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Batch 31: Minor Characters (4) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 31: Minor Characters (4)
something with Seamus Finnigan? for Martha
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"Hey, Ab!" Seamus called across the Hog's Head. "You ever think about doing a Cleaning Charm on the beer steins? I hear it's all the rage these days."

Aberforth Dumbledore snorted from the corner where he was unpacking a shipment of Firewhiskey. "I've been running this pub since your great-grandfather was too young to drink in it."

Seamus held up one of the glasses and peered into it. "Yeah, and I think one of great-grandda's milk teeth might be stuck in the sludge on this."

"Fine, do it your way, but I'm telling you--you'll end up having to do it again tomorrow."

"That was the idea."

Aberforth inspected the new bottles of Firewhiskey, and sent them to their places on the shelves. "I always ran this place without anyone helping me. Don't see why you think I need a hand now."

"It's a scheme to get you to leave it to me, when you die in another hundred years."

"An' who says I don't have a kid of my own to leave it to?"

"Reckon we'd have seen him by now if you did. Besides, you told Neville you were the last of the Dumbledores."

"Maybe I had a girl, and she up and married someone with a different name."

Seamus considered this, then asked, "Do you have a daughter, Ab?"

"No."

"A son?"

"No."

"Then why--?"

"Just asking why you assumed it, boy. Just because you see me alone doesn't necessarily mean I don't have anyone."

"Do you have anyone?"

"Got you, the Longbottom boy, 'bout half the Weasleys, and Rubeus."

Seamus got out a broom--of the sweeping variety--and leaned on it before he started cleaning up. "Does it bother you, Ab?"

"Does what bother me?"

"You know--not having kids of your own. Not that the lot of us don't love you."

Seamus half-expected to be ignored, or told he was being impertinent, but Ab just sat down and looked thoughtful. "I suppose," he grunted. "But what kind of a father would I have been? I had Albus around to look after me, and you saw how well that went. I had my own dad, until he got carted off to Azkaban. I had my mother, but I'd be lying if I said she was a grand example." He shook his head. "No, it's better the whole show got cancelled. It was a bad experiment, my parents, and it's as well to shut it down before there were any further complications."

"Yeah--you wouldn't want a houseful of geniuses."

"You sound like you're joking, but it's no joke. Geniuses come to bad ends, and they're almost never happy on the way to getting there. Better to have regular minds on an even keel."

Seamus started sweeping. "How did you do on your N.E.W.T.s?"

"Not as well as my brother."

"That's not an answer."

"I'm a hundred and seventeen years old, boy, do you think I remember scores on my school tests?" Seamus didn't answer, because of course Aberforth remembered--he remembered everything. Finally he shrugged and said, "Three Exceeds Expectations, and Outstandings in Ancient Runes and Charms. Got invited to a few conferences before I let slip that I'd be bringing goats."

"And you ended up running the Hog's Head."

"And liking it." He raised his wand and Summoned a sheet of paper that Seamus recognized as his application for an apprenticeship in the Ministry--never sent. Aberforth scanned it. "Now, the question is, do you have the N.E.W.T.s necessary to run this establishment...?"



that little ficlet you wrote about Justin Finch-Fletchley fleeing his house after DE setting it on fire, and Daniel morse comming to help was amazing! can i have more of that? either right after that or more that type of thing? you are one of the few authors who write intricate stories for even the smallest of characters for Nikki
[That ficlet is here, and ends with Daniel demanding an explanation of the magic he's seen before he starts making guesses.]
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Justin's Confunding Charms seemed to be holding up--the Death Eaters running madly around the grounds at Finch Hall seemed to have completely forgotten seeing a Muggle boy on a horse come in to rescue him, and leap out over the back fence. The barns were burning furiously. He hoped Ernie's letter had burned up--it wouldn't do for them to start thinking of the Macmillans as blood traitors.

"Well?" Daniel asked.

Justin turned to look at him. "I, er... I don't know if I can explain in a way that makes sense. At least not legally."

He thought Daniel might be angry and storm away, but he seemed to take it calmly. "Let's go to the house," he said. "If it's safe?"

"It seems to be. They don't remember where they saw me go, and they don't know you from Adam."

"And Balius? The horse."

"He should be fine as long he stays on this side of the property line. They won't remember him, either."

Daniel nodded, and gave Balius an affectionate pat to send him off to his stable. The two boys started toward the house. The summer wind was cool, and carried a hint of rain, and everything in Justin's life was burning away behind him. He stopped and fell to his knees, suddenly unable to move.

Daniel knelt down beside him, and threw the horse's blanket over his shoulders. "I wish we could go back and save the house. We could call the fire department--"

"No. They'll only end up dead. I hope the other neighbors didn't call. The Confundus should work on them at least a little bit, so maybe they won't notice now."

Daniel nodded, as though he'd expected nothing else. Justin expected him to address this further, but instead, he said, "I had a teacher a couple of years ago. I followed him off the grounds once. Until he completely disappeared. Footsteps stopped, and didn't trail off anywhere. I saw one of your visitors tonight just turn in a circle and disappear."

"Oh."

Daniel didn't press this. He stood up and held out his hand to help Justin up. "Come on. Let's get to the house. I'll order in supper."

They made their way the rest of the way to the Morse home, and Daniel ordered in a pizza that they both ignored after it came (though they drank their way through quite a lot of soda; Justin felt like he couldn't possibly get enough to drink). Finally, Daniel said, "What did you mean, that it wouldn't be legal to explain?"

"There's a Statute of Secrecy. Which I'm breaking by telling you about it." Justin sighed. "I know people have wondered why I didn't go to Eton..."

With that, he launched into the tale--from the odd bits of accidental magic he'd done as a child, to his Hogwarts letter, to Hufflepuff House... and to the war. To the bloody war. Daniel listened to all of it calmly, asking questions if he needed clarification. Justin answered as well as he knew how. When he finished, he asked, "Do you believe me?"

Daniel nodded absently, not giving any apparent room for doubt. "I saw them, didn't I? I suppose when you see a thing, it makes it a bit easier to believe in. So, they're after you because your parents aren't... did you say wizards or witches?"

"We use both--for men and for women, respectively. Or if you're talking about both of them, you could say they're not magical, or that they're Muggles."

"Right. Do you need a place to stay?"

Justin started to protest that he didn't, that he'd take care of himself, but realized that was mad. "Yeah," he said. "Maybe for the night. After that, I should see if I can contact someone on our side, to see if they can pick me up and put me somewhere that won't get you into trouble."

"Do you need to use a telephone or... I suppose you have your own ways..."

"I do, but I'm not sure which is the safest way. And I don't know who I'd call on the telephone. I--"

There was a knock at the door.

The boys stopped and looked at each other.

"I'll go," Daniel said. "You get ready to leave if you have to. I'll play ignorant."

Justin nodded and ducked behind a sofa. He had a reasonably good view of the front door, but was low enough to the ground that he wouldn't be in someone else's immediate sightline.

Daniel opened the door, and Justin sighed with relief, standing up. Professor Lupin was there, along with a pretty young woman and the mad Auror who was supposed to have taught fourth year Defense Against the Dark Arts.

"Finch-Fletchley?" the Auror asked.

"Yes, thank you, and this is--"

"Mr. Lewis?" Daniel said, looking dazed.

Lupin turned and gave him a fond smile. "Hello, Daniel. Maybe it's time for my real name."
11 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 16th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Daniel does have a little idolization thing going on there!
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 16th, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked the first one, but, as soon as Seamus called Aberforth "Ab," I had a mental picture of him being on NCIS, someone saying, "Abs?" and him and Abby both looking up . . . . No idea where that thought is going.

The second one - everything's better with Lewis/Lupin on it :-)

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 16th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
And so now I have an image of Aberforth, hair dyed black, in a lab coat, talking to the various pub equipment while he looks for clues to whatever Albus is working on. And cranking out the the Weird Sisters at top volume.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: February 16th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree with Ellen -- I treasure each and every sighting of my main man. And I'm quite fond of Daniel, as well. (I enjoyed the first, too, of course!)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 16th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I knew I had to get Lupin into it. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 16th, 2012 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved the second one - I think something like this was on my list for ideas for challenge calls (which I lost, of course. I make too many lists to keep track of them!)

I enjoyed the first one as well - you have a knack for making me identify with characters I never thought possible. But I feel like I really understand Aberforth here - I always had top grades, and yet, I dropped out of university and started an apprenticeship to become a lowly, dirty-fingered horticulturist - and I love it!

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 16th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't blame him, though I'm sort of more with Seamus on the, "Oh, yeah, house of geniuses--what a tragedy" idea.
cleindori From: cleindori Date: February 17th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Awesome! Loved the second one in particular. You can see the Daniel who ends up marrying Cho in this, calmly accepting the crazy escape and Justin's explanation, talking about following Professor Lewis until the footsteps stopped, being so matter-of-fact -- until Lupin actually shows up at the door!
miseri From: miseri Date: February 17th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, Justin's forgotten that he jammed Ernie's letter into his pocket, and it's probably still with him. Did you ever write Ernie's reaction to the appearing sheep? I vaguely recall some mention of it elsewhere, but I don't really remember.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: March 13th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love the Aberforth piece. Interesting thought about the genius Dumbledore family. Those wizard families have got to increase the birth rate or marry more muggles or something! All these Wizarding families dying off. Dumbledore. Gaunt Black. Crouch.
11 comments or Leave a comment