Chapter Three

In which Roses and Co. Find Themselves Serving Detention With Professor Snape



Outside, it was a glorious afternoon: birds were chirping, children were frolicking, and bunnies were nibbling on grass. Unfortunately, Roses, Ann, Holli, Tails, Tyrael, John, Ian, and Silent Jim were not outside. In fact, they were in the exact opposite of outside: they were inside. More specifically, they were inside Professor Snape's classroom waiting for him to arrive so they may serve their detention.

"Look on the bright side," Holli offered, "at least we're not all in the chokey!" She was answered with glares, and two dazed looks.

"I hope I get to be a newt." I'll let you guess who said that.

"This is boring. Are we even going to get a punishment? It's been an hour and he's still not here." Tails complained.

"But he's watching us, I know he is. He's testing us!" John eyed the room suspiciously and dove under a desk. "Hey, a nickel!"

"It's mine." Roses said.

"Oh." John moved to hand her the nickel, but stopped suddenly. "No it isn't! You don't even have class in here."

"I left it hear last spring."

"I saw her!" Ann remarked. Satisfied with this, John handed Roses the nickel.

"You know, I wonder if there is anything interesting in Professor Snape's desk," Tails said and stood up from her seat. She meandered to the front desk and pulled open the top drawer. "Cool!"

"What?" Holli demanded and raced to her friend's side. Before them was a collection of shimmering potions and various bottles.

"Our teacher is such a druggie," Tails laughed and picked up one of the bottles. "Hey, Tyrael, come here."

"No."

"I have something for you."

"Drugs are bad."

"It's just apple juice."

"Give it to John."

"Okay." Tails turned to John. "Jar-Jar boy, want some apple juice?"

"Sure," John replied and downed the entire bottled. With a *poof* John disappeared and in his place was a newt. Tyrael looked at Newt!John, and then at the bottle, then at the newt, then at the bottle. Finally, he grabbed the bottle and tried to drink whatever was left. Tails and Holli quickly returned to their seats, for at this point, Professor Snape returned.

Upon opening the door, Snape raised one eyebrow and said something about hating the children of the world. He pulled out a stick from his robe and pointed it at Newt!John, muttering incoherently. Almost immediately, and to everyone's disdain, John was again...John. Snape then pointed his wand at Tyrael, who was looking rather guilty, and made the bottle fly from his hands and back into his desk drawer. It closed with a Slam! and the room was enveloped in silence. That is, until someone coughed, but it was silent again after that. Snape slowly, gracefully, walked to the front of the room and picked up a piece of chalk. He began writing something on the wall-- something eeeeeeeeevil. Or maybe just the kids' assignment. In either case, it was eeeeeeeeevil.

John got up on his tiptoes so he could see over Snape's shoulder. He was writing something- something that looked like ingredients. John cringed.

Holli and Tails exchanged looks and then, together, yanked John's chair back. John sat down hard and let out a little yelp. Professor Snape whipped around.

"Who was out of their seat?"

John was about to point at Holli and Tails, when there was a knock on the door. Snape gave them all a final, suspicious glare, and opened the door. Mr. Satan shouldered his way in.

"Mr. Satan," Snape said. "I was just about to start detention-"

"Glad I wasn't interrupting anything!" Mr. Satan said, and strolled up to the front of the class. "I'm sure you were all overjoyed at the very idea of Professor Snape's personal detention, so I know this will be a heartbreak for all of you..."

"YES!" John cried, jumping up. "WE'RE OUTTA HERE!!! FREEDOM!!!!!!"

Mr. Satan frowned, and John sat down. "As I was about to say, you all still have detention, but since Mr. Hain and the food fight brigade are all occupied cleaning Mr. Hagrid's pet cages, and reading stories to the kindergarten,"

He paused for a moment, and from down the hall, near the kindergarten rooms, could be heard the faint sound of screaming and pleas for mercy.

"Because of this, we're low on our supply of delinquents, so we need to dig into the reserves. You will all be helping some of our faculty members do some chores for the next hour. And, since he did have first dibs, someone will be assisting Professor Snape as well."

Snape looked at John, and John shrunk down in his seat.

"Now, if our faculty members would come in?"

Mr. Flagg, Ms. Ligeia, Mr. Vader, Ms. Wilkes, Mr. Sauron, and Mr. Crayak came in, and surveyed the detention-ees.

Mr. Satan swept his arm out over them. "Here they are, take your pick."

Ms. Ligeia stepped forward, and John, Tyrael, and Silent Jim grinned maniac smiles at her. She frowned, ran her eyes over the seven students and then indicated Holli. "I need you to help me rearrange the music sheets for some of the plays in my personal archives."

Holli stood, beaming. "Okay. What plays?"

"Well, mostly Cats,"

Holli's face went from a grin to a look of abject horror, but it was too late. Ms. Ligeia led her out the door. John smirked, and then caught Mr. Snape looking his way.

Mr. Sauron floated forwards. "Roses, I need some help decorating the classroom. I'm thinking lots of hula-hoops and inner tubes, and things that just generally look like rings." He leaned forward, addressing everyone. "None of you has seen a ring around, right? Not many distinguishing features, calls you when you get near, makes you want to be evil and crazy and stuff?"

Everyone slowly shook their heads and he sighed. Roses stood up and joined him.

"Nice ring fetish," Mr. Crayak muttered.

Mr. Sauron glared at him, and then floated out with Roses in tow.

Mr. Crayak moved forwards next. "Ann, I was going to ask you to do this anyway, but we need a banner for the big PTA meeting next week- first one of the year, you know."

"I'm on it!" Ann said, jumping up. John frowned.

"You'll have to work on it alone, though," Mr. Crayak said. "The rest of the art class is in detention for the food fight."

Ann nodded, and followed him out the door. Only John, Silent Jim, Tyrael and Tails remained.

Mr. Vader stepped forwards, stuck out his hand, and raised it. Silent Jim floated up from his seat, and levitated over to Mr. Vader. He was then dropped on the floor.

Mr. Vader turned and walked briskly out the door, and Jim stumbled after him.

Only three left. John thought. Only three left.

Ms. Wilkes looked over at Mr. Flagg, who shrugged, his face lit by bored amusement.

Ms. Wilkes chewed her lower lip, and then said. "I need some help up in the nurse's office- is anyone here good with needles?"

There was a loud crash as Tails leapt up. "ME!" She shouted. "ME ME ME!!!!!"

"Okay, then," Ms. Wilkes said, smiling. She and Tails walked out the door, Ms. Wilkes asking her if she'd read the new Paul Sheldon book.

"Two little Indians playing with a gun; one shot the other and then there was one." Mr. Flagg said, and his face grinned and burned.

"Take your pick, Randall," Mr. Satan said, also grinning.

John wasn't sure which was worse- working for Professor Snape or Mr. Flagg. Snape hated him, yes, and he's probably have him do some sort of back breaking labor. But Mr. Flagg was just plain unnerving- too full of dark humor to be in anyway sane, or even human. And every time his red eyes settled on John, he felt painful cramps down in his hamstrings.

Mr. Flagg stood for a moment, and then slowly lifted his hand towards Tyrael-

"GOTCHA!" He screamed suddenly, and pointed at John. John, who had jumped a few feet, just sort of smiled nervously. Snape frowned, but then turned his gaze on Tyrael.

"Let's go, Johnny," Flagg said, walking out of the classroom. John followed him down the hallway, trying to keep stride with the dark man in the battered cowboy boots.

"So, I hear you were down at the Wayfarer's Square today," Mr. Flagg said.

The question caught John off-guard. "Huh?"

"You know what I mean- you wouldn't be here if ya hadn't been, after all. So, find any nice trinkets? That's what Mr. Gollum tells me."

John blinked. "What, that, the prescious thing?"

Mr. Flagg laughed, and John's blood went cold. "No. I mean things down in the Wayfarer's Square."

John blinked, and Mr. Flagg sighed.

"Right, you're the one who followed them, huh? You didn't go down all the way. Oh well."

When they reached the principal's office, Mr. Flagg held the door open and let John, a little uneasily, in.

He saw Mr. Satan's office, the door a bit open, and smelled brimstone. When Mr. Satan came in a few moments later, he took a deep breath of the stuff, and then slammed the door. From behind the other door, John could hear Mr. Gates yelling at someone over the phone. Superintendent Yoda walked out of the mailroom, right next to the principal's door, and frowned, his large ears twitching.

"With Mr. Gates an appointment I would like to make." He said to Mr. Flagg, and then left. Flagg jerked his thumb at his desk chair, and John sat down. The desk was covered with brochures and pamphlets- all from militant or revolutionary groups- some that were certainly from the Sixties, and maybe before. Mr. Flagg brushed some of them off, clearing a little space, and dropped a legal pad in front of John. A red pen appeared as well.

"I need you to write down as many names as you can think of- first and last name combinations. Only, listen, the first names all have to start with R and the last names all have to start with F, alright?"

John nodded, trying to avoid the secretary's fiery gaze.

"Good! Now, I'm going to go try to set up an appointment with Mr. Yoda. Don't go anywhere, now, okay?"

John nodded weakly, and Mr. Flagg walked into Mr. Gates office. For the few seconds that the door was open, John could hear the yelling more clearly, but before he could discern anything, the door shut again. John shrugged, and started writing.

A few minutes in, he heard someone clear his throat. John looked up, and saw a guy standing in front of the desk. He looked to be about fifteen, tall, lean but muscular, and good looking, in his own way. Better looking than John, at least. All the same, his hair was also dark brown, and his eyes blue. Just seeing him made John jealous. Without a doubt, this guy was John's inferior- so why did he get to be better looking?

"Um, hey." John said.

"Hey." The teenager said. "Detention?"

John blinked. "Yeah. Mr. Flagg..." He jerked his thumb at the door to the principal's office.

"New secretary, huh?" The teenager said, looking at the name plate on Flagg's desk. "When I was here, we had some guy named Azrael..."

"You went here?" John asked.

The kid nodded. "Yeah. Class of '93. I'm in high school now..." He trailed off. "Yeah, duh. I guess that's obvious. Anyway, I'm trying to find some of my old teachers, do you know when I can get in with Mr. Gates?"

John shrugged, but the other kid heard the yelling and winced. "Not for a while, I guess."

He sat down on the bench where students with "special" appointments with Mr. Gates or Mr. Satan had to sit. "So, what grade are you in?"

John was a bit uncomfortable- and, admittedly, jealous- of the cocky air the guy had about him. John should have been able to act like that- everyone should have been on their hands and knees, kowtowing to him by now.

"Fifth." John said.

The kid winced. "You've got Snape?"

John couldn't help but smirk. "Yep."

"Still a bitch?"

"Who looks like a bird."

The kid shook his head. "I had the worst time with that guy. I hear they won't let him teach at that big wizard school in England, so he has to teach at places like this." He rolled his eyes. "Loser."

John nodded, and wrote down another RF name.

"I'm John." The kid said.

John blinked. "Er, so am I."

John- the other John- nodded. "Cool. Interested in girls yet?"

John's mind flashed on his brief meeting with Ebony Trester, and he felt himself start going red. "Yeah."

The other John nodded. "I started in kindergarten."

John blinked.

The other John shrugged. "I have a strong sex drive, what can I say?"

John blinked again.

Other John shrugged. "I guess you don't know much about that yet. But, hey, not like it's bad to wait and all." He thought for a moment. "I mean, I'm not, but- hey, was that painting always there?"

John was a bit annoyed at how quickly the Other John (WHO HAD STOLEN HIS NAME- THAT BASTARD!!!!!) changed subjects, but was glad he finally had some semblance of an idea of what he was talking about. John glanced up at the painting of the school, hanging between the two office doors.

"Er, I guess so."

It was then that Mr. Flagg came back. Other John immediately looked at the floor, not even able to deal with the mere sight of the secretary. Mr. Flagg grinned his fiery grin, and looked over John's shoulder. "Done?"

John had a list of six names. He handed it up to Mr. Flagg, who read:

Richard Fannin
Ramsey Forrest
Richard Fry
Robert Franq
Russel Faraday
Raymond Feigler

Flagg frowned as he read. "Done it, done it, done it, done it, done it, done it, and done it."

"Hey! That's too many 'done it's!" John said, hoping this would help his case somehow.

"That's because if I asked you to come up with another one, I probably would have done that as well."

"That's not true!" John said.

Suddenly, there was an explosion from down the hall. John blinked, but Mr. Flagg looked unfazed.

"That's not true!" John repeated, and started thinking. Suddenly, he snapped his fingers. "Got it! Rick Fillips!"

Flagg sighed. "You are so lame."

"What?"

"Nothing. You'll find out in 1999." He glanced over at Other John, who was still sitting at the bench. "And how, I say, and how can I help you today?"

Other John gulped (much to John's- our John- delight). "Um, I was wondering if I could see Mr. Gates."

"BOY! WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!" Flagg roared, and Other John hid his head. Flagg started to giggle. "Oops, sorry. Did I say that too loud? Mr. Gates is on a call right now, with his mother."

From the office, John clearly heard: "YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO ANYMORE!!! I OWN YOU!!!!! I OWN YOU ALL!!!!!!! CLEAN YOUR OWN @#%$ LITTER BOX, YOU CONTROLLING BITCH!!!!!!!!"

Both Johns blinked.

"Um, okay, then..." Other John said, standing. He was about to walk out, when Professor Snape stormed in, dragging a charred and dirty Tyrael behind him.

"Mr. Flagg- can we have a trade-off?"

Flagg looked at Tyrael. "Can you come up with original RF names?"

Tyrael blinked. "Er, Robert Faulk?"

Flagg nodded. "He'll do."

"Don't let him near any chemicals." Professor Snape said, glaring.

"It was my elephant..." Tyrael said quietly.

Snape was about to rebuke him some more, when he caught sight of Other John. His eyebrows narrowed.

"Er, hi, Professor Snape..." Other John said.

"James. Did they send you back to sixth grade already?"

"Um, it's John, Professor Sn-"

"I seem to remember James being the only name on my roster." Snape said.

"Well, you see, it's my middle name, and sometimes I let people call me it, but-"

"You're in high school, right?" Snape asked curtly.

"Er, yes sir. I'm a sophomore."

"Are you just as irresponsible, lazy, and overly-sexed as you were here?"

"Of course!" Other John/James said, and then coughed. "I mean, um, no, of course not. Professor Snape, all of that back then was just a fluke."

"Oh, that's right. What did your parents call it- a learning disability?"

"ADD." Other John/James said proudly.

"Yes, of course. You seemed to be able to focus very well on looking up Ms. DeSantos' skirt, though, if I remember."

Other John/James grinned, but quickly resumed a serious face. "No, no, you see I was helping her, ah, find her pen! She dropped it! Besides, me and Ebony are dating now, and you know I don't do anything perverted with girls I'm dating!"

Snape glared. "Yes, since you are truly a pillar of moral strength and virtue."

"Thanks!" Other John/James (His girlfriend's name is Ebony? That's weird..., John thought) beamed, obviously not catching Professor Snape's sarcasm.

"Your parents are fine, I'm sure." Snape said.

"Of course! My mom's still working at the hospital, and they just got this really cool x-ray machine in!" Other John/James nodded proudly. "I'm going to try to x-ray my eyes!"

Snape frowned again. "Good for you. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have things to deal with,"

Other John/James nodded. "Of course! Always a pleasure to see you, Professor Snape- you're such a lively conversationalist!"

Snape glared. "Goodbye, James."

Other John/James quailed, and walked to the door. "By the way, where's the music office? I got a look at the new music teacher today and she is hot!"

"GOODBYE, JAMES!" Snape said, and Other John/James made a hasty exit. Snape mumbled something under his breath, and turned to John.

"You've got a lot of work ahead of you, Mr. Crawford. I'd suggest that you get at it."

Nodding to Mr. Flagg and Tyrael, John followed Snape out the door, past a very impatient looking Superintendent Yoda.

"Do you know what happens when a cauldron full of Newt Transfiguration Potion explodes, Mr. Crawford?" Snape asked as they walked.

John shook his head and Snape sneered.

"Well, you're about to find out. I hope you won't mind cleaning it all up with a toothbrush..."

John closed his eyes as he followed Snape back to the room.

Why me? Why does it always have to be m-

John walked right into a wall and fell over. Snape glared down at him.

Note to self- don't walk with your eyes closed. I should really write that down...

***

Roses walked into the art room. "Where's Mr. Crayak?"

"I don't know, he just left." Ann finished sketching the A in her banner and stood up. "Why?"

"Oh, Mr. Sauron is insisting that I cover some of the hula-hoops in gold paint. Think he'd mind if I just borrowed some?"

"I guess you can, but you know Mr. Crayak doesn't like people borrowing his supplies. And I don't think he likes Mr. Sauron at all."

"Oh, you know we're his favorite students. And I'm sure it's not that big of a deal. Just tell him that Mr. Sauron needed it." Roses walked over to the supply cabinet and got some paintbrushes. "But I'm not sure if giant gold rings are a good decoration for the classroom."

"As long as he's happy." Ann examined her banner. "I wonder how everyone else is doing. I heard an explosion a little while ago."

Roses laughed and sorted through the paint, looking for gold. "Probably John."

"Yeah, probably. What time is it?"

Roses glanced at her watch. "Four-thirty, why?"

"Well, we didn't exactly get lunch today. Do you know what's for dinner?"

"Whatever Tom and Teresa are making." Roses shrugged. "Nothing as exciting as 'cultural night' we used to have with Mom and Dad."

"At least Tom and Teresa don't make us dress up." Ann agreed.

"It *was* fun, though...well, when Dad wasn't ignoring us and talking to John. Stupid time machine." Roses slammed the paint cabinet shut.

Ann smiled sadly. "Yes, it was fun. But they'll be back one day."

"You think?"

"Of course they will. Now come look at this banner, what color should I use?"

Roses stared at it and considered. "Blue."

"Okay. By the way, where's Roseidous? Don't tell me he got to go home while everyone else has detention."

"I don't know. He probably did something to earn detention on his own."

"Right. You better get back. I'll see you later!"

"Bye, Ann." Roses left, but stuck her head back in the door. "Do you happen to know anything about a place called Mordor? Mr. Sauron mentioned something about painting words on the gold rings. In the language of Mordor."

"Nope, sorry. Never heard of it."

"Oh, well. I tried." Roses closed the door and wandered back to the classroom.

***

"Done," Holli announced and shut the file cabinet with a bang. "Cats, Grease, The Sound of Music, and the King and I: filed, organized, and in alphabetical order."

Miss Ligeia looked up from her desk. "That's lovely, dear."

"Then...can I go?" she asked hopefully.

Miss Ligeia looked at her watch. "Well, not quite yet."

"Oh." Holli sunk down into a green plastic chair.

"The school pageant this year was originally going to be some play about coal mines and rebellion-- but Yoda refused to give us the okay. Now I'm stuck with finding a new play."

"Fun." Holli grumbled.

"Oh, it is!" Apparently, Miss Ligeia had overlooked Holli's sarcasm. "I was thinking we might do 'The Odyssey.'"

Holli's eyes widened. "You mean the story with witches and fighting and monsters and petty gods who toy with the lives of man!"

Miss Ligeia raised and eyebrow. "Er, yes, I believe so. Unfortunately, the scripts are in the back of the closet." Miss Ligeia paused. "And that's why you're going to clean it." "Oh." Holli eyed the closet. It was filled with loose papers, instruments, and all sorts of things. Not the least of which was cobwebs and sharp, pointy object. "Fun."

***

Ann finished off the banner with a flourish.

"Finally," Roses said, making her jump.

"Ack! I didn't hear you come in." Ann stuck her paintbrush in a jar of water and surveyed her work. "Look at it!"

Roses stepped closer. "I like the colors . . . wait. Is that a picture hidden in the 'T'?"

"Yep!" Ann said proudly. "It's Roseidous tied to a tree! And look, all the other letters have pictures in them too!"

"Oh."

***

Tails was enjoying herself. Almost too much, perhaps, but what Ms. Wilkes didn't know couldn't hurt her.

After tackling, holding down, and tranquilizing three of Hagrid's less lovable creatures, she'd been left alone in the nurse's office to take care of anyone that came in while Ms. Wilkes did the medication rounds.

Thus, she'd taken every hypodermic she could find and began a tall, shiny, possibly biologically hazardous pyramid on the metal table. For some reason, it wouldn't stay in place until she found a large roll of medical tape and put that to use, too.

As she finished the fifth tier, Tyrael cautiously sidled into the room, looking more than a little charred and rather pained, too.

Tails looked at him through the stack of needles. "Hi."

"Uh…Hi. Hey, uhm, do you have anything for burns?" He was nervously fidgeting and kept looking at the door.

Much too excited to help, Tails bolted out from behind the table, almost causing her structure to collapse. Luckily, it quit swaying before she threw her arms around it.

"Burn ointment? Sure! We have plenty!" She wrenched open a drawer large enough to store a corpse in and began sorting through various jars. Some held preserved body parts, and with a shriek of delight Tails grabbed the one containing a floating eyeball. Examining it with a look of utter awe, she held it up for Ty to see and asked almost reverently.

"Do you think Ms. Wilkes would let me borrow this?"

Ty backed up against the metal table, turning his head away in horror. "I don't know! Just give me something for a burn!"

"Ok, ok." With a sigh, she picked up another jar and looked at it closely before dumping some of its contents into a plastic cup and handing it to Tyrael.

"Where'd you get burned?"

"None of your business." He grumbled, and stalked into the small, adjoining bathroom.

Tails tilted her head as he shut the door, then sighed. "Thank you, Mr. Elephant, but I wasn't all that curious in the first place. "

Shrugging, she turned back to her pyramid. After rifling a few drawers, she found a box of scalpel blades and a few pairs of surgical scissors, and began to alternate them with the needles.

Less than a moment later, a scream echoed from the bathroom, as did the sound of water being splashed about. Tails ignored it and began to whistle as she grew bored with her sharp objects, checking out the different medicines. Morphine, Codeine, Valium, Ritalin, and Prozac seemed to be most of what made up Ms. Wilkes stores.

"AAAH!!! TAILS!!!"

"Ho hum.. Hey, medical files!"

The bathroom door slammed open and Tyrael ran out, panting. His hands were blistered, as most likely were certain delicate areas of his body.

"What did you give me?!"

Before she could reply, he grabbed the jar of cleaning solution, the one with the large warning printed across the top, and read it. "CAUTION: DO NOT ALLOW TO COME IN CONTACT WITH BARE SKIN. MAY CAUSE SERIOUS BURNS."

Tails gave him a wide-eyed look. "What? It was an honest mistake! It says 'burn' right there! Isn't that right, Mr. Elephant?"

After a moment's pause, Tyrael hung his head, defeated. "Mr. Elephant said you're right, and that I should apologize and grovel at your feet for even thinking you did it on purpose."

"Hmmph. See? Women are always right, Ty. Haven't we taught you anything?"

"B-but that's not fair!"

"Yes, it is."

*sniff* "Okay.." In a great deal more discomfort than when he arrived, Tyrael left the nurse's office feeling decidedly unaccomplished.

Tails nodded to herself, quite satisfied, and burst out in giggles. Then she sat down to examine the boxes of medical files in the cabinet and waited for Ms. Wilkes to return.

Chapter Four