I Can’t Take Him Anywhere!
‘I swear, Minerva, I can’t take him anywhere!’ Hermione Granger was beside herself as she paced back and forth in front of the Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. ‘No matter where I take him, he always ends up embarrassing me.’ The witch huffed and slumped into a seat next to the headmistress’s desk.
‘What’s he done this time?’ Minerva questioned.
‘We went shopping the other day, things we needed for ourselves and for the house. We went to Diagon Alley, and in both Madam Malkin’s and Gladrags, he disillusioned himself and hid amongst the robes. As other customers would look at the selections, he would cry out in a falsetto voice, “PICK ME! PICK ME!”’
Hermione rolled her eyes as she watched the older woman stifle a giggle.
‘As if that wasn’t enough,’ Hermione continued, ‘we went to the Tesco near my parents’ home. He went on a terror in there. First, as we were shopping, he grabbed packages of condoms and dropped the Johnnies into the trolleys of other shoppers. Then he grabbed a tin of tomato juice and disappeared. To find him, I had to follow a trail of juice that wove a path to the isle containing feminine products where he was darting off humming a tune that sounded suspiciously like the theme for the Muggle telly show, “Mission Impossible”.’
At this, Minerva gave up attempting to hold back and let out a laugh that the former Head Girl had never heard from her professor before. The portraits lining the wall also gave up pretending to ignore the conversation and chuckled at the young woman’s situation.
‘Oh, sure, laugh it up!’ Hermione glared at the current and former heads of the school. ‘But none of you are set to marry in three weeks the man who set all the alarm clocks in Harrods’s to go off in five minute intervals and took a sign reading “Caution – Wet Floor” from a recently mopped area and moved it onto a very dry carpet or walked into a fitting room and yelled, as loud as he could, “There’s no toilet paper in here! Where’s the bloody toilet paper?”’
‘He didn’t!’ Minerva exclaimed. ‘I never thought he, of all people, would do something like that!’
‘Why do you think I’m here? Neither did I! This behaviour is just so sudden and unexpected and so unlike him. What am I supposed to do? I want my fiancé back, not this stranger inhabiting his body at the moment,’ she cried.
‘Have you tried talking to him about it?’
Hermione let out an exasperated sigh. ‘Of course, several times. I even specifically asked him not to embarrass me whilst running our errands.’
‘And . . . ?’ Minerva asked expectantly.
‘We had a very pleasant shopping experience,’ Hermione started. ‘Until an announcement came over the intercom and he curled up on the floor like a baby, held his head, and cried, “NO! NO! It's those voices again!" and when a store manager came over to us to ask if we needed help, he bellowed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"’
Minerva looked weary as the younger witch told her about the excursion, but seemed relieved at hearing the last part. ‘Well, at least that last part sounds a bit more like him.’
Hermione continued to pace the office, occasionally picking up the odd knick knack before placing it back down. Some were Dumbledore’s old silver instruments whilst others definitely McGonagall’s touch. She did her best not to look at the still sniggering portraits for fear she would throw something at them.
‘We went to Harrod’s, again, to set up registry for our Muggle relatives,’ Hermione continued. ‘This time he embarrassed me twice before we were asked to leave the store. First, and this went mostly unnoticed except by those near us, he stopped and looked up into a security camera, stuck his pinky finger into his hooked nose, picked out a bogie, and then ate the bloody thing!”
Hermione was forced to stop at Minerva’s giggles.
‘Oh, my. I don’t believe he’s done that since he was a second year. Horace and I worked terribly long to get him to break that horrendous habit.’
‘Well, thankfully, he only seems to do it in public and when faced with Muggle security cameras,’ Hermione responded irritably. ‘But that isn’t why we were asked to leave the store. While we were roaming the store, he stopped a young clerk and in an official sounding voice told her, “Code Three in Hardware,” and then watched as she panicked and ran off trying to figure out what to do. And then, when he got bored looking at China, Crystal, and Silver patterns, he wandered away. When I found him, he was being escorted out by store security, and I was given a bill for 150 pounds for a tent, calor stove and a chair. Evidently he set up camp and conjured some sausages to cook on the stove and was telling fellow shoppers to pull up a chair and cook their own meat.’
She had run out of breath during the last story and collapsed in an armchair in front of Minerva’s desk. She looked out the window to see a rather large owl flying straight for the Headmistress’s office. It landed on a perch outside the window and waited for entrance. Minerva waved her wand, and the window opened; the owl swooped in dropped, a red envelope into Hermione’s lap and took off out the window.
Both Hermione and Minerva stared at the foreboding red letter. Tremulously Hermione opened it.
THE MERCHANTS OF DIAGON ALLEY DEMAND THAT YOU CONTROL YOU FIANCE, SEVERUS SNAPE, AND HONOUR REQUESTS THAT HE NOT BE PERMITTED IN OUR SHOPS UNATTENEDED. THE HAVOCK THAT HE HAS WREAKED AS OF LATE DISRUPTS THE PLEASURABLE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS.
IN ADDITION TO THE PREVIOUS INCIDENTS THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF, HE COMMITTED THE FOLLOWING OFFENSES IN SEVERAL SHOPS:
HE SPELLED SMALL CALDRONS ONTO HIS BOSOM AS HE WAS SHOPPING IF AND WHEN ASKED, STATED HE WAS SEEING IF HE COULD PULL OFF MADONNA’S LOOK – WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO OR WHAT THIS MADONNA IS!
AFTER REMOVING THE CALDRONS FROM HIS PERSON, FOR WHICH BY THE WAY HE HAS BEEN CHARGED, HE LOOKED AT SEVERAL FINE KNIVES AND KEPT ASKING FOR CALMING DRAUGHTS, EUPHORIA ELIXERS, INVIGORATION DRAUGHTS, OR PHIALS OF THE DRAUGHT OF PEACE. NEEDLESS TO SAY THE POOR SHOPKEEPERS WERE QUITE CONCERNED.
IT IS OUR FEELING THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE HIM EXAMINED BY A QUALIFIED HEALER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
DIAGON ALLEY MERCHANT’ ASSOCIATION
The women looked on in horror as the Howler screamed out its message and then reduced itself to ashes.
‘Goodness, he rarely did anything of the sort while he was a student and definitely not as a teacher,’ Minerva stated in shock. ‘Do you think it was a mistake to let him work for himself?’
‘They’re right, Minerva. I need to do something,’ the younger witch cried. ‘I just want to get back the grumpy, sarcastic git that I fell in love with!’ She paused for a moment. ‘You don’t happen to have any teaching positions available, do you?’
Write a short story focusing on the progress of any kind of crisis--personal or otherwise--using any narrative point of view.