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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Eighteen: By the Book, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Eighteen: By the Book, pt. 3
After Teddy's party, Ruthless asks him to walk her home. Harry is very suspicious, but Teddy doesn't know why (Ruthless jokes that he thinks she's planning to seduce Teddy, but no one, including Teddy, really believes it). She gets to the point as they walk. Sam told her things that she hadn't thought much of while they were dating, but now thinks might be useful, one of which is that he is really, really incensed that Lucius Malfoy isn't in Azkaban. Ruthless and Ron thought that a chance to catch Lucius would be irresistable to Sam, but Draco won't even let them talk to him, let alone ask him to serve as bait. Harry's suspicious, of course, because Ruthless has been talking to Maurice as well, and they've both been on schemes with Teddy before, and Teddy is, of course, a Metamorphmagus.

Thanks to the unsigned anon who gave me a good way around the logic problem that malinbe pointed out. What would I do without you guys?

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




It took Ruthless quite a long time to undo the security charms on her flat, and Teddy could see Uncle Harry fidgeting uncomfortably while she did it. No one said anything until she'd finally got the door open and invited them inside.

"I'll get some tea going," she said, waving her wand at the table in the corner. The table's leaves came up, and three chairs scooted over from elsewhere in the living room. Teddy took one; Uncle Harry sat down across from him. Ruthless got her tea set started and took the third seat.

Uncle Harry waited for his cup to come to him--Teddy noted that Ruthless had memorized how he took tea at some point this year--then said, "I think we should use a Polyjuiced Auror, if we do this. I'll go. I think Draco would let me have a bit of Lucius's hair, or a few fingernails."

"Sam would see through that in less than a second," Ruthless said. "He was trained after you were in the Division. Are you telling me he didn't get the same training I did about recognizing Polyjuiced wizards?"

"Well..."

She shook her head. "Ron tested me twice a week until I never missed one. And he said that was your order, so whoever trained Sam--"

"Goldstein."

"--knows to look for any tiny tics in the movement--"

"I know Lucius quite well enough to play the part."

"--any discomfort in his surroundings--"

"I know all the places."

"--and the rarer ingredients going missing from supply shops--"

"There are people I could get any of the ingredients from without leaving a trace."

"--and most important, any suspicious pattern of drinking at regular intervals from containers you can't see through. Unless you've suddenly got a lot better at Potions and altered Polyjuice so it lasts indefinitely, you can't beat that one. Teddy can."

"And you know I can handle myself in a crisis," Teddy said. "I'm not going to panic."

"I don't like it." He looked to Teddy. "Do you know exactly what she means for you to do?"

"We hadn't got to that yet," Teddy reminded him. "But I'm guessing there would be a lot of skulking around in Knockturn Alley. Maybe letting one of Rita's gossip reporters snap a picture of me, getting her to print a story about how Lucius is out and about again."

"Oh, she'd print that if she got even a tiny whiff," Ruthless said. "I hadn't thought of that, but that's good. She wouldn't be able to resist."

Teddy nodded. "And eventually, start spending time alone in places that would be attractive to a murderer, and hope he comes after me. When he does, we use whatever Ruthless has in mind to call the Aurors, and you come and get him."

"It can't be a Patronus. He'd see it, then kill you and run." Ruthless Summoned over a stack of papers covered in her handwriting. "So I've been working with Maurice on a way to do this."

Uncle Harry took the sheet of paper she'd finally come to and looked it over. "This is good spellwork, Scrimgeour."

"Thanks."

"Not good enough to risk a civilian. I imagine this works like the coins?"

"Same principle, but it would be hidden as part of whatever Teddy's wearing--button, pocketwatch, something like that. And instead of hoping that somone would notice a coin getting hot, it will set of a banshee-screech at Headquarters. The button or pocketwatch will keep track of where Teddy is, we Apparate in, and we've got the bastard."

"And if Sam senses that there might be a trap, and uses a Deadening Hex to shut down magical detection? Which, for all we know, he did at the other murders?" Uncle Harry pushed the paper back. "I seem to recall that you both had training in that as well."

"A what?" Teddy asked.

"Flitwick created it during the clean-up," Uncle Harry explained. "It's a bit hard to sneak up on fugitive Death Eaters if they're paranoid enough to have detectors around, which quite a few of them were. A Disillisioning spell isn't very helpful if the detector is picking up the magic itself."

"So, if no one seems to be coming, I'll get away," Teddy said, and transformed into a hawk. He pushed off from his chair and flew to Ruthless's curtain rod.

Ruthless laughed and said, "I need to get a bust of Pallas above the door."

Teddy glided back down and changed back. "That's a raven, not a hawk. Hawks can say 'Nevermore' from the curtain rod."

"I could have cursed you three times while you were showing off," Uncle Harry said, unimpressed.

"If I were in an alley with Cresswell, I'd head upward, and give his face a clawing so he couldn't see me clearly."

"And what about school? I assure you, your grandmother won't give you permission to leave school for this, and I don't think you'll set her an ultimatum about being of age."

"I'll start the morphs on Sundays, and on Easter hols, we'll push it all the time. Maurice can leak that Lucius means to sell him something then."

Uncle Harry sat back, staring stubbornly at his teacup.

Teddy frowned. "Ruthless, could you give us a minute?"

She nodded, and disappeared into her bedroom.

Teddy took a deep breath. "Uncle Harry?"

"I want you to stop thinking about this."

"Your seventh year--"

"Do you think I want you to have to do anything like that? Your parents wanted to make sure you wouldn't."

"And if they were here, I'm sure I'd be having the same argument with them. Though I expect Mum would do better on her part of it than you are, as she'd have been able to volunteer herself for it instead. And we both know that she would have." Teddy sighed. "And I'd have told her I should still do it, because Cresswell doesn't know I'm an Animagus."

"And she'd tell you that that little fact would be enough for her to detain you, as an Auror, if she decided to stop looking the other way." Uncle Harry shook his head. "No, I'm sorry. Forget I said that."

"It's fair. I'm going to write to McGonagall and get her to train me, so I can get my papers, so you're not stuck with that. Until then, it's fair. But it's still useful. I could get away from him before he even processed what was happening."

Uncle Harry stood up, put his hands in his hair, and stared out of Ruthless's window at the dingy street. "I don't like this," he said.

"I know."

"And don't tell me--this is where you say that either I give you permission, and you do this with the support of the entire Division, or you do it on your own and hope Burke can get time off from the shop to help you."

"No," Teddy said. "I'm not going to say that. Or do that. It's your Division and your call."

"And if I say no?"

"Then I guess we'll hope he leaves a clue before he kills anyone else."

Uncle Harry sighed and came back to the table. "Teddy, Ruth just told you about this. You're still in love with the idea. I want you to think about it. Really think about it. Give it a week. If you still don't think it's utterly mad... I'll put together the operation. And I'll find a way to be right there with you. I won't be paying attention to anything else this time."

"I want--"

"A week, Teddy. Give it a week. Don't talk about it until then--with me, or with Ruth."

Reluctantly--he would have liked to settle the matter--Teddy agreed to this, then they called Ruthless out and explained the situation. She grudgingly accepted it.

Uncle Harry left a few minutes later. Ruthless looked at Teddy quizzically.

"I'm going to keep my promise," he said.

"I know."

"So I can't tell you what I'm thinking."

She gave him an exaggerated sigh, then sprawled out luxuriously on her sofa and said, "In that case, we'll have to chat about something else. Tell me about the horrible, calamatous, unheard-of-in-the-history-of-the-word disaster that's befallen your social life."

Teddy made a face. "Can't we just talk about debilitating Curses and deathly poisons instead?"

She laughed lightly, and Teddy told her everything.

He got back to Hogwarts quite late after picking up Donzo in Hogsmeade, and Roger Young came to the gate to let them in. He raised his eyebrow at Donzo, who wasn't meant to be out--neither he nor Teddy had wanted to bother with the ruse of going over the wall--but ultimately just shrugged and let them in. ("The pair of you are lucky that Professor Hagrid said that, as long as he had an apprentice, he might as well go to sleep early.")

Donzo had homework to finish, so they decided not to go off in Animagus form and trick Roger into thinking he'd misplaced the key, and they parted ways on the seventh floor.

He got back to Gryffindor Tower after most people had gone to bed, though Victoire was waiting up for him--unfortunately, with Marie. She smiled and gave him a helpless shrug. He talked to the pair of them about the party, which they'd known about, for a few minutes, then went upstairs.

Mum was in the portrait, wearing a festive headdress she'd found in one painting or another. As soon as he came in, she blew a noisemaker. Beside her, Dad and Sirius threw painted confetti.

Teddy laughed. "All right," he said. "Do you want to hear the book?"

They all clapped sarcastically. Teddy pulled a chair up, facing them, and opened Martian's Mistake.

"Teddy?"

"Yes, Mum?"

"Turn around, so we can see the pictures over your shoulder."

He turned the chair around, and read them the adventures of Martian, the brave and adventurous cat who became the hero of the garden realm as he searched for his lost treasure. They all applauded, and he turned to give them a bow.

"Brilliant," Mum said. "Remus, we created a genius here."

"I could have done better pictures," Dad said.

"Wish you could have," Teddy told him. He put the book down. "There's something I want to talk to the three of you about..."
18 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
illudwinnepooh4 From: illudwinnepooh4 Date: September 12th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy forgot to stop by Hogsmead and pick up Donzo :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2010 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Oops, like I said in the intro, what would I do without you guys? I'll fix that.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2010 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Another chaplet!
I only discovered your Teddyverse a few weeks ago, I am in love with your writing!
I'm wondering how Teddy is going go overcome the problem of copying behavioural tics etc, wouldn't Sam spot those on a morphed wizard as well?
I love responsible paternal Harry in this chapter too :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you like it! I've enjoyed writing Teddy. As consolation prizes go, he's definitely not too shabby. ;p

Teddy's as convinced as Harry that he's a really good actor. I think that, without the re-inforcement of regular swigs of Polyjuice, it might be easy to miss tics in someone you don't know well.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC) (Link)
That's very true, also Lucius is reclusive and slightly out of it (if I'm remembering your previous fic correctly :) ) so Teddy really just has to do a convincing impression of the Lucius the public are familiar with.
And .... How exciting! A new chaplet is already up *impatiently counts minutes until lunchbreak when interrupted reading can occur*
I am so impressed with the world you've created around Teddy from the brief mentions in the Epilogue, I hope that JKR never writes him be use I can't imagine liking anything (even canon) more that your Teddyverse. I've been catching up on your older fics, and I'm also impressed by how well you reconciled DH with your previous RT stories, it must have been so upsetting reading DH the first time and saw how summarily Remus and Dora were dispatched :( But I really love how you have incorporated elements fro
The Shiftsverse into the Teddyverse stories without writing denial-fic (I'm a sucker for Sirius denial-fic, 8 years on and the wound still smarts, THANKS JKR *shakes fist* , but after the initial wish fulfilment high, I end up disappointed because nothing in the following canon rings true if Sirius lives). Anyway, enough rambling - I just wanted to say another amazing job and I look forward to reading more and more and more of your work :)
Dine (I WILL sign into my Lj account one day)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops, BECAUSE not be use and embarrassingly XINE not Dine. Stupid iPhone and it's stupid text correcting. I do know my own name :)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 12th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to be helpful. Of course Harry would take a lot of care on training his Aurors to recognize Polyjuiced people- after getting away with so much himself, it's such an obvious weak point that criminals can take advantage of.

"And you know I can handle myself in a crisis," Teddy said. "I'm not going to panic."
'Course not, Teddy. You just blow things up! =D

I'm more worried about Maurice than I am about Teddy. It's not as personal for him as it is for Maurice. He isn't an animagus, he can't escape like that.

I loved that little moment at the end, because I wasn't expecting it, hung up as I was on The Plan. It was sweet. I can't wait to find out what they think of the Plan, though (Sirius will LOVE it, Tonks will be worried but fine- Remus might have deeper problems with it. Let's see if I guessed right!).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)
'Course not, Teddy. You just blow things up! =D

Very, very true.

But there's nothing to blow up--except Sam, of course--so Teddy might have to think of another strategy.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 12th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suspect Harry already knows what Teddy's going to say, but at least he has another week to come to terms with the idea of his godson putting himself in danger. Eager to know what Teddy has to discuss with the portrait.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry is in a predicament. He knows perfectly well that he would have done it and argued with anyone saying he shouldn't. But it's his godson! That makes it entirely different.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: September 12th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Having Teddy think about it for a week is a good idea, although I suspect that he won't change his mind. And I'm sure that remus would have created great illustrations for the book.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I think he would have, too. And would have enjoyed doing it. And might have dropped little in-jokes into the drawings while he was at it.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 12th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

*relief*

that was a very good, level headeaded disscussion of the issue

I really love adultHarry, how he recognizes teddy wish to help, but also recognizes past inpulsivity and tries to make Teddy see past his mistakes

i like that he doesn't tell Teddy not to do it, straight out, but tells him to really think about what he is so persistent in doing. nice balance

i kind of hope sirius doesnt't straight out agrees with teddy that it's a good plan.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *relief*

Grown-up (mostly) Teddy is a relief. The real hurricanes are over, and he can interact rationally with his adults.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome! Always glad to be of help.

And a nice update too. I'm glad the pace is picking up again!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure how long the pace will be picked up--I'm starting the new segment when I finish replies--but I like it better when it's going faster, too. I seem to lose fewer readers between segments!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 14th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)

good on harry

good for harry to let teddy know all that could go wrong with this but let him make his own decision

adult harry is the best!

~A
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 14th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: good on harry

All Harrys are good Harrys. ;p
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