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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Ten: The Undelivered Message, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Ten: The Undelivered Message, pt. 3
An increasingly-short-tempered Teddy realizes that he's completely off-kilter (even his teachers notice), and, in one of his usual flashes of brilliance, decides on the exact wrong thing to do: he goes into the Maze, meaning to get to the root of his strange and frightening dreams about Harry in the woods with the Marauders and Lily. The Maze, with a series of guides, shows him many reckless magical inventors, then finally takes him back to the Forest, where he's able to see his father trying to give a message to Harry to give to him, but he can't hear it, because it was never delivered. This is a relief to him--what mischief could a forgotten message from his father have? So he relaxes. Uncle Harry will be able to explain everything.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy felt like a stone had been lifted from his shoulders. Whatever message had been forgotten was just from Dad, through Uncle Harry, and Uncle Harry could just pass it on when he came. It didn't explain everything Teddy had seen in his dream, but sometimes, dreams were just dreams, as he was reminded over the next few days, as his dreams became light and frivolous again. He spent time on the island he'd imagined for his parents, sitting in the garden with them and talking about his girl troubles (in his dreams, Mum laughed a great deal about him kissing Victoire, which somehow made it less embarrassing). He flew with Sirius and James looking down on a calm ocean with no Maze-lines in it. The woman he took for Lily Potter was also there, and, even better, Fred Weasley, who was even more amused than Mum about the incident with Victoire, and kept threatening to get a message to Bill. He also dreamed of Buckbeak and Dapple, so fully real that he nearly went down to Hagrid's upon waking up because he thought he was meant to have a lesson flying Dapple. He was halfway there before he realized it had been a dream.

In waking hours, he felt more cheerful and stronger. He watched a Quidditch practice, during which Ruthless got into a screaming match with the captain of the team, and turned out to be right. He went to tea at Hagrid's with Roger Young and Maurice, who'd both asked to curry Dapple. Teddy himself chose to curry Buckbeak, who seemed grateful for the attention. He nearly asked Hagrid if he could take a flight, but the afternoon was short, and night was starting to fall. The moon was waxing, so it wasn't entirely dark, but Teddy thought a first flight really ought to be sunlit.

Of course, the waxing of the moon brought him back to Neil, and the room behind Professor Morse's dungeon. Professor Morse let him in after supper on a Sunday night and helped him chop the wolfsbane. Daniel came along a bit later and joined them.

"Nothing wrong with my knife hand," he said, grinning.

Professor Morse frowned. "Nothing wrong with the rest."

Daniel raised a hand in surrender. "I have to watch my wording," he confided to Teddy, then went back to chopping. "I asked Neil if I could study his blood this month."

"What?" Teddy asked. "What do you mean?"

"I brought my microscope. I wanted to see if there were any cellular changes with the moon phases."

Teddy frowned. "Any what?"

"Changes in the little things we're all made from," Professor Morse said. "I should lend you some of Daniel's books. You might find them interesting."

"Oh. Were there? Serl... er... changes?"

"Cellular. Not a thing. There's nothing abnormal at all about Neil's blood. Type A-positive. There may be some genetic abnormalities--I don't have the equipment I need--but nothing glaring, and there's no change with the lunar cycle."

"All this because he didn't believe us about it being Curse-borne." Professor Morse winked, then scraped a pile of chopped wolfsbane off the table into a box and picked up another plant.

"I believed you," Daniel said. "But I wondered what the mechanism was. How the Curse worked. What it did to make the physical changes."

"I don't think you can spot things like that when the change is magical," Professor Morse said.

Teddy finished his plant and started another. "Could you fit my hand under your microscope? I could morph while you watch."

Daniel's eyes lit up, and Professor Morse laughed. "You have a friend for life, Teddy," she said.

"Unfortunately, I don't know if I really could fit your hand under it. Have you ever seen a microscope? I have one of the old fashioned ones."

"I've never seen one," Teddy said.

Daniel did a final cut, then dashed off. He came back a moment later with a square black box and set it on the table. "I have much better ones that work on electricity," he said, "but of course, they don't work here. This one was my great-grandmother's. She worked as a technician in a laboratory. I rescued it from the attic when I started reading medicine." He opened the case and drew out a strange black metal contraption, with a tube rising up from a curved arm, all resting on a heavy base. "Cho, would you mind?"

Professor Morse flicked her wand at a tilted mirror in the base, and it sent light upward.

"It works in the sunlight without magic," Daniel said, "but in here, I'd need an electric light, or a bit of help." He fished for two thin pieces of glass, then said, "Excuse me," and yanked out a few strands of Teddy's hair. He put them between the glass bits, then slid them into the scope. "Have a look."

Interested, Teddy peeked down the tubular scope that Daniel indicated. Three scaly logs appeared in a circle of light. "Is that my hair?"

"Neat, isn't it? Want to have a look at the wolfsbane?"

Teddy nodded, and the three of them spent the next half hour looking at the wolfsbane, at some pickled murtlap, at a drop of Teddy's blood, at nearly everything they could find that Daniel could fit on a slide. Finally, Professor Morse consulted her watch and said that they needed to finish the potion before Teddy's curfew.

"You've got to take this up to Ravenclaw," Teddy said. "Of course, they might try to keep it. What is it for?"

Daniel picked up a bottle of dragon's bile and started measuring it into several small phials (it had to be added in specific increments). "Mainly what we were doing. But when you look at things like that, you can see what causes illnesses sometimes, and then you know what to do about them."

They continued the conversation, and Teddy went to bed thinking about small lifeforms that caused diseases, and he was still thinking of them when he met Neil after breakfast to start the month's dosing. Neil was as morose as he'd been last month, but it seemed more normal. The other Slytherin first years were planning an adventure on the grounds while the older students were in Hogsmeade on Saturday, and he'd be stuck in France, preparing to transform.

"Well... you'll get to see your Mum Evvie and Dad Nate, though," Teddy said.

"I guess." Neil sighed. "I sort of wish there weren't any werewolves, though. Then Mum Evvie and Dad Nate would be fine, and I'd have my real mum and dad." He gave a self-conscious shrug. "Sorry."

"Why? I'm on your side."

"I want to go back in time and punch whoever started this curse on the nose," Neil said.

"That'd be a trick."

"It was someone in Greece. Some king got cursed. They said by the gods, but it was probably just some really stupid wizard. It was supposed to be a punishment just for that king, and now I can't go into the closed dungeons."

Teddy, who had a goblet half-dipped into the cauldron, stopped. "What?"

Neil looked at him like he might be a bit slow, and said, "If I weren't a werewolf, I'd be able to go to the dungeons. Gavin says we might even find a new way into the Chamber of Secrets."

But Teddy wasn't concerned about the firstie Slytherin adventure. His mind was trying to snag on something. He finished dosing Neil, sat through what seemed an excrutiatingly long Charms class (Flitwick assigned partners, and Teddy wound up working with Lizzie, which turned into a forty-minute recitation of his faults as a boyfriend), then an even longer History of Magic class with Binns.

Something about Fifi LaFolle.

Something.

After History of Magic, he skipped lunch and went up to Gryffindor Tower. Fifi's research notes were on his desk, now buried under other things. He scanned them for anything that would stand out, and stopped near the top of the second scroll.

The Gambia. Brimmann's crew caused havoc with their last known act, when they cursed the local populace with Blistering Blood-Spots. Three villagers died of the illness.

Brimmann's crew caused...

Some king got cursed. They said by the gods, but it was probably just some really stupid wizard. It was supposed to be a punishment just for that king...

"That's it," Teddy whispered.

He got the Maze out hastily and entered it without any fanfare. The Guide took the form of Fifi LaFolle--young, corporeal, and dressed in a brilliant shade of pink. She took him through a battered wooden gate to a West African village, where Roderick Brimmann and several pirates were sprawled out on the ground, passed out among bottles of Firewhiskey. There were a few bodies scattered among them, and several frightened villagers huddled in their huts. One of the bodies--a young witch with horrible cuts on her face--suddenly stirred. She put her hands to her ruined cheeks, then let out a scream. Brimmann mumbled something, but didn't wake up.

The witch scuttled forward on all fours and grabbed a knife from beside Brimmann's hand. She raised it, then hissed and put it down, grabbing instead for Brimmann's wand. With a complex motion and a sudden, downward stroke, she spat out a Curse. Blood erupted from several places on Brimman's face, and he woke up now, screaming in fury. He grabbed the witch by the throat and threw her across the clearing. She landed by the fire, her head at an impossible angle, the flames already beginning to creep up a beaded strand of hair. Brimmann stormed through the village, waking the other pirates, and Teddy felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to find Tirza Malone instead of Fifi LaFolle, and she was standing on the gangplank of a ship. Teddy followed her up it. On deck, several pirates were draped over the cannons, dead and bleeding. Brimmann, lashed to the wheel, was all but unrecognizable beneath his red mask. He steered recklessly, blindly.

Teddy looked at Tirza. "This is it, isn't it? This is the real path. They didn't curse the village. Someone cursed them, and they just shared the wealth. They all died on the ship."

Tirza didn't answer. The guides never did.

Teddy thanked her, then followed his steps backward and came out of the Maze. He wasn't sure how to prove it, but he thought it might be a good idea to research ghost ships--or at least what Muggles called ghost ships--not to mention the nature of the Blistering Blood-Spots curse. Robards gave him permission the next day to use several books in the Restricted Section--Teddy had been afraid he wouldn't, after their last conversation, but he seemed excited by the idea--and he spent most of his spare time there over the next few days. When Friday came, he was so distracted that he almost didn't understand why Jane Hunter was asking him where he wanted to meet. She rolled her eyes and said that he could always find someone else to go with. He opted not to. The dreams were gone, and he felt on the verge of solving everything, even the puzzle of the message he'd seen.

He took Jane into Hogsmeade, and they had a fantastic time. Jane turned out to have a good sense of humor, and a keen interest in her own quest for Robards' class. She'd already borrowed Daniel's microscope to examine what she called "trace evidence," and she had a huge notebook filled with theories that she was systematically eliminating. She was delighted to have a chance to use logic in a Hogwarts class. They had lunch at the Hog's Head, and visited Lee and Verity at Weasleys' Zonks, and somehow found themselves on a bench of the local play park at the end of the day. Teddy could think of no reasons at all to avoid kissing Jane. She didn't seem to be looking for reasons, either. They walked back to school hand in hand (Ruthless, a bit ahead of them on the road, kept looking back and rolling her eyes; Teddy didn't see Victoire anywhere, and was glad), and Teddy left her at the stairs leading down to Slytherin. She started down then came back for another kiss. Teddy smiled as he watched her disappear.

Behind him, someone coughed.

He turned.

The visitor was looking assiduously away, but grinning. "I thought you might have forgotten that you were supposed to meet your poor old Uncle Harry for tea."

Teddy smiled.

Everything would fall back into place soon.
32 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 26th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry catching Teddy k-i-s-s-i-n-g!
That's our Teddy, unashamed!
Thanks for the update.
I'm glad Teddy's finding some answers.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Even when he probably ought to be ashamed of himself, as he's kissing Jane in an attempt to wash the taste of Victoire off his lips...
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: May 26th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear, Teddy is quite the lady's man, isn't he? This Blistering Blood-Spots curse thing is interesting and I can't wait to find out how it turned into lycanthropy (if that's where your going with this). Maybe it will lead to a cure (or rather, counter-curse).
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: May 26th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and I think you keep accidentally referring to Neil as Daniel. Once when Teddy was making the wolfsbane, and once when Neil was drinking it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops. I caught when I called him "Nate," but totally missed calling him "Daniel." I'm apparently not deeply devoted to this character!
ronkaperplexous From: ronkaperplexous Date: May 26th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
"I asked Daniel if I could study his blood this month."

He asked Neil, I think. I think, He finished dosing Daniel is also a slip.

This is all very exciting.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. (For the comment and the catch.)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: May 26th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy seems to be making some good progress on solving the Brimmann mystery--I'm definitely interested in finding out the answers to that.

And oh, boy--something tells me things are going to hit the fan now that an unsuspecting Harry has arrived at Hogwarts. ::braces self for fall-out::

Editorial observation: you seem to be mixing up "Daniel" and "Neil" a bit, during the lycanthropy discussion.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
::am afraid of writing fallout::

But I've more or less committed myself, haven't I? ;p
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: May 26th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Teddy. And poor Harry - headed for such a blowout, all unsuspecting. I am afraid for what is coming next...

Meanwhile, this segment was wonderful. Yay!!

Edit thing: you called Neil "Daniel" a couple of times in this one. Nothing else that I noticed, though. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I got it; thanks.

Yes, Harry's entirely innocent of the problem, and Teddy's expecting that wise Uncle Harry will fix everything with a few words.
allie_andromeda From: allie_andromeda Date: May 26th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Teddy. You are such a *teenager*. So oblivious. And I agree with what someone else said: poor Harry! He's walking into a trap, and he doesn't even know it.

I'm *very* excited to read the next part!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
The confrontation's in the next chapter, but not necessarily the next part I post. (Yes, I'm dawdling. But also, that's sort of an end-of-chapter thing.)
insixeighttime From: insixeighttime Date: May 26th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC) (Link)
WAITWAITWAIT

So point B will be put on hold. But as I read the other comments, fallout, Harry, Teddy, Falling-out, is this that? The argument you've hinted they have? Did that make sense? It can't be though, it's to early... right?

And Point B. I thought you were going to go with Brimmann being the first to curse someone with lycopanthy, but the connection went a different way. I'm now quite interested.

And poor Harry.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
It never occurred to me to have Brimmann have caused lycanthropy (though it's interesting, and I could see where you'd get that from!). I just figure that if he's going to find someone that Aurors haven't, it'll have to be by making connections that they didn't necessarily have.

Edited at 2008-05-26 02:52 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 26th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Everything would fall back into place soon.

Oh this line had me cackling! While I should be dreading the anger and frustration and all the other ring fallout looming just around the corner, my evil side is actually looking forward to watching Teddy and Harry walk blithely into disaster :-P

It's good to know that even non-Lupins make self-deprecating remarks, although Daniel probably didn't really mean that not being magical actually makes him worthless. And it's good to know Cho doesn't let him get away with his little forays into Lupin-dom.

-Sqveege
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Daniel was just saying, "Well, it doesn't take magic to do this, so I can help as well as Cho can," but yes, there's a certain amount of, "Well, at least I can handle this" as well.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 26th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)

m

just one thing, i thought the pacing seemed off in this chapter, like we're rushing to the argument.
but that's okay- i want to see it!
teddy has an interesting relationship with girlfriends, i really liked how "he couldn't think of any reasons not to kiss her"- nice connection to victoire. showing, in a way, how uncomplicated but also meaningless the thing with jane is.
i like how you make teddy, even at his worst, not terrible- doing penance in the last chapter just for thinking about hitting someone. yet he is realistically selfish and rude at times.
maybe a little too heavy hand with the everything will be okay once i talk to uncle harry stuff- feels like you're hitting us over the head with the ironic foreshadowing.
good installment, can't wait to see how this goes!~m
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

like we're rushing to the argument.

I see what you mean (about that and the heavy-handedness). Of course, from my PoV, I feel like I've been dragging my feet on getting to it, finding every excuse in the book to put it off. ;p
malinbe From: malinbe Date: May 26th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, god, poor Harry. I suffer for him.

This was very nice, very light after all those highly stressful and emotional moments this past few days. Is this the calmness before the storm?

The bit with Daniel was of course very nice and the new theory is very interesting, and I'm eager to find out more.

Again, poor Harry.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Is this the calmness before the storm?

Kind of, yes. It's also Teddy's Dead People Posse trying to distract him from that shiny thing over there.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: May 26th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Heheh. Great ending. Nice post, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I thought it was time for Harry to actually encounter the Dreaded Teen Teddy, Hogwarts Heartbreaker.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: May 26th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
"I wanted to see if there were any cellular changes with the moon phases."

It's neurological, I'd put money on it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 26th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Heheh. Daniel "House" Morse. Next, he'll be wanting to check the Sanctuary for environmental causes, or maybe doing an unnecessary lumbar puncture (possibly while in flight, using an insulin syringe).

prelud From: prelud Date: May 26th, 2008 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Hehe.
At least we know it`s not lupus ("it`s never lupus"), even though the name would fit. The irony!
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: May 26th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I hate that last line, Fern.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: May 26th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy's trouble, well one of Teddy's many troubles, is that he has his father's habit of being genuinly likable and thus he runs in to problems when he has rebound dates. I can just imagine Jane trying to tell herself all the way through their date that, despite the fact that he is obviously enjoying himself and you know seems interested, she really oughtn't to get too attatched because there is still that red head waiting in the wings.

Poor Jane. I imagine that Teddy must be very easy to fall for.

And speaking of couples, Danial and Cho are utterly adorable, its nice to see some respect for us Muggles, which you know was always one of those things that sort of worried me about the books themselves. I was listening to a Terry Pratchett interview the other day and he said something about that topic, because the interviewer had inevitably asked him about the so called "Rowling Feud", about it reflecting badly on the wizards themselves if most of them think of Muggles as barely capable children. Especially as if you asked a wizard how to plow a field or as you say use a microscope they would be completly lost.
From: kobegrace Date: May 26th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
OOooOh! A new Brimmann development! A mysterious new Brimmann development! Melikes!

And what a dapper young lad Teddy is. Uncle Harry -- who is still sooo HOT -- must be rather proud.
From: glynngriffiths Date: May 26th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor old Uncle Harry indeed! Getting thrown over for a girl and about to wander into a can of worms a la adolescent angst...

I'm so excited about the developments in the Brimmann case as well - it's a terribly intriguing subplot, and now I want to know what happened in the Gambia!

Wonderfully evocative line: "You've got to take this up to Ravenclaw," Teddy said. "Of course, they might try to keep it. What is it for?" I can just see the Ravenclaws holding the microscope hostage up in the tower and arguing over who gets to use it next!

hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: May 27th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eeeergh, it's hard to watch a boulder rolling towards someone and not be able to stop it or get them to turn around.

I have to say I'm not loving that last line...It's more forced than your usual style, but I have a feeling on rewrite once you have the plot all hammered out it will be easy enough to smooth some of that stuff over. The emotional power of this story is really strong, and you've managed to create a really claustrophobic atmosphere, that here-comes-the-boulder feeling, while leavening it appropriately with lovely fluff like the Jane Hunter storyline.

I just went and reread "Pointless" because I couldn't remember it very well. A few things...It's fascinating to see your first glimpse at Teddy, at the age you're writing for him now, with all the additional background we now have. Obviously things are going to be very, very different, since Greyback is dead and the mysterious info seems to be Remus's message instead of how they died. I am extremely curious to see the revamped version.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: May 29th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ulp! Poor Harry - and poor Teddy. As was said in another context, 'I have a bad feeling about this...'
32 comments or Leave a comment