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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 23: Breaking Through, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 23: Breaking Through, pt. 1
Oops, forgot the little mini-summary.

Mostly because there's not much going on. Vivian's still missing. Remus and Tonks are still dead. Teddy still misses them. Greyback is still loose. He hasn't done anything lately, except torment Vivian, who he kidnapped.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




On the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, Teddy swore that he wouldn't go to the spot where his parents had died, but of course, he did. He'd sworn the same last year, and ended up there anyway, his traitor imagination trying to put together what had happened. Dad had fallen to Dolohov. He'd thrown his wand to Dean Thomas to defend himself, then Dolohov had changed his target. The curse would have rendered him unconscious, but it hadn't been the Killing Curse. It had been a specialty of Dolohov's. It burst internal organs. It would have been painful. Then Mum had run out and Dean had taken over the battle to get Dolohov away, thinking that Mum might be able to do something. Hermione had survived Dolohov's curse, after all. Maybe she would have been kneeling beside him when Bellatrix came out of the shadows, her knife drawn...

Or maybe she'd been out for an entirely different reason. Maybe she'd been chasing a giant, or even dueling Bellatrix. There was no way to know.

Teddy lay down on the ground where they'd been and looked up at the sky, willing them to answer him, to tell him, to be with him. After a long time, he took out Dad's ring, and used it to go back into a favorite memory, the only one on it that had all three of them in it and fully alive. They were together in Granny's garden, and Mum was posing for the picture Dad had never finished drawing. He kept telling her to be still, but he wasn't serious about it. Mum was morphing at baby Teddy, and he was morphing back at her as well as he could at less than a month old. Dad finally couldn't stand being separate from them anymore, and dropped his charcoal and sketchpad and put his arms around them both. He plucked Teddy out of Mum's arms and cuddled him, joking that he meant to keep him--after all, she'd got to carry him around for nine months. Mum tackled them both gently onto a bench, and kissed baby Teddy on the head, then ran her fingers through Dad's hair and told him that she loved him. Dad didn't say it, but Teddy was in his mind, and felt it in a wave so strong it felt like he might drown in it. He could feel the small warmth in Dad's arms that was himself, and it was all too good, too happy, it couldn't last, it couldn't be his. But it was.

For another forty-eight hours, Teddy thought as the memory cleared. Maybe.

Uncle Harry found him there--he didn't look surprised--and they walked to the Shrieking Shack together for a very quiet, and very short, lesson.

May went on. The days got brilliantly long and warm, and the castle grounds smelled of growing things and freshly turned soil. The lake had a rich, green scent about it. Teddy got full marks on his Revenant essay, and he earned twenty points for Gryffindor by solving a puzzle that Professor Firenze set for the all of his Divination classes. A sixth year N.E.W.T. student who'd been just behind him in figuring it out gave him a sullen glare. Hagrid's Clabberts were occupying themselves building a nest in a tree that Hagrid had built a light cage around. Jane Hunter asked Teddy to go out, and Teddy said no before really thinking about the question.

The baby Clabbert was born as June began. Hagrid ran into the Great Hall at lunch yelling for all of his students to come to the paddock to see something they'd not get another chance at. Most of his students didn't come, but several people who weren't--including Victoire Weasley and Story Shacklebolt--did. The female Clabbert was hunching and grunting, snapping at the male, who was trying to bring her a lizard. There was blood. Donzo busied himself making tea, and Maurice and Corky found it necessary to help him. Tinny Gudgeon made an attempt to tell the Clabbert that she was doing fine and it would all be over soon, but halfway through, she went and vomited in the pumpkin patch. Jane was close after her. Victoire rolled her eyes and brought over some ice, letting one cube melt on the Clabbert's face. It looked grateful.

Once it was over, of course, no one strutted around talking about it more than Donzo, who wrote a song about the miracle of birth, and Maurice, who enjoyed giving all the gory details. Tinny still looked green. The baby Clabbert became an object of great interest. The third years, whose project the Clabberts had been, were assigned times to come and help with feeding ("Mother thinks we'll be carin' fer it," Hagrid said. "Happens sometimes when yeh keep creatures."), but were frequently accompanied by students in other years. Victoire called him "Grenouillette," which she claimed meant "Little Frog." Everyone else called him Green Boy.

On a night in mid-June, Teddy was in Hagrid's hut with Roger, Donzo, Ruthless, and Victoire. Roger was working on the baby's nest, and Donzo and Teddy were chopping meat into baby sized pieces while Victoire held the baby in her lap, neatly dodging its sharp teeth as she popped chopped bits into its mouth.

Ruthless, who'd come up from a useless, post-season Quidditch practice and was in full uniform, bat at her side, shook her head. "That thing's pickier than my baby brothers."

"He reminds me a lot of Muriel, actually," Victoire said, pulling her finger away quickly. "Do you want a turn? Bet you got a lot of practice with your brothers."

"More than I ever wanted," Ruthless said, making no move toward Green Boy. "It's about to spit up on you."

"No, not quite," Victoire said.

"Yes, look--" Ruthless leaned over to show Victoire something, just as her prophecy came true. Green Boy spit a gob of half-digested lizard and mucus out onto her Quidditch robes. "See," she said. "You're not the only one who knows about babies. They're so charming." She wiped distastefully at her sleeve. "I'm going back up to the castle."

"Not by yerself, yeh're not," Hagrid said, looking up from a book on sphinxes he was working his way through. "Reckon you lot can all get yer class credit, if yeh like."

Donzo and Roger eagerly dropped their chores, and Teddy started to wash the knives. Victoire looked pained. "Oh, Hagrid, can't I just finish feeding him?"

"Well, I can't leave yeh here on yer own..."

"I'll stay," Teddy said. "Might as well. I don't have anything better to do."

"You're mental, Lupin," Ruthless said, and ran her hand affectionately through his hair.

Hagrid gave them a leery look, then said, "The pair of yeh--stay righ' where yeh are 'til I get back, all righ'?"

Teddy shrugged. Greyback had done nothing since the night he'd aimed Vivian at an innocent family. He was safe in Romania; maybe Mathilde had convinced him that it made more sense to stay where he was than to walk right back into the Ministry's guarded fortresses. Even the Aurors seemed not to expect much trouble. Uncle Harry was alert and on guard when Teddy had passed him, but Ron was talking to Professor Longbottom and the woman Hannah. There hadn't even been an extra guard during the full moon. "Sure," he said. "We'll stay."

Victoire nodded and went back to Green Boy. Hagrid led the others out. Teddy watched them go up the hill.

"I wonder if Maman's baby has been born yet," Victoire said.

"I'm sure your Dad will call you by Floo."

"I wish I could be there."

"I know."

She reached into the vat of chopped lizard and pulled out another handful, drizzling it down to Green Boy in bite-sized drops. His mother would be doing this by chewing it up and spitting it down his throat, but no one had wanted to be quite that good a replacement. "Teddy?"

"What?"

"Are you going to marry Ruth Scrimgeour?"

"Am I... what?" Teddy turned around. "I'm not marrying anyone!"

"But someday." She pursed her lips dramatically, then let out a long-suffering sigh. "I suppose if she's your true love..."

Teddy deeply wished he hadn't volunteered to stay. "Er... I..." He couldn't think how to follow it up. "Is Green Boy going to spit up again?"

She inspected the Clabbert. "I don't think so. Does it look like it to you?"

"I don't know what it would look like."

"Are you going to go out with someone else? Laura, or Tinny, or..."

"I don't know." Teddy backed toward the door. The sunset was casting a faint red glow over everything, and he suddenly wanted to be out in it. "Why?"

"Well, I thought maybe... well, I'm not allowed to go out, exactly, but well..." She looked up, chewing on her lip, and it dawned on Teddy that Victoire Weasley was asking him out. Victoire. He thought it wrong on every conceivable level that he should be asked out by the girl who'd inherited his baby things as soon as he outgrew them.

Of course, she was pretty, no question there. Her hair was beautiful, and her face, lit red by the sunset...

Teddy felt his heart stop.

Her face wasn't red from the sunset.

It was lit from beneath, from the pustule on Green Boy's forehead.

She saw the change in his face. "What is it?"

"Put the baby in its cage," he said. "There's trouble."

She didn't hesitate. She put Green Boy in the nest Roger had been fixing for him, and ran to the window, where Teddy was looking out onto the grounds.

"We should get back to the castle," Teddy said. "It's safer in there. Hagrid will understand if we tell him about the red. It might be nothing. He's just a baby. But... just in case."

"Right," Victoire said. The nervous little girl with very strange ideas was gone now, and she was the general of her private little war again. "They're not too far ahead. We could still run and catch them."

Teddy peered out. He could see the top of Hagrid's head just coming up from the dip beyond the Whomping Willow.

"All right," he said. "We'll go out the door, make sure there's nothing right here, then run as fast as we can."

He held his hand out and she took it--this had nothing to do with what they'd just been talking about, it was just a partnership--and he opened the door slowly into the deepening evening. A ghost moon hung in the sky.

"Come on," he said. "Let's--"

Something white streaked across the grounds from the gate, and then Maddie Apcarne was running after it, screaming. "We tracked them! Neville! Harry! Hagrid! They're moving through the ground! They're--"

Something shimmered on the ground in front of the Whomping Willow, then twirled up into the air. A storm of sparks flew about like fireflies, swirling themselves into shapes.

Vivian.

Mathilde.

Greyback.

At least a dozen others.

All standing between Teddy and Victoire on one side, and all of their defenders on the other.
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Comments
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gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: December 9th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, no. Oh, no!

Is it tomorrow yet?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Mwahaha.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 9th, 2007 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
And so it begins--your most fiendish cliffhanger yet. The only positive is that it's not the full moon, though that didn't stop Mathilde from kidnapping Vivian. I suspect my nails will be gnawed down to the nub by the time you post the next installment.

On a lighter note: I was amused that the clabbert's childbirth experience was so similar to a human, right down to snapping at her mate.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course, in the Clabbert's case, she's literally snapping at him with very sharp teeth... ;p
brightcukettles From: brightcukettles Date: December 9th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Nooo! You can't stop there! This really is fabulous, I was at the edge of my seat.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
beceh From: beceh Date: December 9th, 2007 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh my!!!!

Can't wait for tomorrow!!!!!!!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Sort of looking forward to getting back to it myself!
kagehikario From: kagehikario Date: December 9th, 2007 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
YES

Knives in the sink, Vicky. Aim well.

I... have been waiting so long for this. Tension. Yes. Just... tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Beautifully built up.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Knives in the sink, Vicky. Aim well.

We know she's got good aim. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 9th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Hehe, I thought that when Teddy noticed his face wasn't red because of the sunlight, it was because he was blushing. How tricky of you to make it the Clabbert. And, oh, how cute is Victoire, asking if Teddy is going to marry Ruth, and then trying to ask him out? I like that it shows she has an inkling...but she's still very young and naive.

Hagrid! You should so know better!

I really hope that your Great Move doesn't interfere with your writing schedule, especially after this!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
As Victoire isn't allowed to go out with anyone until fifth year, she'd have had some explaining to do if he'd said yes, too.

Hagrid! You should so know better!

Isn't that the subtitle of the whole series? ;p

I'm putting on the gas now so that I'll finish before I have to pack my computer.
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: December 9th, 2007 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
He reminds me a lot Muriel should be an of there, I think.

More importantly: WAAAAH! HOLY CRAP!!!! Ahem. Heart.... still... pounding!!!

Man, I have been waiting for this and dreading it, and now that i know Vivian's there.... DREAD. Oh, man. Tomorrow can't get here soon enough. !!!!111!!!!

I have so loved all of your books, and I think this might be my favorite yet. Really, really really well done.

Seriously, is it tomorrow yet?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Got the "of."

I'm glad you like it. This one's been fun--in a masochistic way--for me, too!
sonetka From: sonetka Date: December 9th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Dun dun DUN. Vivian being there is freaking me out. Does Greyback think she's turned? Has she REALLY turned? I have a hard time believing it ... but if she hasn't, bringing her along would be a huge risk. OTOH, Greyback isn't terribly bright - maybe she convinced him she was on his side without being altogether straightforward.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Greyback's lack of smarts is the major saving grace with him. He's not competing on Quiz Kids any time soon.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: December 9th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmmmm, there seems to be something missing....

like the rest of it!!!!!

C'mon!!!!!!!!!

:)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Writing as fast as I can! :p
From: kobegrace Date: December 9th, 2007 08:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Holy SH—
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tha--
bends From: bends Date: December 9th, 2007 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I spy Greyback

I spy Victorie

I spy some knives by the sink

:)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
:D
cleindori From: cleindori Date: December 9th, 2007 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh FRACK!

Why did I insist on letting myself read this before going to bed? WHY?

Must try to put this out of my mind, or I won't be able to breathe enough to fall asleep.

In other news, before all hell broke loose I was really enjoying the description of Ruthless and Victoire's different reactions to all things "baby", and the Teddy/Victoire awkwardness. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was going to have Ruthless not know about feeding the Clabbert, then I figured, as the eldest of her family, she'd have probably done her share of bottles. The major difference with Victoire is that she doesn't look at it as anything having to do with her own future.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 9th, 2007 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't actually read this yet- it's rather late and I'll do that tomorrow. Err. Later today.

I've been absorbed going earlier into your stories and such though- and so when I just checked my friends list and saw your summary 'Remus and Tonks are still dead'.

I actually forgot it for a second. I honestly forgot it, having been wrapped up in Mira's and Orry and Carina's world.

And now I am sufficiently depressed by the thought. I HATE whenever it randomly hits me they're dead. Rather ruins the day *sighs*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Like Teddy, I find myself stumbling across his sibs who never exist quite frequently myself. I can give them to Teddy as his own children, but they won't be the same as they were.
cambryn From: cambryn Date: December 9th, 2007 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)
OH OH OH OH! D8

Golly, this is just the best chapter ever!
First you made me cry with that memory :*(
Then you made me squee over Victoire.
Then you made my heart race at the end!

GOSH! I'm just barely able to contain myself!
I can't WAIT until tomorrow!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked it!
sciathan_file From: sciathan_file Date: December 9th, 2007 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Man, now I may have to bring my laptop along on the trip I'm going on tomorrow just so I can read the next part!
redlily From: redlily Date: December 9th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Icon win!
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