October Monthly. RESULTS
Okay, so in years past, this barmaid has waxed lyrical about how much she dislikes Halloween.
Yes, that's right, I don't care for it. I am the Argus Filch of MNFF.
You can change all that.
Your challenge or this month is to write me a Happy Halloween story. Woo me, drabblers, woo me with tales of love, laughter, pranks and pumpkin pasties. The drabble doesn't have to contain these elements, but let's keep this light, people.
Your drabble has to have one (or more) of these people in it.
Lily Luna Potter
They don't have to be the main character, but they have to feature in some way.
So, a Halloween drabble, please.
Five points for participation. Then the usual fifteen for first, ten for second and five for third.
However ... if I don't find anything I like or of suitable quality, then I won't award any points because I am that mean.
All drabbles must be between 250-500 words.
Use this form for entries
Competition will close on 31st October at .... the witching hour (that's midnight BST when your barmaid locks up)
Title: It's raining . . . cats?
Ratings: 1st-2nd Years
Word Count: 477
“Up, Lily, up!”
Lily Luna Potter drowsily opened one eye and peered out the window. The sun had barely sent it's first golden rays over the horizon. “Too early,” she moaned.
“Lily, it's Halloween! Come on!” The small girl by her bed wouldn't give up.
“And the festivities don't start until dinner-time 'Liza. Go back to bed.”
As Elizabeth Weasley left the Fifth Year dormitory for her own, Lily sighed. Little Eliza had inherited too much of George's energy and too much of Angelina's determination.
Hours later, after classes, students poured into the Great Hall to find it decorated to the extreme. Floating pumpkins with strange faces carved on one side that dropped special-effects candies randomly, large bowls full of more traditional sweets, and streamers that festooned themselves around people, sometimes almost choking them.
Eliza laughed loudly at a joke that another first-year made. She and her friends chattered excitedly about the impending feast.
“A Third Year told me that every now and then they release a troll in the castle during the feast. Wouldn't it be exciting if they chose this year?” said a tall brunette.
“My Aunt Hermione said that happened by accident her first year. Did they make it a tradition?” Eliza wondered aloud.
The giggling group seated themselves near the middle of the long Gryffindor table and watched Headmistress McGonagall expectantly. As she rose and tapped her spoon against her glass for attention, the room fell silent. She had just opened her mouth to speak when the students heard a deep, steady hum apparently emanating from the pumpkins overhead. McGonagall abruptly shut her mouth. As the entire room watched, the Jack-o-Lanterns stretched and grew fur until they had all morphed into tabby cats with square markings around their eyes. One by one, and then in quickly increasing numbers, they stopped purring and gracefully dropped to the floor. Meowing and crying loudly, they ran forward and rubbed around the Headmistress' legs. As more and more fell, they grew into a moving mass around her chair, all struggling to get to McGonagall. Students started ducking for cover so the cats didn't land on their heads with their claws out, but they were laughing and playfully shoving as they did so. Only McGonagall stood stalk still, watching.
As soon as the last cat had joined the writhing mound of fur, they all froze. Slowly, the McGonagall look-alikes turned back into pumpkins and sailed to their positions floating in the air. Recognizing the tension in the air, the students slowly fell silent and looked at their Headmistress.
“I smell a Weasley,” Lily said into the silence.
All heads swiveled to Eliza and her Seventh-Year brother, Fred, a few seats away.
“Fred did the charm, but it was all my idea!” Eliza yelled proudly.
McGonagall was the first to laugh.
Title: Little Girl Lost
Ratings: 1-2 Years
Word Count: 500 Words
A/N: The title is borrowed from Mr. William Blake, a poet, because I could think of no other.
The echoing whimpers annoyed him. He had taken the shift, a favour, because boredom killed time. Kingsley had promised to help someone with this or that. Mad-Eye didn’t really care about the excuse, for he had nothing else planned. Listening to shrieking children rush through his neighbourhood sounded about as fun as filing reports. He wouldn’t get any sleep, anyway, and his watch had proved an eventual one. Mad-Eye decided to stop by headquarters before heading home; Grimmauld Square seemed deserted.
“I see you. Come out.” The dilapidated houses remained still. Mad-Eye counted off the seconds and cleared his throat. “I won’t hurt you. You can’t stay there forever, you know, or some stranger will take you.”
Silence. She started towards him, and hesitated, frozen at the streetlamp. Mad-Eye rolled his eyes. She’d made a foolish move and would have been better off cowering in the dark corner. She wore a red dress and a plastic pumpkin thing dangled from her arm. Mad-Eye guessed that she had taken a wrong turn and wandered away from her mother. He limped over to her and offered her a gnarled hand. Scared, she stood stock still.
Mad-Eye sighed. His Invisibility Cloak would have spared him from jumping into an interrogation with a five-year old. Well, without trust, both of them were stuck here. He couldn’t invite her into headquarters, either. Slowly, he lowered himself and got down on her level. The girl seemed trapped between staring at his face or his leg.
“Have you been there for a long time?” He pointed a gnarled hand towards her hiding place.
She nodded. Perhaps this wasn’t a good opening question because children saw time differently. Mad-Eye jumped to his feet when he heard a popping sound and drew out his wand. The girl opened her mouth and a rush of questions spilled from it. Mad-Eye took her by the wrist and spun her around. The tip of his wand ignited with red sparks and a shaggy dog darted in front of a car. Number twelve appeared out of midair and the dog sat on the pavement, his tail wagging expectantly.
“I will murder you! You fool!” Mad-Eye shut up when the girl dropped her hand and scratched Sirius behind his ears. “I can’t get rid of it.”
Sirius shook his head and distracted the girl while Mad-Eye sifted through the sweets. He wasn’t going to take any, but he never accepted anything without question. The driver stalled the car, jumped out and rushed over to the girl. Mad-Eye nodded through the apologies and slipped a parcel of Peppermint Toads out of his pocket.
“Don’t share these,” he advised her, dropping the sweets into her pumpkin after giving them a sniff. She’d be safe. He didn’t understand this Muggle custom, but he went with it. He handed her the pumpkin. “No more running off.”
“Someone’ll snatch me,” she recited. Mad-Eye smiled, imagining the driver losing his mind.
They drove off and Mad-Eye knocked in the door.
Name: Cinderella Angelina
Title: Happy Halloween
Ratings: 1-2 yrs
Word Count: 500
A/N: I fully planned to give Sirius a *significant* throw-away line, but it wasn't to be, mostly because Lily doesn't actually care about Sirius in this drabble.
Lily Evans was in high spirits; her day was going surprisingly well. First she'd mastered a difficult Charm, then brewed an excellent Potion (if she said so herself). Her homework had gone so smoothly that she felt on top of her classes for the first time in . . . since seventh year started, actually. She had the Halloween Feast to look forward to, one of her favorites. And now, she was rounding it off with a delightful banter with James Potter.
"Leopards don't change their spots, Potter," she said gaily. "I know you know what Sirius is plotting."
"I'm Head Boy, Lily!' he retorted. "And regardless of what you may have seen Sirius will never forgive me and there's no way he's letting me in on anything that might besmirch my reputation."
"What reputation? You sneaked out after hours as recently as, when was it, last night?"
"Why, Miss Evans," James said, his voice deepening. "I'm flattered you noticed."
Lily knew she was blushing, but she shrugged it off. "You and Sirius aren't quite as sneaky as you think you are. Sometimes you forget to check armchairs for dozing damsels working on their end-of-month reports for McGonagall."
"That's what I like about you, Lily," Sirius said, joining their conversation. "You can work in your sleep and make all of us look lazy."
Lily smirked. "Sirius, what are you planning for tonight?"
He paused, apparently thinking hard. "I'm planning to go to the feast. Then I'll probably ... well, I'll eventually head to bed after that."
She glanced at James, whose eyebrows were raised. "It's the pause after the 'probably' I'm interested in," she remarked.
"Don't you two Heads worry your little heads about it," Sirius said. "Ha, Heads and heads. I'm seriously funny, guys, and I'll be here all week!" He wandered off, still chuckling at himself.
"I think we'll find out soon enough," James said. "Shall we do as he suggests and not worry?"
"Far as I can tell, he was only talking about me. Your head is far too big to be called 'little'." She ruffled his hair. "And it's not because your hair is standing straight up."
"Stop it!" James said, whacking her hand away. "Though you do have a lovely little head," he added.
Lily blushed again. "I think I'm going to go down to the feast now," she said quickly.
"I'll accompany you."
"Don't you want to go with your friends?"
"Nah, I'll meet them there." Lily pretended not to see the frantic hand-waving he did so Peter would change his trajectory and accepted James' escort to the Great Hall.
"You know," she mused as they sat down, "I'm having a really good Halloween, and we haven't even eaten yet!"
"Me too," James replied, and they smiled at each other.
"Don't speak too soon," Sirius warned, grinning dangerously. But Lily was sure that no matter what happened she would still remember this day as a happy Halloween.
Title: Ghost Story
Ratings: 1st-2nd years
Warnings: mention of character death
Word Count: 493
A/N: Just went for the classic ghost story approach. I may have creeped myself out slightly because I am easily creeped out by things like this...
The year Al went to Hogwarts, Lily and her parents went to visit Uncle Charlie in Romania. Lily, who had been looking forward to trick or treating, was not entirely happy about the idea.
It wasn’t until Uncle Charlie took them on a picnic on Halloween night that Halloween took a turn for the interesting. As dusk turned slowly into night, the countryside suddenly seemed very, very dark and full of sounds. Charlie had built a fire, and the shadows of the flames played eerily on everyone’s faces. At full dark, when the adults’ conversation had petered out into content silence, Uncle Charlie said in a hushed voice, “They say the forest here is haunted.”
Lily’s parents laughed and told Charlie to go on, but Lily just hugged her knees and listened.
“They say there’s some…creature that roams the woods around here,” Uncle Charlie said. “Half dragon, half…they never can decide, but it’s a terrible creature – deformed and strange. The story goes that a mad old wizard who lived here long ago decided to breed a new animal. He managed it, in the end, but the thing was no sooner out of its egg than it killed him.
“The old man was a recluse, and no one ever thought to check if he was still alive. No one knew what had happened to that old man. But a few months later villagers started disappearing. More and more, until it seemed that anyone who left the village never came back. Some of the villagers holed up in their houses, afraid to even step outside their doors. Others formed a hunting party to kill whatever or whoever was doing this.
“The hunting party searched all day for a trace of the creature, but it had gone dark – like now – and still they hadn’t found it. They were tired and hungry by this point, so they decided to turn back. They got halfway out of the woods, and then it found them. It killed nearly half their number before they killed it. But the locals say its ghost still wanders the woods, or perhaps a descendant of it does, and kills any unwary wizard who decides to take a walk in the forest.”
Lily could see the woods in question from where they sat. She couldn’t look away, though a part of her was terrified that she’d see a monster in its shadows. Her stomach felt hollow with fright, and she tried not to imagine the horrid thing, how it would slip out of the forest, all teeth and glowing eyes…
Lily screamed and buried her face against her knees. Uncle Charlie laughed and she looked up to see him poking at the fire with a stick. “A log broke, that’s all, Lily,” he said, smiling. “Sorry for the scare. It’s just a silly story.”
She nodded, embarrassed at her cowardice, and was glad when a few minutes later the adults decided to head back.
Title: The Angel and the Barman
Ratings: 3rd-5th years
Warnings: Sexual Overtones
A/N: This was a blast to write. I hope it's, at least, half as enjoyable to read.
All night, Millicent re-curls the tip of her handlebar moustache, absently rolling one spur in the grooves of the floor. Zabini’s lips bulge as, again and again, his tongue traces the tips of his fangs. His own plumed helmet, Malfoy can’t seem to keep his greasy paws off it, while his new bird, all evening, rakes her long, pale fingers through the blunt, black bangs of her Cleopatra wig.
And I can’t recall their real names, but Sexy Kitten and Slutty Bunny have really made my night- straightening the seams of their fishnet stockings, pulling at the satin and velvet attempting to cover their bottoms.
Amongst all this- the tugging, the yanking, and the twitching- Parkinson’s stood poised, ready, fag in fingers. Those great, white wings springing out behind her, her advance has been necessarily slow. But seeing Cleopatra head for the loo, she strikes.
I watch from behind the bar as Malfoy leans close into her and whispers. He pulls back, smirking. She’s still staring, blank-faced, when he turns away.
I hate to leave this little drama mid-scene, but I need some things from the stock-room, so I pull Mel from the floor to back the bar. When I return, Parkinson’s sitting, smoking, in the last booth in the back, her wings piled in a corner, her halo skewed and barely glowing. Seeing her, her raiment un-holy short, sitting on a bench that's been empty for hours, all I can think is that her bum must be freezing.
I give last call. We tend to the queue, then shut down. Up front, the rest of the room’s in full swing. I don’t have anywhere else to be, so I slide into the bench across from Parkinson’s.
“All night, fussing with that little, white dress,” I say, nodding to Malfoy over my shoulder.
She aims a big, grey exhale straight into my face. “It’s a tunic.”
“You never really struck me as the type to fancy a man in a frock, is all,” I say, lighting one of my own.
She huffs, “Isn’t there a rule here about staff fraternizing with the guests?” I shrug and watch the tip of her cigarette move through the smoke and shadows. She leans forward into the lamp-light stretched across the table. “Besides, shouldn’t you be shunning me, like any other decent person?”
The way she asks, it’s just a question, as if we are just two old acquaintances having a chat, instead of childhood enemies.
“I mean,” she says, straightening her halo, “aren’t you supposed to hate me on principle, or something?”
I blow smoke rings over her head into the dark. I lean forward until our noses almost touch and say, “Who're you calling 'decent'?"
Our faces still close, her eyes roll up to look at the rings breaking above. “Teach me,” she says.
And because, maybe, we’re not just our sins, and we’re not just our prejudices, I whisper, “Only if you ask nicely.”
I nod. “All right, then.”
Thank you very much for the entries.I enjoyed reading them all, very much, and it's been tough to judge.
However, I have had to make a decision and here it is.
First Place: minnabird for Ghost Story. - 15 points.
Second Place: lttlebird for The Angel and the Barman - 10 points.
(Please note, as there were only five entries, I'm not awarding third place, but there are participation points, obviously)
Gryffindor: 15 points
Hufflepuff: 30 points
Ravenclaw: 5 points
Slytherin: 0 points