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Batch 31 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 31
If it's possible, I'd love to see something between Alderman and Alan (he was the teacher Remus shared an office with, right?). for Anon


"Look!" Alderman said, smiling widely. "Mrs. Granger fixed my teeth!"

Alan looked. "Looks good. You'll fit in at uni."

"If I get in," Alderman said, his smile fading as he stared with distaste at the pile of practice tests in front of him.

"I'll get you through your A levels."

"GCSEs first."

"Have you decided what you're going to take outside the core?"

Alderman shook his head. "I just want to get through the maths."

"We'll get you through the maths. Universities will want more than the core, though. What about French? Your French is quite good, considering you've only spoken it for two years. You have a real ear for language."

"I could do French," Alderman said. "Or maybe Latin."

Alan looked up. "You speak Latin?"

"Lupin taught me a bit last year," Alderman told him. "And I've been trying to learn more from prayers. Lupin said that if you speak Latin, you can learn most languages."

Alan didn't answer. He didn't agree--unless you really had an ear, switching from one language to a related language wasn't all that easy--but he didn't contradict anything that began with "Lupin said." Alderman nearly worshipped Lupin, and his fierce devotion to his studies was entirely motivated by a desire to make Lupin proud. Alan had also not shared his own belief on the matter--that Lupin was beyond being proud of or disappointed in anyone. The ones who believed otherwise were happier. He wished he agreed with them.

Alderman bent over an algebra problem, his face set seriously. "I know this," he muttered.

"Yes, you do," Alan encouraged him. "You got it a couple of weeks ago."

Alderman nodded and continued to puzzle.

Alan watched him with some amazement. Remus had only got him reading three years ago--or, well, reintroduced him to reading--but he'd been so fiercely devoted to "catching up" that he nearly had. Alan reckoned he was better at maths than most Hogwarts students, as they didn't even need to take it. He'd certainly got past Dudley Dursley's level. It was as though somehow, during his years in the forest, he'd let bits and pieces of things fall into his mind, and now, he was simply knitting them furiously together. He studied maths with Alan, history with Joe, and languages on his own. Daniel Morse was adding to his own A level load in science by taking on tutoring in that, and, unless Alan was gravely mistaken, Alderman would have set Hermione Granger's mother to teaching him something while she capped his teeth as well. His mother was working with him on Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts, and he'd expressed interest in attending some Hogwarts classes on Herbology, if such a thing would be allowed. (If not, Neville Longbottom had offered to "let him in on a bit.")

When the boy slept, Alan had no idea. It was hard to tell when he was tired, as he always looked tired, and hungry, and ill-used, much as Lupin had. He seemed to resent his monthly need to transform in a way that Lupin hadn't, because it interfered with his fanatical studying.

"Got it!" Alderman said, and pushed across the problem.

Alan checked it. "Exactly right."

"What about calculus? Derivatives and slopes and..."

"Are you taking something?"

Alderman stopped. "What?"

"You heard me. Are you taking something to keep yourself awake?"

"A little Invigorating Infusion sometimes," Alderman said. "That's all."

"You need to slow down. You need to get some sleep, and to calm down. There's no rush."

"I want to finish on time."

"You missed five years."

"And I'm trying to make them up." Alderman sighed and stood up. "I'm probably missing things, but Ginny Weasley--she'd have been in my year at Hogwarts--said that most of those five years are just messing around and repeating things over and over, even after you've learned them. I spent what would have been my fifth year catching up on stupid things that I'd forgotten, and Lupin got me up to speed to start at Hogwarts, then last year, Dora brought us all books--all the years' worth for Hogwarts that she had left over. I read up through fourth, and Lupin gave me a test in March. He said I was fourth year level, and doing all right, so really I'm only two years behind, and if I caught up on all that in just a year and a half..." He looked wistfully a the pile of work. "Of course, none of that was Muggle."

"Have you thought about just taking your O.W.L.s?" Alan asked. "I think I heard someone say that the Muggle Liaison office can send, shall we say, translated scores."

"They could?"

"Yes. And maybe N.E.W.T.s for A levels, though I'm not sure they'd prepare you for life at university."

"I think I'll need Muggle A levels," Alderman said morosely.

"But you won't need to take maths. That's complex, and it's not particularly plagued by the repitition of nonsense that Miss Weasley lamented."

"But I should have maths," Alderman said. "Maths are important."

"You'll have no argument from me on that," Alan told him. "But just because they're important doesn't mean you need to get your A level. You can take on maths on your own later on." He reached for Alderman's bag, where his mad list of tutoring appointments was sticking out of the corner. "Do you mind?" he asked.

Alderman shook his head.

Alan perused the list. "Which subjects did Lupin say you were at fourth year level in last year?"

"Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, History of Magic, Astronomy--I'm really good at Astronomy, I know all the stars, and Charms."

"And have you kept working on those?"

"Yes. Transfiguration more, since I was more behind. That's harder."

"I wouldn't know," Alan said. "Why don't you apply to take those O.W.L.s this spring? I'll ask young Miss Granger if they can be traded for GCSE scores, and then you and Joe and Anna and I will sit down and work on what A levels you'll want."


"Mr. Alderman, you don't need to do more work than anyone else. You've already done extraordinary things. But if you mean to have a life, you need to strip things down a bit. Now tell me... which of these things you're studying so madly do you actually like?"

Maybe an AU in which Teddy is a werewolf? for Anon

Hmm. He'd never survive transforming as a baby, so Remus couldn't bite him. I'm sure Greyback would be in jail after the battle, so it'll just have to be a random werewolf who does it!

Harry had spent all of his free time this month building the enclosure in Andromeda's garden, making it as pleasant as he could. Teddy had even helped, once he'd recovered from the attack. He healed quickly. It was the blessing of being a Metamorphmagus. None of Remus's prolonged weak spells would pass on to Teddy--his body would find its true shape quickly enough in the morning, and it was used to shifting its shape and--

Harry slammed a hammer into the stone, sending a shock wave up his arm.

"If you knock it down, he'll need to go to St. Mungo's," Andromeda said dully, coming up behind him.

"I can't believe I let this happen!"

"You didn't." Andromeda rubbed her eyes and leaned on the wall. "Harry, Greyback's people had it in for Remus. I never told you a lot about it because I assumed they'd all been caught."

"I still should have known. God, it's the one thing Remus would hate more than anything, the idea that Teddy's been bitten after all, that--"

"Slow down, Harry."

"He's only four. He's so small."

"There've been other four year olds," Andromeda said. "Evvie Blondin was four when she was turned. She doesn't even have any scars, other than the bite scar. She made it. So will Teddy."

"How can you be sure?"

"Because I've paid everything I mean to pay. God won't take Teddy away from me." She ground her teeth and glared at the sky. "Do You hear? Teddy's not going anywhere."

"I don't want to go," Teddy said behind them.

Harry turned.

Teddy had come out from the house while they talked. He was sucking his thumb and dragging his stuffed rabbit (a tattered old thing of Remus's that had probably survived a transformation or two in its day) by one arm. His eyes were wide. His hair was shifting through the colors of the rainbow in nervous, flickering bursts. He took his thumb from his mouth and said, "Don't want to."

"I know, Sweetheart," Andromeda said. "But there's not a choice."

"I don't want to!" Teddy wailed, and threw himself at Harry. "Don't let them make me go! I want my room! I want my books!"

Harry gently set him down. "I know," he said. "And it's all right to be angry about it. But you have to go in the special room. Remember, we talked about it."

"It's not my fault," Teddy sulked. "I didn't do anything. I just got bit."

"It's definitely not your fault," Harry said. "And of course you didn't do anything."

"Fix it, Uckaharry!"

Harry fought against a scream, swallowed it, then said, "I wish I could."

"If you catch the bad wolf, will I be fixed?"

"No, Teddy."

"I want to be fixed." Teddy sniffed and began to cry. "Uckaharry, fix it!"

Andromeda squatted down and turned Teddy gently. "We're trying very hard," she said. "Everyone's working. But a lot of people have been working for a long time, and it could take a long time."

Teddy frowned and glared at the door to the enclosure. "I'm not scared," he said, apropos of nothing.

"It's okay to be--"

"I'm not! I told Mummy and Daddy I'm not and I'm not!"

Andromeda and Harry looked at each other over Teddy's head--he had these occasional bouts of pretending Remus and Dora were alive, and they'd been particularly frequent this month. "Teddy..." Andromeda said.

"Daddy said I could do it and I'm strong, but I don't want to. I want to go to bed." He sat on the grass.

Harry scooped him up and cuddled him. "Teddy, I know it's scary, but--" He floundered, wanting to neither disparage Teddy's fantasy nor encourage it. In the circumstances, he supposed it was at least reasonable that Remus would try to help. "Your daddy, in your dream, was right. You can do this."

Teddy started to cry.

Andromeda opened the door to the enclosure, and Harry carried Teddy inside as the last of the blood red left the sky. They set him down. He turned furiously to the wall and refused to acknowledge their goodbyes.

They left, and sealed the door.

They didn't look at one another when the first howl rose.
15 comments or Leave a comment
From: severely_lupine Date: January 11th, 2010 08:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, werewolves. You write them very well, especially the good ones. Great to see Alderman being so adamant about putting his life back together. And of course, the second makes me wonder: could a metamorphmagus/werewolf do any shifting while in wolf form?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 11th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd guess he technically could, but it seems in the books that Tonks had to concentrate to effect deliberate changes, so it might be difficult. On the other hand, if an evil werewolf were able to keep his mind on Wolfsbane and then shift his shape to humanoid during the transformation, he could do a lot of damage from people not suspecting him.
From: severely_lupine Date: January 11th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Since metamorphmagi can only turn into other humans, maybe a werewolf could only turn into other wolves... or other canines. Which would be dangerous for a bad guy, but not all that useful for a good guy.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 12th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Although, Tonks could shift things that looked like other animals, but weren't in actuallity (like the pig snout). So, I think - with a lot of concentration - a transformed werewolf could mimick something human-like. Maybe no fur, shorter snout... In theory, of course, since I think the main problem would be working around the transformed mind, and having enough concentration.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: January 11th, 2010 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
"Because I've paid everything I mean to pay..."


"Fix it, Uckaharry!" also makes me a little teary. Reminds me of my nephew when he was that age. ("No, Auntie, I will grow up and be a doctor and I will fix you!")
mint_green From: mint_green Date: January 11th, 2010 09:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh man. That last one brought tears to my eyes. POOR TINY TEDDY! Poor Andromeda and UnkaHarry. And poor, poor Remus and Tonks.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: January 11th, 2010 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)
God, the second one just broke my heart. I'm so glad Teddy isn't a werewolf in canon.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: January 11th, 2010 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh gosh, both of these broke my heart. The second one especially, but Alderman's determination to learn everything is very moving, too.
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: January 11th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I work at a children's hospital. You've done very well at capturing the confusion young children can feel when they have a severe illness.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 11th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Alderman. I know the type.

A Latin teacher once told me, years back, that, before he took Latin, it was like every language he studied seemed to shove the previous one out of his head (or at least a bit more to the back). But, with Latin, he actually found himself having an easier time remembering the others without getting them confused with the Latin.

Of course, I think the others were Romance languages, too, all Latin derived. It would seem logical that learning a parent language could make learning one of the offshoots easier in a way that wouldn't work as easily from the offshoot to the parent, like knowing the more complex form of something in your native language may make it easier to decipher a simplified form you're not familiar with (like knowing "what's up?" and being able to figure out "w'zup?" instead of learning "w'zup" as just a new word).

I mean, it would make sense if part of our language learning abilities are actually designed to make transitions like that but that it would be harder working from two derivations but without the more complex form they came from . . . .

Sorry, going off on trivial points, aren't I?

So, going with simplified derivations -

Go, Alderman! (Although you need to chill out just a little).

(Someone needs to give him the bowhunting analogy, if the hunter keeps his bow strung all the time, it loses its spring. The same applies to people).

Also, aww, poor Teddy . . . .

Read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, by the way? I can't help wondering what werewolf-Teddy would be like in a world where werewolves are the Hounds of God - or maybe discovering that the werewolf curse is like Morgoth (is that the right name? I have trouble with some of them [no ear for languages, derived or otherwise]) making Trolls from Ents or in imitation of them, or Orcs from Elves. It's the hideous corruption of what should be the Hounds of God (although, in that case, rather than being a curse unwillingly forced on people, maybe it can only find a willing host? And won't take a host who isn't fit for it?).

Oops. Going off again.

Go Alderman!

From: (Anonymous) Date: January 11th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

on both fics

the first one with Alderman was adorable. I have the feeling him and Hermione would get along very well.

it's an interesting question that the fic posed, how do muggleborns keep up with muggle learning, or if wizards learn things like Math,etc.

very interesting fic.

and oooh the second one broke my heart. poor 4 year old Teddy.
and I'm glad it's an AU because if Andromeda had to go through that, and turn into a Against-the-world-and-above from what happened to her. that would have been some too horrible ending.

keep up the good work!

Bethanny Anne
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: January 12th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
That's why you wanted school stuff. You managed perfectely well just knowing about GCSEs and A'levels. I'm reading all of these, even though I'm not commenting. As ever, they are all excellent. I hope you manage to write some original fiction sometime. And despite the fact we abbreviate mathematics to maths , we still talk about it in the singular so that "Maths is important." I never thought about how odd that is before.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 12th, 2010 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)
How nice. Rather convenient that Alderman had an in with some teachers while he was needing to prepare. Teachers that could understand what he is and not freak out about it, especially.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 12th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been thinking about 4 year old Teddy all day! A very moving fic - thanks so much!
sidealong From: sidealong Date: January 16th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Where are the others?

Aren't there any other werewolf friends who could stay with Teddy during the transformation? What torture to put a 4 year old child alone in a shed!
15 comments or Leave a comment