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Shades, Chapter Two: Shapeshifting, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shades, Chapter Two: Shapeshifting, pt. 2
When last we left Our Handsome Heroes, Tonks had, to her consternation, learned that her Patronus had taken on a new form... and to Remus's even greater consternation, the form is a werewolf. Remus has confirmed to Dumbledore that it's her new Patronus, and Dumbledore will get word to the Order that it really is Tonks.

She has a bit of trouble sleeping, and goes into the office Sunday morning, where she finds a surprise.

As soon as the lift door opened on level two, Tonks knew something had happened.

There was none of the usual chatter, no high-strung laughter from people coming off of a stressful Saturday night shift. A few people were standing in the aisles between the cubicles, looking dazed. In his cubicle, Dawlish was staring at a blank report scroll, blinking rapidly. He moved a quill toward the scroll, moved it away, moved it back again.

Wrote nothing.

"Dawlish?" she said, taking a tentative step toward the entrance.

He looked up, wrinkled his nose in unhidden dislike, and determinedly set to filling out his report.

A dark hand fell on her shoulder. "Good morning, Tonks," Kingsley Shacklebolt said.

"What's happened?"

He started walking her to her cubicle. "Amelia Bones is dead," he said quietly. "She was found in her flat early this morning. A Muggle neighbor with whom she habitually breakfasts became concerned when she didn't appear, and called their policemen. They're quite confused, of course. There was no way in or out. Signs of quite a struggle, but no sign of escape or entrance."

Tonks tried to absorb this, her mind still fuzzy from lack of sleep. "Her anti-Apparition wards?" she asked.

"Shattered," Kingsley said, rubbing his head. They reached Tonks's cubicle and she sat down. Kingsley leaned against the wall. "Dawlish was the first of ours on the scene. He didn't have much freedom to investigate, but judging by trace magic, he thinks there were at least three attackers."

Tonks couldn't think of what to say. The lift doors rattled open, there was some whispered conversation, then a gasp and a sob. Savage hurried by a moment later, looking green. Amelia Bones had been a fairminded department head, and had been respected and liked by both sides of last year's office war. Losing her was losing an island of sanity in a world gone mad.

Kingsley remained quiet, leaning against the wall, his brow furrowed. He stood up after a moment, sighing. "It's likely that You-Know... Voldemort killed her himself," he said. "Even Bellatrix wouldn't be a match for Amelia on fair terms."

"And Bellatrix is known for her fair terms..."

"We don't know who was there with You... with him. But from the evidence, it looks like she put up quite a fight. And Voldemort would consider it worthy of his time to kill the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement."

Tonks nodded, her mind slipping carefully onto the paths of her work. "Dawlish suspects that Bellatrix was there?"

"We all do, but why do you ask?"

She told him about Dawlish's greeting. "He's never much liked me," she said.

"Nor me." Kingsley waved a dismissive hand. "Dawlish is an idiot. And he's not going to forget that we hid Sirius. He thinks you're too soft for your family, and he thinks I've developed an unhealthy interest in them as well."

"A guess?"

"Not at all. He told me as much when I offered to help him with the case."

"I suppose I should stay away?"

"Probably. Though as of this morning, I have no authority whatsoever over you. Scrimgeour has reassigned me."


"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Kingsley said. "You're reporting to Savage now."

Tonks nodded, resiged. "Where is Scrimgeour in the midst of this?"

"Off telling the Daily Prophet how hard he's working to capture Madam Bones's murderer. I expect he'll be at that for at least two more hours. They say he's first in line when Fudge goes down."

"Oh, good. Any rumors on who gets his job?"

"I doubt I'm in the running after deliberately cocking up an investigation I was heading," Kingsley said. "And you're too new. Beyond that, I honestly don't care much."

"Me, either."

"Well, I suppose you know what you need to know," he said, starting to leave. He turned around and spoke more quietly. "I got an odd message from Dumbledore, about your Patronus?"

"I don't want to talk about it."

"All right." He sighed. "Well, I'd best finish clearing out my cubicle for my next assignment."

He started to walk away, and Tonks almost missed the meaning of it. He was nearly to his cubicle when she felt something sick turn over inside her. She stood too quickly, knocking her chair over and not caring, and rushed around the block of cubicles to Kingsley's.

The walls were bare.

A bit of torn parchment was still tacked to the wall with Spellotape, and a single map was stuck at a forlorn angle just above his desk. The wastepaper basket was full to overflowing, and as she stared at it, a photograph seesawed down to the floor--Sirius at Hogwarts, mugging for the camera beside James Potter and Peter Pettigrew. The photo had a huge crease down the center, and all three boys were waving their hands at it in an irritated way. She let her gaze wander up to the fanned photos sticking up from the top--Sirius screaming mad laughter as he was cornered to be taken to Azkaban, Sirius at James and Lily Potter's wedding, a shadowy figure an informant had claimed was Sirius. Maps of known locations. The corner of a picture of Sirius with James and baby Harry. She pulled this sheaf out, and another fell to the floor--Sirius and Remus, looking impossibly young, standing on the docks in a city Tonks didn't recognize, the ocean filled with white sailboats behind them. A fat elbow told her that Peter Pettigrew was standing just out of frame. Sirius and Mum as children, dressed in holiday robes, standing in the drawing room at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place... heaven knew where Kingsley had found that, as Auntie would undoubtedly have destroyed pictures of either of them, let alone both of them. Sirius with his arm protectively around his younger brother, Regulus, standing on Platform Nine and Three Quarters.


Kingsley was squatting across from her, and she realized that she was groping on the floor for another picture.

She blinked at the handful she already had. "I'm sorry," she said. "I don't know what just got into me."

"It's all right. I should have asked if you wanted any of them. I didn't think about it." He looked at her curiously. "Are you all right, Tonks?"

"Fine." She gathered several of the better pictures and stacked them neatly. She thought Remus might want the school pictures. "I'm fine."

"No, you're not."

"If you're going to give me the answer, then why ask the question?"

"Two days in a row with brown hair, grabbing up wrinkled photographs, and a new Patronus... it's not like you."

"Are you going to put a wand in my face and accuse me of kidnapping myself and and then coming in to impersonate me at work?"

"Just to steal pictures of Sirius, apparently." He smiled faintly. "No, you're you," he said, pointing at a mirror above his desk. "We've put in four, on loan from the Department of Mysteries, Identity Division. The rest are in the Wizengamot offices and the Minister's offices. Dumbledore declined them at Hogwarts."

She gazed in, and saw nothing unusual. "True image mirrors?"

He nodded. "If you're Narcissa, you've aged very well, and the blonde color Potion is normally quite realistic." He smiled. "It's you, Tonks. And me, for that matter." He stood so she could see his reflection. "It avoids a lot of tedious cross-questioning."

"Maybe everyone should have one."

"It's absurdly complicated magic. The Identity Division didn't especially want to part with these. They were made over a hundred years ago, and no one knows how to make new ones."

"I sometimes think we're not very bright."

He smiled faintly. "I sometimes agree with you."

Tonks looked at the stack of pictures in her hand. "Do you mind if--?"

"Take any of them you'd like."

She nodded and started to leave.

"And Tonks?"


"I think you should find someone to talk to who isn't an ill-tempered werewolf. You look like you could stand a bit of talking."

She shook her head. "You know, Kingsley, oddly enough, I've never in my life felt less like talking. Right now, I feel like working."

She left him there, getting ready for whatever his new assignment was, and ignored his advice to stay out of the Bones murder. She spent the next seven hours in a cubicle with a hostile Dawlish, analyzing the murder scene and the witness accounts, learning the last terrible moments of a good woman's life.

I feel a bit...: cranky cranky
Soundtrack: Footloose soundtrack

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moonlinnet From: moonlinnet Date: August 11th, 2005 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Love it! Shacklebolt is beyond cool. =)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 11th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I like Kingsley, too.
dalf From: dalf Date: August 11th, 2005 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I am really starting to like Kingsly a lot post HBP, which is strange since he was not even IN HBP. This sub-chapter was really good though. I like how you show Tonks and Kingsly as co-workers and as friends and the bond as both being order members. Beyond him and her he "does not much care" who takes over. But, at the same time, even as an apparently good friend, how much he does not know about her, with his "Ill tempered werewolf" comment.

It could be my mood or the music I am listening too but there I felt like this bit had an almost surreal calm about it. Maybe not surreal ... ominous? Melancholy?

I liked it a lot, the pictures were sad.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 11th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Kingley's as isolated as she is, and while they'd be natural enough friends, their assignments are more important to them, so they don't really talk all that much about anything else.
From: psalm_27 Date: August 11th, 2005 11:26 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs for Tonks*

Poor kid, its just going to get worse for her before it gets better, eh? I'm just heartbroken at her scrambling for the pictures, what a vivid image.

Loved Kingsley. It was nice to see how strong his affection is for Tonks. I hope that we see more of him as "someone who isn't an ill-tempered werewolf". I think he'd be a great shoulder for Tonks to lean on in the coming months.

And, whose an ill-tempered werewolf? *indignation on Remus's behalf*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 11th, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Since he's not in the Hogsmeade contingent, I think he won't be around much--she's lost her only friend at work, and they'd have both alienated other colleagues with the Sirius stuff the previous year.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: August 11th, 2005 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor Tonks...

I really, really do wish I could come up with more intelligent replies.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 11th, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Poor Tonks" works just fine. :)
From: jennygreenhill Date: August 11th, 2005 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think you might be the only writer I know of who creates convincing 'Non-Harry-Perspective' fiction (does that make sense?) You make the supporting characters just as real as Harry or any other main character.

I just thought I'd say that, because it's pretty darn impressive
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 11th, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. :)

I enjoy alternate POV writing. It's just a different way to look at events.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 11th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Been meaning to say this for a while but -

Bliss, bliss, bliss, bliss, bliss! I LOVE having HP fic to read by you!

That said, looks like Dora's in for a rough year. Same for Remus. I've been thinking about it, and there's one thing that makes Remus being a spy very hard for him. He's got a great deal of empathy and an ability to see from others' POV, even when that POV sees him pretty negatively. In part, I think this is why he's been able to be forgiving instead of bitter with a lot of the hardships life has thrown him.

However, in dealing with someone like Fenrir, it's got to hurt. Fenrir's kind of the anti-Lupin (or that's the picture I'm getting). Remus has been a mentor and an emotional support to a lot of kids. Fenrir wants to be a mentor and emotional focus for kids he's deliberately isolated from others. The thing is, he wouldn't admit to there being a difference between him and Remus except that he probably classifies Remus (post joining the pack) as trying to be these things in a self-righteous, Uncle Tom sort of way.

Normally, Remus could deal with that, but having to deal with Fenrir on a regular basis and pretending to accept his POV, that's got to be corrosive, especially as so much of this has got to fall close to fears Remus has just dealt with. Fenrir saw Tonks and saw a vulnerable kid they could exploit. Remus had to agree and go one further, claiming to have already exploited her. On some level, Remus has got to start wondering if he isn't just what Fenrir claims he is and being disgusted with that self-image.

One thing I have to say for Snape as a spy, he's capable of keeping his core self or his core image of himself intact regardless of what roles he adopts or how others react to him. Since I see that as part of his keeping his emotional distance from others - and since I normally admire Remus' empathy - I'm surprised to find myself wishing Remus had more of that quality. Without it, I'm afraid he's going to go through an emotional meatgrinder, and he'll be taking Tonks along with him.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 11th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops, and this is Ellen. I'm always forgetting to sign things.
super_pan From: super_pan Date: August 11th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
This short chapter was awesome! For anyone who didn't buy Sad Tonks in HBP, this should make it clear why an upbeat young women can get so low. And alas, poor Tonks; there is so much worse to come. I really enjoy your insight into these characters. Now it seems obvious to me that Kingsley's reassignment would have an impact on Tonks. She will miss his support, and the connection to Sirius. In such a small piece, you introduced a gajillion reasons for Tonks to be depressed. And while your Tonks has always been believable and likable, now with POV treatment, she is becoming a real live person. Again, awesome.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 11th, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are tons of things affecting her this year, and to top it off, she is a Black, and, while they're not at Gaunt levels of instability, they're never going to be, in the immortal words of Buffy, on the cover of Sanity Fair. They've got some emotional iffiness about them.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 11th, 2005 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another wonderful installment. I'm impressed with how you worked in the Bones' murder and the effects it would have on everyone at Auror headquarters. Very effective scenes with Kingsley and the addition of the photographs -- just lovely. I also like how you've set it up for Tonks to talk to Molly as in HBP. What a nice chapter!

On a related topic, this has got me wanting to re-read Shifts. Last time I read it on LJ. Which version is the "final" version--the one on HB or on SQ? Thanks!!! Mary
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 11th, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
SQ is the polished version. :)
thunderemerald From: thunderemerald Date: August 11th, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Footloose soundtrack, huh? Heehee... er, anyway.

I have a feeling I'm going to miss having Remus in this story as much as the last one -- but I'll live, because I can't wait to see where you'll end up going with your take on their relationship.

"Ill-tempered werewolf"? Where the heck is Kingsley getting THAT impression from? For heaven's sake. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 11th, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Holdin' out for a hero 'til the end of the night... he's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be fast, and he's...

Er, yeah. An ill-tempered werewolf. ;)

G-d knows where Kingsley got that from; I don't.
doomandnachos From: doomandnachos Date: August 11th, 2005 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Regarding Tonks and the photos, you have done more in a single scene to make me believe in angsty!Tonks than all of HBP did. A lovely scene, and one that nicely parallels the "by-the-by" approach to Sirius' death in canon.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: August 11th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the pictures.... Wow. What a terribly evocative moment. *hugs Tonks*

I love Kingsley's off-hand reference to his new assignment. Heh. I wonder exactly how many members of the Order are undercover (in some capacity) this year, anyway?
kismeteve From: kismeteve Date: August 11th, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved this chapter. I'm a big fan of Kingsley despite his lack of lines and actual plot, so this was a great read. There isn't nearly enough fic out there that deals with the fact that Tonks is basically in the FBI/MI5 of the wizarding world and I love how you showed the stress it can cause. As isolated as Kinglsey is, Tonks is even more so.
simibee From: simibee Date: August 11th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your Tonks is my favorite! She's actually believable as canon... unlike some others... ANd you make her mental state in HBP quite understandable.

ahhh so good, even of if it is sad...
lorelei_lynn From: lorelei_lynn Date: August 11th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved the image of Tonks sorting through the photos. No wonder she's looking mousy - Sirius' death, disgrace at work, and the Remus situation would be more than enough to do that to anyone.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 13th, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
A very good start! I have to echo that I like Kingsley here. He's one of JKR's throwaway chaacters (at least for now) but there has to be more to him or else he wouldn't have joined the order. I can even understand the "ill-tempered werewolf" comment and it is good to see an outsider's view on a well-loved character from time to time.

I have to admit, that although I loved "Shifts", I thought that your Remus and Dora weren't really robust enough. However, HBP has proved you right and me wrong (not really surprising) and your interpretation fits canon perfectly! All those self-doubts of Remus' and the analysis of his own motives fit with the break-up so well.

I am glad to see a Tonks' pov this time. I've never thought her a one-dimensional character and I fully expect you to show her in-depth.

Thanks very much for getting started on this so quickly!

From TDU
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