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Shifts, Chapter 10: Risks, Part 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shifts, Chapter 10: Risks, Part 3
Remus and Sirius, at last check-in, were talking about pranking Narcissa to see what she has to do with the pub incident involving Dudley and Joe.


Table of Contents and Summary So Far





They spent a pleasant Sunday spinning ever more absurd scenarios for entrapping Narcissa Malfoy. Sirius was keen to involve Peter somehow--forge his handwriting on a note or whatnot. He claimed this was because he wanted to incriminate Peter, but Remus rather suspected that it was simply because it seemed like Peter should be in on it, one way or the other. In the end, they reluctantly decided that the description of a "small man" just wasn't sure enough to assume it was Peter, and a bad guess could throw a bit of a wrench into things. "Narcissa first," Sirius said with a sigh. "I'd like to get a bit closer in with Peter, at any rate. Like with my hands around his throat. No mucking about with magic."

Remus had fallen into a habit of not acknowledging Sirius's death threats against Peter. Not discouraging him nor egging him on, but just letting it lie. He was not, after all, entirely clean of the sentiment himself.

"Have you actually seen Narcissa lately?" Sirius asked after a short time of silence.

"I ran into her in Hogsmeade the year I was teaching. She was buying new robes for Draco. She wrinkled her pretty nose at me and I didn't choose to speak to her."

"Same warm and nurturing personality as ever."

Remus laughed. The conversation descended into simply abusing Narcissa and Lucius (and, though Remus was slightly ashamed of himself for it later, Draco) over pints of mulled mead. Remus stared at the growing moon for a long time before going to sleep.

Dora came to Smeltings for lunch the next day, with a thermos of Wolfsbane Potion and spicy food in cardboard boxes.

"I don't suppose you brought anything to drink other than that?" he asked, pointing at the empty thermos, his eyes watering.

She tossed him a bottle of water, which he down in a long gulp.

"You don't like spicy food?"

"I like it fine. I just wasn't expecting it."

"Thought it would clear off the wretched taste of that stuff."

"It clears everything." He toyed with his food. "Dora?"

"What?"

"How often do you actually see your Aunt Narcissa?"

"She's been by twice a week since summer. I usually get out as quickly as I can, though. Why?"

Remus listened to the hallway for signs of Alan Garvey's return and detected none. "Sirius and I were talking about perhaps trying to flush her out. See if she does know something about what happened in that pub."

Dora grinned broadly. "Am I in the plan?"

"There's no plan yet. Would you be willing to help if it's needed?"

She sighed and put her plastic fork down. "I'm in. But I..."

"What?"

"Well, Mum's told me some of the schemes the lot of you came up with at Hogwarts. Some of it... er..."

"What?"

"Well, I wouldn't mind getting some information out of her, but let's not, I don't know, dress her in a feather boa and make her dance around Diagon Alley. I wouldn't feel right with that."

Remus, whose mind was suddenly filled with images of Narcissa dancing through Diagon Alley in a feather boa, pressed his lips together to keep from laughing.

Dora looked down. "I don't mean to judge. I just--"

"Understood." He got the urge to laugh under control, mostly. "I don't think we have anything conspicuous in mind."

"There's something I've been wondering," Dora said after a moment.

"What?"

"You-Know-Who--"

"Voldemort."

"--had a whole scheme to catch Harry last year. Wasn't he planning to kill Harry in the graveyard, before he ever got back to the Dursleys?"

"Yes. That's our best guess anyway."

"So why would he send a Death Eater after Dudley? It doesn't make sense." She shrugged. "I'm sure there would have to be a reason. I'm probably just not thinking of it. Back-up plan or some such business."

Remus didn't answer. He'd never even thought to question the idea that anything nasty happening around Harry ultimately came from Voldemort. But she was right.

"According to Harry," he said, "or what Harry told Dumbledore, at any rate, Voldemort specifically mentioned only having Peter there."

"Which brings us to an old question: Are we sure it was a witch and not a coincidence?"

Remus frowned. "What time is your mother's shift over tonight?"

"She's on days. I can usually drop by after work and find her with her feet up. Unless there's been an emergency, of course. Why?"

"I need to talk to her about Joe. I need her to examine him for magical injuries. Can I meet you there tonight?"

"Do you need me there?"

"We'll need to work out a cover."

After lunch, he taught his afternoon class--Dudley glowering through a conversation about visas for refugees--and met briefly with the history club. Daniel noted that he was looking ill again, giving him a kind of tragic shake of the head. Remus assured the boy that he was fine and handed him a book on the history of plagues--bubonic plague, cholera, and smallpox--that had seemed likely to delight him. He left the boys on the steps of the building, reading each other the most disgusting descriptions they could find, and walked to his Apparition point. He made sure that none of them had decided to follow, and Apparated to Ted and Andromeda's back garden.

The spot was sheltered from view by a simple lean-to behind a tree. It was Charmed to be magically dim, but in the late afternoon, it hardly needed it. Remus could barely see in the shadows.

"We were starting to wonder where you'd got to."

He jumped.

Dora and Andromeda were leaning against the far wall, smiling faintly (and quite identically).

"I helped a few of the boys with history club. I didn't realize I'd been so long."

Dora laughed. "You could spend your whole life in that classroom and not notice how long you're there."

"At least until the full moon shows its face."

Andromeda came to him and gave him a hug. "Dora tells me that you need my help."
7 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
chienar From: chienar Date: September 9th, 2004 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Given the age that Dora is morphing herself to appear, wouldn't Andromeda appear to be the right age to be her sister? Just a thought.

As always, can't wait to read more.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: September 9th, 2004 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, that complicates matters. Why hadn't I thought of that snag? But thanks to your apparent deletion of my posts, I still feel sure of myself. Besides, coincidence? Give me a break. And I can't imagine how it could not involve Voldemort, really.

Anyway, interested to see how this plays out - I'm guessing it'd have more overall effect than the interview with Malfoy.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: September 9th, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and you're absolutely right about Terry Brooks' TPM. Especially the part where the Senate ousts Valorum... SO well-done. The "phantom menace" is much more menacing. As is Darth Maul. Jar Jar and the midichlorians fit in more smoothly for some reason, which I can't place, and it has a psychological dimension the movie barely touches on. Also makes you realize just how much better the movie would be if Natalie Portman and Jake Lloyd had given it their all.

Thanks a lot for that recommendation.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: September 9th, 2004 09:45 am (UTC) (Link)
She tossed handed him a bottle of water, which he down in a long gulp.

Downed.

Excellent logic from Dora. Is it possible that the Malfoys had a plan of their own?


vytresna From: vytresna Date: September 9th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, nice one. Doesn't fit with my imagined perpetrator, but not unlikely. More likely than my imagined perpetrator, frankly.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: September 9th, 2004 10:38 am (UTC) (Link)
So why would he send a Death Eater after Dudley?

Shouldn't that be a Dementor?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2004 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
No, they're thinking about the pub incident when Joe got sick and Remus thinks something happened to Dudley. No dementors involved.
7 comments or Leave a comment