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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Five: Teacher's Pet, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Five: Teacher's Pet, pt. 3
Teddy's life in school is decent, despite his somewhat lonely status. He grasps Potions pretty well, but is having trouble with his less-than-stellar wand in Charms and Transfiguration. History of Magic has introduced him to a particularly obnoxious Ravenclaw. Meanwhile, he tried to command the Marauder's Map to tell him out to update itself, but the Marauder's Map doesn't respond politely to being commanded. After being insulted about his lack of manners, he tries to rephrase the question as a request, and "Prongs" leaves him with a cryptic message.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




He finally heard back from Uncle Harry on Friday, with the arrival of three owls, two bearing packages, and the third--Ron Weasley's poor old Pigwidgeon--wheezed his way over with a letter. He took this one first and fed Pig some bacon while he read.

Teddy,

I know it's a bit bleak being alone, but I can't exactly not be glad to see you in Gryffindor. I'm imagining you trying to bargain with the Fat Lady as we speak--make sure you know the passwords; there really
isn't any bargaining with her. Of course, as happy as I am for you getting into Gryffindor, as a Gryffindor, I'm much happier for my House for getting Teddy Lupin, I'm afraid.

That said, I spoke to Ron and Hermione about this business of you being alone--


Teddy grinned. Of course.

--and I'm afraid the conversation was at the dinner table. James was quite upset to hear that "his Teddy" was all alone, and so rallied the troops to send company. He and Al and Rose started coloring straight off--I knew there was a use somewhere for that wretched famous wizards coloring book that I've been sent at least fifty copies of--and of course Hugo and Lily wanted to join the fun. Aunt Ginny and I had quite a time cleaning up! James and Al also drew some pictures of their own. It's a good thing James has learned to write this year, as I never would have guessed the purple blob to be Martian if he hadn't labeled it. I ought to warn you that James seems to have made a mission of keeping you entertained, and you will undoubtedly be hearing from every Weasley he's figured out how to reach--which is all of them, as Aunt Ginny was his first recruit. She's sent along a large box of biscuits, and recommends that you take them to the common room. I told her you don't generally need advice on how to make friends--I've never seen you have trouble making a friend--but she insisted on passing the message along, as it can't hurt.

I was interested to read your thoughts on the Sorting Hat's new habit. When Professor Longbottom told me what it's been doing for the last several years, I thought it might be difficult for you, but judging by your letter, I was underestimating you. Your parents would be proud. Your godfather certainly is.


Teddy's spirits fell a bit. He hadn't been able to say what it had felt like to see his mother's form appear in the smoke, or his father, lit by the full moon he had never been able to enjoy, disappearing through the ceiling of the Great Hall. Would they still be proud if they knew he hadn't exactly been particularly brave about it?

I'm not at all worried about you not making friends. Victoire told James about several people you mentioned in your letter to her (apparently a bit newsier than the ones you sent to the old people!), and it didn't sound like you were having any trouble at all. You know that if things do get bad, you can write to me, and your grandmother has kindly agreed to come stay with us during Christmas holidays, so we'll all be together then. I may be up to teach a Defense Against the Dark Arts class someday before that, so I may see you even sooner. Have fun. If you get caught, serve your detentions. No one gets away without any. Even Hermione had one first year--ask Hagrid.

We're all still thinking of you at home, and the children all hope you like their presents.

Love,
Uncle Harry

P.S.: May I assume you've carefully looked over any blank pieces of parchment you may have in your possession?


Teddy checked his watch; he still had time before History of Magic, so he dashed off a quick note to Uncle Harry, thanking the children for presents he didn't intend to open until he got back to his dormitory at lunchtime and mentioning that he had, in fact, found one curious piece of parchment that seemed to have got a bit antique on him. I don't suppose you know how to de-antique parchment? he asked, then bound the letter to Pigwidgeon and sent him off. The other two post owls--efficient but anonymous birds from the post office, as Uncle Harry didn't and wouldn't own a post owl of his own--waited to eat, then flew back to their official perches.

He went off to History of Magic, where the other Ravenclaws seemed to have come to a decision to participate very actively, steering the conversation away from anything Geoffrey had to say and driving Professor Binns quite mad. When it was finished, he had a free period before lunch, and he used it to slip up to his dormitory with his packages. He opened the one that smelled like fresh biscuits first, and found quite enough to feed the whole of Gryffindor house. He decided to take it downstairs and leave it with an unsigned note for everyone, though he pilfered three handfuls to keep for himself. The other box was full of raggedly torn out pages from coloring books. Uncle Harry, colored in exuberant swirls of purple and green that were nowhere near the simple lines of the drawing, stood in front of the cottage in Godric's Hollow, and as the page fell onto the bed beside another, he seemed to be waving to a benign-looking Phineas Nigellus Black, standing at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. Phineas had been colored much more meticulously, sometimes even near the lines (Teddy suspected this was Al's work), in shades of mustard yellow and bright, Chudley Cannons orange. A picture of Hermione outside what he supposed was meant to be a Muggle dental surgery had baby's hand-print tracked across her face in a swirling mix of colors that told Teddy they'd got out Weasleys' Wild Watercolors at some point and gone a bit wild. Beneath the pile of what was apparently every picture in the famous wizards book (except for the recently dead ones, which the family habitually removed to avoid watching them scribbled on), there were several original drawings, each with "TO TEDDY LOVE JAMES" written across the top in large block letters. The purple blob labeled "Martian S. Potter" had kitten pawprints beside it, and its legend was "TO CHECKMATE LOVE MARTIAN."

At the very bottom, too big to fit in the box, was a rolled piece of parchment. Teddy unrolled it and grinned. At the center was a stick figure with hair that was constantly changing colors--another Weasley product, Metamorphmarkers. This figure was rather unnecessarily labeled "Teddy." Beside it, exactly the same size, was a grinning stick figure labeled "James," and much smaller figures labeled "Albus" and "Rosie." More baby hand-prints were labeled "Lily" and "Hugo," and the rest of the page was filled with other stick-Weasleys--Bill's entire family (with triangular bubbles of blond hair, except for Marie and Bill, who had bubbles of red hair), Percy's children, George and a pregnant stick-figure, Molly and Arthur, stick-kittens Martian and Bushy (with four little circles apiece for feet at the end of their stick legs), stick-owl Pig, and of course, stick-Uncle Harry and stick-Aunt Ginny.

He imagined that if he had dormitory-mates, they'd never let him hear the end of it if he put this up, so he told them where in their imaginary anatomy to put this sentiment before he stuck it to the wall and went to lunch.

He ate quickly, not wanting to take a chance of losing his way to Defense Against the Dark Arts again. Robards smiled at him nervously when he came in, then became more normal as the Slytherins dropped into their seats. Corky sat down beside Teddy.

"Was it food?"

"What?"

"The packages from home. Food?"

"Oh, yes. Biscuits. I'll bring you some at dinner."

Robards cleared his throat. "Did you all finish your reading?"

The class groaned and pulled out their books (Introduction To Defense: Curses and Creatures). All of them had been hoping that an Auror would give them more practical lessons, but Robards told them flatly that first years didn't have the magical strength to do most of what he taught older classes, which made it a good time to get the basics committed to memory. Or so he'd told the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs. For Teddy's class, he'd just looked grief-stricken and said he was sorry, but this was the rule of the new curriculum.

"We'll see some of the minor Dark Creatures next week," Robards said. "I've asked to have them sent over. No reason you can't see them then!"

"What about cursed creatures?" Honoria asked, and Teddy ground his teeth. He should have realized it was coming, but he'd glossed over the single, simplified paragraph on werewolves so quickly that he'd forgotten it was there. Honoria narrowed her eyes at Teddy, then added, "Like Hairy McBoons, of course. Or werewolves."

Robards's face went white. "We're not really going to go in depth on the subject of wer... er..."

"Werewolves," Teddy finished for him.

"Right, just so, werewolves until your third year. This is only an introductory text to talk about different sorts of creatures which exist. You'll have more on the test regarding the simpler creatures, and much simpler curses."

Teddy sighed, frustrated, and Robards went on with the class, skimming through water demons and simple object hexes, answering questions from Muggle-born Jane Hunter about which creatures actually were native to Britain and how Muggles avoided them, and generally growing surer of himself the further from the w-word they got. When class finally ended, Teddy waited for the Slytherins to leave, then went to the front of the room.

"Professor Robards?"

He looked up skittishly. "Yes, Teddy?"

"I'm really glad to be taking Defense Against the Dark Arts from an Auror."

"Er... thank you."

"You can say 'werewolf' around me. I've read a lot of books about it. I don't mind werewolves."

Robards looked at him for a long time, then Conjured a chair and indicated that he should sit in it. Robards himself took the chair behind the desk. "I'm not being especially helpful to you, am I, Teddy?"

Teddy shook his head.

Robards took off his small wire-frame glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I'd forgotten you'd be in this year. Your mum was one of my best Aurors and a good friend in the end. She got my wife and... another lady who was also a good friend... out of Britain for me. They were both Muggle-born."

"I didn't know that."

"And your dad seemed to be a good sort, though I didn't know him very well. He helped Ted Tonks--you're named after old Ted, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"He helped old Ted get a lot of Muggle-born Hogwarts students away from the Snatchers, along with as many other Muggle-borns as they could find. Do you know about that?"

"Some," Teddy said, not sure where Robards was going.

Robards leaned back, then said again, "I wasn't expecting you. I just want to be sensitive to your situation. Apparently, I'm not doing a very good job." He smiled faintly. "I can only imagine a few choice words Tonks would have for me. I'm sorry, Teddy. I'll... I'll try to be insensitive from now on."

"Thank you, sir," Teddy said.

"Well, that's that, then. You really won't have werewolves again until third year. I never put them on the test for first year." He gave Teddy a still-nervous smile, and held out his hand with an air of ending a deep man-to-man talk. Teddy shook it.

He drifted over to the Hufflepuff table for most of dinner, making arrangements with Frankie to join the Muggles and Minions game in the Hufflepuff common room for most of the day tomorrow. Bernice got out her charts, and they made him a character (a uni student reading physics, which Teddy knew nothing about, but Frankie promised that it just gave him motion points and some advantages when he was rolling the dice). Zach said that Frankie had best have come up with a good quest, with some good "Tube crawls," whatever those were, and Frankie promised that he had done so. Tinny Gudgeon had been sitting close enough to listen, and by the time that the Houses all started to drift home for the night, she was already working on Frankie to let her into the game.

Teddy went back to his room and wandered it aimlessly, sometimes carrying Checkmate, sometimes just trying not to trip over her. He stopped at the window not long after full dark had fallen and looked out over the grounds. A light was on in the greenhouses, and he checked the Marauder's Map to see that it was, in fact, Professor Longbottom, puttering about in greenhouse two. Teddy thought about slipping out to say hello, but decided not to.
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gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: August 7th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Uncle Harry didn't and wouldn't own a post owl of his own

Waaaah! :'(

But yeah, I don't think Harry would ever get another owl.

I'm very curious to see what Uncle Harry will have to say in the matter of antique parchment.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I doubt it, too. What owl could replace Hedwig?

I'm not sure Harry will have the slightest idea what to do about the map!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: August 7th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Confidential to Teddy Lupin:

Hang out in your common room! There are second years who are not much older than you--some of them are a mere 6+ months older, thanks to your spring birthday! Spend a little time with the other Gryffindors in addition to the lovely friends you're making in the other houses. Curfew is earlier than bedtime and you shouldn't spend too much time alone in your dorm.

xoxoxo
Kate

BTW, am loving Robards--that was an intriguing plot line that you'd created in the Shifts/Shades-verse, and I'm glad to see it referenced here. Also like the "I'll try to be insensitive from now on." "Thank you, sir." Teddy said.

(reposted due to grievous, unforgivable typos.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but then I'd have to name all the Gryffindors! :p (I named the Forest Guard and Teddy's class, then realized when I went to grab a prefect that I hadn't named any of the Gryffs. Maybe I'll put the younger Cattermole in there.)
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: August 7th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Very good, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: August 7th, 2007 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
She got my wife and... another lady who was also a good friend... out of Britain for me.

...Together?! *ducks*

Seriously, good installment.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
...Together?! *ducks*

Funny part? Yes.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: sleepingfingers Date: August 7th, 2007 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
He imagined that if he had dormitory-mates, they'd never let him hear the end of it if he put this up, so he told them where in their imaginary anatomy to put this sentiment before he stuck it to the wall and went to lunch.

That line made me squee and aww, feel warm, grin, and generally just want to give Teddy a really, really big hug. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy could use one. :)

But yes, if he has to make up roommates to tell off about this, he'll do so. That's why he's a Gryffindor.
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: August 7th, 2007 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm absolutely loving this. It's so wonderful to read about a normal Hogwarts--"normal" meaning "without having to deal with a rampaging Dark Lord and his minions." *grins* The glimpses we're getting of Teddy's life within the Weasley-Potter clan are great as well...it's bittersweet, but I wonder if he would have had that experience had Remus and Tonks lived. Oh, and the "uni student reading physics" made me laugh out loud.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)
but I wonder if he would have had that experience had Remus and Tonks lived

Well, Tonks was pretty gregarious, so they might have had heavy contact, but they wouldn't have all been aggressively trying to make sure that Teddy Wasn't Alone.
rosetapestry From: rosetapestry Date: August 7th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
A present for Teddy's cat from Martian the cat - truly adorable. (And even better that Harry didn't seem to get that Martian was the 'artist', not the subject, hah!)

Harry made such a good teacher for the DA that I do really like the idea of him returning for special lectures.

Poor Robards... Teddy's not the only one still living with the ghosts.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry made such a good teacher for the DA that I do really like the idea of him returning for special lectures.

I'm really surprised that she didn't go that route with him, despite the original plan. Not only was he good at it, but he seemed a lot happier teaching than he was fighting dark wizards!
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: August 7th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Harry's letter! I can't wait till I read about Muggles and Minions. I'm sure it's the coolest game since Quidditch!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
It's been a while since I've done any proper role-playing (and I've only done it a couple of times), so I may be, um, less than spectacularly accurate. Hopefully, my RPing f-list will correct me where I goof!
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 7th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's loneliness as the only Gryff in his year is so well done in this one. Telling his imaginary dorm mates to stuff it, hanging with the Puffs, and the last line, which made me a little sad. It must be very hard for Teddy, having come from such a large and close-knit support system into Hogwarts, where he knows a grand total of two people(Neville and Frankie), is in a dorm by himself, and is constantly being reminded of the dead state of his parents. Eesh.

Famous Wizard coloring books. Nice touch. Recently dead people pages? Does this refer to DH deaths? Or are there some others that I've missed? Sorry, eleven years seems like a long time to still be calling it recent. Not that I don't still place importance on them. Far from it.

Robards is kinda fun. Heh. "...my wife and... another lady who was also a good friend..." Has he been teaching long? The blanching and whatnot make it seem like he's not been there long. Maybe he's just not very good at it if Harry's close to filling the position. Curse still on? I kind of liked the talk they had. It was a tiny bit reminiscent of the Harry/Remus talks.

This strange game of Muggles and Minions perplexes me. I would ask if it's anything like Dungeons and Dragons, but that really wouldn't help me much either.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Recent as in "people we know who died in the war" as opposed to "Phineas Nigellus, who died before anyone was born." There's a difference between a three-year-old scribbling out Phineas's face and the same three-year-old scribbling out Fred's... at least to Fred's family.

Robards has been teaching for a few years (JKR confirmed that the curse is lifted, and it's also her interview that says Harry sometimes pops in to teach a class or two), but he had a weird thing with Tonks, so he's completely freaked by Teddy.

And yes, it's a lot like D&D, or GURPS. Which is probably as helpful to you as it is to me.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: August 7th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Uncle Harry didn't and wouldn't own a post owl of his own
That made me sad, Hedwig's death hit Harry so hard he couldn't get another owl. That's loyalty and very touching.

Ginny is really stepping into the motherly role much like her mother, sending enough biscuits to feed an army -- such a Weasley thing to do.

Robards seems very nice and slightly reminds me of the Harry/Remus talks we had in PoA.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Robards really is a nice guy, who genuinely cared about Tonks. Unlike Remus, however, he's seriously letting it mess with his ability to teach Teddy's entire class.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 7th, 2007 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Tube crawls? Is that British slang or are you going to have them crawling around TV sets (hey, it's how a lot of Muggles spend our time)?

Robards seems interesting. I hope Geoffrey doesn't figure out until too late that this is not the person to make comments around that you hope all the Purebloods who died during the war are burning in hell.

I'm interested to see what he did during the war. Was he an Imperiused Auror, forced to hurt the people he should have been protecting? Was he an unImperiused Auror trying to balance who he could help against who he couldn't and not always being happy with the results? It may have just been his nervousness around Teddy, but he strikes me as having become gun shy or something.

Anyhow, I really liked it and I'm looking foreward to the M&M game (do they eat candy with it?).

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
More like fake RPG slang. I remember my friend the GM promising that we'd have some good "dungeon crawls"--times when there's a lot of adventure and fights around every bend. So in M&M, they get this by going on the Tube and running into muggers and thieves and murders (oh, my!) instead of dragons and trolls and so on.

It may have just been his nervousness around Teddy, but he strikes me as having become gun shy or something.

It's purely Teddy-related nerves. He hasn't been one of Teddy's "designated adults" and isn't at all used to the concept of Tonks's orphaned son.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: August 7th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry's letter was amusing, and the children's drawings and colorings were quite cute! I wish Metamorphmarkers existed--they would be lots of fun to draw with.

Robards talk with Teddy has made me even more curious about what exactly Tonks and Remus were doing during DH. I look forward to reading that story.

Muggles and Minions promises to be a good time--and I hope Tinny can get in on the game, too!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope Tinny can get in on the game, too!

She will. :)
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: August 7th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Tube crawls! They're obviously playing "Mornington Crescent"! (That, of course, is a joke you're unlikely to get but I couldn't resist). Even if you haven't named his housemates, it would be nice to see him fitting in with the other Gryffindors at some point. Thanks for another enjoyable chapter.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I definitely don't get it, but feel pleased to apparently accurately inspire a joke I don't get! :)

Yes, that's a flaw. I think I'm hesitant about it largely because I've already got him in two groups (his year and the title group), interacting with teachers, wound up in the family, and... well, I need to get back to the plot!
mathslut From: mathslut Date: August 7th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Been reading all along, just now letting you know how much I'm loving it. I felt really begrudged the lack of Harry/Teddy connection in the end of DH, and this has just about made me feel better.

One more person that felt a little jab of pain as Uncle Harry didn't and wouldn't own a post owl of his own. Nice subtle line, though it's doing a number on my emotions.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know--we could have at least seen the christening, where Harry actually becomes godfather! I mean, sheesh. It would have been a chance to see Remus and Tonks together and happy for once!
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: August 7th, 2007 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Why! Hedwig Why!!!!

Ok, so now that that's done...

great installment. I went away for the weekend so got back to read a lot.

As always, can't wait for more!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 7th, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know... Hedwig! That was just vicious.
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