Author Notes: Hello everyone and Happy Halloween if you celebrate this day! Here is a retelling of another well known folktale recorded by the Brothers Grimm, The Enormous Turnip, set in the Harry Potter universe. The characters don't rhyme as well as they do in the original Russian language and I've also taken some liberties with canon (such as Hermione befriending Harry and Ron before the troll episode in their first year) so please read with a big pinch of salt and enjoy if you can :)
8 Nov 2014 - Thanks to Sheankelor for pointing out that The Enormous Turnip was not recorded by the Grimm brothers.
Summary: When an enormous pumpkin sinks beneath the ground, it's not magic that gets it out again.
Rating: 'T' (although K would still be fine)
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the brainchild of JK Rowlings.
- Story Start -
Today was Friday as well as Halloween. Dumbledore had announced classes were cancelled for today so the students were free to spend the day however they wished.
Harry, Ron and Hermione set out to visit Hagrid after a hearty breakfast of bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. They had homework to complete over the weekend - a one foot essay on the uses of the Softening Charm and a two foot essay on the Boil-Cure potion - but even Hermione agreed they could wait for a bit.
"Look, there's Hagrid coming out of his hut right now," Ron pointed out and then he squinted. "What's that pink thing he's carrying?"
"It looks like an umbrella," Hermione observed.
"It is an umbrella, but he's got his wand hidden inside," Harry told them. "No one's supposed to know about it though."
The trio trotted over to the groundskeeper who was heading towards his pumpkin patch.
Hagrid jerked upright and turned around, hastily hiding the pink umbrella behind his broad back. He looked relieved when he saw who it was.
"'arry! And Ron and 'ermione too! Nice of yeh three ter drop by," he greeted and started moving back to his hut, walking sideways like a crab. "Jus' abou' to make meself a cuppa. Why don'-"
"No, thanks, Hagrid," Harry said hurriedly. "We've just had breakfast."
"We came to take a look at your pumpkins," Ron explained.
"Professor Dumbledore said you have a fine crop this year," Hermione added with a winning smile.
Tea and pink umbrella forgotten, Hagrid beamed at them and puffed out his chest with pride.
"Did 'e? Great man, Professor Dumbledore, great man. Well, come an' take a look then!"
The three children followed him to the pumpkin patch and leaned over the fence. There were more than thirty pumpkins of various sizes lying on the ground amongst a bed of vines and leaves. Most of them had ripened to a beautiful gold colour, but a few were still streaked with green. Three of the pumpkins at the back were particularly big and one... was simply enormous, around four feet tall and five feet across.
"Bloody hell, look at that one!" Ron exclaimed, his blue eyes wide.
Harry looked suspiciously up at Hagrid whose grin was half hidden by his beard.
"Er, Hagrid, you weren't by any chance helping them to grow, were you? With your pink umbrella, I mean?"
The proud grin on Hagrid's face immediately gave way to a sheepish expression and he sighed.
"Can' fool yeh, 'arry. Sharp as yeh mother, yeh are," he confessed and after a furtive look around, brought out the pink umbrella from behind his back. "A few taps an' no one's the wiser, eh?"
Wrinkling his forehead, Harry turned to his friends. Hermione had her arms folded across her chest and a disapproving look on her face, but Ron was nodding excitedly.
"Oh, go on, Hagrid," he said. "What spell did you use?"
"Ron," Hermione began. "You know very well-"
Both Ron and Hagrid ignored whatever it was that the former was supposed to know, and very well too. The groundskeeper carefully made his way over to the enormous pumpkin and touched the tip of his pink umbrella to it.
"Just a small demo then, eh?" he said. "Engorgio!"
The three children stared, one with excitement, one with disapproval and the third with a mixture of both. Nothing happened at first and then the pumpkin wobbled. It gave a strange stretching sound and grew a little bigger. A snail crawling up one side of it promptly fell off in shock.
"There we go," Hagrid said happily, bending down to pat the pumpkin. "Tha's big enough. We don' want ter' overdo-"
A low rumbling sound coming from inside the earth interrupted him. A series of small cracks started to appear on the ground, fanning out from under the enormous pumpkin.
Hagrid took a step back and frowned. When the rumbling sound grew louder, he and hurriedly stuffed the pink umbrella in one of his numerous coat pockets and took a couple more steps backward. The children exchanged looks of growing alarm as they backed away from the fence.
The pumpkin wobbled again and right then before their shocked eyes, it started sinking into the ground. Down and down it went, lower and lower until only two inches of orange sphere showed with the stem right in the center.
Four pairs of wide eyes stared at it for a long moment.
"Oops," Hagrid finally said.
"That's done it then," Hermione observed, arms crossed over her chest again.
"What should we do?" Ron whispered, glancing around.
"Levitate it out?" Harry suggested.
"Right." Clearing his throat, Hagrid whipped his pink umbrella out once more and brandished it at the buried pumpkin. "Wingardium Leviosa!"
The stem shook obligingly and a few more cracks appeared in the ground, but the pumpkin stayed wedged.
"Let's all try!" Ron exclaimed.
Three more wands were whipped out and four hopeful voices cast the levitation charm again. The pumpkin shook a bit more violently, but remained where it was.
Hagrid exhaled and stowed away his pink umbrella once more.
"Righ' then. I'll jus' pull it ou'," he decided. "Nuthin' ter it."
He stepped close to the enormous pumpkin and planted his booted feet planted well apart. Bending forward, he grasped the stem and pulled. He pulled with all his might, but the pumpkin would not budge!
"I'll help," Harry offered. He went to stand behind Hagrid and grabbed hold of his coat. Hagrid and Harry pulled with all their might, but the pumpkin would not budge!
"I'll help too!" Ron was next. He went to stand behind Harry and grabbed hold of his coat. Hagrid, Harry and Ron pulled with all their might, but the pumpkin would not budge!
"Oh, why not?" Hermione sighed. She went to stand behind Ron and grabbed hold of his coat. Hagrid, Harry, Ron and Hermione pulled with all their might, but the pumpkin would not budge!
"Fang!" Hagrid called, wiping his face with a gigantic checkered handkerchief.
With a happy bark, the huge boarhound bounded out of Hagrid's hut. He went to stand on his hind legs behind Hermione and grabbed hold of her coat. Hagrid, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Fang pulled with all their might, but the pumpkin would not budge!
"Mrs. Norris!" Harry called, spotting the scrawny feline peering suspiciously around the fence gate.
With a disgruntled expression, the cat sauntered over. She went to stand on her hind legs behind Fang who ignored her and grabbed hold of his fur. Hagrid, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fang and Mrs. Norris pulled with all their might, but the pumpkin would not budge!
"Scabbers!" Ron called, remembering his pet rat.
With a resigned squeak, the gray rat crawled out from one of his pockets. He went to stand on his hind legs behind Mrs. Norris who ignored him and grabbed hold of her fur. Hagrid, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fang, Mrs. Norris and Scabbers pulled with all their might and then suddenly...
The enormous pumpkin came out of the ground with the sound of a champagne bottle being popped. Hagrid, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fang, Mrs. Norris and Scabbers all ended up flat on their backs and covered with a sprinkling of moist earth while the pumpkin lay on its side a few inches away.
After a long moment, they all sat up and brushed the soil from their clothes and in the case of Fang, Mrs. Norris and Scabbers, their fur.
"Like I said, nuthin' ter it," Hagrid observed.
"You know, I remember reading a story about an enormous turnip once," Harry said thoughtfully.
"Well, pumpkins over turnips anytime," Ron declared.
"That's good to know because we're going to eat nothing but pumpkin tonight," Hermione predicted.
She was right. The Halloween feast that night was made up of nothing but pumpkin based dishes - creamy pumpkin soup, pumpkin and walnut salad, roast chicken with pumpkin and chestnut stuffing, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake and pumpkin ice cream - and of course, pumpkin juice to wash it all down with.
For the next two days, all the staff and students had to put up with an obvious orange tint to their skin. Dumbledore, eyes twinkling merrily, made the most of his new complexion by wearing bright purple robes and walking all over school, while the other professors hid in their rooms and pestered Madam Pomfrey and Professor Snape for an instant cure.
As for Hagrid, he swore to Harry, Ron and Hermione that he would never use his pink umbrella ever again. They just smiled at him and wisely said nothing.
- Story End -
A/N: Thank you reading! Please do leave a review if you enjoyed it :)