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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Fifteen: Blistering Bloodspots, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Fifteen: Blistering Bloodspots, pt. 2
Following the invasion of the plague, Daniel, Cho, and Madam Pomfrey isolate the seven initial victims and put them in stasis to keep the sickness from doing much more damage to them. Meanwhile, the Galdreward Quarantine is up--it blocks travel of any sort, Floo communications, and Patronus communication beyond the boundaries. The portraits can move freely. Madam Pomfrey says they can now control Blistering Bloodspots, but that it's become so rare over the years that they don't stock the necessary ingredients for the potions as a matter of course.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy helped Professor Morse and Madam Pomfrey brew some potions meant to ease fevers and aches, and to keep the patients in stasis healthy and nourished. They couldn't very well be brought out of stasis to drink, but Daniel suggested delivering the potions "I-M," and Madam Pomfrey--after a brief conversation that Teddy didn't really understand--said that there was no reason it oughtn't work, though she'd never tried it before. "Ted Tonks always thought it could be done," she said, nodding at Teddy. "When he was an apprentice, he and Augustus Pye spent a lot of time doing experiments using magical materials and Muggle methods. No one was ever hurt by it."

A few minutes later, Professor Morse Summoned Daniel's medical bag, and he pulled out a flat black box full of needles with plastic tubes, and they filled each plastic tube with potion. Daniel went around to each patient and jabbed a needle into his or her arm and pushed the potion in. Teddy was quite sure that, if they weren't in stasis, it would have hurt quite a lot.

When it was done, Madam Pomfrey said that they'd done all they could, and the patients needed rest. "So do you, Teddy. And don't lie awake worrying about it being your fault. It was an accident. I need to report to the Headmistress."

Teddy didn't answer. Madam Pomfrey straightened her bobcap and headed off.

Daniel kissed Professor Morse's cheek and said, "I'll walk Teddy up to Gryffindor, if you don't mind," he said. "Then I'll be along."

"Fine with me," she said. "I'll fill Neville and Hannah in on the situation. And I'll bet you large amounts of gold that McGonagall will be there with them, waiting."

"I wouldn't take that bet, even if I had the gold." They watched Professor Morse leave, then Daniel turned to Teddy, looking at him shrewdly. "You heard what Madam Pomfrey said about it being an accident, didn't you?"

Teddy shrugged.

Daniel shook his head and gathered his things, and they started to walk up toward Gryffindor. When they got into the corridor, he said, "Why are you determined that it wasn't?"

"I told you," Teddy said. "I tried to kill Bellatrix, and that's why all of this happened."

"Bellatrix Lestrange is dead and buried. Or cremated. Or, if the world is just, devoured by ravenous doxies."

"She's just buried," Teddy said. "They all are. The Death Eaters, I mean. Uncle Harry saw to it. They're off in some back corner of a graveyard. I don't know where. Voldemort, too. I think it's a Muggle graveyard, with Voldemort's father. I think Uncle Harry made it Unplottable, so people wouldn't go and do things to their graves."

"Considerate of him."

"I just don't think he wants to waste anyone's time chasing off criminals who write nasty things on Voldemort's grave, but it's against the law, so he'd have to if people knew where it was."

"Mm." They started up the stairs. Daniel shifted his bag to his other hand. "The point, Teddy, is that you can't kill a woman who's already dead."

"But she was alive in the Maze."

"And in the Maze, you were in the middle of the same battle she died in, and in the Maze, your mother was still alive, and might have saved your father, and had you seen that milieu in the real world--had anyone seen it--the response would have been the same as yours. It's natural to try to protect helpless people, especially when you love them."

"But it's the past, and it wasn't real, and--"

"And it was something you saw with your own eyes." Daniel stopped at the first landing and set down his bag. "Listen, Teddy, I know that after what happened, you feel guilty. I know that you were acting out of anger, and I know you were told not to touch things in the Maze. I understand all of that. But the Maze shows you things as real. Your mind interprets them as real, at least down in the part of it that's not much different from a lizard brain."

"What--?"

"Let me ask you something: If someone had been there that night, if someone had spotted Bellatrix before she could sneak up on your mother, would it have been wrong for that person to do something about it?"

"But they wouldn't know that Mum and Dad really died."

"When you see a psychopath with a large knife coming at someone who's trying to treat a dying man, it's a good bet. Answer the question."

"Uncle Harry says I'm supposed to accept it."

"Please, Teddy. If Harry were the person in question, we wouldn't be having this conversation, because he'd have taken Bellatrix out of the picture and your parents would be dealing with your teenage mood swings." He shook his head and sat down on the stairs, signaling Teddy to sit down beside him. "Harry's right that you have to learn to accept what you can't change. He's got it all tied in with death, but there are other things you can't change, either, and you may as well learn to accept those, too. But from what you described, the Maze took you to a place that was like a dream, where those things hadn't happened yet. What kind of person would you be if you saw even two strangers, let alone your parents, in danger, and did nothing to avert it?"

"But it wasn't real."

"So you're blaming yourself as if you really tried to kill someone, on the basis that you should have known better, since it wasn't real."

"But people are really sick."

"Did you know that if you touched something in the Maze, it would break open and spill things out into the real world?"

"No. But I did burned when I tried to touch Mum, and Maddie told me I shouldn't do it."

"Yes, burning your fingers should have told you that the thing could loose a plague on us. How could you miss that logical leap?" Daniel smiled. "We'll figure this out, Teddy. This isn't a punishment for you because you made a very understandable mistake. It's just an accident." He picked up his bag again and shifted it, then grinned at Teddy. "I, er, don't suppose you'd be kind enough to make this feather light for me. I'm afraid I've got used to traveling with a witch."

Teddy rolled his eyes and did the Charm. They walked up to the Fat Lady's portrait together, but she was out of the frame. Teddy knocked on the wall beside it. A little shepherd girl from down the corridor poked her head shyly in. "Shall I find her?" she asked.

"Please," Teddy said.

The girl ran off.

Daniel shook his head. "Why don't you get that portrait of your dad to move about like this, and talk? The one your granny has in the parlor? It'd be something. And he's in his classroom. He'd like that."

"They have to do something before they die. I think it's something like getting memories for a Pensieve, and then it's mixed into the paint somehow. McGonagall is doing that now." Teddy slapped his forehead. "She's stuck here! She and Dean!"

"Well, we'll find a place for them until it goes through," Daniel said calmly.

The Fat Lady sidled back into her portrait, looking guilty. "It's well past curfew, Mr. Lupin," she said curtly, "and I was told you'd been taken to the hospital wing."

"False alarm," Daniel said. "It was just spots."

"Oh. Well, then. Password?"

Teddy gave it to her, and bade Daniel good night before going inside. Ruthless and her brothers were all sleeping on the floor in the Common Room, by the fire. Teddy touched her head and woke her long enough to tell her he was fine. She fumbled for her wand and Conjured another sleeping bag, but he shook his head and went upstairs to his room. He didn't bother switching into his pajamas; he just curled up on his bed, Checkmate on the pillow by his head, and went to sleep. He dreamed uneasily of Fenrir Greyback and Bellatrix dancing in the Great Hall. In his dream, he asked Greyback why Dolohov wasn't there instead, it had been Dolohov who'd killed Dad. Greyback just laughed. Bellatrix, who appeared to enjoy the company, said, "Antonin doesn't matter in our context, does he?" In the space of the dream, Teddy made a conscious choice to turn his back on them. He left the Great Hall and joined Sirius in the antechamber, where they were trying to dig up a treasure (possibly a Healing Hydrangea) buried in the foundation, and he enjoyed this nonsensical quest until he woke up.

The school seemed muted over the weekend. People worked on their assignments, and Slytherin held a Quidditch practice, but everyone was aware of the sickness in the hospital wing, and of the high, dark vines that had sealed off the gate. A few owls flew recklessly at the barrier, but none made it through. Madam Pomfrey and Daniel posted warnings about eye contact with any of the phantasms, and redoubled advice not to touch them. The Headmistress announced on Saturday night that the portraits had been successful in passing messages to St. Mungo's and the Ministry, and that parents had been informed of the situation during the day. Emergency messages could be transmitted through Ministry offices, but the system couldn't be used for general pleasantries.

"What if something happens at night when the Ministry is closed?" a Ravenclaw girl asked.

"I assure you," Sprout said, "we will be able to get messages to the Ministry." She didn't mention that Uncle Harry had a Headmaster's portrait in his home, probably not wanting to have students attempt to use Phineas Nigellus's portrait. It could be a bit sharp-tongued. She waited for the nervous chatter to die down, then said, "As you know, the Quarantine occurred quite suddenly, and on a Friday night. We're lucky that most of our staff was here, but I'm afraid that a few of your teachers were in Hogsmeade. I'll be taking on Professor Vector's Arithmancy classes, and Professor Firenze is willing to take on all of Professor Trelawney's Divination workload. Professor Gardner was also shut out, but quite fortunately, his predecessor, Professor McGonagall, was visiting. She believes she remembers the curriculum well enough to cover it." Gryffindor House erupted in a muffled sort of cheer. Professor Sprout raised her hand, quite unnecessarily, to stop it. "Mr. Dean Thomas is also here for the duration. He makes his living as a portrait artist, and has generously offered to teach art to those students who are interested, at least until the crisis has passed. I shall post a sign-up here tomorrow."

Normally, this sort of announcement would have been met with eager murmurings, but as it was, Teddy only noticed a few students writing it down in their notebooks.

"I know that you're concerned about your classmates," Sprout went on, "and I know that it's disturbing to be walled in. But I urge you to continue with your normal activities as much as you can. Quidditch will continue. The Gryffindor-Slytherin match scheduled for next weekend will take place as planned. Classes will not be disrupted. Miss Higgs assures me that the Charmer will continue to publish, though its adviser isn't able to come back through the barrier. Hogwarts, in other words, will function as normally as it can under the circumstances."

With this, she took her seat, and supper appeared on the tables.

Not many people seemed to have a hearty appetite.
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Comments
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From: (Anonymous) Date: June 23rd, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting move, having Daniel try to talk some sense into Teddy. Because of his relationship to Remus he knows the Lupin tendency towards self-blame and I keep forgetting that he has a connection to Teddy, but not too much of a connection.

I've been completely away from any civilization for the last week and a half, and what a wonderful welcome home, 4 new Teddy chapterlettes!

Can't wait for Blistering Bloodspots, pt. 3!

-Sqveege
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Daniel also has a perspective on mental health that some of the others might not, as he'd have had to do a psychiatry rotation to become a doctor.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
alkari From: alkari Date: June 23rd, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good for Daniel. At least he might be able to get something through Teddy's ultra-thick teenage skull! Or Teddy might be more willing to listen to him than Uncle Harry, LOL. Because parents/godfathers never know anything, do they!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy needs someone who's not necessarily in awe of Harry, and maybe has a perspective on death more like Andromeda's. But a lot of it is about the language they use.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 23rd, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
The climate is so gloomy. I really liked it, it was well done.

Yay for Daniel. He delivered a perfect speech, but I have the feeling Teddy didn't listened to him very carefully. Ah, he's a Lupin.

I agree with (!) Bellatrix; Dolohov doesn't generally strike Teddy as much as the other two. Maybe because Teddy knows that Dolohov killing Remus was more a thing of the moment, against Bellatrix and Greyback, who had 'grudges' (as a figure of speech) on Dora and Remus?
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 23rd, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was me. *eyeroll*
amamama From: amamama Date: June 23rd, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, hopefully Daniel manages to talk some sense into Teddy's head. I keep wondering if his dream has some real hints in it - is there a healing hydrangea growing next to the Hogwarts walls somewhere? How long will this take? Will Teddy be able to do something that helps, or will he have to accept that this is out of his hands?

Btw - why did you choose the name Galdreward? I didn't know galdre was an English word...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I got it from an Old English translation site, far enough back that it was still pretty close to German. "Ward," of course, is English enough. :)
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 23rd, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
"No. But I did burned when I tried to touch Mum, and Maddie told me I shouldn't do it."

Probably should have it be get burned, or I was burned, or something like that.

"Yes, burning your fingers should have told you that the thing could loose a plague on us. How could you miss that logical leap?" Daniel smiled.

Loose a plague just seems awkward. Maybe, have it be, could unleash a plague on us? *Shrugs*

I still think this damn quarantine is archaic and stupid, as I'm sure Geoffrey will start shouting soon. *Wishes HE was knocked out*

Other than that, amazing as usual. Was pleasantly surprised you updated so quickly, heh.

Thank you Daniel for talking to Teddy, not that anything can stop the Lupin-guilt-fest! *Sighs*

Annndd, I think that's all. As usual, anxiously waiting for the next part :).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops, I was so distracted choosing between "burned" and "burnt" that I forgot "get."
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 23rd, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Since Harry isn't getting through to Teddy--literally or figuratively--it's nice to see that Daniel can. And great job with the gloomy, subdued atmosphere. Hope no other students succumb to the plague. Looking forward to the next!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure about the course of the plague yet--now that I've got it there, um... ;p

I'm glad Daniel's along.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: June 23rd, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like Daniel's character a lot. Good scene with Teddy and Hogwarts in lockdown should be interesting.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Daniel's always been one of my "pet" characters.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: June 23rd, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Commenting on both the section of this chapter... Very effective; I feel like Teddy is still in a real cloud; nothing is quite sharp around the edges? And you contained the plague fast enough that I see now how it can be a nice continuing plot point for a while, without overshadowing the doubtless-even-more-troublesome-troubles due later in the school year.

Also, I saw "Blistering Bloodspots" isolated from other test just now and all I could think of was Captain Haddock in the Tintin comics--his made-up cursing was always along those lines.

The Nitpick Olympics:

delivering the potions "I-M,"
I could just be unaware of the british medical terminology, but did you mean IV?

"No. But I did burned when I tried to touch Mum, and Maddie told me I shouldn't do it." Needs a "get" in there...

I think the sarcasm-meter here could be raised with a "definitely": "Yes, burning your fingers should have told you that the thing could loose a plague on us. (Between "should" and "have"...)

he asked Greyback why Dolohov wasn't there instead, it had been Dolohov who'd killed Dad. Before the final clause you either need a semicolon or for it to read ", as it had been..."

Not many people seemed to have a hearty appetite. I think for parallel structure is should be "seemed to have hearty appetites"?
redlily From: redlily Date: June 24th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I think "I-M" is intramuscular, though I hadn't seen it hyphenated before.

I love the claustrophobic feeling of this section, with the dark vines at the gate and all. I also love that McGonagall is there. My favorite!!
ronkaperplexous From: ronkaperplexous Date: June 23rd, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it wrong that I kind of do blame Teddy for causing all this? He couldn't have known the Maze would release a plague, but he didn't tell anyone about the truth behind the phantasms when they appeared, and once he decided to get help he stalled telling Maddie for a week. He should feel guilty. I can't help but wonder how Victoire will take to learning Teddy is the indirect cause of Marie's illness. This will be an interesting year for Hogwarts.

Also, can I re-recommend Doomsday Book by Carrie Willis? It is an awesome book, about time-travel and plagues in two centuries. I think you would like it.
ronkaperplexous From: ronkaperplexous Date: June 23rd, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I meant Connie Willis.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: June 24th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm... I do appreciate Daniel doing what he can to stop the Lupin guilt-train, but to my ear he goes a little too far here.

Teddy certainly couldn't anticipate these consequences, but what he did in the Maze, though understandable, cannot, in my view, be stretched toward the laudible as Daniel suggests. It was foolhardy, useless, and dangerous, and he knew all three were true. I'd like him to feel a little guilt, so long as it's not the soul-crushing, paralyzing kind!

Of course, he's a Lupin, so guilt is inevitable and I shouldn't fret.

Stopping Bellatrix--a good idea.
Strangling Bellatrix--not terribly effective, not to mention treading perilously close to her brand of malice...

Glad it works for other people! Maybe I've got a tin ear.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Daniel's reference points are in Muggle psychiatry, and I think hasn't quite gotten the idea that guilt could be real. Of course, he also isn't fully aware that Teddy killed Greyback less than two years ago, and only Teddy and Alderman know that it was... well, not entirely self-defense. He's missing pieces of information that we have.

He's also treating the Maze like nothing more than a dream that happens to have had real world consequences. You don't beat yourself up over things that happen in dreams, even if something weird comes of it.
scopart From: scopart Date: June 24th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)
The conversation between Daniel and Teddy was appropriately... frustrating. Teddy is convinced that his fault as if he'd meant for it to happen. (And I have to say I just adore Daniel).
I have to say I'm quite pleased that McGonagall is around, at least through the quarantine.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 24th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I wasn't initially planning on McGonagall, but I'm glad she's there, too.
inkykate From: inkykate Date: June 24th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
It is a rather large accident isn't it? But...

Well, I'm certainly going to give my own muffled cheer for Professor McGonagall being there. (Every story - in my opinion - could use more McGonagall.)

Remembers the curriculum indeed.
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: June 24th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Miss Higgs assures me that the Charmer will continue to publish, though its adviser isn't able to come back through the barrier.


And I'm sure Miss Higgs is extremely displeased about that fact, huh?

*enjoys not liking Honoria*

Great section, I'm glad I caught this before I went to bed =)
maz333 From: maz333 Date: June 24th, 2008 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Daniel. What I also love is that you included that peculiar fact of adolescence--it is often much easier to confide in an adult you don't know too well as opposed to any close relatives or adult figures.

Also, as far as Fantastic Fern Details in Fic go, I also love that you had some of the professors out of the school during this. Very realistic, but an easily overlooked detail. Plus, am I the only one wondering what Honoria's going to do with the Charmer in the absence of an advisor?
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 24th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
As this year is essentially Teddy's version of OoTP I keep finding myself wondering what role Harry is going to play in the climax, given that in many ways, he's moved into the Dumbledore role in Teddy's own adventures. That being the case, part of me thinks he's going to play a significant role, but another part of me keeps pointing out that there is someone else better qualified to solve each problem facing Teddy this year (Maze and plague).
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