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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 19: The Stain, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 19: The Stain, pt. 3
After the werewolf attack, things are getting back to normal. Harry convinces Teddy to develop a new relationship with the books he'd been reading, which ends up with Teddy deciding to knuckle down at the Shrieking Shack. He learns a lot of housekeeping and carpentry spells, and he and Harry spend two weeks working together, then he spends his Hogsmeade Saturday there with Vivian and Alderman. He gets very defensive about what he's doing, even though Alderman really isn't challenging it much.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"Do you think they'll come again?" Teddy asked the next Thursday, just before the March full moon. "I mean, they must be angry."

Uncle Harry shook his head. "We've been doing some interrogation at Azkaban. Mathilde apparently never thought of teaching them to resist Veritaserum. We know how they got past the barriers, and if she tries it again, she'll get a surprise. I think you're safe, but trust me, the Division is on alert. Try it again."

Teddy leveled his wand at a ball of dried clay that Uncle Harry had Conjured. "I'm a little worried about blowing up the kitchen in if I overdo."

"The Blasting Curse isn't as easy as you think. And if you blow up the kitchen, we'll just build it again. It's used to it by now."

"All right." Teddy took a deep breath and focused his energy, then said, "Confringo!"

The clay ball trembled.

"You need to put more in," Uncle Harry said.

Teddy tried again. This time, the ball sprouted honking daffodils. He frowned. "Could you show me? I don't think I've got it right."

"I don't know. Honking Daffodils might have been enough to confuse Nagini when she came after us in Godric's Hollow."

Teddy raised his eyebrows and waited.

"All right," Uncle Harry said. He raised his wand and said the incantation, and the ball exploded into tiny fragments. Teddy and Uncle Harry went under the table to avoid being cut.

"Would that work on Greyback?" Teddy asked.

Uncle Harry turned to him, face ashen. "No, Teddy, this only works on objects. And I don't want you thinking of killing Greyback."

"Do you really think he'll be taken alive? And do you really want to?"

"I don't want you killing anyone. Leave it to the Aurors."

Teddy noted that this didn't exactly answer the question, but let it pass. Uncle Harry put the ball back together, and Teddy managed to get it to crack in half before they ended the lesson and started looking for things to do with the house. Teddy went upstairs to look, leaving Uncle Harry in the kitchen. It didn't exactly look like a palace, but the major work was done, and it was clean, except for the blood stain, and when Teddy came downstairs, he wasn't surprised to find Uncle Harry by the trap door, looking at it, troubled.

"I tried Evanesco and Abluo Clemente on it," Teddy said.

"I tried Scourgify."

"Is blood always this hard to get out?"

"No." Uncle Harry paced around the edge of it, looking at it like it might resolve itself into his old Potions Master and start lecturing him on his inadequacies. "Snape was bitten by Nagini, and she was venomous. She was also a Horcrux. Mixing all of that together may have some unusual properties."

Teddy was surprised at the mention. He knew the story--or most of it, there was a part that Uncle Harry was waiting until he was older to tell--but the Horcruxes weren't something Uncle Harry talked about frequently or easily. "You were a Horcrux," Teddy said tentatively. "Did your blood permanently stain things?"

Uncle Harry smiled faintly. "If it had, half of Hogwarts would be painted reddish brown. But to the best of my knowledge, I wasn't venomous on top of it." He shook his head sharply, and his eyes came into focus. "Right. Let me try modifying the Scouring Spell." He bent to the woodwork and did the spell nonverbally. Teddy saw the floor lighten considerably--around the stain. The stain remained as it had been, but now looked darker in contrast.

"Abluo," Teddy tried, without much hope that removing the gentling charm would help. It didn't.

"We could try it the Muggle way," Uncle Harry suggested. "I had to sand Aunt Petunia's stairs once when Dudley gave me a nosebleed on them." He waved his wand, and two pieces of coarse sandpaper appeared, wrapped around wooden blocks. He handed one to Teddy and said, "Go with the grain."

It seemed odd, especially when there was a Sanding Spell, but Teddy supposed that if it was resisting magic, a bit of Muggle technique might be just the thing. He bent over and started working at the edge closest to the trapdoor. The plank became very smooth, but Teddy didn't notice any lightening of the stain.

"I don't know if we'll be able to do this," Uncle Harry said.

"We can." Teddy stood up, casting around for a solution. A little rug was rolled up under the parlor sofa, and he dragged it over and put it over the stain, which poked out under the edges. He tried to move it, but another bit poked out.

He ground his teeth and went to the kitchen, where his book bag was sitting on the table.

"What are you after?" Uncle Harry asked.

"The knife you gave me a couple of years ago," Teddy said, finding it at last, folded up under the Marauder's Map and an essay for Robards. "If we pry up the planks, we can just turn them over, can't we? Then we could finish them, and you wouldn't even notice anything was wrong."

"The stain would still be there," Uncle Harry pointed out.

"Does it matter if I can't see it?" Teddy didn't wait for an answer. He popped the tip of the knife under the edge of the nearest board and leaned on it for pressure.

A huge chunk of wood popped out, looking like a clumsily made toy sword, but the board remained firmly fixed in the floor.

"Teddy, I don't think--"

"I can do this," Teddy said, moving around, trying to find a new place to start with the knife. The end of the board had been a bad choice. Maybe somewhere in the middle of its length...

The knife, which he'd dug between the floor slats, flew out of his control, slicing his hand open beneath the thumb, adding his own fresh blood to Snape's. Pulling away, he dragged the wound over the sharp piece of the floor that he'd managed to break off earlier.

Uncle Harry was over in a flash, grabbing Teddy's wrist. "Are you all right?"

"Fine," Teddy said, reaching for the knife, which had skittered under an old wardrobe.

"Wait a minute, let's get this healed."

Teddy didn't care about the bleeding. He tried to pull away.

Uncle Harry pulled him back sharply. "Teddy, that's enough." He tapped Teddy's hand with his wand, and the cut burned with pain as it magically healed. Teddy went for the knife again, but Uncle Harry continued to hold him still. "Teddy, I think it's time to get back to Hogwarts."

Teddy blinked at him. He looked his version of stern, which was something like he looked when Lily was about to toddle down the stairs and needed to be caught. "I'm not four," Teddy said. "I can--"

"It wasn't working," Uncle Harry said.

"It will. I just have to try harder. Isn't there a spell for it? For taking out floorboards? I'm sure there is. There must be..."

"I said, it's time to stop."

Teddy drew back, rubbing his wrist. Uncle Harry had been holding it hard enough that his red fingerlines were drawn on Teddy's skin. "You don't want me to fix it."

"I want you to pull back a little bit. I know the house is important to you, but you're waving a knife around and cutting yourself."

"You don't want me to get rid of Snape's blood. You never did. He's more important to you than my parents."

"I'm not having this conversation, Teddy."

"You were here eavesdropping on him while they were dying, and now you want him to keep their house."

"Are we here, then?" Uncle Harry asked. "I have a prepared speech about this, but I find I'm more angry than guilt-ridden, so the mood's all wrong."

"You're angry."

"Yes. Believe it or not, you don't have a monopoly on it. You're not the only person who lost something that night."

"I know that!"

"Then why are you acting like no one can possibly understand you? What have I ever done that makes you think I don't understand?"

Teddy felt the blood rush up to his face. Of course there was nothing. Of course. Uncle Harry had always been there for him. Been kind. Generous.

Because poor Teddy was an orphan, after all.

He raised his wand. "Accio cloak."

"Teddy!"

Teddy's heavy cloak flew in from over a chair in the kitchen, and he put it on and started jabbing the fasteners together. He pulled up the trapdoor and tossed his book bag into the tunnel, then jumped in after it.

"Teddy!"

He didn't listen. He dropped to his hands and knees. A knife in his brain was turning merrily, and it felt good to be angry, good to just crawl away.

He winced as the heel of his hand, where he'd cut it, hit the ground, and drew in a sharp hiss of breath.

"What is it?"

"Nothing," Teddy spat back.

He started to hobble down on one hand and both knees, Levitating his book bag ahead of him. From behind and above, he heard Uncle Harry swear at something, then there was a thud as he also dropped down into the tunnel.

"Teddy, come back here."

"You said it was time to go back."

"I don't want to Summon you, but I will if I have to."

Teddy stopped and looked over his shoulder, horrified. Uncle Harry had Summoned him once, at Bill and Fleur's, when he'd been climbing the cliff and was about to go off of it and into the sea. He'd been six. "You wouldn't."

"Try me."

Reluctantly, Teddy twisted himself around in the tunnel and crawled back to the space under the trap door. "What?"

"You weren't putting your hand down."

"It didn't heal right. I'm going to have to see Madam Pomfrey."

"The healing was fine," Uncle Harry said. "But I think you have something stuck in there. Give it to me."

Teddy held it out. In the center of the palm was a ragged circular scar where, during his first year, a pebble and his father's wedding ring had cut him deeply during a fire.

"This one's turning into more scar than hand," Uncle Harry said mildly, his former anger not evident, though Teddy thought it was still there somewhere. He tapped Teddy's hand and the cut opened again. "Accio splinter."

"Ow!" Teddy gasped as something sharp pulled through his flesh. A small wedge of wood, covered with his blood, emerged from the cut.

Uncle Harry caught it and healed the wound again. He held the splinter up. Under the fresh blood, Teddy could see that it was deeply stained with the old. He tossed it aside, wrinkling his nose. "We need to find a new way to deal with that. We've both been breathing in the dust. It must still be impregnated with Nagini's venom."

Teddy felt something heavy fall down in the center of himself. "That's why I was angry?"

"I doubt it's the whole reason, but it may have made you less inhibited about it. Blocked out anything that might have stopped you."

"And it made you say those things, too?"

"No, Teddy, I said those things because I was angry."

"So you want to stop lessons?"

"What?" He shook his head. "No. Don't change the subject. You know I'm not going anywhere. I'm beginning to understand what made your dad want to hex me across the room, though."

Teddy nodded curtly, feeling somewhat better. After all, that had happened, according to Granny, because Uncle Harry had been telling the truth and Dad hadn't been ready for it yet.

Uncle Harry sighed. "Come on, Teddy. I'll get you back to school. Clean slate next time I see you. Deal?" He held out his hand.

Teddy examined the old scar on his own hand, then the new, thin scar that was forming where the splinter had come out. He shook Uncle Harry's. "Deal."

They didn't talk on the way back, and Teddy decided that he'd try the carpentry books to learn how to take out an old floor and put in a new one.
37 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
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lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: November 28th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, karma. Now Harry has to deal with an angry, moody, hormone-ridden teenage boy who thinks no one understands him. I love the irony.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the Inevitability Curse!
rdprice29 From: rdprice29 Date: November 28th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow. That dreaded conversation is coming closer. That should be an interesting one.

Excellent section, as usual. I love Harry's voice here, especially the understanding about why Remus wanted to hex him across the room, lol. Ah, teenagers.

Great job!

mrs_redboots From: mrs_redboots Date: November 28th, 2007 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Didn't _everybody_ want to hex Harry across the room when he was that age?

Thank you, fernwithy, I am really enjoying this, even though I don't comment every day.
hobbitguy1420 From: hobbitguy1420 Date: November 28th, 2007 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Angry...

Are we starting to see the beginning of Capslock!Teddy now?

Haven't posted very often, but I wanted to say (again) how awesome your stuff is.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Angry...

Don't we all get capslocky around then? ;p
From: kobegrace Date: November 28th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
This was a good chapterlet. It's nice to see that as lovely as Teddy and Harry's relationship is, they aren't the least bit 1980s-sitcom-ish -- in other words, it's good to see that they're prone to the occasional angst-ridden moment.

Nagini-venom-sawdust notwithstanding, of course.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the only reason they don't get into screaming matches more is that both of them are naturally somewhat reserved. Teddy's got a lot of rage issues, and Harry's his closest target.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 28th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Harry. What goes around, comes around--such as having to deal with angry, angsty, hormone-ridden teenagers with dead-parent issues. All in all, Teddy's quite well-adjusted but with everything that's been happening with him this year, it's no wonder he's off-balance right now. His obsessiveness about getting rid of Snape's bloodstain is actually fairly mild, as obsessions go.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Harry's less worried about the particular obsession than with Teddy's... well, magical thinking. Not magical in the Hogwarts sense, but more in the Muggle sense of an implicit belief that manipulating the physical world will achieve some sort of metaphysical response.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: November 28th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked the explanation of why the stain won't come out of the floor, and how it provoked both Teddy and Harry into being more angry than normal. Teddy deserves some angst-ridden teenage moments, of course, and it's quite fitting that Harry's there to deal with it.

I particularly liked the exchange about Harry Summoning Teddy back, and how he had only done that once before. And the Honking Daffodils that Teddy managed to produce were quite amusing. :~)

I do have a minor nitpick...didn't Harry and company learn the Summoning Charm during their fourth year? I know Teddy is a good student in Charms--did he learn it from reading ahead, maybe? (I do like the effect of Teddy Summoning his cloak and storming out, though!)
cambryn From: cambryn Date: November 28th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I Harry learned Accio just for the tournament in his fourth year, and was taught by Hermione- it wasn't part of the class syllabus, was it? I checked back and didn't see it. I don't believe it says in canon when people learned summoning charms, but in Harry's 4th year they hadn't learned that spell yet.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: November 28th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Harry should go pick up OOTP and read it... he's in for a big surprise with Teddy :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think he remembers, and will try to Dumbledore Teddy when he rages. ("By all means, keep breaking my belongings...")
cambryn From: cambryn Date: November 28th, 2007 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm a sucker for angst, I'll admit it readily. I almost wanted their fight to continue. >_> <_< Nothing weird about that, I'm sure. Your story never disappoints. It always leaves me wanting more, and loving Teddy even more fervently.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's good to hear, especially when he's being a little brat!
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 28th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, anger inducing Nagini venom (and, let's be honest, perhaps a touch of Snape as well) is not a good house feature even if it's hidden under the floorboards instead of on top of them. I'd be thinking removal if I were Teddy.

Ah, capslock!Teddy. It was interesting meeting him. Harry, at least, has a few advantages over Dumbledore dealing with capslock!Harry. He's not scared that talking to Teddy will create a direct connection to Voldemort, he's closer to that age than Dumbeldore was when Harry was going through it (and, hopefully, remembers it a bit better), and he's got a lot more youth and energy to deal with it than Dumbledore did (being able to move quickly while in a room with an angry teen with a knife, even if the only wounds are self-inflicted, has advantages).

Anyhow, this chapter was a nice mix of the serious and the lighter hearted. Thanks.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd be thinking removal if I were Teddy.

I'm sure that's where his head is.

And yes, Teddy wasn't thinking about the knife as a weapon, but Harry's perfectly capable of extrapolating that use from Teddy's behavior.
amamama From: amamama Date: November 28th, 2007 07:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow - now we're approaching déjavu territory, but I hope Teddy will have an easier teen time than Harry had. Interesting with Harry's reaction to Teddy's accusation - is he still that troubled by the enigma that was Snape? Maybe he never had a reason to confront his 'Snapeperiences' before? He does now, that's for sure.

I do wonder if Teddy will experience any further effects of that splinter, did something get absorbed into his blood stream, or was it all attached to the wood? Turning floorboards is usually easier said than done, as the tongue and groove are rarely centered, so I think I'd go for replacing the stained ones. He could always get reclaimed wood to fix the floor with, and you'd probably never notice the difference unless you really looked for it.

Thanks! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
If Harry knew anything about household maintenance, he'd probably have advised Teddy against the strategy in the first place, but they're the blind leading the blind there. They might well be able to magically reshape the boards that are there, but if they can't get them unstained...

I think Harry feels that he owes Snape loyalty, but even more, that Teddy has no idea what it's like to be in a battle, and he didn't just make some decision to go off and leave Remus and Tonks so he could eavesdrop on Snape. But at the same time, he knows that while he was busy with this sort of personal thing, a lot of people--including Teddy's parents--were, in fact, dying. It would be surprising if he didn't actually blame himself now and then.
From: smishli Date: November 28th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Payback time, Harry...

And eek to Nagini venom-stained wood! Hope that gets fixed, stat.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, at least they know there's something wrong beyond aesthetics now.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 28th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sigh...

This is all terrific. But I have a sinking sensation that Teddy's work is akin to that of Sysiphus -- that before the end of the story Greyback is going to destroy the shack all over again.

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sigh...

Lovely weather we're having lately. Ahem.

Thanks!
From: melissa_renee Date: November 28th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy does a good job with the teenage "no one understands me, I am so persecuted" thing. I also liked how Harry didn't take the easy "Nagini's venom made me do it" way out concerning his actions.

Now I'm starting to look forward to the talk where Harry tries to explain what was going on. I hope Teddy cottons on to the fact that Snape's memories did play a crucial role in helping Harry know what to do and how to defeat Voldemort.

Anyway, all of this can be summarized as follows: Bravi.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure Teddy's in any place where he cares about the strategic objectives of the war yet, and even if he did get the string of events, he'd be as likely as not to point out that Harry didn't know that at the time he left, or when he went into Snape's memories. He's thirteen. That's the clearest age when everything is supposed to be just and no one is fumbling onto the right answers to anything.
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: November 28th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why Hello,
I have come to the decission I love that you give up your own time to do this wonderful writting... I'm going to add you as a friend. I hope you don't mind
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I have yet to mind. :)

Oh, and ICON LOVE.

Edited at 2007-11-28 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 28th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
When they were talking about Greyback being killed, I immediately thought about that bit early in 'Fellowship of the Ring' when Frodo and Gandalf are talking about Gollum and Frodo says that he deserves death.I half imagined Harry giving the 'many who live deserve death, and many that die deserve life' speech.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think Harry's suggesting that Greyback can't or won't be killed. He just would rather do it himself that Teddy not mess up his head with it.
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