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Thread: Weekly Drabble Challenge - A Thousand Words: Autumn

  1. #1
    Savannah Hen Slytherin
    Sirius Black Entered Gryffindor Tower
    coolh5000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Wonderful England!

    Weekly Drabble Challenge - A Thousand Words: Autumn

    Wahey! I hear you all cheer - the weeklies are back!

    For this week's challnege, we're returning to an old theme - the 'Thousand Word' challenge. Bascially, I have found autumn (fall to some of you) themed photos and I want you to write a drabble inspired by one of them.

    The photos are all named/described by the photographers, but you don't have to take into account anything but the photo itself (for example, that the first one is described as being in Dublin, doesn't have to feature in your drabble)

    You can write about any person, time, place you want, but it must be obvious how the photo features in your drabble.

    Please submit using the following form:

    Word Count:

    Drabbles should be no longer than 500 words, and must be submitted by Midnight GMT at the end of Tuesday 21st October.

    Any questions should be asked in the question thread.


    Adrian won a QSQ! Thanks to Minnabird for the beautiful banner. Click on it to read Stolen Magic - the story of the second wizarding war through a very different character's eyes.

  2. #2
    Title: Kiss of Silver
    Warnings: Mild Profanity
    Rating: 1st-2nd years
    Word Count: 328
    Picture: Midnight Autumn Rain

    The silvery drops fall, splashing to the ground. I watch them, my eyes reflecting their pattern. Down, down, down...trickle, trickle, trickle...drip, drip, drip. This is a never-ending cycle of beauty and sadness.

    "Bea?" The small voice that drifts to me from the shadows does not alarm me. I do not even acknowledge my sister as she inches closer to me. I stare at the rain and wonder what it feels to be falling forever.

    "Bea?" My sister's voice is growing impatient. "Bea!"

    "What?" I whip around to face her. She holds her ground, her own muddy eyes reflecting the rain.

    "David...wishes to speak to you."

    I slowly turn back to the rain. "I don't want to see him right now. I never want to see him again."

    "But Bea, he loves you," Becca insists. "He loves you! He told me. He told me that you are the rain and he is the ground, and he anxiously awaits for your kiss of silver--"

    "He is a hopeless poet," I spit. "Now begone, Becca. I want to be alone."

    "But David wants to be with you ever so badly! He has been crying and losing sleep and losing weight thinking about you. Your dismissal has killed him."

    "And yet he's still alive!" I answer spitefully. "How very, very strange!"

    "I mean you killed his spirit," Becca whispers.

    I do not answer. I cannot answer. But words erupt from me before I can stop them. "He doesn't give a damn about me," I murmur. "And if he did, he wouldn't be cowardly. He would come to me for my "kiss of silver" and...and..."

    "You still love him as well, Bea," Becca says softly. "I can tell. Don't hide your feelings from someone who knows you as well as you yourself." With that statement, she leaves the room.

    I continue to watch the rain, but unbidden images of David lying on the ground and me, Beatrice, kissing him, kisses of silver...
    That was my first time participating in one of these, so forgive my terrible drabble.

    Roonil_Wazlib125 aka Annmarie poooff

  3. #3
    Title: (handing in my) resignation
    Warnings: None.
    Rating: 1st - 2nd years.
    Word Count: 500
    Picture: Midnight Autumn Rain

    I stumble out of the woods. Ahead of me, the harsh stripe of tarmac cuts a relentless path through the trees. The night is silent, but for the noises I make – my heart thumping against my ribs, my teeth chattering in the cold. The raspy sound of my breathing seems to fill the world.

    I keep glancing behind me as I walk along the edge of the road. When a sudden wind rattles the trees I jump. It's almost like a whisper; levicorpus, crucio, avada

    I walk faster.

    Suddenly the road becomes wider, the lights brighter, and brighter than that is a building next to the road. The outside is lit up, a ceiling balanced on pillars emitting a pale, bluish light.

    Petrol station, I remember as I get closer, some long lost Muggle Studies class surfacing. Next to it is a small building. My mind and feet are slow and tired as I push open the heavy glass door and step into the warmth.

    Past the brightly coloured packages of food I can see a counter, with a boy slumped behind it. As I get closer I see that he's reading; nearby a small box spills out pale light and the tinny sound of voices.

    "…toilet?" I manage to gasp, and, without looking up from his book, he hands me a key and waves me away.

    The toilet is small, brick-walled and damp. The white paint is peeling and bricks seem to radiate iciness. When I glance in the scratched, cloudy mirror it seems to set off a chain reaction and suddenly I am over the toilet, try to vomit, but my empty stomach only brings up acid.

    All the same, I'm calmer after that. I drink some water to wash out my mouth. I wash the mud off my hands and the blood off my face; I turn the cuffs of my robe up, to hide the dark stains. When I step outside the toilet, my mind is calm and clear, racing ahead.

    If I keep following the road, I can find a Muggle town. I can swap my robes for Muggle clothing, I can find somewhere to stay, I can hide, I can run, I can survive this.

    At the door I pause and stare into the night. My throat feels dry and torn from the acid; the cut on my cheek aches. For the first time since I stumbled out of the woods I reach for my wand. It's not there of course; lost in the woods along with the mask they gave me and the contents of my stomach. With the people – no, the bodies by now, they'd have finished the job I started before they came after me.

    In the corner of my eye, on the edge of the darkness, I see something move.

    The boy behind the counter raises his head. "All right – " he begins, but I ignore him. I push open the heavy glass door and step out into the cold.

  4. #4
    Title: The Beginning
    Warnings: None
    Rating: 1st/2nd Years
    Word Count: 405
    Picture: Golden Autumn Morning in Dublin
    A/N: This was pre-read / beta'd by the amazing and wonderful Natalie / hestiajones!

    There was an awkward silence as she stared at him expectantly. She looked quite pretty in Muggle attire, elegant almost, with some sort of long coat lined with too many buttons and a flattering skirt with boots that peeked out underneath. The outfit didn't look too comfortable for a walk around the park, but was nice all the same, which he supposed was why she wore it.

    He cleared his throat and offered his arm. "Shall we?"

    She raised an eyebrow at his formality but took the proffered arm nonetheless, and they began a trip around the park. His destination was a shop on the opposite side of the lake where they could have a chance to sit and talk - and maybe grab a cup of tea if the temperature didn't warm up.

    "I didn't realize it would be so chilly when I invited you here," he began, but she interrupted.

    "Oh, but it's beautiful," she breathed. "I don't now if I've ever seen such colors, such vibrancy…how did you find this place?"

    His insides were doing a little dance at her words; he was glad he had followed his instincts.

    "I still wasn't comfortable, after the war, being seen around the wizarding public. I stayed shut up in my house for a while, and then I started exploring Muggle London." He gave a laugh, and couldn't keep the bitterness out of it. "Me, Draco Malfoy, wandering through Muggle London! See, I'm wearing trousers now just fine!"

    The look in her eyes was unreadable as she listened, so he continued.

    "I stumbled upon this park last year at this time, and I came back here everyday until the leaves fell. When you agreed to meet me last week," he said, and was satisfied to see her blush ever so slightly at this, "I knew I wanted to show it to you. I haven't shown it to anyone yet except my mother."

    The blush became more pronounced, but she met his eyes with a slight smile. "I'm flattered, Draco. Thank you."

    She leaned into his side as their walk and their conversation carried them around the park, golden and red leaves littering their path. By the time they were laughing over tea at the shop late into the afternoon, a glorious sunset as their backdrop, Draco knew that he had found a woman in Astoria Greengrass that he would fight to keep no matter what.
    For some reason, Draco and Astoria keep taking over my drabble challenge ideas. And I don't mind in the least.


  5. #5
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
    Kill the Spare
    Equinox Chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    using rare and complicated words
    YAY! The weeklies are back.

    Title: September the First
    Warnings: None
    Rating: 1st-2nd
    Word Count: 495
    Picture: Golden Autumn Morning in Dublin
    A/N: The actual date is 1/9/17 (or 9/1/17 for the Americans)

    Despite the sun that floated through the trees, it was a cold first of September. Victoire hunched her shoulders and dug her hands deep into her jacket pockets as she walked along the river path.

    “What the hell am I doing here?” she grumbled to the empty air. Moodily, she attempted to kick a stone but her foot skidded on a damp leaf and she nearly fell over.

    *Nice dancing, darling!” A man on a bicycle whooped appreciatively. Victoire scowled at him. “Oh, cheer up, love. It might never happen.”

    “It already has!” she wanted to shout, but she knew there was no point for he’d long since gone.

    She slowed her pace, unwilling to arrive at her destination, unwilling to see him again and hear the unpalatable truth that he was in love with another.

    And why wouldn’t he be? she thought. She is beautiful and I’m nothing special.

    Stopping by a tree, she sighed. They had known each other forever, first as playmates, and then as comrades, rallying against the annoying legions of her younger siblings and cousins. At Hogwarts they had drifted apart; he was two years older, after all, and one of the cooler boys in Gryffindor with no time for his freckly, red-haired nearly-cousin.

    But this summer had changed things. He’d arrived at Shell Cottage for a visit and instead of falling back into the patterns of friendship as they used to when released from the constraints of Hogwarts, Victoire had fallen in love.

    “It’s just a crush. It’s just a crush,” she muttered furiously to herself, as she began to walk again. She still didn’t know why she’d agreed to meet him here. She was supposed to be heading to King’s Cross with the others, but he’d been insistent.

    “You’re late,” he called from across the path. Victoire looked up to see Teddy, his hair a shade he called Muggle-brown, standing by the bank of the river.

    “I’m here,” she said wearily.

    Teddy walked across and took her hand. Surprised at the gesture, Victoire found she couldn’t pull away.

    “Why did you want to see me?” she asked. As if I don’t know.

    Teddy grinned. “About this summer,” he began. “Your family have always made me welcome. It was wonderful spending time with you and your sister …”

    Here it comes, she thought bitterly, ’Can you put in a good word for me?’ he’ll ask. She felt ashamed. It was not Dominique’s fault that she alone had inherited their mother’s beauty. No wonder he was entranced.

    Teddy coughed. “Don’t get me wrong, Dominique is great, but I never got a chance to spend time only with you …” Teddy looked down at his feet. “Victoire.” He took a breath and then lifted a hand to smooth some strands of her hair behind her ear. He opened his mouth to say something, but must have thought better of it, for instead he bent his head and began to kiss her.

    Awww, an excess of fluff from me.


    Banner by the fabulous Julia - theoplaeye

  6. #6
    Title: Shattered
    Warnings: Mentioned character death (canon), mild violence (very, very, very mild)
    Rating: 1st - 2nd Years
    Word Count: 500
    Picture: Autumn Contrasts
    A/N: Gah, it feels like years since I last wrote a drabble... Hope I'm not too rusty!

    "We’re gathered here today to mourn the passing of Ariana Dumbledore...”

    Aberforth couldn’t bear to listen. The man standing in front of them with his watery blue eyes and pale, wrinkled skin hadn’t known Ariana. He wasn’t mourning; he was just doing his job.

    It made Aberforth sick. How dare a stranger pretend to know Ariana, pretend what he was saying actually meant something? Soon, the old man would be on his way, preparing to conduct another funeral for another family... Not caring about the pain surrounding him.

    Aberforth took a deep breath and fought to keep his tears at bay, forcing himself to look at the ground and not turn around. He couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses, not here, not in front of him.

    How dare he come to the funeral? How dare he show up dressed in his formal robes, wearing an expression of such devastated grief? It was his fault. He didn’t deserve to feel the comfort of Bathilda Bagshot’s hand on his shoulder – the only other person who had decided to come to the funeral.

    Clenching his fists, Aberforth stared at the ground, feeling his grief boil and gurgle, fizz and crackle until it filled him with a rage he had never felt before. Albus. The name almost made him spit in disgust. How dare his brother show his face at this funeral after what he had done? He was a murderer. He deserved to be in Azkaban, not at his sister’s funeral. He deserved to rot.

    Unable to hold onto the leash restraining his anger any longer, Aberforth whipped around, taking some satisfaction in his brother’s startled expression, and dashed forwards. Without thinking, his clenched fist swung out and hit Albus on the nose. There was a satisfying crunch. Albus stumbled backwards, clutching at his face, and Bathilda let out a shocked gasp.

    Aberforth didn’t care.

    He just ran. Away from the funeral, away from the wrinkled old man who had finally stopped his droning speech, away from Bathilda’s desperate cries sounding behind him. Away from his brother, who did not deserve to be alive when Ariana was not.

    Aberforth sprinted towards the trees, his footsteps crunching the bright red, orange and yellow leaves littering the ground. He ran until he couldn’t hear or see any signs of his sister’s funeral. Then, he stopped. Bending over and heaving sobbing breaths, Aberforth wiped the sweaty hair off his forehead and looked at the ground.

    He saw some orange leaves, so vibrant against the dirt. Crouching down, he carefully picked them up. They were almost like Ariana – so bright, yet surrounded by mud, restrained from fulfilling their potential. And now they would just die forgotten, and no one would care.

    He threw the leaves to the ground and stepped on them, grinding them into the soil.

    Tears finally trickled down his cheeks and Aberforth slumped to the ground beside the destroyed leaves, knowing that nothing would ever be the same. It couldn’t be.

    Ariana was gone.

  7. #7
    accio avery
    Title: Slumped Against an Old Tree
    Warnings: None
    Rating: 1st/2nd
    Word Count: 630
    Picture: Golden autumn morning in Dublin

    Slumped against an old tree, knees pulled tight up against her chest, sat a young girl about nine years old. Her brown hair fluttered around her face with the chilly wind, occasionally catching a fallen leaf as the steady stream of autumn leaves fell from the tree’s branches. She sniffled and hugged her knees tighter as a gang of girls walked by, giggling quite loudly.

    ‘There’s that weird girl, Granger,’ the blond in the front said, who was obviously the group’s leader. The mean words were just loud enough to reach the sniffling girl’s ears and another wave of humiliation washed through her, which hurt worse than the cold air seeping through her coat.

    She didn’t understand why there wasn’t a single person in her year like her. Her entire life, she knew she was different, meant for something bigger than this stupid playground and those giggling girls who constantly humiliated her in front of everyone.

    It wasn’t fair; the things that she did were accidents, some kind of unexplainable phenomenon. She wiped her eyes angrily. It wasn’t her fault that Robert Darby had wound up stuck inside the teacher’s desk last week after he had called her geeky. And she shouldn’t be the one to blame for Teresa Lemming’s bag splitting open spontaneously.

    There wasn’t any proof, in yet her peers mocked her and called her Hermione Stranger and never invited her to play.

    A brief gust of wind blew more of the golden leaves around her, naturally swirling in slow circles by her feet. Intrigued, she stretched her legs out in front of her and concentrated on their movement. The leaves began to churn faster and faster, spinning violently like a wild cyclone, sucking in more leaves with each perpetual twist. She scrambled to her feet, barely noticing the chill smacking her face raw, and watched in amazement as her multi-colored tornado grew and grew, inhaling twigs and other debris as well. Her heart leapt inside her ribcage when she waved her arm and caused the whirlwind to pick up speed even further.

    ‘How are you doing that?’

    The sudden question frightened Hermione so much that the whirlwind came to an abrupt halt as she whipped around; she gasped and the leaves blew away naturally as if nothing abnormal had just happened.

    A boy stood a few feet away, dressed in a dark red coat and matching cap, clashing perfectly with the surrounding landscape. His jaw hung slack and he ogled at Hermione with an amazed expression.

    ‘Well go on,’ Hermione started, balling her small hands into fists, ‘take the mickey out of me.’

    ‘Why would I do that?’ The boy asked in a small voice, sounding genuinely surprised, ‘That was the coolest thing I ever saw! Can you teach me?’

    Taken aback, Hermione relaxed her fists and looked at the boy questioningly, waiting for him to turn on her. After a few moments, she looked back at the ground where a small amount of leaves had begun to spin on their own again.

    ‘I dunno if I can teach it, exactly, it just sort of happens to me.’ Hermione answered. She concentrated and soon enough had a smaller version of the cyclone spinning at an unnatural rate. She looked back up and saw that the boy’s face cracked with blissful laughter—he clapped his mitten-laden hands together as if enjoying a show.

    ‘You must be…magical.’ The boy declared, eyes watching the spinning array of color that somehow resulted from Hermione herself.

    Hermione smiled; for once in her life, here was someone to understand her, even take amazement at what she had no explanation for doing. She waved her arm again and the cyclone began to spin itself around the boy playfully, causing him to laugh even more.

  8. #8
    Russia Snow
    Title: If I Could Change...
    Warnings: None
    Rating: 1st-2nd years
    Word Count: 339
    Picture: Golden Autumn Morning in Dublin

    I sit by the path, just sitting, watching.

    I watch the people go by, the men, the women, the children, everybody.

    It is amazing how much you can learn just by watching people. The woman rushing past on the phone with her hands full of shopping, the teenage boys wearing caps and hoodies, sauntering along, desperate to look cool.

    If only, when I was younger, I’d taken more care to watch the people I supposedly knew so well. Just to sit sometimes and watch them, notice the features of their faces, the way they walked, the way they talked.

    The leaves shone bright, the colours deep red, browns and golds. Beneath the peoples’ feet the leaves crunched into the pavement.

    One day, I saw her. At first, she was just one of the crowd, just another person walking past. But she was different. I noticed her more than the others; I recognised her walk, her face, her hair. I knew her, or at least I had seen her before.

    I called out to her. I stood up, I called again.

    She stopped and turned toward me. It <i>was</i> her. But she wasn’t the same anymore, she had changed. She saw me, I know she did, she looked right at me. Her face was marred with scars, one eye was half closed and one corner of her mouth drooped slightly downwards.

    “ANGELINA!” I called again. She shook her once beautiful head and turned back to the street. It had been the war that had caused those injuries, that had taken away her youth, her beauty. Of course she couldn’t bear to even look at me; she probably still blamed me for it, so many people do.

    If only things had been different, I might still have friends, Angelina might be able to look at me, and every autumn might not be spent just watching. It’s my own fault, I know that, I just wish I could change it. Change my name, but no, I will always be myself.

    Draco Malfoy.
    Ridiculously short for a Russia drabble I know... but hey, that's a good thing right? being at 500 words exactly is bad for poor Hannah

    Russia xxxxx

  9. #9
    Title: Untitled
    Warnings: One use of mild language.
    Rating: 1st-2nd Years
    Word Count: 422
    Picture: Midnight autumn rain

    The rain had stopped; the wind was still; the moon was finally visible on its starry blanket. There was a certain calmness in the air, as if the world had been frozen in place. It was exactly the kind of night on which Ginny used to imagine the fairies coming out of hiding and throwing a grand ball, down among the pearly dew drops and tall, glittering blades of grass.

    As it was, she was almost surprised that the only person outside was a tall man wearing a dark cloak, the moonlight glinting off of his glasses. Ginny’s breath caught. Wordlessly, she opened the stable door and stepped out into the silent garden, her slipper-clad feet sinking deep into the earth.

    “Hey,” said Harry awkwardly, as though they were exchanging small-talk in Diagon Alley rather than meeting at midnight at the Burrow.

    “Where have you been?” Ginny asked at once, seizing the front of his robes angrily. “I haven’t seen you in weeks!”

    “I - away,” he replied evasively.

    “What? You can’t just disappear like that” - Ginny snapped her fingers to demonstrate the point - “and come back saying that you were away! Couldn’t you have written, or - or visited, or something? In fact, why didn’t you-”

    “Because I’m tired, Ginny!” Harry threw Ginny’s hands back at her and turned away, burying his hands in his over-long hair. “Every day, I go to another funeral, another counselling session, see how families have been torn apart - it’s all my fault! Mine! And I’m tired of it!” He broke off, sitting promptly down on a low wall. Sighing, Ginny perched herself next to him, drawing her threadbare dressing gown more closely around herself.


    “Don’t even say it, Ginny.”

    “It’s not your fault, none of it! It was all down to… to Voldemort.” She paused for a moment. “And we don’t blame you. Please, Harry, come back. Mum’s even stopped crying around the house. It’s been five months, after all.”

    Harry smiled thinly, shaking his head. “I don’t know…”

    “Oh, stop feeling so bloody sorry for yourself!” Ginny took hold of his shoulders and kissed him, quickly and firmly, on the mouth. “We want you here!”

    There was a pause, before Harry said, “Well, maybe I could stay for a little while…”

    “I knew you’d come around.” Ginny took his hand - they still fitted together perfectly - and led him into the warmth of the Burrow, leaving the fresh autumn night behind them. This time, their kiss lasted much longer.

  10. #10
    Second Year Ravenclaw
    Beset by Owls

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Title: What reinforcement we may gain from hope, if not what resolution from despair.
    Warnings: very slight AU
    Rating: 1st-2nd years
    Word Count: 499
    Picture: Autumn Framed

    Gellert Grindelwald walked slowly towards the light at the end of the tunnel. How ironic, he thought, that he should see it like that, he who never believed in an afterlife and saw heaven as an excuse for cowards to avoid doing what had to be done to create earthly paradise. Eyes accustomed to blackness stung at the fiery hue of the foliage that slowly became distinguishable through the threshold of the passage. For an instant Gellert was reminded of the flames that had ravaged the cities during the later part of the war, and after his contemplation on heaven he wondered if those flames might not be a vision of the Hell he deserved for setting them.

    But these were just leaves, he reminded himself. And though he knew he did not deserve it, he hoped that he might be absolved by the one person whose opinion had ever mattered.

    Albus was waiting in the yard, his robes wrapped close to keep out the cold; his wand, of course, had been taken at the gate and there was no reason to waste energy on heating spells for the inmates of Nurmengard. Besides, no spell could warm the chill in his withered right hand that had prompted him to make his voyage.

    The Gellert Grindelwald who met him was not the man he remembered, not his enemy from more than fifty nor his friend from nearly one hundred years ago. His blonde curls had been cropped, his once robust figure wasted, even his bright eyes dimmed.

    But he was still beautiful. Like the leaves of the trees around them, Gellert Grindelwald had already died to the world, and was now merely waiting to be swept away by the wind into his final oblivion, but like the autumn colors surpassed even the new green of spring, the face of this defeated man was even more beautiful than it had ever been when it was illuminated with youth and vigor.


    “Albus. May I enquire as to the occasion?”

    Albus shrugged. “It was time. I’m dying.” He unwrapped his withered hand from his cloak and lifted it for Gellert to see. The other party nodded in agreement.

    “I hope it was worth it.”

    “I have greater regrets.”

    “Which is why you’re here.”

    Albus smiled. Gellert would waste no time with tact; it was something he’d always admired.

    “I just wanted to say that I loved you, but could never say it.”

    “Well, I wanted to say that I was sorry. For Ariana. But it wouldn’t have made a difference.”

    Albus wasn’t sure if Gellert was referring to his own confession or that of his friend, but he supposed it was true in both cases. Spring leaves are more stubborn than autumn leaves, and will stay to their tree no matter how the wind blows.

    But Gellert’s spring had long been over, and the touch of his lips on Albus’ was as dry as the paper-thin sheets that rustled at their feet.

    Hey guys... it's been a while. I'm glad the weeklies are back, it's all I ever did anyway, and infrequently at that. Funny how I start writing again once I get back to school... Lots and lots of props to whoever knows what the title is from, and especially who's speaking. XD Anyway, huzzah for the return of the battles of the Broomsticks!

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