Gary Bother and The Quest for the Shiny Rock O' Magic.

Ch. 1, The Boy Very Few People Remembered.

Dedicated to Chronically Insane, who, among other things, has endured and supported years of HP related madness, and without whom Gary would have parents, but no adventures.

It was a summer morning just like any other summer morning. Parents who had to literally drag their children out of bed on a school day woke to the sound of loud and joyous shrieks as youngsters everywhere rose at the crack of dawn. In Colorado, U.S.A., two boys went bowling at 6:00. In the U.K., an alert tropical fish saved several lives. And at number 16, Rivet Road, Mr. Venom Dungbeetle got ready for work.

He carefully selected a navy blue suit and a plaid tie. Today was Casual Friday. He passed his wife, Petulant, and their son, Studley, on his way out the door. Petty wore a determined look, like someone who has resolved to call up an estranged family member. Studley was attempting to hit the picture on the wall with his stringed carrots.

The day started badly. There was a traffic jam caused by a large explosion in the street. Some men were leading away a rather hysterical man. Venom turned off to take a detour. If he had waited, he would have seen Will Smith come onto the scene.

"I want you all to look at this, right over here. That's it."

At work, the day went by slowly until Ed, in Marketing, forgot and drank coffee from the machine. As the ambulance carried the unfortunate salesman away, Mr. Dungbeetle found himself listening to a nearby car radio.

"Hello, secret community!" the announcer piped, "Today is indeed a happy day. Today it has been made official that the Bother residence..." The voice faded as the car pulled away.

Hmm, thought Venom. The mention of the Bothers bothered him. What could his in-laws have done to be on the radio? No, it could not have been them. Bother must be a very common last name, he assured himself.

While walking up his driveway at 7:00, Mr. Dungbeetle scared off a large black cat.

"$& it, Seylin! Come back here THIS INSTANT." yelled a strange, disembodied voice.

The cat disappeared. Venom ignored it. The author had obviously forgotten not to make references to obscure books, he thought. She should try to remember that most of the readers get confused easily.

Lost in his own thoughts, he did not notice the small, calico cat walk tipsily over to the garden wall.

"How was your day, dear?" Petulant greeted him.

He watched Studley playing with the staple gun as he answered. "Oh, not bad. Someone drank some of that 'coffee' again, and the narrator made an obscure reference."

"I do wish she would stop. Yesterday a chicken coop with Christmas lights flew over the house! What was she thinking?"

The Dungbeetles had several more amusing hours of abusing the narrator's writing abilities, which completely pushed all thoughts of the Bothers out of Venom's mind.

Meanwhile, out on the street, a man dressed like Gandalf, only with a huge, turquoise cowboy hat and matching boots had arrived. He pulled a rather impressive cell phone out of his pocket, and plugged it into an outlet in Mrs. Shwindelman's garden. The lights went out all over the block, save for a blue glow from the power-consuming phone. He went over to sit next to the cat, who had fallen off the wall several times since the afternoon. The man also walked rather drunkenly.

"Dear (hic) prof(hic)fessor Mc(hic)Donald. What are you (hic) doing(hic) here?" the man tended to slur his words.

"Doubledoor, I (giggle) was (hic) waiting for (hic) you." said the cat, who had turned into a rather disheveled woman. "How (hic) did you (hic) know it was me?"

"I've never seen a cat fall (hic) off a wall (giggle) so many times. Didn't you go to any parties(hic) tonight?"

"Yeah, but I (hic) left when the (hic) alcohol ran out. Is it true (hic) that Sil (hic) Sil (hic) Silly and (hic) Thames di (hic) di (hic) kicked the bucket (giggle)?"

"Fraid so, m'(hic)dear. But so did (hic) Moldy(hic)Shorts (giggle)."

"Hey, don't say (hic) his (hic) name (giggle). The cat-woman slurred as she threw a feeble punch at her plastered companion.

"I'll say it all I want. Moldy(hic)shorts, Moldyshorts!" he roared drunkenly a the silent street.

"Hey, (hic) did you bring the (hic) the (hic) kid?"

"Oh yeah. Damn. Wait, I'll call up Ragged. He can pick him up."

The couple sobered up very quickly, considering that they both had enough liquor in them to give an lesser person a hangover. Both had forgotten the Bothers' small child, Gary.

McDonald took a swig of whisky out of a bottle as Doubledoor called up Ragged on his cell.

"Hey, Ragged, how's things on your end? ....Good. Good... Yes, I believe they are... No, I don't know why they canceled Friends. Oh, could you swing by the Bother residence and pick up Gary? No, Ragged, Gary Bother... No... NO!... Just take him to 16, Rivet Road. Yeah. Okay, see you soon.

Well, that's settled. He'll be here soon. Give me a swig of that. I do believe I need some."

"Say, how long have Silly and Thames been dead, do you think?" asked McDonald as

she handed over the bottle.

"About since last night. We didn't know until this morning, though."

"And all that time, nobody thought about their son?"

"Nope. All they really said was that he was Moldy short's downfall."

Ragged arrived then, on the same flying bike used in ET. He was a fairly large man, but we'll describe him in another chapter. So just hold on for now. He had a small baby who was sleeping, probably tired out from hunger.

(If you haven't guessed, I think that it is disgraceful that they left Harry the wreckage of his home for a whole day, and that the entire magical community, his neighbors, and his godfather didn't even think to look for him. But back to the story)

The child had a thunder shaped cut on his forehead. The group smeared some antiseptic on it, wrapped him up, and then looked at Doubledoor expectantly.

"What? Just put him on the door, I'll tuck this letter in with him, and we can vamoose."

"Don't you think that we should knock on the door, or try to explain this in person? I mean, this woman's sister just died! Do you think that she wants to find out in a letter? What if it rains? What if someone steals him? What if they can't take him in?" McDonald asked anxiously.

"They're the only family he has. They have to take him in. Anyway, we're in the suburbs. It's not like the big bad wolf is going to eat him or something."

So they placed little Gary on the door step, got good and drunk, and sang him off with a loud chorus of Desperado. Then, Doubledoor unplugged his cell phone, and they disappeared into the night.

They had forgotten about the letter, so the next morning, fighting a hangover, Doubledoor typed something up quick, and sent via E-mail to the Dungbeetles.