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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 3: The Prisoner, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 3: The Prisoner, pt. 3
Teddy's finding himself very angry as he listens to the story about Greyback, and he's a little off-kilter when he gets back to his grandmother's.

ETA: knackard did a Chapter 5 illustration from Shades!

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy woke up the next morning to the soft, repetitive sound of Checkmate grooming Bludger's face a few inches away from him. Bludger was purring and stretching his claws, pricking the edge of Teddy's neck with each lick from Checkmate.

He pushed back. "C'mon... whole bed... other side..."

Bludger rolled over after him, and Checkmate climbed over Bludger's body to continue his bath. She turned neatly and sat down in front of Teddy's face, brushing her tail back and forth over his nose.

He pushed it away. "All right, I'm up."

He rolled off the edge of the bed, not wanting to think about why he was so tired, why he had been up until well past midnight, lying in the center of his parents' bed, sandwiched between two cats and staring at the ceiling. He'd gone searching through his camp luggage, frantically digging for Dad's wedding ring, which he kept on a chain and wore when he wasn't swimming, and he'd found it and was wearing it, but it all seemed very distant in the morning light.

But of course, it came back. Insane werewolves who might or might not be hunting him down tended to do that.

Granny was getting her things together for work when he came downstairs, and she didn't look like she'd slept much, either. "Did you still want to visit Millicent Bulstrode?" she asked.

Teddy nodded and got a loaf of cinnamon bread from the cupboard. He peeled off six slices, and Granny toasted them with a flick of her wand while he hunted for butter, and perhaps some eggs. Sausage if there was any around. He found the butter, and grabbed a muffin from a box he found beside it.

Granny raised her eyebrows. "I think we'd do well to get two sets of school robes for this year," she said. "Unless you want to spend the second half of it morphed shorter."

Teddy smiled and started breaking his eggs into a bowl. Granny shook her head and took over magically while he tucked in to the toast.

"Why do you want to see Millicent?" she asked.

"I don't know."

"I was there when she was brought in. She's in very bad shape, Teddy."

Teddy thought about it. "I reckon Dad would've gone. Wouldn't she have been one of his students, if Uncle Harry knows her?"

"I can't argue there," Granny said. "But follow Father Alderman's lead. If he doesn't think you should be there, go."

Teddy nodded. His eggs finished scrambling and cooking themselves, and he ate them quickly. By the time he was finished, it was time for Granny to leave for her shift. She told him to follow by Floo to her office when he'd got dressed. He took his time on this, enjoying the emptiness of the house, playing some of the songs Mum had stashed away in the back of the desk she'd left behind and trying a few of the dance moves he'd seen at Donzo's rehearsals last week. They were harder than they looked, and he was rather glad he wasn't trying them while singing under a Sonorus charm to a lot of people. He ducked out into the garden and picked some fresh flowers, then pulled on a clean brown robe over his jeans, scratched both cats (and checked their bowls) and Flooed out to Granny's office at St. Mungo's, feeling much better than he had yesterday. He spilled out, arms akimbo, onto her floor, and from her desk, she flipped her wand without looking to clean up the ash.

She was going through a thick patient file, tapping it here and there with her wand, and she only looked up long enough to smile and say hello, and direct Teddy over to the books in the waiting area. There were reasons he only visited her here on rare occasions.

Five minutes after he arrived, the door opened, and Vivian Waters came in. "I see Teddy's here," she said. "Which means you haven't got the charm quite right, Andromeda."

Granny closed her file. "Hmm. That one always worked on Mad-Eye. I guess they've improved the eye over the years. Though I've never known why they found it necessary to make it possible to see through things."

"Compensation," Vivian said, then looked at Teddy, her mismatched eyes warm and friendly. "Alderman's finished talking to Millicent about private things, and he asked if she would mind a visit from you. She said it would be all right, as long as he and I stayed. Pansy Parkinson is there as well."

Teddy nodded and picked up the flowers he'd taken from the garden, which had spilled when he fell out of the fireplace, then followed her out. They went without speaking through the old corridors, up the stairs to Dai Llewellyn Ward, where Aurors were posted beyond a set of privacy screens. Vivian led Teddy through them. Inside the screens, Father Alderman was sitting soberly beside the bed, where a heavily bandaged woman was lying still. Her bruised eyes were visible above the linen, but other than that, Teddy couldn't tell what she looked like. One arm was wrapped tightly from the fingertips to the shoulder, and the blanket collapsed halfway down her right leg. Across from Father Alderman was an aggressively cheerful woman with dark hair and an upturned nose. She was speaking stridently.

"...Order of Merlin, Millicent! First class. That's something. A hero! Perhaps you'll be on the Wizengamot someday. Oh, you must be Professor Lupin's son." She stuck her hand out in Teddy's direction. "I'm Pansy Parkinson. I rather liked him despite..." She shrugged casually, and Teddy wasn't sure if she meant "Despite being a werewolf" or "Despite being on the other side of the war." He was reasonably sure he'd heard this name before, and not in a kindly light. She smiled brightly at Millicent. "You remember Professor Lupin, don't you? They're not all what you saw."

"Mmm," Millicent said. "Cats..."

"Oh, I'll take care of your cats, don't you worry even a little bit about that. I'll bring them right to my own house. And you may stay there if you like as soon as you're all better." Pansy Parkinson looked stunned by her own generosity in this matter. She preened a bit and said, "Well, I'll leave you to talk to your new friends. But don't you forget your old ones!" She gave a glassy, dazed smile, and ducked out, walking quickly.

Millicent's eyes moved over toward Father Alderman. "Not staying... Pansy's."

He smiled. "You'll be welcome in France, as soon as you're well enough to travel. Nate and Evvie Blondin have room in their house. You'll like them."

Teddy took a tentative step inside and held out the flowers. "Here," he said. "I picked them for you. I thought... well, that my Dad would have wanted to see you."

She blinked slowly in acknowledgment. Teddy wasn't sure what he meant to say to her. He just said, "You were really brave."

She tried to smile, and made a horrible sound as her hurt face rubbed against the bandages.

Teddy let Vivian and Father Alderman take over, and just sat helplessly beside the bed, wishing he hadn't come. He didn't have anything to add. But then he thought about Dad, six years old, lying in a bed somewhere in this ward. He'd have wanted people to visit.

The Healers came to tend her an hour later, and Teddy left gratefully with the others. Granny still had most of her shift left, but she didn't want him home alone, so he Flooed to Uncle Harry's, where he spent the day playing hide and seek with James and Al. Lily was toddling madly about, but couldn't quite figure out the rules of the game yet.

The next day, Granny insisted that he return, and the day after that, he was sent to Shell Cottage to help Fleur with things that she couldn't even think of ways for him to help with. He realized, with dawning mortification, that Granny had been arranging babysitters for him. At thirteen! She didn't even bother to deny it when he confronted her about it. He asked if he might at least spend the day at Frankie's, but that was out of the question, as Maddie and Daffy both worked--Frankie looked after Carny, and baby Mac went to work with Maddie, carried in a sling--and besides, Badger Hill wasn't secured. Nor, she said before he could bring it up, was Donzo's house, or Tinny's, or Ruthless's, or Maurice's. "Your choices are Shell Cottage, Uncle Harry's, or the Romp." The Romp was Ron and Hermione's house--named for what they called a great lot of otters, as Teddy understood it, though the adults made off-color jokes about why it was really named that, much to Hermione's annoyance--and he'd never spent any real time there. He opted to go there next. Ron and Hermione both worked, but Molly watched the children during the day, and Teddy didn't mind having her cooking handy. He spent most of the day buried in Hermione's library, with Rosie curled up ostentatiously in front of him, reading a book of fairy tales. Teddy himself read a pile of news clippings about Greyback's escape. Rita Skeeter had published an article wondering why Greyback had been in Azkaban at all, when Ron and Professor Longbottom, both experienced fighters, had been fighting him. She insinuated that their notorious fondness for werewolves--via Dad, of course, though she went out of her way to say that naturally, that was justified--had kept them from the logical step of just killing Greyback when they should have. Teddy found it hard to argue with the sentiment.

By the end of the second week of this, he was fed up and tired. He'd got an invitation to Donzo's concert, with backstage passes, but the security against Greyback wasn't deemed good enough, and when the rest of the Weird Sisters heard the reasoning, they decided that it might be best not to be a target anyway. Donzo wrote him an apologetic letter, which didn't help matters, as he mentioned that they'd all got together the next day for a game of Muggles and Minions. Teddy invited everyone to Granny's house, but only Maurice and Tinny could come, and they couldn't make much of a game with just the three of them. Teddy felt they were only coming out of charity, and he didn't try to invite people again.

There was no sign of Greyback, even as the next full moon approached, and the fear Teddy had felt the first day was replaced almost entirely by anger and annoyance. He found himself arguing with Granny, snapping at James during a stay at Uncle Harry's (James went off to his room and cried, though he wouldn't admit it, and Teddy felt like the world's biggest bully), and not answering concerned letters from his friends. When it came time to buy school supplies in Diagon Alley, three days after the full moon had passed uneventfully, Ron and Uncle Harry escorted both Teddy and Victoire. Victoire didn't seem to mind--she was still bubbling with enthusiasm about getting her wand, and Teddy had to watch her try several at Ollivander's before she came up with a holly and unicorn hair wand that worked for her. They had to be fitted for robes at the same time at Madam Malkin's (Madam Malkin helped Victoire while her apprentice measured Teddy), and were marched through the apothecary at startling speed. All of their required books were ordered by owl. There was no leisurely stop at Tinny's parents' restaurant, or a butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron. They just went back to Granny's.

Bill's family was waiting, along with Hermione, Aunt Ginny, and their children, and they all had dinner together in the garden. The cats were happily chasing gnomes as Victoire sang the praises of her new wand, and Uncle Harry agreed that holly wands were the best to be had. Marie and Aimee wanted to play tag in the garden, and sulked when Teddy said he didn't want to. Artie practiced standing on his head.

"Are you looking forward to the new school year?" Hermione asked Teddy. "Rosie said you were reading my old Charms textbooks yesterday."

Teddy shrugged. "Just looking a few up." He watched Checkmate dart after a gnome. Bludger had run under the fence to grab one for himself, as he couldn't keep up with her.

"I'm sure all of this will be over soon," she said soothingly.

"Right," Ron added. "We'll catch him. We just have to find out where they're hiding themselves. We thought they might give themselves away at the full moon, but Greyback's got them under better control than that. We'll get them though."

"And kill him?" Teddy asked.

"Not if we can avoid it," Uncle Harry said sternly.

Teddy didn't answer this. He just stared gloomily out at the hills beyond the security bubble, wishing he could be out there. "I'll bet they've just left," he said. "I would. I'll bet they've gone somewhere else entirely, and all of this is for nothing."

"Well, I'd rather do it for nothing than not do it and have something go wrong," Granny said.

"That's because you don't have babysitters."

"Teddy--"

"Well, it's true. I'm going inside." He scooped up Checkmate, who protested loudly, as she was about to chase a gnome under the fence.

Granny took him by the arm and pulled him aside, leading him to the fence on the far side of the garden. "I don't care how unhappy you are, you will stop being rude this instant, Teddy, or so help me, I will Scourgify your mouth."

"But this is so stupid! I can't even--"

But he stopped, as Granny had suddenly stood up, losing interest in the conversation entirely. Her face went white.

"Bludger?" she called.

Teddy turned and looked over the fence, in the direction she was looking. Bludger was slinking along in the grass coming from the pond, just inside the security line. He looked up miserably and made a plaintive sound, then fell down and rolled over.

Teddy forgot the argument and handed Checkmate to Granny. He clambered over the fence and ran out, ignoring Uncle Harry's warning--both Uncle Harry and Ron were running after him anyway. He reached the bundle of fur and saw that Bludger's white underbelly was bright red. He rolled his glassy eyes in Teddy's direction, then they went empty.

Uncle Harry and Ron caught up to him, then looked at each other and ran out to the edge of the barrier, and beyond. Hermione stopped behind Teddy, and crouched to look at Bludger. She closed her eyes and muttered a word Teddy hadn't realized she'd known.

Teddy didn't need to ask who she was swearing at.
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Comments
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From: lianna_blanca Date: October 6th, 2007 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
They killed the CAT? You horrible werewolf BASTARDS!

Right, sorry, forgive my language. But... ARG. That's EVIL. That's just... wrong. I'm more angry about this than about Millicent... which probably says a lot about me and my maternal overprotectiveness.

Poor Bludger. That's really, really awful... Damn it, I'm getting teary. Cat lover and proud of it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm sitting here cuddling my cat and apologizing to her, even though she has no clue who Bludger is. Must be confusing.

But now they know for sure that Greyback is aware of Teddy... and knows where he is.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: October 6th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm betting Harry now knows what it's like to be guarding rather than being guarded. Heh.

Poor Teddy, though. And he is so gloriously thirteen. He was such a sweetheart, going to see Millicent (and it was nice to see Pansy there with good intentions), but I get the feeling that his compulsion to visit stems more from Dora rather than Remus, even if he thinks it's what Remus would have done.

What a way to end the chapter. I feel a bit bad thinking 'thank god it wasn't Checkmate!' For Teddy's sake. Although I know worse things are coming.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Remus would come up with reasons that it would be a good idea, but yes, it's Dora who would, I think, just have the compulsion and act on it.

Thirteen is a good year; too bad it's apparently a horrible one in the Potterverse!
xtineebee From: xtineebee Date: October 6th, 2007 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah! Gnaeus and Pompey are AGAST at the sacrfice of dear old Bludger.

I will echo the sentiments that Teddy is "wonderfully 13" and look forward to the next installment.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cinderpelt isn't very happy either. :)

Thanks!
amamama From: amamama Date: October 6th, 2007 08:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Eep! Oh, no ... poor Bludger! And awful, horrible, sick Greyback! My stomach's all in knots, how will I manage to walk straight today?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Greyback's the worst kind of sicko--the kind who teaches other people to be sickos as well.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2007 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
bloody barstard Greyback, he killed one of them cats, oh i loved them cats even if you didn't talk about them much =[, wasn't he the remaining cat that Dora had? of i need to check my cats okay now. once 'gain greybacks an evil barztard. ::sticks the finger at him::
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bludger was the last of Dora's cat's last litter of kittens; his littermates were Quaffle and Snitch. (Charlie's Keys--Checkmate's dear daddy--is from an earlier litter, and probably won't live much longer, but that's just old age.)
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: October 6th, 2007 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)
You know I just got the sinking feeling I got when I read the about the Death of the Character That We Had Known For More Than Five Seconds in DH. I mean when an author starts killing *pets* then you know that no one is safe. Although my fears are slightly abated by the fact that I know that the kids survive and that Greyback gets inconvenienced by Victoire's talent with some kitchen knives.

Lots of little thing in this chapter that I adored, Teddy being very, very thirteen, Hermione and Ron's house's name which is just perfect and if I ever write a future fic about them I will have to ask permission to steal it :), Pansy (who i've always had a bit of a soft spot for) being overly cheerful (I can't decide whether she is just there because of teh Order of Merlin or because she really does want to help in her own way), Millicent's reaction to her was great as well. I can't imagine that they would have been great friends at Hogwarts.

Teddy really is almost a mirror for Harry at this stage. I can just imagine what must be going through Harry's mind. Possibly "Was I really this careless of how worried everyone was?".

:)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
(I can't decide whether she is just there because of teh Order of Merlin or because she really does want to help in her own way)

Probably both.

Yes, Harry's most likely wanting to go back and put his thirteen year old self on hard labor for a year for being such a pain to his guardians!
ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: October 6th, 2007 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)
NOOOO! I had a feeling you'd kill Bludger but I was thinking of old age, not something like that! :(

Well, at least let's hope that Bludger's MURDER will help Teddy realise that's not a game and that the security is necessary.

I'm going to cuddle my cat now...:(
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it at least drives home that Greyback and the pack aren't just off frolicking around in Honalee or something.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
:winces:

Yeah.
purebristles From: purebristles Date: October 6th, 2007 09:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Bludger!!! NOoooooOoOoooOoOoo!


Poor Teddy. Poor Granny Andy - must have been shades of Ted, Nymphadora and Remus all over again... although I loved it that she got annoyed enough to slap Fleur in the previous chapter. Go granny!

Oh, and excellent writing, as usual. I am on the edge of my seat, and contemplating NOT visiting your blog till 3 months have passed and I can read the whole thing at one go!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reader-leaving!!! NOoooooOoOoooOoOoo!
;p

Andromeda is definitely having unpleasant flashbacks.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: October 6th, 2007 10:11 am (UTC) (Link)
He killed the cat?! I can't believe he killed the cat!!! You just don't do that! It's like killing the owl! It's like killing the cute mascot!

Channeling Jodemort? I guess it's only fitting for a fanfic where Greyback is the main adversary...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Channeling Jodemort?

Maybe a tad.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: October 6th, 2007 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
BLUDGER!! NO!!!!
(I am in accord with all previous commenters who have so far said that this section made them want to go and cuddle their cats. Unfortunately, I am in a hotel room in Grand Rapids, enroute to Chicago, and my cats are at home, alone except for the woman coming in to feed them, and I will not see them till Monday. MEAN!!)

That said, I love Teddy in this. He is so thirteen.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree! Poor old Bludger...
I grew up in Grand Rapids! Enjoy it there for me!
~sam
miseri From: miseri Date: October 6th, 2007 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bwahaha ... Pansy's just there because Millicent's getting a prestigious award, isn't she? And Millicent knows it....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure that's the only reason, but I'm quite sure it's occurred to her rather prominently. And of course, she considers it greatly comforting to say, "Oh, you might be on the Wizengamot one day!"
From: smishli Date: October 6th, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
NO!!! NOT HAPPY FAT BLUDGER!!!

Besides the cat killing, I really loved this chapter; Teddy's irritation is absolutely understandable, but even with his conviction that this extra security is all for nothing the tension keeps building throughout very nicely.

3 things I particularly loved: Teddy's self-therapy session dancing along to music, Harry commending holly wands, and "The Romp"...you know Ron didn't pick 'The Romp' as the name for his house just for otters...:)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
:thinks of fat, happy Jelly Roll: (who isn't dead, but is in Connecticut with my old roommate)

:is really, really sorry:

you know Ron didn't pick 'The Romp' as the name for his house just for otters...

I imagine Hermione going through a list of possible names and coming with that before thinking about it, and Ron latching onto it and making a sign before she could stop him. And then not minding nearly as much as she pretended to.
From: ethnotechno Date: October 6th, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm...Pansy. It was actually nice to see her again. Can't imagine her hanging with a werewolf for any reason though :) Teddy's interaction with Millicent was brief, but really touching.

Oh, poor Bludger. Greyback is SO evil.

I love the fact that Teddy has inherited Dora's cute clumsiness. And Granny Tonks is like 'oh, whatever'. I wonder if it's a metamorphmagus trait. I feel that if my body changed shape every few hours, I'd have trouble handling things too, since the idea of 'muscle memory' won't work quite well. We perform so many actions unconsciously because our familiarity with our own body!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy's just looking forward to learning to Apparate so that he can stop using the Floo system!

Pansy may not be likely to want to hang around with a werewolf, but she is a social climber, and has a basement to climb out of. I can imagine her doing things like going out with Muggle-borns, being sympathetic to werewolves, and praising Hermione's leadership in law enforcement just so she can stay on the fringes of the group in power. (Actually, I imagine her pursuing rich Justin Finch-Fletchley with great energy.)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 6th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
To echo so many others--poor Bludger! And what an awful wake-up call for Teddy! Not that he was oblivious to the danger before, but this brings it home to him (literally) in the most terrifying of ways!

Liked his visit to Millicent, even if he didn't know what to say to her. And I'm glad she's responding to Alderman's overtures and is willing to accept the support system that's offered to her. Unlike the poor new-made werewolf in Shifts.

On a lighter note, every time I read about a meal prepared by magic, I get a decided case of wand-envy!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
On a lighter note, every time I read about a meal prepared by magic, I get a decided case of wand-envy!

I get it when they clean up magically. That's the real kicker!
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