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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Epilogue: The Great Post-Hogwarts Writing Tour - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Epilogue: The Great Post-Hogwarts Writing Tour
Teddy has left Hogwarts. AAAAAAGH!

Er, okay. Earlier, he and Maurice and Donzo and Corky had talked about taking a tour, like Phineas and his friends did, and Andromeda agreed to watch the shop. All is, more or less, well, but he's still in possession of an item that he'll have no earthly use for outside Hogwarts.

The second half of this is an older fic, partly revised, that originally appeared here.




The car making its way up the mountain road was wheezing with the effort--it was no longer young, even by human standards, let alone automive standards, and it had been rudely transported away from the city by magic a few too many times--but it was giving its all for the young man coaxing it along. Bits of ancient music escaped its speakers, tinny whispers from bygone worlds. The young man sang along with it, completely at ease behind the wheel, though he'd only been driving legally for five days. The boy beside him in the passenger seat didn't know the songs, but he gave it his best effort, at least until it bored him.

"Teddy?" James asked.

"What?"

"Where are we going today, anyway?"

"We're not far from the Scrimgeours," Teddy suggested. "You might want to meet her brothers; they'll be in school with you."

"I've met them." James shrugged and turned in his seat, looking out the open window and letting the breeze toss his hair. "This is much better than Side-Along. We should drive everywhere. You can see things."

"It would have taken us a whole day just to get here if we'd driven from home."

"Oh." James rifled through the maps that were littered around his feet. "Hey, there's a cairn near here. Abandoned. That could be a good spot. Take the next right."

Teddy agreed. He had no plan for these outings. Ostensibly, he and James were looking for places to set the next few books. They both knew that it was also some time to spend together--Teddy's apprenticeship wouldn't start until autumn (Maddie had insisted that he take time to clear his head and "get out of Hogwarts"), but he'd be joining Donzo, Corky, and Maurice in August for an abbreviated world tour, and he might not be back before James went to school. An excuse was needed to spend time together--one didn't just say, "Hey, I want to spend a few hours with you!"--and future books seemed as good an excuse as any.

Only Teddy knew that there was another purpose to the trip, another real purpose to spending time with James.

Each day, he'd meant to end their adventure by giving James the Marauder's Map. He had it fully scripted in his mind. But every day, something held him back. He tried to tell himself that it wasn't selfishness, but he didn't quite believe it.

James didn't notice that anything was amiss. He seemed completely happy to ride around the Scottish countryside with Teddy. "I have an idea," he said. "There's a Yeti."

"A Yeti?"

He nodded. "Up in the mountains, and he's got a treasure. We can send them--the fake Marauders, right?--up after him, and they have to walk through solid ice, where they can't use their wands."

"How would that work?"

"I don't know. I hoped you'd have an idea."

"I'll think about it. A Yeti's good." Teddy took a right, and followed some cleverly concealed signs to the ruin of the cairn. He parked the car on a flat expanse of grass and got out.

James followed, looking around excitedly. "Oh, this is great! Not for the Yeti one, unless there's a secret passage, but Martian and Checkmate could come here!"

"Sure--there's a mummy cat queen down there--all the best cairns have them--and they have to defeat her to rescue some kittens."

James laughed, and proceeded to explore. Teddy touched the Marauder's Map, which was in his inner pocket, Dad's wand tethered securely to it. He pulled his empty hand out, and joined James's exploration.

The next day, their explorations only got as far as Diagon Alley, where Teddy accompanied the Potters to get James's school supplies, and his wand. Berit Ollivander had fully taken over the shop now, as old Mr. Ollivander had passed, but she hadn't made any great changes, and didn't offer any of the experimental cores she'd been tinkering with during Teddy's first year.

"Are you still using your mother's wand?" she asked Teddy while she let James get in a little practice.

"As well as I can."

"And what about your father's? I remember that it had an affinity for you as well."

Teddy smiled. "It has a purpose of its own."

She raised an eyebrow, but didn't press for details.

The day passed. The map was back in Teddy's school book bag.

Teddy Disapparated back to his island. He'd put the portrait of his parents up on the wall of the little shack, and they seemed happy, though Mum was restless with nowhere to go. Teddy had bought a few landscapes so she could at least have some variety, and when he got home, she was on a badly painted garden swing, some ribbons in her hair blowing in the breeze. Dad and Sirius were absent; they must have gone to the Grimmauld Place portrait.

"Hi, Mum," Teddy said, hanging his jacket on a peg on the wall. "Do you want me to take the portrait to Grimmauld Place?"

"Are you living there?"

"No."

"Then, no. I'm quite fine here." She swung a bit. "Did you do it?"

He shook his head.

She sighed. "Teddy, that Map is doing you no earthly good away from Hogwarts."

"I know. It just never seems to be the right time. And there's Dad's wand. It belongs to the Map."

"Yes, it does." She brought the swing to a stop and got off of it, and walked up to the frame. "Maybe you should talk to him about that."

"He's at Grimmauld Place."

"No, Teddy. Talk to him." With this, she went back to the swing, and starting humming softly.

Teddy understood, but didn't obey right away. Instead, he took the Map out, tinkered with its spells a bit, and got the Marauders to insult him a few times. He cleared it and looked at Dad's wand, with his name and the word "Unforgotten" carved into it. He sighed, put the Map aside, and took out the crystal ball that he'd got from the Daedalus Maze.

He put it down beside the bed and went to sleep.

He was aware first of a cool breeze, then of the soft, repetitive sound of snoring coming from somewhere to his left. He opened his eyes.

It was Gryffindor Tower--the round, stone room was unmistakeable, but it wasn't his own room. There were four beds, each shoved as far as possible against the curved wall. He wasn't in one of them. He and three other boys were sleeping, or perhaps "unconscious" would have been a better description. It was Peter Pettigrew snoring; an empty Firewhiskey bottle was loosely held in one pudgy hand. James Potter--the first, though his hand rested on the shiny new first year books that Teddy's James had just bought--was lying on his stomach. Dad was right beside Teddy. He rolled over and smiled blearily, then looked toward the window. Teddy followed his eyes.

Sirius Black was sitting on the window sill, another bottle leaning against his knees, a parchment tricorn tipped back on his head. He looked over his shoulder. His eyes had a faint glow, and Teddy knew it wasn't just the moonlight. He smiled.

"Have a seat," he said, indicating the other side of the window sill.

Teddy got to his feet and went to the window, taking up the position opposite Sirius. Beneath them, the Hogwarts grounds stretched forever. There was no White Tomb on the edge of the lake, and Teddy knew that, somewhere beyond the tree line, the Shrieking Shack still stood in its lonely glamor.

Sirius held out the bottle, then pulled it back. "Sorry. Can't extend proper manners, I'm afraid. Your mum would have my head if I let you drink here."

"I know the rules," Teddy said.

Sirius nodded wisely, then took a swig out of the bottle. "I stayed up all night," he said. "After they passed out. I didn't want to miss a second."

"Oh." Teddy turned this piece of information over, letting his eyes wander over the parchment hat, which seemed to be criss-crossed with notes in Dad's hand.

Sirius noticed and took it off. "We had a pirate party for Peter's birthday first year. Your dad made this for him. You've had that memory, haven't you? It hung off his bed every day after. I don't know what happened to it." He reached across and put it on Teddy's head. "Looks good, mate. It's a new look for you."

Teddy smiled and took it off--like everything in the land of the dead, it was cold to the touch, and queerly insubstantial. "I should have given James the Map by now," he said.

"Well, it's not going to do you much good at the Ministry. Or anywhere else you're going to be, unless you decide on teaching after all."

"And that wouldn't be quite fair."

"No."

Teddy looked longingly at the Firewhiskey. He didn't really like the stuff, but the thought of having a quiet drink with Sirius, and maybe Dad and James if they'd wake up, was appealing.

Sirius corked the bottle and set it off to one side. "What binds is bound, Wings," he said. "Nothing changes that." He pointed out the window, and the grounds changed to the old yellow tone of the Map, stretching out further than the boundaries had ever gone in reality. "What binds is bound," he said again. "Always."

"Are you sure?"

"If you can't trust a mad drunk who's been dead for twenty years, who can you trust?"

Teddy rolled his eyes. "Well, when you put it like that..."

"So, like it or not, and against what I'm sure is your inherent better judgment, you're stuck with us. Map or not." He shrugged. "And this isn't precisely what we made it for, you know. It's meant to be used for fun. That's what it ought to be used for."

"I know." Teddy leaned back against the edge of the window. Sirius gave him a ghastly, sad sort of smile, and they didn't talk anymore. Teddy just sat with him, waiting for the inky sun to rise over the parchment hills. At some point, Dad and James joined him.

He woke up blearily in the middle of the night, noticed Dad and Sirius back in the portrait, talking to Mum, and went back to sleep.

At dawn, he awakened and folded the Map up, thinking, I will never open or close the Map again. The thought tugged at him, but didn't paralyze him as he went about his morning business, and had lunch with Ruthless.

"You were just going to hand it to him?" she asked, her eyebrows disappearing under the fluffy explosion of red fringe over her eyes. "Honestly, Teddy. It's the Marauder's Map. Wasn't half the fun discovering it? Didn't Harry give it to you anonymously, anyway?" She shook her head. "Your problem here is that you're not trying to give it away so much as find a temporary babysitter for it. You know that's not how it passes."

He blinked. "I hadn't really thought of it like that."

"Yes, well, I had an outside view of you and that Map. I'd no idea what it was, but I knew something had suddenly caught your interest. Let James discover it for himself. And the Map-Master after him, and after him."

"But--"

"Teddy, it's just possible that you're not meant to control the fate of the Marauder's Map for all eternity. Let it breathe."

"All right."

As the afternoon wore on--Teddy spent some of it in the Department of Mysteries, getting his office ready--an idea grew in his mind, and the rightness of it made it easier to go forward with.

The Marauder's Map was meant for mischief, not stodgy inheritance. The question was how to pass it on properly.




Lily and Al had been sulking for two days now, since James wouldn't let them play with his new wand (rowan with a dragon heartstring core, and he kept it on him at all times), so he was particularly glad that Teddy was over for dinner again, especially since he seemed to be in a mood for stories. James had even let Teddy try his wand out, mainly to annoy Al. Teddy didn't cast a spell, though, unless it was nonverbal--and if it was, it didn't do anything.

Dad let them use his office, and they had the place pretty well taken over. James had got Al to draw several pictures of the fake Marauders--named Raymond Lewis, Sir Ryan Brown, and Jason Clay--a few months ago. His hand was a lot surer than James's own, and Teddy, despite having an artist for a father, couldn't draw a stick figure without coaching. Al's pictures were taped to Dad's desk and the windows, for inspiration, and crumpled lengths of parchment were tossed merrily around.

"So, what if we have a portal in the back of the Yeti's cave?" James suggested. "They could go through it and find out how to get back to the island, right? And then they could get their extra wands."

"Well... all right." Teddy shuffled a few bits of parchment. "But maybe it would be better if they worked it out for themselves, don't you think?"

James shrugged. "There are good wands on the island. They'd win really fast with them."

"If it's what you want..." But Teddy's wrinkled nose made it perfectly clear that he thought there were better ways, and, on second thought, James agreed. The whole point was to work without wands, not find a way to get new ones.

He shrugged. It would be totally different by the time they got up Mt. Everest and met the Yeti anyway. They worked a bit longer, then Mum called them down for pudding. Teddy suddenly got annoyingly grown-up, talking about Ministry politics with Dad for an hour. James fidgeted.

Teddy was watching him out of the corner of his eye. "You know, James," he said, "I meant to give you my old school book bag. I noticed you didn't buy one."

"Your book bag?" James repeated, nonplussed. Teddy's book bag was cool, in a sort of inherited-from-an-older-student way, but it wasn't anything special.

"Yeah. It's up on your dad's desk, if you want it."

"Okay."

Teddy raised his eyebrows. "James?"

"What, I'm meant to go now?"

"Well, you don't seem very interested in the intricacies of Ministerial appointments."

"I figured you might change the subject."

Dad narrowed his eyes, then smiled faintly and said, "Teddy and I are in the middle of a conversation, James. And we're both quite interested in it."

James rolled his eyes and went back upstairs. The room was exactly the disaster they'd left it in, although Teddy could have cleaned it up with a flick of his wand. The book bag was sitting on the desk. It was scuffed leather, with a Gryffindor seal on it. Ink bottles had broken in it more than once, by the look of it.

He picked it up. Something at the bottom rattled.

James frowned and turned the bag over, to see what Teddy had forgotten. A folded sheaf of parchment fell out onto Dad's desk. James picked it up and held it. It had a strange, tingling weight to it. Under it was a light-colored, aged wand with deep finger grooves in it. On one side, it said "Remus Lupin." On the other it said, "Unforgotten."

James blinked, an idea dawning on him, an old story rising up in his memory.

"Of course," he whispered.

He unfolded the parchment. A tiny slip of paper fell out. On it, in Teddy's hand, were the words, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."

James looked over his shoulder. Mum's magical clock was on the wall. In the kitchen, she was magically cleaning up. Downstairs, Dad and Teddy sounded like they'd got into a Transfiguration duel. Lily had a bag of Weasley products, and he could hear her down the corridor, setting off Curses on sweets.

Too much magic to notice one little bit of underage wand-waving.

He drew his wand, pointed it at the parchment and said, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."

Thin lines appeared at the center:

Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
are proud to present
The Marauder's Map


And in a new hand--simpler and fresher:

M. Wings
Aide and co-conspirator
Welcomes the newly bound.


James Potter smiled.

THE END
15 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: severely_lupine Date: March 16th, 2011 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! So, is the ficlet officially the end of the story? Or is this technically the end here? (EDIT: Never mind, I get it now. You've included the ficlet in this section. I'm so on top of things.)(Edit again because I made that edit at the wrong part of my comment. Sorry if I'm spamming your notifications. I'm done now.)

I'm curious as to why it's "M. Wings" instead of "Mr. Wings"?

So excited to see whatever you write next. I'm hoping for more Potterverse, of course. :)

Edited at 2011-03-16 06:09 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 16th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, that's okay--I don't have my notification turned on; I just check my recent comments. ;p

The Marauders did the formal Frenchish "messieurs" (which is a proper form of a plural for Mr., too, but I ignored that ;p), so Teddy styled himself as Monsieur Wings.
From: severely_lupine Date: March 16th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah. I was wondering if it was meant to be French.
usedbookmaster From: usedbookmaster Date: March 16th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
But when they insult a map-user individually - which, obviously, Teddy knows about - they call themselves Mr.
From: severely_lupine Date: March 17th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
That's true, both in PoA and in Forest Guard....
amamama From: amamama Date: March 16th, 2011 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yay! Awesome. Loved the "dream" and his chat with Sirius. And all the rest.

So, what about you atsrting to write Jim Wolf stories? Shouldn't be a problem to keep those 100% original (well, as original as anything can be, at least). I've said it before, and I'm happy to repeat it, you're a master story builder. All the different arches and lines that weave through your stories are rather amazing to me. If you need to grieve the end of Teddyfic (but you know, you could stay here indefinitely if you wanted to, there's so much more you can tell about his life), do so, but I think you should write. And write something you can sell so you can get paid in money as well as awe... Just my two knuts. :-)

Thanks again, Fern - it's been a lovely ride, as always.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: March 16th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was absolutely lovely, even though I had read all those bits. It is the perfect end for a story that's so big and continuous- it's only Teddy's that's finished- but I am going to miss our Teddy so much. I'm going to miss his angsty self!

The stories really did help making peace with Tonks and Remus' deaths, however fictional they were. They got me through some awful days and put a smile on my face when I didn't feel like smiling so I THANK YOU. It was a wonderful journey.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: March 16th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

*sight* Now it's finally over :(

still it was a nice epilogue.
I sympathize with Teddy so much over his emotional reluctance of letting go of the map (and his father wand; which I still dont really Understand WHY it was necessary he bonded with the map. )

but his interaction with Jamess II was lovely and it was cute how he "discovered" the map (not much of exploration on his part as Teddy hoped unfortunately, it doesn't Help that he was told about it in anecdotes!)

kind of hoped to see Victoire in this but oh well

one tiny thing though:

A. I'm not sure who the POV character is in the second half of this chaplet, i thought it was Teddy talking and he mentioning remus but.... is it James ii? thefore "DAD" is harry?

B. the ""Dad narrowed his eyes, then smiled faintly and said, "Teddy and I are in the middle of a conversation, James. And we're both quite interested in it.""
part... seemed a little forceful of Harry. he sounded a little harsh to James ii, I mean I can see the why (james ii interrupting and it was rude, or wanting to change the subject)
but... i thought harry would just be annoyed, not "Narrow his eyes" at his son, smile afterwards or no smile afterwards..


anyhow I loved seeing Teddy go through all of these adventures and I hope you dont entire drop him because his school years are done (maybe a DoM first year fic? ;p jk.)

looking forward to see what you have in store in the future, hp- verse, teddy- verse or otherwise

well done
willowbough From: willowbough Date: March 16th, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perfect. I know how reluctant Teddy was to pass on the Map and everything it represented, but he was wise to accept the inevitable and find an appropriate way to hand off the torch. Well done--and I'm glad you decided to take on Teddy's seventh year. It was a worthy finale to an excellent series.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: March 16th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely, lovely end. I misted up a bit at the thought of Remus, Dora and their wonderful son, so I especially appreciate the warmly promising future you left us with!
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: March 16th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
This whole series was so wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you... and now I'm looking forward to hearing about whatever it is you decide to tackle next! :)
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: March 17th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
*sigh*

Reading this last bit felt a bit like finishing DH, knowing it was the end.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 17th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Fern. Sorry I haven't commented before now, but I've only just caught up with reading!

Anyway, this was another brilliant Teddy story, and I presume the last one. I do like how you blended your 'Purveyors' story with the epilogue, and one has to wonder--will you be writing James Potter II stories now? It seems the end can be the beginning of something new, which is exactly what you did with the deaths of Tonks and Remus and the birth of Teddy.

Regardless, this is a brilliant piece of work, an excellent bookend to the series. The story itself was compelling, and I loved how it read almost like the acts of a play--the first act is the murder-mystery, the second being the hunting of the murderer and the final act being the fall-out. I felt terrible for both Ruthless and Teddy during this, and it was good to see that their friendship has survived and thrived this.

I absolutely loved Honoria's articles, and the last one of herself was especially poignant. I also liked the assertion that Teddy defines the Smallest Year. It was also good to get a better notion of Geoff's perspective, even if I still disagree with his conclusions.

Perhaps my only quibble with the story was the Victoire romance arc. I know from your ficlets that you had to address it (the whole Madam Puddifoot's scene in particular) and also leave it unresolved until the right time (Marauder's Roost). That didn't bother me, but the inclusion seemed a bit of a departure from the story. I can't say I have an answer, because bringing Victoire more into the story proper wouldn't seem like the right way either, since one of the themes of the story was the Smallest Year, and Victoire isn't a part of that. Ah well--the danger of future-fics, I suppose.

To be fair though, other fics blended in well, including your reinterpretation of the last night at Hogwarts and the prelude to Marauder's Roost by setting up the purchase of the island.

Thanks again for a magnificent read, from Forest Guard to Needle's Eye. I've loved every story, and I look forward to anything and everything else you choose to share.

Daksian
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 17th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you! Reading your Teddyverse stories has been a joy from start to finish, I loved them all so much.
Xine
laura_anne From: laura_anne Date: March 20th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely ending! It's been such a joy reading your Teddyverse - thanks for sharing, as always.
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