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Chapter 2 : Sleeping Beauty
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Enjoy the latest update of Ron's massacred fairy stories!
It was breakfast time, and Ron was taking the day off work. He felt obligated to take the day off work because it was Hermione’s day off work too, and he hated working when she wasn’t. It wasn’t that he was lazy, it was the principle that bothered him. Not to mention that following last night’s story reading, he was quite eager to hear more of the same, and wasn’t prepared to wait till bedtime. Yes, the Muggle portrayal of magic was very amusing – and sometimes downright odd – and yes, he mentally butchered every scene Hermione read out to him, but the stories had spoken kind words of happy endings. Who could not be spellbound?
“It’s not your day off, Ron,” said Hermione, filling Ron’s teacup with tea, poured from the spout of a delightful matching teapot, “You should really be in work.”
Ron shrugged, and gave a guilty grin, looking at her over the top of their blue and white gingham tablecloth from his side of the little kitchen table.
“I’d much rather stay here with you,” he said, determined to be pleasant so that Hermione would read to him, “You’re the best company I know. I’d sooner die than spend the day apart from – ”
“What do you want, Ron?” Hermione asked him sweetly, raising a teacup to her lips, “I admit you were doing well until you had to ruin it with your ridiculous exaggerations.”
Ron did his best to look scandalised.
“I don’t want anything! I was merely expressing – ”
“You’re never this nice to me, especially in the mornings when you’re usually grumpy and impossible to make conversation with, so I’ll repeat myself: what do you want?”
Ron raised his hands in mock defeat, causing the sleeves of his maroon dressing gown to slip down his arms and reveal even more wrist than they had done so previously; Ron was doomed to always have clothes that were just that little bit too small for him. Oh the burdens the tall are encumbered with…
“Ok,” Ron said, “You win. I want to hear more fairy stories, and was hoping that you’d read to me.”
He expected Hermione to protest, to insist he went to work that he could hear more when he got home, to claim that she couldn’t read to him because he was so rude and blasphemous towards the tales she so loved. He was therefore surprised when she opened her mouth (to protest, he assumed), but then proceeding to jump up and fetch the treasured book from the living room, where it had spent the night on the handmade coffee table (Harry had found some wood languishing in his cottage shed when he and Ginny had moved in, and had become inspired to start some creative handiwork, man style. Unfortunately, he’d never done it before, and the glorious vision of a splendid bench for the garden eventually dumbed down into a simple dining table, and into a basic coffee table, whose surface lay at slight angle, rather than parallel to the floor like most tables. Ginny had grown so sick of it spilling coffee everywhere that she’d fobbed it off on Ron and Hermione when they’d moved in, as a “house warming present.”) Hermione had had to put a subtle sticking charm onto it, so anything placed on this table had to be slightly prized off. If you set a piece of parchment onto it you were doomed.
Hermione returned with the book under her arm, the chirpy red toadstool peeping out from underneath the sleeve of her nightdress. She sat down in her seat opposite Ron, and opened the book at page thirty-six. A large picture of a beautiful maiden asleep marked the spot. Ron put his face in his hands and prepared himself to be swept away.
“Now Ron, after last night there have to be rules,” Hermione said sternly, poking him on the nose, “You put some very inappropriate scenes into Cinderella, and it shan’t happen again, understand?”
“I und – ”
“You will also not interrupt me, or ask pointless questions, or laugh at bits that are not meant to be laughed at, like deaths for instance, understand?”
“Ye – ”
Hermione ruffled his hair whilst beaming at him, trying to convince herself that Ron would keep to his word. She would put her life in a jar and then trust him to run around the equator of the Earth with it, and then return it to her intact at the end. But somehow she didn’t trust him to behave himself whilst she was reading. Yet a glimmer of morning hope spoke to Hermione, telling her that Ron would keep to his word.
Ron had no intention of keeping to his word.
“The story I am about to read you is “Sleeping Beauty,” a tale of a beautiful young princess who is destined to die on her sixteenth birthday by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel…”
“This sounds extreme,” said Ron, his eyes widening, for they foresaw the carnage that was about to come.
Hermione cleared her throat, and began:
~*Enter into Ron’s imagination, only previously chartered once before*~
The King and Queen of a far and distant land were overjoyed; they had just been blessed with the birth of a baby girl. They named her Aurora. Such was their joy that they invited the entire kingdom to celebrate her birth, including another King, who’s son was to one day become their beautiful daughter’s son.
“The son has red hair,” Ron said, “And he’s going to be quite lanky and tall for his age, but good looking with it; he pulls if off quite like no one else can. He had the girls running after him.”
“Ron, the son at this point is about two,” Hermione emphasized, “And you’re interrupting!”
The kingdom arrived at the beautiful castle, from the aristocracy to the peasants and beggars, where they were fed with cakes, and watered with the finest teas from India. A red haired pair of jesters wandered around the crowd, juggling all sorts of dangerous things like flaming torches and goblets full of acid. The new child lay in a bassinette, waving her chubby fists at the furore of visitors, blissfully unaware of the unexpected villain who was about to make an appearance.
“This villain’s going to look like Voldemort.”
“The villain is a woman, Ron,” Hermione said simply, not looking up.
“Fine, then it’s Voldemort in drag. I’m giving him a blonde wig. And let’s face it, his voice is pretty high.”
“Don’t – ”
“Sorry, can’t change my mind now; the image is there to stay. Oh, and the baby has strangely curly hair for her age. The kingdom keeps commenting on it; they reckon its odd because all the other newborn babies they’ve seen have been bald.”
Suddenly, a lightening crash accompanied the doors to the castle flying open, bringing a cold gust of wind with it, throwing a harsh cover of chill over the guests and the King and Queen. The jesters stopped their outrageously dangerous juggling, and people gasped and screamed as the evil Maleficent –
“No, it’s Voldette actually.”
“Shut up, Ron. You’re breaking your promise.”
“Sorry. It won’t happen again.”
This evil fairy stomped inside, wearing a pair of terribly fitting high heels and a blonde wig that kept slipping to one side. Had this fairy not been armed with a massive club, and a disconcerting leer, the guests may have laughed at him.
“Ron, stop it please! You’re ruining the character. She’s meant to be subtly terrifying, not leering, and NOT armed with a huge club! She’s not a troll!”
The fairy was terribly offended for he had not been invited to the party. He wasn’t surprised to be fair; he didn’t have a great reputation among the locals, but still liked to be included in social circles. The evil like to have friends too sometimes, and this was one tea party too many that he hadn’t been asked to. So he’d killed many of the townsfolk, whatever happened to “forgive and forget?” And so what if he liked to dress like a lady sometimes? This was the fifteenth century! People needed to move with the times.
“Why can’t you ever just appreciate the story for what it is?” Hermione asked, exasperated, “You’re bunking off work for this, and you can’t even listen properly!”
“I am!” claimed Ron, sounding slightly childish, “Wouldn’t you rather I enjoyed the story, even if it means altering it a bit?”
Hermione emitted some mutinous grunts.
“So once again I haven’t been invited to the latest tea party…” the fairy said to the silent room, “And I thought you two, Mr King and Mrs Queen, were reasonable, fairly nice people.”
“We are,” said King Harry, pushing his little round glasses further up his nose and trying to cover his scar that he was very embarrassed about. He had gotten it while playing croquet in the garden with his late father, who had fallen out of a hot air balloon, “But you always cause a ruckus when we invite you to things. Last time you upended all our pot plants and killed one of the waiters with that club of yours.”
“Yes,” agreed Queen Ginny, flinging her red hair over her shoulder, “I spent weeks planting all those seeds with our gardener Longbottom, and the fruits of my labour were ruined by your raucous behaviour.”
“Well, well, well,” said Voldette, in that menacing “well well well” way that villains are so good at, “I shall proceed to ruin other fruits of your labour! Haha, I believe you’ve just had a baby!”
“You’re disgusting, Ron. If I’ve got this right, you’ve got Harry and Ginny as my mother… I’m assuming I’m the baby?”
“Yes, you are the strange little curly haired baby who can already read even though you’re about two weeks old. It’s scared everyone.”
Hermione rolled her eyes.
“No! You won’t touch our little Aurora!” cried Queen Ginny, flinging herself over the bassinette and almost suffocating her daughter with all her silken finery and beaded dress, “Harry! Back me up here!”
“You shall leave now!” said King Harry in his most commanding voice, “Guards! Take Voldette away!”
Voldette merely gave a evil villain laugh and said:
“I’ll leave in a minute. I want to curse your daughter first!”
Voldette cleared his throat; he didn’t want his voice going all croaky while he was relaying his curse. His nice high voice freaked people out, and he didn’t want it suddenly breaking and going as deep as the bass drum that accompanied him on Friday nights, revealing that he was actually a man.
“On her sixteenth birthday she’ll prick her finger on one of Seamus Finnegan’s gelled hair spikes – ”
“What Ron?! Why is Seamus now in the story?” Hermione looked at him, looking simultaneously exhausted and exasperated.
“He’s the local drunk!”
“Because he’s Irish.”
Hermione tutted and found a new reason to be cross:
“They didn’t hair gel in the fifteenth century.”
“It’s a fairy tale Hermione… dear me.”
“ – and DIE!!!!!!!”
“ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” screamed Queen Ginny as Voldette disappeared in a puff of smoke (actually he just emitted the puff of smoke due to a dodgy cheese bagel he’d eaten earlier, but used the smoke cloud to conceal his hasty exit through the doors, hoping it would trick everyone into thinking he could disappear in a puff of smoke. Unlike most villains though, he wasn’t disappearing to an evil looking black castle atop an evil looking black jaggedy mountain, but the most local place he could find that catered to his – erm – special needs. It was a pub called “The Stocking”, found on the south coast of England in Brighton. Voldette had a singing gig there.
“Oh dear,” said King Harry, picking Hermione out of her crib. She grabbed his glasses and dropped them on the floor so they smashed. The horrible cleaner called Arglentine Filch swept them away. The King now couldn’t see, and accidentally dropped his baby when trying to replace her in the bassinette.
“Ron, you’re completely wrecking it!” Hermione said, sounding close to tears, “Why did you even bother asking me to read to you?”
“Because you’re making the book come alive in a way that no other book has ever done!” Ron implored, “Please, take this as a compliment! You are broadening my literary horizons, expanding my appreciation of the written word, building on my – ”
Hermione hastily started reading again to shut him up.
Luckily, help was at hand, in the shape of a nice fairy, who had suddenly arrived out of nowhere, just like most nice people do. Nice people tend to hide in corners. A bit like spiders.
“Hello, I’m Fairy Lovegood, and I haven’t drunk in two days!” said the fairy dreamily, smoothing down her lovely power blue fairy gown and giving a little wave to the King and Queen with a delicate little hand holding a silver wand with the star on top.
“Hello, Fairy Lovegood!” said everyone in the room, waving back. They then burst into applause at the nice fairy’s amazing feat.
“I can’t get rid of this curse, because I have a drinking problem that I’m tackling with, and my energy can’t stretch to removing any sort of death related problem,” said the fairy, to a series of disappointed groans, “But I’ll just make it so that instead of Aurora dying, she’ll go to sleep instead. But she can only wake up when Ron kisses her, as he’s her true love.”
The little boy called Ron licked his lips and suddenly started to dance in a jubilant style. The band arrived and started to play “It’s raining men.” Everyone watched Ron, thinking to themselves how brilliantly attractive he’d be once he hit fifteen.
“Urgh,” said Hermione, “This story is well and truly tainted and tarnished now. Not fit for children anymore that’s for sure.”
“Are you saying my dancing’s worse than the idea of a cross dressing Voldemort?”
Years and years passed, during which the entire kingdom’s supply of spinning wheels were tossed into the lake. People didn’t have new clothes for years, but the King and Queen decided that they would try and destroy the things that would send their daughter to sleep.
Meanwhile, their daughter was sixteen today. She was unaware of her fate, and was more worried about normal teenager things like: her tight bodice stopped her breathing, she wasn’t allowed to go shopping with her friends anymore since one of them had shaved her head, and this annoyingly tenacious orange haired fellow called Ron kept pestering her, claiming he was betrothed to be her husband. If this were to occur nowadays, it would be called “sexual harassment” and would be a crime.
“Hey!” cried Ron, “I’m not annoyingly tenacious and my hair is not orange it is – it’s – it’s auburn!”
“Two can play at this game, Ronald,” Hermione cackled, turning the page, “Now shut up.”
“Please marry me now?” whined Ron, pulling her hair like a child. He loved the way the brown coils pinged back to shape once he’d pulled them straight. They were both in the castle gardens, watching the fish in the pond.
“For the last time, Ronald, I said NO!!”
“Because my Dad thinks you’re trouble. And he doesn’t want any of his grandchildren to have orange hair.”
“Your Mum has orange hair,” Ron argued suddenly and triumphantly, “Ha ha!”
“So’s your face,” said Hermione.
“So’s your Mum,” said Ron.
They continued in similar unintelligent vain for some time, until Hermione saw an apparition. It was an evil looking feminine man, or masculine woman, with a ring of lipstick slightly wider than his lips on. She was hypnotised by his evil hideousness, and followed the evil apparition into a garden shed. Ron didn’t notice for the fish distracted him.
“That isn’t how it goes, Ron. And surely you’re not so stupid that you don’t notice that the object of your affections goes wondering off? She’s meant to be on her own when she’s hypnotised! You’re littering the tale with plot holes, very, very bad things.”
“Hallelujah!” sang Ron, randomly “Amen.”
Sadly, there was a spinning wheel in the shed that Hermione had been hypnotised into, and was suddenly possessed by a compulsive urge to fling her entire body onto the sword like spike that was protruding from the head of the spinner: Seamus Finnegan. She did so, crushing him, and her body was entirely impaled on his irrationally sharp spike of hair.
“It’s. Just. Her. Finger. And. It’s. On. The. Spinning. Wheel. Not. Seamus’s. HEAD!” Hermione said through gritted teeth, ending on a yell and bringing the book down on Ron’s head once more.
“OW!” Ron cried, rubbing the lump on his head, “And I’ve explained before, men need carnage in their stories! A story isn’t a good one unless someone is impaled in it.”
Hermione mentally cursed him. Luckily she didn’t have her wand on her, otherwise she might have actually cursed him.
Hermione was now asleep, and a great big thorn bush had grown around the shed in which she slept, still impaled on Seamus’s hair. To ease the pain of having a human lying on top of his head – though a beautiful girl was never to be complained about, she was still rather heavy and his neck never had been the same since he decided he’d try and balance a horse on his head – he started to drink the bottle of Guinness he always had on his person. He fell asleep too, though instead of a cursed sleep, it was a drunken stupor.
Ron knew his beloved maiden was trapped in the shed, which was trapped by the thorn bush!! He had to save her, but didn’t know how. How could he deal with a thorn bush with his bare hands? Not to mention the rather fine cloak he was wearing would be snagged to pieces…
Luckily, Fairy Lovegood arrived, who was checking up on Seamus because he hadn’t turned up to any of his counselling sessions lately, during which he’d discuss his drinking problem. She would then share stories of her own drinking problems. It was amazing how often their stories correlated with each other, so they’d long since come to the conclusion that they’d been having a long running affair with each other, unknown by both of them because they were drunk all the time.
“Oh dear, Ron,” the fairy said, “Your beloved is in there isn’t she? Alas, it looks like the curse has occured! But here, have this sword. You can use it to chop your way through to your beloved, kiss her, and wake her up. Hopefully she’ll thank you for saving her, and potentially marry you.”
“YES!” cried Ron, running towards the bush with his new sword aloft, imagining “It’s raining men” to be playing in his head.
“I’m going to burn that record when I’m done reading,” Hermione said in a low voice.
“Fine, you do that. I don’t care,” said Ron, though inside his heart was racing and he started to panic desperately and started to formulate a plan to prevent this miscarriage of justice from happening.
Ron chopped away at the thorns, thinking he could run away immediately when Hermione finished reading to ferry his record away to a secret location, maybe the same place he kept his erotic collection of Cassandra Warbeck posters –
“Ron!” Hermione started to laugh, “Your plan to save your terrible record has infiltrated into your imaginings of the story! You completely fail. And what’s this erotic poster collection all about?”
“Just carry on reading dear,” Ron said.
Ron chopped away at the thorns, thinking of nothing else but the thorns, and how they were entrapping his maiden. Something suddenly heeded his progress though, and it suddenly struck him how often things occurred suddenly in his life.
Voldette was in front of his blocking his progress to the shed, the thorn bush somehow not affecting him. He laughed, and then turned into an ox.
“It’s a dragon Ron, not an ox.”
But an ox was no match for Ron! He leapt into the air, performing a series of astonishing gymnastics he didn’t know he could do, and plunged his sword into the ground.
He had meant to stab the ox, but missed. The ox then turned into a dragon, and Ron had no choice but to run for it. Luckily, the shed wasn’t too far away, and he managed to get through the thorns with a mere fifty or so scratches, of which only ten were severe, and of which only five were life threatening. He’d had worse whilst playing boules with Harry. Except those were more clunks to the head that had rendered him unconscious for many hours and days. Harry didn’t understand that you were meant to roll the boules, not throw them, and that if you must throw them, you were meant to aim for the little white ball, not at people.
He barricaded himself inside, and saw Hermione sleeping. Desperate to end this ordeal and to relieve some of the tension that had been building up between them Ron lifted her lifeless form off of Seamus’s unconscious head and gave Hermione an almighty big snog.
She woke up in Ron’s arms, and realised he was a hero, and said that yes, she would marry him.
“We’ll go get married right now!” she declared.
“I’d love that,” agreed Ron, still holding her, “Except there’s the tiny hindrance that there’s an unpleasant thorn bush outside and a dragon.”
“Oh,” said Hermione, slightly shocked, “Why?”
“Voldette,” answered Ron, feeling no further explanation was needed.
“What do we do now?”
“I guess we’ll just have to stay in here with Seamus forevermore, until the dragon dies.”
And they lived happily ever after.
“They were meant to get married in the castle and the dragon was supposed to be killed!” Hermione protested, closing the storybook and regarding Ron with faint amusement.
“Well Ron failed at that didn’t he?” the real Ron said, leaning back in his chair and putting his hands behind his head, “The important thing though, was that it ended happily.”
“Villains are supposed to die at the end of fairy tales though,” Hermione retorted sagely.
“Oh well,” yawned Ron, giving a stretch, “This was more entertaining than work though.”
“I’ll drink to that!” said Hermione, extremely unexpectedly.
So she poured them both another cup of tea, and they did just that.
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