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Shades, Chapter 36: Interlude (9): The Top Side of the World, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shades, Chapter 36: Interlude (9): The Top Side of the World, pt. 2
Remus is in France, having transformed with the children. When he wakes up and goes to breakfast the next morning, Dumbledore is there. Dumbledore says that he has a teaching job for Remus.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Remus blinked stupidly at Dumbledore, the words "teaching job" seeming so distant from this mountaintop and the entire twisted year that he may as well have been speaking Mermish. "What?" he finally managed. "Teaching? Do you mean... is Hogwarts...?"

Dumbledore gave him a sympathetic smile. "Alas, no. I'm afraid Fenrir has made it somewhat more problematic than it was four years ago, and it wasn't easy then."

"Well, I didn't help, either. Would you like to join us for breakfast? We could talk over coffee, if you don't mind. I'm still a bit tired."

"I would love to, if your companions don't object." He looked at the children.

"Oh," Remus said. "Children, this is Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster at Hogwarts."

The children were all looking at him wide-eyed.

Alderman, not quite a child anymore, was less awe-struck. "My mum says you got her and Roald and the little ones out. Thank you."

"It was my pleasure."

"She also says she doesn't think you'll let me into school, as I'd be starting a bit late and you never let anyone in late."

"Your situation is somewhat extraordinary," Dumbledore told him. "Alas, what is true of Lupin's teaching career at Hogwarts is true for all of you as students. Fenrir Greyback has been somewhat less than helpful to cause of achieving equal rights."

"Did Greyback go there?"

"Yes. Before he was bitten, of course."

"What was he like?" Evvie asked, suddenly dropping her awe as they started moving toward the breakfast table that someone had set up in the village square. She ran up to walk beside Dumbledore.

"What an interesting question."

"What's the answer?"

Dumbledore took a few steps, appearing to consider the matter. "Greyback was, as I recall, particularly interested in the goblin wars. He gave a talk in Professor Binns' class, suggesting that the goblins should have won. He rather liked being provocative, even then."

"What about Care of Magical Creatures?" Remus asked, surprising himself.

Dumbledore turned to him with a grin. "What would you guess?"

"It will be either very good or very bad. I wouldn't have envied Kettleburn either way."

"Your instincts have always been good," Dumbledore said. "As it happens, he was both very good and very bad. He was madly curious and wanted to know everything, just as you did. Unfortunately, unlike you, he chose to learn everything he could by rather despicable and cruel means."

Remus was morbidly curious about the details, but the children were listening a bit too closely, and he knew all too well what Greyback was likely to have done. Not that they would be shocked at cruelty to animals after all they'd seen, but there was no reason to expose them needlessly.

They reached the table. Valeska was putting out a great deal of fruit, cheese, and bread, and she looked up with surprise when she saw Dumbledore. "Professor!" she said. "I had not heard of your presence here. You... You are pleased, I hope?"

"Very pleased, Madame Delacour," Dumbledore said. "You've done a great thing here."

Valeska scurried about getting breakfast, blushing when she looked at Dumbledore and forgetting to be contemptuous to Remus. Once everyone was eating, she went back to her own home. The children were talking to one another, having lost their interest in the novelty of Dumbledore's presence, and Remus sat down beside him.

"You mentioned a teaching job," he said.

"Yes. I've asked Kingsley to re-file Raymond Lewis's qualifications, and there was no need for magic to get a glowing recommendation from Roger Blythe at Smeltings."

"A Muggle teaching job, then," Remus said. "I thought I needed to finish some coursework."

"You do, if it's ever to be anything but undercover work. This is very definitely for the Order."

Remus drew his eyebrows together. "I don't understand. Is Dudley--?"

"Mr. Dursley is quite safe behind the protections we've devised for him. You will, alas, not be returning to Smeltings, though Blythe apparently followed Kingsley out of the office, asking if you planned to stay in England and wanting to know if he would need you for a terribly long time..."

"What on Earth was Kingsley posing as?"

"The administrator of a small school looking for a substitute teacher in history. That school is entirely fictitious; we simply needed the reference." He frowned. "Apparently, it isn't common practice to make such visits in person, and we could have saved a great deal of trouble by using the telephone, but it didn't occur to me. I can't imagine trusting a reference for someone who would be teaching my students if I didn't at least see the person giving it face to face."

"What, exactly, is this job, Albus?"

Dumbledore took a deep breath. "Would you walk with me, Remus? This is not for all ears."

Remus nodded and made his excuses to the children, then followed Dumbledore up the path toward the transformation area. Dumbledore stopped at the top of the rise and pointed to a meadow they could see far below, across a gorge with a raging river. "We'll talk there," he said, and Apparated. Remus went after after him.

By the time he reached the meadow, Dumbledore had Conjured two overstuffed armchairs and a table with a pot of tea on it. He offered Remus a cup and took one himself. "I haven't discussed this fully with anyone but Harry," Dumbledore said. "And you must excuse my caution, Remus--I won't discuss it fully with you. Not yet. Not until I know. And not until I have Harry's opinion on it."

Remus sat back with his tea, interested but not particularly sshocked to hear Dumbledore speaking of Harry as an equal. "All right," he said.

Dumbledore took a long sip of his tea, then looked out across the sunny meadow. "For various reasons, I have been looking into Tom Riddle's past."

"It would seem a valuable use of time."

Dumbledore looked up at him, surprised. "Why do you think so?"

"Isn't that where it all comes from? His father and mother and... so on?"

"Hmmm. Yes."

"Which would be useful to understand in fighting him."

"Yes." Dumbledore sighed. "I have a somewhat more practical concern, but that was where I began. Understanding Tom has taken up a great deal of my life this year. I wonder sometimes if I shouldn't have made the attempt earlier."

"I doubt it would have made a difference, from everything we've seen."

"Not for Tom, perhaps, but for all of those he hurt. If I'd understood sooner..." He shook his head. "It is rather easy for me to investigate his movements in the wizarding world, and the official courses of his life in the Muggle world. The orphanage, the deaths of his father and grandparents. But now, I'm looking for places that were important to him, places he would have cared for deeply--in his decidedly peculiar manner of caring, naturally."

"Where exactly do you want me to teach? And why?"

"It's a hunch," Dumbledore said. "The headmistress at the orphanage told me that, during a seaside visit, he took two children climbing down a cliff. I did not, at the time, stop to ask which cliff." He poured another cup of tea and drew a bag of sweets from his robes. "Chocolate truffles," he said. "Would you care for one?"

Remus shook his head at the proferred sweets. "What do you need me to do?"

Dumbledore smiled ruefully. "I'm finding it somewhat difficult to explain. Kingsley didn't need as detailed an explanation." He sipped his tea. "The orphanage visited three different villages during the time of Riddle's stay there. I ascertained that they alternated, but the dates of the visits have become lost over time. I have arranged for you to be a substitute teacher three comprehensive schools." He frowned. "I rather suspect that, if there is an answer, it will be in the lore of the local children--haunted places, ghost stories, that sort of thing."

"You want me to listen to children's gossip?"

"I thought you would be pleased to be in a classroom again."

"I am. I don't mind, I just wonder... is that really all you need me to do? And how will we know that there will be open classes?"

"Kingsley was able to find various requests for leave. He's arranged for your telephone number to be the first the headmasters find."

"My telephone number?"

"The telephone at Ted and Andromeda Tonks's home. Ted has agreed to help. He'll contact you when the calls come."

Remus felt his mood plummet at the thought of facing Ted and Andromeda after... after. "So all you need me to do is listen for ghost stories?"

"Look for trace magic as well," Dumbledore said. "But do not, under any circumstance, approach any place the children may mention, or follow anything more that a trace. Just bring me the news as soon as you can."

Remus nodded and looked up at the rise, where a few of the children were running along, waving. He waved back numbly, then looked back at Dumbledore. "When do I start?" he asked.
17 comments or Leave a comment
dalf From: dalf Date: September 19th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh you keep doing it. Your own story goes on as if it were all just that way, But, cannon is always there in the bacground being explained. Amazing.
zyprexia From: zyprexia Date: September 19th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)


i love how it all comes together. yay for remus getting to play a part, although he seems kind of reluctant!

my favorite part in the last bit was about having written on his forehead the cad bit.

ahaha valeska blushes at dumbledore! *raises eyebrow*

i do like your characterization of the kids. poor vivian. i hope she feels better soon!
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: September 19th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wonderful! I wasn't at all sure where you were going with this, but it makes good sense.
From: tonkstipied Date: September 19th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)


i love it when he teaches
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2006 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
This is sooooo good.

Quick correction: anything more than a trace.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2006 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you're letting Remus teach, even if it's just a few days.

I think there are a couple of typos:

" I have arranged for you to be a substitute teacher three comprehensive schools." There should probably be an "at" in there.

and an extra "s" in this sentence:

"Remus sat back with his tea, interested but not particularly sshocked to hear Dumbledore speaking of Harry as an equal. "

I doubt the woman at the orphanage was a headmistress, as orphanages aren't schools. JKR referred to Mrs Cole as a matron, which seems a more likely title to me.

You are really keeping things moving after what seemed to be the climax of the story. I keep thinking you can't possibly keep the momentum going - but of course you do!


buckbeakbabie From: buckbeakbabie Date: September 19th, 2006 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Very very interesting. Remus gets to teach again! Great. And you tie canon in so well...
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2006 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't quite feel very sympathetic to Dumbledore; his way of beating around the bush is rather annoying, and I'm glad Remus stayed on the point.

So the Blythes know that Remus is 'back in England'. Does this mean we'll see the Smeltings staff anytime soon? (Please let that be a yes!)

From: boldsunshine Date: September 19th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
And of course, they're all going to want to know where Dora is as well.
olympe_maxime From: olympe_maxime Date: September 19th, 2006 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent chapter all round. Remus refused sweets! I know it's mostly fanon that he has a sweettooth, but I always liked the image, somehow. :)

From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, he does seem to be rather obsessed with chocolate in PoA...
From: marciamarcia Date: September 19th, 2006 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, I was right then? Skylar Crowe and his cave got Dumbledore thinking about Riddle's cave and what might be there.

It's a great detail for you to add in. I love that you think of little things like that in these stories.

matril From: matril Date: September 19th, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great canon tie-in! And I'm also glad to see that Dumbledore's still keeping pretty closed-mouthed so there's no Mary-suing - i.e., Look! Remus knew all about the Horcruxes too, even more than Harry! And he's gonna save the world! Heh.

Oh, and I'd like to please learn Kingsley's spell so that all the school districts look at my husband's name first when they're looking to hire. :P
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: September 19th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have goosebumps just thinking about Remus's teaching job. Your Dumbledore is wonderful, as ever!
From: lianna_blanca Date: September 20th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Very good! Thank you!

Most of my interesting comments have already been said, however, I'd like to add that I like how Dumbledore is quietly saying that, after his death (because I'm firmly of the opinion that he knew he was going to die), Harry will be the one knowing what has to be done, and possibly directing the members of the Order to help him.

Again, great part-chapter. Thank you.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 20th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope the Smeltings staff tracks Remus and Dora down. I know that Dora & Remus decided not to lie anymore but I think there Smeltings knitting circle were wonderful people for them to have as friends that they made together. Wow I agree with previous post Remus refusing chocolate? Is he ill? OK he is depressed but I would think chocolate would help...maybe he doesn't think he deserves to feel better? Or is he a bit upset with "Albus"? Hey it just dawned on me that I do not think Remus has referred to Dumbledore as Albus before. Were you having Remus be a bit disrespectful hear? Is Remus just a bit upset about how Dumbledore is being so secretive or is it that Remus is feeling underutilized?

I like were you are going with this and weaving through canon the way you do.

From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent, as always, and I like the idea of using local lore to solve the mystery. It's interesting you think Dumbledore only started this quest that year -- I'd assumed by the memories he'd collected from people/elves long dead that he'd been trying to follow Tom's trail for awhile. That, and the fact he starts the book with an injury from a horcrux.

I do like your Dumbledore very much -- he's very canon.

17 comments or Leave a comment