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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Three: Fame and Fortune, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Three: Fame and Fortune, pt. 1
Okay, before Honoria introduced the Ravenclaws, Teddy--with a big assist from Donzo--entrapped Sam Cresswell. The two of them, using their Animagus forms, managed to keep him under control until the Aurors got there. Sam threatened to expose them as illegal Animagi, which none of the Aurors took seriously, coming from a serial killer, but Andromeda (with the support of other Slytherins) told Harry that he has to charge them, and they have to take the penalty (fine or a couple of weeks in Azkaban), otherwise Sam will use selective enforcement of the law as a talking point at his trial.

Grr, looking at the calendar, I've already missed Easter this year. I will blithely ignore this. Also, I'm fairly sure I once gave Donzo a middle name, but I'm blanking. If I remember, I'll change it. And I never did settle on where Andromeda's house was, except that it's not far from London--as I'd tacitly assumed to be in London until we saw it in TDH--so hello, Bucks, for no reason whatsoever. I've also (this is getting lengthy) changed part of the set up of Marauder's Roost, deliberately, so that I can get everything into this story.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy and Donzo were called before the Wizengamot on the first weekday of Easter hols, eight days after the capture of Sam Cresswell. The case against him was still being prepared, or so the argument went; Teddy privately suspected that Granny had convinced Uncle Harry that it would be wise to get this part properly squared away before Sam could make use of it. It wouldn't mitigate his guilt at all to accuse Uncle Harry of playing favorites, but it would give him a very large opportunity to spread his venom around.

The story had hit the Prophet immediately, complete with a report of Teddy and Donzo's illegal magic, and, while a few people had made snide suggestions that they'd be "let off," most had thought the charge ridiculous in the extreme, in light of the assistance with the capture of a murderer. I don't care how close either of them is to Harry Potter, a witch on the Isle of Man had written, if Harry Potter declined to prosecute at all, it would still only be because the charge is a waste of anyone's time and gold.

On the afternoon of the hearing, Teddy met Donzo at the Ministry. A crowd had gathered in the lobby, some of them reporters, some just onlookers. One woman had made a sign that showed them flying away (she seemed not to have a clear understanding of what a raccoon was, judging by the hand-drawn picture). Another was wearing one of Donzo's concert tee shirts, and yelled, "I'll go in your place!"

"Er, not... er..." Donzo stuttered, then broke into his concert persona and said blithely. "I love you too, but let's face it, I did commit the crime! I probably ought to take it myself." He winked at her.

She sighed blissfully.

In the back were protestors from the other side--a mercifully small, but unpleasant looking, group. They had signs with needles on them (the same design as Geoff's tee shirt, so Teddy guessed he'd designed them as well, since they'd obviously not been hand-drawn), and were chanting, "Hey, Hey, Harry Potter--gives justice for some but not for others!"

"Given the circumstances," Teddy said quietly to Donzo, "I was half expecting them to actually say 'otters.'"

"Lousy rhythm, either way."

"One-two-three-four... let them know we're keeping score!"

"Don't listen them," an old woman advised Teddy. "They're mad."

"Two-four-six-eight... We know Potter's godson is going to skate."

A group of girls near the front, all wearing Donzo's tee shirts, who had been scribbling on a bit of a scroll, turned around and shouted, "One, three, five, seven... you lot are too stupid to count to eleven!"

The lift doors opened, and Anthony Goldstein came out. He didn't engage any of the crowd, and took Donzo and Teddy by the arms back to the lift.

"Has it been like this all day?" Teddy asked.

"Since before any of us got in this morning. Don't worry about it. We were expecting it." Goldstein told the lift to take them to the Department of Mysteries. "There'll be a few at the hearing--it's public--but they'll be under strict instructions to stay quiet, and anyone who isn't can be asked to leave."

The doors to the lift opened in the bowels of the Ministry. Maddie and Croaker were standing in the corridor, looking solemn, and it occurred to Teddy that he might be endangering his apprenticeship with the Ministry by breaking the law. Maddie caught the look on his face and shook her head rapidly--indicating, he hoped, that he needn't worry.

Goldstein led them into the hearing chamber, where two chairs had been set up in front of the rows of seats, where the Wizengamot was seated. Teddy could see Hermione Weasley in the first row, in dark plum robes with gold trim. Kingsley Shacklebolt sat at the front, in the center. Beside him was Percy Weasley. They both looked like they were suffering from bad headaches. Uncle Harry and Ron were sitting in the third row, both looking gaunt.

In the gallery, Teddy could see more handmade signs, most expressing the idea that Teddy and Donzo were heroes for catching Cresswell and oughtn't be charged with petty crimes; a few with less friendly slogans. They were all quiet.

Teddy sat down in the chair that had been indicated for him; to his relief, no chains came up to bind him.

Kingsley looked to his left, where a young woman with a quill was biting her lip nervously, glancing at Teddy with apologetic nervousness. It took him a moment to recognize her as Priya Patil, who had been a seventh year prefect when he himself had been a first year. She scribbled as Kingsley spoke.

"Criminal hearing on the twenty-sixth of April into offenses against the Animagus Registration Act by Ted Remus Lupin and Donald Jubal McCormack Duke, of Buckinghamshire and Nottinghamshire, respectively. Interrogators: Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister for Magic; Hermione Jean Weasley, Department of Magical Law Enforcement; Percy Ignatius Weasley, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister; Court Scribe: Priya Dyumna Trimble. Witness for the prosecution, to be read into the record: Samuel Cresswell."

In the gallery, someone yelled, "You've framed him!" but this fell into silence, and, after a moment of staring from Kingsley, the list resumed.

"Witness for the defense: Minerva Grizelda McGonagall."

The doors opened again, and a chair appeared. Professor McGonagall took a seat in it.

Kingsley waited for them to settle, then said, "Will the defendants state their names for the record?"

Teddy squared his shoulders and said, "Ted Remus Lupin," and Donzo gave his own name.

"Very well. The following is the accusation against you, from Samuel Cresswell, currently incarcerated at Azkaban and therefore unable to testify." Priya handed him a scroll and he opened it to read. "'During the course of an illegal entrapment,'" Cresswell had written, "'both Lupin and McCormack transformed into animals using a classic Animagus spell. McCormack transformed into a small mammal and physically attacked me, and Lupin transformed into a bird of prey, stealing my wand and any means of defense I had.'" Kingsley looked up. "How do you respond to these charges?"

"The, er... entrapment wasn't illegal," Teddy said, and looked at Uncle Harry. "As I'm sure the Aurors will explain at Mr. Cresswell's trial, I was working with the Division officially, in a legal plan to capture a known murderer. Donzo--Mr. McCormack--intervened voluntarily, just to help me. He wasn't involved in the plan. We, er... we did use the Animagus spell, which we'd been studying for quite a long time."

"And you were aware that such studies are prohibited by law?"

"Not technically," Donzo said. "Acheiving the transformation is, but studying--"

Kingsley held up his hand. "I think, Mr. McCormack Duke, that it's fairly clear you've gone beyond studies."

Donzo fell silent.

"Do you both concede that you have acheived the Animagus transformation and illegally failed to register?"

"We do," Teddy said.

"Very well. Professor McGonagall, you wished to speak in defense of the action?"

Professor McGonagall stood up, leaning on her walking stick. "Minister Shacklebolt," she said, "and members of the Wizengamot. For ten years, I have been the only registered Animagus remaining in Britain, and as such, I have been responsible for all applications to register. I have not been overwhelmed with work in this matter." There was a soft laugh around the room. She went on. "I have worked with six students, none of whom have mastered the transformation. Nor did I master it under tutelage from a stranger--I learned it myself, as part of the war effort during our conflict with Gellert Grindelwald, much as Mr. Lupin's elder cousin, Sirius Black, mastered it illegally in his effort to support the members of the Order of the Phoenix during our first conflict with Tom Riddle." (Teddy noticed how carefully she phrased this--Sirius had not, of course, learned this to help fight Voldemort, but to support Dad during his lycanthropic shifts... but then, Dad would become a member of the Order, and therefore, what she said was true.) "I would argue," she added, "that our entire approach to this has been misguided. The spell is personal, and not easily learned from a mentor. Mr. Lupin and Mr. McCormack Duke mastered it in the only way I have ever truly seen it mastered."

"And then failed to register," Kingsley pointed out.

"To the great benefit of society," Professor McGonagall said dryly, "as, had they been known Animagi, there would have been no surprise, and a murderer would still be running free."

"So you would argue that the law requiring registration is questionable?"

"Questionable, perhaps, but not wrong. While the illegal secrecy of the transformation saved the life of Sirius Black, and has now saved Ted Lupin, I would also take into consideration that it allowed the escape of Peter Pettigrew, and I believe that neither of those lives would have needed to be saved, had we apprehended Mr. Pettigrew at the time of his crime. Individual cases must be examined on their merits."

"Thank you, Professor McGonagall. Are there other witnesses in this matter?"

There were not. It was, after all, fairly straightforward.

Teddy and Donzo were asked to transform, and did so, then ordered to register regardless of the verdict. Ultimately, they were fined five hundred Galleons each, and sent to a dim office to fill out their paperwork. The registration cost another twenty-five Galleons. The witch taking their gold and processing their applications muttered that it was absurd. When they finished, they were ordered to another dim office, this time having to wait in line among curious spectators to pay their fines. A few protesters followed them down, making snide comments about buying their way out of Azkaban. Donzo tried to explain that a fine was a perfectly legal sentence, citing the law on the matter, but they didn't care to listen. Finally, a complete stranger who knew the law well joined in the argument, and by the time Teddy got to the desk to pay, the whole business was being conducted as an argument among strangers, and the only person paying attention to him was a very elderly witch with a tartan handbag.

She watched him curiously as he signed over gold, but as he stepped away to let Donzo take care of his part, she stepped forward and said, "You're Remus Lupin's son?"

Teddy blinked and said, "Er... yes."

"There's something I need to discuss with you."
33 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 11th, 2010 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I still say they should have done the time. Especially Donzo: it would have given him serious rock-n-roll street cred!
amamama From: amamama Date: October 11th, 2010 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL - good point!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
katyhasclogs From: katyhasclogs Date: October 11th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh cliffhanger!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gotta have 'em in this format. :D
amamama From: amamama Date: October 11th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)
While I remember it, rwo nits: First line, second paragraph: while a few peopl had made - missing e.

Halfway down: In the gallery, someone yelled, "You've framed him!" but this was fell into silence "This was fell" sounds a bit strange to me, omit was?

Great hearing, loved the fans, and Cresswell is just a stinking cesspool. Really. Totally, completely nuts (but unfortunately not the only one). McG's defense speech was just as awesome as the lady is - and I'm very intrigued by the mystery lady with the tartan handbag... Great chapterlet!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Grabbed those. The first was just lazy typing; the second was changing the sentence partway through, and not excising the whole of the old.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 11th, 2010 11:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, it isn't Elizabeth Phelan, is it? I know you're operating in the canon world etc now, but still... it'd be nice to see her.

Wild stab in the dark. I love reading this story, I've been following it avidly all year!
vytresna From: vytresna Date: October 11th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Fern did say Elizabeth was demoted to kindly werewolf mentor, but she'd be long dead by this point, I'm afraid.
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: October 11th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I've enjoyed this story very much. I'm glad Teddy's plan to capture Cresswell worked.

I do have one nitpick on this chapter. I know Teddy and Donzo are best mates, but shouldn't Donzo enter his own plea? :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Probably. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 11th, 2010 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh...my first thought was that the mysterious lady was Fiona (because she's connected with the island and you mentioned Marauder's Roost), but on second thought maybe not. I don't think she'd be old enough to be considered "very elderly," since she was a contemporary of Remus and Sirius.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
That would have been a good guess, but yeah, she's not that elderly, and is presently enjoying life in Brazil with her daughters and her second husband.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 11th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad the boys were given the option of a fine--at least the amount won't beggar their bank accounts. We know Teddy's comfortably fixed, and I don't imagine Donzo's hurting financially either. Enjoyed watching Donzo switch back and forth between schoolboy and rock star personas--no doubt he'll get more adept at this as he grows older. Sam's attempt to paint himself as a victim of illegal magic boggles the mind: "I was trying to commit a nice, peaceful murder, your Honor, when these two unregistered Animagi assaulted and disarmed me!" ::rolls eyes::

Intrigued by who the witch wanting to speak to "Remus Lupin's son" might be.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I was trying to commit a nice, peaceful murder, your Honor, when these two unregistered Animagi assaulted and disarmed me!"

Hee! Sadly, that's more or less what he's thinking.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 11th, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
All the chanting by protesters reminded me of a story I was told about some college workers (TAs and others, I think) who had union reps prepping them on chants and things when they were going to strike. One of the chants was, "No justice, no teach!"

The TAs looked at them in confusion, "But, that's not grammatically correct."

I see the wizarding world is still behind on allowing defendents lawyers, although Teddy seems to have been well prepped on how to reply. Then again, a more Muggle-style courtroom scene might have taken a lot longer to write (evidence to be submitted on the arrest, Sam's attack, Teddy's involvement, justifiable defense, etc).

500 gold pieces is about $7,500 to $10,000 dollars, isn't it? Steep.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
According to the Lex's converter,, it's a little over $5K. More than I have in pocket money, anyway. ;p

It seemed from Harry's hearing that the defense witness acts as an advocate, but yes--they really need some actual experts doing it.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
malinbe From: malinbe Date: October 11th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Grizelda! Ha!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do love my Character Naming Sourcebook. Look up "Scottish names" and find out the silliest sounding thing with Minerva. It's a Potter-name generator. ;p
a_blue_jay From: a_blue_jay Date: October 11th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

For some reason, I simply love trial scenes. Must be all the angst they generate. :P

Of course, this one was quite low on angst and I loved it anyway. Go figure.

I love how some people are actually sane: They were helping with the capture of a murderer. THEY SHOULDN'T GO TO JAIL. Though I suppose they did break the law, so the fine is well deserved... I mean, it's not like they LEARNED to be Animagi to capture Cresswell.

In any case, legal possibility of a fine != buying your way out of jail. Idiots.

As for the old lady - I actually went back and re-read Marauder's Roost, and I'm pretty sure I know who she is. Of course, I am then not sure how everything fits together... but that just makes waiting more exciting.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
In any case, legal possibility of a fine != buying your way out of jail. Idiots.

Yeah, they're not that clear on the whole logic of jurisprudence.

Like I said, I made a minor change in the background of MR, so you're probably on the right track as to who she is.
From: kobegrace Date: October 12th, 2010 07:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Think I know who she is... Time to buy an island, Teddy. (How much do they run for these days?)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
More than I've got in my pocket. ;p

You could have bought Craro Island, in the Hebrides, for a mere... wow, actually, for real estate, it was cheap at £65,000, or 13,000 Galleons, or a little over US$100K or $104K Canadian. Unfortunately, it's already sold. Dang.

(A Norwegian island on the site comes in more like I'd expect at about US$4.5M. But this one's not a Norwegian island, so maybe it's closer to the Hebrides price.)

Edited at 2010-10-12 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 19th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fantasic as always :)
Just one niggle - we Brits do know what raccoons are even though they aren't native. Same way that we recognise giraffes and zebras ;) Although I suppose it's a gap in that particular witch's general knowledge rather than a Brit-specific gap.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 19th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I imagine that the magical community might know more non-native magical animals than non-native Muggle ones.
33 comments or Leave a comment