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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Sixteen: Loyalty, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Sixteen: Loyalty, pt. 3
Teddy and Frankie continued their research on souls, going to the Fat Friar to ask about what happens to the Demented soul. The Friar tells Frankie that this isn't even a job for the living, let alone for children, then says that there aren't any answers to the questions he's asking. Frankie says there are answers, they just haven't been found yet. Teddy tells the Friar that he has to stick with Frankie despite the advice, and the Friar agrees.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

"I think we should draw straws," Ruthless said, dropping down into a seat in the library, where the Forest Guard was making quick plans for a Muggles and Minions game next weekend.

"Draw straws for what?" Frankie asked vaguely. He was barely concentrating on the game, let alone anything else.

Ruthless tossed out a piece of paper, obviously pulled down from the Gryffindor announcement board. It was trumpeting the return of the free press, in the form of Honoria's newspaper, which would have its first open meeting on Tuesday afternoon. "I'd volunteer, but I thought I'd give the rest of you a chance."

"At a newspaper?" Donzo asked.

"With Honoria?" Maurice put in.

Teddy wrinkled his nose. "Deliberately?"

"Well, she just seems the sort that it might be better not to leave to her own devices," Ruthless said. "She's got a whole collection of Skeeter biographies. Did any of you read the one about my Uncle Rufus?" She shuddered. "I don't trust anyone who collects those bloody things."

Teddy hadn't read Rufus Scrimgeour: Drunken Disgrace, but it had been a hot topic on the WWN for a while last year. Skeeter had talked about Scrimgeour's unhealthy obsession with Dumbledore, his supposedly abusive temper (she'd talked to an ex-Auror named Dawlish, which had made Uncle Harry laugh very bitterly), and how much he drank. In interviews, she also seemed very interested in the fact that he'd never married, and listed a lot of friends he had. Teddy wasn't entirely sure what the connection was meant to be.

"Anyway," Ruthless said, "I thought it would be a good idea to go, before she starts writing articles about whether or not Donzo's a party animal and Teddy gets loopy at the full moon."

"And if she decides you're the one who ought to write them?" Teddy asked.

"Well, I'll have to tell the truth, you know--that you're both dead boring and get your homework done on time."

"We could all go," Maurice said. "Pack the meeting and vote down everything she says."

Frankie shook his head. "I can't. I have other things to do."

"So do I," Teddy said.

Bernice offered to go, and Roger thought it might be amusing to work on a paper ("I could write a column about Muggle things for wizard-borns!"). Maurice suggested that Donzo might join in self-defense, before she decided he was a handy celebrity to gossip about. Older students and their gossipy proclivities were duly discussed. In the end, they didn't finish setting up the game, much to Teddy's disappointment, as he'd been looking forward to it and hoped that it would distract Frankie for a little while.

Instead, it was all he could do to distract him enough to do his homework, as, while half of the Guard went off to the Charmer meeting, Frankie had an epiphany--Sanjiv was stuck because he personally needed to be found and called. "He's forgotten who he is! That's why he can't find his way back!" This led to finding out everything they could (without actually asking anyone who'd known him, of course) to find out about him. Teddy found one of Mum's memories on the ring that was about Sanjiv taking her dancing while she was upset about Dad being a complete idiot, and told Frankie about it, implying that it was something Granny had told him. This, at least, made for an hour or two of trying to learn the dance, which ended up with both of them laughing. Frankie was still keen to go out to the Forest, despite his change of heart about where souls went, as he thought it held a lot of power that wasn't fully explored. Teddy agreed with this, but didn't mention that, he wasn't entirely sure that a third year and a first year were the right ones to correct that. After a long discussion about it, Teddy dreamed about the patch of pale ivy that Frankie had shown him, and in the dream, he wanted to dive into it, even though he could see the redcaps waiting with their clubs raised. He had the impression, in the dream, that he would be able to talk to Mum there, and she would tell him everything while Dad kept him safe from any number of monsters. He never did find them, though.

He got a long letter from Victoire two weeks before his birthday, giving the gory details of a fight she was having with Marie about who got a particularly desirable room in the new addition. Victoire thought it ought to be hers, as she was eldest, and Marie thought she ought to have it, as she would live in it longer before she went to Hogwarts. There had been accidental magic involved, and Victoire thought it terribly unfair that she'd been punished, even though it was entirely Marie's fault that she ended up with a nose like Pinocchio. She asked Teddy if he needed to learn more French, and if the Map was doing anything new and interesting. Teddy wrote back and told her about the ring and all of the memories he'd found on it, though he asked her not to tell anyone. He wasn't sure why he felt it necessary to keep it a secret.

On a whim when he finished, he took the Map back out, using his own wand as he had when he'd first discovered it, to get it to insult him. (Mr. Prongs believes that Mr. Lupin needs a hobby.) A bit of motion in the library caught his eye, and he frowned. Frankie was prowling about in there... and it was long after curfew.

And Filch had started his night patrol.

"Damn," he hissed, and checked the quickest routes down. The Common Room was nearly empty--just Nat Bangs and his girlfriend, and Teddy doubted they'd notice the entire Quidditch team going by--so he snuck out carefully. The Fat Lady gave him a cross sort of look when he closed her, but didn't try to stop him. Teddy supposed they couldn't make the doors impassable after curfew, in case of an emergency, or they'd have done so by now. He morphed himself to a blank gray sort of color to blend better with the shadows. Keeping an eye on the Map, he dodged Filch, his new kitten Master Norris, and Robards, who was wandering aimlessly about on the fourth floor (when Teddy passed him, he was reading a letter and muttering mutinously about whatever was in it).

The door to the library was ajar, and Teddy slipped in, letting go of his morph. According to the Map, Frankie was in the school history section. Teddy closed the door and tiptoed over. "Frankie!" he whispered.

Frankie jumped.

"Teddy, what are you doing here?"

"Filch is doing his rounds, and Robards is right around the corner. We need to put this stuff away and get out."

Frankie looked at him, shaking his head in a confused way. "How...?"

"Just come on!"

Frankie shoved some of the books he had out onto the shelf and put several more in his bag. "We can hide behind the desk," he said.

"Just leave them! Get them out tomorrow!"

"Pince says I'm past my limit in the subject."

"Then put them away and we'll come back and look at them tomorrow."

Something made a noise outside the door, and they both jumped. Frankie ran for Madam Pince's desk and dove behind it, book bag in hand. Teddy followed.

A moment later, the doorknob rattled and light played across the library. Teddy could see the top of Filch's head, and a the base of the door, a kitten's paw was making a beckoning sort of gesture. He held his breath.

Filch passed.

He sighed and sank down beside Frankie. "He's gone."

"How did you find me?"

Teddy bit his lip--there was no question of making anything up. "Remember when I told you that I had a secret?"


"Well... this is it." He pulled out the Marauder's Map, brought up the basic view (he only had his own wand with him), and told Frankie everything. "It's how I found this," he finished, holding up the ring, which was still on its now-tattered piece of string. He didn't mention the memory charms on it.

Frankie blinked at it, and Teddy thought he was going to lose his temper again, but instead, he just said, "You've been playing with your dad's friends' map all year? Is that what you've been shutting yourself up with?"

"Sort of."

"And here I was worried about spending my time looking at a few old photographs." He pulled the books out of his book bag; they were scrapbooks put together during the time Mum (and Frankie's parents and Sanjiv and Charlie Weasley) had been at school, and he'd marked out a handful of pages.

Teddy didn't think this was very fair, as he'd been careful with the Marauder's Map, and didn't think it was going to bring anyone back to life, but he'd had enough fighting with Frankie this year. "Right, well. You're the first non-Gryffindor to know about it."

"And I'm sure that's why you weren't telling me," Frankie said. "Honestly, Teddy. I told you what I was up to, even though I knew you'd think I was mad." He sighed and stood up, stacking the scrapbooks and heading back to the shelves with them. "You're right, though. I should come back for these tomorrow. I don't need them at this exact second."

Teddy helped him tidy up, and they checked the Map together for obstacles. When Robards had finally gone up to the sixth floor, they slipped out into the corridor. There was no one in Frankie's way going back to Hufflepuff.

"Does Ruthless know?" Frankie asked. "I mean, she's a Gryffindor."

"No. None of the others know. Just you. And Victoire, at home."

Frankie raised his eyebrows. "Victoire Weasley?" He shook his head. "Victoire and me. That's an odd combination of people, Teddy."

"What do you mean?"

He smiled weakly. "Nothing. Thanks for telling me. I'll go now." He disappeared into the shadows.
42 comments or Leave a comment
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kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: September 9th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Um... Didn't Ollivander keep Teddy's wand for resale?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Tonks's wand is his wand now.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 9th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww, Frankie gets it. The only people Teddy's told are the ones closest to him (or the ones who knew French).

And what was the letter that upset Robards, I wonder?

As for Honoria, given proper guidance from a highly ethical, intelligent, disciplined editor used to working with students just learning the trade, I'd actually think this could be a good step for her. As it is, the more people around to outvote her, the better.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I suspect that's why Slughorn approved it--some vehicle for her poison pen might detoxify it. Then again, I suspect Rita was a Slytherin, and Slughorn would have been her Head of House, and it didn't have a meritorious effect... ;p
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 9th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't help wondering why no one seems to be filing libel suits right, left, and center against Rita Skeeter for writing what seem to be the wizarding equivalent of unauthorized biographies. Maybe the wizarding press has fewer restrictions on it?

Frankie does have some interesting theories about Demented souls, even if he's a long way from finding a practical solution on how to liberate them. In the meantime, he seems to be digging a deeper hole for himself, poor kid. Nice bit of comedy with Teddy and Frankie trying to learn the Macarena--has Teddy inherited his mother's dancing aptitude?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
No one ever does seem to think of just suing her, or questioning her methods even when it's obvious she's used, er, questionable ones (except for Hermione with the Animagus threat). I guess there's no real slander or libel law.

has Teddy inherited his mother's dancing aptitude?

Maybe not quite as bad, but I don't think he'll be trying out for the Russian ballet any time soon!
1voice From: 1voice Date: September 9th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, I wonder what Robards is so angry about?

Oh, and I am not a big fan of Scrimgeour but no one should have to face the slanderous wrath of Rita Skeeter.

The Teddy/Victoire relationship dynamic is so cute. Makes me wish I had a special someone when I was eleven. Mind you, I was madly in love with a whole gang of movie stars and fictional characters, so I dunno if I was in quite the right mindset for it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I think eleven was when I started getting real world crushes, but they were much less fun than movie star crushes, as one could pretend the movie star got fan mail, but cute Mike in social studies was obviously not paying attention, and--worse--cute Jeff in math knew you had a crush, and you had to crawl under the table every time you saw him...


I think that Teddy doesn't notice how easily he includes Victoire in everything. He even has her in on the ring, and Harry's the only other person he's mentioned that to.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: September 9th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
awwww Filch has a new kitten!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll bet he resisted a little after Mrs. Norris went on to the great corridor patrol in the sky, though.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: September 9th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Ruthless's idea of volunteering for Honoria's newspaper is smart. I'm glad that part of the Guard will be there to balance out Honoria's brand of viciousness.

I'm glad that Teddy told Frankie about the Map, most especially for Frankie's reaction to Teddy's choice of confidants.

Teddy found one of Mum's memories on the ring that was about Sanjiv taking her dancing while she was upset about Dad being a complete idiot

This phrase completely amused me for some reason. So, now Teddy's getting to view Shades? ;~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Probably not all of it--I'm sure his parents didn't want to scar him for life!--but yeah, here and there, little bits. I think Tonks would have liked him to know that she loved her friends and they looked out for her.

thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 9th, 2007 08:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it is interesting and quite cute that Teddy already thinks of Victoire as a Gryffindor. And no longer sees it as weird that he confinds secrets in her that he wouldn't tell his best friend.

And can I add my voice to those wanting to know what was making Robards so angry in that letter, maybe it comes from reading too much HP but I am now overly sensitive to the little details. They always come back to haunt you. In some cases literally!

And i am really looking foreward to seeing the results of that meeting. i reckon that the newspaper could become a Force for Good if they all pitch in to squash our darling Honaria. After all the idea of a student newspaper is a good one, maybe they coudld divert her attention to something that she can't distort the truth on, or something that if she does
nobody would care. Oh Weather Predictions!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
And no longer sees it as weird that he confinds secrets in her that he wouldn't tell his best friend.

I'm sure if he thought about it for even a second, he'd find it weird, and start protesting that Victoire annoys him and is a snob and so on. It's just that he doesn't think about it at all. Never occurs to him.

I'm afraid Robards is just annoyed because his wife--to whom he is still married, though he lives at Hogwarts and she's in London--has tasked him with all of his misdeeds over the years because he failed to take her side in an argument with a politician over Easter hols.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 9th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel so much love for all the kids in this part. Ruthless is brilliant -I definitely approve of her idea ... 'if you can't beat them, join them' and all. :)

And Teddy telling Victoire about the map - it's described in such an offhand manner that it feels so comfortable. I think it's a good set up for their later relationship.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been thinking about their later relationship--when I finish this, I may take a little break from the long stuff in order to write a couple of shorts involving Teddy's future.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: September 9th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)
In interviews, she also seemed very interested in the fact that he'd never married, and listed a lot of friends he had. Teddy wasn't entirely sure what the connection was meant to be.

Oh, Teddy, how oblivious you are. I can't tell if it's because he's a boy or because he's 11 (12 soon! They grow up so fast).

Master Norris!!! AWWWW KITTY.
redlily From: redlily Date: September 9th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the only reasons I'm sad that HP is a kids series is that we never got to see any gay characters. (I'm not one of the people who subscribes to the fanon gayification of . . . well, everybody.) There was diversity in everything but sexual orientation. So, Fern, I like this inclusion . . . even if it's meant to be wicked slander. :)
purebristles From: purebristles Date: September 9th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you going to make Teddy lose the ring down the drain because the string broke, only to have him have a deep and meaningful chat with Myrtle while trying to get it back (because she's the Queen Ghost of the Toilets), then find out during one of their chats that, not only does she know about where Demented Souls went (she apparently had many chats with the Basilisk when it was underneath Hoggy's), she knows how to get flushed out into the lake which is a shortcut to the Forbidden Forest???

Just wondering, you know.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL. No, never occurred to me. :) Ah, Myrtle. Wish she'd had something to do in TDH. She was the first victim after all. She could have, I don't know, distracted Voldy during battle or something.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 9th, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Robard's muttering over a letter.
Is that letter about Harry going to replace him as a DADA teacher? lol

Just a guess. I want to see Harry. Haha.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
We'll see Harry again by the end of the story. But Robards' letter is just from his wife.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 9th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very nice, Fern. You're doing a great job with all the characters.

I think with Skeeter, she waits until a person dies before she writes an autobiography on them. Doesn't make it right but it's easier for her to sell books and possibly not get sued if the main subject can't fight back.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Quite possibly. Though she probably also couches the more outrageous statements as rumors without confirming or denying them... just putting them out there in the public consciousness, while still being able to say, "Why, I never suggested it was so, just that there were questions, which of course there are (now)..."
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: September 9th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! New kitty! I like the idea of Filch with a bouncy little kitten, making him have fun against his will.

They better pack the paper, or Roger's column on Muggles will never get published!

I've got nothing much to add. just another installment that I really enjoyed. :)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just trying to picture Filch trying to de-cheerify a kitten amuses me to no end. "Stop jumping! No! That's just a shoelace! It's STUDENTS you want to be chasing!"
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: September 9th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just to tell you: I've been reading the last few installments, but due to lots of work I've printed them out to read in front of the instrument.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 9th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for letting me know!
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: September 11th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would think that Frankie would be more excited about the map. But then again, he isn't a Gryffindor and doesn't generally do as much sneaking around as the Gryffindors...though he was in the library after hours...
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