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Batch 40 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 40
I'm going to do the index of the first forty batches tomorrow, then take a break. I'm getting a little fatigued, and I'd guess you guys are, too.

parvati and lavender...can I have a fic about them, their friendship? for dotatoks

"Maybe we should have asked Hermione to come with us," Parvati said, looking up at the front door. "I'll bet she knows all the secret ways into the school. She's always reading that book about it."

Lavender frowned. Her book bag was stuffed with fresh plants from the Forbidden Forest, which they intended to use to brew a Potion. The Potion would revive Colin and Justin, or at least it would if the article in the Quibbler was right. Madame Pomfrey had said it was ridiculous, that forget-me-nots had no magical properties, but as she wasn't doing anything until the mandrakes came of age, Lavender had considered it a good experiment. All they needed to do was get some forget-me-nots from the forest, brew them with a bit of pumpkin juice and powdered slug, and it would all work out. The only part that was supposed to be tricky was breaking into the hospital wing and doing it when Madame Pomfrey couldn't see. They could always pretend they were just there visiting Justin (Lavender and Parvati agreed that he was extremely good looking), but if she saw the ingredients, she'd know.

She hadn't counted on it taking so long to find forget-me-nots at this time of year, and it had taken too long, and now half the teachers in the school seemed to be milling around near the entrance. They'd get in trouble for being out past curfew, and someone would ask why, and then people would be on the lookout for the potion.

The idea of asking Hermione had occurred to them before they'd gone out, but when they'd showed the article to her, she'd just sniffed and said it wouldn't work. Almost exactly what Madame Pomfrey had said. Lavender hadn't felt like inviting her in.


Lavender shook her head. "She'd just tell us we walked right into it. Come on, let's find a different way."

"I flipped through that Hogwarts book at Flourish and Blotts," Parvati said as they made their way along a path that led around the side of the castle. "Did you ever look at it?"

"No. I heard a lot of stories from Mum and Dad, though. And Nana. I think she must of been quite adventurous. She was the one who was really happy I landed in Gryffindor."

"Were your parents in the House?"

"Dad was, but he didn't like it. Mum was a Hufflepuff."

"My Dad and my aunt Mehadi were Slytherins," Parvati said. "They're shocked about Padma and me."

"What about your Mum?"

"She went to school in India. She doesn't really follow the houses. Padma and I tried to explain. I guess it's different in India. You just get an assignment and it's where you live."

"That's just weird." She stopped and looked up at the castle. "Do you suppose there's a window we could get into?"

Parvati narrowed her eyes and peered down the row of windows. "Only if we could open them. The Great Hall is lowest. Those windows are big. Do you think they open from the outside?"

"Why would they be locked? And even if they are, I'll bet they're not magically locked. We could just use Alohomora to get in."

"Or a rock. Then we could repair it afterward."

"They're right outside. They'd hear a rock."

"Right." Parvati looked frustrated. "Won't they hear us getting in there anyway? And are we sure no one is in there?"

"No candles," Lavender said. "But we should check before we get in."

"Maybe we could climb Gryffindor Tower and come through our own window."

Lavender was caught by the glamor of this idea. She supposed Hermione Granger would probably have a thing or two to say about it, but she wouldnd't turn them in to teachers. If she threatened to, Lavender would remind her about certain Potions ingredients she'd seen in the autumn which had to have been taken out of Snape's closet. "It's a long climb..." she said tentatively, hoping Parvati would offer a simple way to do it.

"Let's see how hard it is to climb," Parvati said, and went to the wall underneath the Great Hall. She put her foot on an out-jutting rock and her hand on one a bit above her head, then pulled herself up. "It's sort of like a ladder," she said, and pulled herself up again. She grabbed another rock with her other hand and went up another step. Unfortunately, the next rock she reached for was wet, and she nearly fell. She hissed as her wrist twisted and said, "It's a bit difficult, though. Don't know if I fancy going all the way up a tower like this."

"Could we dry them off, or make them stick out more or something like that?"

Parvati jumped down. "Only if we do the whole wall at once."


"How would we reach our wands?"

"Oh." Lavender considered it. "Well, do you think we can make the Great Hall?"

Parvati supposed they could, so they gathered themselves up, dried the stones out as far as they could with the drying spells they knew (which weren't particularly strong), then started to climb.

They'd got about six feet up the wall when the castle door opened.

Lavender froze, and looked over to see that Parvati had done the same. Hopefully, their dark cloaks wouldn't be visible. Lavender tucked her head down, hoping that she was far enough behind Parvati to hide her light hair behind Parvati's cloak. Parvati had black hair, and she was between the door and Lavender, so...


Lavender lifted her head and looked down. Professor McGonagall was standing below them, looking cross.

"Hello," Lavender tried.

There was no answer, which was the worst possible response from McGonagall. She just glared.

Lavender and Parvati climbed down.

McGonagall didn't speak until they were back in her office, where she took fifteen points from Gryffindor for each of them, and assigned them detention helping clean the kitchen cauldrons.

It would be a perfect chance to try brewing the new potion.

I'd love to see how Dora realizes that her childish crush on Remus has developed into something more. Or something like that. Dora realizing she's in love with Remus. for Anon

Okay, the best I could tell would be that she realizes it someplace in Shifts. This would be the first transformation after he's back at Smeltings, when Sirius has told him to bring the photo. He didn't take it, but she did, and she had dinner with her parents.
Mum sliced up the remains of the roast beef and made two sandwiches, which she put into a paper sack. "You're going to see Remus tomorrow, aren't you?" she asked.

Tonks nodded. "I try to go to lunch over there quite a lot. Keep people used to me."

"Well, give him these. You know how he is after moons."


"Transforming into a werewolf is a bit more taxing on the body than your morphs are. And I notice even you get hungry after big ones."

"True enough." Tonks took the bag. "I've got some Milk Bars in my bag, too," she said, and brought it around. As she fished for them, something clattered to the kitchen floor.

Mum picked it up before Tonks had a chance to do much more than realize it was the photograph that Sirius had taken, the one they'd framed for Remus's office. She must have absently put it it in her own bag instead of his. Mum looked at it for a long time, then set it down on the table. "That's an interesting picture," she said blandly. "You seem to be quite invested in this little scheme."

Tonks rolled her eyes. "You sound like Remus! 'We seem awfully cozy.'"

"Have you looked at this? I don't blame Remus for being a bit squirrelly. I have pictures of your dad and me when we were first married that don't look this... what word did you say he used? Cozy."

"I always hug and kiss Remus. Sirius, too. I hug everyone."

"It's not the hug or the kiss, Nymphadora," Mum said. "It's... it's that look on your face. It's... cozy." She looked at the picture again. "Come to think of it, Remus is looking rather cozily back at you."

"Remus was drowsy," Tonks said. "He just woke up, for heaven's sake. That's... sleepiness."

"I'm not sure how I feel about him looking at you quite that fondly when he's half-asleep."

"Mum!" Tonks found the Milk Bars and put them in the sack. Her mind flashed back to the morning, when he'd been falling asleep at the transformation site and he'd taken her hand and brushed his lips over her fingertips. Later, he'd whispered her name in his sleep, and a deep, frightening thrill had gone through her. She thought it would be distinctly unwise to share this with Mum, if she was worried about the silly photograph. "Really."

Mum rolled her eyes, and went about the rest of the clean-up from supper. The subject of the photo, and Remus, was dropped, and they joined Dad in a room in the basement where he kept Muggle gadgets to watch a program that Tonks wouldn't remember much of later. Mum and Dad were sitting on a sofa, cuddling comfortably.


With that look on their faces.

Tonks went back to her flat and took the photo out again, looking at it more closely. She ignored the physical proximity--she did always hug and kiss Remus, after all--and looked at their faces, most particularly at her own. She did this more than her friends did, largely because she'd often had to make sure her features looked like she meant them to look on a morph, and she knew it very well. She had many pictures of herself as well, as Maddie had been quite a shutterbug in school. Tonks took out an album of these school pictures, set the new picture down beside it, and started flipping through, glancing from old photos to this one.

This one was different.

She was tempted to write it off as simply an older morph that made her look more womanly, more matronly, but that wasn't it.

It was her eyes.

She hadn't morphed her eyes at all, but they were different. That's what Remus had seen when he'd looked at it, and what Mum had seen. There was a sort of softness to them, a way they were so totally focused on Remus that she hadn't even heard Sirius approach with the camera.

Of course, he hadn't heard either, but he'd been asleep, he'd been foggy, he'd been...

He whispered your name. He kissed your fingers.

"It was just the moon," she said to no one.

And maybe it had been.

But what she'd felt when he'd said her name from the depths of sleep, the way her heart had raced when he'd kissed her fingers...

She shivered, and looked out the window at the full moon. He was out there under it, in whatever hell he was consigned to on nights like this. She wanted to be with him suddenly, and knew she couldn't be, because he wasn't there in any meaningful sense, at least not the essential he, the he who spoke softly and taught patiently, the he who had drawn her countless pictures over the years, the he who loved poems and stories, the he who had once played pranks with his friends on cool Scottish nights. The he who had kissed her fingers and whispered her name.

She closed her eyes slowly, then opened them. In a daze, she packed the picture into the paper sack with the sandwiches. She'd take it to Smeltings before he'd get there tomorrow. She wanted to think this through before she saw him again.
22 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 1st, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Fern,
These were beautiful in their very different ways. I like your Parvati and Lavinder, their friendship, their misguided attempt to help their petrified friends, and the last line...they really are gryffindors. I was also quite happy about the reemergence of your Mehati; I always liked her.

And the Tonks one was flawless; I loved every bit of it. And it came just in time for my latest Shifts reread, too. That's a masterpiece of a novel, and it can't be said enough. The Teddy ones are spectacular, too, and Shades, but there's something about the hope and happiness of Shifts that draws me back to it again and again. You're a wonderful, wonderful writer.

That said, you take as long a break as you need to. Don't exhaust yourself trying to satisfy our insatiable appetites. We'll all be here waiting for you when you feel rejuvinated enough to continue making these characters live for us.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 1st, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I liked the happiness in Shifts, too. Wish Jodemort hadn't spoiled that for me.
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: February 1st, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sweetie, I never get 'fatigued' reading your stories or drabbles, but I know you must be exhausted churning these out! Take a rest, it'll sort your brain out and you'll be ready to jump back in.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 1st, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was just reading over the last few, and they were all sounding a little alike!
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 4th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)

what sounded alike?

the requests?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 4th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: what sounded alike?

My writing.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: February 1st, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved them both. Parvati and Lavender showing their Gryffindor skills are really good, and Dora being suddenly a bit scared at her feelings (and possibly, his) is rather sweet!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 1st, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd think it would be a sort of scary realization!

I never tried Parvati and Lavender before. That's one of the reasons I like these challenges. Now, I feel like I know more about them than I did.
From: itsjulia Date: February 1st, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't imagine ever being fatigued by your writing! But I can certainly understand how it would tire you -- I hope taking a break leaves you refreshed. All of these little ficlets have been really great. I don't comment very much (I"m sorry) but I read and enjoy them all. So thanks.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 1st, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome!
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 1st, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Small Brit-pick

Really nice pieces (as they all are, of course).

The small Brit-pick is that I think she'd be taking Milky Bars (thinking of the Nestlé chocolate bars), rather than Milk bars (without the 'y'). Unless you mean something else entirely.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 1st, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Small Brit-pick

Oops! Could've sworn it was "Milk Bars" when I looked it up several years ago, so of course, I didn't double check when I went back to check the Shifts scene.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: February 1st, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoyed the first one. I'm not a huge fan of Lavender and Parvati, but you managed to make them more interesting than JKR ever did. I like their determination and teamwork. True Gryffindors, not brainy but inappropriately brave .

Loved the second one. Perhaps it's time for a Shifts reread. I love the idea that Tonks hasn't put a label on what she's feeling, but that everyone else has already recognized a difference and knows what it means.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 1st, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wasn't very interested in them, either, but that's the fun part of the challenges... new things to look at that I wouldn't have looked at on myown!
From: severely_lupine Date: February 1st, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I can certainly understand you getting fatigued after two months of ficlets. I don't think you have to worry about us getting tired of them, though. You deserve a break, but we'll be eagerly awaiting the next batch, whenever they come.

I thought Mehadi was Padma and Parvati's mother?

Oh, that second one is wonderful. I found this line especially amusing: "I'm not sure how I feel about him looking at you quite that fondly when he's half-asleep." And I agree with the anon post above; Shifts really is a masterpiece.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 1st, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mehadi was their mother, until an offhand mention (in HBP, I think) of "their parents" meant that they didn't have a widowed mother. Ergo, I had to rethink something. I wanted to keep the "dated Remus a little" part, so I made her their aunt.
From: severely_lupine Date: February 1st, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah. Annoying how those tiny little mentions that mean nothing can upset such carefully thought-out backstory, isn't it?

Does this mean you're still keeping the bit about how Remus saw them when they were little? Perhaps he came over sometime when Mehadi was babysitting them? I just thought that information (and Tonks's reaction to the news that they didn't remember him) was cute.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 2nd, 2010 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, definitely. I'm trying to justify as much as possible!
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: February 1st, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
They are Gryffindor, aren't they. Nicely done.

As for the Dora fic...[sigh]. How satisfying.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 1st, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I definitely wanted to get the Gryffindor-ness of them.
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: February 3rd, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
*giggles* Oh, Parvati and Lavender! I love some good non-Trio friendship stories.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 4th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)


that was really nice. that lavender and Parvati friendship story.

I love how you wrote valid IC characteristics into both of them that makes them Gryffindor after all.

I also really,really love how you found a balance between the giggling, girly girl attitude we see (wanting to help Justin because he was cute) and a more serious side to them (the fact that Parvati considered asking Hermione for Help, and oh clever way to already put the seed of Lavender and Hermione not getting along).

and then the last, line. Gryffindor resourcefulness all the way.

oh and Parvati's family history was interesting. why didn't the father liked being in Gryffindor? Marauder time or Prewett twins time?

and awwwwwwww it's sad to see Mehadi being re-assign a role from mother to Aunt. but still Aunts ARE cool so it's no big lose.


22 comments or Leave a comment