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A scene - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
A scene
On the last Shades entry, Maureen asked about other stories with Sanjiv, Maddie, and Daffy in them. As it happens, the first story I ever did with them was one I never finished. I think I've posted it before, but it's long-lost. So here's the scene from the story when the three friends first appear (along with one Freddie Wizendale, who has never come back, and Berit Ollivander, who showed up at the birthing party but has otherwise never appeared again). Maybe sometime, I'll finish the story of Tonks knowing Cedric, but for now, here's the little snippet with Tonks's Hufflepuff friends. I'm leaving Sanjiv's original last name alone, because it's fair to do so, but I was informed that it wasn't a real last name, so I changed it to McPherson in later fics.

Friday, September 1, 1989.

Tonks didn't know what the other Houses did on the first night back.

All she knew was that she often saw their firsties wandering around the next day still looking like they didn't know anyone. Firstie Slytherins usually looked jumpy, too.

Firstie Hufflepuffs never looked alone on their first full day at Hogwarts. It was a point of House pride.

"Oi, Tonks!"

She looked down from the banner she was hanging. Sanjiv McChattan had his charcoal stick poised above the sketch he'd been working on furiously for the last forty minutes, while the prefects took the firsties on an absurdly convoluted tour of the school to give everyone else time to set up. "Who do you need?" she asked.

"The Ollivander girl." He checked his list. "Berit. I need her nose."

Tonks thought back to the Sorting. Sanjiv had made sure she sat close enough to get a good look at each new member of the House. The Ollivander girl had been tall for eleven, and had looked a bit nonplused at being put in Hufflepuff (this was common; it was also usually cured by the end of the night). She'd had silvery eyes and a narrow, aristocratic nose. Tonks replicated it on her own face as well as she could. "I'm going to get you a camera next year, Sanjiv."

"What do I need with a camera when I have you? Orchideous!" Flowers burst from the tip of his wand, and he threw them dramatically in her direction.

She caught a few of them and tucked them in her hair, coarsening it a little to hold them better. The rest floated back down and landed on Sanjiv's head and shoulders as he bent down to sketch in Berit Ollivander's nose.

He had barely finished when Tonks heard Daffy Apcarne's voice outside the portrait hole: "And here we are! The password is... I forgot the password! Help me out here, first years!"

Tonks affixed the last corner of the banner, and quickly summoned Sanjiv's drawing to put in the center as the firsties called out, "Hullo, I'm home!" The portrait hole opened, and they spilled in, looking small and excited. Tonks jumped down from her perch (losing her balance at the bottom, but catching herself on a sofa before anyone noticed). Around the room, she could see the rest of Hufflepuff House coming off of whatever party tasks they'd been working on to greet the newcomers.

Freddie Wizendale, who had been made Head Girl last week, stood up on a footstool and clapped her hands. "Welcome to Hufflepuff!" she said. "You've met your prefects, now it's time to meet everyone else. Come inside, sit down!"

The firsties filed in behind the fifth and sixth year prefects, looking up curiously. The smallest, a gray-eyed boy with wavy brown hair (Diggory, Cedric, Tonks's memory supplied) looked at Sanjiv's picture for a long time before he sat down on the hearthstone. He looked up quietly at Tonks, and she smiled.

No reaction.

She shifted her face into what it had been when she was a firstie herself, and waggled her fingers in a wave.

Cedric Diggory's eyes widened comically.

Tonks aged her face up to sixteen again, and grinned at him. New firsties were her favorite part of September.

Daffy slipped away from the other prefects and climbed the ladder Tonks had been standing on. He sat on top of it, his sharp elbows planted on his skinny knees, looking like a badly bent stick figure. Maddie Madrigan, who'd led the other group around, settled into a chair at the base of it, her arm linked companionably through a first year girl's.

"First years," Daffy said, "settle in. We won't keep you up for long--you've got classes tomorrow--but this is Hufflepuff. No one goes to bed a stranger. We're going to go around the room, and everyone can say..." He screwed up his face, thinking.

Tonks dropped down beside little Cedric, waiting for whatever Daffy's silly get-to-know-you question would be this year.

"Oh, I know," he said at last, grinning wickedly at Tonks. "Your full name and where you got it from. And the last dream you remember having." He pulled a gobstone from his pocket. "We'll toss it around until everyone has a turn."

Tonks stuck out her tongue.

Daffy waggled his fingers at her, then looked back at the firsties. "All right. My real name is Daffyd Bilius Apcarne, and my mum named me for a fellow named Daffyd Blaise, who was on Wizarding Wireless back in her day. I reckon Bilius is a family name, or at least I hope it is. The last dream I had was about the morph over there--we were on a date--"

"--only in dreams--" Tonks said, and Maddie, who had started going around with Daffy this summer, threw a bit of crumpled paper at him.

"--and she kept changing into my mother."

"You're a disturbed young man," Freddie said.

"I know it well," Daffy said, tossing her the gobstone.

"Winifred Wizendale," she said. "Head girl, thank you very much."

There was some joking applause from the older Hufflepuffs, who had seen Freddie through less-than-Head-Girlish eras in the past.

Freddie curtsied. "Winifred's after my mum's aunt. Last dream... Hmmm. I was playing a violin in a house with eight sides. Professor Trelawney--you firsties haven't had the pleasure yet--was telling me what it all meant, and I kept telling her to just let me play." She tossed the gobstone to Sanjiv.

While Sanjiv launched into a long (and largely mythical) story about the long tradition of Scots-Indian names and a dream involving a dragon, a golden snidget, and an armadillo, Tonks got a good look at all the firsties, all of them listening with varying degrees of amusement or annoyance. Berit Ollivander was definitely in the "annoyed" column, her silvery eyes rolling with each embellishment. Sanjiv apparently noticed this as well, and focused himself on her, trying harder and harder for a laugh. Another girl (Hodgkins, Rainbow), was smiling in delight. From her side, she heard a muffled laugh, and she looked down at little Cedric. He was smiling, but he stifled it.

Tonks tapped his head. "What's going through?"

Cedric shrugged and gestured vaguely at Sanjiv. "He's... well, sort of funny."

"He's trying to be. You're allowed to laugh. We all laugh at Sanjiv at least five times a day."

"Oi! Pay attention!"

Tonks looked up in time to see the gobstone flying at her, and she grabbed it just before it hit her in the nose.

She stood up. "All right, this is the last time you're hearing it, but my name's Nymphadora Iliana Tonks, and I got it because my mum has a sadistic streak. People normally call me Tonks. Last dream?" The last dream she remembered had been last night. It was a recurring dream she had about her cousin Sirius, laughing as he fell into the dark in Azkaban, reaching out like a drowning man grasping for the surface of the ocean. But she didn't talk about Sirius. "I dreamed Daffy came up with a better question this year," she said, flashing Daffy her best smile.

"You always were hopeless at Divination," Sanjiv muttered.

Tonks tossed the gobstone lightly over to Cedric, who took it and looked into it very seriously, like it was a crystal ball. He stood up. "I'm Cedric Diggory," he said. "I haven't the faintest idea where my mum got the name; I think she just saw it in a book and liked it. I fell asleep on the train here and dreamed about playing Quidditch." He looked up and smiled sweetly. "We won."

Freddie cheered. "Train him up for next year, Sanj. I'll come back and watch us win one for once! Go, Cedric!"

He blushed, and tossed the gobstone to Rainbow Hodgkins, a Muggle-born who was acutely embarrassed about her name. She told a dream about a Muggle singer, and tossed the gobstone on to Maddie.

When the rounds had been made, Daffy had everyone mix up and sit in a circle, then name the people on their right and left. Most people got it right. Hufflepuffs tended to be good with names.

After, Daffy and the other prefects herded everyone up to bed, the girls trudging up the zigzagging stairs on the north side of the room, turning off at various levels, the boys doing the same on the south side. When she reached the third level, Tonks looked across at Daffy, who was, predictably, waiting. He pulled a face at her. She pulled one back, morphing grotesquely.

He threw his hands up in surrender. She took a bow.

The sixth year girls who shared Tonks's dormitory were all asleep within minutes of claiming their beds, but Tonks herself was still feeling happy and energized. She tried to sleep for awhile, then switched to writing a letter to her mum, then to reading her History of Magic textbook in the hopes of being put to sleep. None of it did much good. With a sigh, she resigned herself to being awake, and got out of bed.

She meant to slip out quietly, of course. But Maddie hadn't moved her trunk quite yet, and there was a stack of parchments sitting precariously on top of it, and it crashed with a resounding series of thuds when Tonks accidentally walked straight into it in the dark.

"Tonks!" Maddie groaned groggily from her bed.


Pillows came flying from four directions, and Tonks backed out of the room. The pillows thudded against the door as it closed.

It was good to be home.
21 comments or Leave a comment
anais_ninja From: anais_ninja Date: September 15th, 2005 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
This is adorable. It makes a rough day much happier. I like the feeling of community, and it seems very consonant with Hufflepuff behavior we see in the books. Sometimes I think the real standard for entrance into Hufflepuff is being reasonably well adjusted and prosocial.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2005 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes I think the real standard for entrance into Hufflepuff is being reasonably well adjusted and prosocial.

Seems that way, doesn't it? Even old Zacharias is pretty centered; he's just unpleasant.
gryfny From: gryfny Date: September 15th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
This is a very nice little story, and very adorable. It's something that I can imagine the 'Puffs doing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2005 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. :)
sreya From: sreya Date: September 15th, 2005 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I love seeing this again! (hmm, need a Tonks icon! Will make do with Lupin.)

I get such a kick out of the name-game, I used to do those all the time in Girl Scouts, whenever I started at a new camp session or in a new troop or at a Wider Op or... well, lots of times. :~D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2005 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I was always so bad at them. There are people I've worked with for five years now whose names I'm unclear on! I'm the sort of person who would be very happy to have everyone wearing a name tag, to avoid embarrassing things like having two people whose names you've forgotten expect you to introduce them.


I have many skills, but the social ones are not so hot.
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: September 15th, 2005 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
that's the absolute worst, it's the one time there's just no way to fake your way out of it. Little 8-year-old girl points at the man sitting next to me, sang tenor in the choir with me for years "what's his name" I blank completely, felt awful. *sigh*
sreya From: sreya Date: September 15th, 2005 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I was good at name games, but that doesn't mean I remember names afterward! Starting fall classes is always a challenge, because I haven't seen people in months, and while I know darned well I should remember so-and-so's name, I just can't, or I mix names up. Even after two or three years of knowing them. Whoops.
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: September 15th, 2005 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
This is a nice view of Hufflepuff. I love Tonks's friends.

How do they pronounce "Daffy," btw? I know a double-F sounds like V in Welsh, but I get the feeling Tonks would pronounce it according to the English spelling out of revenge.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2005 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
They both do, Daffy mostly to annoy his mother. ;)
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: September 15th, 2005 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I seem to recall Freddie's nose making an appearance in "Registry"...

I also seem to recall that you posted quite a lot of this story shortly after finishing Shifts, and then took it off again the same night... I was lucky enough to get to read it before it disappeared but then never got to chance to comment because when I went back to do so, it was gone. I really really enjoyed it and would like to see the rest of it again, and would love to see it finished someday.

And I'll just add myself - again! - to the list of people who love Tonks's friends... in some ways the group dynamic reminds me of me and my friends, and it's a warm and fuzzy feeling. They seem very real, and like people that I'd like to get to know, and that's the best thing you can ask for in a character. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 15th, 2005 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for posting this. I loved it. Its enough to make me wish I was a Hufflepuff. Why not post in on your site? You have the 100 word drabbles posted.

About Tonks' house, I always suspected it was Slytherin but for the opposite reason than Harry not being in Slytherin. I could imagine little eleven year old Tonks telling the hat to put her in Slytherin because all her family had been Slytherins and if she didn't make it in, it would mean that she was just a "second-rate Black". At the time, the only family member who hadn't been in Slytherin was Sirius and he was in Azkaban for supposedly committing mass murder. I could see the hat saying, "but you would do well in Hufflepuff", but she insisting. Sometimes we make decisions at eleven that might not be the best. I even went to the Lexicon to look up her timeline and Snape's, in case Slytherin was still under Slughorn when she was sorted thinking that the house dynamics might have been better back then. (it wasn't, Snape came in in 1981 and she was sorted in 1984). Anyway, I'm kind of hoping she is the "nice Slytherin" that JKR promised. It would be good to shake up Harry's prejudices and although Slughorn is a vast improvement over Snape, he still isn't exactly "nice".

I really enjoy all of your stories and appreciate you re-posting this one so I could read it.

dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: September 15th, 2005 07:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved this one =) you've got a nice build at the beginning, the sense of occasion that upperclass 'Puffs seem to attach to this event. Tonks' line "New firsties were her favorite part of September." made me like her even more than I already did, you've definitely got me curious about Cedric, a couple impressions which should lead nicely into the longer fic, dreams made me laugh, I'm guessing the second chappie involved Tonks running into cedric having similar trouble sleeping?

oh, almost forgot, really like the password =)
spottheweirdo From: spottheweirdo Date: September 15th, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was too cute! The only problem was that right after Cedric introduced himself, I had a vivid falshback to GoF, and it broke my heart to think that he wasn't going to be around all that long. :(

By the way, would you mind if I added you too my friends list? I've been quietly reading your journal ever since I discovered Shifts, and rather then doing the search for your journal to check for updates, it would probably make more sense to work up the courage and friend you. Nearly 100% of your posts make for interesting reading, not just your fiction. /end shameless flattering
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 15th, 2005 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, for heaven's sake... no courage required! :) I like friends. I haven't been friending back because ye olde f-list is getting kind of unmanageable, but in general, I don't put a lot of private stuff up here, so I don't really have any issues with people friending me.

Glad you liked the scene. In context, Tonks is remembering it the day she finds out about Cedric's death, so your reaction is very much what it's going for.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: September 15th, 2005 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
What they've all been saying about Hufflepuff and Cedric. Also like the touch of an Ollivander and a Rainbow.

A portrait hole doesn't seem right, though, because Gryffindor already has one. Also, you should make the setting clearly indicate that Hufflepuff is a cellar.
olympe_maxime From: olympe_maxime Date: September 15th, 2005 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely! You give us these little things that set Hufflepuff apart from the other houses - jumpy Slytherin firsties, ha! - and it really helps us see the kids. Ickle Cedric is sweet, too, quiet and serious and already Quidditch-mad. I think he'd be a total Oliver if he wasn't in "socially well-centered" Hufflepuff.

I am also madly envious of your ability to write group scenes. I have trouble handling more than three people at once.

erised1810 From: erised1810 Date: September 15th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
can we realy be sue tha jkr's last names are autal yall real? notthathey ARE urnela jsut becaus i'venver her of somene else caleld weasley or hagrid. Jsut curious.
From: fizzko Date: September 15th, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love how you write Hufflepuff; as someone else said, it's enough to make me want to be in Hufflepuff. Warm is the only word to describe it.

Firstie Hufflepuffs never looked alone on their first full day at Hogwarts. It was a point of House pride.

That line was my favorite. :)
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: September 16th, 2005 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I love your OCs and Tonks. I love Tonks.
dalf From: dalf Date: September 20th, 2005 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)
This was so cute. FUnny I never really thought about how big a deal morphing woudl have been in school. Silly of me.
21 comments or Leave a comment