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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Six: The Kappa In Classroom Eleven, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Six: The Kappa In Classroom Eleven, pt. 1
Okay, so...

Teddy's making friends across House lines and age lines, but not age lines in his own House, as a few commenters pointed out (though this isn't a deliberate plot point and I'll try to fix it here). He's still more tied to the outside world, with Harry and his family sending care packages, and to the adult world, with his mother's former boss, Robards, being more than a little skittish around him. His friend Frankie Apcarne has an all day RPG scheduled, and Teddy's on board.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

After breakfast the next morning, Frankie swept over to the Gryffindor table to collect Teddy for the game, which was to be held in the Hufflepuff Common Room. Frankie's other 'Puff friends were fanning out to the Slytherin and Ravenclaw tables to gather up their friends, and Teddy was surprised to find, after Frankie had grabbed him by the shoulder, that they then went further up the Gryffindor table, to a second year girl with frizzy red hair and thick, magnifying glasses over her tawny eyes. He'd seen her here and there in Gryffindor tower, but didn't know her name.

"Oi, Apcarne," she said. "This better be better than your last game. IRA terrorists?" She rolled her eyes.

"Oh, it's better," Frankie said. "Also less likely to get me into a tiff with Bobby O'Neill."

The girl looked around him to see Teddy. "I didn't know you knew our first year." She waved cheerfully. "Hi, Teddy."

He smiled.

Frankie shook his head and rolled his eyes at Teddy. "This is why you're not in Hufflepuff. Get out into your own common room sometimes, will you? This is Ruth Scrimgeour. We call her Ruthless."

"That's because Frankie's not very creative," Ruth said, "or doesn't know that every girl named Ruth in the history of the world is called Ruthless at some point."

"Or," Frankie said, leading the pair of them back toward the Hufflepuff table, where Bernice was waiting with Roger Young and the fourth year Ravenclaw from the Hogwarts Express, "it could be because she doesn't let a sewer rat go by without attacking it with her whole arsenal."

"Oh," Teddy said.

Tinny, Zachary, and Ken came back from Slytherin with another third year in tow. Altogether, there were ten people, which Frankie declared quite satisfactory. He looked at the group, then Teddy noticed him crane his neck toward the Ravenclaw table. Teddy turned and saw Donzo watching them with a forlorn expression on his face. Frankie looked at Bernice and raised his eyebrows to her. She shrugged and looked at Zachary, who went over to Donzo, spoke to him quietly for a minute, then got what looked like an enthusiastic "Yes" to a question. A moment later, they'd joined the group.

"I played on tour, with some of the--" Donzo started, then stopped. "Er, sorry. I didn't mean to do that. Can you get my stats from this?" He pulled out his wallet and fished what seemed to be an oversized Muggle coin from his pocket.

"No," Bernice said, "we've never seen a stat-coin before. It's totally new to us." She grinned and pulled an identical token from her own pocket. "Don't worry."

With that, they all tromped off toward a shallow staircase that led beneath the Great Hall. They passed a large still life of fruit, then turned a corner and passed a series of windows set high in the wall, each showing the back and bottom of plants outside the castle. They stopped at another still life, and Frankie went to it, wand drawn, while the other Hufflepuffs formed a barrier and smiled awkwardly. When they moved apart, Teddy could see that Frankie had moved some of the food in the painting around, but wasn't entirely sure how.

Frankie said, "We're home, with guests."

The portrait moved aside, and Teddy's eyes were flooded with the bright color of sunshine, even though the only real sun was coming from more high, narrow windows blocked by plants (here, some of them had been turned inward, and were basking in charmed sunlight that someone had created for them). The walls were draped with bright yellow hangings, interspersed with drawings that Teddy knew were of first years, waving frantically at him. Tinny pointed to one near the door, which showed this year's small group. He wondered where his mum's was, or if they took them down after a few years.

Little burrows ran off to the sides, and Teddy could just glimpse large, round doors that led to the dormitories.

"Wingardium leviosa!" Frankie commanded, and a round table rose into the air and came down in the exact center of the Common Room. At Bernice's command, several small bags flew onto it, as well as a stack of books with pictures of Muggle machines and detectives using spyglasses on the front. Frankie went to sit by the books, indicating that Teddy should come along, then grabbing Donzo. "Let me see your character," he said. "I can find a place to work him in."

Donzo handed him the stat-coin. Frankie set it down on a piece of parchment and tapped it with his wand, saying, "Revelo."

Writing appeared, and a drawing of a boy in white pants and a sort of white half-robe, tied with a black belt.

"You have martial arts?" Frankie asked.

Donzo nodded. "My dad's friend's son told me it would be a good idea."

"Well, it's extra defense points, but we play with handicaps. Martial arts means an aggression penalty."

"I know the rules. Do you play berserker if I roll too badly?"

Teddy was following none of this, but Frankie just grinned. "You'll pick it up, Teddy. I promise. For now, I'll stick you with Donzo. He'll be your dormitory-mate at uni." He looked up. "Food out!"

People emptied their pockets onto the table, Teddy contributing more of Aunt Ginny's biscuits (Ruthless, who had apparently taken some in Gryffindor Tower, told everyone to try them), and once everyone was settled with a pile of food, Frankie assigned all of the characters to their parts. Everything would start around the university grounds, the thieves and other lowlifes just happening to be in the neighborhood.

The first twenty minutes of the game turned out to be staged meetings among different groups of characters. Teddy had to roll dice--they were adamant about using Muggle dice--at one point to see if his character would order a sandwich or a cup of tea, but mainly, several turns were spent just gathering the team. After the fifth go-round of this, Zachary said, "Come on, Frankie--do we have a game to play or not?"

Frankie frowned impressively, then called in a character that he ran as "Urban Planner," who told them that an organized crime boss had kidnapped Prince William. There was to be a reward to whoever rescued him. This, apparently, was the real start of the game, as the experienced players nodded in satisfaction.

Teddy did get the hang of it as they went on, sometimes just having social scenes, establishing which characters liked and disliked which other ones, rolling dice for nonsense reasons. At one point, Donzo rolled badly and went berserk in a bakery. Teddy had a particularly good roll, and, despite his low strength, managed to leave the baker unconscious. Luckily, Tinny happened to be in the neighborhood, and rolled to see if anyone thought to search the place, and someone did. A roll turned up a clue on the other side of town, which led to the morning's first "Tube Crawl," an high-adventure trek through the London Underground, where every step seemed to have a mugger or a murderer or a gang war that needed to be fought through. In the course of it, Teddy managed to pick up a bullet-proof vest, which he suspected Frankie had worked into the game just for him. It was a good thing, too, as a mugger pointed a large gun at him next, and without the extra points, he'd have been out of the game.

At lunchtime, Frankie announced that three people could "train" for a few turns and come back to extra skills if they went to get lunch. Teddy volunteered, choosing "disguise" as his skill, and went off with Bernice (who had opted for "eloquence") and Ruthless (who chose "marksmanship" and grumbled that it ought to be "markswomanship"). They approached the large still life of fruit, and Bernice tickled the pear. A doorknob came out of it, and Teddy entered the Hogwarts kitchens.

"Oh, you is trouble!" the clothed elf said, shaking her rolling pin at them. "We is making lunch. You is should be eating in the Great Hall!"

Teddy winced. "Sorry, we didn't think about that. We were just getting lunch for friends in one of the common rooms."

"Is they sick?" the elf asked.

"No, Winky," Ruthless told her. "They're just playing."

"Then you is coming back for their lunches when we is having finished our work!" She turned and stomped off, and Teddy smiled. Winky--he knew the name. And he thought Hermione would like to know that she'd just stood up to three students with a request.

"Should we go back?" he asked as they left the kitchen.

Bernice shook her head. "I could stand a walk. Frankie won't get twitchy until we've hit the maximum training turns."

"So," Ruthless said as they headed up the stairs toward the Great Hall, "how's solitary splendor? I put in to have the girls' dormitory to myself to get away from my lot, but Sprout said it wouldn't be allowed."

"It's all right," Teddy said. If he hadn't told his grandmother, Uncle Harry, or Victoire about how deeply lonely it was, he wasn't about to tell a near stranger. "Plenty of room, anyway."

"And no one getting up at the crack of dawn for cosmetics spells," Bernice said, shuddering.

"I, er, don't imagine my dormitory mates would have done that, anyway."

They entered the Great Hall, and a few people having breakfast looked at Teddy's companions and turned back with less-than-complimentary snickers. Honoria Higgs said, "Oh, look, the werecub has girlfriends. Just his sort, too." She made finger glasses around her eyes like Ruthless's, and stuck her front teeth out over her lip to exaggerate Bernice's overbite. "Must have had to fight off the whole pack for that pair. Must have--EW!" She ran off, swatting at something white on her neck, covering her hair. A strong smell of melted marshmallows came from it, and Teddy noticed Maurice putting his wand away while Corky laughed behind his hand. He nodded to them in thanks. Maurice gave him an exaggerated look of innocence and Corky made a finger-halo over his head.

Meanwhile, the girls were bright red and embarrassed, so Teddy let them lead the rest of the way out of the Hall. Once clear of teachers' ears, Ruthless let out a stream of words he doubted she'd picked up from her mother, and Bernice started talking about capturing the dark witch before she did any real damage.

"Honestly, if they would stop them while they're still here, we could--" She stopped outside the door of classroom eleven. "Oh, my!" she said. "Get back! It's a kappa, and it's loose!"
57 comments or Leave a comment
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persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: August 8th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
"I, er, don't imagine my dormitory mates would have done that, anyway."

As he isn't in Gilderoy Lockhart's year, probably unlikely.

I am amused (and appetized, actually) by the marshmallow hex. And I really liked that they decided to collect Donzo, and that he's trying to cut back on the namedropping.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
My long hair is almost weeping in sympathy for Honoria, until it remembers that she's a rude twit, and Madam Pomfrey will be able to fix it. ;P

Donzo found out pretty quickly that popularity bought by name-dropping and giving away party favors isn't much fun once he tries to make actual friends. I couldn't quite leave him where he was! He could benefit from talking to Teddy, who manages not to name-drop people even more famous than the Weird Sisters.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 8th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC) (Link)
That is almost exactly how I'd expect a wizarding game of DnD to run (except I'm a bit surprised to hear about the muggle dice - less so, as I think about it, considering the focus of the game). I'm really enjoying this story, and I'm glad you're writing it.

and I shudder to think what Honoria would/will do if/when she hears that the "werecub" plays MnM.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought about magical dice, but couldn't think of a really cool way for magic to improve them without taking the chance of them being "loaded."
cambryn From: cambryn Date: August 8th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
OOoo! A Scrimgeour? How very very interesting... I can't wait to see what's up with her family and where she learned all those swear words.

Lol. I've actually played one of those D&D type games before, two times. I was mostly confused the whole time the first time I played, but I'm glad I did play, because reading this was a hoot (and I probably wouldn't had understood this otherwise.)

I've been following this fic religiously, but hadn't posted yet. I drew all the kids before reading this, of course, but you really made their personalities gel for me. :D Keep up with your wonderful writing. Reading your work is always like reading extended canon. Love it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm thinking she's a granddaughter or grand niece or something of Rufus's, but Teddy's grown up around enough famous wizards that he'd probably think it rude to say, "So, are you related to the dead Minister?"

I've played GURPS twice in my life, but my two best friends (who live closer to each other than they do to me) are devoted and dedicated gamers, and they've done their level best to teach me. I decided I prefer fanfic. No die-rolling, and I decide what happens. Unless, of course, JKR josses me.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: August 8th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Huh, I never really got the point of RPGs, but it's really amusing to read about them RPGing Muggle life. Great chapter!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
When I've played, the point seems to be to create a context to play "Let's pretend" and ingest large quantities of caffeine and junk food. Which is an excellent point to any game, imho. :D
cleindori From: cleindori Date: August 8th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Muggles and Minions! Awesome!

Hooray for Winky, denying inconvenient requests from out-of-place students. S.P.E.W. forever! :)

Good to see Teddy getting friendly with other students -- and one of them's even a fellow Gryffindor.

It's so exciting to get an update every evening. I'm really loving this.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm enjoying it, too. I think I needed, after TDH, to do a story where detention is still a big threat and students are worried about finding friends rather than evil trinkets of doom. Of course, Teddy has some deeper quests, but at the moment, I mean to have some fun with a loose kappa.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: August 8th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
oooh marshmallow hex! I want to learn how to do that :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Long as it's not pointed at my hair! :p
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: August 8th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
At one point, Donzo rolled badly and went berserk in a bakery.
That mmust have been quite a sight to behold...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Especially since it's martial arts berserking. You can see him, like, kickboxing fancy wedding cakes or whatever. :)
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: August 8th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Good job, Fern. That was a lot of fun.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm all about "Go, fun," right now. When I hit Safe, I'll be properly somber again. Heck, later in this book, Teddy hits on some more serious stuff. But right now? Yeah. Kappas and RPGS and marshmallow hexes. That's what I'm in the mood for.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 8th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)

A kappa in the classroom? Hmm--sounds like almost as much trouble as a troll in the bathroom. And Remus did cover kappas in one of his classes, didn't he? Looking forward to further developments on this!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Remus did cover kappas. (And Snape made some sort of mistake about them, if I recall correctly.)
rosetapestry From: rosetapestry Date: August 8th, 2007 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Slightly off-topic:

I followed/read Shifts back in the day, but I wasn't following Shades at all. (Aside from the obvious benefit of reading what I'm sure is a well-written story,) would it benefit me to read that in order to better understand some of the characters and/or their motivations in this story? I've seen other comments mentioning references, and I'd hate to miss something important.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Meh. Robards was in Shades, and he and Tonks worked together on the Emmeline Vance case--she cleared his name off a list of possible traitors by ascertaining that both his wife and his mistress were Muggle-born, so he probably wasn't colluding with Voldemort. Later, he was the only one in the department who took an active interest in her very apparent depression. Dawlish accused him of wanting a second mistress. (Dawlish wasn't wrong, but there was never any question of anything happening, as Tonks would have cheerfully hexed him across three continents.) Vivian Waters, who may or may not make an appearance, was a young girl kidnapped and changed by Greyback. Greyback tried to frame Remus into doing something rather unspeakable while transformed, but instead, he used the chance to rescue her, and Tonks got her to safety. They also got the rest of the children in Greyback's "pack," who are now in France with Fleur's Veela grandmother, but as Teddy isn't even sure who Vivian is and has no knowledge of Greyback yet, they won't come into the story.

I'm trying to make this one stand alone--knowing about Robards and Vivian might have the little "Oh!" moment, but anything that's important to this story, I'll make sure I explain in the text. Teddy doesn't know what happened during Shades either, after all!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 8th, 2007 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
The game is a nice change of pace for HP fics. It really appeals to me for some reason--although that could be from the fact that it's a novel HP game idea, as opposed to silly old Quidditch. The collection of kids playing is nice, too. I'm glad there's another Gryff in the mix, can't wait to see more of her, the little feminist. It's also nice to see that Donzo genuinely appears to want to outgrow his... child celebrity-ness.

I dearly love your Winky. In a way, she reminds me of Molly Weasley--thus, if this were a fic full of peril, I would expect Winky to totally kick butt later on. Not only is it good to see Winky accepting her role at Hogwarts and standing up to kids for her own sake, but it also bodes well for the rest of this Potterverse. Previous posts have shown Hermione doing civil rights work and such, and the show-don't-tell moment of that progress is great.

I'll take this opportunity to blow a great big raspberry at Honoria, possibly also send a large piece of chewing gum up her nose in honor of Remus. Gosh, how does one get rid of kappas? I can't remember, I must go and consult my PoA.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I kind of like the way Winky came out, too. I wasn't planning her, particularly. But I think that the elves are probably making progress (I'm making an effort to have Teddy think of them as "elves" at least as often as "house elves"), and she had dear Dobby to set an example for her, and maybe even cleaned-up!Kreacher to talk to for a while. (Though I hope Harry took Kreacher into his home and treated him decently for whatever years he had left. Heck, he might even still be there.)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: August 8th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad they decided to include Donzo in the game. He may try too hard, but at least it's endearingly so.

It's rather handy to have Slytherin friends when they know the Melted Marshmallow hex, isn't it? :~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll bet Honoria gets hexed a lot. Unlike bratty Malfoy, she may not be universally popular in Slytherin. (Though she does pal around with the other boy and, oddly, her Muggle-born roommate. I guess her prejudice is purely toward the lycanthropically inclined.)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 11:45 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a similar Hogwarts to the one I imagined at Tonks's Sorting--after the war, peacetime school with Hufflepuff friendliness power as the primary moving force. Of course, come Quidditch games, they will undoubtedly all be screaming obscenities at each other.
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: August 8th, 2007 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I do like how your Teffy's turning out, Fern. He reminds me of Remus in a lot of ways, which after DH is a good thing. And as you've said yourself, it's so nice to be at Hogwarts with the kids having normal, school concerns rather than offing dark wizards.

Can I make a tiny Britpick? We don't have tube tokens - we have these credit card things called Oyster cards which were introduced 2 or 3 years ago, and before that just paper tickets. Although whether the designers of Muggles and Minions would know that is an interesting question :)

I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, girlyswot caught that one for me, too. :) I'm going to switch it to a coin.
heather916 From: heather916 Date: August 8th, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another great installment! I've never played D&D or other similar RPG, so I was fairly confused during the M&M game, but found that I didn't care! It was still thoroughly enjoyable to see kids from all the houses come together. And sweet Donzo - he's catching on, and seems quite cool even without all the name-dropping.

I, like many of the previous posters, also really like this Hogwarts. Especially the awesomeness that appears to be Hufflepuff House. *bursts with House pride*

*hugs Teddy*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 8th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hufflepuff seems like the best House to help heal things after a war, imho--generally industrious and not vindictive and quite sociable. Just the ticket.
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