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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Eight: Revolution, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Eight: Revolution, pt. 3
Still at Azkaban, still fighting. Teddy, after detouring to the guard towers and the cell block--the latter of which saw an attempted Death Eater escape in the fray and a nasty curse from Lestrange hitting Geoff--is now back in the main fighting in the dungeons. They are outnumbered, he doesn't see Ruthless, Donzo and Maurice were both up near the guard tower and wounded, and he's just heard footsteps coming from above.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy and Draco reached Granny at the same time, but Narcissa was already helping her up, shooting Curses in every direction as she did so. There was nothing of the sickly woman Teddy had seen earlier in the year left; this was the woman who'd saved Uncle Harry by lying to Voldemort's face in the midst of battle. Once Granny got on her feet, she grabbed her wand again, turned back to back with her sister, and began to fight.

"Granny, are you all right?"

"I've been better," she said. "Teddy, we need to--"

At that moment, a deafening whoop echoed across the room, rising above the fray of the battle. Two broomsticks swooped in above the crowd--Joe Palmer and Franklin Driscoll. Joe was carrying a vial of some kind of powder, which he dropped onto a concentration of Sam's fighters, then tossed expertly to Franklin, who took it to another corner. Joe dived and plowed down three guards, then Teddy heard a shout, a voice he'd have known anywhere.

"Bulstrode! Get them Bound! Driscoll, Riot Powder, north corner!"

Ruthless had also appropriated a broom somewhere, and she took off from the head of a large group of real Azkaban guards who were running alongside Laura Chapman. Within the group, Teddy could see Donzo, Maurice, and Roger as well.

Ruthless flew in relentlessly at Sam, who raised his wand at her. She jumped off the broom as he Incinerated it, landing on top of him.

Teddy shoved aside a woman who was trying to hold him back and ran in, but as he burst out from the fray, he saw that Sam had flipped Ruthless over. He had his wand pointed at her head. She was reaching for her knife, but he wouldn't let her get to it. His head was bleeding.

Teddy raised his wand. "Let her go!"

"Curse him!" Ruthless shouted. "Don't worry about me."

Teddy saw something small moving behind them. He shook his head. "No, Ruthless. I can't risk hurting you." He blinked rapidly, hoping Sam would think he was crying and Ruthless would know he was buying time.

Whatever Ruthless knew or didn't know, Sam believed. He laughed merrily. "Oh, he still thinks you're the love of his life. Pure, sweet little schoolgirl. I can tell you what she does when she's out of class. She--"

He broke off suddenly, his limbs going out like pistons. Ruthless fell away from him and grabbed her wand, and Maurice came up from behind him. Ruthless jabbed her wand at him, and ropes came out, binding him tightly. Maurice took his wand.

And pulled out his knife.

"Maurice, don't!" Ruthless said, grabbing his arm. "I understand why you would, but don't do it unless you mean to take his place in here."

Maurice glared at her mutinously, then put his knife back in his boot.

Teddy looked up.

The Riot Powder had managed to put out a few of his own people, but it had mostly landed on Sam's. They were sitting docilely as the loyal Azkaban guards bound them up. Granny was tending wounds, and the Malfoys--Draco and Narcissa, anyway--were trying to help.

At the entrance to the cell blocks, he saw Jane and Tinny helping Geoff down--Geoff's face was still swollen and now bleeding. The girls took him to Granny.

"Stand up, Sam," Ruthless said, prodding and eventually Levitating Sam into a standing position. "You're under arrest for kidnapping and inciting a riot. Good thing you invented that Riot Powder after Greyback escaped, don't you think?"

"You think this is the end, Scrimgeour?" Sam grinned wildly. "Look at them all. Look at everyone who was following me."

"I did. Pack of lunatics."

"Easier to think that, is it?" His smile widened, almost skull-like now. "But you know better. You know they'll see me as a hero. That's why you stopped Burke. You didn't want me to be a martyr. But it's too late for that."

"What...?"

The ropes around Sam started smoking, and his face went red from heat. Teddy could smell something wickedly sulfuric. "It's a potion!" he realized, and leapt on Sam, beating at the now burning ropes. "It must have been activated when he was bound."

"Help me!" Sam yelled. "Oh, God, help, she hit me with something!"

The room, which had got quite a bit quieter already, seemed suddenly silent, and Teddy could feel eyes turning toward them. The flames grew stronger despite his attempts to smother them. He could feel his robes catching, and a quick Flame Freezing charm did nothing to stop them.

"You're lying!" he said.

"She's killed me! He's holding me down!"

"Teddy, get out of the fire!" Granny screamed. "Now!"

Teddy held on.

A powerful spell flew out from the crowd, catching Teddy and flinging him off of Sam. Draco Malfoy stepped forward.

"Get the fire out!" Teddy told him.

Draco holstered his wand.

Alone now, Sam Cresswell raised his eyes to the ceiling. Flames rushed up from under the ropes. He screamed one more time... and was gone. The flames rushed upward in a spiral, scattering ashes over their heads. To Teddy's disgust, several of his followers looked up worshipfully and tried to catch them.

The stone chamber seemed to pause for breath, the crashing of the waves outside the only mark of passing time. The sun had finally gone down somewhere beyond the walls, and the shadow of night crept in.

Into the new caesura, Millicent Bulstrode said, "Good riddance to bad rubbish. Let's get the rest of them put away."

Slowly, the world began to move again.

Methodically, Ruthless, Teddy's classmates and family, and the loyal Azkaban guards moved Sam's people to holding cells. Some of them looked confused, like they weren't entirely sure where they were, or why they'd brought themselves here. Teddy supposed there would be a lot of pleas of the Imperius Curse, and some of them might even be true.

Teddy helped Ruthless with the last cell. She sighed. "I'm glad you figured out what Maurice and I were doing," she said. "I thought you about to run in and do something stupid."

"Er..."

"You had absolutely no idea that was a plan?" She smiled wearily. "I'm not about to let myself get caught that easily, am I?"

"Well, I, er..."

"Sam wasn't paying any attention to Maurice. I wasn't sure if I could--well, if he could stop. Maurice, I mean. But he did."

They looked at each other for a long time, then Teddy said, "I'd best get back to the dungeons. See if anyone else is injured."

They walked back together, not talking, then split up to tend to the wounded. There weren't as many as Teddy had feared, and most were minor. Maurice had been as good as his word at Healing himself and Donzo. Lucius Malfoy had taken a few cuts and punches (Teddy noted that, despite this, his wife and son had opted to defend him rather than give him the means to defend himself), and everyone had a good batch of bruises and scrapes. The only serious injury among Teddy's group was the curse that had struck Geoff. Granny was doing her best to tend it, but it was almost certain to scar.

"I need to get him to St. Mungo's," she said. "There are potions that can help minimize it, but only if I get there quickly."

"The Floo only goes to the Ministry," Ruthless said. "And it's still Sealed."

"I could take him to another island on a broomstick," Granny said. "May I?" She held out her hand.

Ruthless caught Joe Palmer's eye, and signaled him to send over his broomstick. Granny secured the mutinous-looking Geoff to it. He was saying nothing, and Teddy wondered if Granny had Silenced him. She Levitated him to the stairs, and they disappeared.

The rest of Teddy's classmates, freed now from their duties helping the guards, drifted in.

"Is it over?" Tinny asked.

"Until they start accusing me of burning him to death," Ruthless said.

"That potion will have left traces in the ash," Teddy told her. He didn't point out--and didn't need to--that minor matters like the facts wouldn't stop the more devoted lunatics from believing it.

"So either he did us a favor, or you get a medal," Brendan said.

Honoria sniffed. "I should've brought a real camera instead of Conjuring one. The story of the year, I'm here, and I've no visuals."

"Right," Maurice said. "That's the real tragedy of it all."

They blinked at one another owlishly for a moment, wounded eyes in dirty faces, then Connie laughed. A moment later, Laura joined her, and, slowly, it spread through the group.

They decided to stay until communication with the Ministry came back--it didn't seem right to leave the guards with a fractious population and no back-up. The Malfoys kept themselves apart from everyone, Conjuring a pair of beds and going to sleep. Teddy's classmates stayed up in shifts, and he slept as the night turned over into early morning, Ruthless leaning companionably on his shoulder.

It was impossible to know what time it was when someone shook him by the shoulder. He felt Ruthless stir beside him, then sit up straight as he blinked himself awake.

Uncle Harry was standing in front of him, a bemused look on his face. "Are you all right?"

"Yeah." Teddy raised an eyebrow. "Aren't you meant to be on holiday?"
26 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: January 9th, 2011 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Aaah, so glad to have caught this when it was posted ^.^

I loved Honoria crying about not having a camera, so in character.

Thanks, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Yes, leave it to the Slytherins to recover first. ;p
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: January 9th, 2011 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Fabulous stuff. Sam trying for Martyrdom is a fairly chilling indication of who's methods he's been studying. Teddy's going to have an interesting time explaining all this to Harry!
I am a bit curious how Ruthless could give her broom to Andromeda, though - didn't Sam incerate it a few paragraphs up?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know what you mean. The text clearly says, "Ruthless caught Joe Palmer's eye, and signaled him to send over his broomstick."

:looks around shiftily:

;p
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: January 9th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, so it does. That reads nicely.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that's a lot of reading!

I'm glad you've been enjoying it.
miakamouse From: miakamouse Date: January 9th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Yeah." Teddy raised an eyebrow. "Aren't you meant to be on holiday?"

bahahaha! love it. great way to end the chapter
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course, Harry may never take a vacation again...
malinbe From: malinbe Date: January 9th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, bloody Sam, of course he would do that! And once they have a martyr, they just WON'T SHUT UP ABOUT IT. I just hope this doesn't hurt Ruth's career as much as I think it could.

It was, of course, the perfect ending for him. A great chapter. And I'm glad to see Harry's back.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's definitely a nasty thing to do as a last act in life. Either it will hurt her career, or it won't hurt her career and will spawn paranoid conspiracy theories.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: January 9th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whew. Very glad it was reinforcements coming to the rescue. Relieved that the horrible Sam is gone--too much of a deluded loose cannon to live-- though concerned about the implications of him becoming a martyr. The Smallest Year is going to have one humdinger of a story for posterity.

Look forward to seeing how you'll tie it all up!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me, too, actually...
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: January 9th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
A very exciting conclusion - what a nasty piece of work Cresswell was. And I like Honoria's reaction!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whew. The conclusions are always the hardest!
torturedbabycow From: torturedbabycow Date: January 9th, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Most exciting!

In the spirit of being slightly more useful to you than that, something I noticed: You have Sam incinerating Ruth's broom when she flies in at him, but then Ruth hands Granny her broom to take Geoff.

Creepy creepy Sam, giving his creepy creepy followers one last mind game to go on with!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, like I said to i_autumnheart, I can't imagine what you mean; clearly, Ruthless gives Andromeda a different broomstick. Er, yeah. Uh-huh.

(The problem of fighting so hard with how it was going to shake out that I took about ten days between starting the chaplet and finishing it!)

From: (Anonymous) Date: January 10th, 2011 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm beginning to wonder if I don't have problems somewhat similar to Sam's since my main problem with this ending (sorry) is wanting a more fitting revenge on Mr. Slime-And-Mighty Cresswell.

Although an afterlife scene where he gets to see what his father thinks of him would just be too sad (for his dad, I mean, not him).

But that thought did get me thinking about a lecture I once heard on Dante's Inferno. When I'd first read it back in ye olde school days, I'd taken some parts as being, you know, moderately coy (like the pair of adulterers who refer to the beginning of their affair by saying "that day we read no more" [or something like that]), not knowing that Renaissance writers normally weren't as self-censored as Victorian ones.

The lecturer said what would have stood out to the Catholic audiences of the time is that none of the people in hell CONFESS their sins. They make it clear what they have done - sometimes with graphic lead ups that leave you in no doubt as to details (check the punishment of the cannibal guy and the punishment of the guy who drove him to it).

Makes me wonder if Sam appeared there. He has no trouble admitting what he's done but the "I have sinned" part hasn't so much as flashed through his brain (let's not even touch on "forgive me").

Right, well, I'll try to get my own revenge leanings under control (at least until I figure out a cathartic, fictional punishment for him [and still hoping that doesn't mean I've got a problem . . . .]).

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 10th, 2011 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I went through several variations on who should kill him. Ruthless and Maurice both have some kind of blood right, if you want to think of it that way, and Teddy, as protagonist, has a sort of expectation of being involved. Geoff, as the one on a rather nasty path, would be almost sensible (especially if he was a little closer to this group than he let on). I almost had Lucius do it, to keep good guys' hands clean and add to the "Purebloods are all Death Eaters" (never mind that he actually was a Death Eater) thing.

In the end, I decided to have him inflict one more wound on his way out, just when Ruthless was trying to do everything right.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 10th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not criticizing how you did it! I'm just dealing with this really burning desire to see Sam a bit more put out about how his plans turned out when he made his exit.

From his POV, he goes out feeling he's won. From the bits of the future you've shown, he really has helped set his world on a course that will lead to a lot of the murder and mayhem he wanted.

Unfortunately, I could cite plenty of evidence that that's not an unrealistic ending.

But I'm left dealing with the fact that my own violent tendencies are quite strong enough that I really would like to wipe that smug, self-righteous expression off his face . . . .

Ellen
summerfern From: summerfern Date: January 10th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is the first time I've commented, but I've been reading for a while. Such a fantastic end to the chapter! Love the last couple lines!

One random question though, where can I find your writings on the future of Teddy's world that everyone keeps bringing up? Like the ones where Geoff is a dark wizard?

Thanks for the update

- H
sidealong From: sidealong Date: January 11th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think most of the future of this Universe has come in hints during challenge calls. There isn't a whole "book" written. (yet...) Just scenes here and there.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: January 11th, 2011 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)

*breathes "a little" easier*

Glad the main problem is over. definitely expect things to get worse, cortesy of "even in death he's still SCUM-Cresswell.

hopefully his remaining followers are not as cunning as him, or everyone is in HEAPS of trouble

I hope Ruthless remains blameless after this. Bad enough how Cresswell used her in the first place.
Bastard. I hope he's rotting in Hell.

also relieved no one of the good guys died, and YES! for Andromeda to be alive

got to admit Honoria comment in the end made me laugh. and i thought Hermione had screwed up priorities in 1st year!


looking forward to the next Chapter!
laura_anne From: laura_anne Date: January 11th, 2011 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't commented in an absolute age, but still reading and still continually awed by your world building and story telling skill!

There was something fitting about Teddy and fire and enemies going on again here.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 20th, 2011 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahhh, I totally love this conclusion to the battle of Azkaban!
I'm trying to wait patiently for the next installments, I may go right back to the beginning of the Shifts-verse and start again.
Do you have many more chapters in mind for this one?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 22nd, 2011 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. Other life stuff is dampening my imagination at the moment, but I have at least two more chapters, three more Charmer articles, and probably an epilogue.
26 comments or Leave a comment