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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seventeen: Shapes, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seventeen: Shapes, pt. 2
Teddy is helping to repair the Room of Requirement by getting his friends into it to use it, to help catalyze the magic. He's also added it to the Marauder's Map, after much internal debate and several insults from the Marauders. He, Ruthless, and Donzo decide that it would be a good place to work on the Animagus spell and go on, needing anything useful for it. They get the books, Teddy's notebook, and a covered mirror. Ruthless pulls the cover off and declares it evil, as it shows her as a small girl who's been in a fight. Donzo goes in front and sees a bookish boy with glasses (to his delight). Then they pull Teddy in front of it, and it shows him in the burning Shrieking Shack, Greyback's body nearby. Blood is dripping from his hands.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




In an instant, Teddy felt his mind pulled out of the Room of Requirement, out of his fifth year and back to his third. He was in the parlor again, standing near the fireplace, morphing himself to look like Dad. Had he already decided what he meant to do then?

You're not him. He's dead. Dead as your mum. I saw 'em both there at the battle, you know... Bellatrix woke me up as she went by, laughing. And who should be there but Lupin and his little twist of tail? Her bleeding out right there on top of him, him wailing like a babe in the woods... 'Course, that was her own fault, wasting time in a battle trying to heal up the breathing dead. Especially with her dear Auntie on the prowl...

Teddy squeezed his eyes shut, but that didn't stop the memory at all.

Oh, she was dead by the time I got there, barely started healing him before Bella took her out. But your dad was alive. You might say I was holdin' his hand when he finally karked it.

He remembered calculating at the time, trying to decide on strategy, ignoring the taunts about his parents' deaths.

Then taking Greyback through the open Floo, into the great magical chasm beyond the fire, and burning him to death there.

Ruthless pushed Teddy away from the mirror--he tripped over his shoelace and sat down hard on the floor, smashing his elbow into the wood--and tossed the cloth back over it.

"It's definitely not a true image mirror," Donzo said.

Ruthless turned on him. "Really? Do you think so? Because I thought I was actually nine, and your little fantasy about being a real boy was completely true."

"My little fantasy, exactly," Donzo said, and Teddy could hear in his voice that he was trying not to take the bait and lose his temper in return. "And your little fantasy about how you're a tough girl. And Teddy's..." He jerked his chin in Teddy's direction. "What was that, Lupin?"

"The Shrieking Shack," Teddy said, rubbing his elbow. He used the other arm to push himself up, and got to his feet.

"The night that..." Ruthless shook her head. "Teddy, you don't fancy your hands bloody over Greyback? Good riddance to him. Imagine a medal for yourself instead."

"I don't think about Greyback," Teddy said. He went back to the mirror and stared at the black cloth covering it. "Really, I don't. What do you suppose this has to do with the Animagus transformation?"

"Forget the damned transformation," Donzo said. "You're paler than the Gray Lady. You need chocolate." An empty goblet appeared, and Donzo tapped it with his wand in an irritated sort of way. "I have some in my dormitory," he muttered. "Unless Driscoll's been filching it."

The chocolate had apparently not been filched, because the Room was able to bring it. A disconnected part of Teddy's mind wondered why Hannah had been able to bring tea without special instructions, but he supposed the adults knew more about how to work the room than he did. The goblet steamed, and Ruthless picked it up and nearly forced it up Teddy's nose. He took it in self-defense and drank. The memory faded back a little. He looked at Ruthless and Donzo. They both looked wary, and he supposed he couldn't blame them after seeing that.

"I'm all right," he said. "It's probably just some memory mirror or something. Did you ever get into a fight like that, Ruthless?"

She frowned deeply, then said, "Yeah, I guess. A lot, really. Kirk got caught stealing from a Muggle charity box once, and half the town started making fun of my brothers when they came in to shop with Mum. I got into a few fights about it before Hogwarts. After I got my letter, Dad told me to keep my nose clean, and let the boys fight their own fights." She winced, apparently still stinging at the injustice of this.

"And Donzo, I'll bet you spend every day at Weird World in the library." Teddy forced a grin. "I know I would."

Donzo ignored this entirely. "I think it shows who we think of when we think of ourselves. You're not a murderer, Lupin."

Teddy ran his finger down the cloth in front of the mirror and wondered if Donzo would say the same thing if Maurice or Tinny or Marie died, but decided not to put the question to him. Instead, he squared his shoulders and said, "Well, we needed things to help us study, and the Room gave us this. We know it's all tied up in Identity, so what does it say? Hawks are predators, right?"

"And raccoons scavenge in dustbins."

Teddy pointed his wand at a three-legged stool and said, "Quisquiliae," and the stool became Granny's kitchen wastebasket.

The corners of Donzo's mouth twitched. "And yet, I find it oddly unappetizing."

After that, Ruthless pulled in sweets she had hidden in her wardrobe and dropped them into the bin, and all three of them scavenged from it while they got back to business. The question of the troubling images in the mirror slipped to the background. Ruthless still refused to actually try the transformation, since she was convinced she'd be caught and her future career would end before it started, but Donzo managed to get his fingers to turn into sharp claws once, and Teddy, thinking of his third year, tried to replicate an accidental spell he'd done on his eyes. He succeeded in turning them into hawk's eyes, with their incredibly clear vision, but it gave him a headache again, since the rest of his body didn't morph to accommodate the change. Last time, he'd needed Madam Pomfrey to help sort it out, but this time, the Room provided the counter-spell. Teddy memorized it--headaches or not, and whether or not he ever truly made the transformation, sharp eyesight might come in useful someday.

Donzo checked his watch casually, then hissed that it was nearly curfew. They gathered the things the room hadn't provided them with--mostly the books they'd had from classes--and went out into the corridor. Teddy poked his head back in at the last minute, wondering if the Room would lose its shape when they were all out, but he could still see the same shelves, the mirror under its drapery, and the three-legged stool. He started to mention this as he came out, but noticed Dean on his broomstick, hovering around the top of the new mural.

"I see and hear nothing," Dean said, assiduously not looking down as he worked on a chandelier.

Donzo looked like he meant to say something else, but couldn't in Dean's presence. Instead, he made a hand sign at Ruthless--a yapping mouth--then pointed at Teddy, then at the now-invisible door. She nodded. Donzo headed off for Ravenclaw, and Ruthless and Teddy turned toward Gryffindor. From the corner of his eye, Teddy saw Dean drop to the ground and start doing circuits in front of the door.

Halfway between Dean and the Fat Lady, Ruthless stopped and pulled Teddy behind a tapestry. It was a spot they both knew well from their two bouts of going out, but if snogging was on her mind, she wasn't acting on it. "I think McCormack wants me to have a long, meaningful conversation with you about the damned mirror."

"I really don't want to talk about it."

"I know. I'm no Ravenclaw, and neither are you, no matter how much you pretend. I just... well, I've always got your back if you need help. That's all."

"Thanks."

"And Weasley was there with you. I reckon she could help as well, if you needed it." She ground her teeth, apparently pained by saying this.

Teddy found himself looking at her lips and thinking that he was going to be breaking a Ruthless Rule very soon if they didn't get out of here, which seemed rather incongruous with the subject of the conversation. He backed out from under the tapestry and said, "I'll keep it in mind, but Victoire has her sister to worry about right now."

Ruthless came out after him. Her face was flushed. He held out his hand, and after a moment's hesitation, she took it. They walked back to the Fat Lady hand in hand, not discussing the subject. She let go to go through the portrait hole, and didn't take his hand again. The subject was dropped, at any rate, because the Common Room was crowded and buzzing with a dozen different conversations. Victoire was winding her way through the third year boys, a wide smile on her face.

"Teddy!"

Teddy glanced at Ruthless, who shrugged. Victoire noticed it and her smile faltered, but apparently she was happy enough not to let it bother her for long, as she resumed her weave through the crowd and finally reached him.

"What is it?" Teddy asked.

"Madam Pomfrey came up with a Potion she thinks is going to work. They sent Everard Galpin's portrait to the Ministry to get the parents' permission, and it came through, and they're going to try it tomorrow!"
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From: (Anonymous) Date: July 8th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

real boy

Ruthless turned on him. "Really? Do you think so? Because I thought I was actually nine, and your little fantasy about being a real boy was completely true."

This line is so Ruthless, and conveys so much tone. I love the thought process they go through to figure out the mirror. Leading me as a reader to say, "self image" mirror connects to the MYSTERY of identity. Deep thoughts... What is my identity? What would I see in the mirror?

I've been late to comment, since I was out of town. Another great segment, Fern.

-SideAlong

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: real boy

Donzo didn't even really deserve it, since he was trying to convey the same information to Teddy, but that's Ruthless--someone in her sphere gets hurt, logic flies out the window.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: July 8th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Donzo's a smart kid, though I don't think Ruth is necessarily going to be able to help Teddy much...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Ruthless has a lot of strengths, but there's really not much she can do here, is there?
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: July 8th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
And yet I am not reasured. Probably because it isn't June yet. I guess that is the disadvantage of having a school format, your audience knows that the dilemma isn't going to be solved completely until rather nearer the end of the year. Of course now that I've said that... Seriously though, does the school setting feel like a constraint at times, I mean we as a readership expect dire turning points to happen at Halloween so we arn't surprised when they do, etc.

Yes Teddy, of course you don't think about Greyback and he certainly doesn't appear as your "guide" in the world of the Maze, its not like you've gone through an incredably traumatizing experience and are now mentally messed up because of it, that would just be stupid.

Oh and Donzo is sublty personified *rolls eyes*

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
On the other hand, you can use the expectations to build tension with shorthand. :)

Teddy doesn't consciously think about Greyback very much, so he's totally not lying, but, er...
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 8th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

i love ruthless in this chapter, the way she loses her temper with donzo, sticks up for her brothers, reassures teddy- it's all very well characterized.
also love that teddy is not, by any stretch, over what happened yet. as far as parallels to harry's fifth year, it sort of reminds me of how harry was blaming himself for cedric and not over it at all, even though that wasn't his fault at all. not that anyone blames teddy for killing greyback! his dialogue quoted in this chapter was painful in hunter's moon and it's painful here, and it must have been awful to write as it is so sick! but i think that means you did your job right.
~M
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

I think what Teddy's realizing on a subconscious level--and believes the others don't understand, though they do--is that he wasn't entirely acting in self-defense, and he wanted Greyback dead. He's not a plaster saint. What if Uncle Harry finds out?!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: July 8th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
"And Donzo, I'll bet you spend every day at Weird World in the library." Teddy forced a grin. "I know I would."
Donzo ignored this entirely. "I think it shows ...


HA! I loved that--nice try, Teddy, but they're not buying.

Nicely done, with how they work through it. Very natural dialog, as always (love Ruthless, always!). My only nitpick is that first Ruthless winces, "apparently still stinging...", then later she grinds her teeth, "apparently pained" by the Victoire admission. You might sub in "evidently" for the first one?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Ack, that's what happens when you write half of something, then go back and finish it several hours later when the original writing is out of your head. :eyeroll: I'll change the first to "She wrinkled her nose at the lingering injustice of the thing."
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 8th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bless Teddy's friends for giving him and telling him exactly what he needed after seeing that image in the mirror. He's lucky to have them.

Watching Teddy and Donzo race each other to be Animagi is going to be fun, if this lesson is indicative of how things will play out. And the plague may soon be over? I hope so, since putting his schoolmates out of commission for a whole academic year isn't likely to help Teddy's tendency to self-flagellate. Looking forward to the next!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy knows he's lucky in his friends, just as Remus did, I think.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 8th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I thought that they'd stay out all year, ala the petrification in HP2.

I love how wonderful Teddy's friends are. I really do. They're, well, wonderful. And Teddy's such a guy- oh, no, let's get past my VERY messed up self image... want to snog?!

*Sighs dramatically*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, there's nothing whatsoever wrong with Teddy's libido. ;p
ronkaperplexous From: ronkaperplexous Date: July 8th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Victoire, like that'll work. You clearly don't read enough adventure stories; I recommend Fifi Lafolle.

I have a delicious theory about how they're going to get the cure for the plague, but I shall keep it to myself on the off-chance I'm right and ruin the experience for others. Good job, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
She hasn't read the HP series, either. ;p
scopart From: scopart Date: July 8th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I think it shows who we think of when we think of ourselves."

this is such an interesting idea and I really loved this line. but it's sad to think that Teddy thinks of himself with his hands stained in blood. I feel like he's falling deeper and deeper into a dark place and I wonder how he'll get out.

I also can't help but wonder what I would see if I looked into a mirror like that. I don't think you could ever predict it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea what I'd see. It would probably depend on what kind of day I'd had!
anna_in_the_sky From: anna_in_the_sky Date: July 8th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Ruthless' little pep talk at the end. It's very *her*. Teddy really does have some demons to tackle. Is fifth year the default year for emo? ;-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I believe it is. :)

I just can't see Ruthless sitting down to have a long and meaningful conversation about what it's all about, Alfie. And given that Teddy's problems are coming from an intense scrutiny of his belly button this year, the long and meaningful chat might not have been any more effective than a Beater's bat, anyway.
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: July 9th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I've loved these last few parts and wonder if this option will work. What is the mystery behind the mirror? I really enjoyed this.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked it!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: July 9th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, I had a very well thought out comment, and when I hit 'post', my internet conection went *dead*, just like that. I thought, 'well, maybe, it was posted'.... but it wasn't. It was a nice comment. I remember I said something smart.

I remember I said I didn't buy the cure just because it isn't June, as much as I hope it will work. I also wrote a few lines about Teddy and Greyback, and how much the first part of the chapter disturbed me. It really did upset me.

Ruthless and Donzo are great. They really should be worried about Teddy. When I was 15/16, I went through a really bad patch and used to... well, stop breathing. Litteraly. It always happened at school, so my friends were the ones who had to drag me back to the Land of the People Who Breath. They really did take good care of me, and I think Teddy could use some of that now. I hope they will try harder.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember I said something smart.
Ha, isn't that the way of it when the connection goes bad?

I think around that age, we're all completely nuts. All those juices floating around our only half-developed brains? It's a wonder anyone survives.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: July 9th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Good post. I like the interaction with the three here.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Threes are fun. One viewpoint character, two balances. :)
satakieli From: satakieli Date: July 9th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Ruthless, as usual, is made of win.

I wonder what's up with the Room and the chocolate?

Teddy, you would be breaking my heart if I weren't so exasperated with you. Maybe you are anyway.

Also, Teddy, your sex drive is really creeping me out. I'm glad I was never this far inside the brains of the real fifteen-year-old boys I knew.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the Room's not up to anything--someone just reminded me that the room can't just provide tea for Hannah, so I wanted to put in an explanation of where it's getting food!

I think Teddy's pretty normal in the teenage libido department. (Great Buffy interchange where Cordelia asks Xander, "So, looking at guns makes you think of sex?" and Xander answered, "I'm a seventeen year old guy. Looking at linoleum makes me think of sex.")
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 9th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Donzo's self-perception ("just Don Duke") is interesting in that it sheds more light on his reasons for choosing his future name as an adult artist. It makes it more than merely stepping out of Dad's shadow. Kudos.

-fh :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I'd actually forgotten about that, but yes. It especially makes more sense given that Kirley is the one who goes by the Duke name!
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