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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seventeen: Shapes, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seventeen: Shapes, pt. 1
Because of Neil's fear of transforming within the Quarantine, Neville decides to get the Room of Requirement working again once and for all. Getting several powerful witches and wizards together to do Charms does the trick, and it has started to produce things again. Neville doesn't want to spoil students fun by telling them about it too much, but does ask Teddy to bring his friends in, because he thinks it needs to start feeding off of its own magic to really get going again.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Three days later, Teddy sat in the middle of the Room of Requirement, surrounded by an orchestra's worth of dusty instruments that had appeared. It was meant to be a music lesson (which in turn was just an excuse for using the Room's magic), but organizing a class and teaching it weren't really among Donzo's skills. He'd got Ruthless to apply her considerable Beater's skills to hitting a large kettledrum, and the air was reverberating with deep, rumbling notes as she experimented with the pedals. Corky was running his hands up and down a piano keyboard, at least until Ruthless threw one of her drum mallets at him and he started playing a real song. Donzo looked at him in surprise and he said, "Well, I didn't say I couldn't play at all, just that I didn't play very well."

Frankie was doing scales on his clarinet while Victoire and Story seemed to be having a very good time playing a two-man Flying Saucer, an instrument invented in the sixties and not used since. It was a disk charmed to go back and forth between two players, making an unearthly wailing sound that changed pitch depending on its altitude as they tossed it. Story caught it on one finger and twirled it, making the note spiral upward in a tight, quick wave. Donzo was currently trying to teach Laura Chapman how to properly sit at a harp, and Zach Templeton was doing a complicated charm with several sets of finger cymbals that were flying around him.

Teddy was supposed to learn to get something out of a violin that didn't sound like a cat under the Cruciatus Curse, but Donzo hadn't got around to him yet, so he was ignoring the racket (and the violin, which was sitting on the floor beside him) and concentrating instead on the Marauder's Map. Laura and Zach didn't know about it--he wouldn't have invited them except that they'd been looking after Frankie since Tinny had got sick, and it was very difficult to pry Hufflepuffs away from each other--but it didn't really look like anything from their angle, anyway, and they certainly wouldn't be able to hear him muttering spells.

In the din, he hadn't noticed the end of the dubious kettledrum solo, and was completely taken by surprise when Ruthless dropped down beside him.

"We should come in here for your other little research project," she said. "We wouldn't even need to sneak into the Restricted Section. The books would just appear, wouldn't they?"

Teddy shrugged. "We could even do it before curfew, though that would take some of the fun out of it."

"Well, you're still actually breaking the law, so that should help." She edged closer and looked at the Map, which was open to the Marauders' view, their totems at the compass points. Once he'd opened it, Teddy had set Dad's wand aside and picked up his own, and now it was hovering somewhere over the Great Hall. "What do you mean to do?"

"I'm not sure," Teddy said. "I was going to update it, with all the new places--like this one. The Marauders never knew about it, and I didn't know where it was when I updated it the last time."


"I don't know. Isn't it cheating to see the Room of Requirement on a map?"

She shrugged. "Isn't it cheating to be able to see teachers coming on a map?"

"True. And it's not like the Headmistress is going to have it. Just, you know--Victoire calls us Map-masters."

"I'd stick with 'Marauders,'" Ruthless said, wrinkling her nose. "Maybe the room wouldn't show up anyway. It's pretty magical. It might even be able to hide itself from spells designed by a pack of students."

Teddy smiled, but his mind was going back to stories Uncle Harry had told him--Draco Malfoy disappearing into the Room of Requirement to work his mischief, Death Eaters coming in through the cabinet... it would have been useful to have the Map see into the Room. But it wasn't what the Map was for... Abruptly, he poked his wand at the Map and said, "It's Wings. Tell me what to do."

Ruthless rolled her eyes as the Map cleared. Peter Pettigrew's handwriting appeared first this time: Mr. Wormtail wishes warm salutations to Mr. Wings, and wonders when he'll learn to make up his own mind.

Dad: Mr. Moony concurs, and believes Mr. Wings ought to search the Map for his backbone, which he's obviously mislaid.

Teddy frowned at it.

James: Mr. Prongs would like to register his deep disappointment in Mr. Wings' utter inability to function without guidance.

And of course, Sirius: Mr. Padfoot would express astonishment that someone of Mr. Wings' fine lineage could be so indecisive, but is unable to do so without laughing at Mr. Moony.

"Mr. Wings thanks the lot of you for your brilliant insights," Teddy muttered as the Map returned to its normal shapes.

"They're telling you exactly what you need to know," Ruthless said. "Do it or don't do it."

Teddy stared at the Map for a long time, trying to imagine pranks and games that might be played if you knew who was in the Room of Requirement, but the scenario that kept returning to his head was one that the Map couldn't have mattered in, and had certainly not been created for. He saw his mother leaving the room so Uncle Harry could turn it into the storage room, and then he saw her by the window with Aunt Ginny, looking down on the horror below. He saw Death Eaters pouring out of a cabinet, and darkness spreading out along the corridor. He saw Bill Weasley's face.

He didn't want the Map wrapped up in all that... but if it happened again, he didn't want it on his head if someone couldn't see it, either. He ground his teeth, then jabbed his wand at the Map and said, "Reficio."

The lines of the castle faded a bit as the ink rearranged itself, then paths and walls that Teddy had found since first year began to appear. The tunnel to the Shrieking Shack vanished from under the Whomping Willow, paths spread a little further into the Forbidden Forest (Teddy guessed it would now show the spot where he'd found himself after arguing with Uncle Harry), and, along the seventh floor corridor, a gray, washed out line appeared around the Room of Requirement. It wavered, disappeared, then came back, darkening as it found its way around the Concealments. Then it filled up with dots and names, like any other room. Teddy waited to be assailed by doubts, but instead, the worries about the subject disappeared, and he started to wonder what would happen if the Room shifted its shape or someone inside it decided that he or she required concealment.

"There," Ruthless said. "Simple." She kissed his cheek, then rolled her eyes at herself and muttered something about getting back to the drums.

After a bit, Donzo came over and utterly failed to get the mechanics of the violin across to Teddy. He suggested that next time, they might try something simpler, like a tambourine. Teddy wasn't hopeful about it.

Over the next two days, Teddy made a habit of looking at the Room of Requirement on the Marauder's Map. Frequently, he would see Professor Longbottom there, sometimes alone, sometimes with Hannah or Dean or Professor Morse. The older teachers hadn't seemed to develop a vested interest in it, though Teddy did see McGonagall in there alone late Thursday night. The room was small at that point, little bigger than a broom cupboard, and she didn't stay long. Most of the time when it was occupied, it was the same size it had been when they'd first cleaned it--a large, empty classroom. Sometimes when Professor Longbottom was there with Dean, it became considerably larger, expanding down the entire corridor. As Teddy watched, the back wall wavered, seemed ready to disappear, then reformed itself. A few minutes later, Professor Longbottom and Dean left. Once when Hannah was there by herself, the Room became circular, and on another occasion, when Professor Morse was there, Teddy thought it might actually have gone higher up, though that was hard to see on the Map, since you could only focus on one level at a time. Most interesting were the times when it was unoccupied. It didn't disappear, but the lines of it were nothing more than a nebulous cloud of ink.

"It's not really shape-shifting," he told Donzo and Ruthless as they paced back and forth in front of Dean's future mural. "At least not my sort. It's more like a boggart." He pointed to the half-sketched future mural, where Dean's boggart was making an abstract attempt to become something frightening. "It doesn't have a shape unless it takes it from our heads."

"Are you sure you have a shape?" Donzo asked. "I mean, how do you know you're not just turning into whatever people want you to be?"

"Because I've actually been alone once or twice, and I promise, I don't turn into a puddle of goo."

"But are any of us ever really alone?" Donzo asked, affecting an air of great sincerity. "I mean, it's a deep theological question."

"Well, if you're going to go that far, then how do you know you're not a shapeshifter, turning into whatever some theological entity wants you to be?"

"Oh, God," Ruthless said, "no one told me Ravenclaw was contagious. Am I showing any signs?"

It was meant lightly, but of course, the Quarantine made it hard to forget that there was a real contagion out there, and it fell flat. They finished their last circuit, and the door appeared. It was a replica of the library door. Teddy opened it.

The Room of Requirement hadn't become the Restricted Section of the library, but it had duplicated (or Summoned; Teddy wasn't sure) several books and a tall set of shelves. He hoped that it had remembered his notebook, and the notebook formed itself on the floor in front of him. There were also several books on animals, and what seemed to be a draped portrait on the wall.

"What's that?" Donzo asked, looking at it.

"Don't know. I was just thinking we needed things to study the Animagus spell. Maybe it's a portrait of an Animagus."

Ruthless went over and pulled the cloth off, and Teddy could see that it wasn't a portrait, but a mirror. She turned away from it. "I think it's evil," she said. "Let's get rid of it."

Teddy slid around to her side, so he could see into it without it showing himself. Donzo nudged Ruthless to turn around again. The image in the mirror wore Ruthless's clothes, but she was younger, and her hair stuck out every which way. Her thick glasses had reappeared, and she had a black eye from one fight or another. Behind her was a rocky cliff over a mountain stream, with her family's battered old house visible far in the distance. She yanked Donzo in front of the mirror and got out of the way.

Donzo's reflection was perfectly unthreatening--he was wearing the wire-framed specs he wore in class, and his hair was tied back neatly at the nape of his neck. He was in the library at Weird World.

"I think it's some sort of true image mirror," he said. "No Donzo McCormack. Just Don Duke. And of course, Danger Girl gets herself in a fight. Come on, Lupin. Let's have it."

Teddy was about to protest that Donzo's fantasy of being "just Don Duke" was hardly indicative of anything, since he always had that choice and never exercised it--no one forced him to be Donzo McCormack--but as soon as he was dragged in front of the mirror, he forgot to say anything.

In front of him was a boy of fifteen with the high cheekbones and gray eyes of the Black family and his father's wavy, light brown hair, coming to a familiar widow's peak on the left side before falling down into his fringe. Aside from the waves, which he apparently morphed out subconsciously most of the time, there was nothing surprising about that; he'd just been the one to tell Donzo that he did have a true shape, after all.

What stopped Teddy was the burning room behind him--the charred, smoke-filled parlor of the Shrieking Shack. He could see the curtains blowing out through shattered windows, and there was an unidentifiable lump on the floor that Teddy knew nonetheless. It was Fenrir Greyback. Teddy's image stood in the middle of this carnage with blood dripping from its hands.
44 comments or Leave a comment
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allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: July 6th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whoa. That sounds like the Mirror of Erised, but not... Was it you who had the Aurors have a sort of true-image mirror at their HQ, one that saw through disguises of all sorts? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

But hm, this ought to unsettle Teddy a bit. Can't wait for the next bit!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had one in Shades. I don't know if anyone else has one. This mirror, though, actually came from the end of Shifts.
renesears From: renesears Date: July 6th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Oh, Teddy. Ouch.

Also, LOVE for the Room of Requirement. Just love.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, listing my favorite magical devices in the Potterverse, the Room of Requirement comes right after the Marauder's Map. :)
From: glynngriffiths Date: July 6th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Back to one at a time updates! Despite the fun of catching up, though, I actually think it's *more* fun this way. :)

I love, love, love the Marauder's Map, and the way it talks to Teddy. And I especially loved the way you described the Room of Requirement on it, even though I am a bit ambivalent about having it on there at all. I have to admit that I've always rather agreed with Hermione that unplottability is probably part and parcel of the Room's magic. That might just be because I don't like to imagine there were any parts of Hogwarts that the Marauders didn't discover! (So, me being silly, really.)

Poor Teddy - that's a pretty intense 'true image'. Is it wrapped up in his own concept of identity and guilt? I love how the themes of the mysteries are really present throughout the story; it makes it all so cohesive, and interesting.

(I'm afraid this review may be a bit nonsense - I think my brain is still on vacation.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh, I forgot that Hermione said that. I think Teddy may have beaten it by actually doing the spell in the Unplottable spot. Harry's Unplottable patch of Forest isn't showing up, even though Teddy's been there twice now.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)


i loved the image mirror in shifts and i love it even more here, because teddy's image is so dead oni kept thinking of what maddie says about being able to bear seeing your mind without any disguises (one of your DoM ficlets). people's true selves aren't always pretty- almost all bad fantasy novels aside.
you're right, having the room on the map is almost like cheating- but it's cool how it wavers and what it becomes when no one requires it. the boggart parallel is clever, it really fits.
i want an image mirror now! nice job~m
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

I'm not sure I want an image mirror--that can be scary stuff. :)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 6th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Naturally, I enjoyed the RoR and the Marauder's Map: two great tastes that taste great together!

But yikes, what's happened to the Mirror of Erised? Has its essence changed so that it no longer shows one's heart's desire but one's worst, most conflicted self? Donzo may have little to fear, but Ruthless and Teddy might. Awaiting enlightenment with bated breath.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, it's not the Mirror of Erised, though it's probably a kissing cousin to it. :)
From: kobegrace Date: July 6th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)





(but in a good way)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: July 6th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am on tetherhooks for find out what that mirror is all about and when/if it will show up again later, after this chapter...

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee, then I guess I'd best not take a day off to write a random, cheerful James story. ;p
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: July 6th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very cool, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Pipes.
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: July 6th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Teddy. I wonder how his friends will react to seeing that.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
That wonder, I can answer pretty soon.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: July 7th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Ehm, ok, Teddy could use some therapy. Now.

I kinda still think the Room will provide privacy if the one using it requests it specially. It's part of the beauty of it.
Who doesn't love the RoR?

It was cool to see Teddy exactly as he is- even though the whole bit about Greyback is extremely disturbing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy needs something, anyway.

I've gone without describing Teddy for a while; thought he could use a looks-check.
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: July 7th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Very interesting mirror (love the ways Ruthless and Donzo saw themselves), but poor Teddy. Loved the map's insults as well, as always. One question just out of curiosity--what did McGonagall/Dean/Neville/etc want out of the Room of Requirement when they visited? (It's always the little things that catch my interest, lol).

Great section!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Neville may have re-created the camp as well as he could, and McGonagall wanted to look at some mementos of her youth (including a love letter from Alphard Black), and Dean wanted to know how to make a painted boggart shift its shape for viewers of the mural.

I totally knew that before I answered you, too. Yeah. ;p
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 7th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Which proves the mirror doesn't show you true self as much as what YOU see yourself as your true self as.

.... I rather think Teddy almost needs to see a shrink about now, actually...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Either that, or he needs to have a long, serious, and semi-official chat with the Fat Friar.

That is what the mirror was meant to do; glad it showed!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 7th, 2008 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)

And, yes, Teddy needs therapy.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Teddy really is in a deep hole, and needs some help getting out of it.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: July 7th, 2008 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Aargh, Teddy! The poor kid evidently needs a priest or a therapist, and ideally both.

I loved the 'theological' debate, and the way Ruth's unthinking joke brings them back to the seriousness of the situation.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate it when events in the world make simple, unthinking jokes in poor taste. :(
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: July 7th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I've figured out, at least in my own head, one of the crucial differences between Harry and Teddy as teenagers. Harry as a general rule was not good at accepting that the concequences of his actions had come about because of the decisions he had made and therefore were "his fault". Mainly I'm thinking of Sirius here where he was awfully quick to shift the blame to Snape. I'm not putting Harry down here but I do think that, as shown in this segment, Teddy would react very differently if he was put in the same situation. Harry pushes his feelings of guilt away, quite probably because he simply couldn't cope with the idea that in to years running he had been directly responsible for two people's deaths, Cedric was bad enough, but Sirius as well? But Teddy... Teddy seems to, in true Remus style, blames himself completely even for those things that he had no control over. Although it is true that this year he has been fairly central to the whole Things Spilling Into the Reality stuff I personally side with the Cubs and feel that Greyback got what was coming to him.

Of course Teddy is going all Lady Macbeth, "Out damned spot" and all.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 7th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that's about right. Harry does take responsibility in a lot of ways, but he's certainly not prone to endless self-recriminations. Teddy, on the other hand, blames himself way out of proportion for things. Greyback was bound to try his mind games on the wrong person someday and push it too far, and Teddy was definitely the worst person possible for him to try it on, especially in the Shrieking Shack. As to Bellatrix, Daniel's right that if he'd been in that tableau in reality, it wouldn't have been wrong to try to stop Bellatrix by any means necessary, so Teddy is essentially blaming himself for doing in a dream what he would have done in life, simply on the principle that he knew he was dreaming. Which means he knew it wasn't real and therefore couldn't be murderous, but he's blaming himself for being murderous instead of being careless.
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