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Shades, Chapter 33: Make Me Whole, Pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter 33: Make Me Whole, Pt. 2
I added a couple of sentences to the last part where Tonks destroys the magical gate and breaks the spell so that the other werewolves can't use it. :headdesk: Can't believe I actually forgot to have her do that! I'm beginning to understand how major plot holes get into books that don't have people reading them segment by segment and commenting.

Anyway, Tonks got through her part of the rescue plan, but was frantic to know what happened to Remus. A visit to the Montgomery place didn't help; he was gone, and a Healer casually asked if he was "one of them" that was taken to Azkaban. She went back to Hogsmeade and crawled through the Whomping Willow tunnel, but forgot to freeze the branches in her distress. They beat her pretty badly on the way out, and Madam Pomfrey finds her there. Since she (Tonks) is less than coherent at this point, Madam Pomfrey decides to Heal now, ask questions later. She stuns Tonks, who loses consciousness.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Tonks was aware of the bustling around her before she opened her eyes. Someone was crying, someone else making pained whimpering noises, and someone was running from place to place with quick footsteps. A quick distracted brush across her forehead told her that she was one of the many stops in the room, but no special attention was being paid to her.

Thought was mercifully absent at first, but something kept trying to force its way in. Something about Remus, something about...

Her eyes flew open on their own accord. She could feel them stretching into wide circles.

She was in the Hogwarts hospital wing, and part of her was still confused enough to think that maybe she had fallen in a Quidditch match or brewed a bad potion and had a horrible nightmare that her Mr. Lupin was lost and in trouble...

But that part was small. The girl she had been at Hogwarts had been a playful metamorphmagus who had heard the name of a cousin she remembered loving but was meant to hate, a laughing child who had heard of an aunt she remembered fearing but no longer connected with the real world. That girl had a mad crush on an older man, but went about with friends her own age who told questionable jokes and dared her to climb the goal posts on the Quidditch field. She was a good Potions student who responded to the challenge of being hated by working harder and with ever more cheerful smiles calculated to drive old Snape mad.

The girl was far in the past, and the woman she'd become was too thin and too weak and too worried about the man she loved to hold on to a comforting confusion.

She groped for her wand, which was on the table, and came up holding both her own and Remus's. She pointed her own at her body and said, "Exquiro corpus."

The diagnostic spell swirled over her, looking for any changes in her body. It glowed feebly over most of her skin--she guessed she had a bit of a fever--pooled in little swirls over her healing elbow, and picked up nothing else. Whatever had happened to her had been conscientiously healed by Madam Pomfrey.

Screens stood around her bed. In the spaces between them, she could see another bed across the way, also screened off, and she could hear a boy's voice: "I'm all right, miss! I just want to get off where the others are!"

And Madam Pomfrey: "You're all right when I say you're all right, Mr. Blondin. Lie down and let me get to that bite on your foot."

Tonks drew herself up to a sitting position, waited for her head to stop spinning, then got to her feet. The robe she'd pulled on for warmth before she'd gone off to the forest was lying inncently over the edge of a chair, and she pulled it on over her t-shirt, which was spotted with blood that she'd picked up in the Montgomerys' yard. She slid out between the screens.

There were two beds screened off, other than Blondin's. One was a Hogwarts student who'd been hit with a curse that had apparently caused bells to dangle from his fingers and toes. He was looking straight at her when she peeked in, but took no notice, and she deduced that Madam Pomfrey had used some kind of spell to keep him from noticing what was going on around him.

Behind the other, she saw two girls sitting with their parents.

The Montgomerys.

She hovered outside this for a moment, thinking she ought to go in, but Ralph glanced up, saw her, and shook his head. She nodded and moved on.

Blondin looked lively enough, squirming away from Madam Pomfrey, who was trying to put salve on a gnawed heel. Neither of them noticed Tonks.

She slipped out of the hospital wing into the corridors, heading for McGonagall's office first. There was no one there. Perhaps she was in France. Hagrid would be as well, if he'd been able to Apparate at all. She thought about hunting him down for details, but shuddered at the thought of trying to get at the facts through Hagrid's perception.

And he probably wouldn't know the only thing she really cared about just now.

If Remus had been taken to Azkaban--and she would not allow herself to consider the other possibility, that there had been another body in the dooryard--then it was out of the hands of her own little group.

She headed for Dumbledore's office.

A quick check of the second floor told her that the entrance had moved again; when she'd first arrived, the entrance had been on the fourth floor, then it had moved to the fifth, then down to the second, where it had remained for some time. Dumbledore enjoyed traveling different corridors.

She blinked.

Right.

Seventh floor. She'd been there this year.

Climbing the stairs seemed to take a great deal of energy, and she wished someone would think to install an elevator here. She reached the gargoyle and said, "Sherbet Lemon." No answer. She tried every other sweet she could think of, and there was nothing, and by the time she had finished, she was beating on the gargoyle with her hands.

"Ahem."

She jumped. A small portrait of a girl tending sheep had been placed across the corridor from the gargoyle, and Phineas Nigellus was looking distastefully around the pastoral scene.

"Grayfur?" she said.

He looked almost surprised at Sirius's pet name for him, but didn't acknowledge it. "The headmaster, as you would have ascertained had you taken the trouble to think clearly, is not in his office at the moment."

"Do you know where he is?"

"He's been gone a great deal this year."

"Do. You. Know. Where. He. Is?"

Phineas shook his head. "He has not seen fit to tell me."

"Me, either," Tonks said. She touched the portrait. "Thank you anyway."

She wandered away, stumbling blindly around the seventh floor, not having the energy even to go down the stairs.

"OUCH!"

She jumped and turned, and suddenly the air wavered and something slithered to floor, revealing a skinny, tall boy with black hair and glasses.

"Harry?" she said.

Harry Potter turned and fell, looking at her like she might have abruptly grown horns. "What're you doing here?" he asked.

Tonks considered telling him everything for about half a second. She didn't have time or energy to explain things. Instead, she just said, "I came to see Dumbledore."

Harry tried to explain where Dumbledore's office was, and Tonks shook her head, the whole thing becoming oddly vague and shapeless to her. Harry wanted to know if she knew where Dumbledore went. As if she would know things Harry Potter wouldn't.

Things other than the whole business with Remus, of course. And Remus certainly hadn't been talking to her this year. Maybe he had finally taken Sirius's advice, and was corresponding freely with Harry, who would know everything after all and know where he'd been taken...

"What did you want to see him about?"

She blinked, realizing that Harry was still talking about Dumbledore. He knew nothing. She fussed at her sleeve. "Nothing in particular. I just thought he might know what's going on..." She caught herself. "I've heard rumors... people getting hurt..."

Harry said something else; Tonks didn't catch it. Something about a little kid hurting someone.

"You haven't had any letters from anyone in the Order recently?" she asked.

"No one from the Order writes to me anymore," Harry said bitterly. "Not since Sirius--"

Tonks hadn't even realized she'd been hoping he'd prove her wrong, hoping he'd say, "Why yes, of course; Lupin's been writing to me right along, and in fact I had an owl from him just this morning--bit odd right after a full moon, don't you think?--and he said he's safe and fine and you can find him building a castle in the south of France." Her throat closed and her eyes went hot. The corridor wavered.

"I'm sorry," Harry muttered. "I mean... I miss him as well..."

"What?" It sounded like Harry thought Remus was dead for some reason. No, no. It was Sirius he was talking about. Sirius who would have been at the head of this mad business, Sirius who would have gone off hunting for Remus when Tonks had been injured, Sirius who would tell her to stop being such a little ninny and get herself together. The thought of his voice was too much, and she felt the imminent tears pricking at the corners of her eyes. "Well... I'll see you around, Harry..." She turned and fled from him, not caring at all about his confused look, and got herself entirely turned around. She ran down a short flight of stairs that she thought was near Ravenclaw Tower, but it ended her up near a broom cupboard.

She sat down heavily and put her head in her hands, not crying, but rocking back and forth.

"Who are you and what do you think you're doing in this school?"

She looked up.

A very thin boy with dark circles under his eyes was standing at the top of the stairs. He had a Slytherin prefect badge pinned to his robes. His features were sharp-cut, his face sharply pointed through the chin, much like her own was, much as Sirius's had been, much as Bella's and Narcissa's and Mum's...

"Draco?" she said.

"Who are you?"

"I'm your cousin. Nymphadora Tonks."

He wrinkled his nose. "Why are you here?" he asked.

She wracked her brains for some explanation--obviously, Draco Malfoy couldn't be told the real reason. "I'm, er... I'm an Auror," she said stupidly.

His face closed. "You have no business here," he said. "I'm taking you to my Head of House."

"I'll just go."

"You think I'm going to let you roam the corridors alone, sniffing about for whatever you feel like? We have rights, you know!"

His eyes grew wide and self-righteous, and he crossed his arms stiffly and waited for her to stand up. He all but drew his wand to prod her up the stairs and out the door.

He pushed her directly into Severus Snape.

"Found her wandering around," he announced. "We're supposed to turn in anything suspicious, aren't we?"

"I'll handle it from here, Draco," Snape said.

"She was near the seventh floor," Draco told him.

Snape nodded. "Go back to your dormitory," he said.

Draco turned to go.

"It was nice meeting you," Tonks called after him.

He gave her a horrified look and scurried off.

Snape grabbed her by her sore elbow. "Madam Pomfrey has us combing the school for you, and you let yourself be seen by a student?"

"I'm sorry. Have you heard anything? Have you heard...?"

"Minerva McGonagall just returned from whatever task you deemed worthy of the Deputy Headmistress's time. I'm sure she will tell you whatever you wish to know."

"Is my cousin sick?" Tonks asked. "He didn't look well..."

"I will see to Draco's health," Snape said shortly, and led her down a few flights of stairs, back to McGonagall's office. He opened the door with knocking and pushed Tonks in. "Draco Malfoy found her," he said, grimacing, and left without another word.

McGonagall looked irritated for a second as she came toward Tonks, but her face changed as abruptly as if she'd morphed. "Miss Tonks," she said. "Oh, Lord, you don't know what's happening, do you?"

"Remus," she said. "Someone said something about Azkaban, and there was a fight, and the Montgomerys..."

"Yes, Ralph Montgomery gave me a full description of what happened. Remus did a very brave and a very foolish thing."

"But... Azkaban..."

McGonagall shook her head. "No. Several of Greyback's people were trapped by the magical fire. Dumbledore sent for Aurors as well as Healers, and they were carted off to Azkaban, and good riddance."

"Remus..." Tonks prodded. "Please, Minerva..."

McGonagall reached out gently and touched her shoulder. "He's alive," she said. "It was touch and go, but he'll recover."

The relief was too great. Tonks couldn't remain on her feet. She dropped to the floor and sat cross-legged. McGonagall Summoned a low stool and sat down across from her.

"We were waiting for moonrise when the little girl--Vivian Waters?--came running out of the forest. She said she had no time, but someone had to find Lupin right away. Fiona Crowler decided I could be spared, as long as Vivian promised to get back to her safe place to transform. I thought it would be wise to involve Dumbledore. I knew where he was."

Tonks didn't care where Dumbledore had been. "The Montgomerys said he was there."

"Yes. I was there as well, though Albus prevailed upon me to appear as a cat among the other werewolves." She paused. "Remus was very badly hurt. According to Montgomery, he was the one who blocked off the trap they'd been put in. As far as I can tell, Greyback had meant to kill the whole family, and only the Muggle brother had been killed initially. I think he'd planned to kill the parents as well and then take the boy. But Remus kept the others back before he transformed, and when he did change, he seems to have tried to challenge Greyback. It distracted him enough for the parents to get their bearings. Montgomery took up Remus's wand. If the little boy hadn't tried to run back for his uncle, they would have saved him as well."

"He doesn't blame Remus?"

"Miss Tonks, Ralph Montgomery would nominate Remus Lupin for sainthood just now. It's himself he blames."

Tonks nodded. "Where is Remus?"

"He's at headquarters," McGonagall said. "Dumbledore started the spells and your mother joined him as soon as her charge was safely in France this morning. We all assumed you would join us there. Poppy Pomfrey had enough to deal with; I didn't realize she had you in one of the beds until later, or I would ahve seen to it that you'd have news when you woke up."

"Remus is all right?"

"He's still sleeping, or he was when I checked in before coming back," McGonagall said. "The injuries are healed, but he was weak. He needed rest."

"I have to go," Tonks said.

"Of course." McGonagall held out her hand and helped Tonks to her feet, leading her to the fireplace near the desk. She gave her a handful of Floo powder. "Go on, now," she said.

A moment later, Tonks fell out of the fireplace into the dirty kitchen of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.
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Comments
From: bangcollision Date: August 29th, 2006 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I couldn't not check and see if it was up one last time before going to bed! An excellent excellent excellent installment!

"If the little boy hadn't tried to run back for his uncle, they would have saved him as well."

This was especially horrid for me, to imagine him running back to his beloved uncle only to be killed himself. Ugh, it just makes it all the more nitty gritty realistic to me, I don't know, it's just one of those family tie things.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I like the use of family in the HP series, and wanted to work with it.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: August 29th, 2006 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
...and Sweet??
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
...is actually more or less safe and behaved herself when Fiona told her to go find someplace safe to transform. ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, man. And, oh, the poor kid. And poor Tonks, too.

Draco, of course, has enough problems to make him look that way, but how does he feel hearing about this attack and knowing Greyback may target his own family if he doesn't pull through? And will Narcissa's prejudices take a back seat to hearing how a mother and father lost their only son to the same monster that she must worry about coming after her own son?

OK, fighting the mental picture of Narcissa having tea with the Montgomerys and having her attempt to discuss the evils of werewolves turn into the Montgomerys singing the praises of Remus Lupin. It doesn't seem at all likely.

Anyhow, yeah, I'm stunned.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's an interesting idea. :) I suspect Narcissa is bright enough not to fraternize with Greyback's enemies at this point, though.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
A comparitavely restful update, but I'm wondering - are we still going to get a scene in which Tonks has to confront transformed Remus? I seem to remember an R/T challenge entry in which Tonks was forced to fight the wolf...

Also, are you operating on the assumption that a muggle could get into Hogwarts if a wizard takes him, or is Blondin's presence in the hospital wing supposed to suggest that he's actually a muggle-born wizard?

Other than that, there were just a few moments from the last couple of updates that I wanted to particularly praise - Blondin's reaction to seeing Remus again, Remus thinking about the night he was bitten just before he sets out to save the Montgomerys, Alderman taking the lead once Remus is gone, Madam Pomfrey coming for Tonks - so many moments that just flesh out these characters and add complexity to your world.

Thanks for the quick updates!

-Cara
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
A comparitavely restful update, but I'm wondering - are we still going to get a scene in which Tonks has to confront transformed Remus?

Alas, that didn't work out to fit in with this. I was going to have him transform before he left, but logic intervened, Dumbledore-like, just in time, and I realized he couldn't then get to the Montgomery place to almost die, and that would unravel a whole lot of things.
From: tonkstipied Date: August 29th, 2006 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)

I was about to say that you were at your best...

But then I said that yesterday when I was commenting on your post yesterday with Buckbeakie, so I'll probably have to repeat it tomorrow! Good writing! I love the weaving in and out of HBP. Thanks again.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I was about to say that you were at your best...

Thanks!
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
You are really on a roll here. I suppose the whole story so far has been building up to these few chapters. It's funny how a minor, chance meeting with Tonks for Harry is actually just a slight event for him but just scratches on something so major for others. Of course I would love you to continue with your daily updates but I'll understand if you can't manage it.

Typo here:I didn't realize she had you in one of the beds until later, or I would ahve seen to it that you'd have news when you woke up."

Didn't Draco resign from being a prefect at the start of Half-Blood Prince? In which case, I don't think he would still have his badge. I'm sorry I don't have my book (it's in my daughter's room and she's asleep) or I'd check for you. If I'm right, it's mentioned in the Hogwarts Express chapter.

Wonderful installment - again, TDU
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't Draco resign from being a prefect at the start of Half-Blood Prince?

:facepalm:

I forgot about that entirely. Serves me right for using a character I don't pay much attention to! Thanks for the catch.

And yes, this is the central part that I had in mind when I started writing--the events around that March full moon that Harry didn't notice until much later on. What I'm going to do until June is a bit of a mystery to me. ;) Probably work on the Dumbledore connection.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: August 29th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, my, wow. Tonk's anguish and confusion are palpable.

I particularly like the not-quite-parallel encounters with Harry and Draco.

I hope we get to see the enclave in France, or at least hear news from it, soon. With both Remus and McGonagall absented from the proceedings, I'm wondering how the containment of the young werewolves went--and how did Blondin get injured and then transported to Hogwarts?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
We'll see France, and yes, the contribution of a commenter quite a long time ago has had me thinking very, very closely about Blondin. And something about him may help keep people busy until the big finale.
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: August 29th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait, so if the Montgomery boy died, why are the Montgomerys in the hospital wing? Please tell me he was only bitten. *begs*

What a great chapter. I'm checking this blog every couple hours to catch updates because I'm so eager to see what happens next. Augh, the suspense!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Please tell me he was only bitten.

Sorry--they're just there to tell their daughters what happened and go through the grieving process with them.

I've been writing like a madwoman partly because I know what I'm doing now, but also because I'm nervous and anxious about RL projects that are coming to a conclusion, and it's good to slip off to Hogwarts at night. I don't think I'll be slacking off too much, though. It's too close to the end.
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: August 29th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow - finally I can breathe easily after the tension of the last several chapters. Even though I know what's coming, your characters don't and they have become so real for me that I'm currently identifying more with your story than HBP.

You've done a truly masterful job weaving this with canon- I know everyone else has already said that, but wanted to weigh in anyway :)

Looking forward to seeing how the pups cope with their change in circumstances.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can breathe easily after the tension of the last several chapters.

Oh, no! I'll have to jack it back up! ;p

Thanks.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's an example of how awesome your writing is that when I was reading HBP for the first time, I was thinking about you might do this scene in your sequel to Shifts. I wasn't disappointed.
olympe_maxime From: olympe_maxime Date: August 29th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent!
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: August 29th, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
As always, splendid, and you handled the conversation between Harry and Tonks really well.

I'm now very apprehensive about how Remus is going to react to everything - even though he's actually done a good job of proving his humanity.
excitedrainbow From: excitedrainbow Date: August 29th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
As always, a superb chapter. I was actually clutching my hair at the end of the last part, you had me so worried. Oh, Montgomery's brother is such an idiot! I can't help but feel sorry for him now though, and I suppose he was only trying to protect his brother. Remus, it wasn't your fault! Please don't push Tonks away! (Again... What are we on now, the thousandth time?) Yes, I know I can't actually influence him, but it makes feel better ;)Can't wait for the next bit. I've been a long-time fan; is it alright if I friend you?
From: oicrylic Date: August 29th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the kind of fanfiction that just fills in the spots from the actual books. The whole thing with Harry running into Tonks was PERFECT and believeable. Nicely written.
From: lianna_blanca Date: August 30th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh... I feel so relieved. It's such a strange feeling - I get it in some movies, too - knowing that things will turn out all right, but not knowing HOW it's going to get there drives me crazy. I suppose that's why the Star Wars prequals had so much hype; it's the HOW that's important, not the ending. Otherwise all stories would just say "This is how it started, this is how it turned out" with none of your tightrope-like tension.

Thank you!
kokopelli20878 From: kokopelli20878 Date: August 30th, 2006 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)

nits

or I would ahve

I think the last word should be have.

Metamorphagus should be capitalized.

Another wonderful chapter.

J
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: August 30th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry about father Montgomery... I really liked him.
You did a great job in portraying confused and disoriented Tonks. Wonderful 1/3 chapter!
Just one typo:
I didn't realize she had you in one of the beds until later, or I would ahve seen to it that you'd have news when you woke up.
purebristles From: purebristles Date: August 30th, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like how you're weaving the canon Tonks into the story. Your explanation about why Tonks was behaving like a complete basketcase scratches a bone-deep itch which always comes when I read that scene.
dalf From: dalf Date: September 5th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Another typo:
"I will see to Draco's health," Snape said shortly, and led her down a few flights of stairs, back to McGonagall's office. He opened the door with knocking and pushed Tonks in. "Draco Malfoy found her," he said, grimacing, and left without another word.


Otherwise just WOW! I am a bit curious about how Vivian is doing in that weird place. But I suspect it will remaine a mystery.

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