?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Shades, Chapter Two: Shapeshifting, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter Two: Shapeshifting, pt. 1
Okay, moving on. I made up a ToC page for this. I didn't make any edits, because what's going up there is first draft stuff--I'll work with the comments when I put together a better draft.

We left Remus and Tonks up in the Weasleys' orchard, having faced off a Dementor. Tonks has no idea why Remus has suddenly taken his wand back from her, pointed it at her, and demanded to know who she really is.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Tonks took a step back, feeling muddy-headed and slow. The back of her knee hit the corner of the stone bench, and she lost her balance, lurching on the uneven ground and barely managing to stay on her feet. "Remus... what...?"

"Who are you?" he repeated, his voice cold, his wand steady. He came closer, the tip of his wand only an inch from her face. "Tell me right now."

"It's me!" Tonks said. "What's got into you?"

"Morph."

"What?"

"Morph. Now."

"I've been having trouble..." But his eyes narrowed even further at this. She braced herself for the pain she'd felt this morning, concentrated harder than she'd ever had to concentrate. Fire seemed to rip through her skull. At the periphery of her vision, she saw the tip of her hair go pink.

Remus frowned, lowering his wand slightly but still looking murderous. "We never knew about Polyjuice... it could allow..."

"Remus, dammit, it's me. You've been talking to me. You kissed me. You know it's me."

"When you were eight," he said, "you drew me a picture. It's always been on my wall. What kind of animals are in it, and why?"

"Whales," Tonks said, with some relief. "Because you were going to teach in Wales and I thought they were the same thing."

He stared at her for a moment longer, his eyes burning, his knuckles turning white against the wood of his wand. Her heart seemed to be beating deep in her abdomen, and her eyes ached with frustrated tears. She could feel her nails cutting into her palm.

He lowered his wand. "All right, Dora," he said.

Anger rushed in over the fragile back of fear and frustration. "Now, what in the hell is going on?" she demanded.

Remus pointed behind her. "Your Patronus is coming back," he said, his eyes lowered.

"Answer me!"

"I did."

A white glow, lower to the ground than her Patronus usually flew, seeped around her knees. She looked down.

And let out a scream.

Since the end of her sixth year, her Patronus, a flock of butterflies that had caused no end of hilarity in the Hufflepuff Common Room the first time she'd Conjured it, had been a constant, welcome companion. Her friend Sanjiv had drawn her surrounded with them, smiling and happy, and the picture was still taped to the inside of her school trunk. She had sometimes cast the Patronus Charm just to keep herself company and fill her flat with light.

The butterflies were nowhere to be seen.

Instead, a long-nosed wolf crept through the mist beside her, its teeth bared at Remus, its tail nudging the fabric of her cloak. It looked up at her, then dissipated.

She looked at Remus. "I don't understand."

"Neither do I."

"I cast it with your wand..."

"Dora, you know as well as I do that the Patronus comes from the witch or wizard, not from the wand."

"But that's... I mean, it's..."

He nodded, his face oddly tight and closed off. "I think so, yes. I've never actually seen it, except possibly in a mirror at Ministry. But, yes. It is. I'm sure of it. And I assure you, that would not be my Patronus."

"I know it's not your Patronus. Apparently, it's mine." She drew her own wand, cast the charm non-verbally, and the wolf loped out into the mist, sniffed the air, then looked at her in a confused way and disappeared. "I'd read about things like that happening," she said. "It doesn't happen often. Leave it to me to come up with a rare shapeshift, right?" She turned around, feeling low and tired.

Remus's eyes were still lowered. "It's unusual," he said. "We need to tell Dumbledore."

"It's rare, but I don't think--" She sighed. "Right. Order identity."

Remus raised his wand and sent his Patronus into the night. It flashed brightly for a moment then disappeared, seeking out Dumbledore. Remus sat down on the bench again.

Tonks sat beside him and reached for his hand.

He flinched away, then looked at her apologetically and took her hand in both of his. "I'm sorry," he said. "It's a little strange to me. For that to be anyone's protector. It's the worst part of me."

"I didn't mean to... well, obviously I didn't mean to."

"Of course not. And I shouldn't have questioned you so harshly."

"If I'd been a Death Eater who was pretending to be me, I'd probably be dead, so I'll consider that your romantic mode of avenging me."

"If I'd believed you'd killed you, there wouldn't have been questions." He looked at her carefully. "What did you mean, you've been having trouble morphing?"

"It hurt to pink my hair this morning. And I couldn't get it to stay that way."

He nodded. "It's already going back."

"I'm not feeling particularly pink."

"Has this happened before?"

"Not this badly. I didn't even know my hair was this horrid color."

"It's your mum's color, and it's perfectly lovely on you."

Tonks wrinkled her nose, then shrugged. "There are graver problems in the world."

He rolled his eyes. "You do know you're beautiful, don't you?"

"There's no way to answer that question without sounding either needy or arrogant."

"I suppose not." He looked out across the orchard, in the direction his Patronus had gone. "How long has it been since you cast your Patronus?"

"I'm not sure. You've been doing most of our corresponding, and there haven't been any Dementors at work lately."

"Have you cast it since Sirius died?"

"You think it changed when..." She shook her head. "Wouldn't it have changed to Padfoot? Wouldn't that make more sense?"

"Anything would make more sense than what it is," Remus said, and his upper lip curled in distaste. Tonks didn't think he was aware of this. "But it is what it is, so it has to make sense on some level, at least to you. And there had to have been some shock to your system to cause the change. It may have been when you got hurt."

"The last thing I remember when I was falling something trying to catch me. And I saw you running toward me. There seemed to be a very long time before I hit the floor."

"There wasn't. And I couldn't catch you."

Something flashed orange in front of them, and Tonks looked up to see Fawkes, shimmering in a ball of fire for a brief moment before disappearing again. A scroll fell out of the air.

Remus caught it and read it. "Dumbledore said to send your Patronus along with mine, and he'll know I witnessed it and knew it was you. Then he'll find some way to get word to the Order."

"Well, it's a different sort of togetherness, I suppose," she said, and drew her wand. Remus nodded, and they sent the two Patronuses off together, Tonks's new companion looking a bit dodgy even to her. She sighed. "I feel like it should have great symbolism or something," she said. "Our Patronuses going off together. But it just looks like two Patronuses wandering about."

Remus grinned. "I don't think our Patronuses are required to be in love with one another, Dora."

They sat together on the bench for a bit longer, talking in a disjointed way about the Order and Voldemort and everything but the new Patronus Tonks had discovered. She wasn't sure he noticed that he didn't kiss her goodnight when he left, though he did manage to press his wand into her hand and refuse to take it back.

She ducked back into the Burrow's kitchen just after midnight to retrieve her handbag, and Molly sent her off with a sandwich for lunch tomorrow ("I was making them for Arthur and Bill, and I thought you might like one as well") and a curious glance in the direction she'd walked off in. Tonks decided not to mention anything just yet. She'd hear it from Dumbledore soon enough.

She got back to her parents' a few minutes later and had a pleasant midnight snack with Dad, then went to her room, intending to sleep before work tomorrow, instead lying in her narrow childhood bed, listening to Granny's shallow, broken purring and thinking about her butterflies, and how they had danced around her.

She cast her new Patronus not long before dawn, and it sniffed around her room in a mildly curious way before trotting over to her and sitting on its haunches. It regarded her in a benign way, but it wasn't a comforting image, even as a Patronus. Its teeth were sharp, its claws powerful lines of light. Its eyes, formed from swirling cloud-stuff, were hypnotically beautiful, but predatory.

"Moony," she said, reaching out to it, touching its insubstantial snout.

It leaned forward, a spectral tongue brushing across her fingers, then dissipated on its own.

Tonks continued to lie awake, not really thinking about anything, thinking she might take her first sick day in months tomorrow if she didn't get some sleep soon. Instead, she dragged herself out of bed at seven-thirty and made her way to Auror headquarters, where she got a foreceful reminder that the whole world shifted its shape from time to time.
38 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
Page 1 of 2
[1] [2]
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. :)

I think from Molly and Arthur's questions that couples would be better at questioning one another than friends or random order members. They have all kinds of little things that there's no way in hell a Death Eater would know to learn.
tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: August 8th, 2005 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Still not much is actually happening yet, but you're doing a good job of making the tension we see between Remus and Dora later in canon believable after how close together you got the two in Shifts. I'm interested to see what insight Dora might have into the changed political situation in the ministry, since the new minister is her former boss.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that happens over the course of the coming week (I started a week before HBP). So definitely, we'll see that.
From: cristix Date: August 8th, 2005 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't commented before, and I wanted to do it now.

I really love your fic.

You are an extremely talented writer. In Lupin's thread on cosforums everybody loved Shifts, which coming from Lupin fanatics say a great deal about your talent.

personally I read only parts of Shifts. The reason I was not able to read it all was that I could not stand to see Sirius being hurt. Testimony to your talent and to how real you make the characters seem is the fact that Sirius's frustration and pain was unbearable for me!

Another reason is that I can't stand Dudley. So even if seeing Remus teaching was lovely, I could not read about Dudley.

But what i saw of the fic was lovely.

I have three questions connected to Shifts:

1. have you shown the scene where Dora and Remus meet each other after years? I asume that Remus hasn't kept in touch with Andromeda and Dora over the years and met Dora again at the Order's meetings.

2. How far have they gone in their relationship? Past kisses? I don't want to see a R or NC17- rated fic, but I was curious to know if they have made love at some point of Shifts.

3. Remus's patronus is Padfoot?

Now, going back to Shades. The interaction between Dora and Remus is very nice. I like the fact that he asks her a personal thing, just the way he asked Harry a personal thing in order to know it was him.

The fact that Tonks is no longer capable to morph is quite sad and totally understandable taking into consideration what has happened.

The fact that Remus had to give away his wand is totally scary, especially taking into consideration your answer to the sugarquill challange. Is Remus really going to eat man flesh? Horrible!

Just a question? is the fic going to focus on Tonks? I want to follow Remus' steps more than I want to follow Tonks' steps!

I am sure that you can come up with lots of interesting things for Tonks to do, but i want to see what Remus is doing with the werewolves and what Remus is feeling even more!

Keep up the good work. Can't wait to read more! And sorry for not being able to read Shifts and for asking you questions about it in order to just go and read it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
1. have you shown the scene where Dora and Remus meet each other after years? I asume that Remus hasn't kept in touch with Andromeda and Dora over the years and met Dora again at the Order's meetings.

Oh, no. In this 'verse, they've kept in touch over the years and never seriously fallen out of touch at all. Remus is a bad correspondent, but Dora's very stubborn and bossy with him. That's less from Shifts, which takes it for granted, than from Your Very Own Dora.

2. How far have they gone in their relationship? Past kisses? I don't want to see a R or NC17- rated fic, but I was curious to know if they have made love at some point of Shifts.

No. They had some fairly serious petting sessions, but they were planning to wait until they got married.

3. Remus's patronus is Padfoot?

I doubt it--I'm sure that would have been mentioned. I'm sure JKR will give us a hint at some point, which is why I avoided it here (I was originally going to have it be an imaginary animal he'd played with as a child, before he was bitten).

Just a question? is the fic going to focus on Tonks? I want to follow Remus' steps more than I want to follow Tonks' steps!

Sorry, this is a Tonks fic. It's going to invert the structure of Shifts which was Remus except for full moons. This one will be Tonks's POV, except for Remus, who will check in during full moon interludes. And yes, the challenge answer on the Quill, while it might not end up an exact match, hits three major things that are definitely going to happen.
katinka31 From: katinka31 Date: August 8th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC) (Link)
"If I'd been a Death Eater who was pretending to be me, I'd probably be dead, so I'll consider that your romantic mode of avenging me."

You have an excellent way with Dora's dialogue. She's a bit flippant at times, but we can always sense her intelligence and her commitment to her job underneath.

I know it's necessary, but I HATE, HATE, HATE to see Remus pull away from her.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know! I want to smack him around the head. A LOT.

Thanks... I like Tonks's dialogue, because she says whatever happens to come into her head, meaning that if I'm struggling with something, Tonks can just babble on.
caitie From: caitie Date: August 8th, 2005 11:10 am (UTC) (Link)
<3 My favorite installment so far. Remus was very Remus about the new Patronus. :(
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It's hard to think what it must feel like to see your animal alter-ego as someone's greatest protector!
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: August 8th, 2005 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Eek... poor both of them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know. Sniff.
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: August 8th, 2005 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I kind of think that there is an interesting coorilation between Tonks' patronous being Moony, and Harry's being Prongs....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
There is, but I'm not entirely sure what to make of it.
From: psalm_27 Date: August 8th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent. You did a fine job of giving us Remus's reaction to Tonks' new patronus (not to mention Tonks', I love that she screamed when she saw it!) I wonder if her patronus is not the result of her subconscious wanting to have part of Remus around during a time that she knew he would be away from her. The fact that she conjured him there at the end seemed that the patronus was there for her comfort.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think so, too, though it's a weird and sort of uncomfortable comfort.
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: August 8th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally loved the whole suspision and fear of her new patronus and her inability to morph. It was such a wonderful bit of mistrust and complication. I could totally see it happening in canon.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
It almost would have to have happened, at least at first. Though by the time we get to the "Snape Victorious" chapter, it seems to be accepted as a matter of course.
maiasaura From: maiasaura Date: August 8th, 2005 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bad Remus! No Milkbone dog biscuits for him! Truly, I really am enjoying the tension and desperation he is exuding. And, what a wonderful touch, to have him give his wand to Tonks! Terrific.
From: isabela113 Date: August 8th, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I had finished HBP, I was amazed to think how little it would take to slot Shifts right into canon. I am so glad that you have decided to write this second parrt, there are a number of interesting things happening off the page for both of these characters that I am looking forward to seeing you take a crack at.
thunderemerald From: thunderemerald Date: August 8th, 2005 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ohhh, thank you for posting this -- it was so heartbreaking and delicious at the same time. I hadn't realized what an impact her new Patronus might have on him, but now that I've read your interpretation, it makes a perfect amount of sense, both because they use Patronuses as identifiers, and because... well, what werewolf WOULD think of his lupine self as a protector?

I love this line in particular: "There's no way to answer that question without sounding either needy or arrogant." Your Dora is always lovely to read, even during the sad times...
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 8th, 2005 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, so good. Remus--gah. Can't decide if I too want to smack him around the head, or just hug him.

Tonks' reaction to her new Patronus (both the scream, which startled me, and the way she kind of grieves for her old Patronus and officially accepts the new one, there at the end) was perfect. It's exactly these little things that make your fic such a pleasure to read.

Oh, and I loved this:

She sighed. "I feel like it should have great symbolism or something," she said. "Our Patronuses going off together. But it just looks like two Patronuses wandering about."

Remus grinned. "I don't think our Patronuses are required to be in love with one another, Dora."


Making us smile in the midst of the angst. Looking forward to the rest of the chapter.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: August 8th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

*headdesk*

That was me, above. Sheesh.
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: August 8th, 2005 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is getting even better than Shifts, and that's saying something.
dadaginny From: dadaginny Date: August 8th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent -- loved the communication in this chapter.
38 comments or Leave a comment
Page 1 of 2
[1] [2]