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Batch 15 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 15
harry and Ron recruiting for auror department! and Cormac Mclaggen shows up to apply for a position! for Ris


"Who's next?" Ron asked.

Harry shuffled the stack of CVs and came up with the next scheduled interview. He read the name on top and raised an eyebrow. "You're going to love this one." He tossed it over.

"McLaggen?" Ron wrinkled his nose. "Why'd we give him an interview?"

"I didn't want to, but we're politicians now. Robards reminded me that his uncle Tiberius holds the purse strings for our back up wands."

"That doesn't mean we're giving him the post, does it?"

"I'm not that political." Harry shrugged. "Look at it this way. We'll have a chance to finally hear how much better the war would have gone if only McLaggen had been in charge."

"If McLaggen had been in charge, our bones would be boiling in some Dark potion devoted to Bellatrix Lestrange's hair care," Ron muttered.

"Not mine," Harry said. "Half-blood. You can't be too careful about these things."

"True," Ron said, and pointed his wand at the door.

It opened, and Cormac McLaggen strode in, dressed in robes carefully accented in red that suggested both their shared brotherhood of Gryffindor and the official dress uniform of the Auror Division, without being overpowering enough to suggest that he had been their dear friend or that he had already been hired.

"Potter!" he said. "Good to see you again." He nodded to Ron. "Weasley."


"Hear you married Granger."

Harry smiled. "Then we've established that you read the front page of the Prophet."

McLaggen faltered for a moment, then laughed heartily. "Yes, well, they do report on these things, don't they. Must be a bit annoying. I can't imagine having my personal business splashed around the entire wizarding world."

Harry rolled his eyes. McLaggen would have liked nothing better. "So," he said, "your CV says you've been with the Werewolf Capture Unit."

"Yes," McLaggen said. "Shame it still needs to be done, but it does."

"And yet, you'd like to leave."

"I think my skills and intelligence are better suited to tracking down escaped Death Eaters than to following a handful of unfortunates who didn't make it to cover in time for moonrise. It's not much of a challenge, you know. Most of them are poorly educated and none too bright."

Harry didn't answer.

"I don't mean Lupin, of course!" McLaggen corrected himself eagerly. "I said 'most,' and of course, with them, it's not their own fault."

"Mmm," Harry said. "And what makes you think you're suited to work as Auror now? You don't have any experience with Death Eaters."

"I was there when they invaded the school during my seventh year."

"I must have missed you in that battle," Ron said. "I'll ask Bill if he caught sight of you, before Greyback ripped off his face."

"I didn't happen to be in the castle that night," McLaggen said. "I wish I had been, so I could have given them a taste of my Blasting Curse."

"What kept you?" Ron asked.

"We weren't all in the loop, you know," McLaggen said. "I was taking a detention. Got caught climbing the tower." He seemed to feel a great need to get away from this topic, as he sped up and said, "And that's something I'd like to point out--the communication. It's the most important part of this sort of work. No one can come to your rescue if he doesn't know you're in trouble. In Werewolf Capture, I've re-imagined our entire notification network. If there's a werewolf out five minutes past midnight, we know about it now."

"How?" Harry asked, not really interested.

"Their registration. We've got it magically tied to a Locator Spell."

Harry looked up slowly. "You what?"

"Their registration," McLaggen said again, more slowly, apparently thinking that Harry hadn't understood him. "We've tied it to a Locator Spell so that we always know where they are."

"The registration is solid no matter what form they're in," Harry said.

"Well, yes, of course."

"So you're tracking witches and wizards who've committed no crime at all times."

"They're werewolves," McLaggen said. "And we only pay attention at the moon."

Harry tapped his quill on the table. "We've a lot of applicants for the posts, McLaggen. Most of them at the very least fought at the Battle of Hogwarts. Where were you?"

"Like I said, the communication--"

"A werewolf made it."

"Well, I..." McLaggen sat up straight. "I know you favor your friends, but you must see that I can't possibly have known what wasn't communicated to me."

"And it never occurred to you to wonder why it wasn't?"

McLaggen stood. "I see this isn't going anywhere. I shall speak to my Uncle Tiberius about this." He left.

"Oo, Uncle Tiberius," Ron said.

"Hmm," Harry said.

"Personally," Ron said, "I think I'll take it up with Harry Potter. Better press."

"And if all else fails, I think Ollivander will give me a discount on a few backup wands. Lunch?"

Might I request my semiannual helping of Bhaer? for Anon

I think this may be the last Bhaer I've got in me.

"Between the pair of you," Laurie said, "I feel I ought to be about my lessons instead of taking a stroll in the woods."

John Brooke laughed, and Fritz looked at him. "You also are a teacher, then?"

"Laurie's teacher, in fact," Brooke said. "That's how I met Meg."

"I imagine someday Amy will wish me to take up the teacher's desk as well," Laurie said.

"I somehow doubt it would fit you well," Brooke said.

"Why do you believe your Amy would have you take it upon yourself?" Fritz asked.

"The March sisters," Laurie said, "have a good deal in common. Though I have, at long last, finally discovered which of them suits me best."

Fritz stopped walking. "You considered... others?"

Laurie looked over his shoulder awkwardly. "Sorry--I thought Jo would have told you that."

"She says only that you are her dear friend."

"And I am. Also, her brother-in-law, neighbor, and quite unfortunately, the boy whose heart she once broke." He shook his head. "I wouldn't let it concern you. It certainly doesn't concern Jo or me."

Brooke started them moving again. "We all thought Jo would be a spinster. Shot Laurie down flat, if you want to know. Never even toyed with anyone else. When Meg realized that Jo was finally in love, she did a dance in the garden. Barefoot, splashing in a puddle with the twins."

Fritz had no notion what to say to this idea of Jo's proper sister dancing quite improperly, so, as his mother had taught him in such situations, he said nothing.

"I admit, I was worried about her," Laurie said. "When I started to love Amy, I thought Jo might have regrets and... well, I never want to see her sad. Which is why I'm damnably glad you're around, Bhaer. I've never seen Jo quite so happy, and that's good for everyone."

"I shall do my best to see she remains so," Fritz said. He didn't press the issue of just how Laurie came to love Amy March instead of Jo (it seemed a very strange transition to Fritz, who couldn't think of two sisters less alike). "She is well loved among her family, is she not?"

"They all love one another," Brooke said. "And us as well. And we're family to one another."

Fritz considered this. "I had a sister, in Germany," he said. "But never have I had brothers. I believe I shall enjoy it."

"That's the spirit," Laurie said. They came to a fence, and he pulled himself up onto it to sit down. "And in the spirit of brotherly camaraderie, I think, John, that we should tell Fritz what he's getting into."

"Ach," Fritz said, "I have read Jo's stories."

"The ones with dastardly villains going after the pure hearted hero, who slays them with his mighty sword?" Laurie laughed. "I love those."

"No, her true stories, of her sisters. I know my Josephine."

"Do you know she burned off the back of her dress at a dance?"

"It is in her stories."

"And that she used to put on theatricals?"


Laurie looked impressed, then frowned. "I can't believe she skipped me."

"She may not have," Brooke said. "Tell us, Fritz--did she write about the spoiled child next door?"

"She wrote of a kindly young man with a bright smile who brought happiness to her and to her sisters." Fritz shrugged. "She drew a vivid and clear picture. As I said, she says you are her dear friend."

"I shall have to read these," Laurie said, and launched himself off the fence with a huge, energetic leap.

Fritz and Brooke looked at one another with fond exasperation, then followed him off into the woods.

It occured to me that Ginny's year also had potions with horace slughorn...so a ficlet with Slughorn going about amortentia with them, and mention of what ginny Amortentia smells like? ...maybe include Romilda? that would be hilarious! for LoonyBritanny


Ginny walked into the Potions dungeon and gagged.

"What is it?" Colin Creevey asked.

"Can't you smell it? It smells like old Quidditch socks and slimy wet stones in here."

Colin shook his head. "I smell some water," he said. "But I thought it was nice. It's like the wheat field near my house after a good rain."

"Your wheatfield smells like old socks?"

"No, not at all. It's... well, it's nice. I had a long walk there last summer with... someone."

Ginny raised her eyebrows at this. "Someone, eh? Someone we know?"

"I doubt it. She's a Muggle."

"I'll need pictures," Ginny said. "And I know you have them."

Colin grinned. "Later."

Asteria Greengrass came in with the Slytherins, her nose turned up prettily. "Mm," she said. "Mint... what uses mint?"

Ginny and Colin both frowned.

Professor Slughorn emerged from an antechamber, smiling. "Ah," he said. "I see the smell of the Amortentia is still lingering from my sixth years."

"Amortentia?" Ginny asked. "Is that a love potion, or does 'Amor' mean four-week-old laundry in some other language?"

Slughorn laughed. "Miss Weasley, isn't it?"

She nodded.

He shook his head. "You may be the first person I've met who smells Amortentia in that particular manner. Most people smell things they find pleasant and attractive."

"Hmmph," Asteria said, "it's probably what her house smells like."

Ginny's wand was behind her back, and she tipped it toward Asteria, waiting for Slughorn to turn around to actually mutter a hex. Asteria started fidgeting like a colony of chizpurfles had invaded her robes.

"Amortentia is something you'll learn about next year, though of course, you won't be brewing it. Quite against the rules at Hogwarts. But I wanted to give my NEWT students an idea of just how powerful potions can be, and Amortentia is among the most powerful there is. It doesn't cause love, but it does bring about obsession. It makes a person associate someone with the most wonderful things that person knows. It smells to each person like what that person is most attracted to."

"You spend way too much time on the Quidditch pitch," Colin whispered.

Ginny elbowed him in the ribs, and fought against her face getting hot. Of course. She hoped no one would think to tell Dean what she'd smelled. The Quidditch team... Harry. And wet stones? Oh, she knew well enough where those came from as well. She'd, after all, been surrounded by the stink of them when she'd finally awakened in the Chamber of Secrets, Harry bloodied and bruised beside her.

So much for being over him.

She clenched her teeth. Fine, she still thought he was wonderful. But Dean was her boyfriend. She ought to have smelled oil paint and ink.

"What's really in it?" Asteria asked.

"Nothing you need concern yourself with," Slughorn said. "Now, if you'll all choose partners, we'll begin the year with something pleasant. A Soothing Solution, perhaps? Yes, I think so, it's simple and clear, and easy to get into the year with. And I imagine it might come in useful with OWLs coming up, don't you?"

He started to fuss at the blackboard, writing out the instructions.

The door opened, and a black-haired girl with a red headband appeared. Ginny knew her vaguely from the Common Room--she was a fourth year, and her name was Ronetta or Rebecca or--

She smiled coquettishly at Slughorn. "I think I've come to the wrong class. First day and all! My name is Romilda Vane... you must be Professor Slughorn."

"Miss Vane, I believe you're due elsewhere?"

"Right. I suppose I was just so looking forward to meeting you." She sniffed. "It smells like newspapers in here. Are you brewing photograph solutions?"

22 comments or Leave a comment
From: severely_lupine Date: December 16th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Most of them are poorly educated and none too bright. -- LOL! Oh, Cormac. Please to be taking your foot out of your mouth. Tracking werewolves indeed. And he doesn't even realize the problem with that. Glad Harry told him off.

Haha, Ginny. So self-deluding. And who's Romilda smelling?

I see you fall on the 'e' side of the Asteria/Astoria confusion. I do wish Rowling would clarify that.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 16th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Romilda's smelling fame.

I don't really fall on a side--I just got corrected when I wrote "Astoria" once, and never really questioned it. I still accidentally write it now and then. I don't really have a dog in the fight. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 16th, 2009 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
<< "Personally," Ron said, "I think I'll take it up with Harry Potter. Better press." >>

For the second ficlet, could anyone tell me what fandom we're talking about, please? Is it a book? A movie?
rainingtulips From: rainingtulips Date: December 16th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's none other than Little Women.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 16th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I had to Google it as this title didn't mean anything to me, but I realised I did know this book under its French title (Les Quatre Filles du Docteur March). I have heard about the story but never actually read it. Maybe now I will! ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 16th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope you like it.

Alcott says she made a "funny match" for Jo even though she believed Jo should have been a spinster, but I'd personally love such a funny match. Go, Bhaer!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 16th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved Harry's "Hmm"s! So scary. Bad Harry.

And McLaggen still needs to get into Human Rights 101.

Romilda is hilarious too.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 16th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I definitely wouldn't want Harry saying, "Hmm."

McLaggen really isn't very bright, is he?
mollywheezy From: mollywheezy Date: December 16th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cormac is still a prat. LOL. I really enjoyed how Harry and Ron dealt with him--they've grown up, even if Cormac has not.

My favorite of this bunch was the last. I have never seen more original smells come from amortentia than Ginny's! Great job!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 16th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I was stumped on what wonderful smell might be associated with Harry, especially for Ginny, who tends to know him sweaty, bloody, and filthy.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 16th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cormac is still a huge prat. I love how he's obviously come oh, so carefully prepared with the "right" cloths and all and still couldn't keep from sticking his foot in his mouth.

Ginny's is... that is perfect but a little sad too. (how good we know it works out.)I like that she recognizes who and is upset with herself she's not over him. Weirdly, it makes her seem much more strong wanting to be over this guy. I love her and Colins being friends like that. I wonder who else was in her yearl's circle like that?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 16th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Cormac was born with congenital foot-in-mouth disease.

I was going to make up more people for Ginny's year, but I decided that would require more introduction than there was room for in a ficlet.
tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: December 16th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I clicked on this one for the Ginny, but I think I like the McLaggan interview even better.
alkari From: alkari Date: December 17th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Enjoyed both the HP fics.

Adult Harry and Ron are fun - enjoyed Harry's polite snark and "Hmms". Poor Cormac really does suffer from chronic ego-inflated foot in mouth disease - wonder how long it will take Harry to quietly take action about those locator spells.

LOL at Ginny and the smells she associates with Harry!

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)

mmm...that amortentia sounds a bit fannon

don't get me wrong, it was a great ficlet.

but i think there was a slip in terms of cannon-ness.

i think it is a fandom impression that the amortentia smell is exclusively about the person you love.

while Yes Hermione's amortentia included the smell of Ron hair- which lead to train of thought being amortentia= true love smell

amortentia is supposed to smell as WHAT a person is attracted to. again, Hermione's amortentia shows that the three smells can be a thing or a person

hers is parchment, mown grass and ron hair. out of those three only one is related to what hermione finds attractive or Relates to ron. I mean sure, you can bring a bit of a stretch and say parchment= ron and homework and mown grass is either quidditch or burrows.

so i don't think every smell in ginny weasley amortentia would be "harry smell"

but i think you also known that since, very amusingly, you made Romilda vane smell fame= newspapers

~Alex Wells
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 20th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: mmm...that amortentia sounds a bit fannon

On the other hand, the person you love is going to be reflected in the things you love. The Burrow would have the smell of cut grass, and how much time does she spend helping both boys with their homework?

In Ginny's case, the socks and sweat and so on are related to the athletics she loves (and continued to love without Harry being there)... which part of the relationship with Harry comes from both of them loving it. As to the stones, I think that it says something not entirely attractive about her--she loved being rescued and even (in a perverse way) being in danger. This was probably part of her childhood crush on Harry--that he was a hero and rescuer--if not part of her eventual actual love for him.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: mmm...that amortentia sounds a bit fannon

it kind of sad that was the way ginny's character developed, even worse that is, an assuming factor, of why she likes harry.

but whatever.

you only mentioned 2 smells what would be the third?
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
As a person who too often comes out with the first thing to bubble to the top of my thoughts, regardless of tact, sensibility, and whether or not my brain has fully considered the implications and is in agreement with them -especially when I'm nervous - I couldn't help feeling a twinge of sympathy for McLaggen. It just had me going, "Please, oh, please, if I'm ever that offensive and thick may it at least be for an opinion I've thought about and will still agree with when my brain is working at full capacity.

"Or, better yet, may it be in front of a person who already knows I am an idiot and doesn't hold it against me . . . ."

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

the harry,Ron, McLaggen confrontation= PERFECT

oh thank you so much for the ficlet Fern. it was even better than what i thought it will be.

Ron and Harry's interaction/ thoughts with McLaggen on Mclaggen were priceless. you write their sense of humor SO well.

and Cormac mcLaggen was so fun to read- arrogant and self centered.

very interesting to read about mclaggen referring to his work with/against werewolves. that is a fic i would love to read in depth some day.

also, very curious as to how exactly would "uncle Tiberius" would have any influence in the new ministry, as far as trying to prevent the aurors from getting back up wands? or was McLaggen just bluffing, as he usually does?

anyway, it was a fantastic ficlet. thanks

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

ginny is way too much a tomboy

or else she spends too much time with boys.

not sure if she is attracted to dirty socks...weird. i'm sure she most definitely does not find the slimy chamber of secrets attractive

but the whole ficlet was cute to read. specially Colin.

From: jme1374 Date: December 21st, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

since no one else has commented on it yet...

I love the Bhaer-fic! You get from Little Men how well these gentlemen get along later (although all-too-briefly for John), but there had to be that bit of awkwardness at first. It really shows something about Jo that Fritz could read her stories and pick up that Laurie is a friend, but nothing at all about a would-be lover.

I love the idea of Meg dancing in the rain, too!

I adore the annual fic-fest, so thank you!
From: jme1374 Date: December 21st, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: since no one else has commented on it yet...

Also, the request for this story seemed to indicate you've done Bhaer-ficlets in the past; could you maybe direct me to them? I don't know enough about LJ or I'd search for them myself, sorry.
22 comments or Leave a comment