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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Ten: Reparo, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Ten: Reparo, pt. 3
It's the beginning of December, and Teddy and his friends have gone for a walk in the forest, during which Teddy firmly expected to find nothing. Frankie, however, shows him an odd growth of very pale ivy near where Aragog's next used to be. (The others aren't privy to this.) He also gets word from Victoire that the fifth Bill-Fleur child has arrived... another girl, much to Artie's disappointment. Finally, he's found the list of charms and hexes that Marauders used on their Map, but it frustrates him on any number of levels--the magic is much too complex for him, it's written in several different languages, and many of the spells are "bound" to only work for the Marauders themselves.

BTW, I have to edit some stuff into the former part (the danger of speed writing!) because I thought it would fit in this one, but this worked out in a different direction. One key point about the difficulty with the map, which is implied but not directly stated, is that the spells that bind new people to the group are all bound to the Marauders themselves... and they're all gone.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy awoke two days later, before dawn, to the sound of howling wind and snow scraping against the stones of Gryffindor Tower. Through his window, he could see billowing curtains of white against the black sky, caught by the light of the waning moon.

"Hey, Checks," he said. "Look at this!"

Checkmate meowed sleepily and let him pick her up and take her to the window, but seemed unimpressed at the storm. As soon as he sat down on the chilly window seat, she buried her nose in the crook of his elbow and went back to sleep. Teddy leaned back and watched the snow until the sky turned muddy gray, enjoying the play of shapes in the air. A face seemed to appear once, only to be ripped apart and whipped into a swirling Catherine wheel, then pulled up into a towering Christmas tree. Another sheet of snow blew by with a leaping deer that became a waterfall, and exploded down into a blazing white bonfire. On mornings like this at home, he and Granny would curl up by the big parlor windows and drink hot chocolate and tell one another what they saw--he remembered, once when he was very small, Granny cuddling him because he was frightened of the storm and saying, "The wind makes the snow into a shapeshifter, just like you." Then she'd told him that his mum had been the one to say that first, when she'd been five, and then they'd started looking for all the shapes they could find, and everything had been all right. Teddy had never been afraid of storms again, and had always felt, in some strange way, that Mum was there with them when the wind howled. For the first time in weeks, Teddy missed Granny painfully, and was glad that the holidays were nearly upon him.

He got dressed when he heard the other Gryffindors start to stir, and went to breakfast with them, forcing himself not to look up at the show on the enchanted ceiling. Hagrid announced that his Care of Magical Creatures classes were canceled for the day, but said he intended to use it for "a bi' o' decoratin'," which caused the older students to cheer.

"Christmas trees," Ruthless said. "He means he's going to get them. In the middle of this." She pointed at the ceiling, and shook her head in a way that could be considered disbelieving of his carelessness or admiring of his courage. Teddy rather suspected the latter.

The holiday spirit continued in Transfiguration class, where Gardner had brought in several wooden balls, and the class was meant to transfigure them into glass ornaments. He did several himself--wonderful little confections with little moving figures inside of them--while the class worked. Geoffrey tut-tutted about being forced to participate in a religious holiday. Franklin Driscoll, with the air of a long-suffering saint, imposed himself as Geoffrey's partner then began a stream of holiday cheerfulness that even Geoffrey couldn't entirely resist. Donzo, to Teddy's surprise, decided that he desperately wanted to work with Lizzie Richardson, so Teddy himself ended up working with Connie Deverill, who hadn't really talked to before, and she turned out to be quite nice.

"I'll try to get it dark blue and gold," she said. "With Puddlemere bullrushes."

"Sorry," Teddy said. "If I don't go with Holyhead colors, I may go without Christmas dinner."

She laughed. "Well, you can't very well starve, can you?"

Of course, neither of them quite managed to be so particular straight away, as changing wood to glass was, in itself, quite enough of a challenge. After fifteen minutes, Connie picked up her wooden ball and made a hissing sound at it. "Come on, you! All you need is a bit of shine!"

Teddy, who had let his attention drift and was presently doing a Charm that made the ball dart around like a Golden Snitch rather than actually working on it, smiled. "That's it, Connie. Give it a lecture." He flicked Mum's wand toward his own and brought up to face level. "Now, now, all you have to do is this." He morphed his nose into a ball shape and made it a bright, glittering green.

"I can't believe you can do that to your nose, but not a little wooden ball," Connie said. "Your nose is all sorts of different things..."

Teddy shrugged. "It's different."

"Not necessarily," Gardner said thoughtfully, coming up beside them. "It's still changing the nature of a thing. Try thinking of the ball the way you just thought of your nose."

"It's not really part of me," Teddy said. "I don't think it can morph for me."

"I'm trying to get you to think of it it differently. Will you humor me and try? I've never tried teaching a Metamorphmagus before."

Teddy didn't think this was a very useful approach. He concentrated on the ball, but nothing happened.

"Now try it with your wand and the incantation," Gardner said dryly. "I didn't mean you could actually Metamorphose it, Teddy. Just think of it as... wanting to change."

"Oh," Teddy said sheepishly. He tried to imagine the ball as a part of his body, wanting to go into the shape he needed, the pattern he wanted, and he raised the wand at it and said, "Vitreus."

The ball shone brightly for a moment, then turned a shiny green.

"Good," Gardner said, looking excited. "That's what you needed to think about. Think of what you're Transfiguring as wanting to change. All of you try it now, if you're having trouble." He bent and looked at Teddy's ornament. "It's not quite glass, though. It just looks like it. That's probably because I told you to think of it they way you think of yourself, and I don't imagine you actually make yourself glass."


"Now just take one more step. Think of it as wanting to be something else, rather than just look like something else."

"Like the difference between putting on a cat nose and actually being an Animagus?"


Teddy screwed up his concentration and pointed the wand again.

"Teddy, you're going to burn it," Gardner warned.

He nodded and pulled back a bit, then said "Vitreus" again, trying to hold the image of what he wanted in his head.

With a bright flash of light, the ball in front of him changed. The dark green, shiny surface turned brittle, and Teddy knew without picking it up that it was hollow. To his even greater delight, a little talon--the Harpies' symbol--appeared on top with a hook to hang it by. "I did it!"

"You certainly did."

"May I have another?"

Gardner laughed and gave him another wooden ball. This one, he made Gryffindor colors, but when he got a bit too ambitious and tried to then Charm it to travel around in little figure-eights, it got overexcited by all the magic and burst apart, reverting to little chunks of wood when it shattered.

Teddy took them down to the Great Hall for lunch anyway, figuring Frankie would want to put it back together, and in this he wasn't disappointed. Frankie fixed the wooden ball with an ostentatious swish and flick of his wand, and a carefully pronounced "Reparo." He then hunted for broken rungs on chairs, bent quills, and cracked branches on the twelve Christmas trees Hagrid had brought in, claiming that no magical skill was more important than the ability to repair things that had been broken.

Teddy re-Transfigured the wooden ball into a Gryffindor ornament, which he hung on a repaired branch, then looked for something else to Transfigure. Now that he had the feel of the thing, it seemed like too much fun to leave in class. Unfortunately, he didn't have the proper spellwork mastered to make more than glass, needles, and buttons, but that was enough to keep him entertained until it was time for Charms.

The breakthrough in thinking about Transfiguration was just in time for the end of term tests, and Teddy nearly flew through them the next week. He toasted his mum at the feast the elves made for them the night before the Hogwarts Express was scheduled to take them all home by tapping her wand against a glass of pumpkin juice. He didn't know if he'd end up top of his year--Lizzie was still ahead of him, as far as knew--but he thought he might be in fairly good shape.

The Forest Guard met as the feast wound down, all gathering around Frankie at the Hufflepuff table. They'd all agreed not to exchange presents unless they saw one another over holidays (Teddy knew he'd see Frankie; they had a standing holiday trip to make), and proceeded to invite one another wildly around the country in impossible schemes. Donzo had to say no to everyone; he would be in rehearsals until a concert the Weird Sisters were doing on the Wizarding Wireless Network on Christmas Eve. Tinny had a huge family to visit and Ruthless cited a long list of family traditions she claimed to find boring, but no one failed to notice that she didn't try to get out of them. Teddy had no intention of leaving Uncle Harry's for longer than a day with the Apcarnes and a trip to Diagon Alley with Granny, but invited a few of them who were in London to come by. (He'd always had standing permission to invite friends when he was staying at Uncle Harry's, though he'd never used it before.) Maurice, who had dragged Corky over, allowed that he wouldn't mind visitors if visitors didn't mind that his flat overlooked Knockturn Alley. Corky was catching a Portkey back to Toronto. He offered to bring everyone maple syrup. They were talking until curfew, when their respective Heads of House shooed them all back to their dormitories.

The next morning, sleighs arrived, drawn by thestrals that most of them couldn't see, to take students back to Hogsmeade Station, or into Hogsmeade itself, where some parents were waiting to take them by Floo or Side-Along. Honoria's parents were among these, and Teddy thought they looked incongruously cheerful at having to see her again. Corky waved forlornly and followed Professor Slughorn to the Three Broomsticks to catch a ten o'clock shoelace home.

The ride back to London was much jollier than the ride to Hogwarts had been. Bernice and Ken, who had finally admitted to kissing one another, were chased up and down the train by charmed mistletoe, and Donzo entertained the Guard's compartment by leading them in slightly fractured Christmas carols. Teddy was happy to be with them, but kept looking out the window, waiting for his first glimpse of London's outskirts, imagining the smell of Molly Weasley's cooking and the sound of Granny singing. By the time the train finally pulled in at platform nine and three-quarters, he couldn't wait to get off it, and he wasn't the only one. There was a great deal of jostling in the aisles before he was finally able to get to a door and climb down into the steam.

Something thudded through the white, and he'd barely managed to turn around when someone waist-high barreled into him at top speed, grabbing him around the middle and knocking him over his suitcase so that he slammed his elbow into the stone floor.

"My Teddy!"

Lying on the floor of the platform, Teddy started to laugh, despite the pain in his elbow, and another, taller shape emerged from the mist. Uncle Harry smiled. "We knew if we let James go, he'd find you in the crowd." He held out his hand and helped Teddy up, prying James off long enough to let Teddy find his feet. "Come on," he said. "Everyone's waiting."
67 comments or Leave a comment
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obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: August 22nd, 2007 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww, first time to use standard permission! Poor Maurice, hope he ends up at Teddy's. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, Andromeda wants to take Teddy to Diagon Alley; maybe Teddy can drop in on Maurice.
teldreaming From: teldreaming Date: August 22nd, 2007 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh, lovely!

I've been reading this for a while, and I'm greatly enjoying it.

I do wonder if the box full of Sirius pictures will end up as soeone's Chrismas present :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Oh, lovely!

Well, the box is in Teddy's suitcase, at any rate. :)
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
James is adorable, finding Teddy like that. As a matter of fact all the Weasley/Potter children are.
And I so love the Christmas holidays -- though I'll be patient till the presents are opened. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I just loved James in the epilogue--twelve years old and obviously the king of his little Hogwarts fiefdom, but still all about "our Teddy" and so on. He obviously loves his family. He's cool.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I've just come back from a few days away from the internet and have greatly enjoyed catching up with Teddy. :) Not specific to the section I know, but I want to add my voice to the others who have already said how cool the Keys to the Castle are - what a great piece of magical brilliance. Go Maruaders. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm always up for Marauder cheerleading. My boys. :D
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful post, Fern. Gardner's a good teacher and I like how the Christmas holiday is upon them. HP was always wonderful when it came to Christmas.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought, being school, it would be good to show a teacher teaching sometime.

And I plan to luxuriate in the Christmas holidays for a couple of chapters now.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Very nice! There's just something intrinsically cheerful about the Christmas chapters in the Potterverse, even when things are at their bleakest. And now, in Teddy's time, Christmas can be more fully enjoyed without the threat of a Dark Lord lurking. Also enjoyed Teddy getting a real rush out of being able to Transfigure more effectively. I'm looking forward to the rest of his holiday.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that Teddy's finding himself happy--he has his mother's wand working for him in class, his father's Map frustrating him but occupying his hobby time, and friends of his own. Learning something and getting the conceptual framework behind it is something that tends to happen when you're pretty secure, and I think that's part of the whole rush. Also, just because... neat. Harpies Christmas ornament. There's Aunt Ginny's present taken care of. ;p
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't imagine Honoria's parents being any sort of cheerful.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, they'll catch up on all the gossip about Harry's visit, find out if Teddy does strange things at the full moon, hear all about Donzo and his family, and probably have it all to pass on to Rita Skeeter. They're elated.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Another excellent chapter!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
alkari From: alkari Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Have just caught up with the last couple of instalments - excellent as always. I love the fact that Hagrid is still known for his Christmas decorations no matter what the weather! The concept of Transfiguration is interesting too, with Gardner suggesting that Teddy has to visualise something morphing like himself. I wonder if that is why some people can succeed in complex Transfiguations - their ability to imagine and visualise things as something else? Would it mean that people who are verbal or aural types ratehr than visual, or whose imaginations are somewhat less vivid, have mnore trouble with the subject? Interesting ...

One tiny Brit-pick (from a non-Brit!). "By the time the train finally pulled in at platform nine and three-quarters, he couldn't wait to get off of it " - I am pretty sure Britspeak would delete the "of" and just say "get off it". Small typo - James should hit Teddy "AT top speed", not "and"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Got 'em, thanks.

I'm sure that some difficulties in Transfiguration are questions of power, but I think that, once you have similar levels of power, there may be failures of imagination--not just in fluffy "Oh, what can it be?" ways, but in details of imagination, like "What does glass feel like?"
rotae From: rotae Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
"My Teddy!"

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww... LOL. That is so awesome. Loving this so much. *huggles*

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
James the second rocks the house nearly as much as James the first.
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
A face seemed to appear once, only to be ripped apart and whipped into a swirling Catherine wheel

This reminded me so strongly of the Weasley twins' memorable exit from Hogwarts; I had to wonder if Fred was haunting Gryffindor tower! ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, well, if anyone would play snow pranks from beyond the grave for the amusement of random Hogwarts students, it would be Fred. He's probably up there inventing funny new haunting techniques.
1voice From: 1voice Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked the bit with Teddy and Transfiguration! It's good to look at things in a different light sometimes.

Awww, little James! So cute. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I think a big part of teaching is finding ways around obstacles, or find the right path to get somewhere.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: August 22nd, 2007 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I quite liked Franklin's holiday cheerfulness drowning out Geoffrey's complaints. And Gardner being excited about teaching a Metamorphmagus new tricks was delightful.

James is adorable! I'm looking forward to the Christmas holidays with the Potter/Weasley kids. :~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
So far, Gardner's proved to be Teddy's most useful teacher, which is odd, considering that he didn't even have a name when I started.
purple_mirie From: purple_mirie Date: August 22nd, 2007 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the bit with the mistletoe chasing Bernice and Ken. And James is too adorable.

Wow, I didn't even notice that this was already the tenth chapter (and the holidays). The pace of the story is just right (plus, I love that we have tidbits every few days). More! More!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know... I didn't really thin of it being the tenth chapter, either. This is going fast!
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: August 22nd, 2007 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Christmas in August! It really felt Christmas-y. And really, that had to be the most fun Transfiguration assignment ever. I loved Teddy's comment about having to go with Holyhead colors.

Somehow, this sentence: Corky waved forlornly and followed Professor Slughorn to the Three Broomsticks to catch a ten o'clock shoelace home, struck me as amusing. I guess it's because Portkeys are amusing by definition.

"My Teddy!" Oh, I love James.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 22nd, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been listening to Christmas carols on YouTube to get in the mood for this. I'm sure that people passing my open windows are going, "Huh?" :p
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