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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Three: Fame and Fortune, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Three: Fame and Fortune, pt. 2
Teddy and Donzo are called before the Wizengamot to answer for being illegal Animagi, in an attempt to cut it off before it becomes an issue in Cresswell's trial. They are each fined 500 Galleons and compelled to register. After Teddy has paid his fine and is waiting for Donzo to take care of it, he notices an elderly witch watching him. She asks if he's Lupin's son, and says she has something she needs to discuss with him.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"Something to discuss with me?" Teddy repeated.

"Aye. It's a bit awkard, but I'll just be blunt. Your dad, rest his soul, died owing me a good bit of gold. I've never asked for it back, but you're clearly not destitute..."

Teddy shook his head. "I... well... Uncle Harry and Bill said they took care of all of his debts years ago. The books were meant to be clear."

The witch pressed her lips together. "'Twasn't entirely in the books, if you understand. It was something Dumbledore arranged, and he didn't necessarily want it to be easy to find Remus Lupin that year."

"Teddy?"

Teddy looked over his shoulder, and found Donzo waiting for him. "Er... Donzo, go ahead," he said. "I think I need to talk to..."

"Mary McAllister," the witch said.

"Mrs. McAllister."

"It's Miss, young man, but I'll not hold it against you."

A press of girls chose that moment to break through the line of the argument, still raging, about whether Teddy and Donzo had got off too easily. They swarmed onto Donzo and started begging him to either sing or transform.

"And I'd like your autograph! Yours, too!" A brunette who Teddy remembered from Hogwarts a few years ago nearly slammed into him. "You took down that monster!" She shoved a bit of parchment toward him, holding out an inked quill.

"Er..."

Mary McAllister slammed her walking stick on the floor and said, "This is the Ministry for Magic, young woman, not a rock and roll show." She looked at Donzo with great dislike, then back at Teddy. "We should discuss this in a less... volatile... setting."

"Where?"

"At the place in question." She fumbled into her handbag, then pulled out a map. "It's this island, in the Orkneys. Your father died owing rent on it. Will you speak to me there Friday, noon? There's a small house. We can speak there." With that--and without waiting for Teddy's answer--she stormed off.

"What was that?" Donzo asked.

Teddy shook his head and sighed. "I don't know. The last of the debts, I suppose. I hope. I'll talk to the portrait later and see if Dad put in any memory of it. Well, if the memories Maddie found in..." He stopped, not bothering to lie about the provenance of the portraits. The fact that he'd used the Resurrection Stone wasn't suspected by anyone, but anyone who understood anything about portraits knew that the official story was bunk, and Donzo didn't even pretend to believe it anymore.

Teddy asked the witch who'd taken their fines if they might go through and use a staircase in the back of the office to get around the crowd, and she agreed in a distracted way. They walked up to the lobby level, where most of the crowd had already dispersed, and parted ways, Donzo heading for the Floos to go back to Weird World ("I promised Vavoom a ride down the ski slope," he said, "so I want to get there before her bedtime") and Teddy heading for the lifts to the Auror Division.

Ruthless wasn't in her cubicle, much to Teddy's disappointment, but he wasn't there to see her, anyway. He went straight to the door of Uncle Harry's office and knocked.

"Come in, Teddy!" Uncle Harry called.

Teddy went in. "Uncle Harry, I just ran into a witch who was talking about Dad and one of Dumbledore's--" He stopped. "Granny?"

Granny looked up from the chair across from Uncle Harry. "You were on trial in front of the Wizengamot, Teddy. I didn't stay home to knit."

"Oh." Teddy took another chair. "Well, maybe you'd know about this, too, I have no idea..." He told them about Mary McAllister.

Uncle Harry shook his head blankly at the end, but Granny grinned and took the map. "Oh, the island!" She laughed fondly. "He lived there the year after he worked at Hogwarts. Dora used to visit him." She looked at Uncle Harry. "They listened to the Triwizard on the wireless there. Sirius was still pretending to be a dog, but Dora had more or less got it figured out by then, it wasn't long before she was in on things..." She looked back at the map. "That last year, they talked about it a lot. Not as much as the Shrieking Shack, but a bit more fondly. The three of them had a good bit of fun there."

"Why would Dad owe gold?"

"I have no idea. And no idea where Dumbledore comes into it, either."

"If it was one of Dumbledore's plans," Uncle Harry said, "we may never know it entirely." He held his hand out for the Map, and Granny Banished it in his direction. "May I go with you on Friday?" he asked. "I remember Dumbledore telling Sirius to 'lay low at Lupin's.' This would have been the place. I'd like to see it."

Teddy nodded, and agreed that Granny could come as well. Whatever the debt was, they'd pay it, visit a few of Mum and Dad's (and Sirius's) haunts, and maybe have a nice day of it. It seemed, in this respect, to be something of a gift. "But I have to admit," he said, "this catching of murderers is getting a bit expensive."

They went back to Grimmauld Place together and had supper with the Potters. The children asked to see Teddy transform several times, and Lily wanted to know how she could catch him on one arm, like she'd seen in a picture. James bragged that he'd known all along, having been rescued by Teddy's hawk when they were caught in the Daedalus Maze together.

"Yes, but you said that was only in the Maze," Al corrected him.

"I was covering up."

Teddy, who'd been sitting on Lily's guantleted arm during this exchange, jumped down and transformed to say, "And doing a spectacularly good job of it."

"He didn't really know anything," Lily said.

"Yes, I did."

"No, you--"

"Enough," Aunt Ginny said. "Honestly, the pair of you."

After a while, James announced that Frankie had sent a quarterly royalty report, which easily covered the Animagus registration and part of the fine, and the talk turned again to "Jim Wolf's" next book. James was keen to observe the trial and have a trial in it, but Uncle Harry told him that he wasn't going to allow anyone not of age in the gallery. "You don't need to have those pictures in your head," he said.

"You saw--"

"He's mastered the art of hypocrisy," Teddy cut in. "He told me so when I tried that."

"Thank you, Teddy."

The conversation spun pleasantly on into the night, until the children went to bed. Aunt Ginny, Uncle Harry, and Granny fell to talking about old times, and Teddy went up to the parlor.

"Rumor has it," a sharp voice said from the wall, "that you've gone and registered."

Teddy smiled and pulled a chair up in front of the portrait, where James the Elder had struck a mock-accusing pose. Beside him, Sirius had turned into a dog. Teddy shook his head. "Sorry," he said. "No choice."

"Right, right, mass murderers to capture and try." James sighed deeply. "Sirius, go get Lupin; his son's going entirely too legit."

Sirius transformed. "And you think Remus will set him straight?"

"That's a good point."

"I'll get him, anyway," Sirius said, and disappeared out of the frame.

"Let's have it," James said. "I've heard about it from the Hogwarts lot, but not seen it."

Teddy transformed back and forth.

James was shaking his head with admiring envy. "You can fly on your own. I should've been a bird. That's far too much fun."

Sirius returned with Dad, and Teddy steered the conversation to the island. Both portraits had retained memories of it, with apparent fondness. Dad told him to look for a carving on base of a stone platform by the door.

Teddy was not surprised, when he got back to Granny's that night, to find himself dreaming of the island, though he'd never properly seen it. It came jutting out of the North Sea like a mirror of Azkaban, but strewn with green grasses and wildflowers instead of built up of solid stone. As he flew over it in hawk form, the cruciform shadow rippling in the wind-blown grass, he saw Hogwarts rise up from a hill, and for a brief moment, his heart was filled with gladness--then a cloud covered the sun, and it was the night of the Battle, and people were dying, and he saw himself below, looking at a map and telling Donzo, "It's the last debt, I suppose."

He woke up, troubled, and fed Checkmate, rubbing her shoulders as she ate. She licked his fingertips.

Granny, though down to part time work and soon to retire completely, still rose quite early, and he found her in the kitchen, reading the morning's post. The Daily Prophet was sitting, unfolded, by her plate. "Do you mind?" he asked, picking it up.

"You won't like it."

"I haven't for quite a while."

His hearing hadn't made the front page, but there was a small article about it. Nothing of consequence, though both he and Donzo had their Animagus photographs shown (there was a small blurb explaining what a "raccoon" was to witches and wizards who hadn't traveled much). He turned the page to a center spread, where a series of vandalisms in Diagon and Knockturn Alleys had been featured.

"We won't stop," an anonymous source had declared. "The work has started... we'll finish it!"

Above this, Teddy could see a picture of The Willow, the restaurant the Tinny Gudgeon's parents owned. The front window had been broken, and someone had made the pieces of glass spell out "Free Sam Cresswell." In another picture, someone had done a complex painting that showed Cresswell weilding a sword while standing on the axis of the scales of justice. Glorious sunbeams were behind him, and a ribbon floated at the bottom saying, "Justice unbound."
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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 13th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful as always, Fern!
I love that the Animagi can Change in their portraits, is that something Dean would have painted or is it an extra bit of magic?
Xine
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 13th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Dean probably would have had to do something special, but presumably, they can do things that people remember them doing.
amamama From: amamama Date: October 13th, 2010 09:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Way cool, as always. Looking forward to that trip to the island, and I wonder how much che'll charge? I'm not sure if I'm going with "honest, decent" or "gold digger" when thinking about Ms McAllister. And the Daily Prophet ... gah! It's such a rag. Like too many newspapers. Or newsmongers, who really are fear mongers. If there isn't a storm, they'll make one.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 13th, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, the owner of the island! I should have remembered--but I look forward to Teddy's visit there. Sickening to see that Sam Cresswell has groupies--and misguided supporters who see him as a folk her. The trial sounds like it's shaping up to be the circus Andromeda predicted, though at least Teddy and Donzo's Animagi status likely won't be a factor now.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 13th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Should be "folk hero"--typing without caffeine!
viatrix03 From: viatrix03 Date: October 13th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
"He's mastered the art of hypocrisy," Teddy cut in. "He told me so when I tried that."

"Thank you, Teddy."


Have I said lately how much i love Uncle Harry? And Teddy's starting to understand a bit better (ah, aging and experience).
malinbe From: malinbe Date: October 13th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yaaay, I can't wait to see the island.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: October 13th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed the portraits' appreciation of Teddy's abilities, and James's and Sirius's disappointment that Teddy registered as an animagus. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the island and watching Teddy and Harry's reaction to it.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: October 13th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
At my school yesterday there were these people sprouting about- how we were about to fall into times worse than the dark ages and billions would die. Their picture was of Obama with a Hitler mustache. I'd seen them before but had never listened to their rubbish before. And it's not that I mind they're conservative- whatever- it's that they were trying to strike fear and paranoia into people's hearts by using propaganda.

And all I could think of was Sam Creswell and, moreso, Geoff. Which shows something of how much of a nerd I am.

Anyway, lovely section, the last few sentences got me very upset but, alas, that is the point. UGH PEOPLE. *Still angry at the Hitler Obama people, by the way*
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 14th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)

oooh.... did not expected that

for some reason i though that landlady was dead.

... i do hope Teddy gets to keep the house/island. (also cant wait to see him and harry visit it! that is bound to be a tender chaplet....


Also.... wow Creswell supporters are just as psycho as him (tiny's parents restaurant? Seriously?? bunch of scum the lot of them.)

that picture of cresswell---- WOW Talk about unbelivably delusional.

I mean argh seriously? what do they think will happen if cresswell is freed? sunshine and peace forever and rose fields and everyone happy and smiling? *gags*

starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 14th, 2010 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)

also-- thought you might be interested in this...

the gen fic drabble challenge is open:
http://community.livejournal.com/genhp_ldws/

if you have extra time, of course
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