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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Six: A New Track, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Six: A New Track, pt. 1
James went to Teddy's place to learn the beginning of the Patronus Charm, and worked out a schedule to work on it alone in France so he can get it right. He also celebrated his fifteenth birthday there. The next day, he's called back to Hogwarts to meet with Robards and the Hogwarts contingent. Robards shows them how they'll be traveling to Beauxbatons--and where they'll be staying when they're there: A special train car, larger on the inside than the outside (like a wizarding tent). Robards asked Harry if he could borrow Phineas's portrait to keep up with Hogwarts, and when he was there, two more portraits asked to come along: Talitha Black to guard the girls' dormitory... and the Marauders to keep an eye on the boys'.

Table of Contents So Far

"Dad gave them the portrait?" Al asked in the Common Room. "Really?"

"Loaned," James corrected. "Just for the year. They wanted to come."

"I can't believe you get the portrait," Lily said. "Al gets the"--she mimed closing the Invisibility Cloak, which James had given Al two years ago--"and you get the"--she mimed opening the Map--"and now the portrait..."

"The portrait's not mine! But that does remind me..." He picked up his book bag and pulled the Marauder's Map from it (Lupin's wand, which was tethered to it to control some of the earlier spells, followed along), then handed it to Lily. "If Dad can loan the portrait, I can loan this."

Her jaw dropped. "Really?"

"It's a map of Hogwarts. What good will it do me at Beauxbatons?"

Lily grinned and hugged it. "Mine!"

"Loan," James reminded her.

She looked at it. Lupin's wand bumped against her arm. "Can we untether this?" she asked. "I mean, it's nice and all, but sort of..."

"No," James said. "I've been looking for a way to sort of... infuse it into the map, so it can be retrieved when we need it, but won't just be there. But I haven't quite got it yet."

"Have you ever invented a spell that works?" Michael Prince asked, appearing from upstairs and flopping down onto the large chair nearby. He shook his head in Lily's direction. "First year, he was going to invent self-cleaning robes. Second year... what was it?"

"A way to get Bear away from the Pooka?" Al asked defensively.

Michael ignored him. "And of course, last year, it was Great Teacher Detector, so that even if we didn't have the you-know-what, we'd know they were coming."

"Belling the cat," Lily said. "Good idea." She folded her arms crossly and added, "And only Al and I get to take the mickey out of James about his schemes."

"Thanks," James said. "But as they have to live with me here just like you do at home, they're allowed."

"Do you pull his hair for it?" Lily asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I try, but my hand slips in the grease."

Michael made an obscene gesture.

Lily, apparently mollified by this, glanced at the folded Marauder's Map, started to open it, then closed it and said, "Say, as long as you're loaning things, did you mean to leave your broomstick here?"

"Why would I do that? And no, you can't have it. First years aren't allowed their own broomsticks."

"Dad had one."

"Well, he's dad, isn't he?" James shrugged. "I reckon I'll get a bit of flying in while I'm there. Why wouldn't I?"

"Don't know if it's a good idea," Al said, giving him an exaggerated significant look. "What with the Curse."

"The Curse? What Curse? You don't mean... what would that have to do with my broomstick?"

"I see you missed it while you up at Teddy's," Michael said, and pointed his wand at a table that was laden with papers. A copy of the Daily Prophet worked its way out and came zooming over. "It was in this morning."

Al twirled his wand and said, "Inauspicatus." A wailing, baleful tune played.

James took the paper. The article in question was a tiny one in the bottom right corner of the front page: "Durmstrang Hopeful Injured in Quidditch Practice: Is It The Curse of Cedric Diggory?" The text went on to mention that one Anton Bogdanov, who the Goblet had chosen to attend from Durmstrang only a week ago, had taken a Bludger to the head in practice. "Was it a mere Quidditch accident?" the article asked. "Or is there something to the persistent rumors of a curse?"

"Bludgers never hit people without a Curse to explain it," Lily said piously.

"It's sort of true," Al added thoughtfully. "At least, if you think of the spell on them to make them hit people as a Curse."

James shook his head and said, "Tell me again why the Prophet has the nerve to look down on the Quibbler?"

They spent a while abusing the Prophet, then went to bed.

Time seemed to move strangely for the next few weeks. The date of departure--the day before Halloween--always seemed very far away, no matter how quickly everything else seemed to move. James was aware of moving through October, attending his classes, having a few larks with his friends. They sneaked out into the Forbidden Forest twice, going out to the collapsed cairn where Bear had been held prisoner. They were slowly building a roof over the hollow, and rebuilding the door with wood they'd dragged back from Screech Hill in Hogsmeade. James had a fleeting thought that they might actually get it sealed before he came back, but it didn't seem to tug at him.

On the seventeenth of October--a gusty, rainy day--James and Celia sat with Reg Dolan, trying out new Quidditch players who might take over as a Beater and a Seeker this year. Lily stole Al's broom and tried out (and was actually the best of the bunch), but school rules were school rules--no one since Dad had played in first year, and at some point after that, the unwritten rule against it had become a written one. Lily was invited to try out again next year. That Saturday, James let her take his broom up, and he watched from the sidelines as she and Al shot goals against each other. (Al was an annoyingly good Chaser, but still insisted that he preferred his other activities.)

Word came about what they'd be allowed to bring to Beauxbatons. Pets weren't permitted; they would have to use school owls (when James gave Lucia to Dad to use, she seemed decidedly miffed). Broomsticks were encouraged, and a student called Anatole Dessaix was apparently trying to set up regular flying challenges. Robards determined that they could each bring along what they could carry and store in their trunks, which was nearly everything James would be inclined ot bring anyway. Aside from his school things and clothes, he brought pictures of the family, and of Teddy with Victoire and Mira. He also brought the little paperweight Dad had had made for him, with the pooka mane hairs embedded in glass. He left the trunk unlocked, on the hope that his dormitory mates would think to hide things in it for him to find over the course of the year.

They were all tested in the French language, written and spoken, and about half of the students from the Hogwarts contingent, including James, were cleared to take all classes in their year without remediation. James tested further to take Magizoology (his Care of Magical Creatures studies stood him in decent stead, though he didn't test as well as he was used to), Potions (not his best subject, but it was taught by Aunt Fleur's sister), Herbology, Charms, and Defensive Magic. There would also be a special history class, to be taught in English, on French magical history. He'd continue Transfiguration, Astronomy, and Arithmancy with Robards in the Hogwarts carriage, as Hogwarts requirements were quite different in all of those disciplines.

The "Curse of Cedric Diggory" became something of a joke, with people blaming it for everything from poor marks to bad weather. Dad had to cut off the joking about it in Defense Against the Dark Arts on a day in late October.

"Call it a curse if you want to," he said, waving his arm at the terrible rainstorm raging outside the windows. "But leave Cedric Diggory out of it. I promise, he doesn't care how you do on my quizzes."

James waited until the rest of the class left, then went up to the desk, where Dad was staring at a bit of parchment.

"Has someting else happened?" he asked.

Dad looked up. "No. But Amos has apparently been giving interviews to everyone who'll talk to him, saying that the Bogdanov boy was just the start, and Cedric wouldn't allow his memory to be insulted... that sort of thing."

"You don't think Mr. Diggory did anything, do you?"

Dad shook his head, and James understood this answer as, "Not yet."

"All right," James said. "Well, I..." He gestured at the door to indicate that he had a class.

"James?" Dad called before he got to the door.


"Keep your eyes open, will you?"

James nodded and went on to class.

The thirtieth of October leapt up out of nowhere at the end of the month, and ambushed James before he felt at all ready for it.

Despite the fact that it was barely past dawn, all of Gryffindor Tower assembled to see off James, Celia, Simon, and Electa, and wish them luck in being chosen as champion. Lily hugged James and refused to let go until he actually pried her arms off from around his neck. He kissed her cheek and said, "I will absolutely not write to you."

She sniffed. "Yeah. And you'd better not send me any stories, either. And no pictures."

Al came over next, and shook his hand manfully. "I don't fancy being eldest," he said, "so if they put you up against a dragon or whatnot, please beat it."

"I'll try."

"He's going to have werewolf trouble if he doesn't hurry up," Celia called, as Robards was trying to shepard the Gryffindors out of the room. He'd already sent their trunks ahead.

"Watch out for the Curse," Al said dryly.

"Right." James started out, then went back to Al and Lily. "Look, would you let me know what happens with Mr. Diggory back here? Just in case."

Lily smiled, apparently cured of her melancholy by the mere thought of a job. Al nodded more somberly.

James went on to the portrait hole. He looked back one last time. His dormitory mates were standing with Al and Lily, all of them watching him go.

He gave them a jaunty wave, then stepped out into the corridor, closing the portrait behind him.
24 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Got it. :eyeroll: I usually check that, but for whatever reason, I didn't last night!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Amos doesn't want it because he thinks it's an insult to Cedric to start celebrating the tournament that killed him.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: September 12th, 2011 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
James is my sweetie, as you know, but I'm kind of liking Al in this episode!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Al's starting to get more of a personality in my head. He's the right owner for the Cloak--he gets that sometimes, you don't want to be the most visible person in the room.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 12th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

and they're off!

I find strangely amusing this whole sibling competition thing going on between Harry's kids- on who gets what that was handed down from their father, to the quidditch competition. (Al better be in the quidditch team at some point because I swear he keeps being mentioned as such a good player that it would be a waste of talent if he isn't on the team at some point).

and speaking of Al's talents- i predict he is going to be quite at home with that theater club-what's with setting the spooking atmospheric music when James Jr reads the daily prophet on "THE curse"

also *sigh* I still don't think Mr. Diggory has anything to do with the "accidents" (which BTW Bludgers Can and Do sometimes Aim to the head- if i recall Harry took one to the head, courtesy of Mclaggen in sixth year)
but his insistence to anyone who will talk to him that Cedric is Haunting the tournament is beginning to speak badly of him. and i would say that he is speaking rather badly of his own son, if he thinks cedric Would hurt other people to stop the tournament.

the goodbye exchanges between Al, James Jr, and lily jr was very touching. i'm kind of going to miss seeing them all three together till james comes back from the tournament.

onward to Beauxbaton!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: and they're off!

It really is speaking badly on Mr. Diggory's part, but I suspect, to him, he's assuming that Cedric would be as offended as he is--and of course, that Cedric has the power to act.

(Lily was being sarcastic about the Bludgers--of course they hit people... that's what they're there for!)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 12th, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, boy--I can see this whole Cedric Diggory thing kicking into high gear once the Tournament actually starts. And of course, the wizarding press is going to be all over it. Poor Amos--I wonder if he's ever going to find peace.

Liked James's send-off: it was very decent of him to loan the Marauder's Map. I was amused by Lily's feelings of sibling rivalry--"You get this, and Al gets that, so what do I</> get?" Some things never change.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, poor Lily, being youngest, didn't get an heirloom of her own. I mean, she knows she'll have the house (I haven't gotten into it, but the question has been discussed at 12GP and the family is aware that she's most connected to it), but something far in the future isn't a great comfort in one's first year at Hogwarts...
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 12th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

and speaking of going to Beauxbaton....

I just re-read the list of all the classes James want to/plan to take on once he arrives at Beauxbaton for the remaining of the school year/duration of the tournament (including the required hogwarts classes)

HOW is he going to find time to do all that, Plus explore/fly around once in a while PLUS train for the tournament (If he's chosen champion of course- which i'm kind of hoping against and rooting for Celia- as twice the coincidence is too much)

I mean, he doesn't have the luxury of a time-turner like Hermione did when she went on to take too many classes....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: and speaking of going to Beauxbaton....

James is taking the same number of classes--8--that Harry did fourth year (in Harry's case: Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology, CoMC, DADA, Divination, Potions, Astronomy... I think I may even be missing one... oh, right, History of Magic). Harry never let them interfere with his adventures!
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 12th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: and speaking of going to Beauxbaton....

mmm.... for some reason when i read over the list it seemed like a much bigger number of classes.

and speaking of harry- well he never did skipped classes on purpose- just to go on adventures- it was usually the adventure was serious enough that he put it first.

he might be no hermione in academic work- but he didn't came across as pulling the same thing the weasley twins did. ;p
vytresna From: vytresna Date: September 12th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't remember if you incapacitated Xeno or that was someone else, but if you did, who is running the Quibbler these days?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Xeno's still there, but Luna's doing most of the work in addition to her real job. I don't think I'd gotten into it. :D
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 12th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

speaking of this too....

please do clarify what they meant by "Tell me again why the Prophet has the nerve to look down on the Quibbler?"?

i mean it kind of sounding like a diss to it, while i read it.

or is it "the prophet usually makes fun of the quibbler as outlandish and laughable but they're the ones sounding outlanding and laughable"?

i mean at that point in time i would think the quibbler got a bit more varied in topic, and occasional a bit more down to earth?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: speaking of this too....

or is it "the prophet usually makes fun of the quibbler as outlandish and laughable but they're the ones sounding outlanding and laughable"?

Yup, you got it.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 12th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, nice goodbye. I loved the little interactions between the Potter family.

Aaaand, I can't wait to get to Beauxbatons!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me, either!
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: September 12th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I've not commented on this with the exception of the occasional beta comments, but as with all your stories, I am loving this! This one feels like you are more comfortable with the story than you have been in a while. Is that just my imagination?

I love the loving banter of the Potter siblings, but I must say there's not enough Harry for my tastes. I would love more glimpses of adult Harry written by you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I think this one is definitely going more smoothly for me than the first James one did. The plot of the last couple of Teddy stories was a little complex (and of course I was pouting, as the distance from the book meant that there are fewer readers! ;p), but I was okay with them. Stray, of course, went totally off the rails!

This one, I'm just having a little fun, looking forward to visiting Beauxbatons.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I figure the Goblet probably leaned toward those who could speak the language, so they'd be more heavily represented in the group than in the general population.
cleindori From: cleindori Date: September 13th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I find myself loving your Al's sense of humour. Not to mention James and Lily's big bro-little sis relationship is absolutely precious. Too bad James is leaving Hogwarts (and his siblings) behind! ;) Can't wait for the next installment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Al is surprising me--he's not especially like anyone he's related to. (Sort of Harry in the dry tone, but not at all prone to Harry's, er... outbursts.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Really enjoying the story! The Potterlings are just adorable and very sibling-ish. Can't wait for them to actually get to France!

Just random curiosity: is there a reason you don't tag your stories anymore? Just the hp fics tag was great and (not to tell you how to organize your journal!) but if you did do another tag with the title of the story (for some of your long ones), it'd be easier to read without leaving LJ.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I tag the short stories--the long stuff has its own Table of Contents. (Though I haven't added the last four sections yet!)
24 comments or Leave a comment