I recently won two contests in hogwarts_elite and placed in two more. Yay!
Here's my entries.
First, and I have to say this is the most fun I've ever had entering an H_E contest, svimmelhet had a karaoke contest where you were supposed to rewrite a song and karaoke it. I...misread the rules and thought I was supposed to karaoke as a character, which brought about the following:
Grawp Just Want Bang Stick.
I really, really want to do more Grawp karaoke. Any requests? If you can supply the karaoke .mp3, even better.
Then, I have two art entries. The first one just got third place, and the second one didn't place, but hey, they are some of my first art using my tablet. So!
Finally, my fics. The first one placed first-- it's a fic where the prompt was to write part of a whodunnit starring canon characters.
Poughkeepsie, New York, August 20, 2008.
It was raining as I left the house on Raymond Avenue in my beat-up 1998 Jeep Cherokee, the smell of the fried food emanating from the Acropolis Diner enough to clog my arteries from five hundred feet away.
A kid from one of the local colleges tried to beat the light. I slammed on the brakes just in the nick of time-- that was the last thing I needed, to kill a college kid. Probably from Vassar. Probably a fag, and wouldn't that be just my luck; they'd probably try to pin in on me as a hate crime. He was wearing Birkenstocks. Damn hippie.
It was still raining as I reached my dilapidated office, the kind of thick, heavy, grey rain that pelts you like rocks and leaves bruises if you haven't got an umbrella. I'd seen the last of my umbrella three weeks prior, chasing that small-time donut crook who was having an affair with the mayor's wife. What a case that had been.
But that's what it was coming down to. Donuts and marital infidelity. There's not much work for a private eye in the Mid-Hudson Valley. And that's what I am. The name's Dursley. Dudley Dursley, Private Investigator. Fortunately, there were still enough dames who hired me just to listen to my sexy English accent.
Anyway, on that particularly rainy day, as I headed up to my clunky little office, the last thing I expected was that a ghost from my past would walk through the door.
Well, not so much walk. I suppose she had walked through the door, but she was already sitting there, ass as tight as Michael Phelps' swimsuit and twice as slippery. I didn't recognize her at first, not all those years later, and sure as hell not in that slinky little black dress that didn't leave a thing to the imagination.
The first words out of her mouth? "Duddles!" Nobody but my mother calls me Duddles. Nobody. So imagine what I'm thinking when I hear it out of the lips of some kinky dame.
"Mum didn't write the dating service again?" I asked her, as I divested myself of my wet coat.
"What? Oh, no," she replied, lighting up her cigarette.
Without a lighter.
"Shit," I said, even though I knew better than to swear in front of a dame. "Pardon my French, lady, but I--"
She grinned, flashing a whole mouthful of the pearliest pearly whites this side of a poster of the cast of High School Musical II and held out a hand. "You don't remember me," she said.
"I sure as hell want to," I said.
"Nymphadora Tonks. But shh--" and she held up one perfectly-manicured finger to her lips. "I'm supposed to be dead."
"Don't worry," I assured her. "So am I. And anyway, living in Poughkeepsie almost qualifies. What can I do for you, N--" I hesitated. I wasn't sure how the hell to pronounce her name, even when she'd just said it to me not thirty seconds before.
"It's Tonks," she answered. "And I'm here for a friend. We've got five thousand dollars cash for you if you can retrieve a particular...item."
"If this is about somebody's wand being left in a whorehouse, you can take it down the road to Archer's office," I informed her, stepping forward to get the door.
"Oh, no, nothing like that." She took a long, slow drag on her cigarette, and blew a smoke ring in my direction.
The thing about wizards? Their smoke rings don't stay rings. They turn into hearts, moons, stars, clovers, diamonds, and purple horseshoes. And don't even get me started on the smell. She had the Lucky Charms marshmallow smell down, too. If there was ever a reason to pick up smoking...I tried to keep a clear head, though, but this dame was messing me up, bad. And I never thought I'd say that about one of them.
But I was still waiting for her answer.
"It's an eye," she said. "A glass eye. Originally crafted in Malta in sixteen-eleven by the great wizard Edaps Mas, and stolen from him shortly thereafter, the eye has left a path of destruction in its wake. It was seen in Marat's bathtub in seventeen eighty-nine, and at Waterloo in eighteen-fifteen. It was nearly burned at Atlanta during the American Civil War, and can be seen in the background of publicity stills from Teddy Roosevelt's third presidential campaign under the Bull Moose party. And now..."
She paused again. For dramatic effect.
"Let me guess, you're going to say it's here in Poughkeepsie."
"Better," the woman said. "It's here in this office."
"A Maltese eyeball? Lady, I don't know--" I was going to tell her I didn't know what the hell she was talking about, and break my rule about swearing again, but before I knew what was happening, she had one of those goddamn sticks pointed at me. You know. Wands.
"One false move, and I'll give you back that cute little piggy tail," she warned, extinguishing her cigarette on the centerfold of my nudie magazine. "Stay where you are."
I did what I was told. With my hands in the air, I backed up against the door to my office. She opened up my desk drawers, dumping out back issues of Playboy and Sports Illustrated onto the carpet, then moved onto the file cabinet, where she found my secret stash of Little Debbie snack cakes.
And ate two of them, before she located the safe behind the cheap framed print of Whistler's Mother. Me, I thought it loaned an air of dignity to the place.
"Look, lady, I'm the only one who's got the code to that safe, and there's confidential information in there. My clients have a right to their privacy, and I already got my phones tapped for eating at the Afghani restaurant."
The broad poked her damn wand at the lock, said something in Hawaiian, and bang! The safe popped open like a cheap whore who's just been handed a twenty.
And there it was. The eye.
But it wasn't so much the glass eye that got me. It was more the hand that was holding it. And the gruesome remains of the mauled corpse attached to the hand.
"Shit," I said, forgetting that I wasn't supposed to move as I stepped up to the body. It had...half-moon cuts all over it. Real, big gouges. Like toothmarks. "Who the hell did that?" And there I was, swearing in front of a lady. Again.
"I don't think it's so much a who as a what," said Tonks, as she took the eye and gave it a casual toss.
"Look, lady, I don't know who you are, but number one, I don't think you should just be walking around with that...thing...in your pocket. And number two, I don't believe you're giving me five thousand dollars for something you just plucked outta a hole in my wall."
"That's right, Duddles," she answered, looking cheerful enough you'd think she'd just won at the slots. "I didn't. I'm giving you five-thousand dollars to help me figure out who's after the real one."
"And who killed that poor sap. This one..." She gave the eyeball another toss and held it up to her own eye. "Is a decoy."
"You're forgetting one more question, Sister," I reminded her gravely.
"Oh? What's that?"
"What the hell are they doing in Poughkeepsie?"
The second one didn't place, it's supposed to be a fic about a character on the other side of death.
“Look…at…me…” he whispered.
The green eyes found black, but after a second... Severus' vision began to swim, and he tried to hold onto the image, tried to focus on Lily's eyes...
His last thought before he died was the brutal reminder that those eyes didn't belong to Lily.
There might have been a brief moment of blackness, of nothing, of simple and unadulterated peace, no consciousness, no thought, no guilt or bitterness, but then, slowly and surely, his vision returned, first whiteness from black, and then pale blurs, shadows on light, that bled into blues and greens and browns.
"Lily, don't do it!" came an all-too-familiar, high-pitched shriek, and it was just at that moment that Severus recognized the scene.
The little girl flew from the swing, red hair flying in the air even as she hovered so slightly and game down in a graceful ballerina landing.
She frowned at him, warily, looking up at the pale-faced man.
"Time has not been good to you," she informed him.
He laughed, bitterly, and covered his face with one of his thin, bony, calloused hands, spindly fingers reaching for his temples.
He could not answer her.
The girl tipped her head from side to side, eyeing him solemnly with the same eyes he had stared into only moments before.
She sighed, huffed, blowing a strand of orange hair from her freckled face. "What, are you just going to stand there?" she asked him. "Isn't this what you've been waiting for all these years?"
This was some kind of trick. It must be. The snake's venom...
He dropped his hand from his face, fingers curling into tight fists, a sneer turning up his mouth. "What is this?" he demanded hotly, hearing the virulence in his own tone, aching even as he spoke to direct it at that face.
But she was still serene. "This is it, Sev. Eternity. I mean, not Eternity eternity, but...you're dead. Kaput. Sprung off the mortal coil. And I hear you got it pretty bad. Snake, huh? But the really sad thing is that even after almost twenty years, I'm the only person you've got to greet you."
She was a teenager now, those Muggle tooth-braces glinting silver in the sun, a rubbed-red acne scar on her nose, her hair pulled back from her face with a wide headband. Her two pale, red-headed eyebrows arched upward as she inspected him with a chastening expression, walking a narrow circle around him. "I really hoped you'd change."
"Change?" he demanded, stiffening in defense at the accusation. "I spent the last seven years taking care of your stubborn, intolerable ass of a son, and--"
"Oh, so imagine that," said Lily, twisting a lock of hair around her finger. "I didn't even marry you, and he still took after you! How did that happen?"
"ME? He's just like his father," Severus answered, hissing the words as he spoke. "I still don't understand why you ever had anything to do with that ass."
Lily gave him a rather dry look. "Because he didn't call me a mudblood, Sev," she answered. She had grown older still, nearing the age she had been the last time he'd seen her, just out of school, shortly before she died. "You think I haven't been watching my own kid? We can do that from here, you know. He doesn't listen, he says things he regrets, he's always certain he's right, he acts like a royal prat...he's got more in common with you than you think. He just made better friends than you did." Her tone and expression softened with the words, her eyes washing sympathy over him.
And he let his hands relax finally, but he looked at the ground-- he couldn't look her in the eyes now. "I didn't need friends," he said. "I had you."
"Everybody needs friends, Sev."
He raised an eyebrow at her. "I'm dead, aren't I?" he demanded. "Is it absolutely necessary that I spend the rest of my otherwise remarkably pleasant afterlife hearing a lecture on all my terrible and countless shortcomings?"
Lily grinned and laughed at him. "Hey, I don't get to choose what you get. It's your subconscious. C'mon," she urged, starting up the hill. "Swing me. There's no Petunia in your afterlife."
"Thank god for small blessings."
And finally, one about motherhood. This one placed third.
Monica Wilkins had a hole in her stocking. It was one of those distresing holes that forms right at the tip of one's toes, and sort of pops up around the toe over the course of the day, so it itches and tickles, and no matter how one adjusts it, it creeps right back up the moment one's shoe is back on one's foot.
It was one of those sorts of days. Monica had had to put braces on a rather nasty little boy who kept biting her fingers, and had to sing the "Brush your teeth, round and round" song sixteen times over the course of the afternoon-- three times to the same four-year-old patient who kept clapping and squealing "AGAIN, AGAIN!" until Monica's voice had started to go hoarse from the repetition.
She was looking forward to nothing more than a nice cup of tea and a hot bath to take the edge off-- and, of course, to kick off those shoes and tug off those annoying stockings the moment she entered the house.
But in the process of kicking off her shoes, she kicked right into a thick, yellow envelope that was waiting for her just inside the front door to the Wilkins home.
She knew immediately what it was, and almost squealed for joy as she forgot the stockings and picked it up, hefting it lightly in both hands. She wondered if heavy was good. She hoped heavy was good. She began to tear open the seal, and then stopped, letting out a resigned sigh. She couldn't, couldn't open it without Wendell.
A moment later, she had him on the line from the office. "It's come," she said, her voice barely a whisper, as if saying it too loudly might make it vanish.
"What's come, dumpling?" Wendell asked. "No, no," he said suddenly, and then she realized he must be talking to a patient, "none of your actual wisdom will be extracted along with the tooth."
"The envelope. From the adoption agency."
"It has?" he asked, suddenly rapt.
"Oh, Honey, I can barely contain myself. I-- I don't know why we never did this before. A baby!" Monica exclaimed, trying hard not to let her voice break. "They're going to give us a baby! And we're-- Oh, love, we're both past forty. Are we too old?"
"Monnie, honey, we've had this conversation a hundred times," Wendell said, reassuringly. "You're not too old. I know the doctors said we're too old to have one of our own, but you'll make a perfect mother, I promise."
"Promise," Wendell answered.
She smiled, softly, and stroked the envelope lovingly, as if it were a baby itself. "I love you, darling," she told him.
"I love you, dear. And our baby is going to have perfect, perfect teeth."
"I was thinking, I've always liked names from Shakespeare. Or Greek mythology. Do you think that's too obscure?"
"Of course not, sweetheart. We-- can we talk about this later? I've got to get back to this extraction."
Monica hung up the phone and put the envelope down on the kitchen table, wondering again to herself why it had taken them so long. She'd always wanted a baby...hadn't she? But then dental school had gotten in the way, and then their careers, and...well, now they were finally going to have a little boy or girl of their very own, just so long as the results of their application-- oh, her heart was beating so quickly.
She looked back at the envelope, tapping her fingers. Wendell wouldn't be home for another two hours yet, and...could she wait that long? She was impatient already, and to think just five minutes ago, the most important thing on her mind had been her stockings. In the next year...why, with a baby, one could hardly worry about holes in stockings. It seemed so inconsequential now.
She laughed at herself, and went to fix tea, but she could feel it, the power of that envelope behind her...she couldn't help but look at it over her shoulder.
The water was set to boiling...now what? She looked at the clock. She had an hour, fifty-seven minutes. This was too much.
With one hour, fifty-one minutes left to wait, the suspense finally drove Monica Wilkins to distraction. She tore into the envelope.
But instead of a sheaf of papers tumbling into her lap, there was a poof of pink smoke, and suddenly, there in front of her was a strange-looking young girl with a mass of frizzy hair, large teeth, and something terribly, terribly familiar about her.
Monica Wilkins let out a scream of terror.
"Hi, mum," said Hermione.