Well, maybe not a drabble a day, but I’m going to aim for 20 drabbles over the course of the month.
Each week, I’m going to choose a particular Harry Potter character and focus the drabbles on that character. I think it should be an interesting exercise, and I hope that it will keep me writing.
This week’s character is Remus Lupin. I’ll be doing a handful of drabbles with Remus between the first of May and the seventh. When I have a bunch, I’ll post them together on the archives. In the meantime, I’ll be posting them singly here.
Drabbles are one-hundred word mini-stories. Sometimes people use the word “drabble” to describe any kind of very short story, but technically, it should be exactly one-hundred words, not including the title. There are also double-drabbles of two-hundred words, triple-drabbles of three-hundred, etc. I’m not going to hold myself to one-hundred words, but the word count of each little story must be a multiple of one hundred, and I am limiting myself to a maximum of five hundred words. If I can’t keep it to five hundred, I’ll put it aside to develop into a longer one-shot. But rather than meticulously hand-count each word and determine whether hyphenated words count as one or two words, for the sake of simplicity, I will just use WordPerfect’s word count.
Here is the first in the series of drabbles. This one is a double-drabble.
“Of the Family Canidae”
Remus sat back against the shed’s rough wood, the ground hard beneath him, the misting drizzle dampening his hair.
Unlike a certain Slytherin, he never cried. But he felt like crying now, his gut tangled, his throat constricted. Two weeks in Care of Magical Creatures, already he knew he’d Troll out.
Remus sighed. “Yes, Professor Kettleburn?”
“You’re still out here? Class ended three hours ago.”
Remus shrugged. Kettleburn creaked down beside him.
“We’re getting a new creature next week.”
“Probably’ll die or run away from me, just like the others.”
“Oh, don’t take that to heart! Besides, the Flobberworm wasn’t dead. It just excreted flobber-stink to make you think it was. It woke a couple hours ago. And Professor Slughorn was quite happy to receive a dozen Billywig stings last week. As for the Bowtruckle on Monday, they always run for it.”
“Besides, next week we’ll be watching a litter of Crup puppies with their dam.”
“She’ll probably warn me off.”
“Not at all. Crups are discerning creatures of the family Canidae. They’re certain to like you.”
“Come, Lupin! Dinner now; next week, Cruppies.”
“Okay, Professor.” Crups might be okay. They were family, after all.
“Troll out” LOL!
Poor, sweet Remus. You can see glimpses of the kind teacher he’ll become in the interaction between him and Kettleburn.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Oh I hadn’t thought of the problems Remus would have faced with other animals. Way to make me start thinking … lol
Animals sensing his hidden werewolf were definitely spooked! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
I never thought of it, but these lessons must indeed have been quite different for Remus than for the other students. Rather painful and hopeless for him, I think.
Kettleburn reacted very encouraging, which should have offered Remus a bit of solace.
This little, usually overlooked, aspect makes this drabble very interesting, no matter how short. 🙂
Thank you! I thought he might have some other problems in school besides the obvious monthly trip to the Shrieking Shack. I see Kettleburn giving Remus a lot of help and encouragement, and that being more at ease with the creatures would help him with the problem. 🙂
Thanks very much!
(True) drabbles are a great exercise indeed! The counting, though, is also a problem. We had this cool little online tool in German (which didn’t count English correctly, though), but it has vanished together with the German drabble site it belonged to. I’ve lately joined the LJ comm tolkien_weekly (though I lag awfully behind), and there they go for each writer’s own word processing software in doing the counting. I decided to stick to that from now on, too; hand-counting is really a pain in the a*. 😉
This drabble is very sweet. Poor Remus, creature contact certainly must have been a challenge for him. How good to see that this Professor is so understanding and helpful. Lovely last line, too.
Yes, the counting can be a pain! And then just when you think you’ve finished, and you have exactly 100 words, you see something you want to change, and then the word count changes, and you have to tweak and polish a bit more. They’re great exercise.
I’m glad you enjoyed the first of these drabbles, and the last line.
There will be another set of five drabbles starting (I hope!) today, posted later tonight or tomorrow.
Drabbling used to be a very good exercise to be more concise for me at first, sine I also usually try to stick to single drabbles. When I started to translate my 100 drabble challenge with Minerva McGonagall, I was unable to do more than translate them, and simply went for the translation no matter the word count. But recently I found I’m able to manage the exact word count even with getting the drabbles beta’ed, which makes me quite proud – I think it’s not the easiest thing to do in your second language!
I can’t imagine drabbling in another language! That is an achievement!