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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Six: Fort Potter, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-Six: Fort Potter, pt. 2
Teddy is in London for his DoM evaluations, and has gone over to 12GP for supper. Upon arriving, he discovered that the kids have set up a second Christmas, since they weren't with him in December. James announces that he and Al have set up a fort in the courtyard, and they proudly parade Teddy out to have a look. It's shaped like a tipi and draped with colorful fabric that Teddy suspects is waterproof. James invites him into "Fort Potter."

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy had to bend over to enter Fort Potter. He'd been in enough wizarding tents in his life that he wasn't entirely surprised to find a long, wooden room inside. There was a door at each end, and a fire pit in the center, in which a bowl of bluebell flames danced merrily under a glass cover.

"I see you had help," he said.

Al nodded. "Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione came over, and we played in here with the cousins. Aunt Hermione made the fire. Uncle Ron made the room. Rosie says that this is a longhouse, which is much better than the other sort. I'm Keeper of the Fire, since I'm in the middle."

"All right," Teddy said.

"I'm Keeper of the Western Door," James said importantly. "And Lily is Keeper of the Eastern Door."

Teddy considered pointing out that the room ran north-to-south, but decided it would just be mean-spirited. "What about Rosie and Hugo?" he asked.

"They don't live here, so they're the little brothers," Lily said, then giggled. "Even Rosie."

James shrugged. "She's the one who said that's what they were. It was in a book. She says it's proper."

"Well, if Rosie says so," Teddy said, and started to look around. James had brought a wooden crate down from somewhere (it had a cargo date of 1883 and was addressed to Ursula Black) and piled it up with his bits of parchment. There was a cradle near one of the doors, which Lily sat beside to rock Meg furiously. This area also had several toy wands, a cardboard sword and shield, and a portrait (drawn in Metamorphmarkers that kept changing color) of a curly-haired woman in a long, triangular green robe.

"It's Grannydromeda," she said when she saw Teddy looking. "I made it. I wish it talked."

"They don't talk unless someone's dead," Teddy said without thinking.

Lily looked horrified, and patted her drawing reassuringly. "I don't wish it talked, then."

"I have Dad's school trunk," Al announced, and went over to a battered-looking wooden trunk to sit down.

"Who wants a stupid trunk?" James muttered unconvincingly. "The Minister gave me a paperweight from his own desk."

Teddy chose to let this sibling rivalry go. "So, you've been cleaning the attic?" he asked.

James laughed. "Mum got tired of listening to all of the old portraits up there arguing with each other all night. So we're digging out."

"What are you doing with them all?" Teddy asked. It was a question that had never occurred to him before. The portraits didn't have souls, but they had memories and personalities. Surely, they weren't just Vanished with the rubbish when they got damaged.

"Mum gave them to the Ministry," James said. "I don't know what they do."

Teddy thought of the tank of brains, and thought he had a pretty good idea of it.

James sat down at his crate. "We found this there, too. Granny Molly made it into a desk for me. See?" He displayed a knee-hole.

"Was anything in it?"

"Old papers. We left them, so it would weigh more and be sturdy." James got out from behind it and sat down on the floor. "What was it like in the Quarantine?" he asked.

Lily and Al were agreeable to this line of questioning, so Teddy found himself telling the story of Hogwarts under quarantine for the next half hour, skipping only awkward information about Victoire (though he compensated by giving her a heroic role in the Maze adventure, which suited James perfectly, as he adored Victoire). Lily looked suspicious at a few of the embellishments, but the boys knew it was in fun.

They showed him around a little bit more--Al was, indeed, building a "secret passage," which turned out to be a string which was buried in the grass, which they were meant to tiptoe along and be invisible on--then went inside.

Granny had arrived while they were in the fort, and Aunt Ginny had finished up with supper. The house smelled like Christmas Day. Presents were exchanged in the parlor, or at least piled on Teddy himself, since he'd brought none to give in return. There was a jumper from Molly Weasley, of course, and a new set of Muggles and Minions dice from James and Al. Lily said that she (and Meg) had made him gingerbread, but had to eat it, as it would have gone stale waiting for the quarantine to lift, so her present today had been to wait for him and give him a kiss. Teddy thought this a more than adequate substitute. Ron and Hermione sent a new chess set, and Rosie had knitted him a lopsided hat, with a note that, "Mummy taught me to make these; I hope it fits! It's from Hugo, too, though he didn't help." Granny had got him a lot of new clothes, which she'd measured him for without telling him when she'd come up to Hogwarts, and Aunt Ginny got him a new traveling bag for Donzo's tour this summer. Uncle Harry held up a small package, but didn't give it to him.

Teddy thought about it all through supper, and was glad when Uncle Harry suggested, before pudding, that they go have a talk.

"I did get you a normal present," Uncle Harry said, leading him into the office and Levitating a brightly colored box over. "It's decent work robes for your visits to the Ministry. Nothing fancy. But..." He pulled out the smaller package. "We've been cleaning the house a bit--"

"James said so."

Uncle Harry smiled. "Yes, well. I expect that by the time their children finish up at Hogwarts, we may have the whole house livable." He looked at the package. Anyway, I... well, I found a little Muggle camera, the sort the used to make out of cardboard, that you throw away after you use it."

Teddy had never heard of such a thing, but guessed that wasn't the point.

"I got them developed magically--I had no idea what was in them, so I couldn't very well take it to a Muggle shop. It was far too old to animate them, but I thought you'd like them. It looks like Sirius took most of them." He handed Teddy the package.

Teddy opened it. The pictures were glossy and still--Muggle style--but they were quite alive, for all of that. There were Mum and Dad in the parlor, reading a Fifi LaFolle to one another, and then in the kitchen, on a Wolfsbane-brewing day. Mum in a sort of bohemian Muggle outfit, Dad in a suit and tie, marking papers while a dog Patronus watched. One of them must have taken the camera at some point, since there was a picture of Sirius with Buckbeak (he was shockingly gaunt). They were just scenes of life at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, during the year that Mum, Dad, and Sirius had made it their home, though there were a few that seemed to have been taken at a stodgy-looking flat. Teddy looked closely at one of these, and recognized the desk that Mum had eventually turned into his own cot.

Teddy wanted to reach into the pictures, shake the people there, and tell them that if they weren't careful, they'd all be dead within three years, but of course, they wouldn't have heard.

"I..." Uncle Harry sighed. "I know it must seem like I don't want you to be close to them. But I do, Teddy. I wouldn't ever want you not to be. Just not..."

"...with the Stone," Teddy finished. He tried to summon anger, but couldn't.

"I worry," Uncle Harry said.

"I know." Teddy looked at the current top picture, which happened to be of Mum trying to dance with Sirius. "Why don't you want me at the Department of Mysteries? Is it because of Sirius dying there?"

"Yes. And because of the trials they had there, and the things that they used it for. And because they study things that I worry about with you."

"Because you don't think I can handle them?"

"I don't know. I don't really understand it. But even if I don't--I'll help if anything goes wrong. I just want you to know that. You don't have to do things alone. Even if you think I don't approve." He let out a relieved breath. "Phew. That's all I wanted to say, really. I really hate being this uncomfortable."

Teddy nodded. "Me, too. And I called, didn't I? When I figured out about the clearing."

Uncle Harry laughed. "Yes, you did. I was never happier to hear from anyone. Though your timing could use work."

"Right." Teddy looked at the pictures again. "Uncle Harry?"

"What?"

"Is anything strange happening at the Ministry? I mean, outside of Croaker's office."

"Nothing I've noticed."

"Could you keep your eye out for things that shouldn't be there? Or people?"

"Like who?"

"I don't know. It could be anyone. Or anything. Old things slip out sometimes. Just... if you see something really strange, could you send your Patronus? And tell Maddie. I don't know if the Department's really paying attention."

Uncle Harry considered this, then nodded. "I'll call you for help if I think we need it," he said.
41 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
amamama From: amamama Date: October 9th, 2008 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. Fort Potter is a cool place, and I remember well the fun of finding old stuff in the attic or cellar and putting it to use. :-) Harry's got to be the coolest godfather around, I really like his openness towards Teddy.

Loved this: ...Though your timing could use work. *sniggers* Go on, embarrass the teen! LOL

A "to" missing here*: It's decent work robes for your visits * the Ministry
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 9th, 2008 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Got the "to," thanks.

Go on, embarrass the teen! LOL

Isn't that what adult relatives live for? ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 9th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Isn't that what adult relatives live for? ;p"

I just thoroughly embarassed my nine-year-old nephew at a soccer game by cheering far too loudly for him. :D *happy sigh
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, your auntly/uncly duties are fulfilled. :)
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: October 9th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been up all night trying to get stuff done for work, so this Teddy-break was very welcome.

Harry and Teddy talking here made me feel all warm inside, lovely!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Up all night... blech. I'm bad enough when I'm up until 2:00!
From: kobegrace Date: October 9th, 2008 11:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Fort Potter sounds wonderful.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd love to have a wizarding hangout.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 9th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very handsome peace-offering from Uncle Harry. And a significant step forward with their talk--time does seem to have given Teddy some perspective on the Stone, although he may never see completely eye to eye with godfather on the subjects of Death and Memory. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Curious to see if Harry will notice anything unusual at the Ministry, now that Teddy's brought it to his attention.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I really was planning on having Teddy come to "see the light," but he very stubbornly maintains my own sort of attitude of, "So...er... talking to the dead is bad? Okay... if you say so, I guess... Wait... Really?"
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 9th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo, ooo, old papers in the trunk! I call more connections with Phineas and the Maze! (Can you tell I'm a little excitable about possible foreshadowing? And that I have trouble spelling "excitable"?)

I love Uncle Harry. And Teddy, trying to take responsibility for everything--wonder where he gets those tendencies....

TSS
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)
At this point in the story, almost everything is direct foreshadowing--has to be. I don't plan on much more than five more chapters!
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: October 9th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm just staring to get caught up with this epic, having dropped out for a while when life got too hectic. Fern, you made me cry again at the photos Harry gave Teddy! I'm looking forward to reading everything I've missed in the long interim.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad to have you back!
scopart From: scopart Date: October 9th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely loved the conversation between Harry and Teddy. I think they're making progress. And those pictures- perfect. The perfect find (love that they were on a muggle disposable camera) and the perfect gift.

"I know it must seem like I don't want you to be close to them. But I do, Teddy. I wouldn't ever want you not to be. ..."

I think the fact that Teddy wasn't getting angry shows that he's grown. Hopefully he understands that everything Harry does is out of love.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I think he has come to understand that Harry is acting out of love, and that he doesn't have to have base motives in order to disagree with Teddy the Wise. People of good will disagreeing. What a thought!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 9th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Shifts pictures! Yay!
When were they taken, who by, and how were they lost, when the rest of Remus and Dora's Grimmold Place things are in the basket at Andromeda's?
And who was Ursula Black, and what exactly was in that crate?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
The pictures in the camera never got developed, and the camera just got kicked around and ended up in the attic.
maz333 From: maz333 Date: October 9th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, I really appreciate your adult Harry. I'm reading a lot of fics starring a Harry who's broken in some form or another and while I appreciate those as well, I'm really fond of your positive interpretation of a resilient, healthy adult Harry.

Great chapterlet as always! Fort Potter is tons of fun, and the Potterlets are always amusing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)
For me, broken Harry just kind of makes mincemeat of it. It could be a reflection of broken Frodo... but then, I always wondered how much of broken Frodo was caused by the tongue of Saruman (in his Sharkey guise). Frodo was warned about it, after all. Maybe, like Sam, he could have come back, but he succumbed to the temptation to despair because of his wound. Not exactly a happy "all was well" ending! (Also, the epilogue made Harry seem more or less normal, so I just took a guess that he dealt with his other scars much better than he did with the original one.)
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 9th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

{sigh...}

James and the Potterlings.

Grown-up Harry.

I feel all warm and mushy...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: {sigh...}

Me, too. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 9th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

lily is so cute! "i don't wish it talked then."
ursula black would be ursula flint the journalist who married phineas, right? can't wait to see what's in those papers.
"i don't like being uncomfortable." is such a harry thing to think. loved the present.
so teddy's going to do faith, then? when exactly does he convert?
great segment~m
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

Yup, that's the Ursula.

And Harry definitely does avoid discomfort, doesn't he? Pain, fear, even death, he goes all Gryffindor. Awkwardness? Not so much.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

so teddy's going to do faith, then? when exactly does he convert?
It's not going to be this year, though I think he may be more conscious of his search. (Oddly, despite being a comparative religion major who has a lifelong fascination with the twists and turns of religion, I'm way more nervous about Teddy coming out of his religious closet than about Maurice coming out of his sexual one!)
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: October 9th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
And it is cuteness, I like cuteness. And i have to say I am really jealous of the resources that the Potter kids and indeed all wizard kids have at their disposal. When me and my sister made a tent you certainly couldn't fit a table in there. Mind you maybe having to imagine all of our games gave us more imagination... Maybe that is why the drama isn't as good in the wizarding world?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
That could be true (look at the lack of imagination displayed by kids who have all electronic toys that practically play for them!). Of course, on the other hand, magic is the imagination/will made manifest, so...
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 9th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw, Fern... You had me in tears by the time I read "camera". Doesn't take a lot today, but still...

I wonder if the Potters know how lucky they are to live in a house that has such a long ...memory, for lack of a better word. So many traces and things from old inhabitants.
This was what I was hoping for when my parents bought a house when I was fourteen - a place in which to grow roots and to leave traces of our family for the later generations.
And now they're divorced, and today they found someone who'll buy the house. (That's where the tearfulness comes from.)

Interesting thought about the Maze leaking into the Ministry, though. Wouldn't have thought of it.

And I loved the kids - "It's from Hugo, too, though he didn't help" - that made me laugh.
And Lily's reaction to Teddy telling her pictures don't talk unless the subject is dead reminded me a bit of Hermione after the Thestral lesson, when she says she'd like to be able to see them, and Harry says, "Do you?"

Well, anyway, thanks for giving me something to smile about on this (to put it mildly) not-so-nice day.

~Hermione Stranger, sniffling and smiling~
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 9th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and I think the second "the" in the sort the used to make out of cardboard should be "they", shouldn't it?

~Hermione Stranger, usually only feeling responsible for botanical nitpicks~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm sorry to hear about your parents and your house! Old houses are just irreplaceable.

From: glynngriffiths Date: October 9th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Somewhere I think Remus and Tonks must be very proud - that Teddy is growing up so well, and that they made such a good (although risky!) choice of godfather to help him along the way. :) I loved the Teddy/Uncle Harry interaction here. Teddy is really growing up.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I think they definitely chose well!
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: October 9th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
XD

At first I thought Harry had somehow folded and decided to give Teddy a go with a the Stone (even though it would totally be OOC, I think I just want it to happen!), but when he opened up the pictures it was even better! Harry said something about the cardboard Muggle camera and, remembering Shifts, I had a happy grin on my face for the rest of the chapter. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I wasn't sure what he was going to have found until I actually came to the line!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Harry and Teddy both, so I like writing scenes with them!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: October 10th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
"It's Grannydromeda," she said when she saw Teddy looking. "I made it. I wish it talked."
"They don't talk unless someone's dead," Teddy said without thinking.


TEDDY! She's, what? Five? There was no need to upset her.

Scolding aside, it was a nice detail, because it shows Teddy's level of obsession.

Anyway, I really liked the Fort, I too smell something important on Ursula Black's old papers, and ADORED the idea of the portraits arguing at night time. It's like having very noisy neighbours on the upstairs apartment- only these are hundreds of years old.

The Shifts photos? *snif*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy realizes right off that he shouldn't have said it, but he wasn't thinking, just mentioning something.

The wizarding world really does lack basic privacy, doesn't it?
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: October 10th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad Harry and Teddy could have their talk. Fort Potter is an awesome place too. Great job, Fern.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: October 10th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey! We find out why Harry was upset about Teddy being a part of the DoM! YAY!

Also, I really love that Lily ( and presumably the other potterlets) view Andromeda as a granny figure.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 10th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)

ahh

I've died and gone to heaven. i've been bzy all week nd so when i get on the comp . . . three whole Teddy stories waiting for me . . . ahhhhhh. thnx
redlily From: redlily Date: October 10th, 2008 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rosie had knitted him a lopsided hat, with a note that, "Mummy taught me to make these . . . ."

You may or may not want a "said" before the quotation starts.

Hope your YK was good!
41 comments or Leave a comment