I do not own anything JK Rowling has already laid claim to. *sighs* I do own the real life memories of this story, however.
This story was the winner of the September Oktoberfest Challenge at The Maple BookShelf.
I had spent the last six weeks of my life touring Europe and the U.K., a lifelong dream of my husband and mine. We had met while we were both in the military, stationed in Germany. Our honeymoon consisted of driving from Wiesbaden, Germany to England, all the way to the top of Scotland and back down. We dreamt that we would visit our old stomping grounds 'someday'. Sadly, someday became realized only after the death of my husband, and I used this trip as a means of healing.
I decided to finish up my tour in Müchen at the famous Oktoberfest. I entered the big Löwenbräu tent and settled at a table midway toward the bandstand. A busty server in her traditional dirndl made her way over to me and took my order; a delicious wheat beer, rindswurst in curry sauce and fries. With a smile, she went to get my order, and I relaxed and enjoyed the band.
From the corner of my eye, I spotted a tall man with longish dark hair enter the tent. In his arms, he held a small boy, probably about four, who was the spitting image of him. At his side, was a curly haired, pregnant woman who was obviously his wife. They chatted amiably, looking around at the tables, pointing and discussing where to sit. Most of the tables were occupied with rowdy young adults or groups of older men well on their way to oblivion. My own table was empty save me. With a nod in my direction, the tall man took his wife by the elbow and made their way over.
"Guten Tag," he said, with a distinctly British accent. "Dürfen wir hier sitzen mit Ihnen?"
"Ja. Ich Spreche Englisch."
The woman smiled and spoke, "Oh, good. Our German is rusty. Thank you."
I watched the woman as she busied herself settling her son. Her eyes sparkled at him as she reached into a rucksack to pull out a book, a stuffed animal, and a lidded cup. I heard her speak to her husband, "Love, when the server comes, will you get Solomon a drink? Perhaps we should order some food before it gets busier as well." The dark haired man shook his head in agreement and looked around for a server.
"I placed an order several minutes ago; it should be here soon, so you'll not have long to wait," I told the man.
"Thank you, madam."
I smiled at the couple, and then returned to my observation of the fest goers and the band. A group of clog dancers had taken the stage and were performing intricate dance movements to a traditional folk song. The chatter of the little boy caught my ear, and I turned covertly to observe the family.
The little boy was adorable. He had long dark hair much like his father. He and his father were similarly dressed in a black shirt and trousers. His skin was pale and I noticed, as he played with his stuffed animal, he had long fingers. He chattered to his mother in that lovely sing-song voice that little boys have. I was momentarily taken back to my when own son, now a grown man working and living on his own, gabbled away in that little boy voice.
The server bustled up with my food on a tray, and placed the meal in front of me. I quickly paid my bill, and then she turned to the man and asked if he wanted anything. In passable German, which made me very jealous, he ordered food and drink for himself, his wife and child.
The boy turned to his mother and asked, "Did Da order me a drink? I'm firsty."
"Yes Sol, he did. And he ordered you some chips as well."
"I love chips!" His face brightened with a smile.
His parents laughed at him, his father remarking, "I would not be surprised if you turn into a chip you've eaten so many over the past week."
"Oh, love. It's our holiday," his wife gently scolded. "You're supposed to eat all sorts of rotten things on holiday." The little boy accidentally bumped into his mother's belly. "Sol, be careful, you don't want to poke the baby."
I watched with delight as the little boy turned to his mother and patted her belly saying, "Sorry, baby."
The boy turned back to his animal for a moment and then laid it aside to pick up the book his mother had laid on the table. He slid off the bench and crawled under the table to turn up on his father's side. Pressing the book into the man's stomach, he demanded in his little voice that his father read to him.
"Solomon," his mother admonished, "that's not how you ask."
With wide eyes, he looked chastised and turned back to his father, "Da, please read the story?"
The man leaned down and pressed a kiss to the boy's inky hair. "Yes, Solomon, I will read to you." He opened the book and his deep baritone began the tale of The Little Prince.
I couldn't help but feel that the man reminded me of someone I knew. In my life in the military and my career in the medical field, I must have met hundreds of people. The woman seemed familiar as well. Bushy hair, slight overbite…the man had lank greasy hair and a nose that would have made Jimmy Durante proud. He was handsome in a Col. Brandon/Hans Gruber kind of way. I had to laugh when I thought that the couple reminded me of characters in a book about magic I had once read.
The couple's meal arrived and they began to eat. The woman cut Solomon's meal into manageable pieces before starting on her own. The man took his son onto his lap, as he couldn't quite reach the table otherwise. They were quietly conversing when I heard the man speak firmly that no, he was not going to do something. As I finished up my last few fries, I pretended to be deep within my book, but I was actually watching the little family.
"Hermione, I am not dressing up in lederhosen."
"But Severus, Solomon was thrilled when they picked us to be in the children's parade."
At last, I knew their names! Where had I heard them before?
"No; not for the parade, not for pictures, not even for you!"
"Severus…" the woman gently pleaded.
"No, Hermione. I will not be displayed wearing next to nothing."
I heard an audible snort from the young woman. "Lederhosen aren't next to nothing. Look at the men on the stage, their wearing lederhosen. Look at the men around you."
"Hermione, the men on the stage are in costume. The men in the tent are drunken idiots who only wear them once a year. I will not wear them. And are those braces they are wearing?"
"Love, look, they are green."
"Yes, but not Slytherin green!"
"Shhh, Severus, your voice is getting loud." The woman looked in my direction, and I although I kept my eyes firmly glued to my book, I couldn't help but smile. Where had I heard that term before? "Look I am going to wear one of the dirndl outfits."
"Well, that's different," he sniffed. "I think you'd look rather fetching in one."
"Yes, with my breasts out for the world to see and my big belly on display." She rubbed her hand over her protruding abdomen.
"Your belly is beautiful, love and your breasts…"
The woman slapped at her husband's arm. "Stop, you're making my blush."
I thought about when my husband and I were young and newly married. He too, seemed to have an inordinate fondness for my breasts. He says it was because he was breastfed, but in later years, he told me it was simply because he didn't have them.
I watched as the boy, Solomon, crawled up to his father's lap and put his wonderfully chubby little arms around his father's neck. "I say again, Hermione, I am not dressing up in lederhosen. Not for the parade, not for pictures, not even for you."
"Please Daddy, please? I want to be in the parade." Solomon peppered his father's face with sloppy kisses and then put his little hands on either side of his face and looked directly into his father's dark eyes. "Please Da?"
I watched the man look at his child as though he could hardly believe that this little boy, so certain he was safely protected from anything bad in the world if only he was in his father's arms, was his. "Well...maybe for you." He kissed the little boy and hugged him close. Over the boy's shoulder, he told his smiling wife, "You have to say please, though." He gave her a devilish wink.
I closed my book and wished the little family a good day, and made my way out of the tent. I wandered through the displays of crafts and stopped at several bandstands to enjoy the music and dancers. After two hours, a loudspeaker announced that the children's parade would begin in five minutes along the west side of the grounds. Thinking about the family I had seen, I made my way over find a place to watch.
The parade was colorful, and the small children bobbed and weaved as they walked with their families along the route. Candy was thrown from the crowd, and the children scrambled to get the sweets. I took many pictures, but my favorite of all was the one with a tall man looking simply ridiculous with his knobby knees on display below a too short pair of lederhosen. Beside him was his blushing curly haired wife, her large pregnant belly on display with her breasts bubbling from the top. Between them, holding onto their hands, their little boy skipped along, smiling widely.
I hoped that they would always have a 'someday' together.
A/N: Yes, I really did meet my husband in Germany, where we married and then drove to England and Scotland on our honeymoon. My husband is still alive, is still as dreamy as when I first met him, and it is still our dream to travel to Europe again. We have been to Oktoberfest and to the Löwenbräu tent…got the pics to prove it! My favorite thing to eat from a Schnell Imbiss was the rinds currywurst. I've no idea if there's a children parade, but I had to do something to get Severus into lederhosen (I could think of plenty of ways to get him out of them, wink wink!)