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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Thirteen: Little Things, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Thirteen: Little Things, pt. 1
Seems this one's going in fits and spurts. I really do know where I'm going, but I hit another blank spot in the plan.

After Teddy's mishap with the Maze, some oddball images and sounds are appearing, though Teddy is writing most of them off, if he notices them at all. Harry has been troubled enough to consult Hermione about Teddy's behavior, but they haven't reconciled. Maddie came to check on Teddy and told him not to use the Maze until she's figured out what's gone wrong. He agreed, as it would give him a chance to repair it before she notices that he broke it.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Madam Pomfrey gave him a suspicious look on Thursday morning. "There's nothing you're not telling me? No aches or pains?"

"Nothing."

"Can you feel everything?"

"Yes."

"I mean everything, Mr. Lupin."

"So do I."

She narrowed her eyes, as if expecting him to confess to some paralysis of a personal nature, but finally appeared to accept his answer. "You're not seeing or hearing anything odd?"

"Just those whispers, and you heard them, too."

She looked frustrated not to have anything to hold him on. "All right, then. You may go. But if you develop any numbness, lose your appetite, or start speaking in rhyme, see me immediately. Other than that, please do your best to stay away."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Well, that's that. Go on. You have classes. Don't skip your meals, either." She frowned and shook her head. "I'm getting too old to worry about you, Teddy Lupin. I didn't spend seven years keeping your father in one piece just to watch his only son self-destruct."

Teddy had been fighting the urge to answer her in rhyme, but the mention of Dad killed the idea. "I'll be more careful."

"Get on with it, then. The Scrimgeour girl brought you fresh robes while you were sleeping." She pointed to a carelessly folded pile of black cloth on the table, then Conjured the screen and went back to her office.

Teddy pulled on his robes, grateful for their crispness after four days in soft pajamas. He wondered when Ruthless had come, and if she'd sat with him at all, or kissed him in his sleep. He thought he ought to have at least dreamed something like that if she had, but for a moment, he let himself daydream about it--that she'd come in while he was sleeping, sat by the bed, held his hand, then finally leaned over and kissed him nicely, whispering that it wasn't nonsense when he was ill. Then his traitor mind twisted the scene, and she was sitting by his bedside, looking at him crossly after dumping his robes off without ceremony. In this version, instead of kissing him, she hissed, "Thanks for making my Defense classes awkward. I'm trying to get an apprenticeship with your Uncle Harry's division, you know, and you've gone and picked a fight with him, about things he probably knows more about, and you said hateful things. And he knows I'm your girlfriend sometimes. Thanks for nothing."

Teddy tried to push the second notion away and go back to the first--Ruthless wasn't one to say things when no one was listening, after all--but by the time he'd finished straightening himself out for class, the pleasant fantasy of having been kissed in his sleep had begun to seem as realistic as one of James's loopy, incomprehensible crayon drawings, while the denunciation took on the sharp clarity of a new photograph. He'd started to rehearse what he might say to her--beginning with the fact that she'd been the one to break up, so she didn't get any say in how things went--when he heard a throat being cleared on the other side of the screen. He half expected it to be Ruthless, and reminded himself to at least wait to find out if his daydream was real before starting an argument, but it wasn't.

It was Uncle Harry.

The fantasies shattered and were swept away. Teddy sat down on the edge of the bed.

"Are you coming to my class?" Uncle Harry asked.

"I have to. It's O.W.L. year."

"Well, it's words. I guess that's progress." He pulled up the chair and leaned forward, elbows on his knees, hands folded tightly. His glasses and wedding ring flashed in the morning sun. "I hate this, Teddy," he said.

Teddy looked over at him from the corner of his eye, and remembered playing Auror-versus-Lethifold in Granny's greenhouse. Uncle Harry had Charmed a large black blanket to follow them around, and Teddy had never questioned the fact that it tended to move every time Uncle Harry "cursed" it. These games would end with Teddy wrapped up in the blanket, and Uncle Harry tossing him up toward the ceiling while he laughed. It should have been Dad's job, Teddy thought, but it didn't bring anger at Uncle Harry this time, just a sort of vague, unfocused grief that he thought he'd hit the end of years ago. "I hate it, too," he said. The image of Ruthless denouncing him in his sleep came again, and he braced himself. He could be bigger about this. "I'm sorry I said what I did about the people who died. That wasn't your fault, it was Voldemort's, and I'm sure you'd have found a better way if there was one."

It was something he'd heard Granny say, in one variation or another, on many occasions, and it came out sounding rehearsed, even though he hadn't even planned to say it, let alone practiced.

"Thank you," Uncle Harry said. Teddy waited for him to say he was sorry about the Stone, but he didn't. Instead, he said, "I'll let you get breakfast before class. I just wanted to see you before then. You know in class that--"

"--that you're here to lecture."

"Yes. And I've invited someone today who... well, let's say I consider it wiser than usual to keep the personal to ourselves." With this, he stood and left. The whole conversation seemed incomplete somehow.

Teddy had History of Magic before Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Donzo slipped him the last few days of notes. Geoffrey had apparently derailed normal lecturing on Tuesday with a long rant about how the goblins would have been better guarantors of public trust than the Ministry (Donzo had, for some reason, taken careful notes even during Geoffrey's sputterings), so Teddy had really only missed a class and a half in three days. About halfway through class, when everyone other than Geoffrey was trying to find a good daydream to slip into, Donzo kicked Teddy's ankle. Teddy looked over and noticed that he'd covered one of his eyes with black fur.

The wood grain on Teddy's desk re-arranged itself to say, "I'll race you."

Teddy turned two of his fingernails into feathers--straight morphing this time, though it took longer than it should have--and responded, "You're on."

Corky, who had the first class period free and used it to work on the Charmer two doors down, was waiting in the corridor. Teddy waved to Donzo, who headed off for his Muggle Studies class, then let Corky lead the way into the crowd.

"You're not going to drop dead on us in class, right?" he asked, weaving through a knot of third year Ravenclaws on their way to Binns. Story Shacklebolt was with them, and he took a moment to make an exaggerated face over his fate, holding up his History of Magic textbook like a shield, before one of his mates dragged him along.

"I'm fine," Teddy told Corky when they got to the stairs. "Madam Pomfrey kept me longer than she needed to."

"Honoria wants to know what made you sick."

"Why?"

"For the Charmer. Fair warning. She'll hound you about it."

"Why would anyone who reads the Charmer care?"

Corky shrugged and led the way to the corridor that led to Robards' classroom. "Eh, weird stuff. Did anyone tell you about the flower in the Weasley swamp?"

"What?"

"Some weird flower--big red thing--showed up in that swamp in the third floor hallway. Personally, I think it was Victoire. She's been too quiet this year. I bet she's getting warmed up for some good pranks, and she is Longbottom's little pet. Or maybe Longbottom did it, just to stir things up."

Teddy thought it was more likely to have been Victoire--probably with George's help--if someone used Fred's swamp to start a rumor, but since he knew what was making her quiet, he didn't think she was actually plotting anything. "So just a flower? That's Charmer-worthy these days?"

"Couple of first years have seen kids they don't recognize, but then they're gone."

"What?"

"Rumor has it, they're all you, just messing with us. You know... morphing."

"Oh, right. Of course. Just like me, really. I love to scare first years while pretending to be sick. Everyone knows that."

"So Honoria's determined to get to the bottom of it."

"What do the teachers say?"

"That first years can't tell the difference between a ghost and a post. I mean, they're nicer about it, but I think they've been around Hogwarts long enough to know when something's actually weird, as opposed to what passes for normal around here."

Teddy thought about the ghosts in the wall that he and Madam Pomfrey had heard, but didn't say anything. Corky was right--if she thought anything really strange was going on, she'd have said something, and someone else would have investigated it, and if it was anything odd, they'd probably have the place in lock-down.

They reached the door of the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and Teddy took a deep breath before going in, trying to leave anything personal outside the door. Corky waited for him without saying anything. They went in together.

Uncle Harry was sitting at the desk, looking distastefully at a man in a black robe with a hood. Teddy couldn't see the man's face. Honoria, who was already in her seat, was looking at him strangely, her quill held halfway down to her note scroll, as if she'd forgotten whether she was getting it out or putting it away. Jane and Brendan were talking quietly. As Teddy took his seat, Maurice blew in, obviously from outside (it was raining, and he was soaked), and muttered something about being sorry for being late, and Dapple, and Buckbeak, and Hagrid. Teddy guessed he'd used his free period to help Hagrid with the hippogriffs, but a guess was the best he could call it.

Uncle Harry closed the door and flicked his wand at it a second time, using nonverbal magic. He dried Maurice off with another wand movement, then came around the front of the desk and sat down, sending their homework papers flying back to them in the same movement. Teddy only had time to glance down and note that he'd got a good mark, with only a few wrong questions, before Uncle Harry started to speak.

"O.W.L. year is always difficult in this class. It's the time you decide whether you mean to go any further with it. It can be a somewhat disturbing course of study." He picked up a piece of chalk and twisted it absently between his fingers. "Something I've heard over and over again from students is how they are inherently smarter than wizards in the past, that they would never be fooled by dark wizards. I remember being sure of it myself."

"Well, you didn't get fooled," Corky said.

"It's hard to be fooled when they're trying to kill you," Uncle Harry told him. "It's easier when they like you. Which is why I've invited someone else to speak to you today." He turned to the other man and nodded.

The man reached up and pushed his hood down. He had pale, white-blond hair and a pointed face. Slowly, he reached down to his wrist, then pushed up the thick black sleeve.

Maurice, who'd been fidgeting around, trying to get his things together, stopped dead. "That's the Dark Mark."

Teddy looked at the exposed flesh of the man's arm. On it was a fading scar, just a small one, a skull with a snake coming from its mouth.

The man nodded. "My name is Draco Malfoy," he said. "Are you quite prepared to sit still and listen, or shall I give a brief demonstration?"
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Comments
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badipew From: badipew Date: June 8th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi. I don't comment much, but I read and love everything you write and have been checking your LJ everyday since DH came out because Teddy-verse is now a extension of my canon. That is to say I really love your stories and to thank you for writing them.
Other than that, I love all your characters (including the canon ones you made yours) and the perfect use you make of information the canon didn't develop. That's the best kind of fanfic there is, and you're a master at it. And you can even come up with a really interesting surprise that leaves me thinking "Why didn't I see that one coming?". Draco is an amazing idea.
Thank you so much for having a hobby other people can enjoy
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi, nice to see you. Draco surprised me, too. :)

I wish this story were going more smoothly, though!
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: June 8th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
...Draco?! Didn't see that coming at all. :-) Must have been an interesting conversation between him and Harry that led to his guest-lecturing. Loved the bit about Teddy speaking in rhyme, but the things happening to the school are making me nervous. And the Harry/Teddy conversation was just sad...it did feel unfinished, which is not the way things should be for them, at all, and gah. Great installment as usual, and can't wait for the next. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel bad leaving things hanging with Teddy and Harry. I want to bring on the fluffy bunnies. So instead, I brought... a Death Eater.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 8th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, what a note to end on! OK--what kind of speaker does an adult Draco Malfoy make? And he's Teddy's cousin too, which makes it even more interesting.

So Teddy and Harry are speaking again, though not comfortably and I suspect the strain may last most of the year. And more eerie suggestions of things leaking out of the maze. You may be writing in fits and starts, but at least they're intriguing fits and starts!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's hoping they stay that way!
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: June 8th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
The man reached up and pushed his head down.

Hood?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I certainly hope so!
mrs_norris_mous From: mrs_norris_mous Date: June 8th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Grand as usual.

As Teddy took hi seat,

"As Teddy took his seat, "
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Grand as usual.

Looks like it.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: June 8th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now why do I suspect everyone would be much more concerned about the mystery kids and so forth if Teddy had told Maddy about that crack?

And this does sound like it's going to be an... interesting... class period. I wondered who the guest speaker was that Harry didn't like; I feel rather as if I should have guessed it faster. I'm also a little concerned about exactly what he's offering to demonstrate. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm also a little concerned about exactly what he's offering to demonstrate. ;)

So's Maurice. :)

I think they might be more concerned if they knew about the crack, but then, Hogwarts has a sort of lackadaisical attitude about these sorts of things...
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 8th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
'Something I've heard over and over again from students is how they are inherently smarter than wizards in the past'

I sure hope you're listening Teddy :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I get the impression that Harry called in this guest speaker for the benefit of precisely one student.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: June 8th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

"...one of James's loopy, incomprehensible crayon drawings."

Aaagh! Cliffhanger!

Well, at least there was that little taste of James to make mee feel better!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 9th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: "...one of James's loopy, incomprehensible crayon drawings."

I've got to write you a James story sometime, just to say thanks for the constant comments. Also because James always makes me feel better, too. Maybe I'll put in a whole story by James sometime.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 8th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Now that's a surprise.
But it actually sounds like a good idea, having an ex-Death Eater giviing them a lecture (though he'll surely be as infuriating as ever). Maybe it's good if you do not only know the victims' point of view (though one could argue Malfoy was a victim as well, the silly boy).

Anyway, I'm all caught up again (rare thing nowadays), and enjoying the story immensely. Now it's time to wander off to bed, wondering about voice and strange kids and flowers... *giggles at self* I'm almost expecting another weird dream about Teddy. A musical, honesly...

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 9th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Before Attack of the Clones came out, I dreamed it was a musical. Also, that it was set on a subway platform.

I think it's often a good idea to have someone in who's actually screwed up--imagine how intimidating it would be sometimes to have Harry as the one instructing you!

P.S.: Have you ever read The Wave, by Todd Strasser? A sort of sobering look at this kind of question, when a history teacher's students don't believe that they would ever have fallen for Hitler's program. The teacher decides to teach a different kind of lesson by steeping them in a fascist system without telling him he's doing it, and he ends up with a little Hitler Youth in a matter of weeks. It purports to be based on a true story, but I think it's since been debunked. Doesn't make it any less a creepy story.

Edited at 2008-06-09 03:20 am (UTC)
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thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: June 8th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Draco!!!!!

*waves*

As an old member of Unredeemed I feel that the five exclaimations marks are fully justified. I think that the first time somebody asked whether Draco would be making an apearence was sometime during FG, not to mention the many times during HM that somebody asked what the... shadowy branch of Teddy\'s family was up to. And already he is snarking defensively.*sighs the happy sigh of someone who thought that many of the best bits of DH involved the Malfoys or the Blacks*

Although I can\'t help but wonder exactly how this guest lecturer thing was aranged. I\'m guessing that either he works in the Ministry as well or the Andromeda connection came into play. I suppose that it might even be possible that Draco volentered for it, after all after what he has been through I can just about imagine him wanting to make sure that it didn\'t happen to anyone else (what stranger things have happened and Draco did an awful lot of growing up in teh last couple of books) that or Harry decided to call in a bit of the humongous favour that Draco owes him.

And I\'ve just spent two paragraphs talking about something that happened in the last couple of sentances of the section.

\"Teddy waited for him to say he was sorry about the Stone\" that was a brilliant line, partly because it shows really clearly that Teddy still hasn\'t accepted that something is really wrong with how he is viewing the world at this point and also because I think it shows the fact that Teddy just wants to put the whole thing behind them. Still in the quite childish view that saying sorry just makes fluffy bunnies apear.

And just in general the \"normal stuff\" ie the friendly banter between the kids is really good. I do wonder though exactly how worried Donzo and Corky and that lot are about Teddy. Its is difficult to tell through Teddy the extent of his wierdness lately and I was just wondering how much they\'ve seen.

Oh and the whole seeing echo and things, really quite spooky, I know that if I was a first year I would be completly freaked out.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 9th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been trying to think of a way to bring Draco in... yet, nevertheless, this was a totally unplanned surprise visit.

I think Donzo and Corky are both more worried than they're letting on. Donzo's "Race you" challenge puts Teddy's after hours activities under watch, and Corky's hanging around waiting for him after class so he's not walking through the halls alone. I wouldn't be surprised if Teddy's friends have had some conversations about him while he's been laid up.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: June 8th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am still reading and loving this - a bit nervous about the mystery children; looking forward to Draco's talk; excited that Donzo is going to do the Animagus thing; still curious about the letters that Teddy received just before his mishap with the Maze.

I think my favourite line in this segment was Harry's about how it is easy to not be fooled when they're trying to kill you but harder when they like you.

Keep up the awesome work - I am enjoying it as it comes. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 9th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to get to those letters!

I think Harry's thinking of the difference between himself and Dumbledore--Dumbledore was never the target of Grindelwald's machinations, and in fact would have benefitted from them, so this wise and mainly good-hearted man was completely drawn in, and didn't even take a stand until very late in the game. Harry, meanwhile, was attacked as a baby and lost both of his parents, and from the first meeting onward, Voldemort declared him an enemy. You really have to make a concerted effort to join up with someone who hates you!
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 8th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hogwarts is falling apaarrrtttt *sing song* afterlife are everywherrreeee..........

And, speaking in rhyme *snorts*

I saw Draco coming o_0. The second Harry said there was another visitor I went- oh, Draco. *Shrugs*

As usual, always happy to read a new segment, sorry it's getting rough for you again :(. Is it still a continuation of the writer's block? Or is it because it's not plotted?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 9th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Is it still a continuation of the writer's block? Or is it because it's not plotted?

Yes. ;p

Seriously, I know where the story is going, and I know what's happening at Christmas, but there's a lot of scary empty space in between, and I'm a little leery of what's at the center of the Maze.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: June 8th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Intriguing, Fern. I was actually expecting that to be Lucius Malfoy but I think Draco works even better. Draco doing the wizarding version of Sacred Straight is intriguing. Maybe he can end it by saying "Don't do drugs."

Very good, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 9th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha, yes, that's definitely the working theory here. Though I think Draco would be more of the "Don't join gangs" group.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 8th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Draco! What a cool twist. Also, the whole "I hear voices but ou do to, so its okay" thing is just brilliant. I am a little confused on one point though....did Ruthless actually say anything to Teddy or not? Either way, Teddy wishign for Ruthless to kiss him just underpins what a ladies man he is. I mean, he's kissed Victoire and Jane in the pass few days and now he's thinking about a third girl!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 9th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Ruthless asked Madam Pomfrey when Teddy was getting out; Madam Pomfrey said "Tomorrow; he'll need robes." So she ran them down before Quidditch practice while he was asleep, then ran back out. Teddy's fevered imagination is providing her with grand speeches. ;p

As to the kisses--Teddy surprised me. I initially thought of him as sort of like Remus: The girls like him, but he tends to be clueless and aloof. But no, he likes the snogging part. A lot. Of course, he kissed Jane to forget about kissing Victoire, and Ruthless is his constant daydream, or so he tells himself.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 8th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, Harry, THAT is cool. I'm dying, dying to read what comes next. I don't think you've written much of those two together, have you? Anyway, I think it's a great idea. It's easy to oppose when they are going against you or your family; it's a different battle when it means going against your own family, or when you're de facto in.

And "Couple of first years have seen kids they don't recognize, but then they're gone." crept me out entirely. Entirely.

Can't wait.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 9th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
The adults are being more blasé than any adult reasonably would be. But hey, it's the Potterverse--ignoring school-related problems is a time-honored adult tradition here. ;p
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