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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Sixteen: The Other Party , pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Sixteen: The Other Party , pt. 2
James's Yule Ball is going much better than Harry's did, though there aren't exactly romantic sparks with his date, who was happy to go off with Mitch, a friend of Maurice's, to dance. Maurice and James, meanwhile, go up to Madam Laurent's office (on the way, they see her arguing with someone they can't see) and make a Floo call to Teddy's place, where they are also holding a Yule Ball. Everyone is glad to see them, and James is being ribbed about his first date, which he finds rich, since Al is there with Moth.

Table of Contents So Far

By the time James got back to the ball downstairs, it had started to thin out. Elodie was speaking to Scops, who had taken over translating Mitch's accent for her, and was actually attempting to imitate it, to Mitch's great amusement. Scops's date, Emilie, had been reduced to actually speaking to Elodie, though she looked like she might be planning to cut her ears off later for the crime. (Elodie was not helping matters--she was deliberately snubbing Emilie, sitting with her chair turned so that her back was facing the other girl.)

James and Maurice sat down, and everyone settled finally into talk of the tournament. Mitch claimed himself the only neutral observer, but took up for Durmstrang when they argued merits, as there weren't any Durmstrang students at the table, and he'd danced with Veronika before he danced with Elodie.

When the band finished up at midnight, Maurice and Mitch disappeared to help with the clean-up, and the schools' headmasters shooed remaining guests to their rooms. Emilie gave Scops a quick peck on the cheek and ran upstairs before Elodie could go with her. Elodie rolled her eyes and said in English, "Thank you, James. I'm glad you convinced me to come. And no pig's blood!"

James smiled. "And me with my Umbrella Charm ready to go."

"We will write our list of suspects soon. I have many more."

"Oh, right, I have one more as well," James said.


James looked around, realizing that it might not be the best idea to mention that he hadn't entirely trusted Madam Laurent's conversation earlier, but it was too late. "I, er... I saw Madam Laurent dressing someone down. I didn't understand what she was saying, and she definitely lied about it."

"You didn't understand?" Elodie sighed, and switched to French. "James, she was probably speaking Walloon--remember? You wouldn't understand it any more than I understood Mitch. Maybe even less. Most likely it was Casier, and I doubt she'd consider it your business what she was discussing with him."

"Oh. Right."

She shook her head and started up the stairs, turning back a few steps up. "I'll come visit you at the train, if it's all right."

"Sure. You can meet my grandfather's portrait."

She nodded and disappeared.

James and Scops headed out into the night.

"That thar was a humdinger of a good tahm," Scops said, trying Mitch's drawl.

James bent over laughing at it. "Don't let your dad hear you try that."

"I'm not stupid," Scops said, reverting to his own accent. "I'll bet Rosie could do it properly."

"Most likely, if she set her mind to it. Oh, I saw her tonight..." He launched into the story of Teddy's Yule Ball, and described everyone's lives as well as he'd picked up. "I'm going to see them tomorrow as well. Do you want to come along?"

"No, I'm going home for the rest of holidays. Mum's picking me up in Ste. Marthe tomorrow. Thanks, though. I'm sure your entire clan would be happy to see me."

James wanted to say that no one in the family held Scops's dad against him, and technically, it might be true--but it wouldn't stop the uncomfortable staring they tended to do, which was about the only thing Scops would notice. Instead, he just said, "Well, have a good time. Have some plum pudding for me. I have a feeling I'll be eating more French food, personally."

They reached the train, speaking of inconsequential things, and went upstairs. The portraits were hosting their own little party, and everyone stayed up a little bit longer. Neil was going to stay in the boys' sleeping quarters, as Horace's bed was still empty, and go back to the sanctuary with Celia and James tomorrow. He and Celia appeared to still be on a date, and, much to James's chagrin, she seemed to be having a marvelous time with him... marvelous enough that Robards had to separate them at one point.

It was nearly two o'clock when everyone had finally drifted off to bed, and probably even later for the girls, who had a lot more hair pins and makeup to get rid of. James still lay awake in the dark when the snoring of the other boys set in. Moonlight came through the windows, and he imagined being at Teddy's, maybe dancing with the cousins, or with Ruthless, who always made a show of saving him a dance at family events, as she said he was the only dancer on the floor more dangerous than she was. Mum and Dad waltzed around the room, and Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione cuddled together on one of the sofas. Lily would be twirling like a top in her gold dress, and James would sit with Al, trading stories in the perfumed air of Marauder's Roost.

Homesick again, he got out of bed and went back to the common area. Only Granddad had stayed in the Marauder's painting; Lupin and Sirius must have gone back to Teddy's. Talitha had joined him, and was trying to ride Sirius's motorbike. As James came out, she managed to get it to turn up on its back wheel, then it flipped her and she went sprawling, her white dress still shockingly clean against the painted cobblestones.

Granddad helped her up, then noticed James. "Well, hello again. Aren't you meant to be dreaming of sugar plums?"

"I'm a bit old for sugar plums. And that's for Christmas Eve." He sat down. "Did you have a good Christmas?"

"I did!" Talitha said, coming up to lean against the frame. "Best in years. Of course, a lot of those years were spent in the attic, which is quite dull, especially as someone had turned me against the wall."

"Well, you're free now," Granddad said. He looked at James. "And what brings you back out here?"

"Just wanted to say happy Christmas, I guess."

Granddad bowed. "Happy Christmas."

"You, too."

"You should go to sleep. I happen to know they're coming to get you at nine o'clock."

"Yeah," James said, but didn't leave. Instead, he curled up in an overstuffed chair, and listened to Granddad and Talitha trying to get the motorbike to fly. He was nearly asleep when Sirius came back to help them, and finally slipped under to the sound of the buzzing motor.

Robards woke him up at eight-thirty, prodding him to get dressed. Gabrielle DuLac was waiting outside with her sleigh and Knifeclaw the hippogriff. Neil and Celia seemed to have forgotten their ardor of last night, as they just stood a foot or two apart and waited as though they barely knew one another. James went and stood between them. Celia gave him a fond smile and a light tap on the back of the head.

Together, they piled into the sleigh, with the presents they'd bought for everyone, and took off toward the mountains. It didn't take long to get to the Sanctuary village, which was near the top of one of the mountains that surrounded Beauxbatons. It was cut off from the world by a chasm that broke through a winding road, but Knifeclaw floated over it serenely.

The village itself was hard to see from the air, which was just as well, as it was full of nominally dark creatures who didn't necessarily want to be found by anyone who happened to have a broomstick. The houses were all low to the ground and decorated in ways that made them seem to fade into the forest. The most prominent feature was north of the village--a pair of bowl-shaped pits dug into the earth. These were where the werewolves transformed, men in one, women in the other. As a small child, James had asked why they didn't all transform together, and everyone had been too embarrassed to answer. Mum had sat down and explained it to him at a later time.

The sleigh touched down, and Aunt Gabrielle's husband, Nicolas, came out to help untether Knifeclaw from the sleigh. James, Celia, and Neil got out. It was snowing lightly this high up in the mountains, and the little village looked like a painting.

It was also slippery, which was how James ended up flat on his back with Lily and Al on either side of him, when they ran down the path to pummel him with Christmas greetings.

Lily gave him a loud kiss on the cheek, then pulled herself up to a sitting position. She was wearing a fine velvet cloak that she must have found somewhere at home. Her braids had got longer. "Well, Dad said we really did have to say hello."

"Well, do I have to say it back?"

"I think it's expected, yes," Al said, getting up and dusting himself off. He had definitely got taller, unless James was just remembering him wrong.

"Oh, for heaven's sake." James looked up to see Mum, and got to his feet to go hug her. She kissed his head, and put her arm snugly around him. "Five minutes, James. Less than five minutes, and already, you've got your brother and sister falling down. What am I going to do with you?"

"Well, you could pack me off to France for several months..."

"I think I'll keep you at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. Much safer." She gave him another hug. "Oh, I've missed you."


James glanced up the path, to where Harry Potter, savior of the wizarding world, was in the process of sliding down the hill, flailing his arms to keep from going arse over teakettle.

James laughed and ran up to him, catching him, then grabbing a tree so they didn't both go down.

Dad hugged him fiercely when they'd both got their balance, and said, "Happy Christmas, James. I've missed you."
18 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: July 3rd, 2012 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awwww, Potter family fluff!
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: July 3rd, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

*heart flutters*

It's so so good to see Al, Lily and Harry and the others again. I really did miss them and the reunion was really heartwarming and gave me the warm fuzzies.

sidealong From: sidealong Date: July 3rd, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was getting homesick with James for a minute there. Fun segment. Love the visual descriptions.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 3rd, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, Celia and Neil, "Did it" or what?

From: (Anonymous) Date: July 4th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)


This is the Potterverse! No way that they went beyond a spot of medium-petting.

Although I have to admit, when I was reading "Half Blood Prince" for the first time, in the night between the two days it took me to read the book, I dreamed that Lavender got pregnant.

Sara Libby
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 4th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Please!

chill. I was just guessing.

since james said they were glued to each other and now they're being all awkard, well teenagers and their hormones, right?

i never said i expected Fern to go R rated. No way

From: (Anonymous) Date: July 4th, 2012 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
James suspects of madame laurent now? i'm shocked. considering she's been his ally so far

~Alex Wells
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 4th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, cool! James gets some time with his family at Christmas, after all. Wonder if Harry and the others will have any suspects to add to James's list after hearing what's been going on.
nevrafire From: nevrafire Date: July 4th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG! Potter family! I missssed them!!!!!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 4th, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
is suspicious of madam laurent too.

From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally love that you made Rose/Scorpius best friends.

Betthany Anne
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
please that the marauders are having a good time.

they can pass by to the potter's christmas celebration, right?

From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
odds. I thought one or two of the hogwarts teachers were there too.

or am i confusing it with the party james saw in the floo?

From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Scorpius is cool i like him

From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
what's wallon?

From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
i bet visiting family will help him figure out how to do the 2nd task!

From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
can't wait to see what they all been up!

cleindori From: cleindori Date: July 7th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I love how you write the Potter family -- kids and parents. So great to see them all together! (Also, "Harry Potter, savior of the wizarding world" doing a flail-slide down a snowy hill is a pretty fabulous image.)
18 comments or Leave a comment