[Continued from Chapter 2, our ongoing campfire story, from the Biffster. Let's watch!@]
HARRY POTTER AND THE HAUNTED MONKEY BARN
The silence of the screams began to spread like a puddle of blood. It was not just the absence of noise, but a kind of silence that had a presence all its own, the spectral opposite of a thunderbolt. It went right through intolerable, painful noise and out the other end. And, it was beginning to encroach on their little huddle under the invisibility cloak, making even their own clenched squeals and whispers fade into an aural abyss, sucking at their very breath.
Hermione managed, “You know, just because we’re invisible doesn’t mean we’re not here.” The light was becoming unbearable even with their backs turned toward it.
Ron instinctively bolted for the exit, throwing off the cloak. He got only three steps toward the door and tripped. A spectacular explosion tossed him against the desiccated walls of the barn, with a noise like the projectile flatulence of a thousand trolls. And a very sick hippo. He had stepped on a duck. The light shrunk into a point inside Pansy’s forehead, faded, and a look of serene relief came to her face. Then she exploded, showering the room with bits of Pansy cloak, Pansy blood, and Pansy ass. The trap door thudded shut as if pulled from below.
A normal sort of quiet returned to the room while the junior wizards crept out from beneath the cloak. It had shielded them from most of the mess, leaving them shaken but unhurt. The duck, Professor McGonagall, and Pansy were gone. Harry ran his hands through his hair repeatedly, trying to sort out the events. “What was that?” he asked.
“Oh, that’s helpful,” said Hermione. “Why don’t we all just sit around and ask each other?” Her bitterness was just beginning to swell at the realization that she wouldn’t get to wreak revenge on Pansy for all the sour looks, sly jabs, and (she hated to admit) the bigger rack that Pansy flaunted. She began stomping around, overturning rubble, recklessly looking for clues. Harry joined the search, keeping a watchful eye on the trap door.
“I think the duck was trying to work a spell, and Ron interrupted its concentration,” Harry guessed.
Malfoy snorted, began stammering, and quickly recovered his powers of self-righteous sputtering. “You’ve managed to do it again, you raggedy no-good half-wizards! Now we’re stuck here in a haunted barn with no professors and something deadly…”
“And you’ve wet yourself,” Neville interrupted. Dean burst out laughing, while Neville sheepishly shrugged and said, “Well, it’s true. And it smells like the time you shat yourself back in grade school.” Draco shook with rage, balled up his fists, and stormed past his tormentors. He flung open the nearest door and half jumped, half fell a few feet to soft, lumpy ground. Harry and Hermione leaned out the door to see Malfoy buried up to his armpits in grey, greasy mud. Their laugh was quickly stifled by the scene beyond.
It wasn’t quite outdoors, but it was too vast to be a proper room. The place was lit from everywhere, like the inside of a cloud on a sunny day, and just as bleak. Massive shapes moved in the hazy distance. As Harry took a step backward, pulling Hermione with him, an enormous hairy foot came slamming from above, driving Draco Malfoy into the next world with a soggy crunch. Hermione leaned out to see the whole of the beast, discovering that the foot belonged to a giant spotted monkey. It looked down at her with a smile she couldn’t define as either menacing or kind. She turned to the others and said, “I’m going to ride it.” With that, she scrambled up on its neck, kicked her heels, and it lumbered off into the mist with her hanging on tightly.
Her manic screams faded, and the room was mostly still again. Just then Harry noticed something amiss. Where was Ron?
Join us tomorrow for Chapter 4!