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Batch 7 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 7
Another two-story day. I'll get better when I get back in the swing!

So, something involving Percy would be lovely. Maybe...taking care of a kid for the day? Ginny and Harry's children would be great, or Teddy himself! If not, just something Percy-centric would be awesome. :)
for lucathia_rykatu
[I'll take the kid and the Percy-centric, but I just felt it ought to be a different kid, given Percy.]

-----
"Are you entirely sure we're meant to test the merchandise?" Percy asked.

From the top of the ladder, Freddie looked over his shoulder with a grin and said, "Sure, Uncle Perce. Dad says it's my job to make sure everything's in working order. We do this every night."

Percy's first instinct was to assume Freddie was making it up for a chance to play with all of the toys on the shop's shelves, but second thoughts gave him pause--"Dad" was, of course, George, and with that in consideration, the ludicrous often became the likely.

"Well, I'll trust you then," he said. "I'm sure you'd never try to take advantage of your dear Uncle Percy, who's just trying to do a favor for your parents, to pay off old debts..."

Freddie gulped. "Er... perhaps we only play with one a night."

"Ah."

"And it's usually one that's downstairs. You know, in the laboratory."

"Oh, yes, I must have misunderstood you the first time. I'm glad we caught it before we did any damage."

"Are you going to tell on me?"

"Just because I misunderstood you? Of course not."

Freddie smiled and climbed down the ladder. "We really do play with something before I go to bed. Do you want to come down and see what Dad's working on? I'm helping! Really!"

"I'm sure you are. Let's have a look, then."

Freddie swerved by the door, obviously an old habit, and checked the lock and the "closed" sign, then nodded toward the basement door. Percy followed him down. It was always a wrench entering George's workspace, which seemed more haunted by poor Fred than anywhere else. Freddie wouldn't know that, of course. There were no monuments or dusty cauldrons, no rows of reverently maintained but unused tools. There wasn't even a photograph. Freddie would have no reason to see all the places that his lost uncle still fit--the extra chair on the far side of the long work table, the original Wheezes poster, the first ad they'd run (framed and set above the table). He wouldn't see that George had unconsciously laid the place out the same way their room had been set up at the Burrow--rows of soft chairs where their beds had been, a cabinet where their wardrobes had been... it was subtle, but Percy could see it.

Freddie wouldn't, though. To Freddie, this was just the shape of Dad's workroom.

He ran across to the cabinet, opened it, and pulled out a wooden crate filled with small figures. Some were witches and wizards, but the big, flashy ones were dragons. Freddie pulled one of them out. "I had an idea when we visited Uncle Charlie. I thought everyone would like to be a dragon wrangler. But they'd want to be dragons, too, so we made this up, so you can have a whole set-up like Uncle Charlie's place, with dragons flying around. And the idea is that you have to get them all up to the mountaintop." He started to lay it all out carefully.

Percy crouched by the table. "And the people?"

"Well, you can have them play together, or you can have teams. You can make them wear different color robes. And then you win by getting the most dragons to your mountain." He touched the mountain figure and split it down the middle, like dough. "Do you want to play?"

"Sure," Percy said. "But you'll need to show me how."





Something with McGonagall and her group of school friends at Hogwarts, please!!
for marycontraria

-----
"We're going to be in such trouble," Gussie said, giggling into her hand.

Minerva and Millie rolled their eyes at each other, and Minerva said, "Oh, really, Gussie, we're not even really breaking the rules. We're still in Hogsmeade, and there's no rule against Transfiguration in Hogsmeade."

"Alphard might have a problem if his sister finds out he's fooling with Muggle things," Millie said.

Minerva nodded. "Let alone the Gryffindor daughter of a Muggle-loving shopkeeper."

"I'll risk it," Alphard said. "It has to be done, and you know it. Can't let you girls go off somewhere on your own--it's dangerous out there."

He was hit with three hexes before he finished the sentence. He held up his hands and gave them a good-natured grin; Minerva broke the hexes.

The four of them walked up Hogsmeade's high street together, each carrying a book bag and a school broomstick. No one had really questioned this, as Minerva had made a point of saying that she wanted to get some practice up on the hill on the far side of town. She thought anything would eventually do for this Transfiguration, but it was the first time she meant to try it, and like was always easier to Transfigure to like.

Millie Bones took the lead. It had been Minerva's idea, but it was Millie who'd been truly transfixed with it, after seeing the still Muggle picture in a magazine. Minerva would have been happy to try to master the skill, but Millie was determined that they would also dress the part. She'd even bobbed her hair, then done it in perfect little finger waves, clipped up with a cunning little silver barrette. Minerva wasn't willing to go nearly as far, but she'd let Millie fuss with a rolled up style on her, and Transfigure her glasses into something a bit more fashionable. Gussie was wearing her hair as she always had, in two braided pigtails. Alphard hadn't quite dared to cut his hair short, but he'd oiled it back and made a very sharp part in it.

No one had noticed this, either (except for Bugga, probably, Minerva amended to herself). But the clothes... those would have been noticed in a sea of robes. So they'd done the Transfiguration last night, and the clothes were in their bags. As soon as they came around the bend, Millie signaled for all of them to reveal the work they'd done.

She, of course, had made hers look exactly like the picture. There was a tartan skirt, short socks, and low shoes. Her blouse was scooped down to show the very top of her breasts, but was otherwise modest, and she had a diaphynous scarf to tie around her neck. Gussie's outfit was similar. Minerva would have felt very self-conscious showing herself off like that, so she'd copied another dress, which buttoned to the neck, but had short sleeves. It was also short on the leg, and once she put it on, it felt very strange to have wind on the back of her knees. Alphard had changed behind a tree, and came out in sharp gray trousers, white wing-tip shoes, and a waistcoat over a short-sleeved white shirt. Minerva thought he looked quite dashing, like he would fit right into Millie's picture, and indeed, they were already laughing together easily, anticipating the plan.

Minerva wished she'd tried a blouse like Millie's.

Alphard noticed her and came over. He bowed extravagantly and said, "And now, oh great goddess of Transfiguration, it's your turn."

She braced herself. "All right, Millie. Let me see the picture again."

Millie produced it and pressed it down onto the ground, holding the corners with four rocks. Minerva studied it. It was complex. She wished she'd seen the actual item up close--so much of Transfiguration was about what you could hold in your mind.

She pointed to a part of the picture. "This is going to be the tough part. It's a lot of little things, and it's got to wind around the cogs just right. Everyone look at it. It won't work if we get it wrong."

They studied it as though it were an O.W.L. revision for a moment.

Minerva stood up and set her broomstick hovering beside her. "Moment of truth," she said, and raised her wand at it. "Rotalis."

Nothing happened. She smiled awkwardly at the others--if it didn't work instantly, it wasn't going to work--then bit her lip and tried again.

There was a clatter of metal against the pebbles on the road, and she jumped over to catch it before it broke.

Alphard cheered.

The others took a few minutes longer, but they were all good students, and got it.

"Now," Gussie said, holding it by the handlebars and getting astride the seat, like the girl in the photo. "How exactly do we ride it?"

"I say we bind you to it and just push you down the hill," Alphard suggested. "Bet you'd make good speed."

Millie shrugged. "You're heavier. You'd go faster."

Alphard stuck out his tongue.

Minerva shook her head. "No, you need ot get on and balance it, and spin the foot parts, like so." She balanced it with one hand and made the other move the pedals, making the back wheel spin."

"How does that work?" Alphard asked. "How do you stay up?"

"Same as on a broom, I'd think," Millie suggested.

"I think," Minerva said, "that we'd best start practicing."
8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 4th, 2008 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Cycling!

Oh, nice 1920s imagery. I could see every one of the clothes! Well done.
'and spin the foot parts, like so..' very canon

:-)

PS, did I get to be first??
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 4th, 2008 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cycling!

Yay! I did! That just made my day.

A nice time to de-lurk I think - however, not getting much done in job application. Spending too much time checking Fern I feel :-)

Love
Beth
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: December 4th, 2008 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Freddie's a great choice! Uncle Perce, I like the sound of that. I also like how Percy talked Freddie around. Percy's observations about the workroom are really heartbreaking...but insightful. Freddie's missing out on a wonderful uncle, but at least he has Uncle Perce around! I'm really loving all these short fics.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: December 4th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, thank you!! I love the image of a young McGonagall learning to ride a bike...
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 4th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely! Both of them. Though, I wonder with the workshop...how much of it is Percy reading his own feelings into things ( I mean, the shop poster is as much a part of George and the way the room is set up is likely just how is....) and how much of it IS George's missing his brother....

Also, Minevra's wish for a scooped neck shirt was so cute!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 4th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Percy and Freddie, of course, made my heart broke. It was amazing. I loved how Percy managed to convince Freddie to behave- he's just so great. The workroom was really sad.

McG and her friends were fascinating. Transfiguring brooms into bikes? That's hardcore stuff.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 4th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
sjdhfskjf

Forgot to log in.
mint_green From: mint_green Date: December 5th, 2008 10:31 am (UTC) (Link)
The Percy one... just... sniff!
8 comments or Leave a comment