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...and the Forest Guard, Chapter One: (Spoilery chapter title), Pt.1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
...and the Forest Guard, Chapter One: (Spoilery chapter title), Pt.1
Oops, I can't give this its whole title until the spoiler period is over. Imagine replacing "..." with the name of the PoV character, who is the same individual about whom my last two stories were written, if that's not too obscure. :)

This is just a first section of a first chapter of a first year fic. Not much happens except for an introduction.


The Great Pre-Hogwarts Orphan Tour

The car making its way cautiously up the lane ran perfectly, but it was rusty and a bit dirty, and its faded window stickers became more antique with each passing year. Crawling along the road like a prehistoric metal insect, its windows had to be kept open in the summer heat, and bits of music sung by the dead were snatched up into the slipstream and thrown to the wind. Its line at the manufacturer had ended, been re-started, and ended again. It seemed to come from some fantastic, long-gone world, where barefoot girls in bell-bottoms danced on dewy hillsides and long-haired men played guitar by the light of the moon, where they sat together and dreamed soft dreams and sang to the coming dawn. It had, in fact, seen such days, and the tense woman now sitting behind the steering wheel had once been one of the barefoot girls, though if one had tried to tell the boy beside her that, he would have flatly refused to believe it.

In those days, the car had gone out frequently, puttering out into the hills for festivals, driving from summer job to summer job with the boy who had once owned it. It had been filled with food to be delivered, laundry to be washed, and ground mulch to be put in. Most of its wear and tear had come in those days, and it hadn't been new when the boy had bought it. When he came of age, he had other ways to move from place to place, ways that were faster and didn't tax his car, and the old friend went into storage until the man's daughter asked to drive it. It had a brief renaissance then, gaining a tape player and a pile of long-melted tapes by squeaky voiced singers in colorful clothes that rattled around under the passenger seat, then went back into storage until the girl was a young woman, and needed it for one specific purpose. During this period of activity, the car had been washed and polished, and it had gained a parking permit sticker, now faded, for school called "Smeltings," whose crest showed various types of metal being worked. That young woman had driven smoothly, with a graceful dexterity of movement that she had never mastered in her independent locomotion.

The woman now driving--the boy's wife, the young woman's mother--had known the car through all of its phases, but had never driven it before this year, and she drove now with the pale, nervous concentration of a teenager making her first attempt. The boy beside her knew better than to try and talk to her; last time he'd done so, she'd pulled over and lectured him for nearly ten minutes about letting her keep her head before she got them both killed. She'd finally grumbled something about putting fireplaces in the train station--though that wasn't where they were headed today; this was just practice--and pulled back out into traffic.

The boy looked at the mirror that stuck out of the car like a raised thumb, and stared at his own reflection. Concentrating, he turned his hair purple, then gold, then orange, then--

"TEDDY!"

The car swerved onto the verge, and Teddy Lupin's grandmother, the formidable Andromeda Tonks, screeched to a stop and turned to Teddy, eyes blazing. "You can be seen in this car," she said. "Honestly. How many times do I have to--" But the words caught in her throat. Teddy knew why. They'd only been driving for a week, going here and there to practice for the trip to London with all of his luggage in September, and she'd never told him anything about not morphing in the car. The scold had been to the ghost of a girl who had once sat here, or in the family's other, more respectable, car, changing her hair color as her son now did, possibly attracting attention from those who shouldn't have seen her do so.

Teddy glanced out the window to make sure there were no Muggles looking out of their windows, at least not close enough to see clearly, and turned his hair sandy brown.

"Take the gray out," Granny said. "It looks a bit silly on an eleven-year-old."

Teddy hadn't put the gray in on purpose--it was just a bad habit he'd picked up looking at old photographs of his father--but he didn't bother making the argument. He just changed it. He thought that, gray aside, this was probably his real color.

Granny took a deep breath, then shook her head. "I'm sorry, Teddy. This driving business makes me nervous. I didn't mean to snap. I think we're running late, and I'm sorely tempted to just park this... thing... and Apparate both of us over to Molly and Arthur's."

"It's all right, Granny," Teddy said. "I like riding."

She looked at him very dubiously, then turned the key in the ignition and went back out onto the road. Teddy looked out the window and watched the south of England roll by. He'd definitely got used to this over the past few days, as everyone in their circle of friends had sent notes saying that they just had to see him before he went off to Hogwarts. It was a sort of concentrated version of his whole life, which was filled with adults who went out of their way to make sure he was seen and spoken to as often as was humanly possible. "We want to make sure," he'd once heard his godfather's wife say, "that Teddy knows he's not alone." Teddy had been five then, and hadn't quite grasped the idea that Uncle Harry wasn't going to come back and live with him and Granny again, after the big party where the red-headed girl wore a pretty white dress.

It turned out that there were a lot of people who wanted Teddy to know he Wasn't Alone, and he loved all of them and wasn't sorry to see any of them on the Great Pre-Hogwarts Orphan Tour (and desperately wanted to ask Uncle Harry about a blank piece of parchment he'd received by Owl Post yesterday morning, with instructions not to mention it to his grandmother), but sometimes, all the assurances and hugs and pats on the back made him wonder if normal eleven-year-olds would get the same sort of treatment. He certainly seemed to be more hugged than than ten-year-old Victoire Weasley, though he supposed that could just be because no one wanted to hug her. She'd probably tell them that they weren't doing it properly and then spend an hour explaining how their arms were in the wrong place, and it would certainly be done better in France. Teddy's dearest hope was that she would follow her love of France to Beauxbatons next year, instead of following him to Hogwarts.

The car crested a hill, and Teddy looked down into the garden of the Burrow, where a rather large crowd of people had got together. There were three Muggle cars, but many more guests than would be accounted for by them. It looked like all of the Weasleys were here, even though he'd already seen Bill and Fleur and their family, and Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny and their children (who he saw twice or three times a week anyway), Ron and Hermione and their children, George Weasley and his Muggle wife (who was very, very big through the stomach just now), and he was willing to bet that Percy was somewhere nearby with a lecture waiting, and... yes, there was Charlie, who had brought a baby dragon to show off. There were more people who Teddy thought of as family, though he wasn't entirely sure how they were related, including two Hogwarts teachers--who he'd have to get used to calling Professor Hagrid and Professor Longbottom soon enough--and old Professor McGonagall, who had retired to, as far as Teddy could tell, follow Quidditch matches around the country. There were others, too, but he couldn't see everyone from here.

The car came to a bouncing stop, and Granny took a deep breath and pulled the keys from the ignition. "That's that," she said. "I think I'll ask Arthur to put more safety charms on it while we're here..."

They got out of the car, and Teddy had to duck from a sudden onslaught of small people running awkwardly at him. Five year old James Potter caught him around the legs, and his younger brother Al tried to follow, but toppled over onto Teddy's feet, which he enthusiastically hugged. His cousin Rose Weasley, the same age, managed not to fall over, then grabbed Teddy by the hand and grinned up at him, making a strange sort of noise between her teeth. A Weasley cousin Teddy thought belonged to Percy launched himself at Teddy's midsection, driving him back into the car.

Teddy collapsed under the laughing pile, feeling warm and happy, if a bit dazed by the attack. He plucked Al up off of his feet and lifted him up to the crook of his arm as he stood up. James, not wanting to be left behind, hooked his fingers over Teddy's arm, and started telling a story about going flying with his father, which seemed to involve a dragon, a doxy, and quite possibly a Muggle submarine.

"You ought to have a hippogriff in that," Teddy said when James seemed finished. "It would be even better if you took Buckbeak next time."

James, looking delighted, ran off, flapping his arms like a hippogriff in flight.

"A hippogriff?" Harry Potter said, coming up the hill to greet him, smiling slightly. He hugged Teddy awkwardly around Al, who refused to be budged. "Come on, Teddy, you can do better than that. Give him a dragon."

"He already had one," Teddy said, and grinned. "Hi, Uncle Harry. Again." He looked at his grandmother, who had got involved in a converation with Molly Weasley and wasn't paying any attention, and said, "Did you send me the, er... parchment thing?"

"I don't know what you mean."

"Is it a present?"

"No. It belongs to you. It belonged to me, and I hope when you no longer need it, you'll pass it to the next person to whom it belongs, though as that person's parent, you ought not tell me if you do."

"A piece of parchment."

Uncle Harry grinned. "Just wait until you get your wand, Teddy. You'll see."

Teddy could see that he'd get no further answers, so he just followed his godfather down into the throng of family waiting for him.
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Comments
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marissa_214 From: marissa_214 Date: July 25th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, I'm so excited to see this!

So sad how Teddy put the gray in from mimicking his father.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's definitely got some Mum and Dad issues, which will come up, but I'm going to try not angsting much more than PS/SS did.
rosetapestry From: rosetapestry Date: July 25th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really love the idea of Harry going to live with Andromeda for a few years - give him a chance to work through his issues without being alone but also sort of grow into healthy independence like I feel he couldn't really do if he continued to stay with the Weasleys.

I can totally see McGonagall retiring to obsess over Quidditch. I wouldn't be surprised if she returned to cheer on Gryffindor from time to time as well. And of course, Teddy should have the Marauder's Map!

This is going to be fun.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is going to be fun.

I hope so. I also hope JKR either never tells us who the permanant DADA teacher and new headmaster are, or, you know, tells us really soon. ;p For now, I'm going to say Sprout is the new headmistress, since Neville's teaching Herbology.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: July 25th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
YES!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you like!
norwegianblue47 From: norwegianblue47 Date: July 25th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about fanfic, if I'd want to write it or even read it. But this just shows me that there's going to be fanfic and it is going to be good. I'm glad that you started writing right away. Excellent job. I especially liked the connection between Andromeda yelling at Tonks about changing her hair and Teddy changing his hair where muggles can see him. Awesome descriptions of the family, though it does make me wonder what haughty Andromeda thought of this big huge family right after she got Teddy.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad I started writing right away, too, though I'm bound to make some canon goofs, as my brain hasn't entirely assimilated DH yet.

I don't know that Andromeda is haughty; she was just an outsider at the time of the actual war. By the time we get to here, she's been around these folks for a while, and feels secure that no one is going to steal Teddy, and is probably fine.
muridae_x From: muridae_x Date: July 25th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, blank pieces of parchment. Well, that certainly had to be passed on to the next generation and as a Marauder's son I'd say that Teddy has a good claim to it.

I suspect that Andromeda would have been cool about such things back when she was at school too, even if nobody of either Harry or Teddy's generation would be able to credit it. It probably wouldn't apply when she gets into parent-by-proxy mode though, so it's probably best she knows nothing about Teddy's new possession.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's the sort of thing that the legal guardian probably is better off not "officially" knowing about. ;p As when Remus was Harry's teacher, he couldn't give it back because of issues of responsibility, a parent might have to think twice about giving such an item. A family friend, godfather, whatever... "Here ya go, use it in good health."
eir_de_scania From: eir_de_scania Date: July 25th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just one nitpick: wouldn't Ted have his Apparition license a year before before being able to take his driving license? I'm pretty certain you have to be eighteen in Britain to get it.

Apart from that; lovely fic! So many gems! And Teddy getting the Marauders Map - so very fitting.
katyhasclogs From: katyhasclogs Date: July 25th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Close. You can get a driving licence at seventeen. But while you learn to Apparate before you're seventeen and then get your licence after your birthday, with driving you can't learn until you actually are seventeen. It would take about six months to learn to drive well enough to pass the test.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: July 25th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love. Yay yay yay.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good! Thanks!
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: July 25th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy is now one of my favorite characters.
I love the little details like morphing his hair in the car and mimiking Remus' hair.
And the map I would love to see Teddy and the map interact.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy and the Map are definitely scheduled for a nice heart to heart. Teddy even has one map-related thing that Harry doesn't, and never thinks about.
maglors_finch From: maglors_finch Date: July 25th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely story! I like to think Remus and Tonks are watching this from wherever they are now, and smile at each other.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm picturing them in an idealized version of 12GP, with Sirius living downstairs, and James and Lily nearby, and they all get together for netherworld Exploding Snap twice a week.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: July 25th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, this is lovely. So bittersweet.

Harry passing on the Marauders Map is a perfect touch. I can't wait to see what Teddy does with it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have a feeling a whole lot of fics will deal with Harry passing the map on to Teddy (hopefully, we Marauder-philes will pick up a lot of slack left to us here, anyway), but I want to deal with Teddy and the map itself later.
aebhel From: aebhel Date: July 25th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy happy happy happy...I love this already, even though I'm disappointed we won't get any more of your Remus and Dora. But this, I can see already, will be a masterpiece. Are you planning on doing more than one year? Because that would be really cool.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, let's see if I can get through one year before I think about another!
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: July 25th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG the map!

I love your grown-up Harry. Truly. And I'm pleased that you're writing this--I shall be following it faithfully. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Grown-up Harry did turn out nice, didn't he?
matril From: matril Date: July 25th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hooray! I'm so glad you've taken up Teddy's story; it really needs to be done now that his parents' stories have ended. :sniffle: (Of course there's always afterlife fics, but somehow I don't think they'd offer the same satisfaction...)

Just a little typo I noticed: He certainly seemed to be more hugged than than ten-year-old Victoire Weasley Extra "than" in there, I think.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: July 25th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I noticed the extra "than" too, and I also wanted to ask about Victoire's age - the epilogue takes place nineteen years later, so if Victoire is only a year younger than Teddy, wouldn't she already be finished at Hogwarts and therefore not require "seeing-off" at the station?
karit From: karit Date: July 25th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yay! I never hoped you'd get the first chapter out so quickly. *beam*

I have to say, I really like how aware your Teddy is about the people making sure he Wasn't Alone, while making it perfectly obvious that they love him and he loves them and it's okay. And all the Weasley and Potter kids absolutely adoring him! It's perfect.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, in the Epilogue, Harry's kids do certainly seem to be fond of "their Teddy." (My mind went to such a Louisa May Alcott place there, though.)
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: July 25th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hurray!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 25th, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
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