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Shades, Chapter 27: Frozen, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shades, Chapter 27: Frozen, pt. 1
Well, JK didn't do much in January and February--there's a little bit at school (albeit an important bit), and then it's March 1. I believe I'll follow her lead and let some time pass (even, horror of horrors, skipping one month's transformation).

Remus blew his cover. He was going to move to London because it would be less awkward for him to live at 12GP, but Dumbledore said he would prefer that Remus return to Hogsmeade and live in the Shrieking Shack, where he'd be handier.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

At first, Tonks went to the Shrieking Shack as often as she'd been accustomed to before Remus moved in. There was still a great deal of cleaning up to do, and Remus was setting up the basement for his transformations ("I still want your word that you will be nowhere nearby. Do you understand that?"). Granny had settled in to the quiet house life and showed no interest in going back to the Hog's Head, so Tonks went over to play with her as well as talk to Remus and help with the house.

But as the days went by, it became more and more infuriating to watch Remus retreat to the other side of the room when she came in, more frustrating to see him shift his eyes rapidly to avoid meeting hers. By the second week of January, Tonks's temper--and visits--had become quite short. Remus took her occasional outbursts with an air of respectful martyrdom that irritated her vastly.

"Dammit," she muttered on a night not long before the full moon, "will you at least act like you hear what I say to you?"

"What do you want from me?"

"I want you to treat me like a person, if that's quite all right."

Remus sighed and pulled a chair away from the kitchen table. He sat on it backward and looked studiously at his hands. "All right," he said. "I know you're acting like a spoiled adolescent. And sometimes it makes me a bit angry. And then I remember it's my own damned fault that you're miserable." He smiled slightly. "And then I start castigating myself for thinking I'm important enough for so much drama, and by the time I get around to responding, I'm not angry at you anymore."

"Does that work out to it being my fault somewhere?"

"No. It's mine. But I feel like I'm being quite self-centered to think so."

Tonks rolled her eyes. "Well, if you ever finish gazing into your navel to figure out the great mysteries of yourself, let me know." She stood. "Meanwhile, Fleur's due in about five minutes. I'd best wait by the gate. She never remembers the spells."

Remus let her walk out without even bothering to look hurt. She kicked at a snowdrift and waited by the gate. Fleur had never, to the best of Tonks's knowledge, forgotten the security spells, but it as as good an excuse as any. Dumbledore had left for what he anticipated would be three days, and Fleur was going to patrol Hogwarts with Tonks tonight. Remus and Daffy would go tomorrow, and Tonks would go again on Wednesday, though she hadn't found anyone to back her up yet. She thought about asking Remus, who was, at least, always free, but she didn't know if she could take an excuse. It was the day before the full moon anyway. He could probably stand to get some rest.

Fleur appeared five minutes later, flustered about being late (she'd very obviously been with Bill, but she skirted the subject awkwardly), though she really wasn't--she'd shown up at precisely the agreed upon time. They walked to the school together, Fleur carrying on a convesation of her own about her wedding plans. Not far from the Whomping Willow, she turned around with a horrified expression on her face, and put her hand over her mouth. "Oh, dear," she said. "'Ave I upset you? I forgot zat you... well, zat..."

If they hadn't been directly beneath the Hogwarts grounds, Tonks might well have screamed, but since they were, she just let out a hiss. "Fleur," she said, "please talk about what you want to talk about."

"I'm sorry, though..."

"No. No sorries. Honestly, if I can't be planning my own wedding, I think it would be quite a lot of fun to help with yours. Talk about whatever you want, and if you want to shop for wedding robes, owl me. Frankly, I was looking forward to that part. It would be almost as much fun to help you."

Fleur blinked, then gave Tonks a brilliant, honest smile. "I weel go to Paris to shop. There eez no better place for clothes, no?"

"Fashion in Paris," Tonks said. "Promise you'll wait for me to have a day off."

Fleur nodded, excited, and they went up onto the school grounds. Snape sent them off to patrol around Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, while he and McGonagall kept their eyes on their own Houses. Wanting to avoid temptation, Tonks took the area outside of Ravenclaw and sent Fleur down to Hufflepuff. Very little happened. Luna Lovegood snuck out at one point and met a boy with a camera--one of the mousy haired Gryffindor boys Tonks had seen on her last patrol, she thought--and Tonks trailed them for a little while to make sure they weren't up to anything they oughtn't be. When it became clear that they were simply talking about starting up a school newspaper, Tonks Conjured an image of Peeves. Luna deduced that Peeves was Filch's spy (a protest that Filch hated Peeves was met with a look of cool incredulity), and both of them scurried back to their dormitories. (The next morning, McGonagall informed her that the boy had been given three days of detention.) Tonks moved on to the Owlery afterward, and watched the scribbled map Remus and Dumbledore had made for any intruders. None came, and she went to work the next morning unrested.

Thursday afternoon, Remus asked her to double and triple-check the security charms he'd put on the basement of the Shrieking Shack. She assured him that they were fine. He told her to take the cat back to the Hog's Head anyway--"I doubt she's in any condition to rough-house with a werewolf"--and made her leave before the sun had even begun to set. She was on night guard duty that night, and when the first agonized shriek came from the house, her skin broke out into gooseflesh. She ran to the gate when she noticed a few curious townspeople headed in that direction, and gave them some kind of official-sounding nonsense about having it under control.

The next day, she went to Snape to ask him about getting the ingredients for Wolfsbane Potion, as it would be a bit suspicious for her to do so herself. He sneered that it would hardly be less suspicious for him to do so, as he was no longer the Hogwarts potions master, and had no other reason to procure the supplies. Tonks tentatively approached the new Potions master, Slughorn, but he seemed to be under the impression that she had ulterior motives, and was not inclined to be helpful. Remus took this in stride, and promised to work an Impervius Charm in February.

"You haven't been working them all along?"

"No." He frowned. "Which is odd. It's a rather simple charm that would have cut down on the number of questions asked. I never even thought about it. Habits, I suppose."

Tonks nodded. "How are you feeling?"

"The same as usual." He rubbed his elbow. "I got a note from Sweet... Vivian... today."

"You did?"

"Yes. Very odd. It blew in with a bunch of leaves."

"Green leaves?"

"Oh, yes. It seems she's learning quite a lot from her new friend. But she'd never transformed alone before. She said a lot about worrying about what was happening to Evvie and the others, but I have a sense that she was just missing them. She wants to know when we're going to get them out."

"It's a good question. I need to talk to Alderman."

"I should..."


"Well, you're certainly not going."

"Excuse me?"

"You know what I mean."

"I'll do myself up as Sister Dora again."

"I don't think that's a good idea..."

"Do you have a better one?" He was silent. She took a deep breath. "God, Remus. This is ridiculous. I'm going to help Alderman and the others, and I need to be able to actually have a conversation with you to do it. Do you suppose we could start talking to one another like people again?"

He sighed. "Yes. I'm... is all right for me to apologize?"

"Will it make the conversation easier?"


"All right, then."

"I'm sorry."

"So am I."

"You don't have to--" He caught her expression and didn't finish the sentence. "I really don't want you to go back there"--she started to protest, but he held up a hand--"but you're right. It's the best way."

"I'll contact Montgomery. I'm sure he has some charity to send."

"Can you handle the morph? I mean... er..."

"I did it before. It hurts and it's not much of a disguise, but it will do."

"Maybe you should brew Polyjuice Potion."

"The time limit is too short. And besides, that would only get someone else in trouble. If you could help me with some appearance charms, though, like you did last year...?"

"That's a good thought. I think the morph you used was simple enough that appearance charms could cover it."

"I never bothered to learn them."

"Why would you need to?" He winced. "May I apologize again?"

"No. I'm the one conjuring up great dramatic symptoms. You don't need to apologize for them."

He smiled faintly. "Well," he said, "it's been a while since I've given you a lesson in anything useful. Shall we?"
10 comments or Leave a comment
riah_chan From: riah_chan Date: July 1st, 2006 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
That was painful to read... not because of you but because Remus was being such a pain. I always love reading a new installment.

Oh, I recently introduced my sister to your stories and now she too has been ruined for any other Remus/Tonks fanfiction. She say, "They just don't feel right when it's not Fern's." I very much agree with the sentiment.
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: July 1st, 2006 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
He sighed. "Yes. I'm... is all right for me to apologize?"
I think you're missing an "it" there.

I liked this chapter, I loved how you make Tonks be mad instead of just keeping it all in and Remus trying to be mad at her but not quite manage it is dead on character. Not that it would be otherwise in your stories ;-)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 1st, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Typo in "Fleur carrying on a convesation of her own"

Poor Tonks! She's gone through everything, tried every approach and Remus just accuses her of acting like a "spoiled adolescent". I think he's closer to it really! If I didn't like him so much I'd be tempted to stick pins in wax effigies. Nice episode - you covered the lull in proceedings very effectively.

prelud From: prelud Date: July 1st, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fern, you are just brilliant. You characterization, dialogues etc are brilliant. I love yor writing.

"All right," he said. "I know you're acting like a spoiled adolescent. And sometimes it makes me a bit angry. And then I remember it's my own damned fault that you're miserable." He smiled slightly. "And then I start castigating myself for thinking I'm important enough for so much drama, and by the time I get around to responding, I'm not angry at you anymore."

"Does that work out to it being my fault somewhere?"

"No. It's mine. But I feel like I'm being quite self-centered to think so."

Since I`m not one of your character and cannot slap Remus like he deserves, could please one of Tonks`s friends do it for me? Sanjiv, for instance.
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: July 1st, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can't we send anyone to slap some sense in Remus? :-)
Great chapter, like always.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 1st, 2006 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just realizing slapping sense into Remus was Sirius' job. Sirius would have really enjoyed doing it this year, especially with Remus playing his little emotioanl destruction games all over one of the very few family members Sirius was close to.

Sigh. I miss Sirius and not just because of this. But I'm just realizing there may not be anyone left who has the right rapport and emotional hooks into Remus to do this. Dumbledore's a mentor figure who Remus can argue "just doesn't understand," Arthur and Molly are a happily married couple who he'd rationalize can't understand there are problems that love can't conquer, and I don't even want to think about Mad-Eye's idea of romance advice (probably something along the lines of how great it is to know there will always be someone in your life who can shoot people coming up behind you).

The person who could talk sense into him needs to be someone he's convinced isn't only looking at his good side, isn't someone he looks up to (who he would assume was looking at him as a kid with plenty of room and time to develop and overcome his "youthful" problems when Remus sees himself as permanently stuck) or younger than him (someone whose youthful innocence blinds them to the insurmountable problmes). He needs a contemporary who hates his guts to drive some sense into him. And I really can't imagine Snape taking on that job.

And, given the fact that I know how book 6 ended, the fact that you've still got me despairing for how this will work out says something.

kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: July 1st, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, now I really want to hear Moody's romantic advice to both of them. Fern? How about an outtake?
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: July 1st, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
And, given the fact that I know how book 6 ended, the fact that you've still got me despairing for how this will work out says something.

From: oicrylic Date: July 1st, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really glad you're updating again! I really like the last thing that Remus says for some reason. Seems like a teacher Remus moment that I like.

Really good chapter, though. Keep writing!
From: hesterlester Date: July 2nd, 2006 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the way you play around with the internal logic of spells - and the possibility that Remus might overlook a spell, or Tonks might not bother to learn one. In the Wizarding world as in the Muggle, life just gets too complicated sometimes.

You did a great job sustaining the tension between R and T - she has said her piece nearly a million times by now.
10 comments or Leave a comment