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Shifts, Chapter Four: Guardians, part 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shifts, Chapter Four: Guardians, part 2
Ah, it was nice to have a mid-week day off. A break in the old routine. I do love Boston's weird local holidays. It was Bunker Hill Day, if you're wondering. I ordered a Trivial Pursuit game for the room. It should come in next week.

See, they should pay more attention to morale at work. Get me all happy with my job, and I start spending my own money to supply the place. :)

Table of Contents and Summary so far

There were coordinates scribbled at the bottom of Kingsley's note, and Remus Apparated to them as soon as he got clear of the protection spells on the house. He found himself in a small hut in a forest, sitting beside a blazing fireplace. Kingsley Shacklebolt was sitting at a wooden table, the hood of his robes up over his bald head. He tilted his head when he heard the pop of Remus's Apparition.

"I was wondering if you were planning to reply," he said. "You could have sent the owl back through the floo; I have the path secured."

Remus shook his head. "That Charm isn't all that secure, you know. And if anyone had found that note..."

Kingsley laughed richly. "Did you show it to Sirius, by any chance?"

"No. I told him what it said..."

More laughter.


"I'm an Auror. Once a month, we have to be on the lookout for werewolves."

"I'm aware of that," Remus said, not entirely sure where Kingsley was going with this.

"There are Charms for identification."


"I just reversed one. Anyone not a werewolf who saw that letter would have seen a copy of our expense report at Ollivander's. Two years out of date, at that."

"Well, there are some werewolves who aren't necessarily sympathetic to the Order."

"And how many of them are likely to be working for the Ministry, and having access to an owl pushed through a secure area of the floo system?"

Remus saw his point. "Well," he said, "I'm glad my lycanthropy is convenient for you."

"My philosophy is to use all available resources. I could charm one that only a metamorphmagus could read as well. In fact, I have. It was Tonks's idea in the first place." He pulled a bundle out from under the chair. "Here's the Invisibility Cloak. I'll get you into the Ministry."

Remus took the Cloak. "All right." He glanced out the window; there was still time for a short request. "I don't suppose Dora could find herself off duty Monday evening?"

"She might."

"And I don't suppose you could be the one keeping an eye on Andromeda and Ted at that time?"

Kingsley's eyes narrowed. "Watching her walk right out the door and over to Grimmauld Place, I assume?"

"That's the idea."

"Love to, mate, but I'm not the problem." Kingsley checked his watch, and apparently decided he could spare a moment. "Dumbledore is at Hogwarts. Under Dolores Umbridge's eye, in case you haven't heard."

"I've heard."

"Right. So how do you propose that he tell her where Sirius is?"


"Fidelius," Kingsley agreed. "It's the best hope we have, but it's damned inconvenient when it comes to bringing in new people."

"He could write to her."

"And risk interception?"

"I could go up to Hogwarts and get the note along with something else."

"Yes, I'm certain Umbridge wouldn't find that at all suspicious." He shook his head. "Why not just put a lead on him and walk him over to their place?"

"Lucius Malfoy saw him on the platform with Harry."

Kingsley swore under his breath. "That'll identify exactly which black dog he is. And you can be sure Lucius has shared that information with his wife by now, and that Pettigrew has confirmed the story. He can't go near Andromeda's home. They'll know him immediately."

"Ted thinks it's important for Sirius to see other people."

Kingsley was quiet for a long time, then sighed. "I think the world of Ted and Andromeda, Remus. You know that. But when they had a child, every interest they had in the world outside of their family disappeared. They're worried about Sirius, and I understand that. But Sirius Black's state of mind isn't--and can't become--our major concern. We have a war to fight."

"It doesn't have to be our major concern, but some concern wouldn't be out of place."

"I know. I'll... I'll see if there's anything I can do. I may have more freedom to go to Hogwarts than you do, though I can't imagine it not being suspicious. But no promises."

It was the best Remus was going to get, and he didn't push for more. He and Kingsley flooed into the Ministry of Magic--Kingsley barking short-tempered directions about making arrangements for his biannual registration--and finally found a place where Remus could drift off toward the Department of Mysteries without being noticed. Remus pulled the Invisibility Cloak on as soon as he reached the portrait-less hall that led to the Department, and stood in the corner until he was certain no Unspeakables were inside, working late.

Somewhere above him, he could feel the fattening moon, nearly full now. By late afternoon tomorrow, the full moon would be a ghost in the sky. Already, he could feel himself tensing against the change.

Close to midnight, he thought he heard something moving, but no matter how hard he looked--even with his eyesight sharpening as the last hours drew on--he couldn't see anything. He listened for the scrabble of rodent's claws, but it didn't come.

By the time the sun rose, he was almost dizzy from lack of sleep. He stumbled back to Auror's headquarters.

Dora stood up in her cube when she saw him peel off the Invisibility Cloak. She didn't look nearly as sleepy as he did, despite having been on duty all night as well. "I've got your Potion," she said. "You need to sleep."

"I need to Apparate up to the moors. The walls of the shed need to be expanded into the ground and Charmed..."

"I'll do it. You need to sleep."

"You've been up as long as I have."

She swung a mirror around from behind her desk. "Remus, look at yourself."

He did. His eyes were sunken and bloodshot, and the damned wrinkles--which had started to mark his face before he'd left Hogwarts--were deep crevasses.

"It's just getting close," he said, dismissing her. "I shouldn't fight it after all these years--"

She cut him off with a wave of her hand. "I'll take care of Charming the shed. You go into it and sleep until at least noon."

"You shouldn't be around me this close, Dora."

"I didn't give you a choice in the matter," she said, and led the way to the Apparition coordinates in the lobby. No one was here this early on a Sunday morning.

"I wish you wouldn't," he said weakly.

"We don't get all of our wishes," she said, and Apparated.

I shouldn't have told her where it was, he thought.

Too late now.

He Apparated after her.
9 comments or Leave a comment
From: anatomiste Date: June 17th, 2004 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
We likes it...

Especially Kingsley's reverse charm. That was funny.

*too tired for longer review*
mafdet From: mafdet Date: June 17th, 2004 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like your Kingsley. It certainly is IC for him to say, "My philosophy is to use all available resources." I bet you he is a Ravenclaw. And you wrote about Remus' weariness so convincingly that now [b]I[/b] am tired...though hopefully not as wrinkly as poor Remus.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 18th, 2004 07:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I bet you he is a Ravenclaw.

Either that, or a Slytherin. After all, "I'm not going to sit here and pretend that your infirmity isn't a perfectly useful thing for me" could go along with a Slytherin disregard for the finer sentiments. :)
dipsas From: dipsas Date: June 18th, 2004 12:04 am (UTC) (Link)
On Kingsley's letter - Should've known you had something up your sleeve... Enjoyable as always. I'll be adding you to my f-list, hope you don't mind.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 18th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I always like friends. :)
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: June 18th, 2004 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
"We don't get all of our wishes," she said

I'm thinking that Dora might get one of hers later on in this fic though :)

Good job, as always.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 18th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm thinking that Dora might get one of hers later on in this fic though :)

:whistles innocently:
liebchen127 From: liebchen127 Date: June 18th, 2004 02:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Very good, as always. Lots of great ideas, very well written. Remus "standing up" for Sirius...*melt* (sorry, can`t find the appropriate expression at the moment and I am at work and don't have a dictionary there, but I hope you know what I mean...)I really love the way you describe their friendship, Kingsley is great. Loking forward to the next part.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 18th, 2004 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

from Sreya

"See, they should pay more attention to morale at work. Get me all happy with my job, and I start spending my own money to supply the place. :)"

*laugh* That sounds EXACTLY like my grandmother! She's an elementary school librarian, and we've always said more of her paycheck goes into the school than comes out of it.

I liked this bit of Shifts. Brought back some of the tension from the book. It's a good reminder of everything else going on -- Remus has more to worry about than just teaching and watching out for Dudley Dursley.
9 comments or Leave a comment