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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 4: The New Assistant, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 4: The New Assistant, pt. 2
Eh, didn't get much outline futzing done, which means I may run into a huge wall at some point in the future, but hey, live dangerously, right?

There's a Shades Chapter 6 illo from knackard! I am just goofily happy that she's doing this.

Okay. Teddy's on his way back to Hogwarts. He noticed that the platform was much more crowded than he's used to, and three first years accompanied him (and Ruthless) to the compartment--Victoire, along with Kingsley's son Story and Ruthless's brother (to her disgust the first of four younger brothers) Kirk. Honoria Higgs is trying to portray herself as a serious journalist in hopes of getting back onto the Charmer and wants an interview with Teddy about Greyback. She swears she's not going to gossip, but no one believes her. Corky sends her away, advising her to find another story to work on, and Ruthless proposes a game of Exploding Snap. (Does anyone else who mentions this game have to fight an impulse to type "Exploding Snape"? Just me, then?)

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

The rest of the ride went perfectly well. Frankie Apcarne finished his business with the prefects and came back to the compartment as the train entered the moors in York, and filled everyone in on the news from school. "It looks like they're back up to regular sized classes after the last two years," he said. "The Head Boy--Damien Firth, from Ravenclaw--was making it sound like the apocalypse, I don't know why. I think he's letting the power go to his head, though. He wants us to organize outside the train and practically be an army to get them into line." He grinned. "Mind, they might just have heard that Weasley's coming, and don't want to take any chances."

Victoire fished in her handbag for a prank, but ended up just showing the corner of a label before Frankie raised his hands in fake surrender.

"Who's Head Girl?" Zachary asked, with more interest than Teddy thought the question deserved.

"Christa Milne," Frankie said, puffing up. He looked at the first years. "Hufflepuff, naturally."

"My girlfriend," Zachary said. "Naturally." He smiled and leaned back. "It pays to go out with older women."

"Since when?" Bernice Fletcher demanded. "Why didn't we know this?"

"Since after Donzo's concert." Zachary tipped an invisible hat at Donzo. "She was quite impressed with my backstage pass."

Donzo snorted. "Watch out for groupies. She may not be entirely sincere."

"You know, that was the first thing I thought about when I saw her. The depth of her sincerity."

Ruthless, across a hand of Snap from Teddy, rolled her eyes hugely.

"Brilliant," Frankie said. "I'm sure you'll be happy having nothing to do with her all day." He pulled a trunk around to sit in front of the window. "So, Tinny--no new players?"

"Well, no one really wanted to start just now."

Story shrugged. "I'd like to learn, if I could. Just not today. Nerves. I'd forget it all."

"We should have a game on Saturday," Frankie told him. "We'll get you set up. We have people in all of the Houses who could help you put a character together." He looked at Kirk Scrimgeour.

Kirk said, "I wasn't planning to start at all. That's Ruth's business."

Ruthless folded her hands around her cards and said, "Thank you, God, and if you could arrange for him to be in Ravenclaw or Slytherin next, I'd be very appreciative." The cards didn't appreciate being bent, and exploded with a pop, leaving her fingers and face dusted with black powder.

"You don't want your brothers in your House?" Victoire asked.

"Do you want your sisters there?"

"Well... yes. I like my sisters. Besides, it'll be much easier to leave flobberworms in their shampoo if I don't have to go all the way across the school for it."

Kirk looked at her with admiration, then dawning fear. He folded his own hands and said, "Ravenclaw or Slytherin, Amen."

As the train passed Edinburgh, Christa Milne appeared at the door. She smiled sweetly at Zachary, and Teddy thought she looked perfectly sincere, which was good, as Zach was a decent sort of bloke, then told Frankie that he was expected with the prefects. Frankie left with the air of a martyr being taken to his death.

By the time they got to Hogsmeade Station, Teddy had all but forgotten that there was a mad werewolf on the loose. He was just looking forward to the Sorting Feast, and to settling into his room on the fifth floor of Gryffindor Tower. But when the train pulled in, they were all reminded of it. There was an adult posted at every exit from the train, at least half of them Aurors. Teddy could see Uncle Harry again, now near the engine, keeping watch on the surrounding hills. There was no question of waving.

"Firs' years!" Hagrid called cheerfully, weaving among the students and guardians. "Firs' years, over here."

Victoire turned, smiling broadly. "Wish me luck," she said.

"I'll see you in the Common Room," he said.

Story looked nervously around, and Teddy gave him a punch to the arm, rather enjoying being one of the older children again. "It's fine. I reckon your mum and dad will like anywhere you end up."

He smiled. "Thanks. I want Ravenclaw, though. We've always been Ravenclaws."

"Then think blue and bronze thoughts."

"I'll do that."

"Donzo!" Teddy called across the group. "Story wants your House, wish him luck."

"Good luck!" Donzo called.

Kirk gave Ruthless a challenging look.

"Oh, all right," she said. "Good luck. You know you'll end up in Gryffindor, anyway."

He smiled and followed the others down the slope to the boats.

Teddy led the way to the carriages, wondering if he'd be able to see the thestrals, since he'd seen Bludger die, but apparently, a cat didn't work for the magical rules. He climbed into a carriage with Ruthless, Tinny, Corky, Maurice, and Donzo; Zachary and Bernice caught the next one. They traveled up the bumpy road to the castle gates, guarded by their gargoyles, and wound around to the front doors. Quite a lot of boats seemed to be coming across the lake, but there was no time to count them. They all straightened one another's robes, and Ruthless jabbed a clip at her hair (to no effect that Teddy noticed), then chugged her Clear-Eye Concoction and took off her glasses. They split up to go to their own House tables. Aaron Howe, a second year Gryffindor who was on decent terms with Teddy, waved him over, and Ruthless followed. (The second year class had also been culled by Voldemort's war, and only had twenty-two students, most with birthdays in the latter part of the year. They'd formed a tight-knit group last year, mostly centered around the Ravenclaw cadre, which put the two small years in different social orbits, though they got on perfectly well when pressed.) The prefects reappeared looking stunned about something.

There was much shuffling around to leave the right amount of space a the end of the tables, as the Sorting Hat gave a memorial of smoke figures. Teddy tried to sit near the end of the Gryffindors, in hope of seeing a clearer view of Dad, Sirius Black, and James Potter, who--thanks to their map--he thought of as old friends who he could only see at school. He'd managed last year to be nearly on top of the spot where Sirius rose, and he waved, though the smoke figure didn't have any particular consciousness.

The doors opened, but instead of the first years, four Aurors fanned in, two to each side of the door. A small, hooded figure came next, and darted up to the high table to sit beside Hagrid, who'd appeared from his trip across the lake. Then Professor Longbottom appeared, back first, holding his hands up. "Form two lines!" he said, then turned around and led the way in. The first years entered.

And entered.

And entered.

They were in two even lines, and the first ones were well into the room before the last ones came through the door.

"There's got to be sixty of them!" Aaron whispered.

Teddy thought he might be underestimating, but he hadn't bothered to start counting the rows.

Victoire, toward the end, passed with a nervous smile and a subtle wave, then they were crowded around the Sorting Hat, impossible to count.

"Think the country was celebrating something?" Andrew Peakes--a seventh year prefect who'd led Teddy back to Gryffindor two years ago, when he'd first got his badge--said, grinning.

The Sorting Hat--invisible in the crowd, began to sing.

"Once in long gone ages past,
With Hogwarts newly built..."

Teddy tuned out. "Is this the normal size? Really?"

Andrew shook his head. "No. This, Teddy, is a baby boom. My mum was wondering if we'd get one. Turns out we did. I guess the Headmistress told Damien that there was quite a crowd, but she didn't say how big a crowd."

Teddy was still trying to comprehend the size of the group when the lights dimmed and the memorial to the war dead began. Dozens of candles went out over the Gryffindor table as the Hat sang about the sacrifices of the House. Smoke spun near Teddy, and he forgot the problem of the first years for a moment when he recognized Dad floating beside him, smiling serenely. He smiled back, and for a moment, he was sure they actually looked at one another. Then the figure drifted up toward the enchanted ceiling, and disappeared into the stars.

Professor Longbottom came forward with the list as soon as the last strains of the song died away. "Adams, Maeve."

A small girl with dishwater blond hair climbed onto the stool and took the hat, which took its time before announcing that she was a "SLYTHERIN!"

"Allen, Edward."

As Professor Longbottom worked his way down the list, Teddy looked up at the staff table, where the teachers seemed a bit dazed as well. Headmistress Sprout was conferring with Uncle Harry, who had slipped in through a door beyond the table--Teddy guessed the subject was Greyback--while Robards was talking softly to Hagrid and the small, hooded figure who'd come in with the Aurors. This seemed a casual catching up, exactly the sort of thing students were meant to refrain from during the solemnity of the Sorting.

"Moran, Wilhelmina."


"Nesbitt, Leon."


"Niven, Clara."


Uncle Harry finished his conversation with the Headmistress and went to sit with Hagrid and Robards. He smiled warmly at the new person. Professor Trelawney and Professor Firenze, who split the Divination classes, were arguing intensely about something. Professor Flitwick was talking to Professor Slughorn and Professor Campbell, the gangly young man who taught Muggle Studies and was the Head of House for Hufflepuff.

"Ryan, Abigail."


"Salinger, Peter."


"Scrimgeour, Kirk."

Teddy glanced at Ruthless, and was surprised to see her chewing her lip as her brother went forward and put the Hat on over his puff of unruly red hair. The crowd had thinned enough that Teddy could now see the Hat turning this way and that as he spoke. Teddy remembered the strange sense of moving flames that tickled through the cloth.


Ruthless stood up on the bench and gave a cheer, while Kirk pounded the air with his fist. Professor Longbottom gave them a long-suffering sigh. Kirk came to the table; Ruthless hugged him, then punched his arm and said, "Stay out of my business."

"Selig, Isadora."


"Senders, Charles."


"Shacklebolt, Alastor."

There was a great deal of whispering as tiny Story Shacklebolt took his place on the stool and put the Hat on. A moment later, he smiled broadly as it indeed declared him a "RAVENCLAW!"

Teddy had to lean out now to see around the new people at the Gryffindor table and get a glimpse of Victoire Weasley, who was standing nervously between two boys who were looking at her with great admiration. As he watched, she reached out and straightened a bow tie that one of them was wearing, which peeked up above his robes. The boy seemed grateful, which couldn't be said for a girl whose hair ribbon Victoire attempted to right.

"Timmons, Ellen."

The girl with the crooked ribbon went up and was named a "HUFFLEPUFF!"

"Valance, Russell."


"Washington, William."


"Weasley, Victoire."

Professor Longbottom smiled fondly at Victoire as he handed her the Hat, and she sat down on the stool. She glanced around the room, chewing nervously at her cheek. She caught Donzo's eye, and he gave her a thumbs-up, then she looked at Teddy. Teddy gave her an encouraging nod. She put the Hat on.

It didn't pause before calling out "GRYFFINDOR!"

She smiled brightly. Ruthless winced, but, on a warning glance from Teddy, arranged her face into a smile.

Victoire bounded over and sat down beside him as the Sorting finished up.

As soon as the last first year--"Zuckerman, Dwight"--was placed in "SLYTHERIN!", Headmistress Sprout stood up and raised her arms.

"Welcome to Hogwarts," she said. "I'm glad to see so very many new faces, though it will take time to get to know you all!" There was fond laughter from the other teachers. "I have some very serious announcements to make, the sort of announcements I hoped we would not hear again at Hogwarts. As I'm sure you are all aware, the werewolf Fenrir Greyback escaped from Azkaban. He has a particular fondness for children, and is likely to have an interest in Hogwarts. For that reason, throughout the year, until Greyback is recaptured, the school will be guarded by Aurors. You are not to interfere with them, however curious you may be, and you are to obey them immediately if they give you instructions. Mr. Potter, would you care to comment?"

Uncle Harry came forward. "We'll patrol the corridors in official uniform, so you know that we belong here. We will also carry identification, and if you have any doubt that it's an Auror you're speaking to, ask to see it. The badge can't be duplicated. If you see adults here who don't belong here, find an Auror immediately." He stepped back.

"In addition," the Headmistress went on, "during Hogsmeade weekends, no one is to move about alone. Stay in groups of three or more. And, due to circumstances over the summer"--she gave Teddy a tragic look--"all pets, owls excepted, of course, are to remain inside the castle. This is for their safety."

This was met with silence.

The Headmistress took a deep breath. "That ends the security announcements. I would also like to introduce a new member of our staff, the Assistant Groundskeeper. She will be helping Professor Hagrid with his duties, so he can spend more time with his classes. You are expected to treat her with the respect due an adult at all times." She raised her hand, and the hooded figure came forward. Now that she was standing, Teddy could see that she was a woman. Long brown hair appeared at the base of the hood. "It's all right," Headmistress Sprout said to her. "They need to see you so they know you belong here."

Pale hands pushed the hood down, and there was a gasp throughout the hall when the mangled scars and mismatched eyes caught the candlelight.

It was Vivian Waters.
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darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: October 8th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Really good job with the start of term, Fern. A lot happens here with the excitement of the big year to the tension of Greyback's escape and the dramatic reveal at the end. I enjoyed how that was done.

I thought Harry might have been tempted to go on forever about his instructions, to think of every reckless thing he had done so the students could avoid that. Not that that would work much. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I think he and Ron probably started out listing everything that students were likely to do, then said, "Hmm, let's not give them ideas, and just give them sensible rules they can understand instead, eh?"
From: melissa_renee Date: October 8th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Nice chapter

You have a good point about the post-war baby boom. Hopefully the school dorms are able to adjust themselves as far as the necessary size so that the new first years aren't crushed in like sardines.

I feel so sorry for Vivian, who I've always imagined would have been quite pretty if it wasn't for Greyback. I can sympathize with why she wouldn't want to be the center of attention like that, however I do hope that her presence will help show the kids that not all werewolves are evil, though I suppose most of them won't know that she is a werewolf, at least not yet.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Nice chapter

I'd guess Hogwarts is magical enough to adjust its size. If it works out to, say, seventeen in each house (68 students), then it would only be about three per dorm more than there were in Harry's dorm, which didn't seem horribly overcrowded. (Of course, that's presuming equal House and gender distribution.)
Re: Nice chapter - (Anonymous) - Expand
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 8th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice to see another installment up, after all, and I wouldn't worry too much over the outline. Sometimes the solution to a plotting problem comes out of the blue and close to the wire, as if it was waiting for just the right moment.

Moving on, I enjoyed the sort, even in its abbreviated form. Of course, it's now old hat--so to speak--for Teddy, though it's lovely that he tries to position himself to see the Marauders' images during the smoke memorial. I wonder if that sentimental streak in him comes from Dora or Remus. And I snickered over Ruthless's inevitable reaction to Victoire ending up in Gryffindor. At least they won't be in the same dorm!

Meanwhile, the presence of the Aurors, plus Vivian, plus the lurking threat of Greyback, promises to make this an eventful year. And I admire the way this story parallels PoA in so many ways, though it has the potential to be much more frightening.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
The parallels are deliberate, though I hope to twist or warp them a little bit, so that Teddy makes different decisions than Harry does, and the story comes out a little different.

Teddy's sentimental streak may just be purely Teddy. I'm also not sure it's entirely sentimental at this point--he's sort of made friends with the Map-era Marauders, aside from his family connection, and I think he just looks forward to seeing them the same way he looks forward to seeing Corky or Tinny.
From: kobegrace Date: October 8th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
More Vivian - Yay! And surely lots more of her to come - double yay!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know about "lots," but a reasonable amount. :)
redlily From: redlily Date: October 8th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Do we know Story's mum? Or is she the wrong generation for us to be familiar with?

Is this the year that Teddy and Ruthless will "experiment" on each other? That's going to be mighty interesting with Victoire around . . . .

Well done as usual!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
No, we don't know her. In the last post, I answered in a comment that she works in International Cooperation, and is currently off in Nepal. I'll try and have Story mention it, though it doesn't really matter in terms of the plot.

I had Teddy and Ruthless "experiment" next year, though I may change that, since I'm not planning to write Teddy's fourth year, and it would fit here actually, with some other stuff that goes on.
plaid_slytherin From: plaid_slytherin Date: October 8th, 2007 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, Vivian, that's neat! :D

And I write Exploding "Snape" all the time -- in fact, I often have people "snape" instead of "snap" (i.e. snap irritably). Goes double if Severus is the one snapping, which he tends to do a lot. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, well, "to snape" really ought to be a dialogue verb. "Ah, Mr. Potter," he snaped when Harry came in... ;p
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: October 8th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh Greyback aside, this year is going to be awesome!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
:fingers crossed:

Hope so!
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: October 8th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
The way Ruthless treats her brother--being both proud that he's in Gryffindor, while emphatically wanting him to stay away--is quite amusing. And I'm quite jealous of her Clear-Eye Concoction; it would be much better than either the contacts or glasses that I'm forced to wear.

I loved Victoire attempting to straighten up the attire of those around her. It will be interesting to see if her roommates like her or not. I'm glad to see that Vivian is getting her dream of being at Hogwarts! She'll make a good assistant to Hagrid.

A few typos I noticed:
"The Professor Longbottom appeared" is probably intended to be "Then Professor Longbottom appeared".

"This was meant with silence." should be "met with silence."

Looking forward to the next part (as always)! :~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoops, yes, those wouldn't be caught by spell-check, either!

The Clear Eye Concoction is a fond dream of mine as well, though the fact that she has to take it hourly and it tastes horrible mitigate against it.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: October 8th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
This brings fond memories of reading PoA for the first time. The parallels just make me all warm and fuzzy. :)

Ah, the inevitable Baby Boom. But it's good to see the wizarding population going up.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
But it's good to see the wizarding population going up.

It needs to--it lost a pretty hefty chunk of itself!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 8th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Boo and also yah. I love that Victoire's fussiness & appearance fixing is matched by her pranking. It'll make her 1st year easier, i think.

So happy to see Vivian here- wasn't expecting her to be the assistant, but yay!

"Pets to remkain inside"-- BLUDGER!! WAAAAH!

Ahem. I'm on the laptop, typing badly, so just-- fantastic. Yay.

--obsfuscation, not signed in
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Victoire's definitely a genuine fussbudget, but she has too much Weasley in her to let that define her.
From: tunxeh Date: October 8th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay for the prospect of seeing plenty more of Vivian! (I know you told us earlier we would, but now we know at least part of why.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm glad that Vivian's presence is welcome!
shiiki From: shiiki Date: October 8th, 2007 06:57 am (UTC) (Link)
There's a real 'Prisoner of Azkaban' feel to this chapter, with the announcements about Greyback and all. I love the parallel! And an addition to the staff with past connections to Greyback. Perfect!

And I love that you've taken into account the likelihood of population growth with each year. Lots of post-war celebrations indeed! I grinned when that wsa first alluded to in Marauder's Roost, and watching the first-years come in ... and in ... and in ... just set me off again. Hee!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Meanwhile, the third years are going, "What on Earth... I don't get it... but they'll take over!"
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 8th, 2007 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
oh i love the revealing at the end. will the school know shes a werewolf.
i guess vicky is purely gryffindor
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
It would be an especially bad year to push for werewolf rights, in the Greyback-inspired climate, so she's not revealing it. Though brighter students are likely to pick it up.
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: October 8th, 2007 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)


will the school know shes a wolfy
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: got

Not generally.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: October 8th, 2007 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Yet another happy reaction to the baby boom! Affirming life after so much death.

A couple of little things:

"filled everyone in the news from school" feels as if it's missing a preposition.

"space a the end of the tables" 'a" should be 'at'.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'll catch those.

Affirming life after so much death.

Unfortunately, all the extra babies in the world don't make up for the lines that got pinched off.
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