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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 22: Despair, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 22: Despair, pt. 1
Mathilde took Vivian away, and for a few weeks, the Ministry is in a holding pattern. The day after the next full moon, the Prophet runs an article about a brutal, lethal attack on a family. The one surviving daughter was turned... and reports that the werewolf who attacked them had only one eye.

The chapter title is sucky, but I haven't got it planned through yet, and something better may suggest itself.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




The school split over the issue of Vivian Waters that weekend. Did this prove that werewolves were always turnable, always unreliable? Or did it prove that she should have been taken into Hogwarts after the war, trained properly so she could have defended herself?

Predictably, Dad's name came into it, Gryffindors in particular being prone to using it to defend Vivian and lycanthropic rights. A fifth year Hufflepuff--one of Frankie's dormitory mates--got quite involved in the argument, and shouted at the top of his lungs that "Yeah, well even Lupin got sacked! It's in Hogwarts, A History!" Then he'd quite suddenly shut up, and looked directly at Teddy, his mouth opening and closing stupidly. Teddy didn't know what to say to it. It wasn't the first time he'd heard a complete stranger talk about Dad, and it wasn't particularly cruel--Teddy reckoned Dad would have been in this if he were here, and if it had been him rather than Vivian, he'd probably be on the boy's side--but it still felt like he'd been through a boxing lesson with a Dudley who'd forgotten to pull his punches.

By Sunday night, Teddy had taken to his room most of the time. Victoire visited him after supper to play a half-baked game of two-man Tarot poker, bringing Bushy to play with Checkmate. To his relief, she wasn't talking about Vivian or werewolves. She'd got a letter from her father, telling her that the new baby might be born before the end of June. Victoire was terribly sad about this, as she hadn't had to miss any of the others being born.

"I even got to go in and help when it was Muriel," she said, peering intently at Teddy's forehead. She herself had the Ten of Cups facing out at him, which was good, but if he had any of the Major Arcana cards, he could still win. "I got to mop Maman's forehead and tell her how wonderfully she was doing. None of the others were old enough, but I'd just turned ten, and Dad said I could, as long as I left when I was told to. Did you go when Lily was born? You were ten then, or almost."

"Granny and Uncle Harry reckoned it would be disturbing."

"Well, I wasn't allowed in when there was a lot of blood--you know, at the end. I went in at the beginning. Then I was in charge of watching my sisters until everything was cleaned up and there was a new baby. I wish I could be here for this one. Maybe it will be another boy finally."

"Artie would like that." Teddy touched the card on his forehead, willing it to be high, and tossed a few more Knuts into the pile. "Did your dad say anything else?"

She shrugged. "I told him that Mina Moran likes Kirk Scrimgeour and Kirk said that I could tell Mina that he liked her, too, and she said I should go back and tell him that she'll hold his hand if he wants her to and--"

"You told your dad that?"

Victoire nodded, looking stricken. "Yes! And he said was that I wasn't allowed to go out with anyone until I've passed my O.W.L.s!"

Teddy laughed. Victoire gave him a frustrated little frown. Her card fell off her forehead and he dealt out another hand.

By the time she'd left, he'd put Vivian temporarily out of his mind, but the next morning brought her back. The outer world was having the same argument that was going on at Hogwarts, and each Prophet article seemed to spark a new round. Honoria and the Charmer staff were nosing about at the tables, trying to get students to talk for an article of their own. Honoria raised her eyebrows at Teddy as she passed, the last of the morning post's owls flying off above her head. He shook his head at her firmly.

"Fine," she said. "But it's hardly an article on this without some comment from you." She narrowed her eyes. "You couldn't find those other friends of hers, could you? The other werewolves that I talked to? They didn't tell me how to reach them."

"They're busy, Honoria."

She looked up with avid curiosity at this, but Teddy didn't elaborate. He was just turning back to his breakfast when a huge tawny owl burst in and swooped down at the staff table. It landed in front of Professor Longbottom, who gave it a tired glance, then grabbed it and tore the message it carried away. He put an entire piece of bread in the bird's talons and shoved his own water goblet over, then stood and went to the Headmistress, still reading. Teddy couldn't hear what they were saying--it wasn't that loud in the Great Hall, so he suspected one or the other of them was Muffling the conversation--but Professor Sprout didn't look happy, and Professor Longbottom didn't look like he cared. He stormed out the back door, letter in hand.

"What was that about?" Kirk Scrimgeour asked, looking mystified.

Ruthless--looking after Professor Longbottom with dawning understanding--absently cuffed him, and said, "It's not your business."

Victoire, as aware as Teddy was of what had seemed the case at Christmas, suggested that his elderly grandmother might be sick. This seemed to satisfy most of the Gryffindor curiosity seekers (Augusta Longbottom's arrival at the Battle of Hogwarts was the stuff of legend, and her deeds now rivaled those of Godric Gryffindor himself in popular imagination. Teddy supposed Mum's might have as well, if she'd accomplished anything by showing up when she didn't need to).

The curiosity from Hufflepuff hadn't been sated, and as Teddy walked down to the greenhouses with Tinny, Laura, Joe, and Roger, they were debating the subject, wondering if Professor Longbottom would explain himself. Teddy privately doubted it, and wasn't surprised when he came through the door to find the Headmistress herself standing at the head of the class, potting Honking Daffodils as if she'd never left the post.

"Please sit down," she said. "Professor Longbottom has chosen to take today off, and I'll be teaching you." She smiled. "It's been a while, but I think I remember."

Teddy wasn't sure if it was a good class or a bad class, as none of them were concentrating on it. It just seemed wrong not to have Professor Longbottom up there, fussing at his plants, going around to check their work.

After Herbology, Teddy went to Defense Against the Dark Arts, and barely heard Robards going on about a long assignment. When he was told to choose a topic for his next essay, he had to ask what the choices were again.

"Any of the advanced dark creatures or manifestations we've covered this year, Teddy," Robards said. "Seven feet, due before your final examination. History, theory, and control techniques."

Teddy couldn't think of anything, and Robards frowned at him in a concerned way. "Teddy? If you're hesitating because you want to study werewolves, that's fine, it's a perfectly valid topic."

"Revenants," Teddy said, before Robards decided to choose for him. He didn't know why he'd chosen that topic--it was handy, he supposed, and his bookmark was still in the chapter.

"All right. But they're difficult. If you run into trouble, let me know."

Jane asked if it would be all right if she reported on werewolves, as long as Teddy hadn't chosen to. Much to Teddy's relief, Maurice rolled his eyes and said, "Teddy doesn't own werewolves, you know," thereby saving the need for him to do so himself.

He met Ruthless on the way to the Great Hall. She was chewing her lip thoughtfully, and when he got to her she said, "Professor Longbottom and Vivian were good friends, weren't they?"

"Yes."

"Good friends like we are?" Teddy didn't answer, which she took as an answer. She nodded and said, "I hope he's gone off somewhere to absolutely pound someone then. I would, if it were you."

Teddy smiled. "Thanks. I think. But I'm going to have to fight a dragon or something now to keep my reputation as a bloke." Ruthless shook her head in disbelief at such a notion, and Teddy shrugged. "But he can't know who to pound. He'd tell the the Aurors."

"No, he wouldn't." Ruthless looked at him blankly. "They'll have to turn her in. They won't have a choice."

This hadn't occurred to Teddy, though he supposed it should have. His mum and Kingsley had hidden Sirius, but Sirius was innocent. Vivian really had made that attack. Would Uncle Harry be forced to drag her to Azkaban, with all of the members of Greyback's pack who'd already been brought there?

He spent the rest of the day thinking about this, and neither Uncle Harry nor Ron came to the school for guard duty to ask. There had to be a reason Ruthless was wrong about it. It wouldn't be fair to arrest her for something she wouldn't have done except for the full moon.

He somehow managed his work through the day, and even got a start on his Revenant essay in the library. Robards was right--they were a complex topic. But it kept his head engaged.

He couldn't sleep when he went back to his room, and he couldn't find a book that could keep his attention. Finally, he drew out the Marauder's Map. Nothing showed red in any of the areas he knew, most of the students were asleep and still (though Frankie still seemed to be down in the 'Puff Common Room). Professor Sprout and Professor Flitwick were having tea in the staff room (or, at any rate, sitting across a table from one another), and Professor Robards was prowling the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Teddy looked out the window and saw him there, a glowing wand point, jabbing into the shadows. Professor Gardner was visiting Professor Trelawney.

Three new dots appeared by the main gate, huddled so close together that Teddy had trouble reading the names. He concentrated, and they seemed to come into focus, come clearer.

The dot in the middle was labeled "Neville Longbottom." So close beside him that they had to be carrying him were "Evelyn Blondin" and "Robert Alderman."

Teddy didn't bother thinking about or worrying about breaking curfew. He grabbed his cloak and went out to meet them.
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Comments
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anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: December 6th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs Neville*

Great section. It is an interesting moral question, what would happen to Vivian if she were found (assuming that it was she who made the attack and there isn't another one-eyed werewolf wreaking havoc). And I really like the post-relationship Teddy/Ruthless dynamic you've created--it's not how they acted towards each other before they dated, or while they dated, but it's very comfortable and it seems as though they understand each other more now. :-)
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: December 6th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
(And also, I'm really interested to see how Teddy will explain how he knew to go outside. :-))
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 6th, 2007 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, poor Neville. It would be interesting to see what would happen to Vivian , legally, if she were to be returned safe and sound (and here's hoping that you have to deal with such a case). Although, I'm still holding out hope that Greyback de-eyed (yech) another werewolf before that full moon.

Hmm, I think this might need to be cleaned up:

Victoire:""Well, I wasn't allowed in when there was a lot of blood--you know...Maybe it will be another boy finally."

Teddy:"Artie would like that."

Teddy:"Did your dad say anything else?"

Victoire: She shrugged...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Eek, you're right. I forgot to give her a line!
sonetka From: sonetka Date: December 6th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Argh! What next? What next?

Poor Neville - he really is turning into the Captain Kirk of HP. Only infinitely more badass.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
As long as we don't cast William Shatner in the role... ;p
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: December 6th, 2007 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Neville. *hugs him*

More plz?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Soon.
amamama From: amamama Date: December 6th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Neville... *hugs him* Obviously this brings out my inner 'puff, even though I've been sorted into Gryffindor. And now that heavy stomach feeling is back. I worry about Vivian, I really do.

And Teddy dear, he has his heart in the right place, but I do wonder how many people will scold him for not considering his own security. Going out after curfew? Tsk, tsk. I hope Neville will be touched to see him, and not just exasperated. Either way, he'll understand... But if Evelyn Blondin and Robert Alderman are carrying Neville - does that mean Vivian is dead?

Very good point made in the first to lines of this instalment - I do of course think that Vivian should've been taught magic, so she knew how to defend herself. They should all be provided Wolfsbane, and a safe place to transform, but is the ministry that much reformed yet?

Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hermione's working on it, but actual change moves a lot more slowly than wars do.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: December 6th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Shivers. Poor Vivian. Poor Neville. And yet another awesome cliff-hanger!

This:

(Augusta Longbottom's arrival

doesn't have a closing parenthesis.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Picked it up, though I may de-parenthesize the line altogether.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: December 6th, 2007 08:45 am (UTC) (Link)
*joins the line to hug Neville*

I could really feel Neville's desperation as he read the letter and went tearing out of the school. I'm very curious as to what occurred that Neville had to be carried back by Evelyn and Alderman.

Victoire and Teddy's conversation while playing cards made me laugh, as did Teddy's response to Ruthless's assertion that she would defend Teddy's honor, so to speak.

I love all of the little throwaway details in this section, like the legend of Augusta Longbottom, and the fact that Professor Gardner was visiting Professor Trelawney. I'm surprised that someone would willingly visit that old bat. ;~)

Definitely looking forward to the next part!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe Gardner and Trelawney went to school together. Or she's polishing his crystal ball ;p.



From: (Anonymous) Date: December 6th, 2007 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, poor Neville! I'm really curious who that owl was from. I'm glad he has Alderman with him, though. If I were in a really bad place, I'd want to talk to Alderman.

Also:

(Augusta Longbottom's arrival at the Battle of Hogwarts was the stuff of legend, and her deeds now rivaled those of Godric Gryffindor himself in popular imagination. Teddy supposed Mum's might have as well, if she'd accomplished anything by showing up when she didn't need to.

I think you need to close your parentheses here ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Alderman's definitely a good choice.

Caught the parentheses, thanks!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: December 6th, 2007 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)
GAAh, NEVILLE, WTF are you doing? Stupid stupid brave man.

Ahem.

Whew, I can't wait for the next section. You certainly are managing to keep that tension ramped up even in the "run out the clock" part of the story! We'd have no idea if you hadn't told us that's what you're up to.

I have to say, as much as I like Vivian and feel sorry for her and will probably be screamed at for saying this, I'm afraid death is probably best for her. She would never be able to live with herself after the attack--never. And with the picture you've painted for us of the afterlife, I think she would probably be happiest moving on to a place where she is unmarked and can watch over her packmates for a while until she's ready to move completely on. Being thrown into Azkaban or living in isolation and hating herself is no way for her to live. I wish The Lady had been able to intervene but I know you said she's been in a deep sleep since the war.

:-(
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just don't know what's happening to Vivian. I'm starting to get curious myself about how the big battle is going to play out.

Part of the Lady staying out is that she's fallen asleep, which I assure you is a deeply symbolic statement of some sort. ;p The other part is that I want the Teddy stories to be able to stand without the others, and the Lady would require so much of Shades to just pop in that I thought it was better to let her rest.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: December 6th, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Neville!!!

He needs a hug.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, he really does.
From: fhsaffar Date: December 6th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, but I don't get the 5th yr Hufflepuff's point. Whose side IS he on, afterall? Also, could you please remind me what revenants were? I'm sure you wrote about them but I don't seem to remember anything about them. Just being stupid tonight.

Also, OH NEVILLE!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Revenants are angry spirits, bits of the soul kind of caught on things, and all they do is rage. (As Dementors are to depression, Revenants are to rage.) I'll get into Teddy's paper a little bit in future sections.

The 'Puff was on the side of not giving Vivian her job back. I don't think any of the students are really on the side of sending her to Azkaban.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
redlily From: redlily Date: December 6th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're missing an end paren in the paragraph about Augusta.

It's a good thing most teenagers are so oblivious to things that don't directly involve them!! I'd hate to think of a kid telling their parents about "Nevian," and it getting bandied around the whole of wizarding Europe (as all gossip that originates from Hogwarts seems to do).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nevian! :p

Sorry.

Yes, that wouldn't be gossip especially helpful to Neville's good health and happiness.
From: jme1374 Date: December 6th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another great (part) chapter! I don't comment much, but that's because I often don't have anything intelligent to say...

I love the relationships Teddy has with Victoire and with Ruthless, each different, but you can tell they're definitely friends.

And Teddy running out like that...he's certainly a Gryffindor, isn't he?

Maybe I just don't understand Tarot Poker correctly, but this line seemed wrong: "Her card fell off his forehead..."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, no, I just forgot which of them I was talking about!

One of the things I've learned to like about Teddy is that he takes each person on his or her own terms. He doesn't always like everyone equally, but he doesn't expect Victoire to be like Ruthless, or Corky to be like Donzo, or Aunt Ginny to be like Uncle Harry. He's pretty god about just saying, "Okay, so that's what this person is like."
From: ethnotechno Date: December 6th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Neville. I bet all he wants (besides Vivian) is to get his hands on Gryffindor's sword again and do some serious damage to Mathilde.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could get behind that.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 6th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Neville! Like so many others, I'm wondering just what was in that letter he received and what he did in reponse to it that resulted in him needing to be carried back to Hogwarts by Evvie and Alderman.

It's natural and sadly typical that Remus's situation would be brought up in the light of Vivian's abduction. But didn't Remus resign before he could be officially fired? Or didn't Hogwarts: A History fail to distinguish between the two?

Poor Vivian is in a lose-lose situation by the sound of it. If she's punished for what she did as a werewolf under Greyback's control, she spends her remaining years in Azkaban. If she's not punished, she can still never come back to Hogwarts and Neville, not to mention that she would never forgive herself for what had happened.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 6th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
He did resign, and I almost had Teddy correct him on that, but it just didn't seem to fit Teddy's character. Of course, after it, people repeatedly said he was sacked, so I wonder if JKR forgot that the sacking didn't actually happen. Though Dumbledore was awfully quick to accept the resignation of a good teacher, despite the very next year refusing to accept one from a bad teacher. Grr.
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