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Harry Potter Alternate Universe >> Harry Potter and Captain Pinklepea by Oddish

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HARRY POTTER AND CAPTAIN PINKLEPEE
By Oddish


AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is fourth in a planned series of six. It is recommended that you read the previous three installments before reading this. Otherwise, you might be totally flummoxed at certain events in the story. The previous stories are:

1. Harry Potter and the Naked Potions Class (prose version)
2. Harry Potter and the Glorious Hufflepuff Insurrection
3. Harry Potter and the Attack of the Crazed Knickers

Or, you can just read on. You will probably be appalled either way.



CHAPTER 1 - The Emergence

It was dawn in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, and a thin gray light streamed down from the enchanted ceiling. Wisps of smoke from a thousand freshly extinguished floating candles ascended lazily and appeared to get lost in the sky. Soon, the horizon would turn pink and the sun would rise, and a new day would begin in earnest.

The mysterious Hufflepuff known only as Oddish sat quietly at the sole open table, quietly eating his way through a plate heaped with sausages, poached eggs, and freshly buttered toast. He was normally not a morning person, but this was his only opportunity to have a leisurely and undisturbed morning meal. Harry hurried over and sat next to him, keeping his head as low as he could.

“Morning, Potter,” Oddish said, a bit nonplussed. It was not uncommon for friends in different houses to sit together at this time of day, when only one of the four tables had food on it, but few non-Hufflepuffs deigned to sit with what they considered to be lower lifeforms. “Why the sneakiness?”

“I’m looking around for Ginny,” Harry said tersely, referring to his best mate’s sister, who had been obsessed with him since she was still sucking her thumb at night. “Have you seen her?”

Oddish replied sharply: “As I’m sure you know, when I’m not in the nursery, she is.” Because Ginny was largely responsible for the nursery’s recent population increase, Dumbledore had sentenced her to serve there. Alongside Oddish himself, who was on A 42-year detention there for his part in what he still insisted on referring to as the Glorious Hufflepuff Insurrection.

“Good,” Harry said, and helped himself to some food.

“I don’t see why you have such a problem with her,” Oddish said. “She’s athletic, smart, good with kids, and she obviously likes you.”

“If you like her so much, why don’t you go out with her?” Harry queried irritably.

“Because it would be inappropriate,” Oddish said primly. “My assumed appearance notwithstanding, I am in fact a middle-aged man with rather more gray in his beard than he likes to admit to.”

Even Harry could not disagree with that, though he didn’t like it. He started to change the subject, but was interrupted by the arrival of one Ronald Weasley, his closest friend. Ron looked decidedly morose, and had been so ever since Professor McGonagall confiscated his “boomstick”. For some strange reason, she didn’t like the idea of one of her students walking around with the equivalent of eight Killing Curses shoved in his waistband.

Ron decided to take out his unhappiness with some inflammatory remarks, aimed at someone who (in his eyes) deserved far worse than a few verbal cheap shots. “Oi, Harry,” Ron said. “What are you, slumming? Eating with a Hufflepuff and all?”

Oddish could have chosen a response that would have demonstrated the maturity and good judgment expected of a man of his years. Instead, he replied: “Kiss my fat, hairy butt, Weasley.”

Ron pulled his wand. “Are you looking to start something, you pathetic ‘Puff?”

Oddish pulled his own wand, which McGonagall had returned to him as a half-hearted apology for the previous week’s misunderstanding about her underwear. Ron and Harry had never seen it before. Upon seeing the pathetic implement (3.75 inches, beech, cored with a unicorn’s nose hair), they both collapsed on the floor in a paroxym of laughter.

It occured to Oddish that perhaps it would not be a good idea to mess with these two. After all, Harry was a former Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and Ron had at least had several years of quality classroom instruction. He himself had no instruction whatsoever; Dumbledore allowed him a bed in Hufflepuff and three squares a day in the dining hall because he feared the consequences of doing otherwise, but the elderly headmaster drew the line at actually allowing him in a classroom. In short, he realized that fighting two older and better-trained students was a one-way ticket to Ouchville. Alas, he realized this after he had grabbed the porridge bowl and upended it over Ron’s head.

Ron reacted about as one would expect a temperamental sixteen-year-old wizard to react upon finding a mixture of oatmeal, butter, sugar, and milk cascading over his head and face. “You filthy little Hufflepuff git! I’ll teach you some manners!”

Our obnoxious young (well all right, not so young) hero had suffered much over the last few weeks: detentions, humiliations, snotty noses, stinky diapers, and a run-in with the Hogwarts Magical Buns-Whacking Cane, among other things. And, it certainly looked as though he was in for a severe pummeling at this point. However, perhaps he was overdue for some good luck, because Ron’s mission of demolition was interrupted before it started.

“All righ’! Here now! Break it up!” shouted Hagrid as he entered the room, a flagon that looked to hold at least seven gallons (that’s about twenty-six and a half liters, for those of you who use the metric system) in his hand. Fragrant steam curled lazily from whatever was inside. “What’s goin’ on here?”

Ron, Oddish, Harry, and half a dozen other people started speaking at once. The resultant jumble of conversation was impossible to follow.

“Quiet!” barked Hagrid, then pointed to Percy, who was also present, and who he knew would be truthful. “What happened?” The latter’s response was lengthy, but essentially accurate. When he was finished, Hagrid spoke again: “All righ’. Oddish, detention for you.”

“Like I care. I’m already on detention until 2038,” Oddish muttered, but Hagrid had turned away from him to address Harry. He should have been watching Ron: the red-haired Gryffindor had picked up the huge flagon, sniffed its contents dubiously, and eagerly drained it. He then placed it on the table, where it promptly vanished.

Oddish and Harry both went back to their breakfasts, having nothing more to say to one another. Ron, however, was not eating. Instead, he began to mutter to himself, much of it incomprehensibly, and make an assortment of weird noises. Since Ron was not known for consistency in his conduct, no one really paid him any attention, at least not until he jumped up onto the table, grabbed up a pumpkin juice pitcher, drained it in one gulp, and wedged it down on his head.

“Ron, what are you doing?” Percy wanted to know.

“My name is not Ron,” insisted Ron. “There is no Ron. I am…”

For a moment, he was lost for words, then he happened to listen in on two young Ravenclaws, who were discussing their latest potions difficulty:

“Snape gave me four out of ten. He said the potion was supposed to be blood red, but mine was only pink.”

“You think that’s bad, I got zero on mine. He said it looked like a cauldron full of split pea soup.”

Inspired thus, Ron completed his sentence. “I am Captain Pinklepea!” As if to prove that he was a captain of something, he jumped atop the nearest table and began dancing what looked like a very bad attempt at a hornpipe. Amazingly, the pitcher remained wedged tightly on his head.

“Captain Stinklepee?” Harry said incredulously.

“I think he said Pickleknee,” Oddish said helpfully.

“No, you idiots, it was Pinklepea,” Percy said in his usual imperious know-it-all fashion that made even his family sometimes want to slug him.

Ron, or Pinklepea if you prefer that name (and since we don’t, we will not refer to him thus again), interrupted any further conversation by leaping from the table and dashing off down the hall, giggling madly.

Harry and Oddish exchanged glances. “You should probably follow him,” the latter said to the former.

“What about you?” Harry demanded. “You did this to him.”

“What are you talking about?” Oddish demanded. “It wasn’t me, it was that stuff Hagrid had in his mug.”

“Yeah, but you’re the one who wrote this garbage!” Harry shot back.

Percy let out a yell of frustration and dashed off after Ron. Harry looked at him, then reluctantly followed. Oddish considered. The nursery wasn’t so bad these days. Since his expertise at handling little ones had survived the transition through the fourth wall, the kids generally behaved themselves for him. Most of them were even potty-trained, and the recalcitrant ones were both girls and therefore Ginny’s problem. Still, it got boring after awhile. Whatever was about to occur, it wouldn’t be dull. He took a last bite of sausage, them ambled after the three Gryffindors.

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