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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Seventeen: Noble and Most Ancient, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Seventeen: Noble and Most Ancient, pt. 3
I have a couple of days off, and I ended up goofing around with a Teddy/Victoire story--the day before the epilogue, maybe ending up right after she heads off to Hogwarts the next day--which I may post on its own later if I finish it up, along with whatever gets done here.

Looking at Shifts and the full moon calendar, I have to edit in that Teddy didn't forget Frankie's birthday, which is a little before his own. I just forgot to mention it. We only hear about Ron's birthday when he gets poisoned, though, to be fair, and it doesn't mean that Harry doesn't remember it. Right?

Andromeda sent Teddy two birthday presents that connect him to his past--a chain to keep his father's ring on (the chain belonged to Ted and Ted's father before him), and her own book on the history of the Black family. Teddy spends the day lost in the latter, and it becomes a hit during the week. It gets a good review in the Daily Prophet... and a lousy one in the first issue of the new school paper, The Weekly Charmer.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




The paper appeared with breakfast on Wednesday morning. Its name was stamped across the top in letters charmed to sparkle:

The Weekly Charmer
Hogwarts... Express to You!
Volume 1, Issue 1
Honoria Higgs, Editor-in-Chief

It was two pages long. The front page had an introduction from Honoria, a report on the Quidditch game from Maurice, an editorial inveighing against the O.W.L.s by a fifth year Slytherin, and the beginning of an interview with Robards (by Ruthless) which would be continued on the second page. But the focal point was a copy of the cover of Noble and Most Ancient, beside a review by Geoffrey Phillips called "Whitewashing the Blacks." In prose stiff enough to stand up on its own, Geoffrey managed to misread nearly every chapter of Granny's book, misrepresent her participation in the war (taking her statement that she hadn't been a hero to mean that she truly had been on Voldemort's side and brushing off her marriage to a Muggle-born as "no more than a 'some of my best friends are' defense," and coming very close to calling Granddad names for having anything to do with a pure-blood marriage), and accuse her of trying to recreate a privileged class by glorifying blood history. When he finished it, Teddy looked back at Honoria's self-righteous introduction to the paper, in which she claimed that she was going to be open to every point of view and intended to prove it immediately. Teddy guessed that this translated to, "Every point of view that will provide me with a nasty, vindictive cover story, and the more people it hurts, the better."

He saw Geoffrey giving him a nasty look from the Ravenclaw table, and made a point of turning the page to read Ruthless's interview with Robards instead. She'd asked him about his wife, who lived in London, but his answer didn't really seem to match the question. Most of it was taken up with stories of his life as an Auror. Roger's column on "Muggles for the Magic-Born" was a sidebar; in the first issue, he was explaining films, and talking about his favorite ones, and promised to discuss computers next time. Off to the side was an unrelated cartoon, drawn by a third year Ravenclaw named Simmons, that showed the Black family tree as the Whomping Willow, thrashing around at innocent looking people.

Teddy deeply wished that his friends hadn't chosen the strategy they had, as he couldn't very well incinerate the thing, satisfying as it might be. He settled for folding the cartoon under, so he wouldn't have to look at it.

He heard grumbling during the rest of the day--some Muggle-borns seemed to agree with Geoffrey's position, others accused them of just feeling like they were left out of a fad. Joe Palmer, the other Muggle-born Hufflepuff, who shared Roger's dormitory, had spoken to Teddy for the first time in Herbology, nervously saying that he thought he might be descended from Isla Black, as his Mum had been a Hitchens, whose grandfather had been Bob Hitchens, who'd married a girl called Isla Black. "I might be wrong, mind," he said, "but it's not exactly Jane Smith, is it? And no one knew where she came from, and she wouldn't tell." Teddy agreed that it seemed likely, though it was surprising that her children hadn't all been magical. He wondered if she'd hidden it or found a way to suppress it somehow until it popped out in Joe, though he didn't mention this. In History of Magic, Geoffrey made a point of pontificating about "elitist codswallop," which had nothing to do with Binns's topic (he had returned happily to goblin wars once the school governors' curricular requests were satisfied), and got another detention, despite a contorted effort to tie the two subjects together by pointing out that the Blacks, after all, had a vault at Gringotts.

Of course, it wasn't just the Muggle-borns who found nasty things to say. He found Honoria in the Potions dungeon on Friday, reading the chapter Granny had called "A Thread of Madness." She raised an eyebrow at him and asked if he'd be in the next edition. Corky "accidentally" mis-measured the fluxweed in the potion they were working on together, and when she confidently drank it, she developed purple stripes all over her body, and was thoroughly distracted from the House of Black.

"She's tied to it as badly as we are, anyway," Maurice said. "Who does she think she's kidding?" She had left behind her belongings when she rushed to the hospital wing, and Maurice--from memory--sketched out her line of descent from Phineas Nigellus, through his son Arcturus, then the Crouches, through the Higgs family. He helpfully circled a Yaxley and a Rowle, then said, "Do you suppose it would be overkill if I went back on the Rackharrow side and pulled up the Notts and Macnairs?"

"I can't believe you know that off the top of your head," Corky said.

"The Burkes have good memories for good customers," Maurice said, then picked up Honoria's bag and headed back to Slytherin.

In all, though Teddy loved having the book, he needed to get away from it as the week went on. He eagerly followed Dad's memories through a trip he'd taken with his parents to the States to search for a cure--during which he was followed relentlessly by owls from the other Marauders--and many games played with Sirius during the year they'd spent at Grimmauld Place. Teddy wasn't sure whether he was feeling how much Dad missed Sirius that last year, or if he was starting to actually miss him himself. He was glad the next Saturday for a Muggles and Minions game, which would take him away from all of it. Frankie had said nothing at all about the book during their library stints, probably guessing that Teddy'd had enough of it elsewhere, and most of the Guard was only tangentially interested. Ruthless was just annoyed that it had taken attention away from her interview, and promised that the next issue, she'd find something more hard-hitting than a D.A.D.A. teacher.

Frankie looked like he hadn't slept much, but called on all of his old energy. He levitated the table to the center of the room and called for snacks.

"First of all," he said, "unless someone else wants to take over as urban planner, this might be the last game of the year--I'm swamped."

"I'll do it," Tinny said. "I'm already on top of it."

"Good." Frankie grinned. "Second, I'm going out in style. This one's big. We're starting out at uni..."

He went through the opening motions of the game quickly, getting everyone gathered at a pub. Ruthless kept rolling badly, and ended up having to climb in from under a sewer grate, then came up short on getting a shower. Only Roger rolled low enough to have to sit next to her. Once they were gathered, Frankie announced that there was a great catastrophe--one of the Channel Islands turned out to be an active volcano--a super volcano--and it was erupting. The game would include lava and fires as well as muggers and murderers, and they'd have to rescue as many people and as much property as they could. He had brought out a book on a volcano called Krakatoa, and was carefully following all of the steps. There would be, he promised them, many pre-eruptions and then finally a great collapse, involving sea water and steam and pyroclastic flows. They would need to gather people up and get them north, but first they'd have to convince them of the danger.

Zach declared this the best game ever, though Bernice seemed a little confused by the lack of a criminal element. They set to it with a vengeance, finding dozens of little paths Frankie had taken the trouble to lay down for them. He'd even constructed a series of adventures that finally got "Wings" his flying lessons, and Teddy was able to use the little airplane to start lifting people north. At lunchtime, he asked Ruthless to just keep him doing this over the next several turns ("Just don't crash me") while he headed out to the kitchens. Frankie ceremoniously handed his plan to Tinny and offered to go along.

"This one's great, Frankie," Teddy said as went down the corridor outside Hufflepuff House. "You really went all out."

"I've been ignoring them a lot," he said. "I caught Zach trying to plan something, and it sounded boring as anything, so I decided I owed them a good game. And I owed you the flying lessons. You've been... well, for helping in the library."

Teddy shrugged, uncomfortable, wishing Frankie hadn't brought up their library jaunts again. "Well, I know you'd do the same."

"I didn't, though, when you were distracted. I tried to make you stop. I'm sorry about that."

"No, you were right. I wasn't paying attention to things." He hoped Frankie would pick up the hint on his own, but he didn't seem to. "Why end the game now, though? Is something going on? Are you having trouble in class?"

"No," Frankie said. "I just need Saturdays. I'm going to start going into the Forest again."

"What? Why?"

"I looked at Filch's files." Frankie stopped and looked over his shoulder. "I did it last night. I was going to ask you if we could use the Map, but you left before I caught you. They made that new room for him, down here. It's easy to get in, and his desk isn't there. It's for all of the really old files. Sometimes he has people copy them for detention. I don't know why he keeps them. But I found a lot of them on our parents and Sanjiv. They snuck out quite a bit, and Sanjiv got caught in the Forest a lot. I think I was right in the first place. I think there's something magical there, and that's where he's caught. I--"

"Frankie, no," Teddy said. "Stop it."

Frankie stood back, looking like he'd been slapped. "What?"

"You think it's the Forest because it's the closest place you can get to that's really dangerous. What are you going to do in there?"

"I'm going to... find him! You know... like we've talked about. Or was that just an act for stupid Frankie again?"

"No. I've never said you were stupid, but you're being stupid now. Do you really think that you're going to do something an Unspeakable can't figure out? And do you really think that if Demented souls were just wandering about in the Forbidden Forest, your mum wouldn't have been here already looking? She's the one who got obsessed with it first!"

Frankie stood back coldly. "Go back to Hufflepuff and get your things, Lupin."

"No. Frankie, I'm not doing that! I'm not leaving if you're just going to go off and do something mad!"

"It's not my family that's got that thread in it," Frankie said.

If he'd chosen anything else to say, any other insult, Teddy probably would have ground his teeth and gone on with the argument, but the fact that he said what Honoria had said, that he was calling on the ghosts of all of the Blacks, that he knew the madnesses that Granny hadn't talked about (Granny had entirely skipped Mum's debilitating depression, but Frankie damned well knew about it)... the last several weeks of carefully trying to steer him, trying to get him out of trouble, trying to help seemed to rise up in Teddy's mind like a fist. He shoved Frankie across the corridor. "I've had it!" he said. "You know what, I will leave, and you can do what you want. I warned you about the dragon, and it's breathing fire right at you, just like your damned volcano in there. If you want to keep standing there trying to get burned, it's on your head! You are crazy."

Teddy didn't bother going back to Hufflepuff. Ruthless would think to bring his things. Checkmate hadn't come along today. He pushed past Frankie, turning sharply at the corridor across from the kitchen and nearly running into Honoria, who was scurrying toward the dungeons with a bag of food. It didn't occur to him just then to wonder if she had heard anything.
52 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: September 12th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, way to make friends, there, Frankie... That Geoffrey kid is horrible. Insulting someone's grandmother - especially when she's bringing up the person in question - is just Not Done. Someone hit him on the head with a newpaper until he comes to his senses!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geoffrey's a pain, all right. I don't think hitting him with the newspaper would help, though, as he'd just think you were trying to interfere with free thought.
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willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 12th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, dear. A big fight with one of his closest friends and being overheard by the worst possible person. What happens next is bound to be pretty messy--I just hope Teddy doesn't get another round of Hufflepuff-snubbing since this time it was Frankie who was way out of line.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it will depend on what Frankie does when he goes back to the Common Room--if he just keeps acting the same, or if he's barking orders and ignoring them, or if he just goes up to his dormitory. Either of the latter might make the 'Puffs so concerned about him that they'll assume Teddy was acting out of the same concern.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: September 12th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Frankie!!!

Good Job as always, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Uh-oh . . . .

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah.
From: kobegrace Date: September 12th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Fran-KIE! Like, wtF! Why's he being so -- bloody -- MEAN?!?!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Probably because what he heard Teddy saying was "Your mum's an obsessive psycho and so are you."
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: September 12th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Frankie -- you knew that would hurt. You're in need of a serious time out to think about what you've done. I do hope he gets in his head that it's dangerous what he's doing.

Honoria and Geoffrey are just so -- I can't even find the correct word for what they are. Disrespectful comes to mind and a bit self rightous.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Frankie's damned lucky that he might as well be Teddy's brother for all the chance there is of actually losing him as a friend. He could fume for ten years and still be there when Frankie really needs him.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: September 12th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Argh! Frankie is so ... so ... TWELVE, what can I say? :) Really well done. And wow, have you got Geoffrey nailed. What school newspaper doesn't have at least one of him? And I think Andromeda was quite justified in leaving out Tonks's depression; that had a perfectly legitimate cause behind it and she wasn't exactly going all Walburga on anyone anyway. I'm not trivializing what she went through, just saying that I think tying that to the Blacks' "thread of madness" would be stretching things a bit. (How did Teddy know about that, anyway? Did Harry tell him or did one of Tonks's memories drop a hint? Though I can't imagine that would be exactly tops on her memories-to-share list).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, he's seen the memory of Sanjiv trying to cheer her up, and when Neville called him to his office after the kappa thing, he mentioned that he knew why adults might be worried about the fact that he hadn't been morphing much.

I think Tonks's depression is part of the Black mood swing issue--it's not as bad as Sirius's (it drives me crazy when people take her to task for being mousy for a year, but ignore Sirius locking himself in with Buckbeak and throwing dead rats to him), but it's not entirely healthy, either.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: September 12th, 2007 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Well I know what the front page news will be for the next issue.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yeah, and it will be so helpful!
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: September 12th, 2007 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the title of Geoffrey's review, though that's the only good thing I can say about it. ;~) Joe playing the Black family game was fun, as was Maurice's ability to draw the family tree from memory.

Oh dear...Frankie and Teddy's argument is bad enough, but now it's going to end up in the Charmer too...I hope that Frankie reconsiders things soon!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know he thought of the title of the review before opening the book...
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 12th, 2007 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Well it is about time Teddy!

Well no, I don't really mean that, as I'm sure that Frankie is going to go and do something absurdly reckless now and then Teddy will have to go and rescue him because that is what friends do... and it is all going to go pear shaped.

I can predict these things you know :)

Anyway, I was so glad when Teddy finally decided to really confront Frankie about his obsession, waving a mental Teddy scarf and everything. And I was so hoping that he would be able to talk Frankie down from the proverbial roof, although obviously through story telling necesity, conflict=drama, he couldn't. And of course Teddy snapped when Frankie made that comment. And I have no doubt that Frankie said it deliberatly so that Teddy would get off his back, the troubel with having close friends is that they know exactly what to say to hurt you the most.

And this is just a bit of an out there theory, but Teddy saying that Frankie was looking for the most dangerous place to go made me think. As well as believing that he can solve the mystery and thus bring his mum back, could he also be thinking at the very back of his mind, well if I do get hurt trying to do this then at least then mum might realise what she is doing to us and they might stop fighting.

Oh and Maurice's comment about good customers was priceless, I'm really glad that he is comfortable enough with his family now to make that type of joke.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
And I have no doubt that Frankie said it deliberatly so that Teddy would get off his back, the troubel with having close friends is that they know exactly what to say to hurt you the most.

Oh, exactly. Frankie knew exactly what he was doing and did it anyway, which means he meant for Teddy to go stalking off. This probably hasn't been helped by a whole fad set off by a book dedicated to Teddy--Frankie's not immune to jealousy.
anna_in_the_sky From: anna_in_the_sky Date: September 12th, 2007 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, damn. Honoria is the kind of person you love to hate, but Geoffrey? That kid is horrible.

Weirdly, I felt more sorry for Frankie than for Teddy in the end. Frankie said something nasty, but I guess he'll feel much worse for it now than Teddy does. I wonder if the situation at home has gotten even worse for him to be so determined?

Have I said how much I love Ruthless? It makes me smile whenever I read about her, especially the comment on finding something more hard-hitting than a D.A.D.A. teacher for her next interview.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
but Geoffrey? That kid is horrible.

Which I think people in that world would do well to pay attention to, given what happened to the last horrible kid they ignored.

And Frankie will definitely feel worse than Teddy about that comment. He's not a bad kid.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 12th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read this after the little Teddy/Victoire fic you posted, so I'm giggling at the way Corky deals with Honoria.

I have no words for Geoffrey except despicable. I've no idea now which I detest more - him or Honoria.

And I actually support Frankie going into the Forest - if only because I get the feeling Things are going to Happen there. (And oh, would the Lady have anything to do with it?)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've no idea now which I detest more - him or Honoria.

Honoria's a pill, but Geoffrey's got some actual evil going on, I think.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: September 12th, 2007 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geoffrey is horrible. Honoria is annoying, but for some reason it's Geoffrey that really gets on my nerves. Someone has to knock some sense into the little jerk's head, though I suppose if no one's managed it by now...

Frankie's being frustrating. He's going to do something entirely too reckless, isn't he. =(

Maurice's comment on his family's good memory is awesome. I can't believe how much I adore him and Corky. DH and your fic are eliminating the part of inner me that dislikes Slytherin.

That little tidbit about Remus' memory of going to the States with his parents to find a cure for lycanthropy intrigues me.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Remus's parents spent a lot of time and money cure-chasing; that particular trip was mostly memorable to him, I think, because of all of the owls from his friends chasing him around.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like Maurice, I hope that he does remind Honoria of her own family history.

Frankie needs help and hope he (and his mother) get it soon.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's not much longer before the end of the year, so he'll get help soon!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

So...

Does that mean that Geoffrey is going to be the next "Big Bad" of the wizarding world? I remember someone (I think TheMolesMother) had a dark little fic about Squibs in the Muggle Government coming up with a plan to intern all wizards in concentration camps or something. I can see him liking that idea. Where does he get all this from anyway -- are his parents die-hard Marxists or something?

Oh, and otherwise, just, absolutely, positively wonderful.

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: So...

are his parents die-hard Marxists or something?

In a nutshell, yes. He's been raised on this poison pabulum, and he believes it entirely. Everything about the past is bad, and should be repudiated in the name of the New Order. Power to the people, down with the aristocrats.

The saving grace with Geoffrey at the moment is that, unlike Tom Riddle's case, no one likes him, and he presents his ideas particularly badly. If he gets a handle on how to be charming and charismatic... yeah, we could see a Muggle-born "revolutionary" backlash, probably just as Harry edges toward old age and Teddy enters mid-life.
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: September 12th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Frankie. What a low blow. Poor Teddy. I'm almost wincing thinking of the next installment after Honoria makes this public.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. Things can be patched together better when they're not on public view. Honoria is not helpful.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 12th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geoffry needs a bludger to the skull.

Real good post, Fern. I feel bad for Frankie but he had that one coming.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: September 16th, 2007 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
A typo check in haste:

"Teddy said as went down the corridor" is missing a word.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 9th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)

OK

Well though there are very few flaws! compared to my writing! So, there is one that is just starring me in the face, Buckbeak? do they still call him that ? What happened to Witherwings? Sorry if this is wrong seeing that the last (and 5th time) I read HP and the Deathly Hollows was over a year ago and my memory stinks!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 9th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: OK

Well, I imagine when the charges were dropped, they'd let him go back to his real name!
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