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

  1. #31
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    RESULTS WEEK 5

    If I tell you that on Saturday night when I went to bed, there was a six way tie for last place, you will understand quite how hard it was for me to sleep. Thank you everyone for voting and for for chivvying people to vote. It really is appreciated.

    Voldemort/ Quirrel’s Head (coolh5000) ‘You’ll Never look at a Toothbrush in the same way. <3,3>
    Bellatrix/ House of Black (gwendalynne) Oral Concerns<5,2>
    Lucius/Malfoy Manor (of course) (hestiajones) Back ... with Bad Breath <1,2>
    Stan/ Knight Bus (FlightOfSong) Gentle Lullabies <1,1>
    Scabior/ Avon Cosmetics (Weasley Mom) Family Business<5,0>
    Kreacher/ Airing Cupboard (tobeornottobeagryffindor) Take Four<1,1>
    Ghoul/Ron’s bedroom (theo paleye) Smelly Snog <2,2>
    Sirius Black / Curtain shop (Cinderella Angelina) James Doesn’t Like His Toothbrush<0,4>
    Gilderoy/St Mungo’s ( welshdevondragon) Blaming the Penguin<0,1>
    Aberforth/ The Hog’s Head (Karaley Dragon) Scourgify <1,2>
    Barty Crouch jnr/ Dementor (inspirations) Whispers <2,1>
    Goyle - (Sapphire At Dawn) To Save His Life <1,3>


    So the winner this week is again the fabulous Lori (Weasley Mom) who gains another five points and continued bragging rights for the week. Well done!

    Sadly we are losing Cinderella Angelina and SapphireatDawn who only fell with the last few votes. You take away 5 points each for your house and a big huggysquish for being fabulous.

    The Fallen
    Miss Meg
    Maple and Phoenix Feather
    fawkestotherescue
    Midnight Storm
    Sainyn Swiftfoot
    AidaLuthien
    leahsm2
    Apollonius
    Cinderella Angelina
    Sapphireatdawn

    Disqualified
    OliveOilMed
    melody 98
    mugglemathdork
    majestic ginny
    minnabird
    h-vic (Andromeda Tonksed )

    And so, brawlers, onwards ...

    MWAHAHAHAHA! MALFOY WEEK


    The Malfoy family play a very important part in the books and it’s about time the brawl recognised that. So, for this week, you have to write about one of them (or all if you wish). You must write from a Malfoy POV.
    You must also include both these pictures in your drabble.
    Picture 1

    Picture 2
    This is the correct picture! This has changed from the one originally put up.

    Note: I will only accept a canon Malfoy POV. Even if you are sure that Lucius had a twin brother called Roger, or that Scorpius went through a civil ceremony with Albus and they became the Potter-Malfoys, I will highlight this as a twist too far of the prompt.

    EDIT: If you choose to write from Narcissa or Astorias' POV, it must be after they are married.

    Canon Malfoys are
    • Brutus (lived in 17th century, in case you’re interested)
    • Abraxas
    • Lucius
    • Narcissa
    • Draco
    • Astoria
    • Scorpius.


    All drabbles must be sent to me by Thursday 7th April 8pm BST.


    Madam Carmerta
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  2. #32
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    You know the drill.

    Read through the drabbles and decide which one is your favourite and which is your least favourite. Then click the little link to vote.

    Please bear in mind which brawler made best use of the prompts as well as any SPaG errors that may have occurred. The prompts were a Malfoy POV and two pictures.

    There will again be two leaving this week.

    Voting will remain open until 3PM (BST) Sunday 10th April.

    Thank you!




    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Title: A Summer Wedding
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd; none
    Word Count: 499
    Author's Note: Just in case it isn't clear: This is set after the Easter holidays in DH.

    It was the brightest day in what felt like a lifetime. Even more than on any other sunny day, he felt that it was absolutely impossible that the sun should not recognise their misery, that it, unlike them, should still be able to shine as brightly as it had the last year, and the years before that.

    So many years before this one.

    There was a patch of yellow in the garden in front of him, the colour of the already bright flowers enhanced by the sun. Next to it, his wife, thinner than ever, and so tired-looking, was leaning against the faded cherry tree. He remembered her leaning against that tree all those years ago, before it was even her garden, contemplating the same flowers. Back then, a smile had played around her lips, and her bright eyes had been full of life.

    ***

    “These are the ones, Lucius!” she said, looking at him over her shoulder as he approached. “I don’t want lilies or roses. I want these. Yellow gerbera.”

    She smiled eagerly as she tucked her hair back behind her ears.

    “Then you shall have them.” He pulled her close and kissed her on the forehead. “They’re perfect for a summer wedding.”


    ***

    In all the years that they had lived in this house together, even when they still had a house-elf, she had personally taken care of each year’s patch of gerbera. Even now, as he walked towards her, he saw that she was wearing her gardening gloves. The rest of their garden had long since grown over; none of their visitors cared much for the pleasantness of a neatly arranged garden, and both Narcissa and he lacked the strength to even cast a weeding spell.

    Gently, so as not to startle his wife, he placed one hand on her shoulder. She turned around and looked at him, but her face was empty.

    “Do you remember that day?” he asked, quietly, even though no one was near them.

    For a moment, she seemed to concentrate on taking off her gloves, but then she let them drop on the ground, looked up at his face and nodded, her eyes shining with tears.

    It was all he could do to keep himself from breaking down completely as he pulled her close.

    “Come here, Darling. It’s all right.” He held her, one hand on her back, one in her hair. Whether he was talking to her or to himself, he couldn’t have said. “It’s all going to be all right.”

    “How can you know that?” she said, sobbing into his shoulder. “Draco’s back at school, and we haven’t heard a word from him since he left here. Who knows what they did to him!”

    Very suddenly, she turned away and wiped her eyes. “How can you say that it’ll be all right? Things have been worse than ever since–”

    Renewed sobs shook her as she covered her face with her hands.

    He wished he knew what to say.
    Title: At First Sight
    Rating/Warning: 1st-2nd; None
    Word Count: 499 [MSWord]

    “You will see her,” said his father. “You cannot run away from this forever.”

    Years of resentment hadn’t enabled him to defend himself against his father’s imperiousness. His knuckles were turning white, yet his lips wouldn’t move to form the answer “No”. Minutes after his father had left, he was still seething in silence.

    “Let’s just get this done with,” he muttered to himself at last, walking out of his bedroom. He heard the voices of the Greengrass couple as he reached the living room. A wave of nausea hit him and he stalled.

    “Draco?” called his mother.

    With a heavy sigh, he straightened his collar and walked in, nodding at the Greengrasses. His eyes scanned the room for their daughter, Daphne’s sister, but she wasn’t there.

    Looks like she has left, he thought hopefully.

    The introduction passed painfully. Although he didn’t show it, he couldn’t bear shaking people’s hands while wondering what they must think his family’s fallen grace. He couldn’t help the paranoia, the feeling of shame which accompanied him every time he had to talk to someone other than his own parents. He was surprised by the fact that they kept coming, though. His father must have spent far too much gold in his heyday to still have some semblance of a social clout after all that happened.

    “Astoria’s gone out to see our garden,” said his mother. “Why don’t you go see her?”

    He noticed Mr Greengrass frowning and his wife giving an uneasy smile; perhaps, the daughter had left against their permission. Suddenly feeling happier, he made a little bow and said, “It will be my pleasure.”

    If the daughter didn’t like this, he might be able to get out of a marriage he didn’t want. But when he reached the garden and saw her, something happened.

    She was standing by a tree, her plain white robes disappearing into the bright orange flowers that grew in a circle round her. She was looking at something in the distance, unmindful of the fact that she cut quite a striking figure as her hair blew loose in the breeze and her silver hoops dazzled, caught in the afternoon sunlight. After staring at her for a few seconds, he thought he should make his presence known, but he seemed to forget her name and ended up coughing instead.

    She turned to look at him.

    He couldn’t say anything.

    “They are forcing us to marry,” she said bluntly. “I don’t want to. Do you?”

    Taken aback, he said, “I – er – no.”

    “We’ll tell them, won’t we?”

    All of a sudden, he wanted to declare “no”, but he still said, “Yes, we will.”

    She laughed in relief and walked towards him. “You’re not as bad as I thought, then,” she remarked, her green eyes piercing into his.

    He couldn’t break the contact. Before he could stop himself, he spluttered, “Could- could- we have a drink sometimes?”

    “Maybe,” she answered, smiling. “But let’s go and break the news first.”
    Title: Pulling Weeds
    Rating/Warning: 3rd-5th, none
    Word Count: 498
    Author's Note: A few weeks after the final battle.



    Lucius had never approved of her interest in gardening. Raking one’s hands through the dirt to remove weeds was beneath them; it was servant work. And so she’d given it up and learned to be content watching others hold the earth in their hands as they planted seeds that would yield brilliant color and life throughout the grounds.

    She’d become a spectator.

    Now, so many years later, she sat in the garden, dressed for guests though no one was expected. Her hair, makeup, and jewelry were perfect; she did this every day because it was what she had always done, before.

    She rose and walked the path to the edge of their property, brushing her fingers over bright orange blooms. She had evaded imprisonment, and yet, these last weeks had taught her one thing: there were all kinds of bars and all kinds of cages. And no one to blame but herself.

    She had become an accomplished spectator.

    She’d nodded and smiled and taken the hand of the man who had been chosen for her, wearing his ring and sharing his ideals. She had done all of this, and grown to love him. They’d made a life and had a son. And even now, she could not name the day when the pureblood ideals she’d always held to began to hold onto her instead… their fierce grip growing more and more frightening over time, threatening everything that mattered to her.

    Draco.

    Lucius had been so proud when he got his mark. Narcissa had smiled dutifully and held her chin high, only sobbing and vomiting much later on in her private quarters. That mark would mean the death of her son, she had been certain. He did not have it in him to take a life, not even someone he despised. And certainly the Dark Lord would kill him for such a failure. Without question.

    This knowledge had awakened her from her slumber, even provoking her to make her own decisions on occasion, even to defy him. She’d gone to Snape, she’d confronted her sister, and finally, her greatest rebellion: the lie she told in the dark forest. She regretted none of it—rather, these were her finest moments.

    She blinked several times, coming back to the present. It was a beautiful spring day, so incongruent to the condition of her thoughts. She turned and moved back toward the house, studying the flowers, feeling gratitude for the second chance her family had received. They were alive. Draco was alive; he was upstairs in his room at this very moment, breathing in and out and enjoying a pulse. This was everything.

    Near the house, she spotted a patch of untended ground around the roses. She glanced up toward her son’s window, then dropped to her knees in the dirt, sullying her pale trousers. She attacked the ground as she pulled up weed after weed, digging deep, getting them at the roots… and keeping at it until the ground was clean.
    Title: Amongst Orange Daisies
    Rating/Warning: 1st-2nd years/ None
    Word Count: 496
    Author's Note: This was much more Malfoyish before I had to cut it, but it's still Draco, albeit post-war.


    I yawned, opening my eyes lazily, before sitting upright.

    It had been stupid to fall asleep on the edges of the Manor grounds, if only because Mother might see the woman lying next to me. Mother had taken to long walks and sitting amongst the orange daisies and if she saw me lying next to a half-blood, even though we were merely friends and not lovers, she would have words with me. Loud ones. And although Father’s recriminations fell on my deaf ears, since it was his fault we had been involved in the Dark Lord’s sordid mess, it was Mother’s actions which had helped us not receive justice after the war ended, and therefore I continued to value her opinion and estimation of me. She wanted me to marry Astoria, and therefore I would. It would certainly restore our reputation, given that the Greengrass family were actually actively helping the Order throughout the war.

    I shook Esme awake. I had an engagement party to prepare for.

    “I’ll take you home,” I said, and she, sleepily, nodded. I stood up, brushing away the blades of grass that had blown onto my body as I slept, and extended a hand to help her up. She stumbled, falling against me, and I smiled. I held her close as I Apparated with her to the suburban street she lived on.

    “I’ve had a lovely day. Thank you, Draco.”

    I nodded, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear and, briefly, touching the golden hoop earring I had given her that morning.

    She shook her head slightly, the hair falling back. We were standing outside her house, a series of identical bungalows with identical plane trees in their drives, running to our right. The setting seemed too mundane and dull for anything important to happen, and I suddenly knew something important was about to happen, something which would have been better suited on the hill of blazing orange daisies at the edge of the Manor. But then Esme was never one to set the scene for an event.

    She kissed me on the cheek. “Enjoy your engagement party,” she said, gently. I frowned slightly. My intuition was rarely wrong, and that was something of an anti-climax. I realised I had been right about the something, and merely wrong about the timing, when suddenly she kissed me on the lips.

    I closed my eyes for a second, enjoying it far more than I had any right to, before stepping back.

    “I don’t think we should see each other again,” I said. She did not protest, instead looking at me wistfully and sadly, but with understanding, as I Apparated.

    I attended my engagement party and ostensibly enjoyed it. But when I was obliged to smile I could only think of Esme and I talking amongst orange daisies, and when I had to show concern or sympathy I thought of the expression on her face as I left her.
    Title: Tutorus Maximus
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd Years — None
    Picture Chosen: Fish-eye dreams
    Word Count: 500
    Author's Note: Molly doesn’t get enough love in Next-Gen. Enjoy!

    Just bloody unfair — that’s what it was. It was bad enough that Professor Longbottom had sentenced him to death by Herbology tutor, but what in the name of Merlin’s bristly back hair made the man think he could want anything to do with a carrot-headed know-it-all like her? And to top it off, she insisted upon meeting out by the lake for all to see: Scorpius Malfoy was being tutored by Molly sodding Weasley.

    She sat underneath a tree, staring out over the water. At what, he had no idea, but he sorely hoped that she wasn’t as vacant as she looked, or they were both in trouble. Not wanting to prolong the agony, he cleared his throat to signal his presence. It almost relieved him that she looked as annoyed with the situation as he was, and judging by the way she immediately flipped to the current chapter to be revised, she also wanted to prolong their partnership as little as possible.

    “I think we can review about the Plants of the Orient today,” she started. Thumbing through more pages, Molly added, “And then tomorrow, we can knock out Indigenous Species of South Asia. By then, if you can warm up a couple brain cells, maybe you can get caught up to everybody else.”

    “Oi!” Scorpius said. “I don’t want to do this anymore than you do. There’s no need to be insulting.” He was impressed with himself that he hadn’t hexed her. That was something he could do very well.

    Instead of looking impressed or contrite, Molly chortled and, with a swish of her wand, opened his book to the same page as hers. “Read Pages 216 through 218, and we’ll discuss.”

    Gritting his teeth, Scorpius did as he was bid, no matter how difficult it was. It was a challenge to keep his concentration, and the fact that she was frequently eyeing him to see if he was done yet didn’t help. “Don’t do that,” he grumbled.

    “Do what?”

    “You’re staring. It’s annoying.”

    “I’m not staring. I’m watching you read, and you’re not reading.”

    Slamming his book closed, Scorpius sneered, “Well, now I’m not. If you’d kindly shut your gob, maybe I could finish!”

    He decided not to press the matter. Turning back to the same first paragraph of Page 216, he tried his best to concentrate on Siberian Gillyweed and its magical properties. However, in order to escape, he pretended to peruse the text until he ‘finished’ the prescribed pages. “Done,” he said flatly.

    “Oh? Then tell me: how might Siberian Gillyweed be useful in this situation.”

    Before he knew what she meant, a spell hit him in the chest and hurled him into the lake. He clawed his way back to the shore, spitting and sputtering before crying, “What was that for?”

    From the book, she read, “Siberian Gillyweed allows one to be immersed in fresh water, yet emerge clean and dry.” She threw his book to him and said, “Now, let’s try this again.”
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  3. #33
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Title: I don't want to go!
    Rating/Warning: 1st-2nd
    Word Count: 490
    Author's Note: -

    He yanked at another flower, pulling it out of the bed.

    “Scorpius!” He dropped the flower immediately, feeling guilty at his mother’s reproachful tone.

    “What have I told you about my flowers?” she asked, coming to sit next to him on the garden bench.

    “Sorry, Mum, I wasn’t paying attention.”

    She studied him carefully. “You’re still worried aren’t you?”

    He just shrugged, concentrating on staring at the pile of ruined flowers at his feet rather than at his mother.

    “I thought your dad had spoken to you about this?”

    “He did,” Scorpius muttered. “It’s fine.”

    “Well it’s obviously not fine if you’re out here destroying my garden. Tell me what’s wrong – please?”

    “You won’t get it.”

    “I can try.”

    “I don’t want to go.”

    “Oh that’s completely okay, darling. Everyone feels a little nervous when it’s their turn to start, no matter how excited they are. And it will be strange getting used to being away from home but you’ll quickly forget you were ever worried.”

    “I’m not scared of being away from home,” Scorpius retorted. “I’m not a baby.”

    “Then what is the matter?”

    “It’s the sorting.”

    “But Scorpius, surely you know the sorting is just done by an old hat – it’s not something to be scared of.”

    “But what if I don’t get put in the right house?”

    He was doing anything but look at her by this point, and she saw him blink hard a couple of times, as if trying to hold back tears. It was obvious that this was bothering him more than she or Draco had thought.

    “And what would be the wrong house?” she asked gently.

    “I don’t know! I don’t know which house I want to be in and I don’t know which house I don’t want to be in. Everyone else seems so sure. What if I can’t make up my mind and the hat doesn’t know where to put me? And if I don’t get into Slytherin then Dad will be upset but if I do, then the rest of the school may not like me. And what if they think I’m going to be bad like Dad was at school?”

    Astoria pulled her son into a hug.

    “Shh,” she whispered. “It’s going to be okay – you shouldn’t be getting so worked up. You don’t need to know what house you want to be in – that’s why the hat is there, and it really is very good at its job. No matter what house you end up, your dad and I will be proud – remember that. And if there are people there who judge you based on what your dad was like when he was at school all those years ago, then I’d say they’re not worth being friends with.

    “Now, why don’t you leave my poor flowers alone and come inside so I can find you something to eat. I promise you, Scorpius, everything is going to be fine.”
    Title: Second Chances
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years, none
    Word Count: 474

    There she is on the side of the road, just sitting there. After almost three years, I barely recognize her. She sits in the shade of a large tree whose leaves are just beginning to fade from green to orange.

    I wish I could go over and say something, but I don’t know what to say. I’ve just begun to start in the opposite direction when she’s spotted me.

    “Draco?” she calls. “Draco Malfoy, is that you?”

    I close my eyes, breathe in sharply through my nose, and clench my fists as I turn slowly around and begin to walk toward her.

    “Astoria.” I acknowledge her, barely making eye contact.

    “Draco,” she begins, her eyes huge and apologetic. I’ve seen that look before, and I refuse to fall for it this time.

    “Whatever you’re about to say, Astoria,” I interrupt, “I’d advise you to think about it before you say it.”

    “Draco, I’m so sorry,” she says. I sigh; too little, too late. Three years ago, I might have accepted the apology, but now I feel as though it just makes my heart ache. I settle down next to her.

    “Aren’t you going to say anything?” Astoria presses when I don’t respond.

    “There’s nothing to say.”

    She lets out a small sniffle. “For most of my life, all I’ve thought about was what a screw-up I am.” She pauses long enough to look sidelong at me. “And I did screw up, Draco. I screwed up when I hurt you like that.”

    I listen intently to her story; I want to sigh again, to comfort her, but it will only show weakness, and I’m determined to prove a point.

    “Do you remember that day,” she asked suddenly, “when you first said you loved me?”

    I can’t help it; I groan and put my head in my hands. For the longest time now, I have tried not to think about that day. I feel vulnerable now, more vulnerable than she knows.

    It was a sunny afternoon, and we were quite alone. The Greengrass family owned a huge amount of land, all covered in greenery and flowers. Astoria was quite fond of one garden in particular, filled with orange daisies. They were her favorite, and flowers were flowers – who was I to object to a good snogging session?

    I don’t know what made me do it. We were just lying there, staring up at the sky, when I looked over and told her: “I love you.” And I did love her. She smiled and said it back, and we just lay there for a while, simply being, enjoying the moment.

    Now I look up, finally able to look her in the face, and am surprised to see her eyes sparkling with tears.

    “I still love you, Draco,” she whispers. “Please, can’t you give me a second chance?”
    Title: The Last of His Kind
    Rating/Warning: 3rd-5th years
    Word Count: 472
    Author's Note: -

    He is the last of his kind. Lying under a cover of latent happiness on his wedding night, he knows. He knows he will be the last.

    When Draco was a boy, his mother used to take him for walks around the estate. She would point out all the plants and recite their magical properties—the words, like silver, dripping from her tongue. He can remember that sound so clearly, now, as if she were standing next to him, hand in hand, while the dewy grass squelched beneath their bare feet. He breathes in and reaches out to his sleeping wife and traces petals across her bare back.

    His mother was different on those walks. She seemed free. She would kick off her shoes and pull down her stockings with such vigour. Once, they came upon a bed of orange flowers and she picked one up and twirled it far above his head. He jumped and jumped but still, he could not reach it. She teased him like that until the giggles of frustration bubbled down to a soft whine and she threw the flower to the ground and squashed it with the heel of her foot.

    “Draco.” He can still hear her laughter ringing through his name like the clang of his father’s fork at dinner, only more gentle, more kind. “You are lucky,” she said. “You are an only child.” But at that moment he only really cared for the flower she had denied him.

    When he was a child she would lift him up to her face and kiss him until he cried. He can still feel her cheek pressed against his, the smell of something sharp and floral, the taste of salt. Once, his father had stood at the door, watching them until he called for his wife to stop. The next day Draco received his first broom.

    His breathing comes faster now as his fingers trace lower and lower until Astoria stirs. He presses his wrist against her skin, sticky with sweat, and relishes the heat. Sometimes he wonders if he could burn away that flesh until he was clean again. Clean like the biting air on those morning walks with his mother. Clean like his childhood self.

    But his mother was wrong. He was not lucky. He was that flower, stripped of its petals and squashed and tainted and marked by the heel of his father, his Lord, and himself.

    When he was a child, his mother’s past haunted her eyes, and his father’s lust for power clouded their future. As his wife’s chest rises and falls in a soft swell, he vows his children will not become their father. Their lives will be free and their words will slip like silver from their tongues and they will live.

    Draco is the last of his kind.
    Title: Choice
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th year; violence.
    Word Count: 444

    She looked off into the distance, her eyes staring, penetrating, but bottomless too. The lawn sloped away beneath her feet, a gradual decline in gradient; at the bottom there was simply a gate, with an arch threaded with flowers bordering it. The flowers snaked up the sides of the slope -- flowers in every colour imaginable, their fragrances sharp.

    Draco, standing a few metres behind her, flicked his wand at a small patch of orange daisies. A single flower landed in his hand; he gripped it loosely, so as not to squash it.

    She jumped at his approach, pulled from her meditations, and gave him a small, careful smile as he gently tucked her hair back and stuck the flower behind her left ear.

    ‘Suits you,’ he told her seriously. He ruined the moment by winking at her. ‘Goes well with those beautiful brunette locks.’

    ‘We both know you prefer blondes,’ she murmured, shrugging off his compliment with cynicism.

    ‘Not true!’

    She turned her back to him; stared down the endless hill again. Her teeth caught on the inside of her lip: she bit down hard, breathing deeply as she felt the pain and tasted the iron flavouring of blood. The silence between Draco and his wife stretched out. It became awkward, as it did so often these days.

    As seconds turned into minutes, Draco finally snapped.

    ‘Say something! You avoid communicating with me. Why?’ His pale cheeks reddened, turning blotchy with anger.

    She bit her lip again. ‘I don’t know you anymore. You’re not the man I married.’ She was brutally truthful with him now that he’d finally confronted her. Plucking the flower from behind her ear, she twirled it thoughtfully between her fingers. Then she looked him in the eye. ‘You’re short-tempered; mean…’

    Draco snatched the flower from her fingers; he dropped it on the grass and ground it savagely beneath his heel.

    ‘You’re stepping over some invisible platform, and I don’t know why!’ she hissed accusingly, staring at the plant mulch fixatedly.

    He let out a great roar of frustration. She flinched.

    ‘Astoria, I’m guilty, all right?’

    She sighed, looking away from him again. He saw the tears building in her eyes. ‘Guilty of what?’

    He grabbed her chin and made her look at him. ‘I can’t keep away from the darkness, Astoria; it’ll always be there.’

    ‘I know that…’

    ‘I had to do it…’

    She took a deep breath before saying in a strong, cold tone, ‘Nobody has to do anything.’

    ‘They threatened Scorpius: what would you have done in my position?’

    She paled at this revelation. ‘Wh-what?’

    ‘Somebody is trying to hurt our family. I had to do it.’
    Title: Monochromatic
    Rating/Warning: 1st-2nd/none
    Word Count:287
    It should be one of the happiest days of my life, the day my son marries the girl he loves. It should be easy to smile, to laugh, to speak. It should be easy to play the host.

    I slip through the crowd, drink in hand, diaphanous silver dress robes swishing, swishing. I nod at one guest, smile demurely at another, pause to make conversation with a third, and move on.

    From beside the fountain, I watch my son lead his bride onto the dance floor. Our eyes meet and pleasure flares briefly in my chest as I observe the joy in his face, but if there is one lesson I have learned while watching their courtship, it is that one cannot live on borrowed happiness. The flare soon dies, leaving my chest as cold and lonesome as the cell in which you lie.

    A tear spills over onto my cheek and I turn away from the dance floor to stare out the window. Bright orange flowers are popping up in the flowerbed directly beneath the windowsill. I stare at them without seeing them, my mind drifting away in memories, dancing at another wedding, and staring into another pair of grey eyes while colorful dancers whirl around us.

    I blink. The garish flowers sway before me in the breeze, and I turn away, making a note to have the House Elf remove them. They are too bright to be in my monochromatic world.

    It should be one of the happiest days of my life, the day my son marries the girl he loves. It should be easy to smile, to laugh, to speak. It should be easy to play the host.

    But without you here… it’s not.
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  4. #34
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    ~RESULTS~


    Exciting week, brawlers. I hope you enjoyed your sojourn into the mind of a Malfoy. Come on, it has to be better than that toothbrush!

    Karaley Dargen – A Summer Wedding <1,1>
    hestia jones- At First Sight <2,0>
    Weasley Mom – Pulling Weeds <3,0>
    welshdevondragon– Amongst Orange Daisies <0,4>
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor – Tutorus Maximus <1,1>
    coolh5000 – I don’t want to go <1,2>
    FlightOfSong– Second Chances <0,2>
    the opaleye– The Last of His Kind <6, 1>
    inspirations - Choice <1,6>
    gwendalynne – Monochromatic <2, 0>

    So the winner this week is the marvellous Julia (the opaleye) who takes away five points of immense shininess, and bragging rights for a whole week,

    Leaving us this week are Alex (welshdevondragon) and Spire (inspirations). They will be hugged and squished to compensate and awarded 5 points each for participating and not doing a Zach Smith.


    The Fallen
    Miss Meg
    Maple and Phoenix Feather
    fawkestotherescue
    Midnight Storm
    Sainyn Swiftfoot
    AidaLuthien
    leahsm2
    Apollonius
    Cinderella Angelina
    Sapphireatdawn
    inspirations
    welshdevondragon


    Disqualified
    OliveOilMed
    melody 98
    mugglemathdork
    majestic ginny
    minnabird
    h-vic (Andromeda Tonksed )

    And so, brawlers, onwards ...

    WEEK 7


    A kiss may ruin a human life – Oscar Wilde

    Do not include this quote in your drabble. It is purely for inspiration.

    The catch: All drabbles must be written in First Person.

    All drabbles must be sent to me by Thursday 14th April 8pm BST.
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  5. #35
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    ~WEEK 7~


    We're old hands at this now.

    Read through the eight drabbles below and vote for your favourite and least favourite.

    When making your decision please take into account the prompt the brawlers were set as well as any SPaG. MNFF submission rules always apply.


    Quote Originally Posted by week 7 prompt
    A kiss may ruin a human life – Oscar Wilde

    Do not include this quote in your drabble. It is purely for inspiration.

    The catch: All drabbles must be written in First Person.

    There will be two brawlers leaving this week.

    Sorry, editing again

    THE POLL WILL CLOSE ON SUNDAY 17th APRIL 3PM BST





    Title: First; Last
    Ratings/Warnings:3rd-5th years/character death
    Word Count: 454
    The torches in the corridors hadn’t been lit; we shuffled along in near darkness. I felt nearly smothered by the crowd and by my terror, which felt nearly as corporeal as the people jostling me on all sides.

    A warm hand wrapped around my cold fingers and I looked around. Ben Marsh, a Gryffindor in my year, was standing next to me. My stomach, already unstable from fear, flipped over.

    ‘It’ll be okay,’ he whispered. A bar of moonlight fell across his face. He looked more excited than frightened.

    The crowd shifted and we moved forward a few steps. I wondered how we were supposed to get out – I had never seen an exit down this corridor. Beside me, Ben bounced on his feet. I turned to look at him. He was biting his lower lip and staring over the heads of the crowd. Finally, he turned to look at me.

    ‘I’ve got to help! I can’t leave Hogwarts now, not when we’re finally going to fight. Cover for me?’

    He turned to disappear into the crowd, but I caught him by the shoulder and he spun around.

    ‘Wait! They said only those of age—’

    I stiffened as Ben’s lips covered mine. He wrapped his hands around my waist and pulled me close. I stared at his closed eyelids for a moment then, relaxing, closed my own eyes and put my arms around his neck.

    My heart pounded out several staccato beats before he pulled away.

    ‘I’ve wanted to do that for two years,’ he whispered, grinning. Then he darted away, into the crowd.

    I stood looking after him, in shock. I had just had my first kiss!

    The crowd shifted again; the people around me pressed me forward but, suddenly, I felt no desire to leave. I hadn’t forgotten that You-Know-Who was at the gates, or that the teachers were preparing to fight him, but thoughts of the approaching battle were pushed to into the background. My silly, fourteen year old mind could only form one coherent thought: I had been kissed. I had to find—

    Ben !’ I screamed, and pushed through the crowd, running after him.

    Memories of that night are blurred beyond that point; all flashes of light, bangs, smoke, screams and – when, a few hours before dawn, I finally found Ben – anguish.

    I discovered him sprawled in the grass before the castle, staring, glassy-eyed, at the sky.

    I think I screamed. I dropped to my knees beside him. Weeping, I didn’t see the masked Death Eater until it was too late.

    It didn’t take long for the healers at St. Mungo’s to fix my broken body, but they never knew the deeper ailment. They couldn’t fix my broken heart.
    Title: My Last Iniquity
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd/5th Years — None
    Word Count: 500
    Author's Note: I rather like this plot bunny.

    Will you please come home this year? We miss you.

    Love, Mum


    I crumple the letter and toss it into the fire, hating myself for doing it yet understanding there is no alternative. Family gatherings at the Burrow hold no place for me anymore, for they are reserved for those whose weakest moments aren’t their most damning ones.

    And because she will be there.



    Audrey was in the kitchen, directing knitting needles whilst stirring a pot of something that smelt delicious. I was impressed by her multitasking ability. Mum could do that, but not everyone was that gifted. Every holiday, it became increasingly easy to see why my brother married her, plus, the back end of her didn’t look to bad, either. She was neither fat nor thin — just enough to hold onto.

    Stop it, I chided myself. She was married, and to my brother, no less; to me, she should look like Aunt Mildred. The mere thought of that should’ve straightened out my wayward brain. My only wish at that moment, though, was that it had been an isolated incident.

    But it wasn’t.

    I had never felt that way about Fleur, who, by all rights, was ridiculously attractive, nor about Angelina or Hermione, both of whom I had known for years. Just Audrey. Perhaps it was the fact that, despite being married to someone as uptight as Percy, she never seemed bothered or flustered by, well, anything.

    She must’ve realised I was giving her undue attention, because she set down her stirring spoon and packed away her knitting with one flick of her wand. I could see her take a deep breath before turning to face me.

    “We need to talk.”

    “What about?”

    “I’ve… noticed a thing or two, but I want to make sure there is no mistake.”

    So, she
    did know. I must not have been as smooth as I thought, since I only watched her when I was sure no one was looking. Still, I wasn’t dumb enough to just admit it. “No idea what you mean.”

    “Don’t play stupid with me.”

    That comment angered me. Whether it was guilt or not wanting to be talked to like an idiot, I didn’t know, but I almost involuntarily moved toward her, leaving hardly more than a couple inches between us.

    She was breathing hard, but so was I. “Charlie, I —”

    There sound of my name on her lips made me do the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I kissed her. The warm, salty taste of iniquity tainted the cherry flavour of her lip gloss, but I didn’t care; the more I had, the more I wanted.

    A throat clearing in the background stopped me, and I’d know that sound anywhere. Judging by the look in Audrey’s eyes, so did she. All at once, the reality of what I had done to her, to both of us, assaulted my brain.

    Not even looking at Percy, I headed for the Floo and left.




    I haven’t been back since.
    Title: Her First Kill
    Rating/Warning: 3rd-5th yr; Character Death, Non-Consent (not sex)
    Word Count: 418 [MSWord]
    Author Note: The speaker is Blaise Zabini's mother.

    My first victim was Demeke.

    I sometimes feel sad that nobody will put him on the list of suspected victims. His untimely death certainly holds much more meaning for me than the rest combined. It was an act marked with passion, and without any other motive save for vengeance.

    Yes, murder for vengeance is the sweetest.

    Demeke was the son of one of father’s close friends. He was three years older than me, and he often visited us. Perhaps, he could tell I was less-loved from the way my father occupied me with books and studies along with the boys. Perhaps, he knew that I wasn’t allowed to play with the other girls in the family, making up for the absence of a son from a wife who had died a premature death. Perhaps, he suspected my half-brothers didn’t care much for me, for I was always smarter than them. Whatever it was that gave him the confidence, Demeke chased me into father’s expansive orchard and forced a kiss out of me when I was fifteen.

    As soon as he was done and readying for more, he said he did it to help me feel like a girl. He said a boy’s kiss was needed to make a girl feel pretty.

    I still remember what it had felt like – a mass of blubbery flesh forcing itself against my mouth. It made me feel ugly and alien. To this day, I cannot kiss anyone without being reminded of it. The mere idea of my lips coming into contact with another’s repulses me and makes me retch.

    It was my magic that saved me that day. Even now, I can clearly recall the burning heat that emanated from my body, bruising his hands and arms, while not affecting me in the slightest. He stopped making advances after that, but I wasn’t done with him.

    Demeke was the boy who taught me something about men which I have put to use so many times in my life. Men find it hard to resist the temptation offered by a welcoming, beautiful woman; when that woman is me, it is impossible to do so. My name is, after all, Sesen – desire.

    A year after the incident, I invited Demeke over when I was alone in the house. I was waiting deep inside the same orchard, biding my time. He came half-running, half-walking, the lust apparent on his face even from afar.

    The last thing he kissed was the poisoned skin of my neck.
    Title: Loved, Then Lost
    Word Count: 498
    Warnings: 3-5th
    A/N: According to the HP Lexicon, Laura Madley is a Hufflepuff in Dennis' year. This takes place the first day of school, the year after the final battle.


    They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but I don’t know...

    I was friends with Dennis first. We were in the same boat when he fell into the lake, and later, we stood together waiting to be Sorted. The hat put him in Gryffindor and declared me Hufflepuff, disappointing me greatly until I realized that my new friendship with this small boy called Dennis would never be strained by something as silly as geography.

    It was Dennis who introduced me to Colin.

    I’m fifteen now, sitting in the Great Hall as a batch of first years anxiously watches the hat, waiting to learn their fates. Moments later, a girl with frizzy hair and dark-rimmed glasses joins us, smiling shyly through shouts of welcome and pats on the back from soon-to-be-friends.

    I hadn’t expected the Sorting to be difficult, but it reminds me of Dennis, and Dennis reminds me of Colin.

    The Feast is not as tempting as usual, if only because my mind is on the table behind me. I can’t bear to look over there and not see him smiling back. It’s impossible to think I’ll never again catch his eye over these tables and receive a wink for my effort.

    I soon find myself moving toward the common room with my housemates. My own name rolls around the edges of my mind, but I don’t realize someone is calling me until the voice booms with volume and frustration.

    “Laura Madley!”

    Heads turn and I fall back, trying to prepare myself. “Hi, Dennis.”

    “You’re avoiding me.”

    “We were at different tables.”

    “You never sit with your back to us.”

    “You haven’t been here in a year—how would you know?”

    He flinches, obviously hurt. “Would you really choose to lose us both?”

    My eyes burn with tears of regret and loss, and I know that if I try to speak again, I will fall apart.

    Laura... I know he kissed you at the end of that last year we had together. He told me he loved you.”

    I squeeze my eyes shut, hot tears spilling over my face.

    “You must miss him as much as I do.” His voice breaks, and then we are clutching each another in mingled grief.

    “I’m sorry,” I sob into his neck. Dennis is my best friend, my only best friend now. “I don’t want to lose you.”

    He holds me tight, catching bits of my robes in his fists. He smells like Colin, and suddenly I can hear the water lapping at the edges of the lake… feel our lips coming together after so long restrained by the boundaries of friendship. I squeeze my eyes shut, pushing out the memory.

    They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

    They’re wrong. I wish we’d never kissed—even in memory, the pain is unbearable. In the end, I’d rather grieve a friendship than hope lost.
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  6. #36
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    Title: Thinking of you
    Ratings/Warnings: none/1st-2nd
    Word Count: 500
    Author's Note:


    I expect him to come and find me when it is over. I sit with Mum, not wanting to leave her alone, but all the while hoping that he will come and take me away.

    He suddenly vanishes from the Great Hall. One minute he is there and the next he is not. He doesn’t even acknowledge me. He is too busy with Ron and Hermione, and even though I should be used to it by now, I still feel a pang of anger at being ignored.

    Which is why, when Neville asks if I want to go for a walk in the grounds, I say yes.

    “It doesn’t mean anything, you know,” he says as we wander, changing course every so often to avoid huge pieces of the school that have fallen around us.

    “What?”

    “Harry leaving the Hall without you.”

    I stiffen. I didn’t think anyone else had noticed.

    “You know what he’s like,” Neville continues. “He probably just needed to get away from it all.

    I don’t reply, because I don’t know how to explain that perhaps I needed to get away from it all too, and how I had hoped that with everything finished, I would be the first thing Harry thought of.

    We walk in silence. With every step I think of Harry who is not here, and Neville, who is. It is Neville, not Harry, who thought of me first.

    I tentatively take his hand in mine and though he falters for a second, he quickly resumes his pace.

    “Let’s sit,” I say, gesturing towards a clear patch of grass. We both keep our backs to the castle, so as to avoid the sight of more destruction.

    “I just wish,” I pause trying to work out how to say this, “that he had come to me first. It’s selfish of me.” For some unknown reason, tears are beginning to slide down my cheeks.

    “You’re not selfish, Ginny,” Neville replies.

    It is amazing how close we have become. But once you’ve been through the things we have, it’s hard to forget. Neville knows how hard it is to stay strong all the time. He realises that no one else will ever understand what it was like here, while they fought the ‘real war’.

    Without really thinking, I turn my head slightly and lean in. Almost instinctively he responds likewise, and our lips meet.

    We both know immediately that it is wrong and I pull back even as he is pushing me away.

    But it is too late.

    As we withdraw, I look over Neville’s shoulder to see a mop of black hair and a flash of green. He has stopped, but he is close enough that I can see the expression on his face before he turns and begins to walk away.

    I call for him, but he doesn’t look back. His shocked, hurt face burns into my mind and I realise that in one stupid moment I have ruined everything for him - for us.
    Title: Kissing Kills
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd/5th; Character Death (implied)
    Word Count: 500
    Author's Note: "Caecus" is Latin for blind/dark/invisible. Also: he may have joined the DA while Ginny, Luna and Neville were "still recruiting".


    “Girls,” I remember him saying, even now. “The best thing you can do is stay away from them. Kissing kills, you know.” He winked at me, then, and gave me another of his ice-cream creations. Uncle Florian always listened to me when I was a boy and had my first troubles with girls. Right now, I wish I had the brains to have listened to him. Maybe it’s because he disappeared so many years ago; maybe it’s because I’ve grown up. His words had slipped my mind right up to this point, and it’s ironic that I remember them now.

    Kissing kills. Even then, I had no idea how right Uncle Florian would prove to be.

    After the battle, after I had graduated from Hogwarts, I didn’t join the Aurors. It wasn’t that I didn’t think their job was glamourous or didn’t like the people who worked in the department. The problem was that I did like them – or at least knew them. The Auror offices would be too much like the DA, too reminiscent of the year that I wanted to forget. So I joined Caecus, the wizarding secret service – or rather, they recruited me.

    Five years I was in training and under a mentor before I was assigned my first own case. One of the virtues that I have learnt in life is modesty. However, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t brilliant at what I did.

    For ten years, I never made a single mistake. Up until tonight...

    I was sent to Novosibirsk two months ago. There are rumors of Dragongrass smuggling involving a major gang that has its headquarters over here. I was told that I might not be the only spy in the city, that the enemy has men as well. Men, they told me.

    When I went into that same bar as every night tonight, I expected to see some familiar faces – but not one that was this familiar.

    “Jimmy Peakes?” she exclaimed, jumped up, and threw her arms around me.

    Demelza Robins. Before tonight, I hadn’t seen her in years. She was the girl that caused me to pour my heart out to my uncle in his ice-cream parlour when I was thirteen. We instantly reconnected, and somehow, certainly helped by the rounds of vodka she kept ordering, we ended up in the small flat that I pay for by the week.

    She kissed me, full on the lips. Only when I tasted the bitterness in my own mouth did I realise that it was too late. Dragongrass lipstick – deadly poisonous.

    Now I lie here, paralysed, and, if I’m not much mistaken, dying, while she takes her time to find all the documents and notes I was carrying.

    Not one mistake in ten years, and then the kiss I have always longed for ruins everything.

    The other side don’t have men – they have a woman. The first girl I was ever in love with.
    Title: The Alpha and the Omega
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years; Slash
    Word Count: 498
    Author's Note:

    I killed her. We both know it. When I look back at what I’ve done and what I’ve failed to do, it’s hard to believe you’re able to look me in the eye and call me ‘brother’. I find it hard to look at myself most of the time and yet, every week, there you are, silent and careful but there.

    I still remember that piercing cry. I still feel it, rattling through my chest, quantifiable and certain in its frailty. Do you remember? Can you feel it too? Sometimes I lie on the stones in my office and press my cheek against the cold hardness hoping it might dull the sound, but it never does, and then I slap my hands on my chest as a punishment because I deserve the pain. How could I dare try and rid myself of her scream, her death, when I am at fault?

    I once believed that the future began at seventeen. I once believed that after I stepped over that greying precipice from child to man the world would brighten until I could see everything. But that was never true and it didn’t take long for that truth to burn bright one final, blazing time before shuddering into darkness once more. For the future never began. There was merely a deceiving interlude—the summer I met him, the summer my future came to an end.

    The feel of him is almost as clear as her scream. I was foolish, foolish beyond repair, and indulged. I had spent seven years as a golden child of shining, brilliant, untarnished perfection, and he made me feel more alive than any award ever had. I never caught on to the game we were playing, even now I do not understand, but when his hand pressed fervently against my back one evening, and when his eyes shone through the dimming light, and when our lips met in one heated, biting, bloody kiss, I was lost. I am so sorry. Please, tell me you understand? Tell me you know that such an anarchic combination of lust and power and freedom was too hard to resist? That love is the greatest temptation of all?

    You have every right to hate me, Aberforth. You have every right to shun me and my pleading explanations. But you don’t. You welcome me into your pub and serve me as a brother. When I look into your eyes, I see her. You must understand that! If I was ever distant or curt during one of my visits, it was from my own agony and my own guilt, not yours.

    I am broken; you must see this now. My life is ending like my future ended all those years ago. So, I implore you, brother, know that I know! Know that I am the one at fault. I chose to follow a man and his wicked schemes and she paid the price of my dalliance.

    I, Albus Dumbledore, killed my sister.
    Title: Less Than Nothing
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years/none
    Word Count: 174
    Author's Note: There's more than one type of kiss in Harry Potter.

    Devoid of all emotion, I stop struggling. Inevitable now what is to become of me, the excitement builds up. I hear its breath rattling, as though in hunger.

    Voices murmur somewhere above me as they guide me away. Under normal circumstances I would be hopeful of an appeal, but that emotion is no longer with me as I feel scaly hands wrap around my forearms.

    I am no longer aware of time. All I know is a cold, hopeless nothingness that threatens to consume my being. I no longer have the will to live.

    I can feel it coming closer, moving towards my face . . . Its putrid breath unleashes an overpowering feeling of terror upon me. My eyes are useless . . . all I see is white . . .

    The rattle of breath, the hopeless cold . . . these are the last things I am aware of before becoming wiped of all senses.

    Now I feel nothing. Now I do nothing. Now I see nothing.

    Now, I am nothing.
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  7. #37
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    It’s obviously getting much harder. One of the comments left this week was:
    They were all too good D=
    So well done, brawlers.

    But there has to be a winner and there have to be two leaving us this week. And it was a close run thing.

    Gwendalynne – First; Last <2,6>
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor – My Last Iniquity<1,1>
    hestiajones – Her First Kill <4,0>
    Weasley Mom –Loved, then Lost<1,2>
    coolh5000 – Thinking of You <1,1>
    Karaley Dargen – Kissing Kills<2,2>
    the opaleye – The Alpha and the Omega<4,1>
    FlightOfSong – Less Than Nothing<3,5>

    So the winner this week is Natalie (hestiajones) of Hufflepuff, who earns 5 points for her house, and the bragging rights for a week.

    Sadly we must say goodbye to gwendalynne and FlightofSong. Both have been wonderful contestants and take 5 points away with them, plus lots of hugs and Pepper-Up potion from Madam Pomfrey (or Mead if you’d rather)
    The Fallen
    Miss Meg
    Maple and Phoenix Feather
    fawkestotherescue
    Midnight Storm
    Sainyn Swiftfoot
    AidaLuthien
    leahsm2
    Apollonius
    Cinderella Angelina
    Sapphireatdawn
    inspirations
    welshdevondragon
    gwendalynne
    FlightOfSong


    Disqualified
    OliveOilMed
    melody 98
    mugglemathdork
    majestic ginny
    minnabird
    h-vic (Andromeda Tonksed )


    WEEK 8 –It’s a Secret.

    Below are four secrets found on the site PostSecret. Your drabble must be based around one of them. The picture is not important, the words are. You do not need to use the words in your drabble, the secrets are for inspiration.
    Remember all drabbles must conform to the usual MNFF guidelines and be between 100-500 words.
    Use this form for your drabble.
    PHP Code:
    [B]Name:[/B]
    [
    B]House:[/B]
    [
    B]Title[/B]
    [
    B]Secret used:[/B] (please quote the secret)
    [
    B]Ratings/Warnings:[/B]
    [
    B]Word Count:[/B]
    [
    B]Author note:[/B
    PostSecret 1

    PostSecret 2

    PostSecret 3

    PostSecret 4


    All drabbles must be sent to me by Thursday 21st April 8pm BST.

    Good Luck.
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  8. #38
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    WEEK 8

    There are six brawlers left and so six drabbles to read and dither over. Choose your favourite and your least favourite and please


    The brawlers had to chose one of the secrets as the inspiration for their drabble. You should bear the words they used in mind when you read the drabble (they didn't all use the same secret). You should also take into account SPaG issues and MNFF submission guidelines when making your choice.

    There will be ONE Brawler leaving us this week. The poll should close at 3pm Sunday 24th April. However, it is Easter Sunday and your barmaid might well be scoffing a load of chocolate, so results might be delayed.

    GOOD LUCK!



    Title: Neville
    Secret used: #4 I have a favourite child... It's not my own.
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd
    Word Count: 489
    Author note: She never really appreciated Neville until his sixth year – but why?

    For sixteen years, he has never been good enough for you, and you could never quite say why. When he was younger, of course, the whole family was worried that he might be a Squib – but you never truly believed that. With a family like his, with parents like his, how could he be non-magical?

    And then he did start Hogwarts, and still you felt that there was something missing, that he wasn’t good enough. But why? Because he was scatterbrained? Surely not. Sure, he didn’t bring in the perfect marks on his exams, or win any prizes at school, but was that really why you never praised him? No. After all, Frank didn’t start to get badges and prizes until his fifth year.

    The truth is that there was always someone else, someone you were comparing him to. And it was so terribly easy to compare your Neville to Harry Potter. They were born almost on the same day, and into incredibly similar circumstances. Both sets of parents had been in Gryffindor and were in the Order at the time of the births, and all of them had encountered You-Know-Who himself several times. And then, of course, when the boys were just over a year old, both their parents were wrenched away from them. However, while the Potters died heroic deaths, Neville’s parents, your own son and his wife, were tortured by a bunch of leftover madmen. Sometimes, you catch yourself wishing that it had been the other way around. You reprimand yourself, tell yourself that you should never wish for them to be dead, but at the same time, you know that you’re right. The Potters have a monument erected for them. Everyone knows their name. The Longbottoms are forgotten.

    Once he reentered the wizarding world, Harry Potter kept amazing everyone. The stories you heard – some from Neville himself – were even more incredible than his survival as a toddler. Not only were his parents famous for their deaths, Harry Potter was famous as well, and he kept gathering more fame. Would you rather have had him as a grandson? There were days when you had to keep yourself from thinking those thoughts. But in truth, what you really wanted was Neville to be a bit more like Harry, to do great and heroic things, so that people would remember your son like they remembered the other heroes.

    Now, though, as you read the article in the Prophet for the tenth time, you realise that Neville has done exactly that. He was at the Ministry with the others. He did just as much, maybe even more than Harry Potter. They call the boy the “Chosen One” now. This means that he has to fight all those fights. Neville doesn’t. He chose to. Finally, you see that he truly is his father’s son – and always has been. He is a Gryffindor for a reason, after all.
    Title: Take a Picture
    Secret used: ”To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness and may very well be the greatest secret in the universe.”
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd Years — Mentions of Character Death
    Word Count: 500
    Author note: There are several forms of love; this is but one of them. 

    He’s alone again. Why is he always alone?

    Eleanor Branstone couldn’t help but wonder as she and her friends passed by the lake and a brooding Dennis Creevey. Everyone had got used to it by this point, as OWLs became a larger concern than the quiet boy who never talked to anyone. But every time she saw him, Eleanor was a split second away from approaching him, only to lose her nerve.

    But that day, she couldn’t ignore him. Not on this particular date.

    Waving to her group, Eleanor said, “I’ll catch you up later.” She broke away and hesitantly approached Dennis. It only then occurred to her that she had no idea what to say. Everything that popped into her head sounded trite, and the last thing she wanted was to sound patronising.

    Instead, she sat next to him and tried not to be hurt that he didn’t even look at her. That was when she noticed something in his hand. “What is that?” she asked.

    “It’s a camera,” he said.

    “A Muggle one?”

    “Yeah.” When he noticed that she didn’t recognise its significance, he elaborated. “It was my brother’s. He loved taking pictures.”

    “Oh.” Eleanor wanted to kick herself for being this unprepared. What she was thinking, coming up to a grieving classmate with nothing at all to say, she had no idea, but she felt almost duty-bound to fix it somehow. But then she fell victim to saying the first thing that came to mind. “Do you take pictures, too?”

    Dennis snorted. “I don’t even know how to work the thing. I was always more into comics.”

    It was then that Eleanor finally had an idea and a commonality with Dennis. “Come with me. I have something to show you.” From there, she practically dragged him across the lawn and back into the castle. Before long, they were in the basements and slipping into the empty Hufflepuff common room. He looked around curiously.

    “This is nicer than Gryffindor Tower.”

    A smile threatening, she gestured toward an overstuffed chair. “I’ll be right back.”

    When she returned, Eleanor had her own magical camera and photo album in tow. Laying them out on the table in the middle of the room, she motioned for him to approach. He picked up the camera and inspected it.

    “I don’t know how to use a Muggle camera, but I can show you how to use this one.” Opening her album, she flipped through its pages before settling on the one that had brought her there. There were several snapshots of her classmates, all in some ridiculous pose, corresponding with small story blurbs written on parchment beneath them.

    “I-I know it won’t bring back your brother, but maybe if you had this one thing you could share…” Eleanor looked at him hopefully.

    For the first time in recent memory, Dennis quirked a smile. He picked up her camera and inspected it. “I love it,” he mumbled before adding, “So, what does this button do…”
    Title: Five
    Secret used: "To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe."
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th years; Mild Profanity, Sexual Situations
    Word Count: 498
    Author note: The four women who taught George a thing or two and the one who finally healed him.

    When she presses against him, their kiss is desperate and hot and more

    and more

    and more.

    When her hands slide beneath his shirt and his breathing sticks deliciously in his throat, he can close his eyes and block the darkness. But then Verity stops, she stands, and George is left lying on the floor of the back room, sweaty and alone.

    He has broken something that he shared with Fred and he has broken something he shares with another but he can’t think of her.

    He can never think of her.

    ---

    She moves towards him like a ghost, flicking between darkness and light as the strobes flash across the dance-floor. He hates it here, thrusting aimlessly against faceless bodies, so he grabs onto her. He doesn’t know who she is and yet she looks like the one he really wants, the one he shouldn't want, so he fakes a suggestive grin and leads her to the back of the club.

    When her hands slide into his back pocket the familiar, deathly sweet taste of vomit rises up into his mouth but he forces it back down. Her fingers wrap around his wand and, as she opens her mouth to ask what it is, he pushes her against the wall, silencing her with a kiss.

    “Don’t speak.”

    Don’t speak, he says, because then he can pretend she’s not some random Muggle girl at a London club but someone else entirely.

    ---

    “You’re sick in the head, George. You need to get a life, a life with real people in it.”

    Daphne Greengrass is demanding, aggressive, and the first person to be truly honest with him. She doesn’t care about his feelings, whether her words hurt, but they jolt him from this anarchic fantasy he’s living in.

    For the first time since he was cut in two, something warm flickers within his chest.

    ---

    When Luna asks him to dinner he knows it’s just a favour, an offer of company borne from pity, and she tells him as much when he goes to kiss her.

    “He won’t be annoyed, you know,” she tells him. “It would be wrong to resist. He wants you to be happy, to live… and to love.”

    He stares at the ground because perhaps if she can’t look into his eyes then she’ll stop reading his thoughts and she’ll stop being so damned right all the time.

    ---

    When he finally stands before her, shivering in the darkness with rain sinking its fingers into his skin, she smiles and welcomes him in as if she’s been waiting for him all along.

    He whispers her name. The syllables, natural and raw, tumble from his lips as if they’ve been held in for too long, and the hole in his heart softens ever so slightly.

    “Angelina.”

    She takes him in her arms and it doesn’t feel wrong, it doesn’t feel like an act of betrayal, it just feels like maybe there is more to live for.
    Title: A Different Kind of Family
    Secret used: I have a favourite child... it's not my own
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd/none
    Word Count: 498
    Author note: According to the HP wiki, Minerva was born in 1925 and began teaching in 1956 when she would have been around 30/31. That's the timeline I used in this drabble.


    No one at Hogwarts would ever guess that I had favourites, or indeed that I even liked any of my pupils at all. I knew that to the majority I was seen as stern, strict, and someone to be respected but not confided in.

    The truth is that they were my family. Widowed by the time I was thirty, I gave up the idea of my own children. My friends tried to convince me that there was still more than enough time to meet someone else, that my husband’s accident shouldn’t stop me living my own life. But I had had my chance. So I applied for the Transfiguration position at Hogwarts, making it clear to the Headmaster and the governors that there were no demands on my time, and that I could dedicate myself completely to the school.

    I think this bothered Albus. He has, over the years, suggested that I might want to experience more in life, but I have been happy here. And gradually, the pupils began to take the place of the children I would never have.

    Seven years pass quickly, and most students went by with little impact. I always paid close attention to the Gryffindors, never showing open bias, but doing what I could to help them along the way.

    Occasionally, there have been students who did make a difference. James Potter was one. I will never understand what it was about him that softened me. Had anyone else pulled the kind of stunts he and the others got up to, I would have had them in detention every night for seven years. But for some reason that group were different.

    I did my best to remain severe when I was in front of them. But later on, when I was alone, I would chuckle to myself about their latest exploits, and would remember my own Hogwarts days, and the group of friends that I swore I would never be parted from, but who have now all drifted away.

    I did my best to avoid having favourites after James died. Just because they weren’t my children, didn’t mean it didn’t hurt to lose them.

    When James’ son turned up I didn’t intend to become attached. But I quickly discovered that it was near impossible, and I spent the six years he stayed at school watching in horror as he risked his life and ended up in situations that no teenage boy should have to face.

    Harry was my last favourite. Even though I continued to teach after the war, there would be no one else who was quite the same. And besides, in a way that no other pupil has done, he embraced me into his life after Hogwarts. And now, I don’t feel alone in the world, and the decision to retire has been made so much easier knowing that all my years here have not been a waste, and that when I leave, I do have a family after all.
    Title:All The Right Mistakes
    Secret used: 3: "I regret that I haven't made more irresponsible decisions...You can't learn from the mistakes you haven't made."
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd yr; None
    Word Count: 478

    He had just returned from the toilet when he saw a new stack of files on his desk.

    “What is this?” he asked Martha Halloway who sat across him.

    “Muggle-borns who have died recently,” said Martha, still engrossed in her paperwork. “You need to strike out their names from the master-list.”

    “Died?”

    “Yeah.”

    “How?”

    “How would I know?” snapped Martha, finally looking up. She stared at him for a while and said, “Your glasses are dirty. Did you know that?”

    “No,” he replied, taking off his glasses and rubbing them on his robes. Martha eyed him in disgust, but he couldn’t care any less. His fingers were trembling and he wanted to do something other than open the files.

    “Trevor said you have to finish this before tomorrow afternoon,” said Martha as she returned to her work. “Better start now.”

    He sat down and contemplated the purple folders; they seemed to enlarge and fill his head. As he reached out for the topmost one, he could feel his stomach kicking up a revolt.

    Wiping his forehead, he untied the knot. A familiar face greeted him on the first page. Dirk Cresswell.

    “I’m not well,” he told Martha, abruptly packing up and pulling on his cloak. “I’ll finish this at home.”

    Without waiting for her reply, he picked up the files and walked out. Then he flung them on the floor as soon as he had reached his flat, and crashed on his sofa, opening a bottle of Firewhisky.

    Where had he gone wrong? All his life, he had prepared to become a man of greatness, a man of respect. A personality. Everything had gone as planned: OWLs, Prefect, Head Boy, NEWTs, a good job at the Ministry. He had sacrificed so much for that dream, missing out on childhood fun, working his arse off, breaking ties with his family.

    Was this he had been hurtling to? A part of a regime that murdered innocent people by the dozens? A killer himself by association?

    He’d always projected himself as the responsible one in the family. Now, he realised that the notion had been nothing more than self-delusion. He was but a daft idiot of the highest order, and in trying to be perfect, he had merely turned out to be most imperfect among his siblings.

    Taking out his wand, he sent a Patronus to the only person he could both trust and face at the moment. Then, he waited. He had already drunk half the bottle when a silvery goat appeared in his living room with the message he had hoped to receive. A dry sob escaped him when the Patronus dissolved into the air.

    He got up and started gathering the files which lay haphazardly on the floor. “You’ve been given a second chance, Perce,” he told himself, his voice slurred. “Time to make all the right mistakes.”
    Title: Weeping Forward
    Secret used: To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th, none
    Word Count: 498
    Author note:


    Waking up is the hardest part.

    For a few precious moments before my eyes are fully open, I can’t remember what is wrong. My heart hurts in my chest and tears are very near the surface, but for a couple of seconds, I don’t know why.

    Then it comes: Fred is buried in a grave at the back of our property.

    Every morning, I cry in the shower. I lean against the wall, mourning my son and indulging my own relentless pain. When I am empty, I go downstairs and make breakfast. Arthur and Percy go to work early, but Ron and the girls eat here. I listen carefully to their words, trying to convince myself that they’re all right, that their wounds are healing in places I can’t see.

    I weep, and then I walk.

    I send an owl to Charlie. Thoughts of him keep me up at night—he is so far from us, and we need each other now. Does he talk to anyone about his brother? The thought of him alone, thinking about Fred… I can’t bear it.

    Some days I visit the grave; it’s a good place for crying, and that is what I do. When I’m done, I tend the flowers in front of his name, making sure everything is in its place.

    I weep, and then I walk.

    Occasionally, I go to the Ministry. Harry is always busy, but I take him coffee and something to eat, and he asks me to sit for a while. He’s overly grateful—I suspect he thinks himself unworthy of my attention, but I’ll keep on until he understands.

    Percy likes to focus on work, but he gives me his time when I come around: his guilt is greater even than his work ethic. He tries to impress me with what he’s working on, and I smile, wishing he’d realize that he’s been forgiven and this list of accomplishments is unnecessary.

    I find Bill at Gringotts and chat if he has the time. Sometimes I think he is more a comfort to me than I am to him.

    Then I go to the shop.

    Fred’s absence is never more pronounced than it is wherever George is, but I must see George…must make certain he isn’t slipping down into the dark water. He walks around breathing, and I hardly think I could expect more. I make him promise to come for dinner, and then I go home.

    There is nothing left but to the love the ones that remain, to touch them as much as possible, and not to dwell on the fact that the days are numbered on every life that passes through the walls of this house.

    At night, I lie with Arthur. We are alike in grief, and I can breathe deeply when he is there. I fall asleep thinking of life’s most important lesson…

    When love shatters you, you get up and do it again anyway.

    You weep, and then you walk.
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  9. #39
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
    Kill the Spare
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    Week 8 results

    It should be said here that the majority of comments for this week were along the lines of: ‘I didn’t want to vote anyone out’.

    Karaley Dargen – Neville <2,3>
    The Opaleye – Five <6,3>
    Coolh5000 – A Different Kind of Family <2,1>
    Hestiajones – All The Right Mistakes <1,4>
    Weasley Mom – Weeping Forward <8,0>
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor – Take A Picture <1,9>


    Once again, Lori (Weasley Mom) takes the 5 shiny winners’ points and bragging rights for the week. (Is that three times now?)
    And it is with much sadness that I reveal that Jess (ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor) leaves us this week. She takes away 5 points for participation, plus an earlier set of points for being a stage winner.

    Wow, I feel rather like I did when Fred died.

    But, we must sally forth and continue to fight.

    WEEK 9 – The Curse of the Songfic

    Ah, how we love ‘em. This week’s challenge is to write the oft-abused songfic drabble. It must be based on Trouble by Coldplay. You may not use the lyrics in your drabble, but it must be clear that this song is the inspiration.
    Lyrics here:
    Oh no, I see,
    A spider web is tangled up with me,
    And I lost my head,
    The thought of all the stupid things I'd said,
    Oh no, what's this?
    A spider web, and I'm caught in the middle,
    So I turned to run,
    The thought of all the stupid things I've done,

    I never meant to cause you trouble,
    And I never meant to do you wrong,
    And I, well if I ever caused you trouble,
    O no, I never meant to do you harm.

    O no, I see,
    A spider web and it's me in the middle,
    So I twist and turn,
    But here am I in my little bubble

    Singing, I never meant to cause you trouble,
    I never meant to do you wrong,
    And I, well if I ever caused you trouble,
    Although I never meant to do you harm.

    They spun a web for me,
    They spun a web for me,
    They spun a web for me.
    The catch: You must write about a major character (check the forum for people who are considered MAJOR or PM me), but you cannot write about Harry, Draco or Snape. You can mention them in the drabble, but it must be clear that they are not the focus of your writing.
    For example: You could be writing about Minerva McGonagall thinking about Quidditch and she muses, in passing, on how badly Draco is flying. You cannot write Minerva obsessing over Draco.

    As usual, all drabbles must be between 100-500 words. Please keep in mind MNFF guidelines, and remember your SPaG.

    Use this form for your drabble:
    PHP Code:
    [B]Name:[/B]
    [
    B]House:[/B]
    [
    B]Title:[/B]
    [
    B]Ratings/Warnings:[/B]
    [
    B]Word Count:[/B]
    [
    B]A/N:[/B
    All drabbles need to be sent to me by Thursday 28th April 8 PM BST.

    Please note that there is a strong chance that the drabbles will be posted late. This is because your barmaid has been invited to the Royal Wedding and needs a long time to get ready.

    Okay, she’s actually going to watch her daughter in a play. Drabbles will be up either late on Thursday, or early Friday morning – APOLOGIES.

    Any questions – PM me.

    Good Luck, mes amies.


    Madam Carmerta
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  10. #40
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
    Kill the Spare
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    WEEK 9 ~ THE CURSE OF THE SONGFIC~


    You know what to do, guys.

    Read through the drabbles, bearing in mind the prompt (very important), and then vote for your favourite and least favourite.



    There will be ONE person leaving this week. The poll will close on Sunday 3pm (BST) 1st May!




    Title: Counting Sins
    Ratings/Warnings: 3-5, none
    Word Count: 497
    A/N:



    If only forgiveness was a tangible thing.

    Percy wanted to hold it in his hands, see and feel its properties; he wanted to set it on a table and walk around it, studying it from every possible angle. If he could do that, then perhaps he would begin to understand how to measure it and judge its authenticity when it was extended to him. Maybe then he would know if he’d truly received it.

    At times, he wished they had punished him. Had he really deserved to sit between George and Dad during the funeral service? Why had Mum washed the linens in his old room and asked him to stay with them during that first difficult week? He had hurt them, and yet they’d gone out of their way to welcome him back.

    He thought of the letter he’d written to Ron years before, outlining his parents’ failures and encouraging his little brother to follow him along the right path by ditching Harry Potter and toeing the Ministry line. Even now, it sickened Percy to think of it; he was truly thankful that—even at that young age—Ron had had enough sense to see the folly in Percy’s logic.

    If only he had seen it himself.

    There was so much to regret: that bad advice to Ron, hurting his siblings, breaking Mum’s heart by returning their Christmas gifts, and missing Bill’s wedding. But nothing… nothing… shamed him more that what he had done to his father. Arthur Weasley had raised him, taught him right from wrong, and supported him through every success in school. And in return, Percy had made him a fool in the eyes of many. He had nodded and rolled his eyes when other Ministry officials had remarked on his father’s incompetence or lack of loyalty and pride. He’d laughed at jokes made at his family’s expense, particularly his dad’s, without even a twinge of regret. The list went on and on.

    He’d been so blind. Now, in hindsight, he could see clearly the mechanics of the web that had been laid out for him and countless others to climb upon in the name of ambition, in pursuit of success and recognition; he’d given up everything for it. And he’d been stuck in the middle long before he’d finally caught a glimpse of the truth in the spaces between the lies.

    Percy had no reason to think his father held any of these failures against him. On the contrary, he frequently stopped by the office to chat, and they sometimes met for lunch on work days. There was no condemnation in Arthur’s eyes, and had not been since they’d faced one another in the Room of Requirement.

    And yet, Percy could not stop thinking of the harm he’d brought on his family, and so the burden of guilt he still carried was heavy.

    In the end, forgiveness was simply too difficult to pin down.

    It was so much easier just to count his sins.
    Title: The Decision
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd/none
    Word Count: 499

    He downed the shot and signalled for another.

    “Rough night?” the barman asked.

    “It’s hardly even started,” Peter replied. There was still half an hour before the meeting. Then it would be two hours of listening to the amazing things that everyone else had been doing, risking their lives and fighting Death Eaters, while Peter simply sat in silence, knowing that no one considered him skilful enough to join in.

    “Maybe you should slow down a bit,” a voice interrupted his thoughts.

    “What’s it to you?” snapped Peter, turning to look at the stranger. He started in recognition. The figure was dressed all in black, with a hood almost completely covering his face, but Peter knew instantly who he was.

    “Good evening to you too, Mr Pettigrew. I believe we have something to discuss outside?”

    Peter followed him from the pub.

    “I told you I needed more time,” he hissed, as soon as they were outside.

    “And I am here to tell you your time is up. You work to the Dark Lord’s timings, not your own. You will learn that when you join him.”

    “And who says I am going to join him?”

    “He does.”

    “He doesn’t know what he is asking.”

    “Oh quite to the contrary, he knows exactly what he is asking. I think it is you who does not understand what is being offered. You could have the glory you have always dreamed of, the chance to prove what you can really do and friends who respect rather than pity you. The Dark Lord can give you the things that Dumbledore never will. And all you have to do is give him what he needs. But he will not wait forever. There are others who would be grateful for this opportunity. The Dark Lord has chosen you, Peter. You don’t want to refuse him.”

    “But my friends -”

    “Do not respect your talents. If you choose to stay with them, blinded by the so called love that Dumbledore puts so much emphasis on, then do not expect mercy when they have abandoned you, and you face the Dark Lord alone.

    “Now, I believe you have a meeting to attend. I will not keep you any longer.”

    The man turned away as if to Apparate.

    “Wait,” Peter called. “I’ll do it.”

    Even though his face remained covered, Peter knew the Death Eater was grinning. “We’ll be in touch,” he said, before turning on the spot and vanishing.

    A few seconds later, Peter followed suit and landed outside the Order of the Phoenix headquarters.

    “Wormtail!” Sirius greeted him as he entered the building. “We thought you were going to be late.”

    Peter jumped at the sound of his friend’s voice, sure that he would guess instantly. But Sirius seemed the same as he always had. Perhaps, he would be able to do this after all.

    He pushed all the doubts from his mind. He had made his choice. It was time to claim the respect he deserved.
    Title: Between Blood and Tears
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th yrs; Character death, Strong Profanity
    Word Count: 492


    He was standing next to the grave even after everybody had left. The pain from his broken nose pounded his head, yet he refused to heal it with a charm. After all, he deserved it.


    “You don’t understand, Ab – ”

    “Yes, I do! You’re going to run off with him and try to rule the Muggle world, forgetting you have a family – ”

    “Even if we do, Aberforth, we are doing it for the better – ”

    “You shut your blooming mouth! I was talking to my brother!”

    “There is no need to take that tone with Gellert.”

    “Why, Al? Because you care for him more than you care for your own, don’t you?”

    “That is not true!”

    “But it is! You don’t give a Knut for Ariana any longer, you selfish bast – ”

    Crucio!”


    Hadn’t that been the moment when he realised what a mess of things he had made? For months, he had been spinning an elaborate trap around himself.


    “Ariana? ARIANA!”

    “No! No! NO!”

    “Where is that son of a *****? WHERE IS HE?”



    Of course, Gellert had left. Left for good.


    “For that bloody coward, you were ready to forsake us.”


    A lone line of blood trickled down his nose. As he wiped it, he felt the void in his heart expand.


    “Ab –”

    “I don’t want to see your face, Albus. Leave me alone.”



    Everything was gone in one fell swoop – his family, his love, his ambitions. He hadn’t intended for any of this to happen.

    He’d loved his sister and brother; he’d wanted them to be happy. He’d deluded himself into thinking that whatever he had been planning with Gellert had been for the betterment of all. But now that he was no longer under the spell of the promise of power and glory, now that all he had left with him was the grave of his sister, the eternal resentment of his brother, and the absolute certainty that Gellert was out of anybody’s control, he understood that he had, in fact, been entirely wrong.


    He saw the punch coming but made no effort to block it. The impact of his brother’s fist against his nose and the crunching noise it produced gave him a satisfying sense of punishment.


    He bent down and brushed his fingers against the headstone, the symbol of his gigantic errors. Its stark, impersonal coldness offered him no comfort. He was utterly alone.

    The tears came finally; he let them stream down his face without restraint. They were warm. They told him he was alive and able to feel. They assured him he wasn’t a remorseless monster. And because he was human, he wouldn’t return home but run; for all his achievements and intelligence, he lacked the courage to face his brother’s well-meant anger and his own fathomless guilt.

    “I am so, so sorry,” he whispered to those who wouldn’t listen, and Disapparated with a deafening crack.
    Title: Conversations In The Dark
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th years; Sexual Situations
    Word Count: 492
    A/N:

    It was an explosion in the dark that woke them. There was a bang, a single, momentary flash of white, and a shout. He jumped from their tangled sheets while she stirred gently before lifting her head to watch him. He gasped and shook while she reached out her hand to soothe him. He blinked. She blinked. Finally, her whisper broke the silence.

    “Hush, love.” Her lips brushed against his ear and he turned to her, let her hands rest upon his chest to calm the thudding beat-beat-beat. “It’s just that mad Elsie Whippleworth across the street.”

    She’s right, he thought. It was not the first time that mad Elsie Whippleworth from across the street had disturbed their sleep. It was not the first time he had woken from feverish dreams of the battle, either. And it was not the first time he had woken with the thought that maybe tonight was the night he would lose Hannah, that he would lose himself.

    “Every time I think they’ll come for us like they came for my parents. I’ve already put you through so much.” He lifted his fingers to touch her cheek, to trace the thin battle scar splitting her face in two. “I couldn’t stop this,” he whispered. “What if I can’t save you again?”

    “Stop it, Neville.” Her voice was hard but soft, a calming reprimand that tumbled effortlessly from her lips. It was the same every night. Her fingers closed around his hand and brought it to her chest. “This is nothing. After what you did in the battle, it’s nothing. Don’t blame yourself.”

    “I could have-”

    “Hush.” She kissed him hard. “You could have stopped this? Is that while you were saving Susan and Ernie and Lavender? Or while you were protecting the school from hundreds of giant hairy spiders? Perhaps you could have saved me while chopping off Nagini’s head! I forgot that everything was your responsibility.”

    He shook his head and sighed.

    “Perhaps I-”

    “No. I survived, we survived. Stop saying such stupid things and kiss me.”

    All traces of fear, all thoughts of rogue Death Eaters barging into their room for long-awaited revenge faded from his mind. He looked down into her eyes. Such a simple act, he thought, and yet it made him feel more secure and sound than he had ever felt before. The flickering yellow lamplight outside their window shuddered across her bare skin.

    “Besides, soon there’ll be someone else other than me to worry about.”

    “What? Are you-”

    She breathed out in a quiet laugh and slid her hands from his chest. Down and down and down…

    “No,” she replied. “But we’re awake now and you need a distraction…”

    It was an explosion that woke them. But it was the heat of his wife curled beside him, limbs entwined, breath on breath, and the feeling of her heart, alive and beating against his, that sent Neville back to sleep once more.
    Title: What Friendship Changes
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd; Character Death
    Word Count: 498
    A/N: The prompt was to use the song as inspiration, and that's what I did – if maybe differently than expected. In my opinion, the song fits Hagrid on many different levels – after all, he did never mean any harm, yet some of his actions tended to end badly for him and/or others.


    “You shouldn’t have come, Hagrid,” he says weakly, before Hagrid has even stepped out from between the trees.

    “How couldn’a ‘ave come?” he asks, his voice half-choked.

    With a long drawn-out groan, Aragog shifts his many legs slightly, and Hagrid walks past the tree trunks and webs to put his hand on the spider’s massive body. Aragog’s blind eyes keep staring in the distance, but Hagrid knows that he can feel that his friend is near.

    “You have done... so much for me...”

    “Don’ say tha’!” Hagrid’s own sight is blurred by tears now. “I’m just takin’ care of an old friend, tha’s all.”

    “No, Hagrid. I don’t mean just lately. You–” Aragog breaks off, the strain of talking apparently too much for his weak body.

    Hagrid wipes his black eyes with the back of his free hand. “Don’ say anything, Aragog.”

    “This is the end for me, Hagrid. I need to thank you now, before it is too late for me.” There is another pause as Aragog summons his remaining strength. “When you were young, and I had only just hatched, you took care of me. You saw me not for a monster, but for anything I had the potential to be. When other wizards would have killed me, or locked me away at best, you took care of me – and they expelled you for it. I know that it didn’t matter to you,” Aragog says as Hagrid begins to interrupt him. “You keep saying that. But it changed everything for you, and not necessarily to the better. It is... in your character to trust. Others think you have a blind love for vicious creatures, monsters, but I have known you long enough to see that in truth, you believe in anyone you meet, no matter their race. You see the beauty that remains hidden to so many others. I have learnt that from you, but I have never been able to pass it on to my kind.

    “When I die, Hagrid, you need to leave me here.”

    “No!” he suddenly yelps. “I can’t just leave yeh here! Ye’re my friend, ye’re more of a person than most of the wizards out there now, and ye deserve a proper–”

    “It is not about deserving,” Aragog says calmly. “Not in this world. Otherwise, your life would have been very different. My kind eat their dead. This is the only attempt I can make at ever repaying you for what you sacrificed for me. Don’t bury my body. Your life matters more than this.”

    “Ye’re my friend,” Hagrid sobs. “I need to bury you.”

    “You’ve always been–”

    A last tremble moves Aragog’s body, and then he lies still. Hagrid lets out a howl of despair, but he knows that there is nothing he can do to bring him back now. The body is massive, but he picks it up nonetheless, and moves quickly – already he can hear the clicking of the pincers between the webs.
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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