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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Seven: The Curse of Cedric Diggory, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Seven: The Curse of Cedric Diggory, pt. 2
James is in France. Tournament, possibly cursed. (The evidence so far has been that the man who wanted it re-started, Didier Laurent, was killed in an avalanche, and a bludger hit someone in practice at Durmstrang. Oh, and there was a piece of a photograph in the Goblet of fire which seems to have been of Cedric. Amos, incensed that the tournament that killed his son is being celebrated like some sort of game, is feeding the rumors.)

Everyone's in the dining chamber at Beauxbatons, which has many small-ish tables rather than large house tables like Hogwarts. At Madame Maxime's urging, Beauxbatons students grab the visitors to sit with them. James is sitting with Valentin, Marine, and Yanis, as well as a so-far-unidentified Durmstrang student, and they have rejected a girl named Elodie Lejeune. Celia also seem to be in for trouble, as a letter went out that there would be a werewolf, naming her, and when her table learned who she was, they... weren't terribly excited, though one girl screwed up her courage to start talking again. Everyone else seems to be doing fine. Madame Maxime has just called the feast to order.

I'm representing French in English, as obviously, I'm not going to write the whole thing in French, even though James is speaking it and so are the people he's talking to. I have no idea how a Bulgarian accent comes out in French, and how to represent that in English, so I'm just going to cheat and use the same devices that Rowling used in English to represent it. I recognize there are flaws in the logic.

Table of Contents So Far

James had eaten quite a bit of French food in his life, and never developed much taste for it. Aunt Fleur and Aunt Hermione both were both weary of his preference for English food, and horrified by his liking of hamburger restaurants, though Mum and Dad didn't care one way or another. Nevertheless, he didn't actively dislike most of it, and enjoyed most the feast that Beauxbatons put out, though he skipped the foie gras and frogs. He'd been a bit afraid, after reading about French cuisine, that they'd have cheval--he didn't think he could eat horse--but none was served. As a nod to guests, they'd also made a very ceremonial looking haggis (which no one ate) and a tureen of borscht, which James thought was quite good, in its way, and several German dishes.

No more was said about Celia, or the strange girl named Elodie. The Durmstrang boy turned out to be called Ivaylo Todorov. He was from Bulgaria, and hoped to carry on Krum's tradition. "Though vithout Imperious Curse, I think," he joked.

"My aunt would appreciate that," James said without thinking.

"Your aunt?" Marine asked.

"Fleur Weasley? Well, Delacour, then. She's the one who taught me French. She was the Beauxbatons champion. The one he--" James stopped, realizing that he hadn't given his surname, and the other students at the table were all doing the maths at the moment. That Aunt Fleur and Dad had both married into the same family had, after all, got a bit of press during the run-up to the tournament. He smiled stupidly until they'd worked it out.

"You must also vish to be chosen," Ivaylo said.

"We all do," James told him. "Otherwise we wouldn't be here."

"Who's the little boy?" Marine asked, pointing at Scops, mostly (as far as James could tell) to change the subject. This led to his pointing out of all the Hogwarts students, and naming them. When he reached Celia, he purposely added, "She's probably my best friend here." That cut off any comments they might have about letters they'd got. When he finished, he asked Ivaylo to do the same from Durmstrang.

He pointed at a tail, skinny boy and said, "That is Matej Čupić. He and the girl, Emilija Tomičić, are from Croatia. Veronika Horvat as well. I saw you talking to her?" He looked at James.

"She said hello," James confirmed.

"She is nice. The other two? Eh." He shrugged, and pointed to a stocky girl. "That is Magdalena Dimitrova. She comes from my town. Ve haff known each other a long time. Very smart, Magda." He nodded toward a pair of blond girls. "Katharina Strobel and Lena Otteson," he said. "German. So lucky--they speak their own language in class." He shook his head at this, and James thought it did seem a bit unfair. Hogwarts covered two countries--the U.K. and Ireland--and had handled more before unification, but, by whatever means, all of them were now English majority, and no one he knew of at Hogwarts wasn't taking classes in the language he spoke at home. Ivaylo went on to point out a pair of Poles, Nikta Janowicz and Georgana Kozlak, and a Slovenian boy named Kristjan Kralj (who was preening at his hair when James looked; Ivaylo didn't seem to think much of him). Tatiana Volkova, from Russia had already found a niche with a group of Beauxbatons boys. The last was Anton Bogdanov, whose name James recognized.

"He got hit with the Bludger at Quidditch practice!"

"Yes!" Yanis said. "We heard about that, too! The curse!"

Ivaylo nodded solemnly. "That is vat is being said. That the dead boy does not vish us to celebrate vat killed him."

"Voldemort killed him," James said firmly. "Or had him killed. No one is celebrating Voldemort."

"The dead can be very vengeful!" Valentin said.

"Cedric Diggory has nothing to avenge here," James said, but he could see that they were getting ready to settle into what they considered an excellent ghost story... one he was pretty sure he'd be telling himself if it wasn't about Cedric.

In fact they were just getting comfortable, settling in like they were around a campfire instead of a well-appointed table at Beauxbatons, but Madame Maxime interrupted the conversation by standing up to introduce the judges to the Beauxbatons students (James assumed they had been introduced at Durmstrang as they had at Hogwarts). There was a vast cheer for Dani Villanueva, mostly coming from the boys. Some of the girls seemed to disapprove of her. Copies of Madame Maxime's speech in English and German appeared beside the plates on the tables, but James understood her. (Ivaylo read along in German.)

When she finished, she said, "I would also like us to observe a moment of silence, for Didier Laurent"--here, she looked at Denis Laurent and the well-coiffed older woman he was sitting with, who James realized must be Mrs. Laurent--"and for Cedric Diggory, both of whom ought to be here to celebrate with us."

Everyone was obediently silent until she spoke again.

"There are rumors we've heard--disrespectful ones--regarding Cedric Diggory and his connection to this tournament. I will ask Beauxbatons students not to repeat them, and Professors Robards and Shevchenko have asked me to convey their wishes publicly to Hogwarts and Durmstrang students as well."

James didn't think any of them would have much luck there.

After that, she gave the rules for entering the tournament--it was a binding magical contract, no one should enter who couldn't compete, and they all had twenty-four hours to put their names in the goblet. The goblet itself was placed on a Greek-looking pedestal under the rotunda in the entrance hall, with the two giant witches on the ceiling looking over it.

Though the meal had started quite early, it went on for a very long time. There were many sorts of cakes and and other exotic sweets brought out for pudding. The tables were Vanished after a while, and students and visitors were urged to mingle while a choir of wood nymphs sang for them. ("They usually wait for Christmas!" a Beauxbatons girl to whom James was speaking said when this began).

James casually met dozens of people whose names he was quite sure he'd forget, both from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons.

Around nine o'clock, the first few students went to put their names in the goblet. There was much giggling as various people approached, and James decided he'd wait until there was less of a crowd. Celia, who'd found her way over to him, seemed to be thinking the same thing. The giggling stopped abruptly when Elodie Lejeune marched forward, ignoring everyone around her, and dropped her name in the goblet. She marched away just as smartly, acknowedging no one.

Talk began again. Beauxbatons students gossiped for a few minutes about Elodie, who they acknowledged was a powerful witch, but was not, apparently, known for being much of a champion of Beauxbatons, "No matter how much Madame Maxime has done for her, she hates it!"

At ten o'clock, Professor Robards called together the Hogwarts students, and Professor Shevchenko called the Durmstrang crew. The two schools walked together to the visitors' garden, where fairies now flew around the fountain, lighting up the circle. The river made a soft black line in the night.

Robards led the way back to the train, and they all went in together, tired. There was some desultory talk about whether or not everyone who came had to enter--Scops got the brunt of this because he was so young--but no one seemed willing not to. After a while, they drifted upstairs. The girls disappeared into their dormitory, and the Marauders' portrait opened the door to the boys, but Lupin said, "James... wait outside a minute. Everyone's at Teddy's waiting for news. And I have some as well."

James waved for Scops, who was standing at the door with his head cocked, to go on in, then shut the door. "What news do you have?"

"You first," Lupin said.

"The goblet hasn't chosen anyone yet. It's tomorrow."

"Vivian wants to know how Celia is."

James thought about it. "I think it'll be all right."

"And Fleur wants to know how you like Beauxbatons, and if you've talked to Gabrielle yet."

"Not yet, and I like it. It's... it's quite French."

Lupin laughed. "My turn. Mira's not going to be an only child."

James stepped back, stunned. "Already? But Mira's only six months old!"

"I know it's an advanced calculation," Granddad said, "but there's actually going to be more space between Mira and the new baby than there is between you and Al."

"Wow," James said. It was all he could think of to say. "Er... congratulations."

"I'll convey your great joy," Lupin said sarcastically, slipping away.

"Big day," Granddad said.


"Well, try to calm down." Granddad sat down on the pavement in front of Sirius's motorbike (Sirius was apparently at Teddy's), close to the frame. "You're usually excited about a change in the weather. Why not now?"

"I'm tired. It's a long trip."

"That's all?"

James thought of all the beautiful things that Madame Maxime had put together, about the carefully built visitors' garden, about the fine paintings on the ceilings. "I don't know. I just thought Aunt Fleur was just being silly, about Hogwarts being second-rate, but I don't think we did all of this, and we don't have people on the ceiling and wood nymphs and--"

"It's a castle, not a palace," Granddad said. "And don't start thinking that marble and wood nymphs make a better place."

"Then what does?"

"Does anything need to? Every place is itself. Good things, bad things."

"They're not very fond of Celia."

"Ah. So that's the problem."

"And a girl named Elodie."

"Lots of girls. When Moony comes back, should I send him with more news?"


"Come on, all of these girls, you must fancy one of them..."

James rolled his eyes and said what Sirius always did when Granddad started needling him: "You know I'm pining away for McGonagall. Can I go to bed now?"

The portrait opened the door, and let James inside. Most of the other boys were already shut behind their curtains, but Scops was still up. Despite the long day, neither of them felt like sleeping, so they played Exploding Snap until Horace Goyle threatened to curse both of them back to Scotland if they didn't quiet down.
29 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: September 23rd, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, my. James being mature and speaking fluent French, I don't think I can stand it! I'm liking the new characters and can't wait to see which ones turn out to be important, and how.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm looking forward to it as well.
mollywheezy From: mollywheezy Date: September 23rd, 2011 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love how James stood up for Celia!

The Marauders' portrait is made of WIN. I love how they are communicating through it, especially the news that Mira will have a sibling. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think they're all excited about the Marauder family growing...
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 23rd, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, it's so ODD to read about James talking to James! And I still can't get used to the word granddad going with James (who is still a boy lolling about under a tree after OWLs, in my head). So odd.

On the other hand, I'm glad we get to see more of Scops.

I hope Elodie gets chosen! I'm sure you already chose, though. I came across an oldish fic of yours about James at the Tournament, getting a visit from Ruth. I wonder how much of that stays the same and how much you changed...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
A few things are going to change (though only one I can think of already is that they're not staying in a guest tower). Other stuff, I'm still considering.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 23rd, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

even the food is interesting

seems the french will try everything, if they can; mean Horse? I knew horse used to be made into glue in the old, old days- but not eat it. eurgh.

can't really understand why hermione would have a problem with james liking English food, but Hermione is english so....

quite perplexed on victoire expecting Another baby, and so soon.

more space between mira and the baby than James and Al? how? i thought the space between Al and James was a year and a half?

surprised at how people are caring so much about James fancying a girl, they didn't made such a fuss over harry (unless you are mrs. weasley)

good chaplet

~Alex Wells
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: even the food is interesting

She's not so much horrified that James likes English food, but that he considers it superior to French food.

Why perplexed? By the time she has the baby, they'll be fifteen months apart or so--the same as Ron and Ginny. James is 13 months older than Al. It's really not a very strange spacing there.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 23rd, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

I like it!!!

Beauxbaton seems to be a nice, charming in place (although I'm a bit offended on Behalf of Hogwarts by james jr so easily taken in by the slick and shiny anfdd pretty french decor. Hogwarts might be a bit less elegant in its structure but it's Elegant and breath-taking in it's own way. Plus it can be Just as impressive- i mean considering the Feasts and christmas- and the Yule ball....)

glad to see that there is potential for Celia not to be so marginalized- i hope

do really hope too that at some point the students would get into their thick heads that cedric's ghost has nothing to do with the weird- and listen to the people that actually Knew cedric better than they did (not counting Amos who is having loads of issues that make him highly unreliable)...

Can't Wait to see the classes!)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I like it!!!

I had to explain why James was acting so down. ;p

Seriously, it wasn't just the marble and art and wood nymphs--it was the grand reception that they got, which he's heard enough about Harry's tournament year to know wasn't how it was at Hogwarts. (Harry, being Harry and in a lower year than the other champions, probably didn't get to see a lot of the social things that were encouraged.)
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 23rd, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)


well other than the beauxbaton and durstrang students seeming to be very nice....

(oh, and thanks for writting in english now- i don't know much of french other than merci and Excuse moi- so trying to understand the purely french sentences was hard- as babble fish was not entirely reliable now...)

but my question was- why would james jr and Celia wait for everyone to go to look at the goblet? are they submitting their names Again? wouldn't the goblet already include them in the pool for potential champion?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: question-

That's about the limit of my French, too.

Like James said, they're waiting for the Goblet so that people don't point and whisper. And we know from GoF that the visiting students all had to put their names in.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

forgot to comment on a couple of things....

1. good for James Jr. to stick out for Celia, and defend the "Cedric is not haunting the tournament".

I know it's probably not likely, since Cedric's soul deserves his peace, but i kind of wish he appeared as a ghost and not only spook people in the middle of their "the ghost of cedric diggory is messing with the tournament!" but give them a talk to about him Not wanting to ruin the tournament.

2. re-reading this sentence caught my attention-"
"No matter how much Madame Maxime has done for her, she hates it"

Well look at that Elodie has become more interesting.....

wait.... is she the beauxbaton girl who went with Greyback? or is something else going on with her?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: forgot to comment on a couple of things....

No. The Beauxbatons girl who went with Greyback--Mathilde Dubois--died at the end of Hunter's Moon. Greyback killed her. That's all about eight years ago now. ;p

starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 23rd, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: forgot to comment on a couple of things....


don't remember much of hunter's moon. should probably re-read it. ;)

wait- Dubois, dubois, that name sounds really familiar outside of the whole werewolf in hunter moon issue....

does anyone else we know goes by Dubois?

so okay, she's not a secret werewolf.

let the speculation begin...
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 23rd, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: forgot to comment on a couple of things....

The name Dubois makes my mind jump to Allison Dubois, the main character from the TV show Medium. And look at what Google says now, she's a real person!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice to see James getting on so well, socially--he's more gregarious than Harry, I think, so even if he's not picked to compete, he should have an enjoyable time at Beauxbatons all the same. Wonder why Elodie hates the place? I could be way off base, but I'm getting an almost Geoffrey Phillips-like vibe off her, now that I know she doesn't like the school she's attending.

Looking forward to finding out the Goblet's choices!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 24th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I think James will have a good time being forced out of his usual routines--he likes the unexpected a little more than Harry did.
oliversgal07 From: oliversgal07 Date: September 23rd, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Comparing the Feasts

I have to admit I was thinking the same thing as James when comparing Hogwarts to Beaubatons. We saw that feast through the eyes of Harry, who has been to quite a few feasts and probably didn't notice anything new or shiny. Fluer commented that it wasn't as "good" as Beaubatons but perhaps that was just posturing to cover up inadequacies.

Anyway, If you take a step back and look at both feasts from an outsiders perspective I bet they were on par with pomp and circumstance. I go back to when Harry first saw the great hall in SS/PS. Details were mentioned but in GOF we don't get to see the details because Harry didn't pay attention to them.

I just hope James' envy doesn't effect him.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 24th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Comparing the Feasts

There may be a lot of things James didn't notice, but I did note that there wasn't any mention of translation for any of the visiting students, and the feast seemed very much like other Hogwarts feasts (except for the bouillabaisse). I think that going to something that's obviously designed to impress is going to have that effect for a while, until James realizes, at least, that it's just a school, where people do the same stupid things they do at Hogwarts. And I think he'll miss the Peeves spirit of chaos (as Fleur points out, Beauxbatons would expel a poltergeist "like zat," if one appeared).
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 23rd, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now I'm curious whether James will fancy a girl. I mean, we know who he ends up with, but will there be a girl his own age before then? Hard to imagine him going through all of school without dating. Or when does he start to fancy Ruth? I suppose there could be a period of time when he liked her enough to not be interested in other girls, even if he couldn't exactly start dating her. I'm curious to find out.

- SL
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 24th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I can promise some news on the girl front this year.
beceh From: beceh Date: September 23rd, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't commented much, but I'm really enjoying this story :)

Edited at 2011-09-23 07:54 pm (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 24th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.
a_blue_jay From: a_blue_jay Date: September 23rd, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really nice chapterlet. I quite like the moment when everyone realizes who James' dad is. "Your aunt? ...Oh. Oh. Um. Change of subject, quick!"
I'm glad James makes his attitude towards Celia and towards the so-called curse so clear right away. *gives James a pat on the back*
Would there be any sort of reaction to Scops? Or do they not really care about the war in France, and so don't recognize the name "Malfoy"?
Regarding Elodie: I'm leaning towards the hypothesis that everyone is just being ridiculous about her, and she's just socially awkward.

things I caught:
"and a tureen of borscht,"?
"The Durmstrang boy turned out to be called Ivaylo Todorov." (not Beauxbatons).
When Madame Maxine is talking, you have these sentences:
"Some of the girls seemed to disapprove of her. Copies of her speech in English and German appeared beside the plates on the tables, but James understood her."
I assume that the first 'her' refers to Dani, and thereafter, 'her' refers to Madame Maxine, but it's definitely a little confusing.
"pedastal" should probably be spelled "pedestal". :P
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 24th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)

I think it's fashionable on the continent, at this point, to treat the Voldemort war as some random British thing that didn't affect them, so it's quite possible that they know only the names of the ones who are currently active in international issues. I doubt they have any idea who the Carrows were, either, so Abby should also get a reprieve (though being a more distant relative, some variety of cousin, she doesn't get it as badly as Scops does at Hogwarts). The adults would know who he is.
a_blue_jay From: a_blue_jay Date: September 25th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)
That makes sense.

Btw, I meant to say this originally, but I forgot. I'm from Russia, originally, so if at any point you need a reference for Russian culture or language, feel free to ask. (Since you have German as the Durmstrang language, it seems unlikely that you'll need much, if anything, but if you do...)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm thinking the champion is going to be one of the Croats, but James might well make friends with one of the Russians. (I can sound out the Cyrillic alphabet phonetically, but that's actually all I remember about the Russian lessons my Spanish teacher gave me during lunch periods in high school.)
sidealong From: sidealong Date: September 26th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)


What sort of math is involved in figuring out that James must be Harry's son?

I'm confused. I think the revelation that Fleur is his Auntie is enough for everyone to know he's related to Harry, but not how closely he's related...?

One bit of advice, we're all familiar with the Hogwarts setting, so you don't usually have to do too much scenery description. But some descriptions of ornate gold bright white, etc. will help us visualize the architecture. I would've liked to feel a little more of the sense of wonder and amazement that is overwhelming when experiencing a beautiful new place. (Of course I'm an Architecture major, so I love buildings and plants!)

I'm mostly just excited about the characters and the plot, but some setting helps us visualize it better. Thanks again for sharing your talents with us. It makes my day to read a segment! So fun.
29 comments or Leave a comment