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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Seventeen: The Ghosts of Christmas Present, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Seventeen: The Ghosts of Christmas Present, pt. 2
Still Boxing Day, still at the Sanctuary. After supper, while lazing around the fire and complaining about their exclusion from the Veela festivities, the Potter men (and Teddy) start talking about the tournament saboteur. Harry's had no leads, and James confesses that he doesn't, either. Sure that the answer will be "no" he says, "They're not still looking at Cedric, are they?" which opens a minor can of worms, as the Department of Mysteries, in the person of Teddy, has, in fact, been investigating claims that Cedric left behind a revenant--a vengeful spirit--and it seems to have touched off the uneasiness between Teddy and Harry about Teddy's work regarding Death. Nevertheless, Harry has given permission for Teddy to tell the story of how he managed to establish that Cedric did not leave a revenant.

Time for some point of view games. What, you thought I could stay out of Teddy's head when it's just so handy? ;p

Table of Contents So Far

"We got the request to investigate a few weeks ago," Teddy said. "We weren't going to take it up--"

"Because it's insane," Dad muttered.

"--because it didn't seem likely," Teddy finished. "But then I had a visitor..."

It is late in the day in the Department of Mysteries, and Teddy Lupin would rather be at home with Victoire and Mira. They have a nightly ritual now, of sitting in the parlor, chatting with the portrait of Mum and Dad and Sirius, thinking up increasingly outlandish names for the impending child. Sirius insists that "Mira" only qualifies as a star name on a technicality, and the next one ought to be Sadachbia or Seginus. Mum insists on only the plainest of names, and Dad has taken to proposing figures from Latin mythology. It is a silly ritual--they both know that if the child is a boy, he will be Orion (Sirius has wrinkled his nose at this many times, but both Teddy and Victoire fell in love with it before they remembered that it had been Sirius's father's name), and if it's a girl, Julia. Nonetheless, the family is gathered together, baby Mira wrapped in her blankets in Victoire's arms, Victoire in Teddy's, and it is a good thing to come home to. He has no intention of staying late in London, but the old man waiting quietly in the antechamber has other ideas.

When Teddy goes out through the door to the Faith division--he has spent the day studying the movement that James's girlfriend is part of, trying to understand how otherwise lovely people colluded with Fenrir Greyback--he finds Amos Diggory waiting on a Conjured bench. He thinks that surely, Amos is there to see someone a bit higher in the department's machinery, but as soon as Amos spots him, he gets shakily to his feet. "Mr. Lupin?"

Teddy goes to him and sits down on the bench, urging Amos to sit beside him. His legs don't look like they will last for long. "May I help you, Mr. Diggory?"

"I need to know..." He doesn't finish.

Teddy frowns. "What do you need to know, Mr. Diggory?"

"My boy. My boy Cedric. I keep dreaming of him, and that tournament. And the letters! They come by owl, and they accuse him of... oh, terrible things."

"The Aurors have said that they're certain it's not a revenant."

"But these things aren't really in the Aurors' jurisdiction, are they?" Amos takes a deep, shaky breath. "I'm not an ignorant man, Mr. Lupin. I've read about revenants. I know they can be torn off a person's soul, and they don't have much to do with the person. What if I'm dreaming of Cedric because he's hurting? Because he knows he's lost something of himself?"

Teddy sighs, resigned, and sends his Patronus to Victoire, telling her that he'll be home late. Mira will probably already be asleep. But it is Mira he is thinking of as he listens to Amos. He can't imagine what would happen to him if she were to be ripped away. "Mr. Diggory, it's not always a simple thing to find out. We may not be able to do it at all."

we. You." Amos sat up straighter. "Cedric once had some memories taken and put in that bloody tank. After I heard of the portraits you'd had made, I asked if they could be retrieved. I was told that memories like that wouldn't be enough. So you have a way."

Teddy does not answer. He knows that no one
really believes that the portraits he had painted of his parents and James Potter and Sirius Black came from memories that Maddie Apcarne had happened upon in the brain tank, but that is the official story, and no one else has a better theory, so it is generally left alone. In fact, he'd got the memories for his portraits by using the Resurrection Stone, which was not an option now... but he did have options. Options that almost no one knew about, and even among the few who did know, almost no one could use. He has been marked by death, and can make the journey, but it isn't one to be taken lightly. It is not the light-filled land he and his parents have been able to create as a meeting ground, a halfway place of shared vision where they can communicate in words and symbols. To reach people who are not trying to reach him is a different proposition.

Amos grabs his arm. "Tell me what I need to do, Mr. Lupin. Tell me what I need to do to know that my son isn't trapped and in pain."

"There's nothing
you can do," Teddy says gently. "But I can." He sighs. "I'll need something that would be meaningful to Cedric. And, er... I won't be able to bring it back."

Amos is prepared for this. He brings out a small box and opens it. A tiny model of a Swedish Short-Snout yawns up at Teddy, then curls up and goes to sleep again.

Teddy takes it. He knows that Uncle Harry has given James one just like it. He knows what Uncle Harry would say about this--to let the dead rest, to help Amos in some other way. They are all certain that it isn't Cedric causing problems in the tournament. But

(Tell me what I need to do to know that my son isn't trapped and in pain)

there is more to this than sabotage. There is a father here, a father who lost his son, a father who needs to know the truth. And the idea that the passage between life and death might have been disrupted is not, in itself, a mad thought, given the circumstances of Cedric Diggory's death. Teddy has had some experience with revenants. If one has been left, then it is a kindness to the person to unbind it from the world and let it rejoin its soul.

And if one hasn't been left, then it will do no harm to Amos Diggory or to Cedric--at least not beyond the moment of meeting--to find out. This is where Teddy parts ways with Uncle Harry, at least partially. Uncle Harry believes the contact itself has long term ill-effects, and may become too compelling for the loved ones left behind, who might then live their lives in the hope of mere shadows of their beloved. Teddy has found the contacts to be healing, and has been able to move on from them, though of course the portraits have been a great help with that.

He does, however, feel that the subject requires caution and honesty. He looks at the small dragon model, the box resting alongside a round scar on his palm, then closes the box lid and says, "Mr. Diggory, I need you to understand what's going to happen, and what's not."

"You think I'm trying to force the veil open?"

"I think that's exactly what we're going to do, in a sense. I need you to know that, if I’m able to do it, it will only be once, and only to know for certain that Cedric is safe. It's not an open Floo to have a chat. It's--"

"I know what it is and isn't."

"--and you won't see a thing. You'll have to trust what I tell you. There's not anyone who can back it up."

"I understand."

Teddy doesn't bother telling Amos that it's not something to talk about lightly. He will not be able to do so; it isn't a rule, simply something inherent to the process. Teddy can talk about it only after years of practice, and Maddie says that his ability to do this is something of an aberration.

"All right, then," Teddy says. "You wait here. I'll go." He stands and walks to the center of the room, and calls out the name of his least favorite Division in the Department: "Death!"

The doors spin wildly, then finally stop at a single black door ahead of him, no different from the other doors, except that to him, it
always feels different. Cold. Dangerous.

He goes through it into the tiered amphitheatre where Sirius Black died, and goes down the stairs slowly, toward the ragged veil that dominates the room.

He kneels before it.
6 comments or Leave a comment
mrs_norris_mous From: mrs_norris_mous Date: August 1st, 2012 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for an update so quickly.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 2nd, 2012 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome. They come faster when I'm in the middle of something than when I'm thinking, "Now, what am I doing next?" I figured it was time to get the actual plot cooking again.
From: Preya Jagat Date: August 1st, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG, OMG, OMG! This is so exciting! I love the way that everything sounds so genuine. I love the way that you switched POVs~ it's great to be with Teddy again even though it's different reading him as a family and working man rather than a Hogwarts student. I can't wait to see where this goes!
~Amethyst Beloved
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 2nd, 2012 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Hopefully, it will go back into James having a compelling interest in the plot of his own story! ;p
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: August 1st, 2012 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)


This was really heart-breaking

yet, i loved the little surprise of switiching to Teddy's POV, and his thoughts about the veil and souls,etc

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 2nd, 2012 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: ....

Teddy's given a lot of thought to the matter.
6 comments or Leave a comment