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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Eight: Uncle Harry, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Eight: Uncle Harry, pt. 1
Teddy's school life has improved since he started using his mother's wand, but his first adventure goes pear-shaped when he successfully sneaks out with a lot of his friends only to see another of them, Bernice, attacking the Whomping Willow. He's hits her with a Petrifying curse and she gets hit hard by the tree. He feels just awful about it. At the same time, Neville sees the wand he's using for the first time, and the next thing he knows, a rumor is running rampant that Harry Potter is coming to Hogwarts.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

The next week was marked by students scrambling to raise their marks in Defense Against the Dark Arts, trying to catch Robards' attention so that he would think to call on them and introduce them when Uncle Harry came. Even Honoria Higgs was preening. There was also a rash of quizzing one another about the Battle of Hogwarts, challenges to see who knew the most. It was a subject about which Teddy was singularly disinclined to banter after dinner in the Great Hall or over a pile of books in the library, especially after he heard, behind the next stack, a fifth year Ravenclaw asking one of his mates, "Did that werewolf bite it on the North Battlements, or was it up on the lawn by the door?" The mate said he was sure it was on the battlements, but the mad wife was probably on the lawn. Frankie, who had started staying around Teddy in common areas since he realized what was going on, had hustled him out, and the next morning, Teddy found out that both of the older students had ended up bristling with spikes and twirling crazily until Madam Pomfrey stopped it. Frankie had got detention, but when Teddy tried to thank him, he said it was the easiest detention he'd ever had. "Longbottom supervised," he said. "He told me to do my homework in peace for a few hours, and gave me butterbeers and chocolate."

After that, Teddy took to leaving the library and the Great Hall--and even the Gryffindor Common Room--as soon as he'd finished whatever he'd gone there to do. He noticed a handful of older students who seemed to be doing the same, though he didn't recognize any of them. Had they lost siblings? Friends? As far as Teddy knew, his were the only parents--at least of children young enough to still be in Hogwarts--to die in the battle, which had been fought largely by the very young, but there were fifty names on the casualty list, and they would all have someone in the world, and some of their someones might still be here. Teddy was interested in who they were, but not interested enough to stay in the crowds, and they seemed not to be, either. He was actually glad to have a dormitory to himself.

The Marauder's Map and Checkmate increasingly kept him company that week. He tried to teach Checkmate to do a back flip on command, morphing his eyes and ears and nose to look like a cat's and showing her what he meant for her to do. This had no noticeable effect on her learning, but it seemed to amuse her, so he continued to do it. He ventured down to the common room late to get a book he'd left there, and saw Ruthless, who burst out laughing, as he'd forgotten to remove the cat nose. He morphed lion teeth at her, and she practically rolled off the couch in merriment. "Oh, stay," she said. "They're all gone. Trust me. I'm not exactly interested in listening to them complain righteously about the Ministry the year before. Trust my parents to name me something that sounds just like my grandfather's brother. And Frankie Apcarne to make it even closer." She rolled her eyes. "Exploding Snap?"

Teddy took the game gratefully, even though she made him do a new morph every time he lost a hand (actually, he rather liked it, as no one had taken much interest in his morphing since the first night). If she lost a hand, he told her to do a cosmetic charm. By the time they were done, he had something like an owl's beak, cat ears, and skin the pattern of the upholstery, and she was decked out like she was going to a ball, with fancy colors on her eyelids, long eyelashes, and glittery lips.

"You don't look bad as a girl," he said.

"Want to find out how you'd look as one?" Ruthless asked, breaking all of the charms at once. They grinned at each other the next morning, but didn't find themselves with a common area to themselves again.

The Map was no more amenable to learning new tricks than Checkmate had been. With some trepidation, but unable to think of another approach, he tried to take a quill to it to draw in one of the new walls, but the ink pooled on the parchment, slid around a bit, then formed itself into a hand gesture Teddy had once been punished for making before it was expelled rudely up into Teddy's face. Thinking about it as he mopped at the thick bluish-black streaks, he supposed he should have known it would happen. A part of him was curious as to what would happen if someone tried to destroy it--something large and rude, he guessed--but he wasn't about to risk it by trying.

He got a letter from Uncle Harry Saturday night, just a paragraph saying hello, that he was looking forward to coming. It didn't seem like any warning about his wand, or a coming reprimand about what had happened to Bernice, so he relaxed at least a little bit.

The night before Uncle Harry was meant to come, Teddy had got the Map out again, and was trying some reparation charms he'd found in a third year book from the library, trying to get it to update itself. Its responses to attempted magic were either nothing or explosions of indignity. Some of the drawings that appeared, he was absolutely certain were his father's; they could have walked off of his nursery walls, except that none of the characters in his nursery did such obnoxious things. For the first time since Longbottom had visited on his first night, someone knocked on his door.

"Oi, Lupin!"

Teddy cleared the Map and went to the door, hoisting Checkmate onto his shoulder (she often rode there like a trained parrot, as long as he kept her balanced) to keep her from rolling off of his lap. "Ruthless?" He opened the door to find her there.

"How long do you plan to keep hiding in here?" she asked, reaching up to scratch Checkmate's head.

"I'm not hiding."

"Mm." She shrugged in an indifferent sort of way. "Some old man is outside the portrait, looking for you. I asked what he wanted and he said he meant to kidnap you for ransom. I told him no one would pay for you. He said he'd have a go anyway, then he showed me a funny sort of scar on his face." She winked.

Teddy shut the door and slipped out, following Ruthless though she didn't seem to notice whether or not he was there.

Uncle Harry was waiting in the corridor, in the same disguise he'd used at King's Cross, craning his neck to see into the Common Room. He smiled broadly when Teddy came out.

"You might want to leave the cat," he said. "We're going to Hogsmeade."

"I don't think I'm allowed..."

"I have signed permission from your grandmother. I know... who'd've guessed it was so simple?"

Teddy pried Checkmate's claws out of his robe and called, "Oi, Scrimgeour!"

Ruthless, who was halfway to the fireplace, turned and came back.

"Would you keep an eye on Checks for me, or just take her back to the dormitory until I'm ransomed?"

"Only for the cat ears," she said. Teddy morphed; she grinned. "All right, then. And you're too easy, Lupin. It'll get you in trouble." She took the kitten and went inside without looking back.

"Nice morph," Uncle Harry said as the portrait closed. "You might want to lose it, though."

Teddy put his own ears back. "It really just takes permission from Granny to go out to Hogsmeade?"

"Well, I may have dropped my own name. I'm not above it if it gets me time with my godson." He smiled. "Honestly, I don't think I had to. It's allowed. It's just Not Done, as I'm sure you've noticed by now."

"Oh. Well, I'm awfully embarrassed to be seen with a grown-up."

"Yes, you'll have to hide your face for a month." Uncle Harry led the way downstairs, stopping here and there to tell stories of hiding behind various tapestries and suits of armor. He seemed genuinely happy to be at Hogwarts, despite the horrible things that had happened to him here. "How did your flying lesson go?" he asked as they got outside.

Teddy shrugged. "I didn't crash."

Uncle Harry looked crestfallen at Teddy's manifest lack of interest in flying, but covered for it by asking about what he had been doing for fun. He was fascinated by Muggles and Minions (or at least pretended to be), and by the time Teddy had finished explaining it, they were halfway into the village, and Uncle Harry had broken his appearance charms.

Teddy had walked with him before, and knew how most people reacted to him--except for a few nutters, they mostly just said, "Hello, Mr. Potter," but they did have a tendency to make certain that they got their hellos in. Walking down the street with Uncle Harry was often a time-consuming enterprise, and the high street of Hogsmeade was no exception. Shoppers wandered out, gaped at him, stopped to greet him and wish him well, and sometimes even asked after the children and Teddy himself. Hogsmeade wasn't nearly as bad as Diagon Alley, since most of the business owners remembered Uncle Harry as a scrawny, short, specky little boy, but it still took them until nearly seven o'clock to get to the Three Broomsticks, where Madam Rosmerta led them to a private sort of booth in back. They ordered their meals and got butterbeer while they waited. Teddy was just starting to relax when Uncle Harry said, "I guess you know that your grandmother wants me to talk to you about the wands."
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purple_mirie From: purple_mirie Date: August 14th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting cliffhanger.

I think I spotted a typo: "He told me to do my homework in piece for a few hours, and gave me butterbeers and chocolate."

More! More!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Aagh, I've done that twice in the same story! Thanks.
gabrielladusult From: gabrielladusult Date: August 14th, 2007 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I usually read these in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast -- but you posted earlier tonight! I love the regular posting in easy to manage chunks (as a reader) -- though I think I'm going to have to go back to the sorting chapter and make a chart -- as small as Teddy's class is, I'm still losing track of who is who sometimes.

I liked learning more about Ruth's family and the effect Harry's pending arrival had -- with all Harry's learned about wandlore, I look forward to the coming conversation.

Poor Harry, Teddy's not much of a flyer. I expect James and Albus will have a bit more flying in their blood. And Kudos to Harry for showing an interest in the RPG.

Does the earlier post mean that you are managing your sleep pattern better? I'm always staying up too late and then sleeping during the baby's nap instead of house-elfing like I need to or writing like I want to.
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: August 14th, 2007 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't think of this, and I like it. It stands to reason that Harry would know more about wandlore than most wizards who aren't wandmakers. If nothing else he has a good working knowledge of wand ownership. I could see Harry taking it upon himself to study wandlore after the events in DH, but I could also see Harry deciding it wasn't worth it since he was happy with his wand, the Elder Wand was safe, and Voldemort was dead. Hermione though... Yeah, she would have checked into it, and probably gone on about it at length to Harry.

Bah, anyway, even if it Harry's knowledge of wandlore doesn't come up in this story, I'm glad you pointed it out. =)
beceh From: beceh Date: August 14th, 2007 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent! Looking forward to the next installment :-)

Just a couple of typos, if I can find them again...

Thinking about it as he moped at the thick bluish-black streaks, he supposed he should ahve known it would happenHe noticed a handful of older students who seemed to be doing the same, though he didn't recognize any of htem.</i>

beceh From: beceh Date: August 14th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
erm something happened to my html...that;s what happens when I try to be smart :S anyway you can still tell what I mean.

sharonaf From: sharonaf Date: August 14th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
"Thinking about it as he moped at the thick bluish-black streaks, he supposed he should ahve known it would happen."

Mopped, and have, I think. Have I mentioned that I'm loving this story? possibly not yet. It's just delightful, and really gives a feel for 'regular' life among the wizards. Those sequences were always my favorites in the books, and it's wonderful to see a whole book of them!

Your voice is more like Rowling's than hers is. ;-)
Have a lovely night.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I do like normal wizarding life. Teddy's not entirely normal himself, but the world is ticking along predictably.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: August 14th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww Harry.

Keep going!!!

PS - Neville for teacher of the year!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, nothing like chocolate and butterbeer to say, "Now, now, Frankie, you shouldn't curse your classmates." :p
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: August 14th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Fun - I'm liking Ruthless a lot - she seems to have her head on straight. The general Hogwarts population doesn't seem to have caught on to Teddy's relationship with Harry just yet, have they? I'm really looking forward to seeing where you'll take that. Kudos to Teddy for realising that other students will have lost people in the battle too.

One slightly odd choice of words felt a bit jarring to me: wouldn't repair charms be easier than reparation charms? Or are thay something other than variants on Reparo?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I'll think about the repair/reparation issue. Yes, I'm assuming there are some that aren't just variants of "Reparo," as Teddy wouldn't have much to kill time with if there aren't. (Best reasoning, I know.)
From: lianna_blanca Date: August 14th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Uh oh. Parental Harry approaches... I don't see why they make such a fuss though. I mean, yes, they have reasons, but really...

Also, another typo:
Thinking about it as he moped at the thick bluish-black streaks, he supposed he should ahve known it would happen.
From: lianna_blanca Date: August 14th, 2007 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
And there's at least three of us posting about that typo...
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 14th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Nice to see that Teddy has such loyal friends--love the way Neville "disciplined" Frankie for hexing the rude Ravenclaws. But then, as a veteran of the Battle of Hogwarts and a former student of Remus's, he'd doubtless have plenty to say about anyone who badmouthed the Lupins.

Also enjoyed the new abilities demonstrated by the Marauders' Map. It's a pity that Rowling didn't develop it more, such a nifty piece of magic. And now Harry's on the scene--I'm looking forward to what he has to say about his godson's wand problems.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I imagine that most of the teachers are a little uncomfortable with this, but I'm thinking that it must have seemed as ancient to even the older kids as Vietnam did to me by the time I was in sixth grade, and couldn't figure out why my mom still got so worked up about it until I realized one of her high school friends died there.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: sleepingfingers Date: August 14th, 2007 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad that I'm caught up with the story now because it's getting very, very interesting. I like your characterization of Harry as an adult. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I haven't written Harry much before, so I'm glad he's coming off decently.
1voice From: 1voice Date: August 14th, 2007 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I was wondering how exactly Ruthless was related to Rufus, I thought once that he was her father! Grandfather makes much more sense!

Wow, what the Ravenclaws said was so sad...how mean can you get? Honestly, these people are WAR HEROES! I'm not asking for hero worship, but what is that? *is outraged by fictional characters* Neville responded well. He is easily one of my favorite characters in the story (I'm also quite fond of Ruthless).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, to be fair to them, they had no idea that the orphaned son of these two people was on the other side of the shelves, but yes, lots of people would be really callous.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 14th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't really like Harry before. Especially after reading "Shift" and "shade". But what, I don't think it's just only because DH, but also this story your writte. I like Harry now. I'm waiting for his appearance now. Gread job. Thanks for writing such a great story.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, dear--I hope nothing I did in Shifts and Shades made Harry unlikeable! :)

I'm glad you like him here. And I'm enjoying writing this story!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: August 14th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Will Harry and Teddy have to work together to update the map?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm thinking that the Map itself has passed on to Teddy, but he may need Harry's help with something regarding it.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: August 14th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm liking Ruthless more and more and more. Also, as at least one other person has already said, Teddy's thoughts about the war and how he fits (and others fit) into its history is a really neat thing to think about.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Ruthless, who was introduced just to fix the problem of Teddy having no Gryffindor friends, went and woke up on me! Go figure. I'm liking her, too. I liked her great uncle Rufus, too, in the weirdest way.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: August 14th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy trying to teach Checkmate to do backflips by morphing like a cat was funny, and the way she was perched on his shoulder "like a trained parrot" was cute. You always write cats and their behaviors so well!

The special rules of Exploding Snap were a nice touch, as was Teddy's appreciation of the fact that someone was taking an interest in his morphing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Most of the cat behaviors are courtesy of Cindy, who sits right here while I write, though the shoulder-riding was from Popoki, the cat in this icon. :)

Teddy really enjoys morphing, but he seems to have picked up an "I-want-to-fit-in" attitude from somewhere...
From: tunxeh Date: August 14th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)
"Yes, you'll have to hide your face for a month."

Too late, he's already been doing so...

And Harry is the right one to talk about multiple wands, now, isn't he.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 14th, 2007 11:38 am (UTC) (Link)
And Harry is the right one to talk about multiple wands, now, isn't he.

What, just because he can control random tree branches by the end of DH?
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