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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty: Guides and Guards, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty: Guides and Guards, pt. 2
Teddy is doing his whole "I must solve this problem by myself" thing, or at least his, "Gosh, I wish I had the Marauders" thing, when Dean starts talking to him about his old circle at Hogwarts, and Teddy puts pieces together and realizes that he wants the Marauders to help him think... but he has actual, living people around who can do that. He heads for Ravenclaw, sending Patronuses to Frankie, Maurice, Corky, Ruthless, and Victoire, and is currently waiting by the doorknocker for Donzo.

It is a great struggle here not to use the phrase, "We are ka-tet."

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




It took ten minutes for everyone to arrive, and once they got there, Teddy wasn't entirely sure how to start. In lieu of an explanation, he led them to the Room of Requirement, thinking, "I need their help" as he passed the door three times. It opened into a comfortable sitting room, with low ottomans to sit on, a large table with blank parchment and a bottle of ink, as well as one quill for each person Teddy had brought along. A section of shelves held all of the reference books Teddy had thought to use so far, as well as Phineas's diaries and, for some reason, the Animagus books. To his delight, a picture of the Marauders that Dad had saved and Granny had given him also appeared on the table. They were in their dormitory making obscene gestures at each other.

There were other pictures on the table and on the walls. Mum and her friends showed up in a drawing that usually hung in the Hufflepuff Common Room. Uncle Harry and Ron and Hermione at some point the year after the war, when Hermione had taken her N.E.W.T.s. One of a group of girls with their hair in stiff nineteen-forties styles, in the company of a single boy. One of them was Minerva McGonagall; Teddy didn't recognize the others, though he knew that the lone boy was Alphard Black. There was a snapshot of two people that he realized with a start were Granny and Granddad, surrounded by other students in the library. Beyond these faces, there were others, complete strangers: A gang of boys in pinstriped Muggle suits, smoking cigars by the lake. A Hufflepuff Quidditch team grinning up from a table in the Common Room. Several daredevils standing up on their broomsticks and doing some kind of complicated dance over the lake. A rotting piece of parchment scribbled over in Latin, with seven inky handprints on it. A code-breaker that looked like it had once been made by first-years. They seemed to go on forever, these shadows of Hogwarts societies. Teddy could sense them all around him; it was an oddly comforting feeling. The Room of Requirement, at least, seemed to approve.

"I need the Daedalus Maze," he said, and it was on the table.

The others gathered around. Ruthless leaned forward across the table to Teddy's right. Victoire perched on a stool that had appeared for her on the far side. Maurice took one of the ottomans and raised an eyebrow quizzically. Corky and Donzo took the other sides of the table.

Frankie spoke first. "That's that bloody thing my mum gave you. From the Department of Mysteries."

Teddy nodded. "I'm not sure the Department would think much of what I'm about to do."

"In that case," Frankie said, grinning, "let's get to it."

Teddy took a deep breath, then started at the beginning of his story, from looking for Brimmann to the horrible night after the fight with Uncle Harry--though he didn't elaborate on what that had been about--to the insane visions inside of it now.

"I know that it's in there somewhere," he finished. "The way out of all of it, I mean. The Quarantine, the plague. But I don't know how."

"Could we get it to push out some Iridescent Irises?" Victoire asked. "It gave us the Congolese Fireflower."

"That's what I was thinking," Teddy said. "But I can't really control what it decides to leak, and it might let something worse out along with it. We're lucky Brimmann hasn't come back."

"Maybe it could show us a way out," Frankie suggested. "The only way out is in, right? Maybe there's a way out of the Chamber of Secrets--go all the way into the deepest part of the school. Maybe there's something the Quarantine missed."

"That's true," Donzo said. "Whoever put the Quarantine on might not have known about the Chamber."

"And it's open now," Victoire put in. "They've been studying it in the summers."

"The Chamber of Secrets is under the lake," Ruthless said. "I'm willing to wager that they've tried any way there is to get out through the water."

"But we could--"

Corky stood up. He'd got huge over the years, and he had a way of making people quiet down. "Let's not get stuck on it. We need a blackboard." One was behind him. "And chalk." It lay in the small shelf at the bottom. He picked it up and wrote. 1. Chamber of Secrets. 2. "Next idea? Even if it's stupid."

"Forbidden Forest," Frankie tried. "Not that I'm hot to start that again, but we do know our way around."

Corky wrote this down. "Next? Someone other than Apcarne." He pointed at Ruthless.

She looked trapped, then muttered, "I don't know. Punch someone. Maybe the bloke who made this stupid Quarantine."

There was general snickering, but Corky dutifully wrote down, Do violence to someone. He looked to Donzo.

"Break the Quarantine spell," Donzo said. "That would pretty much fix everything, since we can cure the plague."

"Or it could let the plague out," Victoire said. "That's what the Quarantine is for in the first place. What if it lifted and all of these leaks got out in the rest of the world?"

"And a cheerful thought from Weasley," Corky muttered, and wrote down both the idea and the drawback.

"So we have to think about fixing the Maze and the Quarantine," Maurice said. "But once we get the Quarantine lifted, maybe someone who understands it will know what to do."

"Do you know anyone who understands it?" Corky asked.

Teddy frowned. "Do you have any old family papers from Gordon Burke?"

"Who?"

"He helped make it."

"That explains its charming properties." Maurice shrugged. "I don't mean to be practical and dull in my ideas, but let's play with what Scrimgeour said. If it can show you the past, have you thought about using it to find out who set the Quarantine and how? If we knew that, we could break it. With or without violence."

"But what about--?"

"One thing at a time," Corky said, and scribbled this idea down. He expanded the blackboard upward (his handwriting was large), then tapped it. "Can we do that?" he asked. "It seems more doable than solving problems in something we don't understand, and if we did..." He wrote, Help from outside. Burkes?

"Help and Burkes. Those are two bizarrely juxtaposed concepts," Maurice said.

"What do you think, Lupin?" Donzo asked, easily taking the lead away from Corky. "Would it work? I mean, it didn't really show you what happened to Brimmann."

Teddy blinked. "It did, though," he said. "I wasn't paying attention, because it was showing me everything else at the same time, but I've known it since I broke it. His ship went down off of Portugal. About forty miles west of Lisbon. He was going to go in and infect the city."

"You know that and you haven't told Robards?" Maurice said. "A week with no Trace! Teddy!"

"I'm sorry. I wasn't really thinking about the game anymore."

"How are you going to control it?" Victoire asked. "It sounds like it's gone crazy since then, and it's stuck."

Frankie sat forward. "Go in together. Didn't you say Mum took you in the first time?" Teddy nodded. "Then it can be done. It would probably still be crazy in there, but it might be a different kind of crazy. Something safer."

Ruthless suddenly laughed. "Go with Weasley," she suggested. "It'll just be crazily clean."

Victoire stuck out her tongue. "Or you could take Scrimgeour, and just curse everything into oblivion."

Donzo shook his head. "Take Atkinson. He's the most normal person here."

"Except for his odd fixation on The Evil One," Maurice said.

Corky rolled his eyes. "We all have our weaknesses. I'll go if you want me to, Teddy."

Teddy considered it. It would end up being some environment and guide that he shared with Corky, and most of what he could think of was pretty innocuous, even if it went crazy. On the other hand, when Draco Malfoy had come to class, he'd said that he couldn't get a read on Corky--what if there was something there that no one knew about? The Maze would show it, and play with it in its current state.

"Why stay at two?" Ruthless asked. "We could all go in. Balance each other's crazies out."

"Someone should stay back," Donzo said, looking at her suspiciously.

"And do what? Watch a wooden box sit on the table and hope it spits you all back in one piece?"

This all seemed to be spinning out of control. Teddy had meant to ask their help in thinking around the question. He hadn't meant for them to start mucking around in the Maze itself. He started to shake his head and pull the Maze away from them, then his eyes fell on the picture of the Marauders. They'd chanced things together.

"I need to think about this," he said. "I've cocked this up already doing things without thinking. But... can we talk again tomorrow?"

"No, Lupin," Ruthless said. "I was headed off to the Yukon, and Weasley has a meeting with the Queen."

Teddy smiled. "All right, then," he said. "Tomorrow, after supper. Not in here, though--I don't know how the magic would work together."

"Where, then?" Donzo asked.

Victoire came up with it. "Trelawney's classroom. She's stuck in Hogsmeade, and no one has any reason to go up there. We'd have it to ourselves."

"And maybe all those Divination things would come in handy," Corky said.

Maurice shrugged. "At the very least, there's tea."

"Well, that settles it," Teddy said. "Trelawney's, it is."

After that, there didn't seem to be much to say, though they stayed in the Room of Requirement for another half hour, looking at the old pictures and making up stories about the ones they didn't recognize.

Later that night, alone in his dormitory, Teddy took out his father's wedding ring and followed the Marauders on a summer night's quest to acquire bellweed for Mrs. Potter as a surprise, since she'd been muttering about how she'd have to find time to go harvest it. Dad had--quite unusually--taken the lead, spinning the whole thing into a story that they'd happily played along with. Teddy fell asleep with this memory still going on, and it slipped into a dream, in which he and Mum joined them, and they were hunting Snorkacks together to give to Luna Scamander.

He knew what his decision would be long before he set off for the Divination classroom late the next afternoon.
47 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2008 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Uuuu!! I must ask someone here to teach me the first comment dance!!

LOVE IT!!!!!!!! TO BITS!!!!!

Katya
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, the first two comments, even. ;p (I took care of the duplicate post.)

Glad you like it!
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2008 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Ups!! Couldn't keep in the emotions :))

Katya
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: August 23rd, 2008 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)

I Have Power!!!

Every time I'm thinking Aaaagh! Somebody write something!!! you come up with a new chapter!

I promise not to abuse this new power...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I Have Power!!!

Oh, please--use it! It's better to be writing than not writing.
ardie_bea From: ardie_bea Date: August 23rd, 2008 07:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful - Teddy finally using those brains that are perennially leaking out his ears. Love the ongoing Ruthless/Victoire prodding - it seems like its getting really comfortable.
Minor nit-pick: "I'm sure the Department would think much of what I'm about to do."
Shouldn't that be 'wouldn't' ?
Cheers
RDB
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, it was "I'm not sure..." I fixed it.

Ruthless and Victoire are probably each other's only good female friends, but it'll be a long time before they flatly admit it.
maz333 From: maz333 Date: August 23rd, 2008 08:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow, that was just sweet and lovely. I love the whole group getting together and jamming. What a great group of friends.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
And Teddy just shuts up for it, for the most part. It's sort of refreshing, not that I don't love him.
maz333 From: maz333 Date: August 23rd, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Refreshing indeed. Teddy's fabulous, but he's been all sorts of in his head and going it alone that it was marvelous to see him actually listening for a change.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: August 23rd, 2008 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy nodded. "I'm sure the Department would think much of what I'm about to do."

wouldn't?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I'm not..." I fixed it.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: August 23rd, 2008 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, it's lovely to see them all working together on this. I'm really, really glad Teddy brought them in, and I can't wait to see what becomes of it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm hoping this turns out to be a good choice.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: August 24th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Everytime I see your icon, I just get happy. It's so perfect!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
In which it is proved that seven heads are often better than one--and it's a lucky number too! Good to see Teddy drawing on his support system, and now I'm eager to see who and/or how many he takes with him into the Maze.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, yes, lucky number seven. That was an accident, but I'll take it.
sophiap From: sophiap Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful stuff, as always. I have to admit, the part in here that really intrigues me is all of those old pictures the Room thought fit to provide.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Room knows that Teddy needs to feel connected in time, like he's not just out there on the highwire alone.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

the story really seems to be moving along now! glad you seem to be over your block. the dream at the end- snorkack hunting- since they don't exist, does it mean this won't work, or that teddy has to think outside the box? nice job. oh, and just out of curiousity, have you been following the elections?
~m
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

It may just mean that Teddy's Dead People Posse wanted him to have some fun.

I follow the elections, but I think I'll keep politics off the blog. I mean, it just wouldn't be right to use my vast internet influence--cough, cough--just to campaign for Paris Hilton. ;P Though she does have a very sensible energy policy.

Edited at 2008-08-23 01:56 pm (UTC)
carlinpaddy From: carlinpaddy Date: August 23rd, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved it,it made me a little sad because all of my friends all went different dirrections for college and I never hear from any of them. but that just shows how realisic you are able to make your stories. well, except for dead people coming back to life from a 6 mm box...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm lucky. I still hear from my old friends a lot.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
'It is a great struggle here not to use the phrase, "We are ka-tet."'

Oh, come on, none of them have read King?

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)
It was so tempting to just have one of them being a DT reader in order to say it.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: August 23rd, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay!! Teddy is finally using all of his very intelligent friends.

Who were the rest of the people in the Minerva/Alphard Coalition? You used Millie Bones, I remember, and... Pomfrey? Sprout? I'm drawing blanks after Millie, unfortunately...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Neville's gran is there, and possibly Pomfrey. A few others I haven't named yet. I envision Moody in that ka-tet as well, but he took the picture.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: August 24th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course, Neville's gran! And I'm glad about Moody - I think he fits that group well. I hope I remember to ask for this the next time you do a challenge call...

By the way, I was studiously avoiding LJ and everything else in my life a few weeks ago when you finished your last round of challenges, but now that I'm back I still want to say that I loved loved loved "mine" (Narcissa's funeral), and many many of the others. Thanks so much for all the time you spent on them, they were all wonderful to read. :)
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: August 23rd, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very cool, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks.
amamama From: amamama Date: August 23rd, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great stuff. He's got some wonderful friends. But Teddy - didn't you see the animagus books? You know I keep insisting that's the way to go, but I don't know if you agree. And bring on the next part - I want to know what his decision was! I'm horrible with cliffies, even minor ones as this, I want them resolved at once, LOL.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, but that's just a hobby, a lark... ;p
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: August 23rd, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed this chapter, I always love the bantering back and forth. I can't wait for more.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I like writing them.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! can't help but glee about the new chapter, even though I'm feeling pretty depressed (Just had the most ridiculous fight with my "little" brother... and it turns out grown-ups are not above hair-pulling when confronted with an enraged teenager.)
Can't wait to see who Teddy will choose - or has chosen already. Oh, I love Teddy's friends.
(And I'd love to know the stories behind all the other pictures in the RoR.)

~Hermione Stranger, picking up a long bamboo stick to prod Fern's muse~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't have any sibs, so I can't identify directly, but I'd guess that the hair-pulling urge doesn't magically disappear at eighteen. ;p
daksian From: daksian Date: August 23rd, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is a great struggle here not to use the phrase, "We are ka-tet."

As long as Teddy doesn't go to the center, find a door, and ends up in his mother's car at 11 years old driving to the Great Pre-Hogwarts Orphan Tour, I don't mind the use of ka-tet. ;)

Lovely piece, Fern. It is nice to see the group interacting with a purpose like this. And I'm very much getting a OotP DoM vibe from the whole thing...except there are seven of them--but as was suggested, one will stay behind to watch. Personally, I'm betting that either Corky or Maurice will be the one, because you want all the houses represented, and neither of the Gryffindor girls are going to acquiesce to being left behind.

Of course, this is going on the presumption that Teddy's going in with his friends, but if I'm reading the ring memory/dream bit at the end properly, Remus and Dora are basically telling their kid: "Go with your friends Teddy". And I think Teddy's pretty much hard-wired to take their advice. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)
As long as Teddy doesn't go to the center, find a door, and ends up in his mother's car at 11 years old driving to the Great Pre-Hogwarts Orphan Tour, I don't mind the use of ka-tet. ;)

Oh, I haven't killed off nearly enough of his friends to go there. I'd have to get at least as far as killing Ruthless, Victoire, Donzo, Maurice, and Harry. Then they'd be all reincarnated into an impossible alternate universe where they're all the same age as the Marauders, and for some reason, Donzo and Remus are brothers.

Yeah. That's the ticket.

I love sai King deeply, but the man, in gymnastics parlance, has a hard time sticking his landings.
daksian From: daksian Date: August 24th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I love sai King deeply, but the man, in gymnastics parlance, has a hard time sticking his landings.

And that too, is ka

Or maybe ka-ka

And why am I left with the thought that Maurice would be Oy? :P
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: August 24th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if all those random pictures are important...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Probably not.
kacates From: kacates Date: August 24th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Obviously I love Teddy and will gobble up anything you write about him, but in this chapter I just love the whole gang of OCs you've created. Seriously, if you ever decided to use these characters in a story of your own, I'd be the first in line to read it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, they're pretty tied to JKR's world, so they probably couldn't make the crossing. But thanks... I'm always glad to know that the OCs are interesting to readers, rather than an annoying departure.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: August 24th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I notice that Teddy and all his friends- even the more impulsive ones like Ruthless and Victoire- are so much better at the Thinking things out thing than any of Harry's mates were. Even more than Hermione to an extent. All their ideas are rather intiguing....
malinbe From: malinbe Date: August 25th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Very nice! They had a chalkboard. That's just so cute. I love that they are so nice and dedicated friends; Teddy needed help, there they are.
I also found Teddy's suspicions about Corky very interesting. There's that little part of ourselves that, no matter how much we love a friend, there's always a side you prefer not to know. Now, what is there in Corky's past? I certainly am intrigued now.

I also liked the girls' interaction a lot. It seems they are coming to terms with one another.

I'd love to see them all in the Maze. I think if Teddy and Victoire go together they'd probably be facing Greyback again, and some of the other helped fight the other werewolves, and that IS the most traumatic experience they've had so far (that I can think of...). Oh, I hope the "Balance each other's crazies out" will work.

Eagerly awaiting for the next one!
47 comments or Leave a comment