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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Five: Teacher's Pet, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Five: Teacher's Pet, pt. 1
All right, now--in the freshly spoiled version of things...

Teddy has arrived at Hogwarts, and is the only Gryffindor in his abnormally small year (Voldemort: the gift that keeps on giving). Neville has visited him to arrange his classes, since taking them alone doesn't make very much sense, and he's split the classes among the other three houses. He's taken out the Marauder's Map and is delighted to see it work... but notices that, after construction, it's out of date.

Two changes to the last section:

Neville and Teddy manage to remember that he's taking History of Magic, which he chooses to take with the Ravenclaws, and Jane Hunter, a Muggle-born girl, should have been put in Slytherin instead of Hufflepuff. (I don't need two people in the year with their own solitary dormitories!)

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy had thought he was prepared for Hogwarts. He had, after all, grown up listening to stories of it from dozens of people, daydreamed about it, and read Hogwarts, A History: The Revised and Expanded Edition (a gift from Hermione which, for some reason, had brought great merriment to both Ron and Uncle Harry). But nothing could prepare him for exactly how magical Hogwarts was. Disappearing steps, enchanted doors, wandering suits of armor, a vast network of portraits... hearing about them was one thing, living among them was something entirely different. He got lost on his way to History of Magic on his first day of lessons--stepped through an enchanted door that took him to a part of the castle that he wouldn't have been able to find his way out of if it hadn't been for the Marauder's Map, though he still ran into a wall where an archway had apparently got destabilized and filled in, and had to find another way into the next corridor.

Even more embarrassing, given his circumstances, he got lost without any magical cause on his way to Defense Against the Dark Arts--not just his father's former class, but now taught by his mother's former boss, Gawain Robards. Robards didn't recognize him right away and was halfway through a joke about how confusing Hogwarts was when he noticed the scarlet and gold streak Teddy had put in his hair (mostly to irritate the Slytherins), checked his class list, then gruffly said, "Take a seat, Lupin, we just got our books out..."

Honoria Higgs had smiled unpleasantly, but didn't say anything until after class, when she simply turned to her dormitory-mate, Jane Hunter, and said, "Teacher's pet," while jerking her chin in Teddy's direction. Teddy was walking near Corin Atkinson, who turned out to be called "Corky" by nearly everyone; Corky rolled his eyes in Honoria's general direction.

Herbology with the Hufflepuffs the next morning was considerably more pleasant. He worked with all four of his year's 'Puffs, re-potting Flitterblooms and talking about the basic magical properties of several of the plants in the greenhouse ("Watch for the fanged geraniums," Professor Longbottom said, holding up a bandaged thumb). Laura Chapman seemed quite confused about the whole thing, asking Teddy to clarify nearly everything that Professor Longbottom said, which had Tinny Gudgeon laughing quite maniacally by the end of the class.

At lunch, Teddy got an owl from Hagrid, inviting him to tea, along with any friends he'd like to bring. Teddy extended the invitation to Frankie Apcarne, but Frankie had just got back from Care of Magical Creatures, and Madam Pomfrey had ordered him to stay inside with a foul-smelling poultice on his burnt fingers.

When Teddy got down to Potions, the five Slytherins were knocking aimlessly around the dungeon, looking at Slughorn's carefully labeled jars and investigating the small cauldron he had brewing at his desk. Honoria looked like she was about to start in on "werecub" or "teacher's pet" comments again, so Teddy veered over to where Maurice Burke and Corky Atkinson had finally settled. He put his cauldron down beside them and said, "D'you mind?"

Maurice shrugged. "Don't know if we should put up with the hairstyle, though."

"Oh, this?" Teddy pointed to the scarlet and gold streak. "You're right, too provocative." He turned the streak gold, and the rest of his hair scarlet.

Corky laughed.

Slughorn came in a moment later with a great, friendly laugh, and got them all brewing a Laughing Libation, which, to Teddy's surprise, turned out to be quite easy. Slughorn went from one student to another, looking over their shoulders and commenting on their stirring techniques. When he got to Teddy, he also issued an invitation to a party on Saturday, but as he'd neglected to ask Maurice or Corky, Teddy thought it would be better politics to say no. After Slughorn left, Teddy invited them to come down to Hagrid's with him, to which they were enthusiastically agreeable, though Maurice fretted about being turned away because he was a Burke as well as a Slytherin. Teddy rolled his eyes and promised that, should such a thing happen, he'd remind Hagrid that he himself was a Black--sort of, anyway--born into a whole family of Slytherins. They headed out after class, into a tantalizing sort of late summer afternoon, with golden sunshine spread out like a blanket over the grounds. Tinny Gudgeon was coming up from the lake, her feet bare and wet, and Teddy invited her along.

"I don't know," she said, then widened her eyes and made her voice breathy. "I just don't understand how I could possibly get from the door all the way to Hagrid's cabin. Could you help me, Teddy?" She batted her eyelashes.

Maurice snickered, and Tinny gleefully reported the morning's Herbology class.

"It's not very nice," Teddy said. "Laura's not especially bright and--"

Tinny guffawed. "Oh, she's bright enough!"

Teddy raised his eyebrows, and the others looked looked puzzled.

Tinny just shook her head and muttered something that was probably, "Boys."

They walked down the hill toward Hagrid's cabin, chatting easily enough about classes, and Teddy wished that he was going back with one or another of them to sit up in a common room and work on their homework together.

"That's the Whomping Willow," Tinny said abruptly, and Teddy looked up to see the thrashing branches of the tree he'd heard of for so many years. Concealed among its roots was the tunnel his father had once crawled through every month, to endure his transformation in the Shrieking Shack. But Tinny's association was elsewhere. "My dad almost lost an eye to it," she said. "Warned me to stay well clear."

Corky and Maurice speculated along with her about why they would have planted such a dangerous tree on the grounds. Teddy kept his mouth closed, though there was no good reason to keep it a secret anymore. It seemed like Tinny had a story to tell, and he didn't want to step on it.

Hagrid was sitting by his door, playing with a spotted puppy, when they reached his cabin, and he waved one giant hand at them.

"'Ello there, Teddy!" he said. "Come on in, got yer tea ready an' all, not enough cups..."

"Oh, I'm sorry," Teddy said. "I... well, we ran into one another and--"

"Rubbish, sorry," Hagrid said kindly. "I told yeh t'invite yer friends, and I'm glad t'see yeh did."

Hagrid led them into his cabin, and Teddy felt very, very young--the last time he could remember feeling so small was when Granny's neat parlor had seemed as big as a ballroom, and he'd pretended that a dragon had attacked a royal ball, and only Teddy the Fearless could possibly defeat it. The chairs here felt quite large enough to get lost in, if one were to slip behind a cushion.

"Now, I saw yeh all at the Sortin', o' course, but I don't quite remember..." Hagrid looked at Teddy.

"Oh, right. Professor Hagrid, this is Tinny Gudgeon"--he nodded to her--"and Corky Atkinson and Maurice Burke."

Hagrid's eyes narrowed a bit, then he shrugged and said, "Well, if Teddy says yer all right, I reckon yer all right." He rummaged for more teacups, and brought out three more, each the size of a soup bowl. "Now, let's see if I've got this..." He drew his wand--which Teddy knew was a brand new one, given to him by Uncle Harry when Hagrid finally took his N.E.W.T.s in Care of Magical Creatures and Defense Against the Dark Arts (Hermione had pushed through this highly unusual administration of the examinations) and passed them last year--and pointed at a teapot. It wobbled as it flew through the air, but managed to get to the table and not spill too much as it filled the cups. He offered cakes, and Teddy resigned himself to accepting them, despite having a working knowledge of Hagrid's baking skills. Molly Weasley had tried to teach him how to make his cakes fluffy, but the lessons hadn't taken. He saw Tinny nibble politely on one. Maurice took a hearty bite and pretended to enjoy it. Corky appeared to have decided that it was more of a conversation prop than a food item, and waved it excitedly as he described their classes, and, at Hagrid's prompting, Niagara Falls.

"Bin lots of places," Hagrid said, "but never there. Too many Muggles. I stand out a bit, you know."

"Hagrid, you've been in the middle of London," Teddy said.

"Righ', but London's a big city, and I reckon there's not much surprises anyone there." He refilled his own teacup. "So, Teddy, are you enjoyin' Hogwarts so far? Shame, the business of being the only Gryffindor, but yer dad would be dead chuffed to see you in his House, one way or the other, and I'll wager Harry's already off tellin' everyone who'll listen that his godson's a Gryffindor. Yeh'd best get some new pictures to send 'im, or he'll have yer baby pictures out fer it." He grinned.

After tea, they headed back up to the castle for dinner (Maurice, who'd eaten his cake, seemed less than thrilled with the prospect, but the other three were quite keen on the idea of real food).

"Blimey," Corky said to Teddy, "you know everyone."

Maurice winced. "Don't try to say 'Blimey,' mate, you sound ridiculous."

"Can I say 'mate,' mate?"

"We'll take a vote. If you think the Canadian can say 'mate,' raise your hand."

Neither Tinny nor Teddy did; nor did Maurice.

"Sorry, mate," Teddy said.

"Fine, but you can stay away from 'eh,' then, eh?"

As they passed the Whomping Willow, a frond whipped out at them with lazy grace, and Tinny jumped back from it, cursing under her breath, even though it hadn't come anywhere near. Maurice advanced the opinion that it really should be cut down. Corky thought it was "cool," but agreed that it wasn't exactly in the best place.

Teddy said nothing, but as they walked back to the castle, he found himself looking over his shoulder, staring at its darkening silhouette, until they climbed far enough up the hill that it was out of sight again.
64 comments or Leave a comment
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jadeddiva From: jadeddiva Date: August 5th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been enjoying this story so much, especially the ghosts of Teddy's parents that seem to linger at Hogwarts, making it so much more interesting :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that's one of those things that Teddy wasn't quite prepared for about Hogwarts. Nick, he expected. Remus and Tonks... not so much.
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: August 5th, 2007 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Maurice is a darling. I love how self-conscious he is! Poor kid...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I like Maurice, too; I hope he'll end up with a bigger part than I planned for him.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: August 5th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm really getting rather fond of Teddy's schoolmates. :-) And now I understand why he had the Gryffindor hair morph in Pointless--gotta have enough House spirit for his whole year.

As they passed the Whomping Willow, a front whipped out at them with lazy grace

I'm pretty sure you meant "frond," right?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Go, go Gryffindor!

I'm pretty sure you meant "frond," right?

Oops, yes.
sociofemme From: sociofemme Date: August 5th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Adorable! I love that, "Laura's not especially bright..."--HA! That's great.

Really enjoying the story so far! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Laura's no Rhodes scholar, but she definitely knows what she's doing! ;p
From: sleepingfingers Date: August 5th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm looking forward to another segment of this story every single night. ^^

I am glad that Teddy's made friends of sort with Corky and Maurice, two Slytherins - because there needs to be somebody to counterbalance Honoria. And Tinny reminds me of Hermione, somehow. :D

"Oh, this?" Teddy pointed to the scarlet and gold streak. "You're right, too provocative." He turned the streak gold, and the rest of his hair scarlet.

That line made me love Teddy even more, and the whole banter at the end: wonderful.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Tinny's a bit Hermionesque in her intelligence, but she's a much bigger tomboy. She's got to be going purely crazy rooming with Laura.
thalialupin From: thalialupin Date: August 5th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
This is lovely, as expected :). I'm glad Hagrid got another chance for his wand. And Tinny's quickly becoming a favorite of mine!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I wanted to put in a few improvements here and there, and giving Hagrid a chance after he was unjustly punished at the age of thirteen seemed like a good start.
thunderemerald From: thunderemerald Date: August 5th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm loving Teddy so far -- and I can see a lot of his father in him already. Very eager to please in a quiet, diplomatic sort of way. Lovely.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
But with his mother's easy socializing with everyone. It's a pretty good combo. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 5th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Great story

This is the first Harry Potter fanfic that I've followed in several years and I must say it has been an excellent reintroduction to the fandom. I kind of feel sorry for Teddy being all alone in his House's year, but looking on the bright side, he's got the Prefect badge in the bag when he hits his fifth year. And it looks like he's going to make some good friends anyways.

It is interesting that Slughorn is already trying to collect him. I have mixed feelings about that professor, and would truly like him better if he were more ready to include all of his students in his parties. At least Teddy is smart enough to realize that there is a downside to being invited when his friends have not been.

Tea at Hagrids was also fun. I loved the picture of proud godfather Harry still carrying around baby pictures of Teddy and showing them off if Teddy doesn't get him some new ones. It was also strangely comforting to see that Hagrid's baking skills have not improved, the familiarity I suppose.

Thanks for posting so regularly!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Great story

I have mixed feelings about Slughorn, too, but he seems to at least not be evil. That's always a plus. But the collecting is kind of creepy.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: August 5th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Teddy. I love Teddy's friends. I love Teddy's Hogwarts. Now I'm looking forward to meeting the Ravenclaws. Also, I think it's a really neat idea for you to have Robards teaching DADA now. :)

One nitpick: Corky hasn't been introduced in the story as anything other than Corin, yet. You could maybe have him say "no, it's Corky" while Teddy is introducing the gang to Hagrid?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Good point; I was actually thinking about that. I'll put a mention in the DADA class that he turns out to be "Corky."
rotae From: rotae Date: August 5th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I cannot express how awesomely flattered I am that you're using my icon as a DEFAULT. OMG. LOL. Seriously *tackles* :D

And I LOVE Laura. LOL. She's too cute :33

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I love your icon! I totally want to do another one, with this picture and one of your other R/T ones, using a Shawshank quote to go one to the other... would you mind?
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 5th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked Hagrid's reaction to Maurice Burke and his reaction to his reaction. Yep, things have changed for the better.

I liked Slughorn leading the cavalry in Deathly Hallows but, yes, that collecting thing . . . .

As for Tinny . . . it's a good thing for Victoire that Rowling says she has Teddy wrapped up (or at least has a snogging level relationship with him at 19 that her cousins seem to think will lead to marriage).

Hmm. And the passage under the tree isn't general knowledge? And Teddy knows all about how to get in there. That's got to be better than knowing all the teachers and then some.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
it's a good thing for Victoire that Rowling says she has Teddy wrapped up (or at least has a snogging level relationship with him at 19 that her cousins seem to think will lead to marriage).

Heh, yes. I'm going to make an effort to show that Victoire is actually the girl for Teddy, but it's hard to do when he's at Hogwarts, and eleven... and she's at Shell Cottage, and nine. And he sort of likes Tinny, in a like-like sort of way, despite her not being the most attractive girl he's ever seen.
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: August 5th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I finally got into your LJ and devoured all of the Teddy stories in one sitting. Absolutely wonderful, as always.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you like them!
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: August 5th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't reviewed for a few days but I'm enjoying the progression of the story. I've not seen a successful new student at Hogwarts story that doesn't just mimic what JKR has already written but I think you are going to pull this one off, which isn't really surprising considering the quality of your other work.
I hadn't realised North Americans didn't say "Blimey!"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
We've managed to pick up "bloody," though we use it differently--kind of as a "parents-allowed" form of "effing"--but "blimey"... yeah, that's definitely not a North American thing to say. Except for the people who are trying to sound like they're British because it's so deeply cool to be British.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: August 5th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm strongly reminded of the Andromeda/Ted group of MUDS in the Banding Together stories--friends spread across houses--and I hope that Teddy's new friends are willing to spend a lot of time in common areas like the library so they can work on homework together.

I love Maurice, and I love that you're letting the Slytherins be something besides straight-up evil. God.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not a great fan of the "Slytherin must have as many heroes as everyone else" philosophy, but at the same time, if they were all utterly dastardly, I sincerely doubt that the other houses wouldn't have kicked the whole bunch of them out.
xtineebee From: xtineebee Date: August 5th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful! I've just gone and read the lot right now & it's a great take on Teddy. Wonderful (if sad and accurate) detail about Teddy's class only having 15 in it, but that leading up to having friends in all houses is a good trade. Excellent characters, as well; I particularly enjoy your mini-Lockheart. Looking forward to it all going forward.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 5th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm trying to decide exactly what to do with mini-Lockhart. He's not a bad guy, just... well... mini-Lockhart. Though he's no lip-synching the stupid song he recorded, so he's already a step up from good old Gilderoy.
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