Chapter 8 : Demons in Our Dreams
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Chapter 8: Demons in Our Dreams
Holidays were always harder on George. Ye at the same time they allowed him to become so wrapped up in work that before he had a chance to reflect, they were over. Halloween was one of his favorites growing up, right after April Fools’, of course. The mischief that youngsters could get into, yet could never be fully identified due to their costumes, made it a perfect holiday for the twins.
Mrs. Weasley possessed a rather odd looking doll as a child. It was made of porcelain face and cotton stuffing for the body. A rather unbalanced thing, but the painted handiwork of the face is what always seemed to give the twins the creeps. It was one night that Molly was making some minor repairs to the dolls dress, she was hoping that one day the doll would be passed down to her last and only female child. It was on such occasion that she was called away to attended to Ginny that Molly left the doll propped on the couch. George could do nothing but stare at the blasted thing that was positioned in such a way that its eyes were glaring holes in his head. He hated that doll. But then ickle Ronniekins, came marching into the living room, barely able to balance on his newly acquisitioned feet, grabbing onto the couch for better stability that he came face to face with the ghastly thing. The cries started off as a whimper, but were then at a rival with his sister’s.
Fred and George were accused, of course, for doing something to upset their younger brother. But when they tried to explain that the doll possessed a magic to scare the dickens out of all Britain, they were scolded even further. The doll was an heirloom, something to be admired, were a few of the phrases that came from Molly’s mouth to justify its beauty.
But it was from this point on that Fred and George made it a tradition to place the doll in various places of the house in which Ron would be unsuspecting, just to get a reaction. Buried in the toy chest just under a stuffed animal so that the face would pop out, in the bathroom closet laid upside down, head dangling, on the towels, in his sock drawer. And if they were up to it, they would wake up in the middle of the night to place it right on his pillow, so that when he awoke, it would be the first thing he saw.
“The demon doll.” Became its new nomenclature.
Finally when Ginny became old enough, Molly had given the retched thing to her in a beautiful white box on her birthday, in which it still resides in, in the back of her closet.
The doll would make an appearance in their dreams every now and then, and Ginny would check to make sure that it was still locked securely in its box. It was one such morning, when Ron came down for breakfast looking like he hadn’t slept a wink. When he described his dream that the demon doll had made an appearance in his trunk, while trying, in vain, to find his missing tie. He gave a shudder as he poured himself some juice.
It was then that inspiration struck George. What if you could give someone nightmares? Not, relive the war and suffer post-traumatic stress type of nightmares, but the kind that just give you the creeps. What if he came up with a whole Halloween line of products meant to spook and annoy?
The ideas came quick enough, but the engineering part is what always took him the longest to manufacture. It was Fred that could take an idea and almost instantly know just what charms or potions would mix well with others. While, George was a little more over cautious mixing magic. Pumpkin Seed Whiskey was one of the easier potions he made. Combining the extract of pumpkin seeds with various items of common fears. A few spider legs, a hair from a clown wig, a snippet of snake skin, a leaf from the tallest branch of a tree, wings from a bee…etc. Letting it simmer and then pouring it into refined whiskey bottles, George came up with the first nightmare potion.
His other two ideas were a lot harder to derive. The Glare of Medusa, the ability of turning your friends into stone was the one charm that proved the hardest. Like a petrificus totalus, you didn’t want your friend to be frozen in time forever, it had to wear off. So making the charm strong enough to last at least an hour, but not so strong that a person was immortalized in stone forever. He placed the charm in glass eyes that were shielded in a felt bag. The only thing one had to do was take it out of the bag and glance at the iris, and they would instantly turn into a stone statue. Great use for temporary lawn ornaments for Halloween.
The last idea was the hardest, as George combing the fur coat of a werewolf for its shedding fur would likely get him killed, he needed to import the hair from Switzerland. It wasn’t cheap, but thankfully as this was only a seasonal item, the cost over time would not outright break him. He had to finely grind the hair and place it in a commonplace spice jar. One would simply sprinkle a bit of the spice over someone’s dish, and the results would be instant hair growth over the body. Over the next few days, the afflicted would go through a rapid shedding period and the need of mass quantities of a clog draining potion and a deep cleaning spell.
George barely made the deadline for the holiday. The production and packaging put him, Verity and Lee on overtime in order to get it out. Verity set up the display window in record time with fake cobwebs, never-molding jack-o-lanterns, and small dancing skeletons.
Once the models were in place and he released his friends for the evening. George took out his wallet and removed the card with worn edges. Giving it a flip between his fingers, pointer to pinky, the words on the back he was sending appeared:
“Trick or Treat”
As quickly as they appeared, they vanished within the cardstock.
As expected, the products were an instant success. George had made test sample ready for eager customers, they weren’t as strong as the real products, as he didn’t want human statues taking up what little space was available for patrons to walk through. Or having a broom and dust pan sweeping the floor every five minutes.
It was a few days before All’s Hallow Eve, and George was taking a moment to watch the activity from the second floor landing. It was unusually busy for a Wednesday afternoon, but who was he to complain. Not so long ago, he almost couldn’t walk through the front doors of the shop. The thought of continuing without his better half almost killed him inside. But here he was, thriving, flourishing, surviving, and dare he say it, at peace.
And yet, as he watched more customers come in to purchase one of his products, and black and silver bag was in at least half of their hands. He watched as a few patrons exchanged words about his Pumpkin Seed Whiskey, when the other held up their DD bag and pulled out a small round item. He watched as the strings in the center of it caught in the sunlight, and the delicate feathers and beading twirled in a nonexistent breeze. They seemed very excited about the two products and seemed to be making comparisons to both. The woman with the black and silver bag ended up purchasing two bottles of the whiskey while the other bought one and made a bee line for the door and down the alley.
There are times in life when people associate a smell, a song, or even an object with a feeling of annoyance. George was quickly developing such a feeling towards the colors black, white and silver. With a deep breath to keep him from expelling a curse word in public, he made his way down to the main floor and told Verity he was going to lunch.
He was in no mood for food as he approached the small shop. The shop was over crowded with customers, that George wasn’t even going to attempt to make his way through to see the new attractions. Luckily, the proprietor had the thought to set up their own window display.
He Provides the Tricks,
We Provide the Treats.
The chalkboard sign read with a red and yellow arrow pointing towards his shop, while a white arrow pointed at their own new products. Hanging from the ceiling were puffy white and gray clouds. “Candy Floss Clouds,” they were called and apparently they came in white raspberry, and gray caramel. The small round object that George had seen in his shop, was none other than a dreamcatcher. The bright silver strings in its core were glistening. He watched as a small black spider crawled along the edge of the circle and begin to weave a web, ready to catch a sleeper’s dream. Once caught the dreams appeared on the web as a dew drop. Each dreamcatchers was as unique as the next, with feathers from ravens, doves, and owls. The gemstones of various colors hanging between the feathers. They were truly beautiful.
He almost debated going in and braving the crowds just to touch one of the clouds, when he felt to twinge in his pocket. The annoyance was back…
Here in the Forest Dark and Deep I Offer You A Peaceful Night’s Sleep.
When George returned to the store, Verity waved him over to the register to hand him a black and silver bag.
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