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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Thirteen: A Light In the Dark, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Thirteen: A Light In the Dark, pt. 3
Way, way back, many centuries ago
Not long after the new year began...


Celia has deciphered the clue-riddle to mean that she will have to rescue a hostage in the Whispering Caves, an oracular site on the Beauxbatons grounds... with the rub that they aren't going to be starting at a standard entrance. She'll have to figure out where she is in the caves before finding her way to the hostages. The Marauders' portrait, citing a fair bit of experience with mapping spells, has offered to help.

Meanwhile, James, in his own exploration near the caves, comes across Elodie Lejeune, the rather unpleasant girl who belongs to a religious sect that prohibits magic use--within the wizarding world--though they send all of their children to Beauxbatons to learn to control their magic. Elodie stops him from going into the cave, making a few nasty remarks about his reliance on carrying a wand to defend against magic that acts on the mind. Back in the dining room, he tells Celia about this encounter, and Celia--never a fan of Elodie's sect--decides Elodie may well be a suspect in the sabotage on the tournament, and decides that the best way to investigate her is for James to ask her to the just-announced Yule Ball.

Question: At the end of this, I name a French coin the Solidus, a random old Roman coin, but I don't like it and would rather come up with a good set of French and German coins to match the Knut, Sickle, and Galleon. Of course, these aren't real English coins (at least not anymore), so it's not a question of translating. Suggestions?

Table of Contents So Far

James felt his jaw drop. "Ask... what? You want me to... er...?"

"Take her to ball," Celia repeated, caught up in her idea. "You could see if she has anything against the tournament, or if she knows the kind of magic it would take to hoodwink the goblet--"

"She doesn't even believe in doing magic."

"That doesn't mean she can't."

James shook his head. "No, Celia, come on. I was, well--"

"Did you already have a date?"

"I was going to ask you!"

She stopped talking abruptly and said, in a small voice, "Oh. Er..."

"So, will you?"

She blinked at him solemnly, took a deep breath, and said, "No, James, I won't."

"Why not?"

"Because I'd be going with you as a friend, and I don't think that's how you'd be asking me."

James looked down, his interest in food and schemes to entrap a saboteur never at a lower ebb. "Fine," he said, and stood up. "Just, fine."

He left before she could say anything else, heading across the cool grounds toward the train with his hands in his pockets and his head down against the wind. He barked his shin on the corner of one of the stone benches in the Garden of the Mind, hard enough to actually hear a sharp sound, and sat down, cursing and rubbing it.

"Bloody..." He couldn't think of anything to follow this, switched to "Merlin's bloody elbows," and drew his wand to fix any serious damage. Once the pain abated, he put his wand away, ground his teeth, and glared between the statues at the Fountain of the Heart, which was being tossed into miniature gray waves by the unusually strong breeze. He Banished a stone from the path toward the fountain. It exploded up from the ground and shot forward like a missile and splashed at the far end, at the entrance to the Garden of the Left Foot.

"Projectile weapons are generally frowned upon at Beauxbatons," someone said in accented English.

James looked up and groaned. "Elodie!"

She gave him a philosophical shrug and sat down on the bench. "Besides, your aim is off. A straight line goes right to ze gate."

"Thanks for the tip." He switched to French. "Did you forget to warn me about something back at the caves? Or did you just want to call me names?"

"I came to the dining room to apologize," she said. "I was a bit curt. You didn't seem to be doing anything offensive, once I thought about it. Madame Maxime says I sometimes jump to conclusions." She frowned, as if confused by this assessment. "Why were you at the caves?"

"I wanted to look around."

"Why did you storm out of the dining room just now? Were you fighting with your champion?"



"She wants me to ask you the Yule Ball."

"To see if I have an alibi?" Elodie raised her eyebrows.


"I know who she is. I know where she lives. They have no love for my sect. If I were them, I would suspect me. Unfortunately, I have no alibi. I have no friends and no one to say where I was for every moment the goblet or the sirens were here. Then again, I doubt anyone could account for every moment."

James didn't say anything.

Elodie shrugged again. "I didn't do any of it, if you care. I expected to be blamed by someone at some point. They always find a way to blame me for things."

"Maybe because you're sour to everyone. It makes people suspect your motives."

"Oh, but they all work so hard to inspire feelings of warmth and generosity in me. Why, my first week at Beauxbatons, they helpfully told me everything that was wrong with my religion, and arranged a makeover for me. They threw me in the fountain and set a grindylow on me. They've shared quite a few jokes with me as well. Do you know how many Crassonists it takes to light a torch? None of us--we soil ourselves and run at the sight of anything as powerful as fire." She snorted. "The old answer to that was 'It depends on how good your Cruciatus Curse is,' but Madame Laurent put a stop to that sort of thing."

James had a brief flash on stories about Severus Snape--the unpleasant boy whose life had been made considerably more unpleasant than necessary--but it wasn't entirely an entirely comforting comparison. He may have ended as a hero, but he'd gone through a minor Death Eater phase before then. "I'm sorry that happened," he said.

"I expect it."

Neither of them said anything for a while. The day was quite cool--for Beauxbatons, at any rate--but James felt that it was proper to feel cold just now, and Elodie accepted the chilly wind as though she also expected the weather to treat her badly at any given moment, just giving the sky a perfunctory snarl from time to time. Looking at her, he decided that she wasn't particularly bad looking, and he'd talked to her as much as he had to any of the other Beauxbatons girls.

"So, who are you going to the Ball with?" he asked.

She rolled her eyes. "I don't know how I'll ever sort through all my options before Christmas. You've seen how full my dance card is."

"Well, do you want to go with me?"

She looked at him, her face blank, as though she hadn't quite processed what he'd said. "I'm sorry?"

"The Ball. You have to go with someone."

"No, not really. It's not required for anyone but the champions. I was going to go home."

"Your parents don't want you to come to the Ball?"

A more familiar expression of exasperation crossed her face. "My mother's been making me a set of dress robes. She's been working on them since August. My father wants to know who's playing."

"I just thought--"

"That because we don't do magic, we don't dance?"

"Sort of."

She shook her head and rolled her eyes. "We dance."

"So, you'll come?"

"That was a 'we' as in 'Abstentionistes.' Abstentionistes dance. I don't."

"Why not?"

"Because my mother's been working on those robes for months. I don't want to have them tossed in the fountain or cursed or... I don't know. I read a Muggle book once where a girl had pig's blood tossed on her while she was wearing a fancy dress. You should read that one. They killed her date while they were at it."

"How did it end?"

"She burned the school down with magic. And the rest of the town, too. Then she died."

"Do you have it? Sounds good. Maybe I could borrow it."

She wrinkled her nose. "Are you trying to be my friend?"

"Well, I was trying to ask you to the Ball."

"Because your champion told you I was sabotaging the tournament. And I already gave you my alibi, so why don't you ask that Durmstrang champion? Or Daniela Villanueva?"

"Veronika's going out with someone else, and Dani's probably a little out of my league."

"Yeah. Right. Out of the league of Harry Potter's son."

"You know what? Forget it."


James stood up. "Thanks for the alibi. I'll go now." He turned and stormed off toward the train. When he got to the edge of the Visitors' Garden, he turned and looked over his shoulder.

Elodie was still sitting on the bench. She didn't look upset. She'd curled her legs up under her and got a book out of her bag, and was reading without much affect that he could see. Fine, then. It wasn't as though he'd wanted to go with her, anyway. Maybe he would as Dani Villanueva.

He didn't feel like going inside, no matter how cold it was, so he walked to the river, heading up the bank in the direction of Ville-Sauvage. He was sure Madame Maxime would have found a way to block it since he and Celia had come on the tarasque, but he'd got quite a distance without running into anything before he finally decided to stop. A rock sat at the edge of the Sentinelle here, and he sat down on it, staring down into the rippling water, looking at nothing.

The sun glinted on somthing in the mud. He wasn't terribly interested in it, but he'd never been good at sitting still to brood, so he slid down and looked at it. The edge of a gold coin was sticking up out the dirt. He dug into the mud with his fingers, popping it out, expecting it to be French solidus, or maybe even a Galleon a Hogwarts student had dropped.

He cleared the dirt from it, then threw it away from himself with a shudder, suddenly feeling that his hand was uncleanable.

Shining up from the back was the symbol of the Hallows--the magical coin of Grindelwald's realm.
24 comments or Leave a comment
reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: May 6th, 2012 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice to see a new post. I was beginning to worry.

A Grindelwald coin, eh? I wonder what the significance of that could be.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 6th, 2012 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Wohooo, daily check for updates has finally paid off :D Good to see you back writing.

I'm really curious to see where this story goes now. I hope you stick with it.

Just the one little typo "Why don't you as Daniella" should be ask.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to stick with it, one way or another. It's going slow, but I proved to myself last month with NaPo that I was still capable of sticking to a plan.

I'll catch that "as Dani" bit later.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good to be back. :D
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: May 6th, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well this is a very nice morning surprise!!!

it's nice to see you back Fern! (is everything okay now? or was it more a writer's block issue the reason for your absence?)

onward to the story~

*shakes heads* And I thought boys were the thick-headed ones. Celia! a boy Can ask you out as more than a friend! just because James IS your friend doesn't mean that he is only asking you as that!


Wow Now I Realllly feel bad for Elodie. (and I can relate even-- never been the target of such cruel pranks but i can relate to the "people telling me everything that is wrong with..."
and it Is a horrible feeling.

wow. Poor Elodie.

(also personally I think her situation is far worse than snape's in the sense that A. snape was only primairily picked on by the marauders- not the majority of the school and B. what Snape chose to do that (practice dark magic, hang out with DE-wannabes) was a bad choice and he could have left it and have nothing to do with it. (not saying that his bullying was justified- but I personally think among the reasons james jynxed and cursed snape so often was because James Hated the dark arts and also because lily liked snape *and I can even theorize that maybe james could have feared snape was introducing those ideas to lily*

but what elodie believes/does is not in itself bad. her condescending way inwhich she sometimes puts it above other is- but then magic users do the same thing- so....

and Wow james does not know how to keep secrets at all.

yet--- it was nice that he still asked her, and now it's just Elodie just acting all self-imposed recluse.
(she mentioned Twice that her mother was making her robes for the ball! Twice! and she just told him how mean everyone was to her and he didn't reacted with a "you deserve it!" but a "that's horrible and they shouldn't do that to you!"

so clearly she wants to go, and it would be nice if she stopped snapping up at the seemingly only person who is making an effort to be civil to her and hear her out.


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well this is a very nice morning surprise!!!

Pure, completely paralyzing writer's block.

James wasn't trying to keep the secret. James is not interested in Celia's theory... and pretty much rightly assumes it's nothing but her dislike of the Abstentionistes coming out.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: May 6th, 2012 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)


and oh- interesting cliffhanger.

(about the coin names--- well my french is terrible so i can't be much help but--- well since the british coins have some sort of ancient/medieval air to them--- why not something related to france but just as old?
Maybe something related to the colony of Massalia, the oldest city in france?:

or something related to the Gauls?

as for the german- something related to saxons and slavs? or germanic tribes?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: ideas

Yeah, that's where my head was, but I just, erm, didn't feel like doing the coin history research. ;p
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: May 7th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
This might be a starting point--medieval French currency, which I could see wizards sticking to:
Livre Tournois divided into sols.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: May 7th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
This might be a starting point--medieval French currency, which I could see wizards sticking to:
The Livre Tournois, divided into sols and deniers, was eventually called the franc!
sueatducksfoot From: sueatducksfoot Date: May 6th, 2012 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, i've been waiting for this. I'm loading it to listen to while I work in the yard today. Thanks for a nice birthday surprise.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy birthday (a little late). Hope you liked.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 6th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, nice to see you back in business!
Here are my two Knuts (easy pun, sorry! ;p) on the money issue. French coins only as I don't speak a word of German.

I think you were on the right track going for latin names, since Latin has had a strong influence on the French language, and we know wizards favor latin-sounding spells and names.

I was thinking we could get inspiration from our previous monetary system, which was "francs" and "centimes". The word "franc" obviously came from the name of our country, which originated from the people who conquered the territory (formerly Gaul) back in the early Middle Ages; "centime" means "one-hundredth [of a franc]" (similar to the US "cent").

Combining these ideas with the Latin influence, we could have a main currency called the "Magus" (latin for wizard) and smaller coins named after their value in Latin. For example, if we take the equivalent of the Sickle, which is worth one-seventeenth of a Galleon, this would be called the "septimodecimo". Quite a mouthful, but it could be shortened to "septidec" or something. The equivalent of the Knut (29 Knuts to a Sickle) would be the "viginti nono", shortened to "vigno" or "vigino" maybe.
However, you don't have to follow the British breakdown of 17 Sickles to a Galleon and 29 Knuts to a Sickle; you can choose any subdivision, any number, and find what its Latin translation is.

Hope that helps!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! It definitely helps. It's one thing to find language translations; it's something else entirely to come up with new words based on a culture I don't share.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 6th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad to have you back, Fern...

I wanted to make a suggestion for the German coin set.

Galleon : Taler
Sickle: Kreuzer
Knut: Heller

These are actual former German coins, but taken from various currency systems, as Germany - long divided in many mini-states - had a lot of them. Still, for Germans, these names are kind of familiar, even though nobody would know how much they were worth. But you'd know intuitively that a Taler is more than a Kreuzer is more than a Heller.

Cheers, Elise
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like it. I doubt I'd need to go into the details, since I don't have James in a situation where he'd need to spend the money and therefore know how it breaks down, but having some terms around is much more helpful than, should I need to mention it, saying, "Some kind of German money," which James has done enough traveling to avoid saying.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 7th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)

More Ville-Sauvage!

Welcome back Fern! It's good to see a new post.

I like the way this is developing, especially bringing in the history from both WWII and Grindelwald. Can't wait to read the next bit!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: More Ville-Sauvage!

It may be a little creaky as I get started again, but I'm glad you like the historical parts!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: May 7th, 2012 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, dear. Sounds like James is having his own set of problems when it comes to finding a date for the Yule Ball. Harry could sympathize, I'm sure. Wonder who he'll end up taking, ultimately.

Enjoyed the Carrie references Elodie made. And the parallel between her and Snape. She's not exactly likable, but she's interesting.

Nice to see this back.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
At least James managed better than "Wanngoballwime?" ;p Of course, he wasn't asking someone he'd been crushing on for the better part of two years, so there wasn't the nerves level there. (And when he asked Celia--sort of--he was more angry at her than in a crushing frame of mind.)
amethystbeloved From: amethystbeloved Date: May 9th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great to have you back, Fernwithy!

I really liked the way that Celia set James straight about she doesn't return the feelings that he has for her. Girls are notorious for beating around the bush so reading about a sharp shooter like Celia is refreshing.

Thanks for giving us some more background information about Elodie. I agree with one of the comments about it's obvious that she wants to go to the Ball. I really hope that it does happen... by the way, nice King reference!

The last part with the coin is very interesting. Looking forward to see where it leads!
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 14th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)


Oh how I had similar fears when I was in school. Worse was that I was bullied by a parent and was petrified something was going to happen during the promenade at our school before prom.
oliversgal07 From: oliversgal07 Date: May 14th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Carrie

Sorry forgot to sign in...that was from me.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 18th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
you do a good show of showing someone in the good side wrong, and someone painted in the wrong side right, if that makes sense.

another thought, wonder if the curse has something to do with grindewald?

Alex Wells
24 comments or Leave a comment