Chapter 1 : Blue Pumpkin
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Written for Slytherin House Forum - All Hallow's Eve Writing Competition for ATR Society.
Molly Weasley’s tired eyes warmly moved over her most precious treasures, her eleven grandchildren, all sprawled out sleepily in her living room, while she rocked in her favorite antique rocking chair. They all looked adorable in their Halloween costumes, now spent and exhausted from an entire afternoon of trick-or-treating together as one big Weasley bunch. Molly enjoyed this annual family outing so much, she swore it kept her young at heart and on the go.
Teddy, the oldest and tallest, lie stretched out on the comfy sofa, still in his Whomping Willow costume, minus the extra limbs.
Albus and James sat together on the floor with their heads propped up on a couch cushion, their tummies full of candy and now fast asleep. They had dressed as Quidditch players and were now surrounded by their day’s wages.
Little Lilly dressed as the flower that was her name and looked so cute, now sleeping peacefully.
Hugo was still just a little thing and was dressed as a bright orange pumpkin, his face paint now smeared and faded in most places, he had curled up with his favorite blanket like the little pup that he was.
Rose wanted a scary costume, so her father allowed her to go trick-or-treating as a Mer-person, scary indeed.
Dominique and Louis were dressed as their favorite foods, a chocolate frog and a pumpkin pasty.
Freddie turned out to be a great pirate, his eye-patch now moved and settled onto his ear.
And Roxanne had been painted into a beautiful exotic purple and blue butterfly, perhaps secretly Molly’s favorite costume this year.
And then there was fair beautiful Victoire, who could’ve been an angel rather than the pink princess outfit that she had chosen. Her unique light strawberry blonde hair made her different than her brothers, sisters, and cousins. And a month earlier when she asked her grandmum if she could make a potion that could make her hair red or brown like the rest of the family’s, Molly’s heart broke for her, knowing her granddaughter felt out of place and just wanted to fit in.
They were all precious in her site, each one with their own personalities and each adorable in their own unique ways.
But as she looked them over, she could tell that little Victoire was still awake.
“Grandmum, tell me a story, will you?” little Victoire asked in her sweet little girl voice. “Like mum does to me when I’m at home at bedtime?”
“Alright, come up here,” Molly whispered quietly as the youngster climbed into her lap. “Hmm, which story should I tell on this wondrous autumn night?”
“Something different. Something about pumpkins perhaps?”
Molly thought for a long moment, knowing that she’d have to make it up. She couldn’t remember hearing about any stories of pumpkins while growing up. And after thinking on such short notice, she decided on a story that hopefully little Victoire would understand.
“Well, there once was this Blue Pumpkin.”
“A Blue Pumpkin?” Victoire asked skeptically.
“Oh, yes. They are rare, but they do exist. And once upon a time, there lived a pale blue pumpkin amongst the brightest and best orange brothers and orange sisters and green cousins. They were brightly colored, beautiful, and lively and couldn’t wait to be picked and used to celebrate the fall harvest. And they were all shapes and sizes, some baby small, some giant large, but he was the only one of blue,” Molly began in her animated story-telling voice that held the girl’s attention and intrigue.
“Who ever would want a blue pumpkin?” an orange brother asked mockingly. “You look sickly and pale. No one is going to want you.”
“You are the brightest of this bunch,” Blue Pumpkin acknowledged kindly. “Please, lend me some of your coloring that I might be picked this season.”
“Lend you coloring? Don’t you know? You are born with your coloring. You cannot be changed. You can never be orange or green like us. You will die here, with the other misshapen and rotting gourds; ugly, pitiful, and useless.”
Blue Pumpkin’s heart sunk and he became sorely sad. For he began to actually believe what others were saying. They turned their backs to him, making him feel lonely in a patch of thousands.
When the sun went down and the moon shown brightly, it appeared to him that they all turned blue. Except that he would reflect the moonlight and appear as a glowing ghost amongst them. Blue Pumpkin would search the fields by moonlight, looking for others that were like him, hoping that he would find a friend. But he found no one that was like him; ugly, pitiful, and useless.
And everywhere he went, he was met with the same unwelcome haughtiness of his beautiful orange brothers and sisters and green cousins. For none wanted him in their patches. He would try not to look at their mean faces and began wishing he was invisible.
He vowed that he would search the world to find another like him. Surely he wasn’t the only one.
But as he began to grow in size and stature, his search became more and more difficult the larger he got. He trudged the fields by the pale light of the moon until one day, he could search no more. He was utterly spent, searching to exhaustion.
The next morning, Blue Pumpkin opened his eyes to a sea of the most beautiful pumpkins he’d ever seen, all happy, lively, and bright orange.
And on that day, people came from afar to pick their favorites.
The children picked the small ones. The adults picked the big ones, placing them in rickety wagons and carried off. Those pumpkins had purpose. They had been chosen to become something special; a decoration, a carving, or perhaps made into a holiday treat.
But each and every time, the people passed him by. Perhaps he’d become invisible after all, he thought.
But then a little boy, with the lightest white-blonde hair and pale skin made his way to Blue Pumpkin. The boy was different than all the others, much like him; light and pale, but he didn’t think him ugly. The child even had eyes that matched him. They were of the lightest blue hue.
The boy bent down and ran smooth hands over Blue Pumpkin as if comforting a beloved pet. The hope that welled in his heart was indescribable. Would he be picked after all? Would he be chosen to be plucked from the fields and used for some special purpose beyond his imagination?
The boy’s eyes looked up and away, searching for approval from his parents. But they shook their heads as if he had chosen poorly. And when the boy stood to pick a green cousin, pale Blue Pumpkin’s heart sunk to the lowest it had ever been.
All hope was lost and rumors spread that if he didn’t get chosen by the last day of October, by Halloween night, that it would be too late. Well, Halloween had come and gone and Blue Pumpkin was in tears, feeling unwanted and useless, without purpose and meaning to his existence.
Molly paused for a long silent moment, thinking that little Victoire might’ve fallen asleep.
“What happened to him, Grandmum?” she asked, wanting to know the rest of the story. Surely it couldn’t just stop with him being so hopeless and sad.
“Oh, well,” Molly continued.
One cold November night, a full blue moon hovered above, lighting the patch with a blue glow that matched his saddened blue spirit. And who should appear, out of nowhere, but a man in a long dark hooded cloak, a Wizard.
But Blue Pumpkin no longer got his hopes up when someone came along, but he watched, wondering which lucky brother or sister or cousin the man would choose. All of the brightest were picked up and gone now.
But the man seemed surprised to see Blue Pumpkin and he quite literally ran to him, nearly tripping trying to get to him.
He watched as the man removed his hood abruptly to get a better look at him. The man smiled with hope in his eyes and wrapped his arms around Blue Pumpkin and hugged him tightly. The man sobbed and cried for a moment at his incredible find.
Blue Pumpkin was a treasure. For the man needed him desperately for a purpose far greater and more important than any of the other thousands of pumpkins.
And there was no time to waste. The wizard got to his feet, raised his wand, and soon Blue Pumpkin was plucked from the ground and amazingly, he hovered effortlessly in mid-air.
He heard the other pumpkins gasp in their shock and amazement as his heart swelled within.
His remaining orange brothers and sisters and green cousins became exceedingly jealous of his magical destiny. For they came to realize that he wasn’t ugly, pitiful, and useless at all. Blue Pumpkin was unique and wondrous. And his purpose was not only special, but grand in scale after all.
“What purpose?” Victoire wondered impatiently.
“Well, without him, all of the magical world probably would’ve been lost to history,” she explained.
A great plague was among the Magical people, killing young and old alike. It was called Dragon Pox. And unless they found the flesh and seeds of a blue pumpkin to brew the potion that would cure the pox, they all might not have survived.
That very night, Blue Pumpkin saved seven children, three of which were the wizard’s own who had found him. And there would be even more people saved in the coming weeks. And from his seeds to cultivate more blue pumpkins for future outbreaks of Dragon Pox, many believe that he saved the magical world from extinction.
Blue Pumpkin started out very sad, ridiculed because he was different. He even spent many a night searching for a place to belong, but his purpose was not to be placed on a porch as a decoration or turned into common pies and bread or pumpkin juice. He didn’t know that one day he would live to know that he was something truly magical.
“What will I be when I grow up, Grandmum?” she asked in her sleepy little girl voice.
“I don’t know. But in time, if things seem like they are not going your way or as planned, know to never lose hope in your heart. Each of us is unique and there is no one like you. For one day you will become something more than you can imagine right now. You have a purpose and value no matter how blue or lonely you might feel.”
“Just like Blue Pumpkin?”
“Yes, deary. Exactly like Blue Pumpkin.”
Victoire cuddled up close to her grandmother and soon she too was fast asleep.
But what Molly had not known was that she wasn’t just speaking to one grandchild. There were others in the room that awoke at the sound of her storytelling voice.
For they too had harbored silent heavy hearts for fears of being different than the rest. And they too were comforted by the tale of sad, unique, magical Blue Pumpkin.
Well, for anyone who reads my stories, this is quite different than my normal romance writings. I hope you saw it as blue as I did when writing it. :) Please let me know your thoughts. I love hearing from you.
*** Runs to write more of Delilah's Black Book of Poems ***
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