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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Five: Tests, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Five: Tests, pt. 3
Teddy is in London, being evaluated by Maddie with a new, unbroken Daedalus Maze (though Maddie has promised to show him the damage his old one is doing in Croaker's office). She's asked him to try a Universe-themed question (spatially oriented), and he chooses to start with Brimmann's ship, though Maddie is reasonably sure that it will just be a jumping off-point.


Table of Contents and Summary So Far




He expected that Maddie would enter with him to observe, but she said that, as long as they were here--"with the full resources of the Department"--she'd prefer to let him do it himself, without any possible interference, and explore his experiences afterward.

"How?" he asked.

She smiled. "You'll love it," she said, then waved him on.

He shook his head, raised his wand, and said, "Sulci Numine."

He was standing over an essentially featureless garden Maze, Brimmann waiting for him as a mute Guide. The first difference he noticed was a flatness, a sense of looking at competent but uninspired illustrations. Brimmann, though pocked with the Bloodspots, was just looking back at him placidly.

"So... where did your ship end up?" Teddy muttered, though it wasn't necessary with the Guides.

Brimmann descended toward the Maze and Teddy followed him. It turned briefly into the stone walls of a castle, then the twisting wooden corridors of the ship. Teddy found himself in the crow's nest, looking out toward Portugal. It was what he expected, and he wasn't sure he would have trusted it without the intense, close connection he'd got the night he'd gone into the other Maze angry, and somehow picked up a trace of Brimmann's thoughts.

Dull. Not much to evaluate.

He remained in the crow's nest, which he was comfortable with after years of dreaming of Tirza's pirate ship, but he let the scene change around him, become whatever it would. He tried to concentrate on spatial questions--Hermione's notion, maybe, that magic attracted magic, and that was how some places became almost magnetically charged. The first such place he thought of was the spiders' hollow, and the ocean in the Maze dutifully became the Forbidden Forest. The crow's nest became a heavy branch on a gnarled tree, and Teddy climbed down from it and looked for a Guide. In the Forbidden Forest, he supposed he shouldn't have been surprised that it turned out to be Hagrid, smiling vacantly and waiting for a sign that he should go.

Hagrid led him to the clearing first, and Teddy saw the fire that had nearly claimed his own life, fading back to the night that Uncle Harry had died there. Then Hagrid took him back to the arrival of Aragog, and a much younger Hagrid proudly presenting him with a mate. After that, Hagrid became a young and severely pretty McGonagall, who led him down a path that--illogically but understandably--brought him again to the hollow, only a bit before then, in the company of Alphard Black. The pair of them were trying to capture a mooncalf. Alphard led him further along, gradually going back into the Black family, and Teddy saw one spell after another, some minor--students enjoying what had once been a pretty glade--and some astonishingly powerful. Phineas Nigellus, drawn by another power--Teddy, whose attention was starting to flag, thought it might have come from the path that led to Galdreward's clearing--had in that place bound himself to silence about his lost brother after another student had taunted him. An earlier wizard, who Teddy guessed to have been a teacher in the eighteenth century, acted on a political whim and severed powerful magical ties with another entity. Teddy couldn't see who or what it was, but he was willing to bet, given the time, that it had to do with the Americans. It all finally came down to a single, powerful magical act--the act that had, perhaps, started all of it gathering. A witch who had survived Galdreward's plague stumbled out into the clearing, glared up the path toward the standing rocks, then turned her wand on herself, annihilating her own power in a flash of green light.

He'd long-since lost track of his turns, so he used Ariadne's Thread to bring himself back to the workroom.

Maddie looked up from a book she was reading and said, "Back already?"

"How long--?"

She grinned. "Oh, it's been an hour or two. Shall we head over to Mind to have a look?"

"Is it a Pensieve?" Teddy asked.

"Sort of. The same principle. Same spell, even." She led him out into the corridor and started toward a room Teddy hadn't visited on his last trip to the Department.

"Maddie, can I ask you something?"

"That's why I'm here."

"How can the Maze show me something that no one else saw? Or am I making that sort of thing up?"

"Hmm." She bit her lip. "I'm not sure how to answer that. The devices have a lot of people's memories in them--you'll see some of how we do that in a moment--but obviously, not everything. It's able to extrapolate. What you see may not literally be what happened, but the way the Maze visualizes likely scenarios."

"Oh. I'm sure I know what happened to Brimmann--"

"So it's picking up on your thoughts and showing you what you're certain you'll see. It did that to me, as well. That's where you need to be careful."

"What did you try to see?"

"Never mind that," Maddie said. "I was a very silly girl when I was apprenticing." She opened a door into a room dominated by a large, softly glowing tank. In the tank were--

"Are those brains?" Teddy asked.

Maddie nodded. "Some are just Conjured, but a lot of them were donated by Unspeakables upon their deaths. I may have mine put in some day."

Teddy tried not to wrinkle his nose, and failed. "But why?"

"They're a more compact and permanent way to store thoughts than a Pensieve. You have to be careful with them, though. Ron Weasley picked up quite a lot of damage when he Summoned one and it lashed him." She Conjured a small glass tank and filled it with the viscous fluid. "We won't commit this to anything permanent," she said, "but I thought you might like to see how we store a lot of the ideas we work on."

"Is Phineas Nigellus's brain in there?" Teddy asked, unable to make his eyes leave the tank.

"I don't think so," Maddie said. "But Gordon Burke's is."

"Does it... know itself?"

"No one's ever seen any evidence of it." She cleared her throat. "Teddy?"

Teddy forced himself to turn fully away. "All right. What are we doing?"

"Concresco Cogitatonus," Maddie said. "Like the Pensieve. Just point your wand at your head and concentrate on what just happened in the Maze. We should be able to peel it right off and put it into the solution to have a look."

"Will we be able to go in?"

"No. It's a bit more distant. You'll see."

Teddy did the spell, and released the strand of thought--which was a warm but somber shade of brown--into the solution. It spilled into the liquid like an infusion of ink, but gradually took shape. The memory played out in the tank like a puppet show. Maddie watched it intently, but said nothing more than, "Hmm."

"Was it all right?" Teddy asked after she'd finished.

"It was interesting."

"Professor Longbottom said that Hermione's been wondering about places that collect magic--"

"There's a mind I'd like on some of these questions," Maddie said, then shook her head. "You work with the tool well, Teddy, and that was some nice focused work. I was really expecting that you'd have a hard time focusing after this year, but you did beautifully. I think we may try Faith next time, or Beauty." She Vanished the solution.

"If we were meant to keep that, it would go into one of the brains?" Teddy asked.

"Into the tank. One of the brains would eventually pick it up."

"What if you need something from the tank?"

Maddie laughed. "Would you prefer to try Mind next time? Have a go with the brains?"

"Maybe."

Maddie sat down in a chair by the door. "What would you like to do next? Answer whatever comes to mind first. Except Death. No one does Death until he's been through the other Divisions in a proper Apprenticeship."

"I don't want to do Death, anyway," Teddy said. "Death can pound sand."

"What, then?"

"Faith," Teddy said without thinking, then shrugged. "You said no one was doing Faith. Maybe I'd be interested."

"Faith, it is." Maddie stood up. "If you are interested in it, it would be a boon. I don't think anyone's worked in there for forty or fifty years. And that was only for a little while. When he found out that he couldn't spend all of his time on the more outre business he was interested in, he got discouraged and moved over to Time. That's where he was when they arrested him. Rookwood--Death Eater."

Teddy grimaced, not sure he liked the idea of being the first to pick up a subject after a Death Eater, but then, eventually, someone would have to. He shrugged.

Maddie sighed. "That's all there is, then," she said. "I'll take you on a tour of the Maze damage in Croaker's office, then get you over to Harry's. When I called to check the arrangements, the children were making you a surprise..."
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Comments
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amamama From: amamama Date: October 6th, 2008 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh yay! Interesting. Very interesting. nice to see that he's got some valuable experience from working with the Maze, and that Maddie thinks he works with it well. Loved the explanation about the brain tank. Using them to store thought is inventive. I always thought they had them to try to understand how thoughts are formed, but I guess that'd work better on a living brain.

Faith sounds interesting, and maybe it isn't such a surprise that Rockwood was interested in the matter. He put his faith in Voldemort, after all. Him working on time makes me wonder if he was searching for a way to bring Voldemort back/make him win, or a way to get out of it all? No, must stop speculating, that's not what this is about at all. I'm surely looking forward to find out what you'll make of it.

Good job, Fern. Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
They may form thoughts as well--who knows what random brains in a tank do? ;p

I think Rookwood's "faith" was a narcissistic sort that made them know better than to put him in Identity. He'd probably just get lost there.
daksian From: daksian Date: October 6th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just love how you tie in everything so well! The function of the brains, the last person who was involved in the Faith division...

I really liked the sequence of images of the magic of that clearing. I wonder if any of them that isn't already relevant to Teddy's story will become relevant?

I'm very curious to see what Teddy will find in his foray into Faith. I have a suspicion...but I'll wait to see how it unfolds. :)

Anyway, lovely segment Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
None of it is really relevant to Teddy. I think Maddie wanted to start him in a division he doesn't care that much about in order to see how he works "cold."
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Mysteries

Love learning more about the DoM. I love Maddie's voice. Thanks so much!

Are Teddy and Maddie going to discuss the flatness / lack of emotion in this other maze?

"Death can pound sand." interesting response, Teddy.

-SideAlong
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Mysteries

I don't know. Teddy's headed off to Harry's for dinner now, so not this week.

It's really not anything more important than the fact that he hasn't broken this Maze in. It's like an old book that falls open to your favorite passages versus one you're just breaking out of a cellophane wrapper.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 6th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
My, you work fast! Interesting variation among the Mazes, this one having a bit less "character," somehow, than the one Teddy's been using all year. And I'm eager to see just what Teddy's Maze has done to Croaker's office!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy gave his Maze most of its character. :)
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: October 6th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love having back-to-back sections!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
barbara_the_w From: barbara_the_w Date: October 6th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Was Teddy working with the "original" Maze, and the one he just finished with was a reverse-engineered second one? I'm just wondering if Teddy's intense connection to the Maze he was working with was because of Phineus' memories? Family connection?

I just adore your stories, Fern. I read them over and over again.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, he was just working with a standard version of it, and they've switched him to another standard version, just one he hasn't bonded with.

Glad you like them!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, so interesting. I look forward to seeing why 'Teddy's' maze was so much more dynamic and volatile than this one.

Normally you're so good with this, but a possible Britpick: I grew up in the American South with a dad from Arizona, and we 'pounded sand' quite a lot (and still do), but do Brits do the same? ;) My mother, who is originally from the South, never used the term until my dad got all of us doing it.

-Maia
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh. I thought it was British-ism--I never heard it here!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
scopart From: scopart Date: October 6th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, essentially, the DoM is made of awesome. I loved the part with the brains. What a fascinating way to tie in canon. And yay for Ron for being mentioned. I bet it's not often that someone tries to summon a brain. Hmmm, Faith. I'll have to ponder on that one.

Haha, can't wait to see what surprise the little Potter children have cooked up for their favorite Teddy.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the DoM. Very disappointing not to spend more time there with its weird mysteries.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: October 6th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hm. Very nice. The dead people's brains gave the shivers.

I'm very interested to see Teddy in Faith. He's been thinking about that a lot lately, and I'm sure his take would be interesting.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's been thinking about it without really realizing he's been thinking about it. I'm wondering what he'll do when it actually enters the foreground!
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: October 6th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really loved that we did find out a bit more about the magic acts that had taken place there. I don't know if it will end up being very relevant, but I am just intrigued by the concept of magic attracting magic.

Teddy has been thinking about faith since he got to hogwarts in that not-really-thinking-about-it way. It will be interesting if any self-revelations come to him...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
It's probably not so much relevant to anything--just a shot at showing something Teddy might be able to do/research as an Unspeakable.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: October 6th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very good, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Pipes!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 7th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)

an afterlife song

So I was at a Dar Williams concert last week, and she has a song called "Summerday" that reminds me so much of Remus and Dora's afterlife in your Teddyverse that I think she must be reading your fics. Lyrics are here: http://www.songmeanings.net/lyric.php?lid=3530822107858741477

Still readings, still loving, still failing to comment regularly. At least I'm consistent....

Three Sickles Short
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: an afterlife song

Interesting. :)
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: October 7th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)
:D I want to see the childrens' surprise. And how things go in Faith. And what Maddie saw in her apprenticeship, though I have a feeling that it might be sad...

Excellent work!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
It's not sad, just sort of a stupid thing that she'd convinced herself of, and the Maze helpfully bolstered because she believed it (in fact, it's that Daffy really still loved Tonks; she's probably not going to share that with Teddy). She's just trying to point out that the Maze isn't an infallible source of information if you already are sure about something!
satakieli From: satakieli Date: October 7th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Apparently Teddy's much more interested in the mysteries involving people? He even interprets space according to the people occupying it, and how they interact with it. I guess that's not a surprise, given what we know of him...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that's true, though people more or less do define any milieu that involves choice and free will (which strike me as the essence of magic--will made manifest).
From: glynngriffiths Date: October 7th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
So interesting to imagine Rookwood in Faith. I can't wait to see what Teddy does in there, either. I think if I were to work in the DoM (obviously supposing that I could somehow transition into a fictional profession!), it'd be in Faith. What a fascinating topic!

And, oh boy - a surprise! Can't wait to see the Potter clan again.
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