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Author Topic: The Whomping Willow  (Read 121 times)

gingerisme

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The Whomping Willow
« on: August 01, 2004, 05:59:36 AM »

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc.

The Whomping Willow

A short story by Gingerisme


Part 1

Severus Snape lay flat on his back on the east lawns of Hogwarts. The sky lay over him like a smothering dome, with the last scarlet-streaked clouds trailing just behind the Astronomy Tower of the castle. The trees forming the dense border of the Dark Forest were painted crimson too, by the setting sun. It sank heavily behind the Whomping Willow, which quivered, though untouched by any detectable breeze. It would soon be dinnertime, Severus knew, but his lethargy was unconquerable.

And yet why shouldn't he lie perfectly still here on the ground, with the cold grass pricking gently at his back and the lengthening shadow of the Whomping Willow crossing his stomach? He had just finished the second-last exam of his sixth year and he was exhausted.

On top of studying six hours a day, Severus had come close to a complete nervous breakdown this morning- the third time this year, and yet again, Potter and his gang were to blame. They had been up to their tricks again last night; they had stolen of Severus' Transfiguration textbook and hidden it, and he hadn't found it (they had jammed it behind a filing cabinet in Filch's office, Severus had risked his neck getting it back) until right before the exam. They had deprived him of an entire morning of revising for his worst subject, and he had gone into the exam with a rumbling stomach, having missed lunch to break into Filch's office to retrieve his book.

“Brutes and brigands, the lot of them,” Severus declared savagely, but he received no reply from the trailing clouds in the sky.

With a sigh he turned his head and peered past the Whomping Willow at the Seville orange of the sun, trying to estimate the time. Then he noticed the murky outlines of two people coming his way, under the shadow of the castle. One was white-suited, neat, and erect, and seemed to be guiding the other figure, who was hunched over and stumbling, as if weak or ill.

Severus got up quickly and ducked into the Dark Forest. Safely concealed by the low branches and scrubby undergrowth, he squinted at the two figures, indistinct in the gloom. They kept coming closer, though there was nothing but the Whomping Willow and the Forbidden Forest on this part of the grounds-were they looking for him? He doubted it; but he shrank back and continued to study the approaching pair as they left the broad shadow of Hogwarts. He had the sun in his face, but now they were near enough for him to recognize Madam Pomfrey, the school nurse, and Remus Lupin, one of Potter's cronies.

Severus frowned. What were these two doing here? Lupin, Severus remembered, had been in the hospital wing since yesterday- he had been given a postponement on his Transfiguration and Astronomy exams because of ‘extenuating circumstances’. Severus had assumed it was some life- threatening illness, but if so, what was he doing out here on the east lawns with Madam Pomfrey?

As he watched, the nurse steered Lupin towards the Whomping Willow, which immediately began to flail its huge branches violently. Severus’s puzzlement increased. What was this, a mercy killing? The nurse raised her wand and at the same time turned to give Lupin some reassuring words; as a result she missed noticing that the branch she Summoned from the forest thwacked Severus on the back of the head.

He woke two hours later facedown in the dirt. Night had fallen, and the grounds were tranquil and dimly lit by the glowing full moon. Madam Pomfrey and Lupin were nowhere to be seen.

“What’s going on?” Severus demanded aloud.

The shrub next to his head refused to answer, although at that moment a terrifying howl rent the air. Severus did not wait to find out from whose throat the scream had been ripped. He picked himself up and ran full pelt, straight past the creaking Whomping Willow, all the way to the front doors, and did not stop until he was safe in the dungeons.
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Deedra Malfoy

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Re: The Whomping Willow
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2004, 10:16:24 AM »

That's pretty good. Are you going to finish it?

 :roll:

Sorry. I have someone over my shoulder.
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Morrin Midnight

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Re: The Whomping Willow
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2004, 03:35:51 PM »

Wowzers!That's good :)
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Deedra Malfoy

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Re: The Whomping Willow
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2004, 03:45:45 PM »

Sorry about my last post. The :roll: doesn't make sense, but I had a friend over my shoulder who wanted to see it.

And sorry I presumed that it wasn't finished. You do have more plans, right?
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