Ants are the very bane of my existence.
They came out of nowhere—Lily and I lived a blissful, ant-free, married life, until they stormed in and conquered us with fire and water.
To be fair, they didn't bother Lily too much. But they seemed to single me out as their number one enemy, from the first day they arrived. They attacked my French toast, they invaded my clothes, they dared to bite me in all sorts of places with an utter disregard for privacy.
"Maybe they're man-eating," I suggested to Lily one day, holding my arm out for her to inspect. It was pockmarked with small, red spots. "I bet they've matured into mutant ants—developed a taste for human flesh."
"James, don't be silly," Lily laughed her beautiful laugh. "They're just ants."
"Mutant ants," I insisted stubbornly. "I mean, they're black! I didn't even know black ants bit people!"
"They're just ants, James," Lily repeated, rolling her eyes. "And black ants are supposed to bring luck to the house they enter, so I've heard."
So they'd decided to steal my wife's heart as well? Was nothing sacred?
I tossed and turned every night, cruelly brushing off the whispery, crawling sensation I felt on my legs, on my arms, sometimes at the nape of my neck, while Lily, for some unfathomable reason (How do ants' minds work? Can they even think properly?) , continued to sleep undisturbed. I shook my clothes out before I wore them and grimly watched tiny black bodies fall from the fabric. I blasted them off our bananas at breakfast, one by one (but it was difficult to aim, because they were so small). Lily repeated what she had said to me before—that black ants bring luck—but I refused to believe her. Ants were a menace.
But I finally snapped when they made it into the cookie jar. Magically sealed, and they still managed to make their way in short of nibbling a hole through the glass. I lost it.
"All ants should die a slow, painful death, and then cease to exist so no one would have to clean up the bodies," I raged at Lily that night, as she brushed her hair.
She chuckled. "Aren't you going a bit far with this whole ant business?"
I glowered. "They're evil. Evil. I caught them swarming over my broomstick the other day! What on earth could ants want with a broomstick?"
"Maybe they were blessing it," she teased, knowing that I was frustrated with her lack of support and continued echo that ants brought luck. "Maybe you'll win a game on it or something."
"Ants are not lucky, woman," I growled. "They're pests and nuisances to society and should never have been created."
"Whatever you say, James."
Frustrated with her indifference, I made a vow to myself.
This means war.
Since I wasn't too sure how to magic ants away—evanesco worked at the moment I cast it, but ten times the ants I Vanished turned up to replace the lost ones and swell their ranks—I decided to resort to good old Muggle pest extinguisher, which Lily assured me worked quite well.
"I'm buying that poison stuff tomorrow," I informed her brightly, as we got into bed the following night. "I'm reveling in the fact that they won't plague me anymore this time tomorrow. Tonight's your last chance, ants!" I added to the bedcover, underneath which I knew lurked an army.
Lily shook her head, amused. "The poor things don't have a personal vendetta against you, James." I was about to strongly protest both her statement and the fact that she had called them "poor things" when she added, a mischievous smile tugging the corners of her mouth, "And besides, they bring us luck."
I had just about lost my patience with her mantra. "Tell me one good thing that's happened since the ants came here. Just one lucky thing."
She buried a grin and said, softly, "Well, I'm pregnant."
As I was saying, ants are a wonderful asset to the community, delivering luck and joy to the world as they blaze a beautiful trail into people's homes, leaving wonder and love in their wake, and I gladly welcome them into our home.
A/N: So... I've been meaning to post this for a while, but my Internet connection crashed and is still down. I finally brought my laptop to Starbucks in order to check my email.
I'm posting another story along with this one, for a fandom I haven't written in yet-- Abarat. Even if you haven't read the books, you might enjoy my little piece, titled "Bilarki's Remembrances".
Thanks for your time! Drop a review, please! :)