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Batch 37 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 37
can we have Moody training Tonks to be an auror? that would be great for glindaboqu4ever

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"Your problem," Mad-Eye said, scanning Tonks's report, "is that you're not suspicious enough."

Tonks sighed. "I caught the dark witch, didn't I?"

"And it took you a week longer than it should have." He put the file down. "If this had been a real case instead of a test, that would have given her time for a lot of mischief. You liked your source too much."

"I knew he was you. I reckoned I was meant to figure out what you were trying to tell me."

"You knew it was me, but you also knew I was testing you. Why weren't you trying to figure out what I wasn't telling you?"

Tonks winced. She knew it was true. Mad-Eye's strange, Polyjuice-enhanced tests had marked the first three weeks of her apprenticeship, each one finding another personality flaw that would end up with people being dead. First, she'd been too clumsy, setting off an alarm. She wasn't sure what to do about that. Then there'd been a whole business about her recklessness, which Mad-Eye said had a time and place, but neither was on the job as an Auror. Now, this--Mad-Eye was convinced that she was too positive about people, too willing to trust them, too willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. She ground her teeth, then grinned. "I don't want to turn into a crusty old cynic like you, you know."

"Then you're in the wrong business," he said implacably, not taking her bait about his personality. "An Auror needs to suspect everyone."

"Constant vigilance?"

"You do listen. I was beginning to wonder."

Tonks's stomach turned over. He wasn't going for any sort of distraction, which could only mean something serious. "Are you going to recommend they drop my apprenticeship?"

"What? Why would you ask that?"

"Apparently, I haven't been doing much right."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you've only said--"

"Why would I need to tell you what you're good at? Training you means telling you where you need work, what's going to get you killed, and hope you pick it up well enough to stay alive. I don't need to give you a pat on the head every time you manage not to end up on the wrong end of a Death Curse, do I?"

"Er, well, no."

"Good. Robards was never this much trouble." He considered this. "Then again Robards isn't as confident as I'd like him to be. So, let's see. You, er... you made for a good distraction in the pub while I was going after my eyewitness last week." He smiled in a bright, somewhat disturbing way.

"Thanks?"

He scratched his head, examined a bit of dandruff on his finger, then said, "Tonks, if you think I'm going to go as soft on you as Hogwarts teachers, think again. They were getting you through your N.E.W.T.s. I'm getting you through real danger."

Tonks felt her cheeks go hot. "I understand. I'm sorry. What's next? Are we still assigned to the Karkaroff case?"

Mad-Eye narrowed his eyes--or, well, his one good eye--then said, "I'll trust you with something, Tonks, how would that be?"

"Wonderful!"

"We never were assigned to Karkaroff. That's a... well, we'll call him a hobby. As far as the department's concerned, Karkaroff's a closed case. Made a deal, turned in some others. And they let him go. But I'm not about to."

"Oh."

"Are you still in on it?"

She nodded.

"Good." He reached back into his file cabinet and took it out. "Now, you've got a good knack for getting on the inside of things. People like you. For some reason, they think I'm a little off-putting." He smiled again. "So, what I want you to do is go down to Diagon Alley, and start checking around with anyone around your age who's come here from Durmstrang, get me an idea what he's up to over there..."





can we have some DadRon with Rose and Hugo? maybe "taking your kid to work" too? for caroline

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Rosie was showing off, as usual, and Hugo'd had quite enough of it. So she could read Greek. Anyone could learn to read Greek. There were millions of people in Greece who read it every day, and they probably read it faster than Rosie did, and he bet no one went on and on about what geniuses they were, to be able to read at the tender age of ten. Hugo hadn't quite got all the letters yet, but no one expected him to. Rosie was the genius, after all. Mum always gave him gold stars for learning a few letters, and she never said she didn't think he was as smart as she obviously thought Rosie was, but he knew. He knew it because Rosie never got gold stars for doing as little as Hugo did. He might not be a genius, but could count at least, and he knew he had as many stars as Rosie, and did a lot less for them. Which meant Mum didn't think he was as smart.

He turned his back and sat at Dad's desk (Dad was with the others, listening to Rosie read a letter from some Greek Dark wizard, and so was his apprentice, Ruth), picked up one of Dad's quills, and wrote as much of the Greek alphabet as he could remember. Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta-eta-theta, iota, kappa. He always remebered kappa now because Teddy Lupin had met one in his first year, and when Rosie and James had pestered him for stories about what to expect next year for their first year, he'd told everyone the story. Kappa. He didn't know what Greek letters had to do with Japanese water demons, but he always pictured kappas with little K's spilling out of their heads instead of water.

"What are you doing hiding over here?"

Hugo looked up. Dad was coming in, looking quite chuffed at whatever Rosie had finally finished doing (she was getting all sorts of praise now). Hugo shrugged. "Not being smart."

Dad gave him a rueful sort of smile. "I wish I could be as 'not smart' as you are. The lot of you all leave me in the dust."

"We do not!" Hugo said. "You're very smart. You catch Dark wizards, and you always beat Mum at chess."

"I think she lets me win these days."

"No, she doesn't. She practices when you work nights, and I asked why, and she said it's because someday, she wants to beat you at chess."

Dad looked very pleased at this, but didn't say anything about it. "Do you win against her when she practices?"

"She practices by herself. She always puts the pieces in the wrong place, though."

"True. She tries to play in a straight line. Chess doesn't work like that. We ought to have a game sometime soon, what do you think?"

Hugo nodded. He'd been watching when Dad played for a long time, and he thought he knew how to move everything. Rosie hadn't beaten Dad at chess. Hugo thought it would be fun to try it. "Did Rosie catch the Dark wizard?" he asked, pointing to her.

"No, we're quite a long way from there. But she got us a good clue in the letter." He sat down and put his feet on his desk, which made his legs look about a mile long from where Hugo was sitting. "I don't suppose you know anything about Gorgons? Rosie says that the letter talked about bringing them up. All we know is the bit about how looking at them can turn you to stone."

Hugo thought about it, then shook his head. "I only know what's in that storybook Nana Granger sent me."

Rosie came to the edge of Dad's cube, looking flushed with happiness, then waved to someone--probably Ruth--and came inside. She flopped down on the puffy green chair that Mum had finally convinced Dad to take out of the parlor (by replacing it with an even more comfortable one). "That was fun!" she said. "Is there anything else Greek?"

"That's all we've got," Dad told her.

"What else did it say?" Hugo asked.

"I don't know. I can read the alphabet, but I don't know all the words yet. I just found 'gorgon' and 'mountain' and 'ocean' and a few others I know. I have to learn more. But I'm sure it means she's planning to send a Gorgon over the ocean and maybe put it up in the mountains." She thought about it. "Either that or somebody she met in the mountains is as ugly as a Gorgon."

"Or maybe she's saying there is a Gorgon in the mountains, and she wants to throw it in the ocean," Hugo suggested, mainly to contradict Rosie.

Dad frowned. "Wait a minute," he said, and got out a huge, sloppy folder. From it, he pulled out a map. "That's it," he said. "Not the part about throwing her in the ocean, I don't know where oceans come into it, but we got some reports from the highlands with some disappearances. They found standing stones."

"Oughtn't they look like the people who were turned?" Rosie asked.

"Not if someone's breaking off the faces," Dad mused.

Rosie sat up. "Why would they do that? Wouldn't it be scarier if everyone could see?"

"No, look," Dad said, pointing at the map. "We're all around the countryside, and so far, we've just been seeing a few minor players. But out here..." He grinned. "Send in the pawns and a knight or two. Keep the queen back until you really need her." He reached across and ruffled Hugo's hair. "My genius children," he said. "I think I'm going to make a move on that queen. Harry?"

Uncle Harry sauntered over. "Yeah?"

"Let's hit that mountain in the highlands. That's where she is."

"Where did you get that?" Uncle Harry asked.

Rosie turned up her nose. "Hugo's showing off. As usual."
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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Both of these were wonderful--I'm so glad you're still going with these. I love that Moody would include Tonks in his "hobby"--sets up future hobbies of a different sort very well :).

Leah
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: January 24th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had a boss who was a bit confused when I told him I needed positive feedback as well as negative. Much like Mad-Eye, he thought I'd know I'd done well when he didn't say anything bad about my performance. But Tonks got Mad-Eye to start with some mild praise, so good for her.


I love the competing Weasley kids and Ron's generous appreciation of them both. He another of your great Dads, yet still feels like the Ron we all know and love.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: January 24th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, now I'd love more Mad-Eye and Tonks adventures! That was wonderful.

And I especially loved the glimpse of the Weasley-Granger family. The part about the stars was very...realistic and on. I felt bad for Hugo because he's smart enough to figure out he's not doing as much but no one would ever think to explain it's because he's younger and Rosie was probably doing the same at his age too. I love that they both got to shine and how proud Ron is of them both. You write such good parents!
From: severely_lupine Date: January 24th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, silly Mad-Eye. He wants people to be confident, but doesn't give them any positive reinforcement.

Aw, how cute. Nice to see Rose and Hugo being able to help out. And gorgons, wow, that would be interesting. Whenever I read fics about Aurors doing Aurory things, it makes me think about how there's this whole bigger world outside of Hogwarts and how JKR could really write stories about it for the rest of her life and never get boring. (Of course, she seemed to get bored by the time she hit DH, so maybe I'm just wishing she'd hand off this fertile world to someone else with the excitement and talent to keep it going.)
vesta_aurelia From: vesta_aurelia Date: January 25th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
hee. Like Fern? Fern would be FABULOUS. ;)
From: severely_lupine Date: January 25th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I certainly wouldn't complain.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: January 25th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay Dad-Ron! He's just like himself only older, and I love seeing him see himself in Hugo!
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