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The Mildly Perilous and Mostly Tragicomic Misadventures of Sir Roderick Gryffindor and 'Sir' Ivan Harris by Rumpelstiltskin
Chapter 3 : In Which Ivan Adventures Like a Man
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 6


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Disclaimer: Anything recognizable belongs to the marvelous J.K. Rowling (characters, setting, scenarios, etc.)

AN: Ideals, beliefs, or attitudes/feelings for any religion, specified genders, marital practices, societal rankings, etc. that this story may convey do not necessarily match my own, and I am not attempting to sway anybody's opinions on these matters. Max is your narrator. There are sensitive issues and themes in this, including slash pairings and transgender issues. This takes place in the 10th century, where beliefs and opinions do no necessarily match those today. This is a parody, so have fun with it! With it being so, I've mixed a few misplaced historical facts in and other nonsense for my own amusement. A glossary has been provided to help with those pesky Elizabethan terms. Please send any complaints or strongly-worded opinions to Sir Max, and I'll take the other comments and constructive criticisms, thank you.





Glossary:
blaggard – scoundrel
flense – to skin
cloy – to “snap”, steal, obstruct, or encumber
mint – gold
Being a waste! – bugger off
As you will – whatever
Anon – used for “soon”
Hark – listen
Lend ear – listen
alackaday – expletive
mark – pay attention

 





…and so Ivan, with swift thinking and light foot, leapt from her craggy resting place, landing easily on the shoulder of the beast.

Though distracted with its attempt to squish the life from Sir Roderick in its iron-like hold, the troll started from the sudden disturbance. Thus, it thrashed and roared and gurgled like the great beast it was, attempting to throw Ivan from her perch.

Ivan managed to maintain her hold on the creature with great attempt not to folly her footing. As it would be, she could not actually do anything to assist at this point, as it took great effort to only stay on the fleshy shoulder.

“Release me, blaggard!” Roderick demanded, wriggling his restricted arms beneath the troll's large, sordid fingers. “Else ye shall taste my blade as it flenses your scaly hide!”

The beast stilled, a low growl erupting from its belly as it lifted Roderick closer to its leer. While it continued its threatening cacophony, exposing Roderick to its yellowed teeth and putrid breath, Ivan brandished her longsword, deciding the time to take action was upon her.

Like a leaping leper, though I'm quite uncertain why a leper would leap, Ivan launched herself from the shoulder of the beast. With expert timing – assisted partially by the slow-motion action sequence she was trapped in – Ivan thrust her weapon into one of the troll's glossy gray eyes.

She hung there, as the sword was now unfortunately lodged in the eye, for only a moment, with her feet dangling precariously in the air.

The creature screeched in agitation, shaking it's large head vigorously and throwing Ivan away from her sword and tumbling toward the ground. With a vociferous roar, it dropped Roderick and fled the clearing by the stream, leaving its hiding place and home beneath the bridge abandoned. *

Your hero and heroine were perfectly fine of course, dear reader, though perhaps a bit dusty from the fall.

“Rotten misfortune!” Roderick exclaimed mockingly, throwing his arms high into the air. “The devil's own luck, Sirrah! I insisted that I had everything under control and yet you jumped perilously into danger's way. What's more – you've lost your sword!”

Ivan scoffed indignantly. “Under control?” she demanded. “Is cloyed by the beast, moments away from being gobbled into its belly, under control?”

He merely laughed heartily. “I was perfectly safe in my minted armor, like a babe nestled in its mother's bosom. Come now! When you make that face, you look most like a maiden! When you speak so, you sound most like a wife! Lighten your heart and –”

“–Being a waste!” she exclaimed before storming across the stone bridge in a fitful rage.

Roderick shook his head and called, “As you will! Though, I would not recommend wandering off too far without a weapon, Sirrah!”

What was that, children? You are confused; aren't here yet? Well, why didn't you say something sooner! Where were we, then?

I see. Very well.

In the scarcely traveled region of Hwicce, Eli the Breadmaker, Aaric the Blacksmith, Brirk, of the Ridel family, and owner of the pub, farmers, peasants, and merchants alike were greeting the morn, as pleasantly typical as always. Eli the Bard sang a tune of fair maidens and brave men, and the Fool wriggled along beside him as company for the day.

The Estate of Germanus Harris was roused, bustling with servants who were scattering wildly in search of the missing Ivan. With Germanus away, and Lucinda asleep, Constantine paced the halls disturbed. How could he have allowed for his brother's daughter to go missing in the night? Germanus would surely have his head if she was not relocated. Nicholi suggested that perhaps she went to market, that she was an early riser and fairly restless. With no note, no kind-worded goodbye, Nicholi hoped that he was right, and that his sister would return home shortly.

As for Ivan, well, she is alive, or was an hour ago. If she is otherwise when I find her I shall be very put out. ** In fact, I may very well be out of a job. But where is she?

Not in the village, not in Mercia!

Oh, yes, that's right, she's fast asleep in a carriage, nearing the foot of Beinn Nibheis! Sir Roderick and his men departed the small village early in the morning, with Ivan assisting them. A sleeping potion for our young heroine and some crafty magic has already placed the team in the Highlands! As such, let our story commence.

“Sirrah!” Roderick called, jolting Ivan awake with a nudge. “We've arrived!”

“We're here?” Ivan asked in a state of groggy disbelief. “That can't possibly be... It's too far a journey!”

“Come now! It's time for our leave!” he replied, side-stepping her question with ease and thrusting the door to the carriage open.

“Leave?”

“Of course! The horses can't make the treacherous climb up the mountain; you and I are on foot, Sirrah!”

“What of the other men?”

“To take the horses back home, of course! Anon, we shall have our own glory! Make haste!”

Our heroes departed, beginning their climb up the majestic landscape that is Beinn Nibheis. Ivan was astounded by the vast fauna and flora, drowning in the plethora of beauteous sound and color that assaulted the senses. The water-logged peaty soil gave birth to many hearty varieties of vegetation – mosses and liverworts thrived among flower plants, tall grasses, and small patches of forest that clung to the lower slopes of the mountain with vigor. The pale green shoots of shaded wood-moss tangled about rocks and scree, while purple spoonwart – raising from the ground in mottled red, green, and purple grub-like glorious shoots – added color among the greens of the mosses, the browns of tree trunks, and the more hearty colors of the yellow sundew, saxifrage, and common butterwart. Heather painted over other parts of the landscape in pink and lavender platoons.

The screech of the golden eagle could be heard in the distance, guiding the twosome further up the mountain on the trail of the stream that passed them by carelessly. Red deer could be seen at the edges of those scattered forests, stilling at the humans' passing in hopes that their camouflage would serve them well. Foxes scurried through grasses and brush, and frogs leaped haphazardly into the depths of the stream, all to escape the approaching strangers.

On occasion, Roderick stooped low to the ground, examining a species of flora, before bottling a sample in a small vial. If he was questioned by Ivan, he would only sum the strange behavior up to a mere hobby, of sorts.

Between you and I, dear reader, this mountain should only take approximately four or five hours to climb from sloping bottom to rocky peak. However, the summit is only cleared of snow one day, out of ten, and the heroes had several days to wait before clear passage. Roderick would withhold this information from Ivan, for reasons of his own. You see, Roderick knew that they would require a special kind of weapon to reveal the home of the Baron, and that weapon could only be won by completing five tasks along the mountain's length. That would slow our protagonists down long enough for the summit to clear.

Before an hour's time had passed, new noises could be heard within a small, dense patch of forest. The woods were alive with soft murmurs and nearly inaudible thuds.

“Hark!” Ivan exclaimed, disrupting Roderick from his stride. “Lend ear!”

With caution, the man in the golden armor listened carefully for a moment. “Ta!” he announced offhandedly. “Sounds like a side-quest, Sirrah. We haven't the time – Sirrah?”

With stealthy steps, Ivan had already abandoned her companion to chase the noises that resonated from the depths of the forest. A sight to behold, she imagined, as she crossed through the thicket into a clearing. The forest was very small, so, you see, it took her no time at all to reach said clearing, despite any filler quality lengthy expeditions through a forest may have.

Upon entering the clearing, where tall grass danced gracefully in a gentle breeze and the sun illuminated the landscape, Ivan beheld a peculiar sight. A group of men wielding fine silver spoons gathered around small saplings, digging their spoons into the delicate bark with great vigor.

Ivan cleared her throat, to draw attention to herself. “ Good morrow, sirs! Wha –?”

A flurry of hushed whispers quieted her.

“Alackaday!” one of the larger men hissed beneath his breath. “Away with thee! You'll wake the Crotchety One!”

Lowering her voice, to match the level of the man's, she asked, “Crotchety One?”

“Indeed!” he said. “Any noise that exceeds twenty decibels will disturb the Crotchety One, and then he will release his reign of evil upon us.”

“What reign of evil?”

The other men stopped their labor to exchange curious looks before the man resumed speaking to Ivan. “Well, we don't exactly know. It is evil, however.”

Raising her brow, Ivan studied the scene before her. These men were cutting down saplings with spoons; she assumed they were using spoons to exclude the noise that an ax may make, and chopping saplings to eliminate the noise that a full-grown tree would make if it were to fall. These men were attempting to collect lumber.

“Sir Max,” Ivan whispered, “I wasn't assuming any of that –”

– Of course you were; you're the heroine of the story, and thus must be clever and –

“– How could I draw a conclusion that they were attempting to collect lumber from saplings – with spoons now less! That's an implausibly-drawn conclusion –”

– Carry on with your conversation, before the men begin to grow suspicious of your –

“– Where has Sir Roderick disappeared to?”

What?

“– Where has Sir –?”

Yes, yes, I heard you. I'm merely wonder why you want to know where the idiot is when you're in a conversation with these men!

“Curious.”

Well, I don't know, perhaps he's lost in the woods.

“'Lost in the woods'? There are hardly any 'woods' to speak of – I can see the other side!”

He is an idiot, 'Sirrah'.

“Who are you speaking to?”

Ivan's attention was turned back to the man, where it belonged. “Er – nothing. How long has this Crotchety One been hindering your duties?”

“Three-hundred and seventy-two years.”

“Have you ever met this Crotchety One?”

“Ha! The Crotchety One does not simply meet people. No, his legacy has been passed down through the centuries, warning us all against noise-making. Our village is free of noise! The blacksmith uses a rubber hammer, the pub serves only non-alcoholic drinks, the babes are hushed by the gentle tunes of the bard – who plays no instrument, yet sings the sweetest of lullabies –”

“How is it that the Crotchety One is over three-hundred years old?”

“Do not question the Crotchety One!”

Ivan contemplated their situation, drawing inconclusive data that was immune to analyzation. “Analyzation is not a word! I shall find this Crotchety One, and defeat him anon!”

“You cannot defeat the Crotchety One!”

“Mark me! I shall! Where does this master of evil dwell, good sirs?”

“Yonder,” one of the men answered, pointing to the large, ominous castle in the distance.

Just then, Sir Roderick stumbled from the brambles, appearing quite disheveled. “There you are! I've been searching –”

“Shush!”

“Come now, Roderick! We have a mission upon us!”




* The allusion to the troll under the bridge was taken from the old Norwegian fairytale, Three Billy Goats Gruff originally collected and published by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe.

** This quote is taken directly from the movie, The Princess Bride, copyright 1987, 20th Century Fox and is the required quote for toomanycurls' Princess Bride Quote Challenge




AN: Well, hello!  Thanks for making it back to me!  Love and hate go into that little gray review box, thank you!

Fun Fact About Max Number 3:  I will neither discredit nor credit the speculations that Max is playing The Sims (belonging to Electronic Arts (EA) Inc.), out of fear that certain people will shout at both Max and the writer.

 


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