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Entry #1

Discussion in 'Q2 - June - Short Stories' started by Xiph0, Jun 11, 2020.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    A lanky, red headed drunkard lay slouched upon a table. It was a dingy sort of table, one among many in this particular establishment. In other circumstances, a table such as this might have prompted a parent's instincts to cast a quick scourgify or scold an unruly child for laying so much as a finger upon it.

    Unfortunately for the drunkard, neither of his parents were anywhere in sight, and there seemed to be no one around who was the least bit inclined to cast cleaning charms of any kind. That is not to say there was no one at the table at all, just that his best friend who sat with him would rather smirk at his predicament than engage in any scolding or cleaning.

    The redhead let out a rather piteous moan. Fortunately for him this was the sort of establishment in which a morose, drunken moan would garner a short glare and dismissal from the other patrons, if it warranted any response at all.

    "I'm a screw up, mate. I know it. You know it. She knows it. At this point, I'm bloody well convinced that everybody knows it." The fool once more let out a groan after belaboring the point, his red hair flopping back and forth as he rolled around slightly on the tabletop.

    The messy haired best friend who wasn't nearly so drunk, one Harry Potter: Auror Trainee, wondered briefly if his fine freckled friend wasn't actually trying his hand at writing song lyrics this evening; he certainly sounded like a broken record.

    "You're not a screw up, Ron," he offered in an attempt at consolation.

    "I am though," Ron wailed! "I am!"

    Harry watched his best friend blubber a bit more and eyed the half empty tankard between them with distaste. Harry had a sneaking suspicion that it was more tears than alcohol by this point. Certainly, Ron had been nursing it longer than he had the four other pints which had accumulated on their table over the better part of an hour.

    "Hermione is crazy about you. I'm sure it will all blow over; you've just got to buck up and persevere."

    It would not, in fact, blow over quite so easily. Harry couldn't be expected to know that of course. Ron had spent most of the night pretending to explain how he had bollocksed it all up, but really he'd just been bemoaning his fate and getting sloshed. Harry had the right idea, in being optimistic, but he really didn’t feel he had a leg to stand on.

    Instead, he prompted his oldest and best friend, once more, to shed some light on this sudden and depressing state of affairs so he might offer some more specific advice.

    "Remember six months ago when we came back from an all-nighter, and I trashed the flat when I apparated back in? Splinched myself good and got blood all over the carpet, which took us a whole day of cleaning charms to get out when I passed out before I fixed it?”

    Harry nodded wisely, as he did not in fact remember that night. His lack of memory was actually the best evidence that the bender had been rather incredible and did not at all imply that he hadn’t attended.

    “She told me I'd better shape up or that was it. I was on my last chance! I've been doing good these last six months, I have! I haven’t messed up anything, even any of the little things she gets all up in arms about that I don't rightly notice, not even once!"

    "But?" Harry prodded him kindly when he seemed about to sink back into his cups.

    "But last night I really screwed the pooch. Hermione left today for this spa retreat. It’s a weekend getaway type thing I booked for her. She's been so excited about it, and I wanted it to go perfectly. I packed her bags for her and did all the leg work. I was so nervous, though, I wasn't paying attention and I blew it! I mixed up some of the things in her bag with what I had lying about, and now when she finds it, she's going to kill me."

    "Ron, what are you even on about? What are you worried she'll find? I’m sure whatever it is can’t honestly be that bad."

    When Ron told him, Harry went quite suddenly pale.

    "Are you daft? Why did you even have something like that laying about!"

    "It was hidden, but I just wanted to check on it! She wasn't meant to find it. I even had George help me with it," Ron took another sip from his pint of most-likely-tears and then burrowed his head in his arms.

    "Merlin, Ron, you had George help? You really went all out."

    "And the rest of my siblings, yeah, they helped too. It was going to be a huge ordeal, and I didn't trust myself to try and do it alone. Things have been going well with Hermione, lately, and I wanted to take advantage of this trip to have one last hurrah before I 'cast the spell' so to speak, and I wanted to be ready for it.” He paused, then, contemplation written deep into the lines of his face.

    “He wouldn’t want me to say, but George has been feeling so lonely, lately. I figured this would be a good way to cheer him up. The only reason I didn't ask for your help with planning any of this is because you know how Hermione gets, she's like a blood hound. She'd have known that you knew, and she'd have weaseled it out of you. You're my best mate, but you're weak."

    Harry grimaced, not because he was insulted but because Ron was right. He had a certain weak spot for his other best friend, and she rather delighted in taking advantage of it.

    "If she finds out about this and takes it the wrong way, I'll be done for. Toast. Gone like the wind. You have to help me!"

    "Shite. Of course, but we need something harder for this. This is too serious for just a few pints." He eyed Ron’s half of the table, then amended “Even if it’s a lot of pints,” lightly under his breath.

    Harry gestured towards Hannah, who was happily tending the bar, and called "Two frostgin's, please! That new stuff Krum just put out if, you have it."

    A few moments of comfortable silence passed before she walked over to them and slid the shot glasses along the table. Two branching lines of crystals trailed behind in the shape of flowers as rime crept up the sides of the tumblers like little mountain climbers transcending Mount Everest. "What, no firewhiskey?" she lightly mocked.

    "Ron can't come back from firewhiskey. If he starts, he won't stop until the bottle’s gone. We just need a bit to loosen us up."

    "Not letting loose all the way, then, I take it? What's happened?"

    Ron told her, in a much more succinct manner than he'd told Harry. It took all of twenty seconds, rather than the better part of an hour.

    "Fuck. Well, you're right bollocksed, mate. Might as well give you that round on the house, because I’d bet good gold I'll be seeing a lot of you around the Leaky over the next few months. Let me go get you another."

    "She's alright," Harry mentioned as they each pulled their shots closer.

    "Yeah, she is. Also, she can fuck off."

    "Right, that too."

    -Clink-

    "No, Ron, I can't just Summon it with a muttered Accio.”

    “But, what if you shout it?”

    “Didn't you say the spa is in Bath? We're in the Leaky!" Harry exclaimed, slamming his mug on the table. Hannah wore a grin, not unlike an older sister watching after two younger, drunker brothers as she picked up the most recent pair of shot glasses and dropped off another round with two fresh pints.

    "Yeah, but, like, you're real powerful mate! You Summoned that egg from that Dragon!" Ron's arms moved wildly, perhaps in an effort to make his point correct by force, rather than validity.

    "No I bloody didn't, I Summoned my broom and outflew it!"

    "Right, how’d I forget that? That was impressive." Ron's brow furrowed as he pondered that. "Why didn't you Summon the egg again?” A deep, ponderous silence fell over the two of them as they considered their fourth year.

    Ron eventually broke the silence. “Doesn't matter, you beat Voldemort! If anyone could Summon it, you could."

    "What happens when it comes shooting out of her luggage? She could see it! Or it could hit something on the way here!"

    "Right. That would be bad. Don't let her see it, and definitely don't let it hit anything."

    "Should have just listened to me when I first said no," Harry grumbled as he lifted the shot glass up.

    -Clink-

    "Harry. Harry. Listen, I've got it. We're Aurors, let's call in a raid on the spa. Heard they've got some dark magic artifacts in there, right? Maybe there's a Death Eater hiding out." Ron was technically leaning deeply into the grungy table they sat at, but only because that position was offensive to the term "laying down.' He waggled his eyebrows about, in something vaguely reminiscent of a suggestive manner, but all it suggested to Harry was that Ron was off his rocker. Harry let forth the fit of giggles that threatened to bubble out, spilling out across their table, causing frost to come creeping along the table again.

    This served to prompt another set of giggling. When he finally calmed down, he explained to Ron the deficiencies in his plan. "It’s connected to a muggle spa, mate! The wizard half is hidden inside the muggle building. Also, she'd bloody well see us going in wands blazing."

    Harry, who was now very much over this shite, thank you very much, had his head tilted back, eyes closed, resting on the wall behind him. "We have to come up with a better idea. We're bloody Aurors, this shouldn't be hard!"

    "Auror trainees!" Hannah tittered as she dropped off another round of shots.

    She got two glares in return, each as frosty as the liquor in the tumblers she left behind.

    -Clink-

    "Oi, Harry, you see that new film what came out?"

    "Ron, taking Hermione to the cinema is not going to make her forgive you." They were standing right outside the Leaky, hoping that the bite of the late February air might sober them up a bit, not that it was likely to help. The buzz one got from frostgin was notorious for being resistant to the sobering effects of cold air.

    Depending on who you asked, they might have had a few too many shots. For example, if you asked Hannah the bartender, the answer was "Hell yes." On the other hand, if you asked either Harry or Ron the answer was likely to be "Bugger off, mate." Luckily, no one was asking which meant they could decide for themselves.

    "No, no, there's that new film. About the water. With that real handsome bloke, and the snazzy muggle clothes. You know the one!"

    "The hell are you on about?"

    "Nine Seas? Ocean's something?"

    A man walked by then, dressed in distinctly muggle garb, and looked at the two upstanding wizards with a moue of distaste. They were upstanding in the sense that neither of them had fallen down, at least.

    He muttered something lightly, under his breath, and Harry was likely to just ignore him. Ron, however, became quite animated.

    "Right! Ocean's Eleven! Thanks, mate!" Ron went to shake the man's hand, even as the muggle attempted to extricate himself from the encounter, deeply regretting his involvement.

    The muggle muttered to himself “Christ, would it kill you to stay in the pub? You two are smashed,” as he briskly walked away. Not that Harry or Ron heard him, drunk as they were.

    Harry leaned against the wall, attempting to breathe in such a way that he didn't vomit as Ron jabbered on.

    If only the world would stop spinning quite so much, he was sure he'd be fine. Ron's voice drew his attention back to their conversation before he had a chance to investigate his lunch for a second time that day. "They were like master thiefs. Thieves? Thiefses? Doesn't matter, point is, we're at least as good as they are!"

    "What? We are not." Harry shook his head. Yeah, Ron had definitely had too much to drink. Harry was glad he was able to keep his wits about him and hold his liquor far better than his clearly inebriated friend.

    "Are too! We stole from Gringotts!"

    "Shhhhh, you trying to get us killed! There's goblins that drink at the Leaky!"

    Ron surreptitiously looked around, with a big sweeping of his head back and forth, then looked down at the ground as though goblins might come scurrying out at any moment. Upon not seeing any, he scoffed.

    "Pish. Fuck 'em. Anyway, in that film they're like super-smooth, in that film. And you and I, we're super smooth. Defeated a Dark Lord and everything, we did, and now we're Aurors."

    "Alright, you’ve got a point there.”

    “Exactly! See, we're already professional stealers of things. So, just like that film, we run a con. On the spa. And bing-bang-boom, we're in, we're out, no one knows a thing, and everything’s turning up snitches."

    Harry went to scoff again, but he paused. The idea percolated itself around his mind, running grooves in his brain as it ran marathons again and again. Ron had always been a bright bloke, that was certain. Harry hadn't ever seen him lose a single chess match. Harry magnanimously allowed himself to consider the concept that maybe they were super smooth. That, perhaps, they truly were already professional stealers of things, as Ron had so eloquently pointed out.

    The only other person to ever survive stealing from the goblins was Tom Riddle, and he was dead. Which, by the transitive property of criminals, made Harry and his friends the best thieves of all time.

    Before Harry could himself get too distracted in the grammatical minutiae of the plural of “thief,” he focused on the task at hand.

    "Ron. This might honestly be, without a doubt, the most brilliant idea you've ever had. I can't believe I ever doubted you.”

    “You doubted me?”

    “But, if we do this,” Harry bowled over Ron’s interjection “we've got to do it right. You know, like in the film. Which means we need a crew."

    "Hermione's out. She's normally our first go to, but she can't know."

    "Obviously. That'll make this bit difficult, though. She does a lot of the planning."

    "Yeah. But we can do it! We've just got to break it down. We need an iron clad plan. What's the first thing we need," Ron asked, slamming his fist into his palm with gusto.

    "To sneak in?" Harry answered. Wasn't that pretty self-explanatory?

    "Right, and how do we get in without being seen?"

    "Er, I don't know, we cause a distraction?"

    "Who do we know that can make a distraction?"

    There was a pause then, as both of them pondered this herculean task. Then, the light of inspiration exploded upon them at nearly the same time. They looked up into each other's eyes, faces both alight with excitement as they shouted in unison "Seamus!"

    They raced back into the warmth of the Leaky, swinging around to the bar and coming face to face with the angelic visage of Hannah.

    "Another shot?" she asked, eyebrow quirked and lips raised.

    "Yeah," Ron said, at the same time as Harry asked, "Can we use the floo?"

    They looked at each other, surprised at the short-lived nature of their earlier synchronicity. Shrugging, Harry ambled off towards the floo after Hannah motioned towards it and began pouring more shots. Ron tried to give her a winning smile, but if her answering grimace was anything to go by, it wasn’t even worth third place.

    "Oi, oi Seamus. Seamus, pick up the floo, we need you. It's an important mission."

    Seamus, a tall, thin man with a shock of sooty brown hair came tumbling out of the fireplace.

    "Hold your hippogryphs, mate, I'm coming. What the bleeding hell do you want?"

    "We need your help," Harry implored, with all the gravity he could impose on the situation.

    "Mate, you're drunk."

    "Oh, right, Ron!"

    "Coming!" Ron stumbled over, asking "Is he in?"

    "Ron, Seamus here makes a real good point. You and me? We're drunk."

    "Oh."

    "Oh, yeah," Seamus butt in, "not to mention the fact that I don't even know the plan."

    "Well, I can remedy both those things real quick-like!" Ron smiled. "Here, drink this," he said as he shoved a shot in Seamus's hand, followed by a mug of ale. "There, now we'll all be drunk together, not just me and Harry all alone. With that sorted, let me tell you all about our brilliant plan."

    "Fuck it, I ain't got nothing else to do tonight," Seamus muttered as he tossed back a swig of the ale, then held up the shot so they all could cheers.

    -Clink-

    Three singing men ambled down the road called Cheap Street, singing gaily to themselves. To a casual observer, the bottle of liquor passed freely between a group of drunks. An astute observer would see the same thing. A drunken observer, however, due to their keen insight into a similar state of mind, might notice that these three drunkards were attempting to, in their own words, "case the joint."

    With a sudden bout of clarity, Harry realized they had drastically blundered.

    "Lads, three people isn't a crew! We can't break in until we have a full crew!"

    "You sure we don't have time for me to watch this film? Been wanting to see it."

    "No, Seamus! Besides, it's not important. What's important is that you make a real big distraction." Ron mimed an explosion with his hands, making the noise with his mouth.

    "Sea, seriously! Focus. Who else are we going to get on our crew?" Harry tried to bring his fellow thieves back onto task.

    "Well, what else do we need? We have a distraction; can't we just go in wands blazing?" Ron scratched his head as he took another swig of the bottle.

    "Ron, we already went over that. Also, look at that place. You see it? It's real posh, you can tell. No way we get within thirty feet of that place without being turned out on our arses. Especially not with Seamus with us."

    "Oi."

    "Good point, mate, have you seen him? He's drunker than a sailor. Can't hold his liquor at all."

    "Oi!"

    "So we need a face man!" Harry exclaimed. "Someone good at playing up the whole rich boy, snooty, being a tosser act."

    "You're Harry bloody Potter, you can get in anywhere!" Seamus pointed out, rather reasonably.

    "Yeah, but Ron and I are on the sly, aren't we? They can't know I'm here if we're the ones that need to be sneaking in."

    "Oh? Why not just have one of you sneak?"

    "One of us has to be a look out, and you're too busy being a distraction!"

    "Right, then. Now that that's settled," Ron said, "how about Smith, from Hufflepuff?"

    "No way in hell. If he's in, I'm out!" Seamus crossed his arms tightly over his chest in a fit of pique at the idea. Harry merely rolled his eyes while Ron implored Seamus to be reasonable.

    "But you're our distraction! We need you!"

    "I hate that guy; no way am I working with him. Who else you got?"

    "Uh, Justin? He's a 'puff too, I think, and he's alright. Anyone know his floo?"

    "I've got his mirror name?" Seamus offered.

    "Perfect!" Harry and Ron both took another swig, then continued to trade the bottle back and forth while Seamus made his call.

    -Clink-

    Soft, gentle music floated among and between the dark wood tables which adorned this fine establishment. Each place setting had at least three courses worth of silverware and china laid out. The finest crystal wine glasses swelled with heady aromas, and just the dregs of a well drunk wine.

    A young, blonde man with an impeccably tailored suit smiled winningly across the table at his rather delightful date as she regaled him with a story of her youth. Her rather misspent youth, if the story was any indication of patterns in her adolescence.

    Her deep chesnut hair was swept back in an elaborately braided updo, which quite nicely lined the shape of her neck. As she wove her tale she was encouraged by his eyes glued to her face, and she felt the thrumming anticipation of another successful date flutter within her.

    He was about to call for a waiter to refill their dangerously low wineglass, careless of the consequences the speed at which they were consuming it would bring to the end of their night; or perhaps anticipating eagerly the consequences. The final result was still up in the air. As he turned to gesture, though, he felt a light buzzing in his pocket and pulled out his handheld magic mirror. Upon tapping it, he realized the call was from his old friend Seamus.

    While they may have been in the DA together, back in Hogwarts, some things were more important that old friendships. Like the way his date's décolletage was particularly alluring this evening. Over their past three dates it had become more and more daring, and now her fingers would occasionally trace the hem of her dress.

    It was a maddeningly wonderful sight.

    He pursed his lips when he felt the mirror buzz again, and once more touched it lightly. The knowledge that it was Seamus entered his mind, and he ignored it once more.

    He didn't even have time to admire the view or attempt to reach a waiter before his mirror was buzzing once more.

    "Excuse me for a moment, Tracey. My friend seems rather insistent."

    A smile graced her lips as she tilted her head in his direction.

    "Seamus Finnegan, I swear by Merlin's blood that -."

    He paused, listening to the slurred words of his friend. Tracey hid a smile at the one-sided conversation she could hear.

    "No, I -."

    "Wait, what? Seriously? Why would you all -."

    "Oh, Merlin. Hold on, probably, but I need to check."

    Tracey watched him pull the mirror down, one hand over the glass, and he looked at her with a smirk upon his lips.

    "How would you like to see Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Seamus Finnegan make absolute drunken fools of themselves as they attempt to break into a bath house?"

    "What are we even still doing here, then?" she asked.

    Justin left money for the wine and their meal and apologized for not staying for dessert to the waiter before he led Tracey not to an alley to disapparate, but to a liquor store across the road. "They said we need to bring some with us, as they're almost out."

    When they were finally prepared to go, libations in hand, he gave his date a small smirk. "One swig for the road, before we go?"

    She reached out for the bottle, held it by the neck and tossed it back. Justin's jaw dropped slightly as he beheld the beautiful sight of her long, slender form taking multiple swigs. She handed the bottle back to him, twirled her wand up and around to Transfigure her dress into a comfortable looking jumper and pair of jeans.

    Misspent youth, indeed.

    "Your turn now, love. Think you can match me?"

    -Clink-

    The five members of the clandestine meeting were huddled around a map in the living room of Harry's flat. The map was only, by the loosest definition, an actual map of the bath houses and magical spa they'd be breaking in to. The map had been drawn from Ron's sparse memory of the place and their ragtag recollection from "casing the joint." A few scattered tokens and dice from a long-forgotten board game lay scattered about the map, indicating positions.

    "So, does everyone know their jobs?" Ron swept his eyes across their gathered crew from his lackadaisical slouch upon the beaten-up couch.

    "I still don't know why I had to be the green piece," Seamus sulked.

    "Green is a rather noble color, I always thought," Tracey twirled her hair around a spare finger, mug of ale obscuring either a sneer or a smirk. Seamus wasn't sober enough to tell from her tone of voice which it was.

    "Then why didn't you pick it?"

    "Because while green is noble, silver is better still."

    "Guys, focus. Merlin, at this rate we'll never run this con. I repeat, does everyone know their jobs?"

    "I don't," Luna Lovegood said as she wandered in from the kitchen. "I think it has something to do with writing, or maybe exotic animals, but Daddy won't tell me the specifics. Every time I ask, he just waves me off and hands me the latest copy of the Quibbler. Somehow, my name always ends up on the articles."

    She paused, then, and lightly laid her delicate fingers against her lips as her eyes purveyed the room.

    "Oh, were we having a party? Harry, why didn't you mention? I could have revved up the radio and prepared some plums; I have some dirigibles still pickled from last summer."

    "Sorry, Luna, sort of a last-minute thing. Here, drink this."

    Harry, through his drunken stupor, still managed to let out a mirthful chuckle at the utterly gob smacked expression on their compatriots faces. It seemed to him that Seamus, Justin, and this new girl Tracey likely didn't spend much time with Luna. You could always tell when someone only knew her as "Loony Lovegood, that crazy bint from the Rookery who lost her shoes a lot at Hogwarts" rather than "Luna, the sweetest, craziest bint you ever did meet who'd give you the shoes off her feet and the shirt off her back if you were in need."

    Justin felt his eyes widen as Luna was handed the shot, knocked it back with rather more than a smidge of aplomb, then held out her hand for one of the many scattered, half-finished bottles. Tracey saw a kindred spirit as Luna polished off more than a few good swigs of the bottle of liquor. When she tapped her chest twice and let out the daintiest burp Seamus had ever heard, he chose instead to focus on the sight of her smiling blindingly at all of them.

    "So, what are we doing, then?"

    Before Harry or Ron, the masterminds of this operation, could devise any sort of ruse, which would most certainly be of the fiendishly clever variety, with which to distract her, Seamus let out with a stunned "running a heist."

    "Splendid!" Luna clapped. "I know just the man who's in the market for some stolen goods. What are we stealing?"

    When they told her, she turned her gaze to Ron.

    "I suppose it's good there's a Ravenclaw on the crew, now, as that wasn't very wise of you." Before Ron had the opportunity to defend himself, or even offer a muffled apology, she continued "Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in the market for anything like that. It's very niche, what you managed to lose. Are you certain I couldn't convince you to steal some counterfeit Galleons instead? Those ones Hermione made back in fifth year, for example, could run a high price."

    "What? Luna, no!" Ron slurred. "This is important, more important than counterfeits!"

    "Wait, how much?" Seamus asked, intrigued despite himself. He knew this was a rather serious situation, but a good deal was a good deal and he was pretty sure he had his old DA galleon packed away somewhere at the flat.

    "Well, then I suppose I'll have to hit the streets and line up a buyer. It's my job as the fence, after all." She ignored Seamus, and not a single person seemed surprised. Not even Seamus.

    "Luna, I already have plans on what we'll do with the loot!" Ron implored.

    She hummed to herself, a dainty finger tapping her lips as she thought. "At least keep your eyes peeled. It would be silly to have a fence on the crew without any goods that need selling."

    They all nodded along with the wisdom of her statement. She was the Ravenclaw, after all.

    "Right, does everyone know their role then?" Harry asked once more, still mostly intelligible through his drunken stuttering.

    To the general consensus of nods circulating its way around the room, Harry added his own. "Grand. Let's all seal the deal with a drink, and then we'll get this show on the road, yeah?"

    A chorus of "Yeah!" in the form of a round robin was returned to him as shots were poured and handed out.

    -Clink-

    Harry and Ron stood outside the entrance to the magical side of the Roman Bathhouse, both desperately doing their best to "act natural." Harry had pulled out a pack of muggle cigarettes and was doing his best to stifle the snickers threatening to gurgle forth as he watched Ron attempt to light one with a muggle lighter.

    Ron, for his part, was doing his best to not look like a rube or a pureblood as he continued to try and light the damn cigarette. "How am I supposed to act natural and not disturb the muggles if their ruddy inventions don't work!" he hissed at Harry.

    Eventually, Harry took the lighter from him and easily, with only a few failed attempts, managed to create a small flame so Ron could light the cigarette.

    The air wrapped around them in a chill, beating against their Warming Charms. In order to blend in just a bit better, they pretended to huddle around the cigarette for warmth as they shared it back and forth. They surreptitiously glanced every few moments to the spot where Seamus laid in wait, hidden against the prying eyes of muggles and magicals alike by blending into the shadows.

    Justin was inside with Tracey, both of them dressed up to the nines and bartering back and forth with the front desk attendant, if everything was going to plan. Harry and Ron were camouflaged as personal attendants and done up with Glamour Charms to hide their appearances.

    After a few more moments of play acting, Tracey walked back into view and gave two short claps. "Chop chop, boys, they've finally seen sense and given us a room." Her imperial glare was undercut slightly by the smile which filtered through her austere expression every few words.

    The two young men hoisted up the large luggage bag over their backs and began hauling it into the magical side of the baths. Instantly, they were assaulted by a rather vicious floral scent, violent in it's calming, pungent odor. Ron gave out a short cough as he acclimated, followed by a slight hiccup. Certainly, it was all due to the perfume suffusing the lobby and had nothing to do with just how inebriated he was.

    His cough did, however, draw the attention of the lobby attendants, who gave quizzical glances to one Mr. Finch-Fletchly and date for the evening.

    "Dreadful, isn't it, how most house elves are treated? I find it much more humane to pay someone to do the work for me. House elves, of course, still won't accept payment so my only recourse was to hire down on their luck wizards. Dapper Danny and Rusty here have been with me for months, now. Not the brightest chaps, but hard workers nonetheless."

    Harry tipped his hat towards the lobby attendants. As he did so, the luggage he and Ron were carrying tumbled slightly between them. Ron stubbed his toe, which caused a bit of a commotion, and neatly took attention away from the fact that Harry was not, in fact, wearing a hat.

    That was close! Harry thought to himself. If they'd had cause to look more closely as our Glamour Charms, the jig may have been up!

    "Run along, you two, here is our room key. Please put our luggage away as quickly as you can, and then you may retire for the evening." Justin swayed slightly but covered it nicely by leaning into Tracey. Unfortunately, she also began to sway under the weight of his lean. It was a miracle that she covered for herself as well, rather elegantly, by leaning heavily into the concierge's desk.

    The concierge did not manage to cover the disgust which marred his face.

    Harry and Ron trudged along, luggage lifted between them, and took a sharp left turn towards the wrong way once they were out of sight of the lobby. As soon as they were free and clear, they sent a quick Patronus message to Seamus.

    "We're in. It's go time: do the thing."

    A few blessed moments of silence followed. Sweat filled their brow as they held their breath, waiting, hoping Seamus hadn't fallen asleep in a drunken stupor.

    "I knew we shouldn't have brought Seamus on the crew," Ron hissed. "You know how he is; give him a drop of liquor and he’ll down the whole -."

    Ron's drunken diatribe was interrupted by an earthshattering BOOM.

    A rather polite voice filled the air, as though someone spoke through a Sonorous Charm.

    "Good evening, witches and wizards. There has been a fire. Please evacuate quickly and quietly. Once we ensure no damage has been sustained, the spa treatments will resume as normal. Good evening-."

    Harry and Ron broke into a sprint. Ron's wand swished and flicked, causing the luggage to levitate and follow after them as they ran. Harry's wand, however, twisted and snapped as he changed their Glamour Charms from luggage lackeys into respected repairmen. This change of attire was much needed, as a pair of stumbling fools needed all the respectability they could get.

    Spa goers and staff members began filtering out and past them, towards the exit. A few people attempted to stop them and ask after the emergency, but a curt nod and a waved clipboard was enough to get even the most insistent of wizards to leave well enough alone.

    Finally, they found themselves alone in the hallway leading into the room Ron had booked for Hermione.

    "Alohamora!" Ron incanted at the door after simply attempting to open it hadn't worked. Sadly, it seemed the basic unlocking charm wouldn't be enough to give them entry. A spa as posh as this one was, of course they'd have extra security on their rooms.

    "Well, I'm all out of ideas. You're up!" Ron stepped back and gestured for Harry to have a go. Harry rolled his eyes, then opened up the luggage bag they'd carried with them.

    Inside was a slew of small, strange, silvery devices not unlike the ones that had once adorned Dumbledore's office in Hogwarts. Fortunately, these were in pristine condition, rather than smashed under Harry's wrath, rage, and teenage angst.

    Harry fiddled with the devices, explaining as he went to Ron "As we were leaving, Luna mentioned she thought this place might have more security. She asked us to try this out, said it's a new project she's been working on. Something about being useful in her new job as a fence?"

    Harry fiddled about, twisting knobs and holding different devices aloft to both the card they'd been given for Justin and Tracey's room, and to the door, until eventually there was a light ding. He held the card up to the door, then, and it also let out a soft beep.

    Slowly, the door swung inwards. Harry and Ron glanced at each other with gigantic grins across their face.

    "Accio!" Harry whispered, and their loot came flying out and deposited itself neatly in their luggage. They zipped it up, and nearly declared their excursion over with.

    "Wait!" Harry hissed as he saw Ron about to twist into a disapparition. "Luna asked us to keep an eye out. Let's case the joint, see what we can find."

    Less than fifteen minutes later after a rigorous search of a large number of unoccupied rooms, it was with nary a thought that the two Auror Trainees and successful thieves apparated right back to Harry's flat.

    They were met by the entirety of their crew, eyes alight and eager.

    "Well?" Seamus asked, the most impatient of the bunch. A pause filled the room, it's silence growing until it was almost unbearable.

    "We did it!" Ron finally shouted when he couldn't take it anymore.

    "Success!" Harry shouted with him. "Let's celebrate!"

    Fortunately, Luna already had the shots prepared. Whether it was in anticipation of a celebration or a consolation, no one was willing to ask, and she wasn't willing to offer an answer.

    "To a successful heist! We are super smooth!" Ron shouted, as they all lifted their tumblers and drank.

    -Clink-

    The world awoke with the Sun. As it crested the horizon, the birds came alive with stuttered songs and the trees stretched their limbs to reach for each drop of golden sunlight.

    Slowly, but surely, the rest of the world caught up. As night receded into day, and the first full hour of daylight graced the world with its presence, the world responded by leaping into motion. Cars started, coffee dripped, work beckoned. It was a bright, beautiful dawn.

    Hours after that bright, beautiful dawn, a red headed man groaned in pain. He forced himself off the floor he was on and scoured himself with a muttered incantation. Ostensibly cleaner, though he didn't much feel it, he stumbled his way into the kitchen in search of a Sobering Potion. The night before was nearly as blurry as his vision, at that particular moment, and he desperately hoped a bit of liquid clear-headedness might bring the evening's bender back into focus.

    "Looking for this?" a voice asked, causing fear to strike its way down his spine. Suddenly, he didn't need the Sobering Potion to remember the night before; it all came rushing back to him like the technicolor films he watched in the cinema with his girlfriend.

    His beautiful, smart, intelligent girlfriend who was standing before him with what looked like a Sobering Potion in one hand, and a small velvet box in the other. Hermione stood tall, in all her bushy haired glory with the light shining off the ringlets of her curls and spiking its way into his head to cause bursts of sharp shooting pain.

    "Fuck."

    "Yes, I do suppose you might feel that way, Ronald." She shoved the potion into his hand, and he drank it under her careful eye; stricter than Madame Pomfrey, his girlfriend was.

    He instantly began to feel the effects of far too much liquor leave his system. His body became reinvigorated at the hydrating effect of the potion. He did not, however, much to Hermione's apparent amusement if her curved lips and dancing eyes were any indication, begin to feel better about the situation he was in. If anything, his newfound clarity of mind resulted in his feeling rather worse.

    "How did you get that? Er, I mean, what have you got there?" He said, gesturing to the suspiciously familiar velvet box still held aloft in her hand. A surreptitious pat of his jeans pocket showed him that yes, the haul from their heist last night was indeed missing.

    Merlin, what the hell had they been thinking? A heist? He and Harry were bloody Auror Trainees!

    "I see by the look on your face that the gravity of your situation is fully settling upon you." Her expression was stern as she said that, rather than amused, and he couldn't help but quail under it. "Come on then, Ron, let me see you talk your way out of this one."

    She lobbed the little velvet box towards him, and he scrambled to catch it. It was expensive! And important! He held it in his hand, handling it with enough delicacy that is may as well have been a baby bird. His impending doom hung before him like the Sword of Damocles, inevitable and devastating. This turn of events led him to a very common tactic of his, which in the end boiled down to "Sod it all, I’ll just wing it."

    He popped himself down on one knee and looked up into the love of his life with the most earnest expression he could muster.

    'I'm a screw up, Hermione. I am. And I know that frustrates you sometimes. Because I'm a bit forgetful, and a bit scatterbrained, and a bit lazy. Sometimes-.”



    “Stop! Stop right there, Ronald Weasley.” She grasped him by the ear and pulled him up, then deposited him on the couch in front of her.

    “Let me see if I can recite the rest of this speech; I’ve heard it often enough. When you try you hardest, it's still not enough? You’re doing your best, but you can’t ever measure up to my standards. Compared to me, sometimes it feels like it never will be. You’re trying, and you’re sorry. That about right, Ron?” He trembled under her expression, and she sighed. She knew him far too well.

    “Let me tell you how I see things, because I don’t know if it’s gotten through your thick skull yet. Yes, you’re a bit pigheaded, but your stubbornness is married to your passion, which is inspiring. You don’t always think things through, but you always try your hardest; I admire that. I might want you to drink a bit less, but I also want you to help me be a bit wilder sometimes. I don’t need you to be perfect, Ron, I need you to complement me. And you do! You may only have the emotional range of a teaspoon, as I once said in a fit of pique, but the quality of that teaspoon’s worth is intense.”

    Hermione took a deep breath before continuing, and Ron dutifully sat and listened, quiet as could be.

    “The love I feel for you is strong enough to weather your foibles, as I hope you can weather mine. I know I’m not easy to deal with, either. I can be a bit of a nag, and I’m too uptight. But by Merlin, I don’t think I’ll ever find another bloke who'll love me or cherish me or appreciate me like you do. I know for certain you won’t find anyone who loves you like I do. Like you hung the stars in the sky and set the moon in place.

    “What I’m trying to say, Ron, is that I believe your heist was a success.”

    “Oh?” He offered tentatively. Certainly, it was not what he’d been expecting.

    “At the very least, you’ve managed to steal my heart.”

    “Er, I don’t want to seem stupid, but does that mean you’ll marry me?"

    He snapped open the little velvet box in his hand, breath held and eyes closed. After more than a few tense seconds had passed, he peeked one eye open, afraid of what her face might look like.

    Tears settled in the corner of her eyes, and she had a hand held up to her lips. He noticed upon her ring finger a rather familiar looking ring. He looked at the now open ring box and saw it was empty.

    “I’m rather certain, my dear, that I was the one doing the proposing. At the very least, I’ve already said yes.”

    He surged towards her to sweep her up into a hug. He swung her around and around, and when he placed her down he set a large smacking kiss upon her lips.

    With a blush upon her cheeks, she smirked at him "Although, I am keeping your cut of the heist. Luna said something about suspiciously high-quality bath towels? At least, I think that's what she said. I never feel like I follow our conversations all that well."

    "You can have my cut, love, and any cut I get on further heists! What's mine is yours, forever and ever!"

    "There better not be any more heists, Ronald Weasley! I won't be married to a criminal!" She could just barely keep the stern facade up when faced with the dopey grin on his face as she continued to scold him while he peppered her with kisses.

    "Imagine that," he interrupted her. "Me, Ron Weasley, married to a witch like you, Hermione Granger. Don't rightly know if anybody has ever been so lucky as me. I think we should celebrate with a drink!" He winked when she made to smack him, and they couldn’t help but laugh together.

    -Clink-
     
  2. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    Ron is blubbering after five pints? What a bitch.

    I think the whole intro is kind of unnecessary. It's meant to be humorous - Harry and Ron get drunk, come up with a stupid plan, do stupid shit to try and salvage Ron's relationship. Okay. I think the whole thing isn't particularly funny, though, and I started skipping the scenes of two drunkards trying to come up the most brilliant plan ever roughly when they tried to rope in Finch-Fletchley. As a result I couldn't quite follow along when the important stuff started happening but honestly it was a very "things explode, grab the shit and run" sort of "heist" so whatever. Of course what they're stealing is the ring; there was never any real doubt to it anyway.

    Your Luna is oddly reminiscent of Rorsach's Blot's Luna, which I don't quite mean to be a compliment. Kind, yes. Off-kilter, sure. But I think what's important to a good Luna is a sort of naivete or innocence, whereas you've got her being a fence and a hard drinker and more. There's something to be said for contrasting an innocent appearance with a foul mouth, but I'm not a fan of it happening to Luna.

    In addition the whole conclusion is too sugary to fit the rest of it. Especially the heavy inclusion of Hermione. I admit to some bias on that part, but honestly the whole reciprocal speeches about why they love each other go on too long. Romance, IMO, lies as much in the motions of the characters as what they're saying.

    tl;dr a solid 2/5.
     
  3. bking4

    bking4 Second Year ⭐⭐

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    You just used the word 'unfortunately' in the sentence before this, it feels repetitive.

    Does Harry feel he doesn't have a keg to stand on, or is he not aware? The narration here is unclear as to what Harry is actually feeling.

    You've used 'and' twice in this sentence. Split it up into two sentences.

    Not sure if this is a misspelling or a British use of the word. I won't britpick becaus I'm not British. Just something that caught my attention, don't know if it's used right.

    You repeat yourself here. Not sure if it's an attempt to make him sound drunk by repeating himself, or an editing mishap? It's the only time it happens though.

    You used singing twice here, don't be repetitive.

    In many other places, you've used italics to call out emphasis, rather than capitals. This feels out of place as a result.

    I'm a fan of this small bit of alliteration. Just saying.

    I feel like the actual heist part of this was rushed. You were reallllly close to the word count, did you have to cut to make this work? I might have liked to see some more drunken antics and heist exploring.

    Overall thoughts: solid execution of a decent idea.

    You didn't tell us outright what they were trying to steal, and building up the mystery was a nice attempt, but became awkward in a few places.

    The third person omniscient is difficult to pull off. Some places it works really well, in others it's really weak. The prose/descriptions have a clearly distinct style from the dialog, which helps, but I think the distinction could be heightened. If make use of the benefits of third person omniscient and show us more of what other characters are thinking or feeling.

    Rating:
    3.5/5 - enjoyable read, could use some tightening up in a few places tk make it smoother.
     
  4. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss First Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    The opening was a bit overwrought and dragged on, missing the beats that would have made it funny or catchy. The mystery was probably unnecessary since it was pretty obvious, and the payoff didn't really revolve around discovering it either.

    I think I'm of a mind with @BTT for most of it. The technical writing was alright, but execution fell a bit flat.

    2/5
     
  5. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    I think this is overly long, I think you use more words when fewer would suit your story better.
    You have a tendency to odd verbs, and repeating ideas. This detracts rather than emphasises.
    You use prepositions a little oddly, and it's something to look out for.

    I think that you had a good essential hook, and you had one genre convention of the heist in mind, but you focused on it to the detriment of your story and to your application of the genre.

    This is all the least interesting part of the heist genre, the team build-up. The intro is really long. As mentioned above, the way that you've written it feels like the reader gets the essential point within a very short amount of time, and then we get more words anyway. And that happens in near every scene.

    You should try and treat your writing like a heist yourself going forward. Find your point, get in and get out. If you can boil it down to the essential opal of a scene, cut out unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, use workmanlike verbs, and sort out your prepositions and semi limited semi omniscient POV then you can start to build all that stuff back in from a place of better understanding, in a way that accentuates the story events, and the important bits. Rather than distracts.

    I think there's a few things you might want to look at to that effect.

    Hellofutureme runs an On Writing series in his youtube channel.
    Brandon Sanderson has a lecture episode with Mary Robinette guest lecturing from this year, which deals with short stories.
    There's a really, really excellent essay on language use by Orwell, called 'Politics and the English Language', which I may not link here as it is found through reputable booksellers, or perhaps other methods... It's short, and has a ton to do with how to write well in ways that apply to fiction. Don't be put off by the Politics part.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    == == == ==

    The scene is set reasonably well here, I think. Ron (who you could probably just name) is drunk and Harry is with him at a pub. Probably a few more words spent to set this scene than required, with descriptions like ‘messy haired best friend’ instead of just saying ‘Harry,’ but still I can visualize what’s going on well enough.

    Exclamation points are fine sometimes in dialogue, but ‘Ron wailed!’ is an example of one that takes my attention out of the story.

    Story feels wordy – like you use 5 words where 2 words will do just as well. I’ve done this before too, and for me it’s usually that it just sounds so clever/awesome/excellent in my head. But my readers aren’t in my head, and to them it seems wordy instead of like good wordplay. Your story feels too ‘wordy’ in that sense.

    I’m starting to feel that this might be a fairly cute type of heist story though, where perhaps Harry and Ron will need to steal something Ron accidentally packed in Hermione’s bags… which is both cute and hilarious as well as a good take on the prompt.

    I’m reading and giggling but after a while the drunken adventures of Harry and Ron start to feel a little old when not much else happens apart from dialogue. Technically yeah they leave the bar and run into a muggle and find Seamus and so on, but it fills like filler more than story.

    "How would you like to see Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Seamus Finnegan make absolute drunken fools of themselves as they attempt to break into a bath house?"
    Yes, now that line (above) would make a good tagline for this story. Luna also made me smile when she showed up, took a few swigs of liquod, and wanted to know what they were all doing.

    I wasn’t sure what I expected the loot to be – I considered a dildo, ala the old fanfic ‘why is it orange’ – but a wedding ring works just as well to explain why Ron was so panicky about it.

    A bit corny in places, with bits that didn’t quite add up in terms of characterizations, but overall a cute story. Albeit a cute story that used far more words than it really needed.
     
  7. Majube

    Majube Order Member

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    I took a look at BTTs review and I disagree, I’d say this is a 3/5 and it works as a fluff one shot. Ron having a ring was something I guessed halfway through, but the beginning part was a good bait I guess. But half of the very beginning had me thinking it was a Ron bashing pic with Harry sounding kinda envious or something

    I think the initial setup could’ve been a bit shorter and the heist part longer and more engaging. Luna being the fence was kind of a non sequitur though I liked her introduction though the flowery bit of her burping daintily was so trite.

    Hermione was super cheesy as well, and her being hyped up as going to nag out Ron and dump him was ugh

    At least try not to use worn out tropes, this is a Heist fic not spoof a romcom prompt. There was no discussion of an elaborate plan and you used that lazy not directly talking about it thing so much I feel like you could've spiced it up more, the dialogue felt bland also mfw you didn’t even mention Traceys last name is Davis - although apparently she’s an oc and not actually a hp character, so I'll give you a pass on that but really OP, this wasn't a heist fic.
     
  8. Niez

    Niez Seventh Year

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    An interesting idea, and one which fit the (rather difficult) prompt well. There’s flashes of humour there and then, and with some good polishing you could end up with a solid comedic one-shot. Still, when I spend two hours proofreading and don’t even get to the end, there’s some issues there.

    First of all, the punctuation.That’s some weird-ass punctuation you got going man. Normally I wouldn’t comment on it cos its rather minor, but it’s prominent enough in your story that it gets distracting. I would consider not using anything other than a comma or a period for a while, see if you can wean off that semicolon addiction. But also, you know, dialogue. When your action beat comes before a speech tag you still need to use a comma you madlad, you can’t just toss that into the ether.

    Then there’s the strange ‘I’m gonna insert my authorial opinions in the middle of the text’, or randomly change perspectives to Tracey’s for some reason. Jarring, and I would say more; very jarring. Is your narrator a character? If so, make that explicit, if not, kindly shut him up.

    You’re also over verbose, and I’m not talking about the times when you clearly intend to, but in the times where you randomly add an expository/explanatory line where there’s no need to. Why do we need three separate paragraphs on a rando muggle?

    Also, from time to time your prose seems to just break down. Amidst the occasional humorous turn of phrase, of example of wit, however, there are a few truly baffling sentences. Do not fret, I have annotated and detailed them out clearly in the spoiler at the end :).

    Anyways -- plotwise, as I said, I think the idea is solid, but there’s too much build up for so little pay-off. You rely on the humour to get us through the initial phases, but there’s only so many scenes about drunk people I can read before I start getting bored. My personal turning point was after Seamus appeared. His addition seemed forced and he didn’t end up doing much. Just a line about a fire and that’s it (which, by the way, it’s very naughty of you; Irish people are past their blowing things up phase, stereotyping is harmful). In any case, you could have the most amazing and clever payoff and reveal and it’s still would not be worth it. Because it's a comedic one-shot the stakes are always gonna be low, and hence there can never be any tension. Also I understand you’re going for humour, but holy macaroni how pathetic can he. Seriously, the fact that Harry is not slapping Ron and telling him to man up at the beginning is almost cringe-worthy.

    Still, I thought there were some clever moments/remarks. Good use of brit bong parlance most of the times, as well. Felt genuine, nice, you know? Solid. Only the pooch screwing bit threw me off. Felt kind of furry, y’dig, and I don’t vibe with that fam. Crikey. Blimey. Mate.

    Overall, I think it’s a solid idea with plenty of humour which suffers from a slightly flawed execution. If I were so inclined I might give it a 3 with some upwards potential. Thanks for participating friendo, and apologies for what you’re about to see.

    Strong opening, by the use of lanky I already have my suspicions of who this is.

    And completely followed by an author intrusive random thought that adds nothing.

    Less is more, I already got the impression you want to give of this pub with the line ‘It was a dingy sort of table, one among many in this particular establishment. You piling on top of it does nothing, just a word waster.

    The fool? You should never use an insult as an identifier, unless, of course, the drunk redhead is in fact a fool, of the medieval court variety.

    Ah, I see, you’re going for a humorous narrative tone. Still, the punctuation is, rather. confusing: Consider;

    His messy haired best friend, one Harry Potter (Order of Merlin First Class, Boy-who-lived, Auror Trainee), who wasn't nearly so drunk, wondered briefly if his fine freckled friend wasn't actually trying his hand at writing song lyrics this evening -- he certainly sounded like a broken record.

    "You're not a screw up, Ron," he offered in an attempt at consolation.

    Unfortunately for you, I’m not afraid of sounding like a broken record. Less is more.

    "I am though!" Ron wailed. "I am!"

    What was?

    Harry had a sneaking suspicion that it was filled more by tears than by alcohol by this point

    For clarity.

    I get what you’re trying to say but unfortunately you’re not saying it. Certainly? In any case if you want to mention that this is his fifth pint there are easier ways to do so.

    What is that random semicolon. Keep it in your pants sir, this is a house of worship (to good writing).

    Who the fuck is this asshole and why do I care about what he has to say. Does Harry have a little Morgan Freeman that pauses his life now and again and gives the reader a few pithy lines of commentary? Seriously, the narrator should never interject his thoughts in the middle of a scene unless he is a character himself, otherwise it's jarring af.

    What a doozy of a sentence. Try saying it out loud all in one without taking a breath, see if you don’t pass out. Also:

    Human: Remember this time when some key expository detail happened that will have an impact in the future narrative?

    Human 2: For sure I do fellow human. Please go on.

    So Ron asks if he remembers a particular incident and Harry nods ‘wisely’, though he actually does not remember. That is divine.

    This gap of memory did not imply that he had not been there of course, only that he had been there and had a great time.

    Or something of the like. Basically move the punchline to the end for added impact.

    on my last chance. Is this correct? ‘It was my last chance’ feels far more intuitive.

    huh? Consider rearranging cos that line make no sense.

    I believe this is an american expression. Strike one if so, ball one if not. Them the rules.

    I don’t think ordeal is the right word.

    Wizarding expressions are always hit or miss but this one is particularly vague. How casting a spell is related to marriage is anyone’s guess.

    Erm Ron, mate, have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately.

    Drop a comma after insulted for ol Papa Niez.

    Drop a comma after amended for ol Papa Niez.

    Drop a comma after called for ol Papa Niez. Also Hannah became a bartender in a back alley establishment, Krum ditched quidditch after a doping scandal and turned to the drink, and Ron suffered a traumatic injury which removed his spine whole. What a frankly depressing post-Hogwarts AU you are building.

    I’m sorry what.

    mocked lightly.

    This doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    Also you open the story explicitly calling him a drunkard. Is he or is he not drunk, make up your mind, sir, or ma’am.

    "Well, you're right bollocksed, mate. Might as well give you that round on the house, because I’d bet good gold I'll be seeing you a lot over the next few months.”

    Less is more.

    Oh wow, so the spa retreat was just for her. Hahahaha. God, my sides.

    Entirely superfluous

    Weird use of caps, friend.

    Small edit on an otherwise chuckle worthy phrase;
    "Why didn't you Summon the egg again?” A deep, ponderous silence fell over the two of them as they considered it.

    Figures your Ron and Harry would sip their shots. Appalling.

    Nope, this random narrator insertions add nothing and detract a lot. Exercise that keyspace and delete.

    What.

    This joke could work well if you told it better.


    He muttered something lightly, under his breath.

    Less is more. Also whatever you said about Harry made no sense, so it’s not a big loss.

    Superfluos. We get that they’re smashed, no need for some rando to enter stage right and exposit on it. Delete.

    Ok, if you’re going to end a sentence, ‘as Ron jabbered on’, then the next line has to be Ron jabbering on. Otherwise sequentially it just does not work. I appreciate the ‘investigate your lunch twice’ line, I really do (though I think ‘see your lunch twice’ works better), but find a different place for it.

    ‘That was for sure’? just a suggestion

    All that came before was good and humorous. This doesn’t fit with that, which, by the transitive property of logic, means that it’s bad. Delete, as less is more.

    Might be a strange expression for a wizard to use, if you think about it (I haven’t).
    with as much gravity as he could impose? idk, its weird either way.

    A bit twisted, but fine. It would be better if Seamus were the party-goer type and immediately got in on the act, chastising his two friends for not warning him that there was a night out aboot, you catch my drift.

    First of all, cheer, no plural, but also I think I finally understand why you’ve been mixing shots and beer throughout the story -- you think they are one and the same. But let me tell you, m’dear, that they are not. A shot is usually a small glass of very strong alcohol (think vodka), which you drink all at once and it gives you a little jolt, hence the name. Beer is just beer. I would suggest going through your drinking scenes with this new information in mind, so as to not to confuse yourself, or the reader.

    To a casual observer, the three might look nothing more than a trio of drunks. A careful observer would conclude the same, and be right for it. A drunken observer, however, might have joined in their revelry to discover that the three drunks were in fact, other than drunk, about to commit a break-in.

    I liked the sentiment and tried to make it stronger. You decide though.

    Yeah at this point I’m getting of the set-up and want the payoff.

    Less is moreski.

    More like a puffster, ayo!

    Ugh. First of all, no. And yeah, that’s about it (mirrors are not a common use of communication, don’t you dare diminish the gift my boy Sirius gave to my second boy Harry).

    I think I get what you mean, but objectively speaking, that sentence makes no sense.

    Why do we need to get into her headspace? These perspective shifts are just utterly baffling to me, I don’t see what they add at all.

    Delete, we get what you mean without it.

    If you’re going to do it, commit. None of this ‘alluring’ bullshit.

    Like the way his date’s neckline would disappear every time she leaned towards him.

    Oh, come on. Also, I’m sorry to say but I’ve hit my time limit to review for the day. Still, hopefully it has been helpful so far.
     
  9. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fifth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    147
    In real life, drunk people are only funny and entertaining when you’re also drunk. I’m afraid that the same is true for fiction. I actually think this story would’ve been funnier if it were a little less over-the-top and a little less goofy. But, the author picked a tone and stuck with it, I’ll give them that. They kept up this energy throughout the whole story, and there were definitely fun moments.
    This is a fun moment, but the wordiness kills some of the humor. Whenever you edit your stories, look for ways to say more with less.

    The same goes for dialogue. Instead of this:
    Try this:
    Your technical writing was strong. There was only one line that threw me off. I would've formatted a one-sided phone conversation this way:
     
  10. bking4

    bking4 Second Year ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    61
    High Score:
    0
    Super late on this, things have been crazy lately. But I did want to own up to this. Once again, I used this competition as an opportunity to experiment. I largely think everybody got what I was going for, it was just a matter of execution.

    I was very specifically going for that over the top, overly flowerly type of prose. I did even fiddle with the narrator being an independent voice/character a few times, but ultimately didn't commit to it one way or the other and as s a result I think it overall suffered.

    Additionally, when I thought up this idea, the kernel of the idea started with the 'getting the band together' montage. I'll be the first to admit the conclusion and follow through was weak and that the beginning was probably way too long. I definitely think I bit off more than I could chew with this monster, but that's alright. It was at the very least an awesome exercise, and thanks everyone who reviewed for the phenomenal feedback and critiques!
     
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