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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.
 
Tags: fanfiction: all, fanfiction: harry potter
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