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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Four: Chosen, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Four: Chosen, pt. 3
Quite a bit happening, now that James has been chosen as one to go to Beauxbatons. Harry has started teaching, and has brought James all sorts of reactions from home. James asks him about the picture of Cedric that seems to have been burned in the goblet, and Harry thinks people are making too much of it. James arranges to go to Teddy's the weekend of his birthday to get a beginning lesson on Patronuses.

Celia has a letter from Mme. Maxime, explaining that things might not be as friendly at Beauxbatons as either of them would like--they've had recent werewolf troubles. She warns that the governors will most likely inform all parents, but says she'll be on Celia's side.

I just realized, I have the wrong year in my icon. Though technically, the majority of the tournament is in 2020--the second and third tasks--I'd guess it would be advertised as 2019, since it's the 19-20 school year.

Table of Contents So Far

"Look at all this homework from Dad!" Al said when James sat beside him at lunch the next day. He was staring at three library books and a blank roll of parchment. "Essays! He brought in a Banshee and I got rid of her by stealing her comb and throwing out the window, just like you said, but I still have to do a foot on how to avoid Banshee screams."

"There's more homework in third year," James said. "I warned you about that."

"Yes, but you've also warned me that I'd end up in Slytherin, that there was a Pogrebin following me and waiting to eat me, that there were muggers on the Tube, that I'd be forced to duel Scops Malfoy to the death, and that Professor Snape's portrait meant to follow me around and insult me because he was offended by me being named after him."

James shrugged. "Well, you can never be too careful, you know." He helped himself to a pile of chips from a basket beside Al's plate. "But the third year bit's true. They reckon you're used to school now."

Al wrinkled his nose.

Lily appeared from a crowd of first years and dropped down across from them, nicking some of James's chips. "Theory," she said, disgusted. "I have to read about Defense theory."

"That's always first year now," James said. "And don't worry, it's only a month or so. You have to pick it up some time, and it may as well be what you do before you really have spellwork down."

"Hmph," Lily said, then pulled a rolled up Daily Prophet out of her bag. James was about to point out that you didn't sit down to eat with someone then pull out something to read, but as Al had already buried himself in Banshees, he supposed it was a bit late. He tucked into his lunch while they read.

A few minutes later, his dormitory-mates came in from the library, where they'd been working on their essays (in a fit of filial feeling, James had done his own last night), and they fell to talking about Emmeline Sims, a fifth-year Hufflepuff who Bear fancied, having spent the last year in Charms Club with her. There'd been a good deal of such talk about several girls last spring, all of it somewhat nervous, but so far, neither James nor his friends had done much about it. Al kept looking up from his book like he wanted to contribute something, but his friend Moth sat down by him and he ended up not doing it.

"Hey!" Lily exclaimed, shaking the paper abruptly. "Did you lot see this?"

Everyone looked up.

She folded the paper over so they could see a picture of Amos Diggory with Denis Laurent and a pretty older woman. Diggory was obviously ranting and waving his arms wildly. Laurent and the woman looked stunned.

"What is it?" he asked.

"'Amos Diggory, father of slain Triwizard champion Cedric Diggory,'" she read, "'has been outspoken in his opposition to the new tournament, calling it an insult to his son's memory. Denis Laurent and his mother, Sandrine Laurent (widow of Didier Laurent, who championed the return), tried to placate him by offering to have a memorial to Cedric at the opening of the new tournament.

'Diggory said, "My boy will be there, right enough. You'll see. He'll not rest easy as long as you insist on this travesty."'" Lily Looked up. "He's gone round the twist. Do you reckon he put that picture in the Goblet?"

"I think we might have noticed him skulking about," James said, showing the corner of the Marauder's Map.

"Unless he did it earlier," Al suggested. "We found it then, but who says it had just got there?"

"We'd have seen him come to Hogwarts..." James mused, not entirely convinced.

Michael jumped in. "Right, but that cup was in its box. What if no one looked when they set the flames? Maybe it was in there all along."

James squirmed. He didn't want it to be Cedric's dad--he'd heard stories of Cedric from people all his life, and read a few on hs own, and he liked Cedric, as much as it was possible to like someone who died ten years before he was born--but he couldn't think of anyone who was more likely to have done it, either.

Thankfully, Lily found a productive change in subject, as she read further into the article. "There's more about the plans," she said. "James, you'll get to go on excursions, and the Prophet will send someone to cover each task--maybe it'll be Mum!--and the Yule Ball."

Thoughts of the Goblet and Mr. Diggory left James's mind. "What?"

"Well, they have to have it, don't they?" Michael asked. "It's part of all of the Tournaments."

"I wish I could go to a ball," Lily said.

"We could have a dance here," Moth suggested.

Lily looked delighted, and she and Moth leaned across the table to speak in animated tones. "Oh, yes, we could ask Professor Longbottom, I'm sure he'd say yes--"

"--Mrs. Longbottom loves dancing and--"

"--we could wear lovely robes and--"

"--I'd reckon we could find a nice band, maybe there are even students--"

"--it would be wonderful, just like in the stories..."

James looked at his mates, who now seemed as alarmed by their own upcoming year as James was by his. Al had stuck his nose back in his books, but he was blushing.

"You have to stop your sister," Spots said on the way from lunch down to Potions. "Longbottom will let her do it."

"Since when was Lily like that?" Michael asked, offended. "I like her better talking about Quidditch games."

James shrugged. "She was pretty revolting when Teddy and Victoire got together, but I thought she'd got it out of her system."

"I don't know," Bear said. "I reckon it would be a good reason to get a girlfriend. I mean, I want to have a good snog eventually."

"Snogging's fine--" Michael said.

"How would you know?" Robert asked.

Michael made a rather graphic gesture at him. "--but I'm not putting on bloody dress robes and prancing about for it."

"Dress robes?" Daniel Stewart, a Slytherin, repeated as they reached the dungeon door together. "What do we need dress robes for?"

"Better not to ask," Michael muttered.

"Are we having a dance here as well?" Mary Griffiths asked cheerfully.

"No," Michael and Spots said at the same time.

By the end of Potions, the non-existent dance was the talk of all the girls in fourth year. Lily gloated over this at supper, and declared that next, she and Moth would start a rumor that first years could have their own broomsticks at school--"As long as I make sure Prince and Elbaz hear me, I'll have my Comet by the end of next week."

"I'm starting to think the Sorting Hat was right about you," Moth said, not without admiration.

Lily preened. James glanced up at the staff table and saw Dad gazing at them fondly.

Later that night, he lay awake on his bed, the hangings drawn most of the way closed. He could hear Bear snoring, and hadn't heard anything from the others for quite a while. The only part of the hangings he had open was to let in the light from a candle on his night table so he could read. At the base of it, Dad's Hungarian Horntail had settled in to sleep. James watched it for a while, then gave up sleeping as a bad job and got up, reckoning that it would be more comfortable to read downstairs by the fireplace. He took his Defense Against the Dark Arts book and set off, carefully putting a Non-Tipping Charm on the candle before he left.

He expected to have the Common Room to himself at this hour, but he could see the flickering light of glass-covered bluebell flames coming from a table near the book shelf. Something small slipped under the table, and there was the thud of a book, followed by a rather loud curse.

"Hugo?" James asked.

Hugo's head came up, his immense pile of unruly brown hair looking like a fuzzy aura around his forehead. "James?"

"Yeah... What're you down there for?"

Hugo gave a shrug that James supposed was meant to be nonchalant. He pulled his book up and slid it onto the table, opening it too quickly for James to see the title.


"What else would it be?" Hugo asked, a bit too quickly.

James sat down beside him and flipped up the cover. "'A History of Hogwarts Champions'?" he read. "I know Binns didn't assign that. Sounds too interesting. Mind if I look at it?"

Hugo swallowed hard, and James flipped around for a chapter on Talitha Black.

Hugo watched for a minute, then said, tentatively, "I like the one from 1647. He didn't win, but he did make up his own potion for the second task. It gave him goat legs to get up a mountain."

"Really? That's cool." James turned to a picture of the boy, who looked like a satyr, scrambling up toward a giant who was blocking the way to a hostage. He started going through idly, looking for other pictures. "You know, the Hat didn't even stop to think about where to put you."

Hugo shrugged. "Yeah..."

"So, why are you down here pretending you don't like to read at two o'clock in the morning?"


James was considering saying something pompous and older cousin-ish, like "Be brave enough to admit liking what you like," when his idle perusal of pictures stopped near the end of the book, where a picture showed a good-looking boy, a dragon, and a barking dog. The dragon appeared confused.

"What is it?" Hugo asked.

"Cedric," James said. "Dad said he was a good sort."

"I guess," Hugo said.

James looked at the picture for a long time, then gave the book back to Hugo and started his Transfiguration homework.

The next two weeks went like any other school year--getting used to classes, talking about Quidditch, doing homework. Bear steeled himself like he was going to war, and asked out the Hufflepuff girl. She turned him down. Michael took the mickey out of him about, and James, trying to defend Bear, said, "At least one of you has the guts to try it," and the next thing he knew, Michael had asked out--of all people--Rosie Weasley, who said yes, and for nearly a week, they were seen holding hands in the corridors. Then, they weren't. James didn't ask why, and Michael didn't volunteer the information, though he was heard muttering bitterly under his breath about the Chudley Cannons' bad record, and mad girls who didn't seem to notice it.

James read the article about Cedric, and quite a few others that he was able to find. He didn't tell Dad about this. He wasn't sure why he was doing it, and he knew Dad would ask.

Other than that, the days might have belonged to any other year. He didn't spend any time with the other members of the Hogwarts delegation, except Celia, and he generally did that, anyway. The only acknowledgement of their upcoming departure was a meeting with Reg Dolan, the captain of the Quidditch team, to talk about their replacements for the year. James recommended Al, but Dolan said that Al had already told him he wouldn't be trying out, as he had chess club and was going to try the dramatics club that an older Ravenclaw had announced.

In fact, by the day before his birthday, the idea of going to Beauxbatons and possibly being in the tournament had entirely slipped his waking mind, and he was entirely surprised when he came back from his last class, Care of Magical Creatures, to find Teddy waiting in the entrance hall.
15 comments or Leave a comment
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 3rd, 2011 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool--a new installment up before midnight!

Nice to see a bit of normality before the Hogwarts contenders leave for France. Couldn't help grinning over the reminder of the traditional Yule Ball--I wonder if James will make less heavy weather of it than his father did. For the sake of his future date, I hope so!

Amos Diggory seems much too obvious a choice for whoever's haunting the Tournament. His attitude is understandable, but I hope he finds a way to make peace with the Tournament's resumption.

Looking forward to the Patronus lessons with Teddy and James!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 3rd, 2011 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool--a new installment up before midnight!

I know! It's like magic! Mostly due to the fact that I was almost finished last night when I was started to get droopy-eyed. ;p

I decided to give Teddy a chapter here. I miss mah Tedz.

At least James has a while to get mentally prepared for having to have a date. Why in the world did Harry (or at least Hermione?) not read up on past tournaments?! The horrible, terrible things they can spring a guy...

Edited at 2011-09-03 05:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 3rd, 2011 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahh, I love your almost-Slyther!Lily :-D The interaction between the Potter siblings is lovely and just so real, it's nice to see James in his role as oldest brother, with the teasing of Al mixed in with concerned brotherly advice.

Lovely :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 4th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)
As big brothers go, I think James isn't bad... but he's definitely no one's idol. ;p
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 3rd, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

back to normal- delightful chapter, albeit a bit worrying...

i was in the second I read Al´s reaction to getting homework from dad Harry, and laughed really hard, as i got the, seemingly erroneous the impression that he did liked doing HW-work...

was also warmhearted and all smiley and giggles and adorable, at Lily Luna desire for a Yule Ball of her own, at the mortification of her brothers and other boys... no matter the generation boys dont seem to change in this regard much....
(also I keep seeing the whole Moth and Al- I read read blushing dont deny it- and i like it)

was quite surprised and slightly puzzled at Al being in the Chess club (as the only contact with chess i would see it from his uncle Ron- and even then i would imagine rose or hugo instead being part of the chess club) also quite surprise, and amused, at him wanting to be in the dramatics club (theater plays i presume :) *

now, that little enjoyment was somehow deflated by seeing that the potter kids suspect Amos Diggory of Sabotage. i mean sure, he has the motive, but it surprises me that ever so analytical Al would jump to conclusions.

and Hugo Still trying to hide his bookworm tendencies remains utterly adorkable.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 4th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: back to normal- delightful chapter, albeit a bit worrying...

Oops. James just has so much filial loyalty that he's doing it twice. ;p

There's definitely Moth-Al crushing going on, at least from Al's direction, at the moment.

Al plays chess with Uncle Ron from time to time, and sometimes with his dad. He's not deeply connected to it emotionally, but he likes it all right. (Besides, Moth likes it a lot.)

It would be odd for Al not to analyze the scenario and point out the flaw in James's rejection of the idea that Amos could be involved, but I don't think he's especially suspicious.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 3rd, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

also funny...

finding out that Rose broke ways with Michael Prince over the chudley cannons, really shocasing herself as her father´s daughter.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 4th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: also funny...

I bet Ron takes Rose and Hugo to every Cannons game he can get time off for.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 3rd, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

ooooooooooooh next chapter teaser seems interesting....

Can´t Wait to see Teddy again AND see what patronus James Jr can produce (in due time of course)

also were getting closer to seeing Beauxbaton
(just remembered something- one champion is selected of the 12 peopleñ but do the other 11 people go to beauxbaton as well? i would think so but i´m not sure)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 4th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: ooooooooooooh next chapter teaser seems interesting....

Yes, the eleven other people get to go, just like in GoF, when the full contingents of both other schools stayed at Hogwarts.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 3rd, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
TEDDY! Teddy! Teddy!

I loved the wild rumors circulating and getting everyone excited for no good reason! It was a nice chapterlet, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 4th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I seem to recall school feeling like that.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 3rd, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay Teddy! I've been enjoying this one a lot so far, especially seeing how Lily's presence at Hogwarts has shaken things up. One nitpick--I think you have James finishing his Defense homework early before they all meet up in the library, and then starting it again at the end.

Can't wait to see what's going to happen in France!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 4th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm looking forward to getting to France, too--I keep having to hold myself back from rushing through the beginning!
From: severely_lupine Date: September 6th, 2011 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Kind of cute about Michael and Rose, and how adorable that they seem to have broken up due to her loyalty to the Cannons. Silly kids.
15 comments or Leave a comment