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Marauding Matters - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Marauding Matters
Excuse the non-Teddy-ness. :) I just felt like writing some Potterlets. For the heck of it. I know I once named James's friends, but I can't for the life of me figure out where, so they're getting renamed here. Less a story than just a little vignette. (Sorry about that momentary lack of cut, if it happened to be the moment you were looking at your f-list. Dumb typos in tags!)

Teddy had told them they could take as much of the broken wood from the ruins of the Shrieking Shack as they could carry back from Screech Hill, and had even sent James a magical carpentry book, which had proved quite useful. Why he hadn't used it when he was at Hogwarts was one of the mysteries of Teddy, as far as James was concerned, but at least that had left the Forest fort as something James could do on his own, for the first time of any of the Marauders.

They'd spent much of third year magically molding shards of wood into planks and boards, and it had been enough for the floor and the frame. The rest, they'd made from stone, though Bear (really Silas Boyle) had insisted on making the lean-to of sods they'd cut from around the lake. Al had patiently shaped the stones that went around the doorway; he had a good eye for that sort of thing. Snout (Michael Prince) had found an old tapestry in a broom cupboard, which showed four medieval knights in a battle. They'd all looked at it for a long time before deciding to restore the stitching, and under cover of the Invisibility Cloak, James had nicked a book on needlework out of the library, and they'd all set to a quick refurbishing. This was not discussed again, but it had certainly livened the place up to have it there across from the fireplace. James had named the knights Sir Prongs, Sir Padfoot, Sir Moony, and Sir Wormtail. This last had been a wrench, as he would have preferred Sir Wings, who hadn't ended up betraying anyone, but Wormtail was in the Map, and the fort was linked to the Map, and the story made more sense if the fourth knight was Wormtail. Maybe it would inspire him to behave better in the afterlife.

After a good deal of searching, James had found a suitable small painting of a hawk, which he placed to the right of the tapestry, on a long piece of molding that they'd run around the whole room. He'd intended to also put up animals for Donzo, Ruthless, Victoire, and Teddy's other friends, then for all of his own friends, but Claws (Robert Highgold) said it should only be the Map-Masters, or they'd run out of room by the fourth generation. "Besides, you don't even know what our animals really will be."

This had turned out to be a wise precaution, once they got Teddy to teach them the Patronus spell illegally during Christmas hols this year. He seemed to think they ought to have got to it last year, under the idea that third year was the proper family schedule, but Al was third year, so it worked perfectly well. Bear was, indeed, a bear, and Snout a sort of mole, but Claws was a large hare ("Well, they, er... have claws," Bear had suggested), and James, who had always fancied himself Prongs, turned out to have Mum's horse instead of Dad and Granddad's stag. He railed against this fate for quite a long time--until nearly February--before giving himself the name Hooves and going in search of a horse picture.

The latest element added to the fort was a large rag rug, donated by Al's friend Moth (really, Jane Virgil). Eventually, this would cover a trap door James meant to put in. Under the trap door would be a huge cellar, and in the cellar would be wands that he intended to learn how to make over the summer, if he could just cajole Berit Ollivander into letting him watch her make a few. He'd been taking unicorn hairs from all the snagging points in the forest. He wasn't sure how he was meant to get any dragon heartstring, and no one had seen a phoenix at Hogwarts since before James had been born. Al was hoping that Fawkes would like his name and decide to come around, but so far it hadn't happened.

The wands would be there for anyone who had the Marauder's Map--James was working on the Keys to make it visible only on the Map, so only people who had seen it there would be able to find it--and then, if there were ever another war, no one would have to die because of losing a wand. Whoever the Marauders were then, they would just go to the fort, grab some wands, and hand them out. Eventually, James reckoned that he'd figure out how to make it possible to get into the fort from outside the school by Apparition or Floo without worrying about school security, and the next project after the cellar would be a tunnel to the school.

"You're staking quite a lot on the idea that there won't be any bad Marauders," Moth said, twirling her wand to catch a ball of light. She tossed it back in Al's direction. "I mean, what if a bad Marauder came along and had all of these extra wands handy, and a route into the castle?"

"And don't say there aren't any," Al said. "Wormtail."

"Well, we'll just have to make sure that you can't get here if you have bad intentions."

Lily, who'd managed to be a bigger pest in half a year than Al had been in two and half years, snorted. "Right. That'll be very easy, I'm sure."

"It'll just have to be a rule," James said. "You can't be a Marauder unless you do something nice for someone at least twice a month."

Lily made a "tsk" sort of sound, then said, "Really, James, for someone who never obeys rules, I swear you make more of them than the Ministry of Magic, the Wizengamot, and Parliament put together."

"I think we'll call you 'Jarvey,'" James said. "Because you never shut up."

"Anyway," Al said, "it's not like you can make sure someone's not bad by making them do good things. If they have to do it, then it's like homework. I can do a star chart, but that doesn't make me an Astrologer."

Moth laughed. "I think it's the fact that your star charts are complete rubbish that proves that." She craned her neck toward the pile of parchment on James's work table. "Is that a new story?"

"No!" Lily yelled, jumping between Moth and the table. "Do not encourage him."

"It's just my potions essay," James told her. "Not very interesting. But did I ever tell you about the time that Teddy's dad had to fly all the way to Tierra del Fuego to find potion ingredients for--"

Al and Lily covered Moth's ears and screamed, "NO!!!"

James laughed. For all of their yelling, Lily would be pestering him for the story by teatime, so he supposed he'd best get it made up, at least. He took out the quill he always used for Marauder stories and started making meaningless scratches on the back of his Defense Against the Dark Arts notes, waiting for something to come to him.

Moth squirmed out of their grip and went back to practicing for her Charms test. Lily sat on the arm of James's chair and looked over his essay for spelling problems. Everyone thought she looked like Mum, with long red hair and brown eyes, but James had always thought she looked quite a lot like Dad. For one thing, she wore her hair long so that it didn't stick up in about twelve different directions. For another her cheekbones were just like his, and the shape of her eyes, and of course, she was skinny like he was, instead of compact and made of round shapes like Mum. Lily was a walking stick figure.

Al slipped behind the tapestry, where he was making a sort of round design in the stones. He hadn't told James yet what he intended to do with it.

A sharp knock came at the door, followed by a pause, then three rapid ones, another pause, then a short-long-short-short-long pattern. "Anyone here?" Snout called.

"No!" James yelled back. "Those people you see through the window are just a brilliant distraction spell I made up."

The door opened and Snout came in with Bear and Bear's girlfriend, Sabra Lowenstein. Girlfriends would not generally be allowed, but Sabra had been hanging about long before she started going with Bear, and Al, who was in her year, vouched for her. James didn't think he had any particular right to challenge Al's--or Lily's--judgment on Marauding matters, unless they were wrong. (The same went for Rosie and Hugo, but Rosie almost never came here, and Hugo preferred Quidditch to secret societies on general principle.)

"We come with a noble sacrifice," Snout said, and turned over his book bag. Several boxes of sweets fell out of it.

"From my mother," Sabra said. "Not that I'd have seen any of it, anyway." She punched Snout's arm.

"Like I said," Snout told her, "it's a noble sacrifice. From us."

Al emerged from behind the tapestry, and Lily and Moth were already on the ground, picking out their favorites. Snout, Bear, and Sabra all sat down with them, and James gave up on his unproductive quill scratching to join them, forming the last arc of a lopsided circle.

"We need an eating ritual," Moth suggested.

"Oh, God, it's catching," Lily moaned.

Snout, who'd made up the code knocks and an invocation they used before sneaking out to do mischief, frowned. "Hmm. All right, everyone reach in and take everything you like best."

"Oh. I like this ritual," Bear said, and gathered up a mound of chocolates.

James selected a few Cauldron Cakes, some biscuits, and a licorice wand, and the others all took their own favorites.

Snout waited to see that everyone had finished, then said, "All right. Now pass it all to the left."

This earned him several boos, and a soggy piece of Cauldron Cake thrown by Al. No one passed the food along. Snout shrugged. "We could do it at next year's Sorting Feast, anyway."

"Yes, but why?" Lily asked. A lull fell while they began to eat, and finally, she sighed and said, "Well, James is making up a story, and I know he's going to make us listen to it, so we ought to get it over with, don't you think? Something silly about Tierra del Fuego."

"Oh, I thought I'd drop it..." James teased.

"Give up the loot, Potter," Bear said. "Or I'll have to take the licorice wand hostage."

James grinned. "All right, then. We wouldn't want you to do anything drastic. So, it starts out when Moony, that's Wings's dad, was in, er... Sicily, with his beautiful shapeshifting girlfriend"--in the stories, the Marauders were always still at Hogwarts--"Nymphadora. She was a very good potion brewer, but when it turned out that there was an awful outbreak of Devil Dancing, she found out that she didn't have any, er..."

"Wetfoot Weed?" Lily suggested.

"Right, Wetfoot Weed. And the only place that grows is at the very last part of South America, Tierra del Fuego, but an evil wizard had Cursed away all of the Floo points, blocked the Portkeys, and cut off Apparition, so Moony had to get on a Firebolt and fly all the way across the Atlantic..."

As he spun the story, the golden light of the late afternoon faded into the red of evening, and the first twinkling stars appeared in the twilit sky.


41 comments or Leave a comment
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From: (Anonymous) Date: July 10th, 2008 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh how lovely :) I love the fact that James keeps writing those stories even though some might say he's a bit too old.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, James doesn't really care. ;p And since he does eventually parlay it into an income, it's probably a good thing!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think he tacked that onto his thinking because he needed an excuse to keep the "W" in MWPP Wormtail instead of Wings, but it seemed like James sort of rationale!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 10th, 2008 09:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I LOVE this. Love, love, love it! Oh, James....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! James is fun.
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: July 10th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)
wheeeee! hurray for james-centric! and lily's here too! i loved how you (james) described her.

and thank you for including jane, al's muggleborn friend whom i think is still going to be a big part of his future *grins*

btw, i don't know, when's fred supposed to go to hogwarts? is he younger than lily? i think i've lost track.

and good of them to include wormtail, since it ties in nicely with james' setting of marauder adventures to hogwarts age. and that they brought up the possibility of another evil marauder. they really won't know until it happens.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Freddie's a year or so behind Lily, I think. Not there yet.

James really is taking on faith that the Map won't fall into the wrong hands. Hopefully, he, Al, and Lily, will find a way to get it to test for intentions.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: July 10th, 2008 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)
No need to excuse yourself for not writing Teddy my dear Fern as I am sure that all of us are perfecty willing to read anything that comes from your evidently hyperdriven imagination. :)

Seriously though, James is great, well, your James is great, I'm afraid that I was one of those people who read the Epilogue and went "Lily, James and ALBUS SEVERUS?! How 2D could these characters be?". And I still maintain that it was not a good end. But now thanks to your ability to write so that we can hear the voice of each induvidual character in ours heads I cannot help but like the Potterlets. The fact that James can't understand why Teddy didn't build a clubhouse when he was there, honnestly, it baffles the mind, and obviously Lily isn't mini!Ginny.

Also I quite like the fact that, unlike in most fanfics the Potterlets do not spend all of their time hanging out with their cousins, which I've always thought was a bit unrealistic. After all just because their parents were best friends doesn; mean that they are. I like that Rosie and Hugo have different interests and that they get on well with their cousins but don't spend every waking moment with them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love my cousins, and we're very close, for cousins. But I think that once we were at school, if we'd gone to the same one, we'd have been friendly acquaintances in the hall--unless someone did something to one of us, in which case you'd remember quickly who was related to whom. I mainly put in that comment about Rose and Hugo because the story was too crowded to shove them into it, but you're right--I also just didn't see them participating in this, or they'd have been there from the start.
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: July 10th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
*grin* Awww, this is adorable, I love it! So many little points that are just plain and simply right, that fit in with the canon... The kids aren't just copies of their parents, they're their own persons. Love it.

And you named them when I asked. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah. I knew Snout was a Prince, but I couldn't remember the others at all. I thought it was its own question in an "Ask My OCs..." which is why I didn't find it!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: July 10th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hahaha, very fun. James is rather willfully *young* for 14, isn't he? They are so trying too hard w/ code names, knocks, etc. Hilarious.

Loved this: Under the trap door would be a huge cellar, and in the cellar would be wands that he intended to learn how to make over the summer, if he could just cajole Berit Ollivander into letting him watch her make a few.
Oh, of course! No problem. Should be super easy, the wand making.... (hee)

And this is a great description: ...she was skinny like he was, instead of compact and made of round shapes like Mum. Lily was a walking stick figure.

And I wish I could get away with this sort of logic more often! . James didn't think he had any particular right to challenge Al's--or Lily's--judgment on Marauding matters, unless they were wrong.

I reread Deathly Hallows over the last couple days, and last night reading the epilogue (first time since last summer, actually) I was amazed at how much you pulled out of those scant paragraphs to create full-blown characterization for James and Albus and Adult-Harry. I'm glad you had such free reign with Teddy, though!

Oh, and random question since there are lots of HP readers here and it bugs me every so often: I was reminded, reading the epilogue, of an annoyance from Sorcerer's Stone. Just as Albus Severus Potter (sigh) winces as he passes through the barrier at King's Cross, Molly and the Weasley clan all acted like they'd never been to the station before, and Ron had never been on the platform (had to follow the lead of the twins, I think?). Makes no sense since clearly everyone goes every year that there's someone to drop off... Is it just a useful device, do you think? A mistake?

Wow, loooong comment. I'll sign off!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I kind of think Harry would like to let his kids be young for as long as being young amused them, and James is a large kid even when he's a grown-up!

Hmm. Molly strikes me as the sort to re-explain things. Maybe that's all that was going on ("Remember, this is what you do...") Yeah. Totally not a plot device!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 10th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fun ficlet! I like how James is so intent on rules and how everything should be just so among this next generation of Marauders. Wonder which side of the family he gets it from? Harry and Ginny weren't particularly rule-oriented--Uncle Percy, perhaps?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe. Though he doesn't care at all about other people's rules. I kind of think it probably comes from his grandfather James, who held together a group of less than stable boys, apparently by sheer force of his will and personality.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: July 10th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved that James used Tierra del Fuego in one of his stories. I live in Buenos Aires, but, you know, it's part of my country *grins stupidly*

Oh, the fort is such an awesome idea. Secret Societies are so much fun. And the whole debate on bad Marauders... that was great.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
James and Teddy have memorized all the margins of a map, I think, and love to set things in places that look remote. Also, neat straits down there. :D

I think James may have ended up creating a wizarding version of a fraternity and sorority...
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: July 10th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad that James keep making up stories even after he gets into Hogwarts. I was really worried he would grow out of it. ^.^
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 12th, 2008 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Nah. He and Teddy parlay it into an endless series of adventure novels, which are sort of a weird cross of Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, and Buffy, except with more temporal vortexes and lost treasures than any of them. ;p
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 10th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I somehow think Remus is flinching at the idea of riding a broomstick across the Atlantic, lmao.

General maraudness is cute. James seems forever stuck in a state of being 9- it's adorable.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 12th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, yes. Not a comfortable journey.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 10th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
YAY! It was totally great. But what is Al's patronus? I'm dying to know. pleeeeeeeeeeeeeez? Loving Moth.

-fh :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 12th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
A phoenix.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: July 10th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

thanks for the...

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 12th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: thanks for the...

I considered subtitling it, "Just for sgt_majorette. ;)
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: July 11th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I find James' trying-too-hard-ness and ... young personality very funny. Its such a contrast to Harry's generation and what little we know of WMPP's generation. But then, this is a generation growing up when there is no war... James' flair for the dramatic comes through really well here. I can see how he got a little of it from Teddy ( who, with his ...obession/reverence for his parents develops a bit of that flair too....).

Its also interesting to see here how many more close friends both Teddy and James seem to have than Harry and Harry's dad seemed too...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 12th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I think James (1) had a a full plate trying to keep Sirius on an even keel, Remus off the guilt trips, and Peter... well, obviously, he lost hold of Peter. But James and Teddy both pick friends who aren't nearly as dramatic as they are, so they can have more of them. Yeah. :D
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: July 11th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Great job Maraudering, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 12th, 2008 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
41 comments or Leave a comment
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