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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twelve: The Trio, part 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twelve: The Trio, part 1
Before Honoria interrupted the story with stories, Teddy had just arrived back for Christmas, and is very glad to be home, no matter what else is going on.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far






Being tall was an advantage at King's Cross, and Teddy used it to wade through the crowd to where Uncle Harry, Lily, and James were all waiting. They were harder to find, as, at some point, Lily had come down from Uncle Harry's shoulders, leaving them well below the average head in the crowd. Maurice--who was not height-advantaged--followed him, dragging Wendell along, hoping that Teddy would spot their parents on the way.

"Sorry," Teddy said. "I didn't see them."

"Who are you looking for?" Uncle Harry asked.

"My mum and dad," Maurice said.

"Maybe they forgot," Wendell suggested.

"No, we didn't forget!"

Teddy looked over his shoulder and saw the Burkes, winding through the crowd with pleased smiles on their faces. Henry looked like an older version of Maurice--dark-haired and sharp-faced, with thin and pale lips and small dark eyes. Salvina was wispy and pale, with silvery blond hair that made Teddy wonder if she might be related to the Malfoys on one line or another. She ran forward and hugged Maurice enthusiastically (Maurice looked like a martyr being dragged to his death), then turned her attention on Wendell, who took it better.

"It's a good thing you have tall friends," Henry said, shaking Maurice's hand vigorously. "I spotted Teddy and wondered if you were there." He noticed Uncle Harry for the first time and nodded with nervous politeness. "Mr. Potter. I, er... it's good to see you again. Happy Christmas." He held out his hand.

Uncle Harry shook it. "Well, it's certainly a happier circumstance this time. We're having a bit of a welcome home party back at my home tonight, if your family would care to join us."

"Er... No, thank you. Really." Mr. Burke looked a little embarrassed. "That is, we haven't had either of the boys for so long that we'd like to get the flat filled as soon as we can."

Uncle Harry laughed, and gave Lily a little hug. "I understand completely. When all of mine are off at school, I think I'll need to borrow the neighbors' children just to keep from going spare."

"But Teddy will be back by then," Lily said. "He can keep you company."

"Teddy will be a grown-up by then, Lily," James said, then looked at Uncle Harry in his most helpful way. "Maybe he'll have children you could borrow," he suggested.

Uncle Harry looked as green as Teddy felt and said, "Let's not rush things, James."

"And on that note," Mr. Burke said, looking just as spooked, which at least seemed to break the nervousness, "I think I shall bring my boys home while they are still boys. Even if one of them is of age."

Teddy and Maurice said a quick goodbye, and Lily grabbed Teddy's hand happily (James gave him a manly nod, and merely stuck close by). Teddy Charmed his trunk to follow the family as they left the station. "Where's Granny?"

"Al has a miserable cold," Uncle Harry said. "She's been looking after him, and he was quite emphatic that Dad was expendable, but he had to have his Grannydromeda." They got outside and headed for the car. "She's gloating, I think. When you were small, you always wanted me to be the one to stay home."

"Well, she wasn't nearly as good at dragon-hunting." They reached the car, and Teddy put his trunk in the boot. "What about Aunt Ginny?"

"Oh, everyone's at the house; she and Ron and Hermione are setting up the party." He got Lily and James secured in the car, and went around to sit behind the wheel. He would have looked odd, had anyone been paying attention, as he had no keys--he just tapped the ignition with his wand and the car drove itself toward Grimmauld Place, leaving him free to talk. "I've been getting my edition of the Charmer."

"Oh, God."

He laughed.

James leaned forward and stuck his head between the front seats. "I read the story about you. You didn't say anything about the book!"

"A pen name isn't going to do us much good if we tell everyone about it."

"Oh." James frowned. "Well, I guess it's more fun that way. Like a secret identity."

"It's a Marauder name."

"No it isn't. A Marauder name would be something like 'Quills' or 'Scribbler.' 'Jim Wolf' is just a secret name."

"That's a good point. Are you sure you want to keep it secret? If you don't, I suppose we could just--"

"No, secrets are good."

"Secrets are stupid," Lily opined from behind Uncle Harry's seat.

James turned to glare at her. "They are not."

"It depends on the secret," Uncle Harry said calmly, "so you're both right and needn't argue."

This averted a quarrel for perhaps ten seconds, when Lily expanded her thought to say that secret writing names were stupid, and James countered that she didn't know anything about anything, and started angrily listing famous pseudonymous authors, both Muggle and magical. Uncle Harry rolled his eyes and let them at it. He waved his wand and muttered, "Muffliato," then looked at Teddy. "I think they actually like arguing," he said. "I don't understand it, but I can't seem to stop them."

Teddy, whose only experience of family close to his own age was with the older Weasley girls, just shrugged. Victoire and Marie seemed to spend half their time screaming at one another as well, and it didn't make any more sense to him.

They got to Grimmauld Place only a minute later. Teddy sent his trunk ahead to the house without bothering to take it out of the boot, and snatched up Lily in the middle of a trenchant point about James's unsatisfactory grooming habits. "Can we let it go for now?" he asked. "I've heard a rumor of a party."

Lily stuck her tongue out at James once, then said, "Fine."

"Good," Teddy said, and put her down. He took her hand as they crossed the square to the house. James pulled one of her pigtails, then she took his hand with her free one, and let them swing her over a garden gnome by the gate (Teddy crouched to keep them at a somewhat closer height for this).

Inside, Teddy was pummeled by small Weasleys--Freddie, Rosie, and Hugo--and greeted from a distance by Al, who looked down from the second floor and waved. Steam was coming from his ears and his nose was bright red. Granny tightened a blanket around him and came downstairs to throw her arms around Teddy.

"Oh, it's so good to see you! Dear God, you look like your father these days... right down to the robes, what on earth have you been doing? You can afford some decent robes. How's school? Happy Christmas!"

Teddy laughed and hugged her. "I've missed you, too, Granny. My robes aren't that bad."

She frowned. "Teddy, they look like you've been scrubbing floors on your knees in them. And they're too short." She shook her head. "Oh, never mind, you look wonderful!" She hugged him again.

Teddy, now self-conscious about his robes (they had a few frayed spots from various school scrapes, and he hadn't thought anything of them this morning, but now they looked horrible), went upstairs to change into jeans, and by the time he got down, dinner was served. Rosie, who had obviously been reading the newspapers, tried to bring up the Needle's Eye case (she wanted to know how it was at Hogwarts after Fudge's body was found), but Hermione shushed her. Ron and Uncle Harry looked uneasy.

George and his family left after supper, and Teddy helped Aunt Ginny in the kitchen. He assumed Ron and Hermione would go as well, but when he finished up, the Potter and Weasley cousins were deeply involved in a long game, and showed no signs of even getting ready for bed. Granny was lazily Conjuring monsters for them to defeat while she read an old book from the parlor.

Aunt Ginny watched them for a minute, looked around the room, then rolled her eyes.

"What is it?" Teddy asked.

"The three of them," she said. "Honestly, being off the case has them acting like they're back at Hogwarts, trying to get around Snape to win the day."

"They're working the case?"

"Every time they're together."

"I'm surprised you're not in the thick of it."

She pushed a thick curtain of red hair behind her ear and sat down. "You know your godfather, Teddy. He's going to do things his way." She smirked. "Though I'm half tempted to hunt up Neville and Luna and see if we can beat them to it."

Teddy smiled and went upstairs, meaning to get some homework from his trunk. He wasn't sure if he and Granny would be staying with the Potters this holiday--it had become something of a habit, but it wasn't set in stone--but he could at least use the time to get started on his History of Magic assignment. He'd need to find people to interview. Hermione might be able to help there, as she'd worked with rehabilitating some of the wandless after the war, but he still wanted to avoid using family connections as much as was humanly possible, given his family in the era he was studying. There were others, too, and it was as good a time as any to start the list of who he'd want to talk to, and--

The door to Uncle Harry's study was ajar.

"..and that's what I keep coming back to," Uncle Harry was saying. "I trust everyone's alibis. Everyone who makes even a little bit of sense. There's not a hole in any of them."

"Then it must be someone who doesn't make sense," Ron said. "I mean, someone who'll make sense later, I reckon, but no one we'd think of."

Teddy saw a flash of Hermione's frizzy brown hair as she passed the door, headed for Uncle Harry's bookshelf. "There's got to be--" She stopped, and leaned back, a brown eye appearing in the thin edge of the open door. "Teddy!" she said.

"Sorry," he said. "You forgot the Muffling Charm."

She opened the door. "No, I didn't. Come in."
28 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: July 12th, 2010 10:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Huzzah for adults who have learned from their own experiences, and aren't shutting Teddy out due to his age. I look forward to seeing the four of them interact!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2010 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Me, too--I'm not sure how it's going to work!
sannalim From: sannalim Date: July 12th, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Though I'm half tempted to hunt up Neville and Luna and see if we can beat them to it."
hahahahaha!

I realize that this story is only about half-finished -- but after it's done, will you be ready to write "Safe"? I've been re-reading "Deathly Hallows", and you've given us so many clues about "Safe" in Teddy's stories that I'm getting anxious to read the "behind-the-scenes" story of DH. :)

Also, I never quite got around to reading "The Clue in the Cauldron" -- do you have a summary/table of contents page for that story?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Safe isn't going to happen. I think I'll cover most of its events in some way here, but since it would end up broken off with no resolution at all, the Teddy stories really are the replacement for Safe.

ETA: No TOC page (yet), but I tagged all of those. They're in backward order here.

Edited at 2010-07-13 06:45 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 13th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

what is Safe?

i know "Strays" is for goblet of fire, "Shift" was for order of phoenix, and "Shades" was for half blood prince...

so what was "Safe" for? Deathly Hallows or prisoner of Azkaban?

~A
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 16th, 2010 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: what is Safe?

Deathly Hallows!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: July 12th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, the trio are back! There's going to be some nostalgia, then...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Most likely!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 12th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always enjoy your Christmas sequence and this looks like another winner. Teddy being invited in on a Trio meeting shows that the older generation really is accepting him as an adult.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry will probably have more trouble with that than Ron and Hermione will.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: July 12th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the family dynamics of the Potter-Weasley-Granger-Lupin family Christmas, and Harry and Teddy's confusion about sibling squabbling is a fun note in the middle of all the bustle. I know parents who were only children themselves who have exactly this reaction. Bless the Trio for inviting Teddy to work with them!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I think one of the reasons I find Teddy easier to write than James is his only-ness. As an only myself, I find it easier to write siblings in observation than in their point of view.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 12th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if Fudge was targeted BECAUSE it would push Harry, Hermione, and Ron out of the case?

I doubt it, actually. Or I doubt it in the sense of a murderer reasonably thinking things out and planning the crimes in a way that added an extra precaution. That kind of move would require a sort of practical sense and an equally practical, reasoning understanding of how the police should respond. This killer's running on too much emotion and anger.

A killer like that might want to push the trio back to being a sort of freelance operation who definitely worked outside the proper channels, but I don't think that's likely. That would be the move of someone close to them, and I think they would have noticed the signs. If nothing else, if this was a person trying to force them back into a semi-idealized hero state and who understood this was a way to do it, it would be someone they interacted with often enough that the person could see the change in their adult selves from their juvenile selves and to have commented on it. This would be the kind of person who would have first tried to talk to them and tell them they should be more of their old, idealized selves.

In other words, there would have been enough hints that they would have at least checked out this person.

So, cross off Colin Creevey's little brother.

Lucius Malfoy isn't all there anymore and might have some kind of insane ideas of restoring his family's honor by attacking the remains of the old regime, but the victims don't fit him. He'd be unlikely to attack one of his son's friends (Goyle), and the nature of the attack doesn't fit how he was likely to have thought of Goyle. Fudge would make a reasonable first target but not #3 - and the hippogriff yard doesn't make sense for Lucius at all. The Buckbeak thing was relatively minor from Lucius' POV and would have been in the middle of a long acquaintanceship with Fudge with a lot more, high profile events. If he was going to pick a "reminder" of events he associated with Fudge AND Harry Potter, he would be much more likely to think of things during Harry's second year. Runcorn doesn't make sense for him at all, especially as a first victim.

Although I am guessing that Narcissa's fading has something to do with what's going on. I don't see her as the killer either, even if she's doing some kind of unconscious, astral traveling/homicidal attacks. She might have stronger feelings about a place where Draco was hurt - especially if she'd really believed he was badly injured - but, then, why go after Fudge and put his body there? He'd tried to "avenge" Draco. If she had something against him, his body would have been somewhere else.

Ditto Goyle. I really can't see Narcissa going after someone she would have known since he was a child who was strongly associated with her son.

A loyal Voldemort servant who'd helped target mothers and children is something I can see her reacting to, but that's about it.

Maybe the killer is a Muggle or a Squib? Maybe a person without magic could get by magical defenses in a way a wizard or witch couldn't? Like a nonconducting material being safe around something with a charge?

Ideas I will go with -

1. A good knowledge of curses, cursed objects, or Dark Magic of the sort you're only likely to get from a certain store will play an important role.

2. The forced aborions at St. Mungo's are somehow connected.

3. It's someone we wouldn't expect.

Actually, Rita Skeeter might be a good guess. She was responsible for the first body being found (indirectly). She interacted with a lot of Slytherins close to Draco during Harry's fourth year and possibly later. She'd know enough about Harry to know how putting Fudge where he was found would play out.

But, I don't think she'd be this ruthless and insane just to get/create a story, which is the only motive that seems to fit her.

Ellen
spellcoats From: spellcoats Date: July 12th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe a person without magic could get by magical defenses in a way a wizard or witch couldn't?

Hogwarts has security spells that turn non-magic folk away without making them realize. That's why Daniel had to wear that amulet in Daedalus Maze (at least, that's what I assumed). And any magical device a Muggle might be wearing to keep him or her from being misdirected would likely have left traces that could be picked up.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 12th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I remember and I remember the Muggle repelling spells from the books.

But, if you think of people who can use magic as being "conductors," like electric wires, and Muggles and Squibs as being "nonconductors," like insulation around the wires, then it stands to reason that a Muggle or Squib _might_ be able to use a method that a wizard or witch either couldn't or would find extremely difficult, once we get past what's the main barrier for them, magical defenses that mislead people without magical ability. You have one, primary defense for them. If that defense can be passed, the remaining defenses are designed for a different threat.

So, in theory, if you had something that interfered with magical energies, a wizard would be unable to use it but a Muggle could.

Or maybe not. The biological theory of magic I usually go with is that magic is a naturally occurring energy that all living things create or metabolize. Most creatures just shunt off the extra energy and/or waste (rather like how our bodies get rid of excess water but also use water to help carry out other wastes). Wizards, on the other hand, have the ability to store this energy and focus its use when they expell it. By that theory, a Muggle would still be a conductor, just one with limited ability to use the energy.

Ellen
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 12th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are we sure Squibs can't see Hogwarts? Isn't there reason to suspect that Filch is a squib? I tend to lean away from it being a Squib, because I think it has to be someone we know, and we don't know that many squibs. But if it is a squib, I think it's a man, because of the physical strength involved in the placement of the bodies (particularly Runcorn's). ~Karen

Also, loving the whole extended Potter clan.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 13th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
If I remember correctly, Rowling said Mrs. Figg lied about being able to see the Dementors and clarified that Squibs are just like Muggles, although they know about the magical world and often have access to magical objects that don't require magic to be used.

Of course, depending on the nature of the spell on Hogwarts, Filch would either have a talisman or the spell was specific enough to target actual Muggles (like Hermione's spelled membership sheet for Dumbledore's Army. All the people who signed were more or less the same in biological terms. The curse only activated on one who met further criteria).

Side thing, but (since we're talking about Squibs) I suppose I'm not the only person to notice that, on the old TV show "Nanny and the Professor," the magical Fifi Figalilly had an aunt Arabella who was about the only named member of her magical family to never actually appear?

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
All interesting ideas. I'm not responding with any hints, though! ;p
spellcoats From: spellcoats Date: July 12th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Methinks Mr. Potter isn't ready to be Great-Uncle Harry yet.

You know, now that I think about it--was there any reasoning for how Honoria's ordering the profiles past Teddy's? I couldn't see a pattern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahem. In the order of "The four who've been written about most," followed by Houses. I think she'd justify it as "those four boys who are always into something," and meant to write in little groups like that, but will ultimately decide to just do the remainder of the Houses together--the four 'Puffs, then the remaining four 'Claws, then the last three Slyths, culminating with her self-profile.
spellcoats From: spellcoats Date: July 13th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oddly, Geoffrey's is the next one I'm most looking forward to reading. It should be...interesting.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 13th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
ooo, exciting. I've never followed a story as it is being written before...although I have faith you will finish looking through the rest of your work.

I have fallen in love with your universe (which is the canon-verse really I suppose).

My affinity with Remus is strongest and I rarely (never?) latch onto another character as strongly as him but I have here with Teddy. Must be the excellent characterisation and intrigueing and very clever storylines.

Oh! And I also have developed some sort of mad crush on Uncle Harry, I think its the sort of delight he takes in Teddy and his family, the stress/exhaustion from his job and worrying about teddy. Either way, do you have or write fluff-moments? You know random moments of interaction which serve no purpose? - particularly a moment from the parts of Teddy's life we haven't seen, before he went to Hogwarts. I particularly liked the mention of Al preferring Grannydromeda and Teddy preferring Harry when they're not very well. I like the interaction of characters you get when one of them is ill, I'd love to see how you'd write a scene like that.

I also admire the way you deal with the war in the past and threats which are currently going on. It's a nice balance between the threat and fear etc and lighter moments, which is usually expressed in Teddy's thoughts.

I'm also enjoying your take on magic itself and the explanations you give. I'd be interested in seeing more Metamorphmagery/magical investigation into it etc...

Thats aboout all I can think of at the moment, will go try and remember how to get into my LJ now I think and then go through Shades and Shifts while I wait for an update.

Thanks!
kangaroo
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 15th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Go through Fern's past lj posts and look for the challenge calls, when people ask for to write prompts. There are TONS of little Teddy stories and just, well, more or less anything imaginable really :).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 15th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I have them tagged here, so it's simpler! ;p
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 15th, 2010 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
(Well, you know, there are fics of yours you haven't tagged :P.)
(This is not said out of weird obsession as having noticed, really...)

Actually speaking of, weird obsession, I've been re reading the HP books and when I'm done with them I want to re read your fics (cus I basically count them as canon) and was thinking how very much I wish I could put Shifts and Shades and the Teddy stories on my bookshelf next to, you know, Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows and whatnot. And then I remembered about those publish-your-own-books-yourself companies, I have a few friends who have done it. You know, you give them the documents and they give you back a book.

This is a very odd request, and I completely understand- and actually kind of expect it- if the answer is no, but do you think I could possibly, well, do that with the Teddy/Shifts verse stories? It'd obviously just be for myself and my silliness (though if you want I could send you along a copy :) ) and, ya.

But if not, well of course not, it's silly.

*Slinks away feeling weird*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 15th, 2010 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd prefer not, really. I'm just not sure about the legal angles, and fanfic's iffy enough.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 16th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gotcha :).
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 15th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I love that the trio are back to their antics :D. And that they're letting Teddy in on it :D.

Question though- shouldn't Teddy have been in muggle clothes when he arrived at Grimmauld Place, since they need to be in muggle clothes when they get to the station to not attract attention and all? o_0
28 comments or Leave a comment