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Batch 18: Canon Era (9) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 18: Canon Era (9)
I found my copy of DH. At the bottom of a laundry basket. I have no idea how it ended up there. Anyway, time to get some of those done.

whatever happened when Ron was caught by the snatchers in DH. for hp_gal
Idiot, Ron thought to himself as he stumbled through the woods.

What woods?

He wasn't sure. All he knew was that he wasn't in the place he'd left. It wasn't raining, though there was a wet, sickly feel in the air like the storm had already been through.

The hot core of anger that had been burning in his chest had dissipated almost as soon as he took the locket off. He'd stormed off, thinking that he could get rid of the images in his head if he could just walk them off, let them wash away in the cold autumn rain. He wouldn't have Disapparated, except that Hermione was chasing after him, and he was afraid that he'd say something even worse if she didn't let him just bloody calm down, now that the locket was elsewhere.

The locket... the damned locket.

When he had it on, it seemed to make things stand out, things that he never paid attention to. The way Hermione worried about Harry all the time, the way Harry leaned on her. The way neither of them cared a whit what Ron had to say.

The way neither of them had a reason to.

Maybe that, most of all. Ron felt like useless baggage while they ran through their possible scenarios. Once he knew a goal, he could usually think his way to it. That was chess--an objective, a strategy, tactics. He'd expected to do that. Harry would have the information and the mission. Hermione would figure out how it all fit together. Ron would work out the practical matters. But Harry didn't have any information, which meant there was nothing for Hermione to figure out, and no place at all for Ron.

At first, he and Hermione had talked about it, trying to think of a way to gently prod Harry for information which they were sure he had. But Hermione had determined that Harry needed "moral support," rather than questions that might feel like an attack. She'd shifted her determination from solving the problem to caring for Harry, and acted like anything Ron did in that area was worthless. With the locket on, it had all seemed very clear why.

Without the locket, the why of it seemed less obvious. She'd never said a thing about wanting Harry to love her. They'd been constantly together for six years without either of them so much as hinting at it. What if it was something else?

What if Hermione was just doing what she always did--making a guess at how someone else ought to feel, then acting as if her way of dealing with it was the way it ought to be done? His mind kept trying to take him back to the Burrow, to asking Harry if he wanted to play Quidditch, and Hermione's horrified, "Harry doesn't want to play Quidditch!" But Harry had wanted to, and hadn't wanted to have the long and meaningful talk that Hermione wanted.

He didn't know why that seemed important... except that when it came to moral support, Harry had needed Ron's way. Not Hermione's.

Harry needed him not to be there as a last ditch tactician. He needed him there as he'd needed him all along--to keep him from going mental under stress.

So instead, Ron had gone mental himself.

Not helpful.

He sat down on a wet log and took a deep breath. It was time to let it go. To be the person he was needed to be. To stop complaining about the food and the cold and the endless camping. Maybe Harry could even do with jokes about the camping.

Pleased with his decision, and much calmer, Ron stood up, meaning to Apparate back to the camp, beg forgiveness, and get things back to normal. Hopefully, they wouldn't have decided to move. They knew about the locket. They knew that he'd be back, and if they moved, with all the spells, he'd never track them. It would be better not to hold them up, though. They'd be angry enough at his outburst. He--

"Over there!"

Ron turned just as one yelled, "Expelliarmus!" and Ron was so far off guard that his wand had flown away before he even know about it.

He'd missed the shuffling sound in the leaves, thinking about his plans. There were men around him in a loose circle. Men in shabby robes. Men with nasty looks on their faces.

"Looks about right, don't he?" one of them asked.

"School age and not in school," another said. "That there's illegal even he's not a Mudblood or a blood-traitor."

"Who are you?" he asked.

"That's our question," one of the men said. "But as we haven't been introduced proper, we're Snatchers, and you're out of school without permission, whatever else you are. That ain't a lot of gold, but it'll do for a decent supper."


"We work for the Ministry. You been away?"

"No... er, yes, on holiday," Ron said, completely flustered. In all the camping, somehow they'd managed to miss this. Snatchers... Ted Tonks and Dean had talked about Snatchers last night... and if they were going after someone as innocuous as Tonks's dad, they'd be after Harry Potter's best friend like Seekers on a quick Snitch. Ron cast around for a name, any name, that they'd think was on their side. "I'm Stan Shunpike!" he said, pulling out the first one that came to mind. "I used to drive the Knight Bus. Helped out with the raid on Potter's house!"

The Snatchers looked at each other. They did not, thankfully, appear to be possessed of superior intelligence.

"Could be Stan..." the one who had Ron's wand said.

"It ain't Stan," another said. "Stan's skinnier. I know him, I think."

"He mighta bulked up."

They drew the circle in closer, examining Ron. The one who had his wand seemed to be thinking things over very slowly.

Ron thought more quickly. If he could get his wand and get clear of them, he could make a run for a hollow he could see just beyond the stand of trees. There would be enough room to aim at them and slow them down, and he could Disapparate without risking one of them grabbing hold. First, get them closer. Then grab his wand, and one of theirs--take down a bit of their power. Run for the hollow. Disapparate. Find Harry and Hermione, and go on.

He bit his lip, trying to bring Stan Shunpike's face into his head. He'd looked a little blank during the battle at Little Whinging. "Reckon something must've hit me in that battle," he said. "I been forgetting things. Like staying out of your way."

"I heard he was a little off..." one of them said.

"Yeah," Ron said, scrimping for anything that would make them look closer. "I think, er... I think Potter hit me with a spell. I got a scar! Look!" He lowered the neck of his jumper, where he had a scratch from the locket chain.

It worked. They moved in.

Ron pistoned out one leg and kicked the Snatcher who had his wand. The man crumpled, making a break in their circle. Before they could recover, Ron jumped on him, grabbed both wands, and ran. He didn't look back. He didn't dare--it would slow him down. He ran into the hollow, lost his balance on the slope (which was slicked down with wet, fallen leaves), and rolled painfully to the bottom. There'd been no time to cast a Shield Charm or anything else, and the Snatchers were running at him, firing curses.

There was no time to think.

Ron Disapparated.

He came to in a place he didn't recognize, his hand an agony. Two bloody crescents had appeared where his fingernails had been. He could only hope that his intuition about the Snatchers' intelligence was right, and they weren't really experienced Dark Wizards who'd know half a dozen things they might do to him if they searched the leaves for his fingernails. There certainly was no time to go back.

And he wasn't sure how to go forward.

He was along the bank of a river, probably the one they'd camped near, but the terrain didn't look the same. He didn't know whether he was upriver or downriver from them. He tried Apparating again, but only got few meters down the bank. Hermione's spells were good. He hadn't kept track of coordinates--the best he could do was the general vicinity. He stared at the river in frustration.

Something bobbed in the water.

He ran out and picked it up.

It was nothing... nothing that mattered. Just a Gryffindor lion, scribbled onto a piece of parchment, starting to run after being in the current.

Ron recognized the drawing--Dean had done it on many banners for many Quidditch games.

Dean had been camping near them, the drawing had come down river.

Gratefully, Ron turned and walked against the current, along the wild river bank, ignoring the rocks that tried to twist his ankles and the little crawling things on the ground that tickled up under his trousers. He deserved the discomfort. He kept walking. The moon went down, leaving the night bare and dark, then somehow, the sun was rising. He still hadn't reached them, and he was sure he hadn't passed them in the night. He kept going. He didn't dare call out to them--calling for people named Harry and Hermione might not be the best idea, and he supposed he would need to tell them that they oughtn't go off yelling for each other anymore.

When he got back.

The sun rose higher. He looked around frantically. There was a small circle of ash on the ground--nothing Harry and Hermione would have left, they were more careful than that. But there were little fish bones as well. The others--Dean, Tonks's dad, the goblins...

He glanced up, and now he recognized the land, the trees. On one tree, a single piece of bark had been peeled away, leaving a painfully bright bare place on the trunk. It was a foolish risk, but he knew what it meant.

He'd reached the spot.

And they were gone.

maybe during DH? the whole smuggling muggleborns? for SophieMinerva
"I'm not going anywhere," Colin Creevey said, slamming his English literature textbook shut. He was wearing the Smeltings uniform and carrying the knobbly stick... or what looked like the knobbly stick. Remus strongly suspected he'd disguised his wand in it, but he had at least been wise enough not to actually use magic in the middle of a Muggle environment, though a suspicious number of accidents had happened at the Ministry during the many times his protectors had lost track of him.

"Colin, it's not safe here. We've just got word that you and Dennis can travel with a man called Andrew Jinks. He's about Headmaster Blythe's age, so we're going to use those papers. He'll be traveling to a resort in Florida with Blythe's grandsons, who are the right age for you and your brother--"

"Find another sixteen year old," Colin said. "Get Dennis out of here, but I'm staying. There's a fight, and I'm going to be in it. I'm not hiding away in bloody Florida singing about how it's a small world after all while the Death Eaters kill everyone back here."

"Don't be an idiot," Alan Garvey grumbled from behind his copy of the Daily Prophet, which he was scanning for clues of other Muggle-borns on the run. "Start doing what Lupin says instead of what he's doing."

Remus turned around, frustrated. Alan had been on him to leave since he'd found out about the war. "Alan, I'm an adult, I have to stay. Colin is sixteen."

Colin stood up, his eyes narrowed. "They murdered my dad," he said coldly. "Pulled him out of his milk truck and killed him for having two Muggle-born sons. They left me a letter. Do you need to see it again?"

Remus didn't. The letter had come on the day that Colin and Dennis's Hogwarts letters for the year ought to have come. It had accused Mr. Creevey of theft of magic, or possibly imprisoning a pure-blood witch to produce his sons. (It was, Remus thought, a very unusual circumstance, though not an unprecedented one.) Either way, the crime carried a death sentence, as far as Rabastan Lestrange was concerned. Colin had taken Dennis on the run, and Remus had found him quite by accident, roaming the Cotswalds. Colin had agreed, for Dennis's sake, to hide in the safe house and stay undercover at Smeltings--it was the easiest place to hide children, since, without Dudley there, the Death Eaters had no reason to suspect such a Muggle place. It also maintained some sort of normalcy for them. They were passing themselves off as new scholarship students called Charles and David Anderson. But Colin, in particular, made Remus nervous. Voldemort had once Petrified him, albeit through a possession he might not remember. The safest place for the Creevey boys was out of the country, where they could stay until after the war. Voldemort was too busy with local insurrections to try bringing in Muggle-borns from other countries.

"Colin," he said, "right now, you need to think about your safety. And your brother's safety. You're all he has."

"And we're all our dad has to speak for him."

"If you think your dad wouldn't want you safe, that's because you've never been a father."

"You're not yet, either."

"Trust me," Remus said. "I've been a father since I found out the baby was coming. And I've looked after other children before that. A father's job is to worry about getting his children someplace safe."

"And a son's job is make sure the people who killed his father pay for it." Colin looked at his literature textbook. "Open this one up, and see which one of those things tends to play out more."


"And besides, you're not sending your own kid away."

"We can't get Dora past the borders," Remus said, deciding not to engage Colin's not-entirely-incorrect perception that Dora wasn't about to leave her mother alone, at least not until they'd found Ted, either. "And she's staying safe. A lot safer than you've been."

Colin looked a bit wrong-footed. "What...?"

"The collapsed staircase at the Ministry? The fire in Dolores Umbridge's office?"

Colin paled. "You... know about that?"

"You just confirmed my suspicions." Remus sat down across from him and sighed. "Colin, I do know. And frankly, I'd like to know how you're getting in there, so we can all stage a few actions."

Alan flipped his paper down angrily. "Lupin, you have enough on your plate without putting yourself in the middle of a sabotage action." He pointed around the large room in the safe house. "All of these people? They're counting on you. Don't lecture the boy about doing idiotic things, and then ask how you can get in on them."

"He's right," Colin said. "They need you alive here. No one really needs me."

"Dennis does."

"Dennis wants me alive. There's a difference. He'd make it on his own."

"If you stay here, Dennis won't leave, either. You're putting him in danger."

Colin stood up again, and went to the stairs that led up to the wing where most of the Muggle-borns were. He stopped and turned. "Dennis helped me with the staircase," he said. "Just so you know." He turned again and went on upstairs.

"Tie him up and throw him on a cargo ship," Alan suggested. "He'll hate you, but he'll be alive to do it."

Remus shook his head. He'd talk to Colin again in the morning.

Unfortunately, when morning came, the Creeveys failed to appear for breakfast. Remus went up to the room they shared. Dennis had been gently bound with a light hex.

Colin had vanished entirely.
11 comments or Leave a comment
alkari From: alkari Date: January 20th, 2012 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Remus ought to know better than to try arguing with a Gryffindor!
From: ladashinista Date: January 20th, 2012 09:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I really like seeing some background on Colin, it makes him seem much more a real character than in canon. I also love Remus in your canon-era ficlets :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 20th, 2012 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
the Ron one was really nice and it put things into perspective.

made feel even worse about poor Ron and his not feeling worthy. but he's mature to want to go back and apologize still.


From: (Anonymous) Date: January 20th, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
what happened to colin and dennis's Mom? was she killed too? :(
beceh From: beceh Date: January 20th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's never mentioned in Canon... I always assumed that Mr Creevey was a single dad.
beceh From: beceh Date: January 20th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful, as usual :)
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: January 21st, 2012 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Colin... Lionheart to the core!
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 21st, 2012 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Colin . . . .

I am between wanting to cry and wanting to knock some sense into him with as much brute force as necessary (OK, my idea of brute force would be knocking him out and putting him on the boat for some place safe).

From: (Anonymous) Date: January 22nd, 2012 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
the colin one was heartbreaking. I had never thought how deep the DE takeover could go. poor mr. Creevey. (is that something Rowling said? that mr. creevey got killed?)

and it was worse knowing what happens to colin in the end.

poor remus how hard he tried, and it wasnt good enough for a gryffindor who was stubborn and wanted vengance

qslow From: qslow Date: January 27th, 2012 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I know it is late to make this comment, but the Ron story has stayed with me. It is just so much more interesting, especially in the characterization, than anything in that whole part of DH, that I had to come back and tell you how much I liked it. Thank you for these, and for writing them so well and so heartfelt, even when the topic falls into the more difficult story arcs.

mirandabeth From: mirandabeth Date: March 19th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw, I want to hear more about what happened to Colin, now. I love how well you pull interesting stories out of background characters - I mean, Harry Potter in general is so rich in detail that it's very natural to do, but still.
11 comments or Leave a comment