Title: The Further Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle
Revision: 1.3, 4/15/2017
Summary: Ron reads the comic adventures of his favorite fictional character and underestimates the reality of his own world.
Category: The Untold Story
Length: 11 pages
Miggs rowed as fast as he could from the burning pirate ship. The entire ship was ablaze in the night, and he could still hear the cures and creams of the cutthroats across the clam waters of the Caribbean. He wasn’t sure he was far enough away from the doomed vessel. Suddenly there was a tremendous explosion which almost knocked him out of the small dingy. When he recovered, he could still see flaming debris falling in all directions, but none of it reached him. What remained of the pirate ship was rapidly going under. If any of the crew had gotten away, he couldn’t tell, but he wasn’t sticking around to find out. He began rowing again.
The next thing Miggs knew, it was morning. His muscles ached. He must have passed out from exhaustion. He had rowed for hours. He wanted as much distance between himself and any surviving pirates as possible. He had their treasure map and they knew it. His escape had been both heroic and amazing as usual [see Issue No. 27, Miggs and the Pirates].
Miggs took stock of his situation. He had not had much time to provision the dingy during the chaos of his escape. He had a compass, binoculars, a sword, a knife, a rifle, a pistol, an ax, a length of rope, and an umbrella. He had not been able to stock any food but there was a small barrel of water and a bucket in the dingy. He wasn’t worried about food because he could see land off to his left a few miles away. He made for it straight away.
As he got closer, Miggs guessed that it must be a fairly small island, only a few miles across. Yet it had a towering volcano, which was smoldering ominously. This did not worry Miggs at all. In fact, he was wondering at his great luck. Surely, this was the island depicted on the treasure map! On the other hand, this would clearly be the destination of the pirates, if the captain or his first mate had survived. They were the only members of the crew that had seen the map.
But he didn’t have time to worry about that now; there was a dangerous reef and deadly breakers to get through. Even now he was being carried by the current directly into the crashing waves. Miggs struggled to keep the dingy pointed toward the beach, but the waves were too powerful. The dingy was swept by a huge breaker and almost capsized. Miggs was nearly thrown out, but he managed to cling to a rope. The dingy was then thrown onto the reef by another huge wave and Miggs was slung into the air and over the reef into the calm lagoon beyond like a slingshot.
Miggs surfaced, spitting seawater from his mouth. But no sooner had he caught his breath, than he was bumped in the legs by a long dark shape in the water -- a shark. It had to be twelve feet long! It circled Miggs. He balled up his fists ready to punch it in the snout on the attack which was certain to come. But then another dark shape streaked passed him from behind and rammed directly into the shark, not more than ten feet away. The surface roiled and Miggs couldn’t tell what happened for several seconds. Then a long smiling faced popped out of the water in front of him and chirped happily. A dolphin had driven the shark away and saved his life!
The dolphin let Miggs hold into its dorsal fin and it towed him to the beach. Miggs waved to it in thanks from the white sand beach as it chirped in farewell. It did a summersault out of the water before disappearing.
Before Miggs had any time to take stock of his situation, he heard the sound of distant drums coming from the thick green jungle beyond the beach. At the same time, the leaves of some strange tropical plants no more than twenty yards from him parted to reveal the head of an immense tiger with great yellow eyes staring at him…
“Why do you read that rubbish?” demanded Ginny Weasley. She was standing just inside Ron’s bedroom carrying a stack of laundry.
“I did knock,” replied Ginny matter-of-factly. “You were just too absorbed by that stupid Mad Muggle to hear it.”
“It’s none of your business what I read,” retorted Ron. “Beats that romantic tripe you read. You know …the ones with the sexy covers you hide under your mattress,” he added derisively.
Ginny gasped, “How…?” “Mum has me deliver laundry too,” said Ron sarcastically. “I saw one sticking out a bit last week.” Ginny recovered from her surprise. “At least they’re books, not comics. Comics are for little children,” responded Ginny mockingly.
“Get out,” said Ron angrily.
“Fine,” said Ginny sharply. She flung the neat stack of Ron’s laundry at him and left the room, slamming the door shut. The laundry landed randomly across the foot of his bed and on the floor.
Ron ignored the scattered clothing and resumed reading.
The tiger growled threateningly. Miggs knew if he tried to run, the tiger would be on him in seconds. Even the surf behind him would not help -- tigers were excellent swimmers. Thinking fast, Miggs pulled the compass out of his pocket and opened it. He used the mirror on the inside cover to reflect the bright sun directly into the tigers eyes, blinding it. It roared and took a step forward. Just then a loud whistle pierced the air from somewhere in the jungle behind the tiger. Miggs kept reflecting the sunlight at the tiger’s eyes, but instead of charging, it turned and disappeared back into the jungle.
Miggs pocketed the compass. Then he reached inside his shirt and withdrew the rolled up pigskin treasure map.
Just then, the dinner bell sounded. Good timing thought Ron; his stomach had just begun to rumble. He also thought about taking the comic with him down to dinner, but thought better of it and tossed it between the two stacks when he got up. Then he headed downstairs.
Ginny, Fred, George, and Percy were already sitting at the kitchen table when Ron arrived. He sat down next to Ginny. As soon as Mrs Weasley had finished placing the serving bowls on the table, she sat down too. Mrs Weasley looked at Ron and said, “I understand you’ve been reading comics again…”
Ron gave Ginny a withering look. She stuck her tongue out at him and then quickly turned her head away. If Mrs Weasley had seen it, she gave no indication.
“…You should be reviewing your new school books,” Mrs. Weasley scolded. “You’ll be going off to your first year at Hogwarts in only three days time. You don’t want to fall behind right from the start,” she said, turning her head to gaze disapprovingly at the twins.
George pipe up, “…Or you might end up like us -- bottom of the class.” “Right,” echoed Fred, “…total losers.” They both wore expressions of mock dejection on their faces.
“Enough, you two,” said Mrs Weasley sternly. Then she continued, “I’ve asked Percy to check on you every week and keep us informed of your progress.”
“Mum!” said Ron in protest.
Percy, who had up until now been reading the Daily Prophet newspaper, looked up and said rather pompously, “Now that I’ve been made a prefect, Mother, I’m not sure I’ll have the time -- given my additional responsibilities…”
Mrs Weasley cut across him. “We’ll talk about that later when your father gets home from work, Percy.”
“Now about those comics…” said Mrs Weasley returning to her original point.
“Mum, I’m only reading them now because you won’t let me take them with me to school,” said Ron plaintively.
“I should say not!” said Mrs Weasley emphatically. “What would the teacher’s think of such a thing? Your priority is schoolwork and study. And just to be sure, I want you to bring me all those comics right after dinner.”
“But Mum,” protested Ron, “I haven’t finished reading them.”
“You’ve read them before. I want the lot. How many…” said Mrs Weasley, but before she could finish, Fred and George piped in together.
Fred added, “It was a weekly serial during Charlie’s last year. He bought them.”
George chimed in, obviously egging on Ron, “…Really exciting, each issue ends in a cliffhanger.”
Fred piled on, “…Really keeps you on the edge of your seat.”
George finished, “…It would be a real shame to get cut off in the middle.”
Mrs Weasley gave them a sharp look and said, “You’re not helping, and you know it. So stop it, both of you.”
The twins lowered their heads in mock shame.
Mrs Weasley knew there were no words or punishments that could ever change them, so she no longer tried.
Mrs Weasley turned again to look at Ron and said, “I’ll have those comics stacked neatly on this table two minutes after you finish dinner. That is my final word.”
Miggs unrolled the treasure map. The map had been tattooed onto the pig skin. It had not been damaged by getting wet. He checked his bearings against the map. Yes, there was the reef and the lagoon. He knew where he was.
The path to the treasure -- a priceless giant ruby -- was laid out on the map. The path started just inside the jungle ahead of him. Miggs wondered if any of the pirates had survived and managed to get here ahead of him. Who had whistled? Why had the tiger left? And where were the natives who had sounded those drumbeats?
“RONALD WEASLEY!” screamed his mother’s magically amplified voice from the kitchen below.
Ron jumped. He had lost track of time. It really couldn’t have been more than a minute. He thought his mother must have been using a stopwatch on him. He quickly gathered up the two piles of comics and placed the one he had been reading on the top and raced back to the kitchen. He passed Ginny, who was peering out her bedroom door, and Fred and George, who were sitting on the stairs closest to the kitchen and counting down “…eight, seven, six…”, and skidded into the kitchen. He hastily placed the stack in the center of the table.
Mrs Weasley was standing in front of the sink with her arms folded and a very stern look on her face.
“Just… in… time,” she said firmly.
“If I could just finish the one on top…” pleaded Ron.
“Don’t test my patience, Ronald.” Ronald. That was twice she had used his full given name in the last minute. He knew there was no sense arguing. But he did try putting on his most dejected look.
Mrs Weasley’s face softened. Then she said, “Well, if you go read the first chapter of a History of Magic and can answer a few questions at breakfast, I’ll let you finish the one.”
This wasn’t what Ron had hoped for. Ron faked a smile smiled and said, “Thanks, Mum,” as cheerfully as he could manage. He turned and headed back to his room.
As he passed Fred and George on the stairs, they had surprised looks on their faces. Fred asked quietly, “You’re going to read a History of Magic, just so you can finish that comic?”
“Of course not,” answered Ron. “Tonight, I’m going to find where she’s hidden them.”
“Yeaaa…” they chimed together in a low cheer for Ron.
“Want to help?” asked Ron.
“Nooo…” they repeated in the same tone.
“Fine,” said Ron sharply and headed back up the stairs.
“It’s your adventure, little bro,” Fred called up to Ron, but he ignored it.
Ron waited for an hour after he had heard his parents retiring for the night. Then he crept out of his room and went downstairs in his sock feet as quietly as he could. He had decided to check the kitchen cupboards and pantry first.
But someone was sitting at the kitchen table in the dark facing him when he entered. It was Ginny. And his comic, issue No. 28, lay on the table in front of her. Ron could see it by the ghostly light from the kitchen fireplace.
Ginny spoke first.
“I overheard you talking to Fred and George after dinner. I knew you’d never find your comics. I know where Mum hides stuff. I figured she’d hide them there. I was right. You can take it. She’ll never miss the one. I’m sure she doesn’t expect you to read that chapter of a History of Magic,” Ginny said quietly.
“Why did…?” began Ron.
Ginny continued before he could finish. “I don’t want you telling Mum I’ve been reading her secret romance novels.” When she saw Ron raise his eyebrows, she said, “Yes, they’re hers. She has quite a few, but I only take one at a time. She and her friends exchange them.”
“Where is…?” began Ron again.
“I’m not going to tell you and I can assure you you’ll never find it. If you promise not to tell Mum, I’ll get your comics to you one at a time until she decides to give them back to you,” said Ginny. She sounded surprisingly sure of herself.
Ginny had discovered their mother’s secret hiding place more than a year before. She had spied her tapping the center of the mirror above the kitchen mantelpiece twice with her finger and saying, “Mirror, reveal your door.” A door handle had appeared on one side of the mirror’s surface and her mother had opened it. There was a sizeable cupboard inside. The mirror returned to normal when her mother had closed the door. Of course, the mirror also continued to shout directives on personal appearance like, “Stand up straight, you sloucher,” whenever anyone under age looked into it.
“Deal,” said Ron.
Ginny threw him the comic. He caught it. Ginny got up and walked past him on the way back to her room.
As she passed him, Ron said, sounding amazed, “You’re just playing at being a silly little girl in front of Mum and Dad, aren’t you?”
Ginny paused and turned her head to look up at him. She just smiled and winked.
Back in his room lying in bed, Ron resumed reading.
There were so many unanswered questions, but they would have to wait. The treasure came first. Miggs consulted the map again, getting ready to set out.
There was only one way to get to the treasure, which lay in a cave deep inside the volcano. It was protected by a series of traps and barriers laid out on the map. They included poisonous plants, a huge cave bear, a very heavy chest full of keys only one of which would unlock the massive iron gate to the treasure room miles away, a life-sized game board with mechanical game pieces, a giant poisonous snake, a deadly maze, enormous venomous spiders, a flaming lake, dozens of zombies, and a living prehistoric meat eating dinosaur. Of course, assuming you made it to the treasure room, the real ruby lay hidden among thousands of fakes. Plus the volcano…
“No way!” said Ron aloud, sounding very annoyed. “I remember this one now.”
It was his least favorite story in the series. He groaned and threw the comic onto the floor. Why couldn’t it have been the next one? That one was much better -- issue No. 29, Miggs and the Submarine. He’d have Ginny get it for him tomorrow night.
“Damn!” Only two nights left before going to school. Ron wished he had started rereading the series a week earlier because now he’d have to wait until Christmas break to finish it. He was pretty sure his mother would return the comics to him during Christmas.
With a sigh, Ron closed his eyes and went to sleep.
Mrs Weasley didn’t have to wait for Ron’s answer. From the look on his face, she just sighed, and shaking her head, said, “Why am I not surprised? Well, no comics for you until the next summer.” Then she rather roughly set a plate of fried eggs in front of him and turned away.
“What about during Christmas break, Mum?” asked Ron, sounding shocked.
Ginny whispered so only Ron could hear her. “Not now… let it go.”
“Christmas!” exclaimed Mrs Weasley. “You’ll be lucky to get anything if your grades aren’t up to scratch. That’s what you should be worried about, young man.” She turned to her husband, who was sitting quietly at the table reading the Daily Prophet. “You need to speak to your son about his priorities.”
“Yes, Dear,” said Mr Weasley intending to appease his wife. “When I get home tonight, Ron and I will have a little talk.” He resumed reading.
Then unexpectedly, Ron declared, “Well, maybe I’ve outgrown comics anyway.”
They all stared at him in astonishment -- Ginny, Fred, George, Percy and, most of all, his parents. They all knew Ron had no talent for subterfuge, so he must be serious.
Sensing they expected to hear more, Ron continued.
“Well, I mean…” he paused, “…that last story I was reading was absolutely ridiculous. Miggs had this treasure map which showed he had to get through a crazy long series of diabolical traps and barriers to get to the treasure,” explained Ron.
They all continued to look at him, so he went on.
“Well, something like that could just never happen in real life!” he exclaimed.