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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Ten: The Lost Vision, part 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Ten: The Lost Vision, part 3
Okay, the title change for the chapter (it is now "The Lost Vision," as "By a Thread" will be the title of the interludes of Honoria's articles) comes from the following:

Teddy does his interview with Honoria, feeling a little wobbly from crushing ingredients in potions. In Defense Against the Dark Arts, one of the others suggests that he use the Daedalus Maze to learn more about the murders. He decides to do so, and after finishing his potions work, goes down to Hagrids and uses the crystal ball that came out of the Maze. It puts him into a Maze vision of Cornelius Fudge, trying to show him why he did, then starts to move on to Goyle when Teddy is pulled out of the vision by a shock of rain--which is coming through an open window as he is headed up to his dormitory, perfectly dry and nowhere near Hagrid's paddock.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far






Teddy handed the little jar of powdered Mallowsweet petals to Professor Stephens after explaining what had happened and asked, "Is that a property that's not on the books? Hallucinations?"

"I've never heard of it," Stephens said, peering at the fine dust. "I really didn't give you potions ingredients imagining that they'd have psychogenic effects in their raw form."

"But it is involved in visions," Teddy said. "It's the only thing I can think of. When I was working with it in class, I was trying to read shadows from the flames on the ceiling."

"Did they start to take any shapes?"

"No, it wasn't like that. It was more... tracing the lines they made, and letting my mind find the patterns that made sense. More like meditation than astrology."

"Hmm." He put the jar up. "I'm going to look into this, Teddy. In the meantime, I'd recommend not using that ingredient."

"Do you think it was a vision?"

He shook his head. "I don't know a thing about Divination. You might ask Professor Firenze about what you saw when you thought you were having a vision. It may well be perfectly valid. What I can tell you as that you came back through my door no more than ten minutes after you left. The most you would have had time to do was go up to Gryffindor tower and come back. There's absolutely no possibility that you went to Hagrid's paddock."

"But I remember going there."

"Was it dark out?"

"Er... no."

Stephens opened his arms as if to say, There you are. "It was already dark when you left the dungeon," he said. "I'd just looked out and thought about how early the sun goes down at this time of year. Your memory is wrong."

"Oh, great."

"Had you been thinking about going there?"

"We'd talked about using the Daedalus Maze in Defense. I thought I might try it." He sighed. "So I just made up a memory because it was mentioned."

"It would seem so."

"It was so detailed, though. And it wasn't at all like a vision, until the memory is actually about going into the Maze. It was just a walk down to Hagrid's, and looking around. There was nothing off, except the light. It never even occurred to me to question it until the rain pulled me out of it."

"Well, I guess we've discovered a new property of Mallowsweet petals. Not a very nice one, really. That could cause some mischief." He put the jar in a high cupboard and sealed it magically. "Would you mind writing up your experience? I have to report things like this to the Potions Board. Don't worry, you won't be in any trouble."

Teddy agreed and left, feeling foolish, cheated, and a bit frightened by how easily he'd been taken in. The light. The light should have been a dead giveaway.

Professor Firenze was surprised by the news when Teddy told him; Centaurs apparently used the petals quite frequently with no parallel effect. "Sage and Mallowsweet are not meant to intoxicate," he said. "They are, hmm, something rather like the human potion Felix Felicis, but rather than improving one's luck--a foolish and temporary pursuit--they improve the ability to see patterns."

"That's what it was at first. I was trying to read shadows."

Firenze frowned at him deeply, as disapproving as ever of trying to read anything less lasting than the universe.

He wrote his report on the incident for the Ministry, and the ingredient was duly removed from the school stores a week later.

Meanwhile, Honoria's articles began to appear. Teddy felt vaguely silly reading his own, but even more, deeply uncomfortable. It wasn't that she'd treated him badly--in fact, it was essentially a puff piece--but the notion of seeing his own name and face featured so prominently, treated like he had done something of consequence... it was unnerving. More unnerving was a rash of argument about the article that occurred the following week, in which complete strangers took issue with his recounting of his own life, or with Honoria's odd interpretation of him as the center of the year. A few students turned hostile toward him, accusing him of hypocritical levels of modesty, when he was clearly just seeking attention. To his horror, a third year Gryffindor girl pasted the photograph from the article to the front of her Defense Against the Dark Arts notebook, and surrounded it with glittering little hearts. This was left in the middle of the Common Room, and all three of the Weasley girls considered it the height of hilarity. Victoire even charmed the hearts to make a twinkly little song when the light hit them.

The next week's article, about Donzo, at least got the attention off of him, and by the time Maurice and then Corky had their turns, Teddy was mercifully left to school obscurity.

Just before Christmas hols, Teddy and Donzo used their Animagus forms to sneak out of the school (Teddy could fly out of any window, and Donzo had found a loose board in a door that he could wriggle through as a raccoon). The plan was Charm the Hogwarts Express, which was waiting at the station. A few reindeer fireworks would canter up and down the corridor, the doors would sing, and the smoke billowing out of the chimney would be red and green and shaped into Christmas-y things like wreaths and trees and stars. They also decorated the sweets cart and left an evergreen crown for the witch who pushed it.

"Are you going to get to see your book?" Donzo asked, working a carol into a particularly stubborn door. "I know you wanted to wait until you and James could see it at the same time."

"Yeah, we're going over to Frankie's the day after tomorrow. Do you want to come down for the Sunday night game?"

"There's a game?"

"It's still Frankie," Teddy said. "Ruthless goes, too. And Bernice Fletcher and Zach Templeton."

"I'm there." Donzo finished his spell with a flourish and moved on to the next door. Before he got started he said, "How will it be with Ruthless? And you?"

"Oh, just terrible. We may speak pleasantly to each other and try to outdo each other on Tube-crawls."

Donzo raised an eyebrow.

Teddy shrugged. "It's fine. We're fine. It's Ruthless. She even said I could Apparate up and have a drink with the family on Christmas Day."

"Are you going to?"

"Sure, why not?" Teddy started fiddling with a reindeer firework, timing it to start cantering about halfway home. "All bets are off if our neighborhood lunatic shows his face again. She won't be able to get off work at all."

"Do you think he will?"

"Maybe not at Christmas." Teddy reconsidered. "On the other hand, spoiling the holidays for everyone by splashing a gory murder around sounds about his style."

"Do you ever wonder if it could be one of us?"

"Geoff?"

"Not to name any names."

"Has he been going off on it again?"

"Again?" Donzo rolled his eyes. "He never stopped. He wears that bloody tee shirt to sleep in."

"I doubt the murderer would do that."

"It would be a brilliant way to deflect attention, really--act like you just admire the genius of it all."

Teddy thought about it. "He didn't know Goyle was dead when he came to the station. Remember? He guessed it when I said 'bodies.'"

"Oh. Right." Donzo started in on the next door. "He's not the really bad one, anyway. It's some of those littler kids. They're all for declaring a war on the leftover Death Eaters and collaborators. I think they want some glory or something, since they didn't get to fight."

"Ravenclaws are worried about not being in the fight?"

"We have our honor," Donzo said testily. "But mostly, it's the idea. They learn about the war, and they're all fired up to live up to the ideals of chasing out the Death Eaters, only there really aren't any, and they're frustrated. Does that make sense?"

"Not even a little bit."

Donzo twirled his wand, and a smoky figure of Fenrir Greyback floated in front of Teddy's face. Teddy got the point, but Banished it without saying anything.

The next morning, the students boarded the train (with the exception of the handful who chose to remain at school) to a rousing chorus of "The Three Wizards and the Star," and thoughts of murders--or uncomfortable situations with ex-girlfriends--disappeared for the length of the trip. The younger children loved the fireworks, and the older ones played with the doors to try and get them to sing in counterpoint to each other. The witch with the sweets cart wore her crown proudly, and Teddy thought she was slightly Expanding each treat she sold.

As the train pulled in at Platform Nine and Three Quarters, the last firework went off, sending the House mascots gamboling above the waiting crowd. From the window, Teddy caught a glimpse of Lily Potter clapping as she sat on Uncle Harry's shoulders.

He smiled.

Whatever else was happening, he was home.
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Comments
silvery_wraith From: silvery_wraith Date: July 6th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting, about the mallowsweet. I thought you were going for the DM malfunctioning again but this works better.

'Donzo twirled his wand, and a smoky figure of Fenrir Greyback floated in front of Teddy's face. Teddy got the point, but Banished it without saying anything.'

It's so good to see that Donzo and Teddy are close enough to call each other out; especially
on such touchy subjects.

And it's also good to see Teddy pulling pranks, but I thought that the train was heavily guarded? Or is that only when it's at platform 9 3/4?

=D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a good point, especially given that I made a fuss about it. I've had Teddy and Donzo do this before, though, so I need to retcon it, and... hmm. Well, it's hard to get into because the Express is under an extension of Hogwarts security. Teddy and Donzo are already inside those wards.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: July 6th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Any possible influence from the fact that it's cheerful rather than malicious?
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: great segment!

What, you don't think Teddy will have the quiet holiday he's envisioning? ;p
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: July 6th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well done! Like Teddy, I was confused about just what was the vision. But I'm not sure I believe that the Mallowsweet was responsible -- more like Teddy needed the vision and this was a way to make sure he saw it. (But I may be wrong -- I have been before!)


Loved the prank, which is clever, fun, and a welcome change for Teddy, the students, and your readers.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm bad at making up pranks, so I don't write about it much, but this isn't entirely unusual for Teddy and Donzo.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oddly, I'm thinking of an old Batman cartoon where Robin is trying to talk Batman into taking a break for Christmas Eve.

Batman: We've got to protect the city from criminal lowlife.

Robin: The lowlifes are home with their families.

Batman: They don't HAVE families.

Of course, Batman turns out to be mostly wrong (the only lowlife they spot is chasing after a little old lady to return the wallet she dropped). However, Joker escapes from prison, giving Batman something to do - but Robin still manages to get Batman to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" after the excitement's over.

Batman: I've never seen that movie. I couldn't get past the title.

Er, sorry. Not sure what that has to do with Teddy, since Batman is no doubt right on this one. I doubt very much that the lowlife has a family - or, if s/he does, that they're s/he would rather spend quality time with than spend the same time killing people and ruining other people's holidays.

Also, it would be good if someone could find some constructive things to focus the crusader energy of the up and coming generation. Basic rule I learned as a toddler playing blocks with a kid who, even then, was developing a really mean pitching arm - and who seemed to think the only reason anyone built towers out of blocks was so someone else could knock them down: it is always easier - incredibly easier - to tear things down than it is to build them up.

Tearing down is also more exciting, more dramatic, and gives much more immediate results.

It also only leaves you with a pile of blocks.

Years later, science class helped me put it in clearer terms (hey, the block metaphor gave me a way of visualizing what the teacher was talking about and not because I was still carrying around a grudge about the block towers. Really). The energy in the block structure is put in by the builder. The kid knocking it down is only releasing the energy the person who made the tower put into it.

Destruction is an act of theft, then. Its drama results directly from the achievements of the person or persons who made something. When there is nothing significant to destroy, they lack all power to make a statement.

Put another way, the destruction of a human life is mainly significant because there WAS a human life. Someone invested around twenty years in bringing a baby to term and then raising that baby to be an adult. Numerous other people invested time in that child's education and development. That person lived a life, impacting others (for good or ill), shaping their lives.

Then, one day, that comes to a sudden, abrupt end.

Yet we can assume there are numerous, theoretical people who never existed, the child who might have existed if person A had married person B instead of person C, the child who might have existed if parents had decided to have a child a little earlier or a little later instead of the exact time they did, or because there never was a child at all.

We can assume lives would have been different if these people had existed, maybe better, maybe worse, probably not exactly the same as they were without them.

But, how often can we feel their loss? For a person like Teddy, the brothers and sisters he might have had are a very real concept, but that's the exception, not the rule. And how can we be expected to feel a sense of loss if we think that, had this person existed, this person might have been murdered today?

So, someone needs to get to at least some of these kids likely to follow Geoff's influence and get them thinking not about what they wish WASN'T there but about what they wish WAS there, what they to build, not what they want to break down.

Ellen
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 6th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad Teddy's bout with notoriety didn't last too long--unlike Harry's. And I always enjoy your Christmas segments, so I'm looking forward to those!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

hi~ i just found your page!

someone linked your lj from their journal and i had to check it out. *they said you're the best tonks/lupin fanfiction writer in the internet, and they were so right, *a flick on the firelight" was so cute!

the teddy stories are very cool too. i like this one, it's a great mystery.

that prank was sooooo cute. but it looked more like a fun trick than a prank.

cant wait to see the part with christmas!
harrypotter101
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Donzo!

Yeah Donzo! It feels like we hadn't seen him in a while and I was beginning to worry. I love their conversation. You write friendships very well, you know. I also think you're right about the younger kids. But I suppose Geoff will give them a chance to be heroes afterall, huh?
~Karen
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