Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Batch 14 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 14
Well, since elendiari22 took mine (squee! I get to have two wishes - it really is the Holiday season!) I will request another interaction between Sirius and Minerva, a happy, non-angst-y one, preferably discussing Alphard and their respective relationships with him, if that might be possible.
for sep12

The Diagon Alley flat was as different from Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, as it was possible to be without actually leaving the magical world. Sirius had appointed it with bright-colored, modern-looking furniture, filled its wardrobes with blue jeans and leather jackets, and hung some rather atrocious modern pieces on the wall. In the one between the windows looking out on the street, chips of plastic broken off from Muggle rubbish constantly rearranged themselves in a dizzying kaleidoscope pattern, and in the one that hung by the kitchen door, meaningless swirls of paint burst in exuberant blasts of color that looked like a fireworks show on a canvas. When Minerva approached this one, the paint shifted around and tried to form her face, or an odd, distorted version of it, with a pencil-line nose, exaggerated glasses, and a mouth so thin that it was nearly a speck.

"You should see what it does to Lily's hair," Sirius said, glancing over. "Makes her a bit testy."

"I imagine so. Where on earth did you get this fine piece of artwork?"

"It's the new style. Got it from a bloke selling them on the street. The other one, too. I saw my mother screaming at him about how awful it all was, so I had to have it." He grinned. "Just wish I could put it up in the house, to really drive her mad."

"You sound like your uncle Alphard. He once bought a Muggle record by Frank Sinatra just to irritate Walburga."

"Ha." Sirius opened a beer and sat down on the lime green leather sofa. He tipped the bottle at Minerva to offer her one, but she declined. He shrugged. "All of this is really thanks to Uncle Alphard, you know," he said. "When I left home, he gave me a spot of money, but when he died last year, it turned out he'd been squirreling away gold for years, and he left it all to Andromeda and me."

"He was a good man," Minerva said, planning to leave it at that.

"He also left me a letter," Sirius told her, and grinned. "I never know how good his taste in women was."

Minerva blushed. "He told you that we... once saw each other?"

"He told me he wanted to marry you. Pity he didn't; you'd have made family dinners much more interesting."

"Perhaps in a Confucian sense of the word 'interesting,'" Minerva said. "Really, I can't believe he told you that."

"I think I should call you 'Aunt Minerva.'"

"I'd greatly prefer it if you didn't."

He grinned wickedly, and she suspected he would find every opportunity to call her precisely that. "At any rate," he said, "I was going to take a job to pay for my lavish lifestyle here, but Uncle Alphard made it possible for me to work for Dumbledore full time instead. I say we raise a glass to the old boy, though you'll need one to raise. Anything you especially like?"

"I believe Firewhiskey is an appropriate medium for such a toast, if you've some available."

He Summoned some from the kitchen, and poured them each a glass, setting aside his beer. "To Uncle Alphard, without whom I'd never be drinking whiskey with the woman who gave me two hundred and six detentions."

"To Alphard," Minerva said. She took a sip of her Firewhiskey, and memories of young Alphard Black filled her head, the most prominent of which was their first stolen kiss, up in the highlands, with autumn leaves falling down around them in a colorful whirlwind. There'd been other kisses after it, and more, but somehow, that first had been the best. "Were the pair of you close?" she asked.

"Not especially," Sirius said. "I always liked him, mind, because he liked to tweak Mum, but that meant that she didn't have him over often. The first Christmas I was at Hogwarts, he was over, and he had a good laugh at me being in your House. Now I know why Mum was always so particularly and spectacularly irked by that."

"I suspect that's why he attached himself to my little group in the first place." Minerva took another drink, and though of daring Alphard to climb the outside of Gryffindor Tower. "He did love bothering Bugga at every opportunity."

"He loved you, though," Sirius said. "He told me to burn the letter, or I'd show it to you, but he wanted someone to know who he was, and I reckon he thought I'd do. He said he never married because he always loved you."

"I'm sure Alphard would have found another reason. He enjoyed the single life rather too much."

"Did you love him?"

"When exactly do you plan to settle down?"

"Nice change of subject."


He laughed. "Well, I'm Uncle Alphard's nephew," he said. "I shall just pine away for you for the rest of my days."

"Yes, I saw Alphard's idea of pining. We did stay in touch, you know."

Ron and Hermione's wedding, or a bachelor party for either Ron or Harry, please.
for aebhel

The guest list was a bit lopsided, of course.

Assorted Weasley relatives from every side had descended, and of course, there were Ministry onlookers (Hermione had resigned herself to being thought of as a Person of Importance, and had decided it would be poor form to start her adult life by alienating half of the Ministry by not inviting them). Of the remainder, most of the friends were shared--it was a bit absurd, for instance, to ask Neville if he was a friend of the bride or groom. Hermione's only individual guests were her parents, who'd got in from Sydney last week and had been fretting over the details of the wedding, as much as they could, ever since.

Hermione had insisted on paying for it herself, though she'd told Ron it was from a fund her father had made for her wedding (in fact, the fund had been for university). Mum was upset that she wouldn't be able to show any real wedding album to her friends, so Hermione had asked Justin Finch-Fletchley, who knew how to use cameras, to take some Muggle style pictures, and be careful of what could be seen. Justin, who understood her plight, was happy to oblige. (She'd nearly mentioned asking poor Colin Creevey, but of course, he was gone. It was strange, the way the absent would suddenly appear, even those to whom she'd had no connection at all, save for being Petrified during the same year.)

There had never been a question of whether or not Harry would play a large role in the wedding; that was a given. The only question had been precisely what role. Ron and Hermione had quarreled a bit over it, Hermione believing that Ron had brothers, while Harry was the closest thing she had to a sibling, and Ron believing that a man's best friend ought to be his best man. In the end, tradition had won out--Harry stood up with Ron, and Ginny stood up with Hermione. Ginny said that at their wedding, which was planned for the end of the summer, they'd switch roles, and Hermione could stand with Harry, while she shanghaied her brother into service.

Who ought to perform the ceremony was also a matter of some consternation, though it wasn't emotional. The only person Hermione was at all close to who could perform a marriage was Father Alderman, whose teeth her parents had capped a few months after the war, and to whom she'd spoken at length about the treatment of lycanthropes. Alderman, of course, thought of marriage as a sacrament, and couldn't preside at a secular wedding. Ron knew no one at all.

The wizard who'd performed Bill's marriage and Dumbledore's funeral had been killed in the war. The search had continued until two days before the wedding, Hermione interviewing officiants and never feeling that any one of them was precisely right. Then, two nights ago, as she'd been about to despair and simply call the first name on her list, there'd been a knock at the door of her flat, and Kingsley Shacklebolt had appeared.

"I understand," he'd said, "that you're having trouble finding an officiant."

Hermione let him in and introduced him to her parents, then said, "I really am getting desperate. I don't know anyone!"

Kingsley began to laugh, in his slow, deep way, until his laughter nearly shook the walls.

"What?" Hermione asked.

"Miss Granger--and perhaps I shall be the last to call you that--hasn't it occurred to you that you know everyone? You're one of our greatest figures."

"That really doesn't help me find an officiant."

"The officiant's power comes from the Ministry. In fact, it comes from the Minister himself. In fact, the Minister of Magic is quite empowered to officiate, should you, perhaps, think to ask him." He laughed again.

Hermione, who'd been pacing among the various party favors she'd been putting together, stopped and then began to laugh with him. She looked at her parents, who were clearly lost. "Mum, Dad... did I mention that Mr. Shacklebolt is the head of the magical government?"

So now, Kingsley stood in front of the assembled throng--it seemed like everyone in the wizarding world had crowded into the huge rented hall--and pronounced himself the one who'd been honored to be here.

It was quite disconcerting to peek through the back door, while she waited for the signal for her father to start walking her down the aisle, and see it. The idea of being married to Ron was normal and natural. The idea of this grand affair, on the other hand, seemed entirely too much.

"We should have eloped," she muttered.

Ginny carefully straightened the veil. "But then no one would see you in these beautiful robes."

"I wouldn't be about to throw up on them, either."

Ginny laughed.

"You wait," Hermione said. "If you think this is mad, wait until it's your turn, and it's Harry standing down there."

"Well, technically, Harry is standing down there." She pointed to the front, where Harry was, indeed standing anxiously near Ron. Little Teddy Lupin had escaped his grandmother's arms again and, as Hermione watched, Harry scooped him up and took him back. Ron tried to smile, and succeeded in looking like he might faint.

"You know exactly what I mean, Ginny."

"Yes. I'm in the process of bracing myself. As long as we keep out the people who've been sending those charming letters to me, I think I'll be fine. So will you."


"You know--'You're a worthless country peasant and Harry Potter deserves better' or 'You stupid little--'" She shrugged. "Well, I'm sure you remember the sort you got when Rita wrote that article."

"All too well."

"And it's all irrelevant today. The only thing that matters is that you look beautiful, you're marrying my brother--finally--and everything's going to be fine."

"Thank you."

"Also, you have to admit, you're gaining a spectacular sister-in-law."

Hermione smiled. "Yes, of course, that's the main point of it."

I would love to see why James (the first) became a stag.
for wotcher_wombat

James had no idea what he meant to do if he caught up with the white stag, but following it seemed grand adventure anyway. Dad said that people believed the white stag guarded the way to the Otherworld. Mum said it was a messenger, and there was some saint who'd seen visions caught on a stag's antlers or something. But mainly, in a lot of James's favorite stories--especially the ones about Camelot--the stag came to lead the knights into adventures, so it didn't seem too mad to think this one might do the same. It had appeared at the edge of the woods just beyond the garden, and had seemed to actually wait for him to climb down the tree. He'd nearly reached it when it flipped its tail and cantered slowly off into the trees, its pelt reflecting the light of the full moon.

James went into the forest barefoot, wearing only his pajama trousers. It was a hot and humid summer night, and the cool dark of the woods was much more comfortable than his bedroom had been. He wondered briefly if he was having a dream--if so, it was going to be a good one--but decided that in a dream, he probably wouldn't feel a need to relieve himself on a bush that flanked the path.

The stag led him past the point where he could see the edge of the trees, up and down hills, along a narrow, burbling stream. After an hour, he felt that he really might come into a clearing and find an enchanted castle, where all of the people had been in a magical sleep for a hundred years, just waiting for the ten-year-old boy in flannel trousers to come and wake them up. There would, of course, be a dragon to slay at some point on the journey.

The stream grew wider and finally, James emerged into a forest clearing. The stag was standing calmly in a shallow pool of fresh water, its great head dipped down to drink. The moon seemed balanced on its antlers. Its strong shoulders and legs were relaxed, not poised to run.

James came out into the light.

The stag didn't move, just continued to drink.

There was no faerie castle, no dragon, just James and the deer, but it was enough. He watched the play of the moonlight and shadows on its white coat, saw the gentle way it dipped its tongue into the water, saw the glow of the stars on its antlers. He'd seen many magical creatures, of course--Dad had taken him to the great menagerie--but nothing quite like this. He took a few steps forward. He was close enough now to reach out and touch it.

He moved his hand, then put it down. "May I?" he whispered.

The stag looked up mildly.

James raised his hand. The stag stretched out its nose...

Then suddenly lifted its head in alarm, and looked over its shoulder. James could hear voices now.

"...on now! It'll fetch a good price!"

"Shut up, will you, mate? You'll scare off everything on four legs!"

Two men crashed through the trees on the far edge of the clearing. They were carrying long metal wands. The stag ran.

They ran after it. If they saw James Potter, they made no sign of it.

"No!" James screamed. "No, you can't!"

He ran into the woods after the stag, now going as fast as he could, but it was nowhere fast enough. The land suddenly stopped here, where a wall of rock had thrust up through the ground. The stag had been forced to turn, and it slowed it down.

A crash of thunder split the clear night.

James caught up in time to see the deer fall, its front legs collapsing, the white fur of its chest turning scarlet red. It looked at him pitifully, then laid down its great head.

"Got 'im!" one of the men yelled. "Look at them prongs! I got a friend what stuffs deer heads--he'll do it up proper for a lodge!"

What happened next wasn't deliberate, though James would have a time of it over the next few weeks, convincing the Ministry that it was just accidental magic. They thought he was quite old enough to control it--nearly old enough to buy a wand and go off to Hogwarts!--but he could have no more controlled it than he could have chosen not to breathe, or not to fall if he stepped off a cliff.

The men ran out into the small clearing by the rock wall, and James felt the power come up through him, more than he had before or would again (at least without a wand). They stopped mid-step, one of them balanced on one two as he ran, the other landing with a bent knee. Their wands fell from their hands and one of them went off again, sending up a cloud of smoke and fire, and making another loud bang. Ice began to creep over them.

There were several pops, and it was the Ministry, responding to unauthorized magic, and James knew he'd be in for it, but he didn't care. He sat by the deer as they undid his spells and Revised the hunters' memories, petting its head. Its blood had smeared all over his chest.

"A vile deed."

James looked up. Albus Dumbledore was standing above him, his beard glowing as brightly as the stag's pelt. "It was an accident, I didn't mean to freeze them--"

"I know your acts were accidental, though I imagine you may have some entanglements with others about it," Dumbledore said. "But I was speaking of their deed. A waste of a magnificent animal."

"Can't you save it?"

"I'm sorry, James, it's too late. I can't undo death, even a death accomplished by such crude means." He sighed. "But we can, at the very least, show respect. Find a decent stone marker."

James went off to look, and when he got back, Dumbledore had buried the stag. James set down the stone at its head.

"Come now," Dumbledore said. "We ought to return you to your parents before the Ministry informs them that you're out."

34 comments or Leave a comment
Page 1 of 2
[1] [2]
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 15th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
That last one was particularly lovely. James doesn't get much love in canon, but the stag - and, of course, his courage during the first war, suggests something nobler, and you really captured that potential. The cameo from Dumbledore was nice as well.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I was definitely disappointed not to get more James. All of Harry's father figure replacements should have led up to some sort of meaningful encounter with his real father figure, as more than just a random member of the woods group.
From: tunxeh Date: December 15th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't usually pay much attention to weddingfic but the Ron/Hermione one was cute. And I liked the thought about the Muggle cameraman...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2008 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I wasn't at all sure what to do with the challenge either, but I sort of liked the idea of Hermione having serious stage fright.
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: December 15th, 2008 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Minerva. Wonderful interaction between the two.

Aw, Hermione and Ron are definitely people of importance. Even if they weren't, they have so much family (at least on Ron's side) that the wedding would still be huge. Loved the bit about muggle photos. It would suck not to have anything to remember the wedding by for Hermione's other relatives.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2008 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Minerva has levels of awesomeness approaching the Neville range. :p
amamama From: amamama Date: December 15th, 2008 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
*wipes off tear* Beautiful, Fern! Loved all three. Though I wonder why Dumbledore buried the stag. I would've thought he'd bless it for its sacrifice, and then conspiring with James to part it into meals for needing families. Deer meat is magnificent, you know, and burying it is a complete waste. At least I would've blessed it and thanked it for its offering and honouring the life it lived by letting it give energy to me and others, to sustain our lives. Preparing the skin to make a magical cape, finding a use for the antlers ... in short, honouring the animal by using all of it and being thankful all the way. But then, I'm not American, with American cultural food sensitivities (you wouldn't believe the fun we've had, teasing our cousin in law with reindeer steak or horse sausage. *sniggers*).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2008 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, we eat venison here. :) I think, though, that we wouldn't eat venison of a deer we knew, like, personally. Except for some farm kids who eat their own cows, of course. This particular deer, I think, they were probably thinking of as quasi sacred (white stags really do have a lot of religious imagery involved with them, I found out in the process of writing).

Horse stuff? No, definitely wouldn't eat that here! That would be like eating Cinderpelt.

Edited at 2008-12-15 08:12 am (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 15th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Harumph. *That* James...

But I loved it! "Where dwell the brave of heart -- like my Dad."
tencups_i_swear From: tencups_i_swear Date: December 15th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)


I like. I like a lot. :)
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: December 15th, 2008 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)
The discussion about what Harry would do was very sweet. In fact that whole segment was sweet. Just proves that, although you don't write the Trio often, when you do you have a brilliant grasp on their characters.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 15th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I loved the one with McG and Sirius the best. And the White Stag was very nice too, I kept thinking of Narnia :)
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: December 15th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me too! In fact, since James would have been about the right age to have read the Narnia books in elementary school, I was expecting a reference!

I always forget when you have Hermione/Ron and Harry/Ginny get married--is it when Teddy was about 4?
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 15th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely glimpse of Sirius before the horror of Azkaban. Makes me wonder about Minerva, I'd love to read more of her!

No cameo of newborn Victoire at the wedding? As I have a toddler, I can realistically imagine the troubles of an escaping 15-month-old Teddy Lupin at a wedding.

Why did Dumbledore show up for a bit of 10-yr-old accidental magic?

I'm really enjoying all of these ficlets, Thanks so much, again!

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 15th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
*big happy grin*

That first one... the others are of course good too, but I absolutely adore Sirius and Minerva. I was giggling so much - "Aunt Minerva", nyehehehe, and the pictures - you kill me.

~Hermione Stranger~
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: December 15th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am so enjoying all these 'ficlets'. You have amazing talent.

I always assumed the reasons for the Marauders forms when transforming was simpler than a 'totem'. James' hair stands up like 'prongs', Sirius' laugh is a dog-like bark and Peter was small and mousey. *sigh* I'm too simplistic, I'm told.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're probably right, but it's hard to hang a story on messy hair. ;p
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: December 15th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Minerva for the WIN WIN WIN!! I love the way you write her. :)
sep12 From: sep12 Date: December 15th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I think I should call you 'Aunt Minerva.'"
"I'd greatly prefer it if you didn't."

I loved this Fern. It was exactly what I wanted, just fluffy and cute, and I love that she BLUSHED for heaven's sake. I also think it's great that she visits him in his flat. I always thought that Minerva would have visited James and Lily in Godric's Hollow, so it makes sense that she would visit Sirius as well. I see Minerva as the kind of person who loves her students very much, especially when they have the kind of appeal that Sirius did for her. I also think she must have thought sometimes about what it might have been like if she had married Alphard and sometimes did think of Sirius as her nephew in a way.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 15th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
All three of these are just great. The interactions of the magical community at/for the wedding is espeically nice, but my favorite one is definitely the deer one. Actually that my be my favorite of any of these drabbbles you've written this season. The symbolism and the noble nature that we glimpse at in this ten year old boy is amazing. Oddly, I wonder if he ever told any one ( besides his parents and the authorities obviously) of this memory. It too seems almost sacred.
aebhel From: aebhel Date: December 16th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I tried to leave a comment earlier but I don't think it worked, but thank you so much for that Ron/Hermione ficlet--it was exactly what I was hoping for. The other stories were, of course, wonderful as well.

Although the one with James was heart-wrenching.
34 comments or Leave a comment
Page 1 of 2
[1] [2]