(1941-12-02) Masticating Marshmallows
Details for Masticating Marshmallows
Summary: A handful of witches and wizards have a marshmallow-and-tongue-twister contest in Hogsmeade.
Date: December 2, 1941
Location: Harkiss' Candy

"Mrs. Harkiss has been working all night on everyone's favorite Marshmallow Recipe." Mr. Harkiss announces from beside a table that is set up with the contestants sitting along its length. Large bowls piled high with fresh delicious marshmallows before each of them. "But as you can see, she miiiight have over done it a little." The elderly man giggles in a wheezy sort of way and curls up to brace for the loving swat he receives from his wife standing next to him. "Now, when I say, 'GO' I want you to each to pick up one marshmallow and place it in your mouth and then read one of the sentances off of the table cloth." Which is as he indicates scribbled upon with numerous sentances for the reading. Some wise, some funny, others rather plain. "If you can be understood, you will continue to the next round. Anything too muffled and you'll step down and cheer on those remaining. Any questions?"

Phoenicia peered over at the mountain of marshmellowy goodness; how did she get talked into this? Oh, right, it looked and smelled delicious, that was how. She grinned at herself for that, and shook her head. No questions here.

Sacharissa tapped one green-painted fingernail at the corner of her mouth, a smile spreading over the older witch's face. "Suppose there are marshmallows left over at the end; what then?"

Trying his hardest to concentrate on his original reason for being here, Michael Harker listens to the instructions carefully and then looks down at the heaping bounty of confection before him. He'd originally planned on only spectating and taking notes, planning to work this eating contest into his Arithmancy class (number of marshmallows to rate of success and all that), but had wound up being selected to join the contest itself. His bag, including his parchment in quills, sat under the chair in which he was sitting.

Laurean keeps a low profile inside the candy shop, with his usual imperturbable expression, waiting for the contest to begin. No notebook on his hands, today he just wants to have fun, without analyzing each detail of his surroundings.

Asmund is lucky he's athletic! He'd probably be as round as a snidget with all the eatting challenges he's gotten swept into in the last few months. He presses his tongue into one cheek, as if it will help to limber and stretch it up some and then the other. He is smiling, but his eyes are focused on the bowl in front of him.

"All remaining Marshmallows will be enjoyed by participents and contestants alike! No one is leaving without a marshmallow or two! Thank you for coming. Now pick up your first marshmallow, place it in your mouth and one by one, read from the table cloth."

Phee plopped the white fluffy morsel into her mouth and looked down at the tablecloth. She stifled a giggle; what a silly phrase! "Jumpin' Jabberwocky Giblets," Phee pronounced, her usual Scottish brogue muffled; the effort of talking through the Marshmallow was forcing her to enunciate with something closer to received pronounciation.

Licking his lips more out of habit than a lust for food, Michael reaches out and plucks a marshmallow from the bowl in front of him. 'Well,' he thinks to himself, 'if I fail, I can at least bring marshmallows back to the common room.' He pops one into his mouth, ignoring the unpleasant feeling of holding a marshmallow in his mouth and reads the tablecloth in front of him. He almost chokes on his marshmallow immediately, but after composing himself for a second, raises his head and says in a loud voice, "Puppy boogers!"

Sassy pursed her lips and plucked a single marshmallow off the pile. "Bottoms up, I guess," she muttered to herself, then pushed it 'tween her lips. "Outside the unreasonable terminator prosecutes the pregnant gold… What?"

Asmund tucks the first marshmallow into his cheek and then he looks at the other contestants and can't help but chuckle. But when it's his turn he clears his throat and reads, "The settled guide quibbles on top of your pushing cabinet." He chortles at snorts trying not to pop the marshmallow out of his mouth like a bullet at all of the words being spoken. Another marshmallow is picked up and given an examination until the go ahead is once more given by Mr. Harkiss and in it goes.

After getting the go-ahead, Michael carefully plucks another marshmallow from the bowl in front of him. He reads the next line on the tablecloth in front of him. His eyebrows meet in a head-on collision over the bridge of his nose. Well, this was a serious change from the first line he'd seen. "Any unavailable… touch freezes within… the continuum." It was a success, but only just. Why had the first line been something so cute and hilarious(albeit childishly?)

Phee tries really hard… but that second one, it's just so chewy and sweet and sticky and she could use a glass of milk to wash it all down. And she doesn't have one. Her jaws struggle to open and shut as she mangles her way through marshmallow 2. "Fuh agh ahbuh hrahuhs huhuu fuh huuf."

Asmund mushes the fluffy pillows of sugar around in his cheeks a little before he declares, "The pie frees the crystal." He face contorts in a comic, what the hell did I just say!? manner before he looks to the others and gives them sage nods like they are speaking wisdom of the ages. Then when Phee garbles her phrase he dawwws and offers out his hand to help her up and away from the table.

Sassy positively grins! One competitor out already. She's got this as good as won. She patronizingly pats Phee on the back and plops marshmallow 2 into the back of her mouth. "I believe… you meant to say… 'The large neighbor… scratches… beside the slave.'" She winked at the redhead.

"These language constructions are small pieces of art and creativity," Laurean says to himself. From afar, the young Ravenclaw makes a thumbs up sign to the Gryffindor girl. "Don't worry, you've been a good competitor." These words are followed with a smile of encouragement.

Glancing over at his housemate, Michael raises his hands and applauds the Gryffindor girl.

Asmund slides his third confection into his cheek and then tries to read, 'How can an ineffective pole bounce?' But after the How Can one of the marshmallows dislodges and he coughs and chews at the treat trying to find a new home in his wind pipe. There's a moment when all are on choking alert, but he manages to get everything chewed up. With a sad sigh he stands, bows and then steps away from the competition table.

Phoenicia politely covered her mouth for laughing; it wasn't at Asmund, though, so much as the poor irony that her fellow Prefect who had just tried to help her out immediately got eliminated. She gave him a small but eager round of applause.

Continuing the contest, Michael glances through the bowl to see if any of the marshmallows are more slender or less daunting than the rest. Sadly, all of the marshmallows are of similar size and bulk. With a heavy sigh through flared nostrils, Michael reaches out and slips another marshmallow from the bowl and reads the line in front of him. There's a moment where he tries to rearrange the marshmallows his mouth and winds up looking like a gerbil mid-meal. Slowly and deliberately, he says as clearly as he can, "The very parody… codes the calm… maker!"

Quite full of herself for the moment, Sassy proudly begins, "The grammar," only to fall to hacking coughs on the third word as it started to go down the wrong hole. "-ck! -ck!" she coughed, beating her chest until it settled.

She did not seem very pleased with herself anymore, and with a little grumble, she stood up from her place at the table to join the others.

Asmund stands next to Phee in the crowd, "Least it would have been a sweet way to go." He says to her after he's finished licking any remaining bits of marshmallow out of his teeth. Shorter than the older woman he still offers a hand up to Sacharissa to help her up and from behind the table. "Falling like flies." So with the one contestant left he joins the round of applause and cheering for Michael.

Mrs. Harkiss pours all of the left over marshmallows in Michael's bowl into a festive gift bag and it's given to the winner, "Your prize! Well done." Mr. Harkiss also tucks a gift certificate for a whole gallon into Michael's gift bag. All of the other participants get smaller gift bags and a certificate for 5 sickles.

Phoenicia likewise cheers for Michael! "Funny, I thought fer aye Ravenclaws only 'ad appetites for learnin'!" she joked. Sassy rolled her eyes at the bad joke, but likewise clapped; she didn't like losing, but she wasn't a sore loser.

Chewing furiously and swallowing hard, the young teenager's face flushes bright red with the sudden attention. That had been more than a little unexpected! Taking his gift bag and certificate from Mrs. Harkiss, he stands and waves to the crowd in the sweets shop with a large, cheesy grin. Walking over to some of the other students that participated, he opens his bag and holds it out to Phoenicia, Laurean and the others. "Help yourselves."

"Ravenclaw takes it all, congratulations Michael!" Laurean applauds at his housemate with a wide smile, while saluting to the other contestants with his characteristic politeness.

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