumbing. The Founders stood at the doorway, wearing nametags that said things like 'Hello, My Name Is Godric Gryffindor' and welcoming the students to the school.
“Look, more students!” Godric clapped his hands in glee and jumped up and down as another small crowd approached. One of them had blonde hair in a ponytail and was chewing gum and talking on her mobile phone while listening to an iPod.
“She must be American,” Rowena said.
“First year and we've already a transfer student. It warms the cockles of my black little heart, it does,” Salazar said.
“Hello,” said the transfer student, hanging up her phone. “I'm America.”
“You're American?” Helga said.
“No, my name is America. But I am an American as well.”
“Quite the name,” said Rowena.
“I thought I may as well be obvious,” said America. “I'm terribly beautiful, smarter than anyone else my age, dress in revealing clothing, and am destined to have every major character fall in love with me. Oh and I'm a vampire with special powers.”
“I don't see any fangs,” Helga said suspiciously, peering at the teenager.
“My vampire fangs only come out when I want them to.”
“How does that work, then?”
“I had a button installed, look.” She pulled a remote control out of her pocket and pressed a large red button. Her fangs popped out, and she grimaced to show them off, then pushed the button again, and the fangs retracted. “It gives me a speech impediment when they're out, so the button is very handy,” America said, stowing the remote back in her pocket.
“Go away now,” Rowena said.
America flitted off.
“You should have let me install the Ultimate Death Arena,” Godric said. “If anyone ought to have a go at it, it's her.”
“I could sic my monster on her,” Salazar offered. “Not that I secretly built my monster room in the castle without any of you noticing the extra construction, because of course I wouldn't do that. Ahaha.”
“Ahaha,” Helga said. “Why don't you just teach her that evil game you invented?”
********ATTENTION: THIS IS A FLASHBACK. DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MONITOR SETTINGS. REPEAT, THIS IS A FLASHBACK. WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT OR MAY BECOME PREGNANT SHOULD NOT EXPERIENCE THIS FLASHBACK. PLEASE REMAIN SEATED FOR THE DURATION OF THE FLASHBACK.********
“I have invented a new game!” Salazar announced grandly.
“I invented a manoeuvre this morning over my toast soldiers,” Godric volunteered.
“Shut it, you. I shall call this game... Truth or Daaaare!!!”
Godric applauded. Rowena and Helga gave them sceptical looks.
“Why did you say it like that – dare?” Helga asked.
Salazar shook his head and pointed at his mouth. “No, no. Daaaare. Because it's an evil game, of course.”
Rowena raised an eyebrow at him. “Why are you inventing evil games?”
Salazar pulled a small black book out of his pocket. “It says right here, on page twelve of the Bad Guy Handbook, that I have to invent something truly evil. So I have invented... Truth or Daaaare!!! You have to say it like that so it's properly evil, with the long vowel and extra exclamation marks, go on.”
“This is ridiculous,” Helga said. “Even more ridiculous than that time you wanted to be an Evil Choir Director.”
“I could have taken over the world,” Salazar said nostalgically. “But now I'm left with inventing evil party games, which will destroy the minds and morals of teenagers for thousands of years!”
“You know what you need?” Godric mused. “An evil laugh. Go on, show us your cackling.”
“Remember old Babbitty Rabbitty?” said Rowena. “Now there was a cackle. You don't get cackles like that these days. Kids today don't know what a good cackle is.”
“They don't cackle like they used to,” agreed Helga. “How do you play this game?”
“I haven't invented rules yet,” Salazar admitted. “Mostly I've invented the evil name. Truth or Daaaare!!!”
“It's a very good evil name,” Rowena assured him. “But at some point you'll probably want rules.”
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“That was pretty sweet when I invented that,” Salazar said dreamily. “I ought to make up the rules one of these days.”
“You'd do better to invent a manoeuvre, as I did,” said Godric. “I wrote it up and had it published for peer review. I called it The Godric Manoeuvre: Not Without My Swish and Flick. They loved it in France.”
“The French, what do they know?” Rowena scoffed. “They have names like Voledermorte. Lame.”
“The female small rodent of death?” Helga asked after a quick translation.
“Yes, they call her She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Tamed. Pretty girl, but anger management problems.”
“I think I met her when I was in Cremona,” Godric said thoughtfully. “Her sister was really hott.”
“Hott?” Helga echoed.
“She was far too hot for only one t,” Godric said.
“Fabulous,” said Salazar. “But what about my evil game?”
“You could write a paper on it and call it The Salazar Slytherin Story: Not Without My Exaggerated Vowels,” suggested Rowena.
“I think I will,” Salazar said, and they shook on it.
A real a/n this time: Ahaha. I want to thank all the authors who use blatant stage directions, jarring point of view switches, random suddenly-telepathic characters, vampire characters, extraneous punctuation, ridiculous nicknames, topically irrelevant anachronisms, American transfer students, truth or dare games, Lifetime movie titles that include 'Not Without My...', The Taming of the Shrew, and the French.
The chapter title is a line of "We Open in Venice" from Kiss Me Kate, written by Cole Porter.