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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Two: Mask , pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Two: Mask , pt. 3
Back to Teddy, who's just having a bad February. First, he couldn't get a Valentine, then Donzo beats him to the Animagus transformation. He's also not feeling very useful in finding the clearing where the Quarantine was set. Before going to bed, he asks the Marauders to give him a dream to help out with the Animagus business, but instead, he gets a dream of them walking with Harry, then a memory of his own fight with Harry, after which a werewolf chases him down a path.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




He spent most of Sunday in the library, reading all of the omen books on hawks that he'd missed. The hawk was a messenger, it was far-seeing, it was apparently a "permanent totem" (whatever that meant), it was violent and beautiful and had something to do with being Seer, though none of the books were especially clear on what. All of this, he'd already run across in one form or another. Donzo offered to sing a song that he happened to know about a hawk, but Teddy declined; he couldn't see it helping much. When Madam Pince kicked him out, he went back to his room and Conjured his Patronus.

"Wings," he muttered, watching flutter around the room. Uncle Harry had taught him the spell, there in the Shrieking Shack. Mostly in the kitchen. He'd Conjured it the first time while they worked to fix everything in it that had been broken, but of course, the primary thing that had been broken was the life of the house, and that couldn't be repaired. The house was dead, except that for Teddy, it had been horribly alive, and Uncle Harry had known that, had let him try to fix it, even though he believed that the dead couldn't be raised, that--

Teddy frowned. Something tried to make a connection in his mind.

It was like everything fell into place at once, and I understood the the thing...

Wings flickered in the shadows, startling Checkmate, then disappeared. Teddy didn't Conjure him again.

Instead, he grabbed a quill and a piece of parchment and wrote, Uncle Harry. Stone. Can't raise the dead, even though he can raise the dead.

His mind started to circle in on this, but he pulled it away. That argument was for some other day. It was something about it, some connection.

He grabbed the dream journal he'd been keeping. The notes jumped out at him. Uncle Harry. Stone. I was being a prat... Uncle Harry... Forest... Marauders in the Forest...

Quickly, he added last night's unpleasant contribution.

Uncle Harry and Marauders. Uncle Harry and me. Werewolf. Chased me down a path. Running.

Running.

He changed for bed in a daze, letting shapes come into his mind at will. The forest. The Stone. The fire. The figure in the smoke. Uncle Harry.

Running.

He'd just pulled up his covers when it came to him in a single, unbroken jolt.

He knew where he'd seen the clearing before.

But he couldn't get there without help.

He tried to sleep for nearly ten minutes, but his nerves were buzzing like flies. He got out of bed and pulled out the Marauder's Map. The way was clear.

He grabbed a candle and headed out of Gryffindor Tower.

The corridors were moonlit, and quiet except for the gentle snoring of the portraits. Nearly Headless Nick was floating near a window, contemplating the night, but he didn't notice Teddy go by.

The figures in Dean's mural all had some kind of movement now, and their basic colors were blocked in. Dean was working on the details now. Most of them were sleeping against the painted walls of the staff room. Dad had taken a seat, and was sleeping with his head tipped back. Only the boggart was fully awake. It rounded silently on Teddy, changing itself into a werewolf with sharp, unforgiving fangs.

Teddy watched it for a minute, then shook his head and crossed three times in front of the door to the Room of Requirement, thinking, "I need to talk to Uncle Harry."

The door appeared. It was a small classroom now, nothing fancy. On one of Dean's easels stood the portrait of Phineas Nigellus from the Headmistress's office, snoring loudly.

"Grayfur," Teddy whispered.

The portrait's snore paused, then resumed.

Teddy closed the door and spoke louder. "Grayfur, it's Teddy Lupin. I know you're awake."

The portrait's eyes opened slightly, and Phineas scowled. "I'm aware of who you are, and had I wished a conversation, there are any number of portraits within the castle I could have used to attract your attention."

"I need your help."

"I am somewhat less than surprised." He gave a long suffering sigh, then said, "Perhaps you'd like to discuss the summer activities of my old comrades, or your great-great grandfather's favorite nursery rhyme. It was a wretched thing that involved porridge."

Teddy smiled and sat down. "No. I need to talk to Uncle Harry. You remember nursery rhymes?"

"My son was a sentimental fool who insisted on adding his own memories of me to this portrait."

"That can work? Dean said you needed to collect memories of a person from the person..."

"It is certainly necessary to have the primary subject's input, but other memories may add, shall we say, flavor." He looked down his narrow, aristocratic nose and said, "I do not imagine that you've called me here to discuss magical art at this ungodly hour."

Teddy nodded. "Could I talk to Uncle Harry? Please? It's important."

"Are you aware of the time?"

"Yes."

Phineas pressed his lips together crossly, then said, "Very well. With what vital question shall I awaken Harry Potter at this hour?"

"I need to know what direction I ran on the night we quarreled."

"I would imagine that you are a better judge of that than he would be."

"I wasn't entirely in my right mind. Please, Grayfur."

Phineas shook his head and disappeared out of his frame.

Teddy tapped his fingers on the desk and looked at the Marauder's Map again. The clearing he'd fallen into the night he'd fought with Uncle Harry hadn't appeared when he'd updated. He'd flown over the Forest to get home, and he'd run there from an Unplottable location. The Map had no way to update it. But he remembered--now--rolling over and looking up at the nearly full moon reflecting off the rise of stone. The recall was complete. He could even feel his twisted ankle, long-healed, throbbing in the autumn chill.

The rage came as well--the crazy, black-threaded red fog that he'd been in--but he didn't have time for it, and didn't want to use it.

Phineas slipped back into his frame five minutes after he left. "I will have you know," he said coolly, "that it was not sleep I interrupted."

Teddy blushed. "Tell him I'm sorry."

"Perhaps you would care for his response to your first query before I pass on your apologies."

"Er... yes."

Phineas nodded. "He said you ran south toward the castle, but east, away from it. Deep into the Forest. Why he, as a responsible adult, chose not to retrieve you is somewhat beyond me."

"We'd fought."

"You are a foolish and headstrong boy. He is meant to be a grown man."

Teddy wasn't sure whether or not that meant Phineas was on his side. He said, "Could you ask him where I could start? I need to get back to where I was. It's important."

Looking quite disgusted with the whole business, Phineas left again. When he reappeared, he said, "Your godfather accepts your apology--I should not have--but is not able to give you directions to a place which is Unplottable, an eventuality which I might have been able to illuminate for you without recourse to tedious errands."

"Could Professor Longbottom break the spell?"

Phineas remained in the frame.

Teddy said, "Well?"

"I thought I would wait to see if you had further messages to carry. Attempting a two-way conversation in this manner is absurd."

Teddy considered this, trying to anticipate what questions Uncle Harry might want to ask. He tried to make himself think of it as writing a letter. "All right," he said. "Tell him I'm not trying to find what we talked about. I'm trying to break the Quarantine, so that Healers can get here and cure people who have the plague, which will get you out of the message carrying business."

"A welcome prospect," Phineas said primly. "Further commentary?"

"I'm sorry for waking him up, and... well... he knows what else I'm sorry for. Being a prat. Tell him I'm sorry for being a prat."

"A heartfelt and sincere apology, I'm sure," Phineas muttered, then left.

Teddy got up and started pacing. He went to the window and looked out at the black shadows of the Forbidden Forest. Somewhere in that murk was the place he needed to go. But he hadn't thought to take note of his surroundings. Why would he have?

"Ahem."

He turned. Phineas was back in frame. "What did he say?" Teddy asked.

"You are to see Professor Longbottom, and only Professor Longbottom, to discuss the matter fully. Apparently, Longbottom is in possession of whatever arcane knowledge your godfather shared with you, and is cognizant of the nature of your quarrel, so you may speak to him freely. I was not given any information about what you may speak freely about"--he looked quite miffed at this--"so I will have to assume you know."

Teddy nodded. "Did he say whether or not Professor Longbottom can break the spell?"

"He mentioned that it would be Longbottom's choice. At that point, I'm afraid the entire business was interrupted by three children who ought to have been asleep, and who insist for some reason that I tell 'their Teddy' that the household cat has sired kittens and the household dog has not been properly housebroken, which young Albus discovered much to his disgust on the way to speak to you. I fear I am unable to convey the visual I was asked to convey."

"That's all right. I er... could you tell them I miss them and tell James I'll have stories for him?"

"May I assume this is the end of your necessary communication?"

"I guess so. Except... tell Uncle Harry I miss him, too. I'm not sure he knows."

Phineas rolled his eyes and disappeared. He didn't return, though Teddy waited fifteen minutes before leaving the Room of Requirement. He went back to his dormitory and slept until just before dawn.

Curfew wasn't technically over yet, but he'd never heard of anyone getting detention for being up too early, and he wanted to catch Professor Longbottom before breakfast.
44 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
riah_chan From: riah_chan Date: September 12th, 2008 08:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I was happy to see this tonight since I am having a bought of insomnia...

Yay! The plot is moving along! And Neville is in the next chapter... ^__^
From: _kneebiter Date: September 12th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
You bought insomnia? It's all I can do to sell mine.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad to help with the insomnia. Although, I hope it didn't, you know, cure it... ;p
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: September 12th, 2008 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, Teddy.

I don't comment much, but I love all of your stories, and I'm happy to be finally caught up on this one--for some reason I hadn't started reading when you started posting, so over the last two or three days, I read pretty much the entire thing from the beginning, and I'll have you know I got quite as addicted as I've done with my other favorite books, so...thanks for keeping me up late. ;p It did make me think--have you considered making a wiki for your Shifts-verse stories at pbwiki.com? You've created such a rich world within canon, with a huge amount of text, that sometimes it's really easy to forget what's canon and what's, well, Fern-canon. (Fernon? Heh.) Plus there's a lot to keep track of if someone happens to jump in with one of the Teddy stories, say, without reading Shifts or Shades, and while you can enjoy the plot without knowing that background, it enriches it a lot to know your personal canon.

Don't know if you'd have time for something like that, but maybe something to think about?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd feel very weird about a Wiki. This is just my hobby, nothing that needs indexing! (And half the time, I forget what I've written somewhere.) :)

I'm glad you like the stories, though.
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: September 12th, 2008 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, great installment. I liked how "Grayfur" didn't even bother mentioning to Teddy again that he doesn't like being called that ... perhaps he's grown a soft spot for him? Or is it that if someone has read your journals, then they have earned the right to call you whatever they want?

Oh and SQUEE! at having Neville in the next segment =)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Grayfur has an extreme soft spot for Teddy. :)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 12th, 2008 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Except... tell Uncle Harry I miss him, too. I'm not sure he knows.

Aw, Teddy. *loves*

I found this instalment particularly exciting, now that it seems like we're getting close to the crux of the matter!

You really do have a knack for using dream sequences to forward the plot. It works well!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
It's handy when the POV character is a Seer...
(Deleted comment)
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: September 12th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'd guess it's "Pease Porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot, nine days old," unless it's the man in the moon one, with cold plum porridge? Had to google that one:
The man in the moon,
Came tumbling down,
And asked his way to Norwich;
He went by the south,
And burned his mouth
While supping cold plum porridge.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you're right about Neville "getting" Harry's notion of Hogwarts as home. And it's certainly something he's keen to defend!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
*grins*
Gotta love Grayfur!

I'm also much amused by the fact that falcons and (were)wolves are so important in Teddy's life - wolf&falcon are the heraldic animals of some people from one of my stories.


Anyway, eagerly expecting the next chapter!

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Really? Neat. I just like hawks. And that cheesy old song by John Denver, "The Eagle and the Hawk," which is what Donzo was offering to sing.
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: September 12th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love Phineas! He's so grumpy, but lovable all the same. I'm glad to see Teddy's getting some inspiration, and I can't wait to see his talk with Neville!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm sort of looking forward into getting into it, though it will need some time-burning glitch.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 12th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
If pinned to the wall (and not just in the portrait sense of the phrase), I suspect Phineas might grudgingly admit that being a family go-between makes existence interesting, if nothing else. Good to see that Teddy's had a breakthrough in one aspect of his life.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Admit it? Never.
amamama From: amamama Date: September 12th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes! *pumps fist* Finally he start using his briliant brain. *g* And I'm soooo looking forward to that chat with Neville. Wee-hee!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Amazing what happens when the brain finally engages.
gabrielladusult From: gabrielladusult Date: September 12th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Next challenge call: Harry's side of that conversation!

Glad Harry and Ginny were getting some "Mommy and Daddy time" in -- it's not easy with three kids.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Or four kids, when you count the one who sends portraits to interrupt. ;p
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 12th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay!! Breakthrough!!
And we had Phineas and will have Neville. This is such a treat.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 12th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah Phineas never fails to brighten up my day, although you would have thought that he would have realised by now that the pretend sleep thing doesn't really work. And I have to say that I cannot at present think or anything more embarasing then having Phineas walk in at that point. One of the disadvantages to having magical painting evidently.
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: September 12th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
But honestly ... what the heck is a painting of Grayfur doing in Harry's bedroom? He'd have to know better
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 13th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I think portraits can travel between paintings if they're hung in the same house. Didn't Sir Cadogan go running off through paintings leading Harry to his first Divination class?

-Sqveege
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that was my thought. There's some innocent painting of a landscape or something in the bedroom, and Phineas just heads right over to it.
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: September 13th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL. Hopefully H/G aren't dealing with another Permanent Sticking CharM?
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: September 13th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I get that ... but with that ability to move that portraits have ... why would anyone have one in the bedroom?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Portraits don't learn much. I wonder if he did that when he was alive--"I'm asleep, don't bother me."
scopart From: scopart Date: September 12th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, we got a little bit of Harry. Ha, but that sort-of-conversation was awkward on multiple levels. =) Loved Phineas.

Hmm, maybe we're getting somewhere after all. I can't wait to read Teddy and Neville's conversation- that will be quite interesting.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I've missed Harry. I <3 Harry. :)
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: September 12th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
i knew it! you were hinting all along that it had something to do with the teddy and harry's forest argument... i think?

not to preempt the next chapter, but neville = win! though since it's only february, i guess we'd all have to wait a little bit longer for the quarantine to break.

yeah, really, someone (if not fern, heh) whould put up a wiki of fern's potterverse. i mean, the first time i got to the journal i was like, "whuh, reg and lily? where???" and it wasn't i read back dozens of challenge calls that i got *some* of them.

and someone ought to really take note of the challenge call inspirations. they're all good :D

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes. That was what I was going for with all of Teddy's dreams..

Like I told lady_moriel, I'd feel very weird about a Wiki. It's just me. :)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, well... Ginny's not mortally involved in the argument, so her reaction would probably be, erm, less mixed.
From: glynngriffiths Date: September 13th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, love it! I'm so happy Phineas actually *did* carry that apology - it was all I could hope and more! Although a bit less than Harry and Ginny might have hoped for... "I will have you know," he said coolly, "that it was not sleep I interrupted." *snort*
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 13th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Phineas slipped back into his frame five minutes after he left. "I will have you know," he said coolly, "that it was not sleep I interrupted."</blockquote>

That's just classic, Fern!

Phineas rules! Liked his interaction with Teddy.
maz333 From: maz333 Date: September 13th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Mm, that was lovely. Interesting place for the clearing to be--I realize this is old news, but I was really glad that it wasn't in Aragog's former home (how much can really happen in that one clearing, anyway?).

Plus, Grayfur the messenger is always a fantastic time.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I know you said you didn't feel comfortable making a Wiki, so I have an alternative that you may warm up to... I also have no idea about what brought back Serius's brother, and I think the thing troubling the other person was just locating stuff. So what if you had a link on your HB site for catagorizing your fics by characters? I've seen that on another site and it was very handy when I was only in the mood for fics about Granger or Harry or so... would you be more comfortable with that?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll see if I can come up with a logical way. :)
littletwitchy From: littletwitchy Date: September 14th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, Teddy!
Awww, Uncle Harry!

I've got the warm fuzzies now =) And I'm so proud of Teddy for making the connection! Excited to see Neville's reaction :O

Oh, and I caught something:
"Wings," he muttered, watching them flutter around the room.?
cleindori From: cleindori Date: September 15th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Mwahaha, Grayfur and Teddy. Um, that's about all I'm capable of at the moment, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing where this goes! :)
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: September 16th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is somehow really right that Neville knows about the stone.
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