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Batch 6 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 6
I only have time for two tonight. Blah!

Because I like being random, I request something with Rose Weasley as a young adult, maybe no more than a few years out of Hogwarts.
for stepinsidelove

-----
Dragon racing, Rose Weasley thought, looking out over Lake Khövsgöl. Of all the mad sports, they pick this one to send me out on my first international foray over.

"You don't care for Lake Khövsgöl?" her guide, a young man named Oyuun, asked in Russian. (His English was comprehensible, but his Russian was fluent, and Rose was willing to make the switch.)

"Oh, it's not the lake," Rose said. "It's quite lovely, actually. Harsh, but lovely."

"You are in need of something?"

"I don't know. The dragon racing commission is looking for a place that's remote enough to be away from Muggles... isn't this a national park?"

Oyuun smiled. "Do you see many visitors, Miss Rose Weasley? I see only ourselves."

"Still, there are no magical barricades. Is it possible? Does your ministry allow us to magically block a bit off?"

"Our Prime Minister and Minister of Magic are quite eager for the event to be held here. We see too little tourism, and even if we blocked the entire park to Muggles, the magical visitors would quite overwhelm its usual numbers."

"I doubt we'd need the whole park," Rose said, then reconsidered. "On the other hand, it might be wise. Dragons are a bit unpredictable."

Oyuun nodded. "Our native dragons may cause problems."

"What sort are they?"

"We have some Chinese Fireballs. They were hunted in China after the Revolution, to purge the old ways. Here as well, but Mongolia offers many fine hiding places." He waved his arms expansively at the mountains. "We also have a dwindling local species--the Bulgan Clapperclaw. Would you like to see them?"

"What, now?"

"They are hibernating. It is quite safe."

"My Uncle Charlie raises dragons. He says never to think of them as safe."

Oyuun smiled. "A wise man, this Uncle Charlie. Nevertheless, I know our Clapperclaws, and see them often. I'll not take you into danger."

Rose didn't really have a desire to see the dragons, but Oyuun seemed intent on showing them to her, and she didn't want to insult him, so she nodded.

He led her up a twisting path, toward the top of the mountain. From here, she could see the blue lake stretching out into the arid inland, pointing north toward Siberia. From what she could see, she and Oyuun might as well have been Adam and Eve, though Eden, she guessed, had been somewhat less forbidding terrain.

The path curved around an outcropping of rock, and Oyuun stopped. He held up his hand, then put his finger over his mouth to indicate that she should be quiet. He beckoned her forward..

She crouched, and looked over a boulder.

The valley spread below wasn't lush by any standard, but it seemed green in comparison to the mountain. Long, twisting red dragons lay curled around one another, their leonine faces at rest, smoke drifting lazily up from their nostrils. They resembled Chinese Fireballs--the same branch of the evolutionary tree, Rose supposed--but they were a darker, nearly maroon shade of red, and their eyes were hooded against the cruel Mongolian wind.

"They sleep through summer," Oyuun whispered. "But when your dragons come in the autumn, they will be awake."

"Are they aggressive?"

"All dragons are aggressive; it's their nature." Oyuun crouched down at the side of the rock, his face thoughtful. Rose was reminded strongly of Luna's husband, Rolf. "But it is our nature as well, is it not? We overcome it to speak with one another. Animals do so as well, when put in close quarters. They bite and kill at first, as we do, but they tire of it, as we also do."

"Unless they're hungry," Rose muttered.

"Ah, another manner in which they resemble us." He winked.

Rose smiled. "All very well, but if we have the race here, the initial biting and killing might be something of a problem. Your Ministry didn't mention them when we started talking about this."


"Very true, though it might add to the excitement."

"Oh, please."

"My Minister wants this contest very badly," Oyuun said. "I'm sure the Clapperclaws will do his bidding, and not cause a problem. If they do, the consequences could be terrible. They are the only ones of their kind."

He looked at her significantly.

She blinked. "You want me to not..." She frowned. "Oyuun, if they think you've showed me something that would discourage having the race here, won't you get into trouble?"

"I don't recall showing you anything with that in mind," he said, then looked back at his dragons. "I simply thought to show you a beautiful and dangerous thing. You will, I am sure, make of it only what it is in your own heart to make of it."

Rose nodded. "Yes. Yes, I'm sure I will."





Mira letting Carina into (/in on) the armory in the Forest Tower, please!
for insixeighttime

-----
Sneaking out of the castle with the Head Girl wasn't nearly as hard as sneaking out on her own, Carina thought. It would be more fun than sneaking off with Orry would be, if he became Head Boy next year, but it still wasn't exactly a test of skill. Sneaking out with the twins might be a test of skill, though it might be a test of her skill in not killing Polly for needing to have a spotlight on her at all times, and sneaking out with Sirius was always a test because he picked a different way out every time, but having adventures with Mira and Orry was something like trying to have them with Mum and Dad. That was why Carina had been surprised to find Mira downstairs, waiting by the entrance to Slytherin.

They didn't talk until they actually reached the Forest.

"I'm giving the Marauder's Map to Finny," Mira said.

"But--"

"I know. This is the first time it's really been a choice of where it should go. Dad was alone, Uncle James was alone most of the time, and Freddie was the only one to give it to, even though he was in third year. There was even a break between Freddie and me."

"So you decided to skip any of your own siblings?"

"Yes. It's gone Potter, Lupin, Weasley, Lupin... do you see a trend?"

"A lot of Lupins," Carina admitted. "But there are a lot of us."

"But Finny Potter's coming next year. And then it ought to be Charlus Black, though that will be Finny's call. I'm sort of... making up a new rule."

"That's surprising."

"I have to. There's only one Map, and only one Map-Master, other than the four of them at first. How many pieces do you think it can be split into without breaking the magic?"

Carina held up her hand. "All right, Mira. Fine. What's your rule?"

"The Map-Master decides who it goes to. End of story. It has to be someone descended from a Marauder--or Regulus, since they're the Blacks now, but they're related to the Potters, anyway--or George Weasley, and it can't be a brother or sister."

"What if we all intermarry and there's only one line?"

"What?"

"Sure, I'm Finny's second cousin--that's far enough. So I marry Finny. And if Freddie has a daughter, then she'd be Charlus's second cousin. So they get married. Then kids from both of those families get married, and there you have it--the ultimate Marauder."

Mira shook her head. "That's... why would you even think about marrying off a four year old to an as-yet unimagined cousin?"

"I'm just saying, it's possible."

"Well, I don't think we should have it go in a straight line like that, anyway. And I can't believe I just called that a straight line. It should be an actual choice. I think."

"What if nobody else has any children, and that's the only line?"

"Cari, there are nine of us. What are the odds?"

Carina shrugged. "So you're bringing me out here to tell me that I'm not going to be Map-mistress. Like I wanted to be."

"No, there's something else." Mira drew them into the clearing around the Tower--a small stone building that had started its life as a play fort and was still, as far as Carina was concerned, a play fort, albeit a fancy one that was starting to resemble a lodge. "This was supposed to be kept to the Map-masters, and it should be kept small, Carina, I'm trusting you..."

"What?"

"I want a Slytherin to know. Maybe someday, you'll think of a good way to pass it to trustworthy Slytherins, as long as you do it carfully. But I don't think we're going to see a Slytherin Map-master for a while, even with the Blacks back. It might even be a while before there's a Ravenclaw. Just a feeling. I could be wrong." She waved it off. "Come inside, Carina."

Carina followed her inside. The silvery moonlight showered the round room with pleasant shadows until Mira lit the torches by the fireplace. It jumped into warm, cozy view. Play fort or not, it was a pleasant place to be.

Mira went to the wall opposite the fireplace, where a tapestry of four knights--named Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, of course-- was hanging. Beside it, a few pictures had been hung before Freddie Weasley figured out the spell to carve the stones themselves with the animal totems of the Map-Masters. Dad's hawk was up on the left side of an arch. Uncle James's horse gamboled a few feet above it. Freddie's fish was on the far side, and Mira's red squirrel was near it.

"This is wandless," Mira said. "By necessity, of course, since that's the whole reason it's there."

"What are we talking about?" Carina asked.

"Come here. Uncle James built this and Dad mostly paid for it. Put one hand on the horse and the on the hawk. It doesn't matter which hand is which."

Carina did it.

"Now, alohomora."

"What am I opening?"

"Just do it."

"Alohomora."

The tapestry rose, and a circular pattern of stones opened outward beneath it. There was a batch of blackness beyond it, into which gray stone stairs descended. Mira went in, lighting her wand as she walked.

Carina followed. She'd never even suspected a room beneath, let alone a workshop. A long, plain table ran the length of the room. One one end of it was a lathe. Hanging on the wall were gleaming tailhairs from unicorns, jars with what she guessed was dragon heartstring, and...

"Are those phoenix feathers?" she asked.

Mira nodded. "They're harder to come by, but we take them when we can get them. The wood supply is everywhere out there, but if we come across something unusual, we try to bring a sample. Same with cores, though you want to avoid Dark creatures."

"But... why? Why all this?"

"So that, if there's another war, we won't have wizards sharing wands in the middle of a battle. Whoever is Map-master will just arm them. Imagine if Dean Thomas had been able to get a wand here!" Mira shook her head, apparently frustrated that she couldn't go back in time to introduce the armory. "We make them, one a month. I'll teach you as well, and you can let Finny know. I mean, he'll find it on the Map--let him find it on his own--but keep making them."

"How many are there?"

Mira opened a trunk. It was about half-full. "Not enough. Yet."


13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: spitc1899 Date: December 3rd, 2008 08:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Can we please, please get the rest of that Rose story someday? It's intriguing.

And the second one starts out fun and ends so ominously. I love Carina's thoughts on her various siblings and speculating on how to breed to ultimate Marauder. Then again, I've loved Carina ever since her original version's reflections on the last slice of pie.
From: severely_lupine Date: December 3rd, 2008 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)
These were both very nice. I was actually rather surprised at how lovely the Rose story was, since she's not a very significant character. And the whole map discussion was very amusing. I do get the feeling that I've missed something, though, regarding the need to make wands. But then, I haven't read much about the grandkids' generation.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 3rd, 2008 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Fern, I'm just amazed at your ability to write such quality fics in such a short space of time! Don't feel rushed. I absolutely adore the Forest Tower- it was lovely to see Carina and Mira interact with each other. I swear your younger generation are so much more imaginative than JKR's Marauders! Brilliant work.
(Deleted comment)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 3rd, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful. I loved every bit!

Oh, it is so nice to be back on waking up everyday with one of your stories.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 3rd, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree! I love the variety of information and how quickly we get new things. :)

Lady Stratford
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: December 3rd, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
"What if we all intermarry and there's only one line?"

"What?"

"Sure, I'm Finny's second cousin--that's far enough. So I marry Finny. And if Freddie has a daughter, then she'd be Charlus's second cousin. So they get married. Then kids from both of those families get married, and there you have it--the ultimate Marauder."



fern, you know this made me squee :D
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: December 3rd, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
also, what's the story on why at least one slytherin in hogwarts should know about the cellar?
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: December 3rd, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice stories. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 3rd, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for saving my day, Fern. *points to comment on previos batch* Seriously, without your fics, I would still be sitting here, sobbing and utterly unable to study, and that would really be a disaster.

~Hermione Stranger~
maz333 From: maz333 Date: December 4th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw, that was awesome. Carina has just become my very favorite for her Ultimate Marauder speculation. I'm going to have to ask for more about the wand-making--it's such a specialized branch of magic that I'm curious about the teenagers' struggles with making them.
insixeighttime From: insixeighttime Date: December 4th, 2008 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much! I'm quite intrigued by the totem-entry system. I also have a feeling it won't be a Play Fort for that much longer....
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: December 4th, 2008 11:38 am (UTC) (Link)
oh wow. Carina's a very smart girl! That entire ficlet was really well thought-out, and the end was actually a bit suspenseful! I would love to see that expanded a bit!
13 comments or Leave a comment