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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 13: Brothers, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 13: Brothers, pt. 3
It's Boxing Day, and Harry's going back to work. His first task is going to France to the werewolf sanctuary to talk to Father Alderman's mother, who used to work in the Werewolf Capture Unit and is something of an expert on Greyback. He deduces (correctly) that Teddy would like to come, so the two of them go together. When they get there, Gabrielle meets them, and takes them up to the sanctuary in a hippogriff-drawn sleigh. The hippogriff has just had--chicks? foals?--whose proud papa is a hippogriff we may have met previously. ;p While Teddy is looking at them, he meets Neil Overby, the boy who was bitten in the fall attack, and Evelyn and Nate Blondin, Vivian's friends, two more of the "cubs" that Remus and Dora helped rescued during the time was spying on Greyback. Nate and Evvy are Neil's foster parents now. They offer to show him around while Harry talks to Fiona (Alderman's mother).

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Nate talked when he had something to say, but Evelyn contributed most of the chattering conversation as they went through the sanctuary village. She pointed out the neat, slate lined paths that had been put down over the years--"Nate's idea!" she said proudly--and the village center, where the werewolves met each month to eat heavily before the transformation, which apparently helped dull the pain of it.

"It's turned into a tradition now," Evelyn said. "Everyone comes, werewolf or not. People bring dishes to pass. Doesn't make the transformation any more pleasant, but it can only help to feel like life on either side of it is going to be good. I generally dress up for it. It's something that always makes me happy."

Nate laughed. "Do you remember when Lupin brought that cha--"

"Charity box!" Evelyn said, laughing loudly. She sat down on bench. "Lupin didn't actually bring that, though, remember? He just let us hide it in that shed he was living in." She smiled at Teddy. "We thought he was so fancy, living in a real house sort of thing. We were all living in caves. We were going there to play before he started teaching us. And when we got a box of charity clothes and books and so on, I found an evening dress. I imagine it was really someone's princess costume, but I thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world. Lupin explained to me about how such a thing would only be worn at an evening dance, and then I got him to tell me all about dances and other such lovely things. I imagined myself in some grand hall, dancing with a prince or whatnot. It was the first time I realized there was a whole world out there. I wanted to learn to read and dance and do all manner of human things."

"Did Dad teach you to dance?" Teddy asked.

"Not then," Nate said. "Greyback didn't let us dance properly. He didn't allow any, er..."

"Special friendships," Evelyn said, glancing at Neil. "Greyback rather thought we girls belonged to him. But I'd prefer not to go there. Your dad did teach me to dance, though, that last Christmas. He and your mum came here."

"Oh!" Teddy said. "I have a picture, I think. They came with a woman named Rachel, didn't they?"

"Yes. Rachel Berkowitz. And of course, Adelaide Robards. Your parents brought a lot of refugees through here. Those two were a trial. They did loathe each other."

"Hardly surprising," Nate snorted. "Given that they were both... special friends... with Gawain."

Teddy laughed, but shifted uncomfortably. Gawain Robards was his Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and a decent man. Teddy had a fuzzy notion that his marriage wasn't very good--he lived at Hogwarts and his wife lived in London--but he preferred to keep it fuzzy. "They looked very happy to be here. In the picture. My parents, I mean. Not Rachel and Mrs. Robards."

"Oh, they were," Nate said. "I thought they might just explode from it. Come on. I'll show you where we transform."

He led the way away from the village, along the neat paths. Neil followed along, looking dejected. Some of the houses were old, some clearly newly built as the children had grown up and chosen to move out of their communal homes.

"We were raised in a pack," Evelyn said. "We didn't really understand the idea of having guardians, though Valeska--Gabrielle's grandmother, I'm sure you'll meet her later--looked after the girls a bit. She's not a great one for boys, most Veela aren't, though she'll make an exception for Tonks's son, I'm sure."

"Here," Nate said as they reached a raised platform. "Those two pens down there--that's where we transform. Females on the right, males on the left. I built the platform so that the others can see if someone seems to have got hurt. It's too easy for there to be accidents."

"Do you use Wolfsbane Potion?" Teddy asked, before it occurred to him that it might be a rude question.

"We don't have anyone here who's qualified to brew it," Evelyn said. "So we just use the old fashioned ways of controlling it. Food, fellowship, good moods. Well, the oldest method, of course we don't use."

"Oldest method?"

"Eating people," Neil said, speaking up for the first time since they'd left the hippogriff nest. "Greyback said that's the only thing that makes the pain stop." He fell back into silence. There was nothing to say to that.

Nate sighed. "That particular cure is obviously out of the question."

The tour went on, through the pens (which were actually self-contained little forests, which Evelyn said kept their minds occupied through the transformation) and into a little Healing clinic where a woman with short dishwater blond hair was treating an elderly elf for a skin infection. Evelyn introduced her as Coral, another member of the pack, who was trying to get a proper apprenticeship in Paris--Madame Maxime was doing her best to help--but was, in the meantime, doing what she could pick up on her own here. A few more of the children came out to gawk at Teddy, and finally, they circled back to the village square.

Père Alderman was waiting there, on the bench where they'd been sitting earlier. He stood up with a warm smile. "Teddy," he said. "Coral flooed to tell me you were here. I understand from Vivian that Greyback has decided to make you his pen pal. Are you all right?"

"Fine, thanks. I think Greyback could stand a tutor."

Alderman laughed. "When they get him back to Azkaban, I may just take that job on myself. Purely out of Christian charity, of course, and not at all because I think it would make him climb the walls."

"Alderman's morally perfect these days," Evelyn said.

"Yes, my confessor is very bored." He made a halo over his head with his fingers. "All the penance he assigns me is purely for his entertainment. There's never any cause for it." He leaned to one side, looking around Evelyn. "Neil? Why are you hiding?"

Neil peeked out, then turned and ran.

"I'll get him," Evelyn said, and went after him, catching him in a hug and smiling at him until he smiled back. She took his hand and led him toward the neat house where the three of them lived.

"Evvy seems happy," Alderman said.

Nate shrugged. "The circumstances are terrible, but she's enjoying the chance to be a mum. I think she's right good at it, too."

This seemed a private conversation, so Teddy cast around for something else. "Is the one who wrote the book here? The book that the Beauxbatons girls like?"

Nate made a face. "He only comes at moons now. We're not thrilled with him."

"Hamilton didn't mean for that to happen," Alderman said. "It was never the intent."

"Then why'd he write the damned thing?"

"Gold."

"Hope he's enjoying it."

Alderman seemed ready to pursue it, then just sighed and said, "Blondin, you need to learn to judge people by their intentions."

"Didn't I see something involving 'good intentions,' about how to pave roads that lead to somewhere unpleasant?"

"How in the world would he have guessed that a pack of girls in Paris would think kidnapping and cannibalism were signs of refined sensibilities?"

"Because he wrote the moons better than he wrote anything else. Even I thought the rest of the thing was boring."

They continued the argument, not so much ignoring Teddy as simply accepting his presence. Teddy listened with interest, contributing his thoughts on why teenage girls might have been interested--he told them about the Moonhowlers, and the students who liked them--which were accepted as equal to their own contributions. He asked if he could see a copy of the book.

"Why would you want to?" Nate asked, aghast.

"Well... they think one of the girls is helping Greyback. She liked the book enough to get cursed deliberately. She might like it enough to use it to find somewhere to hide."

Père Alderman raised his eyebrows, surprised. "That's a good thought," he said. "Do you read French?"

"A little bit," Teddy said. "Mostly spells."

"The French is advanced," Alderman said. "I'll go through it, though. Translate the passages that may suggest a hiding place. I'll send them on to Harry. You have a good brain in your head."

Teddy didn't press, though a part of him wanted to struggle through the French just to read something that one of Dad's students had written, about things that they'd all known. He guessed that they just weren't keen to have the book distributed any further than it already had been.

Uncle Harry came out a few minutes later with the older woman he'd been speaking to earlier. She smiled when she saw Père Alderman, then gave him a hug and proceeded to call him "Bobby" for the remainder of the visit. They were invited to lunch in Victoire's great-grandmother's house--a charmed building that looked like a forest on the inside (though one whose weather was always perfect), which Teddy recognized as the place where the picture of his parents had been taken all those years ago. Uncle Harry reminded him that Valeska was a Veela, and tried to warn him about her effect, but Teddy still found himself completely tongue-tied and confused, and was halfway through explaining how he was a secret Animagus who had orbited the Earth on a broomstick before he caught himself. Valeska seemed accustomed to it. Uncle Harry teased him unmercifully the entire way back to the Apparition point, where Teddy demanded an absolute oath on their very godfather/godson relationship that he wouldn't tell anyone, even Aunt Ginny.

He shook his head. "So you don't want me to tell your granny."

"No."

"And you don't think Bill and Fleur would find it funny?"

"I don't care."

"And you're sure I shouldn't send a letter to a certain Miss Scrimgeour?"

"NO!" Teddy put up his hand in a warding gesture.

They reached the Apparition point, and Uncle Harry said, "I'm sorry, Teddy. They're all going to ask. Well, maybe not Ruth. If I don't answer, they'll think it was worse than it was."

"You just want to laugh at it."

"Well, yes." Uncle Harry smiled and mussed his hair, then rolled his eyes. "If you grow much more, I'm going to have to reach up to do that, and it loses something in the process. So I forbid it. Come on, it's time to go home."

"Can I go through the Floo from your house? I didn't say goodbye to James and Al and Lily this morning."

Uncle Harry held out his arm, and Teddy took it. A moment later, they came out of the darkness of Disapparition in the square outside of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. Teddy went in and played with James and Al for a few minutes--they were building a very tall house of Exploding Snap cards, and had got it seven levels up before it blew up on all of them. He gave them hugs, then went down to the kitchen to kiss Lily and Aunt Ginny, then Flooed back to Granny's.




The next week went by in a pleasant haze of laziness. Teddy put off all of his homework and enjoyed spending time with Granny. He helped her get her basement office in order, and they went into Granddad's "Muggle Room"--a room across the basement from the office where magic was prohibited and most of his Muggle gadgets worked without any interference. There, they spent an agreeable day playing with Granddad's aging computer and watching films that featured Muggle machines that moved fast and frequently blew up. Another day, they lost track of time entirely reading in the parlor while a cold December rain fell outside. Granny got through a large book on the history of Muggle medicine, and Teddy plowed through the first two Tirza novels. Now that he had the fourth, he thought he'd finish up To the End of the Earth as soon as he got back to school.

Granny had dropped down to a part time schedule, but was still gone some of the time that Teddy was home, and he used those hours to listen to music and go through his parents' and grandfather's things, as he'd done frequently when he was small. After New Year, he settled in to do his work, and began to contact his friends again. He had a long chat with Ruthless over the Floo, at the end of which she reached into the fire and kissed him, ending with both of them nearly choking on ash, and Kirk, who'd wandered in, laughing crazily in the back. The call ended when Ruthless ran after him, screaming threats if he told anyone.

Corky's Portkey back from home was scheduled for the day before the Hogwarts Express would take them all back to Scotland, and, to Teddy's great happiness, he was allowed to stay at Granny's for the night. Uncle Harry brought him at six-thirty, along with Maurice, who was itching to get away from Wendell.

"If he asks the same question again, I'm going to kill him, then end up with all of my relatives in Azkaban," he muttered.

Teddy rolled his eyes and said, "Well, say hello to mine while you're there. And everyone else's."

The three of them spent a decent evening, during which Teddy taught them Tarot poker. The next morning, they left en masse for King's Cross, back to Hogwarts and the world they had made there.
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Comments
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 8th, 2007 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice to see that Teddy's managed to weather his holiday depression. The cubs have turned out to be fine young adults, their disorder notwithstanding. Remus would be proud of them. And three cheers for mindless action movies as a remedy for the blues!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Best review of Speed: It's a movie about big, dumb things going fast. And it works. :)
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: November 8th, 2007 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I agree! The cubs all did turn out really well.

Something I wanted to mention was the following conversation...


"Alderman's morally perfect these days," Evelyn said.

"Yes, my confessor is very bored." He made a halo over his head with his fingers. "All the penance he assigns me is purely for his entertainment. There's never any cause for it." He leaned to one side, looking around Evelyn. "Neil? Why are you hiding?"


I don't know what it was, but something about that really struck me as being absolutely brilliant. I think I'd have to rank it amongst my "Top 5 Favorite Scenes in Fern's Works." I don't even know why, but there's something. =) Anyway, wanted to let you know.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Alderman was always the one of the pups who came alive for me most easily.
mrs_norris_mous From: mrs_norris_mous Date: November 8th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Thanks again,

I thin this one slipped past your read tthough.

"Not then," Nate said. "Greyback didn't us dance properly. He didn't allow any, er..."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thanks again,

I surely did. Thanks.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 8th, 2007 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy really does know far more than he's comfortable with about his teachers, doesn't he? I can't help thinking that both the Marauders and Fred and George would have at least amused themselves in thinking how to use such knowledge to their advantage at school, even if they mightn't have done it. I don't imagine Teddy thinking that way, but then the Trio didn't either... Hm.

So Veela are more interested in girls than boys? What reverses this in their (great-)granddaughters then? I'm half-wondering could there be some kind of relationship thing building here - so that both Fleur and Victoire get on very well indeed with other girls/women in their families, but aren't so good with outsiders, and Valeska is old, secure and dominant enough that it's no problem to have mentally adopted the female cubs into her family.

Aagh - it's not even 7am and you've got me over-analysing! Why can't I do this with my coursework? (Another great chapter that interests me more than my assignment, perhaps?)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure how well Valeska gets along with other women, but I have a feeling that Veela think of men more or less as prey, and hold them in genial contempt, while women are at least the same sort of thing as Veela. Valeska probably got flak for actually marrying Fleur's grandfather. (As far as I can tell in the folklore, all Veela are female, so they must have some other normal mode of reproduction.)
kagehikario From: kagehikario Date: November 8th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I always rather assumed that their charms simply allowed for a picking of the best mate. Rather like the Gerudo in Legend of Zelda, if you share that nerd-dom. They do seem built to be the jezabelles of the magical world. Hmm, I suppose that would lead to mostly half-veela, mind... But I did note that it took untill the line was only a quarter Veela before even one baby in nearly half a dozen was a boy. Perhapes their bodies have a tendency to weed out Y-genes?
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 8th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
So even the Weasley predilection for boys could only go so far...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
The folklore seems to have them regularly kidnapping men and keeping them for their own amusement, with women as rivals. (Though they live among one another, as we see in the QWC.) They're definitely female-hyperdominant creatures!
amamama From: amamama Date: November 8th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Another nice instalment. I really liked the werewolf camp, and their method of surviving the curse by building positive relationships and memories. I don't think I'd take Greyback's words about eating people being the only thing that helps. It might help *him*, but that's because he's totally despicable. I doubt it'd help the others who strive to keep their humanity. Good thinking on Teddy's part, maybe they get some clues from the book?

Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could see it working that way with the curse, and it might do something about the physical pain (I played with that a little bit in Shades, when Remus wakes up the morning after Greyback "feeds" him feeling better than he generally does), but it would be more than offset by the mental pain among decent people.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: November 8th, 2007 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)
It's really fun to visit the grown-up cubs, and see the hints of who they used to be. I love that Evvy dresses up for the monthly dinners. I'm glad that Nate and Alderman made Teddy feel included in their discussion, and that Teddy was able to help contribute a little bit to the hunt for Greyback. Teddy's comment about reading French spells was a nice nod to the first story (although I'm sure if Victoire had her way, Teddy would learn to read more French, right? ;~)).

I love rainy days where you lose track of time because you're caught up in a good book (or at least a fun book, in Teddy's case). I'm glad that Corky and Maurice could visit before heading back to school!

and do all manner human things. There seems to be a missing "of".
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure if Victoire had her way, Teddy would learn to read more French, right?

If Victoire has her way later on, I'm sure Teddy will learn quite a lot French. ;p

My best day ever with my mom was essentially what I just gave Teddy and Andromeda. We plopped down in the living room after breakfast with our books, huddled pretty close to the heat vent on a cold, rainy day, and suddenly Mom looked up and said, "It's dark out. We should have supper."

I'll catch that "of."
cjk1701 From: cjk1701 Date: November 8th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor Maurice, that boy doesn't have issues, he has entire subscriptions. But I guess many kids born to people on the wrong side of that war have problems, and the society doesn't make it any easier for them. I wonder how little Scorpius turns out. Will Teddy meet him properly?

As always, your writing is delightful. The new chapters are the highlights of my mornings.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
And Maurice's immediate nuclear family isn't even particularly bad. They didn't fight on the wrong side, they just sat the war out abroad, and they don't take money from the dark arts shop (though I'm sure they wouldn't have been able to get a leg up in the world if they hadn't taken some to start out with).

Eventually, I'm sure Teddy will meet Scorpius, but not in this story. Draco's going to stay obediently overseas.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are some things you just can't avoid teasing a thirteen-year-old boy about.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha! It's been a while since I've re-read LotR. I'd forgotten them mentioning the moons at all.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: November 8th, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
As usual... all I have to say is I love Uncle Harry!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Uncle Harry (and Dad!Harry), too. He was most awesome in the epilogue.
moonythoughts From: moonythoughts Date: November 8th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I like Harry more in your stories than I do in canon, lol :) Can't wait for more!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have some days off, so hopefully there will be no more non-writing days for a long time.
From: kobegrace Date: November 8th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know what I love most about your Teddy? That, in spite of his occasional teenage emo-snottiness, he's such a caring and physically affectionate boy. There are far too many kids his age who are so aloof with their younger siblings, cousins or loved ones in general, that it always warms my heart to see one of your adolescent characters in such a warm, loving manner (don't even get me started on Frankie and Mac).

Wonderful job as usual, Fern. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Teddy fixates a lot on his Lupin-ness, but he's got a lot of Tonks's neater qualities that way. Enhanced by the fact that he wants to be Harry when he grows up, and his experience of Harry is as someone very loving and affectionate (he may know intellectually that Harry could sometimes be a little distant in the past, but what he knows emotionally is Uncle Harry, who carried him around in a sling and on his shoulders until he flatly got too big for it).
From: kobegrace Date: November 8th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sigh... I'm so smitten with Uncle Harry. Didn't care much for his brooding, self-pitying, emotionally dysfunctional teenage version, but Uncle!Harry is just so hot.

(So much so that he deserves the extra html-tagging effort. ^_^)
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 8th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Pout

Sigh. No Millicent sightings.

Seriously though, I totally understand that you can't squeeze in every character just for the sake of us seeing them, but how is Millicent adjusting? Is she staying in England? Has she relocated to France?

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Pout

I am sincerely overcrowded, and I just forgot about Millicent. She's still trying to learn to deal with her physical impairments, and goes back and forth between London, for treatment and therapy, and the sanctuary.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: November 9th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Enjoyed the tour through the sanctuary. Nice to see Teddy pull it together and enjoy the rest of his vacation. The Harry/Teddy interaction remains good.

Well done, Fern!
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