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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 23: Breaking Through, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 23: Breaking Through, pt. 3
Greyback and his minions invade Hogwarts, and insinuate themselves between Teddy and Victoire (at Hagrid's) and the people protecting him. As they all fight around the Whomping Willow, Greyback kills his moll, Mathilde, and injures Vivian, who tries to help Teddy. Teddy gets Victoire down into the Willow tunnel, then, after passing a few unpleasantries with Greyback, goes down himself.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Victoire hadn't started when Teddy had told her to--he supposed he wasn't surprised--so she wasn't very far ahead of him. She'd lit her wand, and he did the same.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"The Shrieking Shack," Teddy said. "Go quickly. I think Greyback will try to get in."

She sped up, barely needing to duck. Teddy felt uncomfortably cramped; he must have put on more inches over the year than he'd noticed. It hadn't been this tight in September. He shrunk himself down enough to move comfortably, and caught up to Victoire. She gave him an odd look, but kept moving.

They'd got halfway when something crashed down into the tunnel behind them. "Got you now!" Greyback bellowed. Teddy felt something sick and red bloom inside of him. He'd known it was coming, but he was going to his house. He didn't want Greyback in it. He'd worked too hard on it, spent too much of his own sweat and even blood in it. They'd had no right...

"I see you!" Greyback sing-songed.

Teddy and Victoire looked at each other, and Teddy said, "Run!"

They ran down the cramped tunnel, Greyback's crazy panting as he crawled along behind them echoing until it filled the world. Teddy's wand felt hot and jittery in his clamped hand, and he was almost dizzy with anger. He pulled them out into the tiny area under the trapdoor. He blasted the door open with his wand--using more force than he'd intended--and pulled himself up, then reached back to help Victoire, letting go of his morph and growing back to his natural size.

She looked up, eyes wide, at the Shrieking Shack. "What's haunting this place? I heard--"

"Nothing!" Teddy said, frustrated. "It's just a house. It was never haunted! It was just my parents' house!"

"I swear there's something..."

Teddy ground his teeth. "Never mind," he said, more to himself than to Victoire. "Come on. We'll get you back to Shell Cottage." He fumbled in the inner pocket of his robes for the sparkling cubes of Floo powder that Donzo's father had sent him. There was a flower-pot of it on the mantle, but he didn't want to chance spilling it. He fumbled one to Victoire, then shoved two more into the front pocket of his jeans.

"What about you?"

"I'm going back."

"No you're not!"

Teddy grabbed Victoire's elbow and dragged her into the parlor and plucked the Floo key from its spot by the fireplace. He jabbed it into his spot.

Flames leapt up.

In the next room, Greyback burst out of the trapdoor like ash spewed from a volcano. He picked up the discarded trapdoor and threw it into the wall, tearing the wallpaper Teddy had spent the autumn carefully restoring.

"Teddy!" Victoire screamed.

"Go!" he yelled.

She tossed her cube of Floo powder into the fire and said "Shell Cottage!" but before she could move, Greyback ran into the parlor, knocking her off her feet as the flames went green. "You're going to miss the party, Missie," he said.

Teddy jabbed his wand at Greyback, wishing he knew worse curses than anyone had ever bothered to teach him. He tried a Blasting Curse, but somehow, his aim was off, and Greyback just grabbed his arm and pushed him back. He was used to controlling people smaller than he was, and didn't even seem winded holding on to both Teddy and Victoire.

Teddy couldn't get his wand hand turned around. He tried to kick Greyback in the side, but Greyback was ready for him. He brought his elbow down hard on the side of Teddy's knee as soon as his leg straightened out, and bright white pain exploded out. Only Greyback's hand around his wrist kept him upright.

Victoire squirmed, and Teddy saw her hand disappear into her bag.

Greyback started to turn his head, noticing the motion, so Teddy started to struggle again, ignoring the pain in his leg. "Is this the only thing you can control?" he asked. "Couple of kids?"

Greyback laughed, giving his attention back to Teddy. "You'll get a lesson in what I can control, Lupin."

"You couldn't control Mathilde, so you broke her neck."

"She had a wrong idea in her head. She thought she--"

Something whistled up between them and burst into thunder and lightning. Rain lashed across Greyback's face, and in surprise, he batted at the small cloud, letting go of Teddy.

Teddy dropped onto his good leg, then yanked Victoire out from under Greyback's knee. A tiny arc of electricity stabbed at the buttons on Greyback's coat, and he yelled, pulling it off and throwing it into the corner. The storm followed the coat, pouring rain out over the floorboards. Another flash of lightning showed the water stain spreading, reaching for the other, older stain near the trapdoor.

"Come on!" Victoire said, dragging Teddy away from the parlor, where Greyback was blocking their escape.

He limped sideways into the narrow corridor by the stairs, and his leg gave out, sending him reeling into the wall. Most of the drawings fell down around him, their frames shattering. A splinter of wood stabbed up through the paper on the picture of Evvie Blondin, and Teddy felt it like it had gone through his own chest. He could feel hot, powerless tears behind his eyes.

Something crashed in the parlor.

Victoire looked around frantically. "Where should we go?"

Teddy couldn't seem to think. Part of him was outside, being dragged back by strong, wiry arms. An echoing voice said, Let go... let go... you have to...


He blinked, and was back in the corridor. "Kitchen," he said. "We can get out into the garden." He raised his wand. "Expecto Patronum!" The hawk exploded out into the room. Greyback, stumbling out of the parlor, drenched, tried to make a grab for it, but of course, there was nothing to hold onto. Teddy gave up trying to stand, and scrambled back toward the kitchen on all fours. "Declamare Patroni! Uncle Harry! Shrieking Shack. Greyback's here."

The Patronus swooped down, then shot back over his head and disappeared.

Victoire's arms hooked under his shoulders, and he felt himself yanked back into the kitchen. He scrambled to the wall and used it to pull himself up. He Levitated the table and flipped it into the doorway, shattering part of the drywall, but blocking Greyback's way. "Come on!" he said, edging against the wall toward the back door. Blood red light was streaming through the window, and he could see the plants waving in the wind, as if nothing had changed inside. In the corridor, he could see flickering green light from the fire, and he hoped that Greyback wouldn't think to jump through, into Shell Cottage, where Victoire's family would be settling in for the night.

But that didn't seem to be on Greyback's mind. He made a sound deep in his throat and shoved the table back into the kitchen, grabbing hold of one of its wooden legs. It broke off with a screech of old, dry wood, and Greyback threw it through the window over the sink, showering the counter with shards of glass and letting in the night wind.

Victoire reached the door and pulled it open, then looked back at Teddy. He tried to lurch over to her, but his knee had locked where Greyback hit him, and he fell madly to the floor. Greyback lunged for him.

"Get out of here, Victoire!" he said.

She didn't appear to hear him. Her lips were drawn back in a snarl, and the sunset painted her pale blond hair a violent shade of pink. "GET OUT!" she screamed at Greyback. "GET OUT!" She launched herself at him, knocking him off of Teddy, but he caught her by her hair and threw her across the room. She slumped down against a table by the wall, knocking over the mug of knives and a clatter of tools that Teddy and Uncle Harry had been using.

"That's that, then," Greyback said, and grabbed Teddy by his good leg.

Teddy pulled himself up, fists balled together around his wand. He smashed into Greyback's arm, forcing him to let go, then hit him with a Stinging Hex that Uncle Harry had taught him. His face puffed up.

A white thing swirled into the kitchen, and Uncle Harry's stag charged on Greyback, adding, almost as an afterthought, "On my way."

"Guess we have to hurry, then," Greyback said. He punched through the Patronus, grabbing Teddy by his robes. As he did, Teddy caught a blur of motion behind him, a stream of blond hair, and the flash of fire as the sunset hit a handful of silver.

Victoire screamed incoherently, a banshee, a Veela on the attack. She drove her fist into the side of Greyback's face, and Teddy had an impression that she'd somehow grown talons, as her great-grandmother would, then he saw that she'd gathered the chopping knives that his parents had left behind, that he'd been shifting around the kitchen all year. Two of them broke through Greyback's cheek with a thick tearing sound. A third dug a diagonal furrow in his forehead, from his temple to the peak of his hairline, and the fourth lodged in his eye.

Blood poured over both of them in a gory rainstorm.

Greyback swayed twice, then fell on top of Teddy, sending his wand skittering across the floor. Teddy felt sharpened teeth pressing against the flesh of his thigh, trying to poke through his jeans. He dragged himself away, kicking at Greyback's semi-conscious form with atavistic loathing.

"Get to Shell Cottage," he told Victoire. "Now. Go."

"Not without you."

"I'll be right behind you." It was a lie. He wasn't going to leave without Mum's wand.

"No, you won't."

Greyback pulled himself up, propping himself on his arms, dragging himself toward them. The knife in his eye pulled free, popping the eye out as it fell. Teddy made a grab for it, thinking he could put it in Greyback's neck and end all of it, but Greyback's groping hand hit it out of the way. He pulled one of the others out of his cheek and started advancing on them, pushing them back toward the corridor. "Last stupid mistake you'll make, girl," he said, and to Teddy's horror, his voice was gaining strength as the shock wore off.

Teddy forced himself to his feet and lurched toward the parlor, shoving Victoire ahead of him. The flames were still green, waiting patiently to let her through to her destination. "GO!" he yelled.

Victoire gave him a skittish look, then ran into the flames and disappeared. The flames flared, then went orange again.

Teddy was alone with Fenrir Greyback.
109 comments or Leave a comment
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golden_d From: golden_d Date: December 11th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
...I did not need that cliffhanger right before bed. ;) Don't know how I'll last till tomorrow.

Edited at 2007-12-11 02:50 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe the sleeping pill people should pay me royalties, along with manicurists... ;p
jenevieve_book From: jenevieve_book Date: December 11th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh. I just found Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard yesterday, and read through the whole thing and all of what you have posted of this story as well and it is all EXCCELLENT. But it seems I came at a bad time, with all this cliffhanger stuff going on! Now I have to wait at the edge of my seat with the rest of your fans waiting with bated breath for an update.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow--lots of reading in a short time! We're nearly at the end here, so there's not much waiting to be done. :D
"Safe?" - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: "Safe?" - (Anonymous) - Expand
silly_dan From: silly_dan Date: December 11th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Another cliffhanger? Brilliant! Plus, Greyback's lost an eye, a touch of poetic justice I wasn't expecting.

(thinking he could put it Greyback's neck

Missing an "it."

"You're going to mis the party, Missie," he said.

Missing an "s".)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Got the corrects, thanks.

I thought having Bill's daughter take his face was just.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: December 11th, 2007 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Gah! Pant, pant... And on a suddenly much less urgent note, don't really want to know how the stain is going to react when it encounters a portable thunderstorm.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
One made by a Weasley twin, no less.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: December 11th, 2007 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I think this userpic speaks for me.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, yes, that about says it.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 11th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh! Never expected to see this up so soon--your keyboard must be absolutely smokin' right now.

I was afraid that the Shrieking Shack might not withstand another hostile attack. Yet another reason to loathe Greyback, as if there weren't dozens already. I took primitive satisfaction in Victoire's long-awaited assault with the knives but I was a little surprised that an untransformed Greyback was still capable of functioning with one eye gouged out. Adrenaline, maybe? Or is he hopped up on something else as well? I'm sure the wizarding world has its share of controlled substances.

And now Teddy's alone with the monster. But at least the cavalry, in the form of Uncle Harry, is on its way. Can't wait for the next!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Greyback is just obscenely physically strong, and used to going through the lycanthropic transformation twice a month (once in each direction), so pain doesn't faze him. He's also just crazed. A non-crazed person would just lie down and die already.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 11th, 2007 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
The tension just keeps on building. Aack! I'm not sure if my poor nerves can take much more :-)

Fern, I really appreciated the perfect wording in the moments where Teddy is seeing his house being torn apart. In fight scenes you need something to break up the action and these moments bring an intense sadness to the indignation the reader feels at Teddy and Victoire's needing to fight for their lives. It's also beautiful to see how passionate Victoire is about protecting Teddy. And what a great image: Victoire screamed incoherently, a banshee, a Veela on the attack. I've been waiting to see what Teddy was thinking of in that moment in Marauder's Roost and that leaves quite an impression. I would definitely try to stay on her good side after seeing that. :-) Go Victoire!

Thanks for another great chapter.


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that's the second Teddy fell in love with her, though he won't notice it for several years. I'm not sure what that says about Teddy.

Watching hard work undone is horrible, which accounts for one pissed off presence in the house.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 11th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)

oooh nooooo, not another cliffhanger!!!

Oh, Fern, this is hard on my heart!! Though, I sense reinforcements coming in a second from Shell Cottage. Bill defnately deserves a piece of Greyback before this is over. And way to go, Victoire!!

I'll be biting my nails until tomorrow. Thanks for the terrific story.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: oooh nooooo, not another cliffhanger!!!

I think Victoire took Bill's revenge when she mangled Greyback's face, but I'll try to give him something to do.
From: smishli Date: December 11th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I was hoping you'd update around now for a study break, and now I find that you've left me even more jumpy and nervous than I already am thanks to finals! That's just cruel, Fern :)

SO good. Victoire is amazing, of course, and the knife-wielding did not disappoint! But Greyback has a frightening ability to bounce back from injuries...he lost an EYE and he's still on the attack?! Good luck Teddy!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a pity we never saw Greyback and Moody go head to head. I think they'd match each other blow by blow, until Moody resorted to Unforgivables, anyway. (Greyback stays out of the fight with fully trained wizards, of course, and picks on a couple of kids.)

redlily From: redlily Date: December 11th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Heaven preserve us. Anyone ever tell you you have a flair for the dramatic? ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm a Leo. The horoscope tells me that a lot, it seems...
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 11th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Just one mistake I noticed--you have "the" instead of "she" in the first line.

I love it, though you're really making us suffer with the cliffhangers. I'm very glad this came out when it did; I just finished reading "Cho Chang's Desire" (Masochist streak? What masochist streak?) and I needed something to restore my faith in fanfiction. And humanity, for that matter.

Hurrah for Victoire and kitchen knives!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)
What a weird mistake. Neither psychologically near nor close by on the keyboard. Fixed it.

Glad to help with the restoration of faith.
curious - (Anonymous) - Expand
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: December 11th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a feeling that Teddy's not hoping for Uncle Harry to get there too soon. He's got business of his own.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 11th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Why the eyes?!?! Ack! It's always the eyes...eeeww
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
They're soft.
keestone From: keestone Date: December 11th, 2007 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, expletive! My heart is racing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Writing this is kind of aerobic exercise, I think.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 11th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, so I'm on the edge of my seat, biting my nails with worry over poor poor Teddy and hoping that Snape's blood will be handy and rejoicing in the glory of a kickass Victoire...but I can't help but wonder...

Wouldn't it be great if Victoire was home for her latest sibling's birth?

So off topic and terrible, but that's what happens when I am put under strain.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Good point. Hopefully, she doesn't spin in, covered with blood, in the middle of it.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
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