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Thread: The Brawl ~ WEEK 11 Results and FINAL WEEK~

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    The Brawl ~ WEEK 11 Results and FINAL WEEK~

    WELCOME, BRAWLERS!


    I hope you're feeling brave. I hope you're feeling reckless. I hope you've cleaned your wands and polished your quills .... because today ...

    THE BRAWL BEGINS


    Over the next few weeks you will be taken on a journey more dangerous than taking the Death Eater oath, more fiendish that the Triwizard Maze, sadder by far than Lily appearing out of Harry's wand, and (hopefully) less boring than wandering around the country in a tent smelling of cats.


    A recap of the rules can be found here

    And I wish to bring your attention to this --->

    If you fail to submit a drabble without letting me know, then I could be forced to invoke previous barmaidly ebil powers and disqualify you from the next Brawl competition. (Round 5)

    Extensions cannot be given to anyone. I MUST have your drabble by Thursday 8pm (GMT) every week. The only exception to this will be if all your barmaids are having RL issues and/or internet problems.

    For your information:-GMT= Greenwich Mean Time. Use this converter here, if you're unsure of the time difference. The Barmaids are NOT your time zone clerks!

    Send all drabbles to Equinox Chick. If, by any chance, my inbox is full, then contact me via the Ask the Barmaid thread here, which is also where you should direct any questions about this competition.


    List of ne'er do wells

    Slytherin =3
    theopaleye
    melody93
    coolh5000


    Hufflepuff =11
    hestiajones
    Weasley Mom
    Sainyn Swiftfoot
    AidaLuthien
    minnabird
    Cinderella Angelina
    Apollonious
    Gwendalynne
    inspirations
    majestic ginny
    h_ vic


    Ravenclaw= 5
    MissMeg
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
    Olive Oil Med
    Mugglemathdork
    Midnight Storm


    Gryffindor = 6
    FlightOfSong
    FawkesToTheRescue
    Sapphire at Dawn
    Welshdevondragon
    Karaley Dargen
    Maple and PheonixFeather


    ~~~~~~~

    Prompt 1 -

    Because on Tuesday he’ll be thirty-one, your first prompt is

    Ronald Bilius Weasley

    And this picture

    How you choose to incorporate the prompts is up to you, but both need to feature in your drabble and not be a passing reference. It is for the voters to decide if you have done a good job. Drabbles must be sent to me (Equinox Chick) by Thursday 3rd March 8PM GMT



    GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL


    The Barmaids


    EDIT: Wow I was so excited that I forgot the form - oops. Please include this with your drabble.

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  2. #2
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    I need to draw your attention to a small amendment to the rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brawl rules
    6. The contestant with the least amount of points will be eliminated, given a pat on the head, some points, and can no longer participate, whilst everyone else moves on to the next challenge thus having survived! Participation points will only be given to brawlers who send their drabbles in on time. If I have to disqualify you then no points will be given.
    EDIT: [28th February 2010] It may be necessary to have more than one contestant eliminated each week. It is largely dependant on participation, but it will be made clear how many will be leaving when the polls are posted.
    ~Carole~
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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    The drabbles are all in for this week and only one person did not submit, but fear not, Brawlers, for we have been joined by the fearsome Leahsm2 who has jumped into the arena to fill the void.

    Will everyone now read the drabbles and vote for their favourite drabble and their least favourite. When reading, please bear in mind the prompt as well as the usual MNFF submission guidelines. Both should be important in your decision.
    I’d love it if you could encourage everyone to vote, but don’t tell them which drabble you’ve written. There’s an honour system in place here, but us barmaids often hear things, so any whispers of skulduggery and you’ll be out on your ear!

    Follow this link here to vote.

    EDIT: Due to some sort of Nargle, the first question is 'Which is your LEAST favourite drabble?' Make sure you read the questions properly.

    Voting closes Sunday 6th March at 3pm GMT. There will be TWO people leaving us this week.

    ~Madam Carmerta~



    Title: All Grown Up
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years, none
    Word Count: 499
    Author's Note:

    “Dad! Hugo hit me!”

    “Did not!”

    “Did so!”

    “Enough!” shouted Ron, clutching his head. “Rose,” he began, “Don’t bother your brother while – ”

    “But he started it!” Rose wailed. Hugo stuck his tongue out when he thought his father’s back was turned.

    “I don’t care who started it,” said Ron, giving Hugo a stern look.

    “But Dad –!”

    “I don’t care!” Ron repeated, raising his voice. “I’m ending it. Both of you, to your rooms! When will you ever learn to grow up?”

    Hugo immediately raced upstairs, scared of further punishment. Whereas Rose banged her feet on every step, screaming about how “Hugo’s the favorite child” and “nobody listens to me”. Ron waited for her to reach her bedroom before sighing, then wandered outside to the lake by the house.

    Ron ambled up and down on the rocks, stopping now and then to study a particularly curious-looking pebble or stone. Whenever he came out here, everything went calm for a while. It sounded corny, but he often thought of this spot by the lake as his spot, his own special place where all his troubles could just disappear.

    For the first time in awhile now, Ron had time just to think. He thought about how Hugo would begin Hogwarts that autumn, and remembered how nervous he had been right before he tried on the Sorting Hat. He almost laughed as he remembered Fred and George’s stories about how painful the Sorting was. How had time gone so fast?

    Rose came home from her first year at Hogwarts a proud Gryffindor, full of excitement and stories to tell about getting lost, secret passageways, and the new friends she’d made. Rose had even invited one of those new friends, Rachel Whethers, to spend a week with them during the holidays. Rachel was Muggle-born, and she had been astounded by the many magical toys Rose had, and the way Hermione could knit sweaters for S.P.E.W. by magic. Ron had recalled the way Harry had been the first time he visited the Burrow, marveling over the tiniest things of which Ron had never taken much notice.

    There was no doubt about it, Ron missed his school days – exploring the castle with Harry and Hermione, visiting Hagrid and Fang, going to Hogsmeade at the weekends – but it gave him much pleasure to know that Rose had fun at Hogwarts, and Hugo was so eager to begin his first year. Ron once again wondered how time could have possibly flown by so fleetingly.

    He was so lost in thought he didn’t hear his wife come up behind him until she was standing right there. He felt Hermione touch his arm, and quickly took her hand in his. Ron looked down at her and gave a small smile, and she gently squeezed his fingers. They stood there awhile, holding hands and watching the treetops across the lake dance with the wind.

    Ron realized how time had gone so quickly. . .Simply put, he had grown up.

    Title: Her
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years
    Word Count: 285

    “Padma told me she saw Ron by himself,down by the lake. Maybe he’s upset about the break-up too.” I pick my head up from my pillow long enough to glare at Parvati with my bloodshot eyes.

    “Why should he be upset?” Tears begin flowing down my face again. “He was up in his dormitory with her! He doesn’t care about me!”

    “You should go talk to him, I’m sure it was just a misunderstanding.” Parvati strokes my tangled hair.

    “You think so?” I slowly sit up and rub my sore eyes.

    “Of course, nobody who’s seen you two together could doubt that he loves you.”

    “Really?” I rub my eyes again.

    “Yeah,” Parvati croons.

    “What about her?” I whisper.

    “What could he possibly see in her? You’re so much prettier, Lavender. She’s just jealous of you.”

    I roll up from my bed and rub off my face. Parvati brushes out my long blonde hair and braids it, as I reapply my make-up. Parvati’s right. She probably lured him up into the dormitory with her to make me jealous. She’s always thought she was better than me. I bet she was just jealous Ron loves me. Parvati’s right. Poor Won-Won was a victim.

    I walk out of the dormitory and down to the lake, reassured of his love. I see a figure next to the water and call out. Nobody turns. Maybe it isn’t him. As I get closer I see my Won-Won, only he isn’t alone. He’s with her. I turn around and run back to Gryffindor tower. I fall back onto my unmade bed. He doesn’t love me anymore. I try to smother my tears in my pillow again. He really loves her, not me!


    Title: A Brief Interruption
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years; none.
    Word Count: 333
    Author's Note:

    He looks out at the water and wonders how long it would take to swim around the world and back again. The waves move in and out, painting the stones with a glaring white sheen and he can hear Hermione in the distance calling his name but he does not reply. She knows where he is. He’ll join her soon.

    His hands are shoved deep in his pockets and suddenly he feels like an insecure fourteen year-old boy sulking about the corridors of Hogwarts as Hermione snogs that prat Krum in some dusty classroom. He bites his lip to stop the grin at the memory. But his hands turn to fists at the cool dusky breeze and there is something warm and hard wrapped around his fingers that was not there all those years ago. It wasn’t there the day before either and yet it feels like it was always meant to be a part of him.

    Ron, stop being such a sap!

    Ron smiles at the interruption and this time it’s not Hermione’s voice but a voice he hasn’t heard since that black night when Hogwarts crumbled and everything changed. The waves move in and out, painting the stones with a darkening sheen of something more sinister. There had been someone missing yesterday. Someone he had resented for a lot of his life, someone he had admired, someone who had nearly killed him with an Unbreakable Vow, and, most of all, someone he loved. Only, now he realises that his brother was there all along.

    Ron’s grin spreads further as he thinks of Fred.

    “Oh, shut up,” he whispers to the waves. “You can talk. I saw you that time you let Angelina drag you into Madam Puddifoot’s.”

    Hermione is calling him again and he turns away toward the sound of her voice. The water moves in and out, and above the waves, not one, but two sets of laughter are carried on the breeze. All around the world and back again.

    Title: Need
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd, none
    Word Count: 170

    Ron stood at the edge of the water, looking out over the vast churning sea. He stood there, just watching the water turn over, wind whipping his hair. The sea mirrored the world outside of his sanctuary, everything being mixed up, the situation rough.

    He wasn’t proud of it, running from his best friends like that. It wasn’t that he was coward; it was that he had a temper - a temper that he couldn’t seem to control. He knew that he was wrong. He had no reason to be mad, no reason to leave. It scared him knowing that he didn’t know what was going on with Harry and Hermione. He figured they were alright, they hadn’t been discovered, that he knew, but he didn’t like not knowing where they were, what they had accomplished.

    Ron sighed and looked at his shoes. He was ashamed of himself. He took a deep breath and looked back over the water. He needed to get back. They needed him – he needed them.
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  4. #4
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    Title: Thirty One
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years/None
    Word Count: 309
    Author's Note:

    Thirty one …

    Skip … skip … skip … plop.

    Thirty one …

    Another pebble followed the first, skipping out across the waves and then sinking, well, like a stone.

    Ron Weasley hadn't minded turning thirty really. There'd been a big party, and for once, he'd been centre of attention, but turning thirty one was different. It was quieter for a start, being out here on his own on the beach, not to mention that, whilst thirty was almost like a little pocket of time in and of itself, thirty one put him firmly in his thirties, and that was a little daunting.

    That made him a real adult.

    Of course by most people's standards, he'd probably been a real adult for quite some time: he had a wife, two kids and a mortgage (all he needed it seemed was a dog to complete the full set). The thing was though he didn't really seem himself as a proper grown up.

    His parents, now they were properly old.

    He wasn't.

    Sometimes, he still felt like he was eighteen. His Keeper's reflexes were still good, and there was no grey in his hair, but thirty one just made him wonder how much longer that would be the case.

    He sighed and stared at the murky grey, churning water.

    The thing was though that being older had his advantages too. If he was honest, he didn't fancy going back to being told what to do and having raging hormones make a fool of him. He liked the comfort in his own skin and in his own life that had come with age and security.

    He knew he was being ridiculous now, and he didn't have being too young to blame anymore, so he figured he'd go home and chase around with Hugo; that would prove to himself that he wasn't old.

    Title: The Chase
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd/5th years. / Violence? ish?
    Word Count: 498
    Author's Note: Action and angst. Who'd'a thunk?

    Stupefy!

    Ron dodged Harry’s falling body. There was no time to stop and help him.

    Even worse, it was all up to Ron now. Four of them had been sent to investigate a sighting of Travers in a small village on the coast of Wales, but they had got more than they bargained for when they found not only Travers, but Alecto and Amycus Carrow. Travers alone would have been dangerous, but manageable; with the Carrows’ help, the scales had quickly turned against the Aurors.

    Alecto turned to gasp out a spell; Ron deflected it. He had to throw himself to the ground to avoid a second attack, this one from Travers. Ron scrambled back up, panting. Travers was too clever, that was the trouble. Harry and Ron had been forced to leave Williamson and Merrythought behind, but the fact that they’d lost Amycus worried Ron more.

    Alecto tripped, and Travers whirled to fire a flurry of spells at Ron while she picked herself back up. Ron was glad for probably the thousandth time that he was a crack hand at Shield Charms.

    Alecto started running again; Travers and Ron followed. Ron knew his best bet was to take Travers out, but he was having trouble mustering enough breath to shout spells. Still, if he could stop the two of them running, maybe he’d have a shot. Here goes nothing, he thought, crying, “Confringo!

    The ground exploded in front of the Death Eaters. Alecto skidded and fell into the resulting ditch. Travers had thrown himself to the ground instinctively.

    As Travers began to push himself up, Ron sent a Stunning Spell at him. Travers promptly slumped back down. Then Alecto heaved herself out of the ditch and raised her wand. Ron instinctively shouted, “Protego!

    But instead of attacking him, Alecto had revived Travers. “Come on,” he heard her growling. “Nearly there.” The pair of them got to their feet and took off running. Nearly where? Ron wondered frantically.

    They were now very near the crest of a hill that sloped down to the sea. Ron fired a Stunner at Travers and Alecto. The former deflected it as Alecto shouted, “Now!” Ron dove to the ground, the rebounding spell narrowly missing him, and knew for a heart-pounding second the certainty that he couldn’t stop whatever spell was coming.

    No spell came, and Ron opened his eyes to find Alecto and Travers mounting brooms, with Amycus already in flight. Ron fumbled for his dropped wand, found it, and stood, but it was too late. The Death Eaters launched into the air. Ron half-ran, half-fell down the hill after them as they picked up speed,
    casting spells with everything he had. By the time he reached the pebbly shore, they were out of range.

    Ron watched, boiling with frustration, as they receded into tiny dots. “Why?” he shouted viciously. “Why am I never good enough?”

    He let himself go limp. “Why couldn’t it have been me who got Stunned?” he whispered.

    Title: Reflection by the Sea
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years / None
    Word Count: 388
    Author's Note: Maybe everyone had the same idea I did.

    Shell Cottage was okay, but Ron couldn't stand it. He felt caged by the small rooms and haunted by the sound of wind coming in from the sea. He walked into the kitchen where Fleur was making dinner and Bill was reading the Prophet.

    "How do I get to the shore?" he asked. "Besides jumping off the cliff."

    "I don't recommend that method," Bill said. "I'll show you a way." He put down the paper -- Ron could see a picture of Harry on the front page -- and walked outside with him.

    "If you follow that path there, you'll find a little place where you can get to the water." Bill paused and looked closely at his brother. "If you're not back for dinner I'll come after you."

    "That's fine," Ron said. "It's chilly enough I won't want to stay out long." He nodded at Bill then sauntered down the path. As soon as he was out of Bill's sight he broke into a run, not stopping all the way down the cliff until he reached the rocks at the edge of the sea.

    "Not that Bill really thinks I'd throw myself off the cliff," he muttered, picking up a rock and throwing it in. "That wouldn't do any good."

    He gathered up a handful of rocks and began chucking them, one by one. Christmas was only a few days away. He could almost taste his Mum's pie and see the Christmas tree lit up. But he could see, even more clearly, a desolate little tent in the middle of nowhere. Had Hermione thought to put up decorations, or did it look the same as always?

    His last pebble thrown, Ron rubbed the spot where he fingernails used to be, and stared out over the water. As always, he wondered how they were getting on. He missed Hermione so much his eyes hurt, and hated feeling that he'd failed Harry. He vacillated between hoping they were fine without him and hoping they did actually miss him.

    "I'll find a way back," he promised. "We'll find each other again, and I won't fail you."

    He turned to go back up the path, walking slowly. He'd find them, and he'd take Hermione in his arms and never let her go, and then -- then they would win.

    Title: Growing up
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years.
    Word Count: 455

    I stood in the surf, enjoying the cool wash of waves against my bare feet. I sunk into the wet sand, my anger slowly draining from me at the mercy of the gentle sea.

    The sky was grey, sullen, reflecting the feelings inside me. I turned my head slightly, so that I could see Shell Cottage up on the cliff. Fleur was just a silhouette to me, looking through the kitchen window. I knew it was her, even from this distance.

    Crunch crunch crunch.

    Pulled from my reverie by the sound of heavy footsteps approaching on the shingle, I glanced around yet again. Ron. I looked away, and watched in my peripheral vision as he came and stood beside me in the surf. I resisted the urge to smile at the sight of my little brother standing in his shoes and jeans, the water soaking him.

    ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself,’ he sighed.

    I let his comment sink in, then looked at him. He returned my gaze, staring me straight in the eye. ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about,’ I countered finally. Turning, I slid my wet feet into my shoes and started walking away.

    Ron, unperturbed as ever, fell into step beside me. He laughed, harsh and bitter. ‘You don’t have a clue, Bill.’

    ‘You ran away from your friends, Ron, when they needed you. Don’t tell me about my life.’

    His voice rose. ‘Yes, and I know I made a mistake! You don’t have to keep reminding me! But you’re no better.’

    ‘I know better.’

    ‘No you don’t! If you did, you wouldn’t be throwing a tantrum right now over something so pathetic. Get over yourself -- nobody thinks any less of you, but they think less of me.’

    ‘You’re right; they do think less of you.’

    ‘You’re not a werewolf, Bill. And if you do become a werewolf, Fleur will still love you. God, she doesn’t care about that side of you at all.’

    I stopped and looked at him. No, he still appeared to be my brother, the same one I‘ve known for seventeen years. Unravelling a little at the edges, but ultimately only my little brother, only little Ronnie. ‘When did you get so deep?’ I asked.

    His lips jutted out in a sulky expression more characteristic of him. ‘I didn’t “get deep”. I grew up. I grew up when I ran away. Something I wish I could forget or change, if only you’d let me.’

    ‘I haven’t said anything.’

    ‘It’s your expression!’ he snapped huffily, striding in the direction of the cottage. I followed his progress with my eyes, and then sighed, stepping after him. However wrong he might usually be, I hoped this time he’s right.
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    Title: Sand Castles
    Rating/Warnings: 1st/2nd Years — Character Death, Epilogue? What Epilogue?
    Word Count: 484
    Author’s Note: It’s not completely E?WE?, but I thought a warning was in order just in case.

    “I booked us a holiday,” Hermione said as she balanced three-year-old Hugo on her hip. “It’s a private beach in Cornwall with a nice little cottage.”

    Not looking up from the Exploding Eclair he was trying to perfect, Ron mumbled, “Sounds nice.”


    The pebble skimmed the surface of the water before it began its inevitable plunge into the depths of the sea. It had taken hours for Ron to be able to get a stone to skip more than a couple times before sinking, but he had kept at it until he could finally get some decent distance.

    “Ron, will you please do something other than throw rocks?”

    “Like what?”

    “Try playing with your son. Teach him to build a sand castle.”

    With a scoff, Ron said, “
    I can’t even build a sand castle.”

    It was ten years to the day since they had been there. The holiday had only lasted two days before being cut short. He never blamed Hermione for booking the holiday, just like she had never blamed him for what had ended it, but he also knew that they both blamed themselves for what they didn’t have the guts to blame one another for. And it all started with a potty break.

    “Where’s Hugo?” Hermione asked as she returned to the beach with Rose.

    Tossing one last stone before turning to his wife, Ron said, “I thought he went with you.”

    Hermione blanched.


    Magic could do a lot of things — almost anything, according to Hermione. It could help build a house in a matter of hours and demolish it with the flick of a wrist; it could make someone warm in the coldest conditions; it could help someone breathe underwater. And in a dangerous situation, it could be activated by someone’s basest survival instincts and save that person’s life. But not always, not every time. His son had been too small and his magic too weak to combat undercurrents that had been rushing along for millennia.

    Hermione had cried until Magical Accidents and Catastrophes had found Hugo, and then she had cried some more. Ron hadn’t cried, but the sight of that tiny body being pulled from the waves had made him vomit in the same sand where his son had been playing only hours before — the sand where the sand castle they should’ve build was supposed to have been.

    As he skipped one last stone, Ron sank to his knees on the water’s edge, scooping up the sodden sand into a large mound. He placed a pebble from his pocket that he had brought with him in the centre. Slowly, the sand moulded itself into a tiny replica of Hogwarts.

    He hadn’t been back since it happened because it had taken that long to perfect the charm, but that little castle would stand for an entire year — long enough to return and renew the monument to his baby boy.

    Title: Sometimes He Wondered
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd... No warnings that I'm aware of.
    Word Count: 499

    Hugo.

    Ron had never thought that the first time he was called to Hogwarts in his role as a parent would be because of Hugo. They had had all those letters about Rose – that incident with the boys’ bathrooms, the flood in the dungeons... and then when she and her Hufflepuff friend Maggie Peakes had put Amortentia in the Ravenclaw pumpkin juice, he thought that had really been it. And yet, here he was. It was only Hugo’s second year, and depending on what Professors Vector and Thorn – his Head of House – were deciding on right now, he might already be temporarily suspended.

    The worst part about it was that Ron didn’t even know whose side he was on. Of course, setting free all the hedgehogs they were supposed to be practising on in Transfiguration and putting them in the basket with the clean Slytherin laundry before the House Elves carried it to the dungeons had been wrong. But hadn’t it been very funny and even creative, too? It was something that Fred and George might have done at school, and he never thought that they crossed any lines. But then, Hermione of course had never thought that way, and wouldn’t now...

    Hugo had been sent back to his classes after the initial talk; Ron had been invited to stay for the teachers’ discussion, but just being in the Headmistress’s office had made him far too nervous. Hence, he had decided to go for a walk around the lake instead. It was so many years since he had been to Hogwarts himself, and yet just looking around him brought back so many memories. The Whomping Willow. Hagrid’s hut. That tree where they’d sat in their sixth year, right before he and Hermione had taken their Apparition tests.

    He had reached a part of the lake where he’d never really been to before. Rather than the grass and sand that surrounded most of the lake, the shore was covered in small pebbles here. Ron picked one of them up and flicked it at the smooth surface of the lake. It didn’t even hop once. Jamming his hands in his trouser pockets, he kicked another pebble away, and resumed his walk.

    The only times his own parents had been called to the school for him were when he had been in mortal danger. Somehow, Ron suddenly wondered whether he, Harry and Hermione hadn’t missed out on a lot of things. Of course they had had a great time at Hogwarts, but since their first year, things had always been terribly serious. They had never really been just students. They hadn’t played a prank on Slytherins in their second year; they had been brewing Polyjuice Potion to find out who was attacking Muggleborns.

    What was really frustrating about this was that he would never find out now. His school days were long gone, and he was almost certain that he wouldn’t want to change a thing about them. He just wondered sometimes...

    Title: Lake Encounters
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd
    Word Count: 498
    Author's Note: I like to believe that this could have happened in canon, even if never of them ever spoke about it again.


    Ron took a deep breath, enjoying the silence around him. He couldn’t believe how hard it had been to get a minute to himself. It seemed that everywhere he went, she was there. In his free periods, before and after every class, even the ones they didn’t share. No matter how quickly he tried to get away, she always managed to find him. It was exhausting. He wondered why anyone actually wanted to have a girlfriend – they were nothing but trouble.

    It was a clear but cold day and the grounds were quiet, making the lake the perfect place to be. He had spread his cloak out on the pebbly bank and just sat staring out across the water.

    The noise of stones shifting behind him distracted Ron from his thoughts and he felt a brief twinge of annoyance to have his moment interrupted. He looked round, and was surprised at who he saw walking along the bank a few metres away.

    “Hey,” he called out. Hermione turned.

    “Oh,” she replied, “I didn’t realise you’d be here. Where’s Lav-Lav?”

    Ron sighed. “Look, Hermione, I just came here to sit and get some peace and quiet, and if all you want to do is argue, then I’ll leave you to it.”

    Her face softened. “No, it’s all right. You were here first. I’ll find somewhere else.”

    “Why don’t you just stay?” He shuffled up on his cloak and spread out the other half.

    She just glared at him in reply. “Just because I managed to be civil to you for thirty seconds, does not mean I want to be anywhere near you. You’re still an idiot.”

    And don’t I know it, he thought, before saying aloud, “We don’t have to talk. We can just sit here.

    She paused for a minute. “Fine, but I’ll use my own cloak.”

    True to his word, he kept quiet and they sat in comfortable silence for at least half an hour, until a far too familiar voice could be heard calling his name. Hermione looked up. “Looks like you’re wanted.”

    “Maybe she won’t see me.”

    “Sounds like she already has. And I’m sure she won’t be impressed to see you sitting with me.”

    “Fine. I’d better go. And don’t worry – I won’t tell anyone you were here. You can go back to hating me now.”

    He stood up and was about to leave when he turned back. “I…it’s my birthday next week.”

    “And? Are you expecting a present, because you’ll be waiting a long time.”

    “No…it would just be nice to have my best friend talking to me by then.”

    “Ron!” Lavender’s voice seemed to be coming closer and Hermione’s face hardened once again.

    “I’m sure your girlfriend will have a whole day of fun planned for you. I’d only get in the way.” Picking up her own cloak, she shook it off and left him alone, with no choice but to fix a smile on his face and meet his approaching girlfriend.

    Title: A Great Man
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years/character death
    Word Count: 406
    Author's Note: Zip


    Hugo stared out at the waves, blinking back tears.

    They had never been close. Never shared the bond that was normally expected between father and son. They had had no mutual interests and the only things they had had in common were their family and their tempers. Hugo had spent most of his summers home from Hogwarts at his Muggle grandparents house to avoid the rows, and when, after school, he had chosen to work at a Muggle real estate company, the only one who had been surprised had been his dad.

    As the years had dragged on, they had become more distant, meeting only at the occasional family party. But that hadn’t stopped his dad from barging into his flat, angry and concerned, when Hugo had announced that he was giving up magic for his Muggle fiancée, Rachel.

    Hugo sighed as he remembered the row that had followed. His dad had accused him of wasting himself and disowning his family, and Hugo had responded in kind, reminding his father of all the nights he had worked late, all the mornings when they had hardly spoken, still stiff from the row of the day before. Red in the face, his dad had shouted that he had only been trying to provide his family with the things that he had never had. Hugo had replied that it had been his presence that they had needed, not his money, but that now it was too late. That he didn’t want his dad around anymore.

    He had felt terrible then, but it didn’t matter. His dad had stormed out into the night, and he, in his pride, had not called him back.

    It had all been years before. Hugo was a now a father himself, and his oldest son was beginning to show signs of being a wizard. His mother had tried, several times, over the years, to bring peace back to their family, but each time Hugo had insisted that his father apologize first.

    Now it was too late.

    It had been his sister, Rose, who had brought the news of the accident. Soon thereafter he had received the letter from his mother, asking him to speak at the funeral.

    A lump formed in Hugo’s throat as he imagined standing in front of the crowd of family, dressed in black, beginning the speech he had written.

    “Ronald Bilius Weasley was my father... and he was… a great man.”

    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd
    Title: Quiet Moments
    Word Count: 499 words
    Author's Note: Since Ron was born in 1980, this is obviously last year's birthday

    Ron walked slowly over the small pebbles that riddled the shoreline. It was early morning and the place felt desolate. Perfect for his mood. He hated that his unprotected feet felt the tickle of the round stones, and the small jabs from the sharper ones, sort of like his life so far, he thought, sadly.

    “Thirty,” Ron said loudly, as he sat down by the edge of the water, closing his eyes and willing himself to indulge in a moment of inner reflection that Hermione promised would lead to a better sense of self.

    He noticed the water fowl, startled by the sounds of a human voice, scattering and screaming their protests as they flew to safer parts of the small lake. He could count on one hand the number of times he had purposely been up so early in the day, and yet he had felt the need to take a few moments to be alone.

    Ron was thankful for the growth of his household. Rose had moved from a toddler into a real little person. A person capable of setting fire to the cat, in moments of great excitement, but nothing he and Hermione couldn't fix. Together. This year they had added Hugo to their family. Hugo was small, yet sturdy, and the happiest baby alive.

    “My son,” he murmured, not wanting to disturb the denizens of the lake anymore than he already had, but grinning at the sound of the word as it left his mouth, and entered his heart.

    He let his mind wonder to places he had not allowed it to in many years. He thought of Fred, the big brother who had tortured him in many little ways, but had also enlarged him in important ways. He wished he could have saved him, been there when he needed him. Ron knew that he probably couldn't have changed anything that had happened as that brick wall fell, and yet a deep regret gnawed at him.

    “I could have done... something,” Ron whispered, fighting back tears that were unwanted.

    Ron felt, more than heard, the faint zip of an Apparition, as his water fowl friends screamed at him again. Zero hour. Time to launch a new attack on the evil doers of the wizarding world at large, he thought, as he noticed Harry standing ten feet away from him, holding a small parcel and grinning.

    “Happy Birthday, you old man,” Harry laughed, as he walked towards him, dropping the package into Ron's arms.

    Ron saw that the corner of the package was opened, the chocolate frogs noticeably missing.

    “Wow,” he said, trying to sound enthusiastic. “You signed your card.”

    “Open it, Ron,” Harry said, smiling large.

    Ron peeled off the rest of the covering, noticing a face more familiar to him than Harry's. Ron saw Ron. He pulled another card out and saw Hermione. The Heroes of Hogwarts Edition, he read, laughing.

    “Happy birthday, Ron,” Harry said.
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  6. #6
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    Title: Waves
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years
    Word Count: 204
    A/N: Enjoy!

    It felt all wrong.

    The wind whipped around the house, screaming, as Ron Weasley rubbed his eyes. He couldn’t help but think of Harry and Hermione. What were they doing? Did they miss him? Did they even care that he’d left?

    Grabbing a bite to eat from the kitchen, Ron walked down to sit by the sea. As its waves approached him, and then suddenly backed off, Ron’s mind thought of Harry and Hermione, doing who-knows-what now that he wasn’t there to hold them back. He quickly dropped the thought just as the sea waves backed away. But of course, the waves always came back.

    And just as the waves pushed onward and retreated, Ron Weasley fought a psychological battle in his mind; he’d think of them, and then he’d forget, and then he’d think and forget. Who was he anymore? Surely not a Gryffindor, now that he’d run away. Ron wasn’t sure he was proud to be Ronald Bilius Weasley anymore.

    The thoughts came. They went away. But the longer Ron stayed at Shell Cottage, the more Harry and Hermione became the sea breeze, ready to be whisked away. Ron could not let that happen.

    And that was when he saw the light.

    Title: Diamond in the Rough
    Ratings/Warnings:1st-2nd None
    Word Count:499
    Author’s Note:



    “Please tell me this isn’t what it looks like,” Bill said in a grim voice.

    Ron whipped his head around, panic on his face. “I dropped it,” he cried, his voice cracking. “I was just standing here, thinking about what I was going to say, and it slipped...”

    “Merlin, Ron.” Bill knelt down and began sifting through the pebbles.

    The presence of his elder brother helped him focus, and he dropped to his knees to help. “What if it’s in the water?”

    “Then you may have to let it go.”

    “No! That’s the ring! It took me weeks to settle on it, and I’ve been saving since my first day of work!”

    Bill wasn’t listening. “You were standing right here?”

    “Yeah, it can’t be far.” But he didn’t exactly sound confident. “Where’s Hermione?”

    “I held her up when I saw you on your hands and knees, but she wasn’t too happy. Something about the sunset…”

    “We were going to watch it together. That’s when I wanted to ask her, but now… it’ll be too late soon. Bloody hell,” he said in frustration.

    “Wait,” Bill said suddenly, carefully moving a few rocks aside. “I saw something.”

    They sifted through several inches of rock until they found it: a circle of gold with a sparkle lying on wet sand. It had fallen through the rocks. Bill picked it up and cleaned it with his wand. “Nice.”

    Ron heaved a sigh of relief and held out his hand.

    “I don’t know,” Bill said with a grin. “Are you sure you can handle this? Perhaps I should ask her if she’ll marry you.”

    “Very funny.” He took the ring and slid it down to the knuckle on his little finger.

    “Some blokes use a box,” Bill called, laughing as he returned to the house.

    “I like holding it,” he mumbled, mostly to himself. It was the truth: an engagement ring in a box was only a possibility. But when he held it, somehow he knew she wouldn’t say no.

    He looked out at the sea and saw the sun doubling itself over the water.

    There was still time.

    Soon he heard small feet crunching through the rock, coming toward him. When he saw her, he had to stifle a laugh at her aggravated expression.

    “Ron Weasley, what in world were you two doing out here? They did everything but tie me up, and now we’ve nearly missed the sunset.”

    Ron grinned. She was angry and her hair was flying around in the wind. Best of all, her arms were crossed tightly the way they always were when she lectured him. She was clearly begging to be kissed, but sadly, that would have to wait.

    “I hope you have a good explanation,” she finished.

    He laughed softly. “Oh, I do.” He held his hand out to her, causing her to soften a little. “But first I want to show you something. C’mon.”

    She gave him a curious look, reluctantly unraveled herself and took his hand.

    Title: Without You
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd, none
    Word Count: 252 words
    Author's Note: Writing this was a lot of fun, I hope I get to keep competing for awhile.

    Ron Weasley stood by an anonymous pond in the Forest of Dean. At least, it would be just another pond to anyone else. He had pulled Harry out of this pond, Sword of Gryffindor in tow. He had destroyed Slytherin’s locket right by this pond. That had been Boxing Day, 1997.

    It had been a long time since then. McGonagall had retired, he had quit working as an Auror to help George in the joke shop, and after breaking up twice, Harry and Ginny were finally engaged.

    Ron sighed, fingering the diamond ring in his pocket. He should have proposed sooner, but he had wanted to ask the doctors Granger for their approval.

    No, that wasn’t true. He should have realized that Hermoine was unhappy, should have been more flexible earlier, more understanding, more intelligent, more... a lot of things.

    If he had, maybe he would have gotten a chance to ask the question, and maybe she would have said yes. Instead, when he had arrived at Hermione's flat, she told him that they needed time apart.

    She had carefully and calmly articulated all of the reasons for it. It was so unlike how they normally fought, that he hadn’t been sure how to react. So he had kissed her on the forehead, and turned around and left.

    Ron wondered if she had found someone new. He wondered if her parents were going to ask her about his proposal. He wondered what on earth he was going to do without Hermione.


    Title: Envy
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st - 2nd; none
    Word Count: 170
    Author's Note: None

    Stupid Harry.

    The early morning light was beginning to sparkle across the lake. I kicked another stone into it and the sparkles rippled outwards.

    He had it all. As if being the Boy-Who-Lived wasn’t enough. As if defeating Tom Riddle wasn’t enough. Now he’d managed to get himself into the Triwizard Tournament.

    I heard footsteps cracking the rocks behind me. She’d been following me since I’d told her to leave me alone at breakfast, I was certain.

    ‘He didn’t put his name in.’

    I ignored her.

    ‘Really, Ron, he wouldn’t have –’

    ‘I know he didn’t,’ I said through clenched teeth.

    ‘Well,’ Hermione said after a pause, ‘Harry seems to think –’

    I finally turned around to look at her. ‘I don’t care what Harry thinks.’

    I watched her take in my expression. ‘Fine,’ she said quietly, turning away and heading back towards the castle.

    I continued to walk along the edge of the lake, kicking the stones in as I passed them.

    Of course she would take his side.
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  7. #7
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    Title: Fed Up
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years, none
    Word Count: 240

    Of course, she would side with him, Ron thought bitterly, picking up a smooth flat stone and flinging it into the lake. He watched as the stone bounced once on the surface, before plopping pathetically into the water. Of course she would side with Harry. Who wouldn’t prefer the company of a Triwizard Champion? One who, moreover, had managed to get past the Age Line drawn by Dumbledore himself? Who on earth wouldn’t chose Harry bloody Potter over himself? He raged against the injustice of it all.

    He trudged along the shoreline, kicking the pebbles as he went, not caring that some of the larger waves were in danger of cascading into his shoes. He was fed up. Fed up of always being second best, and getting none of the glory showered on Harry; glory that he didn’t even want in the first place! He was fed up of being poor, and always being in Harry’s shadow. But most of all, he was fed up with being Ronald bloody Weasley.

    How he longed to finally be the one people looked at, or talked about! How he craved his moment of glory. But no, his glory, such as it was, had always overshadowed by Harry’s braver deeds. Harry had always gone that little bit further to play the hero and save the day, and Ron was sick of it. Harry’s name coming out of the Goblet had been the last straw.

    Title: Angst-filled Pebbles
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th years - just language
    Word Count: 365 words
    Author's Note: I really hope this is more than a passing reference! I struggled for so long on what to write and this was the most plausible thing that came to my head!

    “Please don’t tell me you’re actually making me see this.” I groaned and Hermione glared at me. I stared back blankly at her, pointedly showing her that I was not going to weaken under her glare – no, not at all.

    “And just what exactly is the problem? We’ve been to a Muggle theater before and you enjoyed the movies.”

    I sighed. So Hermione really wasn’t getting what my problem was, was she? How could I make her understand?

    “Hermione … It’s not the theater itself. It’s … the movie.”

    “And exactly what is wrong with the movie, Ron?” she whispered angrily, since people were shushing her from behind us.

    “Just look,” I said, gesturing wildly at the screen. “Look at the guy.”

    “Oh, I see,” she said quietly, dropping her glare. “It’s because he’s so much better looking, isn’t it?”

    “No,” I said loudly, garnering the attention from the various Muggle spectators, who glared at me fiercely. “No,” I repeated, lowering my voice. “But this movie … well, it’s horrible.”

    “Why?” she asked, puzzled, taking a fleeting look at the screen and looking back at me, frowning.

    “Hermione, he takes walks on the beach,” I said quietly, giving her a look. “He’s so full of angst and dramas, you’d expect him to just stand up and do something – but no, instead he takes bloody walks on the beach!”

    Hermione frowned and hit the back of my head harshly. “Ronald Weasley, do you not have any kind of feelings whatsoever?”

    “How can you even doubt that?” I asked, offended. “I love you, don’t I?”

    She gave me a pitiful look and turned back to the screen. I looked at the screen again and nearly died of despair.

    The main character was now sitting on the sand, crying, and throwing pebbles at the water, causing them to ricochet and slide against the water before actually falling in. Oh. I wondered if I could do that as well – the pebbles part, of course, not the crying on the sand part. Please, as if taking walks on the beach wasn’t already bad enough.

    “Hermione?” I asked, putting my hand over hers.

    “What?”

    “Next time, I’ll pick the movie. Okay?”


    Title: Broken Dreams
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th Years, mild language, sexual Situations
    Word Count: 499
    Author's Note: I do not own Harry Potter or the world he inhabits. I just own this drabble that I had a miserable time trying to limit to 499 words. >.<

    Bill sighed and went to open the door. He looked through the peephole at the visitor, and stowing away his wand with surprise, opened the door. Ron looked undeniably harried—he had a tortured expression on his face, his robes were ruffled and his red hair was even more dishevelled than normal.

    “Ron, what are you doing here? Come in, I’ve got a fire going,” said Bill, closing the door behind Ron. He had no travelling cloak, no bag, nothing with him. “What’s wrong?”

    He seated Ron at the table and poured him a glass of Firewhiskey. Ron looked up from his drink, pain apparent in his eyes. “I saved the world, Bill. I saved the god-damn world from the Dark Lord. Every damn day I risk my life to save people. What the hell did I do to deserve this, Bill, what did I do?” Ron seemed to have lost control, his face contorted with anguish and his voice shrieking.

    “What happened?” asked Bill, laying a calming hand on Ron’s arm.

    “Hermione found out that I confounded that Muggle official to get us our electricity sooner,” he said. “They were bleeding us dry, I swear, with all the unnecessary payments and red tape just because I don’t understand the Muggle system well enough. But Hermione said—no, bloody screamed-- that I apparently don’t care at all about what she says. That I’m going against everything she’s ever stood for by exploiting Muggles with our unfair power.

    “I said that she’s no bloomin’ Mother Teresa herself. I’m no Percy, I never got straight O’s, but that doesn’t mean she needs to treat me like I’m dirt under her feet! She talks to me with that condescending tone that you’d use to an illiterate, finds fault with everything that I do. Not intellectually stimulating enough for her, she says. She actually left me waiting at a dinner date, because she was spending time with that John from her work. I’m not sure it’s just her bloody intellect he’s stimulating, Bill. We were planning on having a child soon, but we’re angry and arguing all the time.”

    “Come with me, Ron,” said Bill, leading him out. “Remove your shoes, and walk.” Ron winced as he walked on the beach, towards the water.

    “Look at your feet. Fleur and I have been married a long time, and I learnt this the hard way. The large, perfect shells don’t hurt—it’s the smaller, jagged, shattered ones that do, like hell. You’re planning to have a child-- Hermione’s an intelligent, free spirited, talented woman, and I think she’s dreading the shackles that a family will inevitably bring. She can’t continue freeing elves when she has a baby that’s a couple of months old, can she?

    “She’s frustrated, hurting from her broken dreams, Ron, and I think the two of you need to have a good talk together to solve your problems. It’s the broken dreams that draw blood—costly blood that shouldn’t be shed.”

    Title: Two Photos
    Ratings/Warnings:1st/ 2nd years. Brief mention of sexual situations and one example of mild profanity.
    Word*Count: 497

    Two Photos

    Hermione stared at the Muggle photo she’d just developed, using the cellar as a dark room. She had taken it that morning, after telling Ron she was pregnant.

    She hadn’t really thought about how he would react. They had vaguely talked about children when they got married, but when she told him he’d looked so shocked. As if he’d forgotten that a consequence of sex was the occasional baby. He’d left the house, going for a walk along the beach. He usually hated solitary walks, so she decided to follow him.

    Hermione had stood on the small cliff, looking down at Ron. He was standing on the shore, staring at where the pebbles met the sea. She’d taken the photo without thinking, the photo which she was now staring at, the photo which captured him in perfect Muggle stillness. He looked awkward. His body twisted uncertainly, whilst his head, arms and legs were at awkward angles against each other but perfectly still. Even the sea looked frozen. In some ways, she thought, he hadn’t changed all that much since school.

    She’d have to have it out with him. Ron still found talking about anything of emotional importance fairly difficult, although he admitted they both felt better for it afterwards. He had been more stressed recently but they’d both blamed work. What if it was something else?

    She heard the door open. In spite of deciding to have it out with him, she hid the photo underneath a newspaper, but Ron noticed. He snatched it up and stared at it.

    “Is this me? Is my hair still that short?”

    Hermione had not expected him to say that. “Yes. You raised 500 galleons for St. Mungos by shaving it off without magic.”

    Ron looked slightly confused as he stared at the photo. Then he looked up at Hermione, suddenly grinning.

    “Let’s hope it’s grown back by the time the baby’s born!”

    Hermione couldn’t speak for a moment. “I thought you were worried––” Ron interrupted her.

    “Of course I’m worried! I’m bloody terrified. Me, a dad? You, a mum? Looking after someone else. I mean, we looked after Harry often enough,” Hermione smiled, “but this is our child. Of course I’m worried. But I’m also excited and happy and I want to be a dad. Don’t you want to be a mum?”

    “Yes. I do. Very much.”

    “Good. Brilliant,” he said, giving her a hug which resulted in them sharing a kiss.

    Rose Weasley was a month old when they took her to the beach. Ron stood at the shore holding her in his arms and Hermione, smiling, took a photo with a Wizarding camera. She smiled more widely when she had it developed.

    Ron, at first, looked almost identical to the other photo, but Hermione knew he was not. He was a father and in this photo, when he turned round to face the camera, she could see a baby confidently cradled in those awkwardly angled arms.
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  8. #8
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    Title: A Knight's Game
    Ratings/Warnings: First years/None
    Word Count: 520
    Author's Note:

    The sand felt good beneath his feet, even if the cold chill of the night had numbed his toes and fingers hours ago. But Ron couldn't help it. He'd been staring off into the darkness of the sea for a while now thinking about Harry and Hermione, wondering if they were doing okay alone without him. Had they managed to avoid the Snatchers? Was Harry still wearing the locket? Did Hermione miss him?

    He scoffed at his last thought almost as soon it entered his mind, of course, who has he kidding? Hermione and Harry had a bond that went much deeper than any he'd have with them. Then again, Ron would never forget the guilt he felt after fourth year when he'd realized that he had spent all of his energies jealous of Harry and he, not Hermione, had been the person Harry would miss the most. And yet, it wasn't the last time, he'd self-sabotage himself and his friendship with Harry, forcing Hermione to choose sides:

    "Are you staying, or what?"
    "I...Yes – yes, I'm staying. Ron, we said we'd go with Harry, we said we'd help –"
    "I get it. You choose him."
    "Ron, no – please – come back, come back!"*


    Ron could still hear her cries, calling his name, begging him to go back. When Ron had walked out, and abandoned them in the Forest of Dean, he'd felt immediate satisfaction, at first. Then he was caught by the Snatchers, and the first thing he thought was that he'd never see Hermione or Harry ever again.

    But then luck turned out to be on his side, and he'd gotten away. He'd never forget the despair he felt when he went back to their camp and found they'd left. He'd fallen to his knees and punched he floor of the forest, angry with himself, and his insecurities that had forced him away from his best friends. After an hour or two, Ron bitterly realized that for the first time since he befriended them, he'd been the one finally left behind. And it stung his pride.

    When he showed up at Shell Cottage, Bill had stared him down until Ron felt incredibly shame for his actions. When the tension became thick and Ron was hoping his oldest brother would just punch the stupid out of him, he was surprised that the only thing he'd said was: "Merlin's pants, Ron! Godric Gryffindor must be rolling around in his grave right now."

    Ron's thoughts were disturbed when he felt the ocean water lapping at his feet, and he realized he'd stay out later than he intended.

    "Ron..."

    He reached into his pocket, and pulled out the Deluminator. He'd been hearing Hermione's voice for days, and he knew it would only be a matter of time before the magic bequeathed to him would come to good use. Ron wasn't the best friend he could possibly be, or the epitome of a Gryffindor, but he understood men like Albus Dumbledore: Men who carried secrets their entire lives, and knowledge beyond their status, and stayed ten chess moves ahead of everyone else.


    *Quotes right out of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [Chapter 15, pages 309-310]

    Title: What Matters More
    Ratings/Warnings:1st-2nd yr; None
    Word Count: 466

    It was a picture of him dating back a few years when they had gone to Australia. His body was silhouetted against a background of a small tide rushing against a gravelly shore. He had his back turned and appeared to be observing the ground.

    She had clicked the picture with a Muggle camera in secret. Ron was usually uncomfortable when it came to being the sole subject of a camera shot, and she had wanted this to be as natural as possible.

    It had been taken on the day when they had made love for the first time. The whole affair had been unplanned, spontaneous; they had both been worried over a lot of things – her parents, the effects the war had left on their mind, the loss of Fred. But they had found they could escape all of that and relieve the pain a little as long as they had each other.

    The photo meant a lot to her.

    And he had just spilled tea on it.

    She glared at the ruined remnant of her past, and then she glared at him.

    “Er…” he said. When she didn’t speak, he quietly picked up his wand and said, “Tergeo!”

    The stain didn’t go.

    Scourgify!”

    The picture remained blotched.

    “It’s just a photo,” he finally protested, ears turning red. “And – and a bad one, too.”

    Still staring at him with eyes that could cast a Killing Curse, she picked up a pillow and attacked him. “You – effing – insensible – arse – Ronald – Weasley!”

    There was no Harry to cast a Protego this time; Ron yelped and ran out of their bedroom, closing the door behind him.

    “Come back, you coward!” she shouted.

    “Not when you’re barking…” he answered from the hallway.

    “COME BACK THIS INSTANT OR YOU’LL SLEEP ON THE COUCH TILL THE END OF TIME!”

    Silence followed this apparently fearsome threat. Ron seemed to be weighing his options, neither of which was desirable in the least. In the end, he must have decided that he did want to be with his wife because he opened the door and peeked in.

    “You will keep your hairnet on,” he said.

    She merely beckoned him with a finger. He entered the room with slow, careful steps.

    “What are you going to do about it?” she asked.

    “You could take another picture if you like,” he replied quickly.

    “It won’t be the same,” she argued.

    “All right,” he said. Then he started to grin. “How about we go back to Australia for a few days?”

    “That sounds more like it,” she said, smiling.

    He joined her on the bed and pulled her into a hug. “All that because you wanted a second honeymoon?”

    She hit him again but relented easily, letting him kiss her as he lowered her onto the bed.

    Title: Going Back
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years, none
    Word Count: 499
    Author's Note:

    The pebbles crumbled beneath his feet as he walked along the shore. Shell Cottage was just a few minutes’ walk away behind him. Ron Weasley stopped walking and took a deep breath, closing his eyes. The air smelled salty. As he opened his eyes, the memories of the past few hours flooded back into his head.

    He remembered everything he had said to Harry and Hermione. He never wanted to leave them behind, but the fear of losing Hermione had overpowered him. He couldn’t stand seeing those two so close together, making their next plans. Ron had felt like an intruder, as though he was pulling them back. He wasn’t of any help at all to them, was he? What had he done to help them except whine and complain? Nothing. What would Hermione see in someone like him, anyways? He wasn’t smart or brave like Harry at all. He was simply stupid old Ronald.

    The face of the Hermione in his nightmares flashed in his mind. Poor, stupid Ronald, it hissed, its beautiful features distorting into an ugly sneer. Why are you still here? Can’t you see that we don’t need you? What have you done to help us? We would be so much better off without you, you know… you’re such a coward, Ronald! Just an extra trouble!

    Ron shook his head vigorously. The figure vanished.

    It wasn’t true at all. It couldn’t be. He knew that very well now. As he was leaving, Hermione had come after him. She wanted to stop him from leaving. If Hermione didn’t want him, why would she stop him? With a small smile, he recalled what had happened:

    "Ron, stop!"

    "Go back to him, Hermione! You two make a nice pair! I’m nothing but a burden; you’ll find those things much faster without me!"

    "No Ron, we can’t! We need you! I need you!
    "

    He had said nothing more, though. The last thing he had seen was Hermione’s teary face before everything disappeared.

    Hermione had said she needed him. She didn’t want him to leave. Hermione needed Ron.

    Ron’s eyes stung – it must have been due to the salty air.

    He had decided, though. He was going back to her. What had he been thinking? Harry loved Ron’s sister, he would never think about Hermione in that way. Besides, Ron had a feeling that Harry knew what he felt about Hermione.

    Ron felt like laughing out loud. I’m such a git! he said to himself. He was going to fix everything, though. He was going to go back and apologise to them. He was sure Harry’d forgive him. He didn’t care about how Hermione would react – he knew it was going to be pretty horrific, though. He hadn’t forgotten those little birds that she’d set on him in their sixth year. This time, Ron really did laugh aloud.

    He turned back and started walking back towards Shell Cottage. He had a long journey ahead of him. He was going back.

    Title: In the Family
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd; mentioned Character Death
    Word Count: 492
    Author's Note: This was very difficult to write. I hope you enjoy it!

    I had heard that the sea in the South of France was some of the most beautiful in the world, but I hadn’t quite believed it until now. Clear and blue, it rushed against the beach where we were spread out on towels and blankets. The sun shone brightly, making the waves mineralize into aquamarines falling onto the sand.

    Despite the way the sun glittered off the sea, the day had a cold, dreary feeling. As I looked around, I saw that we all had the same look about us – not entirely healthy, pale and washed-out despite the fact that we’d spent nearly a week on the beach.

    None of us mentioned the elephant in the room, that awful shroud that had hung over us all week.

    Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I stood and walked down toward the sea. Not in a mood for swimming this morning, I’d dressed in jeans and a jacket. Now I wished I was in trunks – I wanted nothing more than to dive into the water and not come up until this whole fiasco was behind us.

    I walked along the waves for a few minutes before I stopped. I stood, half turned between the sea and the land, my head slightly ducked. I heard footsteps behind me and turned. Ron Weasley, my uncle in all but name, approached, a look of concern on his face.

    “You all right, Ted?” he asked, stopping a few feet away.

    I shrugged. “No. Not really.” The silence hung awkwardly for a moment before I added, “But I will be.”

    “Would you like a cup of tea?” he suggested. I stared at him, not entirely insolent. “Mum always says –“

    “Stop it, Ron!” I said loudly, suddenly angry at him. “Don’t talk about her like she’s still around. She’s dead. She doesn’t say anything anymore.”

    He glared at me a moment. “I know she’s dead. Sorry if I’m having trouble dealing with it.”

    We both stood there, not sure what to say to one another. Suddenly, I noticed the white strands that had sprouted in his red hair. I knew he was taking Molly’s death as badly as I was.

    “Why does it matter to you?” he finally asked. “I mean, I’d expect you to be sad, but not like this. You’ve hardly spoken all week.”

    “Because…” I considered lying, but something told me this wasn’t the time. “She’s what held the family together, the reason I was part of the family. Without her, I’m just that kid with the blue hair who comes round for dinner.”

    Ron stared at me. “That’s not true,” he finally said bluntly. “You’re as much a member of this family as Hugo or Dominique. Even if you weren’t – you know – you and Victoire –“ He stopped suddenly, as though afraid to go on.

    I smiled thinly. “Well, thanks.”

    “You are going to marry her, aren’t you?” he asked.

    I shrugged. “That’s the plan.”
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  9. #9
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    RESULTS!

    Thank you, brawlers, for a splendid set of drabbles. I was, for once, incredibly pleased that I wasn't allowed to vote.

    But enough about me, that's not what you've clicked to read. So without further ado

    DUN DUN DUN!

    Here are the participants and their scores. <For,Against>

    theopaleye – A Brief Interruption <1,1>
    melody93 – Angst filled pebbles <1,0>
    coolh5000 – Lake Encounters <1,0>
    Leahsm2 – Quiet Moments <2,0>

    hestiajones – What matters more <1,2>
    Weasley Mom –Diamond in the rough <2,1>
    Sainyn Swiftfoot- Broken Dreams <1,3>
    AidaLuthien – Without You<1,1>
    minnabird – The Chase <1,1>
    Cinderella Angelina – Reflection by the sea <0,0>
    Apollonious – In the Family <0,1>
    Gwendalynne – A Great Man <3,0>
    inspirations –Growing Up <0,1>
    majestic ginny- Going back <1,0>
    h– vic – thirty one <0,0>

    MissMeg –Her <1,8>
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor – Sand castles <5,2>
    Olive Oil Med –Disqualified
    Mugglemathdork –A Knights Game <3,0>
    Midnight Storm – Envy <0,2>

    FlightOfSong – All Grown Up <0,2>
    FawkesToTheRescue –Waves <1,0>
    Sapphire at Dawn – Fed Up <1,0>
    Welshdevondragon – Two Photos<0,0>
    Karaley Dargen –Sometimes He Wondered<2,0>
    Maple and PheonixFeather –Need <0,3>



    I sadly declare that Miss Meg and Maple and Phoenix Feather are our first valiant fallers.
    Let's hug and squish them to the point of bursting and then wave them on their way, safe in the knowledge that they are not Zacharius Smith who legged it away from the Battle.


    There is a three way tie, of sorts, for our winner this week based on for and against votes between ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor, mugglemathdork and Gwendalynne. However, because I do not want to waste people’s time with unnecessary polls, I have decided that in the event of a tie for first place, the winner is the one with the most number of FOR votes, and thus, this week it is:

    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor who wrote Sand Castle.
    She collects 5 points for Ravenclaw and bragging rights until the next round.

    In future rounds, tie breakers will only be held if someone’s continuance in the brawl depends on it. In the event of all For and Against votes being equal, then the winners will get 2 points each.

    The Fallen (but collecting participation points)
    MissMeg – Ravenclaw
    Maple and Phoenix Feather - Gryffindor

    Disqualified
    Olive_Oil_Med


    And now, Brave Brawlers, prepare for Prompt TWO

    Prompt #2 (Devised by the lovely Russia Snow)

    Rarepairs


    Chose any two of these characters and pair them up.

    Cho Chang, Pansy Parkinson, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnegan, Viktor Krum.

    Setting Hogsmeade

    Simple – yes. Go on, then.

    What are you waiting for?


    All drabbles must be sent to Equinox Chick by Thursday 10th March 8pm GMT.
    All drabbles should be between 100-500 words.

    For your information:-GMT= Greenwich Mean Time. Use this converter here, if you're unsure of the time difference. The Barmaids are NOT your time zone clerks!

    Send all drabbles to Equinox Chick. If, by any chance, my inbox is full, then contact me via the Ask the Barmaid thread here, which is also where you should direct any questions about this competition.


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  10. #10
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Round 4 Brawl - Week Two - Prompt 'Rarepairs'

    Will everyone now read the drabbles and vote for their favourite drabble and their least favourite. When reading, please bear in mind the prompt as well as the usual MNFF submission guidelines. Both should be important in your decision.

    I’d love it if you could encourage everyone to vote, but don’t tell them which drabble you’ve written. There’s an honour system in place here, but us barmaids often hear things, so any whispers of skulduggery and you’ll be out on your ear!

    Follow this link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WB57G9X to vote.

    Voting closes Sunday 13th March at 3pm GMT.


    Once again, there will be TWO brawlers leaving us this week.


    Title: Lollipop
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years, none
    Word Count: 381
    Author's Note: This was pretty fun to write.

    Cho Chang walked out of Madam Puddifoot’s, sulking. How horrible could this day be? She could not help but feel that she had ruined everything for herself, and for Harry. She was such a horrible person.

    In an effort to cheer herself up, Cho stopped into Honeydukes. Oblivious to anything but the delicious candy she hoped would cheer her up, Cho ran right into Neville Longbottom.

    They collided with a thud, then a moan, as Neville’s giant red lollipop found its way into Cho’s hair. Both of their faces turned as red as the lollipop as Cho worked to get it out of her hair.

    “I’m so sorry,” Neville mumbled. He made some quick, meaningless motion with his hands out of sheer nervousness. Cho flashed a quick, rather fake smile, and pretended to be sympathetic. In reality, though, she was wondering just how much worse her day would become. Cho held the lollipop awkwardly in her hand.

    “I’ll go buy you another lollipop,” she said, hoping that maybe a kind gesture would brighten her up.

    “Oh, you don’t have to,” Neville said. “It’s not a big deal.” He waved his hand as if to dismiss the thought from her mind.

    “It’s no problem,” she said. She picked out not one lollipop, but two, and paid for them. Neville smiled shyly as she handed one to him.

    “Thanks,” he mumbled. “Uh, could I see your lollipop quickly? I just want to see which one I, you know, like better.” He blushed furiously, and Cho handed him her lollipop while raising an eyebrow.

    As Neville inspected the lollipops, Cho turned around out of politeness so that she didn’t seem like she was interrupting his curious inspection. In truth, she wasn’t sure if she even wanted to know what he was doing. She heard the crumbling of paper and plastic, and then Neville stuck a lollipop out to her.

    As soon as Cho took the lollipop, Neville scurried out of the shop. Cho noticed that attached to the lollipop was a note, scribbled on parchment probably using a self-inking quill.

    Come to Honeydukes again with me? the note said. Cho smiled at the note and, while sucking on her lollipop, seemed to walk away from the shop with a little bounce in her step.

    Title: Playing with Fire
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th yr; Sexual Situation
    Word Count: 500


    Normally, she wouldn’t do this. She was a proud Slytherin, and the boy, a notorious Gryffindor.

    But he was at the mercy of her wand-tip, while his own lay metres away. In a Hogwarts that was overshadowed by fear of The Dark Lord and run by his servants, there was nothing she couldn’t do. Besides, they were quite alone.

    She had wanted to kiss him ever since she’d seen him getting up to no good with Patil behind a deserted shop in Hogsmeade. Her relationship with Draco had been falling apart then; his place had been taken up by this boy, who came in her dreams and made her feel loved. During her waking hours, she had obsessed over him and his girlfriend, observing them in the Great Hall, in classrooms, in the school grounds - wherever she saw them. But when she slept, it was not Patil whose hair he smelt, whose face he touched, whose lips he kissed. It was her.

    Of course, she had never sought to fulfill her fantasies until luck brought her to him while she was going about her patrolling duties. As no one in the dead silent castle was likely to walk in upon them, she decided to find out what a real boy tasted like.

    “Don’t move,” she said threateningly.

    He merely cocked an eyebrow in reply. Then he folded his arms across his chest and waited without glancing at his own wand even once. The defiance oddly thrilled her.

    She approached him slowly, wary of any sudden movement from, but she needn’t have worried. He stayed quite calm, prepared to face whatever she was going to throw at him. It was only when she lowered her wand from his face and got so close to him their bodies were touching that he showed a change in expression. His eyes widened in surprise; his arms slackened. She wasn’t stupid, though. Her wand was now thrust against the side of his waist, warning him to stay still.

    At last, her lips were less than an inch away from his. She closed her eyes before they came into contact.

    The first thing she noticed was the warmth, the wonderful warmth that seemed to emanate from his body; the next, the absence of Draco’s overpowering cologne, replaced by his musky smell; the last, the softness of his lips as her tongue ran over them. A profound sense of longing welled up inside her, but before she could really articulate what it was she needed or wanted, he shoved her away.

    “What the hell d’you think you’re doing?”

    Obliviate!” she said automatically, perhaps because she’d been prepared all along for a rejection. She watched his eyes glazing over as his brain deleted what had just happened. For good measure, she added, “Furnunculus!”

    “Be careful the next time you decide to break curfew, Finnigan,” she said, leaving him to cope with the boils breaking out on his face and carrying away the forbidden moment with her forever.

    Title: Of Boyfriends, Brothers and Bruises
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years/Abuse?
    Word Count: 499
    Author's Note: No need for a DH disregarded warning because, you know, it really could have happened.
    Seamus looked up from the display he had been examining just long enough to discover the new customer’s identity. Ginny stood in the doorway, her eyes taking in the shop. Seamus picked up an eagle feather quill, looked down its length, then put it back, pretending to ignore her. He moved to another display, this one containing spell check quills. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Ginny walk ever so casually over to the eagle feather display, her hips swinging, her hair glinting coppery gold in the dusty sunlight pouring through the window…

    Seamus turned abruptly back to the display, anger and frustration burning in the pit of his stomach. A swollen, purple bruise disfigured her face. He clenched his teeth and focused on a small black quill labeled, ‘NEW! Checks spelling in English, Spanish and French!

    He felt like throwing something.

    “What happened to you?” he hissed as Ginny walked past. She bent over the elegant eagle quills and, shrugging, whispered, “Carrow heard I was involved in last Tuesday’s ‘incident.’”

    Seamus glared at the multilingual quill, fuming. After a few minutes of silence, Ginny whispered, “I came to tell you: there’s a meeting tonight, Seamus. Tell Ernie the next time you see him, will you?”

    “Why didn’t you use the Galleons?” Seamus muttered, leaning closer on the pretext of scanning the price tag attached to a striking, spotted quill.

    Ginny crossed behind him again to look at the display of color-changing ink on his other side.

    “That’s why we’re having the meeting. I was just talking to Michael; Carrow confiscated his Galleon. We don’t think he knew what it was, the greedy sod, but we can’t use them while he’s got it. We need to get it back.”

    Seamus nodded absentmindedly, his eyes on the ugly bruise. Only a year ago, it might have been a cause for concern and alarm; teachers would have been notified; brothers and boyfriends would have glowered and pounded the one responsible. Now it was merely a dull reminder of the change that had taken place at Hogwarts; of teachers no better than bullies and empty beds in the dorm.

    Ironic, Seamus thought, that all the boys he had shared a dorm with had cared for Ginny as more than a friend. As girlfriend, sister, first date or secret fancy, they had all loved her, protected her. Now, only he and Neville remained.

    Seamus glanced at her again out of the corner of his eye. “Ginny… my offer stills stands. Just say yes and I’ll tell them it was me.”

    Ginny looked up, eyes flashing.

    “Seamus, it’s very… gallant of you to offer, but no. I won’t let you take the blame every time I get in trouble!” She sighed. “So many people, gone...”

    Again, Dean thought of the empty dorm. There was a moment’s hesitation, then she laid her hand on his and looked up at him with troubled eyes.

    “I don’t want anything to happen to you, too.”

    Title: Advice
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st - 2nd years; a feisty Pansy
    Word Count: 300
    Author's Note: Possible, though not entirely likely to have happened ...
    ‘I,’ I said proudly, ‘am going with Victor Krum to Hogsmeade.’ My friends moaned enviously, and I grinned even wider. Viktor Krum – and me!

    ***

    ‘Pansy,’ Krum nodded, kissing my hand. I glanced around to see how many people were watching. I would be the talk of the school!

    ‘Hello, Viktor Krum,’ I said. ‘Shall we go to the Three Broomsticks?’ The largest, busiest pub. More people to see me – me! – with the famous Viktor Krum.

    ‘That is sounding lovely,’ he agreed.

    Once we sat down, I looked at him expectantly. ‘Aren’t you going to get the drinks?’

    ‘Oh,’ he said. ‘All right.’ He returned with two Butterbeers. ‘So, Pansy,’ he said, ‘I vant to ask you something.’

    Of course I’ll marry you, Krum! ‘And what’s that?’ I asked, winking at Daphne who was two tables away.

    ‘You talk to that girl, Hermy-own, a lot?’

    I took Hermy-own to mean Granger. ‘Oh, she’s so horrible, isn’t she?’ I gushed. ‘Bookworm, buck-toothed, beaver. Have you seen her teeth?’ I gave him a buck-toothed impersonation of her. But something worried me. Why was he bringing up the Mudblood? Why wasn’t he proclaiming his love to me?

    ‘Vell, do you know if she has a date to the Yule Ball?’

    I froze. ‘What?

    ‘I vos going to ask her, but I did not know if –’

    You,’ I said, disgusted, ‘were going to ask her ...’

    ‘I haff seen her in the library, she reads there. And you talk to her sometimes, so I thought I could ask you for ad—’

    ‘I hate her!’ I screeched. ‘I don’t talk to that Mudblood!’

    ‘I am sure I haff seen you –’

    ‘Yeah, when I tell her how stupid she is!’

    Krum stared at me, and then scowled. ‘Fine. I’ll just ask her myself.’
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