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I should be writing - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
I should be writing
Yes, obviously I am writing--I mean, hello, words appearing on screen in a way somewhat related to the way my hands are hitting keys--but I feel like I should be writing more properly. Maybe some fanfic; I have too many on the burners. Maybe some original fic, though that always seems to fizzle out and I'm not at all confident about my story choices. I keep chickening out, in other words. More like, I have ideas, and I have knowledge, but the knowledge and ideas don't mesh that well. I have a good idea for a horror story, and the main hero is a former child actor and the action takes place in L.A. I have never met a former child actor, and haven't been in L.A. for some time. Bah. I guess I could set it in Boston, but the flakiness is of a different sort, and that will change the nature of the villain a bit. Although it would give my character, Keith Randall, sorely needed distance from his past career. Which does matter, because that's who he is in my mind's eye. Being an actor is part of him, and so is being a no-longer-acting-actor.

Oh, well. I'll work out my original fic on my own.

Meanwhile, here are some fanfics I have on the burner. Taking a cue from katinka31, I figured I'd ask what people were interested in. I flit around among them and can't settle in and commit to one. I'm going to take a break from "Of A Sort" to do a couple of other things, at any rate, since the Marauders' Sort made me tired!

"Your Very Own Dora"
Takes place when Nymphadora Tonks is eight, less than three weeks after Sirius Black--her favorite person in the world--was carted off to jail, and no one can explain why. She was also quite fond of the man he killed, Peter Pettigrew, who used to tell her wonderful stories about butterflies. She's been instructed not to bring up the subject with her Latin tutor, Remus Lupin, back for the first time since it happened, but it turns out that he's planning on going away as well.

"Perdo, perdis, perdit," Dora whispered, scratching each word carefully onto her parchment, her fingers stiff from the effort of making each letter perfect. "Pérdimus, pérditis, perdunt. Imperative, perde, pérdite..."

She checked against her book, then checked again.

It looked like it was right. She picked up her quill to start the next word.

Outside the window, people were having another parade through Diagon Alley, dancing and singing, mostly drunk. It had been happening every day for awhile, sometimes twice or three times. Now it was only a few times a week. There was a night when Dora had been awakened in her bed, and she and Mum and Daddy had gone out and danced a snake dance down the streets with their neighbors, but in the morning when she woke up again, there was still dancing outside, but inside Mum was yelling and screaming and crying. Daddy had cuddled Dora and promised to explain, but right then, he only made a rule: Don't talk about your cousin Sirius.

Sirius is playing a relatively harmless prank when he overhears Ted Tonks propose to his favorite cousin, Andromeda. He is very jealous.

Sirius Black hated being alone, especially when the weather was good and he had a particularly grand idea.

The weather had been an unbroken chain of drizzly days for three weeks, day and night differentiated only by the shade of dull gray on the Great Hall's enchanted ceiling. The temperature fluctuated between cold and clammy and hot enough to steam an artichoke, but it was never, ever comfortable out... at least not until sunset tonight, when the rain had cleared quite suddenly and the wind started to feel like the silk scarf that Sirius had once stolen from his cousin Bella and hexed to look look she'd used it for a handkerchief every time she touched it.

Ideas in the castle had been thin on the ground during the rainy spell, particulary since exams were on. Teachers were somewhat stricter about pranks that might make someone edgy. It wasn't Sirius's fault that old Snivellus had jumped up screaming in the middle of his Transfiguration exam--it was James who had made his spare quill crawl up his neck like a spider--but now he was the one stuck alone because James was in McGonagall's office helping her Transfigure coat buttons back into beetles after the second years' exam. Peter was trying to memorize his Potions notes, as if he wouldn't freeze up completely tomorrow anyway, and hadn't been happy with Sirius for asking him to sneak outside under James's Invisibility Cloak (James always let him borrow it for pranks, since that was the main purpose, he thought, of having the thing). And the full moon was out, so of course Remus was "sick" again. Curiously, despite the fact that he hadn't had so much as a sniffle yesterday, he'd been able to anticipate his bad health and take his Potions exam early.

In desperation, Sirius had even sought out his older cousin Andromeda, thinking vaguely that she might like a chance to spend some time with him free of toujours purs crowd before she left school next week. They made summers bearable for each other, and Sirius felt bad that she would be stuck in the family all year without him from now on. She was nowhere to be found.

"A Nice, Normal Day"
Petunia Dursley's day on November 1, 1981. It begins with this dream sequence, from which she awakens to her "nice, normal day":
Little Whinging, Surrey. October 31, 1981. Just before midnight.

She has dreamed it before, more often than Vernon knows, more often than she remembers in the daylight. In fact, she lives the nightmare day in her mind nearly every night, so often that she is no longer conscious of it except as a foul mood when she awakens in the morning. The thrashing in her sleep has stopped, the muttering has stopped. She is still now, at least on the outside.

It begins as it began, in Mum's disordered kitchen, sitting at the tacky linoleum table and shouting at her parents through the pungent leaves of the tomato plants Mum will not plant in her garden later that afternoon. The subject is Vernon Dursley, who Mum and Dad both detest, though--probably because he is sitting right there, frowning at the organic gardening tools--they couch their dislike in terms of "keeping your options open... you're so young, you don't know what you want... wouldn't you rather go to university, dear?"

Lily, of course, did not receive this particular lecture, though she had married at eighteen, almost two years ago. Petunia is nineteen now, but, "Lily's circumstances are different, Pet. You know that. She's completed her education. You only finished secondary school."

Petunia is beginning to argue that she doesn't want to spend four years listening to a bunch of professors who know nothing about reality trying to decipher the meaning of life or some such nonsense. She's already held down a good job as a bookkeeper at Grunnings--a job she was qualified for because she'd kept her parents books for years, if they want to remember that; the Evanses were never much for finances, and they'd only kept their house and their smelly tomatoes because of their second, not their first, daughter--and Vernon, an up and coming salesman, has promised that they will have all the success in the world, and she won't even have to do that forever. It is a whole life of stability and expectations that will be met, and she doesn't want to wait any more to start it. She is working herself up to storm out of the house and never show them her face again, and that is when the air is full of popping noises, and the kitchen is suddenly crawling with men in long black cloaks and white death masks.

An "Of A Sort" outtake--why is Dumbledore showing such interest in Tom. It starts with a flashback.

"The answer is 'No,' Dumbledore. That is the final statement of the Wizengamut on this matter."

Albus Dumbledore stood at the center of the courtroom, looking up at the faces of the Wizengamut disappearing into the shadows far above. "You must hear me," he said, trying not to allow desperation into his voice. "Mertysa Slytherin was a powerful witch. Her child--"

"Has been identified by the proper authorities, and will be contacted when he reaches the age of eleven." A witch in the front row took off her spectacles and folded them. She leaned forward. "Professor Dumbledore, we are in sympathy with the boy's plight. But Miss Slytherin--Mrs. Riddle--made a choice long before she chose to marry a Muggle. This is not, as you have suggested, a judgment on half-bloods or mixed marriages. Mertysa Slytherin was convicted--by this body, I will remind you--of behavior designed to attract the attention of Muggles to the Wizarding World. Her wand was destroyed. She was sentenced to Exile. By the legal standards of the Ministry of Magic, her child is Muggle-born, and will be treated accordingly. We do not interfere with the upbringing of Muggle-born children until they are of school age."

"But Madam Smythemage, if he could be placed with a Wizarding family--"

"But he cannot be so placed." Madam Smythemage sighed. "We will hear no more appeals, Professor, nor will we change our response to your request. Tom Marvolo Riddle will be raised in the world his mother chose for him. Our laws are not to be flouted with impunity."

"You're talking about a two-month-old child. He hasn't flouted any law that I can imagine. Will you visit his mother's crimes on him?"

Madam Smythemage was still gathering herself to answer when an old man with cold gray eyes stood up. He carried a black walking stick with a silver snake wound about its handle. "Frankly, Professor Dumbledore," he said, "I have always found your interest in Miss Slytherin somewhat... disturbing. Perhaps your interest in this child is not merely academic?"

"I did not dignify that accusation with an answer at Mertysa's trial, Malfoy, and will not do so now," Albus said, his jaw tight.

I don't know. I also have a crossover that takes place during OotP, involving Spike and Drusilla from Buffy. And a long-unfinished Star Wars fic about Shmi's life as a slave. Oh, and another Dora Tonks story about her experience knowing Cedric Diggory at school, but I think I'll wait until after I've finished her Sort and another one involving when she finds out Remus is a werewolf.

Thoughts? Whacks on the head?

Today's completed story, keeping with the Potterish theme, is Cry With the Moon, a summer-after-fifth year story, based on a lovely drawing by Durayan. Harry is nervous about flying, since he hasn't done it for nearly a year, so he's glad to take Remus up on an offer to go up to the Hogwarts grounds and practice. But he's forgotten one thing: his broom was a gift from Sirius.
9 comments or Leave a comment
mafdet From: mafdet Date: February 25th, 2004 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Jeez - make it tough, will ya? I like all your HP story ideas and find it tough to pick. I'd be interested in reading any or all.

Though if I had to pick just one I'd say the one where Sirius overhears Ted proposing to Andromeda.

silverhill From: silverhill Date: February 25th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, they all sound really good! I think I like the Dumbledore/Tom Riddle one the best. (Tough choice, though.)
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: February 25th, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
They all sound excellent. The one with Dumbledore and Baby Tom is very original. An interesting situation...
BTW, Petunia would only have been in university three years in England, for a Bachelors (even an Honours) degree. I can't believe I caught Fern tripping...:D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 25th, 2004 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thanks. That's one of those things I never would have even thought to question.
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: February 25th, 2004 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's because our schools are much more intensive up till 18 (we also start at 4 or 5), so we're at a higher level by university age.
ashtur From: ashtur Date: February 25th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, the "Baby Tom" story sounds truly intruiging :)
jiminyc From: jiminyc Date: February 25th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, they all sound intriguing...but the one that grabbed me with the strongest hands was the first one, about little Dora. That's probably coming from my huge love of The Doll Army.
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: February 25th, 2004 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
They all sound good, but I like the sound of 'A Nice, Normal Day' best followed closely by the Dumbledore one.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: February 26th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
All of them sound like stories I'd read in a second. I'm leaning ever-so-slightly to something Tonks-related, so I'll vote for the first two - but I'm intrigued by the Petunia story as well...argh!
9 comments or Leave a comment