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Batch 51 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 51
Either John Lupin I being Lupin-ish over Julia, or John Lupin II or one of his brothers being similarly inept about a female of his acquaintance.
for Anon

---
"So sack me," Julia said, blowing her fringe off her forehead. "I like the archives, but if it's a choice between you and them, go ahead and sack me. I've certainly been engaging in improper behavior for the workplace."

John sat down. "Well, I'd rather need to sack myself for the same behavior," he said.

"As no one else knows about it, and it hasn't interfered with anything we're doing, I can't imagine why either of us actually needs to go."

John flicked his wand, and her apprenticeship agreement flew up from the desk in the cramped little kitchen they used for tea breaks. He unrolled the scroll. "The pertinent part," he said, "would be section four and a third, which says that a mentor must behave morally with his apprentice. You actually have the right to take me in front of the Wizengamot."

Julia grinned. "That sounds fun. But I think they'd all be jealous." He blushed, and she laughed. "Toss me my cigarettes, will you? I need a smoke if I'm going to discuss this rationally."

"I wish you wouldn't," John said, but tossed them to her. She did tend to get a bit temperamental without them, and he needed her level-headed for this sort of discussion. He'd tried it once when she'd extolled its virtue in cleaning out the lungs, but he'd ended up coughing for an hour after half a smoke. Julia found this very amusing. John didn't. He didn't believe a single one of her protestations about their health benefits, and her own persistent cough didn't exactly bolster her case.

She lit up. "First," she said, "I don't think a handful of kisses qualify as the sort of immoral behavior they're talking about."

"They don't mean... what you're thinking about. They mean that I have power over you--at least in theory--and I shouldn't be taking advantage of it."

"Everyone has power over everyone," Julia said. "I think I have more power over you, because you're so worried about me, honestly. So maybe I'm the one taking advantage."

"That's not entirely the way the law looks at it."

She shrugged. "Which brings us back to no one knowing about it, anyway. I'm not going to tell them. You're not going to tell them."

"The portraits could tell them."

This intelligence seemed to flummox her. Julia, like Mum, was Muggle-born, and tended to forget certain things, despite ten years' immersion in the wizarding world.. She looked around at the archivists from the past, who were watching with various states of interest. "Well, I--why would they?"

"They gossip," John said. "You never know who'll stop by and strike up a conversation with them."

She frowned and sat down across from him. "Hmph. Well, in that case, I resign."

"But you like the work."

"I'll work in a Muggle library, perhaps at a university."

"And if they ask for your qualifications?"

"That's one of the things the Muggle liaison office does," Julia said airily. "So, shall we have dinner at the Leaky Cauldron, or would you prefer to come to my flat for my famous pork and mushroom pie?"

"Well, you seem to have all of this worked out."

"Someone has to."

John looked at her for a long time, then shook his head. "Why me?" he asked.

"Why not you?"

"Do you know I actually went through Hogwarts without ever taking a girl to Hogsmeade for one of the weekend visits?"

"Teenage girls have no taste in men whatsoever," Julia said.

"You're barely above teenage."

"I'm the exception." She smiled and took his hands. "I wasn't exactly in high demand, either, you know. Too tall, too skinny, too flat-chested, Muggle-born, no money to speak of, and I prefer the library to the Quidditch pitch."

John traced her face with his eyes--she had lovely high cheekbones, light brown eyes, delicately arched eyebrows. Her mouth was a perfect little bow shape, marred only by the lines she was starting to get from the cigarettes. Her nose was regal and fine, and her whole face was framed with that fabulous wavy hair, the color of sand on a sunny beach. She'd tried ot keep it in a bun at first, but finally just cut it enough to stay out of things and left it loose. Her pretty, lilting accent made her words sound like cheerfully falling rain in mid-summer. He imagined that most of the boys in Hogwarts had fancied her, but perhaps they'd just been intimidated.

"You look at me like that much longer," she said, "and I'm going to crawl across the table and kiss you right in front of the portraits."

"That's not really an incentive to stop."

She grinned and leaned across the table--it wasn't really big enough to balance on, let alone crawl on--and kissed him heartily. He smiled when she pulled away, and tucked her hair behnd one ear.

"Ahem."

Julia looked up, and put her hand over her mouth to hide a grin. "Professor Flitwick! We weren't entirely expecting you."

John covered his face.

Filius Flitwick said, "I believe the sign on the door says that the archives are, at present, open. Perhaps you'd care to change that?"

Julia laughed. "No. We're quite all right. Is there something I can help you with today?"




Remus with his grandchildren, teaching them things, and marvelling--if portraits can marvel--at the fact that he is the patriarch of such an enormous family who all persist in thinking he's wonderful. Dora I is of course welcome, and need not fall asleep in their frame this time.
for Anon

(I did manage to screw up the order of the Lupin children earlier in this challenge somewhere. Carina is a bit older than Raymond.)
---
The twins insisted on bringing Mum and Dad's portrait outside for the picnic, so Teddy Conjured an easel, and set them up facing the sea. Mum was delighted with this, and lifted her face as though she could actually feel the cool wind coming up from the water. Dad was lying on the floor of the kitchen, talking to Raymond and Carina about creatures they were bringing to him.

"Now, you know you must never touch a Mackled Malaclaw," he was saying. "It's something like a lobster, but with green spots--"

"Sirius showed me one!" Raymond announced. "He said they would make you have very bad luck."

"He's quite right," Dad said. "And never step on a Murtlap. It'll eat your feet."

"Eat my feet?" Carina repeated. "Really?"

"Oh, yes," Mum interrupted. "That's how Mad-Eye Moody lost a foot, you know."

Carina looked dubious about this. "Really?"

"Oh, yes," Dad said. "Very tragic."

Mira ran over. "That's not true. I read it in a book. Mr. Moody lost his foot to a Dark wizard."

Mum laughed. "Well, true enough, but he did love to make up stories about how you might lose a body part. He once told me he lost his foot trying to trim his toenails."

Raymond found this greatly amusing, and rolled in the grass laughing at it. "We're going to go find more things. I wish you could come with us."

"I do as well," Mum said.

"Wait!" Victoire called. "I've an idea. I'll Summon one of the landscapes. Ray, do you think you can carry a little painting?"

Raymond nodded eagerly. Victoire shifted Johnny on her hip, waved her wand, and the seascape Teddy kept on the wall near the entrance came flying out. Victoire caught it. Mum slipped from one painting into the next, then Victoire handed it to Raymond. "Be careful," she said. "No running."

Raymond looked too impressed with himself for providing his beloved Grannydora with transport around the island that Teddy wasn't sure he'd walk fast enough to see anything before sunset, but Carina prodded him along. Mira watched them warily, then followed. Teddy could hear Mum giving them delighted commentary until the crested Hogboon Mound and disappeared from view.

Dad sighed, then pushed himself up from the floor and sat down at the table. Teddy leaned comfortably against the rock. "It's good to have them, isn't it?"

"It's amazing," Dad said. "Can you imagine? I have eight grandchildren. I never even thought I'd be a father."

"Really? I mean, I know you told yourself that, but did you really believe it?"

"Oh, yes." Dad leaned forward and looked fondly toward the edge of the cliff, where Victoire was holding the baby and Orry, Sirius, and the twins were tossing ribboned hoops around and catching them with sticks. "I wanted it more than anything, but I didn't think it was for me. I just kept getting older, and nothing ever changed. I imagined it would just keep going that way. Your mum always had a way of getting me unstuck, though."

"I'm glad I had your portrait done," Teddy said.

"So am I."

"They love you and Mum. I'm glad they have you, even more than I'm glad for me."

"Oh, I think I'm just a familiar part of the scenery," Dad said. "Quite literally, actually."

Teddy rolled his eyes. "I'm beginning to understand people being frustrated with you. You really need a lot of reassurance. I promise, the Hogboon is part of the scenery. You, on the other hand, are Granddad the Mighty, who tells them fabulous stories and teaches them about Mackled Malaclaws. You're as real to them as Phineas is to me."

"Can you honestly say you love Phineas?"

"Without hesitation."

"Hmm." Dad considered this. "Well, maybe they do, then. Love me."

"Yes, Dad, it's just possible."

He basked in this for a moment, as he always did when Teddy reassured him of it, then smiled and moved forward to sit leaning against the frame. "Where are James and Ruth and their boys?"

"At Kirk's place. That's Ruthless's brother. It's her nephew's birthday. He especially requested the presence of Uncle James."

"All of these new people," Dad mused. "What a world it is."

"I wish you were in it," Teddy said.

Dad couldn't really answer this, as, being a portrait, he didn't have real wishes or desires, but he had enough of Dad's personality to look wistful. Then he sat up straighter and squinted into the son. "Now what have they brought?" he asked.

Teddy looked back over his shoulder and saw Mira, Carina, and Raymond coming back over the rise. Mira was carrying the landscape now, and the little ones seemed to be sharing the weight of something large and slimy. Teddy looked at Dad. "I'd best find out about that," he said.

"I should say so," Dad said, and went back to the table. "I'll just wait here for Dora."



11 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: February 15th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)
"Yes, Dad, it's just possible."

okay, if it's possible for ME to love him, then it's possible for anyone to love him. Especially the way you portray him, Fern! I never get tired of your stuff!

...*first commentor dance*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 15th, 2009 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Remus. The only lovable passive-aggressive I know.
From: kobegrace Date: February 15th, 2009 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
What a lovely (post) Valentine's Day I'm having. I have the man I love, the wine I love, and the stories I love. Life is good.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 15th, 2009 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm envious. :)
From: severely_lupine Date: February 15th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh my, that first one is too cute.

"I wish you were in it," Teddy said. -- Oh... how very true. As much as they enjoy having the painting, it's not really him, is it?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 15th, 2009 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Nope. Then again, Phineas isn't Phineas, either, but we all love him.
From: severely_lupine Date: February 15th, 2009 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
True, but we never knew the real Phineas.
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: February 15th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
the second one... oh how heartbreaking, when we think of what might have been, but fern you're really giving us the next best thing.

john and julia. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. how very lupinish.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: February 15th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, lovely. Just lovely.

"All of these new people," Dad mused. "What a world it is."
That line was made of win. The differences between Remus' life and what he imagined his future to be like, and the way things are in adult!Teddy's time are so many and so great. After all that darkness, who can blame him for marvelling at so many happy children?
(Deleted comment)
beceh From: beceh Date: February 15th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I really enjoyed both of those :-)
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