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Shifts, Chapter 7: Dis-Order, Part 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Shifts, Chapter 7: Dis-Order, Part 3

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Okay--the Order was meeting to talk about Umbridge. Remus wasn't especially paying attention either to the meeting or to himself, and abruptly passed out at the end. Maybe he was channeling me and noticing how bloody hot it is in here...! :p

Anyway, forward... march!

He was distantly aware of being lifted and trying to protest that he could perfectly well walk to somewhere that he could rest, but all that came out was a slurred, "Ik'nd'wit." There was a great deal of commotion, but he couldn't quite bring himself up to tell them to stop.

After that, there were stairs, and Mrs. Black screeching at the end of some long, dank tunnel, and then he was deposited on a sofa. He heard a female voice say, "Incendio," and there was a crackle of flames, and then there was darkness again.

He had no way of knowing how long it was before his mind started to notice things more specifically. He could hear the ticking of a clock, and voices of the Order droning on downstairs. It had apparently been long enough for them to get back to business.

He opened his eyes. There was a vaguely female shape in the shadows by the fire, and he said, "Dora?"

The woman laughed to herself and stood up. "No. Tonks wanted to stay, but I told her she ought to get herself back to the meeting. Sirius as well. I wasn't doing much there."

"Molly. I'm sorry. You were in the shadows and--" He tried to sit up, but his head swam and he laid back down. "I never know what Dora will decide to look like. And when it's a woman around here..."

"Yes, of course." Molly Weasley came to the couch, and pressed a cool cloth on his head. "It really works you over, doesn't it?" she asked. "Transforming, I mean."

It was the first time she had actually acknowledged his lycanthropy, and she did it rather calmly, though he noticed that she didn't look at him. He nodded. "It can."

"What were you doing up and about the day after? Sirius said you were at work! And that you shouldn't have been."

"Assignment," Remus said. "Honestly, I was doing better than I expected. I didn't expect to faint."

Molly looked at him, a cross expression on her face that didn't seem to be directed at him. "This assignment business--I suppose I'm not cleared to know what it is, but I think you should tell Dumbledore that he can't ask you to go do it the day after the full moon. He's asking altogether too much. You're frail."

"I'm not frail. Not really."

She gave him a disbelieving frown.

"Really, Molly. It's bad the day after, but most of the time, I look a lot more ill than I am. I just don't get enough sleep."

"Well, get some." She pulled back the cloth, Charmed it cold again, and dabbed at his face. "Let's not help You-Know-Who by killing ourselves."

Remus smiled and winked. "Yes, Mother Molly."

Molly laughed. "Well, it is something I know how to do. I've nursed seven children through fevers and aches and pains. I can handle one grown-up man who needs to be reminded to take better care of himself."

"Thank you, Molly."

"You were kind to Harry," she said as if it explained anything at all.

"I've known Harry since he was an infant," Remus said.

"A pity he couldn't have stayed with you rather than those wretched relatives of his. Though I suppose... a baby... well, you couldn't have..." She blushed and turned away.

Remus shrugged. "It's true enough. What would I have done with a baby when the moon was full?"

"Is that why his parents named Black his godfather?"

She said it with studied casualness, but her disapproval of Sirius came through anyway. And her jealousy--the two of them had been eyeing one another suspiciously since it became apparent that Harry needed them both. Remus did his best with Sirius when it came from that direction; he decided to do his best with Molly as well. "They named Sirius because he was like James's brother. And because he loved Harry absolutely and James and Lily both knew he would die for Harry without so much as asking why. You must know that, Molly."

"Yes," she said. "I suppose I do. Though he doesn't need dying for nearly as much as he needs feeding and loving and..."



"Luckily, he has you for that. I think that Lily"--if she could get over her own jealousy, he didn't say--"would be grateful to you. And I know Harry is. Did you see his face when you said he was as good as one of your sons?"

"I wasn't looking."

"Look, Molly. Look at him. He loves you."

She smiled. "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm awfully silly about this, aren't I?"

"Not at all."

"It's petty to be jealous over something like that. Harry can choose who he wants to talk to and trust."

"He does trust you."

She rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Don't mind me. Goodness, Black is your best friend, and here I am being nasty about all of this. He..." She sniffed and said firmly, "He obviously loves Harry and wants to take care of him."


"Right." She pulled the cloth away again and started to Charm it. "Are you feeling better?"

"A bit. I could probably go back to--"

"Oh, no you don't, Mr. Lupin. You're staying right here. It sounds like they're getting out, anyway."

Indeed the door that led to the kitchen opened just then, letting up the babbling voices (all abruptly dropping in volume as they entered Mrs. Black's vestibule), and the parlor door sprang open a moment later.

"Remus! Are you all right?" Dora asked, coming into the room, Sirius in in her wake.

Remus tried to get up, but Molly tapped him back down, gently but firmly. "He'll be fine."

"I'm informed that I'm to get a full night's sleep," he said, as Dora sat on the floor by his head and Sirius hooked leaned over the back of an armchair to look at him. "What do you say, Molly? Will I be allowed to get up at seven?"

Molly checked the clock, which read ten, and nodded. "It should be enough."

"Ten to seven," Dora marveled. "I'm so jealous. It's exotic! You must tell me all about it tomorrow. And I'll want details." She smiled and kissed the bridge of his nose. "Good night, sleepy head. I'll go let everyone out and then go home."

"You could stay," Sirius said. "Really. There are quite a few empty rooms."

Molly looked shocked, but bit her lip against commenting.

Dora shook her head. "I've my flat, and the rent's paid up." She stood up and kissed Sirius's cheek, giving him an awkward hug over the back of the chair, then left the room to bid the other Order members a good night.

"Do you need anything?" Molly asked Sirius.

"More people living in this house. I don't suppose Bill and Fleur would want to come?"

"Not together," Molly said firmly.

"You and Arthur?"

"Our rent's paid up as well. But thank you for the offer."

They gave one another an odd, tentative smile, then Molly left for the night.

Sirius came around the chair and sat in in sideways, his knees hooked over one arm. "No more moon days," he said. "I'll fight it out with Dumbledore."

Before Remus could answer, Sirius transformed into a dog and curled up beside an end table.

Editing in--I'm enjoying this link from pauraque's journal. Ladies and gents, fanfic_hats.
9 comments or Leave a comment
liebchen127 From: liebchen127 Date: July 24th, 2004 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely adore "Shifts"!!!!

dipsas From: dipsas Date: July 24th, 2004 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I second Liebchen, I absolutely adore Shifts too. This time, Sirius' protective streak stands out especially (well, it did in the last few chapters as well) but I also couldn't help thinking that he'll really love getting the opportunity to argue with Dumbledore with such just cause...
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: July 24th, 2004 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Great scene

And Happy Birthday!
shellebelle93 From: shellebelle93 Date: July 24th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday, Fernwithy!!! *Hugs*
alphabet26 From: alphabet26 Date: July 24th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
And you give us a present on your your birthday--too kind of you! ;)
From: lnevans Date: July 24th, 2004 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday!! We really ought to give you a present, not you give a present to us!
sreya From: sreya Date: July 24th, 2004 10:08 am (UTC) (Link)
It's your birthday? Oh, and here I was scolding you last night! Well, at least you got a very nice compliment out of it. :~)

And here's another one. I love the way you've written Molly in this piece, and how Remus interacts with her. Very well done. My favorite line was when Remus was thinking that Lily would be jealous of Molly. How very true!

Happy Birthday, FernWithy!!!!
scionofgrace From: scionofgrace Date: July 24th, 2004 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent Molly-Remus interaction there. These Shifts chapters always make my day.

Oh, and Happy Birthday!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 25th, 2004 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Happy Birthday!

Wow, that was a great chapter, Fern. I'd never really seen Molly as having that sort of a fear of lycanthropy, but the way you argue it, it certainly works. I like how her open-mindedness (because she IS tolerant about things like blood, if not about boys and girls living together!) shows through her fear, though, when she's presented with a good person with a real disease that's hurting him. I can see Molly being this way. It's a nice extrapolation that keeps within the bounds of canon characterization. Well done!
9 comments or Leave a comment