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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 15: Dark Holiday, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 15: Dark Holiday, pt. 3
Okay. Teddy has invited McGonagall up to learn more about Astrid Greyback, on the notion that Greyback may also have scrounged and hoarded parental information and souvenirs, and that might give a clue as to his present whereabouts. McGonagall has showed him an early meeting with Astrid, the first time Fenrir attacked a fellow student, and Astrid gave the story of his conception (not very nice, though she tries to paint it over). Teddy wants to know if McGonagall ever saw the house, and the only time she saw it was after Greyback killed Astrid. She warns Teddy that it was "messy" and she doesn't want to show him. He says he won't look, but needs to see the house. Oh, and Alphard Black went to the scene with her.

Thanks to cornedbee for the suggestion of a translation for "For the Greater Good."

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

The world that rushed up around Teddy was dismal--a run-down shack in the middle of nowhere, hidden from the world. The front garden was overgrown, but now dead. Scrawny pine trees, looking like the drawings of a clumsy child, poked listlessly against a gray sky.

The younger Professor McGonagall, who had just Apparated, paused with her hands on her hips, and a second later, a pop announced the arrival of a young man with wavy brown hair like Granny's (and Teddy's own, for that matter). It had to have come down from the Crabbe side of the family, but it was the only sign. His sharp-featured face and flashing gray eyes would have given him away as one Black or another, even if Professor McGonagall hadn't already told Teddy that he was the famous Uncle Alphard, who would eventually be burned off the tree for helping the as-yet-unborn Sirius make his escape.

The older Professor McGonagall looked anxiously at Teddy. "You'll keep your word, Mr. Lupin? And not look?"

"I'll try."

She nodded grimly. "And Teddy, anything else you may see or surmise, though not nearly as serious--might I ask you to keep it to yourself?"

"Yes, Ma'am."

While they'd talked, the younger McGonagall and Alphard had rushed up to the cottage, calling for Astrid. McGonagall stopped and pounded on the door. "Madam Greyback! Madam Greyback, it's Minerva McGonagall, I mean you no harm, nor do I mean harm to Fenrir."

"You're speaking for yourself alone, there, Pallas," Alphard said. He put his hand lightly on her shoulder, and pulled her back from the door. "We're coming in," he said.

He didn't wait for any answer. He just raised his wand and blasted the door into tinder.

He froze. "Oh, God."

McGonagall closed her eyes. "We're too late."

"We should find her," Alphard whispered. "Maybe we can still save her."

He didn't sound hopeful, and when Teddy got close enough to the door, he could see why. The kitchen they were facing looked like a firework had gone off in a bucket of red paint. The cupboard doors were spattered, the table covered with a bright splash. A thick scarlet rope snaked down the front of the refrigerator. Bloody footsteps--bare feet, but larger than Astrid's--led off toward a door on one side, a door that was slightly ajar. Through it, Teddy could see a bed, and one bare leg dangling off of it.

"We'll remain out here," the older Professor McGonagall said. "Turn your back."

Teddy did as he was told. She looked pale and shaken. Behind him, he could hear Alphard and the younger McGoangall--Pallas, he supposed--going through the murder scene. Alphard said, "My God, Pallas, don't you see it's pointless? She can't be alive!"

A moment later, she burst out of the room, covered in Astrid's blood. She leaned over the sink and vomited into it. Alphard followed. He put his hands on her shoulders and she turned to him. He hugged her. "I'll send for Aurors," he said, pulling away.

Pallas shook her head. "No, I..." She gathered herself. "I'll send a message. Alastor Moody worked with us in the war, getting people out of Europe. Dumbledore discovered a quicker way to communicate." She raised her wand and Conjured a Patronus, then said, "Astrid Greyback is dead. Fenrir missing. Come immediately." The Patronus--a cat, Teddy saw, which looked like her Animagus form--jumped at her and then disappeared.

"Nice trick," Alphard said dryly. "Possibly useful enough to share with the world at large now that there's no more need for secrecy."

"Please don't," Pallas said.

Alphard shrugged.

"Is the Patronus form always the same as the Animagus form?" Teddy asked, thinking of his hawk.

"Generally," Professor McGonagall told him. "There are exceptions."

"And if a person were to become a bird--a hawk, say--he could fly?"

She smiled, but didn't answer.

Pallas and Alphard began to talk listlessly about the war with Grindelwald, and within a minute, Alastor Moody arrived. He was their age, and, though it was years before he would obtain his magical eye, Teddy could already see why they called him "Mad-Eye." He had a wild, half-crazy look about him, and Teddy felt almost as though he could see the two interlopers from the future perfectly well. Moody told Pallas and Alphard to stay out of the crime scene, and they obliged by moving into a room on the opposite side of the kitchen, a dusty, cluttered room that had to be Fenrir Greyback's bedroom. Teddy had been thinking of trying to search the bloody kitchen, but if Greyback had mementos, they would probably be there, in his private space. He and the older Professor McGonagall followed Alphard and Pallas. Pallas took a seat at a work table; Alphard paced restlessly around.

Teddy began at the bedside table, where a dusty and nearly unused candle stood. Apparently Fenrir hadn't spent a lot of time reading after dark by its flickering light.

"Is there something I can help you look for?" Professor McGonagall asked.

"I don't know," Teddy said, feeling foolish now, no longer convinced that he'd find anything. It had been a mad idea from the start. Why would he have anything? His father hadn't even known he existed, and he knew his mother. He wouldn't have the hole Teddy had, he wouldn't need to squirrel things away, and why would he want to, his father hadn't been a good man, his father had been--

He stopped.

He'd been moving aimlessly away from the bed, looking for a box of treasures or a lever that hid something. He didn't know what he'd intended to do with it, as he couldn't very well touch anything here, but he'd still been looking, ignoring Pallas and Alphard's desultory conversation about their school days and the Grindelwald war. But as he came around, he noticed that both Professor McGonagall and Pallas were looking with identical expressions of distaste at the most obvious thing in the room. Occupying nearly the same spot on Fenrir's wall that Teddy's poster of the sexy chemist occupied on his own was a poster of the ugliest building Teddy had ever seen, a black monstrosity of a tower jutting up among rugged mountains covered with scraggly trees. The photographer had taken the picture from underneath a gate over the road that led up to the building, and over the gate, he could see the words "Zum Wohl der Menschheit." Teddy spoke no German at all, but the poster had obviously been made for English speakers. He wasn't sure if it was meant to threaten or convince, but he knew the motto that had been written in now fading letters at the bottom: "FOR THE GREATER GOOD."

"Is that Nurmengard?" he whispered to Professor McGonagall.

She nodded. "When Grindelwald was coming to power, he had allies here. He wanted everyone to agree. He put out what he thought of as attractive posters. There weren't many who found that attractive, I'm glad to say." She considered it. "Though I suppose we were punished for our hubris about that a few years later by our enthusiasm for something even uglier." She turned to him. "Why?"

Teddy didn't answer, because he wasn't sure of the words for it. Greyback would have grown up hearing about Astrid's "holiday" near Nurmengard. About his father the werewolf, and the cottage in the woods. About her wandering for days before she found anyone.

"That's where they are," he said. "I mean, I think... I think it might be."

"Nurmengard is held by legitimate authorities now," Professor McGonagall said doubtfully.

"I know, but... the woods." Teddy looked at the poster again. There were miles and miles of woods around the prison. He couldn't know they were there, and even if he did, he couldn't know where they were in that tangle.

Except that he knew there was a cottage.

Days from the nearest home.

And he knew they were there.

Professor McGonagall seemed to notice that he had found something, and said, "Shall we leave here?"

"If you're ready," he said. "I don't want to rush you."

"They're my memories, Mr. Lupin; I can visit them whenever I so choose." She smiled at Pallas and Alphard. "And I choose to rather more often than I once did."

She put her hand on his shoulder, and a moment later, they were thrown out into the greenhouse. Teddy took a deep breath. "Thank you," he said. "I should talk to Uncle Harry now."

"Teddy... I'm sorry that you had to see something as horrible as what was in that house in order to find it."

"I didn't really look," Teddy said. He started to say that he was going to go to the gate to talk to whatever Auror was on security today, but then he remembered that she was his guest. It would be rude to just walk away from her. In fact, he wasn't sure how to end the tea. Had she invited him, he'd just make his proper excuses and leave, but it couldn't be polite to just tell a guest--an older guest--that it was time to go away now. He was burning to talk to Uncle Harry, but instead, he sat down and raised Professor Longbottom's teapot. "Would you care for another cup of tea?"

She laughed. "No, thank you. I believe I will visit Professor Longbottom's office to say goodbye, and then I'll return home. It's been interesting." She nodded to him and left. Teddy quickly tidied up Professor Longbottom's tea set, then started down to the gate, meaning to catch today's guard and ask for Uncle Harry, when he remembered that he had a better way.

He raised his wand. "Expecto Patronum." The hawk appeared, and he concentrated hard on Uncle Harry and said, "Declamare Patroni. I have an idea about Greyback. I'm going to the main gate." The hawk swooped down, circled at him, and disappeared.

He wanted to say it was all right not to come if he was having tea with the family, that he could send his Patronus, but he didn't think Wings could carry anything that complex. He guessed Uncle Harry would understand that, anyway. Since he hadn't said anything about being in trouble, maybe Prongs would just show up and tell him that they could speak by Floo, or at his lesson on Thursday.

But when he got to the gate, Uncle Harry was standing there with the Auror Williams, looking serious. He opened it and came in. "What's this about, Teddy?" he asked.

Teddy told him everything.
43 comments or Leave a comment
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From: (Anonymous) Date: November 15th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)

a question

Love the story(ies) but who is Pallas? I thought Prof. McGonagalls name was Minerva?
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: November 15th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: a question

Pallas is another name for the Greek goddess Athena - in Latin, known as Minerva.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 15th, 2007 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
::peeking out from between fingers:: Creepy but effective. I'm glad McGonagall insisted that Teddy not look. I did like the glimmers of friendship--and perhaps something more?--between younger Minerva and Alphard.

And it's such a relief that Teddy has no reservations about sharing important information with the adults in his life.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
If there's a major, life-altering difference between Teddy and Harry, it's that Teddy trusts the adults he has. Big time. Because they've come through for him all along, living and dead.
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: November 15th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Pallas as an endearment--that's lovely, and I like it much better than the overused Athena. Just as a fair warning, the next time you're kind enough to invite drabble requests, I'm not sure I'll be able to resist asking for Alphard/Minerva. :-P

Teddy's so wonderfully discerning. I love the hints of Remus we keep seeing in him, though of course there's a fair amount of Tonks there too (in addition to his own individual awesomeness).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure I'll be able to resist asking for Alphard/Minerva

I usually do one on Christmas, but it's looking like I'll actually be kind of busy this year. We'll see when a good time for one will be, but I'm kind of into writing an Alphard/Minerva short sometime. I'm sure Bugga's just thrilled.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: November 15th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
You have no idea how glad I am that it wasn't as gruesome as I expected it to be. I can't sleep because of a very disturbing image in Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and I was very glad to see you had updated to keep my mind off of it.

Teddy is so totally right about that shack where his father imprisoned his mother, I'm just trying to figure out how Teddy's going to end up catching him (because you know he's just like his godfather and always will be in the thick of things)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy knows from absent parent issues.

I doubt Harry would take him on an international raid, but it's too early in the story to catch Greyback, anyway. :)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy really wasn't interested in seeing the gory stuff (though I'm sure if he hadn't had pressing interests in other things, he probably would have looked; people look at the weirdest things).
kagehikario From: kagehikario Date: November 15th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Aaw, he's such a little gentleman! I love McGonagall. I don't suppose she'll be the one to give Teddy his Wings, as it were? He doesn't seem like the "sneak the books out from the restricted section" kind of boy.

Also, my hair is only loosely inspired by your icon :p
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee. The icon and Teddy's look in it are totally from the mucho-talented rotae. :)

And yes, McGonagall will definitely have a hand in, as you put it, giving Teddy his Wings.
moonythoughts From: moonythoughts Date: November 15th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, Teddy's so smart XD I love it.
And you picked a perfect nickname for McGonagall. She's such an interesting character, but those kinds of details are always overlooked in fanfic. I like that you brought her into it. I wish there'd been more of her in the books.
So excited for the next part. C:
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, Teddy's so smart XD I love it.

Smart boys rock.

I was always happy to see McGonagall, and every time she showed up, she seemed cooler than the time before.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: November 15th, 2007 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh can't wait to see what's coming up!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Good! Hope it's worth it.
amamama From: amamama Date: November 15th, 2007 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful! You've put a good head on the young Mr. Lupin. And Minerva - she's gorgeous. Wish I knew her... Now I'm all exited and want to know what Harry thinks about Teddys ideas.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
At least we can be sure Harry Potter, of all people, won't discount them on the basis of them coming from a thirteen-year-old.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: November 15th, 2007 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Two of my favorite TV shows are procedural dramas (Bones and CSI), but that is one murder scene I wouldn't want to see on my TV screen. I'm really glad that Teddy didn't look any more than he had to.

I loved the interaction between Alphard and young McGonagall (including the nickname), and if you ever desire to write more of that random pairing, I would totally love to read it. ;~) It was fun to see Teddy thinking a little about becoming an Animagus, and asking McGonagall questions about it. She's a really good resource. And Teddy's internal debate about how to kick McGonagall out politely was delightful.

I'm glad that Teddy was able to piece the puzzle together. I hope that it will do some good, though I'm not optimistic enough to hope that they'll catch Greyback. Maybe some of his minions, though.

Looking forward to the next part!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think the crime scene would make it onto network television. Maybe the blood spatters, but that's about it.

if you ever desire to write more of that random pairing, I would totally love to read it.
I actually had a McG/AB story idea after writing this. I may get around to it eventually!
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: November 15th, 2007 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful, as always. I did find one little typo:
'...the younger McGoangall--Pallas,'
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
shiiki From: shiiki Date: November 15th, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's interesting how the way they grew up resulted in such a big difference between Teddy and Harry at this age when it comes to trusting grown-ups and giving them the information to make the big decisions. (Or maybe Teddy just lacks the Saving People Thing and the bit of recklessness that Harry had at that age.)

This, I suppose, is where the Animagus idea is seeded? :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's got the saving-people thing, as Frankie can attest, but he does lack some of the recklessness about it, and will attempt to do things logically sometime before he decides to walk into a forest fire with no back up. ;p

I'm not sure the Animagus thing was exactly planted, though it's floating around in Teddy's head, I'm sure, from all of the Marauder stories he OD's on. Well, at least it wasn't planted in Teddy's head. But it will be soon.
ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: November 15th, 2007 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Astrid. And he managed to do such a mess to her before transforming? Yuck!
Good for Teddy not to really look. I know would have.

Loved the "Pallas"/Alhpard bits! And I'm totally convinced she really doesn't remember the name of that Auror gal he was hitting on.
BTW,isn't Teddy's wavy brown hair from Remus?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy gets his hair coming and going--Remus and the Blacks are probably cousins somewhere on the pure-blood side of his family--but I'll put in a line about that.

And he managed to do such a mess to her before transforming? Yuck!

Yeah. Er... ick.
From: kobegrace Date: November 15th, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Fern! Loved this chapterlet. Also wanted to let you know that I'm stuck at home with the stomach flu, and your stories have brought me more comfort than a bowl of soup or ginger tea normally would. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Given that the chapterlet was a gross murder, I'm just glad to hear it didn't make you sick up the soup and ginger tea!

Ginger ale helps stomach aches for me for some reason. And Jell-o. Though that just could be comfort food.
From: fhsaffar Date: November 15th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another fantastic chapter. I'm already madly in love with Alphard and Pallas!

Which reminds me of the second Alphard, Regulus's son. I can speak only for myself, but you've had me hooked up ever since you mentioned it in passing in one of those post-FG ficlets. Are you still planning to write that Reg fic? Yes I do Yes I do

Rock on!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been futzing around with it more than working on it, but I know what happens.
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