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Stray, Chapter Twenty-Three: The Conspiracy Sealed, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Stray, Chapter Twenty-Three: The Conspiracy Sealed, pt. 3
I went to a storytelling tonight. Go Tellabration! Puts me in a mood to write some James 2.0, but I'm putting off enough things. ;p

Anyway, the Wizengamot let Fiona go since the evidence was so flimsy, but Dumbledore agrees with Sirius that it's time to get Fiona out of the country (though he doesn't say it, probably before they realize they don't really have any other suspects, and start poking around again and seeing what there is to see). Remus, Sirius, and Dora have cooked up a scheme to get the Brodies to Brazil by Side-Along Apparating their way around the world.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

As the fire had left the Brodies with very little to carry with them--just the clothes Dora had given them, really--there was nothing to dawdle over, a fact which seemed to bother Fiona more than the leaving itself.

"I've spent my whole life here," she said, fretting at the clothes in the small valise. "There should be more to pack!"

"You'll build a whole new world of things," Dora said, putting her hand on Fiona's shoulder gently. "You have your girls, and some pictures, and all the stories you can think to tell."

"You'll see to it that they give Dougie a proper burial?" Fiona asked for the third time.

"I will."

Fiona sat down on a plush chair and put her head in her hands. "There must be something else. I'm forgetting something."

"The boat," Kirsty suggested. "Daddy's boat."

"I'll send it when we get you settled," Remus said. "It's still docked on McManus Island. Once we know where you are, it's simple enough to send it magically."

"Aren't there laws?" Fiona asked.

Dora snorted. "Try enforcing them. We've a few wizards who've made big Muggle fortunes smuggling things across borders. Devilishly hard to catch."

"What happens when you do?" Sirius asked, mainly trying to shift the conversation.

"St. Mungo's tends to get large and sudden donations, then they all disappear somewhere. We're thinking the Cloaked Islands--not the big ones, but a few of the little ones. Kingsley and I found a few when we were looking for you there."

"When are we going home?" Elspeth asked. "Won't Phineas be sad?"

Dora smiled and knelt in front of her. "I think Phineas will be quite sad, but I'm sure he won't say so. But we're going to go to a new home. I went last summer, and it's warm and nice there. It's like a holiday all the time. Are you ready?"

Elspeth, trembling, nodded.

Dora looked at Fiona, who looked to Sirius, then gulped and nodded. "Let's go. Before I think of whatever it is I'm forgetting."

"Daddy's boat," Kirsty reminded her crossly. "I don't want to go. I'm going to Hogwarts next year."

"I'll find out what the situation is," Remus told her. "We'll see. But for now, are you ready to go?"

Kirsty pressed her lips together tightly, then shrugged.

"All right, then," Sirius said. "Dora, why don't you take Elspeth?"

"I'll take Kirsty," Remus offered.

"And I'll bring Fiona."

Fiona looked down. "I should have learned to Disapparate!"

"A lot of witches don't," Dora told her. "It's a bother, sometimes. Now, where will we stop first? I don't trust more than a thousand miles at a jump."

The most logical thing to do would have been to go to the Brodies' home island--now abandoned, perfectly safe--but no one mentioned it. Instead, Dora the Wizenmoot, an old site in the highlands where Scottish wizards had once met in council. They all knew it. She and Elspeth disappeared, followed by Remus and the sullen Kirsty.

"This is it, eh?" Fiona said. "Just head out, not say goodbye."

"To what?"

"To everything."

Sirius took her hands. "Not everything," he said, then pulled her to him, then pulled her along. They were pushed into darkness, and came out on the rainy hilltop, where Remus was reading the informational tablet to Elspeth, who was still in Dora's arms. Dora looked calm and happy.

"Now where?" she asked when she noticed Sirius.

Sirius shrugged. "We'll have to start island hopping. Does anyone know Iceland well enough to hop there?"

Remus took Kirsty by the shoulder and said, "Well, my parents took me to a Healer outside Keflavik--there's an abandoned inn." He twirled his wand, and a sea-worn building on a hill appeared. Sirius and Dora studied it carefully, then Remus pulled up coordinates and disappeared with Kirsty. Sirius followed with Fiona, and Dora and Elspeth joined them. The air was wet and salty, and a dreary rain was falling, but for the first time since re-opening Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, Sirius began to feel a curious sense of lightness in his chest. He was outside the bailiwick of the Aurors (other than Dora), and if the mood took him, he could run. He had no intention of doing so, but the possibility was intoxicating.

From Keflavik, Remus sheepishly offered a destination near Nuuk, Greenland--"I used to be quite obsessed with Greenland, and my Dad took me after a particularly bad transformation. He thought I'd be disappointed, but I... well, I was nine. It seemed perfectly magical to me."

Sirius failed to see anything particularly marvelous in the dirty little seaside town where they ended up--it was full of houses with roofs that sloped all the way to the ground, and beyond it was tundra leading to a glacier--but unless he was badly mistaken, Remus still looked weirdly taken by it. No matter; it was just a stopping point. From there, Dora took them to the island that housed the Snowleaf School in Nunavut, Canada--the school was actually underground, and they saw no one except a startled boy practicing hockey up above. Dora waved to him cheerfully, and he waved back, apparently deciding that they must belong here--the security was, as she suggested, lighter than security at Hogwarts.

After Snowleaf, they landed in Quebec, near a place where Sirius and Regulus had gone one summer holiday to practice French, and from there, in what seemed a much bigger jump--but which Dora assured them was actually shorter--to a very loud venue near Charlotte, North Carolina, where a huge crowd had gathered for appeared to be watching cars drive in circles.

Dora shrugged. "Mad-Eye brought me once, believe it or not. We were chasing a Muggle-born wizard... well, it doesn't matter. Next?"

"Next" turned out to be Cancún, another suggestion from Dora after measuring distances and deciding that Jamaica was a bit too far and Cuba not the safest destination in the neighborhood. From Cancún, they went to Panama City--Remus had interviewed for a job there once, for some reason--and then to a little town outside Caracas, where Fiona insisted that they stop for lunch.

"I'm dizzy," she said. "I haven't the foggiest notion where I am!"

Sirius transformed into a dog, and they went into Caracas's small wizarding district. None of them had a very firm grip on Spanish, but Remus managed to get there from the Latin and get them food while Dora explained their route to Fiona, who seemed dazed and unable to believe they were most of the world from home.

After lunch, they went on to Cayenne, French Guiana, where Sirius and Buckbeak had stopped on the original flight here, and from there to São Luis. The terrain was now familiar to Sirius--he'd flown over it to exercise Buckbeak quite a lot. The jungle seemed warm and welcoming, full of colors too bright to be real.

"Last one," he said, and showed them an image of the quiet forest path that was sometimes used by young wizards trying to fight the boiuna in the river, but was otherwise deserted. It was midday, and far too hot to do that, so he thought it would be safe. They took the last leap.

The steamy, fecund scent of the rain forest filled Sirius's head, making him giddy. They'd landed beside a huge red flower. Fiona blinked at it dazedly.

Two soft pops announced the arrivals of Remus with Kirsty and Dora with Elspeth. Elspeth slithered down as soon as she was certain that they'd stopped, and leaned in to smell the flower. She wrinkled her nose. "It doesn't smell good," she said.

"No, but it's pretty isn't it?" Dora tried.

Elspeth nodded. "Where are we going next?"

"We're here," Sirius said. "Now, we need to find you a place to stay, and get you all snugged in."

"We're living here?" Kirsty asked.

"Well, not right here in the path," Sirius said. "You'll like it. I promise. I loved it here."

Kirsty looked at him, not entirely understanding, then shook her head and said, "No... it's beautiful! I love it!" She smiled.

Fiona's eyes widened in surprise, then she said, "Well, I'm glad. Because I haven't the faintest idea how we'd get out of here if you didn't."

The Brodies looked at each other for a long time, then laughed nervously.

Fiona turned to Sirius. "You'd best transform," she said. "I can't live in a tree, and I don't want someone turning you in because he happened to see you helping me find a flat."
27 comments or Leave a comment
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: November 22nd, 2009 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
a very loud venue near Charlotte, North Carolina, where a huge crowd had gathered for appeared to be watching cars drive in circles.
Muggles... They can be so weird...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, right?
jesspallas From: jesspallas Date: November 22nd, 2009 11:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad the Brodies are getting safely away. :)

Just one little thing:

Instead, Dora the Wizenmoot, an old site in the highlands

Is there a word missing from the start of that sentence?

I'll go away now but looking forward to more. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is there a word missing from the start of that sentence?

There would have to be. "Suggested," maybe? I thin that's what I meant to say.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: November 22nd, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)


I've been missing him!

But Panama City, now. You don't have to live in the jungle away from civilization to live isolated from conventional authority! And you can drive up the coast to any of a zillion beach towns where you can keep a second home. And you can always get a Jamaican housekeeper to whip up your potions for you who will merely roll her eyes at all that white folks magic: foolish wand-waving. silly incantations...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: James!!!!!!

I really tried to get them to stop in Jamaica for lunch, but mileage was not working.

A lot of those places would have been excellent to stop, but Sirius had no connections there, and it just wouldn't give me a chance to tempt him back to someplace he enjoyed.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: November 22nd, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: James!!!!!!

Sirius would have loved Panama. It was completely lawless, in a mellow, Caribbean kind of way. Jamaicans like my grandmother went there for work when the canal was being built, and many of them kind of just stayed.

I often wonder if Dean Thomas' father faked his death and opened up a beach club up the coast a ways...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: James!!!!!!

I like it. I've never really heard much about Panama (except that John McCain was born in an American base there), but that's probably a good thing... not too overrun with tourists.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: November 22nd, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: James!!!!!!

He was???? He's an old Zonie???? (That's the name for Americans that lived there before Carter and the Treaty.)

I was stationed there '90-'92, just before America cleared out completely. It's kind of like Costa Rica, Belize, places like that, where retirees can sit in the sun and have servants on a moderate budget and not have to learn Spanish or give up the amenities they're used to.

Also you can launder money and be all shady and interesting.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: James!!!!!!

He was???? He's an old Zonie????

Apparently--it was a thing during the campaign: was being born on an army base in Panama enough to be a "natural-born" citizen? The courts said, "Yup." According to Wiki, he as born at Coco Solo Naval air station. (Er, and I mix up army and navy. You can tell that I'm not military!)

Edited at 2009-11-22 10:54 pm (UTC)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 22nd, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Enjoyed hopping around the globe with Sirius and Company. It felt very Jules Verne somehow.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was an amusing trip, and I discovered a lovely site that gave me the distances between places (though they had to be bigger places than I meant to use, blah). Strangely, Google maps with its odd insistence on giving driving and walking directions, would not find me a route between Portree and Keflavik.
beceh From: beceh Date: November 22nd, 2009 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Google Maps didn't tell you to kayak? I wanted to see how far it was between Melbourne and Oregon, and it told me to kayak across the Pacific Ocean...via Japan...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. No, it skipped that. Seriously, kayak? I love.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 24th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear gods...
I laughed so hard.

~Hermione Stranger~
malinbe From: malinbe Date: November 22nd, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Remus managed to get there from the Latin

Sorry, but that's stretching it a bit, my friend. That's like saying you can understand English from old Germanic or something.

Seriously, though. I've studied Latin this whole year, and there's no chance. In a book, maybe, but oral Spanish? Street Spanish? No way. Going to a restaurant? It's a bit too much.

I am sure plenty of people around Caracas can manage a bit of English just fine. They get a lot of turists and English is the lingua franca- people who work in restaurants generally have some sort of grasp. Most places have at least one employee who can speak it. I think you should go with that.

I'm glad Kirsty likes it. If she didn't, Fiona would be getting ready for a storm of teenagehood.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, he was able to read from there--they had a smattering, just not enough to really have a conversation, but the Latin was enough to read a menu from. And probably the waiter was forgiving. ;p It's like, if you read enough Spanish, you can look at an Italian menu and know that you're ordering beef rather than fish, or check a street name and get directions from a map, or see that building is a restaurant rather than a laundromat. True, probably, that the waiter would have just gone with English once they got there. (The rest of the world is very indulgent with Anglophones, isn't it? As I found out in Spain, more people wanted to practice English with me than wanted to let me practice Spanish!)

But yes, as it's written, that's not terribly clear, is it? Price of writing late at night after being up early in the morning!

Edited at 2009-11-22 06:02 pm (UTC)
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: November 22nd, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've never tried it with Spanish but I've found my knowledge of Latin got me a long way in Italy - as you said, reading not talking.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: November 22nd, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but Italian is more like the direct descendant, while Spanish had a lot of other influences (mostly Arabian languages- great percentage of it- and also bits of Celtics from the north of Spain) that changed it too radically. It is still very recognizable, because when I started Latin I could translate without looking anything up, but I am not sure at all it would work much the other way around.

Especially in America, where there was influence from the native tongues- dishes names for example change radically.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: November 22nd, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Partly, yes, it is going to help you a bit in getting around- especially with the written part. But chances are he wouldn't need it- if they were around Caracas, the people who work in shops or in restaurants have a general grasp of English or an employee who had a few private lessons, because they are all tourist-oriented.
Also, when I went to Chile on a holiday I didn't understand half the things in the menues. It was mystifying, how could we not understand something in our own language? I actually had to read the English translation below to be sure of what I was ordering (and yes, most restaurants have the translations in the menues- though I am not sure they would in the nineties).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that is interesting. (Though I'm not sure I could really make sense of a British menu, come to think of it. Bubble and Squeak? You can look it up, but you're not going to guess.)

I just have a hard time imagining them randomly asking for directions for some reason, and instead trying to soldier through a street map.
alkari From: alkari Date: November 23rd, 2009 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
ANYONE wanting to eat a leftover brussels sprout, however cooked or mashed with other vegetables, should be in the closed ward at St Mungo's.

etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: November 22nd, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found fascinating the various locations, between the three apparating adults, they had previously visited. Good thing none of them are purely homebodies! Poor Kirsty, it's a difficult age and the poor child has been under huge amounts of stress. She deserves a spell of teen-sulks. But thank heavens she liked the final destination! (That Remus, offering to take the grumpy one -- he's a treasure.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 22nd, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think anyone deserves a good case of the sulks after having everything change so fast. But they're arriving in Brazil just in time for Carnaval, so...
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 22nd, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

"But they're arriving in Brazil just in time for Carnaval, so...".....JOY!

I so hope you write that in! if not maybe in a ficlet.

alkari From: alkari Date: November 23rd, 2009 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* One part of me is glad that Sirius was always totally loyal and so devoted to Harry, whom he loved as his own son. But reading your story, the other part of me wishes that he'd had a chance at a happy life in the sun with Fiona and the girls. (And I reckon he'd have gone back to bring that 'dangerous' Buckbeak there too, LOL.)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: November 23rd, 2009 09:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, all that Apparition ... I quite understand Fiona's dizziness!

It's quite an exciting journey, just following them taking it!
27 comments or Leave a comment