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Batch 54 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 54
Julia Lupin (unless her name's changed) curing lycanthropy!--preferably on someone we know--and the subsequent celebrations, to which a certain portrait is invited.
for Anon

---
Vivian locked locked the greenhouse door securely, and charmed all of its glass walls Unbreakable. Victoire had already pulled out the valuable plants, despite Julia's certainty that their little trip into the Daedalus Maze had solved all of Vivian's lifelong problems. Vivian wasn't nearly as certain. It had only been two weeks since Julia Lupin, agitated, had come to the sanctuary village in Oaxaca and started pacing and talking wildly about her apprenticeship in the Department of Mysteries, and theories of Identity, and how everyone who'd ever researched lycanthropy had been wrong.

"It's not a physical curse!" she'd sputtered. "I mean, of course, it is, in that it's a physical manifestation, that's a given, of course, and we know nearly everything about how it works except how to stop it, but that's because it doesn't start there!" She'd given Vivian no chance to respond before turning to pace in the other direction. "How many times have people said it? How many times? How ironic that Granddad, or you, or Père Alderman were so calm and reasonable and rational, then turned into a beast. They all looked at Greyback as the natural werewolf, but he never was. The stereotype was true--Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, just like the story, only they were always the same person, and--"

Vivian caught her on a pass-by and stopped her. "What are you talking about?"

"It's a split," Julia said. "It's a split in the very identity. Werewolves in human form are more reasonable than most people, because somehow, the curse split off their more animalistic instincts. It explains everything. The old stereotype about the nice man next door who has a monster inside. The overblown guilt complex over things other people take for granted. It's splitting the ego and the id, and it leaves the superego over-active, or overbalancing, since the id is under-represented, and--"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Vivian said.

"The superego is--"

"I'm familiar with Freud, though I thought he'd been discredited--"

"It's a handy paradigm to talk about this with," Julia said dismissively. "That's all. All I'm saying is that it was never ironic that Granddad was guilt-racked, or that you're so calm all the time, or that Père Alderman is always kind to people. It's actually part and parcel of lycanthropy."

"I'm sure Greyback would have been surprised to hear that."

"Greyback was crazy to start with. He got himself bitten on purpose, and then idealized everything that the id--the wolf--wanted. He made the id itself into his superego, so that everything was pressing him to do what he did, if that makes sense--"

"None of this really makes sense."

"I think I know how to cure it."

This had ended the conversation quite effectively. Vivian had sat down heavily on a stone bench, breathing hard at the implications. Julia's idea was simple, but very, very dangerous. Vivian had volunteered before Alderman or Blondin decided to jump in--they were both more necessary than she was. A week after that frantic talk, Julia had taken her into the Daedalus Maze. It was a place Vivian never wanted to go again. Greyback had been there waiting for her, naked and scarred. He'd led her through one horror after another, then her real mother--murdered the night Vivian herself had been taken--had taken over. She'd had her chest ripped open, and she trailed blood behind her.

But more than the Guides, which Julia insisted couldn't hurt her, as they'd made their way through the Maze and its dangers, she had felt an Other close by, on the other side of whatever the barrier was, and she knew that sooner or later, she would have to face it. And if Julia was right, she would have to take it into herself.

Finally, they had come to the center of the Maze. It took the form of the tool shed Remus Lupin had lived in when he'd been in Greyback's pack. Everyone in her life seemed to be gathered there, and the Guide shifted through terrible forms. Vivian found a cracked half-marble lying beside the charity box that Evvie had once taken dresses from. She'd know that the other half was inside, in the box of books. Greyback was guarding the way, but it wasn't Greyback who attacked, as she'd known it wouldn't be. The Guide had burst apart as the Wolf who was Vivian herself jumped through him.

"Help!" she screamed.

"I can't!" Mira called back. "You have to get through, Vivian!"

"The other half... it's in the bin with the books."

Julia ran past her into the shed that had once belonged to her grandfather. She turned over the belongings Vivian had imagined for it with no regard for their histories, tossing aside drawings and school papers haphazardly. The Wolf darted at Vivian, tried for her neck. She put her hands around its throat, as she'd always longed to do, and tried to strangle it.

"No!" Julia yelled. "You can't! It's you!"

The Wolf opened its mouth.

Vivian opened her own.

In the end, it had been only a question of which one would consume the other. Vivian had won.

She'd been edgy since, but Julia was certain that, when they joined together the halves of the Ariadne's Thread that resided at the center of the Maze, they'd reunited Vivian's identity, so long ago torn asunder. The little crystal marble now sat glowing in an unbreakable jar on the shelf. Vivian looked at it, shining against the silky Orkney light, brighter than the stars, paler than the...

She sat up straight.

She was looking directly at the full moon. She had no way of knowing for how long.

Her hands shaking, she went to the glass wall and looked up in awe. The northern lights were forming a swirling, greenish pattern that traced faintly across the sky, and the moon seemed caught in its delicate net. It was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen.

She put her hand over her heart and waited. It was winter, and the night was long, but she was never sleepy, never bored. Julia came down at a bit after two, but Vivian didn't let her open the door--she couldn't be sure it would last all night--and they sat on either side of the glass, not talking, until sunrise.

When the moon was gone and the sun was up, Vivian stepped shakily out of the greenhouse and approached Julia, who was biting her lip nervously. Vivian hugged her.

They walked up to the house together. Teddy insisted that they both get some rest, and gave them Dreamless Sleep potions. When they awoke several hours later, the Roost was full.

Gone was the solemnity and fear of the previous night. Nate and Evvie were dancing wildly, despite having gone through the transformation themselves. Alderman was passing out beer, and Neil Overby and his wife seemed to have partaken heavily of it already. Celia wound her way through the crowd and threw her arms around Julia. "You did it! You really, honestly did it! We're drawing lots to see who goes next, but if I do, I'm bloody well finding a man, getting married and having as many babies as there are left in me."

Vivian smiled faintly--Celia was in her late forties, and there probably weren't very many... but she would be the first werewolf woman to not be cut off forever.

If she succeeded.

"Celia, you can't go in their cocky," Vivian told her. "It's... it's not easy, and you'll see things that--"

"I don't care," Celia said. "I'm trying it. Oi! Lupin!" She left and went over to the Lupins' portrait, reaching behind her to drag Julia along. Vivian followed.

"Quite a celebration," Remus Lupin said.

"It'll have your name all over it," Celia declared. "Lupin cures lycanthropy!"

"Julia Lupin," Remus clarified, and smiled. "I think, Julia, that your great-grandmother would be inordinately pleased that it was you."

"I wish she'd been able to do it," Julia said. "In time for you."

"These things happen when they're meant to happen," Remus said.

"I wouldn't have minded seeing it earlier," Dora put in. "Though it might have made a few of those pre-moon days less--"

"Dora!"

Dora laughed and kissed his cheek.

Vivian sat down by the hearth. Alderman saw her and dropped down beside her.

"That's not as easy on the knees as it once was," he said. "How does it feel to be cured?"

"I'll be cured when I've gone a year without transforming, not a single month." Vivian smiled broadly. "But the single month certainly feels good. Are you going to do it?"

"I'm not sure. I may. It might interfere with my mission, if I'm no longer a werewolf, but then, maybe my mission should include this now." He leaned back against the stones. "I hope Greyback is watching from hell and tearing at his hair."

"I'll drink to that," Vivian said, and Summoned a beer.





Teddy giving his parents a tour of the roost. I'd like to know what they think of it.
for Anon

---
On the day Nate's crew finished the house, Teddy fell asleep on the floor of the master bedroom without any thought of dreams of the dead. He hadn't had a particularly strong one since he'd given the Marauder's Map to James (he knew logically that there was no connection, but it still seemed unfair to lose both kinds of contact at the same time). He was simply exhausted. He'd spent the day working with the crew, finishing up the roof, which Nate insisted was better done without magic. It had been backbreaking. He'd meant to go back to the shack by Hogboon Mound to sleep after the crew left, but instead, he'd come up here, to the top of the house, and looked out on the ocean and the endless sky. The sense of being caught up in something large and powerful came back to him for the first time since Victoire had proposed, and he'd sat down on the floor, leaning against the wall, and thought, This is it. I just built my life.

The thought brought a muted kind of fear with it, but also a sense of rightness. He Conjured a candle and walked through the still-empty rooms (the furniture would begin to arrive tomorrow, and the portraits were still down in the shack), and watched his shadow play along the walls. He tried to imagine it full and loud, but couldn't. It was like a cathedral waiting for a blessing. He slowly made his way back to the bedroom, Conjured a matress for the night, and went to sleep.

He thought for a moment that he'd only dreamed of finishing the house, because when he opened his eyes, he was in the shack. But the portrait wasn't there. Instead, Sirius was sitting cross-legged in the tartan recliner, Mum was leaning on the windowsill and looking out, and Dad was looking fondly at the sketchbook full of plans.

Teddy sat up. "Are we here?" he asked. "I mean, actually here."

"Define 'actually,'" Mum said.

"You know what I mean, I don't need to define."

"Money's making the boy crabby," Sirius said. "You need to have a chat with him, Moony."

"I think he's a little old for it. Engaged, you know." Dad smiled.

"Do you like her?" Teddy asked.

"We can't stand her," Mum said lightly. "Such a bad influence on you." She winked.

Teddy rolled his eyes. "I'm... I'm glad to see the lot of you. Is James around?"

"He was never here."

"Can be!" a voice called from the kitchen, and James Potter came out, fixing a barbeque apron that read "Don't Curse the Cook!" a man with a large set of tongs and a face blackened by an explosion, with smoke rising lazily from his ears. "Did you want me for something?"

"Actually," Teddy said, "I was just wondering. But as long as you're all here, welcome to Marauder's Roost."

"I wasn't a Marauder," Mum said.

"You can fill in for Wormtail," James suggested.

"I don't think so," Dad said.

"I'll get my James to bind you," Teddy said. "Do you mind all of this?"

"Our own island?" Sirius asked. "Are you mad? This is much better than the Shrieking Shack."

Mum frowned, then shrugged. "Well, this was a good place, too."

"Do you plan to show us around?" Dad asked. "Or are we meant to just stay here?"

"Er... well... didn't you lot all live on the island for a year?"

"Not with the castle on the hill."

"It's not a castle!" Teddy protested, though it was rather hard to argue that particular point. "And it's empty."

"Show us what it will be," Mum said gently.

"I don't know the future," Teddy said. "But I can show you what I want it to be."

This seemed agreeable to them, and Teddy led them outside. He knew it was really deep in the night, but in the dream, there was a golden sort of sunshine washing the island. Wildflowers bloomed in the grass. The went over the little rise of Hogboon Mound, and the hogboon inside of it snored.

"You haven't evicted it, I see," Dad said.

"Why break with tradition?" Teddy winked. "I like the old boy. I'll keep him."

Mum cheered, then saw the house, and her breath caught. "Oh, Teddy--it's lovely. It's... it's striking. It's like it was here all along and you and Nate just uncovered it."

"I'm not sure if my architect would be happy to hear that or annoyed." Teddy took a few steps up the path. In dreamspace, that was all it took to reach the door. He looked over his shoulder at them and opened it. In the dream, there was already furniture, and the portraits were in place. "The ballroom is on the left," he said.

"Ballroom!" Sirius laughed madly, throwing his head back. "Lupin, he put in a ballroom."

"Well, what kind of castle would it be without a ballroom?" Dad asked.

"It's not a castle," Teddy repeated. "The parlor's on the right. I'm going to put your portrait there, so the family can talk to you."

"Wonderful!" Mum said, and went inside eagerly. She ran her hand along the mantel above the Floo-linked fireplace. Photographs had been lined up there, but Teddy couldn't see the faces in them clearly.

"Then there's workspace across the corridor," Teddy said, pointing to the studies across from the parlor. I'll have an office and a den, and Victoire will have little office here on the ground floor, too, though she'll mainly work up in her greenhouse on the second floor."

"What's on the first floor?" James asked.

"Rooms. Guest rooms, probably," Teddy said. "I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I just put eight little bedrooms there."

They all looked at one another, and Mum just shook her head.

As he'd said this, they'd faded up to the first floor. The doors were open. Most of them were decorated with things Teddy couldn't get a handle on yet. He was willing to wait and find out what it would be. "On the second floor," he said, and they were there, "we've mostly got the greenhouse. Look at the window. I put in a Map of the island."

James and Sirius went to the etched glass Map on one of the north windows. At the moment, it showed the shack, where Checkmate was sleeping on her favorite pillow on the recliner, and the house, where Teddy was curled up a floor above where he was standing. Mum and the Marauders appeared as faint marks here."

"Nice work," James said.

"Your work," Teddy reminded him.

"We never got as far as you have," Dad said. "You know the Marauder's Map is haphazard, and--"

"The first of anything is more haphazard than the second," Teddy said. "The lot of you invented the magic to make it. All I did was put it into glass and clean up the magical structure a bit."

"Who else contributed magic?" Mum asked. "Victoire, I'd guess?"

"Yes, of course," Teddy said. "Also Donzo, Corky, Maurice, and Ruthless. I think it's sufficiently, er.. charged."

Sirius in particular seemed pleased by this, and spent a long time watching nothing happen on the Map. Finally, they all took to just wandering. Teddy left them to it. He opened his eyes again and found himself back in the Master bedroom. He was still dreaming, because Mum was standing at the window, watching the sun come up. She looked over her shoulder at him. "This is right, Teddy," she said.

Teddy nodded.

Mum nodded back.

Teddy closed his eyes again, and when he opened them the next time, it was for real. The furniture was beginning to arrive by Apparation. The wait ended.


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Comments
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: February 19th, 2009 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting take on lycanthropy - though Julia's cure sounds more like Jung than Freud to me ;)
serriadh From: serriadh Date: February 19th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
It's reminiscent of Ged's cure in A Wizard of Earthsea, which is pretty Jungian.

Brilliant concept, though, Fern! And, as always, I love your writing.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 19th, 2009 09:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved that first one so much. Great explanation of lycanthropy. I really wonder if Rowling has thought it through quite that much. I also love Dora's comment. I love how cheeky she is! And I also had to wonder what Elizabeth would say, knowing that Lupin's granddaughter found the cure. Somehow, I don't think it would surprise her much.

That second one was nice, too. What was with that look between them and at Dora when he mentioned the bedrooms, though? Did they know how many kids he'd have?

- Severely Lupine
arcaneblades From: arcaneblades Date: February 19th, 2009 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you have typo here :

"Celia, you can't go in their cocky,"

I think you want "there" instead of "their".

Otherwise, quite an enjoyable pair of ficlets.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: February 19th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I cried with the first one! I just wanted to jump up and down and cheer with the rest of them! The cure makes so much SENSE... It's so interesting.

The second one was beautiful, of course.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: February 19th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed both of these immensely. And I'm so glad Vivian was the first to be cured, and that Teddy's generation was still around to see it. The second one was also lovely--I wonder if Remus, Dora, and the others know or at least suspect how large Teddy's family is going to be.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: February 19th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Both of these are lovely; they both made me happy and sad. I echo others when I say that your take on lycanthrophy is interesting and makes sense (as much as analysis of a non-existent disease can be!) Remus would be so proud. The second story was a lovely benediction on Teddy's adulthood and the extended and loving family he created with Victoire, the Potters, and his many friends.
silvery_wraith From: silvery_wraith Date: February 19th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whatever else JK happens to add to her Potterverse will pale in comparison to everything you've written, Fern.

Also, James' 'Can Be!' in the second was just so *James*, I lol'd and we never really met James in canon!
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: February 20th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
LOVED both of them, though especially the first one. :D

Speaking of the first one-

"I can't!" Mira called back. "You have to get through, Vivian!"

Err, shouldn't that be Julia? o_0
chrischewscud From: chrischewscud Date: February 21st, 2009 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Such nice things happen at the Roost. Both fics are lovely.
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