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Challenge Entries, Part I - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Challenge Entries, Part I

The base stories for the challenge are up, of course, and frances_jane has already answered one challenge entry here; so, it’s my turn.

1. jennavere’s


As recorded in Samuel Pepys, his Diary:

Sunday 11 January
(Lord’s day.) Very cold without, all the day, and most at evening, yet the house within is snug. To church, where I saw none of the gentry of the parish, the times being melancholick. Heard there a sermon of surpassing dulness with no pleasure, which troubled me also I confess a little, yet I did rejoice myself in the pomp of the musique. So back home again, to Grimmauld Place, and to supper, the house being full of guests, for council. Did sit with them discoursing of our great business and getting severall papers ready, when presently comes in Draco Malfoy to the door, he being an old rivall to me, now fallen evidently upon thin times. I perceive that he doth begin to be afraid of his party and its partizans, and is seeking to be admitted to agreement with us. And altho’ he hath been very ill-natured towards me in the times now past, and hath used me ill, I cannot hate him nor show him no kindness, having, I do confess, always found him of a pleasing appearance I do like well, and he wanting in him only that change of humours that doth now appear in him, who looks now like a very plain grave man. And after a short How do you, altho’ he did at the first give it me with little kindness of appearance, he did give me good assurance of his truth to me and our business, in which I am very much pleased, and did tell what he designs, and ask’d my help of me. And I, determining that he was resolved upon reformation, and did endeavour to use me kindly, was satisfied that he was now in his will and mind to me as pleasaunt as he has ever been in appearance, and we made friends, and so I admitted him within the house. The house being full of guests, I did advize him that he would perforce share my chamber, to which he agreed most readily, being I confess as glad as I to sleep together, and thence we went with a pottle of hot chocolate, and so to bed.

2. sgt_majorette’s

Out, Out, Brief Candle: The Zabini Drabble-Tableau

by William Faulkner

There were those who claimed that she was descended of Charles Bon and those who claimed that she was descended of the French architect who builded the dark plantation house at Sutpen’s Hundred whom Thomas Sutpen Charles’s father and himself more bastardly than ever was octoroon Charles and darker-dyed brought from Martinique and held captive two years like the Jews in Babylon until the house was built and those who said she was descended of Louis Grenier of Frenchman’s Bend and those who said that she bore the blood both of Ikkemotubbe through the same New Orleans quadroon slave woman he brought back from New Orleans with him to Yoknapatawpha County who was the mother of Sam Fathers and of the Chevalier Soeur Blonde de Vitry but whatever the truth of it and Pilate Pontius asked what is truth and stayed not for an answer there was by all accounts Yoknapatawpha County blood in her New Orleans woman though she was. New Orleans woman voodoo woman witchwoman and to her a witch all Muggles were as one a Sartoris a Sutpen a de Spain the same as a Snopes. Succubus she was and there was no man cant deny that least of all the husbands she married in the shadows who went into shadow and died with smiles on their faces and if the deaths werent natural well the supernatural never is now is it. And then she up and married a man she met in New Orleans at a house there they call the Rising Sun not that she was a whore she was a witchwoman and she was there for the gambling that they had in the back rooms with the languid New Orleans frenchmen and the elegant negro servants in sprigged waistcoats and superfine linen aprons carrying drinks and the fall of the dice and the turn of the card and the working girls stayed upstairs and never in the gaming rooms and he was a no-account count from somewheres in Italy or so they said though there wasnt nobody to know the truth and the facts and say the right of it but she married him anyhow never mind. And they say this count didnt much count as far as the whores in the upper rooms behind the grilles of wroughtiron tracery went on account of this count wasnt interested in women that way but rather in boys and that gave clear credence clear like the clear water of a baptizing at a revival that the New Orleans witchwoman was a witch on account of her marrying this count who didnt like women but then there aint no accounting for the human heart is there and he was the only one of her husbands as died a natural death and they say that she married him because there was magic in him too and he was a witchman a wizard and he had to carry on his line and get his family especially his old momma Big Miss Countess offen his back queer or not and they had a son who combined in himself all the graces and faults of the both of them and the Old Woman up and died as soon as that boychild was born and then the count died and this witchwoman from New Orleans became the countess and raised the boy in Italy and England and never looked back in anger or otherwise to New Orleans or Yoknapatawpha County or the South having traded her virtue long since for the whole vast globy earth. And her son Blaise like all the men in her long life never could hate her no matter what she did in the power of her witchcraft and when the friend of his bosom Draco said as much and said he damn well ought to do on account of her no-’count-countess ways Blaise protested, ‘I dont hate her,’ Blaise said, quickly, at once, immediately; ‘I dont hate her,’ he said I dont hate her he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron Scottish Highland dark: I dont. I dont! I dont hate her! I dont hate her!

3. nineveh_uk’s

One Headmaster Comes In

Phineas Nigellus to Albus Dumbledore:—

by Rudyard Kipling

So here’s your Hogwarts. No more butterbeer?
Good, good; we’ll clear the House-Elves from the room.
You chose a password? Boiled sweets, no doubt.
Well, portrait though I be, I have a word
To tell you in this season, now you’re here.
You want to know, you want to see, to touch
And, by your lights, to act. It’s natural.
I wonder can I help you? Let me try.
The phrase is ancient – Black – and Parseltongued:
Black but not dark! That’s neat enough, my lad.
Pfhhhssttysz.’ No, it’s not an easy phrase,
Nor is it fustian, mere stagecraft, nothing worth;
But it has power. You’ll see, at the end.
I’m clear – my mark is made. Was never loved,
Indeed, the least-loved Headmaster we’ve had,
With rumour and plain malice on my Name.
Yet what I made here, well, it’s yours to-night.
Hold to it – there is fame enough for two.
You’ll find more in my papers. No. Again.
Pfhhhssttysz.’ Practise ’til you have it pat.
A time will come when it may save your wand
And save your hide as well, if Fortune wills.
I know: you managed Grindelwald alone.
Still, humour me in this, and it will pay.
You’ve seen your Governors? They’ll try to rule,
And prize their Reputations. Pay them words,
But – never – mind: regard’s too dear a coin.
This is their ground, their duelling place. They’ll fight.
Until the Middle Classes take them back,
One of ten millions plus a parchment praise,
A seat in Wizengamot, or at best
The Merlin, Second Class, and glad of that.
Some earn their Reputations. Look to one –
I’d work with him – the Ministry’s least known,
Red-haired, white-faced, with all the teeming sprogs
Out in the garden. There’s your right-hand man:
No dreams for Arthur W-sl-y of a throne,
But, with his plugs, gives work we cannot buy;
Hates Malfoys, knows his business. Which is yours.
Pfhhhssttysz.’ Somewhat longer on the ‘tt’.
Keep practising your Parseltongue: that’s all.
I’d agonise to serve you if I could.
I’m old. I followed Knowledge to the last,
If never Wisdom, and it followed Me.
It’s worth it – on my soul I’m speaking plain,
Here from an oil painting! – worth it all.
I gave – no matter what I gave – I win.
I know I win. Mine’s work, good work that lives!
Princes and Powers of Darkness, scotched, not killed,
But you’ve James Potter: use him well, my lad,
And any Potter after that who comes,
And Sirius, my whelp, young Potter’s friend,
And any lad he, James, or Remus sires.
A generation you must mould and train.
That stays, at least. The rest may pass – may pass –
Your heritage – and I can teach you naught.
Pfhhhssttysz.’ There: you have it. Keep to that.
It’s all I’ll leave you, Albus Dumbledore.
But, there, it’s growing late. Good-night. Don’t dream.

4. dolorous_ett’s

The Empress of Hogwarts

by PG Wodehouse

Millicent Bulstrode, who combined in her features and temperament the worser angels of her Muggle aunts (the Threepwood sisters) without the leaven of Uncle Gally’s humour or Lord Emsworth’s vagueness, was wearing an expression that made it evident that she was, if not disgruntled, at any rate far gone from perfect gruntlement. By Millicents’ lights, that meant that she was having a good day, she having already tormented the giant squid on a Royal Coachman fly for a solid half-hour. Millicent took her pleasures where she could find them.

Her face changed when she saw the cropped bullet-heads of the yoked oxen, Crabbe and Goyle, emerging from a hedge. She shot them the sort of look she would have given a leper she wasn’t particularly fond of.

‘Oi! Millicent!’

‘Get lost, Crabbe,’ said Millicent, not breaking her stride or looking back. ‘I don’t need any henchmen.’

This was a facer. With almost all of their housemates gone – particularly Draco Malfoy, who had oiled off to join the Wizarding version of Spode’s Black Shorts – the two were at rather a loss. Goyle had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more, and Crabbe revered Goyle as a creature of a far higher intellectual order than himself.

‘But we need you!’ Crabbe called after her. ‘We’re henchmen! Henching’s all we know!’ Exerting himself in his alarm, Crabbe’s face was now as shiny as the seat of a bus-driver’s trousers.

There was nothing for it. They begged.

Begging never worked with Millicent Bulstrode, as the Giant Squid could have attested, had anyone asked. She favoured them with a glare that would have unstopped a drain at twenty paces, and began suggesting other unfortunates who might be induced to take them on as patrons.

It was an absolute frost, like a chorus girl’s reception at a bishop’s lawn party.

Goyle – who had secretly adored Millicent ever since she had blacked his eye in the first year for pulling her cat’s tail – gulped, took a deep breath and grabbed hold of her sleeve.

‘Please, Mil,’ he stammered, ‘you’ve got to! We’ll beat up your enemies, steal food from the kitchens, laugh at your jokes … we’ll be any sort of henchmen you like – evil or not – we don’t care – anything – we can even be henchwomen if you want….’

Crabbe goggled at him.

Millicent stopped short, and cast a measuring eye over both her classmates. Even before she spoke, the two gorillas were certain. They were henching again.

5. frances_jane’s

A Farewell to Wands

by Ernest Hemingway

The station was small, a mere halt, dinky. Its boards were weathered. The weather was dry, sunny. The sun was high and strong. The glare was strong and struck everything. It struck the platform and the two men standing there. It picked out the flaking crocodile leather valise. The leather had a grain. The grain looked like the dried mud of the bottom of a lake that had boiled away a long time ago. There were initials on the valise, in gold. The gold was flaking in the glare, too. The letters were coming off the valise, there in the glare on the platform.

‘It makes no difference. None of this matters, not compared to the destroying the final Horcrux –’

‘So that’s it, then? You’re off to do your hero thing?’

‘What did you expect? It’s not like I’ve got a choice in the matter. Tell me, Draco – really – what did you expect?’

‘I expected this, of course,’ answered Draco. His voice was bitter, like the rough wine of the Catalan Pyrenees. He remembered a bitter night of much wine, when they had been hidden from the glare of the world, and the earth had moved under them. ‘But it didn’t stop me hoping for something different. Did you think it would?’

‘I don’t know. I’m sorry.’ He sounded it.

‘So am I.’

The sun beat down, glaring. It glared on the men on the platform. They glared at each other, standing on the platform in the glare of the sun. The valise snapped open with a sound like a pistol. They jumped, and glared at it.


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9 comments or Leave a comment
dolorous_ett From: dolorous_ett Date: October 15th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
A bravura performance! Charming, seamless transformations.

I'm going to have to brush up on my background reading on some of these authors, but your Pepys and Wodehouse were both spot on. You've certainly transformed my dreary drabble into something far more sparky - particularly liked "wizarding version of Spode's Black Shorts" and Millicent taking on the Squid...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 16th, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank You.

I owe the inspiration to you, though, and yr drabble, far from being dreary, was so good that, as you will note, I used most of it wholesale and sans alteration.

And you just KNOW Millicent is a Threepwood on the distaff Muggle side, and will be a formidably Wodehousian Aunt someday.
dolorous_ett From: dolorous_ett Date: October 16th, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank You.

"And you just KNOW Millicent is a Threepwood on the distaff Muggle side, and will be a formidably Wodehousian Aunt someday."

You do indeed. The sort who eats dines on broken bottles and devours her young, if I remember my Bertie Wooster aright.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 16th, 2005 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)

The Count and Countess

On the money! I was going to post a link to a site about Henriette Delille for ambiance, and the Barbie Doll Theatre's "Octoroon Ball", but you nailed it...
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 16th, 2005 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Count and Countess

oh, yeah, and the Wodehouse kills!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 16th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank You.

I was a bit nervous abt pulling it off, but I thought, How cd this one be anything BUT Faulkner?

I'm glad to hear that it worked. Thanks - for that and for everything.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 19th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thanks, Love.

... But it's all due to the inspiring base stories, such as yrs.
nineveh_uk From: nineveh_uk Date: October 21st, 2005 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Great Stuff. As I am learning to my own cost, such work is hard. I particularly like the Pepys one
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 23rd, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)


But I've ample faith in you and your contributions. I'm enjoying all of these so vy much.
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