?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Four: The World Beyond the Walls, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Four: The World Beyond the Walls, pt. 2
Neville and Teddy broke the Quarantine, but the release of energy caused a destabilizing wave of energy that managed to knock the Daedalus Maze down and shatter it, filling Teddy's dormitory with hypnotic ropes of light that seem to be thoughts and visions. Maddie arrives in answer to Teddy's call, bearing a containment box to take the Maze away in. She's surprised that he's thinking of other career paths. She asks him to keep an eye on her while she gets the pieces of the Maze together, and to hold the containment box open. She's just asked him if he's ready for her to start.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




For the first few minutes, Teddy's tension spiraled inside him until he felt the slightest touch would send him running through the castle wall. But Maddie remained calm, talking about Carny and Mac and asking after Frankie as she picked up the slivers of the Maze's case and averting her eyes from the brighter parts of the Mazelight, and slowly, the muscles in Teddy's shoulders relaxed. Once, her voice trailed off when her eyes happened on a glowing strand, but before Teddy decided that it was time to take action, she shook herself off and continued on her search. Each handful of slivers was tossed into the containment box, which shivered slightly with the small impacts.

She reached the main body of the Maze and looked up. Her chatter about the children stopping abruptly. "All right, Teddy. I'm going to pick it up now. I don't want to chance Levitation. The light should follow it. Be ready."

Teddy braced himself.

Maddie Conjured gloves for herself, then grasped the two less-damaged sides of the Maze firmly and yanked it up from the floor. Teddy could see a greater strain in her muscles than the Maze's scant weight should have produced. She moved toward him.

The containment box tried to close. Teddy forced it open with his hands, then said, "Adoperia." It opened reluctantly.

Maddie reached it and threw the main body of the Maze inside. A few tendrils of light followed, filling the box with an eerily beautiful silver glow, and Teddy thought it was going to work.

Until the Mazelight started snapping like harp wires wound too tight.

"Dammit!" Maddie yelled, getting to her feet. "Teddy, we have to get this inside!" She jabbed her wand at one of the ropes, but it swerved around her and dissipated into the wall between two of James's incomprehensible drawings. In one of them, a red square with feet that had been labeled "Martian" ran up the edge of the paper like it had been doused with cold water. Maddie grimaced. "Try McGonagall's idea. Just like you were gathering memories for a Pensieve."

"I've never done that!"

"Concresco Cogitatonus," Maddie reminded him. "And concentrate. Then drag them to the box if it works. The release is just Emancipo."

Teddy pointed his wand at a nearby light rope and said, "Concresco Cogitatonus." The light turned and looked at him. It had no more consciousness than a firefly, but no less palpable life. It reached toward him, found the tip of his wand, and began to wind around it in a glowing ball. When it had nearly become big enough to swallow the whole wand, Teddy pulled it to the containment box and said, "Emancipo." It slid away from the wand and curled down in the box beside the Maze.

There was no time to admire his handiwork, though, as Maddie barreled in with another full wand, and poured its contents into the box. Together, they worked for ten minutes at this, but the sheer amount of light in the room didn't seem to lessen.

Maddie signaled him to stop. "We've got to be feeding it somehow," she said. "Or the Maze is. Let's shut the box. Maybe they'll die on their own without it."

"What if they just get away?"

She pressed her lips together grimly. "Then we might have some overflow. Hopefully, it will dissipate. But if it doesn't work, I can go back to the Ministry, and we can put everyone onto the problem. Maybe Professor Sprout would let you come to London--"

"Me?"

"You've done more with this tool than anyone I've ever heard of, Teddy. I think you qualify as a Daedalus Maze expert."

This was not a comforting thought, and Teddy didn't answer it. Instead, he went back to the box and broke the spell he'd used to hold it wide open. With a decisive snick, it sealed itself.

The light ropes fell to the floor and began to writhe in what Teddy interpreted as pain. In his mind, he saw severed limbs and blood and heard the wailing on the battlefield that had once raged below. Covering his ears didn't shut this out.

The light drew in and swirled into the shape of a galaxy, then shattered and blew away.

The room was still and silent.

Maddie pulled Teddy's hands down from his ears. "It's the best we can do," she said.

"I don't think it's done," Teddy said.

"It's not. But I think we've got the center trapped. I'm going to take it back to London, where we can study it in more controlled conditions."

"What about the bits that got away?"

"I don't know, Teddy. But I'll have people up here looking into it. They'll want to talk to you, if something goes wrong because of it, but it's not your responsibility."

Teddy nodded.

Maddie pinched his chin and made him look up, as she had once when he'd been very small and he and Frankie had accidentally broken the birdbath in the garden. He'd been certain she'd send him home and never let him play there again, but she'd just said, "Things break. They're just things. Don't cry over them." This time, she said, "The world is round, Teddy. There's no end of it."

Teddy bit his lip. "At least until the sun gets sucked into a black hole in the middle of the galaxy."

"I sincerely doubt that that'll be your fault, either." She grinned and winked, despite her pallor. Teddy couldn't help returning it.

"Teddy!" someone called from down in the Common Room. "Teddy are you all right?"

Teddy frowned and called. "Uncle Harry?"

Footsteps thundered up the stairs outside--it sounded like he was taking them two at a time--and then Uncle Harry burst into the room. He grabbed Teddy by the shoulders and hugged him, then let him go and nodded gratefully at Maddie. "Sprout wouldn't let me come up here until we saw the light disappear. Is everything all right?"

"We don't know," Maddie said quickly. "But we'll take care of it if it isn't."

Uncle Harry looked vexed at this, but didn't say anything. He turned back to Teddy, then hugged him again, like he was eight and had broken his ankle climbing around the rocks at Shell Cottage instead of putting Hogwarts into Quarantine for months.

He finally let go. "You grew," he said.

"I guess so," Teddy said.

"I'm so glad to see you." Uncle Harry shook his head. "But I suppose fifteen is a bit old for the old godfather to be making such a fuss, isn't it? Your grandmother came with the St. Mungo's Healers; she's in the hospital wing, and I imagine she'd like to see you, and I should warn you that she'll make me look stoic and stone-faced."

Teddy took a step back, disoriented, and glanced at Maddie. She took the hint and left without another word.

"Is something wrong?" Uncle Harry asked.

"No, it's just that we... well, we were quarreling. Aren't you still angry?"

"I'll never be angry enough at you to not be glad to see you after four months of quarantine." He frowned. "Are you still angry?"

Teddy hadn't given much thought to the actual subject of the quarrel--Uncle Harry's insistence that he should just accept Mum and Dad's deaths, like they were no more than a day's bad weather ruining a picnic, and not do whatever he could to rectify it--and found that some small part of his heart did still harbor an ember of anger, but he decided that he could choose not to fan it. He shook his head. "How is everyone?" he asked. "I'm sorry about... er... when I sent Phineas..."

"Don't worry about it," Uncle Harry said, and started to lead the way out. "We've moved the landscape out into the corridor, though."

"Good." Teddy followed him down the stairs. "How is everyone? Aunt Ginny? The kids? Is Martian getting along with Lily's dog?"

As they wound their way down to the hospital wing and away from any uncomfortable subjects, Uncle Harry filled him in. Rose Weasley and Al were trying to run a secret society for seven-year-olds, and had taken to speaking to each other in a "code language" that consisted of adding "eth" to the end of every verb. Lily was proudly walking her dog around Grimmauld Place, and even taking care of its messes. Martian had initially hissed and yowled at it, but had finally decided that it was more dignified to just ignore it. James had written several chapters of a novel. He'd been reading each day's pages to the family after supper. "Quite good, really," Uncle Harry said. "At least I think so. And the hero is a shapeshifting wizard knight who carries two wands and rides a hippogriff."

"Really?"

"He misses your letters terribly."

"I'll write him one right away. And letters for the others, too. Are you staying? I could just send them back with you--"

"No, I'm not staying," Uncle Harry said. "I came to check on you, but I've got a miserable case back in London."

"Oh."

"You should come home for Easter, though. I know you usually don't, but we missed Christmas, and there are presents waiting."

They came around the door of the hospital wing, and Teddy could see several St. Mungo's Healers in bright green robes, pouring potions down the throats of plague victims who were now awake. Daniel fretted from one to the other.

One of the green-robed figures broke away, and Teddy barely had time to recognize Granny and think, She's got gray! before her arms were around him.
38 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: September 26th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)

"The world is round, Teddy. There's no end of it."

Whoa! Where's my embroidery hoop?

And there's James!

Hard on his heels, Rosie and Al!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: "The world is round, Teddy. There's no end of it."

James, at least, can be counted on to keep himself (and everyone else) entertained. ;p
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: September 26th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
...Harry! *grins* Wasn't expecting a reunion so soon, but it cheered me up immensely. And so much love for James and the suspiciously familiar hero of his novel...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if it will occur to Teddy that it feels weird to be the hero of someone else's story.
amamama From: amamama Date: September 26th, 2008 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww... >sniff< Wonderful, just wonderful. From Maddie trying to stop Teddy from grabbing all the blame he can find (LOVED "The world is round, Teddy. There's no end of it."), to Harry barrelling in as soon as he could, to Teddy realizing he doesn't have to fan the flame of anger, to Andromeda crushing him in a big hug. And Teddy's realization that she'd grown grey. Imagine that. I know I would've...

>happy sigh<

Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'd originally thought that this would be something that Teddy would have to take the blame for, but, er... Teddy just doesn't have trouble accepting responsibility, and in fact did it immediately. So it kind of had to take the other tack.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 26th, 2008 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)
You think that the left over maze strands might cause trouble Maddy? Really? You don't say? :)

It is lovely to see all the adults again though and to catch up on ll of the gossip, I can bet you anything that there will be a lot of requests for Non Quarantined stuff next round of challenges.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
[Maddie]No, of course not. All is well, of course. Right?[/Maddie]
carlinpaddy From: carlinpaddy Date: September 26th, 2008 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I teared up in happiness when "Acka" Harry showed up. Just like I did way back when when I got my dad back. There were a lot of great things about that chapter I'd like to comment about, but I think I'm going to write a letter to my dad. Thank you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Always a good thing to do if you can!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 26th, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! New chapter! Can this day get any more perfect?

I'd completely forgotten how much I love Harry and Maddy. *big smile*

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked it!
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: September 26th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sweet, glad to see outside characters again!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
They're glad to be there, I think!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: September 26th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love it.

One nitpick: "Dammit!" Maddie yelled, getting to her feet.
I can't figure out when she sat down? I'll reread, but I thought she was walking the maze over to the box.

As they wound their way down to the hospital wing and away from any uncomfortable subjects...

That's one of the best sentences you've ever written (that I've seen, anyway)--poetic w/out being over-the-top.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

But the blocking in the Maze scene is just off. Will have to re-think.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: September 27th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
It is a little awkward...I think the "getting to her feet problem could be solved by adding in "kneeling" or something here:
Maddie reached it and threw the main body of the Maze inside.

Maybe: Maddie reached it and knelt, then threw the main body of the Maze inside.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 26th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's realistic that Teddy recognizes that he still feels some anger about the quarrel, but it's reassuringly mature that he also realizes he doesn't have to let that anger dominate everything.

It's not reassuring at all, though, that Maddie and Teddy weren't quite able to contain everything in the broken Maze. I await Maddie's findings with interest.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that may be the hard one--to realize that anger can't trump other emotions.
From: kobegrace Date: September 26th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
*sniffle*

Reunions are super.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I like them, too.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: September 26th, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh! nice to see people again, and the paitents out of quartine!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I think the patients are about to freak out entirely...
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: September 27th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Hogwarts IS a very dangerous place to live after all. Its not like they'd be the first students to spend months in statis....
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 26th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

sorry not to have commented on the last few chapters, but they've been really good. i so did not predict this, although it makes sense with the story. maddie is great, as usual.
also, the bit in the last chapter, when teddy looked into the light and thought he was going to kill the queen- i have no idea what that was about, but it gave me chills.
the first sentence is awkward, though. "Teddy's tension spiraled inside him"- the phrasing just felt off.
can't wait to hear what andromeda said.~M
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

Teddy doesn't know what it was about, either. Probably one of the assassination plots on Elizabeth I.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: September 26th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
This chapter just made me 'Awww...' and then go 'Oh, shit,, we're not even at Easter and things are 'fixed'. HOW BADLY IS EVERYTHING GONNA GO NOW? AHHHH!'

*Is worried for June*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I do have to start speeding up time a little, but there's still Animagus business to get to, and Teddy's-guilt-over-Greyback, and the outcome of the quarrel, and soon.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: September 27th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm, and the Dean-issues were never really resolved...

But, that's the end of the maze plot?! I mean, I don't know, I was sort of expecting something... epic. Like, Department of Mysteries or Battle of Hogwarts level of epic. Maybe not the latter, that MIGHT be too epic to EVER recreate. But if this is the end of the Maze plot, it just feels so... anti climatic. o_0. I expected the Teddy-gang to all get to the center together or, something. And Teddy dealing with his worse fears and etc etc? *Shrugs*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm not saying how all those other things resolve! ;p
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 26th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great post, Fern. I'm glad Harry and Teddy can talk again.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
So are they. :)
From: glynngriffiths Date: September 27th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay, Uncle Harry! I knew he'd be back as soon as the quarantine lifted. And Granny, too! It's been so long since we've seen Andromeda.

A side note, and Teddy thought it was going to work. is possibly the most foreboding line ever - thank you for not ending a chapterlet on it, because I think I would have fainted with suspense!


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Our Harry? Rushing in for one of his own? Wherever would you get the idea of that?
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 27th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Very nice reencounters. Poor Andromeda, going gray, but who can blame her? Even though she's fairly young (60ish, I think?), her life hasn't been exactly a quiet, happy one. And having her Teddy locked up inside an infectious building... like somebody said on the comments in the Christmas chapterlet- the kids had each other, the parents just had to be freaking out.

Poor Andromeda.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
She may not have gotten as gray as Teddy's thinking--he may just be noticing it--but yeah, she has not had an easy year!
scopart From: scopart Date: September 27th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Uncle Harry! Yay!

I feel as though I can take a deep, calming breath now that the quarantine is broken. I imagine Teddy will also be feeling better once he has a second to take it in. But those rogue bits could be troublesome and I'd imagine Teddy knows that.

(yay andromeda)
cleindori From: cleindori Date: September 29th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
"I'll never be angry enough at you to not be glad to see you after four months of quarantine."

Perfect.

Oh, and this section and the last few are all fabulous, too. ;) I just read three at once, so I'm feeling very happy from a nice big dose of the TeddyVerse!
38 comments or Leave a comment