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Batch 9: Holiday (2) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 9: Holiday (2)
more Alderman! with the potter kids and/or Harry helping set up christmas stuff and talking for Isa
[I think I'm going to stick with young Alderman here, because I haven't done much with how he got from where he was to where he ends up.]

Harry sat down across the Burrow's kitchen table from Bob Alderman, and pulled away the Charms book he'd been immersed in.

"Hey! I have to do that! I'm almost through fourth year!"

"It's Christmas," Harry said. "If I can pull my nose out of reports on Death Eaters, you can get out of Charms for a while. Come on, I promised Molly we'd get the garlands on the bannister." He pointed to the stairs.

"Okay, right. And I can use my Charms for that!"

Harry shook his head. Alderman had tried Hogwarts, but he hadn't been prepared for any classes with his age-mates, and had felt out of place with the younger children. Hermione had taken to tutoring him privately, but even she didn't have the time to tutor him as much as he needed--she was working on her own N.E.W.T.s, after all, and she was also trying to help Hagrid get his qualifications. As a result, Alderman had taken to directing his own education, haunting teachers whenever he could, and burying himself in books. He had even postponed going back to his mother in France so that Ginny could help him with his Astronomy. He had some kind of gift for languages, having already mastered French and making good progress with Latin. But he still had a harried, frantic look about him, like he couldn't push enough knowledge into his brain, no matter how fast he learned.

They reached the stairs, and Alderman pointed his wand. He concentrated hard, then hissed. "I still can't do the damned non-verbal ones."

"It took me an age," Harry said.

"I'm only a year younger than you."

"But you've only been at school half a year."

"Lupin taught me earlier. If I can't pass--"

Alderman let that thought hang, and Harry understood. "He wouldn't expect you to get seven years meshed into... what, three?"

"I want to. I want to show everyone that... you know." He narrowed his eyes at the bannister, and a brief, glimmering sparkle went up the stairs then disappeared.

An image came into Harry's head, of Remus standing behind Neville, looking at the rattling wardrobe in the teacher's lounge. It stabbed at him, as memories often seemed to this year, but it also nudged him in a warm, familiar way. He smiled. "I think you can do it."


"Don't think about it like you're thinking the word instead of saying it. Just... try thinking about what you want to do. What you'd be using the word to accomplish."

Alderman tilted his head. "The word then... it's really just for focus?"

"I'm not sure about that--Flitwick is very keen on pronunciation, so it can't just be that. But I think the spells that can be done nonverbally, it's a question of really understanding what the spell is, and what does. Make it a part of you."

Alderman raised an eyebrow. "Garlands are a part of me?"

"Why wouldn't they be?" Harry wasn't entirely sure this was the right approach, but he had a feeling that Alderman was so focused on language as words that he was being too literal about the meanings of spells to make them work.

Alderman looked at him steadily. "Do you mean to be a teacher? Because you'd be very good at it."

"I've thought about it. But... no. I can't." Alderman continued looking at him steadily and silently, making Harry uneasy. "Er... there's a lot to do. And the classroom. And the office. I couldn't."

"It doesn't have to be in the classroom."

"Right." Harry bit his lip. "Let's try it again. I use Semper Viridis."

Alderman rolled his eyes. "Shouldn't that just turn the bannister green forever?"

Harry laughed, and they went on with the decorations.

just the trio enjoying some Christmas cheer. for Anon
"You didn't have to come here!" Harry said, clearing away the clutter in the entrance hall so Ron and Hermione could come in. "I don't think I'm going to spend long. Don't even really know why I'm here."

"What better place for Christmas Eve than Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place?" Ron asked. "It positively screams holiday cheer." He pointed his wand at the curtains around Mrs. Black's portrait, and a holly wreath appeared.

"This is turning into a habit," Hermione said, lighting the lamps down the corridor. Kreacher poked his head out from the kitchen and smiled at her. She handed him a wrapped package, and he disappeared down to his cupboard, gibbering gleefully about "Presents for Kreacher..."

"What did you get him?"

"He's been going on about those perpetual cauldron brushes--the bristles re-grow after you break them scrubbing, and... well, you know how he is. 'Kreacher can clean without breaking brushes, Kreacher doesn't need fancy new things--'"

From downstairs, a whoop of joy came up as Kreacher discovered his treasures.

"Have you told him you mean to sell the place?" Ron asked quietly.

Harry's heart sank. "Not yet. I can't really. It has a lot of memories for him." Ron and Hermione looked at each other; Harry knew that look. They'd been talking about him. "What is it?" he asked.

"Well, mate, it's just... it's been three years now. Every year, you say you're going to get the place cleaned out, and sell it, and find a place out in the country."

"There's a lot to clean out. Not just the damage the Death Eaters did on the upper floors when they broke in, you know? The Blacks had a lot of booby traps, and even just their things. The tapestry. The portrait. It won't come down, and would you want...?" He pointed his thumb at Mrs. Black, who had been suspiciously quiet of late.

Hermione smiled. "Harry, there are ways around that. And you know it."

"There are regular repairs, too. Splintered wood on bannisters, and creaky floorboards, and--"

Ron laughed. "Give it a rest, mate. You're never going to sell this house."

"I'm sure someone would buy it."

"So are we," Hermione said. "That's not what Ron said." She took off her jacket, hung it on the coat tree by the door and went into the parlor. "Now, shall we put the tree by the front window, or over at the piano?"


Hermione Conjured a large fir tree in the corner by the window and began draping it with silver garlands.

Ron produced a brightly wrapped package. "Brought you something. It's from all of Dumbledore's Army."

Curiously, Harry took the present. "Shouldn't I wait until tomorrow?"

"You'll be at Andromeda's with Teddy tomorrow. It'll be a bit late. Go on, open it."

Harry tore off the paper. Inside was a plain cardboard box, with no markings. He opened it.

Inside, there was a pile of more wrapped items, each about the size of his fist.

Hermione finished the garland and started creating little floating lights among the branches. "Go on, Harry. We've been working on this for a month."

He opened the first. It had a little card saying "Merry Christmas from Padma and Parvati!" Inside was a large round ornament. Inside, there was an animated scene of the Patil twins skating merrily around at the park between here and King's Cross. They waved at him cheerfully.

"Are you going to put it on the tree or not?" Ron asked.

Slowly, Harry Levitated the ornament to the middle branches of the tree. The next one was from Luna, and showed a bright creature Harry took to be a heliopath, wearing a red and white hat and standing in front of the house. An ornament from Ernie Macmillan was a fanciful recreation of the family tree, with the names of all the members of Dumbledore's Army glittering. George gave him a large extendable ear, hanging off a miniature third floor bannister, and Hannah Abbott's was the front door with a large wreath on it. Lavender Brown was a decorated key, and Lee Jordan's, a scene around a radio in the parlor ("We gave everyone pictures to work from," Hermione explained). One after another, the ornaments came out, most showing happy scenes in the house or the neighborhood, the others, like Lavender's, showing symbols of home. He reached the bottom of the box, where there were only two packages left. He opened the first.

It wasn't an ornament, but a photograph of Ginny, standing by the door, her engagement ring flashing in the sun. She waved and mimed opening the door.

Harry looked at this for a long time. The idea that he'd be able to get Ginny to move into this old place hadn't even occurred to him. He Levitated the picture to the wall, and affixed it above the piano with a Sticking Charm.

The last package was the biggest.

"That's from us," Hermione said. "Just tying it all together."

Harry unwrapped it. Inside the package was a shimmering star for the top of the tree. In its shiny surface, he could see the three of them reflected over and over, laughing together, working with Kreacher in the kitchen downstairs, being happy here. And...

He looked up. "Is that Sirius?"

Hermione nodded. "When he was singing that Christmas we spent here. Remember?"

"'God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs.'"

"Mm-hmm. I worked in some of the same magic as a Pensieve, though it doesn't work the same way. It'll pick up all the happy memories you make here. Give it a few years, and they'll all be moving so fast, it'll sparkle."

Harry watched the images for a long time--Lupin joined in, opening presents. Andromeda singing outside. Molly cooking downstairs. Dumbledore grinning.

He laughed, and sent it to the top of the tree.

The house looked brighter already.
8 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 31st, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
the first one felt like today fern. the cramming of everything into one moment, the mix of the old and the new, the broken and the promising....

but in the end it made me smile because it's hopeful.

thank you

hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: December 31st, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oof, the tree topper made me cry! So sweet.
hymnia From: hymnia Date: January 1st, 2012 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
If your goal was to make me cry, your score is two out of two. Good job! ;)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: January 1st, 2012 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, little tear!

Happy New Year's Day, Fern. I hope you have a good one!
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 1st, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
i dont know what to think about the second one, it's sad but it's happy.
but it was very trio-like. being there for each other and overcomming the sad things

the thing with the star was very sweet.

reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: January 1st, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, all these holiday ones were nice. I love the idea of that star. And Alderman's intense eagerness to learn.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: January 6th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Grimauld Place

I always wondered why Harry chose to stay in Grimmauld Place instead of getting that place in the country, with room for broom flying in the back yard. I guess it's not canon that he stays. But I did enjoy the happy memories and meaningful tree decorating! : )
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 6th, 2013 10:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Test, just a test

Hello. And Bye.
8 comments or Leave a comment