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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shades, Chapter 31: Comfort Food, pt 4
Chapter 21 ("Bad Habits") is up at SQ. Minor clarifications, some streamlining between scenes. Nothing much.

Okay, plot wheels turning a little bit here. Tonks is getting a team together to get Greyback's pups away from him. Fiona has asked for a large number to help control them at the end. She's finally gotten them all together, and is about to start the meeting, when Arthur arrives late... and in the company of Kingsley Shacklebolt, who says he has news. Basically, a canon-check. ;)

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Remus Conjured two more chairs. Arthur took one gratefully, pulling it over beside Molly, who was sitting beside Mum and Dad, but Kingsley declined, leaning against the counter with his arms crossed, looking at the non-Order members sprawled around the kitchen. His eyes passed over Fiona, then jerked back. "Fiona Crowler," he said. "You're looking well for a woman who was burned to death a few months ago."

"Dumbledore took care of it," Tonks said. I don't think you've met Sanjiv and Daffy--Dumbledore spoke to them a few months ago." She hoped he would take that as, "They are members of the Order of the Phoenix." "Madame Delacour is Fleur's grandmother, and she's been generous enough to take in the Crowlers and the children that we're here to help."

Kingsley considered this for a moment, appeared to make some calculations, then said, "Mundungus Fletcher has been arrested."

"Dung!" Fred repeated.

Hagrid cut in. "Where was the thievin' little..."

"Godric's Hollow," Kingsley said, and, before Remus could be properly horrified, clarified, "but he wasn't doing anything there except robbing a house. He was impersonating an Inferius. That's what he was arrested for. He's in Azkaban."

"What a fool," McGonagall said tightly.

"This is all very interesting," Tonks said, "but is there some reason we needed to know tonight?"

"They found that ratty suitcase he carries," Arthur said. "I was passing by and I noticed it. I asked Kingsley to see if any of the items missing from"--he glanced at the non-Order members--"various places of ours were in it. None were."

"But there was something else," Kingsley said. "I didn't think anything of it, but Arthur recognized--"

"Just the name of the village," Arthur said.

"What village?" Bill asked.

"Huntsford," Arthur said. "Isn't that where...?"

"Greyback's pack," Remus said. "So Dung has been down there."

"Dung has been stealing from a church there. He had a silver Communion chalice. Heaven knows what else he stole."

"Dung's a bit of an idiot," Bill said, "but he's not about to sell out children to Voldemort."

Remus sighed. "Dung doesn't think. That's the problem. He'll sell things he's stolen to anyone."

"But would he think to just rob a Muggle church and take things the Death Eaters would be interested in on his own?" Daffy asked abruptly, then squirmed when everyone looked at him. "Well... I don't know him, you know. I just can't think of why he would rob this particular church and find things that would damage us if he's not doing it on someone else's bidding."

"How could we tell?" Remus said bitterly. "How hard would it be for some of our friends to use the Imperius curse, or even something less drastic--something that would give him an idea. Someone with a suspicion, wanting to verify it."

"Or, he may have just gone in and stolen the silver," Tonks said. "We need to find out if anything else has been stolen lately."

Mum nodded. "See if any of his personal things are missing. Hairbrushes, things of that sort. I could easily imagine someone trying to trap us by using Polyjuice."

"Maybe we should just go in in force and take the children," Fiona said, and beside her, Valeska flexed a talon-like finger.

"No," Remus said. "If it were just a simple matter of going in and pulling the children out, I'd have done it a long time ago. Greyback in human form isn't a scholar, but he's not stupid. Don't make the mistake of thinking he is. When he and the others are in their right mind--as much as they ever are--they're perfectly capable of planning a defense, and they know the woods better than any of you do. They also outnumber us. And they wouldn't hesitate to kill any children who didn't happen to be the first ones we rescued. Tonks's plan is best. Take them when we're all transformed." He rubbed his face. "Greyback habitually sends the children off before he sends the adults off. That would be the best time to get them." He looked guiltily at Fiona. "Alderman is with the adults. He'll have to find a way to get away while I get the boys."

"Adults? He's fifteen!"

"I know. But he's got quite good at sneaking around."

Arthur shook his head. "But if Dung has sold something from the church and they know that Montgomery is involved, wouldn't it make sense that they're watching him?"

Tonks couldn't think of anything to say to that, and apparently Remus couldn't, either.

Kingsley clenched his jaw and shook his head. "I think you're all mad," he said. "But I have an idea. You need to know if anything is missing from the church. It would be a good idea to disassociate Lupin from this priest. I happen to still have Muggle law enforcement identification. I could catch Lupin 'stealing' from the church. Montgomery could denounce him. And then I could go in, possibly with Lupin in tow, and find out if anything else is missing."

"I don't think so," Tonks said. "I don't want Remus anywhere near there before we have to be there."

"No," Remus said, "it makes sense. It would make a great show of explaining why I'm there, if anyone happens to see me, and maybe Montgomery will complain about Alderman stealing as well--explain why he's there all the time. I promise, Greyback's people won't punish him for it."

"Then you aren't concerned?" Arthur asked.

"I'm concerned," Tonks admitted, then shrugged. "Montgomery's brother is keeping an eye on him during the night of the full moon. He should be safe enough if they stay inside and keep up protective charms. And what we needed from him is already done."

"And his family?" Molly asked.

"It's not exactly common knowledge that his brother is a wizard," Tonks said. "I doubt that Greyback would have made the connection; it's not an uncommon name. Ralph isn't exactly a prominent wizard, and he doesn't work with us, so I don't think there's any reason for the Death Eaters to have taken a special interest in him." She caught the anxious set of Mum's shoulder, and forestalled the objection by saying, "But we'll check on him anyway. I don't like Kingsley's plan, but I suppose it will do."

There was a moment of silence, the new information settling in, then Fiona sighed and stood up.

"All right," she said. "If we're going to do this, we need to get started. How many of you have any experience controlling werewolves?"

"You mean other than Tonks?" George asked, grinning wickedly, and Tonks Conjured a cotton ball to throw at him.

"I mean transformed ones," Fiona said dryly.

Mum raised her hand--she had experience at St. Mungo's--and Kingsley did as well, though he wasn't on the team. Hagrid nodded as though she'd asked nothing more challenging than whether or not he'd ever used doxycide. McGonagall nodded curtly. To Tonks's surprise, Bill Weasley also raised his hand. "Egypt," he said, smiling sheepishly. "She was guarding a treasure in the desert. Sorry, Mum. I didn't tell you because I thought you'd worry."

"You were right," Molly said. "It's not bad enough that Charlie comes home bitten by everything in existence?"

"Not now, Molly," Arthur said quietly.

"Is there anyone else?" Fiona asked. "Valeska, I know you've mentioned knowing werewolves..."

"I am quite capable of dealing with werewolves," Valeska said. "Though I suspect my methods are somewhat different from yours."

Fiona considered this, then shook her head sharply. "Well, that's not many of you, one way or the other. Kingsley, are you joining us at full moon?"

"Do you need me?"

"I think I have enough. But I don't care for Tonks doing all the work on her end. An extra pair of eyes near that gate would make me feel more secure."

"Me, as well," Remus said.

"I don't think it's necessary," Tonks said. "Once they're through, there will be nothing to do, and I'm mainly going to be circling and casting hexes."

"Necessary or not, it won't hurt anything," Remus said. "Will you please let someone help you?"

"This from you?" She shook her head. "Never mind. I'll be glad for your help if you're free, Kingsley."

He nodded.

"All right, then," Fiona said. "I think I should start at the beginning, since most of you have never done this before. Standard Stunning Spells aren't particularly effective agaisnt werewolves--it will only slow them down long enough for you to get a more effective spell out--and don't even consider the idea that an Impervius Charm on your skin will do anything more than make you a bit tough. These are small werewolves, so you should be able to handle them singly, but don't take any chances; bring your broomsticks, and if they're getting too close, get up high and hex them back where they belong. It will hurt them, and I'd rather not, but take no chances. We'll be on school grounds..."
16 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 20th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm getting worried now. I know none of the Order gets bitten or killed but am getting a bit worried about your OCs and whether you get the children away. I'm also worrying about the death of the Montgomery child and it's impact on everyone.

I think you've got a typo here:

"It's not bad enough that Charlie comes home bitten by everything in existence?"

Either it needs to be "Isn't it . . ." or to be changed to a statement and remove the "not".

Methinks we have sone exciting installments coming up soon!

From: (Anonymous) Date: August 20th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think that's a typo, 'it's not' pretty much means the same thing as 'isn't it'...

But you did leave out a quotation mark in this sentence:

"Dumbledore took care of it," Tonks said. I don't think you've met Sanjiv and Daffy--Dumbledore spoke to them a few months ago."
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 20th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry. It looks to me as if it's either a question masquerading as a statement or a statement masquerading as a question. I had to read it several times to see why it looked so wrong. I knew what it meant but not how it meant it (if that makes sense). Even as speech, and therefore not bound by the same rules as written language, it didn't quite work for me. The question mark seems superfluous. Maybe it would sound better. Anyway it's Fern's work so she can write it as she wishes. I can't write anything half so wonderful.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 25th, 2006 06:55 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a coloquialism but as such it is correct. Think of it as being short for something like "You mean it's not bad enough [...]". Molly would inflect it as a question so it could be argued that it should be written with a question mark. It's a construction that is quite common where I come from (English Midlands) and would certainly be understood and unremarkable elsewhere within England (I've always assumed the Weasleys are from Devon).
And I wish I could write half as well as Fern, too! (Keep up the excellent work, and thank you.) From Helena who has forgotten her account details...
lilacsigil From: lilacsigil Date: August 20th, 2006 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
So tense! I'm glad they're bringing their broomsticks: hardly anyone bothers to use the third dimension when writing magical battles!

The sentence from Molly that the above poster mentioned seemed fine to me.
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: August 20th, 2006 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)
*headwall* Dung, you moron...

The last chapter says "Daffy and Maddie flipped a coin, and Maddie joined the group", though, and I see Daffy here in this chapter...might be easier to fix the last chapter instead of this one, since he seems pretty well in-character here.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 20th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops! Yeah, I totally forgot which one was coming! I'll flip a coin and figure out which one is there. ;p
purebristles From: purebristles Date: August 20th, 2006 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
"Experience controlling werewolves... other than Tonks."

Tee hee hee! I love Gred and Forge.
From: tonkstipied Date: August 20th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)

shakes in fear

and claps!!!! as usual. thanks for this wonderful way of waking up
buckbeakbabie From: buckbeakbabie Date: August 20th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Its all starting now, isn't it?

I am so afraid for the children...
From: tree_and_leaf Date: August 20th, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eeek, it's getting scary now. I'm rather worried for them all - especially Father Montgomery.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 20th, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love this but I want to grab Tonks and yell, "Is it POSSIBLE that Father Montgomery's BROTHER may have been noticed talking to you in a PUBLIC PLACE?" I know I've got the advantage of knowing what's coming. I know Tonks is exhausted and stressed and focused on this particular goal. She's also seeing it from the werewolf end. She's not thinking of people in the wizarding world being the weak spot that gets information back to the wrong people.

But I want to yell at her -

1. The Death Eaters' blind spot is that they're more likely to notice things happening in the wizarding world than things happening in the Muggle world. Don't ask if any may have connected a Muggle priest to a wizard, ask if anyone may have connected a wizard to a Muggle priest.

2. Right after Tonks has the conversation with Montgomery at Rosmerta's, this happens. Can we talk timing, boys and girls?

3. If it's the wizarding world looking for connections, the last thing you want to do is have Remus and an Auror show up on Father Montgomery's doorstep. This isn't about putting off Greyback's suspicions, this is about putting of WIZARD suspicions, wizards who may know enough to recognize Kingsley and/or realize that Remus has better things to do with his time than sneak back to the village on Greyback's front doorstep and steal from the church. At least use a Muggle investigator. And don't have Remus near it. Have Father Montgomery say some public things about those tramps stealing from him. Give descriptions of Remus and Alderman. Act extremely less friendly to Alderman or other known vagrants till it cools down . . . .

Sorry, hindsight is so twenty-twenty.

aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: August 20th, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is so much worse because I know how it's going to end! It's like in Shifts with all of the foreshadowing of Sirius's death. I almost wish you weren't so good at this ...
beceh From: beceh Date: August 21st, 2006 09:09 am (UTC) (Link)
very good, looking forward to the next installment!
From: texasstar7 Date: August 22nd, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
wow, it really is heating up. i've got a few comments on this segment...

"Kingsley said, and, before Remus could be properly horrified, clarified,"

Hilarious! I was right there with Remus and I could just see his reaction.

"But would he think to just rob a Muggle church and take things the Death Eaters would be interested in on his own?"

This line is really confusing. I'm not sure what Daffy is trying to say, but i do like that he spoke up. Is he questioning Dung's intelligence? His acting alone?

And further, WHY would a goblet from a muggle church have any interest to Dung or Death Eaters.

This setup confused me and i'm sure it's my problem.

"This from you?"

Perfect! How exasperating he is!
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