Note: Text taken from the fanfic is bolded.
The grey floors, which matched similarly-colored grey walls and ceiling in such a way that you knew you were on the floor only because of gravity, were artfully and narratively echoing the clattering of boot heels in a way that said, “We are flaunting Narrative Power and Control. Oh, and notice this person. She is important.” The "important" part is not so much true when it comes to her place in the universe, or important acts she will make happen--that’s just the floors entertaining themselves--but for the purposes of this writing, yes, she is somewhat important, what with being a main character for the point of view this story takes. This has become increasingly derivative, so now is as good a time as any to start paying attention to what's actually going on and not to some poor metanonsensical analysis, right?
At any rate, Agent/Librarian-in-Training Library was rushing noisily down the halls of the Headquarters of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, known as the PPC for short or “those stupid head meanies” by badfic writers.
None too long before (roughly three hours ago, actually), she had been ceremoniously handed to the PPC as part of an exchange program (what the PPC was exchanging in return for Library, Library didn't know, but considering the reputation of the Flowers, and that of her own superiors, she was sure it was something that'd be interesting) and then unceremoniously handed paperwork to fill out and physicals and mental examinations to undergo; as well as a short argument over whether she should wear the uniform of an Agent or the uniform of a Librarian-in-Training, which resolved itself quickly enough . It was barely five minutes ago that she had been released into the care of the building itself, after being told what room (No, Response Center, she thought to herself. Not just a room.) to go to and been given a jacket that had what they called a flash patch on its shoulder.
Those five minutes, however, had been extraordinarily bad, which was why she was running as though her life depended on it. She had fallen into a fountain of liquid head first, when trying to decide which hall to go into, which made her memory very faint and she would have likely stayed submerged until drowned, but for the fact she recalled Ulysses and the Lotus Eaters, which shook her so and managed to get her to take her head of out of the Lotus Water, for all that it was tempting. Shortly after that, hair still dripping onto the floors and her blouse, she had ran into a pack of small demons, which were why she was still running. Library did not bother to look behind her to see if they were still following, as she felt it would only enforce that they were in fact there.
She slowed down for a short moment, as the pack she wore off her shoulder was thumping a bruise into her side. The lick of flaming whips at her skirts encouraged her to run once again and she opened the door of the closest room she could find and shut it behind her.
When she turned in relief, Library saw a newer problem than the singe in her skirt. She was now in a small gray room. Much of the furniture in the room was grouped together at angles, giving her the idea that things were being rearranged. A large machine was built into one side of the room, and the whole room smelled faintly of heated metal and bacon. On a table, one of the small demons was eating the source of the bacon smell.
“Um,” Library said. As she was looking at the general strangeness of the room, a girl crawled out from under a metal bunk bed that had been shoved diagonally into a corner, its mattresses lying against the opposite wall, rolling several aerosol cans and a few lighters out with her.
“Oh, hi,” the girl said, brightly. “You must be my partner. I'm July.” She stood up and walked over to Library. She grabbed one of Library‘s hands and started to shake it firmly. “I got here just a week ago; got lost in a new building addition and somehow ended up here at Headquarters. They say it probably was a plothole or something. I've been reading up in the Manual and everything I can get my hands on, so I shouldn't be too horrible on missions.”
Library gave July a blank look. “This is--” she paused, and pulled a printed sheet out of her bag and read the Response Center number out loud-- "right?”
“Funny, you've got that same look that new students always get when…” July returned the blank look. “You‘re new too, aren't you?”
“Yes,” Library admitted.
“Why would they set it up like this?” July complained. “Wouldn't it make sense to have someone experienced paired up with a greenhorn?”
Library considered what she had seen since she had been told she would be doing this. “I don't believe a lot of the things done here necessarily make sense. The Flowers, for instance.”
“That is true,” July acknowledged. “I told you who I am, now, who are you?”
“Library,” she said, eyeing the aerosol cans and lighters. “What were you doing before I came in?”
“Trying to fix that bed,” July said.
On closer inspection, Library noticed that the supporting bars for the bottom bed were all bent downwards, and several of them broken, leaving inches of space between bent bar dips. “Wouldn't you need soldering equipment? Or at least a hammer?”
“Yeah. But I wasn't able to find any of the flamethrowers or blowtorches that everything warns me to not approach when someone has one. So I tried to get one of the Mini-Balrogs to help, but either they don't work like that or don't want to,” she rambled, pointing at the Mini-Balrog in question, "So I tried cans of hair spray and lighters.”
“Did that work?”
“Not really,” July admitted. “The temperature isn't hot enough to make the bars melt together, and it's hard to control. I might have accidentally ended up roasting my hand up,” she said, raising and wiggling the fingers on a hand that was reddened and blistered.
There was a short silence.
“So, what are some books you like?” Library asked, trying to break the silence.
“Oh, pretty much anything I can get my hands on.”
“Anything?” she asked, wondering if she had misheard the person who was apparently her partner.
“Yeah,” the other girl said brightly. She began to list books and series, with no rhyme or reason that Library was aware of, or had ever heard of.
“I haven't heard of any of those books,” she told July.
“No Harry Potter? Foundation? 1632? Kitty Norville? Animorphs? Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Discworld? ” July listed.
“No. None of those.”
“Um, what about A Separate Peace? 1984? Brave New World?”
“That last one is a Shakespeare quote, isn't it? From The Tempest?”
“Um, yeah, but it's a book about--” July stopped, wondering how to explain Brave New World. “Um. It's a complicated book,” she said, lamely.
“Mm. Why don't we just write the books down instead?”
“That sounds like a good idea,” July admitted.
There was a short search for paper and pencils, and afterwards both girls started to list titles.
“I only recognize Charles Dickens and Shakespeare on your list,” Library told her.
“Jules Verne and George Bernard Shaw, here.” July unfolded her legs off of the chair she had sat in.
“That's not a great deal of overlap in books,” Library said, finally.
“Well, there's a library here, somewhere. I bet we could go over there right now and--”
July nearly fell out of her chair. “Yaagh! What was that?”
“I think it was that machine over there, against the wall,” Library said, helpfully.
July almost immediately looked sheepish. “Oh yeah. The console. I should have known that,” she replied. July pulled out a worn-looking manual, dog-eared and with long-dried stains of various shades covering the cover and, judging by the side of it, the inside as well. She flipped through it, until she stopped, and read for a short moment. “It says the beeping is an alert for a new mission.”
“'A counteroffensive attack against a badfic in order to restore canon to its rightful order.’Someone scribbled that in the manual,” July added, brightly, before standing up and going over to the console. She read off the monitor, pressed one of the buttons, and then quickly backed away after reading for a moment. “Gross.”
“Gross?” Library asked, confused.
“A Harry Potter Sue. Lily Evans' American half sister.” July told her, as she started to pull things out of a chest of drawers, wily nilly.
“Oh yeah, you didn’t know most of the stuff on my list, did you? Well, basically the Harry Potter books are about kids at a boarding school learning magic. But more complicated than that. And since this is a Marauders Era fic, we're gonna be in the past of the books. By about thirty-ish years or so.”
Library took July’s poor summary in hand.
July thought a moment, while she attempted to use her ratty manual to identify the things she had pulled out. “Hm, what do you think this is?” she asked, passing one of the objects over to Library, along with the manual. “I think it's either a Character Analysis Device or a remote activator thingy. Do you have any idea which is which?”
Library read the descriptions in the manual. There was no picture of either device. “I'm not sure.”
“Ah well,” July said, attempting to pocket both with what looked like a silver pen in a large bomber jacket she had put on over her black t-shirt; she gave Library a look: the girl was already wearing the jacket she had been given over her blouse and skirt, and it had the flash patch for the Department of Floaters on its sleeve. “Didn't they give you a uniform?”
“I am wearing my uniform. I declined the one they offered me. And isn't that jacket going to get you a bit hot?”
July looked at the ankle-length brown skirt Library was wearing. “Huh. I dunno. I think the uniform is black for a reason. And I get cold quickly.”
“They gave me this jacket,” Library told July. “Someone--I think they called him Makes-Things--didn't look very happy about it, though. He said it'd not work as well as the usual uniform, and if anything went wrong it'd be my fault.”
The Console [BEEP]ed again.
July scowled at it. “We're coming!” She scrambled over to a large black backpack and carefully put the Harry Potter books in ("My own set,” she said to Library proudly. “You can read them when we get in there.”) along with the manual and several forks.
“Why are we bringing forks along with us?”
“You never know,” July replied, as she stared at the Console with the determination of a person who has no idea what they are doing, but is planning on doing it anyways. “Now, how to figure out the disguise thinger. I'm just glad that it's a Potterfic so it should be easy to figure out. Hopefully. After all, it's just clothes, right?”
[Beep!] If one were to anthromorphize the sounds of the Console, one could have believed that was a [Beep!] of anxiety caused by being in the vicinity of a complete novice. The console also happened to produce a portal, perhaps an invitation to the two girls to get out of the Response Center, right now.
“July, if it’s boarding school, couldn’t we just borrow some clothes there? They'd likely have a laundry there,” Library said, attempting reasoning and logic while she tempted Narrative Irony as well. “That way maybe we could perhaps leave it in once piece and get help figuring out how that works?”
”You do have a point there,” July admitted. “At any rate, we have thingies, books, manual, and the Console just opened that portal there for us. I think we should go.”
Both girls stepped through the portal, leaving both a thoroughly relieved Console and a mini-Balrog that just realized it was caught inside the wrong Response Center alone.
Library and July looked around their surroundings.
“Well, here we are,” July said. “Kings Cross, prob'ly in the mid seventies or so.” She immediately pulled out the manual from the backpack. “At least if the author didn't totally tear it up.” She looked around, taking in the words. “Ooh, I think I see her,” she said, pointing towards the barrier.
“One of the red-headed girls?”
“Yah. One is the Sue, and the other will eventually be Harry's mother in the canon.”
The two Agents barely heard what the Sue and canon character were saying. “Lily, I don’t see Platform 9 3/4, are you sure you didn’t make a mistake?”
“That's the Sue, I think.” July started to pull the CAD out of her pocket and began to fiddle with it. “Now, how to work this thing…”
“Shouldn't we follow them instead of standing here?” Library asked as she watched the girls go out of sight through the barrier. “And how did they just go through that barrier?”
“Oh, um, right.” July grabbed Library’s hand and began running, dragging the newer Agent behind her, saying "And as to the barrier, I hope it's only an illusion, because it'd be pretty painful otherwise.”
They passed the barrier just as the exposition began echoing around them.
Everything happened so quickly, it was strange. Rachel thought about what she had found out over the summer as she followed Lily. She and Lily were half sisters; they have the same father, Rick. He had met Rachel’s mother in the United States but abandoned her after she became pregnant. He didn’t mind that she was a witch but he didn’t want a child.
Library had listened to the short exposition in silence until then. “Wait, what? He left her mother when she was pregnant?”
“But that's not right,” Library told her. “How could anyone in her family have let him do that?”
“Um, different standards? And besides, this would have been in the early sixties. I‘m not sure how standard it could have been though…”
He moved to London, which is where he met Lily’s mom and they got married.
“Hang on a second, he didn't want a child, but then got married to have Lily and Petunia? Besides that, Petunia is supposed to be older than Lily.” July checked the date of the fic very quickly. “This was written after Deathly Hallows, the author should know better.”
“Isn't Rachel her sister?”
“Rachel is a fake half-sister Sue. Lily has a real sister.”
Meanwhile Rachel and her mom, Natalia, had a happy life in California, until the unthinkable happened.
“Ah, California. ‘Happy cows come from California,’” July said, “As do prima dona actors, skateboards, and LA-quality smog.”
Last school year, Rachel’s fifth, she went home to find her mom dead. They said she died in her sleep from an unknown cause, but Rachel suspected that they were hiding something from her.
“How does she suspect this? If she found her mother dead, wouldn't she know if it looked like she had died in her sleep or not?” Library questioned out loud.
“I'm curious about that too. I can't tell if the author meant after a school day or after the school term ended or something.”
After the funeral, Rachel was forced to go live with her father and his family in London. She found out she had a half sister, Lily, who happened to be a muggle born witch.
“Huh? So their ‘father’ was a Muggle who had a liaison with an American witch, went to London, and ended up having a daughter with another Muggle and then Lily also happened to be a witch? Did his sperm get magically infected or something?”
Library blushed. “Isn't it inappropriate to mention that sort of thing in public?”
“Um, technically. But we're pseudo-invisible and also teenagers. The only thing we could really get in trouble for if we happened to be noticed--which I think is not really likely to happen--is for being loud. Well, here at least,” July added as an after thought. “I think.”
She also had a stepsister, Petunia, who was absolutely horrible to her and Lily because they were witches. And now she was off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where she knew no one other than Lily. It was hard for Rachel to lose her mom, move to London, and start a new school all in one summer, but this was a new beginning and she was determined to make the most of it.
“Now that's really typically Sue,” July said.
“How is it?”
“Because she's now a relative of an important canon character whose family has been more or less filled out, she came from another country, her mother is dead, and she’s all alone in the world without that one important canon person.”
The two novices watched as the Sue and Lily began to try to get on the train when three of the Marauders approached Lily and the Sue. “There's Remus, James, Siriu--hang on a sec, she left out Peter!”
“He's the fourth Marauder, or is supposed to be. He's not very popular with the fandom,” July told Library.
“So she's distorting the canon?”
The Sue began to eyeball Sirius, who quickly returned the favor.
“Oh for the love of--it's always Sirius they go for, isn't it?” July read the words, and after a moment said, “Mm. The author is saying that Sirius isn't really a playboy, which is basically what everyone characterizes him as in fanon. Interesting.”
“Um. Those are the sort of guys who go out with every girl. You really need some updating on general culture I think; it’s like you’re a few decades behind.”
The Sue and the canon characters boarded the train.
“Shouldn't we get on the train?”
“They've already gotten onto the train. I might be a few decades behind, but at least I'm keeping up with what is happening around us.” Library quickly boarded the train.
“Hey! Wait up!” July trailed after her, running. “There they are. It looks like they're all the way in the back.”
Both Agents got to the outside of the compartment just as Rachel introduced herself and explained that she was Lily's half sister.
“Well, you both do have red hair,” Remus said, trying to look for similarities.
“Why did she have to use Remus to point the obvious out?” July asked no one in particular. While she had no actual Lust Objects, July had always been fond of Remus.
“Is he the smart one of their group?”
“But other than that, they don’t look alike,” Sirius said.
“So Sirius thinks they don't look alike, yet afterwards there is immediately a compare and contrast which actually emphasizes the similarities. At least her eyes aren't green, too.”
Lily and Remus left, passing the Agents just before them, recalling a Prefect meeting.
July muttered under her breath something that could have been imagined to be ill tidings towards use of meetings as an excuse for set-ups.
“Lily said there were four of you, but I only met three.”
“Peter Pettigrew was the fourth one, but we caught him hanging out with some Slytherins so we ditched him,” Sirius explained.
“Getting rid of Peter so she doesn't have to deal with him would be a charge, don't you think?” Library asked.
“Oh, right,” Rachel said, remembering Lily’s explanation on house rivalries and how Slytherin produced dark wizards.
“What!? That'd be out of Lily's character. For heaven's sake, she's friends--or was friends, at any rate--with Snape, she's not shown to be so biased on House lines like a lot of the other characters!”
“Shouldn't we be writing these down? And being a bit quieter?”
“Yeah, we--oh shoot, I forgot to bring paper and pen.”
“How could you forget that?”
"By accident; and we're talking over their conversation.”
Rachel explained that she had transferred from Starlight Academy.
“Blugh, bad name for a magic school,” July said, rolling her eyes at the name.
“Really? I think it's nice. It sounds like its from a children's fairy tale story.”
“That's the problem. It shouldn't. Sue school name,” she said.
The Sue explained how she had been a troublemaker at her old school.
“That sounds like it was supposed to be an appeal to them. Prankster to prankster. Hey, hang on a sec.” July skimmed the next several lines. “What!?” She stuffed her jacket sleeve into her mouth, and shortly spat it out. The old leather sleeves didn't taste good. “Total canon breaker! I can't believe this! The Sue! She's totally for wish fulfillment.”
“Because she is!” Reasoning had not worked this time, and July reached for the handle of the compartment’s door, but was quickly dragged off by Library.
“So is Prongs your nickname?”
“Yeah, we all have nicknames. I’m Prongs, Sirius is Padfoot, and Remus is Moony. Peter was Wormtail but he’s not important anymore,” James explained.
“Interesting. Is there a reason behind the names or are they just random?”
James looked at Sirius and feigned caution. “Do you think we should trust her?”
Sirius pretended to think for a second, “I don’t know, I’m pretty sure it’s huge compared to anything she’s done,” he matched James’ expression. Rachel looked confused.
“We’re only joking, like I said, you’re a fellow miscreant, of course we can trust you,” Sirius said, a grin spreading over his face.
“Rachel- I can’t call you Evans too so do you mind if we call you Rachel? Ok- anyway, the reason is because I’m an unregistered Animagus, and Sirius is too.”
“This ain't the sort of stuff you talk about out loud in public! Not without a Silencing Charm or something! Or to complete strangers for that matter!”
“What's an Animagus?”
Rachel looked surprised at first, but then she grinned. “Don’t look so proud of yourself James, I am too.” Their mouths fell open.
“Nooooo. She can't be an Animagus. She's a Sue, she shouldn't be allowed,” July continued to babble.
“You’re lying,” Sirius said, looking impressed.
“No, we, my friends and I, figured out how to do it fourth year, which’s how we managed to sneak out. I turn into a fairy.”
“You beat us; we only did it last year. But you turn into a fairy?” Sirius snickered.
“July, calm down! What on earth is an Animagus? Do they turn into other things?”
July got a grip on herself, one sleeve at a time. “Animagi are supposed to be rare in the Harry Potter canon. It's supposed to be extremely impressive that Harry's father--” she pointed at James-- “and his friends managed to do it while they were in school. They're also supposed to only turn into animals. The Sue doing the same, younger, quicker, and turning into a fairy is a big canon violation.”
“I see. Thank you for telling me.”
The Marauders quickly told the Sue about what they turned into and changed conversation when she brought up Remus, but promptly made her part of their group.
“I feel like stabbing her, I really do.”
“Calm down, July--it's not the end of the world.”
“No, it's going to be the end of her.”
July leaned toward the conversation the Sue and canons were having and blinked. "I think a broom just appeared. There wasn’t a broom there earlier, was there?"
“It hadn’t been mentioned it before.”
“I see you have a broom. Do you play Quidditch?” James asked.
“Quodpot. The US plays Quodpot. She should be a Quodpot player.”
“Yeah, I play Chaser but I’m also a decent Seeker,” Rachel said.
“What sort of positions are those?”
“Oh yeah, you should probably read the series, shouldn't you?”
“It would probably be a good idea,” Library told her. “I really don't understand much of what the story is talking about.”
“Prongs is a Seeker and I’m a Chaser too! You’ll fit right in with us,” Sirius told her.
“Unless . . . which house are you in?” James asked.
“Gryffindor, I was sorted over the summer when I had my meeting with Professor Dumbledore,” she explained.
“Perfect,” Sirius grinned.
“Noo, that's hardly perfect, she just wants to be Gryffindor so she can get to you, Sirius.” July said, as she moved away from the compartment to let Remus and Lily in without being noticed.
The two watched as Lily rounded on both Marauders and Rachel when she found out the three had become friends.
“Oh Lily, please don’t be mad. It’s just that they’re like me and we get along, and they’re . . . well, you understand, don’t you?”
Lily sighed. “I suppose. That’s what I get for leaving you alone with them. But don’t expect me to be their friend too.”
“That's relatively in character, I think.”
“I’m going to find Julie and Melody. These three can show you where to go once we get to the school. See you later.” She left.
July slumped down to the floor of the hall. “I think we can take a break.” She pulled out the manual and the first Harry Potter book, passing it over to Library while she thumbed through the manual.
It was about half an hour before the Sue had finished telling the Marauders her sad story and was left in the compartment to change into her robes.
“Aw, and it was so nice,” July commiserated, just as James, Remus, and Sirius left the compartment. “How far did you get?”
“To the Sorting,” Library told her. “This is a nice little book. I like it. Poor Harry.”
“Uh oh, hide the canon material,” July said. “Snape's coming over here, and the Sue is going to come out any minute!”
The four boys saw each other, just as the two newbies stood up and Rachel came out of the compartment.
“Hey you guys can-” she stopped in mid sentence. James and Sirius had their wands out and were pointing them at Severus Snape. Remus was just standing there not sure what to do.
There were also two girls in the corner who had not yet changed into their robes.
“Hey Rachel, why don’t you join us on our first prank of the year?” James asked.
“What are you two doing?” she asked.
“Just having a little fun with Snivellus,” Sirius answered.
“You’d better not hurt him,” Rachel warned them, catching on to what they were up to. “And where did you two come from?” she asked, looking at Library and July.
The four canon characters noticed the two Agents as well, and blinked. Those two girls hadn’t been there, couldn’t have been there, but there they were.
“Um, we got kicked out of our compartment,” Library ad-libbed.
“What, did this slime do it?” James said, sneering at Snape.
“No, we got mobbed by a bunch of Hufflepuff third years,” July added. "Really nasty, those Hufflepuffs. Really frightening when they start bunching up. Badgers are really scary, you know.”
“So, um. We'll be going now. Bye!”
July dragged Library into a compartment full of filler a bit out of the way from where the Sue was still eying them.
“I can't--” bang-- “believe--” bang-- “we were that stupid.”
“I don't think beating the compartment wall to pieces with your head is going to do anything to fix that,” Library said, mildly.
“True.” July opened the compartment door slightly and peeked through. The Sue had evidently forgotten about them already, because her attention was focused on Snape.
“You didn’t tell me you didn’t get along with them,” Rachel said.
“You didn’t tell me you were their friend,” countered Snape.
“I just met them. They won’t bother you again when I’m around, as long as you don’t do anything to them,” Rachel assured him.
“I don’t need your protection Ray. But remember what I told you before we came here.”
“Commas, commas, where are the commas? It sounds like it’s some sort of ray gun. And Snape doesn't call people nicknames.”
“How can I forget?”
“I’ll see you around,” Snape said, walking away.
Rachel stood, remembering what Severus told her before they left for school. ‘We can’t hang out at school Ray, it’s just not a good idea.’ When Rachel had asked him why they couldn’t, he wouldn‘t give her a straight answer.
“Yay, more exposition,” July said in a bored tone.
Rachel went into the compartment once the boys were finished changing.
July thought a moment. “D'you want to stay in here and just read, or should we go out there and listen to their argument?”
Library didn't even bother to look up from the book. “Stay in here,” she said. “I want to read more of this, and I can't do that if we keep within three feet of her.”
They stayed in the compartment, Library reading the series and July reading the Words of the fic until there was a sudden lurching stop.
“What just happened?” Library said, looking up from the book.
“Um, I think the chapter ended.” She gave the ceiling a look, as though it were at fault. “The next chapter starts in the Great Hall; she skips the carriage ride and Sorting.”
“What do we do then?”
“I think we should portal to the Great Hall, or outside it, very least.” July pulled both of the devices out from her pockets and stared at them. “Still have no idea which is which.” She picked up the one closest to her and guardedly pressed a button.
[NO CHARACTER INDICATED], read the display.
“Well, I guess that one's the CAD.” She stuffed it back into a pocket and picked up the remote activator. After a few false starts, she managed to open a portal to the Great Hall.
July and Library portalled right behind the Hufflepuff table. Sadly, the portal had opened a few feet off the floor. July sprawled onto the ground, and before she could warn Library, was landed on by the newer Agent.
“Oh no, I'm so sorry!” Library stood up and helped July off the floor.
“I'm alright,” July replied dazedly. “I don't think anything was broken. Squashed, but not broken.”
Library looked over to the Gryffindor table, where most of the girls were glaring at the Sue.
“Oww,” July rubbed her side. “Another charge: Inflicting jealousy. We really need to find something to write with, I think. To write on, too.”
"They're gonna be going on about Rachel and Sirius' ‘rivalry’ for the next several chapters, and bring in other OCs to try and make each other jealous,” July said, eyes rolling. She had never been particularly interested in that hormonal part of high school drama. “Do you want to skip until she brings in the other guy? I think he's going to be a Marty Stu,” she informed Library.
“I‘ve been reading ahead, and I don't think I want to see everything,” Library said. “Do you think I could try using the remote activator this time?”
“Sure,” July said, handing it over.
Library, after taking a moment to figure out how to work the remote activator, opened a portal. The two stepped through it, just in time to watch Sirius kiss Rachel in a game of Truth or Dare.
Grudgingly, Sirius went to sit by Rachel. His glare was gone and he softened his expression when he looked at her. He stroked her cheek, letting his hand travel to the back of her head, drawing it closer to his, their faces within inches of each other. Her heart began racing, a blush crawling up her neck and into her cheeks. He held her gaze for a moment, then brought his lips to hers. She could feel her face burning, her heart pounding, all thought escaped her mind for a glorious second. . . and then it stopped. Her eyes were closed but she could still feel his breath on her lips, his face a millimetre away from hers.
When she didn’t pull away, he leaned in for another kiss. He couldn’t think straight, it didn’t occur to him what the others watching might think or say. No other girl had ever made him feel the way he was feeling now. Her warm lips, her smell. . . he didn’t want the moment to end, but he forced himself to pull away after what felt like hours.
It took Rachel a second to remember herself, but when she did she pretended to yawn. “Well, this was fun and all but I’m tired. I’m going to bed.”
“Wrong part of the fic!” July dragged Library out of sight as the Sue and company went to their dormitory.
“We're not having luck at all with things, are we?”
“No. Hm…" July eyed the books, parchment, quills, and ink that were lying around the Gryffindor Common Room. It didn't take very long for most of the writing supplies to end up in her backpack.
“Do you know how to write with a quill?” Library asked July, as the other Agent attempted to figure out how to fill the quill pen.
“No, do you?”
“No. But you're getting ink everywhere.”
Eventually July managed to get ink into the quill and began writing. “What did we say the charges were so far?”
“Being a Sue, Being Lily Evan's Half Sister, Being From America, Being an Animagus Who Turns Into a Magical Creature, Removing Peter--” she stopped. “What's his last name?”
“Oh. ” Library began again. “Removing Peter Pettigrew because of disliking him…”
“I remember most of the rest.”
There was the general feeling of being put into a rock tumbler on the highest setting and the Agents’ view of Common Room disappeared as they fell to what gravity implied was the floor, which was replaced by the underside of someone’s bed and one last change of gravity.
“I feel sick,” July said, flat on her back. She looked ready to throw up. She had never been one for thrill rides and fighting against gravity; even the sight of rollercoasters made her ill.
“Is this someone's bedroom?”
Voices drifted above them. “So what was that all about?”
“That's one of the OCs,” July said. “Wossername. Can't remember. I don't think I want to.”
They listened to the girl talk between the Sue, Lily, and the OCs, before the feeling of being in a rock tumbler over took the Agents again, and they were sent crashing into a stone wall. Once again, July cushioned Library from the force.
“I'm starting to think this is more abuse than I can take,” she grumbled. The second jumbling of the scene change had affected her less than the first, but was making the fluffy-haired girl more irritated by the moment.
“I got your bag,” Library said, helpfully.
“Great, here comes Sirius; the Sue is going to be here soon.”
“Ouch!” Sirius had just run into the Sue.
Sirius began to comfort the Sue, but was soon stopped by the appearance of the Gryffindor Head of House, Minerva McGonagall, who sent them to bed after assigning the pair detention and revoking the trip to Hogsmeade.
“Finally, someone with sense,” July said, angrily. She took out the remote activator.
“July, are you alright? Maybe you should just calm down a moment. There's enough time for us to take a break, isn't there?”
“No, I’m not alright, and you know what? Bugger it. Bugger the sappy romantic competition, bugger the sappy Yule Ball, bugger the stupid bit with the full moon run,” she swore. “We're gonna grab her during the Christmas Break. I'm tired of being squashed by things and people, and more of those scene changes are gonna make me puke.”
She opened a portal and, before Library could protest, pushed her through. July soon followed.
They ended up in the Evans’ living room, just as the Sue’s father began to kick her.
“You there! Sue!” July yelled. Both the Sue and her father looked at them in surprise. He had not expected there to be an audience for Rachel’s beating.
“What the hell're you doing in my house?” the man said, drunkenly.
“To arrest Rachel Evans. We're Agents of the PPC.” July flashed the toothy smile of someone who has had a bad day and plans to make someone else’s worse.
Before either could protest, Library pushed Rick Evans away from Rachel and helped the Sue up.
July took the charge list from Library. “Rachel Evans, you are charged with A, being a Mary Sue; B, being an American Exchange Student to Hogwarts; C, Being Lily Evan's Half Sister, morely, being her bastard half sister; D, taking Peter Pettigrew out so to replace him as a Marauder; E, being a Fairy Animagus, which Canon does not posit the existence of and is fairly surely not something you can turn into; F, targeting Sirius Black as a love interest; G, becoming friends with the Marauders while simultaneously being friends with Severus Snape, WHICH YOU DO NOT DO; H, going through with having another love interest while still entertaining the idea of Sirius Black; I, forgetting the comma all over the place; J, not having proper scene changes WHICH I AM STILL SUFFERING FROM; K--” July was tapped on the shoulder. “What?”
“You’re yelling,” Library said.
“I know. Can I continue?”
“Where was I? Oh yes: K, using abuse for pity points; L, putting everyone out of character so that this abuse could continue and so that everyone would be your friend-” July took a breath. "There’s also a lot more that I probably left out, but at any rate, Rachel Evans, your punishment is death.”
“What?” Rachel said, with a look of disbelief on her face. “You, you can't do this. I'm badly hurt, if anyone should die, it should be my father! He did all this to me, he--” She slumped to the floor, unconscious.
July looked at Library, who was holding the fifth Harry Potter book in such a way that one could almost believe it had been used as a blunt weapon.
“I'm not completely oblivious to everything,” the Librarian-in-Training said.
“Mm. Right. Where was I, again?”
“Oh yeah. Say, how high up do you think a Sue would have to be before they go splat on the ground, if they were over a forest without a broom?”
“This is just an estimate, but I don't think it would have to be very high.”
The two Agents exchanged a look, before July opened a portal to some point a few hundred feet above the Forbidden Forest near Hogwarts. It wasn’t too hard for both girls to heave the inert Sue through the portal’s opening. After a moment, the noise of a body crashing into the trees could be heard.
“I wonder how long it will take before the Acromantulas in the forest find her,” July wondered out loud.
“Giant spiders. They're in book two.”
“What do we do now?”
“I think we should take care of him,” Library said, meaning Rick.
“Huh. He's a bit character, but he's abusive. But I think that's just the Sue's influence. If we neuralyze him, do you think that'd be okay? I don't really want to kill anyone else.”
“Neither do I. I think that'd be fine, though.”
There was some initial fumbling over sunglasses and the neuralzyer, but other than that, it went smoothly, and the two Agents were finished.
“Wait a moment,” July said. She ran to the dead Sue’s room and came back a few minutes later, with a much heavier backpack and a broom in hand.
“You‘re taking her things?”
“She doesn‘t need them anymore, and they‘d have disappeared anyways, I think, and besides, books!”
“Fair enough.” Library opened the portal to their response center.
“I think that went pretty okay,” July said as she went through. “I'm just gl--oh no.” She dropped the backpack next to the Console.
The response center was a mess. Papers and clothing had been torn up and tossed about, with scorch marks on everything. But the most noticeable was the giant, fire-blasted, sooty hole where a door had once been. That door being the door into the hall.
“The door's gone…” Library said, shocked.
“It must have been the mini-Balrog. I forgot to let it out of the room before we left. Since it doesn't belong in here it must have got angry.” July banged her head against a scorched mattress.
“At least the mission went well, right?”
There was a silence.
Well, that was my first mission just there. It took a while to type up, if you looked at the blog thing on my website for these. Anyhow, I hope you guys liked July and Library’s first mission.
This moves to the concrit for the story, A New Beginning. The person who’s writing it says that it is their first fanfic, and it really shows; much of the fic’s premise can be considered standard fanon. The writing is actually fairly decent for a fanfic with such a canon-breaking Mary Sue in it: It’s pretty good writing, in fact, aside from the occasional scene change transitioned poorly and the absence of that friend of everyone, the comma.
The characterization of the other characters is more or less good. However, the two main original characters in the story are both dangerously in Mary Sue/Gary Stu territory, especially Rachel. Handled well, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, but so far all that’s been done is to establish how great and fun a person Rachel is, and all the sort of wonderful things she can do, which diminishes the effect things like the Marauders‘ learning how to be Animagi, or James and Lily‘s love/hate relationship. This in itself is dangerous and is the main reason the fic was PPCed.
All the same, alwayssirius shows some promise in fan fiction if she learns from this fic. That said, I’m not saying she should immediately quit. Despite being a Sue, Rachel can still be worked well enough to be a good original character in fan fiction. She’s certainly still salvageable, if she’s saved before the Acromantulas get her. I know I’m certainly favoriting this fic, despite all July’s qualms about it during the mission, mainly because I am curious to see if it will improve. Fanon isn’t all bad, but typing your fantasies out can be if you don’t know how to keep it from being over-fantastic or boring for everyone else.
All in all, comments and complaints can be sent to JulyFlame at Gmail.com