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Batch 16: Canon Era (7) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 16: Canon Era (7)
one of the things Neville and the others pull to take charge of hogwarts with the carrows there. can and do please mention hagrid helping. for Delilah Tonks

Picking up from this one.
If Neville were to put a finger on one thing that had changed in Gryffindor Tower this year--aside from the surveillance, torture treatment in the Common Room, and of course, the absence of about one out of every three students--it would be that there was a lot less solo braggadocio. When the consequences of getting caught wandering the corridors at night were detentions and points, Gryffindors tended not to take them seriously. When they involved injuries, blood, and deportations to Azkaban, even the maddest Gryffindors weren't stupid enough to start a campaign without back-up.

This did not, he noticed, imply that fewer campaigns were being waged. Quite to the contrary, hardly a day went by that some members of Gryffindor House were not covering for other members of Gryffindor House. The day-to-day actions of the low-grade war they were waging made quite a lot of planning necessary... and difficult under surveillance.

To this end, Parvati Patil and Lavendar Brown had become key figures in the House, though--by design--they weren't looked at. After all, as Parvati pointed out, as far as the teachers were concerned, they had been so dense for six years that they'd never noticed anything their dormitory mate had ever done. "They didn't even torture me about that," Lavendar said on their first (and only) Hogsmeade weekend, looking slightly offended. "When I told them I didn't know anything about Hermione's parents, they just believed me and moved on." Their detentions had been for giggling and fortune-telling in class.

No one paid any particular attention to the giggly fortune-telling they were doing at the moment.

"I see a spider!" Parvati said, gazing into her crystal ball. "It's crawling down the tower at night! It's trying to get into a window."

"Oo!" Lavendar said. "The spider is about feminine power." She snorted. "Or about scaring my ex-boyfriend. It's one of those things that would just get under his skin."

"Right," Ginny put in. "He'd get rid of all of them if he could... if he weren't so sick, of course."

Neville opened up a scroll, pretending to do his homework--feminine power meant it was something the girls themselves were planning, and if Lavendar and Parvati hadn't meant to do it themselves, they'd have found a way to work someone else into the "fortune." Ginny joining in--hardly her wont--meant that she was their third. There was something about things that got under skin... and crawling down the tower at night. He glanced at Parvati, who chose that moment to stretch out her arm, showing him the flat of her palm, where she'd Conjured something that looked like a sucker on a tentacle.

"Bet the Carrows would have spiders on him every day," Lavendar muttered. "Starting tomorrow, if he came back."

Neville clenched his jaw to keep from interrupting--they were planning to climb down Gryffindor Tower tomorrow night, go through a window, and steal things from the Carrows? He raised his eyebrow at Lavendar. She smiled.

He shook his head.

She turned her back and Conjured a lacy parasol, pointing it in his direction while she giggled at a star chart. Cover us.

End of discussion.

It was obvious that there was no way to get to McGonagall in Transfiguration (she had abruptly placed Neville in her class, despite turning him down last year, and he guessed it was to keep track of him)--another of the Ministry spies was sitting in back, quietly observing for any strange behavior, and she was sticking doggedly to her script. Neville tried to pose his question about human transfiguration as simple puzzlement, but as he was missing a year, she apparently took it literally, and just gave him an answer. Which was fair, as he hadn't been able to think of a good code, nor could he think of one in Charms.

The idea finally came in Care of Magical Creatures. Hagrid was watched, of course, but the Death Eaters seemed to think he was too stupid to actually accomplish anything, and they certainly wouldn't be looking for code. He'd actually taken quite well to their new pedagogy, which had quite a few Dark creatures. If it weren't for the people in charge, Neville thought that Hagrid would be quite pleased at a menagerie full of creatures like Runespoors, malaclaws, and other nasty things, including the Carrows own pet streeler, which had already killed off half of Professor Sprout's vegetable garden. There were even rumors that one of the Death Eaters meant to bring a Sphinx (accompanied by larger rumors that he planned to use to score practical exams in certain advanced classes).

Today, for seventh years, he was obliged (and not disappointed, Neville thought) to show them a Lethifold, a silent, shadow-like creature that slipped over people in their sleep to devour them.

"Now, our friend here," he said, "'E's well fed, so you don't have t'worry. He's also got a good binding spell on him, so he couldn't get out."

Neville frowned, the seed of an idea coming into his mind. "What would it look like, if he did get out?"

"Like a great shadow, creeping over things," Hagrid said. "Hard to spot at night."

"And if we were to see one, what would we do?"

Hagrid squinted, apparently understanding that Neville was planning something. "Yeh wouldn' want to let this one out..."

"Course not, but... say it slipped out. If the charms broke."

"Yeh'd send for me quick-like. It needs a Patronus. Maybe more than one."

"Be quite a lot of trouble, then," Neville said. "Need a few teachers?"

"Most likely," Hagrid said, and a light dawned in his eyes. He smiled emptily and said, "Ah, but yeh don' have t'worry, like I said..."

That night after curfew, Neville waited quietly until he heard the signal from the girls. He pulled out his telescope, looked out the window, and saw Hagrid waiting outside his hut.

He pointed his wand out the window and whispered, "Umbra." A huge shadow appeared on the side of Ravenclaw Tower, far away.

Hagrid sent up the alarm.

When the bundle of torture devices belonging to the Carrows was found on the front steps of the castle, burning merrily, no one had the slightest idea how it had been done.

something with Tonks, moody and one of your Ocs. for dotatonks
Maddie Madrigan was beginning to re-think her career choices. Her friends all seemed right at home--Daffy was already choosing books to be published, and Sanjiv had a good "day job" at Flourish and Blotts while he painted portraits at night. Charlie Weasley was in Romania, delighting in dragons, and...

She sighed.

At least there was Tonks at the Ministry with her, being treated like a glorified school girl. Neither one could exactly share what they were doing (Maddie wasn't even sure how she would explain what she'd done in the Time Division earlier), but they were both being ordered about by old-timers who thought that apprentices were there to make tea and finish paperwork for them, at least when they weren't in mortal danger from whatever they were being trained in.

Lunch at the Leaky was becoming a habit--they met, they abused their bosses and masters, they planned what sorts of changes they would make when they were the ones in charge. It was a good release, and it felt like being back in Hufflepuff.

Only today, Maddie noticed when she went in, Tonks was here ahead of her--with her trainer, old Mad-Eye Moody, in tow. They were laughing over bowls of stew. Maddie frowned and went over.

"Er... hello," she said.

"Maddie, hi!" Tonks said. "Have you met Mad-Eye?" She shook her head. "Well, that could get confusing quickly. Mad-Eye, Maddie, Moody..."

Mad-Eye examined Maddie head to toe, then said, "I think we can tell the difference between us well enough. Department of Mysteries, aren't you?"

"Apprentice Unspeakable," Maddie said, sitting down. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Moody. I'm Maddie Madrigan." She looked at Tonks, a little cross. "I usually meet Tonks for lunch, just the pair of us."

"Abusing the Ministry?" Moody guessed.

"Oh, of course not," Tonks said.

"Why not?" Moody called for Tom the barkeep so Maddie could place her order, then said, "If you're not giving the Ministry a little abuse, you're not looking close enough. Want a pint? I carry my own, but if you're willing to risk it here..."

Tonks rolled her eyes. "Mad-Eye, they let you do what you want. If an apprentice comes back from lunch smelling like a brewery, she'll need to look into a satisfying career in Muggle sewer maintenance."

"Now, that's an exciting line of work," Moody said. "You wouldn't believe the things you find down there."

"What have you ever found in a sewer, other than the expected?" Tonks asked with cheerful disbelief.

Maddie expected this to be met with a stern glare for insubordination, but Mad-Eye just laughed. "There's plenty out there, just where you least expect to find it. Dark creatures, curses, old Death Eaters trying to get away from me--I caught Evan Rosier hiding in a wheelie-bin outside a hamburger restaurant. Bloody thing turned out to be good cover, too." He rubbed the side of his nose, where a chunk of flesh was missing. "Of course, he couldn't get out of it without a Blasting Curse, which he got caught in. Took me a week to get his guts out of my hair." He took a hearty bite of his stew. (Maddie wondered if he'd done some sort of Dark Detection on it before tucking in.)

Tom appeared at that moment with Maddie's lunch. It seemed less appetizing than she'd thought it would be. "So, er, Mr. Moody--"

"Everyone calls me Mad-Eye."

"You're not a fan of the Ministry?"

"Worst thing there is," Moody growled. He pointed his wand at a carrot that he seemed to think was suspcious, and it mashed itself. He shrugged. "Except for everything else, of course."

"So, what's the best thing?" Maddie asked.

"Best thing would be if everyone minded their own front gardens and stopped trying to bother everyone else."

"That would be nice," Tonks said. "It would be the only time in the history of planet earth that anything like that ever happened, but it would be nice."

Maddie considered it. "But by working at the Ministry, we're trying to put up the garden fences, so the people who want to mind their gardens can."

"Cheers," Mad-Eye said. "That's exactly what Tonks said. And she was right, too."

"Where do tea and paperwork come into it?"

Mad-Eye stopped and thought about it for a long time, then said, "Well, tea fits into anything, as long as you see it being made. As to paperwork, it makes a fine mulch."

5 comments or Leave a comment
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: January 17th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

AWWW see? 7th year fic isnt that bad.

I mean, Sure it was hell being taugh by those scumbags of alecto and amycus, but there was also the well planned, not caught acts of rebellion.

this one was particularly brilliant.

I adore how it was all a big secret, you know and I know but the DE dont have a bloody clue.

also LOVE LOVE the characterization of Lavender, Parvati and Hagrid. using the prejudice people have against them in their favor to pull the stun off. BRAVO!

malinbe From: malinbe Date: January 17th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww, I miss Mad-Eye.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: January 17th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love them both. Of course Lavender and Parvati would be Griffindor's at heart, but that hadn't really occurred to me. They and Hagrid are clever to use public perceptions to their advantage. And I adore the second drabble. Tonks and Mad-eye are such fun together!
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: January 18th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)

also- as I didnt mourn enough characters already....

you know, when i read Deathly Hallows i cried when mad eye moody died, even if it was ofpage, because it was so sudden and he seemed invinsible, and because it broke my heart seeing tonks sad and that toast for him....

but you have fleshed him out so much as a character, that now every rare time i re'read deathly hallows i cry for him as a character.

you're that good.

(the ficlet was sweet too)
From: ladashinista Date: January 18th, 2012 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahh, I love both of these, especially the Moody-Tonks-Maddie interaction. Moody mashing a suspicious carrot - haha, perfect! :)
5 comments or Leave a comment