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Batch 46 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 46
Child Tonks (eight at the time, I think) finding out about the Godric's Hollow incident.
for Anon

That was actually a pretty big element of "Your Very Own Dora", so I'll have to come up with an alternate POV. (OT: Wow, going over there for the first time in a while to grab the link, hey--AmethystBeloved... thanks for all the comments!)
---
Dora had named her kitten "Granny."

Ted thought Mum would be rather touched by it, but he truly hoped that further feline additions to the family wouldn't be called "Mr. Pettigrew" and "Mr. Potter." Cheerfully gamboling kitten memorials appealed to Dora's sense of propriety, but the constant reminder of what had happened wouldn't be helpful to anyone (and, to be fully honest with himself, Ted had to admit that he didn't care to explain such names to visitors; his boss at St. Mungo's had already been appalled that the existing kitten had been named after Dora's recently deceased grandmother).

He was also concerned that she would recommend this sort of memorial to Remus. Ted knew she was pressuring him to get a pet, and thought it a good idea, but he didn't want to think what it would do to Remus's psyche if Dora happily suggested that he could replace his lifelong friends by naming cats after them. So far, Remus was putting on a good, old fashioned stiff-upper-lip show, but Ted believed that it was only a thin, brittle cover over a deep and angry storm of grief that might burst through at any moment. He didn't want Dora to have to deal with that just because her notion of Healing was somewhat different from an adult's.

Whatever the proprieties, Granny the kitten had truly been a godsend to Dora. She'd been withdrawn and frightened since the end of the war had brought so many changes to her family. Ted and Andromeda had noticed that she'd morphed a great deal less often (and when she did, it was usually a desperate attempt to entertain the adults around her and make them smile), and she'd barely touched her dollies. At her Latin lesson, she'd told Remus that she was afraid everyone was going to leave her, and that she hadn't mentioned anything to Ted and Andromeda because each of them had told her separately to be careful of the other's feelings... leaving her with no one she felt she could express herself to. Ted tried to correct the impression, but Dora stubbornly refused to discuss her feelings with him, or with Andromeda, and he suspected that her discussion with Remus had been a fluke--she'd apologized profusely for "making him feel sad," and would accept no assurances from him that it had been quite all right.

But she talked to the kitten.

Ted's desk was in the tiny room adjacent to Dora's in the little Diagon Alley flat that they hadn't been able to leave quite yet (Andromeda's mad sister, Bellatrix, was still at large), and as he worked on his reports, he could hear her. Gradually, he turned around and glanced into her room.

"And so," she was saying, holding up one of her dollies in front of the kitten's face, "it was all very nasty. Sirius always pretended to be nice, and brought me things, but he did a very, very bad thing to Mr. Pettigrew, who was really nice, and told me I could be a butterfly. And Mr. Potter and Mrs. Potter are also dead. I didn't know them as much, but they were friends of our friend Mr. Lupin, and I visited their house once, and Mr. Potter took me up on a broom. Sirius took me up as well." She sighed and put the dolly down. "I oughtn't have laughed. But it was very fun. Even if it was for pretend."

Granny mewed sympathetically, then raised her paw to be picked up. Dora obliged, and raised her high in the air, so she could kiss her furry little stomach. Granny batted at the bright oversized yarn that Dora had tied her pigtails with. A claw caught in it and pulled it, and Dora occupied herself with untangling it. When she'd finished, she lowered Granny down and held her like a baby in her arms.

"Mrs. Potter let me have red hair like hers one day. She was very nice, and I think she was going to have a baby, because her stomach was quite big. And they had a baby when everything bad happened. His name is Harry, and everyone says that he made the war end. Mr. Lupin doesn't like to talk about him. I don't know where he is. Mr. Lupin doesn't have him. I think he ought to."

Ted frowned. Remus had, in fact, tried to adopt Harry Potter, but had been turned down. He couldn't imagine that Remus would have shared that particular information with Dora. He supposed she'd come up with the idea on her own. Ted added it to the list of things he hoped she wouldn't blithely bring up to Remus.

Dora kissed Granny's nose a few times, then stood up and went to her window. "We should travel in time," she said. "Would you like that, Granny? We could make it so my real Granny doesn't die, and then we'd catch Sirius before he did anything bad. And maybe he'd stop, and he'd say, 'Oh, I didn't mean to do that!' and everyone would say it was all right, because he hadn't done anything yet, and everyone would be alive, and they'd only be a little bit mad at him for thinking about it. And we could have a picnic by the pond. You could chase gnomes. Mr. and Mrs. Potter have a cat, but I don't remember its name, and you could be its friend." She warmed to this line of thought. "We could go looking for the Fountain of Fair Fortune, and we could ask for something that makes us go back in time. Only we'd know everything this time. And maybe we could bring Sirius with us, and the Fountain would make him not want to do anything bad! Wouldn't that be nice, Granny?"

Granny noticed a pigeon outside the window and wriggled free to sit on the sill.

Dora stroked the fur between her ears. "Maybe you could go back by yourself, if I can't, if it's just special cat-magic. You could warn Mr. and Mrs. Potter's cat, and it could warn them! It could stand right at the door and meow until the bad people were scared away. Or you could find a cat for Sirius. If he had a cat, he'd never have done something so nasty, because they had to take him to Azkaban for it, and he wouldn't be able to come home and feed a kitten, like I feed you. So he really couldn't have done anything bad, if he'd had a cat."

Ted sighed and stood up. "Dora?"

She looked guiltily over her shoulder. "Hi, Dad."

He went into her room and sat down at the end of her bed. "Come here, Dora. Sit with me a bit."

She looked down, then plucked Granny from the windowsill and came over docilely. She sat beside him. "What?"

"You know you can't really change what happened, don't you?"

She shrugged.

Ted put an arm over her shoulders. "Dora, listen. Don't run through all of these things in your head. It'll only make you sad."

"It doesn't, though," Dora said earnestly. "When I pretend, Sirius can still be nice, and Granny Tonks and Mr. Pettigrew can still be alive, and Mr. Lupin can still be happy, and Mummy won't cry all the time."

"You know it's pretend, though?"

She nodded. "Nothing's ever really different."

"That's why it'll make you sad. Because you have all of these pretty thoughts, then they go away."

"It's not fair," she said. "It's stupid."

"I can't argue with that," Ted said. He gave her a little hug. "And as far as having fun when Sirius took you up on a broomstick at the Potters', well... why shouldn't that have been fun? I don't think it was a lie that he loved you and wanted you to be happy."

"I don't want to be loved by someone bad."

Ted smiled. "Well, you don't really get a choice in who loves you. And maybe you could think of that part of him that loved you as being something good that was trying to get out, and just didn't quite make it in the end. Even the worst person in the world can't be all bad."

"Really?"

"Well... I hope he can't."

"What about Mummy's big sister?"

Ted considered this. "Well," he said, "I can't think of anything just now, but I'm sure she has some redeeming characteristic."

"I could ask Mummy."

Ted shook his head. "Er... no. I wouldn't recommend that just now. Maybe in a year or two, but not just now."

Dora smiled, and nodded in understanding.





Dora and her Mr. Lupin, please.
for Anon

---
Remus closed the door behind Mehadi Patil, then took a deep breath and turned back to Dora, who was now happily occupied coloring a picture he'd made for her before she'd come over. He shook his head and sat down across from her.

"I think I like the fish to be blue," she said. "But it might be good in yellow. I wish I could make it change back and forth. I--"

Remus took the crayon away from her. "Dora, what got into you just now?"

She frowned. "What do you mean?"

"I mean that my friend came over especially to cook for you when she found out I was watching you tonight"--this wasn't entirely true; they'd had to cancel a dinner date when both of the Tonkses had got caught up in a major Curse problem at St. Mungo's, and Mehadi had brought over food as a sort of consolation prize--"and you were terribly rude to her. That's not like you at all."

"She was rude first. She kept moving my things."

"She was clearing the table for supper." Remus shook his head. "Honestly, Dora, you get along perfectly well with Healer Patil at St. Mungo's, when you visit your parents there. She said she was looking forward to seeing you, because you're always such a delight. I said I thought so, too. I may have to re-think that."

Dora looked stricken. "I can be a delight! I'll do anything." She morphed her hair several colors, then made her nose into an anteater's snout.

Remus forced himself not to smile at the effect. "I know that you know better than to tell a guest that her necklace isn't pretty."

"Well, I..."

"And I know that you know better than to turn your nose up when someone gives you a special dinner."

"I didn't like it."

"You didn't even try it, Dora."

She frowned obstinately, reminding Remus in a less than fond way of her cousin Sirius, who'd rarely budged once a judgment got into his head.

"Dora? Do you mean to answer my question?"

"What question?"

"What got into you?"

She didn't answer directly, just sat back in her chair and pulled her knees up. "I don't think you should marry her."

"What?" Remus blinked stupidly for a moment. "I'm not going to... Where on earth do you get ideas like that?"

"She kissed you in the kitchen, on the mouth. I saw it. I really don't think you should marry her."

"Er... well... I wasn't going to... it's not..." Remus shook his head. "I'm not planning to marry her."

"You aren't?"

"No. We're friends. But even if I were thinking of that, little Miss Tonks, it is not your concern in any manner."

"I thought you said I was your friend. You said it in your letters. You sign them, 'Your friend, Mr. Lupin.' Aren't friends supposed to care who you marry?"

Remus crossed his arms over his chest. "That's not the point."

"And if I were going to marry someone who you didn't like, you'd say something about it."

"I think I'd say something about it because you're nine."

"But if I weren't nine, and I was marrying someone you didn't like, you'd say something."

Remus squeezed his eyes shut, then opened them again, wondering exactly when the conversation had taken this out-of-control spin. "Er..." he started, but couldn't follow it up. He shook his head sharply. "For one thing, Dora, you do like Healer Patil. You told me all about her last Christmas. You said she let you wear a sari, and she was the prettiest lady you'd ever seen."

"Oh," Dora said.

"And when I told you she was coming over, you were perfectly happy with that."

"I didn't know she was going to kiss you."

"And we didn't know you were peeking in the kitchen."

Dora glowered.

Remus rolled his eyes. "You hurt her feelings, you know," he said. "And I think you owe her an apology."

She flared her nostrils.

"Dora, she was my guest. And you are my friend. It would mean a lot to me if you would write an apology note to her."

"I'm your friend?" Dora repeated.

"Of course you are."

She took a deep, cleansing breath, then said, "May I borrow some parchment? I'll write to her straight away."


10 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 6th, 2009 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that first one... so lovely. Loved the Beedle reference. Yay for new (and pleasant) canon! And her revisionist make-believe... ah, little Dora, welcome to our world.

That second one... Oh my goodness! LOL! I love it! Little Dora's jealous of Mr. Lupin's date. How precious. None of her business indeed. Well, obviously it's reasonable that he considered other options while she was still growing up. And I love how you can make little Dora not a perfect little angel all the time, the way kids can often be rather selfish and rude, but still be the Dora we all know and love. (How many times must we mention how much more real the characters seem when you write them than in canon?)

- Severely Lupine
(Deleted comment)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: February 6th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, little Dora. I love how she takes care of all her loved ones. And her nine years old jealousy is amusing!
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: February 6th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never get tired of your Dora and Remus, no matter their ages. Thanks for both of these!
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 6th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

Those were so cute!
I think I'd say something because you're nine.
was hilarious. and poor dora talking to her cat...
but a nine-year-old really couldn't even try on a sari, they wouldn't be able to move
liked the inclusion of the fountain of fair fortune and ted saying you don't get a choice in who loves you.
~m
westingturtle From: westingturtle Date: February 6th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is Peter the reason she ended up loving butterflies so much? Because if so, I think that's even sadder. But as Ted says, you can't choose who loves you.
From: kobegrace Date: February 7th, 2009 06:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Fern... because of you, I'm having to stock up on boxes of Kleenex at Costco.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 7th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Fernwithy, it's AmethystBeloved! I was going to wait to create an LJ account before leaving comments, but thank you for mentioning me! I'm happy that you like the comments that I left at SQ. Be sure to check out the ones that I left at fanfiction.net, and the ones that I left in your guest book at HB. I'm at The Shape of Things and I had to pause there since I've been having a crazy 50 hour work week since my co-worker's on medical leave. Anyway, I'm doing myself to redeem myself as a long time lurker, and I'll be back to review all of your LJ HP fics!
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: February 8th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I was really, really, REALLY waiting for Dora to say "But -I- want to marry you!" and at 9 I guess she's old enough to hold her tongue- well, she is- but... I wanted to read it.

Still though, that last story, OH it made my day. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 8th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
For some reason, I now have this mental picture of nine year old Dora pretending to be Lucy Steel from Sense and Sensibility and pulling out her handkerchief from her Mr. Lupin (monogrammed with his initials) and waving it in Mehadi's face while pretending to blow her nose on it (maybe because I explained to my niece that the translation of that scene into modern English is, "He's mine! Got that? Mine, mine, mine, mine, MINE!!!").

Ellen
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