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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Nineteen: The Shadow in the Smoke, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Nineteen: The Shadow in the Smoke, pt. 3
I've got to stop handwriting with gel pens. When I'm not pressing the pen hard enough hurt my hand in an effort to get the ink as dark as I like, I skim the paper so fast that I'm really glad I remember what I was writing.


Anyway, Teddy got hurt going into the Forest to rescue Frankie, who was out there alone and ran into Red Caps. Teddy accidentally picked up a particular pebble, which managed to help all three of them, with Teddy being shielded by his parents, James, and Sirius until Harry, Hagrid, Neville, and Robards were able to get in to rescue them. Harry is a little frightened here, though Teddy doesn't quite believe it. (I mean, it's Uncle Harry... scared? Never!) Harry picks him up and starts back up toward the castle.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy was only partly aware of the walk up to the castle. He knew that at some point, they'd met the rest of the Guard, running back to the edge of the Forest when they smelled smoke. He got a clear, long, meaningless look at Roger Young, who was filthy and seemed distraught. He heard Professor Longbottom send Ruthless, who ran fastest, ahead to the hospital wing so that Madam Pomfrey could prepare for them. Corky was talking about something--Teddy recognized his accent--but the words didn't string together properly and it was all gibberish.

Mostly, he was aware of the quick sound of Uncle Harry's pulse as it pounded in his neck, the rocking motion of being carried, the retreating smell of the smoke. He tried once to say that they needed to go back, that Dad was still there, but partway through, he realized how mad that was. Uncle Harry just kept shushing him and telling him that everything was all right, and everyone was all right, and he didn't need to worry.

They got to the castle and the uninjured students were sent away. Teddy, Frankie, and Tinny were all put into beds, and Uncle Harry and Professor Longbottom made themselves available to help Madam Pomfrey any way they could. Hagrid said--and Teddy heard this very clearly and remembered it for no reason at all--"I'd best get Higgs an' bundle 'er back up here before she starts misquotin' Buckbeak."

After he left, Madam Pomfrey did a spell to keep all of them awake--"Sorry, but you can't slip under until we're done." This made Teddy marginally more alert, which he'd rather not have been, as she followed this up with a horrible spell that seemed to pull everything inside of his lungs out of them, making his head swim and his chest burn. A great, foul-smelling haze gathered around his head--mostly smoke, but wound through with strange yellowish goo and infused with a red mist that might have been blood. Madam Pomfrey Banished it, then let Teddy breathe again. After one gasping breath, he vomited something thin and milky all over his robes, but once that was over, he felt better--worn out and somehow obscenely clean, but better. "You take care of his cuts and scrapes," she told Uncle Harry. "I know I taught you that much while you were training."

Uncle Harry nodded, but didn't act immediately. He just put his arms around Teddy, ignoring the mess on his robes, and held onto him gently, mindful of the sore spots (Teddy guessed he'd had a few sore spots himself and knew to do this). Finally, he let go, smiled faintly, and said, "Let's get you put back together. Professor Robards has gone to get your Granny and Frankie and Tinny's parents." He took out his wand and started healing the many cuts Teddy had picked up. The one on his neck, where the gold chain had cut him, was deep, and tingled. Finally, he turned to the hand where all of the stones had been caught. There was a deep circle cut into it, where Dad's ring had pressed. This resisted Healing spells--Teddy guessed it was because the ring had powerful Charms on it--so he just cleaned it very carefully, then Conjured a soft white bandage for it. "That may leave a scar," he said. "But I don't imagine that scar will hurt you at all." He put his hand on Teddy's forehead. "You need some rest. Your lungs need to heal on their own; there's no good spell for them." He Summoned a goblet from Madam Pomfrey's desk and said, "It's for dreamless sleep."

"I had a good dream..." Teddy started.

"I know," Uncle Harry said. "But you need rest now."

Teddy took the goblet and drank it. The last thing he was aware of before drifting off was Uncle Harry's hand on his face, his voice saying, "I love you, Teddy, and so do they." Then there was nothing at all until late the next morning.

When he woke up, the sunlight was streaming through the high windows of the hospital wing, turning the motes of dust into tiny suns. Privacy screens had been put up between his bed and Frankie's, but Teddy could see through the gap between the screen and the wall. Daffy's back was filling most of it, but over the top of it, he could see the top of Maddie's head as she bent over Frankie, who was still sleeping.

He turned his head. Granny was sitting in the chair beside the bed. She was still wearing her lime green Healers' robes from St. Mungo's, and Teddy guessed she must have come from a night shift at work. She was holding his hand, but her eyes had slipped shut. She looked tired and too old.

"I'm sorry," Teddy said, and was surprised that it hurt his throat.

Her eyes flew open, and she stood up to lean forward and cover his face with kisses. "Teddy--you're back--you're fine--you'll be all right..."

Teddy let this run its course, glad of her embrace and voice.

She finally sat back, wiping her face. "Do you need anything? Is your throat sore?"

Teddy nodded.

Granny picked up the goblet Uncle Harry had brought over last night, cleaned it with a flick of her wand, and filled it with a red, sweet-smelling potion. "Here."

Teddy drank it. His throat and chest were soothed. "Sorry," he said again. "I didn't mean to make you leave work."

She looked at him like he'd said something in a particularly obscure dialect of Gobbledygook, then shook her head violently. "No, Teddy. Don't you dare get into the habit of apologizing for accidents. Your friends said you did everything you ought to have. You looked for an adult, you didn't go alone, you were careful. It just got out of hand. Frankie, on the other hand--"

"Frankie was just trying to help Sanjiv," Teddy said. "And Maddie."

Granny rubbed her head. "Sanjiv started slipping away last night," she said. "That's why I was still at work. Maddie and Daffy and Carny were all with me when Robards came to find us."

They found him, Teddy thought, but he wasn't sure what to do with it--a part of him felt like he ought to be happy that they'd found him, that they'd pulled him from whatever prison he was in. But mostly, he remembered the memory Mum had shared, in which Sanjiv had taken her dancing, and made her laugh during a year she'd thought she couldn't, and now they were both gone, and nothing about it seemed happy.

The privacy screen suddenly moved, and Maddie stood there uncertainly. She was wearing black robes, and her eyes were sunken and red. "I, er..." She looked at Granny. "May I take a moment to thank Teddy?"

"How's Frankie?" Teddy asked.

"He'll be fine, thanks to you," Maddie said. "I'm so sorry for everything. I didn't know... I didn't think..." She closed her eyes and took a series of deep breaths, then opened them again, seeming calmer. "This won't happen again. Thank you, Teddy." She smiled very faintly, then darted back to Frankie's bed. Teddy saw Daffy put his arm around her, and she clung to him. With the screens open, he could now see Carny curled up in a large, puffy chair, her thumb in her open mouth, sleeping deeply.

Frankie woke up a few minutes later, and asked if they could just move all of the screens. Tinny, awake on the far side with her leg splinted around the knee sprain, was sitting with her parents, a couple in their late middle age, who introduced themselves as Dave and Susannah. The adults all seemed more self-conscious with the screens open, and fell into a lot of forced laughter about how children would be children. Teddy didn't fail to note that all of them stayed near their respective charges. Granny actually kept her hand in his hair while she gave a high laugh and mentioned how Mum had always been off on adventures, and how she had often gone out onto the grounds to meet with Granddad.

Susannah Gudgeon grinned. "Late night Quidditch matches?"

"Just so," Granny said.

"Wow," Maddie put in, her eyes unnaturally wide. "And here Daffy and I just went out to snog."

At noon, Madam Pomfrey came to check on the patients, and sent the adults to go have lunch in Hogsmeade. She put the screens back up, ordered them to rest, and went off, cursing the Red Caps, the spells they used to get rid of the Red Caps, the existence of the Forest, and the nature of boys. She amended this last, glancing at Tinny, and said, "All of them, honestly..."

Teddy leaned back into his pillows, but wasn't surprised when, a moment later, the screen moved and Frankie came through. He looked down at the floor. "Sorry, Teddy. That's not much to say, but..."

"We're all right."

Frankie looked up nervously. "Really?"

"Sure."

"I should've listened to you."

"Yes."

This got a small laugh. "I thought I could solve it. It was stupid. Mum couldn't solve it, either. Why would I be able to?"

"It's not stupid," Teddy said.

"Yes it was."

Teddy and Frankie both looked up at the new voice. Uncle Harry had come back. He was standing just inside Teddy's area, and his robes seemed to be dusted with light ash. He smiled at Frankie and said, "It was stupid, but I'm the last one to hold that against someone. Would you mind if I talked to Teddy for a bit?"

Frankie nodded and ducked back behind his screen, closing the gap behind him. Uncle Harry Summoned a chair and sat down in it. "Neville and I have made the clearing Unplottable," he said. He took a very deep breath then said, "There's part of the story you don't know, Teddy, and I don't think you're old enough for it. So I find myself not telling you something that's important. And understanding what I thought I wouldn't. I promise to tell you later."

"My father was there," Teddy guessed.

"Yes. And no. Can you live without knowing yet?"

Teddy found--surprisingly--that he could. He knew what he did know. He nodded.

"Thank you, Teddy." He stood up, then kissed Teddy's forehead. "I don't suppose there would be any point to telling you not to scare me like this again."

"I'll try not to."

"Sure you will." He smiled and mussed Teddy's hair. "I'd best get out before Madam Pomfrey comes in and Banishes me."

"Are you done? With your work here?"

"Yes. I'll stay around until you're all right."

Teddy smiled, then sank into his pillows as Uncle Harry tiptoed out.

Soundtrack: M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary

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Comments
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darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 18th, 2007 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent post, Fern. Always interesting to see Harry in the position of keeping a secret from a kid.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. And yes, being on the flip side of the question always makes you look at it differently!
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: September 18th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmmmm... Now that made me feel all warm and cuddly inside.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Good! :)
From: kobegrace Date: September 18th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
This was rather

a) wonderful
b) adorable
c) heart-warming
d) cathartic
e) amazing
f) all of the above, and then some

Awesome job, Fern. Really, it was.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you; it felt good to write.
ginginny77 From: ginginny77 Date: September 18th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to agree with the post above.. it is interesting seeing Harry (of all people) keep something like that from kid... he finaly gets to see the other side on that one.

Its almost over..... it has been an amazing ride... this is a wonderful story.. and I cannot wait for more!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I think he's realizing how much it would torment Teddy to know there's a thing out there that can bring back some physical form of Remus to comfort him when he needs it, but that it's somehow morally wrong to use it.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: September 18th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Harry. You're first taste of what your adventures did to others(namely parents). Not that you had much of a choice in most matters, but that's a different topic, one that fills several books.

But wow, Harry promising to tell Teddy later what happened brings to mind Dumbledore telling Harry that he'd find out about the prophecy later.

And poor Maddie, the woman needs a hug and some hot chocolate.

Excellent Fern.


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry's in such a unique position in the wizarding world, it would be surprising if he doesn't end up dealing with a lot of Dumbledore's sorts of choices.

And poor Maddie, the woman needs a hug and some hot chocolate.
Daff's on it. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 18th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Latest post

Lovely, as always. Complete with Madam Pomfrey's disgruntled muttering. Thank you for writing Teddy's first adventure so quickly!

I think that in the first sentence you wanted to say that Teddy was hardly aware, rather than "are."

Thanks again!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Latest post

Got the are/aware. Typing from the handwriting=missing silly things like letters that change the entire concept of a word.
cambryn From: cambryn Date: September 18th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I love seeing the family moments between Teddy and Andromeda and Harry and Teddy. :) Wonderful job.

One thing I noticed:
Teddy was only partly are of the walk up to the castle
I believe you meant aware instead of are.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Picked it up.

I like writing about families. Families are cool.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 18th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Not much to say except "sniff."

Ellen
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 18th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
That's "sniff" as in tears and such, not "sniff" as in "sniffing disdainfully."

Ellen
alexiscartwheel From: alexiscartwheel Date: September 18th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww... Harry is such a great godfather! Even though Harry does choose to withhold knowledge from Teddy, he isn't condescending to him--he even asked if it was okay to explain later. I think it's clear that Harry learned from his experiences, and he doesn't want Teddy to feel like he's too foolish to be included. Just in general, I really enjoy the way you write Harry and his relationship with Teddy.

Great chapter, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think it's possible to say often enough how much I love Harry.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: September 18th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I need a bestest Godfather icon :)

Great as usual
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry definitely gets points for good godfathering.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: September 18th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Lovely. That's all I have to say :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 18th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Harry, now you understand exactly what Dumbledore felt like a lot of the time, don't you? :-)

Lovely chapter, as usual.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry's definitely getting a crash course in life-as-Dumbledore!
alkari From: alkari Date: September 18th, 2007 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Hugs all round -
* big hugs and lots of healing chocolate to Harry, Teddy, Granny and Tinny, Frankie and their parents
* to Madam Pomfrey for being 'just her'
* and to Hagrid for his delicious comment about Honoria - "misquotin' Buckbeak' indeed. ROTFL.

Oh yes - and did I mention hugs and chocolate to Fern for another great chapter?!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmm, chocolate...

I think I'd worry about leaving Honoria alone in my private quarters, too.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: September 18th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I really liked the various family interactions in this section, including Harry making the tough decision to not tell Teddy something. I'm both sad and relieved that Sanjiv was slipping away--I hope that does mean that Dora and the others found him!

I'm glad that Harry made the clearing Unplottable--that seems like a much better solution than "I don't know where it fell." And Harry's comment about Teddy's potential scar not hurting was a cool nod to Harry's own scar. (It's good that Harry's sticking around until Teddy's better, too!)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope that does mean that Dora and the others found him!
It does. Teddy even helped them.

Looking at the "hiding" of the Hallows, it makes sense if JKR is leaving it open for other stories. We know the grave isn't impenetrable, and magical artifacts left lying around tend to be found, and the Cloak is just continuing its passage down in the Potter family. On the other hand, it's really not a bad thought to just randomly drop the pebble, which doesn't look all that unusual, rather than put up a big sign saying, "Look at all of this magic around here, must be hiding something big!'... if you're not taking magic into account, in which a powerful object is powerfully attractive. Or maybe I'm just thinking of the One Ring, looking for masters.
purebristles From: purebristles Date: September 18th, 2007 08:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I am loving your Uncle Harry with so much love that I can't believe myself.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I really like writing Uncle Harry.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope Parvati knows what she's missing!

Well... she is the one trying to make amends; he's the one who's being merely polite.
redlily From: redlily Date: September 18th, 2007 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Hugs and potions all around. Brilliant. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 11:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 18th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
And Harry finally gets a taste of what Dumbledore must have been feeling!

This whole scene was so very touching. Very nice, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. (I admit, I've been a little peeved at the "ZOMG!DUMBLEDORE'S SO MEAN!!!" sentiment since TDH, which I thought showed that he had a whole lot of concerns and worries that Harry never even suspected. Sigh.)
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: September 18th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, so nicely done. I read Sunday night's at 2 a.m. and barely absorbed it, so I re-read both today... Whew. So much emotion. I really love your Adult Harry, who remembers the feeling of being kept in the dark, or of *having* to pursue an adventure, and is able to be a good and responsible adult while still treating Teddy with respect. He's wonderful.

Also, that lung-cleaning charm sounds brutal, though effective.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Harry will make an awesome adult.

Also, that lung-cleaning charm sounds brutal, though effective.
Dangerous in the wrong hands, though.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: September 18th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
He took a very deep breath then said, "There's part of the story you don't know, Teddy, and I don't think you're old enough for it. So I find myself not telling you something that's important. And understanding what I thought I wouldn't. I promise to tell you later."

Oh, this part is wonderful! Harry coming to understand why Dumbledore did what he did.... I love the way this mirrors the end of Philosopher's Stone.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, growing up. First you rage when you find out that grown-ups aren't perfect, and you're going to do so much better, then, eventually, you realize, hey, wait, maybe that made sense in context... :)

I have a great deal of Dumble-love, so I want more than a condescending "forgiveness"--I want understanding, dammit! ;p
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: September 18th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just wonderful. Really lovely. I love the awkwardness of all the adults around each other, and I love Maddie apologizing to Teddy. Harry and Teddy are just great together.

Also, I really enjoy seeing the little snippet of handwriting up there. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad my handwriting's enjoyable to someone--it gives me a headache! :p

Maddie owed an apology. But the best of Hufflepuff will out, and she'll do what's right.
megan29 From: megan29 Date: September 18th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have a great gift for capturing someone's personality, or the general atmosphere, in one or two lines. I've noticed this before, but in this episode you've outdone yourself, so I had to comment. Here are my favorites:

On Madam Pomfrey: She put the screens back up, ordered them to rest, and went off, cursing the Red Caps, the spells they used to get rid of the Red Caps, the existence of the Forest, and the nature of boys. She amended this last, glancing at Tinny, and said, "All of them, honestly..."

On the atmosphere in the hospital wing: The adults all seemed more self-conscious with the screens open, and fell into a lot of forced laughter about how children would be children. Teddy didn't fail to note that all of them stayed near their respective charges.

Also, I like how you made it clear to us that Harry was very scared for Teddy, even though Teddy may not fully realize it. Starting the episode with Teddy feeling Harry's quick heartbeat was a great touch in setting up the tone, without even needing a line of dialogue. I'm not so sure that Harry saying "I love you, Teddy," worked, though. I know why you put it in there, and it would have worked from Ginny, but Harry is a guy... Maybe just the careful embrace would have been enough. Well... not sure.

I was a little confused by one thing: Why does Harry already know that Teddy had the Peverell stone, before Teddy even tells him what he saw? From what I understood in canon, Teddy would be the only one to see his loved ones. So all Harry knows is that Teddy was in the famous glade, unconscious. But why did he immediately assume that Teddy found the stone? Or maybe I missed something?

And finally, do share a bit of your writing process with us. Those phrases I cited above - do you work on getting them just so? Do you shorten them, sharpen them, edit them until they shine? Or do they just come to you as a matter of course? (in which case, I hate you! Nah, not really, but... well... not fair!) :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
But why did he immediately assume that Teddy found the stone?

He was in the right place and missing, and, as he was carrying him, Teddy tried in a garbled way to say that his father was still back there, before deciding it was mad and shutting up. All that together was enough for him to twig to what he suspected anyway.

Writing... sometimes it comes out just the way it is (the Madam Pomfrey line did), other times, I fret at it for a long time before writing it down. My jotted down, handwritten scenes almost always need expansion, and I'll think of other things that need adding as I enter it.

I'll think about the "I love you"--it does seem forced. I think the touch is enough.
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: September 18th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
And Harry pulls a Dumbledore...
I love Madam Pomfrey. I really do. And you write her so well...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I grew up with a nurse for a mother; Madam Pomfrey is close to my heart.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 18th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Others have said this already, but there are some lovely parallels in this chapter to the Hospital scene in PS. Harry's line about "understanding what (he) thought (he) wouldn't" gave me a real shivery moment because this is Harry finally *getting* at least a part of Albus's reasoning. And i think that that is very powerful, as up until this point although Harry fogave Albus for what he did a long time ago up until this point he hadn't had that moment of relation.

OK that paragraph was basically repeating what you wrote in a more drawn out format but hey! I did like the fact that Harry was able to use Albus's mistakes to handle the situation with Teddy in a... better fashion. And the fact that for the moment Teddy is content in the knowledge that for a few precious minutes he was with his parents. And although it is good that he takes comfort from that there is, as always, the fact that they should have been there for all of his life.

Oh and yay for Daffy and Maddie! I was so glad to see them really together in this scene.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's the trick--understanding why something may have been handled badly, then trying to achieve the same thing in a better way.

Maddie and Daffy will be all right, too. But she owes some groveling.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 18th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww, so wonderful. This made me happy. :-)

Oh, and this made me giggle: "Wow," Maddie put in, her eyes unnaturally wide. "And here Daffy and I just went out to snog." So much for subtlety! Your OC's are so great.

~Maryann
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 18th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
So much for subtlety!

Heh, yes. Maddie may be in her mid-thirties now, but she's not above poking a little fun at the "subtle" grown-ups.
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