Chapter 2: In Which Snape has a Big Nose and Trolls Question their Sexuality
AN: I am American, but I will be doing my best to use British sentence-styles to the best of my ability. There might be some things, like, using the word 'thing' (which feels American and IDK why). This is relevant, because egregious breaks in British vocab and also time period of the slang- using words like 'dude' 'bro' and 'manly,' are intentional. I won't tell you why :D. Have fun.
Anybody who finds confusion or offence with the chapter title (trolls sexuality) or the actual content of the chapter, please take a gander at the mess that is my AN's at the bottom. In short: I promise I mean no harm to anybody at all.
Also this chapter contains probably the most character depth and seriousness that will ever appear in this story. This is meant to be a crack fic, and the only reason the slightly serious scenes appear is because I felt the need to justify a few of the events happening, and also wanted to show Gyffindor camaraderie on display.
A young Harry Potter sat in a director's chair, scratching his head. His exact age being approximately midway-and-a-bit through eleven, the boy's hair hadn't quite evolved into the fabulous wind-swept tangles that the adult James Potter had famously sported, however the boy's mop was adequately uncoordinated. (Lily Potter would disagree with the term "evolved"- as would Severus Snape, who as a matter of fact had long believed that anyone daring to display a head of "Potter Hair" deserved a shaved scalp, or at bare minimum, torture. Back to Lily, however. Such declarations of devolved hair always spawned an uproar, with James complaining aimlessly, Sirius shouting that he would take James as a rebound husband in a heartbeat, Remus complaining how that would interfere with their "friends' with benefits' arrangement, and Peter looking at feet and stealing cheese.)
The Boy Who Lived was sitting in his chair, looking confused. "So… you want me to…recap my first few weeks at Hogwarts?" he asked, casting yet another bewildered gaze at the room he found himself in. "Well," he pulled his gaze away from the odd scaffolding of bright lights and camera equipment, looking back at the man sitting just out of frame. "I suppose I could do that. So it started like this-"
I was at the station, right? Figuring out the platform was tricky, but once I made it on the train, I had a blast. I met my friend Ron-
Harry was cut off by the gruff, mumbled, incoherent voice of his listener.
"Oh, you already know that part?" the bespeckled boy scrunched up his face. "So where do you want me to start then?"
More muttering, unintelligible to the reader but not to Harry.
"After the night we arrived, got it. Okay, here we go…(?)-"
My first day at Hogwarts was good, I suppose. I can't really call it pleasant, mind you, it was completely mad from top to bottom. I think it was Dean, or maybe Neville, who shook me awake. Seamus walked out of the bathroom with his face covered in this orange and green paste. He said it was a face mask, I dunno. Anyways, he told me that Ron was asking for me to go through his trunk and find some soap and a change of clothes, because he was already in the showers and forgot it all
Then, before we even made it to breakfast, I think Ron and I nearly died? Apparently, we almost were at the Forbidden Third Floor Corridor, but Ron's twin brothers popped out of one wall, skipped a few paces down the hall, and pulled us into another secret passage. We slid down the passage (it was like a chute/slide) and got spit out into the Entrance Hall, knocking over a group of Ravenclaws.
"Strike," muttered Fred (I think). His twin gave him a high five.
In some ways, those first days were similar to a first day anywhere, I believe, with roll calls and getting boring introductions to the subject. But then we would pull out our wands and start reciting magic laws that sound like some random lady made up to sound impressive and weird. I love magic.
Potions was a bit horrid, with Snape grilling me on my brewing knowledge the moment he walked in. I remembered a couple things though, which I think surprised him. Neville was so much worse. I think he nearly broke the record for youngest stress-induced cardiac arrest, which makes no sense with how good he is in Herbology. It's like being absolutely 'magic' at gardening, but then not knowing to leave tomatoes out of a fruit salad or if peppers are spicy. Professor Flitwick has way more excitement than a man his size has any right to contain, but at least we actually got to do something in his class on the first day. In Transfiguration, well we all tried to do something, but only Granger really got anywhere with it. Granger's super smart, she knows almost every answer to all the lecture questions the Professor's love to ask. Ron seems kind of annoyed by it, but I think I get it. Muggleborn, Muggle-raised, we come to Hogwarts barely a few months after learning the wizarding world exists, much less knowing about anything in it. She's just got something to prove. So anyway, Granger got some points because her match looked a bit shiny, and Ron was rolling his eyes, but then Seamus set an entire row of matches on fire with his wand. The look of horror on his face as McGonagall marched over had everyone choking on laughter.
I think that's it for the interesting bits that happened in those first few days. It's really weird that they would employ someone as boring as Professor Binns at a school of magic. Nevermind that he's a ghost. It was super hard going to class the day after our first Astronomy lesson, but the older students say that you get used to it and that there are potions and spells that help. At least Professor StrongArm's voice is pretty soothing. He seems to know a lot of weird details about the moon.
Next thing I know, another two weeks have gone by. I kept seeing Hagrid every so often, he always likes to check in on how I'm doing. The thing we first years were all [really] looking forward to though was the first flying lesson. It was certainly an experience to remember.
Neville broke his wrist almost immediately. He just said "UP!" like the rest of us, and his broom whacked him in the chest. He flew maybe forty metres away, landed funny, and his calcium-sticks went SNAP! Madame Hooch threatened that anyone who flew while she took Neville to the Hospital Wing would be expelled. So naturally, the first thing Malfoy and this other Slytherin named Nott did was snatch up this orb thing Neville had dropped and start tossing it around on their brooms. I tried chasing them down, but they just turned it into a game of keep away, so I switched to just circling under them in case they dropped it. Hermione was yelling at all of us to stop, Ron was cheering me on (I hope), and Dean was complaining loudly about the Slytherins, using words like "unsportsmanlike" and "not manly, dude."
Malfoy eventually got bored with his little game and chucked the Remembrall thing at the castle. I flew after it, dove, and caught the thing. Everyone seemed to think it was pretty wicked, and I couldn't wait to get back into the air.
Not that it mattered, because then McGonagall came marching out onto the lawn. When she called out "Mr. Potter!" I thought for sure I was a goner. I heard later that everyone else did too, but I couldn't tell you because I was too busy trying to remember what a eulogy was and if I should make one if I was going to end up deceased. Next thing I know, I'm on the Quidditch team, I've got my own broom, and I'm practising every week! McGonagall said that the reason there was a rule against First Years bringing brooms was because of my dad, so it was fitting that I was the reason they got rid of it. All of a sudden, we're two weeks into October, my first ever Quidditch match is in a month and I'm going to be playing, and-
"-wait a minute," Harry cut himself off, manoeuvring out of the chair. He had made himself quite comfortable in the director's chair during his retelling, with his legs kicked up over one arm and his head on the other. However, at the mysterious man's acknowledgment that story-time was over, Harry hopped up and pulled aside the first person he found.
It was another man, wearing a weird vest of technical attachments that Harry couldn't identify. With a distracted sort of hurriedness, the boy got the man's attention and spoke. "Could you do a tempus charm for me please, sir?" Harry asked.
The man chuckled. "No need, lad. The date is the thirteenth."
"But what time is it?" pressed a slightly worried Gryffindor.
"Ah, that," replied the oddly dressed man as he examined a wrist watch. "Seventeen past four, m'boy."
"Oh no. Well, thank you sir," said Harry. He gestured to where he had been sitting previously with the mysterious figure. "Could you let that man over there know that I have to leave?" he asked. "I don't want to cause trouble, but you see I've got to get back to Ron." Harry was starting to ramble. "He's convinced that the thirteenth of ANY month means bad luck, even if it's not on a Friday. He's going to lose it if he can't find me before dinner."
And with that, the Boy Who Lived was off again. In short, life at Hogwarts was proving to be just as bizarre as anyone could have hoped for.
The week leading up to the Halloween feast brought a feeling of casual anticipation felt in all students. The first years, especially, who had never experienced the scale and grandeur of a Hogwarts holiday, were especially excited. There was something special about watching Hagrid roll a pumpkin as large as a stallion into the Great Hall as third and fourth years rapidly cast charms to try and make their House colours seen most.
However, on that Thursday of spook, Ron was noticeably more belligerent than usual. Professor Quirrell's class was once again forgettable in all but it's smell, but even that mild note of interest had long worn away. It was after Charms, which usually brought a welcome reprieve of fun to the week, that things came to a head. Most students had a pleasant afternoon of making their feathers float, although Harry, who was partnered with Seamus, remained in deep discussion about the possibilities of fire and explosions throughout the class. This resulted in a number of singed and disintegrated feathers. However, Hermione's apparent ease at mastering the levitation charm further soured her partner's mood, Ron, who did not hesitate to air his complaints as soon as the class was over. Unfortunately for him, this left him with a stinging cheek, compliments of Hermione. Unfortunately for Hermione, the mean comments were enough for her to break down, and she disappeared into the many halls of the castle.
It was a few hours later that the Gryffindor First Year Boys overheard Parvati Patil talking about how Hermione was hiding in the girls bathroom, crying. Ron cringed.
"You've got to find her and apologise mate," said Harry, shooting his friend what may have been a glare.
Ron sighed. "I know, I just was hoping to do it later."
Dean shook his head, muttering "Not manly, bro," to which Seamus quirked an eyebrow.
Neville spoke up, "Just show her that even though you can be a tad rude, you're still a decent bloke at the end of the day." Neville looked around to see his dorm mates showing their agreement. Already, being a Gryffindor was changing the boy for the better. Trevor was still a nice bodyguard to have in reserve, however.
Ron nodded, lost in his thoughts for a minute. Then, as if struck by lightning, or perhaps the rumbling hunger of his stomach, he had an idea. "I could make her a plate from the Great Hall! That way, even if I can't find her fast enough for us to get back to the feast, she won't miss out! It can be like a peace offering." The red-headed boy looked at his companions hopefully.
Harry slapped him on the back as the group walked into the Great Hall. "Sounds like a plan, mate. Let's eat quickly and go find her."
The two friends rapidly piled their own plates, preparing a third between them as they ate. The boys made sure to get a small portion of every dish in the hopes that Hermione would like enough of it to have a good meal. However, just as Harry and Ron were ready to commence adventure, any plans in Hogwarts were thrown off more forcefully than that time when Fred and George launched Mrs. Norris off of the North Tower.
"Troll! In the dungeons!" Professor Quirrell collapsed to the floor of a suddenly silent Hall.
The silence did not last long. After a few heavy moments of shock, the entire hall was in uproar. (Notable reactions include the Weasley Twins, who-completely in sync- leapt to their feet, pointed at Quirrell, and screamed "INCOMPETENT!")
In the midst of the pandemonium, Harry and Ron slipped out of the Hall unnoticed. Their mission was unchanged, only now it was more important that they find Hermione before something else did. However, Ron still carried with him the plate of food they prepared.
A few close calls with prefects and teachers later, Harry and Ron watched with bated breath as the in-troll-der meandered it's way into a room. The boys crept up to the door, preparing to slam it shut, when a scream echoed out of the room. Their hearts dropped. This was the girl's bathroom, and Hermione Granger was alone with a troll big enough to throw her like a ball.
Harry and Ron burst in, and a scuffle ensued as the two boys did their best to distract the troll-not-actually-in-the-dungeons from its task of terrorizing the resident bookworm. Ron's selected weapon was the plate of food he carried, which he threw at the troll's neck. The plate shattered, porcelain and food flying everywhere.
Apparently, when Harry had woken up that morning of Halloween, he had chosen violence. The boy leapt onto the creature's back, and shoved his wand up the troll's nose. This being rather uncomfortable, the troll roared, reached back, and snatched Harry off his own back, now in a fit of rage.
"Ahhhh! He's molesting me!" screamed Harry, not having the slightest clue what that meant. The troll, temporarily forgetting his pain-induced anger, was now becoming more bewildered by the moment, holding the child up by its foot. Yes he was holding the child, but molestation was a bit dramatic of an accusation, wasn't it? "Ahh! I don't want to be touched there! This is my no-no square," yelled Harry as he squirmed in the troll's grip. At the look the troll was giving him, Harry went off again. "Yes, you great oaf, even my leg! Let go of meeeeeeeee! Do something," he wailed. The troll had reached terminal-confusion due to the noise the small being was making and decided to fix it as he fixed all his problems. By hitting things.
"Whaat?" Ron asked in response to Harry's plea, appearing a bit confused as well. Hermione squeezed her eyes shut.
"How in the name of Merlin should I know?" Harry cried as the troll recovered from a second missed swing. Ron pulled out his wand. Hermione's eyes were still very closed.
The troll narrowed its own eyes at the noisy creature she was holding. "Herggmm," she grunted (she was a gender-fluid troll, don't judge, that's rude). Harry, thinking this signaled another attempted murder, flailed around again. Then the troll swung, and the Boy-Who-Probably-Wouldn't-Live-Much-Longer sighed in exhaustion, unable to dodge. The club connected. Or, at least it should have. Instead, the massively dense piece of wood phased straight through it's target. Thrown off by the unexpected lack of resistance, the troll stumbled into a wall, dropping her club and Harry. As expected, Ron floated the club up and dropped it on the troll's head.
"K.O!" shouted Harry in his best announcer's voice, rubbing his own head.
Just then, Professor McGonagall flung open the bathroom door. "What in Merlin's name is happening?" she cried, looking as though she had nearly suffered a heart attack. Or gone overboard on the catnip.
Hermione, who had decided to start seeing again, launched into explanations, with Ron interjecting to let the teachers know his role in leading Hermione to skip the feast. Harry wasn't listening very closely, as he had begun polishing his wand. Snape peered around the room in disgust. Harry wondered if he really was that bitter of a man to always be scowling, or if it was just Snape's nose that made it difficult for him to see.
As Professor McGonagall began admonishing the first years, Professor Quirrel slipped into the room. He saw the troll, appeared to have his own heart attack, and slid down the wall to the floor, breathing hard. Harry wrinkled his nose at the Professor, who had brought the distinct smell of garlic with him. Mr. Dursely always wanted meals with the most obscene, revolting amount of garlic, and Harry had come to truly hate the vegetable. He supposed that at least he was sure that his Uncle wasn't a vampire, although the man's sanity and general value to the world was still very much in question.
Tuning back into the present, Harry caught the end of Professor McGonagall's tirade. "Now, you three go to your common room. You will conclude the feast with your house." She nodded to the first years, dismissing them.
The three walked away, Ron and Hermione silently allowing the distance between them and the troll to grow as Harry muttered something about his aunt and grapes. Hermione looked concerned by the mostly unintelligible mumblings of the Boy-Who-Lived, but it was Ron that spoke up first.
"Only ten points for taking out a troll! And she docked Hermione five, that leaves us with only five! For a bloody troll!" complained Ron, sounding both slightly indignant and hungry.
"That's still a profit of five points though," pointed out Harry.
"Congratulations Ronald," said Hermione at the same time, "you can count." She winced slightly, but seemed to feel she had earned the right to sass.
Ron opened his mouth, likely to retort, then hesitated. "Yeah, I probably deserved that. And I suppose you're right, mate, but it still feels off. Hey, how'd that last hit from the troll not get you? She really was packing a punch it seemed."
Harry shrugged. "I dunno Ron, it seemed to just go straight through me. Kinda weird, eh?"
"Oh Harry, I'm sure that's not possible, it's not like we still have accidental magic, we have wands now. But that's not important. Thank you, thank you both for helping me." Hermione smiled timidly at the two boys.
"I'm just glad we're all ok," remarked the boy-with-hyphenations. As they climbed a set of stairs, a knight in a painting began loudly proclaiming how he, 'the great Sir Cadogan,' would rescue any damsel in distress. Hermione rolled her eyes at the artful antics.
"Hey," Harry piped up suddenly. "If a troll is genderfluid, and say they have, their version of a significant other. Is the troll gay or straight?"
"Huh?" the other two children replied in unison.
"I agree with those sentiments, and appreciate the insight," Harry rattled off like the words had been drilled into his skull at birth.
The trio continued to climb the stairs, allowing a thoughtful silence to envelope the three. Already, the bonds of friendship were forming, although whether or not it would be golden remained to be seen. Again, Ron was the first to speak.
"I don't think Hermione would make a good cat girl. Or furry."
Hermione blushed, but looked indignant. "Ron, what on earth… I mean, what in Merlin's name was that supposed to mean?"
Harry looked sideways at the other two. "But hey, you never know," he said as he watched them walk across the wall (floor).
The girl in question sighed. "Oh, Harry…"
AN: Right off the bat- the genderfluid troll wasn't supposed to be some weird, perverted symbolism of the LGBTQ+ community. It was supposed to be funny.
(Apologies for really really long AN, but my brain kept having THOUGHTS and here we are. AN's on this size should not be happening again in the future.)
So there will most likely be more LGBTQ+ content in this fic. A couple things about that- it will never be a defining part of the fic. Relationships as a whole are not expected to be a pivotal part of the story, although I expect to see some. I don't have super definite plans for implementing LGBTQ+ characters, or characters coming out as such. It prolly won't be explored much at all until 3rd year regardless of what my character sheet looks like, because of a detail that will be introduced at that point. Harry will not be gay, Ron probably won't be, Hermione I haven't really thought about. Draco, again probably not but we shall see. I personally don't fit into any interesting demographics at all, so I can't say I have huge experience with it. However, what I do write will be respectfully implemented in a way that I believe makes sense. Meaning weird shit will continue to be weird shit but I won't ever be mocking an entire social group of people.
The only reason that I created a genderfluid troll in the first place is because the idea of part of the title being- "Trolls Question their Sexuality" made me giggle. Like 10 months ago. That is literally the only reason and now I have this abomination of an author's note and had to insert a bit of dialogue at the end of the chapter just so that the title could even apply vaguely (it's more Harry questioning the troll's sexuality than the troll). This is how my brain works- it doesn't.
Fun fact- about half way through the chapter, you reached a part of the story where the majority of the content was written like 10 months ago. It was with the troll fighting, and there was, I believe, a noticeable change in the tone/style of writing. That's what a lot of the chapters coming next are prolly gonna feel like, as my original intentions with this fic was just to make something bizarre, cracky, but still containing a loose plot. I then more recently decided that I should make entering this story a lot smoother and stuff, and so this extra chapter and a half got thrown onto the beginning. The next paragraph of AN was part of the AN of the original posting of my fic, and it generated a bit of interesting conversation so I wanted to leave it in. Also my opinions are unchanged.
Ok, but what's the deal with JKR? She always seemed pretty cool with everyone, even if it was a bit weird how she was sort of editing her story post-publication. But now it's pretty messed up. I confess that I didn't hear/read about the whole situation until probably months after, and I didn't read most of the tweets, but I got the idea. My condolences to anyone who is Trans-gender, nonbinary, or in a 'similar state of being' (idk dude) and thought JKR supported you and felt completely blind-sided by the whole debacle. Anyway, I find myself still obsessed with HP and to the readers Ron says "She needs to get her priorities in order," and I agree, also asking that I please don't get sued :)
Funny thing with the Ron fear of 13- in 1991, when Philosopher's Stone was set, the second friday of september was a friday the 13th. I can't naturally fit this in (I'm already squeezing tangents in unnecessarily as it is) but I still wanted to share. Interesting bit of spooky real world that sorta collides with HP
The point of the slightly more emotionally aware part of this chapter was to establish a couple friendships and bonds. Now, I can feel free to do all the stupid shit I want with these long beloved characters! Lucky me.
Next chapter will be way WAY shorter. Like, a couple hundred words instead of a couple thousand. Deal with it, these first two were so long bc I was rewriting how I approached the beginning of the story. The 2nd half (Troll fighting) was what I originally wrote and published like 10 months ago, but then I decided that even if the whole point of this was to be chaotically messy I should at least ease into things with a proper (if you can call it that) introduction.