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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eighteen: Christmas Under Quarantine, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eighteen: Christmas Under Quarantine, pt. 2
The potion is only partially effective, and the Quarantine is still on. Maurice is one of the lucky ones, as is Marie. Teddy is sent back to Gryffindor to rest, along with Marie, and when he wakes up, he finds Victoire alone by the fire. He's about to confess to being responsible for the plague when a Patronus--a nervous lemur belonging to Maurice--drops from the ceiling and informs him that he has to get to Ravenclaw, as there is a catastrophe. This started with this ficlet, though details have been changed to fit the context.

ETA: Funky, cool illo from rotae!

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy stared at the lemur, then at the spot where it had been after it disappeared. He felt numb and tired, and unprepared to deal with a disaster of any sort, but if Maurice was in Ravenclaw, if the plague had spread...

Another Patronus spun down from the ceiling--Donzo's raccoon. "Teddy, it's not an emergency, it's just Maurice--"

The lemur returned, and began to talk over Donzo's message.

"It is important--"

"--tearing his hair out about--"

"--because it's weird, one more odd thing, and--"

"--stupid things that--"

"--nothing good can come of it!"

"--really aren't his business."

The Patronuses were unaware of one another; they didn't have any real sentience. Nevertheless, Teddy could have sworn they gave each other an exasperated look before disappearing.

Victoire waited to see if another was going to appear, then looked at Teddy with her eyebrows raised. "What's that about?"

"No idea. I'd best find out."

"You're meant to be resting!"

"So's Maurice." Teddy got to his feet and pulled off the blanket. He folded it and handed it down to Victoire. "Thanks for the loan."

"You really shouldn't..."

"I don't know. Donzo's probably right. Could be a laugh."

Victoire considered this, then said, "Well, at least tell me about it when you get back."

"It's a deal."

Teddy felt stiff from sleeping on the sofa and fuzzy-headed from sleeping the morning away. He stretched as he went down the seventh floor corridor, past the Room of Requirement (currently invisible) and Dean's mural, where the boggart glanced at Teddy and made a feeble attempt at turning into a werewolf. As it was still just sketched in for space, it was a stick-figure dog with circles for feet and a few incomplete triangles for teeth, and it wasn't at all frightening. He turned up the corridor toward Ravenclaw and climbed the shallow flight of stairs that led to the door knocker.

"What is the central failing of prognostication?" it asked.

Teddy sighed. Of all of the Houses, Ravenclaw was the easiest to break into, as it required arcane knowledge, but not random knowledge that only Ravenclaws would be privy to. "Central failing... it's, er, that if you stop a disaster, you get... er... less respected. Because the thing you said would happen didn't." The door knocker waited for an elaboration. "But if you don't do anything, just so you get a good reputation, no one trusts you, as you could have acted and didn't."

"A valid point," the door knocker mused.

"Can I go in?"

It was still considering the subject when the door opened, and Maurice leaned out. "Teddy! Get in here." He yanked Teddy's arm and pulled him into the bright, sunlit Common Room of Ravenclaw. Donzo was sitting across an armchair with his long legs draped over the side. He shook his head wearily.

Maurice was pacing and muttering to himself, making hand gestures to the air.

Teddy looked at Donzo. "What is it?"

"I'll let Moe get to it," he said. "He said he didn't want to tell it twice."

"Is everyone all right?"

"No!" Maurice said. "Everything's insane. What were you lot doing while I was out? You weren't keeping any sort of eye on Corky, obviously..."

"What is it?" Teddy asked him.

"Corky!" Maurice answered, as if it were the most obvious answer in the world. "He got me back to Slytherin and Don grabbed me some breakfast before he left, but I wanted to stay in the Common Room instead of going to bed, as it's the middle of the day, and then Neil Overby came down, and he said he's transforming tonight, and he was nervous, and wanted Honoria, which isn't that strange since he's very stupid, but Corky went to get her, and when he came back they were HOLDING HANDS." He stopped, his throat working at the great villainy. "And HE KISSED HER." He sat down on an ottoman. "She took Neil off somewhere and I asked what it was about, and he said they're going out. And that he likes her. It's a disaster."

Teddy was struck by a conflict among a desire to laugh, a desire to throttle Maurice, and an unpleasant sense of shock at Corky's inexplicable behavior. He looked at Donzo, who handled Maurice's occasional outbursts better than anyone else in the group.

"It could be worse," Donzo said cautiously.

Maurice turned on him. "How? After four and a half years of sharing dormitory space with Corky, I think I'd know if he was even slightly prone to go out with Geoffrey Phillips." He looked around nervously, as if expecting the unpleasant Geoffrey to emerge from any of the rooms in his House.

"Well," Donzo said, "he could be going out with her the way she used to be."

"A malicious gossip who'd turn on you the second your back's turned?" Maurice slapped his forehead. "Oh, wait, no, that's how she is now. My mistake."

"She's not as bad as she used to be," Donzo said. "Come on, Lupin, back me up. She's helped you out a few times."

Teddy wasn't sure he liked being called to Honoria Higgs's defense. "Then turned around and started digging around everything I give her, looking for a seamy underbelly," he said, then added, grudgingly, "But she's been nice to Neil this year."

"Why are you in favor of this?" Maurice asked. "It's Honoria! He is going out with Honoria."

"We got that, thanks, Moe." Donzo turned and sat forward with his elbows on his knees. "Which means that if we're to keep up with Atkinson, we'd best find a way to get along with Honoria Higgs."

Maurice made a sound something like "Oh!", except that it sounded more like he was trying to swear and couldn't think of the perfectly appropriate curse. "Agh." He stood up and started pacing again.

Teddy sat down on the ottoman Maurice had vacated. He felt certain that he ought to be thinking about the plague, and Madam Pomfrey, and how much stress Daniel was under, and how Neil had to transform in the Room of Requirement, and how Marie had nearly died because of him, but the dazed thought that kept returning to his head was, Corky and Honoria? Really? Looking back, he supposed he could spot clues. Corky had been quite nice to her, and maybe she'd been making a special effort to look pretty... He blinked and shook his head. "Donzo's got a point. What are we going to do, exile Corky?"

"But... Honoria!" Maurice fell helplessly into a Ravenclaw chair. "What's he thinking?"

"I'd guess it's the hair," Teddy said, thinking of Honoria's thick, straight brown hair, and how it had looked when she was standing by the fire, or when she put it up in a professional-looking bun to do interviews. "Don't tell me you've never noticed her hair."

Maurice gave him a look of utter disbelief. "I can honestly say, I've never thought about Honoria's hair," he said. "Not even for a second."

"Can't say I have, either," Donzo said. "That's just you, Lupin. Someday, there will be a girl invented that you can't find anything irresistible about."

"There are girls I don't like!"

"Really? Name one."

Maurice frowned. "Can we get back on topic?"

"What's to say?" Donzo shrugged and sat back. "It's done. Corky's chosen a dark and tangled path. The question is whether or not we leave him to navigate it all by himself."

"Well, when you put it that way... " Maurice said, looking defeated. "But still, he should've asked us first. Not fair, inflicting Honoria on us."

"We'll remember that if you ever fall crazy in love," Donzo said, and Maurice snorted at what he considered the absurdity of the notion (Maurice's notion of love was quite Slytherin, and Teddy had a feeling that he would end up giving questionnaires to potential wives to see if their ambitions matched his). Donzo rolled his eyes. "As long as we're all here, anyone for a hand or two of Tarot poker? I'll be gentle with you fragile, recovering flowers."

Teddy stood. "No, really. I should, er..."

"Go back and brood about things that aren't your fault? Sit down." Donzo pointed his wand at a chair by one of the study tables, and it flew at Teddy, catching him behind the knees and forcing him to sit. Donzo tapped Maurice's shoulder. "Bind him to the chair if you have to, and don't listen to any confessions he wants to make. I'll go get my deck. I got sick of girls Summoning it to see if I liked them, so I made it un-Summonable. Bad idea."

He disappeared upstairs. Maurice cleared the table and brought it over to where Teddy's chair had landed.

Ten minutes later, they all had cards on their foreheads (Donzo had the Ace of Cups, and Maurice The Emperor), and were placing bets. Teddy felt a nagging guilt--if he was well enough to be here playing cards, he was well enough to go help Daniel. But any time he made a move to leave, either Donzo or Maurice blocked him. By the time they went down to supper together, he was more rested than he would have been after a hundred naps on the Gryffindor sofa.
34 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
redlily From: redlily Date: July 17th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)
"We'll remember that if you ever fall crazy in love," Donzo said, and Maurice snorted at what he considered the absurdity of the notion

Aw, considering the futurelets you've written, this is very poignant!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
And Maurice, poor thing, actually has an inkling of this, though Donzo's clueless at this point.
daksian From: daksian Date: July 17th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
ROFLMAO!

It was great to see the 'Corky/Honoria revelation' ficlet here! And it meshes well with the storyline, as does the behaviour of Donzo and Maurice. Donzo's quite the consensus builder--he gets Maurice to calm down about Honoria by using Teddy to back him up, and then gets Teddy to stick around by enlisting Maurice's help.

Seriously, Donzo is one of my favourites of your OCs. :)

"Moe"? That's awesome.*grins*

Oh, and the Patronus debate was priceless. I think they could be used against Boggarts too, what with the humour of that scene! ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
If Teddy were thinking more clearly, it might occur to him that Maurice is Slytherin enough to manufacture a catastrophe in order to achieve an end (though in this case, it was mostly natural... but he certainly wouldn't have hesitated to use it if Donzo had said, "Lupin needs distraction").
daksian From: daksian Date: July 17th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the next time you do an "Ask my OC's anything", I'm gonna ask for Maurice's conversation with the Sorting Hat at his sorting. Considering his constant need to stand up and fight for what he believes in ("Slytherin takes care of its own problems", and even (ridiculously) his objection to Corky/Honoria), he's not lacking in courage. I'd be willing to bet the Hat gave him a strong consideration for Gryffindor. If so, was part of the reason the Hat put him in Slytherin because it felt it needed someone like Maurice, who would threaten misbehaving first-years who weren't living up to his standards?

No kidding Fern, your cast of characters, both original and not, is what keeps me coming back to your stories. I'm a total sucker for great characterization, and you've got it in spades (among many other literary strengths, plot, dialogue, theme...you get the picture!)
(Deleted comment)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 17th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Nice to find this posted already--am chortling appreciatively over Maurice freaking out about Corky and Honoria! Not to mention Donzo playing Voice of Reason for both of his friends--he seems to know exactly which emo!traps they fall into, if left to their own devices.

Glad that you do humor as well as you do angst.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I needed a break from the angst! This is actually two years earlier than I first saw this ficlet, but man, the story needed to come up for air!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 17th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Pricelessness:

1. the patronuses

2. "Moe" *dies*

3. "which isn't that strange since he's very stupid"

4. "There are girls I don't like!"

5. "We'll remember that if you ever fall crazy in love," Donzo said, and Maurice snorted at what he considered the absurdity of the notion

6. "I got sick of girls Summoning it to see if I liked them, so I made it un-Summonable."

I love you fern, almost as much as I love "Moe", and that's the highest compliment I can possibly ever give anyone!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. "Moe"--which I think only Donzo could get away with calling him, at least without getting a very confused look--amuses me. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 17th, 2008 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)
That was me.

-fh :)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do feel sort of like the horror movie director whose heroine is alone in an alley and hears weird sounds only to find that it's a cute kitten behind the garbage cans. Which means she'll be less afraid next time...
xtineebee From: xtineebee Date: July 17th, 2008 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I am very carefully considering the reprecussions of making the statement "I love Teddy but right now, just for a bit, can we just have fic about Donzo & Maurice?". I don't know what it is, but I am just fascinated by them. This should only be taken as a testiment to your characters.

And thank you for the lovely moment of amusement - and the card game. Wonderful.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you like them. I don't think I have any whole stories about them in my head, but who knows? If I do, I'll write it. :D
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: July 17th, 2008 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Bad Cliffhanger! Bad, Bad Cliffhanger!

On the other hand, though: "That's just you, Lupin. Someday, there will be a girl invented that you can't find anything irresistible about."

Now I have to go "back to the future" and read all the FernTeddy stories again!

(not because there's JAMES in them, not at all!)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bad Cliffhanger! Bad, Bad Cliffhanger!

I'm sure Arthur could Charm a DeLorean for you. ;p
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: July 17th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bad Cliffhanger! Bad, Bad Cliffhanger!

Yes, but where is all that stuff???? Did I imagine a whole bunch of Fernwithy fourth-generation stories?

I looked on Humongous Bighead, and all the other HP Shifts, and Teddy-verse links...
satakieli From: satakieli Date: July 17th, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mural!boggart is fantastic! Especially half-drawn mural!boggart. Though in its fully-fledged state I imagine it will be quite scary. Wonder if it's intentional to make the hall with the Room of Requirement less attractive to random time-wasters who might pace back and forth for a while? Though perhaps that might be counterproductive with Gryffindors... or with Slytherins determined to temper their fears in order to use what is otherwise a rather useless and counterproductive reaction... or with Ravenclaws interested in better understanding what terrorizes them... or Hufflepuffs who want to conquer their fears, so their personal weaknesses will never get their friends in trouble... So maybe not so much of a deterrent. But fabulous.

"What is the central failing of prognostication?"

Did you have an answer in mind for this one? The one that I was thinking was that knowing the future changes it. Quite along the lines of what Teddy responded, but perhaps not so specific to a particular situation.

"and he said they're going out. And that he likes her."

Hah! I love the way the second follows the first. It's quite clear that Maurice doesn't see liking someone as necessary for going out with them. And that liking her is Corky's biggest crime.

Lovely.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think the Ravenclaw door knocker has "the" answer in mind, just any answer, and it would certainly let you in on that.

Maurice is definitely an old-fashioned creature about the idea of social pairings. Liking may or may not occur, but it's certainly not a primary factor. Really.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: July 18th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, of course the knocker oughtn't have any particular answer in mind, but let you in based on the merits of yours. I was wondering if you had one in mind--basically, I was wondering what the center of the probability cloud was for you, the better to interpret Teddy's answer as Teddy-specific.

Then again, I'm probably reading too much into it.
sep12 From: sep12 Date: July 17th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just have to say that I LOVE "Moe" - my husband's name is Maurice and he only goes by Moe. It just tickled me for some reason to see that Burke has taken that nickname, too.

Also, I haven't been commenting as much as I should have, but I love this. You rock, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
It just tickled me for some reason to see that Burke has taken that nickname, too.

Well, from "Don," anyway. ;p Generations of Burkes with stuffy names are probably rolling in their graves.

Glad you're enjoying!
scopart From: scopart Date: July 17th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Someday, there will be a girl invented that you can't find anything irresistible about."

Ha, I had a good chuckle over that one.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy is certainly appreciative of the fairer sex.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: July 17th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh! It was so good that Potential Disaster turned out to be one of the Funniest Moments in this fic so far. I had a good laugh.

"Don't tell me you've never noticed her hair." *explodes*

Ahhh, that was perfect. We needed it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought it was time for a laugh.
From: kobegrace Date: July 17th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww. This gave me the warm and fuzzies!
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: July 17th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excuse me while I heave a sigh of relief. For once something isn't going horribly wrong, well, I suppose it depends on your viewpoint, Maurice is obviously busy having a nervous breakdown. :) Although, doesn't this make Corky and Honaria the longest running couple now? Aww, so well suited. It is really nice to see the boys forciably preventing Teddy from moping, because you know, thats obviously what you need to do at this stage.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: July 17th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good stuff, Fern.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 18th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Stupid Lupin guilt trip. You're allowed to have FUN. Really, Daniel would allow it. *Le sigh*

Also... general snort at the boys. Lol. OH, NO, ITS THE END OF THE WORLD, HE'S DATING HONORIA!

Them: ............ *SWEATDROP* Riiiggghhttttt... Cards?

Lol.

Nice to have some happiness and randomness in here. If Hogwarts has taught us anything its, when times are terrible and the world is falling apart... kids will snog.

Alot.

Lol.
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From: glynngriffiths Date: July 21st, 2008 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
"There are girls I don't like!"

"Really? Name one."


I adore Donzo. :)
From: _kneebiter Date: July 21st, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I vote "Corky's chosen a dark and tangled path" as best line of the segment. Don's awesome.
34 comments or Leave a comment