The Sugar Quill
Author: B. Nonymous & Herm-own-ninny  Story: Tastes Like Chicken  Chapter: Default
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Tastes Like Chicken - B. Nonymous & Herm-own-ninny

Tastes Like Chicken.

It took Charlie Weasley thirty minutes to trek from Hogsmeade to the threshold of the Forbidden Forest. He needed the entire half-hour to release the tension that had built up to one single punch...

Percy sat at the kitchen table with the entire Weasley clan. He was on speaking terms with them again -- sort of. "Well, of course, now that the Ministry has confirmation of You-Know-Who's return, steps can be taken to protect those who are in danger."

Charlie, sitting opposite Percy at the edge of the long wooden table, clenched his fist in anger. It was just like Percy. Even now, with Voldemort's return out in the open, Percy could not resist toeing the Ministry line. After the fiasco in the Ministry headquarters, Fudge had issued a vaguely worded statement implying that the Ministry had suspected all along that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named sought to reform his circle of Death Eaters and return to power. The press release also implied that Ministry officials had been working tirelessly for the past year to block the Dark Lord's return but that efforts had been inadvertently sabotaged by a "rogue faction."

"Dumbledore meant well, we know," continued Percy, "but what he doesn't understand is that it doesn't do anyone any good to go against the Ministry at a time like this. We can't have people undermining the Ministry's authority. After all, isn't that exactly what You-Know-Who is doing?"

Molly screamed as Charlie leapt to his feet, grabbed Percy by the collar of his pressed, starched Ministry robes, and slugged him square in the face. Charlie felt the satisfying crunch of his brother's nose breaking, then stepped away from the table.

"I've had enough of this blasphemy, you spineless, brainless git! I'm gone." With that, he Disapparated. A second popping noise told the rest of the family that he had first Apparated elsewhere in the Burrow to get something, and then Disapparated away.
Charlie reached into his robe pocket and felt around for something. He tapped the inside of his pocket twice, assuring himself that whatever he had sought was still there. He began surveying places he could unload his backpack and set up camp for the evening.

Fifteen minutes later, he had found a soft patch of ground near a small ravine. He knelt and began to unload his now-removed backpack. He set up a small tent - it appeared to be barely large enough inside for a single person to lie down and sleep. Once the tent was erected, he grabbed his backpack and crawled in.

He crawled into the bed of a small sleeping berth of a train. Charlie had his tent charmed to resemble the train he enjoyed riding from Romania to Germany for the Muggle Oktoberfest. The entrance was on the elevated bed, so the inside of the charmed tent expanded downward, to a small, cluttered desk and chair. An invocation of Lumos revealed all of these features.

Charlie climbed off the bed, sat in the chair, and removed a piece of parchment from his pocket. This parchment was what he had felt earlier before finding his campsite. He opened it up on the desk, and read it one more time.

Charlie,

Thank you for arranging to take the entire month off from the dragon reservation. Please come to my office at Hogwarts this Friday, at 8am.

The Order has friends in the United States, and it is time we contacted them. I would like to send you to make contact on behalf of the Order. After we talk, you should leave as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Albus Dumbledore
Since he had let his Weasley temper get the best of him, Charlie thought it best that he get an early start. The only problem was that he had punched Percy before dinner was ready. So now he had to forage around for food. He could have gone to Hogsmeade and grabbed something at the Three Broomsticks, but he was so used to camping on the reservation that he instinctually chose to stay close by spending the night in the Forbidden Forest.

Charlie climbed back up into bed, and the crawled out the tent's flap. He closed the flap, waved a locking charm on it, invoked Lumos, and then started searching for something edible. While the forest was not yet wholly dark, he needed the extra light to make sure he would not miss any possible food animals.

He stunned a squirrel in quick order. Charlie was hoping to find perhaps another one so that he would not have to wake up extremely hungry the next morning. While looking for another squirrel, something else caught his trained eye.

A silver-green silhouette began growing against one of the rocks near his tent, about twenty feet from where he had caught the squirrel. The silhouette stopped growing and it looked about to be a foot long. Charlie squinted briefly before recognizing the creature - a moke. Quickly he aimed his wand and quietly said, "Stupefy". He managed to get the beam to strike the small lizard square in the chest.

He ran over to the stunned reptile, and inspected it just to make sure he had found a real moke. Its skin felt amazing, and it was not in any state of shrunkenness. Charlie grabbed the lizard, and along with the squirrel, prepared them both for dinner.

He ate outside his tent, in front of a fire. To his right, he had placed the moke's hide. He would have someone sew it up into a small moneybag for him. Given its size - most mokes were nine-to-ten inches, and this was one a foot - he might even be able to get a larger bag out of it.

Charlie, glad he found food so quickly, soon extinguished the fire and turned in for the evening. The last thought he had that night was not about his git of a brother, but another property of the moke he had caught.

It tasted like chicken.
//
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