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Batch 16 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 16
one of the ficlets i loved which you did was that pre-hogwart weasleys where molly is teaching them things. it was super adorable! can i ask for another ficlet like that? anything with ickly weasley children. for Anon


"We should stay home," Percy said. "Dad can take care of this."

The little ones didn't listen at all, as usual. If Charlie or Bill had told them to turn around and go home they'd have done it in a heartbeat, but with Percy as the oldest left at home? No, they were headed up to the moor, Ginny crying at the top of her lungs, Ronnie splashed in muck from falling into a puddle, and the twins trying to corral both of them while Percy had no choice but to follow them.

"Come on, Perce, hurry up!" Fred called, then ran back and circled around Percy to bring him up to the others, who'd stopped on a high rock. Ginny pushed Ronnie down, then sat and started crying harder. George was trying to jolly her out of her spell by doing handstands, but she wasn't looking.

Percy sat down with her. "We'll get the lion back," he said.

"It's Ch-Charlie's Christmas present!"

"I know."

"R-ronnie and I saved all our p-pocket m-money, and--" She glared at Ronnie. "H-he made it run away!"

"I didn't mean to!" Ron said. "It wasn't my fault!"

Percy patted Ginny's shoulder. "It's accidental magic, Ginny. He really didn't mean to."

"He started making it roar, and then it really roared and ran away!"

"Well, you made your hair clips fly around last year, remember?"

"They stayed in the house," Ginny said, and pouted deeply.

"That's because your accidental magic isn't any good," Ronnie said, and sat down in the mud, looking away.

Ginny made a twisted face at him.

The twins had run off, and were now in active pursuit of what Percy was willing to guess was a frog. They'd been quite obsessed with frogs this year.

He sighed.

Ronnie and Ginny had been saving up for months to buy Charlie a stuffed lion they'd seen in Diagon Alley, since they'd struck the idea that Gryffindors were to have lions around. They couldn't be dissuaded from it. Mum had finally taken them in, and they'd spent all of it to buy a present. Then Mum and Dad had gone out together to a Ministry party, and left Percy in charge, and Ronnie and Ginny had started playing with the lion. Percy had been trying to get Fred and George to stop jumping up and down the stairs pretending to Apparate when they'd all heared the loud, ferocious roar coming from the kitchen. By the time they'd run in, Ronnie had a scratch across his face from defending Ginny, and Ginny was screaming that Ronnie had spoiled Christmas by making the present run away. The situation had spiraled further out of control from there.

If it had been a full-sized lion, it wouldn't have been a problem. It would be easy to spot a full-sized lion. But it was only about the size of a housecat, and it was a curly haired Gryffindor lion that was gold and red--the same colors that reflected off of everything at sunset.

Fred and George ran back, to no one's surprise with a frog that they were passing back and forth between them.

"Didn't see it," Fred said.

"I think it's gone," George said.

Ginny screamed.

Ronnie stood up. "I'm finding it. You weren't looking." He started to stalk off, but Percy grabbed him by the back of his shirt.

"You're not going off alone. You don't even know where we are."

"I'm getting Charlie's lion back!" Ronnie pulled himself away (he was strong for six years old).

A high roar came across the moor.

"There he is!" Ginny said, and pointed to an outcropping of rock.

Percy looked where she was pointing, and saw the little lion standing there, something in its mouth that looked like it was struggling.

"Oh, great," he muttered.

"How do we get it?" Fred asked. "Can we do magic to get it?"

"No, you can't do magic," Percy said. "None of us has a wand!"

"Capturi lioni!" Fred called, undaunted.

"Here, lion!" George called. "Come here!"

"We have to get up there," Percy said. "Ronnie and Ginny--you stay here, it's safer if you don't get scratched again... Or maybe we should all go, or..."

He bit his lip.

His thoughts were interrupted by the Appearance of a robed, popping onto the rooftop from nowhere. He pointed his wand at the little lion, and suddenly, it fell still. He picked it up.

"NO!" Ginny cried. Her voice carried across the moor, and the wizard looked up. Percy thought he looked familiar. He limped over, and as the light caught his face, Percy saw that his eyes were mismatched and part of his nose was missing.

"What's this?" he asked. "You're Arthur Weasley's bunch, aren't you?"

"That's Charlie's lion," Ron said. "It's a Christmas present."

The man raised frowned. "Reckon it looks like it could have been, but it's a mite dirty now. Accidental magic, eh?"

"It's Ronnie's fault," Ginny offered.

"I really should take this back to the Ministry, make sure nothing else has happened to it..."

Percy saw Ginny hitching up to cry again, and touched the man's arm. "Couldn't you check here?"

"I suppose I could."

"How did you find it?"

"I track anything on these moors. Had a couple of beasties get out a couple of years back and kill some sheep. Don't worry, we have a story for the Muggles." He poked at the stuffed lion with his wand. "Nothing magical, but you might have the little ones look away a minute."

Percy frowned and turned Ronnie and Ginny away.

The man carefully slit open the cloth belly, and Fred and George both said "Wicked!" as he pulled out two bloody lizards and Vanished them. He cleaned the stuffing then resealed the cloth after his surgery. Percy let the little ones look again.

The man handed the lion to Ronnie. "No harm done, lad," he said. "But be more careful what you wish for!" With a flourish, he cleaned the fur.

Ronnie held the lion tightly.

The man shook his head. "I'll be telling your dad, you know."

Percy nodded miserably. "I guess I'd best tell him first then."

"Wise man." The man Disapparated.

Percy sighed, and led his siblings home.

Victoire and her in-laws? I love the way you write her interaction with the portraits, and I imagine that with her at home while Teddy is at the DoM, there would be a fair bit of it. for Anon


Victoire had imagined any number of uses for portraits when she'd been at Hogwarts--spies, guards, reporters, anything. She hadn't really imagined babysitting, but Teddy's parents had turned out to be marvelous in that endeavor. Of course, she couldn't leave the children alone with the portrait, as it couldn't do anything if something went wrong, but she could leave the children in the ballroom or the parlor or anywhere they felt like being while she worked in her attic greenhouse. She'd installed a painting of a London street so they could tell her if anything needed attention, and Teddy had made a map of the island in the glass, so it all worked out quite well when she had time sensitive plantings or feedings to do (or, to be honest, if she just felt like nursing baby Carina in peace for a moment while the other five were otherwise occupied).

Remus, blessedly, also got them to sit still for lessons from time to time, and he'd apparently been occupying them with alphabets for the twins and counting for Mira, Orry, and Sirius while Victoire potted an order of Whispering Westringia for Kirley Duke's garden. It had only taken an hour, and Carina had just been down for a nap in her Moses basket, which Victoire set down as soon as she got to the parlor.

She cleaned the dirt out from under her fingernails with a flick of her wand.

"All done?" Dora asked from a pastoral landscape Teddy had found in a Diagon Alley junk shop.

"All done."

"Brilliant, but Remus will be devastated. He hasn't quite got Mira clear on what comes after thousands, and the twins are stuck at 'D'."

"The twins are three," Victoire said. "They have time."

Remus looked up from the main canvas. "Look who's here!" he said, not sounding at all devastated.

The twins jumped up and ran over, falling onto Victoire's feet.

"Granddad taught us A-B-C-D--" Polly started.


"I already said A!" Polly said.

"Did not!" Julia insisted.

"It comes very first!"

Julia considered this, then turned her nose up.

"I'll help," Mira offered, descending on them with an eager looking smile. The twins quailed in the face of it, but followed her over to a corner of the parlor, where she started reciting her own alphabet. Orry was deeply involved in helping Sirius with skip counting by three.

Victoire plucked the baby up from her basket and went to the portrait, Dora following along through a few more paintings they'd found over the years (Teddy had started the hunt for new environments for them with serious enough motives, but by the time Orry was three, it had become a family joke--which Dora and Remus were very much a part of--to come up with as many outlandish settings as they could, and the parlor now included a discoteque, a surreallist's beach, an abstract with swirling pink and purple pinwheels, an illustration of the Fountain of Fair Fortune, and an oversized panel from a Martin Miggs comic book). She took a seat in one of the two puffy armchairs that was oriented to the painting--the children had little stools, which they rarely stayed in anyway--and stretched her legs.

"Thanks for watching them," she said.

"Our pleasure," Dora told her.

"It really is," Remus said.

Victoire smiled. It wasn't really a pleasure--nothing was a pleasure to them, they weren't real--but they were good facsimiles as far as she knew, and she was glad the children had a chance to have some happy times with them. "I appreciate you taking on their lessons when I'm busy," she said.

"I'm glad you let me. I wonder if you could find a painting of a classroom so I could have a blackboard, though. There's nothing in here to write on."

"I'll look for one. Can't say I've seen one lately."

Dora grinned. "Oh, if he can have a classroom, can I have a dark wizard to chase?"

"I don't want a portrait of a dark wizard, thanks."

"Good point. How about a broom racing course?"

"That, I have seen lately. I'll see if I can get you one with a broom lying around somewhere."

"I do love this girl," Dora said.

"Thank you." Victoire shifted the baby--Carina slept much more soundly than the others had--and yawned. "Any news from London?"

"Sirius was by while you were upstairs," Remus said. "Did you know James is trying to get Harry to let him bring that portrait to Hogwarts?"

"I hadn't heard. Is that what Uncle Harry wanted to meet with Teddy about over lunch?"

"Apparently. Sirius said that Teddy was taking the idea pretty well. I guess they were worried there--the portrait was a gift, and so on--but it'll all be well. James thinks I should cover Binns' classes until they find a human teacher."

Victoire looked up. "Really? A regular portrait teacher?"

"Not regular, just a substitute."

"Why shouldn't it be regular?" Dora asked. "Binns was a ghost and he taught in that classroom for a century. You could teach for a century. They'd just need to hire you an assistant to mark the papers for you. What do you think, Victoire?"

"I... well..."

"Don't mind Dora," Remus said fondly. "I'm afraid she'll be crusading for my right to teach until the paint fades."

"Well, first the werewolf business, now the portrait business. Really, Remus, neither is your fault."

"There were choices involved in the potrait business. We both made them."

Dora blew her pink hair up from her forehead, then sat down at the table in the picture. "Fine."

"Well, perhaps if they move the portrait there, you could substitute in other classes as well, when it's needed," Victoire suggested.

"I hadn't thought of that," Remus said. "That would be fun. Though I don't want to spend a lot of time away from this portrait. I like teaching my grandchildren, too."

"And they love being taught." Victoire watched her five older children at their lessons for a moment, then turned back to her in-laws. "So... what else did Sirius tell you? I want to hear all about Al and that Jane girl..."

19 comments or Leave a comment
From: severely_lupine Date: December 17th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Mad-Eye's always fun. And those poor lizards, eaten by something that wasn't even real.

Appearance of a robed, popping onto the rooftop -- Missing word?

but by the time Victoire was three -- Huh?

Haha! I'd love to see Remus as the permanent teacher, even as a portrait. It'd be fun to see his TAs and stuff, as well. That would seem like a weird job.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't know what you mean; that says "by the time Orry was three." :whistles innocently:

Yeah, the lizards did give their poor little lives rather pointlessly. Stuffed lions aren't exactly part of the circle of life.
amamama From: amamama Date: December 17th, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yay! Gods, I love these Fern. And I love finally having the time to sit down and read one of your posts. I saw my wish being fulfilled, but never got to read it - now I'm thinking I might as well save it for Christmas. Bring my laptop to bed with me and read on Christmas morning. The madness should have calmed down by then. (I.e. I should be done knitting gifts. Unfortunately knitting and reading do not go well together) *g* Anyhow, I love these. Mad-Eye coming to the rescue and getting a Christmas gift back to it's givers - sans lizards, lol! And Remus and Tonks and their portrait lives, and their interactions with Victoire. Gorgeous, really. You do kow your craft, ma'm. Can't you do a similar call for original snippets and see if someone would publish them as a collection of short stories? Well crafted short stories seem harder to get by than novel, imo.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I hope you'll enjoy it!

I don't know how publishers would feel about web-published fics; I'd want to check first. (They're a little looser about that than they used to be, I think, but most listings specify that they want things that haven't already been available for free on the web.)
amamama From: amamama Date: December 17th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, well - I'd guess you'd have to make it locked then. Rhetoretician gets work published that has been available on net - only it's on a closed group here on LJ, so it's only available to members. He tested, and it's impossible to search for his stories, so it's like a virtual reading group. You could do the same?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually have a group for original fiction (you're welcome to join it, if you'd like, though I haven't posted much), but apparently, my original is not terribly compelling.
amamama From: amamama Date: December 17th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, of course I'd like to join. *g* Once we're past Christmas I hope to get some more LJ time to spend... And why isn't your original work compelling? That's mind boggling for sure, as I adore your fanfiction (even if I'm lagging terribly behind in my reading *sigh*). I look forward to passing judgment on that. *g*
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 30th, 2009 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)

publishing fanfics

Look up the trilogy "Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman" by Pamela Aidan. That was first published on several Jane Austen internet sites. One of them was the Republic of Pemberly. The publisher is Wytherngate Press.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 30th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: publishing fanfics

Oh, yeah--if I were smart, I'd definitely do some public domain stuff. I even started a Tom Sawyer one, but it wasn't working. :D
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: December 17th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't help but feel for Percy. Poor lad, he tries so hard, but events just spiraled out of control. It was good of Mad-Eye to remove the lizards and clean the lion, though.

Yeah for portrait!Remus teaching, and for portrait!Tonks being supportive. I love the idea of Tonks getting to ride her broom. This was a lovely family scene, just with two of the beloved members being portraits.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
He really was doing his best, but he's only two years older than the twins, and they had to be hell to babysit for anyway!

I think it would be fun to have portraits in the family. :D
alkari From: alkari Date: December 18th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
The man shook his head. "I'll be telling your dad, you know."
Percy nodded miserably. "I guess I'd best tell him first then."
"Wise man." The man Disapparated.

Poor Percy. No wonder he may have accasionally felt hard-done-by with his family. What on earth was Super Guardian Mum Molly thinking of, leaving a mere 10 y.o. to cope with those particular 8 y.o. twins, plus Ron at 6 and Ginny at 5?! (Probably escaping herself, of course.)

Great fic. Loved the title, with a toy Gryffindor lion being the "beast" in question.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 17th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mad-Eye and ickle Weasleys ^_^ So cute.

So, Portrait's Rights is the next big fight? Awesome.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 17th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Magical munchkins just make my day! Ginny crying and hitting Ronnie, Fred and George jumping off the stairs pretending to Apparate, and poor middle child Percy out of his depth... And then, Mad-Eye!

Winning Quotage:
"Granddad taught us A-B-C-D--" Polly started.
"I already said A!" Polly said.
"Did not!" Julia insisted.
"It comes very first!"
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 17th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Weasley kids were so acurately kids. I was totally picturing some of the students I work with. Great job.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 18th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)

oh that was lovely, what a sweet little weasleys

oh that was wonderful. very charming and sweet.
I love the idea of little Ron and little ginny trying to get their older brother a stuffed lion was very cute. adorable!

although it seems ginny and Ron did not got along even as little kids, and that ginny was a bit of a low-blower even then

also the appearance of moody was a nice unexpected touch.

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: oh that was lovely, what a sweet little weasleys

Oh, I have always thought of Ron and Ginny being particularly close, as they are the 'babies' of the family, and the twins always had each other.

There will be times that the closeness makes their relationship rockier than others, but they are tight, regardless.

And Ginny is five here -- I'm biased, I know, because I've always loved the character, but I've got a fiery 5yo on hand here, and I've gotta say, she's spot on for being fierce, determined and very upset at that age. ^_^ I love that Ron takes responsibility and charges ahead to make it right (in keeping with both his temperament *and* eventual Sorting), while the twins get completely distracted by something shiny -- er, slimy.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)

LOVE the Weasley kidlets!!

You always do a great job with them, but they are just tone perfect in this one. I really love it. Thank you. ^_^
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: December 31st, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

catching up

i'm just tickled pink with that blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to al's jane. i've not been hanging out here often in the last few months, i wonder if there's any other mention of al and jane? or is this a story yet to be told?

thanks for the nice surprises! i love all the ficlets so far, but that walk with the March husbands is just perfect :D
19 comments or Leave a comment