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Second batch of fics - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Second batch of fics
How about something featuring Teddy, Victoire, and the Remus/Tonks/Sirius portrait, preferably after Teddy and Victoire become a couple?
for willowbough

-----
"Teddy?" Victoire called, standing on her toes to see into the window of the ill-made little shack. The place was Teddy's version of neat, at any rate--nothing strewn around, mismatched pillows at the ends of the sofa, the old blanket folded on top of it rather than kicked to the end of the cushions. He wasn't there. She tapped at the window.

Nothing.

She frowned and scanned the sky for any sign of a hawk.

"Teddy?" she called again. "It's Hogsmeade weekend, not Christmas! I have to get back to school!"

No answer.

She frowned and went to the front door. It was unlocked, and it was cold and drizzling outside. She supposed that she hadn't outright told Teddy she'd be coming--she meant it as something like a surprise--but she'd imagined that he'd guess it from all her reminders that the Hogsmeade weekend was coming.

Unless he took it as a sign that she wanted him to come to Hogsmeade.

She slapped her forehead and hissed between her teeth.

"That looked painful," a pleasant female voice said.

Victoire jumped, then realized that the voice was coming from the wall. Teddy had moved his portrait of his parents up here at some point in the last two months. Dora Lupin had left her dance, and was leaning against the frame with an understanding smile. Remus was sitting on the kitchen table, and Sirius was leaning back in his chair by the fireplace. Victoire wondered how they liked being back here, but wasn't sure about the etiquette of asking. She just sat down across from the portrait.

"My surprise may not have worked terribly well," she said.

"What do you mean?" Remus asked.

"Well, I've come up here, but I think Teddy may have gone to Hogsmeade."

The three of them passed a conspiratorial glance, then Dora said, "Oh, he's not in Hogsmeade. I imagine he's just running a bit late."

"Late?"

"Oh, errands to run, things to do," Sirius said. "Speaking of which, Moony and I ought to get back to the other portrait."

"Yes," Dora said, "And I mean to have a nice nap."

There was a slight pop, and Teddy appeared. He was carrying a small paper sack, which he immediately put into the large pocket of his oversized pea coat. He looked at Victoire, then--suspiciously--at the portrait. "What have you been talking about?" he asked, pulling off his woolen cap.

"Oh, errands," Sirius said. "Family business, you know."

Victoire gave Teddy what she hoped was an inquisitive glance, but he said nothing, just grimaced at Sirius in a vaguely frustrated way.

"What's going on, Teddy?"

He finally turned to her and kissed her cheek. "Sorry I'm late," he said. "Lost track of time."

"Do you mean that you were busy and forgot what time it is, or literally lost track of something in Time?"

He laughed. "The first. Though the second would be interesting, too." He kissed her other cheek.

"Oh, come on, Wings," Sirius said from the painting. "You call that a kiss?"

"I really don't need a critique right now, Padfoot," Teddy said.

"Clearly, you do. A whole island to yourself, a beautiful girl... you're worse than Moony."

"Do I need to break out the portrait curtains?"

Dora laughed. "It would serve Sirius right, after he did it to Mad Auntie."

"Right, because at any moment, I might start screaming obscenities at him."

Teddy smiled at them fondly, then shook his head. "Victoire, it's so lovely out... shall we have a walk?"

"Oh, they're going away," Dora said. "And I'll mind my own business."

"It is nasty out," Victoire said. Her eye happened to catch on the edge of the paper sack in Teddy's pocket. She frowned as an idea tried to form, then slipped away. "Come on, we can just enjoy a day inside. I have to go back in two hours, before they miss me. Story's covering for me if anyone asks, but..."

"But if you're not inside the gates when you're supposed to be, you'll lose points."

"Right. Besides, I have to study for a Potions test tomorrow. Professor Longbottom says there'll be potions on my Herbology N.E.W.T. as much as in the Potions N.E.W.T., so I really have to buckle down. But I wanted to sneak up and see you. And, er... not for a kiss on the cheek. I could get one of those from my little brother."

Sirius laughed wickedly. "Well, come on, Moony. Let's go run an errand. Tonks, have a nice nap."

Dora made a great show of yawning and curling up on the rug in front of the fire. Sirius and Remus left through the edge of the painting.

"What are you nervous about?" Victoire asked, once they'd all settled.

"Well, I..." Teddy sighed, then said. "Potions test, eh? Do you need any help?"




Geoffrey in some situation (living or dead) where he finally gets it smacked through his head what an utter, bigotted, little creep he's been or, if that doesn't work, maybe where he has to deal with the consequences of what he's done in some kind of hereafter
for Ellen
[Does a zealot like Geoffrey ever really get what a creep he is? Hmm. Let's try.]
-----
Geoffrey looked out from his second floor window and grimaced. It wasn't the view--the park at night was pleasant enough, he supposed, in its way, with globes of light spreading out around cast iron fixtures and neatly trimmed paths leading into the shadows. Bourgeois, but pleasant. Meant to lull the mind, to hide the ugliness...

Yes, but is it really ugly?

He shoved this question roughly aside. It had occurred to him more than once as he'd grown older, and now, approaching sixty, it was nearly haunting. Is it really ugly? Or is the facade the reality, and the ugliness the facade?

It troubled him, not because he thought the question had any merit, but because he feared he was slipping into some sort of false consciousness. Was he imagining transcendence because of a few brushes with oblivion? And if even he, who had never been raised to believe in pretty fairy tales, was suddenly susceptible to them, then how could the movement survive, manned by those who'd needed to be slowly and carefully deprogrammed from the morphic fantasies they'd grown up with? He had worked to open their eyes; now his own were closing.

I'll tear it down, he thought, and it calmed him. He would tear down the lights and strip away the clean paint they put on in the morning to cover the vile graffiti. He would pull out all the false nutrition they gave the grass to keep it green. He would make the passing cars spew out their vapors so everyone could see them--green, perhaps, and let it settle on everything, let it rub out the false face of beauty.

But what comes after? What are you building? What are they meant to do about the ugliness, once they've seen it?

He shook it off. They would tell the truth, and the truth was always ugly. Better to be ugly and true than hidden behind a false veneer of bourgeois sentimentality.

Annoyed with himself, he pulled on a trenchcoat and went out into the night. Let the muggers and other sundry dolts come at him; he'd long since learned to defend himself against their sort. (In fact, doing so had got him a bit of a following when he'd stopped a killer cold and saved several Muggles in the process. It hadn't been his intention--he hadn't even noticed them there--but he was happy to take credit. Some Muggle faction or other had claimed the killer, but Geoffrey had lost interest by then.) Tonight, he seemed to be alone on the prowl, and he relished the cold fog that was starting to rise. He turned a corner and found himself at a row of pubs. A whore he'd done business with in the past crushed out her cigarette and gave him a come-on stare. He considered it briefly, then shook his head. She shrugged and went on to her next mark.

He turned again, and, on a whim, Apparated to Diagon Alley. It was as dead as the Muggle street. A few hobos slept in front of boarded up stores. A light burned at Weasley's, though the shop was closed; Geoffrey supposed they were making more of their cruel, nonsense tricks. One of his better plans, he thought, was in progress at the moment. The plan was to see to it that the Wizengamot would no longer authorize businesses which could not demonstrate any concrete benefit to society. Telling idiotic jokes did not, in Geoffrey's view, constitute a concrete benefit to anyone.

"Hey, old man!"

He looked over his shoulder. A girl--oh, perhaps a woman, she was at some in-between stage--was staggering toward him, weaving along the cobblestones. Even two meters away, he could smell the liquor on her. She was wearing a button on her long, ragged coat that had the "Strike!" symbol on it. He looked forward again and continued walking.

"Come on, give me a bit of something, will you?" Her voice was too close, and Geoffrey felt her hands on him, reaching into his pockets. "I'll trade you for it," she said, undulating against him in an entirely unprovocative manner.

He turned and pushed her away. She swayed on the cobblestones, then fell. He meant to pay her no more mind, but then he saw a slow, sly smile come across her face.

Too late.

The two men had been hiding in the shadows, and they shoved him roughly. He didn't have time to register what they were doing when he felt something hot and sharp go into his back, between the shoulder blades. The world grayed, and he went down to his knees.

"Get his purse!" the girl yelled.

He was pushed roughly forward onto his face, and the girl's high heel came down on one of his hands. He felt the boy's hand in his pocket, and then his wand was gone.

"Ha!" he heard. "Let's see them take this one away!"

Next, they got his wallet, his watch, and, for some mad reason, his glasses. He tried to move, but the most he could manage was a faint belly flop. They laughed and started away.

"Hey, don't forget my knife!" one of the boys yelled, and then there was fire and ice and molten rock in his back as the knife was yanked free. Geoffrey felt blood spilling out of him, coming in spurts as the world grayed around him.

"...elp..." he muttered.

"Hey! You!" Thundering footsteps came out from Weasley's, and a moment later, a strong hand was pressed against Geoffrey's back. A white light flashed, and he saw a Patronus disappear into the night. "Angelina!" the man called. "Angelina, get out here! He's hurt!"

Geoffrey felt a pulse of magic going onto the wound in his back, then he was turned over. George Weasley, his thin white hair making a nimbus in the moonlight, was looking down on him with both recognition and concern. "I've called for the Aurors and St. Mungo's," he said. "You'll be all right."

His wife came out next, wrapped in a silky robe, which she held tight against the cold. She knelt down on his other side, and Conjured a blanket to wrap around him. The world continued to fade. "He's lost a lot of blood," she said from somewhere far away.

There were pops, like little blister packs being burst, and more people appeared. Harry Potter himself, head of the Auror Division. Regulus Black, who claimed to be a long-lost scion of the Black family finally reunited with them, but, Geoffrey understood in a flash, was not what he seemed to be, or was precisely who he seemed to be. Healer Mira Dursley, her green robes glowing in the park's torchlight.

They're beautiful, he thought. It's all beautiful!

And then it was gone.




Negotiated--Victoire's POV on deciding to propose.
for maidenjedi

-----
"You went and talked about your Potions Test?" Story repeated, disbelieving. "Weasley, you're losing your grip."

Victoire crouched and reached under a thornbush to pull out a few snagged unicorn hairs for Hagrid. She and Story were doing a detention because a Gryffidor third year and a Ravenclaw second year had managed to Hex one another into the hospital wing. Both of them had been carrying point tally sheets that Marie had devised to keep track of which House was in the lead in the yearly war, which meant that Victoire and Story, who'd started the thing during their first year, got detention as well.

"Well?" Story pressed.

"It was something to talk about," Victoire admitted. "And he asked who had more points, and how Quidditch was going, and--"

"So you spent the whole time up there talking about being in school." Story shook his head. "Really, Victoire, that wasn't helpful."

"What do you mean?"

"You said his parents--in the portrait, of course--kept acting like he had some big plan."

"Yes."

"And he had a little package of some sort that he was keeping hidden?"

"Right, he said he'd just bought it."

Story twirled his hands around to indicate that she should just keep going on whatever train of thought he was assuming she'd got on.

"I thought it might be a Christmas present..."

"Which he would tell his parents about and they'd deliberately stay away so he could give you... in October?"

"What are you talking about?"

He sat down on a rock. "All right, let's take this point A to point Z. Or really, only to point C or at most F, as it's not that many stops."

"Be my guest."

"First, he's bought an island."

"Right."

"Second, he's building a house there that has everything in the world that you like."

"I'm sure that's just a coincidence."

"Third, he's flatly declared that he loves you, and you've said similar things, I'm sure."

Victoire scowled. "Yes. I shouldn't tell you private things, you always throw them at me."

"That's because you need them thrown." He sighed. "Fourth, He's taken shells from your house to put into the decoration in the ballroom. Fifth, he's been talking to his parents' portrait about you, and they seem to feel a need to leave him alone to get something done. Sixth, he has a small box that he hid from you. Victoire... what do you think fits in a small box?"

"I have no idea," Victoire said, and reached in to grab another bit of hair--this golden, from a baby unicorn, possibly even more valuable than...

She stopped and rocked back on her heels, pulling her hand out of the thorn tunnel and raking it with shallow cuts. From point A to Point F. The island, the house, the relationship, his parents...

"A ring?" she whispered, and sat down hard on the ground. "Oh, my God, it was a ring, and I was talking about my Potions test!"

"Well, I don't know it for sure," Story admitted, "but thinking about it... yes, I think you were meant to come back with a diamond."

Victoire took a few deep breaths. "What am I going to do? What if he doesn't ask again? What if--"

"What do you want to do? Do you want to marry him?"

"Well, yes, eventually, I just assumed... oh, but now... oh, I probably scared him, talking like a child..."

"I think Lupin's a bit tougher than that," Story said. "I guess the question is, do you think you're old enough?"

"Is anyone?" Victoire brushed her hair back and Conjured a tie for it, neatening herself to keep her hands busy and straighten out her mind. A part of her thought that she was too young, though she knew several people who'd married right out of Hogwarts. And she certainly didn't expect to meet anyone other than Teddy. There was an argument to be made for living on her own, but it felt weak, and less than logical, to put off getting her life in order just because someone else might think young people's lives ought not to have much order in them. There were things she wanted to do, but none of them conflicted with marriage. In fact, if she started her business then stopped to get married, change her name, and relocate, it would be a much bigger hassle, especially since she knew it would be coming. There was nothing in her dreams she could think of that wouldn't make more sense to do after the adult shape of her life was in place.

It was a thought almost frighteningly disconnected from romance and flowers and long kisses on the sea cliff. It wasn't the thought of a swept-away girl-child. It was more like looking at a room full of unpacked boxes, and deciding which ought to be opened first to get the house set up most efficiently. The image she had of herself was standing in the new house, a kerchief tied around her hair, and her hands on her hips, evaluating the situation.

Teddy might study Mysteries, and be intrigued by the ritual of proper ages and what they meant; Victoire raised plants, and knew that the soil needed to be prepared before the seed came, and the seed had to become a sprout before it could grow and blossom.

She bit her lip hard to pull herself out of her thoughts, then looked at Story and said, "Do me a favor--dare me."

30 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: spitc1899 Date: November 29th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Victoire more with everything you write about her. And I want to scream at Geoffrey as much as ever, just in a slightly different way than usual.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 29th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Victoire turned out fun to write. Little miss organized.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 29th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
*applause* Geoffrey's character does merit more inspection. This piece is nicer than anything you've ever written about him (though the one describing his parents' living room was very good too). He doesn't come across as a nasty-by-default paper tiger at all here.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong by (in Fernverse) wasn't Angelina Dennis Creevy's wife? Wasn't George married to a muggle woman name Sophie?

Keep up the great work,

-fh :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 29th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I figured that wasn't too hard to change when JKR came up with it--I'll just marry Dennis off to one of the other Chasers. Katie Bell, maybe. It's a bit of a pain going back to fix, but not so much as erasing half of Bill's children and renaming the rest would have been!

(As to Geoffrey, my major rule is, "Everyone's the hero of his own life, never the bad guy." To Geoffrey, all of his beliefs are idealism, and all of his actions necessary.)

Edited at 2008-11-29 02:27 pm (UTC)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 29th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love 'em all! The one I requested with Teddy, Victoire, and the portrait trio all hanging out together--I guessed it might be an engagement ring in Teddy's pocket, so I was definitely tickled by the follow-up with Victoire and Story.

And Geoffrey--brrr! Why do gits like that never wake up until it's too late to fix their mistakes?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Because it's all For The Greater Good.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: November 29th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great stuff!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: November 29th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, Victoire definitely knows how to motivate her self! That entire conversation is lovely, Story's methodical ABCing through her obliviousness and her musings at the end are so very her.

Geoffrey... well I refuse to feel sorry for him but it was such an interesting character study. Really well written and as you say above prove positive that everyone is a hero in their own mind.

Portrait!Dora, Remus and Sirius are adorable. And I am so pleased for Teddy that he has them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Story definitely has a Ravenclaw approach to it, which probably appeals to Victoire's sense of order.
maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: November 29th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo, thank you Fern!! I loved that - especially the very end with "dare me." So Victoire! You've done a wonderful job with these characters.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! Glad you liked it. :)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: November 29th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved them all.

Geoffrey's death is very fitting. And I liked that George (and the others) just did the right thing, and showed him, it is so ironic. Geoffrey apparently destroyed a lot of the wizarding war, and to be killed by the results of his own deeds... well, it's very poetic.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a version of live by the sword, die by the sword--live spreading ugliness, die from ugliness.
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: November 29th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh wow. Just...wow. I can't even...

Geoffrey's story was amazing. I can't even wrap my head around it.

And I love that Victoire asked Story to dare her. That's just awesome.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
She can Ravenclaw her way to making the decision, but needs a Gryffindor motivator to do it. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 29th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

the geoffery story was so fitting and made me feel sorry for him... he's blind, but afraid to realize it- and of course he never really does till its too late. which doesn't stop him from being a jerk, obviously.
I also liked the ending with victoire seeing herself not as "some swept-away girl-child" neat phrase~M
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

More than being blind and not realizing it, every time he sees the edge of something, he's afraid it will be what blinds him.
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: November 29th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my goodness, I love the Teddy/Victoire fics! They're both so cute. I'm glad Victoire has maintained her friendship with Story. Platonic m/f relationships are so nice to have sometimes. Good work!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I like a good platonic ship, too. :)
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: November 29th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
These are all so great. I especially like the last one with Victoire and Story. First off their friendship seems very natural and cute, which is especially nice considering the difficulty that Victoire seems to have in getting friends.... I also liked it though for that practical look at love as well. Because I do think that is true- though the last line kept it from being too clinical or grown-up!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I've just given thought to these young marriages in the HP world, because they seem to come up a lot, and people so often seem scandalized. I imagine most of the young witches and wizards who get married take a good look at their situation and realize that it makes more sense to be married than single if you've got someone. Sort of, "Why unpack the bric-a-brac before you've got the shelves put together to put it on?"
wotcher_wombat From: wotcher_wombat Date: November 30th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the blister-popping metaphor with Geoffrey. Very fitting. But--if Geoffrey was an old man, that must make Harry, George, and Angelina utterly ancient. Maybe one can continue Weasley Wizarding Wheezes, but would Harry still be at the head of the Auror department? Wouldn't he have turned it over to Ruthless by now, lol? (Also, Mira Dursley's inclusion made me very happy.)

I also love the depiction of Victoire and Story's relationship. Very nice and comfortable. I imagine they've done their fair share of detentions by now.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! (Yes, Victoire and Story are probably approaching Fred and George levels of detention.)

Geoffrey's Teddy's age here, and he's approaching sixty, which means that Harry's in his seventies--probably doing more administrative work, if not entirely retired, but, hey, he happened to be on duty. Dumbledore was running Hogwarts at 100, after all. Either that, or it was Al and Geoffrey doesn't know the difference. ;p
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: November 30th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm confused because I read this as a near-miss--that they all saved Geoffrey's life and he went on to *really* wreak havoc. Otherwise, was it someone else who took over the crusade and carried it on long enough for Teddy to have reached a "ripe old age" before his death? (I am confused by Jo's maths, of course, but given the possible lifespan I'd guess a Wizard's ripe old age would be 120 or so.)

FASCINATED by all of this...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was his followers who really got the war going after he died, because they just swallowed everything he wrote, never questioned it, and ran riot.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: November 30th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gotcha. Thanks. Also, ugh.
beceh From: beceh Date: November 30th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm really enjoying these, thanks Fern :-)
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 1st, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Fern. Sigh. There's something about Geoffrey that just makes me pity him at the same time I want to throttle him.

And, ironically, I can see his supporters putting a conspiracy theory together that the people who tried to save him were really the ones who killed him. They were "the establishment" and isn't it suspicious that they would be the only ones there when Geoffrey was attacked? Never mind that the first bunch to arrive lived there and, as to the second bunch, if you call the cops when a crime has been committed, it isn't exactly suspicious if cops then appear on the scene.

But thanks again.

Ellen
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 2nd, 2008 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Ok, wait, Mira Dursley?! .... Damn, I still am set on her with Daniel. *Sighs melodramatically*

And wait, THAT'S how he dies? Thanks to some muggers? Rather craptastic ending, and his fricken war went on....

Also, if I see the word bourgeois ONE MORE TIME GEOFFREY....

(I blame him, not you. :D.)

Victorie is amazing. With her I had that urge with your stories I haven't had in awhile. To read the lines outloud, they're THAT fantastic. :D.

Anddd just, tee hee. Heh.
30 comments or Leave a comment