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Thread: The FIFTH TTB DRABBLE BRAWL~THE FINAL~ RESULTS INNNN

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    The FIFTH TTB DRABBLE BRAWL~THE FINAL~ RESULTS INNNN

    BRAWLERRRRRRRRS! ARE YOU READY?



    Well, let's get going then


    Your prompt for this week is


    The Sorting Hat



    Yup, that's it.

    Well, not quite.

    You need to write a character's Sorting, but it has to be one we haven't read, or heard about afterwards. (This includes any information you may have heard on Pottermore). Therefore I am excluding not only Harry Potter (naturally), but Hermione, Neville and Professor McGonagall.
    The Hat needs to speak to your character, so we need reasons why the person is Sorted into that house.
    Lastly, you must choose a character whose house is known. You may believe that Rita Skeeter can only be a Hufflepuff because she's so kind and loving, loyal and true, but we don't know that so don't write her.

    PM me (Equinox Chick) your drabbles. And use this form.


    PHP Code:
    [B]Name: [/B]
    [
    B]House:[/B]
    [
    B]Ratings/Warnings:[/B]
    [
    B]Character used:[/B]
    [
    B]A/N:[/B
    All drabbles must be between 250 - 500 words.

    You have until Thursday 8pm (BST - that's British Summer Time) to send me your drabble. Anything later than that and you're out of the brawl and with no participation points. (You'll be termed Zach Smith!).

    I will post the drabbles on Thursday evening, set up the vote, and then publish the result on Sunday afternoon (as near as possible after 3pm, but sometimes your barmaid gets a bit busy with Sunday dinner)

    TALLY HO!



    ~Madam Carmerta~

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  2. #2
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    Apologies for lateness and general dopeyness, your barmaid is up to her eyeballs in Butterbeer bottles.

    Okay, are you ready?

    Please read all the drabbles and then vote for your favoutite and least favourite.



    Vote HERE


    Drabbles below. Please note, any rubbish or unimaginative titles will be down to yours truly who forgot to include a space for the drabbler to think of their own title. Do not discount anyone for that reason ... pretty please.



    Title: Where She Belonged
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd/None
    Character used: Luna Lovegood
    Word Count: 482

    Luna stood in line with the other first years, waiting her turn to approach the sorting hat. They were going in alphabetical order. She liked that. ‘L’ was a safe letter – never the beginning when everyone was still paying attention, or right at the end when you’d be left standing up there alone. No, ‘l’ was in the middle of them all, and no one ever spent too much time noticing the people in the middle.

    At the strange Muggle Primary School her daddy had insisted on sending her to after her mother died, Luna had always done her best not to be noticed – to be the person in the middle. The other children there weren’t like her, and they thought she was strange because she dressed differently and used funny words. The teachers thought she was strange because she was a nine-year-old who couldn’t multiply but could name seemingly every variety of plant and wildflower, including some they weren’t even sure existed. Her mother’s home-schooling, they decided, had not followed the National Curriculum. It had been a relief to them all when they’d discovered Luna would be going to a special secondary school, and wouldn’t need to pass any of the same tough entrance exams as the other children.

    “Lovegood, Luna.”

    Professor McGonagall called her forward and she took her place on the stool. She was not nervous; her daddy had told her all about the sorting, and that the hat was something that could be trusted. She sat perfectly still on the stool, waiting to hear her fate.

    “Hmm…” the hat’s voice echoed through her mind. “You are an interesting one, aren’t you?”

    Luna didn’t respond. She didn’t think she was supposed to. She didn’t really mind where she ended up anyway. She was sure the hat would know what to do.

    “There is plenty in here for me to look at. You’re certainly clever, and you like to learn, that much is obvious.

    “But you are loyal too, not only to your friends but to your ideas. You won’t be easily persuaded.

    There was another pause while the hat seemed to think.

    “Yes, I think this is right,” it continued. “You have a Ravenclaw’s mind, but your ideas are perhaps a little too different to fit in. You certainly would have an easier time in Hufflepuff, but I’m not sure it would be enough for you. You need the challenge that only one house can give you, and that will be Ravenclaw!”

    With the last word, applause broke out across the hall and just like that, Luna was sorted. She skipped happily towards the Ravenclaw table, to join her mother’s house. She might not have said anything to the hat, but secretly she had known this was where she belonged. The hat had told her it might not always be easy, but there was nowhere else she’d rather be.


    Title: Colin Creevey
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st Years/None
    Character used: Colin Creevey
    A/N:

    “RAVENCLAW!” the Sorting Hat shouted, sending Casey, Marcus off to join his new house. Colin, who had been craning his neck for the last several minutes, had just barely managed to step up on the Hufflepuff bench next to him when McGonagall’s voice rang out against the Ravenclaw’s cheers.

    “CREEVEY, COLIN!”

    He squeaked excitedly and ran up the bench, climbing hastily over a few poor Hufflepuff fourth years in his excitement. Colin jumped down, stumbled a bit over his robes, and hoisted himself up onto the stool. He accepted the hat from Professor McGonagall, pulled it over his head, and waited, squirming in his seat.

    “Excited to be here, aren’t you, Mister Creevey?” the hat said, its voice whispering in his ear. “Aha – you’re Muggleborn. It is always fascinating to be inside a Muggleborn’s mind – you are all of you ready to be jolted awake, as though this might all be a dream.”

    I hope not, Colin countered, a part of him afraid it might be.

    “It is not, nor am I. But you are quite the dreamer – our World is perfect for your kind. Now where to place you? You want to do well, that much is clear, but not just for yourself, eh? No, no, you want to please everybody else. You’re loyal enough to be a Hufflepuff, I say, but there seems to be something more important to you than that…”

    Colin swallowed hard, savoring every word. What did this Hat know that he didn’t?

    “You live in these dreams of yours, I see, these childhood fairy tales. And you will do anything to protect them. There is a strong sense of right and wrong with you, young one. Hold onto that, and you will find your way. And as for your place here in Hogwarts. I think it ought to be…GRYFFINDOR!”

    Title: Cryptic
    Ratings/Warnings: none
    Character used: Andromeda Black
    A/N: /



    ‘Well, how curious! Cunning and ambitious, like any of your relatives, indeed.… Quick minded and talented too; you’ll be quite the witch someday.’

    Andromeda did not know how to respond to the quiet voice in her ear. Was a polite thank you in order? But why hadn’t it just shouted out Slytherin, instead of bothering with all this talking?

    ‘Ah, and I see courage as well, although you might need some convincing… ‘

    Her heart skipped a beat as the hat stopped talking. What did that mean? Was the hat suggesting she join the Gryffindors, like Cameron Becker, the half blood that had been sorted before her, had?

    Andromeda could have sworn she heard a soft chuckle emanating from the hat. Her back straightened automatically; she didn’t take to being laughed at, least of all by a hat! There it was again, a soft chuckle next to her ear.

    ‘No, I agree, Gryffindor is not quite the place for you. Too flashy and rash; I see resourcefulness and the need to do what is best for you.’

    Slytherin, the girl thought desperately. Peeking out from under the rim of the Sorting Hat, Andromeda saw the Great Hall alive with motion as students leaned in to their friends, murmuring quietly to each other. Probably wondering what’s taking so long, she thought, and with some trepidation she glanced over to where her sister Bellatrix sat. She was glaring frostily at her classmates, but Andromeda saw that she was chewing her lower lip and knew she was anxious as well. Please just say it. Slytherin.

    ‘Slytherin then. How interesting… I wish I could see how your life plays out. SLYTHERIN!’

    Andromeda took a sigh of relief, and promising herself to mull over the cryptic words the hat had given her later, she returned it to the Professor and hurried over to her waiting house.

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  3. #3
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    Ratings/Warnings: 1-2nd years\ None
    Character used: Severus Snape
    A/N: Title: Snape vs. Snape
    Title came from the MoM song, Snape vs. Snape, and it seems to fit this well. It wasn’t inspired by it, but I feel the title fits freakishly well, seeing as though I chose it after I wrote the drabble.

    As I watched Lily head over to the Gryffindor table I felt my heart grow heavy in my chest. It had hardly touched her head before deciding! There was no hope we could still be friends after that. Even if I begged the Sorting Hat to be with her. . .

    No. I won’t sink that low. I’m Severus Snape. A soon-to-be Slytherin, just like my mum. Lily and I will be fine. We’re too close to be split apart because of stupid Gryffindors. I just hope Potter and crew don’t turn her against me, once they’re all in Gryffindor. But maybe they have a point; a greasy, slimy Slytherin like me doesn’t deserve a beautiful Gryffindor like her. I watched as Lily turned her back on Black and marched off to sit somewhere else. That’s my Lily. . .

    After what seemed like all eternity, it was my turn to be sorted.

    “Ah. Severus Snape. I heard all about you in Lily Evan’s thoughts. It seems you two are quite close, yet you seem to want to be in Slytherin, where as your best friend is in Gryffindor.” I immediately thought of my mother. “Oh! It’s what your mum would want? Eileen Prince, I remember her. She didn’t do much in her time here, or out of Hogwarts, for that matter. . .” I immediately became defensive of my mum. It was my stupid Muggle father’s fault.

    “I see that’s a touchy subject with you, Severus Snape. Hmm, on to your sorting. I see that you have all of the determination, cunning, and skill of a Slytherin, but there’s something more. I sense you would do anything for Ms. Evans, and that is what I like to call true loyalty. Though I don’t think your Hufflepuff material, no, you’re too secretive for them, and you’re not a Ravenclaw either. Gryffindor, though, your loyalty could fit in well there. Then you’d be with Lily, as you so desire. What say you on the matter? It is up to you, in the end. . .”

    Severus’s heart skipped a beat. He could be with Lily! But what about mum, and how she told him the Gryffindors are no good? He was torn.

    “I see you unsure, so now it is up to me. You yearn to be with Lily, and I sense that if it were any other matter you would plead with me to stay with her. But being in Gryffindor goes against your entire nature, save for your loyalty to Ms. Evans. So I’m sorry, dear boy, I cannot help you. You are destined for this house, even though brave, fiery, little Ms. Evans will be absent from your table.”

    Severus knew what was coming before the batty old hat even opened its mouth. His chest suddenly became very heavy, but he hid it well. No one would ever begin to suspect anything was wrong with the boy who had just been sorted.

    He was, after all, a Slytherin.

    *******

    Ratings/Warnings: -
    Character used: Pansy Parkinson
    A/N: this was actually a bit hard.
    Title: Twisted


    The moment Daphne was sorted to Slytherin, Pansy was determined to be sorted there, too. It wasn’t only because of Daphne though; her father was another reason. Father was always saying he’d be proud to have her in any House (although Mother wanted her to be in Slytherin) but Pansy thought he secretly wanted her to end up there, too. She’ll do anything to make him proud.

    As her name was called, Pansy eagerly walked to sit on the stool. Her eyes glided across the Great Hall, stopping on a light blonde head.

    “Hm. The Parkinsons were always a tricky bunch,” drawled the Sorting Hat. “They had the loyalty and sense of fairness that Helga admired, but their sense of fairness was rather twisted in their minds…”

    No! Pansy thought. I don’t belong in Hufflepuff! She glanced at the Hufflepuff table, the sight of their yellow and black colors and warm smiles making her break in sweat. No, she most definitely cannot be in Hufflepuff! She deserved to be in Slytherin, ruling over that posing girl, Daphne! It was unfair!

    “You see?” the Hat chuckled. “Twisted sense of fairness indeed.”

    “See here, Mr Hat,” hissed Pansy quietly. “I’m going to be in Slytherin, and you’re going to put me in there.”

    “Now, now,” grumbled the Hat lowly, “no need to be impolite; I’ll have you put in Hufflepuff with that kind of behaviour.”

    Unaware that the Hat was teasing, she easily conceded and apologized, albeit a little angrily.

    “Now, where were we… ah, yes. Determination and ambition, a most delightful mix of traits for…” said the Sorting Hat, “SLYTHERIN!”

    She grinned widely as she hopped off the stool and went to sit at the Slytherin table. She sat directly across Daphne. They shot off a meaningful look at each other, then Daphne gave a challenging leer. Pansy glanced to their neighbours and saw a fellow first year with platinum blonde hair. He was sitting beside Daphne, his face set in a haughty smirk. Daphne blushed delicately at Draco Malfoy’s attention.

    Pansy quickly understood.

    Her cousin Daphne, with her soft features and sweet singing voice, has continually showed her up. She was always the one with the prettier dresses and coming up with lovelier compliments to the older women in other households. Daphne’s father talks about her a lot – saying how much she was a princess both in their home and out, but Father would be there to counter it. As Draco glared at the boy named Harry Potter receiving a deafening welcoming cheer, she gave a small smirk at Daphne.

    She’ll know in time that Pansy was the true princess here, and Draco Malfoy would be there to help remind all of them.

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

    Ratings/Warnings: 1-2 year, none
    Character used: James Potter 2
    A/N: Hurrah for battling through crappy first tries!
    Title: The First and only Sorting

    James didn’t want to show it. He didn’t want his father to know that he was secretly terrified. He didn’t want his mum fawning over him. He didn’t want it to show that Uncle Ron’s jokes were getting to him.

    He just had to be Gryffindor. His whole family was there (well not the Muggle part of him, obviously): his parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents… basically everyone that he knew. He didn’t want to be the odd one out.

    There were whispers as James walked up to the Sorting Hat. He was the first Potter at Hogwarts for more than a decade. The Prophet wrote an article about it a week ago, so naturally everyone knew about it.

    Before the Hat was placed on his head, James saw every eye on him. For what James imagined not to be the first time, the hall was plagued with very silent whispers.

    “Aah, a Potter,” said the hat. “I was wondering when I would get another one.”

    That’s nice.

    “You don’t seem to have an eye for the rules-“ James grinned “- and you are exceptionally talented. Hmm, you have a very imaginative mind… but yes, there’s plenty of courage I see…”

    James grinned. He had to be Gryffindor. There was just no way he couldn’t be.

    James knew it was time for his answer when the hat moved on his head. The fringe on the inside brushed his nose – and wouldn’t that be the way to do it: sneeze when the hat calls your name. He held his breath to prevent just that.

    And then the nerves hit him again. In one second he’d be placed for life. There’d be no take-backs. No second chances. No, ‘Oh, sorry, I think you read my mind wrong!’ This was it.

    “Gryffindor!” shouted the Hat.

    James breathed again. He was bombarded with cheers from the Gryffindor table, and with pats on the back from the people near him. He sat down next to another first year. At the Gryffindor table.

    Take that, Uncle Ron.



    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd/none
    Character used: Regulas Black
    A/N: ~
    Title: Gray Eyes and Black Glass


    His gray eyes stared, fixedly, at the dark ceiling; his hands clenched and unclenched, fingers stinging with cold.

    He was gliding over a lake of black glass. The water didn’t even seem to ripple beneath the boat. He extended a hand to feel the smooth surface...

    He could barely make out the hangings of his bed in the darkness. Slytherin green. A rush of pride filled him. He had honoured his family name. He had finally set himself apart from his brother, stepped out of his shadow. He’d be the loved son now, the one given attention.

    The hat finished its nonsense song, and a professor began calling out the new students’ names. He knew he’d be one of the first, but he was still startled when his turn came.

    “Black, Regulas.”

    He stepped forward, his heart pounding. He could feel all the eyes in the hall on his back.


    The dungeons were colder than he had expected. Sirius had never told him they were cold... but Sirius wasn’t a Slytherin. He couldn’t have known.

    As he turned to sit on the stool, he found another pair of gray eyes watching him from the table with red and gold hangings. Then the hat covered his eyes, and he couldn’t see anyone.

    Sirius had always pushed the boundaries, pulled strings just to see how far they’d go before they’d snap, and their parents had watched him do it. Their eyes, their time, had always been given to him. No one had ever noticed how hard his younger brother had tried to do exactly what they wanted, be exactly who they wanted.

    A voice spoke in his ear.

    “Another Black, I see. And with much the same fire as your brother. Ah, but you are more jealous than he, aren’t you. Cleverer. You think before you act. I see plenty of bravery here, and intelligence. Fiercely loyal, but only to a chosen few... Where shall I put you?”

    “Slytherin. Just put me in Slytherin.”

    “It is true, you’d do well in Slytherin, but such untapped amounts of courage would do very well in Gryff—“

    “Not Gryffindor, hat. Please, no!”
    Not like Sirius, he thought.

    “Well then, the only place for you is... SLYTHERIN!”


    He had written his parents. Perhaps, this time, they’d finally notice where he had gone right when his brother had gone wrong.

    The hat came up off his head, and he walked to the silver and green table amidst a chorus of applause from his new house mates. The gray eyes at the Gryffindor table were nowhere to be seen; their owner had looked away.

    His fingers were still cold. He turned on his side, cradling his hand to his chest and remembering the boat ride across the lake. Soon, he fell asleep and dreamed of glassy black water and gray eyes.

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  4. #4
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    Title: The Great House
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years/none
    Character used: Cedric Diggory
    A/N: The sorting hat may take one's choice into account, but sometimes the hat just knows best.

    “Diggory, Cedric!”

    He perked up as his name was called. The other first year students turned their heads to him as he stepped out of line.

    We’ll be proud of everything you do, son, his dad had said to him before Cedric boarded the train. He knew it was true – his parents were very supportive – but what if he was sorted to Slytherin? Would they still be proud?

    He expressed this concern once, to his mother, when he first received his letter from Hogwarts. It was almost a year ago but he still remembered her comforting words: “Not all Slytherin’s are mean, Cedric, just a little more determined to achieve their goals, that’s all.”

    But would she be proud of a Slytherin? If so, what about a Hufflepuff? He had read about Hogwarts and didn’t like the sound of Helga “taking all the rest.” He lay awake in bed for many nights pondering that statement. Did it mean he wasn’t good enough for the other houses? If he was a Hufflepuff, did he not have any good qualities, not even a Slytherin one? Would that make him just a plain, boring student destined to be overshadowed by the rest? He never expressed these concerns, however.

    He tried not to show his nerves as Professor McGonagall placed the hat on his head. He flinched slightly, surprised by the hat touching his crown.

    This was it. This ripped old hat was going to determine his entire future at Hogwarts.

    “You’re not boring, no not at all,” the hat said into his ears. He flinched again, this time from the surprise of the hat speaking to him.

    “Um,” he murmured out loud.

    “No need to let the whole Hall know,” it spoke again.

    Okay, he thought.

    “Very brave, I see. Oh, but the loyalty you have, yes, very loyal indeed. Like a true Hufflepuff.”

    But, I’m brave, too! Cedric interjected.

    “Yes. Tricky. You would fit well in Gryffindor. I can see many great things and no doubt you’ll be able to accomplish them in Gryffindor.”

    Cedric sighed in relief.

    “Hufflepuff could be just as equally rewarding, you know. There have been many great Hufflepuff’s over the centuries. Just because you are humble does not mean you will be overshadowed,” the hat explained.

    Humble, loyal… these are good qualities, right? Cedric contemplated. Not boring at all. And there have been great wizards in the house…

    “Very great and famous wizards, indeed, who have all shown that devotion and kindness are the things that bring you further in your goals.”

    Being courageous or even bright seemed very rewarding to Cedric, but what were they if he wasn’t the modest, dependable boy that he was? Would his personality change if he were sorted elsewhere? Maybe Hufflepuff was the right place for him. After all, being a trustworthy and reliable friend was important to Cedric.

    “Yes, as I’d known from the start, you will do well in…

    HUFFLEPUFF!”


    Title: - Family Tradition
    Ratings/Warnings: 1-2nd, none
    Word Count: 494
    Character used: George Weasley
    A/N: My research indicated that "hat" only needs to be capitalised in the phrase "Sorting Hat."


    George’s eyes rolled up toward his hairline as he waited for the hat to say something. Fred had only moments ago taken his seat at the Gryffindor table. Surely it would be the same for him.

    Well?

    “Patience, Mr. Weasley. These things take time.”

    George swallowed hard. He’d never considered that the hat might have trouble placing him.

    “You were expecting Gryffindor, I see. Possibly, possibly… there’s bravery here, and loyalty… and the family resemblance is substantial.”

    There you are, then. All the Weasleys go to Gryffindor.

    “That’s generally true, but you possess other qualities that, if indulged, could lead you along a different path.”

    What qualities? What path?

    “You are mischievous—cunning, even… and ambitious beyond most of your classmates. I see a penchant for rule-breaking as well.”

    George realized what the hat was suggesting and broke out in a cold sweat. Please. I’d never last in Slytherin: my brothers will murder me.

    The hat seemed to ponder this for a moment, making thinking sounds like “hmmm” and “errr.” Then, when George thought he would certainly explode from the torturous wait, the hat reared back and shouted, “GRYFFINDOR!”

    Relief flooded through him. He slid off the stool and quickly put as much distance between himself and the Sorting Hat as he possibly could. Sitting down next to Fred, he received pats on the back and hearty congratulations from his brothers and housemates.

    George couldn’t speak privately to Fred until later on, when they were getting settled in the dormitory. “So… Did the hat have anything interesting to say to you?”

    Fred looked up with a startled expression that quickly grew suspicious. “Why? Did it say anything interesting to you?”

    “Maybe.”

    Fred dropped a jumper back into his trunk. “Did it consider sending you to a different house?”

    Again, George felt a surge of relief. “Slytherin,” he muttered.

    “Me, too. What was that all about? Think of Mum’s reaction!”

    “We’d have got Howlers for sure.”

    “Do you think he was taking the mickey?”

    George hadn’t considered that the hat may have been playing them. “Dunno, but what he said about my Slytherin qualities…”

    “Yeah,” said Fred. “’Suppose he was right about some of that.”

    “Can you imagine the look on Dad’s face? Or Bill’s?”

    Fred’s expression moved from grave to amused.

    “What?”

    “You’re right about Dad. But it might have been worth dealing with the disappointment just to see the look on Percy’s face if either of us had gone to Slytherin.”

    The corners of George’s mouth curled up with pleasure. “Wouldn’t have done much for his Head Boy ambitions, would it?”

    Fred’s face changed once more, and George knew exactly what his brother was thinking: they might not have disgraced Percy by being sorted into Slytherin, but they were in a position to make his pursuit of an unblemished Hogwarts career a bit more interesting.

    “Let’s finish unpacking, yeah?” Fred grabbed the discarded jumper with a dangerous grin. “We’ve got work to do.”



    Title: The Sorting of Theodore Nott.
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th years, Character Death(Spoken of, not occuring.)
    Character used: Theodore Nott
    A/N: Just the usual disclaimer that the world of Harry Potter belongs to JKR, not me!

    "Where to place you, where to place you. . ."

    I don't really care much. Just please get it over with.

    "You don't care?"

    Theodore Nott gave a non-committal shrug, then flushed as he realised that the students and teachers watching would see it, and wonder what the hat was telling him.

    "Hmm. . . well your father cared very much. He wanted to be in Slytherin very badly indeed. You could be in Slytherin, cunning, I detect. But you also have a significantly clever mind. A curiousness. . . your mother was in Ravenclaw, was she not? Oh I'm sorry, I'm sensing hints of distress about your mother -- yes, I see. You had to witness her death, didn't you."

    Yes. Please just sort me.

    "Painful topic, yes, my apologies. You're rather impatient, are you? That'll rule out Hufflepuff--"

    Most definitely not Hufflepuff.

    "I thought you didn't care, either way?"

    Just not Hufflepuff.

    "If you insist."

    Mum always said they were idiots. Theodore winced, and shifted in his stool. He hadn't meant for that thought to slip out, and he knew the inquisitive hat would make something out of it. And all of the students kept staring at him. . . This was taking far too long.

    "You loved your mother very much, didn't you? Yes. . . I can see that a part of you wishes to be in Ravenclaw, and you'd have the intelligence to match it, but however, however. . . tricky one, aren't you? It will make your father proud, and even despite that, I think you'll do best in -- SLYTHERIN!"

    Theodore sighed and smiled a little. He snatched the hat off his head, handing it to Professor McGonagall. The hat was right. . . he would have been happy in Ravenclaw, yet he was also very happy in Slytherin. While Ravenclaws were smart, he thought, Slytherins had a composure about them, not all bothered about the state of their homework. Slytherins were more calm, cool, collected. And the hat was right in that his father would be pleased. Theodore felt a bit bothered, a bit peculiar. It was very strange, having someone hear his thoughts, taking a look inside his head. He wasn't used to it. He was more of the type to keep it all inside, for it didn't really do much to tell everyone everything you were feeling. Theodore was thinking this as he sat at the long table, while people with unknown faces clapped him on the back. It wasn't like there was a point to letting anyone else know. He hadn't had a close relationship with his father for a long, long time, so besides. Who else would he have to tell?



    Title: Tremble
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years, none.
    Character used: Quirinus Quirrel
    A/N: I was really curious about this character and his sorting. I hope you enjoy it!

    The boy will be a hard one to place. I can sense that as he climbs the steps. Even from a distance I can tell he is confused, terrified; he has no idea what he is doing in these grand stone halls, or among these wizards.

    He sits on the stool, and I know his name: Quirinus Quirrel. I feel him trembling as Minerva lowers me onto his head.

    I will have to be delicate.

    “Hello,” I say, tentatively. Quirinus jumps. “Relax. I’m just going to look at you for a moment, and then decide which house to put you in. Is that all right?”

    He pauses for a moment, and then nods.

    Not a Gryffindor, definitely. Gryffindors are supposed to be bold, and not jump out of their skins when a magical hat says hello.

    I wait a moment in case he wants to say something. They sometimes do. But he says nothing, and so I go to work.

    I try not to let him know I am there. Moving too boldly will frighten him. Instead, I move calmly and slowly through his mind. I see the years of primary school, sitting in a corner by himself with his nose buried in a book. I watch as he presses flower petals between pages, and as those same pages are torn out of his hands and thrown to the ground. Petals drift out and are stomped into the dirt.

    His reaction tells me all I need to know: he reaches out, and, fingers trembling, picks up his book and holds it to his chest. Ignoring the taunts of the bigger boys, he turns and walks away. He sits under a tree. A leaf falls from a branch high above his head and drifts down toward him. He catches sight of it. As he stares, the leaf slows and finally stops at his eye level. He keeps it there for a few moments, staring at it, then sighs and slumps back against the tree, opening his book once more. Released, the leaf plummets to the ground.

    Had he reacted in any other way, this would be much more of a challenge for me. Had he retaliated, or defended himself, I would have to reconsider my initial opinion of him.

    Quirinus will need a place where people will let him be quiet. He isn’t ready to come out of his shell yet; he will need time. He wouldn’t make it a day in Gryffindor or Slytherin, and the Hufflepuffs would try too hard to socialize him and pull him away from his books.

    That leaves only one option.

    “Quirinus?” I say.

    “Yes?” he asks, his voice shaking.

    “I think I know where I’m going to put you.”

    He pauses. “Where?”

    I tell him.

    An even longer pause, and then he says, “Okay.”

    I draw breath, open my mouth, and then shout to the rest of the room, “RAVENCLAW!”

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  5. #5
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    Title: Chrysalis
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years; very mild references to injury, violence, and character death.
    Character used: Lavender Brown
    A/N:


    Have I led a brave life? I feel too young to be asking such a question but I also feel too young to be lying on a ground of cold stone, eyes half shut, with a steady stream of warmth blooming beneath my cheek. Around me, Hogwarts clamours in discordant battle. I wonder if this is the last view I shall ever see.

    Time slows and the noises recede into a dull, unending quiet. I know I should be fighting but my body won’t work so I try to wriggle my toes. I cannot feel my legs. Something seems to slip away from me and I know I should grab it, hold it, but everything is so hard.

    I see stones of green emerald scattered before me. The sight is almost beautiful. Slytherin green empties out across the Hall as my friends fight and fight and fight. Another stone skids into view and this time it is a brilliant ruby red.

    It is so very nearly beautiful amidst all this destruction.

    I once told a hat that I loved beautiful things. I sat upon a stool and the murmurs from the hundreds of other students seemed to recede into a dull, unending quiet, much like this.

    “So, you want to be with beautiful people,” said the hat and I remember shivering at the small voice in my ear.

    I told him that was not the same thing.

    “Interesting. Are you beautiful?”

    I told him that I would like to be. The hat was silent for a while and I remember my hands fidgeting, sweaty and hot under a sea of restless stares.

    “Yes, I can see that. But to what lengths would you go, I wonder…”

    I had to think about that.

    So, I said, “I found a chrysalis once and when my mum told me what it was, I wouldn’t leave the garden until it hatched. I was so scared that the chrysalis would break or that a bird would come and gobble it up. Three nights I slept outside protecting it and I’m scared of the dark!”

    The hat asked me if I wanted to keep the butterfly and I can still remember my confusion. Why would I want to keep it all to myself? What a shame and what a waste!

    “GRYFFINDOR!” roared the hat.

    My lips twitch upward at the memory. The emerald and ruby stones are almost touching and my eyelids droop further until the red becomes green, and green becomes red. Soon, I will not be able to see anything at all.

    In the distance, there is a dull crack and I remember the butterfly as it slipped from its chrysalis, as its wings softly pried themselves apart, as it fought for the strength to fly and fly and fly.

    My name is Lavender Brown and as I feel Death grip my neck with his skeletal fingers, I know that I have led a brave life.

    If only for one night.

    Title:Much Too Bold
    Ratings/Warnings:None. First-Second Year
    Character used: Oliver Wood
    A/N:



    “Wood, Oliver!”

    McGonagall’s voice rang across the Great Hall as a tall, brown-haired boy made his way to the stool. He showed no sign of nervousness as he sat down and the patched hat was placed upon his head, nor did he seem surprised when the hat began to whisper in his ear.

    “You show much ambition,” the Sorting Hat noted. The boy agreed, for he had high hopes for his Quidditch career at the school. He was going to make the team by second year and he was going to captain it for more than one year, if he had anything to say about it.

    “Yet while you are ambitious, you are in no way sly. You show the marks of someone who works hard to achieve their goals. Wind, sleet, or rain will not stand in your way.”

    Oliver had worked hard at becoming his best at Quidditch. He had ridden his first broom at the age of two, and his dad had been coaching him through the finer points of Quidditch since he was old enough to understand the game.

    “I can see you have a loyal heart and are very fair. That coupled with your work ethic makes Hufflepuff a clear choice.”

    For the first time since he sat down on the stool, Oliver looked a little stricken. He didn’t think his dad would be impressed if he ended up in Hufflepuff.

    “Yet I sense that you often put others in front of yourself. At the same time, you are not always sensitive to people’s feelings. You are much too bold to be a Hufflepuff, so it better be GRYFFINDOR!”

    The deciding word rang across the Great Hall. A relieved Oliver hopped off the stool and headed to the Gryffindor table, ready to make his mark in Gryffindor Quidditch history.



    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd -- none
    Character used: Lily Evans
    A/N: * indicates a line taken from DH - The Prince's Tale. I realise that I'm taking some liberties with the length of Lily's Sorting. In my mind, the conversation between the Hat and the student happens much quicker than a normal conversation would, since it's all in that student's head.
    Title: Memories
    Word Count: 499


    A moment before the Hat slips over your eyes, everything around you seems to slow down. The voice in your head hardly surprises you at this point.

    “Oh my, what talent... I haven’t seen that in a while. Ah, but not a Ravenclaw.”

    “I’m not stupid,” you think before you can stop yourself. To your horror, the Hat seems to have heard you, and chuckles in reply.

    “No, certainly not. But you don’t want to know for knowledge’s sake. That wouldn’t satisfy you. No... you are quite ambitious.”


    Suddenly, a memory strikes you.


    “Does it make a difference, being Muggle-born?”* you ask, and the second that your friend hesitates is agony. When he finally tells you that it doesn’t, you relax, but as you do, another feeling flares up inside of you. It doesn’t make a difference. You can be as good as anyone. That he hesitated shows you that some people do think that you’re not going to be one of the best, but you’ll show them. You don’t know what you’d do if you really turn out to be below the average at Hogwarts. It’s not an option.


    “And such a disregard for rules! Hmm, I think I know where to put you... Except...”


    “Lily, don’t do it! Mummy told you not to!”* cries your sister, but you barely hear her as you float through the air. “Mummy said you weren’t allowed, Lily!”*

    You don’t understand why you should listen to your mother. You’re fine, and Tuney’s fine, and these things that they tell you not to do actually are a lot of fun. As long as no one gets hurt, what’s the harm?



    But then another memory interrupts.


    Your best friend has just tried to hurt your sister, you’re sure. You’ve made things break and fall yourself when you’ve been upset, and that thick branch can’t have broken just by accident. You’re angry and scared, and you don’t care why he did it – it was wrong.


    Just like it was wrong to go through her things and read her letters. But Severus saw the envelope, and he was just curious, and you needed to know about your sister’s problems – right?



    “...Except that you have a very strong sense of what truly is right and wrong. And that loyalty... Sometimes you struggle with it, and you're not always kind to those you love.”


    Your sister’s image swims in front of your eyes, hands on her hips, frowning. She cares about you, you know that. For years, you’ve been each other’s best, only friend. And then there’s Severus, who showed you this world, a world you can’t share with your sister. A lump rises in your throat. You are confused, and you don’t know why you have to endure this.

    You force your voice not to sound timid in your head as you think, “So where does that leave me?”

    “With cheek like that,” comes the reply, “there’s really only one house I can put you in.”


    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years/None
    Character used: Tom Riddle
    Title: Tom Riddle

    The hat slipped low on his head, covering his eyes, and Tom reached a hand up to clumsily straighten it so he could still see the rest of the Great Hall.

    Tom Marvolo Riddle. I wondered if I'd see someone from your family here again.

    Tom looked out at the handful scared first years still waiting to be sorted and at the bored older students, who had began to whisper amongst themselves. 'What do you mean?'

    Instead of answering, Tom felt the hat riffle through his mind, examining this memory and that, getting closer and closer to things that Tom wished to stay secret. With a panic Tom squeezed his eyes shut and tried to push back, to push the wretched thing back out. The memory of walking into that dark cave with the other two shone brightly for a split second before fading away.

    Curious, curious. The hat sounded more amused than annoyed at being forced out. You're an interesting one. So, where shall I put you?

    'Put me with the special ones,' Tom thought, squinted at the house tables to see which one would catch his eye. They all looked the same really, just little children whispering and giggling. Just like the others at the orphanage, the ones who weren't special at all. It wasn't how he pictured other wizards when he thought of them. The memory of Professor Dumbledore setting alight his wardrobe flared up in his mind.

    You want to have that kind of power, do you? You could do. You have the potential to be a great wizard one day, you know.

    'Well, put me wherever would help me do that,' Tom thought impatiently.

    Well, that would rather depends on how you define greatness. For you that would be Slytherin, but a half-blood may struggle there these days.

    'They won't know,' Tom thought sharply, burying the crush of disappointment Dumbledore's visit had brought. 'I'll never tell them.' Not about his father, no, and not about his mother either. Let them wonder. Let them imagine.

    They wouldn't be kind to you, if they found out.

    'I don't need them to be kind,' Tom thought angrily. 'What use would that be to me?'

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  6. #6
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    Title: Percy Weasley
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd Yrs - none
    Character used: Percy Weasley
    A/N: ---


    Percy stood straight and tall, his flaming red hair making him quite visible in the crowd of first years. One by one, they were called up to try on the Sorting Hat, until Percy was nearly the only one left. He puffed out his chest, determined not to look scared. He had two older brothers at Hogwarts, after all, and one of them was a Prefect.

    He had nothing to worry about, really. His family had all been in Gryffindor, so it was likely that he would be, too. Percy was glad he didn’t have to fret like the other children around him. He knew where he was going. However, Percy couldn’t help but wonder. He had never identified much with his brothers or cousins. Did he really want to be lumped into the same house as them? What would happen if he was sorted somewhere else?

    Before Percy had time to think about anything more, his name was called. He stumbled up the steps, forgetting his promise to avoid looking nervous as he seized the Hat and placed it on his head.

    “What have we here?” the Sorting Hat said in his ear, making Percy shiver. “Another Weasley? Yes, but, oh, you’ve got mighty ambitions, haven’t you? Mighty indeed.”

    Percy’s chest swelled. Yes, he had his plans. He had already determined that he was going to be a Prefect, and Head Boy, too, if he could manage. After that, of course, he would go to work at the Ministry like his father, and he could already see himself rising through the ranks, perhaps even one day becoming Minister for Magic...

    “Slytherin could help you realize some of those goals…” the Hat said softly.

    Percy’s stomach pinched with trepidation. Slytherin? He had his ambitions, but he couldn’t be in Slytherin. That was the house full of troublemakers and dark wizards, his father and brothers had told him so. He was a Weasley, and he was supposed to go to Gryffindor!

    “Are you sure?” the Hat asked quietly. “Perhaps, perhaps. Choosing family over ambition is a very noble thing to do, you know.”

    “Yes,” Percy whispered, hardly thinking about what he was saying. “I choose family.”

    “Hmmmm,” the Hat murmured, and for one dreadful moment Percy was sure it was going to put him in Slytherin. “No, perhaps Gryffindor will be a better fit. But remember... sometimes it is more chivalrous to break the rules, than to follow them.”

    With that, the Sorting Hat shouted his house to the whole school, and Percy took it carefully off his head, feeling slightly bewildered. He made his way hurriedly to the Gryffindor table and collapsed next to his brother Charlie.

    “All right, there, Perce?” he said, clapping him on the back. “Had me worried there for a second, the Hat sure took it’s time, didn’t it?”

    “Yes,” Percy managed to reply, forcing a smile. He was a Weasley. He was a Gryffindor. This was where he was supposed to be.

    Right?



    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years
    Character used: Sirius Black
    A/N: none
    Title: Lionheart


    “Black, Sirius!”

    Upon hearing his name, the young boy with longish black hair and startling gray eyes walked toward the three legged stool and sat down. An old ragged hat was placed on his head covering his eyes from the remaining students and nervous first-years.

    “Ah, another Black to sort this year, and by the looks of it, it’s quite clear which house you should be in,” said a small voice in his ear.

    Figures, Sirius thought.

    But he didn’t wish to follow the family tradition and be sorted into Slytherin. He already lived in a house full of Slytherins, and they were a miserable lot.

    Maybe if he concentrated really hard, the hat would put him into Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart. Sirius didn’t care if he had to face the wrath of his mother and the rest of the ‘Noble House of Black’. He’d proudly wear the red and gold among a sea of green and silver. He wanted to be a lion among a family of snakes.

    “I see a courageous spirit in you that at times borders on recklessness,” the small voice said, interrupting his thoughts. “Though both of these traits far outshine the cunning aspect of your nature, don’t you agree?”

    The elation at hearing the hat see courage in him was quickly dashed at the last statement.

    Cunning? I’m not cunning!

    “Oh, it’s not a bad thing,” the small voice assured. “People often forget that cunning can also mean inventive and resourceful. Oh yes, it’s quite clear where I will put you, young man.”

    Sirius sighed. The hope of being a Gryffindor was short-lived and quickly replaced with the dread of becoming a Slytherin. Couldn’t this old hat see that he was different from the rest of his family?

    Sirius’ shoulders slumped in defeat. He was going to be sorted into Slytherin, and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. He knew in his heart he didn’t belong in Slytherin House, but if that is where the Sorting Hat put him, he could learn to live with it.

    Sirius took a deep breath to gather his bearings, waiting for the Sorting Hat’s proclamation.

    “Oh yes, definitely…GRYFFINDOR!”



    Title: “The Black Sheep”
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th/Character Death,
    Character used: Sirius Black
    A/N: Lines denoted with * are taken directly from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I don’t own. However, JKR does own it and the rest of the lovely Potterverse.


    “Harry, take the prophecy, grab Neville and run!”* Sirius shouted over his shoulder as he ran towards Bellatrix.

    The rest of the world melted away. Sirius focused intently on bringing down the woman in front of him. Bellatrix Lestrange might be his cousin by blood, but she was in no way a member of his family.

    ----

    “I see I have another Black under my brim.” Sirius shut his eyes tight in response to the voice whispering in his ear. “A desire to prove yourself—”

    That I’m not like them, he thought, grimacing, not like them at all.

    “A strong sense of defiance… I see there’s courage. Plenty of intelligence in here. What to do with you…”

    I’m not like them, Sirius repeated to himself. I won’t be like them.

    “The Black sheep, eh? But being in Slytherin could make you powerf—“

    No! Sirius felt like screaming.

    “If you say. Best be in… GRYFFINDOR!” The hat shouted its decision to the entire hall.

    Sirius sighed as he slid off the stool, glad to be away from the Sorting Hat and its incessant prying. Polite cheers came from the Gryffindor table in an attempt to deter the silence that followed the hat’s announcement. A Black in anything but Slytherin? Whispers shot around the Great Hall as Sirius walked to the Gryffindor table and sat down. There was one part of his Black heritage that he let show – he kept held his head high. The voices died down as the next name was called and another nervous first year approached the hat and stool.

    He would keep to himself. Sirius figured this was the best course of action. It was his hope that he could avoid jeers from the Slytherins and attacks from the Gryffindors. Sirius’ train of thought was interrupted as someone tried to speak to him. He looked up to see a boy with messy black hair and glasses looking at him.

    “Sirius, is it?” The boy asked, smiling. “My name’s James. James Potter.”

    ----

    As he threw curses back at Bellatrix, Sirius knew who his true family was. Prongs and Moony. Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys. They were his true family – his loved ones. They were the ones he fought to protect.

    Sirius laughed. He couldn’t help it. He had something Bellatrix could and would never have. In that moment, Sirius knew he was better than her.

    “Come on, you can do better than that!”* His voice reverberated throughout the vast room.

    Everything slowed when he saw the green jet of light rushing toward him. Sirius knew he wouldn’t be able to escape the curse. He felt his eyes widen. Over Bellatrix’s shoulder, he could see Remus staring back at him, mouth open. At least his last image would be the man he—



    Title: A Tale of Two Houses
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd Years — None
    Character used: Megan Jones (Hufflepuff)
    A/N: Quite a random character, but I do hold that the Slytherpuff does, indeed, exist.


    * * *


    “Jones, Megan.”

    Taking a steadying breath, Megan stepped warily toward the talking hat. Her older cousin, Hestia, had told her some of what the Sorting ceremony was like, yet had taken a perverse joy in being deliberately vague. “The fun is not knowing,” she’d said. It was easy for her to say, as she wasn’t staring down millennium-old headgear responsible for determining her roommates for seven years.

    Megan considered that ominous accessory before a glare from Professor McGonagall propelled her onto the stool. With a determined plunk, the hat was on her head and covering most of her face. She looked intensely at the threadbare fabric, fruitlessly trying to remember whether she was supposed to do anything. But as mild panic wormed its way into her brain, a voice startled her.

    A nervous one, are we?

    It took Megan a moment to realise that it was indeed the hat speaking to her and not someone standing nearby. To herself, she wondered how it was able to talk and how she was supposed to answer.

    Oh, I’d imagine you can just think aloud, if you’d like. I can see everything in your head.

    At those words, Megan felt the blood drain from her face. Could it see the biscuits she had nicked from her aunt’s house the previous summer? Or the obnoxious talking doll that her sister thought was ‘lost’ but was really hidden in the attic of their family home?

    Quite a devious one, you are.

    “Am not!” Megan heard herself say, even though her lips hadn’t moved.

    Seemingly unperturbed by her denial, the hat continued, The means to an end are but a small trifle to you, I see. Perhaps green would suit you best.

    “Slytherin?” Megan thought.

    Hmm, the hat added, but competition is not in your blood. You crave peace above all, to be left alone. Perhaps Ravenclaw House — no, that won’t do at all.

    “What a load of waffle,” Megan grumbled, this time aloud. The more it spoke to her, the less she knew about where she should or would end up, and the uncertainty was making her queasy. Exasperated, she thought, “Just get on with it already.”

    A young lady who knows what she wants. Yes... I can see it here in your head.

    The more the hat leaned toward Slytherin, Megan began to ponder how her family would react. Everyone knew the kind of people who came out of Slytherin: Dark wizards, pure-blood nutters, and even You-Know-Who himself. She couldn’t help but shudder inwardly at the idea of people ever comparing her to any of them. She didn’t want to be compared to anyone.

    Worried about Slytherin, are we? No matter. Better be…

    “HUFFLEPUFF!”

    Releasing the breath that had been unwittingly held hostage in her chest, Megan removed the hat and staggered gratefully to the table bearing the badger crest. While she had no idea if she belonged there, she did know that she didn’t not belong, and that was a start, at least.



    When you vote, bear in mind the prompt and how well the drabbler has interpreted it, as well as any SPaG.

    Please encourage everyone you know to read and vote, but don;t tell them which one is yours. That's just (Theo) nott at all cool. Let's face it, you want to win this because you're the best and not because you have a flist you can bribe.


    ~Madam Carmerta~
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 09-08-2011 at 07:39 PM.

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  7. #7
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    RESULTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS


    I could bang on and on about the brawl and how wonderful you all are, but I sense you're not even reading this bit - ha ha.

    Okay, here are the results. And perhaps I should make this clear from the off. I am very, very bad at remembering how people's usernames are presented. If I capitalise or don't capitalise, then please don;t take offence. I like to get the results up as soon as humanly possible and so ignore presentation. SORRY!


    <for,against>

    Laurski – Colin Creevey <1,1>
    Coolh5000 – Where She Belonged <1,1>
    Psijupiter – Tom Riddle <0,0>
    Karaley Dargen – Memories <2,1>
    MAPF – Much Too Bold <1,0>
    The Opaleye – Chrysalis <7,0>
    ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor – A tale of Two Houses <1,2>
    Grimlysirius – The Black Sheep <1,2>
    Jk Salmeier – Lionheart <0,0>
    T M Wandstick – Percy Weasley <0,1>
    Apollonius – Tremble <2,1>
    Ascendio – the Sorting of Theodore Nott <0,0>
    Weasley Mom – Family Tradition <3,0>
    The Cursed Quill – The Great House <1,0>
    Gwendalynne – Gray Eyes and Black Glass <2,2>
    Ron lover – The First and Only Sorting <0,2>
    Evora – Twisted <0,1>
    Imusic17 – SnapeVsSnape <1,10>
    LunaLovegoodLover -Cryptic
    <1,0>

    Two people will be leaving us this week, and we had one Zach Smith who failed to show, so there will be 17 brawlers going through to the next round.
    The first valiant fallers are iMusic17 from Slytherin and ron lover from Gryffindor. Both will be hugged and squished and take away five points for their house.

    The winner (and what a resounding winner!) is Julia (the opaleye) who wrote the truly sublime Chrysalis. Mind you, I nearly changed Lavender's name to Parvati such was my horror at her death, but, alas, your barmaid cannot interfere with the integrity of the drabble. Julia takes five points for Slytherin and bragging rights for the week. (That was worth staying up till four in the morning, love, wasn't it?)


    The Fallen
    iMusic17
    ron lover

    Zach Smith
    melody98


    Week Two

    This week's challenge is very simple. It is only one word and that word is

    ~Deception~


    The Catch – you cannot use anyone who has ever had the surname Black or Malfoy. They cannot appear in the drabble in any way shape or form.

    PM your drabble to me by THURSDAY 15th September 8PM BST


    PHP Code:
    Name:
    House:
    Title:
    Ratings/Warnings:
    Wordcount:
    A/N

    Have fun, brawlers.

    Madam Carmerta
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 09-18-2011 at 03:17 PM.

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  8. #8
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    WEEK 2

    Net died so sorry for delay

    Prompt was DECEPTION and there was to be no mention of a Malfoy or a Black

    VOTE HERE

    NB 2 of these drabbles have VERY similar titles. Please be careful how you vote.


    Title: Midnight Letters
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years; no warnings.
    Wordcount: 498
    A/N: I was inspired by the quotation, "Nature never deceives us; it is we who deceive ourselves." by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

    Her hands are shaking when she picks up the quill and begins to write. It reminds her of those balmy summer nights when she and Tuney would write each other letters, sneaking out onto the landing and pushing bits of paper underneath their bedroom doors. If she closes her eyes now and listens to the midnight sounds then it’s as if those days never left. There’s the gentle thrum of cars in the distance and the softened hoot of an owl. There’s someone shuffling about in the kitchen, the clink of teacups and that shrill exhalation of a kettle.

    Only, those sounds are no longer a comfort. There is a darkness at her windows that cannot be lit. There is an enchantment that is meant to protect but feels like a prison. There is a child upstairs, so beautiful and perfect and alive, who is hunted, wanted, prophesied to kill or be killed.

    And Lily is writing a letter to her sister when she’s not even sure she has a sister anymore.

    Death seems to be waiting for her, and although she tries so hard to hide this from James, Lily is scared. So, she writes.

    Dear Petunia,

    It’s nearly been a year since I sent my last letter. Did it reach you? I only ask because you never replied. How are Vernon and Dudley? I hope they’re well.

    James is fine and Harry is just as happy and healthy as ever. He’s one now. The year has gone so fast.


    She finds that lies are much easier to write than to say aloud. They seem to hurt less and, for a brief moment, she feels in control.

    James and I bought a cottage since I last wrote. I think you’d love it. The park down the road is just like the one where we played together as children. I take Harry there every day even though he’s far too small for the swings. Maybe one day you could visit? I would love to see you again.

    The ink spreads across the parchment as if by brush and Lily reads the words back, her lips moving silently as they slip from her tongue like little knives. There is some truth in it, she thinks. Enough.

    When the tears begin to fall, she looks down in wonder, and watches as the ink runs, smudging the false image of her son waddling freely about a park.

    Oh, Tuney, what happened to us? Lately, I’ve been feeling so alone and it’s all because of you. And I know we’ve both said things, but…

    I love you. Never forget that.

    Your sister,

    Lily


    She reads back the letter and frowns. Her hands are steady now as she folds the parchment into three and stands.

    James enters the room just as she’s feeding the parchment into the fireplace.

    “What’s that?” he asks and Lily smiles with her lips, closing her eyes so that he can’t really see her.

    “Nothing,” she replies. “Nothing at all.”

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

    [B}Title: [/B]Christmas Joys
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th years; Sexual Situations
    Wordcount: 496
    A/N:

    His hands moved across her body in a way they hadn’t before; his mouth lingered just below her ear, at the place where her jaw converged with her neck. He trailed his lips down her neck and softly kissed the hollow at the base of her throat, just visible above the conservative neckline of her jumper.

    She moaned, very softly, as he moved one hand under her jumper and around to the small of her back. He kissed her mouth once more. She opened her mouth, inviting him to deepen the kiss, but just as he was about to –

    There was a knock on the door.

    “Hide!” he hissed, pushing her off the bed. She caught herself and sank quietly onto the floor, rolling under his bed. He arranged the blankets so she wouldn’t be visible from the door, tried to smooth his rumpled hair, adopted a perfectly natural position lying on his bed, and then said, quite clearly, “Come in.”

    The door opened, and Harry entered, a strange look of suspicion on his face. “Hello, Teddy.”

    “Hi, Harry,” Teddy replied. “Merry Christmas!”

    “Merry Christmas,” Harry answered. He was still suspicious. “What – er – what are you doing?”

    “Just reading,” Teddy replied. He glanced around. Bugger. The closest book was six feet away, on his desk.

    Harry followed Teddy’s gaze and nodded slowly. “I see.”

    More questions would not be good, Teddy decided. Instead, he sat up and said, “Listen, Harry – I’m really grateful to you for letting me stay for Christmas.”

    Harry’s brows furrowed. “Of course.” Under Teddy’s bed, the girl shifted slightly. A loose floorboard creaked.

    They both looked toward the sound. “Weird,” Teddy finally said. “You wouldn’t think that the house would still be shifting. I mean, it’s ancient, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah. Odd,” Harry agreed, and for a moment, Teddy thought he saw a glint of something like mischief in his godfather’s eyes. Harry crossed the room and sat down on the bed next to Teddy. His added weight made the springs creak.

    “You know, Teddy,” Harry said, placing his arm around Teddy’s shoulders, “I always knew that you would become a member of this family. Your parents were so important to me when I was growing up. Even if I wasn’t your godfather, I know we would be close.”

    Teddy smiled nervously, feeling distinctly uncomfortable. “Mutual, Harry.” He patted his godfather’s back awkwardly.

    Harry stood up, smiling. “You should come down soon. Molly and Ginny have almost finished making dinner.”

    Teddy nodded. “Okay. Er- how long do you think it will be?”

    Harry shrugged. “I wouldn’t say more than fifteen minutes.” He walked out of the room and started to shut the door. He poked his head back in, grinning, and said, “See you soon!” He turned and left, shutting the door at the bottom of the stairs very loudly behind him.

    The girl poked her blonde head out from under the bed. “Is he gone?”

    “Teddy! Victoire!” Harry called. “Time for dinner!”

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

    Title: Sneak
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd
    Wordcount: 500
    A/N: --

    [QUOTE] There was silence in the girl’s dormitory as Cho dabbed make-up on Marietta’s face. Her fellow Ravenclaws had learnt not to stay in the dormitory too much during the course of that year; Cho knew that she was liable to mood swings, and that no one wanted to be around her for too long when they happened, but she was going through too much to care about the others. She actually enjoyed – as far as one could call it that – the solitude in her dormitory. She could think there, and cry without being stared at or given fake sympathy.

    Tonight, though, she wasn’t alone. The other beds were still empty, and Rowena knew where her housemates were off to, but Marietta sat on the bed in front of her, constantly smudging the make-up Cho was trying to put on as Marietta wiped off her tears.

    With a sigh, Cho decided that she was just wasting Marietta’s Muggle concealer, sat back, and searched for words.

    “I’m sure it’ll be all right,” she finally said. “Once we’re done here, no one will notice a thing.” Cho wasn’t sure whether she was fooling anyone; even in the dim light the torches and two Lumosed wands provided, the thick spots were still clearly visible underneath several layers of concealers.

    At that, Marietta broke out in sobs. “I had to do it!” she cried. “Otherwise m–my mum–”

    “No, I know,” Cho said quickly. “She works for the Ministry. You could really have got her into trouble if it had come out some other way.”

    “But my duh–uh–uh–” Marietta’s sentence got lost in a renewed series of sobs and sniffs. Cho realised what Marietta might be saying, and all else was pushed back to some other corner of her mind. No one really knew anything about Marietta’s father. She never spoke about him, and no one had ever visited Marietta over the summer – she always told them that there wasn’t enough space in their flat.

    Cautiously, Cho put a hand on Marietta’s arm. “What about him, Marietta? You can tell me.”

    It took another minute or two for Marietta to compose herself, and her voice was still shaking as she spoke. “He–he was an Auror, and he was killed by– by Death Eaters when my mum was pregnant with me. That’s why I wanted to–” she seemed to be close to a breakdown “–why I wanted to join the DA in the first place. But Umbridge said that it was the DA that was putting my family into danger right now, and that I should trust the Ministry, and–” Tears were flowing freely down her face again. “And I just don’t know what to believe anymore,” she wailed. “And now everyone thinks I’m a deceptive sneak, and– just look at my face!”

    “I don’t think you’re a sneak, Marietta,” Cho said calmly.

    “Thanks,” Marietta finally mumbled, chewing on her lip. “And Cho – please don’t tell anyone about my dad, okay?”
    **********************************************

    Title: Together
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd/none
    Wordcount: 498


    “How was your day, dear?” Molly greeted Arthur with a kiss as he stepped through the door.

    “Fine, same as always.” He smiled at her and she took his cloak and went to hang it in the cupboard. The smiled faded almost as soon as the turned her back on him and the look on Molly’s face was equally grim.

    He was lying to her.

    Every day they went through the same routine. She would ask how his day had been and he would smile and tell her everything was fine.

    She never questioned him but she knew he was lying. She could tell by the smile that never quite reached his eyes and the permanent presence of the worry lines on his forehead along with the wearied expression that settled on his face whenever he thought she wasn’t looking. She could tell because he was her Arthur, who had never been able to hide anything from her. And who had never tried to, either.

    “So,” she said brightly when he joined her in the kitchen, “what would you like for dinner?”

    “Anything is fine by me,” he replied as he settled himself into a chair at the table and closed his eyes, the exhaustion clear in his face.

    She hesitated. She knew he was trying to protect her but they couldn’t go on like this.

    “Arthur,” she said, sitting opposite him and taking his hand in hers. “You have to talk to me.”

    “About what?”

    “About everything – everything that is happening to us. The things that happen at work to make you age a year each day. The things that you’re trying to hide from me.”

    “Molly I –“

    “Don’t. I know you’re doing it for the right reasons, Arthur, but you’re lying to me. You’ve never done that before – please don’t start now.

    “We need to be able to talk. Look at us – things can’t get much worse. One of our children is missing, another hasn’t spoken to us in over year, and each day I wait for news that one of them is dead. And then on top of all of that, I am terrified that I am losing you too.”

    There was silence.

    “Molly, I’m so sorry,” he began at last. “I never meant to make you feel like that.

    “I know you’re strong and you’ve already done so much but I thought if I could just keep one thing from you then it would make everything okay. But of course it hasn’t because everything isn’t okay.”

    “I know,” she replied gently. “I hear everything in the Order meetings. I know what’s happening. I know what you’re going through. But I don’t want to hear it from them. I want to hear it from you. I need you to talk to me.”

    He leaned across the table and kissed her gently. “I love you, Molly. We’re going to get through this, and I promise that from now on, we're going to do it together."
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 09-15-2011 at 06:33 PM.

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  9. #9
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    Title: A Life of Lies (2)
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years/none
    Wordcount: 342
    A/N:



    A gray shadow moved down the street, his steps a steady, metronome click. Dry leaves skittered down the pavement before him as he walked.

    “I’ll be back soon,” he had said. She had been reading by the fire, her head tilted to one side as it always was when she concentrated. She had looked up at the sound of his voice and smiled and said, “Be careful,” and “I love you.” Then he had left... and had not returned.

    It left a bitter taste, the lie. A taste that he had endured often enough, but had never grown accustomed to. His thoughts strayed to his early Hogwarts days; to the friends he had never wanted to lose, but had lost anyway, and the beginning of the lies.

    “Where are you going?” James had asked that first time, leaning against the doorframe and watching him pack.

    Trying not to look his friend in the eye, his heartbeat thudding in his throat, he had said in a would-be-casual voice, “Home. Just for the weekend. My... my grandmother is ill.”

    And James, trusting boy, had believed him. He hadn’t noticed the squeak in his voice; the way his hands had trembled.

    He had been so timid a liar at first; so obvious. It was a wonder that it had taken his friends as long as it had to see through his feeble stories. And now... it sickened him, his proficiency at deception. Even she, the woman who knew him best, and an Auror, yet, had not recognised his lie for what it was.

    The toe of his shoe scuffed on the pavement as a familiar house came into sight and his steady footfalls stuttered.

    He had lied to everyone he cared about. Lied for years. He’d lied to keep them and lied to push them away. Lied to make them safe, and lied to save himself.

    But never again, he swore to himself. Tonight, it ends.

    He paused on the pavement, one hand outstretched to steady himself against the gate.

    “Dora,” he whispered. “I’m back.”
    *****************************
    Title: It
    Ratings/Warnings: Character Death, Mild Profanity
    Word count: 499
    A/N: I never realized how attached I was to Malfoys and Blacks until they were so rudely snatched from my character palette. Yet I walk on.

    ‘Her boy survives’ is taken from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 — The Prince’s Tale.


    * * *


    I stare at the ceiling, vaguely hoping I will no longer see my guilt moulded into those tell-tale swirls of plaster. Those hints of green, those flashes of red, persistently appearing on the stark white expanse, are unwelcome to my attempts to sleep. The scenery does not change.

    Damned ceiling.

    Weary of recounting my treachery, I roll over to face the rest of my room at Spinner’s End, a view less conducive to the memory-laden deluges that I have suffered since It happened. After It, I cannot bring myself to go back to Hogwarts just yet; Dumbledore will be there, no doubt with the sole purpose of shoving my face into my own pool of regret and misery, his typical passive-aggressive manipulation in full force.

    I want to blame him for my grief and for her death, but there is that guilt again, hammering into my head with its relentless tattoo that It is forever and always of my own doing. Her boy survives. But as surely as the Mark evinces my folly, the old man’s words remind me that there is still work to be done.

    Damned tattoos.


    * * *


    He is returned. I know it even before Dumbledore does, the burn now omnipresent in my forearm. My blood sings a song thirteen years dead, yet is startlingly resurrected in my veins. He calls me to him; he calls us all. I must oblige, or all I have worked for these many years will be for naught.

    But before it has even begun, I tire of these intrigues. There is a place for me here, something dangerously close to a home. Though I lament the company I keep by day, noisome adolescents far eclipse communion with a serpent in the shadows where fiends and devils dwell. But even as I resolve to quit this double duty and to embrace this solitary but serviceable existence I’ve carved for myself, I realise that I cannot. Without the information I can provide in the coming days, weeks, months, or even years, the boy will surely die.

    Damned boy.

    Yet I exercise the one last modicum of control I have over myself through these puppet strings. I grit my teeth and let my flesh sizzle with the venomous strains of the Dark Lord’s call. My time will come, and I will go to him. I will play my role to the letter until the very end, which I suspect will not come in the form of old age for me. Not after His return.

    It is unfair, this destiny of mine. From humble beginnings, I rose beyond them on these very grounds, only to have them trodden upon by that wretch Potter. I found belief, only to have it snatch away the one person who ever mattered to me. But most of all, I found peace, if not happiness, in the wake of such tragedy, only to forfeit it to powerful men and their whims, to the deceit they crave from me.

    Damned deception.
    *********************************
    Title: Life of Lies (1)
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd, None
    Wordcount: 312

    “They are recreating the Order of the Phoenix. They are going to try to operate in stealth so that you do not know what they are doing. They are at the disadvantage, for they know nothing of your plans, they simply know you are back.”

    Voldemort’s mouth curved into a smile. “Excellent. You know your job. Pretend to be on their side. Get in deep, learn their secrets, and report every word of it to me, for I will know if you are hiding anything.”

    Snape gave a curt nod. He knew the job well.

    “You are to tell them that I intend to operate in secret. You are to tell them that I will use the current situation of the Ministry to my greatest advantage. Lastly, you are to make it seem as if they have the advantage in this situation.”

    “Of course, my Lord.”

    “Good, now get out of my sight and convince the Order that you are whole-heartedly theirs.”


    “He is searching for something, some sort of weapon. That’s all he is saying at the moment, though I am sure I will have more information soon. I feel it may be a weapon to get to the Potter boy.”

    Dumbledore looked at Snape over his spectacles. “Naturally. I thank you Severus, you truly are a great asset to us.”

    Snape showed no sign of pleasure. “And what am I to tell him?”

    “Tell him we are recruiting the giants, no doubt he already suspects it, but do not reveal anything about the werewolves.”

    “Of course.”

    “And be careful Severus, it would be detrimental not only to you, but to the Order if you were found out.”

    “I always am,” Snape replied as he turned and walked out of the office.

    He left the castle grounds ready to report to the Dark Lord, ready to continue his life of lies.
    ********************************
    Title: A Dent in Her Integrity
    Ratings/Warnings
    : None
    Wordcount: 421 (367 without quote from OoTP )
    A/N
    : Quote from Hermione taken from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 309, Bloomsbury Publishing UK

    Hermione Granger wasn’t the slightest bit ashamed of herself. The more she thought about it, the more impressed she was with the final result. Catching a glimpse of Marietta Edgecomb’s purple pustule-filled face only solidified that Hermione had done the right thing.

    It’s amazing how one’s reasoning can change in the course of six months.

    Hermione was sitting in the Common Room concentrating on the jinx she was about to perform on the parchment in front of her. She needed to get this spell right for tomorrow’s meeting at the Hogs Head, otherwise the jinx wouldn’t work and their security measures would be useless.

    It was late and the Common Room was empty, yet she struggled to concentrate. Maybe because she knew that what she was doing could be viewed as morally reprehensible. But the risk was too great to ignore what was necessary. A small act of dishonesty was the price she would pay for the greater good. A momentary dent in her integrity was worth the grief she would face, should the other students find out the parchment was jinxed. It didn’t matter, they needed to be protected. Harry, her best friend, needed to be protected. This meeting had been her idea in the first place; the least she could do was shield her friends from the clutches of Umbridge.

    Hermione finished the jinx and went up to bed, but her sleep was restless. All night she kept rehearsing in her head what she needed to say in order to activate the jinx. But mostly she kept worrying about deceiving her friends.

    The next morning at the Hogs Head, to Hermione’s relief, the meeting
    went well. There were a couple of rough spots at the beginning, but once she got Harry talking, it went smoothly. She waited toward the end to bring out the parchment from her bag.

    ‘I-I think everybody should write their name down, just so we know who was here. But I also think,’ she took a deep breath, ‘that we all ought to agree not to shout about what we’re doing. So if you sign, you’re agreeing not to tell Umbridge or anybody else what we’re up to.’


    It hadn’t been a total lie. She had told them that if they signed their name, that they were agreeing not to tell Umbridge. Hermione had simply left out the small unsightly detail of what would happen to them should the agreement be breached.

    No, Hermione wasn’t the least bit sorry about her well executed spellwork.
    **************************

    Title: An Approved, Edited Copy of 'Beyond the Veil: An examination of the archway in the Department of Mysteries' by H. Granger.
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years/No warnings.
    Wordcount: 497
    A/N: ... I so hope this a) meets the Brawl prompt and b) is understandable.


    The Veil, also known as 'The Archway' or 'Veil of Lies,' had stood in the Department of Mysteries for many centuries. An examination of the archway reveals it to be much older than the stone floor on which it stands, which is much older than the walls of the room. One may speculate that the tattered veil itself is much older than the stone archway from which it hangs.

    Calling it 'the Veil' is deceptive. It is not the veil which needs examining – although investigating the fabric would certainly prove useful – rather, it is what lies beyond or between the archway that remains a mystery. Not knowing whether it is a spell, portal or fissure that exists there, it seems the term 'Veil' is most useful to describe both the fabric and the anomaly beyond.

    [Edited.]

    Current belief holds that the Veil is a passage to the post-death existence, whatever form that takes, and passing through the Veil allows a person to enter that afterlife without experiencing death. In this theory, the voices that can sometimes be heard are said to be the voices of those who have passed beyond already, often the family and friends of whoever is standing near to the Veil. However, those who have made detailed studies of the voices have reported [edited.] That those same people were often admitted to St. Mungo's Ward for the Incurably Insane seemingly sheds doubts on their credibility.

    [Edited.]


    An older theory is the origin of the name 'Veil of Lies,' which holds that the ever present whispers are in fact the number of lies the Veil have been absorbed throughout the years. Indeed, that the Veil may regurgitate the voices of those dear to us who have died, may simply indicated that the Veil is repeating lies that are most relevant to the person listening. How the Veil absorbs such lies remains unmentioned in these theories, as does the effect of passing through the Veil.

    Although the records are sealed, it seems the Department of Mysteries have made attempts [edited.] My attempts to access these records [edited.] Thus, I must rely on my own experiences, which consist of two occasions where I have witnessed a person pass through the Veil. On the first occasion, [removed, pending further review and editing.]

    The second occasion occurred a little over fifteen years later, against my better judgement and strong advice. However, I was able to witness [removed] pass through the Veil under relatively controlled circumstances. [Removed pending review.]

    It is apparent that many further questions remain regarding the Veil. What are its origins? What is its purpose? Who created it and why? I find myself intrigued, if not a little obsessed. It seems [edited.]

    Advice: Even with heavy editing, this essay remains too dangerous to be circulated publicly. However, I would recommend allowing Ms Granger further access to records regarding the archway and, pending a confidentiality vow, the archway itself.

    L.L. Potter,
    Deputy Administrator,
    Dept. of Mysteries.
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 09-15-2011 at 06:35 PM.

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  10. #10
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Title: Misled
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd year/extremely mild profanity
    Wordcount: 499
    A/N:

    Severus slowly walked into potions class, for once not happy about spending two hours in the same room as Lily. They hadn’t talked much since he called her a Mudblood almost two years ago, even though he told her he didn’t mean it; it was just something that came out of frustration from their earlier quibbles and of course James bloody Potter. She claimed to understand, that she didn’t take it to heart. But why hadn’t they practiced potions, or studied for transfiguration together last year?

    He couldn’t stand not being with her. He wasn’t going to let her go, not again this year.

    But his recent apologies did not go over well. She merely said they would talk later. Something in the way she said it made him doubt she’d make an effort.

    He stole a glance at her and she, oddly, was looking back at him. He waved a tiny ‘hello’ to her. Her face lit up and she waved back before mouthing, “You, me, fifth floor?”

    His heart raced. Maybe she did want to work it out!

    He smiled and nodded, and Lily returned one of her brilliant playful smiles that warmed his body.

    Two hours later, his heart was pounding, and his palms were getting sweaty as he walked to the fifth floor. Being with Lily again was so exciting that he realised he actually needed her in his life.

    He rounded a corner and there she was, standing at the end of the corridor, looking the other way. She seemed a little anxious, but he slowed his pace not wanting to look too excited. She heard his footsteps and looked over with a smile.

    And then it faded.

    The confusion showed on his face as he slowed even more. The disappointment grew as he saw him coming from the other hallway. He stopped completely only a couple feet away from Lily.

    “What’s he doing here?” Severus asked venomously. Lily looked rather uncomfortable but Severus didn’t seem to notice. He was staring at James like he was a bad smell.

    “Oh, Severus, well, I was sort of wondering the same about you,” Lily said timidly. She smiled weakly at James who stepped in to say something, but stopped when Lily shook her head.

    “I thought you wanted to talk,” Severus said between clenched teeth. He saw how misled he was.

    “I’m sorry you thought that, but I was talking to James. He was sitting so close to you… I didn’t realise… I didn’t notice that you… I’m sorry,” she finished rather lamely.

    Severus never took his eyes off of James, who was doing a terrible job at hiding his smile. Severus was so angry he couldn’t see anymore. He didn’t want to see, didn’t want to know what was happening. He didn’t want to live at that moment.

    He turned around and walked away without saying another word to Lily, then or after, though his heart ached for the girl who didn't return his love.
    ***********************************
    Title: Looking Back
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd Yrs - none
    Wordcount: ~296
    A/N: ---


    It’s funny to look back and think about how well I lied to myself. Funny to know now how well deceived I was, back when I thought I knew it all. Sometimes I wonder: How could I have been so clueless? How could I have missed those signs?

    It’s not like it was just me, either. Most the country wouldn’t believe it. But there’s a simple explanation for most of them. People believe what they want to. They hear and see what they want to hear and see. And nobody wanted You-Know-Who to come back. That’s what made it so easy for him, we understand now.

    I think it was different for me, though. I had my whole family, my whole upbringing to work against in order to convince myself he wasn’t back. I must have really tried, really put a lot of effort into my disbelief. That’s what confuses me, when I look back.

    Then I think about my work, and how much I put into it, and it makes a little more sense. That’s the main thing I remember from those times. I think I was under the impression that if I poured all I had into my work, everything would be okay. And when I had that strong focus, I think it was easier to ignore all the signs, and all those feelings of doubts that must have passed through me.

    I still pay a lot of attention to my work. I enjoy it, just like I always have. But I have a family of my own to pay attention to now. I look at my wife Audrey, my daughters Molly and Lucy, and I think, maybe, if something like the war ever happens again, I might not be deceived a second time.
    ********************************************


    Title: A Human Amongst Savages
    Ratings/Warnings: 6th-7th years, Mild Profanity, and though it's not an offical warning, cannibalism.
    Wordcount: 499. Just made it!
    A/N: Potterverse is JKR's.

    "More, Lupin?"

    "No, thanks."

    The firelight flickered on the dirty faces of men who were brutally shoving dismembered body parts into their mouths. They eyed Remus warily as their teeth tore the flesh off bones, which they threw callously over their shoulders.

    Remus tried to keep his face steady, to keep the few berries and nuts in his stomach; they were threatening to come spewing out any second. He had been living with these men for weeks, and still felt like vomiting every time they found a new victim. He would pretend to eat, keeping out of the firelight, his back to everyone else, then secretly Vanishing the part while they weren't looking, returning to the fire with blood smeared on his face and hands.

    "How'd this one offend, Greyback?" one of the men asked eagerly, throwing a discarded bone behind him.

    Greyback smirked. "Her mother was heard making comments about how no respectable wizard would hire a werewolf." He spat. "Ha! As if we need to be hired, as if we would even consider being in servitude to a wizard other than the Dark Lord." He spat again. "This little whore," he growled, kicking aside a finger that was laying on the ground. One of the men snatched it up, putting it in his mouth and sucking on it contently. Remus stifled his retching.

    Greyback watched the men, satisfied at everyone licking the blood of their hands. "This girl, she was trying to sneak back to her house; she was visiting a boy. And while she was hurrying home, she was combing her pretty little hair with her fingers."

    The men began to snicker.

    "I knew everyone was hungry," he said, the men nodding appreciatively, "and I began to smile to myself, thinking, this boy isn't going to find you so pretty when I'm through with you. What do you think, men?" He gestured to the decapitated head, hair matted with blood, eyes staring emptily into the blackness of the woods behind them.

    Pitiless shouts of laughter erupted from the men, Remus winced. He smiled weakly as Greyback locked eyes with him. As Greyback's eyes passed, Remus let out a sigh, his stomach churning.

    He knew he should give a more convincing performance, that he should make it seem like he was one of them before he tried to win them over. They seemed to be growing more suspicious everyday. He scorned wizards in conversation, tried to make it seem as if they had shunned him as well, struggled to seem a bit less human, a bit more wolf. Yet he could not gain their trust. And he didn't really blame them. During times like these, Remus could not demean himself to that level of savagery. This ruse Dumbledore had fixed wasn't working. Remus knew he would have to do something to gain their trust.

    The man who was sucking on the finger bit down on it with a resounding crack.

    Remus cringed. Hopefully not something like that.
    *************************************
    Title: The Rusty Dagger
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th years/none
    Wordcount: 500
    A/N: It might be a bit of a stretch but .... enjoy!

    Minerva stifled a sob, and the letter slipped out of her trembling fingers and onto the floor.

    Another sob riled her body and she wiped at her stinging eyes with already wet fingers. She scanned the floor for the handkerchief she had discarded earlier in favor of rereading The Letter. Having no luck, she slowly picked up the piece of parchment again and instantly found the long ago memorized lines:

    …not much is new with us; Mr Pritchard has fallen ill, but luckily the doctors foresee a swift recovery (if Muggles, let alone wizards, can properly foresee anything), and that charming boy from down the road, Dougal McGreggor, married Lucy Pimmentell, whose father ones the West Farm. They do make a lovely couple. The bakery has expanded its goods to chocolate covered croissants as well as chocolate sprinkled ones, what nonsense.

    What about you, dear? Did you find your own Dougal McGregor? Anything else your mother should know?

    Write soon, and don’t give the students too hard a time, although I admit that those Marauders sound like a handful.

    Kisses from us all,

    Mum


    Minerva could not quite put the finger on what it was she was feeling. She was sad, devastated, … a little outraged and felt betrayed. Had he gotten over her so easily? She was still pining for him, though it had been her decision to leave. All right, two years was a considerable time given that she and Dougal had only known each other for two months before becoming engaged – and what a short engagement it was. Even so, Minerva could not shake the feeling that she had been deceived, stabbed in the back by a rusty dagger that the wielder proceeded to move around, causing as much pain as possible, stabbing her internal organs - Stop that! the young woman told herself sternly. You are being ridiculous. If I ever needed my clear head…

    That charming boy from down the road…. Did you find yourself your own Dougal McGregor?



    Charming boy indeed. Her Dougal.


    Had he ever loved her at all? All those murmured words, soft touches, passionate kisses.


    Maria Pimmentell…. Minerva tried conjuring her image up in her mind, but found that she couldn’t, besides a vague picture of a bubbly, blonde girl.


    Minerva swept her eyes over her room again and this time saw the elusive handkerchief peeking out from under her small cot. She picked it up and blew her nose forcefully. She told herself that she would stop this nonsense right this instant; it had been she who had left, she who had made the choice – she who had deceived him, for all that he did not know it. Never once had she told him about her magical powers, and what was that, in comparison to being happy? She did want him to be happy.


    But she hadn’t had a choice! Well, perhaps, but Minerva was sure she had made the right one.


    That didn’t stop it from hurting.
    *************************************
    Title: Facing the Fallout
    Ratings/Warnings: 3-5th
    Wordcount: 480
    A/N:



    The silence crackled with tension.

    Hermione’s parents, recently released from their altered memories, stood near the kitchen table in their home in Sydney, obviously distraught at everything their daughter had just told them. Ron was worried: Hermione had not slept for days leading up to this, and now—from the looks on the Grangers’ faces—Ron was afraid that her fears were about to be realized.

    “We would rather have been killed by the worst in your world than to live without you. How could you not have known that?” She dropped into a chair before continuing. “You deceived us, Hermione. You let us believe that… that you were never a part of us. You sent us here to live a lie.”

    “I sent you here to keep you safe,” Hermione insisted. “They would have hurt you. They would have used you to get to me… to get to Harry. I had no choice.”

    “There is always a choice.” The soft voice came from her father, and Ron wondered from his tone if he had not said those words to her many times before.

    “I’m not sorry.” Hermione’s voice was a whisper in the quiet room. “You would be dead if I hadn’t done this.”

    Mrs. Granger’s face softened—saddened, and tears were pooling in her eyes. “I know you thought you were doing what was best, but it’s just…”

    “What?”

    “You used magic on us,” she said, her voice breaking on the words. “You… you cast a spell on us.”

    And then Ron understood why they were so upset. They’d supported Hermione completely, helping her find her way in a world they could never fully understand and in which they had no place of their own. You used magic on us. The method had injured them even more than the deception itself… betrayal upon betrayal.

    Hermione was crying now. Her shoulders shook with the force of it, and suddenly Ron’s feet did not care any longer for promises.

    He moved behind her and pulled her against him, eyeing her parents. “You don’t know what she’s been through.”

    “Ron,” Hermione sniffed in protest.

    “Everything she’s endured… it’s what she wanted to protect you from.”

    A shadow passed over Mrs. Granger’s face, and she stood, studying her daughter carefully before finding Ron’s eyes. “Is it over now?”

    He stroked Hermione’s hair and nodded.

    She came closer, looking at Hermione as if to find the scars.

    They’re on the inside, he wanted to say. But he kept quiet.

    “I’m sorry,” Hermione whispered, contradicting her earlier statement. Ron wondered which was true.

    Then her mum was crying and holding out her arms. Hermione rushed into them, leaving Ron standing there, alone but quite relieved. As Mr. Granger joined the embrace, Ron strained to make sense of their mumbled three-way conversation. He couldn’t understand a thing, but it didn’t matter: clearly, Hermione had been forgiven.
    *************************

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