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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Two: Love and War, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Two: Love and War, pt. 2
At Neville's wedding Teddy and his friends are all together, and everyone seems to be having a good time (though Teddy has a momentary flash of anger that his mother didn't get a decent wedding). The Gryffindors are all invited; other friends are there by virtue of volunteering to help serve, since it's at Tinny's parents' restaurant.

One person who seems not to be having an excessively good time is Pansy Finch-Fletchley, née Parkinson, who's hanging uncomfortably on the edge of the Hufflepuff group until she spots Teddy and makes a beeline for him, taking the seat of one of his friends, announcing that his father was her very favorite teacher, and asking if he's going to be a teacher, or what he means to do with his life, as it's his O.W.L. year.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"I'm not going to be a teacher," Teddy said reflexively, scrambling to find mind-space for a conversation with a woman he knew had once led choruses of a song making fun of Ron, had tormented Hermione, and had gone out with a Death Eater--or a future Death Eater, anyway--for most of her time at Hogwarts. On the other hand, she had continued writing friendly enough letters to Dad after his illness had become public knowledge, and Teddy supposed that ought to count for something. He fumbled for an answer. "I, er... well, I just don't want to... I mean, I'm not much of a teacher."

"Oh." She seemed a little unsure of what to say to this, which was the normal reaction of former students of Dad's when Teddy let slip that he didn't intend to become the second coming of Professor Lupin. He had no special reason for this. He actually could teach, and fairly well, and he enjoyed it. But the thought of taking Dad's job made him queasy, so he'd rejected the notion early on. He felt the same about taking Mum's job, so he braced himself for the next, inevitable words from Pansy: "Oh, then you must be thinking of being an Auror!"

Teddy shook his head. "I don't know. Really. I don't want to be an Auror, either."

"Oh, but you really must start thinking about these things! You'll need to decide which N.E.W.T.s to take."

"I, er..."

To his great relief, Donzo pulled out a chair on Pansy's other side and said, "Actually, I'm starting a band after school, and Teddy's going to play the harp."

Pansy paled. "Really? Oh. How... interesting. You like music, then?"

Teddy bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing, then said, "Sure."

"He's crazy on the strings," Donzo added, grinning wickedly. "I may have him play later when I sing for the Longbottoms."

Teddy, who'd never played the harp in his life (or had the slightest desire to do so), gave Donzo a helpless look as soon as Pansy turned to him.

"You're, er..." Pansy frowned in a confused way, then looked suddenly pleased with herself. "You're Donzo McCormack! You're dad's in the... Moonhowlers?"

"Weird Sisters."

"Of course, yes, they sang at the Yule Ball when I was at Hogwarts. Are you in Teddy's year? What N.E.W.T.s do you need to form a band? I've always wondered."

"It's an involved course of study with Binns and Sprout."

"Sprout?"

"Yes, she plays a wild accordion."

Pansy looked utterly lost, and Teddy felt sorry for her. None of the adults were talking to her, and she'd been reduced to a conversation with a stranger who happened to be the son of someone who'd taught her for a single year. He reached around and hit Donzo's arm. "Let her be," he said. "Donzo's just taking everything because he's too smart for his own good. He doesn't need any of it. And I don't play the harp."

"Oh." She smiled awkwardly. "I, er... well. I suppose you'll need to get used to people asking you what you mean to do this year. O.W.L.s, you know. Everyone's going to ask."

"I don't know what I want to do," Teddy said. This wasn't entirely true. He was fascinated with Frankie's mum's job--Maddie was an Unspeakable, and she always seemed to have something interesting on her mind, even if she couldn't talk about it. But as no one knew what Unspeakables really did, he didn't think anyone would be able to advise him about N.E.W.T.s for it. In fact, he had a feeling that unless they came to him, he'd not get inside no matter what N.E.W.T.s he took. "It doesn't really seem real."

"Oh, dear, you need a plan! Hermione's awfully clever at plans, if I recall correctly. Perhaps she could help!" She preened, apparently impressed with herself for complimenting Hermione.

"I could ask."

A new song came up, and Pansy smiled more genuinely and stood up, looking around. "Oh, I love this..." She trailed off. Her husband was engrossed in a conversation with Uncle Harry, and she stopped rather than going over. "Oh, well. I suppose I can just listen." She cast around for somewhere to go.

Teddy stood up. "Could I have this dance, Mrs. Finch-Fletchley?"

"Oh, yes. Thank you." She went to the dance floor with him, looking both relieved and uncomfortable somehow, and Teddy managed to get her dancing. He caught Granny looking at him, and she smiled in a satisfied way. Teddy nodded back to her. She leaned over to Ellsworth, and a moment later, he came out and asked to cut in. Teddy bowed and backed away.

Granny caught him and guided him over to her table. "Very nice, Teddy," she said. "Your grandfather would have done that."

"You think so?"

"Absolutely. He had a great deal of patience with girls who grew up with unsavory connections."

"But you weren't nasty like Pansy was in school!"

"Not on that subject, but I rather think Lucius Malfoy wouldn't have counted me as demure and well-mannered." She stirred her tea. "What did she want to talk about?"

"My plans for the future."

"Mm, yes. O.W.L. year. She's a Slytherin. She'll assume you have a master plan."

"Do you assume that?"

Granny smiled. "I've spent quite enough time among Gryffindors to know that you haven't the slightest inkling of one, Teddy. But you really must start thinking about the subject. You'll have your meeting with Neville later this year, and you will need to decide what classes you need to take, and which O.W.L.s you need to study particularly hard for."

"I thought I'd just study the ones I'm really interested in and see what they're good for."

"Oh, yes, that'll work brilliantly." She rolled her eyes. "Teddy, you may have to master things you're not interested in if you mean to do everything you are interested in."

Teddy grimaced and took a sip of Ellsworth's drink (it was a vile, coconut flavored thing that made phantom palm trees shimmer at the edge of Teddy's vision). He had a feeling he'd be more than a little sick of being asked about his future by the end of the year. The only one of his friends (other than Donzo, who was already doing the job he meant to do) who had the slightest idea what he wanted was Frankie, who was going into his last year and taking whatever N.E.W.T.s happened to please him, because he meant to go into the publishing business with his father, and his father wasn't requiring anything in particular, as long as he got at least two solid Exceeds Expectations among five N.E.W.T.s.

Well, Ruthless knew as well. She'd had her career advice interview last year, and had needed to admit her ambition to be an Auror, which had meant brutal study sessions and some private tutoring in Potions from Teddy which had ultimately led to Teddy's girlfriend Lizzie breaking up with him, even though nothing had happened until after the break-up, and that hadn't been much, and...

Granny snapped her fingers under his nose. "It's a wedding, Teddy," she said. "Smile. Go dance with someone you want to dance with. Even if it's dangerous to life and limb." She winked at Ruthless, who was famous for accidentally hitting her partners with flailing arms while she danced. At present, she was dancing with James, who wasn't much better, but had the excuse of being eight.

He braced himself for the pain and started over, but was interrupted partway by Victoire, who'd already managed to dance with all of her cousins and her father, and was waiting for a dance with the groom. A moment later, she had Teddy out on the floor, and he had to admit, she was a less dangerous dance partner than Ruthless, especially as the music slowed. They talked about Gryffindor and the pranks she meant to play this year, and about the cousins and all the new words her youngest brother, Lance, had been learning ("Marie taught him a word that Mum wishes he wouldn't say, and now he says it all the time--Marie's in such trouble!"). She didn't press about O.W.L.s, though she said she was curious. They'd danced three songs before he particularly noticed the time passing, and he was in a considerably better mood. When Professor Longbottom asked if he might cut in, Teddy felt an absurd urge to say no, then remembered that he could more or less dance with Victoire any time the family got together, and it wasn't like she was a girlfriend, and if he happened to dream later about dancing with her in a forest glade again, it didn't mean anything at all, except that she did still have Veela blood, and that was undoubtedly why he'd been momentarily entranced. With this firmly in mind, he went back to his table, where Ruthless was waiting with her eyebrow raised inquisitively. Teddy ignored this, and asked her what she and James had been talking about.

Teddy's friends went one by one to do their shifts serving. Maurice was called into service dancing with older ladies who were there by themselves, including Augusta Longbottom and Pomona Sprout. Minerva McGonagall was there alone as well, but no Gryffindor would allow her to sit out any song she showed a desire to dance to, so no special arrangements were needed. While Teddy danced with her, she brought up the subject of the books again. "I'm not entirely certain I ought to have shared them with you, you know," she said. "There are dangers involved in the Animagus transformation if you actually tried the practice, which of course, you're not doing."

"Well, if I were to try anything, which I wouldn't, I'd make sure to use all the precautions, and I'd have Ruthless or Donzo around to look after me if anything went wrong. Like, for instance, turning my fingernails into feathers. Which might have happened--hypothetically--last year, if I'd just started out toward the end of a book. But Ruthless would have fixed it perfectly well, if it had been her turn when it didn't happen."

"Ah, yes. Well, feathers would have been a minor inconvenience. Don't forget Maris Vissen who--"

"--turned into a fish while she was visiting Timbuktu."

"A spot of trouble breathing," Professor McGonagall said.

"In theory, I wouldn't have that problem."

"You've other books you need to be studying this year, Mr. Lupin," she said, more sternly. "Even purely studying the theory of the Animagus transformation, as you're no doubt doing, can be time-consuming. Don't let it interfere with your O.W.L.s. What do you mean to do?"

Teddy sighed, and continued the dance.

They stayed at the reception long after the bride and groom left (Ernie and Susan Macmillan were left as hosts), and by the time Teddy got home, he was deeply tired.

He went to his room, actually rather hoping for a pleasant dream about dancing in the forest with Victoire--or any of the other girls who might choose to visit--but instead, he found himself standing on the edge of a cliff. He didn't know the place. Below him, trees swayed in the wind. They seemed to grow in a strange, almost geometric pattern.

A maze.

The wind gusted behind him, and he sailed out into the darkness, his arms spreading, becoming wings. Inside the maze, he could see Victoire, dancing with her sisters, and Ruthless, dueling someone. His parents were there, beyond a wall of trees, laughing with Sirius in the kitchen at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. Somewhere else, he saw Uncle Harry, walking through the woods, looking terrified, a stone clasped in his hands. As he rose higher, he could see more--strangers, friends, relatives in all times and all places. A man with a desperate, bloody face looked up at him, and something cold went through him. He circled above, then suddenly, the trees grew, and he was lost in the dark, unable to get above the canopy. His wings seemed to melt away, and he crashed to the ground, alone.

He woke up just before noon, his heart pounding. Granny had gone to St. Mungo's, leaving him a bit of gold, a bag of Floo powder, and an instruction to go off and do something amusing, if he happened to wake up before she got home at six.

Teddy put it into his pocket, thinking he might go back to Diagon Alley, where his friends were all helping the Gudgeons get things back in order today. He meant to do it.

Instead, he tossed the powder into the fire and called, "Badger Hill!"

A moment later, he spun out into the Apcarnes' kitchen.

Maddie was at the stove, although it was the afternoon of a work day. Two teacups were set up at the table, and a small wooden box sat between them.

"Hello, Teddy," Maddie said. "Please sit down."
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Comments
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lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: March 17th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy is so thick when it comes to girls, I love him.

That was a pretty interesting dream. I glad the maze got introduced so early, though I can't help but try to figure out who the bloody man is. I'm assuming I ought to know, since all the other images he saw seemed to be images of the past (his parents and Sirius at Grimmauld place, Harry going into the forest to die, etc). Can't wait to see what Maddie has to say!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't help but try to figure out who the bloody man is

No reason you ought to know yet. :)
after_nightfall From: after_nightfall Date: March 17th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice family interaction! I especially liked the bit about Gryffindors not letting McGonagall sit out any song she cared to dance to. :-) They're all a bunch of big softies. Also, I misremember - is your Andromeda a Slytherin then?

And I adore your new Teddy icon! I suppose we'll find out in due time why his hair's green, of all colours? :-)
daksian From: daksian Date: March 17th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's green in reference to the first installment of this fic, where he was trying to figure out what to wear. His hair was green when James came to him.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: March 17th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haha I love it already!

Is one of Victoires sisters going to Hogwarts this year?
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: March 17th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

....

Eugh, I understand how Teddy feels.

Choosing exams are just as bad. Stupid GCSE's
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: March 17th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
MmHMMmmmm, very interesting.

The run-on sentences are a perfect "inside a 15-year-old brain" device, and I'd leave at least one of them, but maybe cut down the other since there are two in close proximity? If you keep the first one, there's a comma missing:
"She'd had her career advice interview last year, and had needed to admit her ambition to be an Auror, which had meant brutal study sessions and some private tutoring in Potions from Teddy [INSERT COMMA HERE] which had ultimately led to Teddy's girlfriend Lizzie breaking up with him, even though nothing had happened until after the break-up, and that hadn't been much, and..."

The other one is about Victoire, and really, both are very effective. Just might be something to watch out for, since close together they make things feel a bit spinning-out-of-control...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I think the first could be split up more easily than the second, but I'll think about the issue.
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: March 17th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Teddy. Your obtuseness, let me show it to you. *snickers*

Gah, fantastic! I'm very interested in what Maddie will tell him: love hearing more about Unspeakables.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Teddy's boldly obtuse, isn't he? Just jumps right into the obtuseness and embraces it.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: March 17th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mmm, so the plot is actually starting! Very interesting dream, and it looks line Maddie was already waiting for him, wasn't she? I'm really eager for more.

Poor Teddy, everyone is harrasing him with the OWL question. I remember how that's like very well. Thank God I had decided what I was going to study when I was 10; it was always very easy, if not sometimes tiring, to answer the question. All the adult you have ever known come up to you and seem to have nothing else to talk to you about other than your career choice. So annoying.

Excellent chapter and lovely wedding (it was so sweet!).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)
People were still bugging me about that after I finished college. "A comparative religion degree, dear? REALLY? What on Earth did you think you were going to do with it?"
ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: March 17th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I. can't.Believe.I.Actually.Like.Pansy.Parkinson.

Man with a desperate bloody face...My gut reaction was Ted for some reason, but Regulus also comes to mind.
Being Greek and somewhat obsessed with mythology I have to admit I'm deeply curious about what the Daedalus Maze is about!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Being Greek and somewhat obsessed with mythology I have to admit I'm deeply curious about what the Daedalus Maze is about!

Well, the basic framework is in the next chapter, but I plan to play a little with the Icarus myth as well. Nothing quite like wings...!
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: March 17th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
You should know that, after having months of being behind on Teddy stories, I took today and yesterday to catch myself up. Of course, I've not done anything very productive at all, which is never a good thing. But now I am caught up!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad to hear it! This one's moving a little slower than the others, so it shouldn't get uncontrollably ahead.
daksian From: daksian Date: March 17th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
O_o

The plot thickens...

I think you've officially captured my attention and will have me checking my LJ every few hours every day until your update shows up. :D

Ok, I was really pitying Pansy...at the same time I was laughing while Donzo wound her up. It was a nice way to segue into Teddy thinking about his career though.

Pansy is one of those characters that so little was done with her in the books, she was such a cardboard cutout, that reforming her is believable...at least somewhat.

I grinned at Teddy's reminiscing about a 'lapse' between him and Ruthless. I grinned even more at him dancing with Victoire. Awwwww...and he's gonna dream about it too!

I love how you're setting so much up here, even before the dream. Teddy's career path, the animagus transformation getting ever closer, the romance.

As for the dream...very very intriguing! I'm guessing the images have something to do with time. Not just the past, but the future as well, which is what I think the bloody-faced man is in.

And this meeting with Maddie! I remember Frankie mentioning the wooden box; I can't wait to see what happens! Oh, your next installment can't come soon enough!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm guessing the images have something to do with time.

Good guess. :)

There was a puzzle that Maddie already gave Teddy, and had also given to Frankie. The box she has now is new...
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 17th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Giver

Your hints about becoming an Unspeakable remind me of Lois Lowry's book, The Giver. In that one, a boy is selected for a job before he has the first clue what he's supposed to do.

I enjoyed this chapter! I've always liked Maddie, and I'm curious to see how she knew Teddy was interested in becoming an Unspeakable. Maybe the Time Room?

Lady Stratford
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Giver

Teddy's not quite "selected" so much as he's being... queried.

Hopefully, Maddie will explain herself adequately, though with an Unspeakable, you never know.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: March 17th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
As always, I am very intrigued by the dream sequence.

Especially since Maddie seems to be expecting Teddy! Hmmm...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad. I have a feeling Teddy's dreams may be more important plot-wise than they've been before.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 17th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn you, Fern! I should already be in bed! But how could I sleep before reading the latest installment?!

Lovely, absolutely lovely! Donzo cracked me up!
And poor Teddy, continually being asked about OWLs - I remember being 14, about to finish secondary school... I think I spent that year permanently pretending to be so imersed in a book I didn't hear anyone's questions. And I'm quite sure I hid under my grandparents' table once.
Talking about grandparents, Andromeda's "Your grandfather would have done that" made me smile.
And Teddy's and McGonagall's conversation! Haha, I swear, the woman becomes more awesome every day! (It reminded me a bit of what I talk and write like when I'm planning something and don't want to jinx it.)

And now I'll spend all night wondering about the man with the bloody face...

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I figure McGonagall, no longer a teacher, is more free to explore the limits of her awesomeness now. ;p
amamama From: amamama Date: March 17th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooohh... Cool start. Happy to see you out of your writer's block (primarily for you, as blocked creativity is no fun, though I enjoy reading the results).

Maddie seemed to expect him (well, she is an unspeakable, after all), the dream was intriguing, Pansy likewise, and I love reading about how he percieves the world around him. Teddy's and McGonagall's non-conversation about animagus transformation had me giggling. Too funny.

Thanks a bunch, I'm so looking forward to this ride. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so looking forward to this ride,

I'm running on a less specific map than I usually do, so I hope it doesn't get too rough! (I'm already thinking I should have spent more time worrying about some things, introduced others... oh, well. Dangers of writing "live.")
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: March 17th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
All that trouble about people asking him about careers and OWLs and it turns out he's going to get some answers about that early on!

Love this!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Although answers given by an Unspeakable may not actually answer much...!
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: March 17th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOVELOVELOVE for McGonagall and Teddy's talking-around his Animagus practice; for Teddy's three-song dance with Victoire; for Marie (shouldn't she be starting at Hogwarts this year?) teaching Lance the unsavoury bits of the English language; for Ruthless and James the Dangerous Dancers; for Donzo in this section and Maurice in the last one; for Pansy who might turn out almost all right in the end; for Andromeda being reminded of Ted; for the dream sequence (as always); and for Maddie Apcarne (as always). Can't wait for the next instalment!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Donzo seems determined to have a cheerful year, anyway. And anyone who mixes up the Weird Sisters with the Moonhowlers needs some tweaking!
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