Chapter 5, The boys go on a madcap adventure involving a shopping cart!
Of Portkeys And Shopping Carts
The six boys tumbled through the wild kaleidoscope of sparkling nothingness and fell hard on top of a large daisy covered hill. This time, they survived the impact without losing consciousness.
Twenty feet from them, the shopping cart lay smoking and overturned, its four wheels still spinning in the sunny fresh air. Disposable diapers littered the hillside. Next to the shopping cart lay Voldebby’s stuffed Hungarian Horntail, complete with fire breathing capabilities, and removable scales.
Remmie walked over to the shopping cart. As the wheels creaked to a rusty stop, he picked up the toy dragon and held it, ululating sorrowfully.
It took him a while to realize someone, or something, was howling with him. He turned to see Harseverius, with his head raised to the sky, baying like a bloodhound.
Remmie had a brilliant idea. To his best recollection, Harseverius was part dog. He brought Voldebby’s dragon to Harseverius, and let him sniff it. Harseverius started panting, and he wiggled his bottom, as he would have wagged his tail, if he had one.
“Heresh the dragon, geet the dragon, buddy!” Remmie simpered to Harseverius, who got so excited he was trembling. Harseverius took the dragon in his mouth, shaking it violently back and forth, as if to kill it.
“Thash it, buddy! Find sissy, go FIND her!” Remmie’s voice was so high pitched; it excited Harseverius to the point where he could not contain himself. He raised his left leg and urinated on Remmie's socks.
“BAD boy… BAD boy!” screamed Remmie in protest. He picked up a branch from the ground to hit his brother, but accidentally dropped it. The branch rolled down the hill, and Harseverius ran after it, panting and barking.
Albie and Argie were laughing so hard, they messed their pull-ups. Good thing there were diapers available. Granted, they were several sizes too small, but beggars could not choose in these circumstances!
Even Ron Jr. was smiling, showing his bottle-rotted teeth.
Dra-ville wobbled over to Remmie and put a hand on the stunned boys shoulder. “FuFu wangammabada?” he tenderly asked his brother. (FuFu wangammabada roughly translates to 'What now, oh smartest among us?')
“I’m open for suggestions,” Remmie said, with a sigh of resignation.
“Ung lubba ding von lick da shvemp!” Dra-ville suggested.
“That’s BRILLIANT!” cried Remmie.
Dra-ville swished and flicked his mothers’ wand, and accio-ed the cart. Dra-ville repaired any problems with a quick reparo. Remmie whistled a few times in rapid succession and summoned Harseverius, who had the dragon in his hand and a stick in his mouth. His face was flushed with excitement, and his mismatched eyes twinkled with mischief.
Dra-ville pointed the wand at Harseverius. Harseverius cowered to the ground and urinated again, not bothering to lift his leg.
“HITCH CANIS UT CURRUS!” bellowed Dra-ville.
Long, thin strips of leather like material formed itself around Harseverius’s torso and elongated, attaching themselves to the front bar of the shopping cart, just between the two front wheels. Another appendage, resembling a fishing pole, grew from the front end of the cart, with a long string dangling down just inches in front of the poor dog like child’s nose. Harseverius trembled as he stared at the string, which was swaying slightly in the breeze.
Dra-ville pointed the wand at the cart. “CURRUS AMPLUS!” he shouted. The shopping cart elongated to roughly the size of a minivan.
For once Ron Jr. was interested in what his brothers were doing, and sauntered over to them.
“That looks terribly unsafe,” he offered.
“Yurga dumg plapple, Ron.”
Ron Jr. blinked at Dra-ville, and then looked at Remmie.
“What he said was, you’re probably right, Ron,” Remmie informed his freckled brother.
Per Ron Jr.’s practical thinking, Dra-ville swished the wand inside the cart and incanted “Adaugeo seatbelts!” Seatbelts appeared in the shopping cart, enough to restrain five children.
Albie and Argie were the first in the cart, and they crowded in the back seats. They shifted uncomfortably, because they had to tape the smaller diapers to their bare skin in order to make them fit.
“Hey guys, wouldn’t it be easier to just go in the toilet?” Ron Jr. suggested.
Albie and Argie looked at each other with “Why didn’t we think of that before?” looks on their faces, and simultaneously whipped their diapers off, screaming in pain from the tape taking out chunks of skin. They ran behind a nearby tree and did their business, returning with “We’re big boys now!” looks on their faces.
Remmie patted Ron on the back; “Nice work, mate!”
Ron Jr. beamed, taking a huge swig from the two liter, draining the contents. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and tossed the bottle carelessly on the hill, where it rolled down rapidly.
With a lurch, Harseverius ran after the bottle, taking the empty cart with him. The straps that connected the boy and basket snapped taut, and the cart squeaked and groaned unhappily, as it made its rapid descent down the hill.
The boys chased after him, to no avail. Thinking quickly, Remmie instructed the boys to hop on the broom, and they rushed down the hill toward the runaway shopping cart. Harseverius was pulling the cart faster than the boys could fly. Remmie stood on the end of the broom, freeing his hands, and grasped for the bright blue handle of the rapidly descending vessel.
He reached for it again.
He missed again.
Stretching his fingers and screwing his face up in concentration, much as Daniel Radcliffe did in the movies right before he caught the golden snitch, he managed to grasp the cart with the tips of his fingers. He finally got a firm grip on the handle, but found himself pulled swiftly along by his brother’s relentless pursuit of the empty bottle.
Remmie looked back at Dra-ville panicking. “DO SOMETHING!” he screamed.
Dra-ville pulled out the wand again. “RETARDO BARDUS CURRUS!” he shouted. The cart rolled to a gentle stop, just at the bottom of the hill.
The boys fell off the broom, exhausted and out of breath.
Harseverius lay with the empty bottle between his hands, chewing delightedly on the red plastic cap.
Remmie hadn’t studied Latin since a year ago; his Mother could not afford the lessons. He was not sure of it, but he thought his brother had just used a spell called “Slow down the Stupid Cart.” Remmie had no recollection of any such spell, but he was glad his slow yet brilliant younger brother knew it.
The six boys lay at the bottom of the hill, staring up at the shifting clouds, listening to Harseverius chew the bottle into little pieces. They watched as the clouds became thicker and darker, finally spouting jagged fingers of lightning. Fat, violent drops of rain fell from the sky, quickly soaking the boys in the torrent. The boys were too tired to do anything.
“Um… Guys?” asked Ron Jr. “I think we had better get out of the rain, we could all catch colds.”
Since when did RON become the sensible one? Remmie thought, resentfully.
“Asha garth smurgletta Ron!” garbled Dra-ville.
Ron Jr. had barely glanced over at Remmie when he rolled his eyes and told his redhead brother; “What he said was that’s a good suggestion, Ron.” Remmie noticed his brother’s babblings were becoming closer to the words he actually meant to say.
Dra-ville pointed the wand to a somewhat dry place under a tree and chanted "Constructum tectum." Right before their eyes, a doublewide trailer appeared, complete with Astroturf and pink flamingos.
The boys ran inside, out of the rainstorm that had just turned into a hailstorm. Harseverius scratched pitifully at the door, still attached to the cart. He sighed in resignation and curled up underneath the awning, falling into a fitful sleep, huffing and twitching his legs.
Outside, as late afternoon progressed to evening, the storm worsened. All of Hermione’s boys were sleeping, but her only daughter was still awake. She sat in a darkened room of a house not far away, in a brand new porta-crib bought at Wal-Mart. The pupils in her bulging green eyes contracted with every flash of lightning. She could not sleep without her stuffed dragon. It was going to be a LONG night.