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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Six: The Kappa In Classroom Eleven, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Six: The Kappa In Classroom Eleven, pt. 3
Teddy and his friends found a kappa loose in the castle, and in Hogwarts student tradition, opted not to bother the teachers with this information. They corner it, then tip it over, spilling the water reservoir in its head that it has to carry. Frightened that they've killed it, Frankie decides that their mission now is to save it, and they carry it to the lake shore, where Bernice--inadvisedly--tries a Summoning charm for the non-specific "water" and nearly drowns them, only to have her spell stopped by Ruthless, who just does "Finite Incantatem"--which causes the lake to splash down heavily and head toward them anyway. When it's only a foot or so from Teddy, it stops abruptly, and he sees four professors holding it back. Sprout comments that they seem to have located Robards's kappa.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Fifteen minutes later, the lake was sitting tranquilly in its banks again, Professor Sprout, through an interpreter, was apologizing to Merchieftainess Murcus for the disturbance, and the Forest Guard was lined up in Robards' office, backs to the window, looking nervously from Robards to Longbottom to Hagrid to the kappa, which was now swimming contentedly in a large tank near the office door.

Robards was pacing, his hands clasped at the small of his back. He stopped in front of Frankie, eyes narrowed.

"Apcarne," he said, "I'm going to ask you one question, and you will answer it truthfully."

"Yes, sir," Frankie said. His voice cracked on "sir," going up then dropping into the cellar.

Robards took a deep breath. "Did you let the kappa out of the tank."

Frankie was visibly relieved. "No, sir. We just found it in the castle. We thought it had come up from the lake."

"And it didn't occur to you call a teacher?"

"Well..."

"There was no one in the Great Hall when I went!" Bernice piped up. "You were all gone."

"She has a point," Longbottom said. "They couldn't very well gather us up while we were looking for your kappa in the dungeons."

Robards didn't look particularly inclined to take this from a staff member half his own age, war hero and Head of House or not. "I believe that there are other teachers who were in their offices, in quite easy reach. Professor Flitwick, for instance, was in his office when we passed."

"I didn't look," Bernice admitted.

"And you nearly drowned yourselves and undid a lot of construction work by misusing a Summoning Charm."

Ruthless snorted.

Robards turned on her. "And you nearly completed the job by ending the spell without considering the consequences." He narrowed his eyes. "Scrimgeour, I have told you a hundred times that you're going to get yourself into trouble because you can't see two seconds past the present." He turned on Teddy, all of his nervousness in class gone. "Lupin, you were the one who told them about the kappa?"

"Yes, sir."

"And it never occurred to you that they aren't a species we would have in the lake?"

"Well, sort of," Teddy admitted. "But I thought perhaps it was just brought in. Like the grindylows and so on. Just for Hogwarts." He couldn't help glancing at Hagrid, who was smiling in such an innocent way that Teddy was quite sure the lake had more than grindylows and the giant squid in it. He had a feeling that if Hagrid got his hands on a kappa, he'd have it in the Hogwarts lake quicker than a Golden Snitch, and then go off searching for a mate for it.

Robards frowned impressively. "All right. It's not as bad as it could have been, but you were all careless. Five points from each of you for your Houses. So that's thirty from Hufflepuff, ten each from Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, and five from Slytherin. Plus, detention. Professor Longbottom, I believe you mentioned a fluxweed patch in need of attention?"

Longbottom nodded. "It's best done at dark. Meet me at eight o'clock Monday night at greenhouse one, and we'll head over."

The members of the Guard shifted uncomfortably on their feet until Robards gave them a signal to go. Gratefully, Teddy followed the others out, but Professor Longbottom caught him by the shoulder and steered him down another corridor.

"Teddy, there's something else I need to talk to you about. I was going to call you in later today anyway."

"Is there trouble at home?"

Longbottom looked confused for a moment, then understood and said, "No, Teddy. If there were trouble at home, I'd have got you much earlier, and wouldn't have let Robards lecture you about the kappa first. This is a school matter." He reached a door that looked like all of the others and pointed his wand at it. It opened, and the corridor was flooded with a jungle-scent of soil and growing green things. Ivy climbed the walls under magical sunlight, and mist rose pleasantly from the corners, keeping everything moist. Longbottom's desk and chair, along with a book case, a small table, and a visitor's chair, were all sitting in magical bubbles that glowed faintly. He waved his and the bubbles disappeared. "I had it rain in here this morning," he said. "But the furniture should be dry. Please sit down, Teddy."

Teddy sat in the extra chair. "What is it?"

Longbottom went around his desk and sat down, then steepled his fingers in front of his face, looking thoughtful. "You're doing quite well in Herbology," he said. "I know it's only been three classes so far, but I can tell you understand the basics."

"Er... thank you?"

"Professor Robards tells me you that you're also doing well with defense theory, and Professor Flitwick says your written homework in Charms has been quite good. The same is true of Transfiguration. But we didn't have a meeting about you to talk about how well you're doing on theory."

Teddy blushed. "You had a meeting about me?"

"Teddy, your magic is suffering."

Teddy's heart stopped, then started again at double-speed. "Maybe I'm just not very powerful."

Longbottom narrowed his eyes. "I don't believe that, Teddy. I don't believe that you believe it, either. I was there the day you accidentally turned your grandmother's conservatory into a jungle, remember? And I heard a story from Bill Weasley, involving you and a lot of flying rocks." He sighed. "Teddy, sometimes magic can be affected by personal problems. Are you... I haven't seen you morph much more than your hair since the night you came. Are you having any trouble... I only ask because..." He looked uncomfortable, and Teddy didn't need to wonder about that one--he'd heard quite a lot about the year his mother hadn't been able to morph because his father was in danger.

"I'm fine," he said. "Look." He stood and went to a particularly dense patch of leaves and pink flowers, and morphed his skin to match their pattern.

Longbottom laughed. "That's as good as a Disillusioning charm, isn't it?"

"Except that I'd have to re-do it every time I moved," Teddy said, relaxing it and going back to the chair. "Also, I'd have to be naked."

"All right. Do you know what's wrong, then? Is it the wand?"

"Maybe," Teddy said, not really wanting to get into it.

"I think..." Longbottom shrugged and shook his head. "I think I've said as much as I can as Head of House. Your family decisions are private."

Teddy nodded, feeling rather miserable, like suddenly Professor Longbottom really was a different person from Neville, who had once sat with him at Uncle Harry's and told him a grand story about his father, a boggart, and a hat with a vulture on it. Then Professor Longbottom grinned and said, "Of course, all the professional dignity in the world isn't going to stop me from writing to Harry to tell him about your first detention. I think he'd have been very disappointed if it had been for anything less than an adventure."

Teddy grinned back. "Hey, that's not fair. No one else's godfather is getting a letter."

"Yes, life is a horrible injustice sometimes," Longbottom agreed pleasantly. "Go on. And try to avoid any more adventures, at least until you've finished your detention for this one."

Teddy went back to his dormitory, meaning to play with the kitten a bit before settling in to do the written part of his homework (he'd try harder on the practical part tomorrow afternoon), but Checkmate wasn't actually in the room. He got out the Marauder's Map, told it that he was up to no good, and looked for Checkmate's dot. She seemed to have gone up by the girls' dormitories, and was prowling about near the seventh year dormitory. He gave it his name and an order, and the Marauders all duly insulted him, then he brought the map back and watched Ruthless and Tinny walk companionably along on the seventh floor, on opposite sides of a wall that the map insisted was there. He shook his head and put it away, drawing out his Transfiguration homework instead. The questions were easy. The practical assignment was to take a feathered hat-pin and turn it into a quill. He read the theory behind it quickly, and spent the rest of the afternoon getting the metal to go a slightly duller shade.

Checkmate came back just before he left for dinner, carrying a pair of dead spiders, which she dropped neatly into her dish. She ran to him to collect praise, and looked crestfallen when he left the room almost immediately after giving it. Just before he closed the door, he saw her jump up onto his bed, curl upon the pillow, and put her nose under her paws.

Ruthless waved to him in the common room, and he joined her to trek down to dinner, not sure whether or not he hoped she had some new adventure in mind. She didn't seem to. They ate together, and he was getting quite used to the way her eyes were magnified behind her specs. They were an interesting color, really.

Once they had pudding, Frankie and Donzo came over to sit with them, then Tinny wandered over as well, with Laura Chapman following along looking awed at being with people who'd got detention. They sat together, talking, until their Heads of House shooed them all home.
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(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoops! Not usually the mistake I make, adding too many Slytherins!
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: August 10th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
"So that's thirty from Hufflepuff, ten each from Slytherin and Ravenclaw, and five from Slytherin."

I think the second Slytherin in that sentence needs to be Gryffindor. =)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, it's the first one--Teddy and Ruthless are both losing Gryffindor points, and there's only one Slyth.
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: August 10th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I know you've been hearing this every time he's even mentioned in this story, but so much love for Neville here. *grins* Having Teddy in his House must make their dynamic a bit odd, since they've known each other so long, and you've captured that perfectly; so nice touch, putting the "I'm writing to Harry" right after Teddy muses about how Neville and Longbottom are two different people. Also...were you deliberately invoking Remus with the tone of Neville's "Yes, life is a horrible injustice sometimes?" Because that was so very Remus-sounding, I laughed out loud. :) Having Teddy deliberately insult the Map was nice as well. I do have one question, though--Teddy didn't have any compunctions about trying his parents' wands earlier, and he knows that Remus' at least works better for him, so why is he so reluctant about giving it a try in his classes?

Someone already caught the House points typo, so...great job as usual. :) And major props for your daily posting routine, that must get difficult at times.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
so why is he so reluctant about giving it a try in his classes?

He won't for long. At the moment, he's just worried about Granny finding out, and honestly, has sort of forgotten about them. I mean, not forgotten that they exist or anything, but sort of gotten distracted by other things and isn't thinking of them. He will soon.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: August 10th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I need an icon that says Professor Longbottom Rocks!

:)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
You should check out the "Neville" thread at SugarQuill. They've taken to just testifying to Neville's awesomeness.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: August 10th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
He should just use the right wand. It seems silly that his magic is suffering because of it. Poor Teddy.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
He will, soon. Promise... I haven't forgotten which is the right wand for what. :)
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: August 10th, 2007 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the description of Neville's office, and have to join in with all of the Neville love. I'm glad that he gets to be Teddy's Head of House--they have an interesting relationship.

Checkmate bringing back the dead spiders and then looking to Teddy for praise was adorable, and definitely reminds me of my kitty. :~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks.

Cats are always so proud of their catches, aren't they?
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 10th, 2007 09:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, well, I'm learning disabled and I know I sometimes had the feeling in school that, if something slipped from being miserable and tedious to being easy and fun, I must be doing something wrong. I was thinking of Teddy having possibly picked up a similar mindset, although, for him, it's more problems over interest in his parents and his past.

Haven't had a chance to comment for a bit, so I had some catch up observations -

1. The comment back in part one about wishing they would take care of students like Honoria early on seemed a bit ominous to me. Honoria's a royal pain but she hasn't done anything worse than insults and rudeness. Not great but, so far, she's also come out the worst from conflicts she initiated. It sounded as if some kids think the Honorias of the world should be treated as if they're already murderers and Death Eaters. Or maybe I'm too easily unnerved?

2. This somehow got me thinking of Narcissa and Draco. Narcissa came very close to losing her only child in the war. Bellatrix was practically a cheering section for getting Draco killed back in book 6, and I doubt she mellowed much.

So, Bellatrix may have killed Tonks, but how did Narcissa react to the death of her niece? What's her relationship with Andromeda been like since then? And does she have any kind of ongoing relationship with Teddy? Does Draco have any relationship with him?

3. Of course, that gives me the mental picture of a Pure Blood philosophy supporter like Honoria going after Teddy only to have Pure-Blood-Fanatic-But-Don't-You-Touch-My-Family Narcissa rear up in front of her.

Unlikely, as this is Teddy's story and I think he has to handle these things on his own, but kind of an amusing mental picture.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)
1. The comment back in part one about wishing they would take care of students like Honoria early on seemed a bit ominous to me. Honoria's a royal pain but she hasn't done anything worse than insults and rudeness. Not great but, so far, she's also come out the worst from conflicts she initiated. It sounded as if some kids think the Honorias of the world should be treated as if they're already murderers and Death Eaters. Or maybe I'm too easily unnerved?

I think it would be more unnerving if they were seventh year N.E.W.T. students instead of adventure-obsessed thirteen- and twelve-year-olds, but it's true that Bernice in particular doesn't have the healthiest of attitudes, and Ruthless doesn't especially help.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: August 10th, 2007 11:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw, Neville. Neville, who had once sat with him at Uncle Harry's and told him a grand story about his father, a boggart, and a hat with a vulture on it. --I would love to see this. The story telling, I mean. And Neville of all people would understand Teddy's wand-related problems!

Laura Chapman following along looking awed at being with people who'd got detention.

*grin* Boys.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Neville's walking a fine line between being a professor and family friend, and I think he's probably being a little too cautious. He'd best get the hang of it before the Potters and Weasleys start showing up!
beceh From: beceh Date: August 10th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent. I really like how you're handling the Neville/ Longbottom thing....it's very realistic. I had a similar situation at high school...my mum's best friend who I'd known since I was born and spent half my life at her house, was now one of my teachers. She had such a different personality at school that it was like she was two different people...kinda hard to get used to at first, which you're showing with Teddy very well.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh... glad to hear it comes off as true! I always knew plenty of people who were teachers, but the closest I got to actually having one of them was the mother of a friend of mine, but he wasn't a close friend, so I didn't see much of her in her non-school environment.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: August 10th, 2007 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Neville's office is brilliant!

I always appreciate the way you write teacher/student (or perhaps mentor/mentee) interaction. I thought it was just that you wrote a fantastic Lupin, but it turns out that I like it from Neville quite well too, and will probably like it almost as much once we get to know Neville a bit better. I look forward to that.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like the teacher-student relationship (not in a shippy way, but I do like it).

Also, making Neville's office was fun!
ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: August 10th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw!Teddy's got his first detention! Remus and Dora must be so proud of him up there...wherever they are.

As for Neville's and Teddy's relationship...I'm pretty familiar with the concept, as my aunt was my English teacher. Pretty awkward at times.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw!Teddy's got his first detention! Remus and Dora must be so proud of him up there...wherever they are.
And for Gryffindor style adventure conducted with Hufflepuffs. I hope they enjoy it.

(I also hope they have something to do with their time other than watch the Teddy show, which would get pretty boring while he's sleeping or whatnot. So would communing with the Great Beyond, after a while. I think this is why I like reincarnation as an option. The afterlife frequently sounds dull to me.)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 10th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy really is becoming a bridge between Houses: having adventures and detention together seems like a surefire way to break up any lingering constraints between students, no matter where they were sorted. And except for the rude Honoria and the belligerent Geoffrey, his year is shaping up to be a pretty decent bunch of kids.

Like the Teddy/Neville interaction. I'm glad that Neville has cottoned to Teddy's magic suffering, even if he feels he can't interfere in family matters about wands. But then Teddy seems to have the obverse problem that Neville had as a boy. I also liked that Teddy ordered the Map around again, possibly just to renew contact with his teenage father. I hope he does get around to solving James's riddle, though.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
He will. I'd have never made it out of date if it couldn't be fixed! :)
From: marciamarcia Date: August 10th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really curious, does anyone else (besides Honoria Higgs)know Teddy's dad was a werewolf? Or do they just think Honoria is full of crap when she pulls out the werecub stuff?

I only ask because it seems like the other students have had a rather blase response to the idea that Teddy's related to a dark creature. I wouldn't expect them all to be freaking out, particularly once they get to know him. But it seems like one of those facts, which if you knew it was true and you were an 11-year-old who'd grown up in a fairly werewolf-adverse society, you'd at least be exoticizing (sp?) it and asking a whole bunch of questions.

The way they're all just like "whatever Honoria", makes me wonder if they think she's making it up.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, that's a good point. I may, on re-write, go back and write in a few more incidents. It's not a major point of focus, so I didn't want to dwell on it narratively, but of course, Lupin's name would have been known in the war, and he had certainly been "outed" as a werewolf. It could be that most people (unlike addle-brained!Lupin) have the brains to realize it's not going to pass genetically, but still, even the well-intentioned would probably occasionally ask him questions--either that, or get painfully awkward about the subject.
prelud From: prelud Date: August 10th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Professor Sprout, through an interpreter, was apologizing to Merchieftainess Murcus for the disturbance
*curious* Who interpreted?

He couldn't help glancing at Hagrid, who was smiling in such an innocent way that Teddy was quite sure the lake had more than grindylows and the giant squid in it.
ROFLMAO! I can just see him!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
*curious* Who interpreted?
I have absolutely no idea. :)
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: August 10th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love that Teddy gives the Marauders a random order just to have them insult him.
*really wants to hug Teddy now*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 10th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I found out it did that, I'd give them five or six orders a day, just to see how snarky they could get. :D
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