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Shades, Chapter 41: Unlocked, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shades, Chapter 41: Unlocked, pt. 2
I will fix the end of the last action sequence at a later point (when I get it ready for SQ, probably). For now, the "further away" scream is toward the end of the corridor, the closer scream is at the base of tower (which is actually pretty far below where Harry and DD are--the towers seem to be about seven floors high). Draco was on the other side of the Order when it happened, and hasn't dashed up the stairs. He has no idea who Bill is. (He might under other cirucmstances, but he's just a tad keyed up here to recognize the oldest brother of a family he's avoided when possible.)

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"No!" Ginny screamed, and started to run over. Remus managed to break the Impediment Curse someone had thrown at him and hurled himself at her to drive her off-course.

Tonks saw Ron heading over as well, but decided to take direct action instead. She freed herself from the rubble and grabbed her wand. "Abigo!" she shouted, and the Banishing charm was strong enough to toss Greyback physically down the corridor, skidding into the far wall. Bill lay still on the floor, blood seeping into the cracks between the stones. His face had been nearly erased.

Something crashed into Tonks, knocking her off balance, and she saw Draco leap over Bill's still body and run toward the tower.

"Go after him!" Remus yelled.

She was already on the way, but the huge blond Death Eater jumped in front of her, casting a powerful Stunning Spell. She responded with a Shield Charm, and the spell bounced violently off the wall, chipping off a piece of stone. She tried to go around again. The next Curse the Death Eater threw was Cruciatus.

She jumped away from it, landing beside Bill's body. To her relief, she could hear labored, husky breathing. He was alive.

That was all she had time to ascertain.

Four more Death Eaters appeared out of nowhere, younger and fresher than anyone but Draco, who was no longer anywhere in sight.

Tonks ducked a spell from the blond Death Eater, who had latched himself onto her. From the floor, she caught a glimpse of Remus, Ginny, and McGonagall, who had formed a loose line near the stairs. The Death Eaters were trying to push through them. One of them aimed a curse directly at Ginny, but she seemed to sense it coming at her and leapt without even glancing at it. Then Tonks rolled away, close to where Ron and Neville had taken on one of the newcomers.

A curse hit the floor beside her, and she scrambled to her feet.

She had lost track of time entirely--where was Snape? It seemed like hours since McGonagall had sent Flitwick for him. How long ago had Draco gone up to the tower?

At the tower door, Ginny let out a word Tonks was fairly sure she hadn't learned from Molly, and Tonks saw four Death Eaters--including Fenrir Greyback--slip by her. Tonks's opponent disengaged from their fight and followed, knocking Remus out of the way.

Ron pushed back the Death Eater he and Neville were fighting, and Neville--actually roaring--ran at the tower door, only to be thrown viciously back against the wall not far from Tonks.

"They've blocked the stairs!" Ron yelled, then pointed his wand and cried, "Reducto! REDUCTO!"

There was no effect, and Ron was forced back into his own fight.

The huge blond man stopped on the stairs and began to throw Unforgivables in every direction, forcing what was left of the active Order away from the door.

Tonks scrambled over to Neville. "Are you all right?"

He swallowed hard and nodded, but when he tried to get up, he let out an involuntary cry.

"Stay here," Tonks said. "Keep your wand out and blast the hell out of anyone who comes close. We'll get you out when we've got rid of them."

He nodded.

Tonks jumped back into the fight, one of the newcomers pulling away from McGonagall--who was being attacked by two of them--in order to meet her.

The Death Eater Remus whose way to the stairs Remus was blocking cast a Banishing charm, and Remus returned it in full force with a Shield charm, knocking the man away. Remus ran at the stairs, but without even being hit by one of the randomly flying curses, was thrown backward as though he'd hit an invisible wall. He landed better than Neville, rolling neatly and coming up to his knees beside Tonks.

"There's a barrier," he said. "Like on that damned gate that threw Vivian."

"But this time, against us."

He nodded.

There was no time for further conversation, as a blast of green light hit the floor between them. It ricocheted toward Ron, but managed to just miss him.

McGonagall's voice rose above the din. "Severus!"

Tonks looked over and saw the billowing of Snape's black robes. He didn't pause, just headed for the stairs.

"They're barri--" Remus began, but Snape went through without any slowing, shoving the blond Death Eater aside long enough for him to get past.

Later, Tonks tried to tell herself that she was suspicious at that point--that she saw him pass both the barrier and the other Death Eater and though it strange--but in truth, all she felt was relief that his cover hadn't been blown, that they believed him enough to let him pass.

Tonks's current opponent leaned in too close for wand-work; she bent her leg and kicked him in the stomach. The force pushed her gently back into the wall, and as she glanced up, she saw something fall past the window too quickly to identify.

Something gave a horrendous crash, and Tonks turned to see the blond Death Eater standing on the stairs with his wand upraised and a wild look in his eyes. Half the ceiling had collapsed.

"The barrier!" she called to Remus. "Try the--"

The Order was already on the move, past the first few steps, past the edge of the invisible wall, but it didn't matter. Snape swooped down, guarding Draco Malfoy from the three Death Eaters who were following behind. He must have disabled one of them up there. Good.

Tonks meant to take her wand and go for Fenrir Greyback, who was running up on Ginny, but the big Death Eater she'd been fighting before was in her way again, pushing her back.

"It's over, time to go!" Snape yelled somewhere, and Tonks heard something thud to the ground.

Fenrir snarled, and a new voice called, "Petrificus Totalis!" and, a moment later, "Impedimenta!" Tonks couldn't see at whom the second spell was directed.

Ginny Weasley cried, "Harry, where did you come from?"

"Take that!" McGonagall yelled, and Tonks saw a flurry of motion as a Death Eater was sent running from her.

The corridor was emptying out.

The Death Eater gave Tonks a huge shove, and as she moved, she saw Harry leaning down to talk to Neville, but by the time she landed, Harry was gone.

"Dora!" Remus yelled, running over. The Death Eater he'd been fighting had either gone down or run away. He knocked the big one to one side, aiming a curse at him as he ran. "Are you all right?"

"Fine. Remus--"

"They're running. We've got them."

"Are you... watch out!"

Behind him, she saw the big Death Eater stirring, but he didn't draw his wand. He looked around, panicked, at seeing his comrades gone, and before anyone could Stun him again, he'd rolled down the stairs toward the sixth floor. Ginny ran after him.

"I'll get her," McGonagall said. "Remus, Ron, get Bill and Neville to the hospital wing. Tonks, get that thing ready for Azkaban." She grimaced at Greyback's prone body, and for a second, Tonks was certain she meant to kick him. Instead, she just sniffed. "Send for your colleagues to take him away. The barriers are down."

Tonks let her mind recuperate as she went through the administrative motions of the aftermath, sending school owls to Robards and Dawlish, binding up Greyback and a stranger who was frozen on top of the Astronomy Tower. She set them beside the fallen Gibbon.

She unfroze Greyback's face. "Is this all of you?" she asked.

"You barely got any of us, did you?"

"Is this everyone who is here?"

"Guess you'll find out. You think you can keep me on that rock?

"Look on the bright side," she said. "You're about to get most of your pack back."

"I'll have Lupin back as well."

"You never had him in the first place."

"I've always had him, little girl. You never will."

Tonks froze him again; he wasn't going to give her any more information.

Robards arrived with two Aurors in tow, coming down from the Astronomy Tower with brooms in hand. "Dammit, Tonks, why didn't you send word earlier? We--"

"There wasn't time after it started, Gawain. They need to go to Azkaban."

He nodded and set the others to the task.

"There's a big crowd down at the bottom of the tower. And there's smoke coming up," he said. "I think it's Hagrid's place."

Tonks took a shaky breath. "I should check on him."

"Tonks, you're black and blue from head to toe. What you should do is get down to the hospital wing and have Madam Pomfrey make sure you're not seriously injured."

"I--"

"We have it under control, Tonks. And Dumbledore will need to get those protective spells back up soon. It's not safe to be open like this."

"I haven't seen him."

"Right, well, when you do. I'm sure he'll be by the hospital wing to check on you. Now, go."

Thus dismissed, she felt empty and at loose ends. Nothing seemed accomplished except for the capture of Greyback, and she took no joy in that, because Bill had paid so dearly for it.

Slowly, she made her way down the stairs, the night's injuries catching up with her on every step. Madam Pomfrey was too busy with Bill to attend to anyone else's injuries. Neville Longbottom was sleeping in a bed near the door. Ron and Remus were near a bed in the back of the room, and as Tonks hobbled through the door, Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood brushed past her to join them. Hermione turned, recognizing her, and came back, offering an arm to lean on. Together, they made their way over to the rest of the weakened army.




Shoot, couldn't avoid being specific about Greyback's fate--I'm in an Auror's POV, and if he didn't escape, she'd definitely have been the one left in charge of him. Grrr. Oh, well. I still think all the DEs will be busted out of Azkaban before much of book 7 has gone by. (If Voldie were brighter than he is, he'd just go to Azkaban, take it over, and use it as a base of operations, but I have a feeling he's just going to take over Hogwarts instead.)
29 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
redlily From: redlily Date: October 17th, 2006 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
One of them aimed a curse directly at Ginny, but she seemed to sense it coming at her and leapt without even glancing at it.

I love that. That's exactly how the potion should work.

Nothing seemed accomplished except for the capture of Greyback, and she took no joy in that, because Bill had paid so dearly for it.

Yeah, that was . . . pretty much a rout. Poor Order.

I have a feeling he's just going to take over Hogwarts instead.

No!! Oh, that would be . . . I would cry.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 17th, 2006 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
No!! Oh, that would be . . . I would cry.

It just makes a lot of sense to me, since according to HBP, he's been trying to get in, Harry has said he's not going back to school, but we know that after six books with Hogwarts as the central location, she's not going to change it now--just think; they inadvisadly re-open in September, and Ginny, Neville, and Luna are all there... and Voldie attacks, making it a prison full of hostages, that Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the Order have to get into to fight Voldemort. Meanwhile, Ginny, while not being pulled into the Horcrux hunt, can still have a vital role to play.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 17th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
*Er, that would be "inadvisedly." I kin spel gud.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 17th, 2006 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
And they still don't know what the sound was or why they haven't seen Dumbledore or . . . anything. Waah!

I don't suppose you could have Remus run right over Greyback while he's frozen, could you? And perhaps Remus has been riding hippogriffs so he would have riding boots on? You know, one of the few masculine-wear shoes with high heels? I suppose it would be too much for them to be pointed but maybe they have really nasty spurs?

Sorry. Dumbledore's gone, the Order doesn't even know about it yet, and I want to take my frustrations out on somebody.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 17th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I didn't say it explicitly, but please, feel free to add big old spurs to the non-described boots, though Remus would never use them on Buckbeak (as Buckbeak would eat anyone who tried), and imagine the blocking in such a way that Remus steps on the most uncomfortable possible part of Greyback's body.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: October 17th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Next installment next installment next installment next installment...

...but only because this one is so edge-of-my-seat spectacular, you understand. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 17th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually almost just went straight into it, so it's not going to be long. :)
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: October 17th, 2006 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)
YAAAAAAAAAAAY!! You're making this surgery-recovery thing way more bearable, by the way. Thanks. :)
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: October 17th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the as-it-happened description of the battle with little bit of the book happening off-stage, like Tonks seeing something falling past the window (uncontrolled sobbing at that point) and Harry arriving like the cavalry! I'm glad you kept going instead of fixing the problems with the last section, I'm getting very impatient.

I think there's at least one too many Remuses in this bit:

The Death Eater Remus whose way to the stairs Remus was blocking cast a Banishing charm, and Remus returned it in full force with a Shield charm, knocking the man away. Remus ran at the stairs . . .

That reallt brightened my afternoon - I'd judt had 1 1/2 hours at the dentist so I needed something!

TDU
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: October 17th, 2006 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Looking at my last sentence, I think I'm typing like I'm talking: incomprehensibly!

TDU
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 17th, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think there's at least one too many Remuses in this bit:

How can there ever be too many Remuses?! Blasphemy! ;p

j/k. I'll get that.
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: October 17th, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
How can there ever be too many Remuses?! Blasphemy!

Ha! Ha!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 17th, 2006 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
In the quote below I think the 1st Remus after Death Eater should be removed?

The Death Eater Remus whose way to the stairs Remus was blocking cast a Banishing charm, and Remus returned it in full force with a Shield charm, knocking the man away.

I agree that it is too bad Remus can't take a few licks out of Greyback's hide. I think just walking over him is not enough. I think some taking of owed blood is more called for. At least for Mag!

Glad to hear you are so close to the next installment. I know that it will end that much sooner but I can't help it. Even though we know where everyone ends up I can't wait to see what happens to get Tonks' pink hair back and Remus willing to hold her hand in public.

Looking forward to your excellent work as always,

Katsulas
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: October 17th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved seeing this from Tonk's POV!! It's all so different, especially how Tonks was relieved that Snape's cover wasn't blown at that moment...and how she hasn't realized anything about Dumbledore's death yet. ;_;
From: tonkstipied Date: October 17th, 2006 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)

as always...

it was brilliant, like reading HBP over again...
From: lianna_blanca Date: October 17th, 2006 08:15 am (UTC) (Link)
GAH! I'm on the edge of my seat here! I SO thought that they'd learn about Dumbledore in this but... well, I have to admit there's a lot of stuff you had to cover, but still... GAH!

Very glad to hear that the next part's coming, though.

A couple of errors:

she saw him pass both the barrier and the other Death Eater and though it strange
- should be "thought"

Ginny Weasley cried, "Harry, where did you come from?"
- I think saying "Weasley" is somewhat redundant here. Your choice, of course.

"Guess you'll find out. You think you can keep me on that rock?
- missing the closing quotation mark

Anyway, GREAT once again. Thank you!
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: October 17th, 2006 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh... and they don't even know about Dumbledore yet... Bill's hard enough for them. Well, Tonks, at least, not sure if Remus is as close to him.

And the books never say what happens to Greyback, so Azkaban is just as easy as anything else.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 17th, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
And the books never say what happens to Greyback, so Azkaban is just as easy as anything else.

Maybe I'm blind, but I couldn't find the fate of any of the Stunned DEs. Everyone talked so easily about them being sent off to Azkaban, but I can't find any evidene that any of them at all went. But I had to make a call one way or the other, and no one had a chance to unfreeze Greyback and the guy up on the tower, so...

(I really hope Greyback escapes early, though. He's too good a villain to take him offstage.)
matril From: matril Date: October 17th, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eep! All the tension and excitement from HBP's climax, except from Tonks's point of view...no one realizes about Snape or Dumbledore yet...so even though it's already so bleak, with Bill and everything, they're all in for a much more horrible shock...Much as I hate to see this wonderful piece coming closer to its end, I'm frightfully impatient for the next segment!
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: October 17th, 2006 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear - they're all still expecting Dumbledore to save them...
I really have nothing to add that everyone else hasn't already said, but I'll joing the chorus of general appreciation and looking forward to the next part :)
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: October 17th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
All the clues point to Voldie taking over Hogwarts. I think his special award for services to the school is a horcrux, and likely to be the last one.

The sentence with Remus' name too many times is awkward, but others have noted it for you.

I think that McGonagal calling the students by their first names sounds weird, but that may be your point. No one's acting normally right now.

Why are the protective spells down? If they were, why didn't Snape Apparate out?

A compelling fight scene, Fern. Excellent job.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 17th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why are the protective spells down? If they were, why didn't Snape Apparate out?

Oops, just meant the ones that protect the place from people flying in--I'll clarify that. The ones that Dumbledore undid while he and Harry were flying in.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: October 17th, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
How would anyone but Harry know that? Not that I'm quibbling.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 17th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
'Cause they flew in. I'm not going to stop and explain that, if Rowling doesn't stop to explain why Snape took forever to get anywhere, no other students were in the hallways out of curiosity, and no one mentioned what happened to frozen DEs. I'm too tired of this story.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: October 17th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe McGonagal, as Deputy Headmistress, has access to the status of the wards? (/fanwank)
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: October 18th, 2006 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Works for me.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 18th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Ugh, sorry I snapped at you. Life... grrr.

Basically, my thought is that Harry came down from the Tower. Since you can't Apparate to Hogwarts at any point, that means he and Dumbledore had to have flown back, which means that the barriers have to be down.
dalf From: dalf Date: October 18th, 2006 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought DD was just making it so THEY could pass through the wards not taking them down. He was saying the spell needed to pass through them. Though yoru intrpratation is just as valid :)

And your right JKR's version is a bit of a mess from any perspective but Harry's. She is not as detail oriented as you are :)
dalf From: dalf Date: October 18th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel a bit like I am nitpicking below so I wanted to say first that I think this is amazingly well done. I only have the one pacing thing but for the most part I think its ok. Oh and I though there was mention of Greyback being incarcerious-ed in cannon? Probably my imagination, either way he was caught and I think the not escaped is reasonable. It was what I had assumed.

Typo?
The Death Eater Remus whose way to the stairs Remus was blocking cast a Banishing charm, and Remus returned it in full force with a Shield charm, knocking the man away.

"The Death Eater Remus whose"?? Is that a typo?

A few parts of the scene are too compressed I think. I am told in a fire fight 10 seconds can feel like ages but this is the opposit. Ron yells about it being blocked and reductoing it right when the DEs go up but they had to have time to get to the top and talk for about a minute (well less but more than 30 seconds). Tonks see DD fall right when Snape goes up, well there is no indication of how much time passes but there is no action between the two sentences, and Snape is back with Draco just as fast.
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