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Shades, Chapter 28: Interlude (7): Dreams, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shades, Chapter 28: Interlude (7): Dreams, pt. 2
Whoa, I have to go back to checking my friends page more (darn summer reading busy-ness!). ani_bester has a rec list with voting going on for gen art, and it's going to take me quite a while to catch up with voting, because, yum... much, much genny goodness. Pages and pages of it.

Anyway, moving into an unusual interlude that will take cover a longer time period than the others. Remus has taken to napping during the day, purely out of boredom, and he tried to hide it from Tonks. She caught him napping, though, when he woke up from a nightmare, and said she's known about his habit all along and can't imagine why he's hiding it (she fears briefly that he's sick and not telling her about it). The nightmare itself was a memory of the night Greyback first bit him, and he remembered, for the first time, that other werewolves were present, and he can't remember how he got away from them.

After freeing her from her worry that he's sick, Remus realizes he's acting a bit silly, and asks her if she can try to keep him busy during the day.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Finding something he could do without unduly attracting Greyback's attention--he supposed he shouldn't have been shocked to discover that the pack knew where he was--turned out to be more difficult than it sounded on the surface. Dumbledore would be leaving in the middle of February, so there would be guard duty at the school, but other than that, everything was being done elsewhere. The dream of his biting came and went, at night and in the afternoon, and the terror had faded into a kind of dull annoyance. Remus felt a strong urge to apologize to Sirius for being even a little bit impatient last year; being stuck in one's childhood nightmare with nothing at all to do could make anyone fray around the edges.

"Well, you could always do appearance charms and to work for me," Dora joked. "I'd be happy to stay here and nap for you."

He pulled a face at her, and she laughed. The awkwardness there, at least, had started to fade. It would never be right between them again--he'd allowed things to go too far for that--but as the days went on, he stopped dreading her visits, and she stopped cutting them short. He supposed she knew that he didn't dream of her in a purely companionable manner, but they didn't talk about it. She sometimes reached over and touched his hand, and he could feel the light electric tingle of it for hours, but they didn't talk about that either. Instead, they talked fondly of shared memories and shared friends, speculating on the activities of Dora's parents and Remus's colleagues from Smeltings.

"You could go see Mum and Dad," Dora suggested. "I think the Floo system is back up in Colombo."

"Your dad's not still spoiling for a fight with me?"

"Oh. Right."

"Why don't you go some day, instead of wasting your time here?"

"I'm not the one desperately seeking something to do."

Remus shrugged. "Perhaps I should Apparate in hops down to Australia, get a post-box, and write to Alan and Anna."

"Raymond Lewis writing a letter? They'd die of shock. Like anyone else who knows you."

"Oh, but I could give myself something to do for days, going back and forth to check for a reply."

"Or we could just get into our costumes and go visit them."

Remus felt his mood fall. "No. I'd rather not have Greyback decide that Joe Levinson's grandchildren look like targets. Or, God help us, Smeltings students."

"True enough," Dora said. "In which case, you're stuck here. Which is more what Dumbledore wants--I don't think he wants the tunnel to be a security risk."

"I've altered the spells to block anyone with a Dark Mark."

"Old Snape won't be happy."

"Yes, I suppose he'll have to cut back on his social calls."

Dora laughed and leaned forward to kiss the bridge of his nose as her habit had once been, then abruptly drew back, her eyes cast down. "Er... well," she said. "I'm sorry. I slipped."

Remus found himself unable to answer. He smiled feebly and waved at her as she turned to go.

She nodded and took two steps toward the door, then turned back to him, took his face between her hands, and kissed him soundly on the mouth. She had a musty, intoxicating smell, dizzying, and when she turned to leave for the second time, Remus didn't quite dare try to stand up. He did not dream of Greyback during that particular afternoon nap.

Dumbledore called while Dora was working, the day before he left for another information-gathering mission. Remus casually mentioned his repeated nightmares, hoping Dumbledore would have a simple explanation for them, but instead, Dumbledore gave him a shrewd, piercing look.

"And you never remembered this before?"

"Not that I know of. My parents weren't entirely in their right minds that night; they may not have seen the other werewolves at all. And I... tried not to think about it."

Dumbledore nodded. "Would you care to make use of the Pensieve? I would have to ask you to come to the school; I'm using it quite heavily myself this year..."

"No," Remus said. "I'll find another way in."

Dumbledore agreed without argument and went on his way, leaving Remus feeling strangely dissatisfied.

He wandered the house, looking for a project, fitfully polishing the window sills and trying to clear soot out of the fireplace. Granny padded along beside him, occasionally rolling over onto his feet, and he finally picked her up and carried her around absently. In the end, he just sat down on the sofa, petting the cat distractedly and looking around the bare parlor. From over the mantel, the drawing he'd made of Dora looked softly down on the room. He pointed his wand at it and said, "Imago Vivere." It smiled and began silently swinging its foot back and forth. Drawings of the living were more like photographs than portraits, magically speaking, but it did seem a little bit more alive. He remembered working on it, touching the curves of her body, savoring the shadowed hollows...

He frowned and put the cat down. She gave him an irritated mew, but he ignored her and went upstairs to his study. The box of drawing supplies that Sirius and Harry had given him last year were tucked neatly into a drawer, and he took them out thoughtfully.

He had always drawn what was beautiful, what made him happy. Drawing the images that frightened him most...

He shook his head, pulled out a piece of parchment and spread it on the desk.

It took several tries, and he found himself tempted more than once to just draw the pastoral landscape of the field behind his parents' home. He had to pull out the butterflies and darken the sky.

Slowly, deliberately, he rubbed his thumb across the charcoal in an upper corner, smearing it clear in a roughly circular shape.

The moon.

He swallowed, and turned to the line of trees he'd drawn. There were eyes in the shadows. Four pairs looking out at him. He closed his own eyes and compared the image to his memory.

Not quite right.

Three pairs of eyes. Seven eyes total.

One of the wolves was facing off to the side. A long tooth glinted in the moonlight.

He boxed off a section in a blank part of the parchment and drew the profile of the wolf.

And closed his eyes again.

At first, he insisted on seeing himself dragged, seeing himself from the outside, but that wasn't what he needed to do. He needed to see what he had seen.

Want what the wolf wants, Greyback whispered in his mind.

The image of himself intervened again, struggling with Greyback, clawing at the long grass with his one good hand, digging with his feet. His head jerked up involuntarily at the sound of...

Remus opened his eyes.

The sound of snarling.

Greyback's mouth had been quite full at the time, and it hadn't come from Remus himself. It wasn't the low growling of a threatening predator.

What did you see? he asked the struggling boy in his mind's eye.


Claws. Teeth. Blood.

Greyback had sped up, and the pain was huge, too big to see anything through, but he was hardly paying attention to his catch. Mum and Dad were running. Remus looped his foot around a root and nearly got away on his own, but Greyback came back for him and pulled him a little bit further.

Not far before he was dropped unceremoniously into the mud.

Spells had flown over him, Banishing spells, and he thought they had stopped the animal, but that wasn't it, was it?

Because the snarling went on. He heard it even over his mother's screams. The wolves had disappeared into the woods by the time Mum and Dad reached him. They never saw, and if they heard, they didn't know what it meant.

Remus know what it meant--at least, now he did.

Greyback had taught him.

Want what the wolf wants.

And what does the wolf want? To dominate.

"There was a challenge," he muttered. "Someone challenged him."

"What are you on about?" Dora asked from the top of the stairs, then leaned into the room and saw the jumbled drawings on the desk. She recoiled. "Remus, what the hell...?"

He put them away hastily. "Just trying to remember something," he said.

She looked at him oddly, then shook her head. "Dumbledore just left," she said. "He'll be gone for the weekend. Most of the others have plans for tonight. Friday, you know."


"And... well, you know."


"Well, it's... the fourteenth." She smiled nervously. "I didn't imagine we'd mark February fourteenth this year by going up to guard Hogwarts together, but it looks like we're what's available."

Remus squirmed, trying to forget the previous Valentine's Day, when he'd finally given in to the terrifying feelings that had been plaguing him and kissed her there at the door to her Muggle flat. They'd spent the day executing an absurdly dangerous plan, but that was nothing but a vague memory. The kiss, though. The kiss might as well still be going on. He could feel every motion of it.

"I'll take Gryffindor and Ravenclaw," he said. "Stick to the towers. You can take Hufflepuff and the Great Hall. I'm sure Severus will insist on watching Slytherin."

She looked away. "I think I'm meant to be giving the orders here," she said. "But those will do."

She went down the stairs, and he heard her lift the trapdoor.
17 comments or Leave a comment
ani_bester From: ani_bester Date: July 11th, 2006 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
You are the most awesome of all voters! Thank you so much!
Actually it's funny, I'm noticing there are aobut 5 or so people who really heavily recced and voted, so it's kinda not so much fandoms Gen pics but the gen pics of a handful of poeple with lots of spare time 0.o *L*

But what can I do. I'm just glad there were those, like you, who eally went outta there way for this!

Thank you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 11th, 2006 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, thanks for doing it. I'm just sorry I was late to the party! The world needs more recognition of genpics.
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: July 11th, 2006 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, Remus's exploration in his own memory is fascinating. I wonder who was the challenger...Great chapter, Fern...
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: July 11th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Boy, the plot's picking up a bit, isn't it? I'm so anxious to read what happens next, all the way to the end, but I don't want it to be over! Although by then we'll probably (hopefully) at least have a date for Book 7, so there will be new canon to look forward to. Do you expect you'll write their take on the last book, too, or does it just depend on what happens?

Oh! And the candy arrived in the mail today. Thanks! I have to get bloodwork done in the morning, which means I'm fasting now, so I'm excited to have that treat to look forward to--reward myself for being a good girl at the doctor's.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 11th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Something large, prone to snarling, and capable of frightening off Greyback while getting the other wolves to keep back but that made no attempt to attack Remus or his parents.


I'm completely at sea on this.

One question:

Why didn't Remus want to use the penseive? I assume he had a reason, but his reaction quite puzzles me.

Oh, and wasn't it Lois Bujold who said, "Some men, you have to hit with a brick. Some men, you have to hit with a BIG brick."

lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: July 11th, 2006 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
She had a musty, intoxicating smell

Did you mean "musky" there?

It would never be right between them again--he'd allowed things to go too far for that

Ohhh, say it isn't so!

A great chapter, as always. You really have a gift for finding original angles to write from. I'd never have thought about who else was there when Remus got bitten.
From: siriuslypotter Date: July 11th, 2006 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! there's nothing better and calming to do than se a shades update, after crying my eyes out at the 'Doctor who' Series finale, although it was a rather depressing installment with light hearted moments, I've always loved the way you do interaction with Remus and Tonks.

Remus will never learn will he?

Now I'm off to cry some more and try to live 167? days to the DW christmas special, and try not to cry anymore because of the neding. I'm so sapy it's unbelievable.
snorkackcatcher From: snorkackcatcher Date: July 11th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, interesting development there. Another wolf challenging Greyback? Possibly one who objected to what they were doing like Mags?

Does the presence of Dementors floating around have anything to do with Remus beginning to recall the memory in more detail? Or just the Shack making him focus on it?

Really nice analogy between Remus and Sirius being stuck in their childhood nightmares, by the way.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: July 11th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Quiet and brilliant, as usual, particularly the sequence where Remus is trying to sketch the memory.

And this: Remus felt a strong urge to apologize to Sirius for being even a little bit impatient last year; being stuck in one's childhood nightmare with nothing at all to do could make anyone fray around the edges.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 12th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Nothing constructive to say, writing-wise. Just that I'm still reading, and, like everyone else, can't wait for the next update.

I caught a weird sentence--it's either missing a word (go?), or to should be do.

"Well, you could always do appearance charms and to work for me," Dora joked.
From: tunxeh Date: July 13th, 2006 07:33 am (UTC) (Link)
It would never be right between them again--he'd allowed things to go too far for that--but as the days went on, he stopped dreading her visits, and she stopped cutting them short. He supposed she knew that he didn't dream of her in a purely companionable manner, but they didn't talk about it.

Grr. She doesn't want you to dream of her in a purely companionable manner, you idiot.

"I've altered the spells to block anyone with a Dark Mark."

Is it so easy to detect, then? The ministry should set up such a spell on their entrances.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 16th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it so easy to detect, then? The ministry should set up such a spell on their entrances.

That's a good point. I was operating on the canon scene where there was a barrier that only people with the DM can get through--obviously, it's magically detectable--but if it is, then why wouldn't they just use detectors?
From: tunxeh Date: July 16th, 2006 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good point. I had forgotten about that scene. Though, the idea that the barrier was keyed to the Dark Mark was Harry's speculation, and Harry is notoriously inaccurate when he speculates:

"He was," said Harry savagely, "but to help them, not to stop them . . . and I'll bet you had to have a Dark Mark to get through that barrier - so what happened when he came back down?"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but it's less of a character thing than a DADA thing--Harry's bad about figuring out people's motives, but he knows his Defense against the Dark Arts work. I'm guessing we can rely on him there. Of course, it's probably easier for people who know all the tricks of the Dark Mark (eg, the people who use it) to design spells with it in mind.
keestone From: keestone Date: July 13th, 2006 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I love this section. The awkwardness with Tonks really sets off the memory search well.
_bowles_ From: _bowles_ Date: July 14th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I recently went on a long plane ride and just had to print out chapters 24-27 to read while I was on the plane. (Of course, I somehow didn't see this chapter.) Next time I reread Shifts and Shades I'll leave a more in-depth review (too tired), but for now that's really all the commentary I can provide. (I've never printed out any fic, by the way - I just love Remus and this fic and as a result of these fics I now love Remus/Tonks. I blame you for that, and I'm slightly irritated about it; I wasn't planning on having a new OTP.)
dalf From: dalf Date: September 5th, 2006 02:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Remus know what it meant--at least, now he did.

Remus knew?
17 comments or Leave a comment