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HuffleTonks story - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
HuffleTonks story
Well, been meaning to celebrate Tonks's Huffleness with a story, and if I don't start writing again soon, my brain will explode, so... just something short and fluffy. And 'Puffy. It's entirely pointless and has no deeper significance than just goofing around with Tonks, Sanjiv, Maddie, and Daffy.

Tonks had tripped over the carpet in the MacPhersons' living room and sent herself sprawling into a plate of hors d'oeuvres from last night's Hogmanay party, covering the battered shorts and T-shirt she'd meant to sleep in with salad dressing. Mr. McPherson had insisted on putting it through the laundry (Daffy Apcarne had watched this Muggle operation with deep fascination), and Mrs. McPherson had lent her a pair of lovely yellow and black silk pajamas, which made her feel quite mature and wise. She was certain she would be able to impress all of the other third years with her great knowledge and smooth way with words. She thought she might expound on the meaning of life as soon as the film was over, or perhaps teach a course on Muggle Healing. Something wise and dignified, at any rate. Something--

The cushion of the sofa suddenly tipped upward, and she was rolled unceremoniously onto the floor. Her hand landed in the popcorn bowl, sending a buttery blizzard into Maddie's hair.

The boys laughed and dropped back down. "You were getting a bit uppity there," Sanjiv said. "When they finish with the dryer, those shorts come back."


"Shhh," Maddie hissed, "I'm trying to hear the little green bloke."

"He keeps saying the same thing," Sanjiv said, then dropped into a crouch and spoke from some high, pinched place in his throat. "'Anger, fear, aggression... the Dark Side are they...'"

"I think Hufflepuffs are immune to the Dark Side," Daffy said. "I mean, Gryffindors, they're all about aggression, so they're in trouble. Ravenclaws are pretty twitchy, so I'd say they've got fear covered. Slytherins seem to be awfully angry. But no one goes to the Dark Side for being modest and kind and generous and--"

"And dumping their friends off the sofa..." Tonks said.

Maddie crawled closer to the television. "I think there's a special express route for people who don't let you watch a whole story in peace."

"I can't believe you've never seen this," Sanjiv marveled. "Aren't you a half-blood?"

"My grandmother's a Muggle," Maddie said. "And she adores the theater. She thinks films are... oh, goodness, is that the bad guy? Why's he in the tree?"

"He's not really--"

Maddie threw a slipper at Sanjiv. "Don't answer me when I ask about the plot, you idiot."

"I think thinking that we can't be turned would be a bad sign," Tonks said. "And I think a Hufflepuff Jedi on the bad side would be bad, bad news. Imagine the twisted up loyalty."

"What would they do to turn a Hufflepuff bad?" Daffy asked.

Maddie made a choked sound and leaned forward, hitting the button on the machine that stopped the film. She turned around with her teeth clenched. "They'd probably just keep interrupting her bloody film," she said. "That'd do it nicely."

Daffy rubbed his hands together gleefully. "Evil Maddie! Whatever will she make us do?"

"Oh, go pound sand," Maddie sniffed.

"An evil plan indeed, which just proves that even if you could turn a Hufflepuff evil, we'd be terrible at it."

Maddie sighed, giving in to the conversation. "We make excellent minions, though."

"That's my life goal," Sanjiv said. "To be a minion of evil. Is there any popcorn left?"

"You can pick it out of Maddie's hair," Tonks suggested, and Sanjiv set to it, deliberately bouncing around to look like a gorilla in the zoo. Tonks shook her head, and got back up onto the sofa, smoothing her sophisticated pajamas down. "I think we'd be easy to turn," she said.

"Oh, really?" Daffy said.

She nodded. "Question: Someone grabs Sanjiv off the street and tells you that he'll be tortured to death if you don't turn to the Dark Side."

"Why me?" Sanjiv asked, yanking some of Maddie's hair and causing her to mutter, "Purely revenge."

"I guess I'd, well, I..." Daffy thought about this. "Well, why would someone take Sanjiv?"

Maddie rolled her eyes at Tonks. "Boys," she said, then looked at Daffy. "That's the whole point. Gryffindors would make some great rescue attempt. Slytherins would try to get around it. Ravenclaws would probably try to come up with some equation about one person versus lots of people. But us? We don't rush in, except for Tonks, we don't lie very much, and we don't look at some Ravenclaw accounting book. We'd just do what we need to if it gets one of our own back." Sanjiv tugged at a stubborn piece of popcorn in her hair and she shoved him away. "Though I'm having second thoughts."

"Right," Tonks said. "Except of course, that what we'd actually need to do is rush in and grab him away from whoever's got him."

"The Hat tried to put you in Gryffindor, didn't it?" Daffy asked.

"That's between me and my millinery," Tonks said.

"It did talk to you for a long time," Sanjiv said. "I remember. I was waiting for you after the train, and I thought it was going to send you somewhere else for a minute."

"It wanted Mum's recipe for plum pudding." Tonks shrugged, wanting to get off the subject for reasons she couldn't entirely pin down. Nothing ominous had been said at her Sorting, but the Hat had commented on her Black family heritage, and that wasn't something she cared to talk about, even with her friends. They knew about it, but they didn't really know.

Sanjiv shrugged this off, unconcerned. "What about you, Daff? You went first, so everyone saw it take forever."

"My dad was a Ravenclaw," he said. "There was some talk about that, but it didn't think I would really fit in there. Same as Mads."

"And everyone else," Maddie said. "I think it likes to tease people with Ravenclaw. What about you, McPherson?"

"It barely talked to me," Sanjiv grumped. "The first magical thing I got to use, and it barely said 'boo.' Just 'Hufflepuff,' and there I was." He grinned. "I guess that means that I'm purely good and can't be brought over to the Dark Side."

"Guess I need to rethink that theory," Daffy said.

"Really?" Maddie said, her eyes wide with fake innocence. "You think it's possible that we aren't purely incorruptible?"

"Totally true-hearted?" Sanjiv asked.

"Practically perfect in every way?" Tonks added.

Daffy flashed an obscene gesture at them.

"Sanj," Maddie said, "I think you should re-draw Daffy's picture in the common room, so it does that to everyone who happens to walk by. Just for realism."

"There's a Sealant Spell," Sanjiv told her with palpable regret. "I tried to change yours around to look sour and scold everyone who happened by, and it wouldn't let me."

Maddie stuck out her tongue and made a wet sound in his general direction, then reached over to start the film again. She lay on her stomach, head propped up on her hands, watching raptly as the handsome hero bounced by in a tight, sweaty sort of shirt.

They watched quietly for a while, then Daffy said, "Now, this guy"--he pointed to the hero, who was currently insisting that he had to go save his friends--"is a Hufflepuff."

Sanjiv snorted. "Oh, yeah. Wait until you see his mad loyalty bit in the next film."

"What does he--?" Daffy started, then noticed Maddie glaring. "Er, I suppose we'll just play that one next."

"Too right we will," Maddie said, cupping her hands over her ears, only open toward the television, blocking them out.

"Of course," Sanjiv said, "the real 'Puff turns out to be--"

This time, he was shushed by both Maddie and Daffy. Tonks, who knew who turned out to be the most madly loyal of all, rolled her eyes at him, then slithered down to the floor to lie down beside Maddie and enjoy the view. A moment later, the boys joined them, one on either side, and they watched the rest of the movie in relative peace (interrupted only by Sanjiv getting up to madly yell, "Noooooooooo!" in a melodramatic impersonation of the hero, for which he was pelted with popcorn seeds).

While Sanjiv was rewinding the tape and getting the next one ready, Tonks nipped upstairs to the bathroom. She made serious, sophisticated faces at the mirror for a few minutes (the dryer was long done, but she didn't replace the pajamas with her own shorts), then headed back downstairs. She paused a few risers up, watching the others. The boys were tickling Maddie, who was red-faced from trying not to laugh.

"Do you all plan to sleep soon?"

Tonks turned. Sanjiv's mother, a beautiful woman whose looks had mixed badly with her husband's to produce the boy that some of the crueler children in school called Frankenstein, was standing behind her, smiling faintly. "Er... We'll try to be quiet."

Mrs. McPherson shook her head. "I remember thirteen," she said. "Enjoy yourselves. I work in the afternoon tomorrow."

Tonks smiled, but shushed the others when she got back to them anyway. Mrs. McPherson was a Muggle Healer, and Tonks had grown up with a pair of Healers... she knew their idea of a late morning was getting up after the sun was already completely over the horizon.

Maddie was all for starting the next film, especially after Sanjiv teased her with a bit of foreknowledge, but she didn't want to get into it until everyone had the talking out of their systems, so they opted for a game instead. Tonks called Truth or Dare, but the others vetoed her, as she never chose "truth" and had yet to turn down a dare. ("I can't think of anything you won't do," Sanjiv said. "Except for things I wouldn't want you to.") They ended up playing a lazy game of Exploding Snap, which Daffy called "Exploding Snape" and changed the rules of accordingly, so that the whole object was to make the cards explode as violently as possible. ("Oh, yes," Maddie said dryly. "He's entirely safe from the Dark Side.")

They talked about Quidditch, assignments they hadn't got properly started on yet (tomorrow, they had every intention of going to the library for their Muggle Studies project), and the irritations of all other Houses. Daffy again tried to categorize which Houses would perform well in various film occupations they'd seen together over the past few years. It was decided that Hufflepuff would make fine Jedi, archaeologists, and alien finders, while Gryffindors could perhaps do well fighting against things that had knives on their fingertips. Ravenclaws were only for the serious sorts of films, and Slytherins were gaily relegated to serving as magical nannies for the children of stuffy bankers, to be blown about by umbrellas in the wind.

"I think we could fight Freddy Krueger," Sanjiv said. "Why should that go to Gryffindors?"

"Well, they have to do something," Maddie said. "And I didn't like that film." She yawned extravagantly. "I'm really tired. Maybe we should watch the other film in the morning."

"But there's a gold bikini!" Sanjiv protested. "And don't you want to get to the part where--"

Maddie made a cutting-off gesture. "Tease me tomorrow. I want to sleep."

Sanjiv sighed. "Well, the sofa bed's made up, though Mum said I should tell you girls you can have my room instead if you'd like, and Daffy and I can stay down here."

"Your room smells like moldy curry," Tonks said. "Why would we want to stay there instead of here?"

Sanjiv and Daffy exchanged a glance, and Daffy pointed vaguely at Tonks's midsection.

"He has bad aim," Maddie stage-whispered, pointing at Tonks's practically non-existent bosoms to clarify. "And apparently I'm in no danger."

Daffy nodded at Maddie's more significant endowment. "We're afraid we'd suffocate in there."

"Personally," Sanjiv said, "I'm more worried about them coming after us, you know."

"Oh, right," Tonks said. "I always meant to jump all over you while wearing your mother's pajamas."

Sanjiv wrinkled his nose. "All right, I think you've just scarred me for life. You can stay."

In the end, they collapsed into a companionable pile on the thin mattress, falling asleep to the familiar sound of one another's snores.


16 comments or Leave a comment
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: May 22nd, 2007 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I've always pegged Luke as a Gryffindor, personally...

But, awww, HuffleTonks! I have a pretty big weakness for any kind of wizarding geekery over Muggle stuff, so I think Tonks and her friends watching Star Wars is hilariously adorable, or adorably hilarious, or something. Whatever it is, it's really cute. Especially since they're having the same kinds of conversations I tend to have with my friends, except my conversations go under the banner of fancrack instead of...something else.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 22nd, 2007 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'd put Luke in Gryffindor, too--maybe with the Hat mentioning, "Hmm, you might fit in Hufflepuff, but..." He's a Gryffindor raised well by two Hufflepuffs. But I figure that the kids were mostly just putting everyone they liked in Hufflepuff with them.

This is totally the kind of party my friends and I would have had. All that was missing was Daffy, instead of Tonks, borrowing Mrs. McPherson's nightie and waking up in the middle of the night, growling in a tenor, "My nightie's riding up on me!"
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 22nd, 2007 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, come on! They finish The Empire Strikes Back for the first time and could WAIT to see Return of the Jedi? All right, I'm the kind of person who all but breaks out into a hive waiting for the next bit in a two parter, and that's now that I'm an adult and can usually spot the ending coming. At thirteen, I'd have been screaming "WHAAAAAAT!!!!!????"

Come to think of it, that is about what I did at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

OK, my movie viewing memories are getting in the way. I really liked this as a framing device for the comaraderie and memories. I also loved that, instead of sending the Slytherins to the Dark Side, they considered what would drive them to the Dark Side and then gave them the job of being Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins as a Slytherin, I love it).

But I did want to see their reaction when, after declaring how hard it is to get Hufflepuffs on the Dark Side (and then giving reasons that match Luke's later dive in that direction), seeing him get downright tempted.

And who has been letting the thirteen year olds watch Freddy Krueger? That's an R rated film (of course, I'm considerably past thirteen and still get nightmares when I read King, who's one of your favorites, so I realize we're coming at this from different angles [I've also spent my share of time with little kids who freaked out over things I had considered anxiety proof. Then they try to convince me they won't get scared if I let them watch something I KNOW has freaky stuff. It so doesn't work]).

From: (Anonymous) Date: May 22nd, 2007 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I think my exact words at the credits to Empire Strikes Back were "YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!" as I contemplated waiting years to find out what happened next.

I loved the fluffy story, Fern. But tell me, how did you place Tonks as a Hufflepuff. Good guess or based on JKR's descriptions?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 22nd, 2007 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Mostly lucky guess, honestly--there's a one in four chance! I originally vacillated between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, but picked 'Puff because I thought it would be neat if Cedric's death was part of what pushed her into the order. Then I started justifying based on the way she seemed to treat everyone exactly the same (she made a great bridge in the "Advance Guard" chapter because she treats Harry exactly the same way she treats Moody), but that came after deciding it was what I wanted to do.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 22nd, 2007 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not a big fan of the slasher flicks, either. King's not as gratuitous as Freddy, and if I want to be creeped out by a dream monster, I'll rent Dreamscape, with Kate Capshaw. Much creepier.

But I seem to recall everyone being into Freddy for whatever reason. Someone came to school for Halloween with Freddy fingers and the rubber mask and I was only fifteen or so. So I figured it was safe to assume they'd be exposed to it. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 23rd, 2007 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps my friends were more aware of my horror movie gutless wonderness than I'd realized at the time . . . . Either that or Freddy wasn't quite as big in my neighborhood. Or I'm the wrong age to have noticed. Or a little clueless about anything popular I'm not actually interested in (if I weren't a Harry Potter fan, might I be going around saying, "Harry Who?" or even, "Come on, they're not THAT popular."

Didn't mean to compare Jason or Freddy with anything by King beyond the (for me) common denominator of needing the hall light on for the next six months. What can I say? Horror works a little too well for me. I come out of even very poorly written, highly predictable ones with at least a dash of post traumatic stress syndrome.

satakieli From: satakieli Date: June 4th, 2007 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Personally, if I were sorting Mary Poppins, I would without hesitation put her in Slytherin. Have you read the books? Then again, the kids are going by the movie, so I dunno. I don't have very clear memories of it.

Fern, this story is everything I could wish for! Friendship + sober conversation evaluating one's own capacity for evil all wrapped up in marvelous geekery.
CatLovrSebby From: CatLovrSebby Date: May 21st, 2012 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Mary Poppins?

Definitely Slytherin. Even if you go by the movies, sure she's cheerful and sings a lot But even her songs are geared toward manipulating others into doing things her way. Remember how she deftly gets Michael to go to sleep by pretending she doesn't want him to?

She would get along wonderfully with Snape, BTW. As I recall, she was as wonderfully snarky as he was.

Edited at 2012-05-21 01:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 22nd, 2007 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Cheers, Fern! Another fun little ficlet.
From: lianna_blanca Date: May 22nd, 2007 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Cheers, Fern! Another fun little ficlet. I really can't understand how you can throw stories out of your sleeves like that, but I'm certainly grateful for it!

And as a side note, I agree with the above - could you possibly show them reacting to Return of the Jedi the next morning? I'm all curious now.

Thanks again!
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 22nd, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Delight is in the Details

That was a wonderful piece of 'Puff Fluff. And it was, as it is so often, the little things that struck me the most.

Was it a coincidence that Sanjiv's mother had yellow and black pajamas, or did she buy them as a show of shcool pride for her son? (I loved the line Tonks had about jumping Sanjiv in his mother's nightgown.)

I also loved that despite things that appear to be magical "shortcuts" to us Muggles, being a doctor is the same in either the Muggle or magical world, and that Tonks could appreciate that from her experience with her parents. (My parents are both academics, so seeing what they went through at home and away from class always gave me a very healthy respect for teachers from elementary school on.)

I can totally see Mary Poppins being a Slytherin. I mean, when you think about it, she is very good at manipulating people into doing what she wants them to do or what she thinks they ought to. (Thank goodness Miss Poppins is on the side of good, not evil!)

It's nice to see that the drawing of first years has continued (I liked your "Imago Virei" story very much). Do students take their pictures home when they graduate? Otherwise, the 'Puff common room would have run out of wall space by now.

Glad to see you writing again.

Sara Libby
matril From: matril Date: May 22nd, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I love mixing fandoms. I think I agree that Luke would be a Gryffindor, but was raised by two Hufflepuffs. Now I'm going to start categorizing all the other characters in the movie... :D
golden_d From: golden_d Date: May 22nd, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee, I loved this. Glad to see you writing again.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: May 23rd, 2007 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Great fic! I read a fanfic where Harry, Ron, and Hermione watched Star Wars and it made me laugh as well. I liked the bit where they discussed whether or not Hufflepuff could be tempted by the Dark Side, especially since in Quidditch Club one of our Hufflepuffs is the head of the Death Eaters.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: May 23rd, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tonks is already thinking like an Auror!
16 comments or Leave a comment