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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Eight: Family Gossip, part 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Eight: Family Gossip, part 2
Harry's here for his teaching stint. After listening to the seventh years spin ideas about the current string of murders, Harry treats them respectfully (and gives them permission to use his first name, though they have some trouble doing so). He takes Teddy down to the greenhouses, where Neville has given permission for him to have supper with the extended family of Weasley cousins and Teddy. Percy's daughter Molly has just opened the door for them.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Uncle Harry had brought food from home. Al and James had apparently been baking, as they'd provided lumpy loaves of bread shaped vaguely like an owl and a cat. (These looked daunting, but actually tasted perfectly all right.) The elder Molly Weasley had sent a rich stew, and Fleur had contributed French pastries. They ate around a table Teddy Conjured. Professor Longbottom and his wife, Hannah (toward whom he seemed to be quite attentive at the moment) joined them about halfway through.

The meal was comfortable and warm, and Uncle Harry brought quite a lot of family gossip with him. Aunt Ginny was writing a feature called "Quidditch In Paradise," and the Potters would be using this as an excuse to travel to Bermuda. Uncle Harry hoped that there'd be a lull in the case by then, but Ron had apparently brow-beaten him into taking a holiday whether there was or not. Ellsworth had given Granny a kitten, which she'd tried to give back--she hadn't owned a cat of her own since Greyback had killed old Bludger--but he wouldn't take it back, and she'd apparently got quite attached to it. She called him Twist, after Oliver Twist, to match Granddad's childhood cat, Dodger. Arthur and Molly were planning to visit Charlie in Romania for a few months, and were practicing speaking Romanian at every opportunity (Professor Longbottom speculated that Molly meant to try to get one of the local girls to marry Charlie). Percy was arguing in front of the Wizengamot about substandard charms, and George was introducing a new line of dolls which were improved versions of Lily's favorite doll, Megrez.

Uncle Harry demanded school stories in return, which turned into a bit of one-upsmanship between the Ravenclaws and the Gryffindors. This caused a great deal of eye-rolling between Marie and Molly, each of whom claimed the other was exaggerating about pranks pulled in the great Gryffindor-Ravenclaw war. Story and Victoire, who commanded the troops, declared jointly that they were hereby forbidden from hexing one another, as it was obviously no longer in good fun.

"Nothing she does is in good fun," Marie muttered mutinously.

"Hush," Victoire said, and shoved a pastry in Marie's mouth. She turned to Uncle Harry. "How's Maman's inn coming along?"

"Fleur has an inn?" Teddy asked.

Victoire turned to him, surprised. "Didn't I tell you?" She frowned. "I guess not. You haven't been talking to me very much this year."

Aimee reached in and ladled herself more stew. "Mum's trying to get more wizarding tourists to Tinworth, but they don't have anywhere to stay. So she's building a new inn."

"She's not personally building it," Victoire said. "She's hired Nate Blondin and his werewolf crew to build it. I guess that's why I thought you knew. Neil and Celia talk about it all the time. Aren't you brewing Wolfsbane Potion for them?"

"Well, yes, but I hadn't really talked to them much. They just come and drink it and pretend to gag."

"Having smelled that stuff," Story said, "I don't think they're pretending."

Marie swallowed the pastry she'd been force-fed and said, "Anyway, I don't know what Mum thinks they're going to do. It's Tinworth. Nothing ever happened there." She thought about it. "Well, except at our house, and she doesn't want them there."

"What happened at your house?" Molly asked. "I thought it was protected."

"Clearly," Uncle Harry said, "Marie is referring to the fact that it was in that very spot that the birth of Teddy Lupin was first announced to the world at large."

Teddy rolled his eyes. "Right. I'm sure that's it."

"And speaking of happy announcements, I believe there is another reason we wanted to gather family and friends." Uncle Harry looked at Professor Longbottom. "You said you wanted to tell them when the gathering wasn't suspicious."

Professor Longbottom grinned at Hannah, then turned to the students. "I want the lot of you to know before the rest of the school, because your families are close to me, and you'll certainly find out, but I didn't want to make a general announcement in the Great Hall. I'm sure it will get around eventually, of course, but before the Prophet makes it general knowledge--"

Hannah raised an eyebrow. "Darling, they're going to make it general knowledge before you actually get around to saying it at this rate."

"We're having a baby," Professor Longbottom said.

Victoire clapped and smiled brightly. "That's wonderful! Oh, I'm going to plant an aethracandia for Hannah--"

"I already did!" Professor Longbottom said.

"Oh, well... I'll plant something else, then. A tree. I think I shall plant a tree for every baby in the family from now on."

"Are you actually related?" Story asked.

Victoire shrugged. "Somewhere, I'm sure, but even if we aren't, family isn't just blood."

Professor Longbottom smiled fondly. "And where do you intend to plant this forest?"

"I don't know yet," Victoire said.

"You can have Screech Hill," Teddy told her without thinking about it.

She turned and blinked her huge, china blue eyes at him. "What?"

Teddy frowned, uncomfortably aware that everyone was looking at him. "Screech Hill," he said. "Where the Shrieking Shack used to be."

"I know what it is, but it's yours."

"Which, er..." He looked at everyone. "Well, doesn't that give me the right to tell you that you can plant trees on it?" Uncle Harry's mouth was twitching toward a smile. Teddy shook his head. "What?"


"Good, because there's nothing. Victoire wants to plant a tree for a new Longbottom, and I think it's a grand idea. Welcome, new Longbottom." Teddy waved at Hannah's belly.

"I'm learning to knit from Nana Weasley," Molly said. "I shall knit a blanket."

"And I'll make lots of baby clothes," Marie said. "I made Muriel a very cute dress..."

"I'll help Hannah at the Cauldron this summer," Aimee said. "If you want help by then--"

"I'm sure I will," Hannah said, looking both pleased and somewhat alarmed at the ferocious affection.

The conversation turned to a long celebration of the upcoming arrival of the Longbottoms' firstborn, and by the time Professor Longbottom reminded the students that curfew was almost upon them, Teddy felt lightheaded from happiness. They left together, leaving the adults back in the greenhouses. Teddy fell behind the group to walk with Victoire. Her hair was glowing faintly in the starlight (clouds hid the moon), and her cheeks were flushed.

She looked back, then hugged herself giddily. "Isn't it wonderful?"

Teddy nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, it is."

She stopped and turned her face up to the sky, smiling brilliantly. "I can't wait to plant the tree. I think it should be something wonderful."

"A Whomping Willow? Lotus tree? Yggdrasil itself?"

She ignored him. "Oak, I think. No, an evergreen. Spruce."

"Spruce is wonderful?"

"Or maybe a hazel. Hazel is for wisdom."

She turned as the clouds parted, and the faint star-glow became brilliant, and Teddy might have agreed with her if she'd said she meant to plant a dandelion field because, after all, Gryffindors were dandy lions. He turned away and rubbed his face vigorously, ignoring her odd look. "Well, if you're going to start planting trees on Screech Hill, I guess I should start getting it cleaned up. There's still a lot of glass and such up there, and a rose bush that I think may have a plan for world domination."

"Are you sure you want to let me start planting trees there? You might want to build a house there someday."

Teddy shook his head. "No. I'll never live there. Not after everything that's happened." He shrugged and started walking again. "But a forest would be good. With the size of the Weasley family, it'll join up with the Forbidden Forest in a couple of generations."

"Well, thanks." She caught up with him. "I'll help you clear it out. Can we work on it during Hogsmeade weekend?"


They reached the castle--the others had got quite far ahead--and Victoire put her hand on his arm as he went to open the door. "Teddy?"


"Why haven't we been talking much this year?"

He took a deep breath and turned to look at her. Her face was troubled. He reached over and pushed her hair behind her ear. "Well, I..." He bit his lip. His hand was still resting on her face. "I, er..."

With a huge thump, the door opened. Molly and Marie spilled out, pulling each other's hair.

"Victoire!" Molly yelled. "Tell her to stop!"

"She started it!"

"I did not!"

Victoire stepped away from Teddy, then took each of them by the shoulder and pulled them apart. "Do you think I care who started it?" She pushed them inside. "Honestly, the pair of you! You're cousins. Let it go, will you? D'you think I've got nothing better to do than keep you from killing each other...?"

Teddy watched her as she disappeared up the stairs, then went inside.
23 comments or Leave a comment
amamama From: amamama Date: June 21st, 2010 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
"I, er..." Teddy is adorable. Not yet realising that he's falling for Victoire (she's family, after all), but I think Harry got it. And Victiore. *g* Lovely chapterlet and nice with a fluffy break from murder mysteries.

Thanks - and happy solstice!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome. :D Poor Teddy, completely discombobulated.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: June 21st, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Lovely segment.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 21st, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
All this heart-warming makes me happy.

How old is Molly, btw?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Molly's a second-year, one year behind Marie.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 21st, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice to see that Teddy has let go of the Shrieking Shack to the extent that he's willing to let Victoire plant her trees there. I find myself hoping that the rose bush gets replanted elsewhere, though--Tonks put that in, right? And clearly, the course of true love is not running smooth for Teddy and Victoire, though the adults in their lives seem to have figured things out where they're concerned...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had to check--Remus actually planted it (it's a ring memory from Hunter's Moon). But yeah, it was definitely part of their garden, and it won't be summarily executed.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 21st, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)


"Teddy might have agreed with her if she'd said she meant to plant a dandelion field because, after all, Gryffindors were dandy lions"

LOVED that. Just loved it. I'm still hooting.

YAY baby!Longbottom, so cute! I can't wait to find out what baby's name is.

Great chapterlet. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'll make sure to have the end of the story far enough along that we'll get the name of the baby.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 21st, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Luckily, I'm not in charge of keeping any lawn areas clear of weeds because I LOVE dandelions and would probably never have the heart to pull them (or not as many as I should). Goes back to being a kid when they were just another flower - but a flower you were always allowed to pick. They start out such an enthusiastic yellow but, when they go to the white, puffy seed stage, you can make wishes on them (I'm not the only one who grew up with that, right? If you blow all the seeds off in one breath, you get your wish? I think there's an alternative tradition that says how many breathes it takes to blow the seeds tells you what time it is).

And, they're edible (although I've never had the courage to try one [yeah, I know, but, as a kid, I always wanted to make sure which parts were edible and which weren't before I tried one after I read that I could. After that, I've been warned that you want to make sure no one's sprayed the dandelions before you pick them so . . . no dandelions])!

Er, wait, there was a story point in there somewhere, wasn't there?

Well, if Victoire asks to plant dandelions, Teddy's now got all the rationalization material he needs.

Personally, I think the hill would look lovely covered in bright, cheerful, yellow with little kids picking bunches for mothers who (whether they mean it of not) will smile when they get them.

Perhaps, Hannah and Neville's little one, for example, although I guess that's unlikely to show up in this story.

Just curious, but has Rowling said anything about Hannah and Neville's kids or is this one your creation? Personally, I'm hoping yours, because I think (pardon the blasphemy) the higher the Fern-content in a post book series creation (versus Rowling-content [or Rowling-content without a book context]), the more fun the characters seem to be.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like dandelions, too. But you hardly need to plant them! The Chem-lawn monstrosities with their sterile green patches look to me like CGI lawns in the background of a cartoon--a patch of scenery that no one even cared about.

To the best of my knowledge, JKR hasn't named Neville and Hannah's children, or mentioned if they have any.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 21st, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another lovely chapter. Yeah, I think Victoire might have a clue to why Teddy isn't talking much to her this year after that cut off conversation.

I also like the cousin-interaction, though wonder both why Marie and Molly hate each other and whether one is ravenclaw or if both are Gryffindor. Good thing Story and Victoire are there to keep them in line!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Molly's a Ravenclaw. I think I put that in the Sorting chapter somewhere, but it could use more shoring up.

Marie and Molly are just people who don't get along. And Molly is to Ravenclaw something of what Marie is to Gryffindor--a popular little princess. Naturally, they hate each other.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 21st, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, something else I really liked in this chapter was how even though both Marie and Molly are "popular little princesses" (love that description!) is that both defer to Victoire- even if just because of age/ being higher up in the family heiarchy. Victoire had such a hard time with friends starting off and was so awkward with people, it is nice to see her growth subtly being shown by her being a leader of that prank war, and with family fights.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 21st, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
"They reached the castle--the others had got quite far ahead--and Victoire put hand on his arm as he went to open the door. "Teddy?""

Probably should be Victorie put her hand on- etc etc.

In other news, crushing Teddy is adorable. I'm very amused at how much he can't accept it. (Though, and while they are adorable together and, err, canon, more or less the ONLY canonical thing we have about Teddy, I'm kinda sad Story/Victorie won't happen. Since they'd be kinda Awesome.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, skipped words. The glory of late typing. I'll fix that.

At this point, Story might agree with you (though later, he'll probably be glad).
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 22nd, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just was reading one of your challenges from before and saw he ends up with Marie, so, that makes me happy too :).
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 22nd, 2010 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
"looking both pleased and somewhat alarmed at the ferocious affection." mmmm, love it!
silvery_wraith From: silvery_wraith Date: June 22nd, 2010 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I see Teddy inherited his father's oblivious nature in the girl department.

Hee, the dandy lion line was great, Fern! It had me giggling for a while.

I can't wait to see where you go with Teddy and Victoire. We all know how it ends but it's the getting there that you're going to make amazing.

Yay, baby Longbottom!
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 22nd, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
aethracandia ?
From: amethystbeloved Date: June 22nd, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I second the name of the flower. If it's something that you made up, what does it mean?

I adore the, ""And where do you intend to plant this forest?"" line!!!

The scenes between Teddy and Victoire are incredibly sweet. There are questions to whether she knows or not. But that reminds me of a ficlet where Teddy and Victoire were playing cards and the former was feeling pretty uncomfortable...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 22nd, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's mine. I made it up a long time ago and don't remember exactly what it is--aether refers to air and heavens. Candia... clear? Maybe "clear air." The plant is a sort of air-cleaner that helps clear out mental garbage and put people at ease. Entirely made up when I needed Victoire to help Teddy deal with some spell damage he'd managed to do to himself.
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