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Batch 21 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 21
How about Victoire preparing for her wedding - perhaps with Molly/Fleur/Andromeda/anyone else I can think of?
for looking4shadows

Père Alderman had arranged a nice little Disapparition spot behind the church for adult guests to get here, and others would take the Floo from the Three Broomsticks. The church itself was actually a very small chapel in the highlands outside Hogsmeade, but Teddy and a few of his mates from the Space division had put on some impressive Expansion Charms so that all of their guests could come. There'd been some thought of marrying at either Shell Cottage or Andromeda's garden, and the choice to have the ceremony in a proper church had neatly avoided any conflict, as well as feeling proper to both Teddy and Victoire, who'd been going through counseling with Père Alderman for the past three months. Having the reception at the Roost also served the conflict-avoidance goal, but for Victoire, it was about bringing this new house to life in the most joyful way she could think of.

Nate Blondin had put the finishing touches on the ballroom at the Roost only yesterday, and it was Victoire's first time entering it. It was just in time--the wedding was only two weeks away, and there was a lot of planning to do. She swallowed, put one hand on each of the shiny brass handles, and pushed the door open.

The walls gave a soft, filtered sunlight through their appearance charm--the same one used on the Great Hall's ceiling at Hogwarts, only this time, showing a panoramic view of the northeast part of the island--and the polished stone floor shone pleasantly. The grand fireplace on the west end of the room had been edged with shells from Shell Cottage, and the portrait of Teddy's parents hung prominently over it. (Teddy said that this was only for the wedding; there was no sense in putting a portrait in a room that wasn't used often, and after the party, it would go into the family room.) Beautiful cast iron sconces held unlit candles at regular intervals around the walls, and a grand chandelier hovered magically near the ceiling.

"Do you like it?" Remus asked from the portrait.

Victoire smiled broadly and twirled in a bar of sunlight, letting her hair fan out around her. "Like it? It's like a room in a fairy tale!"

The spell was broken by the sound of female voices in the corridor outside, and Victoire sighed and gathered herself.

"Oh, Andromeda, you cannot 'ave zis 'orrible portrait in the ballroom!" Mum said. "'E will be rude to every guest!"

"I agree, but it's what Teddy wants, and it is his wedding, and Harry said he could have it for the day."

Mum came in ahead of a draped portrait that was floating between them. "Men don't understand these things."

"Well, perhaps not, but Teddy wants Phineas here for the day. I think Harry's going to surprise him by bringing James and Sirius up for the party as well."

Mum swore softly in French. "They are moderately better," she said, "but I don't think Victoire would care to have them spend the day trying to play pranks on her guests."

"Honestly, Mum, I don't mind," Victoire said.

Mum took no notice of this. She set the portrait down against the wall and looked around the ballroom. "It's quite lovely," she said. "But drafty. We'll need to have a rather large fire going to keep it warm."

"It's summer," Andromeda said. "People will probably spend half their time strolling outside without jackets."

"I think it's fine. I'm comfortable," Victoire said.

"Of course, it will be crowded," Mum went on. "That may help with the draft."

"Victoire, do you know if there's a door that opens to the outside?" Andromeda asked.

"I just got here."

"Right, of course." Andromeda began to inspect the outer walls for a door she could open--mainly, Victoire guessed, to let a bigger draft in.

Mum shook her head and took the draping off of Phineas's portrait, then Levitated him to a spot on the wall. He was absent at the moment. Victoire hoped he wouldn't absent himself during the reception proper--Teddy was terribly fond of him. Mum shook her head at it. "Well, I suppose he's family," she said. "I shall bring Grandpere's portrait from France. Grandmere said he would be glad of the company of another portrait, so she is more than happy to give him to you."

"Thank you."

Andromeda finished her circuit of the room. "There's a door on the east end," she said. "It's actually rather difficult to find inside the Charm." She shook her head. "I've been looking for other portraits of the family as well. Some have been collected, and I was able to buy them back, but I won't inflict them on you and Teddy until you've had a chance to meet them."

"Thank you," Victoire said. "It's so big and new--portraits will make it seem more real."

"Perhaps you can put in at the Ministry to get a ghost," Andromeda suggested.

Victoire laughed. "Well, Teddy's already got permission to give Helen from the Beauty Division haunting rights. He's quite fond of her. And of course, we still have the Hogboon."

"I never did finish with that," Remus mused from the wall.

"And it's a good thing," Victoire said, "as that's why the owner couldn't sell it until Teddy came along."

Dora smiled. "See? It was all part of a grand plan."

Andromeda smiled tightly. She was always uncomfortable around the portrait.

Mum balled up her fists and put them on her hips. "All right, Victoire. Now, we must start with the tables. 'Ow many shall we 'ave?"


"There are at least a hundred guests," Andromeda said. "But perhaps they could eat in the formal dining room, and we could save the ballroom for dancing?"

"Well, I--" Victoire started.

"Oh, but surely, they will want a table to rest at while they watch the others dance!" Mum frowned and Conjured a few dainty little tables along the east wall, then said, "Oh, but you believe they'll wish the door open, perhaps the north wall..."

"I think--" Victoire started.

Andromeda nodded. "The north wall wiill be lovely. No auroras in the summer, of course, but we're so far from city lights here that the stars ought to be quite spectacular, unless it's cloudy."

"Isn't it always cloudy up here?" Mum asked.

They set about arranging the room.

Victoire just Conjured a puffy chair, sat down by the Lupins' portrait so she'd have someone to talk to, and let them go about their business.

could you do a very young harry? not baby harry, but dursley-era harry. i was really haunted by that challenge fic you wrote a while ago, that took place in hunter's moon, where mcgonnagal was commenting on the masses of familial reminders in harry's office, and i'd love to see very young harry thinking about family, or harry thinking about the dursley's before he becomes a parent.
for Anon

Uncle Vernon wasn't home. If he had been, Harry was unpleasantly certain that he wouldn't be having a reasonably sane cup of tea in the kitchen of Number Four, Privet Drive. Not that he would have been thrown out entirely--he was dressed in decent Muggle clothes and his hair was combed as well as it ever was--but he almost certainly would have been led to the parlor, asked to list whatever item it was he wanted, and been given that item without any further conversation. Chilly, polite smiles would ensue until his departure.

Instead, out of the blue, Aunt Petunia had invited him to have a cup of tea, and had been asking him awkward questions about his life. She'd got the wedding invitation, but as it had been a magical venue, she'd supposed she wouldn't be able to come, and had guessed she wasn't really meant to. (Harry had wondered if she might try, but hadn't exactly gone out of his way to encourage it.) She herself, she said, had joined the Little Whinging Ladies' Beautification Society, and was planning to spend the next day at the play park, scrubbing and re-painting the equipment, then planting flowers. Harry allowed that he thought this a good use of her interests and talents, and she preened. He turned the dainty teacup a few times until he caught sight of the tight little smile that she used when a guest was misbehaving, and he set it down.

"Ginny--that's my wife--is going to have a baby," he said when the silence had gone on too long.

"Oh," Aunt Petunia said. The smile grew both wider and tighter. "You seem a bit young, dear."

"I feel a bit young, but it's somewhat late to change my mind." He dared himself to go on. "And I'm older than you were when Dudley was born."

"Oh. Well, yes, I suppose. But I was awfully young, if you recall. It's possible that I made... a few mistakes." She looked down and stirred her tea.

"I expect to make a few as well." Harry looked across at her, and she raised her eyes, and between them were the years of Harry's childhood, the petty cruelties and the constant neglect. He remembered looking out from the cupboard under the stairs, and watching her shower Dudley with affection, and watching Dudley and Uncle Vernon play rough and tumble games in the garden. At the time, he hadn't been angry. He never remembered being angry about his station, because he hadn't had anything to compare it to. Anger had come later, when the Weasleys had shown him how families were meant to behave, but it hadn't done any of them any good--they were all too set in their ways to change. And then, after the war--particularly after Tonks had been murdered by her mother's sister, which put Aunt Petunia's peccadilloes into sharp and painful perspective--it had just been too tiring to be angry at the Dursleys. He had moved on. He tried to be friends with Dudley, who was doing his best to be a decent human being, though he struggled with it like a tourist trying to speak a foreign language. He spoke to Uncle Vernon not at all, and Aunt Petunia was rarely home without him now, so he'd only spoken to her a few times.

Still, with Sirius, Remus, and Snape dead, he had no connections left to his parents' generation, except Andromeda, and she hadn't known them--he thought of her as Tonks's mother and Teddy's grandmother more than as someone who had once known Dad and Mum, however tangentially.

Except, of course, that it wasn't true that she was the last.

The last was Aunt Petunia.

With the baby on the way, the idea that she was his only blood family had weighed on him heavily. The baby wouldn't lack for a loving family on Ginny's side, but Harry didn't want him born into a world where Harry was cutting off his own kin as surely as Walburga Black ever had. He'd spent a lot of time thinking about this before coming here today. What had Aunt Petunia given him? What good had come of his upbringing here in Little Whinging? Or, if not good, what was at least incontrovertibly and positively his from this place, from the family that had shaped him when he was too small to start shaping himself?

Oh, there were plenty of negative spaces he could define. There were any number of things from his childhood that he did not intend to replicate. Neither his own childhood nor Dudley's had been particularly good, and both of them had sworn that they wouldn't play favorites among their children (that Dudley now was angry about this had come as a great surprise to Harry). He had learned not to allow anyone to insult children, and not to ostracize a child because of his talents. He'd learned that bullying needed to be stopped rather than encouraged, and that constant coddling produced no better results than constant neglect. And he'd cut out his own tongue before standing in front of the house and bragging about a new broomstick, even if the neighbors were allowed to know. But what had he taken away as part of himself? What was there of Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon in him? What had that boy in the cupboard picked up without even knowing it?

To his great private amusement (Ginny didn't understand his laughter), after he'd made Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, visible, he'd found himself very concerned with the little garden in front, and how it looked to the neighbors. He didn't mind it looking odd to them, but he wanted it to make them look, and to make them turn to their friends and say, "Oh, look at that lovely little garden. Odd, but so nice!" He rather enjoyed cooking for Ginny when he was out of work, and it had pleased him when Andromeda liked his breakfasts before he left her house. And Aunt Petunia had never murdered him, though he supposed she could have when he'd been a baby. There was that. He was, in fact, alive, and had never got the idea that it was all right to stab one's family through the back of the neck, separating the brain from the spinal cord in too quick a blow to Heal. He had to give Aunt Petunia credit for that much, in comparison with Bellatrix.

Surely, there was more. There had to be.

"Harry," Aunt Petunia started, then pursed her lips and stopped.

"What is it?"

"I thought perhaps... well, when you called..."


She reached to the counter behind her and pulled over her pocketbook. From it, she drew an envelope of photographs. "I went through my old picture albums, from when your mother and I were girls. There aren't that many of Lily. I think she took most of them with her when she left. But there are our parents. Your grandparents. I thought you might care to have them, so I had the laboratory make new negatives from the prints, and here they are," she finished quickly, and shoved them across the table.

Harry took them curiously. He had looked through the albums when he was small, at all of the old, unknown faces, labeled in fading ink--"Mum," "Dad," "Grandfather," "Grandmother," and so on, with impossibly ancient dates, like 1967 or 1972. He'd seen his eyes in them, over and over, but had never dared ask to whom they belonged. Here they were again, one Evans after another. Red hair, blond hair, brown hair, but so many with Harry's green eyes. He smiled. "Thank you, Aunt Petunia," he said. "I'm afraid I don't even know their names."

"Mum's name was Catherine Jones before she married," Aunt Petunia said, looking at the picture of Harry's grandmother (a bright looking woman with wire-framed specs, whose red hair was pulled up in a severe bun).

She poked further down in the pile. "And that was your great aunt Violet. Mum always liked her name; that's why your mother and I had flower names."


"Mmm." She fanned out a few more. "Oh, that's Dad's cousin, Jonathan. Bit odd. He passed last year." She kept going through the pile. "Yes, that was just a neighbor--not that horrid boy, though--and then this one is Dad's father, Andrew. Oh, and here's Dad." She pulled out a picture of a dignified looking man wearing a bow tie. "This was in his office at the university."

"What was his name?"

She blinked. "I assumed you at least knew that!"

"How would I know something if you didn't tell me?" Harry asked, then looked down, embarrassed. "Sorry."

"No, I just assumed that those people... er, the Hogwarts people... would have told you."

"So, what was his name?"

"Harry, of course."

42 comments or Leave a comment
barbara_the_w From: barbara_the_w Date: December 27th, 2008 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)

oh my.

"Harry, of course."
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 27th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)

"Harry, of course."

{wiping a tiny tear from the corner of one eye...}

Oh, Fern!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: December 27th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Both were good, especially the Harry/Petunia one. You pulled that off so well. Nice end too.

[i]He'd learned that bullying needed to be stopped rather than encouraged, and that constant coddling produced no better results than constant neglect.[/i]

Some Dumbledore never learned with Snape apparently...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! DD was a wise man, but not very good about the interactions of lower beings. ;P
ladyphoenixia From: ladyphoenixia Date: December 27th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry, of course.

Wow, I loved that one. The more I read, the more I think your interactions between Harry and the Dursleys are some of my favourite things - I'd really like to track down the rest of such that you wrote, could you maybe link me to the one the anonymous requester mentioned for a start?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
That'd be this one, I think. I really haven't written a whole lot of Dursley stuff.
looking4shadows From: looking4shadows Date: December 27th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)

That last line on the second one ripped me to pieces.

Thank you again so much, Fern...Victoire! Oh, she's awesome. Loved both of these.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
At least she gets along with her in-laws...
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 27th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I see Fleur and Andromeda get on as well as Fleur and Molly when it comes to event-planning. Very sensible of Victoire to just get out of the way while these two go out at it.

It's a relief to see that Petunia manages to be halfway human when Vernon's not around. And it's surprising but eerily fitting that Harry's first name should have come from the Evans side of the family.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fleur is just a perfectionist. :)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Probably because, as spitc1899 pointed out, Petunia insults Harry's name!
From: spitc1899 Date: December 27th, 2008 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
The first one made me laugh. Victoire is smart to sit back. I wouldn't want to be stuck between Andromeda and Fleur, either.

And the second one made me cry. Everyone else has said it, but that last line . . .

Although, now that I think about it. Didn't Petunia make a comment in Sorcerer's Stone about it being a 'nasty, common name'? I couldn't see her saying that about her father's name. Then again, she did seem rather bitter about her parents in that book.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, she did say that.

I'll, er, go with... um....

Okay, she was trying very hard to fit into fake middle class Little Whinging Society, and had told Vernon that her father's name was much more sophisticated, and knows that bringing up that her sister named her child Harry may raise questions and, um...


Well, it was fun while it lasted.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It has a slight logic problem, of course, but I'm glad it worked in context!
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: December 27th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
The first one was good but I absolutely adored the second one!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 27th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Oh, that's Dad's cousin, Jonathan. Bit odd. He passed last year."
Do I smell a wizard? Or maybe not... surely Petunia thinks everything odd.

But it was so sweet. Now I want to know more about the Evanses...

And poor Victoire *winces*.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 28th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Who knows? Maybe he was a wizard who never went to Hogwarts. Or maybe he was an actor. Or in the Labor Party. :)

Harry's lack of curiosity was deplorable... how can we get all of this info?!!:p
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 27th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the name -

I'd guess that Petunia's dad was a Harold or maybe even a Dudley Harold (in which case, the names have a very, Old British flavor. Family names or a love of history, I wonder?) but that he was quite comfortable just being Harry in less formal circumstances and that this galled the more class conscious Petunia, who couldn't understand why her dad let people get away with it.

While Petunia has loads of problems (I think, among other things, there's something messed up in her ability to show affection. Her treatment of Dudley often seems more like someone playing a role. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure her love for Dudley is real, but it's almost like she's doing what she knows "good mothers" do without any real context, like an actor playing a part, pushing overdone mannerisms but without any real understanding of the role), I give her this: when push came to shove, she would fight tooth and nail to protect Harry.

She really did. She was terrified of magic as well as jealous. Other people had it and she didn't. She knew they could hurt her or her family and there was nothing she could do about it. But she took Harry and forced Vernon to go along with it. When the danger turned real - when Dudley had almost been worse than killed - she wouldn't let Vernon send Harry into danger to keep the rest of them safe.

And I loved that last line.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 28th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Works for me!

And yes, Petunia, unpleasant as she could be, did go to the mat for Harry when it was necessary. I'm willing to give her that.
prelud From: prelud Date: December 27th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am very much enjoying these goodies. They made my December much nicer.

Did Teddy (and Victoire) become Catholic? You already mentioned Teddy`s "religious training", IIRC. I wondered if that was part of the DoM training or ...?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 28th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Victoire, I think, was Catholic all along, on her mother's side of the family. Teddy converts; that's what his religious instruction is for, though I'm sure it all wound into his DoM studies.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 28th, 2008 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Very lovely. Nice to see Teddy and Victoire getting some pre-marital counseling. That's quite responsible of them.

I do wonder something, if you're willing to answer. If not, I may save it up for something (I'd say an "ask my OCs", but Teddy's not an OC). If Teddy converted to Catholicism, does that mean that he believes that non-Catholics don't go to heaven? (I'm afraid I'm a bit rusty on the specifics of Catholic beliefs.) If so, what does that mean for his view of his parents and the afterlife? (I'm presuming, I suppose--You don't seem to be writing Tonks and Lupin as Catholics, though of course we never really hear anything about that in canon.) I mean, on the one hand, the Bible is pretty clear on what it takes to get to heaven. On the other hand, Teddy has on occasion talked to them from the afterlife, and of course he's seen an awful lot of stuff that most Catholics wouldn't have, so maybe his view on the afterlife is more of a "wait and see" approach. I just find all of this so terribly interesting, especially as regards how such things might work in a world with magic and ghosts and such.

- Samus McAslan
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 28th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Catholics do not believe that. Even if you take a very conservative line on the necessity of baptism, the Roman Catholic church recognises the validity of Protestant baptisms.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 28th, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it bad that instead of being touched at the second, I, you know, rolled my eyes at the NEVER ENDING CYCLE of Dad-son-dad-son names in the Potter clan in general? Even if it was on Lily's side.

*Probably should have been touched* Lol.
(Deleted comment)
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 28th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved these, especially the second.

I don't think your problem with the 'commonness' of Harry is irresolvable. The grandfather was probably called Henry, but always known as Harry. (For instance, my great uncle was never called anything other than Jack, but his name was John; it's only very recently that Jack has become a name in its own right). So Petunia probably thinks it's vulgar that they used the nickname as a baptismal name.

(Of course, it's a bit of a joke, anyway, as soon after the events of the first chapter of PS, the Prince and Princess of Wales called their child Henry, to be known as Harry. Indeed, Harry is a perfectly respectable, classless name - a Harry could be either working class or an aristo - whereas Dudley is definitely not a classy name).
(Deleted comment)
42 comments or Leave a comment