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Ask the characters... - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Ask the characters...
Okay, finished a fic. I don't quite feel like doing ficlets (and I keep fizzling out on them, anyway), but how about celebrating with a little ask the characters. Ask the characters whatever you want!
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From: queen_bellatrix Date: May 26th, 2018 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmm, am currently rereading Needle's Eye. I know Theresa Cresswell lost her third pregnancy at St. Mungo's, and of course, her husband.

So for Theresa, how tacitly--or not so tacitly--did you support what your son was doing? (Fern, I know you said she was shell-shocked post-war, but she doesn't...seem to have stayed that way, so yeah I'm just curious.)

And...for any of Haymitch's kids in your challenge ficlet "August Story" where Digger survived, what was it like, growing up simultaneously with Dad the excellent author and Dad the victor who had to mentor for the district, maybe even for your friends?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2018 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
[Theresa]: Well, what do you expect me to say, really? He was my son, and he did it all for me, in the end. Me and his brother. And he wouldn't have needed to if they hadn't let those bastards free in the first place. I'd still have my good son if they'd kept those animals locked up where they belonged. Bloody Albert Runcorn probably killed more people than half the actual Death Eaters in the place, he just did it with quills and parchment instead of curses, so they let him go. Sam shouldn't have needed to finish the job himself. He never should have needed to do what the Ministry should have done in the first place. Potter should have killed him instead of just knocking him out to take a few hairs. What did he think he was playing at?

[Maysie Abernathy]Momma's pretty sure that the Capitol's not really going to Reap me, but Daddy's just as sure that they will. He says they couldn't resist the drama of having his little girl, named for his old ally, in the arena. I kind of think like Daddy, though I expect they'll wait until I've got bigger tits. (Momma says I probably won't get really big ones, but I eat pretty well, and I bet I do. I bet they'll make me wear something slinky, and Daddy will about have heart failure.) Mostly, we don't talk about the Hunger Games. The stories Daddy makes up for us at home are all pretty happy, mostly about a made-up place called Xanadu, where everyone has lots of money and food, and the adventures just happen because they're so bored they have to leave sometimes to help other people. And now that I'm old enough to read Jericho Danes books, I sometimes ask for special Jericho stories, too. (I think Jericho needs a love interest, personally.) So, the Games don't really come up in conversation. Only Basil and I... we know what the "camping weekends" really are. Daddy sets up a tent out on the green, and we have to find our own food and cook on fires we start (only we can't get caught starting them). We have contests, like wrestling and throwing darts. We have to build things out of nothing, and using tools we make out of rocks and sticks. And, to put it mildly, the hide and seek games are epic. When I turned twelve, we started having hide and seek contests with all of my best friends, too, and Uncle Lacklen's kids are starting to join in. But that's not training at all. Nope. Just a game...
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 26th, 2018 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)


Longtime lurker here. I love everything you write, Fern.

Celia, how did everything go down with throwing the third task? How did James convince you to throw it? And what happened to Madame Laurent in the end?

Elodie, did you play a role in solving the mystery? Do you still keep in touch with James? Where did you end up in life?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2018 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ville-Sauvage...

[Celia]James didn't really ask me to do it. He just said... well, didn't say, exactly. He showed up in the middle of the course, Scorpius and Elodie in tow, and all he asked, exactly, was that I keep my mouth shut. But they needed more cover. I thought about keeping on with my task, looking for those tarasque scales, but I heard Elodie scream, and I figured she wasn't really going to be able to defend herself (I was a bit wrong there, I guess, as she ended up smashing a vampire's hand with a rock to get him off of me), so I rushed off to the rescue. All those articles about how a werewolf would win this great international competition and finally set the record straight about what we could do... but I could only have won if I'd been a beast and let my friends stay in trouble. And it was all right. There was already a lycanthropic international champion, and Dani stepped up to admit it, so we still got our recognition. As to Madame Laurant? She's the long term care wing in the French wizarding hospital. No spell damage, but they don't have anywhere else to stash her.

[Elodie]We all helped out a little. It was visiting me that got James thinking about the stolen treasure, and I got him all the records on it. That's what kept coming back to Madame Laurent's grandfather. And it was Scorpius who realized what must have happened. But it was James who realized it was Madame Laurent all along, not some gentil groundskeeper or even Denis Laurent. He was the one who put it together.

We did keep in touch, and I was at his wedding. I married a boy from my sect, named Philippe, and we have a more or less normal Absentioniste life.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 26th, 2018 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)
a question about my favourite story, Shades (I'm angry there isn't more!) and my favourite oc in the whole world, Vivian. What did you think about Mr. Lupin when you met him for the first time? We do all know he's amazing, but did you like him from the start?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2018 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I definitely thought he was interesting at the start. He talked very prettily, like someone in a story, and he hardly had any marks on him. And before he came, Greyback had told us that he was one of our oldest brothers, coming home after picking up some odd ideas. I really wondered what those ideas were. So... I knew he was interesting. I didn't know about wonderful until later.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 26th, 2018 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sister Teresa: When did you decide to give the records to Coco, or were they held by the church until the 21st century?

-- FFR
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2018 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I wish I'd had the chance! That's what I saved them for. But I'd had some problems for a while. There were things inside me that were not quite right. We will leave it there; it is... unrelated to your question. I got deathly ill barely a year after that argument with Imelda. The convent sent me for treatment in the capital, but... well, it didn't take. I have the impression that Imelda didn't know. She seemed surprised to see me on this side of the marigold bridge, anyway. And in truth, now that she's here, I don't know of anyone else who remembers me at all, unless the twins do, and I doubt they've been telling stories of foolish Teresa lately. I don't expect to ever see Coco. I did see Héctor. I tried to get Imelda to talk to him, but she is as stubborn dead as she was alive. So I simply do my business in Los Olvidados now, trying to help who I can before my poor bones rattle apart. I ran into Ernesto once. He didn't have the faintest idea who I was.

But the records...! I wish I'd known I was going to die. I'd have made arrangements to get them to Coco when she was old enough to have her own spine. But I didn't. As far as I know, they're still in the convent archives somewhere.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 26th, 2018 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Remus, did you read that letter Dora sent you when you were teaching at Hogwarts? Did you send a reply?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2018 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course I read it! I set it aside to read again. Her letters always brightened things up. We'd been trying to arrange a visit to my OWL and NEWT classes all year, but it never came together. Moody had her hopping all over the place that year. I'm sure I responded, but I doubt it was anything important. I don't remember it at all... probably something along the line of being sorry she couldn't come up, and how I was looking forward to seeing her. By then, I was fairly distracted by the Dementors and a nagging suspicion that I ought to be sharing certain relevant facts with the Aurors. And by a growing certainty that I'd seen a very familiar black dog under the stands at the Quidditch pitch.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: May 26th, 2018 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
If this isn't too niche, I remember once asking for (and getting) a really nice ficlet about what would have happened if Haymitch said "yes" when Mimi asked him if he loved her. So, alt-Mimi, how are things going, say, a year later?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2018 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so tired looking after the baby, I hardly notice how things are going! No one warned me about. Haymitch says I can hire a nanny, but no one else here does that, and since I have less to do than any real District Twelve wife, I know they'd really start whispering behind their hands if I hired help with just one child. I honestly don't know how they do it!

As you may have ascertained, I'm living here in Victor's Village with Haymitch. He keeps trying to quit drinking, and he's doing better this time than last. He's been sober for three months. I've had to be sober as well, since my pills don't come out here. They'd have probably been bad for the baby, anyway. So we have been a little snippy with each other, since we're both... I think his word is "white-knuckling." A very evocative word, I think.

But, snippy or no, I think we have been good for each other, and I think we may actually make it.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: May 27th, 2018 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
No, no, it's OK to hire a nanny, Mimi! Just think of it as a way of infusing cash into the local economy! (Also, what's the baby's name?)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: May 27th, 2018 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I still need to catch up on the later chapters of The Wedding Guitar, so if this is already answered in it, sorry and ignore this! But Imelda, when you got to the land of the dead, did you look for Hector, and how did that go?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2018 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Look for him? Why would I look for him? Not that I had to. He was knocking at my door as soon as he knew I was there. With apologies on his lips, or what passed for them. How many times did I turn him away? Well, in truth, only twice. He gave up after that. I knew he would. Just because I don't have a literal heart doesn't mean I want the figurative one trampled on again. Do you know how he knew I was there? I saw him, and he saw me. And where was he? On a damned stage with that Gustavo and Chicharron. Still singing his stupid songs. I told him I should have known he'd be there, and what he'd be doing. He put down the guitar and swore he'd never play again if that's what I wanted, but I know that song. "Oh, no, we won't be gone long." "Oh, no, you mean more to me than the tours." "Oh, mi amor, how could you even ask?" How could I ask, after fifty years? After I raised our daughter alone and our grandchildren, because he couldn't stay away from the adoring fans? Of which there were a good number in the plaza when I got there. I left, of course. He followed. I told him to stay away. I told Pepita not to let him near my workshop. I... well, I'm sure you get the picture. I'll bet he was back on that stage ten minutes after he left my door.

Edited at 2018-05-27 05:42 am (UTC)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: May 28th, 2018 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Imelda ... *shakes head*

Just because I don't have a literal heart doesn't mean I want the figurative one trampled on again.

That just sums it up, doesn't it?

Thank you, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 28th, 2018 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if, before Imelda died, Hector had any idea that she literally thought he'd abandoned them for his music, as opposed to just thinking he'd gone on a tour she didn't approve of and died on it. He may not even have realized that no one told her he was dead and couldn't come home. In the movie, judging by the scene with Gustavo and the fact that he's buddies with quite a few artists (including, obviously, Frida, who didn't die until 1954), he did fall in with his old sort of crowd at some point, but by the time Miguel sees him, he's become almost as bitter about musicians as Imelda is. So it would make sense to think that he was waiting to see her, but thinking he was just the same Hector as ever, and he'd make it up to her for leaving... only to discover that she was utterly furious and heartbroken over something he didn't really do. (Of course, he may have wondered about the ofrenda, but he might have forgotten the family photo and thought she just didn't have one. Coco still would have had all her faculties at that point, so he wouldn't have felt the pressure like he did in the move timeline.)

Edited at 2018-05-28 05:36 pm (UTC)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: May 29th, 2018 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
He may not even have realized that no one told her he was dead and couldn't come home.

That's an interesting point. Now I'm wondering when was the first time he tried to cross over, and how that went, and how he got to the point of desperation he was at by the time we meet him.

by the time Miguel sees him, he's become almost as bitter about musicians as Imelda is

Very true. Again, more intriguing questions about how his century (or longer? My math is bad) in the land of the dead went!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 30th, 2018 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I think this will be the "shadow story" set against the finding of Hector's body, the more I think about it.

The general agreement seems to be 96 years -- Coco was four or so when he left, and a hundred when she died.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 27th, 2018 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Dora, what were your thoughts when you learned Mr. Lupin is a werewolf? Were you angry no one told you this?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 28th, 2018 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
[If I ever wrote anything about this, I don't remember it... it's been a few fandoms since then! ;p]

Angry? No. I was young and not known for discretion, and it's a pretty explosive secret. If I was angry, it was because it was something that needed to be hidden. There was nothing wrong with my Mr. Lupin, you must understand. Not ever, or in anything. And since Mr. Lupin was lycanthropic, it couldn't be bad. It took a while to understand that it really was something very bad that had happened to him.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: May 28th, 2018 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
It's here actually.

I promise I'm not a stalker ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 28th, 2018 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Could someone give links to old fern's ficlets written before those unfortunate events of DH that are about the Lupin family (Remus and his daughter, and so on). I read the ones tagged HP, but I suspect there should be more. Could anyone help me with this?
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 27th, 2018 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Fern, I know it's ask the characters, but the problme is that I don't know which of them could answer this question. So I have to address it to you. As I understand it, in your Teddy stories the afterlife is a child's imagination. Am I right? How long do the people stay there? And now I'm breaking my own rule by doing this since I always read AU and ignore canon, but here it goes. Dora and Remus, how long did you stay in that first stage of the afterlife (I don't even know whether it's the right way to describe it)? Did you ever decide to move on?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 28th, 2018 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Not a child's imagination, no. It's the sort of world that the people who remember them see them in. In the case of the Teddy stories, he's so focused on it and he is a child that it comes off as a child's imagination, but the other people who remember them also contribute to it. It's just not part of the shared world that Teddy has with them.

As to how long they stay? They can stay as long as it makes them happy to be there. So I imagine someone like Phineas sticking around, close to the veil, to keep a crabby eye on his descendants. Dumbledore, on the other hand, might just stop for coffee with some old friends, then move on to see what happens next.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 29th, 2018 01:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

For Kingsley...

Oh dear, I'm probably much too late, but just in case I'm not:

I've been rereading Stray and getting very curious about the conversation (with watercress sandwiches and lots of cream for the scones, if I remember correctly) in which Dumbledore recruited Kingsley to the Order. Kingsley, how did that conversation go? Were you completely taken by surprise to learn of the Order and Dumbledore's activities, or did it confirm suspicions you'd had? How did you react to the news that your unease about Sirius' conviction was justified? And how--and how long--did it take you to reconcile your new knowledge with your belief that Aurors should be investigators, not judges?

As always, thank you!
Sarah (longtime lurker, occasional commenter)
Tracy Wood From: Tracy Wood Date: June 3rd, 2018 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)

ask the characters

I'm probably too late for this, but anyway. A question for Gale. When did it occur to you that Katniss did have genuine feelings for Peeta? That it wasn't just an act. Was it when he hit the forcefield?
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