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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Fourteen: The Halloween Feast, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Fourteen: The Halloween Feast, pt. 3
Teddy has realized exactly how much damage was done to the Maze, and, tired of dealing with it on his own, has finally written to Maddie, though he delayed for several days before sending the letter. Meanwhile, a stream and a flower that were never at Hogwarts before have appeared (the former disappearing just as rapidly), and people from the past seem to have been plucked forward for brief appearances. These phantasm don't notice their surroundings at all--but Teddy's glad to have had a look at Tonks in the Hufflepuff Common Room, anyway. Meanwhile, Frankie has decided to have a school-wide Halloween party on All Saints Day, which is a Friday; it is currently Thursday, Halloween proper.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy sat up in the Gryffindor Common Room that night, hoping that he might see Dad or Sirius, or maybe James. It was the anniversary of the day James had died. But while a few phantasms appeared--including one man who Teddy thought was Godric Gryffindor; he had the sword on his belt, anyway--none of the Marauders seemed to be picked up.

Uncle Harry would no doubt pontificate on how this was better, and how it was very close to Dark magic to worry about such things, and it would drive someone crazy, and he knew best, because he was Harry Potter.

Teddy duly noted the imaginary lecture, but was disappointed anyway. Seeing Mum for one unguarded moment had been grand. He could never be sure of his dreams, but the girl with the horrible hairstyle and clashing trainers... that had been Nymphadora Lupin--well, Tonks at the time--with no masks on, and no agenda.

Sometime after midnight, Teddy finally gave up and went back to his room, where he found Checkmate batting at an oblivious boy in Victorian robes. He disappeared when Teddy lit the torches to get ready for bed. As he was the only Gryffindor in his year, the furniture in the dormitory was in a different arrangement than it had ever been, and he wondered what would happen if some boy in the past--or future, he supposed--was plucked from his bed and ended up sitting in the middle of Teddy's own desk. Would he notice being cut in half by a large slab of wood?

And would it kill him? If so, what sorts of trouble would that cause?

These thoughts tried to keep Teddy awake, but he was tired to the center of his bones, and he drifted off uneasily, dreaming scattered dreams about accidentally changing history. He also dreamed that Fifi LaFolle was alive, but missing, and he had to team up with Uncle Harry and Kingsley Shacklebolt to find her, since she was guarding one of James's treasures and they were the only ones who could track her. The pair of them were having a passionate argument about the American sport of Quodpot, and Aunt Ginny appeared to send them off to different corners of the magic carpet until they could cool off.

As sleep started to steal away, but before wakefulness took him, Teddy actually tried to interpret it, believing in a dreamy way that he was doing an assignment for Trelawney. He'd got as far as deciding that Quodpot referred to a low-grade international skirmish he'd heard about from Ellsworth--a nonsensical bit of business between wizarding communities in Quebec and Maine--and Aunt Ginny represented the interests of the Ministry and the crown, before he woke up in the dawn-gray dormitory and realized that he had no assignment from Trelawney, and international skirmishes were not generally resolved by dreams about magic carpets (unless Maddie had skipped something in her description of the duties of the Department of Mysteries).

He pulled himself out of bed and finished the homework he'd skipped yesterday to work on Frankie's party, and by the time he was finished, he could hear the rest of Gryffindor up and moving around. He cleaned up and got dressed for the day, then made himself eat breakfast (his appetite still wasn't precisely what he was used to) and headed for Transfiguration with Connie Deverill and Donzo. When they got in, Teddy almost didn't realize that he wasn't looking at a phantasm--if a child McGonagall could appear in the Common Room, where she'd only spent a handful of years, it seemed quite normal to think that an adult McGonagall would appear in the classroom where she'd spent decades, standing by the blackboard in heavily brocaded robes. It wasn't until she called, "Good morning, Mr. Lupin," that he realized she was actually present, and so was the canvas standing a few feet from her, and the tall, thin black man peering at it intently.

At least until he heard Teddy's name.

Dean Thomas turned with a start and looked at Teddy, then composed himself and smiled politely. Teddy returned it, but went to McGonagall.

"What, er...?" He looked around. Beside Dean was a stand that held a clean palette and several tubes of oil paint (though he was working with charcoal on the canvas at the moment), and a dish of some substance that glowed a peculiarly practical shade of khaki. "Well, obviously, you're having your portrait done. Are you ill?"

"No. Just getting old enough that Headmistress Sprout considered it appropriate to see to it that I had a portrait ready to take up residence. I don't intend it to be active for some time." She started to lean forward, but Dean stopped her with a tentative, "Er, Professor?" She nodded curtly. "It's foolishness, of course. But she's oddly convinced that my august personage would be a beneficial addition to the walls. She wanted to put it in the Headmaster's Office, but I drew the line. I was never more than Dumbledore's deputy." She shifted her eyes. "Mr. Thomas, have you got the preliminary work done? I believe Professor Gardner's class is ready to start."

Dean started to gather his things. "I have the basic layout. But I'd like to come back this afternoon to get the proper lighting. The last Transfiguration class ends at two-thirty... er, I suppose you remember that. If you'd like to add any more thoughts... well, the more, the better." He looked at the glowing bowl, then nodded to Teddy and said, "Er... good morning, then, Teddy." He left before Teddy thought to return the greeting.

McGonagall rolled her shoulders to stretch, then pointed her wand at her robes and said, "Finite Incantatem." The heavy velvet robes with jeweled inlays became practical, every day work robes. "Mr. Thomas and I will be here for the weekend," she said. "Perhaps you'd care to join us for tea tomorrow?"

This was clearly enough an order that Teddy didn't even pretend to check his schedule.

The morning's classes went slowly. Students Teddy would have never imagined coming to a social event arranged by Frankie Apcarne were actually talking about the Halloween party, largely because the feast had been muted last night in anticipation. Ruthless and Frankie finally reached an agreement on costumes--anyone who wanted to could wear one. This was announced with some aplomb at lunch. Marie Weasley seemed delighted with the notion, but Teddy heard a few other girls grumbling about not having time to put anything together.

After classes in the afternoon, Teddy joined his friends in the Great Hall to get it ready. The house elves, disturbed by the change in days and routines, were scurrying around with little attempt at hiding, and Winky looked like she might faint from the impropriety of having a masked ball (as she insisted on calling it) on All Saints Day. Victoire had assembled her usual team of boys from Gryffindor, and Story had generously lent her his Ravenclaw army, to put up decorations that George Weasley had donated for the occasion. Stationary fireworks shaped like bats and demons danced around the walls, throwing strange shadows against the stones. Franklin Driscoll appeared, looking sheepish, with a bag of Muggle Halloween decorations, including what appeared to be a green-skinned hag in witch's robes. "It's what they think witches look like," he muttered, shrugging, then produced a piece of white cloth draped over a ball, with crude eyes drawn on it. "And this is a ghost."

These, along with other decorations, provided great amusement to the wizard-born (except for Honoria, who looked vexed by the hag), and Victoire commanded a small Muggle corner to be constructed near the study behind the high table. At some point, Donzo got out his guitar and started his Muggles and Minions based repertoire, adding some questionable lyrics here and there. A few phantasms appeared, but of course took no notice. Corky made a great show of pretending to dance with a pretty girl who appeared to be visiting from the time of Queen Elizabeth. By the time the party was due to begin, everyone was in a fine mood. Teddy felt guilty about this--there were still some major problems, and they were still his fault--but he told himself that nothing new had appeared, and the phantasms were harmless, and Maddie would be here in the morning.

Donzo brought his charmed amplifiers down, but after another argument with Maurice about doing free concerts, just hooked them up to a radio. Frankie Charmed it to play a lot of popular songs, and the rest of the guests came in. In all, Teddy guessed that there were forty students there--not exactly a smashing turnout, but nothing to sneeze at. The elves served dinner on long buffet tables (Winky was even more horrified by this than by the date), and couples moved around the floor in wild dances. Teddy chanced a dance with Ruthless and escaped unscathed, then found himself shared between the Weasley girls until Jane grabbed him.

About half of the guests had worn costumes, though few were actually masked. One of these few was Marie, who'd decided to dress as a Veela in bird form. This was interpreted with a feathered cape, a feathered headdress, and a feathered mask. While Teddy danced with her, she made a lot of very silly bird noises, but he noticed that she didn't seem to be doing that with anyone else. Victoire just watched her indulgently. Teddy, who'd lost Jane somewhere in the crowd, went over to her.

"Looks great in here," he said.

"Thank you." She pulled herself up onto a table to sit down. "This was a good idea. Do you think the headmistress will let us have Bonfire Night as well?"

"Probably not in the Great Hall."

"True." She looked around. "The teachers are finally coming. I invited Neville--Professor... oh, you know. And the Morses got in a few minutes ago." She pointed to a tall man in a ragged pirate costume striding across the dance floor, weaving among the couples. "I don't know him. Does he teach something obscure?"

Teddy peered through the crowd to get a better look. It was hard to see in the light of fireworks. The set of the man's shoulders looked familiar. He'd stopped at the buffet table, where he was standing close to Marie. It could have been--

Teddy's heart froze. He ran across the room, knocking couples out of the way, much to their consternation. He was going full tilt by the time he got there, and almost ran into the phantasm.

It didn't notice, but it was turning anyway.

It was Brimmann, his face running with sores. The stick of the sickness baked off of him.

"No," Teddy whispered.

The image disappeared.

No harm done. Teddy swallowed hard and turned to tell Marie that he was sorry if he scared her, but she wasn't where he thought she'd be.

She was leaning against the table, swooning, as if overcome by the heat, and as he watched, she slipped to the floor.

"Marie!" he yelled.

The music stopped.

Daniel got to her first and signaled for everyone to stay back. Victoire had to be restrained by Hannah Longbottom.


She nodded, and Teddy felt a Cooling Charm envelope the area.

Carefully, Daniel pulled off the headdress. Marie's hair was lank and damp beneath it, and creeping out from under the mask was a thin trickle of blood.

Daniel moved the mask.

High on one otherwise clear cheek, a blister filled with noxious blood was forming right over one that had already burst.

Someone screamed.

There was a crash as the front door opened, and thundering footsteps that could only be Hagrid's.

"Wha's goin' on? Gates just locked!" He looked around, but didn't seem to see Marie. "An' there's creepers goin' up 'em, just winding right through and up the walls."

Professor Longbottom, who'd been headed for another student who was holding up bloody fingertips, stopped. "What?"

Daniel looked up from Marie, eyes wide. "We'll need Poppy Pomfrey. But I think it's Galdreward's Quarantine. That means no one and nothing enters of leaves the grounds until this is cleared up."

ETA: All respects, of course, to Mr. Poe.
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From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2008 07:59 am (UTC) (Link)
This is not good............(but the story is amazing)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I think "Not good" may be a radical understatement. :)
beceh From: beceh Date: June 19th, 2008 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear!!! You've got me on the edge of my seat waiting ofr the next installment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
It probably won't come until Saturday night. :sheepish:
ardie_bea From: ardie_bea Date: June 19th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! So many threads coming together all at once! I'm so glad McGonagall's there too.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fortuitous coincidence with the timing of her painting, of course...
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2008 11:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice one, Teddy. I'm guessing therapy will be called for before he gets past this! I've really wanted to smack him because of his attitude and stupidity. It appears he's about to realize all this without any assistance from me. Now I'm kind of feeling sorry for him--Maddie trapped on one side of the quarantine, him on the other. Do owls get quarantined?

Lady Stratford
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
ETA: I think I see where you're going with the Marie thing. Planning to kill her and another couple of the kids off, wherein the remaining ones, besides Victoire, of course, change their names to (checks the Lexicon) Dominique and Louis out of respect to their dead siblings? Brilliant! Ooh, drat. Hoping I'm not spoiling the plotline. :D Great chapter. :)

(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

And I have to go to an English exam so can\'t actually think up anything else to say and don\'t have time. So, seriously OMG!

Fern Mistress of the Cliffhanger Moment.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: June 19th, 2008 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry twas me.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
At last I managed to catch up on Teddy's life. It seems I did nothing else but read about Teddy this past two weeks :)

To keep it short: you're one amazing writer Fern, and I can't thank you enough for the hard work you're putting into this. It's so much fun to be able to read about Teddy in such a good story.

And my, the plot is thickening... For some reason I didn't see that one coming though the clues were certainly there. I guess I was too much absorbed by the budding romance between Victoire and Teddy- which is wonderfully done by the way!)

I was a bit spoilt the past weeks, as I was able to read all the chapters at once. Now, it really is quite hard to wait!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and this one's coming slower than the others! Sorry. :)

Glad you've been enjoying. I like writing Teddy.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: June 19th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)



Crap, I REALLY hoped the plague wouldn't pop in, darn it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah--the plague was one of the things in my scant outline; I was sort of hoping it would be a complete surprise, but at the same time, I was also glad it wasn't going to come out of the blue.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow...that's really all I can say right now. Amazing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 19th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, McGonagall!

Yikes, plague! Yes, there's definitely some hint of The Masque of the Red Death here. And poor Teddy--he's going to be overwhelmed with guilt. Even more than usual, that is.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read MotRD at an impressionable age. Poe warped me before I ever got to Stephen King. ;p

I'm willing to bet that Maddie's feeling a bit guilty, too.
From: marciamarcia Date: June 19th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love it. Even before I got to the end, I was thinking, "oooh, she's going to do the Mask of the Red Death!"

It works perfectly.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I thought it might be overdoing it to set it up at a costume party, but I just couldn't resist.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: June 19th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reading this installment, I was suddenly reminded of another blood plague -- the one in World of Warcraft that caught international press attention for being so much like a real plague:
Corrupted Blood on the WoW Wiki
Corrupted Blood on normal Wikipedia

Good thing Hogwarts has protections like Galdreward's Quarantine!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 19th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hogwarts under quarantine. Oh, God. I'm thrilled to read about it, but I don't want it to happen. Does that make any sense at all?

Hm, let's see. Means of communication available: portraits? Patronus? Two-way mirrors? (though they're not a popular choice) Unless there are two way mirrors at Hogwarts, Maddie would only have access to it through portraits, since Patronuses can't tell you what they saw.

God, I can't wait to see what you'll come up with next.

And poor Marie. She's so cute and so inoccent. I really do hope she's allright.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
The stick of the sickness baked off of him.

I don't understand this sentence about the pirate. I get an idea of the stink of sickness coming off him in waves, but I'm not sure about stick and "baked off of him."

Anyhow, what methods of communication does this leave for Teddy and Maddie? patronus? Portrait? magical mirror? Wizarding Wireless? Presumably the tunnels seal off? What prevents flying in or out? I guess I need a reminder about what this magical quarantine entails...?

Not good at all. I'm very nervous about this quarantine situation and confused as to how a Pirate unaware of his surroundings, managed to contaminate Marie. By touch?

Thanks for the great work, Fern. You've spoiled me from most other fanfic now!

gabrielladusult From: gabrielladusult Date: June 19th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I knew this wasn't going to be just a fun party...

I've had this up for hours without refreshing, so somebody may have mentioned this already but:

It was Brimmann, his face running with sores. The stick of the sickness baked off of him.

Did you mean: 'the stink of sickness baked off him?'

I wasn't sure, because some days this summer, the 'stick' of humidity certainly bakes off me.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: June 19th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

(okay, this is just cruel. i'm going to be on pins and needles waiting for the next bit.)
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