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Shades, Chapter 42: Sunrise, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shades, Chapter 42: Sunrise, pt. 2
Following Dumbledore's death, Tonks and Remus go back to the Shrieking Shack and talk. McGonagall comes in the morning and tells them that some parents have come to take their children home. They eat breakfast in silence.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

The day passed, the next night came and went, and the idea of a funeral seemed to offer itself as a lifeline. Everyone became involved in it--passing word around, arranging security, organizing places to stay. Madam Rosmerta, desperately ashamed at having been used by Draco Malfoy, opened the Three Broomsticks for free, but it was full long before the guests had finished arriving. Aberforth also opened the Hog's Head, but his grief was horrible, and the inn seemed to respond to it by becoming filthier and shabbier than it ever was before. A contrite Dawlish moved the Aurors workspace into the empty Zonko's, freeing up more space. Savage and Proudfoot went back to living in their prior homes and Apparating back and forth, and Tonks moved her things into the Shrieking Shack. There was no time (or inclination) to do more than pile her trunks and boxes into an empty room upstairs; at night, she Conjured a bed for herself.

All of the funeral arrangements had been made by the middle of the second day, though it would take a bit more time for the guests to finish arriving, and Tonks found herself suddenly with nothing to do. Robards had taken her off active duty out of some misguided sense of compassion.

She found Remus in the room they'd designated as his office, sitting at the desk and frowning at a piece of parchment, a quill held above it hesitantly.

"Who are you writing to?"

"The children," he said. "Fleur sent word to Valeska, and she told them, and I had a letter from them saying that they were sorry and..." He sniffed. "Alderman did the actual writing. But they've all learned enough to sign their names and write a little message. They just wanted me to know they were thinking of me."

"They're good children."

"Yes. They also wanted to pass the message on to Bill that he's welcome as a member of the pack, even if he doesn't transform. I'm not sure how he'll take that."

"I think he'll be grateful to them for wanting to make him comfortable."

Remus nodded and looked down. "Have you heard anything about Snape?" he asked. "I've heard nothing from the Order, but I thought perhaps the Aurors--"

"No. Nothing." Tonks Conjured a chair for herself and sat down near the door. "We should have known. Emmeline Vance tried to tell us. But he covered himself. Even with the accusation staring him in the face."

"Dumbledore trusted him completely. And was betrayed completely." Remus's mouth curled into a bitter smile. "That's the trouble with giving everyone a fair chance. It leaves one far more open to betrayal than Voldemort's people are."

"I know."

Remus stood up and laced his fingers behind his neck, looking out the window into the brilliant June sunshine. "I thought it was Sirius the first time. It was no better when it turned out to be Peter. But I thought, that was just us. Either way, it would have been three men who were barely more than boys, just making a mistake. But Dumbledore... The idea that Dumbledore..."

"Was human?" Tonks finished.

"Was human," Remus agreed ruefully, looking over his shoulder at her. "How dare he, really?"

"I just keep thinking of how much it must have hurt him, when he realized."

"Yes." He sat back down. "Do you know what I want to do?"


"I want to prove him right about as much as I can--to prove that one mistake doesn't mean he was wrong. I want to be all he expected of me."

"I think that's a brilliant way to look at it," Tonks said. "And I think he'd like it."

"He expected rather a lot."

"Of course he did," Tonks said. "He knew you."

An owl arrived from Hagrid ten minutes later, and they spent the rest of the day helping him secure the Forbidden Forest, to keep visiting dignitaries from wandering in to visit Aragog's children. A Centaur called Firenze, who had been teaching at the school, kept watch at the Forest's edge (despite Hagrid's warnings that it might be "too close to be safe"). When they'd finished, they went to the hospital wing to visit Bill and Fleur. Fleur was back to chatting happily about the wedding, which seemed to please Bill greatly. She'd insisted on going to the Hogwarts kitchens to cook his meals herself, and Tonks accompanied her while Bill asked to talk to Remus (looking rather anxious, so she suspected he meant to talk about his cursed injuries).

"You and Professor Lupin," Fleur said as they approached the portrait that guarded the kitchen, "'ave found ze way back togezzer?"

"I think so, yes."

"I am glad. For both of you." She tickled the pear, then led Tonks into the kitchen (where the house elves all glowered at her). "I 'ave many French recipes where ze meat is quite rare," she said. "Per'aps you would like them?"

"Oh, I don't cook very well. Remus can undercook his own steaks. Are you and Molly getting along better?"

"Oh, yes. I think we are not grand friends, but she does not 'ate me now."

"I don't think she hated you before," Tonks said. "But I'm glad you're getting along now. And if you ever need a friend--you know, just someone to shop with or get a bit silly with... you know where I am."

Fleur smiled, and passed her a chopping board. "I would settle for 'elp with ze mushrooms," she said.

Tonks, who wasn't a particularly good cook but could chop potions ingredients with the best of them, took to the task. At one point, Kreacher shuffled out with a load of dishes and glared at her. Another house elf (she guessed from the fact hat he was clothed that it was Harry's friend Dobby) shooed him out of the way and made a long string of apologies so overblown that Tonks almost laughed, until she realized that he was genuinely upset. He wailed that he was trying to put a breakfast together for the morning of the funeral, and then that he wasn't sure he would be able to keep his place now that Dumbledore was gone. Tonks and Fleur spent a long time trying to soothe him, and Tonks wondered what would happen to the school's elves if the Board of Governors decided to close it down.

Another day passed.

The day before the funeral, Olympe Maxime brought the Beauxbatons school carriage to Hogwarts, escorting a handful of students and the French Minister of Magic. Tonks, Remus, and Fleur helped get people settled into the ever-more crowded school. Tonks and Remus took the Willow tunnel back to Hogsmeade.

There had been no talk of sharing a room, not yet--things were still too delicate between them, and neither of them wanted to push it--but they had taken to spending the evenings in one another's rooms, talking and holding one another. That night, they were in her room, curled up on the day's Conjured mattress.

"I should bring some of that furniture I have stored at Mum and Dad's," Tonks said. "I mean, if that's not too forward."

"After shaking me senseless in front of ten people, it's positively demure." He smiled and stroked her hair. "I don't know where we're going, but as we both seem to be here at the moment, I think you should make yourself as comfortable as you like."

"Good idea," she said, and snuggled closer to him. "We should eat something before bed."

"All right." He reached over her for his wand, which was lying companionably beside hers on the box she was using as a nightstand, but as he grabbed it, his fingers brushed against a little bag she'd used to collect up the things she'd gathered from her dressing table at the Hog's Head. It fell over onto the mattress and a framed photograph fell out of it. Remus picked it up. "What's this?"

Tonks glanced at it, and the little cocoon of happiness unraveled. "Dumbledore left that for me the night he died," she said. "He found it in a camera at Grimmauld Place." She looked at it, looked at the laughing child she had been last year. "He kept saying how much he missed my pink hair." She ran her finger over the glass. "I miss it sometimes, too. Silly thing to miss."

"I think he meant that he missed you being happy."

She smiled. "Maybe so," she said. "But I wish I'd just been able to morph it for him once this year. It always seemed to make him smile."

"It did."

Tonks set the picture carefully on the floor. "Hold my hands, Remus," she said.

"What are you doing?"

"What Dumbledore believed I'd be able to do again." She reached out and took Remus's hands, let herself feel safe, and braced herself for the pain she had felt since July. She concentrated.

There was no pain.

Remus let go of her hands and Conjured a mirror for her. She smiled.

"I don't exactly feel pink," she said. "But then, this time it's not for me."
28 comments or Leave a comment
maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: October 22nd, 2006 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
"I don't exactly feel pink," she said. "But then, this time it's not for me."

That is one of the most beautiful and selfless sentiments I've ever read.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It's an odd thing to do, but I think a Tonks thing to do, and I think Dumbledore would get it.
dalf From: dalf Date: October 22nd, 2006 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Plus it makes a nice reasoning for why her hair was pink there. When I read HBP I took it as her normal spunkyness that DD or anyone woudl appriciate. This is that but more.
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: October 22nd, 2006 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course her hair was pink for Dumbledore! I can't believe those silly fangirls didn't realise that.
Will Remus and Dora once realise that Dumbledore knew he dying (sp?) all along?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
They may suspect it already.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: October 22nd, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
You turned away from your Snape-agnosticism? Maybe I should start saving up for those sixteen copies of Dune - I trust your judgment when it comes to theories.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
No. I think they just suspect that he knew he would die--I doubt they're making any connection with Snape. For myself, I'm leaning toward him probably being evil (though with a possibility of a last minute redemption), but in fic, I'm still not placing bets!
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: October 22nd, 2006 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Those last few lines always made me cry. ;_;
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 07:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: October 22nd, 2006 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops, that didn't make sense. I meant *almost. ^^;;
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: October 22nd, 2006 07:36 am (UTC) (Link)
*Sniff*. This gentle (if sad) chapter has done a lot to show how Dumbledore's death has affected the local people, as opposed to the players in the greater plot that Harry's so caught up in. Poor Aberforth...

And I never thought how closing the school would affect the elves before: kudos to you for adding that in.

One more to go, I'm guessing?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)

One more to go, I'm guessing?

I think so, which is kind of scary. I thought I had enough for two chapters, but there really isn't. I think the next one may actually be The End!
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: October 22nd, 2006 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll really miss this story when it's done - but I also really appreciate that this is the, well, backstory is the wrong word... companion story(?) to canon, and am content that you're ending it here. When I first became aware of fandom and fanfic back in the three year sumnmer, Arabella's HQoW was in this role for me - and while I still look at that fondly (and wait, possibly in vain, for an update) your story is truly goes beyond that one in many ways: Remus and Dora will forever be your characters in my mind, and your OCs will always have a place in in HP universe.

Apologies for fangirling at you there - I'll probably do it again next chapter, but it's starting to feel here that you're laying this tale down, and it hit me just a little bit. Please say you're going to keep writing when this is done, yes? I'm not sure I can hold out till your companion to book 7 :)
From: lianna_blanca Date: October 22nd, 2006 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, I think I like this part a bit better than the previous ones; not because of anything in particular, but I think it's the lack of fast-paced action. The movement here is very appropriate, and very comfortable. And I love the content.

One thing I'd like to point out:
"Dawlish moved the Aurors workspace"
- "Aurors" should have an apostrophy after it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: October 22nd, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm crying.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: October 22nd, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
"A Centaur called Firenze,"

Should centaur be capped?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know. I'll have to check the book. I can't make heads or tails of how she caps things.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 22nd, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's such a beautiful interpretation of that scene. And after all the bashing she got for it...Oh, man, now I'm really gonna cry.

You are amazing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The bashing surprised me--it was a pretty straightforward use of a visual device to convey something that had happened out of Harry's range of vision without actually spending page space on it an in inappropriate moment. Would they have rather had Lupin come over and talk about his love life in the middle of Dumbledore's funeral?

lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: October 22nd, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Which is why people who didn't like it probably never will...I suppose I can't talk, since the main reason the hospital scene didn't surprise me was that I'd heard people talking about Lupin/Tonks becoming canon before I ever read the first book, but still.

Well, and then you've got your diehard Wolfstar shippers who will never be happy with it either...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I guess it surprises more as a writer than a fan. JKR has picked a single, tight point of view for the series. There are plenty of benefits to the choice, but the price is some either skipping stuff or having awkward exposition here and there. The best writer in the world (and JKR isn't, no matter how much I adore her) can't get around that. Since JKR knows her readers will analyze everything to death trying to find answers, she went for the occasional awkward exposition. Meh--so it means coming up with an explanation of why Tonks chose that moment to spout off to Remus, or the pink hair as a fashion choice for Dumbledore's funeral. Neither one is outside the realm of reasonable human behavior under stress, so okay--works as a device to get it in Harry's range, and I can imagine reasons for both behaviors without distracting myself. So be it. But the rage poured down on a simple writer's trick is kind of disturbing. I'd really like to write professionally eventually, and trying to figure my way out of that conundrum is kind of daunting.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 22nd, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, there isn't any need to stick to a single perspective, even if you are focusing on one main character. I also think that it is legitimate to suggest that JKR should perhaps have skipped the R/T subplot if she wasn't going to be able to find a logical way to work it in. I doubt that it will be particularly important to the series as a whole, and frankly I don't think it adds much. If she wanted to portray them as close during the war and get them together in a post war epilogue, that would have been fine, but in my opinion wanting them together doesn't justify a clumsy plotline that relies on exaggerating both of their characters and doesn't have much compensatory appeal. Except through your stories, of course. Wonderful update, by the way. I can't wait for the final installment!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 23rd, 2006 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
There wouldn't be a need to stick to it, except that it's the established style of the books. Six books into a seven book series is too late to change style--if she was going to go with multiple perspective, it would have had to come in the first book. I think the mistake with R/T was making it a mystery he had to solve rather than just having Hermione say, "Lupin and Tonks were in love, but he's off with the werewolves and going on about being too dangerous--she's upset." Then you'd get people complaining that she didn't do enough to demonstrate their love, and how it all came from left field (despite the fact that a whole lot of people saw the groundwork in OotP, but I digress). I think the reason it's in there is that it shows a point where Lupin is choosing to go forward instead of holding on to the past (really crossing my fingers that he's the one one who's gotten a reprieve!), as well as providing a mirror for the situation with Harry and Ginny. It had a thematic purpose as much as Bill/Fleur, and it probably could have been handled similarly.

The curse of trying to do anything with minor characters is that treatment will necessarily be brief. Could she have skipped it altogether? Probably, though since she didn't, I assume there's a point to it--otherwise I wouldn't be spending this much time writing about it. Since she doesn't tend to throw things in that are totally meaningless, the logical assumption is that there's a reason R/T is in there.
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: October 23rd, 2006 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
But the rage poured down on a simple writer's trick is kind of disturbing. I'd really like to write professionally eventually, and trying to figure my way out of that conundrum is kind of daunting.

I've thought about that too (I'd also love to write professionally, although I imagine you're a lot closer to that point than I am, seeing as you already have an audience online), and I've come to a couple of conclusions, one more depressing than the other. The first is that I'll probably never be famous enough to have anyone even write fanfic about my characters, let alone analyze things to death the way fans do to JKR's books. The second and somewhat less discouraging is that it's simply impossible to please everyone, so my focus should be more on writing a strong story and less about worrying how (probably nonexistent) fans will react.

Which is not to say that you won't have rabid fans, because you might, but I doubt I ever will. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 23rd, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, actually I was talking about the pink hair at Dumbledore's funeral, but yeah, the other one works too.

There was a lot of "OMG, she's so selfish!" for the pink hair, and here, with the "it's for Dumbledore" thing, that just destroys that idea and it's so beautiful.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 24th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* Next to last chapter. *sigh*

I will miss this.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 30th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I stumbled across "Shades" when you last updated at SQ and became addicted immediately. This caused me to pause, devour "Shifts", go back to "Shades" on SQ, and eventually find my way over here. I'm hardly the first to say this in a comment, but you have a wonderful talent for weaving these stories -- canon characters, OCs, canon plot from another perspective, original plot that meshes wonderfully with (and often explains) canon plot.

She reached out and took Remus's hands, let herself feel safe, and braced herself...

"Let herself feel safe." At last, after the canonical million times. That line is so simple, but it so beautifully captures what has (finally) changed in Dora's relationship with Remus.

Good luck with the novel in November, and thanks for posting your wonderful fics.

28 comments or Leave a comment