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Thread: The Seventh TTB Brawl ~ THE FINAL ~RESULTS

  1. #11
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Here we go with Weeeeeeek Fiiiiiiive
    (Excuse me, I'm getting rather excited!)


    Here was the prompt for the brave brawlers:

    There are five words below. You must use them in your drabble. They may be used in any order. You may change words slightly, so using plurals is allowed as is changing them to be adjectives or verbs. For example: you may change towel to towelling.

    Mauve
    Towel
    Pears
    Drum
    Trifle

    AAAAAND, because I like a catch ... this must be Marauder era (1971-1978) and based at Hogwarts. (Don't feel as if you have to write one of the Marauders, though, there are other characters.)
    And below are the five drabbles.

    Please vote using your consummate skill as fine purveyors of exquisite drabbling to choose not only the most wondrous of all drabbles this week, but also the one that didn't quite match up. I know it will be hard. At this stage it always is.




    Title: The Girl That Was
    Word Count: 500
    Warnings/Ratings: 1st-2nd years; Mild Profanity
    A/N:



    The problem is that Lily Evans was never just a mother or a wife. She was not the sensible Head Girl, or James Potter’s love interest, or the displaced Mudblood heart of Severus Snape. Lily Evans was not, is not, never will be those things because she was someone much more.

    But she ends as a statue. She ends stretching out to save her son, honourable in death as she was in life. After, those who are left behind to freely mourn talk about her in reverent whispers, in raised glasses, in wet-cheek anniversary speeches. Lily Evans is forever red and gold, brave and true, immortalised as the woman who saved the world with love.

    No one talks about her temper in the mornings, or the way she would take too long in the dormitory bathroom. Lily Evans was wet towels left on the shower floor, strands of hair in the sink, her mauve shampoo seeping from the cupboard and onto the tiles, waiting to slip up Mary Macdonald.

    No one talks about her sweet tooth, or her swift fingers at dinnertimes, how no Gryffindor plate was safe when poached pear tart was served for dessert. No one talks about the way she dumped an entire trifle on Sirius Black’s head when he told her to stop going on about the damn house elves, or the way she popped a cherry in her mouth afterwards and flicked more chocolate flakes in his eye.

    She didn’t stop going on. She didn’t stop going on about rights, equality, blood supremacy, or activism—all those uncomfortable things that apathy tries to cover with awkward laughter. Lily Evans was the rage that never let that laughter settle, even when it meant she didn’t have time to organise the prefects roster, or was late for a meeting with Professor Dumbledore, or dozed off in Transfiguration because she’d been up all night comforting a homesick first-year.

    No one says that while she was a friend to many, she was a foe to more. Lily Evans was the beating drum that pushed others to come forward, to stand up in class at poisonous words, to be the impetus for change even when it felt like a lost cause. She was grit, passion, dirty words, and ruthless anger at injustice.

    No one talks about how she liked to dangle her feet in the lake, conjure up smutty tales of the Squid and its lady-squid-friend, and then snigger quietly to herself afterwards at inappropriate moments. Or that she snapped at her friends when they used her hairbrush even though she didn’t have time to do her hair in the first place and didn’t really give a damn anyway.

    Lily Evans does not die with the cowardice of Tom Riddle, or the survival of her child, or with the last clod of earth thrown into her grave.

    It is when the last person who truly knew her dies.

    It is when she stops being a someone and becomes a saint.


    ************************************************** **********



    Title: Checkmate
    Word Count: 496
    Warnings/Ratings: 3rd-5th year, reference to bullying and strong violence.
    A/N: Barty Crouch Jr. was nineteen in 1981 when he was sent to Azkaban, which would put him in the time frame at Hogwarts. I find him to be a fascinating character.



    Barty Crouch Jr. surveyed the wreckage on the chessboard. Nathaniel Parkinson didn’t know it, but the game was already over. Nathaniel fidgeted in his seat as the evening dwindled down into night. They were the only two left in the common room. Most of the students were in their dormitories asleep by now. Barty would soon fall asleep himself if that dullard Parkinson didn’t make his move soon.

    His boredom was soon interrupted when Severus Snape stumbled through the common room door. He held a towel to his battered face. Crouch watched out the corner of his eye as the white towel turned mauve. This wasn’t the first time he had seen Snape with a cut or a bruise.

    Barty drummed his fingers impatiently on the edge of the table, and waited for Parkinson to make his decision, and all the while he watched Snape. His absurdly pear-shaped companion had yet to notice the newcomer.

    “Was it Black again?” Barty Crouch asked, shattering the silence around them.

    Severus froze near the fireplace, suddenly realizing he wasn’t alone in the room. Parkinson’s head popped up, and a dumb smile flickered onto his face. It was a trifling thing, his smile, but it irritated Crouch. He ignored his irritation, and focused on Snape.

    “It’s nothing,” Severus responded.

    “Your black eye says otherwise. How long are you going to remain weak? I know someone who can make you stronger--”

    “No!” Snape snapped. “I can’t. She wouldn’t understand.”

    The firelight sharpened the features of Severus’s fury as it danced across his face. Right now, the “she” in question wasn’t the only thing he had on his mind.

    “Ah, the Muggle-born. Well tell me this. How can she respect someone who can‘t defend themselves? I know someone who can teach you how to do that, and you’ll always have a group watching your back. No one will bully you again. Besides, what harm can going to one meeting do?” Barty asked innocently.

    “Just one meeting?” Severus responded.

    He had had this conversation with Severus before, but now the fair-haired boy was finally seeing a crack in Snape’s resolve. Crouch was a knight, the warrior whose shield would protect and aid the king. The Dark Lord would have his army, and he was going to help him get it. Severus Snape may not have the pedigree as some of his more recent recruits, but he had the intelligence that Voldemort wanted.

    “Just one,” Barty answered, a smile tugging at his lips.

    Severus studied him for a moment, and then nodded. He would come to the meeting. Snape then turned, and headed towards the dormitories. At that moment, Parkinson made his move, and snickered as his rook decimated Crouch’s bishop. The fool had still not seen Crouch‘s knight.

    Barty looked once more towards Severus’s retreating back. Every army must have their pawns. Crouch smiled. He had won. Barty made his final move, and watched as his knight moved in on Parkinson’s king.

    “Checkmate!”



    ************************************************** ***********************


    Title: Of Potions and Dates
    Word Count: 380
    Warnings/Ratings: 1st-2nd, none
    A/N: Dictionary.com has many interesting definitions for pewter, one of which being "a kind of pewter of medium hardness."


    Sirius and James were sitting at their table, adding unicorn tail hair to their potions. The new term had just started, and the boys were still enjoying the feeling of freedom that only summer could bring, and were thus not focusing so much on their potions but on the class around them.

    "Look at Evans, sharing a table with Remus. She could've shared a table with me, but no, she chose Remus," James said, pretending to look a little hurt.

    "Clearly she knew that we could never be separated," Sirius replied, shooting a glance over at the red haired girl who was sitting across the aisle from him.

    Lily turned and looked at the boys. "Or maybe she actually wanted to get some work done without having to listen to you two all day."

    "Ouch," James said, again mocking pain.

    "You pain him, Evans," Sirius said, shaking his head. Lily rolled her eyes and turned back to her potion.

    "Your potion should be a lovely shade of mauve at this point," Professor Slughorn said as he walked through the aisles.

    James snuck a look at Sirius' potion, which was much too violet to be mauve. "Hey, why is your cauldron such a funny shape?"

    "Well, James, they were selling new cauldrons in Diagon Alley called trifle cauldrons."

    "Like the dessert?" James asked.

    "That's what I thought!" Sirius replied. "Turns out it's like a medium hard pewter cauldron. But it's a funny name, so I bought it."

    "Now I really want trifle," James sighed.

    "Date with the pear tonight?" Sirius whispered.

    "Well," James said as he raised his voice so Lily and Remus could hear, "since Evans refuses to go out with me..."

    Lily was drumming her fingers on the table. "Could you two just be quiet?"

    "Come on, Evans, just one date?"

    "No."

    "It doesn't even have to be fancy, just drinks at the Three Broomsticks." James gave her his best pouting face.

    "If you think that I'm just going to throw in the towel because you are pouting, you're wrong, Potter. I will never date you!"

    At that moment, the bell rang. Lily bottled her potion, brought it to the front, cleaned up her station, and flounced out of the room before James even got the chance to reply.


    ************************************************** **************


    Title: A Close Encounter
    Word Count: 499
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st yrs; none
    A/N: I started out wanting to do Petunia, Lily, and Snape, but somehow I could not get the Marauders out of my head. Go figure.


    “Come on, Remus,” Sirius whispered as the foursome scurried down the halls.

    “I don’t understand why we all had to come,” Remus grumbled. “It’s bad enough just knowing that you, Peter, and James are out and about past curfew.”

    Sirius just rolled his eyes, but said nothing. They had just reached the painting of the fruit bowl, and James reached up to tickle the pear.

    “Oh, Remus, lighten up,” James said. “The house elves don’t mind us, and besides, we won’t get caught. We have the Marauder’s Map.”

    “I’m a prefect, James. We aren’t supposed to be breaking the rules now.”

    Peter nervously glanced at Remus and then at James, but he didn’t say a word.

    James grinned. “Then I guess you can go back to bed all by yourself.”

    Remus groaned, but he followed his friends into the kitchen. The elves delightedly greeted them in their usual tea towels, bustling about with trays of pasties and biscuits. Reluctantly, Remus accepted some of the food with a nod of his head.

    “Any chance of butterbeer?” James asked aloud, that silly smile still on his face. Remus couldn’t help but laugh, and he tried to shake off the uncomfortable feeling he had about breaking rules.

    After a few minutes of gathering sweets and drinks, James took a look at the map to determine the best route to their next destination. He yelped.

    “What?” Sirius inquired, trying to get a look at the parchment.

    “We need to get out of here. NOW!”

    The four boys barreled out the kitchen door and started down the hall, but not fast enough.

    “Just what do you think you are doing?”

    As one, the boys turned to face their opponent, whose green eyes were flashing dangerously.

    “Evans! Nice mauve shirt,” James delightedly announced, as though he thought he could win her over. Unfortunately, her arms were crossed, and her expression told them that she was anything but happy. In the silence that followed, her fingers tapping against her forearm sounded like a drum.

    James looked sideways at his friends for help, but they all stared stonily at Lily, as though afraid of what she would do.

    “Evans, I thought I might get you a treat, see?” He indicated the food in his arms. “Care for a trifle?”

    She gave a slight raise of her eyebrow. “You thought you would run around past curfew and get me something to eat?”

    Sirius gave a small snicker, and James paled slightly. “Yes?” he hesitantly answered.

    Lily slowly smiled, and she swiftly gathered all of the food from James’ stash. Surprised, James stumbled back.

    “I’ll inform the headmaster of how kind you are,” she stated, and she turned on her heel, red hair swishing behind her.

    When she had disappeared, the four boys began to quickly make their way back to the common room.

    “That was close,” Sirius breathed. “I thought she would give us detention.”

    “So did I,” James whispered softly, now deep in thought. “So did I…”


    ************************************************** **************



    Title: The Choice in the Making
    Word Count: 479
    Warnings/Ratings: 1st-2nd years; Angst, Mild (Wizarding) Profanity
    A/N: The evening of a certain lake scene in the Marauders' 5th year



    Lily was mad.

    To be honest, only half of her was mad. The other half wondered how she didn't know to expect something like that to happen eventually.

    After all, it was the natural progression of the path he had chosen. One couldn't sit on two chairs at once; one couldn't be friends with pure-bloods like Avery and mudblods like Lily Evans.

    She finished toweling her hair with an angry huff. Truly, at this moment, she could not tell whom she despised more – Potter the Prat, or Severus the… She'd have to think of something.

    Lily entered – stormed into? – the dormitory, finding it empty, apart from Mary. Mary was reading in bed, her light brown hair held in a ponytail by a mauve ribbon. She glanced up at Lily and sighed.

    "Don't you take it to heart, Lily. He was just…"

    "…just what, Mary? Disgustingly rude? A bitter, disappointed little traitor – ooh, if I could just…!"

    "Lily, what he said was disgusting, no question. But you know how he gets around Potter – and how Potter gets around him."

    "I don't get it, though! Why do they have to be such…" Lily plopped onto her bed, taking a pear from the nearby table and biting into it.

    "…boys," Mary finished sagely. "They are just spoiled boys, both of them."

    "Potter without a doubt. But Severus isn't spoiled! Not in the way you mean. He is being spoiled – ruined – by those cronies of his."

    "Severus is spoiled by your attitude to him," Mary said. "For a long time, he was your best friend, and you do have lots in common. But he decided you'd be his best friend no matter what, even if he got mixed up in a crowd he knows you hate, even he developed interests you disapproved of."

    "Sometimes I can't recognize him," Lily muttered, her heart drumming with anger and worry, both directed at Severus. "He is drunk on their ideas – his eyes burn when he talks about them. Doesn't he realize that he can't have me and them together?"

    "I think he hopes he can," Mary shrugged. She bent over to retrieve a tin of trifle her mother sent her with a note "brain food for OWLs." Lily disliked trifle, so none was even offered. "See, Lily, I think he just can't bear to think he'll have to choose between you and them at some point – so he just puts it out of his mind. And today, his two worlds collided – he was humiliated in front of you and his Slytherin buddies."

    "Well, his choice is made, whether he knows it or not," Lily said. "The mudblood won't impose on him anymore."

    And even though they'd meet again and again, and her burning anger would fizz into colder resentment, and they'd sometimes work on Potions together, the mudblood never imposed on her erstwhile best friend again.




    Such fabulousness. I know it will be hard to vote, but please do. Oh, and leaving comments is very helpful to all the brawlers.



    Carole

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  2. #12
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    RESULTS!!!!


    Apologies for the small delay in posting results. Also I must apologise for the fact that the next prompt won't be posted straight away as I've lost something I wanted to use - GRRRRRRR. I thought I should get the results posted ASAP, though.


    The Girl That Was - the opaleye <11,1>
    Checkmate - eternalangel <1,3>
    Of Potions and Dates - Maple_and_Pheonix_Feather<1,6>
    A Close Encounter - NaginiRiddle<1,0>
    The Choice in the Making - TheBlackSister<0,4>

    Huge apologies to Nagini Riddle and TheBlackSister for mixing up the titles of the drabbles. I have now corrected it. My laptop crashed on Thursday and didn't save a few of my docs - ooops.



    So, sadly leaving us this week is the Mighty Gryff, Maple. She takes with her five shiny points and the knowledge that she has survived and fought hard until finally being felled by a stray hex.

    I thought she'd be riled by last week's defeat, and she fought back hard. If Draco had this attitude, he'd have beaten Harry EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Marvellous stage win for Julia (the opaleye) who takes another five points for Slytherin.

    (I hear Ludo Bagman is slashing the odds on a Slyth House Cup win for the Summer term ...)


    Thank you all.

    Prompt will be up later today.



    Week 6 prompt.

    This is very serendipitous because we are not only down to our last four, but the four of you are from each house, and that ties in perfectly with the prompt!

    Four houses
    Four elements
    Four drabbles ...
    (no forget that. I won’t make you write four.)



    Below are four characters from each house. They are characters that I think reflect on certain aspects of their house (not necessarily favourably).You must pick two of them as your protagonists, and you must reference the other two somewhere in your drabble. By reference, you don’t have to actually name them, but it must be clear who is being referred to. They can appear if you wish.
    For example: Fred saying, ‘You know that kid on the train with messy hair, glasses and a lightning bolt shaped scar’ is a clear reference to Harry.

    Part two: There are four quotes representing each element: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. You must use one quote as the inspiration for your drabble.

    Characters:
    Cormac McLaggen
    Susan Bones
    Terry Boot
    Pansy Parkinson

    Quotes:

    Fire – 'Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke' Benjamin Disraeli
    Earth – ‘Earth laughs in flowers’ - Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Air - ‘Become dust and they will throw thee in the air; become stone and they will throw thee on glass.’ Muhummad Iqbal
    Water – 'Nothing is softer or more flexible that water, yet nothing can resist it' -Lao Tzu

    PM your drabbles to me by 8pm Thursday 20th June.

    Use this form:


    PHP Code:
    [B]Name:[/B]
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    B]House:[/B]
    [
    B]Title:[/B]
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    B]Word Count:[/B]
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    B]Quote used:[/B]
    [
    B]A/N:[/B


    Carole
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 06-16-2013 at 06:01 PM.

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  3. #13
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    APOLOGIES! Your barmaid was making risotto, and that takes some looking after - sigh -.

    Here are this week's drabbles. There are four, and they're all fabulous, so choose wisely! Remember that your feelings about the drabble, the characterisation and SPaG, are all important. The prompt was quite hard this week, so pay close attention.

    [/Four houses
    Four elements
    Four drabbles ...
    (no forget that. I won’t make you write four.)


    Below are four characters from each house. They are characters that I think reflect on certain aspects of their house (not necessarily favourably).You must pick two of them as your protagonists, and you must reference the other two somewhere in your drabble. By reference, you don’t have to actually name them, but it must be clear who is being referred to. They can appear if you wish.
    For example: Fred saying, ‘You know that kid on the train with messy hair, glasses and a lightning bolt shaped scar’ is a clear reference to Harry.

    Part two: There are four quotes representing each element: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. You must use one quote as the inspiration for your drabble.

    Characters:
    Cormac McLaggen
    Susan Bones
    Terry Boot
    Pansy Parkinson

    Quotes:

    Fire – 'Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke' Benjamin Disraeli
    Earth – ‘Earth laughs in flowers’ - Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Air - ‘Become dust and they will throw thee in the air; become stone and they will throw thee on glass.’ Muhummad Iqbal
    Water – 'Nothing is softer or more flexible that water, yet nothing can resist it' -Lao Tzu

    Aaaand








    Title: The Yellow Flower
    Word Count: 499
    Quote used: ‘Earth laughs in flowers’ - Ralph Waldo Emerson
    A/N: This has a rating of 3rd-5th year with strong violence, character death and a little bit of AU.


    Time was slipping again. Pansy couldn’t distinguish what hour it was as slated light seeped into her cell in Azkaban. When she had first been interred into the prison after the Battle of Hogwarts, Pansy scratched a hash mark on the floor for every day she was in there, but as the days turned into months, she started to lose count.

    Pansy sighed and lumbered up from the crouch she had been in. She stumbled a few steps to her far wall, and then knelt down near the foot of it. Pansy trailed her dirty, chipped fingernails over the hash marks. As she did so, she noticed a small yellow flower growing between the cracks on her floor.

    “Do you know what that is?”

    Pansy jumped at the sound of the voice, and turned to see Cormac McLaggen leaning against the wall next to her. Her heart dropped to her stomach. Unbidden, a dark memory began to bloom in her mind.

    “That flower is proof that life has moved on and thrives, while you shrivel into madness in this jail cell,” Cormac McLaggen continued, his tone as smug as it had ever been. “Even the earth laughs at you with flowers.”

    Pansy turned away from him as she answered, “You’re dead. You shouldn’t even be here.”

    “Oh, you would know all about that, wouldn’t you?” Cormac asked sarcastically as he pushed off the wall, and came around to her other side.

    Pansy did know all about that, but it was a memory she was trying to forget. When she was younger, she had been a true believer and follower of Voldemort. At the Battle of Hogwarts, Pansy had gone back to fight for his cause, but her unrealistic perception of what war was like was shattered that night. War was terrifying and bloody.

    She had come across Cormac McLaggen helping a wounded Susan Bones and Terry Boot. He must have heard her coming because he turned around with his wand raised and ready. Pansy and Cormac stood there for awhile unsure what to do next. They were enemies on different sides, but they had once been peers.

    She wasn’t sure who shot at whom first. Maybe she did out of fear, maybe it was a ricocheting spell from another battle, but Cormac was at a distinct disadvantage. He didn’t know the dark curses she knew. In the end, Cormac died gasping for breath at her feet.

    Now he was here to remind her of what she had done. Pansy screamed in agony as she shoved that terrible memory from her mind. She didn’t want to remember the look of sheer terror he had had in his eyes just before he died, or the guilt she felt afterwards. Pansy ripped the yellow flower from its crevice, and threw it out the window. As the flower fell to the earth below, Cormac slowly disappeared, but his words lingered. Pansy realized then that her mind was infinitely more difficult to escape from.


    ************************************************** ********


    Title: I'd Rather Be A B****
    Word Count: 496
    Quote used: 'Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.'
    A/N: Title taken from the line "I'd rather be a b**** than be an ordinary broken heart" from Good Day by The Dresden Dolls.


    She arrives at quarter to eleven, welcomed not by Madam Greengrass, but a sodding house-elf.

    Her robes are new, yet when she walks into the parlour where all the other women are seated, they look at her as if she’s five seasons behind. Pansy Parkinson is used to having eyes on her, but the barely hidden smirks of her supposed friends are exhausting.

    She needs a drink, and not whatever weak concoction it is that Daphne’s offering.

    The shadow of her parents weaves itself through her days and all the unbearable hours spent trying to maintain an acceptable amount of social civility. The greatness of the Parkinson name dribbles away with each tide of public humiliation, with every headline in the Prophet. She knows that despite all her efforts at Hogwarts, despite her name and history and the hot, red, pure blood pumping through her heart, she is all the things that will never fit.

    And although Pansy never loses, at the moment she feels rather lost.

    She leaves after an hour. Just enough time so as not to be accused of rudeness, and just enough time so that she isn’t arrested for using an Unforgiveable.

    Time for that drink.

    ---

    It’s a dark and dingy joint in Knockturn Alley, and she’s not entirely sure why Cormac McLaggen of all people is drinking in a place like this. He’s telling the barman some moronic story about the time he went hunting with Rufus bloody Scrimgeour.

    “The things he told me about Amelia Bones…”

    Pansy snorts. Still full of rubbish, then.

    “I once snogged her niece. Figured a connection like that might come in handy. She’s married to some bloke called Boot now.”

    “Susan?” she scoffs, joining the conversation. “That little drip?”

    McLaggen turns to her with interested disgust, licking his lips. He knows who she is and she knows exactly what he’s thinking.

    “Well,” he replies, “you’re one to talk.”

    She wants to say go to hell but that would be weak.

    “We all know you don’t like your conquests when they talk, McLaggen. Merlin knows why you went after Granger.”

    She smirks as the accusation melts the smugness from his face. He leans towards her, all fake smiles, eyes laid bare.

    “You’re all the same, aren’t you? Snakes, the lot of you.”

    Pansy throws back the rest of her drink and slips off her stool. She moves up to him until their noses are nearly touching. “Sometimes I think you were put in the wrong house, yourself.” She laughs, placing her payment on the bar. “This was fun. We should catch up more often.”

    He gapes at her, and she taps his chin with her painted nails. He has a scar there, and she wonders if it’s from that night. She doesn’t want to think of it as a battle scar, though, because battle means war and war means they lost.

    “I’m a better snog than Bones, and I’d rather scream than talk.”

    Pansy never loses.


    ************************************************** ***********************


    Title:Vita Nuova
    Word Count:484
    Quote used: Earth – ‘Earth laughs in flowers’ - Ralph Waldo Emerson
    A/N:



    Susan was alone.

    Not that she'd truly minded. Open and friendly, Susan liked being with other people, but being able to think in solitude was very nice on occasion. That is why she loved her aunt's house, with its large, sprawling garden full of nooks and crannies – perfect to hide in and just be.

    She needed the peace more than ever now. So many things have changed – even her aunt's house wasn't her aunt's anymore. Amelia Bones was now occupying a plot in the nearby village churchyard. Susan's father took over the care for the cottage and the land, unable to sell his sister's favorite place.

    Susan looked around. The garden looked sad; neither of her parents had the green thumb. Aunt Amelia was the one who made this place bloom; in her day, carpets of vibrant blooms covered every inch of the place. Now the beds were either empty or mottled-looking; weeds and the few hardy flowers that managed to come through on their own intertwined into rather sinister knots, not unlike a pile of writhing snakes.

    "There you are, then."

    Susan did not need to look to know Terry's voice. They had spent lots of time together since those awful days at the end of their seventh year. They were part of a group that had stuck together, through Snape and the Carrows, through watching Sprout and Flitwick being ordered about by those upstarts. And, somehow, they knew that the other would know, would understand what they felt. They were in it together. Now Susan asked Terry to stay the weekend with her mom and herself. Dad was still in London; St. Mungo's was working overtime.

    "You know, I used to help my mom in the garden," Terry said conversationally.

    Susan nodded. She was teetering on the edge of that thought – restoring Auntie's garden. She had wanted to, and now, she thought she could find just enough courage to do it.

    "We would do it together," she said slowly, tasting each word. "I used to come for weekends, and she would give me these gloves she shrank to fit my hands. She called it 'playing in the dirt.'" Susan laughed, rather weakly, and felt, rather than saw, Terry sit down nearby. She almost felt his nod of encouragement, too. "Can you imagine – Amelia Bones, for Merlin's sake, playing in the dirt! She'd have to hear all sorts of awful trials during the week, and then…" Her voice broke.

    Terry patted her shoulder – an awkward, yet comforting thing.

    "Let's restore her garden," he said. "Let's remember your auntie, not the judge, or the juror. Just like my mom was more than a Prophet editor." The last one was more of an aside. He put his arm around Susan's shoulders and tucked her into his side.

    "There's been enough tears, Susie. Let's remember them – the ones we love – and make the earth laugh again."


    ************************************************** *********************


    Title: Braving the Storm
    Word Count: 500 exacto
    Quote used: Air - ‘Become dust and they will throw thee in the air; become stone and they will throw thee on glass.’ Muhummad Iqbal
    A/N: Many Thanks to our fabulous barmaid for setting such cool challenges and prompts. For the drabble below, this would encompass Fifth year, about Jan-Feb when Susan found out that her family's killers were on the loose. And, she would know Terry from the DA. This worked out great, because McLaggen would have been in the hospital wing at the start of Quidditch trials that year, too... Good Luck to my fellow brawlers!


    Susan sighed as she leaned against the stone pillar, feeling the harsh wind that seemed to be raging not only outside, but inside her heart as well. She fought back her tears, staring at the sky. There was, at least, some peace over here, away from the crowds that berated her over the latest news.

    A presence suddenly appeared beside her, but it didn’t say anything. Trying to conceal her curiosity, she ever so slightly shifted her eyes to the boy now standing beside her. She recognized him as Terry Boot, from Ravenclaw. Wondering why he would choose to come here, of all the places, she turned back to look at the sky, the cold wind still blowing against her cheeks.

    After a few moments of silence, he finally spoke. “You alright?”

    “Ummm…” Susan mumbled, sucking in her lips. “I guess.”

    Terry nodded in acknowledgement to her unspoken thoughts. “Nobody will leave you alone, huh?”

    Without realizing it, Susan smiled. “Funny, isn’t it? One tries to disappear, blend in with the crowd, but one single bit of news and suddenly, it’s all gone.”

    “I’m sure they don’t mean to badger you so.”

    At those words, Susan scowled. “My friends might not, but that old sea cow certainly does.”

    “Sea cow?” Terry mildly inquired.

    “Miss Prissy Snake Parkinson. I wish I didn’t have any classes with her at all. She knowingly throws me those glances, gloating over the fact that- that-“

    It was all too much. Susan buried her face into her hands, willing the world to just go away.

    Terry let her cry it out, and when the sobs began to subside, he spoke up once more. “You know, those people will never let it go. They feel the need to be superior, to be in control. No matter what you try, they will try harder to use you. It’s a whirlwind of a way to live, but you are going to need to brave the maelstrom.”

    “Oh?” Susan glanced up at Terry. “You speak as if from experience.”

    Terry grimaced. “Some people thought I was just brains for being in Ravenclaw. I happened to get into a silly fight with some bigmouth Gryffindor over it.”

    “And you just let it go?”

    “No,” Terry admitted. “I instead bet he couldn’t eat a pound of doxy eggs. His ego was so big he couldn’t resist. Didn’t stop for a minute to consider the whole ramifications.”

    “I don’t think I could fight back like that.”

    “You don’t have to,” Terry said. “Sometimes you have to be the better person and let it go. One day, that ‘sea cow’ won’t have a stage to stand on anymore, and she will be buffeted about by other storms.”

    Susan peered at Terry with confused eyes. “Why did you come talk to me?”

    He sheepishly grinned. “Actually, I happen to come here a lot to just think. But today, you were here.”

    And with that, he walked away, leaving Susan behind to contemplate the Ravenclaw’s wisdom.




    Thank you, brawlers, and thank you, in advance (hint, hint) voters. This is a fabulous competition!

    Banner by the fabulous Julia - theoplaeye

  4. #14
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    RESULTS!


    The Yellow Flower – eternalangel <3,4>
    I’d Rather be a B**** - the opaleye <7,0>
    Vita Nuova – The Black Sister <0, 6>
    Braving the Storm – Nagini Riddle<1,1>


    So, sadly we are saying goodbye to The Black Sister, which personally causes me exceptional grief because SHE’S A HUFFLEPUFF!!!! *wail*

    The winner is the snake most beauteous, the opaleye, who not only set the pace from the start, but continued, apart from one small stumble, at the same speed.
    But will she run out of steam? Can she continue the race? Will I mix up even more metaphors?


    THE FINAL THREE


    We’re down to the final three, and here’s the deal. The task is in two parts.

    First of all, I’m not setting the prompt – you are. Yes, you heard me correctly. You must write two prompts – one for each of your opponents – and send them to me. You may, of course, tailor your prompts as you see fit. Remember, you’re trying to win. However, a prompt that is too ridiculous or impossible will result in me setting your victim a different prompt.

    Example of an allowable (and a rather nice prompt) prompt:
    The Slug Club is not Harry's favourite club, we know that from the Half Blood Prince. But if he'd known that his mother and father were members, would he have been more inclined to go to the parties? Old Sluggy's Christmas party of 1976 is one to remember - but why? The Marauders are in their sixth year. Not all of them are in the Slug Club but at least one other Marauder will be there with James. Other party goers are up to you. Remember club members can take a guest.
    Example of an evil (but allowable) prompt:
    I challenge you to write a drabble in which Ginny Weasley falls in love with Vincent Crabbe. It must be set in Ginny’s sixth year. Also, it should be canon compliant – apart from the obvious, of course. AND it must be written completely in dialogue, and don’t make it as if someone is telling a story – what I mean is that both Ginny and Crabbe should be talking to each other, in present tense. IC characters are a must.
    Example of a ridiculous prompt that shall be disallowed:
    Write a drabble where every third word begins with a B.
    Or anything that ships the Giant Squid with ... anything.
    If I think your prompt is too evil, then I’ll give you a chance to rewrite, or I will set something myself, which will be lovely mainly because I am lovely. .

    Send your prompts to me by TUESDAY 25th June 8PM BST.

    Once you receive your prompts, you will have a week to write two drabbles. Send them to me by Tuesday 2nd July 8PM.

    Good Luck

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  5. #15
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    WEEK SEVEN ~ EVIL PROMPTS!


    This week the prompts were set by the brawlers for each other - and you can see just how evil the last three standing truly are. When you read the drabbles and make your decision, you must take into consideration the prompts set, and how well you think the drabbler wrote for that particular prompt.

    Finally, you need to vote for your TWO favourite drabbles and your TWO least favourite drabbles.



    VOTE HERE

    Voting will close on Sunday, 7th July, 3PM BST


    Here we go, then!




    Title: Nothing Left Unsaid
    Word Count: 500
    Rating/Warnings: 1st-2ndyears; Mild Profanity
    A/N: The song lyrics in italics are from Moon by Foals. The title is also taken from the lyrics.

    Write a song fic completely in dialogue. Use any song you like, but it must reflect the setting. You may either write a two, or three way dialogue, using only these characters:


    Severus Snape
    Remus Lupin
    Voldemort
    Fenrir Greyback
    Mrs. Black (Sirius' Mother)
    Terry Boot
    Now I see you, trouble,
    It's coming up ahead.
    Black dogs running through the fields,
    They're dripping red.

    “Kreacher, is that you?”

    “No.”

    “Who’s there? Come into the light so I can see who has disturbed my peace.”

    “No.”

    “How dare you speak to me with such petulance! I am the lady of this house. I, Walburga, from the most noble and ancient house of Black.”

    “You are no lady, but I shall come into the light because I want you to look me in the eye and know exactly what you have done.”

    “You. What are you doing here, you filthy, disgusting creature? Get out of my house! How dare you stand there? Scum of the earth, get out!”

    “Or else? You can’t hurt me, you can’t hurt me the way you hurt your family.”

    “What do you mean? I did the best for my family. I raised my child to cherish the heritage of his ancestors, and he honoured our family to the very end.”

    “Child? Just one, Walburga?”

    “How dare you address me—”

    “You didn’t answer my question.”

    “Yes, I had one child.”

    “I think you had more than one—”

    “No—”

    “—only he was never good enough for you, was he? He defied your wishes, he dishonoured your family so you struck him off. You burned him away just like you burn everything you screech at from that infernal portrait.”

    “How dare you! Kreacher!”

    “Kreacher cannot hear you, Walburga. It’s just you and me for a few more minutes, and then I’ll leave you to your peace as you like to call it.”

    “Why are you laughing?”

    “I’m laughing because I’m usually rather quiet. I don’t feel like being quiet today, though. My best friend is dead, you see. You knew him. You gave birth to him. He was your other child, but you killed him.”

    “I had no other child.”

    “Yes! You did! You had a son, and his name was Sirius, and he was brilliant.”

    “I had no other child.”

    “WOULD YOU SHUT UP. You had two children, and you poisoned them so much that you killed them. Sirius was one of the strongest people I have ever known, and yet he was the weakest man because of you. It is all your fault.

    “Stop! I had no other child!”

    “Do you really feel nothing? Or are you repeating yourself to stop the guilt? Perhaps if you don’t admit Sirius was your son you don’t have to grieve for him in your own twisted, little mind. You killed my best friend with your poisoned words and this bloody, poisonous home.”

    “It is your fault, not mine.”

    “No.”

    “It is your fault! You poisoned my boy! You destroyed him! That man who called himself Sirius Black was no son of mine. My son died the day he befriended filth like you.”

    “So you do feel it.”

    “No.”

    “I think you do.”

    “I had no other child.”

    “Goodbye, Walburga.”

    “Don’t you dare turn away from me! Come back here! I had no other child! Everything you say is a lie!”

    “Goodbye.”

    The world is quiet,
    There is nothing left unsaid,
    A million images, a million captured, a million dead.



    ***************************



    Title: In Mourning
    Word count: 500
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd yrs; depression, vampires, Victorian era (oh no!)
    A/N: Isla Black lived during the Victorian era, so I used her as my focal point. In context, this is right after she was blasted off the tapestry for marrying a Muggle. I imagine that she just came from an argument with her family, and her husband happens to be at their new home, but she just needs time to think.

    Write a dark/angst story set in the Victorian era. At some point a mythical creature must appear and play a prominent role in the drabble.

    It was a dark night in Victorian England and the streets were empty of any pedestrians and travelers, except for a lone woman dressed in a long, hooded cloak. She was moving rather stately across the gravel, but her head bowed with depression. Her trail meandered, yet she still managed to keep up that regal appearance. At last, she slowly eased herself onto a bench near the forest, drawing her cloak closer with her slim hands.

    She was rather young, but the expression in her heavy-lidded eyes told of centuries of anguish. Her melancholic repose was rather heavy for the woman. With tears, she glanced up at the dark, cloudy sky.

    “Merlin,” she whispered. “Merlin, save me.”

    She reached into a small pocket in her cloak and pulled out a silver chain bearing a single charm in the shape of a four-point star. A sapphire lay within its center, glinting from some unseen light. With a sad smile, the woman turned over the charm and squinted at the inscription on the back, though she already knew what it said:

    My Beloved Isla


    Closing her fingers around the charm, she began to sob.

    An ominous foreboding suddenly stole through her, and she snapped her head up. In a swift motion, she drew out a long stick and lit it up with a flick. The night around her receded from the glow, but nothing was there. However, the lady did not put down her guard.

    A slight wind brushed her, and she could swear she heard the sound of fluttering wings. A chill settled into her bones, and a sort of recognition came over her.

    “Come out, cretinous and vile creature,” she commanded imperially.

    From the shadows, a large shape appeared, strangely looking like an overgrown bat. As it neared the glow surrounding the woman, she could see that it was a man, spreading out his cloak in a wing-like fashion, and bearing fangs.

    “Isla…” he hissed. The lady coolly gazed at him, the wand in her hand at the ready for any sudden moves.

    “I can see your heart, Isla. I can see how twisted and mournful it is.” His words were accented strangely, and he spoke them in a dead whisper that struck straight into her mind.

    Isla stayed frozen in her combat position, but she averted her eyes from the red gleam sparking in the creature’s irises.

    “Isla, join me. It will vanquish all those fears and lamentations.”

    Her hand still clutched the charm, and in a moment of terror, she squeezed it hard and turned to run.

    “Isla…”

    She uttered a soft scream, and closed her eyes. “Robert. Robert!” Again, she squeezed the charm.

    The creature laughed evilly. “Come to me, Isla. It is my will.”

    “NO!” she screamed. “I am a Black, and I will not follow you!”

    She waved her wand, and the vampire vanished. It was a while before Isla left, still clutching the charm as though it were the only thing in the world.



    *****************************


    Title: Last Chance
    Word Count: 499
    Rating/Warning: 3rd-5th year, mention of violence

    On Vernon and Petunia’s wedding day, Vernon has an unexpected encounter with an odd man called Severus Snape. There doesn’t have to be a romantic undertone to this encounter. That is up to you.
    It was a sunny cloudless day in Little Whinging in the midst of spring. In a small church on the edge of town a Mr. Vernon Dursley and Ms. Petunia Evans were to be married at noon. The guest list was set, the white tents pitched, and the flower bouquets fresh and vibrant.

    But one man stood alone in the shadows on the edge of the little copse that abutted the church. Severus Snape had never been a fan of weddings. To him, marriage could make a fraud out of the best of people. His parents were proof of that.

    Yet as Severus stood in the shadows looking in on the bright and expectant faces of the arriving guests, a small yearning grew within him. There was only one person he would have married, and she had married another two days before.

    Severus felt anger and regret lance through him like cold lightening. He clenched his hand tightly around a dainty, silver locket he held in it. The engraved surface left a fierce red mark on his palm. It was his heart in his hand, and, like his aching heart, it had left a mark on him.

    Surely she will be here. It is her sister’s wedding, Severus thought to himself.

    He scanned the crowd of guests as they streamed into the church. Watching them made him hate the state of marriage even more, and yet that small part of him that brought him there kept him fixed in place.

    Severus heard footsteps to the right of him. He turned his head, and saw a portly young man with a large walrus mustache ambling towards him. He was dressed in a black suit that seemed ready to burst at the seams, and his face was flushed with excitement and self importance. Maybe he would know if Lily had arrived yet. Severus stepped out of the shadows.

    “Excuse me. Do you know you if a Lily Evans has arrived yet?” Severus asked. He still couldn’t get himself to say her new name.

    The man huffed in annoyance before he answered, “There is no such person, or riffraff like her kind here. Thank you very much.”

    “Riffraff? Her kind? And what do you mean by that?” Severus responded curtly.

    “I mean my future wife and I do not want any of your kind here at our wedding, which includes her sister. Now leave before I call the police,” the man responded. Severus itched to curse the worm, but he swallowed his pride, remembering that Lily would have disapproved of such an action.

    “That is all I needed to know,” Severus answered.

    He then turned on his heels and stormed away. When he got far enough away from the church, Severus let out an anguished howl before throwing the locket into a nearby bush. It was over. His last chance was gone. His heart was gone. Severus Disapparated away, unable to bear the sounds of joy that were coming from the church.


    **************************************



    Title: The Rare Gift
    Word Count: 497
    Rating/Warnings: 3rd-5th year, none

    Write a drabble in which Sirius, having escaped from Azkaban, is hiding out on a tropical beach, and incorporate the memory of him hanging that magazine cover with bikini-clad Muggle girls in his room. Buckbeak must be mentioned in the drabble, although he doesn't have to be present. While on the beach, have Sirius run into another person, male or female. Whether or not Sirius is a dog or a person for the majority of the time is up to you. However, he must be in each form at some point in the drabble.
    It had been a long time since Sirius Black had breathed air as a free man. The beach around him was made up of vast dunes of white sand, and a pristine sea stretched out to meet the horizon. White clouds dotted the sky, and golden streams of sunlight filtered through. Somewhere amongst the clouds he was sure Buckbeak was enjoying himself. Sirius closed his eyes and breathed in the salty breeze. It was a good day to be alive. He thought of James.

    Sirius opened his eyes. He chuckled as he remembered his lost friend. James had always seized life. He never let it slide by. Sirius remembered when James had given him his first Muggle magazine with bikini clad girls on the cover. Together they had come up with the obvious conclusion that the wall of Sirius’s room was the best place to put said magazine cover. He still remembered how furious his mother had been when she had not been able to get the cover off of his wall.

    Sadness began to percolate through Sirius. A longing to see his friend’s smile again stabbed through him. He hadn’t felt like this in a long time. Just as Sirius began to spiral into gloom, the sound of laughter caught his ear.

    James!

    Sirius turned and saw a young boy and his mother walking up the beach towards him. Something about the boy‘s laughter reminded him of his friend. Sirius watched as they passed. He noticed the mother eyed him warily. He wasn’t surprised. Any good mother would be wary of his gaunt looks and haunted eyes, but he longed to be near them just to listen to the little boy’s laughter. So he did what was left for him to do. He transformed into Padfoot.

    Padfoot loped up to the small family. The mother watched him coming closely. Padfoot stopped, and sat down a few feet away. The little boy squealed, and made an attempt to run towards the dog, but was soundly blocked by his mother.

    Padfoot got up and came closer. The mother tried to shoo him away, for which he promptly fell over, and rolled around on his back as any cuddly dog would. The kid squealed again in excitement. The mother looked around the beach for Padfoot’s owner, and then cautiously approached him, trying once again to shoo him away. He responded by licking her hand. The mother jumped, and then smiled as she watched Padfoot chase his own tail. The boy laughed and ran over to pet him. Seeing as the dog was no threat, the mother watched as her son played in the sand with the dog.

    She didn’t know it, but she was giving Padfoot a rare gift. For one day of his life he got to feel what it was like to have a son, and play in the sand with him. Sirius knew that this couldn’t last forever, but for today he lived in this dream.


    ****************************************


    Title: Not Possible
    Word Count: 433
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd yrs; a scandal involving a house elf and Narcissa...
    Prompt:
    Dobby and Narcissa have a far more complex relationship than meets the eye. Write about Draco’s reaction when he stumbles upon a moment between his mother and their house-elf.
    A/N: Many thanks to the evil prompt I received. For the timeline, this would be before Dobby was freed, right before the second year of Draco's schooling at Hogwarts.


    He sat fuming in his bedroom, not entirely sure of what he had seen. For some reason, he hated himself instead of his mother, but then again, he rarely could find it within himself to be angry at his mother. She had never approved of his habit of eavesdropping, so he easily found fault with himself for what he had seen. At the same time, though, he felt like he was channeling his father, who had no qualms about eavesdropping. Lucius had always told him that information was a gold mine and the key to gaining power.

    Still, he tried hard to shake the image from his mind. He just couldn’t believe that his mother had— No, it was better to not think about it. Nobody in their right mind would think his mother a softie for a house elf!

    But the way she had smoothed his head! The way she had talked to the disgusting servile creature! The way she had smiled twisted into Draco’s heart. His mother never treated the help kindly. He couldn’t understand why this time was different, why his mother, when she had been alone, had decided to calm the house elf down and stop him from punishing himself. It didn’t really make sense.

    As Draco sat there, confused, a thought came to his mind. His mother was a Slytherin, after all, and his father would not have married her if she hadn’t borne some of those Slytherin qualities. Perhaps she was trying to pull one on the elf, make the elf believe that she truly cared about it, and then she could get away with doing anything to it. Or perhaps the elf was hiding something, and his mother realized that the only way to get information was by pretending to coddle the stupid thing. Yes…

    There wasn’t any way he could find the solution without being caught by his father or mother. He could try eavesdropping again, but he did not care to have a repeat of that scene playing in his head, no matter how hard he tried to justify his mother’s actions. He scowled. He wished he knew the magic that could remove certain memories.

    Outside his bedroom door, he could hear his parents conversing with the servants, using the same condescending tone they always used. It calmed him to hear something so normal, and hearing his mother’s voice confirmed that there was no way she could ever have affection for a lower creature. It just wasn’t possible.

    But the image of his mother’s hands on the elf’s ears would not leave him alone.


    *****************************************


    Title: Of Monsters and Men
    Word Count: 458
    Rating/Warnings: 1st-2nd years; implied violence
    A/N: -

    Write a fluffy romance set in the Founders era. The main point of view character can not be a Founder, but the Founders can be in it.
    It happens in his seventeenth summer. The village is loud as merchants trundle through the streets, as young girls sell flowers, and boys run around them pulling their hair and laughing. Caerwyn often wishes he had the same freedom to be a child again, without the burden of hiding and running and waiting for the worst to happen. He misses it like he misses his family, but then he remembers that he is running because of his family and doesn’t miss them at all.

    He doesn’t, he doesn’t miss them at all.

    He hears the crash before he sees it. A merchant’s cartwheel snaps, all flying splinters and earth and horse dung, and the cart and it’s wares careen to the side of the road towards a group of children. Caerwyn doesn’t even think, doesn’t even pause to remember why he can’t afford to react. He jumps into the road, hands held high.

    And the cart stops.

    There is silence. There is silence but for the sack of goblets that scatter across the road, plink-plink-plinking until they too come to a halt.

    The villagers stare, and he can feel their relief turning to shock, to suspicion, to hatred and fear. He snatches up a goblet, surrounded and at the mercy of a fearful mob. In their eyes he can see his father and his brothers and that last beautiful day when everything was fine and then everything wasn’t.

    I don’t, I don’t miss them at all.

    That’s when he sees her. She pushes through the gathering crowd, through the murmurs and whimpering children, and takes his hand. She lifts a finger to her lips, and he closes his eyes, waiting for the crowd to swallow them whole but instead he feels a jerk at his navel, and then they are surrounded by trees instead of angry fists.

    You are the same, he says. Yes, she replies.

    Thank you, he whispers. It is nothing, she replies. Her hair is golden blonde, and her eyes a murky, warm green.

    Will you teach me, he asks. Will you teach me to escape those monsters who wish to harm me for something I cannot change?

    They are not monsters, she replies. They are ignorant men. It is dangerous to call those who are human something they are not. Never forget that. Even those whom you love can turn into someone worse than a monster.

    I won’t, I won’t forget.

    He already knows.

    It happens in his seventeenth summer. Helga Hufflepuff saves his life and welcomes him to a world he didn’t know existed, a world where he doesn’t have to run and hide and wait. She saves his life, and he repays her with a cup made of gold and his heart.




    Many, many apologies for the delay in posting this. There were a multitude of reasons involving airports on the part of a brawler, and two school visits on the part of the barmaid.

    Banner by the fabulous Julia - theoplaeye

  6. #16
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    RESULTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Oh, that was a round and a half. Well done to all three of you for not only setting some fantastically evil prompts, but for writing them all so very well. It is a shame that one of you must leave, but sadly thems the rules!


    First of all here is who set what for whom:


    Nothing Left Unsaid - set by Nagini for the opaleye
    In Mourning - set by eternalangel for Nagini
    Last Chance - set by the opaleye for eternalangel
    The Rare Gift - set by Nagini Riddle for eternalangel
    Not Possible - set by the opaleye for Nagini Riddle
    Of Monsters and Men - set by eternalangel for the opaleye



    And here are the votes

    Nothing Left Unsaid <7,3>
    In Mourning <1,6>
    Last Chance <2,7>
    The Rare Gift <5,0>

    Not Possible <2,4>
    Of Monsters and Men <5,2>

    Sooooo, leaving us this week is the valiant Gryff, Nagini Riddle who has done superbly getting through to the final three, and takes away 10 points of shinyness for her house.

    Winning this week is the opaleye, who takes another five points for Slytherin and booking her place in the final where she shall be joined by the wondrous Claw, eternalangel.



    Aaaand ... the new prompt for the final

    although I'm tempted to merely post a picture of Andy Murray (tennis final), I don't want to jinx his chances, so click below...


    Post Secret


    Use this form.

    PHP Code:
    [B]Name:[/B]
    [
    B]House:[/B]
    [
    B]Title:[/B]
    [
    B]Word Count:[/B]
    [
    B]Ratings and warnings:[/B]
    [
    B]A/N:[/B

    Send me your drabble by Thursday 11th July.

    Voting will close on Sunday 14th July at 3PM.



    Good Luck

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  7. #17
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    The Final!

    This is it, barflies. This is the final and I am mighty pleased that I'm not the one who has to choose because both of these drabbles are fantastic and would win hands down in any normal drabble type competition.

    + Read carefully.
    + Take into account the prompt.
    + Vote wisely.






    Title: Unbreakable
    Word Count: 497
    Ratings and warnings: 3rd-5th year, mention of violence, dark/angst
    A/N:



    A storm raged around Regulus Black. Rain hissed as it pounded the small Muggle village behind him, which lay dark and silent. A rough wind raked across the lake nearby, disfiguring the once peaceful surface. The sky was the color of pitch, and roared as thunder shook the heavens. Regulus thought the storm reflected his inner psyche well.

    Who am I? What am I? What have I become?

    Those were the prevalent questions that shifted around restlessly in his mind. They precluded any physical sensations he should have felt. He didn’t feel the cutting wind or the icy chill. He didn’t feel the rivers that ran down his face like chaos. Regulus lifted his bloodstained hands, and found he did not recognize what he saw in front of him.

    Whose hands are these?

    He watched in dismay as bloody tears ran down his forearms, and he felt his heart seize up in his chest as he remembered what he had been apart of. His stomach pitched and rolled, and Regulus fell to his knees in the oozing mud, and emptied its contents. He didn’t want these vile memories inside him anymore. He didn’t want to see that blood on his hands.

    It wasn’t supposed to be like this, his inner self whimpered.

    Nothing had been as he had expected since he joined the Death Eaters. Voldemort was sheer madness, and he had foolishly been swept into it. Tonight was the first night he had been forced to kill. The enormity of what he had done had shattered him. And all of it had been done in order to honor his family and his name. But what was the importance of his name now when he didn’t even recognize the person he had become?

    He thought of Sirius. Ever since his brother was disinherited, Regulus had never thought much of him, but now, as he stood in desolation, Regulus wished he had Sirius‘s strength. Sirius had never been afraid to cast off their name if it meant doing what was right. Regulus likened him to the mighty oak. No matter how much the rain beat down from the sky, or the wind howled, the oak would bend, but never break.

    Would Sirius recognize me if he saw me now?

    Regulus turned his face up towards the sky. He was glad his brother couldn’t see what he had become. For how could his brother recognize him when he didn’t even recognize himself?

    Regulus closed his eyes. He let the rain fall down on him. He let it wash over him, and through him, dissolving his former self. Regulus Black died tonight. His mind was in the throes of accepting that fact. Yet something strange was happening. A new man was beginning to emerge. He could feel it in his battered soul. Regulus knew that this man would be different. This man wouldn‘t give in to tyranny. He was the seedling of a mighty oak. And he would become unbreakable.



    ************************************************



    Title: Black on Her Hands
    Word Count: 499
    Ratings and warnings: 1st-2nd years; no warnings
    A/N:


    Narcissa is more Malfoy than Black, now. After the battle she doesn’t wait meekly for justice to be done, or sink into corners like a child, or grasp blindly for a sister’s hand.

    Instead, she entertains, orders tea for her guests. Cups clink, cracks in the not-enough-silence. Marriages are wielded like weapons that cut ugly rumours and tarnished reputations in half. She speaks to the Greengrasses, avoids the Parkinsons.

    She puts up her armour because that’s what needs to be done. There’s a war in her still.

    And yet she wonders.

    She wonders about the woman who no longer has a living child, or husband to protect, or home to make. Sometimes she takes out that last note she found on her mother’s dresser all those years ago. She never reads it. She doesn’t have to. It’s the feeling she’s after.

    Narcissa is more Malfoy than Black.

    ---

    She sees her sister once. Draco is small and squealing at her feet, chubby hand clasped tight within her fingers. He wants to go to Florean’s but for once she resists.

    “Andromeda,” she says, before her free hand flies to her mouth, gasping at the words and wishing she could breathe them back. Narcissa pushes through the pressing bodies, dragging Draco and his small legs beside her. She can hear his cries, she can always hear his cries, but the woman pulls her forward. It is her sister.

    Shush, she wants to say. Quiet, darling. But she is afraid of speaking, of calling out that foreign name she’d been told to forget so many years ago.

    The steady stream of people trickles away until she can see Andromeda paused outside the apothecary. It is then that Draco lets rip and his sudden scream makes several people jump. Her sister turns.

    Narcissa raises her hand, not knowing what to do with it. Her fingers flutter against her chest, down and down until they are hanging limp at her side once more. Andromeda’s gaze is fixed and certain.

    She remembers those eyes. She remembers the laughter and tears and the way they used to sink into dark corners when father was angry. Andromeda’s angry now. There is a war in her still.

    Narcissa blinks, ashamed. Her son is crying, the hem of her robes stained and damp. She’s almost hunched, kneeling on the dirty ground, spine to the sky, waiting to be caught with Black on her hands.

    And there is a stranger across the street who is more than a stranger but less than a sister.

    She snaps.

    “Stop it!” She shakes Draco hard. It works. He looks up at her, and for a moment she feels pleasure at his fright. It’s sharp, sour, brief, and she wonders if this is what it felt like when Andromeda snapped, too. What it was like leaving that note on mother’s dresser, packing her belongings, meeting that Mudblood boy on the road behind the field, and going, going, going…

    When Narcissa looks up, Andromeda is gone.



    Voting will close on Monday 15th July 3PM BST.


    Many, many apologies for the late posting of this which was caused by a multitude of circumstances of great import, and had nothing to do with the hot weather and a quantity of Pimms in your barmaid's favourite park ... ahem.


    Good luck. You've both been fabulous.

    Banner by the fabulous Julia - theoplaeye

  8. #18
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
    Kill the Spare
    Equinox Chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    using rare and complicated words
    Posts
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    RESULTS


    OH OH OH!

    Well, that has been interesting. After an eight week struggle, a long drawn out brawl with casualties strewn all over the boards, and wrathful rages from the barmaid when technology tried to scupper her (oh, and that time she accidentally deleted three drabbles - eeek) I can now declare that the winner of the

    SEVENTH TTB BRAWL
    IS



    Uhm ....

    Well, actually, I should amend that and add a letter - just a small one.

    an 's' in fact making

    WINNERS


    Click the attachment if you want to see what happened.(It's safe, c'mon, you can trust me)


    Attachment 13




    I have two options. I can force them to brawl continually until we have a final winner, or I can declare the first ever TTB brawl draw.

    And for the sake of everyone's sanity, that is what I shall do... (the latter, I mean)


    CONGRATULATIONS


    eternalangel and the opaleye



    Black on her Hands - the opaleye <7>
    Unbreakable - eternalangel <7>


    for a truly brilliant competition.




    Points are as follows:



    Crazy717 – Gryffindor (D)
    Maple_and_PheonixFeather 5
    Nagini Riddle – Gryffindor 5+5 =10(THIRD PLACE!)


    Padfoot113333 _Hufflepuff -5
    CinderellaAngelina – Hufflepuff - 5
    TheBlackSister 5
    EleanorLupin (D)
    Weasley Mom -5


    Eternalangel- Ravenclaw 5+ 20 = 25 (JOINT FIRST PLACE)
    1000timesingoldenink – Ravenclaw (D)
    noblefate – Ravenclaw 5
    BrokenPromise – Ravenclaw 5


    Draco7052 – Slytherin
    Oregonian – Slytherin 5
    the opaleye – Slytherin 5+5+5+5+5+5+20 = 50 (!)(JOINT FIRST PLACE)
    Viv – Slytherin 5
    iMusic17 – Slytherin 5





    Gryffindor - 15 points
    Hufflepuff – 20 points
    Ravenclaw – 35 points
    Slytherin - 65 points




    THE CHAMBER HAS BEEN OPENED.
    ENEMIES OF THE SNAKES – BEWARE!
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 07-15-2013 at 05:37 PM.

    Banner by the fabulous Julia - theoplaeye

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