A late holiday story for 2011. A story of great heroism, chivalry and true love... well, it aspires to be. More of a comedic farce, really. H/Hr. I am not particularly kind to Ginny here, but I try...
Damsel: A Holiday Tale
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
A/N: Something in the vein of Meta for the holidays. 'Kind of a late Christmas gift, I suppose.
Bold indicate narration.
Come... pull up a chair while I spin a tale of a great heroism, chivalry and true love.
Who am I, you ask? Why, I'm the narrator.
Despite my resemblance to a certain author who shall not be named, I'm just as my description describes. I'm the silent, ever-present narrator of events.
How can I be silent if I'm the narrator?
Well, I suppose that's somewhat of a misnomer. I'm silent much of the time, but I do have to provide exposition of some events.
No, despite what it says at the beginning of the story, though I look like him, I'm not supposed to BE him. No, I don't know when Good News will be updated. I also don't know when Tears of Red and Gold will be updated either.
On with the story.
Many years ago, in a far off land lived a wondrously intelligent young lady with frizzy brown hair.
This young lady was very beautiful despite her frizzy hair and she spent her time reading and trying to better the lot of underprivileged, down trodden creatures.
"I'm talking to you."
Why we are concerned about this young lady is because she is a prisoner. Yes, her evil parents--
"MY PARENTS ARE NOT EVIL!"
Ahem As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted. Her evil STEP-parents were frightened by her great wisdom and know-it-all attitude, so they imprisoned her in a tall tower.
"That doesn't make any sense. Logistically, child services would find out. At the very least, it would be incredibly impractical due to the large volume of books I can read in one sitting. Not to mention the inanity of adopting a child only to lock her up"
As this story takes place during medieval times and as such, no organizations such as child services had been invented yet, and due to the great wealth of the her step-parents, she had extremely large quantities of books available to her. Also, the daughter had one other skill. She was able to cause certain things to levitate. That's how she got her books to and from her tower. Umm... as for the whole locking her up thing... I'll address that later.
"Now that just makes no sense whatsoever. If I can levitate cart loads of books, then why can't I free myself?"
All right, that's it! I've had it just about up to here with you pointing out my plot holes. I'm a Harmony author, and this is my story. You're Hermione, so of course you're my female lead. This is supposed to be a damsel in distress story so of course you need to be rescued. Hence why you're wearing that pretty little pink dress.
"Well, if you had just put a little more thought into your story, perhaps I could be the one rescuing the male lead. Did you ever consider that? And that's another thing. You know I'm a brunette. Brown hair plus my complexion added to a pink dress clashes something awful."
I just saw Disney's Tangled for the first time, all right. I don't see a problem with asmart, vivacious, attractive woman acting as a damsel from time to time. Imean, Harry saved you from a troll once. And as for the dress, well, pink looked fine on Emma Watson in the fourth film.
"Flattery will only go so far. In any case, I'm only even considering going along with this because it would be Harry saving me, right? Right. I don't think I could stand it if someone else saw me in this embarrassing dress. While Emma Watson is a positively wonderful actress, her hair doesn't come close to being anywhere nearly as unmanageable as my actual hair. Her skin is fairer than mine and that's why I wore blue to the ball in the books."
I've already said this is a Harmony story. Who else could I possibly get to rescue you? No wait, don't answer that! Moving on, if you don't like pink, then what color dress would you like? It's a fairly minor detail, so I don't think it would hurt if I changed that.
Hermione tapped her chin thoughtfully for a moment. "Hmm... let's try an emerald green. I've always liked that color."
The narrator rolled his eyes for a moment. Gee, I wonder why?
"Hush you. Despite what Mrs. Weasley wrote in her fantasy collection, we both know I was the one to kill Bellatrix."
Ahem Young lady Hermione, who often wore a brilliant emerald green dress, is not just any young lady-
"Of course not. This is so degrading."
No, Hermione was actually the daughter of the local baron, but that is a secret known only to her evil step-parents who have been holding her as a hostage for yearly ransom from her real parents.
"Some secret, you just told everyone."
You know, this would be a lot easier if you wouldn't talk to me so much.
"Well, how else am I supposed to know what's going on in this half-baked story. You didn't have the script done in time for a rehearsal."
Groans Ginny didn't seem to mind my short notes about her role as your hand maiden and neither did Ron in his role as Harry's squire. Hell, even Harry didn't seem to mind and that's after I told him he'll have a painful death and resurrection scene during your rescue."
"Ginny's here? I haven't seen her since I've been on set."
She's your handmaiden. You just ring the bell pull or call for her.
"And this is why Ihate being in stories where the author-excuse me-narrator doesn't have his act together. We're how many pages in and I'm only now finding out that I have ahandmaiden. Wait... rewind back a tick. Did you say that Harry has to die rescuing me?"
I might have said something to that effect. Why?
Hermione glanced back up the page and read the narration again. "There it is in black and white. You said, 'painful death and resurrection'. I absolutely refuse to watch Harry die again. No, just... NO."
Whaddaya mean, no?
"No, as in capital N period O period. N.O. no. I've gone through this once in canon and thousands upon thousands of time in fanfiction. This is a Christmas-esque story right?"
Well, yes. Christmas has passed but it's still the holiday season.
"All right then. Iquit. I had a chance to play a pirate queen before this part came up, and even though I wasn't too keen on being a stereotypical damsel in distress I thought it might be a nice change of pace." She walked to her dresser, pulled out some clothes and then moved behind a partition to change. Minutes later she stepped out into view in tall black boots, brown breeches and what looked like a linen shirt. A saber was hanging at her hip. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got apart opposite Cho Chang as a pirate queen."
You're ruining everything, you know that?
This is aHarmony story. How can I have a Harmony story without Hermione? Better yet, what am I going to tell Harry when he makes his appearance and you're not here?"
Hermione didn't look worried. She was trying to adjust her tricorn and to see if it looked better with or without the eyepatch. "Honestly, I doubt that will be aproblem." Waving her wand and incanting alohamora the door sprang open and she turned to leave.
Wait just aminute! I realize I have no way to stop you from walking out on this story, but why are you taking your dress with you?
"Because I look hot in it. Why else would I want it?"
smack You hear that? That was the sound of my hand hitting my head. Okay, fine. Leave. Just don't expect me to go easy on you in the next chapter of Balancing Debts.
Hermione stopped, turned her head and smirked at the narrator. "I thought you said you weren't that author?"
Just go already. I've got to find someone to fill the part of the female lead.
Hermione winked saucily and sauntered out the open door dress in hand.
Okay... ummm... well...
"Yoo hoo! Down here in the scullery."
What is it Ginny? I've just lost my female lead and Harry will probably cut off my head when he finds out he's gone through a painful death and resurrection for someone who isn't Hermione.
Ginny raised an eyebrow. "Well, I'm just a lowly handmaiden, but might I suggest you get one of the other ladies in Harry Potter's life to fill in? He's saved some other girls aside from Hermione you know." She puffed out her rather un-impressive chest.
True. I suppose I could ask Gabrielle, but Fleur keeps interfering whenever I bring up the possibility of her younger sister in one of my ahem narrations.
"There's still at least one more girl that fits the bill." Ginny batted her eyes.
There is? Who?I can't think of anyone else.
Sorry. Drawing a blank.
"If I said Slytherin's basilisk, does that ring any bells?"
Ginny's face now seemed to resemble a cherry tomato in color. "ME! You twit!"
You!? The female lead?
"Yes, me. Why not?
Nothing! No reason. Umm... well, I'm fresh out of any other ideas. Head up to the tower to get changed and I'll start from the beginning.
"YES!" She dropped her bowl of peeled potatoes and dashed up the stairs. "I've always wanted to try that emerald green dress of hers, but now it's mine!"
smack This will not end well...
Many years ago, in a far off land lived a young lady of average intelligence with mousy brown hair.
This young lady was very average looking and despite her hair appearing brown at first glance, she continually maintained that there was a reddish tinge to it that was much more prominent when she was younger. Anyway, she spent her time dreaming. She tended to dream of two things in particular: playing Quidditch and being rescued from her tower.
"I do other things aside from that!"
Oh yeah? Name one thing.
I thought so.
"Shut up! I'll think of something. Just continue with the narration."
Anyway, why we are concerned about this young lady is because she is a prisoner. Yes, her evil parents...
ahem I said her EVIL parents.
"Why are you cuing me?"
Well, Hermione took offense when I called her parents evil, I just assumed...
"Yeah, well, I'm not Hermione. I don't care one way or the other if you call my parents evil. They're rich and keep me in Quidditch Magazines."
Right. As I was saying, her evil parents were frightened by her short temper and bullish attitude, so they imprisoned her in a tall tower...
Ginny sat there in a robe with a needle and thread speedily sewing away.
"What is it now?Can't you see I'm busy trying to let out the waist on this pink dress? And after that, I have to see if I can take in the chest. It's much too loose for Harry to see me in it."
So, too much room in the front and not enough in the back?
"What of it?"
Scratches head Nothing. I was just wondering if you were going to complain about my storytelling like the previous lead.
"No no. If I had to put up with me then I'd probably lock me in a tower too. Just keep on narrating while I finish with this dress. I've got to be presentable first, then I'll start looking for that dress I've had my eye on."
And several things happened that led our Hero to the tower where Ginny had been imprisoned for so long. In a terrifying dual with a stone ifrit, he found himself overcome with its petrifying venom. Eyes clouded with pain, he stumbled first into the scullery and landed face first in a pile of freshly peeled potatoes. There our hero painfully finished his transformation into a prone statue.
But this is not the end of the story. Thankfully not because if it were, then people would probably pelt me with rotten potatoes.
Luck was with our intrepid hero and as it turned out, mashed potatoes are the only known counter agent to stone ifrit venom. As the starchy paste started to seep into his rocky skin, his flesh began to soften and turn the pale pink of a human.
Minutes ticked by and eventually the painful transformation into unliving stone reversed itself and he was once again alive and breathing.
His confidence bolstered by this fortuitous happenstance, he brandished his magic sword and shield and rushed up the stairs - only to slip on some potato peels.
After picking himself up again, he rushed up the stairs, carefully avoiding the fallen potato peels upon the stairs until he found himself at the locked door to the top of the tower.
Try as he might, he could not budge the door. Stymied, he sat down to think. Seconds, then minutes, and finally hours passed before a whisper came from the other side of the locked door.
"Psst... try looking under the door mat."
Elated at the sudden flash of inspiration that came no doubt straight from heaven, and not from a frustrated female lead, he checked beneath the door mat and found agleaming silver key. Key in hand, he tried the door again, but it still would not open.
Again, a voice came whispered through the door. "You have to unlock the door with the key."
Heeding the words, the hero opened the door swiftly and beheld a woman knocked arse over tit in front of him.
"Ginny!?" asked the startled Hero
"Harr-wait- you're not Harry! This isn't Harry! Narrator!"
What? I thought you weren't going to complain about plot holes.
"This isn't just aplot hole, buddy. This is a screw-up of monumental magnitude. I took on this role because Harry was supposed to be the male lead. Why is my idiot brother coming to my rescue?"
Oh, that. Well, you see that's somewhat of a funny story.
"Well then, laughing boy, make with the hah hah."
I don't know how, but as soon as Hermione left the tower, Harry quit as well.
"Why would he quit? He doesn't quit. He's a hero. He's supposed to be MY Hero."
Yeah, well all he said was that he had a date with the sea.
"That's not fair."
Yeah, but in retrospect not unexpected. This is supposed to be a Harmony story. Without Hermione I suppose I should have anticipated Harry leaving as well.
"Well bully for you. What am I supposed to do now?"
"What do you mean? You've been rescued. The story's done."
Ginny had a sour look on her face. "Shows what you know. I had to sign a contract to take up this role after Hermione left. The contract states that I have to follow the story to completion."
"So... Happily ever after implies marriage and children. I didn't mind when I thought the Hero was Harry, but now it's my brother.... I hate my life."
sucks in breath Ooh. Yeah, sorry.
"Yeah, you and me both. Well, I'm a pro. Let's get this over with."
The Hero took the damsel into his arms and they lived happily ever after with a dozen children all of nearly average intelligence.
"Oh COME ON!That's not fair!"
And that's all there is to the story.
The dread Captain Potter surveyed his captive with a gleam in his eye. He'd captured many a wench before, but this was the first time he'd had the opportunity to capture afellow pirate captain - and a comely one at that.
Out of respect for his worthy adversary, he had allowed her to skip the whole clad in irons routine as they both agreed she could escape easily and likely would as soon as his back was turned.
In deference to this particular accommodation, she offered to share his meals as a sort of dinner companion while she was his captive. Although to do it properly, she said she needed the right sort of clothing to fit the part. Harry quickly offered her the use of his own cabin to change for dinner.
Waiting patiently, he considered how odd it was that she had a change of clothes with her, but he hadn't seen the harm of allowing her to change into what she referred to as her damsel dress.
He couldn't believe how fetching she looked in the emerald green dress. Gazing at her he could only barely restrain himself from tossing her on his bed and ravishing her right then and there. Curious that he'd never had such a peculiar reaction to any other wench he'd captured.
Offering his arm, they moved to partake of their supper.
Hermione leaned over to whisper to him, her soft lips gently brushing his ear a driving his blood pressure up. "If you think this dress looks good on me now, wait until after dinner. It will look even better on your floor."
Oh yes, the dread Captain Potter much, much preferred this to a painful death and resurrection.
And so did Hermione.