Chapter 2 : Chapter 1: The Begining
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A/N: Thanks to Oomahey and Kevin for being my beta’s!
Chapter 1: The Beginning
Hermione blinked hard as she found herself sitting flat on her bum in a small wooden box, surrounded by buttons and a thick, old book. Instantly she reached for the book, turning it over in her hands and read ‘Robin Hood’. Shaking her head slightly, she stood slowly to let the vertigo that always hit her when she traveled by Portkey, ease. That’s when her surrounding finally hit her.
“Oh my!” She covered her mouth with one hand and stared hard at the lush green forest of thick trees. “Oh no,” Hermione moaned realizing what this probably meant. She looked down at the book and noticed that there was a note stuck to the front.
For the Narrator’s use only- A.D.
“Oh, we are in for it.” She said shakily to herself.
“Hermione?” Ron could have sworn that he had heard her voice. He looked up at what appeared to be a cloud floating above them, but it was not high enough to be a cloud. “Hermione, are you up there?” His eyes didn’t waver to the others whom were also standing around him, he was only focused on one person.
Her bushy brown head popped over the top, looking frightened and anxious. “I’m here Ron.”
“Are you all right?” He called up to her, relieved to see her.
“Yes I’m-” Hermione began to answer, but was almost immediately interrupted.
“Who cares about the mudblood?” Draco Malfoy sneered before sweeping his disheveled blond hair from his eyes. “What the hell are we doing here? Where is here anyway?”
Ron made to go after Malfoy but Ginny beat him it to it since she was closer. She reached back and decked him hard in the nose. “Don’t open your mouth again, got it Ferret?”
Draco looked as if he wanted to argue but instead reached up to his nose and winced; it was bleeding heavily.
“Ginny, don’t waste your time on him.” Neville said nervously, glancing back and forth between her and Snape.
Ron looked over and saw Harry glaring at the old Potions master, his finger twitching as if he wanted to reach for his wand. Ron went to get his from his pocket, only to find them empty. “Where’s my wand?” He asked them all hurriedly.
He watched them all feel around for their wands and let out a breath. No one seemed to have one.
“I had mine stuck in my hair and it’s not there any longer.” Luna said pleasantly. “But I doubt I’ll need it here.” She swept her arm around and smiled widely.
“Why?” Neville asked hurriedly. “Where are we?”
“We are in Sherwood Forrest,” Luna told him. “Home of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men.”
Harry let out a snort and grinned at her. “As in from the Muggle fairy tale?”
“The very same.” Luna told him with confidence.
Ron felt his mouth fall open. “I don’t mean to be rude but that is not possible.” He knew Luna had to be telling a wild tale, how could they get into a Muggle story?
“Actually,” Hermione’s voice called down to them. “She’s right.”
Ron’s looked up, gaping at her. “How is that possible?”
Snape let out a sound of disgust. “This is all Dumbledore’s meddling!”
“You shut your mouth about him, you filthy traitor!” Harry yelled and moved towards the older man.
Neville stepped into his way and put his hands up. “Don’t Harry, it won’t get you anywhere.”
“Please!” Hermione’s voice rang out and they all looked up at her. “I have to read out these instruction.” She waved several pieces of parchment out of the top of the cloud dais that she was in. She pulled them back and began to read them out loud.
“Welcome to Sherwood Forest-”
“See!” Luna interrupted. “Just because you don’t have the imagination to know where we are, doesn’t mean we’re all so blind.”
Hermione’s voice floated down towards them. “Let me continue please, Luna.”
“Of course, Hermione.” Luna replied evenly.
“You are here to play out the story of Robin Hood so that you might further understand each other and reap the benefits of all that I can show you. I know that each of you has a preconception of the others in the group, but it is my deepest wish that through this experience you would gain new understanding and respect for one another. Or at the very least, you would learn not to kill one another. The first order of business is for your narrator, Hermione, to assign the roles that each of you will play. I would like to point out that her decision is final and if you argue or aggravate her in any way, she can strike you with a bolt of lightning.”
“Bloody hell,” Ron muttered quietly before a grin overtook him. He turned quickly to Malfoy. “No more nasty comments or she can fry you, you stupid git.”
“Ron please,” Hermione’s tone was pleading and Ron shut his mouth. “Thank you. Now, I have six roles here… let me see. First off is Robin Hood and I think Harry would suit that role just fine.”
Instantly a cloud of white, swirling dust surrounded Harry and he could be heard coughing. When he emerged from it, waving his arms to clear the air about him, Ron could not suppress his laughter. Nor, it seemed, could anyone else. Harry was dressed in a long green tunic, over thick green tights and leather shoes that resembled slippers over his feet. A jaunty green cap, with a long red feather stuck from it, was perched upon his head.
Harry looked down at himself and groan. “You have got to be kidding me! Hermione, what is this?”
“It’s making you look like the fairy that you are.” Malfoy sneered maliciously.
Ginny walked over to Harry and pulled his head down to snog him. The kiss went on and on, and by the end of it, Harry’s hand were coming dangerously close to parts of Ginny that he was not allowed to touch. Ron felt his fists were clenched so hard that they were beginning to shake.
“I thought he had dumped you,” Malfoy said loudly, interrupting their kiss.
Ginny whirled around quickly. “And I thought I told you to shut your stupid mouth.” She advanced on him and he backed up hastily, to avoid her reach. “I happen to think he’s sexy and you can just deal with that. Besides,” she threw Harry a searching look before turning back to Malfoy. “He obviously still wants to be with me so you can just stick your wand where the sun don’t-“
“GINNY!” Hermione’s voice was sharp and caught Ginny off guard.
“What?” Ginny glared up at Hermione.
“You’re going to play Maid Marian.” Hermione told her simple, her voice sounded strained.
Instantly the cloud of white dust surrounded her and she could be heard coughing behind it. When Ginny came forward from the cloud though, Ron was immediately incensed. “You cannot wear that!” He bellowed and moved over to shield her from the other. Ginny simply pushed him out of the way and glared up at Hermione.
“I can hardly breathe in this thing!” Ginny gestured towards her long, flowing yellow gown that was extremely low cut and obviously from an earlier era. There were purple flowers all around it and yellow flowers pulled back her red hair, which was curling down her back towards her waist.
Ron gaped at her. “Your, your…” he pointed at her chest, which was heaving erratically.
“They’re called breasts, Weasley.” Draco said softly. “She is wearing a costume befitting the time period.”
Ron looked around at the other for support. Neville was bright red and was not looking at Ginny. Luna was whistling softly and looking over at Snape, whom looked as if he was trying not to laugh. Finally Ron glanced over at Harry and wished he hadn’t. The look on Harry’s face was not one that any brother would want to see directed towards their baby sister. “Harry!” Ron called sharply and Harry turned away, clearly embarrassed.
Ginny seemed to be ignoring them. “Why can’t I breathe properly Hermione?”
“You’re wearing a corset. It helps to, you know, fill out the dress.” Hermione waved one arm above them, apparently helpless to explain further.
Ginny groaned. “This is ridiculous!” She held her hands in front of her and looked down at her chest. “I am not this big!”
Harry started choking. Probably on his own drool, Ron thought bitterly. Luna walked over and smacked him hard on the back several times.
“Thanks,” Harry muttered and Ron could see that his eyes were watering.
“Miss Weasley, please refrain from making rude gestures in my company.” Snape commented coldly.
“Shut it Snape, no one asked you.” Ginny shot back, clearly annoyed.
Hermione started talking again. “Snape will be the Sheriff of Nottingham and Malfoy will be Prince John.”
The two Slytherins were instantly surrounded in the white haze. Snape appeared first, dressed in all black. He wore a black tunic over black tights. Even his shoes were black and he did not wear a hat as Harry did, but instead a black ribbon pulled his hair back away from his face.
“Unbelievable.” Ron muttered as he looked at his old professor.
“I know,” Luna agreed amicably. “Black really isn’t his color. But Draco looks lovely.”
Ron turned quickly towards the place where Malfoy had disappeared only to find his former classmate attempting to pull the clothes off of him. His tunic was a deep, royal purple but the tights were a lighter shade, a very pale purple.
Ginny let out a snort. “Nice tights Ferret. Lavender is certainly a good color on you.”
“Personally,” Harry interjected. “I like all of his jewelry best. It’s very, uh, manly.”
Draco’s hand flew up to his head as he felt the bejeweled crown that sat upon his head, before reaching to feel the large ruby necklace around his neck and finally he looked down towards his hands. On each of his fingers was a ring. Some were large and others dainty, but all held precious stones.
“This is just-” began Malfoy but Hermione quickly interrupted him, cutting off his whining.
“Careful Malfoy, or I’ll be forced to strike you down with lightning. I’ve located the button for that.” Hermione pointed at something they could not see. Ron, Ginny, Harry and Neville began to laugh. “Now, I need to finish casting.” Hermione went back to her list. “I have Little John, well obviously that needs to be Ron since he is the tallest.”
Ron felt the air around him begin to stir and suddenly he was engulfed in the white cloud that was becoming very familiar. His eyes stung as he felt his clothing shift and the new ones replace his old jeans, t-shirt and trainers. He swiped his hand over his face and walked forward to see what he was wearing. At least he was prepared. He was dressed in exactly the same way as Harry.
“You have a blue feather.” Luna informed him and Ron’s hand flew up his hat, but of course he could not see the color.
“Well,” Ron said bracingly. “At least I don’t look like a complete poof.” As he finished speaking, he looked pointedly over at Malfoy.
“I am not a-” Draco began defensively but Snape held out a hand and he fell silent.
Snape’s voice was harsh and scathing. “Ignore him Draco. He is nothing but an ignorant, little…”
Snape let out a loud cry as a flash of lightning came down from the sky, hitting his head and causing him to fall to his knees as smoke began to curl up from his arse. He tentatively touched his bum with the tips of his fingers, emitting a small hiss of pain at the burning contact. “Damn, that hurt.” Ron could detect the faint smell of cooked meat, emanating from Snape.
“Good and maybe you’ll learn to watch your mouth.” Hermione bit out. “That goes for everyone! I don’t want to have to fry you but I will if you can’t behave.” She glared at each of them in turn and they all nodded. Ron certainly did not want to be hit by an irate Hermione.
“Who are we going to be?” Neville asked Hermione tentatively.
“Yes, I have two parts left. Oh dear, they’re both for boys.” She looked down at Luna. “I’m sorry!”
“That’s all right.” Luna replied evenly. “I really didn’t fancy having to wear one of those corsets.”
“Just great.” Ginny muttered mutinously. “I have to be the only one stuck in this stupid dress!”
“It’s not stupid!” Harry told her vehemently.
Ginny spun to face him. “Have you been staring at me Harry James Potter?”
Harry spluttered for a moment before blushing. “I can’t help it!”
Ginny turned pink… all over, as far as Ron could see and he groaned. “This is so wrong!” He looked up at Hermione. “Can’t you give her a t-shirt or something?”
Hermione giggled but shook her head. “Okay, I want Neville to be Friar Tuck and Luna can be Will Scarlet.”
Again, his friends were taken by the white clouds and Neville came out wearing a long brown monk’s outfit. Ron looked over to find Luna wearing an outfit matching both his and Harry’s, but her feather was yellow. She did not look in the least bit disturbed by being dressed as a boy. Her dirty blonde hair was still pulled back in a bun.
“I need to finish reading my instructions.” Hermione called down to them. “Now that you are cast, we will begin. When Hermione gives the order you will be moved towards your new homes and the story will begin. You must play out the story as she directs or you will not be able to leave this place. Please also note that you will not be able to use magic to function and will need to learn to protect yourself and catch food in other ways. There will be other people floating in and out of the story, but they will not be real and cannot help you. They are merely there to fill out the story. I hope that you enjoy yourself and you learn much from your time here. Your Servant, Albus Dumbledore.”
Hermione let out a sigh. “Well, let’s get this started.” Instantly Snape, Malfoy and Ginny disappeared from the group.
“Where did they go?” Harry demanded, spinning fast to try and see them.
“They are in their starting places and Prince John is planning on marrying Maid Marian.” Hermione told him. “But that isn’t really the point right now. First off, we have to teach you how to live in a forest and that means hunting.”
“How are we going to do that?” Neville asked her, his voice trembling slightly. Ron could see that a fine sweat had broken out on his brow, even though it was not a hot day.
Hermione coughed and pointed behind them. They all turned and Ron saw a branch bent to near its breaking point and tied by a string. “What is that?”
“You have got to be joking, Hermione!” Harry growled. “How are we supposed to use bows and arrows to hunt?”
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