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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Fourteen: The Forest Guard, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Fourteen: The Forest Guard, pt. 1
Teddy found his father's wedding ring, which caused a new spasm of grief that he wasn't expecting, but Neville was there to help him. Since he had to sneak out of the school morphed for it, Neville's giving him detention, but they're going to work together on the Whomping Willow. Meanwhile, seventh year Gryffindor Chandi Patil, who was the one who reported him missing and was worried about him, has promised to tell everyone else that Teddy is in the hospital wing because he fell down the stairs, rather than because he was beaten up by redcaps. Only Neville knows the real reason Teddy was outside. Frankie has been secreting himself away with books on identity and enchanted places, in response to his mother spending most of his Christmas holidays at the Department of Mysteries, where she works, trying to cure Sanjiv.

(Off-topic, deja-vu is weird. Halfway through writing this, I remembered having a dream of writing something with a "stat-coin" and a bunch of characters I didn't know, and when I glanced at the screen, I remembered seeing the screen looking just like that, right down to how the paragraphs broke. Not exactly unusual--everyone gets that now and then--but still sort of weird. My dream didn't tell me how it came out, though;I just basically saw the screen.)

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Apparently, no one believed Chandi's story about Teddy falling down the stairs, as he woke up that evening to most of the Forest Guard shoving aside the privacy screens and dropping down on his bed. Frankie pushed a swinging bed-table over to Teddy, with a large covered plate on it.

Corky grinned. "Heard you morphed your way out," he said. "Wicked. Personally, I wouldn't have gone for the rainy day, but if it's your thing..."

Teddy had lost the morph on his hand, and could feel Dad's wedding ring hanging flopping about, so he slipped his finger out of it and closed his fist around it before pulling his hand out from under his pillow and sitting up. Ruthless flopped down on her belly in the place where his feet had been and said, "You could have snuck me out with you, you know."

Teddy forced a smile. "Have you started Metamorphosing without telling anyone?"

"Brought you dinner," Frankie said, and uncovered the plate with a flourish. There was a prodigious pile of food on it, tall enough that Teddy was reasonably sure someone had had to use magic to keep it from collapsing and rolling all over. "Sorry we're late, but we had to wait for Pomfrey to slip off. She'd have never let all of us in."

Teddy took the fork Frankie had set down--carefully slipping Dad's wedding ring under his thigh to keep it hidden--and poked at the food pile experimentally. "I'll never eat all this!" he said, smiling.

Ruthless, Maurice, Corky, and Tinny all produced forks from their pockets, gathered around the plate, and dug in along with him.

"Can't have you eating alone," Tinny said. "That's antisocial, is what that is."

Donzo dragged a chair over from near the windows and sat in it cross-legged. "I, er, sort of dragged your character into a mess. I forgot that Frankie left us shackled after that bit with the street gang before hols, and sort of ran into another fight before Zach reminded me that you were supposed to be there, so I rolled for you. Hope you don't mind. Got us unshackled, anyway."

"It's fine."

"Well, I felt bad about it, so I gave you a free karate lesson. Your fight skills are up a bit." He tossed Teddy a new stat-coin, then fumbled around his bag for a piece of parchment while Teddy tried to retrieve his wand from the night stand without moving his leg enough to reveal the ring.

"I could've used some karate lessons before going out on the ice with redcaps," Teddy said.

Frankie laughed. "Teddy, you can't even come out of a fireplace without falling on your face--trying karate on an icy hill might not have helped you much."

Teddy waved a gesture at him that might have earned him another detention if a teacher had been nearby, then took the parchment Donzo was offering and set the stat-coin on it. "Emancipo," he said, pointing his wand at it. His character's name appeared. It was currently "Doran McManus," though Teddy thought he might change it a fourth time, as he still didn't like it. Most of them used his "code name," Wings, as he'd lucked upon an small airplane during a Heathrow crawl in November and obtained it against all odds by getting a perfect roll. He hadn't learned to fly it yet, of course, as no one in the game had the skill to sell him, but Frankie thought he needed a nickname ("You can't settle on his real name!") and it had stuck. The stats for him started to scroll over the sheet, including a drawing up in the right-hand corner. "Hey, who did that?"

Roger gave him a little wave. "I drew everyone's. I'm not very good."

Teddy smiled. It certainly wasn't as good as one of Dad's drawings, but it was better than he himself could have done. Doran seemed to be a redhead vaguely reminiscent of Percy Weasley, which made it quite amusing to see him posed to fight a Muggle-style duel.

"Emancipo," Corky muttered, disgusted. "Why use that one? Everyone uses that. My mom uses that to retrieve the grocery list she uses every month."

"I don't know," Ruthless said, feigning sudden interest. "I'll bet it's a vast government conspiracy to make sure people can use the things. Can't have that. Clearly instigated by a new rising evil, quite possibly lurking in the Forbidden Forest."

"Your mum uses the same grocery list every month?" Donzo asked.

"Yeah, she's not very creative. Also, she doesn't have band groupies to shop for her."

Donzo started to make a gesture, then leaned over to Teddy and stage-whispered, "Is it one finger less in Canada, or do they do it the way we do?"

Corky made both signs, one with each hand, in Donzo's general direction.

"Apparently, they just can't make up their minds," Teddy said.

"It's a sad lack of self-knowledge," Ruthless agreed.

"I know some Italian ones, too," Corky said, and demonstrated one for her.

"Excuse me!"

They all looked up. Madam Pomfrey was storming down the ward, her hands on her hips. "Teddy is meant to be resting!"

"Oh, we're just cheering him up," Maurice said.

Madam Pomfrey ground her teeth. "One of you can stay to cheer him up. For about five minutes. The rest of you, get back to your Houses! It's nearly curfew anyway."

"Would you lot mind...?" Frankie asked. "I could do with a word with Lupin."

The rest gathered up their things, jostled Teddy fondly, and made their way out.

Frankie waited until they were gone and Madam Pomfrey had taken up a watch at the door to make sure they weren't coming back, then said, "I've been thinking."

"About Sanjiv?" Teddy asked carefully.

"Yes." Frankie looked over his shoulder to make sure Madam Pomfrey wasn't listening in. "I couldn't sleep the night before we left, and I overheard Mum tell Dad that the Dementors tried to get in through the Forbidden Forest during the war. She and your mum found something in there. Some kind of secret place. They had to go through spiders, she said." He bit his lip. "Spiders, Teddy. In the forest. That weird ivy. D'you think...?"

Teddy wasn't even sure what Frankie was asking. "Er..."

"Well, I was thinking, if there's someplace in the Forest that's even more magical than the rest of it, maybe that's where--you know--souls go, if their bodies are still alive."

"I don't know... It seems a little... well, I'm sure if it were that simple..."

"I want to find out. If we could get his soul back to his body, then--" Frankie shrugged. "Well, it would be good, wouldn't it? Something we could fix?"

"I... have you talked to your mum about this?"

"She's always at work, and I can't ask her about things she does at work, because she's not allowed to tell me."

"But she told your dad, it must not be about Unspeakable-ing--"

"Teddy, I want to go back there when the weather breaks." He sat down miserably in the chair Donzo had left. "It may not be anything, but I have to know. Mum wouldn't have mentioned the place if she hadn't thought it had something to do with this, it's all she thinks about now! Will you come with me?"

"Sure," Teddy said quickly, hoping to find ways to delay this until Frankie got it out of his head and started thinking straight again. "But you're right, we should wait until it's warmer. I don't fancy another go with redcaps on the ice. Even with extra karate points."

Frankie smiled faintly. "All right, then. We'll do what our mums did--just head out into the Forest and find something."

Teddy nodded, hoping quite fervently that what they found wouldn't turn out to be the lost Acromantula colony. "As soon as it's warm again."

"Thank you. I'm really glad, I was afraid you'd think I'd gone round the bend. Though I guess if you thought that, you'd go with me anyway, wouldn't you?"

Teddy shrugged. "I'd go with you," he said. "You asked."

"I don't know whether or not to take that as you thinking I've gone mad."

"I don't," Teddy said.

"All right, then." Frankie shook himself out, like he'd been relieved of a great burden, then said, "So, what were you really doing out there today?"

Teddy actually considered telling him. Frankie wasn't on the outside; they'd always known one another, camped out in the Apcarnes' back garden more than once, fallen asleep chummily on Granny's parlor floor, got in trouble for daring one another to eat slugs in Granny's garden when Teddy was four. Frankie knew what Teddy dreamed about when he woke up screaming or crying, the same way Teddy knew that Frankie adored his baby sister (despite frequent appearances to the contrary) and was scared of the dark. They'd never told each other these things, but having eaten slugs with a person tended to make telling unnecessary sometimes.

But in the end, he just said, "Oh, I was out enjoying the weather. You know."

Frankie rolled his eyes, not believing, but not pressing. "You're mad, Lupin. You beat me in that by quite a long way."

"I'll remember that when the Acromantulas are eating us..."

They talked lightly until Madam Pomfrey, exasperated, pointed out that Frankie had been there for twenty minutes when he'd been given five. She escorted him out. Teddy took the opportunity to slip Dad's ring into his book bag, which he then tucked behind his pillow. He ignored the odd look this got him when she brought him a Sleeping Solution.
38 comments or Leave a comment
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darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 1st, 2007 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Very good, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: September 1st, 2007 04:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, you can't say that Teddy and Frankie are showing less bravery than Harry, Ron and Hermione at the same age...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Their judgment wasn't much better, either.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: September 1st, 2007 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoever named the forest wasn't thinking clearly. Forbidden draws kids like flies to honey.

I just want to give Frankie a huge hug. It's probably not all that fun to be living with a mother obsessed with trying to regain lost souls.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
And a best friend who's been obsessed with finding lost buttons and old quills for several weeks now.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: September 1st, 2007 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy has the bestest friends :)

Can't wait to read more of the adventure of Frankie and Teddy.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
He does have good friends, though he's not exactly open and honest with them.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: September 1st, 2007 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy really needs to get a bit of string to keep the ring on, or he'll lose it again!

I'm intrigued by the way you're developing the Stone plot. Poor Frankie!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)
At the moment, I'll be surprised if he lets out of easy reach.

The Stone properly isn't going to come into this; it's just what's giving off power. It's more "poor Frankie" than anything else--he doesn't even have the right information going in.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: September 1st, 2007 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Tinny's comment about eating alone being antisocial cracked me up. She really is quite the Hufflepuff. ;~) The great debate about the rude gestures and how they vary in different countries amused me greatly too.

I liked Frankie and Teddy's little chat, even if Teddy isn't being entirely truthful. I hope they can help each other out!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
The great debate about the rude gestures and how they vary in different countries amused me greatly too.

Heh, yes, fond memories of junior high school. My friend K. admired my half-mast flip-off technique. "It's like the other person is so small that you can't even be bothered to give him a whole finger." :p
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: September 1st, 2007 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
He needs a chain for that ring.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, and since the only reason I'm not giving him one is that I don't want to get all Tolkien, I'll probably relent and get him a chain. :)
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 1st, 2007 09:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I see that in the fine old traditions of Hogwarts secret adventures don't stay secret for long.

And darn it I wish I could remember more about what happened in the forest in Shades, then I'd be able to know why Maddie mentioned it at that point. Although obviously Frankie is barking up completly the wrong tree or Forest.

And it seems that the moment Teddy takes a step foreward in the whole opening up to people thing he takes a couple of steps backwards.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
For the story, the specifics of what they found don't matter much--just a powerful place. (It's actually a glade, occupied by Nimue/Vivian, which contains, in a deep enchanted sleep, all the symbols and icons of magical Britain, around the oak tree where Merlin was imprisoned, though they never explicitly said it.)
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: September 1st, 2007 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
"Unspeakable-ing" - I loved this!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was trying to think of what in the world you would call what Unspeakables do, and, well, the fact that it's a couple of kids struck me. :)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 1st, 2007 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Again, I'm catching up for two chapters. I loved Neville so much in the previous one. Another part to add to my favourites. My heart really ached for Teddy when he and Neville were having their little 'chat'.

And Teddy's little band of friends in this chapter was a lovely dose of cheerfulness after that tear-inducing previous part. I really liked when they all produced utensils of their own and tucked in with him.

Madam Pomfrey hasn't really changed, has she? I like that. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think her personality has been set for quite a while.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 1st, 2007 01:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

A healthy dose of normal life for Teddy after the gut-wrenching ordeal of the previous chapter--just before he and Frankie embark on a perilous venture by themselves! I wonder what did happen to the Dementors, if they're no longer running amok in the Forest. Just another loose end left dangling by DH.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe that's something for the Dead to do. We know they can act as Patronuses for Harry. Maybe they decided to ease things up on the mourners by chasing the Dementors out.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: September 1st, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great segment--I love the Kinds-Will-Be-Kids aspect of the boys throwing hand gestures, etc. Also Frankie is a very real child in his desperation to "fix" what is making his parents fight.

My Daily Nitpick (I'm sorry!): while Teddy tried to retrieve his wand from the night stand without moving his leg enough to reveal the ring. I can't imagine that Teddy is lying on top of the covers... Would it make more sense to say "dislodge the ring" instead of "reveal"?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe... not sure. If his covers were up around his chest when he sat up and scooched back, his legs would most likely be visible. I'll need to try it to find out. Don't apologize for the nitpicks--I need them if I'm going to get details right.
excitedrainbow From: excitedrainbow Date: September 1st, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the last few chapters - Teddy's dream with Remus in it, his search for the ring and being daft enough to go out in that storm to get it, Neville being even lovelier than usual, and the Gryffindors worrying about Teddy.

This is great, Teddy's friends are all amusing and lovely, whilst Frankie is understandably, but also worryingly concerned with his mother's work.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
It may do Teddy some good to be the worrier instead of the worried-about for once. Though it might take him a little bit to figure that out.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 1st, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh i just wanna hug Frankie,*Huggs him to death* he's so sweet.
I would so love it if they found Sanjiv's Soul,Defo, and where able to talk to it!! No wait he's not a 'it' hes a 'him'. lol
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Frankie's a good kid, if a little bit weird sometimes.
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: September 1st, 2007 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another enjoyavle read! Frankie is great. I love that he knows Teddy would come with him anyway. I really wanted to tell Teddy to talk to him, darn it! But he'll get there in his own time, I suppose.

I love that his M&M nickname is Wings. All these little Patronus hints- maybe it won't be a shock when Harry teaches him in third year. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
In the SQ re-write, I'm going to work that into an earlier chapter (the nickname), so it comes before he sees the bird. :)

I don't know if Teddy will tell Frankie about the ring, though he's right that they've known one another so long that telling isn't always necessary.
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