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Batch 28: Minor Characters (1) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 28: Minor Characters (1)
someone said in a blog that Harry's classmates would be really pissed, and hateful of Harry for being accepted to work as an auror right after the war, while they had to go and do NEWTS. write on wether or not you think that's the case, or if they would be understanding of harry's circumstances (susan bones, seamus finnigan, ernie mcmillan, etc for Abby
The eight of them were in the bowels of the Ministry, gathered around a table, going through stacks of papers that reached to their heads. Susan Bones thought it felt like any other gathering in their year--she and Ernie from Hufflepuff; Tracey Davis from Slytherin; Michael Corner, Lisa Turpin, and Mandy Brocklehurst from Ravenclaw; Parvati Patil and Seamus Finnegan from Gryffindor. They'd all apprenticed in different Ministry departments, and they'd all been hijacked by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement to process the paperwork on the Death Eaters the Aurors were bringing in by the sledful. It looked like a particularly dull revision session for a difficult N.E.W.T.

"I can't believe they just gave Potter the job," Michael Corner muttered, stacking depositions for tomorrows round of arraignments. "They should make him at least finish school first, even if they fudge the N.E.W.T. score requirements."

Susan rolled her eyes. "Yes, Harry'd be much more useful sitting in Binns's class than going after Dark wizards. And that whole bit with defeating Voldemort was totally an inadequate substitute for a good mark in Defense Against the Dark Arts."

The others around the table laughed. Even Michael grinned.

Mandy shook her head. "You know, there are people actually saying it."

"Slytherins?" Susan asked.

"Hey!" Tracey feigned offense, though she was generally the first to start abusing her House-mates. ("It's good if I don't let other people get ahead of me on condemning Slytherin," she'd explained to Susan once. "I'll seem much more forward-thinking.")

Susan grabbed a stack of papers from the Aurors' office, about half in Harry's quick, crooked scrawl. She squinted at it. "Maybe they should have made him take some penmanship classes. God, did he write this with his specs off?"

"Have you seen Ron's?" Hannah asked, holding up an even more ridiculous example.

"I'll see your mad teenagers," Parvati said, "and raise you the Minister for Magic." She turned around a fully illegible document filled out by Kingsley Shacklebolt.

"What is it with girls and handwriting?" Seamus grumbled. "You were on me about it as well."

"One's hand does say a good deal about him," Ernie offered. "For instance, Neville's chicken-scratches tell me that he has been drinking far too much tea far too strong. And far too late at night."

Lisa, who'd lucked into very legible Auror, Williams, was sorting through her information absently. "Do you suppose Harry ever will finish school? It does send a bad message that he hasn't--just in terms of the stay-in-school message."

"Nobody sane thinks Harry hasn't proven that he can take out Dark wizards," Seamus said.

Hannah nodded. "Right. And they do allow substitutions for the N.E.W.T.s. They let Neville substitute Herbology for Potions."

"Yeah, but that's Neville," Parvati said. "The same idiots will say he got favors. I'd say his substitution is putting up with being tortured by the Carrows every other day for a year without breaking."

Tracey shrugged and scanned her file from Anthony Goldstein (a perfectly normal Auror apprentice, though Susan suspected his training was being rushed). "He should make a show of getting the credits eventually, or the Minister should release what's being used as a substitute for the marks."

"I think most people know that," Ernie said.

"Yeah," Tracey said. "'Potter Skates on War Hero Reputation.' Maybe not this year, but give it a year or two, and that'll be the headline."

Seamus made a face. "Harry's been ignoring headlines since fourth year."

"But he can't keep doing it."

Seamus and Parvati grinned at each other, then laughed.


"Well," Parvati said, "have you ever tried to tell Harry Potter that he 'can't keep doing' something?"

The laugh spread among those present who had been in Dumbledore's Army, then even to Mandy, Lisa, and Tracey.

"Right," Tracey said, and picked up another file. "Oh... maybe I'd best switch this one... another housemate..."

Something involving Daniel Morse's discovery of Lupin's secret (or one of them, take your pick). for Anon
Daniel had stayed after history club with Landon Fitz, looking at a book he'd brought in from the public library, which suggested that much of ancient history had been created by aliens who called themselves gods. They both thought it was hogwash, but half the fun of history club was finding these stupid theories and seeing how they worked with actual facts. And then making fun of them mercilessly.

They were both still red-faced from laughing about Vulcans and Wookiees prancing around the pyramids when they came out of the main building into the cold, and Daniel was still feeling full of laughter, like any minor amusement might send him into another fit. It was a good feeling, and a new one.

"A bunch of blokes in my residence are watching the game tonight," Landon said. "Want to come?"

Daniel shook his head. "I have maths."

Landon made a face, and wandered off toward Delavan House. Daniel turned up his collar and headed for the library. His dormitory was not conducive to studying, as Mother pointed out--he had too many things there to distract him. He was as likely as not to pick up one of his science fiction novels (Mother handled these the way she might handle toxic waste, but didn't prohibit them), be struck by thoughts about Klingons in togas, and spend the night laughing at his own imagination instead of doing his maths.

His path took him near the ugly little buiding where the teachers had their offices, and as he glanced up, he saw a tall, thin form break away from the light near the door.

Daniel frowned. "Mr. Lewis?"

The form didn't turn, but he might not have heard. Daniel followed. It was certainly Mr. Lewis, and he seemed in a great hurry to get to the car park, though there were no cars there. His wife usually picked him up--there had been much after-hours discussion of the dotty and delightful Mrs. Lewis among history club members--but her beat up old Volkswagen was nowhere in sight.

Mr. Lewis paused under a light and looked around. Daniel slipped into a shadow without thinking about it. He had enough trouble with Dudley's little gang without them deciding he was actually following Mr. Lewis around. Besides, he'd obviously just noticed that his ride home wasn't here yet. He was thinking about something and--

He started moving again.

Daniel frowned. There was a large copse of trees just beyond the car park. The boys called it "the woods," but the scraggly little gathering of trees didn't hold much attraction for them. Daniel liked real woods, but these were new growth, junk trees. They had no personality, and there was no reason to head for them, but Mr. Lewis was heading for them anyway.

Daniel waited for what seemed like a long time (though his watch later insisted that no more than a few minutes could have passed), then struck out to follow. There was a light snow falling, and Mr. Lewis's narrow, long footprints were clear black against the surrounding white. Daniel walked along in them, careful not to add his own prints--he wasn't sure why he was being so careful--until he reached the shadow of the woods.

"Mr. Lewis?" he called again, more loudly this time. "Mr. Lewis, I don't think they like people in there..."

There was no answer.

Daniel continued to walk in the footsteps in front of him, looking nervously up at shadows. He couldn't have said why the laughter had left him. He didn't feel threatened or frightened, but he felt like he was at the edge of something large and unknown. There was no rational reason for this--the woods were as dull as dirt, one more part of the facade of Smeltings. (The school tried to give off the idea of being an old British school with great traditions stretching back to bloody King Arthur, but the growth was as new as the trees in the woods, and everyone knew it.) But something was tickling at his mind. Some strange idea, stranger than Wookiees in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

He wasn't surprised, not really, when he reached the end of the row of footprints.

And it was the end.

There was no turning off. The snow was still clear enough, and the trees far enough apart to give a clean blanket. The footsteps simply... stopped. The last one was blurred in a partial circle, like Mr. Lewis had given a brief turn, and then vanished into thin air.

Daniel glanced up, half expecting to see a mothership waiting to carry him away, but there was nothing but a dark, star-strewn sky, with a sliver moon.

He knelt by the last footprint and examined it. A scuff in the dirt, circular. That was all.

There was no sign of struggle, and no sign of Mr. Lewis.

Daniel stood up, backed up a few steps, not worrying now about hiding his own footprints.

He still wasn't afraid.

Father had given a speech during his last campaign about solving problems. He'd been talking about how he planned to hear everyone's ideas about how to fix various dastardly problems in the boiling storm of the Cotswolds, but something he'd said had struck Daniel as important: "When we look at a question, we all think we're exploring everything, but we've already omitted what we think is impossible. I will omit nothing."

Omit nothing.

Daniel stared at the last footprint as the light snow began to fill it. Nothing in his experience would explain why it was there.

If he were to understand it, he'd have to start at the beginning, and omit nothing.
14 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2012 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)


Loved both of these! Was very excited to see a Daniel Morse piece, but I found the first surprisingly charming as well. Loved the comments on bad handwriting. And enjoyed Tracy's voice. That's got to be tough; "Another housemate."


Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2012 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Super!

I imagine what Slytherins there were in Harry's year who did want to work with the good guys were pretty annoyed at their housemates for making it difficult.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: February 9th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Two more excellent snippets! The first is lovely -- you've got the sound and feel of friends together working and talking. Tracey is brilliant! I'd love to see more of her. And now I want to know how Daniel discovered how Mr. Lewis disappeared and what he was!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I may write some more about Daniel. It'll depend on whether I finish these ficlets and "Ville Sauvage"!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: February 9th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
They were great! I finally have a new internet conection (actually, I have two- two separate companies decided to come around today, and now I'll have to cancel one! Madness).

I read mine yesterday and it was really interesting. Thank you!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked!
From: amethystbeloved Date: February 9th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really liked the first one, and I adored the way you compared the job to a NEWT study session. It's always so fascinating to have a non-Harry point of view since the books always revolve around him. The handwriting comparrison is so funny. I've worked for several doctors so I know how it is!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2012 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
My mom was a nurse and my grandmother was a medical secretary... I know from doctors' handwriting! ;p
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: February 9th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found these both very delightful! I like the tension between Harry's yearmates being both understandning but also voicing some of the opinions they think will be coming (and, really, I think they seem on the nose).

Daniel remains one of my favorites of your OCS.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2012 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that it would have made sense for the department to have made a show of giving him the tests (does Rowling ever say he didn't ever take his NEWTs? I think she just said he didn't go back to school), just to prove that no, they weren't being partial to him.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 10th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't help wishing that

1) I could see Daniel's story develop without knowing as the reader what the secret was and

2) That I could watch the story develop without knowing what would be happening to Lupin over the next couple of years.

A sigh for might have beens.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2012 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
The second is the problem I keep running into. It's this shadow over everything.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 10th, 2012 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
oh that was so good fern! it totally cleaned off that Awful stupid other fanfic from my mind!

and it was so realistic. I mean the one angry at harry had a reason for it, i mean i'm sure michael corner was sour that his ex-girlfriend probably still fancied harry while with him.

but didn't so they didn't got mad at harry.

like, seriously fern, thanks for being an author that writes characters for who they are and not using them as projections of bruised ego. :D

the handwritting thing was SO super cute too! and funny

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad to help out--it's an interesting question!
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