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Entry #1

Discussion in 'Q3 2018' started by Xiph0, Sep 24, 2018.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    The moon shattered the night sky in that sudden way you remember, and a wolf howl echoed across the glen.

    Ron looked over at Harry and grinned. “Tell me I get to punch a werewolf,” he said.

    Harry considered this for a moment and then he gave his friend a grave nod. “If all else fails, you get to punch a werewolf.”

    -----------------------------------------------

    BLOOD OF A WEASLEY

    “Bad news, Harry,” said Ron as he sidled next to him at the table. “Turns out I’m a vampire.”

    Harry paused chewing and started to speak. Then, realizing his mistake, he completed chewing and swallowed before trying again. “I’m sorry, you’re a what now?”

    “Vampire, chum. Apparently always was one, who’d have guessed?”

    Harry blinked, unsure if ol’ Won-Won Weasley was taking the piss. “Like Dracula?”

    Ron frowned and scratched his chin. “I think you mean Dragula.”

    “I’m sorry did you say Dracula or Dragula?”

    “Dragula?” Ron raised an eyebrow. “Dracula or Dragula?”

    “No, I’m saying ‘Dracula’,” said Harry. “He’s like a legendary vampire in Muggle stories.”

    “Well, I’m saying ‘Dragula’,” said Ron. “He was my great-grandfather and apparently he had a habit of doing vampirosis.”

    “That’s an odd coincidence,” said Harry. “Maybe the legend of Dracula is based on this relative of yours. Was he a vampire?”

    “Dracula or Dragula?”

    “Dragula,” Harry said. “Or maybe Dracula.”

    “I don’t know a Dracula,” said Ron and he shrugged. “But Dragula was a vampire all along, apparently. Still alive, it turns out.”

    “Oh!” Harry took a second to think this over. You found this odd. “Is he the one that told you that you were a vampire?”

    Ron shot Harry the finger-wands and clicked his tongue. “Got it in two, Harry. He told my mum and dad first, naturally, but then he’s been wanting to meet the whole family. Weird guy, I don’t mind telling you that, quite a weird...” Ron paused for dramatic effect. “Weird man.”

    Harry nodded. “So does that mean you’re going to drink blood now or something?” It was a open question whether or not this would make Ron more or less annoying at breakfast.

    “I guess we’ll see,” said Ron with a laugh. “Honestly I’m not craving any, so I dunno. But supposebly the lack of drinking blood has caused all sorts of Weasley problems. Binding the magic of the vampirosis to seem normal caused a curse of the family name.”

    “Enough!” Hermione stood up and glared at them. “What on earth are you two babbling about? It’s utter tosh!”

    “Ron found out he’s a vampire,” said Harry, taken aback by her vehemence. “All along.”

    “All along,” repeated Ron with a pleasant nod.

    Hermione closed her eyes and pinched her brow. “This is so stupid I refuse to listen to another moment.” She opened her eyes and leaned over the table to stare directly at Ron. “I don’t know why you’re doing this prank, but I shall tell you this much: I do not care for it.” And with that, she grabbed her books and left the Hall.

    “Anyway,” said Ron. “I’m heading over to what is my vampire family’s den, to get it all figured out. Want to come?”

    “Eh...” Harry wasn’t sure how to turn down the delightful offer without seeming a jerk about it. “Ron, I don’t want a bunch of vampires to attack me.”

    Ron gave Harry a confused look. “These aren’t vampires, Harry. They’re my family.”

    “But you just said that your family has been vampires.”

    “All along,” agreed Ron with a nod. “But not actualized yet. We’re apparently in this thing called a ‘foogle’ state. Means we’re not quite vampire not quite wizard. No blood lust or anything, just classic Weasley mishegoss.”

    “Uh...” Harry scratched his head. “I feel like there are some words there I don’t recognize.”

    “Picked ‘em up from ol’ Great-great-grandpa Dragula the third. He’s originally from this place called Spotsylvania in a country that used be called Dacia. Eastern Europe somewhere, hasn’t been back in ages. He knows like a hundred languages. But...” At this, Ron leaned over and whispered. “He’s kinda pants at all of them. English included.”

    “So he speaks a hundred languages.... Poorly?”

    “Yeah, Harry. I think it’s something because that’s just too many to keep track in your head, plus he’s like a million years old.”

    “Really?”

    Ron rolled his eyes. “Not literally, Harry. Just really bloody old, that’s all. Pretty sure there wasn’t even a Europe a million years ago.”

    “Ah,” said Harry. “That is an excellent point.” He adjusted his spectacles and considered the situation. “So who else will be there?”

    There

    “Velcoming, everyvody!” An extremely old man, gnarled, bent over, and with no hair at all except a shock of red on the back of his head gestured happily to the crowd of Weasleyfolk. “It is great plendura to have the familius here with me. Too long I have been wandering and walking, so too long! Had many harsh feet to get here!” This was apparently meant to be some sort of joke, as Dragula began to laugh cheerily, although he was the only one. You almost felt the need to join in.

    “Tch, I see what you mean about his English,” whispered Harry to Ron. “Although it’s not that hard to follow what he’s saying.”

    “Hey, Harry,” said Fred, who was wearing an enormous, hideously oversized black cape. “Think I look sexy as a vampire?”

    “No bloody way,” said George, who was wearing a bright red cape clearly designed for a baby. “Harry, I’m the sexy vampire here, right?”

    Harry’s mouth twitched as he attempted not to say a word that would lead to an uncontrollable outburst of laughter.

    “Hey, Harry,” said Ginny, who was wearing what was seemingly cut like a robe, except skin tight and akin to leather, with a red corset on top of it. “Am I a sexy vampire?”

    Ron scowled. “Fred, give me that cloak, Ginny, you need to cover up.”

    “Oh, she doesn’t need to do that,” said Harry, his eyes on the corset. “We’re all friends here.”

    Ginny giggled. “Best of friends.” She twirled around, revealing that the robe was in fact skin tight all over. “See you later, Harry.”

    “Give me your cloak Fred!” Ron shouted, grabbing at it. “I need to either hide Ginny or cover Harry’s face.”

    “You can’t have it, Ron!” Fred said in annoyance, pulling back with a huff. “I’m to be a proper vampire, aren’t I?”

    “You should’ve gotten your own cloak,” said George wisely. “A small one, stylish, yet satisfying. Sexy, yet stylish.”

    At this point, Harry couldn’t help but laugh. “If this really is some prank, it’s a pretty good one,” he said.

    Arthur Weasley walked over to them, looking worried. “Harry, did Ron invite you here? I don’t know, I’m a bit confused about the whole thing. Molly’s here too, apparently she too has been a vampire all along. I’m afraid that means we’re related more closely than I’m comfortable with.”

    Harry had no idea how to respond to this, but he was luckily saved when Hermione revealed herself to have been there all along, hidden under Harry’s Invisibility Cloak that she had clearly borrowed without asking.

    ‘Mister Weasley!” Hermione said in a shocked voice. “I can’t believe you of all people is going along with this prank! And insinuating you and your wife are cousins or something, that’s simply crude.”

    Arthur sighed. “Well, you’re right about that part. Perhaps it was inappropriate of me to mention that, just something that’s been on my mind. But Hermione, this is no prank.” He looked over at Dragula. “At least, I don’t think so. The old man has presented some quite convincing evidence, and the Ministry has said very little on it, which I am afraid means he is likely telling the truth.”

    Hermione frowned, clearly thinking this over. Then she scowled. “You’re not fooling me, Ron. Either your father is in on this nonsense or you’re lying to him. It’s utterly shameful, and I am distressed you’re muddling Harry in this.”

    “Well, on my part,” said Arthur with a smile. “I am pleased you are here, Harry. And you too, Hermione. Neither of you may be a part of this vampire mess, but I like to think of you both as extended members of our little Weasley clan. And I know Molly feels the same way.”

    Hermione blinked and seemed to be wavering slightly. Then she snorted. “Nice try, Ron.”

    Arthur chuckled and walked away.

    “Hermione, why do you keep blaming me for this?” Ron asked. “I didn’t tell my dad to say any of that. He’s the one that told me about the vampire in the first place!”

    “Very convincing, Ron. Too convincing, if you ask me.”

    “How can you be too convincing?” Harry asked.

    “Don’t you start,” retorted Hermione dramatically. “And if I might add, don’t be so obvious about staring at Ginny. Ron can’t handle it.”

    Ron scowled. “I can handle it just fine, Hermione! I mean, Harry’s not interested in Ginny anyway. Right, Harry?” He gave Harry a hopeful, pained smile.

    Harry rolled his eyes. “When does this thing get started anyway? I feel like it’s mostly a family reunion or something.”

    A sudden bang sounded, and the room turned to see the old Dragula raising his wand, an old if still whole thing of dark black wood with veins of glowing red. “So here iz why I have asking the peoples here today. The curse of the Veslea came from the clan of Bludhaus, cripping our family for the war to come. But I could not stay in shadow any longer, the clan is moving against us. The old curses awakened anew, vitalae and lycanthae.”

    “Hold on,” said someone, who was Bill Weasley. “Does this have something to do with werewolves?”

    Dragula nodded. “The first curse was the one of vitalae, but the third was lycanthae. Luck the to us the second, the slow creeping appartae, is gone for the eternty. I have heard rumblings of an uprising of werewolf clans to obfushcate from the Bludhaus attack on the seminary.”

    “This is all nonsense,” whispered Hermione to Harry. “This old man is talking in what I liked to call ‘sophistry’.”

    “Uh.” Harry gave Hermione a look. You know the one.

    “Oh, very well,” said Hermione with a grumph. “But mark my words, this will not end well.”

    While this conversation had been going on, Bill Weasley was arguing with a shabby pair of redheads that weren’t twins but were dressed in equally terribly clashing colours of orange and hot, sharp pink.

    “I think you two should watch what you say,” said Bill in a near shout. “My family is the furthest from dark there is.”

    “That’s quite alright, Bill,” said Arthur, putting his hand on Bill’s shoulder. “Now, I think that this get together has gotten a bit out of hand. Mister Dragula, didn’t you say you had something about this clan war?”

    Dragula, who had been shrinking into himself slowly as the volume of the argument had increased, suddenly brightened and he didn’t seem nearly as creepy. “Ah, yes! It’s kvell to see such atrimony! No need to cselleng at none, no.” He frowned.

    Bill said something in what sounded like an Eastern European or Russian type of language.

    Dragula looked surprised, but he nodded and replied back in a similar way.

    “That’s good, that’s good,” said Bill. “I think I can translate some of that. Unless someone else knows Ugric.”

    Nobody said anything, and then an old lady piped up, “I’m a fair hand at Ugaritic.”

    Bill blinked in surprise. “Really?”

    The old lady sighed. “No, I just wanted to seem cool for once.”

    Fred and George laughed.

    “I like her,” said Fred.

    “If there are no other objections?” Bill looked around, and then at the matching pair he had been arguing with. “Okay then.”

    After a great while...

    “Uh huh,” said Bill. “Right. So I think we’ve agreed on this platelet replacement infusion instead of the, uh, ‘filthy’ idea of drinking blood, is that fair Aunt Muriel?”

    The very old lady nodded primly. “Naturally,” she rasped. “Why, the very idea! I don’t mind the idea of feeling a bit less decrepit, but drinking blood is simply nasty.”

    “No offense, Mister Dragula,” said Arthur quickly with an apologetic look. “I know you handle things differently.”

    Dragula shrugged. “Eh, is not so much. Sometimes infúzió is better, less dangerous. Is more ideiglenes, though.”

    Bill rubbed his forehead. “And how long does the infusion last? An hour? A day? A week?”

    “Hard saying,” said the old vampire. “Different for each. Size, magic, hair, all could change.”

    “And what sort of superpowers should they expect?” Hermione asked, who had clearly gotten interested despite herself.

    “Er, I don’t know that word,” said Bill. “Although I can suss it out easily enough.” He said something to the confused Dragula.

    The vampire’s face cleared and he smiled. “Ah, I megert, I think. It is different for different peoples, but all are normal for vampirosis. Flys like fledermaus, vanish like shadowhaus or interzaus, transmorphmagick, strengthening...” He thought for a moment. “Think I have seen also vanish like demiguise years back ago. And maybe rarity in brekage. Hard saying.”

    “Well, hmm,” Bill rubbed his chin. “Yeah. So if I may make a suggestion? A few of us more familiar with ritualized transformation go over the schemas and theory, get it internalized. Then we prepare the infusion for whoever needs it.”

    This seemed to go over well with the group, and Bill was joined by an Auror, some magical scholars, a French potions master, and a few others.

    Ron clapped his hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Well, Harry, my dad says it’s time to go home. Bill knows what he’s doing, and I’m not interested in or smart enough to follow along. Herm-...” Ron trailed off as he saw Hermione in deep conversation with Bill and his gang, and had begun excitedly drawing illusionary figures in the air with her wand.

    “I think maybe she’s fallen for your prank, Ron,” said Harry with a laugh. “Took long enough, eh?”

    “Right, my ‘prank’,” said Ron with a grimace. “Let’s go, I’ll let you know what happens next.”

    A few days later

    “Harry, Harry!” Ron raced over to the pitch where Harry was practicing. “Harry.”

    “Yes, yes,” said Harry. “What is it?”

    “I took the infusion thing and I got superpowers, as Hermione’s been calling it. Now I can hit stuff quite hard and get hit hard too. Watch this!” He grabbed a broom and shot straight up into the air. After a moment, he plummeted to the ground, too fast for Harry to react.

    Harry’s mouth dropped. “Ron! This prank has gone too far.”

    Ron groaned and then chuckled, getting to his feet. “That didn’t really hurt, Harry, although the breath got knocked out of me.” He grinned and flexed, although he didn’t look visibly any more muscular. “It’s cool, right?”

    “Hmm.” Harry looked up. “Where’s the broom?”

    “Oh. Bollocks.” Ron winced. “Who’s was it?”

    “Just one of the Gryffindor team ones. But I’m sure McGonagall won’t mind you lost it to show off your ability to fall from quite a bit high up.”

    “Anyway,” said Ron quickly, although his face had gotten quite pale. “The rest of the family got different sorts of stuff. Fred can vanish like he was wearing your Invisibility Cloak and George can vanish too, but by melting into the shadows. Pretty cool to watch.”

    “Yeah,” said Harry. “Those make sense as vampire abilities. Did the rest get anything?”

    “Charlie can fly for short periods of time, which he loves. Plans to hang with his dragon pals. Bill can switch places, and Dad can disappear. Mum can break. Oh, and Ginny wasn’t able to get anything, apparently she’s not a vampire.”

    Harry raised an eyebrow. “She’s not? Also, I don’t really understand what the last few things were. Switch places? How is disappearing different from what Fred or George can do? And what do you mean your mum can ‘break’?

    “Break, Harry, it’s a simple word. And yeah, Bill can switch places with animals and humans. Right?”

    “Sure,” said Harry, and he rolled his eyes. “And what else is new? Hermione on board?”

    “She doesn’t think it’s a prank anymore, so that’s something. I am a bit worried she might fancy BIll, though, how can anyone compete with him?”

    “What about Fleur?”

    “She wasn’t there,” said Ron. “At least I don’t think so. Oh, you mean because she and Bill might be an item?” He grinned. “Yeah, good looking out, Harry. I see what you mean.”

    “So is this permanent? Are you also able to handle hexes?”

    “Uh...” Ron scratched his head. “Not sure about the second one. But no, it only lasts about a day and a half for me. 70 hours is what we measured. Mum only has hers for five minutes, but considering what she can do, it’s not so bad.”

    “Meaning she can ‘break’, which you still haven’t explained.”

    “Right,” said Ron with a nod. “And like the opposite, Dad can disappear for a whole week.”

    Harry made a pained face. “I really think I need to Hermione to explain some of this stuff to me. You’re talking in circles.”

    “I like circles,” said Ron with a smile.

    It was about a minute before Harry managed to calm himself down after that remark, while Ron said nothing at all, smiling like a gormless goon.

    Later that evening

    “So the other thing to keep in mind,” said Ron as they were walking back from dinner.

    “Eh?” Harry tripped a bit in surprise. “Ron, what are you talking about?”

    “I’m continuing our conversation from before,” explained Ron as though it was Harry being a berk. Sometimes he really did get on your nerves, that Ron, but he had a good heart.

    Harry sighed. “Sure, so what’s the other thing?”

    “So apparently the Bludhaus clan may have turned a bunch of people of Hogwarts students or staff into vampires or vampire servants. Could be anywhere!” Ron tossed up his hands. “It’s a real, what was the word, slobberknocker, eh?”

    “Uh. Sure, Ron. If ‘slobberknocker’ means horrifying. Are you serious about anyone being a vampire or working for them?”

    “Yup, ‘fraid so. And they’re in the mood to destroy all Weasleys, or so Dragula told us. Apparently Dragula teaching us this infusion trick started up some sort of vampire war. The good news is that it’s easy to tell when someone’s a vampire or a vampire servant.”

    “Oh that’s good.”

    “When you’re a vampire.”

    Harry gave Ron a dirty look. “That’s not quite as good.”

    “The point is that when I’m all infuzzled like this, I can tell who’s Bludhaus and who’s one of us. Also you should be careful when I’m not around, don’t get switched around. Bill asked me about something about that.” Ron scratched his head. “Well, I’ll remember later. Anyway, Hermione asked me to give you this.”

    He handed Harry a pair of spectacles that was identical to his current pair. “Here ya go, old chum.”

    Harry took the glasses gingerly. “Are these enchanted or whatnot?”

    Ron nodded with a grin. “Naturally. Hermione and Bill or maybe Fred and George or maybe Dad... well it doesn’t matter who did it. They’re just as good as your normal specs but they’ll prevent you from getting hymotized by any vampires. Nothing about the servants maybe attacking you, but you can handle a bunch of them I’d wager.”

    “Right,” said Harry, drawing out of the vowel in the word. But he took the pair of glass anyhow.

    Later, Harry was trying them out, attempting to spot anything out of the ordinary as he walked between classes. Over there, Ernie Macmillan had unusually greasy hair, which could be something. Nearby Hannah Abbott was staring at Harry a bit strangely, although it could be because Harry was starting oddly at her.

    So far though, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. You began to wonder if there was a way to warn him if something went horribly wrong.

    At dinner Ron ate more than normal, while Hermione was still nowhere to be seen. Ginny gloomily picked at her soup with a fork, paler than usual and wearing a particularly unflattering robe.

    “Ginny, you okay?” Harry asked. “Sorry about the whole... vampire thing.”

    Ginny looked up in surprise and then she smiled slightly. “Thanks, Harry. I was really looking forward to having special powers.” She scowled. “Even Percy got the ability to scrounge. That’s patently unfair!”

    “Yeah, I don’t really understand what that means,” Harry replied. “But I also don’t get why you aren’t a vampire too.”

    “Oh, I dunno,” Ginny said with a shrug. “Apparently the vampire curse didn’t transfer to me for some reason. Dragula didn’t know either, but Bill told me he suspects it’s because Mum was one too, a distant cousin of Dad. It’s bloody frustrating, Harry!” She said this just a tad too loudly, and when Harry raised an eyebrow at the volume, she blushed a little.

    “Go on then,” she mumbled. “Fine, it’s not the worst thing in the world. Mum’s breaking ability is a bit scary anyway, wouldn’t want that.”

    Harry leaned forward. “Ron said it was ‘breaking’ right? He didn’t explain what that meant.”

    Ron snickered into his mound of butter and potatoes.

    Ginny gave her brother a withering look. “Ron’s being a bloody idiot. It’s not that complicated. Mum’s thing is that she can break things, most things, very easily. But if you ask me, too easily. She broke a hard wooden chair she was sitting in without paying attention. So she’s not bothering with the infusion unless she needs it for emergencies.”

    Harry breathed out. Suddenly it all made a lot more sense. “Ginny, thanks for explaining things. And have you seen Hermione?”

    Ginny shrugged again. “I assumed she was back here too. Perhaps she’s in the library instead of dinner?”

    “Hmm.” Harry scratched his chin. Ginny’s little theory was entirely too plausible. “Alright then, Gin, maybe you can answer another question?”

    “I’ll try,” said Ginny, looking a bit red in the face again.

    “What’s the difference between what Fred or George and do and what your dad can do?”

    “I can answer that,” said Ron through a mouthful of buttered acorns. “It’sh shimple.” This was more spat across the table than spoken, and Parvati and Lavender, sitting nearby, shrunk away in disgust.

    “Swallow first, please,” said Harry. “Ginny, do you know what I’m talking about?”

    “Yeah, I do,” she said and stuck out her tongue at Ron, who was now chomping on some buttered peasy pudding. “Fred can become invisible like he was wearing an Invisibility Cloak, so you can still hit him if you know where he is. George though vanishes into the shadows, but he can’t stay like that if there’s too much light. But Dad’s is cooler, he can totally disappear and then reappear a week later somewhere else.”

    She grinned at Harry. “Only downside is that he can’t talk to anyone while he’s doing it. So he’s also not doing it unless it’s an emergency. And Ron’s skin is now as thick as he is.”

    “Oi!” Ron paused and put down his spoonful of crumpets and butter.

    “Damn, Ron!” Harry stared at the spoon. “Where did you get all this horribly unhealthy food?”

    “The house elves are preparing it special for me,” Ron said. “For some reason I’m craving butter. Think it’s a side effect of the infusion fading, the same thing happened the first time.”

    “Well, that may make some sense,” said Harry. “But it’s quite disgusting.”

    Ron rolled his eyes. “Sorry, Da.”

    Ginny giggled. “More like ‘Sorry, Mum’ if we’re honest. No offense Harry.” She winked at him.

    Harry smiled back, glad she seemed in improved spirits. “Now here’s what I think,” he started to stay, but you never found out what it was as Hermione took that moment to show up, carrying an armful of parchment and books.

    “Oh, good,” she said. “There’s still a touch of food left. I’m famished. Hello, Harry.”

    “Hello,” said Harry and he moved to the side so Hermione could find a place for her work.

    Hermione smiled at him and then drank two glasses of pumpkin juice. She sighed. “Alright then, back to work.”

    “But Hermione, you didn’t eat anything!” Ron told her, a horrified expression on his face.

    “I’m fine, ‘super Ron’,” Hermione said and she giggled. “I have more work to do anyway, Bill expects me to finish these schematics by next week, and that means I only have three days to do four days work! Sorry, Harry, we’ll catch up later.” And she hurried off.

    “Bill expects, does he?” Ron grumbled. “Harry, I have to do some work too, I’ll see you later.” And then he too ran off in a different direction.

    Harry sighed. “So Neville, how’s your life been?”

    The other Gryffindor spat out his water in shock. His face burned in embarrassment and he ran from the table.

    “Merlin.” Harry looked over at Ginny. “Was it something I said?”

    Ginny laughed.

    Later on, after the work was done

    Somehow, the word had spread that there was something odd going on, not helped at all by Ron showing off his new powers to some of the girls in their year. Lavender seemed into it, asking him to lift heavier and heavier furniture, while the Patil twins kept throwing knives at him. It was unclear which aspect of the game they were actually enjoying.

    But as far as Harry could tell, it seemed, nobody had figured out anything about Ron’s secret vampire roots, despite him talking loudly about it a few times. Hermione split her time between frantic schoolwork, frantic work for Bill, and calm moments where she gave significant side eye to Ron’s flirting.

    “I do hope you haven’t been attacked yet,” she said to Harry as they walked to class. “I had to Stun three vampire servants already and deliver them to the Weasleys.”

    “Really? Which ones?”

    “Two Slytherin second years and Professor Burbage. Of course nobody really likes her class so they’ve been skiving off every time.”

    “Nobody?” Harry smirked. “Not even you?”

    Hermione winced. “Well, to be honest, it’s a tad boring. She’s excitable but intellectually dim. Probably for the best it was her if it had to be anyone.”

    “Wait, hold on a moment. You said you ‘delivered’ them to the Weasleys?”

    “Yes, that’s right,” she said with a nod. “Mr. Weasley has a place he’s keeping them in while they work on the deprogramming efforts.”

    Harry frowned. “Something about that seems weird to me.”

    “Don’t you trust the Weasleys?”

    “I suppose,” said Harry. “But I’d rather not have to when it comes to ‘delivering’ someone.”

    “That’s fair, Harry,” said Hermione and she yawned. “Merlin. Yes, it’s hardly ideal, but considering the Bludhaus clan is planning their attack any day, why make things easier for them? Bill has been teaching me some Hungarian phrases, which Dragula can speak better than he can most modern languages. And he seems to think an attack is imminent.”

    Harry thought he heard a noise and whirled about, wand in hand. But there was no one there. Although there was a weird shimmer around the room as Harry tilted his head back and forth.

    “We know you’re there,” said Hermione tiredly. At first, you began to wonder. “Reveal yourselves please.”

    The shadows along the hall crept along and coalesced, the shimmering sputtering suddenly until it faded against the form of George Weasley. He scowled. “You wouldn’t have noticed if Fred hadn’t made so much commotion.” He kicked the air near him and they heard a cry of pain. “Come on, you lout! Show us that pretty face!”

    “You sure none of you lot is a werewolf?” Fred’s voice called out invisibly. “Mum says she ran into one near the moors.”

    “She said near the glens, nobody’s been near the moors in ages,” said George in a sage tone.

    Fred appeared suddenly and shrugged his shoulders. “Oh, I’m sure I meant to say the straith anyhow. Classic Fredigar Wessleman.”

    Harry laughed. “Is that your original family name?”

    “Actually it is,” said George. “Or something close to that. Fredigar is how our dear Frederick has been calling himself to greats-grandpa Dragula. Unfortunately George isn’t short for anything, except Georgina or King George, but I fear ol’ great-great-pops Dragula would simply be confused by such wit.” He shook his head sadly. “A horrid state of affairs, it is.”

    “What’s this about werewolves again?” Harry asked suddenly, recalling this terrifying comment.

    “The Bludhaus clan are notorious for employing and utilizing werewolf servitors,” lectured Hermione. “Thus they may be anywhere. Of course, the full moon isn’t until next Thursday, so it’s nothing to worry about until then.”

    “Mum accidentally broke one of their arms,” said Fred with a laugh. “She’s been wearing these new special gloves to focus her breaking powers. But still taking some getting used to.”

    Harry felt like he was getting a headache and he groaned softly. “Right, right. So why are you following us?”

    “Just keeping an eye out for any werewolves or baby batties,” said Fred. “Never know when one them them might pop out of the wall and toss a hex or two.”

    “Plus Mum was getting sick of us asking to her to break things,” George added with a grin. “Too busy making dinner, she said, and no time for showing off like a bunch of spoilt wankers.”

    “She said that?” Harry asked in surprise.

    “Not in those precise words,” said Fred and he shrugged. “But we could tell what she really wanted to say.”

    “I suppose there’s nothing wrong with you two getting a look out,” said Harry after he thought it over. “Useful. So what was your mum doing out in the glen?”

    Hermione cleared her throat. “Sorry to interrupt, but we’re going to be late for class. Terribly awful of me to insist on learning in a school.”

    Fred and George laughed.

    “No worries,” said Fred. “We’ll keep an eye on things.” He tapped his forehead and clucked his tongue.

    Harry seemed to forget about his question after that, but it hardly mattered as it would be quite the problem soon enough.

    Thursday

    In the morning, there was no problem.

    But as Harry walked towards lunch from class, he saw an odd shimmer coming from a group of younger Hufflepuffs heading in around the same direction. He had his wand up and out just in time for one of them to leap out, yelling and shouting incoherent hexes at him. Harry easily deflected them all, but the real attack came from behind.

    Harry found himself knocked on the ground, but the pressure on his back suddenly eased and he jumped back up to see Fred holding his wand over a Stunned Marietta Edgecombe.

    “She was trying to whammo you,” said Fred. “But not to worry, we’ll take of it.”

    “When is the full moon supposed to come out?” Harry asked as he brushed himself off.

    Fred grimaced. “Late tonight. We’re concerned about it, naturally. Dragula may be old, but he’s forgotten more magic than we all know put together. Sounds impressive, except that he basically doesn’t know anything other than his vampire-related magic. He’s terrified of getting kibitzed by the Bludhaus wankers.”

    “Language,” said Hermione, who had appeared suddenly. “Shall I take the sneak to Arthur?”

    “Or you could tell a teacher,” said Harry reasonably. “I’m sure the Headmaster can handle a vampire.”

    “He could,” agreed George with a smile, who had also suddenly appeared from the shadows. “But Dumbledore is out of the country dealing with business related to You-Know-Who.”

    Harry frowned. “That’s an awfully convenient excuse.”

    “How can it be awfully convenient?” Hermione asked with a giggle.

    “Huh?” Harry looked at his friend in confusion. “You know what I mean.” Really, you could never be sure about it, but this time it did seem pretty clear.

    “Yeah, go ahead, and take these two,” said Fred with a sigh. “We’ll keep an eye on things here. I guess send word if there’s something to be sorted, won’t you?”

    Hermione nodded and she levitated Marietta and the baby Hufflepuff out of the hallway. George vanished into the shadows, and Fred looked at Harry with a conflicted look on his face.

    “Not chuffed about this business, chum,” he said. “Not chuffed at all. Mind if I stick around, keep an eye on things?”

    “Not at all,” said Harry. “You saved my arse once today already. If we need it saved again, you’re my man.”

    Fred grinned and disappeared entirely.

    After dinner, Harry walked with Ron back to their hall when Percy Weasley jumped out of the wall, waving his hands frantically and his face severely red, both eyes completely infected and swollen shut.

    “Ronald, is that you?”

    “Yeah, it’s me, Perce. What happened to your face?”

    Percy felt his face and then frowned. “I got hit with a curse by the clan while I was keeping patrol. I scrounged my way over here to find you, because we need your help. Fred and George both are great for hiding, but only you and Mum have directly useful offensive skills. Have you infused lately?”

    “I’m all out,” said Ron with a frown.

    “I’ve got the extra infusion here,” said Fred invisibly and something was tossed to Ron, who grabbed it out of the air.

    “Ah, thanks, Fred.” With Percy’s assistance, Ron quickly used the infusion on himself while Harry waited impatiently.

    “Anything yet?” Harry asked.

    “It’s working,” said Ron and he stretched. “Feel like I could take on an army.”

    “Bill was trying to reinforce the wards,” said Percy through his damaged face. “But the clan broke them, caused an awful sort of feedback to him. He’s out cold back home, which means Dragula is in great peril. No offense, Ronald, but although Mum has her breaking, she’s far more vulnerable to regular attack. You should be able to handle a few werewolf servitors, I believe.”

    Ron swallowed but nodded. “Of course. I guess we should go and hold them off, eh? Harry, you coming?”

    “Of course,” said Harry with his wand ready and out and then Percy scowled.

    “This is a family affair,” the former Head Boy said in annoyance.

    “Shove it,” said Fred’s voice. “Harry’s close enough for Ministry work, and he’ll help keep Ron from doing anything too stupid. And he’s a proper Defense wizard kid, after all, you know that much.”

    “Oh, very well,” said Percy and he made a dismissive gesture. “Ronald, Harry, shall I help you over there? We’ve identified a few weak points near the northern glen.”

    “This is near your house?” Harry asked.

    “No, he’s talking about the den,” said Fred’s voice. “No glens near the Burrow, but Mum wouldn’t have old Draggy there. Too dangerous, and likely she was right. You three better be off, eh?”

    Although it was easy to have faith in the abilities of Harry and Weasleys, it was worrisome and you couldn’t help but rather there was something else you could do but wish them luck.

    There

    Ron gave Harry a grim look.

    “Perhaps you boys should head back to Hogwarts,” said Arthur, his face pinched with worry. “Poor Dragula... Kibitzed and shanked by the werewolves. We’ve lost some of the relatives too, thankfully Percy got Bill and Molly out before things got too close for them. But I am sorry to have to ask you for your help in this, it is hardly the responsibility of either of you.”

    He sighed and patted his forehead with a kerchief.

    “I’m infuzzed,” said Ron with a slight hitch to his voice. “Let me help. Let us help. We can keep watch out for anything bad outside.”

    “Normally I’d never allow it,” said Arthur. “But I need to protect the heart of the den, especially now that that Dragula’s fading fast. At the very least I can disappear, although I won’t be back for a week... Harry, did Ron explain that bit to you?”

    “Ginny did,” said Harry. “So I get it. But do you just need a lookout? We can handle that much. No need to get involved with any fighting, right?”

    This seemed to severely cause Arthur distress and he was visibly struggling with the decision. “Well,” he said. “Send up sparks if there’s an issue, I’ll have someone watch the sky. Do not engage with any of the servitors, understood? Not unless it is impossible to avoid it, they are highly dangerous, and of course, you know that werewolves are nearly impervious to hexes and curses.”

    Ron and Harry nodded. That memory from third year was not likely to go away anytime soon.

    They waited there, a minute, five, then twenty, with nothing but the darkness and the stars. The moon shone like a friend, casting its eerie light like a wink that wouldn’t end. Ron looked around and tapped his fingers on his knees, clearly nervous and annoyed at the inaction.

    Harry, wearing his Invisibility Cloak, glared at him through a tiny opening so his face could be seen. “Keep it down,” he said in a quiet voice.

    Then there was a sudden shuffling sound, and a trampling, and a smash. A howl broke the silence, then it was joined by another.

    “Bloody Hell,” cursed Ron. “Harry, send up the sparks.”

    “It’ll give away my position,” Harry hissed at him.

    Ron looked chagrined. “I forgot my wand back at Hogwarts.”

    Harry likely felt like his head was going to explode. “Don’t do anything until I say so, got it?” Ron simply nodded mutely in response.

    The sparks caused a wave of light over the glen, and the howls were now intermixed with shouts, and the sounds of spells crashing against skin and ground. A werewolf leaped past them and ran towards the den, but it was engaged by one of the Weasley cousins, who was careful to keep a safe distance.

    Harry watched carefully, as it seemed that the invaders were getting mostly caught. But he had missed one. A whisper as a warning, somehow -- a shimmer to catch his eye. And Harry thankfully noticed.

    A servitor, hidden under a spell, but obvious with the shimmer, sped towards them, a werewolf close behind. Harry had his wand at the ready, but it didn’t exactly look good. But perhaps he was thinking they could let them go, had the allies available elsewhere. It was a concern, but then it all changed.

    Another wolf howl echoed across the glen, and Harry jerked up in alarm.

    Ron looked over at Harry and grinned. “Tell me I get to punch a werewolf,” he said.

    Harry considered this for a moment and then he gave his friend a grave nod. “If all else fails, you get to punch a werewolf.”

    And then he shot up and threw a curse in the direction of where he guessed the servitor must be. The disillusionment clipped and stuttered, and the random man threw back a spell of golden purple, shredding the ground, Harry replying with a Stunner and another rapid fire, trying to slip one through. A curse slipped past him and hit Harry in the chest, breaking his ribs. After that, he didn’t see the werewolf sniff the air and loom over him, but Ron did.

    Ron hit the werewolf as hard as he could in the knee, and the wolf screeched in pain. At the distraction, Harry managed to knock out the servitor, and Ron followed up by punching the werewolf squarely between the eyes. Its eyes crossed and it stumbled, falling to the ground.

    Ron hit it again.

    The den, after the moon was gone

    Arthur sighed and wiped his brow, walking out of the interrogation room. He smiled at them. “I’m proud of you two, even if I am also quite terrified at how close it was.”

    “So what did you find out?” Harry asked, wrapping a magical bandage around his chest..

    “So I have good news and very bad news,” said Mr. Weasley. “The good news, naturally, is that this werewolf is not pleased at being used by the Bludhaus clan and is willing to turn ‘traitor’, if you will, for us. He was an unwilling pawn, as we’ve determined.”

    Ron grinned. “And the bad news, Dad?”

    “Well, the news is quite bad,” said Mr. Weasley with a sigh. “Apparently the clan had a cure for vampirosis. A foolproof cure, one that they planned to use on us. Spreads by family, but once it sinks in, it’s lethal to the former vampires. Not clear how that would affect one of us fugue state Weasleys, but it’s bad news. I was hoping that Hermione might’ve had some luck following back, but we haven’t heard from her yet.”

    “She’s here,” said the voice of Fred. “Working on something with Bill and Fleur and some other of our brood.”

    Mr. Weasley frowned. “When did you get here? Is George with you?”

    “No, he’s keeping an eye on things back home,” said Fred’s voice. “Not to worry.”

    Hermione walked into the room, carefully balancing a black phylactery on a piece of what appeared to be wood. It was just good sense, clearly, even if she might know have any notion of what it was about.

    “Ron, you’re still infused, right?” She asked this without looking up from the phylactery.

    “Yeah, for at least a few hours.”

    “Alright then, Bill and Fleur have decided that you should be able to hold on to this until we get it to Dumbledore. He should have some idea on how to contain it.”

    “But what is it, exactly?” Harry asked, taking a careful look at the oddity.

    “We recovered it from the Bludhaus clan’s den,” said Hermione. “Ron, please try to and hold on to this, it’s quite a pain to stay this still.”

    “Oh, right,” Ron said and he moved quickly over. He took the phylactery and seemed instantly to be affected by it, but since it was still closed, he would likely be quite fine for the time being. His eyes twitched a bit and he made a sound of interest.

    Hermione sighed and stretched. “Don’t open it, Ron.”

    “I’m not that stupid,” Ron said. “Of course I won’t open it.”

    “It has a mild compulsion on it,” said Hermione. “So be careful, won’t you?”

    “Hermione, you still haven’t explained what that box is,” said Harry in exasperation.

    “It’s the endgame,” said Hermione with a sigh. “Apparently the Bludhaus clan was working on a cure for vampirosis. They found it, but apparently...”

    “I explained that bit,” interrupted Mr. Weasley. “Sorry to cut in. But perhaps you can explain what happened over there?”

    “They tried to target you with the cure, I think, but something went wrong. When we got there, everyone was already dead, but cured too. All humans, no vampires anywhere. This-” she gestured at the phylactery “- was the heart of the clan, holding the curse of vampirosis as it pulled out of them, that’s what Bill and Fleur think. I’m hardly an expert on such things, but I wager they have it quite right.”

    “So Bill’s okay?” Harry asked, as Ron was still starting at what he held in his hands.

    Hermione nodded. “Shaken up a bit, naturally, but he’s alright. I ran into some trouble with a servitor, so I think I’d like to see the Madame Pomfrey as soon as possible.”

    “Harry got hurt too,” said Ron distractedly. “Some curse or something.”

    “My ribs I think,” said Harry and he winced a little. “They hurt more when I think about it.”

    “An odd ending,” said Arthur and he sighed. “We’ve lost the heart of the clan too. Dragula is gone by now, and there’s still so much we don’t know. These infusions are still something that we don’t fully understand either. What will happen to the curse now? I appreciate your help Hermione and Harry, but I fear I don’t know how much anything helped.”

    “Yeah, well, I don’t know either,” said Harry. “But if there’s nothing else we can do, maybe we can get back to Hogwarts? I’m in some pain here.”

    “I’ll have Percy scrounge you back there,” said Mr. Weasley. “And again, thank you for helping your family, odd though it may be.” He smiled.

    It was a far better look on him than a frown.

    Thus the game ends in a draw...

    They walked through the halls of Hogwarts in a daze, meandering slowly in the vague direction of the Hospital Wing. Hermione kept fidgeting with her wand while Harry tried to control his breathing, the pain in his ribs sharp on every other deep breath.

    Ron slowly rotated the mysterious phylactery from the Bludhaus traitor, and he tapped on it softly. “I wonder,” he said softly, and his fingers twitched, slowly starting to open the lid. Despite their exhaustion, this hit something with Hermione and Harry and they whirled in alarm towards their friend.

    “Don’t open it,” Hermione shouted and she shot a spell at the phylactery in Ron’s hands, and the lid closed as it jumped up. Ron sighed in relief and then accidentally dropped it.

    Harry’s eyes widened in horror and he threw up a shield in front of him and Hermione that he knew couldn’t possibly work well enough to save them.

    “Oops,” said Ron unnecessarily as the phylactery emptied an eternity’s worth of darkness speeding towards the nearest target, a tall, bitter man. The man shuddered as the blackness vanished under his skin. His incisors grew longer and sharper, his skin paler and paler, and his eyes dark and sanguine. His hair stayed the same.

    “What is the meaning of this?” Snape asked in horror.

    “Ooh, bad news, Professor,” said Ron. “Turns out you’re a vampire.”

    “All along,” said Harry with a laugh, and then he winced because his ribs still were mildly broken.

    “Not all along,” Hermione corrected and she frowned. “The curse was reversed, and the Professor was simply unlucky enough to get caught up in the Bludhaus clan’s plan to reverse their own curse. I am sorry, Professor, but I’m not sure it’s possible to cure vampirosis.”

    Snape looked down again and he scowled. “This is patently absurd,” he said. “You little buffoonish troublemakers have gone too far. Joking about turning someone into a vampire is across the line.”

    Hermione raised an eyebrow and tapped her foot. “Really, Professor. You think I’m joking.” This was not said even remotely as a question.

    After a beat, Snape became somehow even paler. “Oh, damn and botheration! The Headmaster will hear on this matter as soon as he returns! You three will be in quite a lot of trouble then, I can guarantee it.” This last part was hissed.

    But due to his new vampiric powers, Snape likely didn’t realize what had changed, what could be influenced by what was normally insubstantial, and he was annoying you more than usual. And what would it hurt?

    Snape jumped back in alarm, falling entirely over the bannister and onto the hard stone floor below. He groaned in pain, clearly still alive. Ah, well.

    Hermione looked at Ron in confusion, who shrugged.

    Harry laughed again despite himself and then winced again. “Bollocks,” he said. “Can we get to the Hospital Wing now?”

    And that was that.

    After the game ended

    They all sat around the fire in the Room and chatted amiably, far more relaxed than they had been in a decent while. The threat of the clan had faded even if the threat of Voldemort was still very much an issue. But since that was always true, it didn’t seem quite as bad.

    Luna turned to face you. “I know you’ve been watching,” she said. “And it’s been very rude. Ein gegen sich selbst geteiltes Haus kann nicht bestehen. That’s Shakespeare.”

    Of course, you recall Shakespeare. He was a smart fellow, decently dressed despite the lack of style at the times. And yet he never wrote that play you suggested about yourself. Probably Harry’s story would make a good play too, now that you thought about it. He had already had quite a life already.

    “Not saying anything, are you?” Luna shrugged. “Well, I can’t see you anyway. Maybe you forgot how to speak?”

    This was disturbingly close to the truth, but in a way, it was nice that Luna noticed. The wizarding world had changed since the old days, after all. The second curse was in a way, the worst of them all, the ones that were just gone.

    “Luna, what are you talking about?” Ron scratched his head. “Is this some sort of prank?”

    “Oh yes,” said Luna with a toothy smile, staring you directly in the eye, and her eye was red. “It was just a prank.”
     
  2. enembee

    enembee The Nicromancer DLP Supporter

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    This is clearly incoherent.

    Anyone with the slightest understanding of canon knows that this iteration of Dragula was actually the fourth of his name, that he was this generation's great-great-great-great-grandfather and that although he speaks a hundred languages badly, he does speak fluent mermaid, not Ugric.

    THESE DETAILS MATTER, PEOPLE.

    That aside, I really liked your post modern interpretation of the infuzzling/infusing process, the redrawing of the lines between the Bludhaus and the Weasley clan and your reimagining of vampirosis. These three elements combine to make a cohesive image of the world that is sorely lacking in the source material.

    Furthermore, your creative use of Ginny’s inherent deficiencies allows that character to really come into her own, truly providing an excellent foil for Ron’s new vampire abilities. This, along with the creative reinterpretation of the Weasley’s new powers demonstrating the inner facets of their characters was absolutely inspired.

    In terms of the technical, you clearly don’t need me to tell you that your command of the English language is top notch. There were several turns of phrase within this excellent short story that near enough brought me to tears purely from the inherent quality of the writing.

    On the whole, this is an excellent piece of work, one that I’d like to see expanded upon with, possibly, some prequel material.
     
  3. Typhon

    Typhon Order Member

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    For my part, I find Enembee's correction regarding this Dragula's position in the lineage of clan Bludhaus hasty - I suspect that he has forgotten that all heads of Clan Bludhaus take on the Dragula name. While we as readers might be most familiar with Dragula Bludhaus IV, it seems concrete that Dragula Bludhaus I is the party appearing in this story. In a sense, this could even be considered something like Bludhaus canon, as obviously Bludhaus I had to meet an untimely end of some description for Bludhaus IV to ultimately take up the Dragula name.

    Poor taste to correct someone without properly meditating on canon, mate. You do nail the praise for Ginny as foil, though - she was an absolute masterstroke in my eyes as well.

    On a somewhat more serious note, I don't feel super certain as to how to approach something like this. The crackish nature somewhat precludes an examination of the prose since it's a little hard to tell what was a stylistic choice and what is just prose that's weak. Some bits of interaction were actually quite a decent, entertaining counterpoint against what was otherwise a fair bit of absurdity (for instance, I enjoyed the vehemence of Hermione, the mildness of Ron, and the go-with-the-flow chill of Harry in this bit
    Like, it obviously needs loads of polish here for a serious story, but those are somewhat entertaining character voices imo, and ones that - if you squint - you can see at least a tenuous connection to canon in?

    So yeah, I suppose my advice insofar as improving as a non-crack author goes (because crack fics aren't really to my taste, and I have no idea of how to give advice on improving in that aspect) is to focus in a bit your natural inclination to write entertaining character voices and try to demonstrate that in a somewhat more grounded piece? If you did that, it would also be much easier to see what advice you need (or don't) as far as more technical aspects go.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  4. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    This might be a crossover with something but if so I've never heard of it, so I'm going to judge it on its own merits (such as they are).

    It's just incoherent, which might be because it's crack. It's not very good crack, IMO, because I didn't find it at all funny. There were moments clearly intended to strike a humorous note but they just fell completely flat. One example would be Molly "breaking" things and Ron's insistence on not explaining it. What the fuck is that all about?

    It's just generally flawed all around. You throw in a couple of sudden, extremely jarring shifts to second person here and there when the rest is all in third person. The way you announce changes in location is just by throwing in a random "There" in italics and every time I had to go back and check where "There" actually was. Your action scene was kind of bland - Harry throws a curse, gets hit by one in return, that's it. This is an action scene you've hyped up by starting the scene with a promise that Ron will get to punch a werewolf, so I was expecting something decent, and then I was just... not really given that.

    I'm just disappointed, I guess.
     
    Cas
  5. Otters

    Otters Groundskeeper ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    The opening line "The moon shattered the night sky in that sudden way you remember" was a rather nice, lyrical turn of phrase. It set me up with all kinds of expectations as to what type of story this was going to be. They all quickly fell apart. As @BTT said, it has all the incoherence of crack without much of the humour. The little quips and jokes scattered throughout were utterly hollow and almost never got a smile.

    I will say this: the core idea was brilliant. The Weasleys having been vampires all along, as well as the absolutely deadpan straight-faced that they went about that realization was a perfect juxtaposition of Weasley wizarding madness against Hermione's muggleborn logic. It's a perfect riff of Ron's casual acceptance of magic against the horror and wonder of the mudbloods. This would have been much stronger if you'd chosen a perspective character and stuck to it, rather than bucking around like a rodeo clown in a brothel.

    The dialogue is fairly off as well. I could almost see Dragula's accent inherent in all of the characters. Is this subtle implication that they're all turning into vampires, or is the author's native language Flemish? I couldn't say. Wait, no, I can. I got a hint of deja vu from My Immortal's "mediocre dunces" when reading Snape say "little buffoonish troublemakers." Although I enjoyed the first sentence, I could feel my heart begin to sink in Harry and Ron's very first conversation. "Ol' Won-Won Weasley." Need I say more?

    There were a few bits of new vampire jargon being thrown around and Weaslified, which was a nice touch. It was, however, undermined by the authorial decision to spell words wrong and very often miss them out of sentences. I don't know why a writer could come to hate prepositions so much, but here we are. It left me with doubt as to whether it was a clever artistic device in a callback to the weird and wonderful names in the original setting, or if it was just a series of unfortunate spelling mistakes. It's pretty clear that this wasn't edited, which is a disappointment. I mean, I'm guilty of loose attention to the fine print when shucking something out for WBA, but this isn't supposed to be a workshop for early drafts. This is a competition.

    I'm not sure how I feel about this, all told. I like the concept, but there was no plot movement here. We had act one followed by an epilogue. It evokes very well the spirit of canon in a lot of things, and uses the vampire prompt in an intrinsically funny way, but the technical execution is poor. It's as if someone bought top-shelf ingredients but cooked them badly and left us with a bizarre amalgamation of good and bad all twisted up together.

    This is the boiled burger of fanfiction.
     
  6. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    It's fortuitous, in a way, that one of the episodes of Writing Excuses I listened while commuting to work was about Promises. Stories can be thought of as nothing but an author's promise to a reader. And it breaks that promise pretty hard in this case.

    Others have mentioned it, but the beginning of this story was good. Not amazing, not "I will remember this pithy line forever", but still pretty strong in a "HOLY SHIT THE HYPE" way. Ron and Harry being bros, Ron getting to punch a werewolf, this is great shit. I'm sold on it.

    And then we get to the introduction of vampirism and I'm just left staring at my screen with a building migraine. It might have been the writing, it might be because reading on a tiny phone screen in a moving car is a bad idea, but the point I'm getting at is this is where the story went downhill.

    The randomness of the introduction, the powers, the dialogue, Ron's refusing to explain things, Hermione lusting after both Bill and Ron, it's all just too incoherent for me. I never got a sense of why anyone was doing anything beyond "Because the Plot needs it to happen this way" or to set up some joke.

    Which brings me to the humor. Some of it was good, to be honest. Things like Harry going "We're all friends here" made me laugh. The more understated jokes, I got.

    But then we get the other bits of humor and it just comes across as too try hard. Too "HEY GUYS ISN'T THIS FUNNY?" And it's honestly just... not funny? Not to me.

    There were some good bits to the story. I liked how Ginny was handled (easily the best part of this story), the reimagining of vampires was interesting, but while I like the concept of the story, the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

    Finally, we get to the action scene which was just bland as all hell. Some spells fly around, Ron punches something, but it lacks the visceral element, it lacks urgency, it lacks stakes and all these important ingredients to action hurt it so much that it leaves me feeling deeply dissatisfied with the ending. I was promised an epic fight and what I got was this.

    The ending with Snape also bleeds even more urgency or narrative weight away from the story.

    Otters said it best really - this isn't a story, it's a joke pretending to be one.
     
  7. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator

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    So I am guessing this is a crossover. It's always tricky to thread that needle when part of your audience is not familiar with one half of the source material. I commend you for trying it.

    That being said I will echo the sentiment that this is quite incoherent. I really liked the Weasleys calm acceptance of being vampires all along. In that first part the story is genuinely funny. I feel like you could have loped off a great deal of the second half and ended up with a better story.

    The motivations of the charecters seemed to get confused towards the end, I found it hard to understand why anyone was doing anything. This can work in a crack fic but this seemed to be unable to settle on quite what it wanted to be.
    There was a strange tonal shift in the fight scenes at the end for instance.

    There's some good stuff here, with a clearer execution it could have really shone but that I think will come with more practice.
     
  8. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    It's funny, I think, to consider what is funny or not, it's so subjective. Or for that matter, what you want in a story in the first place. This story, to me, isn't pure crack, in that it has a legitimate ending and a plotline that doesn't completely ignore logic (not completely that is), but there are some fragmentary pieces that make me suspect the excellent opening was a stroke of early insight that was ultimately not able to be "figured out" as the story was finished. Now, in contrary to some of the comments, I did feel that the characterization connected well to the canon, which is always a sticking point for me. I tend to agree that the action "scene" was rushed, and I would guess that the author felt like it was getting to the point where they didn't really know how to make it that interesting. In fairness, though, action scenes are difficult.

    So getting back to I started with, some of these lines or moments were pretty funny to me, others a bit strained. It's a weird take on vampires, but it certainly does something unique with the prompt. I don't believe, though, that this is a crossover with anything, at least that I recognize -- although I acknowledge my knowledge on anime to be minimal these days. Overall I liked it, but since I'm going through these entries in order, I can't say how it compares to the other ones. Perhaps it shall be my least favorite after I finish the rest.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  9. James

    James Unspeakable

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    This has been written without reading others’ posts in the thread, to escape the bandwagon, so it might repeat what has been said already.

    One thing that stands out for me in this story is the fact that I have no idea whether this is a crossover or not. The rules for the vampires and the factions involved are quite thought out, in stark contrast with the rest. If it’s a crossover, then source material knowledge is obviously needed, because I felt very lost; if it isn’t a crossover, then it’s probably a crack story, and I don’t like those, so there’s that.

    Plot & Pacing - 2/5

    Plot and pacing were all over the place, yet followed some semblance of direction: Weasleys find out they are vampires, and then stuff happens. The part where they found out, and when they become vampires takes a major part, which would be okay if it the characters were actively doing things. As it stands, neither main character or secondary characters seem to have much say about what happens. The second arc, the fight, is quite unsatisfying — the only enjoyable part were the few sentences used as a prologue/introduction.

    Characters - 4/5

    Characters - Hermione’s weird obsession with researching for Bill notwithstanding - are what really gives an interesting flavour to this entry. Weasleys are in character, at least as in character as I could imagine them being, given the size of the story. Harry going with the flow was very refreshing, and Hermione’s “am I the only one sane here” stance, just to be proved wrong, was fun too. Every chuckle this got out of me was due to some character moment, so major props for that.

    Prompt use - 3/5

    It’s a story about Weasleys becoming vampires. Related to introduction: if this is a crossover, than the vampire stuff is probably from there and it’s used well. If it’s original, well… These are not really vampires. It’s more of a “Creature with Bertie Blotts’ type of power”, but since it’s a major topic, it’s right in the middle for me.

    Other - 2/5

    This story got a few chuckles and two smiles from me, so one point is for that. I don’t think I’ll get look for it to read it again anytime soon, but you get another point for actually completing something, which deserves a point at least :)

    Total: 11/20
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  10. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

    Joined:
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    There was an attempt at humor here, which I think was rather heavy handed. I'm reminded of the Family Guy gif where Peter is shoving something into Lois's face repeatedly to prove something. What I mean by that is that the humor is very in your face and you're making sure that we see it. I generally don't like humor stories at all because I feel like to write one properly you have to be able to tell a joke without meaning to. Humor isn't from a one liner, its from the situation and if the person reading it can relate to it. This is a facsimile of that concept.

    I don't like Ron in this, I could see this working with an entirely different narrative. His delivery seems very casual, in one way, but in another you can tell its calculated. Harry and Ron are Riffing off one another.

    The intro was, as has already been pointed out the best bit of this story. It was, in fact, your funniest line because of how it was wrote.

    @enembee said it best, this story is incoherent at best. At the end, I honestly thought to myself, "Millwall" strikes again.

    Plot and Pacing: 2/5
    Plots there, but the pacing isn't. You drop us into it so to speak after an abrupt shift with your intro. If I'm honest, I don't know the purpose of the intro.

    Characters: 1/5
    Ron wasn't Ron and Harry wasn't Harry, from any conceivable perspective, I was lost on this, and found nothing I could identify with.

    Prompt Use: 4/5
    Its about Vampires. I gotta give you that.

    Other: 1/5

    I didn't find this funny, and I felt like that was the whole intent, and you've entirely failed. I felt like I was watching one of those Infomercials they show on adult swim. 15 minutes of nonsense with an unsatisfying ending.
     
  11. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    308
    Okay, so I'm to understand this is a crossover. I have no idea what the other source material is, so this review might come as unsatisfactory.

    If this was supposed to be humorous, I didn't laugh once. Perhaps the only funny thing I found was that Ginny wasn't a vampire, despite being the most excited about it (in hopes of seducing Harry?). I had to push myself to keep reading, and, man, it just went on and on. Talk about running a (bad) joke into the ground.

    It seems the author tried something along Terry Pratchett here. I could see it, so they didn't exactly fail, but Pratchett was elegant in his madness, there was a sort of order to his chaos. This author's randomness is as subtle as a bull in Chinatown.

    Pace wasn't something the author wasn't worried about here, and plot was non-existent. I considered the whole Dragula, clans, and werewolves feud to be part of the joke, rather than the joke getting us somewhere. Plot and Pacing: 1/5

    Ron, Harry, and Hermione were fine as long as you're looking through crack/humor lenses. Ron, however, seemed to be into the joke. Some advanced form of breaking the fourth wall? It was strange, to say the least. Characters: 3/5

    The story says it's about vampires, but is it really? They don't suck real blood, they walk on daylight, they don't even sparkle. It seems it uses the vampires from the other source, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. Prompt Use: 3/5

    And who was You? If something from the other source, fine, but here it was grating. Other: 1/5
     
  12. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    352
    I've had a proper review written for this one, but I'm not going to publish it, because, after 10 reviews done by people who know more about writing than me, I'm pretty sure I can't add anything worthwhile in terms of technical criticism.

    That said, reactions and emotions also tell you a lot about whether people are going to be interested in what you wrote, about what people are looking for. So, instead of writing an in-depth-analysis, I'm gonna reread this chapter and try and capture my immediate reaction to what I've just read.

    DLP Story Competition Entry #1

    Ron gets to punch a werewolf, suddenly, the Weasleys are vampires – that’s promising, even though it's slightly odd. The Dragula joke just annoyed me, wasn’t funny, and you actually lost some of my good will there, because this felt like badly done crack.

    Hermione is overdone, but still not funny. Just like the „aren’t vampires, are my family“-joke – is this supposed to be amusing? Feels like badly used space. Also, „foogle“? Where does that come from? What is that? The „literally a million years old“ joke actually hurt me.

    Ron and Ginny dynamic works, and I was surprised by that. Which is kind of a bad sign. In general, I liked the Weasley’s reaction, while Hermione got on my nerves. She is prone to do that, though, so I could say it’s well done, but her reaction still felt forced to me.

    Sorry there’s so little positives as of now, but there was really nothing to make me go „wow, I need to mention how much I liked that“. The old lady shouting "I know that language" is another thing that simply adds nothing, I feel.

    Concerning your idea to make vampires people that need blood in order to unlock superpowers, I’m not sure about that. On the one hand, I’ve never seen that done before, and that’s cool. But where’s the temptation, the predatory nature of vampires in that? The blood infusions felt kind of lame as well, because they destroyed any chance at moral ambiguity and make the "Bad news, I’m a vampire now" line at the beginning seem like a bit of a lie. Couldn’t there at least be some moral problems with drinking blood? It just feels so unnatural.

    Then, suddenly, Harry thinks it’s a prank, too? Why didn’t we know about this? Why does Harry feel so passive in general?

    Harry’s jibe about McGonagall finding out how Ron lost the broom was the first thing that actually made me smile a bit.

    Then, suddenly, Ginny is not a vampire, and it’s again told in such a nochalant way even though it feels like the implications should matter. This is why this entry feels like crack: Only few characters act and react anywhere near normal to the stuff that happens. Which means that I don’t care for them, because I don’t perceive them as people.

    I was actually quite impassive about the different abilities, because there’s no sign most of them will matter. Ron being unhelpful when asked about his mum still piqued my interest, though, and even though it feels cheap that he doesn’t answer Harry’s question, at least we’ve got something to look forward to. Well, we kind of already have, what with the Bludhaus clan being on the move, but a tatty old man telling us there’s danger doesn’t create that much tension if no character acts like he cares.

    After that scene, they again talk about Bludhaus clan, Harry says it’s horrifying – and then he’s done with it. No more conversation, no questions, no details, no nothing. It’s the main conflict and we still don’t get much information on anything. Why?

    Ah, so we do get back to why Ginny isn’t a vampire. The explanation is „because“, which was a letdown even though the story already kind of told me not to be interested. Her reaction is OK done, I’d have liked more emotional insight on how it feels to be the only one left out, but whatever, she at least cares a little. Her „Ron’s skin is now as thick as he is“ was funny, too. I think she’s my favourite character in this.

    Then we get to the part where people are delivered. What happens with them, why is Hermione so indifferent, how did she notice it at all and why is there no sense of danger?

    „He thinks an attack is imminent“ (no reaction at all) „What’s this about werewolves again?“ (no reaction at all, Harry even forgets this question, even though he calls the comment that leads to it „terrifying“). This is he last time I’m gonna say it, because I feel like a broken record, but the characters in here are shells only there for supposed-to-be-funny dialogue and basically nothing else. They are actively killing any tension you might build up with this.

    So, after all this build-up, my mindset before the fight began was: Please, get it over with quickly. I did not expect anything from it, because you basically established that nothing matters in this. Light humour and tension don’t tend to go well with each other.

    Then, mid-action, we learn that Ron forgot his fucking wand at Hogwarts. What the fuck?!

    The fight was alright for me, even though I had literally no image of their surroundings.

    Snape, like Hermione in the beginning, belongs in the „overdone“ category for me. Also, I want to be entertained, and I’m not entertained by unimaginative, unexplained cures and anti-cures.

    The ending was very weird, why did you change it to 2nd person? „You“ confused the hell outta me.

    All in all, I’m sorry I’ve been so harsh, but I really can’t see many redeeming qualities in this. You had a few ideas that had potential, you caught my attention at the beginning - and then, never again.
     
  13. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,466
    Location:
    UK
    I haven't read the other reviews yet, so as to be objective as possible.

    So, if I had to use one word to describe this fic it would be: Staccato. You don't demonstrate the ability to move the reader through the story in a fluid narrative. We're jumped around so much that I'm expecting to see the 'Blood of a Weasley' as Alton Tower's next big thing.

    The very first initial scene got a smile out of me, although there were some unusual word choices (here's looking at you sidled), and sentences which were too verbose and could have been made simpler and then, actually, have had a better effect.

    However, I particularly enjoyed Hermione's 'I do not care for this', before leaving. It was three interesting character voices all reacting to this confusing information. Ron's being completely down pat with information which to the two essentially muggle-borns (and us the reader) is completely perplexing. I enjoyed how that confusion came across.

    Even then, some of the language reads awkwardly:

    Too wordy. The comic effect isn't clean enough to really work.

    A nice play on finger-guns but then, on a second reading, you realise - what? He's just pointing at him? Swishing and flicking a finger dramatically? Then Ron goes on to click his tongue then use confusing words, even prior vampiric infusion. It's all super confusing.

    It's after this first scene that it goes from like 50/50 to completely confusing.

    I think you don't have a good grasp on time and space in this fic, and it's really confusing for the reader, even though it's also supposed to be confusing for the characters too. Although that said, Harry goes from apparent sceptic (though his previous actions don't show it overly) to asking about powers in like six lines.

    But yeah, despite the occasional comic moment, it's all underneath a great quagmire of confusion as I read through. Something to be appreciated in an individual line here and there but no central intelligible humour or plot or heart. There were glimpses of it sure, in how Arthur Weasley spoke to his family in some lines. Or Fred. But, still, other of their lines were stilted and came across as robotic.

    But, that still doesn't really cover the biggest problem - which, again, is that there's no orientation or sense of time and space here. This is very similar to how I felt watching GoT when everyone was teleporting all over the place, but worse because it's a written format.

    My overwhelming impression of this story is one long string of dialogue with a fight scene at night at one point. There are occasions where attribution occurs after the fact, to people I didn't realise were in the room at all, so that I've read the same few lines over and over trying to figure it out, only to realise the answer isn't in that part.

    I think more care could have and should have been taken with this fic. I think you should have described environments more. I think you should've spent less time being so linear in a story that didn't need it. You could have just shown us some of their vampiric abilities and we would've got it. But you appeared to be writing things as you were thinking of them so that we get a list of abilities and people, on a number of occassions. Just so much exposition that could've been excised. Lastly, on a technical bent, you do make a good attempt to try and express people through their actions and voice around half the time, but the other half you tend towards adverbs all the more noticeably for it. Oh and actually lastly, although most of the main characters came across well in some lines, like Arthur, like Fred, and like Hermione, in others it reads very awkwardly and stilted. You obviously have the capability, and it's these two things that make me think it's been rushed and it's the lesser for it.

    Ok, so this is the other biggy. The plot. The incoherent, confusing, plot.

    I can't remember the last time I read something and literally said out loud, 'What the fuck is going on?' And not in a good way.

    The antagonists are never made clear. Dragula makes no fucking sense and no one ever clears it up for us. The fact that he's supposed to be confusing isn't a defence. It's like the aspiring comedian on stage who tells a big joke that falls completely flat. Silent audience. And he says 'oh, well this is a bit awkward isn't it', trying to slide past it. But acknowledgement is not a defence, it doesn't resolve it. The only answer is 'yes, it is'.

    I had no real grasp, no measure of danger, no understanding whether there were or were not actually antagonists in this fic. Whether it was a imaginary conspiracy or a Weasley coup against Dragula, whether Dragula feigned his death and was the 'You', or whether the antagonists were straight up as we were told but never saw. What the fuck is going on?

    The first time the second person viewpoint came up, I assumed it was a mistake because it seemed so third person limited to Harry prior to this. When the ending came with Luna, well who is the You. For that matter, who is the narrator then? A wrackspurt?
    Are we fucking Nargles?

    I don't know. I really don't know what's going on here.


    I've just read the other reviews. Interesting, I didn't pick up that this was a crossover. I've no idea what with, despite that I didn't think the vampire factions were very coherent. Numbers:

    Plot and Pacing: 1/5
    I won't really say any more about this. I'm not hurtfully trying to rag on you.

    Characters: 3/5
    There were points when the speaking parts seemed pretty good, pretty british, and pretty distinct although Harry was furthest from canon. Conversley, there were times when they seemed none of these things. The side characters when they did appear were little more than name-drops, a vague mirage of a person for some strange and unusual action that was more exposition than anything.

    Prompt Use: 3/5
    Like the Weasleys themselves, they're kind of in the middle. I mean I don't know what crossover this is. As the most nitpicky thing, I wasn't a fan of vampirosis vs vampirism. Which is four parts familiarity with the latter and one part that osis as a pathological suffix should be the overburden of some cell or pathogen which vampirism patently isn't. Vampire personality super powers are kind of a modern thing, I'd prefer to have had more standardised classical vampires - if only to cut on a lot of the exposition.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  14. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
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    8,379
    Location:
    The South
    The moon shattered the night sky in that sudden way you remember, and a wolf howl echoed across the glen.

    Love that sentence, but it made me think this was going to be a story in second person. I got all excited for something unique and then it, well, wasn't in second person. Still a great opening though, with the punching werewolves and whatnot.'

    “Oh!” Harry took a second to think this over. You found this odd. “Is he the one that told you that you were a vampire?”

    Oooh, or wait, I think it is in second person, except you are being super clever about it? Well, despite how this is a hair silly with the won-won reference and the Dragula, I'm greatly intrigued now with that one line.

    Harry nodded. “So does that mean you’re going to drink blood now or something?” It was a open question whether or not this would make Ron more or less annoying at breakfast.

    ROFL - that line made me laugh out loud for reals, yo.

    “Velcoming, everyvody!” An extremely old man, gnarled, bent over, and with no hair at all except a shock of red on the back of his head gestured happily to the crowd of Weasleyfolk. “It is great plendura to have the familius here with me. Too long I have been wandering and walking, so too long! Had many harsh feet to get here!” This was apparently meant to be some sort of joke, as Dragula began to laugh cheerily, although he was the only one. You almost felt the need to join in.

    This was hilarious, but I feel like I lost some time. I did notice the "There" you used in quotation marks, but I had no idea that was meant to imply a change of scene. When reading it I didn't realize we had left the table where they were eating. Nothing really wrong with the scene change except that you need to make it obvious it's a scene change, imo. Use *** or something?

    Story is also feeling a little dialogue heavy. There's description but I feel like... the people are being described in terms of what they're doing (Ginny is wearing something sexy, Ron grabs at Fred's cloak, Arthur walks over, etc) but I really don't have a sense of scene. It's like there's too much talking to take a breath and see what's going on? I struggle with that sometimes.

    Snape looked down again and he scowled. “This is patently absurd,” he said. “You little buffoonish troublemakers have gone too far. Joking about turning someone into a vampire is across the line.”

    Sounds like a sentiment Snape would voice, but doesn't sound anything like how Snape would say it, imo.

    Luna turned to face you. “I know you’ve been watching,” she said. “And it’s been very rude. Ein gegen sich selbst geteiltes Haus kann nicht bestehen. That’s Shakespeare.”

    Of course, you recall Shakespeare. He was a smart fellow, decently dressed despite the lack of style at the times. And yet he never wrote that play you suggested about yourself. Probably Harry’s story would make a good play too, now that you thought about it. He had already had quite a life already.

    “Not saying anything, are you?” Luna shrugged. “Well, I can’t see you anyway. Maybe you forgot how to speak?”

    This was disturbingly close to the truth, but in a way, it was nice that Luna noticed. The wizarding world had changed since the old days, after all. The second curse was in a way, the worst of them all, the ones that were just gone.

    I love the concept of having this silent watcher observing and giving us that tantalizing hint of second person. It's clever and I like that you both started and ended with it, but that it was subtle enough so as to not annoy people during the story. Kudos for that.

    But! Uh... I feel like what I said above can be applied to most of the story. It's a fantastic idea, with the 'watcher' and all, and combining the Weasley clan with some vampire lore, and in places it's funny, but it's so dialogue heavy and silly and rarely in character that I found myself struggling not to skim. Moves too fast, imo, without enough description. I felt like I just read a bunch of dialogue that didn't quite turn into a story that gripped me.

    Honestly I'm at a bit of a loss. Great concept with the watcher, great idea from a lore/background point, plenty of humor, decent plot, but... I didn't really enjoy it at the same time. It was a bit too over the top and dialogue heavy.

    I haven't seen what anyone has said yet, but my suggestion would be to edit this with the feedback you get here then pop it in WbA. With some work it could be top notch, but with the way I struggled not to skim... for me, at least, it's not there yet.
     
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