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Shifts, Chapter 14: The Evans Temper, Pt. 4 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shifts, Chapter 14: The Evans Temper, Pt. 4
Whew. Last daily Shifts entry before scaling back to twice a week during NaNo. My fingers will fall off this month.

Anyway, Remus has just met the Dursleys, who are less than pleased with Dudley's removal from the boxing team. Petunia knows more or less what's going on, which makes her even less pleased. Dudley agrees to see the school psychologist in order to be returned to the team, but tells Remus that he intends to lie quite a lot.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Dudley wasn't in Remus's class schedule the next day, so it wasn't unusual that they didn't see one another, though it was beginning to make Remus nervous to have heard nothing about him. He wasn't around the grounds, and according to Baden, he'd been spotted in the gymnasium, watching the team practice and sulking in the shadows. He had refused to talk to anyone.

Dora rolled her eyes at him over lunch and changed the subject on Tuesday, but by the time she arrived for Wednesday's final dose of Wolfsbane before the night's transformation and neither Remus nor any of the other faculty had seen Dudley in class for two days, she was taking it more seriously.

"Have they sent anyone to check on him at all?" she asked. "His head-of-house, or whatever they call it here?"

"Baden went. Dudley's claiming a slight cold, but he's apparently not at all congested. According to Baden, the dormitory is dark and cluttered--"

Dora raised an eyebrow. "As opposed to every other teenager's dormitory you've ever seen? And have you seen my flat lately? Looks like I've been cluttering it for two years, and I only moved in a couple of weeks ago."

"I suppose that may be something of an overreaction." Remus gulped down his Potion and wrinkled his nose. "But it's not as though Dudley can afford to miss classes. He's behind a great deal of the time when he's there."

"Well, you can talk to him when you come back on Friday, if he doesn't make it to class this afternoon. You are staying away tomorrow, aren't you?"

"I suppose it's better if I do. I'm allowed to be ill two for days in any given month without showing proof of it." He sighed. "I had to cancel a history club meeting this afternoon. Night is falling earlier now. I told them I was feeling a bit under the weather."

"Oh, is that what that thing on your desk's about? The picture of the woman in the short skirt with the needle?"

Remus nodded. "Stephen Wells and Andrew Ketterling left that taped to the back blackboard. It's just a get-well card; she's meant to be a Muggle Healer, I think. I think they were trying to rattle me before first-form, but I always roll up the board and check behind it before the boys come in."

"Are you going to do anything about it?"

"I already did. I drew two boys in Smeltings uniforms being very surprised when they find a prank in their notebooks in Latin class." He smiled. "I left it in Andrew's satchel on my way here."

"Hmph. You should have drawn me going after that Healer with her own needle," Dora said, grinning. "I don't think I've seen you draw since the Christmas I was... eleven, I think? The year I had found that huge bow at Oxfam and I was wearing it everywhere. Granny'd just had her first batch of kittens, and you drew pictures of them all on the ribbon part."

"I'd forgot all about that."

"I hadn't. I was wearing the thing all year because I lost a bet with Charlie Weasley in October. He made me keep wearing it, kittens and all, 'til Hufflepuff had beat both of the the other houses."

"Well, why did you let me do it, then?"

"Because you were my dear Mr. Lupin and you were paying attention to me," she said lightly. She leaned over and kissed his nose. "Have you finished with the Potion?"

Remus handed her the thermos. "Well, I'm sorry I embarrassed you."

Dora, who had stood up to start re-packing her picnic basket, ruffled his hair with one hand. "It was twelve years ago, Remus. I've got over it." Her hand trailed lightly across his temple, and he stifled a mad, moon-driven urge to kiss her fingers. She took a few steps away and looked out the window at the grounds as she cleaned up. "When Dudley does show up," she said, "I think you should take a chance on telling him what we do know. I wouldn't want him deciding to go visit Joe and Miriam."

Remus nodded.

"Are you going back to Auntie's before moonrise?" Dora asked.

"I'll have to leave from here. Will you stay with Sirius for a bit tonight?"

"I have to keep my watch, but I'm taking over from Bill. I'll send him over. Sirius likes Bill all right, and Bill knows what's what."

"It's not the same as family."

"No, but it'll have to do for tonight, unless you're a lot more personable transformed than you've led me to believe."

She didn't hug and kiss him on her way out as she normally did--she was apparently becoming accustomed to the rhythms of his behavior--but she gave him one last cheerful smile and wave when she looked up at the window from the car park. He waved back.

Dudley didn't show up for class, though he'd sent along his uninspired list of answers to Monday's homework questions with Piers Polkiss. Stephen Wells apologized for his earlier joke and proferred a wish for a speedy recovery, along with the suggestion that he could always cut class a bit short, just one day.

Remus declined, and went through the material without rushing. There would be time to get to tonight's transformation site (a roomy one this time, in an abandoned barn not far from where he'd grown up) as long as he didn't procrastinate after hours.

The shadows were long by four o'clock, when class ended. The wind continued chilly, and Remus noticed with some trepidation that the clouds were moving in. He wasn't thinking of much more than the dread of a delayed transformation when he got off the lift to get his things from the office.

"Can we talk?"

He stopped outside the door.

Dudley Dursley was sitting on the floor of the corridor across from Remus's office, his knees drawn up, picking at bits of paper caught in the spiral of his notebook. He hadn't looked up when he'd spoken.

"Dudley. Everyone's been concerned."

Dudley grimaced, and used one sausage-sized finger to pry at a tiny paper-shaving. He extracted it and flung it away. "Can we talk?" he asked again.

"Any time you'd like to."

"Now."

"Except now."

Dudley drew himself up to his full height, but didn't move in any threatening way. "Everyone says you're all right. Mr. Levinson called me on the telephone today and told me to go back to class, and that you were all right. You didn't... make him do that, did you?"

"No. I had no idea he would."

Dudley frowned. "If you're not doing it--and mind, I'm not saying that I believe that--then what's happening?"

"Dudley, we can talk on Friday. I'll tell you everything we know, which isn't all that much--"

"Tell me now."

"I can't. It will take some time, and I haven't got it."

"You can make time for those nancies in history club, and to listen to every bloody speech in debate club, but you won't do it for me?" He shook his head. "I should have known."

"Dudley, I'm sorry--"

"I talked to that old fruit Blythe told me to see. What do you reckon he'd say if I told him about magic wands and Dementoids that make you hear--?" he stopped. "That make you hear things."

"Don't try to tell him about the Dementors, Dudley. But tell me when I get back on Friday."

"Why should I? I'm the only person in this school you don't want to see."

"Dudley--"

"Sod off." Dudley pushed past him and headed for the lift.

Remus watched him go, cursing the moon. A part of him was trying to count minutes that he might have to go catch Dudley and talk to him, but that was the part that had set an uncontrolled werewolf loose at Hogwarts. He didn't have the luxury of overestimating.

He took a deep breath, then went into his office and gathered the few things he would need. Alan was taking a day's leave and Dudley was the only person he'd seen in the building.

He Disapparated from behind his desk.
13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: October 31st, 2004 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
She took a few steps away and looked out the window at the grounds as she cleaned up.

Eh?

She cleaned it up magically from the window or HE moved away and let her work?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2004 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's just tossing things into the picnic basket while it's balanced on the window sill, but as I was writing that seemed to be more information than was strictly necessary for a throwaway action. Obviously, it wasn't. ;P
leelastarsky From: leelastarsky Date: October 31st, 2004 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo! He disapparated from the office?! O.o Risky.

I get the distinct feeling that our Dora has it bad for Remus already. ;~)
myf From: myf Date: October 31st, 2004 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. I wish she's stop saying things 'lightly' too - we're onto you, Dora! ;)
michelle_ravel From: michelle_ravel Date: October 31st, 2004 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I don't think she's fooling anyone!

Dudley Dursley was sitting on the floor of the corridor across from Remus's office, his knees drawn up, picking at bits of paper caught in the spiral of his notebook. He hadn't looked up when he'd spoken.

That last "he" is a little confusing. You might want to put "Remus" to make it clear.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2004 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
It really was unclear--it was Dudley who was not looking up and not speaking, not Remus! Hmmm. Will try to clarify.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2004 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
PS: I don't even think she's trying to fool anyone.
michelle_ravel From: michelle_ravel Date: October 31st, 2004 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I mean, why should she? I wouldn't. Remus is being stupid enough about it as it IS.
lyras From: lyras Date: November 1st, 2004 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the irony of that last little scene. I do like the way you seem to be so effortlessly entwining your own story with canon.

And I agree with others - it's about time Remus started thinking about what's going on between Dora and himself : ).

Good luck with the NaNoWriMo writing! Myself, I've been procrastinating heavily about it today, but have been fumbling through the opening paragraph in my mind for a while now, and am almost ready to get it down on paper...
sannalim From: sannalim Date: November 1st, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Dudley. He gets a double dose of temper, doesn't he. And just when he wants to talk to Mr Lewis, Mr Lewis has no time for him.

Am anxious as usual to see what happens next.

Good luck with your novel.
mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: November 2nd, 2004 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Fern, this whole week was just fab. I'm amazed by your discipline! I wish you all the best this month, you're so creative (and prolific!) I have no doubt you'll do well.

Now *I'm* trying to resist the urge to grasp Remus by the shoulders and shake him until his brains rattle! He can't possibly be this clueless, can he? :)
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: November 2nd, 2004 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Britpick: Class schedule=timetable
Faculty=staff, techers, masters. 'Faculty' is part of a university, and more abstract.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 7th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Couldn't wait....

I've been reading this over at The Sugar Quill and stumbled upon your LJ over the weekend. I've decided to cheat and catch up with the story here, instead of impatiently waiting. Hope thats okay.

Remus' frustration was evident in his inability to stay and talk with Dudley. On the other hand, imagining Dudley's face as Remus said "Can't tonight, I'm a Werewolf and its full moon", sent me into giggles.

Thanks for sharing this story!

Scarlett488
13 comments or Leave a comment