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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Five: Surprise! , pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Five: Surprise! , pt. 3
Teddy et al have just arrived at Hogwarts, and, after shepherding the first years to the lake, have taken a carriage up to the doors. Teddy pats the thestral, and heads in. He is looking forward to the Sorting ceremony.

I think this is going to be a four-part chapter.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

There weren't as many first years as there had been in Victoire's year--the real boom after the war; they slept eight or nine to a dormitory in many cases--but it was still a good-sized group, at least by Teddy's standards. He counted fifty. Marie Weasley and the girls from her boat had already started a conversation of some sort, and Professor Longbottom kept glancing at them in an irritated way as he led them up. Neil Overby stood in the middle of the line, his shoulders hunched, trying to be invisible. There was another redhead a few people behind Marie, a curly-haired boy with a flat face, who Teddy recognized as Ruthless's second brother, Keith. Next year, it would be the twins--for one year, all five Scrimgeour children would be at Hogwarts.

Ruthless was not looking forward to this, or at least claimed not to be. This didn't prevent her from watching the procession with a craned neck. Her other brother, Kirk, was doing the same from the other side of the table, and as Keith passed, they gave him a silent cheer. He returned it. Teddy waved to Neil, but Neil didn't notice. Marie did, and dropped a little curtsy as she walked. Victoire stood on the bench and held up two pairs of crossed fingers. Professor Longbottom gestured to her to get down.

The Sorting Hat was sitting in its accustomed place on the old stool, its tip going back and forth eagerly, like it was looking at the approaching first years. The rip near its brim opened, and it sang:

It's time to hear my story,
of ages in the past,
When Hogwarts school was newly built--
Who knew if it would last?

Teddy tuned out for the part of the song that was the early history of Hogwarts. He knew the story as well as anyone, and the Hat's version was usually pretty scant. He looked at the candles above, watching them as the song moved into the praise of the Houses, waiting for the third movement, the war memorial, when the candles would be extinguished, and the smoke figures would float above their House tables. He wouldn't be able to show Marie and Neil this year--it had been stupid to think that; the song always came before the Sorting--but he could still see them for himself. For the last four years, Dad's form had shown up close to where Teddy was, though it wasn't clear that this was anything more than a coincidence.

The Hat finished up the praise of Slytherin (You'll be at home in Slytherin / If you want to prove yourself), and he braced himself for the darkness that would fall on the Great Hall at any moment.

The Hat continued singing.

The Founders gave their minds to me
to Sort when they were gone
To find the rightful places
Of each daughter and each son.

Now you've come to join the school
And long to find your way--
The brave, the loyal, wise, or shrewd--
Try me on, and I will say!

The song ended; the Hat took a bow.

There was silence, then a solitary clap from the Ravenclaw table. Another joined it, then another.

Teddy blinked.

No candles had gone out.

No smoke figures had appeared.

Across the table, Victoire was clapping, but looked confused. Ruthless gave Teddy an anxious look.

Professor Longbottom picked up the scroll and read, "Adams, Belvina."

Belvina Adams, a brunette nearly as skinny as the long plait going down her back, perched on the chair like a bird, and after a moment, the Hat announced that she was a "GRYFFINDOR!" Around Teddy, the other Gryffindors broke into applause at getting the first of the first years.

Ruthless leaned over as Professor Longbottom moved on to Bergstrom, Laurence. "What's going on? Where are they?"

Teddy bit his lip. "I suppose... well, last year was the fifteenth time. It started when I was, well... zero... and now, I guess it figured fifteen times was enough. I mean..." He shrugged, trying not to express any disappointment; he didn't like the way both Ruthless and Victoire seemed to expect him to start wailing. "They couldn't very well do it forever, could they? Otherwise, we'd still be seeing people from the goblin wars."

Victoire shook her head. "Still, it's--"

"It's fine," Teddy said. "I want to watch Neil be Sorted."

As Professor Longbottom was still only on "Carrow, Abigail" (Teddy could see Maurice edging over, probably to discuss the pitfalls of an unfortunate last name, as she was Sorted into HUFFLEPUFF!), missing Neil Overby's Sorting wasn't really a concern, but Teddy didn't care to continue the conversation. Of course it had needed to end. And it would be arbitrary. It wasn't as though Teddy was the only person affected by the war, so the Hat wasn't going to schedule its memorials to his time in school. Fifteen was a good, round, arbitrary number of times.

It was nothing personal.

And he had many other ways to connect to Mum and Dad, better ways.

"Flourish, Edward."


Something nudged him, and he saw Victoire emerging from under the table to take the space on his other side, as it would afford her a better view of the first years. Teddy wasn't sure if she was doing it to wish her sister well, or to scope out new recruits. She smiled at him faintly and said, "I sort of miss it. It was always very nice."

Teddy nodded.

Marshall, Samuel became a Gryffindor, and the table cheered again, so there was no further talk. After Samuel, Morgan, Elliot went to Slytherin and Norris, Elizabeth seemed dazed with happiness at becoming a Ravenclaw. Then Professor Longbottom said, "Overby, Neil."

Neil, who had been hiding in the midst of a knot of boys, shuffled out to the stool. He lifted his eyes briefly to the crowd, and Teddy heard a student somewhere at the Gryffindor table say, "Wasn't that the boy from, you know, when Greyback was out?" Words at the other tables couldn't be heard as clearly, but from the general buzz of conversation, Teddy guessed that other people might have recognized the name. The attack on Neil's family had, after all, been front page news only two years ago.

Neil looked down at his feet and grabbed the Hat. He held onto it with both hands, then Professor Longbottom leaned down and said something to him. Neil gulped, and put the Hat on his head. It slid down over his nose, and wriggled back and forth for a very long time. Teddy could see Neil's mouth moving, but couldn't make out any sound.

Finally, the Hat called out, "SLYTHERIN!"

The cheer wasn't exactly deafening, but to Teddy's great relief, Corky stood up and said, "All right! Take that, Lupin, we got him!"

Professor Longbottom made a small show of discouraging this, but Teddy could tell that he was also relieved as the Slytherins laughed fondly, then made room for Neil at the table. Neil didn't look like he knew what to do with himself. Corky continued to make a great fuss over him, and Honoria Higgs--undoubtedly thinking of a smashing headline for the first issue of the Charmer--sidled over and began to welcome him as well.

The crowd of first years was thinning, and Teddy could feel Ruthless leaning forward eagerly. He looked over to see her biting her lip as Scrimgeour, Keith went to the stool. Keith looked over toward her--and toward Kirk, Teddy supposed--then pulled the Hat on confidently. To the surprise of no one, he was declared a GRYFFINDOR! without any millinery debate. The group was down to five. Victoire grabbed Teddy's hand and squeezed, then looked at him like she was surprised and let go. "Come on, Marie," she whispered as Professor Longbottom called for Weasley, Marie.

Marie, who'd been chatting with a bespectacled boy, held up her hand as if only pausing for a moment's inconsequential interruption, then went to the Hat. She picked it up and smiled, then put it on. Her light red curls seemed to buoy it up, and--though there was a long conversation--from the frequent grins on her face, Teddy guessed she was just being chatty. When it ended, the Hat named her a GRYFFINDOR as well, and she came over to the table and looked for a seat as if she were just dropping in for lunch, somewhere in the middle of her fourth year. Victoire rolled her eyes, then went to sit with her.

In the end, Gryffindor gained seven girls and seven boys. For the first time since Teddy had arrived, Gryffindor had the largest number of first years. The old Gryffindor families, he supposed, were recovering. Soon, Weasleys of all stripes would again be crowding the Tower, and the Potters would join them. The Scrimgeours were already back, and the Jordans were waiting in the wings.

Soon, it would be as if the war had never happened at all, except in some triumphal story of long, long ago, and the dead would be nothing but questions on the end of Binns' tests.
51 comments or Leave a comment
amamama From: amamama Date: April 8th, 2008 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Weird to not have the memorial, but I see the point in stopping. How long are you going to focus on a war? And maybe the spirits thought it was long enough. Some of them might want to continue on elsewhere, what do I know? Reincarnate, or something...

Anyway, nice chap'let. I like how Victoire grabs Teddy's hand, then lets go of it immediately when she realizes. Love the way Corky welcomed Neil. Hopefully he'll feel welcomed and accepted, too. No great surprise seeing him sorted into Slythering, I guess he has a strong need to prove himself, prove his humanity to spite the curse.
amamama From: amamama Date: April 8th, 2008 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I knew there was something else ... this makes no sense: He wouldn't be able to she Marie and Neil this year. Or do you mean show instead of she?
From: iamapenguin Date: April 8th, 2008 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh I do love Neil, he so cute i want to eat him.
Corky stood up and said, "All right! Take that, Lupin, we got him!"

HAHAHA, Corky's so sweet. I want a Corky.

Marie reminds me far too much of myself, it's scary. lol.

Great part as always. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Marie is my own diametric opposite. I get in a crowd of people, I'm way more like Neil--Help me! I'm surrounded! ;p

I like Corky, too. He's just nicely confident without being overly so.
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: April 8th, 2008 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmmm, I like this one. Great chapterlet.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
after_nightfall From: after_nightfall Date: April 8th, 2008 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Go go go Neil! I will believe that if the hat thinks Slytherin's right for him, he'll be OK. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
As long as they know it's not in their best interest to make his life difficult, it's a good place for him!
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 8th, 2008 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Soon, it would be as if the war had never happened at all, except in some triumphal story of long, long ago, and the dead would be nothing but questions on the end of Binns' tests.

This is such a Lupin-ey, Teddy-ey way of feeling slightly guilty for feeling sorry for oneself and not really wanting to make a fuss. So bittersweet and just ... right. I also love the "old Gryffindor families" bit, giving a hint of Teddy's children being a continuation of two of those families.

And of course, Victoire taking Teddy's hand, soooooo cute.

Thanks for the great chapterlette.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, the Blacks aren't exactly an old Gryffindor family, but Teddy never seems to think of it that way. One generation apiece (and not even properly Tonks!) seems perfectly sufficient to him to think of himself as of Gryffindor lineage.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: April 8th, 2008 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I was waiting for the Hat to do its little memorial too, so I was as disappointed as the girls and Teddy (although, of course, Teddy isn't admitting that ;~)).

I loved the way you described Marie's Sorting, from interrupting her conversation with another first year to her confident end at the Gryffindor table. She's going to be just as much of a handful as her sister. ;~)

Corky's reaction to Neil being Sorted into Slytherin was my favorite part of this very excellent chapterlet.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's going to be just as much of a handful as her sister. ;~)

Possibly in a very different way, but yes, I think so.
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: April 8th, 2008 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)
it's a little sad not to get the smoke figures, but like teddy said, it had to end sometime, or else they'd have gotten the goblin wars as well. hahaha. maybe the sorting hat decided that with all the post-war babies coming in, there wouldn't be a lack of reminders of it? or on the other hand, that it's time to go with business as usual?

and corky, what a fun kid! i just loved that little quip. and, well, slytherin house looks even more promising, with neil. i wonder what he's got that made him a slytherin more than any other house?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
or on the other hand, that it's time to go with business as usual?
I expect that's more of the situation. The professors never liked the memorial, and the Hat may have finally been persuaded to jettison it.
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: April 8th, 2008 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Just a few lines that struck me particularly:

To the surprise of no one, he was declared a GRYFFINDOR! without any millinery debate.

The phrase "millinery debate" tickles me somehow. I feel like it should be a pun on something, but I can't quite place my finger on what. Either way, it's fun!

Victoire grabbed Teddy's hand and squeezed, then looked at him like she was surprised and let go.

Oh, what could this remind me of? Some ... movie trailer somewhere ... ;)

Her light red curls seemed to buoy it up, and--though there was a long conversation--from the frequent grins on her face, Teddy guessed she was just being chatty.

The punctuation feels wonky to me here. Perhaps commas instead of em-dashes would work better?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had it as commas first, but it felt off. I think it's just the construction altogether. I'll have to examine it more closely.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: April 8th, 2008 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Great segment. Three times three cheers for Corky.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think he's earned a cookie. :)
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: April 8th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, see I should have known that something was going to happen at the Sorting simply because of the empasis placed on it in the previous segments. But of course I was so swept along by your writing that I was just as surprised by the smoke's non appearence as Teddy was.

And I can't be the only one that had a twinge of impending doomness when Teddy during his very unconvincing attempts to convince himself that it hadn't hurt him said that he had other "better" ways to contact his parents. I mean obviously I adore his continuing connection to those that have passed but I get the feeling that going at it with that frame of mind can't be good. After all as the title reminds us there is such a thing as flying too high.

By the way Corky's line was utterly amazing and brillient and I could not love him more than I do now. I've always had a soft spot for him Maurice and Donzo and the more I see of them the more I like them. And since Corky seems to be one of those guys that just is popular hopefully his sponsership of Neil will make things a bit easier for the little guy. Also as a side note, was it fifth year that Corky hooked up with Honeria? Or am I getting my dates confuzzled.

And do I detect a hint of bitterness from our own dear boy at the end there?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Corky is definitely popular--like Teddy, he's managed to avoid the "geek" curse of hanging out with RPGers--so hopefully, he'll be helpful.

I don't remember if I ever mentioned a year that Corky and Honoria got together first, though I think in some seventh year ficlet I had them having gone together for a year. But ficlets are always up for grabs when it comes to the long pieces.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
moonythoughts From: moonythoughts Date: April 8th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haven't reviewed in a while o_O
Oh, I loved Corky's outburst :D
I'm glad the Gryffindors are bouncing back :) It's always seemed so right to me that there should be a smaller number of them after the war. Great chapterlet as always!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Gryffindor types do tend to rush to the front lines, which means higher casualties and fewer children, at least for a little while. But they may also be the type to say, "Hey, I'm not afraid of a houseful of toddlers all at the same time!"
willowbough From: willowbough Date: April 8th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's ambivalence to the sudden cessation of the smoke memorial was beautifully conveyed. And his attempts to rationalize why it ended and convince himself that he was okay with that were almost painfully Lupinesque. It seems like there may be a number of things that change on Teddy without warning this year.

And Corky FTW! His welcome to Neil in Slytherin was priceless. I hope this will make things easier for the little guy.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
It seems like there may be a number of things that change on Teddy without warning this year.

I think that's quite likely, and I don't think he likes that notion one little bit. :)
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: April 8th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hurray for Corky! He definitely wins the prize for this chapter.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
[Corky]:takes a bow:[/Corky]
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 8th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, first and foremost hurray for Corky. I was so nervous for Neil especially when that rude person asked about Greyback so loudly. I think it's better for Neil to be with Corky. He'll bring Neil up whereas Teddy gets sidetract by what's in the beyond (I thought Trelawny was funny. Also, my friends have convinced me that I'm Slytherin so cheering for the home team, I expect Neil's hair would be softer than other guys' so I'd want to play in his hair.
Second, I love your reference to the PoA, I was thinking Hermione really did grab Ron's hand and it wasn't just in the movie, looks like I have to look that up now!
You got me on this chapter reviews, I really hold on to people when they pass. My Great-Great Uncle moved on 11 years ago. But I still reach for him for help. You guys made me feel guilty for not letting them move on with their rucksucks. Thanks for the great Story Fern.
Love ya!
carlinpaddy From: carlinpaddy Date: April 8th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, I'm on break at work and didn't notice that I wasn't logged in! I'm the one that rambled just now.
From: kobegrace Date: April 8th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
The last paragraph is really, really sad. But that's the way of things, innit?

Also: are Corky and Honoria going out yet? If so, are they doing so secretly, or are they out in the open? If not, is it fifth year that they get together, or is it later on? I've gone and forgotten.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
The last paragraph is really, really sad. But that's the way of things, innit?

Yeah. Every now and then, I'll realize that I haven't thought of someone for a long time, and feel deeply guilty for it, but when there's no interaction, that happens. The world just keeps spinning along, running over anything in its path.
timesink From: timesink Date: April 8th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course it had needed to end. And it would be arbitrary.

Yes. That's exactly how it goes, especially for something big like that. I recognize Teddy's ambivalence about it, definitely. Nicely noted.
From: maxzook Date: April 8th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Probably for the first time, Teddy's doing something major in his life that he thinks his parents might not have approved of.

And isn't that an interesting moment for the smoke figures to disappear ...
malinbe From: malinbe Date: April 8th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now I'm depressed.
Life goes on, I suppose, but at least here we still celebrate the life of the 30,000 people who were killed by the government thirty-two years ago ALL THE TIME. And don't we still remember the Holocaust very well? It wasn't the same thing, of course, but to the standards of such a small society I thought it would. I'm thinking too about the muggleborn children who were murdered the year Teddy was born, they would have still been at Hogwarts.
Then again, the wizarding world has a war every twenty years or so. It does leave people less time to think about it. Hence, that's probably why it has the same issues from a thousand years ago. They need Memory. Not to forget so it won't happen Ever Again.

(I've been working for human rights and for the Memory of the fallen for three years now, sorry, it's a touchy subject for me).
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: April 8th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked that chapter a lot, Fern. Neil's sorting into Slytherin is intriguing and I loved Corky's response.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: April 9th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I really adore how overwhelmingly empathitic and caring Teddy's year seems to be. Maybe its a side effect of being such a small group? Yay for Corky and for Honoria!

I have just adored Marie in this section. I'm not sure I would have liked her when I was eleven, but I would not and definately do in this story. It makes me really want to read a sisters story about Victoire and Marie just to see the differnt personalities.
cambryn From: cambryn Date: April 9th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't reviewed this story yet, I think.
I love your writing, as per usual, Fern.

The lack of memorial really got to me. I felt a pang of loss.
Your stories always managed to hook me in, though.
Poor Teddy- I imagine that sort of thing would hang quite heavily on him on the inside.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: April 9th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
So what did the Hat and Marie chat about?
51 comments or Leave a comment