Author's Note So when I say "fairly often," sometimes I mean every three days. Seeing as how the challenge deadline is November 1, I'd like to make sure the story is completed by then. (By the way - one version is nine chapters long, the other is ten. Do the math.)
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy (or not, as the case may be - not that I want you to not enjoy, but still).
You might be getting bored at this point. Some people, cynics or romantics or both, would wonder how long it took us to hook up. Because of all the ideas floating around that say we would and should get together, hopefully before graduation but maybe five years after that, if our story ends up particularly dramatic. I have nothing to say to that except this: I’m already telling this story. It means something, I promise you. I don’t like wasting my time telling stories that don’t need to be told.
But that’s not strictly true. When Lily was little, littler than me at least, I’d tell her stories to put her to sleep. And one time, Noah, a friend, was hyped up on so much energy potion that he needed a sleeping draught to ensure that he wouldn’t kill himself by morning. Except, of course, for the fact that I was thirteen, and a full-on sleeping draught was beyond my skills. So I told him a story. Or rather, I tried and a bunch of the others helped.
“Once upon a time there was a princess.” Eugenie’s contribution.
“An ugly princess.” Not to say that Moira was ugly. The following giggle wasn’t exactly attractive, though.
“So none of the princes in the land wanted to marry her, and as punishment for being ugly, her parents took away her cauldron and wand.” Simon wasn’t crazy about story telling and wanted to go to sleep. He wouldn’t, though, for fear of missing something epic.
“But they didn’t take away her books, so she read everything she could to try to get her wand and cauldron back.” Everyone sighed internally at Rose’s mention of books.
“That didn’t work, though, so she stole a maid’s wand and escaped her parents’ castle.” Moira and Rose had a friendly rivalry, or so they each told me. They never said what they were fighting over, either.
Rose wouldn’t be outdone yet. “Now she decided that the only thing she could do would be to storm her parents’ castle.”
“Except no one would help her because she was just that ugly.” Eugenie was distracted at this point by Napoleon, who had climbed into her trunk at the beginning of second year and hadn’t been left behind since, rubbing his fuzzy-haired self against her legs.
I had to get the story back on track. “So she went to find the one person who could help her: a blind wizard who lived in the neighboring fields.”
“When she found him, he told her that he couldn’t help her.” Simon snickered, even as the girls plus Napoleon all glared at him for derailing the haphazard plot. “Because…” He waited for one of us to fill in the blank.
“He was a Muggle!” Moira cried.
Everybody stopped, including Noah; he was getting a bit invested in our princess’ plight, but we were trying to figure out how to dig ourselves out of the hole.
“Right.” Nobody else had the creative faculty to pull this ridiculous plot off, so naturally it was me to whom the task was left. “The peasant was a fake who swindled the locals and he wasn’t a wizard. But he was stupid, and the princess used the Imperius Curse against him–”
Rose cottoned on quickly. “And he gathered his supporters and ordered them to storm the princess’ parents’ castle!” I knew I kept her around for some reason.
“So the village idiots stormed the castle…” Simon broke off with a yawn.
“And were summarily slaughtered.” I was not the only one who almost jumped out of his skin when he noticed that Napoleon seemed pleased with his owner’s statement.
“But the king captured the blind Muggle and tried to find out who was controlling him.” Moira was watching Noah very carefully. She liked him, I thought. Not that he was much to see right now: he had splattered ink across his shirt and his face was buried in a textbook.
“And he found out that it was the ugly princess and went to defeat her once and for all.”
While Simon again waited for someone to take up the narrative mantle, we all heard a distinctive snore coming from Hogwarts: A History.
We never finished the story. Rose wrote down what we’d already said, but never continued it. Like I said, I was the only one with the creative faculty to take on such a task. And again, I don’t like wasting my time telling stories that don’t need to be told.