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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Thirteen: Revelo Lupinis, pt. 2
Chapter 3 is up at SQ, minor tweaks for style. I was thinking about taking it through them entering into the Great Hall (the beginning of chapter 4), as per my beta's suggestion, but that scene really belongs in "The Smallest Year," thematically speaking, so I just tried yet another iteration of Honoria's line at the end. I think it goes a little more smoothly. I also added a Remus Chocolate Frog card.

Back where we are, Teddy is now bound to the Map, and when he did the "Revelo Lupinis" spell, it showed him his own things, and finally, something on the grounds near the North Battlements, where his father died.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Sleep was a long time coming that night, and at least six times, Teddy thought he might just slip out and have a look, curfew be damned, but he didn't want to be caught. He thought, close to midnight, of asking Ruthless for help, but she was in her dormitory, her dot on the Map moving only minutely as she tossed in her sleep. He told himself that he wasn't doing it because he was afraid of being caught, and couldn't think of a good lie to tell the Fat Lady, but it rang false. He knew that what he really feared was finding something pointless--a button, a rotting scrap of a robe, a spare Knut--and not what his heart was telling him would be there.

So he told himself it was late, it was silly to go out at night so close to the new moon, when there was barely any light to work with, that he needed sleep, even that what he feared might true, that it was nothing at all.

But the thought of what it was, what it had to be, gnawed at him, kept him turning over in his bed until Checkmate finally fled to the pillow he'd set up near her sandbox, and when he did finally sleep, his dreams were plagued by thoughts of his father's thin fingers, of a gold band slipping off of one of them. He awoke several times, his mind racing around the idea. He had never thought much of the manner of his father's death, of what had happened before he made the decision to give his life to protect a former student, but now his imagination began to search for details. Had Dad, in a moment of desperation, flung himself physically at Dolohov, jarring his hand and sending his wedding band careening off the battlements? Or had it fallen earlier, unnoticed in the heat of battle, nudged off a ledge by someone who had never seen it? Or had someone come along after Dad was dead and taken it from him, flung it away from the cooling body with contempt? In Teddy's mind, a hulking figure with glinting eyes did this, a monster from a child's storybook, grinning maniacally as the ring flew out into the night.

Whatever had happened, it must have gone over the battlements somehow, fallen to the grassy hillside far below. Had there been a rainstorm soon after? Had the ground opened up to swallow it? Teddy imagined it sinking, season by season, deeper beneath the earth as the soil loosed and shifted around it. Had it been fully under when Teddy had spoken his first word? ("Granny," of course, as there had been no "Mama" or "Dada" to call for; "Unka" had been hard on its heels.) Was it twisted around with grass roots when Teddy had cried himself to sleep at the age of five, having finally understood that his beloved Uncle Harry had gone away to live somewhere else and wouldn't be coming back after his holiday with Aunt Ginny? Had a bug crawled through it as Teddy was Sorted in the Great Hall, so close by?

The last time he looked at his watch before he dropped off in exhaustion, it was four-thirty, and the wind was beginning to pick up. By the time he woke up three and a half hours later, the worst storm of the winter was raging outside, throwing half-frozen, viscous raindrops against the window. The ground below was shrouded, the Quidditch pitch entirely invisible and the greenhouses only blurry boxes. The snow was pockmarked and dirty, and Hagrid's path to the castle from his cabin was a river of gray slush. As Teddy watched, chain lightning arched across the sky.

Unlike the first snowfall, there was nothing beautiful about this storm. When Teddy got down to the Great Hall for breakfast, the candles were actually lit against the uninviting light that came from the enchanted ceiling. Professor Sprout announced that the storm was likely to last all day. Students were to remain inside unless accompanied by a teacher (or in the case of years five through seven, went out in a group of three or more), as the redcaps would make short work of anyone who fell on the quickly-developing sheet ice and lost a wand. "Right," Ruthless muttered, "because I really fancied going out in the freezing rain today."

Teddy smiled at her weakly, thinking of the map and the paw print by the battlements.

Tinny suggested that it was a perfect day for a game, but Frankie said he had other plans, and Teddy couldn't have concentrated if he tried, so the Guard did without them, Zachary taking over Frankie's urban planning duties. Teddy followed Frankie to the library, but didn't bother him when he saw the stack of books on enchanted places.

It wasn't something he was meant to do with a partner, anyway.

The teachers kept a watch on the entrance hall, reminding older students to stay in their groups, sending back younger students who weren't out with a teacher. Teddy sat on the steps for a long time, watching Neville Longbottom do this for a time, then Hagrid. He drifted back up to Gryffindor Tower before lunch and stared at the Marauder's Map, at the teasing paw print, and gritted his teeth. He should have found the spine to sneak out last night. He could only hope that the storm would be shorter than they thought, and end before curfew.

In the meantime, he unpacked his book bag and put the Marauder's Map, Dad's wand, and knife Uncle Harry had given him inside of it. Granny had cast an Impervius Charm on it before she gave it to him, so his books and papers wouldn't get sodden going back and forth to the greenhouses, and he'd found a simple Umbrella Charm in a second year book to keep himself dry if it started again. Thunder crashed outside the window, and Teddy jumped. Checkmate crawled onto his lap and started kneading at his thigh, her sharp claws pricking through his jeans.

All of this seemed to be happening to some other boy while Teddy waited, the only thing in his mind that paw print, and the imaginings in his own mind about how it had got there. He saw his father die in his mind, over and over, the ring knocked loose somehow.

By two o'clock, he was fully miserable, and crept down to the Common Room with his book bag, less because he had a plan than because he thought he'd go mad if he stayed alone any longer. The floor around fireplace was quite crowded with Gryffindors trying to stay warm, and people were draped over one another on the sofas, wrapped in bright blankets that older students were practicing Conjuring. Chandi Patil and two other seventh-years came in, looking like drowned rats, and hung their soaking long cloaks over the hooks by the door.

Teddy looked at them for a long time, a thought beginning to dawn on him.

He ran back up to his room and put on his loosest robe, opting to put nothing beneath it, then belted it so it didn't look odd. He walked slowly down to the Common Room, where he pretended to take a great interest in Chandi's cloak. He looked at it carefully, squeezing at the wet wool, until Chandi finally noticed him.

"Did you need something in my cloak, Lupin?"

"I just wondered," he said, "if you'd mind if I practiced my Drying Charm on it. I haven't burned anything for weeks."

"Please feel free," Chandi said. "If you muck it up, I can practice my repair charms."

"Thanks!" Teddy said, and took it from its hook. He asked an older boy whose dripping boots still hadn't been seen to if he might try them as well, and got a positive response. Both dripped as he carried them out through the portrait hole. He checked the Map quickly as soon as he was away from the Fat Lady--there weren't many empty rooms, but there was an empty broom closet on the ground floor. He made for it.

The Drying Charm was easy, and as soon it was done, he unbelted his robe, took off his shoes, then put Chandi's cloak over his shoulders and the boy's boots on his feet. Chandi was a tall girl, and it pooled out a foot beyond his feet. He thought she was around Charlie Weasley's height.

Teddy closed his eyes. Morphing by color was easy, and thinning himself down was nearly as simple, but this would take a bit more work if he was going to be unnoticeable. He decided to use Charlie as a model, and broadened his shoulders, thickening the muscles in his arm, making his neck wider and his nose and jaw broader. The height was different--he didn't want to just grow his legs, which would make his gait seem off, so he had to grow himself proportionally, a bit here, a bit there. His bones ached at the stretch, especially in his feet, where they pressed against the still damp leather. The hem of Chandi's cloak finally pulled up the boots, then exposed their tips. That was the best he could do.

He checked his reflection in a mirror on the back of the door, and the boy who looked back at him seemed at least sixteen. He was built like Charlie, but his face was a warped version of his own. He thought he looked like he'd drunk a Swelling Solution, and deeply hoped that he wouldn't look like this as an adult.

He drew up the hood, put his book bag over his shoulder, then waited in the shadows, watching for a group of older students going by. Luck favored him--Professor Trelawney was patrolling the hall, and if anyone was likely to let an unknown older student pass, it would be her. It didn't take long before a group of three Hufflepuffs came out of the Great Hall, laughing about braving the great danger of bad weather. Teddy carefully slipped in behind them, trying not to attract their notice.

Trelawney let them pass after counting them absently. Teddy followed the 'Puffs until he was sure she was no longer looking, then cut away, running against the wind to the side of the castle. A curtain of freezing rain pinned him against the wall. He ignored it, turning his face inward, inching, bit by bit, around the vast building, finding his way to the north. A redcap rushed at him and he hit it with a Tarantallegra hex, and it danced away, slipping on the ice. Teddy continued. When he thought he'd gone far enough around the building and was clinging to the north face and trying not to slip down the hill, he cast the Umbrella Charm and opened his book bag, calling up the marks on the Map. His dot was nearly on top of the paw print. He moved until he was actually on top of it.

A thin scree of ice had formed over the mud, and Teddy broke through it with the knife, shattering it into shards. There was no sign of the ring.

"Further down," he muttered to himself. "Come on, Dad, I'm trying."

He clawed at the ground with his fingernails, setting his wand down beside him, but it was nearly frozen. His fingertips were so numb that he didn't notice they'd started to bleed until he happened to look down at them. He pulled the knife out again and started cutting furrows in the earth, trying desperately to loosen it. The first chunks came out whole, and he imagined the ring lodged in one of them, frozen. He would have to take them back with him, thaw them, see--

The knife turned over another bit of soil and Teddy saw the edge of it, a mild gold band, its beveled edge filled with grit. Carefully, he hooked the tip of the knife under it, prying it from the ground, holding it up to the cleansing rain. For a long, long moment, the world stopped.

Something struck him from the side, and he barely had time to recognize the redcap before it was on him, battering him with its iron tipped club. He shoved it away, and then noticed several more around it, creeping up the hill on the ice, their sharp teeth bared, their caps dripping blood over their ears.

"Stay away!" he shouted, grabbing for his wand, pointing it with one hand while the other still held the knife, Dad's wedding band precariously balanced on the tip. "Stay away!"

One scurried forward. Teddy blasted it back with a Petrifying Curse. More climbed over it.

"Petrificus! Tarantellegra!"

They backed him up against the wall, and the knife clanged against the stone. Dad's ring fell back to the ground and a redcap went for it.

"No!" Teddy leapt at it, not caring that there were more, only wanting its filthy hands far from the ring. He shoved it, then lost his footing on the ice, sliding down the hill, his wand jarred from his hand.
45 comments or Leave a comment
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kacates From: kacates Date: August 30th, 2007 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoa, major cliffhanger - now I'll be wondering what'll happen next all night instead of sleeping! (Your posting schedule is wreaking havoc on my sleeping patterns, by the way - I just can't seem to convince myself not to wait up for the next installment!)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eek, sorry, and this one was really late! I'll try and make the next one more user-friendly.
cambryn From: cambryn Date: August 30th, 2007 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh! Poor Teddy! :(

I DO hope this venture ends well for him!

I love this story so much. As per usual, this is basically canon to me. Whenever I read a story of yours, it is adopted as what happened off page in JK's books. :) And it so easy to picture exactly what's going on in your story too. The imagery of the ring on Remus's thin fingers, and Teddy digging through the ice and muck.

You're amazing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I think he'll be all right.
amamama From: amamama Date: August 30th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Ouch, this hurts on so many levels. Breaking the rule and sneaking out with a borrowed cloak - how will he explain that? Without telling about the map? Harry's disappointment that he didn't listen to the advice he passed on "It does not do to dwell on dreams" - and how will he fare against the redcaps? Sheesh, am I glad you're writing with the speed you've got.

One thing - I don't think Teddy would've said "Granny" when he said "Unka." Universally, the first sounds babies make is mamamamam or some version thereof (which is why, imnsho, mama is named mama), so I would guess he said "nana" or "nanee" or something like that. "Granny" is a far too sophisticated word, most kids take quite a few years to learn the "r" sound, many don't manage it properly before schoolstart.

redlily From: redlily Date: August 30th, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seconding the linguistic thing, but mostly I just wanted to say that I've been saving this story for a rainy day, and it came yesterday . . . which was a beautiful day, but the day before the movers came (today!) I needed a pick-me-up, so I read the whole thing in one go yesterday morning and it was brilliant. It cheered me up terrifically.

Now to go not watch as they put my life in boxes!
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: August 30th, 2007 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Eep! Teddy! Falling prey to exactly what the teachers were warning about, just as he got his dad's ring...

Teddy morphing older was amusing, especially when he was hoping that his warped face not what he would look like as an adult. And despite the cliffhanger, I'm glad that Teddy found Remus's ring...now if only he can survive the redcaps!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy needs to get some basic biology books if he's going to morph older, find out what really happens to the body rather than just recording the surface changes.
rotae From: rotae Date: August 30th, 2007 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)
*falls off cliff*

CURSE YOU, WOMAN!! I can't wait another 24 hours!! LOL. :D

I've been thinking about writing Remus and Tonks's deaths... I have it all planned in my mind... how and stuff... but I don't have the strength to read that part of DH again to find out where they died... do you mind informing me? It was up on the north battlements then? Is that, like, the top of the tower or something?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, I thought it was the grounds he was sent to cover, too, then someone said "North Battlements"--I don't remember where and also can't bear to re-read that chapter much. I'm going with this for now, but I'll re-check before the final post at SQ, and if it's wrong, it makes it a lot simpler to lose the ring and have it slip under the mud; he'll have just been fighting near the north battlements.
ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: August 30th, 2007 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh,what a cliffhanger! How can we wait till tomorrow?

I do hope Teddy won't get in trouble, this is painful enough for him as it is.
Did it say in the book that Remus was supposed to be fighting in the Battlements? I was under the impression that he, Arthur and Kingsley were meant to lead groups into the grounds...

Remus left the ring there on purpose, right? I can't to read this part in Safe. In the same morbid way Hermione would love to see Thestrals, I mean, since it's the part I wish I wouldn't have to read. *sends waves of hot hate to Rowling*

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
If he doesn't get in trouble, other students will ask questions, though.

I don't think Remus left the ring there on purpose, no. He always intended it to go to Teddy.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you like it! (Especially a heavily descriptive segment like this, where he's not interacting with anyone... lots of big blocks of text without much happening.)
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: August 30th, 2007 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)

How... how could you? Just as I come out of mourning!

*Goes back into solemn mourning*

Hehe, sorry, just guilt tripping you. ;) It's actually a very good twist, and I have a feeling he'llget the ring back. And if not, that's fine too.

The only problem, Fern, is that you seem to be manifesting my fanfic ideas, and I have no idea how you do it. ;) Your Victoire is very much like mine, and I had also given her a brother and sister named Gideon and Marie... and I too had Teddy come close to losing a memento of his father's, although not the wedding ring. So in case I ever post all that, do know I'm not stealing your stuff.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hehehe. That's half the reason I don't read Teddyfic--I know my ideas are probably not all that wildly unique to me, and I just want to pretend like they are. ;p

If it helps, the Gideon in my story is Percy's, and Victoire's brother is Artie. "Marie" is probably going to be a common choice, since it and Molly are forms of the same name.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: August 30th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dun! DUn! Dun!!!!

Cliffie time!

But a good one!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: August 30th, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cliffhanger again! Oh, those Red Caps! Nasty little buggers.

I think we got to see a different side of Teddy in this part-chapter. His longing to know more about his father really echoes Harry's in PS/PoA. Funny, I keep seeing Tonks and Lupin in Teddy, but now, this longing is really just him. And that's right, because he is his own person.

I hope I'm making sense!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Tonks and Lupin didn't need to long for their parents--they knew them. I think that Teddy can't know who he is until he has a good grasp of who they were, which is where many of the adults in his life make a mistake.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: August 30th, 2007 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Uh oh! What a cliffhanger to go to class after! Great chapter, I loved the bit where Teddy was thinking how Lupin died. I definitely wouldn't be able to sleep either.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Getting those unpleasant thoughts at night is the worst, especially if you're all alone. Dormitory-mates would have been quite useful to him at that point.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: August 30th, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)


Oh gosh. I think this is the first cliffhanger where I'm truly concerned for Teddy's safety. Someone has to find him!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Someone will, I promise!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 30th, 2007 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poor Teddy! I'm guessing he inherited that vivid, slightly morbid imagination from his father? But then, knowing what he knows, he'd have a hard time shaking those images of Remus's last moments. And what a diabolical cliffhanger! If Teddy can't rescue himself and the ring unaided, I hope his helper is someone who'll sympathize and not judge him too harshly. Thank goodness there doesn't seem to be anyone as cross-grained as Snape on the current Hogwarts staff!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy definitely has a good helping of Remus's morbid imagination, making terrible assumptions on scant evidence. But he has enough of his mother in him to think he can somehow fix it all.
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: August 30th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Teddy! I think I'd be leaping after the ring too and not caring that there were redcaps. Fantastic cliffhanger; I'll be biting my nails 'til the next one. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like being the enemy of manicurists! :)

I'd be going for the ring, too, especially since everyone in his general vicinity treats redcaps the way we treat mice. Eh... nuisance.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: August 30th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh poor Teddy! In this installment you managed to break my heart, when Teddy was obsessing about how his father had died, then stop it, when Teddy fell prey to the predicted warnings. I'll just have to trust that you make sure he's safe tomorrow, although I imagine that the wrath of his Granny and Uncle Harry if they find out might make him wonder if that's the better alternative.

Remus had the Marauders, Tonks had her three best friends. Unlike either of his parents at his age, Teddy does seem to have a talent for solitary action. I do wish he wasn't the only Gryffindor in his year -- he could really use some forced socializing in the evenings and weekend.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 30th, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, until Frankie got obsessed with his mother's obsession, Frankie was forcing him, but now? The others are fond of him and he's fond of them, but this is where his surface charm bites him in the butt--it's a great shield against actually getting close to anyone.
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