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Batch 24 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 24
Since my first idea has already been asked for by someone else, how about some Remus-Neville interaction when Remus is teaching? Even though we've never seen Neville teach in canon, I can't help but think Remus' way of teaching must have had an influence on him.
for ~Hermione Stranger~

---
Remus was clearing away his books, meaning to go into town and have supper at the Three Broomsticks, when he noticed that Neville Longbottom was still sitting in the back row.

"Neville?"

Neville looked up. "I..." He shook his head and stood up, then came to the front of the room. "I had a letter from my Gran. She said you knew my parents, and sometimes visit them."

"Yes. We knew each other in the war."

"I know. Gran says you did quite a lot in the war, but she doesn't know what."

"We all did what we had to do," Remus said, not wanting to go into great detail, as much of his involvement at the time had been spying on other werewolves. "Your parents were always on the front lines. They were very brave."

"I wish I were brave. I'm afraid of my Potions Master."

Remus grinned. "Yes, well, I'm sure Professor Snape is quite honored by the distinction."

"Right," Neville said. "I just wanted to say what Gran told me. I can't think that there's anything to do about that. Oh, she also said that she respects you."

"Really?" Remus's grin became a full smile. "I can't think of many people whose respect I'd rather have. She's a formidable woman."

Neville nodded helplessly. "Yeah, she is."

"It's not always easy on you, is it?"

"I'm just not quite as good at things as my dad was."

Remus sat back on the edge of his desk. "At thirteen, no one expects you to be."

"Gran does," Neville said morosely.

"Frank was a very powerful Auror," Remus said. "He also sang off-key and tended to forget where he left his working notes."

"Really?"

"Really. Alice was also always reminding him to wear socks that matched."

Neville laughed. "She was?"

"Absolutely. She once told"--he stopped himself before saying "Lily Potter"--"another friend of ours that she meant to get a whole wardrobe of the same pair of socks for Frank so that he couldn't possibly mismatch them."

This got another laugh. Remus had always had the distinct impression that Augusta wasn't sharing the sort of thing Neville would want to know--what his parents were actually like before they were destroyed--and his response to these tiny details was revealing: he seemed to stand up a bit straighter, to square his shoulders a little. He sat down in the front row. "Mum sometimes hums to herself at St. Mungo's," he said. "Did she like to sing?"

"Oh, yes. She had a particular fondness for ballads by Mirelle LaMage."

Neville feigned utter horror, but didn't bother masking the delight behind it. "Well, there's no accounting for taste, I suppose."

"No, there's not. Did you need something, Neville?"

The smile faded. "Oh--I'm sorry, I'm keeping you from something."

"Not at all. I just didn't want to hold you up reminiscing if you had something on your mind."

"You don't have another boggart to practice on, do you? I reckon I could use a bit of practice on that spell."

"Riddikulus?" Remus asked. "You're an expert at it. You just need the same confidence with your other spells."

"It would help if I could do them."

Remus frowned. "Neville, is that your own wand, or is it Frank's?"

"It's Dad's."

"Hmm. You might think about a new--"

"No, this one is fine."

Remus didn't press the subject. He didn't entirely agree with the school of thought that said used wands were useless, and, whatever its magical compatibility with Neville, Frank's wand seemed to serve other purposes for him. Unfortunately, a side effect was the sense that he was insufficient. "I'd like you to do something for me," he said. "If you're amenable."

"What?"

"Let's call it a project for extra credit. Would you be willing to help me gather up some creatures for my second years?"

"Is this just for confidence building?"

"Exactly. I could also use a hand, though, and I trust you. What do you say? We could go into the Forest on Saturday."

Neville considered it. "Well, I suppose... yes. I can do that."

"Good. Meet me after breakfast."

Neville nodded and stood up. "Thanks."

"Anytime," Remus said. He offered his hand for Neville to shake, and Neville shook it with some amazement, as though he'd never been offered a handshake before. He wandered off, dazed.

Remus watched him until he disappeared, cursing Voldemort for Neville's sake as much as Harry's, James's, Lily's, Peter's, and anyone else's. He ought to have had a warm and welcoming home, with a father who understood that sons needed to be treated like men now and again. Instead, he had a grandmother who loved him but kept him perpetually young, parents who couldn't talk to him, and a teacher who used every method available to intimidate him.

He sighed. There was nothing he could do, other than try to counter Severus from every angle. A part of him that was still the boy who'd run with James Potter and--and Peter Pettigrew--had a mad urge to prank Severus and cause him as much humiliation as he caused Neville or Harry, but Dumbledore had been quite clear on not engaging in old schoolboy rivalries, no matter what the provocation, and Remus supposed it really wouldn't be a good example to set for the students. But the devilments could be matched one to one with kindnesses, and it might help.

And that, at least, he imagined he could accomplish.




Please will you write for me something you wish someone would ask you to write?
for aralli

The free will! I can't handle it! ;p
---
Mischief Managed
by Jim Wolf
Chapter One: The Cracked Crystal Ball

Once upon a time, the low stone building had been a barn. There were mangers for hay, old wooden stalls, and a long trench that had once held drinking water for cows. It was full of broken boards and rusty nails and broken Muggle contraptions--in other words, it was a nearly perfect place in an imperfect world.

Or so was the opinion of Ryan Brown, Viscount in waiting of Godric's Hollow. (Ryan felt he could wait quite a long time for his viscountcy, especially as it had no particular use, magical peerages having thankfully been long shut out of the dull duties of their Muggle counterparts.) To Ryan's mind, the old Lewis family barn was far superior to any musty old manse or stuffy city rowhouse. He and his friends, Raymond Lewis and Jason Clay, had filled it with everything in the world they liked. One manger was piled to the rim with sweets--mostly Raymond's--and another with the sort of comic books and paperbacks that Ryan's mother absolutely forbade in the house in London. Jason had rescued a cauldron from his mother's rubbish pile, and they periodically went on brewing binges, testing every ingredient they could get their hands on. One never knew what might come in handy. Beyond this, there was a deck of Muggle playing cards, an incomplete Tarot deck with naked girls on it, an old Muggle record player that ran on batteries, a rusty motorbike that Ryan was trying to repair from a book, three sets of Quidditch balls (one of which was still functional), seven broken broomsticks, and Jason's vast library of Quidditch statistics. Raymond had also liberated a tartan reclining chair, which was quite comfortable if you avoided the broken spring poking through the cushion, and Jason had somehow managed to convince his mother that they ought to have a threadbare orange sofa he'd become infatuated with in a charity shop. Ryan had nicked a hundred-year-old fur cape from one of the family wardrobes to drape over the back of it. A few Charms from a bemused Mr. Lewis kept everything dry, and an only slightly illegal Floo connection let them come and go as they pleased.

Ryan had come up in the middle of the night, having had something of a row with Mum after supper, and he'd slept on the orange sofa, with the cape as a blanket. He'd never actually woken up here before, and doing so now only confirmed his opinion that this was the best place in the world. In the morning, it still smelled of ghost hay, and the sunrise bled through the east wall in bright shades of orange and yellow. He sat up quickly and tossed the cape aside, enjoying the cold morning air, and--

The splash of cold water came out of nowhere, followed by loud laughter. The air shimmered, and Raymond and Jason swam out from the folds of Jason's Invisibility Cloak. A bucket dangled from Jason's hand.

"How did the pair of you know I was here?" Ryan asked, ringing water out of his coat. "Last night, I said I couldn't make it."

"Your mum's been screeching at mine in the fireplace for half an hour," Raymond said. "I brought breakfast." He produced a bag with fresh bread, jam, and a carafe of pumpkin juice, and began to lay it out on the sofa.

"Is your mum sending me home?"

"She has no idea where in the world you are," Jason said. "Pity, that."

"Yes, she's very unobservant," Raymond added.

"She'll call your mum next," Ryan said to Jason.

He shrugged. "My mum will tell her she had an owl from you this morning, telling her that you're in Timbuktu learning to tap dance."

"If your father dies mysteriously," Ryan said, "it'll be me, having bumped him off so I can marry your mum."

"That's just disturbing, mate."

Raymond took a swig from the pumpkin juice, then passed it on. "What shall we do today, as long you're here?"

"Well, we don't want Mrs. Clay to lie, so I think we should go to Timbuktu and take tap dancing lessons."

"I was thinking more along the lines of fixing the roof," Raymond said. Jason and Ryan both pulled faces at him, so he backpedalled. "All right, perhaps we could go up into the hills and find a few creatures for the stalls."

"That's more like it," Jason said. He started to say something else, but stopped and tipped his head. "Or maybe they'll come to us."

Ryan looked toward the door. There was a small figure there, thin, with widely spaced ears--a house elf. He looked at Raymond. "Did your parents get an elf?"

Raymond shook his head. "No. I never saw..." He stepped forward. "Can I help you?"

The house elf stumbled in, holding something in his hands that glinted in the sun. "Young masters," he wheezed, "young masters send me to find them, poor old Bombo..."

"What are you talking about?" Jason asked. "Who sent you?"

The elf collapsed and held out the thing in his hand. It was a crystal ball, with a fracture at its core. In the flaw, Ryan could see fire and water and mountains. "You sent me," he said. "You sent me... back..."

Its eyes closed, and the crystal ball rolled from his loosening grip. It came to a stop against Ryan's foot, and he looked down into it, and saw himself looking back--an ancient self,with gray in his hair and lines around his eyes. He could see shadowy figures behind him, Jason and Raymond, and--

"Watch out!" Raymond said, but it was useless.

A flash of light came from the crystal ball. The world swam and twirled, and then, in a flash, it was gone.
21 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: spitc1899 Date: December 31st, 2008 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I adore you! Remus and Neville were great. I loved the little tidbits about Frank Longbottom. This alone would have made my night.

And then I saw 'Jim Wolf,' and I actually said "Yes!" aloud. That was so wonderful!

He shrugged. "My mum will tell her she had an owl from you this morning, telling her that you're in Timbuktu learning to tap dance."

"If your father dies mysteriously," Ryan said, "it'll be me, having bumped him off so I can marry your mum."

"That's just disturbing, mate."


And I thought, 'Yes, that's Dorea Potter!' The only problem is now I'm dying for more of this. ;o)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
There's just not much more. :) Think the Magical Hardy Boys.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 31st, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
There you finally get to mine, and I don't have time to read - that's just bad luck!

*prints*

Happy New Year, Fern!

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, well. It'll still be here!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, you too!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 31st, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Remus is such a sweetheart.

The story was great!!!! I want to know what will happen!!!

I hope you have a GREAT New Year's Eve/Day!!!!! I wish you an amazing 2009.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, and right back at ya. :)

It's already shaping up better than '08, so it's all cool.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 31st, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe it's too early in the morning, but I'm not getting the Jim Wolf reference or the slightly alternate universe these marauders inhabit (enjoying, yes; getting what seem to be references for how it came to exist, no).

Ellen
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: December 31st, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Frabjous day, it's one of the adventure stories that James 2 and Teddy write together later in life! I take it this is the one inspired by the "Daedalus Maze"...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a fictional world in a fictional world. :)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 31st, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely Remus/Neville interacting--of course Neville would want to hear all the humanizing details about his parents. And of course, his grandmother, in her need to maintain her son's heroic image, wouldn't tell him these things or not believe that he needs to hear about them. And Remus's resolve not to prank Snape, despite the temptation, is so very . . . grown-up. Unlike a certain Potion Master.

Like the second one too, and the ways Teddy and James re-envision the Marauders and their world.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Unlike a certain Potion Master.

I can't imagine what you mean.

I expect it would do any orphan good to know little, stupid things. (Heck, I'm not even an orphan--I just don't happen to know my father--and I remember as a kid being delighted to find out how he liked his hamburgers!)
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 31st, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haha! Its' Teddy's and James' book! You know, I'm really wanting more of it too! I always found it kinda weird that wizards did not seem to have ANY fiction books ( well, besides Beedle's, which seemed very jarring due to lack of fiction prior) . i like nonfiction too...but it'd be a sad place with no stories.
Of course now we are tempted to ask for chap. 2

But I must say, I absolutely loved Neville's hunger to know about his parents. I do think it is a little odd and very sad no one ever thinks to let Neville or Harry really know much of those every day, he-forgot-matching-sock details....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I always figured they had fiction that we just weren't hearing about (I'm happy to say that I had Tonks liking cheesy wizard romances before Fifi LaFolle appeared on the website!). It seems to be true in a lot of fiction that no one reads fiction. You'd think fiction writers would want to show their relevance!
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: December 31st, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh you had to end that chapter with a cliffhanger, didn't you! Now I want to know more about the house elf!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, let's see. The elf was bringing them a message from their future selves that there was a magical catastrophe happening, and they could stop it at the point they were at by completing a dangerous quest to retrieve an artifact and take it somewhere safe. Yeah. And they found a treasure with it, so they could hire someone else to fix the roof.
ranzzo From: ranzzo Date: December 31st, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fern, these were absolutely wonderful! I hope were here more of the story of the Cracked Crystal Ball! And more Neville/Remus interaction! Happy New Year!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2009 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I don't know if there'll be more of the Jim Wolf--it's a predictable cheesy boys' adventure, which I love, but am not sure I could write!
From: kobegrace Date: January 1st, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 8th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved the Remus/Neville. Such high quality!

And I didn't think I'd get into the Jim Wolf, but then you left us with a cliff hanger and a house elf from the future? Whoa!

-SideAlong
21 comments or Leave a comment