Archive | June, 2009

RonCast

roncast

The Harry Potter fandom has a variety of wonderful in depth podcasts which delve deep into the books, the characters and the events that surround them. While we love and appreciate the entire story of Harry Potter, let’s face it we all have our preferences. There always seemed to be very little Ron Weasley showcased in the Harry Potter podcast discussions, and that is a shame because he is the most relatable, the most loyal, the most humorous, the most likely to wear his heart on his sleeve and not sugar coat things when something needs to be said. And that isn’t even the half of it!

Also many perceptions about Ron are incredibly silly to the point that you wonder where people get these ideas. Did they read another book? Or maybe perhaps people really just don’t understand him. Well we plan to change those misinterpretations……. and for the Ron lovers this one goes out to you.

Your Hosts….

Sam will be your host and each show we will feature guests from the fandom to join in. This segment she is joined by the lovely Sabine and Dove who came into this thing in full Hermione mode, meaning they know the books well and plan to pick Ron apart from beginning to end.

A different song every week that will intro and wind between segments. This song will be discussed toward the end. It’ll be Ron or plot related in some way.

This Segment.


  • Intro Song: Be Somebody
  • ICM News
  • The Ron Quote of the month
  • Spoiler Zone
  • Bonnie, Tom and Twins in Paris
  • Ron through the Pages
  • The Bromantics
  • Ron Onscreen
  • Ron and Friends
  • HeRo Chat
  • Sidekick
  • Ron Vs. The Fandom
  • Fanfiction Corner

Download Roncast and ICM Staff Podcast from the blue Podcast box in the top right corner, and ENJOY! (NOTE: the links will take you to separate SendSpace pages, where you’ll find download links.)

If you guys haven’t already noticed, the song in the background is Be Somebody by Kings of Leon. Every podcast, we’ll pick a different song based on your suggestions. If you’ve got a song that you think fits Ron Weasley perfectly, just get a hold of us at grintasticonline@googlemail.com.

We would love to have you on show. Email us grintasticonline@googlemail.com to land a guest spot, or if you have any comments or suggestions please send them over. We would love to hear them and want to make this as enjoyable as possible for you.


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On Fanzines, Ice Cream And Whatnot

Hello fellow Rupert Grint fans, and welcome to the first edition of Grintastic!

The idea for an interactive, online “fanzine” was born about this time last year. While Ice Cream Man focuses on the talents of our favorite actor, Rupert Grint, Grintastic was created to focus on the many talents of his dedicated fanbase. Since the forums are booming with lots of love for your fellow fans and an innate desire to share your various forms of artwork with one another, creating Grintastic was an obvious choice.

A Short History of “Fanzines”

The term “fanzine” was first used back in October of 1940, by the science fiction community. Fans of sci-fi movies and literature needed a place to share similar interests and talents. And so, the “fanzine” was born. Not long after, everyone else followed suit. Horror movie buffs, comic book creaters/readers, sports fanatics, rock and roll lovers, and punkers were soon making their own variations of the publication. Remember Blag magazine? Of course you do! When Sarah and Sally Edwards first came up with the idea, Blag started out as a fanzine, too.

punkzines

When the fanzines first kicked off, all someone needed to make such a publication was a great idea, a typewriter, and a copier. Often made in small numbers, they were frequently hard to come by. In addition, they were also either sold at an extremely cheap price, or even given away for free.

Fanzines have come quite a long way since 1940. These publications can still be found being passed out in front of clubs, and even appear on the internet. These are known as ezines; or prozines, which are made by business people looking to expand their network of customers.

The Grintastic Fanzine

Grintastic is a bi-montly “publication” with lots of stuff to do, all aimed at you, the fan! You can guarantee that we’ll always have something new and fun for you, with things like contests, quizzes, fanfics, fanart and comics. We’ll also be sure to include essays, opinions, and editorials for you to read; plus, exclusive treats that you’ll only find on Grintastic to adorn your frequent online haunts! And last, but certainly not least, our Rupert-centric podcasts.

When we say that ICM is “by the fans, for the fans”, that’s no joke. If it were not for any of you rabid Rupert fans, ICM wouldn’t be where it is now. So, this is for all of you. We love you guys! Enjoy!

NOTE TO FUTURE CONTRIBUTORS:

If you have anything that you’d like to see featured in one of the future issues of Grintastic — for example your essays/fanfics/fanart/poetry/stories/reviews or any other creative undertaking, just send us your material to grintasticonline@googlemail.com and we’ll be happy to review it and, hopefully, include it in the next issue! Simple as that! (We can’t pay you lol, but we promise to make you famous — at least in the Rupert fandom!)

Also, feel free to comment on the articles in the first issue. If you want to send us a more elaborate feedback, or recommend someone else’s work, again, email us to the address above: we welcome all comments and criticism, good or bad. Tell us what you would love to read about, help us improve our content, help us make Grintastic the funkiest fanzine ever — Rupert surely deserves that!

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The Trio And Me

Alysha’s Life Story

My life has never been easy. In fact, the very thought of easiness is still a mystery to me. I’m an orphan. I don’t know my parents, where they are, what they look like, or if they are even alive. I have no close or distant relatives that I know about either. According to the hospital I was found in, all I had on me was a tag with my first and last name on it and my birthday. All I know about my past is that I’m from New Zealand.

When I was five I got shipped off to England where I would spend the next 13 years of my life. I was in and out of foster care and orphanages.  It was hard. I was lonely. I didn’t have friends or anyone to talk to. I tried to cope with keeping quiet and keeping my head down. However, with nothing really to do or anyone to talk to I mostly stayed in my bed and thought about random things.

It was 1997. I was eleven and at a home when my entire life changed. One day a delivery van came with a large order of books. All the kids got to pick out one book out of this huge box. There were loads of different types like puzzle books, art, coloring, animals, everything. Well, this one caught my eye:

pottercvrFor some reason the image just struck me. I went to my bed and started reading. And I fell in love immediately. I was eleven. I was all by myself trying to survive. The teachers and staff always wanted to gloss over our situation and stayed optimistic. But in Harry Potter J.K. Rowling told it like it was.

I was engrossed in the book. I didn’t bother to go outside anymore. At night I’d stay up in the bathroom and read. It was amazing.

I instantly bonded with Harry Potter. His parents were killed when he just a baby. He had to stay with his terrible relatives. He was treated like dirt. No one had any stories to tell him about his parents or other family members. All he knew was that he had a scar on his forehead due to the car crash which had destroyed his family. He stayed in a cupboard under the stairs and spent most of his time lying there thinking about nothing and everything.

I understood perfectly. I knew exactly what Harry was going through and for the first time in all my life I felt connected to someone else. It helped that he was described as having dark hair, being small and scrawny and underfeed. That basically fit me as well, lol.

I related to him so deeply and as I read I could easily put myself in his place. What Harry saw I could see so clearly and what he felt burned in my heart.

Ron Weasley easily became my sunshine. He had me laughing from the very beginning. I loved how brave and honest and kind he was. I never had a friend like that. As I would read I pictured his freckly face smiling at me and reassuring that things would be okay. It helped me a lot. I also loved how he was from such a big, vibrant, and loving family. Family is something I never knew and still don’t fully understand. I don’t know if I have any brothers or sisters and he was with six. It was gnarly. I fantasized about my parents being like Molly and Arthur. I couldn’t imagine how lucky all the Weasley kids must have felt.

Hermione Granger was the girl I inspired to be like. I never considered myself very smart or bold like her, but she made me want to be a stronger and more determined girl. I considered myself tough but not strong. I loved the girl power and how she kept up and surpassed the boys without a hint of superiority.

The Trio became my family. They were fierce friends and loved each other. Ron and Harry’s friendship moved me from the day one. They instantly connected like they were just meant to be friends. It made me think that everything happened for a reason and maybe my situation would better me somehow.

I thought about this as related to Harry: if Harry’s parents didn’t die, they would have seen him off at the train station and probably would have gotten him there early. They would have found him a comfortable seat with other kids possibly.

If this would have happened, he probably never would have run into Ron. Harry wouldn’t have been famous so there would have been no reason for anyone to point him out. This made me feel better for Harry. All these terrible things happened to him so he could find his friends and moreover, Ronald Bilius Weasley, a person who would quickly become Harry’s light source and soul mate.

So, I read it in a few days. Then I read it again and again and again. When I was taken into foster care awhile later, I took the book with me. It was the only possession I had. I wasn’t supposed to take the book, but I didn’t care. I was twelve at the time. The family I was staying with had children and they actually had books one and two. I was in heaven. I snuck into the boy’s room and read Chamber of Secrets. It was incredible. I loved how the story developed and how The Trio was a unit and even more how Ron and Harry were so funny and close in it.

I didn’t stay at the foster home long. I got shipped back to the home. I cried. I wanted the book. One of the heads at the home noticed how much I loved HP. She promised to get me the books and no matter where I was shipped off to, she’d send me the next one. I had to work for them though. I had to clean, cook, cut grass, and all the things Harry had to do at home.

So, by the time the first movie was in production you could say I was the hardest of hardcore fan. I’m not kidding when I say Harry Potter saved my life. Some people have family, music, friends, art; anything that keeps them grounded and keeps them hanging on even in the darkest of moments. I had Harry Potter. Reading about his adventures and his friendship with Ron turned even my strongest frown into a smile. Harry Potter was my entire existence. I could simply escape all the horrors and pain of the life around me and follow him and his friends into Hogwarts.

alysha2Anyway, I was not excited for the movie. I know how Hollywood just LOVES to glam up books. They love to cut dialog, add things for shock value, dumb down characters so they’re relatable and my favorite, sex up things.

People all around me talked about the movie and how they wanted to see it. I didn’t. I stayed away from it. I was 15 when it premiered. I saw the trailer on TV. I was staying at a foster home at the time. While it looked appealing I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. By the time the first movie came out books 1-4 were out, and I was engrossed by Goblet of Fire. It’s my favorite book. I loved how Harry and Ron’s friendship was tested and how Harry finally had his encounter with Voldemort and his parents. I also loved how there was character death. It made it more real for me.

So, over the years, I kept seeing trailers for the movies. I saw Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson grow up. I thought Rupert just got hotter and hotter but still, I couldn’t watch the movies. Harry Potter meant the world to me and I couldn’t risk watching the movies demolish the story. It would have broken my heart.

So, by 2004 I was 18 and I had books 1-5. I was finally out of the care system and I moved back to New Zealand. I kept the old books that I earned through the years but I bought fresh ones to keep in storage. I was madly in love with the books but I still never went to see the movies, although they were everywhere! The toys, games, websites, clothes, and posters… but none of this captured me. People talked about the movies: some said how they loved them and others how highly disappointing the movies had been. I was happy that I didn’t watch them. I didn’t want any of the HP magic that I saw in my head be ruined by the images of the movies.

So, it wasn’t until 2007 and I was 21 that I saw the movies. By that time movies 1-5 were out. I was in Hertfordshire with friends and, by chance, I met Rupert and his father at a restaurant. Rupert was very lovely and kind to me. Though I hadn’t seen him act in the HP series, I had seen him in Driving Lessons and Thunderpants. I was a fan of his and had seen interviews and everything else of him. I always read good reviews of him playing Ron Weasley so that was a huge plus, and his charm, kindness, sexiness, and just overall personality drew me in. I figured if he was that incredible in person, then his portrayal of Ron had to be major.

When I got back home to New Zealand I bought all the DVDs and watched the movies in one day.

Okay, first, I’m so happy I didn’t watch as they came out. I was right. In my opinion the movies are watered down. So many lines have been moved and changed, the physical appearances of some of the characters are way off, but what gets me is that the “Magic” isn’t really there. Yes, there is actual magic but for me the big CG images and the green screen and all the animation overshadow the actual story.

Harry Potter is about a young wizard, trying to figure out who he is, where his destiny lies and how he’s supposed to be the savior of the wizarding world when he doesn’t fully understand the task. That kind of magic is lost. The spectacular has overthrown the meaning. The actual story and the raw emotions of the characters aren’t as highlighted and important as they should be. If a person who has never read the books watches the movies, I doubt he or she would have any real idea what is going on besides the obvious. So many things have been skipped around and completed taken away or added.

alysha1However, from an entertainment point of view, they movies are good. They’re funny, there are great visual effects, and the chemistry of Rupert, Dan, and Emma is marvelous.

Rupert is amazing as Ron. It doesn’t matter that he’s not as tall or skinny or freckly. He has Ron’s charm and humor and blind impulsiveness down packed. Rupert is the reason I have given the movies the time of day and he’s one of the main reasons I’ve stuck with it. Book!Ron and Movie!Ron are pretty much the same when it comes to humor and impulsiveness, but Movie!Ron doesn’t have the passionate determination and loyalty that Book!Ron has. In books, he’s more than just the bloke who has the one liners — but sometimes on screen that has been his only role. However, Movie!Ron is so much sexier than my Book!Ron is, lol.

I like Dan Radcliffe as Harry. Harry has a dry kind of emo-ness to him that I believe Dan pulls off well. Sometimes he has this look on his face that is so Book!Harry. It’s almost as if he’s under the stairs again, thinking about nothing and everything at the same time. I look like that sometimes too. However, Book!Harry has so much more humor and attitude that they don’t let Movie!Harry have. It’s sad. Harry Potter is so witty, and I wish they’d let Dan work with it more.

I don’t like Movie!Hermione that much. She’s too Hollywood. I’m sure Emma Watson does her best, but still. As a movie character Hermione is great but, in my opinion, she does not reflect Book!Hermione.

So, what did I think of the movies?

Philosopher’s Stone: It was better than I thought it would be. I loved the look of Harry. He was just how I saw him in my head. I loved how they tried to keep the movie canon. Obviously a lot of things were changed, but it wasn’t anything major. I loved the relationship between Harry and Hagrid. It was very much as it was in the book and the animosity between Ron and Hermione was great too. The scene at the end with Quirrell and Voldemort was well done: I loved how it looked and how it was filmed. Rupert lived up to his good reviews. I knew already that he was a great actor but seeing him portray Ron was a breath of fresh air. The book was magical and the movie reflected that magic. Thumbs up!

alysha5Chamber of Secrets: it was another good one. It was very true to the book and Rupert and Dan were flawless together. The animation like the Mandrakes and spiders, and all the flying car scenes were even better than how I imagined. Rupert really became Ron in this one. He was Best Mate and Big Brother and he belching slugs was superb! Five stars for this movie.

alysha4Prisoner of Azkaban: I was very disappointed. Hermione was no longer Hermione. While the look of the film was how I imagined, very dark and sort of mysterious, the storyline was butchered. There were so many things changed. Everything from the Firebolt to the quidditch matches and all the hilarious fighting over the Cat and Rat were gone. Even the big scene with Sirius and Lupin was not as emotional as it was in the book. The only thing that stood out and that I liked was when Ron was being taken by The Grim. How Rupert played that gave me chills. I also really loved Harry and his Patronus and the time turner scene was really funny. So, besides those saving graces, the movie was a huge let down.

alysha3Goblet of Fire: This is my favorite book so I was extremely nervous watching it. I loved the maze sequence and the black lake. The final battle with Harry and Voldemort was breathtaking. Dan did a great job bringing out Harry in these scenes. The Yule Ball scene was very funny and Rupert and Emma did that very well, and it helps that Rupert was extremely buff in this movie, lol. However, generally it was another let down. What I loved about the book so much was that Harry finally realized what Ron and Hermione meant to him. Harry not speaking to Ron killed him. I loved how empty he was without him. It also showed how much he relied on Hermione and how determined she was. She helped him with the summoning spells and stuck by him. None of this was seen the movie. So much friendship was cut and replaced with cheesy comedy. So, it didn’t live up the book as I hoped it would.

Order of the Phoenix: loved it!! We saw a bit of actual friendship and Trio love and the characters just seemed to grow and click. Now, there are some things I didn’t like. Harry going back in time and seeing his father was a huge let down. It was several pages long in the book and was so amazing and detailed, but in the movie reduced to 15 seconds. I didn’t like how there was no quidditch and how characters like Angelina, the twins, Ginny, Dean, and Cho were lost completely. I also didn’t like how Prefects were never talked about. I was excited to see the friction between Ron and Harry. That aside, the movie was great. Luna was perfect. The DA scenes were really neat and I loved Voldemort possessing Harry and him using Ron and Hermione to get through it with the flashback moment. I loved Harry talking to Ron and Hermione about the kiss. Rupert, Dan, and Emma never had more chemistry. I loved how for the first time I believed they were all friends. In the movies it’s so easy to get caught up in the glamour. People forget that these three teens are best friends and need each other. For the first time I saw Harry, Ron, and Hermione as friends and as somewhat regular kids. The special effects were spot on: I loved how the dementors looked and the big battle at the end with Dumbledore and Voldemort was spectacular and epic. Of course my favorite scene was when Harry had a nightmare and he shot out of bed and Ron was there watching him with this look of deep concern on his face. The Best Mates friendship was alive and well in this movie.

So overall, comparing book and movie, books win hands down. There’s the magic and story there. The movies are okay. They are not as terrible I thought, but they aren’t as great as they could be. They’re good entertainment and I really enjoy watching Rupert and Dan act together.

For someone like me who is diehard Harry Potter and has been from the beginning, the movies disappoint me when it comes to keeping canon. However they fulfilled my expectations in the sense that they were a lot better that I originally anticipated. With all the magic it’s easy to get a bit cheesy and over the top; but I think the style is very realistic, and yet enough to make you believe it’s another world. However, they let me down in the sense of the characters just being how they are on the surface. We lose the idea of the Trio being teens trying to survive and how much they all need each other. Not all the acting is spectacular but some of the younger cast members like Rupert Grint and Evanna Lynch give the movie light.

I can’t emphasise enough how happy I am that I waited and how much Rupert has impressed me. He is a main component to the movie franchise’s success, and I can’t wait to see more of him in the future.

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What Were They Thinking

Andrea’s Fashion Police

Over the years we have all come to learn that the young females in the Harry Potter films have become quite the fashionistas. Some of them have shown us very elegant outfits that had us ooohing and ahhhing at them and admiring their taste, and then there were some that brought our eyes out of our skulls and “What were they thinking?!” to our minds.

andrea1Let’s start with Emma Watson, shall we? I think that ever since Emma was a little girl she adored fashion and the cute little dresses she got to wear at the Harry Potter premieres; but as she grew older and learned the ropes when it comes to choosing the right outfits to wear, she has impressed some and failed to impress others.

The dress she wore at the Bafta Nominations Party on February 7, 2009 left me speechless. In a bad way that is. First of all, the top of her dress brings way too much attention to her shoulders and makes her look too flat-chested; and the mid-section of the dress has an odd looking belt type thing that continues to the bottom of her dress, which is not form fitting. The only good thing about that dress was the color! Emma looks great in navy/royal blue, it must be a favorite of hers, having worn many dresses that included those colors.

Andrea2A favorite dress of mine was the one that Emma wore at the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix French Premiere in July 2007.  Here Emma is flaunting a simple, yet elegant dress with little silver, gold and black jewels to bump up the extravagant factor. This dress works for her because it is very glamorous and seems to compliment her in the right places.

andrea3This next dress is one of Emma’s most recent. I can’t help but think that a young child put this together, saw Emma and begged her to wear it — and she did, just because she pitied this innocent child with good intentions, but horrible taste. I don’t even know where to start! Well, for one, it looks like it was rushly put together (which may or may not have been the designer’s intention); the dress includes too many different fabrics; and, most of all, this dress DOES NOT look like it should be worn to an elegant dinner party but to a Halloween Party where you don’t expect a compliment from the fellow party-goers.

andrea4Bonnie Wright, a.k.a. Ginny Weasley has done nothing but unimpress me when it comes to her fashion sense. This is the outfit she wore at the London Premiere of Bourne Ultimatum in August 2007.  The problem with this outfit is that it’s absolutely terrifying to look at! It looks like she randomly put this together and actually thought it looked good! I can’t help but wonder if she looked in the mirror before she left. The shirt is too casual and obviously doesn’t match her skirt and looks even worse because it’s tucked into her skirt. The skirt still leaves me speechless. All I can say is that I hope she didn’t pay a large sum of money for it and doesn’t plan on wearing it again! At least not to a huge publicized event. The shoes themselves are quite nauseating to look at: orange can be a nice color, but not for shoes!

andrea5This next outfit was worn at the 2007 First Light Film Awards. Just looking at this outfit makes me think that she really doesn’t care what she wears or doesn’t make an effort to look good. The dress itself looks like a good summer dress alone, but when she adds the terrible green sweater and the random necklace she ruins the entire outfit! And I’m not feeling the boots either.

andrea6Or, take a look at this dress she wore at the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Afterparty in London. It looks like Bonnie is wearing one large curtain! This is the most unflattering type of dress I have seen her wear yet. As one sees, the dress gets wider and wider as it goes down her body, causing the unflattering part to come in. If she wore a fancy belt around it, it may not have looked that bad, but still I see this dress as a major fashion faux pas. The fact that she’s wearing those awful orange heels again is doing nothing to help her pull off this look.

andrea7Like Emma Watson, Katie Leung a.k.a. Cho Chang has worn some beautiful pieces and some that made us want to look away. This is the dress she wore at the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Premiere and Afterparty in London. I kind of have mixed-feelings about it. As a dress itself I think it’s great, but the leopard design IS NOT! It makes the dress look too busy. Just staring at it gives me a headache! If it was plain and didn’t have any wacky designs on it than I’m pretty sure that she would win me over with it. If she could loose the little colar/tie thing around her neck that would be great too!

andrea8.jpgThis is the dress she wore at the Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire World Premiere and Afterparty. I love the simplicity of the dress and that it shows that she’s got a tiny waist herself. I think it’s a great color and the bottom of the dress flows nicely. The top of her dress has little gold designs on it which compliment the light blue-ish color of the entire outfit. I really admire how this dress is not showing too much or too little. This was a great choice on Katie’s part.

andrea9I’m also having mixed feelings about this dress that she wore at the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire New York Premiere and Afterparty. I’m totally loving the black, a color that looks great on her, but the dress itself? Well, to make a long story short, I like the dress more than I hate it. I like that a person can see that the dress has just a little bit of sparkle on it, but doesn’t overdo it. The bottom of the dress could be a bit thinner though. I think it would look great as a longer, thinner dress. However, the shoes look awful. They just look like red velvet slippers. C’mon Katie, add a little heel to this dress!

andrea10Evanna Lynch to me is very much like Bonnie Wright, choosing the wrong outfits that do everything to make a not-so-great impression. This dress she wore at the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards in 2008. Like I was with Emma’s first dress, I’m speechless. When I first saw this dress I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! The form of the dress isn’t what bothers me, it’s the pattern, I hate it! And the yellow shoes! Ick! I don’t know what made her think that those shoes would look good with that dress?!

andrea11This next dress is the one she wore at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in 2009. It looks like colors black and blue got into a fight and this was the outcome! The dress itself looks a little uneven and uncomfortable. In my opinion, this outfit does not work for her at all.

andrea12However, there is one dress of Evanna’s that is actually quite pretty. This is what she wore to the World Premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It’s elegant, classy yet simple. I love the blue which looks like a great color for her to wear and it also matches her eyes. This is the best dress I have ever seen Evanna wear.

These four young women have very different personalities and styles. Some of their styles reflect on their personality, whether it be quirky and bizarre or elegant and stylish. They are all still learning and will eventually learn what works for them and what does not. If any of them feel like following fashion trends then be my guest, but if they’re dressing a certain way for people, maybe they should think twice about it and ask themselves: “Is this what I really want to wear?”

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So Much

An excerpt from Potterwatch by EruditeWitch

Summary: A missing moment from Deathly Hallows during and after Malfoy Manor.
Lyrics by The Spill Canvas

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“No!”

The word echoed in Ron Weasley’s mind. It moved through his veins like a razorblade, cutting him with every agonizing thought. He tried to yell, to let his anguish out, but he was frozen, unable to commit to the simplest motion. The pain was exhaustive. Her pain was his, and being separated by a wall of dark rock only served to drive Ron further into a pit. He felt as though he was ceasing to exist with each of her screams.

Everything else happened in a blur. Dobby arrived, though Ron didn’t know how. The only thing going through Ron’s mind was her. The screaming had stopped, which was even more disconcerting. He had no guarantee that she was still alive, and he wanted to vomit. He told the elf where to take everyone. He hoped that somehow he could take Hermione away from this … hopefully alive and well.

Scabbers – no, Wormtail – was on his way down. The door opened, which gave him hope of seeing Hermione again, and Ron’s arms and legs burned to burst forth … to touch her … to feel that she was indeed still there, still alive, still with him in some way. He was desperate, and he would stop at nothing. When Harry suggested a fight, Ron almost leapt out of his skin in anticipation of beating any one of the f*ckers that had hurt her. In what seemed like a flash to Ron’s numbed mind, Wormtail was dying. Then he heard her scream, and nothing else mattered.

Ron moved beside Harry up the stairs. There she was. She wasn’t moving. There was chatter amongst the Death Eaters, and it was probably important, but Ron was zeroed in on her face, unmoving, and at her chest, not rising and falling in the way he had come to memorize.

“And I think,” said Bellatrix’s voice, “we can dispose of the Mudblood. Greyback, take her if you want her.”

He felt Harry’s arm reach out across his chest and it snapped him back to reality. Harry wanted him to stay back, but the next words from above caused his entire being to combust, and he couldn’t hold on, not even for Harry.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” He screamed. That feral rage … that sense of limitless desperation … was finally freeing itself from his lips in a wave of fury. He ran up the stairs, the numbness and darkness he had felt only a moment before now replaced with a sharpness and clarity that was almost unbearable.

He could feel the warmth as he left the cold and dark hallway and moved into the grandness of the great room of Malfoy Manor. He could smell the filthy reeking of a dying dog wafting off of Greyback. He could taste the salt and dried blood that flowed down his face. He could see the light reflecting off the chandelier and he moved quickly into battle. He could hear her…even in the midst of disarming his opponents. He could hear her tiny breaths, and it moved him forward.

Despite his clarity, time slowed. He saw Harry obviously bounding up the steps just behind him, but he took an agonizingly long time to arrive on the scene. He disarmed her – that offensive, sorry excuse for a woman. He took that vile wand from her and took aim at the Malfoys with Wormtail’s wand. Hermione’s still form remained on the floor, and there was murder in his heart.

The sureness and the clarity disappeared as Bellatrix took Hermione and pressed a knife to the soft skin on her throat. The blood that fell from her neck hypnotized him, and he dropped the wands robotically. He was going to die. He wanted to die. Life without her was a hell he didn’t even want to think about.

How does it feel to know you’re everything I need
The butterflies in my stomach
They could bring me to my knees
How does it feel to know you’re everything I want
I’ve got a hard time saying this
So I’ll sing it in a song

Ron prepared to die. There was no point in fighting. He was a coward, and without her, he was even less than that. The blood dripped down her shirt like macabre sand in an eternal hourglass, ticking away to their deaths. He shook as he fought his despair. He still had Harry. Harry needed him and he couldn’t leave his best mate again. As Harry’s shoulder pressed against him, Ron closed his mind to his fear and thought only of Harry’s need.

As his will strengthened, Ron saw a glimmer of hope out of the corner of his eye. Dobby was back. He came though for them in a more heroic way than the Ron of yesterday would have scarcely imagined. Then came an ominous creaking sound from above.

Bellatrix cast her prey aside as if the whole world didn’t depend on that brilliant young witch waking up. Ron wanted to run to her, but a crash snapped him from determination. The massive structure of glass and light fell from the ceiling and was covering all but Hermione’s delicate left hand. He ran to her, ignoring the shards of glass piercing his face. He dug for her, paying no attention as his fingers dripped blood on the pristine crystal.

He got to her, and his clarity returned. The pain from the glass felt good, it made him feel alive. He pulled her close to him, pressed his chest against hers and felt the faint beating of her heart. The drumming restored life to every inch of him.

“Ron, catch- and GO!”

Harry’s determined face swam in Ron’s eyes as a small wand flew through the air toward him. He looked at Harry, grateful for not giving in. Now, the world consisted only of his need to gaze into her eyes again as he apparated to Bill and Fleur’s cottage by the sea.

He landed on his feet, the spongy ground keeping his ankles from giving out from the force of his Apparition. He held her close to him and ran toward the back door of the cottage on the cliff. He pounded on the door with his foot, not wanting to let loose his grip on the broken Hermione. His brother answered the door, wand drawn. He looked horrified at the sight of them.

“What position did I play in quidditch?”

“You didn’t play. There were too many girls to snog…”

“What the hell happened?” Bill asked, moving aside to let Ron in. Fleur stood a few feet behind, a menacing look marring her beautiful features – a look that faded into worry as Ron sprinted up the stairs to lay Hermione in the room with the blue curtains. He barely even registered the presence of Luna on the settee and the sight of Dean leaning over her.

She let out a quiet groan as her laid her down on the narrow bed. She felt so small in his arms, so fragile. Hermione had never before seemed so breakable to him. Instead, she had always seemed larger than life, radiating a strength that would positively influence anyone around her. Now, she lay weak, limp, and barely breathing.

Oh I adore the way you carry yourself
With the grace of a thousand angels overhead
I love the way the galaxy starts to melt
When we become one
When we become one

“What happened, Ron?” asked Bill quietly as he walked into the room and placed a hand on his youngest brother’s shoulder.

“Harry is on his way. I think the goblin is hurt,” Ron answered, and Bill rushed out of the room. Ron sat on the end table and began to fish glass from the cuts on her face, careful not to cause her additional pain. He flinched which each sliver of glass he took from her skin, but continued.

“Ron, I need to know what ‘appened, so zat I can ‘elp,” Fleur whispered, catching him off guard.

“I can’t tell you,” he said distractedly, moving his wand over each wound carefully, still removing glass.

Fleur swooped down next to him and put a soft hand on his bleeding arm. He didn’t look up from his task.

“You can trust me. I won’t tell Beel if you don’t want me too…”

At this, Ron looked up at her. Her ice blue eyes were gazing at him with affection and understanding, the same way Hermione had always looked at him in their rare moments of levity. Ron had no choice but to trust Fleur. The world be damned, Hermione needed help.

“She may have been tortured,” Ron said, running his hands lightly along her nose, the one area of her face that had not been cut. He couldn’t keep his hands from her, for fear she might vanish, and he would find himself somehow back in that awful dungeon. Fleur’s bare feet padded delicately into the room as she re-entered, holding some bottles filled with various potions.

“Okay. First, we need to get all of zis glass out of ze way,” she lifted her wand and Ron stood in front of Hermione.

“You’ll hurt her!”

“It needs to be done…”

Ron gave up, already cringing over what it would feel like.

“Zis will hurt you too…Accio glass!”

And before he could heed her warning, the shards of the chandelier were pulled from his flesh. He watched as the blood-dotted crystal flew to the ceiling and towards Fleur’s wand. He felt burning and piercing as Fleur guided the shards of glass to a bowl she had placed on the floor next to her. As he was about to let his body take over and cry out in pain, Hermione let out a whimper. Flushed with relief at her ability to vocalize, Ron suppressed his own pain and ran to her side.

Tiny stains of blood were appearing on the sleeves of her jacket, the front of her shirt, and along her legs. He tried to comfort her as she slowly woke, tears streaming down her scratched and bloodied face.

“Ron?” she eeked out. He went to answer, but Fleur interrupted.

“First, we ‘ave to heal zees cuts. Ron, take off her jacket. I’ll get her socks and jeans,” she said, immediately pulling off her socks and unbuttoning Hermione’s jeans.

Ron turned his back and tried to focus on sitting her up carefully and sliding the jacket over her shoulders, leaving her in only a tattered sleeveless top. Her arms seemed in even worse condition than her face, for the cuts were deeper. He laid her carefully back on the pillow, but when she groaned, he clasped her hand between his, trying to comfort her as she slowly became alert. He could hear Fleur whispering spells that would mend her broken skin, but Ron was terrified at what else might be broken inside her. He thought back to Neville’s parents in the hospital and moved closer to Hermione and gently pulled her arm to his chest. She started to cry as Fleur’s wand continued to seal the small wounds on her face, leaving behind what looked like mild burns that slowly faded.

“Shhhhh, Hermione. You’re okay. You’re safe,” he whispered, smoothing her hair back so he could better see her eyes, but they were still closed. He fought back the horrific lump that was rising in his throat, and kissed her forehead.

“It hurts,” she whispered, gripping his hand. Fleur handed him a bottle of blue liquid he knew to be pain potion.

“Drink this, love, it’ll help,” he said, brining a shaking hand to her lips as he guided her to sit up with his other. Fleur quickly stacked pillows behind her to hold Hermione’s weak form upright.

She swallowed greedily, causing herself to cough. The look of pain on her face told Ron that the simple act of coughing was exceedingly difficult for her. It ripped Ron up to see the tears in her eyes, especially since he still did not know how the ordeal had affected her emotionally. He barely got a half open glimpse from her as she cringed in pain.

“Fleur! I need some skelegro!” Bill’s panicked voice came from the bottom of the stairs. She shuffled out of the room quickly and quietly.

Ron was completely at a loss. He ran his hands over her shaking back, pulling her toward him and attempting to calm and comfort her in any way he could. She just sobbed, and the sound of her choked cries tore through him once again. Sure, she was safe and he was there, but he couldn’t do anything more to help her. He closed his eyes to keep from crying himself, and silently resolved to be there when his Hermione fully returned.

“Oh ‘Mione! I’m sorry.” He whispered between her quiet gasps for breath, letting his warm hands run over the chilled skin on her arms.

“None of this is your fault. It’s unfathomable that you should apologize for what she…” Hermione spoke weakly, choking on her words. He was never so happy to hear her slightly condescending tone in all of his life. She gazed at him with pain, but also with affection and understanding.

He sat there, watching the light of a candle flicking in her glassy eyes. Then, forgetting any fear or misgiving, he moved to the bed and pulled her into his arms, resting his head in her hair and crying with her.

How does it feel when we get locked into a stare?
Please don’t come looking for me
When I get lost in the mess of your hair
How do you feel when everything you’ve known
Gets thrown aside
Never fear, my dear, ’cause we have nothing left to hide

“I thought I had lost you. I couldn’t…I can’t…” he said into her hair.

“I was scared. I wanted to die. I never wanted to get out of that alive. I didn’t intend to,” she said, her warm breath grazing his shoulder as she spoke. “The pain was too much. I didn’t want to live if it meant having to feel that.”

“Oh Hermione! No. I can’t go on with all of this without you here,” he said, his heart pounding at the thought of her giving up.

“I heard you yelling and I stayed strong. I lied, knowing you and Harry needed me to,” she said, her voice gaining some strength in the process.

“It’s the bravest thing I’ve ever heard,” he whispered, moving his hands to her face. He wasn’t shocked at his own open actions, for he simply craved feeling her and knowing she was real.

There was so much more to say. He wanted to tell her how they made it out, how Dobby saved them all in the nick of time. He wanted to show her what Harry had seen in the mirror, but as her breathing began to slow, all he wanted to do was hold onto her until for as long as he could.

“I promise, Hermione, I’ll always be there.”

“You kept that promise, Ron,” she said, pulling back and looking into his eyes. The relief at feeling her there faded, and it left him with an urge to kiss every inch of her face. Those feelings made him feel guilty for being so insensitive, so he settled for crawling into the bed next to her, laying down and letting her rest her head on his chest.

Hold on to me girl
If you feel your grip getting loose
Just know that I’m right next to you
Hold on to me girl
If you feel your grip getting loose
Just know that I won’t let you down

Approximately an hour later, Fleur came in, accompanied by Bill, and Ron couldn’t hold back the blush at them finding him like that with Hermione.

“The elf is dead. Harry doesn’t seem to be taking it well,” Bill said. Ron gasped and carefully laid Hermione’s sleeping form back on her pillow as Bill walked back out of the room. Fleur walked forward with a bundle of clothing. She set it on the nightstand and conjured a patronus.

“Ron ees ‘ere. We are safe. Molly and Geeny are at Muriel’s. I will keep in touch,” she said, sending her dove on its way.

“What was that for?” he asked, wondering which member of his family she would feel compelled to notify. Fleur looked reluctant to say, and that’s all the answer Ron needed.

“That git…” but Ron didn’t’ finish his rant as he looked out the window and saw Harry digging a hole in the yard. He looked back at Hermione and felt torn.

“I weel wake ‘er shortly. I must check for any more injuries anyway,” Fleur said gently. Ron raced down the stairs and out the door.

He found Harry digging furiously, unaware of the world around him. Dean was just watching, almost mesmerized by Harry’s pain. He saw the small bundle wrapped in Harry’s coat, its feet sticking out of the bottom. He could hear the slap of the metal shovel in the dirt. Ron tasted the salt on his lips form the sea below them.

“How’s Hermione?”

“Better,” said Ron. “Fleur’s looking after her.”

He didn’t need to ask Harry why he wasn’t just casting a spell. Harry needed to vent, needed to think, needed to grieve. Ron wouldn’t stop that, but he would help. The dirt that Harry flung out of the expanding hole smelled so visceral that Ron was compelled to go in and help him dig. Soon, Dean followed, digging out of honor and respect for the elf that got them out of that dungeon, and away from death.

The cold breeze ran across the back of his neck, and he shuddered. This brave elf had kept them all from death for one more day. He had risked his life, and because of that, Hermione was still with them. Ron looked again at his tiny bare feet as Harry wrapped him more tightly in the coat, and felt struck by the memory of Dobby receiving socks with gusto at Christmas. He took his own socks and put them on his feet as Hermione hobbled over to the makeshift funeral. He put his arm around her, pulling her close to him and away from the cold uncertainty of their tomorrow.

If I had to choose a way to die
It’d be with you
In a goosebump infested embrace
With my overanxious hands cupping your face
In a goosebump infested embrace
With my overanxious hands cupping your cherub face

Disclaimer: The characters of and situations of Harry Potter used in this story are the legal property of J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, and AOL Time Warner. We are just borrowing them. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Lazy Journalism

Dove’s Comic


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Check out Dove’s hilarious fanart in our Flickr gallery too! PG-13 only! Right sidebar, please!

Dove: Stuck In The 90s (<– now, THIS one contains NC-17 stuff; kids, stay away!)

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On Hollywood, Potato Peelers and Cherrybomb

Anyone who’s even remotely been paying attention to current events knows that the global economy is in recession. The stock market in America fell, followed shortly by all other major stock indexes in the world. Real Estate is lagging in every Western country, manufacturing is slowing down, and consumer spending is falling. We hear about it every day. And just about every other day, you can see some news organization report on how Hollywood is not recession proof any longer. The movies are losing money, and even though the percentages are minuscule in comparison to other industries, major production companies and not so major production companies are tamping down costs whenever they can.

According to Time in September of 2008, even Steven Spielberg’s production company was having trouble finding buyers and getting approved lines of credit. This was a sharp wake up call for studio that just two years before this were enjoying the biggest boon they’d ever seen. The article goes on to say that now investors in these large studio stocks are demanding more market discipline in every area of film production, from special effects to marketing. Studios used to save all the revenue from gems like Spiderman and expect investors to make up for the more lackluster performers. With the increasing fear in the safety of their investments, holders are justifiably weary.

But what does this mean for the Indie film and foreign film circuits? What does this mean for movies like… oh I don’t know… Cherrybomb? It’s not looking good at all. Investment in all overseas entertainment is down across the board, and American companies aren’t buying. Where once they would take a risk on sleeper hits like France’s The Class, now they will only make movies with guaranteed returns, since studios can trust investors to pick up the tab on underperformers anymore. This becomes most poignant when you think about one of Rupert’s most famous costars in his recent Irish project. According the BBC news on June 09, 2009, James Nesbitt is going to Hollywood to find work, since he can’t find anything baying anywhere in the U.K.

We, as Rupert Grint fans, have all felt this effect first hand. While The Little Film Company is working diligently to get Cherrybomb picked up by distributors, no one seems to want to bite on what has the makings to be a great and popular film. And after hearing all the doom and gloom of economic forecasters, no one is taking a risk on anything that isn’t a sequel, doesn’t have explosions of Michael Bay proportions, or doesn’t have teen romance with a compulsory happyend. Our ‘Little Film That Could’ may get all the critical claim under the sun, but without the critical formula that the mainstream investors seems to think necessary, it will never see the light of the international stage. Case in point, Melissa Leo was nominated for an Oscar, but did anyone actually get to see Frozen River in theaters?

And therein lies our conundrum: How do you get investors who are so afraid of losing any more money, to allow their company to distribute what is essentially a risk? It’s either change the economy or keep doing what we’re doing and trying to prove this is less of a risk than investors think through the actions of Rupert’s Army. We all as fans have to remember, that while the work we are doing is important and can make a difference, we are one splash in the large ocean of a much bigger problem. The world isn’t working against us, not necessarily anyway, and we have to keep our chins up. It’s the equivalent of a potato famine for Indie Films, and we’re deep in the heart of Northern Ireland selling potato peelers.

There is hope! This year may prove to be a lot more fruitful than 2008 was, and perhaps a few more months in good numbers may make film investors less paranoid. According to the Film Journal in February of 2009:

As of Feb. 16, year-to-date box office was 15 percent higher than last year’s, and the Presidents’ Day weekend gross was up an impressive 32% from 2008. People are flocking to nearly everything on the big screen, and with this kind of depth in the marketplace, 2009 can be a giant year.

The Little Film Company also offers up some good solutions. Where most studios are still struggling with the tight belts of the investors, TLFC has been working with non-traditional outlets to get their film distributed. They are reaching out to fansites and media outlets that haven’t before been considered. By stretching out their efforts, they are circumventing the serious problem of smaller budgets and less risky investors by proving their point without the validation of the established and powerful industry. Going right to the fans could start a serious trend in Independent Films.

In my opinion, the big wigs and wasps that run the American Film Industry have their heads up their asses, but how is that different from any other point in Hollywood history? We just have to hope that they will see the upward trend in film attendance, and start taking chances again. I’m positive that the success of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this summer is going to boost the hopes and spirit of the film industry and make investors a little more comfortable in the stability of the market overall. It may take a lot of time, and a lot of hoping, but banking on a good summer box office and excellent DVD sales, I’d say 2009 could still be the Year of the Grint.

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Behind The Scenes Of ICM or Welcome To The Madness Within

“Yeah, Rupert!!! Weeeeeee…. I’m hungry.” (AJ, slightly off-topic)

As you know, Ice Cream Man operates by the motto “For the fans, by the fans”, so we decided to give you an exclusive look “behind the scenes” of our website for this first edition of Grintastic!

All of us staffers are huge Rupert Grint fans from all over the world (in case you want to know more about us, go here) and all of us are doing this for fun.

This means we are forced to juggle working on the site with our private lives, which happen to include work/school and family, so occasionally one of us has to take a few days off because a kid is ill or because an exam is coming up.

It also means that we’re doing this not only for free, but actually have to pay for things like our host, new layouts, travels and also for some of those high-res pictures everyone enjoys most.

Being fans also means that we’re forced to switch between the fan-mode (“THUNDER THIGHS!!!”) and professional-mode (“Inquiry: Interview with Robert Sheehan”) when we are writing official emails while browsing the forums at the same time.

As all of us live in different places and time zones, we have the advantage that we can almost always have a staffer online; but it also makes things difficult when the person you desperately need to talk to is asleep.

When you’re a staffer, one of the most important things is, of course, posting news. So, whenever you’re online, you need to simultaneously
– check your emails regularly for “Submit News” emails,
– browse the forums,
– read the comments (in case someone posts news there,
– browse our partner websites, and
– google for news,
because you never know where the news might appear.

Once news come up (and it deserves a “New Post” instead of an “Update”), the panic begins (as Neglo put it once, “I was literally shaking when I typed that up!”). Sometimes, when we decide that a news piece is not too urgent, or needs checking, one staffer will prepare the draft and then someone else will take over and publish it later.

The staff exchange about 127 emails a day (!), not to mention PMs, text messages, and an occasional panicky phone call.

“Jo you made me a mod, I think. But I don’t see any of the controls or anything like that. What does the plus next to people’s names mean?” (Dove, on being a forum moderator)

Aside from that, we’re also busy reading the forum threads, posting ourselves and answering questions, PMing and giving out passwords. You all know how busy the forums are, so imagine you are almost obliged to read everything to capture news, keep track of discussion, calm people down, dismiss rumours, set things right, or try to help people find links or pictures. Sometimes you can even pick up ideas for things you might do in the future on the site (and be assured, some of things you are/have been talking about are currently in the process of coming to life).

ICM fan convention at the LA OotP premiere

ICM fan convention at the LA OotP premiere

Next are the regular updates on the site. These include: redoing the Gallery (which went slightly wonky during the Berlinale frenzy and eventually crashed a few weeks ago), updating the Rave Reviews (whenever a new review appears), updating the Media Section (and converting the files into different formats so that everyone is happy), keeping the pages on the main site up to date and making sure that the Rupert Facts now include Bill Murray as one of his favourite actors.

Our other sites also need to be up-to-date, so we regularly have to work on our three Myspaces (ICM, Cherrybomb and Wild Target), Live Journal, Facebook (shamefully neglected), and now even Twitter! And from time to time, we also post our news on Popstar (We should mention here that someone actually submitted our own Popstar post to ICM as a news tip… thanks for that!)

Then there are of course the “big events” we are working on, like the Cherrybomb screenings in Berlin, Dublin and Belfast, or the Preview of the Harry Potter Exhibition. That does not just mean booking the train/plane and getting a hotel, but also scheduling the time there, organising interviews (or filming location tours) and coming up with good questions, getting tickets and background information, having technical devices (camera, camcorder and dictaphone) at the ready, and making sure that the staff at home is up to spending the day online to post news and upload the images/videos as they come.

ICM girls in Belfast, with BLAG

ICM girls in Belfast, with BLAG

We have already started planning the Half-Blood Prince coverage, and with three events in three consecutive days, try to imagine our current dilemma of having “only” nine staffers to cover the Japan, London and New York premieres, plus having someone online 24/7. Any ideas? Help is always appreciated!

Furthermore, we are constantly working on new things. As you can see, we have now launched Grintastic, which has been in the works for exactly a year (lol, we’re slow!). Not only did we need a layout (and had long discussions about what it should look like), but we also had to decide what to include in the first issue, and finally write up the damn articles!

A number of other things are currently in the works, none of which we can talk about just yet. These are things that take time to be set up and need a lot of organisation on our part. We don’t want to rush them either, and with the “other things” going on, those new things sometimes do have to wait. Stay tuned, though, and you’ll be in for some surprises in the future.

“Karma is a b*tch.” (Ivana, re: someone-who-must-not-be-named)

To give you an impression of how we work, here are some scenarios that have happened in the past three months:

1) 6am, you have just gotten up to go to work and you go online before even taking a shower. Tired as you are, you check if any of the bands from the Cherrybomb soundtrack have replied to your emails yet, and there is indeed a message, from none other than David Holmes: “Call me tonight at 7pm Belfast time, and I’ll do your interview”. That’s less than 14 hours, and you’re gonna spend 9 of them at work. Send message to staff: “HELP! I need questions!”

2) It is 10am on a February morning, you’re in the middle of a hospital ward round with Senior and Chief Consultant. Your mobile beeps (embarrassing enough) no less than 3 times. All of them texts from Jo, who is trying to secure tickets for the Cherrybomb World Premiere:
Text No1: “Site’s down! Can’t order tickets!”
Text No2: “All sold out! Didn’t get tickets!”
Text No3: “DID YOU GET THAT!!!”

3) It is 10pm, February, and you have only slept four hours total for the past three nights because you were doing stuff for the site. Jo sends a message to all staff: “Unfortunately Rupert won’t be able to come to Dublin because he’s filming, but GUESS WHAT!!!! RUPERT JUST FINISHED A PHOTOSHOOT AND INTERVIEW!!! And we’ll get more information on that tomorrow, including a PICTURE!”
A few hours later (after almost no sleep due to excitement of the upcoming news), you’re at work. A helpful text from Jo, whom you had asked to text you about the news as soon as they come up: “THE PICTURE!!!” And this is supposed to help you spend the next five hours WITHOUT internet???

4) After a web-free weekend in April, you’re back online and read the exciting news Ivana posted: One of us has been invited to the Preview of the Harry Potter Exhibition! Michelle manages to get off from work, and see all those Harry Potter objects before anyone else. You’re tempted to jump across the Atlantic just to hug her for this amazing opportunity.
Then you read that Michelle wonders what to wear…

5) You’re at the Belfast Film Festival and have just seen Cherrybomb with the entire (well, almost) crew in the same room. In the foyer, the Cherrybomb crew is still around and you get to talk to David Holmes and Glenn Leyburn. Some minutes later, you leave the cinema about to burst with excitement, because David and Glenn have just invited you to join them at the private aftershow party. By 2am, you and the rest of ICM girls are in the middle of the Cherrybomb crew, dancing and singing: “Hello daddy, hello mum, Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-CHERRYBOMB!!!”

ICM_LAMany of you have little idea of all the hard work done behind the scenes, because you only get to see the final product after weeks or months of work. In a way, it feels weird, because you, as the members of “ICM Street Team” and “Rupert’s Army” contribute more than you might realise to help with what this site is, and what we have been able to do. That is why we owe you a big THANK YOU!

We hope you continue to enjoy visiting ICM, and any ideas, thoughts and criticism are always welcome.

Stay tuned for what’s to come, and don’t forget to Keep Calm And Carry On!

Your Ice Cream Team

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Poll: Rupert’s Hair!

One of the things we love about Rupert Grint is his trademark ginger hair. Over the years, Rupert Grint has been seen with various hairdos — both short and long, tidy and messy. Some of them were one-off stunts “for the movie role only” (such as his famous Thunderpants perm), but he has also tried out different styles in his private life. Hair experts have paid tribute to Rupert’s locks, and in 2007 he made it onto Top 5 Best Film Personality Hairstyles list compiled by haircare giant Brylcreem. So, I’ve selected a few of the cuts he has sported for various public appearances and photoshoots. Tell us which one you think suits him best, and after voting, elaborate your choice in the comments!

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Super Grint!

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane! No, it’s GINGERMAN!

Comic book mastermind Stan Lee has called upon everybody’s favorite red head, Rupert Grint, to play a character with amazing powers, but this time instead of magical powers he has Super Powers!!  Rupert has signed on to play the lead character in the live action adaption of Stan’s latest comic book entitled GINGERMAN.

gingermanThe story follows an average ginger fellow who comes to find out that the ginger gene is not the genetic defect it was once believed to be but rather the key to the human races evolution to superior beings.

“I have always created characters who defy the odds” says Lee, “and Gingerphobia is an odd that Gingerman defies every time he dons the red and green.”

An orphan born of two gingers, Jimmy Jameson aka Gingerman discovers, as he exits his pubescent phase, that he possesses amazing super powers including the ability to fly, control fire with his mind, and make people enter a hypnotic state by simply looking them in the eyes.  Grint says that playing the first lead ginger super hero is “a wicked experience that I never thought I would get to do.”

“The tights were something that was a little hard to get used to,” said Grint.  “The costume ladies must have lost the measurements a lot because they kept bringing me in for more.  They finally decided it would be best to just do a cast of my whole body, which I thought was a bit much, but they seemed determined to get it.”

GINGERMAN will burn its way onto the screen next summer.

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Once Upon A Ginger

Or: how Carolyn cheated on Colin Farrell!

The start of my Harry Potter fandom is a bit blurry. I honestly don’t remember ever hearing about the books. Which is odd because I love to read. Maybe I just didn’t pay proper attention. I don’t even remember how I heard about the first film coming out. All I can guess is that it looked interesting when I saw the trailer. I love English movies. I love Fantasy movies. I love movies you can escape into. So Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone looked like something I would be interested in. It looked very gothic, and with witchcraft as its main theme, I knew I wanted to see it. Anything otherwordly and I’m hooked.

carolyn3I was instantly taken in by the little red haired boy. He was the cutest thing I’d ever seen in my life. He was so animated and funny and talented. I was instantly a fan. But I only thought about him whenever the new Potter movie was out. I didn’t pay much attention to anything about the movies in between them. I just made sure I taped them when they aired on TV so I could have them as part of my vast collection.

It wasn’t until the fourth movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire came out that Cupid’s bow nailed me right between the eyes. I was attracted to Rupert Grint. carolyn1 I mean, I’ve always thought he was an adorable boy, but now I was just enamored with him. The Goblet Of Fire era had me sitting up and taking notice. I would watch the movies over and over again, only keeping my eyes on Rupert. I still didn’t take my fanship any further than that, though. It didn’t really occur to me to hunt down anything about Rupert. My online activities from 2003-2008 were devoted to another actor, Colin Farrell.

Around 2007 though, during the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix promotions, is when I started taping various shows or coverage of Harry Potter that featured Rupert. I would also make sure to keep those tapes close by so that I could watch them whenever I chose.

It wasn’t until mid-2008 that I got into the online fandom. It was like something shifted in me. I tried to fight it for awhile. I would look at all the scrapbooks and collages that I collected and the thousands of pictures of various people, places and things that I had and thought, “Maybe I should start adding Rupert to these.” Now is when I started arguing with myself in my head. “No, it’s too much trouble.”, “I can’t start hunting for pictures of him now. It’s too overwhelming.”, “Are you sure you want to get involved in all this? What about Colin?” I felt like a cheating spouse! But then I just dived right in and never looked back. Sorry Colin!

carolyn2I started hunting around for sites I could join and pictures I could save. Then there were all the online videos that I had never seen before. I thought, “Where have I been all this time???” After coming to terms with the fact that, YES! I am crazy attracted to Rupert Grint and I have to stop fighting it and wearing out my Goblet Of Fire tape and just “come out”, so to speak, everything just opened up for me. I came across a delightful forum called Ice Cream Man and that’s all she wrote. My first night on the forum, a bunch of us got into a discussion about how angelic Rupert looks and someone got a hold of pictures of various Angels, one that was Rupert’s twin! Our own little Botticelli Angel. I was so excited to have discovered this place and found I didn’t need any other sites.

Since joining Ice Cream Man in October of 2008, I have been happily drowning in that Ginger god Rupert Grint. I’m also happy to say I have almost completed my third reading of all the Harry Potter books, which are amazing. I’m glad I started reading them later because now I picture the movie actors when I read the books. And for me, there is no other “Ron Weasley” than Rupert Grint. He captures and envelops that character like he does all the other characters he’s played and will play. Amazing actor that he is, I know Rupert will be around for a long time to come. With good looks, talent and the sweetest heart, how could he not be?

And that is my story of becoming a Rupert Grint fan. Something I am very proud to call myself.

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Sister

An excerpt from Transmission by EruditeWitch

Summary: An immediately post-war fic centered on Hermione and Harry’s friendship and Ron and Ginny’s relationship as they cope with all of the sudden changes and losses.
Lyrics by The Nixons

sister1_crop

Hermione Granger attempted to stifle her racing heart as chaos erupted around her in the Hospital Wing. Injured witches and wizards, injured friends reaching out for her help were flowing in. Madam Pomfrey was an effective leader, commanding the still standing to aid the ill. She was currently trying to piece together and heal the large bloody wound overtaking Lavender Brown as Parvati held her hand in worry.

“Hermione!” Neville shouted, drawing her attentions back to the task at hand. Dean Thomas was levitating Seamus Finnigan, a torn rag doing nothing to stop the blood gushing out of a wound on his leg. Hermione rushed over and directed him to an open cot.

“I’ll be fine, help the others first,” Seamus groaned, though his face was sweating and screwed up in pain.

“No!” shouted Dean sternly, immediately taking Seamus’ hand. “You need help, f*ck’s sake I will not lose you…not after I’ve finally found my way back.”

“Dittany, please, Neville,” she said quietly, a knot in her throat affecting her vocal chords. She was struck by the open affection and concern between Dean and Seamus, but quickly let it go. She knew she would act the same way toward Ron. She was diverted away from the question that thought raised about Seamus and Dean as Neville placed a freshly made dish of dittany in her hand.

“I must clean this before I can heal it, Seamus,” Hermione said, studying the long, oozing wound that stretched down the length of Seamus’ shin and partially exposed the bone. “This will hurt.”

Dean took Seamus’ bloody hand more tightly in his and leaned in, whispering in his ear. Hermione swept her wand over his leg, casting a Cleansing Spell. Seamus tried to hold back a scream as tears ran down his face, but eventually he yelled out. Hermione felt her own tears shed in empathy for her housemate. She dug her fingers generously into the cool dittany and swathed it over the bloody gash, sealing it almost instantly. Seamus’ breathing slowed.

“Can you bandage this just in case? Also, find Slughorn and get some Blood-Replenishing Potion. Seamus looks deathly pale,” she said to Neville, shaking. He put a hand on her back.

“Sure. Will you be okay?” he asked, looking very concerned.

Hermione nodded, moving quickly to the next person waiting for help. She knew she was useful here. She had a textbook awareness of general Healing Spells, but she ached to be near Ron. She had stood there in the Great Hall on the edge, wanting to grab him, hold him tightly, and comfort him. But she felt like an intruder on the Weasley family’s sadness, so she did nothing. Now, all she wanted to do was make his hurt lessen in any way she could.

She finished up her tasks and Madame Pomfrey suggested she get some rest in Gryffindor Tower. Hermione hoped she could find Ron, Harry, and all of the Weasleys resting there too. She walked briskly away from the Hospital Wing, cleaning the blood off of her clothes as she went. However, she suddenly felt very sick. Everything she had done, seen, and felt on this day seemed to invade her mind.

Overwhelmed, she leaned over a bin in the deserted hallway and vomited, shaking violently.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Harry was unsure of what to do. He knew he was hungry and should eat, but after handing the bodies of Lupin and Tonks over to The Newly Established Interim Slap Dash Ministry, he didn’t feel like summoning Kreacher and getting food. Yes, he was relieved and felt better than he had in ages, but he wanted to find his friends … he wanted to find Ginny. Harry felt he didn’t have much to offer in the category of comfort, but he still wanted to be there for the Weasleys if they needed anything. He knew Hermione would chastise him for thinking so, but Harry couldn’t help but feel slightly responsible for the horrible loss of Fred Weasley.

As Harry padded thoughtfully through the halls, he heard someone coughing. He rounded the corner to find Hermione bent over a bin, her bushy hair falling around her face. Harry was slightly shocked at seeing her so ill composed, but rushed over and gathered her hair into his hands, casting a cleaning spell as he did so. He couldn’t begin to imagine what was going through her complicated mind.

Thoughts of what we were invade
The miles that stand between
We can’t separate
You’re all I hoped you’d become

Harry sat on his knees next to her and ran comforting circles down her back with his free hand. He marveled at how brave and compassionate she was, even now in the aftermath of war. He thought back to the rules-obsessed know-it-all of their first year and smiled at how different she had become … yet still she remained Hermione. He couldn’t ask for a better friend. She had fought bravely, and now they had the rest of their lives to get back to some semblance of normality. Hermione finally sat back against the wall, shaking and catching her breath.

“Harry, there were so many,” she cried, tears falling down her face. Harry put an arm around her and let her rest her head on his shoulder. Harry felt useful in this new role. No longer was he the beleaguered and reluctant hero…right now he was just Harry: Hermione’s friend. It felt good that he could finally support her instead of the other way around.

“Poor Fred. I want to comfort them, but I’m not sure how,” she cried.

“I know how you feel,” he muttered. She backed away and met his eyes, that familiar all-knowing glance dancing in her dark brown irises.

“Have you spoken with Ginny yet?” she asked. Harry shook his head. Though she was sitting, she had still managed to put her hands on her hips and look at him sternly, puffy eyes and all.

Harry had to laugh to himself. She looked just like good old Hermione, despite all the pain she had suffered. It gave him endless contentment to know his best friend was still there and relatively unscathed. She returned his smile and giggled a little at her own demeanor.

Sister I see you
Dancing on the stage
Of memory
Sister I miss you

“Remember when we were about to go through the trap door during our first year and you were convinced you weren’t going to get expelled because Flitwick told you that you scored 112 percent on your exam?”

Hermione laughed and nodded. “My priorities are a little better now,” she said, rising to her feet. She winced a little as she rose. Harry felt guilt surge further through him. She might always be sore from that horrible night. Harry took her hand, and turned her attention to him. She looked concerned and confused.

“I’m so sorry,” he started.

Hermione went to question him, but he stopped her. He tried to hold back his own tears as he attempted to say what he had wanted to say for weeks now.

“I’m sorry I said his name. I’m sorry we were caught. I’m sorry for what they did to you…what she did. It should have been me,” he said, a tear falling down his cheek. “You’ve always been family to me, you and Ron. I should have…” Harry tried to finish, but couldn’t find his words. Thoughts he had been holding back while he tried to destroy Voldemort were invading his head at an alarming pace. This was just one of many.

Hermione flung her arms around him in her characteristic way and pulled him close.

“That’s nothing compared to the moment I thought you were dead,” she whispered.

Harry lingered there, holding her tightly until she pulled away.

“Come on, let’s go to the common room and get some rest. I’m sure the Weasleys will be staying tonight,” she said gently.

As they made their way back to Gryffindor Tower, Hermione indicated her plans to go to Australia in two days to retrieve her parents. She would spend the next day in London getting their affairs in order, and then she would organize Portkeys to get her to them as soon as possible.

Harry wanted to go with her, but she insisted on doing this on her own, and he expected nothing less.

Fleeting visits pass
Still they satisfy
Reminders of the next
Overshadow goodbye
Our flames burn as one

Harry was impressed at her brilliance and a little shocked at the lengths she went to protect her family. Then again, Ron said it best: Hermione Granger was scary; brilliant, but scary. He had forgotten those little things that made her so brilliant throughout the past year, just taking for granted she would be there. Now that the dust had cleared, he could get a good look at all she did. Harry knew he owed Hermione and Ron more than he could ever repay, not that they would let him repay it anyway.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ron Weasley straightened his back and attempted to remain stalwart, even amidst his family’s overwhelming grief. He stood next to the table holding Fred, touching sides with Bill and Charlie to create a wall of protection between Fred’s lifeless form and the rest of the Great Hall. Ron struggled to keep himself from crying as his mother wept, her head on Fred’s chest. No tears fell when his father began weeping as well, as he hastily comforted her. Ron kept his delicate composure when he noticed the blank look on George’s face as he held Fred’s head in his lap. Ron even held it together when Fleur walked up and put her arms around Bill’s waist, and he cried on her shoulder. Ron began to falter when Charlie broke down and took Fred’s cold hand, crying into it. At last tears welled in Ron’s eyes as he took in the vision of Percy, who was wiping droplets of tears from his horn-rimmed glasses.

As the pressure of their grief mounted, the only ones left standing in the Weasley family were Ron and Ginny, both of whom were fighting against the desire to fall victim to their anguish. He looked over at his sister, defiant with her jaw clenched as tightly as her fists. She looked torn between wanting to fall next to their parents and her need to stay strong. Ron knew how she was feeling, and he sympathized with the little girl that used to run barefoot through the high grass of their fields. What was going to happen to the fire that had always burned so brightly in her? What was going to happen to their whole family?

Sister I see you
Dancing on the stage
Of memory
Sister I miss you

Percy placed his glasses back on his head and put a tentative arm around Ginny, obviously still unsure of his place in the family…despite their grief. Ron watched in horror as her lips quivered and her brown eyes began to water. She spun her body around, fiery hair flying like a wave, and buried her face into Percy’s chest. She looked more like a little girl than she had in years.

Bill placed his free hand on Ron’s shoulder while Charlie joined him again on the other side. Ron felt safer than he had felt since that awful snake attacked his father. He was with his family, and there was no more danger to threaten them all. Ron finally allowed himself to cry, pushing down the anger and the need for vengeance. He stood there, immersed in the silent vigil of his family until minutes…maybe hours later, Bill cleared his throat and walked over to his father.

“We need to begin arrangements for a funeral,” Bill whispered gently.

“Next to Gideon and Fabian,” said his mother, wiping her tears on a handkerchief Arthur had provided for her.

“I will see to it,” Bill said, rising and taking Fleur’s hand as he walked toward the exit of the hall.

Ron watched his mother stand up slowly, trembling as she did, and clutching his father’s arm.

Ron was finding it hard to move, as if leaving that small corner would prove this was real, that Fred was truly gone. Molly looked as though she was about to speak, but it took a few moments before she found her words.

“We should all try and get some rest. Minerva has offered to put your father and me in one of the staff quarters…” she started, surveying all of her children.

“Fleur and I are going to sleep in Ravenclaw Tower,” said Bill. “Flitwick plans to be awake for a while to do the repairs, and he asked if I would watch over the students who are still here.”

He hugged his father, followed by Fleur, and then kissed his mother on the cheek. She pulled him into a full hug, causing Ron to think that she looked afraid to let him go. Bill obliged by lingering until, at last, she pulled away.

“Charlie, Percy, Ginny, Ron…” Molly started, stopping to look at George, who had not moved from his spot at Fred’s head, “…and George, why don’t you lot go to the Gryffindor common room and try to rest? We’ll head home tomorrow morning when we can be assured everything is safe,” she said, her normally strong voice nothing more than a weak whisper. She threw a sheet over Fred, kissed him softly, and covered his face. Only then did George stand.

Ron walked slowly to his parents, and into the arms of his mother who hugged him tightly.

“My brave boy,” she whispered, causing Ron to feel a wave of something indescribable rush over him. He was simultaneously comforted and sad.

Percy walked beside George, monitoring him, but giving him space as the remaining Weasleys made their way to the tower. Ron followed, listening to the plodding of his large feet along the ruins of the hallway. He could hear Ginny walking next to him, but did little to acknowledge she was there. When they reached the portrait, the Fat Lady simply smiled and swung open. Charlie mumbled a thank you.

“I’m going to the pub,” he said, Disapparating, taking advantage of the lack of wards in the aftermath of the victory. No one protested, too tired, numb, relieved, stricken…too many things to admonish Charlie for drinking.

Ron didn’t know what to expect upon entering the familiar confines of the common room, but to find it empty and cold wasn’t on the list. The morning light was starting to peek through the stained glass, and Ron assumed those who remained were well into sleep. Percy went through all the dormitories to take inventory, and came back stating that the first through fourth years boys’ dorms were empty. He then immediately followed George to the first year boy’s dorm, keeping an unspoken watch on the remaining twin.

Ron knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep until he saw Harry and Hermione, just to be sure. After months of sharing a small sleeping quarter and depending on each other for safety, he wouldn’t feel completely settled until he saw those two. Ron noticed Ginny still standing in the common room and figured she wasn’t ready to sleep either, though her reasoning was most likely slightly different. Ron set about making a fire to quell the draft of the spring morning.

The radio in the common room flicked on, and Lee Jordan’s voice came rolling out and filling up the room. He was recapping the events of last night. Ron let the words go in one ear and out the other, not wanting to dwell on the good or the bad any more that night. Then, Lee started listing off those that had lost their lives. Ron tried not to listen. He didn’t want Fred’s death to become any more real than it already was.

He silently gathered wood and carefully placed the logs on the hearth. He watched Ginny from the corner of his eye as she sat on the sofa, pulling her legs up so that her chin rested on her knees. She seemed so small, much smaller than normal. Ron flashed back yet again to their early childhood, when Ginny had been literally small, but full of vigor and curiosity. She still maintained some of that youthful spark despite the weight on all their shoulders.

All I am begins with you
Thoughts of hope understood
Half of me breathes in you
Thoughts of love remain true

Being only a year apart, Ron and Ginny were forced to live their young lives out at the same time. Their mother even dressed them in similar clothes, much to their dismay. But seeing his sister, his first friend in his short life, looking so lost, reminded him of every bruised knee and bedtime story, of every bit of mischief and teasing. This hurt was even more visceral that her Harry-inspired heartbreak. His powerfully strong little sister was hurt, just like he was. He took a seat near her on the opposite side of the sofa. They sat in silence, watching the fire crackle wildly against the bone-dry wood.

“Remember when you left for Hogwarts?” Ginny asked, her voice piercing the silence of the nearly vacant room. Ron started at the sudden words and nodded. “Fred said he would send me a toilet seat.”

Ron chuckled slightly at the memory.

“I never told anyone this, but he actually sent one,” she said, smiling through her wet eyes.

“Blimey! Those buggers!” Ron said, a tearful, sad sort of happiness coursing through him. “Why didn’t you tell anyone?”

“Well, it became our inside joke. I would leave it in the weirdest places with messages, and he or George would write back. When they left Hogwarts, I sent the seat to the shop with the words ‘your education’ emblazoned on it and an arrow pointing at the hole.”

Ron laughed, a mirthful, nostalgic laugh, and moved closer to her on the couch. She snuggled next to him like they had done when they were little and she became frightened. He was glad to have her there at that moment.

Entwined, you and I
Our souls speak from across the miles
Intertwined, you and I
Our blood flows from the same inside
Half of me, breathes in you
Thoughts of love remain true

“You knew Fred slept with a stuffed duck, right?” Ron asked, and she nodded. “Well, I got my revenge for the spider incident the summer after third year. I switched it with a live duck. Mum blamed him for all the poo on his pillow!”

“That’s why he chucked Duckworth!” she giggled, growing silent again as the fire crackled even more loudly.

“He didn’t F*CKING deserve it!” Ginny yelled, giving into her sobs. Ron rubbed her back, trying to comfort her and hold in his own pain. He couldn’t, however, and his cries soon mirrored hers. He pulled her close, seeking solace as much as giving it. Eventually, she pulled away.

“I’m such a bloody woman!” she exclaimed, wiping her eyes.

“’S okay,” Ron said, unsure of how to respond. He sat there for a long time, just waiting for their sadness to subside. It would likely be inevitable that their sadness would ebb and flow as they carried on with their lives. Ron could only hope he would always be there when she needed him.

“Hermione kissed me,” he said, hoping his confession might cheer her slightly. When he was younger and she was sad, he’d just pull faces until she couldn’t stop laughing. But now that seemed unlikely, so he proceeded to regale her with the tale.

When he finished talking, she whispered, “About time,” and fell asleep leaning against him. He summoned a blanket, laid it over them both, put his arm around her, and drifted off.

I see you, I feel you
When I close my eyes
I see walking there…
I see you dancing in my mind

A gentle prodding at his shoulder awakened Ron. He opened his eyes to find Harry looking down at him, still dirty, cut, and bruised from battle. Ron shifted slightly and a sleepy groan emanated from Ginny. He placed his fingers on his lips and indicated to Harry that he should do something about Ginny without waking her. With surprising strength for someone of a much smaller stature who hadn’t slept well in almost a year, he scooped Ginny into his arms, tilting his body so her head could rest on his shoulder. He pointed at the stairwell that wouldn’t collapse on them and began walking slowly towards it.

Ron felt delicate fingers curl around his arm to help him up, and looked to see Hermione gazing down at him, concern etched on her face. She looked tired. Her hair was hastily tied up in an unimaginable way, with frizzes and strands falling out unceremoniously around her face. She was thin and pale, months of meager food, running, and fear taking its toll on her physique. But as Ron rose up and stood near her, the faint smell of grass and dirt coming from her, he felt overwhelmed by a barrage of emotions that wanted to all escape him at the same time.

He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer to him, her small form fitting perfectly against his broad and bony chest. He couldn’t help but think about how close it all came to ending, how close he had been to losing her. Her screams from the night she was tortured still rang in his mind, and while he knew she had recovered, he still wasn’t accustomed to how fragile and delicate their lives had become in that final month. When she sighed a tired and mildly contented sigh, Ron pulled away, leading her to where Harry and Ginny had gone to rest.

When they got to the door with the number 4 on it, they heard low and anxious voices coming from the other side. Hermione looked up at him, almost as if pleading with him to not interrupt them and just go to bed. He loved how her eyes could communicate so much without saying anything.

Ron took her hand and walked back down the steps to the doorway marked 3. He flicked his wand at the heater to activate it, radiating gentle warmth through his old dorm. Hermione readied the bedclothes of the one that used to be his, so Ron began to do the same to Neville’s. However, Hermione placed her hand on his arm, lowered his wand, and crawled into the open bed. She patted the area beside her, a nervous blush creeping from beyond the dirt and blood smeared on her face. He took off his shoes and socks and climbed next to her.

Without a word she turned to him and pulled him close to her, so that his face was buried in the warmth of her neck. Ron gripped her tightly, so happy she was alive in the same moment that he felt so empty with loss. He let out a few more shaking sobs as her sniffles could be heard above his head. Among the symphony of gentle crying, he drifted into sleep in her arms.

Disclaimer: The characters of and situations of Harry Potter used in this story are the legal property of J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, and AOL Time Warner. We are just borrowing them. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Gravity

An excerpt from Potterwatch by EruditeWitch

Summary: A missing moment from Deathly Hallows. Hermione and Ron deal with the pain of him leaving and the uncertainty of emotions behind his return.
Lyrics by Sarah Bareilles

crop_gravity

Hermione sat at the small table in their little tent, watching Ron fiddling with his wireless. She pretended to be poring over a book on defensive magic as he tried desperately to find a radio show he had listened to at his brother’s. She watched his mouth curve in concentration, watched his broad, thin body bend over different sides of the small radio, and even chuckled silently as he stomped away from the radio like a frustrated child.

It had been two months since he had returned, and she was no closer to openly forgiving him for his desertion. Sure, their companionship was almost back to normal, their way of easy bantering and the obvious teamwork required to make it through, but she hadn’t forgiven him, and he knew it. She could see the pleading behind his eyes every time his met hers, and it made her want to forget it all right there. But he had hurt her too badly this time, and she didn’t know if they could ever be the same. The thought broke her heart, so she avoided his eyes.

Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do,
I’ll still feel you here,
’til the moment I’m gone.

The night he came back, she had never been so happy and so angry in one moment. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and cry when she saw him step awkwardly into the tent, but her broken heart won out and she fought his return. Throughout their long walks, she ached to grasp his hand, but she remembered him leaving as she pleaded for him to stay, so she did nothing.

After they got back from the Lovegoods’, she wanted to fling herself on him in relief, but she did no such thing. Everything was at war in her world, and her heart and head were no exceptions. When he took her side, so to speak, in her argument with Harry about The Deathly Hallows, she wanted to kiss him, but instead she just left for her watch, figuring he was only trying to get on her good side anyway.

Ron was holding back too. On difficult paths, there was no arm beneath hers to hold her steady. When she led the way, there wasn’t a hand on the small of her back to ensure her. And when she was afraid, she had nowhere to find safety as his seat was always farthest away from hers. When they walked, he would shove his hands in his pockets and gaze at her furtively from the corners of his eyes.

Despite her best efforts, despite all of her strength, he was still on her mind every night before she slept. She wanted him when the darkness of their lives took over. She needed him beside her.

You hold me without touch.
You keep me without chains.
Never wanted anything so much,
Then to drown in your love,
And not feel your rain.

Another day, and Ron still had not managed to find the radio show. He finally gave up late one night as Harry walked out of the tent to take the first watch, trying to inconspicuously take the Marauder’s Map with him.

“Well, we’d better rest up. I’ve got the middle shift, so you’ve got to get up quite early,” Ron said, standing up and stretching. Hermione found herself blushing at the thinness of his pajama bottoms as they stretched over his body. She quickly hid her face by getting up and busying herself by preparing her bed for sleep.

“Hermione? If you don’t mind, could you set an alarm so I can get up and send Harry to bed?” Ron asked. Normally he would not be nearly so polite, and this artificial courtesy felt so false and unfamiliar that Hermione found herself missing the old Ron.

“Mmmhmm…” she answered, not trusting her actual words. He reached up with his Deluminator and took out the lights in the sleeping quarter. Soon, she was lulled into an uneasy sleep.

Set me free, leave me be.
I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall,
Just the way I’m supposed to be.
But you’re on to me and all over me.

She ran her hands down his bare back as he hovered above her in the camp bed. She sighed when he kissed down her neck and his tongue passed over her bare breasts. She could feel the heat pooling in her center as he whispered her name over and over again.

“My own. ‘Mione. Hermione!”

She sat up abruptly, Ron’s calls waking her from an embarrassing sleep.

“Sorry, but it’s time for your watch. I can do it if you’re…”

“I’m fine, Ronald. I’m not a porcelain doll.”

He chuckled in his old way at her snap, and she couldn’t help but smirk as he tucked back in for the remainder of the morning.

Hermione grabbed Beedle the Bard and settled herself in for the 4-hour morning watch. Approximately halfway through her shift, she heard quiet sounds coming from their tiny kitchen. She peeked her head in to find Ron, lit only by his wand, attempting to make tea.

“What are you doing awake?” she whispered, genuinely concerned.

“Couldn’t sleep.”

“Are you feeling okay?”

“Fine. I’ve jut got a lot on my mind…of course. I just want to hear how everyone is doing, and I can’t get that damned wireless to work!” he said, looking sadly around the low ceilings of the tent.

“Want some tea? I can sit out there for a few minutes. It’s chilly anyway, and you need to warm up,” he said, giving her a sad smile.

Hermione nodded and climbed into the tent’s entrance as Ron was climbing out. As she walked quietly down the steps, she felt his fingers brush lightly down her back. The feeling gave her chills, and she had to close her eyes before making her tea.

You loved me ’cause I’m fragile.
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while
And all my fragile strength is gone.

As she was making her tea, she reached into her bag and pulled out her homework planner to mark the days off. March 7th…Ron was 18 and he’d never mentioned anything! Her inner turmoil be damned. She pulled out two chocolate biscuits she was saving, and lit a bluebell flame over one.

She walked back out of the tent to find the sun getting ready to come up. Ron was standing against a nearby tree, focused on nothing but whatever was in his head.

Hermione decided to cast her bitterness aside, albeit momentarily, and began to hum a very quiet version of ‘Happy Birthday’. Ron almost jumped out of his skin, but when he saw her, a shy grin spread across his face.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” she asked, levitating a biscuit toward him, avoiding his long fingers as they grasped the sweet treat.

“We’ve been so caught up in other things, I didn’t want to be a distraction.”

Hermione just nodded solemnly. Her birthday had passed without a word.

“Kind of like you did in September? I didn’t even realize until Christm…Well it took me a while.”

“Touche, Ronald,” Hermione said, swallowing a lump in her throat at the period of time he alluded to.

“Hermione, I…”

“No. Not now. I can’t.”

Ron was quiet for a spell, and then went to speak again with an even more apologetic tone.

“Hermione, I need to…”

“Ron! I’m not ready! I can’t.”

“Damnit! You have to let me do this!”

“I don’t have to do anything,” she answered, trying to sound forceful, but failing as her voice quivered.

Ron dropped his teacup, grabbed her shoulders, and turned her to face him. Though he looked cross, his hands felt soft on her shoulders.

“I’m sorry. I’m more sorry than I’ve ever been. I’m ashamed that I deserted you. I’m ashamed I left Harry after I said no matter what that I wouldn’t. I’m a coward. Nothing can change how awful I feel about what I did.” He said, his own voice breaking up. Hermione tried to look away from him, to hide her own tears, which were forming in her eyes. He took his hand and turned her chin toward him, and she saw the horrible pain on his face.

“But I will spend forever making it up to you, even if nothing changes. It’s all I can do,” he whispered the last line, letting go of her shoulders and turning to leave.

“Ron!” she said as he walked away.

He turned his bright blue eyes at her, shining with tears he was desperately fighting.

“I promise…if that even means anything…I will never leave you. Never.” He struggled to speak over a roughness in his throat. Hermione couldn’t compose herself. She wanted to tell him it would be all right. She wanted to tell him he had forever, because she would never leave him either. She wanted to promise him so much. But she held it in. She needed to be strong, or she would never last.

“Eat your biscuit,” she whispered. It was the only thing she could articulate. He smiled, his annoying ability to read her face working overtime. They both hastily wiped their faces before Ron took a bite of his treat. She sighed easily when he placed an arm around her shoulders.

The day went by quickly and soon they were nestled into a new hiding place. Hermione set about trying to read more about The Deathly Hallows in order to prove Harry wrong, but she kept glancing at Ron’s back, bent over his wireless.

Ron’s excited yell pulled her from her not so obvious pretend reading.

“I’ve got it! I’ve got it! Password was ‘Albus’! Get in here, Harry!”

Hermione jumped off her chair and crouched down in between the boys. They all smelled like rain and dirt, but there was such an excitement in the air that it didn’t matter. A person whose voice was vaguely familiar to her began to echo out.

“…apologize for our temporary absence form the airwaves, which was due to a number of house calls in our area by those charming Death Eaters.”

“But that’s Lee Jordan!” Hermione exclaimed. She was so excited to hear a familiar voice, she didn’t realized how closely she had scooted toward Ron.

“I know!” beamed Ron. “Cool, eh?” he said. She marveled at the biggest smile she had seen in weeks.

“…now found ourselves another secure location,” Lee was saying, “and I’m pleased to tell you that two of our regular contributors have joined me here this evening. Evening boys!”

“Hi.”

“Evening, River”

“ ‘River’, that’s Lee,” Ron explained. “They’ve all got code names, but you can usually tell,”

Hermione had to quiet his excited rambling so that she could hear the programme.

“But before we hear from Royal and Romulus,” Lee went on, “let’s take a moment to report those deaths that the Wizarding Wireless Network News and The Daily Prophet don’t think important enough to mention. It is with great regret that we inform our listeners of the murders of Ted Tonks and Dirk Cresswell.”

Hermione looked around, scared to death. She had just heard his voice not long ago. How close were Death Eaters to finding them?

“A goblin by the name of Gornuk was also killed. It is believed that Muggle-born Dean Thomas and a second goblin, both believed to have been traveling with Tonks, Cresswell, and Gornuk, may have escaped. If Dean is listening, or if anyone has any knowledge of his whereabouts, his parents and sisters are desperate for news.”

The radio show went on, with Hermione shushing Ron often, and Kingsley Shacklebolt’s voice booming through the tent. There was defensive advice, news on the Muggle world’s troubles, and even some opinions of how some of the more cowardly wizards were acting. Then, Hermione had to gasp as the ‘Pals of Potter’ segment started, and Hermione whispered, “We know it’s Lupin!” to Ron to keep him from shouting again.

Remus Lupin began to speak of his assuredness that Harry was alive and well, which Hermione had to smile at, because at least those who cared knew he was okay. And then, Lee asked Remus a question that almost made Hermione sob in her already emotional state.

“And what would you say to Harry if you knew he was listening, Romulus?”

“I’d tell him we’re all with him in spirit,” said Lupin, then hesitated slightly. “And I’d tell him to follow his instincts, which are good and nearly always right.”

Hermione could feel her eyes welling up with emotion. She missed them all so much. Everything was so unsure, so shaky. And here their closest friends were, standing by Harry despite no news whatsoever. And yet, Hermione had to remind Harry he wasn’t ALWAYS right, just nearly.

“Oh, didn’t I tell you?” said Ron in surprise at Harry and Hermione’s silent communication. “Bill told me that Professor Lupin is living with Tonks again. And apparently she’s getting pretty big too…”

Hermione marveled at the happy look glazing over his eyes. It almost looked like hope.

“…and our usual update on those friends of Harry Potter’s who are suffering for their allegiance?” Lee was saying.

And Hermione listened with bated breath as tales of Hagrid’s daring escape, Xeno Lovegood’s imprisonment, and more encouragement to keep supporting Harry rang throughout the quiet tent. Then, someone named Rodent was introduced, and no one could contain his or her excitement. They all cried out Fred’s name in unison.

“No — is it George?”

“It’s Fred, I think,” said Ron, leaning in closer, as whichever twin it was said:

“I’m not being ‘Rodent’, no way, I told you I wanted to be Rapier!”

“Oh, all right then. ‘Rapier’, could you please give us your take on the various stories we’ve been hearing about the Chief Death Eater?”

And so Fred went on with the latest news of fact and myth about Voldemort himself. The show was witty, informative, and the most comforting thing Hermione had experienced in ages. Lee’s voice was signing off.

“Listeners, that brings us to the end of another Potterwatch. We don’t know when it will be possible to broadcast again, but you can be sure we shall be back. Keep twiddling those dials. The next password will be ‘Mad-Eye.’ Keep each other safe. Keep faith. Good Night.”

Hermione felt deep, sweeping relief knowing everyone she loved was okay for another day. That is, until she and Harry got into it about the Elder Wand yet again. Then, every little bit of comfort faded away as Harry said his name. Voldemort.

“The name’s Taboo,” Ron bellowed, leaping to his feet as a loud crack sounded outside the tent.

Panic overtook her, and her senses numbed. She could only hear the beating of her own heart in that moment. There were angry voices, but she couldn’t tell what they were saying. One look at Ron said it all.

Ron grabbed her hand and she gathered the strength to curse Harry into disguise before they were ripped from the tent. She fought as hard as she could, but their strong hands were too much.

She heard Ron shout, and then she heard his face get hit hard. Her senses came back.

“No! Leave him alone! Leave him alone!”

“Your boyfriend’s going to have worse that that done to him if he’s on my list,” said the rough voice. “Delicious girl…What a treat…I do enjoy the softness of skin,” he whispered, running a hand down her face. He smelled of blood, a cold metallic smell that made her want to vomit. She cried out as Ron and Harry were pushed to the ground and the men went into the tent.

She felt herself press up against a tall figure, and heard a familiar voice whisper her name. Dean Thomas was standing with his back to hers. She didn’t have time to find her words, when she heard Harry identify himself as Dudley.

Ron tried to call himself Stan Shunpike, and Hermione’s stomach lurched as she heard another hit meet his face. He finally used Barny Weasley as his disguise.

Soon, the offending man was facing her again, asking for her name. Thinking fast, she answered the first name that came into her head.

“Penelope Clearwater,” said Hermione. She was terrified, but kept her voice firm. The buzzing in her head continued, until she felt Harry and Ron press up against either side of her. They could only sit, and lie, as the men searched their tent. Then, they found the sword. Hermione was faint with fear when she heard her name.

“’Ermione Granger,” Scabior was saying, “the Mudblood who is known to be traveling with ‘Arry Potter.”

Hermione’s mouth went dry. She grabbed for a hand behind her back. She had no idea whose she was holding, she just needed the strength to go on. He was talking to her again; she tried to answer the Death Eater.

“It isn’t! It isn’t me!” she cried, but her voice squeaked and gave her away. She hated herself for giving him away. Now they knew it was Harry, and the Death Eaters slowly put the pieces together.

Too soon, they had decided to take them to where Voldemort was headquartered.

I live here on my knees
As I try to make you see
That you’re everything I think I need
Here on the ground.
But you’re neither friend nor foe
Though I can’t seem to let you go.
The one thing that I still know
Is that you’re keeping me down

Hermione panicked when Draco Malfoy was forced to identify their faces, but he turned to shrug it off. She breathed easier, knowing Bellatrix would never summon Voldemort unless she knew for sure who they were holding.

The seconds seemed to pass like agonizing hours as they argued over their identity. Narcissa had picked them all out, and was convinced they had ‘Potter’, but Bellatrix had noticed their sword, and wouldn’t let anyone summon Voldemort yet. More infighting occurred before Bellatrix had overpowered them all and made up her mind.

Narcissa Malfoy had commanded them all be taken into the cellar, and Hermione was relieved to be leaving that room so that she could gather her thoughts.

“Wait,” said Bellatrix sharply. “All except…except for the Mudblood.”

“No!” shouted Ron. “You can have me, keep me!”

As Ron begged for them to keep him, she struggled to say no, to beg for his and Harry’s safety. But they were taken away, and all of those malevolent faces stared back at her. She tried to keep Ron’s eyes in her mind. He was close, and he was safe.

The pain ripped through her, and Hermione wished for death. She couldn’t go on through this pain. She was hoping she’d stop breathing, that she would choke on her own pain and die, ending this horrifying feeling.

Then, she heard Ron calling from somewhere far off. He was screaming desperately for her. Despite all that had transpired, Hermione knew beyond logic that they needed each other, and she had to be strong.

Set me free, leave me be.
I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall,
Just the way I’m supposed to be.
But you’re on to me and all over me.

Disclaimer: The characters of and situations of Harry Potter used in this story are the legal property of J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, and AOL Time Warner. We are just borrowing them. No copyright infringement is intended.

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The magic of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

To many people Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets is a boring book. Friends of mine say it’s just another “intro” book and not a lot happens in it. From what I’ve seen, when people list their favorite Harry Potter books, Chamber of Secrets is usually at the bottom. This is something I don’t understand. This is NOT the case for me! It is my favorite book in the series. In fact, it’s my favorite book of all time!

janine6I read it when I was ten and it’s the reason I became such a huge fan of the series. J.K. Rowling has said herself in interviews that Chamber of Secrets is amongst her favorites! I also think its neat how the book is dedicated to her best friend Sean Harris, who Ron Weasley was based off of. JKRowling has even revealed on her official website that Sean owned the original turquoise and white Ford Anglia, the very type of car the Weasleys own in the book.

Even from the very beginning the book was exciting. The first line of the first page gave a huge foreshadowing of its theme: “Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Private Drive.”

I knew from then on that things were only going to get worse for Harry Potter.

There’s something so raw about how Harry interacted with his relatives and for the first time we got to see what his life was really like. Yes, in the first book there was a lot of description, but in this one we got to see the actual cruelty. It was interesting for me to read it as a ten-year-old. I come from such a big and loving family — much like the Weasleys — so though I couldn’t really understand Harry’s position I sympathized with him greatly.

Harry had changed since Sorcerer’s Stone. He was a bit tougher and more assured of himself. He snapped back when he could and dealt with things like yard work on a hot summer’s day only to be rewarded with bread and cheese. He had a bit more wit and more drive to prove himself.

Dobby was introduced in this book. I loved his character instantly. I loved how he spoke in third person and was so timid yet stubborn. He added a bit of mystery because no one knew of his real motives.

Of course, the gold of the book is Ron Weasley. From the moment Harry spotted the car parked by his window in midair I was in love. Harry was in trouble and Ron was there to rescue him.

Ron grew so much in this book. I knew from book one that he was brave, kind, funny and true but he stepped it up in Chamber of Secrets. He took less crap from Draco Malfoy. He was kinder to Hermione Granger and he was the best friend Harry needed. Ron’s humor, bravery, and loyalty in Chamber of Secrets reminded me of my best friend who is equally loyal and a bit impulsive like Ron. His character made it very easy for me to relate to the book. He was more than just a friend in this one though. We got to see him as a big brother to Ginny Weasley. Their brother/sister relationship is something I’ve always been jealous of. I’m not nearly as close to my brother as I would have liked to be.

I also enjoyed how the Weasley family was brought in. In the first book we got an introduction, but in Chamber of Secrets we really got to know them. We saw how the siblings interacted with each other and their parents and how Harry interacted with them as well.

I could easily identify with the Weasley family. I’m the youngest of seven. I have five older sisters and an older brother. The way the Weasleys interacted with each other was something I saw often in my own home.

I love this book so much largely because it is so Weasleycentric and Ron is just about everywhere! Never again in my opinion does he have such a huge role and an impact until the last installment of the saga, The Deathly Hallows.

We got to see Mr. and Mrs. Weasley in action. Mrs. Weasley was warm and kind, but fierce when she needed to be. We got to see her fuss over Harry and her kids. I saw so much of my mother in her. She always fussed over us and asked us a billion times if we had enough food. Mr. Weasley, who reminded me of my dad, showed us where Ron got his personality from. He was funny, cool, and a bit of a jokester himself.

The twins were great. They picked on Ron and Percy and were just so hilarious. Percy was a nag and such a black sheep to his brothers. We were also introduced to Ginny, this mousy little girl. I saw a bit of myself in her as I read. Being the youngest of such a large family and especially being the youngest girl is tough. I sympathized with how her brothers treated her and I felt the annoyance she must have felt when her parents nagged over her.

However, it’s not just the characters I love. The plot of Chamber of Secrets is remarkable. The way J.K. Rowling wrote the entire Heir-of-Slytherin ordeal kept me on edge and kept me guessing. It was so cool how she brought in the Parseltongue idea, and Gilderoy Lockhart kept the book light with his flashy robes and narcissism.

Of course the actual Chamber of Secrets part was flawless. Finding out about Tom Riddle and Voldemort getting his name was fantastic!

However, what I loved the most was Ron and Harry’s friendship. I loved how much they were together and helped each other out. Ron is my favorite character and one of the things I love about him so much is his dedication to the people he loves and moreover to Harry. All their adventures together in the book were so entertaining. They joked and took care of each other. It was beautiful.

So, when the movie came out you bet I was excited!

The first scene with Daniel Radcliffe at his desk made my jaw drop. He was so… BIG! He looked so much older than he was in Sorcerer’s Stone. I knew a couple of years or so had past but DAMN!!! Even his voice had changed. “I can’t let you out Hedwig,” made my already dropped jaw fall another inch.

I loved the look of Dobby. It was well done and his voice was how I heard it in my head.

janine1Then it happened. The flying car came to the window. I had butterflies in my stomach. We saw Dan go closer to the window and then there he was in the front seat, with a smile on his cute face. “Hiya, Harry.”

That was it. My jaw completely fell off! Rupert’s voice had to have dropped ten octaves if that’s even possible! Rupert Grint had grown up and out! He was taller, bigger, and his butt was yummy! (And FYI I was just hitting puberty!)

From then on I was in heaven. I loved the scene at the kitchen when Ginny came downstairs and asked about her jumper but saw Harry and ran up the stairs. Harry asked Ron what he did and Ron said: “Ginny, she’s been talking about you all summer. It’s getting annoying really.” It was great!

janine2One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Arthur asked how stealing the car had gone and they all started to tell how great it was until Molly hit him. Ron and Harry exchanged this PERFECT grin. I knew from that point that Rupert and Dan were going to bring the heat and make the movie marvelous.

In my opinion, Chamber of Secrets did the best job of staying true to the book. Yes, things were added and omitted here and there, and the pesky line changes annoyed a bit, but overall the film did follow the plot and I can’t thank Chris Columbus enough for that. I’m so pleased with the way he directed this movie.

janine5Words cannot begin to describe how “Ron” Rupert was in Chamber of Secrets. Every expression, gesture, sound, it was all Ron. His arachnophobia was dead on, and the belching of slugs even surpassed how I saw it in the book. The facial expression Rupert made when he was in Hagrid’s Hut with the bucket was great. He didn’t even say much but he commanded the scene.

The boys’ friendship in the book was so magical and genuine. Rupert and Dan portrayed it effortlessly. They WERE Ron and Harry and their chemistry was off the charts! (The movie made me ship R/H, lol.)

A really good Ron/Harry scene was the flying car scene in the beginning. At first they were having fun but then the train came. It was incredible and I’m so happy they added the bit about Harry almost falling out of the car! Ron just grabbed him and pulled him back in. They were out of breath and panting.

Harry goes, “I think we found the train.” Ron replies, “Yeah,” and Rupert does this fantastic thing with his mouth like “Holy sh*t.” 😀

Another great one was when they landed in the Whomping Willow. They kept giving each other glances and Rupert was flawless. When he banged his wand on the wheel and squeaked in such a high pitched voice, “What’s happening?!” I almost fell out of my chair with laughter.

The entire scene with Ron and Harry in the Forbidden Forrest was great. A memorable moment was when Ron sees a huge spider and trembles Harry’s name, but Harry cuts in and goes “Shush!” Ron closes his mouth and makes a face. It was SO Harry & Ron!

janine4I also loved the scene where they were going into the chamber and Lockhart tried to get away. Ron and Harry just held up their wands. They were completely badass!

There were times when they weren’t even side by side or necessarily talking to each other yet Rupert and Dan were so in sync with each other. They were older, more experience, and it showed.

In my opinion, Rupert was never a better Ron and Dan was never a better Harry. I love Chamber of Secrets because Ron is almost in every scene, so the movie was easy to enjoy. Rupert was divine. He always does a perfect job but in Chamber of Secrets he was just spectacular. And Dan too did really well in this movie.

While others may not see it that way, Chamber of Secrets is the “bro” book for me. Hermione wasn’t in it a whole lot and it gave Ron and Harry time to shine. Both Ron and Harry learned and matured so much, and the film showed their developing friendship.

Chamber of Secrets will always be my favorite Harry Potter book and movie.

It’s real magic.

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Smells Like Rupert Grint!

Following in the footsteps of men like P Diddy and David Beckham, Rupert Grint has decided to try his hand at creating a scent to make any man irresistible to a woman. “I began noticing that every time I would hug a fan they would take a big whiff of my neck,” says Grint on finding the inspiration for his first cologne named WICKED.

On coming up with the name Grint said: “When they let me smell the first official batch, I told them it was wicked and the name just stuck.”

Creating the scent was not as easy as naming it however. “We tried a lot of different things like ginger root and old chucks, but those didn’t work so well,” said Grint.

The final scent is said to be modeled after Grint’s actual personal scent and is a combination of many things including meat seasoning, vanilla ice cream, cider, petrol, lucozade, and freshly cut grass from Grint’s favorite golf course.

wickedcologne

WICKED hits shelves this Christmas

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Rupert Grint Makes A Funny!

First there was the Ice Cream Van and now Rupert Grint is fulfilling another childhood fantasy. Rupert has decided to finally put pencil to paper and has begun drawing his own original comic strip. “The Funnies were always my favorite part of the Sunday paper,” says Grint,”and one morning I thought about how wicked it would be to have something I drew in there.”

The strip entitled SHUPERT follows a young ginger by the name of Shupert Clint as he goes on many hilarious adventures on the quest for the perfect prank with his two best friends Gemma Voltson and Manuel Radledge. The trio’s good times are hindered however by the evil school principal named Mr. Groves, who is determined to make sure Shupert never reaches his full prankster potential. Have no fear though, because with brilliant Gemma and quirky Manuel at his side, Shupert shows that no one can stop him from reaching his goal.

When asked on the alluded to “more than friends” relationship between Shupert and Gemma, Grint said “Well, Em and, um, I mean Gemma and Shupert are just really great mates right now.” This lead to the inevitable question of whether this strip was art imitating life for Rupert Grint to which he replied “Yeah, I mean, not really, but I guess maybe a little.”

rupdrawing

The artist working at his desk

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Thunderstruck!

What: AC/DC concert
When: Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Where: M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, UK

29vmetv

AC/DC rockin' it

Long live Nintendo Wii and its Guitar Hero game — if it weren’t for Guitar Hero, so many great old rock bands would have been pushed into obscurity by the recent trends. Instead, the rock dinosaurs such as Iron Maiden are touring the world and enjoying almost the same level of success as they did in their prime (which was long before 95% of you who read this were born). And, among the guitar heroes of the golden age of hard-rock, Angus Young of the AC/DC fame might be THE ultimate hero. Physically, he has always been a somewhat comical character – he’s a 5’2” skinny fella, whose trademark stage wear is a school uniform — short trousers, white socks and all (see the pic above)! But when it comes to playing his guitar, this pint-sized man knows his s**t, and his machinations have inspired legions of kids to aspire to become guitar heroes themselves.

Anyway I’ve been an AC/DC fan since, like, forever, but I’ve never seen them perform live. So, for me, to finally attend their gig was a dream come true. And I was eager to get a full AC/DC treatment: therefore, I couldn’t wait to see whether Angus would wear his school uniform (he did!), and whether he would do his ridiculous little duckwalk dance (he did!), and whether Brian Johnson would wear a vest and a flat cap (he did!) and whether the drummer would smoke on the stage (he surely did!)… I was also expecting to see some old school stage antics, like giant-sized inflatable dolls, huge bells and cannons (they were all there!) and of course Angus doing a striptease (and you bet he did it – only to reveal that he’s wearing boxers emblazoned with the AC/DC logo!) So, all boxes ticked – Ivana happy!

Certainly, all this may sound utterly silly to someone who isn’t into old-skool bluesy, greasy, blokey, sexist, flamboyant hard rock – but for the initiated, such as myself, this is the epitome of fun! But goofy stage antics aside, these people know how to cook up a good riff, and their commitment to what they do ultimately transcends the silliness of it all.

The concert was introduced by an inspired Belfast-based band called The Answer. These blokes play some cool bluesy guitar rock but with some funky elements, courtesy of their rhythm section. They’re an exciting live act – the crowd loved them!

And then “the thunder from Down Under” took over. The first song of the night, “Rock’n’Roll Train” (from their latest album Black Ice, released last year), was introduced by a cartoon film of Angus dressed up as the Devil, driving a steam train faster and faster, to the horror of female controllers, and ending up with a real engine crashing onto the stage! The set offered a retrospective of their entire career, so they delivered all the classics such as “Highway To Hell”, “Whole Lotta Rosie”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Back To Black”, as well as a few newer things. Not that anyone could tell the difference between the old and the new songs really, because thirty years later, AC/DC are still doing their own thing – basic riffs, basic rhythms, three chords per song, and lyrics about gettin’ some and having a good time. The singer Brian Johnson is 61 years old (!) and nowadays he can’t hit all the high notes, but his energy level hasn’t decreased at all. In between the songs, the crowd would scream “Angus! Angus!” hoping that the show would never end! (And we were surely very sad when it ended.)

Now, I’ve read some really bad reviews of the AC/DC‘s UK tour (which, by the way, sold out in a matter of hours). The critics accused them of being “immutable dinosaurs” and such. But hey, none of us who bought tickets for their shows would want them to change! These granddads have survived in the music business for more than three decades by remaining true to who they are; and whoever expects them to change now must be smoking something way stronger than cigs. Yeah, they might be relics from the 1970s, misogynous sexists and whatnot, but all of us who packed up the MEN Arena that Tuesday night were simply having too much fun to care.

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The Giant’s House: A Romance (MAD SPOILERS!)

In September last year Ice Cream Man broke news about a film in development titled The Giant’s House that had Rupert Grint’s name attached to it. Regrettably, Mr Marvin Acuna with “Acuna Entertainment” informed us that Rupert was involved with this project but he was not able to commit, due to his busy schedule (which was made even busier by the Half-Blood Prince delay and the Deathly Hallows split). Mr Acuna said that they were quite disappointed and really looked forward to working with Rupert. Since then, the project has been put on hold and it is unknown if/when it will be reactualised. Nevertheless, our very own AJ has read the best selling novel by author Elizabeth McCracken that the film was supposed to be based on, and reviewed it below. The review contains major spoilers, so you’ll get familiar with the plot and the relationship between two protagonists, James Sweatt (whom Rupert was supposed to portray) and Peggy Cort (Niv Campbell was attached to this role). Feel free to comment on this book-should-have-been-turned-into-movie and whether it would have been a good role for Rupert.

AJ’s review

The Giant’s House: A Romance by Elisabeth McCracken
Paperback, Harper Perennial, 1997
ISBN-10: 0380730200; ISBN-13: 978-0380730209

The characters:
– Peggy Cort: A librarian in a small tourist attraction town of Cape Cod. She’s given up on love, she’s a bit plain and lonely. The book is written from her point of view, as if she’s telling a story of her past.

– James Sweatt: A young boy/man who has giantism. He likes to read and do card tricks. He likes to paint and take photographs. He dreams of traveling to places, like New York (which he gets to do) and Boston. Although he is very tall (growing to be about 8’4″) and attracts a lot of attention for it, he’s not treated too negatively, he has friends and folks like to visit him.

– Missus (Mrs. Sweatt): James’ mother. She’s dedicated her life to caring for James. But, I think she’s always had mental health issues as well. She’s an alcoholic, but she’s not mean or violent, she’s just sad.

– Caroline and Oscar Strickland: They are James’ aunt and uncle on his father side (who is pretty much non-existent… well, until the very end.) They are good people who love their nephew and even though James’ father left his wife and child years earlier, they took it upon themselves to care for them.

– There are some other characters that come in and out of the picture, but these are the most important.

Plot: The story is told through rememberances of Peggy Cort in three parts. The first parts discusses how she got in with James and his family. In the beginning, she pretty much dislikes people. She doesn’t think of them as anything beyond library patrons. However, I think she longs to be loved, appreciated and needed. She loves how the people NEED her to help them find books, and it makes her feel special when SHE has the answer to their inquiries. One day, James comes into the library. She notices his height (he was a kid, but already taller than a grown man.) He liked getting books out about magic tricks. This went on for some time, he needed a book about a topic, she’d help him. Until, one day, he’d stop showing cause he injured himself. His mother, Missus, came in to get books for him. Peggy would inquire about him, even offering to take books to him, but the Missus would just get the books. Eventually, Peggy invited herself over and met James’ family. She decided that she liked it there, so in a way, made it a point to become closer to them. James isn’t in the first part of the book much. He’s always out with his friends. During this time Peggy gets to know his mother (who’s a bit tragic) and his aunt and uncle (who brighten up the story a bit.)

Peggy has become close to the family, and then one day Missus takes her pills with her alcohol and wanders outside, and while trying to help her back inside, they fall and she hits her head and James hurts his leg (he’s very fragile, therefore, the smallest injury means months in the hospital for him.) While James is in the hospital, Missus dies from her injuries and no one tells him the entire time he’s in the hospital. This is when Peggy DECIDES that she loves him and that she’s pretty much dedicated to him. She and the Stricklands decide to build him his own house in the back of their house that is scaled for him. It has all of the amenities except a working kitchen and bathroom.

By the time he’d come home, he knew that his mother had died, even though they tried to keep it from him.

So, from this point on, much of the book is about him being in his house and having visitors (his teenage friends and tourists) come to his home. Meanwhile, although 10-11 years older, Peggy is becoming drawn to him, spending much of her time either working or catering to him. He gets a minor crush on this one girl, Stella, and though it pains Peggy, she encourages him a bit. Stella likes James as a friend, but she gets engaged and then married to another man.

James can’t buy his stuff at stores, he has to get his shoes made, his clothes ordered, etc. So, in order to make some money, he goes to a meet and greet at the store that makes his shoes. However, when they wanted to measure him for another pair of shoes, they discovered that his feet were infected (he can’t even feel things in his feet or legs, so he didn’t know.) The shoe store WAS going to send him to New York to a trade show to represent them, but after that, they didn’t want him and they didn’t have the heart to tell him (he’d been looking forward to it.)

James had been given offers by circus shows like Barnum and Bailey to join them, but he didn’t want to. But, finally, he did a small engagement with Barnum, so he could visit New York. He had a nice time (and took Peggy with him.) Met his circus partner, a really small lady, who told him that he should get married, thus causing him to haphazardly ask Peggy to marry him. There’s also this drunk guy in a restaurant (who becomes important later.)

When he gets home (back to being a tourist attraction in his house), he decides that he wants to go to Boston. He and Peggy have one moment together one night. (They’d been told by a Doctor who studied Giantism, that James wouldn’t be much use sexually.) Basically, they spooned and he held her hip and her breast.

That’s it, and then a week later after walking out of a store, he collapsed in the street, but refused to go to the doctor. They take him home, where he just kept getting worse and he died in his sleep. He had an infection in his leg because of the brace he wore digging in his leg (remember, he couldn’t feel things in his leg) and it led to pneumonia. After his death, they continued his house as a museum.

Part three, James’ father comes back, asking about an inheritance. (He was the drunk guy in the restaurant in New York…. but didn’t introduce himself as such). Of course, the Stricklands (his family) have no words for him. So, he bothers Peggy at work, asking questions about his son, for something like a picture of his. They meet and go to her house, where they end up having sex and she gets pregnant (of course, he leaves immediately, and she didn’t expect anything less.) So, she passes off the baby as… James’ baby. The End.

AJ’s Evaluation:

Okay, I have to think of it in its three parts. Part one, it started slow. It was mainly about Peggy and to me, her need to belong, even when she said she didn’t WANT to belong. It helped to establish a relationship with the family. You got to know about James’ mother, who as I said before, seemed a bit tragic. I think she held guilt over her son being so tall and knowing that even though she’d probably take all of the pain away if she could, couldn’t really do much for him. She was a bit overprotective, but wasn’t depressive over him. The Stricklands were a lovely, lively couple who loved their nephew and the two children they ended up having. I really didn’t get a feeling for James in this first part.

Part Two, after James’ mother died, Peggy spends more time around him. One thing that I liked, was that it wasn’t like Beauty and the Beast. For the most part, James was a nice guy. He had school friends, the town’s people liked him. Sure, he was considered an oddity, but he was engaging enough that people would sit down and talk to him. And he often corresponded with some tourist long after they’d gone (like Patty Flood.) The only sad part about him was that he kept growing, so his body was giving out on him. When he was younger, he was tall, but could play baseball, but as he got older, he needed a brace and a cane, couldn’t dance with a pretty girl if he wanted to. He’d become too big for things like cars (Peggy bought a car and had a seat removed so he could sit in it.) He had trouble doing simple things like walking and he couldn’t feel his lower limbs, so he didn’t even know when there were infections.

Regarding his relationship with Peggy, the story was told from her point of view, so we really didn’t know what HE thought about her romantically. He had had a brief crush on Stella, (even asking Peggy to help him with it…), but when she got married and he went to her wedding, he decided to let it go (nothing worst than unrequited love.)

Peggy always talked about how much she loved him (to herself that is.) But, I don’t even know if that was romantic. I personally think (and it becomes clearer to me in the third part) that it was NEED. Personally, I think she NEEDED to have purpose. She needed to take care of him. And when he died, she felt as if she had no purpose.

While at the hotel in New York (they shared adjoining rooms), he asked her if she wanted to get married? But, not in a way, like he was asking her hand, but more of, you’re a girl, do you want something like that, cause that’s what girls want. (However, he was only 20 and he KNEW his days were numbered.) She was thinking yes, but she didn’t want to say it, cause she didn’t want him to think he should marry her, because that’s what girls do.

But, I still don’t know if the love was romantic (in terms of the way, we would think of it), or just a sad kind of romantic way. Cause, he was going to die and he hadn’t had some experiences in life, like a true love. She even kissed him, because he had never been kissed. But, a week later he died.

Part Three: OK, this part FLOORED me. I was all like, this book isn’t too bad, I rather liked it, and then I read part three. Guess who comes walsing back into town two months after his son dies? Mr. Sweatt…. wanting something from his son.

I said before what happened between Peggy and him, but the two of them having sex totally invalidated everything that had happened in the book for me. Oh sure, she felt stupid about it. But, this leaves me thinking, ok, she’s just crazy and lonely.

I go back and think about everything that’s happened. Peggy manipulates her way into their lives. She purposely stops giving Mrs. Sweatt books James would find interesting and then looks up his address so she can worm her way over there. He wasn’t even 18 yet when in her mind she was in love with him. (She wasn’t thinking too much about him in naughty ways, but she wasn’t getting none, so it had crossed her mind a bit.)

Two months after James dies, she slept with his father (who had pretty much abandoned his family), she even though for a moment that she LOVED him (just for one day.)

She immediately tells another library employee (who loves to gossip), that it’s James’ baby, so that the rumor can spread. Even though the baby came out 10 months later (he died 2 months before she got pregnant), no one questioned it (cause it wasn’t supposed to be possible.)

In the end, Peggy is happy, because in her mind, she still has a piece of James; as far as she’s concerned, it’s James’ genes, so it’s James’ baby. And all lived happily ever after, the end. Anyway, she wasn’t an evil mean manipulative character, but in the end, I think she was mental and lonely and she never suffered any consequences (even internally) for her actions. Everything throughout the book just sort of happened, and let’s move on. Mother dies, okay, moving right along; even James’ death felt that way.

I think Peggy did love James. She did practically give her self to him as far as being his companion and doing things for him. That’s why the ending just ruined the rest of the book up for me — somehow it invalidated the entire book.

To be honest, much of the problem is with the author. She put stuff out there, and even though she’s writing from Peggy’s point of view, she never let Peggy go over too much the motivations of her actions. So, to be fair to Peggy, I’ll try to interpret her motivations (even though her actions were wrong.)

Before James died, Peggy invested everything in him. She even said before, that it was easy to fall in love with James because she knew he was dying. She could pour everything she had into him, because she knew that she was a selfish person, and that in a normal relationship, after years of marriage, she’d get bored (or something to that extent.)

However, when he died, her purpose was gone. She was empty again. (James even told her, the night that they “slept” together, that she lived vicariously through him.)

I was disappointed that she even agreed to talk with Mr. Sweatt cause his own sister wanted nothing to do with him. Peggy intended to be rude to him, but he was putting on the charm and I don’t think initially she knew THAT was going to happen. I think Peggy was an empty vessel without James around. And here was his father (oh sure, he’d abandoned him, but a physical link to James), and also, here’s a man in her apartment (and she ain’t had none in ages), and he’s touching her hand and stuff that she isn’t used to. And one thing led to another…..

The next morning, she regretted it and cried about it. She was depressed about it, guilty. But, when she found out she was pregnant, she just claimed it as James’ baby. (She couldn’t say that she slept with his father, now could she…) I think in her mind, she was maintaining a piece of James (James himself from what the doctors said, wouldn’t have been able to impregnate her.) In her mind, she was married to James (the first posthumous marriage, as she called it) and that was their child.

Because the story is told from Peggy’s perspective, we don’t know that much of what goes on in James’ mind. He is very smart, straightforward and aware. He knew his mother was dead well before they told him and was upset that they didn’t just come out with it. He knew that he was going to die young without having had many of the experiences that others his age would have and he resigned himself to it.

I think he loved Peggy (she was always there for him, definitely his best friend). I don’t know if he was in love with her, because he just wasn’t, or he just came to terms that he’d never be able to do anything for someone he was in love with. Even Peggy said that her love for James wasn’t sexual. It was a lot more to her.

So, Peggy is definitely not a bad person, but the author made it okay for her to think that she could do what she did. And we will never know what James would have thought. I think he wouldn’t have gotten too upset with her being with another man (he couldn’t give her anything in that respect), but I don’t think he’d be okay if it was his father. (We don’t even get into how he felt about his father, because James told Peggy not to ask.)

So, don’t hate Peggy, pity her maybe.

What I think about Rupert’s potential for this role?

The question shouldn’t be whether Rupert could play this role, (based solely on the character’s personality and ignoring the Giantism), but whether him playing this role would enable him to exercise his acting skills? Would we have seen something new that would stretch him as a performer?

Before I answer that, the one thing I liked about Peggy and James is their conversations. Though short, they were interesting back and forths. And one thing I’d really like to see Rupert do is to have a conversation in a film. Harry Potter has never really allowed for that.

Now to answer the question, I think personality wise, Rupert could play this character. However, that is not what I think he needs right now. Not saying that every role he plays should be stressful and overly challenging, but I think we can leave James in the Ben Marshall file to an extent (although James is not shy and repressed like Ben.)

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Before Rose’s Departure

rosesdeparture

mashup by Dunigan

It was a warm and sunny morning in early September. The sun peaked through the willow trees surrounded by a tall two story cottage that belonged to a witch and wizard who were notably famous for helping defeat Lord Voldemort. It was around 8 a.m., and a tall man with messy red hair was woken by the sound of things being scattered about, as if the person in the room next to his was looking for something important. The man yawned as he rose from his bed; standing beside the bed he smiled and chuckled, as if he knew the reason for the noise. Before he left the room he kissed his wife on the cheek as he watched her sleep. He walked into the hall and stood outside a door frame looking into a room that was bright yellow and had posters of his favorite Quidditch team, the Chudley Cannons hanging on the wall. He stared at the beloved person who had her back to him.

“What are you looking for?” he asked with a smile.

The little girl was the spitting image of her mother.

“I can’t find Hogwarts, A History anywhere, dad!”

“Don’t worry Rosie, we’ll find it.” Ron Weasley said with a smile on his face, thinking of his wife when she misplaces something and is in a panic.

As they continued to search for the book, Ron came across one under his daughter’s bed.

“Is this what you were looking for?”

Rose ran to her dad giving him a hug — more of a squeeze, really — and took the book.

“Thanks dad, I would have been lost without it!” Rose said.

She ran out of her room coming across her mother who was standing outside the room.

“Hi mum!” Rose said as she ran downstairs.

Ron gave another famous chuckle as he saw his wife enter the room.

“What was all that about?” she said, giving one last yawn.

Ron put his arms around his wife. “She lost Hogwarts, A History,” Ron said.

Hermione rolled her eyes and laughed, “Again? That girl likes to lose things,” Hermione said, as she gave her husband a morning kiss.

“Yeah, I wonder where she gets it?” Ron said with a smirk.

The two made their way out of their daughters’ room to check on their young son, Hugo, who was still in his bed, lying on his stomach, drooling on his pillow and snoring. The two laughed at each other quietly. “Sounds familiar,” Hermione said with a half smile. Ron looked at her and kissed her on the head. They headed downstairs and found Rose sitting at the kitchen table eating cereal and reading her book for Transfiguration. Hermione headed towards her daughter and Ron went to get himself some cereal.

“Rose, haven’t you read that one already?” Hermione asked as she sat down next to her.

Rose responded with a nod, since her mouth was full of cereal.

“You do know that you don’t have to read the books before you start school, don’t you Rosie?” Ron asked as he sat across from them.

“Yes but I believe it’s better to be prepared,” Rose said in the most Hermionish tone.

Rose set aside her Transfiguration book and took out Quidditch 101.

“That’s the book you should read before going off to school,” Ron said.

“It teaches you everything about Quidditch,” Rose said with excitement. “Once I make the Quidditch team, I’ll know everything.”

Ron was slightly amused and gave a proud smile as he saw Rose exit the kitchen and into the living room. Hermione was now giving Ron a glare.

“What?” Ron asked with his mouth full.

“How did you manage to get her all excited about Quidditch?” Hermione asked.

“My charm.”

Hermione laughed. “Yes Ronald, you charm does work wonders.” Hermione was now making her way upstairs to wake up Hugo. About an hour passed by and everyone was dressed and almost ready to head to King’s Cross. Ron went into the living room to check on Rose when he found her looking sad. He made his way to couch that she was sitting on and took a seat beside her.

“What’s the matter Rose”? Ron asked. “Enjoy yourself for a while yet, go outside play with your brother.”

Rose looked at her dad with tears in her eyes. “I’m scared dad,” she said while sniffling.

Ron put his arm around her. “What are you scared of?”

“Everything,” Rose said putting her arms tightly around Ron’s waist. “What if no one likes me, what if I don’t make any friends, what if I’m not smart enough….” She could have gone on and on.

“Rosie, everyone’s going to like you, you’ll make lots of friends, don’t forget, Albus will be there with you, you two are best friends already.” Ron held her head up so she could see him and said, “And you will always be smart enough, maybe the smartest in your class. Just like your mum.”

“That would be brilliant, wouldn’t it, dad?”

“Yeah, it would.”

Rose gave Ron a smile and a kiss on the cheek and ran outside to play with Hugo. Ron went to the window that overlooked their front yard to watch the two people he loved more than anything in the world play together before one of them set off to begin a new journey in their life. Hermione was making her way to the kitchen but found Ron instead.

“What are you doing?” she asked in a sweet tone.

“Just watching them play.” Ron said.

Hermione smiled and put her arms around his waist.

“I’m going to miss Rose. She’s our first born, Hermione, and she’s leaving us,” Ron said.

Hermione was resting her head on his shoulder. “I’m going to miss her too, Ron. But we both knew this day would come. She’s growing up. We have to be strong about this.”

Ron made his way across the room with his hands in his pockets. Hermione followed him; she knew he still had more to say, so she didn’t stay far behind. Ron sat by the wizard chess table. Ron was examining the chess pieces as he spoke.

“Remember how much her and I would play wizard chess?” he asked as he moved some chess pieces around.

“Almost every night, you taught her well,” Hermione said with a smile.

Ron laughed. “She beat me so many times. She beat me during our third game. Smart one she is. Thank goodness she’s inherited your brains.”

Hermione entangled her arms in his and sighed. “She may have inherited my brains, but Ron, she’s more like you than you know.” A smile was spread across Hermione’s face as she had just spoke. She loved to think that her children had Ron’s joyful and spirited personality, but also had a conscience like hers that told them when they were getting too carried away.

Less than a minute later they heard multiple footsteps coming from the kitchen. Hugo was in the doorway looking at his parents.

“Dad can you take Rosie and me on your broom before we go to King’s Cross?” Hugo asked with excitement.

Ron looked at Hermione asking for her approval. Hermione’s smile indicated that he should take them flying.

“Can we, dad?” Hugo eagerly asked again.

Ron smiled at his son.

“Yes! Rosie, dad’s going to let us fly!” Hugo yelled.

Rosie ran to her dad and gave him a hug and almost didn’t let go until he got his broom.

“Alright, Rosie I’ll take you first,” Ron said.

Rosie jumped with excitement and got on her dad’s broom. They were off.

Hermione was now outside standing beside her son, watching his facial expressions as he saw his dad and sister flying. Something Hugo always loved to do. As Hermione watched them to, she recollected the first time Ron had taken his baby girl flying. Hermione had tears in her eyes, as she realized her daughter was growing up.

Disclaimer: The characters of and situations of Harry Potter used in this story are the legal property of J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, and AOL Time Warner. We are just borrowing them. No copyright infringement is intended.

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