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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-One: Sulci Numine, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-One: Sulci Numine, pt. 2
Finally got around to posting Chapter 19 of Forest Guard to SQ, and have sent in the final chapter of it.

Editing chapter 19 may contribute to this current chapter, since it got me thinking about Teddy and Frankie's misadventure in the Forbidden Forest, which is where the Maze initially took Teddy and his friends. A Red Cap leads them through a few twists and turns, then Mr. Borgin, then Rufus Scrimgeour, then finally John Lupin, who brings them to the Hogwarts library, where he drops a book open to a drawing of a hospital ward, where a witch is crawling along on the floor. Teddy is noticing all the details in the picture when one of the others realizes that they're actually entering it.

I really am sorry about the slowness of chapters lately. I had the whole story in my head, I thought, but, like Teddy, I'm discovering that I'm in a little over my head!

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




The world took a sharp turn, and the black and white figures in the woodcut were now three dimensional, if still in the shadow-less and harsh lines of the medium. Teddy raised his hand, which was now in the same style. His robes hadn't changed, but the others all had--they were now wearing nondescript, ragged clothes as well. The witch crawling along the floor looked up, and the curtain of hair parted to reveal her face. For a single moment, Teddy mistook her for Luna Lovegood, but her face was rounder, her harshly-lined hair thicker.

"Who is she?" Victoire asked. In the woodcut, the lines defining her face were thin and delicate. As Teddy watched, they began to fade into normal shadows as the environment started to take better shape from their minds.

"I don't know. My grandfather led us here. She looks like..." Teddy shook his head helplessly. "Maurice, are the Lupins and Lovegoods related?"

Maurice, whose face was somewhere between a drawing and a photograph now, said, "Quite a long time ago. The Lovegoods are actually closer to the Apcarnes, on the Cheswick side."

"You terrify me," Donzo said. He was starting to seep into colors.

Ruthless, who'd wandered ahead a little, suddenly said, "It's Hogwarts!"

The room snapped into shape. It wasn't the hospital wing, but the Great Hall. Beds lined the aisles where the House tables normally stood. A cowled wizard with a shaved head bent over an apparently sleeping child--too young for Hogwarts--and touched his forehead. "We've lost him," he said. "Another one." He hissed through his teeth.

"Aren't you going to say a blessing, Brother?" a little girl asked.

"I shall do so when my mind is less clouded with unholy thoughts."

"Is it the Friar?" Frankie asked.

"I don't think so," Teddy said. "It doesn't look like him."

"We had it contained in the monastery," the monk said to a tall, thin man beside him. "It was down to three cases. I was on the verge of a cure when the king's men came."

The thin man, who had white-blond hair, drew up and looked disdainfully down his nose. "Had you merely gone along with the new regime, as I did..."

The monk cut him off with a glare, then moved on to the next bed, where a child was breathing thinly. The child's face was tattooed with blood.

"Brother..."

"All is well, Sarah," he said. "Rest."

"Well?" the blond man spat. "Two of my children lay beneath the earth, and a third is fading away. Our mother cast herself from the tower in grief. How dare you say all is well?"

"My dear Callixtus," the monk said quietly, "you should not show your anger to the children. It will drain what strength they have."

"You may have let them destroy your monastery, Jeremiah, but they will not have the last word!"

"Reformation," Donzo said suddenly. "It must be the dissolution of the monasteries. Henry the eighth."

"And Maurice terrifies you?" Corky said. "Why can you just pull that out of your head?"

Donzo flipped the bird at him.

Teddy signaled for them to be quiet. The two brothers had moved away from the beds a bit, and were now speaking in soft, low voices.

"I know what you plan," Jeremiah said.

Callixtus drew back. "I plan nothing."

"Why do they talk like us?" Corky asked. "Shouldn't it be all thous and thys and shalts and hasts?"

"Perhaps 'tis," Maurice said, "and thou'rt merely unaware, as thine own tongue has..."

"Oh, shut up."

Teddy nodded. "Stupid as it sounds, that might be it. We're hearing what we understand. I think."

"Or thou mightst be speaking out of thine own arse," Corky muttered. "Who are these people? How did we get here? Just through the book? Don't we have to be connected?"

Teddy wasn't sure how to answer the question. They'd gone in thinking that the Maze was like a strange Pensieve that could operate without direct memories, but of course, it wasn't. It showed possibilities, not absolutes, based on the paths of history that it was able to find. It had tried a few unproductive angles before stumbling on John Lupin and his book, and now it was extrapolating... he thought. He suddenly wanted the vast, unobstructed view he'd had on the night he'd fought with Uncle Harry. Was there another path, as there had been so many possible paths for Brimmann? Or had the Maze stumbled on the reality?

He decided to worry about it later.

He turned back to the brothers, but they were gone, and the hospital ward was fading back into the trees. "Wait! Where are we?"

"Back in the Forest," Frankie said. "But I don't know where."

Teddy looked around. There was something familiar about the rise of the land, the high ridge of stone etched against the moonlit sky, but he couldn't place where he knew it from.

Jeremiah, the monk, was standing patiently on the path, waiting for them to follow. As soon as they all had their bearings, he turned and ran on into the semi-circular clearing, his feet rustling in the ferns. Trees shot their roots up through the shallow earth, and he nearly tripped over one as he mad his way to the center.

He looked anxiously over his shoulder, then cleared a patch of ground and set up a collapsible cauldron and lit a fire beneath it. He checked again, then drew a vial from under his robes.

Somewhere nearby, Teddy could hear people thundering through the undergrowth.

Jeremiah tossed the vial violently into the cauldron, where it exploded into a burst of red and gold stars that swirled upward and alit in the trees and crevasses in the rock face, where they shone like diamonds caught in the moon's glow. Jeremiah pointed his wand at one of them--the brightest, high in a crevice on the rock face and said, "Occludo Territorium."

The glowing points began to flow together, forming loose, fluid streams, which danced around one another, braiding and unbraiding in the night, then, as though they abruptly reached a critical mass, they shot out in all directions, blasting past Teddy and his friends like spears. They didn't make a sound, but Teddy could feel a sound, a silent crescendo just beyond hearing. Victoire and Ruthless covered their ears.

Then it stopped.

The Forest was still except for the thunder of approaching footsteps.

Jeremiah straightened his shoulders and waited.

Callixtus burst through the tree line, his face transported with fury. "How dare you?" he demanded.

"I can't let you take it back out," Jeremiah said. "I won't allow it."

"You can't do this."

"It's done."

At this Callixtus screamed and ran at his brother, his wand raised aggressively. Instead of casting a curse, he brought it down as a stabbing weapon, missing his brother's eye by less than an inch. Jeremiah sidestepped, and any pretense of a conversation was gone. The brothers struggled in the undergrowth, hurling epithets at one another. Then the world took on the colors of Teddy's recurring nightmare--a flash of steel in the moonlight, blood spilling blood.

Jeremiah pulled himself up and looked down at his brother, now lying on the forest floor, bleeding into the earth. He stumbled backward, his face full of horror, then fell forward, face down, arms spread to either side. A knife fell from one limp hand, and Teddy saw Maurice, almost too late, running forward to try and help.

He grabbed Maurice by the wrist and called, "Everyone, hold on!" As soon as he could see his friends grasping one another, he tightened his hand on Ariadne's Thread and yelled, "Home!"

There was a sensation of pulling them, strong enough that his shoulder would ache for the next two weeks, and then they were thrown back into the torchlit Divination classroom. Teddy stumbled backward on his seat and sat down hard on the floor.

Maurice sank miserably into his own seat and said, "I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking. I just... his brother was bleeding to death. I was just thinking about my brother Wendell..." He shook his head. "I guess that already happened, though. A long time ago."

"It's all right," Donzo said. "I think we'd seen everything."

"So, there's a potion we don't know how to make and a spell we don't know how to do, somewhere in the forest, in a place we can't get to," Ruthless said. "Good to know."

"Well, we don't need to know the potion," Victoire said. "It's still working. We just need to undo the initiating spell."

Frankie nodded. "It's Galdreward's Quarantine--someone knows how it works, so we can get the reversal spell. We just need to find the place to cast it."

"Are you sure?" Donzo asked. "It went everywhere. Maybe we could do the spell from here."

"Do you really think Madam Pomfrey wouldn't have tried that?"

There was no question that she would have.

"Why didn't he just say where he'd cast it?" Corky asked. "Leave it there so someone could undo it once the brother's idiot friends were locked up and couldn't go out and spread whatever they were sick from?"

"Because he never spoke again," Maurice said. "I read it on a Chocolate Frog card. After his brother died--they didn't say how--Jeremiah Galdreward took a vow of silence, and he never said another word to anyone."
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Comments
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willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 1st, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
The plot thickeneth.Maurice's speaking forsoothly was a hoot. But seriously, this is intriguing, and I like seeing how the different knowledge possessed by each of the Seven is playing a part in the problem-solving process. Very eager to see what solution they come up with, now that they've partly identified the difficulty.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me, too... ;p
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: September 1st, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Morning chapter! That's pretty awesome, as is that I get to be first to comment *grins*

There were many bits I loved, but Donzo flipping the bird at Corky is made of win. Can't wait to see where Teddy and his gang take this next.

From: (Anonymous) Date: September 1st, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry to say "flipping the bird", I had to look it up so it definitely sets my brit pick alarms off.
(Deleted comment)
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 1st, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oo I haven't been able to comment for ages, thus I shall correct my lapse, forsooth.

Actually I know I should be intrigued by these new and interesting twists or revelations, and I am no doubt about it, but while most of my mind was happily following you along the path of the story hoping eventually to reach the center of the maze along with Teddy, another bit of my brain latched onto the question of speech and whether peope did talk like Shakespeare etc. Curse my English centred brain!

The Maze does seem to be a lot less... dangerous when there are more people in it, is that because it holds it in balence, any extremities of thought in an induvidual are held back or neutralised by the rest pulling in another direction? It just seems to be very noticable how normal the Maze is acting in comparision to how it was with Teddy alone? More emphasis as to Teddy not getting too wrapped up in himself? The extremity of his own mental state? Especialy compared to the others?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, there was another tense that involved the thous and thys and so on, so there would have been use of it, though it wouldn't have been in iambic pentameter, I'm sure!

I think that having some stable minds mixed in and forcing Teddy to look beyond his own inner turmoil probably gets the Maze going again, though of course, it frustrates Teddy with the very limited use they're able to put it to, because he's the only one with his particular skill set.
amamama From: amamama Date: September 1st, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wee-hee! Antoher great chapterlet. What a wonderful way to end the day. I love the name Galdreward, as in Norwegian (and probably other languages too) to 'galdre' means to cast a spell or hex. So will they now try to find the way to break the spell as they have the words? r will they stumble around a bit more before Teddy finally learns how to be an animagus and transforms in the maze and flies to the centre -if that's at all possible.

One nit: Trees shot their roots up through the shallow earth, and he nearly tripped over one as he mad his way to the center. Should be made, I guess?

Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops, yes, need an "e."

"Galdre" came from looking in an Old English dictionary, if I recall correctly. Which makes sense--it would be from the Anglo-Saxon so cheerfully spread around by the Vikings...
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 1st, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that's been interesting.

A couple of months back, I watched The Tudor's first two seasons one episode after the other. At uni, I've been studying a bit of Elizabeth I's cultural environment. On Saturday, I went to my great uncle's birthday, and he had a TEAPOT with Henry and his wives.

(whisper)I think they're after me.(/whisper)

Joking aside, Maurice scares me too. And what was that about his brother Wendell? Anyway, it was a nice, neat chapter with answers and new questions, which is always good. Take your time, we love the pretty things you write be it today, tomorrow or in five days.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. I picked a random year during the Reformation to find something for Donzo to comment on for a time check.

Teddy hasn't occupied himself enough with his friends, or he'd realize that Wendell should be there with them. Wendell's ill.
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: September 1st, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
ooo I'm enjoying this part of the story! I don't mind the slow pace of updating because then I know the chapters are good.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to hear that!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 1st, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

*biting fingernails!*
I liked the bit where it was sort of like a drawing! that was cool. hmm, a vow of silence . . . I know some people who should take them!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I can think of a few myself. (I am occasionally included in this number. ;p)

Edited at 2008-09-02 03:46 am (UTC)
daksian From: daksian Date: September 2nd, 2008 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Argh. I missed the last installment in an LJ overload. So I'm commenting for both this installment and the last one.

First off, I really admired Frankie for this:

"And I have complete faith in you."

"Then you're way ahead of me on this."

"I know. That's why I thought you needed to hear it."


He's not been as 'present' in HM or DM as he was in FG, but he's still one of Teddy's best friends for a reason--and this is it.

This whole scenario feels...spooky. You've set this up well, Fern. You've given us an idea what to expect in a 'working' Maze, and now I'm feeling off-kilter going through this 'broken' maze.

I'm loving how the others are contributing, adding to the experience that Teddy couldn't do alone, whether it was Victoire's request for light (whereas Teddy's nature would be to take things as they are, Victoire always seeks to 'improve' things a bit), or Maurice's 'terrifying' memory of family connections, or Donzo's equally 'terrifying' memory of history--they're all providing insights that Teddy alone could not, yet at the same time, I think these revelations will help Teddy in the future, as he is learning the benefits of approaching problems from other sources.

The story of the two brothers is a compelling one, and I like how you use it to answer a question (what needs to be done) but pose another one (how, exactly?).

I'm looking forward to the next installment. Hopefully I won't miss it! ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2008 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that's why Teddy's ultimately going to be able to do the job--he's going to have to learn that the worst thing he can do is shut himself away, not just because it makes him unhappy, but because the others can bring something different to the question.
rotae From: rotae Date: September 2nd, 2008 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I get the oddist sensation of Buffy from the last line of that. It sounds like they're about to go to a commercial break XDDDDD

That's totally a compliment btw. I love Buffy XD

YAY!!! Kind-of answers!! LOLOL XDDD *hugs*

Peace,
Rotae
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2008 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, I'll take a Buffy comparison. I loves some Buffy, too. :)
From: glynngriffiths Date: September 2nd, 2008 02:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh! Progress with the quarantine - yay! I have eerie Forest Guard deja vu about the lot of them venturing back into the Forest together to break the quarantine, though...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2008 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
At least no one's setting a fire this time.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 2nd, 2008 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Good post!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2008 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2008 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Somebody needs to index it for them, though... ;p
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 2nd, 2008 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Maurice and Donzo are ♥ I love the role they play in this chapter section - all that quirky knowledge at their fingertips coming into play.

Great update, again! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 3rd, 2008 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Maurice's deepest secret--way beyond the Donzo thing--is that if you follow his family tree back far enough, he's a hobbit.
From: kobegrace Date: September 2nd, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brilliant, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 3rd, 2008 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: September 2nd, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fabulous--this is great.

One thing that confused me a bit--it took me a couple backtracks to figure out that when you referred to Jeremiah and Callixtus as "the brothers" you meant....actually blood brothers. I was stuck on Jeremiah being a monk, and then was trying to figure out why Callixtus had children, and then realized he'd said "our mother" to establish that they are brothers.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 3rd, 2008 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'll tweak that. I was going back and forth on whether or not they were brothers, and it shows.
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