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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Eight: Uncle Harry, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Eight: Uncle Harry, pt. 3
obsfuscation did a really neat illustration of Teddy with Walburga in the background, from "Pointless."

Harry's at Hogwarts to do some guest lecturing, and he took the opportunity to squeeze in some quality time having dinner with Teddy in Hogsmeade. They talk about Teddy's life and people back home, and Harry talks to him a little bit about the wands he's got and isn't supposed to have. Harry agrees that they probably chose him--and confirms that both are uncorrupted in their allegiance--but he's a little concerned about Teddy's tendency to reach for the past, which reminds him of his own experience with the Mirror of Erised.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Uncle Harry was going to be busy here, Teddy noticed when he saw the schedule posted the next day. They had disrupted the class schedule a little bit, combining each year for double-length Defense Against the Dark Arts classes in the Great Hall, but it would still take the whole of two days for him to talk to everyone. The first day, he worked with the older students--fifth, sixth, and seventh years working on O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s. They had to be used to him by now, Teddy thought; he came nearly every year. But when Teddy chanced a peek in on the seventh years (having to crane his neck around the crowd of onlookers), he saw Ellie Cattermole looking completely flummoxed as Uncle Harry walked her through her Shield Charm. He corrected her aim, and she blushed furiously, dropping her wand. Someone in the crowd giggled. Uncle Harry shut the doors with an irritated flick of his wand.

At dinner that night, Uncle Harry sat at the high table with Professors Longbottom and Hagrid, the three of them looking not that much different from the groups of friends among the students at the House tables. At one point, Teddy half-expected them to start flicking vegetables at one another. To the delight of the whole of Gryffindor House, Uncle Harry stopped at the table during pudding and swiped a tart from Teddy's plate. He didn't sit down, but he did joke that he still felt that it was this table he ought to be sitting at. He was duly invited by close to sixty Gryffindors, but said he had to decline, as he was here as a teacher. He squeezed Teddy's shoulder, but didn't say anything until it was time to go and nearly everyone was paying attention to pudding again. "I didn't think you'd want the attention just now," he whispered.

"Good call," Teddy said, and grinned. Uncle Harry thumped the back of his head fondly, and went on out of the Hall.

The first years had the last class of the day with Uncle Harry, and at lunch, Teddy slipped in among the Forest Guard at Hufflepuff (Bernice looked deeply embarrassed to see him, but muttered something about everything being all right). Frankie had apparently taken down a boggart that Uncle Harry had brought for the third years--"It turned into a troll and started busting everything apart, but I put it in a tutu and toe shoes and it started twirling around, and we all had to laugh at it!"--and there was a great deal of excitement. The lecture before the practical work had been about dark creatures, and Uncle Harry had taken questions about any number of things. Teddy found himself, somewhat to his surprise, looking forward to his actual class.

After lunch, Teddy barely managed to concentrate through Herbology, though Longbottom seemed to understand this, and had the class just shifting soil from one pot to another. They washed their hands after finishing, and Teddy walked back up to the castle between Tinny and Roger. They met the Slytherins and Ravenclaws outside the Great Hall.

The door opened, and Uncle Harry grinned. Robards was behind him; they'd clearly been sharing tales of the Auror Division. "Come on in. Who are we wai--" He caught himself, apparently remembering that they weren't waiting for anyone. "Well, let's stay cozy." He raised his wand arm, and the Ravenclaw table scooted over from the wall where it was stored and started twirling in mid-air, reshaping itself. When it came down, it was a round table that would seat all of them comfortably. Uncle Harry Conjured seventeen chairs and took one of them, indicating to the students that they should do the same. Robards sat across from him.

"Let's get to know each other, shall we?" Uncle Harry said. "I'm Harry Potter, and Professor Robards is kind enough to let me come here and talk to you. I know one of you, but the rest, I'll need names for."

The students introduced themselves in turn (Maurice muttering his name so incoherently that he had to repeat it twice, his ears burning), then Uncle Harry started telling them about his own first year, bridging into the lecture on defense so subtly that Teddy didn't notice he'd done so until he realized they were no longer talking about Hermione, but about how to handle a logical puzzle. The Ravenclaws all loved this, and Donzo in particular was entranced with solving a problem that Teddy rather strongly suspected Hermione had provided, about how to recognize what kind of spell had been cast on a room.

He taught easily and comfortably, and Teddy wondered--not for the first time--why he didn't teach Defense Against the Dark Arts as a permanent post. He certainly seemed more relaxed here than Teddy had ever seen him at work.

"As first years," he said, "you don't know much magic. What's the smartest thing for you do if you find yourself in danger?"

Corky raised his hand.

"Yes, Mr. Atkinson?"

"Would that be going past a giant three-headed dog, dropping into a pile of Devil's Snare, and playing a mad chess game, just to get to a dark wizard on the other side?"

Uncle Harry laughed. "Decidedly not, but I don't think you'll need to. Besides, I'm sure they'll have thought of something other than Devil's Snare by now. What's your real answer?"

"Get out of it," Corky said. "As quick as possible."

"Much smarter answer. It's not always easy, though. What else can you do?"

"Keep an eye on the inside," Maurice answered quickly.

"It's the new Slytherin motto," Corky agreed.

"Seems not to be too far from the old one," Uncle Harry said.

"Of course it's not," Honoria said. "Slytherin House is honorable."

Teddy wondered exactly where in "honorable" she found continually insulting the war dead, making fun of Franklin, and genuinely being a horrendous busybody, but he said nothing, as Maurice was already glaring at her.

"Slytherin," he said quite clearly, "is planning on taking care of its own problems from now on."

Uncle Harry didn't miss the implication, though Teddy hadn't told him about Honoria. "I think Slytherin ought to make sure that it talks to its Head of House about any internal problems," he said carefully. "You wouldn't want to make things worse."

A look passed among the first years, but ultimately, no one said anything.

Uncle Harry finished up the lecture, then decided to teach them simple spells that would help them get away. He worked with each of them on a Point-Me spell, which Teddy thought quite helpful, and on Hermione's blue-flame charm. Teddy learned the spells, but whenever Uncle Harry wasn't working with him, he was watching Uncle Harry teach. He went to each student, speaking quietly, patiently walking them through difficulties. Students who did things particularly well were praised, students who were having trouble were helped with no fanfare, no disparaging. It wasn't like Robards' sometimes combative style, nor quite like Longbottom's easygoing instructions. Teddy liked both of them, but thought that he liked Uncle Harry's way better. He felt like he was in one of the stories about Dumbledore's Army.

After class, they had to move quickly out of the Great Hall so that the elves could set it up for dinner, and Teddy didn't get a chance to say anything to Uncle Harry, who was also not at the high table during dinner. Professor Longbottom wasn't there, either, and Teddy guessed that they were off together somewhere. He went back to his room and checked the Marauder's Map, and found them sitting in greenhouse one. It was still early enough to be out and about, and Teddy thought he'd at least say goodbye to Uncle Harry before he left Hogsmeade, so he slipped out of Gryffindor Tower and onto the grounds.

He could see them from quite a distance, as several candles were lit in the greenhouse, so it glowed in the dark night. They were sitting in Conjured chairs, looking up through the ceiling, drinking something Teddy didn't think was flavored water. They looked comfortable, and happy to be spending time together. They hadn't even been the most closely bonded boys in the dormitory and--

What binds is bound to the bonded.

Teddy frowned. He hadn't thought of "Prongs"'s riddle since it first appeared on the Marauder's Map, and he wasn't sure why he thought of it now.

He started toward the greenhouse, hoping Uncle Harry wouldn't mind the interruption. There was a buzzing little light keeping watch, but Teddy morphed his skin to match the leafy wall he was passing, and it seemed to miss him. As he got close, he could hear them talking.

"...business with the Slytherin first years?" Uncle Harry asked.

"I'd guess Honoria Higgs."

"Are we looking at another Malfoy?"

"We're looking at a spoilt little"--Longbottom called Honoria a name Teddy knew he wouldn't have used if he knew a student was listening--"who's spent far too much time with an old family friend."

"Which friend?"

"Rita Skeeter. She mentioned it in Herbology once. I suppose I should have guessed. She always knows everyone's business. It's not always easy treating them all well."

"You do a good job."

"I remember Snape threatening to poison my toad. It makes it easier to remember not to play favorites in class." Longbottom leaned forward. "Sorry. I know he was working on the side of the angels, but that tends to stick in the memory."

Teddy reached the door and knocked.

Longbottom stood up. "Who's there?"

"Teddy Lupin."

The pair of them passed an odd look. "Come on in," Longbottom said, and Teddy did. Longbottom rolled his eyes. "You morphed your way past the guard light?"

"Is that what that was?"

"Why would you morph if you didn't know that?"

Teddy shrugged and unmorphed his skin. "I wanted to see if it worked. I just wanted to say goodbye to Uncle Harry."

"Well, I was going to come back up to Gryffindor Tower," Uncle Harry said. "But we could do that here."

Teddy looked around and realized that he really had interrupted. Everything seemed different with him here than it had before he'd come in. He smiled awkwardly and held out his hand. "Well... goodbye. Until Christmas."

Uncle Harry shook the hand with great seriousness, then hugged him. "Be good, Teddy. We're all looking forward to Christmas."

"Could you tell James that I have his picture on my wall? I forgot to tell him when I wrote."

"He'll be very glad to hear it." He leaned down. "Teddy, I'm not sure how much you heard after you came past the guard light but--"

"Don't worry, I won't tell."


They talked for a minute more, then Professor Longbottom pointed out that Teddy's time was up, and he had to go back to the castle. He looked back halfway and saw the two men talking again, comfortably boys together. Teddy wondered if all adults were like that when the children weren't around. He thought he might practice morphing older, just to find out, but then thought a stranger might throw off the balance just as well. He practiced the morph anyway when he got back to his room, broadening his jaw and nose, adding to his height, spreading his shoulders... it wasn't entirely right. He'd need a book on what changes he'd need to make.

He was exhausted by the time he went to bed, and he dreamed first of Professor Longbottom and Uncle Harry, in a little bubble of light in the dark, fitting easily together. Then it was his own room, and they weren't Uncle Harry and Professor Longbottom anymore, but Teddy's father and Uncle Harry's father. Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew emerged from the shadows, and they sat together in their own pool of light, hunched over a piece of parchment, their wands pointed at it, laughing. Lines flowed from it, spilling onto the table, reaching into the air, weaving around them, binding them...

Teddy awoke.

What binds is bound to the bonded.

He thought about the first thing his teenage father's avatar had said on the map. Mr. Moony is astonished that young Mr. Lupin hasn't been given the wherewithal to answer his own question.

But of course, he had been given the wherewithal.

Teddy scrambled for the Marauder's Map, laid it out on his bed, then pulled his father's wand from its place in his trunk.
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marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: August 16th, 2007 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)

I can't wait to see what Teddy does with the map now! Love this story.

Harry and Neville, so great. And I agree, Harry would have been better as the DADA professor ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm pretending that two weeks after the epilogue, Harry finally accepted the long-standing offer to teach DADA. ;p
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: August 16th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
*g* I know you're likely to pour out a new chapter every 1-2 days and I shouldn't be surprised, but I still get excited every time I see a new segment on my f-list! :)

It's so strange that Teddy's gotten into the habit of calling him 'Longbottom.' It makes perfect sense, of course, but as an HP fan it's so odd to think of this kid we've known since the age of 11 becoming an adult. And a teacher, at that. *hugs Neville*

Wonderful job, as usual!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to erase "Neville" at least half the times I mention him and replace it with "Longbottom." It's deeply weird.
1voice From: 1voice Date: August 16th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay, Teddy's thought of his father's wand! I guess you really can work out problems in your dreams...

I love the Harry and Neville interaction!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, finally, and he'll get to play with it a little bit, too... though it won't do what he wants right away!
From: sleepingfingers Date: August 16th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I've always wanted Harry to come back to Hogwarts and teach DADA, because he really does seem to have an aptitude for it. Reading it here feels like it, in some way (although it'd be weird being taught by your own godfather/father, wouldn't it?).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Harry and Teddy have an awkward place here--Harry can't give him any special attention because that would mark both of them, but they also don't want to pretend not to know each other, because that would be... weird. Uncharted territory.
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: August 16th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I really love the easy camaraderie between Harry and Neville. I especially liked how they acted when they didn't know Teddy was around; it's fun to see Neville telling Harry what he really thinks of Honoria and reminescing about the past when they were students together.

Interesting development with the wands in the works as well. Oh, and I liked how Teddy felt that he was in one of the stories about the DA, hehe.
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: August 16th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I just thought of something else right after I posted my previous comment...

In an earlier segment, I seem to remember Teddy thinking that nothing featured in Uncle Harry's stories that was more dangerous/scary than the Troll in the girl's bathroom. Now, I can see how he might have told Teddy a few more things that seem dangerous, such as the events surrounding Sirius Black and the final battle where Remus died, but in this segment it appears that he is telling the story about Quirrell. I don't know how much detail he's going into, but one of the salient points was that the DADA professor was possessed by Voldemort, who was sticking out of the back of his head, and tried to murder Harry to get a stone that would allow him to become immortal and begin another reign of terror.

Uhm, so I'd guess that is more dangerous than the Troll. Not that I'm complaining mind you, I like that Harry is telling this story, just might be a minor continuity error.

Unless I read that in one of your other post-DH stories, which is possible.

Either way, Kudos for another great update.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: August 16th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw, I do love seeing Neville and Harry interact.
And naturally Teddy finally pieces together the map's puzzle. Can't wait to see how that plays out.
I don't even know if it's possible to love this story even more than I already do.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope what the Map does will hold people's interest.
kinderjedi From: kinderjedi Date: August 16th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy liked both of them, but thought that he liked Uncle Harry's way better.

I like that Harry's way of teaching sounds very much like Remus's. The only thing better would be if Teddy were watching Remus himself. Nicely done. :)

Oh, what a stopping point! I can't wait to find out what happens with the map.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, that's what struck me in OotP about Harry--while he's busy bonding with Sirius, he's distinctly and recognizably emulating Remus.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: August 16th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
WHEEE, at last!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I couldn't draw it out much longer! :)
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: August 16th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent, execellent post, Fern. Loved seeing Harry in the classroom and interacting with Neville. I think the Marauders Map storyline is very intriguing and it's playing out just like it would in the books. Great job!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm really enjoying thinking of things the Map might do. What would teenage boys really need from it, and what would they make it do to protect itself?
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: August 16th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh! It sort of kind of almost makes sense now!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
In a way that makes sense if you're writing deliberately obtuse riddles... :)
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: August 16th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Honoria better watch out for Maurice! He certainly seems determined to keep the "bad" out of Slytherin.

Harry really should be teaching full time. I'm glad that he gets to teach a little bit, anyhow, and that he gets to spend time relaxing with Neville. Teddy trying to morph older so he could "spy" on adults was cute.

What a place to leave the chapter! Looking forward to the continuation.
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: August 16th, 2007 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)
This reminds me vaguely of a scene in Shifts where Tonks is herself around the Smeltings faculty, or some of them at least. I forget why she wasn't morphed as Mrs. Lewis at the time, but if memory serves then she had a thought about how older people are still just people.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 16th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Heartening to see that Remus J. Lupin's teaching style survives in more than one of his former students, right down to Harry choosing a boggart for the third-years to practice on. And as a non-fan of Snape, I was amused to see that Neville, at least, remembers him without much fondness or reverence. Effective double agent, lousy teacher and miserable human being.

I hoped Teddy would finally think of Remus's wand when it came to updating the map. I look forward to what happens now that he's got the "wherewithal."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think there would be any number of former students whose response to Snape's allegiance would be, "Yeah? So what?"
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 16th, 2007 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I enjoy Harry's teaching style immensely and wonder why he has not been made a teacher. Well, okay, ten months out of the year away from his wife and kids might be a factor, but he's just so good. I think it's very obvious that Harry teaches from both the perspective of a child who was bullied for the most part of his early childhood and, well, a student lucky enough to study under Remus! One of the nicest things about his teaching style in my opinion, though, is that it's not exactly like Remus' style, which would be an easy trap to fall into. Not that I would object to Harry sending wads of gum up the nose of an unsuspecting poltergeist.

Honoria continues to be a self-righteous little shit. Very nice to see the inter-house unity, for the most part. Even Slytherins are annoyed when someone tries to separate the houses. I really liked the moment with Harry and Neville after. Just catching up, relaxing--more normal things, but seen in a crowd that we've come to expect abnormal things from.

Gasp! Cliffhanger! What does a map do when it meets its maker?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the Slytherins have just decided that their House has had enough embarrassments for one century without letting Honoria start the new one off on a bad foot.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 16th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi! Just wanted to say that I loved this chapter, and all chapters proceeding it!

I just love Harry's style. So very Remus-like, you know? I wonder if part of the reason he doesn't want to fill the DADA position is because of some sort of reverence for the people who've gone before him--at least for Lupin and possibly Snape.

Neville's recollections of Snape are a nice touch. The man might have been "working on the side of the angels," but that did very little to disguise the fact that Snape was a world class jerk. Weird for me to admit it, after rubbing it in all my friends' faces that I'd been right about Snape's allegiances all along, but you can still be a jerk and work for the right side.

Teddy's remembering a lot of map-related stuff... ooooohhh....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never took a stand on Snape's allegiances--I've said pretty much since HBP that I wouldn't be surprised at anything JKR did with him (though I was quite disappointed that she went with the Lily thing)--and certainly nothing in DH changed my mind about him being a world class jerk, so I plan on continuing to treat him as I always did.
drakyndra From: drakyndra Date: August 16th, 2007 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Completely and utterly irrelevent in terms of a chapter review, but every time I see the current chapter title, I get the song Uncle Harry stuck in my head.

Which, as you can see, isn't the most fitting soundtrack to this chapter.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not really, though Moaning Myrtle could probably tell us for sure. :P
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