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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Twenty: The Last Paw Print, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Twenty: The Last Paw Print, pt. 1
Teddy's lived through a forest fire and another Red Cap attack, and Harry is sticking around until Madam Pomfrey decides to let him out of the hospital wing.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Madam Pomfrey kept Teddy in the hospital wing for three days, mainly to keep an eye on his lungs, which she worried might still be injured. Though they remained sore, there was no more blood, and his breathing became easier by the day. Frankie and Tinny, who'd been lower to the ground and taken less smoke, were released on the first day, though Tinny's knee was still splinted, and she had to walk with a cane for a week. Ruthless brought Checkmate down the first morning, saying she was crying so loudly for Teddy that no Gryffindor could sleep or study. Teddy wasn't entirely sure this was true, but when Checkmate climbed into his hospital bed and crawled up onto his pillow, she was purring madly, and fell asleep with her wet nose pushed up behind his earlobe.

Uncle Harry went home at night, but took time from work to come to Hogwarts during the days and sit with Teddy, as he'd promised. A few curious students craned their necks in, and he nodded to them politely, but didn't let them engage him in conversation. Granny was also there, and for a little while, it seemed like the ancient, half-forgotten days when Uncle Harry had lived with them, and he and Granny would banter comfortably while Teddy leaned over the edge of his high chair and tried to feed his vegetables to the cats. Teddy sometimes wished that Granny would move in with Uncle Harry, but he didn't fancy giving up her house--and his own nursery, with the decorations Dad had made with such care--and he supposed it wouldn't make much sense to have the house if no one was living in it.

On the day Madam Pomfrey released him, they fussed over him for a few more minutes, then Granny took a deep breath and said, "Uncle Harry and I have to get back to work, and so do you. You have end-of-year exams coming up."

Uncle Harry drew a little leather-bound book from under his robes. "This is from Hermione. She thought you might have got behind and would need it." He smiled ruefully.

Teddy took the book. It was a planner, and when he opened it, Hermione's voice reminded him that things sooner begun were sooner done. She'd blocked out his best subjects and put in a first year study guide. On the inside of the front cover, she'd written, It will be easier to keep to this schedule if you stay out of the hospital wing... not to mention easier on Uncle Harry.

"Ron and I never followed ours," Uncle Harry said. "And we managed to pass most of our classes, Divination aside."

Teddy laughed.

Madam Pomfrey gave his lungs one more check, then gave him a potion that he was meant to pour onto his pillow and breathe in while he slept for the next few days and a strict instruction to come back if he saw so much as a speck of blood when he coughed. Teddy thought this an eminently reasonable notion, though he didn't think it would happen.

At dinner, he discovered that Headmistress Sprout had given Gryffindor twenty points on Teddy's behalf for trying to rescue Frankie (Frankie thought this was stingy, for trying to save someone's life), and Honoria had earned ten for Slytherin by going to get the professors. This seemed to have got her back in the good graces of her House, and during dinner, when Teddy wandered over to sit with Maurice and Corky for a bit, she sat down opposite them, and told the story of her great escape from the burning Forest.

"That Red Cap followed me," she said. "I cursed it, but it kept coming, so I had to run quite fast to get to Hagrid's. At first, they wouldn't listen to me, but when I said you sent me, Harry Potter was out the door before I finished talking."

"Right," Corky said, "because if she'd just said that Tinny and Frankie were trapped out there in the middle of the fire, they'd have had tea instead."

Teddy was glad that Honoria wasn't on the Charmer anymore, as he could just imagine the article she might write on that theme. "Well," he said, "thank you for going."

She bristled. "Of course I went. Slytherins can be useful." She turned up her nose and left.

"What was that about?" Teddy asked.

"Well, clearly your 'thank you' was sarcastic and an insult to the House," Maurice said. "We shall have to avenge ourselves on you for it." He gave a bewildered shrug. "Girls."

Donzo sidled over with his plate and sat on Teddy's other side, and Tinny and Roger spotted them and joined them. Tinny waved toward the Hufflepuff table with her cane (which she'd decorated with bright yellow paper, striped with black), and a moment later, Frankie and Zachary came over as well, causing several older Slytherins to roll their eyes in disgust.

"Bilingual?" Maurice said to Corky.

"Just so," Corky said.

They each flashed both versions of a rude gesture down the table, and lost two points each, as Slughorn happened to be passing by.

The next day, Frankie was summoned to Professor Sprout's office to take a Floo call from his mother, and was waiting for Teddy after Defense Against the Dark Arts to tell him that Sanjiv MacPherson had slipped away quietly. The adults were having only a tiny service on Saturday, and Frankie wanted to have one in the Hufflepuff Common Room as well. Teddy went to it, and was surprised to find that the entire House turned out for it, even though Sanjiv hadn't been there for nearly twenty years, and none of them knew him. Frankie did a eulogy, and wrote it up for the Charmer under the title, "The Last Casualty." It turned out that he wrote well--calmly and reasonably--and the last lingering jokes about him died away, at least for a little while. (The Gryffindor third year boys tried to make weeping sounds at him, but someone hexed them so that they started actually crying, in high baby voices, and couldn't stop until Madam Pomfrey reversed it. No one seemed to be able to identify who'd cast the hex, even though at least ten people, including Teddy, saw Ruthless draw her wand.)

Teddy studied, actually following Hermione's instructions, which made good sense, caught up on the homework he'd missed, and started looking through the second year textbooks in the library. Each night when he finished, he took out the Marauder's Map. He didn't do this with the desperate craving for company that he'd had earlier. It was more a sense of something that had been left undone. He remembered the dream of being inside it, of being close to James and Sirius and his mum, and he thought he had a job to do.

He began by finding the things James Potter had lost around the school--other than the Quidditch betting book that had been upstairs, he found a spare pair of specs that had fallen behind a book shelf (one lens was cracked in a spiderweb pattern that left it milky; the other was just covered with thirty years of dust), a homework assignment under another marked Marauder stone that someone had hidden on him (Teddy suspected Dad, from the handwriting), and a dusty collection of Chocolate Frog cards that had been left under Hagrid's front step and forgotten for some reason. There was also a paw print from Padfoot there, and Teddy found a rotting lead for a dog. Dad's ring showed him a memory of a puppy they'd found in their third year, which Sirius had named Fizzing Whizbee, and Hagrid had kept for them. Sirius had also left a book in the Transfiguration classroom, along with the spare book collection, with many scribbled notes. Teddy had looked at these eagerly, hoping they would reveal tricks like the Potions book Uncle Harry had found in his sixth year, but mostly, Sirius seemed to have amused himself by amending the spells so they would Transfigure objects into embarrassing sorts of things. He had to use the Keys to the Castle to find Peter Pettigrew's spell--which turned out to be fake Latin, anyway, so he wouldn't have guessed it: Revelo Pettigresis. Teddy found many food stashes inside the walls, all of them long-turned to greasy dust--Peter's Animagus form would have allowed him access, and he seemed to have used it. Teddy thought quite a few of them may have been hidden not while Peter was a student, but while he was masquerading as first Percy's, then Ron's pet rat. One or two of these sites also had magazines, probably nicked from older boys' dormitories, that were dated in those years. The girls in them all wore odd make-up, big hair, and not much else.

There was nothing left in their old room, other than what he'd already found. Five generations of students must have found anything that wasn't as carefully hidden as the baseboard cubbyhole. He looked into the ring, and thought he might be getting some control over where it took him--though he didn't know how--as he saw them leaving the room the last day of their seventh year. They'd overslept because they'd spent the night up drinking Firewhiskey, and had gathered things up in a rush before they missed breakfast and the carriages down to the trains. Dad had bent down to the cubbyhole and opened it, reaching around frantically and drawing out handfuls that he could reach.

"I can't find the Keys to the map!" he said, distraught.

"Well, Moony," James said, "as we haven't had the Map for quite a long time and are leaving the place it covers, it's possible we can live without the Keys."

Dad hadn't been happy about this and had glanced down in the direction where the Keys had actually lain, but his view was obstructed by the box of pictures. "D'you want these?" he asked Sirius.

Sirius--who must have run away by then, Teddy realized--said, "I wouldn't have shoved them in the wall if I wanted them."

Dad didn't believe him, but also didn't fish out the box, as he knew Sirius would just tell him to put it back. So there it had stayed for thirty years, waiting for Teddy to bring it back into the world.

All of the things he found (except for Peter's rotted food), he put into a cardboard box. Over the summer, he thought he'd buy something sturdier, like the basket where Granny kept his parents' things. He didn't know what he intended to do with them.

At last, there was only one paw print left, one of Dad's, in the private quarters off the Defense Against the Dark Arts office. He didn't want to break into Robards's private place, not after Robards had been so nice to him all year, and he couldn't think why it seemed so important to find every last piece of the Marauders--however silly or rubbishy--and gather it together to take away with him, but the problem of the last paw print occupied him increasingly during the two weeks of exams. He haunted the corridor outside the office, walking back and forth between it and Professor Longbottom's office (Professor Longbottom looked at him quizzically, but didn't ask any questions), trying to think of some way to ask if he might go inside and have a look around.

The day after Teddy took his last exam, he finally just knocked on Robards's door, hoping that something would come to him. Robards was sitting at his desk, going through a stack of papers. There was a letter on his desk, addressed to him in Uncle Harry's handwriting, but he swept it into his drawer when he saw Teddy looking, and Teddy guessed it was Auror business.

"I'm glad you came to see me, Teddy," he said. "I've been thinking--I have something you might like. A picture of your mum and dad that we took that last Christmas. You're in it as well, of course, in your own sort of way. I have it in back, if you'd like to see it."

He stood and opened the door to the private quarters, which consisted of one tiny room with a large bed, a dresser, a night table, and a little set of drawers that was actually set into the wall to save space. Teddy hung back at the door while Robards went to the the drawers and opened the top one. He frowned. "Oh, dear," he said. "I'm afraid it's fallen behind here. This silly thing; I don't know why I use it. I'd wager things have been dropping out of this drawer and into the wall since Godric Gryffindor had this room, and it's a right pain to get anything out. It's probably a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor museum back there." He smiled faintly, Teddy thought about the letter from Uncle Harry that he'd hidden so quickly, wondering if it might have had nothing to do with Auror business after all. "I don't suppose you'd like to give me a hand?"
52 comments or Leave a comment
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From: kobegrace Date: September 19th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I got up really early this morning, I've had a horrible, terrible day, and I'm dead tired. Any sane person in my shoes would've collapsed onto her bed hours ago.

Instead, I waited diligently for this installment.

And it was totally worth it. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked it! Please go to sleep now, so I don't feel guilty. :)
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: September 19th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Finally someone uses Hermione's studying advice. Good for Teddy.

And I love Corky and Maurice, wish we could've seen more Slytherin's like that in the books.

"Right," Corky said, "because if she'd just said that Tinny and Frankie were trapped out there in the middle of the fire, they'd have had tea instead."

That had me laughing. Ron might've said something like that if he had been there.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Finally someone uses Hermione's studying advice.

Yeah, I mean, it's not like she was known for being a good student or anything!

(Honestly, I would have gone crazy with a strict study schedule like that, but if it's your thing to structure it, then there are worse models than Hermione's!)
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: September 19th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)

but a word of advice... if some things of other DADA teachers fell there too, they better be careful ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)
If it were anything but the last chapter, I'd worry about them deciding to borrow black quills, but I think Dolores and Croody both kept track of their more, er, questionable items.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2007 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Not bad, Robards. As quick cover stories go, that one is quite worthy of a retired Auror.

The rest of this was just . . . _good_. Sweet, but not too sweet; sad, but not too sad. I can even see Honoria becoming a human being. She still has her problems, but there is hope for her (and it was nice that, when she went off, it was "girls" and not "Honoria the harridan").

Er, but did Teddy really keep Peter's magazines? It seems like an uncomfortable thing for an eleven year old boy, especially one who lives with his granny. I guess I can't see him throwing them away. I just see him covering them up or something (that way, even if Gran finds his stash, she may not notice them).


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Good point. I didn't want to bother with the ickiness factor, just because I didn't want to spend paragraph space for it in an already expository section, but yes... Teddy still finds them icky. I expect he'll tell Harry about the stash before he tells Granny, and Harry might find a way to magically cover them up. After wondering why in the hell Teddy's bothering to keep Wormtail's things at all, let alone his skin-mags.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: September 19th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww, yay! Can't wait to see what it is...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Hope it's worth it!
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: September 19th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Do you think that Ron still has Wormtail's replacement wand?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I think he'd most likely have gotten a replacement, but then again, he does have a bond with Peter--he took care of him for a long time as a pet--so the wand might actually bond with him rather strongly. But it was a wand that Ollivander was forced to make, so it might not be great for anyone. I think I'll stick with my original notion that he got a new wand, and that replacement wand was burned with a whole lot of DE wands.
alphabet26 From: alphabet26 Date: September 19th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I really do like Robards.

A great installment, as usual!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2007 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
That's awfully... convenient. I suspect Robards knows something.

Still enjoying this! Thank you!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I suspect Robards knows something.

I suspect the letter from Harry said something like, "Neville says that Teddy's been wandering around the corridor, and--though I can't tell you why--he has good reason to believe that Remus lost something in there, and really wants to find it." Robards has been in the room for a while and knows where things tend to get lost--there are only so many places, and he's already looked behind the headboard and dresser--so he deduces that it's behind the badly designed shelves and deliberately loses a photo there.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: September 19th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
When I saw the title of the chapter, I got very excited, because I really hoped that Teddy would have a chance to get that last item of Remus's. It's rather awesome of Robards to help Teddy out with that problem, too.

Corky and Maurice crack me up. I loved their "bilingual" gestures.

Looking forward to seeing what was left behind!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Robards is a decent guy who genuinely likes Teddy. I think he'd be glad to help.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: September 19th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha, finally caught up. The past five parts have all been great, btw. Frankie seems to have a bit of Ravenclaw in him, though I'm slightly biased. He can't seem to give up on something he doesn't know about...can't leave a question unanswered. Seems like a Ravenclaw trait to me. Maybe he's a Huffleclaw? :P
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, he definitely has a touch of the 'claw in him. I think he would have walked out of the Great Hall, though, if it had tried to put him anywhere other than Hufflepuff. He's partisan. ;p
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: September 19th, 2007 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's such a level-headed kid. He seems to combine the best qualities of... well, of just about everyone :-) While still seeming like a real kid.

A couple of style queries; I usually avoid commenting on this sort of thing, as it's personal preference, but these struck me:

Uncle Harry smiled and drew a little leather-bound book from under his robes. "This is from Hermione. She thought you might have got behind and would need it." He smiled ruefully. I wonder if you meant to have two "smiled"s so close together.

Donzo sidled over with his plate and sat on Teddy's other side, and a moment later, Tinny and Roger spotted them and joined them. Tinny waved ostentatiously toward the Hufflepuff table, and a moment later, Frankie and Zachary came over.... Ditto re those "moments".

And a tiny typo:

as we haven't had the Map for a quite a long time Stray "a".

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, good catches, thanks. Fast writing can be careless writing, and that's exactly the sort of thing that slips through.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't really mind the House divisions, which have a reason in some years; they just don't always have any particular use, and Teddy's is one of them.

My kitty is hyper-affectionate, so that's where Checkmate gets the snuggly habit.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 19th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I am completely in love with Maurice and Corky.

"Bilingual?" Maurice said to Corky.

"Just so," Corky said.

LOL! They are really going far to redeeming Slytherin house in my eyes. :D

Little error I spotted in the list of things Teddy found: and an dusty collection of Chocolate Frog cards

That should be a, shouldn't it?

But as usual, great update. Thank you!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes--"dusty" started its life as "old," and I forgot to change its article.

I'm fond of Maurice and Corky, too. I think they turned out pretty well.
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: September 19th, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, that Robards is a sneaky professor... Methinks he knows something.

Excellent installment, Fern. I can't wait to see what it was that Remus left behind!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Methinks he knows something.

Teddy thinks, too! :)
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: September 19th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maurice and Corky are wonderful. Truly my favorite kids in Teddy's year. (I still can't believe I love a pair of Slytherins!)

Sanjiv makes me a bit sad, but... that means he's found, doesn't it?

Robards is great for helping Teddy with Remus' final lost thing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
that means he's found, doesn't it?

Yup. Teddy was able to remind James that he was still bound to things like the Identity spell that he created, and the dead were able to track him down using something like a cosmic Marauder's Map.
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