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The Clue In The Cauldron: Epilogue - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Clue In The Cauldron: Epilogue
Well, I was going to try to finish before the beginning of April, but mid-May's not bad. :)

James and his friends crashed in the Forbidden Forest, found their friend Silas, who was in stasis, in an unused chambered cairn, which collapsed as they escaped by means of the Pooka, which James tamed by pulling out three of its tail hairs and using them as a bridle to ride it. James, now in control of the beast, sent it to get back Silas's father, who's been trying to steal things to pay an old debt, and then told it to go back to Ireland and leave people alone. They got Silas back to the castle, and promised, when he worried that he wasn't ready for exams, that they had a plan.


May 21

Dear Mr. Potter:
You can imagine my excitement at receiving your letter. I am honored to be of some service to you.

Alas, I cannot send you entirely comforting news. The taming of the pooka is a remarkable accomplishment on the part of your son--you've a right to all the pride you were trying to dutifully suppress in your letter to me--but it is also a permanent one. He's done a service by sending it off--some fool set it loose during the Troubles, and I fear it's caused us more troubles here than we ever caused anyone else. His choice to instruct it against bothering anyone is a good one for the time being; he shouldn't be burdened with it until he's ready. When he is, he might come to see me. We can discuss how to get the beast properly returned to the quietude it had enjoyed these many centuries. But that isn't a pressing matter just now.

The good news is that control of this particular beast hasn't been known to carry any dangerous side effects. Boru wielded it as he would, and was none the worse for it. There's no curse, and unlike with your thief Boyle, it isn't going to ask tribute from one who tamed it.

On the matter of your thief, he made off with a golden harp from our museum. I should hope it will be returned presently.

Thank you, and again, it is an honor to be of service to you.


Everett Monahan
Center for Irish Magical Heritage

May 30
Dear James,
You solved it! I'm not at all surprised. As to your question about anything that might be lurking in a cairn unoccupied by its proper clientele--and I'm sure I know nothing about why you might wonder--I don't see any reason it would carry any curses or other ill effects. If you'd like, I can think of a few good excuses to check for myself. (If I were you, I'd let the subject go for a while, though.)

On an entirely different subject, I know you weren't thrilled with my engagement. I hope you've calmed a bit since December, as I don't care for a wedding party without you in it. Ruthless is going to be my "best man" (word of advice: Don't ever let an ex-girlfriend plan a stag party, it doesn't turn out well), but I'd very much like you to be one of my groomsmen. Uncle Harry will be another, and Donzo will round out the group, as well as--against Maurice's advice--providing entertainment at the party. And I'm told that I ought to reassure you that, should you accept, you won't be forced to dance with anyone.

On yet another subject, Frankie thinks that we could make a whole, book-length story about the boys whose names make it absolutely clear that they aren't the Marauders. I was thinking about a rescue from a dangerous beast. Are you in? (In case you haven't guessed, that means that I have no intention of changing the way I relate to you after I get married. Granny seems to think that was part of your reaction. Personally, I think you were just being a git.)

Let me know about the groomsman business. Victoire's determined to have a matching number of bridesmaids, so I'll need a count.


June 4

Dear Si,
Your da's not speaking to me, which I understand, but I couldn't let someone else tell you how sorry I am for what happened.

It just got out of control, you see. There was a woman, and she knew what your grandfather had done. I thought at first she just meant to get money from me, but then the beastie showed up itself. It had used her as much as it had used Da. The charm your grandfather worked into the box worked well enough at first, there in the junkshop, pulling only things that people had already discarded and left in our care. But it wasn't never enough, and the bill had come due with interest.

The beast told me that if I kept my mouth shut about what it was, it'd not kill you, which at least it didn't. I thought Kenny would have more luck than I did. I certainly never expected you to be held all year. But it kept wanting more and more, and your da couldn't get to the things it did want, and up here in Azkaban, I couldn't very well help him.

I don't expect you to forgive me, and I know Kenny won't, as he's told me as much. But I owed it to you to at least set you free of confusion over what happened to you.

Whether you believe it or not, I love you dearly.

July 15

Everyone had expected Teddy to dither on the wedding date, or put it off until they were "more secure"... really, anything but marrying Victoire nearly out of school. But they'd been doing their own planning, and, at least according to Aimee, were determined to get married before anything else got in the way. Victoire didn't want to have to worry about her business while planning a wedding--it was as easy to set up a greenhouse after, and Victoire always did like to do things in a set order--and Teddy, egged on by the portrait of his mother, simply refused to satisfy anyone's expectation of procrastination.

The ceremony was simple and traditional, carried out by Père Alderman, and the reception also served as the housewarming for Teddy's grand new house. Al wondered if he even realized that he'd built a castle--not a palace, not a mansion, but a castle. It looked like Al thought Hogwarts might look if it were to be built in the third millennium by a werewolf construction crew.

Inside, the grand ballroom was filled with family dancing. The hearth was set with shells from Shell Cottage, and the portrait of Teddy's parents had pride of place over it. They were beaming at all the visitors. Dad had brought up the portrait of Granddad and Sirius for the day, and--at Teddy's rather bizarre request--the portrait of Phineas Nigellus. All of them were officially on the guest list.

Aside from the ballroom, there was a huge family parlor, eight large guest bedrooms, a vast, sunny kitchen, a greenhouse with northern exposure, a study for Teddy, a writing room, and a finished basement where the smaller children, under the care of maid-of-honor Marie (and Story Shacklebolt, who'd got very attached to her), were playing games.

Teddy had given James the responsibility of keeping the older children entertained, by giving them a tour of the island. Al had seen it before, but went along anyway. It was silly to go into the caves while they were dressed in wedding clothes, so it didn't take long--it was a small island--and they ended up at the little undisturbed shack at the base of the Hogboon's mound.

James sat down on the little stone platform. All of his dormitory mates were there, along with Rosie and Hugo, Artie and Aimee, Lily, Freddie Weasley, Minerva Wood, and Scops Malfoy. (Teddy had invited Draco, who was his mother's cousin, but Draco had declined; Scops had accepted the invitation alone.) Celia had been with them at first, but, to James's obvious disgust, she'd gone off trailing after Neil Overby, who she apparently fancied. At some point after the ceremony, James had managed to nick the pom-pommed tam that Ruth Scrimgeour had worn with her formal tartan, and it was now tipped rakishly on his head as he held court.

"I don't suppose you might invite a Hufflepuff along on one of your jaunts," Scops said, grinning.

"I could barely get him to invite me," Rosie said, "and we might as well be brother and sister for all the time our parents spend together."

"Hey, you got invited while we were out in the cold," Ahmed said. "You got the full invisibility treatment, and I'm still picking dried leaves out of my cloak." He picked a wildflower and offered it to her.

"Anyone who's handy can come," James said. "As long as we're not trying to sneak around."

Rosie sniffed. "Which is always." She linked her arms with Scops and Artie. "We shall just have to have our own non-Gryffindor adventures."

"Well, I'm glad you were along for this one," Silas said. "I reckon I owe you as much as James." He looked around awkwardly. "Well, of you, really. Even the ones who weren't along. I passed everything."

"I still didn't do anything," Scops pointed out.

"Well, then, you can go hang," Silas said, and winked.

"You don't owe anyone anything," James said. "Though I will expect, that if I'm ever captured by a dragon and stored away with its treasure, you'll make sure to slay it."

Silas nodded. "Naturally."

"What's going to happen now?" Robert asked.

James looked at Al. "You overheard."

Al nodded. It had been less a case of "overheard" than "eavesdropped in the Invisibility Cloak on Dad and Uncle Ron," but he didn't feel it was necessary to quibble. "They're not going to send Si's dad to prison."

"Thank God," Silas said.

"And he told them where everything was, so they're going to return all of it to its rightful owners. And that's the end of it." It wasn't, entirely--Dad was making James a keepsake with the pooka hairs in it, to keep them safe, but that was to be a birthday present, so he didn't mention it.

"I mean, what are we doing next?" Robert asked again. "This was big. How are we going to top it next year?"

"You can get kidnapped," Silas suggested. "It's a real adventure, being suspended in the same room for months."

Michael shrugged. "We've already had a kidnapping. It'll have to be something else. We could scare up one of the bad ghosts from Screech Hill..."

"We could look for a djinn," Ahmed put in. "Hey, Si, I'll bet there are dozens of old bottles and lamps to try in that shop."

"Dirt cheap, too, as no one wants them."

"Great. Djinns are always trouble."

James didn't seem to really be listening. He looked up at the house, then back at the others. "I have an idea..." he said.

The End


27 comments or Leave a comment
mrs_norris_mous From: mrs_norris_mous Date: May 15th, 2010 09:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you

I just wanted to post a quick thank you for this and all your other stories :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you

You're welcome. :D
malinbe From: malinbe Date: May 15th, 2010 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
It was a great pleasure to be on this ride. James' story was a welcome piece of a lot of sunshine (and a kidnapping).

Thank you for sharing!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
It seemed like fun to just goof around with James, who's a stranger to the category of "angst."
willowbough From: willowbough Date: May 15th, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fun chapter--I always enjoy your letters installments. The T/V wedding was the icing on the cake. Nicely ominous concluding note too: of course, James has an idea! Let's just hope the adults are out of earshot . . .

Another fine story, Fern! And most assuredly, mid-May is not an unreasonable finishing date at all.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it can be said of James that he always has an idea....

lorelei_lynn From: lorelei_lynn Date: May 15th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very fun story! And if you decide to write Teddy's 7th year, I'll be looking forward to it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm about a quarter of the way through plotting it out.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: May 15th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

The James Gang

Looking forward to the rest of the series!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The James Gang

I don't know--this was actually harder, since it didn't have an ongoing villain, or much jeopardy in what I could cook up. I may stick with short stuff for James and his friends.
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: May 15th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, topping your end-of-year adventure *is* a family tradition, I guess!

This has been a really fun story - thanks for posting it, (I'm in awe, as always, at the speed you manage to write and post these!)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
And here I was worried about being too slow! :P

I think once you start having the end-of-year adventure, it would feel expected.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: May 15th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love the letters and the invitation! And the fact that the younger generation also think they should have an adventure every year. I wonder where they got that idea? Thanks for another wonderful story!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome.

I think the Potters may have very skewed expectations of life at Hogwarts.
amamama From: amamama Date: May 15th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Fern! This has been great fun, a brilliant schoolboykid adventure. The first letter was great, a sneaky way to introduce a later adventure. I still don't get why you can't build a magical universe of your own, and use the vast mythology/fairy tale material this world has on offer to build adventures for a group of youngsters. An international magical school, with kids from all over the place, would mean that all kinds of beats and tales would wind up in their stories. And the way you do your craft is brilliant. Like this letter from the museum guy - ta! A new book needs to be written to tell of what happened then. Very sneaky. *g*

And James's finishing comment is brilliant. This is just the way to build a series of adventurous stories. So go on! If you want to, that is... but really, thank you so much for doing this, for sharing your stories with us. I really appreciate it. Cheers!
sidealong From: sidealong Date: May 15th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't greenhouses need SOUTHERN exposure?
It's art studios that need NORTHERN exposure.

great story! Loved the letters. What a pleasant surprise to see the wedding invite! And glimpses of the wedding. Glad Scorpius accepted the invite!

Speaking of getting your original work published, If the school boy adventures aren't compelling enough, I vote department of mysteries. You came up with so many great ideas in "Daedalus Maze" The different areas in the department of mysteries, tying the maze in with Teddy's search for Identity etc.

I can imagine a very intriquing "department of mysteries" by some other name in New Mexico perhaps.

I know we're all just huge Fern fans, and can't wait to see your work on the bookshelf!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't greenhouses need SOUTHERN exposure?
It's art studios that need NORTHERN exposure.

I'll take your word for it--I don't know from plants or art! ;P

I don't have enough of a feel for New Mexico to set something here--it's a place I live, but not really home. Boston, maybe, or Western New York.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: May 16th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Boston or New York sounds like a great setting also. I think a "Salam Witches Acadmey" was mentioned at the Quidditch World Cup.

But of course I'm eagerly anticipating the plot line that's brewing for Teddy's 7th year!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I still don't get why you can't build a magical universe of your own

I have one in my head, but I haven't been able to storm the castle of plotting it or finding the right way into it yet. I've tried it in NaNo, and I like my characters, but I think I need to tweak the ages of several and make it a school story. I just like the school story as a form.
From: severely_lupine Date: May 15th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, James. Will the Potters never learn to stay out of trouble?

Well, this was certainly an amusing story. Thanks for sharing it with us. What's next? Another one of these? Teddy's seventh year? Finishing Stray?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Will the Potters never learn to stay out of trouble?

Legions of writers say, "No! Please, no!" ;p

I'm going to do Teddy's seventh year, then I'm going to take another break and see if I can make an original work.
From: severely_lupine Date: May 16th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Then it looks like I need to get myself caught up on his third and fifth years.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 17th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on finishing this piece about James and Al, Fernwithy. I really enjoyed it and I just can't wait for Teddy's seventh year story. Even though we have to go from Teddy and Victoire being newly weds to Teddy and Victoire not even dating, we know how the story ends and we're all looking forward to seeing a bit more about how they get there!
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 17th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
by the way, it's Amethyst Beloved, lol.
mollywheezy From: mollywheezy Date: May 28th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Victoire's middle name! Brilliant!! :D

Really enjoyed the story. Thanks!
starlight976 From: starlight976 Date: February 2nd, 2016 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've loved all of this!! You're an amazing author:) I read all of Teddy Lupin's adventures a couple of years ago, and I vaguely remember something about James in Year 4? I have a bookmark in my phone but it just linked to your most recent posts. Did you ever start on it, or am I completely misremembering things? Either way, your HP stuff is fantastic and I want to read it all!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 3rd, 2016 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I wrote part of it, but kind of got disinterested in it (I'm so egocentric... not many comments, and I get all, "Oh, cruel world," you know?), and lost track. It was a Triwizard Tournament story set at Beauxbatons.
27 comments or Leave a comment