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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twelve: The Trio, part 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twelve: The Trio, part 2
Teddy is home for Christmas, and learns (via a fondly exasperated Ginny) that since being recused from the Needle's Eye case, Harry, Ron, and Hermione have reverted to school-mode... sneakily trying ot solve the case no matter what the authorities have to say about it. When he goes upstairs to get some homework, he notices that Harry's door is ajar, and he can hear them talking inside. Hermione sees him as he goes past. He apologizes, saying that she forgot to Muffle the conversation, but she says she didn't forget at all, and opens the door and invites him inside.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy hesitated at the door and looked to Uncle Harry.

Uncle Harry looked decidely displeased, but sighed and said, "It's your holiday, Teddy. You don't need to be involved, but..." He sighed. "Come in if you'd like."

Teddy went in.

Hermione shut the door. "I was hoping you'd come by. Harry told us what you saw in the way the victims were killed--Goyle as a bully, Fudge being blind and so on."

"It wasn't seeing, just--"

"Yes, we know you're particular about that word," Ron said, giving him a grin. "Nice article, by the way."

"Does everyone read the Charmer?"

"Everyone with children at Hogwarts," Hermione said, obviously annoyed at the distraction.

"Or apprentices who attach it the walls of their cubicles at work," Ron said.

Teddy groaned, then looked at Hermione. "Is there anything new?"

"Letters to the Prophet," she said.

"I've been reading..."

"Not ones that have been published."

"Rita Skeeter turned over letters?"

Hermione let out a harsh bark of a laugh. "Not likely. We have a mole at the Prophet. I had a feeling we might see some of this, so I had Dennis Creevey start intercepting the post before it got to Rita, since Ginny's not there often enough not to be noticed. I told him to pull out anything suspicious."

"Dennis Creevey?"

"Colin Creevey's brother. He works there."

"I know, but... Colin Creevey died in the war, didn't he? He was a Muggle-born and Runcorn was after them. Wouldn't his brother be, er, a..."

"Suspect?" Uncle Harry finished. "Trust me, it occurred to us. And to Dennis. He came in and gave his alibi without waiting to be asked, like your grandmother did. He and Alicia were actually in Morocco at the time Runcorn died. There are photos, and a lot of witnesses."


"Good thinking, though," Hermione said. "Anyway, I asked Dennis to help us."

"Did the murderer write?"

"I don't know." She pointed her wand at Uncle Harry's desk, and a stack of letters came over. "I wondered if you could pick anything up."

"I can't read objects..."

"You can read, Teddy," she said, smiling faintly. "I'm not a great fan of Divination. I just thought you might see patterns, like you did with Goyle's hands being cut off, or Fudge's eyes being forced open."

Teddy took the letters and started to scan them. It was easy enough to see why Creevey had chosen them; they were quite mad, the lot of them. Most were anonymous. Some were suggesting that God had sent an angel to purge what the corrupt government had allowed to remain, and those were the saner ones. One proposed that Anthony Goldstein was exerting pressure to keep the Death Eaters alive, and another saw a vast international conspiracy, possibly spearheaded by Uncle Harry, being fought by a brave underground fighter. He Summoned a quill and began to circle phrases that jumped out at him amidst the lunacy.

...I stand with this new knight...

...the Ministry is blind, like it was always blind, and finally someone sees...

...We'll drive them out of their dank little holes and this time, they won't get away...

He winced at the last one. It sounded like Geoffrey, but the handwriting wasn't his.

"Did you find something?" Hermione asked.

He shook his head. "No. I've been hearing a lot of this, but I don't think it's our friend. Too impersonal. The murders are personal." He looked up, suddenly remembering that he was speaking to Hermione, not to Ruthless and Donzo. "At least, er, that's what I think."

"I think you're right," Uncle Harry said, taking the letter, "but this is disturbing in itself."

"People have a sovereign right to be disturbing," Hermione said.

Teddy went back to the letters.

Madness, paranoia. A few had tales to tell of the deceased. One was a woman who had lost her child in the St. Mungo's murders after Runcorn had revealed her fraudulent papers, and she raved madly for five pages about dark shadows coming up from the sewers and mighty swords striking down the untrue. Teddy felt sorry for her. She obviously felt persecuted, but nothing she wrote suggested that she'd reached the stage of taking things into her own hands. More than one letter came from people who had to have been in school with Uncle Harry, as they were quite vehement in their belief that Gregory Goyle had no business being employed by Hogwarts anyway, after all the petty torments he'd put them through.

"Goyle?" Ron asked. "He was a lump. He did what Malfoy told him. I don't remember him doing anything on his own."

Teddy waved a handful of letters. "Well, these people do. But they don't say anything about Runcorn or Fudge."

Finally he narrowed it down to seven letters that did mention all three victims. None gave details about the crimes, so there was no real giveaway in them.

"Anything?" Uncle Harry asked.

Teddy frowned. "They all seem to agree that Goyle was in a job he didn't deserve, Fudge's obstructionism aided Voldemort and put Dolores Umbridge in a position of power, and Runcorn was an all-around demon."

"Umbridge, of course," Hermione said. "She was Fudge's right arm, and moved right on to running the trials. And she's in Azkaban where they can't get at her."

"Doesn't make sense of the paddock," Uncle Harry said.

"It put you off the case," Teddy told him, looking at the other letters. "A lot of them are angry at you for not avenging them or whatnot."

"Bloody brilliant," Ron said. "A purge. Why didn't we think of that, Harry? I mean, aside from the fact that we're not complete nutters."

"Who says I didn't think of it?" Uncle Harry muttered.

Teddy looked back at the letters. "A couple of them say things along the line of you doing nothing while people were dying." He stopped, wondering if he'd sounded quite this mad when he and Uncle Harry had been quarreling. He looked up at Uncle Harry guiltily, and Uncle Harry smiled faintly and shook his head. Teddy went back to the letters. "Here's one--it says, 'And now we're here again. The vile murderers are walking the streets, and Harry Potter is doing nothing about it, just as he did nothing while Fudge turned the Ministry into a dictatorship, just as he did nothing while Rufus Scrimgeour whored his reputation out to keep people trusting that institution instead of actually reforming it to fight, and just as he did nothing all year after the Dark Lord took over the Ministry and Hogwarts and began murdering in earnest. Only this time, we're not going to sit and wait for him.'"

"All that doing nothing was very tiring, as I recall," Uncle Harry said dryly.

Teddy held out the letter he'd read from. "I think this one might be him."

"Does it have something about the needle's eye and the camel?" Hermione asked.

"All of them do," Teddy said. "It's a theme."

"Then why this one?" She read it over. "It doesn't say anything about who he's avenging, or what his goals are. It doesn't have any of the details of the murders."

Teddy shrugged. "There's just something about it. Look at the beginning, where he's talking about Runcorn. He--or maybe it's a she--starts off talking about the release of the prisoners. None of the others say anything about that. But this one's obsessed with it. How they're walking the streets. So... isn't that what started it? Runcorn being released?"

"It could have been the trigger," Uncle Harry said. "But Goyle and Fudge weren't locked up, so they were hardly released."

"Once he started, it got easier," Hermione said. "Right, Teddy?"

"I don't know. I'm just guessing."

"What are you guessing?"

Teddy thought about it. "I guess... yes. He waited for Runcorn, but once he'd murdered one person, there wasn't anything stopping him anymore." An image of Greyback, falling back through the fire, bursting into flame, intruded in Teddy's mind. He shut it out. "He tried it once and decided he liked it, so he started in on the others. Even if he had to make up a justification for it."

Hermione got out several scrolls and started making notes in a profile she was writing, and Teddy settled in to a conversation with Ron and Uncle Harry about matters that were deliberately seperate from the murders. ("We always do this," Ron said. "None of wants to go to bed still thinking about this.")

At nearly midnight, Ron and Hermione gathered their sleeping children and left. Teddy ascertained from Granny that they'd be staying here at least until Christmas Day, then went up to James's room, where a camp bed had been set up. James, to his surprise, was still up, writing furiously.

"New story?"

James looked up. "Yeah. Can we go see the illustrations tomorrow? I've been waiting for you." He blinked owlishly, and Teddy realized that they hadn't spent five minutes together since the car.

"We'll go first thing," he said. "I need to do some Christmas shopping, too. Want to come along?"

"You don't have to take me," James said. "I guess you're doing important things with Dad and Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione."

"None of which are Christmas shopping." Teddy grabbed a few finished pages from beside James's hand. "Can I read?"

James grinned and nodded.

Teddy settled into a tale of Martian the cat, who joined his sister Checkmate--who was working on a very important job now--to rescue a redheaded princess named Naomi (Teddy had suggested this name when the princess had first started appearing in James's stories) from an evil troll. James handed him pages as he finished, and Teddy was glad that it was this writing, and not the mad letters, that finally carried him off to sleep.
25 comments or Leave a comment
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: July 14th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's nice to know that Teddy can be useful. I wonder if the trio has gone over the evidence so many times that their eyes are crossing.

I can't wait to read about Teddy and James' book.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure the Trio's eyes are blurring on anything by this point!
mollywheezy From: mollywheezy Date: July 14th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
"People have a sovereign right to be disturbing" is an awesome line, and very, very true. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is. No matter what people are saying, and how creepily insane it is, I guess everyone has the right to be crazy, as long as it doesn't cross over into violence and depriving others of their rights to their own crazinesses. (Your right to insanity stops at my straightjacket, I guess. ;p)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 14th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
As a frequent reader of murder mysteries, I'm getting increasingly interested in finding out who's behind these killings. Enjoy seeing Teddy getting more respect from the adults in his life.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've never written one, and I'm reading comments to see where I need to shore up alibis and so on... I know who did it--I wasn't sure for a while--but now I've got to make sure the motives are sufficient so that people will say, "Well, sure" when it comes out without being so obvious that they say it before then. It's hard!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I can safely say that you're right, it's not Barty. ;p
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: July 14th, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the trio in this and the fact that they do still act as they did in school sometimes. James waiting for his Teddy is so cute and I can just imagine how frustrating it would be that something as big as being published (especially when you are eleven or ten) was being ignored by the person you expected to share the victory. I love all your family dynamics.

I hope Harry isn't going to become a target for this murderer!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
He may already be a target, but not necessarily as a murder victim. His reputation is taking a savaging, judging by the letters.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: July 14th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Naomi", eh? Teddy must be subconsciously catching on to James's subconscious crush on a certain redheaded lass....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think it's Teddy's subconscious here; I think he was teasing in a deliberate (if, to James, obscure) way. Later, he may have trouble making the transition to, "Wait a minute... it's for real?" But he's ascertained that there's a little harmless crushing going on. ;p
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: July 14th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really enjoying the mystery here - and you write the Trio very well.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I don't write them much, but I do love them.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: July 14th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

plot bunny sprung by murderer methods....

while not entirely... i'm not going to write a murder mystery, I don't have the stomach to do it. ;p

but it got me thinking about death related to personal actions/consequences.

there this idea that related to both real life and fiction. every action has a reaction or consequence. if one action is prevented another one happens.

kind of like how JKR was going to kill Arthur in order of phoenix but didn't because off how that would have affected Ron's character.

and because Arthur didn't died, someone else had to.

for some reason reading about this murderer that takes down people by their actions (goyle= bully= cut off hands, etc).

it got me thinking on this fic i been wanting to write that runs on that idea.

basically some of the characters that died survived but there are consequences.

like I already pinned down Tonks surviving but not being able to have any more children. (I was thinking of her loosing her metamorphomagus ability entirely but that seem too extreme a price, not to mention a bit impossible given how the hp world works).

other things i thought off is someone Else dying in their place. (it has to be a character off equal importance yet someone that is not mentioned as being sure alive in the epilogue) or some sort of character-related body injury (again, like Tonks not being able to have any more children).

i can't figure out how to do it with Remus, Hedwig and Fred.

Fred for sure I have him ending sterile and not having children of his own (as per cannon). and also maybe loosing an arm or leg.

Hedwig, my initial idea was for her to end up blind and/or not being able to fly again. but that form of personal price is too cruel. so something else would have to die in her place, and i'm guessing it should be an animal or a pet.

Remus I just have no idea what personal price or "person who dies instead of him" could be.

so suggestions?

It's not a fic I probably will post since I don't like posting stuff online until i finish it, If I ever finish it.

oh another thing.
one of the consequences I have written down for Both Remus and Tonks is for them to be in a sort of "exile" from Teddy till he is older say... 11-15. then they are able to go an see him.

but i can't figure out how to do it if both of them survive.

I mean obviously they are declared "missing in action" so no one is sure if they are alive or not. but they survive.

any thoughts?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: plot bunny sprung by murderer methods....


Could work. I find JKR's "balance" thing unconvincing, because there's nothing internal to the story that suggests the scales. I can see that it would have been a very bad thing for the story if Arthur died, but there's no real payoff to Remus dying in his stead--it's gratuitous and unrelated, except in JKR's desire to have an orphan to mirror against Harry... which itself didn't have much of a payoff in the epilogue. I mean, if the whole epilogue had been about Harry taking Teddy to the train and Teddy being happy despite everything because of all that Harry had been able to provide him in terms of love... then it would sort of make sense. But since he was tangential to the epilogue, what possible difference did it make to orphan him in the last few pages? The substance of the story would be no different if he'd been there to wave goodbye to his dad, who was going off for his first year as headmaster.

But if you want to create a world where that sort of magic really does balance out, it's often a good story. (There was a movie out last year with Cameron Diaz called "The Box," with that sort of an ethical twist.)
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: July 14th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: plot bunny sprung by murderer methods....

Thanks. thanks for the movie recommendation too, i heard of it but haven't see it yet.

so does it make more sense for someone to die for them, or for them to lose something?

i'm really stuck on hedwig.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 15th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: plot bunny sprung by murderer methods....

I haven't seen it, either--not so much a rec as "Oh, I know a version of this story." (The root story is "The Monkey's Paw.")

As to how to work your story? I don't know--if they're aware, you'd probably want to stay away from someone else dying; it would be a hard sell to convince HP readers that Tonks and Remus would knowingly switch their lives for someone else's. If they don't know, then how would you work it in?
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 15th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: plot bunny sprung by murderer methods....

thanks for the rec anyway, now the second one.

okay, I wasn't too intended on the "killing someone off instead of them" *I mean in the story the point is that lives Can be saved).

well, except on the case of Hedwig. in that case, I been writing some more, and the choices ALWAYS end up in either Maimed Hedwig, Or some other animal dying. and i really don't think maimed hedwig is a good trade-off off dying.

so far i'm thinking Fang dying. *because he's old or he gets killed*

Tonks not having more babies than teddy, seemed fair.

Lupin... well, i can't do anything about the lychantropy. so no idea of a trade-off.

and Fred, is stuck in one of three options A. he looses an eye *to match up George loosing an year in a twisted way of "see o evil, hear no evil...", or B. he looses an arm or leg.


etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: July 14th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy hesitated at the door and looked to Uncle Harry.

Uncle Harry looked decidely displeased, but sighed and said, "It's your holiday, Teddy. You don't need to be involved, but..." He sighed. "Come in if you'd like."

Teddy went in.

Of course Teddy went in! I can't think of any young person who wouldn't, and Teddy is already so involved...

Thanks for the lighter scene at the end -- it's good for Teddy to remember that there's more to his life than school and this case.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy might have felt a little discomfort at going in, given that Aunt Ginny apparently doesn't feel all that welcome, but still... being invited to participate in a Trio scheme...

it's good for Teddy to remember that there's more to his life than school and this case
He also needs to remember that he's someone's big brother, and that has responsibilities as much as being a soon-to-be Unspeakable does. It does no one any good to forget to be a mensch.

Edited at 2010-07-14 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 15th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

makes me wonder why....

why Ginny wasn't included?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 15th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: makes me wonder why....

I doubt it was deliberate. They fell into a pattern, and so did she.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 15th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
"Or apprentices who attach it the walls of their cubicles at work," Ron said.

Probably should be 'attach it to the walls'.

OH MY GOD. PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID. *RAGES* It always got me so angry when reading HP how, FICKLE, everyone was. The entirety of Hogwarts and the Wizarding World would hate or love Harry depending on the month, usually for the stupidest ficklest reasons. When Harry Potter did nothing when Fudge made the Ministry a dictatorship? HE WAS 15 AND IN SCHOOL! What was he SUPPOSED to do? He was having quite a time dealing with Umbridge and her, evil! AGHHHH!

(Aka- Awesome writing, great characterization, I'm going to rant in the corner some more.)

I really think Rita's gonna be next, by the way. To which, well, poor Honoria....
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 16th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)

The bestest TRIO plus one...

Hello Fern, I want again to say how much I love your stories and I'm thrilled to read your mystery and I LOVE your chapters when they feature Harry and co. so I was pleased when you had named this one: The Trio!

Hmmm just thought I'd point out a tiny error here too.

"None of wants to go to bed still thinking about this."

I do believe there is an 'us' that's missing here.

"None of US wants to go to bed still thinking about this."

Thank you for the lovely chapterlet addition. They make me smile.

kanga_tigger From: kanga_tigger Date: July 18th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay. I got into my LJ, well done me. Thanks for the tips last time, I'm beginning to wade through your snippets and everything, very enjoyable. Do you still do requests etc?

Really enjoyed the chapter, it had a nice balance with Teddy's slide into grown up land, much to Harry's unease (looking forward to some almost Remus-style freak out on Harry's part as Teddy really does grow up) and then finishing with his all important big brother duties.

Having just finished Shifts and Shades I'm missing Dora and Remus quite a lot now.

Look forward to the next update.
25 comments or Leave a comment