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Batch 18 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 18
i would like a fic where Hermione, once the war is over, a year later maybe, runs across marrietta, realizes the horrible thing she did and fixes marrietta's face for julietblack

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

Hermione spied the woman across the car park at the Muggle market.

She'd gone out with the intention of getting Rosie her favorite food in the world--Animal Crackers. George's entire stock of magical sweets was available to her, but she stubbornly held that the only truly amusing treats were lemon flavored biscuits cut into the shapes of lions and tigers, which Mum and Dad had introduced her to when they'd been up to visit at Hugo's birth. They were also the only things in the world she'd specifically asked for at her third birthday party, a fact of which Hermione was obscurely proud. She'd gone off to get them at a market in the Muggle part of Ottery St. Catchpole (which was, to be honest, nowhere near as Muggle as the Ministry liked to pretend; the Muggles were simply very good at not mentioning things they always noticed), and it was here that she first caught a glimpse of the woman going from car to car, asking people for any money they might be willing to part with. In the current economy, that didn't amount to much.

Hermione meant to go and hand her enough for a decent meal at least, but something made her hold back--watch, listen.

"Please, Ma'am, just a bit... I'm hungry, and I'll work..."

The car drove off.

The woman went on. She drew a rag from her pocket and began to clean someone else's windshield. The car's horn went off, and a head came out from the driver's side window. "You, there! I told you last time, you'll have nothing!"

"Please!" the beggar woman said. "Oh, please, just let me wash your car, miss, and pay me a little bit, enough to get through..."

The horn blasted again, and the car pushed her out of the way. She remained bent for a moment, then straightened slowly. She had matted, curly hair, and wore a heavy woolen scarf that came partway up her face.

Not so far up that Hermione couldn't see the livid red marks on her cheeks, even at a sidelong angle. She'd been approaching, but she stopped.

Marietta Edgecombe must have felt her standing there, because she cocked her head, and she turned all the way around. "You," she spat.

Hermione nodded and closed the gap between them. "Marietta."

Marietta looked her head to toe, then said, "I see you're doing well. I see your name in the Prophet all the time. The great crusader for the rights of magical creatures. I understand it's de rigeur to pay house elves fair wages now."

"It was long overdue," Hermione whispered.

"Look at me, will you?"

Hermione, who hadn't realized that she wasn't looking, forced her head up. Marietta had unwound her scarf, and the word "SNEAK" was clearly visible across her face.

"It hasn't faded," Hermione said.

"Really? I hadn't noticed."

"I assumed it would have."

"You did not. You didn't assume anything. You didn't care a whit. You never gave me a second thought." Marietta started away.

"Wait! Let me help you..."

Marietta turned, looking at Hermione like she was a particularly disgusting maggot. "Do you think I'd take anything you gave me? I've some pride."

Hermione shook her head. "I don't understand. Why are you here? You had good connections in the Ministry..."

"I did, until after the damned war. Do you know what it's like to try to get an apprenticeship when your own face says you were on the wrong side of things?" She laughed harshly. "Oh, Malfoy can get away with it. He was right out there, and everyone looks at him as some case for the reformability of Death Eaters. But me? I wasn't a Death Eater. Just a sneak. No one forgets that, thanks to you."

"You were part of things! I had to take steps to make sure no one found us!"

"Oh, of course."

"We couldn't afford to take risks. We couldn't afford to lose!"

"And you didn't. Bully for you. Me, as well, as I never was allied with the Death Eaters, so I wouldn't have got any more of a break with them. As far as they were concerned, I was a member of Harry's little group. Which they could see perfectly well on my face. Did you ever wonder what would happen if you won?"

Hermione straightened up. "It occurred to me that the murders over blood purity might stop."

"And that anyone who ever annoyed you would pay for it."

"No! I don't care about that."

"Hmph."

"Why didn't you go to St. Mungo's? Or even to the Aurors, they could have reversed my spell any time!"

"Sure they could have. And I'm absolutely certain they would have, we were such grand friends, and everyone else had been treating me so kindly." She gave a short bark of laughter to the sky. "Imagine not being able to get an apprenticeship in so much as keeping books at Gringotts!" Marietta laughed bitterly. "And of course, to the Muggles, I just have a nasty scar on my face that says something about being a sneak. They think I was in a gang. Maybe a drug gang. No one trusts someone with a scar on her face."

"Why didn't you come to me? God, Marietta, I owe you a reversal."

"I'm not begging you for anything."

"What about Cho? I'm sure Cho--"

"Won't talk to me. Plus she's disappeared somewhere with some Muggle."

Hermione had no idea what to say. Marietta turned deliberately and started to walk away.

Hermione raised her wand. Whispered a counterspell.

Halfway across the car park, Marietta stopped and put her hands to her face. She turned back--Hermione could see that her face was clear--then spat on the ground, turned, and continued to walk away.

Hermione stood in the car park for a long time, her bag of Animal Crackers dangling from her wrist.

After a while, she drove home.






More teddy and dudley, or harry and dudley, or anyone and dudley. for darreldoomvomit

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

"Don't they have to be... you sort of memories?" Dudley Dursley asked, looking suspiciously at Teddy's wand.

Teddy laughed and shook his head. "No. Memories are memories."

"You're sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure."

Dudley still looked less than thrilled.

Teddy lowered his wand. "You don't have to, you know. If you don't want to. I just reckoned your memories of Mum and Dad would be good for the portraits."

"I still don't know how that works."

"Well, it's like I said. The, er... well, Maddie found a few of their memories in a tank, and that was enough to make portraits and wake them up--"

"In a tank," Dudley repeated, bemused. "And that's, er... enough?"

"Well, enough to wake up a portrait," Teddy said. He didn't imagine that Dudley Dursley would actually spread the truth around if he said he'd used the Resurrection Stone to bring his parents (and Sirius and James) back long enough to get memories for portraits, but it did occur to him that it might scare Dudley badly to think of it. He did as well as he could manage with regular magic; magic that wizards were frightened of might be a bit much to ask of him. "Anyway, you told me good things about them, and the year they spent at Smeltings, and the last year, in the safe house... I thought maybe you could put a few of those in."

"You're sure it'll work? I mean, with a... normal... brain?"

"Dad used the same spell on Joe Levinson to find out what happened to you that year. I have it in the ring." Teddy held up his father's wedding ring, on the chain around his neck.

Dudley shook his head. "That thing's really got Lupin on it, does it?"

"Some of his memories," Teddy said. "Some of his favorites, that he wanted me to have if anything happened to him."

A slow smile spread on Dudley's face. "And I was in a few? Fancy that. What did he remember?"

Most of those memories had been involved with the year Mum and Dad had fallen in love--it had taken place around a "Rescue Dudley" operation--but there were one or two during the last year of Dad's life that Teddy thought might please Dudley. "He remembered you helping out the Muggle-borns in the safe house," he said. "Getting them caught up in Muggle subjects so they could hide at Smeltings."

"Reckon I never figured someone would remember me for school things," Dudley said, but sounded quite proud of himself.

"I don't think Dad did, either. That's why it made him happy."

"And he really saved something like that for you?"

"Yeah. I think he wanted me to know that he loved his students a lot." Teddy wasn't entirely sure of this--after all, even these memories of Dudley were largely of a tangential presence while other things were going on--but he thought the underlying idea was true enough. Dad really had come to care for Dudley, just as he cared for his Hogwarts students, and not just as Uncle Harry's cousin. Maybe not enough to specifically save such a memory for Teddy, but the ring memories had ended up with a lot of side memories and emotions attached to them. "So... d'you think you could remember a few things?"

"I could, but I don't know how you mean to get any of it into that jar."

"It's a spell. It'll take it right out of your head while you're thinking of it."

"Take it out of my head? And I won't have it anymore?"

"Er... no." Teddy frowned. "I think it's like a... well... don't Muggles have sorts of machines that do something like a Duplication spell?"

"We don't have machines that do spells."

"But like that, where there used to be one copy, and then there are two, exactly alike?"

"Oh. Sure."

"What do you call them?"

"Copy machines. But you can do that on a computer, too," Dudley mused. "Reckon your dad would have broken a computer trying to do a copy-paste. He went through about three mice that year."

"My dad used a computer?"

Dudley laughed. "Not surprised he didn't save that for you. He was hopeless at it. Kept frying things."

Teddy smiled, delighted. "Will you remember that for me?"

"If you want something like that. It might embarrass him!"

"No, I reckon he'd like it."

"All right," Dudley said dubiously. "So, this is like doing a copy-paste, more than a cut-paste."

"I have no idea what you just said."

"That makes us about even on this whole conversation," Dudley said. "So... what do I do?"

Teddy explained it.





I would love a Ruthless/James story--maybe the first time Ruth comes to a Potter family event as James' girlfriend, not Teddy's friend/Harry's employee. for Anon

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

Ruth Scrimgeour had known everyone in the room since she was twelve, and hadn't been intimidated by them. With the exception of a few times at school when she'd been afraid Harry Potter's dislike for her great uncle Rufus would translate to her (it hadn't; in fact, it seemed he respected Uncle Rufus), she'd never been intimidated by any of them. Ron Weasley had been her mentor for three years, and Harry had been her boss for eight. She'd worked with Hermione Weasley on some legislation, and had knocked back a few drinks with Ginny Potter on occasion after Quidditch games. Al Potter had played tricks on her, and Lily Potter had, for a time, idolized her and wanted to dress and act just like her. Teddy and Victoire and the children, it went without saying, were more or less her family.

So why in the name of all that was holy was her stomach twisted into knots? Why was she practically glaring at the lot of them, daring them to make a comment? And why were they looking back so awkwardly?

Al grinned. "Hey, Teddy--do you have the cradles guarded? Ruth's here."

Ruth made a rude gesture at him without even thinking about it, then everyone laughed.

Harry stood up, still laughing. "Come in, Scrimgeour. James should be back soon; seems he forgot some paperwork at Hogwarts."

"I'd kill him," Ginny said. "You have my permission."

Now or never, Ruth thought, and sat down with deliberate casualness. "I may let him live a bit longer, but he'll have to pay for it."

If it was a test--and Ruth supposed it was--everyone passed it. The laughter wasn't raucous, but it was there, and it was accepting. No one challenged her right to make a joke about James. They went back to their previous conversations.

Harry sat down beside her, still smiling. "Thank God this is out in the open. It's been a right pain pretending not to know."

"You knew?"

"How bad an Auror do you imagine me to be?"

"Oh." Ruth smiled awkwardly. "Well... happy birthday, anyway."

"Anyway? What's this business with 'anyway'?"

"You're not... upset?"

"No."

"And Ginny?"

"Has been finding the whole thing amusing for a year."

Ruth frowned. "You know, maybe I don't want it to be amusing. I actually do love James, you know."

This carried a bit further than she meant it to. Everyone looked.

"Of course you do," Ginny told her gently, coming over when everyone had left off. "Which is why we're all amused. Believe me, I wouldn't find it remotely amusing to believe that an older woman was toying with my son."

"Well, I'm not. But it's not a joke, either." She heard an edge of a whine in her voice, and winced at it.

Ginny smiled. "Ruth, I hope you don't expect us to walk on eggshells about this business. Think about it. It's funny. You dated Teddy for years, you apprenticed to Ron, now you're with James."

"You make me sound like I'm trying to find a way in."

"No," Harry said. "She finds it amusing because when I came home from my teaching stint during your first year, all I could talk about was 'the Scrimgeour girl,' and how much I liked her. She's been teasing me about finally finding a way to get you into the family."

This surprised a laugh out of Ruth. "Really?"

"Oh, yes," Ginny said. "I've been finding every opportunity to accuse him of playing matchmaker."

Ruth shook her head, relieved. "Sorry. It's just... well, Teddy's been finding every opportunity to take the mickey out of us as well, and my brothers have about worn out the 'cradle-robber' trope. And, er... well, I have something good in my life. I sort of don't want it to be a joke."

"Then you've just got engaged to the wrong family," Ginny said. "Don't worry, we still make jokes about Ron and Hermione, too. And don't let them get started on the fact that I used to collect Harry Potter stories before I went to Hogwarts."

"And don't start her up on Fleur's miserable failure to 'practees her eeenglish.'"

"Or Percy's stuffiness--"

"--or Al's complete inability to notice that he's been going with the same girl since he was fourteen--" (Harry added this loudly enough to get a rude response from Al and Jane both.)

"--or Harry's way with words..."

"You get the picture," Harry said. "Welcome to the Weasley family, Potter division."

Ruth nodded. "Thanks."

The door opened, and James came in. "Did I miss anything?"

Ruth sighed, then bent her back in an exaggerated way and said, "Well, you never know when you might miss my last, labored, elderly breath..."


27 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: December 21st, 2009 08:45 am (UTC) (Link)
The Marietta story was... interesting. I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why she didn't go for plain old Muggle plastic surgery. After all, that's how Dudley got rid of the pig's tail. I'm also puzzled that Hermione is still using the "did it to make sure nobody found us" since the Sneak curse was never meant to work that way?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 21st, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why she didn't go for plain old Muggle plastic surgery.

Because that wouldn't have fit the terms of the challenge. ;p
From: severely_lupine Date: December 21st, 2009 11:21 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, you almost had me feeling sorry for Marietta, up until the end. Reminds me of that saying about what happens to us vs. how we respond to it being the true determiner of character.

you sort -- Should that be 'your'?

Aw, it is nice to see Dudley as a decent person.

Al grinned. "Hey, Teddy--do you have the cradles guarded? Ruth's here." -- LOL! Oh, this whole Ruth/James thing is quite amusing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 21st, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Should that be 'your'?

Drat those words that are still words when you drop a letter...
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 21st, 2009 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Ouch! The first ficlet made me wince. Poor Marietta.

Tee-hee! The second one made me chuckle. There's someting deeply satisfying – from a Muggle's point of view – about seeing wizards struggle incomprehendingly with technology.

Bwah-ha-ha! The third one was very funny and endearing. Favourite line: "Welcome to the Weasley family, Potter division."
(PS: Sorry about the missing italics – not sure how to put them.)

-Sylvia
cambryn From: cambryn Date: December 21st, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
use < and > with an i in between at the beginning of what you want to italicize.

Then use < and / and i and > at the end of what you want to italicize

Edited at 2009-12-21 02:08 pm (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 21st, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!

I figure Dudley would probably enjoy dropping in things that he knows wizards would flounder on.
cambryn From: cambryn Date: December 21st, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoyed all three ficlets.
I've been reading for quite some time without commenting, but I always thoroughly enjoy your work.

Edited at 2009-12-21 02:08 pm (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 21st, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. Glad you're liking.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 21st, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
The fact that Marietta spat after the spell was lifted- to me made that very real. Because, while Hermione arguably did need to protect their group and other things were happeing- to Marietta one act has defined her life for years. Even if it was reversed (the same person who did in the first place) those years can't be given back. THere might be relief but no sense of gratitude or forgiveness and that one action crystalized that.

The other two were awesome too. I just bet that family ribs the heck out of each other!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 21st, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll bet they do, too. Harry seems to have gotten the point that laughter is an important weapon in the battle against evil.
prplhez8 From: prplhez8 Date: December 21st, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fern,

It's been awhile since I've had the time to read some of your fics, but I've been loving all the drabbles. I was wonerding what " 'verse" do James and Ruth come from? They're a very interesting couple. Thanks!!! And job well done!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 21st, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ruth comes from my Teddy Lupin stories, which pick up on the Deathly Hallows epilogue. She's a year older than he is, and dates him on and off for several years, until he ends up with Victoire. Harry's son James is seven years younger than Teddy, therefore eight years younger than Ruth, so people tease them mercilessly when they get together. Of course, that thread only exists in a few shorts, because I've only gotten as far as Teddy's fifth year in long pieces.
prplhez8 From: prplhez8 Date: December 21st, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, fern!!! I really enjoyed this little bit/sneak peek into their relationship. I trolled some more on your LJ and found some other tidbits, too and just adored them. Thanks for sharing!!!!
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: December 21st, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Enjoyed all three stories, particulary the last one.

As for Marietta, I don't blame Herminone for jinxing her in the first place. The fact that it lingered might be a problem. Rowling mentioned in an interview that Marietta deserved that and her writing at times does has a streak of nastiness in it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 21st, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I honestly don't blame Hermione, either. I doubt she was thinking of the long term; she's smart, but she's sixteen. It's a very sixteen-year-old sort of retaliation.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: December 21st, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
True.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 21st, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good ones! I especially love your Dudley- and Teddy struggling with technology!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 21st, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

that was ... believable gut wrecking...

from julieblack

that was... great. but really hard to stomach.

well like first, i think i should have been more specific in giving a timeline because... from what i understood like when i read it, it looked like "15-19" years After the battle.

and obviously that amount of time... edgecombe having to deal with that....

i mean it was great in terms of realism in like having to go through having Sneak for 15 years....

but i really thought they would cross path A lot sooner. helping rebuilt the castle and all that.

cause, jeez i feel so bad for marrietta. also for Hermione. it must hurt having someone that thinks the worst of you, when it could have been prevented.

i'm probably going to be more specific next time


I enjoyed reading the other two ficlets too! dudley and teddy were great

julieblack

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 21st, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much! The Ruth story was perfect--the family dynamic you create is so organic and real. Also it's hilarious--especially the last line. I really hope that in the future you will continue to regale us with tales of the Weasley family's seemingly inexorable marriage-based takeover of Britain!
akashasheiress From: akashasheiress Date: December 21st, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good stuff.
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: December 21st, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really enjoyed Dudley's. Hehe, copy and paste versus cut and paste! Really loved that Teddy wasn't looking for a perfect memory of his dad.

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 22nd, 2009 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I really appreciated the first one. Hermione seemed to make that 'sneak' curse on the parchment as a type of warning device in the short term. Marietta, made the same decision that most of us would have made in the same situation (we can't all be brave enough to resist authority) and long term (in this future story) the curse made Marietta's life very difficult. Hermione, standing there for some time after Marietta leaves, seemingly in contemplation, tells us that she didn't mean for the curse to be long lasting, just a short punishment or perhaps a warning to the snitch. Overall, it seemed to highlight the hidden consequences of our actions.

These stories have all be terrific. Thank you so much for this wonderful Christmas gift,
Courtney
pepperam From: pepperam Date: December 22nd, 2009 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved all three. The end of the third one had me grinning like an idiot. Very cute :D
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 22nd, 2009 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the Hermione one especially. She's the character I've always identified with, and it stung when she messed up and it wasn't dealt with. Remember how she says, "Oh, come on, do you think I'd leave something like that just lying around?" And then she does. And she never faces any consequences.

I feel better now.
From: daphne_23 Date: December 22nd, 2009 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)
As ever, I loved the Ruthless/James ficlet and I especially loved Ruth's last line :)
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: December 31st, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
ha! you're making my day. another mention of al and jane, who are now apparently "official" *squeeeeeee* but then i guess the other three? four? members of the al-jane fan club are also figuratively jumping for joy :D

well, love them all, but marietta's fic got me thinking. it said a lot about marietta's character and also hermione's. although what happened was painful to think about, it was an important lesson that small cruelties can also leave a huge mark. in some ways marietta made her own bed, but it was good that hermione also realized her part, especially since at this point she'd have had more wisdom.
27 comments or Leave a comment