Discussion in 'Challenges' started by Antivash, Jun 17, 2008.
Can someone give me a prompt? I'd like to try this writing challenge. Thanks.
Alastor Moody was known for his glass eye, his peg leg, and his paranoia. However, few people know the story of how he ended up with all three. Must involve Dumbledore.
Thanks, this kind of works with all the parameters. I kind of took a darker tone than the prompt.
Alastor Moody approached the Bones cottage, treading lightly on the hard snow. He held his wand tightly in his gloved hand. Something didn’t look right. Albus Dumbledore was right behind him, scouring the forest for Death Eaters. They’d received a ransom note that morning and the general location of the forest and cottage.
A wreath hung on the unlocked cottage door. A bright red ribbon was tied to the center. He heard an almost imperceptible noise, a soft sigh of the wind, but when he looked back he saw only spindly trees bowing down with the weight of snow. He wasn’t a fearful man, not at all. He relished a good fight with a Death Eater or other scum of the Earth. What he couldn’t abide was the aftermath of one of their crimes.
Alastor stood at the door for a moment dreading the inevitable. How many times had they received a distress message from pale whispery Patronii and found only bodies amongst the ruins? He cast a silent shield spell and then gingerly stepped forward, his heavy boots making an inordinate amount of noise. The door swung open with a mutinous creak.
It was pitch dark and quiet inside. He passed through the kitchen and used Lumos to discover a mess. Food supplies, dishes, all strewn about. The smell of rotting food caused him to cough. The rot of organic materials was strong from behind a closed door.
Wand out, he stepped inside and covered his mouth. It stank of corpses. On the round dining table sat a roasted chicken, several days past fresh. Around the table were seated Edgar Bones, his wife Beth, and teenaged daughter. He didn’t remember her name. Their eyes were glassy and yet, as they stared at the rotting turkey, they twitched slightly like Inferii.
Edgar held a rusted carving knife, hands poised over the turkey. The wife and daughter held knives and forks tinged with brown. He saw a bit of blood around the girl’s mouth. Walking carefully around to Edgar, Alastor nearly tripped on the thick white table cloth that was too large for the small table.
Immediately, he thought to Apparate with them out of here and grabbed the girl. As he started the Apparation he was hit with a powerful force that nearly knocked him out. Anti-apparition wards were in place around the cottage. The Bones remained unmoving.
They were frozen in a grisly tableau and didn’t acknowledge him in any way. Were they Imperiused or was some other dark spell in effect? He looked around for wands and finding none felt only slightly more at ease.
Alastor sent a flare, a wispy blue light that flew up and out of the cottage ceiling. It would alert Albus if he was still in the vicinity that there was trouble.
Edgar continued to twitch. “Edgar, can you hear me?” Alastor whispered. The Lumos lit wand cast an eerie glow. Edgar stirred in his chair, moving his carving knife slowly.
He saw the shadow across the door and moved back, hitting the wall in the cramped room. A Reducto struck him, cutting across his face and spraying the three Bones with chunks of Alastor’s nose.
“Stupefy,” Alastor yelled out trying to ignore the pieces of his flesh that had landed on Edgar. Damn, he was trapped in this small little room with three civilians and out there some maniac had the advantage.
“Which one did you get, which one did you get?” This was a second voice.
With a mighty heave, Alastor pushed the dining table towards the door dragging along the tablecloth. It would give him some time to bring the Bones family to safety.
He looked at Edgar Bones. Without the tablecloth covering him, the man was fully visible. Edgar Bones, his torso to be exact, was tied to the chair. The bottom half of his body, of Beth’s body, and their daughter’s body were not attached to them.
Three hacked human torsos, in varying states of ruin, were lying underneath them. Alastor felt his hands shake. Someone had cauterized the stumps but he still couldn’t tell how the Bones were still alive with half of their body lying on the floor.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are?” a voice taunted him from outside. A male voice hushed the woman.
“Incendio,” a male voice whispered and the dining room door was on fire. Then the whole wall was on fire.
There was no window, no avenue for escape and yet he had to get them out of there. Alastor blasted through the cottage wall. He dragged Edgar and Beth out first and lay them down on the snow, one by one. Then he grabbed the girl, putting out her hair which was aflame.
As he lay her down on the floor, she gasped and screamed. “It’s okay. Dumbledore will help you,” he said. He put her down on the snow when she grasped his bloody face and began to cry.
“Let me go,” he said as her fingernails dug into his torn face. She raised the fork and plunged it into his left eye. He dropped her then; she fell with a loud smack.
He flailed wildly, blood seeping forth from his eye and face. “Bugger it all to hell,” he said. His wand was slick in his hand, covered in his own blood. They weren’t acting on their own; someone was controlling them he reminded himself.
“He brought our toys out to play in the snow without permission,” whined Evie Roser. The girl, of about sixteen, spun around Alastor as he tried to regain his vision. The pain in his eye was excruciating.
“Stay back, fiend,” he said.
“Accio fork,” Evan Rosier called out. Alastor fell forwards as the fork and his eye with it launched themselves out of his socket with a sickening pop. His vision was mess of red and unwanted tears.
Where the hell was that bastard, Dumbledore? Alastor stood up and stumbled out of the way of a Crucio. Another spell, dark and crimson hit his leg. Black tendrils began to grow around his left knee. He tried to undo the spell but couldn’t figure it out. It felt as if his leg was being squeezed from the inside.
“Petrificus Totalis,” he bellowed out and Evelyn Rosier fell to the ground near the Bones.
Turning around Alastor blocked a hazy green spell sent by Evan. He blocked again and again, trying to find his foothold. Evan was too quick and focused to be hit by the stunning and body bind spells he was sending towards the Death Eater.
The only thing distracting Evan was his attempt to get to his sister and Alastor wasn’t about to allow that to happen. As they parried back and forth, he made sure to recast the body bind spell on the little bitch so that she couldn’t escape.
It was the third time he dodged the killing curse. Evan was getting tired and less creative with his dark curses. Then Evan turned and ran. Alastor hesitated for a fraction of a second before turning to the already captured girl.
Dragging Evelyn Rosier to the grisly area where the three Bones family members lay along her tightly and snapped her wand before pulling her out of the bind.
“Undo whatever you did to these people or so help me, on Merlin’s grave I swear to do worse to you both.” Alastor growled.
The girl began writing against the ropes and he backhanded her.
She squealed. “I didn’t do it, well not most of it. They were commanded to simply make sure they couldn’t leave the room. They did it to each other. Well, maybe, I showed them an example of what I meant. I almost didn’t want to do the girl but Evan insisted, didn’t he?”
Alastor, with only one eye, looked around the snow covered terrain and wondered where Evan had gone off to.
Evelyn screamed out abruptly. A carving knife stuck out of her chest. The Imperius the Rosiers had placed on Edgar Bones had weakened enough that he was able to finish off his tormentor. Alastor helped his friend up, cradling him.
“You look a sight mess,” Edgar croaked out.
“Only a mite better than you, I suppose,” Alastor said.
Edgar’s face contorted in pain, “We’re only just..” He coughed blood. “Marie, my daughter, needs help.”
Alastor nodded. “Dumbledore is coming, he’s going to help her.” Then he asked what was pressing on his mind, “How did they get to you?”
Edgar breathed out loud and shook violently. “Nothing’s safe, everything’s dangerous.” His eyes began to dim, “we forgot to be vigilant, the holidays...” The remains of the man he had once known, and fought with shook in his arms and then was still.
He let go of Edgar’s body and vomited all over the snow. All of them were dead around him.
There was to be no rescue here, not for him, not for anyone. He rose up and began to hunt Evan Rosier. Mercy be damned. He found the filthy deranged bastard in the cottage. At least one of Alastor’s cutting curses had found their target.
Evan was hastily trying to undo the Anti-Apparition wards and leapt to his feet when he heard Alastor.
“Where’s Evie?” he said. “I surrender,” quickly followed.
“Evie’s dead and you will be too so I suggest you go out like a man.”
Evan put his hands up, “I surrender.”
Alastor saw the fork with his eye in it in the boy’s cloak pocket.
“Take your wand in hand, filth.” Alastor spat out.
“Crucio.” The curse hit Alastor but didn’t bring him to his knees. He withstood the pain, he’d just had his eye yanked from his socket, this was only slightly more painful.
“Is that the best you’ve got?” he smiled and launched a curse.
“Alastor,” Dumbledore’s voice called out from somewhere but only registered dimly.
“Why’d you do it you little monster?” He choked Evan with a spell that used the boy’s collar to slowly squeeze the breath out of his neck.
“He was a Muggle lover! Trying to get them equal status in the Ministry,” the boy spoke quickly. Words spilling over each other between gasps.
“This cottage was protected. How did you find it?”
Silence. He squeezed the neck a bit harder.
“In Diagon Alley, when they were buying the holiday supplies. We put a tracker on the plastic wrapper.”
Alastor didn’t know if Evan was being honest or fabricating what he thought would work. It didn’t matter. He let the choking spell go.
“Let me go,” Evan pleaded.
“You did that to a family, made them destroy each other and know you want Azkaban?” Alastor grinned wildly. The feeling in his lower left leg was gone. He was standing by the barest thread of energy.
“Come on take your best shot,” he said.
“Crucio,” Evan yelled out wildly. Alastor, hopping on one leg, was barely grazed by the Unforgivable.
“Crucio,” Alastor said in an even tone. He drew upon his pain, on the pain of the Bones.
Evan twitched and screamed and screamed. It went one for some time. In between Alastor slumped to the ground and his vision grew hazy.
He had a strange dream. He was holding his left eye in his palm. “You disgust me, filthy traitor.” Alastor Moody squinted at the eye lolling about in his palm. It was sticky and getting colder by the minute. He looked at it again suspiciously and rolled it about, waiting for something to happen. Nothing did. Chunks of his nose and strips of his lower left leg were strewn across a wooded floor. It began to snow.
The screams stopped. A little later the sound of a body twitching on the ground stopped.
He heard the words, “I’m sorry, old friend, it’s the only way.” He felt a sharp pain along his left leg. Then he felt lighter. Something had been squeezing him from the inside and growing as it went along his leg and now it wasn’t.
“Albus?” he recognized the long silvery white beard.
“We’re at St. Mungo’s,” Albus said.
“I got two Death Eaters, how many did you get?” he asked angrily.
“The Lestranges are in custody. It's been a few days since,” Dumbledore said softly.
“Old bastard always has to one-up me,” Alastor grumbled.
“I’m going to need a new eye,” he said.
“I think I know of a glass one that might interest you,” Dumbledore said. “German made, it can…”
“You owe me a drink, too,” Alastor interrupted.
There was silence and then Alastor Moody chuckled. “Lost my eye, half my nose and half my left leg to those deranged maniacs. Do you have any real good news?”
“The Boy Who Lived…,” Albus began.
Nice. I was kind of hoping you'd go a dark route with it (I mean, it is Alastor losing his shit so) but I think this exceeding my expectations. Solid and concise. Props.
Well written. Though I dont know how Moody was still operating with all that damage done to him.
Thanks, Don and Mugglewizard. I've been struggling with chapter project and working on this one made me realize maybe I just need to focus on shorter pieces for now.
I remember a prompt I got about Harry being called by the ministry for fourteen counts of murder and treason or something like that. I fucked it up, didn't take it seriously so I figured why not?
This is a piece that incorporates a few of my old ideas all thrown into one and the styles differ and trickle into one another.
Cursory edit, so excuse errors.
Heads or Tails?
He'd always been a hero. He got a kick out of saving people. He lived for it, almost died for it.
He stood outside the door, waiting for the status to change. Right now, two boys had a tart cornered against the wall. One had a knife to her throat, the other kid was just staring into her wide eyes.
He didn't know what to do, if he was honest with himself. It wasn't any of his business. There were a hundred other scenes like this one all across the British aisles. What difference was one girl going to make?
But that part got over-ridden by the more-favourable Harry. The Harry they all knew and loved. He wasn't that Harry any more. Hell, maybe he'd never been and he was just fooling the world... and himself.
He kicked the door in. Stunning was for kids. He dismembered them. He hollowed out their corpses with but a spell and stacked them near some rusty shelving.
The girl's scream cut off abruptly.
And the gravity of his mistake caught up to him.
Bells were set off in a chain reaction. His head was alight with scenarios, possibilities, weak points.
They had him.
So close to a ministry detector. What the hell, Harry?
Pops of appearition. He wrapped his cloak about his shoulders and leveled Draco's former wand at... too many people to count.
"This is the Ministry of Magic!" a voice from outside roared. "Show yourself!"
Harry huffed a quiet laugh. Life and its ironies. Philosophy would get his arse killed one day... today... tomorrow. It didn't matter.
He through off the cloak.
The way Harry figures it, he's always been alone. Sure, he's had Ron and Hermione stick to his side like glu but he's always meant to be alone.
Neither can live while the other survives.
His head emerges from the pensieve and he sinks to his knees, chin resting thoughtfully on his cupped palm.
Yeah, he's supposed to be dying, isn't he? That was the plan from the very beginning. He's cool with that. Necessary sacrifice to make.
So he gets up, dons his cloak, and walks out of Dumbledore's office, not looking back.
In the entrance hall, he sees Neville carting Colin's corpse. A royal pain in the arse is Colin but he doesn't deserve to die so young... Then again, neither does Harry.
He's out in the forest, snitch clutched in his fist. "I am about to die..." he whispers.
The snitch cracks open and the deathstone is revealed. He flips it over three times.
"I'm not ready to die," he says. The figures around him shuffle awkwardly from ghostly foot to foot.
And he's telling the truth. He's brave but not that brave. He's foolish and lazy and ignorant, but he's not stupid. Some things just cannot be done. And willingly sacrificing himself for the world, for the fight he has been fighting since he's been out of nappies is one of them.
He's Harry Potter, his own man, not Dumbledore's. As much as it eats at him that he's not like Dumbledore, that he could never measure up, he's come to terms with his actions. The path has been set out, but it's he who walks it, step after step after step.
So Dumbledore's not all to blame. In fact, it's a brilliant move on the old man's part; Harry doesn't blame him. Far from it. A world's survival and a boy? No contest, the boy'd have to die.
His backs against a tree, ignoring the voices that tell him to go forth, to face his destiny. All of these people died for him but that couldn't be helped. He isn't like them. He can't go and face his death voluntarily. No. Stupid. Not like he used to when he was a kid and didn't understand the ramifications of challenging a Dark Lord.
So he waits.
"Reckon he'll come?" A voice in the darkness. Another Death Eater.
"Dunno... Hour's nearly up."
"Yeah, he'll come. He's got balls, Potter does."
He stares down at the watch he had gotten for his seventeenth birthday, life times ago. Five minutes then the game's up.
So it's now or never; heads or tails.
Heads, he walks into the clearing and gets his ticket punched. Tails, he walks back to Hogwarts, summons the beaded bag from Hermione's sock and prepares to run for his life, prepares to shut out the screams as he flees. Prepares to doom his friends to hell or misery.
But bravery has its limits.
He chooses tails.
Five minutes later, Hagrid's voice echoes throughout the forest. "Harry! Harry! Where are yer?"
It's a keening wail. Hagrid lets out those wails when his pets die - or in the case of Buckbeak, go missing.
But Harry's already run for the hills, beaded bag tucked into the pocket of his last pair of jeans.
The trees shake as the procession of Death Eaters, led by Voldemort, tares through the forest towards Hogwarts where the wizarding world waits in expectant,grieving silence for their fate. They all know in their heart of hearts that there is no way Harry's gonna pull through this one. Usually, Harry proves them wrong but this time... this time...
Hours later, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Ginny, McGonagall, Slughorn, Kingsley, Bill, Fleur, Charlie and a hundred and something others kneel at Voldemort's feet.
"You'll all take the Dark Mark. You'll all serve me!"
The fight has been squeezed out of them like water from a sponge, leaving them empty, light-weight vessels, shells of their former selves. And Harry? He's probably dead or dying. Who cares. They are all done for.
Heads, they take the Dark Mark. Tails, they die a swift, painless death. Many of them choose to live. Lucius, Narcissa and Draco die. Madam Pomfrey administers to the wounded. McGonagall laments. Her school, Albus's school, their school, their last hope is now dead - permanently.
It's three years until Neville is trusted enough to lead a pack of Death Eaters. Four years until Ron and Hermione have their first baby. But Hermione's a Mudblood, Ron a Blood traitor. The baby's taken from Hermione and dumped in the Hogwarts lake where the giant squid prods at its bloated corpse for days. Hermione and Ron can't ever look at that lake again for fear of seeing their baby's eyes, Hermione's eyes, looking up at them through the clear water with accusation.
In some strange twist of fate, Neville marries Daphne Greengrass and the night before their wedding, his Death Eater crew take him on a night on the town. Fifteen men die by his wand, all muggles. Thirteen women are tortured to death. Four children are let go to run ragged, to become brigands like all the other filthy little kids in the streets.
And of Harry?
No sign. Nobody talks about him. They try not to think of him. They try not to dwell on where his corpse is buried or if, in deed, he's dead at all. But he has to be, right? Harry would never let this happen to them, surely.
After five years, Minerva McGonagall can't take it any more. She's found by a first year student with a wand between her teeth and her brains all over the wall of her transfiguration classroom.
After the sixth year, Ginny's washed out in one of Knocturn's back alleys, getting paid a galleon an hour. She can't face her relatives, her friends, her former professors. Harry leaving broke her, shattered dreams of her future.
For Ginny, it's dreams that had derailed her train. For Neville, it's power. For Ron and Hermione, love. For Minerva McGonagall, dedication.
All of them are broken or dead for what they have lost. Even Harry, who's dancing the waltz. His time's ticking. His angel of death is hunting his invisible, cowardly arse and he knows it.
"You are under arrest for treason and fourteen counts of murder. Come quietly, Potter!"
That was quick thinking on his feet, making up something like that. He had done a lot more. Whoever that guy was outside shouting orders.
The tart cowered against the wall, tremors shaking her thin frame. He didn't have it in him to look at her, to even try and reassure her. Leave it to the ministry to completely fuck up her mind before they even thought of leaving the building. Ignorance is bliss.
He heard more pops of appearition. Backup, most probably. Word spreads fast. Harry Potter was alive and kicking.
He knew the game'd be up one day. It was just a matter of sand through the hourglass.
His wand rose.
Bring it, arseholes. Time to die, to live, to fight.
They stood lining the back wall. Stood looking at him. Stood wands ready to take him down.
Interesting AU, Tommy. The image of a Weasley\Granger baby thrown in Black Lake - pretty grim.
A challenge for anybody who wants it.
Time and length are up to you. Scenario:
The appearition wards around the great hall have been taken down for an hour in order for the sixth years to practice for their appearition licenses. A perfect opportunity to infiltrate Hogwarts...
Can I have another?
I'll do this one. Seems interesting.
Here's a short prompt for any Godfather lovers out there. Length, plot and everything else is up to you.
Harry grows up to take revenge on Voldemort as Vito Corleone took revenge on Don Ciccio.
I wouldn't mind a challenge being sent my way.
Ron/Romilda. Harry doesn't know that those chocolates were filled with love potions and poor Hermione and Lavender don't either.
It's been a good year or so since I've written something for fun. Someone throw me a softball and I'll knock it out once I finish work.
EDIT: What happened to this thread. I remember it being a lot more active.... 2 years ago.
I think attention has diverted to the combat and hook-up versions of the writing prompt threads.
Prompts for the idle or interested:
"So, how many of their brooms have to be broken before they have to forfeit?"
"Dumbledore told you that your blood was much more valuable than his. Now you'll see why."
"His head should reappear in about a minute."
"And he'll be fine?"
I'm about to go on travel and am staring at a couple of 8-hour flights (including connections) as well as downtime in the hotel. If someone could toss me a prompt, to be completed by the weekend and targeting around 10k words, I'd appreciate it.
Nothing weird or crackish, post-Hogwarts era preferred.
Nearly-Headless Nick blustered for a moment, then said, "Mr. Longbottom, why would the Professor of Herbology- and congratulations again on getting the position- be asking me how to destroy a ghost?"
Neville's face scrunched in consternation. For whatever reason he couldn't bring himself to explain all the causes why this was important to him, his mental health, his future happiness and the success or failure of his chosen career. Instead he simply replied, "Snape."
Separate names with a comma.