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Batch 50 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 50
I love your James 2, so maybe something from his first year at Hogwarts?
for Anon

---
James waited until he couldn't hear any of the others fidgeting, then pulled the curtains around his bed, drew his wand, and said, "Lumos."

Nothing happened.

He stared at the wand, trying to remember what it had felt like in Ollivander's, when he'd made a little whirlwind dance around the shop. "Lumos," he said again.

The wand glowed briefly, then fizzled out.

James sighed. He supposed he shouldn't have expected to just do a Charm on his first night at school. He hadn't had a single class yet.

As quietly as he could, he opened the curtains again and brought in the unbreakable jar of bluebell flames that Aunt Hermione had given him. He set it down on his bed and pulled out the Marauder's Map. This wasn't his own Charm, and he knew it would work, as he'd already illegally tried it at home. "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good."

The Marauders' message came up, identifying the Map, but this time, instead of Teddy's message (M. Wings, Aide and co-conspirator, Welcomes the newly bound), his name--M. Wings, of course--simply appeared at the bottom of the parchment, in the lower left corner. Beside it, the ink swirled around fantastically, then formed the name "J. Potter." James wondered if that would change when he came across his own Marauder name.

The writing disappeared, and the lines of the Map replaced it. Hogwarts Castle was full now, with dots darting to and fro throughout, even though everyone was meant to be in bed. James could see Neville and Hannah at the gate, saying goodbye to the other teachers--quite unfairly, Neville had decided to move to London and not be head of Gryffindor House anymore--and Headmistress Sprout pacing in her office. Hagrid was at the gate with Neville, and seemed to be coming onto the grounds. His apprentice, Teddy's friend Roger, was in the paddock with Dapple. Buckbeak was getting too old to be at the school, and had gone to France on a permanent basis, much to James's chagrin.

Closer to him, in Gryffindor Tower, he found Victoire, Marie, and Aimee. They were in the Common Room, by the fireplace, and James decided that he would join them when he was done exploring, if they were still there. In his own dormitory, he could see his little dot near the window. Beside him was Michael Prince, a sallow boy with a long nose and lanky black hair, who was currently snoring loudly. Beyond Michael was Silas Boyle, a chubby red-headed boy, and beyond Silas was Robert Highgold, a Muggle-born from Deal. The last in the room was Ahmed Elbaz, a skinny, spotty boy who was sleeping with a strip of something over his nose which he said would help him not to snore. He wasn't snoring, but he was making a sort of high-pitched whistling nose. James liked all of them perfectly well so far, but couldn't quite imagine them becoming his best mates, or naming his children after them and making them godfathers.

Well, that would all take time, he guessed.

He frowned. On the Map, Silas had left his bed, and was heading for the door.

James opened the curtain. "Where are you going?" he whispered.

"The loo," Silas said.

"Oh."

Silas frowned and whispered, "What's that light?"

"Bluebell flames, from my Aunt Hermione," James whispered, folding up the Map and hiding it under his covers. "They're--"

"Oh, for God's sake!" Michael groaned. "Whispering's no good if you're doing it that loudly." He leaned over the side of his bed, fumbled in his trunk, and came up with a Muggle torch. It lit up a moment later, and James felt the bright light play over his face.

"Hey!" Ahmed cried, sitting up and shielding his eyes. "Trying to sleep here."

"Give it up," Robert said dryly. "We were all trying." There was a strange scraping sound, then a flame came up, and Robert's lamp was lit. He was sitting up at the edge of his bed. "I wasn't doing so well," he said. "No idea what to expect tomorrow."

Ahmed rolled up onto his side and propped himself up on one skinny elbow. "Me, either," he said.

"Are you Muggle-born?" James asked.

"No. But my mum's a Muggle, and my Dad has a Muggle job--"

"Why?" Michael asked, sitting up eagerly.

"I don't know. I think he just likes it. He makes up the advertisements on television. There's more money in that for Muggles than for us." Ahmed shrugged. "Anyway, we don't do much magic at home." He looked around. "Do your parents use magic a lot?"

This was an interesting sort of discussion, and Silas apparently forgot what he'd got up for in the first place, as he sat down at James's desk and said, "Oh, yeah. My Mum and Da don't do anything without magic. Da once tried to drive a car, and it ended up in our barn. Went right through the wall and scared the chickens. He never tried again after that."

"My parents are Muggles," Robert said. "But Dad pulled a coin out from behind my ear once, and he likes to do card tricks at parties for the bank." He smiled. "That's when they found out I was magical. Dad missed a trick, and guessed the wrong card, and someone laughed. I got mad, and the whole deck turned into the right card."

James, who'd spent two summers mastering the Muggle card tricks in Uncle George's shop, considered this an admirable bout of accidental magic.

Michael turned to him. "Guess we don't have to ask about your house."

"Why not?" Robert asked.

"My dad's the head of the Auror Division," James said. "Also, he was famous in the war. And Mum's a Quidditch player. We use magic quite a lot." He looked at Michael, and pointed at the Muggle torch. "What about you?"

"My parents are Slytherins," Michael said. "They use whatever's useful. They reckoned I wouldn't be able to do a Lumos charm right off, so they bought me a Muggle torch. It probably won't last long here, but I hope Lumos doesn't take long to learn."

"Are you going to be in trouble for being in Gryffindor?" James asked.

"Why would he be?" Robert asked.

Michael grinned. "You have much to learn, young one..."

One by one, they slid off their seats, and worked their way to the center of the room as the conversation went on. Sometime before the sky began to lighten, they all drifted off into a companionable sleep in the middle of the floor.




DH Christmas, with Remus, Dora and the cubs.
for Anon

---
Tonks decided that the baby would deserve immediate thanks upon birth for providing an exquisite excuse not to dance in front of people. Instead, she sat at Valeska's table, resting her hand on her belly, watching the Christmas party move around them. The world was dark and horrible, but there were islands in it, and the sanctuary village was one of them. Along with the pups, Tonks had brought in three families of Muggle-borns that she'd been able to smuggle out. It was all they could absorb on a full-time basis, but, as fugitives themselves, they'd been quite eager to help people move through the village on their way to more permanent homes. At the moment, this was a tax on their hospitality, as Tonks had honored Robards' request to rescue both his wife and his mistress, and the only time she could do it was at the same time. They were currently quarreling outside, though, and Tonks put them out of her mind.

Remus was honoring his own promise to Evelyn at the moment, teaching her to dance. She was standing on his feet as he went through the steps of a waltz, and Tonks thought her heart would just explode at the happiness in his eyes. This baby was a boy--she knew that much--but she thought that next time, she would try for a girl, because Remus would be adorable spoiling a daughter.

The baby kicked suddenly, and Tonks winced.

"Are you all right?"

She turned. Alderman was looking at her, quite alarmed. She smiled at him. "The baby's just having a dance of his own," she said.

"It shouldn't kick at you," Nate Blondin said solemnly, taking a seat beside her. "That's not very nice."

"It's what babies do," Tonks said. She was amused to find herself giving definitive pronouncements on the nature of pregnancy, for all the world as if she'd gone through it as often as Molly Weasley. "He's still moving, if you want to feel it."

Nate backed away, looking pale. Alderman put a hand on her belly and felt the slight motion. He smiled. "That's just neat," he said.

Remus and Evvie finished the dance, and came over to join them.

"I didn't say you could touch my wife, Alderman," Remus said fondly, and slipped his arm over Dora's shoulders. "The baby's moving?"

She put his hand on her stomach so he could feel it. He beamed.

Alderman moved back to his seat across the table, and Evvie moved into his place by Tonks. "Can I touch?" she asked.

Tonks nodded, and guided her hand to it.

Evvie's eyes lit up like one of the twins' fireworks shows. "It's wonderful! I wish I could have a baby!"

"You're a bit young," Tonks said.

"Also, I can't ever have one," Evvie said, then sighed deeply. She shook it off physically and said, "But I shall spoil yours and Lupin's quite a lot. I shall make him clothes and sing to him. May I sing to him? And make him clothes?"

"I'm sure he'd love it."

Evvie clapped and spun around. "And maybe I shall teach him to dance someday."

Remus kissed Tonks's cheek and grinned at Evvie. "Where's Vivian?" he asked.

"Watching those two women fight," Evvie said, then shook her head. "She wants to make sure they don't kill each other. We're not allowed to do that here."

"As opposed to the rest of the world," Nate said, "where it's perfectly all right."

"Well, it was all right in the forest," Evvie said. "With Greyback." She wrinkled her nose.

Alderman reached across and tugged her hair gently. "Nothing we did with Greyback was all right," he said. He craned his neck to look out the door. "What are they fighting about, anyway?"

"A mate," Nate said. "Same as the pack-ladies, if you ask me."

"Well, Robards is no Greyback," Tonks said. "But... well, it's the same principle."

"Father Marcel says that marriage ought to be sacred," Alderman mused. "And people ought to honor their wives."

Nate groaned and threw a bit of wet pasta at him. "Don't start, Alderman."

"Start what?" Remus asked.

"Alderman's got religion," Nate said.

"Really?" Remus smiled tightly. "Well, er... if it's what's right for you."

Tonks rolled her eyes. "You know, Remus, you might ask what he's found before you dismiss it."

"No!" Nate said. "Please, don't ask! He'll tell!"

"I promised I wouldn't," Alderman said, then looked at Remus. "But, yeah, I've gone to church. I even had Communion. It didn't burn me up or anything."

"Burn you up?" Evvie repeated, alarmed.

"Because of being cursed," Alderman said. "I was afraid it might, but it didn't. Father Marcel says--"

"NO!" Nate shouted again.

Remus laughed. "We'll talk later, Alderman. When it won't be quite so painful for Mr. Blondin here."

Nate sat back down. "It's just that every third word is, 'Father Marcel.'"

"Do you speak enough French for services?" Remus asked.

Alderman nodded eagerly. "I do. I've been picking it up really quickly. I like French. I'm trying to learn Latin as well."

"Latin!" Tonks said. "Well, as it happens, I know a spectacular Latin teacher..."

Remus mussed her hair and kissed the top of her head. "Maybe this summer," he told Alderman. "I think I still have some old Latin books to start with, if I can ever get to my things."

"Your Latin books are at Mum's," Tonks said.

"Oh, did we move them?"

"No, I've always had them."

"Oh." Remus shrugged. "Well, then, I'll send them along to you. I have some lessons jotted down."

"Thanks," Alderman said.

"I'm impressed. Last year, you were barely reading English, and now you're reading French and working on Latin."

Alderman shrugged sheepishly. "Guess I'm smart after all."

"Right," Nate said, "but the rest of us are as stupid as sod. Everyone knows that."

"Well, maybe you are," Alderman said.

Nate hid behind Tonks. "His Holiness is being cruel to me!" he cried, clinging to her cloak. "Make him stop...!"

Tonks hugged Nate, shook her head, and let them go about their constant brotherly banter.


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Comments
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: February 13th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Alderman - and also Remus' wariness, and Tonks' more open-minded attitude (and poor Nate..)
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 13th, 2009 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, my goodness, I *must* know more about this Michael Prince and how he gets on with James. I presume he's some long-lost relative of Snape's? As an ardent Snape fan, I must say that, though I adore your writing and the world you've created (or rather, expanded), I do sometimes lament the lack of Snape.

That second one--oh! So cute! I do love the cubs, and especially Alderman. I do really hope you write Safe one of these days, because the hints and pieces you've given us are so fascinating.
amamama From: amamama Date: February 13th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC) (Link)
*happy sigh* The world is a good place. It's squeaky cold, sunshine from clear blue skies, lots of snow, a fire going in the fireplace, an espresso with whipped cream to drink and Fernwithy stories to read. The moments captured are just wonderful, I absolutely LOVED James' first night at school, and the DH Christmas was very nice too. Even though R&T got a sad end, the story continues, and even in the bleakest circumstances it is possible to find light and love. Now I can go do what I'm supposed to.

Thanks a bunch, Fern! It's such a treat.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: February 13th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I envy you so. My Fern stories come with the rucket of the rusty air conditioning, ice cubes in my mouth (because chilled drinks just don't do it anymore) and such a heat outside I fear going out of the house.

Really, the Fern part is the only nice part right now. Oh, I wish I could have snow, a fire and an espresso... *wishful sigh*
shiiki From: shiiki Date: February 13th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the cubs ... *sniff*

That was just sweet.

And James's first night makes me wonder how James the first's first night went. I actually imagine that it would be similar!
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: February 13th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved both of these. I'm really enjoying all of these little shorts.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: February 13th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I finished reading with a stupid grin in my face. These two were such heart warmers.

He, I think that if you put together all your James II pieces and all your Safe pieces, you pretty much will have two half novels!
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 13th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh- so funny.

Particularly the bit about how the only way to evacuate both the wife and the mistress was to do so at the same time.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: February 13th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great fun, meeting James's dormmates. Looks like he's going to get along with everyone, more or less. And funny yet achingly pognant to see Remus and Dora with the cubs and know that the plans they're making will never come to pass.

It's a testament to your writing ability that Batch 50 is just as strong as Batch 1.
barbara_the_w From: barbara_the_w Date: February 13th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope poor Micheal isn't disowned for being a Gryffindor....

What a shock it will be to Harry (or Hermione) to discover one of Snape's relatives is James' dormmate

*hee*

Put me in for another <3 the Princes :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 13th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like Michael. I take it he's a Star Wars fan? That "You have much to learn, young one" had a certain ring to it.

Ah, and Tonks and Remus enjoying a Christmas. That was sweet. I felt like telling Nate that babies need to exercise if they're ever going to get out (it's a deal mothers made with babies long ago: moms put up with the kicking; and, in return, the babies don't stay inside them forever).

Ellen
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: February 14th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Both of these were wonderful. James II is an appealing boy -- I can see him making good friends with his dorm-mates, no matter their origins. And Remus, Tonks, and the cubs were adorable and sad. Thanks again for the many, many terrific snippets!
tencups_i_swear From: tencups_i_swear Date: February 14th, 2009 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Love
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: February 19th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I think, as much as I hate Snape, that it is SO wonderful that someone who is obviously related to him is in Gryffindor. :D.

And the second one was just adorable, and I especially liked the "Oh, I still have them." "Oh... err... okay then." And as usual the thoughts-of-the-future tugged on the heart strings. Alot.
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