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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eight: Ghost Writer, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eight: Ghost Writer, pt. 1
When we last left our Handsome Hero, more than a week ago (eek!), he'd been brewing Wolfsbane, enjoying a nice moment in the Daedalus Maze, and being surprised by a substitute History of Magic professor--Daniel Morse, who talks about plagues and quarantine spells, and how they might have affected the development of the Statute of Secrecy. He's enthusiastic about the subject, which is a welcome relief from Binns.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




By the time Daniel's first planned lecture was scheduled, word had spread from the classes he'd taught for Binns that he made History of Magic interesting. Binns had rushed his adjudication to return for the next day's classes when he heard, and for nearly half a class period (third year Ravenclaws; Teddy heard about it from Story Shacklebolt), tried to maintain some level of enthusiasm. He seemed miffed that students wanted lessons from a Muggle substitute, not even an historian. No one cared.

The lecture was in Firenze's classroom, on the first floor, as Firenze himself wanted to attend, on the evening before the full moon. Teddy took Neil down to get his Potion after supper (thankfully, he was still showing no signs of accidental poisoning from mis-brewed Wolfsbane), then walked back up with him to hear it. They were forced nearly to the back of the room, even though it was large. Neil nearly jumped out of his skin when Firenze greeted him with a nod. Firenze seemed to find this amusing, though he didn't comment.

A battered old desk had been brought into the room and placed on the rise where Firenze usually stood to teach star-reading, and Daniel was leaning against it, his hands in his pockets. Professor Morse was sitting on a nearby rock, and Headmistress Sprout was trying to call for quiet. Madam Pomfrey scurried back to check on Neil--she used a Muffling charm to prevent even Teddy from hearing the words they were speaking--then went to stand beside Daniel. Professor Longbottom and Hannah were sitting comfortably on a hillock by the window, with several Gryffindors around them. Teddy caught a glimpse of his friends, who were near the front, but he couldn't get through the crowd.

Daniel smiled. "I'm very happy to see everyone," he said. "I imagined only a handful. I used to be in a history club at my school. It was started by Professor Lupin." The staff smiled fondly, and Teddy, to his surprise, felt simple pride, uncomplicated by Dad's death. It was something he would have felt anyway, he supposed, even if Dad was just at the Shrieking Shack. Daniel shook his head. "Trust me, there were never this many people. But we always talked about the most disgusting things we could find..."

He and Madam Pomfrey segued into a long, excited discussion of various wizarding plagues--Spattergroit, Morphosia Fever, Striping Skullduggery, many others. Teddy knew them from Granny's books, but there hadn't been a real outbreak of anything dangerous since years before he was born. Daniel made a point of clarifying that there was nothing amusing about real plagues; he and Professor Morse had worked in outbreak areas for years. Then he went on to tell an exciting story about a cholera outbreak, where they'd used his knowledge of what caused the disease and her ability to magically track the agent to find the contaminated water. Madam Pomfrey then took over to explain how she was learning Muggle surgery techniques and theory to improve internal Healing spells. Teddy hoped she would find some new way to clean out lungs after a fire. His first year, he'd been trapped in the burning Forbidden Forest, and she'd had to magically remove everything in his lungs to clean them out. It remained Teddy's most unpleasant firsthand knowledge of magic.

After the lecture, the crowd of questioners pressed in a little too tightly around Daniel for Teddy to edge in, so he guessed he'd just have to congratulate him later. He started out.

"Teddy! Oi, Lupin!"

He looked over his shoulder. Tinny Gudgeon, who was the smallest person in his year, was weaving through a knot of Ravenclaws, waving frantically. She wasn't his closest friend, but they'd always got along, and she'd been Frankie's girlfriend for four months now, so she was something of an in-law at any rate. Teddy paused, debated trying to go and meet her, but reckoned that by the time he found a path, she'd be here. He just waited.

She emerged sideways from between two seventh-year Gryffindors, nodded to Neil and Firenze, then turned to Teddy. "We're all meeting in that antechamber outside the Great Hall."

"We? Who... the Guard?"

"What? No. The whole year. Well, except for Phillips--Franklin's going to talk to him, but I don't think it'll work. He thinks the whole thing is absurd, since we're not even being marked, and that the prize is unfair to Muggle-borns, who couldn't use it anyway, and..."

Teddy held up his hand. "What?"

"Oh. Sorry. We were talking about it while you were downstairs with Neil. Mostly the Hufflepuffs, but the Ravenclaws thought it was a good idea, and the Slytherins said they'd try anything once. Robards' assignment--with the dark wizards? We were going to pool our information, and see if anyone knew anything useful to anyone else."

Teddy thought of the endless meetings Uncle Harry and Ron sometimes complained about, and smiled. "Well, Robards wanted us to find out what it was like to be an Auror. Why not?"

Tinny put her book bag down and stood on top of it to see above the crowd. She waved her arms. "Gryffindor's in!" she yelled.

Across the room, Corky gave her a thumbs-up.

Since Tinny and Teddy were closest to the door, they headed out together. "Where's Frankie?" Teddy asked. "I didn't see him at the lecture."

She rolled her eyes. "He was up all last night studying. In September. He fell asleep in the Common Room." She reached the door of the antechamber where first years prepared for the Sorting Feast, and pushed it open. There was a long wooden table there, and Rosmerta was fluttering around it, trying (unsuccessfully) to straighten a candlestick.

"Would you like me to get that?" Tinny asked.

"Oh, yes, dear," Rosmerta said, palpably relieved. "It's just off-center. A little to the left, if you could. Oh, it is an inconvenience not to be able to fix things on my own! Mr. Lupin, I don't suppose I could bother you to straighten the mirror?"

Teddy tapped a mirror near the fireplace. It didn't look crooked to him, but Rosmerta was nearly as finicky as Victoire, and she seemed to notice a difference. By the time she'd finished thanking him, several other members of Teddy's year had arrived.

"Oh, is there a class here?" Rosmerta asked. "I didn't realize they needed to take this room for classes."

"We're just meeting here," Tinny said.

"Oh, I'll go, then."

"You can stay," Corky told her. "You make any place prettier."

"Oh, you're so sweet."

Honoria looked cross at the idea of a ghost staying, but as Teddy watched, she rearranged her face as completely as he could with a morph. She smiled. "Madam Rosmerta, you worked at the Three Broomsticks for a long time, didn't you?"

"I owned it, dear."

"Did you ever run across a witch called Bianca Giles?"

"Giles..." Rosmerta wrinkled her translucent nose. "Oh, yes. She used to come in when I was only a barmaid. Miserable thing."

"Is there anything you could tell me about her?" Honoria pressed.

"Certainly not. I told the Aurors everything I knew about the creature when they found out she'd been mistreating Muggle men."

"Were there children? Or rumors? Did she ever suddenly gain weight and then lose it again?"

"Why on Earth would you care about such a thing?" Rosmerta asked.

"It's an assignment."

"Well, the Aurors beat you to even those questions. I don't care to discuss it further." Rosmerta turned and floated out through the wall.

"Nice," Maurice said. "Now, we can't check with her on any others."

"Well, she hardly seems helpful, anyway." Honoria sat down. The rest of the Slytherins and Hufflepuffs had arrived, and Lizzie and Connie had come down from Ravenclaw. As Teddy settled in, the door opened, and Donzo came in, then, to Teddy's astonishment, Geoffrey Phillips, prodded by Franklin Driscoll. Franklin was giving him a glare.

They all settled around the table.

Laura--to Teddy's surprise--took the lead. She clapped her hands smartly and said, "For the Slytherins and, well, Teddy, we were talking about this after Defense Against the Dark Arts. We all have different Dark witches and wizards to catch, and different things we can draw on. And it occurred to us that we can be our own first resource. See what we have. For instance, my assignment is a bloke called Uriah Bowles, and he trained Dark creatures to attack. Roger knows a lot about Dark creatures. And so on. So... I thought we should all say who we had, and we'd see if any of us could help."

"How very Hufflepuff of you," Corky said.

"And Hufflepuffs can't have the right idea?" she grinned, and Corky smiled back.

Honoria glared at her, and a nasty thought started to dawn on Teddy.

To distract himself, he pulled his book bag around and brought out the parchment the the information on Brimmann. He read it aloud.

They looked at each other blankly.

"A pirate?" Maurice said. "You got an actual pirate?"

"Yes, I got a real pirate. Has anyone done any research on them?"

Everyone looked around awkwardly. It wasn't an auspicious start.

Maurice broke the silence. "Well, I checked on Deborah Earmbana. I asked Mr. Borgin and got quite a rude note about how if I had any decency, I wouldn't consider sharing information about customers. So I suppose all I know is that she bought things at the bloody shop, which they probably all did."

Brendan Lynch shrugged. "I got stuck with some old bloke--no one anyone knows. He went around as a court jester, and Mesmerized people into giving him all of their gold. There ought to be quite a treasure somewhere, but no one ever tracked him down."

"Oh, I know that one," Donzo said. "He's a legend. They said he gave the treasure to the poor."

"The poor never seemed to see any of it," Brendan said, rolling his eyes.

"You're talking about Baxley Dorne, right?"

"What do you know about him?" Brendan fumbled for a quill, and ended up borrowing a suspicious-looking acid-green one from Honoria.

It turned out that Corky had heard rumors about Roger's assignment (a furrier who'd branched out into human scalps and was a common bogeyman in stories he'd heard as a child), Jane recognized parts of what she called an "urban legend" in Donzo's (a man who'd used Silencing Charms to kill Muggles in a full house, leaving only one alive to tell the tale), and Teddy recognized the name of Franklin's assignment (a hippogriff thief) as a typical Black star name, and promised to ask Granny about it. Most of them came away with at least something to start on that hadn't been in the Aurors' files.

Except for Teddy. No one had any connection to pirates.

It hadn't been a waste--he'd been able to help Franklin and possibly Geoffrey (though it was hard to tell)--but he didn't feel particularly energized when he went back to his room at curfew. The Daedalus Maze was his only hope of finding a new angle, but unless he learned more about what he was looking for, he'd just end up going through his own nightmares again. Unfortunately, the only person he knew of who cared about pirates was James, and James had not, to Teddy's knowledge, done excessive research on the subject. Beyond that, all he had were Mum's old paperbacks, with their romantic swashbucklers running around improbably honorable pirate ships. There were a lot of details about life at sea, but somehow the pirates themselves...

Teddy frowned, then quickly drew out the Marauder's Map. He searched it, and found what he was looking for only a bit down the corridor from the Fat Lady's portrait. He ran out, ignoring her protest about curfew, and called, "Nick!"

Nearly Headless Nick was floating by a window, looking wistfully out over the grounds. He turned eagerly. "Can I help you, Teddy?"

"Yes. I need to find out how to reach a ghost."

"Well, I'm right here..."

"No, not you. I mean, unless you know something about pirates..."

"I should say not. And you know that your parents..."

"They wouldn't know anything about pirates either," Teddy said, then shook his head, worried that he might be offending Nick. "Nick, I need to know how to get in touch with Fifi LaFolle."
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Comments
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From: fhsaffar Date: May 4th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
(I hope I'm first!)

YES YES YES YES!!!!! FIFI TO THE RESCUE! YEEEEEEEEES!

This said, brilliant chapter, and Honoria's hysterical. :DDDD I was amazed that even Geoffrey came...and Franklin's apparently the only one who knows how to talk to him eh?

OMG FIFI!

Great story fern. More maze please. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Franklin is the only one who speaks Geoffrey fluently, I think, though he doesn't like it.

I'm looking forward to meeting Fifi myself!
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: May 4th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

so clever!

Oh, we should have known Fifi would turn out to be a Plot Point!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: so clever!

Yeah. Possibly a sort of forced one, but I don't care. I've had enough truck with Fifi since Shifts that I'd just like to meet her. :D
malinbe From: malinbe Date: May 4th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice to read that Daniel's lecture was a success!

Well, it does seem like Teddy is onto something, and I'm sure meeting Fifi LaFolle will be rather interesting. I'm looking forward to it.

It's good to have Teddy back! I missed the lot of them!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
At least Teddy's figuring out some basics of the Maze, even if nothing Fifi says helps with the assignment.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: May 4th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh! I hope he reaches her! I can't wait to see how you write Fifi.

Honoria has a crush on Corky! I know we knew this would happen, but I love how Teddy finds the idea nasty.

Also:
Harry thought of the endless meetings Uncle Harry and Ron sometimes complained about, and smiled. "Well, Robards wanted us to find out what it was like to be an Auror. Why not?"

I think you meant to write "Teddy thought..."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Honoria has a crush on Corky!

And it must be fairly obvious, if even a Lupin notices it. ;p

I think you meant to write "Teddy thought..."

:looks around shiftily:
:hits edit:

I don't know what you mean. ;p
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: May 4th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Teddy, you'd be surprised at the amount of research young children do on things they're interested in.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
He might, indeed! Especially with James.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: May 4th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huzzah, Teddy's back! And the 'Puffs' proposal to pool information is definitely a good one--the class will get much further that way, I suspect. And like so many others, I'm looking forward to meeting Fifi La Folle. Wonder if she's as pink and fluffy as Dame Barbara Cartland was rumored to be.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's Tonks's favorite author--pink may well be a prereq! ;p
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: May 4th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was unexpected and awesome. I LOVE IT.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
renesears From: renesears Date: May 4th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG, Fifi laFolle for the win!!! AWESOME. I can't wait!

I do have one quibble though: Honoria asks Rosmerta about Bianca Giles, but then she says her assignment is Baxley Dorne. Is one of them just something freelance?

Great installment.

FIFI FREAKIN' LAFOLLE, Y'ALL.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ack, that comes of doing the thing in two separate writing stints! I'll give Baxley to someone else--maybe Brendon, since he's never had anything else to do.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 4th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

great chapter! does maurice know anything about his Unspeakable ancestor that could help teddy? Just wondering. Hippogriff thief=nice touch
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 4th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

It hasn't occurred to Teddy yet. It's occurred to me, but I don't know if he knows anything useful! :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 4th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

with his knowledge of everybody's family history, i'd be suprised if he didn't know something
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: May 4th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my god. FIFI LAFOLLE? That is too.... tooo absoultely amazing to even properly go into.

I'm going to sit here in awe, waiting for the next part, and laughing my ass off.

And I love how the idea of Honoria having a crush on Corky is a 'nasty idea' lol.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 5th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll try to be quicker about the next part than I was this time, but glad to leave you laughing!
bends From: bends Date: May 5th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Fifi LaFolle? Awesome.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 5th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm looking forward to it!
allie_andromeda From: allie_andromeda Date: May 5th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)
It remained Teddy's most unpleasant firsthand knowledge of magic. Of magic as a whole? Or just of healing magic?

Hee, Fifi! Oh, Teddy. :) Great chapter as usual. And Honoria's got a little cruuuush. *g*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 5th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Magic that's been done to him--firsthand stuff. :)
gil_vi_mor From: gil_vi_mor Date: May 5th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh. my. Fifi! I'm excited and can't wait for more!
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: May 5th, 2008 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh this is going to be awesome!!!!!

I love it when characters can get into books!

Yay!
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