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Thread: Montly Drabble Challenges - 2007

  1. #181
    Name/Penname: Ana/katrin4p
    House: Ravenclaw
    Title: Sway to the samba
    Warnings: None.
    Words: 349

    “Carnaval?” asked Hermione curiously. “What is that?”

    “We’re not the only country doing it,” Mrs. Almeida explained. “However, we do it with style.”

    “How so?”

    “You’ll see,” Mrs. Almeida said with a mysterious smile. “Now go see Aline – she has got your costume ready already.”

    “Costume?” was all Hermione could ask before Mrs. Almeida closed the door on her face.


    Brazil, Hermione decided, was a worthwhile country to visit. She and her parents had stayed at a nice little penthouse, run by the Almeida family. Luckily, they knew English, mainly because Brazil was so close to the USA and Canada.

    And now they were being introduced to this wonderful new event in the Brazilian culture. Carnaval.

    Hermione had been shocked at the costume she’d have to wear. After taking one look at Aline’s, though, she knew she shouldn’t have been.

    Apparently, women danced practically naked on top of allegoric cars to the sound of samba. Aline’s dress didn’t cover her breasts. Hermione’s dress, luckily, did.

    And now it was the beginning of the evening and Hermione was on top of an allegoric car with Aline, nervously.

    “I don’t know how to dance the samba,” said Hermione nervously, expressing her concerns to Aline, Mr. and Mrs. Almeida daughter. “I’ll make a fool out of myself.”

    “No you won’t,” Aline said happily. “It’s easy! And besides, people only ever look to those who have almost nothing covering them.”

    Gulping, Hermione nodded.


    After all, she hadn’t needed to be nervous. It had all gone extremely well. Soon after the samba started, Hermione lost herself in the energetic music, even getting to the point of grabbing Aline and dancing the samba with her.

    She had seen several famous Brazilian celebrities dancing in allegoric cars near her and heard the excited squeals of Aline as she spotted them.

    She had lost control of her body, surrendering it to the samba rhythm and letting herself enjoy it. She saw people looking at her, but found she didn’t care.

    “Next year,” she said to Aline, “I want a costume like yours.”

    Aline just grinned.

  2. #182
    A Cappella
    Name/Penname: A Cappella
    House: Hufflepuff
    Title: The Cynic's Reward
    Warnings: ---
    Words: 499

    If it weren’t for the fact that he could make money from this escapade, Draco Malfoy wouldn’t be here in the first place. Wincing at the cacophony of sharp cymbals and drums, he tucked his face into his robe collar—a cold breeze was nipping at his ears and he was the only pale individual in a sea of black heads.

    A brilliantly red banner hung over his head: Happy Chinese New Year!

    Why these people were celebrating a new year at the beginning of February he wasn’t sure, but Draco did want his money.

    And why was there so much red? Groaning with the brightness of it all, Draco was painfully reminded of Slytherin’s rival house at Hogwarts; he despised those bloody Gryffindors.

    His foot caught on something and he stumbled for a brief moment. Looking down with disgust, he saw a tiny Chinese girl staring up at him with bright black eyes. In her hand were clutched several small, rectangular, red envelopes. Frowning, Draco watched her as she walked away, emptying several gold coins into her hand.

    That was it! He smirked and fought his way through the jostling crowd. An old woman was surrounded by a swarm of young children. She smiled happily and gave them each a red envelope.

    Once the children cleared, Draco briskly marched up to her. “Do you know if you can—“

    The elderly woman cocked her head and motioned to her ears, and then shook her head.

    “No, just let me explain.” He could feel impatience edging at him.

    Still shaking her head, the senior patted his arm and smiled, her eyes squinting into horizontal lines.

    “She doesn’t understand English.” The voice came from behind him; he whirled around, and then started in surprise; the girl speaking looked almost like Cho Chang.

    Draco regained his composure quickly. “I was just wondering if I could get some of that money you’re dishing out,” he drawled, lip curling.

    The girl seemed affronted by his demand. “Technically, you can’t receive red packets if you’re married.”

    For once, he was thankful he was single. “I’m not,” he said eagerly, eyes glinting.

    Hesitating, the girl walked towards the elderly woman, who was once again holding out red packets to the young ones. An exchange of strange-sounding syllables left Draco confused as he attempted to glean information from their conversation.

    Finally, the girl beckoned to him.

    He held out his hand eagerly and she handed him a red packet, this one embroidered with a golden Chinese word. “Here’s one for you. Happy Chinese New Year.”

    Draco took the red packet and sauntered away before opening it. He emptied the contents into his hand, laughing mirthfully as two coins tumbled out.

    They were extremely light.

    Scowling suspiciously, he took a coin with two fingers and tried to bend it. It broke in half easily, the gold surface breaking—it was foil. And underneath?

    With a snarl, he threw the coins to the ground.

    He hated chocolate, anyways.

  3. #183
    Name/Penname: Weasleyboyfreak
    House: Hufflepuff
    Title: Christmas with the Grangers
    Warnings: None
    Words: 500

    I hope a wizard in the Muggle culture works for this!

    “Come on, Ron, you promised you’d come spend the Christmas holiday at my house this year!” Hermione said, pulling the stubborn redhead down the charming path to the house.

    The cold evening met the couple with gentle snowflakes as they walked down the path. The frigid air caused their breath to form light clouds of vapor that appeared inches away from their noses.

    “But I’ve never had Christmas with Muggles before!” Ron said, his face was slightly pale. “What if your parents don’t like me?”

    “I’ve told them loads about you and they can’t wait to meet you, Ron. A Muggles Christmas isn’t all that different from yours,” Hermione assured him, coming to the front door. “Just think of it as a cultural experience!”

    “Murder me,” Ron muttered under his breath, entering the house with his fiancé.


    “It’s time for the annual Granger family tradition!” Mr. Granger said, standing up from the table after a lovely ham dinner.

    “The what?” Ron whispered to Hermione nervously.

    “We are just decorating the Christmas tree and reading a book, Ron,” Hermione giggled, taking his hand and leading him to the sitting room.

    Ron looked at the scene in front of him in shock, he had never seen anything that didn’t light up on its own. Not only did the light for the tree have to be plugged into a wall, but the Christmas ornaments didn’t have animated scenes.

    “What do you do with this?” Ron asked, picking up the strand of lights as if were about to attack him.

    “You put them on the tree,” Hermione giggled, taking the lights out of Ron’s hand. “They work like candles except they run with electricity.”

    “Ewticy?” Ron said, jumping slightly as the lights turned on.

    “Here, you can put a bulb on the tree,” Mrs. Granger said, handing him a bulb.

    “What kind of ornament is this? There’s no scene, no memory!” he responded looking perplexed. Ron cautiously help to decorate the remainder of the tree.

    “Now it’s time to read, ‘The Night Before Christmas’!” Hermione beamed, taking a seat on the couch in between her parents. “I’ll start! ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house…’”

    Ron listened to the story, a look of disgust on his face. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

    “What’s the matter?” Hermione asked, seeing the look on his face as they finished reading.

    “This ‘Santa Clause’ sounds like a real nutter! I mean that book makes him sound as if he’s some bloke that breaks into peoples houses through the floo network! Then, what the bloody hell is a reindeer? And I though the elves in History of Magic class had odd names! I would be standing with my wand at the ready waiting to blast the great prat into oblivion! I wouldn’t want some over weight elf coming to my flat and using Unforgivable Curse on my family!” Ron said, shaking his head.

    “Ron, you’re a unique individual,” Hermione laughed, shaking her head in disbelief.

  4. #184
    Name/Penname: Pondering
    House: Ravenclaw
    Title: Dance With a Fairy
    Warnings: None
    Words: 499

    Dudley knew he should have never accepted the invite to a Wizarding wedding. Every time someone even remotely magical looked at him for more than a second, he somehow had the sinking feeling that they knew there was something quite different about him. After a lifetime of fitting in, he was the odd one out here.

    Still, Harry had insisted that Dudley be present for the wedding, even suggesting that it could be quite interesting. Eventually, it was the pleading tone in his cousin’s voice that wore him down, or so he liked to tell himself. He didn’t want to admit that he was actually curious about how wizards might conduct their weddings, and he had quite enough interesting experiences with magic for a lifetime.

    His hand sneaked around his back to make sure he didn’t have a tail before he could stop himself.

    Shaking his head, he stumbled around the courtyard. What his cousin hadn’t told him was that Wizard weddings were entirely too loud. But as he looked at all the zany costumes, he wondered that it might be because all his friends were entirely too normal.

    The bright lights strung from tree to tree looked at him straight in the eyes as if they were judging him, but Dudley knew that was ridiculous. At least, he thought it was ridiculous until the lights started moving.

    “What the hell?” he asked himself. He knew wizards had many strange and weird things, but he could truly not see the novelty in moving lights.

    “They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” a soft voice asked, coming up behind him. He turned to look at her; a pretty Asian girl with long black hair. On her back, she seemed to be wearing a pair of wings.

    Dudley noted that he was meant to be looking at the lights, rather than the girl, and stumbled through his response to the question. “We-well…what are they?”

    “You don’t know what they are?” However, she seemed to be more interested in trying to secretly eye his cousin and his new wife, who were dancing in a corner. “They’re fairies. I took inspiration from them to design my costume for tonight.” She fingered the tip of one wing while throwing the happy couple a furtive glance over her shoulder.

    “I’m sorry,” Dudley said insincerely. Couldn’t she tell, the same way he had felt everyone else tell, that he didn’t really fit in here? “I’m…a Muggle,” he admitted.

    “Oh,” the girl said, “I’m Cho Chang. How…did you come here?” she asked tactfully, but her eyes showed a deeper curiosity.

    “Harry. My cousin,” he told her, and then, she seemed even more interested.

    She gestured in the direction of the dance floor. “Want to dance?” she asked, because it seemed more interesting than staring at each other’s faces all day long.

    Dudley didn’t really know what to reply to that, but felt slightly giddy at the thought that tonight; he would have the opportunity to dance with a fairy.

  5. #185
    Words:*ahem* 536.

    ‘What’s that plant on your door, Hermione?’ Ron asked his wife uncertainly.

    ‘It’s a holly reef, Ron,’ Hermione sighed. ‘It’s a Muggle Christmas decoration, now come on, let’s get inside, it’s freezing.’

    As Ron rolled his eyes, Hermione stepped inside the Granger’s home, Ron following behind, looking around the hallway curiously.

    ‘We’re home!’ Hermione shouted, removing her coat.

    Soon Ron was being pulled into a hug by Mr and Mrs Granger and dragged into the living room, only to see a tree covered with sparkly things and flashing lights and more sparkly things draped over the walls. His eyes hurt as he looked around the room at all the glitter.

    ‘Hermione,’ he whispered to his wife, who was gazing at the Christmas tree and congratulating her father on what a wonderful job he had done on it. She turned to Ron. ‘Why do you have a tree in your house?’ he asked, staring at the brightly decorated tree which took up almost an entire side of the room. Hermione laughed.

    ‘It’s a Christmas tree, Ron! Muggles get fake trees and bring them inside for Christmas, and we put tinsel and baubles and all sorts of things on them for decoration.’

    Ron shook his head. ‘What is it with Muggles and plants at Christmastime,’ he muttered.

    ‘Oh don’t be such a Scrooge,’ Hermione said.

    ‘A what?’ said Ron.

    After watching a very well-spoken old lady with neat, grey hair and golden crown talk on the television for half an hour (Ron didn’t even try to understand this Christmas tradition) Ron was soon sat down at the dinner table, which was covered in the Granger’s best table-wear and red and green crackers. Ron was glad to finally see something familiar, and picked up the cracker with enthusiasm.

    ‘Come on,’ he said eagerly to Hermione who tugged on the other end of the cracker. But compared to the extravagant wizard crackers, these Muggle versions were extremely disappointing to Ron, who expected to have to pull with all his might for the cracker to pop, and fell off his chair with the force of his pull.

    Ron appeared back at the table, red faced and grumpy, moodily accepting a bright pink, paper hat from Hermione, who paced it on his head only to receive a stony glare from Ron.

    Ron tucked in to the food, gathering up as many Brussels sprouts, chicken legs, carrots, mashed potatoes and turkey as he could and stuffing it all in his mouth.

    ‘So, Ronald,’ Mr Granger said, still laughing heartily at a joke Mrs Granger had just read him from a cracker, ‘how different is our Christmas from your usual celebrations?’

    Ron tried to speak but instead sprayed gravy and turkey over Mr Granger. With an enormous swallow that left him quite dry in the throat, he answered Mr Granger.

    ‘Oh, er,’ he stammered. He wasn’t sure how to answer. ‘Well, quite similar, I suppose. We don’t have plants in our houses or watch old people talk to us on the television, but other than that it’s the same.’

    Ron gulped as his reply was followed by silence from the Granger family, and felt that it was going to be a very long night.

  6. #186
    Name/Penname: leahsm2
    House: SLYTHERIN
    Title: "Here We Come a Wassailing!"
    Warnings: None
    Words: 500

    Charlie Weasley stretched out his legs, luxuriating in the warmth of the covers. The coldness of the Romanian winter was finally beginning to feel normal to him, but he still had some mornings when all he wanted to do was stay in bed.

    When he had first come to Romania, he had stayed out at the compound built at the base of the mountain where the largest dragon population was found. He lived in a little tent like most of the other foreign workers. That first winter had been brutal. The following spring, he’d found a small rooming house in a pretty Romanian Muggle town not far from the mountain. The old couple that ran the place were nice, and didn’t pry into things, so Charlie was very secure there. Until today. Charlie was idly looking around his room when he noticed it. His Nimbus Two Thousand was gone! He jumped out of bed and searched the Spartan room, levitating the chair and desk and chest of drawers with his wand and looking under and around and beside everything in his room. Gone!

    He had paid a fortune for it when he had gotten this job. The only real splurge he had ever made in his life. He didn’t use it too often, but on occasions he and some of the other workers would play pick-up games of Quidditch. It was still his most prized possession. Every week he would wax the handle, and make sure the straw ends were kept well oiled and remained supple. He tightened all the bolts and checked that the foot attachments were on securely. He even tested it with his wand to make sure all of the safety enchantments stayed up to code.

    Just as he was about to totally freak out, he heard the noise. It was coming from the street. It was faint at first, but then it became stronger. It was singing! Charlie threw on his robe and went to the small window, which faced towards the narrow street. There was a group of the villagers, mostly children, going from house to house singing carols. He had heard of this custom from some of the other workers, but hadn’t thought much about it. But then he noticed it. His landlord, leading the small procession up the street. He was carrying a large stick with a painted wooden star. There were bells and ribbons hanging from the foot attachments of the stick. . . Foot attachments? Charlie was dumbfounded! Apparently the little old man had borrowed his Nimbus Two Thousand to lead the caroling procession! Charlie knew that the Muggles were safe, since they can’t do magic, but he couldn’t imagine this being good for his Nimbus.

    When the man returned, he sheepishly returned Charlie’s broom, which Charlie made sure was not damaged. Even so, he made an excuse to the couple and that very day moved back to the little tent in the compound built at the base of the mountain.

  7. #187
    Name: Gin_Drinka
    House: Hufflepuff
    Title: An Out of Season Carnival
    Warnings: None
    Words: 499

    Bill was highly amused by the way his childhood pen-pal talked. The Brazilian accent was hilarious. And it couldn’t hurt that Otávio was naturally rather hilarious. He had a tendency to shout instead of talke and shorten every word he said as much as possible.

    He’d decided to visit Brazil and forget the fight he’d gotten into with Otávio years ago. He was making his own money at Gringotts, and making quite a bit of it. He could afford this trip. For a week now they had been going from stunning beach to stunning beach. There seemed to be an endless amount of stunning beaches in Brazil.

    But n this particular night, Bill found himself in a taxi on his way to some sort of event in one of the interior towns. His friend didn’t have a car, only a bike, and Bill didn’t fit on it comfortably, so they were taking a taxi.

    “Tell me where it is we’re going again,” he muttered to Otávio as the taxi driver told them in high spirits how he’d gotten mugged the other day.

    “We’re going do a micareta. Stops asking me dees.”

    “Sorry, it’s just such a funny word. What exactly is a micareta You keep saying, ‘You’ll see’. Tell me something.”

    “Fine. A micareta is sort of like an out of season, local, Carneeval. There’ll be a band dat plays happy, sensual axé music design-ed to get us of our feed, lots of people, drinks and kissing.”

    Bill frowned. “Kissing? Is this for couples or something?”

    Otávio laughed. “You’ll see.”

    When they arrived, Bill saw it looked like a very large concert. There were tons of people, all shouting excitedly at each other. He was introduced to his pen-buddy’s friends, all of whom shouted greetings at him and there was a little too much hugging and cheek-kissing to unsettle him. They were all of a flutter over his hair, asking whether it was actually real. Then they offered him some nasty beer and they all attempted to carry on conversation in English, at which they happily failed colossally.

    Soon the music had started, and Bill could recognize that the band members didn’t have great voices, but the energy was amazing. They jumped and ran around the stage as if there were no such thing as ‘tired’. And nobody in the audience stayed still. Otávio’s group was all shouting along to the music, jumping in circles and clapping their hands.

    Bill was beginning to really enjoy this new, exotic and incomparable atmosphere of companionship, turned to his friend to tell him so, and was greatly stunned to see a girl he’d never seen before clinging to Otávio’s lips.

    “Who was that?” he demanded once the girl had walked away, unfazed.

    “An… droga, I forgot to ask.”

    Bill gaped. He may be quite liberal himself, but this was new. “Seriously?”

    “Would you lik-y me to find someone for you?” Otávio offered kindly.

    Bill shook his head. Brazil was a funny place.
    *droga means drugs in some contexts, but here it means 'crap'.
    *axé is a type of dance, characteristic of the state of Bahia, and any beach area.
    *micareta really is an out of season, local Carnival

    I did my best to try and represent the brazilian accent, but I don't think it came out so great.

  8. #188
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
    I See Dead People... In Mirrors

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Name: kehribar
    House: Gryffindor
    Title: Mum Doesn't Need to Know
    Warnings: None
    Words: 500

    *Kına: A nightly ceremony only for women, both a celebration and a farewell to a young girl who is to be married off. It is a night of both sorrow – for “giving away” the girl to another family, and celebration.

    Molly looked over the crowd, and there Ginny was, her head thrown back with laughter as a couple of girls tried to teach her some folk-dance figures.

    At least, one of them was having fun.

    The Weasleys were on their way to Egypt, and they currently stayed in a small hostel in southern Anatolia. When the young girl Ginny had befriended invited them to a kına*, she had been so excited that Molly couldn’t refuse. However, now that they were here, she was having second thoughts. The music was too loud, and yet, the chatter of the dozens of women suppressed the tingles of strings and drums.

    She blinked in surprise when the music abruptly stopped. The chatter dropped to whispers as the lights went out. Molly looked around in confusion, her hand instinctively reaching for her wand, but she stopped when the women in the room began to sing, in low, gentle tones, a folk song. Apprehension growing, Molly listened to the sad melody accompanying lyrics she did not understand. She watched, mesmerized, as the girls formed a tunnel by raising their hands in which each of them held a candle. A slander figure, covered in layers of red tulle, walked gracefully beneath the passage of lights and onto a platform, where she lowered herself on a low stool. Molly stole a glance around the room only to find the women’s eyes bright with tears. Bemused, she watched an old woman walk up to the platform as the young girls formed a circle around the woman in red. The old woman took out from a pot a greenish, mud-like substance, put it into the younger one’s palms and covered them with two pieces of cloth. Then, she gently pulled back the veil covering the young woman’s face, only to reveal that she had been crying.

    Before Molly understood anything, the music was back on, and everyone was on her feet, forming a large circle, dancing, even more wildly than before.

    She had to get out of here.

    It was a few minutes later that Molly saw a girl approaching Ginny and offering her the greenish substance. Ginny eagerly held out her palm, causing Molly to jump from her seat and run over them.

    “Ginny – no – I forbid --”

    Ginny turned so sharply that her hair whipped her face. “Mum, it’s just henna,” she whispered angrily. “It wears off in time!”

    Before Molly could reply, the girl applied the henna to Ginny’s palm and covered it with a piece of cloth. Ginny grinned excitedly as she thanked her.

    Later that night, Molly promised herself never to complain about their own wedding traditions. She raised an eyebrow at Ginny, who was holding her covered hand over her heart, smiling to herself. Funnily enough, no one had told Molly that the henna was a mark for young girls that they were suitable candidates for marriage, and that it was applied with a prayer that they’d marry the one their heart chose.
    Definitely not the best drabble I've written >.>
    The Run of the Mill

    The phenomenal banner is by MissBean

  9. #189
    Aaaand, finally, we have some winners. You guys all did a great job and I had fun learning about some of the interesting celebrations you wrote about!

    First Place:

    Mum doesn't need to know by kehribar

    Excellent characterization of Molly and some great imagery/description that takes the reader there!

    Second Place:

    Christmas with the Grangers by Weasleyboyfreak

    Perfectly normal assumptions for a Wizard to make and that makes it more and more funny!

    Third place:

    The Cynic's Reward by A Capella

    It was great, though I would have liked to know why Draco was so desperate for money.

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