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Shades, Chapter 35: The Hogwarts List, pt. 4 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter 35: The Hogwarts List, pt. 4
Tonks and Dumbledore went to investigate an apparent breach of security over the Hogwarts list, including the Muggle-borns, for a particular year. They ascertained that both Lucius and Snape were involved in frightening a Muggle family away, though the pattern suggests to Dumbledore that Snape was circuitously offering them a safe haven to run to, rather than actually terrorizing them.

Dumbledore asked Tonks to go talk to Lucius, which prevents her from going to France with Remus for transformation, though he realizes that that was a bad thing to invite her for anyway.

I'm shocking myself by putting in a bit of movie!canon... Lucius having been at the Quidditch game in CoS. Because that does make for a good explanation of what Dobby was doing in the school.

Just a short one tonight. Lucius turned out not to have much of value to say after all.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Remus lingered for a few minutes, but Tonks reminded him that, going south, the sunset would be earlier. He nodded and left with a quick glance at her. She sighed and got her broom from the cupboard where it had been sitting since the last full moon. Granny looked at her reproachfully.

"I won't be gone all night," she said. "I promise."

Granny went to her basket and lay down with her face on her front paws, pouting.

Tonks left.

It was well past equinox, and she flew north into the cloudy, feeble twilight, pulling on her new poncho when she got far enough north for the temperature to be close to freezing. The sun wouldn't set until nearly nine o'clock at Azkaban, but the cold never really broke.

It was seven-thirty when she descended to the flagstones near the prison's administrative offices. Leonora Graves was waiting for her, looking as irritated as she had on Tonks's last visit.

"You were to be here hours ago!" she said.

"Yes, I'm sorry. My schedule changed quite suddenly. I still need to speak to Lucius Malfoy."

"About what?"

"It's a matter of importance," Tonks said as firmly as she could. Graves seemed to accept it and led her into the prison, walking easily through the dismal corridors, past Sirius's cell, into the populated areas. It was quieter now than it had been on her first visit.

"Do you have the Dementors back here?" Tonks asked.

Graves shook her head regretfully. "No. These still act up from time to time. But the long nights did the trick for a bit."

"You don't give them candles?"

"This isn't an inn, Miss."

Tonks was still trying to process the casualness of the admission when they reached Lucius Malfoy's cell. Something pale and skinny was sitting in a shadow in the far corner. She wouldn't have recognized him, except for his voice. "Well, well. She returns."

"You may go back to the office now," Tonks said to Graves. The other woman gave a disdainful sniff, but left. Tonks waited until the footsteps had faded away, then looked back into the cell. "Uncle Lucius?"

"I thought we had agreed that you would not address me in that manner."

"Would you prefer I simply use your first name? Or Mr. Malfoy?"

He paused, leaning forward into the light. He'd lost a great deal of weight, and his blond hair hung limply around his face. No longer did he look like he was an actor playing a part. He squinted at her, then leaned back. "Very well," he said. "Call me what you please."

Tonks blinked, then Conjured a chair and sat down. "I spoke to Catherine Dunstable recently."

The laugh started low and soft, then became fuller. Lucius came forward again, leaning into the light. "I wondered how long it would take. Nearly the girl's year, isn't it?" He snorted. "I was certain Dumbledore would be gone by now, and we wouldn't be seeking out the Mudbloods."

"But you killed a few, just in case."

He smiled. "Yes. Just in case."

"So Greyback has been with the Death Eaters that long?"

"Greyback comes and goes. I happened to know where to find him."

"And the third?" Tonks asked, wanting to know if Lucius suspected that Snape had been a double agent.

"Tsk, tsk," he said. "Do you think I have some reason to reveal any name you don't already know?"

"I suppose not," Tonks said. "I'd guess it was Karkaroff from the description."

Lucius smiled, and said nothing, arranging his features in such a way that Tonks was sure he meant her to believe she'd accidentally hit upon the right name, which satisfied her that he didn't think Snape was a threat to the current order. If he had been, certainly Lucius would have named him and tried to have him arrested and removed from the inner circles.

"How did you get to the list?"

"I was at Hogwarts for a Quidditch game. I sought it out."

"Why?"

"Because," he said, "I had thought to finally rid the place of Mudbloods that year. I was meant to have help in that endeavor, but it was... less than I anticipated."

"Right. The diary started worrying about Harry instead of Muggle-borns. What a shame."

"Yes." He sat back into the shadow again. "It took time to find the list. Minerva McGonagall keeps it well hidden. I found only one page, and had time to memorize only a handful of names before that fool Lockhart happened by and asked if I was lost."

"Good old Lockhart."

"He forced me to listen to his self-interested prattle for two hours. I feel I have been adequately punished."

"For killing two children and having Greyback attack two more?"

There was a motion in the shadow, an unmistakable shrug. "Four fewer Mudbloods."

Tonks felt the chill of the prison air and drew her poncho tighter. "Why do you hate them so?"

Lucius stood up, came to the front of the cell. "Because they will destroy us in the end. They care nothing for who we are. There will be nothing left by the time they've had their way."

"Oh, please," Tonks muttered. "My father--"

"Has already polluted our Healing traditions with Muggle nonsense."

"He helps people."

"I see he's done a brilliant job with you this year. Pining away to nothing over a half-blood werewolf."

She frowned. "How do you know..."

"Rumors were flying last year. Unless you're quite a trollop, I doubt you had time to waste away over some new lover." He sniffed philosophically. "Though you are half-Muggle, and their memories for such things tend to be short."

"Muggle-born. And that's absurd."

"You asked the question. I have answered it." He turned around and sat down on his bed again. "Is that all you came for?"

"That year... that was all you saw?"

"Had I seen more, Nymphadora, I assure you that it would not have taken this long for Dumbledore to notice."

Tonks took a deep breath, wondering if there was anything else Dumbledore meant her to ascertain. She couldn't think of anything, and was getting up to leave when Lucius spoke again.

"Have you seen my wife and son?"

"I saw Draco," she said carefully.

"Is he well?"

Tonks thought about Draco's pale face, the dark circles under his eyes, his haunted, frightened manner, and said, "I'm sure he misses you, Uncle Lucius. But he's at Hogwarts. You can be certain he's safe there."

"Will you carry a message to Narcissa?"

"I can't do that."

"No, I don't suppose you can. I could always hide a deep message in expressing concern for her. Go now. You have nothing to ask, and I have nothing to answer."

Tonks Vanished her chair and left through the deepening shadows. She stopped briefly outside Sirius's cell, thinking of him growing thin and haunted here. "Some Healing tradition," she muttered, then went out into the late evening sunlight, and flew south into the rising dark.
9 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 13th, 2006 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay for Auror!Tonks - I particularly like her bit of misdirection about Karkaroff. I don't mind the bit of movie canon, either, since it makes sense. One of the little niggling things that has bothered me about the books is how little parents seem to be involved with school activities - you would think that they would really want to watch their kids Quidditch matches.

The one thing that bothered me a bit was Lucius bringing up Remus. First of all, since we already had a similar but more effective scene earlier with Narcissa, I'm not sure that it's necessary. But my real issue is that I just don't see a Lucius Malfoy who has been in Azkaban for close to a year being up enough on their relationship for him to realize why she's "wasting away." Even if it was just a lucky guess, I don't think his mind would jump to that, particularly given all of the other potential reasons that an auror anad order member might be a bit stressed in the midst of a war. But maybe it's just me.

Otherwise, I'm quite fond of their dynamic.

-Cara
sharonaf From: sharonaf Date: September 13th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Cool!

Found especially interesting the way Malfoy explains his fear of the muggles, and just looking at the wizarding population as it appears, it seems to be true. There simply aren't very many wizarding families, and I suspect that without the muggle-borns, they would not have a sustainable population, either for reproducing or for keeping social and business ventures open. They desperately need the muggle-borns, but at the same time, that means that the muggle-borns are likely to take over their society.
A world in flux. :-)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 13th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Leaving a review here on the past few segments. I enjoyed the interaction between Tonks and Malfoy, though I'm not quite convinced that he would be so frank with her. I certainly don't mind movie!Lucius as you call him, or his being at Hogwarts, because it makes good sense for parents to come watch their children - that might make some confusing numbers in the books add up! (200 people in the Slytherin stands but only about 70 possibly students 0_0)

The cave set-up in the earlier part of this chapter was intriguing, and it seems as though you're going to blend it in with canon as the cave with the Horcrux. However (correct me if I'm wrong), that was in New Mexico, wasn't it? Wouldn't Tom Riddle's orphanage and his cave be somewhere in the UK?

Or maybe you've other plans for that cave. I'm just dying to know! I suppose I'll just have to keep reading ... so I hope a new update will arrive soon!

Thanks for these wonderful chapters so far!

~shiiki
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 13th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lucius is still so nasty! Even after almost a year in Azkaban. You've got him spot on! As a member of the Board of Governors, I doubt he'd need an excuse to look at the list of students for the following year. I would expect that he would get it automatically. The question would be why that year? Though I suppose he might only have joined when Draco went to school.

I liked Tonks's bluff with Karkaroff. I wonder how much Lucius knows about Snape's position with Dumbledore or his position with Voldemort. I have to admire how well you incorporate canon into your stories, create your own storyline for other characters, fuse the the two but still allow for what might be revealed in the next book. Snape could be either "good" or "evil" in your story, but it would still work perfectly. Wonderful!

TDU
From: marciamarcia Date: September 13th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was sitting around last night trying to figure out why Dumbledore was so interested in Skylar Crow's cave, but not interested enough to immediately check it out...and how you could bring in another sub-plot this late and have it tie up...and then it hit me....

Dumbledore was making a mental connection to another very unpleasant little boy who had a favorite cave.

Did you mean for that scene to be where Dumbledore figures out where he should look for the next horcrux? If so, I love it.
dalf From: dalf Date: September 14th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I like you realistically you extrapolate the passing phrases from cannon. Draco's "Greyback is a family friend" and Lucius' "I knew how to find him". Timing his stealing of the list for when he would have been at Hogwarts when Draco was playing Quiddich second year, same year he had set the Diary on the school. Its bad though you make me have less patience with lesser fanfic. A cool idea is not enough they should all have real plot!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2006 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm assuming Lucius' comment on Tonks was meant as a slip. He tries to cover but he had knowledge he shouldn't have about Tonks, that she wasn't changing appearance and what the cause of it was. Perhaps a bit milder would still be better? Tonks sees how he's altered. Perhaps he could show some slight sign of surprise, quickly hidden, at how Tonks has changed as well? Then, he might say, "I see he's done a brilliant job with you, or is this the work of your half-blood werewolf?" That way, he leaves out the specific "pining" and "past year." He's still let slip that he recognizes what he's seeing isn't a recent job stress or flying through the cold to Azkaban change. He still shows he knows it's a personal problem and that it's Remus related.

Hmm. He also wanted to know how Draco was but he didn't ask after Narcissa. True, Draco's the one in the most danger. Also, he still asks Tonks to give a message to Narcissa for him. Still, there's a definite hint that he has some kind of communication involving Narcissa but not Draco.

And I just realized. The Aurors in Hogsmeade, except for Tonks, aren't going to be racing to the rescue when a certain Dark Mark appears over the school. Something bad is going to happen to them, isn't it?

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2006 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
And I just realized. The Aurors in Hogsmeade, except for Tonks, aren't going to be racing to the rescue when a certain Dark Mark appears over the school. Something bad is going to happen to them, isn't it?

:blinks:

You know, I didn't realize that. D'oh. Yes, they definitely need to have something to do that we didn't hear about, or else even a bad Auror like Dawlish would be there for a Dark Mark! Scrambling to think of what...
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh? And here I thought you were working Dawlish up to some kind of breakdown (possibly aided timing wise by an Imperioed Rosmerta slipping something in his drink). Although Dawlish can't do anything that would get him removed from duty or mess with cannon, and having to rush Dawlish to St. Mungo's psychiatric ward wouldn't take out more than one or two Aurors - and even one left behind could mess up their plans.

Except (sorry, speculating wildly now), I just realized, when Draco met Tonks, she was a very distraught woman WHO LOOKED LIKE HIS MOTHER.

Dang, dang, dang. I do miss the obvious, don't I?

Except for her hair, Tonks looks a great deal like her mother's side of the family. Here's Draco, who has reason to fear Greyback in particular will be the one sent after his mother if he fails, and who's probably had some of his fears brought home to roost by the knowledge that girls he knows have just had their little brother and their uncle (who may have been a Muggle but who was also a priest, a traditionally recognized category of noncombatant) murdered by Greyback. He may also know that one of the intended victims who's lucky to be alive is the girls Pureblood mother. For that matter, he may also realize that Greyback would have meant to take and turn the boy, not kill him. The realization that your mother is being watched over by someone who commits murder when he didn't intend to can't be reassuring.

Also, if Tonks expressions are close to those of her aunt's under similar circumstances, well, Draco has likely seen what his mother looks like when devastated by the knowledge that was a somewhat risky plan got seriously worse and that the man she loves has been shipped off to Azkaban. It may be that Tonks, devastated by the knowledge that a somewhat risky plan got seriously worse and that the man she loves may likely have been shipped off to Azkaban, looks the same.

And there's Draco, wrapped up in his own worries, probably trying to convince himself that he has it under control and that his mother doesn't have that look on her face anymore, when he rounds the corner and sees Tonks.

Ouch.

And Draco's reaction, once he finds out who she is, is to ignore Tonks' statement that she is a grown up Auror and can handle whatever she's doing so Draco can just leave her alone, thanks, and to take her to the one adult he has left to turn to and get him to deal with it.

Sorry. Got all wrapped up in what was happening to Tonks in that chapter. I didn't think of what might be going on in Draco.

Well, end result, if Draco would sooner be caught (and possibly killed) by Aurors than carry out his mission (being killed in the attempt would possibly go a long way towards protecting Narcissa from Death Eater retribution), he may not be able to handle Tonks being one of those Aurors, which might be why Tonks isn't around when the Death Eaters decide to plug up the obvious hole in Draco's plan and get rid of the Aurors.

Conversely, Draco may have a plan to get the Aurors out of the way (has the Imperioed Rosmerta been putting something in Dawlish's drinks to help push him over the edge?) and not be able to carry through against Tonks.

Just some thoughts.

Ellen
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