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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Sixteen: Loyalty, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Sixteen: Loyalty, pt. 2
Teddy has run smack into the problem with Hufflepuff loyalty when all the 'Puffs find out that he and Frankie had a fight. They've had a tenuous reconciliation--mostly Teddy unconditionally going back to helping Frankie out with his obsession--but it's still sort of a wake-up call.

It was pointed out to me by olympe_maxime that I chose an, um, inauspicious name for Chandi Patil, so I will have to think of another one. (Must stop trusting books with vague definitions like "myth name" or "goddess name"!)

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy stayed in the library with Frankie until curfew, and Frankie promised to tell the rest of the 'Puffs that things were all right again. "Sorry about that," he said. "They wanted to know why I didn't talk to you, and I just sort of... you know. They already think I'm crackers about this. I didn't want to remind them."

"Will you get steamed again if I say maybe you ought to do some school work instead tonight?"

"No. You're right. I've got Potions, and I'm not one of Sluggy's favorites."

They said good night, and Teddy went back to Gryffindor. He thought enough time had passed for Dad's ring to let him in for another half hour. He wondered if it would take him somewhere Dad thought he needed to be, and give him advice, but it didn't. It was still fun to go back inside of Dad's head and remember his teaching apprenticeship, and a time he and Mum had been undercover in a Muggle school and made friends with the other teachers. They'd played a lot of card games that year, which Teddy normally thought were very boring, but which Dad liked, so they seemed quite interesting through his eyes. Teddy had the impression that his parents were falling in love that year, but Dad had carefully avoided remembering exactly how that felt, much to Teddy's relief. Once the ring had nudged him back to the present, he settled in and did his Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts homework, then amused himself for a little while doing Charms from the book Ron and Hermione had given him for Christmas. Flitwick was planning to start a new dueling club next year, and was quite keen for Teddy to be in it. Teddy wasn't sure about it.

The 'Puffs were all right with him over the next few days, but there was still a certain wariness that made Teddy want to shake them. Had Mum been like that? Or Granddad?

On Thursday morning, he had a letter back from James, with one tucked in from Uncle Harry telling him that James had been quite over the moon getting a letter of his own, and wondering what had prompted Teddy to write it. Teddy wrote back during lunch and told him about the ring--including Dad's built-in caution against getting lost in it--and added everything he'd learned about Uncle Harry's father. This took fifteen minutes. The remainder of the hour was spent on the last paragraph:

I'm having a bit of trouble with Frankie--just a little fight--and he thinks I thought he was stupid or something along that line. I don't suppose you know of a good way to fix things? Frankie says it's all right now, but I suddenly don't have a lot of friends in Hufflepuff, and that's my mum's House.

It seemed nondescript enough and didn't get into Frankie's business, so he sealed it and sent it back with the post owl that had brought James's letter. Uncle Harry's letter back came on Saturday, and said that, lacking any information on it, he thought the best thing to do was wait it out. Ron had apparently also occasionally got angry for no reason on occasion, and it always passed. I know it's difficult, since it's your mum's House, but think of it this way--you of all people should be quite grateful that Hufflepuffs are loyal even when someone is acting like a prat.

This wasn't especially helpful, though the thought of Dad acting like a prat--something Uncle Harry had told Teddy very carefully years ago that he did on more than one occasion, in case he heard it less kindly from someone else--while Mum patiently pruned Flitterblooms like Tinny heartened him a little bit. He thought he was acting more like Mum than the 'Puffs were, though. She'd expected Dad to come around, after all.

He met Frankie at the library after lunch. Frankie had taken down the picture of Mum's first year group, and it was propped up against the books. In it, Mum was morphing her nose for everyone--Teddy morphed back at the picture, and it laughed soundlessly--and Sanjiv was making faces.

"I may be wrong about the Forest," Frankie admitted. "I can't think of a good reason why a soul that was taken in London would be drawn all the way up here, but it might have gone to one of the other magical places. Stonehenge, or Tintagel. They're not close, exactly, but they're closer. It could be attractive. Or maybe there's somewhere in London proper. I can't think where, though; it's all nearly buried under concrete."

Teddy tapped his quill beside today's book and looked at Mum and Sanjiv in the picture. He thought maybe the dead could help the Demented out--sort of like a job, since he reckoned they'd need something to do; especially after seeing their memories, he didn't think either of his parents would fancy sitting about on a cloud, playing harps and occasionally checking in on him--but if it was easy, he didn't think Mum would have left Sanjiv wandering around for so long. "Have you talked to the ghosts?" Teddy asked.

"No, that's brilliant," Frankie said. "Let's find the Friar. He likes me."

Teddy briefly wished that he'd brought the Marauder's Map with him to make it easier to find someone, but didn't really want to bring it into this business.

They closed up their books and left them (earning an exasperated look from Madam Pince, who muttered something about getting all of that out and barely using it as they passed), and headed down to the antechamber outside the Great Hall, where Frankie said that the Fat Friar could often be found with ghostly friends. He wasn't there, but a buxom ghost called Rosmerta, who'd run the Three Broomsticks until she died in battle, said that she'd seen him haunting the Charms classroom all morning. "I would take you," she said, "but I mean to talk to the elves about their serving technique. They should smile more." She floated off in a vague way toward the kitchen.

Teddy led the way to the Charms classroom, and they found the Friar kneeling near the blackboard.

"Brother Francis?" Frankie said.

The Friar rose, smiling. "Ah, Frankie. And Teddy Lupin. How good to see you! This was a chapel in my day, you know. I once married a pair of students in here. The girl's father wasn't happy with me." He moved his rosary beads, and Teddy saw a smudge of small, round bruises. Apparently, he'd been strangled with them. "An ancestor of yours, I believe, Teddy. Andromeda wasn't the first in her line to disappoint the Blacks by her marriage! But that was a long time ago. Did you need advice of a spiritual nature?" he asked eagerly.

"We're trying to find out what happens to Demented souls," Frankie said. "While their bodies are still alive. Do you know if they're like ghosts?"

The Friar sighed. "I know they are quite distinctly not like ghosts," he said. "We have all chosen to remain, to serve as we can among our former fellows"--Teddy didn't think this quite fit with what Uncle Harry had said about ghosts being just shadows, afraid to move on, but he didn't mention it, thinking it might be rude--"while those whose souls have been ripped from them were given no choice. It is possible, of course, that they've gone on..."

"Do you think they have?" Teddy asked.


"Why not?"

"Because I have never heard of any instance where one has chosen to stay," the Friar said. "Anecdotal, perhaps, but having experienced a moment of choice, I cannot believe that no soul taken by the Dementors, often at the prime of life, would have chosen a ghost's existence. Perhaps the majority wouldn't, but there should be at least one or two. I would have expected it of several who died in Azkaban, who I cannot imagine would anticipate a happy continuation... beyond. So I must conclude that they are not faced with the choice, that they are not properly separated from their bodies."

Frankie leaned forward avidly. "How would we find a soul like that?"

The Friar, who seemed taken aback, said, "My son, why would you occupy yourself with such a question?"

"For Sanjiv. Don't you remember him? My mum and dad's friend."

"Of course I remember him. But his soul is not your responsibility."

"My mum thinks it's hers," Frankie said.

"I see." The Friar looked at Teddy. "And you?"

"I'm helping. Sanjiv was my mum's friend as well."

This earned a suspicious look. "It's not... other souls... that you seek?"

"No," Teddy said, "I'm just looking for Sanjiv."

"Teddy's just helping me," Frankie said. "He thinks I'm mad and wishes I'd stop."

The Friar turned back to him, his usually jovial face quite serious. "You would be wise to listen to people who care about you. This is not a task for the living, let alone for children."

"Well, then whose is it?" Frankie demanded. "If their souls haven't been separated, then they're not dead yet, which means they're living."

"But their souls have been taken," the Friar said. "The connection between the soul and the body is a deep mystery. We understand something of it, but not all of it. These souls seem to be trapped."

"Or destroyed?" Teddy asked, and saw Frankie's pained expression only from the corner of his eye.

"It's possible," the Friar told him. "But unlikely. The soul isn't a potato to be digested. It ought to regroup and recover. Only the owner of a soul can damage it irreparably." He looked unsure.

"So you do think they're trapped," Frankie said. "A sort of soul-prison..."

"That's not entirely what I said."

"And if we freed them, they'd come back to their bodies."

The Friar shook his head, looking bewildered. "A soul cannot return to a body that it has left. If these souls are freed..." He stopped. "There are no answers to your question, my son. I'm sorry."

"There are answers," Frankie said. "We just haven't found them." He turned and left.

Teddy looked at the Friar. "I have to go with him."

"Of course you do." The Friar nodded raised his hand to bless Teddy (Teddy braced himself for the cold touch). "Peace be upon you," he said, and turned back to the blackboard.

Teddy went out after Frankie.
52 comments or Leave a comment
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victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: September 8th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent, as usual. I'm really becoming fascinated by all this discussion of souls.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I found the soul questions raised in HBP and TDH very interesting, so it's definitely a place my brain goes with HP now.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: September 8th, 2007 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Gasp! You killed Madame Rosmerta! That's... I would've never thought she'd ever die. I'm shocked!

The thought of a Black strangling the Fat Friar to death amuses me in the most morbid sort of way.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought it was time to put in another reminder of the battle, and I didn't want it to be Colin. I thought Teddy would have probably noticed Colin before this.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 8th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)

chandi's name

a possible solution is that Chandi is a nickname or abbreviation of some longer name. Her father/grandfather might have referred to her as "little demon" (to use the English form) as a child, she being mischievious, and it stuck. Of course there might be a problem with this, as such a nickname might be utterly unaccceptable in terms of her culture.

I'm very much enjoying your story.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: chandi's name

Thanks. Yes, that's worth thinking about, but I'd need to check on it. It might be easier to use a different name, since she's not an important enough character to explain it.
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: September 8th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)
You could use the name 'Chandini,' which means moonlight, and Chandi would work as a nickname that way...?

Great section as usual. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. Could be workable.

jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: September 8th, 2007 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's carefully worded paragraph to Harry reminded me of another carefully worded letter that Harry himself wrote Sirius. It's a fun connection. :~) I liked Harry's reply about that Hufflepuff loyalty, too.

I'm glad the boys thought of asking the Fat Friar! I'm very curious to see where this is going to go...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a fun connection. :~)

Thanks, it was deliberate! :)

I'm kind of wondering if the Friar might not have made the ghost choice for the same reason as other ghosts. I mean, he's a Friar, voluntarily abstaining from various good things in life--maybe he's voluntarily giving up good things in the afterlife in order to serve his House?
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: September 8th, 2007 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I suddenly got very happy I knew what Tintagel is.

Frankie is coming around, thankfully. Listen to the Friar. Speaking of him I loved his character.

Seeing Madam Rosemerta as a ghost was interesting, I didn't think she died. But I suppose she could've.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Frankie is coming around, thankfully.

Or realizing that he needs to put on a better act.

I put in Rosmerta dying; it's not in the book. I figure her among the fifty unnamed. Totally random decision on my part.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: September 8th, 2007 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww Teddy got to see Shifts!

So? Who killed Rosmerta? :)

As always, excellent!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Aberforth, wiping out the competition. :p

Okay, probably not.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 8th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC) (Link)
This is a really facinating topic of discussion, I was astonished, in a morbidly happy way, that Frankie was actually on the right track with the souls being "held" or "trapped" somewhere. And the lore that you have invented surrounding this topic is facinating in itself. I reckon that the Friar pays slightly more attention to these matters than Nick, or at least delivers his knowledge with a bit more care and concern.

I do like the idea of the Friar staying behind to try and attend to his flock all the way down the centuries, although by the delightful hope that he showed when he thought that Frankie and Teddy had come to discuss spiritual matters, I wonder how many people actually do.

I do get the impression that the Friar was being slightly cagey here, though whether to protect Frankie or something else I 'm not too sure.

"The soul isn't a potato to be digested."

Is an amazing line. And the continuing theme of loyalty is really lovely, the Friar's "Of course you do" is just so Puffian.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I think, like Nick, that the Friar imagines he knows more about death than he actually does, which may account for some of the cageyness.

I wonder how many people actually do.

As his flock is 11-18... I'm guessing not many!
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 8th, 2007 11:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I was hoping we'd get to see the expedition into the ring's memories again, because the last one really sucked me right in along with Teddy!

Thanks for the little snippets of history - how the Fat Friar died, and his association with one of the burnt-off Blacks; Rosmerta's fate in the war ... it's all these little things that truly raise your work into a masterpiece.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's very tempting for me to get lost in the ring's memories, but I thought it would be wise to et back to the current plot--Teddy needs more to do than discover Remus and Dora! :)
serriadh From: serriadh Date: September 8th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another brilliant chapter! I particularly like way you've characterised the Fat Frior, from having Frankie call him 'Brother Francis' (because of course people don't call him 'Mr. Fat Friar'(!) to his face, but it's one of those things I'd never really thought about) to the Friar's faith. I like the way you've made that very much part of him (he was a Friar, after all) without going overboard - I find depictions of religious people in fic and books often leave much to be desred, but this was spot-on.

(I also like the nod to the Friar being a Franciscan - is that in the books? - as that seems teh most 'Hufflepuffy' religious order :) )
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think JKR mentions the Friar's Order. Seems right, though--very Puffy. I like religious characters who aren't either overdone or underdone (though I know there are some who think any mention is overdoing... but the man's a Friar!)
ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: September 8th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm...Teddy going back to helping Frankie to avoid conflict, against his better judgment. Reminds me of someone! :p

The discussion about the Demented souls is so interesting. Based on what we saw in DH about souls and death it makes more sense that the souls are trapped rather than destroyed. Maybe what happens to them is similar to what happened to what was left of Voldemort's soul?
Glad you gave the dead something to do, by the way.

Who was the couple the Friar married? Isla Black and whoever she married, or Cedrella and the Weasley?

OMG! You killed Rosmerta!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think they'd have been further back than Phineas's generation. Phineas, I think, was vaguely Victorian; the Friar would probably be pre-Reformation.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 8th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ack! Rosmerta! Oh Fern....
I also loved the potato line. Also, loved that Frankie called his namesake Brother Francis instead of Fat Friar. It would be his luck that a Slytherin would pick up on that and start calling Frankie the Fat Friar.

I was wondering if anyone had the opportunity to tell Teddy the stuff that Remus did and what his reaction would be. How awful to think of your idealized father as a prat. Although Harry would be the best to convey the message and make it less of an emotional thing for Teddy. Plus not having to witness it in a pensieve and stew about it with no explanation.
(sorry for the rambling...)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Harry, after the Pensieve incident, would have been sensitive to the idea of Teddy learning this in some other way, even if it's not from malice--imagine someone just casually making a joke about "pulling a Lupin" to mean disappearing, and Teddy finding out that way.
gabrielladusult From: gabrielladusult Date: September 8th, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if this will be of any use to you, but when I was looking for names of Padma's children I found This website. You are probably better off running any choices by olympe_maxime.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like all name sites. :) Thanks!
miseri From: miseri Date: September 8th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
1) Rosmerta

Hm ... y'know, not all the people killed in the battle might have been defenders of Hogwarts ... there might even have been a few Deatheaters among the unnamed 50 dead, since it's only assumed that all of those 50 were from the defending side. So ... supposing Rosmerta was still acting under Imperius (unlikely, given Draco's attitude and situation) or, as Pius Thicknesse seems to have done, gone from being merely Imperiused to being One Of Them.... Entirely possible she could have been killed by Aberforth.

2) House ghosts

I wonder. Have you noticed? Nick, the Gryffindor ghost, is a ghost because he was "afraid to move on". Helena Ravenclaw desired greater intelligence -- ie, she thought she was not intelligent enough. The Bloody Baron, ghost of prudent, ruthless Slytherin, died of regret for acting impulsively. It's a bit of a stretch, I guess, but it did strike me as I was reading that each of those three died under circumstances related to some sort of failing (or perceived failing) on their part with regard to their House virtues.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just assume she came up with the Hogsmeade contingent that Slughorn brought back, and died in the fighting, really, maybe in the same collapse that killed Fred.

Interesting thought on the House ghosts... could the Friar have felt that he'd been disloyal somehow?
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 8th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Good idea of Teddy's to consult the ghosts--learning a bit more about the Friar's backstory was interesting. And it looks like Frankie's theory about Demented souls being trapped somewhere was accurate. Still, I don't think the Friar's cautions are likely to dissuade him.

Looks like there are one too many "occasional" phrases here: Ron had apparently also occasionally got angry for no reason on occasion I've done things like that myself when trying to decide which phrase sounds better.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 8th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Frankie's not dumb, and he has been raised by an Unspeakable. But what does he think he's going to do about it from a third year classroom at Hogwarts?

Oops on the occasionally. Yes, I rephrased and forgot to fix the old phrase!
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