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Shades, Chapter 33: Make Me Whole, Pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter 33: Make Me Whole, Pt. 1
Ah. Now, we're in the part where I know what happens for a couple of days. ;p

Remus and Tonks have put a plan in motion to rescue Greyback's stolen children and bring them to a sanctuary in France. The two of them went to the forest to get them to a magical gate, while the point of egress, in the Forbidden Forest, was guarded by twelve people, mostly from the Order (though Fiona Crowler and Valeska Delacour were also involved), until the moon went down. But when Remus and Tonks got to the forest, they found out that Greyback knew exactly where their friend Father Montgomery was, and Remus decided he was the most expendable person. He Apparated out, leaving Tonks taking off on her broomstick to prod the werewolves through the gate.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Tonks looked at the place where Remus had been moments before, then forced herself to turn her broomstick around--very careful to stay at eye level and not make any of the children look up--and darted over to Alderman, whose face was contorted with a shuddering kind of pain. "Alderman," she said. "I'll need you down here."

"Alpha," he gasped, nodding, then bent over toward the ground. "Boys--keep turned. Girls, when I give a yell, look up." He chanced a glance in Tonks's direction. "You... up, now. Start hitting them as soon as they turn, or they'll come after us."

"Right."

"And the other side... how... many..."

"One for each of you."

"They can't let us... near... each other."

"They know," Tonks said. "Let's do this."

Alderman hooked his hands behind his neck and forced his face toward the ground, and Tonks took off toward the treetops.

"NOW!" she heard Alderman growl, his voice a rasp, and when she looked down, the girls were screaming, their bodies stretching and twisting themselves, fur erupting, clothing shredding. She came around behind them and put a line of fire between them and the boys. They were surrounded now.

They had finished their transformation, and the small, powerfully built werewolves were giving off high-pitched whines at the sight of the fire. One of them caught sight of Tonks circling above them and made a huge, alarming leap, nearly halfway to wear she was. Tonks through back a Stinging Spell, and the girl fell to the ground, yelping. She ran toward the far side of the gate, and Tonks sent fire down in front of her. She fell backward toward the gate, then stared at it, transfixed, sniffing around the base of it.

The magic was working.

Tonks sent another Stinging Spell, and the werewolf scooted around the gate, then, fascinated, ran at it, full-tilt.

She disappeared in a flash of light.

There was no choice but to go through it over and over again, getting each girl through, putting out the central fires and letting the boys through, trying, above all else, not to think of where Remus was or what he was doing or what was happening to him. She had a job to do here, and there would never be another chance to get it right.

Finally, there was only one werewolf left, the largest, the one she guessed to be Alderman, though she honestly had not been able to identify any of the children.

Would I know Remus? Really?

The werewolf took a great leap toward her and she veered up and around as he fell back toward the earth.

One last Stinging Spell, and when she looked down, he was standing transfixed at the gate, listening to whatever sound it made for the creatures it was meant to attract.

He leapt at it, and was gone.

The Repulsor spell she had put on the cave was starting to weaken, and she could see the adult werewolves, the women, throwing themselves against it. She wondered which was their alpha, Mina, and supposed it didn't matter. They would be through in a moment. Swooping lower into the clearing, she leveled her wand at the gate. "Reducto!" The gate contained a great deal of magical power, but its physical structure was weak and not reinforced. It exploded out in a thousand fragments. Red light raced along the paths of mother's spell as the central element was removed from it and the magic collapsed.

It was done.

She put out the magical fires and flew far from the forest, toward Shropshire, hoping against hope that she wasn't too late.

She didn't need to look for the place--the fires were still rising--and when she circled down, she heard the screaming. The ground was soaked with blood and two bodies were torn, glistening in the flickering flame.

She landed.

The woman crouched beside the dead child looked up, pleading. "Help me... please... my son is hurt... He needs a Healer. There were werewolves."

Tonks blinked. Remus was not here. Only the grieving family and--

Her heart stopped. Father Montgomery lay dead a few yards from her, his brother, now silent, staring at the ground. Tonks's throat went tight, and she remembered walking through the forest with Montgomery, listening to his gentle voice. She remembered him offering to help, sending her off laden with scarves and coats for children no one else had bothered to care for.

Most of his face seemed to be gone.

She touched Mrs. Montgomery's shoulder, then went to Ralph.

"I'm so sorry," she said.

He held out a wand weakly toward her, and she began to lose her sense of the world when she realized it was Remus's.

"He came and tried to stop them. Mad. Utterly mad. What could he do? Nothing. There was nothing."

"Ralph, I..."

"My fault. Always thought I was invisible. Who would notice me? But that thing noticed. My brother..."

"Ralph, I think you need to go to your wife."

"Elaine? Is she--" His eyes widened in sudden terror, and Tonks understood that he hadn't yet realized what had happened to his son. He turned and screamed, scrambling over to his family and ignoring Tonks entirely, which was right and proper and the only possible thing but where in the hell was Remus? Why did Ralph Montgomery have his wand?

There was something she needed to do here, something...

St. Mungo's. They needed Healers.

But Mum and Dad were with the others in the Forbidden Forest.

No, other Healers. Surely, there should be Healers here. Maybe the child was just hurt. Maybe he would just have to deal with transformations. Maybe...

Mrs. Montgomery's keening interrupted the thoughts, and Tonks forced her mind to obey her. She would need to summon Healers now, before--

Before she did anything, three pops announced the arrival of the Healers.

"Who sent you?" she asked.

The first Healer--barely more than Apprentice--nodded curtly. "Word from Albus Dumbledore," he said. "We need to help these people."

Tonks nodded. "But... Remus Lupin..."

"Don't know a thing," the boy said, then gave her a concerned look. "Professor Lupin was here? He wasn't one of the ones they took off to Azkaban, was he?"

"Azkaban!" Tonks repeated, and any effort she'd made to hold her mind inside her skull evaporated. She couldn't see any body, and it should have been a relief, but what if there was nothing left? And if he was alive... Azkaban! There would be no pity for a werewolf caught in an attack. She ran blindly into the forest, holding both wands in her right hand, her left pushing her hair back from her wet face.

Somehow, she Apparated back to Hogsmeade. At no point later in her life would she remember choosing to do so or actually being able to discipline herself enough to make the leap. She stumbled to the Shrieking Shack, tripping over things in the moonlight. She ran flat into Dawlish at one point, and for once, he didn't tweak her. Instead, he sat her down on a boulder and said several things that made no sense at all, with only the words "werewolves," "Lupin," and "Azkaban" coming through clearly. She shook her head at what sounded like a question asked in a foreign language, and stood up. He muttered something about finding out for her and headed back toward town.

She reached the gate of the Shrieking Shack and looked jealously over her shoulder, not wanting to let Dawlish see, no matter how understanding he thought he was being. He was gone. She let herself in.

The house was empty. She knew it without needing to check. Only Granny was here, mewing pitifully on the kitchen window sill. Tonks wanted to say something to comfort her, but there was nothing.

She dropped herself through the trapdoor and crawled the mile long tunnel to the Whomping Willow. She forgot to stop its branches, and as soon as she was out, one of them came flying at her, knocking her flat to the ground. She Stunned it with both wands and crawled on her belly, ignoring the blows that fell around her and sometimes hit her arms and legs (by sheer luck, nothing hit her spine, though she was fairly sure she was hit in the back of the head at least once). She finally scrambled out of its reach and ran madly for the Forbidden Forest, not caring what other beasts might be out now that the moon was starting to set.

"Nymphadora!"

The voice came from somewhere high above her, startled. She looked up. "Madam... Pomfrey?"

"What are you doing here? Minerva said I might be needed, but what on Earth are you doing here?"

"Remus... is Remus..."

"I haven't seen Remus, dear." She bent over. "What's happened to you? You're hurt!" She knelt down and began to inspect Tonks's elbow, which seemed to be bent at the wrong angle. "Your arm is broken. And your head... Nymphadora, the Whomping Willow is dangerous! You shouldn't be anywhere near it if you don't know how to control it. You could have been killed!"

"Know how. Remus...? I need..."

"You need to come to the hospital wing. I'm sure they'll find Remus if he's with them tomorrow morning, and he can answer any questions."

"No. I need..."

"You need to be in the hospital wing," Madam Pomfrey said sternly, then there was a spell, and Tonks fell into darkness.
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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2006 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm grateful Tonks broke her arm. Otherwise, Madam Pomfrey might not have won that fight.

But poor Tonks! No wonder she's a basket case! And what's going to happen to Remus? I mean, I'm sure he'll live and not go to Azkaban, because I know he lives and doesn't go to Azkaban (not that he probably would have told Harry if he was on trial. But Hermione doesn't keep up on all the news for nothing. He'd have heard about it if it had gone that far). But . . . but . . . . (stutters off about as incoherantly as Tonks probably was).

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm grateful Tonks broke her arm. Otherwise, Madam Pomfrey might not have won that fight.

I think you're probably right. Also, probably just as well that she hit her head and wasn't thinking clearly enough to cast a spell to push Madam Pomfrey away.
From: bangcollision Date: August 28th, 2006 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah! The children got through but where is Remus?! It was heartwrenching in the very motherly portrayal, the denial with it, for Mrs. Montgemery.

Poor Tonks, who can blaim her for being out-of-her-mind worried? Another wonderful suspenseful chapter!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
That weird behavior in the Hogwarts corridor in HBP was part of why I wanted to write this in the first place--what would push her that far over the edge?
From: bangcollision Date: August 28th, 2006 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I really need to reread the sixth book- It's my favorite so far yet I've only read it a few times. I'm drawing a lot of blanks canon-ly. When I do read it though, shortly after reading your work, it blends so perfectly!
From: bangcollision Date: August 28th, 2006 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
*When I did read it though...
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: August 28th, 2006 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Brilliant as always!

Yet another brilliant installment! I honestly don't know how you do it.

Two minor things I noticed,

One of them caught sight of Tonks circling above them and made a huge, alarming leap, nearly halfway to wear she was. Tonks through back a Stinging Spell, and the girl fell to the ground, yelping.

I think that should be "halfway to WHERE she was," and "Tonks THREW back a..."

Kudos for one of the best fics out there,
CheddarTrek
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Brilliant as always!

Tee-hee. Thanks. Spell-check wouldn't have caught those.
From: tonkstipied Date: August 28th, 2006 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Thanks again

My heart was skipping a beat every second line
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Wow the last two installments have left me breathless.

Fern you are amazing.

Wow the last two installments have left me breathless even though I know how the characters end up per canon. When I was reading HBP I was left wondering what could have happened to leave Tonks in such a state. She is an Auror after all she is trained to hold up under stress, right?

Your story as I read it always seems to be the best explanation. I agree with one of the previous posts that it is a good thing you had Tonks knocked about by the Womping Willow or Poppy would have had trouble getting Tonks to stick around. When you left Remus with Dumbledore at the end of the previous post I stopped worrying just a bit for him. But it left me thinking how far he had to go to actually admit to himself that he belonged with Tonks...right on the edge of death. Then all I could think of is oh, no what if Tonks is badly hurt, he would never forgive himself. Yes, you made me forget...That is what I love most about reading your stories...you give a new view and make me stay in the moment with the characters as you are presenting them.

Whaaahhh, now I am holding on to my laptop as a safety net ;) and hoping you will not leave us out hear alone in the dark too long.

Waiting for your enlightenment as always,

Katsulas
lilacsigil From: lilacsigil Date: August 28th, 2006 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Aah! I was hoping you'd post this chapter today, but I'm still just as much on tenterhooks! I'm glad that their actual plan seems to have worked - at least the children are away from Greyback.
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: August 28th, 2006 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow, I'm just breathless. I know Remus lives, and he's not in prison, but I'm still on the edge of my seat. That takes serious talent to make people feel like that when they already know the ending.
snorkackcatcher From: snorkackcatcher Date: August 28th, 2006 08:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oy. That was pretty horrible for Tonks.

Is the broken/mended arm in explanation for why she was plucking at her sleeve when she met Harry? That was one of the odder and unexplained parts of that scene in the book. (I suspect it's there solely as a decoy to make the reader think there might be a Dark Mark there.)

Now would be a very bad time for you to go on holiday or anything. :)
buckbeakbabie From: buckbeakbabie Date: August 28th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I love these fast updates. I feel so bad for poor Tonks

I'm glad the Pups made it through, and that Tonks will be reassured soon.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: August 28th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh,poor Tonks. That's really horrible, and very convincingly portrayed.
torturedbabycow From: torturedbabycow Date: August 28th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just have one question; if the adult female werewolves are going to be out of the cave soon, what's to stop them from going through the gate too?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
AAAAGH!

I meant to have Tonks destroy the gate and I totally forgot!

Thank you for reminding me; that definitely goes in the next draft.
torturedbabycow From: torturedbabycow Date: August 28th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aha - I thought something might have been missing. Glad to be of service. :) (Oh, and I forgot to mention - this whole chapter is wonderful, and I agree with whoever said this would be a horrible time for you to go on vacation! Unless, of course, you brought the Shades-writing with you.)
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: August 28th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh good, that had me really worried...I was thinking, Wait, Tonks, didn't you forget something? They don't need this to go wrong too!
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
At the moment in the story when Tonks seems to be done and is leaving I also thought about this. Then I was drawn back in and forgot too.

Great writing will do that,

Katsulas
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Help?

Fernwithy I need your help. I am trying to listen to the audio of HBP in my car the next day after I read your installments but I am now confused as to where we are. A previous post mentions Tonks grabbing at her arm but I am currently unable to connect the dots. Can you give me a better grasp of which chapter/chapters this section shadows?

Thanks,

Katsulas

P.S. Well now that I think of it this has happened to me before. Maybe it is just me? Has anyone else had this happen? Maybe it would help to have you mention in your descriptions where in the book we are at the time of your installment? Just an idea.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Help?

This is just before a canon-check scene--the one where Tonks meets Harry in the corridor, which is determined later to have been the March full moon (Harry realizes she was wandering around because she'd heard of the werewolf attack).
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I'm away for three days, hoping to have an update when I get back... then I come home to find three. And thank goodness I was away, because I don't think I could have dealt with waiting between chapters.

I'm so sorry about Father Montgomery's death, although I see why it had to happen. And how am I so worried about Remus when I know full well that Dumbeldore already found him - not to mention, you know, the fact that he's alive anad well at the end of HBP.

At least it seems that the pups were saved (right?). I really thought that Alderman wasn't going to make it...

If you go on vacation anytime soon, I will weep.

-Cara
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh. My. God.
"Don't know a thing," the boy said, then gave her a concerned look. "Professor Lupin was here? He wasn't one of the ones they took off to Azkaban, was he?"
"Azkaban!" Tonks repeated, and any effort she'd made to hold her mind inside her skull evaporated.

This was the point at which I tried to reach out and hug Tonks. Sadly, my computer screen somehow got in the way. I hope Dumbledore gets to her soon.

Great job, Fern. I literally couldn't look away.

~Jme13
From: lianna_blanca Date: August 29th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, ouch. In more ways than one. I'd sing your praises, Fern, but I think I've been beaten to it. And I had three things to point out, but two have already been mentioned - especialy destroying the gate. But I'm wondering:

"My fault. Always thought I was invisible

Do you mean "invincible"? Invisibility might be useful, but it didn't strike me as the most obvious phrase of choice.
beceh From: beceh Date: August 29th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I think he meant it like, noone ever takes any notice of him... but I may be wrong hehe.
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: August 29th, 2006 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I think beceh's right--Ralph thought nobody would ever notice him; he considered himself safely anonymous. It took Greyback to prove him wrong.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: August 29th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I've been away for a week and I came back to find... this, four installments of this in fact, and it's suspenseful and breathless and exciting and I know I've been lax about commenting lately but I'm still here and I'm still reading and more please!! :)
dalf From: dalf Date: September 5th, 2006 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
WOW! You write frantic panic amazingly well. Enough detail to follow along but just as much a blur to us as to Tonks.

That poor family :(

Amazing bit of a chapter!
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