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Batch 5 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 5
I want something fluffy with kids. Soooo... how about little Teddy on Christmas with Uncle Harry, Aunt Ginny and baby James.
for demonoflight

-----
"Teddy, I have an important job for you," Ginny said.

Teddy straightened up in his chair, where he'd been moping since Andromeda had gone in for an emergency at St. Mungo's. "What is it?"

"I need you to hold the baby while I finish up with supper and Uncle Harry gets the table set."

"Really?" Teddy blinked, then looked at Harry (which Ginny supposed she should have expected; Teddy would ask Harry's permission to breathe if it occurred to him). "Is that really all right? Can I?"

"Sure you can," Harry said. "I'll bet he'd like it. Just hold out your arms." Teddy held out his arms straight. Harry placed James on top of them, and rearranged Teddy's arms to be more supportive. "There you are."

Teddy looked down at the baby and moved his arms up and down once. "What does he like?" he asked.

"You could give him a bottle," Ginny said, floating one over. "Harry, would you show him?"

"Yes." Harry knelt down by the chair where Teddy was sitting and snatched the bottle from the air. "Now, don't worry, I'm an expert, and I'll walk you through it. First, test a drop." He put a bit on his wrist. "Feels just about right. Then"--he flipped the bottle over smartly--"you hold it like so, and James makes a grab for it." James obliged. "Then you just hold it there for him. Make sure he doesn't start sucking air. That's very important."

"Right. No air." Teddy nodded seriously, and Harry moved his right hand up and placed the bottle in it. James didn't notice this transfer of power. Teddy frowned. "And he just... eats?"

"Right!"

"Should I sing to him or something? Or I could tell him a story!"

"There you have it," Ginny said. "Why don't you tell him a Christmas story? We could all listen."

"What Christmas story?"

"Whatever your favorite is." Ginny went back to the stove. Most of her spells were actually working on their own at the moment, but Teddy had been feeling quite left out. Harry seemed to get this, and didn't use any magic at all in the process of setting the table. (Then again, Harry tended to forget to do householdy spells. He'd cook and set tables the Muggle way nearly every time--he claimed he'd had a lot of experience at the Dursleys--and she'd once actually caught him scrubbing the floor.)

Teddy bit his lip and thought about it. "Granny told me one yesterday, about a nasty man who liked money too much."

"Oh, I like that one," Harry said. "Let's have it."

"All right, James," Teddy said, looking at the baby. "This is an important Christmas story. Not the most important one, but pretty important. That's what Granny says, anyway. Once upon a time--which means that it was a long time ago--there was a man named Skooge. And he didn't like Christmas at all, and always said 'Humbug,' which is sort of a funny thing to say. He had all sorts of money, but he wouldn't even let poor Bob Whatsis light a fire at the office. Then one night, all the ghosts got together at the Ministry, and one of them said, 'Skooge is a Muggle, but we should visit him anyway, because he's very, very rude, and it will scare him, like he scares other Muggles.' Granny says they really oughtn't do that, and there are rules about it, but they did it anyway, and I don't think they got into any trouble because of it. Did they, Uncle Harry?"

"Well," Harry allowed, straightening the candlesticks, "I think the Wizengamot had a special meeting about it, and gave them a few extra chores to do, but nothing terribly daunting."

"What sorts of chores?"

"Er..."

"They had to sweep up the thunderclouds," Ginny put in. "Tedious, but not very difficult, and it only took them a day or so."

Teddy nodded somberly, apparently considering this sufficient punishment. "Anyway, four of them haunted Skooge. One of them was just his partner, Mary, who'd died. She's in the other story, too, but I don't think she was a banker. The other ones said they were spirits of Christmas. One of them took Skooge back to when he was a little boy, and he liked Christmas, only then something bad happened that made him not like it anymore. Then the second one--Granny says she thinks it might have been the Fat Friar--took him around and showed him all the things that were happening that very Christmas. Bob Whatsis was very poor, and he had a sick son who no one could Heal up, just because they didn't have gold. Even though Skooge didn't give him any gold, they were nice about him anyway, and the son said, 'God bless us, everyone!'

"The third one was supposed come in with chains and things and be scary. Granny said that might have been someone called the Bloody Baron. Only when it was his turn, suddenly, he got swept up and blown away, and a Dementor came instead! It was very, very scary! And Skooge got all cold, and the Dementor showed him lots of bad things that happened."

Ginny cleared her throat. "Er... why would bad things happen?"

"Oh, right, because Skooge wasn't happy for Christmas, and never spent his money on anything good for anyone. Anyway, then the Dementor showed Skooge where he was going to be buried after he became dead, and it wasn't a nice place like where my Mummy and Daddy are. It was an awful place, and people took all of his things. That scared Skooge so much that when he got up in the morning, he bought a very big goose, and gave it to Bob and his little boy, and I think it laid golden eggs, so they got to be rich, and the little boy lived and went to St. Mungo's, where Granddad himself fixed up his leg, and then he went to Hogwarts, and rode dragons with Hagrid. And Skooge was always nice after that, too, and said Happy Christmas to everyone, even in July. And that's the end."

James punctuated this by spitting out the nipple of the bottle and decorating Teddy's Christmas jumper with a thin line of white goo.

Teddy looked up helplessly at Harry. "I don't think he likes me!"

"He likes you perfectly well," Harry said, then knelt down and picked the baby up to clean him and make sure his throat was clear. With a flick of his wand, he cleaned Teddy's jumper as well. "Babies just need to do that sometimes. Or so Granny Molly keeps telling me." He kissed James's stomach.

James cried lustily, and reached for Teddy.

Harry feigned offense, and handed him back. "I see where I stand in the scheme of things! Bah, humbug!"

Teddy giggled.

Ginny went on cooking.





Because it's not just Thanksgiving to me, it's ALSO my 20th birthday, and I'm feeling nostalgic, perhaps you might write one of Leia's childhood birthday

parties?

for kagehikario

[Happy birthday! It's been a while, but I think I remember her.]
-----
Leia leaned over the handlebars of the speeder bike and made it go faster. Behind her, she could hear her friend Zeria buzzing along, but it was far behind. The rest of the children at the party--honoring her eighth birthday--were all standing up against the fence, and she pretended they were in the stands of one of the grand races she liked to watch on vid, cheering for at the top of their lungs instead of politely clapping like the sons and daughters of high society that they were.

And that she was meant to be. She wondered sometimes if they had the same wildness inside, and had as many lectures as she did about how they were supposed to behave.

Mostly, she was good at it, but when she raced, that wildness always wanted to come out, and she almost always let it. As she spun around the last curve of the course and onto the straightaway, she saw Zeria almost two miles back, and slowed enough to take her helmet off, letting her hair stream out behind her like a cape.

I'm flying, she thought. And I'm better at flying than anyone ever.

She crossed the finish line and looked to the stands. Her guests were chatting amiably and ignoring the whole thing.

She frowned.

Zeria pulled up beside her. "Good race."

"Thanks," Leia said, still looking out. High up on the hill, Imperial stormtroopers were doing maneuvers, and their boss, who was wearing a long black cape, was looking down at the track. "Who's that?"

"Lord Vader." Zeria shivered. "He's scary. He doesn't have a face."

"I wonder why he's--"

Father moved in out of nowhere and said, "Leia, I'm surprised at you! You know that you oughtn't win games at your own party." He leaned over to whisper, "Give Zeria the prize anyway; it's not polite for the hostess to keep game prizes."

The "prize" was a single pink flower, which Leia pulled out of her hair and gave to Zeria. She frowned up the hill and asked her father, "Why is that Imperial man watching?"

Father looked up, and his mouth pressed into a single, thin line. He felt very scared to Leia, but she supposed that couldn't be true. Father wasn't frightened of anything. "I think we should go inside," he said. "It may rain. Leia, would you invite your guests into the palace for cake and tarukima?"

Leia knew an order when she heard one, and dutifully went around the group, inviting each guest personally. They all seemed honored to be spoken to by a princess, and Leia thought it would be very nice to just have them glad to hear from a friend. Still, at least they'd come.

The whole group was brought up to the palace, where Mother and the servants had a grand dessert spread out. Laser streamers moved around the ceiling, making wild patterns, and gelloons rolled through the air, reshaping themselves to look like the people who touched them. Leia wasn't allowed to take presents from the people, but Mother and Father had gotten her quite enough to make for a cheerful period of opening them. She got new things for her hair, new clothes, a very pretty necklace, and many toys. She didn't wait for Father to tell her that she would need to share these, and just let her guests start playing. One of them, a little robot with hairstyling attachments, was missing its power source, so she took the opportunity to slip away.

Father's office was just down the hall from the room where the party was, and she could hear her both of her parents inside before she saw them.

"Bail, we need to stop her flying. It's dangerous."

"I know." Father sighed, and Leia heard his great chair creak. "But she takes such joy in it! I'd hate to take it away from her."

"It could get her killed."

Leia rolled her eyes. She knew how to handle a speeder bike. She wasn't going to be one of the silly racers who wrapped herself around a tree or a building.

"Do you think I don't know the danger?" Father asked. "And he was watching. Vader."

"What?"

"Just watching the race. Ignoring his stormtroopers to do it."

"That's it, I'm getting rid fo the damnable thing..."

Leia's jaw dropped. Why should it make a difference if the Empire saw her fly? Did Mother think they'd draft her into the Imperial Navy? There were no girl pilots there!

"That would be a bit suspicious," Father said. "We should let it be. Perhaps she'll outgrow it on her own."

Mother's answer was too quiet to hear, but something in her tone made Leia's irritation turn to an undefined fear. Her hands shook. And she remembered another face, soft and sweet and far away. And then it was gone.

She swallowed hard and went to the door. Her parents looked up.

"Leia!" Mother said. "How long have you been listening?"

"Listening?" Leia said. "I just... well, I was looking for a power source, that's all."




Ooooh, could I please have anything with Grayfur or something with Pere Alderman and religiousy - either with Teddy or with some of the cubs?
for serriadh

-----
Nate Blondin was leery when Alderman asked him to come for a walk up the mountain, and downright suspicious by the time they'd got to the cabin near the top and Alderman still hadn't said anything. Instead, he just had his fists shoved into his pockets, and was looking out across the valley.

"I'm going away," he finally said.

"What? You can't go away. You're alpha." It was an idiotic thing to say, and yet it had always worked. When Alderman had first got religious, he'd tried to stop being alpha, but the priest down in the village had told him that he wasn't allowed to "abandon his brothers," and Alderman had taken that seriously up until now.

"Well, you are now. You're no younger than I was when the lot of you decided I ought to be alpha. And it's not forever."

Blondin sat down on a rotted porch step. "Where do you think you're going?"

"Rome. There are other places for... well, the basics. But in Rome, they know what I am. They have a structure. I wouldn't even be the first, though it's been a while. Since the Middle Ages, really."

"The first what?"

"Priest." Alderman looked over his shoulder. "Well, werewolf priest, I mean. It's a few years in seminary. Then I'll be back, but I won't take over as alpha unless you want me to."

"You're going to be a priest." Blondin shook his head. "Latin and confession and all that rot you've been doing, you're going to be in charge of it."

"I've been--" He muttered something Blondin couldn't make out.

"What?"

"I've been... er... I've been called."

"I think you should go to St. Mungo's. They have Potions for that."

"I'm not joking!" Alderman took a few steps toward the sheer drop-off toward the valley, and threw a pebble. "I knew you wouldn't believe it, but I do. I'm called to help us, among other things."

"Help us do what? Are they going to sprinkle you with something and cure you?"

"No. But I have been cured."

"Mate, I transform with you every month. I hate to tell you this, but you're still pretty wolfy."

"I transform, and it hurts, but it's just an annoyance now," Alderman said. "The shame of it, the si... the... oh, hell, the sin... it's gone. I feel clean of it. Clean of Greyback, and everything he did to us. All that's left is a scar."

"I don't know why you felt dirty from it in the first place."

"You were younger! You weren't part of it when they killed that woman, I was." Alderman came over to the step and sat down beside him "I know you think it's mad, Blondin."

Blondin thought about it, then shook his head. "The part where you're reliigous... I get that. It's not my thing, and it's annoying as hell sometimes, but I guess I get it. But why be a priest? What if you have a notion to get married? And what are you going to do if the full moon happens during Mass?"

"I don't know. But I do know that this is what I'm meant to do. It's the thing that makes sense of my life."

"So... what do you imagine doing for us? I don't mean to burst anything for you, but most of us aren't Catholic, and don't want to be. Coral might go along with it, and Viv... well, you know Viv, she'll try anything once. But other than those two..."

"We're not the only lycanthropes in the world."

"What, you mean to go around visiting werewolves and throwing holy water and saying, 'Scourgify!'?"

"I mean to have missions to the werewolves," Alderman said quietly. "I'd stay here most of the time, and have a parish, but my real work would be going out into the world and talking to our kind about how they can be free of this."

Blondin shook his head. "Catholic, I can handle. Priest... I think I can come to grips with it. But Alderman, going into other people's packs and trying to get them 'clean' of their alphas...? That's mad. That's going to get you killed. Are you trying to do that?"

"Not it I can help it," Alderman said. "But we caught a break, Blondin. God sent Lupin to us--"

"Dumbledore sent Lupin to us."

"Dumbledore sent Lupin to Greyback. God sent him to us. He was the only one who could have got through to us... or don't you remember running around the forest killing rabbits with your bare hands, and wearing one of their skulls as a necklace?"

"I'd rather not."

"That part of you that would rather not remember, that's your soul. Lupin saved it. Someone who does that is doing God's work even if he doesn't believe it." He sighed. "And that's what I need to do. That's what I'm being called to do."

Nate squirmed. When Alderman had first converted, there'd been a lot of God-talk, and it had made him uncomfortable, but once the dust had settled, he'd been happy to just run around doing good things. Now, here was the God-talk again. It wasn't that Blondin didn't believe--he wasn't sure whether he believed or not--but talking about it was sort of like talking about sex: not exactly polite conversation.

"I'm sorry," Alderman said. "I didn't mean to get into that. It's just... Blondin, it's what I believe. I can't help that. I won't throw it at you any more, but I needed you to know why I'm doing this, and why I need you to be alpha while I'm gone."

"What if they don't want an alpha?"

"Then we'll be entirely cured," Alderman said. "But until then, will you do it?"

"Yeah. I'll do it. Do I get to pummel you in a contest of manliness to prove my alpha-ness?"

Alderman grinned, and the strangeness in him seemed to lift. "I wouldn't try it, little man."

"Don't you mean, 'my child'?"

"Only if you start calling me 'Father...'"
26 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
aimeesworld From: aimeesworld Date: December 2nd, 2008 08:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Little Teddy with James. So adorable.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: December 2nd, 2008 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)
What did I love about these ones oh let me count the ways... well the first had that wonderful sense of Teddy being a real child. And as such he got bits of the story wrong and all muddled so that it just sounded like a kid. I also liked that it was from Ginny's perspective, some how that really worked especially the bit when she notes how Harry has a tendency to use the Muggle way. Really happy.

Not a Star wars fan myself but I did like reading your Leia/Vader (not in that way) stories. She is a great character.

And as always the cubs are fantastic. Personally I'm with Nate, I've got quite a few religious friends and while I don't mind arguing over religious issues the whole "God has called me stuff" always makes me a bit uncomfortable. But I'll forgive Alderman anything :)
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 2nd, 2008 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
"I've been--" He muttered something Blondin couldn't make out.

"What?"

"I've been... er... I've been called."


Ah, the Coming Out conversation.

It wasn't that Blondin didn't believe--he wasn't sure whether he believed or not--but talking about it was sort of like talking about sex: not exactly polite conversation.

*g*. This is very true.

amamama From: amamama Date: December 2nd, 2008 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
*happy sigh* I SO love these stories, Fern. The Magical Scrooge story was great, of course Teddy told him such a story to start their storytelling collaboration. :-) Leia too, wonderful, and Alderman and Blondin... Wonderful converstaion. It *is* hard to tell someone when you've had mystic experiences that change your life. Believe me, I know quite a bit about that. And it's wicked the way people's perception of you change - the changes in yourself may be subtle, if even noticeable, but suddenly you're seen in a completely new light. And so that last exchange is perfect, just perfect. Loved it all.

Thanks a bunch!
beceh From: beceh Date: December 2nd, 2008 09:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I really like all of them, even though I'm not overly familier with Star Wars, I still liked it.
From: spitc1899 Date: December 2nd, 2008 09:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Love them all, but too tired to be coherent. Sorry. I haven't had much sleep lately.
katchuri From: katchuri Date: December 2nd, 2008 11:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved the first one, but am sitting here thinking "Ginny BOTTLE FED?!".
I guess its a mother thing, but I'd always imagined she'd breast fed all three, particularly as she gave up work to have them.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm surprised that Ginny cooks! I always see her as very different from Molly, and a total tomboy. And I think Harry has a very yin sort of nature; he'd do all the housework!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
It may be pumped and put into the bottle--I doubt Teddy'd know. :)
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: December 3rd, 2008 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh. I'd see them explaining what a breast pump is if he ran across it, but not going out of their way to volunteer the information, no.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Skooge???

Awwwwwwwww.....!
looking4shadows From: looking4shadows Date: December 2nd, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
...Skooge and Mary.

Yeah. Awesome. xD
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 2nd, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
and it wasn't a nice place like where my Mummy and Daddy are.

Oh, that just hurts. It must be so hard to raise a kid who bursts things like that to you in all his innocence, not knowing that it just breaks your heart everytime...

I loved the third. Reminds me of when my uncle told my grandmother of his calling... If it wasn't for the werewolf thing, I'd say it was pretty much it.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 2nd, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was me. Forgot to log in.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: December 2nd, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ahahahaha, "Skooge". Little Teddy is so precious. It's awesome to see that he's already telling stories to baby James! Though that bit about his Mummy and Daddy hurt. Ouch.

Thanks a bunch! All the other stories are awesome too, but you wrote this one on my request and all. I'm bad at comments. XD I can't wait for all the others!
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: December 2nd, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great stuff, Fern. You still write Star Wars so well.
sep12 From: sep12 Date: December 2nd, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved all of these, and the other batches too. I have to say I really like the dynamic you have with Vader and Leia, even though I have never been able to get into the SW universe other than the movies. And I REALLY loved Blondin's line about pummeling Alderman in a contest of alpha-manliness. They are so real together. Just really well done!
sannalim From: sannalim Date: December 2nd, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry seemed to get this, and didn't use any magic at all in the process of setting the table. (Then again, Harry tended to forget to do householdy spells. He'd cook and set tables the Muggle way nearly every time--he claimed he'd had a lot of experience at the Dursleys--and she'd once actually caught him scrubbing the floor.)

Things like this are what I (and we all) so much love about your stories -- the way you capture the essence of the characters so well and so truly, and have what they are doing now, in your future, grow so smoothly out of the past JKR established for them.
chelleybeans From: chelleybeans Date: December 2nd, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like your stories so far. Your Leia story made me miss some of your vader mask and other star wars fiction. I should go and re read them. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 2nd, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

the first one was very cute! a lot like how little kids actually tell stories- random things stick and most of the important stuff gets confused. loved alderman's awkwardness during the whole conversation.
m
serriadh From: serriadh Date: December 2nd, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love all of these, but particularly Alderman and Nate. So much packed into that and you've got his sense of calling just right, I think. He wants the best for his pack but at the same time this is something he has to do.

(and talkng about callings and religion is embarassing!)
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 2nd, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
So I was going to say that this line: One of them was just his partner, Mary, who'd died. She's in the other story, too, but I don't think she was a banker. should be nominated for best line ever but then I read this one: "Dumbledore sent Lupin to Greyback. God sent him to us. and realized you had topped yourself again.

Moving pieces both!
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: December 3rd, 2008 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy + Little James = ADORABLENESS.

Dumbledore sent Lupin to Greyback. God sent him to us.
That line just...it just got me right in that spot where you know it was true even in Canon-world. Like, I'll be re-reading HBP, and think about Alderman and Blondin and cute little Viv like they're real characters and everything!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 3rd, 2008 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy goes to hold James in the same awkward, straight-armed way that you have Harry trying to hold baby Teddy in one of your ficlets. It's perfect. The little details from both your canon and JKR's....

TSS
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 3rd, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love you, Fern. I have to admit, I did not read the Star Wars story, and while I love the cubs, and I liked the story well enough, I'm feeling a bit grumpy towards Christians in general and Catholics in particular lately.

The first, however... it was the only thing that has managed to make me stop crying (the house I consider my home is being sold, and that bloody hurts). Oh, Teddy... I understand quite well how he feels about holding James - one of my friends had a baby yesterday, and I have no experience with babies whatsoever (been a while since the brotherbeastie was one!).
And his story... so adorable. Though it took a while until I got the "Mary" thing... been a while since I last heard the Christmas Carol (funnily enough, I think the last time was seeing the Disney version in Spanish class, and the only thing I understood was "Espiritus!")

OK, you've cheered me up enough that I start to ramble, and even managed to put me in a Christmasy mood.

~Hermione Stranger, still sniffling, but smiling~
26 comments or Leave a comment