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Title: Vile Violent Vacations 24/30
Author: hells_half_acre 
Fandoms: Harry Potter, Supernatural
Rating: PG-13 (for language)
Genre: Gen
Warnings: Spoilers for all Harry Potter books, spoilers for Supernatural until 5x10.
Disclaimer:  This is a transformative work of fiction for entertainment purposes only.
AN: Sequel to Damned Demented Demons and Bobby and Hermione - An Epistolary Fic . Updates every Wednesday (PST).

Previous Chapters:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
| 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 |
21 | 22 | 23


Summary: In which we see what Harry and Ron were up to while the Winchesters were at Malfoy's.

*Earlier*

Harry watched as Azkaban slowly emerged from the mist of the North Sea. The Dementors that were once so many were now regulated to a perimeter loop only. It was part of the post-war reforms, which tried to make Wizarding society more humane – even to criminals. While Harry could see the point of those who argued that the former Death Eaters locked away in Azkaban deserved Dementors if not more, whenever he had to come out here for interrogations he was always thankful that the reforms had won out in the end.

Now, instead of Dementors suppressing magic-use through depression (a method that was far from foolproof, as Sirius had thankfully discovered), they administered a potion thrice yearly to all inmates, which suppressed their ability to use magic completely. Sure, their wands had been confiscated or destroyed, depending on their sentences, but a wizard’s ability to use wandless magic should never be underestimated.

Ron’s hair stood out as oddly too colourful for the drab prison. Harry knew Ron hated visiting Azkaban just as much as he did. Usually, they sent other Aurors, ones more skilled in interrogation – but the interrogators always told Harry that their methods were much more effective when Harry Potter was standing in the room. His presence made even the more skilled Occlumancers nervous, and sometimes gave the interrogators the edge they needed to get the information.

They started with an interview of the prison guards – wizards now, not Dementors. They fell under the command of the Auror department, but had their own separate protocols and command structure. They met with the higher-ups, and then the head guard of each floor. None reported any suspicious activity. The prisoners who were usually well behaved had been well behaved, the prisoners who were usually disruptive had been disruptive. No one seemed particularly more pleased than usual lately nor had they been surlier.

Once the guards had been interviewed, they moved on to the actual prisoners. Harry and Ron used separate rooms and interrogated different prisoners at the same time – in an effort to cut down the amount of time they would have to spend on the island. Also, if they interviewed the prisoners separately, for the most part, they could divvy them up so that they weren’t interviewing a prisoner that they had a particular history with. Mostly all Death Eaters made a point to sneer at Harry – but for the most part, he had never been in direct duel with anyone he interviewed. It was likewise for Ron, who tended to be react more emotionally than Harry to begin with.

By noon, Harry’s skin was beginning to crawl, and he took a short break between interrogations to have a sandwich. He hoped Ron was having better luck than he was. So far, everyone Harry had interviewed had been just as antagonistic as ever, but none of them had seemed to be hiding anything – nor could any of them name anyone on the outside that might be trying to get revenge against so-called blood traitors.

Harry idly scanned through the list of prisoners still left to interrogate. If Ron was running at the same pace Harry had been, then next up were the Carrows. Harry would take Alecto, and Ron would take Amycus. Harry wasn’t sure which of them would have an easier time of it.

Just as Harry was banishing the sandwich crumbs so as to look professional, the room was filled with a blaring alarm and all the guards snapped to attention with horrified expressions on their faces. There was only one reason for an alarm to sound at Azkaban.

“Harry,” Ron’s voice spoke from the mirror in Harry’s pocket. Harry took it out and flipped it open, and before he could ask anything, Ron continued. “Level D. Cell 259. Now.”

As Harry flipped the mirror shut and ran out the door, he saw all the guards reach for their own pockets as the head of Azkaban sent the orders to secure the island over their communication devices – a prisoner was loose, possibly disguised.

Harry made it to Level D in less than 30 seconds. As he rounded the corner towards Cell 259, he could hear Ron’s voice echoing off through the corridor.

“I want reports of the prisoner’s day to day activities for the past year, a list of any and all visitors, a list of the guard schedule for this floor for the same amount of time. I want to interview all guards assigned to this floor. I want to know about every single bloody breath that’s been taken in this corridor and I want to know about it yesterday.”

There was a scrambling of footsteps and the captain of the guard scrambled past Harry with his subordinate in tow, both ashen faced and both blanching even further when they caught Harry’s eye. He ignored them, and didn’t stop running until he reached Ron, who was standing in an open cell.

“Who is it? How-" Harry started to ask, but Ron cut him off.

“Take a look for yourself,” Ron said, stepping out of the doorway. Inside the cell, there was an unconscious guard.

“Is he-"

“They’re fine, just knocked out” Ron said. Harry noticed the other unconscious guard shoved hastily into a corner. And then Harry saw it: At the end of the bed, in a far corner, was a pile of blood, skin, and goo, all soaking into the recognizable cloth of a prisoner’s uniform.

“Oh, god,” Harry said. “That is disgusting, what the bloody hell happened-"

Ron actually huffed a little laugh, and Harry tried to figure out what was so amusing about someone being reduced to gooey sludge.

“The thing is,” Ron said. “We don’t use video-cameras, do we? So, like they said – the only way we could be able to tell one is if we have animals or find where they’ve shed their skin.”

Harry’s eyes shot back to the pile of human sludge in the corner, realizing, that maybe it wasn’t so human after all.

“Are you telling me-" Harry started, but cut himself off as two more guards arrived at the cell door, reporting that they were sent to follow any and all orders from Harry and Ron. Harry glanced at the cell, which for its meagre contents was in quite the state of disarray.

“Inventory every single thing in here,” Harry ordered. “I want to know how the bloody hell a shifter got into Azkaban.”

“Yes, sir,” the guards replied. Then a question of equal, if not more import rushed to the forefront of Harry’s mind.

“Whose cell is this, Ron?” Harry asked. Ron looked vaguely sick, and Harry suddenly got the impression it had nothing to do with the puddle of skin in the corner.

“Amycus Carrow.”

*

The good news was that Alecto was still safely behind bars. Harry had ordered her to be interrogated, before leaving to help search for the shapeshifter. Ron watched as the guards sifted through the contents of the Amycus’ cell, once their unconscious comrades had been carted away to the infirmary. He could see the guards visibly trying not to gag whenever they had to go near the pile of fleshy slop in the corner. Ron waited in the hall, inspecting each item they came out with and writing it on an inventory after inspecting it.

He’d recorded the bed linens, pillow, toothbrush, and two Muggle history books about the Middle Ages from the prison library, when one of the guards dropped yet another library book in front of him. Ron glanced at it before returning to his inventory list, where he was half way through writing the title of the previous book, and then he hand stilled before his brain had even caught up with what he had seen.

Slowly, Ron looked back at the third book. It was black hardcover, and that in and of itself was nothing to be concerned about. It had the nice little label on the side that indicated it was from the prison library. The cover, however, had a very unique design on it. One that Ron had seen before – on Monday, while the Winchesters had been conducting their training session.

“Merlin’s goat...he wouldn’t...” Ron breathed.

“Sir?” One of the guards spoke up.

“What is this book doing in the library?” Ron asked.

“Can’t say that I know, sir, I’m not a librarian,” the guard answered. “Most of what’s there has been donated over the years.”

“And is there no censor?” Ron asked. “No control over dangerous materials? This book should not be in the prison library...it’s a book on witchcraft for Merlin’s sake!”

Ron watched as the guard glanced down at the book, and raising an eyebrow at Ron like maybe Ron was insane.

“Well, like I said, not exactly my job...” the guard said. “But, I mean, it’s just muggle nonsense, isn’t it? It’s not real magic.”

Ron felt like hexing him, he really did, but it’d be unprofessional.

“Muggle witchcraft is magic too, you daft-" Ron cut himself off, picked up the book, and handed his clipboard inventory at the guard. “I have to go see Harry, you finish this up.”

“Yes, sir,” the guard said, looking suitably nervous.

“Wait, sir!” the second guard spoke up from inside the cell. “You might want to see this before you go.”

Ron quickly poked his head in the room, and his eyes landed on the last thing he wanted to see. The guard had moved the mattress off the bed, and there - drawn onto the stone floor in dried blood - was a very strange pattern of lines and markings. Ron recognized it too, though, from a completely different part of the Winchester’s training session.

“Oh fuck us,” Ron said. “It’s a summoning.”

The mirror in his pocket suddenly flashed hot, and Ron brought it out and flipped it open, watching Harry’s face swim into focus.

“Harry-" Ron started.

“We’ve got it,” Harry said. “Meet me in the courtyard.”

“I’ll be right there,” Ron said. “I’ve got a few questions of my own.”

He snapped the mirror shut and addressed the guards.

“Stand guard, and don’t touch anything else. I’ll be back.”

*

“If you cooperate, tell us everything we want to know, then will let you go free, understand?” Harry offered the man standing in front of him, just as Ron walked into the courtyard. Prison guards stood at every exit, and Harry had both his team of Auror interrogators and the head prison guard behind him. In front of him, held by the arms on both sides by guards, was a man in a guard uniform – only, he wasn’t really a man. The small missing skin from his hand verified the fact that he was a shapeshifter.

The shifter laughed bitterly, and shook his head, but Harry had a feeling that the shifter at least wanted to believe him, and hopefully that was good enough.

“How’d you get here?” Harry decided to start small.

“Goddamn demon bitch brought me here. Tricked me,” the shifter said.

“A demon? How long ago? What happened?” Harry fired back.

“Few months, it was,” the shifter said. “The bitch tells me she can bring me to a place where I’ll get three square meals, sleep above ground in a nice bed, not be treated like a freak. Knew it was too good to be true, but I was drunk – had Hunters on my tail after I-“ the shifter cut himself off, and then started again with a smirk, “anyway, that don’t matter. I took her up on it. She tells me all I have to do is look like this ugly looking bloke, so I do. Didn’t say anything about it being a fuckin’ prison. No, nothing about that. Still, better than I had before, and better than getting shot through by those bastards who’re lookin’ for me. So I stayed. Did as I was told.”

“I know how you work,” Harry said. “When you change, you can hear their thoughts, can’t you? What’s Amycus planning?”

“I ain’t him anymore, am I?” the shifter sneered, “how should I know.”

“You were him for months,” Harry countered. “Something must have filtered through. You tell me, or I’ll run you through with silver right now.”

“Does it have anything to do with this,” Ron suddenly asked from Harry’s side, holding out a black book for the Shifter to see, “or was this some light reading on your part?”

“I’m not that stupid,” the shifter said. “Demon already tricked me once – I’m not about to sell my bloody soul to the foul thing.”

“But Amycus Carrow – you’ve read his mind, he’s pretty stupid, isn’t he?” Harry hedged.

“Bloody imbecile,” the shifter replied. “I was actually sort of glad when I realized the jig was up and I had to get going – sick and tired of that moron’s stream of consciousness.”

“Smart enough to escape prison though, and put you in his place,” Ron said, and Harry raised an eyebrow at the fact that it actually sounded like Ron was defending a Carrow.

“That was the demon,” the shifter said. “Sold his soul, didn’t he? Idiot. She’s the one that thought up how it’d work. He didn’t want anyone to know he was gone, see. Figured once you knew, Harry Potter would catch him in no time – have the whole world under your thumb, don’t you Mr. Potter? So, she brings me in, and brings him out. And that’s her bit done. Then all he has to do is wait for that stupid potion to wear off so that he can use magic again, course, the bugger is impatient – so he goes ahead and uses demonic stuff out of the books he read to get a little revenge while he waits for the main event.”

“And what’s the main event? What’s so important that he has to sell his soul?” Harry asked.

“Destroy you, of course,” the shifter smiled, as though Amycus wasn’t the only idiot they were discussing. “Most of the people I’ve met in here would love to succeed where the Dark Lord failed – or just get their revenge on you. Destroy you. Leave you with nothing, like you’ve left them.”

“They did it to themselves,” Harry said on reflex.

“How’s he going to destroy Harry?” Ron asked.

“Same way, you bastards are planning to kill me – he’ll go for the heart,” the shifter rolled his eyes. “Though, in your case, I think he means it poetically.”

Harry felt the blood chill in his veins.

“He’s going to go after my family?” Harry asked.

“I’ve told you everything I know,” the shifter said. “Now let me go.”

Harry surged forward and grabbed the shifter by the shirt.

“IS HE GOING TO GO AFTER MY FAMILY?!” Harry yelled.

“It would destroy you, wouldn’t it?” the shifter smiled. Suddenly the shifter twisted, and Harry and the two guards who had been holding the shifter were left with handfuls of clothing that was slowly melting into fleshy goo, while a half-formed man made up of shifting musculature sprinted across the court yard, dodging hexes, and then dove over a low stone wall and plunged into the North Sea.

The guards and Harry all quickly dropped the remnants of the shifters body, stepping back and muttering cleaning charms on their hands.

“Damn it!” Harry said. “He shifted the damn clothes too – why didn’t we think of that.”

“Poor bastard,” Ron said. “Even if he manages to steal one of our boats, the Dementors will get him.”

“I’ll feel sorry for the Shifter later, Ron,” Harry said. “Right now I think I have more important things to think about, like for instance, how long do we have before the magic-suppressing potion wears off of Amycus? And how the hell does he think he’s going to get near me or my family?”

“Sir,” the head of the prison said, looking pale, “the prisoners are made to drink the potion the first of January, April, and September. Assuming the prisoner was present for the September dosage, the potion should be wearing off...um...any day now.”

Harry made sure to breathe. He counted to eight, because he felt it was a nice looking number to count to. He decided to give Ron his orders first, though, judging by the way Ron was already flipping open his mirror, he probably knew what was coming.

“Ron, I’m going home to my family. Order the Auror’s accordingly,” He said evenly, then he turned to the head of the prison. “I want a full inquiry. I want Muggle witchcraft books removed from the library. I expect a full report of new security measures on my desk by Monday. I want you to lift the anti-apparation jinx in one minute for approximately one minute.”

Ron opened his communicator to send a message to all teams and the head office, as the head of the prison started muttering under his breath and moving his wand carefully in the air.

“Code Harry,” Ron said. “I’ll be issuing further orders in-“

“Ron,” Harry suddenly said, interrupting. “Get Sam and Dean too. Send them to my house.”

“-I’ll be issuing further orders in fifteen minutes.” Ron finished, after he gave Harry a nod. “Where are they?”

“Malfoy’s,” Harry said. “If they’re not there, then they’re on the road, and you’ll have to find them by broom.”

“Right, I better hope I catch them then,” Ron said.

“The anti-apparation charm has been lifted, Sir,” the head of the prison said. “You have approximately one minute.”

“See you soon, Harry,” Ron said. “Give Ginny and the kids my love.”

Harry nodded, and they both turned – twisting through space towards different destinations.

*

Ron arrived just outside the gates of Malfoy Manor, a rush of relief flooded him upon seeing the huge black American car parked neatly outside. He put his hand on the wrought iron gate – solid. Well, it’s not like he expected any different. Malfoy couldn’t set foot on Ron’s property either. Ron peered onto the property, and spotted Dean and Sam standing at the coach house doors with Malfoy and his wife, and a man in a trench coat that could only be the angel Castiel. Harry had told Ron this morning on the long boat trip to Azkaban just how unnerving it had been to have an angel over for breakfast.

“Dean! Sam!” Ron called out, and watched as their heads swivelled towards him. He beckoned them over and they came, Malfoy walking sedately behind, and the angel – the angel appeared right beside Ron and looking at him intently.

“Melin...” Ron muttered, looking sideways at the angel as the Winchesters reached him, passing through the gate like it was so much smoke.

“Castiel,” the angel replied.

“Uh, right, sorry,” Ron said.

“What’s going on?” Dean asked, him and Sam coming to a stop and looking at him in concern.

“We’ve got a problem,” Ron said, and held out the book, knowing that Dean would recognize it right away.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Dean said.

“Who had it?” Sam asked. “Were they the ones who put the runes up?”

Ron’s eyes slide over to behind, Sam and Dean. Malfoy was just now reaching them.

“Malfoy,” Ron greeted, trying to be polite.

“Weasley,” Malfoy replied, the look of uncomfortable wariness on his face that he had worn since the war.

“Ron,” Sam said, breaking the awkward silence, but looking between Ron and Malfoy with a frown. “Was the person who had this book responsible for the runes? Did you catch them? Draco probably has a right to know too, if this is a confidentiality issue or something...”

Ron frowned at that. Not because Sam didn’t have a point. There was a confidentiality issue, but if Malfoy was a target – or could possibly be a target, he probably had a right to know who was coming for him. That being said, the slimy git might just help Carrow in the hopes of saving his own skin...but, then again, Harry always insisted that Malfoy had learned his lesson.

“I um, suppose Sam’s right,” Ron said, and turned to Malfoy. “This isn’t to leave this...pavement, um, gateway...but, there’s been an escape from Azkaban.”

“Who?” Malfoy asked, noticeably paling further, as though that were possible.

“Amycus Carrow,” Ron said.

“How?” Malfoy asked.

“With this,” Ron held up the book again. “It’s Muggle witchcraft. It appears as though he used it to summon a demon, in order to make a deal for his freedom. The magic suppressing potion in Azkaban doesn’t work on demon-magic. Apparently, we wrongfully assumed no self-respecting wizard would stoop to such disgusting measures.”

Castiel reached over and took the book from Ron’s hands. Ron was a bit startled, but Sam gave him a smile and shrug, which basically told him that the angel was not known for being overly polite.

“And he...was here, at my house?” Malfoy asked. “He carved those things into my wall. He’s out to get revenge on me for betraying the Dar- um, Voldemort?”

“Yes,” Ron said, “well, no...that was just, well, we’re not sure. According to our source, it was something to do while he waited.”

“Waited for what?” Dean asked.

“The prisoners are given a potion three times a year,” Ron explained. “It suppresses all magical abilities for four and a half months. Apparently, he didn’t want to attack his real target until he was at full strength. This...demonic rune plan, it was just something to pass the time with – to get revenge on blood-traitors as well.”

“Who or what is his intended target then?” Malfoy asked.

“Three guesses,” Ron sighed, “and it’s not me or Hermione.”

Malfoy nodded. After the well publicized threats shouted at Harry during the war trails, this really wasn’t a surprise for any of them. The only surprise was the method with which Carrow was going about it.

Sam and Dean were looking back and forth between them, obviously missing information. Ron would have to debrief them once they were back at Harry’s.

“It’s the children you need to protect,” Malfoy said. “He’ll go after Harry’s children first.”

“How do you-"

“It’s what he always used to tell us in class, when he made us...practice,” Malfoy explained, looking vaguely sick. “When he made us practice on the younger students, he’d tell us that it was to ‘get over our stupid morals, because in the art of...in the art of torture, there’s no better way to break someone than to use their children.’”

“Who the hell was this guy?” Dean asked, now looking as sick as Malfoy.

“I’ll um, tell you later, okay?” Ron said, “He’s no one good, as you’ve probably picked up by now.” Wanting, for some odd reason, to put Malfoy at ease, Ron focused his attention back on the pale blonde. “Harry’s already gone to round up Ginny and the kids, and keep them safe at home. Like I said, I don’t think Carrow has any interest in you anymore, but just in case, maybe you and your family should enjoy a nice weekend on the grounds of the Manor. I’ll, um, I’ll let you know as soon as we catch him. And if you see or hear anything – you know how to get in touch with us.”

Malfoy nodded, then turned slightly to look back at the coach house, where Astoria stood with Scorpius on her hip, watching from a distance in concern. Malfoy waved, and Scorpius happily waved back, but Astoria did not look comforted.

“Come on, Sam, Dean...uh, Castiel,” Ron said, “Harry wants you back at his place.”

“Right,” Dean said. “You can tell us more on the way.” He pulled out his car keys and moved towards the Impala. “Uh, take care, Drake.”

“You too,” Malfoy replied, and Ron never thought he’d see the day that Malfoy actually let someone get away with calling him a nickname without even making a face at it.

“Tell Astoria we’re sorry for not being able to come in for that tea after all,” Sam said. “And tell Scorpius...um, bye for me?”

“I will,” Malfoy replied. Sam smiled and both Winchesters got into the Impala.

“Castiel?” Ron asked, the angel only then looking up from the witchcraft book he was still flipping through. “Do you want to travel back to Harry’s by portkey or on your own?”

In response, there was a brief flicker of a shadow behind the angel, and then he was gone.

“Ok,” Ron said, at least taking comfort in the fact that Malfoy looked as uncomfortable as Ron felt. “Um, see you, Malfoy.”

“Weasley,” Malfoy said, giving Ron a nod.

With that, Ron touched his wand to the bonnet of Dean’s car, vaguely hearing Dean exclaim something through the glass.

Portus,” Ron said, placing his other hand flat on the cold steel, and leaving Draco Malfoy standing outside his enchanted gates alone.

*
Chapter 25

Comments

lizzy384
Nov. 26th, 2010 09:16 am (UTC)
Re oil lamps: yes! so much oil...unless it's magical oil that doesn't actually burn or something! But I remember thinking with that too, that the poor kids must be damaging their eyes (side-effect of having a cousin who is an optometrist and always gives me a hard time if she sees me reading without enough light ;-) - you just can't get the same light with candles and oil lamps (which also smell) that you can with electric lights.

Ditto writing with quills - that would have been hell! Not just the writing with the quill and ink, but the time it took too. Computers weren't as ubiquitous when I went through high school as they are now, but certainly in my final few years I at least did all my homework on a computer. It's just soooo much quicker to type!
hells_half_acre
Nov. 26th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
Ditto writing with quills - that would have been hell! Not just the writing with the quill and ink, but the time it took too.

See, I went to a weird school from Kindergarten to Grade 8, where we did all our lesson work with fountain pens and we weren't assigned homework - so, at least the using of the quill in lessons, I could wrap my head around (and I did used to write essays out by hand as a result, even into high school...though, by then I mostly used ball-point).

But yeah, in high school I made the transition to the computer and never looked back. It's not so much the kids I feel sorry for, as the teachers at Hogwarts who have to have the ability of reading the horrible handwriting.
lizzy384
Nov. 27th, 2010 07:30 am (UTC)
Oh yes! That would be so much fun for the teachers! My handwriting is horrid. I used to do my exams on a computer too because I've got arthritis, but I remember thinking the one down side was that they could clearly see any spelling mistakes (and that was in the days before Word used to put squiggles under mis-spelt words). At least when you are writing by hand you can kinda purposely make it hard to read if you're not sure on the spelling!

Fountain pens in Kinder! That's funny. I don't remember Kinder, but for primary school (Prep to Grade 6) we started off with pencil and then in Grade 3 if our writing was deemed neat enough we got our learner's permit to write with ball point pens. If you got messy, you'd get it taken away!
hells_half_acre
Nov. 27th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
Haha, I should clarify - fountain pens weren't until Grade 3. Until then, I think we used crayons and pencils :P

A weird consequence to my writing in fountain pens was that for some reason I only ever wrote either IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS or in all cursive...I didn't actually teach myself to write in minuscule until I was in Uni. It used to drive my teachers batty.

I was a horrible speller - still am sometimes. The red-squiggles in Word are a lifesaver really...I was also really really thankful when webpages (such as this one) started having that feature too. Though, it does get annoying when they don't recognize Canadian spellings..like colour, favourite, and centre...or archaic spellings that are acceptable just not widely used, like spelt (which is totally spelt correctly, thank you very much, and is also a kind of wheat that makes tasty bread :P)
lizzy384
Nov. 27th, 2010 09:07 am (UTC)
Hee-hee! Yes I did think perhaps it was likely you didn't actually use fountain pens in your early school years, but the thought of Kinder kids trying made me giggle ;-)

Writing in cursive was part of what we had to do to get our pen licence. [Underlined word that I spelt correctly!] I think I used it until high school and then started to print. At that stage I don't think the teachers really cared - they'd prefer neat, whether it was cursive or printed!

Yes, I'm not a great speller either. It was something that I really worked at, but it still doesn't come naturally to me. And I agree with webpages. I've tried to alter the language on my internet browser, but it doesn't seem to work. It's all set to American English. I'm okay with the colour, centre types words, or when I use an "s" over a "z", but it gets me confused when it's a case of words where we do double "l"s and Americans do single "l"s (or vice-versa etc).

I think spelt/spelled or learnt/learned aren't just a matter of archaic spellings - I go naturally with the "t" over the "ed" and I'm pretty sure that's because we were actually taught it at school - it's just a more British/Australian (Canadian?) English.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 27th, 2010 09:19 am (UTC)
I looked it up, and you are right spelt/spelled and learnt/learned are an American vs. British/Australian/(Canadian?) thing. Canadian is always weird, because we actually use a mix of American and British spellings. We use the Us, but we tend to use Zs over Ss in things like civilise...and we tend to use the two L like the American's instead of the single Ls like the Brits.

My name is spelt differently than the norm, and my mum always told me that it was an "archaic" form, so I just always assume every spelling that's not widely known is archaic :P

Kindergarten kids with fountain pens would be a disaster! Even when I was nine, I liked to see how much ink I could get on my fingers instead of the page :P I think it made me feel like an artist.
lizzy384
Nov. 27th, 2010 10:18 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure fountain pens would have been great for inspiring nine year old artists ;-) - and I can only imagine the terror my four year old goddaughter would get up to with one if she had the opportunity!

We use a bit of weird mix with spelling too - I use "s" just because I like it better, but lots of people use "z", so I'm not sure which is official Australian spelling. I think we actually tend to go through phases of preferred spelling. I remember in high school our teachers just used to say with the "u"s, keep it consistent one way or the other.

But I also think there's been an influence by the proliferation of American literature and then more especially by computer programs [another varied spelling word] which default to American English. I remember proofing some friends Uni essays and they'd have "skeptical", which is definitely not how we were taught - we use a "c".

It must have been hard for my Mum though proofing my work, with her natural inclination to spell the American way. Maybe it's why I'm more aware of the varied spellings though.

Hee-hee re funny spelling of names ;-) - my American grandmother like to be called "Grammy", a name she made up because she thought the others sounded too old or too formal. I remember in primary school, I'd write about my Grammy and the teachers would correct my spelling to "Granny" and I'd be confused (as a six year old would be when she was proud of her spelling ;-) - and show it to my Mum who'd change it back!
hells_half_acre
Nov. 27th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
I'd write about my Grammy and the teachers would correct my spelling to "Granny" and I'd be confused (as a six year old would be when she was proud of her spelling ;-) - and show it to my Mum who'd change it back!

Oh man! Believe it or not, the same thing used to happen to me with "Mum", everyone in Canada spells it the American way "Mom" - but my mum HATES the American spelling (and the way MOM sounds), so we were not allowed to call her that. We had to call her "Mum" and SAY it like that too. Now, you might think that certainly teachers would recognise "Mum" as a valid spelling, but they would CORRECT me - to the point where I once had to bring home a corrected mother's day card to my Mum. Anyway, I think she went in and had a good talking to with my teacher, because she was not pleased that they made me correct the card to the hated "Mom" spelling. Ridiculous.

I once got a mark off an English project because my teacher had thought I had mis-spelt "Canceled" - I had to take her a dictionary to show her that one L was an acceptable spelling so that I could get the mark back (I believe I had copied the spelling from the book that the project was about, and it was obviously a British publication.) :P

On a slightly related note: My Finnish Grandmother thought that all the words for "Grandmother" were too old sounding too - especially the Finnish one, which literally means "Old Mother", so she just had us call her "Mother" in Finnish ("Aiti"). It really confused my friends.
lizzy384
Nov. 28th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Re Mum/Mom: hee-hee, ah the hatred of "Mom" - my goddaughter LOVES Dora the Explorer and had apparently been watching enough of it to pick up the accents (always used to happen to me when I was little and we'd visit the family in the US). So she started calling her mum "mom" or "mommy", which are mega pet peeves of my friend and her husband. He'd always pull her up on it saying, "No, you don't have a 'mommy', you have a 'mummy'" and make her say it the Aussie way! I agree with him, but poor little four year old ;-)

Re teachers and spelling: yes, you'd think in countries like ours, which seem to have a mixture of British and American influences in spelling, that teachers should have an awareness of variations on correct spellings of words. Especially if, as you were doing, someone copies a word from a text that spells it a different way, it's not fair to penalise them. Okay to maybe note that you have spelt the word in a different variation of English, but not to take off a mark!

More important I think if someone actually uses the wrong word, like threw vs through, since they actually mean different things! But then, I suppose it gets confusing when totally different spellings of a word mean the same things in different countries, like cheque (which we use when referring to a bank note or something connected with money) vs check (which we also use for all the other meanings!). No wonder they say English is a hard language to learn!