Happy Hogwarts Halloween
HAPPY HOGWARTS HALLOWEEN!
Yep, they started in September, this is the end of October. We’re skipping over the whole fight thing. Suffice it to say, they cleaned up!
Oh, and Bush’s troops actually did something useful, and helped. Shocker, huh?
Galen idly hummed a tune under his breath. “Hmm hmm hm, hmm hmmmm hmm.”
“Nightmare Before Christmas?” Pugsley asked. It was their favorite movie.
“Fits the holiday,” Galen replied.
“Yeah,” Pugsley grunted from around a mouthful of pumpkin pie.
They were sitting at the Slytherin Table in the Great Hall, enjoying the Halloween feast. Now, when the Family celebrated Halloween, they were really celebrating their own form of the ancient pagan (Celtic, to be precise) holy day of Samhain. While they didn’t follow the old gods, the Family was fond of such celebrations. On Samhain, they would extinguish whatever fires happened to be burning, light a grand bonfire, and march up to it in hooded robes and frightening masks. The masks were truly scary. Once, they had frightened a poltergeist to… well, not to death, but certainly a lot.
Anyway, tossing trick-or-treaters onto the fire was fun.
Thus, they had never been exposed to the modern version of Halloween, with the pumpkins and the bats and all the flash. It was quite enjoyable.
The skeletons that sang Rhythm and Blues were particularly enjoyable.
“I got the blues,” the lead singer of the Bones Brothers sang mournfully. “I got ‘em down to my shoes!”
“Not that he has them,” Wednesday muttered.
“I had ‘em since I got the neeewwwsss,” he continued.
“That you were dead?” Pugsley wondered. “But why would I that give you the blues?”
“The news, it gave me the blues.”
“You said that already,” Galen drawled.
“The blues, I got the Halloween blues!”
“Didn’t mention Halloween before this,” Pugsley said. “What’s the blues got to do with Halloween?”
“My nerves are shakin’. My knees are quakin’!”
“Enough of this,” Wednesday said to the others. “Let’s go scare some Huffelpuffs. No, better yet, let’s play Wake the Dead!”
“Don’t think the teachers would like that,” Pugsley pointed out sensibly.
“No,” Galen agreed, “but I doubt they’d complain about a séance.”
The gleam in Wednesday’s eyes was positively unholy.
“Welcome, Death,” Wednesday intoned, looking down at the crystal globe that they had liberated from the Divination classroom.
They had drawn a double circle in chalk on the floor of the empty class room, and written the runes along the outside. The complicated sigil in the middle had been done by Wednesday, who was better at that sort of thing. Skulls with candles set in holes drilled in the brainpans were set outside the circle, one at each point of the giant pentagram that comprised the main body of the sigil. A small fire was burning in a brazier in the center of the symbol; Wednesday poured a small bottle of mouse blood in, after tossing in three small pieces of wood.
“Tonight, on All Hallows Eve, we summon the power of the grave into the World of the Living. Grace us with your presence, o Death, and let your dark wings enfold us.” Wednesday chanted the ancient words, making mystic passes with both her wand and a silver dagger.
She cast a glance at Pugsley, who responded with a blank look. Galen elbowed him in the stomach. “Your turn, lunk,” he hissed.
“Oh. Um, grant us your dark power, o Death, and breach the veil between… uh, worlds, and let us speak with those who have passed beyond.”
Galen picked up the chant. “Here us, o Death, Master of the Grave! We conjure thee from the dark abyss, we summon thee from thy shadowed hall, we bid thee appear. Appare!”
“Appare!” Pugsley shouted.
“Appare!” Wednesday hissed.
Wednesday grew so angry, Galen was afraid she was going to kill someone. Just a little, as this was a school, but kill them none the less.
“Where’re the ghosts?” Pugsley asked, disappointed.
I HONESTLY COULDN’T SAY, a sepulchral voice informed them from somewhere in the vicinity of the door.
“So,” Galen said awkwardly, cradling the warm mug of tea in his hands. “You’re Death.”
INDEED, the Grim Reaper agreed, sipping his own tea. I SAY, THIS RATHER TASTES OF CHAMOMILE! I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT IT WAS USED IN SOAP.
“And tea,” Galen replied.
CLEAN INSIDE AND OUT. HOW CUNNING.
“Um,” Galen agreed. “If I might enquire, how did we manage to conjure you up? I was rather under the impression that séances called up the dead, not Death.”
AH, WELL, YOU HAVE ME THERE, Death murmured, taking another sip of tea. I SUSPECT YOU ACCIDENTLY PERFORMED THE RITE OF ASHKE-ENTE.
“Yes,” Wednesday muttered, “that would make sense. But you should have materialized in the circle, not out of it.”
I HAVE A WAY OF APPEARING WHERE I’M LEAST EXPECTED… Death replied dryly.
“Well,” Pugsley said, “I guess it’s one of the happy accidents Galen’s art teacher talked about. Howsabout we take Mr. Death for a tour?” His words were innocent; his eyes, less so.
The doors of the Great Hall opened with a loud clang, and the Terrifying Trio and Death himself walked (er, strode) in. As the bluegrass song inexplicably failed to say*, the teachers screamed, the students ran, Death got hisself three new fans!
WELL, Death muttered to the Trio, I LIKE THAT. RUNNING LIKE I’M-
“A skeleton at the feast?” Wednesday suggested.
“Well,” Pugsley reasoned, “they’re probably worried you’ve come for them, and not for the pudding.”
Sure enough, Professor McGonagall had her wand pointed at Death’s skull. “Might I enquire,” she asked frostily, “just what it is you think you were doing, bringing the Grim Reaper to the Halloween party?”
The Trio exchanged looks.
I WANTED SOME CHOCOLATE GATEAU, Death explained patiently. A DESIRE WHICH I HARDLY THINK THREATENING.
In the background, Sybil Trelawney screamed, “Death walks the earth! Death walks the earth! We are doomed! Death walks the earth!”
“Thank you, Sybil,” McGonagall said tartly. “I do believe I noticed.”
SO THIS IS CHOCOLATE GATEAU , Death said around a mouthful of cake. IF ONLY MY DAUGHTER WERE HERE TO SAMPLE IT. SHE WAS VERY FOND OF CHOCOLATE, YOU KNOW. HER FAVORITE DESSERT WAS GENOCIDE BY CHOCOLATE.
“Yum,” Galen- the chocolate addict of the bunch- sighed. “You said ‘was,’ sir. Is she-“
DEAD? YES. IT’S SOMETHING MY JOB TENDS TO PREPARE YOU FOR. I VISIT HER OFTEN, THOUGH. NO POINT IN BEING GLOOMY, REALLY. JUST ENJOY THE CHOCOLATE. IT IS RATHER SPLENDID, ISN’T IT?
The Trio had to agreed, although they would take the sight of Sybil Trelawney falling into a dead (pardon the pun) faint at the sight of Death looking at her speculatively over chocolate any day.
*The exact lyrics of Oh, Death run something like, “The children prayed, the preacher preached, time and mercy are out of your reach.” I like my version better.