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[2] The Fiendish Violin
by boy = shy of girls (girlshy)
at October 31st, 2007 (12:15 am)
current location: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
current mood: apathetic
current song: Morning Musume - Onna ni Sachi Are

Title: The Fiendish Violin
Prompt: [2] Hallow's Eve
Book/Era: October, 1998
Pairing/Characters: Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood
Rating: U
Warnings: N/A
Length: 995 words
Disclaimer: All characters created and owned by J.K. Rowling
note: Post-Deathly Hallows, no specific spoilers
semi-related plugs: PR0NTOBER

"There was, of course, a fourth Hallow." The Ravenclaw girl whispered in a conspiratorial manner.

Hermione Granger sighed and rolled her eyes, slamming the book shut and turning to look at the younger girl.

"No there wasn't, Luna," she replied in a terse voice. "The story only mentions three brothers, even your father said..."

Luna failed to look away, her eyes staring directly at Hermione with a sort of earnest belief that the older girl had become familiar with, if not entirely comfortable with.

"No, there was a fourth Peverell brother. He arrived late, you see." She leant in closer, her fringe pulled by back by the multitude of clips she wore in her hair.

Despite the cold of the season, Luna had cast a tanning charm over herself, lending her skin a richer tone than usual, one that clashed hideously with the white lipstick she wore.

Several, short months had passed since they had returned to Hogwarts, the climatic events of the previous year a painful memory that reasserted itself in every scar and wound the old castle now wore. Most telling though, it was not the building's suffering that caused Hermione the most pain, but rather the absences.

They had decided to return to school in order to finally take the year they had missed and all she could think of was the people who hadn't returned...friends who should have had a chance to live normal lives again, friends who should have been with them now.

She dismissed the thoughts quickly; narrowing her eyes in a decidedly feline fashion, a trait that Ron claimed made her look far too much like Crookshanks (which in turn was a comment that usually lead to a practised rant on how you couldn't trust owners who acted like their pets).

"You're making it up." She said.

Luna's eyes widened for the briefest of moments, her lips twitching before finally struggling to drive the expression from her face.

"I'm not making it up." She said firmly. "There was a fourth brother named Frank. He arrived half-an-hour after the other three because he was dragging his feet.

"When Death asked him what boon he would request, Frank Peverell asked for an enchanted violin that would compel all who heard it to dance."

"What good would a violin be?" Hermione asked with suspicion. "How did he plan to outwit Death with a violin?"

Luna's white lips cracked into a knowing smile.

"When Frank parted company with Death, he travelled for some miles before arriving at a tavern and deciding he was in need of refreshment. The trouble was, however, that Frank had whiled his money on the journey with his brothers.

"So he set his cap down on the ground before his feet and began to play upon the violin Death had granted him. At the sound of this glorious instrument, every man, woman, child and beast began to tremble, exiting their homes and dancing with uncommon vigour to the tune Frank played.

"After several hours the villagers became weary and began to cry out for Frank to stop his recital, for as long as the violin played so they were bound to dance. Frank smiled and told them he would surely stop if only they would reimburse him for the entertainment he had brought them.

"So desperate were the villagers to cease their cursed movements that instantly they began to empty their pockets of coins, spilling silver, bronze and even gold into the waiting cap at Frank's feet.

"Cruelly though, Frank did not stop playing and slowly, one by one, the villagers began to drop dead."

"That's ridiculous," Hermione protested. "I'm sure that would have been recorded somewhere if it had happened...I would have read about it..."

Frantically she began to scramble amongst her books.

"It's not ridiculous, it's what happened." Luna said firmly.

"So how did Death win trap the fourth brother then?" Hermione challenged her.

"Frank continued to play his violin, travelling from village to village and filling his pockets with their riches and driving many to an early grave with his playing.

"Whilst this continued Death was somewhat reluctant to intervene as, the more Frank played, the more souls Death come into possession of. After some time however, Frank began to boast that he himself was Death and that only he held the power to judge souls, dispatching all who proved themselves unfit for life with the skill of his music.

"This caused Death much rancour and so he laid a trap, ensuring that Frank was diverted from the path to the next village and instead he dressed up a small abandoned ghost town in the Underworld to appear as if it were this very village.

"Frank arrived, unaware of Death's deceit and began his usual declamations before taking bow to instrument and beginning to play.

"After only a moment he noticed however that something was wrong. None of the villagers were inclined to dance to Frank's tune, for, in truth, they were already dead.

"Frank became nervous at their lack of movement and began to play with greater and greater intensity and yet still none of the villagers would dance to his tune. So he continued, driving himself harder and harder. He played for forty days and forty nights until finally, on the forty-first day, he dropped dead."

Hermione blinked.

"Just like that?" She asked doubtfully.

Luna nodded slowly.

"Just like that." She repeated, the knowing smile again finding its way to her lips.

"And that's when Death took him?" She asked.

Luna nodded.

"Even now, Frank Peverell still dances to the tune Death plays, unable to stop and incapable of escape. That's the story of the fourth Hallow; the Fiendish Violin."

Hermione looked at her blankly and then with a deep sigh, opened her book again, determined to bite back the sour reply that had formed in her mind.

Taking this as a victory, Luna Lovegood returned to humming absently and smiled quietly to herself.