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And Now For Something Completely Different
By Spenser Hemmingway

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Category: Alternate Universe, First Week Challenge (2008-2)
Characters:All, Harry/Ginny, Luna Lovegood, Ron Weasley
Genres: Comedy, Fluff, Humor
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 10
Summary: Writing can be extremely beneficial to the heart and soul. It’s the editors, critics, and literary reviewers that are dangerous. Ginny takes time to chronicle her first week at school with Harry, and she does it as only a lovesick eleven-year-old can. Seriously—have the chicken for supper! This is a companion story to my other Challenge entry For What It’s Worth, and either can be read first.
Hitcount: Story Total: 4247



Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.



Author's Notes:
I've been reminded of what it was like to be Ginny and Harry's ages, and to have your first wonderful, silly, horrible crush on someone. I would like to thank my twelve-year-old son Nicholas for inspiring and assisting me with this story. He recently pointed out a girl to me at his school--red hair, brown eyes and freckles. Hmm...? Someday my little girl Loony (Jennifer) will discover boys, bringing new meaning to "Mischief managed."

This story's title is obviously taken from the famous line from Monty Python's Flying Circus. It is a companion story to For What It's Worth, another Challenge entry. Thank you very much for reading! Eric B.




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And Now For Something Completely Different

By Spenser Hemmingway



“I don't mind if you don't like my manners. I don't like them myself. They're pretty bad.
I grieve over them on long winter evenings.”
–-Humphrey Bogart




“Are you absolutely sure about this? I mean one hundred percent certain. This could put me on the receiving end of some very nasty curses. I’ve come to enjoy having the use of my arms, legs…lower intestines.”

“What’s the worst that could happen mate? Were you planning on having any more children? No, no, sit down! I was joking…more or less. She’ll thank you for it I’m sure…someday.”

“I’m just not entirely confident about the why.”

“You will be once you’re done reading it; and you and I are the only ones who will. No one else–-understand? It could hurt people, especially you, if you know what I mean.”

“What? Do you think I’m crazy? I happen to know that you keep an Armenian bone-cruncher in your root cellar for people who’ve crossed you.”

“That’s ridiculous! It’s a Freedonian bone-cruncher, and I keep it in the old smokehouse!” There was no smile on his face.

“Ah, that explains the missing tax assessor and those maple-cured fire sausages you were handing out last Christmas. All right, let’s get to work.”


*****



It was a glorious, glorious summer morning! Despite being so late into the warm season, the fields around the Burrow were still covered in wildflowers. Our garden held an enormous number of red and yellow roses as well. Even at that early hour, or perhaps because of it, the smells carried across the landscape as if I were holding my nose right up to a freshly picked bouquet. This was far better than subjecting the poor blossoms to gardening shears and a slow death in one of our vases. The fleeting rain shower the afternoon before had cleared the air so nicely and helped set the stage for a perfect day.

A perfect day? It had been a perfect month! Harry had come to stay with us on his birthday. What a brilliant meeting that had been when first we encountered each other. I hadn’t been expecting him there in the kitchen as I came down our back stairs. I have absolutely no idea what induced me to get into my long, white gown when I dressed that morning. Perhaps it was a premonition that I was about to see the boy whom I had loved for so long from afar.

[Note: Hmm…perhaps the fancy gown is a tad bit too much. I’ll have to reconsider that. A sarong? No, I’ll leave the dress in for now.]

Into his arms I rushed. It was as if we had been together forever–-a truly splendid moment. We had written to each other over the past year, mostly concerning the daft owl I nursed back to sobriety, but never had we spoken as we did then–-face-to-face and heart-to-heart. Would I be together with Harry that way henceforth and always? I’m sure I would be!

[Note: Very melodramatic–-possibly too mushy too soon. It might be best to jump back forward to the one other morning again.]

It was Tuesday, the first day of September, and, as I began to describe, it was thoroughly magical outside. Harry and I had both risen extremely early. Naturally, I was excited about my first trip to Hogwarts, but, as often happened, I had laid awake late into the night dreaming of Harry and our future life together.

I was the first down to the kitchen, and I took the opportunity to light the kettle for Mum. She had enough to do baking those moonberry pies for our trip. Harry was, at most, five minutes behind me there. He seemed to float into the room with a special smile on his face and a glow about him that I can’t begin to describe. I met him halfway across the room. Our hands joined, and all time seemed to stop for the two of us. No words were spoken. Our lips were meant for the kiss that had to one day come. Was it minutes? Was it days that we stared into each other’s eyes?

[Note: This is getting good. I should probably add something about strawberry lip balm. No, that is far too cheesy even for this version. Now, where was I?]

Suddenly there came a tapping…as if someone were rapping…rapping at our kitchen door. It was only Errol and nothing more.

[Note: I think I’ll leave that in verbatim. Poor owl was drunk from a night at Duncannon’s Pub and had slammed into the house. Best to spare his feelings for the time being.]

The moment was lost. Furthermore, that was when my mother entered the room and greeted us. “Ah Ginny,” she had so often said, “I look forward to the day when young Harry shall carry you off on his splendid white steed to his wonderful palace far away. Please be sure to wear a warm coat and clean socks dear.” Mum always was a very practical person.

“Oh Ginny…Ginny would you consider coming with me to watch the sunrise over yonder knoll?” Harry asked then. “It would mean so much to me my sweet, sweet girl!”

“Absolutely Harry! To enjoy the coming dawn with the one I love… Now that I would enjoy! Now that would mean the world to me! While we’re out there we can stop by the chicken coop for some eggs. I have this sudden craving for omelets this morning.”

[Note: Pancakes as well, considering how syrupy this is becoming.]

How can I describe the next half-hour? I am almost at a loss for words. We held hands. We held each other as the rooster greeted the coming day. We spoke of a great many intimate things–-secrets between two soul mates.

“Ginny there is so much that I wish to tell you about my life. There is so much that I still need to learn about yours. Do you truly believe that Fred and George will be hauled away in chains for their mischievous crimes against Wizardry? Will my good friend Ron be cursed to live out his days without coffee for turning your favorite doll into a troll?”

“Alas it is all true dear Harry…”

[Note: Do people still use the word alas?]

“Tell me, did your wicked aunt and uncle really force you to toil and labor for them?” I asked him I turn. “Were you not allowed to eat anything more than cold Spam while having to watch, what did you call them…reruns of Peewee Herman broadcasts?”

“Sadly, that is true as well fair maiden.” Harry gave me the most pitiful of looks and held the back of his hand to his forehead, so dreadful were the memories.

[Note: Not too bad. I’ll throw in a couple of mournful sighs coming out of him later.]

“Oh Harry, dear sweet Harry! I am here for you always! Together we shall face your woes…the whole world in fact, or, at the very least, you could help me learn to ride a broom the proper way. It is something that we can quietly do together. Come to me now you hunka, hunka burnin’ love!”

[Note: I’m the one who’s going to burn for leaving that line in.]

“Aha! I’ve caught you alone with Ginevra again Potter! Trifling with my infant sister’s affections?” Percy shouted as he stormed up to us with saber drawn.

“I am not an infant! Mum said I might even be able to shave my legs this year!” Both cringed at that–-too much information. “Put down your sword oh brother mine!”

Harry pulled his silver rapier and began to circle his opponent. “Defend yourself foolish knave.” In the distance a strange, high-pitched aria rose over the morning mist adding to the scene. “Ginny, what…?”

“That’s just Mortimer the squirrel. Last spring Charlie enchanted him to sing opera for us,” I explained.

“He’s actually very good,” Percy added. “You should hear those three American chipmunks Charlie charmed. Of course, they mostly sing Muggle rock and roll.” He lunged at Harry, who easily parried the move, and then drove his own blade through Percy’s chest.

“Oh my, I’m terribly sorry about that old bean.” Harry released the hilt and took a step back.

“It’s quite all right. It’s nothing really.”

“Nothing? Percy you’re spewing blood all over the field here,” Harry accurately pointed out.

“Hmm, yes I do suppose I’ll have to clean that up before breakfast.”

“Percy is there anything Harry and I can do for you?”

“What? This? I’ve cut myself worse shaving. Besides, this is just a story you’re making up Ginny. I’m sorry I used all of your scented body wash without asking you.”

“Percy…” I began again.

“Off with you now!” he said as he lay down and began to flop his legs in dramatic fashion. “Mum needs those eggs. She’s already cooking up some maple-cured fire sausages someone gave her.”


*****



A breathtaking sight Kings Cross station was that morning…absolutely magnificent! Yes, I had been there before, but this was the time when I would be among those to ride along on the school’s delightful train. As I passed through the barrier, hand-in-hand with my love, there was a sort of electricity in the air. No, nothing at all like when Uncle Horace was struck by lightning while flying his box kite. Only the distrustful, suspicious looks from my three evil brothers detracted from the moment.

Offering me the most tender of embraces, Harry apologized a thousand times before rushing to secure a private compartment for us. I did not miss seeing Ron, George, and Fred moving off to closely follow him. I was worried, but only for the briefest of moments. My Harry was easily the match of any of my so-called protectors.

In the distance then, I spied my dear friend, the good Witch Luna who is known as the wisest of the wise. From far and near, from all over the earth, she is sought out for her astute advice and advanced learning. I was exceptionally fortunate that I had her ear and constant guidance through the hardest times of my life.

“Hello Ginny. Did you have a nice summer?” Such insight! She knew somehow that it had been an incredible three months for me! “I wonder if it will rain today.” She could predict the weather? Magnificent! “I’m really looking forward to catching up with you. Did you hear how the black ascot beetle is making a comeback in Antarctica? Now all those nice penguins will have bowties to go with their little tuxedos.” The girl’s magical expertise went beyond all measure. I was truly in awe.

[Note: I don’t care what anyone says; I’m leaving that part in.]

Luna–--my friend, my confidante, my magical maharishi; she took my hand, giggled as only she can, and then led us off to catch the train, and, of course, to finally meet my darling Harry. I looked back once more to see how Mum’s tears were still there, but so was a bottle of champagne in my dad’s hands. I later learned how they dearly regretted renting my room out as they did. The elderly woman would play Slim Whitman records at all hours.

[Note: I wonder if I should change it to a more contemporary musical artist such as Barry Manilow or Lee Marvin?]


*****



“Oh Harry, Harry! There you are! I was so worried! There are rumors everywhere of some menacing creature wandering the train, locking people in closets, stealing their clothing, and physically attacking them with rubber chickens!”

[Note: Rubber chickens? Okay, why not?]

“My precious Ginny! My dear love! I have seen no such creature! Fear not, for I shall protect you from any and all harm!”

He took me in his arms then, drew me to his strong, muscular body, and kissed me in a way that all eleven-year-old girls dream of. It was the most passionate, most intense, most stimulating experience of my life including the time I accidentally ate some of Uncle Theodore’s famous chili. It easily lasted for twenty wonderful minutes.

“Why…why did you do that to me?” I finally asked, reluctantly pulling away, but only to breathe.

“You are the first I have ever done that with. I swear it. I didn’t know that’s the way. It was all right, wasn’t it?”

“Harry, my Harry–it was perfect! I love you so, so much!”

[Note: Okay, even I’m becoming ill with some of this dialogue.]

“Dearest Ginny, there is something else I must tell you, and it will not be pleasant.”

“Harry, you may tell me anything!”

“It’s about your brother Fred…”

“What could possibly…? Oh no! Not another one!”

“Well… I’m afraid so. Fred was shouting something about all the time we have been spending alone. I immediately suspected that he had learned about our working together with your flying skills. I was prepared to deny everything in order to preserve your secret. He then drew a large dagger, charged me with it, and began screaming how he was avenging Percy as well. I…I sort of turned him into a warthog, and he fell on the blade.”

“I understand Harry, and I forgive you. Fred shouldn’t have put the potion into my toothpaste that turned my teeth blue and fuzzy.”

“It wasn’t all bad. Three house-elves with chef hats appeared, stuck an apple in his mouth, and carted him away before he was discovered. I believe I shall have the chicken at supper tonight however.”


*****



Despite my words, Harry grew increasingly melancholy. We tried to talk of our future together, the coming school year, even my need to learn to fly a broom. It always came back to his apologizing for what he had done to my two brothers. I couldn’t understand him. I had four spares still. Harry finally excused himself, explaining the need to go off to think. I used the opportunity to seek out the all-wise, all-knowing Luna.

Harry eventually wandered into the forward boxcar, a place he believed he could be alone for a bit. He was more than a little surprised to see the side access open and someone sitting there dangling his legs over the edge. He was amazed at who it was.

“Humphrey Bogart? What are you doing here?” Harry somehow managed to ask.

[Note: I wonder if George Clooney or Johnny Depp would be better.]

“Hello there Harry. The Weasleys don’t make it to many Muggle films. It was either me or Charlie Chaplin, and he don’t talk much. I’m here for that part of the story where you’re supposed to get some sage advice from someone older and more experienced. It’s more or less a requirement I believe, or anyway Ginny thinks so. She’s writing this.”

“I see. So as far as your sage advice, what do you recommend?”

“Shake it off kid! Go back and kiss the girl!”

“That’s it? Not that I mind, but that’s it?”

“Hey, it worked for Baby and me in more than a few flicks.”

At that moment, the car’s door from the passenger section burst open. A solitary figure stood there. “Harry! I told you to stay away from my sister!”

“Ron no! Put down that battle axe!” Harry shouted.

“This is for Fred!” The other boy charged Harry and Bogie and they barely dove out of the way. Unfortunately, the train lurched just then, and Ron flew past them, out the open door, and down off the bridge they were passing over.

“Oh crum! I wonder if this means I can have his Wizard Card collection. Ginny’s really going to be upset about this.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much. Ron sneezed on Ginny’s birthday cake last month, and their mother had to toss the whole thing. You can imagine how happy that made her.”

[Note: This is starting to get silly. I’m running out of Weasley brothers.]


*****



The next week was exceptionally exceptional. It took a few of Harry’s Galleons, but I was able to have some goblins I knew dispose of all the bodies. I couldn’t have my special time with Harry interrupted by something as mundane as a bunch of funerals. Hermione was naturally a pain about it all, spouting something or another about senseless killings, Azkaban, and letters to the Ministry. A little something in her tea one afternoon, a few more Galleons, and everything was fine again.

Every morning Harry and I would skip classes, so we could wander about the castle or the school grounds together holding hands. We would talk about so many things, share secrets about ourselves, and, following Mr. Bogart’s recommendation, Harry worked hard to improve his kisses. With the sunset, we would dine alone before dressing in formal attire, and dancing the evening away in the Astronomy Tower. It was all so magical.

Granted, there were some minor glitches. The staff continually kept trying to give us detention and even to expel us for never studying. As luck would have it, I had an ample supply of my potion for their tea. Professor Snape was a bit more of a challenge. Strange thing how one day he was accidentally locked in his storeroom with a two-headed lion. It was all a bit sad I suppose. I was going through meddling instructors almost as fast as I was evil brothers. Fortunately, Harry was always there to console me.

I will say that he was a tad bit cross with me when he discovered how well I could actually fly a broom. It had been an excellent excuse for us to spend even more time off somewhere. As I was already with him every waking moment of every day, there was no reason not to finally tell him the truth. Besides which, we had found something else to do alone together–-plan our upcoming nuptials.

It would be simply lovely. I would naturally wear my grandmother’s wedding gown, although serious alterations would have to be made considering my age. Luna would be my maid of honor and Harry’s best man could be…hmm, I’ll have to fill in a name later. As you might expect, my surviving brother at Hogwarts was furious, and I didn’t have it in my heart to brew him a pot of Earl Grey. As fate would have it, I didn’t need to.

“Potter, this has gone on long enough! I am seeking satisfaction!” George yelled to him from across the crowded Great Hall. “You’ve systematically eliminated my brothers, and you are constantly alone with my sister doing who knows what!”

“She asked me to teach her to fly,” Harry calmly replied.

“What? Oh no! You didn’t fall for that old trick. Ginny’s used the same line with her last seven boyfriends! ‘You’re so manly and strong! Would you help little ole me learn to ride a broom?’ I tell you she’ll dump you the way she did those other poor saps. No one’s seen them since either, but there were sure a lot of smelly goblins coming to visit afterward.”

“Harry my love, hex him! Hex him I said! He’s besmirched my honor. In addition to that, George filled my dollhouse with green slime when I was eight. Hex him!”

“Very well dearest. Hocus Pocus!” Harry called out, and, where once my brother stood, there was a small white rabbit…at least until three house-elves in chef hats came running out to fetch it. Everyone in the Hall made a grab for the chicken then.

“Darling Harry, we must flee now! We must leave this world behind us and go to live forever in your castle in the clouds. Surely, the Ministry will be after us…not to mention my mum.”

“I know they will my love, but please don’t call me…”

[Note: No, I refuse to include an over-used crossover pun from ‘Airplane’ again.]

My Harry swept me into his arms and carried me from the school to his waiting chariot. Magnificent music played, flower petals were scattered across our path, tiny children wept at the beauty of it all. To this day, we live the most blissful of lives in his golden palace far, far away.

[Note: It kind of brings a tear to the eye and a lump to your stomach.]


*****



Ginny set down the quill and went over the last page she had written. It was completely ridiculous. She loved her brothers dearly, and even when they pranked her, she wouldn’t want them dead. She couldn’t bring herself to do that to the instructors either, however Professor Snape was a serious temptation.

It had not been a wonderful week, although toward the end Harry had tried to make it up to her. Ron and he weren’t able to get through the Kings Cross barrier, resulting in their detention and the loss of her future drag racer to the Whomping Willow. Then there was the mysterious gremlin from Hedley who almost sabotaged all of their close relationships. Worse yet, Ginny was beginning to accept how Harry didn’t think of her the way she did him…yet. The two were becoming great friends, but it still hurt. Writing in her journal that way had been incredible medicine for her soul.

“No one can ever read this…not even Luna.”

Ginny stood then, walked over to the Gryffindor Common Room fire, and tossed the book into the flames. Moving toward the girls’ stairwell, she made a mental note to pull out the new diary she had found among her schoolbooks. So deep in thought was she that Ginny completely missed the tall figure who emerged from the shadows, and, using tongs, quickly retrieved the barely-singed book.


*****



“I finished the rough draft last night Ron. I’ve got to tell you, I don’t feel especially good about this.”

“I told you that it’s fine Spenser. You, me…Ginny are the only ones who will ever see the thing until you’re through polishing it.”

We stepped through the door into my kitchen where I had left the old journal as well as my working draft. I thought everyone else was gone for the day, so Ron and I could work on it together. My blood ran cold when I saw Ginny herself sitting at the table with both manuscripts within inches of her hand.

“Would either of you care to explain this?” she quietly said. Her voice was sad, but still threatening.

“It’s my fault Gin. I asked Spenser to work on it…make it readable.” Looking over at him, I saw Ron’s face as a mask of fear, but his voice didn’t match. We both knew he was trying to do something nice for his sister.

“I know Ron. Luna told me about the project Spenser. It’s the first time in years you haven’t asked for her help on a story. She naturally snooped.” Ginny took a deep breath before continuing. “May I ask what you are trying to do?”

“I’m trying to edit your journal, so Lily can read it Ginny,” I told her. Her eyes went wide.

“I saved it from the fire all those years ago,” Ron explained. “I did read it, but then it was hidden away until I could return it. No one except for Spense and I have seen the thing. I promise you that Ginny. Oh…and Luna now too I suppose.”

“Lily has her first crush on a boy,” I continued. “Wouldn’t it be right for the daughter to read what the mother went through at the exact same age…with spelling and grammar corrected?”

Ginny continued to stare us down; her eyes were now narrow and fluctuating between the two of us and the journal. Her face softened, but I wasn’t prepared to breathe easier yet. Sometimes there was no telling with Ginny. Finally, however, she nodded.

“Is this where you insert ‘Little girls are great fun, especially when they fall in love with unsuspecting little boys?’ Maybe it is a good idea…a bit of perspective. Does it need too much work Spenser? It does? Perhaps you’d like me to invest in a Muggle thesaurus and a Harry Potter lexicon–-one that is actually authorized by his nice biographer?”

“You will if you want to be…if you want to be a great writer like me someday.”

“I’ll settle for being a great wife and mother Spenser. Hmm…you’ve made an error yourself here at the end.”

“Huh? I left something out? What did I miss?”

“Your normal ending catchphrase. Mischief managed!”





A/N: For those few who may not know, ‘Baby’, for Humphrey Bogart, was his lovely wife and frequent costar Lauren Bacall.
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