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Batch 10 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 10
I really loved the Susan Harry piece you wrote last time (don't remember if i asked for it or someone else did). i would like to ask for another one. this time Order of Phoenix time, maybe harry discussing Amelia bones with susan? what does she thinks of her aunt? and in return susan talking about how she fells awful for what harry is going through right now? for starnightmuse

---------------

Susan got to the Room of Requirement before anyone else except Harry. She found him going through the books the room had provided and checking the scuffed old wardrobes to see what would be in them today.

"What are we doing?" she asked.

Harry jumped and turned, wand drawn, then said, "Oh. Susan."

"It's probably not a good idea to wave your wand at everyone who happens to surprise you," Susan said. "That'll get you into trouble."

"Less trouble than if I don't," Harry grumbled, and pulled a few helmets from the wardrobe. These had proved to be good targets for spells they didn't do on each other. "I'd rather not end up with Voldemort surprising me again."

Susan saw his point. She sat down at a table and began to leaf through the defensive magic books. "Some of these are quite old," she said.

"I reckon they still work."

"Oh, me, too." She glanced idly at a few pictures. "It's more useful than Slinkhard, anyway."

"There are uses for Slinkhard," Harry said, to her surprise, then pointed at the floor. His copy of Defensive Magical Theory was propping up the corner of one of the wardrobes. He smiled faintly.

"My Aunt Amelia says Slinkhard was a sniveling little Mama's boy," Susan said. "She knew him when they were in school. He cried when she accidentally stepped on his foot."

"Why am I not surprised?" Harry rolled his eyes. "If the Ministry had to foist someone on us, couldn't they have foisted your aunt on us instead of Umbridge? I had her at my trial. She seemed to have her head on straight."

Susan started stacking up the books. "Aunt Amelia was in the war against Grindelwald. And in the last war with Voldemort--Ministry side, not Order side, though she wasn't one of them who tried to get in Dumbledore's way. She's smarter than that."

"Why not just join the Order?"

"Not everyone can be a vigilante. Someone has to be there to catch the mess that the Order throws at it."

He narrowed his eyes. "If you think that, why are you here?"

"I didn't say I wanted to be the cleaning girl." Susan smiled. "If the Ministry were acting normal, I probably wouldn't. But then, if the Ministry were acting normal, we wouldn't be here to be in. There's something wrong there. Aunt Amelia says that it's got quite dicey in the Wizengamot. If you say something Fudge doesn't want said, you can end up stripped of your post, same as Dumbledore."

"So she's keeping quiet?"

"Aunt Amelia? Ha!"

Harry grinned. "Good for her."

"She's way past the age to retire, anyway. If they sack her, I guess she figures it doesn't matter." Susan shrugged. "Did you know she was Professor McGonagall's friend?"

"I... I don't think I've ever thought about Professor McGonagall having friends."

"Well, they were friends. They went to Germany together during the war and rescued Squibs and Muggle-borns, and even some Muggles, I think. With Neville's grandmother."

Harry looked up, dumbfounded, then shook his head. "All I can see is that vulture hat--"

"What?"

"Oh, it was in Gryffindor's Defense class with the boggart--"

"Oh. Yes. I heard about that. Snape in a dress."

"Right. Mrs. Longbottom's. And a vulture hat. It would have been pretty conspicuous."

"Well, I think Aunt Amelia might have talked her out of wearing it..."






something with mcgonagall! she rocks!! for ~Emma*weasley

---------------

Minerva was well aware that she was being watched in her office. This took no great deductive skill--in August, Alecto Carrow had walked in, bold as brass, and put a spyglass on her wall. It was a mere toy, as such things went, and she had ways around it, but she was not foolish enough to think it was the only device. If they didn't care that she knew about one, there were certainly others. Her classroom was openly monitored, and she'd been informed early on that any attempts to "pass on pernicious lies" would end in her termination. Carrow's laugh when Severus had said this had left little doubt about how literally "termination" was meant.

She didn't fear death, but she did want to see to it that she remained at Hogwarts, to watch the students as well as she could. Albus would not forgive her quickly if she let her pride jeopardize her place.

All the scrutiny meant trusting what allies she had with a great deal more cleverness than she normally would. Thank heaven, it had occurred to precisely no Death Eaters to look at anomalies in her class rosters (other than looking for Muggle-borns), and Severus had made only the briefest of objections to a few unconventional calls. He'd never paid any particular attention to Neville Longbottom other than to torment him in Potions, so he might not even have realized that Longbottom hadn't been in Transfiguration during his sixth year.

Neville, of course, knew it perfectly well, and, to his credit, tweaked to her code immediately when she said, "Mr. Longbottom, before we begin this year's class, I need to have a word with you about your Transfiguration marks last year. You're on quite a tightrope, and we shall have to get you walking safely across it."

Neville looked up from his breakfast--he'd already picked up a black eye somewhere, and it was only the second day of school (the first of classes)--and for a very brief moment, she saw confusion in his eyes. Then he glanced at the schedule she handed him, saw N.E.W.T. level Transfiguration, and said, "Right, Professor. I'm going to try a lot harder this year."

"Follow me."

Neville nodded and got up, following her out sullenly, as though being scolded. Vincent Crabbe made a crude gesture at him; McGonagall stopped him from returning it.

They went into the corridor.

"Professor McGonagall, I know that last year--"

She held up a hand. "Your marks in last year's class are all I care to talk about, Mr. Longbottom, and all, as I'm sure you're aware, that I am permitted to discuss with you."

"Oh, right."

Minerva swept them into an office. She didn't trust that it wasn't also being watched, so she kept up the facade. "I'll tell you quite frankly, Longbottom, that last year's work is simply not going to be adequate for this year. I'll expect more care and precision in your work."

"Yes, ma'am. But if I'm too careful, I'll probably end up doing lousy Switching Spells again. I thought I'd been getting better."

"Better for showmanship, Mr. Longbottom. Attention-grabbing Transfigurations are all well and good when you're trying to impress your peers, but you are going to be among adults soon. You will need to show them that there is substance to your skill."

"I'm not sure I understand."

Minerva tapped her wand absently on the desk, trying to think of a way to convey her meaning. "Last year," she finally said, "you were changing coins to quills"--she looked at him signficantly, hoping he'd pick up on the Charmed coins they'd used to gather the children's Order for the battle--"and you caused quite a disturbance in the classroom. Do you remember?"

"Right..." Neville said, searching. "Right, Weasley got a cut on his face."

"Yes, Mr. Longbottom, I see you remember. That won't do this year. Class amongst seventh years is... well, more is expected, and more is watched. The Ministry will want to watch everything you might do in class, so they can evaluate you. Last year's carelessness simply won't do. It could have a very negative impact on your future."

Neville nodded and looked down, then said, "Professor McGonagall?"

"What?"

"I don't think it would be very good for my future if I... neglected to Transfigure anything, either."

Minerva sighed. She'd grown up in Gryffindor, and headed the House for decades. She'd done all she could to stop Neville Longbottom from doing anything foolish, and he'd as much as told her that he didn't plan to listen. She hadn't really expected anything else from him. "Very well, Mr. Longbottom. But have a care. I wouldn't want to see you missing my classes."

He nodded and left.

Minerva waited until he was gone, then stood up slowly and took a deep breath. It was time to face another day.

40 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
tencups_i_swear From: tencups_i_swear Date: December 9th, 2009 07:54 am (UTC) (Link)
NEEVVVILLLLEEEEE!!!!!!! <3
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
His Awesomeness is pleased with the greeting. :D
alkari From: alkari Date: December 9th, 2009 08:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Brilliant, both of them!

Loved the glimpse of Amelia Bones, as related by Susan. What a tragedy she was killed. And why am I not surprised at Augusta Longbottom - shame poor Dawlish hadn't done his homework on her, before trying to deal with that dear little frail elderly woman in DH :)

And excellent Minerva and Neville. You paint a harrowing picture of Hogwarts under the DE's: the watching, the threats of 'termination', Minerva's recognition of hte need to stay there and protect her students as much as possible. Her coded conversation comes right out of Spy Manual Vol 1, LOL. And Neville was just - so Neville. And so Gryffindor.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a feeling that the story at Hogwarts that year was pretty harrowing indeed.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I like them, too. Very cool, both of them.
From: severely_lupine Date: December 9th, 2009 08:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Neville and McGonagall rock so hard. Though I can't help but think how sad it is that either Snape was so hard-pressed to keep his cover that he couldn't hint a bit more to McGonagall (at least) what side he was on, or that the other good guys (the most important of which were Gryffindors, and so not perhaps the most cool-headed where certain things are concerned) were so dense as to not pick up on the hints he dropped. (Detention with Hagrid, hello.)
alkari From: alkari Date: December 9th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I very much doubt whether Minerva or the other staff would have believed him, whatever he'd hinted or even said outright. I think they'd have been more likely to suspect that he was leading them on and trying to trap them into betraying themselves, by saying something indiscreet. After all, why would they trust him? Dumbledore trusted him - but Dumbledore is dead, killed by Snape.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: December 9th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love McGonagall. It would be great to see more of what happened at Hogwarts that year. Seems like a story waiting to be told. But a sad and scary story...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Hogwarts under the DEs would have to be.... nasty.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: December 9th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

I really like how you write the interaction between harry and susan

very believable.
I like how they were sort of cracking jokes with one another (the slinkard one,etc)

although I always thought that the reason why Amelia Bones never became part of the order, at least the second time around, was because, for one she seems to be in a very high position in the ministry and her seen talking to Dumbledore or other order members too often it would probably bring unwanted scrutiny in the order.

and two, well the ministry was screwed up and with people like fudge and umbridge in control, someone honest had to stay so the ministry didn't got entirely controlled by fudge.

I also love how clueless harry seems about the "life outside of teaching" of his mentors (dumbledore and mcgonagall). like many teenagers do. very realistic.

once again thank you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I really like how you write the interaction between harry and susan

Teachers acting like normal people? Ick! ;p
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 9th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
The idea of those women going and smuggling people out is awesome, but Neville and Minervera's ...awesome and unexpected. It makes perfect sense that something like that happened yet I never would have thought of it. McGonagall has a very different sort of courage and possibly one of the most admirable kind, to continually put others before self and to perservere.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Staying there as Dumbledore's closest known ally on the staff... she must have had a hellish year.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 9th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
McGonagall and Neville are both made of awesome.

And Harry was so realistically awkward with Susan, I loved it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 9th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

maybe we have a different definition of awkard


*I read both fics and there were so great. specially the neville and mcgonagall one, Fern is so good*

but on the susan/Harry one, how is Harry being Awkard? at all?
when I think awkard harry I think Harry and Cho interaction in OOtp.


From: (Anonymous) Date: December 9th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

great ficlets! although i'm kind of confused....

on the susan/Harry one I'm not very clear on what's going in this exchange...

Susan started stacking up the books. "Aunt Amelia was in the war against Grindelwald. And in the last war with Voldemort--Ministry side, not Order side, though she wasn't one of them who tried to get in Dumbledore's way. She's smarter than that."

"Why not just join the Order?"

"Not everyone can be a vigilante. Someone has to be there to catch the mess that the Order throws at it."

He narrowed his eyes. "If you think that, why are you here?"

"I didn't say I wanted to be the cleaning girl." Susan smiled. "If the Ministry were acting normal, I probably wouldn't. But then, if the Ministry were acting normal, we wouldn't be here to be in. There's something wrong there. Aunt Amelia says that it's got quite dicey in the Wizengamot. If you say something Fudge doesn't want said, you can end up stripped of your post, same as Dumbledore."

I don't understand what Susan means in all of her dialogue lines, at all.

I think as if she is trying to say something but I cannot understand what she mean.

please explain?

and on the Neville and Mcgonagall one, well you certainly write coded conversations very well considering that I have almost no clue what they are really saying.

do you mind de-coding it?

~Bethanny anne
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 9th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: great ficlets! although i'm kind of confused....

is English your second language?
sreya From: sreya Date: December 9th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Admit it, Minerva, underneath all the concern, you're a little bit proud of Neville. *grin*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2009 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yeah. I think she'd have been disappointed in him if he just said, "Yes, Ma'am, I'll stay cool and hide under the table."
beceh From: beceh Date: December 10th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved both of those, especially the Neville and Minerva one :-) Thanks!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 16th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

oh i love the Mcgonagall & neville one!!

oh it was great! the suspenseful air to it was great. it kind of made nervous in a goodway.

Smart mcGonagall coming up with the coded conversation.

the last 4 lines of exchange between Neville and McGonagall were my favorite. i love seeing tough-yet-soft in her heart love for her students McGonagall

i would love to see you continue this someday! *i hoping rather unrealistic that you choose to write a DH,what happened at hogwarts, fic. but that probably won't happen



Emma*Weasley
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