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07 January 2009 @ 10:00 pm
Fic: Other Than Ordinary  
Title: Other Than Ordinary
Rating/Warnings: PG13
Length: 1,000 words (x10 drabbles)
Summary: Xenophilius' life in ten drabbles.
Author Note: I originally intended this fic to be part of an application (which I never completed) for road_ahead, which is a fun RP you should take a look at if you have the time.

Other Than Ordinary

- Firstly -
 
His name is 'Xenophilius' as in Xenophiles – people who are attracted to that which is foreign or strange – and not 'Xeno' as in foreign or strange himself, as he makes quite clear in his first night at Hogwarts. It takes a whole week for Rupert Bradley to fully recover from the Jelly-Brain Jinx Xenophilius hits him with, two weeks for Xenophilius to finally finish serving detention, and three weeks for Rupert to retaliate (by Banishing Xenophilius' bed).

It becomes a Ravenclaw House joke that entering the boys' first year dormitory is more dangerous than attending one of Professor Kettleburn's classes.


- Secondly - 

In his second year his older brother is killed in what is beginning to be known as 'Grindelwald's War'. His mother dies of heartbreak, but Xenophilius isn't told about this until after her funeral. He stays in school learning how to turn a mouse into a teacup instead of how to say goodbye.

His father tells him not to bother coming home for Christmas and Xenophilius is trying to bury his head in a book when Rupert Bradley attempts to Transfigure him into a rabbit and stamps on the half-human result.

After his second year Xenophilius is never entirely sane.


- Trio-ly - 

Xenophilius' first job after Hogwarts is working for the Daily Prophet.

He goes missing during the Introductory Tour For Future Possible Reporters, If You Can Spell (As In Writing Words Correctly) And Do Not Irritate The Boss Too Greatly and is found three hours later having never made it out of the Printing Room. The Editor spends ten minutes listening to Xenophilius arguing with the Press Officer about paper weights, continuous feed, and the (lack of) efficiency of the Runes that embed moving type onto a page, before declaring himself greatly irritated and hiring Xenophilius as a Junior Press Officer.


- Quarterly -  

He's fired three days later, reputedly for 'not playing well with others' and being 'too clever for his own good'.

His father pays for Xenophilius to attend a Publishing course as far away from home as can be found and sends him off with enough Galleons that he need not be in contact with his father, let alone return home, for some time.

Publishing' is followed by Magizoology, An Introduction To Engineering, The Reality of Myth, and Supplementary Transfigurations, and Xenophilius comes to love the odd looking Platypus, opera, Luna Park, and, for no apparent reason, scrambled eggs with banana.
 

- Pentagon -
 
Eventually the money runs out, but Xenophilius doesn't run home.

Seasonal jobs, freelance journalism and favours from friends allow him to make his way through Indonesia, India, Nepal, China, Russia, and Europe. He takes notes for a Mackled Malaclaw handler, drives a taxi, harvests Chinese Chomping Cabbages, helps to build a house, and attends all the Guest Lectures and Open Academic Conferences that he comes across. He writes articles about everything and everywhere; some he profits from, some he doesn't and some are eaten by cabbages.

He makes it to London, for the libraries, but he doesn't make it home.


- Half Dozen -
 
Xenophilius meets Lorena when he drops a (rather heavy) Charms book on her head (accidentally) in the Magical Annexe of the Bodleian Library. He buys her lunch to apologise and they spend four and half hours arguing about whether or not there is any use for Quantative Relativities of Charming other than beating someone over the head with it.

They marry in an idyllic summer a few years before 'Voldemort' becomes something that you don't say. (He can still remember the exact pattern of tiny creases around her nose when she screwed her face up in delight as he proposed.)


- Septimus -  

Luna Lovegood is a surprise that leaves him feeling as if he now has everything in the world that he could possibly want. Xenophilius has never met anyone so fascinating and Lorena laughs at the way they sit staring at each other, heads tilted to one side, waiting for the other to do or say something extraordinary.

The death of his father is a surprise that leaves him feeling indifferent; his inheritance of The Rookery is a surprise that leaves him feeling duty bound to finally return home.

It isn't home when they arrive, but (unsurprisingly) they make it one. 


- Octopus -

The Quibbler begins as a collection of articles written by Xenophilius whilst he was on his travels that were never published (or eaten by cabbages). Some of the few people who purchase it begin sending him their own travel writings, thoughts on magical creatures, and personal research, then pass copies onto their friends when Xenophilius publishes them in a pamphlet form.

The Quibbler grows into a magazine, filled with musings from Xenophilius and others on the Wizarding World.

The Quibbler is a printing press on the second floor of The Rookery with Luna lying underneath it watching the words move.


- Nine -

He never feels fond of the tiny creases that grow to larger creases around his wife's nose, the lines that lightly trace across her face and slowly sink deeper, but he can recall every single one, more clearly than any page of text he has ever memorised and more vividly than any argument, intellectual or otherwise, that he has ever had.

Time and cold and slithering grey steal so many things, but not plain indifference.

Not fine lines that suggest the shape of a face, though the face itself may be forgotten.

Steal away. Xenophilius has a foundation of lines.


- And After -
 
Sometimes he thinks he's crazy.

(Loss. Grey and stealing and loss. Words repeating and repeating and passing themselves on. Cabbages eating the ones left over. Running in circles, surprises around every corner. Anything to keep her, nothing left but her. Does it matter if advice on Maligotts is printed alongside 'Corruption in the Quidditch League'? Anything. Anything to keep long blond hair splayed out across the floor watching the words and talking of so much seen and yet to be seen and never to be seen but they will. Anything. And lines.)

But he can't quite bring himself to care.
 
 
 
feeling: productiveproductive
 
 
 
sugar_fey: HP- luna magicsugar_fey on January 7th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is... truly extraordinary. I'm stunned and amazed and I absolutely adore and love what you've created here.

I can't actually write much more than that at this stage because I'm too busy being in awe. WOW.
inkvoices: hp:luna believesinmagicinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
I awed you? Wow. *huge smile* Thank you for the wonderful praise!
I'm glad you liked it :oD
opheliet: exclamation!pamopheliet on January 8th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
Wow I never really had very much interest in Xenophilius by himself, but this was amazing and has me totally hooked on him. I love all the little details and the life you've given a character we know so little about.
inkvoices: hp:hermione adultlookuphappyinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I surprised myself by not actually mentioning the Deathly Hallows in a fic about Xenophilius, but then I wanted to see what was interesting about him himself for a change, and I'm glad that worked for you. And I like exploring characters that are peripheral in canon. :o)

Glad you enjoyed it!
sarahetc on January 8th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
And some were eaten by cabbages
This is inspired. It's tantalizing and by turns sweet and sour and I would love to read about a thousand more words for each section, at least. I could (and am, probably, right now) integrate this as canon so very easily.

It's so very finely tuned, too; each word is so precise. Wonderful!
inkvoices: hp:deathly hallowsinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
because Chinese cabbages chomp on things
Thank you so very much for the amazing compliments! I like mixing moods, because life is a mix. Writing to an exact word count for each section is difficult for me, so I got all annoyed with the 100 words per section self-imposed rule, but I wanted precise - I'm so glad you think it turned out that way!
Feather Quill: Red Shoesfeatherxquill on January 8th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)

Wow, this is absolutely amazing.

WHY did you never finish the app, hmmmmm? *g*
inkvoices: hp:luna ticinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :oD

*sigh* One thing after another after another, and when I decide to commit to something I like to do it whole-heartedly. I was waiting for the right moment. It doesn't seem to have arrived yet. :o/
Inell: Butterflyinell on January 8th, 2009 04:15 am (UTC)
See, my 'happy' of the day turned 'sad' because this is just amazing, and I know you're not planning to join us now. That's so disappointing because this is just brilliant. I do understand, but if you do ever find yourself thinking you can handle a once every two week commitment, you're ours. *nods* Lovely work!
inkvoices: hp:hermione adultlookuphappyinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'm all kinds of happy that you think it's really that you liked it that much. And seriously, when I have the time you can own me. :o)
just heather: Luna HBPheather on January 8th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
This is brilliant!

*laments the fact that your xeno isn't coming to RA*

;)

Seriously, awesome job on this. That last passage in particular was just amazing.
inkvoices: hp:luna quibblerinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

He might arrive eventually. *grins*

For the last bit I was heading into the complicated territory of how to say that Xeno would be okay with turning the trio in, in Deathly Hallows, because nothing matters but Luna and that that's part of his 'craziness', and that he's okay with that too...and I had 100 words. *laughs* So I tried to figure out how he would say it. So, yeah, I'm pleased you liked the last drabble. *grins*
Shadow: prettyiamshadow on January 8th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
This is wonderful, poetic. Both Luna and Xenophilius are lampooned a fair bit in fan fiction. You manage to touch on the wonder of them both, and the fact that being different isn't wrong, it's just different.
inkvoices: hp:crazynotstupidinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you, yes! *is all kinds of happy with you* They're just different, and there's nothing wrong with that. Only then Xenophilius has some hard times in life that he might not handle especially well, so he might be a bit crazy on top of that, but 'crazy' is relative.

Glad you liked it :o)
Fanartist in trainingkath_ballantyne on January 8th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
I love this.
I had to get Ruth to read it too because I knew she'd love it.

It's a really interesting look into a character that is only really mentioned for his oddness.
And his love of his daughter of course.

Very well done.
inkvoices: hp:deathly hallowsinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm so happy you liked it that much :oD

I know, when I thought about him that was what I came up with straight away too: odd and loves his daughter. I decided not to stray into 'obsessed with the Deathly Hallows' territory, because I wanted to see what else he might be about. (And hey, Aussie person - Luna Park. *grins*)
spilt ink - kath_ballantyne on January 9th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
spilt ink - inkvoices on January 9th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
spilt ink - kath_ballantyne on January 9th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
spilt ink - inkvoices on January 10th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
spilt ink - kath_ballantyne on January 10th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
spilt ink - kath_ballantyne on January 10th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
spilt ink - inkvoices on January 10th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
spilt ink - kath_ballantyne on January 10th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
shygryf: everyone but youshygryf on January 8th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
lovely. too often used as comic relief it is nice to see him treated with respect
inkvoices: hp:crazynotstupidinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you. He is funny from time to time, but he's a person too. :o)
star54kar: Lunastar54kar on January 8th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
A gorgous in depth look at a character who is seldom looked at with any kind of depth at all!

Fantastic work and thank you so much for sharing!
inkvoices: hp:luna quibblerinkvoices on January 8th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so very glad you enjoyed it. :o)
lazy_neutrinolazy_neutrino on January 8th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
Fantastic.

they sit staring at each other, heads tilted to one side, waiting for the other to do or say something extraordinary

and that is totally enchanting and totally believable.
inkvoices: hp:luna believesinmagicinkvoices on January 9th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Heh, yes, he is a totally enamoured new daddy watching his little marvel, and she's Luna, so of course she watches back. :o)
Lynn Raineslynnraines on January 9th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
Very interesting. I think you wrote something special here. I really loved this:

He stays in school learning how to turn a mouse into a teacup instead of how to say goodbye.
inkvoices: hp:deathly hallowsinkvoices on January 9th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed it :o)

Forcing myself to stick to 100 words per section really made aim for precise, so that line was a way of saying, all at once, that Xeno missed the funeral and was at school instead, that he missed something important there, that lessons outside of school can be more or just as important as lessons in school, that Xeno maybe places too much importance on academics because of this in later life or maybe goes the other way - for the reader to decide - and that Transfigurations is something that he and Rupert Bradley seem to use a lot of, maybe making them more similar than not. *breathes* Yeah, squishing of information. :o)
Lee West (westlee)westwardlee on January 26th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
I l,iked this a lot - first of all, it was nice to see Xeno's character. I think he has a lot of potential for fics and there are none that I know about - except for yours.

I also loved the strcuture of the story - writing in 100-word drabbles made it very effective, too. I am very fond of those structures.

inkvoices: hp:deathly hallowsinkvoices on January 26th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I like writing characters that are peripheral in canon, because there's so much to explore, and Xenophilius does seem peripheral in fanfic as well - I haven't spotted any fics about him around either. :o/ I found writing that precisely really challenging, but I wanted to give it a go *grins*. I'm really pleased that you not only think that structure worked but that you liked it.

Glad you enjoyed the story! :o)