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Batch 33 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 33
I keep missing the ask-the-OCs, so haven't had a chance to ask "new timeline Amidala" from "That You Might Live" whether she survives the eventual timeline shift. Could you do a ficlet about that? If you didn't have anything planned that far, or you just plain can't remember, I understand, so if this doesn't work...hmmmm...something with new-timeline Anakin, right at the beginning o the new timeline when they get back, and he's coming to terms with what his alter-ego became? for Anon

Hmm. Well, I think I'll go with the alternate. I finally found the link to the story on TFN, but even reading it, I can't begin to remember what we'd planned for it. So, I'll go with Anakin getting used to things when he gets back.

(For those who didn't follow my SW AUs, "I'm Your What?"/"The Shifting of the Sands" was a story that involved the prequel characters being thrown forward from Tatooine in TPM to Tatooine in RotJ, interacting with the new generation (and themselves) and going back, determined to change history in the sequel. Vader ended up dying to save Padmé, and Anakin, who was with the twins, felt it. Because of the interference in the line, they never went to Coruscant, and Qui-Gon is still alive.

Anakin was had locked himself into the meditation room again.

This happened enough that Qui-Gon had made himself a passkey chip, and he used it to bypass the security. Sooner or later, Anakin would get around to reprogramming it, but for now, he didn't seem to mind Qui-Gon's access, as long as he didn't share it with anyone else.


"Up here!" the high voice called back.

Qui-Gon looked up. Anakin was sitting on the catwalk that went around the edge of the room, his back turned to the fountain, staring at rivets in the wall. Qui-Gon climbed up and sat down beside him.

Anakin glanced at him from the corner of his eye. "Did Gunray finish testifying?"

"He did," Qui-Gon said. "Between that and what Padmé's guard found in Palpatine's office on Naboo, they've made a strong case."

"What about his office here?"

"Quite unfortunately, it suffered a catastrophic fire shortly after we returned from the Othertime."

"Othertime," Anakin said morosely. "Is that how we're going to say it? The Othertime?"

"Unless you have a better suggestion."

"How about real time? You know--the real time when I ended up murdering people and killing Jedi and letting Padmé die and--"

"Peace, Anakin." Qui-Gon put a hand on the boy's shoulder. In our now, you've done none of those things, and unless I'm gravely mistaken, you have no plans to do so."

"How do you know? You didn't think I did before, and I did it anyway."

"Because you are self-aware. Our greatest fault always lies in not knowing where our faults lie. The man who believes himself invulnerable is the one most likely to fall, and the greater his power, the greater his potential, the greater that fall will be. You know your potential, you know your power, and--unlike in the Othertime--you also know the character flaws which could bring all of it to ruin."

Anakin sniffed disdainfully. "When we were getting away, I heard my voice. I told myself, Mind your pride, but do not doubt your abilities."

"Wise advice."

"Sounds more like something you'd say."

"Do you know why I cared for you immediately, Ani? Because I sensed a kindred spirit in you."

"I thought it was because you thought I was the chosen one."

"No--that's why I wanted to bring you back to the Council. I'd have cared for you in any case."

He looked up carefully. "Really?"

"Yes, really. Which is why I am arranging now for your mother's release."

"Watto won't let her go, 'specially to you."

"I sought out local assistance for that reason. The deal will actually be consummated by Cliegg Lars, the farmer whose son ended up raising young Luke. He seems a solid, practical man."

"You're... setting her up?"

"Not at all. Cliegg's wife is still alive. But it's my hope that they will be friends. Luke seemed to think that they did one another good."

Anakin turned away and glared at the wall. "The Tuskens better not take her again." His face paled, and he looked at Qui-Gon with something like desperation in his eyes. "I didn't mean it. I know that's how it started. I won't do that! I won't--"

"Ani, stop apologizing for things you have not done."

"But I did." He pulled himself up and turned, leaning over the catwalk rail. "When I--he--well, when we died, I got bits and pieces of things. I remember doing all of that."

"But you didn't do it. And you won't do it. I plan to keep in touch with your mother, and should anything go wrong, you will have my backing and assistance. Hopefully, no such ghastly thing will go wrong."

"Why wouldn't it? It didn't have anything to do with us before, at least not until I killed them all."

Qui-Gon sighed. "Your mother will also be making more informed choices about her mushroom gathering habits."

"Oh. I thought the Council said we couldn't... you know."

"Do you remember when I told you to be aware of your flaws?"


"I'm afraid one of my great flaws is an utter inability to obey the Council. I trust you'll keep that between us."

Anakin smiled. "Yes, sir."

I'd like to see the teachers from Shifts meeting Harry Potter for the first time. for Anon

Miriam Levinson sat on the love seat, nervously turning her teacup. Dudley had called earlier, asking if he might drive by with his cousin Harry, who wanted to meet Remus and Dora Lupin's friends. Miriam had thought of it oddly for a moment until it hit her--Dudley's cousin Harry was, in fact, the Harry Potter that all of the witches and wizards they'd helped last year had been talking about.

The boy who had just won the war.

She had no idea what to expect of him.

"He's a boy who fought a war," Alan said when she mentioned this. "You've met boys coming back from war before."

Miriam had dismissed this absently, thinking that a boy who'd been talked about the way Harry had been talked about would somehow be different.

There was a knock at the door.

She set down her teacup and answered it.

Dudley Dursley was there, standing a step ahead of a skinny boy whose pale, weary face proved Alan right.

Whatever else Harry Potter was, he was a boy just back from war, and he'd seen things he'd had no business seeing... and probably done things he'd had no business doing as well.

"Come in, dears," she said.

Dudley smiled in the way he'd been practicing all year--a kind of forced look that was well-meant but disconcerting. He meant it to say, "I'm not being at all snide or cruel." It really said, "I don't have much practice at this." "This is my cousin, Harry Potter," he said. "Harry, this is Mrs. Levinson. It's her house. We used it during the year to help your sort... er, I mean..."

"I know what you mean, Dudley," Harry said, finding a wan smile that still looked more real than Dudley's. He turned to Miriam. He looked both terribly young and terribly old. "Thank you," he said.

"You're more than welcome. It was the least we could do. Please come in."

Harry nodded and came inside, now a step ahead of Dudley, who closed the door behind him. He looked around without much curiosity, then followed Miriam into the living room, where Joe, Alan, and Anna were all standing, waiting with solemn expressions.

He looked at each of them for a long time, then said, "Dudley says you've been good friends this year. That you're the Lupins' good friends." He stayed still for a long moment, then suddenly swayed alarmingly. Alan ran around behind him and moved up a chair.

"Here, sit down. You've had a rough few weeks, you must be exhausted."

Harry's jaw worked furiously, then he finally sat up, seeming to push himself into an upright position by placing his hands on his bony knees. "I'll be all right," he said. "I just... I was thinking... well, I thought I wished Lupin could introduce us, and we could all have a nice chat." He smiled shakily. "Keep running across that, sorry."

"That's nothing to be sorry about," Joe said. "We're running across it ourselves. Is the baby all right?"

"I haven't met him yet," Harry said. "Andromeda's... well, you can imagine. She's afraid I'll try to take him. I won't!"

"Of course not," Anna said. "But he's all right?"

Harry nodded. "As far as I know."

"No--well, not the thing Remus was worried about?" Alan asked.

Harry shook his head, looking bewildered. "No. I don't know why he'd worry about that. It doesn't happen that way. I know that from books he assigned. He had to know it, too."

"People worry about mad things when they're going to be parents," Miriam said, taking a seat across from him. "He was so happy, though."

"I know. He came to where I was staying when Teddy was born. He--" But this memory was apparently too much. He paused, waited for an emotion to pass, then swallowed. For a the first time, Miriam was struck by a similarity between the cousins. Dudley covered up any emotion he'd decided was inappropriate in exactly the same way. Looking at them, she could also see some planes in their faces, and a stubborn set of their mouths. It was a subtle family resemblance, but it was there. Harry took a few deep breaths. "I just wanted to hear what I could. Maybe not all of it, not yet, but--I wanted to meet the lot of you. When I went back to Privet Drive to get some of my things, Dudley helped, and he told me a little bit. I thought you should know--the..." He swallowed again. "The funeral is tomorrow. It'll be a wizarding funeral, but I've made sure you can come."

"Harry's got some pull these days," Dudly said, in an apparent attempt at bucking his cousin up.

Harry took it in the spirit intended and nodded. "I thought you might like to come."

"I don't like any of it," Alan said. "But I'll be there. I imagine you'll have to Obliviate us after--"

"No," Harry said firmly.

"I thought your friend Hermione said--" Dudley started.

Harry cut him off. "I said no. It's not fair, and I won't let them."

Miriam guessed that in the end, it would come down to a question of whether he intended to respect the laws of his own world or become a charismatic dictator based on his war record, and was prepared to lose her memory--she couldn't imagine the tired boy in front of her wanting to dictate anything--but it didn't matter right now. Whatever they decided, she would say goodbye to her friends.

Harry looked at Alan. "My friend Hermione Granger's already making an argument to let Muggles who helped us keep their memories. There are a lot of people she needs to convince, and there's something about international treaties--"

Joe snorted, wordlessly expressing his opinion of international legal treaties (Miriam had taken to putting food in his mouth any time the European Union was brought up, especially its German component). He went to the counter that separated the living room from the kitchen. "Have some tea, Potter," he said. "We'll tell you anything you'd like."
10 comments or Leave a comment
arcaneblades From: arcaneblades Date: January 13th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow! Reading this, I'd adore seeing the rest of Harry's interaction with the Levinsons as a short story. The sheer depth of character we are seeing here, with Joe's way of dealing with Harry is astounding, and really quite touching.

But I adore almost anything you write in the Potterverse as is, so I will be content with the lovely ficlets you're writing.
From: severely_lupine Date: January 13th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow. How heartbreaking. Grief is something I usually prefer not to dwell on in fiction. Too real, I think. But it's better to think they'd be remembered than not. The way things wrapped up in DH, there was no chance to get a feel for what those who died left behind, not really. And I do always enjoy the Smeltings teachers, and seeing Harry and Dudley make nice is quite welcome.

After reading your summary of that SW story, I may have to look that up. That sort of storyline always sounds interesting. Though I should probably watch the new trilogy first. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen them since they were in theaters.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: January 13th, 2010 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that second one. I love your Smeltings teachers. I love your Dudley.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 13th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just loved the Anakin one--it's exactly as I pictured it. I do like Qui-Gon, and your Ani is always exactly right. Poor thing. I'd love to see this alternate freeing of Shmi sometime.
The second one was beautiful as well--I'd really like to see what the Garveys and Levinsons make of Remus's being a werewolf or Tonks's morphing. Did you ever do anything like that?
malinbe From: malinbe Date: January 13th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry and Dudley together was a surprise and a bit strange, but very very good. The teachers were outstanding.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: January 13th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
There is so much just so incredibly right,/i> with "The Boy Who Came Back From War." The title, and Miriam's acknowledgement that Harry is a boy back from War. In an odd way it is as if these outsiders recognize that more than those closer. All the heart wrenching details (Dudley's very Dursleyish way of trying to buck up his cousin! "He's got pull now." or Andromedea's fear of losing Teddy!), to the sheer emotional weight all the characters are expressing (I'm not sure I've seen your Harry this raw and shell-shocked) to Miriam's spine-tingling obserbation about charismatic dicators. Very, very good and going into my memories.
From: itsjulia Date: January 13th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for doing all these -- I'm really enjoying them. I even enjoy reading the star wars fics, despite the fact that I am not particularly a star wars fan (I don't dislike it, just never really got into it). Today's second one was very well done. I really like the idea of Dudley practicing smiling and being polite -- of course he would have to, and you describe it so well. Like others, I wish I could see more of this story! But then, I feel that way after most of your ficlets. :) Thanks for writing.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: January 13th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
The second of these is lovely, but also very sad. As someone above me said, this grief is real and that makes it difficult to read. Spending some time together might be good for the Smelting's folk as well as for Harry. Kudos to Dudley for teaching himself to be the person he wants to be.
coralia13 From: coralia13 Date: January 14th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)
These are both so gorgeous. You always have Anakin's (and all your SW characters') voice down so ridiculously well. And you manage to make them so much more real and human than Lucas ever did. Could you tell me where to find that AU fic? I'd love to read it!

And, of course, your Harry and Dudley FTW. Always.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: January 25th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
When book 7 ended, I felt the aftermath of the battle deserved another chapter. I missed the Harry/Ginny reunion, and some closure in the aftermath of death.

So thanks for writing about some of that grief in the immediate aftermath. Have you written George dealing with the loss of Fred?

So well written, thanks.
10 comments or Leave a comment