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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seven: Curse-borne, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seven: Curse-borne, pt. 3
As the year begins, Teddy prepares to brew Neil's potion, Daniel Morse prepares to deliver a lecture on Muggle medicine, and the Maze surprises Teddy with a joyful visit with people he loves, though when he comes out of it, his hair has inadvertently turned pink.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy collected Neil at breakfast on Tuesday morning, and went down to Potions a few minutes ahead of his class. Professor Morse had apparently got bored with her mountain meadow, as the Charmed view through her windows now showed a wild, rocky Scottish beach. Gulls and terns swept the sky. It was harsh and untamed, and something in it made Teddy stop and stare.

"What is it?" Neil asked. "Is it that smell? Is something wrong?"

Teddy shook his head. "No. The Potion smells awful, but the way it's meant to. Does it smell different to you than it usually does?"

"No."

"We'll check it before you drink it, but it ought to be fine. I was just enjoying the scenery."

Neil looked at the beach with disbelief, muttered, "It looks cold," then scurried into the work room.

Teddy followed him, taking a clean goblet down from the shelves by the door as he went. He scooped it into the cauldron. He came up with a smoking, stinking mess of it, and hoped that someone would improve the recipe sometime soon. "Here," he said, handing it to Neil. "Cheers."

Neil stuck his nose in the shallow smoke, then started taking little sips. "What would happen if you drank this?" he asked.

"I don't really want to find out," Teddy said. He watched Neil drink for a little while. "How has school been? Corky said you were in the Common Room the first night."

"Oh. That. Right. There's a boy in my dormitory--H.J. It's short for Harold James, and he thinks he's named for your uncle Harry, and I told him that the name wasn't right, but he didn't believe me."

"I wouldn't bother with that. You can't do it in any way that doesn't sound bad. Let it be."

"Trust me, I will. But I didn't at first, and they didn't like me. So H.J. comes out with a piece of a newspaper. He said he brought it because he just knew I'd be in his year, and it was about how my family got attacked and I'm... you know."

"Yes, I know--a boy who's not drinking his potion."

Neil wrinkled his nose, then took two large gulps and made a soft gagging sound. When he'd managed not to bring it back up, he said, "So they all know. And they started making growling noises at me. Mum Evvie says I shouldn't lose my temper at people, so I left and went to the Common Room."

"Your mum Evvie is a smart woman," Teddy said, and watched Neil struggle to get down the rest of the potion. He'd watched Evvie and Nate do it several times, and he guessed that the taste must be truly vile. "Is it getting any better with your dormitory-mates?"

Neil shrugged, still trying to force himself to swallow.

Teddy sighed. A part of him had hoped that Neil would be very popular, and the social curse on werewolves would finally end. It would be like watching Dad get a second chance. But Neil wasn't Dad, and this H.J. would most likely have found something other than the lycanthropy to pick on about him if it hadn't been handy. "Well," Teddy said, "do you think it'll work itself out, or am I going to have to start Cursing firstie Slytherins?"

Neil polished off the potion. "Maurice Burke already did. He said that Slytherin--"

"--takes care of its own problems now," Teddy finished. It was Maurice's personal motto, and it had been all Corky could do to keep him from carving it above the Slytherin fireplace.

"Just so," Neil said. "Maurice says that we'll have enough trouble after Tom Riddle's war without... er... he said, 'renewing our reputation.'" Judging by his face and tone, Teddy guessed that Neil had very little idea about "Tom Riddle's war" or what reputation was being renewed. "It's stupid, really," Neil went on. "Why should Maurice have to run around Cursing people just because someone else did something bad a long time ago?"

Teddy had no answer for this that seemed fair, when it was put in those terms, so he changed the subject. "Where are you going to transform? The Shrieking Shack, er..." The Shrieking Shack was a pile of burnt and rotting splinters, and the tunnel to it a mile-long shallow ditch. Teddy thought he might have done well with counsel not to lose his own temper. "The Shrieking Shack isn't there anymore."

Neil, who'd been in the sanctuary and had probably never heard Dad's house named, looked at him blankly, then said, "I'm going to the gate after lunch on the day of the full moon, and Père Alderman or Vivian will meet me and take me back to France by Side-Along Apparition. Mum Evvie and Dad Nate haven't quite got the hang of the thing yet."

"Oh. I hadn't really thought of you leaving altogether," Teddy said. "That's a good way to handle it."

"If I can ever catch up on my homework after. It's very hard."

"Is there anything special you're having trouble with? I could help."

Neil looked at the floor and shook his head. There was a rumble of noise outside as the other first years came in. "I'll be fine," Neil muttered, and scuffled out to a table, where he sat with a girl with greasy pigtails and a skinny boy with an overbite. The boy looked at him nervously, then, with what appeared to be a great effort of will, smiled and passed him several sunflower petals. They started to turn these into paste with a mortar and pestle, and Teddy left, hoping to make his History of Magic class before Binns noticed that he wasn't in his accustomed seat.

He needn't have worried. When he got to Binns's classroom, Daniel Morse was leaning on the desk, looking nervously out at the five Ravenclaws who'd already arrived.

Teddy blinked at him, then said, "Sorry I'm late. I had... business to attend to."

"I'm aware of it, Mr. Lupin," Daniel said. He squeezed a piece of chalk he was holding hard enough that it broke with a loud crack. "Please take your seat."

Lizzie Richardson, looking conspicuously away from Teddy (as she had when he entered a room since the day they'd broken up), raised her hand. "Dr. Morse? Where is Professor Binns?"

Daniel took a deep breath. "As I understand it, he was called away to adjudicate a matter on the Council of Ghosts. Something to do with an unorthodox haunting. Quite interesting, really. But sudden. Headmistress Sprout isn't accustomed to finding History of Magic substitutes, so she asked if I might keep your attention with some of the historical material I've been working on with Madam Pomfrey."

"About normal medicine?" Geoffrey Phillips asked.

"Well, Muggle medicine, at any rate. I imagine that magical Healing is more normal here."

"They entirely refuse to accept any advances," Geoffrey said, leaning forward conspiratorially. "I'd certainly rather be ill in the real world."

Daniel frowned, then shrugged and said, "I suppose there's some validity to that. But I'm not really going to talk about Muggle science just now. This is a history class. As it happens, I love history, and I'm very excited to learn a whole new corner of it."

Geoffrey looked less than thrilled that not even an actual Muggle could be pulled into his tirades against the wizarding world, but refrained from further grumbling. Teddy supposed he was making up some reason for such a dastardly betrayal of common cause. He wondered what Granddad--a Muggle-born who'd fallen in love with a Black and yet somehow managed to also fall in love with computers--would make of Geoffrey and his mad notions, and decided to see if he could find out by using the Maze.

Daniel turned to the blackboard and wrote "The Galdreward Quarantine," then turned back to the class. "Does anyone know about this?"

Donzo raised his hand tentatively, and Daniel nodded at him. He said, "Didn't it start with a Muggle disease? Cholera, or smallpox?"

"Yes. But it was actually a plague outbreak. Not the big one, but a later one." Daniel smiled to himself, and Teddy thought of Dad's memory of Daniel as a child, delightedly giving every gory detail of that particular plague while they shared biscuits in his ugly Smeltings office. He supposed Daniel was thinking of the same thing, as the plague itself wasn't exactly a smiling sort of subject. Daniel went on, "Quarantines have a long history in the Muggle world as well as the magical world, but until then, neither had been able to achieve a perfect one. Galdreward's quarantine actually magically sealed off infected areas upon the first infection--one of them was here at Hogwarts. No one could get in or out, and neither could anything that was carrying it. The school Healer at the time was able to cure the infected boy, and there were no further cases, even though it was raging all around the school."

"And they just left the Muggles to die," Geoffrey said. "Typical."

Daniel made what looked like a Herculean effort not to roll his eyes, and didn't entirely succeed. "Mr. Phillips, is it?"

"Right."

"Magical Healing works with a witch or wizard's natural magic, much to my disappointment. All the spells and potions in the world won't work on a Muggle disease in a Muggle body, if they don't have something to work from. I've seen witches and wizards in many parts of the world risking the Statute of Secrecy and their own health in an attempt to help their Muggle neighbors, but it never works. The only time magic works on a Muggle is if the disease itself is magical in nature, or curse-borne." Daniel sat back lightly on Binns's desk. "Now, after the plague passed--that time, anyway--Galdreward worked to improve his quarantine, so it would take effect any time a certain danger threshold was passed. I don't pretend to understand the magical mechanics, but in terms of magical history, a series of quarantines in the seventeenth century contributed greatly to the success of the Statute of Secrecy in Britain..."

Teddy listened as the last of Daniel's nervousness melted away, and he once again became the boy who'd been Dad's student, thrilling to the dark turns of history, exploring the innovations that made it possible to come through on the other side. It wasn't like a lesson with Binns--Donzo was scribbling all of his usual notes, but Geoffrey gave up his muttering entirely. Connie Deverill looked nearly starstruck, and Lizzie broke her Teddy-boycott to ask for a new quill when she managed to wear down her nib taking down points of interest. Franklin Driscoll was occupying himself with sketching, as usual, for his Charmer comic strip, Hoggy Warty, but instead of the usual unrelated panels, he seemed to be designing a character for Daniel (as far as Teddy could tell, he was drawing Daniel as a human, instead of the anthropomorphic animals that represented the rest of the staff and students). Teddy wondered if this was what it had felt like to sit in one of Dad's classes. He decided to ask Uncle Harry.

When the bell rang, for the first time since Teddy had started taking History of Magic, he was sorry to leave.
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Comments
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willowbough From: willowbough Date: April 26th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
The Lupin teaching legacy lives on--not in his son, perhaps, but in all the students Remus influenced for the better. And that's a grand thing to see. I wonder if Daniel will have a fan club at Hogwarts, the way Remus sort of did at Smeltings.

Also good to see a section up so early. Looking forward to the next.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy does have the talent--when he says he doesn't, the bullshit meters hit crisis levels--but he also has issues about "taking Dad's place" that Daniel doesn't have. I think Daniel's already getting a Ravenclaw fan club, anyway. (I mean, besides Cho. ;p)
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: April 26th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, Geoffrey really is a piece of work. And the idea that Daniel teaches like Remus makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Teddy seemed a trifle hypocritical in the first section...I seem to remember a certain 'werecub' incident. I guess that's just a characteristic of being fifteen. :-)

Nice section. Can't wait for more. :-) Are you on a posting schedule this time around, or do you just update whenever you get the chance to write?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I don't think Teddy feels hypocritical. He did the "werecub" thing in order to freak out Honoria after she started in on the subject, not to taunt an actual werewolf. He probably would think of it as quite a consistent defense, though Neville would undoubtedly disagree!

I'm not on a schedule this time, though I think I'd best get one if I mean to keep people engaged.
beceh From: beceh Date: April 26th, 2008 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice end to the chapter :-). I love Daniel. Hmmm I seem to love all of your OC's...even Honoria and Geoffrey. Well love might be a stretch for Geoffrey, but you really make ALL of your characters come alive, which is what I love.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad they do. It's always a little scary to depend on OCs as much as I need to with Teddy.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: April 26th, 2008 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm glad to see Gregory put in his place. A muggle's probably the only person he'd listen to, but I doubt Daniel will change the kid's mind. He's too determined to believe that magic is the root of all evil and completely ignores facts to the contrary. Actually...that kind of sounds familiar.

Also, I love teacher!Daniel, and I hope we get to see more of him soon.

And poor Neil has to deal with H.J. I want him to find his Ron.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2008 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually...that kind of sounds familiar.

Sounds like most people with a monolithic, all-encompassing theory of life. Actual life is just too messy to be contemplated, so any disagreement must be explained away, either by nefarious motives ("He's trying to worm his way into wizarding society so he can then use its power to exploit Muggles") or "false consciousness" ("He's duped by all the shiny things, and so has convinced himself, against his own real interests, that all is well"). It's a perfect egg-shaped argument, with no way inside of it.

I think Neil will eventually find his Ron. Maybe the buck-toothed boy, or the girl with greasy pigtails.
(Deleted comment)
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: April 26th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwww! This was great, as per usual. I LOVE Daniel- I like Cho, but I really wish he could have ended up with Mira... wait, have to stop thinking of the now AU verse...

And that beach reminded me right away of when Remus was teaching and looking for the cave in Shades. Perhaps my favorite part of the entire story- can't say WHY, but it just makes me happy and is really lovely and reminds me of this song. (This song- 1234 by Feist- IS by Shades song btw, especially that part. Probably because I was listening to it obsessively when I was reading it, and it doesn't fit at ALL, and the song now makes me sad everytime I hear it for that reason, heh.)

I love that H.J. is the Malfoy. Irony much?

And I doodled another... well doodle that is related to your world? Much better than the previous one, but eh, I don't want to bug you with it without asking, sooo, wanna see it? o_0.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sure!

I love that H.J. is the Malfoy. Irony much?

Heh-heh-heh. Harry would be profoundly disturbed by the whole thing, if he weren't blocking out the concept of dozens of complete strangers named after him!
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: April 26th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
"...a wild, rocky Scottish beach. Gulls and turns swept the sky."

Long-time reader, first-time nitpicker, but -- might those be terns sweeping the sky with the gulls?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why, I do think they might be. Just a little bit.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2008 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
yay, more for me to read on the train! *prints*
Gotta be a good omen if all my favourite authors update just in time to give me something to read while I'm on holiday!

~Hermione Stranger, who can barely wait to start reading~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have a good trip!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 26th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
When it comes to good stories, history always turns out to be a great source (though it takes lit to make history, you know, make sense). I love old things and old places.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: April 26th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay for Daniel, yay for a REAL History of Magic lesson, yay for gory magical/muggle diseases!

Boo for H.J. I really do hope Neil finds his place at Hogwarts soon.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 27th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Neil will eventually find a niche.

And yes, history lessons. Please!
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: April 26th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very good, Fern. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 27th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Pipes. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Geoffrey. I'd really like to see some sense knocked into that kid's head. As he's the next Tom Riddle event in waiting, I don't see it happening, but it would be a good thing.

Although I know it wouldn't do any good, I'd like to read Geoffrey a few texts on abuse. Most abusers have a framework where they consider themselves justified. One of them, which Geoffrey seems very subject to, is what one therapist called spiritual abuse, using a moral or religious framework to justify abuse. Geoffrey would, I'm sure, insist that this only applies to "superstitious" people and not "scientific" ones like him, which is missing the point by a mile and a half. He has a world view that justifies never developing compassion or empathy (he'd disagree, but empathy is understanding how the other person feels, not how you imagine he or she should feel - or how you think they would admit to feeling if they weren't denying you were right). If he were even made aware of the ways in which he himself falls short of his "ideal," he would probably only see it as a justification make up for it by coming down even harder on other flawed mortals. After all, victory on one front has got to count against weaknesses on others, right?

Sorry, I really love the Teddiness (and I hope Neil can start feeling comfortable at Hogwarts. His friends [was that a trio in the making?] give me hope), but boiling over apparently makes me more verbal.

Say, any chance Daniel might stay on as a new history teacher? It's not a role requiring magic, when all's said and done.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 27th, 2008 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Geoffrey does need to have sense knocked into him, but of course, anyone who tries is clearly an oppressor trying to shut him up.

Geoffrey would, I'm sure, insist that this only applies to "superstitious" people and not "scientific" ones like him, which is missing the point by a mile and a half.

Oh, yeah. It's all so very different when you're right about things. If only all of those other people would cease their apostasy see the light accept SCIENCE, DAMMIT! then we'd have heaven on earth, and all of our sins would be forgiv... er... I mean, you know, we'd be able to rationally fix all of the myriad things the troglodytes have been doing wrong.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: April 26th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Galdreward Quarantine makes me think of Eyam, possibly the most famous of the Muggle quarantines... a tragic story, but one I've found fascinating for a good few years now.

I love the whol section, but the one bit that rang truest to me was the way you described all of the students' behaviour during the lecture. Such a bunch of distinct characters, which is great. Personally, I would have been most like Franklin - spent most of my class hours drawing instead of taking notes (which doesn't mean that I wasn't listening).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 27th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't even draw (really) and my notebooks look like that. I was sitting in a meeting the other day and a colleague said, "Oo, nice 'gator." Which I'd drawn absently while listening to the conversation. Along with three flowers, one in a pot in the foreground with a house behind it and a sun up in the corner shooting diagonal rays around. Around three jotted lines of notes.

I always used to fail assignments where teachers demanded to see my notebooks. No one has the slightest clue what my notes say except for me, and even I only remember for a week or so. ;p
From: daphne_23 Date: April 26th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey,

Just delurking (after quite a while of lurking, sadly) to say how much I've enjoyed reading your Shifts, Shades and the Teddy stories over the last few months... I love your Remus and Tonks - particularly Tonks as we saw much less of her in the books, and yet you've fleshed her out so well that I almost prefer her to Remus in your stories (which says a lot considering Remus has been my favourite character since I first read POA!) I'm also really impressed by the number of OCs/minor HP characters that you seem to handle each story, and how you make their plotlines as interesting as the HP characters - I love Maddie, Sanjiv, Daniel Morse and Vivian in particular! (another bonus with the Teddy stories is finding out more about these characters eleven-odd years on...) However my favourite of your OCs has to be Ruthless; I love her in the Teddy stories and I liked the Ruthless/James snippet you wrote as well :)

Anyway, apologies for not commenting before and I'll try to comment more often as you continue with this Teddy story; thank you for providing so many hours of entertainment!

Laura
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 27th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi, welcome aboard! Glad you've liked the stories. I miss Remus and Tonks. A lot! Ruthless was a delightful surprise. Someone recommended that Teddy have a friend in another year in Gryffindor, and she just popped up at the breakfast table, fully formed.
littletwitchy From: littletwitchy Date: April 26th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I SO wanted to see Daniel Morse teach a history class =)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 27th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad to be of service. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Allo, I'm another lurker who finally had to de-lurk because of the actual, real, enjoyable history lesson! As another lover of history, one of the major things that always bothered me about the books was the fact that not only is the history teacher lame, but he's pretty much got the position for all eternity. Extremely frustrating! It was so lovely to see a good history lesson, and I just love Daniel. I'm so glad you were able to bring him back in!

In general, though... I've been lurking for, oh, a few months now. It took awhile, but I managed to finish all your major stories and then I went back through the LJ to get all the one-shots and snippets (by that point it was something of an obsession) and I just have to say... I totally heart your world. You have such a great gift for creating very real, three-dimensional characters, whether those characters are from the books or your own OCs. I also love the way you work everything around canon and hardly seem to miss a beat when you get jossed. And your prolific-ness just astounds me.

Amazing work, and I can't wait to see where this is going. Oh, and I almost forgot -- the Scottish beach in the beginning just made me wriggle with joy, thinking about Teddy and Victoire's future island. Yay!

Maz
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 27th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
As another lover of history, one of the major things that always bothered me about the books was the fact that not only is the history teacher lame, but he's pretty much got the position for all eternity. Extremely frustrating!

Yeah, I know. But I figure it's the same as it was with the bad librarian--if Harry'd had a decent history teacher, the books would be a lot shorter, since so much ended up depending on history.

I'm glad you've been enjoying the stories. This is how I let off steam and get away from reality for a little while, so it's good that it does some good for other people, too!
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