Author's Notes: On Tumblr, I run a blog called Ask-Magical-Total-Drama, which is basically all the TD characters in a Hogwarts AU. This, of course, required lots of back story and headcanons, which I might as well also use for fanfic.
These will basically be a bunch of random, often unrelated short stories, though they do have a shared continuity. Hopefully everything will be clear enough that you can read them here even if you don't follow the blog (he said, knowing full-well that part of this story isn't).
For this chapter, no Wawanakwa School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; instead, back story about why Shawn is such a nervous wreck, with lots of Ezekiel's family because why not?
Nine-year-old Shawn Wright rode his bike through the field, staring up at the steel-gray clouds above him. "I'm starting to think today was a bad day to come outside," he muttered.
Shawn was answered by a cold breeze, which swept through the tall prairie grass and made him shiver. Normally Shawn would spend the whole weekend outdoors if he could, but the weather had been getting darker and colder all morning, and he really wasn't looking forward to a four kilometer bike ride if it finally started to rain. But then, he wasn't looking forward to being cooped up inside and having to fight with his sister over the TV either.
Shawn reached the end of the field and crossed the dirt road, finally coming to his destination—the Bouctouche family farm, where his friend Ezekiel lived. Shawn got off his bike and left it at the gate, walking the long, well-trod path toward the family home. The place had a huge front yard and apple trees growing on one side of the path; the barn, wheat and animals were all kept behind the house.
Shawn looked up at the sky again, frowning. Well, there was no chance of coaxing Ezekiel to come play outside, he thought, and it was never much fun inside the Bouctouche house—his parents were super-strict; Ezekiel didn't own a computer or even any video games. But at least Mrs. Bouctouche would offer him some lunch, and if it started raining Mr. Bouctouche could at least drive him home—
Suddenly Shawn stopped, bent over, and shivered violently, feeling as if ice water had just flooded his insides. The temperature had instantly gone from "a bit chilly" to "why are you wearing a bathing suit in the snow?," but other than that Shawn hadn't felt so much as a light breeze.
Shawn lifted his head, tried to stand upright, and saw it, gliding out from the shadows between the Bouctouches' apple trees.
The rational part of Shawn's brain immediately thought of a man in a Halloween costume, except that, if he was judging distances right, this man must have been huge, and the instinctual part of his brain was screaming that that wasn't even close to right. Its clothes looked less like a black cloak and more like a shadow that had been made solid. Its head leaned back and made a strange, horrible rattling sound, and Shawn automatically shivered again, his head suddenly spinning, a horrible terror clutching at his heart—
Then he saw a hand emerge from the cloak's sleeve. A scabby, dead-looking hand with pallid gray skin, which reached out toward Shawn as the figure turned, gliding out of the shadows in his direction.
For a moment, Shawn stood frozen. But as the figure approached—as soon as Shawn's mind processed the fact that it was heading right towards him—he found the ability to move. And he ran screaming.
Ezekiel Bouctouche was calmly sitting in his den, reading a book, when a sudden noise made him jump so hard that he fell onto the floor.
BANG BANG BANG! DING-DONG! BANG DING-DONG BANG!
"Let me in! It's after me! IT'S AFTER ME!"
Blinking in confusion, Ezekiel crossed the room and had barely started to open the door when Shawn ran in, slammed it shut and pressed his back against it, wide-eyed and panting.
"Uh…hi?" Ezekiel said, taking a cautious step away from him. "Is…everything okay?"
Almost faster than Ezekiel could see, he dashed onto the love seat and curled up in a ball, shaking. Ezekiel didn't have time to react, however, as a set of heavy footsteps came in from the kitchen, and his dad appeared in the doorway, followed closely by his mom, who looked like she had been in the middle of cooking lunch.
"What on Earth is going in out here?!"
Ezekiel looked to Shawn, who was still cowering, and then to his dad, who was apparently waiting for him to offer an explanation. Ezekiel just shrugged, and then, when his dad kept staring at him, motioned to his friend. "Shawn just ran in here screaming, eh. Said something about a—"
Ezekiel and both his parents winced. A child began crying in another part of the house.
Mrs. Bouctouche sighed. "Well, sounds like Mel's up from his nap. Watch your blood pressure, Jethro," she added, giving her husband a poke on the arm before heading upstairs.
Ezekiel had managed to get Shawn into a sitting position, though the younger boy was still shaking, holding his knees up against his chest. "It's right outside, near your apple trees—only saw one, but who knows how many there are—IS THAT DOOR BARRICADED?! WHY HAVEN'T YOU BARRICADED THE DOOR YET?!"
Jethro Bouctouche crossed his arms, glaring down at the boy. He was a very large man and could usually be quite intimidating, but right now Shawn seemed oblivious to anything around him. His eyes darted around the room, making him look like a cornered animal.
Jethro sighed, trying to hold his temper. "Calm down. You did not see a zombie, eh. It was probably just a branch moving in the wind, or a shadow, or that damn Scott kid trying to steal more of our fruit—"
"It was a zombie! I'm sure of it! I saw it's hand!" Shawn said, waving his own wildly. "It was all—dead and gray and rotted! And it was making this—horrible noise, like the rattley gasp people make when they die on TV! I'm telling you, it was real!"
Jethro rolled his eyes. "Shawn, I'm telling you, it could not—"
He stopped as something clicked in his head. He frowned thoughtfully, glancing toward the window and the dark sky outside.
"…from the States. They don't even live in Canada, eh," Ezekiel was saying as his father weighed the possibilities.
"They don't live anywhere! All I'm telling you is that I saw a dead person walking around outside!"
"Ezekiel!" Jethro snapped, just as his son was about to start talking again. Ezekiel immediately straightened up, glancing at his father. "I'm going to go outside and take a look around. You take care of Shawn, Mel and your mom, eh?"
"Uh—okay. But, uh—what do you mean?" he asking, stepping away from his trembling friend and dropping his tone to a whisper.
Jethro hesitated for a moment, then answered in an even quieter voice so that Shawn couldn't hear. "I'm not sure. But if anything happens, use the Floo powder to get Mr. Lovell. Understand?"
Ezekiel didn't have time to ask anything else; his mother had just appeared on the staircase, holding his little brother's hand, and Jethro went over, exchanging a few whispered words before walking out of the house.
And as soon as the door was closed, Jethro reached into his pocket and pulled out his wand.
Ezekiel had to practically drag Shawn to the kitchen table. Fortunately, the younger boy had finally stopped snapping between a blank stupor and manic terror—unfortunately, this just meant he was stuck in terror now.
"I can't believe your dad went out there! He's a dead man, Zeke! Who knows how many more zombies are out there! And not just here—what if they already got to my house? What if they already got to the whole town?! We might be the last living humans in all of Rowling! DOESN'T THAT FREAK YOU OUT, ZEKE?!"
Ezekiel's little brother Mel, who had been playing with his crayons, held up a scribbly drawing. "Zommie!" he said cheerfully.
Mrs. Bouctouche clucked her tongue from the stove where she was cooking. "Now, Shawn, don't you think you're overreacting?"
"You didn't see it! You didn't—feel the chill running down your spine…"
Shawn's voice had turned very quiet again, and he hugged himself, shivering again. Ezekiel watched him with concern, then turned to the back of his mother's head. He didn't know what his father had said to her—and he couldn't exactly ask in front of Shawn—but he could swear that her tone and movements seemed more cautious and fretful than usual. Truth be told, this whole situation was making him nervous too.
Frowning to herself, Mrs. Bouctouche set two steaming mugs down on the table and handed a sippy cup to Mel. "Here. Have some hot chocolate. Lunch'll be ready in a few minutes, eh?"
Ezekiel took his cup and began to sip, watching as Shawn began scratching under his toque nervously. "How much food do you guys have, anyway? We'll probably have to hole up here—that's what they always do in the movies, anyway—wait 'em out…not that that ever works, though…ugh…"
He picked up his hot chocolate—his hands were trembling so badly he spilled some on the table—and took a slow sip. "Mmm,"he said suddenly, his face perking up. "This is really good, Mrs. B. Your dad has a shotgun, right?" he asked suddenly, turning to Ezekiel.
"Huh?" Ezekiel blinked. "Uh—no."
"But I thought you two went on hunting trips all the time?!"
"Well, yeah, but Dad usually uses his wa—"
Mrs. Bouctouche, over at the counter, "accidentally" slammed the cabinet closed so loudly that it made Ezekiel jump; she shot him a look, and he suddenly shut his mouth tightly, turning a shade of pink. Shawn didn't seem to notice any of that.
"How are we gonna defend this place from the zombies if we don't have any weapons?! You guys are weirdo farm-people, you're supposed to have a shotgun!"
"Shawn, be quiet and drink your cocoa," Mrs. Bouctouche said, her tone firm.
Shawn winced like a dog who had been smacked with the newspaper, then sipped his hot chocolate again; it seemed to do wonders for his nerves, because he visibly relaxed and finished what was left of his mug. "This stuff is really good. Um—c-can I get a refill?"
"Of course," Mrs. Bouctouche said deftly, taking his mug away as she set a peanut butter sandwich down in front of Mel.
"With marshmallows?" Shawn added, his voice tiny and hopefully.
"I'll see what I can do."
Ezekiel sipped his own mug, but somehow still felt a bit queasy as he glanced out the kitchen window.
It had started to rain, albeit lightly, as Jethro approached the fruit trees, his wand held firmly in his hand. There was a hard look in his dark gray eyes.
"If anybody's there, you have one chance to come out before I curse you. Scott."
For a moment there was no sound but the wind and no movement except the trees' waving branches. But then, he heard it—a low, rattling breath, at the same time that a ten-foot shadow began to move toward him—
A full-sized, silvery bull exploded from the end of Jethro's wand, slamming into the dementor with all of its might. The specter flew back, seemed to almost lose its shape for a moment, and then fled, gliding as quickly as it could with Jethro's Patronus racing after it.
Jethro raised his wand higher, scanning the area—it wasn't unknown for dementors to travel in groups. The rain was getting harder now, as if it weren't difficult enough to see—he muttered a quick "Lumos," waving his wand like a torch—
His wand-light fell on another huge shadow gliding right toward him. He swung his arm back to deliver another Patronus—and the light revealed two more, approaching from another part of the trees.
Jethro's eyes widened, and he hesitated for just a second—which was all it took for the dementors' presence to hit him like a blast of icy wind. He took a step back, stumbled, nearly fell—it was raining harder now, or maybe his vision was just blurred. He tried to raise his wand again, but suddenly his arm felt so heavy…the orchard was spinning, and a cold sort of terror was slowly settling in—
He heard a child scream and recognized the voice instantly.
His vision continued to darken, and suddenly the rainy daytime and the looming dementors were changing—Jethro closed his eyes tight, but he still saw flashes of a dark night, a full moon in the sky, and the glint of claws and teeth as the stench of blood collided with his face—
Jethro waved his wand wildly, and then again, and managed to produce some silvery mist. His vision began to clear in time to see the dementors drawing back, their advance halted by the half-formed Patronus. Jethro grit his teeth and took several deep breaths, then yelled again, "EXPECTO PATRONUM!"
This time it worked—another bull came charging out of his wand, and the dementors fled, disappearing into the shadows as the Patronus gave chase.
Jethro took a few shaky steps and collapsed against the nearest tree. "Just a memory, eh," he said, panting as he looked back up toward the house.
Mrs. Bouctouche remembered her husband saying that chocolate calmed you down after a dementor encounter. Well, it apparently had its limits, because Shawn was on his fourth mug and was still acting crazier than usual.
"How much food do you guys have stored up?"
"I don't know, Shawn," said Ezekiel. He was sitting on the couch, his face buried in his hands. He could only go so long before his worry gave way to annoyance.
"What about a panic room? We need a place where we know the zombies can't reach us!"
Ezekiel scoffed. Well, with all the protection charms Dad put on the cellar—
Both boys jumped as the door banged open. Jethro stumbled in, sopping wet. Mrs. Bouctouche quickly got up to meet him.
"Is everything alright out there?"
"Everything's fine. I didn't find anything."
Shawn jumped to his feet. "BUT I SAW IT—"
The boy drew back like a frightened animal. Jethro sighed, meeting his wife's gaze as she gave him a stern look. "Look, it's raining cats and dogs anyway, so I'll drive you home. That way no 'zombies' will get you, eh?"
Shawn looked nervous. "I…guess." His eye twitched, and then he crossed his legs. "Er—I can use your bathroom before we go?"
"Of course, dear," said Mrs. Bouctouche.
Shawn ran upstairs. Ezekiel rose from the couch and cautiously approached his father.
"Did you…really find anything, Dad?"
Jethro sighed again. "Yeah. A couple of dementors." Ezekiel's eyes widened as Jethro rubbed his eyes wearily. "Not sure where they ran off too—I should probably send an owl to the Verhoevens and the Lovells, let them know to be on the lookout…then someone'll probably call in an Auror, and we'll have to spend the whole afternoon dealing with bureaucrats…"
Ezekiel swallowed; he only ever read about dementors in books, but from what he knew they sounded terrible. Then a thought occurred. "Wait—I thought only wizards could see dementors. Shawn's a Muggle."
Jethro waved his hand in an exhausted sort of way. "Apparently not, eh?"
Ezekiel's eyes widened as he let that sink in. "So does that I mean I can tell him that I'm a wizard—"
"Hold your horses, young man," his mother said, raising her hand. "The last thing that boy needs right now is another shock to his system, eh?"
"Got that right," Jethro said, though he was mostly thinking about how annoying that kid might become if he started asking a million questions about magic. "He'll find out in a couple of years anyway. No use breaking the Statute of Secrecy until then."
"No 'buts,' Ezekiel."
Ezekiel deflated under his father's unyielding eye. He was imagining all the possibilities, though…
Shawn came back downstairs, eyeing the door nervously. "I'm ready to go, Mr. B. I guess. Are you…sure you don't have a shotgun we can bring?"
Jethro rolled his eyes as he put his hand on Shawn's back and steered him out of the house.