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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Fifteen: The New Normal, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Fifteen: The New Normal, pt. 1
Although Maurice's family (along with Mr. Borgin) was killed inside Borgin and Burke's, Maurice insists on going there the next morning with Teddy. Teddy doesn't understand this at all, but goes along with it. Andromeda has told him that Maurice will need to find a "new normal" now, and that apparently includes the shop, which Maurice has vowed to re-open when the Aurors finish with it... explicitly to spite the murderer. This may, however, not be as easy as it should be, as when they get there, he takes Teddy and an Auror--Anthony Goldstein--upstairs. He finds a book of Borgin's full of "forgotten magic," and Teddy is looking with horror at a spell, and doesn't notice Maurice Summon a knife.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far



"Teddy!"

Teddy turned his head at the sound of Goldstein's voice and saw the knife fly into Maurice's hand. Maurice raised it at him, and pointed a wand at Goldstein with the other hand, freezing the Auror, whose concern had apparently got his guard down.

Teddy stood his ground and opened his arms, exposing his chest to the blade.

Maurice stopped. "Teddy, I'm sorry, I'm not going to kill you, but an orphan's blood... it won't work if it's mine... it can't be offered."

"I know," Teddy said, standing still. "I read the spell."

"It has to be taken. It won't work if you give it to me."

"I know."

"Teddy! Couldn't you fight, just a little?"

Teddy shook his head. "No. I'm a willing participant."

"But it won't... Teddy, please... I can't..." The knife fell from Maurice's hand, and he crumpled to the floor, weeping. "It won't work that way..."

Teddy went to him and put an arm over his shoulders. "I know, Maurice. I know. And I won't let it work. I won't let you do that to yourself."

"My p-par... my father! My mum!"

"I know, Maurice."

"They didn't do anything. Dad was a bookkeeper! Mum c-cleaned houses! Why?" He put his hands over his face. "God, Teddy, what am I supposed to do? He got away, this can find him!"

Teddy looked at Goldstein, and prodded Maurice to undo the spell.

Goldstein came over. "We'll find him, Mr. Burke," he said. "We'll put him away."

"Just don't put me in the cell next to him," Maurice said, wiping his face viciously.

"There'll be no cell for you," Goldstein said. "I didn't see a thing."

"Nothing to see," Teddy agreed.

Maurice crawled over to the cupboards, leaned against them, and cried quietly against his crossed arms.

Teddy stood up and went to Goldstein. "He's not going to do anything else."

"I know."

"Can I talk to him privately?"

"Somewhere else might be a better place for it. I can't leave anyone alone in here until we have everything catalogued."

Teddy nodded, and went back to Maurice. It took a few minutes to get him to his feet, but once he was standing, he quietly allowed Teddy to lead him outside, up Knockturn Alley, then to the first safe place he came to--the Charmpress office. Frankie stood up behind the front desk when they came in, and, without saying a word, led them into the inner office, where Daffy had several quills set to copying out a text (it wasn't Martian's Mistake, but that was all Teddy was sure of). Daffy Conjured a pair of chairs.

"Stay as long as you like," he said, and ducked out front, carrying a pile of mail with him.

Frankie hovered in the door. "Burke," he said, "what do you need?"

Maurice shook his head and said, "I don't know. Could you call Don? And maybe Corky?"

Frankie left, and closed the door.

"They'll have lunch for you," Teddy said. "And every friend they can find."

Maurice managed a ghastly smile, and said, "I know. Thanks." He took a shaky breath. "Teddy, I have to do something."

"Trust me, I know."

"What, then?"

Teddy shook his head. "I can't answer that. You have to do what's right by them. And you know they wouldn't want you using spells out of Borgin's book."

"I know. But I... I can't seem to think."

"Of course you can't right now. But you will."

During the next fifteen minutes, Maurice managed to get some control of his crying, and Frankie, true to form, brought in everyone who cared about Maurice that he could find. Donzo took over comforting, and Corky, who'd flooed in this morning when he'd got the news, organized Tinny, Honoria, Roger, Laura, and Jane into a crew to get the Burke flat in order and cover up the window that faced out on the shop. He sent back a Patronus when it was ready, and Teddy and Donzo brought Maurice back there, ostensibly to gather his things, mainly to get him to somewhere more private than a publishing house. Frankie followed with a large lunch that Tinny's parents had made.

"Thanks, everyone," Maurice said, when he'd got his school trunk and Wendell's packed and sent on to Granny's. "There are things I need to do. I don't know exactly how..."

"We'll take care of... you know," Donzo offered.

"The burial," Teddy clarified.

Maurice shook his head. "No. That's something to think about. I'll do it. I can do that. But I don't know if they have a... a place for it."

"They do."

Everyone looked up. Ruthless was standing in the door, not quite crossing the threshold. She had a scroll in her hand.

"Ruth," Maurice said. "Come in."

"I--"

"Come in."

She entered tentatively. "They, er... they had a will. And there's property. For burying them. In Godric's Hollow." She held out the scroll, and looked away. "I was going to tell Goldstein to bring it, but--"

Maurice stood and went to her slowly. He took the scroll, then put his hand on her chin and turned her face toward him.

"I'm sorry," she said.

"The bastard went after you, too," he said.

She nodded miserably. "But--"

"And you're going to get him, aren't you?"

She straightened her shoulders and said, "If I have to chase him into hell."

He nodded. "Invite me along if I won't slow you down."

After that, he invited her to help them finish eating the prodigious amount of food the Gudgeons had sent--he barely touched it himself--and they all settled into a silent, somber lunch. When they'd finished, they all went back to Granny's together (except for Ruthless, who was on duty and was fierce about getting back to the search), and Granny helped Maurice through the logistics of what would come next.

She seemed to understand his need to focus on minutiae, as, over the next few days, she piled minor tasks onto him--headstone inscriptions, liturgical texts, the business of the funeral... anything that kept him busy. This left Teddy caring for Wendell, who simply wanted to be allowed to cry when he wanted to and sleep the rest of the time.

The funeral was on Wednesday morning. Uncle Harry kept out the press, except for Rita Skeeter (who attended as a friend, but hadn't forgotten her quill), and the eulogy, though Maurice wrote it, was delivered by Corky, since, at the end of all the work, Maurice had found himself unable to speak clearly. After the funeral, they proceeded to the graveside, where the bodies were magically interred. A stone arc grew from the head of each grave, and they twined together like vines--or snakes--in the middle. Beneath the new arch, a stone bench appeared with the Burkes' names on it and the Biblical inscription, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."

After it was over, Donzo and Corky led the Burkes away. Teddy remained in the churchyard. He rarely came here--his parents were more real to him in his dreams, in the portraits, in the memories stored in Dad's ring, then they were here, in the place where their bones lay quietly beneath the earth.

But he was here, so he walked through the churchyard, past the war memorial, to the unremarkable row of graves where both his parents and Uncle Harry's were buried, side by side. The Potters' grave was occasionally visited by tourists, but not often; a fall of rotted roses lay at the base, and Teddy cleared it away absently. He squatted down in front of his parents' stone and touched the cold marble. It was engraved with their names and two verses--Uncle Harry had chosen "For Thou art with me" and Granny, much more like Maurice, had picked "Justice, Justice shall ye pursue." Teddy wasn't sure which one he'd have chosen himself. Maybe the one about honoring thy father and thy mother.

He sighed and cleared away some weeds that had grown, one of which was partially obscuring Dad's name. "I should come here more," he said. "Keep it clean, at least."

There was no answer. He could feel Death hovering here, but not Mum and Dad.

"Could you help me help him?" he asked anyway. "And... Mum, give them a hand--Maurice's parents, I mean--on the other side? I don't reckon they're any happier than their sons are about being taken away. They could use some Hufflepuff... kindness, I suppose."

A hand fell heavily on his shoulder, and he looked up to see Uncle Harry. Uncle Harry smiled faintly. "There's kindness," he said.

Teddy stood up. "I guess you'd know." He pointed at the graves. "I cleaned up a little."

"I should do that sometimes," Uncle Harry said, then grimaced. "I hate it here."

"So do I."

"Don't bury me here."

"I'm not burying you at all."

Uncle Harry stopped. "I'm sorry, Teddy. I shouldn't have brought that up today. Just... being here."

"I know," Teddy said.

"Are you going back to school when the train leaves on Friday?"

Teddy nodded. "Yes. But I'm going to work it out with Sprout to tutor Maurice through his N.E.W.T.s, so I'll be back. Granny's going to send Wendell along as soon as she thinks he can face it."

Uncle Harry looked at Mum and Dad's grave. "Your dad thought you'd have a happier world. He fought so you'd have a happier world. Look at this mess I've let happen."

Teddy turned to him. "Uncle Harry, there's no war. The war is over, and that's what he wanted. That's what they fought for. Sam Cresswell wanted to start it again. But you're not going to let him."

"Of course not," Uncle Harry said. "No one wants that."

But as the shock faded over the next two weeks, the latter part at least was proved wrong.
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Comments
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Whoo first comment!

I wasn't sure what Maurice was up to until Teddy figured out how to respond. ;p

Harry never should have become an Auror--he's bound to be very frustrated after he gave the last measure (literally, as he died) to stop this stuff, but, humans being human, it didn't stop.
sophiap From: sophiap Date: August 8th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, poor Maurice. That was heartbreaking.

I'm a bit worried about what your concluding sentences imply. I have a nasty feeling that Geoffrey (it is Geoffrey, right?) is going to say something that will NOT go over well with his classmates.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geoff may not be the only one out there harboring those "sow the ground with salt" urges.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 8th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Maurice--relieved that Teddy was able to defuse that dangerous impulse, and glad to see Maurice's whole circle of friends getting him through this. An ominous note to end on--I shudder to think who wants to start the war again, besides the revolting Geoffrey, of course.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Something like this is where it turns out good to have a close-knit group around you.
amamama From: amamama Date: August 8th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
*sniffle*

*wipes face*

Drat it, Fern. *g* You do know how to push the right buttons and I'm sitting here, barely able to read because of all the liquid I have to look through. *sigh* And then you end with this punch line. urgh. I'm not so sure I want to read about what happens the next two weeks. But Teddy is an awesome friend, and I'm so happy he managed to read the spell and be prepared for Maurice. That's a wonderful gang of friends you've built there.

Thanks!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm glad Teddy's friends and classmates came out well.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 8th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

wait both maurice parents? i dont get it

I though maurice mom- (selina?) had died before because of that curse?

and if through things against wall makes someone potentially violent, than what does that makes ruth?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: wait both maurice parents? i dont get it

No, that was his father's cousin, Veradisia, who worked in the shop, and would have inherited it, but since she died childless, that was why his father got it instead and decided to keep it for Wendell. Salvina was alive and well as recently as the article in the Charmer (Ch. 11).
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: August 8th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
A very well written piece and very...um, true feel to those first days of grief, especially Maurice. I loved the small details here too, such as Harry asking not to be buried at Godric's Hollow. With all the memories of his parents, then the Lupin's deaths, on top of the fight with Voldemort... One can see why that would be the last place he'd want to be buried.

Also, very insightful comment about how frustrated Harry would be considering how he gave everything to stop the fighting and people let it continue on.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 9th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I can imagine that Harry would want to eventually be buried someplace only his family knew about, to avoid tourists dropping by to take pictures with his headstone.

I have to get out of this morbid funk though. Time to get Teddy back to school.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: August 9th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

oh that makes sense. hehe

I read this chaptlet yesterday/very early today and I was wondering why Harry wouldn't want to be buried next to his parents.
the fact that people treat it as a somewhat touristic spot does seem very unappealing as an body final resting place.
now it makes sense why harry wouldn't want to be buried there/

but, didn't harry appreciated the "graffiti" in the doorframe? about people supporting him?

I mean didn't younger tonks wrote something there?

and I'm on the boat that agrees Sam cresswell should be dragged to Hell. least of what he deserves the scum. poor wendell and maurice.

looking forward to see more of teddy at hogwarts!
*hopefully victoire will have cooled off after she heard what happened to maurice and wendell*
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 9th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
good of Teddy to stop Maurice before he did that,
what would have the spell done exactly?

and good to know Maurice has a good group of friends there for him. *you write friendships so well*

Ruth need to stop blaming herself, though.

and that last line... god i hope Geoffrey doesn't make things worse, the bastard.

~A
sidealong From: sidealong Date: August 10th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
If only I could read 5 or 6 segments every day. I'm guessing this terrible experience contributes to Ruthless still being available by the time James grows up! Poor girl.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 11th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Or her marrying a boy she'd known since he was 5? I agree, poor Ruth. At least we've seen that she grows past this, and Maurice too.

I'm still reading this every update that comes along. Excellent story Fern. ~Karen
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