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Batch 34 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 34
Well... I'd love to see something with Sirius and Hermione. Maybe during OotP? for elektra3

"I wouldn't go for that one," Sirius said, stopping Hermione halfway through reaching for a book.

"Why not?" she asked. "Is it Cursed?"

"Moldy. I tried to throw it out earlier, but apparently, Kreacher decided to reshelve it."

Hermione wrinkled her nose. "Hmm. Too bad. It looks interesting."

"Not really," Sirius said. "I had to read it when I was twelve. It's all about the Wizarding side of the Empire. Not exactly relevant anymore."

"I wouldn't say that. The Empire might not be there, but it lingers."

"Like a moldy smell?"

Hermione laughed. "Well, yes. But it's hard to argue that it doesn't matter."

Sirius shrugged, uninterested. History had never been his cup of tea; Regulus had been fond of it (of course), but Sirius had got quite enough of the names, dates, and paeans to the Pure-blooded in the course of his youth to be innured to any vestigial charm of the subject. He couldn't imagine why a Muggle-born girl would find any charm in it, but so far, only Kreacher had been more difficult than Hermione Granger on the subject of tossing away the rubbish Mum had collected.

Hermione looked around the living room curiously. "You know, this really must have been a grand house once."

Sirius sat down and raised his eyebrows at her. "Have you been listening to Kreacher muttering?"

"He runs away when he sees me." She frowned and sat down across from him. "I'm only trying to help him! I just want him to see that he could be free--"

"Hermione, don't even think about it. A taste of freedom will have Kreacher running off to my cousin Narcissa, and telling her everything he can around the Fidelius Curse."

"Well, maybe if you were a bit kinder to him!" Hermione let slip, then covered her mouth. "I'm sorry, Sirius. You're being very generous to let us stay. I didn't mean to be rude."

He smirked. "Why do I get the sense you don't find it reasonable to apologize to Harry and Ron when you use that tone with them?"

"Well, I, they're--"

"And there's no need to apologize to me, either." He pulled over an ottoman and put his feet up. "Don't start treating me like the bloody Head of the House of Black. Say whatever you want, however you want to say it."

"Well... I'm sure you don't like it, but you are the head of the house."

"The House," Sirius said, summoning a bottle of Firewhiskey, "is hereby decapitated." The bottle reached him, and he poured himself a couple of fingers. "I'd offer you some, but I think Molly's head would explode if she saw you drinking Firewhiskey. I've some butterbeer downstairs. Would you like some?"

"No, thank you." She sighed, started to say something, then fell silent.

"Go on," Sirius told her. "Out with it."

"Well... I imagine they'll bring Harry here soon," she said. "They can't wait much longer--"

"He ought to already be here."

"You'll have no argument there," Hermione said forcefully, then got herself back on track. "I don't think he'll have had a very good summer, with no one talking to him and all the nasty stories in the Prophet."

"If I get my hands on that editor--"

"And it'll make him pretty miserable to see you being so sour all the time, and you really ought to stop it." She bit her lip, then shrugged. "You did say not to apologize and to say anything I meant to say."

"Well, that is a pickle you've caught me in," Sirius said.

"So, will you be less sour?"

"Let me ask you something. Do you really think Harry would appreciate me putting on a happy face act for his benefit? Or do you think he'd like to see someone who understands exactly how frustrated he is with the whole business?"

Hermione, to her credit, considered this, then said, "Well, I see your point, but I still think Harry needs you to not be moping."

"I'm not moping."

"Sirius, it's three o'clock in the afternoon and you're still in your nightshirt, and you're already drinking, and the curtains are all drawn."

"You think I should change my clothes, then?"

"Well, sometime before the Order gets here, anyway."

"Hmph." Sirius finished his drink. "Well, I don't like putting on airs, but then, I always did like Hestia Jones. Maybe I'll spruce up a bit after all." He grinned.

Hermione rolled her eyes.

Unless you'd be willing to write about the dare Dora mentioned in the latest section of Stray when she wore a "Brazilian onepiece" in the UK. When I read that I thought some Hufflepuffs or Charlie Weasley must've been responsible, and it would've been hilarious. for chrischewscud

Thanks to British Naturism for the beach.
"Is this really the only beach in Britain where I can do this?" Tonks asked Sanjiv, glaring at him, and past him at Maddie, and Daffy.

"No. There are a lot down south."

"And we couldn't have gone to one of those?"

"Oh, there's nothing wrong with the Firth of Clyde. Might even be warmer--I doubt it's as deep."

"I'm never playing Truth or Dare with you lot again."

"Well, if you'd say 'truth' sometimes..." Maddie said.

Tonks gritted her teeth, then, in a single motion, pulled her tee shirt over her head.

Or, well, it was meant to be a single motion. It got caught on her ear, knocking her off balance, and she ended up tripping blindly over the picnic basket and falling on her backside in the fine sand of Cleat's Shore. She pulled the shirt off, leaving herself only in a sports bra. A laugh rose from another side, where a Muggle man who wasn't even wearing any piece of a swimsuit was watching the group with amused interest. His girlfriend, whose breasts were a good deal larger than Tonks's, gave her a sympathetic smile, then called over, "You know, you're all meant to drop it all here!"

"She's the only one with a dare!" Sanjiv called back.

"You shouldn't need a dare," the man said. "It's all just nature."

Tonks gulped, then grasped the lower edge of her sports bra. "You heard the man," she said. "It's all nature." Praying that she wouldn't have another clothing mishap (on a nude beach, no less), she pulled it up roughly, and threw it over her head. Her breasts tried to shrink back from the cool wind coming across the firth.

"Oh, my God," Daffy said. "You actually did it."

Sanjiv smiled in frank admiration. "This should be the school uniform."

"Yes," Maddie said. "It'd be delightful in January."

Tonks crossed her arms over her exposed breasts. "It's bloody freezing and I'm not even in the water yet!"

"It's not that cold!" Sanjiv said. He pulled his own shirt off. "See? I'll go, too."

"It's not the same."

"It's the same temperture."

"Go down to your shorts, at least."

"I'm just wearing pants."

"What a shame. Let's see them."

"I asked for a truth. And I told the truth." He struck a pious pose. "I revealed my deep, innermost secrets..."

"You told us you didn't cheat on your Divination homework."

"Well, it was true. I didn't."

"You are the one who asked for a dare," Daffy said. "I was only going to ask you why you really punched Elliott Bowman."

Tonks snorted and stood up, heading for the water as she shed her jeans (being careful not to dislodge the little piece of bathing suit the dare had allowed). "And I told you--he said something very nasty about what people ought to do about werewolves. You know I don't hold with that. So that's my truth. Can I get out of the dare?"

"You could have refused the dare," Maddie pointed out. "We don't play penalties."

Tonks straightened up. "It's a matter of honor."

Maddie shook her head, catching up. "It's going to be a matter of pneumonia. Scotland is not a place people were meant to go about naked in."

"Tell it to the men in kilts with nothing under them," Sanjiv said, shuddering.

Daffy winced. "Get it over with, Tonks."

Tonks took a deep breath, looked at them over her shoulder, then gave a salute and ran for the chilly waves.
9 comments or Leave a comment
From: severely_lupine Date: January 14th, 2010 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Sirius never did get comfortable with the idea of being a genuine authority figure, did he? He always seems to be trying to just be pals with the teenagers.

LOL! Oh, Tonks. Sometimes I wonder why she wasn't in Gryffindor. This is a prime example why I never play truth or dare. (Okay, and I still can't help thinking what Remus's reaction to this would be. Stunned yet inappropriate staring, awkward stammering, or just pointedly trying to find something more interesting to look at [and failing]? Of course, given her age at the time, he'd probably have felt like a right dirty old bastard for having eyes.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 14th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it might just be that her crazy streak was outweighed (by a feather's weight) by her loyal streak.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 14th, 2010 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah-hah! Little bit of nit-picking here: you must have mixed up HESTIA Jones with Emmeline VANCE. Shame on you! :p
Those ficlets were great though - loved Tonks!
vesta_aurelia From: vesta_aurelia Date: January 14th, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

And here I thought that Sirius had been hitting the Firewhisky a bit much already :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 14th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hm, hadn't thought of that. That's a much better explanation than thinking Fern could have made a mistake. My bad. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 14th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, right, so... er, yeah. Totally deliberate! ;p
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 14th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Little bit of nit-picking here: you must have mixed up HESTIA Jones with Emmeline VANCE. Shame on you!


etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: January 14th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've spent a week at a beach on the Firth of Forth in August, where most people were wearing jumpers due to the chill. Poor Tonks almost qualifies for the Polar Bear Club!
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 17th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
The following is just an older sibling sort of rant. I know it's just a rant. But Sirius (as you intended) really set me off.

Given the fact that Sirius can make anyone who cares about Harry be tempted to hit Sirius with a brick, I suppose I should feel more sorry for him. Of all the weak excuses to not stay sober. Grr. I wanted to tell him that, maybe, what Harry NEEDS (as well as WANTS) is an adult in a fit condition to help him deal with the legion of difficulties dropping on his lap. Maybe, when he's being attacked from all quarters, what Harry needs is someone who can HELP him instead of a blossoming alcoholic running away from his troubles in a bottle of whiskey. After all, if what Harry really needed was a guardian who dealt with problems by not talking about them and pretending they didn't exist, he already has Petunia.

Oh, but wait, Aunt Petunia, when faced with her worst fear (beloved Dudley nearly worse than killed, her sister's murderer back from the grave and gunning for someone living under her roof, and enough magic being done on a public street by Harry that there's a legal case pending), was willing to go to the mat for Harry and risk who-knows-what with Vernon.

Congrats, Sirius, Petunia just outscored you in the reliable guardian department.

Rant over.

(Although I noticed enough of the feeling was left over that, while I enjoyed the second one, I was ready for a lengthy debate with the guy at the beach who thought going nude in Scotland was both natural and reasonable. But, hey, I'm cold blooded and believe wool socks were invented for a reason)

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