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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 6: The Most Haunted Dwelling, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 6: The Most Haunted Dwelling, pt. 1
Teddy's thinking about the Shrieking Shack and retrieved a memory of his parents there (a couple of days before they re-destroyed it so Gringotts goblins wouldn't get it). The next day, the school hears that it's "haunted" again--Vivian has been there--and the students are buzzing with conversation about Greyback after an attack on Malfoy Manor (the family is away). Teddy himself is more thrilled that he's meeting Harry for his first Patronus lesson. Harry meets him in the entrance hall and leads him out to the Whomping Willow. He stops the branches, revealing the tunnel.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy went toward him and stopped beside the tunnel. Uncle Harry was blocking his way, smiling pleasantly. "Teddy, what am I waiting for?"

Teddy frowned. "No idea."

"I'm an adult," Uncle Harry said slowly. "I'm about to lead you off of school grounds, and away from most of their protections. An adult is out there, ready to kill you or maul and kidnap you. There is no reason at all to assume he has no access to Polyjuice Potion. What am I waiting for?"

"Oh, come on! You couldn't have got on the grounds if you didn't pass security."

"I'm glad you put such faith in my security systems, but less than impressed."

"Well, you wouldn't be stopping me for a quiz if you were trying to sneak me away."

"I wouldn't be stopping you for a quiz if you'd been careful in the first place."

Teddy rolled his eyes. "Fine. What language did Sirius write his security spells in, and what were they on?"

Uncle Harry grinned. "Now that's a good security question--no way for someone else to have picked it up."

"So, what's the answer?"

"French, and the Marauder's Map."

"Well, I guess that means you're either Uncle Harry or Victoire, then. You didn't turn Ruthless Scrimgeour into a rabbit in the Great Hall, did you?"

"Er, no. That doesn't sound wise." He dropped down into the tunnel and started in; Teddy followed. "Victoire picked an interesting fight."

"I wish they'd get along with one another. It's very annoying."

"Mm," Uncle Harry said.

The tunnel narrowed and Uncle Harry was forced to crawl. Teddy was able to continue along, bent at the waist. He imagined making the crawl with the Marauders, James making crude jokes, high-spirited Sirius transforming into a dog to run ahead, Peter huffing and puffing at the back. Dad would already be ahead of course, waiting in the Shrieking Shack.

Teddy frowned. "Uncle Harry?"


"Why isn't the house still boobytrapped? I thought the goblins had had it set up to tell them the second anyone showed up there since they foreclosed on Dad. That's what Granny said, anyway, and Professor Longbottom told me the same thing first year, so I wouldn't try to sneak out."

"I paid off the debt," Uncle Harry said. "Vivian needed somewhere to transform."

"Oh," Teddy said.

Uncle Harry came to a wider place at the end of the tunnel and paused, his hand on the ceiling, where Teddy could see a wooden trapdoor. He looked troubled. "Teddy, there's a reason I didn't pay it off before. It's... I know you think of it as your dad's place, but it's... Voldemort holed up here during the battle. He tortured people here. He murdered Snape in the room we're about to climb up into. I know you've wanted it back. But it's not... I didn't think..." He sighed. "A lot of bad things have happened here, Teddy."

Teddy straightened up and squeezed in beside him. "So why bring me here now?"

"Vivian and Neville--I mean, Professor Longbottom--reminded me that you have other associations with it. I decided that how you relate to this house ought to be your business, not mine." He unlatched the trapdoor. "And by the way, I bought it with gold from the Black vault, which I plan to give to you when you come of age--your granny wouldn't take the key, but I promised it to you when you were a baby, and mean to follow through, so don't argue--so as far as I'm concerned, you may consider it yours." He opened the door and pulled himself up, and a moment later, Teddy followed him inside.

He found himself in a ruined, dirty room, with scattered bits of broken furniture. He remembered--through Dad's ring--pacing through this room, waiting nervously for the sound of his friends coming up the tunnel. The light that burst through between the boards on the windows had the same peculiar quality of gold particles that it had in the memories--early evening, waiting for sunset. Teddy smiled and took a few steps in. His eyes were caught by something dark on the floor, an irregular, blackish brown shape. A long-dried bloodstain. Uncle Harry studiously avoided looking at it.

Teddy tried to figure out if it would be less disrespectful to pull the floorboards out and replace them, to cover it with a rug, or to just really work on cleaning spells. It did seem to suck everything else into itself.

But still, it was small. One way or another, it was just one small scar, no more important than Uncle Harry's now that the malevolent force behind it was gone. After all, more people had lain dead in the Great Hall--including Teddy's parents--and he ate there every day, and joked with his friends, maybe even while he was standing on the stones where they'd been.

Then again, he tried not to think about that.

He skirted the stain and moved toward the entrance hall. "May I look around a bit before we start?" he asked.

Uncle Harry nodded. "I'll wait in the kitchen."

Teddy stepped gingerly out of the ruined parlor, not looking at the blood stain again. The entrance hall was just beyond it. A broken chair was in the doorway. Stairs led up to the next floor. The wallpaper was shredded and the bars on the banister were splintered. A thick layer of dust lay over everything, though it had recently been disturbed--large paw prints looped back and forth, a pacing track, then a spot had been hollowed out under the coat pegs. He guessed that Vivian had slept there last night. It was an abandoned, hated place, but in his mind's eye, he could see it as it should have been, as it would have been if.

There would be a frayed but bright runner carpet on the floor, with scattered stains from sloshing potions and juice cups (Mum had never been good at householdy spells). The slanting wall beside the stairs, leading to the cupboard where they kept their winter cloaks, would be covered with photographs and Dad's drawings. There was Teddy, small and missing teeth, showing off his books, then he was with his brothers and sisters, all mugging for the camera at King's Cross. There was Mum, a picture from her promotion, when she first took on a student (Teddy mentally gave her Uncle Harry himself), and Dad sitting at the high table at Hogwarts, where Robards sat now, talking to Hagrid and Professor Longbottom and Vivian. There was a drawing of the Marauders, with their animal forms made from clouds above them, and another of Mum holding a baby while Teddy himself looked up with large eyes. He could see it so clearly it felt like he could touch it, and he reached out to do so.

It faded, leaving the dirty, torn wallpaper. Teddy touched the wall anyway, felt its reality. He felt someone looking, and turned to see Uncle Harry standing in the kitchen door, watching him curiously.

He went on, leaving Uncle Harry behind, moving up the stairs. At the top of the staircase was a door that led into a very small bedroom. Dad's desk--the one Mum had taken apart to make into Teddy's own crib--had once been in here. They'd have needed to get a new one. And bookshelves, lining the walls. Curtains for the window, which would look out over the back garden, where they'd planted rosebushes. Teddy was curious as to whether the one they'd actually planted was still there, but when he peeked out the window (one of the few unboarded ones), the garden was an overgrown mass of weeds, and if the rosebush was growing among them, he couldn't tell. He went on to the first of the three bedrooms that lined the upstairs corridor. Mum and Dad's had been the one in the middle. He opened the door. There was a large bed here, with dusty curtains. He looked at it and wondered if he'd started there, then wrinkled his nose and looked away, not wanting to contemplate that particular notion. An end table had been overturned in their haste to leave, and under it, he saw the corner of a book. He picked it up and brushed cobwebs from it. The cover showed a witch on board a ship, her robes pulled up to reveal a great length of her thigh, to which she had bound a hidden wand. She had a cloud of long, unruly red hair like Ruthless's, which fluttered in the sea breeze, a bit of it curling around her bosom. The title was To the End of the Earth, and under it, it said, The third part of the Trials of Tirza. The fourth part had been scheduled to come out the next year, to be written by Fifi LaFolle. It looked like the rest of the Fifi LaFolle books in Mum's collection. Teddy pocketed it.

He moved on to the room at the end of the corridor. The floorboards here were warped badly; this had been the room Mum had been working on in the memory the ring had given him last night. The room that would have been his.

He went to the window and looked between the boards. He could see Hogsmeade's high street. A musician was playing at the Three Broomsticks. The ghost of Madam Rosmerta was drifting along, looking pleased. She glanced up directly at Teddy and waved. He waved back, then looked at the room, imagining it covered with his Muggles and Minions posters. There was a wardrobe in the corner, hanging half open. He reached out to open it all the way, to think about hanging his robes in it, maybe a cheerful pile of dirty ones hidden at the bottom because someone was coming over soon and there was no time to really clean.

But as soon as it swung open, he jumped back with a scream as something inside it began to snarl.
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From: ethnotechno Date: October 12th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooooh, what a cliffhanger!
From: ethnotechno Date: October 12th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh wait, I think I get it. A wardrobe! :)
From: margotllama Date: October 12th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, no! Keep going, please!

The part where Teddy was thinking about the photographs really got to me. The one where his siblings were all mugging for the camera at King's Cross...

And Fifi LaFolle! Back again!

This is the first time I've reviewed, but you're just terribly fantastic.

On the melon/salt thing, I always thought it was a weird jewish grandparent sort of this to pass down. My mother does it, but her mother did it, and everyone does it on Rosh Hoshana in my family...so, if that helps...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Fifi LaFolle, like a cockroach, will survive a nuclear blast, I think.

I like writing Teddy's active imagination.

Glad to "meet" you!
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: October 12th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Uncle Harry was forced to craw
Just missing the L in there. :)

Nice details about Remus and Dora, and what their life might've been like.

And damn! Snarly creature! Well, Fenrir can't exactly hide in a wardrobe: he's too big for that. But we is most curious about the snarly one, precious, yes we is! ;D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Grabbed the "l." Dang missing-letter words that still make real words!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 12th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, nice cliff hanger.

And also, a big "Awww" for all of the memories that Teddy never had. I love Harry's comment on the Ruthless/Victoire fight.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Harry's comment on the Ruthless/Victoire fight.
"Mm"? :p Well, not much further to say, I guess!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: October 12th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn you with your cliffhanger! ;)

Seriously, Fern, really good post. Very cool getting into the Shrieking Shack again and seeing Teddy's reaction to it. Harry's reaction to the Shack is interesting as well.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, now that the Shack's actually haunted (though not in a ghostly way), it seemed like a good time to go back...
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: October 12th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: October 12th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwww... those memories....

I love your story.

Can't wait to see the Victoire/Ruthless drama going on!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I'm enjoying the story myself. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 12th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
This is good, sad and happy at the same time (somehow reminds me of a Harry Potter dream I had once where Harry gets pulled into an alternate world where Voldemort killed him as a baby but his parents lived. He's trying to find a way to set history "right" [the Voldemort regime isn't as bad in this world as it was in book 7, but it's bad enough] even while he's becoming acquainted with his parents [who don't know who he is] and with the two younger brothers who were born after him [I woke up before the plot was resolved, so don't ask me what he did in the end]). The whole sadness of might have beens.

And I'm guessing that isn't Mr. Tumnus in the wardrobe. Boggart? Although Harry would have no reason to use a boggart in Teddy's lessons (unless Teddy _also_ has a fear of dementors?). I have a feeling I should be able to figure this one out but I'm lost as to which fantastic beast this could be or why it would be there.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry's not necessarily using what's there. The house has been abandoned for a while!
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: October 12th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's what-ifs hurt - I think I actually whimpered at one point.

And I continue to love Teddy's cluelessness where the women in his life are concerned.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC) (Link)
What-iffing is always a bad idea. You don't really need the Mirror of Erised. But who can help it?
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 12th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor Teddy! Haunted not only by the past but by the ghosts of what might have been with his parents and hypothetical siblings. I'm glad that Harry's giving him the chance to come to his own terms with the Shrieking Shack.

Is that a boggart in the wardrobe or is someone just glad to see him?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad that Harry's giving him the chance to come to his own terms with the Shrieking Shack.

I think Harry realizes that Teddy has to deal with the ghosts on his own. The grown-ups can't do it for him. Even the ghosts can't do it for him.
From: kobegrace Date: October 12th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh. Imetay for a bit of oggartbay, it seems. Wonderful stuff, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Imetay for a bit of oggartbay
Aybemay osay, kobegrace, aybemay osay.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: October 12th, 2007 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Those what ifs it's just --- sad.

To know what could've been but to know it could never happen really pulls on the heartstrings.

It reminds me of when I read Lily's letter in DH, it really brought out what life Harry could've had. You just try not to think about it too much.

It brings the whole It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live into prospective.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved that letter, and I hate Snape with the strength of a thousand suns for stealing part of it and ripping the picture. That wasn't his.
cleindori From: cleindori Date: October 12th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, Teddy's imaginings actually made me teary. Wah! :(

But chuckles for Teddy's cluelessness with regard to Ruthless and Victoire, and how grownup!Harry appears to be a bit more with-it when it comes to the emotions of girls than teenage!Harry was!

Ooh -- I can has boggart tiem plz? ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Being more with it about girls than teen!Harry isn't a great accomplishment! :p (Though even Harry figured out the really obvious ones, like the Yule Brawl.)
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: October 12th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
in his mind's eye, he could see it as it should have been, as it would have been if.

Waaah =(

As usual, you've got me hooked up!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
:gleefully rubs hands together:
purebristles From: purebristles Date: October 12th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I am waiting with bated breath for the Teddy/Ruthless/Victoire love triangle to begin. And for Harry and Neville to be chuckling in the greenhouses. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I love love triangles that pretty much all the participants are clueless about. :P (That's the only kind I really like.) And yes, all of the grown-ups are going to laugh their asses off, I think, as soon as Harry goes home and mentions that Victoire turned Ruthless into a large bunny rabbit.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
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