Twins’ Tall Tales: Troll Fighting
“Tell me again how you get Sorted,” Ron pleaded nervously with his twin brothers. They were waiting by the door as their parents rounded up their siblings. Ron couldn’t sit still, first sitting on his trunk, then pacing around the kitchen before returning to the trunk again. He was beyond nervous for his first day at Hogwarts.
“Oh, it’s no biggie, really,” Fred said, not looking up from his own trunk, where he was packing the remnants of last year’s Zonko’s supplies. Their mother, taking precautions not to repeat last year, had already checked the twins’ pockets and trunks twice today.
“Yeah, it’s only a large mountain troll,” George added as he shoved his own supplies into the hidden pockets of his Muggle clothes.
“No, what do you do, for real?” Ron forced a laugh, hoping that his brothers were really only joking.
“You fight a mountain troll,” Fred repeated, dead serious.
George stopped shoving Dungbombs and Hiccup sweets into his jean pockets and sat down across from his little brother. “Trust me; it’s not bad. Right after you get off the train, they take you on a boat ride to the castle.”
Ron breathed a sigh of relief.
“But then halfway there, the boats descend below the lakes and into this dark tunnel with moss growing up the sides, and the only sound is of water dripping from the ceiling. The professors leave you there until the arena is ready.” Fred locked his own suitcase and flipped it up to sit on.
Ron gulped nervously. He was already breaking into a cold sweat as his brothers continued. “There’s an arena?” he squeaked.
Fred grinned, shrugging nonchalantly. “Did we not mention it before?”
“Like we said, it’s a minor thing, honestly. All the students sit in their House sections and watch as they bring out each student, one at a time, to battle the troll.” George’s expression matched his brother’s.
“It smells like flaming dung as it charges toward you.” Fred wrinkled his nose in disgust as if thinking about being in the arena again. “It has lumbering legs and arms as thick as full-grown trees. On its hands, there are yellow nails taller than Percy. Sometimes the Headmaster, Dumbledore, will let the troll wield a giant club. It’s so heavy, it knocked out a student in one blow in our first year.”
Ron’s face was so pale that each of his freckles was visible from a mile away. Upstairs, he could hear his brother arguing with his mother about how shiny his prefect badge should be while his little sister was whining about why she can’t go to Hogwarts.
“There is a trick, though,” Fred continued, ignoring his younger brother’s terrified expression. “If you can crawl up its back, navigate through the forest of back hair, and make your way to its enormous ears, you can scream into its highly sensitive ears. You have to watch out for the ear mites, though – they spit hot ear wax when they are disturbed.”
“And assuming you survive and aren’t flicked off its shoulders,” George made a flicking motion as if he, too, had an aggravating, minute person on his shoulders. “The whole school votes. They raise their wands and light it in the color of their House if they want you. Taking that into account, the Heads of House, as well as Dumbledore, and the Head Boy and Girl will decide where you go. If they want you at all.”
“What do you mean?” Ron asked, his terrified voice coming out in a near whisper. “I got the letter. I’m going to be a Hogwarts student.”
“Unless you fail,” Fred added. “You only get in if you beat the troll… and don’t die. But then again, sometimes they don’t think you’re cut out for the school and they kick you out.”
“Unless you – ” George’s words were cut off as his mother descended the stairs, prodding their siblings.
“Unless you what?” Ron asked as his mother hurried them out the door. Errol was screeching and his sister was crying again, which gave the twins the perfect opportunity to slip away, avoiding Ron’s pestering for the rest of the day.
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