Even the most amusing pastimes—such as playing with lightsabers in the halls—eventually grow tiresome, and Jay and Acacia were just coming back into their response center when the console beeped.
Jay beamed and skipped over to the terminal.
Real children don't go "hoppity skip" unless they're on drugs.
Or they're Jay.
"Hey! New entry for the 'stupidest parentage' contest."
"You mean this one has another killworthy character?" said Acacia.
"Oh, she's a flaming Sue. No doubt." Jay grinned. "Care to play Guess the Parents? We're dealing with a Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter crossover..."
"Then I'd rather not speculate. Just tell me."
"Galadriel and Remus Lupin."
"Oh, gods." Acacia sighed. "Incidentally—they met how?"
"Oh, we've got full cohabitation."
"They do give us the difficult ones, don't they?" She considered. "And he's a werewolf. I think most Middle-earthers would not understand."
"What was that werewolf that Beren and Luthien had to deal with?" Jay wondered.
"Um..." Acacia cocked her head for a moment, trying to remember. "Carcharoth! Wasn't that it?"
"Sounds right." Jay's memory (or lack thereof) for names was infamous, hence her tendency to refer to the sons of Fëanor as "the Fin kids" despite the fact none of their names begin with "Fin."
Acacia, on the other hand, was well on her way to being able to recite them all in descending order of age, which was strange given that she'd been known to forget her own birthday, and was currently gathering up her stuff. "What'll we be?"
"What could kill a Hogwarts student...?"
They looked at each other for a moment, and chorused, "Anything."
Acacia considered. "We could be students?"
Jay nodded. "That'd be nice. When's the first breach, incidentally? I peg it at the very end."
"Reality cohabitation is a breach, Jay."
"Yes, but it's a steady state. We need a specific event."
"I suppose that means ancestry's out. Having Ron sleep with Lavender despite the fact they can't be quite—what's the age of consent in Britain, anyway?"
"I thought it was fairly young. How about everyone getting in their horses and riding to Lothlórien?"
Acacia blinked. "How—?"
"You think I jest? Everyone gets IN, yes, IN their horses. And rides off to Lothlórien."
"Okay. I just formed a mental picture of that. Now I'd like a mental eraser, please."
Acacia blinked. "Aaaanyway. We'll have time to decide when we get there. More pressing issue: what're we going to be?"
"Students is good. But I'd guess you don't want to be a Slytherin."
"She's a Gryffindor. I don't want to be a Gryffindor... but we need to keep an eye on her."
"Yeah, and—" Acacia leaned over the console to get a look at Jay's screen— "it seems a fair amount of this happens in the common room."
"That bitesss." Jay gave the screen a slit-eyed stare.
Acacia blinked and edged away.
"Soooooo... are we students, or aren't we?"
"We'll have to be." Jay still looked downcast. "All I'll have to program is a change of clothes."
Acacia shrugged. "Okay."
Jay tapped at the console for a moment—not long. Clothes were EASY.
The portal opened up, into Hogwarts this time.
"Acacia, have you been playing with the activator again?" Jay frowned and patted her pockets.
"I didn't open the portal. Did you?"
Acacia thought a moment. "I think I remember—last time I was here, if it had been too long since the beep, the computer opened the portal anyway."
"Maybe it's trying to get rid of us." Jay glared at the prodigal computer and made a great show of picking up the remote activator.
"I wouldn't be surprised."
Jay sighed and hopped through.
"Nice place, this."
"Yes." Jay sighed happily. Suddenly, her eyes widened. "Will my camera work here?!"
"I don't see why not; people working with translator spells understand people perfectly fine in universes without magic. I heard it explained once: I think objects keep the rules of reality from their original universe, or something odd like that. I'll have to ask Makes-Things."
Jay frowned and took her camera out. There was a flash, and a click.
"Seems to work." She sighed. "I hate the feeling that I'm somehow stretching canon, though."
"Jay. Hogwarts is in Middle-earth now when it's supposed to be modern reality-adjacent. A camera we'll be taking out of here when we're done is really no problem."
Jay sighed. "All right." And... immediately set about taking pictures. Hogwarts practically defined "photogenics."
They wandered the halls for a while, Acacia wondering in a loud voice what the point of the Great Hall's ceiling was, since "if I wanted to look at the sky outside I could go outside and look at the sky. Or they could install a skylight. Or something. It's just showy."
"I think it's pretty. Can we go see the dungeons? CAN we?"
"Sure, why not."
"GLEE! Do you think class will be in session?" Jay asked hopefully.
"What do you mean, 'oh'?"
"I was going to wonder why you wanted to go to the dungeons with a class in session."
"Why WOULDN'T I want to?"
"Which is what prompted the 'oh'..."
Jay sighed happily. The only thing denting her happiness was that she'd had to turn off the flash so as to not draw attention.
"So, how many pictures are you going to take?"
"There's an extra roll somewhere in here..." Jay had spent the best part of the first on the dungeons, and the Potions room. She was spending the REST of it on the Potions teacher. "I'd offer you some, but you don't have a registered lust object in this world, do you?"
"No." In fact, apart from a strange desire to see Hermione end up with Neville Longbottom, Acacia was fairly unworried about most of this canon's affairs.
"There aren't very many options there, really. Either too young, or too old. Mainly, we've got Potter-lusters, Wood-lusters, and the cult of Snape."
"Don't forget Draco Malfoy. There are those."
"Oh, yes. All too young, though. 'Cepting the good professor, of course."
Acacia smirked. "Of course. Now, I think we should check on our good Sue... who I really doubt gets very hairy every month, too unglamorous."
"Far too unglamorous." Jay pulled herself away with a sigh, and headed in what she hoped was the general direction of the Gryffindor common room.
"I mean, if she wanted to just be half elf, half human, why the hell did she pick a werewolf for a father?"
"She could have even picked Sirius."
"I'm just saying. He was part of the Potter gang, too, and didn't turn into a canine... involuntarily, anyway."
"Yes, but..." she sighed. She harbored the rather unpopular opinion, for which she had been flamed more than once, that Sirius Black was arrogant, amoral, and possessed even less respect for the value of life than she had.
This made her a wonderful companion for Jay, who believed that the whole of the original Potter Gang were a bunch of over-popular little pricks.
"Well... there's the Fat Lady. Guesses for the password?"
"Grab a passing Gryffindor? Ask her politely? Portal in?"
"Eh... portal, methinks."
"Hi sweetheart" Ron said coming to sit next to Serenity and giving her a kiss
"Glag." Jay made a face. That cheerful little exchange had been the first sight to greet her, and it hadn't been pleasant.
Acacia just sighed. Serenity had apparently had a spell put on her to conceal her beauty, though the reason why was never explained. The effect, to people from outside either canon, was disconcerting.
Of her relationship with Ron, it was written "She has many elf friends and was friends with all the members of the Fellowship, but only a few wizard or wich friends. But amoung these friends were Harry, Draco, Hermione, and Ron. Ron. He was currently her boyfriend. She never thought she could fall for a mortal boy, but she did."
She also, apparently, had a confusing life, being half elf and half witch. (This made people wonder if perhaps she thought "witch" was a species of some sort.)
Acacia, on the other hand, was mainly wondering why she was friends with Draco Malfoy and Harry And Company. And whether it would be a good idea to round up Celebrían and Celeborn and all the other neglected characters whose spouses had randomly and pointlessly been made to cheat on them, and hand over the Sues in question to them.
Jay was perusing the rest of her so handily written exposition. "'Serenity, though very beautiful was not the type to dress up.' She's 'a great chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch Team.' She practices 'shooting arrows and sword fighting.'" The assassin shook her head. "Textbook. TEXTBOOK Sue."
"I'm still stuck on her parentage."
"Hi" Serenity answered Ron.
"What ya doing" he asked
"My History of Magic homework, ofcourse you have already finished yours"
Acacia cringed slightly at the bad grammar.
"Ofcourse you have torn your hare out by now," Jay parodied.
"I should get ready, I have Quidditch practice in half and hour"
"Yeah you should"
Serenity took pff up the stairs to get dressed for the Quidditch practice.
"Well. That was interesting," muttered Acacia. "Who or what is pff?"
"Perhaps it's onomatopoetic?"
"Pffff," Jay tried, then frowned. "Not a particularly stairish sound."
"Not even one of those things that doesn't make the sound but would if it could."
"Oh, well. Hmm, that's interesting..."
Lavender came to sit next to Ron.
Jay frowned again. "Could've sworn she was a Slytherin. Memory's going."
"I think you were thinking of what'shername, Pansy I think. Lavender is a Gryffindor, it's one of the few things this author got right."
"Darn flower names."
"JKR is fond of those, it's true."
"She's going to practice soon, right?" Lavender asked
"Yes" Ron answered
"Good, when she leaves meet me in my room, we can be all alone" she said with a smile (but no period.)
"Perfect" he said
Acacia frowned, and began digging through her backpack for her Analysis Device; while she was normally quite good at judging these things herself, she wasn't sure how OOC this was for Ron who, canonically, could frankly be quite a jerk.
It was OOC, though. Ron also had a tendency to fall for beautiful girls. That (even under glamor) Serenity was prettier than Lavender was a given.
[Ronald Weasley. Human male. Canon. Out of Character 45.31 %.]
She pointed it at Lavender.
[Lavender Brown. Human female. Canon. 62.67% CHARACTER RUPTURE!]
Just then a sound of a door opening was heard. Lavender jumped off the couch and up the stairs to her room. Serenity came down, gave Ron a kiss and ran off to practice. When she was gone, Ran ran up the stairs to the girls' dorms.
"What gripping dialogue. What tension."
"And where," Acacia wondered, "did Ran come from?"
"The Plothole from Hell," Jay grated.
The common room emptied. Jay's plea to go back to the dungeon and stalk Snape with her Polaroid was vetoed, making her somewhat surly. Her mood improved, though, when it began to rain.
"Man its really pouring out there" Hermione said
"Isn't she supposed to be smart?" Acacia wondered. "In other words, capable of using reasonable grammar? And I'm sure she never prefaced a sentence with 'man'. And—"
"Don't turn the Analysis Device on her. You KNOW how shirty Makes-Things gets when they short out."
"Yeah, but its to bad that I had to end practice early" said Harry sounding depressed
"Don't worry Cap, we will have pracitce as soo as the sun comes" said Serenity "but right now Im going to change into drier clothes"
Jay flinched. "Periods! They go at the end of sentences!" Serenity gave them an odd look.
Acacia tried, with some minor success, to pretend that she had nothing at all to do with anyone who might happen to be sitting next to her and with whom she might coincidentally have been carrying on a conversation for several minutes.
The Sue was still dripping wet, though, and so couldn't stand around staring. She ran up to her room. Harry and Hermione, on the other hand, decided to forgo drier clothes.
O don't worry Herm, I'll keep you warm, come sit with me by the fire" Harry said wrpaaing his arms around her and leading her to the couch
"Okay" she said currling up to Harry
Jay, next to her, was trying to pronounce "wrpaaing" under her breath when she realized something was wrong. "You all right?"
"I'm fine. Serenity won't be when I'm finished." Acacia's intense dislike of H/H romance was not exactly a secret.
"I don't like it much, either..." (In fact, Jay didn't much like to contemplate romance between people below the age of twenty.) Up in the girls' dorms, she heard a door slam. "Hmm. The midden is about to hit the windmill."
After an uncapitalized "what was that?" from Harry, Serenity came running from the stairs, hysterically crying.
She stopped and looked at them and then ran out the potrait hole.
"I wonder what happened to her?" Hermione asked concerned
"Lets go upstairs and see if theres anything for a clue" Harry sugested
Jay started to hum the Scooby-Doo theme.
Hermione and Harry went to the seventh year girls' dorm—Jay and Acacia followed—and opened the door.
"Why does no one find anything strange about him coming up here?" Acacia asked quietly.
"Plothole. Or was that redundant?"
"This person has turned this school into a plothole."
"Don't they all."
Acacia sighed. "'Tis sad. Oh, look, they've found Ron. And Lavender, who incidentally ought to be lying, not laying..."
They saw why Serenity was so upset beacuse Lavender was laying on her bed.......in Ron's arms.
"And doesn't that just about say it all for this story," Jay said quietly.
"Damn, we've got to follow Serenity. Portal?"
"You're the one with the thingy."
They portaled to Remus's "office" just as Serenity was arriving. Jay was looking angry.
"I hate it when they trivialize Snape."
"Since when was he allowed to teach?" wondered Acacia, pointing to "Professor Black" and completely ignoring Jay.
"Serenity, sweetheart, whats wrong?" her father aske
"He doesn't love me anymore" she yelled between tears
"Who?" he asked
"Aske...?" Jay asked, listening outside the door.
Acacia glanced at the words. "Oh, this is great: Blatant Sue here runs off, into the rest of the castle, in which nothing really dangerous seems to have been happening, and Hermione's panicking about how something bad might have happened to the little bitch."
"Remus, why don't Sirius and I leave you to comfort your daughter" said Snape grabbing Sirius' arm and pulling him out of the office and shutting the door.
Unfortunately, while the agents of the PPC were mainly unnoticeable, there were events in which they could not remain hidden.
Events like, say, two teachers running headlong into them.
"Ow!" Sirius Black had trodden heavily on Acacia's foot. Then "Uh-oh..."
Professor Snape, in turn, had knocked Jay to the ground.
"Erregh," she managed, hyperventilating.
"Oh, gods... Jay, get UP..."
Professor Snape, in an uncharacteristic act of patience and charity, offered her a hand up. This did not improve matters.
Acacia's "uh-oh" had in fact been unnecessary. They did look studentlike, and were as such not really apt to cause much comment.
Snape had managed to get a furiously blushing Jay to her feet. "'nk you," she said quietly.
Sirius Black was looking at Acacia in a rather patronizing "I teacher, you student" way that didn't bode well.
Patronizing teachers rank rather highly on the list of Things Acacia Hates. "Quit looking at me like that!"
"Now, now, miss. It's not polite to listen at teachers' doors."
"But that idiot just ran right in, which isn't polite either, and no one said a thing to her... and why didn't you look where you were going?"
Sirius frowned. "That IDIOT is Professor Lupin's daughter, and a promising student. And I am not accustomed to people crouching outside of the doors I open!"
Acacia muttered something about nepotism, then said "And I'm not accustomed to being patronized rigid by people who just crushed my toes (and didn't apologize, may I add), and am furthermore considerably more intelligent and therefore probably a more promising student than any ditz who can't even tell the difference between 'lie' and 'lay'!"
"Acacia, calm down." Jay snapped. "In fact, BOTH of you calm down." This got her odd looks from the teachers.
"Normally people say 'I'm sorry' when they flatten someone's feet," Acacia muttered sullenly.
"I'm sorry I disturbed your eavesdropp—"
"Sirius." Snape stopped him. "Perhaps you should show a little patience with the students."
There was a wail from Jay's pocket. She flinched.
Acacia winced, too, and clutched at the pocket of her robe as if something in it had burnt her.
Jay yanked out her Character Analysis Device. [S. Snape. Original Character. Status: Bit.]
There was further staring on the part of the teachers.
Acacia muttered under her breath. Mainly a long string of curses and threats interspersed with "ow"s and statements like "I'm not generally the type to be afraid of Makes-Things but if we break too many more of these we'll probably find ourselves with readouts in Klingon or something."
"Mechanics? Those shouldn't work in Hogwarts," Sirius said.
"Which is why they burnt out, obviously," Jay lied.
"Ow, ow, I think mine burnt me, ow, Jay, let's go and get some cold water or something, ow..."
"Gee, Professor Black, I think she's hurt!" Jay gasped. "I'd better take her to the hospital wing!"
The professors blinked. That made sense. That sounded like a student.
The two girls hustled away.
"Never much liked him," Acacia muttered. "Ow."
"Out of character," Jay muttered beside her. "Both out of character and trivialized."
Acacia fished around in her pocket and lifted out the broken Canon Analysis Device. "We just cannot make these things last five missions, can we?"
"Rarely," Jay said. "Perhaps we should go back to the litmus?"
"Probably," said Acacia. "Less tendency to irritate support personnel... less chance Upstairs will start making us pay for new ones... less chance of blowing up..."
"They still have boxes of the old litmus strips. But the damn things take forever to register, and you had to actually touch the character."
"And they didn't overheat in your pocket and singe you. Ow."
"Litmus tests it is. That'll make this job FUN." Jay sighed. "Here's the girl's wash. I've got some Neosporin and band-aids in my wallet."
Jay blinked at the words. "I think—I think we may be in luck. We may have missed the stupid argument."
"Oh, good," said Acacia, who was in a much better mood since remembering the unicorn's horn she had.
"But I don't think there's a way we can avoid the Parenthetical Author's Notes from Hell."
They were met by a wash of sound as they entered the Gryffindor common room.
"RONALD WEASLEY HOW COULD YOU" yelled Hermione
"... We didn't miss the argument."
"Blast," said Acacia disappointedly.
"I didn't mean to hurt her, its just......." Ron started but Hermione cut him off
"Oh, look, the author stuck all the missing periods from everywhere else into that sentence. Charming," said Acacia sourly.
"Didn't mean to hurt her! Well you sure screwed that up! she ran off and we have no idea where she is. What if she's hurt or in trouble?" Hermione said starting to panic
"She's fine Herm" Harry said reasurring
"Reassuring who?" Jay said with much puzzlement.
Acacia snorted. "You didn't pay attention. He was reasurring, not reassuring. Although what that means I could not for the life of me guess."
"Treading water in the rising tide of badfic?" Jay hazarded.
Just then the portrait hole swung open—
"Brace yourself," Jay muttered.
—and Professor Lupin walked in with Serenity asleep in his arms.
"Fall asleep easily, do you?" Acacia wondered. But quietly.
The first parenthetical intrastory author's note boomed through their heads.
(elfs are light and remember she's part elf)
"'Elfs'. Bloody 'elfs'."
"Many Mary Sues are elfs," Jay said. "Consider what happens when you move the s to the fore of the word..."
"I mistrust any author who doesn't even know it's 'elves'."
He went up the stairs, layed his daughter in bed and came back downstairs.
"I know what happened" he started
"I think I can tell by now when something bad is going to happen, Jay."
This time, the parenthetical intrastory author's note was spliced with Lupin's speaking voice. There was an interesting vox dei effect.
" and you(pointing at Ron) should have dumped my daughter if you were panning on doing that" he yelled and walked out of the room
"Panning...?" said Acacia weakly.
"Don't ask me."
"I almost envy Despatch. Almost. At least they get to hunt the actual authors down."
"Preach, sister," Jay said. This got several odd looks. "Watch for flying exposition."
"And if Upstairs really wanted to stop stressing us out, they'd have put us in Legal or something rather than us still having to deal, apparently, with idiotic Mary Sues," said Acacia, too busy complaining to notice much of anything.
Lavender and Ron went out for awhile. That is until he found out that she slept with him to make dean jealous and it was over. Ron was sad for awhile. He and Serenity had become friends again, but that was all.
"My Lady. Those were periods! Actual periods!"
"Maybe she took a grammar class in the—" Acacia stared into the middle distance for a moment— "however long we just skipped forward."
The assassins had managed to move with the setting, and were now outside in the sun.
One bright and sunny day, Professors Lupin, Black, and Snape, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco and Serenity were out enjoying the warmth of the sun.
"What a beautiful day" Draco said
"Yeah" the all agreed
"The periods stopped," Jay said sadly.
"I'm almost glad my Analysis Device is already fried. Hate to see what Draco's line would do to it." Acacia considered. "Come to think of it, there's something inherently wrong with all these people sitting around together in the first place."
"Yes. They are not happy friends," Jay said sagely. "Hmm. He looks really pale, doesn't he...?"
"Who doe—oh, never mind."
"I rather like it."
"Why am I not surprised?"
"Because I'd like the actor even if he was—and I quote—'as anatomically impaired as a Ken doll'?"
Acacia just sighed.
"Hey, who's that?" asked Hermione pointing to the Forest
All of them looked to see a fair skinned mans with long blond hair and sparkling blue eyes, on a beautiful white horse
"How many mans was that?"
Acacia grumbled. "Couldn't even be bothered to come up with a whatsit, article I think it is, that fits the noun. Or get the noun right. Idiot."
"Legolas" yelled Serenityrunning up to the man
"Who is this Serenityrunning and why wasn't she introduced to us earlier?" Jay wasn't actually serious.
"And I wish she'd not yell."
"Princess Serenity" he said bowing
"Very funny Legolas" she said giving him a hug
"Hoho. So funny. Yes, indeedy, worthy of George Carlin."
"Please don't tell me," said Acacia, "that this is Sailor Moon, too?" Then, in response to Jay's odd look, "When I lived in reality I had a friend who was really into it, okay?"
"Princess Ser—oh, never mind."
They returned their attention to the canonicity debacle going on. Although it would have been hard not to given that the next annoying author's note came then.
"I have missed you so much, boy do you look different. Gandalf told me about the spell you asked him to put on you to conceal your true beauty. He also told me to how to take it off.(the spell you nasty minds) Want me to?" he asked
"Owie." Jay hadn't braced.
Whoa, hold on. First of all, why are you here, I know how you hate to leave the woods"
"Witness the importance of correctly-placed punctuation. Rather dirty trick, really, trying to lure the readers into a false sense of legibility by starting the chapter with periods."
"Legolas doesn't hate to leave the woods!" Jay was on her own anger-trip.
"Your mother asked me to come and get you, she has some news for you"
"My boss told me to come and kill you, we've got some charges for you," Jay murmured.
"Actually it told us to sort out the continua, but killing her would seem to be a prerequisite," said Acacia, who didn't sound very sorry about this fact at all.
"O, ok I'll come with you, but I don't know if I want you to do magic on me. I might become uglier than an orc or smaller than a hobbit"
"Or stupider than a Mary Su—oops! Too late! Heeeeere's your sign."
Acacia blinked. "I don't want to wait for everyone to enter some horses. Can't we kill her now? Isn't Black as a professor and being happy friends with Snape here canon-violation enough?"
"Oh, sure. Why not."
Acacia grinned broadly. "Let's go."
"Trust me" Legolas was saying.
Legolas whispered a few elvish words and then Serenity started to glow. When the light faded, there stood a beautiful maiden elf.
"Wow" Draco, Harry and Ron said in unison
"God you look like your mother" said her father
"What are we going to do with her?" Jay asked as they strolled across the field to the group.
"Kill her, of course," said Acacia, who had been known to leave fine detail to take care of itself whilst having homicidal ideations.
"We could give her to the Whomping Willow."
"Fine by me."
Meanwhile, Mary Sue had been introducing Legolas to the slightly eclectic group.
"Nice to meet you all" he said
Acacia looked around. "Okay, who the hell said that?"
"Im going with him to see what my mother has to tell me" she said
"Okay sweetheart" said Professor Lupin
Legolas jumped up on the horse and pulled Serenity up behind him and off they rode into the Forest
"Damnit! We'll have to portal after them, idiot buggers..."
"You're the one with the portaler-thingy..."
Jay opened a gate. "We've got to get to Lórien. Damnit."
"Then where's the portal to?"
"Lothlórien. Can YOU think of a point in between there and here that's easily accessible on a horse?"
Acacia considered this question. "I would be aided in this by knowing where the hell here IS..."
"Here is Hogwarts." Jay indicated the sunning teachers and students. "There is Lothlórien."
"I know that, but where in Middle-earth did she put Hogwarts?"
"God, I wish I knew."
"Let's just wait for them in Lórien."
"Better yet. Let's get to the stupid meeting."
"Hello mother" Serenity said greetin her mother
"Hello sweetheart" said her mother "were you surprised to see Legolas?"
"Yes, I know he hates to leave Lothlorien, but how could you not, it so wonderful here"
Acacia covered her face with one hand. "She thinks Legolas—lives—in—but he'd never even been there till—what IS her problem!"
"... You think THAT'S bad?"
"Yes! Yes, I do!"
Galadriel was being motherly. "I know but you know Legolas would do anything for you, I believe he fancies you. But the way, how are you and Ron doing?"
"We are not together anymore"
"Oh, I see"
"What news do you have for me?"
"Haldir has heard of an orc attack that is being planned" she started "he believed they were heading for here, but now they are heading north abut 15 leagues away"
"But that would bring them to Hogwarts!"
"Just because this is worse doesn't mean that wasn't bad," said Acacia stubbornly.
"Hogwarts being fifteen leagues from Lórien's pretty damn bad, you must admit."
"I'm not disputing that. But really, if you're going to lust after Legolas, shouldn't you get your basic, even-fangirls-know-this facts straight? I think this is the first person I've met who didn't know he was prince of Mirkwood."
Jay nodded. "Eh... lesgo." She took a few steps forward. "COOOOEE!"
The Sue and her mother turned near-simultaneously. The sight of two humans unannounced by the border guards and wearing students' robes was, to say the least, disconcerting.
"How did you get here from Hogwarts?"
"Not hard. It's only fifteen leagues," Jay snarled.
"We want," said Acacia—then stopped abruptly, realizing that while intent to kill was all well and good, it didn't help much if one had neglected to bring one's bow, which was what she had in fact done.
"We want you to come with us, Serenity. It's very important." Jay opened a portal in the air, which the Sue accepted with naïve grace.
A few high-pitched screams and loud thumps, as of wood connecting solidly with flesh, floated back through the portal.
Jay whistled merrily as Galadriel blinked. Then, she reset the portal.
"If we get everyone from Hogwarts back into Britain, the school itself should move back."
"It better. I do not relish the idea of having to get a bloody big building through a portal."
"It's been done. But you're right, it's not fun."
"Ye gods, what'd they do, number the bricks and reassemble it on the other side?"
"Nope. Fifteen agents with portal devices set in sync. Killed two of them and fried all the activators..."
The portal started to flicker, and Jay whacked the side of the device. "Come on, it's shorting."
Acacia stepped through hurriedly.
The scene at Hogwarts was less than a picture of educational bliss. With sensibilities back in place, natural hostilities had reasserted themselves.
"Oh gods. Shall we stop them from killing one another?"
"I think we'd better..."
There were two rather impressive fights going one. One was to the tune of:
"A teacher? What fool would take on a convicted criminal?!"
"Apparently the same 'fool' who'd take on a—"
"Sirius, please calm down—"
"Oh, bugger off, Remus."
The other sounded more like:
"What have you done with Crabbe and Goyle?!"
"What, Malfoy, did you lose them?"
Acacia clapped her hands loudly. "Okay, everyone, stop fighting and LISTEN!"
An englassesed student acting so... okay, teacherly... was such an unusual sight that people did indeed stop fighting.
"You are all in the wrong place at the wrong time, we're here to put it straight, so if you will all cooperate we'll have a much less painful time. And I meant on our part; I'm not threatening you in any way here."
"The wrong place?" Lupin asked, blinking. "It looks like Hogwarts—"
"Hogwarts, however, isn't in Great Britain at the moment," Jay explained.
There was an expectant silence.
"Oh, screw it, Jay, just open the portal."
Jay opened the portal. "Once you all go through, things should be back to normal."
"And we should trust you why?" This from the Potions teacher.
Jay went red and seemed to lose her voice.
Sirius Black gave them a Look. "Aren't you those students who—"
"Yes, we are, and we've not had a nice day, and the issue of flattened digits will come up in any discussion you initiate at this point, and I'm not in a—" She suddenly smacked her forehead. (This made her look even stranger to the people who were already staring at her.) "ComPLETELY forgot we were supposed to do this, what with all the excitement. Jay, you still have your sunglasses, right?"
"Whoops! Absolutely... forget my own head if it weren't nailed on..." Jay reached into a breast pocket.
Acacia donned her own sunglasses (sort of. Okay, she clipped the little dark bits onto her actual glasses. Haven't you seen those things before?) and grinned. "Okay, everyone, look here..."
"This is a horrible cop-out, and I really don't care... okay, people, this has been an extremely strange dream. Go through the portal to wake up."
"What happened, see, is a weather balloon... refracted some swamp gas... and the light from Venus..." Jay said solemnly, earning a jab in the ribs.
"Shut up, Jay."
The last of the characters filed bemusedly through the portal. There was a sensation of tension in the world, and then...
Jay staggered backwards, and Acacia rocked slightly.
There was a distinct lack of castle, and a very noticeable forest.
Acacia grinned. "Fun."
Jay fiddled with the remote activator, and the portal flickered. "Let's go home."
"Sounds good to me."
They stepped through the portal, and found themselves back in Headquarters. There was a steady [Bip. Bip. Bip.] coming from the computer, and the "new message" light was flashing.
"Odd..." Acacia observed.
"Hit print, would you?" said Jay. "My hands are full."
"It's rather short, let's just read it."
[More inflammatory packages! Get them the heck out of my mail depot, or I eat you for lunch.
Otik Horak, Mail Dept.]
"More?" Acacia wondered. "Where do these come from?"
"They aren't flames," Jay said. "We'd have heard."
There was nothing for it but to truck down to the mail depot.
"It's not as if he's eaten anyone in years, anyway," Jay said, out of the blue.
"Let's just see what he wants, shall we?"
"For us to pick up our newest roasty toasty package, of course. Did you bring your fire gear?"
Otik was surling in the doorway when they got there. It would be nice, you know, if you could occasionally receive something that doesn't smoke ominously.
Acacia shrugged. "We just seem to have that effect on people. Can't think why."
There were actually several boxes, very large. They had holes in the side.
Jay fumbled impotently with the thick duct tape securing the lid.
Acacia, slightly more observant, said, "Why have they got holes in them?"
"I think they're air holes. Help me get it open."
Acacia rummaged in her backpack, eventually coming up with a dagger they'd gotten off a Mary Sue some time before.
When the duct tape was finally removed, a smoldering head popped out of the box. It was attached to a smoldering body.
"TRADUIL!" Jay shrieked, delighted. One of the other boxes tipped over and burst into flames. Elrind rolled out.
Acacia sliced open another box. Out came Boromire. "Funfun!"
Jay grabbed her two minis in a bear hug. "I thought she'd forgotten!"
Touching as this is, I want you to get those things out of here! the tree stump snapped.
"We're going, we're going!" said Acacia, huggling Boromire and standing up to leave. "Jeez, touchy..."
"The response center is this way," Jay said, leading the little demon types along. "Thank you, Otik!"
... Don't mention it.
"Well, that was fun," Acacia observed.
"Hurrah." Jay beamed. Then she stopped. "Wait—we can't take them on missions with us. Regulation 5c, no pets. Not since that fiasco with the God-Mod agent and his swamp dragon."
"Yes, it was..." They walked in silence for a moment, then, "Do you think you guys will be all right in Headquarters during missions?"
The minis looked at each other and shrugged.
"Wish they could talk," said Acacia reflectively. "Come on... before we go back let's go to the café and see about getting some raw eggs and bacon."
They were a merry party as they sauntered back to their response center, two agents with three mini-Balrogs in tow. They weren't the only ones. Several other agents had weaseled one or two out of Miss Cam.
Jay sighed as they stepped through the door. "More messages," she said glumly, raising her voice over the [Bip. Bip. Bip.] "That never bodes well."
"So what are they?" Acacia sat on the rug and tossed Boromire an egg, ignoring the fact she could have checked as easily as Jay.
"To the agents Jay and Acacia..." Jay read.
"We have become aware that you are now in possession of lightsabers. You will need to report for lightsaber safety awareness training." Jay rolled her eyes. "Mini-Balrogs will not be permitted to enter fictional continua excepting the universes of OFUM and SNAOL."
Jay flipped to the next page. "We also have to get our new flash patches."
Acacia sighed. "'Lightsaber safety awareness training'? Eh... so where do we go for all this?"
"The Little Auditorium."
The Little Auditorium could seat five hundred. It wasn't an ironic title. The BIG Auditorium could seat well over a thousand.
"So, what do we do fir—"
[Acacia's A/N: Well, that one was fairly insipid. Quite apart from the horrible spelling, would it have killed her to explain why two sets of mortal enemies were suddenly happybuddies?
~clears throat~ Anyway.
Thank yous go to Miss Cam for the minis, and to everyone who still reviews despite the lack of convenient-FFN-review-feature.]
[Jay's A/N: Thou shalt not mess with Snape. Or any other Rickmanesque character, for that matter.
I did love the bit about everyone getting in their horses... and riding fifteen leagues south to Lothlórien...
Oh, yes, and thank you, Miss Cam!]