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Thread: The September Challenge - week 1 - Results

  1. #1
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
    Kill the Spare
    Equinox Chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    using rare and complicated words

    The September Challenge - week 1 - Results

    It is September 1st and that is the day all good (and bad) wizard and witch-lings get on that train and head for Hogwarts.

    Every year the Three Broomsticks sets a monthly challenge to that effect.

    This year is no different, well, perhaps a little different.

    This is not a monthly challenge, but a series of four weekly challenges.

    • I will set a prompt every Saturday and you will have a week to write a drabble.
    • You do not have to enter every week, but if you complete all four weeks then you will receive extra points.
    • You may only enter each week once.
    • Participation points will be awarded to the tune of 5 points per drabble and an extra 5 if you write all four.
    • Participation points will, however, be dependant on following the rules of the competition.
    • I will award a winner and places each week, but this may change if we do not get enough participants, or if we have so many that I really can't make a decision.
    • Your characters must be canon, and canon compliant (although I will allow some tweakage** ) but may be of any era.
    • You do not have to write the same character each week.
    • All drabbles must be between 300-500 words.

    ** tweakage definition: I will allow minor characters being together, or missing moments (like Ron deciding Eloise Midgen is actually quite pretty but not admitting it to Harry), but anything that does not comply with the timeline, or has Scabbers and Peter Pettigrew sitting in different carriages at the same time - and yes, I have seen this - will be deemed uncompliant. You may reference Pottermore canon if you wish, just make sure you tell me so I can check it out.

    Week 1

    Platform nine-and-three-quarters


    Your chosen character has to have a pet of some sort with them.

    I will close this thread on Saturday 8th September at 3PM (BST)

    Use this form for your entry

    PHP Code:
    B]Word Count:[/B]

    Have fun, drabblers!

    ~Madam Carmerta~
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 09-01-2012 at 12:48 PM.

    Banner by the fabulous Julia - theoplaeye

  2. #2
    Seventh Year Hufflepuff
    minnabird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Name: Minnabird
    House: Hufflepuff
    Title: Goodbyes
    Rating: 1st-2nd
    Warnings: None
    Word Count: 363
    A/N: This uses a lot of Pottermore information.

    Platform Nine and Three-Quarters was bustling with children, most accompanied by their whole families, Minerva noticed. Malcolm and Robbie had wanted to come along, but Minerva had preferred to say her goodbyes at home, where she could say them to her father at the same time. But of course, she hadn’t been able to say her goodbyes all at once. She turned to her mother, who had tears standing in her eyes as she looked around the platform.

    “Will you be all right?” Minerva asked, still a little worried about leaving Mum to deal with the boys alone.

    Her mother smiled and held out her arms. Minerva went into them happily. She was terribly excited for Hogwarts, but she was going to miss her family as well. “I’ll be fine,” her mother said. “I want you to enjoy every second of your time there. You will, trust me, even though there will be plenty of work. Don’t worry about me, silly.” She pulled away. “But you must promise to write. And take care of Pepper.”

    Minerva looked over at the cage her cat was in. Pepper had been her mum and dad’s first, but she and Minerva had been inseparable - or so she was told - since she was a baby. She hadn’t expected her parents to actually let her take the cat with her, but she was glad they had. At least she’d have Pepper. She was a little worried she wouldn’t make friends; she hardly talked to anyone outside her family at home.

    She swallowed, suddenly very nervous. A moment later, she lifted her chin, determined to brazen it out.

    “That’s my girl,” her mother said, and Minerva smiled. She glanced towards the train. People were starting to board. “Oh, go on.” Her mother made a shooing motion. “Best make sure you get a good compartment.”

    Ten minutes later, ensconced in a window seat and surrounded by a few other nervous first-years, she watched the platform as the train started to move. Her mother stood dabbing her eyes, and suddenly she smiled and started waving.

    Minerva waved once, and then the train picked up speed and left the platform behind.

  3. #3
    Nagini Riddle
    Name: Nagini Riddle
    House: Gryffindor
    Title: First Day Nerves
    Rating: 1st-2nd yrs
    Warnings: None
    Word Count: 369
    A/N: Um... I didn't use names, but I'm sure you can figure out who it is.

    Thick smoke curled around the top of the platform, making the area seem very hazy in the bright sunlight. Odd, distorted noises barely echoed- ones of stressed conversations, babbling laughter, hissing, hooting, croaks, the occasional crash and thud.

    In his own hands, there were emissions of high squeaks. A large fat rat squirmed in his fingers, overexcited about something, though his owner thought it must have been the high excitement permeating the anxious air. He himself felt conflicting emotions- he was finally off to Hogwarts, something he had dreamed and yearned for all these years- yet he knew they would typecast him, brand him as the others, and expect even more. And if he did succeed, what matter, for his brothers had already done it! And if he failed, he would never live it down.

    His mother was fussing as usual, straightening clothing, flattening hair, checking the baggage for what seemed- no joke- the millionth time. She even rubbed his nose! Mortified, he shrugged her off, some comfort found in the fact that he had least had parents who would write him. But he knew his brothers would bug him, and he desperately wished for a friend, even if that friend would help him share the misery.

    The train beckoned for all the students to board, and clutching his rat, he stepped up into the carriage, glancing back swiftly at his mom and sister, who was crying and laughing. He looked down at the squirming rat, a little gloomy because the pet was, after all, not even really his to begin with. But even in the turmoil of his heart, he was glad that he had someone else to ride the train with, even if it was a second-hand rat.

    He set off down the corridor, giving each cabin a once over to see that they were full. But he pushed forward, thinking about all the wonders that would be at Hogwarts, what spells he would learn, what foods he would eat. He came to one that had a single occupant with jet black hair- the boy from earlier on the platform. He took a deep breath. This was it. Maybe, just maybe, he might make a new friend…

  4. #4
    Name: Hokey
    House: Slytherin
    Title: Making friends
    Rating: 1st-2nd
    Warnings: None
    Word Count: 489

    Luna bustled her way along the corridor, positively beaming. The train was just rolling out from the station, its engine huffing and puffing as she happily countered each jolting movement with a small skip. Although saddened by the fact that she would no longer see her father every day, Luna could not help but be swept away by an excitement she had not felt since the very first time she caught a plimpy.

    “Everyone will love you there,” her father had said. Kneeling to meet Luna’s height his waist-length, milky white hair had nearly brushed the platform. His eyes had twinkled, his hands clasped around his daughter’s slight shoulders. “Before you know it, you will have plenty of new friends.”

    A cascade of long, blonde hair swung this way and that as Luna peered into the compartments, searching for a vacant seat. She dragged her trunk along behind her with one hand while the other held a small glass jar protectively against her chest.

    She reached a compartment with two empty seats, the remaining occupied by three boys and a girl clad in silver and green. Luna knocked and pushed the compartment door open.

    She barely had time to smile and greet her new friends before the smallest boy stood. “Can’t you see this compartment is taken?” His hair was blonde, even brighter than her own.

    “Well certainly, but I thought I might sit here as well. My name is Luna, pleased to meet you.” Luna dropped her trunk and held out her hand.

    The boy looked down at Luna’s hand, but did not offer his own. He muttered something that might have been, “Pathetic first-years,” before reaching inside his robes.

    Luna felt a small, but distinctive, shove. She stumbled backwards, tripping on her trunk. Luna gasped as the glass jar fell from her hand.

    Her father had wrapped his arms around her just as the scarlet engine gave a final blow of its whistle. “Yet, if you ever do feel lonely, I have a little surprise for you.” Luna’s eyes had grown even rounder as her father had produced a jar the size of an apple, seemingly empty. Unless you knew better, of course.

    “You caught one..?” Luna had asked, her voice high with disbelief. Her father had nodded, smiling, earning him another hug.

    Luna quickly snatched the jar and scrambled to her feet in the carriage corridor. The blonde boy looked at her with slightly more interest now, eyeing the precious item in her hands.

    “What is that, anyway?” he asked with a snicker.

    Luna reached for her trunk and straightened up. “Wrackspurt,” she explained.

    The boy stood perplexed. He then shook his head before slamming the compartment door shut. Luna, however puzzled by this odd behavior, decided she would speak more with this boy well at school. Without further ado she continued down the corridor, skipping every other step, eager to meet even more new classmates.

  5. #5
    Third Year Slytherin
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts
    silverlining95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Name: silverlining95/Fenella
    House: Slytherin
    Title: Panic
    Rating: 1st - 2nd Years
    Warnings: None
    Word Count: 403
    A/N: I think you can all work out who those big, warm eyes belong to... at least I hope you can!

    I have to get out of this crowd. The shouts, the movement, the laughter, it’s unbearable. There are too many people, and too little space. I begin to hyperventilate. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, and begin to count, just like Mum used to do. With each beat I count, until I get to four. Then I start again. The repetition of the numbers under my breath calms me, and the numbers become further apart until I know my heartbeat is back to normal.

    The happiness and love makes me want to cry. Unlike the students surrounding me, I have no one to say goodbye to. I have no one at all. My father cannot bear to look at me, for I am too much of a reminder of the wife he failed to protect. My friends cannot make eye contact with me, for my grief is something they cannot even begin to comprehend.

    Yet a sharp claw digging into the back of my hand reminds me that I do have someone, I have Odie. A gift from my Mother the September before she died, Odie is all I have left. His meowing reminds me that like me, he cannot bear the crowds, so without anyone to say goodbye or hello to, I board the train.

    As I pass by the first compartment, someone catches my eye. He is gazing at me so intently, and I can feel the sympathy radiating from him. I cannot bear the sympathy I have received over the past months. I cannot bear the condolences and the pity I see in the eyes of those who have delivered flowers and food to our house. Yet it is not pity I see in his eyes, it’s something else. Something that somehow tells me he genuinely cares.

    He’s sitting beside the window, and I realise he must have witnessed my panic on the platform. Yet he says nothing, he does not laugh, he does not comment at all on what he just saw. All he says is ‘Hannah, would you like to sit with us?’

    I do not need to think about my answer. Without a second thought, I step into the compartment, dragging my trunk and Odie’s cage behind me. I take my seat next to him, and as I look into those big, warm eyes I know that he will never let me panic again.

    Thanks to majestic_ginny/Nadia for my beautiful banner & avvie!
    'There's the silver lining I've been looking for...'

  6. #6
    Fifth Year Ravenclaw
    I See Dead People... In Mirrors
    Theloonyhermione's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Hogwarts, of course! The internet connection here isn't great....
    Name: Theloonyhermione
    Title: Lysander, Lorcan, and Lary
    Rating: 1st-2nd years
    Warnings: DH Spoilers
    Word Count: 358
    A/N: I may edit this soon, as I had a beta but am posting this now just in case she doesn't get it done by tomorrow. I'm sorry if it's horrible, it's my first drabble. And Hokey, I'm honestly not copying your idea. I had this idea and then you posted your story a few hours later. Maybe I'm psychic!

    Lysander grinned at Lorcan. “Ready?”
    Lorcan nodded. “For sure. You got Larry?”
    Lysander nodded and grabbed the cage of his newest pet, something that looked a bit like a cross between a very small dragon and a rat. His mum and dad hadn’t quite figured out what it was yet, but they had assured that it would be allowed. Lysander boarded the train first, and Lorcan followed. Lysander was aware of many stares directed towards the cage in his hand, but simply smiled and waved at Larry’s admirers.
    “Are you sure he’s allowed?” a girl wearing a prefect badge asked him.
    “Of course,” Lysander answered, grinning. He walked into a random compartment filled with what looked like boys his age. “May we sit down?” he asked, grinning. They all just stared at the caged pet in his hand.
    Lorcan shrugged. “I guess we can take that as a no, Ly.” He began to walk out of the compartment.
    Lysander shook his head and looked at his brother curiously. “Why?”
    Lorcan rolled his eyes and pulled his brother out of the compartment. “Come on. Let’s find an empty compartment.”
    Lysander sighed. “Fine.” He followed his brother into a compartment with no people. A few minutes later, a girl came in, looking as if she was about to burst into tears.
    “Can… can I sit with you?” she whimpered. “No one else will let me-“ she stopped immediately when she saw the pet in Lysander’s arms. “What is that?” she asked, eyes wide.
    “We’re not really sure,” said Lysander wistfully. “But Mum says it’s perfectly safe, and she’s an expert on animals. We can let him out so that you can pet him, if you like.” Lysander started to open the cage.
    The girl shook her head slowly, backing up. “He looks… nice. But I think I’m going to go sit somewhere else, I’ve just remembered…” she ran out of the compartment, not even uttering a goodbye.
    Lorcan grinned at his brother. “You know what, Ly? I think Mum was right. Everybody’s going to love him.” He looked down at the animal in his brother’s hands.
    Lysander nodded. “I agree.”
    ~εɱɱą =)
    Author Page~Duel~Excerpts~Drabbles~(not-so-great)Poetry~RAVENCLAW!!

    Thanks so much to Toni for making this wonderful banner and avvie. Quote on avatar is from the song Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons. <3
    My total BFFLE is Kreacher Feacher/Loony at Heart/Taylor. Don't let her scare you. XD
    I'm quite busy at the moment, so I may be pretty spotty or just not seem to appear at all. I'll hopefully be back to normal in a few months.

  7. #7
    Ebil Minion Ravenclaw
    Searching for Neville's Toad
    noblefate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    in any good book
    Name: noblefate
    House: Ravenclaw
    Title: A Good Man Goes to War
    Rating: 1st – 2nd years
    Warnings: DH spoilers
    Word Count: 500 even (according to Word)
    A/N: Many thanks to Steven Moffat for the wonderful episode of Doctor Who whose title I’m using for my story. Also, this drabble fits with two stories posted on the archives: "The Truth Will Set You Free" and "The Difference Between Knowing and Understanding". It isn’t necessary to read those first, but I’m starting to become enamoured with the idea and wanted to see Lily’s take on the events.

    Lily watched James and Albus walked towards the barrier, deep in conversation. Lily knew Albus somehow learned about the Second War earlier than planned. That meant that only she, Rosie, and Hugo were still unaware. Her parents were several steps behind her, no doubt talking about how both boys now knew about the family’s role in the war.

    Lily slowed her pace, feigning balancing Fawkes’s cage on her trunk. Her owl was perfectly secure where he was, but Lily thought that if she seemed focused on something else, she might overhear something useful.

    ‘I’m not happy about it, Harry,’ Lily heard her mum say. Surely Mum must know that most of the family was already aware of their roles in defeating Lord Voldemort she thought. Her musings were interrupted when her dad asked, ‘Would you have me tell her now, as she’s getting ready to board the Express?’

    Lily knew immediately what her parents were talking about. With Albus figuring things out a year ahead of schedule, what was the purpose in leaving Lily, alone in her family, unaware of the whole truth? Fawkes hooted balefully at her; when she pushed her trolly, the motion lulled him into a light sleep, but Lily was too focused on her parents to pay attention to Fawkes. She walked slowly, keeping a small distance between herself and her parents. She had more stealth than James and didn’t want it to be obvious that she was spying. So long as Fawkes stayed quiet, she could listen unnoticed.

    ‘I don’t know,’ her mum sighed. ‘I’m starting to wish we sat them all down much earlier and told them everything, don’t you?’

    Her dad sighed too. ‘Everyone – from Andromeda and your mum to you and me – thought it was a good idea at the time. But now that they’re all so old…’ He trailed off. ‘Gin, do you want me to tell her before she goes? At least that she can ask her brothers for the truth?’

    ‘It may be best, Harry. But if you do, let them know they can talk to her. She’ll throw a fit if she asks and they say nothing.’

    Lily could tell he was grinning when her dad said, ‘Like mother, like daughter.’

    Unfortunately, Fawkes took that opportunity to squawk in indignation at the interrupted nap. Her parents quickly walked up on either side of her and led her towards platform nine and three quarters. Lily patted Fawkes’s cage to get him to calm down, but by the time he did, she was already at the train.

    ‘Have a wonderful year, sweetheart,’ her dad said. ‘And we’ll see you at Christmas.’

    Lily knew it was now or never, so as she gave her parents goodbye hugs she looked at them frankly and said, ‘At Christmas, we’ll all sit down and talk about the war. I don’t want to be in the dark anymore.’

    Her parents shared a look. Her mum nodded and said, ‘Alright,’ before ushering her on the train.
    noblefate: writes ~ betas ~ drabbles ~ duels ~ is a proud Turnip! ~ is an Ebil Minion

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  8. #8
    Name: AidaLuthien
    House: The Almighty Badger House
    Title: New Adventures
    Rating: 1st-2nd
    Warnings: none
    Word Count: 355
    A/N: I wanted to write about a girl with a toad. That's all, really.


    “Hush,” Tracey scolded, running a finger gently over Lily Pad’s tiny back. “Stay in my pocket, Lily. We’ll be on the platform in a bit. I’ll let you out when we’re on the train.”

    The first year used her right hand to maneuver her trolley to the brick wall between platforms 9 and 10. Tracey was almost too small to do it one-handed, but she refused to let Lily Pad jump out of her pocket, which meant keeping her left hand over the small toad’s body.

    “It’s not too late to get an owl, dearest,” her mother suggested, from a few feet away, tottering on her high heels. “It would be nice to have your own owl to carry your post, wouldn’t it?”

    Tracey had finally lined her trolley up with the wall. “I’ll be fine, Mum. When I write, I can just use a school owl. I picked out Lily Pad, and I’m keeping her.” She stroked the toad again. Lily Pad was only two inches long, and Tracey had decided on first glance that the tiny toad would be hers. Lily Pad might not have been as useful as an owl or as fluffy as a cat, but her toad was bright green and adorable.

    “I don’t know where I went wrong with this child,” her mother said, to no one in particular. “Be careful when you go through, dearest!” She added, just a little bit louder.

    “I know. I’ll see you for the winter hols, okay?” Tracey didn’t bother waiting for a reply before running at the wall. Her mother had already said multiple times that she wouldn’t be able to make it on to the platform in her heels.

    A moment later, she was through. She took a moment to take in the sights. The platform was covered in students and their parents. How many first years are there? Tracey wondered. How many will be in my House? I hope the girls I live with are nice.

    Tracey smiled. It would all be a grand adventure from here on out. “Let’s go find a compartment, Lily Pad.”

    Ribbit! the toad agreed.
    Last edited by AidaLuthien; 09-08-2012 at 06:46 AM.

  9. #9
    Third Year Hufflepuff
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts
    acaciacarter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Name: Acacia Carter
    House: Hufflepuff
    Title: What Good is a Toad?
    Rating: 1st-2nd
    Warnings: None
    Word Count: 484
    A/N: Oh, look, it's Jamie. I wonder who SHE wrote about.

    He’d pretended to be surprised. Pleased. After all, it was his first pet. But as he shuffled through the train, he glanced into the other compartments and slivers of envy pricked at him when he would glimpse the glowing eyes of a cat or the soft plumage of a slumbering owl.

    Owls could deliver mail. Cats were at least clever and pleasant to snuggle with. What was a toad good for, aside from wriggling in pockets and causing unsightly bulges?

    There was an empty compartment at the rear of the train. Sighing gratefully, he flopped into one of the seats next to the window before plunging his hand into his robes to pull the toad out.

    He hadn’t named it yet. His books had been useless in offering good names, and he couldn’t think of anything clever. It was a toad. He wasn’t even sure whether it was a boy toad or a girl toad, and he didn’t have the faintest idea of how to check. He didn’t think he was that curious.

    It made a sound between a croak and a wheeze and jumped from his hand onto the floor, where it began to hop with surprising speed towards the open compartment door.

    “Noooooo!” He scrambled out of his seat, tripping over the hem of his robes and landing on all fours on the rug. He caught a glimpse of the toad’s back legs as it hopped around the corner and out of his sight.

    Even after he’d crawled to the door and looked down the corridor, he couldn’t see it anywhere. Lovely. He hadn’t had the toad for a month yet, and he’d already lost it. He hung his head for a moment, cursing his luck.

    “Is this yours?”

    He snapped his head up. And up. She was very tall, and he was still on his hands and knees on the ground. In her hands she held -

    “Why’ve you got two toads?” he asked stupidly, pushing himself to his feet in a somewhat ungainly manner.

    She wasn’t nearly as tall when he was standing properly, though he still only came up to her collarbone. She grinned, showcasing a gap between her two front teeth that he immediately decided with all the certainty of his eleven years was undeniably attractive. “One is mine, silly.” She handed one of them to him; he was fairly certain it was his. As certain as one could be about these things, anyway.

    “I’m Enid,” she said, flashing him that gap-toothed smile again.

    “Algernon,” he said, and to his surprise, he was smiling as well. “But everyone calls me Algie.”

    “Algie,” she said slowly, as though tasting it. After a moment, she jerked her head in the direction of her compartment. “D’you like Fizzing Whizzbees? I’ve got a whole jar.”

    As the train pulled away from the platform, Algie concluded that toads weren’t so bad after all.

    banner by the ever wonderful Nadia
    - AcaciaCarter writes - @AcaciaCarter tweets - AcaciaCarter drabbles - AcaciaCarter duels

  10. #10
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    First Brush With A Dementor

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Name: Karaley Dargen
    House: Gryffindor
    Title: Brazilian Red Knee
    Rating: 1st-2nd
    Warnings: Here be spiders
    Word Count: 484
    A/N: The very first line is taken directly from HP&tPS, chapter 6: The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.

    “Give us a look, Lee, go on.”

    I have an uncle in Brazil. He works for the radio there. He does this weekly thing, I guess, where he tells the wizarding community about one animal or the other that lives in the jungle.

    My mum keeps some transcripts. Trust me, you don't want to get lost in Brazil without a magizoologist.

    I've never really been in touch with him a lot until now. I don't think he's the type of person who deals with children all that well. That's why I was sort of surprised when I got a package from him on my thirteenth birthday.

    "Yeah, just a quick peek."

    I still keep it in the wooden box it came in. There are all sorts of useful charms on there, and Uncle Eddie has written me a letter on how to refresh them every once in a while. I lift the lid, and instantly, it pokes its leg out. Angelina lets out a loud scream, and several of the others follow suit. I can't help but grin. This is even better than I'd hoped.

    Having a birthday in the holidays isn't always brilliant, because I don't get to share things like this instantly. But then my wait has paid off, and the crowd at the platform is the perfect audience. I can't wait for Fred and George to see.

    The fact that this was a birthday gift has an added bonus: Mum can't take it away from me. I could see her squirm when I opened it for the first time. I think she was fuming. Birthdays are sacred in our family though, and even if she wanted to snatch it from me there and then and flush it down the loo, she couldn't.

    I wonder if Uncle Eddie knew.

    The shrieks and yells have drawn even more people. It's almost time to get on the train, but I'm not giving this up before I have to.

    "That is so cool," one of the second-years breathes.

    "Can I touch it?" asks a small girl right next to him, but when it pokes two hairy legs out again, she yelps and takes a leap backwards.

    I'm going to have to name it at some point. Maybe Kettleburn can tell me if it's, you know, a lad or a lady.

    When it's time to board the train, I shut the box tight again and take a bow.

    "Ladies and gentlemen," I say, waving my free hand, "time to go."

    I relish the moans of protest.

    "I'll be on this train all day. Tell your friends!"

    And with that, I hop on, and into the compartment I picked out earlier. Through the window, I can see the small crowd dispersing, still muttering excitedly and miming spiders with their fingers.

    I wrote back to Uncle Eddie the day after my birthday. I can't wait for his reply.
    This completely gorgeous banner, which makes me happier than a squirrel, was made by Hokey

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