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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Eleven: Missing Pieces, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Eleven: Missing Pieces, pt. 3
Teddy and Harry have had a good look at the Map, and are trying to figure out how to think around the spells their fathers devised. Neither of them have much Latin and are missing a dictionary, so Teddy wants to get Harry a nice Latin dictionary for Christmas, and decides to ask his grandmother if they can go to Diagon Alley (she planned to go to Ollivander's about the wand issue) before Christmas instead of after.

Alas, Maurice's place turns out not to fit. Maybe some other time.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Granny agreed that it would make more sense to go to Diagon Alley before Christmas rather than after, and gave Teddy four months worth of pocket money--for which he'd had no need at Hogwarts--to shop with. "We'll take care of the shopping in the morning," she said, "then go to Ollivander's. I called to reschedule our appointment, and he could only see us this afternoon."

Teddy agreed to this, and put both of his parents' wands--along with the willow wand he'd bought in August--into his book bag, along with a quill, ink, and his Christmas shopping list. James and Al wanted to go with them, but Teddy told them they couldn't--"How could I buy you Christmas surprises if you're right there?"

James perked up a bit at the mention of a present and promised to be very good until Teddy came home--Aunt Ginny, who was trying to feed Lily her breakfast, looked skeptical--but Al claimed that he could pretend to be surprised, if he could go with Teddy. "It's not fair," he said. "James gets Teddy in his very own room and I barely get him at all!"

"But I'm asleep when he's in my room!" James protested. "Mummy, tell Al he gets Teddy as much as I do!"

Aunt Ginny pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes. She looked extraordinarily like her mother, but when she spoke, her voice was soft and dangerous: "James, did you just order Mummy to do something?"

James blanched, realizing his mistake, and was entirely distracted from the issue of Teddy's time by the necessity of talking his way out of it. Teddy and Granny took the opportunity to slip out, grabbing handfuls of Floo Powder from the mantle and going off to the public pavilion in Diagon Alley, which let them off in the middle of a plaza, in a specially built outdoor fireplace not far from Knockturn Alley. The first time Teddy had made this particular trip, Uncle Harry had warned him to be very, very careful not to go a grate too far.

He spun out of the fireplace off balance and fell directly into a Nativity scene in front of someone's shop, knocking down a wooden Mary, who gave him a less than beatific oaken glare before getting back up to tend the Baby. Fairies decorating a nearby tree chittered at this, and one of the wooden lambs ran for the tracks of a toy train. Teddy scooped it up--less to save it than to keep it from derailing the train--and set it back down in the dried grass that was serving as hay.

"Have you done quite enough damage?" Granny asked, her voice wryly amused.

Teddy shrugged. He'd never figured out how she could come spinning out of a fireplace at top speed and still have the slightest idea where her feet were.

Granny led him away from the pavilion, toward the proper business district. Since August, there had been more changes. A curio shop had opened in one of the empty storefronts, and the "Play" shop had been abandoned (though a poster on the boards in front said it could now be found on a side street). Another empty store had been converted into a theater, where a troupe of actors was putting on a play version of A Christmas Carol, but the yarn shop had closed, and was replaced by a shop called Smoke and Mirrors. The windows were full of all sorts of mirrors and pipes and barrels of tobacco. To Teddy's surprise, Bernice Fletcher seemed to be arranging a display.

Granny was also looking at the place, her nose wrinkled distastefully. "It's Dung Fletcher's new place," she told Teddy. "Probably bought with money he made selling off Sirius's things."

"That's my friend Bernice," Teddy said.

"She must be his cousin's child; I understand they're in business together." Granny gave Teddy an awkward sort of smile. "Well, I'm the last person to judge someone by her family, but I think we'll visit her outside the shop if it's all the same to you. I'd rather not look like I'm giving Dung any business."

Teddy, who hadn't meant to visit Bernice anyway, agreed. He just knocked on the window to give her a quick wave, then followed Granny to Flourish and Blotts.

A young woman wearing a shop vest came forward, smiling. "Hello, Mrs. Tonks," she said. "Did you want the study room again? I don't think Mr. Blotts has put your books up yet; they should be right where you left them."

"No, thank you, Angelina. I'll get back to my subscription work after the holidays. Teddy and I are just shopping."

The woman turned to Teddy and her large, dark eyes changed somehow, and Teddy knew without asking that she'd been one of Dad's students, even though all she said was, "Hello, Teddy."

"How's Dennis?" Granny asked.

Angelina moved her eyes away from Teddy and smiled more normally at Granny. "He's fine. At least until the next time he makes a joke about his sophisticated older wife. After that, I may have to send him out to sleep in the snow."

"That sounds quite justified," Granny said, giving Angelina a grin. They exchanged Happy Christmases, and Teddy and Granny went upstairs to the hobby books, as Teddy's easiest item of business was getting Frankie a new Muggles and Minions guidebook that gave all the game stats for computer skills. On a whim, he also bought an introduction to the game for Arthur Weasley, thinking he might find it funny. He wanted to buy a paperback of Hogwarts, A History for Victoire, since she asked so many questions, but Granny reminded him that he wouldn't be able to buy presents for all of the children, and it would be better to buy the same thing for all of Bill's children to share.

He went downstairs, into a dusty and little used corner of the shop, and found a Latin dictionary for Uncle Harry. Granny thought this an odd present, but didn't question it. She went off to the spellbook section and found a new book of charms for Aunt Ginny and a history of Magical Law Enforcement for Hermione, who'd finally given in to the pressure and transferred to that department. Teddy decided to spend all of his money for the Potter children on one very large book of fairy tales with lovely illustrations that popped up and ran about. He could read to them while he was here, and reckoned that James might like to take over when he left. By the time they left Flourish and Blotts, they had a respectable number of presents; Granny charmed them feather-light and they went back out. Before lunch, they made it to the Magical Menagerie, a new toy shop (Teddy bought a second present for the Potter children, a board game about Merlin and King Arthur), and Weasleys'. They didn't buy anything there--there was nothing the family would be surprised by at George's--but they did have lunch with George and his wife Sophie, though Sophie said that Fred's lunch would be a bit later, and in private. Teddy was allowed to hold the baby for a few minutes, which he hadn't done since Lily was born. He still didn't know exactly what he was meant to do with a baby, which couldn't talk and didn't seem to like stories, so he gave it back to George quickly.

Granny checked her watch while they had tea and said, "Oh, dear, we'd best run to Ollivander's, we're nearly late!"

Goodbyes were quick and perfunctory, and Granny set a very quick pace down the crowded street, cursing herself for losing track of time, "...like some spoiled princess who thinks everyone's time is hers, just like always..." Teddy followed her, keeping a hand on her bag so he didn't lose her. They got to Ollivander's only three minutes late, but Granny apologized profusely, and Mr. Ollivander accepted it formally, as though she'd wasted an hour of his day. Once this was over, however, they seemed to get along capitally. Teddy looked at Berit, who seemed as confused by it as he was. At his instruction, she went to the door and turned the sign, closing the shop to customers for an hour during a consultation.

"All right," Ollivander said to Teddy, Summoning four chairs and a table into the center of the room. "Let's have them."

Teddy reached into his bag and pulled out all three wands. He'd put the new wand back in its box. "I... I hope I didn't take someone else's wand," he offered.

"Most wizards can be chosen by more than one wand," Berit said. "I'm sure that no one went without."

Ollivander looked at her oddly, then said, "You knew this wand hadn't chosen you?"

"I felt like I was wasting Berit's time," Teddy said. "I'm sorry. I knew that Honoria Higgs was waiting, though I didn't know her name then, and I had already taken up two hours."

"And it didn't occur to you that the wands belonging to an orphan's parents may have already attached to them?" Ollivander asked Berit.

"It occurred to me, Grandfather."

"She asked," Teddy said. "I told her I hadn't used them. I hadn't. I'd handled them, though."

"Mm." Ollivander picked all three of them up, discarded the new one by Banishing it to a set of dusty shelves in back labeled "Used but clean," and said, "We'll discount this consultation by seventy-five percent the cost of that wand," he said. "It's clearly of no use whatsoever to young Mr. Lupin. Berit, I'd like you to get these wands." He gave her a list of numbers, and she went to the shelves and started picking them up.

"You don't think I should use my parents'?" Teddy asked.

"Try them for me," he said. "And don't worry--I have to sell wands to Hogwarts students; there is a minor lifting of the ban on underage magic in the confines of this shop, though I ask that you attempt to not destroy anything."

Teddy picked up Dad's wand. "What should I do? Lumos?"

"Too simple. I've found Hermione Weasley's bluebell flames to be a good test--have you learned that charm yet? I believe it's in the first year book, though of course Mrs. Weasley has made vast improvements on it."

"I've learnt it," Teddy said.

Ollivander summoned over two boxes. "Try the one on the left. Keep the flames in the box, if you please, Mr. Lupin."

Teddy said the incantation and used Dad's wand. The blue flames appeared inside the box, casting a warm glow over the table. Berit, who had returned with an armful of wands, set them down and watched the process with interest.

"All right. Try the other."

Teddy switched to Mum's wand and pointed it at the box on the right. With a rushing hiss, blue flames leapt up from it, curling into patterns.

"Quite amazing," Ollivander said, and his tone suggested that he didn't mean Teddy's magic, which he'd certainly seen bettered over the years. There was an avid sort of look in his silver eyes that Teddy wasn't at all sure about. He turned to Berit. "Berit, please explain to Mrs. Tonks and Mr. Lupin just why we don't use experimental cores."

Berit sighed. "They're too specific, and they almost never choose anyone."

"My grandfather told me that," Ollivander said. "He wouldn't allow experimental cores in the shop, and eventually, I grew to agree with him. But there was a time--oh, perhaps not in my youth, but certainly closer to it than I am now, when I, like my granddaughter, thought to revolutionize my craft. I wouldn't try different cores, but different sorts of wand wood. Berit, the wands you brought--all of them ought to have dates on them. How long have they sat unclaimed?"

She glanced at them, then frowned. "Close to forty years, some of them."

Ollivander nodded solemnly. "All trees have some trace magic in them," he said. "Even Muggles have noticed. But some, of course, are a bit more magical than others. I used the Peregrine Pine, whose forests wander, and the great winding olive tree from the Mediterranean, and the Wh--"

"The Whomping Willow," Teddy guessed.

"Right in one. Professor Sprout brought me a limb she'd been forced to cut when the tree attacked a student, and I made it into twelve wands. Only one of those experimental wands ever chose a witch, and by then, I didn't care to share my youthful folly with customers. It was, of course, still willow, so there was no lie involved. Merely an omission, if Mrs. Tonks will forgive it."

"Why on earth would you have thought to try it with her?"

Ollivander launched into an explanation involving Mum's status as a Metamorphmagus and being worried about possible difficulties, and Granny seemed interested, but Teddy didn't listen. Dad's wand worked, but it was only Dad's. Mum's wand was Mum's... and made from a tree that had been planted only to hide Dad's transformations--to protect him. It tied him to both of them.

Berit nudged him. "Would you like to try the others from the tree?"

"No. This one is mine," Teddy said, and smiled. "You were right the first day."

"Thank you."

Teddy chanced a glance at Ollivander, who'd managed to steer the subject to why wandmaking was not an art for the experimentalist and was quite involved with this, then leaned over to Berit. "Would you like to try Metamorphmagus hair? I can always grow it back."

Berit waited until her grandfather was fully involved in his discourse, then did a quick severing charm and came away with a handful of Teddy's hair. Teddy had never had a haircut in his life, and was interested to see the lock she'd taken first fade from its Gryffindor scarlet, then turn light brown, then curl slightly. It had never occurred to him that his hair might be naturally curly. Berit pocketed it.

"He can obviously use both wands," Granny said, finally managing to drag Ollivander back onto the subject at hand. "Is it... advisable to keep them?"

Teddy's stomach clenched--it was obvious that he was to keep Mum's wand, but he couldn't give up Dad's. He needed it for the Marauder's Map.

Ollivander said, "There's no harm in it, Mrs. Tonks." He nodded at Teddy. "If Mr. Lupin feels he needs both wands, it is my opinion--the one for which you asked this consultation--that he should have them."

Teddy's mouth fell open. "Really?"

"Unless you feel you'd rather leave one."

Teddy smiled. "Thank you, Mr. Ollivander."

"I don't advise going back and forth on routine tasks. Let your mother's wand bind itself to you more tightly. You have years ahead of you to master a second wand."

Teddy morbidly subtracted his age from the age at which his mother died, and came up with exactly thirteen years that could be stretching luxuriously ahead of him, but chose not to say anything. There wasn't, after all, a war on anymore.

After they finished at Ollivander's, Granny took him to the Leaky Cauldron for hot chocolate--she had a dollop of Madam Mayne's Minted Malt in hers--and said, "Teddy, I'm sorry. I was wrong. Forgive me."

Teddy squirmed. "Er... all right. But it's all right, really it is." He looked around quickly to make sure no one was around, and said, "I love you, Granny."

She smiled faintly. "Best be careful, Ted. I think the poinsettias may have overheard."

They laughed, finished their hot chocolate, and Flooed back to Uncle Harry's.
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wukin_pa_nub From: wukin_pa_nub Date: August 25th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Minor edit

They didn't buy anything there--there was nothing the family would be surprised by at George's--but they did have lunch with Fred and his wife Sophie, though Sophie said that Fred's lunch would be a bit later, and in private.

Sounds like baby Fred is married to his mother.

Have I told you yet how much I love this story and your whole Shifts/Shades universe? Reading and rereading these stories have kept me happily occupied for many an hour!
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: August 25th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Minor edit

I too did a double take at that line =P
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: August 25th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I didn't want to go to bed without catching this installment!

And ... Angelina/Dennis FTW :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I can do random shipping when I decide to. Hell, why not? ;p
From: tunxeh Date: August 25th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
a shop called Smoke and Mirrors

I know it's a stock phrase, but is this also a Gaiman reference? I'm still here and enjoying your story, btw, I just haven't had much to say about the past few updates.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Nope--I'm not much of a Gaiman reader. (Nothing against him, I just haven't happened to jump in.) The shop originally sold Muggle huggermugger, but then I decided to take it literally and make it Dung's.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: August 25th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I get so confused with baby!Fred and George. It's sweet that Jo had George name his son after Fred, but...confusing.

Great chapter.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, all of those namings-after make perfect in-character sense, but as a writer, you just want to cry into your keyboard after a while.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: August 25th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad the mistake with Fred was caught, though it kind of made me do a double take and laugh a little. Though it made me a little sad because Fred wouldn't have a wife.

But the whole wand thing is very interesting. Dora's wand being made from the Whomping Willow, very interesting.

And I want that Fairy Tale book, it sounds so awesome.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I just wanted an explanation for why her wand connected to him more powerfully, and it seemed as good as any. :)
sonetka From: sonetka Date: August 25th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice to see that Teddy has inherited his mother's clumsiness as well as her morphing abilities :). (I love the picture of the Nativity figures getting annoyed with him - but after all, why not?)

I know it's a total sidetrack, but I'd love to see you write a story about George's Muggle wife some day. I mean, just the absolute freakiness of walking into the wizarding world like that, and not even someone to explain things, the way Muggle-born wizards have someone come by to explain what being admitted to Hogwarts means.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course, whatever shopkeeper set up the Nativity scene near a Floo point may not be the brightest ember in the fireplace.

I don't know about writing that one. It's just not something that catches my interest much, but maybe I'll have some of the courtship in interludes in Safe.
rotae From: rotae Date: August 25th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I too did a double (and triple) take at baby Fred, LOL. :D

I LOVE that Tonks' wand was made from the Whomping Willow. Dude. That is so my canon now. :D

first fade from its Gryffindor scarlet, then turn light brown, then curl slightly. It had never occurred to him that his hair might be naturally curly.

*giggles like a schoolgirl*

Hehehehehehe... EMBRACE THE WAVINESS, TEDDY!! XDDDD I read that and thought "Eeee, it's my Teddy". Stuff James. I'll fight him for him. XDDDD LOL. I made Teddy's hair less curly than I make Remus', but it's definitely very wavy/a bit curly. :)

*bursts into another fit of giggles* LOL.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I gave Remus curly-ish hair in Shifts, so basically, I'm saying that Teddy got his father's hair. Not that he has any particular way to know this. If he couldn't shift colors, I'll bet he'd just keep getting grayer and grayer, without ever actually being, you know, gray. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 25th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC) (Link)
The Whomping Willow? Oh, my.

I'd thought Teddy's reaction when he was protecting it was a bit more than I expected, even given his dad.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'd go out of my way to protect a tree that someone was trying to burn up, too, regardless of wands and fathers, but yes, there's a connection between the wand and the tree it was trying to protect, so...
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 25th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
The Whomping Willow! Cool idea. It makes sense that a wand made out of such a destructive wood could give Dora trouble with "householdy" spells. I do have an editing type question though. When Andromeda said that she "called" Ollivander to reschedule the appointment, what form of communication did she mean (since "call" is normally used for telephones)? Just a small thing, otherwise great section!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought of that while I was typing it (I handwrote it at lunch), but pressed on and forgot about it. She called by floo. But since floo is also a transportation method, I'm not at all sure how to phrase that. Do we have a short verb other than call for "I stuck my head in the fire and went to talk to someone"?
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 25th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
"No, thank you, Angelina. I'll get back to my subscription work after the holidays. Teddy and are just shopping."

Teddy and I
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: August 25th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, that was me. I. Whatever. lol

Have you ever noticed that most comments finding errors contain at least one of their own?
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 25th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Lovely chapter. Heh--spot on with Ginny, there. Got some eery chills, thinking, "When could Fernwithy have met my mother?"

You know, I never made the connection between Bernice and Mundungus. Stupid me. Maybe there's someting of a reason that I didn't exactly take to her--although, shame on me for thinking that, what with not judging a person by their family. It's nice to see Angelina, to have references to other more minor characters. Sigh--EVERYONE misses Remus. Why do we love him so? Why? Not loving him would make this so much easier. He's like my Harry Potter Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I dearly love the fact that all the Christmas presents are books. They are a family after my own heart.

'...though I ask that you attempt to not destroy anything.' Sorry, but the grammar geek in me points out the split infinitive. It could, of course, be stylistic, but the fact that it came from the very formal Ollivander struck me as odd.

Yay wandlore! So squee...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, I never made the connection between Bernice and Mundungus.

[mumbles]Neither did I initially.[/mumbles]


We love Remus because he's Remus, and Remus is made of a whole lot of awesome.

You're right about the split infinitive. Ollivander would speak more carefully.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 25th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)

The details on wandlore are definitely intriguing, as is the explanation why Tonks' wand is the best fit for Teddy because it's connected to both of his parents. It's also good to see that Andromeda has come around to her grandson using this link to his heritage.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's hard for her to see what he did in the test and ignore it. She also realized, I think, that she almost crippled him magically by her overcompensation for her own tendency to look at him and see her daughter and son-in-law.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 25th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Almost everyone who has commented so far has talked about the twin name mixup. Honestly, I didn't see it as a mixup. I just figured little Fred was still being breast-fed. Clearly, I need to get a dirtier imagination.

Great chapter! Glad Teddy finally chose a wand, and that Andromeda's okay with it.
kacates From: kacates Date: August 25th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I think the mix-up was referring to Fred and Fred's wife...
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: August 25th, 2007 06:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Dennis/Angelina for the win...that never occurred to me before. :) And I think I want to steal the Potter kids' presents, lol. A quick question--what exactly does Andromeda do for a living again? I feel silly for asking, but I can't recall whether you mentioned it earlier in this story. *sheepish grin*

Lovely as always.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's a Healer--she came home from St. Mungo's early on in the story, with Lockhart's file--but she's taking well-earned leave for the holidays.
kinderjedi From: kinderjedi Date: August 25th, 2007 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved the explanation of Tonks' wand. :D

Teddy and Granny took the opportunity to slip out, grabbing handfuls of Floo Powder from the mantle...

Is powder supposed to be capitalized? I don't have my book handy, but that stands out to me.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 25th, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know. I've never been able to make sense of her capitalization scheme!
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