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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Five: The Last First Day, part 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Five: The Last First Day, part 1
Teddy finishes up his summer by finding out that he has more gold than he knows what to do with, a problem that's distracting him even from the murder... until Harry's Patronus shows up early in the morning on September first, telling him to get the Head Boy and Head Girl and come to the platform early.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Weird World, the fantastical resort of the Weird Sisters, had been built mainly for the benefit of Donzo, who'd been the only child among the lot of them until two years ago, when Donaghan Tremlett and his twenty year old wife had produced a daughter and given her the unfortunate name of Vevina Slany. The other band members tormented the young wife by pretending to think the baby's name was Va-voom, and it had stuck.

It was Va-voom Tremlett who was standing beside Donzo's trunk, her black pig-tails askew, when Teddy spilled out of the fireplace. He nearly ran into her trying to catch his feet, but she didn't move. She sucked her thumb passively, and looked at him through her wide, dark eyes.

"Hey, Voom," he said.

At the sound of his voice, she screamed and ran away.

Donzo's voice came down the hall, and Teddy heard the scream get louder as Voom was scooped up. "Come on, you. I doubt it's the mugger in the closet. It's probably just Teddy." He came in, Voom balanced on his hip, and pointed. "See, you know Teddy. You sat on his lap before I went away."

Voom stopped sniffling, looked Teddy over, and held out her arms.

Donzo handed her over. "What's this about?"

"I don't know," Teddy said. "Uncle Harry said to get the Head Boy and Head Girl. I know you're Head Boy. Who's..." He saw the look on Donzo's face. "Oh, you're joking."

"No joke, I'm afraid. I'll hail Her Infernal Nosiness. Should she bring her trunk?"

"I'd guess so. There's not going to be a lot of time if there's something we need to do before the train leaves."

Donzo sent off his Patronus, then fixed a few settings on the fireplace. "Where's your trunk?"

"In my bag," Teddy said, shifting his book bag, which was hanging like a lead weight on his shoulder. Hermione Weasley had taught him her Expansion Charm for bags, and it would be handy in getting around, but it wasn't exactly feather weight.

"Can you fit mine?" Donzo asked.

"Fit it, yes, carry it, no. The strap would break. I'm pretty sure I'm missing something in the charm."

Donzo shrugged philosophically, Transfigured his trunk into a small suitcase, and picked it up.

The flames in the fireplace went green, and Honoria Higgs appeared, looking irritated, though this was her common expression, so Teddy wasn't sure it was directed at them. "Well?"

"No idea," Donzo said. "Harry Potter wants us at the station early."

"Last I knew, the Headmistress was meant to send out the Head Boy and Head Girl."

"I doubt he'd have called if it weren't important," Teddy said. "We just need to get to the station early."

"I could have gone directly there instead of Flooing all this way."

"Yes, but you'd have had to Floo to answer my Patronus anyway," Donzo said.

"Is it my fault that someone neglected to include me in Patronus lessons?" She looked pointedly at Teddy. She raised an eyebrow, then, to Teddy's surprise, laughed. "All right, yes, it was my fault, wasn't it?"

Teddy nodded, then smiled at her and shook his head. "I'll teach you later. It's useful."

"Dad says you can actually Apparate to a spot near King's Cross. No one does it because only seventh years could, but..." Donzo shrugged.

"We'd best get there then," Honoria said. She noticed that Teddy and Donzo had shrunk their luggage, and took hers in hand as well, turning it into a fashionable handbag. "Where do we Disapparate from around here?"

"Let me put the baby back to bed," Donzo said. "Then I'll show you." He took Voom from Teddy (she started crying again, and tried reaching for Honoria), and disappeared.

Honoria checked her watch. "It's seven-thirty in the morning. There'd best be a good reason for this."

"Uncle Harry doesn't make a habit of calling for help if there's nothing happening."

"No, I suppose not." She sighed. "Well, I suppose I should have known that we'd have an eventful last first day, and that you'd start it, again."

"I didn't start it on our first first day. You did. Nasty cracks about werewolves on the train, if I recall."

"You can't possibly be fishing for an apology six years later. I'd think that getting that editorial about your friends in France spread around the country while Greyback was on the loose would be quite enough proof that I know better."

"Apology accepted," Teddy said.

"Right... now, about the business of you telling your entire family that I'm evil?"

"Who's evil?" Donzo asked, coming back in. "Has she finally admitted it?"

She punched him in the arm, and the three of them went outside into the agreeable late summer morning. Dew-soaked moss threw a rich, verdant smell up into the mist as they walked a forest path strewn with pine needles, and Teddy looked up to see a robin nesting high up in a tree as they came to a small, non-descript clearing.

The image from his dream came back--the dark shape spreading out with the steam from the Hogwarts Express. A dark, wild foreboding filled his head, and he stopped.

"What is it?" Donzo asked. "I'd think he wouldn't have called you by Patronus if we didn't need to go quickly."

In Teddy's mind, the shadow seeped out, surrounded them, spread to the others, who would be coming as well. It spilled out over calendar pages and into the lake at Hogwarts, and rose with the golden mist toward the single robin in its nest above. Teddy looked back up. The robin, startled by the movement, took flight and disappeared.

"What?" Honoria asked avidly.

There was nothing for it. Uncle Harry had called for help. What would come would come. Teddy swallowed. "Nothing. It's just... the last first day. It's big."

"Right," Donzo said. "I'm sure that's it. Let's go."

Teddy stepped into the Disapparition area, turned on his heel, and a moment later, found himself in a dilapidated building with dirty windows that looked out on the train yard. It took some doing to find their bearings at King's Cross, but by eight, they were closing in on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.

"Stop!" A figure emerged from the crowd of Muggles waiting for an early train, and Teddy had time to recognize Sam Cresswell only a moment before an invisible barrier was actually put in place between them and the platform.

"Harry Potter called for us," Honoria said, and pulled something glittery out of her bag--the Head Girl badge.

Cresswell came up to the barrier and looked at it. "Right. I'll get him."

"Already here." Uncle Harry came up behind him, waved his wand at the barrier, and made it disappear. He held out a hand to Teddy to shake, then to Donzo. He looked at Honoria, shook her hand more warily, and said, "Miss Higgs, you're here in your capacity as Head Girl, not Charmer reporter. Are we perfectly clear?"

"The press is free," Honoria said. "I'll write what seems newsworthy. Perfectly clear?"

Uncle Harry's jaw tightened, then he nodded. "It's news. But please don't break it until tomorrow. I don't want the new students thinking of this as their first day at Hogwarts. I'm not going to let someone steal their memories. If they hear about it tomorrow, it'll be... removed a little."

"The issue doesn't come out until Friday," Honoria said. "What happened? Another murder?"

Uncle Harry led them through the barrier.

Teddy could see that the Aurors had already set out the obscuring torches. "What do you need?" he asked.

"It's going to take time to process everything. We... we have to re-route the track away from the section that was used for. Well. We need to re-route it. But we're going to be all over this end of the platform, and we can't have anyone stumbling in, whether or not they can see--"

"The body?" Honoria prompted.

"The body," Uncle Harry confirmed. Teddy noticed that he was extremely pale. He ran his hand through his hair, leaving it in a slightly different mess than it had been a moment ago. "If we have Aurors steering the children every whichway, then it'll be quite conspicuous. But I thought perhaps the Head Boy and Head Girl--and Teddy--would be less so."

Donzo looked around. "It's a pretty big area. I think we might need all the seventh year prefects."

"Handle it the way you think it's best to handle it. I--" He stopped as Ron came by, looking green, and carrying something in a box.

They hadn't bothered to obscure the box top, and Teddy looked down into it. A pair of human hands lay in white ice.

He looked toward the section of the platform that had been obscured. As the tracks turned into it, he caught the tiniest glimpse of something red on the rail.

He looked back at Uncle Harry. "They took his hands off with the train?"

"Probably not with the train. But on the tracks. He was the conductor. It was the only job he could get out of school. He never was very good at anything."

"You know him?"

Uncle Harry nodded. "He was a friend of Malfoy's. His name was Gregory Goyle."
35 comments or Leave a comment
danel4d From: danel4d Date: June 2nd, 2010 10:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Eesh. That's a nasty turn in it.

It's wonderful to see Honoria again - I really love how you evolve all the characters.

Spotted a thing - there's a word missing in the first line, since you've called Weird World "the fantastical".
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops, I'll get that "the".

tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: June 2nd, 2010 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)
That last line's got a terrific punch, but

"Probably not with the train. But on the tracks. He was the conductor. It was the only job he could get out of school. He never was very good at anything."

is tremendously sad as an epitaph - Goyle was a ghastly kid, but he never had much of a chance to be anything else.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
The life of a henchman... not pretty.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: June 2nd, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really not...
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: June 2nd, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly what I was going to say. Eeeep.

*waits for more*

(Also: I'm not sure I've ever said how much I like how you handle Teddy's talents in the area of Divination. It's subtle and world-appropriate, and works really well for foreshadowing and giving emotional depth.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Seers are a little hard to handle, because they can never be good enough at it to stop a plot.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: June 2nd, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it a wierd world nursery or what? I wonder why that little girl screamed and ran away at the sight of Teddy. I imagine Donzo needed some sort of spell to get her back to sleep. The kids I know like to wake up early and stay up!

"Last I knew, the Headmistress was meant to send out the Head Boy and Head Girl."

Send FOR?

"Nothing. It's just... the last first year. It's big."

The last First DAY? would make more sense to me.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
It makes more sense because that's what it was supposed to be!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 2nd, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
So it is Honoria! Hee! And a definite shock to see a more familiar name among the targeted Voldemort sympathizers.

You're going great guns with this one, and I eagerly await the next installment.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me, too. I'm having fun. In a macabre sort of way.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 2nd, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Vavoom is cute, if a little distracting.

Gregory Goyle! How hard it must be to have it be someone you know, even if you didn't like them. Goyle's epitaph is sad and yet.... even though he wasn't very nice I really hope he enjoyed his life as a conductor.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope he did as well. I mean, God, we can't all be held accountable for dumb things we did with our friends at the age of twelve, or for sticking with them when no one else would have us at seventeen. I hope he had some fun with the train, and met some people who weren't Death Eaters.
rotae From: rotae Date: June 2nd, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, so you know you're a Draco fan when you go, "NUUUU!! NOT GOYLE!!" XDDD

READING THIS. I am! And I'm done with Uni, so Teddy is on the way :D Just have to wait until I get photoshop now :/

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
:rubs hands gleefully:

I actually do feel for Draco. Like Sirius, he's a character that didn't grow on me until I wrote him a little bit. Now, I sort of get him. So I killed off one of his friends.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: June 2nd, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Gregory Goyle and what a sad epitaph. I think Teddy needs to discuss his vision with Harry, if no one else. Honoria still takes the freedom of the press very seriously, as she should, but she also seems quite reasonable about wielding that power. She's grown a lot over the seven years we've seen.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy would be shocked to learn that she credits that growth to... Teddy. More or less entirely. Screaming at her to "do something useful for once" was a turning point to her, in a moral sense.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 2nd, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

questions and comments

I feel Bad for Goyle. he might have been a henchmen but at least he wasn't as bad a crabbe
(was he?) i felt a little soft on him and that is a Horrible, Horrible way to die.

*on another note- this is a rumor i heard in regard to the movie- that Goyle is the one who is going to die in DH, because the actor who plays crabbe got fired for possession of illegal substances).*

anyway this is getting Really interesting.

the question I had was... I can't fnd links to any of Teddy stories in Humongous big head. (i also lost count of how many they were. novel lenght at least- was it the one with greyback, then dedalus maze then this one? where can I find direct links to them, if there are any.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: questions and comments

Oops, I never did link them from other pages, though they're linked in the right menu, above, under Shifts-verse and Teddy-verse stories.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 2nd, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: questions and comments


you're going to fix it for the future right?

and looking forward to see the story continue! even if the deaths are probably going to give me nightmares tonight

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: questions and comments

Fixed. Great big honking icon to lead the way. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2010 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: questions and comments


From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2010 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Wait!!! hold on....

it says "one probably dropped for good..."

please tell me it's not Strays...
amamama From: amamama Date: June 2nd, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, yeah. Creepy. And great story, of course. Still outside your map? *g* I find it very fascinating how stories get their own life and demand what needs to be told, regardless of previous planning or plotting... Still loving how this grows, even if it was a sad end for Goyle.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
WAY off my map. No one else was supposed to die until mid-October, and it wasn't Goyle!
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: June 2nd, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll never understand why parents purposefully inconvenience their children by giving them incomprehensible names.

Uncle Harry led them through the barrier. Teddy could see that the Aurors had already set out the obscuring torches.

"What do you need?" he asked.

It took me a little while to figure out if you meant Teddy-he or Harry-he.

My first thought was that the prime suspects in Goyle's murder would be Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but it was Crabbe who was the aggressor in the Room of Requirement. I'm not sure it's fair to say Crabbe tried to kill them, unless I'm forgetting something else about DH.
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: June 2nd, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I forgot to mention that I haven't always liked Honoria, but I admire her grown-up chutzpa. She's absolutely right; the press should be free.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 2nd, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't see why the trio would be suspects, Draco can say that they saved both of their lives. However, there must be plenty of Hogwarts students of the time who suffered Cruciatus at the hands of Crabbe and Goyle. My bet would be on someone who is a half-blood whose mother/father died because Runcorn gave them up, and who was tortured at school because of his mixed lineage. That would mean it's someone younger than of the trio's age.
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: June 3rd, 2010 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Andromeda was a suspect in the first murder because the victim was involved in Ted's death. I would say trying to kill Hermione with the Avada Kedevra curse would give the trio motive; however, it was Crabbe who tried to kill Hermione. I just reread the "Battle of Hogwarts" chapter in DH, and I was reminded that Goyle proved utterly useless for Voldemort's side.

Did Goyle go to Azkaban? It doesn't sound like he did from what Harry said. If not, why was he a target?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll never understand why parents purposefully inconvenience their children by giving them incomprehensible names.

Me, either. I just shake my head at Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing.

Drat, those pronouns. I'll move Teddy's observation to the same line as the dialogue, so it's clearer that he's speaking.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 2nd, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh. Those murders ARE really gory. I didn't have any pity for Runcorn, but Goyle moves me a little. Dia-dum. I wonder why they would cut off his hands. What did he do with his hands? Hold his wand? Was it something magical he did to someone?

Oooh, oh, I'm sure that kid we don't like who becomes the next bad guy will have something nasty to say about the murders. Geoffrey, wasn't it?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel some pity for anyone who got caught up in something bad as a kid, when the moral radar hasn't finished forming yet, and is stuck with it. Add it to Goyle not being very bright anyway, and it's more or less Hagrid if he'd become friends with Tom Riddle.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: June 2nd, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is so so good. The last line punched me in the gut.

One small nit-picky thing from the beginning, before I got punched in the gut: it wasn't entirely clear to me that it was the baby the band members insisted on calling Va-voom... so I actually spent a moment trying to figure out why the twenty-year-old wife was standing beside Donzo's trunk sucking her thumb... :|
porotito From: porotito Date: June 3rd, 2010 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh this is wonderful (I hope that came across in a non creepy way...not the murder...that was gory and sad and the rest of it) but you really have this knack at pace...which is especially impressive when, from my understanding, you write as quickly as you possibly can!

I always felt a bit sorry for Goyle, Crabbe, Draco etc...they were so young and, at least in the case of Draco, only following what they were taught, their father's instructions and beliefs...not that it in any way excuses what he did or the way he acted towards people or his prejudices, but sometimes I think that people forget that Draco, at the beginning of the series, was only an 11 year old boy!

Of course Draco gets defensive with Harry and co malign is family - he's reacting in the same way that Harry does when someone insults HIS father and mother, but becuase Draco isn't a Gryffindor, it's shown in a different way...

whoops, got a bit of carried away there.

That last line about Goyle was very powerful, well done!

and I love the way you show Teddy's Seer power as being so natural that it doesn't jar...he doesn't go into spasms/seizures and his eyes roll back and he's spouting prophecy...it's just...Teddy.
From: amethystbeloved Date: June 4th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor Goyle. The Hogwarts train conductor~ who would have guessed?
35 comments or Leave a comment