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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Thirty: The Window of Years, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Thirty: The Window of Years, pt. 1
Whoa. As the kids have been stumbling around Azkaban since NOVEMBER, I guess I best recap!

Before the battle, Ruthless arrived at Hogwarts with the news that the Ministry had been Sealed. Robards went off to Malfoy Manor, and he discovered Asteria and the children safe and got them away; Neville went to the Prophet offices to guard Rita Skeeter. Teddy and Maurice discovered that Borgin and Burke's had been broken into--someone trying to steal pearls had gotten nasty payback--and the smallest year gathered outside, where Geoff told them that Azkaban was the likely site. They didn't contact any of the adults who were on the outside, as the adults were otherwise occupied. Harry's family is still in the Cloaked Islands--there's a problem with the hexes hiding them--but Harry got out when he got news, and showed up at the end of the battle of Azkaban.

Oh, and further back, Hannah Longbottom is expecting, and Victoire decided to plant a tree for every new birth in the extended family. Teddy gave her Screech Hill for this purpose and they cleaned up most of the mess from the exploded house, except for a window pane, mysteriously unbroken, which they frame and make Unbreakable.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"Uncle Harry is never going to go on holiday again," Victoire said when Teddy stopped talking. "You know that, right?"

Teddy reached out for the keys to Screech Hill. They appeared on the fencepost, and he unlocked the gate. "That's what Aunt Ginny's afraid of. I had a letter from her. She said I ought to tell him that I had it under control before he rushed off on a Muggle boat to catch a Muggle plane to somewhere he could Disapparate from." They went into the garden, and he locked the gate behind him. "Personally, I don't know how under control you could call that mess."

"Cresswell's the only one who died--well, and that woman in the shop--and they're busily sorting out who was Imperiused and who wasn't, and all of the prisoners are back in their cells." Victoire rolled her eyes. "Yes, Teddy, you did a terrible job. I can see that."

"Geoff's still scarred."

"Yes, he looks like he has a tiny piece of Spellotape stuck beneath his left ear. It's tragic, really." She sniffed, adjusted the basket on her arm, and looked away from him across the odd landscape of Screech Hill.

The winter and spring had made the old cellar hole seem more natural than it had last autumn, and now it had the look of a tiny but ancient volcanic caldera, collapsed on one side and filled with rough grass and tiny wildflowers that had grown since Teddy's visit in March. The rosebush Mum had planted was growing wild again, but it didn't look like it was choking itself anymore. Tendrils were reaching out along the ground, toward the tulip-shaped bit of glass that Victoire had framed in October. The sun caught the glass prettily, throwing light around the clearing.

"So, where should we plant Abbott's tree?" Victoire asked.

"What?"

She pointed at her basket. "The tree the Headmistress actually let us out to plant? For Abbott. Remember, the reason we're here? Abbott Longbottom? Two days old, obviously the most attractive child who has ever lived, at least if you're to judge by greenhouse gossip? "

"I thought you knew where you wanted to plant it."

"I was thinking about near the window," she said, pointing to the glass. "Is that all right?"

"Sure."

She frowned at him. "Aren't you even a bit excited?"

"The Leaving Feast is tonight."

"So?"

"I don't want to Leave."

She shook her head wearily, and started up the small hill. "You could still turn down the Department of Mysteries and become Professor Lupin after all. Come back in September. I think the Ancient Runes job is going to be open."

"It's not quite the same."

"True. Well, that's the way of it. You might just have to make the sacrifice of going to work someplace you really like and building a house on your own island instead."

"Shut up, Vicky."

She reached the top of the hill and set her basket down, then planted her hands on her hips and looked around. Her brow was knit, as it always was before she started a project. "All right," she said, "It'll get good exposure over there"--she pointed to a spot right of the glass--"and as it grows, it'll shade that window a bit. Maybe we should put some Charms on it to make sure it doesn't start fires like a big magnifying glass?"

"I'll do that," Teddy said. "You plant the tree."

She nodded and got the silver fir sapling out of her basket (it was meant, she said, to protect mothers and children). He went to the glass and began to do safety spells on it. It was good to be here, away from the school, where all the talk since the smallest year had returned (sans Geoffrey, until yesterday) had been about Cresswell and battles and the round-up of followers. Sam's mother and brother had been found in the home of one of the Azkaban guards he'd co-opted, and they were apparently unrepentant. They'd accused Ruthless of murder, of course, but that had been expected, and no one who wasn't already mad believed it.

Alas, there were quite a lot of people who were already mad. Sam's closest followers had only numbered around twenty-five, all told--they'd invaded the farm where Sam had been captured and set up a little commune--but they'd had no trouble finding extra hands among the disillusioned, at least for their less extreme activities. These had turned a rather cynical eye in the Ministry's direction, and there were dark whispers of protective conspiracies to "hide the truth of what happened." Ruthless wasn't concerned about "the nutters," or at least said she wasn't, and Teddy was trying not to be, a job that was made more difficult by the continued presence of Geoff's admirers, emboldened by his "marking."

Here, though, that was far away. When Professor Longbottom had burst into the Great Hall, delirious with glee, to announce the birth of his son, it had felt to Teddy like the real world finally reasserting itself, with cheerful vengeance, on a nightmare he'd been trapped in. He'd been more than happy to let Victoire lead the way with her project, and being here, in the garden of the house that would have been his, looking through a window that had once been part of it, he felt fully himself again.

"I should do something with this," he said when he'd finished the safety Charms. "Make it into something."

Victoire looked up from the hole she was currently digging. "Like what?"

"I don't know. Something like the Fountain of Fair Fortune or whatnot. People would come looking for it to look through it and get answers."

"Answers?"

"Sure. Wise ones. Deeply meaningful, you know."

"Ah." She inspected the hole, scooped a little bit more dirt out, then put the sapling into it. "And what sorts of answers would they be looking for? In a place, I should remind you, that can't be entered without your keys."

"Well, then finding the keys will have to be the real quest." Teddy warmed to the subject. "They'll go looking for the keys to find the window that will show them, er..."

"What they want most?"

"The Mirror of Erised does that."

"Hmm. What's most important to them?"

Teddy considered this. "That has possibilities. I think I wouldn't be able to do it before a really solid stint in Identity, though, and I still might need help from James's portrait. He was the real Identity expert."

She started filling in the hole around the sapling. "There's no rush. Maybe they could see something different from each side."

"What's important in the past, and what's important in the future?" Teddy grinned. "That might have helped me set a few priorities. But would anyone really go on a quest for that? It should be bigger. Where you fit in all of history or whatnot."

"Maybe it could show the creation of the world and the end of the universe."

"Now, you're just mocking me."

She laughed. "Quite a lot, yes. Come over here and help with a few Charms, all right?"

He went over and together they placed some protective Charms on Abbott's tree. The conversation drifted to idle family gossip (Fleur's hotel was nearly built) and book sales (Martian's Mistake had slowed down, but had an inexplicable resurgence last month), and soon, the little sapling looked well entrenched in its new place. Victoire poured a bottle of fertilizing potion over it ("You probably don't want to know what's in it," she said), then they set off for school again, walking along the side of the wild little valley where the tunnel had once been. A recent rainfall had left a long, thin pool at the bottom, and a few dragonflies and fairies were flitting around above it. The squarish stones that had once supported the tunnel's roof now lay scattered and moss-covered on the slopes.

"Is your year doing anything special?" Victoire asked, about halfway back.

"Tinny said she was thinking about something. I'm not sure what."

"I wish the train didn't leave before the seventh years got into the boats. I think it would be nice to say goodbye to the lot of you."

Teddy shrugged. "Well, Roger's not leaving anyway," he said. "He's going to skip the boats and just stay in the barns. He said there's a new monster coming in. Wouldn't say what."

"Oh."

"And Frank Driscoll's leaving first thing, before breakfast. Wood got him a try-out for Puddlemere, but they could only take him at eight-thirty. And--" Teddy stopped. "Wow. I guess the Leaving Feast really is the end. And that's only if Phillips can be bothered to come to it. It might already be over." He reconsidered. "Then again, I doubt Honoria would have let it go by without one last chance at a picture and article."

"I don't know, if you didn't tell her how she could be useful..."

Teddy blushed. Ever since Honoria's last article had come out, he'd had to deal with people taking the mickey out of him for being her muse. He'd expected Corky to be annoyed, but apparently, Corky had known the entire story for at least a year, and had essentially dared her to write it.

They reached the school walls and walked quietly to the gate. Teddy expected Roger to be waiting for him, but instead, it was Tinny Gudgeon. She smiled.
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Comments
amamama From: amamama Date: February 21st, 2011 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Umm ... *the* Screech Hill? You've never named it in the affirmative before, have you? (second line)

This is as lovely as always. Yay for Neville and Hannah's son, and amusing name. I like seeing Victoire and Teddy together, their bantering is very comforting. But when will they admit that they fancy each other? And those nutters, spinning conspiracy theories - but only against the ministry, not against Cesswell or what he was up to. Arses.

And now I really wonder what Tinny has to say...

Thanks, Fern!

Edited at 2011-02-21 08:05 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 21st, 2011 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops. It started out as "the Shrieking Shack." ;p
amamama From: amamama Date: February 21st, 2011 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahh. :-)
sophiap From: sophiap Date: February 21st, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the coziness of this after the whole Azkaban drama. It is sad to think of the Smallest Year going their separate ways. Somehow, the idea of the discontent and the conspiracy theorists in the background makes the cozy domesticity of this all the more special. It adds a fragility to it that highlights why it's so important.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 21st, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have I ever mentioned how deeply I hate conspiracy theories? They definitely need some sanity as a counterpoint.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: February 21st, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great to see Teddy's return--and the gradual resumption of something like normality. Love the way Victoire grounds Teddy and compensates for his Lupin tendences to internalize things and feel guilty over everything that goes awry. Eager to see what Tinny has in mind for the Leaving.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 21st, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
She also grounds him when he gets a little, erm, grandiose. Also needed. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 21st, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's lovely to find another chapterlet, and kind of strange to read about this end-of-the-year/saying-goodbye stuff when I've just come back from the airport, where I had to say goodbye to a group of mostly-online friends who've been staying with me for a few days.
And now it'll soon be time to leave Teddy & co as well? Nooooo!

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 21st, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope you had a nice visit!

We're definitely nearing the end of the story.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: February 21st, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

welcome back! (hopefully steady now)- this was nice and bittersweet segment

there were a lot of really sweet moment, and moments that made me wince in here.

first, i really do hope Harry changes his mind about taking a hoilday. I mean he needs them once in a while, and not everytime he leaves on one the world will come crashing down.
(I mean nothing happened in his many searching for The Crumple-Horned Snorkack? i mean they did go on those trips, right?)

nice to see more of Teddy with Victoire too, they finally reached a point of understanding and comfort with each other. will they kiss before the end of the year? ;p

on the wincing side of things...
Can't believe Sam's familiy think he's innocent and Ruthless murdered him.
Hope that someone sets the record straight to them telling them that their son/brother was a deranged monster who, among other things, killed someone's parents. see how much they believe in him being innocent after that.

i mean I understand family loyalty, but if your son/brother had been acting fishy all year...

also wincing at Georffrey celebrity treatment by his followers because of his marking (or am i reading that wrong?).
because said marking was given to him by a DE cursing him while he helped teddy free andromeda, not by some doing in an anarchistic agenda.

finally, it's so bitterweet seeing that the smallest year will leave Hogwarts soon (is it June already? really??) how time flies) I hope they stay in contact. and i hope they leave with a huge celebration.
(we will see a Hogwarts graduation ceremony, right? Please??
I know graduations in the UK are probably way different than in the US, but still it would be nice to read about what one would be like in Hogwarts; since it is a right of passage too, and we didn't get to see one with Harry and his classmates)

keep it up Fern!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 21st, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: welcome back! (hopefully steady now)- this was nice and bittersweet segment

Well, they have a little over a year before James is shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED, to find them snogging at King's Cross, so they almost certainly aren't involved before then. Though they did kiss during Daedalus Maze.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: February 22nd, 2011 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: welcome back! (hopefully steady now)- this was nice and bittersweet segment

oh come on,
Hogwarts is big enough, I'm sure there is some place where they can kiss without James ever finding out about it.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: February 21st, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's lovely to get back to Teddy's world and to spend some time in a less fraught part of that world. Victoire is good for Teddy. So now I'm looking forward to what Tinny has to say, but also to seeing what Teddy does with the window.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 21st, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
well, he's not going to be able to do it quite yet, but what he said he's going to do (the what's important thing) is what he's going to do.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: February 21st, 2011 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

one other thing....

Abbott longbottom? *cringes* that's not the actual name is it? because that's just the two surnames put together.

and here I was thinking Neville was normal enough that he wouldn't give his son a weird, awkward name.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 21st, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: one other thing....

That's been his name in at least a couple of ficlets. It's not an unusual thing to do!
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: February 22nd, 2011 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: one other thing....

yeah but that surname doesn't sound like a name....

does the poor boy at least has a name-name middle name? like Frank?
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: February 21st, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

wait question... pearls what?

i must have missed that when reading!

which chapter does the "discovered that Borgin and Burke's had been broken into--someone trying to steal pearls had gotten nasty payback"
happen?
link please?

thank you
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 21st, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: wait question... pearls what?

Don't feel bad, I almost forgot about it, too. It's in (a href="http://fernwithy.livejournal.com/951579.html">Chapter 26, pt. 3,</a> just before they go to Azkaban.
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