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Batch 31 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 31
Andromeda giving birth to Dora.
for Sara Libby

---
Lucy Tonks wanted Andromeda to go to hospital for the birth, but Andromeda was adamant--too many oddities might occur when a magical child was born, and who knew who the Ministry would send?

"I gave birth to a magical child myself," Lucy said. "Nothing in particular happened."

Andromeda laughed between harsh bouts of panting. "I wasn't talking about the baby. Witch mothers are known to occasionally do some pretty impressive wandless... ggggg... magic. And I'm not entirely.... agrgr... certain how well I'd control it just now."

"Besides," Ted said, "if something had happened when I was born, they'd have Obliviated you about it, too."

Andromeda started to say something that looked like a disagreement, but another contraction hit, and by the time it passed, she had lost interest in the subject.

There was a knock at the door, and Lucy went to get it, though she didn't think that Ted was really the best person to be guiding Andromeda through childbirth. She opened the door. The young man standing there had long, curly blond hair, and was wearing lilac wizard robes. He gave her a charming grin and said, "Hello, Mrs. Tonks."

She squinted. "Gilderoy?"

He nodded, and swept in. His weak chin was hidden under a golden beard, and he'd apparently cured his spots, but it was certainly Ted's friend Gilderoy Lockhart, who'd been here many times during their school year. He looked like he meant to attend a party.

"Gilderoy, this is possibly not the best time," she said. "Andromeda has gone into labor."

"I know. She called."

"Oh! Do you know what you're doing?"

"What? Certainly not, it's just tradition for friends and family to be with a woman at such a glorious moment." He floated into the bedroom where Andromeda was lying on sweaty sheets and moaning, and came out a moment later, looking decidedly green. "Well," he said loftily when he noticed Lucy looking at him, "I shall chip ice for her."

"I'm sure she'd appreciate it," Lucy said. She took a deep breath and went into the room herself. "If you've no one magical to help you with this," she said, "then at least I have the benefit of having done it before."

Andromeda nodded. "Yes. Thank you." She squeezed Ted's hand--quite hard by the look of it--and pulled herself up as she pushed.

Ted looked across her to Lucy, the same expression he'd once had as a boy when he'd flooded the toilet trying to make his toy boats sail through a whirlpool. It wasn't fear of punishment, just a look that said, When, exactly, did things get this far out of hand?

Lucy reached over and patted his wrist. "You're doing fine," she said to both of them.

There was another knock, and Gilderoy called, "I've got it! No need to trouble yourselves!"

Lucy heard the door open, then a high boy's voice said, "Am I in time?"

"Sirius?" Andromeda cried. "Is that you?"

Lucy went to the door and shut it. "Andromeda, this is not a place for a little boy."

"My cousin..."

"He can see the baby when it's born." She shook her head. "Really, these traditions of yours! He can... help Gilderoy chip some ice."

"Mm-hmm," Andromeda said, then curled upward with another contraction. "And... ice... Ted?"

Ted nodded and ran out of the room.

Andromeda switched her death grip to Lucy's hand. "Thank... you," she said, and fell back into the pillows.

"No need for thanks, that's my grandchild."

"I know... you think... too young..."

"It's a bit late to be worrying about that just now," Lucy said. "Besides, you'll have me to help you."

"And you're... very good... mother."

Lucy was touched, though she supposed that, compared to Andromeda's mother, who had forbidden her to speak to her own family or use their name, it wouldn't take much effort to be a "good mother."

Ted came back in with ice, and he used it to cool her forehead and let her take sips.

Fifteen minutes later, with one final, long contraction, the baby came. It was a little girl, and Lucy--at Andromeda's instruction--gave her to Ted to clean. Ted took her rapturously, and gave her a thorough, gentle bath, then came back and handed her to Andromeda to let her start nursing. He didn't take his eyes off either of them.

"Ted?" Andromeda said.

"Yes?"

"Could you clean the sheets? So Sirius and GIlderoy can come in and give her gifts."

Ted reached for his wand, looking dazed, and began the spells.

Lucy looked at her granddaughter, nestled against Andromeda's breast and smiled, then sat up straight. "Andromeda?"

"What?"

"Er... is it quite normal for a wizarding baby's hair to start changing colors?"





I'm de-lurking to ask for something a little different. I noticed from a few references that you love Little Men. I was agreeably surprised, since most Little Women fans, because they espouse the misguided view that Jo should have married Laurie instead of our wonderful Bhaer, don't have much use for the sequel. So, how about some Bhaer, preferably with Nat? Don't worry about the accent, if it's an issue; a few "thous" and "thees" should get the point across nicely.
For Anonoymous
Whew... it's been a long time since I've re-read! I think I'll try something between Little Men and Jo's Boys, and hope I don't miss anything blatantly obvious!
---
"You haf practiced, no?" Professor Bhaer asked, giving Nat an encouraging smile.

Nat swallowed hard and nodded. "Yes. A lot. I think I've driven Tommy and Dan mad practicing every spare moment."

"Oh, but our young Mr. Bangs has said he cannot sleep without the fiddle now, and Dan haf threatened all who complain. You know this, Nat."

"I know it." Nat sighed and looked at the gilded door, with its cunning filigrees and heavy iron handles. On the other side was the finest violist in all of Boston, and Mother Bhaer had gotten him a chance to play. He didn't want to let her down. She was meant to have come with him, but she'd picked up a very bad cold, and hadn't been able to. (Nan was watching this eagerly, noting every symptom and recording it in her journal, along with all of the cures they'd tried.) Instead, the Professor had come with him, and was sitting here calmly, noting his surroundings at the fine concert hall with interest and a vague sort of approval.

"It tries to be Europe," he said when he noticed Nat looking at him. "I haf no luff of things which try to be what they are not. But it fails so prettily that I cannot help but enjoy the effect."

Nat glanced around. "It's nice."

"You are nervous still?"

"Yes."

"But you have no need of nervousness. Your music is a gift from heaven, and will be as beloved here as it is at Plumfield."

"But he's a real violinist!" Nat said. "I just played on the streets. If Mr. Laurence hadn't noticed me--"

"But he did notice you, and this was because you play very nicely."

Nat looked down at his violin. It was still the poor old thing he'd played on the streets, but he took care of it, and was very attached to it. Its poor case was more repairs than original material. There were still marks of how many coins had been tossed to him. He should have at least replaced the case, he thought miserably. It didn't belong in a fine world such as this. Glancing at his clothes--maintained carefully by Mother Bhaer, but still quite old--and at his skinny arms and legs, he didn't think he belonged here, either. He got up abruptly and went to a window, opening it to look out onto the busy street. A boy who might have been himself two years ago was playing a flute.

A hand fell on his shoulder. "There is no shame in this," the Professor said, pointing to the boy. "He has a gift, he uses it well. It is the way of the world."

"They barely look at you," Nat said. "They toss coins like you're begging."

"Tell me, would you have played had they thrown no coins?"

"Well, yes. I was playing anyway."

"Then think of the coins as a love-gift, no?"

"But--"

"Tsk, yes, they do not see, you say. But they hear, they feel, and their lives were brightened. It is no small gift, and they returned it with a gift they knew you would be able to use, did they not?"

"Well..."

"And now, you move forward, to give your gift to those who will have the time and setting to more appreciate its worth."

"People who play here," Nat said, "don't think much of people who play there." He pointed out toward the boy.

"This you will change, for you know better." He smiled. "Ah, but you refer to yourself. To your fear that they will think not much of you."

"Yeah."

"I assure you, my dear boy, that while our dear Mother Bhaer loves all her boys and believes them all quite gifted, you are the first she has spoken of to our fine friend beyond the door. This was not arranged lightly, and has come because it is time for you to acquire a teacher of music beyond the skill of those we can offer you at Plumfield."

"But if he doesn't like me, won't it embarrass her?"

"If he cares not for your music, then he is, perhaps, deaf in the spirit. But I think this will not be a problem. And our dear Mother Bhaer shall never be embarrassed on behalf of her boys when they try honestly."

The door opened, and a small, neat man came out. He bowed. "The maestro will see you now," he said.

Nat swallowed hard and went to the great door. He looked over his shoulder. Professor Bhaer gave him an encouraging sort of smile, then disappeared behind the closing door.


20 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 9th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee! That first one is so cute! I really have a strange fondness for Gilderoy. I generally prefer Obliviated Gilderoy rather than his usual self, but I think this is early enough that he's maybe not quite such a pompous ass. I rather like how you've woven him into the story like this--I mean the whole story of Tonks and her family, with him being Ted's friend. And Sirius, how cute. I just kind of wish you'd written the parts where they name her, and where Sirius sees her the first time, and the gifts... ah, it's all so lovely.

- Severely Lupine
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's before he's gotten famous as well as vain, so he hasn't gotten quiteso bad...

dreagoddess From: dreagoddess Date: January 9th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
...Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. You wrote Little Women fic!! And with Professor Bhaer!!! *hugs him tightly* And it sounded just like him! What a fantastic job. This was perfect. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I couldn't find my LM book to check, so I wasn't sure of the details, but I think he turned out all right. :) I was with Jo--I'd share an umbrella with the professor any day of the week.
mincot From: mincot Date: January 9th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's been years since I read either Little WOmen or LM, but from that distance you've gotten it just right.

*Really*? People *really* think Jo ought to have ended up with Laurie?????? That makes no sense at all to me; Bhaer is the only person, of all the eligible males, who would let Jo be herself and not drown her in narrow domesticity.
dreagoddess From: dreagoddess Date: January 9th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely. I scoff at anyone who claims to me a LW fan and actually thinks Jo and Laurie would've made a good couple. Jo was right -- they would've driven each other totally insane within a few days.
ncp From: ncp Date: January 9th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even worse, you'll never believe the number of people who think Amy didn't deserve Laurie, and think she was a spoiled brat. Uh, hello, Laurie fell in love with her because she yelled at him to grow up and be a man, remember?
dreagoddess From: dreagoddess Date: January 9th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Amy was a spoiled brat in many ways. But so was Laurie. That's why they fit together so well -- they made each other stop being spoiled. ;)
ncp From: ncp Date: January 9th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
She was spoiled in the first few chapters, because she was twelve years old, and the youngest of four girls! She matured a lot over the course of the book.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: January 9th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought they were cute and was surprised when she turned him down, but I had never gotten attached enough to the idea to be upset. Also I, er, may have had trouble remembering Laurie was a boy some of the time. It's the name. *thinks* I think I might've found the Amy-and-Laurie sections dull the first time I read them, but Jo and Professor Bhaer were always fun.
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: January 11th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
gotta admit that i'm one of those who were brokenhearted when jo refused laurie. but then, i'd read book 1 when i was in grade school, and didn't find out about book 2 until several years later, so the idea of laurie-and-jo was really entrenched in my mind. but now that i'm old enough to have read many older-man-younger-woman romances and not feel all icky about them, i can definitely see that bhaer was the better partner.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 9th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I quite liked the first one--I never thought before about what Mrs. Tonks would think of the birthing party traditions. Your Gilderoy was enjoyable as always; yours is the only Lockheart I can stand. And Lucy's inquiry at the end was just perfect...although I'd also have loved to see her reaction to her granddaughter's name. The best part, though, was probably "you're...good mother". Poor Andromeda. Remembering how difficult and probably unloved her childhood was, makes what happens to her forty years later even more tragic.

But I loved the second one even more. Bhaer and Nat were perfect. I loved Bhaer's comments about the hall and his thoughts about music and what it does. I also enjoyed the sidenote about Nan recording symptoms and cures for Mother Bhaer. The only incongruity I can spot is Nat's still having his street violin. If I remember right, he told Tommy in Little Men that the man he played with took his violin away when his father died, and so Nat played on Father Bhaer's old violin until he could aford his own. But that's the only discrepancy. It was excelent, not only because you did it without having to refer back to Little Men, but as a piece in itself. I loved it. I wish there was more Bhaer-fic out there. I think he's part of the reason I got so fond of Lupin, too.

In short, these were both lovely. How in the world do you do it?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, I think you're right about the violin. I couldn't find my book to have a quick read.

He's definitely a big part of my Lupin-love. There's something Bhaer-ish about Lupin, isn't there?
(Deleted comment)
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 9th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's always struck me how similar Jo and Bhaer are to Remus and Tonks, in so many obvious and subtle ways--the age difference, the teacher thing, even the (brief, in Jo/Bhaer's case) student-teacher relationship, the differing personalities that "fit" so wel. The only missing parallels are the I'm-not-safe-for-her worry--and, of course, the fact that Bhaer reaches forty, while Jo lives past twenty-five, and they raise their boys together, and help hundreds of students, and probably play with their grandchildren...it's kind of nice, you know?

His calling her "our dear Mother Bhaer" here brought that all back. I hope you'll write some Jo/Bhaer sometime, and some more Bhaer in general. You're very good at it, and, although there appear to be several Bhaer-fans here, there isn't enough Fritz fanfic out there.

Long live Bhaer!
akashasheiress From: akashasheiress Date: January 9th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww, that first one was lovely (can't comment on the second, as I haven't read Little Women).
ncp From: ncp Date: January 9th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow! A homebirth, with the woman surrounded by friends and loved ones! And breastfeeding! I love you for this, Fern! So many childbirth stories have the woman going to St. Mungo's.

I never cared for Professor Baher much. Clearly he was perfect for Jo, I just never connected with him as a reader. But Nat was one of my favorites, and you've got him perfectly as well.
sharonaf From: sharonaf Date: January 9th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank You!

Hi! It's Sara Libby using Sharona's computer. Thanks so much for the story; it was terrific. Gilderoy was an unexpected though lovely touch and the last line was completely priceless. The Little Men fic was great as well; I am a big fan of Alcott and also a big fan of the Professor.

Dudley's story was so cool; I went back and checked that indeed, he ended up marrying the boxing champion girl. You are so cool. Keep up the great work. We all really appreciate it.

Sara Libby
malinbe From: malinbe Date: January 10th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, baby Dora :3
And young Andromeda and Ted :3 It was so nice. I am happy Sirius managed to attend,I wonder how he left Hogwarts... ;)
From: spitc1899 Date: January 10th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Mrs. Tonks reaction to it all was wonderful, and the last line was great. After all the things she wasn't used to, she wasn't sure what was unusual and what wasn't.

And the Little Women fic was outstanding. Professor Bhaer and Nat were both so perfectly how I remember them. I miss the whole lot of them now!
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