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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Thirty: The Only Way Out, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Thirty: The Only Way Out, pt. 1
Teddy got James out of the Maze, but it's left him stranded there with Harry, who has seen the way the Guides conflated Bellatrix and Tonks, and probably Greyback and Remus. Transformed into a hawk, Teddy is able to view his actions a bit dispassionately, but he's still shamed and troubled by the idea that's apparently in his head. He sees something glittering on the faraway volcano, and finds a path to it. Harry tells him to lead the way.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy scrambled back to the top of the rock and waited for Uncle Harry. He pointed down the rough-made path they'd been on. "We'll need to follow this for a while, but we'll turn further into the jungle about"--he indicated the spot where he thought the new path would be--"there. Just find a way to keep going up."

"And the Guides?" He pointed ahead, where Teddy saw a lurking form in the shadows. He couldn't tell who it would be.

"I don't know. Be careful of them."

"I'll keep that in mind."

Together, they descended to the path. Uncle Harry slowed, and Teddy looked ahead to the Guide, who was coming into view. It was a sandy-haired boy in Hufflepuff Quidditch robes.

"This one's mine," Uncle Harry said. "Cedric Diggory."

"Oh." The name sounded familiar to Teddy, but there were so many names, he couldn't place it. "Is he dangerous?"

"He shouldn't be." Uncle Harry didn't sound terribly convinced of this.

Teddy approached him with caution. He had a pleasant face, and kind gray eyes. "Show us the way in," he said.

Diggory turned and started up the path. He paused, then looked over his shoulder at Uncle Harry. The breeze was becoming colder, and the sky was dark. Green light flashed out, and Teddy felt himself pulled backward. The jungle had disappeared, and Cedric Diggory lay dead on the ground in an old graveyard. Above him was Peter Pettigrew, much older than Teddy's memories of him tended to be, but still recognizable.

"Wormtail," Uncle Harry said.

Peter nodded soberly, and Teddy realized that he had become the Guide. He turned his back and headed down a new path--the one, Teddy realized, that he'd seen as a hawk, though it was no longer in the jungle, and there was no mountain. Instead, the Maze was blocked off with gnarled old trees, cast iron fences, and gravestones.

"We need to follow him."

Uncle Harry nodded. "Maybe you should stay behind me. If he's taking us where I think he's taking us, then...." He trailed off.

"Voldemort?"

"Yes."

Teddy followed Uncle Harry down the path, and it opened up into a chamber. Inside of it, there was, again, the body of Cedric Diggory, but now, it was off to the side. A golden cup lay upended on the ground, and a golden light suffused everything. There was a cage of light ahead, and in it, Uncle Harry was suspended in midair. Across from him was a face that had been excised from most textbooks, which had only used his name--Tom Riddle. Their wands were connected by a trembling line of light.

Uncle Harry--the real one--stopped, his face pale and drawn.

As Teddy watched, Riddle's wand seemed to explode, and human figures poured from it. One was Cedric Diggory. There was also an old man and--

He looked at Uncle Harry. "Are those your parents?"

"Yes." Uncle Harry watched them, troubled. "It was--It's not something that I ever wanted in the history books, and the only person alive to add it wasn't interested in mentioning it."

"Who?"

"Lucius Malfoy. I suppose some of the others might have seen it, but I think only Lucius knew what he was seeing."

"What are we seeing? Are they talking to you?"

"Just shades of them." Uncle Harry shook his head sharply and turned to Teddy, obviously with some difficulty. "There was a peculiar phenomenon with my wand and Voldemort's. The same sort of core... I... when they met, it forced his to... Have you heard of Priori Incantatem? We don't use it nearly as much as it used to be used. Your spells are your business and--"

"I know the spell."

"Right. It forced it. He killed them, and they came back with the spell, at least until we broke the connection. They gave me time to get away."

"So you saw them twice?"

Uncle Harry blinked slowly, then said, "Not them. Shades of them."

"But they didn't hurt you, either time."

"Are you..." He grimaced and took a decisive step away from the tableau. "I'm not having this fight with you again."

Teddy was momentarily confused by the response. He hadn't been thinking of their fight, only of Mum becoming Bellatrix in the Maze, but of course, that was the sum of it, wasn't it? He shook his head and looked for a new path. The land was rising toward some hills on the far side of the graveyard, and Peter the Guide was waiting there. "Come on," he said. "We need to get out of here."

"I agree. I'm not sure I trust Wormtail to get us anywhere good."

"I'm not sure we're going anywhere good. Let me find out." Teddy transformed again, to get a feel for the lay of the Maze. Below him, Wormtail looked oddly pleased.

Well, why shouldn't he? He'd been one of Teddy's teachers in the matter, after all.

The countryside spread out in the velvety night, the roads forming glowing paths among wild, heathery hills. Where the volcano had been, there was now a cottage Teddy had seen before, on a lonely street in Godric's Hollow. Whatever had glimmered on the mountainside was now there, in an upper room.

He flew back to Uncle Harry and returned to his normal shape. "I think we're headed for your old house. I doubt it'll be that when we get there, though."

Uncle Harry nodded. "I apologize in advance for any more of my old friends we may come across."

Peter led them down a narrow country road, past a cottage Teddy didn't know at all, which Uncle Harry told him they were absolutely not stopping to look at. Not far past it, Peter changed again, growing tall and thin, his hair and beard long and silvery white. Dumbledore led them further, as the Maze changed around them again, becoming a cold and dark cave with a lake at its core, and an island in the middle of the lake became the center of the Maze. As they wound their way around the lake, Dumbledore became Regulus Black.

"You could fly to the island," Uncle Harry said. "Get whatever that is."

"And if it tries to send me home without you?"

"Then go."

Teddy stopped and looked at him. "Are you mad?"

"There should be a boat here somewhere..."

"I'm not leaving you in the Maze."

"The lake is full of Inferi, if it's anything like the real one."

"This is the one that...?"

Uncle Harry nodded.

Teddy looked at Regulus, who looked back with the placid expression of any guide that wasn't Mum or Dad. He'd been boiled in this lake, too badly for anyone to recognize his body when the other Inferi were cleaned out.

"We can't do the water," Teddy said, then nodded to Regulus. "Can you show me the way?"

Regulus nodded, and stepped out onto the water. As he did, the Maze changed again. The water became a narrow dirt road, winding through the highlands on a moonlit night. Regulus changed as well, first into a long-faced, greasy-haired boy that Teddy recognized from Dad's memories as Severus Snape, then into a huge stag, its antlers nearly glowing in the soft starlight.

Uncle Harry stopped. "We're outside Hogsmeade."

Teddy looked around. He didn't recognize the road, but Uncle Harry had spent more time here than he had. It led up a hill, twisting out of sight behind a line of trees.

Prongs cantered on ahead, going around the bend in the road. Teddy wasn't surprised that when he came back, he'd become Padfoot.

Teddy and Uncle Harry reached the bend, and came around. Now, small paths went off in many directions. They were getting close to the nexus. Down all of the paths, Teddy could see glimpses of the past, of the future, of his own weary mind. Tirza's ship appeared to be cruising along above a moor, and the volcano of the first island was nestled cozily among the Scottish mountains. From the deepest shadows, Teddy could see the glimmering thing at the center, only now, it was several things, broken pieces, lying on the ground.

He had to put them together.

It was that simple.

He looked over his shoulder at Uncle Harry, meaning to just tell him that he'd figured it out, and it wouldn't be too difficult after all. But Uncle Harry stopped dead as he turned, his shoulders tense.

"What is it?"

"Teddy... the moon."

Teddy looked up.

The moon came out from under a cloud, and it was deep, blood red. It bathed the Maze's landscape in gore.

And Teddy suddenly recognized the road he was on. He and Uncle Harry had traveled it together many times.

Slowly, he turned his head again, and looked toward the center of the Maze.

The road rose slowly up the place that was coming to be known as Screech Hill, but Screech Hill was no longer empty and barren. The broken, glowing pieces of the Maze were strewn in the unkempt front garden of the Shrieking Shack.

Crouched at the rusty gate, blocking the way, was Dad.

He looked up at the moon and smiled horribly, his mouth full of Greyback's sharpened teeth.
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Comments
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rotae From: rotae Date: October 27th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC) (Link)
HOLY CRAP, FERN!! THAT IMAGE IS TOTALLY WARPING MY MIND RIGHT NOW. A;LDKFJA;LKSDFJ;ALKSJDF;LAKSJDF.

THIS SHOULD BE A MOVIE. SRSLY.

Peace,
Rotae
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I was going to have him turn back into a werewolf, but I thought the other was creepier. :)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Maze feeds off of strong emotions, I think, and with Teddy and Harry, those are bad emotions, especially in their current situation.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: October 27th, 2008 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)
WAAAAH!

Sorry, that made me jump.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
My work is done.
arcaneblades From: arcaneblades Date: October 27th, 2008 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Once again, the unexpected! More of why I read your fic, and you see some of why I didn't comment until recently. My coherence is nil, when I've just read most fic.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm happy with knowing you're reading! :)
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: October 27th, 2008 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)
oh jeez, I'm totally feeling the suspense! Poor Teddy, too, with Harry seeing versions of his parents twice when he doesn't think he's ever seen them at all. But he has got the ring, which is almost a version of Remus.

Anyway, if I don't get off the computer I'll be late for school, so excellent job, fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy and Harry have such different perspectives on the subject--I know where I want to go, but I'm not sure how to get there!
shiiki From: shiiki Date: October 27th, 2008 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Eep, every twist and turn of the Maze just seems to get darker and deeper. Which, given it's Harry and Teddy, can't be helped, I guess. You have me wondering, though, if someone who had never had that kind of nightmarish past got trapped in the Maze, if the paths would have been simpler. Hmmm ... I wonder what it was like for James inside before Teddy and Harry showed up.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definitely, it would have been simpler. The Maze is broken and therefore predatory right now, so James probably saw some scary stuff, but it would be kid-scary--the monster under the bed, the bogeyman, things like that.
sophiap From: sophiap Date: October 27th, 2008 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Gah! That ending image was horribly perfect. I cannot wait for the next instalment.

I love how the trip through the maze is giving Teddy a better sense of Harry's own past. I look forward to seeing how this impacts their relationship afterwards.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the relationship will have to be different, more of an adult, peer relationship... but that's not going to be easy for either of them.
amamama From: amamama Date: October 27th, 2008 11:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Eeeeeeeeeee! *grins* Gods, woman, this is just fantastic! Your "but is that their only concern?" comment made me wonder what to expect. I surely didn't expect this - dear, sweet Remus showing up with Greyback's sharpened teeth! Oh, I love the grip you have on this world. You could SO take what you've created, un-Potterize it and make it completely original. I agree with Rotae, this would make a fantastic movie!

I don't know how, but I do know that they'll make it. Maybe they need to discover that they need to trust? Let go of fear? But how to do that when faced with something like that? *drum roll* I love this, I so love this. This is fantasy of the best kind. *bows*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately, it doesn't un-Potterize very easily. It's very tied to Rowling's world structure.

Thanks, though!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
:D
barbara_the_w From: barbara_the_w Date: October 27th, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
"This one's mine," Uncle Harry said. "Cedric Diggory."

Oh. My.

This broken Maze is finding fertile ground in their mutual angers and rage against injustice. I keep thinking about how it's "broken along the lines" of Teddy's anger...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
They do both have a lot of anger issues, don't they?
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: October 27th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Teddy, Oh Harry.

And come on Teddy you know it is never that simple.


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, but this time it will be...
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: October 27th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
AUGH!! AUGH OH NO!!

You know, I was wondering if we'd come across an evil Maze!Remus, just like we saw an evil Maze!Tonks.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pretty much had to. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 27th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! This is amazing. I love how the center of the maze kept changing to significant destinations from Harry's past. Will you put this up at SugarQuill?

Great maze sequence.

-SideAlong
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know. The Quill seems to be slowing down a lot. I may need to rethink my final destination spot.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 27th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's Maze, reacting to Harry's presence, is fascinating. And as a result, Teddy and Harry are learning things about each other they never knew.

Eager to know just how Teddy "puts the pieces together." Absolutely chilling final image!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm hoping that the putting together works out well.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: October 27th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh God. And I'm supposed to go back to my big essay that must be finished today after reading this.

It was awesome. You did the Harry's Maze thing ;) It was so terrible- and Teddy calling him to the fact that he saw his parents twice... Teddy! That's one of Harry's worst memories! God, poor Cedric. And I loved the two different ways to see Peter- Harry was (rightfully) full of hate, and expected him to be evil, while Teddy was more indifferent and was content that Peter saw him transform (and, since this is a Maze, probably Teddy WANTED him to be happy to see him transform).
Yay for Reggie, who's not dead at all. Get used to the sight of him, Harry.

And that ending. God, I'm shivering. I can't wait 'till tomorrow!

(actually, I must. No more fanfiction until I finish my essay. Of course, I've been saying that for two days...)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I won't have anything up until late. Essay. :stern look:

:D

Teddy thinks of Peter more from the ring memories--one of the Marauders--while Harry thinks of him more as the traitor.

Yes, Harry best get used to the sight of Regulus.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 27th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want more! For an hour, the site didn't want to open... I was so nervous... I wanted to read that before going to school! And magically, after one hour refreshing the page!!! I don't want to see Remus like that please!
- the anonymus girl who lives in Montreal, I forgot to leave my name on my past posts!
Stef
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bon jour, Stef. :)

I was having some trouble with LJ, too. I think they were putting up their Halloween graphics last night.
From: glynngriffiths Date: October 27th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my! I was hoping for a resolution on my birthday, but instead I got the mother of all cliffhangers! It's so good and so exciting, though, that I don't mind a bit. :) I really enjoyed the twists the maze took from Harry's mind, but I'm awfully nervous about another climax in the shrieking shack... Poor Teddy - he's got some serious demons there.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy birthday!

They both have some Shrieking Shack demons, but I think Teddy's are more deep in his identity.
scopart From: scopart Date: October 27th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved all the little pieces of canon we got to see.
The end... oh, I can't wait to see what happens next. How chilling.
This is so exciting so far! Keep it up!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad it's working. This isn't one of the easier ones, writing-wise!
cleindori From: cleindori Date: October 27th, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gleep. What a disturbing cliffhanger image. Almost moreso than BellaDora, in some ways...

Loved seeing the "Harry's Maze" stuff as they worked their way to the centre. Heh, Regulus Black.

Keep up the fabulous story-telling -- please! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd better, if I mean to finish this in five days.
wotcher_wombat From: wotcher_wombat Date: October 27th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You always manage to surprise me, Fern! When Cedric Diggory showed up and I realized that we'd be getting a crash-course in Harry's childhood, it blew my mind a little.

Ever since their fight about the Stone, I've been wishing that there were some way for Teddy to really understand what Harry means and why he means it, but given Harry's way with words, I didn't hold out much hope. (By the way, loved Harry's explanation of Priori Incantatem! Spot on!) There was so much that Harry couldn't begin to explain with words, like Donzo trying to explain the Animagus transformation--you just can't do it unless you've lived it. But then you stuck them in the maze together and let the Maze do the talking--brilliant! I love it when all of your pieces come together; it's so satisfying.

Also, I love how this climax sequence is so personal. There's no band of Death Eaters to fight, no epic quest to fulfill, no basilisk, and no Dumbledore pulling the strings. There's just Teddy and Harry and the past that they bring to the table, both longing for a connection through all this trauma. While every bit as exciting as the other climax sequences, this one is shaping up to be my favorite because it's so focused and private. (Most of the wizarding world will never know about this, to say the least!) I think it's really quite beautiful.

Bonus Points: If you could somehow mention or have Harry mention Dumbledore's quote ("Of course it's in your head, Harry, but why should that mean it isn't real?"), that would be icing on the cake! I kept thinking about that as I was reading the past few days, and I think it sums up the maze experience rather well. *my two cents*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll see if I can work in the Dumbledore quote before the end. ;p

They're looking for a connection, but are they finding it? Or are their different priorities and beliefs pushing the wedge further in?
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 27th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whoa!

(tries to think of something more deep and analytical)

Whoa!

Oh, wait. I think I can add that, by the time this is through, Teddy might realize that every time Harry's "seen" his parents, it was in a nightmarish scene where Voldemort was trying to kill him and people he cared about were being murdered. The most peaceful meeting he had was when he had left the battle of Hogwarts (I won't even try to summarize all the death and destruction in that one) and was walking to what he thought was his own death at the hands of Voldemort.

So, for Harry, the danger of the stone is extremely real. For him, the price of meeting the dead had always been at the risk of death. Breaking it off has always involved refocusing on staying alive or saving others, and prolonged and peaceful contact only came at the price of actively trying to squelch the will to live.

That aside -

Whoa!

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's true. And does Harry realize that Teddy's experience is entirely different, and his own experience may be coloring his philosophy? Does Teddy realize that Harry sees life and death more as opposite poles, as opposed to Teddy, who just sees them as different phases of existence?
maz333 From: maz333 Date: October 27th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really try to usually leave coherent comments, but I just have to say... AHH! In such a good way! All the interaction with Teddy and Harry is so fantastic! And Teddy's parent issues... And, and--it's just so GOOD.

Whew.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy really does have some parent issues. I guess it's unavoidable when people look at you as if your very existence somehow makes up for your parents dying... imagine the pressure.
ranzzo From: ranzzo Date: October 27th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been reading your Shifts/Teddverse for a while now but have never posted before. I have to say you are an amazing writer and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens to Teddy and Harry!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome! Glad you've been enjoying. I'm wondering what's going to happen to Teddy and Harry, too.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: October 27th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy does not know how much more disturbing that image of Remus with Greyback's filed teeth would be if he knew the whole story of what happened during the Shades year....

And wow, the Shrieking Shack, one of the primary places of horror and despair for both of them. If this is the nadir, the bottom of the maze, then the only way to go from here is up and out, right?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 27th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pretty much. At least there's that.
daksian From: daksian Date: October 27th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is just getting too spooky (appropriate heading up to Halloween!), this trip through memory lane. Benign as Cedric is, I knew that with his history, things were going to take a dark turn.

I like that Teddy is learning more of the 'real' Harry Potter. I think it's good for him, even if Harry would prefer not to share. I think these revelations will allow them to bond as men, rather than just as a parent and child.

[Regulus had] been boiled in this lake, too badly for anyone to recognize his body when the other Inferi were cleaned out.

*sing-songs* I know something you don't know!!! ;)

And evil!Remus? Nice touch... :D
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