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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Seventeen: Love and Hate, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Seventeen: Love and Hate, pt. 1
Okay. Left Teddy figuring that he had everything worked out with Victoire by asking her on a date (which isn't a date, since she's not allowed). After all, he knows how to handle a date much better than he can handle whatever's been going on with her lately. What could go wrong?

Picking up on a slightly altered three year old ficlet

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy supposed he should have realized before he even met Victoire in the Common Room on Saturday the thirteenth that going out with Victoire had been a horrible idea, no matter how much he wanted to snog her. They'd been raised as family, which didn't make it easy to go out on something that was definitively not a date, but had a suspicious number of date-like trappings. They'd been friends since Victoire had learned to speak, though she annoyed him (and he supposed it was mutual). And the day had begun with Mum questioning his decision to morph to fill a jumper. He'd argued with her. The other girls he'd gone with had rather liked it when he made an effort.

If there was one immutable rule of life, he thought, it was that an orphan ignored dating advice from his mother at great peril. Victoire had spent most of the walk to Hogsmeade glancing sideways at him and trying not to giggle. She'd got it under control by the time they got to Madam Puddifoot's, but the situation hadn't improved.

They made their way through a pink snow of confetti being dropped by the cupids fluttering near the ceiling, and sat at a little table in a back corner that had a nice view of a fountain in the courtyard. Teddy had discovered this table on a date last year with a girl named Karen Diorbhall, called Doorbell by everyone she knew. Doorbell had declared the fountain the most romantic thing in the world, and Jane had agreed about this a few months later, so it had seemed a good bet.

He ordered their tea before thinking to ask Victoire what she wanted, which wasn't a very auspicious start, he guessed, but then, she'd taken her tea the same way since she was six--a whole lemon slice floating on sugar water that was slightly flavored with tea. He started to make a joke about why she didn't just order hot lemonade and be done with it, but thought that might not be right for a date, no matter what they were actually calling it.

She smiled nervously across the table. Her lips looked very soft, and Teddy thought it would be quite nice to find out if they were, but that didn't seem like a good bit of conversation either.

"So," he said. "Er... how are your classes?"

"Fine. You know."

"Right."

She bit her lip. "And your N.E.W.T.s? How are your... er, are you meeting with Maddie often?"

"Er... Well, not really. I probably ought to. I've been busy with Maurice when I go to London." He winced. That had sounded more like a complaint than an answer. "What do you think you'll take for N.E.W.T.s?"

"Herbology, definitely," Victoire said, encouraged. "And Care of Magical Creatures. Transfiguration. And... well, Professor Longbottom said I should get Potions. He said he ought to have had it, since he's needed to make Potions for his plants." This hopeful line seemed to wane away. "Of course, I really don't know what I want to apprentice for. I haven't really had my Career Advice yet. I'm meant to do that next month. I like plants," she added, then fell uncomfortably silent.

Teddy nodded, and the tea came. They raised their teacups to one another and drank, which at least gave them something to do.

Victoire picked up a biscuit and nibbled on it, but some crumbs fell onto her robes and Teddy reached across to brush them off, then realized that, in context, it wouldn't be a grand idea to touch her chest. She took care of it herself.

"I..." Teddy started, then frowned, trying to think of something she didn't already know.

She drank, then leaned forward eagerly. "Oh, did you know--" She sat back. "Yes, you do know. You were there. Ruth's flat."

"Right. Right, she said to say thank you again, for helping."

Victoire nodded vaguely. "You're seeing Ruth in London?"

"She's... well, she and Maurice are spending a lot of time together."

"Ruth and Maurice? That would be unexpected."

"It's not that. It's a revenge mission."

"Oh." Victoire turned her teacup a few times and stared at the leaves at the bottom. Teddy wondered if they were giving her signs that this wasn't going to be a good day. She looked up and smiled nervously. "Well, I didn't realize you were seeing her. I mean, not to say seeing her. Not that you couldn't, of course." She bit her lip and frowned down at her teacup.

Teddy took a scone and began to break bits off of it aimlessly. He couldn't recall ever having a difficult time talking to Victoire before--she'd always been one of the more clear-cut girls, even when she was mysteriously angry at him. "The book comes out this week," he offered.

She gave him a real, if somewhat overplayed, smile. "Really? Oh, James must be thrilled. He didn't talk about anything else all day on Christmas."

"Yeah, he's writing to me every day with a new idea to start on for the next one. We're going to have to sort them out with Frankie over the summer." Teddy started to warm to the subject, then remembered that James--who was, for all intents and purposes, his brother--was Victoire's cousin, which put everything right back into a family spot, which wasn't right for a date. "Anyway," he added, "it'll be in Flourish and Blotts on Wednesday morning. And Frankie says the pre-sales already paid the advance, so--" He stopped. "Sorry."

"Sorry?"

"I do know better than to talk business on a date." He shook his head. "I'm usually better at this."

"I don't know if I am or not. I've never done this before."

"That's not true. You were on a non-date during the Quarantine two years ago."

"That's different. I didn't know him very well. This is a real non-date. What do you usually do?"

Teddy sighed. "Mostly talk, and then... well, snog a bit. I don't know why the talking isn't working." He considered adding, "Maybe we could just snog instead," but thought better of it before it came out of his mouth.

Victoire shook her head helplessly and took another biscuit from the plate. She stared at it morosely. "We could, er..."

But what she had in mind, Teddy never found out, as a bright flash of light on the ceiling caused the cupids to go scrambling to the far side of the tea shop. Donzo's raccoon Patronus fell from it. Its mouth fell open. "Teddy, Victoire--sending for all the prefects. Weasleys' Zonks. Now."

It disappeared.

Victoire sat up straighter. "What on Earth...?"

"Trouble," Teddy said. He estimated the cost of the tea, dropped enough gold to cover it onto the table, and ran out, Victoire only a few steps behind him.

Weasley's Zonks--still referred to as Zonko's by most of the teachers--was around the corner and halfway up the next street, and by the time they were halfway there, they'd both doubled the pace of their run.

The front window had shattered outward, and on the street out front, it seemed that at least an entire year was rolling around on the cobblestones, ignoring the broken glass as they rained punches and curses on one another. Teddy could see Lee and Verity Jordan inside the shop, blocked from coming out by a throng of students who were watching.

Donzo was running around the perimeter of the fight, yanking off combatants and tossing them at Honoria and Corky, who seemed to be using a Petrificus charm on them. "Lupin!" he yelled. "You and Weasley start on that side!"

"Can you do the Petrificus?" Teddy asked.

Victoire gave him an irritated look. "I'm not eleven, Teddy."

"Good." He ran into the fray and grabbed the nearest flailing arm. It turned out to be Mina Moran's, and he spun her out into the street in Victoire's direction. Victoire caught her and subdued her while Teddy grabbed her adversary, a fourth year Slytherin whose name Teddy wasn't entirely sure of. By the time he managed to get the boy under control, Story Shacklebolt and Tinny had come, and they waded in from another angle.

Once all of the prefects had arrived, it didn't take long to work their way to the center of the circle, where Neil Overby was administering an enthusiastic beating to his dormitory mate, H.J. Traynor. Werewolves didn't have superhuman strength, despite myths to the contrary, but most--including Neil--developed greater than average strength just by adapting to the grueling monthly transformation. Neil, at the moment, was using his to pin H.J.'s arm behind his back while shoving his face over and over into the cobblestones.

Teddy grabbed Neil by the back of his robe and dragged him up, while Donzo dragged H.J. away from the other side. Neil was still uselessly waving his fists. Now that he was disengaged, Teddy noticed that he hand he'd been using to hold H.J. down was clasping an edition of one of the new magazines that had cropped up recently.

"Neil!" Teddy pulled him back. "Quit it, will you? What's the matter with you?"

Neil waved the paper at him. "He was bragging! Bragging that his mother wrote this!"

Teddy took the magazine, which Neil had opened to an opinion piece. It was called "Sew What?" and subtitled, "Why the Needle's Eye Will Change Us All (For the Better!) In The End."
26 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
This is another great chapter. I love Teddy/Victoire. *sighs*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Even when they can't quite figure out why this isn't working?
amamama From: amamama Date: August 27th, 2010 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Urgh. Sew what, indeed. But I do love the Teddy/Victoire awkwardness. They are lovely.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
They're doing their best, but it's not time... yet.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I saw "The front window had shattered outward" I thought that Sam had struck again. Though there's no good reason why Weasley's Zonks should be targeted.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I considered adding another body, but I've added enough for now.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

awww teenage awkardness.... wait What?! What??!! WHAT??????

that was a perfect representation of a normal old fashion teenager first date awkardness...oh the memories

but good to know that they are trying to make it work.

and then it was all shattered by the patronus. at least it wasn't ruth this time, that would have been even more awkard a second time

I admit to holding my breath going "no NO No not another murder!"

fortunately it doesn't seem that way?

Weasley's Zonko? did they changed the name of weasley wizard weezes in general or this is the Zonko store in Hogsmeade that they bought?

also what the heck? that many people support Cresswell and are causing anarchy or what???

.....

WHAT WHAT WHAT??????

so let me get this straight....
a mother who named his some after Harry James Potter, not only the one that stopped Voldemort and the whole murdering people thing, but also is against this wave of ex-DE and related people murders....
so How the heck someone who named their son after harry, with all that aspects of harry brought in, can write THAT?????
i can take it as a really twisted form of optimism (learning after the grief and all that)

but it is still offensively ridiculous.

also dammit, when it's not Creswell causing trouble it's someone else

can't wait to see how this gets explained

~A

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: awww teenage awkardness.... wait What?! What??!! WHAT??????

this is the Zonko store in Hogsmeade that they bought?

Bingo. I don't remember where it was--maybe Hunter's Moon--but I mentioned in passing (and for some reason, that one stuck firmly in my head) that they tried to name it Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes (Hogsmeade branch), but so many people kept calling it Zonko's that they just shrugged and said, "Okay, Weasleys' Zonks." It belongs to Verity, who was the shop girl in Diagon Alley, who I married off to Lee.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 27th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, boy. I knew things were too quiet at Hogwarts after the murders, and this kind of article will definitely set off a firestorm. And written by a so-called adult for that matter. Interested in seeing if it's as bad as the pro-Fenrir article in Hunter's Moon.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)
It's probably not. I think, like a lot of political arguments, that it probably seems less clear-cut when you're not one who's lost someone directly. After all, it's not like they're actually supporting murder. They're just talking about whether or not the guy's life experiences justify a bunch of anger at the Ministry and the escaped DEs, and...

All well and good, until you're either one of the survivors, like Wendell and Maurice, or someone defending them. Then it sounds as it sounds to Teddy--like support for a murderer (and, as far as he's concerned, a rapist). I expect from the other side, it looks quite different.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: August 27th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

teddy and victoire seating in a tree K.I.S.S.I.... or not

awwww so close.

but i kind of like that they didn't kissed just yet, better that they get to know each other at this stage-the fancying you and where that puts us in the future... stage instead of just "snogging" like Teddy seemed to have done with all his previous dates. good to know he can differentiate Victoire.

very curious about what Victoire was going to say in reply... those patroni sure posses very bad timing


hopefully they will get a second better date after all this is over....

i was so scared that someone else had been killed. *sighs in relief*

why oh why there has to be trouble even when the murderer or Geoffrey are not there? why?

*I admit to being a bit forgetful on these details... who bite Neil?*

O_O i really cant wait to find out what exactly that article says... i hope it's better than what the title implies

because , hello mrs. writer of the article? Wendell and Maurice are not going to "change for the better" because if this.

if neil hadn't said HJ Traynor (who sure doesn't seem to come close to his namesake in behavior)
said his mother wrote the article, I was SURE it would have been Rita Skeeter, writing it.

it definitely sounds like her insensitive, scandal-seeking, trouble stirring style




fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: teddy and victoire seating in a tree K.I.S.S.I.... or not

Well, they have kissed, but that was sort of Victoire manipulating the situation a couple of years ago. We know from the epilogue that James is completely stunned in two more years to discover them snogging, so they needed something traumatic enough to put that off for a while!

:wince: I shouldn't have done the Patronus. Should've broken the window or had someone run in. Though this time, Teddy's very glad for the interruption!

Neil was bitten by Greyback in HM.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: August 27th, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

also it's kind of nice...

that Teddy doesn't seem to be utterly repulsed by madam puddifoot- as overly pink and overly exaggerated as it is.

good to know he can find one good thing about it
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: also it's kind of nice...

I think it's also a place where the environment frees normal dates up to do things that would feel silly when not surrounded by even sillier things. But Victoire... not a normal date.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: August 27th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you scared me. I thought somebody had been killed.

And as to T&V, well, that was awkward.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, yes. Very awkward!
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: August 27th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy and Victoire will get nowhere if they can't be themselves, but it's kind of sweet that they are both trying so hard to be ROMANTIC. Perhaps it's best that their non-date was interrupted. Neil and HJ's fight is a microcosm of the unrest in the greater society, isn't it. Pity.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think it's crossed Teddy's mind yet (despite having a very comfortable relationship with Ruthless, since she keeps breaking up with him) that long term relationships can't very well depend on telling the other person new things about yourself, or learning new things about her. Because, er... you know each other.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

question

just exactly, How Many Girls has Teddy dated before Victoire?

~A
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: question

He's "gone out" with Ruthless, Lizzie, Laura, and Jane, but also had random dates with other girls, including Doorbell, which never amounted to anything more than an afternoon or two. (Well, actually, not true--I almost forgot that he did go out with Doorbell for two weeks, briefly mentioned in Daedalus Maze. But he doesn't think of her as one of his girlfriends.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: question

so, four-five other girls, in 7 years?

that's not bad, I was thinking 15-20 considering how much he talks about liking girls

it's good that it's not that much.

~A
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: question

Four steady girlfriends, a handful of other attempts... no, he's really not bad compared to actual guys I've known. But in the Potterverse, that's pretty promiscuous!
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: August 27th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting to see how the scene of the original ficlet has morphed and changed as Teddy's world and the details thereof has become more definitely fleshed out. I loved the bit about Teddy morphing to "fill out a jumper" and that he thought the girl's appercaited his putting in effort. Oh, Teddy. Though, overall, perhaps this date ended better than the ficlet's- is it better to have to end a date in disaster caused by one's own ineptness or have to end a date in disaster because of the call of duty?

And even though I love T/V a lot and love childhood friends falling in love, I think you capture some of the awkwardness inherent with dating someone you've now so long (living in a small town, this was why I never dated in high school.) Glad to know that Teddy and Victoire work around that eventually.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy was never happier to get a call from duty, though...
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)

The latest

"Perhaps it would be wise,
Not to carp or criticize,"

but shouldn't this be chapter sixteen instead of seventeen?

Especially if chapter eleven is getting spread out so much?

Fred
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The latest

Hmm? Did I forget to change the lj-cut? The title's right on Chapter 16. I guess I'll have to check!

ETA:

Blinks. No, there wasn't an LJ cut. But I might have copy-pasted chapter eleven into the title first and changed it later. The bad part about writing at night is that I don't remember what edits I've made!

Edited at 2010-08-28 03:49 am (UTC)
26 comments or Leave a comment