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Pointless - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Pointless
Okay, an attempt at an early post-DH story. Seven minutes past getting it in on actual 7/21, I guess...



Well, like I said in my review, my reaction to the R/T deaths is completely and utterly irrational and emotional, and therefore a review-essay isn't the best place to deal with them. Luckily, someone was provided who could conceivably also have a slight little issue, so, here's "Pointless," a.k.a., "Teddy Lupin and the Fic Writer's Apocalyptic Temper Tantrum."




Harry had known for quite a long time that it was coming. Teddy's name was Lupin, but his temper was Black, and this had been slowly building for years, from the first time his grandmother had been unable to tell him how his parents had died... and no one else had, either. At ten, he'd taken to haunting other survivors, trying to piece together what had happened on the castle ramparts, and he'd gone through the short list of witnesses several times now. Harry had been more than willing to help, though he hadn't held out much hope, as he'd done the same thing. Remus had been dueling Dolohov, and Tonks went looking. People saw Dolohov afterward, but by then Remus was dead. There was speculation that he had striven for years to keep from Teddy that there had been no other duel involved, that Tonks had seen her beloved Remus lying dead and had taken her own life in a fit of grief. Harry didn't believe it--it had obviously been the Death Curse, and as far as he knew, it was impossible to administer it to oneself. But of course, Teddy had finally found someone cruelly willing to share the theory with him--that had been the year he was twelve--and Teddy had ended up in St. Mungo's for a week, refusing to talk or eat until Harry was finally able to convince him that it was just speculation.

Teddy was haunted by parents who never would have chosen to be ghosts, and there was no exorcising of them.

So Harry knew it was coming. But it still managed to take him off guard when the front door of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, blew in like it had been hit by a whirlwind, letting in a blast of cold, rainy October air as well as his godson.

Teddy grabbed him by the front of the robes and shoved him, hard into the portrait of Walburga Black, which began to scream silently behind the Muting Matte Ginny had finally managed to affix to it. He was shaking, his eyes were wild, and Harry guessed he'd slipped away from the crowd during a Hogsmeade trip, as he was covered with soot. He'd probably morphed into adut form to avoid suspicion, flooed through one of the business fireplaces to the Leaky Cauldron, and taken the bus over. Ginny appeared at the top of the stairs, but Harry shook his head at her. She nodded, and moved back into the drawing room to give them some privacy.

"Take off your glasses," Teddy said. "I'm going to hit you in the face. I don't want to get glass in your eye."

Harry reached up and pulled his glasses off.

Teddy's fist flew in like a piston, and Harry heard a dull crunch as his nose shattered. Blood poured over his lips and chin. A second blow whipped his head wildly to one side, and a third jab lit his lower ribs on fire.

"Are you done?" he asked when Teddy had gone a few moments without striking again.

"Thinking about it," Teddy said, then drove a sharp blow against Harry's jaw. He took a deep breath, then another. "All right," he said. "I'm done."

Harry took his wand and repaired his nose, thinking wildly of Tonks doing the same spell on him long ago. He put his glasses back on. "Anything you want to break?" he asked. "Kreacher still has a lot of picture frames set aside just for you."

This didn't bring even a ghost of a smile. "I have the photos that used to be in them," Teddy said. "They're in my trunk. Muggle pictures of them, you know." His hair turned its natural light brown, went to stormcloud black, then went back to his habitual scarlet streaked with gold. He was emphatically fifteen.

"You should be at school, Ted," Harry said. "Neville will be worried."

Teddy sat down miserably on the steps. "I was going to go back before we ran out of time in Hogsmeade," he said. "Vicky's watching for trouble. She was the one who said I needed to talk to you."

Harry sat down beside him and didn't say anything for a long time. Teddy's body was warm beside him, trembling like a live wire. He looked like he'd been the one taking blows to the head. "What was it?" Harry asked. "A potion? Time turner? Did you get something to look at in the Pensieve?" (After much discussion, the Pensieve had been brought to the Hogwarts school library, where, after a few months of curiosity seeking, it now mostly sat collecting dust.)

"A letter from Azkaban," Teddy said, then reached into his robes and pulled out a sheaf of parchment. The lettering seemed crude and shaky. Harry had got letters in that hand before, and they quite frankly made him want to return to the old Azkaban rules, where no one had contact outside. Or to wish that Ron and Neville hadn't been as decent as they had been.

"Greyback found out about you, did he?"

Teddy nodded. "You didn't tell me that someone else had seen everything."

"I didn't know."

"There was this, too," Teddy said, and flicked a small glass ball to Harry with a disdain that would have been more convincing if he would have avoided reaching back to keep his hand on it.

Harry took it gently, wishing that George had never gone back to inventing, least of all these things. Dream Marbles, he called them, but they had never been meant for dreams. Like the now-shattered prophecy orbs in the Department of Mysteries, Dream Marbles held a solid record of memories, to be viewed at will by anyone to whom they were given. Easier to use than a Pensieve and much easier to carry around, but not nearly as complete an experience. Teddy reached into his robes and pulled out the tube that was meant to read and project them, and Harry dropped the Dream Marble in.

The ramparts of Hogwarts, shattered and smoky, floated in front of them, soundless (one could produce sound, but Greyback had apparently not invested in the deluxe Dream Marble), and as they view tipped down, he saw a crowd of duelists, none paying any attention to another. Dolohov was fighting Lupin near the end. Not far off, someone else impossible to recognize in the shadow broke away and chased the Death Eater he was fighting, then Dolohov threw a casual curse that struck home. Lupin fell; Dolohov ran off without even going back to check.

The view shifted and swerved, and Harry supposed Greyback had been climbing down from the next level, or jumping. More duels moved by. No one noticed Lupin lying there. A foot shot into view as Greyback kicked him, then there was the disconcerting sense of moving too close, as suddenly, Lupin's graying hair as all that was visible. There was a strange twist of the perspective, and when Greyback leaned back again, there was a bloody wound--oozing, not spurting--on the side of Lupin's neck.

"He says in the letter that he'd never forgotten what Dad tasted like," Teddy said. "Got better with age, he said."

"Oh, Teddy," Harry said. "I'm sorry."

Another three duels went by, and Greyback was pulled with the tide, giving a wider perspective. Tonks appeared from a doorway, looking gaunt and haunted. She spotted Remus and ran to him, tugging him by the hands, weeping. More people passed her. She drew her wand and healed the wound in his neck, then started pointing it uselessly at any part of him she could find. Finally, she lurched forward, taking his hands, pulling him toward the steps, perhaps thinking she could carry him upstairs. Lavender Brown burst out of the staircase, not seeing either of them, and swerved around, headed straight for the ramparts. A masked Death Eater was chasing her. He cast a Death Curse. Tonks never saw it, and walked right into it. The Death Eater ran on. Lavender reached the wall and climbed it, then screamed, and then the memory shifted to attention to her, as Greyback toppled her over the wall. Harry remembered seeing them fall then. Had he been that close?

"It just keeps looping," Teddy said. "He wanted to make sure I watched it."

"Put it away," Harry said. "Better yet, smash it. McGonagall gave you a better one, I know. So did I, so did Aunt Ginny. I'm sure Kingsley would if--"

Teddy pulled the tube back, retrieved the Dream Marble, and put it in his pocket. "None of you saw this."

"And you think Greyback was just trying to be friendly?"

Teddy clenched his jaw and stood up. He went to the portrait. Walburga mouthed silent curses at him. When he turned his back on her, from Harry's perspective, she seemed to be looking over his shoulder, gesticulating wildly. "No one noticed," Teddy finally said.

"Ted..."

"Why did you let them stay? Why didn't you send them home? They didn't accomplish anything!"

"After, your dad--"

"Oh, come off it!" Teddy exploded, and the glass globe around the oil lamp near the door blew into fragments. Upstairs, James woke up from his Saturday nap and started screaming; Teddy looked up with a guilty twitch as Ginny ran up to tend to him, then his face hardened, and he lowered his voice. "I've heard it a million times. My dead father told you all about how he died so I could grow up in a happier world. You know what would make my world happier? Parents."

"I know, Teddy. I've been there. I grew up--"

"You grew up knowing that your parents died to save you!"

"Actually, until I was eleven, I thought they died in a car crash."

"But when you found out the truth, you found out that your father died trying to give your mother time, and your mother died to protect you. And that when they sacrificed themselves, everything ended for ten years!" A muscle worked spasmodically in Teddy's throat, and his eyes were unnaturally bright and puffy. "Mine, on the other hand, didn't accomplish anything. Even the people who killed them didn't notice they were dead! They didn't save anyone, they didn't stop anything. They didn't die for anything, they just went out there and died."

"They died helping to fight a great evil--"

"BOLLOCKS!" Teddy cast around the entrance hall for something to break, then settled for punching Walburga's portrait. Blood spurted on his knuckles, and splattered onto the carpet. "They died for goddamned bloody NOTHING! It was entirely pointless!"

"Do you think you were the only one who lost anyone?" Ginny said from the next landing of the staircase. "I lost one of my brothers, and--"

"I LOST ALL OF MY BROTHERS!" Teddy bellowed. "All of my brothers, all of my sisters, all of my nieces and nephews and..."

"And you think that the children Fred never even had the chance to have are less real because they don't have an existing sibling?" Ginny glared at Teddy. "Or maybe you think that Colin Creevey wasn't important enough to worry about his descendants. Perhaps you think that--"

"SHUT UP!"

"That's enough," Harry said. "Apologize."

Teddy gave him a defiant look. "I've seen the memories from the hall. All of you were gathered around your brother, while my parents were there alone. Or did you think I hadn't noticed?"

"Yes," Ginny said crossly. "I'm sorry, but I did care more about my brother than about Lupin and Tonks. I loved them, but family is family."

"I wouldn't know."

Ginny started to say something else, but Harry held up his hand. This wasn't about Teddy having to learn the lesson that sometimes life was hard. Teddy knew that. Teddy wasn't making a logical argument. He was grieving. Arguing grief with equivalence was only going to make him feel worse.

"I couldn't have sent them home if I'd tried," Harry said. "Your father wanted to help us defeat the Death Eaters. Who knows who he saved by keeping Dolohov occupied as long as he did? You can't bend time to find out. We did need everyone."

"Right. Because no one else could have quite as successfully been cursed by someone not even looking at him. And what about my mum? She was supposed to be home!"

"Your mum loved your dad very much--"

"Obviously, more than either of them loved me!"

"That's the second apology you owe, and you're damned well taking it to their graves before I take you back to Hogwarts."

Harry stood up and took Teddy by the ear, frog marching him out to the courtyard garden, where they kept the Apparition shed, protected carefully on all sides. He dragged Teddy into it, grabbed his arm, and took him by side-along Apparition to the graveyard at Godric's Hollow, where Lupin and Tonks had been buried beside Harry's own parents. It was cold and raining here.

"Apologize," Harry said.

"I needed them," Teddy said mutinously. "You didn't."

"I didn't ask them to come!" Harry said, a twitter of unreasonable guilt burning through him. Teddy had always been able to stab him when he chose to. "They came because they thought it was the right thing to do!"

"Name one reason that they were there. Go on. Give it to me. Show me how they turned the tide of battle. Show me--"

Harry was still holding Teddy's ear, and twisted it lightly. Teddy crumpled miserably to the ground.

"It kept them who they were," Harry said gently.

"Mum died second," Teddy said. "Why couldn't she have at least decided to be a ghost?"

"You'd have wished that half-life on her? Separated her from your father?" But even to Harry, that sounded weak, and Teddy didn't bother answering it. Instead, he crawled forward, his hair lengthening, lightening, streaking itself with gray. He curled up at the base of their tombstone. Rain pattered indifferently against his face. Harry knelt beside him and did a quick Impervius charm to keep him dry. "Teddy, I can't make it easier."

"Why couldn't they have been home with me? Your parents were home with you."

"There was no battle the night my parents died," Harry said. "They were murdered; they died bravely, but they weren't on the front lines that night. Your parents were. It was a war, Teddy. We were all on the front lines. Do you think all of the other people who died did so pointlessly, or is that honor just reserved for your parents?"

"I needed them," Teddy whispered again. "I've seen your memories, you know. My father would have been really good. And my mother could have taught me about shapeshifting. And--"

"I know, Teddy."

"And it didn't make a difference. It wasn't fair."

"Voldemort didn't play fair," Harry said. "I wish there were a better answer."

"It was a cheat," Teddy said.

"Yes."

"And they didn't need to be there."

Harry thought about it very carefully before saying, "No, they didn't."

Teddy gave him a look of guarded interest, lifting his head slightly from the sodden ground. "What about protecting you from Dementors?"

"I'd lost enough other people who loved me. I was glad to see your father at peace and healthy, but, no, he wasn't necessary."

"And my mum. She wasn't there at all, even though she died because she couldn't stand being apart from him."

"I'll have to learn to stand it."

Harry jumped. Teddy went white, and raised himself up snakelike, his arms supporting his upper body. "M-mum?"

The slender gray ghost stepped between the gravestones, then crouched in front of her son. While Teddy (naturally, anyway) had his father's eyes, the resemblance to his mother was otherwise striking. His coloring seemed to morph of its own accord, until they matched, gray for gray, white for white.

"Don't," Tonks said. "Do you think I want to see you look like this?"

"Do you think this is how I want you?"

"Yes. You just said it was." She looked at Harry. "I wasn't with them in the woods," she said, "because I was trying to get back. Like this. I didn't want to leave Teddy alone. But it was meant to be done... before. Preparations, you know. I never prepared."

"Tonks..."

Teddy reached out and touched her face. His finger sank through. The tears started again. "Mum, you can't... why did you... why haven't you been here, then?"

"I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't intend to come back as a ghost, and it took a long time to learn how to make that decision from... from where I was. Your father and mine helped. I needed you to come here and ask for me."

"Then by asking, I..." Teddy's eyes went wide. "I took you away? I... made you?"

She nodded.

Teddy started keening miserably. "I didn't mean to... I know that being a ghost... but I'll grow up soon, and then what will you do, you'll be trapped and stuck and it'll be my fault, and I'm sorry...!"

Tonks's ghost smiled faintly, and arched an eyebrow at Harry. He could almost imagine it changing colors. "He's certainly Remus's son, isn't he?"

"I was just thinking of his ability to make me feel guilty," Harry said.

"And here I was thinking of perpetual accursedness."

Teddy took no notice of the conversation. "Do you want to go back?"

"I want you to be happy," Tonks said. "D'you think I like seeing you miserable? Or that your father does?"

"But it was all--"

"Pointless," Tonks agreed. "Are you happier for knowing that? Did solving the mystery make it feel any better?"

Teddy shook his head mutely. "Greyback said--"

"And if I catch you listening to anything Fenrir Greyback says ever again, I will find a way back, just to put you over my knee. You're not too old for it, you know. In fact, Harry, would you mind?"

"He is too old for it, Tonks," Harry said.

She gave him an evaluative look. "Well, at least go out to Azkaban and accidentally break some of Greyback's bones, then. Oh, all right. Just make sure he stays away from Teddy."

"I'll kill him if he comes near Teddy."

"He's already been near," Tonks sniffed, looking at the letter poking out of Teddy's pocket.

"I can handle him," Teddy said quietly. He stood, his eyes lowered. "Go back, Mum. You don't have to... I can..." His mouth twisted, and he started to cry again. "Go," he said. "Just go."

"If I do, I won't be able to make this decision again. And I will do what you need, Ted."

"She can accept her death," Harry said. "Can you?"

"No." Teddy brushed his tears away. "I can't. Ever." He looked at Tonks. "But that was never my choice, was it?"

"It is now."

Teddy looked at her for a very long time, the rain falling senselessly between them. He turned away. "Go back, Mum. Before I change my mind."

"We do love you," Tonks said. "And we watch. Teddy? I'll go now. Please, look at me. Look at me so I have your face in my mind to take back with me."

Teddy turned. His face was a livid brick red, his eyes swollen.

"So handsome," Tonks said. "I should have stayed home."

Teddy nodded, but said, "Go home now. And tell Dad... tell Dad that everyone remembers him well. Except Greyback, but I don't imagine he'll care about that." Teddy attempted a smile, which cracked and twisted so badly that Harry thought he was trying to morph. Tonks reached out and touched him again. Harry knew how unpleasant it was to be touched by a ghost, but Teddy sought the contact, leaned into her hand, tried to embrace her.

She vanished.

Teddy collapsed back to the ground, calling, "Mum! Come back!"

But the ghost did not reappear. Harry could feel Tonks nearby, along with Remus and others. He felt the now-familiar sense of his own parents and Sirius, just beyond the veil, whispering.

"I hate this," Teddy said clearly.

"So do I." Harry sat down beside his godson, paying no heed to the now flooded ground. They were both soaked, and sitting in two inches of water. Harry put an arm around Teddy's shoulders, and Teddy turned to him, hugging him fiercely. Harry returned it.

They stayed there until the rain stopped and they were both aching and nearly frozen. Harry did a warming charm on them and dried their robes as they rose to their feet like feeble old men using each other as canes. Harry Apparated with him back to Hogsmeade.

Teddy didn't let go of him until they reached the school gate, where Neville Longbottom was waiting with an expression of deep concern on his face. Harry shot him a look that he hoped would convey a wish that Teddy not be punished too severely.

Neville nodded and opened the gate. "Teddy," he said kindly. "I'm glad to see you. I've got a particularly thorny problem with my stinging rosebushes, and I was hoping you would help me with it..."

Teddy recognized the old trick--he'd seen Neville's memory of Remus's first boggart lesson--but it seemed to soothe him anyway. He nodded a goodbye to Harry, and followed Neville toward the greenhouses.

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Comments
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ani_bester From: ani_bester Date: July 22nd, 2007 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
You are amazing. Thank you so much for that. What a great first post-DH fic to read!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm still pretty wrecked.
beceh From: beceh Date: July 22nd, 2007 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh that was awesome! I got a bit teary there....but that was really good. You summed it all up perfectly. It WAS pointless. This was great.

Thankyou.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
It was the pointlessness that ticked me off, and the whole trendy "We should accept death" thing attached to something that unnecessary and gratuitous made me steam. And I figured it might make Teddy steam, too.
jesspallas From: jesspallas Date: July 22nd, 2007 06:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for this. Thank you very much. You've expressed so beautifully exactly how I feel about the whole business and putting into a child's mouth...

I've been angry and upset and out of sorts about the pointlessness of it all until now but this fic is the thing that made me cry for them because somehow it made it real. And I needed that. I know it's fiction and it shouldn't matter but somehow it does. I was miserable but bottling it in because I felt I shouldn't be upset over a book. I needed to mourn, I guess, and you let me.

Thank you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes--getting spoiled is why I've been such a lovely net companion for the last several days. Call it "Excel and the Zen of Spoiler Denial." It didn't work well. But at least knowing it ahead of time, I didn't spend the day at work, trying to run the party in shock. I'd had a couple of days to get used to it. I had a feeling I'd be able to use Teddy, but I had to wait to read everything to see if there was some point I was missing that would make it all make emotional sense. There wasn't. So I decided raving fictionally would be less obviously insane a more artistic mode of expressing my feelings.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 22nd, 2007 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I know I said that I looked forward to reading more of your fic, but somehow I never expected any of it this soon.

I loved this. I really did. First of all, I give you a lot of credit for not trying to make their deaths seem more significant than they were. I'm not sure if I completely agree with your perspective - if everyone who had someone who needed them stayed home, I expect the battle would have been rather empty - but it is a valid point and an honest reaction from Teddy. I also love that you had Tonks coming back in a way that was sad, but somehow reassuring at the same time - she was still very much your Tonks, and I can just imagine her and Remus in the afterlife as personalities rather than as - no sick pun intended - shades.

Also love the ending in which Neville comforts Teddy in Remus's words - indirectly, Remus is there for Teddy by his influence.
-Cara
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
if everyone who had someone who needed them stayed home, I expect the battle would have been rather empty -

Well, that's often a truism. If everyone who had someone needing them stayed home to take care of business, war in general would end. Unfortunately, once you get the roving rogues like Voldemort going, someone has to step up to the plate.
zagara From: zagara Date: July 22nd, 2007 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Augh. I've just been feeling so unsettled and unhappy all evening after all those deaths, and this just helps me to feel more settled and accepting of it. And great imagining of Ted.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:45 am (UTC) (Link)
this just helps me to feel more settled and accepting of it.

That's mostly why I needed to get it out of my system. If I can imagine a decent future, maybe I can get back to Stray. But I'm not a great fan of accepting unnecessary death.
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, perfect - thank you so much for putting it into words.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:46 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually didn't think they worked much better in a literary sense than in an emotional one--it didn't seem to follow the conclusion of the arc they were on, even within this book, where Harry has already bitched at Remus about his adventuring when he has a wife and baby to look after, and the upshot was supposed to be that Harry was right. But that's neither here nor there. The 99.9% emotional reaction to their deaths overshadows the 0.1% rational quibbling.

I'm glad you like Teddy, and Harry turned out to be a joy of a grown-up.
(Deleted comment)
cleindori From: cleindori Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh. Oh.

Thank you.

I thought of you when characters used "Dora," and when I was jarred to hear Ted call Andromeda "Dromeda" instead of "Andy". I think...no, I know...your stories are why I cried more for Remus and Tonks than for Fred.

War is pointless, we get it, but why couldn't Remus finally get his happy ending, even if he did think he was too old, poor, and dangerous to deserve it?

Poor Teddy... :(

(And poor you. Poor all of us, if you lose heart to continue with Stray -- not that I'd blame you, but...)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
War is pointless, we get it, but why couldn't Remus finally get his happy ending, even if he did think he was too old, poor, and dangerous to deserve it?

Yeah--it definitely rendered most of the work on the storyline pretty moot, didn't it? Oh, well.

Nothing in Stray is jossed, and now that the series is over, nothing is going to be. However, I just don't feel particularly enthused about writing it.
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:11 am (UTC) (Link)
:'(

I don't cry often during fan fic, but this is very emotional. Especially having just read the book. *sigh*

I want to say that I do hope you continue to write R/T stories, because it's obvious that you enjoy writing about them and I hope you can find a way to not let book seven hinder than enjoyment.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
it's obvious that you enjoy writing about them
I think the reason I'm mourning is that this makes me lose the enjoyment in writing about them. I'm not a great fan of death. Not, like, in Voldemort levels of antagonism, but I do give death the finger whenever I see him pass by.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow.

Lovely.

Still crying but that captures the feeling precisely.

Sniff.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
tonksified From: tonksified Date: July 22nd, 2007 07:59 am (UTC) (Link)
You're so good at this. From the sucky epilogue, I got the idea that Ted Lupin had a happy childhood. But this is really beautiful and extremely believable. Poor kid. I can really picture this happening, and I love how you explained why Tonks wasn't there in the woods with Harry.

Lovely work, as always. I hope to read more post-DH stuff, especially with Remus/Tonks and Ted/Andromeda, possibly?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 08:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I think he had a mostly happy childhood, but that doesn't preclude having orphan angst. Raised by a loving grandmother with a lot of understanding adult friends around helps avoid the debilitating, crippling stuff--but that doesn't mean that he'd never say, "Hey, that's not fair."
ittykat From: ittykat Date: July 22nd, 2007 08:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been stalking your fan fics for a while now, as I've only just recently gotten up the guts to start reading Harry Potter fan fics again, and I've found yours to be the ones that I've connected best with.

And as much as I don't like the epilogue that the book has, I really do like that you didn't try and change things to suit you. Your respect for canon is admirable, and I love this fic, and the rest of yours for it.

I'll continue to stalk you for a while yet >.>
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 08:16 am (UTC) (Link)
The epilogue was all right, though I didn't like what they named the children. All that naming-after drives me bonkers in an aesthetic sense. It was the before-the-epilogue stuff that was the only part of the book I really couldn't stand.
ashavah From: ashavah Date: July 22nd, 2007 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought of you when they died, once I'd got past my initial shock and denial. I think you've done wonderfully in addressing in how Teddy feels how I feel and how the other Remus fans I've spoken to feel about their deaths. And I love that the resolution is only sort of there ... but you know he'll manage without his parents.

*hugs* Thank you for putting my feelings into a fic without even knowing what my feelings were.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate that he has to. Most of the book, I genuinely enjoyed (except for the Snape chapter), but that? No, I quite honestly hated it.
From: lexie_b Date: July 22nd, 2007 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)
This fic felt more real than their death in the book. Very embarrassingly, I'm sitting here crying. Beautifully written and absolutely devastating.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm fairly devastated. Like hope means nothing. I feel like I've been around a hundred Dementors with no Patronus and no one to protect me.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: July 22nd, 2007 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, in the book, I really didn't cry over Remus and Tonks. I froze as soon as I saw it, but I swallowed and kept reading, hoping I'd misunderstood what I'd read. I didn't even cry when Remus came back as a ghost.

Right now, Fern, I exaggerate not - I'm crying. Really crying.

But I love Ted's anger at his parents, in a twisted way - it makes sense, the resentment. I equally love his relationship with Harry - Harry, who knows more about what and how he's feeling than anyone else, Harry, who in some ways knew Remus more than anyone else still alive.

*Hugs* Thank you, Fern. Thank you. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Harry's exactly the right person for him to have, but I was furious at Tonks, particularly, when she showed up.
muridae_x From: muridae_x Date: July 22nd, 2007 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)
As temper tantrums go, this is a good one. I like that you've examined Teddy's orphan angst, and the pointlessness of death in war, and brought him to the point of accepting - if still hating - the way things were.

Damn, but I'm going to miss the dead characters. I'd always forseen the final deathtoll as being the major downside to having canon be complete, and it definitely is.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
As temper tantrums go, this is a good one.

Thanks. Though it is still, very definitely, a spitting, foot-stomping temper tantrum. ;p
seldearslj From: seldearslj Date: July 22nd, 2007 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, ow.

But brilliant.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
lyore From: lyore Date: July 22nd, 2007 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Here via a rec from JK

ashavah sent me over here to read this, and I'm very glad she did. But now you've got me crying again...

Loved this. It not only captured the feeling of (the majority of) the readers, it did a good job of presenting canon character reactions.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Here via a rec from JK

Thanks. Glad it spoke.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: July 22nd, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, you've done it.

After OOTP, I wrote one fanfic writer a sympathy note for Sirius's death and thought I ought to do the same for you.

I'm not going to argue that Remus' death was pointless - I thought it was a perfect example of how Voldemort's evil destroyed a generation, there was no hope of escaping it, and that's why Harry had to fight.

Tonks' death... yeah, that one was pointless.

I know Rowling says she doesn't read fanfic, but when Ted called her Dora, I started to wonder if YOU were Rowling. When I read that Remus was abandoning his family to join Harry, I was pretty darn sure you are Rowling!

Thanks for all the fic.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I already feel insane for being in mourning (two days before my birthday, too!) over fictional characters, though weirdly proud of myself for not hating the whole book over it (I threw Little Women across the room when Beth died, and refused to finish it for six months... me, a sense of raging entitlement? Never).

The thing that bothered me about Remus's death was specifically that it did play into that "destroyed generation" thing, right after it looked like he'd been given a way to escape that generation's fate by moving the hell on.
jadeddiva From: jadeddiva Date: July 22nd, 2007 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't know that I needed this, but I did. Excellent story, and a great way to provide much-needed catharsis.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't know I needed to write fic until I realized there was just no way to put all it into an essay, because all of what I'm feeling is squarely in the realm of my imagination. That my imagination is probably the deepest part of my personality... totally my fault.
a_t_rain From: a_t_rain Date: July 22nd, 2007 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn. This is the first time I've ever cried at fic.

I think I'm going the "they're not really dead" route, because I can see a way to do it that doesn't do violence to what we see from Harry's perspective in canon, and, well, I can't bear to do anything else. But thank you for this.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yeah. We don't see a funeral, and maybe they were just wounded and came around later. The epilogue doesn't talk about them being dead. Trust me, I really, really want to go that route, and have thought it over carefully. ;p

But it was still pretty clear... especially since Remus showed up with the other dead people and talked about being dead, and JK has been pretty clear that there isn't a way back, unless they all had duels with wizards who put part of their souls into them and needed to be separated in the land of the dead. (Hey, Remus had the werewolf. Maybe he could fight with the wolf, win, and come back. Er... well, that's reaching. But lycanthropy saving is life would be interesting.)
vellwot From: vellwot Date: July 22nd, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
WONDERFUl. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks.
odyssea From: odyssea Date: July 22nd, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brilliant! I'm greatly enjoying all the fanfic that's started flooding LJ as people finish reading. I thought this was really spot-on, especially with Harry and how he'd react to the situation.

And I do agree - their deaths did seem pointless and it was made even worse that they happened off-screen as it were, so we didn't even get closure on how it happened.

Anyway, nice job!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I knew she'd have a POV problem when it came to exposition on the final battle, so it was either not resolve it or resolve it clumsily. Not resolving it at least leaves room for fic writers, I guess.

I think I might have accepted it better if Harry and Remus had actually developed their relationship in this book, as Harry and Sirius did in book five.
rabidsamfan From: rabidsamfan Date: July 22nd, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I cried more reading this than I did reading the book...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I cried when I read the spoiler, and first started thinking about how to address it. (Of course, I think I got caught talking to my invisible friends because I had to go pace it out in the back room. V. embarrassing.)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was both pointless and infuriating. After I read the spoiler, I hoped that there would be context in the book, but there wasn't, except in the sense of both of them doing what Harry had yelled at Remus about, and was supposed to have been the lesson Remus learned about adventuring when they had someone to look after. At least in Remus's case--mostly because he was the first to leave--there's an argument that he sacrificed for the greater good, but Tonks following him instead of staying home with the child they were both responsible for when she knew there was a chance that he wouldn't come home... that made me want to drag her to the kitchen of Grimmauld Place and do the same thing Harry did to Remus.
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