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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Six: The Smallest Year, Once More, part 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Six: The Smallest Year, Once More, part 1
Teddy's seventh year is beginning, and they've just arrived at Hogwarts after a nasty confrontation with Geoff at the station. Maurice's brother, Wendell, was supposed to start school two years ago, but was instead only Sorted over the summer. Teddy overheard something about a curse, and the death of a cousin, but doesn't know the whole story.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far






"Can't I stay with you?" Wendell Burke asked Maurice. "Please, I don't know them yet."

"You know Neil. Why do you think I invited him up from France?" Maurice said. "Go sit with him, he'll introduce you to the others. Stay away from H.J. Traynor as much as you can, though; he's a right pain."

Wendell squirmed a bit, then said, "There's a girl with him."

"It's just Celia Dean," Teddy told him. "She's a second year. She's Vivian Waters' foster daughter--she and Neil live in France together."

Wendell paled. "She's a--?"

Teddy nodded. "She'll tell you about it in great detail if you ask her. That should keep you busy the whole way to the castle."

The idea of being told, in great detail, about lycanthrophy caused Wendell to become more pale than usual, but he had no further chance to object. Neil--a third year now, but only slightly more confident than he'd been as a firstie--must have seen him and pointed him out, because now Celia was descending on him like an avidly maternal hen, and between the two of them, they manhandled him into a carriage full of Celia's Gryffindor friends, leaving the boys, who would now be roommates, with only one another to talk to.

Teddy climbed into a carriage with Maurice, Donzo, Corky, and Honoria (Honoria was nearly sitting on Corky's lap, so Teddy guessed that their latest break-up had ended). As the thestrals pulled them up the road toward the castle, Honoria said, "So, Burke--are you planning to explain the sudden appearance of your brother, or do I have to find these things out my way?"

Maurice looked at her dully. "I don't suppose there's the slightest chance that you'll just accept 'None of your business' as an answer?"

"Probably not, no."

"But if you tell us, she might decide it's too dull for the paper," Corky said.

Maurice consider this, then said, "Not bloody likely." He lapsed into morose silence.

"Come on, Moe," Donzo said. "There's nothing to be ashamed of."

"You know?" Teddy asked.

"Yeah," Maurice said. He sighed. "I had a letter when we got to Coeur d'Alene this summer, when Wendell got Sorted. Don was with me when it came."

Corky frowned. "Where was I?"

"It was when you dragged Roger off to see that giant plastic girl in Blackfoot. Which we'd been much closer to in Utah, by the way, and--"

"What was in the letter?"

Maurice shrugged. "The letter was just about being Sorted. Professor Sprout brought him up to her office, and they put the Hat on him, and he was telling me that we'd be in the same House. Don just... asked about the rest."

"So what was it?" Honoria asked. "I know he was ill... did he have spattergroit or was it something rarer?"

"It was the goddamned shop," Maurice said testily. "My dad's cousin Veradisia took Wendell with her to Valencia to look for merchandise. It was meant to be a present before he went to school. She took me to Sri Lanka to go retrieve a bit of junk from someone who'd been scavenging battlefields. That should have been more dangerous than heading out for Spain."

"So, what happened?" Teddy asked.

"She was bargaining with an old nobleman for a two-sided mirror that was supposed to curse people. That's the part that makes me mad--she knew what it was supposed to do. But it was only if two people looked in it from either side at the same time. She said she didn't mean for that to happen, but Wendell got nervous waiting by himself, and he happened to come in while she was looking at it, and--" He sighed. "The curse is nasty. It made both of them too weak to do much, but the only way out of it was for one of them to die. They went to a lot of Healers, but no one could break it. They just kept getting weaker. Last May, Veradisia came to visit, and gave Wendell a lot of things she valued, and then went home and drank a poison she'd been brewing. The curse broke, and now Wendell's here. And Borgin can't figure out why we don't want the bloody shop. I'd burn it down if I didn't think it would kill me for trying."

The carriage bumped to a stop in front of the castle, none of them entirely sure what to say to this.

Maurice jumped down first. "Don't know about you lot, but I want to get in there before I freeze to death."

Honoria got down first. "Corky's right. It's not that fascinating. Page four, bottom corner, at most--and that's if I've got room."

Maurice looked irritated.

She smiled. "And I'll make sure he meets all the right people."

"I already did," Maurice said, and pointed ahead, to where Neil Overby was indicating various Hogwarts landmarks to Wendell. At the moment, he was pointing out the White Tomb, and Wendell looked quite awed. Celia Dean and her Gryffindor girlfriends were chatting amiably on the steps and ignoring both of them. She waved eagerly to Teddy, then went back to her more important business.

Two more carriages trundled up, and the rest of the seventh years disembarked from them. Franklin Driscoll seemed to be keeping Geoff under surveillance, and the two Ravenclaw girls, Lizzie Richardson and Connie Deverell, had been in the carriage with them, along with Laura Chapman, a pretty Hufflepuff girl. Teddy had dated both Lizzie and Laura, and they'd hated one another like poison for a while, but now were quite good friends, largely based on their agreement that he was a terrible boyfriend (though they'd forgiven him enough to be his friends again, much to his relief). The other Hufflepuffs--Tinny, Roger, and Joe Palmer--were riding with Jane and Brendan.

All of them stopped on the steps as the other years went in around them. Geoff looked irritated at this, but didn't break ranks.

"Last Sorting feast," Corky said.

Tinny smiled. "Judging by last year, I think we girls should eat first, before the boys actually eat the House tables."

"Survival of the fittest," Roger said. "To each his own."

"What kind of Hufflepuff are you?"

"The sort who's read his Darwin... finally," Jane chided him as they started to move again.

They went into the castle together, passed the stairs from which they could hear Professor Longbottom welcoming the first years, who were just coming up from the boats, then entered the Great Hall as a group. None of the other years noticed.

Teddy felt a hand on his arm, and turned to see Professor Longbottom. "Are the lot of you planning to be re-Sorted?" he asked.

Honoria turned. "It would be interesting, wouldn't it, to see if anything had changed."

"The Hat doesn't like to change its habits." Professor Longbottom looked at all of them fondly (even Geoff, as he had no idea what Geoff was wearing under his robes). "I'll miss this group next year. You've been quite an adventure."

Donzo smiled. "Don't worry. I'm sure Teddy can come back to blow something up for you."

This got a laugh from professor and students alike, and they all drifted off to their tables. Professor Longbottom went to check with the Sorting Hat (he put it on briefly to confer), then went back to collect the first years.

Teddy went to the Gryffindor table and sat beside Victoire, who smiled at him and quite efficiently put everything else out of his mind. He managed to smile back.

This wouldn't do at all.

He turned and concentrated on a conversation with Marie, who was devastated that Victoire had been made a prefect, and was convinced that her entire life at Hogwarts was now ruined.

"I've been a prefect the whole time you've been at school," Teddy reminded her, "and you've managed to adjust to the humiliation well enough."

"That's different."

"Just because I'm not related?"

"Because you're not a very good prefect. You haven't taken points from me since my very first day, and Victoire's already started in on it."

"Really?"

"Really! I just altered my robes a little bit on the train"--she showed him a strange, jagged hem she'd put in, that went up to her knee in some places and down to her ankles in others--"and she said I wasn't in proper school uniform, and took five points! She's not going to stop there, either, I'd wager. And its just robes!"

"Well..."

"What? I think think it looks a lot better like this. And Dad gave me his dragon tooth earring!" She pulled her hair back on the left side to show it. "He wouldn't let me buy the boots I wanted, though."

"Mmm. I see your life has taken a turn for the tragic."

Marie stuck out her tongue at him.

He grinned, and turned his hair bright green.

She tossed a bit of paper over at her sister and said, "Victoire, Teddy's not in a proper school hairstyle!"

"There are no rules about Teddy's hair," Victoire said, "no matter how silly he decides to look."

He put blue squares in it.

Victoire bit her lip--whether to keep from laughing or to keep from correcting him, he wasn't sure, and didn't care. He was too busy thinking about biting her lip himself. He swallowed hard and turned away.

The doors opened with a grand sweep, and the last Sorting Ceremony of Teddy's Hogwarts life began.
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Comments
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: June 7th, 2010 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh poor Teddy, not knowing what to do about Victoire!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 7th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
How do you solve a problem like teen hormones...? ;p
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: June 7th, 2010 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Neil paled. "She's a--?"

Should that be Wendell rather than Neil? :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 7th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
As the word he stopped on was "werewolf," I should hope so. :headdesk:
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 7th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, but it would have been fun if it had been Neil suddenly figuring it out!

Especially if that's been his way of dealing with girls he's not ready to deal with yet who think he's cute, talking about all the gross things he can think of about being a werewolf (since I suppose he's not up to something more subtle, like Teddy might have done if he'd been a werewolf trying to get girls to think of him as just one of them and not a potential boyfriend, and being the only boy who could join in on complaints about "that time of the month"). He'd just realized he doesn't stand a chance of scaring her off if she wants to (oh, _no_) DATE him.

OK, so he'd also be just realizing, "So, THAT'S why she lives in the village and attends the feast and sometimes makes those comments about the full moon . . . . But why wasn't she ever with us when we transformed?" [stops as the horrible truth really hits home for the first time]. "She was with the FEMALE werewolves! Aaagh! She's a GIRL!"

Some kids are slow picking up on these things.

Ellen
amamama From: amamama Date: June 7th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahh - so that's what happened. Can this be linked to the shop, though? Hmmm...

One typo, methinks: "...their agreement that he as a terrible boyfriend..." Shouldn't it be that he was a terrible boyfriend?

The hormone whammy is fun, though I'm not sure poor Teddy would agree. Or maybe he would, imagining testing Victoire's lips can't be that bad... *g*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 7th, 2010 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Shouldn't it be that he was a terrible boyfriend?

Why, yes, I believe so.

I think Teddy is deeply embarrassed by the hormone whammy.
amamama From: amamama Date: June 7th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Which makes it even more fun to read. I bet his subconscious is battling, one part screaming "she's family!" and the other going on about how totally, completely gorgeous she is.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 7th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Urgh. That is a nasty situation for Wendell and even Veradisia to find themselves in--it's a bit disturbing that anyone with even an ounce of decency would want to buy something like that mirror.

And oh, Teddy--having lustful thoughts about Victoire and being thoroughly clueless about what to do about them. In that way, he really is Remus's son.

Looking forward to seeing how the sort goes!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 7th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
it's a bit disturbing that anyone with even an ounce of decency would want to buy something like that mirror.

Probably, when the family's owned something like Borgin and Burke's for a while, it seems like going out to find artifacts for a museum. Sure, they're dangerous, but they're of historical interest, and private collectors might buy them for a good price, and...

Oops, did I just get cursed?
From: amethystbeloved Date: June 7th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, it's the first time we see Teddy changed his hair! How fun!

What an interesting way of explaining what happened to poor Wendell. Poor guy.

I just can't wait for the Teddy and Victoire moments to come!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 7th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, in DM, Tonks asked him to morph for fun more often, so I think he may make an effort to actually do so this year.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 7th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Wendell!

Sure, there's a part of me that's thinking what an easy accident that would be to avoid, but that's the way most bad accidents are. You find yourself thinking afterwards on how so much trouble could have been avoided if you'd just been a little more attentive or a little more careful (I'm a tad accident prone, and I know this mindset VERY well, the "I wouldn't have this stupid cast on all these weeks if I'd just watched where I was going for five seconds" refrain, only raised by several factors of ten).

Ellen
From: maxzook Date: June 7th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maurice jumped down first. "Don't know about you lot, but I want to get in there before I freeze to death."

Honoria got down first. "Corky's right. It's not that fascinating. Page four, bottom corner, at most--and that's if I've got room."


One or the other.

When you asked generically about late sortings I was one of the ones who argued that Wendell should get to be sorted with the others. Except that, of course, no one would want him to have to put up with the whisperings about what happened to him ...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 7th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops. I have no idea how that happened. I'll figure out my blocking.
From: daphne_23 Date: June 7th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really enjoying this new Teddy story - apologies for not commenting before. Love the Teddy/Victoire awkwardness in this installment and can't wait for their first attempt at dating!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 7th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
But that's traumatic enough to put off getting together for another year and a half! ;p
silvery_wraith From: silvery_wraith Date: June 7th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so looking forward to all the awkwardness between Victoire and Teddy this year!
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 7th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love all the awkwardness between Victoire and Teddy.

And Wendell's subplot is so sad.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 7th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow. Now I know what I'll ask for the next challenge. Veradisia's choice, and how it came to be.

Also, I wonder what the Hat said to Neville.

Lovely chapter. I really like the companionship in Teddy's year.
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