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Shades, Chapter One: The End, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter One: The End, pt. 1
Okay. Here we go--Shifts sequel. Little nervous here.

There are some major, er, points that need addressing, and I'll address them (not all in the first post, which is a bit too quick), but some minor things are just going to slip under the radar. We'll just forget everyone meeting and volunteering in the twins' shop, as Molly seemed to have to look for it. (The hell? They'd been there for months, woman!) And after much hemming and hawing I'm just going to just boldly ignore Lupin calling Tonks "Tonks" and have him continue to call her Dora, at least when they're alone, because that's just too embedded in the way the previous story was told. I'll just pre-emptively ask forgiveness for this deviation from canon.

This isn't going to go as fast at first as Shifts was going by the end, but it shouldn't be too terribly slowly, and I know the end and a lot of middle points to hit, so I don't see any quagmires.

And with that... er... I guess it's time to start.




The mists arrived on the day they closed up Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.

There was no connection, of course. Tonks knew that. The Dementors cared not a whit about the dubious status of Sirius Black's will. But as she stood by the window of the third floor guest room and watched the mists curl into the courtyard garden, first softening the edges of the paths and then obscuring the remains of Auntie's prized rosebushes, she couldn't help feeling that they were tied, that somehow the breeding of the Dementors was erasing the world.

"Dora?"

She shook her head and turned away, annoyed at the maudlin turn of mind.

Remus was leaning against the door frame, his arms crossed loosely, watching her. "We have to go."

"Yes, I know." She smiled and took his hand. He kissed her knuckles. "I suppose I'd just got used to thinking of it as home. Which is odd when I think about it, as I don't live here."

"You may as well have. And it is your family home. In a manner of speaking."

A sick, unwelcome kind of anger twisted through her, unattractive and unexpected as as it had been when the solicitor had read Sirius's will earlier. She stomped on it as hard as she could, trying not to give it any quarter.

It didn't fool Remus. "What is it?" he asked.

"I think Auntie has invaded some little corner of my mind," she said. "She's screaming about the house going out of the family. I tell her to shut up, but she just keeps on screaming."

"She's like that." He led her out into the corridor, where the last two valises, filled with their personal things, were waiting for them. "It's not out of the family," he said. "Legally speaking, Harry is Sirius's son and heir. It was true of the way they both felt as well. The house is passing to the eldest son, as it always has."

"He won't want it."

"True. Not the point, but true. Sirius's will sees to it that it goes to the person who has the strongest legal claim on it."

"And if it goes by blood--"

"Then we're all in a great deal of trouble."

As if to confirm this, a door opened at the far end of the corridor, and Kreacher scurried out of it. He stopped in front of them. "The half-bloods are still here," he muttered. "When Mistress Bellatrix arrives--"

"You'll be gone one way or another," Remus told him.

"The werewolf can't stop a house elf from serving his true mistress."

Tonks drew her wand, but Remus put his hand over hers and guided it away from Kreacher.

Kreacher spat on the floor. "The half-blood traitor is unworthy of this house."

"You murdered the master of this house," Tonks said. "Don't talk to me about worthiness."

Kreacher wheezed laughter, as he always did when Sirius was brought up, and scurried off into the master bedrom, where he'd been scouring away the traces of Buckbeak the hippogriff since Hagrid had taken him two days ago.

"Do you really think the house will go to Aunt Bella?"

Remus shrugged. "I don't know. Even Dumbledore isn't sure. I'd rather not be here to greet her if it does."

"I wouldn't mind a re-match."

His head snapped around quickly, and his eyes were somewhat wild. "Don't say that."

"I wouldn't, though. I owe Sirius that much."

"I don't want you anywhere near Bellatrix." He took a deep breath, and the wildness left his eyes. "Please, Dora. Let it go. Let her deal with someone she's less invested in killing."

"She's invested in killing nearly everyone." Tonks shook her head. "Don't worry. Kingsley took me off of Aunt Bella's case. She's likely to be caught by someone else. Soon. Given to the Dementors."

Remus nodded vaguely and looked at the valises. "Are you going to your parents'?"

"Yeah, at least until..." Tonks let her voice trail off, hoping he would pick up the thread. They hadn't spoken of marriage since the night he'd proposed--the night Sirius had died. It never seemed to be the right time to have a whole conversation about it.

He didn't look back at her, though she saw his head tilt slightly, and he paused in his step. "I'll send these along," he said, putting his wand at the valises. They disappeared with a pop.

"Where will you be?"

"I don't know yet. The room in Diagon Alley until I... have to leave." He started down the stairs. "I sent that desk to the Shrieking Shack," he said. "I hope you don't mind. I didn't think you'd have room for it at your parents' home..."

"It's yours."

"You bought it."

"It was a gift."

"You said you'd bought it for your flat."

"I lied." She smiled and hurried down the stairs, catching up with him and slipping around in front of him. "Why don't you move into the Shrieking Shack? You're already paying to keep up the charms on it, and the taxes, and..."

Remus smiled wryly as they reached the bottom of the stairs. "You've clearly never been in the Shrieking Shack. It's not really a place to set up housekeeping."

"Speaking of setting up housekeeping--"

"FREAKS! HALF-BLOODS! MURDEROUS THIEVES!"

Remus raised an eyebrow at her, and they went to the curtains around Auntie's portrait, each taking one. "I'll miss you too, Auntie," Tonks said, then stood on tiptoe and kissed one painted cheek.

Silence fell immediately, and when Tonks stood back, she saw Auntie blinking at her, her mouth working into a snarl, words apparently insufficient to express her disgust.

They closed the curtains.

"A novel approach. I believe that's the longest Alya has ever remained silent on her own."

They turned. Albus Dumbledore was making his way up from the kitchens, a few rolls of parchment gathered in his arms.

"I didn't realize you were still here," Remus said.

"I wasn't. Now I am." He gestured with the parchment. "Nothing of great import, but I thought it unwise to leave full plans of the Ministry in Bellatrix's reach, should she arrive."

"Then we've got everything?" Remus asked.

"I believe so." Dumbledore looked around. "A great waste of what was once fine house. But all isn't lost, even now."

"It will be if Aunt Bella takes it over."

Remus opened the door, and they stepped out into the mist, descending into the square without speaking. Behind them, the door of Number Twelve closed, and the house disappeared from view. Tonks watched it go. The mist was already swirling around her knees, burying her feet and making the lamp-post only a few feet away nearly invisible.

Dumbledore smiled at her kindly. "There's more to the House of Black than architecture, Nymphadora. And I personally have high expectations for its future."

"Right."

"I believe Sirius's will will prevail in this matter, and we'll return soon. If all else fails, there is a test I can run with Harry, though I would prefer not to burden him with legal questions about Sirius unless it becomes necessary."

"I agree," Remus said.

"I thought you might, as the solicitor informed me that you had seen to his fees."

"Remus!"

"I told Sirius I would look after Harry," Remus said quietly, not looking at either of them.

Tonks bit down on an acid response to this--Remus didn't have extra money to toss at a boy who had a sizable dragon's bed already--and just smiled tightly. "I think Sirius would have preferred you to simply visit Harry."

"I plan to."

"That may not be an option," Dumbledore said abruptly. He looked at Tonks. "Nymphadora, I must ask your leave to speak to Remus alone. A matter of some importance has arisen, and he is... uniquely suited to serve the Order in regard to it."

"Of course. May we, er..."

Dumbledore turned around without saying anything.

Remus touched her face. "It will work out," he said. "All of it."

"All of it?"

He kissed her, smiled in a way that made him look as ancient as Dumbledore, and didn't answer. "I love you," he said.

She nodded and turned away, walking toward the tube station two streets up. When she reached the corner, she looked behind her. Grimmauld Place, Dumbledore, and Remus had been swallowed whole by the rising mist.

She shivered, and kept moving.

I feel a bit...: nervous nervous
Soundtrack: Independence Day

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Comments
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myf From: myf Date: July 31st, 2005 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I didn't expect to see this so soon, Fern - but having something like this on my flist is very welcome indeed. Can't wait to see the story unfold - your creativity always amazes me.

Are we going to find out more about that horrid mist?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are we going to find out more about that horrid mist?
Well, I think it's not the last Dora is going to see of the Dementors, but I don't think I'm going to go into great detail on their breeding habits, because, ick. :p
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: July 31st, 2005 06:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy to see more of this storyline!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm thrilled that it's possible!
coralia13 From: coralia13 Date: July 31st, 2005 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you've started! Checking my friends page obsessively pays off, after all. It's so wonderful to read your fics - like getting bonus canon. Can't wait to see this story play out!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm kind of looking forward to writing it, too.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: July 31st, 2005 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent - looking forward to more. Poor Tonks - Remus is already freaking and withdrawing (at least, I'm assuming that's what's happening!) Can hardly blame him, but it's so frustrating to be on the receiving end of that sort of thing; like pounding on a brick wall.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yeah. That's what's happening. I think he's starting to realize that he is, for all intents and purposes, homeless as well as penniless, and here's Dora fretting because of the loss of a manor home. How could he hope to fulfill a husband's breadwinning duties? Probably a minor key thing in his head right now--sort of like Auntie screaming in a corner of hers--but starting to get through his elaborate imaginings of a happy future.
malabud From: malabud Date: July 31st, 2005 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I heartily welcome the return of Remus and Dora, particularly your versions of them (which are as close to canon as I can imagine).

I wonder if Dumbledore has any inkling of the strain his request will put on the relationship between Dora and Remus. Molly Weasley seemed to suggest at the end of HBP that Dumbledore would be pleased with their marriage. Also, Dora might find it a bit difficult not to blame Dumbledore for her break-up with Remus, but I detected no hint of bitterness toward Dumbledore in any of her HBP scenes. I think I need to re-read, just to be sure. *g*

I can hardly wait for more! (But I will. Take as long as you need.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dumbledore seems to have a skill for letting people get their frustrations with him out and then picking up an affectionate relationship without any breaks in it. She'll probably fume at him at some point.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: July 31st, 2005 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes. Such a pleasure to check my friendslist and see new fic from you, particularly the sequel to my favorite HP fic. A great, low-key way to start off, with ominous notes in the background. And I love Tonks shutting Alya up with a kiss on the cheek. Heh.

[oh, not sure you want any detail notes yet, but: "I'll send these along," he said, putting his wand at the valises. That's "pointing," right?]
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Putting." Huh. Odd typo. Yes, I meant "pointing."

Glad you liked the goodbye kiss to Mrs. Black. Old bat needed a surprise.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 31st, 2005 06:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Great start!

Keep it up, and don't worry about timing - we've got a *lot* of time on our hands till book 7 :-p

In related items, I copy-pasted Shifts off of SQ into a Word document for my wife to read - she appreciates occasional large, thudding fanfics. Is that OK? I can send you the file (very basic editing and layout work) if you want.

Cheers,
Shloz
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Great start!

It's perfectly fine. I have it on my computer, so you don't need to send it.
dalf From: dalf Date: July 31st, 2005 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice. I like this version much better than the bits and pieces from before.

This sentence:

"That may not be an option," Dumbledore said abruptly. He looked kindly at Tonks. "Nymphadora, I must ask your leave to speak to Remus alone. A matter of some importance has arisen, and he is... uniquely suited to serve the Order in regard to it."

Reads a little bit weird. After a second look I think I understand that he is asking Tonks to go so that he can talk to Remus. Though it seems strange the way its worded. Or that he doe not ask Remus to accompany him somehwere to talk (rather than having it in the middle of the street). But like I said after a second read it did make sense.

I am with Tonks though I want to smack Remus in the head over the money thing. Harry probbly would too.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Harry would be mortified. I'll take a look at the Dumbledialogue. He's so hard to write!
jesspallas From: jesspallas Date: July 31st, 2005 08:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Much yay! I wasn't expecting this for a while yet so it was a lovely surprise to find you've started. I've missed looking forward to your chapters. :)

Poor Remus and Dora though. You can already see the start of trouble, poor darlings. They're in for a tough year.

I don't know if you want people typo spotting yet or not but in case you do:

A sick, unwelcome kind of anger twisted through her, unattractive and unexpected as as it had been when the solicitor had read Sirius's will earlier.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's always good to catch typos. Part of the reason I post at LJ (aside from the instant gratification thing) is to get the first draft out there so that people can say, "er... you've got a typo/logic gap/geography mistake/etc." So thanks.

I wasn't expecting to start so soon, either. It just started coming together for me.
From: psalm_27 Date: July 31st, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I started reading this with almost as much anticipation as my reading of HBP. You didn't disappoint. I find myself a bit choked up. I can't decide if its because I know whats coming for Remus and Dora or if its just that you've captured these characters so well that I can feel their grief over Sirius and Tonks' justified anger that her family wasn't even considered for the family home. I suspect that I'll spend my entire read of Shades on the edge of tears as Tonks' struggles with her separation, both physically and emotionally, from Remus.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope I'll find a place for some lighter moments, too! Writing nothing but angst all year would be very tiring... :)

Glad you liked!
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: July 31st, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. This chapter was great. I fell out of the habit of reviewing Shifts, so I'll start repenting now. I think you're setting up the whole Remus spending a year with the werewolves thing very well. I'm looking forward to seeing how you bring in Greyback.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 31st, 2005 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Greyback is fun to write, in a gross and disgusting way. No inhibitions. And I've been studying up on wolf-packs.
a_t_rain From: a_t_rain Date: July 31st, 2005 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, yay. I am so glad you started this, and Tonks kissing Auntie Black was just priceless!

Is it OK if I friend you so I can keep up with future updates?
agrainofsand From: agrainofsand Date: July 31st, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought your description of the 'mist softening the edges of the garden path' was simply beautiful. I like the way the story has been set up. Thanks!

Eagerly awaiting the next installments,
Peishan
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: July 31st, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great beginning, Fern. You're use of the mist at the beginning and end gives it a mysterious, ominous feel. And I love Remus's reaction when Tonks says she'd like to face Bellatrix again, and the fact that he paid the solicitor's fees for Harry.

I'm a little surprised at Tonks's reaction to the house going to someone not in the family. She didn't seem to care that Dung was stealing Black heirlooms in HBP. I suppose by that time she'll be too concerned about Remus to care, though.

I loved logging on to find a new installment of Shifts. I'm so happy you're doing a sequel! :)
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: July 31st, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay!!!!!!! I am now incredibley happy. You see, school starts Tuesday but now I have this, Shades i suppose, to brighten my days. (Mind you, I almost said Shifts)
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