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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Five: Tests, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Five: Tests, pt. 1
Hmm. Not much recap. I sped through a month. Now it's actually St. Patrick's Day, though that hasn't been brought up, and Teddy has his Career Advice session. Instead of just finding Neville when he gets to his office, though, Teddy finds Neville, Maddie, Croaker, Andromeda, and Harry.

Er... except that I got my head mixed up, and Teddy didn't actually meet Croaker in his initial foray last summer, so now, he sees an older man in sharp robes. Yay for editing ability.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy looked from one face to another, then swallowed hard and took a step inside, closing the door behind him. Professor Longbottom offered him a chair, and he took it, wondering if this was how Uncle Harry had felt in a chair with the whole Wizengamot facing him down.

"Is... er... is this"--he pointed to them--"entirely usual? I know Honoria had to see Rita Skeeter, but..."

Professor Longbottom laughed. "No. Higgs was interested in an unusual career, so her visitors came. Your career, we would normally be able to prepare you for without assistance--we have good ties to the Ministry--but the circumstances aren't entirely normal." He looked at Maddie.

Maddie came around the desk and sat on the edge. "I wouldn't say this is an every year sort of career choice. I've seen perhaps six interested students in eighteen years. But we do have a procedure."

"The Daedalus Maze," Teddy said. "Which I already--"

"-have astounded us with," the older man said, standing and holding out one gnarled hand. "I don't believe we've met formally. I'm Charles Croaker, Head of the Department of Mysteries. I've been watching you with great interest since Mrs. Apcarne first brought you to us, young man, though not as closely as I might have wished this year."

Teddy shook his hand dazedly, wondering if they'd be giving him a job offer if he'd managed to kill someone with the thing.

Maddie, as usual, seemed to know what he was thinking. She laughed. "Teddy, you wouldn't have been able to do nearly the mischief you've done if you didn't have an aptitude for this sort of thing. You need training and discipline."

"Or," Uncle Harry muttered, "he needs to get away from it entirely."

"Yes, Harry, that will work perfectly," Granny said. "I know how well you did at staying away from the dangerous things that you happen to be good at."

Professor Longbottom held up his hand. "We had this argument earlier. Sorry, Teddy--I thought we could get it over with before you got here."

"It's all right," Teddy said.

"What I want to know before we go further now," Professor Longbottom went on, "is whether or not this is still what you want. Your school marks are good in all of your subjects, and there are other career paths open. If you'd prefer to talk about them, then please say so. I have no problem whatsoever sending the Ministry and Harry Potter home without supper if it's what you want." He winked.

"No, it's all right," Teddy said. "I don't know. I thought I'd done badly. But if I didn't, I... well, I like this sort of thing." He focused on Professor Longbottom. "Is there anything else you think I'd be good at?"

"Many things. The primary thing I believe you'd be good at is one which we've already discussed, and which you don't care to follow up on. But you might consider a career in Wizarding law, as well, and your interest in history--granted, not in Professor Binns' class--might make you a good apprentice for the curator of the wizarding museum at Tintagel. You've also been quite a fine advocate for werewolves, and you've shown real leadership in your year. There aren't many doors closed to you, Teddy, unless you have an unspoken dream to join a professional Quidditch club. That, I'm afraid, I would have to advise you against."

"There goes my back-up plan for him," Uncle Harry said fondly.

Teddy smiled at him, then turned to Maddie. "I want to do this," he said. "The Department of Mysteries." In the end, it was exactly that simple. It was the only career he'd ever been especially interested in.

Maddie grinned and clapped. "Oh, I'm so happy!"

"That brings us to why everyone needed to come," Croaker said. "Normally, we'd have watched your process through the year more closely than we've been able to, and by now, we'd be talking about which division you might study. But because of the rather extraordinary events, we've had little chance to evaluate the way you work."

"And as the Headmistress insists that the Maze not be on school grounds..." Maddie said, and shrugged.

"We'll need to set up evaluation sessions in London," Croaker finished. "For that, we shall need permission from your guardians."

Uncle Harry wasn't actually Teddy's legal guardian--by law, Granny was raising him alone--but no one questioned his presence.

"Would this be Floo travel?" Granny asked. "Or would someone come to bring him by Side-Along Apparition?"

"Teddy can use the Floo in my office," Professor Longbottom said. "This can't conflict with his classes, particularly with O.W.L.s coming up."

There was a flurry of schedule-checking and organization, during which Teddy felt quite lost. He hoped that Frankie and Tinny would be willing to schedule games only on Sundays now, as six of his remaining Saturdays were booked. One of them was the only remaining Hogsmeade weekend, and he hadn't quite dared protest that he meant to see if he could break the year's girl-curse and find someone to stay with for a little while. Somehow, he didn't think they'd consider that a valid protest. On the more positive side, he got a dispensation from the school to go eat at Uncle Harry's on those days--Granny would come, as well--since he was away from Hogwarts anyway.

"Your classmates will all be clamoring for an apprenticeship with the Department of Mysteries," Professor Longbottom said. "Please tell them that it's only because you got behind with the Quarantine."

Teddy nodded and put his quill and calendar away, the dates neatly boxed off.

"Well, that's all we needed to be here for," Maddie said, and shook Teddy's hand eagerly. "I can't wait."

Croaker stood up and nodded somberly to Teddy. "It's been a pleasure, Mr. Lupin, and I look forward to your evaluations."

"Me, too, sir," Teddy said. It wasn't entirely true--who looked forward to a test, no matter what they called it?--but it was close enough.

Maddie and Croaker left first, and Uncle Harry and Granny left after signing several permission slips, which Professor Longbottom filed indifferently in a cluttered cabinet.

When they were alone, Professor Longbottom came around his desk and sat in the chair beside Teddy's. He Summoned two glasses of pumpkin juice and a plate of gingerbread, then a listing of Hogwarts courses.

"Well," he said, "I started looking into this when Maddie mentioned that you'd be looking at this particular career. As far as O.W.L.s, the Ministry expects at least six Exceeds Expectations, with follow-up N.E.W.T.s."

Teddy nodded. He hadn't expected it to be academically easy. "Any particular subjects?"

"They don't say so, but of course they always expect something."

"Sounds like guessing what they want is another test."

"If it is, Maddie seemed willing to help you cheat." Professor Longbottom took a biscuit. "I think they just like to make it sound like they're open, though. Maddie said she'd suggest staying in Divination."

"With Trelawney?"

"In the upper years, you may choose Professor Trelawney or Professor Firenze. Either one of them can guide you--N.E.W.T. Divination tends to be quite independent in nature. You might like to see some of the papers that other N.E.W.T. students have done in the subject. Madam Pince keeps them in the Restricted section."

Teddy nodded. "What else?"

"Maddie thinks you might have an interest in Time. So--"

"Binns."

"Binns," Professor Longbottom agreed, then shook his head and sighed. "There's nothing to be done for it."

"I understand."

"Good. Beyond that, Maddie thinks they'd just like to see challenging classes. Transfiguration, for instance, rather than Care of Magical Creatures. Or Potions, I'm sorry to say, instead of Herbology."

"Herbology is challenging!" Teddy protested. "And it's good for Potions, too."

"I agree, but common perception..." Professor Longbottom shrugged. "Maddie also seemed to think that Astronomy would go over well, especially for your rotation through Universe."

"I guess the sixth could be in Arithmancy," Teddy said. "Or Ancient Runes."

"Or both," Professor Longbottom said. "You need six. There's no rule against taking more, and I think you could handle it."

Teddy took a sip of his juice. "Do you think it's odd that they offered this to me after I coc... er, made mistakes with the Maze? I mean, I understand the part about being good at it, but it's sort of dangerous, isn't it?"

"Probably less so than letting you do it without any supervision."

"Oh."

Professor Longbottom smiled. "I think you made the right choice."

"Really?"

"Really. This is something that's purely come from you. It's not anything you've been pressured into. I doubt Maddie so much as suggested it to you, did she?"

Teddy shook his head.

Professor Longbottom took another bite of his biscuit. "So it's yours, Teddy. It's you. And I think that's a good thing."

"Do you think my parents would think so?"

"Harry or your grandmother could answer that better," Professor Longbottom said. "I didn't know them nearly well enough. But from what I did know--your dad, in particular, would have wanted you to be confident and believe in what you're good at. I know it's what he wanted for his students, anyway."

"Even if it ends me up where Sirius died?"

"I don't think, in your position, that I'd have put it to him in quite those words."

This wasn't entirely definitive, but it was the best there was. They settled in with Teddy's academic records, and started planning out the rest of his school life.
33 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
barbara_the_w From: barbara_the_w Date: September 30th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
oh, my...

Teddy's growing up. And he stood up for his future quite brilliantly. I half-expected for Harry to make more of a stink about it than he did.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry's pretty passive aggressive about things that bother him on a personal level. I think Teddy may get unconscious forms of disapproval for a long time to come. (Nothing malicious on Harry's part, just sad shakes of the head, melancholy sighing, and so on.)
alkari From: alkari Date: September 30th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, Teddy's got a couple of good champions in Granny and Neville! And Neville is especially valuable because he can deal with Harry on a peer-to-peer basis.
mincot From: mincot Date: September 30th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Yes, Harry, that will work perfectly," Granny said. "I know how well you did at staying away from the dangerous things that you happen to be good at."

But Andromeda has his measure ... in some ways she's filling Sirius' role for him (and who better, considering her family?)
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: September 30th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm enjoying this story and can't wait to see where you're going to take it. I've finally caught up with all of the parts I haven't commented on, and I really like this one in particular because of the way the career session went.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I think this works out as a good career for Teddy, but it's sort of like saying, "I want to be a secret government scientist working on string theory time travel" or something. ;p
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 30th, 2008 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting wrinkle you've put in, with Teddy having to go off-site for evaluations. I was wondering how you'd keep dramatic tension going with the Quarantine finally lifted. Have to admit, the whole idea of planning out one's career at 15 is rather daunting.
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: September 30th, 2008 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)
No kidding. I'm substantially older than Teddy and I still have no idea what I want to do. And my father, who has been with the same company for over twenty years, habitually jokes that he still doesn't know what he wants to do when he grows up. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seriously.

Picking a career at fifteen? What if you find some exciting new interest? Or fail at the one you picked? At fifteen, I'd have definitely chosen a path to drama school (writing, I figured, was a matter of time and practice), but I'm... not the movie star type, let's say.

But that seems to be the way of things in the wizarding world. Which is in tune with the more old fashioned feel; think about kids taking on apprenticeships before their voices changed!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 30th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)

:) hehe

'unless you would like me to send the minestry and Harry Potter away without any supper' omg, that just cracked me up!! exellant as always!! thank you v. v. v. much for writing v. v. v. v. fast!! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: :) hehe

Thanks!
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: September 30th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Neville. Made of awesome as always. And after all of the tension earlier in the story, I loved the little smile that Teddy gave Harry. I'm also extremely curious to see how these evaluations are going to go, not to mention the still-unresolved issue of the broken Maze.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: September 30th, 2008 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm desperate to see the evaluations as well!

Great work, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope the evaluations work out. I'm off my map.
beceh From: beceh Date: September 30th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice chapterlet :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 30th, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooohh, the last sentence sounds so definitive. Brings back memories of my finishing school. It's so sad.

I thought Harry would be more vocal than he was, but both seems pretty resigned, don't they? And Maddie was so enthusiastic, she made me smile.

Looking forward to the tests!! Will Teddy destroy the DoM, too? Can't wait!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry will undoubtedly pout for a long time to come.

Destroying the DoM would be so derivative... ;p
scopart From: scopart Date: September 30th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Professor Longbottom held up his hand. "We had this argument earlier. Sorry, Teddy--I thought we could get it over with before you got here."

Dang, I want to read this.

I'm glad that Teddy is still interested in the DoM, even if he's still harboring doubts about his qualifications/whether his parents would want this for him. I envy his sense of direction, however muddled it may be.

I really enjoyed everyone's input. It was nice to see that even if not everyone wants Teddy to find a career in the DoM (*harry*) they're all supportive of him. Yay!
And more Harry and Andromeda- always welcome! (I'm still dying to hear that argument... )

Thanks for the quick update!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's lucky in his adults. He can put up with Harry's sulkiness about the subject because he knows it's from love.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 30th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

oh, the evaluations should be interesting, and it's good to see history getting its fair share! although i suppose with binns, it's not so much the subject...
is teddy actually taking ancient runes? it sounds like he'd need a time turner if he were taking comc, arithmancy, divination, and ancient runes.
very interested to see where harry's reaction goes, especially as the DoM is so closely related to their big argument. neville's last line is very good.
~M
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

They have to get rid of Binns. I guess a good history teacher would have made the series much shorter, but damn, a ghost with tenure is not a fun thought, even if he'd started off as a good teacher.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: September 30th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

I read a fic years ago (pre OoP) where Snape's first official act as Headmaster was to have Binns exorcised...

Oh, and I love imperfect grownup Harry with his unresolved issues as much as I love James!
mrs_redboots From: mrs_redboots Date: September 30th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is, as usual, excellent and a great read.

However, I'm afraid that Rowling based her NEWTs on the British system of A levels, and normally no more than 3 subjects are taken. These days you do five subjects in the first year of the sixth form (Year 6 at Hogwarts), and then drop two for your final year, but when Rowling set up Hogwarts, three was the norm, studied intensively for two full years.

So Harry wouldn't be taking six subjects to exam level - he might well do one or two extra OWLs in subjects he hasn't taken so far, but that's about it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 30th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... since they don't have university to go to, Hogwarts can require more. I can't imagine any career that would allow you to get away with only three classes! (And didn't most of the career advice pamphlets mention five or six?)
mrs_redboots From: mrs_redboots Date: September 30th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I take your point, but I think the pamphlets were mostly in terms of what OWLs they were expected to have Exceeded Expectation in. I think Harry only does Potions, Transfiguration and Defence against the Dark Arts in Half-blood Prince, doesn't he? I have not checked my copy, mind....
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 30th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... they kind of do. I mean I don't know much about the American system but from what i've picked up we specialize a whole lot sooner than the schools over the pond. Generally you take nine/ten GCSEs/OWLs then drop all but four/five for AS the first term of sixth form and then drop one more for the last year. And believe me doing four at A-level is hard work. I know one person who is doing five and they are a certified genius and don't even want to take all the subjects. At my old school each subject took eight forty minute lessons in a five day week so doing five meant that you had no free periods at all in which to do all your prep so you ended up being seriously swamped.

And unis generally only want three subjects because at most you do two subjects (a joint degree) and most people just do one like Biology or English Lit. And our medical degrees are five year courses straight from school, no pre-med, we just don't diversify as much. I was always so confused when watching "Buffy" and the Glimore Girls because I just didn't understand what course they were taking and why if they were doing Eng Lit were they going to a lecture on Psychology?

I've always had the impression that in the wizarding world with their more traditional apprenticeship system the stuff you learn at Hogwarts is really just grounding, after all when are you going to be needed to make a pineapple tap dance in a real job. I would imagine that the graduates would learn most of their skills on the job as it were.

I don't know, to my mind seven subjects seems like a hell of a lot.

And by the way, loved the chapter and yay for the possibility for lots of suppers at the Potters!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 30th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
your dad, in particular, would have wanted you to be confident and believe in what you're good at. I know it's what he wanted for his students, anyway
Aww... *sniffle*

I wish I'd had Career Advice at school - would have saved me several "wasted" years. (OK, not wasted, they were important for my personality, and random bits of knowledge are a good thing, but still!)

I keep trying to come up with a way to get rid of Binns, and just can't. Except appointing another High Inquisitor who sacks him.

~Hermione Stranger~
daksian From: daksian Date: September 30th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that was fun!

You can still surprise me Fern, yet the revelations make sense. I loved some of the alternatives that Neville suggested--museum curator of all things! I wouldn't be surprised if werewolf advocacy is something that Teddy would do regardless of his 'official' profession too.

I like how Maddie and Croaker reassured Teddy. Poor kid's confidence has been through a wringer, what with puberty and, well, being Remus' son and all.

I find it very interesting that Teddy's higher academic career will take him away from things we would expect, like DADA and Charms--his best subject no less! And of course, that little tidbit about upper level Divination stuff...I just know that's either going to come into play in this story or a future 7th-year fic. And speaking of knowing the future, I wanna know what Teddy's OWL scores will be! Man...too many subjects for your next fic challenge!
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: October 1st, 2008 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting and, as always, very entertianing. One thing though, I find it kinda of funny that Neville says Honoria is interested in an unusual career so she gets visitors, but normally DoM would not. I mean, if only six people in 18 years were even interested, I think it qualifies as an unusual career choice. Plus, its not like a normal career advising session anyway, since DoM seemingly makes a habit of recruiting, whereas other jobs do not....

I'm glad all of Teddy's people were supportive. I'm not sure I get why Harry is so against it though? Sirius?
Also, those are a lot of classes but it doesn't seem like that many more than Harry took. Cause he took Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology and Charms, and Hermione seemed to be taking all those plus Arithmancy. So five or six doesn't seem too much. Its interesting though, seeing how other countries do prepare students for jobs. Here, there is that stress on having a liberal arts education, but from reading the comments, I was seriously surprised Britian was focussed in their education system! Always cool to learn something new...
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: October 1st, 2008 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Liked the career course stuff, Fern.

[i]"There goes my back-up plan for him," Uncle Harry said fondly.[/i]

Liked this line too. Good job!
izilen From: izilen Date: October 1st, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yet another lurker.

Oh dear. Let me catch my breath.

Um. This is hard. It's incredibly difficult to find words to express just how much I love your writing. I found it quite by accident only a month ago, and the first story that I read was "Marauder's Roost". And it's plagued with clever little references that make you feel this world you're writing about is, well, alive, and deep and layered. (It reminded me of Tolkien's writing) Of course, liking the story itself and Teddy and Victoire didn't hurt. Then, well, who was I to resist the lure of finding just what exactly was behind the things they talked about? The following weeks I could barely get away from my computer while I tried to finish the Teddy stories. I couldn't be bothered to read the ones with Remus and Dora, because, honestly, I had always thought it was an odd pairing, what with appearing out of nowhere and them being apparently so different. But of course, your Teddy stories mentioned them a lot and I got fed up with not understanding what, exactly, it was all about. So there I go and read Shifts and Shades. Just....wow. There's a lot of magic to your writing. It flows easily, it is amusing, it has a compelling plot, interesting characters (both yours, truly magnificent, and JKR's, flawlessly portrayed, and well, it has so much life. You can see it unfolding before your eyes. Plus (and I occasionally missed this from JKR's work itself, after the 4th book) it shows the readers a wonderful word that's just waiting to be discovered.

Needless to say (but I'll impose and say it anyway), I fell in love with Remus and Dora, them together and their story. It appeals a lot to me. I love how you made it so that they've known each other their whole lives. I love their way of talking. I adore your portrayal of Tonks as someone capable and intelligent and very much herself, as for Remus, I believe it's impossible not to like him, even though he's deeply flawed (and you show this, too! It's tiring to see him written by people that perceive him as impossibly charming and just ready to, intentionally, sweep Dora off her feet). It just rings true, what you write. Fits almost seamlessly with canon. In my opinion, parts of it may be better even, but I'm deeply biased.

It's amazing, really. Other than that, I don't really have anything to say other than 'SQUEE'

--
Back to the matter at hand, I believe Teddy is extremely lucky to have his future career this clear in front of him, and he not only is certain that he likes it, he also has the support of a number of people and fist hard experience with the subject. I say it because, being fifteen myself, I'm facing a lot of similar choices and it's horrible! How do you make a decision like that? It's scary, not knowing what you want to do, and I'm happy to know that Teddy has at least gotten over that particular torture.

I very much look forward to seeing the next part of the chapter. I apologize for my rambling, but I needed to get all that out and let you know just how amazing you are. *wink*

-Izzy

P.S. I don't exactly know how the etiquette for this thing works, but I really hope you don't me friending you.

By the way, please forgive me if I've just made some horribly mistake. English is not my first language and it's nerve wracking to actually use it!
satakieli From: satakieli Date: October 5th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Terrific segment. Among other things, it was nice to see Harry and Teddy having a little stress-free moment about quidditch...
33 comments or Leave a comment