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Shades, Chapter 39: Extraction, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter 39: Extraction, pt. 2
Remus and Tonks were getting along all right and Remus had a marginally normal life, substitute teaching on Dumbledore's orders in three seaside towns (under the dubious excuse of doing some research on Riddle that Dumbledore probably could have doen himself just as easily). He's relatively normal and is tutoring a student when Greyback's moll, Mina, and the other women of the pack attack to try and force him to reveal where he sent the pups. Tonks, sent by the Lady, arrives just in time and summons help from nearby Aurors. While she is chasing one of the women down, another Auror arrests Remus and takes him to Azkaban with the women. She rushes off, but the other Auror, Williams, refuses to reverse the arrest without word from Robards. While they are waiting, she realizes that Remus is distant and shamed, and he starts in on how they will have no life, and she finally hauls off and slaps him just before Robards finally arrives.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Robards didn't even ask questions; he just Vanished the remaining ropes around Remus's wrists.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Lupin," he said. "With all the activity lately..."

"Perfectly understandable," Remus muttered.

"No, it's not," Tonks said. "It's not understandable at all. Are we just arresting anyone we know has been bitten these days, no matter what they're doing?"

"He was grabbing that Muggle girl," Williams repeated.

"Context!" Tonks said. "God. Do you have eyes for a reason or not?"

"Dora, stop," Remus said.

Robards nodded. "It was a mistake; let it go. Williams, apologize."

"So sorry, Professor."

"Am I free to go?" Remus asked.

"Yes, of course." Robards shook his head. "I shall stay and talk to Graves. Williams, go back to London and write up your report. Including your mistake."

Williams rolled his eyes and picked up his broom. He kicked off. A moment later, he wasn't even a speck in the sky.

Robards turned back to Tonks. "I'll see to it that I speak to them about not being quite so... eager... to arrest werewolves."

"Why should we have more rights than Stan Shunpike?" Remus asked bitterly.

"Yes. Well." Robards frowned. "Tonks, you can't just scream at your colleagues. If there's a problem, come to me first."

Tonks, her stomach churning with rage, just ground her teeth.

Robards sighed. "Please, Tonks. I don't have time for your personal problems."

"Fine."

"Go back to Hogsmeade. Tell Dawlish I gave you tomorrow off. Sleep." He turned away and descended into the prison, leaving Remus alone with Tonks.

"Can you take me to the mainland?" Remus asked. "They brought me on a boat. I can Apparate once we get there."

Tonks shook her head and picked up her broom. "Get on," she said when it was hovering at waist level. "It can get us both back."

She climbed on and didn't look back when she felt him climb on behind her. "I'm off-balance," she said. "Grab around me."

His arms came around her and she kicked off. They wobbled a bit as they dove toward the sea, but she found her balance and leaned forward into the wind, flying high, ignoring the cold until she saw the turrets of Hogwarts. She descended, circling down into Hogsmeade, landing on the road near the Shrieking Shack. They dismounted.

"You're angry at me," Remus said.

"Isn't that what you wanted? For me to be so angry that I leave you alone?" She put her hand on her head. "I'm so tired of this, Remus. You can't turn everything into some kind of proof of how awful you are. I can't keep up with it."

"That's not what I mean by it."

"Fine. Whatever you like." She turned and left him there.

She knew perfectly well that her anger was unreasonable, but she couldn't seem to shake it. She filled out her paperwork in a perfunctory way, ignored Granny's pleas for play and cuddling, and finally went to bed and didn't sleep.

When the light turned gray and sullen the next morning, she kicked her covers away irritably. Granny jumped up and looked at her reproachfully.

Tonks scratched between her ears. "I'm sorry, Gran," she said. "God, I'm not doing well at all, am I?" She picked the cat up and cuddled her close. "I'll do better," she said. "What do you say to a visit home? My parents, your kittens? Does that sound good?"

Granny started purring, which Tonks took for approval of the plan. She sent an owl ahead to London to tell her parents she'd be coming for lunch, then brewed a quick Invigoration Infusion to recover from the sleepless night. The rage had settled into a dull nausea, so she didn't try to eat breakfast. She thought about going to the Shrieking Shack and trying to apologize, or at least make things right, but the idea made her feel like throwing up, so she refrained. Around ten o'clock, she picked up Granny and Apparated to the shelter in her parents' back yard.

Mum was still in her dressing gown, reading the Prophet at the kitchen table. "Dora," she said, getting up. "I was surprised when your owl came. Not that I'm not glad of the company."

Tonks put Granny down, and Bludger, who'd been chasting a dust curl, bounced over and touched her nose happily.

Mum put an arm over Tonks's shoulders and squeezed briefly. "What is it, Dora?"

Tonks turned and let Mum hug her. It felt safe and good. She let herself relax. "Is Daddy home?" she asked.

"He's in his office upstairs."

"What?"

"Oh--Granny Tonks's old sewing room. I finally admitted that I'm never, ever going to learn to use it. So your dad took it over. He's putting together a series of articles on what he's been doing for the Healers' Society journal."

"I'll go say hello to him, all right?"

"Of course."

"I don't mean to ignore you..."

Mum laughed. "Listen, Dora, I have a large crossword puzzle to do. Talk to your dad as long as you need to. I won't be offended."

Tonks kissed her cheek. "I love you, Mum."

"Despite my terrible, abusive naming practices and inability to sew?"

"I've learnt to forgive." Tonks smiled and left the kitchen, weaving around the cats, who were eagerly licking each other's faces (Snitch seemed to have joined them). She slipped up the stairs and went down the corridor to the large, sunny room where her grandmother had once kept piles and piles of cloth remnants and rows of thread spools. Tonks had played with that cloth as child, making it into colorful scarves and veils, running with it streaming behind her like a river. Most of it had been shoved into boxes now and stacked up against the back wall. Dad had put a desk in front of the windows, and set of book shelves near the door. It was already overloaded, with books on magical Healing and Muggle psychology stacked two deep.

"You could expand that, you know," she said.

"Or I could get more shelves." Dad stood up and hugged her. "I was glad to get your message, but what's wrong?"

"Something has to be wrong?"

"Dora."

"It's Remus-related," she said. "I'm sure you've heard more than enough."

"I've heard enough that I expected it," he said, and led her inside. He closed the door. "But oddly enough, I've heard almost nothing from you. You know, you can talk to me."

He pulled out a chair, and Tonks sat in it. "I'm furious with him."

"Understandable."

"No! No, it's not, that's the problem, Dad. It's not understandable at all. There's nothing... yesterday..." She bit her tongue and started from the beginning, from the warming of their relationship to the kiss to yesterday's game to the attack in the park to Azkaban. "And I don't know why I couldn't stand it. I just wanted to Curse him halfway around the world!"

"Do you want my opinion or an obscure Healer's answer?"

"Your opinion. I've had enough obscurity to last a lifetime."

Dad laughed softly. "You never did have much tolerance for it." He sat down at his desk. "All right, I'll tell you why you're angry. You're angry because yesterday had nothing to do with being in love with him. You were doing your job, and he turned it right back around to your personal life, like you had no other possible reason to be there. Of course you were angry. And then you got angry at yourself for being angry, which just made it worse. And the fact that Remus was being an arse didn't help."

"Why does he do that?"

Dad frowned deeply, and his eyes flickered over to a shallow stone dish--a Pensieve--that sat on his desk. "That's not something I could discuss with you," he said. "I wish I could. I don't know if it would help or not, but there are things you should know. If Remus weren't being the way he is, I'd suggest you just ask him to tell you, but at this point, I doubt he would." Dad sighed. "I wish I could make this better. For both of you, honestly. I don't like at all how quickly Remus fell back, and I certainly don't like you stewing in your own resentments." He leaned over and kissed Tonks's forehead. "I, er... well, I don't mean to interrupt our talk, but my bladder has pressing business. I'll be back in just a moment." He stood. "Don't look into the Pensieve," he said. "There are things there that I couldn't talk about with you." He gave her a significant look, then left, closing the door softly behind himself.

Tonks knew, of course, that the first thing he meant her to do was look into the Pensieve--he couldn't ethically allow her to, or talk to her about what she would see, but he obviously wanted her to know something. She supposed that she should ignore the prompt, but she didn't think Dad was likely to suggest she breach ethics for the purpose of prurient interest. She stood and went to his desk. Beside the Pensieve was a folder marked "Patient L--Lycanthrope," with a date about fifteen years ago. Curiously, she leaned over the Pensieve. From above, she saw not Dad's office, which she would have expected, but the living room of this house. Her own child-self was curled up asleep on the sofa.

She looked over her shoulder, half-hoping that Dad would come back in and stop her, then reached forward and touched the silvery mist.

She fell headlong into the past.
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Comments
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: October 6th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, what a place to leave off! It's a memory to do with Remus, right?

I like how father and daughter understand each other so well, and how Tonk's dad is able to understand the situation just like that.
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: October 6th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Not that my curiosity isn't always captured with this story, but wow, I'm really curious! I can really feel that things are coming to a head, and we're starting to move toward resolutions, and while I don't want the story to end, I'm very ready for them to finally make their relationship work.
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: October 6th, 2006 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Good on Tonks' dad for getting past the personal aspect of things to understand Remus' outlook so much. (Just noticed how you've kept the POV going so smoothly bu referring to him as 'Dad' rather than by name).

I'm seriously curious about what's in the Pensieve!
sreya From: sreya Date: October 6th, 2006 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Rather convenient character tool, a therapist - great for exposition. ;~)
ella_menno From: ella_menno Date: October 6th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope it's not wrong that my immediate reaction to this section is to jump up and down and squeal something along the lines of "Ooooo! Eeeee! Plz rite more SOON!" (Except, of course, in a mature and dignified fashion.) ;-)
keestone From: keestone Date: October 6th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aargh! Now that's a cliffhanger. Please tell me we're getting the memory soon.

I disagree with Ted Tonks' analysis though: "...You're angry because yesterday had nothing to do with being in love with him. You were doing your job, and he turned it right back around to your personal life, like you had no other possible reason to be there. Of course you were angry. And then you got angry at yourself for being angry, which just made it worse. And the fact that Remus was being an arse didn't help."

Tonks may be at the end of her rope, but she's being unfair to Remus this time. As much of an arse as Remus has been, it was Tonks that flew off the handle and yelled at her colleagues over an honest mistake. Then, she drew him aside away from the other aurors and reached out to him physically. She made it personal, and he responded to that. And yes, you're drawing such well rounded, realistic characters that I'm getting defensive for one of them. :)
aebhel From: aebhel Date: October 8th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The thing is, Remus is so wrapped up in himself and in their relationship that he can't understand that Tonks would yell at her colleagues if they had done that with anyone. I don't think it can be classified as an honest mistake. If one were to take this out of the HP fandom and have the exact same situation, just replacing the word "werewolf" with the word "Black person", no one would think that was even remotely justifiable. As far as I can tell, it's the exact same thing. The authorities have no reason to think that Remus has any connection whatsoever to the women; he does, yes, but they don't know that. In this situation, as far as they're concerned, he's just an innocent bystander. And you don't go around arresting innocent bystanders just because they happen to belong to a certain group.

Anyway, back on topic. What Remus doesn't understand is that in that exact same situation, she would do the same thing for anyone, because it simply isn't right. She didn't yell at her colleagues because she was in love with Remus, she yelled at them because they arrested an innocent man for no good reason. And I think it's Remus that is being unfair. At this point, he's relating everything Tonks does regarding him to their romantic relationship and using every bad thing that happens as an excuse to feel sorry for himself. He's deliberately saying things that make Tonks feel awful, but he doesn't have the guts to just drive her away. If he really didn't want to hurt her, he'd stop forcing her to deal with his psychological issues. In my opinion, that's one of the most manipulative and abusive things a person can do, and Remus is old enough to know better.

...rant over.........
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's basically how I saw it. Remus let it plunge him back into the whole "I am awful and she shouldn't have to deal wtih me" mode, while Tonks was just thinking about justice issues, and yeah, if Mina had been the one hanging around when all of the others attacked and been arrested, Tonks would have been just as outraged, and would have taken her aside and tried to convince her that she at least had one Auror on her side... For her, it was basically a rant about arresting people with no cause than arresting Remus.
keestone From: keestone Date: October 8th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're definitely right that the aurors were extremely prejudiced. I do think there is a bit of room for an honest mistake though, because of when the other aurors apparated in. Unless I read it wrong, Remus was going after one of the children to protect her when the aurors apparated in, so I it made sense to see him being detained along with the attackers before someone who actually witnessed the full attack could get things straightened out properly. With the examples of Stan Shunpike, Sirius, and Hagrid, the Wizarding justice system seems to be too quick to jump in and imprison people in general, not just werewolves.

Tonks yelling was one thing, but when she drew him aside, I can see how he would have interpreted it as personal rather than professional, no matter how professional she was actually being. I love how Fernwithy has given both Tonks and Remus understandible (but not wholly defensible) viewpoints.
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: October 6th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
You keep leaving us cliffhangers! I'm glad that Mr. Tonks helps a bit, though. I mean, Remus is being a right idiot, and I would even call him worse names if they weren't so rude. I mean, where's the Whomping Willow when you need it?
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Back to back Shades segments! Beautiful day, this is :)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love your Ted?

Hooray on Dora for slapping Remus, because ... he really needs that wake-up call! But I think she was rather overwrought as well - understandable, after everything that had just happened. Robards was right to call her on that, IMO.

Now I just can't wait to see what happens in that Pensieve - seems to be heading towards an old memory of young Dora and Remus. I hope it'll help her to understand things better!

-shiiki
purebristles From: purebristles Date: October 6th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wish I had a daddy like Ted.
From: lianna_blanca Date: October 6th, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Ted. I can't imagine talking to my father about such things, which probably makes me love Ted all the more.

You know, with all these issues repeatedly coming up between Tonks and Remus, I'd have given up on this story a long time ago if I didn't know what happened at the end of HBP. Which made me realise how difficult it must be for you to streatch out this denial stage over such a long time, and a long story. So I just want to say I appreciate it, because you've managed to make enough other storylines to keep it interesting.
But I still want to hit them both. Gah....

I'd also like to add that, when I started writing my own incredibly long fanfic (which is nowhere near done), I never thought I'd get as far as I have, and at times I've wondered if a story as long as mine could even hold up in terms of readers' interest. Quite clearly, your "Shifts" and
"Shades" do, and it gives me hope that I might actually finish one day - and that readers might enjoy it. So... yeah, thanks. Sorry that I'm not particularly eloquant right now, but thanks.
redbrunja From: redbrunja Date: October 6th, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
It may be that ethics was the subject of my pysch class today, but damn! Ted better have a good reason to be breaking Lupin's confidence in such a huge, huge way.

I love Ted, but I'm not sure I can agree with him on this score.

(Also, I was went eeeek! when I got to the end of the chapter and realized that the section talking about the memory wasn't posted yet!)
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: October 7th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh please, please update tonight. I'm just dying to know what Tonks will see in the Pensieve.
dalf From: dalf Date: October 7th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
with her as a child in the memory no less. I am so curious at this point! Gah! This is why I should just stop reading and wait till you are done. I'm going to go mad.
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: October 7th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I love that Tonks immediately went to her dad to talk about her Remus problems. That was definitely an awww moment, especially since that's sort of what I do with my dad (well, except as I have no guy, I don't technically have guy problems, but I still talk to him about...stuff--and you know, him being my dad, he usually seems to be able to make it better).

And dang, now I'm really curious about this memory...
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