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Batch 6 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 6
Another set of two--I definitely can't keep doing only two a day!--but I have to work early tomorrow, so my usual crazy writing time is taken up with that irritating interruption of, you know, sleeping...

a Sirius apologizing to Hagrid for judging him, and maybe they beginning to get along as friends? or at least sirius respecting him? in terms of timeline maybe order of phoenix. hagrid having to drop something over the headquarters for Alex Wells


Sirius had always liked Hagrid when he'd been at Hogwarts. He'd been an adult who was, in essence, one of the students. He'd kept Sirius's dog, Fizzing Whizbee, at the groundskeepers' cabin during holidays (at least until sixth year, when someone--Sirius strongly suspected Snape--had fed poor old Whizbee a bad potion). And he'd liked him when they'd been in the Order together; he'd certainly not have handed Harry over to him on the night James died otherwise (though, in retrospect, it would have been better if he'd brought Harry to Dumbledore himself).

But on more than one occasion since Remus had been sacked, Sirius had felt a little surly about the Hogwarts gamekeeper.

Well, not about him, per se, but about Dumbledore, who'd fought to keep him when, point by point, he'd been far worse than Remus, whose resignation had been asked for and accepted over one mistake. Well, two if one counted not mentioning the Animagus business, but Dumbledore himself had said that he trusted Remus would have taken precautions against it. Either way, it didn't compare to keeping an Acromantula in the Forbidden Forest, or fire-breathing manticore blends in the paddock, as far as immediate danger to students was concerned, and it had tweaked his temper more than once, especially after Dumbledore had refused to even consider allowing Hagrid to resign.

Over the same sorts of bloody issues that Remus had been sacked for.

While his anger was directed at Dumbledore, he supposed it might have made him a bit touchy with Hagrid as well. At least that was what Remus thought--he'd had a word with Sirius when Dumbledore said that Hagrid was coming over with the motorbike.

"Sirius, could you at least try not to growl when his name is mentioned?" he'd asked. "He'll be miserable for a week if he thinks you don't like him anymore."

"I like Hagrid fine, and I don't growl," Sirius had said.

"Yes, you do. You growl and pace and do everything short of quoting Rita Skeeter. Hagrid's my friend, and you know perfectly well he's yours as well, now that he knows you didn't kill James."

"Of course he is!"

"And Harry's."

"Well, yes."

"And how do you think Harry would take it if you started talking about Hagrid the way half of the letters to the editor at the Prophet do?"

Sirius had sighed and sat down. "It's not about Hagrid."

"I know. But think about how it looks."

"Keep up appearances?" Sirius had muttered. "You sound like Mum."

But of course, Remus had been right. Sirius re-read the letters to the editor and realized he'd heard himself saying more than one of the things in them. It wouldn't do for Harry to hear him talking like that, and surely, Dumbledore planned to bring Harry along any day now. It wasn't safe in Little Whinging.

So when he heard the motorbike coming down for a tight landing in the courtyard, he took a deep breath, checked a mirror to make sure he wasn't scowling (it complained about his hair and clothes, but his face didn't look particularly bad), and went out to greet him.


The bike came to a stop, and Hagrid dismounted, giving Sirius a smile. His hair emerged from under the helmet in a large, dirty brown cloud. "Glad I had a chance t'return it!" he said. "Reckon I thought badly of ye over the years, and I'm sorry."

"You'd hardly be the only one," Sirius said, forcing himself not to respond even to this. "I see you've kept the bike up."

Hagrid nodded, and took off the helmet. "Had it since the night you handed it to me. I reckoned Harry might like to see it again, but there's never been time for it."

"Where do you keep it?"

"Oh, here and there."


"Outside? Are you daft? It'd rust." He shook his great head. "No, it's been in a few rooms in the castle. I took Charity Burbage up for a few rides over the years, hope you don't mind. She does love that sort of thing."

Sirius, who vaguely remembered the Hogwarts Muggle Studies teacher, wasn't sure what to make of her going off riding the motorbike with Hagrid, but didn't say anything. "How are things at Hogwarts?"

"Dumbledore still hasn't got anyone to take the Defense post..."

"What about Lupin?"

Hagrid nodded enthusiastically. "That's what I said. Reckon Lupin could use the work. But Dumbledore says he's got other things lined up for Lupin this year. Great man, Dumbledore."

"Yes, marvelous, where Remus is concerned." Sirius could see Hagrid trying to work out a reply to this, and decided to derail it before the conversation went further in this vein. "Are you sure you won't need the motorbike?"

Hagrid looked at it longingly, then said, "No... reckon it wouldn't be much use where I'm going. And Olympe will never fit in the sidecar."


"Er... I didn't say that. I mean, I said it right enough, but I..."

"Dumbledore is sending you to the giants?"

"I never said any such thing. Giants don't like half-giants much anyway. So, I thought I'd leave it here. You can find a spot for it, can't you?"

"Of course I can." Sirius watched Hagrid look at the bike for a long time, and thought longingly of his own rides during the war, and just the joy rides he'd taken once he was free of Mum. He supposed he had a thing or two in common with Hagrid. "Come on inside for lunch," he said. "We'll raise a glass to Fizzing Whizbee."

Hagrid grinned widely. "Great dog, Whizbee..."

so i can ask for fifth year Romilda buying that Patented day dreaming Product of the weasley twins and daydreaming in class? and oh! at some point make McGonagall abruptly wake her up for * Betthany anne


Weasley products weren't entirely welcome in Hogwarts under Headmaster Snape, which meant that the portable daydreams had needed to be carefully disguised even before Romilda packed her trunk at home. She'd taken them out of their boxes and put them into a box designed to hold various feminine hygeine potions and protections. As she'd expected, the wizards (and even witches) who examined her things set the box aside with delicate distaste and didn't investigate it.

As a result, she had at least two months worth of them, and it had proved quite useful. Dark Arts class--which used to be Defense Against the Dark Arts--had become a tediously repetitious spectacle for Gryffindors, with students opting to defy the Carrows on a regular basis, and being punished for it. It took up so much time that nothing useful seemed to be learned at all. Carrow was generally too busy amusing himself to note a student just wandering off in her own mind. She'd spent the first two weeks having a long, delicious daydream in which she, Romilda Vane, jilted and downtrodden, had finally been the one to defeat Voldemort. Harry Potter had come and offered himself to her, but she had rejected him in favor of... oh, it changed day by day. Most of the handsome boys in the year had been terribly impressed with her bravery and resourcefulness, and had shown their gratitude in a most satisfactory way. It was quite addictive.

It wasn't possible to do this in Potions, as Slughorn had kept an irritatingly close eye on her, and it would be foolish in Care of Magical Creatures, as she didn't care to end up trampled by an angry beast.

But Transfiguration? Before, she wouldn't have considered it. McGonagall was strict and occasionally interesting. But this year, she was so heavily monitored in class that she could barely do more than recite the textbook.

Romilda reached into her bag and brought out the tiny charm she'd picked for today. It looked like a unicorn, and was designed to hang discreetly from a bracelet, so she could hold onto it without anyone noticing. She slipped it on.

The drafty old castle became a flower-strewn meadow in the mountains. Romilda was wearing a flowing gown that was nonetheless practical for fighting, as her arms and legs were free (in her daydreams, the flowing cloth never tripped her). She carried a silver dagger and an ebony wand with a phoenix feather core, and it was twisted round with gold filigree and set with rubies. She was riding a roan unicorn sidesaddle, going toward a dark tower that cut the view ahead of her, throwing a shadow like a knife.

"How will we get in?" someone asked beside her.

She turned and looked down at Hermione Granger, who was quaking at the sight of the impenetrable fortress.

"You don't know?"

"Oh, no. It's too hard. You have an idea, though, don't you?"

Romilda nodded wisely. "Of course. You just have to understand the principles of how the spells work." At this point, she let her mind gloss over the explanation--boring--while Hermione nodded dutifully, impressed with her intellectual superiority. "Are you ready?" she asked.

Hermione nodded. "If you are. You'll go first, won't you?"

"Don't I always?"

Romilda spurred on her unicorn and sped off across the meadow, Hermione pounding along behind her on a donkey. Somewhere in the castle, Oliver Wood was being held prisoner by the evil Maledicta, who planned to force him to marry her, no matter how devoted he was to Romilda. She had her ways.

They reached the drawbridge, and a stream of vile ogres poured out of the castle.

"Hermione!" Romilda yelled. "We have to fight them. Can you manage?"

"As long as you have my back!"


Together, they cut through the horde. Romilda took most of them, but let Hermione catch a few stragglers. Just before they went into the darkness of the tower, Romilda held her bloodstained dagger up to the sun. "I won't clean this blade until it's taken Maledicta!"

"You're so brave," Hermione said, wiping her own little dagger on her short tartan skirt. She looked up with deep admiration.

Romilda briefly contemplated letting the daydream go in a different direction--she was getting bored with obedient boys--then changed her mind and turned resolutely to the castle. "We have work to do. Dark work."

Hermione swallowed hard and raised her shaking dagger. She followed Romilda inside.

"Be careful," Romilda whispered. "There's danger everywhere. Every shadow could be a spy, every portrait could cast a curse."

"The portraits!"

"Yes. Maledicta has given them much more power than the Ministry allows. Watch for them. They'll... Hermione!"

As she'd spoken, the daydream had produced a large, lifesized portrait of barbarians, and they'd pulled Hermione into the canvas.

"Help me, Romilda!" Hermione cried. "Save me!"

Romilda ran to the frame. "I will. But I have to defeat Maledicta to break her wicked spell. Be as brave as you can!"

Someone laughed behind her. "Ah, child, I see you still think you can defeat me!"

"I will defeat you!"

"You think you can sleep through my class! You think there's nothing to learn!"

Romilda blinked. The tower wavered. Maledicta, formerly a devastatingly beautiful dark enchantress, had developed deep wrinkles and a tight bun. Her lips were pressed together thinly, and square glasses perched on her nose.


"Do you have something you care to share with the class?"

The tower disappeared. The painting disappeared. Thoughts of Oliver Wood, hidden somewhere in the dungeons, disappeared. Maledicta remained, but she was McGonagall, looking supremely irritated and bored.

Romilda let go of the charm.

"Well, if Miss Vane doesn't object," McGonagall said, "perhaps the whole class can start working on complex animal transfiguration again..."
34 comments or Leave a comment
From: severely_lupine Date: December 4th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)
First one was nice. At least someone's thinking those things about Dumbledore, even if Remus isn't. So, this would be... between GoF and OotP? Then I suppose Sirius just locked it up in a room and never got to use it again (I can imagine Lupin's and Dora's reaction if he'd asked to take it out for a spin). Yet another depressing thing.

much, anyway." So, I thought -- Looks like you've got a spare quotation mark.

There really is something rather dangerous and morally dubious about the whole daydream charm thing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 4th, 2009 07:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Got the random quote mark. :eyeroll: Honestly, I don't know about myself sometimes. ;p
alkari From: alkari Date: December 4th, 2009 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Good job with the Hagrid scene. Like the idea of Sirius having a dog :)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 5th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I do, too. He loves them so much, he ought to have had one before becoming one. But I can't see Walburga letting one in the house...
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: December 4th, 2009 10:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved the idea of Romilda-does-Mary-Sue... it definitely seems like a characteristic ambition for her!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 5th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Definitely a Gryff-Sue, though--no clever machinations, just bloody daggers and danger.
lecharmediscret From: lecharmediscret Date: December 4th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I so adore the second one! I can't believe you actually made Romilda an interesting person! I hope she managed to have some real adventures (with happy conclusions that flatter her vanity without growing it) eventually :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 5th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe she will. Who knows?
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 4th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Romilda managed to be very amusing!

Oh, that motorbike is amazing. I'm so sad we never got to see Sirius riding it afterwards...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 5th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
It is too bad, isn't it? She could have let him have a nice ride on it!
sidealong From: sidealong Date: December 4th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting idea making the daydream "charm" a muggle bracelet charm. I assumed the daydream charm was something you ate. But that's not very "charm-y" is it?

You seem to quite like the daydream/ romance novel genre! Seems like you had fun writing this one!

I'd love to see Hagrid sneaking the motorbike around the castle! Sounds noisy.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 5th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
You seem to quite like the daydream/ romance novel genre! Seems like you had fun writing this one!

Well... at least I like making fun of it. ;p Which also has its place.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: December 4th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Both terrific chapterlets. I love your Sirius, he thinks and grows and is always becoming someone new new and better. It makes his fate all the more tragic, though. Good job on portraying Hagrid, too. Poor Romilda! I remember those daydreams, where I was breathtakingly lovely and the wind blew my hair, and I achieved marvelous things. Luckily, I didn't succumb in class with Minerva, though. Still, as grim as Hogwarts must have been, who can really blame her? (I particularly liked Hermione's role in the dream .)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 5th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember those daydreams, where I was breathtakingly lovely and the wind blew my hair, and I achieved marvelous things

We all get to be Mary Sue in our daydreams, don't we?
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 4th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Romilda-Sue, heh-heh!

Yeah, those daydream charms... Morally iffy, indeed, but Fred and George are kind of morally iffy themselves. Agents of Chaos, I've heard them called.

But we're allowed to like them because they represent The Trickster, an archetype that must appear in every Hero's Journey epic.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 4th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

you must be the third person that said that

I mean there must be a reason sure...but at first glance i don't see it.

what's so morally iffy about those daydreaming charms?

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 5th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)

as pottersues would say "sparklypoo!"

Oh I love how you wrote my Romilda Request! it so ultimately su-ish and wish fullfillment and uber girly and it made have a serious case of giggles!

oh romilda you seriously hormonal teenager girl you... poor oliver

nice idea of making the daydreaming charms bracelet "charms". it seems original

and OMG the things romilda comes up with. I have to admit i kind of like her wand... but i'm torn in whether to consider it beautiful or super tacky.

and ohGd poor poor Hermione. I cringed reading that yes i did.

i would like to ask you why you think Romilda would make Hermione her sillysidkick? i would think she would have put ginny.

and Oh you did not saw what you did there with Maledicta, Romilda. you are in so denial from what you did last year.

this ficlet is going into my harddrive. and i think i'm going to ask for another romilda ficlet, next time you do a ficlet call, and i hope you don't mind then because seriously the way you write her amuses me so much.

~Bethanny anne

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 5th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: as pottersues would say "sparklypoo!"

I think at this point that most people would put Hermione as the "important" one (not as a romantic interest, but as the brains in the trio), so naturally, Romilda wants to make her slower and less important than, say, Romilda...

Sparklypoo house for the daydreamy win!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 6th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Romilda, you make me embarrassed not just for every time I've drifted off into Sue-ishness but for every time I've had a character more capable than the sidekick . . . .

I have to say, using the daydream charm in the dark arts class, in and of itself, doesn't have to be morally iffy. I mean, the kids are being asked to watch the Carrows being sadistic and have no power to interfere. For a person to respond with deliberately mentally absenting herself is probably fairly healthy. But Romilda's not doing it from any kind of moral stance or from trying to avoid the purpose of the class - if a student is against what's happening, he or she may become angry (and be provoked into doing something not particularly useful but that the Carrows can punish) or work on developing learned helplessness (because the impulse to do something positive is squelched) or feel empathy with the victim to the point of feeling tortured and helpless. All those scenarios use up energy without achieving anything or by being counterproductive. Alternately, if a student stops being against what's happening or even enjoys it, it's less emotionally exhausting but the end result is a lot worse.

Of course, there's the mindset of bearing witness and standing by your friends. But, on a daily basis, that can be hard to maintain without getting angry and acting out at a bad time or becoming too used to NOT acting out.

I'm just saying, if that was all Romilda was doing, it wouldn't bother me.

Instead, let's face it, she's more interested in not being bored. The victims don't seem to matter much to her, one way or the other, and she's very obviously not even thinking about translating her fantasies of fighting evil into some kind of practical application.

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 9th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)

from Alex Well- what a great ficlet

on the sirius and hagrid ficlet.

Miss. that was just fantastic.
the characterization of Sirius, realizing that he been unfair with hagrid and making a effort to be nicer, even if he still struggles; and the irony of Hagrid agreeing with Sirius when it comes to remus and the DADA post was Perfect.

i enjoy it quite a lot. thank you

alex wells
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 20th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Romilda briefly contemplated letting the daydream go in a different direction--she was getting bored with obedient boys--then changed her mind and turned resolutely to the castle."

Heh, Romilda girlcrushing on Hermione!

34 comments or Leave a comment