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Batch 45 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 45
How about Remus and Mr Weasley overhearing some of the conversation between Harry and Scrimgeour in HBP? If that's too specific than anything during that christmas would be great.
for -BethanyB

---
"Well," Bill said, "Percy looks healthy, anyway."

Arthur grumbled something that Remus didn't entirely catch, and packed a few more items into the basket he was sending back to the forest with Remus, to demonstrate success after four days in which he'd allegedly been "foraging" for supplies.

"What do you think Scrimgeour was after?" Remus asked.

Arthur shrugged. "Judging by what he goes on about at the Ministry, he'll want to have Harry endorse him and tell everyone what a wonderful job the Ministry is doing."

"Be a right proper little mascot?" Bill asked.

"Mm."

Remus shook his head. "Until last year, I would have thought Scrimgeour would be a good choice. I remember him from the last war. He wasn't a member of the Order, but he caught his share of Death Eaters. Then last year he went and sided with Fudge, and now..."

"He was always a good Auror,"Arthur said, "but he's never had much use for Dumbledore himself. The word 'vigilante' has been bandied about." He sighed and sat down. "As far as I can tell, Scrimgeour views this as a matter properly handled by the Ministry, which he considers a more appropriate scenario than leaving it in the hands of a schoolteacher and a sixteen-year-old boy. I'm sure he justifies this to himself as taking the real pressure of Harry."

Bill grinned. "Yes, Harry looked very grateful for the effort on his behalf, didn't he?"

"I noticed that, yes," Remus said.

"Don't you think that it's more likely he's just consolidating his power?" Bill asked.

Arthur started packing the basket again. "I'm not sure. He's not like Cornelius Fudge--he never deliberately positioned himself to be tapped as Minister."

The basket was now packed, and there wasn't exactly anything else Remus could take. He squirreled his presents up on a shelf Bill had generously let him have, then said, "Why doesn't he like Dumbledore?"

"I haven't talked to him extensively," Arthur said. "Mad-Eye told me once that during Grindelwald's war, the Ministry had actually succeeded in infilitrating Grindelwald's organization. Scrimgeour was a young man at the time, from a magically, if not politically, powerful family. He was a spy in the camp. Mad-Eye thinks--and this obviously isn't for general consumption--that Scrimgeour meant to kill Grindelwald himself. He certainly thought Dumbledore dragged his heels on the matter. Scrimgeour ended up captured and in Nurmengard for two months before Dumbledore actually faced off against Grindelwald. That limp of his is because his foot was broken and left unhealed."

"So, he thinks Dumbledore shouldn't do anything, but is angry because he didn't do anything sooner?" Bill asked.

"He thinks the people should have counted on the Ministry instead of waiting for Dumbledore to do something. He thought during our last war that the Order should have been under Ministry auspices--"

"Well, that would have counted me out," Remus muttered. "I imagine after Nurmengard, he's no particular friend werewolves."

"I haven't heard anything about that, actually," Arthur said. "He's no great fan of yours, I'd imagine, but that may have more to do with Dumbledore than your lycanthropy. Though he certainly loathes Greyback, and if he suspects a werewolf of being on Greyback's side..."

"In other words, either way, I should stay clear of him this year."

"I'd recommend it as a general strategy," Arthur said.

"And he may take it out on Dora anyway."

"Tonks has her own problems with him," Bill said. "Scrimgeour doesn't entirely trust Andromeda, and he hasn't forgiven Tonks--or Kingsley--for hiding Sirius."

"I thought he'd accepted that Sirius was innocent."

Arthur shrugged again. "It doesn't matter. He was a fugitive. Scrimgeour thinks he ought to have been brought to the Wizengamot to have his case re-heard."

"All power coming from the Ministry," Remus said.

"From established channels, anyway. He thinks the cost of undermining the government is too high, and it will weaken us when we can't afford it. He thinks it's important for everyone to rally behind our known structures and beliefs. That war is no time to allow for splinter factions. I'm sure you've heard it. And he clearly wants Harry's help in healing the breaches Fudge caused."

"You make it sound almost sensible."

"As it would be--except that the Ministry never did handle Grindelwald, they failed entirely with the Death Eaters last time, and so far have their priorities entirely off-kilter this time." Arthur got up and closed up the basket. "Well, Remus, I hate to evict you, but--"

"But the sun's going down, the moon's coming up, and I'll be lousy company in an hour or so." Remus smiled. "Thank you for having me, Arthur. Happy Christmas."




Oooh! How about Maddie learning that Tonks is dead?
for Anon

---
It was just past sunrise when Maddie Apcarne arrived at Hogwarts.

She and Daffy had been caring for poor Sanjiv in an isolated mountain cave, and rumors of the battle hadn't got to them until an half an hour ago, when a dragon Patronus--Charlie's--had found them, and said, "Battle at Hogwarts. Help needed."

Maddie and Daffy had both drawn their wands, but there was no chance of both of them going--Frankie was sleeping in his Moses basket, and Sanjiv needed constant looking after. There was an argument. Maddie won.

She Apparated to the Hogwarts gates, and saw smoke rising from the castle. The grounds were stained with blood, and bodies were strewn on the lawn, but it was eerily still, except for a small group of people who were moving bodies. She didn't recognize any of them.

The gate was broken.

She pushed her way in and ran for the great front doors. One was hanging on its hinge.

She burst inside. There was barely time to register both weeping and shaky laughter before she rounded a turn and saw the Great Hall. Bodies were lined up on the floor, the living crouched desperately around them, but the battle seemed to be over. She looked around frantically.

A clutch of redheads was gathered near the wall, and she head for them, recognizing Charlie's broad shoulders, and thinking, It's one of the Weasleys, I could have saved one of Charlie's fam--

She stopped, and her hand flew to her heart.

As she'd drawn close to the huddled Weasleys, she could see beyond them, to a long, thin form on the floor, his dirty fingers splayed indifferently on the stone. And beyond Remus...

Maddie felt her breath hitch in her throat, and everything seemed to go slow and syrupy. She lunged forward and grabbed Tonks by the shoulders. "Tonks! Tonks, no! Wake up! Tonks! The baby needs you! Your baby needs you!"

She didn't know how long she continued shouting such absurdities before her heart and hands caught up with what her mind knew. By then, Charlie Weasley had crouched beside her, and was patting her shoulders comfortingly, even though, from the corner of her eye, she could see that one of his brothers was among the fallen.

She tried to draw in a breath, but it stuck in her throat until she finally laid Tonks back down.

"I didn't know," Maddie said. "Until your Patronus came, I didn't know... when...?"

"Before I sent it," Charlie said. "I thought everything was lost, but then Harry came back, and..." He looked at her blankly. "Apparently, we won."

"Who cares?" Maddie said, and combed Tonks's hair back off her forehead. She wiped her face, then moved Remus's hand and put it on Tonks's, holding them together. "What was she doing here? What's going to happen to Teddy?"

"She was trying to help," Charlie said. "And I don't know."

"I'm sorry," Maddie said. "Charlie, I'm sorry, that's your brother."

Charlie nodded and started to cry. He turned back to his family.

Maddie stroked Tonks's and Remus's arms, and cried as quietly as she could. They looked peaceful, in a ghastly way, like--

She frowned. In the shadows, she hadn't noticed, but there was a small blood stain on the floor under Tonks. The Killing Curse didn't...

She lifted Tonks's head.

And screamed.

It had long stopped bleeding, but there was a gaping knife wound in the back of her neck. Maddie could see the white fragments of bone against the red muscles.

There were more hands on her shoulders, and this time it was Madam Pomfrey, trying to pull her away. "Who... how...?"

"We don't know," Madam Pomfrey said.

"It was Bellatrix." Maddie looked up. Narcissa Malfoy was wandering, ghostlike, up the aisle between the bodies. She blinked dully. "Bellatrix bragged about it. About killing our niece. Andromeda's girl. Our family."

"She had a baby," Maddie spat.

"My family," Narcissa whispered. "Bellatrix is dead, too, you know." She wandered away without waiting for a response to this.

"Does Andromeda know?" Maddie asked.

"Kingsley has gone to tell her now," Arthur Weasley said.

Maddie stood up. "I'll go to her," she said. "She'll need..."

But she had no idea what Andromeda Tonks would need, or be able to find comfort in right now.

Still, she left the Hogwarts Great Hall, trying to swallow her own horror and pain. Andromeda would need something, and Tonks would want Maddie to do whatever she could.

She sent her Patronus to Daffy, telling him what she could, and asking him to bring Sanjiv and Frankie, and meet her there.


17 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 3rd, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
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<sits and stares at the screen and feels quietly devastated. wants to hug a fictional character, and it's not even Jo's character. pulls self together to write comment and can come up with nothing better than:> Oh, god, Maddie.

Okay, more coherently: I really, really like the way you write Narcissa. You're always very good at getting across her competing loyalties.

Wonderful work, as ever. I don't comment enough, but I'm still reading, and still totally immersed in your world. I don't know what JKR thinks was going on behiind the scenes of her books, but it ought to be this.

TSS
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: February 3rd, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed these ones. I love these little snippets you're doing.
anitaray From: anitaray Date: February 3rd, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that was really good. Both of them. The first one just crystallises what I've always felt about Scrimgeour but you gave him a fantastic reason for being who he is... your take on his motivations is truly inspired. The second is gut wrenching. I *hate* reliving Remus and Tonks's deaths, and I bet it's even harder for you, yet you always manage to write with such depth and emotion about it.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: February 3rd, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Maddie.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: February 3rd, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maddie's made me cry. They don't often make me cry anymore, but Maddie's made me cry. Well done, you.
beceh From: beceh Date: February 3rd, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
you made me cry :(
moonythoughts From: moonythoughts Date: February 3rd, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, poor Maddie! I like to think there were people other than Andromeda and Teddy who were profoundly affected by Remus and Tonks dying, so I really loved that one.

And your back info on Scrimgeour was awesome! I always wondered what the heck his limp was from... Lol, maybe Hugh Laurie would have been a good choice for his role...
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 4th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Trying to imagine Hugh Laurie's House telling Harry how dumb it is for him not to support the ministry . . . I believe the movie now, officially, cannot live up to how I think it should be done.

Ellen
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 4th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Haha! Love that first one. It's so cool how it not only fits seamlessly with HBP, but also reminds us of what happened in Shades (with the packing food). Very nice. And that last line was quite amusing to me for some reason.

But oh, my goodness, that second one is heartwrenching. I literally almost started crying here at my desk at work. ...Well, at least Maddie and Daffy had sense enough to know only one of them should go.

- Severely Lupine
malinbe From: malinbe Date: February 4th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I am crying.

This is not the first time something you write makes me blink back tears, but it is the first time in a long time I am actually crying, with tears going down my face.

My best friend went missing when I was fourteen. And today, for the first time in five years, I saw her. She is alive, quite well, and so is her family. I am so, so lucky I don't have Maddie's luck.

It was a really touching little story. Thank you.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 4th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Malinbe! (Hugs)

I'm so glad for you and your friend.

Ellen
amamama From: amamama Date: February 4th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
*howls* Oh, God... *sniff* There's no way I could've managed to not cry...good thing I'm reading this at home, and not in a library, for instance. *dries away tears* And the Remus/Arthur/Bill piece was wonderful too. Great insights into how Scrimgeour's mind works. Well done, as always.

Cheers!
From: severely_lupine Date: February 4th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL! One must be careful with slashes between names. You just put a really disturbing image in my head.

Sorry... *drags mind out of gutter*
amamama From: amamama Date: February 5th, 2009 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Errrk! You just put it into mine. Gaaah! *runs off to find bleach*
shiiki From: shiiki Date: February 4th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel all choked up. Maddie ... that was a very powerful scene.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 5th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
*sniffles*
Wahhhh! sad. ):
Por Maddie, Poor harlie, Poor Tonks, Poor me . . . wahhh!
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thanks!

I felt we were left hanging emotionally at the end of DH.
Thank Heavens for fan fic.
But I really appreciate this glimpse at the immediate aftermath of the battle, very well done!

=SideAlong
17 comments or Leave a comment