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Old August 8th, 2007, 1:56 am
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Join Date: 17th July 2003
Age: 32
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Re: Entries Thread - CoS Writing Contest v4

Entry #5

Author’s Note: I wrote this before I read Deathly Hallows. I know it is a bit longer than the rest, but don't let that stop you. It actually takes place near the time that Deathly Hallows comes out, when the HP community is eagerly awaiting the final book. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are somewhere in their twenties.

The Harry Potter Fan’s Worst Nightmare

The enticing aroma of food roamed out the open window into the summer evening air. Sounds of scraping spoons and rustling pans echoed through the kitchen. They were doing this on their own accord, however, owing to the fact that the only person present in the room was distracted, not paying the cooking any attention. Hermione was sitting at a table in the center of the room and skimming through a new cookbook Mrs. Weasley had given her. A cool breeze rushed through the window as she began playing with the stunning silver ring on her left hand absentmindedly. Unexpectedly, she felt a rush of excitement, pulling her thoughts away from the book: the result of a swift, light kiss her husband had planted on her cheek on his way to the kitchen.

She looked up to see Ron gingerly sniffing a pan full of an interesting green substance. Thinking it could use a bit of salt, he reached for the shaker, but caught her gaze and instantly stopped. She never seemed to like it when he criticized her cooking. It reminded him of his mother, who seemed to have taught her everything she knew about all things household. He flashed a grin and rubbed his tired eyes. Hermione responded with a scrutinizing look.

“You look like you just wandered out of bed,” she said reprovingly.

“I just took a nap on the couch,” he replied, “so that would make sense.”

“Well, you’re hair is sticking out in all directions and your shirt is wrinkled. We’re about to have dinner.”

The food cannot tell what the chef looks like while it’s cooking,” Ron said wisely, now adding a dash of salt to the anonymous green liquid.

“Nicely said. But, seeing as I am the one doing the cooking tonight, you should make yourself look half decent. All it takes is a slight flick of the wand,” Hermione pointed out.

“You’re cooking? Seemed to be reading to me . . .”

“It’s cooking in a manner of speaking,” said Hermione, “Witches don’t exactly have to be laboriously slaving over dinner, you know. It just takes the right balance of magic, that’s all.”

“Okay . . . then can you tell me if this is supposed to be on fire? I don’t seem to have the right balance to be able to tell . . .” Ron said, gesturing to a dish in the oven that had erupted into purple flames. Hermione gasped and leaped from her seat to save the burning food. Ron roared with laughter while she frowned at the blackened pie.

“I must have left the heating charm on for too long, got distracted . . .” she mumbled, glaring at Ron. “And stop your laughing. I saw yesterday that you had set fire to your broomstick. I thought your wand must have set of sparks, but then I saw the neighbors destroyed barbeque grill and muddy footprints staggering to our back door. Rough landing, I suppose?”

“I dropped the quaffle and Harry was still soaring towards the goal, so I might have, I dunno, gotten distracted and a bit out of control. . . .”

She smiled and siphoned the useless food from the dish, transferring it to a rubbish bin near the sink. “Accidents do happen.” He opened his mouth, but Hermione interrupted, “No, now go away before I taunt you a second time about the other ‘accidents’ you’ve caused.”

“You want me to leave?” he said, pretending to be insulted. “Fine. Maybe I’ll go take another nap and ruffle my hair even more. Wrinkle the rest of my clothing, too, while I’m at it.”

“Good thinking,” Hermione responded sarcastically. “And I’ll go fix the neighbors barbeque grill.”

“Too late. I already did that,” Ron said. “See? I did accomplish something on my day off.” He turned to leave, and on his way out of the kitchen he went to dip his finger in the green liquid on the stove. Hermione ordered a quick, “Don’t even think about it.” He turned to face her before deliberately dipping his finger in and transferring it to his mouth, muttering an exaggerated “Mmmmmm.” Hermione raised her eyebrows and gave a flick of her wand. Green goop splattered across his face, dripping down to his wrinkled shirt.


“I told you not to even think about it,” Hermione said, smirking.

“But now I’m even more unkempt than before!”

“Yeah . . . that’s your problem.”

My problem? Not for long,” Ron said.

“By that you mean . . .?” Hermione was grinning broadly, eyebrows still raised as he stepped close to her.

He puckered his lips threateningly. “I’m going to kiss you now.”

“Not if I kiss you first.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him full on. Ron seemed to be taken by surprise, but delighted all the same. Hermione withdrew and said, “Mmmmm. Could use a bit more salt, though . . .”

Her thought process was cut short by the slamming of a door and the rushing of footsteps. Within moments they were joined by Harry, who had that certain determined look on his face. They noticed he was holding something in his hands, but it was concealed by his robes. He came to a halt at the sight of their messy faces.

“Am I interrupting something?” he asked suspiciously. Ron quickly waved his wand and the green stuff on their cheeks vanished. His hair also tided up, as well as his wrinkled clothing. Harry blinked, expecting an explanation.

“Gillywater and fresh cucumber soup,” Hermione finally muttered. “It’s for tonight’s dinner. We weren’t expecting you until later. Where’s Ginny?”

“At home with the kids,” he said quickly.

“Harry, what’s up?” Ron asked seriously. They hadn’t seen Harry so intense for quite sometime. As he and Hermione began to grow concerned, Harry seemed to have read their minds.

“Don’t worry, it’s nothing that bad. Actually, yes, it’s very bad, but not . . . evil. I—how could—it . . .” his voice trailed off.

“Harry, what . . .?” Hermione began. Harry looked helplessly at her as if he could not quite explain just what was bothering him. He went to sit at the kitchen table and they followed suit.

If confusion is the first step to knowledge, I must be a genius,” said Ron. “I didn’t understand a word of your explanation, mate.”

“What’s with you and all the wise sayings, Ron? That must be the second proverb-ish thing you’ve said today,” Hermione noted off-handedly.

He replied, “Don’t get used to it. I read them in one of those Muggle magazines you gave me.”

Hermione nodded but Harry exclaimed, “Exactly!”

“Exactly what, Harry?”

Harry slammed down something heavy onto the kitchen table. It turned out to be a book. Then he reached into his pocket, which could hold much more than the average pocket, and retrieved another, this one slightly larger. He dropped it on the table with another thud.

Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. He dropped four more books and appeared to be quite finished, though his exasperation had grown with each thud.

“Fiction!” he cried out. The other two leaned forward to examine the books’ titles and covers.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? I—Harry was this your idea?”

My idea? Of course not!” Harry said.

“But—we are the only ones who know about Snape being the Prince! Harry, this book isn’t published?” Hermione said in a worried tone.

“Of course it is! I was walking down a Muggle street this morning from Number 4 Privet Drive, it’s been five years and I was going to pay my visit to the Dursleys. Well! I look in a store window and what do I see? I see me! Now, I’m pretty used to seeing pictures of myself by now, being the one to defeat Voldemort, but this was different. It wasn’t moving! It was a Muggle photograph. I went inside to investigate and found a table of these—these—books! I have never ever given permission to create a biography of myself. Yet here it is, passing of as Muggle fiction. They don’t even know it’s true!” Harry’s heart was beating faster and faster as he explained.

“But Harry, it can’t be all that true. Nobody has ever interviewed you; they wouldn’t know nearly enough!” Ron said.

Harry shook his head and replied, “That’s what I thought until I looked through it. Whoever wrote it knows some of my inner most thoughts and feelings, some that I didn’t even tell you on my way to defeat Voldemort! The question is ‘how?’ How could this have gone unnoticed? How could there be six whole books already?”

“Well it can’t be a very popular book, can it Harry?” Hermione said tentatively. “It’s no wonder you haven’t heard of it.”

Harry shook his head again, as if he had swallowed something nasty, and said quietly, “It’s a cultural phenomenon. The final book, the one when I turn seventeen, is coming out this week. People all over the world are lining up to read it, Hermione! In many different languages, even an audio tape! I asked the store manager about it. He looked at me as if I was Fluffy the three-headed dog.”

“Isn’t there something under the International Statue of Secrecy about this?” Ron implored.

“Not if the Muggles think it is all made up, just a story. I already checked,” said Harry.

The other two seemed horrified. “Who is it by, who’s the author?” Hermione asked urgently.

“J. K. Rowling,” answered Ron, who read it from the cover. “Never heard of him.”

“Me either . . . Well, there’s only one way to find out!”

Hermione was already half way out the door before they could catch up to her. She swung a jacket around her shoulders and rushed along.

“Hermione! Where do you think you are going?” Ron called after her. It was dusk now.

“Where do you think, Ron? The library!” she said before spinning in place and disapparating.

“The library? The library!” he said loudly, “Why must she always be at the library?”

“’Cause it’s Hermione, isn’t it?” Harry said, picking up the fifth and largest book and weighing it in his hands.

* * * * * *

“What do you two think you are doing?”

Hermione’s voice startled them. They looked up and saw her face bright from the slight chill outside. She appeared satisfied, though.

“Reading. You got a problem with that?” Ron asked coolly. “I know it’s a dangerous pastime.”

“Ha, ha, ha,” she replied, just as cold. “It was really much easier than I expected. And I have come prepared.”

“Prepared?” asked Harry curiously. “Prepared for what?”

“Prepared for our mission to discover who this ‘J.K. Rowling’ person is. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” She set down a sleek laptop on the coffee table from under her cloak.

“I’m not the only one with the wise sayings then,” Ron murmured.

Harry spoke up. “I know failure isn’t your strong point, Hermione, but, personally, I don’t think this ‘mission’ is nearly as important as any of our others have been before. So don’t get too worked up about it.”

“Worked up about it? Since when do I get worked up about anything?” Hermione asked defensively. The boys answered with small grunts of either agreement or fear of what she would do if they were honest.

“Where did you get that?” Ron asked, pointing to the computer. “Don’t tell me you went to the Muggle library?”

“So what if I did? Muggles crave information just as much as we do. They have even invented simple ways to research things. For example,” she explained as she pried open the computer. It opened to an internet webpage titled ‘Google’. Ron looked absolutely fascinated by the keys as she typed so quickly and effortlessly.

“They aren’t even in alphabetical order,” he awed.

“J.K. Rowling,” she said, turning the screen towards them. “Look familiar?”

“Rita Skeeter!” they both exclaimed at the picture of a highly successful woman. “But how—?

“Harry, are you aware that your Pensieve is located directly under a window?” Hermione began. “You don’t happen to, hmm, open that window ever? Perhaps with some of your treasured memories sealed inside the pensieve?” At the guilty look on his face she went on. “Harry, she’s an unregistered animagus, she could crawl in very easily.”

It was true. Ever since he had inherited the Pensieve he had drained most of his Hogwarts memories before going to bed. He sometimes found it hard to sleep and his mind was much less troublesome without those painful, and yet some wonderful, memories of his teenage years.

“Are you saying that ‘J.K. Rowling’ is just a Muggle penname for Rita Skeeter? That we haven’t heard from her in all these years because she, well . . . ?” Harry asked, already sure of the answer. Hermione nodded rapidly.

“Rita is in these books!” said Ron excitedly. “And she portrays herself pretty much as she is, except uglier. Why would she do that? Wouldn’t she make herself beautiful, a great character? Wouldn’t she want to be the star?”

“She doesn’t want it obvious that she wrote it,” said Hermione.

“Yeah, well, she twisted some things right around. Made them more entertaining, I suppose. . .”

“Oh, Ron, with rubbish like that, what can you expect?”

“Actually,” intervened Harry, “these books are pretty good. Mighty addicting as well. She couldn’t have used magic to make people read them?”

“No, she couldn’t have done it right in the open like that. And, like you said, there are so many books and so many versions . . .” Ron said. “But you’re right. They are really good . . .”

“How can you say that, Ron?” said Hermione angrily.

“I’d have to agree,” Harry admitted.

“She manipulates our lives around, makes up her own little stories, and you stand up for her? These books are nothing but a pile of dragon dung!” Hermione exclaimed.

“You haven’t read them,” Ron argued, “so you can’t say that!”

“You just want to make your life seem more interesting!”

“You just don’t want to believe that anything Skeeter wrote could be quality. Especially after that article about you and your love interests!”

Hermione flushed. “Have a look at this, then, and maybe you’ll see things my way!”

“Have a look at what?” asked Harry, used to their constant bickering. He was pretty sure that was what kept them together. She pushed the screen in front of him. It now withheld a different webpage. This one was entitled CoS Forums.

“It is an internet website where people discuss theories and play games and such. All Harry Potter related. It’s quite a fad. Keep in mind there have only been six books, so I assume that it ends around Dumbledore’s death.”

“What’s that say? Ron loves Hermione but she what?” Ron looked infuriated.

“Catching my drift now, are you?” Hermione said. “There is also ‘Ron and Hermione—Where to from Here?’ and a couple others I ought not to mention—”

“Wow. ‘Will Harry die?’ and ‘Is Harry a Horcrux?’ They searched deeper into my life than we did. Hmm . . .” Harry reached forward and clicked on something called My Theory that also had a lock entitled CLOSED on it. Evidently it wasn’t worth discussing with others, or maybe it just got out of hand. . . .

Harry soon found it was a bit of both. The discussion went as follows:

Posted by Extreme_Muggle4563:

Here is what I think is going to happen in Harry Potter in the Deathly Hallows:
~Dumbledore will turn out to never have been really alive in the first place, only a shadow of the living. He is Voldemort’s good side inside an inferi.
~Snape will turn out to be evil, end up killing Wormtail, and save the Dursleys.
~Ron will be pushed off a cliff by Percy, only after discovering a Horcrux. Then Hermione and Harry will be free to confess their undying love for each other.
~Draco will steal Harry’s Marauder’s Map once they return to school and Harry knows that it indeed was a Horcrux because of Ron.
~They will destroy it with a knife from the kitchens of Hogwarts, with the help of Dobby.
~Harry will find the rest of the Horcruxes pretty easily until he faces the final battle.
~At the final battle, Harry will put out his best fight. Then, once he uses a spell strong enough to defeat the Dark Lord, it will have used up Harry’s strength.
~He will die a heroic death, but nobody will really be sad that he is gone. Draco then will be free to take Hermione, because that is who she truly always loved.

Posted by PettyPotterPoet7862:

That is the most stupid and off-canon idea I have ever heard. Kill Harry and nobody miss him? Voldemort’s good side is withheld in an inferi? I mean, who died and made you Darth Vader?

Posted by hagridismyultimateher0:

I agree! What ever happened to good triumphing over evil? This, after all, is a children’s book! The trio are problem-solvers! They need to find a way to kill Voldemort and get out safely, not just die and get it over with. Hope? Love? Hello?

Posted by Extreme_Muggle4563:

The real problem is what to do with the problem-solvers after the problems are solved. Think about it this way, once Harry sorts it all out who cares if he dies or not? The problem-solvers are unnecessary after that point. And about love—that is why Draco and Hermione will be alive. There is still love. Ron? Well . . . who cares about Ron, right?

Re: hagridismyultimateher0
What ever happened to good triumphing over evil?
Posted by 7h7a7r7r7y7:

Happy endings are just stories that haven't finished yet.

Posted by Mod#1:

I’m afraid I’ll have to shut this thread down. Please refer to How to Have a Pleasant Conversation on Any Topic. Thank you!

Harry stared at the words while Ron and Hermione finished reading. He couldn’t believe somebody actually believed that any of it could happen. It was very wrong. Harry already knew the ending to his own story and—well, he didn’t want to go into it now. What he really wanted to do was tell Ginny to move the Pensieve before Rita could get more details, but felt it would be an inappropriate time. She and the kids were probably already in bed. And Rita had already written the seventh book; it was to be published in the next few days. As an alternative, he sighed and sat back, picking up the next installment of his previous Hogwarts life.

Ron and Hermione continued to ogle at what people believed would happen to them so many years ago on the computer screen. After a while, Ron gave up and also picked up another book. Hermione, on the other hand, absolutely refused to read such filth. Harry knew better. His life seemed more interesting from the outside, as if it wasn’t really him at all.

“Shouldn’t you be checking in with Ginny?” Hermione asked some odd hours later. Harry checked his watch. Indeed, he was supposed to have talked to her three hours ago. They had reached morning with no sleep at all. But do you need sleep when you have these books? He looked down at his page. Having just reached the first task in his fourth year, he really didn’t want to put it down.

“Oh, Harry, it’s just a stupid book!” Ron almost choked on his own saliva as she said it. “And Ron, why don’t you go with him? When was the last time you saw her?”

“Two days ago,” Ron said bluntly. Hermione gave him a stern look and he looked down at the page he was on also. He was a book behind Harry and had gotten to the part where Hermione flung his arms around him and burst into apologetic tears about Scabbers.

“Go!” she barked. Knowing they had to obey, the men stood and walked out of the house, apparating into the fresh morning air.

* * * * * *

“Hermione? We’re back. Ginny sends her love, as do your niece and nephew. I know you don’t want us to read those books, but we really feel it necessary to because we need to—er—fully understand the—er—severity of the situation, so . . . Hermione?”

Ron had been speaking to the entire house, but his wife made no answer. He looked to Harry, who shrugged. They both instinctively removed their wands from their pockets. Slowly entering the threshold, they soon came upon Hermione. She was, as usual, immersed in a book.

“Hermione?” asked Ron. She started and looked up. “Oh! You’re back, that’s great. There is plenty of food in the kitchen if you would like some.” She returned to the book. Harry noticed she was reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and had gotten very far. He knew Hermione to be a very fast reader.

“Did Ginny really say that?” she asked casually.

“Well, yeah. I wouldn’t have said ‘she sends her love’ if she didn’t,” said Ron.

“No,” she said. She held up the book and pointed to it. This seemed to confuse Ron even more. Finally she gave up the gesturing and said clearly, her voice rising, “She told you that I had snogged Victor and that is why you were so . . . bitter towards me? You were jealous and just took the first girl that would have you?”

Ron stood frozen. After a moment or two he recovered and attempted to change the subject. “I thought you refused to read those books?”

“I did. Now just answer the question, Ron. I’ve known you long enough to know when you are trying to get out of talking about something. I want to know the truth.”

He sighed. “I believe the conversation went something like this: Ginny said a few things to get me riled up after I caught her snogging in the middle of a corridor with Dean Thomas. She got angrier, too. She said, like, ‘You’re just jealous because you can’t get a girlfriend of your own!’ and I replied, ‘Just because I don’t have a girlfriend doesn’t mean I can’t get one!’ and she said, ‘I’d like to see you try!’ and I said, ‘Watch me!’ After that, you know what happened.”

“That’s not what it says in the book,” Hermione said.

“Why? What does it say in the book?” He looked frightened.

Hermione just laughed, rubbing her tired eyes. “Something along those lines. I have to say you guys were right. These books are hard to put down.”

“Hey, what’s this?” asked Harry. The laptop was now open to what was called MuggleNet. “‘Come join the Harry Potter celebration festivities! Tonight at 7o’clock. Costume contest with cash prizes!’ Hmm. It says that it is a few blocks into London. Could be interesting?”

“Costume contest? We should enter! I could use some extra cash,” Ron said.

“We don’t need any extra cash, Ron. We’re fine,” Hermione argued.

“Yeah, but think about it! Why not?”

“Wouldn’t that be cheating?” asked Harry casually.

“It isn’t cheating. If other people don’t look enough like us it’s their problem. We don’t even need a costume!” Ron replied.

“Maybe . . .” Hermione said hesitantly.

“Come on, what could happen?”

* * * * * *

“Oh, Ron, now I’m nervous. How are we gonna win this thing?”

Like I've always told you, you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione stepped into a crowded room full of people dressed in all sorts of unique garments. As they passed a woman dressed as Dumbledore, a band came into view. They were playing a song called “Moving Staircases, Dobby’s Tea Cozy, and the Golden Snitch.”

“Dance along the moving staircase
Till your cheeks get rosy!
Then take a break, it’s no fake, walk by the lake
Wearing the house elf Dobby’s tea cozy!
Once you’re done, you’re number one
Let’s have some fun, on the run
To find the golden snitch! You and that foxy witch!”

“Entrants for the Costume Contest here! There is only five minutes remaining!” a voice called over the music.

“I’ll go sign us up,” said Hermione. Ron was viewing the various outfits, looking at versions of himself in particular. Suddenly he started.

“Whoa!” A man in a ‘Dementor’ out fit glided mysteriously into him. He was carrying a plastic axe in his hands. “Why are you dressed so scary?

“You got a problem with that?” he asked in a deep and intimidating voice.

“Oh, no, of course not. Go on your merry way. Don’t let me keep you! Heh, heh, heh . . .” Ron muttered and sidled closer to the exit.

“The contest results will be revealed in ten minutes,” Hermione informed them when she returned from the registration table.

“Good. Let’s get out of here as soon as possible.” Ron looked cautiously at a woman with radish earrings. She approached them curiously.

“So, you’re the trio, eh?”

“Yeah,” said Harry. “We figured we’d be original.”

She didn’t laugh.

“There’s a trio over there,” she gestured behind them, “over there,” she gestured further behind them, “and over there, too.” She finalized by pointing to their right. Three people with the same general features as the real trio stood there dancing to the music.

“Oh,” said Hermione. “Well, we have as good a chance as any then, right?”

The woman grunted and stalked away.

“The golden snitch, quidditch, what a rich
Way to be a star.
Singing can only get you so far!
That’s why I wish
I was good at quidditch
So I could fly and zoom all around without my car!”

“Hem, hem! We now present the winners of the costume contest, a gift certificate to the pancake house, and over a hundred ‘galleons!’” called the same booming voice. The band had stopped playing and raucous cheers echoed in the room. “Drum roll please . . . Harry, Ron, and Hermione! Please step up to claim your prize!”

Ron punched the air and leaped up and down exclaiming words of excitement. Hermione had to calm him down forcefully.

“Wait, wait, that’s not us.”

“What!?” said Harry.

“The names ‘Harry, Ron, and Hermione’ were claimed by the other trio.”

“What did you enter our names as?” Harry asked her.

“Larry Hotter, Fermy Ranger, and Don Wesly.” The boys observed her incredulously. “What? I couldn’t think of anything. . .” They watched the other three climb onto the stage and claim their prizes. Harry grabbed some ‘butterbeer’ from a table next to them.

“Here’s to our complete loss,” he said, raising his bottle.

“Cheers,” the other two muttered. Ron quickly stopped drinking. “Bleh, they call this butterbeer?” Harry shrugged.

“At least we’ll have the memories . . .” said Hermione thoughtfully.

“Memories? Yeah, of how this famous book is about us and we got squat. Those three don’t look remotely like us. His hair isn’t the right shade of red, his scar is lopsided, and her eyes are green. Let’s just go home.”

“Yeah, we still have the rest of the books to read,” said Harry.

“I don’t know if I could take the seventh one anymore,” said Hermione. “Kind of painful memories from that point on, no?”

“But the memories are what make it all the better, like you said. It’s over now; we should be able to accept that.”

“I guess so,” said Ron. “It’s not like we are going to just wake up and realize it was all a dream . . .”

. . .

. . .

. . .

Harry sat up with a jolt. His head banged against the wall next to him and he slightly cringed. Something strange had awoken him. Perhaps just another one of those dreams. Rubbing his tired eyes, he looked around. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was just the same old cupboard under the stairs he had lived in for eleven years.

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