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Last Author Standing - Entries v.2



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  #21  
Old January 8th, 2011, 5:13 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING
Topic: A Snape vs. the Marauders confrontation scene (in Hogwarts)
Entry #3



Routine.

Hindsight is a gift.

This is the part where Sirius would snort at someone like me making such a profound statement. But, it's only when you're a little bit older and a little bit wiser when you can look back at things calmly.

Really, anyone can do it. If only there was some sort of device that would allow us all to step willingly into our pasts; "Oh, look...I'll change that...I could've done this better, so hang on...Yeah I was a bit of a prat here, so-"

What's that, Remus? Oh...timeturners...cheers for the sarcasm, mate!

...

Shut up and drink your firewhisky, Padfoot.

Right, as I was saying:

We were gits- we all were. On both sides. I don’t even know why it started, to be honest. I sometimes hope that there was some deep, inner reasoning as to why it all began which would make our behaviour significantly more justifiable...and be a lot more interesting.

But as Padfoot so eloquently told me in our very first year at Hogwarts: “He looked at us funny.”

Yes. He was different. Mismatched clothes, greasy hair, almost as thin as a matchstick...Yeah, the perfect target for some immature boys that had the whole world in the palm of their hands.

To be fair, he was just as bad as us.

But, in all honesty, our loathing of each other wasn’t as strong or as powerful as it could’ve been. A snide word here, a push there- from both us and him. It was rather like our little daily routine; normal, something that was expected. Just one of those things.

Until... that time in 5th year. The hatred was unbearable at that time.

This was mainly due to one thing: Lily. It was common knowledge between the Gryffindor boys that I fancied “Evans” like mad. The only problem was that he did, too. And I saw them- having a stroll around the school grounds, talking about everything. What really got on my nerves was how he could make her laugh; how happy she was when he was with her.

I tried and tried in vain when I was 15- but I could never make her erupt with a magnificent chortle that could rival what he coaxed out of her.

Well, now I can. With a little help from Moony, Wormy and Padfoot, of course.

Sorry, I’m getting off topic. I do that quite often- I’m sure you’re aware of that, now.

So, after the big explosion that was 5th year- something changed, both for me and for him. In my case, I tried to stop being a complete and utter prat. I wanted Lily to see that...I was good enough for her.

And we stopped taunting Sniv-him. Really- just like that. (Although, I’m sure Sirius would disagree). We all insist that we simply lost interest. But the truth was...I felt sorry for him; sorry for what we’d done to him.

But even without us trying to constantly hex him in every god-forsaken corridor, he changed for the worse. I still don’t know exactly what happened. He became even more reserved and I think, without Lily there, no-one was around to pull him back into the light. It was scary for us all, though we didn’t dare admit it: how his face became paler and mask like- his dark eyes looking like something dead and forgotten.

After the silence- our resolution to bury our hatred- something had to break.

And break, it did. It shattered like millions of pieces of dangerous shards of glass- cutting every single one of us. The problem was that only some managed to staunch the blood.

***

“James, give it a rest.”

“Okay! I was only joking; you’re hardly Miss High and Mighty, yourself-hey!”

Attempting and failing to dodge a shove from Lily, I threw out a hand to steady myself against a nearby wall, still chuckling. One of the things I loved about being Head Boy was the fact that I could now spend a great deal of time with Lily, who recently, had appeared to be actually enjoying my company. Yes, I know. Sirius nearly had a heart attack.

She rolled her eyes at me, however, I’m sure I witnessed the slightest upwards twitch of her lips. Or, maybe I imagined it. You can never quite tell with Evans.

***

It happened as I was heading down to the Great Hall- straight after Double Herbology-which was ironically not with the Slytherins. Strolling down the corridor, I spotted Remus’s face in the hustle and bustle of the crowd.

“Moony!” I called over the noise. He glanced upwards, recognition dawning on him and made his way over to me. In fact, he was sprinting over to me. Wait-what?

“Remus?” I asked uncertainly, taking in his worried expression, the furrowed brow, and the startled eyes.

“James,” he panted. “- Peter told me when I was walking out of Charms--”

***

Never had I seen a corridor so crowded. Everyone was pushing and shoving, determined to reach their destination; first years almost falling to the ground due to the huge tide of people pressing in on all sides. A small girl with blonde plaits was thrown into my path. Quickly bending down to make sure she wasn’t trampled; I struggled once more with making my way across to the scene that had caused all of this.

And there. Two seventh years that I knew very well indeed, attempting to hex the living daylights out of each other.

Sirius dodged a jet of red light easily, laughing in Snape’s face- which was twisted with rage. But the laugh was wrong- different, somehow- it sounded strained and forced...trembling...

Before I even knew what I was doing, I had raised my wand. “Protego!”

They both were blasted backwards by the force of the spell. Snape took one look at me and glared with a kind of hatred that I would never have thought possible; even for us. But, for once in my life, I ignored him and ran to the person who truly mattered.

“Sirius.” I put a hand on his shoulder tentatively, trying to pull him back. People were staring, whispering, pointing, sneering... My friend was shaking, literally shaking, and suddenly I was afraid. “Sirius?” I muttered again. “Come on, he isn’t worth it.”

“Piece of filth,” he eventually managed to choke out. And then he shook my hand off, straightening up. “I’m not alone,” he announced quietly.

I wondered exactly what Snape had said to make Sirius react in such an...unusual way. Sirius could normally laugh things off easily and Snape was probably the last person who would rattle his cage like this.

But the moment had passed. Feeling that it was safe enough to do so, I broke the Shield Charm, dragging Sirius away from Snape once more. When I was sure Sirius was far enough apart, I chanced a glance at Snape. He was getting to his feet, leaning on a wall as I had done only half an hour previously. I spotted his wand lying, forgotten on the ground.

Being uncomfortably aware of the still existing crowd, I walked towards him and slowly picked it up. Slower still, I held out my hand to him, the one holding the wand.

WHAM. I was hardly aware of it happening until I heard the cries of shock from the “spectators”, and I felt my jaw. He had punched me.

And now, something inside me seemed to have malfunctioned or stopped working entirely. I threw myself at him, kicking and punching and tearing. Magic immediately did not exist. This fight was more raw and sharp and real than any other.

I was distantly aware of the screams, and the shouts of “Get him, James!”

Argh! Snape had sharply and mercilessly connected his knee with my chest, and now I was upon the floor, and Snivellus was standing over more, with the most unbearably smug smirk playing on his lips.

I growled and instantly grabbed his arm, not knowing that this would change everything.

I heard a gasp of pain and for a moment wondered who it was. And then I looked at Snape, my mouth opening in disbelief. After all the blows I had landed on him, this was what hurt him?! What startled me the most, was how his teeth were gritted in agony (and, truthfully, my grip wasn’t that brutal), and...his black eyes, just for a second, seemed to be filled with-

I released my grasp, drawing my hand back as if burned. And still he stood there, shaking as Sirius had done- a shallow cut on his lip, sweat dripping off his flushed face-

The bell sounded, making me flinch.

Oh,yeah...Transfiguration.


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  #22  
Old January 15th, 2011, 2:46 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING
Topic: Bill and Fleur take a trip to a foreign country
Entry #1

Cities Are Not Fruit

“But, Bill, you said zat we were going to South America for our ‘oneymoon. Why do we ‘ave to be here?”

“Because, darling,” Bill explained for what felt like the hundredth time but in reality was probably only the twentieth, “I have an old friend who lives here and he wanted to congratulate us in person, since he couldn’t make it to the wedding.”

“Zen ‘e should ‘ave simply sent an owl instead of making us travel so far out of our way,” Fleur said as they walked down the sidewalk, her heels clicking against the pavement which would undoubtedly ruin them if they had to go much farther.

“I haven’t seen the bloke in years, Fleur. We’ll be on our way to Brazil by tomorrow, I promise. Now is it a left or a right here?”

“Zat is another thing,” Fleur said, crossing her arms as Bill glanced from the signpost to the piece of paper in his hand. “Why can we not just apparate to ‘is ‘ouse? We ‘ave been walking for so long, it is hurting my feet.”

“Because I don’t remember exactly where he lives,” Bill said, deciding that right was the proper course to take and proceeding in that direction. The muggles had certainly set up an easy-to-follow system for the city streets. Weird, but convenient.

“And besides,” he said, taking her hand and bringing it to his lips for a quick kiss, “I asked you about this before we left and you said you were fine with making a quick detour.”

“Yes,” Fleur said, smiling at the contact and leaning in to rest her head against her husband’s shoulder, “but I did not know ‘ow noisy and busy zis city would be. All zese signs and lights glaring in my face, it iz giving me a ‘eadache.”

“Come on,” Bill said. “Try to be a little more excited about it. How many people do you know who can say they’ve visited the Big Apple?”

“What a ridiculous name,” Fleur sniffed. “Cities are not fruit. It makes no sense.”

“It’s just one of those nicknames muggles give their cities,” Bill said. “I don’t really understand it either, but it makes sense here apparently.”

Fleur sighed. This was certainly not how she had pictured her honeymoon; walking down a dirty sidewalk crowded up against hundreds of other people while cars honked and advertisements flashed down at her. Still, it had been difficult enough getting out of the country with everything going on, and she was thrilled to be able to spend time alone with her new husband. The trip wouldn’t last very long, they had family to get back to at a time when being together was most important, but that she was able to be here at all was a true blessing in her eyes.

“Alright, if you say I should enjoy myself, zen I will. For you, Bill,” she said, reaching up to plant a kiss on his cheek. He grinned and turned to face her.

“This city is great. I’ve heard so much about it from John,” he said, referring to the friend they were on their way to visit. “You will enjoy yourself, I promise.”

Smiling, the two lovers embraced, much to the chagrin of the twenty somewhat-odd people behind them.

“Get a room, why don’t ya?”

“If you’re going to do that in public, at least don’t clog up the streets.”

“Move it!”

The newlyweds broke apart, laughing as they rejoined the tide of people flowing down the street. They made it to the end of the block before Bill stopped, pulling Fleur to the side so they wouldn’t get in anyone’s way.

“You know what?” he said. “We don’t have to meet John for a few hours. Why don’t we explore this city and find out what all the excitement is about? What do you say?”

Fleur smiled. Her husband was always filled with a sense of adventure.

“I zink that sounds wonderful,” she said.


The next three hours were absolutely thrilling. Bill and Fleur walked all over the city, peering in at the giant windows filled with muggle clothing (Fleur thought it was strange that they wouldn’t want their mannequins to move around, surely they would be able to model clothes more efficiently that way?), watching people as they skated in circles on a large piece of ice in the middle of the city (which Bill thought looked like fun but Fleur positively refused to do), and marveled at the strange architecture of the buildings, which was unlike anything they had seen in Europe. They received several weird looks from the muggles because of Bill’s scars, but they were in their own little world together, so none of that bothered them.

Bill, who had become quite familiar with muggle money from his work with the bank, was able to buy them some pretzels from a vendor on the sidewalk, and Fleur found them delicious after brushing off most of the salt crystals. Finally, they ended up at a large expanse of grass and trees that looked quite out of place in the midst of so much concrete and machinery.

“My dad would’ve loved this place,” Bill said, as they watched the traffic go by while sitting on a wooden bench facing the street. “He’d never want to leave.”

“Perhaps you can bring ‘im ‘ere someday,” Fleur said.

“I hope so,” Bill said. “He deserves a vacation. They all do.”

Fleur looked at her husband’s downcast face and gave his arm a tight squeeze.

“We will be back with zem soon. I know you are worried for zeir safety.”

“They’ll be fine,” he said, but gripped her hand in his. They both knew there was no way to guarantee that, and that there wouldn’t be for a long time. Even halfway around the world, they couldn’t get away from any of it. Not really.

“Well, I suppose we ought to head over to John’s,” Bill said letting go of Fleur’s hand to rise to his feet.

“Ooh, I do not know ‘ow much more walking I can take,” Fleur said, reaching down to rub the sides of her feet.

“Who said anything about walking?”

Five minutes later he was helping her into a horse-drawn carriage that stood on the side of the street next to the park. Other horses and carriages stood behind theirs, and each animal was dressed in colors that matched the vehicle it drove. Fleur gazed at the white horse pulling them. It was nowhere near as large or fierce as Madame Maxime’s horses, which she found extremely comforting as she had always been intimidated by those wild beasts.

“Oh, Bill, ‘ow lovely!” she cried. “We should ‘ave travelled zis way from ze beginning!” Bill laughed.

“The driver said that the horses will only walk on certain streets,” he said. “He said it’s too dangerous with all the cars and people.”

“Well, zis is certainly better zan all of zat walking,” she said, leaning back in her seat against the cushions.

“It is nice to be able to rest,” Bill agreed, wrapping his arm around her shoulders and leaning back as well. “And just think, tomorrow we’ll be enjoying ourselves in Brazil, and if you think New York City is strange, just wait until you get there!”

Fleur turned her head to look at her husband, eyes sparkling with the thoughts of what adventures awaited them in Brazil, and perhaps even after that. Taking his face in her hands, she kissed him on the lips and stroked his ginger hair.

“I love you,” she said. Bill smiled and rested his forehead against hers.

“I love you, too.” And the two embraced as their horse cantered on amongst the hustle and bustle of the big city.



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  #23  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 6:00 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Explain why Lily's favorite subject was Charms

Entry #1

Accio

Lily Evans did not arrive at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry expecting to be top of the year. However, after the initial shock of all the new subjects she had to learn had sunk in, she realised that most pupils had at least one lesson which they shone remarkably in:

For Sev, it was Potions. Remus Lupin was pretty much exceptional at everything (he was forever seen making meticulous notes in History of Magic) but he was amazing at Defence Against The Dark Arts. Sirius Black constantly messed around in each class but, on the days when it truly mattered, managed to pass each test with flying colours without so much as breaking a sweat. He, along with Remus, was also exceptional at Defence Against The Dark Arts. Peter, although not the greatest at Duels, was a master at Herbology.

James Potter-the Seeker Extraordinaire... of course.

Lily Evans...well, that was just it. She had no idea what her “forte” at Hogwarts was. Oh, she got good marks- absolutely nothing to complain about. Yet, she still felt the smallest ripples of envy when she saw the confident grins of each pupil as they walked into their best class.

So, she muddled along and, right up until Fourth Year, had still not found the lesson that she really excelled in- her absolute favourite.

Then their first lesson of Summoning Charms began. It was only at the tail end of the lesson when the question was asked by Professor Flitwick: “Miss Evans, perhaps you could demonstrate to the rest of the class, how a Summoning Charm is performed?”

And she did not feel a magical warm tingle when she picked up her wand, no. All Lily remembered was the mild surprise of being asked to perform the spell in front of all the Gryffindors in her year and the churning of nerves inside her stomach.

She stood up, wand held as steadily and as accurately as possible; pointing it at the first object she spotted.

...Which just happened to be James Potter’s glasses.

”Accio!” Lily recited and the glasses flew from James’s face, straight into her ready and open palm.

She swallowed down the urge to laugh along with Sirius, Remus and Peter at the shocked expression James now sported. And then he looked slightly upwards and his bright hazel eyes connected with her own.

In James's eyes was a lovely looking gleam of warmth, radiating surprise, humour and...admiration?

Lily felt a tiny jolt in her stomach which she knew had nothing to do with the incantation she had just cast; after all, they had studied Cheering Charms last week.

When the bell rang, Lily walked up to James and said, with as cold a voice as possible, “Your glasses,” and when he took them from her, she took extra special care to make sure their hands didn’t even brush slightly against one another.

But, from every single Charms class after that, Lily always Summoned James’s glasses to her- at different times during each lesson- so as to always catch him unawares.

And although she insisted to her friends that winding “that Potter boy” up was one of her favourite practises, she secretly knew it was only to see that wonderful, happy gleam in his eyes.

For in that split second when James looked at Lily, he became not “Potter: the arrogant toe rag” but simply James- just James.

And Lily remembers this at the most inopportune time- when James is lifting back her veil and reaching in to kiss her softly. When their lips meet, Lily smiles, glowing inside, finally knowing exactly why her favourite subject was Charms.

For it was when she first began to fall in love.


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  #24  
Old January 29th, 2011, 5:13 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: A Take on George's Life Without Fred

Entry #1

Each Day

In embarrassingly awful Muggle books or films, this is the moment when he’s meant to slowly wake up; still in the gentle, sweet clutches of a dream, and for a moment, he’s supposed to forget everything and it will be all wonderful and perfect and normal.

And then his head is meant to turn groggily, slowly and he’ll see the empty bed and he’ll remember. But at least, he’ll have had that one blissful, happy feeling of ignorance before being forced into believing in the cruel knowledge.

Instead, he is already awake and George knows, he always knows and it crushes and twists his insides constantly.

So he gets up, ignoring the vacant bed beside his own, and he washes his face-never looking in the mirror for the fear of seeing someone that cannot return.
XXX

If George could describe how each day is, he doesn’t know if he could without seeming temporarily insane. For, he’s just barely aware of surviving-of eating a piece of toast and dressing-and somehow, he remembers how to walk and talk-without even thinking about the action.

XXX

George knows Fred would quite literally kill him if he could see the state of the place; their place. How it no longer rings with the glorious sound of laughter and fun.

Fun. Such a simple word. George does not know if he can recall the emotion. He feels he does not deserve to.

XXX

But, the day is not just full of mourning and “poor me, poor me.” Sometimes, George can will himself to snap out of it, and when he does, it feels like he’s living a new life- everything is new and sharp and oh, so very real.

He’ll close his eyes, and he’ll think of his twin, and for once, it will not hurt. All he’ll see is the grin (his grin) and the laugh (his laugh) and the voice, which is strangely a mixture of his and a mixture of something indefinable; something that shall only belong to Fred.

“Stop moping around, you soppy git! Get working!”

And George chuckles, a dry and strange sound but a chuckle nonetheless.

The Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Sign inevitably switches from “Closed” to a miraculous “Open.”

XXX

But, in the end, some days are inexplicably long and some unbearably short. No matter their length, they all end the same:

With an occupied bed and an empty bed, and an experiment involving the latest batch of dungbombs and a notebook with the scribbles of past and present successes.

And a red haired half of a whole sleeping, with the ghost of a satisfied smile forever slipping on and off his face.


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  #25  
Old January 29th, 2011, 5:14 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: A Take on George's Life Without Fred

Entry #2


One Half Missing

The sun had been well into the sky for hours now, but still George couldn’t bring himself to get up. Closed shutters and shut doors brought a comforting darkness to the room that he could hide in. And if everything was black, he wouldn’t be able to see anything. Not the empty bed sitting feet from him, not the jets of light shooting by as he ducked and dodged death itself, not the empty, staring eyes of his twin and closest friend.

Except he did see them. In the week that had passed since Fred’s death, George hadn’t be able to stop reliving that moment over and over again. He hadn’t actually seen his brother die, but that was hardly any comfort. It didn’t stop him from feeling as though his heart had been ripped out of his chest the moment he saw Fred lying with the rest of the dead, with empty eyes that had once been so full of laughter . . .

George suddenly realized that he was shaking violently, and brought his hand to his forehead to try and steady himself. It was no use. He could still feel it, could still see it. The image was burned into his memory as permanently as words were etched into a gravestone. Oh god, the funeral . . .

There had been a public ceremony to honor those who had given their lives to that terrible battle, the crowds were enormous, and even witches and wizards who weren’t present mourned the dead from all over the world. They even made it a holiday, an official memorial day to honor those who had given so much to the fight.

The Weasley family had had their own, separate funeral. It was a quiet affair, family members only, and Harry and Hermione of course. Each person said a small piece about how much Fred had meant to him, how he affected their lives. Ginny talked about how Fred had always inspired her to be her own person, even if it meant breaking a few rules. Percy admitted that he’d always been secretly jealous of Fred’s ability to have fun and joke around no matter what the circumstances. Mrs. Weasley said that she had always loved and supported Fred, even though she had been so strict with him sometimes. When it was time for George to speak, he said simply:

“Fred was a lot of things. A brother, a son, a jokester, and a brave man. He was my other half, and I will miss him.”

He stayed just long enough to watch them lower the coffin into the ground, then he retreated into his room, and didn’t come out for three days. His mum left meals outside the door, though he rarely ate anything. And although he stayed holed up for so long, no one once came to ask him to come out, or to beg him to join the rest of the family for mealtimes. Perhaps they all thought it would be easier if none of them had to see his face, which looked exactly like his dead brother, down to the last freckle.

George lay completely still on his bed, staring up into black. He heard the sound of his mother’s footsteps as she came up to leave his tray by the door. Probably lunch, unless it was suppertime already. George didn’t move, but waited for her to walk back downstairs.

“Georgie?”

He started. It was the first time he’d heard his mother’s voice since the funeral.

“Georgie, please come down. We’re all very worried about you, you’ve been locked in your room for so long. Please . . .”

But apparently she didn’t know what else to say, for a few moments later George heard her footsteps fade away down the stairs, and then they were gone. He didn’t move, but hearing his mother’s voice had changed something in him. He missed seeing them all, interacting with people, talking to others. And he didn’t want to be alone anymore.

Slowly, George sat up, a few of his stiffer bones cracking as he did so. He hovered at the edge for a moment, and then pushed himself off his bed and to the door. He ignored the tray of assorted foods, instead proceeding straight down the stairs to the kitchen. The brightness of the house stung his eyes which had been in the darkness for so long, so when he stumbled into the kitchen he missed the momentary look of stunned disbelief and joy on everyone’s faces when they saw him. He did see the disappointed stares and lowered heads, quickly followed by forced smiles, and was just thinking that maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea to come down after all when his mother stepped forward.

“George, oh thank heavens you’ve finally come down. Have something to eat, dear, you look terribly thin.”

Soundlessly, George made his way over to the giant table where everyone sat. He took his usual spot, and before he could stop himself stared blankly at the empty chair on his left.

“So, George!” Percy said, a bit too enthusiastically. “Fancy anything in particular? Sandwich? Apple? Crisps? You must be ravenous. Try some of this pudding it’s quite good--”

“Perce,” Charlie said, laying a hand on his shoulder, “I think he’s got it.”

Sure enough, suddenly very hungry, George began piling his plate with a little bit of everything. A fork of vegetables was halfway to his mouth when he paused, looking around at everyone, who was watching him eat.

“What am I, a museum exhibit?” he said. “Because if so then I think I ought to at least get a cut of the profits.”

Everyone broke out into smiles, and Bill clapped George on the back. His mother went to the oven, supposedly to get more food out, and the rest of the family filled him in on what had happened in the last three days. Hermione had gone off to Australia to locate her parents, and Harry (at Mrs. Weasley’s insistence) was now living at the Burrow. The Lovegoods had stopped by the day before, and Mr. Lovegood had made a formal apology to Harry and Ron for his actions. Harry and Ron had forgiven him, understanding the lengths a father will go to to protect his daughter. Other than that, the Weasleys had been completely undisturbed, although Mr. Weasley said he was expecting a visit from Kingsley Shacklebolt tomorrow. Everyone was thrilled that George was out and about again, and for the first time in a long time they felt as though a weight had been lifted from their chests. Ron was just telling everyone about the trio’s escape from Gringotts on top of a dragon when Mrs. Weasley approached the tabling, carrying a huge plate heaped with roast beef and potatoes.

“I’ve got your favorite dish right here, Fred--”

The plate crashed to the ground, food flying everywhere. Mrs. Weasley clapped her hands to her mouth, looking absolutely mortified. The rest sat frozen in place, every eye upon George.

George didn’t move. He stared at his plate, and the smile that had found its way to his face was gone, wiped away as quickly as it had come. His mother spoke, trembling between shaking hands.

“Oh, God. George, I--”

George pushed up from the table and before he knew what he was doing he was out the door and standing in the garden, the dampness of the ground seeping into his socks. He could hear his father calling him back into the house, and knew they were all sorry, it had been an accident, so much had been on everyone’s minds lately . . .

He stepped forward and Disapparated.


The shop was just as they had left it. George fished in his pocket for his wand and, with a few muttered spells, unlocked the door. Stepping inside, he flicked his wand and at once a bright light shot from his wand and hovered near the ceiling, illuminating the room. Merchandise lay neatly stored on their shelves, although some of the more mobile items had long since wandered off. When he and Fred had decided to close shop and operate through owl service, they’d made sure to lock up the shop nice and tight, with a few hidden traps to dissuade any Death Eaters or competitors from snooping around. Therefore, when George made his way to the back of the shop, he was careful to avoid walking on certain floorboards, and stayed as far away from the shelves as possible. There were some things he just didn’t feel like dealing with right now.

Soon he was in their old apartment above the shop. Without mum to clean up after them, they’d really let the room get out of hand. That was alright though, he and Fred had always found complete and utter chaos to be a suitable working environment. An old mirror hung on the wall between the two beds, and in it George could see his own face staring back at him. Their face.

He felt numb. It wasn’t fair. Everyone else would be able to move on, someday in the future, but he would never be able to, because everywhere he went people would look at him and see Fred. And he would look at himself and see his brother again and again and again.

“Damn-it!” he swore, slamming his fist against the glass, which cracked under the pressure. “Why, Fred? Why did you have to die? You shouldn’t have let your guard down! I should have been there! I should have been there . . .”

And now the tears he’d been holding back flowed freely down his face, his chest seizing painfully as he sobbed alone in their old apartment.

CRASH!

“Bloody Hell!”


Or maybe not entirely alone.

George straightened up, wand in hand. Then he remembered that the war was over, and put it away, but still proceeded with caution down the stairs and back into the shop. From the sound of it, someone had tripped one of their traps, yet the voice spewing forth the unending stream of foul curses was decidedly familiar.

George stepped onto the main landing to see Lee Jordan hanging upside down from the ceiling, dangling from a rope wrapped around his left ankle. He must have lost his wand, for he made no magical attempt to sever the rope, settling instead for swinging back and forth in midair as he swore to himself with a mouth that would have mortified Mrs. Black.

“Lee?” George asked, craning his neck up to look at his friend.

“George?” Lee said, twisting around to get a better look. “So you are back. I wasn’t completely sure.”

“What are you doing?” George asked, putting a hand to his head. Lee scowled at him.

“I’m practicing my trapeze act for the circus, you dolt. I was walking through Diagon Alley when I saw a light on in the store, and I thought that maybe you’d come in to check on the wares or something. So I tried the door, found it unlocked, and the next thing I know I’m hanging upside-down staring at your sorry face. What are you doing here anyway? I thought you’d be with your family.”

George looked down.

“I needed to get away from them for a bit. I needed to be . . . somewhere else . . .” he trailed off. Lee looked as though he wanted to say something, but at the look on George face he thought better of it. The two stood (or in Lee’s case, swung) in silence for a minute. Then Lee spoke up.

“How’re you, you know, holding up?” George shrugged.

“I spent the last three days holed up in my room, and when I finally came out I realized that no matter what people were always going to look at me and see Fred. And there wasn’t anything I could do to change that.”

There was another moment of silence.

“You know what my first thought was, when I heard about Fred?”

George shook his head.

“Is George alright?”

George looked up, and Lee nodded as best he could manage.

“When I heard the news, I was completed stunned. I think I may have been in shock. And as I ran to the Great Hall, I kept praying to myself that you weren’t dead too. I thought you two would’ve been fighting together you see, you were so rarely apart, I didn’t think battle was an exception. So when I saw you with your family in the Great Hall, I felt so relieved. All I could think was thank God we didn’t lose you too.”

“Really?” George asked.

“Really,” Lee said. “And I’ll bet you anything that’s what your family thought too.”

George gave a weak half-grin, although he felt better now than he had for awhile.

“Thanks, mate.”

“You’re welcome,” Lee said. “Now, if it’s not too much trouble, could you please get me down from here before all the blood rushes to my head and people mistake me for a Weasley? I’m way too good-looking to be associated with you lot.”

And George, for the first time in a week, laughed.

It felt good.


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  #26  
Old February 5th, 2011, 5:16 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: A Day/Week in the life of Neville and Trevor

Entry #1

Diary of a Toad


Day four hundred and sixty three of imprisonment. Time is currently 0900 hours. Position: the sixth step from the bottom of the boy’s staircase in the Gryffindor Common Room. Objective? The same as always: escape.

It has been over a year since my capture and subsequent incarceration under the eye of the human wizard, Neville Longbottom. Although freedom at first appeared to be easily within grasp, due to the boy’s natural inadequate motor skills and lagging memory, my actual liberation has proven much harder to obtain than originally thought. Nevertheless, I, Commander Trevillious P. Toad, leader of the Marsh Forces, will not rest until I have fled this miserable place and returned to my faithful troops. I suspect that today may at last be the day that I--


“Trevor! There you are! You’ve got to stop running, er, hopping off like that. One of these days I’m bound to lose you for good! At least, that’s what Gran always says. C’mon, let’s go back upstairs.”

Drat.


Day four hundred and sixty five. 1400 hours. The boy is currently away training, and so I have decided to use this opportunity to make yet another attempt at freedom. I managed to sneak out of the Common Room with the help of a careless student, who allowed me to slip by as she was exiting the portrait hole. However, it is very difficult navigating the castle without a proper set of blueprints, and my diminished height and feeble hopping distance puts me at a great disadvantage. I have been wandering around for hours now with no exit in sight, but I shall not give up hope. I must persevere, like a true soldier, until I have either achieved my objective or died in the attempt.

Security is surprisingly lax, I have had no difficulty in slipping by the other humans, who appear to take little interest in me. I have used that to my advantage, slipping through the fortress unnoticed, eager to taste the fresh air that only freedom can bring--


“Hey, look. Isn’t that Neville’s toad?”

“That thing’s always running off. I’m surprised Neville hasn’t lost him yet.”

“We should probably bring him back to the Common Room.”

“Ugh, I’m not touching it. It’s probably all slimy with lots of warts.”

“Oh Ron, don’t be such a baby. I’ll take care of it. Wingardium Leviosa.”

“Hey, I wanted to talk to you two about these voices I’ve been hearing . . .”

Double drat.


Day four hundred and seventy. Time currently unknown. I’m not sure how much longer I can survive here. Just yesterday the boy brought me into one of their torture chambers, in an attempt to get information out of me, I’m sure. I don’t know what they’re after, but they’ll have to do much more than turn me into a teacup to get me to croak. Still, it is clear that I must find a way out of here, and soon.

All hope is not lost though. On his way out the boy forgot to shut the door behind him, so I can easily get through it before he--


“Neville’s forgot to shut the door again.”

“Better close it so Trevor can’t get out. That toad’s a better escape artist than Harry Houdini.”

“Who?”

Drat, drat, drat!


Day four hundred and seventy one. I haven’t had any luck in formulating an escape plan yet, but I will seize the opportunity as soon as it presents itself. I don’t know what the boy has in store for me, but I know that I will make it through despite all obstacles set in my path. One day, I will make it home to my troops, and lead them to victorious battles against the Swamp Frogs as I did in the past. For they can take me away from my home, take away my freedom and my dignity, but they can never take away my pride as a commander, nor my will that will ultimately bring me safely home. One day, some day, I will be free again, and when I am the humans will come to regret imprisoning me in the first place. This vow I make to myself and to my men back home. I will not weaken. I will not despair. And I
will make it home. So swears Trevillious P. Toad, Commander of the Marsh Forces.



Last edited by Lord Godric; February 5th, 2011 at 5:20 pm.
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  #27  
Old February 5th, 2011, 5:17 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: A Day/Week in the life of Neville and Trevor

Entry #2

The Summoning

The toad hoped along the corridor seemingly oblivious of his surroundings. “Free once more.” It thought happily as it continued on its path. The corridor was deserted so it was easy for it to make its way. The stone walls and floor were not at all intimidating for the toad as it had made its way through the same corridor many a times after its escape from its master.
It was no that the toad didn’t like its master but the master was a little overbearing at times and would talk to the toad for long hours about his parents and that was what the toad couldn’t take.
“Trevor!” A voice that sounded far away. Trevor, the toad panicked. This was too soon. If the master found its hideout it would be bad. Very bad. Trevor was heading towards the Slytherin dungeons. There was a nice niche in the wall by the common room entrance it could hide itself in and observe a female toad belonging to a Slytherin boy. Trevor had seen it back in the train when they had first come to Hogwarts and escaping the master was even more fun.
“Honestly Neville. Are you a wizard or not? Use a summoning charm.” Trevor heard the voice of the bossy girl. It increased its pace at that immediately. His master was not that powerful and he had been practicing the charm for only two weeks if it could get out of range…
“Accio Trevor.” A clear voice said and Trevor found itself being pulled back. Soon his legs lifted off the ground and sped backwards from where he had come. It looked back and saw a turn coming up but the summoning though had power it did not have any finesse and its body was smacked on the wall and it fell down. “Well I guess he isn’t anywhere here.” The same voice repeated which Trevor finally recognized it to belong to the red haired boy in the dorm. “Well we will be seeing you Nev. Come on Hermione.” Was the last thing Trevor heard as three pairs of feet passed over its prone body



Last edited by Lord Godric; February 5th, 2011 at 5:20 pm.
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  #28  
Old February 5th, 2011, 5:18 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: A Day/Week in the life of Neville and Trevor

Entry #3

A Perfectly Unordinary Day For Trevor The Toad

7.00 am

Woken by a particularly loud snore. Thanks a bunch, Neville.

7.05 am

Hungry. I wonder if he’s actually aware of forgetting to feed me. I suppose losing the Remembrall didn’t help. Not that it was my fault, of course.

7.15am

Stomach now pleasantly full. Found a couple of lacewing flies underneath Weasley’s bed. Don’t even want to know why there were there in the first place.

Midday

Potions. Oh, the joys.

Why didn’t I hide in the bathroom, or something? Moaning Myrtle is better company than the Bat of the Dungeons.

My health is at risk here. If Neville blows up his cauldron again- then I’m out.of.here.

No, no! Don’t put that in!

...

Neville. Why.

Your potion is orange. Orange, I tell you! Look, everyone else’s is green. Nothing remotely orange about them.

Go on, ask the Granger girl for help before he notices. That’s it—

Oh, Merlin. Here he comes.

12.45

My life is sadly coming to an end. The worst thing is, it’s not even lunch yet.

12.47

GRANGER IS HELPING HIM AND IT’S GREEN!

I am so happy, I may kiss her. But, that may make her faint.

Or I could turn into a handsome...Prince? Oh, wait someone stole that nickname.

...But really, this isn’t fair. All the other pets are amazing.

In the future: a rat who’s a person. A cat that can sniff out impostors. An owl who can deliver to any place in the entire Wizarding and Muggle World.

And then, there’s me. Just a toad. With no interesting character or plot development whatsoever.

...Oh, well.


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  #29  
Old February 12th, 2011, 5:00 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: James and Lily Potter's Wedding

Entry #1
In Sickness and In Health

The centerpieces had been arranged by Lily’s grandmother. She had spent most of the morning arranging and rearranging the flowers in their crystal bowls, which alone had cost a pretty penny. Still, the overall effect was quite nice, and added a sophistication to the decorations that Emma Evans prided herself on.

She would have been crushed to see them destroyed by a series of killing curses launched across the reception tent.

Sirius dove behind a table as the Death Eaters set off another round of hexes. His suit, which he’d tolerated wearing for James’s sake, was torn up and sightly singed at the edges. A few minutes ago a spell had set his right arm on fire, so that sleeve was completed destroyed. Luckily, a quick charm had prevented any damage to his arm.

“This is getting ridiculous,” he muttered, peeking over the table to aim some stunning spells at the cloaked intruders. “Half the Order’s here and we still can’t manage to get rid of them.”

“It would’ve been easier if they hadn’t taken our best fighters out in that surprise attack,” Remus called. He was crouched behind an adjacent table in an equally bedraggled state.

“Yeah, Death Eaters actually using strategy for once. Who knew?” Sirius rolled his eyes.

“I can’t believe this had to happen today,” Remus said. “On James’s and Lily’s wedding, of all days.”

“Did you see Lily’s face when that Death Eater set her wedding gown on fire?” Sirius laughed. “I don’t fancy his odds of surviving this battle.”

Their conversation was brought to an end when the table Sirius was hiding behind exploded, leaving him exposed and defenseless. Remus came to his friend’s aid, covering him as Sirius dragged himself behind shelter. On the other side of the tent, another pair of fighters was fairing slightly better. Of course, the rage that comes from having your wedding ruined by a group of Death Eaters tends to help your motivation to fight significantly.

“So I guess this is going to put a stall on our honeymoon?” James asked, looking over at his wife of about half an hour. Lily spare a brief, blazing look at him before resuming her onslaught of hexes and jinxes at the offending party-crashers.

“I cannot believe this! After all I went to planning the ceremony and the reception . . . I spent months on the decorations and galleons on the catering. And my dress! I am going to murder the Death Eater that did that. I think it was Sirius’s cousin too, that little--”

James cut her off with a firm kiss on the lips.

“None of that matters. It was a beautiful ceremony, and you looked absolutely stunning in that dress. You still do. I love you, Lily, and being married to you right now makes me the happiest man in the world. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Lily raised an eyebrow at him.

“Okay, maybe I’d do away with the attacking Death Eaters,” James admitted, “but as long as you’re by my side, I can get through anything.”

Lily smiled.

“When did you become so eloquent, James Potter?”

“Since I first decided I wanted to marry you, Mrs. Lily Potter.”

“So, when you first saw me then?”

James laughed and kissed the top of Lily’s head.

“Yes. The moment I first laid eyes on you.”

The newlyweds embrace and then set their sights on the Death Eaters, and anyone who saw them would have said that they made a magnificent team.

If only they could have saved the cake.


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  #30  
Old February 12th, 2011, 5:01 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: James and Lily Potter's Wedding

Entry #2

Love, Life and Laughing

“I think,” James says, with the hopeless finality of a dying man, “I am going to throw up.”

Sirius (far too busy flicking through Which Broomstick? to even look up at the increasingly paling Prongs) says, “Well, that would certainly make the decorations much more colourful.”

***

He has appeared to have forgotten how to tie a...tie. His fingers are fumbling through the silk like fabric, and even though at first it was a joke, he does honestly feel incredibly ill.

So far, he has survived by half chortling at feeble jokes, but now, he thinks he is going to ruin everything and what if she’s changed her mind? And what if, what if, what if---

And there’s a hand on his shoulder and Padfoot’s looking at him, and he wonders if this’ll be a clichéd moment, where his best friend reveals some profound advice...

Instead, he says, “Don’t worry, Prongs; we all know you bribed her to get her to agree to this wedding.”

And Padfoot doesn’t know it, but he’s said all that James has needed to hear, and he laughs, and the knot in his stomach lessens.

***

“Where the bloody hell are you?!”

Remus is trying to stay calm because a fiery Lily Evans in the room next to him means that sparks will almost certainly fly, and he’d rather that James or Sirius or Peter would have to be the unlucky someone to brave them.

“Sorry, Moony. The groom and I decided to travel by motorbike.”

Remus opens his mouth, and all that comes out is a weak, disbelieving, “On the...?” and then realises that they are Marauders so the abnormal is completely acceptable. Even with the circumstances at hand.

“Of course,” Remus replies smoothly and goes off to reassure a probably now hyperventilating Lily.

***

It’s utterly ridiculous, she thinks to herself, how suddenly everything matters to her. She keeps on fiddling with her hair, which before, she couldn’t care less about. It’s really quite infuriating.

But then, her mother says, in a most matter of fact tone, that, no matter how bad she thinks her hair is, James’s will always be worse.

That makes Lily smile.

What makes her smile more is seeing the said man, with unnervingly untidy hair that she realises she couldn’t live without.

Lily supposes that this is meant to be a very romantic moment, but all she can do is stand on Sirius’s toes (with very painful high heels) when he makes a great show of pretending to lose their rings.

But for a moment, it’s just her and James and no-one else when her future husband pulls her close. She clings to the gorgeous warmth on his skin.

***

It is a dazed and confused now married man who finds Sirius and stands next to him. There’s a period of stunned silence, until James eventually states numbly, “I think I just got married.”

Sirius laughs, even though there is a lump in his throat (which is stupid, really) and he’s horrified because he’s Sirius; the one who is never supposed to be teary eyed and emotional- especially at weddings, for Merlin’s sake.

But he found he could not help it when he saw two of the four people he loved most in the world exchanging their vows. It’s silly- he knows it is- to think of such things like the War but he’s glad that James and Lily managed to steal this glorious day together because Sirius can’t help thinking that quite a lot is going to change in a very short space of time.

He doesn’t voice this, obviously. He just turns and retorts, “Why, Mr Prongs, I believe you just did.”

And they’re still laughing when a camera flashes.


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  #31  
Old February 21st, 2011, 4:13 am
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Mad-Eye Moody vs. The Neighborhood


Entry #1


Your Worst Neighbor

“More tea, Shelley?”

“Yes, thank you, Anne.”

Anne picked up the flowered tea pot and poured some more tea into Shelley’s cup. Shelley was visiting for the afternoon as her husband was off on a business trip, leaving her alone in the house. Anne had immediately offered to keep her company, and invited her to her home for a cup of tea and a nice chat. Thus far Anne’s husband, who was in the yard tending to the lawn, was keeping out of the way and the day was going splendidly.

“So how are things progressing in the new neighborhood?” Anne asked Shelley, who had just moved last week so her husband could be closer to work.

“Oh, alright I suppose,” she replied. “The community seems welcoming enough, although this one man, our neighbor as it were, has given us quite a bit of trouble since we’ve settled down.”

“How so?”

“Well the man is just simply unbearable! He insists on trimming his hedges just so, which often involves him shearing my poor bushes, he rages at John if so much as a leaf from our yard happens to land on his, and, naturally, he has these horrid dogs whom he allows to run amok causing all sorts of damage to my poor flower beds. It’s an absolute nightmare.”

Shelley looks towards Anne, expecting a sympathetic smile, following a gentle pat on the hand with the reassurance that ‘It would be alright.’ Instead, Anne raised an eyebrow and scoffed at her.

“Oh how I envy you and your minuscule irritations,” she said, raising her cup to her lips to take a sip.

“Minuscule?” Shelley exclaimed, clearly put out. “The man is a pest and a source of irritation to the entire community, I’m sure. How can you look on it so lightly?”

“Because, my dear,” Anne said, “I have problems with the man next door that make your neighbor seem like the most wonderful and gentle-minded man in all of England.”

“Oh?” Shelley said, sitting up a little straighter in her chair at the promise of fresh gossip. Anne set down her cup onto its saucer and cleared her throat.

“Well, to begin with, the man is a complete mess. He’s got so many scars and horrible disfigurements it looks like he went through a war. Perhaps even two.”

“A couple of scars aren’t so bad,” Shelley said. “My nephew has this terrible mark on his face that he got while he was in the service and it’s really not--”

“I wish it was only the scars,” Anne interrupted. “But there are also several parts of him that appear to be . . . missing.”

“How do you mean?”

“He’s missing one of his feet, and has some kind of clawed, wooden replacement for it. His nose looks as though a dog tried to bite it off but didn’t manage to get the whole thing in one go, and--”

Anne stopped, looking around to make sure that no one could be eavesdropping on their conversation. Shelley leaned in.

“His eyes,” Anne whispered. “One of them looks perfectly fine, but the other . . . it just isn’t normal. He usually keeps it hidden underneath a hat, but I caught a glimpse of it once and it looks so, so strange. Even when his back is turned, I have the feel that it’s watching me.”

“How awful,” Shelley said eagerly. “Go on, what else?”

“Well, as if his appearance wasn’t enough, the man’s a complete lunatic!” Anne said. “I can’t tell you how many times he’s gone off about things that are complete nonsense. Once, Phil tried to invite him over for dinner, it seemed to be the polite thing to do after all, and he never has any company over. And the man, Alastor, I think his name is, said it wouldn’t be much of a dinner, as he would not eat or drink anything that we offered, and wouldn’t want to stay for very long. Well, I thought it was quite rude, I mean the man hasn’t even tasted my cooking--”

“But that doesn’t sound all that bad,” Shelley said. “Sure he seems a bit reclusive, but it’s nothing to get so worked up about.”

“I’m telling you, there’s something wrong with that man,” Anne said. “And if you don’t believe me, listen to this. Last week, Phil and I were woken up at two in the morning by a huge racket coming from next door. We looked out the window and saw all these brightly colored lights erupting from inside his house. One of the windows even exploded! There was also a lot of shouting, and I was absolutely terrified. We called the police, naturally, but by the time they got here it had calmed down. Half the neighborhood was awake and wandering around in their nightclothes, trying to see what was going on. And meanwhile, Alastor was ranting to the police about intruders and Death Eaters and some other such nonsense. Phil and I were positively exhausted--we hardly got any sleep. Phil says he probably had a bunch of illegal fireworks and accidentally set them off, but I don’t know.”

“My, my,” Shelley said. “I concede defeat. Yours is the worst neighbor, by far.” Anne put a hand to her head and sighed.

“It’s a hollow victory. I don’t know how much longer we can tolerate it. We’ve tried reporting him to the police multiple times, but they never do anything about it. That man should not be allowed in this community with other, normal people.”

“It’s disgraceful,” Shelley agreed. “Has he done anything else?”

“Let’s not talk about him anymore, Shelley. Please,” Anne said. “I need to take my mind off of it.”

“Alright,” Shelley said, although she looked extremely put out. The two ladies proceeded to chat out more mundane things: the pitiful state of Angela Krison’s garden, Wallace Greenson’s affair with his wife’s sister, and other typical teatime topics. Soon an hour had passed, and the two friends decided to part company. Shelley gathered her coat and purse, and hugged Anne good-bye by the door.

“Thank you for the tea, Anne,” she said. “And for the chat. I don’t see enough of you these days, we must make a habit out of this.”

“Yes, I would enjoy that very much,” Anne said, smiling. Shelley reached for the doorknob.

“Well then, I’ll--”

BANG!

The two women started as the sound of a small explosion came from the back yard. Muffled shouting soon followed it, and Anne and Shelley looked at each other.

“What on Earth . . . ?”

Without another word, they ran through the house and out the back door, and came across a very peculiar scene.

Anne’s husband, Phil, was lying amongst the destroyed remains of the agapanthias. Opposite was a disheveled figure who was raging and waving his arms wildly, one of which held a stick, which he occasionally pointed at poor Phil. The hedges that divided their yard from his were completely destroyed, as if someone had blasted right through them.

“Think you can sneak up on me, eh?” the man was shouting. “Didn’t think I’d catch you, did you? I’m quicker than I look, boy, and a lot smarter too! Don’t think you can spy on me!”

“W-What are you talking about, Alastor?” Phil said, still lying on the ground where he’d apparently been pushed by Alastor. “I was just trimming the hedges, which you’ve gone and blown to pieces! Do you have explosives, or is it more of your blasted fireworks?!”

“Don’t play dumb!” Alastor raved. “Trying to listen in on my secrets are you? You playing with the Death Eaters, boy?”

“There he goes about Death Eaters again!” Anne cried. “Shelley, call the police, I’ll see if I can--”

“Obliviate.”

Anne swayed back and forth, her eyes strangely blank. Shelley put a hand on her shoulder.

“Why don’t you go lie down, dear? You look tired.”

Anne said nothing, but allowed Shelley to lead her inside, still gazing blankly into space. Once she was indoors, Shelley turned and walked to where the two men were still arguing.

“Obliviate.”

Phil slumped against the ground, his eyes as blank as his wife’s.

“Honestly, Alastor, must you create such a fuss all the time?”

Alastor shifted from foot to foot, his magical eye rolling wildly in its socket.

“I caught him listening at the hedge, the boy is clearly a--”

“He was not and is not, and you need to stop lashing out at every person who so much as looks your way,” Shelley said, waving her wand so that the hedges began to grow back as the flowers straightened out. “You’re a serious threat to the secrecy of our world, Alastor, and I can’t cover for you every time. Now why don’t you help me get him into the house, and then you ought to head home yourself.”

Frowning, Alastor bent down and helped lead a dazed Phil into the house. Then he shuffled back to his own home, with Shelley keeping an eye on him until the door had shut behind him.

“Thank you for the tea, Anne,” she said, turning from the window and picking up her coat and bag again. “Do call on me again, I so enjoy these chats of ours.”

“Hmm?” Anne said, blinking rapidly. “Leaving already? Alright, I’ll give you a call later.”

“Please do,” Shelley smiled. “Have a good day, dear.”


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  #32  
Old February 21st, 2011, 4:14 am
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Mad-Eye Moody vs. The Neighborhood


Entry #2

Some Muggle Views On One Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody

"Well, I dunno much about him, really, I'm only the postman, you know what I mean?

But he is...odd. Quite odd. Completely-and-utterly-out-of-his-tree type of odd.

Really, does he expect a bomb or something to be hidden in one of the letters I give him every morning? 'Cause he doesn't even have a letter box, so I ring the bloomin' doorbell everyday, and he opens the door, and he just...stares, like you're some mass murderer. Dead creepy.

There's something off about one of his eyes, just can't place it. Whenever I look at it, I suddenly remember I've got to do something important, and it happens all the time, and my mind goes all foggy, like. Ah, well, I'm not complaining. The man's a mystery, and I just deliver my letters and do my job. Just wish he wouldn't keep on sniffing the envelopes. That's my only complaint!"

~~~~~~~~~~~

"Good gracious, that man is dreadfully rude. I thought I was being quite polite; he was new to the area so I believed it was only proper for him to feel welcome.

And I practically spent all morning baking the cake, and I could've had it all to myself, but no. Far too kind for my own good, that's my problem.

So, I went over to his house (and the dustbins made the most alarming racket as I passed them; a startled cat is, of course, the only explanation), and he answered the door.

I said something about how lovely it was to have a new neighbour and to please enjoy the cake.

And, good gracious, the look I received! One would've thought I had poisoned it. He took it so gingerly, as if he thought it would explode at any given moment. And not a thank you, just a shout of "Constant vigilence!" before he slammed the door in my face.

Well, I never! I have no idea what he meant. The man is quite the lunatic."

~~~~~~~~~~~

"He's got a peg leg, like that pirate in that film! You know, with the parrot? Long John Silver!

And, listen, please, Mummy! One of his eyes, it's bright blue and it moves all over the place!

It's not nonsense, it's the truth!

Mummy, I think he's a wizard.

What? No, I'm not making it up! Mummy! Mummy!"


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  #33  
Old February 26th, 2011, 4:24 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Snape's First Kill


Entry #1

Snape’s First Kill

Severus Snape stood very still in the middle of the room. He did not move, he did not speak, he didn’t even flicker his eyes away from the door upon which they were fixated. In fact, one would have assumed him a statue, for he stood so still that he appeared not to breathe. But Severus was far from lifeless. Every muscle in his body was tensed, waiting. After tonight, everything would be different. He would be different.

“Will you be absent again while the rest of us do all the dangerous work, Snape?” he heard Bellatrix mocking him in his mind. It had always bothered her that he stayed behind while the rest of the Death Eaters went on missions for the Dark Lord. She had said that he was a coward, afraid of getting his hands dirty. Very soon now, he would prove her wrong, whether he wanted to or not.

He wasn’t sure when exactly he would be sent out into the fight, but he knew it had to be soon, and that he had to be ready. He briefly wondered what his first kill would feel like. The soul was supposedly torn asunder, but he didn’t know much other than that. Could you physically feel your soul being ripped apart? Or was it more of a psychological pain?

When the call finally came, he rushed to join the fight. Even as he ran, he felt strangely distant from his surroundings, as though his mind wasn’t fully in the present. That wasn’t good, he needed to be completely focused right now. Yet he couldn’t help but think back to the old missions, when he’d witnessed countless tortures and murders, but had never actually killed the victims himself. Bellatrix was right, he hadn’t had what it took to take someone’s life. Even his first torture had been painful for him, but as time when on it became easier. Perhaps killing was the same as well. It would explain why the Dark Lord seemed to view it as being no more difficult than the effort it took to say those two simple words. Two words, it was incredible that that was all it took to wipe someone out of existence. Yet why did he find it so very hard to do?

To his right, a Death Eater collapsed to the ground, his wand flying away from him. Severus didn’t pause to help him, his only concern was the murder that lay ahead. It had been made perfectly clear to him that the death of this man was his sole concern in the battle. Anyone else was just a casualty of war. Besides, stopping to help would only slow him down, and he needed to be fast. There wasn’t a whole lot of time.

He could hear people calling out his name, but whether they were Order members or Death Eaters he couldn’t tell, and didn’t bother to find out. Up ahead he spotted Gibbon sending curses every which way. He ducked to avoid one, cursing under his breath. The fool, he wouldn’t last long behaving recklessly like that. Running to the Death Eater, Severus blocked an oncoming spell and laid a hand on Gibbon’s shoulder.

“Where are they?” he yelled over the noise of the battle.

“The tower!” Gibbon called before running off after a few members of the Order. Severus turned and ran towards the nearest staircase. The boy would have confronted his target by now, but he knew a shortcut, and hopefully would be able to get there in time. He had to get there in time, it was of the utmost importance that he be the one to kill this man. He wondered if there would ever be a time when he wasn’t following someone’s orders.

He was close now. He saw members of the Order trying to get up to the tower, but a barrier had been put up, and they couldn’t get past it. He ran through without any trouble at all, and the moment he’d crossed over to the other side the shouts and curses of the battle behind him faded away, and all that was left was what lay ahead. He would have to do it quickly, for fear of losing his nerve. No, not his nerve, he had plenty of that. For fear of losing the resolve to do this. To kill.

He burst out onto the rooftop, taking in the situation in an instant. A group of Death Eaters had surrounded his target, the boy in front, shaking from head to foot. Severus had already known he wouldn’t have been able to do it. He’d always known that it had to be him.

They say in order to kill, you had to be completely detached. You had to view the person you were about to murder as nothing more than a thing, an insect to be squashed. All year he had been preparing himself for this moment, trying to detach himself from the man he had to kill. Only now, standing face to face with him, did Severus realized how hopelessly impossible that was.

“How many men and women have you watched die?”

Countless. Those that he had been unable to save and some that he had simply not bothered to. Now he wished he had. And he wished that he didn’t have to watch yet another person die, especially by his own hand.

“And my soul, Dumbledore? Mine?”

They said remorse could repair the soul after it had been torn apart, but how could he feel remorse when he had trouble feeling anything at all these days?

“Severus . . . please . . .”

Severus looked straight into Dumbledore’s eyes, and suddenly he was filled with a deep hatred for the man who had commanded that his own death be at Severus’s hands. Who was willing to tear apart his soul to save that of Draco’s. Who had done so much for him and was now leaving him to suffer alone in the world.

Severus raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore.

“Avada Kedavra!”

It was strange, he thought to himself as Dumbledore’s lifeless body flew into the sky and fell towards the ground. He didn’t feel any pain at all.

Just sadness.


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  #34  
Old February 26th, 2011, 4:24 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Snape's First Kill


Entry #2

Not My Children

Killing Albus Dumbledore- quite possibly the greatest wizard in History- was not murder. He had to keep on telling himself that, otherwise he was sure that all of his perfectly constructed Occlumency walls would shatter in an instant, and he was sure that he may end up killing The Boy Who Lived.

Severus Snape thought for one horrible, terrifying second that he had, until his senses returned him back to where he was. The smell of smoke and the sound of a fire hungrily and greedily devouring wood. The sound of a certain teenager shouting and yelling and gasping for breath on the ground. Bellatrix laughing.

That was the sound that made his teeth grind together. Her insane cackle. It disgusted Severus that she relished in causing each other’s pain; the more terrible and devastating, the better.

Of course, the killing of Albus Dumbledore caused her to emit the loudest, most sickening sounds of glee-

No. He didn’t kill him. He didn’t cast the Killing Curse. He did not. He didn’t, he didn’t, he didn’t.

--------------------

“Finish him off!”

“Not Harry, not Harry! Please not Harry!”

“You fool. Is a schoolboy grudge worth putting an innocent man back inside Azkaban?”

“Go on, Draco. Now!

“God, please- not my children!”

“I’m not interested.”

“...Evil. Evil, Sev.”

“Avada Kedavra.”

There. Listen to the silence. The silence of emerald light and a man’s insides being torn from his being and knowing that he cannot scream.


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  #35  
Old February 26th, 2011, 4:25 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Snape's First Kill


Entry #3

The Kill

The young dark haired man increased his pace as his guide turned a corner in the dark fire lit stone corridor. The man caught up with his guide who was shorter and had shorter footsteps but had to increase his pace to keep up. They stopped at a large wooden door at the end of the corridor and the guide stepped up and knocked it lightly almost reverently. The door swung open to reveal a large hall lit by torches burning along the wall. The lighting of the hall ensured an eerie feeling for anyone entering the room while knowing what to expect there. A single chair sat at the centre of the hall and several dark cloaked figures surrounded the chair.

“Ah my new recruit arrives. Bella, Lucius, Karkaroff and Avery stay the others leave.” A voice from the large ornate chair spoke. As one all the black cloaked figures disappeared apart from four which were standing directly in front of the chair.

The man’s guide disappeared too and as he had been told repeatedly that once that happens he was to bend and kiss the hem of the robes of the man sitting on the chair. He walked forward with a confidence he didn’t feel but managed to get down on his knees and kissed the hem of the robe and said, “Master.”

“Ah Severus Snape, our newest recruit. On his way to being the youngest Potions Master and an inventive spell creator. Are you ready to receive the mark?” Snape looked up at the man who had spoken and saw the famed red eyes and snake like nostrils that people used to describe the Dark Lord.

“Yes Master,” he managed to say as he lowered his head once more mostly to hide a look of fear he knew he couldn’t keep off his pale face despite his occlumency.

“Then lift your left arm and take my mark.”

Snape lifted the left sleeve of his robe and offered his left forearm to the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord began hissing as his wand touched Snape’s skin. It was pain as his skin burnt white hot and began writhing to form the shape of a skull with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue. But the only sound that he emitted was a light whimper of pain before it was gone. The dark mark had formed a dark red outline on his arm.


“Karkaroff take Severus here for his initiation. You know what to do if he fails.” The dark lord dismissed Snape before turning to another of the figures in front of him. “Bella…” But Snape was grabbed by his arm and he felt the sudden jerk by his navel as he was taken out of the hall by portkey.

He stumbled slightly as they stopped suddenly but Karkaroff was still holding his arm in a vice like grip. He took a quick look around and found that he was in a suburban neighborhood. As he turned to look at the man behind him Snape saw that a wand was pointed directly to his head. “You know what to do. There are two of them inside. I will take care of the man you do the woman.” Karkaroff then motioned him at the door in front of them.

Snape took a deep breath before striding forward to the door and extracting his wand. A quick blasting curse took care of the door. A young brown haired man came running to the nonexistent door his face turning to shock at the sight of his door.

“Who are you? You had better get out before my wife calls the police…” The man kept mouthing words but no sound accompanied the action. A silencing charm thought Snape before the man fell to his knees his hand desperately clawing at his throat. A garroting hex Snape interpreted the action though he had never witnessed it used on another human.

A crash from inside the house brought Snape out of the stupor he had fallen into. He turned to look at Karkaroff who was giving him a sadistic sneer and nodded to the door at the right of the room. Snape strode forward and blasted the second door of the house to find a red haired pretty young woman holding a phone receiver her finger poised at the phone dial. She slowly turned round to face him and his breath hitched in his chest.

All he saw were her fear filled wide eyes but that was not even what he saw. All he saw was that the eyes were green. Emerald green. His heart stopped beating as his mind transported him back to a play ground and a swing going higher and higher. He stood there staring at the woman arm stretched the wand pointing to her heart. His own heart had begun beating again but as if it wanted to make for the time it had stopped it was beating hard. A little too hard.

“Please take whatever you want… just leave us alone.” The woman began her eyes beginning to sparkle with tears.

Her reply was a blood curdling scream from the other room by her husband. A cruciatus, Snape’s analytical mind deduced before he focused once more on the woman in front of him.

“Please… what are you doing to him? Stop them, please.” The woman was whimpering now. Snape turned slightly to see a spray of blood before Karkaroff came to stand behind Snape a feral grin on is face. “Nooo!” She managed to whisper as she fell to her knees, the tears finally falling freely and her sobs becoming louder.

“You want to have fun with her first?” Karkaroff whispered to Snape’s ear. A look of revulsion passed over his face that even his occlumency could not prevent. “Kill her then and be done with it already.” Disgust had crept into Karkaroff’s voice as he saw Snape’s hand shake slightly.

Snape looked at the woman sobbing at his feet, his wand arm now shaking even more as a few beads of sweat began forming on his brow. He looked back at Karkaroff again and saw the blood spatter on the wall behind. Bile rose up to his throat as he almost heaved out whatever he had eaten last. “You would rather be dishing out the Cruciatus than be on the receiving end of one, especially the Dark Lord’s.”

He looked at the woman again. He opened his mouth but his throat was constricted and he felt thirsty. Parched in fact. He forced himself to look at the sobbing woman. Her head was buried in her hands; her hair had covered her face completely. The tears were only making the memories worse. But he would be easing her pain by killing her quickly, won’t he? His mind began playing the devil’s advocate. It would be merciful to kill her. Besides if he did not they would both die. A horrific and gruesome death ensured by the Dark Lord and his servants. He was one of them now. A servant of the Dark Lord. There was no way out for him now.

He shut his eyes and licked his lips in an attempt to get his mouth working. He opened them again and stared once more at the red hair. If only the hair would have been another colour. Black… why couldn’t the hair be black and stuck all over, untamable and ruffled. It would have been so much easier. But red was so painful. The last he had seen it, it had been all over a black haired boy. The brown eyes mocking him behind the glasses and the strands of red hair….

“Avada Kedavra!”


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  #36  
Old March 5th, 2011, 4:58 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Sirius Runs Away From Home


Entry #1

To Belong

Sirius would like to say that he left in a grand, sweeping, final act of great courage and defiance.

Sirius would like to say that he had screamed at his mother-without a trace of fear- and when she spat viciously at him, "You're not my son!", he had replied gleefully, "No, I'm not!"

Sirius would like to say that it was all too easy.

Instead, he is running and running, and there's a burning stitch in his side and it's raining horrendously and he isn't shaking: he's not, he's not!

***

He wonders briefly, why he has chosen this precise moment to falter. It's just like him, he scolds himself inside, to make things even more difficult than they have to be.

Yet, still he stands- dripping, sopping wet- hand outstretched- (not trembling, of course), poised, frozen in front of the door; desperately wanting (needing) to knock but finding himself inexplicably unable to.

But suddenly, there's a light on in the living room window, and Sirius steps back in alarm, nearly falling onto the hard concrete but catching himself just in time.

The door opens and it doesn't creak horribly like the one at Grimmauld Place; it simply opens- just like that.

And, blinking in the wonderful light radiating from the house, Sirius watches Mrs Potter's eyes widen at the sight of him (for he must look pretty ridiuclous, really) and he feels unbelievably warm at the familarity her appearance brings and how just by being there, without doing anything at all, she can make Sirius feel...safe.

"Oh," she says, brushing a wayward strand of slightly greying hair out of her eyes, "Sirius."

And Sirius discovers that he can't say anything, for there's nothing he really can say. The only words that spring to mind in his numb with cold brain are, "Please. Can I stay?" and he finds he's afraid; far too afraid to even think of voicing this aloud.

Some bloody Gryffindor you turned out to be he thinks, with a near fiery form of disgust.

There's a little pause in which Mrs Potter simply stares and Sirius feels more or less like an idiot and contemplates turning on his heel and going back...to a place that isn't 'home'.

But then, he feels Mrs Potter's hand closing gently on his shoulder and she says kindly, "Come in, you must be freezing," and Sirius allows himself to be guided into the comforting warmth.

"Now," Mrs Potter says briskly, shutting the door, acting as if it isn't 2 o'clock in the morning and a 16 year old boy hasn't randomly appeared on her doorstep, unannounced. "You'll be wanting a shower?"

Sirius gapes and marvels at how she isn't asking the obvious questions he expected, the ones he'd been steeling himself to answer.

"I-" Sirius stammers, and then coughs awkwardly. Why can he chatter constantly about the most meaningless of things and now, when it matters, does he dry up?

"I- I didn't bring anything with me. You know-um- clothes..." he finishes lamely, fidgeting with the collar on his soaking shirt, his face turing scarlet.

Mrs Potter doesn't even bat an eyelid. "Well, that's alright, you can take some of James's clothes. He has a whole wardrobe of stuff he can't be bothered to wear."

She laughs lightly, but Sirius feels a tightening in his throat, because he has just forced himself into her home, and she's just letting him; without protesting at all, pretending that he has lived here all along. He blinks back the tell tale buring sensation and looks down at a suddenly Very Interesting Spot On The Carpet.

A finger placed on his chin forces him to glance up once more and Mrs Potter's face has softened into once of great understanding and sympathy.

"Shower," she whispers softly and Sirius nods and cracks the smallest of grins.

***

"...P-P'foot? What...you doin' 'ere?"

James's voice is thick with sleep, his hand fumbling slowly and lazily for his glasses. Sirius did not want to wake him but he forgot that one of the floorboards in Prongs's bedroom creaks when he cautiously made his way to the bed Mrs Potter quickly made up for him.

"I left," he replies quietly, suddenly not wanting to talk to James, though he can't explain why. "Go back to sleep, you berk."

James sits up, glasses on his face, rubbing his eyes. "You-" He yawns hugely. "-Left?"

Sirius feels the greatest rush of affection for dear old James, blinking sleepily in front of him, and realises that he loves James; James, who has been more of a brother to him than Regulus has ever been.

"Yeah," Sirius replies inadequetly.

James smiles. "Good," he says firmly, "Showed that old bat what's what, then?"

By way of a response, Sirius chucks a pillow at him and soon they're laughing and romping about wildly like children, but Sirius still feels the unboyish urge to grab his best friend and hug him.

***

The next morning, at breakfast, when Mr Potter claps him on the back and Mrs Potter unexpectedly kisses him on the cheek, Sirius blushes but secretly wonders, with an intense emotion of longing and hope, if this is what it feels like to belong.


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Old March 5th, 2011, 4:59 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Sirius Runs Away From Home


Entry #2

No Longer A Black

The rain beat down upon him, soaking his clothes and his very skin. Sirius Black shivered, pulling his coat tighter around him as the wind began to blow, throwing water into his face and eyes, temporarily blinding him. Cursing, he wiped the water away and looked for a place to take shelter. Barely three blocks away, and already he was regretting running away from home. Actually, that wasn’t entirely true. He didn’t regret that he’d finally mustered the courage to leave his family and that hellhole of a place for good. What he wished he’d done was thought of a plan before taking to the streets in the middle of a monsoon. Remus always said his impulsivity would come to haunt him one day.

But really, he mused as he made his way toward a promising tree, there hadn’t been time to think things over. There was a time for thinking and then there was a time for doing, and this had been a moment of doing if there ever was one. He just wished he’d been able to grab some of his posters before he left. Or his clothes. Or some money . . .

“Damn,” he muttered. “Maybe I should go back and get some things.”

Squinting through the rain, he looked back in the direction of his house. Storming out, albeit impressive, hadn’t given him time to pack the essentials, or anything for that matter. On the other hand, going back to fetch his things, while admittedly sensible, was far less impressive and gave off the impression of a dog returning home with his tail tucked between his legs.

No, he wouldn’t go back, that would defeat the purpose of him leaving in the first place. And he couldn’t face his parents, not after what he’d said.

“You seem to be confusing your personal desires with your loyalties to this family, son. Remember your heritage, remember the noble name of Black!”

“Our name is as filthy and stained as the corpses we’ve stepped on to get ahead in life. If that is the way of this family, then I wish I’d never been born a Black!”


If he went back now, he’d likely be incinerated on the spot, provided they would even let him back in. His mother had probably already instructed Kreacher to throw him out of the house if he ever showed his wretched face there again. So walking through the front door was out of the question, but he couldn’t just leave his things in his room, they’d probably be chucked in the fireplace by the end of the night. That only left one option.


“Of course, it had to be raining,” Sirius grumbled, trying to get a firm grip on the window sill outside his room, which was exceedingly difficult when everything was dripping wet. “No sense in this being easy.”

When he felt suitably secure in his position, he began working at the outside latch on the window. It wouldn’t do any good to try and force his way in magically, Number 12, Grimmauld Place had long been enchanted to repel magical intruders. But they’d never even considered the possibility of muggles trying to break in.

“I’ve broken into dorms, classrooms, and McGonagall’s private study,” he said, grunting with the effort of tugging on the window. “I never thought I’d have to sneak into my own bedroom.”

Finally he managed to pry the window open, and in a moment he was inside dripping water all over the floor. Oh well, Kreacher would have to clean it up, not him. Now, to get down to business.

His school stuff was the first to be packed. He would’ve left the textbooks behind, but he doubted his professors would have taken “I ran away from home” as a valid excuse for why he didn’t have his homework at the start of the new term. Next went in his personal belongings: his clothes, his Quidditch things, the mirror he shared with James--he would need that to contact him once he was gone. Prongs would know what to do, and maybe he could stay at his house for awhile, just until he could find a place of his own.

“Maybe you should just leave. Mum and Dad wouldn’t mind, you were never much of a Black anyway.”

Sirius shook his head, now was not the time to dwell on the past. What had happened, happened, and it was time to move on. He took one last look around the room. He was a leaving a lot behind, and he probably wouldn’t ever see any of it again. Before when he had stormed out, he had been full of anger and in the heat of the moment. Now that things had cooled down and he had the chance to take a look around, he realized how much of his life he was abandoning here. Not all the memories had been bad ones.

“The young master is such a disappointment to my poor mistress, yes. Would be better off without him she would, the filthy traitor she must call ‘son.’”

But most of them had been.

A simple levitating charm allowed him to lift the crammed suitcase up and shove it out the window. It fell onto the bushes, breaking several branches in the process. Sirius quickly clambered out onto the windowsill and began to scale down the wall. Unfortunately it was still raining, and he lost his footing and went plummeting towards the ground. Luckily, he was only a few feet from the ground, and so all he got were a few scratches and a sore backside.

Scrambling to his feet, Sirius grabbed hold of his suitcase and ran. He was sure someone inside the house had heard the noise, and he didn’t want to be spotted, it would make this entire ordeal seem pointless.

So he ran, and kept running until he reached James’s house several days later, who immediately demanded that he stay full-time. Eventually he got his own place, settled into a comfortable life, and never looked back. It would be years before he finally returned to Number 12, Grimmauld Place, but until then he was happy to live his own life, free of the pure-blooded world and the group of people who had never really been his family.


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  #38  
Old March 12th, 2011, 5:25 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Pick any of the DADA professors we saw in Harry's years at Hogwarts and tell a story about their time at Hogwarts.


Entry #1

Pretending


He knew, clichéd though it was, the very instant that he laid eyes on the boy, that it was James and Lily's son.

It was very strange, surreal almost, to be abruptly woken from sleep and to see the dark outline of a thirteen year old boy with hopelessly untidy black hair and glasses. In fact, if Remus ignored the harsh reality that he was now a Professor with a worn face and greying hair, he could pretend that he was on the train to Hogwarts for the first time, and look: there was James slouching casually by the window, Peter hovering hesitantly in the doorframe and--

No. There was an empty space by James, of course. No-one had ever sat there. (Yes, yes they had; it was S--) No. It was empty.

When the Dementor eventually drifted far away from the carriage, Remus noticed that a red haired boy and a girl with bushy brown hair were crouching down on the carpet, looking terrified and then he realised Harry had fainted- cold sweat present on his now pasty face. Something inside him squirmed guiltily.

But before he could dwell on this any longer, Harry had jerked back to consciousness and oh, God, the eyes, he had forgotten; they just had to be Lily's, didn't they?

And somehow it hurt to breathe when he saw both James and Lily in the boy, at the same time. And Remus realised that he had to leave, right now.

So, the only thing he could manage to say without his voice breaking was, "Are you alright, Harry?" Then he quickly gave them all chocolate and left to 'have a word with the driver.'

When he returned, he made the smallest of jokes about the chocolate being poisoned but then nearly winced, because it was just the sort of thing the Marauders would say.

***

Harry Potter continued to surprise Remus, that year.

Firstly, the fear his Boggart materialised into was so profound and so deep for someone as young as he was.

And then there was his almost defiant desperateness to master the Patronus Charm.

Harry's Patronus just had to be a stag. It just had to be cast in the Quidditch Pitch.

And Remus, being the utter fool that he was, just had to imagine another boy zooming around the pitch on his broomstick, practically whooping with joy.

For one heart stopping second, Remus thought he saw, in the dazzling silver light of the Patronus, a certain great, black dog, sitting, wary and alert, in the opposite stands. But he shook himself, and wondered about the possibility of purchasing some Muggle glasses.

***

It was wrong, the Map, he told himself. It was based on a web of lies because S--the man himself had said whilst making it, "Marauders 'till the end and all that cheesy rubbish!"

It clearly was 'rubbish' to him. He'd shown Remus that; he'd shown the world that.

But he couldn't help his fingers trembling as he unfolded the old, treasured parchment or smiling as he tapped it with his wand and murmured, with a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach: "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

***

Being held by someone- properly held- when you think that nothing on earth can harm you as long as you both keep clinging onto each other, was but a distant memory to Remus.

That remained true, until he had pulled Sirius up off those dusty floorboards; those terrible floorboards of the Shrieking Shack.

Sirius is innocent he had chanted silently to himself as he embraced the man. He kept on repeating it in his mind until all the horrible pieces fell into place, and he was fighting so hard not to cry out (or even, howl, he corrected wryly) but still, there was finally a flicker of hope burning within him.

***


Saying goodbye- especially to Harry- was much more difficult than he first thought it would be. That's why he did it all as quickly as possible; it was just Remus's way: Hurry, hurry, hurry until all of his troubles were struggling to catch up with him.

He had taken a further step concerning the previous night. Never had he felt so idiotic: after years of precautions and hesitancy, he had almost ruined it all.

Remus shivered slightly and swallowed, glad that most of the students were outside, so he didn't have to avoid their gazes of shock and, most likely, disgust.

He was also relieved, that he hadn't run into Severus, because he honestly wouldn't know how to react after all that had happened last night-

Remus suddenly slowed and stopped. A few more paces, and he would be outside in the courtyard.

Yet...Remus sighed heavily. He did not seem ready to leave; it was quite akin to taking out a part of himself and departing without its presence.

And then he knew instinctively, exactly what had to be done.

Remus carefully and quietly drew out his wand. Whispering the incantation, he etched on a block of brick like stone:

Moony, Padfoot and Prongs were here.

He wondered whether he should carve the date into the stone, too, but almost immediately decided against it: for he could pretend that it was written back in the glorious days of innocence and maraudering and that the traitor never existed. That was really all Remus's life was: pretending.

And with a slight smile, and a final murmur of "Mischief Managed,", Remus John Lupin picked up his battered old suitcase and left.


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Old March 12th, 2011, 5:26 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Pick any of the DADA professors we saw in Harry's years at Hogwarts and tell a story about their time at Hogwarts.


Entry #2

First DADA Professor, Then the School

Out of all the teaching positions at Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry, none had experienced so many changes as the Defense Against the Dark Arts position. Every year, a new professor would come to replace the old one, with high hopes that he would not end up like the last poor soul. Consequently, out of all the offices at Hogwarts, none had gone through as many renovations as the Defense Against the Dark Arts office. Each new professor brought with him something personal; his own flair for decorating the space. This year, however, the office would undergo a make-over far more radical than anything it had ever endured before.

For starters, everything was pink. The walls, the carpet, everything was covered in a layer of pink that was so overwhelming it was almost nauseating. Indeed, had they been alive the walls themselves would have winced to see their previously respectable gray walls hung with pink plates featuring adorable cats who were so irresistibly cute that it was somewhat unnerving.

Of course, it was only fitting that the office be so different than it had been before, because the new professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts was unlike anything the school had ever seen. Short, dressed to match her office (or perhaps it was the other way around), and bearing an uncanny resemblance to a particularly ugly toad, Professor Dolores Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, had been at work for nearly two weeks now. And she did not like what she saw.

Her fellow co-workers were cold and unwelcoming, despite her attempts at kindling an acquaintanceship with them. The students were dull and disrespectful, and far too inquisitive for their own good. The standards were lax, the policies few and far in between, and the rules ignored with disturbing frequency. It simply would not do.

And so, on an unusually warm September morning, Umbridge sat up straight in bed, her mind resolved to the task ahead of her. She would have to do what those before her had been unable to. She would reshape the school, crafting it into a suitable educational institution that was safe, instructive, and most importantly, non-threatening. Yes, she would remove all those dangerous ideas the other Defense Against the Dark Arts professors had put into those poor children’s heads. She would purge their minds of nasty thoughts such as war and murder and nasty, terrible rumors. And Potter, the toad smiled as it thought of the juicy fly, Potter would learn to obey her authority and that of the Ministry. He would be her crowning achievement.

But she couldn’t do anything from where she was now, Umbridge thought to herself as she began preparing for the day. She took out the last pink outfit that she hadn’t worn yet, her mind working furiously. Calculating, working out her options in relation to her resources.

As things stood, she was merely another teacher, and although she was fortunate enough to control the most dangerous, thought-provoking position at the school, she was still terribly limited. So what should she do? Abolish the position? No, that would put her out of a job and end her influence at the school. Classes must proceed as usual, she could manage the students that way. But if she wanted to extend her influence to the rest of the school, she would need more power. Suddenly, Umbridge new exactly what she needed to do to obtain both: appeal to someone who already had them.

Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic. He had appointed her to this position in the hopes that she would be able to changes things as they saw fit, surely he would not argue to lending her a hand if it eventually led to the accomplishment of their goals? Yes, he would see things her way, and give her what she needed.

Sitting down at her desk, Umbridge pulled out a quill and a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Pausing only for a moment to organize her thoughts, Umbridge dipped the quill in ink and began to write.


My Dear Minister,

I am writing to inform you of my progress as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts. I have distributed the standard readings that we agreed upon, and have encouraged the students to come talk to me about any and all of their problems, and although none have approached me thus far, I feel certain that more will come as their trust in me grows. However, I regret to inform you that this letter does not bear solely good news.

I’m afraid that things are far worse than we expected. You would be appalled to see the depths to which the standards of this school have sunken--


A sudden, soft chiming from the clock on her wall made her look up. With a start she realized that it was nearly time for her morning classes. With a sigh, she replaced the quill in its holder and put the letter away until she would be able to work on it. She would return to it during her lunch break, as she disliked eating with the other professors, who never seemed willing to listen to her ideas on the proper teaching policies for students. She would not be missed.


When she returned several hours later, Umbridge was in a foul mood. The day had been going well until her last class, when Potter had yelled for practically the whole school to hear that You-Know-Who had returned. She had given him detention of course, but she was far more worried about the effect that his words would have on the other students. The word was such a flighty thing, and within minutes a rumor could spread like wildfire throughout the student body. If things went on like this for much longer, she would lose what influence she had. She opened her desk drawer, pulled out the unfinished letter, and continued:


I’m afraid that things are far worse than we expected. You would be appalled to see the depths to which the standards of this school have sunken, and the lies to which these students are exposed. Just this morning the Ministry was accused of deceit in regards to You-Know-Who (I do not have to tell you which student it was, as I am sure you have already figured it out) blatantly and in the middle of my class! I was both disturbed and unnerved by the outburst. I fear that if nothing is done soon, our chance to place a more secure hold on the school will be lost forever.

In light of these events, I ask that you consider the following proposal, which I believe will solve all of our problems at no cost to yourself or the Ministry.



Umbridge paused before continuing. She wanted to be sure she phrased this just right, so that she would be able to sway Fudge without arousing any doubts over her new position. Then she laughed to herself as she realized the absurdity of her concern. Fudge would think nothing bad of her plan, and would undoubtedly lend her any aid that she required. There was no need to dance around the point.


I know that I would be able to make a much larger impact on the school if I were more than just another teacher. In order to command the respect of the students and the faculty alike, I need to be above them. That is why I humbly request--


“Professor!”

Umbridge looked up to see the caretaker, Argus Filch, burst into her office, panting heavily. She quickly covered up the letter and raised an eyebrow at him.

“Yes? What can I do for you Mr. Filch?”

“It’s those godforsaken twins!” Filch cried, clutching at a stitch in his side. “You’d better come down to your classroom, ma’am.”

Tutting, Umbridge got to her feet and followed the excited man to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. She didn’t know what was going on, but it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to handle. Then she could get back to finishing her letter to Fudge.


Two hours later, Umbridge staggered into her office and collapsed onto her chair. She wasn’t entirely sure what exactly that goop-like substance was that those two horrible boys spread all over her classroom, but it had been nearly impossible to remove. And the caretaker certainly hadn’t been any help, standing around and ranting about punishments and torture devices. Now she was tired and irritated, with work to do and slime to clean out of her hair.

“But first--,” Umbridge said, pulling out the letter once again. This time she would not move until it was finished and sent out with an owl. There wasn’t much more to add anyway.


That is why I humbly request that you grant me the authority to administer law and punishment as I see fit over both students and teachers. I will be acting on behalf of the MInistry of course, and ultimately for the school’s best interests. I must have complete control, however, or no one will fall into line. In this way I can best serve the Ministry’s, and your, interests.


Umbridge looked over what she had written. It looked good, it just needed one final closing statement. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Umbridge sighed; today seemed to be filled with nothing but interruptions.

“Come in,” she called, hiding the letter in her desk drawer. Professor McGonagall, the Transfiguration teacher, opened the door. She did not walk fully into the office, but remained in the doorway, as though she couldn’t bring herself to enter. She glanced around at the choice of decorations, but aside from a raised eyebrow she had no visible reaction. Umbridge frowned. Since she had arrived at this school, Minerva had not spoken to her once of her own volition, and whenever Umbridge had approached her she had always been quick to shrug her off. What then had compelled her to actually seek her out?

“Good afternoon, Minerva,” Umbridge said, smiling sweetly. “Did you want to speak with me about something?”

Professor McGonagall hesitated, then squared her shoulders and stepped into the room. She approached Umbridge’s desk and stood facing her.

“I heard you had a bit of trouble in your class today, Dolores,” she said, her voice betraying neither sympathy nor mirth. Umbridge raised a brow.

“Would you be referring to the incident with Mr. Potter in my morning class, or the recent prank pulled by those two Weasley boys? They are all in your House, you see.”

McGonagall’s mouth went very thin, and her eyes narrowed.

“So they are. Although I hear you managed to clean out your classroom on your own. You should ask Filius next time, he has a certain talent for removing magical messes.”

The words “next time” reverberated in Umbridge’s ears, but she let it go. She had other things to attend to, and arguing with Minerva would only cause the woman to stay longer.

“May I ask why you are here then?” she inquired.

“I simply wanted to bid you welcome to Hogwarts, since no one appears to have done so yet,” McGonagall said, a gleam in her eyes. “Welcome, Dolores.”

“Thank you very much, Minerva. I am sure that I will enjoy working with you.”


Let me take control of the school, and we can remove those who would oppose us, and oppose the Ministry. Give me the authority that I need, and Hogwarts will belong to the Ministry.

Yours Faithfully,
Dolores Umbridge


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  #40  
Old March 14th, 2011, 9:57 pm
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Re: Last Author Standing - Entries v.2

LAST AUTHOR STANDING

Topic: Pick any of the DADA professors we saw in Harry's years at Hogwarts and tell a story about their time at Hogwarts.

Entry #3

Just shove a bezoar down their throats.

Till last year, he could have made that little remark in an undertone to the fiery girl who used to sit next to him in every class.

But this wasn’t last year – or the one before. This was here and now; she pretended he was invisible, and he wished she’d just throw her cauldron full of slimy yellow potion over him instead.

But person to share snide comments with or not, Libatius Borage’s text was still filled with instructions thrice as old as Nicholas Flamel. Honestly, if someone were poisoned, it would be a miracle if they survived till their great saviour remembered Golpalott’s third law – let alone hold their breath till they brewed the antidote.

Just as Snape finished brewing the nearly perfect antidote, Slughorn dismissed the class. It was a bright and sunny Friday evening – which of course meant that he had no business going outside and should quickly make his way back to the comfortably cool and dark Common Room.

And do what? Well, finish the essay on the Limitations of Devil’s Snare for starters – and then perhaps review his Defence Against the Dark Arts paper on experimental curses. Or maybe he should finish the DADA paper before the others returned… Just as he sat down at ‘his table’ in the corner, an eagle owl swooped down and perched on a table nearby.

“That for me?” Severus untied the regal blue envelope from the owl’s leg and broke off the silver seal. “Customised stationary,” he muttered under his breath. “I wonder if he has customized underwear.”

S,

Been reading the papers lately? I wonder – what do you think about the proposed Bill that suggests stricter implementation of the Statute of Secrecy? When Minister Williams says we should hide ourselves even more disgustingly than we already do – do you want to talk some sense into her, or do you perhaps want to hide her in a coffin till she understands how futile the exercise is?

Well your hour of reckoning is nearing mate! And I hope you’ve made up your mind on where your true loyalties lie.

If you do decide that you want to protect wizardkind from meaningless blood-treachery and propaganda, I’ll expect you at the Manor on Halloween. That’s still a month away – so no pressure, really.

L.M.


A month to decide if he’d take the mark and lose Lily forever – well that was a cheerful thought wasn’t it?

Snape crushed Lucius’s letter and opened his books. Now where was that piece of paper that he’d used for writing down the idea for a spell that had occurred to him in his dream last night? Or was that his potions textbook?

Severus was furiously scribbling in a blank piece of parchment and making necessary changes to the spell that he was working on for his Defence paper when another owl landed on his desk. She held out her leg and Severus retrieved what looked like a rolled up newspaper – the Muggle kind. The owl flew away as soon as he opened the sheet – it was the local crime page of some paper and an article in the top right corner of the page was marked in red.

DRUNK MAN KILLS WIFE?

Woman found dead with her throat slit; husband suspected, absconding

By Our Correspondent

Manchester: In a shocking case, a 40-year-old woman was found dead in her residence at Spinner’s End. He throat was slit and, according to the post mortem report, she has several wounds on her body that could have been caused by a sharp knife. The victim – identified as Eileen Snape – used to live here with her husband, Tobias – who is absconding. The police suspect that a drunken brawl could have led to the murder and are on the lookout for the absconding husband.


Severus didn’t read the rest of it. His mother was dead. His father had killed her – tortured her till she bled to death by the looks of it. And she could have done nothing to stop him of course – he had snapped her wand in two years back, and she had promised to stop using magic altogether if he let her son – their son – go to school.

His head reeled. His mother was dead. Gone. Killed.

And he could do nothing.

He couldn’t even cry.

He looked at the potions text open in front of him – and he scribbled furiously. His heart was beating so hard it threatened to burst out of his chest any moment now. His eyes were burning – and he berated himself because they were so dry. He wrote on, and on. And he finally finished.

For enemies.

He underlined the text. He felt no relief.

He picked up the crushed letter on the desk and read it again… still a month away…

His decision was made.

xxxx


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