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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Fourteen: The Forest Guard, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Fourteen: The Forest Guard, pt. 2
Holy crap, it's September. When did that happen? If I finish this on schedule, I have about three weeks of writing left. I should probably stop thinking of episodes that happen later in Teddy's life and finding cute little epigrams for third year stories involving Fenrir Greyback, especially since I promised to hit Safe next, but thank God, I'm enjoying Teddy taking up residence in my skull.

He got away from recaps while retrieving his father's wedding ring, which didn't bring him a great deal of satisfaction, and did get him detention, but it's with Neville, and will involve working on the Whomping Willow. His friends don't know why he snuck out when it was against the rules, and are mostly congratulating him on a job well done. Frankie has developed the very odd notion that souls eaten by Dementors are wandering around in Aragog's old nest. Teddy is worried about him.

And yes, if you check the calendar, I've gone and moved the moon again, though this time it's the new moon. Need for ambiance=the power of the Elder Wand.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Professor Longbottom made a great show of collecting Teddy for detention on Monday night after supper, and the other students all smiled knowingly, some whispering to those who didn't know that Teddy Lupin was a Metamorphmagus, and had morphed his way right into trouble on Saturday. No one seemed to think anything of this beyond a generalized admiration for the ability. Teddy pulled on his cloak, which he'd brought down with him on Professor Longbottom's instructions, closing its fasteners as they went outside (Granny'd had the fasteners made specially, with his initials worked into the silver). The night was brittle and cold, and lit only by the stars, as the moon was new and black. Professor Longbottom lit his wand and indicated to Teddy that he should do the same, and they walked across the grounds in a bubble of clear light, coming at last into the shadow of the Whomping Willow. A branch took a lazy swipe at them.

Professor Longbottom Summoned a long branch, then handed it to Teddy. "Would you like to do the honors?"

Teddy took it and pointed his wandlight at the gnarled, above-ground roots at the base of the trunk. The knot wouldn't be obvious if you didn't know it was a switch of sorts, but if you knew there was a switch there, it couldn't be anything else. He reached in with the branch and nudged it. The branches stilled.

"My wand is made from this tree," Teddy said.

Professor Longbottom looked around at him. "Is it really?"

"Yes. I found out at Christmas, from Ollivander."

"Pomona--Professor Sprout--told me that she'd given him a large limb once. She didn't know if he'd done anything with it."

"He said this is the only one of the wands to choose anyone. And it chose Mum and me."

"Did you tell Harry? He's interested in wandlore. I'm sure he'd like to know."

Teddy realized that, for no reason he could imagine, he hadn't told Uncle Harry; other than the people who'd been in Ollivander's, Professor Longbottom was the only one to know. "So... what do we need to prune?"

"There's some brave but foolish mistletoe that's decided to give the Willow a go. They aren't getting along well. We'll have to pull out the leaves so we can get a clear view, then prune whichever branches it's attached itself to." He pointed up to a clump of fresh leaves that formed a ball in the Willow's upper branches. It had wound itself tight around the wood, and the tree had obviously tried several times to pummel it off, as twigs were broken off sharply and tangled in the parasite's branches. "I thought we could take broomsticks up there. And don't look at me like that, it is your detention, so you don't have to like it, and Madam Hooch says you're perfectly competent. Accio broomsticks!"

Two broomsticks came flying out over the fluxweed patch, and each of them caught one. Teddy was glad to see that Professor Longbottom didn't look any fonder of this than he himself was. They kicked off and flew to the top of the tree, circling the ball of mistletoe. "We'll have to get inside the branches," Teddy said.

"I think you're right. It's a bit tight, though."

"I'll go." Teddy flew close to the thickest nearby branch without checking, then let go of the broomstick with his hands and looped them around the trunk of the tree, thin this high up. He hooked his knee over the branch, then let the broomstick fly off where it would.


"It's easy."

"I meant we ought to stay on the broomsticks."

"Oh. Well, I'm here, and it's an easy reach."

"Are you sure you're all right there?"

"Yes, of course."

Professor Longbottom, frowning at him between the branches, said, "All right, Teddy, but I'm keeping my wand on you, in case you slip."

Unconcerned, Teddy scrambled out onto the branch, then sat down at the edge of the mistletoe growth and started pulling it, thrusting it out to Professor Longbottom as it came off.

Professor Longbottom Banished the detritus to a pile on the ground. "There are only a dozen Whomping Willows left in the world," he said. "It was very plausible that Hogwarts would want one, so Professor Dumbledore thought it would make a good cover. At least that's what Professor Sprout said. Dumbledore wanted the school to buy it, but your grandmother insisted on paying for at least half of it. That would be your grandmother Lupin, not your Granny Tonks." He caught another ball of mistletoe and sent it flying away. "Your grandparents didn't have a lot of money, as I understand it, but they wanted to do everything they could. They were listed as 'contributors,' and your grandfather took something of a crash course in Herbology so that he could act like an excited amateur who just couldn't resist helping Hogwarts acquire a rare tree. Quite a lot of surprising people were listed as donors to cover it up. Some of them were even real."

Teddy smiled and pulled himself further along the branch to reach more of the mistletoe. "Granny Tonks said she never met my grandmother Lupin. She was a Muggle-born, but that's really all I know. Oh, and a Ravenclaw. They were both Ravenclaws. Granny and Granddad met my grandfather Lupin once--I guess Dad was ill and his father came to visit him at St. Mungo's--but they didn't talk about trees." He yanked out a larger clump, and realized the mistletoe was almost gone. To his disappointment, there didn't seem to be any more.

"Get your wandlight in there," Professor Longbottom said. "We need to see how far up the limb it's been taking root."

Teddy ran his wand over the branch, which showed scars halfway back to the trunk. Professor Longbottom winced and decided that they'd need to lose this limb entirely, but was relieved that the tree hadn't allowed any further infestation. "Teddy, you'll need to get out of the tree now," he said. "I'll sever the branch. How's your Levitation Charm?"

"Professor Flitwick thinks it's good."

"Well, he'd be the one to know. So, why don't you... Teddy?"

Teddy, who had climbed halfway down the tree, looked up. "What?"

"I was going to call the broomstick back."

"Oh. Oops. This is quicker."

"Can you get a good aim on the branch?"

Teddy reached the bottom limb and jumped to the ground, in the shady area under the gently swaying outer branches. "I can see it," he said.

"All right, then. Let's do this. Levitate it before I cut it."

Teddy trained his wand on the branch and said, "Wingardium Leviosa."

The limb seemed to shudder, then, far above, Professor Longbottom made a jagged motion with his wand, and suddenly the branch was free, held up only by Teddy's charm. The Levitation was steady and sure--more than it usually was in class--and Teddy wondered if the tree recognized his wand somehow and knew he meant to help it.

"Pull it away from the tree. Put it down by the mistletoe."

Carefully, Teddy urged it over, delighted with actually using magic for something, not just doing class work with it. He felt quite grown-up, and very carefully set the bit of the Whomping Willow down with its former parasite. Professor Longbottom set up protective spells to prevent any damage to the surroundings, then set the lot of it on fire. He stood with Teddy for a long time while they watched it go. "Good work," he said.

Teddy smiled, enjoying the firelight on his face, and enjoying the clean branches of the Willow above him. "Can I help with it again, if you need it?"

Professor Longbottom agreed to ask, though he qualified it by pointing out that the Whomping Willow largely took care of itself--"barring mistletoe, Bernice, and flying cars"--so it probably wouldn't happen often. Teddy went back to his dormitory, feeling good, and played with Checkmate for an hour before doing his homework.

By the time he got to sleep, it was quite late, and he fell into a dream without noticing it. He was sitting on the bank of a river, looking up through the branches of the Whomping Willow. Everything seemed quite peaceful, though he couldn't see the other side of the river. This seemed all right and natural. A bridge stretched over it, going into misty nothing. A bird flew high overhead, and, from the limbs of the tree, he could see a wolf looking down. A butterfly landed on his hand, and he set it carefully on one of the Willow's pale leaves.

"Help! Someone help!"

He jumped to his feet. "Frankie?"

"Teddy, help me!"

The voice was coming from the mist, which had crowded in over the river now. Teddy ran for the bridge, but as soon as he set foot on it, there was a horrible crunching sound, and the mist flooded up around him. The bridge had come undone from its moorings, and he felt it spinning madly in the river. He was thrown hard against the rail, but not shaken loose.


"I can't! The bridge! It's gone! Mum, Dad, help!"

But they were dead; they couldn't hear him, and the bridge continued swirling and tilting, splashing Teddy with freezing water as it skimmed through the rapids.

"TEDDY!" Frankie's voice was further away now, far up the riverbank, and drowned under a growing thunder.

Teddy woke himself up. His room was still dark, but dawn was starting to seep in and give shape to his belongings. Checkmate, who had curled up on a ball on top of his wrist where it stuck out from under the pillow, gave him a surprised sort of meow, then climbed over his face and settled on his side, going back to sleep draped over him in a u-shape. Teddy petted her absently until the last of the dream went away.
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starbrow From: starbrow Date: September 1st, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, new part! (I'm not sure I've commented before, but I've been following eagerly since day one.)

Lovely little scene here. I especially liked Neville not being happy about getting on a broomstick, and Teddy enjoying doing *real* work with his wand, not just schoolwork.

Very curious now about what's going on with Frankie!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's always good to figure out just what you might be learning a skill to do. :)
1voice From: 1voice Date: September 1st, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh, dreams. For some odd reason, I am always dying in my dreams. I am all right, and hopefully Franke and Teddy are too! :)

I can't believe it's September already! Ack, before I know it I will have to have all my college applications done and ready to send out.

Thanks for the distraction, I've been reading a mandatory book all day and need a break. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yes. Application time. Good luck!
kacates From: kacates Date: September 1st, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh - Teddy clambering around on the Whomping Willow - SUCH a Gryffindor.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 1st, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's a good thing that it never occurred to anyone in the Marauders' era to try climbing it, rather than just touching the trunk.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 2nd, 2007 12:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad to see Teddy actually getting something out of his detention--not only experience in using magic outside of class, but information on his family too via the Whomping Willow's backstory. Neville seems to know almost by instinct what Teddy wants/needs to hear, although I wonder where he picked up all this stuff. Professor Sprout, perhaps? Also liked the dream--and the little hints of Tonks and Remus (the butterfly and the wolf)--but yikes, that ending is certainly ominous! Looking forward to the next!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)
He picked it all up in Staff Room gossip with Sprout, who was just nattering about the plant life on the grounds, though she remembers the Lupins fondly enough.
redlily From: redlily Date: September 2nd, 2007 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)

(You're missing an end quote, at "taking root.")
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)

(I'll grab that.)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, he rocked really hard in TDH, so I think he's earned the confidence!
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: September 2nd, 2007 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy should have saved a sprig of mistletoe and put it under his pillow :-) In some traditions, that's believed to protect against nightmares. Mind you, mistletoe is also sometimes said to repel witches, so it might be a two-edged sword.

Oh dear, I hope that dream wasn't prophetic. Poor Frankie, he has a lot on his plate at the moment.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Mind you, mistletoe is also sometimes said to repel witches

Heh, I think there are some people who might contrive to have it hung over the door of his single-occupancy palace when he gets older, in that case... ;p (Of course, I'm pretty sure that it has the more traditional connotation at Hogwarts, so that probably wouldn't work!)
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: September 2nd, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a really scary dream...
I love your Neville. He's really grown to be a wonderful man.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Neville is the sort of boy who does grow into a wonderful man--shy, but not afraid to stand up when it's necessary, never overconfident so he won't be cocky... I think he'll do well.
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: September 2nd, 2007 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Love the little bits of info on the Lupin grandparents - and it makes sense to me that Sprout would tell Neville all about the tree; she always liked him. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, she's also passing along the Herbology position to him, which would most likely include taking care of all of the exotic plants on the grounds.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: September 2nd, 2007 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, interesting dream. I love Neville, btw. He is so much love.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Neville=awesome. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 2nd, 2007 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Those mists wouldn't happen to have anything to do with dementors, would they? And with Frankie's efforts to help Sanjiv? Does this imply Teddy might be calling for his parents via a certain ring that may be in the area?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
It's all tied up together.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 2nd, 2007 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Really enjoyed that post. You do a good job with Neville.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I've always liked Neville; not sure what took me so long to get down to writing any Neville.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: September 2nd, 2007 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwwww, Teddy's feeling all grown up because he used magic to do something out of class! Oh Teddy. Hee, that kind of reminds me of how excited and boyish Harry was on the morning of his 17th birthday when he realized he could do magic out of Hogwarts.

What a creepy dream! I hope it doesn't say anything about what will happen to poor Frankie.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoyed that scene in DH. It was like the added line in the GoF movie, where Harry just says, "I love magic." It's just so... good.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: September 2nd, 2007 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh noes! Frankie!!

Also, if Neville can't work things out with Parvati, I'm here waiting :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, get in line! :)
jesspallas From: jesspallas Date: September 2nd, 2007 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I do like adult Neville and I'm so glad he became a teacher because it seems so appropriate for him. :) The dream was a little alarming though...

I did just want to ask your permission for something though - I'm writing a canon compliant post-epilogue R/T fic at the moment (don't ask - it's very complicated!) and I needed a profession for Andromeda. Now I like the idea of her being a genealogist that traces both Muggle and magical ancestry but since I know I got that idea from this fic, I thought I'd better ask your permission first before I used it. Would you mind? :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 2nd, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fine by me. :)
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