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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 8: The Great Distraction, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 8: The Great Distraction, pt. 3
Teddy's year is entirely distracted by the greatly important question of who will go out with whom, or take whom into Hogsmeade for the day. Teddy screws up his courage to a fever pitch and asks Ruthless, who doesn't believe him at first, then agrees, but tells him that there will be "rules."

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"Rules?" Teddy repeated.

Ruthless nodded, and he could hear her breathing in a quick, repetitive whistling sound. "Right. I don't fancy turning into some silly little girl who runs about fretting over her hairstyle and talking about her boyfriend. I'm not going to do that. If you're looking for that--"

"I'm not!" Teddy said, horrified.

"Well, good." She swallowed, then looked around the Lionbloom at the boys by their glider, who'd suddenly stopped talking. "Outside," she said, and walked quickly over to the portrait hole. She shut it behind them when they were outside, and started pacing, her arms folded over her chest. "First," she went on, "you're not to get googly-eyed on me. No staring, or talking about starlight and such. No poems."

Teddy nodded. In his first year, he'd found a love poem that his father had written to a girl when he was in school, and even reading it had been profoundly embarrassing, so he definitely didn't have a problem with that rule.

Ruthless glared at him defiantly, as if she expected him to break the googly-rule straightaway. When he didn't, she nodded. "Second, there's a wretched tea shop in Hogsmeade where all of those fifth year girls go with their boyfriends. I really don't want to go there."

"Me, either!"

"Good. And no holding hands or kissing or such in front of people. They all look."

That was quite all right with Teddy as well.

"Just don't start treating me like some kind of... girl. As long as we're still Ruthless and Teddy, we'll be all right."

"Who else would we be?"

"Have you seen Corky Atkinson over the last couple of days?"

Teddy had, and it was a sobering lesson. He didn't care to be caught feeding Ruthless a grape in the Great Hall. He agreed.

"All right, then," Ruthless said, and swallowed hard. Her pacing had carried her back to Teddy, and she was directly in front of him. He hadn't noticed that he'd got taller than she was. "Did you want to..." She breathed so rapidly that Teddy thought she might faint, then finished, "...kiss me or whatnot?"

"Is it allowed?"

She answered by swallowing another couple of quick breaths, then putting her hands on his shoulders, bouncing up on her toes, and bringing her face up at him like she meant to sucker-punch him with her nose. At the last minute, she tipped her head, then her lips pressed quickly against his. They were hot and dry, and a bit rough, and she came in at such a speed that they mashed his own lips back against his teeth. She was gone before he had a chance to do anything with his mouth, drawing back with her face considerably redder than her hair. Her eyes came up briefly, then she looked away and opened the portrait hole again. "I'll see you tomorrow morning, then," she said. "I'll... we could meet at breakfast. Just like always." She smiled somewhat madly, then went back inside.

Teddy wasn't entirely sure he could walk up the stairs to his dormitory. Or get through the portrait hole, for that matter. His whole body felt light-headed, like his brain had somehow turned into bits of dust and started to travel around to share the news with his toes and fingertips. He replayed the whole business in his head, from the feel of her strong, pretty hands on his shoulders to the way the torch-light looked in her hair, to the very brief feel of her lips mashing into his. Little sparks were spiraling up through him, traveling along his nerves toward his mouth like pilgrims wanting to get a look at a particularly wonderful relic. He imagined the sparks flying along, nodding to each other, "Yes, this is where Teddy Lupin was kissed. By a girl. Right on the mouth." They would stop and marvel at this for a moment, but then move on, as more sparks were coming along behind them to see what there was to see.

"Do you mean to go inside?" the Fat Lady asked.

"Hmm? Oh. Yes."

"Password?"

For a moment, Teddy's mind was completely blank, then he remembered, "Vires Leonis." The portrait swung open, and Teddy drifted in. One of the seventh year boys grinned and saluted him.

Teddy thought that saluting back would probably be against one of Ruthless's rules, but he couldn't help smiling. He went up to his room and lay down on his bed, not playing the moment in his head anymore, wondering instead when he could try again, maybe try doing something himself. Checkmate tucked herself into a neat ball at his feet. He fell asleep with the vibration of her purring against his toes. In his dreams, Ruthless didn't pull away from him nearly as fast, and he always had the right thing to say.

He was up long before breakfast the next morning, which was a good thing, as he couldn't seem to decide what he ought to wear, which was a problem he'd never had in his life. He guessed "clean" was probably the first rule, so he picked the jeans he'd only worn once since the last time the elves had taken his laundry, and mentally checked off most of the t-shirts. It hadn't been cold yet, so all of the jumpers were in more or less good shape. He put on the one Molly had made for him last Christmas--it was deep crimson with a few gold fleck--and was surprised to find that it had got tight across the chest and shoulders. He started to morph himself, then decided that he would expand the jumper instead. He overdid and ended up looking like he was playing in one of Hagrid's shirts, so switched to the one Molly had made him for his birthday, which fit a little better. It was blue.

He waited until he heard the other Gryffindor boys moving down the stairs before he went out, and headed to breakfast without looking for Ruthless, which was good, as she was already there. She was wearing her glasses today. Her hair was tied up in a fluffy ponytail, and she was--to his complete shock--wearing a skirt. It was baggy denim and came halfway down her shins, but it was a skirt. He couldn't see what sort of top she had on, because she had put on a huge cardigan. She smiled shakily and waved him over.

He sat down beside her. "I decided on the glasses," she said. "The Clear-Eye Concoction... I don't like the taste."

Neither one of them ate much before joining everyone else for the walk into Hogsmeade. Frankie looked at him with deep admiration; beside him, Maurice looked at him with deep disgust. Donzo was with them, as Lani was a second year and couldn't go to Hogsmeade.

"Are you to be protected from Fenrir Greyback?"

Teddy jumped back from the quill in his face. Honoria Higgs, wearing a checkered tam over a smart sort of dress, had a scroll out. Behind her, Brendan Lynch, to Teddy's utter bemusement, was wearing a tie that matched her tam, and looking highly uncomfortable. "What?"

"Are they making special arrangements to protect you from Greyback in Hogsmeade?" She pointed to the front of the line, where Uncle Harry and Ron were among the half-dozen Aurors in town for the day.

"It looks like it," Teddy said.

Honoria looked between Teddy and Ruthless avidly, then ground her teeth, apparently remembering that she wasn't meant to be reporting gossip, at least until she was back on the newspaper staff. She scurried off toward the Aurors, and a moment later, she was trying to get Uncle Harry to talk to her. Ron distracted her and steered her back into line. Brendan tagged along after her.

Teddy and Ruthless looked at each other, then moved moderately closer to each other than they were to other people, and started to walk along slowly. Ron stopped them at the school gate and tapped them with his wand several times. "It's a security spell," he said. "In case you need us quickly. All you need to do is raise your wand and call for help. The spell will do the rest. It's just until you've all learned to do Patronuses."

"That's new."

"Harry's had George working on it. He made one for children too small for wands as well. Rosie says it itches." Ron looked at Ruthless and grinned. "Well, Teddy, good luck."

They passed the gate, and went on into the village. The streets were crowded, and they had to shout to hear each other, which was actually helpful, as it seemed more like a normal day with Ruthless than like a date, though they couldn't decide what they wanted to do. The Hogsmeade branch of Weasleys, which nearly everyone still called Zonko's (George had given up and just called it "Weasleys' Zonks") was a zoo, as the owner, Verity Jordan, had got her husband Lee to broadcast his Wizarding Wireless show from the front porch. Ruthless, who had a Lee Jordan t-shirt and quoted him every time he lit into the Wizengamot, wanted to get his autograph, but abruptly changed her mind when she saw how long the line was.

"It's all right," Teddy assured her. "We can do that if it's what you want to do."

"It sort of isn't." She gave him an odd look, then said, "What do you want to do?"

They fought through Honeyduke's, coming out with rather large bags of sweets, and tried for lunch at the Hog's Head, but it was nearly as crowded as the Three Broomsticks, which they both thought was too much to bother with. Teddy wasn't entirely sure when he'd picked up on it, but he was fairly sure that she wanted to kiss again, and that meant finding somewhere that no one would see it, which wasn't particularly easy, given that most of the school was there, and Aurors were tracking anyone who broke away from the group to go toward the hills, or visit the road by the Shrieking Shack, which had apparently become popular again as people believed the haunting had recommenced. Teddy didn't want to show it to Ruthless. Talking about his house might be a little much.

They'd circled the village three times by noon, and were no longer pretending to look for a store or pub to go into. Ruthless poked her nose into an alley and turned back, her nose wrinkled. "Corky and Laura are back there."

"Oh."

"I think we should go back to school," Ruthless said. "Just have a nice walk."

Teddy nodded. The crowds thinned, and the Aurors would probably let them go back to the protection of Hogwarts easily enough. They started down High Street, slipping between their classmates, going past the seamstress shop that was the last business before the school road began. Several students were gathered, looking surly at having to waste their Hogsmeade day being measured for new clothes.

After the seamstress's, the crowd disappeared entirely. Anthony Goldstein kept the far edge of the Aurors' watch, and stopped them on the way. "Are you already leaving?"

"It's quite crowded," Teddy said. "We're just going back to school."

"Lots of homework," Ruthless added for good measure.

"Mm-hmm. I'll walk you to the gate."

There was no avoiding it. He called for another Auror to take his place at the edge of town, and then accompanied Teddy and Ruthless all the way to the great, hulking gate. He sent a Patronus in, but before anything happened, another one fell out of the sky, and formed itself into a stag. "Aurors to the village, missing students." Uncle Harry didn't sound particularly worried--it was most likely just a few who'd wandered off--but Goldstein frowned. "All right," he said. "Someone should be here in only a minute. Do not leave the shadow of the gate." He did something with his wand, and Teddy guessed that the mention of the shadow wasn't just an admonition to stay close.

He passed the school's Apparition border and was gone, and then Ruthless grabbed the front of Teddy's sweater, and this time she left her lips on his long enough for him to move his around, though he had to take a guess as to which way to move them, and it hurt a bit when the cut on his lip from last night's kiss raked across his front teeth. He put his hands in her hair, and it was very warm and a lot softer than it looked. Her lips weren't dry today, but he was very aware that his were.

"Ow! My hair!"

Teddy let go. His finger had got tangled in her curls, and was tugging it tight against one of the clips near her ponytail. He extracted it as gently as he could. "Sorry!"

"It's all right. I should have left it loose." She pulled the band out of her hair and started picking at the clips, cursing it as colorfully as ever, and, although Teddy very much wanted to try kissing her again, to see if they could manage it without actually injuring each other, for a moment, it was just like Trollsbane Tarn again.

He smiled. "You cut my lip last night, you know." He turned up his upper lip to show her.

"Oh, charming." She laughed. "I think maybe we need to practice this."

"I think we should practice a lot."

She came at him again, and he braced himself for whatever novel way they'd manage to hurt each other this time, but something suddenly erupted from the tall grass just beyond the shadow of the gate. A ragged-looking woman emerged, and smiled at them around her sharpened teeth.
49 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 21st, 2007 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Kisses

Ouch - now I'm getting mixed up images of dangerous kisses and what that ragged-looking woman could inflict with her mouth...

Anyway, everyone's awkwardness came across well in the rest of the section. I'm thinking Ruthless had been fancying Teddy for awhile before all this too, considering she's wanting to go straight to the kissing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Kisses

Oh, definitely. She's disturbed by it, as she doesn't want to be some silly "girlfriend" creature, but she can't help but notice that Teddy's kind of cute.
From: margotllama Date: October 21st, 2007 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
*wide eyes*

...i have no words, i'm just too scared to!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Anthony Goldstein may be in trouble with Uncle Harry. I mean, his cool-headed boss, of course. ;p
From: margotllama Date: October 21st, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
He better be! Ah! Oh, man, I'm SQUIRMING...can I say how glad I am that you are posting every day in a time when I most need it?? I'm terribly grateful.

But that cool headed boss better smack Anthony Goldstein over the head. Ah!
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: October 21st, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Uh-oh. That didn't end too well. Damn you and your cliffhangers, Fern! ;)

Great job with Ruthless and Teddy's first date. It's a lot of fun.

"She smiled somewhat madly, then went back inside."

Ruthless is demented. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Ruthless is demented.

I believe that, if ever asked why she disapproves of this, Victoire would basically give that answer. "Ruthless is demented! And SHE HAS A BAT!"
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: October 21st, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwww....Ruthless and Teddy

And I do love the rules.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: October 21st, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeeeeek!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
:D
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 21st, 2007 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Ruthless and Teddy--awkward, but kind of endearingly so. And while neither of them quite have the hang of this boy/girl thing yet, at least they're both putting some effort into it. Although that sharp-toothed woman--another of Greyback's followers?--sure puts the damper on romance!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
at least they're both putting some effort into it.

Oh, full marks for effort, definitely.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: October 21st, 2007 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy and Ruthless are hilarious, but right now I'm too concerned for their safety to giggle about how cute they're being!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, at least George came up with the easy "call for help" spell!
shiiki From: shiiki Date: October 21st, 2007 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Gah, a cliffy now? When I probably can't get online for the next few days? Ohhh. *sob*

Um, right. I don't quite think the missing students means anything innocuous. And that looks very much like Mina by the description. *bites fingernails* I know Teddy and Ruthless will come out all right, but what's going to happen before that? *is frightened*

Their date was so very cute, though! Have I mentioned before that Ruthless is made of win? :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't quite think the missing students means anything innocuous.

Even if it is, I doubt Harry would sound casual about it. I think Teddy's missing that the Patronuses seem to carry fairly basic messages, without a lot of inflection.
prelud From: prelud Date: October 21st, 2007 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
"Just don't start treating me like some kind of... girl."
LOL!

I do hope that the shadow of the gate does something. I can`t wait for the next segment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
The shadow does something. Whether or not a pair of hormone-crazed Gryffindors will stay inside of it is more open of an open question...
sonetka From: sonetka Date: October 21st, 2007 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
That first kiss was so ... first-kissish ;). The whole "Shouldn't I know how to do this?" while trying to grasp the mechanics of it. (I'll never forget the embarrassed horror I suffered when a new boyfriend and I kissed for the first time. We didn't get the angle quite right and it was awkward, and without thinking I said "Here, like this" and tilted his head slightly so the angle was better. I still turn red when I think of it. We're married now, though, so he wasn't too deeply offended :)).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
The whole "Shouldn't I know how to do this?" while trying to grasp the mechanics of it.

I think the initial appeal of reading smutty books and looking at smutty pictures is a desperate attempt to figure out where everything's supposed to go. :)
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: October 21st, 2007 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
"I think we should practice a lot."

Bwah! I love Teddy!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, you know, it's purely in the service of self-improvement. Yeah. That's it.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: October 21st, 2007 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha, first kisses. 'Course, I didn't have mine til I was 18! Unfair...

redlily From: redlily Date: October 21st, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was 20!! And reading this chapter, I was just thinking how lucky I was to have been kissed by someone who'd done quite a bit of it already, as opposed to this whole "blind leading the blind" scenario.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was fairly old myself. But most of my classmates weren't, so I figured it wasn't too far off.
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: October 21st, 2007 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the Ruthless Rules- No poems. hee hee hee. I also love Ruthless in a skirt & the kissing injury.

As to the last two senences... holy crap! I will be on tenterhoos until tomorrow.

looking like he was playing on of Hagrid's shirts- I feel there might be a missing preposition here.

obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: October 21st, 2007 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Or tenterhooks, even.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
the Ruthless Rules

If Ruthless ever gets married, I can see Teddy presenting them to her intended at a stag party.
From: kobegrace Date: October 21st, 2007 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)
{Sigh...}

because

• I feel for these poor kids. Imagine, trying to get your snog on and all, but can't because of the mad, pervy werewench lurking about...

• so many people make a big deal about their first kiss, but really, it's the second one — with the same person, mind — that counts the most, isn't it? I'm glad Teddy's turned out relatively all right.

• clearly, these two need to get their hands on a manual.

• these past few installments are making me reminisce... :)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
clearly, these two need to get their hands on a manual.

Fifi LaFolle to the rescue! ;p
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: October 21st, 2007 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
oh i feel so jeaslous of Ruthless. I'm the same age as teddy in this. I think i deserve him. Smack that Ruthless!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, she's alread had her hair painfully tugged and been interrupted by a pervy werewench. I don't think she needs smacking on top of it!
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: October 21st, 2007 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy and Ruthless are quite adorable, with their attempts at kissing, their efforts to "dress up" for each other, and the way they walked slightly closer to each other than everyone else. ;~) The description of how Teddy felt after his first kiss was very well written--I love the picture your words painted.

And just when Teddy had been about to get a potentially pain-free kiss, the real plot had to rear its ugly, sharpened tooth head!

Some typos:
Honoria Higgs, wearing a a checkered tam There are two "a"'s here.

"Just have nice walk." I think the above typo stole the "a" that's missing here. ;~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Moved the "a" down to where it really ought to live. Danged migrating letters!

their efforts to "dress up" for each other
I've got to wonder how long Ruthless debated before putting on a skirt. At least Teddy's got the concept that "clean" ought to be in there somewhere!
ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: October 21st, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Just don't start treating me like some kind of... girl."
Ha,ha!That's why I love Ruthless!

You stupid Mina(???). Just leave the kids have some fun. They're hurting each other anyway...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, it's Mina.

They're hurting each other anyway...
Given that Mina's been Greyback's moll for a while, she probably thinks the only thing they're doing wrong is not bleeding enough.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 21st, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha!
From: smishli Date: October 21st, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Teddy/Ruthless date was all kinds of adorable! Teddy and Ruthless' attempts at kissing should at least get a gold star for effort, if not for actual skill :).

And the bad guys always have a way of breaking up the happiest of occasions, don't they? I hope that Ruthless and Teddy remember to use George's SOS spell. Very much looking forward to the next installment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
And the bad guys always have a way of breaking up the happiest of occasions, don't they?

Bad guys suck quite a lot.
purebristles From: purebristles Date: October 21st, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Scary beary!
or, in this case
Toothy Wolfy!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 21st, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Mina's magical... she could always be Bitchy Witchy!
cleindori From: cleindori Date: October 21st, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ack! Go-go-gadget call-for-help spell!

But so many shades of awesome up until that last paragraph...oh, the 13/14-year-old emotional rollercoaster. :)
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: October 21st, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG. I can't get through any of these segments without dying laughing a few times... This story is giving you a comedic outlet you haven't gotten too show regularly enough!

Teddy had, and it was a sobering lesson. Re. Corky. LOL

Also "kissed by a girl, right on the mouth," and their attempts at dressing up, and Honoria's tam and the matching tie, and "they had to shout to hear each other, which was actually helpful, as it seemed more like a normal day with Ruthless than like a date" .... Heeeeee. You're brilliant.

I love the "shadow of the gate" idea, too. Can't wait to see what happens to the woman when she tries to pass through it. Why couldn't Goldstein let them in the gate though, to walk back to school within the grounds?
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 21st, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Please tell me that's a relatively BIG shadow... and that neither Teddy or Ruthless does something stupid... like NOT call for help. I think Anthony's going to be in for a yelling session with Harry no matter what the turnout...
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: October 21st, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww! And also, aargh!
From: walkerhound Date: October 22nd, 2007 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Love how even though ruthless still seams to be some what uncomfortable being a girl (in social situations any way) and/or unsure about what she should do to be one not to minchean(sp?) rather uncomfortable with what she THINK”S it means. She’s welling to make the effort with teddy.

I wonder what the reaction of her dorm mates was to the….dressing up?

kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: October 22nd, 2007 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Augh, what a cliff-hanger! Protection spells are all very well, but they require the kids to use them! Mr Goldstein is going to be in such trouble.

A couple of little things:

"a few gold fleck" should be "flecks"

"He overdid" should, I think, have an "it" after it.
From: violet_grainger Date: October 23rd, 2007 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Tahnks so much

Oh, this is so great. I'm trapped inside my house in Sandiego because of al the fires, and this is exactly what i nneded to brighten up my day.

I love wizardings going through puberty.
49 comments or Leave a comment