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So, what do you want for Christmas? - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
So, what do you want for Christmas?
Well, I did this last year, since I generally don't have a lot to do on Christmas (alas, it's not also the start of Hanukkah this year; I worked through most of that holiday), this is my little tradition:

What kind of short little drabble-esque-ish piece would you like? Any of my fandoms (or combinations thereof), any characters in the fandoms. PG13 or lower, most likely (I'm a very bad smut writer).

Basically, it's the same as any of my other challenges, but this time, it's presents. ;P

Let 'em rip!

House/HP crossover for roga
Something with Slughorn for snorkackcatcher
Christmas in the Buffyverse for gehayi
Remus and Sirius at Christmas for gentlespirit
Something with Narcissa for gloryforever
Neville and Sirius for shiiki
Why Luna is a Ravenclaw for aeterna13
Hermione and Luna have lunch for kizmet_42
Lupinlets (from my Gens Lupina story) for izhilzha
Minerva as a cat for a_t_rain
Young Molly and Arthur at Christmas for sonetka
Smeltings teachers for tdu000
Lily and James for rainingtulips
Something with Tonks in school for lexie_b
Daniel Morse and Mira Lupin for harriet_wimsey
Perspective on 3rd year Harry from Remus or Sirius for lady_moriel
Giles as a father figure for cheddertrek
Faith and Wesley for redbrunja
Ron and Hermione's first kiss, with Wingardium Leviosa for redlily
Remus and Peter for faeriemaiden
The twins in detention with Remus for an anonymous friend
Michael Corner and Ginny for olympe_maxime
More Smeltings teachers for marycontraria

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roga From: roga Date: December 25th, 2006 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)
House/HP crossover? :-) Though I don't think you've written House yet...

Merry Christmas!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Oo, challenging! :)

(Re-posting because I changed something toward the end and forgot to change something leading into it.)




"All right," House said, tossing copies of the file indifferently to Chase, Cameron, and Foreman. "Let's have a look at our bum. Oh, excuse me," he amended, giving Cameron a magnanimous smile, "our 'housing-and-hygeine-challenged' guest."

"Thank you," she said coolly.

"Greyback, Fenrir," he read aloud. "Gotta love the name. Presents with pneumonia, fatigue, a broken leg, and numerous lacerations. Not to mention that he's got his teeth filed to points."

"And psychosis," Chase said. "In case you missed him threatening to kill us all under the full moon."

"I didn't miss it," House said. "Don't know if it's a symptom, though."

"You think he's got some kind of superhuman strength that's going to let him"--Foreman checked the file--"eat us right the hell up?" House didn't say anything. Foreman scanned through the file. "I think we've got something neurological. Pneumonia's just from sleeping outside. But the rest? I'm guessing it's all a result of an uncontrolled psychosis--stress would cause the fatigue, and the rest could be self-injury."

"You think he broke his own leg?" House asked.

"I think this isn't much of a diagnostic challenge," Chase said. "Life on the street, plus a raving paranoid delusion or two."

House tapped his pen on the table. "He was referred to us from the psych ward. They've tried him on a drug program for the last two weeks. There's been no effect at all on his delusions."

"Two weeks isn't very long for anti-psychotics," Foreman said.

"But some of his other behaviors have changed, and he's drugged to the gills, but he still insists on the delusion," Cameron said. "The threat to kill everyone under the full moon."

House frowned. "Not everyone," he said, and opened the file. "There was a little boy in the waiting room, with his parents, when Greyback started raving. He said he'd take the kid with him."

Chase rolled his eyes. "Great, a violent, delusional pedophile."

"The boy must have been terrified," Cameron said. "I'm sure Greyback's not dangerous, but he looks like something out of a horror movie."

House went still, and looked at the window, where the moon was waxing.

"House?" Foreman prodded. "You have an idea?"

"Oh, yeah," House said.

"What kind of idea?"

"The kind that says we ought to get him out of here before the full moon."
(Deleted comment)
snorkackcatcher From: snorkackcatcher Date: December 25th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
How about something with Slughorn, Marauder-era or later? :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Horace Slughorn was settling into his quarters for the evening, a box of crystallized pineapple on the end table beside him and a snifter of brandy in one hand. In the other, he held a new, shiny book--a gift from the author, Jocasta Hunter, who had been a student a few years ago. She'd written a novel about a poor young Muggle-born witch, whose kindly professor took her under his wing. It was dedicated to Horace. He was looking forward to it.

There was a knock at the door.

Horace manufactured a snore.

A moment later, the knock came again, hesitantly.

"Professor Slughorn?" a voice called. "It's Regulus Black... I... could I talk to you?"

Horace sighed and put a marker in the book, then hauled himself out of his chair and went across the room. He opened the door.

Regulus was already walking away, and it took Horace a moment to register that the boy was actually dragging a suitcase.

"Here, boy," he said. "You know you're welcome here. But I'm afraid I can't let you simply move in."

"Sir?" Regulus said, his voice small, his eyes downcast.

Horace frowned. "I'm only joking. Why've you brought a suitcase?"

"'s not mine," Regulus said, then sat down miserably. "Could you do something for me, Professor?"

"What do you have in mind?" Horace asked, growing suspicious.

Regulus leaned forward and rubbed his face vigorously with his hands. He finished and looked up. "This my brother's," he said. "Could you give it to him? Isn't he still taking Potions? Or maybe you could give it to Professor McGonagall, and she could give it to him."

"What's happened?"

"Sirius ran away." Regulus took a long, shaky breath. "I'm not allowed to talk to him. I brought him a few things at the Potters, but here are the rest of his things. I thought he might want them. Mum will burn them. I--"

Horace looked down at the boy's twisted, miserable face, and sighed heavily. "Go on in," he said, indicating his quarters. "I've a quick errand to run. You, er... don't plan on sending an owl to your mother at any point soon?"

Regulus shook his head, and dragged the trunk into Horace's quarters.

Horace prowled up the hallway, wishing he were reading Jocasta's book, and arrived at Minerva McGonagall's office. To his relief, he could see a flicker of candlelight under her door. She was obviously still marking the tests she'd given before the Christmas holidays. He knocked.

"Yes?" She stood as Horace opened the door. "Oh, Professor Slughorn," she said. "What can I do for you?"

"I need to see one of your students," he said. "About a perfectly horrid potion he brewed."

"Couldn't it wait?"

"No, Minerva. It absolutely can't wait. Please tell Sirius Black to come to my quarters. It absolutely can't wait."

Minerva's lips became thin, and Horace didn't need to ask if Sirius had told her what was happening. "Very well," she said. "I'm sure Mr. Black will be happy to go and discuss his mark with you."
gehayi From: gehayi Date: December 25th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)
How about Christmas in the Jossverse? (Buffy, Angel and Firefly stories cheerfully accepted.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I don't know Firefly, so it'll have to be Buffy/Angel-verse. :P




"Hey, yo, B!" Faith called from the attic. "You got any more of those light-up icicle things?"

"I think you put enough of them up already, Faith."

"Yeah, but I'm out of stakes, and I got a vamp up here."

"Oh." Buffy, grabbed the ladder and pulled it down, launching herself into the attic. "Why didn't you say so?"

Faith rolled away from a vampire who had punched his way out of the wall. "Sorry," she said. "This one's a no brainer."

"I say we should go for the no body look," Buffy said.

"That was the plan. So toss us a stake."

Buffy shrugged and tossed Faith a stake from her backpack. "You know the icicles wouldn't work. Plastic."

"Yeah, but I could have a little fun with him."

In a quick, powerful move, Faith lunged at the vamp and dusted him. The ashes dusted a wreath that was half unwrapped.

"Well, that was anticlimatic," Buffy said.

"Kind of a loser, too," Faith agreed.

"My God, there was a vampire here?"

Buffy looked over to see Giles coming up through the attic door. "How long has this place been empty, anyway?" she asked him.

"Quite a long time," he said. "It belonged to the Watchers' Council, but we never used it. It was a bit snug."

"Not anymore," Faith said.

"Oh it will be, soon enough."

"Hate to tell ya, G, but the three of us aren't getting any snugglier than we already are." Faith smiled ruefully. "Might 'a been a time, but Robin's got me tryin' this whole stick-with-it thing. I kinda like it, in a weird way."

Giles gave her a small smile. "Faith, I suggest you look out the window."

Buffy raised an eyebrow.

"You, too," he said. "Go on."

Buffy followed Faith to the window and looked out on the rolling English countryside. There was no snow, but the late evening had brought a white frost to the grass. From the shadowy trees, two figures stepped out.

"Willow!" Buffy called, throwing the window open. "Xander!"

Willow waved a set of jingle bells.

"Oh, you're not singin'!" Faith called.

"Sure we are," Xander shouted back, then, in a wobbly, off-key voice, started to sing, "Jingle bells, jingle bells..."

A moment later, Andrew Wells appeared, hands deep in his trenchcoat pockets, followed by Dawn, back from school. Beside her was a boy with dark, shaggy hair, wearing an oversized sweatshirt.

"Connor!" Faith yelled.

Connor waved.

The crowd grew as the sun set.

"I'm going down there," Buffy said.

"Uh, yeah," Faith said, turning to the dark corners. "But maybe we ought to take care of the other vamp first..."
gentlespirit From: gentlespirit Date: December 25th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I always enjoy R/S. How about a happy Christmas story? A little bit of time before things go wrong.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
"Hi, Mrs. Lupin," Sirius said, leaning in and kissing Mum's cheek. "I've come to steal your son."

"Not before Christmas dinner you're not." Mum shooed him toward the sink. "Now, wash your hands. We already set a place for you, and I talked to Mrs. Potter. She's not expecting you until pudding."

"Mum and Dad are coming with us," Remus said apologetically.

"Really?" Sirius made a great show of bowing and kissing Mum's hand. "And I thought I'd have to wait a few years before I could run off somewhere with such a pretty lady."

"Oh, really," Mum said, but Remus thought she looked pleased anyway.

Sirius made kissing noises at her, then went to the sink obediently and washed his hands. When he was done, he corralled Remus outside, where the snow was falling softly on the back garden. "I brought you a present," he said.

Remus shook his head miserably. "I thought we weren't going to have presents," he said. "I don't have... I mean, I didn't know, so I don't have anything--"

"Don't be an arse," Sirius said, and handed him a flat package, wrapped in demure silver with a green bow. He grinned. "Sorry. I only had what was around the house to wrap it with. Happy Christmas from the House of Black."

Remus took it, then pushed it back. Sirius held up his hands and refused to take it.

Slowly, Remus undid the ribbon and let the paper fall away. It was a picture Peter had taken on some kind of timer, showing all four of them in their room, making various obscene gestures at the camera. "Great," he said. "Mum'll love it."

"That's what the book part is for," Sirius said, pointing to the red covered book beneath it. "It's an album. You can put anything you want in it. Keep it safe for posterity. And you can lock it or charm it to look like anything you want."

Remus grinned. "Right. Thanks."

"Happy Christmas." Sirius reached over and mussed his hair roughly. "Your mum really doesn't care if I stay for dinner?"

"No. But don't your parents--well..."

"Yeah, right. They just love it when I'm home." Sirius kicked at some of the snow that had gathered, and crossed his arms. "Peter's joining us at James's. Bet Mrs. Potter would let us spend the rest of the holidays there, if we asked."

"Except that I hardly see my parents all year. I mean--"

Sirius shrugged. "It's all right. You've got good ones. You look just like your mum, except the part where she's good-looking. I, on the other hand, look just like my mum, except for the part where I'm good-looking." He posed.

Remus rolled his eyes. "Come on in," he said. "Dad'll be insisting on carols any minute now."
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: December 25th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Anything with Narcissa Black in it ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Lucius hadn't wanted her to do this, had in fact tried to forbid it. If he hadn't tried to do that, she might have listened to him reasonably (she supposed he had some perfectly legitimate points), but he needed to master one rather simple lesson: Narcissa Black, whatever name he had added to hers, was not to be forbidden anything.

He'd realized his mistake immediately, which was much to his credit, and even arranged for an impressive entrance on a hippogriff-drawn carriage from his father's livery.

Crouch's assistant offered her a seat, but she refused to take it. "I shan't wait long," she said.

"Mr. Crouch is quite busy..."

"Mr. Crouch will make time," Narcissa said. "I insist on seeing him immediately."

"Mr. Crouch is a very important man," the assistant started, then blanched. "Which isn't to say anything about your own, er... status, Mrs. Malfoy..."

The door opened, and Bartemius Crouch came out, looking distracted. "Edna," he said, "take a--" He looked up. "What," he asked, "is this woman doing here?"

"I've come to speak to you about my sister."

"There is nothing to discuss."

"Bellatrix is not a common criminal, to be locked up among thugs and brigands."

"She is a supporter of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and she has admitted to torturing Frank and Alice Longbottom."

Narcissa straightened her shoulders. "Azkaban is not a place for a well-born lady. I don't believe there are adequate protections."

"My dear Mrs. Malfoy," Crouch sneered, "I assure you, your sister is in no greater danger than my own son."

"There are dangers to a woman that a man doesn't share."

"The Dementors have little interest in such things," Crouch said. He raised an eyebrow at his assistant. "Edna, leave us for a moment."

Edna offered no resistance at all, ducking out without sparing Narcissa a second look.

Crouch leaned in. "You need to understand a basic truth of your life," he said. "All of those names you believe you can count on will only count against you with me. I don't believe your husband--"

"How dare you?"

"--and your dear, rich aunt is a raving maniac. Your parents have raised one utter madwoman, which doesn't speak well for them, and quite frankly, I will have my eye on you and your remaining sister."

"Andromeda! Surely, you don't think that she...?"

"I know she spoke to Bellatrix, and I know she's spoken to you, despite your aunt's edict. That tells me that I can't trust her any more than I trust you."

"You horrid little man!"

"I offer you this as a warning, Narcissa, because we are blood, on some level. I've found nothing on you. I strongly suggest that you keep it that way. For the sake of that poor, poor child you've had, if nothing else. You wouldn't want any of this unpleasantness to come back to him, now would you?"

With that, he swept back into his office.

Narcissa sat down in the chair she'd been offered, and waited for her hands to stop shaking.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: December 25th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)
How about something to do with Neville, preferably regarding Sirius? (I know they've never had any real interaction in the book, but it can be thoughts about the other.) Should be challenging. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll take them, Sirius had said breezily. Alice had looked at him dubiously, and Lily had flat-out laughed at him, but he'd insisted. I like babies. Babies like me. We'll have lots of fun.

But, as it turned out, babies weren't really interchangeable.

Harry had giggled happily and played himself into a naptime daze. He was as easy as ever. A dream of a baby. He just liked flying games and riding about on Sirius's shoulders.

Neville, on the other hand, didn't know Sirius, had only met him really at the boys' first birthday party last week, and he'd hung back during playtime, only nudging at a few toys Sirius had offered, and when naptime came, he hadn't been tired at all. In fact, when Sirius had tried to put him to bed, he'd started to cry lustily. Harry had started to stir. In fear of suddenly having two wailing babies instead of one, Sirius had plucked him up and brought him back out to the living room of his little flat.

The crying went on.

"Oh, come on, Nev," he said. "Buck up, mate. It's not so bad."

Neville hitched his head back and took two snuffling breaths, then let loose with another huge cry. Sirius looked over his shoulder to see if Harry had woken up, but so far, so good. Harry just lay calmly in his crib. He knew this place.

"All right," Sirius said, "let's try the big stuff." He picked up a fluffy white teddy bear. "Do you like the bear?" he asked. "Do you like--oh, no, no."

Neville screwed his eyes tight and yelled.

"All right, no bear, no bear. The bear's gone. I don't suppose you'd like a great large dog?" Sirius picked up a stuffed black dog he'd bought for Harry. "Doggy? Do you like the doggy?"

Neville sniffled and reached out one pudgy hand.

"Yes, there you are. Do you want the real dog? I could make the real doggy come."

Neville didn't express an opinion on the subject, and Sirius decided, on second thought, that transforming wouldn't be the best approach. He touched the stuffed dog.

"He goes 'Woof, woof.'"

Neville snuffled a few more times, but didn't cry.

"Can you say 'Woof, woof'?"

He didn't think Neville would say anything. Both boys had learned a few words, but Sirius didn't think they really had the idea of the thing yet.

"Ov," Neville said. "Ov, ov."

"Oh, hey. That's good. Oof, oof."

"Oo, oo."

"Well, what do you know?" Sirius got down on his hands and knees and said, "Woof, woof."

Neville, his face still covered with tears and his nose still running, giggled.

"Woof, woof!" Sirius said again, crawling around to the other side. Neville's eyes followed him. "Woof, woof!"

Neville pointed with one chubby finger and said, "Oov, oov."

Sirius laughed and crawled behind the couch, peeking around the side. He "barked" again. Neville rolled over and began his laborious crawl, going "Oof, oof, oof."

Sirius led him to the kitchen, crawling around and barking. "Should we have milk like this?" he asked. "What do you think?"

"Oof," Neville opined. "Oof, oof."

Sirius pointed his wand at the dish strainer and called a saucer, then called for the milk. Neville ignored the magic entirely.

"Want milk?" Sirius asked. "Lovely, cold milk?" He bent down and dipped his tongue into the milk.

The laugh came from above him.

He looked up.

Alice Longbottom was standing over him, her hand pressed against her mouth. "Please tell me that you're not teaching my son to drink from dishes on the floor," she said.

"Er... I didn't hear you come in."

"James let me in," she said, and Sirius looked up to see James over her shoulder.

"Er... Harry's asleep."

"Neville didn't like the same games."

"Of course," Alice said, scooping Neville up. "Are you having a good time?" she asked.

"Oof," Neville said. "Ooof!"
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 25th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC) (Link)
How about something from Luna's POV that focuses on why she's a Ravenclaw (Sorting Hat, her own musings, or whatever strikes your fancy).
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: December 25th, 2006 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, that was me. Forgot I was on a different computer, ergo not signed in.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: December 25th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Hermione and Luna during lunch.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry, Ron, and Ginny had finished lunch early and gone off to the Quidditch pitch, and Neville was working on a Charms project. Naturally, it was the first time Hermione had had time to luxuriate over lunch in weeks. Or any desire to--Umbridge was off drafting one of her absurd rules somewhere, and was mercifully out of the Great Hall for once.

She supposed she could just open her Potions book and get a head start on the next chapter, but she really had hoped for some sort of company. Lavender and Parvati had already been and gone, and the closest Gryffindors at the table were the Creevey brothers, who were quite involved in a conversation of their own.

She sighed, and reached for her Potions book.

"It's all very silly, don't you think?"

Hermione lifted her head quickly, not looking, and slammed it on the edge of the table. "Luna," she said, rubbing at a spot on her scalp.

"Here." Luna turned her around roughly, and before Hermione could say a single dissenting word, performed a charm. A coolness spread, and in its wake, the pain disappeared. "That's better, isn't it?"

"Well... yes, actually. Thank you. What charm is that?"

"One of my mother's. I always used to fall. She would use it to make my bruises stop hurting." She frowned. "I haven't fallen much since she died. I wonder if it means anything."

"I imagine you've just grown up a bit," Hermione said.

Luna gave her a somewhat philosophical nod. "Anyway," she said, "it's all very silly."

"What is?"

"All of those Death Eaters escaped, and Fudge is still trying to cover it up."

"It's not just silly," Hermione muttered. "It's insane."

"No," Luna said. "I think it's just silly. Mad things usually have some sort of sense to them. This doesn't make sense at all."

"Well, I'm sure it's just Fudge trying to keep his power."

"Exactly. He doesn't really believe it. That would be mad. Fudge is only worrying about his career. That makes it very silly. And it's not like his heliopaths couldn't keep him in office anyway."

Hermione bit her tongue. "Luna, you know there are no heliopaths."

"Of course there are heliopaths. All of the information about them has been purged from the books, because the Ministry uses them as top secret weapons." She nibbled at a bit of a sandwich she was carrying.

"You can sit here if you'd like," Hermione said.

"You really don't mind?"

Hermione found a smile. "Please. Be my guest."

Luna sat down beside her. "I don't usually sit with anyone when I eat," she said. "This is rather nice."

"Er..."

She wolfed down a large bite of her sandwich. "I just think we really ought to be able to do something about Fudge."

"I can't argue with that."

"My father always prints things, but no one believes him, because he always looks for deeper truths than anyone wants to hear."

Otherwise known as pure rubbish, Hermione thought, but forced herself not to say. "Well, I'm afraid it would take a reputable--well, you know, a somewhat more mainstream--voice to make people believe."

"They all work for the Prophet, and the Ministry tells the Prophet what to do. The Ministry even controls Witch Weekly and a lot of other magazines. The Quibbler is the only place that's totally free of them. That's why so many people won't write for us. They're afraid of what the Ministry would do to them."

Hermione nodded, not sure what to say, and started to spear a bit of pie. Her fork stopped halfway. "Luna," she said, "do you think your father would be willing to work with a well-known mainstream reporter?"

"They don't--"

"Oh, this one will."
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: December 25th, 2006 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Something with the Lupinlets. (I just went and re-read Gens Lupina, so I'm in the mood.)

Or, if they're not inspiring enough, I just rewatched the entire LotR movie trilogy and wouldn't mind if you took a stab at Frodo and Sam (and maybe others, like Rosie or whoever strikes your fancy) at Yuletide in the Shire--sometime before Frodo's trip to the Havens.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I might eventually come back and do the LotR, but for now, a little Lupinlet fic.




"I can't believe you threw the game," Carina said in the darkness of the hospital wing. "Honestly, Orry."

"I didn't throw it," Orry said, rolling over, away from his bad shoulder. Madam Pomfrey had fixed the dislocation, but it was still sore. "I just decided not to let you fall a hundred feet."

"Someone would have caught me."

"And we'd have won, and you'd going on about how I put a Quidditch game above my own sister."

"Are your teammates even speaking to you?"

"No. They know I like it quiet."

"You were two feet from the Snitch, Orry. You'd have put Gryffindor solidly ahead of us right from the start."

Orry rolled over, wincing at the pain in his bad arm, and used his wand to set up a faint light. "Fine," he said. "Next time, I'm letting you fall. Will you shut up then, or come back as a ghost to tell me how I should have done something else?"

Carina grinned. "Now, there's an idea. And you won't have anyone to blame but yourself when I do it."

"Why do you care, anyway? Your Seeker got it. Slytherin's ahead in the cup race." He narrowed his eyes. "You didn't fall on purpose, did you?"

"That's just occurring to you?" Carina shook her head. "Honestly, Orion, I thought you'd be accusing me of that the second you woke up. Your sneaky Slytherin sister and all."

"Well, did you?"

"No. Your bloody Beater got me, fair and square."

"Our bloody Beater? God, Car, it's Duncan Weasley. You know him perfectly well."

She shrugged. "At Christmas, he's Dunc. On the pitch, he's your bloody Beater. Which, by the way, you need to learn. At home, I'm your sister, and don't you dare forget it. But on the pitch, I'm the bloody Slytherin Keeper, and you're the bloody Gryffindor Seeker."

Orry flopped back onto his pillows. "You need to expand your vocabulary."

"I have plenty of colorful vocabulary, but I didn't think you'd appreciate most of it."

"Fine." He drummed his fingers on the sheet. From the corner of his eye, he could see that Carina was moving very slowly to lie down again. "Are you all right, anyway? You hit the goal post hard before I caught you."

"A bit sore," she admitted. "Mostly fixed, though. I sort of feel like Dad looks the day after a full moon."

"Unshaven?"

"Yeah, the five-o-clock shadow's a killer." She finished lowering herself down and pulled at her blankets. Orry heard her draw her breath in sharply, and pointed his wand at the bed. The covers tucked up around her. "I could do that," she said.

"Yeah, but you weren't."

"Pfft."

Orry put out the light spell and lay back among his own pillows, listening to his sister's light breathing.

"Orry?" she said after a while.

"What?"

"Thanks for catching me."

"Any time. Go to sleep."
a_t_rain From: a_t_rain Date: December 25th, 2006 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
How about McGonagall having an adventure as a cat?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Staying transformed hadn't been in the plan. Actually, transforming at all hadn't been, but there hadn't been any choice in the matter. Minerva had barely got the terrified Squibs out of their basement prison when Grindelwald's men had shown up and sealed the doors. There was only one high, small, open window, and as soon as she heard them starting to argue about ransom, she'd transformed, leapt, and landed in a filthy puddle of rainwater in dirty Krakow alley.

Unfortunately, two Muggle children had been playing there. She didn't understand a great deal of Polish--she hadn't been meant to stay in the country once she freed the Squibs she'd come for--but it was a fair enough guess that they were cooing over the nice kitty who had just appeared. The girl picked her up and petted her.

That had been an hour ago. They had brought her back to their house and given her milk, and there seemed to be some kind of grand argument going on now about whether or not they could keep her.

During it, Minerva had been nosing about, looking for any escape hatch. They seemed nice enough children, and their family cat was well-fed and healthy (though he had recognized her as something other than what she seemed and given her not so much as a hiss or raised hackle before going to hide, as he would from any human guest), but she didn't quite fancy the life of a housepet. Finally, she found a door ajar. It led to the basement, and--as she'd hoped--a great filthy bin of coal.

She debated transforming and Apparating, but she could hear someone tinkering in a basement shop, and didn't dare. Instead, she took a mighty jump into the coal bin, then began to scamble up the grimy slide. Her claws could barely find purchase, but she forced her way on. The little sliding door would be a challenge, but a tiny bit of coal from the last delivery was jamming it, so she was able to get one paw beneath it and force it upward until she got her head beneath and could use her much stronger neck muscles to do the lifting.

A moment later, she was free...

And in the path of a car.

She jumped aside, ignoring the rainwater that drenched her in a horrid, stinking fan.

Above her, someone shrieked, and she saw a woman, her shopping in hand, make a horrified shooing gesture.

Minerva leapt nimbly away, but bumped the fine trousers of a gentleman, who looked down and raised his walking stick at her.

She backed away, looking for anywhere safe.

Her tail was tucked carefully between her legs (she hated having it trodden on), and she ran backward straight into a thin leg. The cane-wielding man was still ahead of her. The woman was to her right. The street was to her left.

She squirmed to turn around, but a pair of large hands scooped her up.

"There now," the person said, and scratched between her ears, and she realized she was now nested in the luxurious long red hair of Albus Dumbledore's beard. "You won't need that," he said, and the man's walking stick tried to get away from him, pulling him directly into the woman.

Dumbledore turned around, and Minerva, to her relief, saw a Muggle car. He opened the door, and she jumped into the back seat. Millie Bones was driving, barely concealing a grin at the state of Minerva's fur.

"Miss Bones," Dumbledore said, "I believe a less crowded location is desirable."

The car lurched forward--Millie was no one's idea of a careful driver--and Dumbledore grinned down at Minerva. "Well, Miss McGonagall," he said, "you look a bit uncomfortable..."
sonetka From: sonetka Date: December 25th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Christmas with the young Molly and Arthur? Please?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
One thing about having six brothers, Arthur thought, was that he never had to worry about being bored. Or sleeping. Or getting the best bits of the goose before it had been picked over. Or getting through a whole Christmas without at least one present having a great shoe-print in the middle of it.

But that was all right.

He was also never cold, and never lonely. He had missed home a great deal since he'd gone to Hogwarts in September.

The aunts uncles and cousins stopped by all day (on Dad's side, of course; Mum's family had turned her out for marrying notorious Muggle-lovers like the Weasley family, and Arthur didn't know any of them), and the living room was draped with colorful paper. Uncle Tirseus and Aunt Muriel, who had made a fortune with a traveling show that Arthur hadn't been allowed to see yet, had settled in around the piano, and were starting the caroling, when the doorbell chimed in with chirpy version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas."

"Get that, would you, Artie?" Dad called. "I've got my hands full."

Arthur nodded and went to the door, mostly expecting it to be another uncle. At first, he didn't even recognize Molly Prewett standing there, a steaming box in her hands, even though he'd spent most of last term in her company. He just hadn't ever seen her outside of school, and she looked different. He'd never really thought about being friends with a girl before, but Molly was grand, and had managed to get him in more trouble than all of his brothers combined.

He blinked. "Molly!"

She smiled. "I baked some Christmas biscuits. Thought you might like a few." She held out the box.

He took it. "This is more than a few," he said, peeking under the top. "This is dozens."

"All right. A few dozen." Molly gave him a sheepish grin. "I always bake too much. Mum says so, anyway. Of course Gideon and Fabian and Bilius just let me get on with it. They eat it all anyway."

"How did you get here? Come in, please."

"Yes!" Lance yelled. "Come in and close the door! It's December out there!"

"Oh, right, sorry." Molly stepped gingerly inside, and Arthur shut the door. "My brother Gideon brought me by side-along Apparition," she said. "But he went to visit a friend of his. He said it would be all right for me to go there if you didn't want me to visit. I guess I should have owled."

"No--people come and go all day on Christmas! It's half the point." He smiled. "Come on in. I know a few people who'll like the biscuits."

The biscuits, in fact, were devoured without half an hour, and Molly praised extravagantly by all of Arthur's brothers (though Lance picked up the annoying habit of chasing Arthur with charmed mistletoe and making smacking noises any time Molly happened to be nearby). Aunt Muriel made a great fuss over a girl in the house (Lionel had brought his girlfriend for the last three Christmases, but Aunt Muriel didn't care for her), and Molly relaxed and sang along.

Suddenly, she looked at her watch. "Oh!" she said. "I'm meant to meet my brother in ten minutes, by the library. I should go."

"I'll walk you over," Arthur offered.

Lance and Gareth made kissing noises and fluttered their eyelashes at each other.

Molly blushed.

Arthur gave his brothers the most withering glance he had, which really wasn't all that withering, but they let him go without further harassment, possibly because Mum was giving them a much more withering withering look.

tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: December 25th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
As usual, I really want something with Daniel Morse in it, although the Smeltings teachers would also be fun if you'd prefer it. Thanks for these drabbles. You always astound me with how you can produce pieces that are so brilliant so quickly. Happy Christmas, even though I know you don't celebrate it - just have a happy day!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Harriet asked for a Daniel and Mira piece below, so I'll go with the Smeltings teachers here. Picking up a few weeks after this little ficlet from last month.




"I don't understand why we can't even ask questions," Miriam said. "Who are these people, anyway?"

"Trust me," Anna said. "You'll know who they are."

"But you mustn't say you know." Alan peered out between the blinds. "You know them, they know you, and we can go right into a nice card game and watch a film, and you'll get along with them brilliantly, but remember that you've just met them, no matter how well you know them."

"That makes no sense at all," Miriam said. "What sort of people are these?"

"He was a student of mine this term. Mathematical pedagogy. Quite brilliant, really, but then he's always been a good teacher."

"And his wife?"

"Adorable young thing," Anna said. "Which I think I should have realized before."

Alan shook his finger at her. "You know what she said about treating her like an 'adorable young thing.'"

Anna rolled her eyes. "Honestly, I'm with Miriam... all these rules! They're lucky we like them, or I wouldn't put up with it."

"And why, exactly, do we like them so much?" Joe asked.

"You'll see," Alan said, and went back to watching.

The conversation he and Anna had held with Remus and Dora Lupin--who were, without the slightest doubt in his mind, though it was impossible, Raymond and Dora Lewis--had to count as the strangest he'd ever been involved in. He'd suspected a connection between Raymond and Remus early on, and Anna had discovered that they'd never gone to Australia at all, but it wasn't until Lupin's wife had arrived that he'd been sure. He'd seen her once before, playing at being her own niece, and it was far too much of a coincidence that she would have married a younger version of her aunt's husband. So, however unlikely it seemed, these two people had been part of his life before, looking older than they were, and using false names.

Anna, who had been coming at the end of each of his classes hoping for an opportunity like this, had blocked the way out the door with a polite smile as the rest of the students filed out. As soon as the four of them were alone, she'd said, "So... how was Australia?"

The Lupins had looked at one another, then Dora had held her hand up. "Let me," she said. "I know where the line is."

Remus looked skeptical, but didn't say anything.

Dora took a deep breath and said, "I can't answer any questions, including how Australia was, because we never set foot there. All I can say is that there was a reason for all of it."

"What reason?"

"A good one that I can't talk about," Dora had said miserably, and it had been the misery in her voice, more than anything she or Remus had said that afternoon that had won Anna over (Alan hadn't been nearly as hard a sell; he was too busy marveling that the nice old couple he'd befriended had really been a young pair of friends at the time--Lupin himself had been no more than thirty-odd when he'd been at Smeltings, and Dora was even younger). The "rules," such as they were, were easy enough--no questions about where they had been, who the Lewises were, where they lived, or why they had disappeared. Or what Dora did for a living.

"I really am getting my QTS," Remus had said. "And the plan is to teach in a perfectly normal school, so I'm fair game."

Anna had agreed to it far too easily, Alan realized later, as she'd rehearsed the sorts of questions that would get answers without breaking the rules.

There'd been some wrangling about asking Joe and Miriam, but it just wouldn't have seemed right without them.

A small Volkswagon Beetle came around the corner, and as it drew past the house next door, Alan saw the little flower decal on the window.

"They're here," he said. "Remember... you've never met them before in your lives."
rainingtulips From: rainingtulips Date: December 25th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
As usual, I can't get enough Lily/James, but if you don't feel like writing that, how about a scene between Andromeda and Sirius? Thank you!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Are you planning to sneak again?" Lily asked, standing up and stepping out of the shadows and raising her wand.

James stopped and looked at her dully. "There's something I need to do."

"Something Dumbledore told you to do?" she asked, not lowering the wand. "If he hadn't been with you when you and Black came in earlier--"

"Well, he was," James said. "Look, Evans, this isn't a joke. I need to leave." He turned his back on her and went to the portrait hole. She followed him. "You can't come," he said.

"Potter, you've broken more than enough rules. I'm a prefect, and--"

"Good. Dock points. I'm going." He pushed at the portrait, but it didn't open. "Oh, come on!"

"Potter--"

He slammed his fist on the wall beside the door. "Open, dammit!"

"James."

He took a deep breath. "I don't have time for a fight right now," he said. "If you can get this damned thing open, you can dock as many points as you want. You can put me in your own personal detention for the rest of the year. But you have to let me out."

Lily frowned, and undid the charm she'd put on the back of the portrait to keep the Fat Lady from hearing someone asking to be let out, and James didn't even look back at her as he disappeared through it.

She bit her lip, then followed him.

He swept down the stairs, not talking to any of the portraits who chastised him, and went straight to the large front doors of the castle. They let him out.

Lily was surprised that there was no particular block on them, but they didn't stop her, either. She stepped out into the dark gray of early dawn. The moon had barely set.

James led the way down to Whomping Willow and stopped just outside the range of its branches. "I know you're there, Evans," he said. "I told you that you couldn't come."

"Are you meeting Remus?"

"What? How--?"

"He told me, remember? When we became prefects. He said I needed to know because he wouldn't be useful at full moons."

"Yes," James said. "I'm meeting Remus. But you don't need to know what it's about."

"Are you all right?"

"What do you care?"

Lily stepped back, mildly stung. Potter was an idiot, but he'd always been rather reliably her idiot, and she wasn't accustomed to him lashing out at her... or at anyone, without a joke to stand behind.

With a great creaking sound, the willow's branches stopped moving, and a deep hole opened at the bottom of it. A pale hand groped around for purchase, then Remus Lupin, looking pale, ill, and badly-used came out of it.

He stopped and looked at James and Lily. "What are you doing here?"

James ignored Lily. "I just... what happened... he's sorry..."

"Yeah," Remus said. "I'll bet he is."

"Moony--"

"Leave me alone."

Remus grabbed a stick and jabbed at the trunk of the Whomping Willow, then stalked off toward the castle as the branches began to move again.

James sat down on the ground, his head in his hands. "Now what?" he asked no one.

Lily took a few careful steps toward him, hoping he wasn't going to hex her, then dropped down beside him. "What's happening?"

"Nothing you need to know about," he said heavily.

"I--"

"I'm not saying it to lock you out or anything. You just don't need to know, and it's not mine to talk about."

Lily said nothing. She'd seen James in many different states of mania, and had even seen him diligently doing classwork once or twice. She'd been surprised the first time she'd seen him in the library looking studious, but she'd got used to the idea that he had occasional non-obnoxious moods (which didn't mitigate the obnoxious ones at all, except that she knew she could expect him to behave better), but she'd never seen him looking bewildered.

She put her hand lightly on his arm.

He stiffened, then took a great, deep breath and leaned against her. It didn't have the feel of a calculated choice on his part, so she just ran her hand through his hair and muttered, "Shh," and a few other meaningless things.

After a long time, he got up and went back to the castle.

They didn't talk about it again, and the next time she saw him, he was wisecracking in Potions with Peter Pettigrew, both of them trying to jolly up Sirius Black.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: lexie_b Date: December 25th, 2006 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, something with Tonks at school, please? :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Charlie Weasley was already sitting at Kettleburn's table, feeding lettuce to a collection of sorry-looking flobberworms. Tonks sat down across from him.

"What did you do?" she asked.

"Nothing. I just come down to help old Kettleburn. He's got a time of it, shredding lettuce one-handed." Charlie passed her a bowl. "What about you? Heard you got in a regular fist fight in Care of Magical Creatures. What was that about?"

Tonks dug into the bowl of lettuce. Shredding anything seemed like a particularly good use of her time at the moment. "Paul Parkinson was going on about exterminating werewolves. I hexed him. It wasn't a fist fight, except that his jacket started punching him in the face."

"Oh," Charlie said.

"What's that mean?"

"Just, oh." Charlie finished his head of lettuce and set aside the tray of flobberworms. He pulled a cage of imps up from under the table and started feeding them crickets. "You've been on about werewolves since that time they sent you off to London."

Tonks blanched. "I have?"

"Yeah. That bit in McGonagall's class, and then in Herbology, when Ellen Wilkins started telling tales and you started in on her..."

"Oh," Tonks said. "I didn't realize." She shrugged as nonchalantly as she could. "I just... well, when they took me up to the Ministry, there were a few of them transforming. I started to learn about it, is all, and I don't think it's very fair, the way we treat them."

Charlie took this without question, much to Tonks's relief. She hadn't realized that she'd done anything to draw attention to herself, and it wasn't right--if people started asking too many questions, someone might find out who she and Mum had breakfast with, and make all sorts of connections that they couldn't, and it would be her fault.

"Have people been talking about it?" she asked as casually as she could.

Charlie winced as an imp bit his finger. "A couple. Geoffrey Combes... do you know him, from Ravenclaw?"

"Yeah."

"He thought you'd got bit that night."

"What?"

"Yeah. Don't worry. Everyone else knew you got sent off before moonrise. Something about your metamorphosing, wasn't it?"

"Hmm? Oh, yes. I did a stupid thing and they tested me because of it. They really were thinking I was a werewolf?"

Charlie shrugged. "You disappeared under a full moon and came back raving about werewolf rights. It's not that weird. You aren't, are you? The whole metamorphosing thing... that's what really happened, right?"

"Of course it's true."

"So if I were to dare you to meet me at the pitch on the full moon, you'd come?"

"Name the time."

Charlie grinned. "All right, I believe you. And let's say, ten-thirty."

"What do you want to do under the full moon?"

"Mooncalves," Charlie said. "I was going to get some mooncalf dung for my mum's garden; it's great for plants. But no one else wants to go with me."

"I can't imagine why."

"So are you in, or are you going to start making suspicious-sounding excuses?" He winked.

"What if I did? I mean, what I had got bitten? Would you still be asking me to go?"

"Would I ask a werewolf to come around under a full moon? No."

"Well, then, if the moon wasn't full."

"Then the mooncalves wouldn't be out."

Tonks grimaced. "God, Charlie, I'm asking if you'd still be my friend if I got bitten by a werewolf."

"I don't know. Would you even be allowed in school?"

"What kind of answer is that?"

Charlie opened and closed his mouth a few times, then shook his head and muttered something about times of the month.

Tonks went back to shredding lettuce with a vengeance.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: December 25th, 2006 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Daniel and Mira, please! I love those two.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 25th, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was late, and the baby had been sleeping quite soundly for nearly half an hour, but Daniel couldn't quite bring himself to leave the nursery. In the window, Mira had set up a little mobile to turn perpetually, showing little living toys that the Weasley brothers had made for him.

The afternoon's crowd from the christening was gone--all Mira's people of course; Daniel had often joked that it was a good thing he was estranged from his own people anyway (Mum simply couldn't understand why he didn't take a posh post in a cushy hospital, and, though there was no rancor, they had simply not socialized for years). Mira's parents had been the last to go. Mira herself was still tired, and had turned in as soon as she'd nursed Alphard (Daniel, to his surprise, found himself deeply envious of Mira's breasts; she got to spend a great deal more time with the baby when he wasn't sleeping because of them).

"Just you and I, is it?" Daniel whispered to the baby. "Just us fellows."

Alphard made a contented sound in his sleep.

"You know Daddy's never going to be able to make fine toys like this for you," Daniel said. "And you probably won't be interested in model trains and such. At least not ones that don't run by themselves. And you won't make much use of the old family Smeltings stick, I suppose. Not that it's a bad thing, but..." He sighed. "What am I going to give you?"

"Well," Mira said from the door, "life was a good start." She gave him a tired smile, and came to the edge of the crib. "He's going to love you, Daniel."

"I know. But I'll never be the person with all the amusing toys. Which is a great tragedy, of course."

"Yes, of course." Mira ran her finger along the curve of Al's head. "He's really ours, isn't he?"

"Looks like it," Daniel said. "He'll have every child in school teasing him about my curls, I'm afraid."

"I love your curls. They bounce." She tugged one and let it bounce back, then kissed his cheek where it landed.

He smiled. "And look. He's got your little grin when he sleeps."

"I grin when I sleep?"

"Quite a lot, actually. I've thought of asking what you dream about."

"Maybe you should. Could turn into a pleasant surprise." She sighed. "Though not quite yet. I'm still--"

"Tired, of course." He kissed her neck. "Though I may give you a nice massage later. Rub out the kinks in every little bit of you."

"Mmm." She leaned back against him and drew his hands around her waist. "You aren't really worried about the whole business of not being able to do magic, are you?"

"A bit. He'll run circles around me."

"Magical parents don't really handle accidental magic that much better."

"They can reverse it."

She shrugged. "True. But then, you know other things. I couldn't begin to show him those amazing things you have in the laboratory."

"I doubt he's interested in them yet."

"Right now, he's mostly interested in hearing your voice. Did you see him earlier, when everyone else had been talking, then you started giving that little thank you speech? He looked right up from what he was doing--which I promise you, he had been intensely interested in--as soon as he heard you. He knows who you are."

"Really? You're not making that up?"

"Not at all. Mum noticed it right off, if you want to ask her. Al doesn't move around very well yet, but if he hears you somewhere, his eyes wander off in that direction."

Daniel smiled and reached down to touch his son's face. His finger came away wet. "He drools in his sleep like you do, too."

"I believe he gets that from your side of the family," Mira said primly.

Al stirred, and Mira leaned over to soothe him. A full brest pushed against her dressing gown, and Daniel swallowed hard, reminding himself that she was only a few weeks past childbirth, and it had been a hard delivery.

She heard him and turned with the same smile she'd given him in the Congo, when she'd first realized that he was paying a bit more attention to her than he ought.

"My goodness," she said. "Does Daddy need attention, too?"

"Daddy's fine," Daniel managed. "And you're too close to delivery."

"There are other sorts of attention, and you did promise a massage." She walked to the door and held out her hand.

Daniel followed her after a moment.
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