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Concussed Adventures of Holly Golightly
o ye of little faith
G, gen, humour. Remus is having a worse day than usual.
There had never been a Charms lesson quite like this one. Not
with the winged monkeys and scary, scary moving orange things and, Merlin on a
flying motorbike, the muskets. There had been no need for muskets. There would
never be a need for muskets. Remus would die happy if he never saw a musket
his life. Peter’s had already exploded in his hand.
“Moony!” James yelled, swinging past. “Get out of the way!” His ability on a broomstick seemed to extend to large flying red things; whatever-it-was was made of plastic and levitating several feet above the ground, and Remus braced himself for impact.
They collided with a sickening crunch. Remus was thrown on the floor and stayed there. He could hear James panicking and yelling for help, but Remus didn’t move. The floor was quiet and pleasantly cool. He liked the floor. It was nice. Maybe he should spend more time on the floor. Maybe he should forget Lily or Sirius or whoever and engage in a passionate love affair with the floor.
Or maybe he was concussed.
“Remus!” The professor knelt down beside him, but being Flitwick, didn’t have to kneel very far. “My dear boy, are you all right?”
“I’m fine,” Remus tried to say, but it came out as “wstfgl” and he wondered what atrocities he must have committed in a previous life, to deserve being hit by James Potter and a miniature X-wing fighter. Run with scissors, maybe, or taken lollipops from babies or maybe he’d been the sort of boy who pulled the wings off flies...
“Oh, god,” James groaned, breaking into Remus’s increasingly erratic train of thought. “Remus, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to crash into you.”
“I should hope not,” said Flitwick, standing up. “Someone send for Madam Pomfrey.”
Remus opened his eyes. “I’m okay, really.”
This time it came out as real words, and the looks of extreme worry on both faces cleared a little. “Are you sure?” asked Flitwick doubtfully, standing back to dodge a winged monkey. “Perhaps you ought to go down to the hospital wing.”
“Really.” Remus sat up and willed the world to stop revolving round his head. “I’m fine. Really.”
Flitwick still didn’t seem convinced, but a scuttling orange chose that moment to jump over his feet, distracting him sufficiently for James to lead Remus gingerly across the room. Sirius greeted them enthusiastically. “Prongs! Moony... hey, what happened to you?”
“James,” Remus muttered. “James, flying. Me. Standing there. Crash. Bang. Wallop.”
“Ah,” said Sirius gravely. “Glad to see you’re still alive.”
“And to take your mind off it” – Sirius rummaged around behind him, then produced something with a flourish – “look at this!”
James squinted. “A frying pan?”
“A frying pan, he says. A frying pan. Not just a frying pan. Perish the thought.” Sirius wielded the pan by its handle, then hit something that was scuttling along the floor. Something vaguely rodent-shaped.
“Oh god,” said James, at the same time Remus thought it. “Sirius, was that... was that... what the hell have you done?”
“Done?” repeated Sirius aggrievedly. “I haven’t done anything. Look.”
He removed the pan. The mouse – and it was a mouse, thankfully – immediately sprang back into shape. One second it resembled a pancake, the next a surprised looking small mammal that scurried off towards the wall as soon as it could move.
“Tom and Jerry,” said Sirius proudly, and paused as he caught sight of the expressions on his friends’ faces. “Oh, for crying out loud. You thought I’d squished Wormtail?”
Remus could only nod. The world had begun spinning again.
“He’s gone down to the hospital wing!” Sirius went on, aggravated. “One of those gun-things exploded in his hand! As if I’d do that. Honestly, ye of little faith.”
Remus raised his head and said, “It wasn’t a gun.”
“The thing Peter had. It was a musket.”
Sirius glared at him. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a...”
“Don’t.” Remus lifted a weary hand. “Please. I don’t think I can take it.” He paused as yet another winged monkey flitted between them. James gave chase, but didn’t catch it; it flew off towards the ceiling, chittering wildly.
“Can’t take it,” Remus repeated.
“Live a little, Moony,” Sirius suggested. “I think it’s fun.”
“Oh, yes, marvellous fun.” Remus was tired, quite possibly concussed, and he’d just lifted his hands and seen the words “LOVE” and “HATE” on each set of knuckles. Sarcasm seemed on the agenda. “Get Flitwick into Muggle films, best fun ever. That’s why we’ve got flying monkeys, and small men in bright colours looking for a yellow brick road, and stuff that explodes, and James gets to fly mini-spaceships at my head, and those little orange things I don’t know what the hell they are...”
Sirius picked one of them up. It was small, covered with orange fluff, with mechanical plastic feet to walk on and key to wind it up. “A clockwork orange?” he guessed.
“...and did I mention the stuff that explodes and that’s a chariot.” Remus broke off to take a deep breath, then looked again at where James was gazing in awe at a large wheeled contraption. “That’s a sodding chariot.”
“Wow!” Sirius was no longer listening. “Can I have a go? Hey, Prongs!”
Remus took a deep breath to steady himself. Slowly, inexorably, he drew on all the power in his body, all the magic he could feel in the room, every last scrap of strength he could find within himself, and channelled it into two words.
And then he went back to the middle of the room and embraced the floor. He loved the floor. He hoped it loved him back, because unrequited love was just so messy, he mused as Sirius picked him up, muttering dark threats about lost chariot-races and soon-to-be-mincemeat werewolves, he’d seen Breakfast At Tiffany’s enough times to know that and then everything went black.
James looked on as Remus drifted into concussed unconsciousness. “No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition,” he said serenely, and you couldn’t add anything to that.
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