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Shades, Chapter Five: Relocation, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shades, Chapter Five: Relocation, pt. 3
Ah, moving stories are fun when they have no ramifications...

Anyway, I left Tonks with Remus in the Shrieking Shack, having agreed to be part of the Auror team that relocates to Hogsmeade. He's explained to her how to get from the Shack into Hogwarts and vice versa and given her a talisman to get her past the security wards. And they argued about his unilateral decision to give up entirely on their relationship. And she kissed him. And he didn't entirely object.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

There was nothing more to say, though Tonks thought that she and Remus passed a few meaningless pleasantries--and spent longer than was entirely necessary at it--before Remus fell silent, looked at her for a long time, then Disapparated.

Tonks left a bit later, and wandered the night streets of Hogsmeade. She'd never been here alone at night before, and she was struck by how very dark it was, and how quiet. Sound carried a little bit from the Three Broomsticks and the Hog's Head, and somewhere, someone with an open window was listening to the Wizarding Wireless, a foul band called The Moonhowlers, if Tonks wasn't mistaken.

In bustling London, there were always a thousand distractions at hand. Here, there was nothing but the swirling mists. She thought briefly about going to visit her old school-friend, Sanjiv McPherson, but checked her watch and decided against it. He might still be up, but at this hour, a woman in his flat wasn't likely to be an old chum.

She Apparated back to her parents' home.

Friday was a haze of activity as she briefed colleagues on her cases and closed up her investigations in London, and Saturday a haze of packing and parental well-wishing. On Sunday, she returned to Hogsmeade with Savage, Proudfoot, and Dawlish. Robards accompanied them to see to final arrangements with Aberforth.

Tonks's room was on the third floor, sunny and surprisingly clean. Aberforth had provided her with a large bureau and several wardrobes (he winked and showed her that they were magically enlarged on the inside as well; she suspected that none of the others had gotten these). She was lazily sending her clothing collection into them when Robards knocked on her open door.

"Are you sure you'll be all right here? No three-shift days without someone to force you to go home?"

"I'll try to restrain myself."

"I haven't found anything on our friend T-R-A, but I'm still investigating. Have you found anything?"

Tonks shook her head. "Not really, though I'm satisfied that it's not you."

"I'm glad to hear it. What brought you to that conclusion?"

"You were tied up at the office for days around the time Emmeline disappeared. You don't have any history of dabbling. Your wife is Muggle-born. So is your mistress."

Robards blanched. "Ah."

"Don't worry, I'm not a gossip columnist."

"Yes, er... Well, I'm beginning to think she may have simply been referring to Travers, or someone else with a name that begins with those letters. I shared information with Dumbledore, in case she meant your people--well, your other people--and he said he would look into it himself."

"I suppose that's all we can do."

"I'll leave you to your unpacking, then." He turned to leave, then turned back. "I meant it about not overworking yourself. I'll tell the others not to allow it."

"Please don't. It will be difficult enough without them thinking they're being asked to look after me. And I don't need looking after."

"I look after all of my people." Robards looked at her skeptically. "I've told Dawlish to set up night watches near the entrances to the school, and I'd like the four of you to work out the schedule for them."

"All right."

He paused, his lips pursed. "Look, I know you have your issues with Dawlish, but he's a capable Auror, and I expect you both to be professional here."

"I'm not the one you need to talk to about that."

"Er... I know. But as he got a bit shirty with me when I raised the point with him, I had to promise that you would get the same instruction."

"Duly noted."

"Well, I'd best get back to London, before my wife decides that you're my mistress. Which would at least make more sense than the one I've got, as I occasionally have time to see you, which is more than I can say for Rachel."

"Except for the part where I'd curse you into next month."

"That would be a significant inconvenience."

Shaking his head at the contingencies of his life, Robards left the room. Tonks saw him leave the pub and Apparate from the street outside, then went back to unpacking. The sun was setting when she heard familiar voices in the corridor.

"Well, I hear they've put Aurors in Hogsmeade..." a woman said with over-feigned shock. "Can you imagine?"

"You know how they always overreact," a man said. "To a few thefts--"

"A Dementor attack or two--" another cut in.

"Some disappearances--"

"Dark wizards rising from the dead and chasing down schoolboys--"

Tonks went to her door, and found her three best school chums staging their little scene. Daffy Apcarne, his infant son Francis in his arms, grinned broadly, and his wife Maddie ran forward and hugged Tonks. Sanjiv fell dramatically to his knees and wrapped his arms around Tonks's legs. "We're saved! At last!"

"All except for you, Sanjiv," Tonks said. "I'll let them have you."

Unfazed by threats of abandonment, Sanjiv got to his feet and went around Tonks into the room. "So... living at the Hog's Head. Risque. I think I've been in this room."

"If you have, I really don't want the visual."

"I hired a girl."


"To pose for me. That's all." He shrugged. "It's quite homey really."

"Please," Maddie said. "This isn't a place to live. It's a place to stop for the night and pay no attention to. Let's see what we can do."

She waved her wand and a small trunk appeared in the center of the room. She opened it. "First," she said, "draperies. You can't live here if all you're going to put on your windows is a shade charm."


"Don't bother," Daffy said. "She's on a mission."


"Oh, it wasn't my idea. It came purely from the Mad Monk there." She nodded toward Francis, who had been named after the Fat Friar. "We were having a long discussion over his breakfast, and he said, 'Oh, dearest Mum, we really should see to my Aunt Tonks, who will be ever so lonely without us.'"

"Did he now?"

"Of course he did. In his own language, naturally, but I'm quite fluent."

"It's amazing, the deep thoughts my son has," Daffy said.

The subject of the conversation let his mouth fall open, and a tiny pink tongue darted out of it, surrounded by spit bubbles. He made a kind of gurgling sound.

Tonks laughed and held out her arms for him. "Aunt Tonks is very happy to see you," she said. "Even if Mummy's a bit mad about draperies. Come on, let's see if I can't put something together for you." She shifted him into one arm and raised her wand with the other, Conjuring a bassinet (she'd never made one before, and was amused to see that her "inner bassinet" was an absurdly frilly little basket) and several stuffed toys. Francis pointed happily at a pink-furred dog and Tonks gave it to him, but found herself loathe to put him down. She bounced him on one hip while Maddie charmed the curtains onto the windows and Daffy pulled out several knick-knack shelves. Sanjiv was just pacing the room, getting the size of it.

"Oughtn't you be asking us questions or whatnot?" Maddie asked.

"Right. Who was the first person to call you Maddie?"

"Charlie Weasley. Thought it was easier than Madrigan."

"One down. Did you let a Polyjuiced Death Eater pose as your husband and carry your baby here?"

"No. I'm a much better mother than that."

"Two down. Sanjiv--if you're in fact Sanjiv--what famous Quidditch player did you draw a naked cartoon of when she was at Hogwarts, and how much detention did you get?"

"Moira Troy, and two weeks. She wasn't even angry. She kept it and put it in her scrapbook. Unfair." He shook his head, remembering the great injustice of it, and stepped over Granny, who had chosen that moment to creak her way out of the cupboard. "How many kittens did Granny have?"

"I lost count around twenty," Tonks said. "My cat had a much more active social life than I did."

"Your cat had a more active social life than Contessa Zabini." Granny wrapped herself around Sanjiv's feet and begged to be picked up. Sanjiv indulged her. "Of course, you didn't give the right number..."

"If I were a Death Eater, I'd have made up a number."

"Good point."

Maddie had finished with the windows, and was setting herself to organizing Tonks's cutlery (which Tonks had forgotten to purchase an organizer for and was temporarily keeping in a shallow wicker basket). "I saw your Mum," she said carefully. "When I took Francis in for a once-over at St. Mungo's. She said you're feeling a bit blue. Do you want to tell us?"

"Is it Lupin?" Daffy asked. "Because if it is, Sanjiv and I will take it out of him."

"It's not just Remus. It's Dementors and dead people and quite a lot of work business."

"But it is Lupin a bit?" Maddie frowned. "I'm disappointed. I liked him."

"You can still like him," Tonks snapped. "He's a good man. If I still like him, you bloody well can."

The three of them looked at each other shiftily. Tonks pretended not to notice, focusing her attention on Francis instead. His little eyes were closed, and he was sucking on his fist. She wiped away a bit of spittle with the corner of his blanket, then set him in the bassinet.

"All right," Sanjiv finally said, then forced himself back into bouyancy. "Now, you know I'm going to re-paint the place. I'm sure your new Headmaster Dumbledore won't mind..."

They worked together for an hour to make the room feel positively cozy. Each of them (with the exception of the sleeping Francis) slipped at least once and made a comment about Remus that generally involved the removal of body parts, and Tonks responded to each with as steady a glare as she could muster, but she didn't pick fights with them. Friends were in short supply.

They left just before ten, Daffy and Maddie Apparating back to their home and Sanjiv ambling out into the streets to return to his flat above Madam Puddifoot's. Tonks looked around the room, pleased with it--her books were stacked neatly on wooden shelves, her basic potions ingredients stowed efficiently in their case beneath the nightstand. Daffy had produced a braided rag rug that was in their attic, and Sanjiv had given her several drawings for the walls. He had also given her a small collection of glass butterflies, charmed to glow white, which were mounted on the wall between the windows, across from the bed.

She smiled at them.

Dawlish didn't appear to set up a time to arrange the schedule, so she decided to simply get up early and wait for the others downstairs. She changed, combed her hair, and put out the candles, lying in her new bed, in her new place, with her old cat purring at her feet.

She lay on her side for a long time, unable to sleep, looking out the window at the starry night. There was something wrong with the sky, a line against the stars. It took her a moment to realize exactly what shape she was seeing, though she must have noticed it subliminally all day, as it was in a direct sightline from her room.

Across town, the canted roof of the Shrieking Shack was imprinting itself on the sky.
45 comments or Leave a comment
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riah_chan From: riah_chan Date: September 14th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
This was a fun chapter. I really do love Tonk's friends... your make your original characters interesting without making them annoying.


PS- One of the threads at Fandom_Wank had a little off-shoot of Fern-love...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the link. :)

I'm glad the OCs aren't annoying--it's always a gamble putting in people who are important to a character but who aren't in canon.
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: September 14th, 2005 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I wound up reading about half the dialogue in this chapter aloud to my little brother (he read Shifts and loved it, and is following Shades, but at the SQ). I really really really like Tonks' friends, they're sweet. The limb-taking-off argument - I've been on both sides, so I liked that bit.

Oh, I'll be getting a friend who's a Wolfstar shipper to read Shifts, since my brother and I have already read Shoebox Project =)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've only been on the limb-taking-off side, but Tonks doesn't have a lot of appreciation for that. :p

I hope the Wolfstar shipper likes it!
thunderemerald From: thunderemerald Date: September 14th, 2005 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Once again, lovely. It's a wonderful thing, to have friends in a time of crisis like that. I especially love Maddie's fluency in her son's speech. Very cute!

The last line left me with shivers, though. What an image to have outside your window as you're trying to sleep....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've seen mothers do that. For all I know, they're right. (Alas, I do not, personally, speak infant.)

I'm going to give Tonks some other things to do this year, but I'm just not going to let her get far from All Things Remus.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: September 14th, 2005 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Everyone is going to say this, but the scenes with Tonks' friends are always fun. I do love your OCs--and Sanjiv, in particular, after this:

Sanjiv had given her several drawings for the walls. He had also given her a small collection of glass butterflies, charmed to glow white, which were mounted on the wall between the windows, across from the bed.

Aw. An artistic rendering of her old Patronus! I don't suppose he knows she's got a new one....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think he does know--I have a feeling that Andromeda told Maddie more than "Dora's feeling a bit blue." None of them asked her to morph or joked about it, either.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: September 14th, 2005 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
"inner bassinette"

From: underaloggia Date: September 14th, 2005 11:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Second the ROTFLMAO at the idea--though I believe it's "bassinet."

: )
sreya From: sreya Date: September 14th, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just love that the Shrieking Shack is in direct sight of her room. It fits the tone of the story, and Tonks's frame of mind -- no matter how much he tries to pull away, Remus is still a part of her world and her life.

Would comment more, but still trying to wake up.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's definitely not going to be able to slip away from him, even if she were so inclined!
trinity_clare From: trinity_clare Date: September 14th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love! I like your OCs. They're not major plot movers (or at least they haven't been) and they function really well as Tonks's friends. Plus I like them.

One nitpick: is it basinet or bassinet? Because it looks wrong to me. Sadly I don't have access to a dictionary right now or I'd be more sure.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's "bassinet." I seem to have put Francis in a steel helmet, according to dictionary.com. My bad.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2005 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved the interaction between Tonks and Robards and Tonks and her friend. But, and I don't know why, that last line made the whole chapter for me. Just creepy and sad and so present. Nicely done! Mary
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. :) The last line, I think, probably sums up the chapter--just as Remus is trying to push her away, circumstances put symbols of him right in her path.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: September 14th, 2005 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

a Savage little man

My favourite undergrad professor--my Organic Chemistry teacher, in fact--was named Savage. He was gleefully enthusiastic about the subject, had high expectations, and quizzed and tested *hard*. My youngest sister, who also had him for OChem, thought him quite mad. He's won teaching awards from the university twice in the ten years he's been on the faculty.

So whenever I read about Auror Savage, I think of a man with the face and personality of my OChem professor.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: a Savage little man

Funny, the associations names give. Me, I'm just despairing because I'm faced with the prospect of two Aurors with whom Tonks is stationed, and I don't even know whether to refer to them as "he" or "she"!
olympe_maxime From: olympe_maxime Date: September 14th, 2005 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Much, much chapter love. Lovely respite for dear Tonks. "Friends were in short supply" - nicely observed. And the way you manage to bring us back to earth in the last few lines is genius in how it punches all the right buttons to create that awful, ominous mood.

Nitpick: There was nothing more to say, though Tonks thought that she and Remus passed a few meaningless pleasantries--and spent longer than was entirely necessary at it--before Remus fell silent, looked at her for a long time, then Disapparated.

Tonks thought the happenings of that whole sentence??
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
She wasn't paying much attention after the kiss, and has only a vague notion that they spent a bit more time than was necessary exchanging pointless pleasantries before he goes.
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: September 14th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love it! It's very like Maddie and the others to force her into a decent living space, and it speaks highly of you that we can tell what's in character for your OC's. The only tiny quibble I had was this:

She shifted him into one arm and raised her wand with the other, Conjuring a bassinet (she'd never made one before, and was amused to see that her "inner bassinet" was an absurdly frilly little basket) and several stuffed toys.

Just because of the visual arrangement of the sentence, and because Conjuring is a spell and therefore capitalized, I thought it was meant to start a new sentence and I had to read it twice to get over my confusion. It flows perfectly well as is, it just took me a minute to see it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love many things about JKR, but her capitalization schemes drive me absolutely batshit. :)
sunsethill From: sunsethill Date: September 14th, 2005 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I followed all of Shifts at SQ and then realized that I could get even faster updates here at your LJ for Shades. Yea me! I would love to add something new to the comments, but all the earlier posts picked out the exact same things I loved in this chapter. I especially love how this story is fleshing out Tonks' competence as an auror, but I'm not sure I really want to go where Remus will need to go this year.

The more I think about HBP, the more I think Rowling's story line was the least interesting, and what was happening with Remus, Snape, and Dumbledore would have been a MUCH more exciting story. ;-) Glad you're filling in the exciting details of at least Remus and Tonks' story.

P.S. Do you mind if I friend you?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm generally good with friends. :)

Thanks--I think Harry's story was pretty darned interesting, too, and I'm glad she sticks to single POV, as it gives us so much lovely room to play in.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: September 14th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have a question... how much do Sanjiv and co know? Do they know about the Order and Sirius and all?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2005 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, they know that Tonks believed Harry's story before the Ministry did, and probably put two and two together. I think she's been kind of wrapped up with Remus and the Order and hasn't talked to them about Sirius, though.
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: September 14th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's really a relief to be back with Tonks between the moons. I do like her friends :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2005 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's nice to get back to normalcy, though very hard to think about keeping the plot interesting enough to compare with running with werewolves!

(Thanks for the Moses' basket Britpick, too. Interesting, and it certainly solves the spelling problem.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely. I'm happy to see Tonks's friends again. I always enjoy reading about them.

I was thinking about Daffy and Maddie Apparating back to their home and I was wondering why they would Apparate with a baby. It just doesn't seem like something someone would want to do with a little baby. Maybe it's just me.

- Whitney
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, that's a good point. I think I'll switch it to having them Floo out of the Hog's Head.
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