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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Seven: The Willow Wand, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Seven: The Willow Wand, pt. 2
Eep. I must stop sleeping after work. It means I don't sleep as much at night, and therefore must sleep after work the next day. Oh, well. Slept through The Fugitive, but woke up to Air Force One. Harrison Ford is still in charge. Or, well, in dire jeopardy from which he must extricate himself, anyway. Plus, hey, Crazy Gary Oldman. Always a good background. ;p

Anyway, Teddy's had his first detention, doing work for Neville not far from the Whomping Willow. His friends start to work the tree into their fantasy about fighting evil, and he comes to its defense, telling them to stay away from it, though he makes up a reason, of course, instead of saying, "Hey, that stings me a bit, all right?" He also finds out that he won't be able to use it to get to the Shrieking Shack, as Gringotts owns the house and has it hexed to repel intruders.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Over the next few days, Teddy got several owls from home. Apparently, Longbottom really had told Uncle Harry, or Phineas Nigellus hadn't been able to resist passing the information along through the portraits. Either way, Uncle Harry sent back a mock serious note asking Teddy where in the world he seemed to have come by a talent for trouble-making. He also found it entertaining enough to share with the rest of the family, which led to a letter from Victoire (asking him to tell her all about what it was like to have detention), a letter from Granny (a bit less thrilled with the whole matter, though she did find an opportunity to grudgingly tell him that his mum would be quite amused that it turned out to be Robards' kappa), another set of pictures from James which the labels said showed the battle with the kappa, and a congratulatory note from George Weasley on the occasion of Teddy's first detention. The last contained a series of reminiscences about George's own detentions, a box of fireworks for Bonfire Night (It's my impression that you may be in possession of an item which will help you get out of the castle, and I recommend a certain cove on the east bank which is well-sheltered from prying eyes), and a piece of leprechaun gold to toss in Fred's Swamp with promise that trouble was, indeed, still being made.

Maurice marveled over these while they walked to Defense Against the Dark Arts on Thursday. "If you want to rebel against your family, you're going to have to behave."

"Then I'd just get letters from Percy and Molly Weasley. Which might include food."

"Can we try Polyjuice Potion to trade some time? I'd get the food, you can enjoy the experience of being brooded at by all the Burkes."

"Or you could just come visit over holidays."

Maurice's eyes went wide; he seemed unable to even process the invitation.

Teddy rolled his eyes and smacked the back of Maurice's head. He'd grown a bit tired of the family merriment by the end of the week, and ordered the Marauder's Map to tell him what it really thought, just to have them point out that it had been a rather sorry excuse for a detention ("Mr. Padfoot sadly regrets the depths to which teachers have been forced to find reasons for detention," "Mr. Prongs can barely stir himself from sleep for this," "Mr. Wormtail thinks Mr. Lupin should at least have been in charge," and "Mr. Moony would have expected more creativity out of Mr. Lupin, but apparently it's skipped a generation"). Being insulted by his teenage father was beginning to lose its charm. He asked Frankie to show him his mum's first year picture in Hufflepuff, which showed her happily morphing between Frankie's dad and poor old Sanjiv, but she didn't have any words of less-than-wisdom to share with him.

Robards seemed to have found his stride with Teddy's Defense Against the Dark Arts class, though his notes on Teddy's assignments still seemed a bit over-polite. History of Magic became more tolerable after Binns gave the first detention anyone could remember him giving when Geoffrey disrupted his class again. After that, he affected the attitude of a martyred or a political prisoner (once even coming to class with Spellotape over his mouth), but as this was considerably quieter, no one took any notice of him. Donzo confided over a Muggles and Minions game that they'd begun to cautiously hope he'd opt to go back to his Muggle school next term, as he loathed everything about Hogwarts, but Teddy had a feeling that wasn't really any more likely than Victoire deciding on Beauxbatons. Herbology and Potions continued to be easy, and Teddy let Slughorn collect him for a dinner two Saturdays after his detention, though not without pointedly waiting for him to also ask Frankie, who happened to be in the corridor with him when Slughorn came up to ask.

The school had apparently decided that flying lessons were odd and sporadic enough that they didn't need to worry about maintaining their scheduling traditions, so Teddy's first flying lesson, at the end of his second week of school, was conducted with his entire year in attendance. Despite several toy brooms given to him by Uncle Harry during his childhood, Teddy had never developed any special enthusiasm for flying, and was perfectly satisfied with his ability to rise, hover, and land without breaking anything by the end of the lesson. The only standout in the year was Franklin Driscoll, who was so excited that broke his silence to tell everyone in sight that his mum was a pilot in the R.A.F., and she did trick flying in air shows, and it must come from the same place mustn't it? He went on in this vein until Honoria--who'd barely been able to get off the ground--asked him to "expline," as those born in civilization had no idea what he was talking about. Pure-blooded Tinny chirped in with a full explanation of the Muggle military, gleaned from Frankie's Muggles and Minions books. Driscoll, who had started to sag again under Honoria's teasing, perked up when she asked if he wanted to join them for Saturday's game, but declined the invitation, as he wanted to watch the Ravenclaw Quidditch tryouts, even though he wouldn't be able to play as a first year. He reckoned, now that he'd tried this flying business, that it might be amusing after all. (Tinny, who cheerfully hated everything about Quidditch, gave him a horrified look.)

Transfiguration and Charms continued to be nightmares. His homework questions got full marks; his practical wand-work earned him simple low marks in Transfiguration and deep, lasting disappointment from Flitwick in Charms. He wasn't sure whether or not he was meant to see the mournful look on the little wizard's face or not, but it was quite hard to miss every time he failed to make a spell work. The last week of September, he finally managed to get a pebble to hop lamely across his desk, which saved him from a zero on a test, but didn't exactly earn him high marks. Flitwick asked the same question Ollivander had asked--about his history of accidental magic--then shook his head and said that he thought Berit may have stumbled with his wand. Teddy allowed that it was possible he had wanted to leave the store before he'd found the right one, and Flitwick flew into his version of a towering rage (which consisted of gesticulating a lot while he spoke normally), telling him that, of all things to get impatient with, finding the right wand was the worst possible thing for a wizard, and he was to talk to his grandmother immediately about acquiring a new wand.

Apparently, no one had told Flitwick that Teddy had two more wands sitting in his trunk. Teddy himself had nearly forgotten about them, oddly enough--he'd set them aside when he'd found out Granny knew they were missing, and as he'd settled into the year and got used to his own wand, he'd simply put them out of his head.

The night after the Charms test, he opened his trunk and took his parents' wands out of it, setting them on his night table and looking at them. They were both light colored, Dad's ash wand a bit lighter than Mum's willow, but not by much. Dad's was a bit splintered and had broad finger-marks rubbed into its polish (Teddy marveled that fingers that large had still been too skinny to hold his wedding band on during his last battle; compared to his own fingers' marks, they seemed like vast craters). Mum's wand was in pristine condition, despite the fact that she must have used it just as often. He put his own willow wand beside them, then closed his eyes and let his hand travel over each of them, feeling the way they called. His own wand had developed the tiniest of tingles--he had, after all, been using it for a month--but the others seemed surrounded by crackling energy.

He took a deep breath and took out the large leaf that he was meant to Transfigure into parchment, then, with more than a few nerves jumping up and down, picked up his father's wand.

He looked up the incantation and studied what he meant to do, then pointed the wand at the leaf, concentrated all of his power, and said, "Chartula."

The leaf disintegrated into ash, and he had to smother the embers before they caught his bed hangings.

He carefully put his father's wand back in his trunk. He couldn't very well use it if it was going to randomly burn things, though after what had happened in Shell Cottage, he'd have expected that more from Mum's. Hoping that Mum's wouldn't do the same thing, he put it carefully in the pocket of his robes.

He went early to Transfiguration the next day, and found the professor, a middle-aged man called Gardner, sitting at his desk.

"I'm afraid I burnt my leaf," he said. "I didn't mean to. I just--"

But Gardner was already grinning. "Switched wands, did you?"

Teddy nodded. "Yes, sir."

"I wondered if that was the problem." He gestured for Teddy to have a seat. "I wouldn't worry too much. You've been working very hard with a bad wand, and burning things you're trying to Transfigure usually just happens because you're trying to apply too much magical energy to the task at hand. So what may have been not enough energy with your old wand turns out to be far too much with your new one. Here, give us another try, but don't work quite so hard this time." He Summoned over a new leaf, and gave Teddy an encouraging nod. "Go on, then."

Teddy raised his Mum's wand at the leaf and bit his lip.

"You're about to burn it up again," Gardner said. "Pull it back a bit, Lupin. Relax."

Teddy took a few deep breaths, then whispered, "Chartula," trying not to think too hard about it.

The leaf started to smoke at the edges, but didn't burst into flame. Then it turned the beige of a clean sheet of parchment (albeit with darkening edges that were beginning to curl up). It still had the veins of the leaf in it, and it was still shaped like the leaf, but it was Transfigured.

Teddy grinned. "I did it."

"You did it," Gardner agreed, though the parchment-leaf had now given in to the flame and was burning merrily. "And now, I'll expect more of you."

Teddy didn't care. He smiled at his mother's wand, and didn't put it away for the rest of the class. He wasn't the first to finish the day's assignment of beetles-to-buttons (that was Lizzie Richardson)... but he did finish it, and he wasn't the last to do so, either.
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marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: August 12th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Fred's swamp. Sniff.

I like where you are going with the wands, and can't wait to see how it turns out.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I kind of like the idea of the little swamp becoming a pilgrimage for Hogwarts pranksters.
cambryn From: cambryn Date: August 12th, 2007 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw, I was hoping Remus's wand would be the one he ends up using. :(

Another wonderful chapter part. I love Harry's note. What a fun godfather! I also enjoyed that passage about being mocked by his teenage father. *nods approvingly*

Keep up the wonderful work.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Remus's wand has a purpose of its own. Promise. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 12th, 2007 07:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful! I'm excited to see what happens to him next while at the same time aching for him, so well done. I''ve been rereading your archive and... ouch. So, well done. Not sure I'm ever getting over this, but Teddy sure helps.

Poor old Noble and most Ancient etc, &&...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure I'm getting over it, either, but there's not much choice, is there? Jo's made the rule of the Resurrection Stone pretty clear. :(
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: August 12th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad that Teddy remembered the other wands, and that his schoolwork will be looking up accordingly.

Maurice's reaction to Teddy's letters was great. Is he going to get to visit over holidays?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure yet. Teddy turns out to have quite a lot to do over the holidays.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: August 12th, 2007 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
It keeps getting better! Just as I was thinking I really wanted Teddy to change wands, the dear boy did just that.

"being brooded at by all the Burkes" is even funnier if you know how burk/berk is sometimes used in Britain (not to mention the etymology of that use).

A small typo:

"that broke his silence" is missing a word.

A query: "a martyred or a political prisoner" Did you mean "martyr"?
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 12th, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)


No; she meant it as is. The adjective "martyred" carries over to describe the noun "prisoner".
fljn From: fljn Date: August 12th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor Maurice. He seems, despite his status as a non-orphan, more of a Harry Potter-ish character than Teddy does. Teddy gauging the reactions of the Marauders to his detention was amusing, as all Marauder bits are. Sigh--gotta take any little bit of Remus we can, right?

Flying lessons, what a crazy thought. It just kind of drops out of your mind in the books. Just the one, and then it's gone.

Again you mention the ring slipping off Remus' finger. Is this significant? I almost feel like I did at the end of HBP where we were being hit with clue-bricks about Snape.

Finally, a new wand! Yay! The finger grooves on Remus' wand are interesting, and I'm sort of glad that Teddy didn't choose that one. His little fingers trying to fill in those big grooves would be just a tad too symbolic of filling Remus' shoes. Great installment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sigh--gotta take any little bit of Remus we can, right?

More or less. And I'll take whatever can be scraped from the books' version of life-after-death.

I guess flying lessons could happen until people decide they don't need them anymore. Harry didn't. Maybe Hermione had to go back for an extra class?
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure how you exactly tell the Marauders about something. They're just kind of trapped there as a bunch of Hogwarts students who can figure things out from names, but you have to do specific things to get them to come out. You can't just have a conversation with them. But it'll be funny when the map passes to James, and the rest of them can have a go at Mr. Prongs about whatever boneheaded first year things James comes up with.
faibefe From: faibefe Date: August 12th, 2007 10:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Woah, I love your regular updating, it totally makes my day! I'm so glad he finally changed his wand, and love Uncle Harry's mock telling-off! Hey, sorry haven't gotten around to commenting till now but just wanted to say that I've been lurking for ages, and adore your fanfic! This one in particular helped me get through the mourning of our beloved R and T... *tears* Hope you don't mind if I friend you! Keep up the fabulous work!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have yet to mind a friend. :)

This is helping me with R/T, too, which is why I work on it every day.

Love your icon!
From: ethnotechno Date: August 12th, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm...given that Tonks has been generally described as being somewhat sloppy, it's pretty surprising that her wand was in such good shape. I somehow expected it to be the other way i.e. Remus taking really good care of his wand and the few things that belonged to him, and Tonks' being somewhat battered owing to her buttock-risking wand-placement habit.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Remus's is just part and parcel of his shabby robes and so on. It's also seen thirteen years more use under bad conditions--Tonks had only been out of school for a little more than six years when she died; Remus had been out for twenty and been through both wars.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: August 12th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now I'm wondering how burning parchment smells. It must be awful, don't you think, considering it's made of hide and not cellulose?

Loved the "If you want to rebel, you're going to have to behave" "Then I'd just get cooed over by Molly and Percy" exchange.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd guess it would smell awful. Either that, or good, like roasting turkey skin. (Though the incantation I used refers more to papyrus than parchment; "Membrana" didn't seem like a good-sounding spell!)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 12th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Nice to wake up to a new chapter. Whew--Teddy finally took the bull by the horns where his wand was concerned. Clearly both Remus's and Tonks's wands are a good fit for him, though I wonder which one he'll end up using permanently. Does the pristine condition of Tonks's wand indicate that she may have acquired it only after becoming an Auror?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, her wand is the one she always used. It's just newer and didn't see quite as much hard duty.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: August 12th, 2007 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, he's finally worked out his wand problem! I like how it just works naturally - not Hermione-standard brilliant, but just normal.

I'm starting to really love Maurice already.

And Fred's swamp! Please do throw the gold in, Teddy!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
He did throw the gold in as per instructions, before it disappeared! :)
vytresna From: vytresna Date: August 12th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love those letters, particularly George's.

You know you've crossed a line when Binns gives you detention. It's a relief to see Geoffrey get a good smack in the face that way (incidentally, you've typed "martyred" as "martyr").

By the way, did you see Stephen King's review of DH? It's quite good, except as I'd have to assume he's read the last three books, I don't know where he gets off calling Faërie the Ministry of Magic...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, darth_pipes linked me over by e-mail. Maybe he means the new and reformed Ministry of Magic. Yeah.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: August 12th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Finally he did something about his wand. However, I loved the discriptions of the two wands.
Also, the reactions of his extended family are spot on and the mentioning of Molly and Percy was cute.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I swear, his extended family spent more time in detention than in class! :)
From: ethnotechno Date: August 12th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and what happened to Robards' wife and..er..'lady friend'? I'm quite curious what they're upto nowadays that he is a respectable Hogwarts Professor.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 12th, 2007 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, the wife is still with him, contributing to his respectability. The lady friend finally wised up, a la Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally, and moved on to marry someone else. She and the wife had some time to bond. Robards is very lucky his wife decided to give him another chance, albeit on a very, very short leash.
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