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Shades, Chapter 39: Extraction, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter 39: Extraction, pt. 1
Chapter 23 (Grey Christmas) is up at the Quill. No major changes, just smoothing out here and there.

Everything has been going swimmingly lately, with Dumbledore actually giving Remus an assignment where he can regain a little of his personhood--substitute teaching--while helping the Order, and it's worked well in terms of Tonks. They've been getting along quite well, if a bit tentatively. He is off tutoring while she decides to attend the final Quidditch match of the Hogwarts year, after which she is abruptly summoned by the Lady, who has bee watching Vivian and incidentally discovers that the women of Greyback's path, who Tonks had left to their own devices, are up to something unscrupulous... and are in the same town where Remus is sitting in a park tutoring his student. Tonks and Hagrid (who went into the forest with her) rush off to the town, and run for the park. They've just found it when someone screams.

And now, eep, action scene!

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Tonks broke into a run, and felt the ground shake as Hagrid ran beside her, but no matter how fast they moved, it was already too late.

The park was boiling with motion, two women taking down the older man, wrestling him to the ground, another snatching the child from the swings. The wife was lying on the ground, her neck twisted halfway around. And at the table, two more women were holding Remus's arms while a third--Mina--held a knife to the crying student's throat.

"Let her go!" Remus said, struggling. One of the women had been patting him down, and found his wand. She threw it away from herself.

"Where are they?" Mina demanded.

The girl was crying at a high pitch, incoherently screaming.

Tonks drew her wand and aimed at Mina, using a lighter Banishing spell than she could because she didn't want to hurt the child. Mina fell backwards, dragging the girl with her.

"Hagrid!" Tonks called. "Get her away!"

She waved her wand over her head, called for backup from whatever Aurors were nearby, then Summoned Remus's wand. Running full tilt, she knocked one of the women holding him off balance and pressed the wand into his hand, then rushed at the woman holding the girl from the swing.

She was jerked back roughly by a hand in her hair, and flung to the ground. Mina loomed above her, sharpened teeth glittering in the sunlight. Tonks didn't bother with her wand. She just kicked upward, battering Mina's stomach to throw her away. She fell with an unlovely grunt.

"MUMMY! MUMMY!"

The littler girl screamed at the top of her lungs and Tonks tried to scramble to her feet to get her wand aimed properly, but Mina caught her by the ankle and dragged her down.

There was no time for this physical fight. She let Mina drag her backward and aimed as well as she could in motion, Banishing the other woman away from the little girl, who fell to the ground. Tonks saw Hagrid scoop her up and put her on a high branch of a tree, then thunder over toward the man and his captors. Tonks rolled sharply--catching a brief glimpse of Remus struggling his way free--flipping over and sitting up, and grabbed Mina's lower arms. Mina let go of her ankle, but wrenched herself away, and with the momentum, took a backhand swing at Tonks's face. Stars exploded in front of Tonks's eyes. She jabbed her wand up, not paying much attention to which curse she was casting, and Mina's face erupted in tentacles.

One of the Muggle girls screamed again. Tonks heard Remus tell her that it was all right, and then something popped, and again, and again.

Mina was pushed to the ground, and ropes appeared to bind her. The woman who had been near the swings was bound to a tree.

"Tonks!" someone yelled. "Get that man!"

She caught a brief glimpse of Robards, Savage, and Williams fighting their way through the crowd, and she ran off after the Muggle man, who was apparently so disturbed that he had abandoned his daughters and the body of his wife.

"Impedimenta!" she called, and he slowed. She grabbed him by the back of his shirt and pushed him back up the hill to the park.

It had emptied out considerably by the time she got back. Robards had Obliviated the two girls--and apparently put them to sleep--and was examining their mother. Williams and Savage seemed to have gathered up most of the werewolf women and taken them somewhere. She couldn't see Remus. He must have had to chase one of the others.

"Got him?" Robards asked.

Tonks pulled the man over. "I don't think anyone else saw. Do you have everyone?"

"I think so." He touched the woman's neck. "She's still alive," he said. "I'm going to get her to St. Mungo's; we can fix this before it's too late."

"She's alive?" her husband said dully. "Really?"

"Really. But not for long, if I don't hurry. Tonks, you and Hagrid stay and watch the girls, and I'll pretend I didn't see him using a wand."

"Remus can--" She stopped when Robards looked up sharply. "Gawain, where is Remus?"

"He was with them," Robards started. "We... well, Williams..."

"You arrested him?"

Robards gritted his teeth. "I don't have time to argue or apologize," he said. "I'm taking this woman to St. Mungo's." He gathered the woman in his arms and Disapparated. A moment later, he came back and took her husband with no fanfare.

A series of thudding crashes announced Hagrid's return.

"Got 'em all," he said happily. "Chased the last one right at yer friend Savage."

Tonks pointed at the sleeping girls. "Stay with them until Robards gets back," she said.

"Wha'... where's Lupin?"

"Azkaban," Tonks hissed.

Hagrid blanched. "I didn' see it! I was off chasin' tha' dark-haired one!"

"Never mind, Hagrid," Tonks said. "I have to go. Now."

He nodded and sat down on a large rock, watching the girls sleep.

Azkaban was protected from direct Apparation, so Tonks popped back to Hogsmeade long enough to grab her broom. Dawlish tried to engage her in some kind of conversation, but she ignored him and Apparated as far north as she knew easily--a shack in the Orkneys that Remus had lived in the year after he'd taught at Hogwarts. It wasn't nearly to Azkaban, but it would have to do. She didn't spare the shack a glance, just kicked off from the stony ground and flew out over the North Sea. As she circled down over Azkaban, she could see the human guards rebinding the women--and Remus--for easier motion as they were led down to cells.

"Looks like we got the whole pack!" one of them crowed, throwing something at Mina.

Tonks drew her wand and Stunned him as she dismounted from her broom. "Where is Leonora Graves?"

"Right here," Graves said, detaching herself from the crowd. "What'd you stun Belcher for?"

"Because he was tormenting a prisoner with no reason. She's under control." Tonks went straight to Remus and split the ropes that were binding him. He looked at her, then looked down at his wrists. "And this man was not participating in the attack. He's not under arrest."

"That was my arrest." From the shadows of the prison, the redheaded Williams loped out. "You'll excuse me if I don't believe a werewolf when he tells me that he's not in on some scheme. We've had enough werewolf attacks this year without--"

"Don't be an idiot, Williams," Tonks said. "They were holding him captive."

"I saw him try to grab that little Muggle girl!"

"To get her away from them!"

"That's what he says..."

"He ain't one of us!" Mina screeched. "Bloody traitor!"

"Of course she would say that," Williams said.

"Oh, Merlin's balls!" Tonks cried. "He says it, she says it, I say it, everything about the scene says it--what in the hell is your problem?"

Williams sat down on a low wall. "Perhaps we should wait for Robards," he said. "You can't just unilaterally reverse my arrest. Meanwhile, I'm sure the guards have work to do."

The guards scurried about, getting the women down into the prison. Graves reached for Remus, but Tonks blocked her, not breaking her glare at Williams.

Finally, the three of them were alone.

Williams made no move to leave, so Tonks just turned around, leading Remus as far away from the other Auror as she could get while remaining on the island.

"Don't worry," she said. "Robards will reverse it. Sorry... I didn't think--" She broke off as she reached for him to touch his hand lightly, and he pulled away from her like she was toxic. "Remus!"

His eyes flickered up for a moment, then he looked away, turned his head to look out across the choppy water. His face was deep red. "Thank you, Tonks," he said.

She blinked stupidly. "Remus, what...?"

But she could still see Williams in the shadows, and she had no desire to bring whatever odd problem Remus was currently suffering from out in front of him.

She sighed. "Your student's mother is alive," she said. "Robards took her to St. Mungo's."

"Thank God."

"How did it happen?"

"It'll always happen, Dora. One way or another, it will always, always happen." He shook his head. "They came out of nowhere at all. They'd attacked before I even recognized them. I hadn't thought of them at all."

"Neither had anyone else. The Lady saw them. She sent me. I should have known better than to send for anyone but--"

"You did the right thing," Remus said. "It needed official attention. The Order can't really do anything with us once we're caught."

Tonks didn't fail to notice the first person, and the first flicker of anger licked at her stomach. "Oh, for God's sake, Remus--"

"This isn't a life," he said, quietly but distinctly, then turned and gave her a ghastly smile. "Can't you see it? Our life, such as it is? A werewolf attacks somewhere, your colleagues come and collect me, you have to scream at them and yell yourself hoarse--"

The sound of the slap was flat and loud, echoing in the small stone bowl at the top of Azkaban, counterpointed by waves. Remus was cut off mid-sentence.

Tonks looked at her hand, surprised but not sorry. "I've had it," she said.

A speck appeared in the southern sky, and a second later, Gawain Robards landed in front of them, cutting off any further conversation.
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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2006 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I was expecting an uneventful run-in to the fight at Hogwarts once you'd got the children away - but no! You keep the action rolling and I was on he edge of my seat for this episode. Obviously Remus gets out of Azkaban but I'm still worried!

TDU
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 5th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Now I'm flailing to find things to lead up to the hospital scene... getting from the point my story is at to a known point in canon. Why is Tonks so desperate there? How does it fit in with the battle? What's Remus thinking? So I couldn't leave them in the moderately comfortable place they were...
dalf From: dalf Date: October 6th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Thats cuz you are truly a wizard (in a non-gendered artistic sense) in how you put all this together so it fits with cannon.
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: October 5th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoa nelly, she slapped him? I would say that this just got really interesting, but it was already really interesting. I can't wait for the next chapter!

And I'm really glad you left the mother alive. I just don't have the stomach for little kids or their parents getting killed.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 5th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoa nelly, she slapped him?

After a year of his martyr complex, I think yeah, sooner or later, she'll snap.

I started out planning on killing several, but decided that wasn't where I wanted to go with it. I think Remus has more than enough angst piled on at this point! :)
lyras From: lyras Date: October 5th, 2006 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
What a way to keep twisting the knife into both Remus and Tonks!

Oh, and I wrote my first action scene the other day, and it was exhausting. You have my sympathy - it seems there are so many in this story!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 5th, 2006 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I always seem to write stories with a lot of action scenes (The Ascension of the Queen, a Star Wars AU I wrote with a_p_, was the worst offender, with a galactic battle on four fronts!), but they always terrify me going into them and tire me out afterward. How many ways can you say, "She moved, he ran, they hit, bang, boom, crash"?
buckbeakbabie From: buckbeakbabie Date: October 5th, 2006 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)
You go Tonks! As much as I love Remus, he totally deserved that!

I loved this scene, and I can't wait to see where this goes next...
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: October 5th, 2006 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, when I saw that Remus was going to Azkaban, for some reason, I assumed that the Dementors were there (even though I should have known better, sixth book and all), so I thought, oh no, Remus is going to be all hopeless again because the Dementors will bring out his worst thoughts, but apparently Remus doesn't need Dementors for that.

So he needed someone to slap him, and it won't be long before he'll need someone to grab him by the collar, shake him, and scream that she doesn't care.
redlily From: redlily Date: October 5th, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hear hear!!

Though I have to admit I'm really aching for a sweet resolution on this one. Who'da thunk I'd look forward to Dumbledore's funeral??
olympe_maxime From: olympe_maxime Date: October 5th, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
For some reason, this feels more like a cliffhanger to me than even the previous section end. Oh, God, STUPID STUPID REMUS! What wouldn't I give to curse that scum Williams all the way to hell!

I don't see why you're worried, though - it's actually easy for me to see both Remus and Dora getting to where they were at the hostpital scene from this point. Remus just gets more and more stubborn, repeating his "too old, too poor, too dangerous" litany in answer to any and all questions, and Dora, who has finally allowed herself to think that Remus has no excuse, is going to get more and more desperate to make him hear her.

dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: October 5th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow. I'm glad that the werewolf-women are caught. That's so many people who can't do any harm anymore. One way or another, they're doing a pretty good job at breaking down Voldemort's werewolf-connection!
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: October 5th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
AAAAARGH!

Sorry - that's neither coherent or useful, but it is a compliment to your ingenuity. Poor Tonks - poor Remus, too.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: October 5th, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Did Hagrid have his umbrella with him? Did he even do any magic?
purebristles From: purebristles Date: October 5th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Remus really needed that slap in the face. He is really getting tiresome. Robards to the rescue! *cue music*
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: October 5th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
*whimper*

Oh, Remus, you idiot. I'm not sorry Tonks slapped you either.

Fern, you are evil and I love this story to bits.
kileaiya From: kileaiya Date: October 5th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
YES. Thank you Tonks! Remus needed that slap.

Robards now has the opportunity to make me like him more than I already do, let's hope he does it. XD
miseri From: miseri Date: October 6th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
"You did the right thing," Remus said. "It needed official attention. The Order can't really do anything with us once we're caught."

Tonks didn't fail to notice the first person, and the first flicker of anger licked at her stomach. "Oh, for God's sake, Remus--"


Maybe I'm missing something here, but I'm really failing to see anything in Remus's lines which could upset Tonks. Might there have been some additional dialogue accidentally left out here?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
It's just the fact that he's using a "we" voice instead of a "they" voice--he's identifying himself with Mina instead of with the victims of Mina's attack.
miseri From: miseri Date: October 6th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah ... I was reading the "we" as "you or me or any Order member who winds up in the wrong place at the wrong time." Like if Mundungus Fletcher got caught for fencing stolen goods, the Order can't do anything to cover it up, and can't get any active use out of him either.
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