[A/N: Hey, all! Due to me not wanting to break my New Year's resolution, I am going to get working on DKC stuff soon, but for now, while this is fresh in my mind, have some much-needed Banjo-Kazooie love!
I'm currently toying around with the idea of writing a full-length story about Mumbo and Gruntilda's past before Mumbo's face transmogrified, with lots of subplot in place of actual plot, but until I either get a whole plot scripted or stop caring about my DKC works in progress, this will have to do.
I hope you all enjoy this little insight into my personal fanon: I have actually chosen to stick with the idea that Mumbo once mentored Grunty before she turned evil and cursed his face. However, for better purposes of character exploration, I have also chosen to have him mentoring all of the Winkybunion sisters. That's right, Mingy and Blobby are there, just not in this story. There is also mention of Klungo because I like to think of him as a childhood friend of Grunty's that she kinda just picked up while under Mumbo, which may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I once shipped them. This here is just a little "slice of life" oneshot revolving around Little Grunty.
This story is also roughly based on a scene from Invader Zim, an early one in "Backseat Drivers," where Gaz complains about her brother Dib to their father Professor Membrane for the heinous crime of talking. I can easily imagine Grunty having a similar relationship with Brentilda.
And in case anyone cares, at the time this story takes place, Mumbo is seventeen, Gruntilda is nine, Brentilda is eight, Mingella and Klungo are both seven, and Blobbelda is six years old. Klungo and the Winkybunions are all adorable miniature versions of their adult selves, and Mumbo really hasn't changed much physically between this and canon. Aside from, of course, his head getting turned into a skull later on. But I'll leave what his face might have originally looked like mostly up to your imagination for now. :3
Dang, this A/N is almost longer than the actual story! I'll stop talking now. Enjoy!
(P.S. Because of mad props for the Union Jack, I set Word to British English for this story. That's why "skeptical" is spelled with a "C." And you can have a My Little Pony reference for free, too.)]
"What now, Grunty? Brenty tainting potion ingredients with cleaning again? Always with cleaning..."
Mumbo stood at his makeshift stove with his back to his pint-sized apprentice, bending over an experimental magic fire and tinkering with different effects. In his time with the Winkybunion sisters, he'd learned that any time Gruntilda came to him with a complaint about her sister Brentilda (or vice-versa), it was over either some behaviour that needed punishment or some petty girl squabble. More frequently it was the latter rather than the former, but the shaman hated dealing with both cases equally and made sure to show it when they happened.
As for Gruntilda, she normally enjoyed tattling on her younger sister, but today, she couldn't even think of a good rhyme to properly express her anger.
At first Mumbo didn't react, but then he paused in his work, suddenly straightening up as if surprised.
"That all?" he finally responded, turning and setting down his tools to walk towards his little apprentice, pushing back his mask as he went. When he reached her, he turned Gruntilda around and knelt down beside her, smiling as though chagrined and placing a hand on one of her narrow shoulders before continuing.
"Grunty, some people like talk. Brenty like talk about stupid girly things. Maybe she get less stupid if Grunty listen."
Gruntilda, who hadn't reacted in the slightest to Mumbo's proximity or being made to face the opposite wall, now contorted her face into an ugly grimace and raised her clenched fists as she replied:
"Easy to say for a wise old sage,
But the sound of her voice fills me with rage!"
Mumbo gave her what was apparently supposed to be a sceptical look, but only one of his nostrils flared and his lip curled so as to almost expose his fangs, making his expression appear far more sinister than he intended.
"Mumbo know that, Grunty," he finally answered, standing up, pulling his mask back over his face, and tightening its straps, once more concealing all of his features but his ocean blue eyes. "Mumbo know that."
With that, he turned back to his work, leaving the little Winkybunion to go back to her own business. It seemed to him that if those sisters weren't so talented, there would be very little reason to teach them anything.
Gruntilda didn't move. She was too busy trying to burn holes in the wall before her with her glare. She should not have to be subjected to that kind of torture! It was borderline suicidal! Listening to her stupid sister ramble about rainbows and unicorns was definitely not the way the situation should be handled. Brentilda should be punished for wasting everyone's time, and if Mumbo wouldn't do it –
Mumbo suddenly turned his head slightly to see that Gruntilda was still there and quietly ordered, "Do it."
The little hag grumbled but went in the direction of Brentilda's room anyway. Shortly after taking Grunty and her sisters on as apprentices, Mumbo had made it very clear that his orders were to be obeyed or else, so the eldest Winkybunion didn't challenge him.
"Well, Fluttershy, Pine Grove is mostly unclaimed land! The little hollow with the lake isn't much, but there's lots of room just north of it! You could probably build an entire amusement park there! The Jinjos would love that!"
On nearing her sister's room, she was disgusted to hear her babbling on about world peace and downright disappointed to see that Brentilda's victims were only stuffed animals. Nonetheless, Gruntilda went in and sat down among her sister's lifeless subjects. Brentilda stopped and looked shocked for a few seconds, but soon regained her composure and continued.
"Well, uh… anyway, the Jinjos would have free reign over Pine Grove then, which leaves plenty of area next to Spiral Mountain for the expansion of Glitter Gulch Mine and allows Old King Coal and Chuffy to expand on the railroad tracks! Now, I'm thinking I wouldn't change anything about Mumbo's village or Mayahem Temple, since Mumbo probably wouldn't like that."
It took all of Gruntilda's willpower to not snort at this. No, Mumbo wouldn't like that. He wouldn't like any of that, really. If there was one thing he and the eldest Winkybunion could agree on, it was the fact that world peace was a myth.
"But if we really work, we could set up a train station in Jolly Roger's Lagoon!" Brentilda went on. "And on the other side of the island, we could give the Minjos some of the Wasteland, but I'm thinking they might do better in the Quagmire. But we should probably set up a safe haven for them, since they have a lot of enemies aside from the Jinjos, that's why I'm thinking the Quagmire; Terry and his wife probably wouldn't want the Minjos on their land. Wow, there really isn't anywhere safe for those poor Minjos, or if we make one, we might have to leave the Jinjos out in the cold, I don't really want to skimp on either of them. Oh well, we'll get back to the Jinjo-Minjo Cold War later; right now, I think I want to go over reservations for the shaman community. Now, the main problem here is that I think that that Humba girl actually lives near Pine Grove, but I don't want to make her move or inconvenience her by moving the Hall, unless the Hall gets moved closer to Pine Grove, then –"
She broke off when Gruntilda let out a particularly nasty snarl. Without another word, Grunty then got up and started walking away, but stopped short of the door. She then turned to snatch a teddy bear – with horribly singed fur, much of its stuffing spilling out, and both of its eyes missing – that she recognised as hers from the pile and marched out, clutching her bear to her chest. No way was she going to continue sitting through that garbage. No matter what Mumbo said, there was just no curing Brenty of her naïveté. She had far better things to do with her time, so she figured she might as well find where she last ditched Klungo and get him to help her put the little fairy princess in her place.
"Mess with me they should not dare!" she voiced aloud, mostly to herself.
"Let's set them right, Ronnie the Bear!"
For all of this trash she had to deal with, that boneheaded medicine man had better deliver.
[A/N: I realised that Mumbo's comment about cleaning could be very unfortunately misinterpreted. The problem wasn't the cleaning, just Brenty's cleaning supplies contaminating the magical ability of Mumbo's stuff that was the problem.
And anyone who gets the reference with Ronnie the Bear is officially awesome. Leave a review, please!