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Batch 13 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 13
Perhaps something with Hermione? I'd love to see her and Ron spend some time together, possibly discussing their children.
for at_upton

"Now that all the children are in school," Ron said, "I think we should resurrect the Snorkack Hunt. I was dead bored last year."

Hermione tapped the bookshelf with her wand, and waited for it to move along its magical extension until it got to her collection of holiday guides. They'd been updating themselves each year since she, Ron, and Harry had stopped their annual holiday--during which they always claimed to be looking for a Snorkack for Luna--and she no longer knew what any given one would say. "Not a bad idea," she said. "We'll have to get Harry to take the time off. Where shall we look for them?" She chose a book at random. "Latvia?"

"Dreary. I never heard of a Snorkack in Latvia. Don't they like warmer places?"

"Cape Verde?"

"There are possibilities there."

"Ascension Island?"

"The beaches are too rocky. You know Snorkacks stay away from rocky beaches."

"True enough," Hermione said. "I understand they have a particular fondness for Greek food. We could have a look on Santorini."

"Brilliant," Ron declared. "Sounds very promising."

Hermione pulled out the book and went to the sofa so they could look through it together. As she opened it, a slip of parchment fell out. Clumsy Greek letters had been written across it in rows. She picked it up and smiled. "Looks like Rose was going through this one."

"A while back, by the look of it," Ron said. "Neville says he's asking her for translations from Greek books these days."

"Really? I hadn't realized she'd learned so much of it."

Ron shrugged. "I saw her at it last summer--she said she wanted to know if the translation you gave her of Homer was good, and she couldn't tell unless she could read Greek. I reckoned that had to come from you."

"I didn't know a thing about it."

"Hmm." Ron scanned the old, crayon-written alphabet fondly. "Never thought of myself as the father of a genius."

"Well, I can't say I ever thought of myself as the mother of a Quidditch player."

"Do you like it when he wins games as much as I like it when she's first in the class?"

"More. Quidditch is amazingly more interesting now. I may even learn the names of plays someday."

"Don't rush things, now."

She laughed and settled into his open arm. "Do you think we ought to wait for summer and take the children on the Snorkack Hunt?"

"No. They're not trying to make up for a bad year of traveling by doing a lot of good traveling. And I don't fancy explaining every third word we say."

"Good points."

"Besides, it's easy to sneak away from Harry sometimes." He kissed her earlobe. "The children, on the other hand, in a tent..."

"An even better point." She stretched. "And it really is just us. Harry doesn't even ask Ginny along."

"He asked, but she knew she was meant to say no."

"Oh. Did she have help reaching that particular conclusion?"

"She didn't need it." Ron took the book and looked through it. "Looks like Rose marked all the business about Atlantis."

"Oh, that rubbish," Hermione rolled her eyes. "Talk about a Snorkack hunt..."

Some Ginny and Phineas-portrait interaction would be fantastic. I was originally thinking of the 'interruption' scene from Daedalus Maze where Teddy sent Phineas in at an inopportune moment (I think someone else mentioned it, too), but now that I think of it that may be a 'less-said-is-more' sort of moment, without getting too smutty. So any Ginny and Phineas fun would be great.
for glynngriffiths

Before the wedding, Harry and Ginny had planned to have Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, fully excavated and safe for habitation within a year. Sealing off the upper levels--anything above the level with Sirius and Regulus's bedrooom--had been a temporary stopgap. Sirius's and Regulus's rooms were infested with chizzpurfles, but otherwise only uncomfortable because of the unbreakable charms holding all of their aging decorations in place. The levels above had become home to all of the cursed furniture, objects of unknown use or origin, and suspicious bottles that hadn't been caught in the first run through, when the Order had been staying here.

But they'd both been busy--she'd been transitioning from Chasing for the Harpies to reporting on Quidditch in general, and he'd been getting used to his new position as head of the Auror division. Then the children had come along, and it wasn't safe to leave the seals open when they might wander in (except for occasional forays to the attic, always supervised). There'd always been some reason, and it was a running joke that by the time the house was fully liveable, the children would have moved out.

Now that Lily had gone off to school, both Harry and Ginny were taking occasional stabs at the alien rooms above the home they'd lived in for fifteen years. Harry had disposed of a cabinet full of less than legal security hexes last week, and today, Ginny was tackling what seemed to be a dressing room. In her mind's eye, she could see generations of ladies coming to call, using this room to put on their finery before a gathering downstairs, to avoid spoiling it in the dirty London streets. It would certainly have been used for weddings--she'd found a dusty veil behind a bureau, and Kreacher had told her that he'd found Mrs. Black's wedding robes in there (these had later been given to Tonks, and were now in Teddy's possession). But aside from aging laces and silks, the room had several covered mirrors, and dubious-looking unlabeled bottles. Kreacher had been unable to identify any of them, and his single piece of intelligence--that Walburga Black had used one liberally on the morning of Bellatrix Black's wedding--had not been comforting.

She raised her wand. "Accio Phineas."

Phineas Nigellus's portrait appeared between two covered mirrors. He narrowed his eyes. "I was participating in a particularly fascinating debate with your father-in-law regarding the retention of identity. I hope you have good reason for Summoning me."

Ginny rolled her eyes, unimpressed. "Do you know what all of this rubbish is? Can I just destroy it, or would there be unpleasant side effects?"

His lip curled, and he craned his neck to look at the top of the dressing table. "I wouldn't know," he said loftily. "This was a ladies' area."

"You had a wife, daughters, and granddaughters."

He sighed dramatically. "Oh, as you wish. The small blue bottle contained a very dangerous hair potion. I believe it masked gray. The red bottle, to which you are pointing to with such significance, is a variety of aging potion. Walburga used it because she fancied herself a grande dame and wished to look the part. I believe she overused it myself, and it the effects became permanent, as you can see in her portrait. You might wish to avoid cutting yourself on it."

"Thank you."

"As to the others, I believe they are all of the same ilk. Even Dark witches needn't use the blood of innocent virgins in every drop of their cosmetic potions" He considered this. "Though the deep purple bottle was a gift from the Bathory family, and could well have contained such a thing a long time ago. It's surely dried out by now." He conveyed this information as casually as he'd conveyed the rest, as if it were nothing more than an interesting family heirloom.

Ginny looked at the bottle with distaste, then carefully Levitated it to a Containment bag that Harry had brought home from the Ministry. They could destroy it there, under various controls.

"There's nothing wrong with the bottle," Phineas said. "I fail to see why you are unable to live in rooms and with items that generations of my family lived in and with for centuries. It's really quite rude."


"Yes, quite. Do you imagine yourselves so much purer than we? So pure that the mere suggestion of past misdeeds would pollute you?"

"Oh, please. I was in on the first round of cleaning this house. There are any number of things that attack."

"Only when provoked."

"Harry and I are a provocation."

"Your husband is the legal heir to this House, and you are his legal wife, and your children are part and parcel of it. Nothing here is dangerous to you any longer. This house recognizes its own ownership."

Ginny wrinkled her nose. "Lovely." She reached for a the black drapery on a nearby mirror.

"I wouldn't do that," Phineas said.

"You just said..."

"Mirrors are always dangerous, and ought to be approached with caution, unless you know them personally."

"I'll risk it," Ginny said.

Teddy interacting with the Portrait Dumbledore. Outside of his parents and grandfather, I always thought Teddy lost something by never getting to meet Dumbledore.
for darth_pipes

Teddy had hung his parents' portrait on the wall near his desk. He didn't talk to it as often as he'd thought he would, and both of them frequently visited other portraits (Dad and Sirius were known, on occasion, to play the painted version of a prank on the Fat Lady, sending her scurrying around the castle while one or the other of them sat in her frame and tried to convince Gryffindors that the password had been changed to something ridiculous; they had some success with this scheme on first years, but anyone older just went looking for the Fat Lady). Mum didn't go as often, but Teddy had seen her now and then in a painting of a witch who wore a long string of pearls as a belt. He'd asked them all if they'd mind it when he took them away from Hogwarts, and they'd assured him that they were looking forward to wherever he took them next, but they certainly seemed to enjoy the company.

Nevertheless, it had never occurred to Teddy that other portraits might visit theirs as easily as they visited others, and when he glanced over from his Transfiguration homework and saw Albus Dumbledore sitting at the table in Sirius's chair, it took him by surprise.

"Er... hello," Teddy said.

"Ah, Mr. Lupin. You seem to be at something a stopping point with that Conjuring. You really ought to have a clearer notion of an item before you try to create it from thin air."

"It's... er... well, I'm trying to invent something."

"What are you attempting to invent?"

"I'm not sure yet."

"It seems a rather doomed endeavor." He smiled. "I encountered your mother in a painting on the fifth floor."

"The one with the dirt road and the stream and the mountain, or the one with the traveling actors?"

"The latter. She was enjoying their performance. She said you were hard at work, and she didn't care to distract you from it."


Dumbledore glanced around. "I believe this is the only portrait in school actually in a student dormitory. Most students don't care for the constant company of their elders."

"Well, I don't have any other company here," Teddy said. "Except for Checkmate, and she doesn't mind them being here, either. She likes listening to Dad."

"Fascinating." He took in more of the room. "Still, I imagine there are plans to make and mischief to cause for which their presence in any other form would make you uncomfortable."

Teddy thought of a day he'd been playing Tarot poker with Victoire and had a very uncomfortable experience. He had a curtain to put up while he dressed--he supposed it was unnecessary as they weren't real, but he still felt self-conscious changing in front of them--but for unplanned situations, it seemed rude to just pull the curtain, put up a silencing charm and say, "Would you mind going off so I can have a bit of privacy?" He just shrugged.

Dumbledore nodded knowingly. "This is not entirely what you expected?"

"It's better than not having them at all!" Teddy said irritably. "I know you got Uncle Harry thinking it's a bad idea to be attached to the dead, but nothing bad has happened to me on their account."

"I see you have an argument with me." Dumbledore's voice was mild. He looked over his half-moon spectacles. "Perhaps you'd care to expand it?"

"Not really, no. I'm sorry I brought it up."

Dumbledore settled back into his chair. "You know, it's not particularly accurate to say that I told Harry not to be attached to the dead. Quite to the contrary--I told him it was his ability to love Sirius, even after death, that made him strong. It becomes dangerous only when you begin to believe you can alter the facts of death. Or begin to wish to do so."

"Which everyone thinks I do."

"There's certainly strong evidence of it." He gave Teddy a puzzled look. "I've wondered how you've avoided the trap I landed in when my own mind followed these particular roads."


"I wanted my sister back for my own benefit. I suspect that you wanted to bring your parents back for their own. That may be a difference."

"Great--so I avoid you classing me as a Dark wizard because I care that they didn't get what they deserved?"

"There's no reason to class you as a Dark wizard in any case. You use your power admirably and honorably, despite great temptation. No, I only meant to comment on something Sirius mentioned, which is that you don't speak to them often, and when you do, it's to humbly ask their permission to do things that you ought to be doing without even thinking about it."

"I had the portrait made. It's my responsibility to make sure it's"--Teddy realized how ridiculous it sounded before he finished, but there was no turning back--"happy."

"Nonsense. I can assure you that they no more feel dissatisfaction with you than I feel with Headmistress Sprout."

Teddy grimaced.

"And that's the rub of it, isn't it, Mr. Lupin?"


"You can't make them happy any more than you can make them unhappy. Creating the portraits has given you something, but them--in your estimation--nothing. You've still been unable to give them justice."

"I'm trying to!"

"Which is why I wanted to speak to you while they were otherwise occupied. There is neither a need for nor a point to you trying to do such a thing. We portraits exist for the living. It is quite enough for you to take from it what you most need--faces to converse with, voices to console and advise you, a friendly smile from a loved one. There's no shame in taking those things. But justice can't come to paint on a canvas. The happiness you give to your true parents--not to these images--is not something you can measure by seeing them dance cheerfully in the same room for a century."

"Then what am I supposed to do?"

"Enjoy the company of the images, and be happy. That is the justice you can bring them. Don't feel guilty that you're giving nothing to a smear of pigment--the souls whose memories inform it are well served by that, and not at all well-served by seeing you frustrated on their behalf." He looked over his shoulder. "And with that, my dear young friend, I believe I shall end our visit and go retrieve the Fat Lady again." He nodded a farewell and left the frame.

Teddy shook his head and went back to work.
17 comments or Leave a comment
rotae From: rotae Date: December 13th, 2008 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Ugh. You write Dumbledore SO BLOODY WELL. Sigh.

I'm assuming you read The Tales of Beedle the Bard? What did you think of it? :D

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2008 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Not yet--insanely busy couple of months!

ETA: And by months, I mean weeks. I totally know my time segments. ;p

Edited at 2008-12-13 09:06 am (UTC)
rotae From: rotae Date: December 13th, 2008 09:12 am (UTC) (Link)
You MUST read it ASAP. It's like coming home again <3333 :D You'll ADORE it :D

LOL. Time is always in a constant state of flux anyway, LOL XDDD

under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: December 13th, 2008 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)
i've got it but i'm saving it to read for xmas hols. would you believe the country is on official holiday for the whole stretch from christmas to new year?

and fern, i think that's a great topic with dumbledore there. it's realistic, and it's a bit of a natural progression that teddy, having been "cured" of the resurrection idea, seems to have latched on to the physical substitute instead. i'm glad dumbledore has imparted a good bit of wisdom even after his death.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 13th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
When reading it, I actually made a list of things that related to your canon when I read it. (Such as I was amused that Dumbledore had a great aunt named Honoria.) Yes, I am a geek. I need to find that list and type it up to show you, lol.
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summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 14th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually forgot for a second Fern WASN'T canon when I read it- I do that at times- and thought "Wow, that's weird, JKR doesn't usually reuse names. Except in the unfortunate insentience of naming Harry's children." Then I was all- Oh, wait, Not Canon, knew that. :D.
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summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 14th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
That would mean Fern's Honoria was related to Dumbledore though, which she would have to vehemently not mention for years. Though, it'd be very far along the line and lord knows practically everyone is related to everyone in the Wizarding World, heh.
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summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 15th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)
... She would. Considering her... she would, lol.

As a note, who is the third guy in your icon?! Its BUGGING me, because I can name 3/4 of the Snark Masters (Spike, Snape, and House... who are all British I should add. Well, House isn't British but Hugh Laurie is.) But I DON'T KNOW THE THIRD.

*Bugging me*
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summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 15th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I knew that. *COUGHS* (Err, well, he can do one hell of an English accent anyway :D.)

And ohhh, an actress I like is in Stargate Atlantis :).

I dunno, Snape is sorta by-default snarky in every pic, ever. :D.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 13th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Teddy. Did he really thought that by painting the portraits he was giving them actual existance in the world of living? *hugs him*
That was a great Dumbledore. I hadn't realized I missed him so much, but this and Tales had me aching for the old guy.

I love old things, and even more I love rare things. I CAN'T stand seeing Harry and Ginny throwing out all those old, rare, dangerous and full of history things. I'd give anything to be able to go through a house like that. I'm afraid I'm with Phineas there. Good or not, the Blacks were living people, and important influencial ones too. They should have a museum of the House of Black, so future generations could see not only how far the pureblood fanatism could get, but also enjoy all their quirkiness and ancient treasures. I bet they could teach wizarding history using them too.

... You sort of did that with Andromeda's book. Oh, I suppose it's OK. But still, Harry, Ginny PLEASE DON'T THROW OUT ALL THE INTERESTING THINGS JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE WALBURGA, thanks.

I have an anthropologist inside.

Ehem, very nice stories, thanks.
redlily From: redlily Date: December 13th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
The happiness you give to your true parents--not to these images--is not something you can measure by seeing them dance cheerfully in the same room for a century.

Good HEAVENS you write a great Dumbly. That ficlet was brilliant.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: December 13th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Teddy, listen to Dumbledore. He's right, even if it's not what you want to hear. I also enjoyed the other ficlets!
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: December 13th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fern, thank you very much for writing that piece. I always wanted to see Teddy and Dumbledore interacted and you didn't disappoint. It was very Dumbledore and very compelling discussion matter. Teddy needed a little DD advice. Excellet, excellent job!

You write adult Ron and Hermione very well too and Ginny and Phineas were very much in character.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 13th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

I heart santorini

I'd love to visit Santorini with the trio!

Fun to see Ginny, way to leave us hanging in a ficlet!

Interesting Dumbledore conversation.

at_upton From: at_upton Date: December 14th, 2008 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, huzzah! Thanks for the great sketch-- I love the old-friend in-jokes, and the comfort that's ripened among the three of them. I love the way Ron and Hermione have continued to balance their lives with Harry with their life as a couple. I love Rose.

Also love Dumbledore's words on what portraits are for-- it's true for our mementoes as well.
From: glynngriffiths Date: December 14th, 2008 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, thanks! I only got to read my Phineas and Ginny sketch (because it's 3am here! gah!), but it was great - they were both so perfectly *them*. Sorry I'm so incoherent - it's too late for thought-provoking commentary - but I'll be back to read the others. I've got so behind and have much catching up to do!

purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: December 14th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
All three of these were brilliant. I love that the Trio has "snorkack" hunts together. And Ginny and Phineas are cute. Teddy is so honorable, and Dumbledore is so wise. Good work!
17 comments or Leave a comment