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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Fifteen: On the Ball, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Fifteen: On the Ball, pt. 3
James and Elodie are at the Yule Ball (along with everyone else, of course). They're sitting with Scops and his date, Emilie (who does not like Elodie, and it is quite mutual, though the latter has toned down her death glare for the occasion).

The champions and their dates have started the first dance. Celia dragged Neil, who James believes looks uncomfortable, though Celia was probably wise in her choice, as Neil stopped her from making a rude gesture at a reporter who exclaimed on the presence of the werewolf girl. Maurice and Donzo are present with the band, Enchantress, which features Donzo's new fiancée, Kelly Sweet, as lead singer.

Table of Contents So Far

After the opening number, which had been stodgy and formal, Enchantress took the stage. James knew that Kelly Sweet played almost as many instruments as Donzo, but in the band, she just sang, and the other two girls were back up, who played token things, like tamborines and maracas. The music came from their back-up band, which played in the shadows--particularly the replacement guitarist, who was "accidentally" skipped in the introductions, though Kelly flashed him a suspiciously sappy smile. The trio that made up Enchantress was obviously front and center. They wore delicate robes of silky white material. Kelly had chosen to honor the occasion by pinning her hair back with a sprig of holly.

They opened with a single spot on Kelly, who held a quiet note, slowly rising in volume over the beat of a single drum stick on a rim, then expanded to the other girls as they joined in (as did half the audience, who knew "Acoustic Alchemy" perfectly well) on harmonizing notes. Finally, just when it seemed impossible that Kelly could hold the note any longer, the band capped it with a chord and the full rhythm section picked up. The trio's dresses changed color as the song went through the stages of alchemy--black, red, and gold--but James doubted that most of the room noticed, as everyone other than Elodie seemed to have jumped up onto the dance floor, where they were flinging their arms around with abandon. Emilie had practically dragged Scops off, though he seemed to be having a good enough time now, punching his hands up and down in the air opposite her, mimicking the dancing flames of a fire.

James looked at Elodie. "Er... did you want to dance?"

"I thought I mentioned that I don't really dance." Her face fell. "Is that still all right? I'll try if you want to, if we can go somewhere that the reporters aren't looking."

"No, it's all right. What do you want to do?"

She looked nervous for a minute, then gave a sarcastic little smile and said, "Well, I think we should work on your mystery. You need more suspects. For instance, have you looked at Titouan's date, Lucie?"

"Not until she walked through the door."

"Well, she left school last year. She started out quite ugly, then became very pretty. Terribly suspicious, don't you think?"

"Clearly, Dark magic."

"And that fellow over there, Jules Marel"--she pointed at a sixth year who James had met on only a few occasions--"he's too good at Quidditch. You haven't seen him play, but he's been on the team since his first year, and he's played every spot."

"Not at all suspicious," James said. "I played all the spots in one game once."

"Ah... have you looked at yourself? After all, you've been present for everything."

"That's a good point. How can I be sure where I was all the time? And maybe I don't want anyone else stealing Dad's thunder."

"Well, he was against the tournament."

"Wow, I really should investigate me."

Elodie laughed. "Shall we go on? I can think of many, many unpleasant people."

"What about the groundskeeper, Casier?"

"Unpleasant, but he doesn't have the means to do it, like I told you."

With Casier being what James considered serious suspect, the tone changed too much to be enjoyable, so he said, "What about you, then? I think you're hiding a lot of powers."

"Oh, really? What sorts of powers?"

"I'd bet you're really a professional dancer and you just don't want to intimidate anyone."

"You caught me," Elodie said dryly. "However did you guess?"

"Well, it's obvious. I saw you jumping around on those rocks with the tarasque. Clearly, you've had lots of training in how to move."

She grinned. "Speaking of which... would you like to take a walk outside? I feel like I have you trapped at the table."

This seemed agreeable, so, as the band's next song (Lily's favorite, "Impedimenta, My Love") started, they made their way to a side door, which opened into the Garden of the Mind. Elodie's dress glimmered in the moonlight. On a whim, James held out his hand. She stared at it in surprise, and he was about to give up when she finally reached out and wove her fingers through his. Her hand was quite warm. She was blushing, and turned away to lead them up the path. "I like the Garden of Left Foot best," she said. "Nasty poison Muggle plants. We always think we have a monopoly on the gory things, but we don't."

"That's true. My cousin Victoire says that Muggles can just buy Wolfsbane at a florist shop without even having a permit for it."


"Yeah. Apparently, they just think it's pretty, and tell their children not to eat it."

"That's very trusting. What if someone chopped it up and sneaked it into a salad?"

"You thought of that disturbingly quickly."

She grinned. "Well, I am your prime suspect, after all."

"Hey, I thought I was the prime suspect now!"

"Maybe we're working together, have you thought of that?"

"A conspiracy. Yeah, that works. Except, how did we meet? We have nothing whatsoever in common."

"That's the beauty of conspiracies," Elodie said. "They don't need to make sense. If you believe in them hard enough, they're true. Sort of like Tinkerbell, except with criminals."

"You know Peter Pan?"

"Not personally."

"But the book, you've read it?"

She laughed. "I love Muggle books. Obviously, that's where we planned it. In a Muggle book shop."

"Sure, over Stephen King and J.M. Barrie."

She laughed again. They reached a bench and she sat down, letting go of his hand to arrange the fringe on her dress so it wouldn't tangle. James sat beside her.

"Did you want to kiss?" she asked abruptly.


"You know..." She made a sort of fish face, with smacking sounds. "I haven't tried it before. Perhaps it's one of those hidden powers you think I have."

"Well, I don't know, I haven't really done it before either."

"We could that taken care of, then, if you want."

"Did you want to?"

"Do you?"

"Well, er... sure. Why not? Do you know where the noses go?"

"They're always tilted in the pictures." She made an X with her fingers. "Do you want to go right or left?"


"All right." Elodie tilted her head to the right and closed her eyes. James tilted his head to his own right side, so it was opposite hers, but he didn't close his eyes, as he didn't want to miss. He puckered his lips a bit and pressed them against hers. She puckered back. There was a slight sensation of suction, then she opened her eyes and pulled away. "Hmm," she said, frowning. "Well, that's that. Do you want to walk a little further?"

It seemed like a good idea. James was confused, and walking was often a good thing to do while confused. He hadn't imagined a first kiss to be quite so clinical, and kissing Elodie on the lips hadn't felt much different from giving Lily a good smack on the cheek. He suspected it wasn't supposed to work that way, and reckoned Al was still ahead of him in this department.

Elodie led the way down the paths toward the Gardens of the Feet, skirting the great fountain (which was lit in red and green, in honor of the occasion. She slowed near the gate to the Garden of the Left Foot and looked over her shoulder, putting her finger over her lips unnecessarily to signal James to be quiet.

There were voices coming from inside, but James couldn't understand them. He peeked over Elodie's shoulder.

Dani Villanueva and her date were standing in the path, arguing in fast, loud Spanish. Whatever the subject was, they took no notice of Elodie and James.

The young man was shaking his finger at her, obviously imploring her to do something, and James didn't need a translator to understand Dani's insistent, "No, no, NO!" She walked away, stomping toward the center of the garden, and her date followed her, yelling. She turned on him and and shouted "¡Vete!" which apparently was an order that he didn't follow, because she repeated it. He came toward her with his hand raised.

James broke cover and ran in, jumping on the man's back. "Leave her alone!" he shouted in English.

The man shook him free.

Dani came over and helped him up. "It's all right, James, it is an argument."

"He can't hit you!"

She looked at him, frustrated. "He wasn't going to hit me. He was showing me something."

"Yeah... his fist! I saw it."

The man said something in Spanish, and Dani grimaced at him, then looked back at James. "Thank you for your chivalry, but I am fine. I will go inside with you, if it is all right." She looked at her date and said something that James was fairly sure translated as "You're sacked," because he promptly turned on his heel and headed for the school gate.

James and Elodie fell in on either side of Dani.

"What was that about?" Elodie asked in English, about halfway to the Palace.

"It's private," Dani said.

"Are you all right?" James asked her.

"Yes, fine. Angry. But do not tell anyone what you saw. It is a beautiful night; I don't wish it to be ruined by my arguments."

"He was really your bodyguard, wasn't he?" James asked.

"Something like that." She sighed. "He is from San Cipriano. They keep a close eye on me."

"Because of the rumors?" Elodie asked.

"Yes. Rumors." Dani wrinkled her nose. "Always rumors. I hate them. I would not have competed if I thought it would be like this to win." They reached the castle, and she stopped walking. "It is better for appearances if we go in separately. I should not have spoken as much as I have to students."

"You're our age," James reminded her. "You are a student."

"Yes, but I'm also a judge. I should not fraternize. But thank you. No one has ever tackled a large man on my behalf before." She smiled and disappeared inside.

"What was that about?" Elodie asked, switching back to French.

"Well, someone had to do something."

"Yes, of course," she said dismissively. "I meant, what was it about before you decided to put on the shining armor and run into battle?"

For this, James didn't have an answer.
14 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: June 10th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh! Oooh! James and Dani?

Guess not, though; Elodie would have said something.

Am I slow? Should I have an idea where this is going by now? Because I totally don't...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 11th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
He's collecting up suspects. At halfway through, I hope I'm still ahead in the game of whodunnit, but there've been a few references to the motive so far.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: June 10th, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)


is that always how Kelly and her band play? or is there a special arrangement- because it seems--- odd. (the band playing in the shadows).

can't stop laughing at Scorpius waving his hands in the air. Teenage!Draco would be absolutely mortified.

I find it really endearing that Elodie likes peter pan.
she seems to be growing likable, if morbid, a bit like a snarky hermione?

awwwwww awkard teenage first kiss- Very realistic (also seems to be a thing in harry potter? all the first kisses we know have been slightly awkard or not romantic)

and the mystery keeps getting more complicated- and much like a CLUE game- loads of equally suspicious suspects.

I really really hope Danny is just being set up and it's not really her
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 11th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: mmmm....

Enchantress is a vocal group, more like the Surpremes than, say, Van Halen. No one goes to see the back-up band.

I have yet to find a romantic first kiss. They all seem to be surrounded by er, should be kiss, or just hang around, and who's going first?
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 10th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
The plot thickens--I wonder if Dani is being asked/pressured to do something underhanded during the tournament. Elodie seems to be thawing and becoming less abrasive, though I'm kind of relieved that you didn't go the conventional route and have James feels sparks when they tried to kiss. They'll be fine as friendly acquaintances, but nothing more.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 11th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I think James wanted there to be sparks, but it SO wasn't happening. I think Elodie actually expected sparks, and was confused that they weren't there for her any more than for him.
sueatducksfoot From: sueatducksfoot Date: June 10th, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's always great to find an update on my computer in the morning. Usually I put it on my ipod to listen to while I work, but this morning I decided to just read it.

I really like Elodie and I love the banter between her and James.

I loved the kiss. "Well, er... sure. Why not? Do you know where the noses go?" It's great that he thought of that, I don't think most first kissers do.

James has a little of his Dad's "saving people" complex.

Thanks for making my morning.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 11th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome.

James has a little of his Dad's "saving people" complex.

Heh, yes. Just a smidgen. ;p
mickawber_fics From: mickawber_fics Date: June 10th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor James--clearly he's got his dad's first-kiss karma! (Though at least he seems to have remained fully conscious.)

Dani... Hmm.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 11th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Definitely suspicious behavior, but about what...?
mickawber_fics From: mickawber_fics Date: June 11th, 2012 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, if YOU don't know...!


Edited at 2012-06-11 06:00 am (UTC)
nevrafire From: nevrafire Date: June 11th, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
elodie/james were really cute.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 18th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
the plot thicken some more.

Alex Wells
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 18th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
and the plot thickens some more.

realistic take on a first kiss, albeit a little sad because are we to guess it's elodie's first,as well?

Alex Wells
14 comments or Leave a comment