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Batch 42 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 42
I've seen people asking for Alphard Pallas...Could I have some Alphard Tom Riddle interaction, please? School age.
For Anonymous

---
Alphard ignored Tom Riddle's stare for as long as he could, then finally turned and said, "What? Have I turned green?"

Tom frowned, appearing puzzled. "What do you mean?"

"You've been staring at me for the last five minutes."

"I certainly haven't."

"I have a mirror," Alphard said, pointing to it. "You're not invisible in it."

"Imagine what you like," Tom said. "I was just thinking."

Alphard shook his head. "Well, stare at someone else while you're doing it, all right?"

"Fine." Tom rolled over onto his stomach and opened one of the many books he kept by his bedside. "I was just deciding who to talk to at Professor Slughorn's gathering tonight."

"Finally asked you, did he?" Alphard asked. "I'm surprised it wasn't sooner. You're good in Potions."

"Yes, well, he had to discover that for himself, didn't he? No family reputation preceding me."

Alphard sensed a reproach in this, although Tom's tone was light and inconsequential. Tom had a very odd attitude toward the pure-bloods around him. He didn't show any resentment toward the system, and showed deference to the culture, but every now and then, there'd be a flash of envy. Most took it as part of his quirky sense of humor. Alecto Carrow thought that the flashes were Tom making fun of the Muggle-borns who did get up on their soapboxes and vent their crazy jealousies. After all, Tom often claimed to be a half-blood (Bugga had tormented him the first few months, demanding to see proof of wizarding ancestry), and generally declared all things in the wizarding world to be superior to the Muggle world. He got along with everyone, and was easily the best student in first year. There was nothing to envy, so it had to be a joke.

Alphard wasn't entirely sure. He'd seen Tom pulling wings off a fairy while the Christmas decorations were up. Tom didn't know he'd seen this, and Alphard was determined to keep it that way. He didn't trust those books by Tom's bed, and didn't want to find out what spells were buried in them.

But everyone else liked Tom (with the exception of Bugga, who didn't like anyone she couldn't trace back for at least three generations), and Alphard was well aware that turning his nose up at Tom Riddle would earn him a lot of sour faces from his classmates, and whispered comments about how "those Blacks think they're better than everyone else." He knew this, because he'd heard other people saying it about Bugga when they thought he wasn't listening. If he had one goal in his life at Hogwarts, it was to never, ever have the same reputation as his sister. If he could figure out how to do it, he'd make them all forget that there was even a relation there.

So he took a deep breath and turned to give Tom as welcoming a smile as he could muster. "Well, you'll be fine. The parties are sort of a drag, but sometimes you meet interesting people. At the last one, I met a witch who's trying to start a magical dance company."

"Why?"

"Well... because, er... well, there isn't one."

"But what's the point of a dance company?"

"To have dancers."

"Oh." Tom furrowed his brow. "Well, I suppose there's nothing wrong with dancers. Who else is there?"

"Oh, a lot of people. Quidditch players, Ministry folk, Healers, you name it. They're all people Sluggy's helped out in school. Now they help him out. It's a good system. My Aunt Dorea might come. She's not very old. She's on a fast track for the Wizengamot, though. She's already argued in front of them quite a lot."

Tom thought about this. "She was in the Prophet last week, wasn't she?"

"Right. She got a bloke sent to Azkaban for using a Potion on a Muggle girl to get her to... well, you know." The bloke in question had been some degree of cousin--Bugga had counted out the degrees with a fine degree of indignation--but Alphard chose not to mention that part. "She said it was a break in the Statute of Secrecy."

"Hmm," Tom said. He perused his book for a moment, then said, "These things of Slughorn's, do we..." He frowned and ground his teeth, obviously hating to have to ask a question. Tom liked to be the one giving the answers. "Do we just wear school robes, or are we meant to be in good clothes?"

"Whatever you like," Alphard said, then remembered that Tom didn't have any decent clothes other than his school robes. "Your class robes will be fine."

"Right."

Alphard thought about the last party, when Talitha Gooden had come in pale blue silks, and Bugga had worn her finest velvets. Tom's school robes would be totally out of place, and he'd resent Alphard for saying they'd be all right. Resentment from Tom wasn't a good idea. "You could borrow one of my cloaks if you'd like," he said.

Tom glared at him. "I don't need charity."

Alphard held up a hand for peace. "All right, not saying you do. Just thought I'd offer." The glare continued. Alphard combed his hair and started to straighten the collar on his dress robes. Finally, he loosened it and pulled it off. "You know," he said, "Come to think of it, school robes are a lot more comfortable, anyway. Good call, Tom. We'll stick with those."




Something with Lily and Remus please!
For Anonymous

---
"Where's the fourth musketeer?" Lily asked, glancing around the party. Harry and Neville were cheerfully batting at bits of wrapping paper, ignoring their presents entirely while Frank and Alice watched. Dumbledore was talking to Mad-Eye about something (the war, Lily was sure, though she'd made the rule about discussing the war during the birthday party very clear), and Minerva McGonagall had transformed into a cat. She sat sternly between the babies, batting paper back to them when it came her way. James, Sirius, and Peter were all here in the kitchen, and she'd rather expected Remus to be with them. He'd made Harry a lovely little Charmed mobile to go above his crib, and she wanted to thank him for it.

James looked up, seeming troubled by something. "He went for a walk in the woods," he said.

"Again," Peter said sourly.

"A walk in the woods," Lily said. "Yes, Peter, I can see why you're so bitter."

Sirius and James exchanged a look.

Lily understood what they were talking about--the leak in the Order had been the major topic of conversation for weeks--and she just rolled her eyes. "Honestly. Remus? I'm more likely to be a spy. I'm the one who doesn't like the lot of you, remember?"

James grinned, and the oddness dissipated. "Well, marrying me was a good distraction from that, I have to admit. Never would have suspected you."

"I'm clever that way," Lily said. "Now cheer up. That's an order. Go play with the boys. I think Harry may be the leak. When I looked over, he certainly seemed to be leaking from his nappy. And it's your turn, oh love of my life."

James nodded, and the three of them headed over to the party, Conjuring a new nappy as he went. Lily thought it would be a good spell to just Scourgify the old nappy so that they didn't have to change it, but there were enough old wives' tales cautioning against it that she thought there was probably some basis to them. Who knew babies better than old wives, after all?

She shook her head and set out for the path into the woods. It didn't take long to find Remus, who was sitting quietly on a fallen log.

"Budge over," she said, and sat down beside him. "You're missing the birthday party. Are you ill?"

"Yes. Hardly fair--it's the new moon. Furthest I can be from the transformation, and I think I've got the flu. I don't want to give it to Harry and Neville."

"I'll brew you something for it later. You know, there are good potions for it."

"I don't brew well in perfect health," Remus said. "I'd probably give myself scales and start breathing fire."

Lily laughed. "I wouldn't put that out of the realm of possibility. But, thankfully, I'm quite good, and I'll get you fixed up."

"Thanks."

She looked up through the leaves. "It's a beautiful day."

"It is, yes."

"Remus, this isn't just the flu. What's wrong?"

He laughed bitterly. "I can't even tell you. War work."

"Dumbledore hasn't still got you with the werewolves, has he? That was a disaster."

"Really nice day," Remus said.

Lily sighed. "I know you wanted to bring more werewolves over. I know what that would have meant to you. But you nearly got yourself killed last time."

"As long as you seem to know..." He shrugged. "Last time, Greyback just thought it was a power struggle. He was willing to take me back if I promised to be docile. I need to be there. I can stop messages getting through, and do all manner of damage to the way Voldemort is using Greyback's people. I just have to do it more subtly." He wrinkled his nose at the forest. "Do you know that I've actually got claustrophobic about sleeping inside? First time I tried sleeping at headquarters, I had insomnia and ended up wandering around the streets. Sirius looked at me like I was crazy."

"You'll get past it," Lily said. "If you don't, whoever you marry will kill you."

"Right. Whoever I marry." He snorted.

"Well, why shouldn't you? I think you'd be a fine catch."

"You're the only one who thinks that, and you, in case you didn't notice, married a well-to-do man with no known infirmities, other than a juvenile sense of humor."

Lily gritted her teeth, frustrated. Remus had written himself off entirely. But she wasn't going to play his game. "Well," she said, "I think you're underestimating the burden that particular infirmity can put on a marriage. At least a girl would only have to deal with yours once a month."

"Well, there it is, then," Remus said. "I'm clearly a fantastic catch. No income, no social status, no profession, and fangs."

"But you make a hell of a mobile for the crib," Lily said. "No woman could resist that." She stood up and held out her hand. "Come on," she said. "Let's get back to the party. Neville and Harry will have undoubtedly blown something up by now, and that's always amusing."

He paused for a moment, then took her hand and let her pull him up and back out into the sunlight.
14 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
First comment--couldn't resist! I love seeing your Lily and James, although it's always bittersweet.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops, that was me (Leah).
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2009 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that second one is just so sweet. It's nice to know that, for all his grumbling and his rather good points, he was wrong about his own marriage prospects. Though I think my favorite part of that one was the image of cat!McGonagall batting around paper with baby Harry and Neville. I totally want to see someone draw that now.

- Severely Lupine
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I loved the mention of McGonagall too! I can't help but imagine how kids at Hogwarts would react if they found out she ever did something like that. And how McGonagall would react if she found out they'd found out.

~Hermione Stranger~
From: severely_lupine Date: January 27th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd like to know how Harry and Neville would react. If it was after they graduated, I imagine they might try to find an opportunity to recreate the event in order to tease her about it.

*wonders how often McGonagall gets balls of string lobbed in her direction*
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 28th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
*puts onto list of ideas for future challenge calls*

~Hermione Stranger~
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: January 27th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Remus can be so AGGRAVATING at times, gah!

(In other news, Alphard is a GENIUS. I was like 'Ohhh, shit, how's he getting out of THIS one? :D)
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: January 27th, 2009 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)

too... precious... cannot... withstand... the CUTE!!!! {slumps to the floor}

Awwwwwwww! Baby!Harry and Baby!Neville! How adorable, I never even thought of that before!
amamama From: amamama Date: January 27th, 2009 07:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Being a roomie of Tom Riddle must've been interesting, to say it politely. Especially when you don't share his world view.

And I want to flay Wormtail. Poisonous bastard. Poor Remus, otoh... I can understand him. Being around Greyback really can't be good for your humanity and self feeling.

As always, Fern. Great writing. :-)
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2009 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved the first one. I think you did a good job showing that while Alphard really is a good sort, there is also that Slytherin pragmatism in his approach to Tom - he is perfectly capable of pitying Tom's shame at his poverty, but in this case it is his recognition that the kid is bad news that leads to his conciliatory gesture.

I did have one issue with the second, though. I know that Grayback is no scholar, to say the least, but is he really dumb enough to allow Remus to infiltrate his pack twice? I guess if he really thought it was just a power issue the first time he might, but I would think that even Grayback would connect the dots given that, through his DE contacts, he would have been aware of Remus' first war role by the events of Shades.

-Cara
malinbe From: malinbe Date: January 27th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked the combination of "I've no reason to be scared of YOU" and "Please, don't hex me!". It's perfect. Teen Tom is so creepy.

And baby Harry and Neville are so adorable. Poor Remus, though, being scrutinized like that because of Peter. Bloody Peter.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sigh, trust me, Remus, most girls would LIKE a guy who understands about being someone no one in their right minds wants to be around once a month.

Oh, and little Neville and Harry! It makes me really wish they remembered these things.

Ellen
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: January 28th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
While I loved both, the second was just wonderful. From the married couple talking about baby diapers to cat!McGonagall playing with the babies and the traces of Remus, not as a young marauder but as the man we see in later years. You show both sides blended well together, in a way that is realistic.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 28th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Facinating to imagine firstie Tom adjusting to Hogwarts. I've always wondered when he started posing as pure-blood.

Lovely 1st birthday party!

-SideAlong
14 comments or Leave a comment