HEY IT'S BACK! I wanna thank those who are reading because no one would be reading this without you. But really, thanks for putting up with infrequent updates (trying to improve that) and for reviewing, following, etc. Find me on Tumblr. Support women in comedy at the Clambake. Dedication, as always, goes to Maggle.
Hope you enjoy!
Day 13 - 9:32 AM
The sun was bright in our eyes, the air crisp and biting. Snow layered the ground, reached our shins, ruined our shoes. We were standing in the middle of a partially paved road lined with small shops and multiple gas stations. A pick-up truck honked.
I grinned and waved. "Seems like people know my face everywhere we go!"
"I don't think he's greeting you, Harry," Hermione stated.
"Oh, what, then—you think he's catcalling?"
"From personal experience," Ginny began, raising her eyebrows meaningfully, "cars only honk when they want something from you—and they only ever want one thing."
I shivered and crossed my arms over my chest.
The truck honked again and then swerved angrily around us, the driver shouting, "Get the fuck out of the road!"
"IT'S MY BODY! YOU DON'T GET TO COMMENT ON IT!"
"Where are we?" Ginny whined.
"I feel like I don't know anything anymore." My voice broke.
Luna, hand shading the sun from her eyes, responded, "We're about ten miles from my house."
Groans all around. "Nice going, Hermione," I said sarcastically.
"Yeah, you did a great job!" Ron offered, clearly missing the point.
"Why'd you put mein charge of apparating to a place I've never been to?"
"Actually," Luna interrupted, "she did perfectly. My house is like Hogwarts—you can't apparate inside the grounds. This is the closest we can get, and this is the only town around."
I turned to Ron. "I thought you said Luna lived close to the Burrow?"
"I mean, she lives nearby."
"What's the difference?"
Ernie piped up, "Are we even in England still?"
"Yes," Ron answered, "and Harry, I didn't say she lived around the corner, I said around the area."
"Why are we talking about this?" Hermione groaned.
"Ok, ok, ok, Ron. This is all semantics, right? When you're checking out at the supermarket, are you on line or in line?"
"I'm on line," Ron answered, shrugging.
"HOW ARE YOU ON TOP OF THE LINE? THAT MAKES NO SENSE."
"Well you're not inside the line—"
"Yes, you are! A line is made up of points, and you are a point in that line."
"Don't quote me geometry, Harry."
"Ok," I paused, "are you in queue or on queue then?"
"No one says queue," Hermione said snobbily.
Dean cleared his throat. "I say queue."
"No, you don't."
"You implying that I don't say it because I never pay for my groceries? I'm a black man, so I just ditch the line altogether?"
"No, shut up Dean," Hermione responded quickly, "you say 'I'm cue-in it,' and it took me forever to realize that you use the phrase when you're at the grocery store andwhen you're playing pool."
"Maybe it took you so long because you aren't as smart as you think."
"Maybe you should give context clues!"
Dean and Hermione's argument escalated. The air was thick with tension, fueled by Ron and Ginny's sudden sibling squabble which drowned everyone else out. Malfoy yelped as Mr. Gorbachev bit his ankles. I ran out of cliches with which to pepper my writing. The Fellowship was self-destructing.
They did, all looking toward me. I began slowly, "Nine companions carry the fate of this earth on their shoulders." The music swelled around us. "We can't waste any more time bickering. We fight or we fall."
Popped into one of the diners for chocolate chip pancakes. Can't carry anything on my shoulders on an empty stomach!
Can't carry Mr. Gorbachev into diners, either, apparently! Tied him up outside and told him, giggling, to stay like a good dog.
"The longer you take, the more grass I'm going to eat," Mr. Gorbachev responded. "It's your choice."
"How quaint!" Ginny gushed. She was absolutely loving the red patent-leather booths and the signs that read 'Coca Cola 5¢.' "It's even got a jukebox!"
"It's out of order," Ernie observed.
"It's like all these booths are wearing the same pants as Draco!"
Malfoy was too busy glaring at everyone in the diner to respond. "Why is every person here obese?"
"Malfoy!" Hermione shushed as our slightly overweight waitress wandered over and placed glasses of water and our paper menus in front of us.
"Are we in America or something?"
Perusing the food menu. These pieces of paper were triple-threats, offering not only the food options, but also serving as placemats and advertising space.
Dean started ripping the corner off his paper menu. We all stared. He said, mostly to himself, in a gruff voice, "Don't—like—roaches."
Glanced at my menu to see an advertisement for exterminators: in bold, it said 'Roach problem? We've got it solved.' And then there was a close-up of a real roach that had a cartoony speech balloon coming from what was maybe its mouth, saying 'You'll never sleep again.'
"I guess that's an effective ad campaign..." Hermione trailed off.
Ron picked up his menu. "Look, it's got advertisements on here for Li-po!"
"Counter-intuitive, really, for a place selling food," Luna said, squinting down at her menu.
Malfoy snorted. "Doubt anyone in this town has taken them up on it."
Our weightress (haha geddit) returned, notepad at the ready. "What can I get you?"
"A health inspector," Malfoy responded promptly, as he used his knife to try and scratch off a ketchup stain on the table.
Ernie cleared his throat, sent a warning glance to Malfoy, and ordered food. She looked next to Ginny, who beamed up at her.
"I'll have the spinach and egg white hash with a glass of Chardonnay, thanks."
"Did you even look at the menu? And we don't have a liquor license."
"Neither do I," Ginny put in with an attractive chuckle.
"No, I mean, we don't have any alcohol here."
"I think I've lost my appetite," she said acidly, handing the menu to our server, who put her hands up.
"You can just—keep it. It's your placemat."
Ginny awkwardly took it back, then folded it up and slipped it under the table, smiling to herself in satisfaction.
In an unexpected turn of events, Dean ordered the grilledchicken.
It was Malfoy's turn. "How can you sell a side of sausage for two pounds? Are you selling your food short or is your food actually that worthless?"
She stuttered in response. Malfoy cut her off. "Okay—here—what entree costs 20 pounds or over?"
"We don't sell anything that expensive," she replied meekly, "you could order a breakfast meal and three sides for that—"
"That's not the point," Draco sighed. "Okay, I'll just have whatever you haven't eaten."
After two minutes of "Uhhhhhs" and "Ums!" Ron has settled on a meal.
"Eggs and a side of bacon," Ron said proudly," and can I get my eggs wet?"
The waitress blinked. "What?"
"I want the eggs wet."
Dean and Ernie started snickering, but Ron blinked up at her innocently. She said slowly, "Let me get this straight—you want me to pour water on your eggs?"
"No, I want the yellow stuff to be all moist so when I touch it, it just kind of gets everywhere."
Hermione put her head in her hands. "He wants his eggs over-easy."
Ron threw a balled-up napkin at Dean. "That'swhat its called? You asshole."
FINALLY MY TURN
"I'll have chocolate chip pancakes."
"We don't do that."
"How can you not do that? Aren't you a diner?"
"I'mnot the diner."
"Yeah, well you're just as big as it," Malfoy said.
Ron was all "OHHHHH" and I was like "BUUUURNNN" and Malfoy went in for a high-five, but the waitress punched him in the face.
The manager wandered over to inquire about the violence, but made us leave after I asked about the pancakes again and then, from the fury his negative answer caused, swiped the water glasses off the table.
In the deli next door ordering sandwiches.
"Ha—Harry, you should've shouted 'HARRY SMASH' when you broke those glasses," Ron said, chuckling to himself.
Guhhh delis are the worst. There's never anywhere to sit.
Settled myself on a shelf of potato chips. Such a satisfying crunch against my buttcheeks.
Once you crunch you just can't munch.
Ha but literally though, I can't wait til someone opens this bag.
Apparently this store has a 'you sit on it, you buy it' policy, and now we've got thirty bags of potato chips to take to Luna's house.
"You're welcome, guys. Rations. We don't want this to end up like the Donner party, now do we?"
"It might have to, anyway," Ron replied, hand in his potato chips. "It's like trying to eat Fruity Pebbles from the box."
Ron's been licking his hand, sticking it into the bag, and then licking off whatever potato chip debri sticks. That's some dedication right there.
Or as Hermione says, "That's fucking disgusting."
Taking a "Snow-Cat" up some mountain to Luna's house because a car would be too simple. Ernie insisted on driving, as he's been feeling useless lately.
"Hey, Luna," I said loudly, "if you like making things hard for yourself, you could've just touched my dick and saved us all a lot of time."
Snow is boring. Mountains are terrible. Nothing good ever happened where FM radio can't reach.
Found the AM radio Bible station, and unsurprisingly, we're all headed for an eternity of fiery damnation.
Ron, ever the optimist, said, "Might as well make that damnation worth it, right?" And then he fished around under his seat and pulled out a box filled with assorted spirits. He unscrewed a bottle of rum, took a sip, and passed it around.
"Drink of it, all of you, for this cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people. Do this for the remembrance of me."
lol apparently Ron doesn't take sacrilege lightly.
"Aren't we breaking open container laws?" Hermione nagged.
I toasted her. "Go to hell or go home, Hermione."
"Luna, I'm planning to covet all your neighbor's wives," I informed her.
She coughed into her vodka. "Sorry to disappoint you, but the only neighbors we have are the dead bodies we built our house on top of. Daddy always said 'A good deal is a good deal, no matter which cemetery you pour concrete over.'"
"That's one of those things you should probably disclose, Luna," Hermione said tensely, trying not to get angry, "before we all travel somewhere on a whim."
"Well, in the spirit of full disclosure," Luna yelled extravagantly, drunk, "we'll probably be stuck there for awhile, as the snow gets pretty heavy and makes travel almost impossible. WOOOO!"
"Not to mention that in good weather the only way to contact people is through an old-fashioned radio system. Owls won't make the trip."
"It'll be like one of those feel-good teen movies where everyone gets together for a weekend of debauchery, hashes out their emotions, and leaves on Sunday better for the experience!"
"What movies are you talking about?!" Hermione shrieked.
"Yeah, Luna," Malfoy offered ominously, "any time a group of teenagers gets together for a weekend of debauchery, someone has sex and a serial killer shows up to punish them for it. No one leaves 'feeling better for the experience.' In fact, sometimes, no one leaves at all." He broke into a murderous laugh.
"Fuck off, Malfoy," Ginny said nonchalantly, popping open a bottle of wine.
"I wouldn't be so brash, Red. At least, not with your track record. The way I see it, you and Dean are tied as the most obvious ones to go first."
Dean unzipped his fanny-pack and waved Naomi in the air. Ginny yawned, similarly unfettered. "You're mixing your movies, Malfoy. We've got a standard supernatural phenomenon on our hands, not a slasher flick."
On the upside, someone's going to have sex.
Malfoy glanced in my diary, laughed, and put a hand on my shoulder.
"Don't worry, Potter. It's not going to be you."
Ginny Weasley with the tough questions, ladies and gentlemen:
"So, are we dealing with ghosts or zombies, here?" Ginny asked, scratching her nose with the tip of the bottle of Chardonnay she wanted oh-so-badly. "Or—like—demonic possession?"
"Neither," Luna said, giggling, leaning against Ginny's shoulder sloppily. "Nothing weird has ever happened in my house. At least, while I've been there."
"Go on," Malfoy urged.
"My dad uses the house as Quibbler headquarters. The staff often gets snowed in for a few weeks while working during the winter—there's enough rooms for everyone to stay comfortably, so it's never a problem. They even bring their families sometimes. But my dad was away on business this time, and the editor-in-chief was left in charge, and I guess he went kind of crazy."
She paused to take a swig from her vodka, and we all followed suit, entranced.
"He was an unstable guy in the first place, but we never realized how unstable." She shook her head, as if casting off a particularly unsavory memory. "He'd always bring his boys with him so I'd have someone to play with. I mean—like I said—there were always husbands and wives and sons and daughters hanging around. I don't know, I guess he just snapped. He killed his wife, his kids, half the Quibbler staff, the rest quit after it all went down anyway. He hanged himself in the lobby. That's what my dad walked into when he returned."
Everyone was quiet, until Hermione broke the silence with, "Fucking Luna, you have to tell us this shit!"
Probably should have thought through the whole drinking-in-the-car thing.
"Can we pull over at the next rest stop?"
Mr. Gorbachev is all smug with his empty bladder. He would have shrugged if he had the body capability. "That's why I didn't down whiskey with the rest of you."
"Oh, I thought it was because you don't have thumbs," I replied icily.
He gave a doggy grumble and curled up to sleep, looking away from me. I held back a sob. It's what's best, Gorbie, for all of us. Sometimes we have to push away the ones we love to keep them safe.
HOW CAN I PEE IF MY WEINER IS FROZEN
I ASK YOU
Snow's getting heavier, and I think I'll just settle down for a nap.
hay ya'll - guess what i'm dreamin about?...
did u guess
youre right it was homosexuals
Would be more annoyed if I wasn't so impressed that Malfoy was able to write that without waking me up.
Luna spazzed when she saw the beginning of her driveway and kicked a sleeping Ron in the head. "Everybody, we're home."
Even through the blizzard, we could see how giant her house was. House wasn't even appropriate, more like a mansion or a southern plantation located for some reason in the north. Most of the lights were off which gave it a creepy leering look. Ernie parked the Sno-Cat and we fought against the wind and snow to the front door. Luna pulled up the front mat to find a spare set of keys. She unlocked one of the massive double doors and ushered us inside. I could hear her close the door behind me, but it didn't register to any of us. We were too distracted by the elaborate lobby—like that of a hotel, all marble floors and columns and chandeliers.
Ginny breathed out. "It's huge."
"That's what she said," I responded.
Ron looked scared to move. "Everything's so smooth."
"That's what she said."
"Not what she said."
"Harry, shut up," Hermione said.
"So guys—ha, I totally blanked. Why the fuck are we here again?"
TO BE CONTINUED