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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter One: The Most Interesting Girl In the World, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter One: The Most Interesting Girl In the World, pt. 1
Okay, I'm plotted out up to chapter 17, and I'll keep plotting ahead to avoid the, um, uncertainty of getting things posted in the last Teddy story. Yeah.

So, in The Clue in the Cauldron, Al Potter started school, and met up with James's friends, who consider themselves the new Marauders--Michael Prince (Snout), Silas Boyle (Bear), Ahmed Elbaz (Spots), and Robert Highgold (Claws). Along with Rosie Weasley, a new Ravenclaw in Al's year, and Celia Dean, a werewolf two years older than James (who he rather fancies), they rescued Silas, who was held prisoner for most of the year by a pooka. James managed to tame the pooka and get it to release Silas and return various stolen items, and it is actually still under his control (though that won't play a part in this story). At the end, Teddy married Victoire in a huge ceremony on the island, attended by all of their friends (including Scorpius Malfoy, called Scops, who was the sole member of his family to accept the invitation, and who is friends Rosie and Al). James, who had been in possession of the invisibility cloak as well as the Marauder's Map, gave the cloak to Al.

So now, here we are, at James's fourth year. This year, due to the nature of the story, will be a little short on the New Marauders and the other two Potters, though I'll work them in where I can. The aforementioned was really just setting the stage.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Upon entering Flourish and Blotts bookstore, one might be forgiven for thinking both the Ministry and the Monarchy had been peacefully deposed, replaced by the dark-haired girl who smiled and waved from a giant poster over a rack of new books and magazines. In the poster, she was leaning against a goalpost, a racing broom held casually at her side. Far behind her was the ziggurat shape of what might have been an ancient temple, and the blue tropical sea shimmered beyond it.

Below the poster, she grinned from cover after cover of a book called Champion: The Daniela Villanueva Story. Quidditch Weekly boasted that it had "Dani's Picks for the National Teams," while Broom Racing showed her perched on a new Silverstar and promised an article about "Dani's Rules For Brooms: What She Looks For... and You Should, Too!" European Sporting, featuring a rather threatening looking picture, ominously asked, "Is She REALLY A Champion?" Teen Witch promised boldly that its readers could "Get Dani's Look!" and Witch Weekly offered her favorite Mexican recipes. Even Magical Travel featured her--"A Tour of San Cipriano de los Magos with Dani!" And, although her picture was inexplicably absent, the more scholarly Transfiguration Weekly listed several articles on its cover, promising in depth analysis of "Villanueva's Stunning Feat." There were spots for more magazines, but they had already been picked clean by the small army of teenagers--and no small number of adults--who were avidly perusing the wares.

Most of them were ignoring a rather dour-looking book by one Elfreda Aldis called Pale Imitation: Why The Quintamage Competition Will Never Replace the Triwizard Tournament. The text on the back of this book--left haphazardly lying on a table--read, "The so-called 'Colony Cup' carries none of the gravitas of its inspiration, none of its true goals of cooperation and friendship, and certainly none of its grandeur and, for lack of a better term, class."

Another newspaper--they'd proliferated quite a lot in the past few years--speculated that the "The Most Interesting Girl In the World" might in fact be planning a European adventure soon.

"Look! She's smiling at you!"

James Potter turned. "What?"

"She's smiling." Teddy Lupin held up the wriggling pink bundle in his arms--his first child, Mira. It was her first day with him alone (Victoire had gone off to buy seeds in Greece). "Do you want to hold her for a bit?"

James smiled and shook his head. "Er... I'll leave it to you."

"She doesn't bite. She doesn't even have teeth."

James shook his head again and craned his neck to see the shelves just beyond the shrine to Daniela Villanueva. The path was, at the moment, impassable. "Is anyone even looking at Mischief Managed?"

Teddy managed to look up from Mira. "What?"

"Our..." James frowned and said, "Jim Wolf's book. The one we came to watch flying off the shelves as Frankie promised."

Teddy sighed. "Hold out your arms."


"Because I'm going to go check, and I can't carry her with me."

"Oh. Er..." James swallowed hard and held out his arms. He'd done this with some of his younger cousins, and knew how. And he liked babies, in theory, but the idea that Teddy and Victoire had produced this one was a little surreal.

Teddy rolled his eyes and put Mira in James's arms, then transformed into a hawk, backed up a bit, then took off and flew over the crowd. A few people waved to him, and he tipped his wings to them, then landed at the far end of the aisle where James knew all of the copies of their new book--the first full length book--were waiting for buyers. James could see his head, but not his face as he casually made his way over to the crowd, pretending to be trying to get a copy of one of the Colony Cup books (it wasn't that he didn't want them, just that he'd got them all already, read them, and given them to James). He disappeared into the mob.

James heard a tiny hitch at his chest and looked down to see that Mira's face had gone alarmingly red. Her mouth was open, and he realized that she meant to howl.

"Oh, no, no," he said. "It's all right. Teddy's... er, your daddy's right there... you, er... everything's, er..."

"Something you want to tell us, Potter?"

James tried to keep bouncing the baby (for a miracle, it seemed to be working) as he turned around. His friends--Michael Prince, Ahmed Elbaz, and Celia Dean--were all smirking.

"She's Teddy's," James said.

"We'd guessed that," Ahmed said. "Give her here. I have little sisters falling out the windows of the house. I can get her calmed down."

As soon as he reached out, Mira let out a howl that might even have been heard above the din in the shop.

James pulled her back and started bouncing again. She quieted. He smiled. "Wow. I think I've got it." Once they had all properly admired this accomplishment, he said, "What are you lot doing here? Hogwarts letters don't come until next week."

"Oh, there's a new author out," Michael said. "We heard he's quite good."

"I heard he writes cheap adventure novels," Celia countered.

Michael held up his hands as if to say, As I said, then shrugged. "Besides, there's a new Dani book."

"Snout's in love," Ahmed said.

"The girl Transfigured a building, Spots," Michael said. "A building. Into a giant spider that caught a dragon in its web. How could anyone not be in love with her?"

"She's not my type," Celia said. "And she's just a girl. She showed me around San Cip while Mum Viv and Father Alderman were talking to the Headmaster about letting werewolves into the school. Nice place. It looks like Mayan ruins. Anyway, she tripped over her own feet and landed in chupacabra dung. She's just a girl."

"Must be nice to win something like that," James said. "I mean, when no one is murdered on the way. Dad didn't exactly have fun. That's why he's not really in favor of... you know."

"Bringing the tournament back?" Ahmed smiled. "That would be the best. Do you think they'll have it at Hogwarts again?"

"I doubt they'll have it," Michael said. "That French bloke who was pushing it died at the conference."

"Oh, they will," Celia said. When the boys all looked at her, puzzled, she affected a world-weary pose. "My dear, young, naive friends. The great Ministries of Europe aren't going to let a crowd of upstarts take over territory they've been carefully pissing around for the last few centuries, are they? And as to the French bloke who died at the conference? He's a martyr for the cause. Trust me--I mostly live in France. It's all, Vive le rêve de Didier!"

"Long live Didier's dream," James translated absently.

"Thanks," Michael said. "I hate it when she switches mid-sentence."

"Trust me, I know. My cousins do it all the time. I learned French in self defense."

"Me, too." Teddy appeared behind Celia. He nodded toward the crowd. "There wasn't room to take off or land over there, so I just flew out the door and walked back. Do you want me to take Mira back?"

"No one else has had a turn," Ahmed said.

"She started to cry," James said. "I think she might be scared of the crowd."

"I think you're right." Teddy held out his arms, and James reluctantly put Mira into them. "We could all go down to Fortescue Park. That wasn't very full."

Apparently, no one wanted to wait in line for either of the books they were checking on, as no one objected. James led the way down the alley to the tiny park that stood where Florian Fortescue's ice cream parlor had once been. A statue of Florian himself took up most of it, but the little grassy area in front of it had always been a good place to meet friends and plan adventures. At present, a large poster of Daniela Villanueva was tacked to a wall across from it, and James looked at it for a long time. He wasn't in love with her, or in whatever Snout was in. He just wondered what it would be like to be talked about everywhere in the world. Dad had his own sort of recognition, which annoyed everyone, but that was all tied up with people dying and things being destroyed. Dani was famous for something fun.

Ahmed ran ahead to the bench, and Teddy proudly handed over the baby.

"Be careful with her. She's still very little, and her neck--"

"Is weak, I know," Ahmed said, supporting her expertly. "My littlest sister just turned two. I used to give her bottles. Is Mira hungry?"

"Victoire hasn't sent along her lunch yet." Teddy sat down, watching the baby avidly. "She's four inches bigger than she was when she was born."

"Maybe by the time she's big enough," Michael said, "they'll have made a decision about the Triwizard."

Celia rolled her eyes. "They're arguing it today, and it's not even going to take that long."

"Well, I hope they take a couple of years," Michael said. "I don't fancy being caught behind an age line."

"Maybe they won't have one," James suggested, without much hope. "That was Dumbledore's idea. There never was an age line before."

"If there's not, I'll have a go at it," Celia said. "Me, a dragon, a pile of gold--"

"What if they put you against a werewolf?" Ahmed asked.

Celia shrugged. "Then I'll have a huge advantage under the full moon if the other two champions don't have fangs and claws."

"I'm reasonably sure they're not going to send some poor werewolf to kill or be killed," Teddy said. A little bell rang beside him and he held up his hand. A pretty baby bottle appeared, full of frothy milk. He took it and signalled for Ahmed to give Mira back to him, and started to feed her. "And that's if they have a tournament. James, you know Uncle Harry's arguing against it."

"He doesn't have to win, does he?" Michael asked.

"Right," Ahmed said, standing up. "It's not fair--we should all have a chance to be champions! And I know what I'd do with the gold, too. I'd build an extra room so I didn't have to sleep on top of the cats."

"The cats would follow you," Celia said. "I'd take a trip. I'd go see every place where there was giant poster of me."

"I'd--" James started, but stopped. There was an old man shuffling toward them, his eyes cast down as he came.

He stopped just short of James's group, and looked slowly up. "Death," he said. "That's all you'll get from the accursed thing. Death and destruction. That's all it is. Death."

Teddy stood and looked at him. "Mr. Diggory, is there someone I can call for you?"

James recognized the old man now--he was a hollow shell who sometimes haunted Dad's office or spoke in Diagon Alley. Amos Diggory--Cedric's father. Cedric had helped dad, been kind to him, and played fair. James had begged for stories of Cedric on the rare occasions that he could get Dad to talk about his year as a champion. But old Amos... he had never come back from it, according to Dad. He just wandered Diagon Alley, sometimes forgetting where his flat was, muttering about death. He was a frequent target of pickpockets. James and Al had once made fun of his naysaying, but Dad had told them that they were always to be kind to Mr. Diggory.

James stepped forward, resigned to following Dad's directive. "Mr. Diggory? Could I walk you back to your flat?"

"Hmph," Diggory said, but then looked over his shoulders. "You could. My eyes aren't what they were, and this alley is full of thieves."

James looked at Teddy. "I'll meet you at the Cauldron."

Teddy nodded.

James led Mr. Diggory back up Diagon Alley, toward the little block of flats where he had Dad had taken him once before. They were silent most of the way, then James said, "No one means disrespect to Cedric, sir. About the tournament."

Diggory turned, narrowed his eyes. "No disrespect, eh?" He flung his arm out in the direction of the nearest Dani poster (this one on the outside of the tiny building Lee Jordan had bought to host his radio show). "It's stained with blood. My boy's blood. And it will never be clean of it."
19 comments or Leave a comment
From: severely_lupine Date: April 8th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Whee! So happy to see another one starting, and this one sounds interesting from what you've said of it.

So, just so I'm getting this right, this Dani person was the winner of a Triwizard-esque tournament in some other country? What about the French guy who died at the conference? Did that mean another champion got killed? I wasn't clear on that part.

Poor Amos... :(

It is interesting to see this fame and glory stuff they were talking about. I never really understood that aspect of GoF. It didn't make a lot of sense to me that winning one tournament could promise eternal glory, since it's not like we ever heard about any other winner anywhere else in the series. And it also never made sense that people would think Harry did it deliberately, since he already had fame and a certain kind of glory. It makes much more sense that someone like James might want to try it.

ETA: What are we calling this series? I think I've heard you use Potter Kids Mysteries, and someone else once said Harry's Boys. Does the series have an official title yet?

Edited at 2011-04-08 05:05 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2011 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Potter Kids, though it's really mostly James.

Dani won a tournament (The Quintamage Competition) in the Americas; we'll hear more about her. The Frenchman was just arguing to bring back the Triwizard permanently (used to be every five years before they stopped) and he died at the conference. We'll hear more about him, too. (I almost started at the conference, actually, to mirror the beginning of GOF in Little Hangleton, but it just didn't fit.)
From: severely_lupine Date: April 8th, 2011 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, good to know. I like to have titles for things.

Ah, I'm getting ahead of myself. Okay, I'll try to sit back and not demand the whole story up front.
mrs_norris_mous From: mrs_norris_mous Date: April 8th, 2011 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for starting another story :)

I am not sure:

"Maybe the won't have one," James suggested,

Is right ?

Is there any chance of you posting these on otw (http://archiveofourown.org/media) as that way we could get e-books of them easily ?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2011 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Nope, definitely not right. I will end up with a "y" shaped gravestone, engraved with, "So she won't miss that key anymore."
malinbe From: malinbe Date: April 8th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC) (Link)

It was a fun beggining, and it was sweet to get a glimpse of Mira! Poor Amos Diggory, though.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I always felt a little bad for Amos.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: April 8th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! New Fern fic--and with such an intriguing premise. Whether or not to revive the Triwizard Tournament. Poignant and eerie touch to have poor old Diggory wandering around making Cassandra-like prophecies of doom. I suppose his wife has passed away since GoF? She did seem better able to keep it together after Cedric's death.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't have anything for Mrs. Diggory to do, so yes, she's passed since GoF. Maybe in the war.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: April 8th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hooray!! Hooray hooray HOORAY!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope it'll be worth the quadruple Hooray! :P
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: April 8th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
It will be wonderful to have another taste of your version of the next generation. Yeah!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's good to be back.
amamama From: amamama Date: April 9th, 2011 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, great start. Loads of interesting stuff going on here. I notice we didn't get to find out what Teddy saw in the bookstore, and this last comment by dear old Amos is positively ominous. Very promising, I'm looking forward to an awesome ride with your writing - again!
amamama From: amamama Date: April 9th, 2011 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Btw - second line: ziggaraut - don't you mean ziggurat?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ahem. I don't know what you mean.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
We'll get to Teddy's impression in the bookstore next--it just didn't seem to fit.

It's funny how, in adventure stories, "ominous" at the beginning is "promising."
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 10th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh goody! a new story, and James is going to visit my homeland! If you ever need some help with French trivia or anything, feel free to ask!
Looking forward to the next segments...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool... I may well take advantage of that. Luckily, Google maps helps with knowing what terrain actually looks like, but there may be cultural things that pop up. Feel free to point out if there's a real howler somewhere, or if my google-French is absurd.
19 comments or Leave a comment