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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 11: The Weird Sisters, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 11: The Weird Sisters, pt. 2
Christmas holidays are here and Teddy is taking up an invitation from his friend Donzo to go to Weird World, the Weird Sisters' amusement-packed, weather-controlled retreat in Sherwood Forest. He's there with Donzo, Maurice, Corky, Ruthless, Victoire, Frankie, Roger... and oops, I forgot to account for Tinny! Yipes, she has the worst luck, and has to go visit her aged relatives somewhere else, because I wanted Ruthless and Victoire to be the only Hogwarts girls around again. ;p All of their families are there (except Corky's), and people are staying together in guest rooms. Ruthless, being the only non-Weasley girl, is staying with Victoire and her sisters, though this is only because Victoire realizes that Teddy wants her invited. Artie Weasley is staying with Ruthless's brothers. They're all playing games together--generally family vs. family--and are quite content their first evening.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

The Burkes ended up teaming with the Apcarnes, but neither that team nor Teddy's team of assorted singletons ended up a factor in the beanbag war Frankie had finally worked up. In the end, Teddy's team joined the Weasleys and the Burkes and Apcarnes joined the Scrimgeours to meet in an all out apocalypse that ended in a confusing pile that Teddy was fairly sure he'd won, though Ruthless begged to differ. Kirk suggested that they kiss and make up. Ruthless threatened to knock his teeth out, but it was too late, as the younger brothers had heard and were keen to find out what Kirk was talking about. Ruthless went so red that she looked like she had her Quidditch hood on backward, and stalked off to the room she was sharing with the Weasley girls.

Teddy smiled at her brothers in a way that felt slightly mad.

They rejoined their families before bed, along with the rest of the Weird Sisters and the Pondhoppers, and Teddy spent an hour with Granny, listening to her stories of autumn at St. Mungo's, treating Neil Overby, and meeting with a man who was trying to talk her into writing another book. This seemed to have taken several meetings, although Granny said she had no intention of writing again; the history she'd written of the Black family had got it entirely out of her system.

"So why keep meeting?"

"Free lunches," Granny said. "Also, I'm quite bored. I should ask James to forward your stories to me."

Teddy shook his head. "Oh, no. I don't think anyone other than James would like them. But if you ask, I'll bet James would write to you."

The Pondhoppers decided to do an impromptu Christmas sing-along then, which was an experience in a room full of musicians trying to outdo each other. Donzo ended up belting out a "Gloria" in "Angels We Have Heard on High" that lasted for an uncomfortable amount of time on one breath, and everyone applauded. Teddy headed up to bed a few minutes later, leaving Granny talking to Ellsworth Wintringham, the father of the Sisters' lute player, about something having to do with music in their youth. Granny had a high opinion of Muggle musicians of the era, mainly because Granddad had loved them so. Wintringham also liked Muggle music, but was devoted to some different style, and they seemed to be having a pleasant, wine-fueled argument about it.

Ruthless made an appearance in the corridor of guest rooms, grabbing Teddy and pushing him off toward a staircase. She kissed him, then said, "Well, if I'm to take Weasley's sisters demanding to know if I'm your girlfriend, I'll at least have the kisses to show for it!" After it, she'd stalked off angrily. Teddy shook his head, reminded himself that Mum had been patient with even weirder behavior, then went off to sleep.

The atmosphere was a bit different in the morning, as Donzo had already gone off to his morning rehearsals when everyone else got up, leaving a note that they'd be doing boring sound checks until eleven, so he hoped everyone would find something entertaining to do. Teddy bounced around among his friends, talked with Granny, and finally went to the huge library to see what sorts of books he could get into. To his surprise, Kirley Duke was there sprawling in a large armchair, a book open on his lap. It seemed to be speaking quietly.

"Hello, Mr. Duke," Teddy said, wanting to announce his presence, but not disturb him.

He smiled at Teddy. "It's Kirley, please. Don's doing a bit with the Pondhoppers, and they're blocking it out, so I thought I'd have a break. It's one of my favorites." He gestured at the book, which Teddy was now close enough to recognize as a wizarding edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream, where the illustrations acted out the scenes if the reader wanted to see them. "You know, Shakespeare was a wizard. All historians agree on that. Well, wizarding historians anyway. Except your grandmother, who thinks it's poppycock."

Teddy laughed, a bit uncomfortably. He'd heard Granny expound on the subject before. She didn't just think it poppycock, she thought it absurd old-family nonsense meant to claim anything worthwhile for wizarding history, and since they'd never produced a playwright of any real note, they'd just appropriated Shakespeare. "Well," he said, "it's a good play isn't it?"

"One way or the other," Kirley said, and closed the book. "Were you looking for something in particular?"

Teddy shook his head. "No. Just thought I'd see if there was good book around."

"They're all good books."

Teddy nodded, uncertain of what to say. He glanced at the fireplace and asked, without having any particular goal in mind, "How did you make the back of the fireplace blue and bronze in the Floo network?"

"Ha!" Kirley put his book aside and leaned forward, eyes twinkling. "There's a little known fact--the great Catriona McCormack, star of the Pride of Portree, married a Floo repairman." He smiled fondly. "My sister Meghan always went to Mum's Quidditch practices, but it wasn't my cup of tea. I'd go to work with Dad. There's whole world back there. I love it. Dad used to sing at the top of his lungs. I think people could sometimes hear him through the grates."

"How do you stop? I always wanted to know that."

"You don't, entirely. You just go through without giving a destination. But you have to hold on, or you'll end up wandering out there."

"Where are they, really?"

Kirley raised his eyebrows. "Don said you're a Gryffindor. That's the sort of question I expect from Ravenclaws." He stood up. "Come on. I'll show you, if you'd like."

Teddy agreed to it immediately, and followed Kirley back to the hall where they'd all come in.

Kirley raised his wand at the fireplace and lit it, then grabbed a pouch of Floo powder and tucked it into the pocket of his robes. He took the main tin of it and grabbed a handful, then offered it to Teddy. "All right. I'll go ahead so I can catch you if you get into trouble, but what you need to do is toss in the powder, then go into the fire without giving a destination. When you get through, you'll start to feel the spin. There's a ledge on the far side of the grate. Grab onto it. If you miss it, I'll catch you."

Teddy nodded, and watched Kirley go in, then, when the flames normalized, threw in his own handful. He resisted the almost insurmountable urge to call out a destination, and stepped through.

He missed the ledge entirely, but Kirley caught his shoulder and swung him back, holding him still long enough to grab on. They were floating here, and there seemed to be a great, silent wind. Fires hung suspended around them, as far as the eye could see. It was like being a fly among the candles in the Great Hall. Teddy looked down into flame-spotted nothingness.

"Where are we?" he asked.

"I'm afraid you're going to get a Ravenclaw answer instead of a Gryffindor one. There isn't a plain sort of spot. We're in a place between places, which isn't a place at all."

"Could we go to any of the grates?"

"No. There's security on them. And for God's sake, don't try to go back through this one without more powder, you'll be cooked." He fished in his robes and brought out the pouch. "You can only work on the grate you've come through. I wanted to touch this one up a little. Probably foolish, but it seemed amusing."

Teddy nodded. Aside from the fact that he was suspended and weightless in the middle of a place that didn't exist, it seemed like any other magic lesson. "What if someone else came through this one? Would he knock us off?"

"It's possible. Dad always cut off the system when he worked on it."

"Can I turn around?"

"Be careful not to let go."

Cautiously, gripping the ledge tightly, Teddy turned toward the emptiness beyond the grate. He'd never much cared for flying, but this was different. He laughed.


"Oh, damn," Kirley said. "Sounds like I'm needed back at rehearsal. We'd best get back to the inside."

Teddy pressed his fingers tightly into the edge and turned back around. Kirley let him take a handful of powder from the pouch, and he called, "Weird World," then spilled out onto the floor. Kirley came behind him, bounding out with great energy and not falling into anything.

"Thanks," Teddy said.

"Never ask a Ravenclaw a question," Kirley said solemnly. "There's always a danger of it being answered." He tipped Teddy a salute and followed one of the other band members (Teddy thought it was Merton Graves, but he was hard to recognize in a t-shirt and blue jeans) off toward the rehearsal wing.

"Lupin! Where've you been?"

Teddy turned. Corky was coming in, toweling his hair. Through the window, Teddy could see that everyone had congregated at the pool while he was gone.

"I haven't been anywhere," Teddy said.

"Well, then come out and be somewhere. Your girlfriend is actually in a real swimsuit." He waggled his eyebrows. "So's Victoire's mom."

"She's pregnant."

"Trust me, you can't tell."

"And Ruthless is actually wearing a swimsuit."

"We think so. She's got herself wrapped up in towels and she's hiding behind a mermaid statue. But she did put in her official vote for the 'Teddy-has-spent-long-enough-on-his-own' question, which passed unanimously, so I'm here to drag you outside."

"Can I get my swim things?"

"Frankie already brought it down to the changing room. No excuses. March."

Teddy raised his hands in mock surrender, and allowed himself to frog-marched out into the sunshine.
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marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: October 30th, 2007 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww.. I feel for Ruthless.... I always wore a tshirt!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, her mother's there this time, possibly explaining why drunk men have wet T-shirt contests rather than swimsuit contests... and she's more embarrassed than she was before! She may never go in the water again. Who needs Jaws to scare you out when Puberty is around?
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 30th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting, although I'll put it under "Info that will no doubt be put to use later." The question is: By the bad guys or our guys?

Although all the potential dangers of being a flu repairman - or amateur making the attempt came to mind. What if you get stuck? Or forget to bring return flu powder? And what happens to people who get knocked aside by someone else?

However, these are probably not to be compared with the dangers likely when Ruthless is in a swimsuit and a bunch of hormonal boys have already decided Fleur in a swimsuit is worth looking at (granted, the entire male student body of Hogwarts survived that in Harry's fourth year [or the potential of being accused of deciding she was worth looking at]. Perhaps the adult Fleur seems more dangerous. Or maybe it's just that I rate her as more fearsome than Ruthless, ergo . . . this could get interesting).

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
What if you get stuck? Or forget to bring return flu powder? And what happens to people who get knocked aside by someone else?

I'd think things like that would probably be handled by the Floo repair guys.

But of course... no danger like the hormonal danger. All things pale before it. Even Voldemort would quake, except that he's in little messy pieces somewhere.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: October 30th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Wait, Fleur's been pregnant how many times and she not only isn't showing but looks ogleworthy in a swimsuit? That Veela blood is some powerful stuff :).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Veela blood, plus spells to get rid of stretch marks. And a lot of exercise, combined with breathtaking, if weirdly harmless, vanity. :)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 30th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course the wizarding world tried to appropriate Shakespeare--everyone does! ::grins::

Teddy's trip with Kirley was very intriguing, and I look forward to seeing how it becomes important later. You're too careful a writer to have just dropped it in to take up space.

I feel for Ruthless, braving the pool in a swimsuit. Fortunately, I suspect most of the boys will be too busy gawking at Fleur to pay much attention to her. And no doubt Victoire looks good in a swimsuit too!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Victoire hasn't quite hit puberty yet, so she's not filling out the old swimsuit. And probably, unlike Ruthless, pouting about not being shapely just yet.
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: October 30th, 2007 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmmmm. All this information about getting into the back of a fireplace...might this go under the category of "gun hanging on the wall that must go off by the third act of the play"?

In other words, I'm so hoping for a scene where the back of the fireplace is a desperate hiding place from Greyback, or the sight of some kind of foolhardy bushwhack on Teddy's part. The mind boggles. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I've wanted to peek behind the Floo since Teddy first expressed interest, and then Donzo said his father had done something with the back of the fireplace, so I just wanted to drop in and see it.

You're buying that, right? ;p
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: October 30th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the way Ruthless's brothers found out about Teddy (and both Ruthless's and Teddy's subsequent reactions), though I now find myself wondering what Ruthless's parents reactions to the two of them might be, especially Ruthless's dad's reaction.

The Floo lesson was a lot of fun--it's great to see Teddy continuing to ask the difficult questions, and Kirley seems like a pretty cool guy. I really like the concept of the Weird Sisters as a bunch of Ravenclaws. And I loved this part: "Never ask a Ravenclaw a question," Kirley said solemnly. "There's always a danger of it being answered."

Now, the important question is...will Teddy be able to coax Ruthless out from behind the mermaid statue? ;~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
will Teddy be able to coax Ruthless out from behind the mermaid statue?

Hee, we'll see. :)
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: October 30th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC) (Link)

no curves =[

oh poor dear. I know how Ruthless feels. I'm the same age as her but I have literally no curves. Bah humbug
amamama From: amamama Date: October 30th, 2007 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: no curves =[

Don't you worry, you'll get those curves soon enough. And did you know, it's physiologically healthy to not develop too fast? I remember stumbling across that tidbit and cheering, as I was slow to develop too. Now, though, I have more curves than I care for.
amamama From: amamama Date: October 30th, 2007 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool, now Teddy knows how to get through the floo to the back - and out into the void. Neat. Will it come up useful later?

And Ruthless in a swimsuit - mmhmmm, I bet he'll love that, huh? As well as Fleur. *grins* If you want to compare yourself with perfection, that's a good thing, but how will she fare, in her own mind? I guess she's not doing to well, since she's still hiding in the towels, behind a statue.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think it's her specific attributes that are bothering her so much as the fact that she can't, under any circumstances, be mistaken for just one of the boys. They might start treating her like some kind of girl or something!
From: kobegrace Date: October 30th, 2007 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
We're in a place between places, which isn't a place at all.

Wow, Fern... that's just psychedelically trippy -- er, really cool.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fantasy is so much cheaper than psychodelic drugs, and gets you to the same place...
timesink From: timesink Date: October 30th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
"So why keep meeting?" "Free lunches," Granny said.

Granny is a true writer. {g}
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nothing like ye olde editorial lunch.
keestone From: keestone Date: October 30th, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't care whether the back of the floo is a gun on the mantelpiece or not, I absolutely love the idea.

"Never ask a Ravenclaw a question," Kirley said solemnly. "There's always a danger of it being answered."

Indeed. :D And Kirley Duke is right. . . Teddy acts extremely Ravenclawish sometimes.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... I wanted to look behind the floo myself. Let's say, if it's a gun on the mantelpiece, it's more one I looked at and said, "Hmm, when could I work in a time to fire that?"
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: October 30th, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, that was awesome. I LOVE the peeks into how the wizarding world works, even if it is something that will go all Plot-Related later! Very cool. For some reason I imagine Weird World (especially this library) as the cleaned-up castle from Beauty and the Beast. Heh.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Our imaginations of the library match quite neatly. ;p
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: October 30th, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want that copy of A Midsummer Night's Dream!

I love the back of the Floo Network. Kirley is fun to talk to. I also love the way Teddy's curiousity about things is leading so inevitably to his later work at the DoM. Really, really cool and very natural. I always kind of wished Harry wondered about how things worked a bit more in the books, but that's me, not him. :)

Poor Ruthless! I really feel for her. Puberty can totally suck.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks--I wanted to work up to the job I picked for him naturally. (Now, I just hope it's not announced that he becomes a teacher of Aurors.)
From: smishli Date: October 30th, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved the floo visit, and I imagine it's not the last we'll see of it...

Teddy shook his head, reminded himself that Mum had been patient with even weirder behavior, then went off to sleep. made me grin. I love that Teddy has both his mum's loyalty and his father's utter cluelessness!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Being cluelessly loyal could get him into trouble, but that's why he's surrounded by other people who keep his head screwed on straight!
sharonaf From: sharonaf Date: October 30th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
"So why keep meeting?"

"Free lunches," Granny said. "Also, I'm quite bored."

Love it! Sounds like something Terry Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax might say.
It also sounds like something Granny Weatherwax might say to cover for the fact that she rather likes the attention, one way or another... ;-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 30th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I may have to read Pratchett. :)
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