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Batch 38 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 38
something with sirius and mcgonagall please? maybe career advice? for gullysam


For the most part, Minerva had a good idea what her students meant to ask her by the time they got to careers advice sessions, even if they'd said nothing at all. She couldn't be sure until she'd had all of the appointments, but she'd gathered up information on the Auror program for Lily Evans (top marks in all the required classes, and a tendency to hunt down evildoers already quite in evidence). Peter Pettigrew would want something steady with decent pay to appease his mother, a bit of danger to impress his friends, and some glamor to prove to himself that he wasn't the least among equals; for him, Minerva had pulled out information on several Ministry posts, and particularly focused on the Werewolf Services department--none of the boys mentioned knowing about Remus, but she supposed they did, and Peter would be especially pleased at the thought that he might prove himself useful. James Potter was almost certainly being groomed for a post in the Wizengamot, most likely his mother's, which meant he'd need to show skill in matters of legal interpretation and intellectual prowess--he made a great show of wanting to be an Auror, but he'd never survive the discipline, and it wasn't as though he needed income work. In all likelihood, it was a moot point; if things were moving the way Albus thought they were, James would put off a career that would mainly be cosmetic anyway in order to help in a more useful capacity. There were others she had set aside brochures and schedules for as well--would-be Healers, some bankers, a few future businessmen, a few who would need to be talked down from careers they'd never make the marks for (Minerva hated those conversations, but they had to be undertaken).

But Sirius Black was her first meeting, and she had no idea whatsoever what to offer him. If he walked through the door and told her that he meant to invent an outer space broomstick to play Quidditch on Mars, it wouldn't surprise her. It was certain that he wouldn't take any post that Walburga had groomed him for, but there was nothing else about him that seemed written in stone.

He arrived five minutes after his scheduled time, and she raised her eyebrows at him.

"Fashionably late," he said.

"I am somewhat disinterested in the fashion."

He grinned. "Well, I had a mountain of homework from my Transfiguration teacher..."

"A simple apology for your tardiness will do nicely, Mr. Black."

He sat down. "Er... sorry I was late."

Minerva took out his file and scanned it, though she knew its contents quite well. "Well," she said, "Potions is your weakest mark, and even there, should your O.W.L.s follow your classwork, I imagine you to be capable of acheiving Exceeds Expectations, so Professor Slughorn would take you on for a N.E.W.T., should you choose to pursue it."

"Do you think I should?"

"That would depend entirely on what you mean to do. Have you any plans?"

"I thought I'd marry a rich girl."

"In that case, you'll certainly need Potions to maintain your youthful looks." Minerva set the folder down. "But I quite frankly would expect more out of you. I certainly hope that was meant to be a joke."

"It was." Sirius shrugged. "I don't know. What do you think I should do?"

"Imagining your future for you isn't entirely my responsibility, Mr. Black."

"But I don't really know. I hoped you'd have some ideas. What could I do with Transfiguration? I'm good at Transfiguration, and I like it best."

"That's true. It's useful in several careers, but unless you mean to become a decorator, not as a primary skill."

"Oh." He thought about it. "If I became an Auror, I could turn in half my family on the first day."

"Not legally."

"But could I be an Auror?"

"You certainly have the marks for it. Is it what you want? It's highly disciplined."

Sirius frowned. "I could do it. If it meant catching some of the Dark wizards out there. I'd love to arrest my cousin Narcissa's new husband for something."

"You won't be able to pick and choose your targets."

"I wouldn't?"

"No." Minerva tapped her quill on her parchment. "Mr. Black, it's not entirely necessary for you to work--"

"I mean to work! I want to work!"

"--but I think it would do you good. Have you considered going into business for yourself? I know some fine wizards who chose to investigate crimes outside the rubric of the Ministry. They won't be the grand crimes you're currently imagining for yourself, but you could apply your intellect, which is considerable, to the endeavor."

"I've heard of those blokes," Sirius said, cocking his head dubiously. "Don't they mostly go about following cheating wives or whatnot?"

"They also collect valuable information. Imagine if you had found something about your cousin's husband which she might have found discouraging prior to the marriage."

"Yeah..." He looked up hopefully, then shook his head. "I reckon she'd have known that nonsense anyway."

"Well, there are other paths. Your cousin Andromeda has become quite a gifted Healer."

"I don't think I'd be good at that."

"You've been quite good at helping Mr. Lupin through his various illnesses over the years."


"You might also engage yourself in the world of sports. There are always positions for handlers on the Quidditch teams. You've done a good job by Mr. Potter's Quidditch career over the last three years."


"Mr. Black, what do you want from your life?"

"Do I have to decide right now?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so. You need to take your O.W.L.s, then choose your N.E.W.T.s, which will lead to one apprenticeship or another."

"Well, what if I just take all the N.E.W.T.s I qualify for, and see what shakes out?"

"That would be a rather prodigious workload."

"But I'd have options."

"You would take on a considerably more difficult workload than is necessary simply to avoid the necessity of making a decision?"

Sirius nodded. "That sounds about right. Sign me up."

ginevra ego defleating? for christine brigg


"There," Fleur said. "You 'ave quite the 'oneymoon planned, and I will see to it that nothing disturbs you." She smiled and handed Ginny a pile of brochures and tickets, showing the beach at Majorca. "I 'ave worked with the 'otel before. Zey are very discreet."

"Thank you," Ginny said, looking at it. It was beautiful, and hard to imagine that she would be there with Harry in three weeks. "How much do I owe you?"

"Ze trip is a wedding gift from us."

"Oh, I couldn't, it's extravagant--"

"I 'ave good connections in travel. And I will not take no for an answer." She smiled.

Ginny ran her finger over the picture of the sunlit beach, and the happy people frolicking there. Fleur was still smiling brightly, and Ginny remembered when she'd first come into their lives--well, when she'd second come in, as Bill's girlfriend. She looked down. "Fleur, I can't. I--"

"What is it?"

"Well, when you first came home with Bill, when you were staying with us. I wasn't entirely kind to you." She shrugged self-consciously. "In fact, I was a bit of a bitch, I'm afraid. When I was talking to other people, I called you... well, nothing nice."



"I'm French, Ginevra, not deaf, and ze Burrow isn't soundproof."

Ginny felt her cheeks go bright red. "You knew I was saying that?"


"I... never knew that. Does Bill know?"

"Bill wanted to 'ave a long conversation with you about it. I told him not to."

Ginny shook her head, bewildered. "Why?"

Fleur came around from the far side of her desk, which was in an upper room at Shell Cottage, and sat on the edge. She didn't look at Ginny directly. "We are not so different, you and I," she said. "You have noticed this, no?"

"No, not really."

"Hmm." Fleur finally looked at her. "I am, shall we say, not always delicate in phrasing. I've said things I wish I 'ad not."

"You called me names, too?" Ginny guessed. "It's all right if you did."

"I called you nothing that you didn't just call yourself. But I understood."

"Understood what?"

"You 'ad six brothers who all spoiled you. It must 'ave been nice. But you didn't have many girls around, did you?"

"Well, no..."

"And here I came in, this girl 'oo had challenged your Harry in the Tournament, and laughed at your brother Ron, and said very nasty things about 'ogwarts. And now, I was taking one of your brothers. It must not 'ave been pleasant."

"Still, I shouldn't have--"

"And I knew you'd get to that someday." Fleur smiled again. "Bill loves you very much, as I love Gabrielle. And Gabrielle had none too kind things to say of Bill. Bill understood her, and I understand you."


"And I hope we shall be better sisters from now on."

Ginny nodded. "I do, too. I'm still sorry."

"Apology accepted," Fleur said lightly. "Now, we really must talk about this veil you mean to wear, it will 'ide your 'air too much..."
22 comments or Leave a comment
From: severely_lupine Date: January 25th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's just depressing. Yet more 'what might have been if not for bloody Voldemort' speculations. While it would, of course, have been nice to see James and Lily live long enough to have careers, I think the most tragic thing here might be Peter. I wonder, if Voldemort hadn't been around, would he have turned out to be a decent bloke, or would he have ultimately done something traitorous and evil anyway? And what do you suppose Minerva might have thought of for Remus's career? Actually, reading his career advice session, with what she knew of his likely prospects and all, would be interesting.

"Mr. Black, a simple apology for your tardiness will do nicely, Mr. Black." -- Seems a bit redundant for Minerva, doesn't it?

Aw, the second one's nice. When you put it that way, I can actually see where Ginny was coming from a lot more.

ETA: I didn't mean 'depressing' in a critical way. Just that it's always sad to think about that sort of thing, though I still enjoy doing so.

Edited at 2010-01-25 09:05 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, whoops! When it comes to editing in something I know should be there, I should probably look at the beginning of the sentence instead of just noticing that, oops, I forgot to put it on the end! ;eyeroll:
at_upton From: at_upton Date: January 25th, 2010 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I particularly love the second one-- I've always been a Fleur fan. Women in fiction almost never get to be deservedly arrogant jerks (think Han Solo) without being punished out of all proportion. Rock on with your bitchy, hella smart self, Fleur. You did a really good job of aging her from the self-centered kid of GoF and even DH to a grown-up who's ripened snark into wit. I love seeing her expand her sisterly loyalty to Ginny, and I also love the window that gives us into her marriage with Bill. Now that I think about it, the insight about Ginny and Fleur being similar is hilariously accurate. Thanks for a nice start to the morning!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome! I like Fleur. I'm indifferent to Ginny (liked her better at the beginning than I did after she was presumably "earning" Harry), but I don't hold against her that, at fourteen, she was an immature, spoiled prat. I was an immature spoiled prat at fourteen, too.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 25th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Waking up to a new ficlet is like taking a mini-holiday before the crazyness starts. I do love these! (and admire your discipline - wow)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you're enjoying! It's always fun to see if I can come up with something that definitely isn't in my comfort zone.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: January 25th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I love the first one with all the career ideas, especially with James being on the Wizenmagot. And McGonagall's so perceptive about Peter, it makes one's heart break for him a bit. And Sirurs; lack of commitment to anything is very IC too!

The second one is especially good too. I'm a big fan of both women and they get for some reason a lot of hate. So here I love that they are both mature and flawed and understand each other. It's wonderful!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've never really gotten how "obviously flawed" became synonymous with "We hates it, precious." No one's all the time perfect.

I couldn't think of a thing Sirius would want to do for a career, which was a problem until I decided that could be the whole premise without being OOC.
akashasheiress From: akashasheiress Date: January 25th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww at Ginny and Fleur bonding.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
They definitely needed a chat.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: January 25th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Sirius. He had the world in his pocket at one point. The second was lovely: two strong women with a history forging a friendship despite their past.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
He had the world in his pocket at one point.

He really did, but between circumstances and his own shortcomings (Sirius! Don't rush off half-cocked, tell Dumbledore what happened!), he managed to lose it all.
sreya From: sreya Date: January 26th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Even there, I can't blame Sirius. For goodness sake, they locked him away in Azkaban without any proof! Not even a trial! Even eyewitness testimony needs the corroboration of solid evidence.
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: January 25th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thoroughly enjoyed both of these, but I think the interaction between Ginny and Fleur was my favorite. Thank you for sharing them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome!
darreldoomvomit From: darreldoomvomit Date: January 25th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was very bad and never thanked you for my short about dudley, so thanks!

Also, good job on the other 100 or so, so far!!
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: January 25th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wondered about Book James, and you just answered my question! Poor Sirius, though. ADHD is a burden. I can't see Sirius ever finding his life's work: he's probably better off having died relatively young.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)


ADHD is no piece of cake to be sure, but many people who have it manage to rise to the occassion nicely, no need to throw around the fatalistic label
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: January 26th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: ppftts

Yes, but Sirius? Raised to be a gentleman of leisure and then chucked out of the family? And then twelve years in prison? Some people rise to the occasion, and some don't.

Given Sirius' behavior in The Books, I think it's safe to say he'd fall into the don't category. He was already twitchy, bored and drinking too much at the tender age of thirty-five; there's no cognitive therapy, Betty Ford Clinics, methylphenidate or graduate school in the Wizarding world.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)

from gullysam

i like. it has great Sirius and McGonagall interaction, and I like how Sirius keep trying to find a way to make any of those suggestions work. but like any late-teenager not really sure what to do with his life.

I always thought the whole adult at 17-18 was too much pressure to decide what to do for the rest of your life. and the pressure in the wizardry world even more so,
plus are we really to expect that every single person who picked one job will stick to it for the rest of their lives? and being a wizard, a person who can leave up to 100-something years.

that seemed really wiggly to me.

also, a bit unfair to think that just because Sirius couldn't think of something then, that he couldn't think of anything to do later on. if he had been given a chance.

i think i will hold that idea -what if sirius survive, what job he had" for next challenge call.

thanks for this one thought. it gave me a laugh

From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)

that was nice

like, that was a very nice ficlet, what you choosed and how you wrote it.

I like how you stuck in the things that bothered me about ginny treated Fleur and have Fleur adress them. and like it's very realistic that you had ginny not thinking things through or not stopping to think how fleur and her are similar. (I notice that too, but not as much as you did).

and i like how Fleur took it all. it shows more maturity that like ginny and mrs. weasley give her credit for.
i like your fleur


christine brigg
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: January 26th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
You ability to write such good dialogue for these characters, that fits with these characters personalities and the manner in which they speak, is as impressive as ever.
22 comments or Leave a comment