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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Four: Gifts and Curses , pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Four: Gifts and Curses , pt. 3
This is all feeling disjointed. I'm definitely going to have to go back and fix the beginning when I get to the end.

Anyway, the end of the summer is the usual round of festivities for Teddy--seeing everyone on the outside, including the werewolves in France. Andromeda has thrown a picnic for Bill's family and Harry's, and Victoire arrived in time to find Teddy downstairs with Tonks's wardrobes, trying to find an "Auror-ly" gift for Ruthless, who will be starting her mandatory N.E.W.T.s this year, and whose August 31 birthday is going to be celebrated on the Hogwarts Express. Victoire takes Teddy's behavior as a matter of course, and he gives her a sunhat before they're called up to the picnic.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




As soon as Teddy and Victoire emerged with the crate of drinks, James and Al Potter ran up the hill, chattering. Victoire set the crate down and loaded them up with four bottles each, then yelled for her sisters (and Artie) to come take some weight off her hands instead of sitting about like fairies on a Christmas tree. Lily Potter came along with Aimee and Artie, and Teddy divvied out the remaining drinks, then hefted the empty crate onto his own shoulders. Victoire gave him a sarcastic clap, and he raised it up and down like a weight. Lily ran down to the table, set her bottles down, then ran back to Teddy with her arms up.

Teddy handed the crate over to Victoire and squatted down in front of Lily. "I thought you said you were too big for piggy-backs last Christmas."

Lily shook her head emphatically, red pigtails catching the bright afternoon sun. "I'm still very little."

"I don't know..."

"Please, Teddy!"

Teddy feigned consideration, then said, "Well, I suppose, if the price is right."

"What's right?"

"I think two kisses sounds fair."

"All right!" Lily said, and gave him two loud smacks on the cheek, then a third one on the forehead.

"Oh, you get change!" Teddy said, and kissed the top of her head. He turned around and said, "Come on," and a moment later, Lily was securely on his back. He hoisted her up and went down the hill, weaving back and forth to make her laugh. The Maze and Mum's wardrobes and cauldrons of Wolfsbane Potion seemed far away.

When they reached the table, he set her down on the long bench, where Aunt Ginny whisked her up and started trying to get her hair in order, as she'd somehow managed to lose both hair bands in the brief trip down the hill. Al and James had delivered their bottles now and were hunched over a box of chocolate frogs that Ellsworth had brought. Teddy got to them in time to hear James say, "No, it's just Dad. Have you got anyone good?"

Al opened a frog and slid out the card. "Severus Snape. He's my middle name person."

James took the card. "You already have it, Al. You got the first one."

"Oh, right."

The Snape card joined the Uncle Harry card at the bottom of the box. James pulled out another frog. "Oh, this is a good card. Jeremiah Galdreward."

"Who is he?"

"I don't know, but I never saw him before, so he must be good." James turned the card over. "He's some bloke who made quarantine spells when they had plagues and so on."

"Plagues?" Al repeated, impressed.

"Oh, yes," James said confidently. "That's when everybody is sick and most of them die. They're really disgusting, aren't they, Teddy?"

"I never saw one," Teddy said.

"I read about one in Aunt Hermione's book," James said. "It was completely wicked, with blood and sores and teeth falling out. I think some people's fingers fell off."

"Yuck," Al said.

James looked like he was gearing up to go into greater detail on this subject--most of it, in all likelihood, originating in the strange corners of his overactive brain--just as everyone was about to eat, so Teddy decided that sidetracking was in order. "Did I ever tell you about the time Sirius Black single-handedly cured a plague?"

"He did not," James said, leaning forward eagerly for the story.

"Sure he did." Teddy scrambled for a plot. "Why he had to go to... oh, I forget. Al, where did he have to go again?"

Al, who knew this game well, suggested, "Tuvalu!"

"Just so. Good memory. He had to go to Tuvalu to find the famous, er, Healing Hydrangea, so he took Buckbeak and set out for the South Pacific..."

The story got the boys sidetracked from the chocolate frog cards and James's potentially appetite-destroying imagination of a plague, and by the time Sirius had wooed the beautiful island princess to let him into the garden where the magical plant grew, Granny had lunch out.

Uncle Harry took a plate and came over to the bench where Teddy was while James and Al went to get drinks, arguing about whether or not Buckbeak could really fly that far. He sat down. "Interesting story. I think Sirius would like it."

Teddy shrugged. "I reckon he didn't get much time to actually go flying around, so I'd give him a thing or two to do. James and Al know I'm making it up."

"Yes, they do. They do it themselves at home. Much to Phineas Nigellus's annoyance, I'm afraid." He nodded at Victoire. "Your granny noticed the hat. It's one of Tonks's, isn't it?"

Teddy put his hand on his forehead. "I didn't even think about what Granny would think! Oh, damn. I gave it to Victoire, I was looking through Mum's things for a present for Ruthless--something for good luck with her Auror N.E.W.T.s--and I just gave it to her, and I didn't mean to upset Granny, and--"

Uncle Harry held up his hand. "She's not upset. She's glad you're going through Tonks's things. And that hat looks very cute on Victoire. Ginny says that Tonks used to let her play with her clothes sometimes."

"Really."

"Hmm."

Uncle Harry shrugged. "It sounded like a good thing for you to know."

"Yeah. I guess."

They sat together for a few minutes, watching the boys haggle over the last Muggle root beer, then Uncle Harry said, "I'm told I may have to re-think my attitude toward the Department of Mysteries."

"Maybe."

"Andromeda said that Maddie's started training you."

"Just to use something for a test."

"What sort of thing?"

"I don't think I'm allowed to say."

"Naturally." Uncle Harry sighed. "It's very strange. You'll be careful, won't you, Teddy?"

"I thought I'd just rush in there and blow up the Time division."

"That would be deeply unoriginal," Uncle Harry said. "I expect better of you."

"Maybe I'll rip up the Veil and let everyone out."

Uncle Harry's faint smile faded. "You know it's not possible, don't you?"

"Well, maybe if Sirius and I team up to find a Healing Hydrangea..."

"Teddy."

"Yes, Uncle Harry, I know." Teddy turned away, not caring to continue this line of conversation, which never failed to make his stomach churn at the unfairness of the idea. Père Alderman called this wrath, and said that if Teddy were Catholic, he'd be given acts of contrition for it. This had seemed very sensible to Teddy, and he now gave himself such acts every time. For this one, he pulled Lily's plate across the table and started to cut her chicken for her. "What if I could fix some of it, though? What if I could make it so Sirius never went through in the first place?"

"Then you wouldn't grow up knowing that he'd gone through in order to someday stop him from going through."

Teddy ground his teeth.

Uncle Harry put a hand on his shoulder and prodded him to look around. "Listen to me, Teddy. It's all very powerful, but there are things that can't be done. Don't drive yourself crazy."

The smartest thing to do would be to just say "All right" and have done with it. Instead, Teddy shrugged. "Did you catch that wizard you were talking about before? The one who's been Muggle-baiting at the beach?"

Uncle Harry gave him a wary look, then said, "Yes. Turned out he didn't blend in much better than most other pure-bloods would. We caught him wandering around in a purple bathrobe, goggles, and nothing else. The Muggle police had already kindly pulled him aside for us."

"Thoughtful of them."

"Yes, we thought so as well."

"Who was it?"

"I doubt you'd know the name."

"I could always ask Maurice Burke. He could tell me who it is, how I'm related, and how far the bloke is from Muggle ancestors of his own."

Uncle Harry laughed very slightly, and the conversation moved to the more amusing territory of foolish criminals and Ministry nonsense.

The rest of the picnic passed happily. Marie was very excited about starting at Hogwarts, so Teddy and Victoire told her many horrendous lies about what she'd need to worry about. James embellished these lies handily, supplying the Forbidden Forest with something called the "Treasure of Trumbill" and a troupe of ogres that guarded it. Marie took it all in stride. Teddy took her aside and asked her to be kind to Neil, and she reluctantly agreed, though she felt he might make it difficult to have other friends. Artie and Lily practiced cartwheels in the grass, and Teddy's cat, Checkmate, woke up just in time to be fed table scraps in return for simple tricks (Al especially liked getting her to beg and hit his hand with her forepaw). When everyone left, Granny cleared most of the mess by magic, but didn't object when Teddy offered to take over so she could say goodnight to Ellsworth. He took his time, and waited until he actually heard the Disapparition pop before he picked things up to carry them back inside.

He read himself to sleep with one of Mum's tattered old paperbacks (Faith's Folly, in which an adventurous young witch followed her idiotic lover to South America, where she soon discovered true love with an Inca wizard, and helped him destroy a terrifying serpent who was menacing the village). He drifted off somewhere in chapter eighteen, and found himself flying high above the Andes, going west, the powerful motion of a hippogriff carrying him out over the Pacific. He was heading for Tuvalu, and the mythical Healing Hydrangea. Sirius was in front of him, leaning forward to get as much speed as he could from Buckbeak.

"Great day for flying!" he called back into the slipstream. "But be careful back there! It's a long drop!"

Teddy groaned as dramatically as he could with the wind blowing spit back in streams over his face. "Not you too! Doesn't anyone trust me?"

Sirius laughed wildly and didn't answer, instead urging Buckbeak higher into the sky. The sun seemed very large and warm, and the Pacific was beautiful down below, a perfect blue that looked like the cover of a Fifi LaFolle novel. There were little breaks of white where it crashed merrily against small islands. These white dots seemed to make a pattern--lines and turns and impassable walls.

Teddy looked away from it. It was just his imagination. He gave himself to the joy of the ride, forgetting about Tuvalu and magical plants and everyone worrying about how he couldn't handle the Mysteries. He reveled in the sunshine and the wind, and the sense of freedom in the air.

"Higher!" he urged.

Sirius grinned back at him and pushed Buckbeak into an even higher flight, turning to avoid the sun at the last minute, which wasn't right at all, as one couldn't really fly too close to the sun and--

It happened quickly, nearly as soon as Teddy had put the idea together. The air was suddenly full of feathers and the smell of wax. Buckbeak was gone. Sirius was gone. Teddy was suspended in midair, a wooden framework attached to his shoulders, feathers flying off it madly as the wax melted. He looked down, and the Maze was etched in the ocean below, white foamcaps drawing its lines and turns.

"Teddy!" Sirius called from somewhere far away, and then it was Dad's voice, and Mum's, and it didn't matter, because he was falling, falling toward the labyrinth, where the monster waited in the center court, holding a Portkey that would take him to a churchyard, and then back further and further...

He woke with a start, a sharp pain drawing across his cheek. Checkmate was above him, paw raised for another swipe. He ignored the blood on his cheek, and scratched behind her jaw, the way she liked best, until they both fell back into a dreamless sleep.
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Comments
prelud From: prelud Date: April 1st, 2008 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)
"No, it's just Dad. Have you got anyone good?"
Al opened a frog and slid out the card. "Severus Snape. He's my middle name person."

That made me LOL.

The rest of section was great, too... The serious conversation with Harry, the chilling dream.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm sure James is quite annoyed that so many people make a fuss over someone as ordinary as Dad.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 2nd, 2008 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure James is quite annoyed that so many people make a fuss over someone as ordinary as Dad.
It's really quite frustrating that almost no-one got the memo that really it's James we should be making a fuss over. :-P
::grins::
I love that James, having been loved and secure all his life, just knows he's the center of attention and the coolest thing goin', so unlike his dad at the same age. Although Rita Skeeter could turn anyone into a recluse if she wanted.

-Sqveege
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: April 1st, 2008 10:52 am (UTC) (Link)
These white dots seemed to make a pattern--lines and turns and impassable walls.

Teddy looked away from it. It was just his imagination.


You're so good at writing "it made sense when I dreamed it" sort of logic. It's always just the right combination of obvious and obviously wrong.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoy that sort of writing, and actually have to steer myself away from doing it more than I do (I think it would get old fast).
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: April 1st, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
He'll be okay this year, won't he, with Checkmate to wake him from the worst of his dreams...

This is still marvellous. I love the Maze/wax wings imagery - Teddy hasn't made that connection yet, has he? - and as always, I love the extended family. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think he's made the connection now!
cornedbee From: cornedbee Date: April 1st, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice Icarus imagery there.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: April 1st, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Woo, quite an ending, and a dramatic way to get Icarus in. I also like the minotaur ready to send Teddy to the dreaded churchyard...

I love Teddy's act of contrition--perfect. It's been said a thousand times, but these people are REAL. You've done amazing things.

The usual bits of smoothing:
"Sure he did." Teddy scrambled for a plot. "Why he had to go to... oh, I forget. Al, where did he have to go again?"
You're missing a comma after "Why."

Al, who knew this game well, suggested, "Tuvalu!"

"Just so. Good memory. He had to go to Tuvalu to find the famous, er, Healing Hydrangea, so he took Buckbeak and set out for the South Pacific..."


No nitpick, I just loved this. Loved it. Love Al, love the game, love the dialog; it's perfect.

The story got the boys sidetracked from the chocolate frog cards and James's potentially appetite-destroying imagination of a plague...
There's something awkward about "imagination of a plague." Is "imagining" the right word? Or I wonder if something like James's potentially appetite-destroying and wholly imagined plague... would work?

"That would be deeply unoriginal," Uncle Harry said. "I expect better of you."
I'd replace "deeply" with "extremely." That construct makes me think of Lucky Magazine, which I'm guessing you don't read, but which is full of really awkward descriptions and has ruined some perfectly good ones for me, as a result. (They constantly describe things like.....shoes as "Deeply hip" or "Deeply sexy" or whatever. ARGH.)

Uncle Harry laughed very slightly...
Maybe Uncle Harry gave a tiny chuckle...?

I nitpick because I care! It's so satisfying to read your stories; as someone who adores editing I can't help but try to find the little prickly parts that could be smoothed down.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
The line about the plague needs tweaking, but it's not an imagined plague so much as James's imagination of a real plague he read about. (Somehow, against all genetic possibilities, he's managed to inherit a little of Hermione's personality, and was enjoying an afternoon with Hogwarts, A History.)

I don't mind editing! Good editing makes for better writing.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: April 1st, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I know that's what you're getting at, I just can't think of how to clarify it. Maybe The story got the boys sidetracked from the chocolate frog cards and James's appetite-destroying and creatively-embellished explanation of a plague...?
From: maxzook Date: April 2nd, 2008 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I love "imagination of a plague," but I think what makes the phrase awkward is "potentially". Offhand I can't think of a plague that wouldn't destroy my appetite ... IMHO, simpler is better:

James's appetite-destroying imagination of a plague...
purebristles From: purebristles Date: April 1st, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
"All right!" Lily said, and gave him two loud smacks on the cheek, then a third one on the forehead.

"Oh, you get change!" Teddy said, and kissed the top of her head.


Where was Teddy when I was in secondary school???
*sigh*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a reason that the girls like him. :)
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: April 2nd, 2008 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
and i wonder who he gets it from... i don't imagine his dad would be like this in childhood, though he's really very sweet with dora when he was older. hmmm.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: April 1st, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
That dream...wow. Nice connection to Icarus though, as soon as he thought you couldn't really fly too close to the sun I knew he would fall. Does the church in the center of the maze have any significance (not that you'll tell me what it is)?

Also, tearing up the veil and letting everyone out? Sounds familiar to me. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
The churchyard is just the one Harry ended up in in GoF. I ought to probably change it to "graveyard."

Also, tearing up the veil and letting everyone out? Sounds familiar to me. :)

Sounds like many fanfic writers' fantasies.;p
willowbough From: willowbough Date: April 1st, 2008 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's dreams are always so eerie but compelling. I wonder how much this one is genuine warning and how much is a reflection of the adults in his life worrying if he has bitten off more than he can chew with the Department of Mysteries.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that deep down, Teddy may think they're right to warn him. Whether they are or not... hey, that's a lot of the rest of the story. :D
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: April 1st, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent as always... Those dreams make me shiver a little
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Dreams are always fun.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: April 1st, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been bad at commenting, but I'm still loving this. Harry and Teddy's conversations are a particular highlight. I love how differently Harry and Teddy have approached their orphanhood (is that the word?) - and how Harry is worried and slightly baffled at Teddy's aims to go into the Dept of Mysteries. You write a wonderfully believable portrayal of someone who cares and is the adult doing his best with something he fundamentally doesn't understand (I don't think Harry's ever been the type for deep thinkng just 'for the sake of it', he's a practical sort, really)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, Harry's definitely more of a doer than a thinker, and the two of the do have a real disconnect. Just as Harry doesn't really understand Teddy's attraction to the Mysteries, Teddy really doesn't understand Harry's inclination to just let it be most of the time.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: April 1st, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
"No, it's just Dad. Have you got anyone good?"

I don't mind the plots and all, but I would eat this story up with a spoon just for James. Or Grownup!Harry.

And here they are together at their cutest, in half a line of text!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, yes, James always brightens my day as well.
daksian From: daksian Date: April 1st, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent chapter again. I can see so many things being set up...I can't help but feel nervous for Teddy, and I'm not entirely sure why. I feel like he's going to do something similar to Frankie in Forest Guard, and get too caught up in himself.

I'm continually entertained by Teddy's relationship with the other characters: precocious student to Maddie, reluctant student to Slughorn, the leader of the next generation of kids, the slow realization of attraction to Victoire, still carrying something of a flame for Ruthless...all of it is is excellent.

I love your dream imagery. I don't always get it (and isn't that the way of dreams?), but I'm always fascinated by it.

I don't think I'll ever be a per segment reviewer, but I think I can get in at least once a chapter. Just know that I'm reading and enjoying every line of it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't help but feel nervous for Teddy, and I'm not entirely sure why.

I can't imagine what you mean... ;p

Teddy's various relationships really are a major part of who he is, at least from his own perspective. He may have to learn to deal with Just Plain Teddy at some point, as Tonks had to, in HBP, deal with Just Plain Tonks. It's not always pretty.
daksian From: daksian Date: April 1st, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm...I think I've figured out what my request will be the next time you do drabble requests...something just twigged...

...but you might say no. I hope not. ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 1st, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
allowing myself a slacking-off day (so as to retain the last vestiges of my sanity), so I actually get to read right away one more time...

Wonderful as always...the plague made me laugh loud enough to be heard all across the house, and the dream... well, I guessed he'd end up falling pretty early on (I suppose I have my Latin rofessor to thank for that, the bits of Ovid's "Metamorphoses" we've struggled through seem to be stuck in my brain forever.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 1st, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
see? I really need a slacking-off day.

~Hermione Stranger, who is becoming so forgetful she should rename herself to "Neville"~
From: kobegrace Date: April 1st, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Shoot: Teddy's a dreamy lad. His interaction with Lily is just so precious. How old is she here? (I can't bother with the calculation meself)
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: April 1st, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very nice, Fern. Your Harry/Teddy chats are always highlights (love the line about blowing up the Time Division) and you always right the Potter kids so well.

Severus Snape on a trading card...two things that just don't seem to go together. ;)
bends From: bends Date: April 1st, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Marie was very excited about starting at Hogwarts, so Teddy and Victoire told her many horrendous lies about what she'd need to worry about.

hee!

Great dream sequence, again.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: April 1st, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
'It's just Dad' was absolutely hillarious. Of course they must be the most popular cards by then, and of course their kids are actually tired of getting them! God, that was fantastic.

Of course I stopped laughing by the time Teddy started talking about breaking the Veil and making everybody come back. Please, Teddy, don't think those things! It makes everyone very sad, and we worry about you as well! (I think he needs Dumbledore showing up on a dream and reminding him that is not good to dwell in dreams and forget to live)

Very nice chapter, I'm sorry you're having trouble with the story-making (can't find an English word for that!). I think is lovely so far.
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: April 1st, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo, bad Checkmate!

I liked Teddy's acts of contrition.
sciathan_file From: sciathan_file Date: April 2nd, 2008 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved the Icarus imagery there at the end. <3

I always wonder if Harry finds Teddy's Marauder stories kind of awkward - he accepts death, yes, and its been awhile, but it always seems like there would be a poignancy attached to hearing what Sirius and all of these people he is not so much removed from could have been.

And I am wondering if you will give me a more coherent explanation of that veil, whenever it is talked about.

I love everything, as usual!
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: April 2nd, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can sort of see what you mean about the disjointedness, but it is also enhanced by the sectional posting, surely it will hang together better when it is posted in its proper chapters? And I suppose a lot of it comes from the fact that Teddy is moving around a lot and the mere fact of going to different places makes it segmented, but as I like spotting the techniques you use to move him around I can't say that I mind that.

As always I am entranced by how real you have made the kids. I was especially struck by Marie's very normal and natural worries about the potential for making friends when you've been asked to look after teh werewolf kid. I thought that it demostrated very well the old maxim about not making your chracters perfect. After all it is the rare eleven year old that doesn't worry about that sort of thing.

I also felt a sense of continuity from HM, the scene showed that Teddy has learnt his lesson well about valuing his family that are still on earth. I got such an older brother vibe from him, especially with Lily (who by the way is utterly adoreable) she obviously loves him to bits and it shows Teddy's growth as a character that he isn't holding himself away from this love anymore.

Although of course, being Teddy, he is still wrapped up in the less than physical world. No doubt if I was tudying this text for english I would be talking about AO5: the connections with Greek myth, AO3:use of said myth as a retorical devise to illustrate Teddy's desire to reach beyond his present capabilities and of course AO4: which is when I say how interesting the connections to the past are.

I feel that his eries would be a very worthy text to study.
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