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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Six: A New Track, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Six: A New Track, pt. 2
I think this is going to be a long chapter, as there's lots of ground to cover (literally and figuratively). Four parts, maybe five.

Anyway, the time has come: James has left Gryffindor Tower, and is on his way with the other hopefuls from Hogwarts. He left the Marauder's Map with Lily and his owl with Harry, but that shouldn't prevent communication, since he will have access to the 12GP portraits of the Marauders (which can reach Teddy's) and Phineas (which can reach Hogwarts).

Their mode of travel includes a spoiler about Platform 9 3/4 from Pottermore, because I loved the idea dearly, though I expanded it to beat the super-speeds.

Table of Contents So Far




They took the carriages from the castle to Hogsmeade Station, James riding with Celia, Scops Malfoy, and Abby Carrow. No one had much to say. James took one last look back up at the castle before the road turned them away, as he'd been surprised that Dad hadn't been waiting to say goodbye and wondered if he'd wave from the Defense window or whatnot, but there'd been nothing--a circumstance that was explained as soon as they arrived at the station, where Dad was waiting beside the two carriage train and the bright yellow steam engine that had been attached to it. Alongside him, to James's utter confusion, was Cho Morse. Far down the tracks, there was a round structure. From here, it looked like an above-ground tunnel, that had never been there before.

Robards, who had been in the first of the Hogwarts carriages, got down to greet them, then turned to the students, who were disembarking. He signaled for them to gather.

"It's traditional," he said, "for the school's last champion to wish the hopefuls luck. Of course, at the last tournament, it had been so long that there was no question of it, but, er... here we are. You know Professor Potter, of course, and some of you may remember Mrs. Morse, who was a professor here for a year... er, well, I imagine only the seventh years would remember her!"

Abby Carrow waved cheerfully; no one else seemed to recognize her. James added his own wave, as he knew her perfectly well from outside school.

"Mrs. Morse was close to Cedric Diggory," Dad said. "I thought he should be represented." It was left unspoken that asking Cedric's father wouldn't have been well-received. Dad looked out over the group and said, "I remember imagining what it would be like to be a Hogwarts champion. Very exciting. I was hoping to impress a pretty girl, and hear people cheering for me. I got one of the two." He smiled. "My tournament didn't end well, and I can't pretend not to have mixed feelings about seeing it again. But it was an exciting time, and I met people I admire and genuinely like. I hope you will, as well. Cho?"

Cho nodded and said, "Cedric--whatever you might hear--would have loved to see you off today, to know what you're going to do. He'd wish each of you the best; he loved being a Hogwarts champion..."

She continued to speak. James was not surprised to see Dad sidle away, or to feel a hand on his shoulder. He waited, at least, until Cho's little speech was over, then turned James around and hugged him.

"Hey, are we all getting hugs?" Celia asked, grinning.

Dad rolled his eyes and hooked an arm briefly around her neck, then shooed her away. "James," he said, "I'm proud of you. You know that, right?"

"I haven't really done much yet."

"Yes, but I was proud of you when you managed to sleep through an entire night without crying, so clearly, I'm not hard to please." Dad smiled. "You're smart, you're brave, and you have a good heart. If the bloody Goblet picks you, you'll need all three."

James didn't know what to say, so he didn't say anything.

Dad shook his head head and sighed. "Well, I won't get maudlin. Good luck. And I'll send news with your owl--"

"She's yours for the year."

"No, she's not. But thank you for the loan. At any rate, I'm sure you have your brother and sister doing something of great importance, so I'll keep you informed of family events."

"Thanks. Dad?"

"What?"

"Er... thanks."

Dad nodded.

Cho was now bestowing lavish hugs on everyone. It was obviously an exaggerated joke, as Darcy Lynch came up next in line and fell to her knees to beg for hers. Dad joined in, shaking each student's hand ceremonially. Celia was first, and said that he ought to grant everyone a new name, so he named her Lady Celia the Sarcastic. The others got names that James supposed were from their Defense classes--Edward the Ever-Eager, Lydia Light-fires, Harrowing Horowitz. On Harry Norris, he stumbled, but Norris grinned and said, "Why not call me No-Name Norris, as it's apparently my official Defense name?" Dad laughed, apologized, and so dubbed him. Scops Malfoy became Scorpius the Surprising. James didn't opt to ask for a name, as he thought that might be awkward. Instead, he collected his hug from Cho.

"Do you really believe Cedric Diggory wouldn't be upset?" he asked.

Cho nodded. "No one was ever a bigger fan of the Triwizard than Cedric. He loved everything about competing, and what happened to him..." She shuddered. "What happened to Cedric was a perversion of the tournament, and I think that would bother him more than anything if he were here to speak. I think he'd be happy to see it contested properly."

Dad took a bracing breath and sent them off, visibly resisting an urge to hug James as he went by to board the train. James rolled his eyes and gave him a quick, sideways hug and said, "I'm off."

"Good luck," Dad said.

And James boarded the train.

Robards directed everyone to choose a bunk in the dormitories while the engineer got the train prepared, then to join him up on the very top level, which they hadn't seen, and which was apparently an observation deck.

The portraits guarding the two dormitories had each set passwords. The boys' was "Purveyors," to the confusion of everyone but James. When they went in, they found six beds with heavy hangings, just like the dormitories, but in shades of gray. Their trunks were waiting by the door, which was in the center of the wall. Horace Goyle claimed the bed that was furthest from the door toward the back of the train. He Summoned his trunk, and the bed hangings immediately turned gray with silver accents. James took the far end of the room--the bed toward the front of the train, and his bed hangings turned scarlet and gold.

Scops Malfoy wandered over--the older boys were mainly ignoring him--and said, "Can I have that one?" He pointed to the bed beside James's. "I don't really know anyone else."

"Me, either," James said, and waved his arm generously at the gray-clad bed. "Be my guest."

"Thanks." Scops apparently hadn't mastered the Summoning Charm, as he physically dragged his trunk over. The hangings turned a cheerful yellow with black ties. He stroked them fondly. "Good to have a bit of home, eh?"

"Yeah."

Scops bit his lip. "Could you, er..."

"What?"

"Introduce me properly to Phineas Nigellus? I don't know if he knows how we're related."

James laughed. "I promise, he knows in detail."

"Do you know how we're related? I know I'm Teddy Lupin's second cousin, but I don't know how you're related to him."

"Search me," James said, then added, "Lily would probably know. She used to play with the family tree all the time to name her dollies."

"My grandfather thought your father would have got rid of--"

But how Lucius Malfoy had assumed Dad would have removed the Permanent Sticking Charm--among other hexes--on the Black family tree was something that James didn't learn, because as Scorpius was speaking, the train began to move.

"Right, then," Edward Flourish said, clapping smartly from his blue and bronze draped bed. "We'd best get up to the top."

The six boys trooped out of their dormitory together, meeting the girls, who'd apparently also taken motion as a hint that their time was up, outside Talitha's portrait. They climbed up the spiral staircase at the far end of the carriage, and found themselves in a narrow, raised area at the top of the main carriage. The library carriage was rattling along far below them, and steam from the engine drifted around them in clouds. The train was moving along toward the structure James had seen at a distance.

Robards stood at the front of the little compartment, hanging onto a strap. "Good then," he said. "All settled downstairs?"

There was general assent.

"Has anyone traveled by the Wizarding Continental before?"

Lydia Whiting's hand went up. "Not me," she said, "but my sister took it to see a concert in Rome. She had to leave from platform six and two-thirds."

Robards nodded. "Very good. Most Hogwarts students only have a chance to use the Express, as they use other methods to travel now. But there are still some diehards who use the Continental. I'm sure you know that the Muggles have a tunnel to take a train across to France?"

Simon, who was a half-blood, said, "I went through with my mother. Is that where we go through?"

"No. We were a bit ahead of them, and really, it's a dreary trip to Folkestone this time of year. Besides, their tracks are already being used, aren't they?" Robards smiled. "I think we can make things a bit quicker. Have you all looked ahead?"

Everyone looked up, and suddenly, the structure ahead of them seemed to be looming, a throat deep enough to swallow the train. It was filled with green flames.

"It's a Floo?" Electa asked. "For the whole train?"

"Not precisely," Robards said, "but quite close enough. So I'm sure you understand why I wanted you someplace that you could be strapped in." With a flick of his wand, harnesses appeared around the students. Robards sat down and let himself be bound to a seat as well.

James looked ahead. The world was full of green fire. If he turned his head, he could see the cold, misty October morning in Scotland, and the top of the Astronomy Tower peeking up above the lake. Then the windows went bright green and the train lurched away, spinning through nothingness, hurtling toward the unknown.
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Comments
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: September 14th, 2011 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm really enjoying Scops in this. Glad he's part of this! Another nod towards Lily and family history. I find that thread fascinating.

Good to see Cho. (Cho Morse!) I find Harry's speech a little ironic since the pretty girl he tried to impress is right next to him, unless he's doing it on purpose. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2011 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

erm.... that would awkard

if he did it on purpose Ginny would probably have a fit- and i can see bat boogies flying

~A
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: September 14th, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mild-mannered HufflePuff!Scorpius is kind of a sweetie! Something like Draco might have been if he hadn't had such a dire upbringing?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe, though I'm not sure, as their priorities are kind of different to start with.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 14th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, that's like an scary ride at an amusement park. I loved that idea from Pottermore as well (I completed PS on Sunday), and was actually wondering if you might use it!

I loved Cho's insight on Cedric, and Harry's words were nice.

Also, you changed Lydia's sibling's sex here: but my sister took it to see a concert in Rome. He had to leave from platform six and two-thirds."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh! That happens when you give a throwaway line to a character you've never met... though I'm usually better at noticing those things in the space of contiguous sentences!

I'm not actually on Pottermore (had other things to do), but I read several things when people started getting info. I don't like all of it, but I did like that, especially since I already wanted Hogwarts to have a train car.
cleindori From: cleindori Date: September 14th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've said this before, but I'll say it again: your Dad!Harry is the best. Not to mention Harry standing next to Cho and joking about hoping to impress a pretty girl as a Champion! :)

Darn, now I want to know how Lucius thought Harry would've been able to get rid of the Black family tree! :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure Harry's curious as well (though if he ever tried it, Lily would be heartbroken, as she's nearly got it memorized).
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 14th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

oh harry.... and Wow talk about cool

i really love what a loving, supporting Dad Harry is.

also liked that Cho (morse) was there to further put down the rumours/blasphemy of "Cedric the disturbed/vindictive ghost".

Laughed about Celia initiating the "we all want hugs/recognition/good luck wishes/etc" from harry potter.
if i didn't knew better i would think she's a little starstruck. ;p

really, really love the description of the cart/wagon cart. would love to go on one of those!

also nice touch of the bedbunks banners changing into the house colors of the person who sleeps in it. reminiscence of the room of requirement during harry's gen 7th year.

one step closer to beauxbaton!



fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: oh harry.... and Wow talk about cool

I think she's probably the least starstruck--she's actually kind of making fun of him (in a benign way).

It's a railroad carraige, not a wagon. The Hogwarts carriages are just the same ones they usually take back and forth to the station.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: September 14th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool! Neat way to travel, and I love James's interactions with his dad.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want Harry to have an awesome, happy family. I am psyched by the concept that he does!
sidealong From: sidealong Date: September 14th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Love this

I just caught up reading all of these, this is such a great story! LOVE it. So happy. Especially since I was moving and without internet when the Pottermore thing was going down, and thus didn't get the quill until the 6th day.

I don't think my welcome letter is coming anytime soon! Looking forward to more of Scops. And learning what Beauxbaton looks like.

Thanks so much for writing, and sharing! So happy that Harry's teaching this year, even if we don't get to see it. Can't wait to see James ask Celia to the dance...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Love this

Oh, I'm stil not on Pottermore, and didn't bother trying for the quill. Trust me--you're way ahead of me. I just looked around to see what spoilers were up, and severely_lupine was kind enough to hook me up with some of the material.

There's a way that James will keep up with what's going on at Hogwarts--not for nothing did he tell Al and Lily to keep their eyes open!--so hopefully, we'll see more of teacher!Harry.

From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Death Stick

I'm guessing that Scorpius has heard tales of the confrontation between Harry and Voldemort from his father and grand parents, who were there. Lucius would know of the Death Stick, and think that Harry could use it to get rid of all those permanent sticking charms. He'd never think that Harry would get rid of it.

Also, quick question, was Norris's new name a vague reference to Life on Mars?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Death Stick

Hmm. Don't think so--just a joke about Harry not being comfortable with run of kids who were named after him!
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: September 14th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo, this is exciting. I really like seeing Scops in this, getting to know him a little better.

Where is this Pottermore information that people keep talking about? Is there any central place where stuff is being revealed? Like many, I must wait until the general invites go out...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pottermore is basically an interactive site that's being beta'd right now, where you read along with each book (she's currently on PS/SS) and you find information. There's some background on the Hogwarts Express, some stuff on McGonagall, etc.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 15th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)
bed hangings immediately turned gray with silver accents -- Do you mean green and silver?

Loved the hugs. I thought Harry totally should have given them all big good luck hugs. That would have been quite funny. Loved the awkwardness with the kid named after him, too (one thing if it's the kid of someone you know, but when it's because you're famous...).

There was one other Pottermore thing I didn't have on the info I gave you. In the spells game, it gives both the name and the incantation for some spells. I don't think we'd gotten both for some of them, and some of the spells seemed to be unused in the books. I made a post about it in my LJ not too long ago. I'm logged out right now, but I could get you the link if you're interested. (Sadly, I haven't unlocked most of the spells, so there's not as many on my list as could be.)

- Severely Lupine
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL, yes I meant green and silver.

I guess my interest in Pottermore isn't terribly high--I'll read it if someone sends it to me, and if it interests me, as here, I'll pop it in... but I can probably wait on the spells, or use them as they were seen in the books.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 15th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
All aboard for France--sounds like the wizarding world has its own version of the Channel Tunnel. Liked the send-off by Harry and Cho, and I agree that, had he lived, Cedric would have been pleased for and proud of all the Hogwarts contenders. I'm very much enjoying the echoes of HP 4 in this story, even as I'm hoping for a much less tragic ending.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup--though it predated the Channel Tunnel by quite a lot, and is mobile, so they can go through it from many different points to many different points.
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