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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 11: The Weird Sisters, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 11: The Weird Sisters, pt. 3
Okay. Trying again, without forcing characters to do things they don't actually have any desire to do just now.

Chapter 9 of FG ("The Mapmakers' Mark") is up at the Quill, with mostly stylistic tweaks, and a Britpick.

It's Christmas holidays. Teddy's at the Weird Sisters' compound, and Donzo's rehearsing. Everyone else is gathered around the pool. Ruthless is in a swimsuit, but wrapped in towels and hiding behind a statue.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Ruthless's brothers finally coaxed her out from behind the statue, or perhaps "goaded" was a better word, as her Gryffindor spirit was questioned in the course of it. Under the huge towel she'd wrapped herself in, she was wearing a dark green one piece swimsuit which Teddy had a feeling would figure prominently in his dreams for a very long time. Judging by the way Roger and Corky were looking nervously away, he thought he wasn't the only one to think so.

He sat with her at the edge of the pool for a long time, but when he tried to kiss her cheek, she pulled away and reminded him of the rules.

Donzo and the Pondhoppers came out for lunch, and during the afternoon, there was a long rehearsal to which everyone was invited. Ellsworth Wintringham borrowed his grandson's lute at one point, and played the old wizarding carol, "The Spell on the Star." He asked Granny to come up and sing along. The lead singer of the Pondhoppers--the pretty blonde Teddy had seen yesterday--came up with the idea of audience sing-alongs for the concert itself, so they all ended up going through the old standbys, like "The First Noel" or "Three Wizards Crossed the Endless Sands." Josh Rosen from the Pondhoppers added a Hanukkah song--"The Muggles' Accidental Multiplication Spell"--which had something to do with oil and Muggles who were given the magic to make it last as long as they needed it to.

The next day, before the open rehearsal, Teddy took Ruthless for a walk in the woods by the ski slope (Granny double-checked the security before letting them out the door, which was somewhat embarrassing). There was magically produced snow, but there was also a magically produced warm, sunny day. Teddy had no idea how they made the two work together, but it did make for a nice walk, their shoes crunching in the ice while they basked in the sunlight.

Ruthless didn't look entirely pleased with the latter, and stopped abruptly, glaring at the sun for a moment before taking off her bulky jumper, chewing her gum angrily. Teddy was shocked to see that, underneath it, she was wearing a light blue sort of thing which had lace trim, and dipped down far enough to see her shoulder bones. It also actually seemed to fit her. She tied the jumper around her hips by the sleeves, then crossed her arms over her chest. "Mum brought me a lot of new clothes and I thought I should wear some of them so she thinks I like them but I don't like them. When have you ever seen me with lace on?"

"Er..."

"And that swimsuit!"

"Well... it was pretty." He stopped, realizing that he'd used the hated word, but she was too distracted to care, shrugging up her shoulders to try and make the top of her blouse come up, which made it pull up and show part of her side above the tied sleeves of the jumper.

"Bugger!" she said, then followed it up with a prodigious string of other curses that she seemed to have been storing up, gesticulating wildly as she did so. Finally, she sat down miserably on a bench shaped like a lute. It began to play Herman Wintringham's solo from "Weirder by the Winter."

Teddy sat down beside her, ignoring the music. "It really doesn't look bad, you know."

"I know. I saw Atkinson and Young staring at me yesterday. Even Apcarne got himself an eyeful. Then they all started being nice. How am I supposed to stay friends with them when they're looking at me like that, and being nice?"

"Did you want me to talk to them?"

"No! I just want them to stop it. Start acting normal again." She shuddered. "I was watching Victoire's mum by the pool, talking to her dad. All that cooing and such. I don't want that. I don't ever want that to happen to me!"

Teddy felt a bit like he was swimming in the middle of the Atlantic, surrounded by sharks. On a cloudy night. With no clue where he'd been dropped or why. So he just arranged his face as sympathetically as he could, and did his best to make sure his eyes were nowhere near the lacy trim on her collar, which had bowed out a little bit and was showing further down toward a small shadowed hollow on her chest.

"It's all very stupid," Ruthless said, pouting.

"Mm-hmm."

She didn't say anything else. The lute solo continued to play cheerfully along. She chewed on her lip thoughtfully.

After nearly a minute, Teddy said, "Did you want to go back?"

She looked at him sheepishly, and took out her gum. "Not just yet."

"Oh. Am I allowed to look at you like a girl when I kiss you?"

"Only if you think it helps."

"Trust me," Teddy said, "it helps. But I promise--no cooing and such." He put his hand on her face, then leaned over and kissed her, trying to remember the way it was done in a Fifi LaFolle novel (he'd been parceling out The End of the Earth as slowly as he could, to make it last, and hadn't had a kissing scene for some time). No stars exploded, but he thought one or two might be flickering hopefully.

Then he noticed that he was drooling on her.

He drew back and she wiped her face. "I'm in charge next time," she said, and the whole conversation was over. They walked back to the house together. She put her jumper back on before anyone saw her, and then they were at rehearsal with the whole group for the rest of the evening.

On Christmas Eve, Lee and Verity Jordan arrived with the equipment to broadcast over the Wizarding Wireless, and set up in the rehearsal hall. Lee's show went on all day before the concert, and he interviewed all of the Sisters, all of the Pondhoppers, and Donzo in the entertainment segments. He moved on to politics just after lunch, but kept it short in honor of Christmas.

"First," he said, "I'd like to give a hand to our Aurors, who've been taking a bit of heat from none other than our old friend Rita Skeeter. But they've done a fine job in an unexpected circumstance. And if the press has nothing better to do than light into Harry Potter for taking precisely three days to regroup, then I think the press is the organization that needs to rethink its priorities." He paused and glanced at Teddy. "Second, it's been a long time since I've given a message to a fugitive, and the one I want to give tonight won't be nearly as pleasant for the fugitive in question as our messages were when this show was still called PotterWatch. Our fugitive, in fact, is much less pleasant. He was a particular enemy of one of our favorite guests on PotterWatch, and has designs to keep his grudge going, even though our friend was already taken from us.

"So here's my Christmas message to Fenrir Greyback: We're coming for you. Harry's coming for you." He smiled fondly. "Don't know about the rest of you, but for me, that's a cheerful thought."

He cut to an advertisement for Weasleys', which featured a Shrinking Solution that was administered to someone called Fungal Grungeback, which apparently shrunk something he didn't care to have shrunk, and ended with everyone laughing uproariously while he tried threatening them in a high, squeaky voice. "Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes," George's voice announced. "Cutting them down to size since nineteen-ninety-six."

"Is that wise?" Granny asked quietly as soon as she was sure she wasn't being broadcast. "George has a two-year-old."

Lee shrugged. "Freddie's nowhere near George's house. George is nowhere near George's house. He and Sophie are living in Arabella Figg's old house at the moment. Probably driving Harry's aunt and uncle quite mad. But we're really hoping that Greyback gives it a go. He's got the whole place booby-trapped. It looks easier to get into than Hogwarts, but trust me, Greyback wouldn't get out any time soon."

"This is Harry's plan?" Granny asked, looking skeptical.

"No," Lee said. "It's George's and mine. And given the nod by a certain high-ranking government official currently in the West Indies, though he can't very well acknowledge it. And we reckon Fred would approve of it, and is doing whatever he can where he is to help. For Lupin. It's Operation PotterWatch. We take care of our own."

Teddy thought this a good plan--like something the Marauders might do--though he could see that Granny didn't like it for some reason. She didn't have time to protest, though, as the advertisements ended and Lee returned to his broadcast.

They all filed into the hall at seven-thirty and did sound checks for the audience and the stage. Donzo's mother, a sharp-faced woman who had been off arguing about a contract, arrived just in time to scurry backstage and help with the set-up. Kirley got them all warmed up for the group sing-along. Then, at eight o'clock sharp, they were live across the Wizarding Wireless Network. Myron Wagtail, the lead singer of the Weird Sisters, welcomed everyone and wished them Happy Christmas, then invited Donzo onto the stage to open things up with "The Little Drummer Boy." In a rehearsed move, Kirley interrupted the song and said, "Myron, Don's taller than you are these days--I think you ought to do that number now."

After some written banter, they all did the number together, and Donzo took a solo of "That Old Christmas Spell," accompanying himself on guitar for the first time in a live concert. Later in the show, in another first, he played a song he'd written himself. Teddy felt Granny lean over toward Fleur, and heard her say, "I think Kirley's passing the Quaffle on to Donzo."

At nine-thirty, they started the sing-along, and Teddy imagined people curled up around their radios at home, singing along with all the old favorites. It felt something like that even here at the concert. They wrapped it up at ten, then all went down to the kitchen together for a late Christmas Eve party before everyone headed off for their own Christmas Day celebrations. Teddy exchanged gifts with his friends, glad to see that Ruthless liked the wand holster. She admitted that she'd found it hard to shop for him as well. She'd ended up getting him a replica of the insignia his character was meant to have as a pilot in the game. She'd had it engraved to "Wings."

Once the last pie had been eaten, they all went to the entrance hall, where the fire was blazing. Their suitcases were lined up in front of it, grouped by family. Teddy's and Granny's were at the end of the line, and he watched his friends disappear, jostling with their siblings. Corky went with Roger, whose parents would be waiting outside the Leaky Cauldron; Corky had a Portkey to catch there the next morning. Ruthless's youngest brothers were sleepy, and she'd picked one of them up without even thinking, and he was curled up asleep against her. Victoire and her sisters were all fondly gossiping, and Marie managed to beg a kiss on the cheek from Donzo before they went.

At last, it was just Granny and Teddy standing with the Dukes. Granny smiled graciously. "Thank you so much for inviting us. I never dreamed when my daughter started putting up posters of you that I would be indebted to you for such a lovely holiday."

"No question of debts, my dear lady," Kirley said. "Don was the only child around here for a long time; I'm glad to have so many others around."

"I wish I could invite you to our home for Christmas dinner, but Harry's already taken care of the security for who can come in."

"We'd have had to say no anyway," Kirley said. "I think my wife would explode if I took her away from home after only a few hours."

Donzo and Teddy looked at each other awkwardly, then muttered something about seeing each other at school.

Then Granny sent their bags ahead, and they each took a handful of Floo powder and spun into nothingness. Their home grate flew at them, and Teddy could feel the force of the security spells Uncle Harry had woven around it. They touched him and tasted him, then spat him through into Granny's parlor. He tried to keep his balance, but ran into the ottoman and went sprawling into the sofa, his hand landing on something warm and breathing.
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Comments
sonetka From: sonetka Date: November 1st, 2007 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Eek, cliffhanger! I hope it's just Checkmate or something (or did Teddy bring Checkmate with him? Sorry, I can't remember). The idea of George and the Dursleys close by each other is supremely amusing for me and doubtless uncomfortable for them!

I love the wizarding carols, and the explanation for Hanukkah. So, the big question - were the miracle-workers of the OT and NT actually wizards? :)

One skipped word: It looks easier to into than Hogwarts, but trust me, Greyback wouldn't get out any time soon. I think there's a "get" missing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I noticed that and forgot to fix it. :eyeroll:

I think a lot of Muggle-borns try to understand everything in terms of magic, including miracles, the same way people who freshly discover the scientific method try to make everything in the world fit it. I don't think they're right!
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: November 1st, 2007 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
outside the Leaky Cauldron; Corky had a Portkey to catch there the next morning. Not meaning to be so nitpicky, but I think a semicolon would work nicely for those two sentences, since they're related. But I only even thought of that 'cause the "a" was missing. :)

Augh, what a cliffhanger. I'm hoping that Harry is just snoozing on the sofa, waiting for them to come back.

Lee's message to Fenrir was awesome! I like that Potterwatch spirit, still going strong even years later. (Though now I'm a bit worried about George.)

Ruthless? Too funny. Very cute and embarrassed and true to life.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Got the "a," and you're right about the semicolon.

Loved Potterwatch in TDH. Excellent idea. I wanted to use it. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 1st, 2007 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay for George and PotterWatch! Although, if memory serves that "we take care of our own" sounds suspiciously like Slytherin's new slogan. I like that Lee and George are taking this personally as well. Hope nothing too bad happens


As an aside, one thing that struck me: Ruthless has a bunch of younger brothers; Victoir has a bunch of younger sisters...I can see that causing some trouble
somewhere down the line/
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I think "take care of" may have a different connotation between the Slytherins and Gryffindors. Lee's all about the mutual protection. Maurice is all about the internal punishment of transgressions. ;p
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
bends From: bends Date: November 1st, 2007 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
The drooling made me laugh so hard, I had to put my head done for a second.

PotterWatch! I have an immense love for Lee Jordan.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
The drooling made me laugh so hard, I had to put my head done for a second.

Yeah... he's trying to be so suave. Puts a little perspective on her tendency to bruise.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 1st, 2007 03:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, all good things must come to an end, but at least Teddy fully enjoyed his holiday at Weird World. Felt sorry for Ruthless--it's not easy finding the balance between being feminine and being "girly"--but she is lucky that Teddy is such a patient first boyfriend.

Also liked seeing how the Potterwatch crowd is looking out for Teddy, for his own sake and for Remus's. Some ties are indissoluble, even in death.

Startling ending--I hope their breathing guest is unthreatening!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)
but she is lucky that Teddy is such a patient first boyfriend.

Advantages of being related to Dora Tonks. Probably also of being related to Ted Tonks, come to think of it--Andromeda wouldn't exactly have been baggage free!
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: November 1st, 2007 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I would really love to go for a walk on snow while it's warm and sunny out. That is just entirely not fair.

Teddy felt a bit like he was swimming in the middle of the Atlantic, surrounded by sharks. On a cloudy night. With no clue where he'd been dropped or why. This line made me laugh a lot. Poor Teddy. We girls are just That Confusing, aren't we?

I loved Lee and the throwback to PotterWatch. PotterWatch was one of my favorite parts of DH, and you really captured the spirit of it here. I love that George and Lee are doing it for Lupin. And I really hope that George is driving the Dursleys crazy. ;~)

For as much trouble as this part gave you, it was worth the wait. And hopefully the warm, breathing thing in the parlor is someone friendly!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I would really love to go for a walk on snow while it's warm and sunny out. That is just entirely not fair.

This is why, to quote the best added line in the movies, "I love magic!"

I'm sure George would drive the Dursleys crazy without even trying, but he'd never be so lackadaisical in the pursuit of that goal...
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: November 1st, 2007 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
All I have to say is Go Marie!

:)

Great chapter and sniff at 'For Lupin'

< grumble>evil Jodemort
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of the girls, I think the Marie is the most Weasleyish. She definitely gets what she wants!
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: November 1st, 2007 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
oh i loved Potterwathch in DH. You keep them all so much in character!
i have to admit i'm looking forward to xmas at grannys!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved Potterwatch, too. I think this is the first time I've written more than a single line mentioning Lee, so I'm glad he worked!
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: November 1st, 2007 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)

...continued

for lupin that made me sniffle. Rock on Marie, I so would of turned my head as he was a cm away.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: ...continued

Rock on Marie

I think Bill and Fleur are going to need to keep an eye on this one... :)
Re: ...continued - (Anonymous) - Expand
amamama From: amamama Date: November 1st, 2007 08:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wonderful! I hope Ruthless will discover that it is possible to both be feminine and one of the boys. That's got more to do with personality than looks. And Teddy's doing a marvellous job, trying to navigate the troubled waters of their relationship.

All in all, a wonderful Christmas warm-up, with Lee (and his wife that I want to call Holly, thanks to St.Margarets' "Lee Jordan, tour guide") and the promise of trouble for the Dursley's. Complete with a warm, breathing cliffhanger, which I figure hope is also furry and soft and named Checkmate.

Thanks, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's got more to do with personality than looks.

I think Ruthless is afraid that her personality is going to change as unstoppably as her body has been changing, and it's totally freaking her out, as she rather likes her personality, even if no one else does, or maybe because of it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 1st, 2007 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I never thought about Dora missing out on the Weird Sister's Christmas! Oh that's so sad! "...I never dreamed when my daughter started putting up posters of you that I would be indebted to you for such a lovely holiday...."
Did I miss something? Why were Teddy and Donzo looking at one another awkwardly? Just because of Andi?
Sorry, not enough sleep I guess!
~sam
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, my thinking was that Granny's talking about Teddy's dead mum, and Kirley's talking about poor ickle Donzo wandering around the house all by his lonesome, and they're both thinking, "Dude, we're just hanging out." But it doesn't really work; you're right.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: November 1st, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy felt a bit like he was swimming in the middle of the Atlantic, surrounded by sharks. On a cloudy night. With no clue where he'd been dropped or why. So he just arranged his face as sympathetically as he could...

Bwahahahahaha oh MAN I think many adult men would still identify very strongly with Teddy here. I try to do my best to keep from setting my husband up with shark-infested-water moments, but I know there are times when I fail!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was probably smarter of Teddy to not try to advise her or say anything he would interpret as nice, like, "But your bosoms are very pretty." That might have ended him up with one very angry redhead.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: November 1st, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Ruthless, I feel your pain! But Teddy is doing a wonderful job navigating the tricky waters. Fern, I think your instincts were right -- this feels much more natural than a forced break-up would have.

Thanks for the glimpse of Lee and George continuing Potterwatch in defense of Lupins, past and present.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
this feels much more natural than a forced break-up would have.

She was mostly going there because of her insecurities at being too girlish, and being someone's girlfriend is a big part of that, but the scene wasn't working because she likes Teddy too much to actually want to put in the effort to spend less time with him. They're both also thinking that they're supposed to break up, as everyone else has, but neither of them is in an a hurry.
From: kobegrace Date: November 1st, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
He tried to keep his balance, but ran into the ottoman and went sprawling into the sofa, his hand landing on something warm and breathing.

Please let this be a cat. Or a bunny. But I'm rooting for the cat.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... it's neither a cat nor a bunny.
From: smishli Date: November 1st, 2007 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
The return of Potterwatch was love. Lee is just the man, isn't he? :)

And does Marie have a little bit of a crush on Donzo, perhaps? Poor Donzo, I'm sure he found the whole process of kissing her cheek immensely embarrassing!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Donzo's been a child star for a while; I think he's just disappointed that his friend's sister treats him like "OMG!DONZO!!!!"
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: November 1st, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fingers crossed that's Uncle Harry! This was a lovely interlude. Teddy and Ruthless are so spot-on trying to navigate their relationship through the sharks. I absolutely love Lee and George. Absolutely great. Fungal Grungeback- also great, and perfect from the guy who brought U-No-Poo to the wizarding world.

I'm seriously looking forward to Christmas. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 1st, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
perfect from the guy who brought U-No-Poo to the wizarding world.

That's exactly what I was thnking of. And you know Molly is saying, "He's going to be murdered in his bed!"
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