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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty: Shadows, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty: Shadows, pt. 2
After realizing that he'd entirely ignored a vision that Laura Chapman had mentioned to him, Teddy goes to her in the early morning and they work out a way to share what she Saw--which was shadows now surrounding and protecting Sam Cresswell. Teddy realizes that he needs to tell Harry this.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"It makes sense," Uncle Harry said. He was in the kitchen at Grimmauld Place, and from Teddy's perspective in the fireplace, he could see that he'd done a lazy job shaving under his chin. The rest of the family had headed upstairs to the dining room for breakfast on his request. "It'd almost have to be true, when you think about it. If it were just him, he might be able to do it, but he's hiding his mother and his brother somewhere, and the brother, at least, couldn't handle life on the run." He ground his teeth. "Teddy, how many have you involved this?"

"Oh, no one who has the slightest idea," Teddy said. "Well, except Mum and Dad and Sirius, but they won't say anything. As far as Laura knew, I was just... blue-skying a question for her to scry for me." He reconsidered. "Well, she probably suspects something--she's not stupid--but not any more idea than anyone in my Defense Against the Dark Arts class, from last autumn."

Uncle Harry nodded, and Summoned his breakfast. He offered Teddy a piece of toast, and waited for a no before eating it himself. "Be careful how many hints you drop. I know you usually are, but I imagine your yearmates are expecting you to jump into this somehow by now, and they're probably watching for it."

"Mm."

"Teddy... you don't have to."

"Yes I do."

"I suppose." Uncle Harry pulled a low stool over. "Are you alone?"

"I'm using Professor Longbottom's floo."

"Tell Neville thank you. The plan for Sunday is that you'll go to Maurice's a bit earlier than usual, and do your regular tutoring with him. He'll resist that."

"I know, but I want him to get his N.E.W.T.s. So would his parents."

"Well, so does the Headmistress, as that's the reason she gave you leave to come to London every week in the first place."

"All right, so I'll go a bit early."

"When you've finished, make a show of Disapparating and saying you have a lot to do back at school, but Disapparate here. Straight to the front step. I'd lend you my Cloak, but there's no good place to put it on. Just come to the front step and come right through the door. It'll be unlocked from four-thirty until you actually arrive. Ruth will be here with her Alarm Charms."

"All right."

"And from there"--he wrinkled his nose--"you'll Floo directly to Malfoy Manor. Draco and I, on the condition that it will not be permanent, have set up a direct link. I never thought I'd have an unsecured link between my home and Malfoy Manor."

"Er... thanks?"

"Sorry, Teddy. I'm a bit out of sorts about it, but it's the best way. The only comfort is that Draco is even more out of sorts than I am." He laughed bitterly. "Anyway, once you're there, Narcissa Malfoy will tell you what you'll need to do. She'll also give you a different wand for the evening."

"A different--"

"It's dangerous. Sam will try to disarm you if he catches you. I didn't think you'd want to risk Tonks's wand."

"Oh. Thanks."

"Anyway, who knows what Sam will pick up? Narcissa will give you a wand that Lucius could conceivably have found in the Manor, even though he isn't actually allowed to carry a wand anymore."

"That makes sense."

"No unnecessary risks. I mean it. Establish a pattern. He most likely won't come the first night."

Teddy agreed, and went to class. He felt like he'd already been awake all day, but it wasn't even nine o'clock yet.

Classes dragged for the day, and Saturday seemed like it would never end. There was even an objective sense of it--in a mad attempt to force Time's hand, Teddy finished assignments in three classes, got a good bit of work done in a fourth, and changed directions on his Potion again, this time working with Laura so that he could come up with a photograph Potion that would retain the images she channeled through her crystal ball. He tried using her Charm himself, but it turned out that cameras, like wands, developed a magical affinity for their users, and he was completely unable to make it work.

Sunday came at last, and even though Teddy left four hours earlier than he usually did, it felt later. Once he was tutoring Maurice, things seemed to revert to normal time--whenever he taught, he could feel Dad comfortably inside his head, and it was always pleasant--even though Maurice didn't want to "waste time" on his studies. Teddy got him through his work, made some corrections on what he'd done very carelessly during the week, and then they walked together, talking about Teddy's planned date at Hogwart's later, which was why he'd allegedly come in early. They reached beyond the shop's Disapparition barrier, and Teddy turned on his heel and pulled himself to Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. He let himself in. Mad Auntie made a huge racket at the thought of an unnatural creature entering without permission, but as she was inside, its only effect was to let everyone in the kitchen know he was there. Ruthless gave him a fine, heavy cloak whose gold button's she'd Charmed. "One hard tug on any of them," she said, "and every Auror in the country will be on top of you."

Teddy nodded, folded it over his arm, and Flooed to Malfoy Manor.

Where Granny was waiting for him by the fireplace.

He blinked at her as soon as he stopped spinning (coming to rest in an awkward thump against the wall). "Granny? What...?"

"Your grandmother's been looking after me again," a soft voice said. Teddy looked to sofa, where Narcissa Malfoy had been sitting, unnoticed. "If I must be ill, I'm at least glad that I have my sister back for it."

"Finish the potion, Cissy," Granny said absently, watching out of the corner of her eye until Narcissa had quaffed something out of a coffee cup. She focused her attention on Teddy. "I don't like this one bit, but if you're determined to do it, let's get it right."

Teddy reached into his robes and got out his wand. He handed it to Granny. "Here. Could you keep it for me while I'm out?"

"I've got--"

"Sit down, Cissy," Granny said. "I'll get it."

Narcissa rolled her eyes. "It's in my sewing box in the dining room."

Granny left the room.

"You... sew?"

Narcissa smiled. Teddy realized that she must have the Fading Sickness again, as she seemed to blend into the sofa. "Good heavens, no. It's an heirloom. I think the last person to actually use it for sewing was Phineas Nigellus's wife. She left it to her granddaughter, Cassiopeia, but Cassiopeia never had children, so she gave it to my mother, and my mother gave it to... well, we won't mention that... and, at any rate, it made its way to me. I have it out for display." She sighed. "Perhaps I should use it to make something. It would be good to make something."

"Are you all right, Aunt Narcissa?"

"I will be. As soon as the Potion starts working."

Granny came back, carrying a wicker basket with an embroidered cushion on top. The embroidery was the crest of the House of Black, with its greyhounds and sword stitched in silver thread. Granny handed it to Narcissa.

Narcissa opened the basket and carefully took out the top shelf, which contained a selection of needles set artfully into a cushioned panel and a pair of pristine looking scissors. (Teddy couldn't imagine why scissors would have been needed, when Severing Charms would have certainly been used, but he supposed there were just standard things that such a basket would have.) Beneath the shelf was a small box with tiny spools of thread; Teddy supposed these were magical, and would just replicate until the witch or wizard using them was done. There were also a few carefully folded bits of fabric, a measuring tape, and a few patterns. Narcissa took each of these things out with great care. The basket now appeared to be empty, except for a queerly mottled bit of red fabric lining.

Narcissa pointed her wand at her finger, and a drop of blood appeared. She pressed it to the lining, making a darker spot that spread out. The bottom panel of the basket split into two parts, which lifted up to reveal a chamber underneath. By the size of the basket, it ought to have been less than half an inch deep, but of course, it was quite roomy. Inside it, Teddy could see several things carefully laid out, but Narcissa paid no attention to them. She pulled out a long black wand. "Ebony," she said. "With a phoenix feather."

"Is that--?" Granny started.

"Father's wand," Narcissa confirmed, and handed it to Teddy. "No one knows where I keep it, so anyone who didn't know it was blood-locked could reasonably think Lucius had got it. Of course, I couldn't ever let him, he's... he's not in any proper state to do magic." She shook this off. "It belonged to your great-grandfather, so it really ought to have enough affinity with you to protect you, should it be necessary, but it wouldn't be mourned if lost."

"It's your father's."

She shrugged. "We weren't close. He was always away. It was Uncle Alphard who looked after us, and I'm not giving you his."

"You have it?" Granny asked.

"They gave it to Grandmother and Grandfather when he died, and when they died, Dad had it. Thank God Bella didn't want it." She stopped. "Sorry. I didn't mean to--"

"She was alive and quite unfortunately made a difference in the way things happened in our lives," Granny said. "It's foolish to pretend otherwise at this point."

There was an awkward silence, during which Teddy took Cygnus Black's wand, then the door opened, and Draco came in with Lucius's clothes. Teddy changed, morphed, and slipped out into the night.
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Comments
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Whoo first comment!

I haven't written the Malfoys much, but they seem to belong in this particular story.
amamama From: amamama Date: September 27th, 2010 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yay - interesting. What will this wand do? I have a feeling it will play a bigger part than any of them imagine at this point, but I may be wrong. Not very likely, of course, but still... *grin* Seriously, though. It's all these littel details you put in which make such a wonderful tapestry of your stories, Fern. Looking forward to more. :-)

Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I enjoy the big stories, even when they're not coming out quite as quickly as I'd like.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 27th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wandlore is one of the more interesting facets in the HP world, and this wand looks to have its own fascinating possibilities. Eager to see what kind of results transpire from Teddy's first outing as Lucius.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe not many the first time, but we'll see. ;p
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 27th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
OH-OH-OH-OH, I LOVED IT!!

I mean, not only I'm nervous for Teddy, but I ABSOLUTELY ADORED the Narcissa/Andromeda interaction talking about family and heirlooms and sewing and THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BIT. I am so excited and scared and nervous for Teddy!

Now I can't wait 'till the next one!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you liked it. It's got to be a sort of awkward reconciliation, but I think they both needed to do it.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: September 27th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
See icon. Read icon. Repeat. Hooray!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 27th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
With the family getting more or less back together, I can't help wanting to see portrait Tonks, Remus, and Sirius interacting with Narcissa.

And I couldn't help thinking about the practicality of scissors vs spells. If you're using a needle, picking up a pair of scissors might be easier, especially if it's a small sized project, the thread is short, and you have a long wand.

Then again, if you enjoy sewing by hand because you enjoy sewing by hand, you might not use a spell for the same reasons you aren't sewing with a spell . . . .

Oh, the plot. Right.

Narcissa's illness has been a bit suspicious in its timing so far. This makes two times that we know of and they both correspond with major events in the murders. If Sam somehow knows what's going on - Teddy's friends may have suspicions and Geoffrey, while not really part of the gang, is in their year and may be on better terms with Honoria, who is very good at putting things together for news but not always so good at seeing the consequences.

Also, gap-in-the-plan-wise, anyone could have walked in the door at Harry's house and had access to the Malfoys'. Depending on how the floo connection was put in, someone might know about that and might have (intentionally or otherwise) passed that information along.

Put those two bits of information together and you could estimate a time window.

Or something. I don't know. If Narcissa's illness is part of someone's plan, it might have been to get Narcissa out of the house. Instead, Andromeda - no slouch in the magic department especially when protecting her remaining family from mad killers - is there. But her attention is likely focused on Narcissa and not people coming through the floo.

Also, if Geoffrey's involved, there's someone who can check whether or not Teddy went back to school.

In other words, something is going to go wrong with the plan, even if I don't know exactly WHAT will go wrong with the plan . . . .

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Cissy's illness really isn't related, just to get that on the table, except insofar as it's really started to heal the rift between the sisters. I have her die relatively young in some ficlets, so I thought I'd start showing her as a little sickly.

Good point about Geoff knowing whether or not Teddy's in school, though Teddy does sneak around enough and spend enough time alone in his room that it would be easy to miss that he's not there.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: September 27th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is Grimmauld Place still protected by some sort of Fidelias charm? If so, leaving the door unlocked may be relatively safe, but if not, this seems to be a bit foolhardy. Still, it's good to see the plot moving forward.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 27th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
GP isn't hidden anymore, but that's why Harry told Teddy at what time he was opening the door. I doubt it was open more than 4:30 to 4:32, and Mrs. Black would have howled bloody murder at anyone coming in who didn't belong.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: September 27th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
So exciting! Anticipating the next segment! I've been loving all the segments, they really brighten my days. (Sorry for neglecting to comment.)

I can't believe that book cover was for real. How do you read that without dying of embarrassment should anyone see the cover?
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: September 29th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like the end with the mentions of Narcissa getting all these things. Funny how inheritance makes famiies seem so real, complicated and occassionally painful.
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