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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Two: Ghosts, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Two: Ghosts, pt. 3
The Potters and Weasleys (Ron and Hermione's) are boarding the Hogwarts Express together, after learning that Daniela Villanueva will be a judge at the Triwizard Tournament. Lily and Hugo are starting their first year. James has told Harry that he will put his name in the goblet, as the age line has been lifted.

I decided to use some of JKR's info from Pottermore, when she's taking about platform 9 and three quarters.

It's the last day of my vacation, so I won't be working quite as fast, but this is going somewhere now.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Bear and Celia had saved a compartment, and Michael, Robert, and Ahmed were already there. By the time the Potters and Weasleys came in, they were sitting on trunks. James told Lily and Hugo to stand by the window so they could see their parents waving goodbye--Dad would most likely run by the train, as he usually did. This year, he might well grab hold of it.

"Why does he do that?" Lily asked as they pulled out of reach of the station (Dad was not flying along beside them, holding onto a window, James was glad to note).

"He loves you," Celia said. "Don't knock it."

"I'm not! It's just... no one else does that."

Rosie looked like she was about to pipe up with an explanation, but reconsidered, and said, "Who's trying for the Tournament?"

This turned out to be quite an active discussion, and had been going on for twenty minutes when the compartment door opened and Al's friend, Jane Virgil, came in. She was a tiny girl with thin skin and thin, very light brown hair, and James had started calling her "Moth" last year. It annoyed Al, but Jane herself liked it, claiming that she'd never had a nickname before.

"Hi, Moth!" he said. "Ready for another year?"

"Definitely. I've been bored." She looked around Rosie and waved. "Hi, Al!"

"Hi! I have puzzles."

"I knew I could count on you." She made her way around a few trunks, and sat down beside Al.

Hugo frowned. "I know it's crowded, but shouldn't we be... a little crowded out? The compartment didn't look that big."

"Have you seen Dad's car?" Rosie asked.

"Of course."

"Well, do you really think it fits all four of us, two school trunks, and three pets at its actual size?"

"Oh." Hugo shook his head. "I didn't think about that."

"Why do the two of you have three pets?" Robert asked. "I thought we could only have one each."

"The dog goes home with Mum and Dad," Rosie said. "Then I have my owl, and Mr. Cool over there brought a toad from the garden." She looked at Lily. "What did you bring? Or did they let you bring Arf?"

"No dogs," Lily said, but smiled. "But I had a letter from Teddy. He's letting Checkmate have some kittens--with Ruth Scrimgeour's cat, Ogden--and they're going to be born in a few weeks, and I can have one when they're big enough."

"Oh, can I have one, too?" Moth asked. "I don't have any pets."

Lily agreed to ask, then there was some conversation about pets in general, and demands to see one another's pets. Hugo insisted that his toad was quite fashionable, as opposed to other toads. After a while, Al and Jane settled into their puzzle books, James and his dormitory-mates (and Celia) started planning the year's adventures (Hugo joined them), and Rosie and Lily, to James's deep embarassment, started to talk about boys.

This was blessedly interrupted by the arrival of Scorpius Malfoy (generally called Scops), who was Rosie's best friend even though he was in Hufflepuff. Scops turned the conversation to Quidditch, as they played against one another as Chasers.

"We've got a good squad this year," he said. "You'd best watch out. You going out, Potter?" he asked Al.


"You should!" Lily said. "You could just play one year, then I'll take over." She wrinkled her nose. "Maybe I should just try out."

"You'd have to use a school broom," Scops said. "That's why first years are never on the house teams."

"Dad was," Lily said. "It's not fair."

"I think there are enough Potters on the Gryffindor team," Rosie said, then grinned. "Especially if James keeps playing all the positions."

James made a nasty gesture at her; he'd once scored ten points for an opposing team by playing the wrong position, and it was a standing joke. She laughed and made an even nastier non-verbal reply.

The rest of the trip went in roughly the same vein--Quidditch, the Tournament, classes, teachers... the conversation ranged easily from one to the next and back. When they pulled into Hogsmeade station, talk had turned back to the Quintamage Competition. Bear and Michael were arguing about whether or not Dani should have scored higher in the race she'd been in for the first task, and Celia pointed out that races were fairly easy to score, given that you could see who came in first.

The train came to a stop, and there was a brief period of jostling while everyone got his or her trunk, then James led the way outside to the platform. Hagrid was calling to the first years.

"That's me!" Lily said, then grabbed Hugo. "Us."

"See you in Ravenclaw," Rosie said to her brother, giving him a wicked smile.

Hugo looked green.

Lily gave James and Al hugs, said, "See you!" and ran off eagerly to Hagrid, who also got a hug.

James and Al waited to see the boats take off, Celia and Michael waiting with them. By the time it was done, the luggage was beginning to disappear from the platform, and enough students were gone that James could see more of the station. Beyond the scarlet engine of the Hogwarts Express, a very large, two-story boxcar was sitting on the tracks.

"What's that?" he asked, pointing to it.

"Another train," Celia said.

"We have another train?" Michael asked.

James had a vague memory of hearing about other trains, but he'd never seen one. "One of those event trains?"

"Probably." Celia shrugged. "I saw a British train come in Paris once, for the opening of the Unplottable Wing in the Louvre--they actually have a station under there, so people can get in without going through the main museum."

"How does a train get under the Channel?" Al asked.

"How does Durmstrang send ships through solid land?" Michael said. "That's wicked. I wonder where it's going."

A thought occurred to James. "Didn't Dani say at the station that she was going to be there tonight? Maybe all the judges came by train. Maybe it was ahead of us the whole way."

No one offered another possibility, and James felt a surge of excitement--it was possible that the tournament judges were waiting just ahead. It was happening.

"We better catch the last carriage," Celia said. "Before the thestral gets hungry and decides to go hunting instead."

They started to walk.

"Can you see it?" Al asked Celia. "The thestral, I mean. From... you know..."

"The attack?" She nodded. "Yes. My brother and sister died. I was babysitting."

No one knew what to say to that. Al just muttered, "Sorry."

"It's all right." They reached the carriage and climbed in. Celia watched the thestral. James wondered what she was seeing, exactly. She sighed. "I think Mum Viv's memories are worse. Greyback made her do that."

"Why do you live with her?" Michael asked. "I mean, aren't your parents alive?"

Celia's mouth got tight, and James didn't expect her to answer, but she said, "My parents weren't interested in raising a werewolf. Mum Viv was. Is that all, or did you want to know something else?"

Michael quickly shook his head.

James cast around for another topic of conversation, finally deciding on Quidditch. He expounded on the chances for Gryffindor's team for the rest of the way to the castle.

When they got in, they could hear the buzz of conversation in the Great Hall already. There were voices coming from the antechamber as well, and James figured it was the first years. "I'll wish Lily luck," he said quickly, and ducked over. The door was ajar, and he pushed it open, fully expecting to see the room crowded with first years. Instead, Professor Robards--who'd been acting Headmaster since last year, when Professor Sprout retired--was sitting with Madame Maxime and a dark-haired man in scarlet robes. A thin man who James recognized from the newspapers as Denys Laurent was standing by the fireplace. Daniela Villanueva was behind Madame Maxime. She looked frustrated about something.

Robards looked up. "Did you need something, James?"

"Er, no. I thought... well, the first years..."

Robards looked at his watch. "Is it that late already?" He touched one of the buttons on the side. "Yes, I see, they're at the boathouse. We should retire to another room to finish this."

James stood aside as they left. Dani was the last one in the room. She had her lips pressed tightly together.

"Are you all right, D... Miss Villanueva?" James asked.

"Fine," she said, then painted on the glittery smile she wore for pictures. "So much to do!" She ran off after the others.

James frowned after her as she went into the Great Hall; they were obviously going to the teachers' study behind the High Table.

"Potter!" Celia called. "Come on, before you're run down by rampaging first years!"

James nodded, and followed his friends to the Gryffindor table.
24 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: August 22nd, 2011 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

"He loves you," Celia said. "Don't knock it."

Oh, Dad!Harry!
From: tree_and_leaf Date: August 22nd, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: "He loves you," Celia said. "Don't knock it."

I really like the way Celia is characterized here, too.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 22nd, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: "He loves you," Celia said. "Don't knock it."

Dad!Harry is amazing, I love that Fern has him running alongside the train whereas JKR just has him raising his hand (unless I have forgotten that part of the Epilogue?)

I was so excited to see this update! I checked when I was getting ready for work at 6.30am GMT and only saw the Stray post, then I checked again on the offchance at 4pm and saw this lovely surprise. You were either up very late, or kinda early - in any case: THANK YOU!

Sigh. Time to end my unofficial tea break and get back to work :(

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: "He loves you," Celia said. "Don't knock it."

He's walking along beside it. I don't know why I remembered it as running, but I like the running.

I was up late. ;p
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 22nd, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad to see the plot moving along--I remember this was sort of the place you stopped in the earlier version. Intrigued to know what's going on with Dani: it's clearly not easy being the current "It Girl."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definitely not easy. Especially now that she's been thrown in the judges' circle.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: August 22nd, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, look, Robards as Headmaster! I wasn't expecting that! I'm kind of sad Sprout retired =(. I always had the feeling Headmasters and mistresses died on the job.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think getting a few years to enjoy retirement would be more fun than dying on the job! ;p
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: August 22nd, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

the plot thickens!!!

it seems that things are even less rosy colored than we thought about dani villanueva...

couple of other things....

love reading the interaction between Al and Jane. it's endearing how they bond over puzzles...

i'm confused- did james jr really played all positions at one time- or is that an exageration because he only played a different position once?

the pet talk was cute although now i'm really confused as to what animal each person has as a pet...
(was it ever mentioned if Al had a pet?)

also--- poor, poor Celia.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: the plot thickens!!!

James only pulled that once, but everyone ranks him about it to the dogs and back.

Al has an owl. The two owls are mentioned in the epilogue.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 22nd, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Other things I love in this chapterlet

Checkmate having babies! Teddy isn't content with expanding the human population of Maurader's Roost ;) I wonder if any of the kittens will make it into a Jim Wolf story.

Al asking how a train gets under the Channel. Oh, Al! Muggles have been doing that since before your dad helped Sirius Black and Buckbeak escape being Kissed/beheaded.
Also love Michael's response ... Magic, duh!

Lily hugging her brothers and Hagrid by the lake, and James watching until the boats disappear. Lovely!

And some nice foreshadowing for whatever is happening with Dani in the next chapter, I'm looking forward to it!


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Other things I love in this chapterlet

I think everything ends up in a Jim Wolf story eventually. ;p Checkmate's actually pretty old to be having kittens, but Teddy wanted to let her have one litter.

Al asking how a train gets under the Channel. Oh, Al! Muggles have been doing that since before your dad helped Sirius Black and Buckbeak escape being Kissed/beheaded.

Well, I imagine they don't use the Channel tunnel for it; a few too many trains to accidentally miss a few! (And probably, they'd already figured a way to do it magically.) But yes, you'd think he'd at least have wondered about that. ;p

Edited at 2011-08-22 08:37 pm (UTC)
cleindori From: cleindori Date: August 22nd, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Goofball sentimental dads -- can't live with them, wouldn't want to live without them. :)

Ooh, trouble brewing in Dani paradise...

Can't wait for more! Hope you enjoy getting back to work, though.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Goofball sentimental dads -- can't live with them, wouldn't want to live without them. :)

Exactly. :P

From: (Anonymous) Date: August 22nd, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Celia is right.

I wish that her parents' story was different - although, as I still want Celia being Viv's daughter, I'm not sure how to go with that.

But if her parents had given her up in the first shock of everything and while being told by people they thought knew better that this was what was best for her - and if they realized it was a mistake but didn't know how to undo it (like parents a few decades back who were pressured by experts to institutionalize mentally disabled children and not have contact with them because this was "for the best" [many of them also pressured by beliefs that it was somehow the parents' fault the children were like this - it used to be believed that autistic children became that way because of lack of nurture from the mother - so the parents were often being told that their amateur efforts had already done irreparable harm and that, if anything was going to be salvaged, they needed to get out of the way. I could see Celia's parents, who left their children alone the night this happened, having plenty of guilt to be played on]).

But, that's not their story.


I really wish it was.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
It may not be that far off. Not that exactly, but they may not be the coldhearted monsters Celia paints in her mind.
From: severely_lupine Date: August 22nd, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, the image of Harry running madly down the platform and then grabbing the train is pretty hilarious.

LOL, Hugo brought a toad from the garden. I love that.

You know, I have to wonder about this whole pet policy at Hogwarts. Owls can go fly around pretty easily, and they can stay at the owlery if they want, and toads are pretty much aquarium pets, but cats... Some cats are quite territorial and wouldn't take well to sharing a room with another strange cat or three. And do the Hogwarts cats just wander around the castle and grounds like Crookshanks did? In which case there'd constantly be a lot more cats than Mrs. Norris lurking about. Or do they mostly stay in the dorm rooms, which seem a tad small for your average cat, especially if it had to share it with other cats? And why were Percy and Ron allowed to bring a rat?

Oh... poor Celia. As if getting turned into a werewolf weren't bad enough, she had to watch her little siblings get mauled to death, and then her parents abandoned her. Sheesh.

Robards is Headmaster now, eh? He must be getting pretty old. Who took over as the DADA teacher?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Who took over as the DADA teacher?

:headdesk: That was random on my part, mostly because I felt like putting him in for the tournament, but really... he was supposed to hang out until James took over. Grrr.

Well, I guess we'll find out, eh? ;p
From: severely_lupine Date: August 22nd, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haha, well, you could still change it back if you want. Or you could have him be Headmaster for a year, decide he doesn't like it, and then he goes back to teaching for a while.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 22nd, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my gosh! The Headmaster's position is cursed! No one since Sprout lasts more than a year! ;-)

From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2011 07:36 am (UTC) (Link)


Just one tiny thing: Is "Denys", written with a "y", meant to be a wizarding orthographic fantasy? If not, the muggle name is "Denis".
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: nitpicking

Uh-oh... that means my list of most popular names is wrong!
daksian From: daksian Date: August 23rd, 2011 07:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, the anticipation is building. You do such a good job giving just a little each time so we keep coming back for more. I like how you're 'humanizing' Dani Villanueva bit by bit after introducing her as an international idol. I also like how you're alluding to the real potential of James becoming a champion. At this point I'm not sure you are (I think so, but I'm not 100% sure), but you're making compelling reasons to think he's up to it...

And speaking of which, I'll just join everyone else in praising your Dad!Harry, for his faith and support he gives his children, even when he doesn't agree with their choices.

Lastly, I'm enjoying Lily, and I can't wait to see her sorting!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
James is capable--whether he's the most capable or not remains to be seen...

I just believe that Harry, after spending his childhood getting toothpicks and nasty letters from his guardians, would want to make sure his children can absolutely luxuriate in the knowledge of being loved and supported.
24 comments or Leave a comment