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Challenges 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Challenges 3
I'd love to see Remus and Sirius (and/or Tonks) tuning into the second challenge in the Triwizard Tournament. I wonder how that translated to a listening experience (as I can't imagine it was much fun for spectators). for Sarah 1
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(Argh, this made me realize that my calendar was off in Stray. Oh, well. I'll fix it by ignoring the problem! ;p)

Scotland seemed colder than it had been before the impromptu trip to Brazil. It wasn't, not really. It was actually warming a bit since he'd left. But on Remus's island, that wasn't saying much, and after a week and a half with Fiona and the girls in the sunlight and the jungle heat, Sirius found himself more crabby than usual. He'd installed himself in the cave in Hogsmeade and was back to killing rats and listening in on boring conversations.

He didn't feel terribly useful. He'd started back as soon as Harry's letter had reached him, telling him about Bartemius Crouch, of all people, sneaking around Hogwarts at night, when he was supposed to be too ill to work. Sirius had no idea what that was about, and he needed to see Harry and talk to him, but there wouldn't be a Hogsmeade weekend for a week and a half -- and during that week and a half, of course, there was this nonsense.

Remus came in from his daily bout with the Hogboon, looking like he might have had a stunning spell bounced back at him, and shook his head. "Sirius, you need to tell me when you're coming."

Sirius, who was curled up on the floor as a dog, transformed back to human and shrugged. "I thought it would be easier for the Aurors to track owls up here than keep tabs on your dog."

Remus considered this. "That's a good point. When did you get back from Recife?"

"Four days ago. Harry sent me a letter. Did he send you one? Crouch is sneaking around at night, checking Snivelly's office."

Remus rolled his eyes. "Harry doesn't write to me. Why are you here now? I thought, if you were back, you'd be at Hogwarts today."

"Dumbledore says there's nothing I can see there. Trust me, I'm ready to run out the door and Apparate if the wireless suggests anything going wrong. Aren't they about to start? Is Dora coming?"

As if on cue, the door opened, and Dora backed in, pushing it with her shoulder while she manhandled in a large bag of food. She glanced over her shoulder and casually said, "Sirius! Thought I might catch you here."

"Let's avoid the 'c' word," he said. "What did you bring?"

"Crisps, donuts, eggs and cheese and bread, some milk -- "

"Dora, those are groceries, not snacks," Remus said.

" -- and enough takeaway Chinese food to keep all of us eating for a good long time."

"So, you'll be taking the groceries home with you," Remus prodded.

"Actually, I thought I'd make you cook for me. You always say I eat too much takeaway."

Remus ground his teeth, but Dora cheerfully ignored him.

Sirius went to the radio and turned it on. They were in the middle of a recap of Harry's tragic story, which now included the possibility of a sad love affair, being teased as a big reveal in the upcoming issue of Witch Weekly.

"Someone's got under Skeeter's skin," Dora said. "I'm surprised she hasn't been up here yet, complaining about how you're living in luxury despite being an evil werewolf."

"I doubt she knows anything about me other than my lycanthropic status, and that only matters to impugn Dumbledore."

"Let's not jinx it," Sirius said. "Sooner or later, she'll remember that you know me. And, more to the point, James. She could get to your connection to Harry."

"Only if Harry does," Remus said. "I mean, if Harry says something."

"I'm going to tell him to write to you," Sirius said. "I mean it, this moping is annoying."

There was no answer, because the blare of the Triwizard fanfare distracted all of them. Ludo Bagman's voice came in. "Welcome back to the Triwizard Tournament! Here I am at historic Hogwarts, looking out over the scene of the Second Task -- the Black Lake! Three of our champions are gathered here at the shore -- "

"Three?" Dora repeated.

" -- waiting to begin their dangerous, death-defying deeds! Viktor Krum, Cedric Diggory, and Fleur Delacour are warming up in their swim clothes, but where is Harry Potter?"

"That's a bloody good question!" Sirius said.

"Is he preparing? Has he conceded the game? Is he… ah!" Beyond Bagman, Sirius heard the murmur of the crowd, many voice laughing, and the name, "Harry" on several sets of lips.

"Looks like he made it," Remus said.

"Ah, very good," Bagman continued. "Flustered and hurried, but here!" The music continued for a moment while Sirius imagined Bagman going down to the champions to give instructions.

"What are they doing in the lake?" Dora asked. "I mean, what sort of spectator sport happens underwater?"

Remus shrugged. "Our spectator sports lack something. Quidditch is too fast to watch at real time, and as for Apparition events… who can really tell?"

Bagman came back on, explaining the rules of the task. Apparently, a symbolic hostage had been taken from each champion -- Delacour's sister, Krum's Yule Ball date ("One Hermy-own Granger!" Bagman stated, to Remus's amazement, Diggorys' Yule Ball date (Cho Chang, which got an "Oh, poor Harry") and finally, for Harry, Ron Weasley. Sirius was surprised at first -- he'd thought it would be some girl -- but he supposed he understood. If he'd been there, they'd have put James in the lake without thinking twice about his priorities.

Time was called, and the champions were sent into the water. As he dove, Viktor Krum apparently created a shark's head for himself. Diggory and Delacour both chose bubble-head charms (an easy charm that Sirius kicked himself now for not suggesting to Harry in a letter, even though he hadn't been asked for advice or known what was coming). Harry just… waded in.

"He appears to be chewing something," Bagman said.

"Gillyweed," Dora decided.

"I didn't know you were a Herbologist, too," Remus said.

She shrugged. "My head of house was the Herbology professor. She loved to have weird plants in the Common Room. We had some when I was a fourth year. Too bad they missed it this year -- it would have been better for Cedric than the bubble-head charm. He'll have an hour not needing to worry about anything except the monsters. Cedric will need to worry about snagging his charm on things."

She was apparently right, as Harry did not re-surface, sputtering and gasping for breath. That was all anyone seemed to know. Bagman spent the next twenty minutes describing the various creatures in the lake, and wondering what everyone was doing with them.

"Well, Harry knows grindylows," Remus said, when the water demons came up. "He did very well on them. They shouldn't be a problem."

Ten minutes after that, Fleur Delacour did come up from the water, gasping, spitting, and apparently bleeding from several cuts. She was weeping about the very grindylows that Remus didn't consider a problem for Harry. They didn't go to her to ask for details.

"This is… exciting," Dora said. "I suppose we'll get a recount later when they've… I don't know checked the champions' memories in a Pensieve?"

"I'm not sure they thought this through," Sirius agreed.

Finally, a minute beyond the allotted hour, Cedric Diggory came out of the water with Cho Chang. Shortly after that, Krum appeared with Hermione. Remus and Sirius looked at each other, both of their minds going to the same place. The plant's magic would last an hour. Harry was still underwater with no way to breathe.

"And again," Bagman said in astonishment, "where is Harry Potter?"

The answer came in minutes.

"The surface of the lake is roiling," Bagman said. "The merpeople are bringing an upward current, stirring the lake from its depths… and… there he is! Harry Potter! With both his own hostage and Fleur Delacour's!"

Remus abruptly began to laugh.

"What?" Dora asked.

"He couldn't help himself."

"What do you mean?"

"It's a game. A dangerous game, but a game. But Harry had to rescue everyone." He smiled fondly. "James would be…"

"Furious," Sirius pointed out. "He would have been if you'd done something like that."

"Only because he'd have wanted to do it first."

"It certainly answers the question about whether or not he's a real champion," Dora said. "Now, shall I stay until someone decides to actually tell us what just happened…?"





I'd love to see more of your Reyna. How about what she was doing while Jason slayed Krios on Mount Othrys? for shiiki
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"Where is Grace?" Octavian demanded, gesturing at the monsters that were swarming up the mountainside. "Did he desert?"

"He's doing what we came do!" I shouted. "You should be doing the same thing!"

"I am!"

"Jason had to go ahead. Krios. The prophecy."

Octavian turned on his heel and headed back into the fray (or at least to someplace near enough that he could say he was fighting), but not before I saw the fury on his face. The prophecy. It was almost through. I can feel it, but I didn't know what it would mean in the end.

When darkness falls upon the west
And Rome at last is put to test
The sea shall yield a hero true
But blood of Rome shall not win through
And the one who bears Jove's spark
Shall drag the stars into the dark.


Well, darkness fell, all right. The Titans called on the power of Nox, down in Tartarus, and darkness had been spreading across the Bay Area for two days. Luckily, the mortals were mostly asleep. I had no idea why. Circadian rhythms, maybe. The news media were reporting it as a power outage, and smoke from some fires. And Rome was definitely being put to the test. The army of monsters that have been gathering here at Mount Tam was vast beyond comprehension. Every time we dusted a line, another sprung up in its place. The black palace seemed to vomit out monsters.

I talked to Jason last night about the sea yielding a hero. I think it must be him -- his first heroic quest was defeating a sea monster, and the gods know he's proved himself a hero a dozen times over.

But even he wasn't able to get us through the storms in the middle of the country. We were forced to retreat by the monsters in the wake of the storm. We never got any further than Nebraska before he had to fall back. The blood of Rome could not win through. We have to hope that our action here, taking down the palace of Saturn, will destroy the Titan king's center of power, the black throne. That means getting through Krios, the Titan of the stars, who can unweave all of human history… somehow. I'm not clear on that, and neither is Jason. Juno told him in a dream that the stories of man are written in the stars, and therefore Krios holds power over heroic epics. Or something.

At any rate, he's the guardian of Mount Othrys, and we have to get through him to take the palace down. That much is plain old strategy and tactics, and we don't need to worry about the metaphysics of the thing.

We just have to hope that Jason Grace, son of Jupiter -- who bears Jove's spark -- will drag the ram-horned titan into the deepest dark we can find. So yes, I ordered him to fly his spark-bearing carcass up to the palace while the rest of us hold off the army.

I don't have the authority to order him, but I knew he wouldn't leave without an order, so I gave him one. He followed it. Now, I could see him flying alone, wreathed in lightning, approaching the palace doors. A bolt shot out from him, and the doors crumbled, and that's all I could watch, because a hydra was suddenly snapping at my ankles, and I turned to fight.

"Kahale!" I called, and Michael was beside me in an instant, a torch in his hand. Hydras are hard to kill, but at least the rules are pretty predictable. I sliced, he burned, and soon, there was a smoking tangle of necks in front of us. I turned the body over and stabbed at the heart for good measure, then it turned to dust.

Michael was already gone, off fighting now by Bobby's side, fighting a sphinx that was guarding the way to… to…

There was a sudden jolt in the ground, and I realized too late that it wasn't an earthquake. It wasn't even really in the ground.

It was a sky-quake.

There were screams, and about half of the Twelfth Legion stumbled, grasping at their ears.

I heard laughter in the darkness, and the sky shuddered again. I felt it in the joints of my jaw and the quivering muscles of my back.

"Atlas," I whispered.

The Titan was trapped between the earth and the sky, and we'd thought he was out of commission, but he was here. He was laughing. He had a weapon left to him, the weapon he could use on all of us. If his hold on the sky broke, if the sky and the earth truly met, it would cause the world to ring like a bell. The oceans would spill up over the land, and the mountains would crumble, and everything we've built would fall into ruin.

I wasn't sure how this would happen, of course -- in reality, the sky always touches the earth, otherwise we'd find it hard to breathe -- but the forces the gods and titans represented weren't the physical things that they named. There were some ideas of sky and earth, some, well, for lack of a better word, titanic forces that we thought of as the sky and the earth. Atlas was put between them because they were so elemental, so powerful, that their collision could destroy humanity.

Again, not sure how. But however it would work, Atlas was getting ready to try it out. He was shifting his shoulders.

Atlas was preparing to shrug.

I'd been in this business long enough not to doubt.

And since there was no room to doubt, I had only one option.

I whistled as loudly as I could, and Scipio flew down from the sky, his battle armor glinting in Jason's lightning. I caught his reins and flung myself onto his back, and together, we charged toward the mountaintop, where the obsidian walls of the garden rose. He flew me over the wall.

Atlas was crouched beneath a black vortex, his muscles bunched and strained, but when I came, he smiled cruelly and raised the sky like a weightlifter doing a rep. Again, the world jittered around me, and the deep vibrations rattled my bones. Scipio spread his wings, but tumbled in the uncertain air. I rolled off his back and raised my spear.

"You can't kill me!" Atlas thundered. "Someone must take the burden. If you kill me, it will have to be you, and you won't last."

"I'm not taking your burden. Don't bother."

"You are nothing but the child of a minor upstart goddess. I am the general of the Titan army!"

"Really? I heard you got sacked." I charged forward, and stabbed him in one large bicep. He wouldn't be lifting the sky again soon that way.

"Daughters!" he bellowed.

Suddenly, I was surrounded by ethereal looking women… and one large dragon.

The women, blessedly, did not seem to be Amazons. Or Romans. They just stood there, blocking my way, though I didn't doubt that they could summon some magic if I tried to escape.

The dragon ran at me.

I jammed my spear into its neck, but all that accomplished was making it angry. It swiped at me with its claw, and I barely escaped, rolling under its leg and between two of the women. I crashed into Atlas's knee, and took the opportunity to jam the now bloody spear into his other arm. Golden ichor dripped. I didn't dare do much more to him -- I wanted him too weak to play games with the sky, not too weak to hold it.

The dragon circled in again, and the women turned, their eyes glowing in the lightning from above.

"You will fail," one said.

I grabbed my spear again and leveled it at the dragon. "Really?" I said. "That's your best skill? Talking at me?"

They looked at one another, confused, then glanced at the dragon.

Of course. They controlled the dragon. Why wouldn't they?

It shot forward at me, like a missile, and I flipped up, landing on its back as well as I could. That meant that it couldn't grab me, but I was more or less at its mercy. I couldn't let go long enough to grab my knife or turn my spear around.

Stalemate.

I heard a whinny from above, and Scipio swooped down. I grabbed his stirrup with my hand, and he dragged me upward, even though I could see the strain in his muscles. We flew beyond the wall, toward the melee between the monsters and the legion. I reached out with all my strength, to lend it to my soldiers.

That was when the throne crumbled somewhere far above us, and the world began to disintegrate.




You said that Tonks, Remus, and Robards did a fair bit of work together in safe. So maybe one of those missions? for queen_bellatrix
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The two mirrors sat on Dad's desk, staring at her. She'd rather be on the other end of one of them, having Remus here at Mum's, keeping safe while she did her damned job of interfering with Dark Wizards, but it wasn't like their little family was yet at a point where she could delegate the child care to him. For better or worse, she was behind the lines for another few months.

Remus's mirror was just showing the inside of his pocket at the moment; his wedding ring had slipped off again, so he charmed it to stick to the cloth; she would have to get the thing resized, or they'd be chasing it all over Britain.

Gawain was holding his mirror up, so she could get a view of the house. It was the Dursleys' place, but Tonks hardly recognized it. The Death Eaters had broken everything in sight. Nothing was un-fixable, but they didn't dare do it just yet. For now, Voldemort seemed to have forgotten the place existed, since Harry was clearly not there. They had magic detectors set up. If it were suddenly to start showing signs of magical repair, someone might well report it.

Which would be very bad news for Arabella Figg, her kneazles, and the Squibs she was hiding in the parlor.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the Order, someone suspected their location. Arabella's home had been ransacked early, and was kept under guard. Maybe one of her kneazles had wandered over to its old territory. Maybe someone's nose was just better than the Order suspected. Either way, chatter said that there was a planned "investigation" at Number Four, Privet Drive.

No one told Vernon and Petunia, as they had no idea that their house was being used. The tantrum thrown when they were toldit had been damaged was enough to keep their information flow to a trickle. But Dudley was a good helper as it turned out. A bit eager to punch things, but generally wanting to prove his worth. Now, Remus took his mirror out and said, "Dudley and I are in place." He swung it over to Dudley, who was peeking out from an underpass, looking at Wisteria Walk.

Tonks spoke to Gawain's mirror. "Dudley and Remus are at Arabella's."

"I still don't know what the boy is there for," Gawain said. "He can't do much to a wizard."

"It's Selwyn," she told him. "He's by himself. I think Remus can handle him, and Dudley wasn't going to stay at the safe house. He knows the neighborhood. Get Arabella before Selwyn's little friends join him, all right?"

"I think I liked it better when I gave you the orders."

Tonks rolled her eyes and went back to Remus's mirror. She smiled at him, glad that he'd turned the thing back toward himself. "Gawain's ready. We just need to keep them distracted now, so they aren't looking too closely at their detection spells a street over."

Remus nodded and went to Dudley. "This is distraction only," he said. "I don't want you getting into a fight with a wizard."

Dudley frowned ponderously. "It's just the one. Didn't I punch that werewolf bloke for you? When he was trying to grab that girl?"

"A fine moment of bravery, which was also very foolish. Selwyn is no genius, but he's a bit magically brighter than Greyback. Don't try to engage him. Let me handle that."

Good luck with that, love, Tonks thought, but didn't say. She reckoned Remus knew Dudley wasn't likely to obey if he had a chance to fight. Remus had still been weak after a full moon confrontation with Greyback when the older werewolf had shown up to snatch a little twelve-year-old Muggle-born girl named Sally, who'd been in the safe house for a few days, and had, in her frustration, tried to escape. Greyback had spotted her as soon as she crossed beyond the property line. Dudley had rushed out like a bull, grabbed her, and thrown her backward (she'd been dazed for an hour afterward), and Greyback had rushed on him. This was a mistake. Dudley was a trained physical fighter, and Greyback looked like a clumsy ox next to him. One punch had sent him to the ground. Remus had managed to get outside by then, and pulled Dudley back into the protected area, but the dynamic had changed a bit since then.

"All right, then," she said. "On my mark, everybody move." She watched the mirrors carefully, checked her watch and the Foe Glass over the desk and said, "Now."

Remus pointed the mirror at Dudley, who marched up the path to Arabella's front door. His cover was that he was looking for work taking care of the garden, which seemed like a practical lie. If the Death Eaters weren't careful, they'd be cited for their lackluster gardening skills. As he did, he put the mirror on a stabilizing cord around his neck. Robards did the same at Number Four.

As soon as Selwyn stepped outside (most likely with the thought of telling off the little Muggle boy who dared disturb him), Remus rushed in wand drawn. His first spell was casting Dudley away, but after that, it was a flat duel.

Tonks made herself look onto Gawain's mirror. He'd found Arabella in the kitchen. The Squibs she was hiding were upstairs. He blasted the fake fireplace open and lit a fire in it, tossing in fistfuls of Floo powder.

Back in Remus's mirror, Tonks could see the sky above Little Whinging growing fire red from a street away. "Hurry!" she yelled at Gawain. "You've already tripped the alarm!"

Selwyn was initially engaged in his battle with Remus, but he spotted the colors over the Dursleys' home. He raised his wand to send word, but Remus forced him into defense by throwing a hex at him, not letting him use his wand to call for backup.

Gawain was practically shoving the six Squibs into the fire, ignoring their protests. But it took time for each one, even if just a little bit. Arabella was running around the place, gathering up her kneazles. Gawain tried to tell her to "leave the damned cats" but that was not going to happen, and everyone knew it. He bundled the first one into the arms of the next Squib, but the others, he was going to have to send through on their own… and no animal liked the Floo.

"Conjure a basket and stick them in it!" Tonks yelled. "Don't waste time trying to herd the cats, Robards."

"What?" Remus yelled.

"Not you!"

But it was enough of a distraction.

Selwyn disengaged and ran for the house, obviously meaning to take cover long enough to call his friends.

Instead, he found a mountain of a Muggle boy on his front step.

Dudley grabbed him by the wrist and yanked his wand from his hand before he could process what was happening.

Remus Summoned it, then Incinerated it.

Tonks sat back, momentarily nonplused. They'd killed Death Eaters in battle, but at this point, Selwyn was disarmed and magically helpless. But what on Earth were they meant to do with a captured Death Eater? Azkaban belonged to them now. She supposed Selwyn might be a strong enough wizard to Disapparate without having a wand on him -- the wand didn't do much for the process, and some wizards, including Remus, considered it nothing more than a psychological crutch for it -- but he didn't seem to be making any move to do so.

Gawain got the last Squib through the fireplace, then Disapparated over to Wisteria Walk.

Dudley was still holding on to Selwyn's wrist. He looked up at Remus. "What do I do?"

"Well, you've got the tiger's tail," Gawain said. "Don't let go of it."

"Got that part," Dudley said. "But we can't stay here all day, can we? Someone will call the normal police."

"He's got a point," Remus agreed. "Dora? Any ideas?"

"Fresh out," she admitted.

"If I were you," Selwyn said, "I'd kill me."

"That would be why you're the villain of the piece," Gawain said.

Remus shrugged. "I haven't written it off."

But he had; Tonks knew he had. He talked a good game about being as ruthless as the Death Eaters, but he wasn't a ruthless man, and he never would be.

She sighed. "All right. We need to secure a place. This won't be the last capture. We may as well get a procedure for them. For now… let's get him into one of your changing spots." Remus grimaced at this , but it wasn't a bad plan. He had a network of small shacks, enforced like the ones the Ministry had once owned, but in very different places. They could hold a transformed werewolf safely. One could certainly hold a disarmed Death Eater if they did some Incarceration Incatations around it. Of course, they couldn't hold him for long. Tonks rubbed her head. "It'll be temporary," she said. "I suppose we'll need to bring in Kingsley to see what we can do in the long run…"
13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 17th, 2017 10:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I loved this. I think Stray is my favourite non-Teddy story and getting a bit more of it was great.

I also loved the Safe snippet.

-Sarah1
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 18th, 2017 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Glad you liked them! Spectatorship at the Triwizard had to be a weird thing. (The Dom riffed on it a little bit in his "Lost in Adaptation" on GoF, too.)

Edited at 2017-07-18 03:09 am (UTC)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: July 17th, 2017 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for indulging my request for HoO-verse! I love it--the fast-paced action, Reyna's decisiveness, the various Titans making an appearance ... oh, and the prophecy! Really nice lines there! Atlas was a nice touch to round it all off.

Also Octavian--lol! He would make insinuations like that. Finding a place close enough to seem like he's in the fighting--Reyna sees right through him indeed.

Yay for a snippet of Stray and Safe! I've missed that series. And I'm always holding out hope that you might want to pick it up again some day.

Dudley punching Greyback is so damn awesome! Go you for putting Greyback against someone who can fight back physically and win! And have I mentioned before that I adore your Dudley?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 18th, 2017 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I do like Reyna. I wish I weren't slowing down on the writing (it's just not as fun as it used to be), because there's a lot to be done in that 'verse, and I wish I could find the energy to do it.

I wanted Dudley to have a chance to prove himself.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 18th, 2017 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll be back to properly comment on mine after my thoughts've become somewhat more coherent than joyous shrieking. But just wanted to let you know that A. I'd seen and B.: it was the most perfect mission-oriented piece that hit every note I hoped you would and some I didn't expect, cause you always throw in the most perfect surprises. The only trouble now is that I want you to write Safe in full because this was so good. :)
Queen_Bellatrix who's in a rush and can't log in
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 19th, 2017 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Looking forward to it! Glad you liked your story; that one was fun. (A part of me wants to find a way to make Safe work.)
reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: July 18th, 2017 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good point about the spectator sports. Especially since they have no TV and can't really even spectate it unless they're there.

I always thought it was stupid that They picked Ron and Hermione. Whoever picked them must have known perfectly well that Hermione was far more important to Harry than she was to Krum, and that it basically meant Harry had two hostages but could only save one and had to depend on someone else to save the other. I mean, yeah, the whole tournament *was* rigged against him, but why didn't anyone point this out and contest it?

Haha, I think you captured the experience that most wizards had of this task pretty well. Clearly they don't have an industry that runs on televised events.

Yeah, I love the idea of Dudley punching Greyback. It's so nice how you've given him more of a redemption/growth than he got in the books. Though as much as I enjoy the scenes between him and Remus, it's quite tragic that in the end (at least in your version of the story), Dudley ends up getting to spend a lot more quality time with Remus than Harry does.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 19th, 2017 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I expect they picked Hermione for Krum because she was the only one really handy for them. His parents didn't come until the end. Maybe the Delacours were just hanging around during the tournament, and Gabrielle was easy to get.

I think Greyback may be one of the few enemies in that war that Dudley could take on, because he's... not so hot at magic.
reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: July 19th, 2017 01:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
But they planned these tasks out ahead of time, even if they didn't tell anyone what they were. They could have arranged that more people from the guest schools could be there, or even Portkeyed in more appropriate "hostages" for the task.

Yeah, I think you're right about Greyback, though you did a good job with a wizard in this ficlet. If a wizard isn't particularly strong in wandless magic, then taking away his wand might be enough to make him a match or less. The whole "Uh, what do I do with him now?" moment was funny. Although I might have suggested they could Transfigure him into a hamster or something for safekeeping. (As soon as the books showed that people could be Transfigured into animals by other people, we should have seen that more as an offensive/defensive spell. But that gets into the problem I have with how wizard duels are portrayed, which is a whole other topic.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 18th, 2017 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reconciling "holding up the sky" with current understanding of the atmosphere is something I've wondered about. Good to know our demigods are just as stumped. :P

It's pretty cool to see the more tactical and strategic parts of the war.
And Dudley proving his worth! Especially against Greyback of all people.

-- FFR
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 19th, 2017 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Riordan basically writes off Atlas (there's a kind of maelstrom and it's really heavy, but there's no real attempt at explaining just what that point really is), but he gives Apollo an absolutely lovely snippet about the sun chariot.
You want to talk astronomy? Bah, what fun is that? You want to talk about how humans think about the sun? Ah, now that’s more interesting. They’ve got a lot riding on the sun . . . er, so to speak. It keeps them warm, grows their crops, powers engines, makes everything look, well, sunnier. This chariot is built out of human dreams about the sun, kid. It’s as old as Western Civilization. Every day, it drives across the sky from east to west, lighting up all those puny little mortal lives. The chariot is a manifestation of the sun’s power, the way mortals perceive it. Make sense?




Edited at 2017-07-19 04:40 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 18th, 2017 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved the 2nd task ficlet! So clever! More Stray please!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 19th, 2017 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked it!
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