Interview with Belovedranger
We arrived near the pond at the Burrow and I looked around anxiously. We were here to interview Belovedranger one of our Story of the Month writers but I couldn't help but hope that I would catch a glimpse of Ronald Weasley.
"Do I look okay?" I whispered as we started towards the backdoor. "Is my hair okay? I'm having a bad hair day you know."
"You look fine," Madam Minnie said as Simon's Flower giggled. "Now would you focus on our task?"
We were surprised when the door flew open immediately and revealed one Molly Weasley. She motioned us in and muttered something about Yanks and their obsession with coffee as she poured us each a cuppa.
"I suppose you're here to see Belovedranger," Mrs. Weasley muttered. "We can't get her out of Ronnie's room. She was distracted momentarily by the fact the twins arrived but since then she just waits for Ron to come home."
"I can understand that," I muttered under my breath as Madam Minnie elbowed me hard in the ribs.
"Can we go up, Mrs. Weasley?" Simon's Flower asked.
"Why of course dear." Mrs. Weasley patted Simon's Flower's hair. "Take a cuppa up to her and tell her I expect her to join us for dinner tonight."
We started up the stairs and when we arrived at the door to Ron's room Simon's Flower made her first warning.
'Now don't you go in and mess with Ron's stuff," she said firmly. "Don't try taking a pair of his boxers and his Cannons t-shirt either."
I frowned. "Well you're just are sucking the fun right out of this, aren't you?"
Madam Minnie laughed and knocked on the door.
"Come in," a soft, lilting voice called out. "I'm just writing."
We opened the door and it was all I could do not to jump up and down. I was in Ronald Bilius Weasley's bedroom!
Belovedranger was sitting at a small desk in the corner, pieces of parchment littered around her, and when she saw the cup of mocha Simons Flower brought her, she grinned.
"You must be Simon's Flower," she said and then turned to Madam Minnie and I. "Okay from the Slytherin shirt you're wearing you must be Madam Minnie."
I picked up the Cannons t-shirt lying on the bed and ran my hands over the fabric as Belovedranger laughed.
"You must be Annie,"
We all shook hands and I sat down on Ron's bed to prepare my first question. I was struggling to breathe properly – after all I was in Ronald Weasley's bed. Simon's Flower rolled her eyes and nudged me hard in the ribs.
"As you know we're here to interview you because 'Clean Sweep' was chosen as one of the Editors Choice stories for the month of November," Madam Minnie began as I rubbed my ribs. "Can you describe yourself in three words?"
Belovedranger twirled her quill through her fingers and thought for a moment.
"Quiet, loving," she began, then flashed a wicked grin. "Naughty."
"Well 'Clean Sweep' sure has some naughty moments in it," I replied. "Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?"
She blushed slightly before clearing her throat and answering the question.
"I could tell you, but that might get me in trouble." she waggled her eyebrows. "Let's just say I have an active imagination and a happy home life."
We all laughed. While Simon's Flower and Madam Minnie were distracted I snagged the Cannons shirt off the bed. I quickly stuffed it into the waistband of my jeans and pulled my sweatshirt down.
"Which Harry Potter book is your favorite?" Madam Minnie asked as she sipped her own cup of mocha. "And which character?"
"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince ," she said immediately and took a sip of her coffee. "Ron is my favorite character."
"Mine too," I said dreamily and ran my hand over his pillow. "He's a fine specimen of man." Simon's Flower nudged me again and I rubbed my side. "Ow! Are you trying to break my ribs?"
'You need to pay attention! Honestly, you need to sort out your priorities!" Madam Minnie giggled and Simon's Flower focused her attention on Belovedranger.
"Are there any tried and true tricks you have for jump starting your muse?" Simon's Flower asked as I stood and stretched. "I know sometimes when I get blocked I can do little things to get unblocked."
"I need only to start around in my car, and the day-dreaming begins." Belovedranger took a drink of her coffee. "So the ideas start tumbling out, just as I'm scrambling to find something to write upon." She paused and took another sip of her coffee. "I take tons of jumbled up notes, and somehow they make their way into bits of a story."
"Isn't that dangerous?" I grinned as I touched Ron's Cannons poster and I wondered if I could sneak out with it. "I usually just call Madam Minnie or Simon's Flower and annoy them with my ideas."
Belovedranger laughed as Madam Minnie and Simon's Flower nodded their heads solemnly.
"Who are your favorite authors?" Madam Minnie asked. "Both in real life and fandom?"
"William Faulkner is my favorite author of all time," she said enthusiastically. "His book 'Absalom! Absalom!' had a big impact on me." She sipped her coffee. "I also enjoy classic Greek tragedies. My other favorite real life authors are J.K. Rowling, John Knowles, and Agatha Chrisite."
She ran a hand through her hair and tapped her quill against her lips. "As for fandom, my favorite fanfiction authors include Shocolate, Redblaze, and SaraEk. They are all brilliant."
"We're well acquainted with all three of those writers," Madam Minnie grinned and I took the opportunity to nick one of Ron's 'Martin the Mad Muggle' comic books. "All three of us are fans."
I turned, trying to look innocent, and Simon's Flower eyed me suspiciously.
"What kind of environment do you like to write in? Quiet? Loud?"
"I like to write in my favorite coffee shop. They have background jazz on and there are many people around me chatting." She finished her coffee and continued, "But I tend to tune out all the comfortable background noise and focus well – with my mocha in hand, of course."
Madam Minnie and I raised our mugs in salute and giggled as we took a drink. Simon's Flower was still eyeing me suspiciously but went ahead and asked the next question. "If you were a character in the Harry Potter books which character would you be and why?"
"Ron," Belovedranger said immediately. " I like the challenges Rowling has laid out before him in life. He's so real and human, I cannot help wanting the best for him." She smiled and continued, " His heart is on his sleeve and his flaws so apparent, but he is both endearingly loyal and admirably courageous." She took a deep breath. "I am like Ron in that I am emotional and a dreamer – and willing to work hard to better myself. Ron has a great future ahead of him, and all of it earned. I like the idea of living that kind of life."
"I think Ron is the most normal character in the group," Madam Minnie said. "He's the one that's most ordinary but yet still extraordinary."
I nodded in agreement and grinned, "This question must be asked: if you were trapped in a room and had to pick one Harry Potter character to be naughty with who would you choose and what color socks would you wear?"
A naughty smile tugged the corners of Belovedranger's lips and her eyes lit up with mischief. "Ron and I'd wear some nice fishnet hose for him and heels."
We all laughed and we could hear Mrs. Weasley coming up the stairs. Simon's Flower realized our time was drawing to a close and asked another quick question.
"What advice would you give to other writers?"
Belovedranger was quiet for a few moments before answering seriously, "First of all, give it a try! I read fanfiction nonstop for a few months before having the courage to try writing some myself," she paused. "I'd say this... write the kind of story you've always wanted to read. Trust yourself, and give yourself plenty of time to explore ideas."
"That's very true," Simon's Flower said. "If you write what you enjoy reading then the story is going to turn out better."
The door flew open and we heard Mrs. Weasleys horrified gasp, "Ginny Weasley, what did you do to your hair?"
The three of us looked at each other shivered as Mrs. Weasley stared at Simon's Flower.
"Mrs. Weasley," Madam Minnie said softly. "Ginny hasn't been in the room."
"Honest, Mrs. Weasley," Belovedranger chimed in. "That's Simon's Flower."
Mrs. Weasley's relief was evident and yet she drew Simon's Flower in for a hug.
"I'm sorry, my dear." She patted Simon's Flower's head. "You looked so much like a Weasley with that red hair. You don't happen to have an accountant in your family do you?" She paused and looked at the three of us. "Now you will all stay for dinner?"
Unfortunately we had to beg off but thanked her for her offer. We followed Mrs. Weasley back to the kitchen and before we could make it out the back door, Simon's Flower whispered something in her ear.
Mrs. Weasley drew her wand and leveled it at me. "Accio!"
Ron's shirt and comic book flew into her hands and Madam Minnie smacked me on the back of the head.
"We're really sorry Mrs. Weasley," Madam Minnie said as Belovedranger giggled. "She's just a big fan of your son."
"I'm the biggest!" Belovedranger insisted. "I'm his biggest fan and he will be mine."
"Arm wrestle you for him," I grinned.
The two of us tied at arm wrestling and decided to share custody of Ron. As Simon's Flower, Madam Minnie, and I left the Burrow there was time for one final question of Belovedranger.
"Do you know the airspeed velocity of a swallow?" I called out.
"African or European?" She called back and the three of us grinned and waved at her.
Madam Minnie and Simon's Flower lectured me on the way home but we all agreed. Belovedranger is talented, funny, and her story 'Clean Sweep' is brilliant.