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Batch 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 2
Remus when he realises his son isn't a werewolf too. for jesspallas

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(The difficult part of this one is that there was no full moon between Teddy's birth and Remus's death! Grr, Jodemort...)
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Throughout her pregnancy, Dora had been inundating Remus with materials about lycanthropy and its passage between generations. One thing it pointed out was abundantly clear: Lycanthropy passed through biting only. There had never been a known case where a child had inherited the curse directly, though there were quite a few where werewolf fathers had accidently (or, in one horrific case, deliberately) infected their children. Andromeda had given him one of Ted's books, which talked about how it was impossible to inherit acquired characteristics--the classic example being that if you cut off a mouse's tail, its mouselings were not born tailless. A scientist called Lamarck had apparently theorized that it could happen, but no one agreed with him anymore.

Remus wasn't entirely sure, even after almost nine months of the barrage. He'd stopped fretting to Dora about it when Andromeda had said, "She doesn't need to worry about you driving yourself crazy just now," and he'd stopped fretting to Andromeda about it after Ted died, and he realized that she didn't need it either. That had left Kingsley and the Weasley twins, all of whom had got quite sick of the theme. The twins had started needling him about how he was going to pass lycanthropy to everyone he met just by breathing on them wrong at the new moon (they'd made up quite the mythology on this by the middle of March), and Kingsley had finally brought him a stack of folders stolen from the Ministry at least four feet high dealing with known families of werewolves--"There are even suspicious cases in here, just so you can see that not only are you not going to be the only werewolf in history to pass the curse on in this particular manner, you're not even unique in worrying about it. And every single one that worried turned out to be wrong."

Remus read the contents of these folders avidly after Dora went to sleep. Here was a case of a father of six. Three had managed to be bitten before they were ten years old--Remus had already decided to make arrangements about this--but the other three had attended Hogwarts normally at eleven. One of them had gone on to bear a son called Damocles Belby, who'd gone on to invent Wolfsbane potion. In another family, this one in Greece, a werewolf father had been so intent upon not passing the curse to his children that he'd disappeared for a week every month. It was later discovered that he'd Conjured a hidden island for his own use, but he was killed when an undersea earthquake during a full moon had sent a tsunami crashing over it. His eldest son had later become the head of the Olympus School. None of his children had shown the slightest trace of lycanthrophy.

The only case that seemed to have any bearing on Remus's fear--when an infant had been born with the curse--was a very nasty attack that had occurred in the '70s. He remembered seeing it then, and it had burned itself into his brain, but he hadn't had all the details. They hadn't been published, probably out of respect for the family and a desire not to cause a panic about a werewolf who had, at that time, been merrily wandering about attacking people. Remus didn't need to wonder much who that had been--the whole matter smelled of Greyback.

In this case, he'd attacked a woman late in her pregnancy, and in the course of the attack, had slashed her belly. It should have killed the child outright, but both mother and child survived long enough for them to be taken to St. Mungo's, where the woman managed to give birth before dying from blood loss. The infant had lived for a month, then died upon moonrise, as it was weak and small and couldn't handle the transformation.

During the poor thing's month of life, he had apparently been poked and prodded and tested quite often, because there was a great deal of literature on his state of health. Some of it may have been the particularly traumatic circumstances of his birth, but there were things that the Healers had noticed. Most prominently, he had been unable to gain any weight at all. By the time of his death, he seemed to be starving. Milk had lacked a nutrient he needed--Remus was willing to guess it was meat, and a lot of it--and the poor child had been utterly hollow-faced after only two weeks. The pictures were disturbing.

Now, Remus held one of these pictures in his hand, and slipped it into a seam on Teddy's cot.

Already, Teddy was healthier than the werewolf child. His face was filled out, and he'd lost most of his redness. His hands were chubby, and his eyes were active. In contrast, the lycanthropic infant's eyes were sunken and lifeless, its hands nearly translucent. Teddy's belly was getting plump, where the lycantrhope's had continued to sink inward. The wound where Teddy's umbilical cord had been severed was healing; the lycanthrope's had remained red and inflamed until he died.

In fact, with the except of his hair, which was currently drifting between a light dusting of pink and a fabulous green, Teddy looked like any other baby Remus had ever seen. More beautiful, of course, and stronger and certainly smarter, but otherwise, like any other baby.

"You're still worried?"

Remus turned. Dora was standing in the doorway behind him, looking weary but also calm and happy.

He shook his head. "No. Not anymore."





well, you know the characters I like, including teachers, so please, anything you care to write from MWPP era, from childhood to 1981. for alkari

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"Isn't there some spell I can use to do them all at once?" Sirius asked, looking at the pile of brown buttons, some still shaped like beetles.

"Yes," Professor McGonagall said. She didn't look up from the papers she was marking.

"Couldn't you teach it to me?"

She tipped down the edge of an essay and looked up over the top of her glasses. "Mr. Black, the point of a detention task is not to find an easy way around it. If the point were to finish the task quickly, I'd have done so myself. I'd not save them for a third year who has a great need to develop self-discipline."

Sirius quickly undid the Transfiguration on five buttons, and caught the beetles to put into their little glass cages, and dropped in leaves for them to eat. "Where do they all come from, anyway? Where do you keep them when classes aren't in here?"

"In my sewing basket," McGonagall said.

"Wait... are you telling me that they're really buttons?"

"Certainly, Mr. Black. You don't imagine I collect insects merely to have first years torment them!"

"Then why am I turning them back into beetles?"

"Because, Mr. Black, that's what I've instructed you to do."

Sirius tapped his fingers on the table. "But--"

"I suggest you get on with it. I'm sure you have homework, not least because I know I assigned some, and I don't intend to accept substandard work from you."

Sirius poked five more buttons, made five more beetles, and dropped them into their cages, skipping the leaves, as she would undoubtedly return them to button shape as soon as he was gone. "This is just because you don't like Mum," he muttered.

There was rustle of paper, and he looked back up to see McGonagall giving him an exasperated look over her glasses.

"Well, it is!" he said as defiantly as he could (which wasn't very defiant; it was difficult to maintain a stand against her stern glare).

"Were I judging you by your mother's actions when we were schoolgirls, I should have expelled you by now."

Sirius jabbed at more buttons. "She told me you wouldn't like me."

"Did she?" McGonagall sighed and shook her head. "As much as I dislike correcting a student's parents, I really must tell you that she was mistaken in that regard." She went back to reading essays.

Sirius considered this as he chased the new beetles around and put them into their cages. It was as close as McGonagall had ever come, in his hearing, to admitting that she was fond of any student. This in mind, he gave her buttons a few more leaves.

"So why did I get detention and Snivelly didn't?"

With a great thump, McGonagall, slammed her pile of essays onto her desk. "Mr. Black, I'm trying to work."

"Well, he was doing as much as I was."

"And what," she asked, "makes you think he didn't receive a detention for his troubles?"

"He's not here."

"I considered it less dangerous for my classroom to have you and Mr. Snape serve your detentions separately."

"Well, I had mine assigned in front of the whole school."

McGonagall rubbed the top of her nose. "As you are undoubtedly aware, the social consequences for you are somewhat different than they would be for Mr. Snape."

Sirius went back to his task. It was probably Snivelly's biggest dream to get detention for Hexing Remus in the Great Hall (two days after a full moon to boot, though Snape wouldn't know about that particular indignity, just that he was Hexing someone who looked a day from the grave). It would, in the minds of idiots, put him on the same level, make him the nemesis he imagined himself to be for James, instead of just an irritating, greasy little gnat with a Dark spell book hidden somewhere. Thinking of it in those terms, Sirius was rather glad that he hadn't got that particular glory after all.

He finished up and put the last five beetles into their cages, and Levitated them over to McGonagall's desk. She looked up from her essays to judge them.

"You're missing one," she said.

"What?"

She pointed to a cage in the center row, where the leaves were there but the beetle was missing.

"I did it, I swear. I'm out of buttons."

"Obviously, it got away." She went back to her essays, but Sirius thought she was smiling. "You'd best find it. It's the clasp from my best cloak."




I'd like to see more of your OCs - either the cubs or the Smeltings teachers, or perhaps both, if that's possible. Maybe set during DH or just after. for shiiki

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Alan Garvey noticed the knot of children by the gate when he came out of the church at Godric's Hollow. Anna and the Levinsons were still at the grave with young Harry Potter and several of the Lupins' closest friends. Alan himself had gone inside to have a word with the Homeowner in question about this travesty. There'd been no answer. He hadn't expected one. He'd come out muttering to himself and looked up to see the gathering. They were all wearing black clothes, all badly fitted and covered with patches.

The oldest child, a teenage boy, looked up sharply at the sound of the church door closing. He straightened his shoulders and started up the path. The others watched him dubiously, then followed.

"Are you here for the Lupins?" Alan asked. "Were you at the funeral?"

The boy nodded. "He was our teacher. She helped us escape."

Alan looked them over--their ragged clothes, the deep thinness of their frames. At one poor little girl with a missing eye and a face covered with scars. "Oh," he said. "You're... Lupin was helping you. In France."

The boy managed a tired smile. "Is that your clever way of asking if we're his werewolves?"

"Well..."

"Yes. We are. And we've decided not to be secretive about it." The boy stuck out his hand. "I'm Robert Alderman."

"Alderman! Of course, Lupin talked about you a great deal this year. He always said, 'Alderman can take care of that,' or 'Alderman could do this.' I don't know what all he had you doing, but he and Dora both seemed to respect you a lot."

Alderman's smile became much more genuine. "Really? He did?"

"'Course he did," a skinny blond boy said. "Did you hear him at Christmas? Kept telling us all to ask you things instead of him."

"Only alpha ever to just hand it over to a beta," the scarred girl said fiercely. "The only one ever."

"More like handing it to an omega," the blond boy said and laughed, then looked around himself and looked horrified. A pretty girl beside him with a cloud of curly brown hair patted his arm.

"I'm Alan Garvey," Alan said. "I was a colleague of Remus's."

"I know who you are!" the scarred girl said.

A brown-haired boy with glasses that he wore uncomfortably said, "We met about four Alan Garveys last year. They kept coming to France with the exact same papers."

"There were some Anna Garveys, too," Alderman said. "And a few Joe Levinsons and Miriam Levinsons. You let the Muggle-borns use your papers, didn't you?"

"It's probably best not to say that too loud," Alan reminded him. He nodded toward the cemetery. "Come, I'm sure the real Anna--and Joe and Miriam--would like to meet you. And I have a sense that young Mr. Potter would greatly value any stories about Lupin that he doesn't know yet."

"We didn't want to make him sadder," the curly-haired girl said. "We thought... well... He seems so very sad, and he's done so much."

"Too much," Joe said. "But he loved Lupin and Dora, and he's their son's godfather. He'll want to know all the stories there are. He's as lonely as he is sad. I know he listened to the lot of us last night for a long time."

"And it didn't make him sad?" the girl asked.

It would be a lie to say that, at least the way the children would understand it. Harry Potter had broken down in tears at Miriam's kitchen table after hearing the tales of the past three years, but Alan had thought the tears a kind of deep cleansing. The boy had seemed stronger after them, more resolute, better able to face the funerals today without breaking down. "He needs to hear them," he said again. "And he wants to."

The younger children all looked at Alderman for a decision.

Alderman nodded.

They all followed Alan to the grave.

26 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 30th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Harry....

LOVE the twins. Lycanthropy just by breathing!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2009 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that may be the best approach to Remus--go all James and Sirius on him, teasing him to high heaven.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: November 30th, 2009 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
That last one made me teary! It's so bittersweet!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
It was the only time I could really think of, but of course, it's a teary time.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: November 30th, 2009 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Despite the joshing he got, I fully understand Remus's concern. I guess I should be grateful that JKR allowed him enough time to meet Teddy and to see that he was curse-free. (Nice side-step on not having a full moon, BTW.) Sirius and Minerva are great, and I love the pups and the Smelting's faculty and wives, always!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I understand it as well, but as she's been clear in outside materials that it's only passed by biting in this world, I'm sure everyone else got frustrated with him.
alkari From: alkari Date: November 30th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I considered it less dangerous for my classroom to have you and Mr. Snape serve your detentions separately."

*dies laughing* Thank you so much for this little gem. I trust Sirius eventually found his beetle / clasp!

The Remus/Teddy/Dora one was bittersweet, as was the last one with Alan Garvey. And I am sure you were right about Harry needing to cry for those he'd lost. That young man *needed* a good cry for all of them - Sirius, Dumbledore, Remus, Dora, Fred, and all the others.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
And maybe he'd only be able to do it among near strangers, who didn't need him to be Harry Potter, Savior of Wizardkind.
alkari From: alkari Date: November 30th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Agreed, alas. Even with Ron, Hermione and Ginny, I think it would be a long time before he could ever let his guard down enough to grieve openly like that, and just be an ordinary human being.
chrischewscud From: chrischewscud Date: November 30th, 2009 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
:D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
;p
From: severely_lupine Date: November 30th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
More beautiful, of course, and stronger and certainly smarter, but otherwise, like any other baby. -- LOL. Oh, Remus. But of course.

Man, realizing that there wasn't even a full month between Teddy's birth and their deaths--and that Remus never got that 100 percent for certain guarantee that Teddy wasn't a werewolf after all--really just makes me mad at Rowling all over again. Wonderful ficlet, though. I love the twins' reaction.

One thing I've wondered on occasion: if lycanthopy could be passed genetically, wouldn't there be some indication of this in the womb? I mean, we know that werewolves transform even when not in direct contact with moonlight, so if a fetus was a werecub, wouldn't it theoretically start transforming in the womb?

Sirius and McGonagall are always fun. It's still sad about the whole feud with Snape, though. It's the clasp from best cloak. -- missing word there, I think.

Oh, that last one's just heartbreaking. You do write such wonderful OCs, though.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I mean, we know that werewolves transform even when not in direct contact with moonlight, so if a fetus was a werecub, wouldn't it theoretically start transforming in the womb?

I just looked back and realized I erased a paragraph where Remus mentioned having been scared every time he came back from a full moon that he'd find Dora having been savaged from the inside out.

Got the missing "my," thanks.
From: severely_lupine Date: November 30th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, that sounds interesting and plausible. Why'd you take it out?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was just in the wrong place and got in the way of a segue between paragraphs. I meant to put it back in, but I forgot!
sonetka From: sonetka Date: November 30th, 2009 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Now I'm wincing in pain for that poor turned infant. That FICTIONAL poor turned infant. Fantastic job, Fern. I also liked Nate's crack about turning it over to the Omega. I see that Alderman's vocation became clear pretty early on :).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 30th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Because of writing Shades, I've been interested in wolves, and there really is an omega to a pack. He's sort of the court jester in wolf land, breaks tension when other wolves are challenging each other... it's really neat.

Yeah, it wouldn't be something a baby could live through, especially an already weak preemie.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: November 30th, 2009 08:15 am (UTC) (Link)
You write such great children! Never read a better young Sirius!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: November 30th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I loved them all, but the last one made me cry!

Sirus and McG together are always a pleasure.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: November 30th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
"He needs to hear them," he said again. "And he wants to."

*sob*

I would certainly want to hear everything I could about Remus and Dora, too. Especially if it's being told through you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 1st, 2009 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that last one made me cry!

Lucky I saved the second one for last, because that made me laugh again. McGonagall is just brilliant, and you write her so well!

~Hermione Stranger~
jesspallas From: jesspallas Date: December 1st, 2009 08:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Darn it, I didn't realise there wasn't a moon! It just seemed so important that he be sure so before he went to the pointless death of doom, he could at least be hopeful for his son's future. But you wangled round it brilliantly. Thanks. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 1st, 2009 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah... when I was trying to think about Safe--sometime while writing Forest Guard--and someone reminded me that there were only two weeks, I went and checked the moon calendar I have bookmarked. It's the two weeks between quarter moons. On the one hand, yeah, it means he couldn't be entirely at ease (though he should have been); on the other, at least it means he didn't miss out on one of those very few days.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: December 1st, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love Sirius and McG. Awesome.

Portrait James being the G.Grandfather to Portrait Sirius' nephew. Ah, the perplexities of time travel!

And that last one. You left us hanging! I missed the challenge call, but now I dream of the rest of the story: Harry meeting the cubs...

As always, Thanks for your writing talents!
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 12th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I love the lives and development you give all your OCs, and the other two were great too.
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: December 14th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really enjoying all of these, but I particularly like these three. Good work!
26 comments or Leave a comment