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Batch 22 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 22
I would like an original fic with these words included: ghost (of course), zoo, candle, boot, drum. Words can be used as nouns or verbs. for kizmet_42


Jack Ogala stood outside of the North Buffalo home. It was tastefully decorated for Christmas, with a wreath on the door and a single electric candle in each window. Snow was piled high beside the shoveled brick walkway that led to the door. The only sign of potential sloppiness was the haphazard scattering of salt on the bricks, but Jack supposed that even Hodgkiss wasn't going to carefully arrange grains of salt.

He took a deep breath and rang the doorbell.

He caught a flicker of motion from ther corner of his eye as someone stood up in the study, then heard shuffling footsteps. The door opened.

Ormonde Hodgkiss looked at him coolly. "Ogala."

Jack smiled as warmly as he could--he'd forgotten how sharp Hodgkiss's features were; God, he felt like he had a knife pointed at him--and clopped his boot down to shake off some snow that had gotten lodged there. "Ormonde," he said. "Merry Christmas."

Ormonde held his ground. "And what brings you here in this season? You rarely come to bring joy."

"I'd hoped to speak to Edrea."

Ormonde clenched his teeth and breathed harshly through his nose, then said, "Please come in, Lieutenant Ogala. Edrea isn't at home. You and I will have a chat in the study." He turned and led the way without waiting to see if Jack would follow.

Jack followed.

Ormonde went around his desk and sat down. He punched the keys of his computer, and a holo of Edrea came up, hovering between the two men like a ghost. She was thirteen this year, if Jack's math was right, but the holo was of the year he'd brought her here, shivering in the northern cold after her childhood in the tropics, terrified after... after what had happened on that island. She was pale and too thin, and her eyes had seen too much.

The holo changed, and now showed a bright-looking girl in a stuffy sort of dress with a ribbon tie. Her face had filled out. Her hair was thick and healthy. Her eyes sparkled with interest at something.

"I take the point," Jack said.

"I don't think you do. The girl you brought me was nearly broken. She's put back together now, and I'm not going to have you and your military friends bringing it all back to her."

"We rescued her. We weren't the ones who got her into trouble on that island--"

"Trouble? Lieutenant, my niece watched everyone she knew die on that island, because of the forces they unleashed there. She doesn't need them back in her life."

"There's not a lot of choice there!" Jack said. "We've got wendigos, sea monsters, and dragons. Forget the nice sorts of wise elders that the fantasy writers liked, too--they just come in, lay waste to a factory, then take it over as a hoard. I've had to deal with five of them so far. I didn't join the Navy to be a dragonslayer."

"Poppycock," Ormonde said. "I have yet to meet a military man who didn't want to slay dragons."

"All right, maybe metaphorically I did." Jack shook his head. "The point is, we're not equipped for any of this. There's one person on this planet who knows what happened on that island--"

"She doesn't remember anything."

"To use your word, poppycock." Ormonde didn't respond to this, so Jack pressed on. "I know you're worried about her. I wouldn't bother her if there were another choice. But we need to shut down whatever they started there, or we're all going to be living in the dark ages. And we don't even know where to start!"

"And you imagine Edrea would?"

"Well, we don't mean to put her on the strategic planning team. We just need to know what she knows, so we can make a plan. Once we know, we'll leave her alone forever."

"Now, why do I doubt that?"

"I don't know, since I've never been anything but honest with you."

"You'll have no choice. Whatever you plan to do won't work, and you'll decide you need even more information, so you can make another less than successful plan, after which you'll decide you still don't know enough--"

"Thank you for the vote of confidence."

"It's not personal," Ormonde said. "Personally, I think you're planning an entirely impossible scheme. Whatever was released isn't some singularity that's populating the world with dragons and the rest of our unusual new zoo. It's a force beyond what they intended, and it's loose in the world. Something holding it in cracked, and now it's finding fissures everywhere. I doubt their methods would have any bearing whatsoever on shutting it down."

"I have to try," Jack said.

"Why? Because for the first time in centuries, humans have serious predators? Perhaps it will be good for us. Teach us a new way of thinking."

"People are dying."

"Hence, the use of the word 'predators.'" Ormonde pursed his lips and let his fingers drum the desktop for a moment. "You imagine me cold, but I'm not. I just believe that perhaps this happened because we're ready to handle it again."

Jack stood. "It happened because your brother and his wife and a cult full of other lunatics let it happen. It's not a golden opportunity for evolution. It's... it's insanity."

"You don't find it curious that you think it's a mark of insanity to accept reality?"

"A reality of dragons?"

Ormonde spread his hands as if to say, There you have it.

Jack shook his head. "I need to go, if you have nothing helpful to offer. If Edrea wants to contact me, she knows how."

"A fact you should have remembered before coming to look for her," Ormonde said mildly. "I'll see you to the door."

How about Dora taking care of Remus during a particularly bad transformation? for Anon


"Remus!" Tonks called, running up the rise toward the high point of the island. She'd expected to find him back at the miserable little shack he was occupying this year, probably bruised and torn up (as usual), but back there. It was pouring rain, and after a transformation, he was in no condition to fight off a chill, even in July. "Remus!" she yelled again. There was a panicky sound in her own voice that she didn't care for.

From a distance, almost hidden by the rush of rain: "Dora."

She turned and ran. Her feet, for once, found nothing to trip over, or even a patch of wet grass to slip in, at least not until she saw him, slumped and covered in an obviously quickly Conjured blanket. At that, she did slip, going to her knees, and nearly skidding into him. He looked up at her. He didn't even seem to have the fight in him to tell her to go away and mind her own business.

"Come on," she said. "We'll get you inside, get you warmed up..."

He let her loop her arm under his, using his free arm to hold the blanket shut in front. "...leg..." he managed, then started to faint.

Dora looked down. His lower leg was skewed crazily to one side. She lay him down again. "Hold on, Remus, I'm going to numb the leg so you don't feel it, but I have to put the bone back before we move you."

He nodded, looking glazed.

She did an anaesthetic spell, then carefully straightened the leg, did a diagnostic spell, then rearranged the bones. With another spell, she knit the break back togehter. "I'm not as good at that as Mum, you'll want to have her look at it," she said. "It'll hurt when I give the feeling back."

"It's all right," Remus said, breathing shallowly. "Been hurting all night."

"Finite Incantatum," Dora said.

Remus gasped. "Think I'm awake now," he growled.

"Come on," she said. "I'm getting you back to the house."

She didn't bother with dignity. She just Charmed him and Levitated him back.

When they got inside, she set him down on the tatty old sofa and dried him off. He asked her to turn away while he got a robe, and she did, but she kept her ears open for any falls or cries. When he said she could turn back, he was dressed and wrapped in a wool blanket, shivering.

She sat down across from him. "I've brought soup," she said. "Can you eat yet?"

"No. You don't need to--"

"Obviously, I did need to." Tonks rubbed her face. "What happened?"

"I knew it was going to be bad. I actually put protective spells on the cliff faces to make sure I didn't make a jump for it. couldn't risk swimming to the mainland."

"Of course not."

"I apparently took a leap at one of them anyway. Early. I'm not... terribly bright as a wolf."

"That's one way of putting it."

He moved his leg and winced at the pain.

Tonks bit her lip. "As soon as you feel up to Side-Along Apparition, I'm taking you to St. Mungo's."

"By the time I feel up to that, I'll be healed enough not to worry about it," he said, and flopped back onto the couch. "Your spell was fine. It always takes time to go away completely."

They sat quietly for a while, then Tonks said, "So you were trying to get to land."

"Of course I was. I always want to get out, at least when there's no Wolfsbane Potion. But I was worried this month especially. Losing my job... I was... well..."


"No! It's--Dumbledore did the right thing."

Tonks didn't answer this. Remus got a bit testy with her when she questioned Dumbledore, which she'd done at length when he'd showed up in London last month, with no real explanation of what Dumbledore had been thinking. He'd stayed at her parents' house for two weeks before moving up here, and she'd been over there most of the time, listening to him pretend to be reasonable about losing hold of something he'd loved more than anything in the world. Sirius Black had been involved somehow in whatever had happened, but on this point, Tonks was inclined to put the blame on Dumbledore. Remus placed the blame where he always did--on himself. It was the first time Tonks ever remembered outright disagreeing with Remus Lupin about something that mattered, and it was disconcerting.

"You don't need to stay," he said. "Thank you for fixing my leg. I couldn't have got to my wand. I always keep it away, to make sure I don't break it, but--"

"I'm not going anywhere," Tonks told him. "At least not until I'm sure you're all right."

"I'll be fine."

"I agree fully. And I intend to stay here and watch you become fine."

"There's no need. I'm sure you have something to do on your day off other than watch me hobble around here."

"As it happens, I planned to spend the day with an old friend."

"Then go."

"I'm already here." She fixed a stare on him, daring him to challenge her. He didn't. She shook her head. "Now, where have you put your tea...?"

17 comments or Leave a comment
xtineebee From: xtineebee Date: December 26th, 2009 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been a terribly swamped reader who is finally just dropping a note to say Yay! As usual - always a treat to read your work. I particularly enjoyed Ruth settling in with the Potters - that was terrific. Thank you!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Glad you've been enjoying.
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: December 26th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Loved the original piece: the concept of dragons as a predator thathumanity is ready to handle is an intiguing one.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been playing with this idea for a couple of years, but still haven't found exactly the right way in.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: December 26th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am amazed. You wrote such a great hook in that introduction. When can we have more?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know. I'll post asking for people interested in reading original fic sometime. Poor Ormonde, Jack, and Eddie have been looking for the right plot to their scenario for quite a while.
alphabet26 From: alphabet26 Date: December 26th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
They're both great. That original piece is very intriguing; I feel like I sort of know the characters even in that little snippet. The Remus/Dora hurt/comfort piece was just wonderful.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Writing Remus and Dora is always like coming home a little bit.
at_upton From: at_upton Date: December 26th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
The second one was lovely; the first-- hot damn I want to read the rest of that. You have a gift for grounding the fantastic in the truths of how people behave. I love Ormonde already. Please let us know if there's more to enjoy, and thanks!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll let people know if I ever find the right way to attack this story. I like the three leads and the scenario, but every time I go for it, the plot starts buckling in on me.
From: severely_lupine Date: December 26th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I always love some nice Remus/Tonks. Wonderful as always.

jump for it. couldn't risk -- Little thing, but thought I'd point it out. Is that a missing word or just a non-capitalization?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Probably a missing word.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 26th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Both of these were fantastic. Remus and Dora were very much their stuborn, loveable selves. I especially liked her concern at disagreeing with him about something that mattered.
And the original was intriguing. I'd rather like to see some more of the idea and the characters. It reminded me of Vega's story. Also, could these Hodgkisses somehow be related to Elizabeth? I love the way you manage to incorporate elements of your older work.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
It reminded me of Vega's story.

Ooops, must scrub serial numbers a bit harder. ;p (Yes, Edrea started her life as Vega.)

The Hodgkisses... are related in the sense that I stole the name from the same one of my ancestors, but that's about all.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 27th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC) (Link)

i really don't get it

why every time they talk about when remus lost his job they all go and get angry at dumbledore?

they should be more angry at Snape! he is the one that outed remus as a werewolf to the whole school to begin with.

i think sirius would blame snape before he blamed dumbledore

and doesn't tonks remember snape had a prejudice towards remus lupin?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 27th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: i really don't get it

Being outed as a dark creature apparently isn't enough--the following year, Dumbledore takes a much more Dumbledore-ish action by refusing to accept Hagrid's resignation. Everybody who knows Dumbledore knows that's true of him. So the fact that he didn't go to bat for Remus, that he accepted (and quite possibly requested) the letter of resignation is a sore spot. I doubt Sirius would expect anything better out of Snape, but he did expect better out of Dumbledore.
kanga_tigger From: kanga_tigger Date: July 27th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love taking care of Remus after transformation fics....have you done or could you do one where he is ill aswell/instead of injured (like in Shifts when Dora calls in for him)? (any characters)

You write such a nice dynamic between Remus and Dora and also with all your characters.
17 comments or Leave a comment