Thursday, April 30, 2009

There Was Only Ever One (Ashokan Farewell, Jay Ungar)

Well, Poetry Month is up, and I didn't write quite as much as I'd hoped, but here's a filksong to the tune of Ashokan Farewell to close out the month, inspired by our peeks into Snape's memories late in the Harry Potter series.  Poor Sev...

There Was Only Ever One

There was only ever one in this world so unforgiving
Who banished the darkness dementing my days,
Only one who made me see that a life could be worth living,
Dissolving despair with her gossamer gaze.

But I pushed her away and lost her forever.
Seduced by their silky lies,
I abandoned the wise to follow the clever,
Becoming a beast she was bound to despise.

Though my love for her endured, she was wedded to my rival,
The smug interloper I longed to destroy.
I'd revoke that bitter wish for the sake of her survival;
The best I can do is watch over her boy.

Lily, fairest of all the blooms in the garden,
My penance has now begun.
I will dream of one day perceiving your pardon
Alight in the emerald eyes of your son.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sympathy for the Snake

Taken from a poetry prompt about being an outsider...

Sympathy for the Snake

When Harry was a boy of only ten,
He joined his aunt and uncle at the zoo.
He'd never even heard of Hogwarts then;
Neglect was all the orphaned wizard knew.

So when he saw the snake behind the glass,
His pity penetrated to the bone.
He too was trapped, a creature to harass,
A being both imprisoned and alone.

In later years, the serpent's specter loomed,
And Harry fought a battle deep within.
The Boy Who Lived refused to be consumed
By deadly pride, the mark of Slytherin.

But as the final confrontation neared,
He once again found cause for empathy.
The Slytherin he most despised and feared
Had grown up disregarded.  So had he.

Thus Harry, seeing how destructive zeal
Could follow from egregious childhood aches,
Became the one to help the Houses heal:
The Gryffindor who sympathized with snakes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Those Twins (Belle, Alan Menken / Howard Ashman)

I've never been much good at practical jokes, so I thought I'd acknowledge the first of April with a tribute to my favorite pranksters, to the tune of Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  Here's to you, Fred and George!  Happy April Fools' Day!

Those Twins

[The sun rises on the Burrow on a summer day in 1993]

Ginny: Little house.
It's a tiny cottage.
Ron: Could be dull
As Professor Binns.
Percy: But this house
Full of red-haired people
Is in disarray...

Those twins!
Percy: Those twins!
Molly: Those twins!
Percy: Those twins!
Molly and Percy: Those twins!

Fred: (peeks from around corner)
There goes our brother with his badge like always.
How can he walk with that big head?
George: You would think he’d know my name
Since we live here in the same
Overpopulated house... (goes into kitchen)

Percy: Good morning, Fred!
George: ‘Morning, Perce!
Percy: Where‘s George?
George: Upstairs.  Starting to smell up there; I think he just set off some dungbombs in your bedroom, and -
Percy: That George...  Mother!  I’ll show him...  Mother!
(George leaves and dashes off laughing with Fred)

[in a Hogwarts corridor, that fall]

Filch: Look, there they go.  Those boys are brats, no question.
They strut around with cheeky grins,
But their antics aren’t allowed.
Since they first came here, I’ve vowed
To revive the old deterrents for those twins.

They liven up Transfiguration.
Snape: Those hooligans!  They cause me strife.
Flitwick: Their flair for Charms is quite extensive.
I’ve never taught such students in my life!

[approaching Ludo Bagman at the Yule Ball, winter of '94]

Ludo: Ah, boys!
Fred: Good evening! 
George: We'd like to request the funds you promised.
Ludo: Bugging me still, boys? 
George: Look, that was all our savings!
Fred: We'll give you another trick wand...
Ludo: You're too young to gamble anyway!
Fred: Ha!  That's not what you said at the World Cup!
Ludo: World Cup...  Well, I had a lot on my mind!
George: Well, we have a lot of tricks up our sleeves!
Fred: Canary Creams -
George: Ton-Tongue Toffees -
Fred: All sorts of stuff, but we need supplies!
Ludo: Say, boys, isn't that your brother headed this way?
Fred and George: Oh, blast!
Ludo: Toodle-oo!
Fred: We'll see you...
George: See you very soon!

[Gryffindor common room]

Hermione: The twins are whispering.  It's so peculiar;
They're always making so much noise!
As I pore over my book,
I will just steal a quick look.
Oh, I wonder what they're up to now, those boys...

[on the Hogwarts Express at the end of the school year]

Fred: George, isn't this amazing?
We can start that joke shop, you and me.
George: And when it's up and running,
We'll let Harry take his pick of merchandise for free!

[at Grimmauld Place, late summer of '95]

Molly: I'm putting both of you on clean-up duty.
Go empty out the rubbish bins.
Fred: Here's a cheerful little thought -
We'll recover what she got.
Oh, she'll never get the best of me.
George: No, she won't get the best of me.
Molly: Oh, they won't get the best of me, those twins!

[a few days later, huddled around Ron's Hogwarts letter]

George: No way!
Fred: No one in their right mind would make Ron a prefect!
George: (to Harry) We thought Dumbledore was bound to pick you!
Fred: I guess you've caused too much trouble.  Good for you!
George: Bad for us.  Mum's going to be revolting.
Fred and George: (chanting) Ickle Ronnie Prefect, ickle Ronnie Prefect...
Fred: At least one of you's got their priorities right.

Hermione: Can you believe this, Ron?  We'll both be prefects.
These two had best tone down their sins.
Molly: Now with any luck you will be a Head Boy just like Bill.
What a shame it didn't rub off on the twins...

[in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, fall]

Fred: We have no use for school achievements.
George: We have our O.W.L.s, so who needs N.E.W.T.s?
Fred: It won't be long before we leave this,
But first we've got to find some test recruits.

[in the Gryffindor Common Room, where first-years are sampling Skiving Snackboxes]

George: Pastilles!
Fred: They're good!
George: They're safe!
Hermione: They're not!
Fred: No harm in puking!
George: Nougats are tops!
Hermione: Nosebleeds!
Fred: So what?
George: They're fine!
Fred: You'll see!
Hermione: Not on your life!
George: What can you do?
Hermione: I'll write -
Fred: Oh, no -
Hermione: Your mum!
George: Not her!
Hermione: You need rebuking.
Fred: Now that's just low!
Hermione: One warning.  Just one warning!

[back at the Burrow]

Arthur: I think their tricks are funny, but my wife...
Molly: Those boys will never get ahead in life!

[at Hogwarts, spring of '96, as Fred and George make their grand exit]

I think we've had enough of education.
Time for our real lives to begin!
Students: Though we hate to see them go,
There's one thing that we know:
They are on their way to great careers.
Hermione: Unusual but great careers.
Students: They're on their way to great careers,
Those twins!