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Request ficlets - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Request ficlets
A week or so ago, I did an f-locked post asking for assistance on a work related question (I generally have been f-locking non-fic posts; there was no real reason for it, I guess), and offered ficlets as trade. I only got three requests (despite tons of help... thanks everyone!), so I figure I'll just do them all here.

For hermia7:
More Harry and Neville, as adults.

"Nice set up you've got here," Harry said, Levitating the picnic table and turning it around. "Do you spend much time with Cho and Daniel?"

Neville Conjured a few plates, and Summoned a keg of mead. "We do, actually. It's nice. I never knew Cho before."

"Neither did I," Harry said. "And I went out with her. Screwed that one up, I'm afraid."

"And here you were expected to be perfect at it at the age of fifteen." Neville tapped the keg and poured out two tankards of mead, handing one over to Harry. They sat down side by side, looking down the wide stone corridor of the family quarters. Hannah would be along soon--she'd had a meeting with her contractors in London--and Cho and Daniel would probably come up as soon as her last class was over, but for now, it was just Neville and Harry, a configuration Neville couldn't remember ever happening in school, but which had been oddly common since the battle. Harry had finally told him why he'd suddenly started feeling a kinship, and Neville had finally shown him the baby picture with the pair of them hiding under one of Lily Potter's cauldrons, but on the whole, none of their time together seemed based on babyhood connections. It was just a comfortable old friendship that had got closer over the years instead of drifting apart. Neville was glad. "You know, Cho says she's the one who managed to screw it up, bringing up Cedric all the time."

"He'd just died. I don't blame her."

"The two of you should have a drink sometime and have a good laugh about it."

"As long as it's not at Madam Puddifoot's," Harry said fervently.

Neville laughed. "I think that's a safe bet. No staff members go there."

Harry smiled and peered down the corridor into the shadows. "So, how do you like married life?"

"Tell Ginny she was right. As usual. I love it. It's nice to have someone you know is there. And it's oddly amusing to say, 'Oh, have you met my wife? This is my wife, Hannah.' I'm easily amused, I guess."

"You get used to that pretty fast," Harry said. "But I must admit, I used to go to Harpies games and shout, 'That's my wife up there!' to anyone who'd listen. Drove Ginny purely crazy."

"So you stopped?"

"On pain of worse than death." Harry grinned. "Now, I'm waiting for James and Al and Lily to start playing, so I can say, 'That's my kid up there!' I'd truly hoped Teddy would have made the national team by now, but he has an inexplicable lack of interest in the subject, so I just have to brag about his marks. And his girlfriends. My God, Neville, where do they all come from? They just sort of... flock."

"And you only hear about the ones Teddy knows about. I see their notebooks when they put them down in Herbology. You've no idea how many hearts I've seen the initials TRL in. And not just the younger girls, either."

Harry shook his head in disbelief. "How does he not know?"

"Two words, Harry: Romilda Vane. Did you have the slightest notion who she was?"

Harry made an exaggerated warding gesture. "I block that out. Did you hear that she works at the Ministry? She's the receptionist."

"I'd avoid taking sweets from her desk, if I were you."

"I avoid her desk when I can. I just Apparate straight to my office."

"Clearly, you're getting uppity and forgetting the common people."

"Oh, yes. And a few heroic deeds more than ten years ago don't give me any right to sneeze at ordinary working folks..."

"...and don't forget, it probably wasn't really anything that important, anyway."

Harry laughed. "You get those letters, too?"

"Oh, yes. Hannah gets different sorts of letters. She burns them at the end of the day."

"Mm. Yes, Ginny got a few of those at first. But she, er... answered them. They stopped rather abruptly."

"I can imagine Ginny's idea of a proper response."

"I decided it was probably best not to imagine it."

"Did Vivian get them when you were going out with her?"

Neville nodded. There had been letters, and they'd made the misspelled missives that occasionally came Hannah's way ("You down't disserve Nevil Lankboddon!") look quite tame. There'd been insults about her scars, and, after her illness had been revealed, actual death threats. But Vivian had grown up with Fenrir Greyback, and it took more than a few cranks to bother her. Still, Neville imagined it was a relief to her not to get them anymore, and Hannah was developing a much thicker skin about it than anyone would have suspected.

A bell rang inside, and he ran to retrieve a chicken from its spit on the fire.


For gabrielladusult
Donzo's first introduction to the Marauder's Map

"So, are you in?" Teddy asked.

Donzo made himself look up. He'd honestly forgotten just why he, Teddy, and Ruthless had sneaked into the Restricted Section of the library. He was just looking at the map of the castle, and all of the dots moving about on it. It was too much too take in at one glance, but he found that if he was looking for something specific, he could always see it in the confusion. There were Maurice and Corky in their Slytherin dormitory, and it looked like a whole crowd of Hufflepuff Muggles and Minions players were still up, and...

Ruthless's fingers snapped in front of his face. "McCormack. Are you in?"

"Right, right. The Animagus business. I... well, i don't really want to be an Animagus, but I'll help Teddy."

"Oh, come on!" Teddy said. "It'll be fun. Ruthless?"

"I'm trying for a post as an Auror. I'm not going to spend my last three years at Hogwarts breaking the law myself."

"But you'll help me do it."

She shrugged. "It's a fine line, Lupin. I think of it as protecting you."

"Right."

Donzo let them chatter. He guessed Ruthless would eventually be worn down, mostly because she'd never resist a chance to break the rules so spectacularly. He went back to the Map. The Headmistress was up in her office with the Fat Friar and Peeves. What was that about?

"Order it."

He blinked. Teddy was smiling brightly, apparently not in the least bit disturbed that Donzo wasn't paying attention. "What do you mean?"

"Just order it to do something. Anything. Introduce yourself and then order it around."

"What's it going to do?"

"Nothing bad."

"Matter of opinion," Ruthless muttered.

Curiously, Donzo pointed his wand at the Map and said, "I'm Donald Jubal McCormack Duke. Tell me what you do."

The Map went blank, and Donzo's heart nearly stopped. "Teddy, I'm sorry, I erased it..."

But when he looked up, Teddy was smiling. "Just look."

Donzo looked back down.

A line of ink appeared, twisting into high, spiky letters.

Mr. Prongs welcomes Mr. McCormack--or Duke--but expresses surprise that he wandered away from his mirror long enough to have an adventure.

Donzo laughed. "What the...?"

Another line, a different handwriting:
Mr. Wormtail wonders exactly how many names one person thinks he needs.

"Who...?"

Mr. Padfoot commends Mr. Duke on his salutatory choice of companions, but worries that real adventures might mar or dirty his rebellious wardrobe.

"Yours are better than mine," Ruthless said. "They just made rude comments about my hair and my choice in boyfriends."

A final line appeared.

Mr. Moony concurs with Mr. Padfoot's worry, and would add that Mr. Duke must find it difficult to dance without mussing his hair.

"Ha! I knew they'd get around to the hair," Ruthless said.

Donzo laughed. "Who are they?"

"The Marauders," Teddy said. "My dad and his friends." He pointed to the last statement. "Moony--that's Dad. For being a werewolf." He went up the list. "Mr. Padfoot was Sirius Black. Mr. Wormtail was Peter Pettigrew. He was a traitor later on, but he's fine on the Map. And Mr. Prongs was James Potter--Uncle Harry's dad. They all became Animagi to help Dad out."

Donzo supposed that he ought to be more impressed with the fact that they'd become Animagi, as that was obviously Teddy's point, but the Map struck him as a bigger achievement. The Animagus spell was difficult and dangerous, but it had already existed. This Map, on the other hand... this had come from them. They couldn't have been any older than Teddy, Ruthless, and Donzo were now, but they'd brought something magically new into the world. "They used everything," he said. "Identity and security and... this is amazing."

"You should see what it can do when I open it with Dad's wand," Teddy said. "I found everything they ever lost around here."

Ruthless leaned in before Teddy could get properly started. "I don't suppose we could save the tour of the Map for a time when we're not sneaking around past curfew in order to use the Restricted Section without a pass."

"She's right," Teddy said. "But I promise, I'll show it to you tomorrow." He pointed his wand at the Map and said, "Mischief managed."

It went blank.

Donzo shook his head in amazement, then turned his attention to the more familiar terrain of the Hogwarts library.


For nundu_art:
Ruthless and Victoire coming to terms with their standing in Teddy's life

It had been a perfectly lovely day in London, but Victoire was glad to get back to the Roost. She didn't feel comfortable having gone more than twelve hours with no one having spit up on her.

Orry had snatched Teddy away at the door, convinced that his "bruvver" was deathly ill--"Sirsius all red!"--and Mira (who knew she was supposed to be in bed) was ostentatiously giving James (who also knew she was supposed to be in bed) instructions on changing Julia's nappy. They seemed to have it under control. Victoire made her way up to the nursery, where Ruthless was sitting in the rocker, holding Apolline, who was her goddaughter. This hadn't been an easy call, as Victoire believed that, somewhere in Ruth Scrimgeour's heart, she'd have rather been a mother than a godmother to Teddy's child. But Teddy insisted that any of that was so far in the past that it didn't matter to either of them, and in the end, it had seemed right, especially after Ruthless had saved Sirius when he'd miscalculated during a crawl along the cliffs (Teddy had since put up safety walls).

"I think I've nearly got her to sleep," Ruthless said softly. "Did you need to nurse her?"

"Oh, she'll want a snack before the night's out," Victoire said, "but I think she can sleep on through for now."

Ruthless kissed the baby's head. "There's a good girl, Polly. That's Aunt Ruth's good girl."

"I'm really going to try for Apolline," Victoire reminded her.

"Oh. Right. Sorry." Ruthless shook her head. "No, I'm not. She's going to end up Polly, and we both know it."

"Do we need to start right now?"

"I suppose not." Ruthless Summoned a baby blanket and swaddled Apolline in it. "She's really beautiful, Victoire."

"She'll do. May I?" Victoire held out her arms, and Ruthless put Apolline in them without hesitating, though she had a distant, longing look on her face. Victoire pulled the baby close and cuddled her. It felt better to have her arms full than empty. "I never thought you'd be so good with babies."

"Eldest of five," Ruthless reminded her. "And my brothers are already having children. I was telling James earlier--Kirk has named his son Eigg. Eigg. He found it in a book of Scottish names. Have you ever heard it? I've been Scottish all my life, and I never heard of a boy named Eigg before."

"No, I've never heard it." Victoire looked up from Apolline's head, and saw that Ruthless's longing expression hadn't left. She bit her lip and blurted out, "What are you waiting for, Ruth?"

"What?"

"Why haven't you married? Had children? You obviously want them."

"That's a very personal question."

"You're not waiting for... well..."

"Teddy?" Ruthless guessed, with a faint gleam of amusement in her eyes. "Yes, Victoire, after giving his stag party, standing up at the wedding, and watching you give him five children--so far--I'm just waiting for this phase to pass."

"That's not what I mean. I know you've no designs on him, and I know that if you did, he wouldn't go along with them. I just... I know you were in love with him. I don't know how that fits into everything."

"It doesn't," Ruthless said. "And luckily, it's really not a factor anymore. I promise. I wouldn't disturb this for anything." She pointed around the nursery. "I knew before Teddy did that he loved you. I accepted it. Now, he's... I don't know. Not a brother, exactly. And not in my past, exactly. He's his own thing to me. My Teddy, as James calls him. No other definition is apparently necessary."

"I worry that all of this makes you unhappy."

Ruthless was quiet for a long time, then she said, "No. It doesn't. It did, i won't lie. Pretty recently, too, but not anymore."

Victoire narrowed her eyes. "Is there someone new?"

"No. Not new." Ruthless stood up and leaned over to kiss Apolline's head. "And not anything serious. Just something fun. And I realized... I really like just having fun. And maybe someday, I'll have fun getting married and having babies. But for now, I'll just enjoy yours, if you don't mind."

"I never mind my children being enjoyed by their godparents."

"Good. It's getting late. I should get back."

Victoire stood, Apolline in her arms, and followed Ruthless downstairs. Teddy and James were talking quietly while Orry furiously rocked Sirius's cradle. Victoire guessed that Teddy had given Sirius a colic potion and had cast a buffering charm to keep Orry's ministrations from waking him up.

"I think I'll go," Ruthless said.

Teddy hugged her. "Thanks for helping out today."

"It was a wrench," she said. "You know how I hate your children."

"I'll walk down to the Apparition point with you," James offered. "I wanted to talk to you about that Dark witch in Soho we've been tracking..."

"Oh. Right. Soho." Ruthless shook her head. "Well, work never rests."

Victoire saw them to the door, then spent the next hour working with Teddy to get the toys and food in order (James never remembered what went where). They kissed the children, and tucked them in, then went upstairs to bed. While Teddy was showering, Victoire looked out the window, which gave a wide view of the island. A light was on in James's little house, and she could see Ruthless's red hair through the window.

The Soho case must have been more involved than it had sounded.

Or, Victoire thought, more fun.

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alphabet26 From: alphabet26 Date: June 24th, 2008 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
My Teddy, as James calls him.

Hee, Little Women much?

Really enjoyed all of these--Neville and Harry are great as adults, love Donzo's fascination with the map instead of Animagus stuff, and Victoire and Ruthless are perfect.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee, Little Women much?

Ha, yes! At least he didn't originally love Victoire, but then move on to her younger sister Aimee! But there's a bit of Jo in Ruthless, now that I think about it.
amamama From: amamama Date: June 24th, 2008 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, cool! Love'em all. Lucky ladies (don't know if hermia's female, but I know the other two), what a wonderful reward. Oh, yes - James seems to be Ruthless' kind of fun. The Map is truly wonderful, and I love the insults it gives. Most creative. And finally - Harry and Neville might not want to, but I think it would be fun to see one of 'those' letters, and Ginny's reply to it. I'm sure it packed a punch... Figuratively, at least. *grins*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I might move the ellipsis to "Figuratively... at least." ;p

James is definitely Ruthless's kind of fun, and where Teddy would love her despite the fact that she does nerve-wracking and dangerous things, James would love her because of that.
rotae From: rotae Date: June 24th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC) (Link)
"And his girlfriends. My God, Neville, where do they all come from? They just sort of... flock."

HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :D That made me lol. A lot. Oh, poor Teddy. Poor, oblivious, Teddy XDDDD

Peace,
Rotae
cornedbee From: cornedbee Date: June 24th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Seconded. And thirded, fourthed and fifthed.
(Deleted comment)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 24th, 2008 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
All of them were totally awesome!! :-D
beceh From: beceh Date: June 24th, 2008 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
that would be me *sheepish look*
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 24th, 2008 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)
isn't it usually "tankards" of mead rather than "tankers"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
:headdesk:

They were really, really thirsty. Yeah. ;p
redlily From: redlily Date: June 24th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
The Soho case must have been ore involved than it had sounded.

Sub in "more."

The last one was by far the most interesting to me. It's a bit surprising it took Victoire five kids being born to quell her suspicions about Ruthless.

And I loved "Oh. Right. Sorry." Ruthless shook her head. "No, I'm not. She's going to end up Polly, and we both know it. Yes! It's a godmother's prerogative to use whatever nicknames she chooses. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a bit surprising it took Victoire five kids being born to quell her suspicions about Ruthless.

I'm not sure it's so much a suspicion as s lingering awkwardness--more "Does she resent me?" than "Is she out to steal my husband?"

And of course, Apolline ends up Polly. By the, Victoire will probably just be glad she's not "Roly-Poly Polly Molly."
milaya36 From: milaya36 Date: June 24th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Mm. Yes, Ginny got a few of those at first. But she, er... answered them. They stopped rather abruptly."
Oh, I do love Ginny.

All of these are fantastic. I especially love Donzo's fascination with the Map (and denial that he'll become an Animagus!). And James/Ruthless is somehow more interesting to me than Teddy/Victoire, maybe because T/V comes off as more wholesomely (boringly) perfect. Come to think of it, next time you do a drabble request, I should ask for Teddy and Victoire fighting post-relationship...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I think Teddy and Victoire both like their relationship comfortably boring, but I'm sure they run up against each other now and then. Most likely started by Teddy making some unilateral decision about things, whether Victoire agrees with it or not. James and Ruthless, on the other hand, probably start every third day with a duel at dawn.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: June 24th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
The first one is lovely. Once again I add my voice to the chorus of "Neville is awesome."

That probably ought to be tankards of mead, rather than tankers?

And I burst out laughing and am now dying to see one of Ginny's responses.


Ack! I'll miss the bus if I linger to comment further, but I simply love your Ruthless.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ginny's responses probably work better with magic I can't duplicate. Like words that would look polite if anyone tried to show them to a reporter, but as soon as the person was alone, gave her what-for. And possibly included a few Wheezes from George.
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: June 24th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
these are just great fern. you know we can't help but love anything you come up with, especially in teddy-verse. love neville and harry, and we wish they really have that connection when they're older. (oh wait. this is my canon. jkr or no.)

and victoire & ruth! your drabbles are getting connected hehehe... i count references to two so far, maybe as far as three. i think i like that ruth is in teddy's life, for the obvious reason, which is that she's a brilliant character, but also because she kept victoire grounded. without her victoire might have a bigger chance of being an obnoxious airhead (though your victoire is a great deal more grounded). and finally they make their peace.

thanks as always fern! and don't worry about answering our comments right away, though we love that connection with you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think you're right about Victoire. She and Ruth are friends in an oddball sort of way, and they're good for each other. Victoire has probably also been a good influence on Ruthless, too, keeping her from going entirely pseudo-rebellious.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: June 24th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
EEEEeeeeeee THANK YOU!! This made my morning. All three of them, actually, but whee, the boys are fun.

And I snorted out loud at: "They just sort of... flock." HA!

Thank you so much!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, poor Harry, still perplexed by the strange behavior of the female of the species. ;p
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 24th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those were all wonderful. I love Harry and Neville as adults, and the sneak peek at Teddy and Victoire's family life was awesome.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed giving cameo personalities to Teddy's kids--bossy Mira, ostentatiously caregiving Orry, and of course, reckless baby Sirius. Alas, it's too early for Julia and Polly to really have their personalities yet. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 24th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, what a perfect pre-work surprise.

They just sort of...flock.

HA! Harry's forgetting the year when his Quidditch tryouts were swamped with squealing girls. :-P

I don't know how I keep on forgetting just how much I like Donzo. And then another ficlet comes along and he's so warm and funny and such a good friend to Teddy. Thanks for all your OCs, but especially Daniel and Donzo. Oh, and Marie! Next time you offer up OC requests I'll have to dream up one with Marie.

-Sqveege
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry has a very selective memory...

I need to show Teddy being a good friend to Donzo, too. I always write Teddy as the one in crisis mode (function of stories called "Teddy Lupin and..."), but he's a good reciprocal friend, too.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: daphne_23 Date: June 24th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
These were a fantastic set of drabbles - love for Neville and Ruthless in particular! :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 24th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha! That's totally Harry; he killed a basilisk with a sword when he was twelve, fought off one hundred Dementors when he was thirteen, survived at least six encounters with the most powerful and merciless dark wizard in history before defeating him and saving the world and has no doubt captured many extremely dangerous dark wizards in his career as an Auror.

But what does he brag about?

'My wife is a professional Quidditch player, how cool is that?!'
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: June 24th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do love these little plotless character sketches! When I was a kid, back when dinosaurs walked the earth and there was no such thing as "fan fiction", I used to daydream them into my favorite books.
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