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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seven: Curse-borne, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seven: Curse-borne, pt. 2
Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"I've set aside the old student store room for you," Professor Morse said. "Now that we have the ingredients spread out amongst the tables, I only needed half the cupboard space for extra. I did the same charm on the walls in there, but if you don't care for it, or you'd like different scenery, I'd be happy to change it."

Teddy shook his head. "The meadow is fine. Really."

"Well, it's not very big, but there's space for the magically tended fire. Professor Slughorn told me that you're quite adept at maintaining it."

"Fire is easy," Teddy said. "As long as you keep the potion over it, it should keep. If it goes out, though, you have to brew another batch."

"Finicky," Daniel said.

"Just a bit. Lucky for me. It was Mum having to get Dad the potion every other minute, as he couldn't very well keep a magical fire at Smeltings, that made them fall in love."

"Oh. Then lucky for me, as well," Daniel said. "On any number of levels." He grinned at Professor Morse. Teddy looked away.

Professor Morse opened the door to the store room, and sunlight flooded out. Teddy followed her inside. The room seemed quite a lot bigger than it had been last year. A brand new cauldron stood toward the back, and several plants were lined up on shelves beside it.

"Neville... er, Professor Longbottom... has been tending the plants, and he's happy to keep doing it. If anything seems wrong with them, let him know."

"All right." Teddy looked around. "Is there a calendar here? I haven't been keeping track of the moons as well as I ought to. I haven't needed to since Greyback died."

Professor Morse pointed her wand toward the door and a calendar came flying through it. She affixed it to the wall, where it seemed to hang suspended between two trees.

Teddy studied it. "He has to take it for a week before the full moon, so I think it'll have to be Tuesday. Can I come down on Monday after supper to get the batch started?"

"Yes, of course."

"When does Neil have Potions?"

"Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings, early."

"I think... er..." Teddy flailed. "I think that's early enough for the morning dose. I mean--"

"Can he eat before he takes it?" Daniel prodded.

"Yes! Yes, he can eat anything he'd like."

"And how many doses does he need each day?"

"Three. Mum used to bring it to lunch, and then Dad took it before work and with supper," Teddy said, relieved to have that memory from the ring. Why hadn't he thought about the simplest question of all? Why hadn't Slughorn told him?

"Well, then, it sounds like taking it with meals is a good dosage. Unless there's a magical component to the exact time?"

Teddy shook his head. "No."

Daniel smiled at him. "You'll do just fine, Teddy."

"I hope you'll teach me to help," Professor Morse said.

"I'll show you. I'm not a very good teacher, though." Teddy supposed that Donzo would say this was a flat lie--he'd managed to teach all of them the speaking Patronus Charm over a matter a few days last year--but Professor Morse would be thinking of Dad, and comparatively, Teddy thought that made it true enough. He looked at Daniel. "Speaking of which, when are you going to teach about Muggle Healing?"

"Madam Pomfrey and I are working on a presentation for next week. Will you be there?"

"Of course I will."

"I'm very excited about it," Professor Morse said. "Can you imagine? It's the first time Muggle science will be taught at Hogwarts in a thousand years."

"No pressure, though," Daniel said.

Teddy smiled dutifully. After a few more minutes of being shown around, he made his excuses and went to the Great Hall for dinner. Victoire and Marie were sitting at the far end of the Gryffindor table, and judging by the aggressive jut of Marie's chin and the agitated way Victoire was squirming, they were having another tiff. They weren't loud enough to disturb passing hippogriffs this time, though, and they weren't throwing Curses, so Teddy decided to let them be. Ruthless wasn't there yet, so he didn't really have any Gryffindors to sit with, so he took his plate and wandered over to Hufflepuff, where Frankie Apcarne was putting the cutlery through a complex sort of choreography while a salt shaker hummed a waltz.

"That'll be useful in later life," Teddy said, sitting down beside him.

Frankie shrugged. "Who says everything needs to be useful?" He winked across at Tinny, who was levitating a bit of cloth to serve as the top of a tent.

Tinny flicked her wand, and the cloth developed jolly black and yellow stripes. "Lupin, as long as you're here, you'll have to think of something. We could use drummers, I think."

Teddy cast around for something to charm. Frankie and Tinny each appeared to have finished a chicken leg, so he took the bones and set them to a simple one-two-three beat. "Anything more complicated, and we'll need to ask Donzo," he said.

Further down the table, Roger noticed the game, and soon, his goblet was strolling around, making a sound like a wandering violinist. A few first year 'Puffs said, "Wingardium Leviosa" in unison, and several quills began to float around in a stately manner. Frankie's cutlery promptly flew up to dance around them, to the delight of first years, who didn't seem to care what the social status of a seventh year was, if he was willing to play with them at all. By the time Headmistress Sprout put an end to the game with an irritated, "Oh, for heaven's sake, Mr. Apcarne, you're quite old enough to know better than to play with your utensils," most of the 'Puffs had found something to contribute. Teddy settled in to eat.

"Had a letter from Mum today," Frankie said when everyone's attention had wandered. "She wants to know if you're looking well and eating properly. Shall I tell her the truth?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"That you look like something Checkmate dragged in from the garden and played with for a few hours before bringing you in."

Teddy started to morph away the puffy little bags under his eyes.

"And don't morph," Frankie said. "I already noticed, so it's a little late."

"Don't tell her. It's not... well, not the thing she's worried about. It's just brewing the potion for Neil, and of course Ruthless broke up with me."

"Again?"

"Yes. But I'll never recover from it this time, you know." Teddy put his hand dramatically over his heart.

"Right. She's got you on some damnably Unspeakable business, hasn't she?"

"Yes, but that has nothing to do with me being tired. Really. You don't need to pass it on. I have a problem with it, but it's... technical, I suppse. Tell her I'll write."

"All right." Frankie toyed with his food. "She also said that Dad's been looking at offices in Diagon Alley. He's been talking to some of his authors, and he's trying to buy a press. He wants to start his own publishing company. Historical things, and maybe some fiction."

"That sounds good."

"He said this summer that if I wanted to do that, I could join him. We could be partners."

"Do you want to?"

"Yes."

"Cheers, then. It's a plan."

"If I can do it. I really don't know that much about it. D'you reckon I could have some of those stories you write for James? I'll see if I can make a book of them. Just to see if I like doing it."

"Sure. Do you want some of James's, too?"

"Er... I think perhaps he's not quite old enough to make a production of it. I was going to send it to Dad. To show I can pick something good."

"You might want to pick something other than the drivel I write for James, then. Granny says Professor Morse writes good poetry."

"I'll stick with your drivel any day," Frankie said, then pointed to a roll on Teddy's tray. "Are you going to eat that?"

Feeling oddly lighthearted--a great release from the stress of Potions--at the thought of the silly stories he'd made up for James being put together into something that looked like a book, Teddy headed back up to his room, did the small bit of homework he'd got, then took out the Daedalus Maze for the first time since he'd been forced to run from Fenrir Greyback.

"Don't try to find Brimmann," he reminded himself. "Don't try."

He hoped this would make it work a bit better, though he decided that if he so much as suspected his guide was a dead cannibal with a taste for children again, he'd leave the Maze without looking around.

He opened it, and found himself beside Granny's pond. To his utter delight, Sirius Black was waiting there for him--fifteen years old, with a dangerous sort of laughter in his face. Teddy could see little James in him, and then he became James, but not Teddy's James--Uncle Harry's father. This James Potter winked from behind his glasses and led Teddy into the Maze, which was formed from the bright flowers of Granny's greenhouse, where Teddy had spent many happy hours pretending to explore the jungle when he was small. At the first turn, James turned into Prongs, then into the large black dog who was Padfoot, then into Sirius. The flowered walls were covered with mirrors, each of them showing Teddy something different when he looked into it. Just morphs, nothing dreadful. He laughed, and glanced at another mirror, in which Mum was laughing back at him.

Sirius became Dad, also fifteen, and Dad led him around another turn, where he could see the Marauders--well, Sirius, Peter, and James, anyway--hunched around their books in the library, then he saw himself and Donzo hunched around the same books, Donzo with his ridiculous mask on. Dad smiled.

Teddy continued to explore this part of the Maze, counting his turns, enjoying appearances by a very young Granny, the Weasley twins, and even his own James Potter. At ten turns, he wasn't altogether sure he'd be able to take another twist in the road, so he followed his path back, his guides morphing along with him, and finally left the maze. Sirius walked back to the pond with him, then grinned and disappeared. Teddy was laughing when the spell ended and he found himself back in his room. It was ten-forty.

So that was why Dumbledore's father had wanted the Maze in Azkaban. It might have frightening turns, but it could also do this, take him through happy things. Was happiness a Mystery? It didn't have its own division, but it could be, at that.

Teddy set the Maze back into its spot under his bed, and turned to get his pajamas on for the night. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and stopped.

He'd long ago stopped morphing his hair into absurd colors on a routine basis, but somehow, in the Maze, it had gone the bright pink that Mum had favored. He hadn't done it deliberately.

Frowning, he relaxed the morph, and let his hair return its natural shade of brown.
31 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
kagehikario From: kagehikario Date: April 22nd, 2008 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
These bloody mysteries are certainly enthralling. You would have to release a novella about discovering mystery in a serial format, wouldn't you, you evil woman?

I'm adoring this.

Hee, bright pink. I like that he's growing up about the hair; fandom seems to picture even 21 year old Teddy prancing around with constant pastels on his head. I like this "light but sensible" Teddy better.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just figure that, while Teddy probably has more Tonks in him than people tend to notice right off, he does have some of Remus's sensibilities, and sensible-ness. I can't see him spending his life looking like an Easter egg. :)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: April 22nd, 2008 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
That was very nice. Just plain old 'teens being teens' and everyday contempteness. Nice.

"Oh. Then lucky for me, as well," Daniel said. "On any number of levels." He grinned at Professor Morse. Teddy looked away.
That made me go all 'Aww'.

(By the way, I'm not procastinating anymore, I'm about to start the conclusion of my paper- yeah, at 5.30 a.m. of the day I'm supposed to hand it in- and just thought I'd take a break and have a look at my friend's page. Lucky me, an update on Teddy)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oo, good luck on your paper!

I think Daniel and Cho were making Teddy squirm a little. :D
From: glynngriffiths Date: April 22nd, 2008 08:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I really enjoyed that maze-sequence! Teddy seems to be getting back to questions of the essential, doesn't he? Seeing what (who?) is inside himself...

I also love Daniel and Cho's relationship - they're very easy together, despite obvious complications to their marriage in its current situation! He has quite a good sense of humour about being a muggle at Hogwarts, and she is so impressed with things he knows that she doesn't (lab tables, muggle medicine) that the skewed power dynamic you might expect in their situation doesn't seem to be there. Very nicely done. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Identity wasn't initially supposed to be the theme of this, but I think that Teddy needs to find out who he is as a separate creature from his parents and the other Marauders, and where he fits in the grand scheme of things.

There is a bit of a skewed dynamic--Daniel can't come to work with her without a talisman she has to make--but they're pretty good about minimizing it, and Cho is actually, I think, interested in what Daniel does.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it's always miserable, I couldn't imagine him going back in a lot!

I also really loved the joy of discovering the magical world that was so prevalent in the early books. Joy is an important part of life. So I wanted to put in some of these little magic-for-the-hell-of-it things.
rotae From: rotae Date: April 22nd, 2008 10:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy flailed. OMG. I think I just died of awesome, LOL XD

Wow, there is something here that I'm totally wary about, but I can't put my finger on it... hmmm... I think I'll have to reread the last couple of chapters and see if I can find it :D

Peace,
Rotae
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, the Maze isn't particularly safe, and Mysteries are about as tame as Aslan, so... ;p
rotae From: rotae Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL. I mean apart from the obvious XD I think it's something to do with Daniel off the top of my head now... hmm... I'll reread tomorrow :D

Peace,
Rotae
serriadh From: serriadh Date: April 22nd, 2008 10:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been bad about commenting recently, but I do love this, Fern!

I particularly enjoy the 'ordinary' snapshots of wizarding life. That's something I particularly missed in the last couple of canon books (obv. because Harry had other things to be worrying about) - the fun that teenagers can have living in a magical world where you can set up impromptu orchestras with the cutlery.

I was a bit confused about the reference to Frankie's social status.,.. it struck me as not being a particularly Puff idea, but I've probably missed something. Oh noes! I'll have to re-read things ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, poor Frankie's always going to be a nerd, and I'd guess that even 'Puffs have their pecking order--but in a pecking order, any seventh year is more or less above any first year.

I'm glad you're enjoying it!
satakieli From: satakieli Date: April 22nd, 2008 11:17 am (UTC) (Link)
My apprehension meter is still cranked way up about the maze, making the benign and familiar seem sinister.


Donzo would say this was a flat lie . . . but but Professor Morse would be thinking of Dad, and comparatively, Teddy thought that made it true enough.

snorfle. Oh, the wonderful.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Meanwhile, Remus is probably thinking, "Um, that spell took me a long time to teach there, Tedster..." But of course, the "I'm a bad teacher" thing is Teddy-ese for "I'm not Dad, all right?"
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: April 22nd, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe I just have to go back and look, but how would Granny know if Professor Morse writes good poetry?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I had them talking about it earlier. She's become something of a patron of the arts.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: April 22nd, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
So even wizarding kids play with their food--nice to know some things are universal! And it looks like Frankie is coming into his own and no longer has the need to feel even remotely envious of Teddy.

Enjoyed Teddy's latest trip into the Maze--I was hoping he wouldn't be terrorized every time he ventured into it, so this was reassuring.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that as Teddy has grown closer to friends in his own year, Frankie's had more room to breathe, and to get out of the shadow of Teddy's war traumas and make his own space. His family life is stable, and I think he's realized at some point that Teddy has some issues that he doesn't, and, being Frankie, that makes him much more compassionate.
mrs_redboots From: mrs_redboots Date: April 22nd, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved the scene in the dining-room - really great.

Thank you so much for all of this; I don't often comment, but it is seriously good!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you like it. Writing is my little escape, so...
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: April 22nd, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
My favorite part was definitely Hufflepuff playing around.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was fun to write, as well.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: April 22nd, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
And again that sense of lurking menace that I am begining to associate with the Maze makes a reapearence. And why do I get the feeling that one of Teddy's lessons this year will be Don't Underesimate Magical Objects that are By Their Very Nature and Purpose Seeped in Mystery.

Talking of Mysteries I think that Teddy is right the Happiness should be a Mystery, after all, the search for it is perhaps at the centre of the human condition, nebulous and changing depending on which person seeks it. It seems to me that it is one of the more difficult Mysteries to explain or quantify.

I adore the way that you write the easy interactions between friends. It is nice to know that Frankie is still watching Teddy's back, although I can't help but wonder just what his attitude would be to Teddy getting mixed up in the world of Mysteries.

One tiny, tiny nitpick, the line about Teddy not knowing the moons anymore because og Greyback's death seems just a bit clumsily put. Slightly expositionary, although maybe the awkwardness of the phrase was intentional, to go with the halting nature of his very new aquaintence with Cho and Daniel. Maybe it is just that, fresh from reading HM, I find the casualness of his mention of Greyback disconcerting. Pshew, I'm reading far too much into this one line.

By the way something I was curious about from the last chapter, why are Donzo and teh rest so completly not interested in the Animagus transformation. Although maybe it is just that I would jump at the chance to explore my inner creature.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 23rd, 2008 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Donzo really does have a notion that he'll end up something small and pointless that will be stepped on by a passing house elf. He's just got self-esteem issues. Ruthless? Not sure. She may be worried about doing something illegal while preparing for a career as an Auror, but she also might be interested in doing it, but not while Teddy is watching and potentially judging (as if). The others aren't in on it.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: April 22nd, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very good, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 23rd, 2008 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
From: spitc1899 Date: April 23rd, 2008 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I wanted to stop in and say I'm loving this story and your Teddy stories in general. It's amazing how you've brought Teddy's year along so that we know them so well and love them (even Honoria :o) ). And I'm excited to see Daniel in this one. The Daedalus Maze is fascinating. Very dream-like, and your dream sequences have always been good.

I'm sorry I haven't had much time to comment. I've been extremely busy. I got a new job and moved 300 miles in the space of a week, and the month since has been hectic. I just wanted you to know I'm still reading and enjoying your stories.
cleindori From: cleindori Date: April 23rd, 2008 09:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved the Hufflepuff foolery. Intrigued by Teddy's inadvertent hair-colour morph. Would comment in longer sentences, but it's quarter to three in the morning and I'm still awake for no good reason!
itsjulia From: itsjulia Date: April 24th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
oh this is wonderful, Fern. I love all the joy, and agree with what others have said... it's making me feel like something bad is coming. And the pink hair... why should pink hair make me feel wary?
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 25th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm printing this chapter to read on the train tomorrow... first time in days that I'll have time to read! And probably the last time for a while as well. *sigh*

~Hermione Stranger~
31 comments or Leave a comment