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Old August 8th, 2008, 12:22 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 3

The Aftermath
Ron, Hermione and Harry walked back to the Gryffindor Common Room. They were all three equally happy to find out that nobody was in the room when they arrived. Every Gryffindor, who was still in the castle, were probably down in the Great Hall with everyone else.

Ron and Hermione walked over to the couch near the fire and sat down, hand-in-hand. Ron looked over his shoulder and saw that Harry was standing in the middle of the common room.

“You okay, mate?” he asked him.

“Yeah,” Harry said, “I am just tired. I am going to bed. See you tomorrow.”

“See you,” Ron said.

Hermione looked as if she was going to say something to him, but she stopped herself.

“Good night, Harry,” she said.

Ron turned back around, but didn’t look at Hermione. He stared into the fire.

It was finally over, he thought to himself. After all these years, Voldemort had finally been defeated.

And by his, Ron's, best friend too! He was happy that Harry had made it out of the final battle alive. He couldn’t say the same for everyone. A tear went down his cheek as he thought about Fred. He brushed it away, but not before Hermione had noticed.

“Still thinking about him, aren’t you?” Hermione asked.

“No,” Ron said, quickly.

“You’re lying,” Hermione said, “I know you are.”

“So what if I am!” Ron said, louder than he intended, “I don’t want to talk about it right now. Please… I will talk about it later. Just… not right now. Okay?”

“Okay,” Hermione said, in a soft, semi-hurt voice, “I understand.”

“Sorry,” Ron said, “Didn’t mean to overreact.”

“I would have overreacted too,” Hermione said, “I am sorry.”

Ron didn’t know how to respond, so he quickly changed the subject.

“Hermione?” he said.

“Yeah?” Hermione asked.

“Er… earlier tonight,” Ron said, slowly, “You know, when you… well…”

“When I what?” Hermione asked.

“When you... you know,” Ron said, “Kissed me. Did you mean it?”

“Oh, that,” Hermione said, blushing, “Well… I....”

Ron suddenly felt embarassed for asking the question.

“I see,” he said, quickly, “It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. We could have been two seconds from getting killed and all that. I understand.”

“Will you shut up?!” Hermione said, in a half-laugh, “If you would let me talk, I was going to say… yes, I did mean it, Ron.”

“Really?” Ron asked.

Now he was the one who was blushing.

“Well, yeah,” Hermione said.

“H-how long have you wanted to do that?” Ron asked.

“I don’t know,” Hermione said, “What about you?”

“M-me?” Ron stuttered.

“You kissed me back, didn’t you?” Hermione asked.

“Oh… right,” Ron said, “Well… I don’t know.”

“Before or after your fling with Lavender?” Hermione asked.

“Do we have to bring that up?” Ron asked.

“Yes, we do,” Hermione said, “Because, to be honest, I just might have fancied you before that little fling of yours.”

“You did a fine job showing it!” Ron said, “Who was the one who attacked me with those birds?! I still got the scars from it, thank you very much!”

Ron lifted up his arms to show the scars to Hermione, though it didn’t help much. Most of the scars were covered in massive burns still healing from the Gringott’s Bank incident.

“I basically asked you out, Ron, if you don’t recall,” Hermione said, “I asked you to Professor Slughorn’s party, remember? And that was before your fling.”

“Would you quit calling it a fling?!” Ron asked, “Please? To be honest, I wasn’t very happy with the whole situation. And… I might have done it to make you jealous.”

“What?!” Hermione asked, shocked.

“I might have fancied you then,” Ron said, slowly, “Maybe.”

“And do you fancy me now?” Hermione asked.

“I kissed you back, didn’t I?” Ron asked.

“I take it that is a yes,” Hermione said.

“Yes,” Ron said, simply.

“Good,” Hermione said, “Otherwise I would feel stupid fancying you too.”

“You do fancy me?” Ron said.

“Of course I do, silly,” Hermione said.

Ron smiled. Hermione smiled too, and looked into the fire.

“Hermione?” Ron asked again.

“Yes,” Hermione said.

“Can I kiss you again?” Ron said.

“You know you don’t have to ask,” Hermione said.

“Oh,” Ron said, “So, is that a…?”

Ron wasn’t able to finish his sentence. Hermione had leaned over and kissed him full on the lips. Ron returned the kiss, and suddenly everything other than Hermione and kissing her had disappeared from his mind. It would hit him hard in the face very soon, but he didn’t care. He was happy right here, right now.

The end.

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Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

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Old August 8th, 2008, 12:24 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 4

Neville goes Home
Neville goes home

“Well Gran…it’s time for us to go, I guess.” said Neville. “I’m tired and I haven’t slept in at least a day, not to mention all that has happened since then”.

“I’m so proud of you Neville” said his grandmother for at least the twentieth time that night. “Yes, let’s go back home, get some sleep, and we’ll come back to help the Ministry clean up and figure things out”.

“Will it be safe at home now?” asked Neville.

“I expect so, with Voldemort’s death and the remaining Death Eaters on the run, I doubt that anyone would even notice that we went back”.

“I thought so too” said Neville

They walked to the gates slowly, and a few steps outside the gate they turned and disapparated.

A couple moments later, they arrived at the front door of Augusta Longbottom’s modest home. “Well Neville, we’re home” said Gran.

“You never told me…where were you while you were on the run from the Death Eaters?” asked Neville.

“Oh, the rest of the Order took care of me. When the summons to Hogwarts came I happened to be with Remus Lupin and Andromeda Tonks, helping them take care of their new baby. But we all soon left. It’s a shame they had to die, but they fought bravely. Where were you the entire time at Hogwarts? I can’t recall any good hiding spots at the school.”

“Oh, you saw where we were Gran” said Neville. “It’s called the Room of Requirement. A few of us set it up as our headquarters against Snape and the Carrows. That’s the room you walked into at the end of the tunnel.”

“Oh, that was very clever Neville” said Gran. “I bet your parents will want to hear about your bravery. You slew Nagini, got the Sword of Gryffindor, and stood up to Voldemort himself!”

“I only did what I had to do” said Neville as modestly as he could. “Besides, look at you! You’re using his name now!”

“Yes, well, with Voldemort dead and his followers on the run, I figure I can use it and not worry about any negative consequences” said Gran.

“Yeah, I agree” said Neville. “Well, I think I should get to sleep. We can visit Mum and Dad tomorrow”.

“I agree, goodnight!”

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In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 8th, 2008, 2:12 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 5
Chapter 37 – The Revelation of the Heart

Sleep. He was in a world that had no reality, no substance. It wasn’t a dream, per se, just the product of exhaustion overcoming him as his head hit the pillow. He had walked from the Headmaster’s office and found himself separating from Ron and Hermione, his friends seemingly understanding his desire to be alone. Unconsciously, his legs guided him through the portrait hole, past the common room and up into the boys’ dormitories of Gryffindor Tower. When he entered his room, it was as if he had returned home, his bed was there, the bed linens tidied up but ready for use, even if he hadn’t been there in almost a year. The last few feet were the farthest, his body slowly giving in to the ravages of a year of pain and torment and fear. All of that was gone, now. They’d won. He’d won. Now all he could fathom were the elemental things. He didn’t have the energy to even kick off his shoes. Instead, he elected to collapse, face first on the bed, his face whisking past the red curtains that lined the transom, the curtains that Dumbledore hated. He’d barely noticed and he was asleep before his head hit the pillow.

Harry thought he’d dream, but for the first time in his entire life, his head felt somewhat empty, alone. The Horcrux that he’d shared his body with was gone, dead, ripped asunder by the power of his “death” at the hands of its creator. It was a strange feeling, actually, to not have the sensation that someone had a window into his thoughts and his feelings. He was new to this and he marveled, on a very unconscious level, at how liberating it was. It was very much like his visit to the ephemeral King’s Cross Station he’d had with Dumbledore’s ghost? Or spirit? Or soul? Whatever he’d had the conversation with after Voldemort had struck him down; his mind was wandering in an emptiness that was neither warm nor cold, just new. All around him was a white mist, a blank slate and as he settled into a deep sleep, he didn’t care whether he dreamt or not. All he knew was that his life had begun anew and for now, he’d enjoy the peace that came with the nothingness around him. He slept like he’d never slept before.


Harry turned and rolled in his bed, coming to rest on his back. His eyes slowly rolled open and his room came into focus. Light streamed through the window, bright and warm, and he had no real idea of what time it was and for a moment, even where he was. He turned his head from side to side, loosening the pent up tension from sleeping for so long in one position. His head froze as the door to the dormitory began to creak open and he stared, expecting one of his friends to pass through the portal. He experienced a momentary pang of disorientation as no one came through the wide open door, until he adjusted his gaze downward and found the small, hunched over figure of a house-elf pad his way inside, bending under the weight of an overlarge tray.

“Kreacher.” Harry said warmly. The house-elf glanced up furtively and then returned his eyes back to his the tray he carried. It was laden with all manner of succulent treats. From the look of them, Harry determined it must be breakfast time. He’d slept through the afternoon, into the evening and over night. It was the next morning. The dawn had broken on a new day, in more ways than one. The gnome-like creature teetered and stumbled to the side of the bed and hefted his burden upward, raising his arms over his head to place the tray, intact, on the edge of Harry’s bed.

“Kreacher thought master would be hungry. Kreacher had brought you a sandwich earlier, but master was still sleeping. Kreacher thought master needed to sleep after the defeating the Dark Lord.” The diminutive house-elf stood by the bed, wringing his hands in hopeful expectation, seemingly anxious about the decisions he’d made. Harry answered by snatching at a cinnamon roll, its iced topping still wet from being hot.

“Thank you, Kreacher. That was very thoughtful of you.” Harry took a bite of the roll and immediately lost himself in its buttery, sweet richness, savoring every piece. Before he knew it, he’d devoured the entire thing. He reached down and grabbed another. “What’s going on? Where is everyone? Has everyone left?”

The possibility caught Harry by surprise, thinking of it as he spoke the words. How long had he slept? Instantly his thoughts languished on the sights he’d been able to avoid in his dreams. The rows and rows of the dead, the destruction of his beloved Hogwarts, all played on his mind and an overwhelming sense of guilt and dread came over him. Had they all left? Had they gone to bury their loved ones, with their families in tow?

Kreacher bowed at the waist and spoke in almost a reverent whisper. His raspy elocution was difficult to follow. “The Minister is here. He is gathering everyone together to speak. He asks that master come down if master wishes. Kreacher would not let anyone disturb his master, the vanquisher of the Dark Lord and the avenger of the great Regulus.”

Harry chuckled at the thought of the house-elf standing defiantly at his door, arms crossed, rolling pin at the ready. Harry took a swig from a glass of cold orange juice and rose from the bed, a bagel dangling from his mouth. His hunger had returned and he consumed what was on the tray. As he finished breakfast, he whirled around and walked to the mirror hanging on the wall nearby. The face that looked back at him was barely recognizable. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen his reflection in the last year. His skin was pale, almost ashen with dark circles beneath his eyes. His glasses were tilted, slightly askew; the wear and tear of the past year had bent the frames and cracked one of the lenses. His hair was a wobbly weave of disarray, mottled by the sleep and the action he’d endured. His skin was pockmarked with bruises which were spread in a haphazard fashion from the top of his head to his legs and his nose was turned up and wrinkled, most likely from the smell emanating from the clothes he was wearing, which were scratched and soiled from the battle.

The house-elf seemed to agree and in his own polite manner, Kreacher carefully draped a fresh change of clothes over the back of a chair nearby. “Master, Kreacher took the liberty of bringing you a fresh change of clothes.”

Harry nodded. “Thanks, Kreacher. I’m sure I look a sight. I’m going to take a shower and see if I can get some of this off me.” Kreacher bowed deeply and Harry grabbed a towel from the linen closet and a bar of soap and bounded off for the shower.

When he returned, he felt, better. He was, by no means, feeling good, but he was feeling better. It felt good to remove the grit and the grime that had accumulated over the past few days, although it felt like he was trying to wash away the death and despair that seemed to refuse cleansing. He pulled on a clean shirt and a comfortable pair of jeans. Without thinking, he sank his feet into his trainers and pulled a thin, hooded sweat shirt over his head. He couldn’t stop the constant replay of yesterday’s events. They pulled at his conscience and his heart and the recriminating second guessing was always present. Had he moved quickly enough? Why hadn’t he figured out what he needed to do before so many perished? There were so many lost, so many dead and on many levels, it had been his fault, hadn’t it?

There were voices in the back of his head, admonishing his reaction. He could hear Dumbledore and Hermione and Ron, all chastising him for having such thoughts. He was being ridiculous and what was more, he was being patronizing. They’d all made the choice to fight. Who was he to deny them the free will to choose? The conflict in his mind made him feel tense and shook his head visibly to free himself from the tumult. Instead, he focused on nearer term events, trying to clear his head. Kreacher was still standing nearby and Harry reflected on what the house-elf had told him when he came in.

“What time will they be having the service, Kreacher?” Harry was torn about going, but at the last minute decided that he would make an appearance.

“It should be starting within the next few minutes, master.” Kreacher started tidying up the remains of the breakfast dishes. He stopped and watched Harry’s face. It was as if he saw the pain roiling in his master’s brain. “The Minister did say that master’s presence was optional. Master does not have to go.” Kreacher’s voice wasn’t pleading. It was more empathetic, feeling. Harry appreciated the gesture. He smiled at Kreacher and shook his head.

“No, I think I should go. I should at least, be with them.” Kreacher bowed and watched as Harry turned and left the dormitory.


Harry walked into the Entry Hall and marveled at how rapidly the debris had been cleared from the area. Mr. Filch was probably dealing with his own form of grief, based on the destruction to his beloved castle. Despite the cleanup, there were signs of the battle all around. Blackened scars on the walls, burned tapestries and gaping holes gave testament to the sheer brutality of the combat that had been waged. The suits of armor that had lined the passage way were lacking in numbers as their losses during the fight had not been recovered. Harry felt the weight of responsibility press down on his chest and he began to second-guess his decision to come down.

He passed through the Entry Hall, and took notice of the massive gates to the castle sitting off their hinges, resting against their jamb. He noticed, rather indifferently, that the sun had risen fully and reflected brightly off of the Great Lake. The flowers were in full bloom and a light breeze brought the sweet smell of their fragrance to his nose. It seemed incongruous that nature’s beauty was reaching out to him, comforting him in the midst of the guilt he felt for what had caused, what he had wrought.

His feet felt like bricks as he approached the entrance to the Great Hall. The doors had been cast wide open and he turned the corner and was faced with a scene unprecedented in the annals of history. The house banners had been replaced by rich satin bunting dyed a dark shade of black. The long rows of tables had been removed and tiers of seats had been placed inside to accommodate the students and their families as they attended the memorial service. Harry stopped, just outside the doors and peered inside.

The deep, rich baritone of Kingsley Shacklebolt echoed off the walls and penetrated his soul. Kingsley was acting in his first task as the newly appointed Minister of Magic. He was at once confident and empathetic. The power of his voice and the inflection of his tone seemed to seep inside each of the listeners, embracing them with kindness and understanding. Gone was the momentary flicker of triumph that had accompanied the Dark Lord’s demise, to be replaced the cold reality of the losses that had been suffered. Everyone had lost someone.

Kingsley didn’t need amplification to speak. He was standing behind a simple dais, his arms outstretched, as if trying to hold each and every one of the attendees. “We have suffered greatly, but in a cause that was necessary and just. The courage that our loved ones displayed to fight against all odds, to work towards a better world, to offer themselves without any thought as to the cost to their own lives makes our belief in their bravery justified.” Kingsley’s eyes watered. He wasn’t speaking from a prepared text, but expressing himself from his heart. “There remains a hole. There is an emptiness that their loss leaves in our hearts, the hearts of their families. We feel the pain, because we have lost a part of ourselves, a part of the whole.”

Kingsley’s words struck Harry like a hammer to the head. Dumbledore had been right. Power is best suited to those who didn’t seek it. Rapidly, he took in the people sitting together, huddling together, and bound by their grief and sorrow. At once, it hit him; the source of his anxiety, of his loneliness. As he swept his gaze over the gathered crowd, their backs to him, he saw them clustered in groups, family groups. Dennis Creevey sat with his father, the older man’s shoulders were racked by sobs as they mourned Colin. Andromeda Tonks was stoic; she’d lost her husband, her daughter and her son-in-law in the war, and yet, she clung tightly to the small bundle that was her grandson, her sole connection to her lost loved ones. They were all there, Dean, Lee, Oliver, huddled close to parents and siblings, aunts and uncles, bound together by the mutual pain of their losses. Hagrid was near the front, his arms around Grawp, his brother. Harry refused to even think about calling the gentle giant Hagrid’s half-brother, they tied together as family. Harry even caught sight of the Malfoys, separated by distance and philosophy from the rest of the crowd, but huddled together in warm family feeling of their survival.

Then there was the group of people in the center of the room, near the front. Kingsley seemed to allow his gaze to hover on them. The Weasleys had given so much, Harry thought, they’d been at the front of the effort from the start. Their strength was in their togetherness, their love as a family and it had been dealt a significant blow with the loss of Fred. Harry watched George’s back. It was still, unmoving, a far cry from the others. It was as if George had been rendered inert, a half-sculpted statue that had lost the largest piece of his whole. Nearby, Bill sat with his arm around his wife, Fleur, both allowing their grief to show, to manifest itself among their family in an open expression of suffering. Charlie held Percy, the prodigal son, who’d finally realized that no matter what he’d done, he could come home, to the loving embrace of his brothers and his parents. Speaking of whom, Arthur and Molly sat resolute. Both managed to somehow hold on to each other, and yet spread their embrace in some way to each of their children. A soft touch here, a caress there, the proud parents stared at Fred’s flag draped shroud and comforted their children around their loss.

Ron was there, his arm around Hermione, who Harry knew would be reunited with her own parents soon enough. For now, she’d released the hidden love she felt for Ron and was enveloped in his essence, feeling the same pain he was feeling. She was part of them, now, a Weasley in every possible way, save her name, which was an easy enough thing to fix. Harry stared at his friends, his stalwart companions, his conscience over the past seven years. How could have ever finished this without them? They belong together, he thought.

Finally, Harry’s eyes fell on the small figure nestled into Molly’s side. Ginny’s auburn hair fell lightly around her shoulders. Harry couldn’t see if she was crying, and yet, he had a good idea that she’d shed some tears. The death all around had to have affected her. He’d brought her this pain; he’d caused her this misery, and all the while, he’d distanced himself from her to shield her from all of this. He’d failed and in doing so, he’d probably cost himself the one chance he’d have at happiness. He took a small step forward and then stopped. He didn’t belong here. This was a time for family, for those who were part of the whole. One other thing that he shared with Tom Riddle was that he was an orphan, an outcast. He had no family. All he’d really had was Hogwarts and he’d hurt that, too. He looked one last time and turned to leave. The last sight he had of the proceedings was the back of Ginny’s head. A lump formed in his throat. Even if he wanted to call out, he couldn’t. He completed his turn and walked out the broken doors and out onto the lawn.


Kingsley’s words resonated around her. Fred’s loss was devastating to the entire family and Ginny tried to comfort her mother, to help Molly release the anguish that she had to have been feeling. Despite the setting and the words that were being said, Ginny couldn’t help but let her thoughts wander to Harry. She had tears, but surprisingly, it wasn’t so much about Fred. Her brother had made a choice, a good choice, and she knew Fred would have always have made the choice to fight. No, she felt a shortness of breath, a welling up of her eyes and a weight on her heart because she knew what Harry must be thinking. The carnage had been unthinkable and Harry, being who he was, the wonderful boy, no, the wonderful man he was would internalize everything, take responsibility for all that had happened. Harry must think that all this had been his fault.

She felt a tug at her chest, a feeling that compelled her to turn her head and look behind her. Her brown eyes looked past the crowd seated in rapt attention, captured by the comforting words of the speaker. She focused on the large doors at the rear of the Great Hall. She saw him turn. She saw him walk away, his shoulders slung low, his head dropped. He’d been there and he’d left. There was something in the way he carried himself that made her feel pain separate from the grief she was feeling. Her heart burst, because right then, she knew she’d been right. Harry was hurting.


He walked without a destination. For a moment, he paused and looked over at the cracked marble near the end of the castle wall. Dumbledore’s final resting place called to him. The hardness of the Elder Wand could be felt in the inside pocket of his jacket. He had to put it back, to reunite the only Hallow that the Dark Lord cared about with the man who’d meant so much to cause. He took a hesitant step towards the mausoleum and then stopped. He wasn’t ready to do it. He wasn’t ready to come to grips with the finality of placing the wand in his mentor’s tomb. He wasn’t ready to see the desiccated remains of his teacher, to bring a close to the final chapter of his odyssey. He’d do it later.

Instead, he turned and walked down to the lake, beside a drooping willow tree that overhung the bank. In times past, he’d walked here with Ginny. Quite possibly, those had been the best times of his life. He could still feel the warmth of her hand, the faint scent of lilacs from her hair as they’d sit and enjoy each other’s presence. How could they ever recapture that moment? How could Ginny ever want him back after he’d left her, after he’d caused so much death and destruction? He sat down by the tree and hugged his knees to his chest. He rocked back and forth gently, the memorial service etched in his brain. He was alone, isolated. He didn’t have a family. He’d only really had Hogwarts and its people, and he’d visited upon them the greatest pain, the most tortured experiences. He’d unleashed the wrath of the Dark Lord upon them and they’d suffered. A sphere of loneliness descended upon him. This should be a time of happiness and relief and all he really felt was emptiness.

His mind had to be playing tricks on him. In the wafting breeze, he could smell the faint aroma of flowers, of lilacs in the morning. The weight on his chest was becoming oppressive, to the point where he couldn’t breathe. He ached for her, he yearned to hear her voice, to feel her touch. The isolation overwhelmed his senses, crushed him emotionally. Without thinking, the tears began to pour down his face in his moment of greatest triumph and greatest despair.


The voice jolted him like a lightning bolt sending energy down from the top of his head to the bottom of his toes. He scrambled to his feet and there she was. Her voice was like a lifeline to struggling swimmer, and he grabbed hold of it, gripped it tightly. She stood with her weight shifted slightly to one side, her arms were crossed in front of her and if Harry paid close enough attention, he’d see her toe tapping, slightly. He didn’t notice, of course, because he was fixated on her face, her beautiful face. The afternoon sun reflected off her long red hair, casting a sheen across the distance to him, warming him. The freckles on her face were perfectly set, he’d memorized their every position, as the image of her beauty had been emblazoned on his soul.

He was afraid to speak, afraid to find out that she was a vision, a figment of his imagination conjured up to allay his fears in his darkest days.


Her eyes widened and she stepped forward, closing the distance between them. She was there, she was with him. They stood there and gazed at each other, both communicating their unsaid thoughts with their eyes. Her calm brown eyes met his blazing viridian orbs forcing her to drop her arms to her side. She read his pain, his guilt, his sorrow, his loneliness and finally his love. She arched and eyebrow and shifted in her feet. Then, with amazing grace and motion, she reared back and smacked him on the cheek.

“Snap out of it, Harry Potter!” The blow stung him and he reached up and felt the hot redness on his face where she’d struck him. She reached her hand up and he flinched slightly, but she simply rested her hand on his.

“I’ve had quite enough of this, Harry. You’re not to blame for all this. We are free, thinking human beings and we all made our choices.” Her voice was strong and in the stillness of the late spring day, it resonated louder than even Kingsley’s had.

“But Ginny, if I had figured out what I needed to do earlier, I might have…”

She cut him off. “Might have, should have, that all doesn’t matter, Harry. What matters is that we have each other. What matters is that Voldemort is gone. What matters is that I love you. I’ve loved you from the first time I saw you and I don’t want to be apart any more.” The effort of her confession seemed to drain her and her face fell as she said it.

He stood there, stunned. She was so beautiful, so vibrant. He realized right then, that he needed her like he needed air to breathe. He reached his hand up to her chin and raised her eyes to his. When it was time for him to die, all he’d wanted was her, all he’d thought about was her. His last conscious thought was of her. He was an idiot. He wasn’t alone. All he needed was her.

“I love you, too, Ginny. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I want to be with you, forever.” His voice trailed off and they stood there, facing each other, reaffirming their love. The moment had come and he moved his face towards her, hesitantly, slowly. Never the patient one, Ginny closed the distance between them rapidly, bringing her lips to his. They kissed, a long, flowing passionate kiss filled with vigor and unbridled love. Harry poured his entire essence into this connection and was pleasantly surprised to have her return the gift. He wrapped his arms around her, drawing her close and completing their bond. She fit perfectly in his embrace, in all ways they were ideally suited for each other.

An outside observer would objectively mark the passage of time and say the kiss lasted for only a few seconds, but to Harry and Ginny, the kiss lasted forever and more. It closed a chapter on the pain and regret and opened the promise of a future filled with love and hope. They kissed and the wounds that tore at both of them closed, sealed by the bliss they felt in being together.

They drew apart finally, the physical need to breathe overcoming their desire to stay connected. Ginny reached up and touched her lips, which still tingled. Harry smiled. Already, color was returning to his features. Ginny saw that he already seemed better, healthier.

“I didn’t think I belonged up there.” He nodded up towards the school. “It seemed like it was a time for families to be together.”

Ginny smiled and grabbed his hand firmly. She turned and began tugging him towards the school. She cocked her head back and nodded at him coyly. “It is a time for family. Come on.”

He allowed her to lead him back and he chuckled. He deserved a slap, he supposed. When you got right down to it, he was part of that family if not for the simple reason he was a part of her. She was his connection, she was part of his whole and vice versa. He wasn’t alone.

They made their way up the lawn towards the entrance to the castle. Over the western mountains across the Great Lake, the sun began its downward journey bringing the end to another day but its bright orange and red hues offered a promise to Harry. The sun would be back tomorrow, and with it, would bring a better day.

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In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 8th, 2008, 2:13 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 6
The trio departed the headmaster’s office. The war was over, but the devastation had only just begun. Ron and Hermione held each other’s hands. Harry stuffed the Elder Wand into his pocket.

“I don’t know about you, but I could sleep an entire decade,” Harry yawned.

Stepping off the staircase and over the moaning gargoyle, they headed in the direction of Gryffindor Tower. Off in the distance Peeves could be heard singing his Moldy Voldy song.

Ron didn’t know what to think, he didn’t want to think, as they made their way through the rubble, pieces of walls, portraits, ceiling, every part of the castle destroyed at their feet. It was a wonder they could move around on the seventh floor of their school. Walking up the steps to where the Fat Lady’s portrait hung, Ron stepped over someone’s shoe. The amount and type of debris lying around, needing to be cleaned up, was incredible.

“No password needed for you!” The Fat Lady said victoriously, swinging herself open and allowing the three passage into their familiar common room.

The rest of the school looked like a war zone, but the common room looked untouched save for a few cloaks thrown on the overstuffed armchairs and balled up parchment on a desk. Looking around, one would not be able to tell a battle had taken place all night in the rest of the building. The familiarity of the room was a comfort.

Silently, Harry continued up the staircase to the boys’ dormitories. Hermione pulled Ron onto the couch.

“Hermione—“ Ron started to whine, but she silenced him with a finger on his lips.

“Ron, I’m just as tired as you are, but we need to talk.”

Ron slid down on the couch, his tired bones aching for a chance to rest. It had been something like 24 hours since he’d last been asleep.

“About what?” He asked.

“About what? Have you forgotten?” Hermione leaned in close to Ron. He could smell the stench of the previous battle on her. “We need to talk about what happened earlier. You know, that, that…” She trailed off.

“Oh…,” Ron said. “I—I—are you embarrassed?”

“Wha—no, no, not unless you are?”

“Me? No, I’ve been wanting to do that for years,” Ron admitted more to himself than to Hermione. His ears turned red when he realized what he’d said.

“R-really? Me, too.” Hermione’s cheeks turned the color of Ron’s ears.

All of a sudden the image of Fred’s body lying there in the midst of damaged bricks and other wreckage appeared in Ron’s mind. How could he talk about kissing the girl he’d had a crush on for years when his brother would never get that chance again? Slowly, a tear escaped down his cheek.

“Are you upset? Am I—am I a bad kisser?”

“No, I think you’re brilliant,” he replied softly. “I just—it’s not fair I get to kiss you, but F-Fr—my brother will never get to kiss another girl.” At the mention of this, the tears flowed faster.

“Oh, Ron,” Hermione leaned closer and embraced Ron in a hug, tears running freely onto her shoulder. “I’m being insensitive. We shouldn’t talk about this right now. You’ve a lot to deal with. I’m sorry.”

Ron wanted to say something. He wanted to tell Hermione he needed to talk to her, but he couldn’t overcome the sobs that racked his body. It wasn’t fair. He shouldn’t have to deal with this. Fred was supposed to live a long time. He wasn’t supposed to die.

Ron knew things would get better. Eventually the pain of losing his brother would fade. And he knew, he just knew, one day he would marry Hermione Jean Granger.

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In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 9th, 2008, 1:59 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 7

Neville Steps into his Future
Even amid the physical pain, profound sorrow and bone-deep exhaustion, Neville was basking in the triumphant accolades from the other students for standing up to the man they had all feared for so long. That wasn’t why he’d done it, of course, but the unaccustomed fame and praise certainly felt good, although he knew it wouldn't do to let it go to his head. The Great Hall, like Neville himself, was filled with a curious blend of emotions: wild exhilaration at the defeat of the Death Eaters and the actual, final death of Lord Voldemort; almost overwhelming sadness at all the losses of family and friends in the process; physical pain in the wounds to both people and building; exhaustion that in itself caused a combination of giddiness and solemnity.

He stole another glance at the sword on the table beside him. He still couldn’t believe how it had come to him. Falling from the burning hat onto his head just as he broke free from Voldemort’s spell. He was still marveling at that. He hadn’t paid much attention at the time, only wanting to get to Voldemort and kill him for killing Harry and hurting so many. It hadn’t really registered that he and the others were breaking out of Voldemort’s spells until Harry had mentioned it during that final, nerve-wracking duel; a seemingly endless duel consisting in reality of only two spells.

But when he’d attacked Voldemort, believing Harry had been killed at his hands, Neville had not thought of consequences or torture or death, only of letting Voldemort know he hadn’t won, he hadn’t broken their will and they would continue to fight, in spite of Harry’s death, because that is what he would have wanted. He wouldn’t allow Voldemort to kill Harry and then spread lies about him, adding insult to injury.

Neville’s exhausted mind was flitting from one thought to another. He was still feeling such happiness that Harry wasn’t dead. Neville knew he wasn’t as close to Harry as Ron and Hermione, but he was close enough. He had been devastated at the sight of Harry’s seemingly lifeless body, but he had put the pain aside and allowed the rage to fill him and carry him forward, fighting Voldemort, killing Nagini as Harry had requested.

Many had seen Harry as only a symbol, a talisman, a protector; but to Neville, Harry was a very good friend. They had been through so much together, and Harry had helped Neville become strong enough to face Voldemort.

He thought briefly of his third year and how he had been so afraid of Snape that the professor had been the shape of his boggart. Well, he wasn’t afraid of Snape or anyone else, now. He had learned during his fifth year that you couldn’t let fear stop you from doing the right thing. Harry had taught him that. Harry, who had been so patient and encouraging during DA meetings, had helped him see that you had to push your fear away and just do it, whatever it was that needed to be done. And that was what he’d done today, this whole year, actually. Despite the threats and punishments, despite the beatings, despite the tortures, Neville had continued to fight, just as he knew that Harry—wherever he was—was fighting to bring the Dark Lord down and show him they weren’t beaten.

The sword caught a glimmer of sunlight and he looked at it again. It hadn’t seemed heavy at all when he’d swung it and sliced Nagini’s head off. It had felt so light and right in his hands, as though he’d practiced with it for hours. He had used it to slice at Death Eaters and spilled much dark blood with it, hardly noticing at all at the time. Was it excitement or the sword itself that had caused it to seem so easy? Neville wasn’t sure, but it had been only temporary. After everything was over, he discovered that the sword was very large and very heavy as he had cleaned the blood from the blade on a Death Eater’s robe. It looked so beautiful now, lying there in the sunlight; not at all like an instrument of death.

“It was totally wicked the way you just sliced his snake’s head off,” someone marveled again, noticing how Neville looked at the sword.

“I thought you were going to slice his head off,” another exclaimed.

“Why did you go after the snake?” a girl asked curiously. “Did you try to kill You-Know-Who and miss?”

Neville shook his head and told them all again, “Harry had told me before he went into the forest—of course, I didn’t know that was what he was doing or I’d have stopped him—but he told me that it was very important to kill that snake. He didn’t really say why, but he said it was important. I promised him if I could do it, I would. When I got the chance, I did. I was going to go after Voldemort—” he spoke the name defiantly despite the gasps of horror around him “—but everything got so confusing and I couldn’t. Then, of course, Harry was there and alive and fighting him and I knew I had to let him do it. After all, if he’d come back from the dead, he was obviously strong enough to do it. And there were plenty of other Death Eaters to fight.” His eyes went over to the spot where Molly Weasley had killed the person he’d wanted to kill more than anything. Even if he hadn’t killed her, the fact that Bellatrix was dead did make him feel better.

“Where is Harry now?”

Neville shrugged. “Probably off to find some peace or resting.” That’s what Neville would like to do, and he hadn’t been through half what Harry had. “He looked pretty done-in when he got here last night, and since then, he’s fought and died and fought and killed Voldemort.”

There was another chorus of gasps.

Neville became angry. “He’s dead. Dead for good this time. There is no reason to be afraid. I won’t call him Lord anything, but I’m not afraid to say that Voldemort is dead.”

Admiration glowed in many eyes. It was something Neville wasn’t much used to, but found he liked very much.

The young people were surprised to see Neville’s grandmother approach. Some hadn’t seen her or realized she was there. She laid a proud hand on his shoulder. “I haven’t had a chance to tell you how very proud I am of you, my boy. Your parents would be immensely proud…if they could know and understand. You stood up to him as bravely as anyone could. And you killed that hideous snake of his. The entire Wizarding World owes you an incredible debt of gratitude.”

Neville blushed modestly. “No one owes me anything. I just did what I could, same as everyone else here.”

“No, that’s not true. No one else was granted Gryffindor’s Sword. No one else stood up and spoke to him as you did. Even I didn’t have the courage to do that. And you stepped up and sliced that creature’s head off without flinching or fearing his wrath…despite what he had already done to you,” she loudly reminded everyone who could hear.

“I did that because Harry told me it was important to kill it. That’s all,” he tried to dismiss.

“And Harry didn’t tell anyone else about that important job, did he?”

Neville stopped. “He said Hermione and Ron knew, but he wanted me to know, too. Just in case.”

“There! You see. He didn’t trust them to do the job, so he told you, knowing he could count on you to see it done.” Mrs. Longbottom was determined to make him and everyone else see that he was a hero, too.

Neville hadn’t thought about that. He knew Harry liked him, but here was proof that Harry really trusted him, counted on him, even. That made Neville as proud as the thought that his parents would be proud of him if they could gain any understanding of what he’d done.

Thinking of his parents brought forward a brief, childish wish. He knew it was juvenile and impossible to even think it, but he did wonder for just a small moment if the death of Voldemort and Bellatrix would help his parents’ mental state any. The death of the caster broke spells; could Bellatrix and Voldemort’s deaths break the torment of his parents’ minds? Even as he thought it, though, he knew better. Their problem wasn’t a continuing spell, but the aftermath of a spell that had continued for far too long before ending. Well, at least he knew the evil pair would never hurt anyone else that way.

Neville gave his grandmother a sad smile. “I’m glad you are proud of me, Gran. I’m happy to think they would be proud of me. I’m pleased that Harry and all these people are proud of me. But most of all, I’m proud of me.”

Everyone could see that Neville was sitting up straight and tall with his head held high. There was no more shyness in him, no awkwardness, no clumsiness. Neville was no longer a scared, self-conscious, maladroit boy, but a man who seemed to have grown into his skin and himself and knew what he was and where he was going.

The sun seemed to gild his hair, and his grandmother thought that Harry may have been the one everyone looked up to, the one who had killed Voldemort, but he couldn’t have done it without Neville. But for a slightly different circumstance, it could have been Neville that everyone was lauding now. Then she saw others come up to the young man and thank him for his part and tell him how brave he’d been and how great they thought he was, and she realized that he did have all the glory he wanted. Neville would go far. She saw he now had that way of holding himself that gave others confidence in him without showing the slightest arrogance. He was accepting all the praise with innate modesty. He was comfortable with himself and so were others. As he had shown all year, he was a leader, every bit as much as Harry. Augusta Longbottom hoped she lived long enough to see him in the post she was sure would one day be his: Minister of Magic.

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In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 9th, 2008, 2:00 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 8

Endings and Beginnings

As the spiral stone staircase, moved slowly down, Ron felt exhaustion weighing on him. It seemed a bit surreal that, just 24 hours ago, they had left Shell Cottage with the daunting goal of breaking into Gringotts. So much had happened since then. They had ridden on a dragon, destroyed the last of the Horcruxes, fought Death Eaters, lost friends and loved ones ...

With a now familiar pang, he thought of the bodies laid out in the Great Hall. Friends, family ... Fred. He blinked hard, to stop the burning in his eyes. Fred wouldn't want tears. Compliments to his bravery and laughter ... that's what Fred would want. And Harry ... Those moments when he thought Harry had died ... He blinked hard again.

And now, it was over. Voldemort was finished for good. They were free. No more hiding. No more scrounging for food in random forests. He felt as though a great weight had been lifted ... he could only imagine what it must be like for Harry. As they came to the lopsided gargoyle, he felt a soft hand take his and looked to find Hermione smiling at him, nodding her head towards the end of the corridor.

Ignoring the swoop in his stomach at Hermione's touch, he looked towards the direction she was indicating and saw a small figure walking determinedly toward them, her vivid red hair swinging forcefully behind her. Ginny. He hadn't even thought about that. Harry was free now. He didn't have to stay away from Ginny. Of course he was thrilled for Harry -- and his sister -- but he couldn't repress an inward groan at the idea of their reunion. Happy as he was, he really didn't want to see that. But he didn't miss the expectant smile on Harry's face as he turned back to Hermione, intending to leave the two lovebirds alone.


Ron turned back in shock at Harry's indignant, "What was that for?", as Ginny had punched Harry dead in the stomach.

"That was for pretending to be dead," Ginny retorted. "Do you have any idea what you put everyone through? What you put me through? We thought we had lost you forever!"

"Ginny," Harry began nervously, "I'm really so --"

But he was cut off as Ginny threw herself into his arms and kissed him. Ron quickly looked to Hermione, his confusion only increasing at the amused look on her face. Girls were so strange sometimes. At least Harry didn't seem to understand it either -- though he didn't seem to mind either. Ron shuffled his feet uncomfortably, and nodded his head at Hermione, hoping she would understand that he wanted to leave them alone.

"That's for being alive," Ginny said breathlessly, just as Ron tugged on Hermione's arm. She turned to her brother with a grin. "McGonagall sent me to find you three. Most everyone's staying at the castle tonight. Kingsley's called a special meeting in the Great Hall in the morning."

"What does McGonagall want?" Harry said, his voice giving away his exhaustion.

"I'm to give you the passwords to get into Gryffindor tower and the prefects bath," said Ginny. "She thought you would want to wash up and get some sleep."

"Brilliant!" Ron thought fondly of his four-poster in Gryffindor tower as they headed off. "Any chance of getting some food?"

The others laughed as they came up to the portrait of the Fat Lady. She and her friend, Violet, applauded loudly as they approached and Harry blushed as Ginny strode up to give her the password.

"Blood traitor. It's being changed tomorrow," she said matter-of-factly when she saw their horrified looks as the portrait swung open. "The Carrows thought it was funny."

The four of them sat in the common room eating sandwiches that Kreacher had brought them. Ron smiled broadly at the memory of Kreacher leading the house-elves into the battle as he thanked Kreacher for the food. Hermione beamed at him and Ron blushed, remembering what had happened in the Room of Requirement. Suddenly, he wanted nothing more than a few minutes alone with Hermione.

But it was not to be. It wasn't long before they were joined by the rest of the Gryffindors and their families and privacy became a distant dream. It was chaos finding places to sleep for everyone, but the house-elves managed. After a heated, but all to brief, goodnight kiss from Hermione, Ron found himself in his comfortable four-poster at last, well fed and properly clean. Harry had fallen asleep almost as soon as his head touched the pillow, but Ron drifted to sleep slowly, visions of an empty classroom and Hermione dancing in his mind.

It seemed that he had barely closed his eyes, when a loud bang woke him up. Hermione had burst into their dormitory, her wild hair flowing gloriously around her.

"Aren't you two up yet?" She opened the curtains in the dormitory, letting in the blinding sunlight. "We have to be in the Great Hall in fifteen minutes!"

"Er-my-knee," Ron groaned into his pillow as the light stabbed his eyes. He had been having the most wonderful dream about the Room of Requirement, Hermione of course, had been the star. He heard Harry mumbling incoherently from the bed next to his.

"Come on!" said Hermione. "We don't want to be late!"

Grumbling slightly as they put on clean robes that must have been put out by Kreacher, they dressed quickly and met Hermione in the common room a few minutes later. She was pacing back and forth while Ginny sat and merely looked amused. They barely had time to say "Good Morning" before Hermione was dragging them out the portrait hole.

The Great Hall was crowded when they arrived. Everyone was finishing up breakfast. They fixed plates and ate quickly, ignoring the murmuring around them. Ron wondered what Kingsley's big announcement was going to be as he looked around the Great Hall. He couldn't believe how many people had stayed over. Then he realized that many of these people had lost friends and loved ones, just as he had. They were probably waiting to find out what was to be done with the bodies. He pushed his plate away half finished. He wasn't hungry anymore. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Harry do the same, apparently having reached the same conclusion. They looked at each other sadly as Kingsley began to speak.

"If I could have everyone's attention," he began and Ron's suspicions were soon confirmed to be right. He explained that the bodies had been taken to St. Mungo's and the families could go there to identify and claim them so funeral arrangements could be made. They had set out parchment and quills for anyone who wanted to volunteer to help in the clean up and repairing of Hogwarts. Ron found it hard to concentrate as his mind kept wandering back to all those who had been lost. He dimly heard Kingsley talking about commendations, the Order of Merlin ... Hermione nudged him sharply in reprimand.

"And, finally," Kingsley smiled at them all. "I have a very important announcement to make. The battle has been won, but there is still much work to be done. Many of the Death Eaters escaped and they will need to be rounded up. We lost a lot of good people yesterday, good Aurors. We're going to need more good Aurors to round up the escaped Death Eaters."

Ron exchanged another sad look with Harry. He knew that Harry -- like him -- would want to be part of rounding up the Death Eaters that escaped, but they hadn't finished Hogwarts or gotten the required NEWTs. The thought of waiting another full year before they could even try to join the Aurors was a bit depressing.

"Under the current circumstances," Kingsley continued, "I have decided to make a few changes. These will, of course, be temporary changes due to the severe conditions we face at this time. Once things begin to return to normal, these changes will be reversed."

Ron looked at Hermione in confusion, but she didn't seem to know what Kingsley was talking about either. What changes? Harry was still looking at Kingsley, his expression blank.

"I can see that you're confused," Kingsley said, smiling slightly. "Understandable. As I said, we need good Aurors and we don't have time to wait for those of you who are eligible to finish another year of school or take the NEWTs. As such, the NEWT requirements to become an Auror will be temporarily waived. I feel that all of you proved yourselves to be more than capable of joining the Aurors yesterday. Those of you who are of age may apply immediately."

Ron looked incredulously at Harry as cheers erupted around them. Harry's shocked face mirrored his own.

"What d'you say, mate?" said Harry, a broad grin spreading over his face.

"You have to ask?" Ron felt his own grin might split his face. "What about you, Hermione?"

But Hermione didn't seem quite as excited about the news as they did. She was smiling, but it was more subdued. Ron took her hand and smiled at her. Surely she wasn't upset about Kingsley changing the rules?

"Of course not," she said, when he mentioned it. "I think it's a wonderful opportunity for you both."

Ron noticed that she hadn't included herself. "You're not going to apply?"

"No," she said, shaking her head. "I never really wanted to be an Auror. You know that. That was your and Harry's dream."

Ron nodded. He knew she was right no matter how strange it seemed to be making plans that wouldn't include the three of them.

"So, what'll you do then?"

"I'm going to finish school, of course," said Hermione as though it was obvious. Though, Ron realized, it was obvious. Hermione had been willing to put it off for something as important as defeating Voldemort, but she would finish.

"Of course," he agreed, smiling. "It'll be strange though, the three of us not doing something together."

"I know," said Hermione, "but it's not like we won't see each other at all. It's only nine months and I'll have Hogsmeade visits. With Voldemort gone, there won't be so much security. And we can send loads of owls."

"Maybe Ron and I could get a place in Hogsmeade," Harry chipped in. "Ginny has another year to go too," he said, shrugging when Ron looked at him.

Ron laughed. It felt weird, being able to laugh after everything that had happened, but it felt right. Everything was going to work out. They cheerfully signed up to help repair the castle and then went looking for Kingsley so Ron and Harry could ask about putting their application in to be Aurors.

"As if you need to apply," Kingsley had said, chuckling. "The wizarding community would probably demand my resignation if I didn't offer the job to 'The Chosen One'. Still, it's best to follow procedure. The public can be fickle and we don't want any criticism later."

"I don't want any special treatment," Harry said immediately.

"Of course not," said Kingsley. "I didn't mean ... You won't get any special treatment, Harry. I'll do my best to make sure of that. But you're famous and there's a price to pay for that."

Harry nodded and joined Ron as they walked back to Gryffindor tower where Hermione and Ginny were waiting for them. Hermione was beaming as she told them how thrilled McGonagall was that she would be returning to get her NEWTs next year. Harry looked at Ron hesitantly for a moment and then looked at Ginny with longing. Ron shoved him toward Ginny with a laugh and took Hermione's hand.

"Go on you two," he said, grinning. "We want some privacy."

Ginny looked a bit startled, but Harry just grinned and shrugged. She surprised Ron by hugging him and whispering that she was happy for them in his ear before leaving with Harry. Ron turned to Hermione and felt his face heating up again at the look she was giving him. Yeah, we definitely need some privacy. He nodded his head toward the portrait hole and she followed him out. He could think of several secluded areas around the lake where they wouldn't be disturbed for a while.

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In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 9th, 2008, 2:01 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 9
Harry’s thought of going up in the dormitory were flushed with the memory of those still lying on the floor in the great hall. Hermione was now hand in hand with Ron, whose eyes were still red from the thought of his brother’s death. Fred Weasley was lying with Remus’ and Tonks’ bodies and all the others who gave their life for the battle.

They greeted farewell to Dumbledore and headed down the great hall. Every wall in the castle was either shattered, or scratched, or burned with the remains of spells, giant spiders or giants. The great hall was partly roofless where a giant rock had been thrown by a giant. People were now gathered along the sides of their relatives, or else taking care of those who had been hurt. Harry was caught in all this; part of him blaming that it was his fault. But before he faced the Weasley’s family, he went near Tonks and Lupin.

They looked quite serene as if they were sleeping a long merited sleep. Looking down, he noticed that someone had intentionally putted their hands in each other’s. He let tears falling out of his eyes, without even bothering or shame of who was looking at him. The thought of their son growing up without knowing his parents, was almost unbearable.

“Harry?” it was the voice that Harry was most wanted to hear, yet not to see. “Are you ok?”

Harry turned to face her. One of the features that he always liked in Ginny was that she was very mature and strong. But still her voice was lower in grief due the loss of her brother. It had been a shock for her.

“No, I’m not” he sighed “half of these people should have never died. If only I…” He was interrupted by Ginny who placed her hand on his chest.

“You shouldn’t feel guilty; these people knew what was waiting for them, if they stayed. They have given their lives to give us a future; don’t feel remorseful for their death.”

Gripping his hand, she led him away from Tonks and Lupin. He was dreading the moment when he would have to face the Weasleys. Feeling his tension, she gripped his hand firmly giving him the reassurance he needed. Still, the thought of him being close to the Weasleys made him feel horrible.

Ron was now leaning on Hermione. She was comforting him as he was crying on her shoulders. George was also a disaster; he was seen crouched down on the floor his hands bleeding giving the looks that he had been punching the floor. Mrs.Weasley was leaning on her husband who looked whiter than usual upon looking at Fred. Bill, Charlie, Fleur and Percy looked awful too, but still they were all around George who wouldn’t be budged.

After what seemed a life time to Harry and scarce seconds to others, Mrs. Weasley gripped Harry tightly. “I thought you were dead!” she exclaimed, her eyes fresh with a new wave of tears. “Harry James Potter don’t you ever fright me again like that! I thought I lost you too.”

By the mention of his name, Harry felt a jolt passing through him. Face down, without looking at her, he said, “It’s my entire fault…if I had been quicker, all this would have never happened. If it weren’t for me-”

“-If it weren’t for you”, cut Molly through his words, “the memory of the boggart would have become true tonight, and I would have lost all my family including you.” She was now so much used to Harry that she practically considered him as one of her own sons.

Even after all of Molly’s speeches that it wasn’t his fault and that they own him their lives, Harry still felt guilty. Once again, he excused himself to be dismissed. All the dead people in the room were filling his mind, and he had to evade the thought. The only place he thought of was the headmasters’ office.

Taking a better view, this time, the room was intact. Only fragments from a crack in the roof showed that there was a battle. Without a stop to think, he approached a portrait of a headmaster who looked at him for the first time with eyes full of pride.

“Thanks for everything and sorry for…”

The portrait eyed him like Dumbledore used to do, with the feeling like he was being scanned. “You’re welcome.”

The hate for this man which Harry had felt for seven years, now was replaced by guilt that he never felt before. “All these years I thought wrong about you, why did you treat me like that?” Harry was trying to do everything possible to delay, even for a little, what awaited him in the great hall later.

This time Snape wore his same old tone. “You have the same attitude as your father, rude and arrogant and you also look like him. I hated him from the first time we met on the Hogwarts express, and as you have seen from my memory, I hated him till he died.”

“You loved her right?”

Ron still clutching Hermione’s hand was making his way to Harry. Harry looked side ways unable to face Ron in his state. But this little mattered to Ron; he approached him with a furious look in his face, leaving Hermione’s hand to hit him in the face. Harry was caught off guard and fell on the ground.

“Why are you blaming yourself? Everyone in the hall would have been dead if it wasn’t for you. Even if you didn’t face You-Know…Vol-Voldemort, everyone would have stayed to battle till they died. And how do you repay them? By blaming it on you! MY BROTHER DIED FOR THIS CAUSE!” His piercing eyes burned through Harry’s for a while, but then they began to tear again and his face was redder than ever. In his furious state, Ron lent him his hand to help him get up.

“You know, you could have just talked to me instead of hitting me,” although Harry knew Ron was right and he was wrong.

“Sorry mate, but I had to put some sense in you. Everyone is worried ‘cause you left without telling anyone,” muttered Ron in a what-did-you-expect tone.

The three of them went back to the castle, and they were greeted by all the survivors who clapped at them. Professor McGonagall, now headmistress of Hogwarts, rose and spoke with a voice of command. “Tonight every one will sleep here. Tomorrow we will clear out the great hall, and the day after, we will give a farewell to all our beloved who died in this battle. Everyone is to sleep in the dormitories. No exceptions.”

Every one who had been injured was taken to the hospital wing, which had not been severely damaged. The others were making their way to the dormitories, which were packed with students and relatives. No one bothered for the lack of space. Some even lay on the floor and few were already asleep. The others were talking about the event that has just happened.

Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny and Luna, all tired but still wide awake, set in a corner in silence, until it was first broken by Neville.

“Is it really over now?” he said softly. He knew the answer, but he still wanted to hear it from Harry.

“Yeah. This time once and for all.” The tension seemed to lift up a bit.

Hermione had leaned on Ron’s chest and was the first one to sleep. “She had been crying her self out, no wonder she fell asleep,” said Ron, gently playing with her hair, though he looked as tired as her.

Harry stood up. “I think I’ll sleep in the next room next to our dormitory. Last I checked it was empty and I really wish to be alone,” he got out of the group, and headed to the next room. The ceiling had come down, but it only took a wave of his wand to clear the room. Instead of repairing the ceiling, he left it destroyed, to have a clear view of the sky. Maybe it would make me relax a little, being alone watching the stars, he thought. But not even a second had passed since Hermione and Ron came. He didn’t have any more energy to argue with them to leave him alone. They conjured three beds on which they laid to view the new morning approaching, and the last few stars. Ron moved his bed closer to Hermione, sat to lay close by Hermione and started caressing her hair delicately, until she felt asleep.

After less than half an hour Ginny presented her self in the entrance of the class, walked directly to Harry and dragged him into a class room also empty. She planted a deep kiss on his lips which felt like an enormous relief for him like drinking fire-whiskey but even better. Tears covered her face.

“I was really scared that you would never come back, the though of you being dead kept hunting me. Stupid! You made me really worried” punching him in the chest one blow after another.

Harry had never seen her like this but he knew what he had to do, closing his arms around her hugged her like never before and just stayed like that letting her cry her self out. “You know even I couldn’t stop my self thinking of you and of the wonderful moments we spend together,” he whispered undertone and caressing her hair like Ron did with Hermione. “I never wanted you to suffer like that. Will you ever forgive me?” That was what she wanted him to ask her; forgiveness. She hugged him tightly with tears still in her eyes.

My Heart, it speaks,
A thousand words,
That feel eternal bliss.
The roses pout,
Like scarlets' mouth,
When offering a kiss.
No drop of rain,
No glowing flame,
Has ever been so pure.
If being in love,
Can feel like this,
Than I will love for sure

RLF_Icons (signature)

In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 11th, 2008, 4:30 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Round IV Week II

Topic: Bill and Fleur's First Date

Entry #1

Date in the Leaky Cauldron

It was a chilly night in London, which was surprising, given the fact that it was nearing summer. But Bill Weasley didn’t enter the Leaky Cauldron through the front door. Instead, in a plume of smoke and ash, he arrived from the fireplace. He brushed himself off and walked up to the bar.

“Mr. Weasley!” Tom, the barman said, “How are you this fine evening? More business at Gringott’s, I assume?”

“Tom, how many times have I told you,” Bill said, “Mr. Weasley is my father’s name. Call me Bill. And no. Actually, I have a date.”

“You’re the one your mother wrote to me about?” Tom asked, “Wow. I assumed it would’ve been one of your younger brothers. One of the twins, perhaps.”

Bill scoffed.

“Please,” he said, laughing, “They are more worried about their concoctions they’ve been brewing in their room. Mum’s been trying to stop them. You should have heard her. ‘They are going to kill themselves up there!’ And she wants me to talk to them! Ha!”

“I see,” Tom said, looking around, “So who is the lucky lady?”

“Oh, she isn’t here yet,” Bill said, “But you will notice her right away. Bright blond hair. Just gorgeous.”

“Landed yourself a veela, have you?” Tom asked, smirking.

Bill said nothing, though he felt his face flush.

“Well, I have set up a special table in the corner,” Tom said, nodding to the wall to his left.

Bill glanced around and found the table. There was nothing really special about the table. In fact, it looked just as normal as the others. Even the atmosphere seemed as dusty as the soot and ash he had walked through a few moments before.

“Do you want anything while you wait for your lovely lady?” Tom asked, “Firewhisky, perhaps?”

“Oh, too early in the night for that!” Bill said, grinning.

“Never too early,” Tom said, “Why, as I recall –“

“Just a butterbeer, please,” Bill interrupted him, quickly.

“Coming up!” Tom said.

Bill walked over to the reserved table. As soon as he got close, the table magically changed. It went from a dusty, wooden-planked table, to a marble table complete with flowery tablecloth, two candles and napkin-ladden silverware. The dusty atmosphere had disappeared and the air seemed cleaner.

“Impressive!” Bill said to himself, as he sat down.

A moment later, Tom walked over.

“Impressive!” Bill said to him.

“One of my trade secrets,” Tom said, “From far away, the table looks normal. Just so the other customers don’t get jealous, you see.”

“Good idea!” Bill said.

“Thank you!” Tom said, “One butterbeer for you.”

Tom gave the butterbeer to Bill and walked away. Not a moment later, the front door of the Leaky Cauldron opened. Bill looked over to see a bright blonde, beautiful woman walking in. The dusty air around her seemed to clean itself up as she walked in. Fleur Delacour immediately spotted Bill and walked over to the table. As she got closer, she stopped and her eyes went wide. During this brief moment, Bill was finally able to get a better look at her outfit, which was a body-length white dress.

“William!” she said.

“Y-y-you look – well –“ Bill stuttered, unable to finish his sentence.

Fleur swooped down on him and kissed him on the cheek.

“Thank you,” she said, in a thick French accent.

Bill rubbed his cheek, which felt as if it was burning, as Fleur sat down across from him. Moments later, Tom returned to the table with menus. He set the menus on the table.

“What can I get for you and your lovely date?” he said to Bill.

Bill was still speechless as he continued to look at Fleur.

“Let’s try drinks for starters, eh?” Tom said, a little louder.

“What?” Bill said, breaking out of his dream-like state, “Oh, yes, drinks. Well, er… I have mine.”

“I’ll take whatever ‘e’s ‘aving,” Fleur said.

“Coming right up!” Tom said, “How about you two just take a look at your menus.”

“Right,” Bill said.

Bill opened up his menu and put it in front of his face, hoping it would block some of Fleur’s powers.

“What eez good ‘ere, Bill?” Fleur asked, deeply, “All o’ zis food sounds so… fattening.”

“Er…” Bill said, continuing to look at his menu, “I don’t really know. I don’t usually have dinner here. In fact, it is my first time having dinner here.”

“Maybe zat fascinating bartender can ‘elp us?” Fleur suggested.

“Yeah… maybe,” Bill said.

When Bill had finally regained all of his senses, he started to panic slightly. He really wanted to impress Fleur, and it didn’t look as if he was doing very good at it. He hadn’t been ready for Fleur’s powers. Even if she was just part-veela, that part of her was so strong.

Perhaps it is because she really likes you, you fool, Bill thought.

That could be true. But was it? Before Bill could give himself an answer, Tom returned.

“Here you go, miss,” Tom said, handing Fleur the bottle of butterbeer, “Now, what can I get you?”

“We really don’t know what to get,” Bill said, “Perhaps you can suggest us something?”

“Aha!” Tom said, “Yes! Might I suggest the special for tonight. Fish and chips with a nice salad on the side. Dessert comes free!”

“That sounds great,” Bill said, “Fleur?”

“Charmant!” Fleur said.

“Wonderful!” Tom said, “I will be back in a few minutes.”

He grabbed the menus from Bill and Fleur and walked away.

“I ‘ope eet eesn’t too fattening,” Fleur said, “I didn’t want to be too mean to ze nice man.”

“I bet it is great,” Bill said.

“You know,” Fleur said, “I wasn’t zat surprised when you asked me to come tonight.”

“Really?” Bill asked.

“No,” Fleur said, “Een fact, I was ‘oping you would ask me. You're one of ze reasons I came to London. Een fact, to tell you ze truth, working at Gringott’s wouldn’t be zat fun eef you weren’t zair.”

“What are you talking about?” Bill said, going red, “Gringott’s is wonderful!”

“Excuse moi?! You are not telling me zat you like ze goblins, are you?” Fleur said, “Zey are ze worst creatures I’ve ever laid me eyes on!”

Bill sensed that it wasn’t going too well. He had to lie.

“Oh, yeah,” Bill said, “No, I don’t like them. Nasty goblins. But it helps when bringing in the gold.”

“Yeah,” Fleur said, “But enough 'bout zem goblins. I want to talk about you. I want to theenk you for ‘elping me with my Eenglish.”

“Oh, it wasn’t that bad to begin with,” Bill lied.

“You are veery nice, Bill,” Fleur said, “You know. When I saw you wiz your muzzer at ‘Ogwarts, I knew you would be zis nice. The way you and your family supported ze Potter boy when ‘e ‘ad no support otherwise.”

Bill was then reminded what his father had asked him. His father wanted him to talk to Fleur and possibly get her into the Order of the Phoenix. But he had to do this cautiously.

“You believe Potter, then?” Bill asked, lowering his voice to a whisper, “You believe that You-Know-Who is back?”

“Excuse moi?” Fleur asked.

“Well you were there when Harry brought Diggory’s body back,” Bill said, “What do you think happened?”

“’Ow am I supposed to know?” Fleur asked, “Are you expecting me to zink Potter killed him? Beel, where is zis coming from? I didn’t expect anything like zis.”

“You-Know-Who is back,” Bill whispered, before he could stop himself, “And a few of my friends have formed a… a group to stop him. I was wondering if you would join.”

Fleur didn’t answer right away. She just stared at Bill with narrowed eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Bill said, “I shouldn’t have said anything. My father wanted me to ask.”

“I will do it,” Fleur said.

“You will?” Bill said.

“Let me be ‘onest wiz you, Bill,” Fleur said, “I really like you. I was ‘oping you would feel ze same way. And I want to see where zis goes. So I will join zis group of yours. Just do a couple things for me. Don’t tell many people I ‘ave joined. Not yet at least. And keep ze nasty goblins away from me. Please?”

“Of course,” Bill said, grinning.

“Wonderful!” Fleur said.

“So you do want another date?” Bill said.

“Anuzzer one?” Fleur asked, incredulously, “We ‘aven’t even started this one!”

“Oh… right,” Bill said, downheartened.

“Of course I will want anuzzer date,” Fleur said.

Bill smiled. Fleur stood up and swooped down on Bill again. This time she kissed him on the lips.

Bill’s face flushed. He was still red in the face when Tom brought their dinner over. The date wasn’t really romantic as Bill hoped it would be. But he wasn’t surprised. It was a first date… and you couldn’t really call a date in the Leaky Cauldron romantic.

Old August 12th, 2008, 12:22 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry #2

Veelas and Alleys

Fleur Delacour had a power over men. She knew it and they knew it. Her part Veela heritage combined with her French lineage made Fleur an enticing and exotic creature in dealing with members of the opposite sex. She’d taken the job at Gringott’s, nominally, for the express purpose of improving her English, but if she were to meet a man worthy of her skills as a witch, so much the better. Her functionally boring job at the goblin bank was nothing to write home about, neither were her male colleagues, to be honest. Oh, there’d been clumsy attempts to entice her, but they were, in a manner of speaking, cases of boys trying to lure a woman. Fleur was beginning to have second thoughts about coming to London until the day she met Bill.

William Arthur Weasley had been different. She saw that from the first day he walked through the massive bronze doors and into the lobby of the bank. He was slim and tall, with bright red hair that was long and pulled tight into a ponytail. He didn’t as much stride as prowl into the marble floored lobby, his eyes scanning from side to side, missing nothing. He had a long fang attached to a ring hanging from his left ear lobe and he wore a battered black leather jacket over faded concert shirt over black jeans and large black work boots. He seemed tanned, probably as she was to learn, from his assignment with the bank in Egypt where he’d been a top curse breaker. She’d been standing by the information desk when he walked in and her breath caught in her chest when his piercing gaze settled on her. Nearly overwhelmed by his magnetism, she fought desperately to engage her powers to learn more about this interesting man. When he spoke, he spoke with a calm confidence which set her pulse racing.

“I’m Bill Weasley. I’ve been assigned here from the Alexandria Branch. I’m looking for the Director’s office?” His voice was steady, robust and she struggled to reign in the excitement that she felt. As with anyone learning a second language, her control over the English language failed her in her momentary emotional surge.

“Um…vell…ze Director, ‘ees office is over zer.” She pointed up to a series of glass office doors located off a mezzanine nearby.

Bill looked up and nodded absently. “Thanks.” That was it. He turned and made for a nearby staircase and left her. There was no small talk, no awkward silence, nothing. It was as if he hadn’t even noticed her. The Veela in Fleur was screaming inside her head. No one, no man had ever simply dismissed her like that. She had charms, she was a gift to the male species, and yet, this one, powerful man had done something that had she’d never thought possible. He had better things to do than notice her. From that moment, Fleur Delacour was in love with Bill Weasley. He was the man for her, now if only she could convince him of that one simple fact.


It was almost four weeks before Bill even remembered her name. In that time, she’d learned a lot about him and the more she learned the more she knew he was the one for her. His outer appearance (which she absolutely loved, by the way) notwithstanding, Bill was an absolutely exceptional wizard. He’d achieved twelve outstandings on his OWLS. Fleur was no loser herself, having been the Beauxbaton champion for the Triwizard Tournament, but Bill elevated himself above the rest. She worked hard to isolate him, to get him to know her, the real her. Every time the opportunity presented itself, he would be distracted or seemed bored. Imagine! Men would give anything for her attention, but the one man she wanted to give it to seemed disinterested, but Fleur was persistent. She changed her work shift, she swapped assignments until finally, and she’d maneuvered things to where they were finally working together.

Things, however, had not changed. He still seemed distant and she began to despair of ever getting him to notice her. The ache in her heart was unbearable and she began to wallow in self pity. Should she throw herself at him? That would have been unbecoming, and well beneath her station, but she was becoming desperate. This man, this wonderful man had to notice her! Then, it happened.

“Good morning, Fleur.” Bill said, his voice light, its tone definitely masculine. She felt a surge of adrenaline in her chest as he smiled and looked into her eyes.

“Bon jour, Beel.” She said. His desk was set up to face hers and he plopped his briefcase down on the floor and sat down. She made a transparent attempt to continue working, but noticed that he was staring at her. She raised her head. “What?”

Bill seemed to jump in his seat, suddenly. “Nothing.”

She looked at him curiously. “Beel, what ees it?”

Bill looked down at his desk sheepishly and then looked up at her, as if summoning courage from the depths of his soul. “I was wondering, well…” He paused. Never one to be at a loss for words, Bill struggled to find the right thing to say. “Would you like to have lunch with me sometime?”

Dumbstruck is an awkward word and perfectly ideal for how Fleur felt. She stared at him, her eyes wide and then they narrowed. He had been leading her on all this time. She had a good mind to tell him what was what. No man ignored a Veela, especially her. She took a deep breath, ready to let him have it.

“’ow ‘bout today?” Inwardly, she pounded her head against an imaginary brick wall.

He laughed nervously and smiled at her. “That sounds wonderful. Would eleven thirty be all right?”

“Zat would be wonderful!” Her eyes twinkled and she watched him dive into the pile of paperwork in front of him. She watched him for a moment and then cast a quick glance, one of about a million she would do, over at wall clock as it ticked off the minutes until lunch.


They found a table at one of the numerous sidewalk cafes that dotted Diagon Alley. Their conversation was halting, confused as they tried to feel around the nervousness they both had. They ordered and concentrated on the food, unsure of how to proceed. He took the lead, asking about her, where she was from, what was she like.

It was more comfortable territory for Fleur. She knew how to talk about herself. He was an easy listener and despite her difficulty with the language, she found herself opening up rather easily. Just when she thought things progressing, she looked over and saw that his gaze was distracted, focused on something or someone further down the alley.

He looked at her and then rose from the table. “Listen, Fleur. I just remembered an errand I have to run.” He tossed some galleons on the table to care for the bill. “I’ll see you back at the office?” He didn’t wait for a reply and headed off at a furious clip down the alley.

She sat, stunned at his sudden departure. Anger and hurt tore at her and she rose from the table and turned to watch him go. He was acting strangely, keeping to the side of the alley, losing himself in the crowd, but moving steadily, with a purpose. Her hurt feelings disappeared in a wash of curiosity. She turned and followed behind him.

From his pattern, he was following someone. Up ahead, she saw the target of his pursuit. It was a tall man with a long beard wearing a shabby set of black and gray robes. Despite the man’s mundane appearance, he had a powerful frame and a menace about him that caused her to shudder. She concentrated on Bill’s back, following along as he wound his way through the crowd. She watched in anxiety as he made the turn down Knockturn Alley. Things had suddenly gotten serious. Bill had a harder time keeping out of sight, as there were fewer people to hide among in the seamier side of the shopping quarter. She watched as he came to a halt and ducked into a small alcove, hiding behind some crates and a dumpster. The man he’d been following was around the corner from Bill. He was talking to another man. This one was short and rotund, with a balding head and two protuberant teeth that gave him the look of a rat. Both men rolled up their sleeves and displayed the distinctive tattoos that were writhing on their forearms. Fleur took a step and hid behind a pile of discarded boxes. She reached for her wand instinctively. She knew the Dark Mark when she saw it.


“The Dark Lord has a mission for you.” The shorter of the two men hissed, his head moving from side to side as if he had some sort of nervous twitch. The taller of the two men sneered and thumped the smaller man with his fist.

“You better not be lying about the Dark Lord, Wormtail. How do I know you and Malfoy aren’t making all of this up?” The man leaned into Pettigrew’s face, his breath raspy as he stared the smaller man down.

“The Mark, Rowle, the Mark! Look at your Dark Mark and know the Dark Lord lives.” Pettigrew held his forearm up and displayed the sinuous, writhing mark on his arm. “You know it to be true.”

Thorfinn Rowle stood erect, his brutal face hidden behind his long blonde hair and beard. He was thinking of a response when he stopped suddenly and dropped his hands. With amazing agility for a man his size, he whirled behind him and tossed aside some crates. He grabbed Bill by the jacket lapel and held him against the brick wall.

“What do we have here? A spy, perhaps?” Caught by surprise, Bill grasped at the hands that had the lock on his jacket.

“I’m sorry; I appear to be a little lost.” Bill thought he sounded inane. He was pretty sure the thuggish Deatheater holding him at bay thought so, too. Bill knew he was in trouble.

“Beel!” A sonorous voice echoed across the drab walls of Knockturn Alley. Surprised, Rowle let go of Bill’s coat and turned to face the beautiful woman walking towards them.

“Zere you are!” Fleur walked up to Bill boldly. “Mon cher, you must have been so worried.” She grasped Bill by the neck and kissed him boldly on the lips. The kiss surprised him, and despite the circumstances, he returned it, delighted by the warmth and the passion in it. The parted and she looked up at Rowle with an apologetic stare, all the while she turned on all of her Veela charm.

“Je suis tellement stupide! I am sorry, I am new to zis country. I got, how do you say, turned around?” She wrapped a protective arm around Bill and faced him. “I am sure you ‘ave been looking for me all over!” She smiled a devastating smile at Rowle. There was no sign of Pettigrew. Apparently he’d fled at the first sign of a disturbance.

Rowle stood for a moment, confused. He mumbled something under his breath and then stared at the woman with the piercing blue eyes. Bill was quick to assume the role he’d been provided.

“That’s all right, darling. We’d better get going. The others will think we’ve run off together.” He smiled at her and put his arm around her waist.

“Now, what would be ze problem wees zat?” Despite the circumstance, Bill blushed and nodded over to Rowle.

“We’d better get going.” Hurriedly, he led her by the hand, back up Knockturn Alley and away from Thorfinn Rowle.


When they got to the main part of Diagon Alley, Bill dropped his arm and looked at Fleur. “Thanks for that. I need to be more careful.”

“Do you mind telling me what ees going on?” She asked firmly, her hands on her hips.

“I got a little lost, that was all.” Bill said, unconvincingly.

Fleur raised her hand to his cheek and left it there, the warmth sending a bolt of electricity down his spine. She smiled beautifully, but her eyes remained calm and serious. “Beel, I know ze Dark Mark when I zee eet. You followed ‘eem down zat alley.”

“I don’t want you to get involved.” Bill hesitated and looked down. “I like you too much to get you involved.”

Fleur giggled merrily. “Silly boy, I am involved already! Professor Dumbledore hosted ze Triwizard Tournament to get us ready for ze fight ahead. Eet ees true that I came to learn ze English, but Madame Maxine also wanted for me to find ze allies in ze fight ahead.” She laughed once more and then stopped short. “Wait. What ees zis you say? You like me?”

Caught, Bill decided to confess. “Of course I do. How could I not? You saved my life. Besides, I’d face a dozen Deatheaters to be kissed like that.”

It was Fleur’s turn to flush. She smiled wickedly and wrapped her arms around him and leaned in. Their lips met and they kissed again, with even more fire and meaning than before.

“I zink we can kiss weesout ze Deatheaters, mon cher.” She said when they finally parted. “Zis time, eet weel only cost you another date. A real date zis time.”

Bill laughed and draped his arm around her waist. He began leading her back towards Gringott’s. “I think I can manage that. How does tonight sound?”

Fleur looked up at him coquettishly, a grin burned on her face. “I don’t know. When we get back, I will check my calendar. I zink I can pencil you in. I want to know ze entire story of how you got into zis mess and I want to ‘ear about your family. I want to impress them.”

“Fleur, my dear,” Bill said, his swagger back in his walk, “my family is going to love you.”

Old August 14th, 2008, 12:16 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry #3

A Date To Remember

Fleur was working at Gringott’s to improve her English-speaking abilities, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy herself, too. It was difficult, however, when the only men she saw on a regular basis were either goblins, whose beady and suspicious eyes made her shudder, or wizards who stared at her with goggly eyes and a mouth that opened and closed silently like a fish out of water. She had been trying to suppress her Veela abilities, but it was so much work and still did little good around many of these men.

Then he walked in. Bill Weasley was reassigned from a branch in Egypt and returned here with many cursed items in special cases that he could work on in specially controlled environments under tightest security as he got time.

While Bill looked at her appreciatively, he didn’t seem to be tongue-tied or under a spell around her. He was the only one who could hold a decent conversation with her. She was quickly assigned to be his assistant, since the goblins immediately noticed that he was the only one she could work with where there actually would be some work accomplished. Other women didn’t like her and virtually refused to work with her, while the men clambered for the opportunity, but then stood and watched her much more than they worked. Bill accepted her, worked with her, taught her how to carefully check for curses and actually spoke with her and helped her to improve her English.

She learned that he was able to resist her Veela charms because many of the objects he dealt with had curses on them that enticed anyone who approached to touch the object, thereby killing them quickly. He had learned how to ignore such temptation and did so very easily now. While her Veela qualities weren’t curses, they worked on similar principles as many of the enticements.

The pair spoke of many things they had seen around the world and anything they could think of to pass the time as they worked on inventorying the objects he had brought, as well as others being sent here for him, and the curses on each. He generally made her stay away as he tried to break the curses and wouldn’t let her touch them, of course. Sometimes, he even made her leave the room as he magically examined some of the more virulently cursed objects.

After a month of working closely together, Bill asked Fleur if she would like to try out this new little Greek restaurant that had just opened in Diagon Alley.

“That sounds wonderful, Beel! I enjoy ze Greek food very much! Eet eez not so fattening as your Eeeenglish foods!”

Bill smiled at the thought that she had to worry about that. After work, he offered her his arm and they walked from Gringotts, down the Alley to the new restaurant. They had just gotten seated and ordered their drinks when a goblin appeared beside the table, as distraught as any Bill had ever seen.

“You must come back to the bank! At once!!”

“What is it?” Bill asked, tossing some coins on the table for their drinks as he stood.

“Gronk tried to finish the inventory of the new items that came in and one has a very bad curse on it. It has already killed three goblins and severely injured seven more. You must come quickly and contain it before anyone else is cursed.”

Bill nodded and seemed to remember Fleur only when she touched his arm. “I’m sorry about our date. Rain check?”

She looked confused. “I do not understand ziz, what, rain check?”

Bill shook his head. “I’ll explain later. I have to go. I’ll see you at the bank in the morning.”

“Non! I am your assistant. I will assist!”

“Fleur, this sounds like a really bad one. I don’t want you to risk it. I’ll handle it.” He was starting to walk toward the bank, as the goblin who’d summoned him was tugging at his arm. He watched helplessly as Fleur followed quickly behind.

“I am your assistant. I will assist you,” she staunchly repeated.

Bill didn’t have time to argue. He turned and hurried toward the bank, through the main lobby and toward the high security vault where all new deliveries were put prior to inventory. They had gotten in a new shipment from a new tomb that day, but Bill and Fleur had only gotten through about three quarters of it before time to knock off. Normally, Bill would have stayed to complete the inventory, but he had decided he would not make Fleur wait, and they had left to go on their date. Gronk, a surly goblin, had not liked that decision and had obviously chosen to try to show Bill up by completing his work for him. And the unfortunate creature had paid for his arrogance with his life and those of several others.

As they neared the vault, Bill could see injured goblins lying outside it and two goblins trying to stop a third from entering the vault. “It has a strong enticement curse. One strong enough to even make goblins rush to their dooms,” the one who had summoned them pointed out unnecessarily.

Bill took out his wand and used a shield spell to keep all the goblins away, but Fleur was too close to exclude with the spell, so he told her, “Stay here.”

She shook her head. “I should come wiz you…in case you need me.”

Realizing that her half-Veela heritage might help her resist this as it had others, he nodded once and hurried forward.

As soon as he entered the vault, he saw the square, richly engraved case in the middle of the bodies of more than the three goblins Darkhand had mentioned. Others were trying vainly to rouse themselves and pull their already battered bodies toward the case.

Bill quickly waved his wand to levitate the closest, moving goblin toward and through the door until he was outside the shield and unable to return. As he turned back for the next, he saw Fleur had taken out her wand and was doing the same for the next goblin. Working together, they had the room cleared of live goblins, then dead bodies in short order.

Bill carefully approached the chest and saw a wisp rise above it, taking the shape of Fleur, but it was certainly not Fleur. This image was overtly sexy and enticing, where the real Fleur was more elegant and alluring. This image was wearing a red, spaghetti strap dress that ended high on her thighs and had one strap falling down, threatening with every movement to uncover more of her perfectly-formed body.

“Beel, come here, mon cher. I weell give you a night you weell nev-air forget.” Her movements were slow and entrancing, but Bill was able to ignore them and began to move his wand and mutter incantations that would reveal the exact type of curse that was generating the image so he could counter it.

As it saw Bill ignoring it, the specter became angry and the face showed the other side of a Veela. It became angry, the face transforming into a bird, the back sprouting scaly wings. The words changed to angry threats and taunts. “You think I would ever like you!?! You are disgusting! You’re not even a good wizard. I prefer the goblins to you. They are strong with strong magic. You are weak and pathetic. You’re not even a real man.” When it had run out of insults to hurl at Bill, it began on his family and friends.

Bill steadily ignored the words and worked his magic on the cursed object until suddenly, the image deflated like a balloon with the air quickly released. Before coming closer, however, Bill cast two more spells to bind the spirit within the small casket and shield anyone entering the room from the remaining effects of the curse.

He turned to see Fleur looking at him curiously. “It should be safe now. We’ll deal with it more tomorrow.”

Fleur nodded and followed Bill out of the vault. They tried to help the injured goblins, but they were too proud to allow a witch and a wizard to help them any further, since the injuries were their own fault to begin with.

As the couple walked out of the bank, Bill looked at Fleur. “Well, we still need to eat. Feel like going back to the restaurant?”

Fleur smiled slightly and nodded, then took Bill’s arm as they strolled down to the restaurant.

As they seated themselves and ordered new drinks, Fleur spoke up. “Why did zat curse zat attack you look like me? Well, it was a very unflattering and fatter version, so I am sure it could not have been a very good curse, but why did it try to look like me?”

Bill was too adept at hiding his feelings to react to her accusation as she expected, but he couldn’t stop a bit of heat from creeping up his neck. “Well, probably because you were there.”

Fleur shook her head. “Non! It could have done a better job of imitating me if it had paid attention to ze fact zat I was zere. I do not look like zat! Where did it get zat image of me?”

Bill was suddenly regretting teaching her about the curses. “Well, um,” for the first time, Bill seemed as tongue-tied as the rest of the males around Fleur.

“’Ave you been imagining me in zat way, Beel?”

Bill pulled at his shirt collar, that suddenly seemed far too tight. “Well, not exactly that, well, I mean, of course I was thinking of you, Fleur. We had been having a nice date and you were there and…you know that curses don’t use the truth. They take grains of truth and…use it, twist it. You can’t believe I think those things about my family and Harry!”

Fleur considered, then shook her head. “No, I suppose not. I will believe you do not see me as zat fat and ugly.”

Bill chuckled and hid his head behind the menu. Fat and ugly? Only Fleur could see that beautiful creature and say it was fat and ugly.

They gave their orders and made small talk as they waited for their food, then ate with gusto. At least, Bill did. He had worked up quite an appetite dealing with the curse. Fleur daintily picked at her food, though she declared it to be quite delicious.

When they had finished and Fleur refused dessert, forcing Bill to do the same out of politeness, they stood and decided to take a stroll up and down the Alley to walk off the “heavy meal” as Fleur called it.

All her talk of food made Bill ask, “So, Fleur, do you cook?”

She nodded. “But of course. It is a requirement zat all well-bred ladies know ’ow to cook. I will make some man a very good wife one day…when I am ready. I can take care of ze ’ouse, ze baby, and ze man quite well.”

“Do you intend to keep working?”

She shook her head vigorously. “A wife is to stay at ’ome and take care of her man and zeir children. I work now to improve my English and because I ’ave nozzing else to do, but I will stop and stay ’ome as soon as I marry. My mozzer would be scandalized by a daughter who worked outside ze ’ome. She does not like it zat I work now, but accepts it.” She almost added, “Wait until you meet ’er and you will understand.” Just in time, she realized she shouldn’t play her hand just yet. It was only their first date. It was too soon for him to accept that they would one day marry. Men were so maddeningly slow that way! But she was a lady and she would be patient until he accepted the inevitable and proposed to her.

But she couldn’t hold back, “I weel show you tomorrow night ’ow well I cook. You come to my flat and I weel cook as you have never tasted before,” she promised.

That enticement was almost stronger than the curse Bill had resisted earlier and he had an inkling that he just might be in trouble stronger than any curse ever he’d run across…and just maybe, one he had no wish to break!

Old August 14th, 2008, 3:28 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry #4

Bill Weasley was fairly new to the London branch of Gringott's having spent the last few years working for them in Egypt. He hadn’t really made any friends here what with most of his coworkers being goblins. Goblins, it was widely known, didn’t really like to associate with humans.

Sitting at his desk in his office, Bill stretched putting down his quill. Glancing at his watch and listening to his stomach he came to the conclusion it was time for lunch. He sighed not wanting to eat alone, but he still didn’t know anyone well enough to invite them along.

“Monsieur Weasley,” a sweet, calming female voice called out as he headed from his office to the front door. “You are ze Weasley boy ‘oo supported ‘Arry in ze Triwizard Tournament, no?”

Turning around he spotted her, blonde hair flowing, glowing with the most beautiful aura. He never thought he’d see her again. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. He also could not speak.

“You look familiar, but maybe you are not ‘im.”

“I—“ he croaked.

Why did he have to make a fool of himself in front of her?

“I remember ze earring,” she added, walking up to him.

“Yes,” he managed. He swallowed and stuck out his right hand. “Bill Weasley.”

“Fleur Delacour.” She accepted the shake.

Looking into her icy blue eyes he blurted, “Come to lunch with me.”

“Oui,” she replied with a smile.

The two walked from the bank to the pub of Diagon Alley, the Leaky Cauldron, talking the entire way. Bill learned Fleur was with the London branch of Gringott’s to help with her English and because she became interested in the country during her trip to Hogwarts the previous year.

“But,” she added,” France is still better.”

Arriving in the pub they chose a small, round table in the back. It was not very crowded so Tom the barman was able to quickly take their order and bring them their food.

“What brings you ‘ere from Egypt, zat where you say you worked?” Fleur asked, picking at her chicken.

Bill took a swallow of butterbeer. Could he tell her the truth? Could he tell her about the Order of the Phoenix? He didn’t know for sure what side she was on, though he did not think someone as beautiful as her would side with Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

“With You-Know-Who resurfacing I thought it best to be near my family.”

“So, you believe ‘Arry?”

“I have no choice. He’s not wrong.”

Bill looked at Fleur, trying to read the expression on her face.

“No, I sink not,” she replied making Bill feel better. “Is your family in danger?”

They are members of the Order of the Phoenix, he wanted to reply.

“I imagine being friends wiss ‘Arry does not make you friends wiss, as you call ‘im, You-Know-‘Oo,” she replied to her own question.

Bill smiled. She was so charming.

“Whas’s wiss ze odd expression?”

Bill shook his head. He hadn’t realized he was in a daze watching her talk.

They turned to their food, eating more and talking less. Soon, they were finished and on their way back to the bank.

“I ‘ad a nice time, Bill,” Fleur said as they walked inside the building.

“Me, too,” Bill replied.

He would have had a better time if it lasted longer. He realized he didn’t want to leave Fleur.

“Are you available tomorrow evening?” she asked.

“Yes,” Bill replied without thinking, before he remembered he had a meeting with the Order. “Would you like to be a part of You-Know-Who’s opposition?” He asked before Fleur could finish with her initiation.

“Fight You-Know-‘Oo?” she looked alarmed.

“Indirectly. You are a Triwizard Champion.”

“You are a member of ze opposition?”


“Zen I’ll do it!”

Bill smiled. Working at Gringott’s was turning out pretty great.

Old August 15th, 2008, 3:22 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry #5

Victoire looked up from the butterbeer as Teddy entered the ‘Three Broomsticks’. She gave him a brief smile before returning her attention back to the glass in her hand. Teddy returned her smile before sitting down beside her and waited for Victoire to speak. Teddy could read Victoire like a book and knew that something was bothering her. A normally bubbly and full-of-life girl looked listless and anxious, an emotions that rarely found it’s way between them.

Then she confessed what she had long been pondering.

“Deep down, Teddy, I don’t like men.”

Teddy guessed that Victoire’s last date hadn’t gone as per planned and the somewhat sudden outburst was a result of it. She had been going out with Mark Randers of Ravenclaw for the past six months and Teddy had sensed uneasiness on Victoire’s part before the date this morning.

“You know that’s not true,” Teddy responded.

“I mean in the sense of trust, Teddy,” she elaborated. “I have never really trusted any man.”

“But you trust me.”

“That’s different,” Victoire responded quickly.

Both of them were silent for a moment.

And then Teddy whispered, ”Why?”

“Why what?” asked Victoire, trying to buy some time.

“Why am I different from other men?”

She could not reply. She had never really thought about it.

No, ofcourse she had!

Finally, Victoire said,” I don’t know, Teddy. I mean, for as far back as I can remember, you’ve always been the most important person in my life.”

“You didn’t answer my question, Victoire. Why am I different from other men?”

She shrugged, ”I guess because we’ve always been …such good friends.”

Teddy looked at Victoire and asked softly ,”And that precludes everything?”

Victoire was once again silent, so Teddy went on.

“Can you honestly say that you’ve never thought of us as…a real couple? I confess that I have. I mean, I’ve always chased those fantasies away because I didn’t want to lose the special thing we have…”

Victoire smiled self-consciously but found courage to prod on,”Ofcourse I’ve had those thoughts. I have spent all my six years at Hogwarts explaining to the rest of them that we were just friends and…you know not lovers.”

“That makes two of us. But Vicky, I can’t do that anymore.”


He answered with another question. “Which one of us is the more afraid, Vicky?”

Victoire thought for a moment and replied softly,”Me. I always thought that you knew me too well-all my secret faults to like me that way.”

“But I do like you that way, Vicky,”Teddy enthused. “I love you in every way.”

Victoire lowered her head and even though Teddy couldn’t see her face he knew that she was crying.

“Miss Victoire Weasley. Tell the truth. Have I lost my best mate?”

Victoire looked up at Teddy and the tears in her eyes couldn’t hide the smile on her face.

“I hope so,” replied Victoire softly. “Because I’ve always wished that you would love me in more than a platonic way, the way I love you.”

“Well, Miss Weasley,” said Teddy, his eyes glinting, as it always did when he was in a jovial mood,” I have inside information that there is going to be a Hogsmeade trip next week. What do you think about meeting up again for our first date then?”

“Our second date.”


“Well, we still have time to complete our first one right now,” Victoire replied in a mischievous tone. Teddy, who had never seen this side of Victoire, was more than happy to oblige. And the rest as they say is History. They might have lived happily ever after but I don’t know that yet and I believe in precise journalism even when I am writing a gossip column.

-Rita Skeeter (Yes, I’ve changed!)

Last edited by hermy_weasley2; August 16th, 2008 at 12:27 am.
Old August 16th, 2008, 12:14 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry #6


Jerrell Hepperly had worked at The Enchanted Swan for many years. He had started out, as many did, bussing tables and, occasionally, mixing drinks. Those days were long behind him now. As Maitre'd, he was in charge of the busboys and servers and it was his responsibility to make sure everything ran smoothly. People came to The Enchanted Swan to relax and enjoy a nice meal. Young lovers with eyes only for each other, older couples looking on with fond reminiscence, they all came to The Enchanted Swan because of its reputation for good service, excellent food, and charming atmosphere.

It was turning out to be a fine evening. All the tables had been reserved and everything was running like clockwork, Jerrell would accept nothing less. A reservation made for eight o'clock would be seated at eight o'clock. He made his rounds, ensuring that their customers were satisfied and then returned to his station to await the next reservation. After carefully checking his books, he realized that the Weasley party of two was five minutes late. Dutifully, he crossed their names from the list. It was standard policy that any late arrivals would lose their spot. The schedule must be maintained after all.

A few minutes later, he turned to great the next customer with a smile. A young red haired gentleman had just entered, looking slightly uncomfortable and a bit embarrassed.

"Weasley," the young man said. "I have a reservation."

Jerrell's smile never faltered. "I'm so sorry, Mr. Weasley, but your reservation was for seven o'clock. It is now," he checked his watch, "a quarter past. Our policy clearly states that --"

"Isn't there any way you could make an exception?" The young man said, disappointment etched in every feature. "I had a lot of trouble finding the place and --"

"I'm sorry, Mr. Weasley, but our policies cannot be taken lightly. Our customers have come to expect --"

"Bill! I am so sorry for being late! Oh, but zis is lovely! Tres charmant."

A young woman had entered behind the man, a woman of such breathtaking beauty that the room seemed to have become strangely airless. She was tall and willowy with long blonde hair and appeared to emanate a faint, silvery glow. Jerrell's mind had gone completely and blissfully blank. All that mattered in the world was that he made sure this enchanting young woman was happy, because if she stopped smiling, terrible things would happen.

"Ees our table ready?" The young woman entwined her arm through Mr. Weasley's arm and Jerrell realized this was his date.

"I'm sorry, Fleur," the young man began, "but there's a problem with --"

"No!" Jerrell spoke breathlessly as the young woman's smile began to falter. "There's no problem at all, Mr. Weasley! Your table is indeed ready. Just ... just follow me."

The young man looked bemused, but followed Jerrell as he led them to the best table in the house. The Smythes had reserved it for their fiftieth anniversary, but they would understand. This charming young woman deserved nothing but the best table in the house.

"Merci beaucoup," she said, beaming at him as he pulled out her chair.

Jerrell felt his heart racing slightly and rushed over to the server to make sure that he gave the young woman good service. Such a goddess could not suffer disappointment. The boy's face had gone oddly slack, but Jerrell was pleased to note that he seemed determine to please the young woman.

Her breathtaking beauty had certainly caused a stir. Jerrell couldn't remember every feeling so happy. The customers were all whispering among each other. Jerrell was sure they had noticed how the beautiful young woman had graced him with her radiant smile. He frowned as he realized that the busboys were taking too long to clean tables. They were surely disturbing the young woman with their inappropriate behavior. He rushed over to intervene.

"I only work here part time," young Justin was saying as he reached the table. "I play Quidditch for Puddlemere United. Best player they have!"

"No, you're not," scoffed Devon as Justin dropped several glasses from his tray. "You didn't make it through the tryouts. I'm an Auror!" He dropped his voice conspiratorially. "I'm only working here undercover. There's a lot of Dark Wizards roaming about these days."

"Boys, boys," Jerrell nudged them gently back towards the kitchen. "You've taken up enough of this young lady's time. Back to work now."

"Zey are very sweet," said the beautiful young woman, smiling at him again. Jerrell felt his face warm pleasantly and knew he must impress her. But what could he say? What else could he do?

"Very sweet, yes," he said absently, "I only employ the best in my establishment."

"I thought this place was owned by Marcellus Barrowman?"

Jerrell had almost forgotten the young man dining with this beautiful goddess. A flush of embarrassment tinged his cheeks. Mr. Barrowman would not approve of him saying such things.

"Excuse me, but I believe this table was supposed to be reserved for us?"

Jerrell turned with a start. "Oh, Mr. Smythe! How lovely to see you. Have you met this charming young woman?"

"Fleur Delacour," she said, extending her hand gracefully.

"Charmed, my dear!" Mr. Smythe smile vacantly as he brushed his lips over the top of her hand. "Are you having a pleasant evening?"

"Charles!" Mrs. Smythe appeared suddenly from behind her husband. "What are you doing? Why have they given our table away to these young people? It's our anniversary!"

"Oh, it's fine, dear," said Mr. Smythe, not taking his eyes off of the lovely Fleur. "This young woman deserves the best, you know. I quite often do business with Gladrags young lady. Have you ever considered modeling?"

"Charles!" Mrs. Smythe raised her voice indignantly as she turned to Jerrell. "I insist that you remove these people from our table. We reserved this table specifically for our anniversary."

"Oh, don't be silly, Edna," said Charles. "There's a perfectly lovely table over there. We'll take that one. Here's my card, Ms. Delacour. Contact me if you ever consider modeling." He led his contrite wife over to another table, constantly looking over his shoulder and smiling at Fleur.

The busboys had returned, devoting all their attention to Fleur once again. They bickered over who should wipe the table when they accidentally knocked over her water glass and Devon stumbled into the table behind him when Justin elbowed him in the ribs.

"Well, I never!" The elderly woman at the table leapt up and grabbed her purse. "Mr. Hepperly, I cannot believe you are allowing such disgraceful behavior!"

"Oh, calm down Agnes," her husband said, his vacant eyes on Fleur. "No harm done. Are you all right, my dear? I'm a healer at St. Mungo's. If you ever need --"

"Robert!" Agnes swelled up indignantly. "We're leaving! Now!"

Jerrell smiled and waved vaguely at the retreating Agnes as she dragged poor Robert to the door, flicking her wand at the cashier to leave the money for their meal.

"It's our anniversary!" Mrs. Smythe was shrieking in rage. "I cannot believe you're behaving this way! I want to go home!"

"I saw her first!"

"No, you didn't! And she smiled at me!"

"I'm a vampire hunter!"

"Edward, if you look in that girl's direction one more time!"

"I own a private island, completely surrounded by protective enchantments! We could have the utmost privacy there."

Jerrell was sure there had never been such an exciting evening at The Enchanted Swan. Justin and Devon were now brawling in the corner, surrounded by broken dishes. Mrs. Smythe was striding toward the door, red in the face. Tables had been overturned and several customers were following Mrs. Smythe, some dragging their grinning husbands and boyfriends behind them. Ms. Delacour had the most attractive pink tinge to her cheeks. Jerrel sighed happily and sat down at the vacated table next to hers so he could admire her.

"Does this happen a lot?" Bill Weasley looked around at all the chaos with amusement.

"Not all ze time, no," said Fleur, looking around her in embarrassment. "Sometimes ... when I am very 'appy, eet is more difficult for me to control. I should 'ave told you that --"

"I already knew that you were part veela," Bill said with a wink. "My brother Ron mentioned it," he added when Fleur looked up at him in surprise.

"And does zat not worry you?"

"Well, I'm thinking we should probably be more careful where we go to eat from now on," Bill said grinning as another table went soaring through the air. "But, other than that, no."

Fleur smiled widely and Jerrel sighed in content. As long as this lovely goddess was happy, everything was right in the world.

"Would you like to get out of here?"

"Oui," said Fleur gratefully. "I theenk I 'ave caused enough trouble 'ere."


"Don't leave!"

"You can't go!"

"Sorry boys," said Bill grinning widely as he helped Fleur with her cloak. "This young lady is taken."

As the beautiful young woman exited the restaurant, Jerrel smiled vacantly after her. Such a lovely girl. That young man was certainly lucky. He sighed again as the door shut and then looked around the restaurant. Justin and Devon had resumed their fight, each now blaming the other for the beautiful young lady leaving. Jacob was standing in the middle of the room staring absently at the door while the steak wobbled uncertainly from his lopsided tray and hit the floor. Jerrell watched the young couple walk by the window and sighed again. Such a lovely girl.

Last edited by hermy_weasley2; August 16th, 2008 at 12:27 am.
Old August 22nd, 2008, 3:29 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

FAD IV Week 3

Entry 1

So lost in thought, Lucien Porter nearly walked past the seemingly abandoned red brick department store and caught himself just in time. The muggles walked past the dummy in the outdated fashions and saw the sign that said “Closed for Refurbishment” and walked on. Not Lucien, this was precisely the place he was looking for. He walked up to the dummy and whispered in its ear.

“I’d like to come in please.” Beyond the mannequin, a large plate-glass window seemed to shimmer and Lucien took a deep breath and walked through the glass. He found himself in a large reception area filled with rickety old wooden chairs. All around, wizards and witches with various magical maladies sat waiting patiently. In the center of the room, there was a round reception desk with a plump blonde witch seated behind the counter. She stared at Lucien with a disapproving eye and he took a deep gulp of air and nodded to her, smiling nervously.

“What do you want? You don’t seem to have anything wrong with you.” Her voice had the bark of a drill sergeant and her face was twisted into a permanent scowl. Lucien tried to chuckle, but the sound came out in a gurgle.

“My name is Lucien Porter. I’m here for my internship.” She studied him for what seemed like an hour, and then she pulled out her rolodex, flipping through the cards. Finally pulling one out, she pointed a pencil, its end pockmarked with toothmarks and dents.

“Take the lift to the fourth floor. Ask for Healer Pye.” Before she could change her mind and throw him out, Lucien practically ran to the lift door and pressed the button for the fourth floor.

Lucien exhaled in a large sigh and stared absently at the lift lights as he passed from one floor to another. He’d known he’d always wanted to be a healer. Lucien had just completed his sixth year at Hogwarts and had managed to score nine outstandings in the O.W.L.’s he needed in the courses that Professor McGonagall recommended for a career as a healer. Healer was not a popular choice among the Hogwarts student body, and when a student professed an interest, like Lucien, everything was done to foster the desire. Lucien spent the last half of his sixth year serving as an assistant to Madame Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall herself had arranged this summer internship for him at the Wizarding hospital.

The lift stopped at the fourth floor, and Lucien was immediately struck by the profound silence that marked the antiseptic white walls of the fourth level. A modest, hand-painted sign was affixed to the wall, letting visitors know that this was the place that handled spell damage. He walked to the desk that sat at the confluence of the two corridors. A motherly-looking healer sat perusing a chart. She looked up and smiled sweetly.

“My name is Lucien Porter. I’m supposed to start my internship here. I’m looking for Healer Pye.” The woman let out a small squeal of delight and she rose up.

“My dear, welcome. We’re always glad to have someone who’s interested in Healing work with us. Healer Pye is in his office, which is in the long-term resident’s wing.” She grasped his hand and pulled him along and never really stopped talking. “You’ll like Healer Pye, he likes complimentary medicine. He likes trying muggle techniques with his magic, in order to get the best out of the therapy.”

Lucien smiled politely and felt a building tension and nervousness in his chest. He was a large boy, well over six foot three with broad shoulders and a firm chin. He’d been thoroughly surprised to be sorted into Hufflepuff, but discovered a natural empathy for the people around him and was generally a pleasant person to be around. He followed the doting old woman closely until she stopped in front of a door with the name “Augustus Pye” on its front. She tapped on the door and pushed it open.

Augustus Pye was thin with a pair of wire-rimmed glasses perched on his nose and a balding head. His nose was buried in the pages of a thick red-covered book. He smiled when he looked up.

“Healer Pye, this is Mr. Porter. He’s your new intern for the next few weeks. He’s from Hogwarts.” The woman extended her hand, ushering Lucien in. She bowed slightly and left, leaving Lucien with the Healer.

“Well, well, Mr. Porter, is it?”

“Yes sir.”

“That won’t do. What’s your first name?” Pye smiled gently.

“Lucien, sir.”

“Ah, Lucien, do you know what this is?” Pye pointed to the large book he’d been reading. When Lucien shook his head, Pye didn’t seem too displeased. “It’s called a ‘Physician’s Desk Reference’, it’s the primary resource the muggle doctors use in their practices. We have so many advantages over them, the muggles, yet it astounds me how advanced they are, especially when considering injuries to the brain.”

“The brain, sir?” Despite his initial misgivings, Lucien was fascinated.

“Of course, my boy. That’s what we treat here, the long term injuries to the brain caused by magic..” Pye rose and stood by a large window that looked out into the main ward. Various patients were moving around, circumspect in their own worlds, oblivious to anything going on around them. Lucien’s eyes were drawn to a frail couple that sat by the far window. The woman had a round face and gray wispy hair, while the man had a blank, drawn look on his face. They sat together, but seemed distant, apart, as if they were strangers. Pye sighed deeply and turned to face Lucien.

“These are the victims, Lucien. Most have been here for years.” Pye clasped his hands together. “I always think that I’m missing something in their treatment, but for now, we can make them and their families comfortable. That’s what you’ll be doing.” Pye walked back to the desk. “Let’s get started, shall we?”


Over the next few weeks, Lucien settled into a routine. He’d been provided a striped cloak, alternating white and lime green, similar to the solid lime green robes of the healers. He spent most of his time in the long-term care ward, feeding and helping its inhabitants with their daily needs. The staff helped him with their stories and the more he heard, the more he wanted to help. He felt for all of them and did his level best to make their lives better.

Today he walked in and waved a hand to the first bed. “Aha, begone knave.”

“Good morning, Gilderoy.”

Gilderoy Lockhart bowed with a flourish. “I could not fool you, of course.”

“Your disguise worked, Gilderoy. You’ll be safe from your hordes of fans.” Lucien kept up the pretense and Lockhart was noticeably pleased.

Lucien maintained his pace and walked his appointed rounds. He left some magazines and tidied up the bed linens on the various beds. Finally, he came to the window, stopping next to the couple by the window. Frank and Alice Longbottom had become near and dear to Lucien’s heart. Their story was both tragic and heroic, all the more so since Neville Longbottom was one of Lucien’s favorite professors at Hogwarts. Lucien moved with tenderness as he tended to their needs. He rapidly made the beds and changed out the flowers in the nearby vase. There was a slight rustle and the pillow behind Alice’s head fell to the floor. Lucien moved quickly and picked the pillow from the floor and fluffed it and replaced it behind her head.

“There you go, Alice.” Lucien said softly.

He turned to see if Frank needed anything when he was halted in his tracks. “Thank you so much, young man. That was very kind of you.”

Lucien turned abruptly and stared at Alice. She was looking at him. Her eyes were different. There was awareness in them.

“I’m sorry, did you say something, Alice?” Lucien stumbled on the words. The woman in the felt pajamas smiled sweetly.

“Of course I did.” She looked around. “Where am I?”

“St. Mungo’s Hospital.” Lucien glanced around quickly and raised a hand at one of the matrons at the other end of the ward. “Do you know who you are?”

Alice gave him a condescending look. “Of course I do. I’m Alice Longbottom, do I look daft?”

“Now Alice, be kind to the boy. We’ve obviously been hurt, somehow.” Frank Longbottom’s voice rang though the ward. Lucien fell to the floor, astonished. He turned and saw Frank staring at Alice lovingly. “You all right, Alice?”

“I think so, Frank. Everything feels so fuzzy, though. The last thing I remember…it’s horrid…the pain.” Her voice dropped low, the memory of Barty Crouch, Jr. and Bellatrix Lestrange holding her and husband coursing through her brain.

“I’m the same, honey, but we seemed to have come through it.” Frank rose from his seat, the years of disuse made the effort difficult. He walked to his wife and held her tight. Then he turned and stared at Lucien. “So, what’s happened to us? Has the Dark Lord been defeated?”

“What’s going on here, Lucien?” Healer Pye had walked up. Lucien rose to his feet and nodded to the Longbottoms.

“They just started talking, sir. It’s a miracle.” Pye pursed his lips together.

“Maybe not. Listen, I have to see if I can get a hold of Augusta Longbottom.” Pye turned to leave, but Lucien grasped at his sleeve.

“What do you want me to do, sir?” Lucien walked closer to the Healer. “Are they cured?”

Pye shook his head slightly and dropped his voice. “No, I don’t think so. The muggle psychiatrists call it sanctuary psychosis, I think. It’s a temporary condition. It speaks to the fact that who they are is still intact. I’m going to find Neville and Augusta. Even a small time is a gift, we should give that to them. Talk to them, Lucien. Answer all their questions, let them know what happened. Give them peace. I’ll be back.”


The minutes on the clock ticked by as Lucien answered their questions in a rapid fire manner. Yes, the Dark Lord had been defeated. Dumbledore was dead, as were Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Their son, Neville, had been sorted into Gryffindor and had played a key part in the Dark Lord’s defeat and now he was a renowned teacher at Hogwarts.

“Oh Frank, I want to see him. Our Neville is a hero!” Alice practically gushed with excitement. Frank nodded and then looked over at Lucien, obviously noticing the pain in his face.

“Can we do that? Can we see Neville? Are we better?” Frank’s face was one of nervous of anxiety and hope. Tell them the truth, that’s what Healer Pye said. Lucien smiled sadly.

“I don’t know. Healer Pye went to get your mother and Professor Longbottom. He seems to think that this is temporary.” Lucien sat uncomfortably as the Longbottoms clung to each other.

Alice’s face fell. “Frank, our poor boy, what are we going to do? What if we’re too late?”

“I have a thought about that.” Frank said, his face set with hardened resolve. He looked over at Lucien. “We’ll need some help from you, though.” Lucien nodded and stood tall.


As quickly as their senses had returned, the Longbottoms returned to their tortured state of madness. The remembered pain of their exposure to the extended Cruciatius Curse was far too much for their collective psyches to endure. Much later, when he had the time to thoroughly review their cases, Healer Pye would find that he’d been right, it had been a “sanctuary psyhosis”, a momentary eddy of calmness in the windswept storm of emotional torment.

Augusta Longbottom and her grandson rushed into the long term care ward. Neville was a bit more disheveled while his grandmother, despite her heightened sense of urgency, maintained a placid demeanor, her dark green robes hardly out of place, the vulture-like top of her cap maintaining its perfect alignment. The pair walked stridently to the small alcove where the Longbottoms sat. Neville peered anxiously at his parents, approaching them carefully. His father was staring out the window. Frank turned and saw Neville, but lacked any real recognition of his son. Neville’s shoulders dropped noticeably and then he turned to his mother.

Unlike Frank’s blank expression, there was a light of recognition in Alice’s eyes for her son. Still, her expression lacked something. She saw Neville and she smiled at him, but she couldn’t quite place how she knew him. Her smile was warm and she reached a hand out to his, grasping it firmly.

“Such a nice boy!” She said. Neville choked back his tears. He’d been too late. He felt something in his hand, the one his mother had held. Inside, he saw a brightly colored piece of paper, the remnants of a bubblegum wrapper. Neville smiled at his mother and turned to face his grandmother.

“We’re too late, gran.” Neville said dejectedly and Augusta pursed her lips together and nodded soberly.

Augusta looked over at Healer Pye. The caregiver shook his head. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Longbottom, we simply have no way to know how long these episodes can last. This one lasted scarcely fifteen minutes, I’m afraid.”

Neville nodded. “I should have gotten here sooner.” The disappointment practically dripped from his voice. “I was hoping to talk to them, to hear how their voices, to see what they thought about how things turned out.”

“Maybe you can.” Lucien had been sitting in the corner, out of the way. Their faces turned towards him. “I’m Lucien Porter, Professor Longbottom.”

“Oh yes, Hufflepuff, right?” Lucien nodded. Neville looked at him, a question on his face. “So what do you mean?”

Lucien swallowed back his nervousness. “I got to speak to them. They were worried that you wouldn’t get her e in time. So, they left you this.” Lucien pulled out a piece of parchment rolled up into a tight scroll. The top of the scroll had a dainty, woman’s scrawl on top of it. Neville could make out the words easily. It said, simply, “Our Dearest Neville.”

Lucien reached his arm out towards Neville, the parchment shaking in his hand. “They wanted to leave you something, Professor. They wanted you to know how they felt, how proud of you they were.” Lucien passed the scroll over to Neville who gripped it lightly, as if afraid it would break in his hand.

Neville nodded gratefully and held onto the parchment like it was a treasure, which it was, when he thought about it. He’d been granted a gift, a chance to hear from his parents. Healer Pye wasn’t sure if they’d ever return to their full sanity. In fact, it was more than likely they’d never come back, but in his hand, he had their last words, the reflection of their love for him. Neville carefully unwrapped the scroll and cast his gaze down at it, his eyes wide with anticipation. The words seemed to leap out at him and he barely remembered to breathe.

“Dearest Neville, we’re so proud of you, but most of all, we love you! Thank you for being so brave and strong…”

As Neville read the letter, Lucien turned and walked away. He could have sworn he’d seen Augusta Longbottom’s eyes misting. He walked away and threw back his shoulders. This was the essence of being a healer. There was great tragedy intermixed with flashes of hope, just like the Longbottoms. Those flashes were extraordinary. He stopped at the door and looked back. Neville’s eyes were full of tears, but he was smiling. Lucien nodded. He wanted to be a healer. From what he’d seen and experienced over the past hour or so, he was sure that what he was meant to be.

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Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 22nd, 2008, 3:30 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 2

I Love Bubblegum

I love bubblegum. I happily chewed a piece, as I lay content in my hospital bed. I chewed the piece blowing one of the biggest bubbles I think I’ve ever blown.

“You’ve visitors today,” a healer said pulling the curtain around me and the man next to me who I think is my husband, though I cannot remember marrying him.

In walked a timid, round-faced, brown-haired boy. I watched him walk over to the side of my bed. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I saw him last.

After him came an older lady. She wasn’t timid, no, not at all. She stood closer to the man next to me.

Waiting for someone to say something I blew a bubble.

“Happy Christmas, Mum,” the kid said quietly.

Mum? I’m this kid’s mum? I don’t remember giving birth to him. To be honest, I don’t remember much of anything at all.

The boy fished something out of his pocket and placed it on the bedside table. I smiled brightly.

“I know how much you love Drooble’s.”

I did love Drooble’s. Maybe I am this kid’s mother. He seems to know me so well.

“Tell your parents the good news,” the older lady urged.

“Good news?” The man next to me asked.

“This is my first year at Hogwarts,” the boy said looking at the floor.

Hogwarts? I wish he would explain.

“I was sorted into Gryffindor. Your old house. Just thought you’d like to know.”

“Neville’s following in your footsteps,” the older lady said.

I must have attended this Hogwarts and been in Gryffindor. I wish I could remember. It hurts when you have no clue what everyone around you is talking about.

I decided the boy needed something. It was Christmas and he was supposedly following in my footsteps. The only things I had were the Drooble’s he just gave me and the empty gum wrappers. I handed him the gum wrappers. It wasn’t much, but it was all I had.

The older lady sent me a dirty look and hissed, “Don’t keep that, its just trash!”

I frowned. She probably thought I couldn’t hear, but I definitely wasn’t in the hospital because I’d lost my hearing.

“We best be going,” she said.

Yes, you best.

“Happy Christmas, Alice and Frank.”

Alice, that’s my name!

The older lady ushered the boy past the curtains. Right before he exited he looked at me, smiled, and pocketed the gum wrappers. I smiled back. At least I could make him happy.

“I love you,” he said before disappearing.

I swallowed the old piece of gum I’d been chewing and popped in a fresh piece the boy brought me. I blew the biggest bubble I think I’ve ever blown. I love bubblegum.

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In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 22nd, 2008, 3:32 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 3 Week 3

Healer For A Day

“Got a bad sting from a… what did you say it was?” asked the front desk witch in a bored-tone, as a wizard with red scratches all over his face walked to the desk, “Never heard of that. Aw well, it’s first floor for you: Creature-Induced Injuries. Hopefully they’ll be able to tell what stung you.”

The man walked away as a witch and a young child walked up. The child had an ice-cube up his nostril.

“Fourth Floor, Spell Damage,” the front-desk witch said, “Don’t worry, darling. The Healers should be able to fix you right up.”

The boy gave a relieved smile and walked away from the desk with his mother. The front-desk witch gave a huge sigh. Gabby Coleman figured she had the most boring job in the whole world, muggle and wizarding alike. True, she was able to see the weirdest, dangerous, and, here and there, coolest ailments known to wizarding kind. But, honestly, she didn’t want to have this job.

She wanted to be a Healer. She could almost always figure out the cure for the witches and wizards that walked up to the front desk. But because she could only tell the people which floor they had to go to, and nothing else, there was no point. So she would just sit at the front desk of St. Mungo’s hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries and tell people what to do.

“Next,” Gabby said, with a sigh, “Yes, what ails you?”

“I keep seeing the Dark Mark everywhere I go!” a man said, frantically, as he walked up to the desk.

“Sir, this hospital is for serious injuries,” Gabby said, “I am sure you are just suffering from a case of stress. The war is over. Voldemort is gone. His Death Eaters are either in Azkaban, dead, or in hiding. There is no Dark Mark… anywhere. Next!”

Gabby sighed. These kind of false statements happened a lot. Most recently, there were many cases of seeing the Dark Mark everywhere. Every time, it was proven that there was no such Mark at that moment in time.

“But you don’t understand!” the man said.

“No, sir,” Gabby said, “You don’t understand. We do not treat that here. Go to the Ministry if you are really worried. Security!”

A moment later, two wizards appeared out of thin air and dragged the man away without a word.

“Next!” Gabby said, again.

The next person to come up to the desk wasn’t a soon-to-be patient. It was Healer Adams, the witch in charge of the day shift at St. Mungo’s. She seemed to be talking to herself.

“Oh, what I am going to do?” she muttered, loud enough for Gabby to hear it, “Healer Strout is out with a cold. Bed-ridden in her house. We could have cured it here, but no… she wanted to stay at home. Now I am out of a Healer at the Janus Thickey ward. What will I do?”

Gabby smiled. This was her chance. She could be a Healer for day!

“Um, madam?” she said, “I couldn’t help but overhear. Are you down a Healer?”

“Huh?” Adams said, looking over at Gabby, surprised as if she just realized Gabby was there, “Oh, yes, I am.”

“I could do it,” Gabby said.

Healer Adams laughed.

“You!” she said, “What in the world do you think you could do?”

“I am well qualified to be a Healer, madam,” Gabby said, “I would have been a Healer already. But during Healer training, I got sick, and threw up all over the trainer.”

Healer Adams laughed again, though this time it was cheerful.

“But you are doing an er… pretty good job here,” she said.

“One of the security can do it,” Gabby said, “You do need a Healer. I can do it.”

“Well…” Adams said, “Fine… but just for a day.”

“Wonderful!” Gabby said, standing up, “I will start right now.”

“Of course you will,” Adams said, “I wouldn’t have it any other way. Come on.”

Gabby followed Healer Adams down the hallway and into the lifts. Healer Adams pressed a button and the lifts went down.

“You do know what the Janus Thickey ward is, right?” she asked Gabby.

“It is for the permanent residents,” Gabby said.

“Correct,” Adams said, “You will be dealing with witches and wizards who are either insane, or have lost their memory, or…”

“Have serious illnesses,” Gabby said, “Yes I know.”

“Of course you do,” Adams said.

The lifts stopped and opened up. Adams got out and Gabby followed her. A few minutes later, they reached the Janus Thickey ward.

“Good luck,” Adams said to Gabby, “Healer…”

“Coleman, Madam,” Gabby said.

“Good luck, Healer Coleman,” Adams said, and walked off.

“Healer Coleman,” Gabby muttered to herself, “Could get used to it.”

Gabby walked into the ward and locked it behind her. She looked around. To her right, a blonde-haired wizard could barely be seen behind a stack of letters. To Gabby’s left, she saw a woman who was staring straight up in the sky. Gabby instantly knew that the witch was petrified.

“Poor girl,” Gabby said, “Bad time for Mandrakes to be out of a season.”

At the end of the ward, two beds sat right next to each other. They were half-covered in a veil. Gabby knew who was down there. Two of the most famous patients in the hospital. They had been there for a while. Frank and Alice Longbottom had been tortured to insanity and would probably never recover.

“I don’t recognize you,” the blonde wizard spoke up, “Who are you?”

Gabby could now see the wizard’s face, and she recognized him instantly. It was Gilderoy Lockhart, the famous author.

“I am Healer Coleman,” Gabby said, “Strout is on sick-leave.”

“Poor dear,” Lockhart said, “I will write her a letter!”

He took out a blank sheet of parchment and began writing. Gabby took a peek at what he was writing, but there were only scribbles.

At the end of the ward, the curtains started moving, and Alice Longbottom appeared and started walking toward Gabby.

“Dear, you should be in bed,” Gabby said.

Out of the corner of Gabby’s eye, she saw Gilderoy look at Alice, then he suddenly put his fingers in his ears. Alice started screaming indistinctly in a high-pitched voice.

“Alice,” Gabby said, her voice muffled, as she walked toward the woman, “It is okay.”

Alice still screamed. Suddenly, the door opened behind Gabby, and Healer Adams and two wizards rushed in. The two wizards ran over to Alice and comforted her.

“Sorry, Healer Adams,” Gabby said, fearful that she was in trouble, “I tried to quiet her.”

“It is okay, Healer Coleman,” Adams said, “I should have warned you. She’s been doing that more and more. We don’t know why it is going on. We fear she is having reoccuring nightmares and daymares about the day she was tortured. Healer Strout thinks it means that Alice might be getting better, but I believe she is getting worse.”

“Does her family know?” Gabby asked.

“Of course they do,” Adams said, “But they have dealt with this for a long time. They’ve expected it.”

Gabby watched with sorrow as the two wizards dragged Alice back to her bed.

“Oh, Gilderoy, you can take your fingers out of your ears!” Adams said, “It’s over!”

Gilderoy smiled and took his fingers out of his ears.

“I used to be a big fan of his,” Gabby said, “But after that terrible accident…”

“He’d be happy to know he has another fan,” Adams said, “Though he doesn’t know why he has so many fans, it still makes him happy.”

“Will his memory return?” Gabby asked.

“We don’t know,” Adams said, “It is slowly returning, but then it gets worse again. He still writes his letters, though, and that makes the Healers happy.”

“But his letters are scribbles, that’s all,” Gabby said, “I saw one.”

“We know,” Adams said, “But they still go out to whoever is on Lockhart’s fan-club list. Believe me, the fans are still very happy to get letters, no matter how they look. There are one or two who actually believe that they can read the scribbles Lockhart is writing.”

Suddenly, the door of the ward opened again, and Healer Strout walked in.

“Miriam!” Adams said, “I thought you were sick. You wrote that letter…”

“I am not sick!” Strout said, “I thought I was, but it turns out I am pregnant! Can you believe that?! At my age!”

“Well, congratulations!” Adams said.

Gabby was downheartened. She was really looking forward to being Healer for a day.

“I will… just… go, then,” she said, sadly.

“Go?” Adams asked.

“Yeah,” Gabby said, “Strout is back. You don’t need me.”

“Well, not at the moment, no,” Adams said, “But you know… there is always Healer Strout’s maternity leave… Healer Coleman.”

Gabby smiled and walked over to Healer Adams and hugged her.

“Oh thank you!” she said with glee.

“You’re welcome,” Adams said, “For now, we need you at the front desk.”

“Oh… right,” Gabby said, her smile disappearing.

“Have a good day,” Adams said.

Gabby nodded and walked out of the ward. When she sat back down at the front desk, she was smiling rather happily.

“Fourth floor for you!” Gabby said, cheerful, to a witch that walked up to the desk.

For the first time in her life, Gabby Coleman actually liked her job. Mainly because she knew she wouldn’t have to be doing it that much longer.

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In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.

Last edited by Chris; August 22nd, 2008 at 6:01 pm.
Old August 23rd, 2008, 2:11 am
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Week 3 FAD IV
The Healer

Cassandra hurried toward the reception area where she heard shouts of alarm and sounds of panic as people tried to run away from something. She rounded the corner and skidded to a stop as she saw a giant and a smaller—though still very large and hairy—man exiting the floo. The large man was trying to assure the people that they meant no harm, but from appearances, no one was listening. Cassandra was a little worried, because she remembered the Hogwarts’ groundskeeper and how he loved his dangerous animals, but the giant with him seemed docile enough.

Cassandra stepped forward and tried to take charge. “Excuse me. I’m Healer Trask. What is going on here?”

“I’m Hagrid and this is my brother, Grawp. He was walkin’ in the Forest and wasn’t watchin’ where he was goin’ and went and kicked an acromantula. He didn’t meant ter do it. It was an accident,” the large man insisted.

Cassandra nodded and he continued. “Well, they didn’t understand that and went ta bitin’ on him. They bit him several times. His legs are all swollen and hurtin’ him something awful.”

“I’m not sure what—” before she could finish, Hagrid cut her off.

“I know this isn’t a hospital for giants, but there isn’t one. They don’t go in fer that. And if they did, it wouldn’t be close. And I don’t know where else to take him. He’s hurtin’ bad and feeling sick and I don’t know what to do. Please, won’t you try to help him?”

“Hagger! Grawpy hurt.”

Hagrid looked up at his brother, trying to keep him on his feet, and gently patted his hand. “I know, Grawpy. But this nice lady is going to try to make you feel better. You just hold on.”

There was a sudden explosion and the waiting area was covered with giant vomit. Cassandra whipped out her wand and banished it all.

“Grawpy, sorry,” the giant told her, obviously embarrassed. She couldn’t help smiling at his child-like expression, despite his size and ugliness.

“We know, Grawp. It’s okay,” Hagrid assured, patting his hand again.

Cassandra looked into the warm black eyes of the hairy giant of a man and saw the tears running from his eyes into his tangled beard. She didn’t know what she could do, but she knew she had to try.

“I’ll do what I can,” she started, before being cut off again.

“You will do nothing!” the new voice called from behind them. Cassandra turned to see her supervisor, Mr. Broadbent, standing as far away as he could be while still being able to see what was happening. “This is a wizard hospital. We do not treat these creatures.”

“He’s in bad shape,” Cassandra pointed out. “He needs immediate care or he’ll die.”

“This hospital is for wizards. Let him find help somewhere else. Perhaps a magical veterinarian?” he suggested in a condescending manner.

“Grawp isn’t an animal!” Hagrid yelled. “If he was, I’d know how to treat him.”

“This is an intelligent creature. Besides, he’d probably die before he could get anywhere that could or would help him. We have to help him.”

“I refuse to allow this creature to remain in my hospital. You will leave at once. Do you hear me? I want you to leave my hospital this instant.”

“This isn’t your hospital. It is a public hospital for treating people who need treatment. This young man needs treatment. I will treat him.”

“I forbid it!” Broadbent said, stomping his foot for emphasis.

“I will treat him,” Healer Trask repeated calmly. “Unless you think you can physically eject all three of us, you have no choice but to allow it.”

“I can terminate your employment here, Healer Trask,” he threatened. “Besides, we don’t have any place to put him,” he pointed out, motioning to the standard sized doors. Standard size for wizards wasn’t nearly big enough for the giant. Even Hagrid would have had problems getting through the doors and halls.

“I became a healer to heal. If I can’t do that here, I’ll do it somewhere else. Even if I have to open my own hospital. And I can take care of the doors.” She whipped out her wand again and magically enlarged the door and hallway beyond.

Turning to Hagrid, she told him to help his brother move where she could treat him. She led them to an empty ward, enlarging all the doors and halls as needed. In the ward, she banished all the beds but one and enlarged it to allow Grawp to lie down.

After consulting with Hagrid and examining Grawp’s wounds, she produced a set of large poultices and affixed them to his legs over the bites. Then she made a potion that would ease his pain and allow him to sleep. She had to change the poultices every hour and it took seven hours—long after her shift was officially done—before she saw some results, but she finally pulled off the bandages and saw the redness was gone and the swelling was down considerably.

“I think he’ll be all right now. He’ll have to take it easy and stay away from the acromantulas, but he should make it,” she pronounced at last, causing Hagrid to cry again, this time, tears of joy.

“Thank ye! I don’t know what I’d do if I lost Grawp. He’s my only family,” he repeated, as he had several times over the last several hours as he talked with Healer Trask and helped her tend to Grawp.

“You’re welcome. Do you have some place he could rest?”

“Sure. We got him a nice cave fixed up. I can stay with him and keep his bandages clean and changed.”

“Then I’ll bottle up the rest of this potion and you can just keep doing what I have been. He should be fine in a few days.”

“I don’t know how I can ever thank you enough!”

She smiled. “Just take care of your brother. That’s thanks enough,” she assured.

She again magically enlarged the doors and halls so they could exit and led them to the floo so they could return to Hogwarts and their home.

“Now that you have gotten rid of that creature, I want you to come to my office. I have the papers prepared,” Mr. Broadbent told her acidly, referring to her dismissal papers.

She followed him and smiled tiredly as she sat in front of his desk. “Yes, we will want to publish this, of course. It will be so good for our hospital. I’m glad you’re taking the initiative on this.”

He looked confused. “I’m sorry?”

“Publishing a paper about how we humanely treated this giant, a step no one else has done. Not even St. Mungo, himself, went so far to help his fellow man. The compassion you have shown here will make your name remembered throughout history. The board may even demand a ward be named after you after they learn of your strong leadership and defense of this helpless creature. I’m sure the Daily Prophet will be wanting the story for the front page. ‘Compassionate St. Mungo’s Leader Shows He is No Bigot.’” She held her hand up as though pointing out a headline. “The publicity for you and the hospital will be enormous. Imagine the donations this will bring when people see how you are boldly taking the hospital into the future, turning away no one.” She shook her head as though in awe. “Your name will go down in history.”

Broadbent stopped and considered her words. His vanity stroked, as she had intended, his did a turnabout and nodded, surreptitiously sliding the termination notice off his desk and into the trash. “Of course. Well, that’s just how I am. But I can see that you’re exhausted. Why don’t we put this off until you’re rested? You go on home and I’ll take care of everything.”

Cassandra smiled as she stood. “Of course. Thank you.” She had known all she had to do was frame it properly to get him on her side. She didn’t care if he got the glory. She had gotten to help a patient in need. That was all she really wanted to do.

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In case I forget: Opinions posted in the US Political Discussion forum are posted as a member and not as a moderator

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde

We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley

Sustainability should be a part of what we do every day.
Old August 29th, 2008, 3:53 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!


Entry 1



The goalkeeper dressed in current blue lined with gold trim tugged the front of his broom erratically to the left and then the right to match the feint of the large chaser who was approaching. The man dressed in scarlet held the football-sized quaffle away from his body and let fly a tremendous throw, catching the keeper in mid-turn. The quaffle arced through the air and curved to carry between the right hand gap of the three tall goal posts behind the Puddlemere United keeper. Caught facing the wrong direction, the keeper pulled back on his broom and became inverted, hitting the quaffle at the last possible second, striking a glancing blow on the quaffle with the edge of his sweep, causing the errant missile to barely miss the goal.

Oliver Wood held his arms in the air as one of his chasers collected the quaffle and raced down the pitch. The home crowd roared in amazement at Oliver’s block and Wood felt his chest swell at the adulation. His victory was short-lived as the crowd gasped in shock and immediately became silent. Oliver stared down the pitch and his heart sank. Amid an adoring circle of his team mates hovered an imposing man astride his broomstick. His head was closely cropped, sitting atop broad shoulders and a thick neck. Even smiling, he looked intimidating and Oliver felt his own shoulders droop as he realized Viktor Krum, the pre-eminent seeker of the Bulgarian national team had defeated the United by seizing the Golden Snitch. The match was over.


Ron Weasley waited patiently outside the corridor that led to the players’ dressing rooms. His wife, Hermione, stood in anxious anticipation next to him. His sister, Ginny Potter, was the senior Quidditch correspondent for the Daily Prophet, and had pulled some strings to get them tickets to this highly anticipated exhibition match between Britain’s leading club, Puddlemere United and the two time reigning World Cup champions, the Bulgarian National Team. Now the couple was biding its time as Ginny interviewed the players from both teams. One by one, the players made their way out. Ron looked up and waved as Oliver Wood approached.

“Tough match, mate.” Ron said sympathetically to his old friend. “You managed to keep it close until the end. You had some incredible saves. They should name a maneuver for that last one.”

Oliver nodded forlornly. “It didn’t matter in the end. I sure wish Viktor Krum would retire. That man makes it hard to be competitive. I don’t even think Ginny could beat him. I guess you’re not the only one who has a reason to not like him.”

Ron gave his friend a strange look. “I’ve got nothing against Krum. I kind of admire his ability. He’s the player of our generation. You can’t dislike a legend.” Ron didn’t seem to notice Hermione’s surprised glance at his statement, but Oliver’s look was definitely puzzled.

Oliver decided not to belabor the point and smiled. “He certainly was legendary today. Look, I’ve got to go.” Oliver lowered his voice to a whisper and smiled conspiratorially. “I have a date with Gwenog Jones.”

Ron smirked. “Out of the frying pan and into the fire, I see.”

Oliver laughed out loud and waved. He strode off and disappeared into the crowd of well wishers. Ron watched him leave and then felt his wife’s gaze on his back. He turned and looked at her.

“What?” He asked.

“Nothing.” She responded tersely and then she turned and watched the door. Ron smiled and watched her standing there. The years, if anything, had made her only more beautiful. He still felt the familiar lump in his throat and for the millionth time, he wondered how he’d gotten so lucky. The loose bramble of her bushy long hair was both wild and orderly, all at the same time and it hung below her shoulders framing her beautiful face. He knew that if he closed his eyes, he could picture every contour, every angle of her face and he could see the fire in her light brown eyes as they changed with her every emotion, mostly going from confusion, to delight to love as they looked at him. This stunning creature had picked him, out of all the others. She’d chosen to marry him, to have his children, despite her superior intellect and razor sharp instincts. She could have had the pick of any man in the wizarding world, and it wasn’t as if she hadn’t had options. Even the great Viktor Krum had shown interest, but in the end, she opted for the tall, awkward man with blazing red hair. She’d chosen him and he was forever grateful.

There was a murmur from the hangers-on standing outside the ropes and Ron looked from Hermione to the dressing room entrance. Sure enough, Viktor Krum had emerged and was walking towards them. He wore black jeans and a loose black shirt and had a large gym bag over his shoulder with the scarlet emblem of the Bulgarian National Team. As always, he had a permanent scowl on his face, his eyebrows furrowed into a knot as he approached the legions of fans. His face softened when he saw them and a surprising smile crossed his lips. He walked up purposefully to the waiting Weasleys and extended a hand to Ron.

“Well done, as usual, mate.” Ron said, his voice friendly, which seemed to catch Hermione off guard.

Viktor shrugged his shoulders modestly. “I got lucky, off course. You’re friend Wood is a very good keeper. I don’t think we could have kept up with them otherwise.” His voice had a heavy Slavic accent, his “w’s” sounded like “v’s”. He turned and smiled warmly at Hermione and he lowered his voice to a soft whisper. “Hello, Hermione.”

Hermione, normally composed, seemed off a bit and slightly flustered. She stammered at the greeting and her face flushed. Finally, after a few failed attempts, she managed to get the words out.

“It’s nice to see you, Viktor. You look good, er, I mean, you looked good, um, I mean you looked good out there, on the pitch, um, I mean, good game.” Annoyed with herself, Hermione clamped her mouth shut and stared at some interminable speck of dust on the ground.

Viktor gave Ron a quick wink and took Hermione’s hand in his own. “Thank you very much, I’m glad you could make it. You look very good, yourself. You are well, yes?”

Hermione nodded and gave a furtive glance at Ron, who seemed to be trying to stop himself from laughing. He was actually enjoying her discomfort, she fumed. Hermione’s anger overcame her awkwardness and she held her chin up and faced Viktor directly.

“I am very well, thank you.” She said in a clear voice.

Viktor had a wry grin on his face. “You are married, yes?”

She nodded and jerked a thumb back towards Ron. “Yes, I married Ron.”

“Good. Apparently you two realized vot ve already knew.” Viktor said seriously.

Hermione was surprised by his response and even more so when she noticed that Ron was nodding in agreement. Something was strange about this entire encounter, yet she couldn’t place her finger on it. For all his strengths, one thing she’d always noticed about her husband was his relative insecurity about himself. He was especially self-conscious about his worthiness for her love, and despite her attempts to the change his outlook, he’d never really shaken the idea that she’d settled for less. Hermione had a history with Viktor Krum and Ron should be in complete withdrawal, right about now. Instead, Ron was warm, friendly and downright complimentary of her former boyfriend and she didn’t know why.

Viktor drew up to his full height. “I must go. Ve vill play the Holyhead Harpies tomorrow and I’m sure Wood will be telling them all of our secrets.” Hermione’s head spun. Did Viktor Krum just make a joke? Krum shook her hand and then turned to Ron. “You vill come to our next match?”

“I’d love to, mate. It should be a good one.” Ron answered enthusiastically.

Viktor nodded. “Good, I vill leave you tickets. You should come, maybe ve can have dinner after?”

“I look forward to it. We’ll see you tomorrow.” Ron clapped the big man on his shoulder and it was all Hermione could do to keep herself from passing out from shock.

Viktor leaned in to Ron’s ear. “I am glad you took my advice.”

“It was good advice.” Ron replied. Viktor nodded his head and walked into the throng.

Ron and Hermione watched him go. Ron seemed oblivious to Hermione’s stare that was fixated on the back of his head. He reached down and grasped her hand tenderly and led her towards the floo network outside the stadium.

They ran some errands and then went through their normal argument about who would drive home. As usual, Ron lost and soon they were on their way. Hermione was unusually quiet and Ron could tell she was trying to put some sort of complex puzzle together. Her job at the Ministry had been fraught with obstacles as she pushed legislation to the Wizengamot to offer freedom to the non-human magical species. Ron was used to these periods of silence, knowing that her prodigious intellect was typically trying to solve the myriad of problems she usually faced. He did what he normally did, which was look out the window and watch the countryside pass by.

Hermione went over the day’s events and finally jerked her head over towards her husband. “All right, Ron, out with it!”

Ron had been lost in thought, thinking about his most recent Auror training session and so he was honestly surprised at her outburst.

“Out with what?” He replied.

“What is with you and Viktor? You were positively friendly. You had to be at least a little jealous.” She finally blurted out.

“Why?” Ron’s voice rose in pitch, his brain racing through their meeting with Viktor. “What are you talking about?” Ron gave his best “who me” expression.

“You know what I’m talking about. When we were at Hogwarts, you couldn’t stand the man. I dated him. I thought you’d be a little more emotional.” She eyed him as she concentrated on the road.

“Merlin’s beard, Hermione, that was almost ten years ago! Maybe I’m more mature?” His delivery had been straight on and serious. Despite that, he knew it sounded ridiculous. Hermione obviously agreed, because she snorted at the thought.

“Oh, mature? I see, so what do you call that whole thing when you transfigured George’s new fireworks display into exploding rhubarb pies and charmed them to launch themselves at Lee and George?” She said with skepticism dripping from her voice.

Ron shrugged his shoulders. “That was funny, Hermione.”

She laughed, despite herself. “It was funny, but hardly mature.” Ron nodded sheepishly. “Come on, Ron, what gives? What’s going on?”

Ron took a deep breath. “I like Viktor. He’s a great Quidditch player. He might be the best seeker in history.”

“That’s not it, Ron. Tell me, please.” The last word came out softer, not pleading, but definitely indicative of Hermione reaching her last thread. Ron recognized her tone and sighed.

“It’s just that, well, Viktor may be the reason we’re together.” Ron spoke softly, almost mumbling. Hermione’s foot went to the brakes and she pulled over to the side of the road and turned off the car. She turned sideways in her seat and looked at him incredulously. She reached her hand up to his cheek and smiled.

“What on earth are you talking about?” She asked.

Ron smiled. “It all started at Bill and Fleur’s wedding. You looked so beautiful and then I saw how you dropped your bag when he talked to you. I was immensely jealous. Anyway…”


Ron walked to the punchbowl and poured himself a glass, hoping the act would help deflect the rising anger in his chest. He looked across the dozens of wedding guests and could not keep his eyes off of Hermione. She looked beautiful, of course, more beautiful than he’d ever seen her. Why was Viktor here, anyway? He took a deep pull of the drink and then inhaled several deep breaths. Any reasonable person would not see Viktor as a threat, wouldn’t even care, considering the weighty tension that hung in the air. The Dark Lord was ascending and their world had become distinctly more dangerous and here he was, worried about Hermione’s ex-boyfriend. That was hardly reasonable. Yet, he couldn’t escape the feeling. He was more than irritated and frankly, he didn’t know what to do about it.

He looked back over the party, his eyes searching out the object of his agitation. Viktor was sitting at a table, surprisingly, next to Harry. Harry had taken a dose of polyjuice potion and was attending the wedding in the guise of a long lost Weasley relative, “Cousin Barney.” A sudden sense of panic over rode his jealousy. Ron began to wend his way through the crowd towards them. Harry was taking a dangerous risk in being here, given he was a marked man and Krum, even innocently, could be in a position to give Harry’s identity away. He might be many things, an irritant and a great seeker, but Krum was a powerful wizard, Durmstrang’s champion during the Triwizard Tournament. He might be able to figure out who “Cousin Barney” really was.

As Ron approached the table, he saw Harry getting up. Just before Harry left, he heard Krum rumble in a deep voice.

“Vot is the point of being an international Quidditch player if all the good-looking girls are taken?” By then, Harry had sauntered off, and Viktor looked up, noticing Ron’s approach. Viktor grunted audibly, but waved Ron over to a nearby chair. He looked at Ron, as if appraising his worth.

Finally, Viktor exhaled audibly. “You are a lucky man, Ron Weasley. I envy you.”

“What are you talking about? You’re Viktor Krum. You’re the greatest Quidditch player ever! You could date whomever you want.” Ron responded, the surprise in his voice evident.

“I can not date your Hermione. I can have any girl except the one I vant or your sister. By the vay, how ‘big’ and ‘jealous’ is your sister’s boyfriend?” He watched curiously, as Ron snorted to himself.

“Oh, he’s very big and very jealous. What do you mean ‘my’ Hermione? You’re the one that dated her, right?” Part of Ron was trying run away as fast as he could from where this conversation was going, but the other part was positively elated by Viktor’s choice of words. He waited at the edge of his seat.

Viktor laughed out loud. “I don’t mean to insult you, Ron Weasley, but if you are going to be part of Hermione’s life, you vill have to try to be a little more perceptive.”

“Hermione and I are just friends. She obviously thinks I’m daft or slow or something.” Ron had no idea where that had come from.

“You are only ‘friends’ because you are so stubborn, I think. If you have not seen vot I have seen, then you do need help.” Viktor said solemnly.

“I need help? Who can help me? You?” Ron’s defensive response didn’t seem to offend Viktor. In fact, Viktor actually smiled, a rare sight, indeed.

“I vill help you, because I do care about Hermione and her happiness.” Viktor’s smile disappeared. “You must make sure you deserve such a vonderful voman as she.”

Ron swallowed his knee jerk response. He took a deep breath. “What would you do? I’ve been Hermione’s friend for so long, I don’t know if I can. She knows who I am, already.”

Viktor nodded. “That is the key, I think. I was an outsider. Hermione liked me because of the physical attraction.” He held up his hand as he saw Ron’s jealousy and insecurity begin to rise to the surface. “But she vould never be mine, because she could never know me. She knows you, Ron Weasley. She knows you and loves you for it. All you really have to do is to be there for her. Listen to her and support her. See things from her point of view. I am far too self-centered to do that for her, but you can.”

Ron’s brain went through six years of memories in six seconds. He wasn’t necessarily a slow person, in fact, Ron could be very perceptive. Ron’s biggest flaw was his inability to recognize the obvious until the Bludger actually hit him in the head. That’s what was happening now. He rubbed his forehead as if he’d been struck physically.

Viktor smiled at him, once more and rose from the table, one eye on a group of unattended ladies giggling in the corner. “Remember, Ron Weasley, you control how this vill go. Do not let her down, be loyal, think of vot she needs of vot she cares about, especially now, in these dangerous times.” Krum reached a meaty hand out towards Ron and shook it with a decided force, almost making Ron wince. He turned and started walking towards the girls he’d been admiring and did not look back. Ron watched him go, his mind going wild. He turned and saw Hermione standing near the dance floor and his heart melted. He did love her, he decided, he would support her, as best as he could.

There was a tumultuous uproar near the front gates. A whispery white patronus in the shape of a lynx bolted through. “Minister Scrimgour is dead! The Ministry has fallen! They are coming!”

Ron bolted up. He had to find Hermione. Their dangerous world had just become a whole lot worse.


They sat staring at each other across the car. Hermione had to remind herself to keep breathing and she noticed a chagrined look on Ron’s face. She looked at him, worried. There was something more to the story. He read her face and frowned.

“I almost lost everything. When I left you and Harry during the quest, I did precisely what Viktor warned me about. I let you down when you needed me most. I don’t think I’ve hated myself more than that moment. While I was sitting at home, all I could think about was what he’d told me and how I failed. In the end, that’s what made me come back. I might have lost you completely, but I wasn’t going to fail you again.” He looked down at his lap, sadness from the memory tearing through his conscience.

Hermione processed everything in her own precise, thoughtful way. There were traces of dampness in the corners of her eyes. Ron looked up and met her gaze and felt the warmth of her love. She leaned forward and pressed her lips on his, wrapping her arms around his neck. He felt a charge of electricity in their connection, coursing through from the gentle touch of their lips down to the ends of his toes. Their embrace became more heated, more passionate and they unlocked the reservoirs of love each had never known they’d had. They were a couple, they had been for years. They’d professed their love for each other on countless occasions and had meant it each and every time. This time, they didn’t need to speak, their kiss spoke volumes. This time, they weren’t just a couple, they were two parts of a greater whole. The circle had completed, the cycle had come full turn. They were one in love and friendship, and had been for far longer than they’d realized. Finally their kissed ended and they sat together breathlessly enjoying the lingering silence of the moment.

Hermione started the car and reached out her hand to his face. She smiled gently and caressed his cheek with a softness born of love. “Let’s go home, Ron.”

He smiled as she took her hand from his face to engage the drive. “Great, I’m starving!”

He honestly didn’t know why her hand that had only few seconds before been lovingly caressing his cheek, suddenly landed on the back of his head with an audible smack.

Last edited by hermy_weasley2; August 29th, 2008 at 11:46 pm.
Old August 29th, 2008, 11:33 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 2

“Never married, for some reason,” I added.

“You amaze me,” said Hermione.

We all joined in laughter. Hermione was so beautiful when she laughed. I could watch her all—

Someone thrust an invitation into my hands.

“You look vunderful.”

I look vunder—No, no, no, no, no, no, no! This couldn’t be! This was my chance to finally get with Hermione and he had to be here?

“Viktor!” Hermione shrieked.

My heart sank to my feet with an extremely and unusually loud thud I hoped no one else heard. Of course she’s happy he’s here. They did date after all.

“I didn’t know you were—goodness—its lovely to see—how are you?”

Who cares? Why did his name have to be on this stupid invitation?

“How come you’re here?” I blurted without thinking as I usually do.

“Fleur invited me,” he replied, eyebrows raised.

Don’t be a git, Vicky; we knew why you’re here—to woo back Hermione. Well, I won’t stand for it!

Harry, at that moment, escorted Krum to his seat. Good thing. I was just about to hex his brain to gelatin. It would have been easy considering he doesn’t have much of one.

“You could have been nicer to Viktor,” Hermione said, giving me a stern look.

“We all know why he’s here.”

“To see his friend, Fleur’s wedding?”


Could she not see the truth? Was she that blinded by his so-called charm? Oh, Hermione, you’re not that kind of girl.

“Go find a seat, you lot, we’re ready to begin,” Ginny said appearing at the end of the aisle with Fleur’s sister, Gabrielle, our parents, and the blushing bride herself. My heart beat faster as I looked at Fleur in her wedding dress. Now that’s charm.

“Jealous much?” George whispered in my ear as we made our way to Harry.

“Time to sit down,” said Fred,” or we’re going to get run over by the bride.”

I wished a certain someone had been run over by the bride.

Harry, Hermione, and I grabbed seats in the second row behind Fred and George. Fortunately, Hermione sat with us and not Krum. Her cheeks were still rather pink, though. I hoped she wasn’t thinking about him.

I also hoped she hadn’t noticed that stupid thing growing on his chin. Did he think that made him look more mature? Maybe Hermione thought he looked too old now! I wonder if I should grow one.

“Did you see he’s grown a stupid little beard?” I asked Harry loud enough for Hermione to hear.

Harry grunted.

I wished for the wedding to go fast so Krum could go home. Let’s go, Fleur, get down the aisle.

Finally, Bill and Charlie appeared at the front. I must have missed my parents walking down the aisle. No problem. I know what they look like.

“Ooooh!” Hermione swiveled in her seat.

Do not look at Krum. Oh, it’s the bride. Merlin’s beard, she’s beautiful. Lucky Bill.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” came the singsong voice of the tufty-haired wizard presiding over the ceremony.

Fleur looked absolutely radiant up there standing next to Bill. I wondered what that would be like if it was me instead. Who would the bride be? My imagination drifted until I saw myself standing at the front of the marquee wearing Bill’s dress robes with a bushy brown-haired brown-eyed witch standing next to me in Fleur’s dress. It’s all just fantasy. She didn’t want me. She wanted him.

“…I declare you bonded for life.”

The tufty-haired wizard waved his wand and silver stars fell over the couple. The golden balloons used as decoration burst open revealing birds of paradise and tiny gold bells. This was all very elaborate. Don’t get any ideas, Vicky. You are not doing any of this with my girl.

“Ladies and gentlemen!” The wizard ordered. “If you would please stand up!”

Reluctantly, I did so and our surroundings changed into a canopy filled with tables and a dance floor. I would have to remember this if I ever get married.

“Smooth,” I said aloud as waiters popped up around us with trays of food and drink.

My stomach growled at the sight. Ah, food.

“We should go and congratulate them!” Hermione stood on tiptoe to see Bill and Fleur crowded around a bunch of well-wishers.

Don’t spot Krum!

“We’ll have time later,” I said hoping to get her down off her toes.

I snatched three butterbeers off the tray of a passing waiter and handed them to Hermione and Harry.

“Hermione, cop hold, let’s grab a table….Not there! Nowhere near Muriel—“

I’d rather eat dung than sit with her, although I’d rather sit with her than with Krum.

I led the way across the empty dance floor glancing to my left and right, hoping to avoid Krum if he should appear. Oh, good. The only table we could fit at contained Luna Lovegood. Well, she’s better than Viktor Krum and leaves no open spots.

“All right if we join you?” I asked.

“Oh yes,” she replied too happily. “Daddy’s just gone to give Bill and Fleur our present.”

I’d pay to witness the newlyweds opening that.

“What is it, a lifetime’s supply of Gurdyroots?”

“No, no, we don’t reckon they need that right now,” Luna replied with a funny look.

The band started to play. I took a big gulp of my butterbeer as Bill and Fleur began the traditional first dance. I wondered what it would be like to dance with Hermione. I’ll never know. She doesn’t want to dance with me. She’d rather dance with Krum. Who wouldn’t? He’s the international Quidditch star.

“I like this song.” Luna swayed oddly in time to the music. She stood up and began twirling her arms.

“She’s great, isn’t she?” I said. Such a free spirit she is, I’m finally beginning to understand Luna. I may be slow, as Hermione reminds me, but I get there eventually.

No! Come back, Luna! Demand your seat back! Please!

Hermione look flustered as Krum sat in the empty chair. Bloody hell. How does he have the ability to do that to her? He needed to stop.

“Who is that man in the yellow?” Krum scowled.

Who cares? Unless you want to date him. Is that what you want, Krum? I can help you with that.

“That’s Xenophilius Lovegood, he’s the father of a friend of ours,” I announced. I wanted to add care to have me hook you two up?, but instead my mouth chose that moment to say to Hermione, “Come and dance.”

No, no, why did I leave myself open like that? I couldn’t tell if she was happy or not that I asked. She stood up! To dance with me or run away to laugh at me? Bloody mouth. Why did you have to betray me? She’s not going away! She’s coming toward me! She raised her hand. Don’t hit me! She took hold of my hand and led me to the dance floor.

The tune changed to a slow one as soon as we reached the throng of dancers. Hermione placed her arms around my waist sending a shiver up my spine. I put my arms around her back. Oh, she felt so good. She laid her head on my chest and closed her eyes as we swayed to the music. This must be what heaven felt like.

“Thank you, Krum!”

“What?” Hermione lifted her head and opened her eyes.

Put your head back down!

“Nothing,” I replied.

She made a soft sound and placed her head back on my chest. Yes, thank you very much for being invited, Viktor Krum!


Some of the dialogue was taken from Chapter 8 "The Wedding" of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Last edited by hermy_weasley2; August 29th, 2008 at 11:46 pm.
Old August 29th, 2008, 11:44 pm
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Re: FAD: Last Author Standing -Entries!

Entry 3

Changing Minds

Ron slouched against the tent pole and watched the beautiful girl he was afraid to approach…although they were best friends. The problem was that he didn’t want to approach her as a friend and didn’t know how to approach her any other way.

“Vy you vatch her from here and not by her side?”

Ron started and turned to see the other reason he was sulking standing beside him. Krum was older, more experienced…in many things, Ron thought darkly…and an international Quidditch star. Worst of all, he liked Hermione and had gone to the Yule Ball with her their 5th year. And she had invited him to the wedding.

“What do you want? Why aren’t you with her?”

He shrugged. “She does not vant to be with me.”

Ron’s eyes bugged out. “What do you mean? She invited you.”

Victor recognized Ron’s jealousy for what it was. For his lovely friend’s sake, he tried to soothe it. “Out of friendship only. Did she not tell you that she wrote that I could bring a date if I wished?”

Ron’s mouth fell open and flapped silently several times. “No. She—but—I—then—she wanted you to bring a date? Another girl?”

Krum nodded.

“Then why didn’t you?”

Krum shrugged. “No one wanted to come.”

“No girl wanted to come with you? You’re an international Quidditch star! Probably the best Quidditch player there is on any professional team.”

Krum shrugged again. “Ya, and girls want my autograph and sometimes my body, but no voman vants me. I vait for a voman who vants me for me. That is vhy I like Her-mi-o-ne.” He carefully pronounced her name with obvious effort. “She is not impressed vith my playing and does not vant my body. We can talk. I vant to find a voman like her who vants to talk and love for a lifetime. This is difficult.”

Ron nodded, still struggling to take it all in. “Then you don’t love Hermione?”

Krum shook his head. “No, and she does not love me. Ve are friends only.”

Hope burgeoned in his heart, then died. “Yeah, me too.”

“But you could be more. I think she would like to be more with you.”

Ron looked at the man he’d thought of as a rival until now. “Do you really think so?”

Krum nodded unhappily. “She is a vonderful voman and I vould love to have her as my voman, but she does not look at me as she does you.”

“I don’t know,” Ron disagreed. “We’ve been friends for so long.” He took a deep breath and slowly released it as he looked at her longingly. “I’ve messed up with her, too.” He briefly admitted his error before the Yule Ball.

Krum shook his head. “You vere a fool, but she has a loving heart and she will forgive you. You must put your pride aside if you really love her.”

Ron looked hopeful again for a moment. “I have this book about how to compliment women and—”

Krum shook his head again and cut Ron off. “No! You must be true. Listen to her and love her and let her know how you feel. This is how you will win her as your wife, not with books and games.”

Ron’s eyes widened. “Wife?” he choked.

Krum’s eyes narrowed. “Vat else vould you vant from her?” There was an underlying threat in his mein.

Ron swallowed hard. “I hadn’t really…I mean, yeah, I guess that’s…well, of course. What else could I…I…of course I mean wife.” He hadn’t thought that far ahead, but that was where it had to go.

Krum realized that Ron still had some maturing to do before he was ready to ask Hermione to be his wife, but he hoped the man woke up soon. Otherwise, Victor might have to try harder to change Hermione’s mind!!

For now, the seed had been planted, but before it had time to germinate, a silver fox appeared to ruin the party for everyone and take both men’s minds off thoughts of romance, although Ron’s mind was still squarely on the love of his life, even though it would be months before he would admit all of Krum’s wisdom and actually act on it. For now, all thoughts had to be of survival, not romance.

Last edited by hermy_weasley2; August 29th, 2008 at 11:47 pm.
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