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Shades, Chapter Three: Vanishing Acts, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter Three: Vanishing Acts, pt. 2
Okay. Left off with Tonks getting a break-up letter from Remus, and Molly offering her a sympathetic ear.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Molly patted her hand when she'd got through it all. "You're all right here, dear," she said. "We'll get you fed and warm, and I won't put up with any more rude letters." She pursed her lips. "I think I'll have a word with Lupin as well--"

"No, Molly, please! Remus needs someone and if he won't let me be there and he thinks you don't like him... and he'll think that if you yell... he'll just disappear..."

"Hmph. He'll need to learn to handle a bit of disapproval if he's earned it. I won't pretend he's not being an idiot. But I'll make sure he knows we're perfectly fond of him."

"Fond of 'oo?" someone said.

Molly raised her eyes heavenward. "It's a private matter, Fleur," she said.

Fleur Delacour drifted into the kitchen, looking curiously at Tonks. "I don't theenk we 'ave... " She frowned. "Are you--?"

"Tonks," Tonks said wearily. "Wotcher, Fleur."

Fleur nodded. The niceties thus covered, she broke into a wide smile, and waved her left hand airily. Something glittered on her finger. "'As Molly told you our news?"

"Not now," Molly said firmly, looking horrified.

"It's all right," Tonks said. "Good news is good to have. Molly told me a few days ago. Congratulations. To Bill as well."

Fleur gave a contented sigh. "Eet eez wonderful, no? I am 'ere to meet my new family! Bill eez busy, and Molly and Arthur 'ave let me come to stay." She kissed Molly's cheek, then floated over to the sink and found a glass, which she inspected in the candlelight and re-cleaned with a touch of her wand. Molly watched this with narrowed eyes, but Fleur seemed oblivious. "Eet eez very different 'ere zan at 'ome."

"I imagine so, dear," Molly said.

"But eet eez wonderful to be in love, don't you theenk?" She swooped down on Tonks. "Aren't you and Meester Lu--"

"No," Tonks said quickly. It was just a shield, thrown in haste to keep Fleur from stabbing into an open wound, but as soon as it was out of her mouth, she felt the world starting to slip away. Images streamed into her mind unbidden, and tastes, and smells. "No," she said again.

Fleur looked confused. "Oh, I thought... I must 'ave been mistaken... 'E seemed 'appy, and I thought that you... was eet someone else?"

"That's enough, Fleur," Molly said sharply.

"I'm sorry. I--" She frowned deeply, apparently coming to the conclusion that something was wrong. "Well," she said, "I weel leave you to your talk. Eet was lovely to see you, Tonks." She left.

Molly sighed. "I'm sorry about Fleur." She shook her head. "I have a feeling I'd best get used to saying that. The child has all the tact of a drunken poltergest."

"It's all right," Tonks said. "She's off in her own world. It seems to be quite bright. And shiny. I miss bright and shiny things. Perhaps I'll have a holiday in Fleur's world."

"If you want to, you could always just switch with her. Really. You'd have my blessing." Molly grinned.

Tonks tried to laugh and couldn't, but she found a smile somewhere. "Fleur's all right," she said. "You'll get used to her. Probably."

"Do you want to stay here tonight? It's a bit full, but I don't think Harry will be here until the morning, so you could sleep in the twins' room, if you don't mind sharing it with Harry's trunk. I don't like the thought of you being alone."

"Oh, Mum and Dad are probably home already and wondering where I've got to." Tonks looked out the window into the darkness and mist. She could barely make out the shape of the broom shed. "Do you know what I'm afraid of, Molly? I'm afraid that I'll tell them what happened, and they'll hate him. That they'll just be furious and say horrible things about him. They're his friends, but--"

"But you're their little girl, and there are priorities."

"Right." She looked back, tipped up her teacup to drink, and found it empty. "I don't want that. I don't need anyone to tell me he's being an idiot, I know he's being an idiot. Bolting is his favorite way to be an idiot, and I should have known this was coming. I don't want to hear that, Molly. I just want someone to tell me that he'll be all right. That he won't--" She covered her eyes with her hand, and brushed away a tear that was trying to get out. "Bugger all," she said, then looked sheepishly at Molly. "Sorry."

"If I didn't ignore one or two slips at the table, my children would have starved."

Tonks's gaze moved back to the window, and she froze. "Molly, there are two people coming toward the house. I can't see who."

"Two? Arthur didn't mention--"

Three sharp raps against the door cut the conversation, and Molly got up warily, standing between the window and the door, out of a direct line of sight from either. "Who's there? Declare yourself."

"It is I, Dumbledore," a pleasant voice said from the other side, "bringing Harry."

Molly opened the door before Tonks had a chance to remind her to double-check, but the man who entered was very obviously Albus Dumbledore. The hand which had been bandaged at Emmeline's funeral was burned and blackened. Tonks stared at it while Molly exchanged greetings with him, told him he'd frightened her by arriving hours earlier than expected, and got some accounting for his whereabouts. The scroll on the table caught her eye, and she was surprised by a wave of anger at Dumbledore, deep and cold as the Hogwarts lake in January.

"Ah, hello, Nymphadora!"

"Hello, Professor," she said, barely noticing the use of her first name, which was becoming something a fashion in the Order for some reason. The anger hadn't left. She picked up Remus's letter and Vanished the ink, and told herself that Dumbledore would never have asked this if it weren't important, and it made no difference whatsoever. He tried to catch her gaze, but she couldn't quite look at him. She nodded to the slim, tall boy beside him. "Wotcher, Harry."

Harry Potter nodded at her. "Hi, Tonks."

She looked up briefly and found Dumbledore frowning oddly in her direction, so she gathered her things and stood up, fastening her cloak. "I'd better be off," she said. "Thanks for the tea and sympathy, Molly."

Dumbledore urged her to stay, claiming business with Scrimgeour that seemed unlikely to Tonks at this hour, but the Burrow was becoming a bit crowded. She felt that at any moment someone--perhaps Dumbledore, perhaps Fleur--would mention Remus, and Harry would ask how he was, and how would she answer that?

Molly suggested that she come to dinner over the weekend, reminding her--thank heaven without saying anything that would let Harry know what was happening--that Remus would be here to see Harry, if nothing else, but the words of the letter were still in her mind. They would know if he'd been with her. He would pay. She refused.

So she went out into the night, stopped in the middle of the dooryard, and Apparated home. Mum and Dad were both there, but they were sleeping (or, she supposed, not sleeping, but behind closed doors one way or the other; she only knew they were home because they'd left out a pair of wine goblets from a nightcap they'd obviously shared), so she didn't tell them, and by morning, she'd resolved to tell them only that Remus was involved in an elaborate pretense, a lie that was shattered when Mum found her two days later, sitting at the kitchen table and compulsively re-reading the letter he'd left for her.

The explosion of her temper was catastrophic, and Dad, who usually reined her in, sat fuming on his own. Tonks considered it rather ironic that they were so furious at Remus for hurting her that they were yelling at her, but it didn't seem like a wise moment to point this out. Instead, she just went up to her childhood bedroom and curled up on a pile of pillows with Granny the cat purring against her chest. She stayed there until the storm subsided. Mum apologized and promised to try and do better, but Tonks could see in her eyes that she was still out for Remus's blood.

She started working double shifts to avoid thinking too much about her personal life, but work was hardly cheerful. It was a rare day that went by now without someone coming up missing. Those who were obviously taken by force were the first priority. Those who simply vanished, the Ministry did not place a high priority on. They knew there was a possibility of coersion (or of the Imperius Curse), but it was all too probable that Voldemort was simply gathering his army, and when the time did come to look for these people, it would not be as victims.

The Dementors' mist cleared somewhat in the cities, but there were massive gatherings in some places, and by the time the second Monday after she'd spoken to Molly came around, everyone in the Auror Division had had an opportunity to see her new Patronus. Proudfoot, whose aunt or cousin or some such thing had been savaged by a werewolf, now looked at her with utter revulsion.

She was just coming off of a night shift, fighting with half a dozen Dementors who had chosen to feed from a group of Muggle teenagers covered with tattoos and piercings, when word came to the office that Florean Fortescue had vanished.
43 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: August 25th, 2005 04:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful as usual (and the second time that I've been about to log off, when I noticed that there's new Shades).

Molly sighed. "I'm sorry about Tonks." She shook her head. "I have a feeling I'd best get used to saying that. The child has all the tact of a drunken poltergest."

Should that be "I'm sorry about that, Tonks" or possibly "I'm sorry about Fleur?"

</i>"It's all right," Tonks said. "She's off in her own world. It seems to be quite bright. And shiny. I miss bright and shiny things. Perhaps I'll have a holiday in Fleur's world."</i>

I loved that. I loved the whole thing. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 04:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops. Important catch. :)
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: August 25th, 2005 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
"and by the time the second Monday after she'd spoken to Molly"--there seems to be some word missing here, but I'm not quite sure what. It's a great installment, though. I really love Tonks, and I wish she didn't have to be quite so miserable.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Oof, little things like that'll kill me. Thanks for the call. (It was "by the time... came around...") :rolleyes:
castaliae From: castaliae Date: August 25th, 2005 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Good job, its fitting in well with HBP. Thanks.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
dalf From: dalf Date: August 25th, 2005 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
[Ok my comments feel really disjointed and I am feeling very inarticulate sorry]
First off this who exchange is so perfect! Mollys reactions, Tonks counter reaction, Tonk's concerns abouther parents.

Then there is this bit:
Molly sighed. "I'm sorry about Fleur." She shook her head. "I have a feeling I'd best get used to saying that. The child has all the tact of a drunken poltergest."

I am so glad of this line! Because she put her finger right on it. I like showing that Molly actually UNDERSTANDS the problem with Fluer. I actually read someone who was "appaled at how Molly and the weasleys treated her", when in truth Molly is just reacting or trying not to react to Fluers *grin* appaling behavior. I mean how do you respond to all that sort of stuff?

Then moving right into the over lap with HBP, I like how you did the same scene without recaping all the dailoug, and still without making it feel like a trick. Tonks POV afterall and her mind was rightly on other things. Infact as much as Hermione and Ginny work on partial information and that shades how they draw conclusions I imagine Tonks's life is complex enough to be paying too much attention to DD and Molly's discussion.

I think the parallel between Tonks and Remus with Harry and GInny at the end of HBP is intresting. Especially the bit about Tonks's declinning dinner to protct Remus and the bit at the end of HBP about Ginny "understanding" Harrys reasoning. Its not a direct parallel but I think on some level Harry's decision is ment to keep him safe as much as Ginny, as I don't imagine he would be as good with his own saftey if he was worried about her the whole time.

I had not thought about peoples reaction to her Patronus, if they are so prejudiced then having it be yoru sort of "inner animal" ..... I think "utter revulsion" is the right phrase.

Ok so I wrote a lot and was mostly just gushing so here is somethign useful:
Dumbledore urged her to stay, claiming business with Scrimgeour that seemed unlikely to Tonks at this our, but the Burrow was becoming a bit crowded.

You write some original fiction don't you?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Weasleys don't seem to be treating Fleur badly to her face; they're just exasperated with her behind her back. I do wish we'd seen Ginny giving her a chance--it would have been nice to see a more positive image of Ginny than we got in the book--but given that Fleur is, well, Fleur, it's amazing that no one hexed her!

Oops on the "our." I'll grab that one. Lots of little mistakes in this section!

You write some original fiction don't you?

Not much. I have a few pieces up at HB, but I haven't had any good ideas to chase lately.
dalf From: dalf Date: August 26th, 2005 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Well the person complaining about how the weaslesys treated her was also saying how appaled they were that Hermione went allong with it and how OOC Hermione was and how H/Gr forevereerrreerrrrr etc. So ... grain of salt.

They also said they were suprised that Fleur was so horrible and that she had seemd so sweet in GoF. Which ofcorse brins me back to wondering if I had read the same GoF as they had.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 26th, 2005 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Which ofcorse brins me back to wondering if I had read the same GoF as they had.

Yeah, I think there are quite a few special editions wandering around. In some of them, Hermione is a saint who is just waiting for Harry. In others, Ted Tonks is a Muggle. In some of them, Dumbledore is evil and Draco is a really nice boy, certainly nowhere near as bad as that loutish Harry. These editions must be worth some good money, as I've never seen them in libraries or bookstores.
dalf From: dalf Date: August 27th, 2005 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Hay now! I had thought Ted Tonks was a muggle, it is easy to confuse with muggle born when you are not paying attention and have not read the book for a long time. But you did correct me at one point I think.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never mind friends. :) Thanks... I'm glad you like it. Shades hasn't quite hit its stride for me mentally--I'm forcing it to hold together rather than letting it hold together on its own--so I'm glad it seems to be working.
jesspallas From: jesspallas Date: August 25th, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
It hadn't occurred to me that Tonks avoiding Dumbledore's eyes might be because she didn't want to show she was upset with him for sending Remus off into danger but you're right, it makes sense. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd forgotten that she did avoid Dumbledore's eyes until I was re-reading the scene, and kind of had to make up a quick reason for it. ;)
pearlrose86 From: pearlrose86 Date: August 25th, 2005 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dumbledore urged her to stay, claiming business with Scrimgeour that seemed unlikely to Tonks at this our.

I think that should probably be hour. ^^

Minor typos aside, another lovely part. I really enjoy how you're making this fit so well with HBP. I'm re-reading HBP now, and bits and pieces of this fic are helping me to look at it much differently than I did the first time.
pearlrose86 From: pearlrose86 Date: August 25th, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah. It appears someone's already mentioned the typo I caught in a comment above. Oh, well. Still a wonderful tale to read, in any case.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I appreciate the catching of all typos, especially ones that the spellcheck would definitely miss.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: August 25th, 2005 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really like Tonks here - you've managed to make her sad without dumping her into the Way Too Angsty To Be Real. Not that she doesn't deserve an extremely angsty scene here and there, but it's not as though it's overdone.

And I like the sort of ending you wrote - a cliffhanger in an offhand sort of way.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate overdone angst, so I'm glad she doesn't seem to be too angsty. She's got the rest of the year to be more angsty than she likes to be.
azaelia_culnamo From: azaelia_culnamo Date: August 25th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but there's good angsty and bad angsty. However, I know you well enough to know you won't write anything like this:


Tonks slipped into her chair, desolate. Everything sucked.

She got a pen, and started writing a poem on her arm.

My lover is gone

The ships have sailed

Does he not know

The pain he's impaled?

And all of this sorrow

Adds up on me

How did this happen?

How can this be?

Somebody end -

This frequent misery!"


Tonks then put her head into her hands, and wept.

"Oh, snuggle-bunny-poo, come back to me now!" She choked. "I need you, or I'll die on this very floor, from a broken, battered heart!"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't forget, the poem must be written blood drawn from cutting her other arm. And silly azaelia! Tonks is British. It's "I'll ruddy die on this bloody floor"! ;)

Angst is a state of mind, not a genre.
super_pan From: super_pan Date: August 25th, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I mostly want to tell you what a great job you did with Fleur. What a piece of work she is. First, you showed her her in all her self absorbed, insensitive glory; you showed how she steps on Molly's toes, and then you let through a glimmer of how she's actually a good person shine through, but unnoticed by her future mother in law. I think that Fleur is probably close to being unbearable until you get to know her, but, Molly, being the Ubermother that she is, would be a tough person to have for a mother in law. She's not going to let go of any of her boys easily. You know she has the potential to be the kind of mother in law who comes by the house to do her boy's laundry, or brings cooked meals all the time as if her daughter in law wasn't feeding him right. I'm looking forward to seeing the two of them butt heads in Shades until their conciliation at the end. Also, I like how protective Tonks is of Remus, though he is breaking her heart.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Fleur has it worst, because she's the first, but, yes... all Weasley in-laws are going to be in for a rough ride. Harry might skate by, as she already considers him a son-like person, but I think even Hermione will run into Mother Molly issues. I love Molly. ;)
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: August 25th, 2005 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I also love the way that Tonks is trying to protect Remus from Molly's scolding and from Ted and Andromeda's wrath, even though he's breaking her heart. I can really kind of relate to that. And I love the comment about how Tonks finds it ironic that it's Remus her parents are angry with and still herself getting yelled at. That's so accurate.

Others have already pointed out the typos I caught, so I shall just say that I'm enjoying this story immensely, Fern, thanks. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Parents can be weird critters. Of course, I doubt her friends will be much better about it.
thunderemerald From: thunderemerald Date: August 25th, 2005 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great section. The bit with Tonks' parents rang especially true -- it IS odd how parents get so mad at people who've hurt you, that they end up yelling at you instead of them. It's like they're trying to guilt-trip you for just being involved with them in the first place, and it pisses. me. off.

Also liked the small bit where people are seeing her new Patronus. I never thought about how weird that would probably be, but you nailed it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it pisses Tonks off, too. She just doesn't want to deal with them at all. So far, I think Granny the cat has been the most helpful.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: August 25th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
She was just coming off of a night shift, fighting with half a dozen Dementors who had chosen to feed from a group of Muggle teenagers covered with tattoos and piercings,

**snickering**

An apt choice!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, they could probably feed off goths and punks for quite awhile before anyone noticed anything wrong.
sophonax From: sophonax Date: August 25th, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the goths would be welcoming the dementors with open arms. "Lose my soul? Oh, how tragically darkly exciting!"
tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: August 25th, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's off in her own world. It seems to be quite bright. And shiny.

Funny line.

And the tension with Dumbledore explains Dora's quick departure much better than the explanation the trio concocted about being reminded of Sirius' death by the sight of Harry.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that's because the trio is so accustomed to everything being about Harry, or about his issues anyway. The R/T stuff is outside of Harry's concern, so it never occurs to them. I think most people are like that.
a_t_rain From: a_t_rain Date: August 25th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love this to bits. Your Fleur is so deliciously tactless, yet so utterly without malice that you've got to like her :)

Poor Tonks. It's just one thing after another, isn't it?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've loved Fleur since the Second Task in GoF. I'm so glad she stuck around, and has something to do in the plot! But she's so insufferable when she's happy.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: August 25th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another good entry. I do love how you handle Fleur; and also the reason for Tonks' quick departure from the Burrow: she's furious with Dumbledore, but also, she's afraid that Harry will ask after Remus (kind of similar to the reason the kids come up with later--Harry does remind her of someone, just not Sirius).

Although: Savage, whose aunt or cousin or some such thing had been savaged by a werewolf, now looked at her with utter revulsion.

The guy's name kinda threw me out of the story for a second, in conjunction with that particular verb....
a_t_rain From: a_t_rain Date: August 25th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, at least he didn't look at her with utter savagery...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heheh. Yeah, I noticed that bit of an oops just before I left for work. I do believe it's going to become Proudfoot whose great-aunt was savaged.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: August 26th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)
You don't *have* to change it, really - I actually thought you'd written that on purpose, for irony.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry has a way of getting close to an issue without quite getting it right, because he filters things a lot through his own perceptions of what's important. That's what makes him a fun narrator.
musamea From: musamea Date: August 26th, 2005 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Proudfoot, whose aunt or cousin or some such thing had been savaged by a werewolf, now looked at her with utter revulsion.

Oh Tonks. Ouch. That's not something you really think about, until it's put in front of you, is it? Well done, Fern.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 26th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I keep expecting Proudfoot to be a Hobbit, which would make it a Warg instead of a werewolf.

Ah, the excess of phlegm which is Fleur. Gotta love that gal. Also, gotta love the rest of this. Great work!

Ellen
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: August 29th, 2005 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
jeez, you've gone and made me tear up again
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 30th, 2005 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Britishism (I think)

The "Bugger all" comment doesn't seem to quite fit. I think it's probably a "Britishism" and I'm sorry to sound nit-picking. For a general comment of exasperation and fed-upness "Bugger it!" would sound better. "Bugger all" would mean none or nothing, as in "How much money have you got?" or "How much work did you get done?"
"Bugger all!"

I like how Tonks' language is more robust in this story. In "Shifts" she was far more proper. In retrospect, I guess that's because we always saw her through Remus' rather idealised point of view.

TDU
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