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Shades, Chapter One: The End, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shades, Chapter One: The End, pt. 3
I still haven't done a page at HB, but entries can be found in reverse order by the nifty new tag thing.

I'm just finishing chapter one, and I'm already off my calendar and must re-think the next few days in fic time, because I realized how this scene ends, and can't believe I didn't realize it before. I'm a bit dense on my first rough outlining.

Anyway, as I left it, Sirius's will was read and Tonks was feeling a little off because of it, and also because Remus hasn't brought up the future of their relationship at all, but before they can do any talking, Dumbledore tells Remus that there is a mission for which he is "uniquely suited." Tonks goes home, worried, and only gets more worried when an enigmatic note from Remus tells her that he's dropping out of communication, and will only check in periodically at the Burrow, which Molly and Arthur have agreed to allow him to use as a "base." Tonks, so worried that her hair has turned a natural color she's totally forgotten about, immediately goes there. Molly invited her in for tea at last viewing.

Molly did a quick search of the kitchen, muttering something about "Extendable Ears" while the tea set hovered in front of Tonks until she remembered that it didn't know her preferences.

"Sweet," she told it. "Not light."

The pot poured a cupful and the tongs dropped a cube of sugar into it. A lemon slice floated hopefully over, but Tonks waved it on its way. Molly snagged it and dropped it into her own cup as she sat down.

"My children," she said apologetially. "They feel they need to know absolutely everything. And I've noticed... well, dear, I thought there might be a few things you wouldn't want them chattering among themselves about." She set something down beside her, and Tonks glanced at it lazily, then with some alarm.

"Molly, your clock--!"

Molly smiled tightly. "It's been like that since the night... well, the night that Ron and Ginny went to the Ministry," she said, and tucked it behind the teapot. Tonks could still see all the hands pointing to "mortal peril."


"I knew it was coming." She sighed. "As Bill says, as long as we're all in mortal peril anyway, we may as well do something."

"This business with Remus... is it... I mean, is your family...?"

"Dumbledore has helped keep this house unnoticeable since Harry started spending time with us. A Distraction Charm or some such thing, to keep people from remembering just how often Harry is here. It's no Fidelius, but it's a bit of safety. He thought Remus would be able to make use of it as well, as long as it's there." She took a sip of her tea and watched the steam for a moment, then said, "I don't know what you're cleared to know or not know. Remus and Dumbledore didn't have a great deal of time to explain everything..."

"It's all right. He'll tell me--or, well, tell me that he won't tell me--when he gets here."

Molly nodded. "Are the pair of you all right?" she asked carefully. "I don't mean to pry, of course, but I'm awfully fond of you both..."

"Of course we are," Tonks said. "Well, we simply... that is, there hasn't been a lot of time. And Sirius... I mean, since he..." She shook her head. "I don't know. I'm sure we're fine. But you know Remus. Not one of the world's great talkers, that one."

Molly looked troubled, but changed the subject. "You know, Bill's been talking about marrying that Fleur. Bit mad, if you ask me. He barely knows her."


"Young people. They always do these impetuous things. And they end up... Ginny? What do you need?"

Ginny was standing in the doorway. "Just a glass of pumpkin juice," she said, looking curiously at Tonks.

Molly had already Summoned a glass and a carafe of juice, which both floated over to Ginny. "Anything else?"

Ginny shook her head, then looked at Tonks. "Are you going to come out later? Ron and I were playing Jury of Jarveys... it's a fun game where you--"

"I know the game," Tonks said, a sharp bit of grief for Sirius hitting her unexpectedly. They'd played Jury of Jarveys for hours one night at Grimmauld Place, and she remembered him wandering around with a jarvey nose after he'd won and... She made herself smile at Ginny. "Maybe later."

Ginny nodded uncertainly, and retreated to the living room.

"Sorry about that," Molly said.

"It's all right. I like Ginny. She's a good girl. Just thinking about Sirius. The game. It's just a silly thing."

"He meant a lot to you."

"To both of us. Sometimes I wonder if..."


"If I'd been able to stop Bellatrix. You know. Maybe everything would be different. But I couldn't do it. And she went on and killed him. I wonder if that's what--"

"You're not actually imagining it's your fault?" someone said behind her. She looked over her shoulder and saw Remus at the outside door, wearing a shirt and trousers that were barely more than rags.

"You're all right?"

"I'm all right. You didn't answer me."

"No. I don't know."

Remus looked across the room, toward the living room door, then looked back down. "Molly, I need to talk to D... to Tonks for a moment."

A flock of twittering panic birds exploded inside of Tonks. "Since when do you call me...?"

But he was just looking back at her steadily, his hand held out.

Tonks looked over her shoulder. Ron and Ginny were still playing their game, but Ginny was sneaking glances over her shoulder.

She nodded, and followed Remus out into the night.

He put his arm over her shoulders and drew her to him. "Don't start questioning what happened at the Ministry. Bellatrix is an expert duelist. You lasted as long as Sirius did and longer than Kingsley. She's very powerful--"

"And I let her get away."

"No. She just won." He moved away a bit and took her hand, leading her up a path through the Burrow's garden. "How much did Ron and Ginny hear?" he asked.

"Nothing, as I don't know anything. Molly and I mostly talked about... other things."

"I plan to keep the Weasleys informed about what I'm doing. They have a right to know. It's the other things I'm worried about."

Tonks stopped. "Us? You're actually... We're to hide... Remus, we've talked about getting married. At least we did once, and--"

He turned and stopped her talking with a kiss. It was harsh and desperate, and tasted bitter. He ran his thumb over her cheeks, then kissed her forehead and her eyelids.

Then he let go and turned around. "I don't want anyone seeing us together this year," he said. "Not as anything more than... acquaintances."


"Dora, please. I'll explain. But please don't make this worse than it already is."


"It's because I love you," he said. "Come with me, Dora. Please."

They walked hand in hand for a long time without talking, their shadows making eerie, swirling shades of them in the mist, as they headed up toward an orchard at the top of a rise. He let go of her hand as they climbed the last steep rise, and didn't take it back again when they reached the top. Instead, he sat on a low stone bench and leaned forward, his long fingers absently rubbing at his forehead.

Tonks sat down beside him and put her hand on his shoulder. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, then reached across and brushed her fingers with his own.

"Fenrir Greyback has resurfaced," he said quietly.

The twittering panic-birds disappeared, swallowed whole by a roaring lion of fear. Tonks wrestled it down. "I know that name," she said. "When I was first studying to be an Auror, I read about him. He targeted small..." Full understanding came in a flash. "Oh, Remus. He's the one, isn't he? The werewolf who bit you."

He nodded, then gently nudged her hand off of his shoulder and stood up. "He's bitten many people," he said. "I thought he might have forgotten me, but he hasn't. He's in Voldemort's service. So are most of the werewolves he's bitten."

"And Dumbledore wants you there?" Tonks asked.

"Yes. Uniquely suited in every way." There was a trace of bitterness in his voice that she didn't think he was aware of. "I'm to tell them that I was prosecuted after the battle at the Ministry. Stripped of my property and exiled. It was hardly difficult to feign being stripped of my property. Bill just hid what there is of it in a corner of the Weasley vault. The rest..." He sighed. "Anyone he believes I'm still connected to, anyone who seems too important to me is in danger."

"I'm an Auror, Remus. I've controlled werewolves before. I know I don't talk about it much, but--"

"He said I should 'bring you into the pack.'"

It cut off Tonks's words more quickly than the kiss had done. She waited for him to go on.

"He saw us together in London." Remus's face twisted in disgust. "He said you were a lovely child. That I should bring you as soon as I could. I told a lie. I think I'll be telling a lot of them. I said you were..." He struggled, then sat down beside her, his face in his hands. "I told him you were just a girl with a werewolf fixation and I was getting... affection... where I could. Nothing serious, and over now. I'm sorry. I had to say it. I don't want him thinking that you--"

"It's all right. I've been undercover, Remus."

"But I can't give him any reason to think otherwise. Do you understand? Tell me you understand."

She nodded, not trusting her voice.

Remus rubbed violently at his face, then stood up, and to her complete confusion, drew his wand. He held it for a moment, looking at it contemplatively, then held it out to her.

"Oh, no," she said. "Oh, no. You're not doing this. I won't let you."

"They'll snap or burn it if they find it on me anyway."

"So keep it hidden."

"Dora, take it." He took her hand, wrapped it around the wand, and put it back at her side. She could feel the slightly splintered surface under her palm. The night seemed to be growing very cold. He closed his own hand and turned away again. "Thank you," he said.

"I haven't agreed to anything."

"Dammit, Dora! I'm not playing here."

"Nor am I."

A cloud passed over the moon, darkening the space between them. Remus was only a hunched black form in the mist. "I need you," he said. "I need you to be safe. Please, Dora. Keep the--" He paused, then his shoulders went stiff. "That's not a cloud," he said clearly.

Tonks looked up, and dread filled her. The shadow passing over the moon hadn't stopped. It was spreading, blotting out the stars. The chill was rising. Something nearby rattled.

"Dementor," she said, standing up. She scanned the mists, looking for the tell-tale shadow form, turning on the spot.

It rose up suddenly, emerging from the mist in front of her as though made from it, one white hand reaching forward.

"Little half-blood freak... traitor..."


"I'll kill your Daddy, and then I'll come for you..."

Into the depths...

The hand brushed against her and she raised her wand--Remus's wand, actually--and called out, "EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

A burst of white leapt from the end of her wand, driving the Dementor back. She didn't watch. She turned back to Remus, holding the wand out. "Here, take this," she said. "There could be m--"

But he grabbed the wand away from her roughly, taking several steps back, his eyes narrowed and somewhat wild. "Who are you?" he demanded, pointing the wand at her head. "Who are you and where is Nymphadora Tonks?"
78 comments or Leave a comment
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dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: August 5th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not like you would let your readers hanging at a cliff, wouldn't you?
Anyway; just to say that I liked "Shifts", and I fully intend to like the sequel.
Keep up the good work.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, and I'll try!
caitie From: caitie Date: August 5th, 2005 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh. The last part positively gave me chills. I'm very anxious for Part 4!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
gave me chills.

Dementors do that. ;)

sophonax From: sophonax Date: August 5th, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh, spooky

This is just great.
harmonicalesson From: harmonicalesson Date: August 5th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Username love (if there can even be such a thing...I mean, I know there's icon love...but anyway)! One of the best books ever. :)
From: underaloggia Date: August 5th, 2005 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yay, more Fernwriting!

Okay, this is vaguely embarrassing, since I've been reading your journal since about halfway through Shifts (having found it on SQ and eventually grasped the idea that there might be MORE elsewhere)--and I've only just managed to set myself up with a LJ account, so here I am finally commenting. Really this is just to squee and fangirl all over everything you write--not things I normally do anywhere, except your characterizations are so beautifully done, and I'm continually boggled at how you produce these long coherent well-written chapterlets out of thin air. Not to mention your non-fic journal entries are both thoughtful and thought-provoking (at least for me: I'm a female 30-yr-old history professor, so I guess there's some coincidental congruence there). Hm, maybe that was TMI; still feeling my way here with this posting whatnot... Anyway, LOVE this recent update; keep up the good work, and once I figure out how to do it, do you mind if I friend you?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay, more Fernwriting!

Friending's great. My f-list is a tad bit long, so I haven't been adding back as much, but I'm always happy to see people drop in.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: August 5th, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I knew it was coming." She sighed. "As Bill says, as long as we're all in mortal peril anyway, we may as well do something."

I love this line. It sums up the Weasley Male attitude towards life pretty neatly, I think.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suspect we may see it in Ginny before too long as well. ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 5th, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful job with this conversation! You can feel Remus' embarassment and grief at the lies he's having to tell and his need to keep Tonks safe. Lovely cliffhanger, I guess we're about to hear Remus' thoughts on her new Patronus???? Don't keep us waiting too long! Cheers! Mary
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah... there's an awkward moment that Hallmark doesn't make a card for. I think I'm not going to have him make a huge fuss about it, but it's got to freak him out a little bit. And embarrass Tonks!
harmonicalesson From: harmonicalesson Date: August 5th, 2005 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh! I'd pondered a few different reactions Remus might have to Tonks' new patronus, but it never occurred to me that he'd think she was an impostor. But of course, it makes perfect sense.

It's only the end of Chapter One and I'm already on pins and needles. Great work. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
It occurred to me pretty much as I was writing the scene, though I'd been thinking about JK's comment on the FAQ question about Patroni being instantly recognizable and non-fakeable.
dadaginny From: dadaginny Date: August 5th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent ending -- loved how she did not notice her new patronus, but Remus did. I think you nailed the reaction.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, she has other things on her mind. But I think it would catch his attention pretty quickly.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, I try. The retconning after new canon can be a bit awkward; I hope it keeps coming together.
super_pan From: super_pan Date: August 5th, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm just like underaloggia, in that I read Shifts here too, but just now got myself a livejournal. I really like how Shades smoothly transitions from Shifts, and yet the tone is changing subtly yet inexorably. Among your talents is the ability to convey details that make a picture more complete and textured. For example, the eager lemon slice, and Ginny constantly lurking and eavesdropping in the background. The lemon made me feel comfortable and cheered, while Ginny made me feel nervous. My point is: I like your story.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, and welcome. I'm glad you liked the lemon slice. It was little, but it seemed friendly, so I left it there.
a_t_rain From: a_t_rain Date: August 5th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh. I did not see that last line coming, but of course it makes perfect sense. Can't wait to see how the scene plays out.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me either, since it wasn't in my plan. ;)
kokopelli20878 From: kokopelli20878 Date: August 5th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

a technical canon question

Yes, Tonks is upset in book 6. She's appearing in her natural state. Her Patronus has changed.

Her Patronus - is it a dog (Padfoot) or a wolf (Moony)?

I could see arguments either way.

In my own fan-fic, I see the metamorphagus problems pointing to Moony, but the Patronus change I could see as tied to losing a dear cousin. So shall I write it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: a technical canon question

I think both are arguable, and agree with you that from a psychological perspective, the shock of Sirius's death would be the thing most likely to have caused a change. On the other hand, I think the only reason to have introduced the changed Patronus at all was to establish her connection to Remus, so I'm guessing that the authorial intention is for it to be a wolf. I try to stick with authorial intention on things like that, as it avoids some obsoletion problems later on.
ella_menno From: ella_menno Date: August 5th, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, oh, oh, oh. Just the first chapter, and already I can tell I'm going to be just as hooked on this one as I was on "Shifts."

Excellent work, and like the above poster said, great job making everything fit with canon.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
jesspallas From: jesspallas Date: August 5th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, given that JKR had said that Patronuses were easily recognisable as being from a particular person, I'd always wondered firstly how Snape knew it was from Tonks in HBP (unless word had since spread through the Order) and why no one thought she might be an imposter because of it. So it nice to see it addressed in your fic!

Looking forward to more. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I saw an anti-Tonks person commenting on this--she loses her most prominent power and her Patronus changes... clearly, she's an imposter who is mentally controlling Remus! :eyeroll: But it seemed like a good enough idea to hang a scene on.
thunderemerald From: thunderemerald Date: August 5th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ack! What? NO! You cannot leave it like this! WRITE MORE NOW!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm at work at the moment. I think they wouldn't take kindly. ;)
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