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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Fifteen: The New Normal, pt. 3 - 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. 3
In the aftermath of the latest murders and the identification of the murderer (still at large), the family turns to cleaning up. George and Verity help get Borgin and Burke's cleared of signs of the murder, and Victoire leads the way in cleaning up Ruthless's place, telling a confused Teddy that she was angry at him about the near-kiss on Christmas, not at Ruthless, who had no idea what she was interrupting. Teddy is still confused by this. Meanwhile, when he goes back from school for the first time to tutor Maurice, he's stunned to find a girl in the Burke flat, but it turns out that she's a new client, Kelly Sweet, who's apparently close enough to Donzo to be talked into this, but about whom Teddy knows nothing. Wendell goes back to school with Teddy.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Two days later, Wendell seemed to have disappeared into Slytherin House. Teddy frequently saw him phalanxed by Neil Overby and the group of misfits who were his friends--apparently, Neil had decided that Wendell was in his pack now, and was guarding him from any chance sighting of unpleasant reminders. Teddy waved to Wendell on Tuesday and was met with a bemused raise of a hand as the younger boy was herded off toward Divination.

"Maurice will be glad to hear that," Donzo said in Transfiguration, where he and Teddy were trying to turn the page of a Muggle book into a robot that had been drawn on it. "He's never been convinced Wendell would fit in. We talked about that a lot last summer."

"Where was I?" Teddy asked.

Donzo looked up, confused. "Weren't you there? I thought... no, I guess you weren't. Maybe he meant that to just be between us."

"Oh."

"Or maybe it was just after you left."

"Like Kelly Sweet?"

"What about Kelly?"

"Who is she? Maurice said you met her in San Francisco, after I left."

Donzo shrugged. "Oh. No, I actually met her last summer in North Carolina. We just ran into her in San Francisco, and--"

"You met a girl over a year ago and forgot to mention her?"

"Unlike you, I don't fall deeply and significantly in love with a girl on a meeting or two. She's just a girl I know. She's up and coming in the States, and she opened for us when that idiot comic was too drunk to go on."

"She's quite good-looking."

"You met her?"

"She was at Maurice's." Teddy told him about finding her there.

This seemed to surprise him. "I wasn't sure he'd see her again. It was Kelly and her group we were talking to the day... you know. When it happened."

Teddy prodded the edge of the page, trying to get it to turn into the heavy armored wheels in the picture. "Is she with anyone?"

"I'm not setting you up with her."

"I thought she was just a girl you knew..."

They spent the rest of the class in this vein, not achieving anything in the Transfiguration project, then went on to Defense Against the Dark Arts, where Robards, mercifully, had not decided to press on with the issue of the murders, though he admitted having considered it--"The question of how to deal with an Auror, who wields a great deal of power legally and controls the investigation, is an interesting one, but I haven't the heart to consider it, seeing Burke's empty chair." Instead, they moved into the various Resurrection spells, most of which Teddy was offended anyone would have thought he might have tried. If he'd brough Mum and Dad back by doing any of those things, the first thing they would have done was disown him. Corky asked about the story of the Resurrection Stone; Robards said that it only existed in Beedle the Bard. Teddy didn't comment.

After class, he tried to talk to Victoire, but as he wasn't entirely sure what she was angry about, he couldn't figure out what to apologize for. She rolled her eyes at him and walked away.

On Sunday, he went back to London. Maurice had re-opened, and they had lessons in the shop. Maurice occasionally looked skittish, and studiously avoided the front of the shop, but he seemed determined to get to business as usual. He'd put up a small sign that said, "Under new managment, expect changes," but said that no one had tried to sell him anything out of the ordinary. He was corresponding with various magical antique sellers--"I need to restock, regardless"--when Teddy got there. He had also selected a pile of ten cursed items. "Borgin's private store," he said. "Could you ask Robards if I could do a project on breaking the Curses for credit?"

"He won't like the idea of you doing it without supervision."

Maurice rolled his eyes. "Scrimgeour can babysit."

Teddy frowned. "You and Ruthless are spending a lot of time together. Are you...?"

Maurice gave him an odd look, then said, "We have a common enemy."

"Oh. Any news?"

Maurice shook his head. "She's put all of her memories into a Pensieve to make sure she has all the details, and they've checked every place he ever mentioned. Nothing."

Teddy sent her a Patronus when they finished Herbology and Arithmancy (Maurice had been having trouble with his since the murders), and she agreed to supervise any experimental Curse-breaking. After that, the three of them sat around in Borgin and Burke's, playing Gobstones with a broken string of weakly Cursed pearls. Teddy walked Ruthless back to her flat at ten-thirty. She already seemed more comfortable in it, and had spread her work around on an old coffee table. A knit blanket--Teddy guessed it was from Molly Weasley--was scrunched up on the sofa, and several pairs of her shoes had been kicked haphazardly under chairs. It was certainly not up to Victoire's standards of neatness, but it had a healthy, lived-in feel, rather than the nasty, unwanted feel it had had before.

"Are you safe here?" he asked.

"Maurice and I are both hoping that Sam will be stupid enough to return to the scenes of his crimes. This place is full of traps for him. Didn't you see the elaborate wandwork when I opened the door?"

"Oh."

"Borgin and Burke's is an even bigger trap."

"Does Uncle Harry know?"

"He designed the traps." She smiled. "Don't worry, he has them set up so that, if Sam is caught in one of them, neither Maurice nor I will be able to get to him. Only Harry can undo the traps if they catch anything. Which will be a right pain if if I do my unlocking Charms wrong."

"You seem happier," Teddy said.

"It's an act," she admitted. "But if I keep it up long enough, maybe it'll be enough." She headed into the kitchen to make tea. "Will you thank Weasley again for me?" she called. "I was dreading coming back here, but now it's quite nice."

"I'll tell her if she's speaking to me."

"Just apologize."

"I tried. She wants me to guess what I'm apologizing for."

"What, exactly, happened?"

Teddy told her.

She shrugged. "I've got nothing. I'm not very good at that."

"I know. When you're mad, you just tell me why."

"Does Weasley have the slightest idea that you don't have the slightest idea?"

"Probably not."

Ruthless rolled her eyes extravagantly, and changed the subject.

On Monday, Robards said he would write to Maurice and give him safety instructions and expectations for his project, and that he'd give Teddy a copy of both for tutoring purposes.

On the sixth of February, Victoire got an owl from Ruthless during breakfast. Teddy looked at it with some trepidation, but he didn't find out what was in it until later that evening. He was sitting in the Common Room, studying, and Victoire pulled a chair up to the table where he was sitting. The letter was in her hands.

"Christmas," she said.

Teddy looked up. "What about it?"

"You weren't planning to spend the afternoon with me and the evening with Ruth. You weren't planning to spend the day with me at all."

"Well..."

"I'm sorry." She sighed. "Ruth said the plan had been for you to go there all along. That you hadn't said anything. And that you probably had no idea why I was angry at you."

"I assumed it was because we were interrupted."

She shook her head. "I thought you were just playing with me. That you meant to kiss me, then wander off. But you weren't planning to kiss me at all, were you?"

"I was by the time we... well, by the time..." Teddy closed his book. "It occurred to me, and I wanted to, and I never thought about what would come after it."

"That's more or less what Ruth said you'd say. She said I needed to explain these things to you."

"She always had rules," Teddy said. "She laid them out and explained them to me. I don't know your rules."

"I don't have rules."

"Then how did I break one?"

"That's a good question." Victoire smiled. "I'm sorry. I should have just said something."

"Well..."

"Do you, er... want to finish what we started?"

Teddy leaned in.

She pulled away. "Not in here, Teddy. My sisters are right over there." She pointed to the fireplace, where Aimee and Marie were, indeed, looking over at them. "They'll tell Dad, and he's determined that no one's going out with me until after O.W.L.s."

"That makes it difficult," Teddy said.

"Well, I wasn't planning to send him a picture." Victoire bit her lip. "Sorry. I guess... sorry." She stood up.

Teddy grabbed her hand, and nudged her to sit down again. "You know, there's a Hogsmeade weekend around Valentine's Day."

"I know."

"So, er... if were to accidentally stop in for coffee, and it was someplace where there are little cupids and so on, then it wouldn't be going out, exactly, just going with the spirit of things--"

"Teddy, are you asking me to Mrs. Puddifoot's?"

"We could stop in there. Whilst having a perfectly normal day in Hogsmeade which happens to be around Valentine's Day."

She grinned widely. "It's not a date."

"I'll meet you at breakfast."

"Is this mad?"

"Probably."

He let her walk away, and went back to his Transfiguration homework. He felt he ought to feel uncomfortable about the subject, but he was oddly pleased. A plain, clear-cut date--whatever they were calling it for other people--would be much easier than the confusion and strangeness of their relationship so far this year.

By the time he'd finished, she'd gone up to her dormitory. He went up to his, and fell asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow. He dreamed of his grandfather, and the woods, and fishing, but he didn't remember it in the morning.
15 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
amamama From: amamama Date: August 17th, 2010 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Uh-huh. Accidentally stop by Madam Puddifoot's for a coffee. *g* Good one, Teddy.

I like the way things are slowly approaching a new normal, and boy do I hope Cresswell does something stupid, messes up and get caught. Or that he decides to hide and don't murder or maim anyone - and when he tries next, in June some time, that he messes up and gets caught. And we'll get loads of Teddy/Victoire goodness in the mean time.

Oh, and thell future Wendell 'hi' from me. I'm happy he's doing well. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 17th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Future Wendell waves back, over the heads of people looking out for him. ;p

I think I can promise that Cresswell will be caught at some point this year.

There's some T/V coming up. Can't promise it's "goodness"...
spellcoats From: spellcoats Date: August 17th, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geez, Teddy, do you have a one-track mind or what! Go Donzo, in any case.

I love that Ruth is getting the Molly Weasley treatment.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 17th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's mainly cheesed off that Donzo knows someone and didn't tell. And yes, his one track mind is assuming, pretty girl, our age=Donzo's going out with someone and forgot to mention her.
spellcoats From: spellcoats Date: August 17th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
And then he went and got all worried that Maurice and Ruthless were going to start dating.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: August 17th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Teddy, for such a ladies' man, you are so clueless about ladies!

It's good to read a bit of fluff.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 17th, 2010 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
He is clueless. Though, to be fair, Victoire's not exactly being helpful, and is making huge assumptions about his thought processes. For a pretty girl whose friends are all boys, she's relatively clueless as well.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 17th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
it still amazes me that anyone could find Madam Puddifoot's romantic, but I guess some couples just go for the shmoopy stuff. Glad that Teddy and Victoire are back on speaking terms, but young Mr. Lupin can be as clueless as his dad when it comes to women.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 17th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suspect they find an atmosphere like Madam Puddifoot's sort of "permission" to get a little schmoopy. The guys can say, "God, she dragged me over there," and the girls can point out to their friends that they were taken to a 'romantic' spot, and therefore, the definition of the event is easy.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 17th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is also one of those points where I'm willing to believe a description from someone other than Harry might have made it sound a lot better. He was fifteen and obviously interested in the girl he was with, but I think a part of him was still frozen at the eight year old boy stage where a dot of pink could make something as "girly" as if it had been completely redone in wall to wall Disney Princess motif with extra frills and choruses of singing mice.

Ellen
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 17th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Finally and what? why are they talking about that.

Teddy and Victoire FINALLY! i thought they were going to drive me nuts with all the still being mad at each other

although the way they solved it was rather hilarious. very rom-com

and teddy lupin, like father like son. (in the clueless department)

...
i would like to think that madam pudifoot only looks pink and frilly on valentine day...
maybe still too cozy and overly cutesy, but without the pink and cupid

and i dont understand why teddy says this:

, most of which Teddy was offended anyone would have thought he might have tried. If he'd brough Mum and Dad back by doing any of those things, the first thing they would have done was disown him.

why would tonks and lupin be mad at him?

because they wouldn't really work
(I mean if they worked then half the people who lost someone in the war would use them right.. also why are they being mentioned if they probably dont work at all?)

or because he tried bringing them back? wouldn't they be happy to be able to be back with their son?

~A
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 17th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Finally and what? why are they talking about that.

Because it was Defense Against the Dark Arts, and the spells in question were Dark spells that Teddy knows his parents wouldn't approve of.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 18th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Finally and what? why are they talking about that.

but would they have worked?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 18th, 2010 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Finally and what? why are they talking about that.

Depends on the nature of "worked." It would take a very powerful wizard willing ot sell his soul.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: August 21st, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
.....Oh. Mentions of Madame Puddifoot's has me wondering if this is the year that Victoire and Teddy try and spectacularly fail at dating... I feel like this is trouble; should be fun for us though!

I love the continued kindness of the people in your stories. Neil taking in Wendell just made me happy. You know, I like that the people seem more actively caring than in Rowling's book. It always confused me that no one who was friends with Harry's parents ever really contacted him before or Neville, or people never said anything more about the Diggorys or anything. Obviously there could be dicates laid out by Dumbledore or something in some cases or things happened off screen but... I like that Teddy is observant enough to give us some hints. Also kinda shows that love and kindness breeds more love and kindness. :)
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