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Shifts, Chapter 7: Dis-Order, Part 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Shifts, Chapter 7: Dis-Order, Part 1
Table of contents and Summary so far

Dudley's first day of detention didn't go smashingly, but it's the end of Remus's school day. He promised to be more creative tomorrow, but this particular Monday, he may have a few other things on his mind.




Remus had anticipated finding a small core of Order members to come to Grimmauld Place that night, mainly to get Sirius's mind off of his isolation.

He had not anticipated coming home to find the kitchen already crowded with Order members, each with a copy of the Daily Prophet, all in varying states of outrage. Mrs. Black was screaming from her portrait, but no one was bothering to shut her up.

Emmeline Vance came straight to him, waved the newspaper in his face, and looked like she was about to say something, then just made a growling sound and stalked to the other side of the kitchen, where she waved her fists at Bill Weasley, who was slowly shredding his own paper into dustbin. Molly was tight-lipped, sitting in a corner, and Hestia Jones was reading with wide-eyed disbelief. Dedalus Diggle jittered over to Remus in a manic way and said, "I can't believe it!" then skittered back to Emmeline.

Sirius, who was talking to a blonde witch who looked only vaguely familiar to Remus, waved him over, looking very much in control. "Arthur, Kingsley, and Dora haven't been able to get out of work yet," he said. "Have you picked up the Prophet??"

The blonde girl handed him a copy. From the front page, a square-jawed woman with a bow in her dowdy hair blinked at him slowly. Above her, the headline read:

MINISTRY SEEKS EDUCATIONAL REFORM
DOLORES UMBRIDGE APPOINTED
FIRST EVER HIGH INQUISITOR


Remus read the article, looking nervously at Molly when he noticed how extensively young Percy Weasley had been quoted and feeling a kind of dazed shame when Dumbledore's "eccentric decisions," cited as the reason for extra surveillance, "included the employment of werewolf Remus Lupin." Moody and Hagrid were mentioned as well. Moody would take it in stride, but Remus was glad Hagrid wasn't here to read it.

"'ow can zey do zees?" the blonde witch asked, her eyes wide. "Dumbledore eez known everywhere!"

"That's the problem, Fleur," Sirius said. "Like I told Harry last night, Fudge thinks Dumbledore is after his job. Have a seat, Remus."

Remus sat down on a spare log on edge of the hearth, as there were no handy chairs in the vicinity. His hips screeched in their sockets at the deep bend, but the dry heat of the fire helped them. Fleur Delacour--one of the younger members of the Order, who Dumbledore had working on international connections, if Remus recalled correctly--was biting her lip nervously, her bright blue eyes darting at him every now and then.

"The full moon was last night," he said dryly. "I'm perfectly safe for another four weeks."

She blushed. "Eh... I seemply.... "

"I shouldn't have made an assumption of what you were thinking."

"No, you were right. And I zhould know better. I am a part-'uman." Fleur smiled.

"Werewolves aren't part-human," Sirius said irritably. "They're all human, just with a damned illness."

"It's all right, Sirius. I know what what Fleur means."

The door upstairs opened and there was a fresh burst of screams from Mrs. Black. Filthy half-blood monster! Freak of nature!

"Oh, stuff it, Auntie!" Dora shouted over her shoulder as she came down into the kitchen. Her hair, a florid green today and tied up into a long, bouncy ponytail, flipped in a full circle as she turned her head sharply. She glanced around the room, found Remus and Sirius (and Fleur) and came straight over, only tripping over three people's strewn bags on the way. "Inquisitor?" she said. "Hullo, Fleur. Tonks."

"Thank you," Fleur said. "I thought eet was you, but..."

"You never know." She tossed her entire copy of the Prophet into the fire, and pointed her wand at it. "Incendio!" It flared up.

"It might have burned in the pre-existing fire," Remus pointed out.

"Not nearly as satisfying as killing it," Dora said. "How are you feeling today?"

"As expected."

She winced. "You should visit Mum at St. Mungo's. She can give you a nice ointment to help. She hasn't taught me to brew it yet. Is Mad-Eye here yet?"

"Who called the meeting?" Remus asked.

"Dumbledore sent Fawkes here," Sirius said. "But he can't very well come himself. So I took the liberty."

"Good idea."

"Good to be useful for once."

In short order after that, Arthur Weasley arrived, looking more furious than Remus had ever seen him, and went straight to his wife. Nearly in his wake came Kingsley Shacklebolt. Mad-Eye appeared from somewhere--Remus honestly hadn't seen him come in--and finally the flames turned green, and Mundungus Fletcher arrived, clutching an ill-looking (and even more frazzled than usual) Arabella Figg.

"That's everyone," Sirius said, then tapped his throat with his wand and said, "Sonorus," then, loudly enough to carry over the crowd, "Quiet!"

Everyone immediately fell silent, except of course Mrs. Black's portrait upstairs, which took advantage of the pause in conversation to inform them all that they were Traitors! Miscreants! Filth! and Trespassers!

Sirius rolled his eyes and took the Charm off his throat, and Molly Weasley pointed her wand at the kitchen door and put an Impervius Charm on it. Mrs. Black's screeches were immediately muted down to background noise.

"Everyone please sit down," Sirius invited, spreading his arms to indicate the table. "We have quite a lot to talk about."

Remus took a seat, and glanced around the room. Nearly everyone was outraged, grumbling, or even a bit nervous... but not Sirius. Sirius simply relaxed into his role as host and leader.

Remus hadn't seen him look so happy since he'd come back to Grimmauld Place.
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Comments
mariagoner From: mariagoner Date: July 13th, 2004 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm very interested to read about what the Order will do about Umbridge coming to Hogwarts. We've already got the children's perspective on the whole fiasco-- but what the adults think of it will be another matter...

It would also be incredibly interesting to hear Remus' thoughts on Umbridge coming over to first supervise and then tyrannize the school. He must already loathe the woman, considering she cut off any chance of his getting a decent job in the Wizarding world. I can't wait to see what'll be running through his mind when she kicks Dumbledore out of Hogwarts and threatens Harry...
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: July 14th, 2004 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the way you capture Sirius' slightly manic mood swings. I can just see him being in his element in that situation. And Tonks' greeting to Mrs Black's portrait was perfect! I'm intregued to see what's going to happen next.
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: July 14th, 2004 10:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad that Sirius has something to keep him occupied, but I'm worried that his good mood probably won't last very long.

I've been so caught-up in Remus teaching at Smeltings, and the blooming Remus/Tonks relationship that I completely forgot that Umbridge became High Inquisitor around this time. Anyways, I can't wait to see what Remus has to say on this matter.

Keep up the good work:-)

~Victoria
dipsas From: dipsas Date: July 14th, 2004 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I very much like how you portrayed the development of the Order her,
how the people who've known each other for years and years care about each other, Remus thinking about Hagrid's reaction to that article, Sirius' speaking up on Remus' behalf... We'd expect that, I guess, but you took time to get into how all these odd people learn to work together as well, Fleur being nervous around her first werewolf colleague, Remus wondering how to tread around the issue of Percy... it's all very convincing.
(Deleted comment)
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: July 14th, 2004 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, poor Sirius. It hurts to read dabout him in OotP, now we know what is going to happen to him in the end :'(
I liked the little bit of Remus/Dora banter, and his interaction with Fleur.
sophonax From: sophonax Date: July 14th, 2004 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even though she doesn't appear till late, Tonks owns this little section...you really got her just right here. The contrast between her relaxed and happy, but still furious and fighting, demeanor here and her jitteriness, for lack of a better word, when she's trying to confront her feelings about Remus seems *so* accurate for a well-adjusted young woman who realizes that she might be stepping outside social boundaries in a HUGE way.

The end of the section, as always, is great! It's nice to be reminded that Sirius the Spectator isn't necessarily a gloomy role...even when it is still sad to see what he's doing to himself.

Do you "brew" an ointment?
mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: July 15th, 2004 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Fern,
I really enjoyed this part. When Harry leaves Grimmauld Place (in OOtP) and the whole setting moves to Hogwarts, I felt a distinct disappointment, and found myself continually wondering what was going on Back There. Your story has helped to fill in those plot possibilities.

This part:
"The full moon was last night," he said dryly. "I'm perfectly safe for another four weeks."

She blushed. "Eh... I seemply.... "

"I shouldn't have made an assumption of what you were thinking."


Was a little unclear until I read on -- Remus was apologizing for his dry/sarcastic statement about being safe? Maybe he could say it apologetically or sigh and shake his head at himself or something? Just a thought.

I also want to note that my kids and I have gotten my husband hooked on your fanfic as well. He's read Of a Sort, the two Ted Tonks fics, Doll Army and Invisible. After reading Invisible he said you could give JKR a real run for her money -- your characters are so well fleshed out and you pick up the tiniest details from the books to develop your stories. I have a hard time remembering that we haven't actually *met* Ted and Andromeda in canon, as you've fleshed them out so well.

mariagoner wrote:
It would also be incredibly interesting to hear Remus' thoughts on Umbridge coming over to first supervise and then tyrannize the school. He must already loathe the woman, considering she cut off any chance of his getting a decent job in the Wizarding world. I can't wait to see what'll be running through his mind when she kicks Dumbledore out of Hogwarts and threatens Harry...

While we're writing "things we'd like to see" I would LOVE to see Dora meet up with Uncle Lucius at the Ministry of Magic. If he was there as often as various characters in OOtP lead us to believe, Dora must have run into him once or twice -- at least in the elevator! I wonder what he thinks of his metamorphmagus neice.

I'd also curious as to how Mrs. Black's portrait would react to Sirius' death. I assume Phineas would have told her when he went looking for him at the end of OOtP. (The most poignant part of the book,IMHO, and really on target -- wandering from portrait to portrait, calling his name, but the last Black isn't there. *sniff*)

Perhaps they could be little drabbles sometime? (If it's rude to "ask" for scenes, I do apologize! I'm not too up on fanfic rules and such.)

Thanks again - it's a terrific portion and I'm really enjoying all of your work.
Lauri B.
matril From: matril Date: July 15th, 2004 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Very nice scene. I really enjoyed seeing all the members of the Order interacting. It also amused me to read Remus's impression of Fleur - after seeing her largely from the point of view of starstruck, dazed, young boys - dazzling beautiful and all - it's funny to have her described as nothing more than a blonde witch.

I am impressed with how well you're fitting all this with the book. You have a very good knack with little details.
triplefudge From: triplefudge Date: July 21st, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been reading this story for quite some time and I haven't left you a review yet. I really enjoyed this part and I love how you showcased Sirius' happiness over finally having something to do. It makes me so sad because I can't believe that he spent his final days so cooped up like that.
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