Author Notes: Hello, everyone! Thanks to an idea from my daughter, here is a retelling of the well known folktale recorded by the Brothers Grimm, The Musicians of Bremen. It is set in the Harry Potter universe so please read with a big pinch of salt and enjoy if you can :)
Summary: Four unwanted animals decide to seek greener pastures by becoming world famous musicians.
Rating: 'T' (although K would still be fine)
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the brainchild of JK Rowlings.
- Story Start -
Once upon a time, there was a herd of unicorns living deep in the Forbidden Forest.
Within that herd were two male foals. Dudleycorn ate three times the amount of what Harrycorn ate, but for some reason, that seemed to endear the plump straw coloured foal to the other unicorns while poor Harrycorn was often left to fend for himself.
One afternoon, Harrycorn decided that he had had enough. Tossing his wild black mane, he stamped his front hooves on the ground, green eyes flashing angrily.
"Fine!" he whinnied. "I shall go forth into the world and become a world famous musician! I have a fine voice if I do say so myself."
He left the herd and trotted along the forest path towards his new life. After about an hour, he heard a mournful howling and soon came across a ginger crup lying by a tree.
"Hello, Mister Crup! Why are you howling fit to raise the dead?" Harrycorn asked.
The red furred crup looked up at him with sad blue eyes.
"You would howl too if your parents kicked out just because you are a male in a group of six brothers."
"Oh," Harrycorn said. "Are you the eldest?"
"No, Bill is, but mother says he's very clever."
"Are you the second then?"
"No, that's Charlie, but mother says he's very strong."
"No, that's Percy. He's also very clever."
"So you must be the youngest then?"
"No, that's Ginny, but mother would never throw out her only daughter."
"You have two more brothers?" asked Harrycorn who could count very well indeed, thank you.
"Yeah, but Fred and George are twins! No one would toss them out."
"Well, why don't you join me then? I'm going to become a musician. I have a fine voice!"
"So have I!" said the red furred crup, standing up and wagging his two tails in excitement.
"What's your name? I'm Harrycorn."
"Well, let's go, Roncrup."
And so, the two animals went on their way together.
After a few minutes, they heard a sorrowful mewling and soon came across a bushy brown kneazle sitting on a low tree branch.
"Hello there, Mistress Kneazle! Why are you mewling as if there is no tomorrow?" Harrycorn asked.
The kneazle looked down at him with sad brown eyes.
"You would mewl too if you woke up one day to find that your parents don't know who you are and want to migrate to some place called Australia."
"Oh," Roncrup said.
"Well, why don't you join us?" Harrycorn offered. "I'm Harrycorn and this is Roncrup. We're going to become musicians! I have a fine voice -"
"And so have I!" piped up Roncrup.
The kneazle stretched her back and hopped down from the branch.
"I'm Hermiokneazle and I would love to join you two! As you have heard, I have a fine voice too."
"Well, let's go, Hermiokneazle."
The three animals went on their way together.
At the very edge of the Forbidden Forest, they heard a sad hooting and soon came across a silver feathered owl perched on a tree branch.
"Hello there, Mister Owl! Why are you hooting as if this is your last day on earth? Harrycorn asked.
The owl looked down at him with mournful grey eyes.
"You would hoot too if your parents wanted you to serve the Dark Horned Owl."
"Oh," Hermiokneazle said.
"Well, why don't you join us?" Harrycorn offered. "I'm Harrycorn, this is Roncrup and that is Hermiokneazle. We're all going to Hogsmeade to become musicians, and we all have fine voices!"
The owl spread its wings and looked down at them.
"I'm Dracowl and I will join you three. I dare say I have the finest voice amongst you all."
"Well, let's go, Dracowl."
The four animals then continued along a winding path.
By the time they reached the outskirts of a nearby village, dusk had fallen and the four animals were hungry and tired. Dracowl who had flown on ahead, came back to report that there was a shelter not far off.
Cutting across a a couple of fields, they soon came to a ramshackle building with all its windows boarded up except for one. Without a word, they moved silently to the window and peeped inside. There was a cheerful fire crackling in the fireplace and a group of wizards sitting around a table, talking and laughing and enjoying a wondrous feast!
Harrycorn's mouth watered at the sight of a plate piled high with golden ears of corn and a bowl of shiny green apples.
Roncrup started drooling at a large platter of meaty ribs, dripping with rich brown gravy.
Hermiokneazle's nose and whiskers twitched madly at a large tray of kippers.
Dracowl stared longingly at the glasses of red wine.
Swallowing their saliva, they backed away from the window and huddled together, Dracowl perched on Hermiokneazle's head.
"I would stomp on someone for food," Harrycorn declared.
"I would bite someone for food," Roncrup added.
"I would scratch someone for food," Hermiokneazle countered.
"I would roll over for something to drink," Dracowl sighed. "What?" he added when the other three looked at him.
"Let's think of something," Harrycorn suggested.
The four of them put their heads together and soon came up with a plan. They moved back to the window where Harrycorn stood up on his hind legs and rested his front hooves on the windowsill. Roncrup climbed onto his back, Hermiokneazle climbed onto his back and Dracowl... well, he hadn't moved from his earlier spot atop Hermiokneazle's head.
At a prearranged signal, they started shouting at the tops of their voices.
"Neeee-ii-ghhh!" Harrycorn neighed.
"Rowr-rowrrrr!" Roncrup barked.
"Meeeeoo-wwrr!" Hermiokneazle meowed.
"Whoo-hoo-hoo!" Dracowl hooted.
Oh, what a to do there was!
The group of wizards jumped up from the table, dropping their food and knocking over their wine. They bumped into each other, cursing and shouting and then getting stuck at the doorway when they all tried to escape at the same time.
The four animals continued their respective neighing, barking, meowing and hooting until the very last wizard had run off, gibbering in fright. Then they waited for a minute before going inside where they helped themselves to the rest of the feast.
Oh, how good everything tasted! The corn was juicy and sweet, the apples crunchy and tart, the ribs meaty and satisfying, the kippers salty and sharp, and the wine was a very good -hic- vintage indeed.
Once they had all eaten and drunk their fill, Harrycorn smacked his lips and looked at his newfound friends.
"Well, now that we are all fed and watered, let's rest here for the night. I don't think those wizards will come back anytime soon," he said.
"Nope, we scared them off, all right," Roncrup said and gave a huge yawn.
"Yes, I think so too," Hermiokneazle agreed and started washing herself.
Dracowl tilted his head to one side and frowned at them, looking slightly cross eyed.
"Are you sure they won't return? Look, they even left their -hic- things here," he said, pointing a wing at two large sacks in a corner of the room.
But the other three animals just shook their heads and went around the place, each choosing their favourite spot to spend the night. With a sigh and a shake of his head, Dracowl did the same.
- o -
An hour after midnight, the door of the shack opened and a short, plump wizard stole inside, wand in hand. He looked around the room in the very dim light of the glowing coals in the fireplace, but no one seemed to be around.
Quietly, he made his way to the corner where the sacks lay and raised his wand. Before he could utter 'Lumos', two glowing embers suddenly appeared in front of him and something slashed lightning quick at his face. With a cry of pain, he stumbled backwards and felt something sharp stab his leg. Howling in additional pain, he staggered for the open door and was kicked right through it, landing face first on the ground. He spat out a mouthful of sand and tried to struggle to his feet, but something flapped in his face and and screeched loud enough to deafen him.
Stunned, bewildered and in dreadful pain, Wormtail pushed himself up, grabbed his wand and fled the place as fast as he could. He rushed back to the other wizards and told them the terrible tale of a witch with burning eyes who had scratched his face with long fingernails, an evil wizard who had stabbed him in the leg with a knife, a troll who had knocked him out the door with his club, and a banshee who had screamed loud enough to deafen him.
The band of wizards, cowards all of them, decided to forgo their loot and go far, far away from Hogsmeade. Dracowl who had followed Wormtail earlier, flew back and conveyed the good news to Harrycorn, Roncrup and Hermiokneazle.
This meant that the place was now theirs!
So every night, the four friends practiced their singing, thereby ensuring that the Shrieking Shack continued to live up to its name. They always congratulated each other on their very fine voices and Dracowl would always insist that he had the finest voice of them all.
And there they lived very happily for the rest of their lives.
- Story End -
A/N: Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed it, please review :)