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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Six: Guilty, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Six: Guilty, pt. 1
Teddy and Donzo and Ruthless all testified at Sam's trial, where he seemed to be more interested in slinging mud than defending himself. As Teddy's year rushes toward N.E.W.T.s--and Maurice returns, while Andromeda minds the shop--the verdict comes in: Guilty.

This particular section doesn't go anywhere special, but I promise, we're working up to something!

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




An owl arrived the next morning at breakfast, with a letter from Ruthless.

Dear Teddy,
I had the distinct pleasure of slamming the cell door on Sam at Azkaban. I hope the bastard hears that sound in his dreams for the next eighty years. As a means of mental Healing, I highly recommend it.

With that mess over, the office is having a party just now. We've dismantled Sam's cubicle and moved it to an entirely different place, so no one is stuck with that particular ghost. Anthony Goldstein isn't really celebrating, since Sam was his apprentice, but we're trying to cheer him up. It's not his fault, after all.

Ginny and the kids showed up and made a great show of bullying Harry into taking the holiday he promised, now that this is over. James, of course, makes a great show of everything, and had the whole place laughing, Harry included, about a melodrama where he's neglected and begging in the street for some kind stranger to take him on a holiday, since his father never does, and so on. I understand they're going to the Cloaked Isles. He said you didn't want to go, which I thinks confirms that you're mad. Sun! For two weeks! Of course, Ginny and Lily will come back as walking freckles, if their skin's anything like mine (and it looks it), but wouldn't that be great anyway? I'd like to go somewhere sunny, once I get some gold saved.

He'd have gone without the bullying, of course. He promised, and everything's pretty calm. I was worried about those nutters with the signs, but they seem to have wandered off to whatever Crazy-land they call home. I saw some of them in Diagon Alley with new signs protesting a Moonhowlers' song. Something about the lyrics being mean-spirited. It wasn't clear, but whatever it is, they're off on a new tangent, which seems pretty harmless. More power to them. All that worry for nothing!

I've visited your grandmother at Borgin and Burke's. You never told me how much she knew about dark artifacts. And I didn't realize she'd patched things up with her sister. Lucius and Narcissa were both there. It was a little disturbing, if you'd like the truth of it, but she was as wonderful as ever. I find that I rather miss having Maurice to drop in on at all hours, though I doubt he'd believe you if you told him.

All of which is to tell you that I'm fine, your grandmother is amusingly satisfied, the Division is well under control, and your godfather's biggest problem is likely to be a sunburn. Which means that you can now take your N.E.W.T.s in peace. Maddie Apcarne sends good luck to you. I won't bother. You're brilliant; you'll do perfectly well.

Love,
Ruthless


Teddy read it twice, looking for any clues that things weren't as good as she was saying they were. He didn't like the sudden silence from Sam's fan club--they didn't seem the type for it--but Ruthless would be in a better position to judge that than he was. Even more telling was Uncle Harry taking a holiday. He needed one, but he wouldn't have left if he thought something might go wrong.

"Good news?" Victoire asked.

"Uncle Harry's going on holiday," he offered.

"The ancients prophesied that would happen one day," she said, buttering her toast. "I think it's supposed to immediately precede a total eclipse, the apocalypse, and you not worrying needlessly about things anymore, though personally, I'm a doubter."

He stuck out his tongue at her. She rolled her eyes and got out her O.W.L. review materials. Each book was bedecked with color-coded tags, and she carried a box of notecards that she seemed to be quizzing herself on. Teddy offered to quiz her instead, but she told him he ought to be about his own work.

The N.E.W.T. examiners arrived the next day. There was no need to appropriate the Great Hall for fifteen students, so most of Teddy's written examinations were in the antechamber just outside, where they'd all once waited together to be Sorted. History of Magic turned out to be a good deal simpler than Binns' class had been, with very few specific dates on the goblin wars, and more theoretical questions about cause and effect. This was much closer to Teddy's own tastes, and to the way he remembered history, and he thought he did rather well. Theoretical exams in Charms, Defense, Divination, and Potions were harder, but he was confident. Practical exams were slated for the following week, and Teddy met with his friends on Saturday to get as much practice as they could at anything and everything.

"Do you suppose they'll try to Curse us in Defense?" Maurice asked. "Would they be allowed? They didn't in O.W.L.s, but could they in N.E.W.T.s?"

"Just you, Burke," Corky said, casting random Charms that Honoria was reading to him out of a stack of all the books they'd used for the past seven years. A candlestick grew legs and did a pirouette. He frowned at it. "Why is there a Charm for that? Who said, 'I really want my candles to do ballet'?"

"Maybe someone made it for a show," Donzo suggested.

Jane Hunter looked up from a potion she was trying to brew from memory (it didn't look right to Teddy) and said, "More likely, it was someone's mum trying to keep the house quiet while she got her work done." She sniffed the potion and wrinkled her nose. "All right, Lupin, I can see you dying to jump in. What did I do?"

Teddy checked her ingredients and went over her work. "I think your armadillo bile didn't dry enough before you put it in."

"What am I meant to do about that in a timed examination?"

"That's what Charms are for," Tinny said. "Just use one of the drying charms."

"One of the light ones," Teddy agreed. "It's not best practices, but if they give you the wrong armadillo bile, you have to do something. I doubt they'll give you one this finicky with the clock ticking, though."

He spent the next hour with Laura, going over Divination methods. Since neither of them had bothered with tea leaves since third year, they both suspected this might be expected of them, and quaffed enough tea for six people each. Corky finally made them stop when he noted that they were speaking too quickly for anyone to understand a prediction. He didn't get to sleep until nearly three, and that was only after a very long flight out over the Forbidden Forest, during which his feathers got quite soaked by a spring rainstorm.

The next morning, he had a letter from the Potter children, showing the family in summer clothes (Aunt Ginny looked quite pretty in a blue flowered robe), standing in front of a wizard who was dressed in a Neddy the Kneazle costume, pretending to examine Lily's ear for clues. They all looked quite happy. James said that Martian and Checkmate ought to come to the Cloaked Islands for their next adventure. He seemed quite keen to have them stuck there through one of the periodic fluctuations in the Cloaking Charm, which made it necessary to come and go without magic for a while. He'd apparently had a ride in a sailboat, and was now fascinated with all things nautical.

Divination was the first practical exam, and it was in Firenze's classroom. To his surprise, the examiner was Mr. Croaker from the Department.

Teddy had to demonstrate the knowledge of general interpretation in several disciplines, then choose which he would use in given situations. He expected to be asked for a vision, but Croaker laughed. "How would I mark you on a vision? We wouldn't know until well after today whether or not it came true, would we?"

"Er..."

"I know, I know. That's in O.W.L.s. It's mainly used to weed out the fakes, if you want the truth. It's more important that you know which tools you'd use." He closed his notebook and said, "Mr. Lupin, you've had ample opportunity to demonstrate that you have the gift for this. I shall give you an Outstanding, but I should like to talk to you privately before I do so."

"Have I done something wrong?"

"Oh, nothing like that." Croaker smiled. "I assure you, we have great faith in your abilities. My concern is as someone who's worked with a great many Seers. Do you understand the limitations of Divinatory magic?"

"There was an essay on the written section, about fluctuations in time, and--"

"Do you understand, Mr. Lupin, that you can't always do anything about what you've Seen?"

Teddy thought about it, then nodded. "I understand," he said, "but that doesn't mean I'm free not to try."

"Don't you mean, 'not free to try'?"

"Not at all."

Croaker smiled again. "Ah. I see. Well, I haven't had a Gryffindor Unspeakable in my tenure at the Department. This should be interesting." He stood and offered his hand.

Teddy shook it.

Examinations went on.
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Comments
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 9th, 2010 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
A nice surprise to see a Teddy installment up, since you're also busy with NaNoWriMo at present (Good luck to you on that! I'm having a go at finishing something myself.)

So, Teddy gets a brief spell of normal life, though Croaker's words about not being able to do anything about what he Sees sound like they may prove eerily prophetic.
amamama From: amamama Date: November 9th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved this (and the previous, which I read now as well), but that's no surprise, is it? I quite adore your story-building abilities, and am thrilled to be able to enjoy them frequently here on LJ. I still think you should go original, but I'll leave that for later. You've got such an attention to detail, and it makes the tapestry of your story quite magnificent. And now I'll ponder what Teddy meant with beeing free not to try...

Cheers!
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 9th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can I just tell you how great it is to see a seventh year? I loved DH, but I really missed not seeing the school and what the students would do in their final year. Loving this, as always!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: November 9th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Special thanks to you for giving us some Teddy during NaNo month, I really needed it today especially!

Teddy read it twice, looking for any clues that things weren't as good as she was saying they were.

YOU KIDDING ME, TEDDY, GOSHHH!!!

I'm glad to read Harry's gone on a nice holiday, though!
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: November 9th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I understand," he said, "but that doesn't mean I'm free not to try."

"Don't you mean, 'not free to try'?"

"Not at all."


Love this distinction!
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: November 9th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's so much fun to see Teddy living life and watching his interactions with friends and future colleagues. His parents must be so proud! Thanks for the update and good luck with non-Teddy writing.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: November 9th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

love the peaceful chaplet

very, very nice. i love the idea of Harry being able to go on a holiday.

also so good to know the "cray-cray" Cresswell "fans" moved on to be obnoxious somewhere else. (i'm not entirely optimistic but i hold what little hope this mean)

also GO ruthless! that must have been really satisfying.

one thing this ficlet got me curious about is the divination examiner statement,
" that you can't always do anything about what you've Seen?""

is that meant to imply that A. one person can't solve every one of its visions , or V. that not all visions of disasters can be prevented.

if a, that's understandable, if B. it doesn't make sense,
i mean ignoring the whole Cassandra and apollo, because she was cursed for being unable to prevent what she predicted, i dont see how
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: November 9th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

also- curious about...

one thing this ficlet got me curious about is the divination examiner statement,
" that you can't always do anything about what you've Seen?""

is that meant to imply that A. one person can't solve every one of its visions , or V. that not all visions of disasters can be prevented.

if a, that's understandable, if B. it doesn't make sense,
i mean ignoring the whole Cassandra and apollo, because she was cursed for being unable to prevent what she predicted, i dont see how that would still apply, since well what's the point of having a vision if you cant prevent what will happen?

it sounds very different from time travelling, where you go back in time to change things that has already happened.

From: (Anonymous) Date: November 9th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

this was awesome- and pimping some gen fests if you have the time...

well glad the Cresswell problem is somewhat resolved.

his followers seemed to be more bark than bite.

where are the cloaked island, anywaY? did you made them up? do they even have an imaginary location?

also something i found around lj, that you might be interested in, if NanoWmo doesn't suck up all your left over juices.

there is the Random facts hp challenge going around, and it would be awesome if you could sign in for Teddy, since the only submission they have for teddy is an insult and anti-thesis to rowling's work, messed up version.
it would be Epic if you could write one about How Teddy would really grow up into:

the sign ups info are here:
http://iulia-linnea.insanejournal.com/247519.html

~A
a_blue_jay From: a_blue_jay Date: November 10th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well this is nice and fluffy. :P
I would even believe you that that's the end of it, if the chapter wasn't called "Guilty".
I really liked this section, anyway. For one thing, we're for once getting a glimpse of things going the way they're supposed to, if you're not Harry or Teddy.
I think what I like most is the little bit at the end. It IS very Gryffindor of Teddy to think that if there's anything he can do, he must do it... I'm guessing there's a lot of Ravenclaws in the department. And a Ravenclaw's response to what Croaker said would probably be what he intended: "Oh, I can't change everything, so I might as well not try." (I say this as a self-identified Ravenclaw, so...)
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