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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 16: Mathilde Dubois, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 16: Mathilde Dubois, pt. 2
Armed with Teddy's intuitive leap about Greyback, Harry leads a raid on a forest near Nurmengard, where they find Greyback's camp. Thirteen werewolves are arrested, seven sent to Azkaban, the other six kept at Nurmengard itself. Hogwarts is elated at the capture, and Teddy realizes how frightened they were because of how relieved they are.

It's not going to last long, though.

Sorry about the delay. Poking around in the heads of murderous cultists can upset the schedule. :blech: I could only take so much Manson family and Jonestown, though, so I'll let what's in the brain already perk around and see if Mathilde will do her thing now.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

When Uncle Harry came in from guard duty to talk to Professor Longbottom at dinner, there was a burst of deafening applause. Honoria Higgs pushed her way up to the high table and asked if she could interview him about the raid. He said he'd have to decline, since the investigation was still going on. He looked a little dazed at the confrontation. Before going out onto the grounds to patrol, he took Teddy aside and said that he'd told the press that they'd been acting on an anonymous tip, as Greyback had quite enough reasons to dislike Teddy.

"But they were there?" Teddy asked.

"Exactly where you guessed," Uncle Harry confirmed. "I wish we'd got Greyback, but we got a good lot of them."

Teddy went to bed feeling good and useful, and somewhat pleased at having a secret hand in it all. When he drifted off, he found himself on Tirza's ship again. She had gone off to the island, but Holt, for some reason, had stayed aboard this time, up in the crow's nest. Teddy tried to talk to him, but he was too far away.

He overslept and was late getting into the Great Hall for breakfast. At first he didn't realize anything was wrong. It was a little quiet, maybe, especially after yesterday, but it was a Tuesday morning, nothing particular happening. No reason for a great commotion.

He didn't notice anything was wrong until he sat down across from Ruthless, whose face was pale and set, and beside Victoire, who was shaking her head at the Daily Prophet.

"What is it?" he asked.

"This isn't what happened," Victoire said. "It can't be what happened. It's Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron!"

"It's what happened," Ruthless said coldly. "But that doesn't mean it's the truth."

Teddy looked between them. "What is it?" he asked again.

Victoire handed him the paper, which was open to the center. A long article in small type appeared there, headed by an editor's note.

by Mathilde Dubois
The Daily Prophet received this communication late yesterday, via owl post. After much discussion, it was deemed newsworthy, though its sentiments are not representative of our editorial staff.

Teddy frowned. Across from him, Ruthless snorted. "Discussion," she said, obviously realizing that he'd read the editor's note. "More like trying to figure out how well their houses were guarded."

Teddy looked back down and continued to read.

The first known British werewolf, one Russell Marley, was captured in 1535 and sent to Azkaban, though he had committed no crime. Whilst there, he was deprived of moonlight, and died of injuries sustained by a violent, delayed transformation. Perhaps they knew no better then, they thought the transformation could be averted by denial of the catalyst. They've since learned better. St. Mungo's now provides a dismal hole in the ceiling of a London ward, where werewolves can change while bound to the walls or beds in heavy iron chains. The Werewolf Registry kindly places its two-meter square cages aboveground, in a rubbish-strewn alley.

Great progress overall, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, in the forests of Eastern Europe, a colony of lycanthropes has grown in more natural surroundings. Among the tree shadows and brooks and rivers, we have lived at peace with our neighbors, taken care of our own, and celebrated our lives, as every sentient creature has the right to do.

I can hear the outcry in Britain already. Werewolves! Murderous beasts! Unnatural creatures!

I will take a moment to point out that, until the interference of your Ministry, we caused such deep trouble for our hosts that they were entirely unaware of our existence.

Yes, that's right. No ravening packs, no stolen children... at least not until ours were stolen.

Let me tell you of our vicious life.

In the morning, we awoke to the fresh open air. We hunted and foraged for food in nature's bounty. We worked together to build shelter and educate ourselves in magic, as those of us who were exiled by our illness before school age were denied any sort of formal education. I was lucky--I had nearly completed my education at Beauxbatons when I took the opportunity to join this group, and my education, particularly in magical modes of transportation, has been my contribution. And how poor it seems in comparison to what I've learned about living as I was intended to live! A charm that aids in Apparating is an amusing toy, but it can't be eaten.

Once our study was past, we socialized with one another, grooming each other, keeping each other warm in the cold. We were free of any political nonsense, free of any need we couldn't fulfill for one another--except for the need for freedom from persecution.

On Sunday, as we sat down to share our modest meal together, a force of armed wizards, led by the British Ministry and Auror Harry Potter (rather far out of his jurisdiction) invaded our sanctuary, gathered up several of our members, and stole orphaned children we cared for and sent them to be raised by strangers. This last is a deep blow, as lycanthropic women can't bear children of their own, due to the violence of the monthly transformations--these lost children were the only ones we might have nurtured. By what right does the British Ministry choose who may raise children, and how, particularly among those not even subject to its laws?

That, of course, is the argument. The British Ministry complains that we have given sanction to Fenrir Greyback, who made the mistake of allying himself with the rebellion in your civil war ten years ago. For this crime, he was sent to your brutal prison, Azkaban, where he was kept in a small cage, even during his transformations. He bore no Dark Mark, simply fought on the losing side of a war. Let no one imagine that his lycanthropy wasn't a factor in the decision to imprison him. The Malfoy family, which was far more deeply involved, which provided a haven to the rebellion's leader, is presently enjoying a comfortable holiday, financed by an untouched treasure in Gringotts. Their children have remained with them. Fenrir Greyback, who simply chose not to live under laws that mistreated him, was imprisoned for life.

And why would he subject himself to your laws? Laws that bind us in iron, laws that deny our rights, laws that declare us "dark creatures"--and this is for those misguided lycanthropes who dutifully play along. If you believe I am wrong, I ask you to watch what happens to a Hogwarts staff member called Vivian Waters. She is a werewolf. She's concealed this fact. By the laws of the country to which she claims loyalty, she will be dismissed, unless someone makes special political dispensations for her, and that will only be because she has friends in high places. What is different about her between yesterday and now? Only what I have just told you. Even a werewolf like Remus Lupin, who fought side by side with Albus Dumbledore, was relegated to abject poverty, stripped of what property he managed to acquire, and if he had survived the battle he was forced into, would have been expected to continue barbaric registration procedures, and would be unable to hold the position for which he had trained.

Teddy stopped reading. The paper was shaking, and one of his fingers had shredded the corner. He could hear his blood pounding in his head. Nothing she'd said was untrue--except, he suspected, the part about no children having been stolen, and he was reasonably sure that Neil Overby would have something to say about that, though, to be fair, he hadn't disappeared anywhere near their camp--but the idea that she was using Dad to slur Uncle Harry and support Greyback's pack was... was...

"Teddy?" Ruthless said. "Are you--"

He shook his head. Beside him, Victoire put one warm hand on his wrist. He looked up at the high table. Vivian wasn't there. And he didn't think he was the only person in the room looking for her.

He gulped down a few breaths, and turned back to the vile article:

The representatives of this enlightened world of yours stepped arrogantly into a foreign land, using personal connections to gain permission from their lapdogs. They brutally stripped our brothers and sisters from us, gathering our children, screaming, from the only homes they knew. The last I saw of the child I was raising--a bright, beautiful girl with eyes the soft blue of a midsummer day--she was kicking and screaming as an ill-bred red-headed Auror Apparated away with her.

They tried to stop any of us from escaping by putting Apparition barriers up before they invaded, but, as I said, I have a talent with magical transportation. I was able to break through them. I suggest you all remember this.

You cannot expect to steal our children without consequence, to imprison our family without retaliation. Justice will come. We will carry it, but your Aurors are the ones who brought it on you.

Slowly, Teddy put the newspaper down. The threat of vengeance attacks, even the implication that she'd developed a way to get through Apparition barriers, seemed unimportant posturing. He'd make sure that Uncle Harry knew how she'd done it, so he could protect his family and Granny, but it was still his father's name, there in the midst of that bile that was caught in his mind.

The picture she'd painted of children frolicking at ongoing picnic denied everything that Teddy knew, everything anyone knew, but it was fresh and new, and of course bringing up the Malfoys had been a good trick.

He looked back at the high table. Honoria Higgs was trying to get Professor Longbottom to talk to her. He looked very irritated. He was trying to get out. Teddy guessed he meant to go to Vivian. Hagrid was already gone.

Teddy stood up slowly, ignoring Victoire and Ruthless. He set the paper down and went to the high table. He could hear Honoria now.

"...true that she's a werewolf? Was it Greyback who did that damage to her face?"

Teddy tapped her shoulder. "Honoria?"

She turned--giving Professor Longbottom a chance to escape--and said, "What?"

"On the train in September, you said you wanted an interview. Do you still want one?"
61 comments or Leave a comment
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willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 18th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Ewwww. You have my sympathy--a mind like Mathilde's would be a very disturbing place to visit. And the circumstance of there being truths mixed in with the lies and distortions makes her article even worse, somehow. Teddy's idea of fighting fire with fire is ingenious, but I hope he doesn't live to regret subjecting himself to Honoria's interviewing style. Here's hoping she's outgrown Rita Skeeter's habits of misrepresentation.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Luckily, it's Slughorn's good graces that Honoria's trying to get back into.

As Obi-Wan says, much of what we believe is true depends greatly on our point of view. From Mathilde's... well, it's perfectly fine to "kill the pigs," and who could dare to question her right to believe such a thing?
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: November 18th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, how creepy. I think this is the first time in a long time that I have just stared at the screen in such... revulsion, actually, while reading a segment. Mathilde is obviously very bright and very, very scary. Wow.

Edited at 2007-11-18 03:13 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)
She's bright enough to be dangerously stupid. I waded through a few paragraphs of the Unabomber manifesto this afternoon (more than enough of that). Lying is easy. Twisting the truth takes skill.
redlily From: redlily Date: November 18th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Letter to the Editor

Ooh, what a charming werewolf paradise that the wicked British Ministry has stuck its collective nose into! How dare they infringe upon your right to frolic the day away and mangle unsuspecting humans?? You are just as civilized as any "normal" collection of people, apart from the need to obey the masochistic whims of your pack leader on pain of death. I wish all the best for you and your proud, noble, murdering, kidnapping clan.

Minerva McGonagall
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I suspect the Prophet will be able to select a "Representative sample" of such letters...
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: November 18th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, good, that was what I was going for!
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: November 18th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I've finally caught up after falling behind (yet again) while traveling. Even when you're not posting every day, I have to work to keep up!

Mathilde's writing suggests a smart and skillful woman -- and one who is capable of willfully appropriating the truth. Excellent work, Fern! I dislike her intensely already, if only for how she used Remus in her article. So now we get to see the reformed Honoria, journalist in action. I just hope Teddy knows what he's doing!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't stand Mathilde. She was an afterthought in the story--me trying to figure out how and where Greyback was hiding--but once she was there, I just hated her a lot. Which made introducing her in her own point of view somewhat problematic!
rotae From: rotae Date: November 18th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooooer... you've got that whole scary Umbridge thing going on. She is definitely the scariest character in HP for me, because she absolutely believes that what she is doing is the right thing. And it's so twisted that in a way it is... LMAO.

Well done. I agreed with some of it, but at the same time was so angry. HAHA :D The way that the truth can be twisted so easily is so frightening.

*fangirls* :D Btw, I'm in a bit of a slump re: fan art atm. Any particular part/characters of your fiction you'd particularly like to see? :D

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Oo, maybe they can share a cell at Azkaban! :D (:is sadistic:)

I think the trick with writing a screed like that is to start with something decent people agree with, like "Werewolves are treated like crap and it's not fair," then start bundling things onto it that ultimately end with poor dear orphaned children being ripped from their foster parents... while neglecting to mention just how they ended up orphaned.

Btw, I'm in a bit of a slump re: fan art atm. Any particular part/characters of your fiction you'd particularly like to see?

Hmm. Maybe that scene at the beginning of this one, where Donzo's playing his guitar and Victoire is lying on the ground with her head propped in her hands, listening raptly? Just a thought. Really, if anything has caught your visual attention more, you're welcome to it.
tinykeegs From: tinykeegs Date: November 18th, 2007 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Good Lord, what a deluded character!

Is it wrong that I can't wait to hear more about her??
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to hear that, actually. I don't write many villains, so I don't want them to be boring!
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: November 18th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Erg...that propaganda was not fun to read. I hope not too many people believe Dubois, but poor Harry will probably be on the receiving end of some very angry letters.

I was just waiting for Teddy to make his rebuttal. I can't wait for that interview with Honoria.

I totally caught the reference to Ron. Interesting when how she labels him as ill-bred when she follows a man like Greyback. And she chose to become a werewolf knowing the prejudice and persecution against them, so she really has no right to complain. It's only people like Remus and Vivian who have truly suffered, since they never had any choice in the matter--Greyback made it for them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Whatever is the newest information always tends to override common sense and memory unless there's a direct personal cause. Look at how the Marauders suddenly because TEH EBIL when it turned out that they were mean to Snape. Like that totally overrode the whole "willing to die for Harry" thing, or the way they loved each other and helped Remus. Sigh.

Interesting when how she labels him as ill-bred when she follows a man like Greyback.

Yeah, that does add insult to injury. Or injury to insult. Not sure which.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: November 18th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
God, that woman is deluded. You always get those kinds of people somewhere. Very impressive putting Mathilde Dubois manifesto together, Fern.

I'm glad too that Teddy isn't assuming the worst. I love Harry but he did have a very bad tendancy to immediately dwell on the worst when he saw or read something pertaining to James and Dumbledore. Of course, it helps that Teddy knows the truth and is surrounded by adults like Harry.

"Ill-bred, red-headed Auror." Poor Ron is like Rodney Dangerfield. He can't get no respect. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I think I'm not writing in Mathilde's point of view for a while. I hope she's deluded, and not just manipulative.

Teddy has a good grasp of history, which means he has a memory. Which means it's harder to pull bull over on him.
From: kobegrace Date: November 18th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, I never thought I'd say this...

Nonetheless: Sic 'em, Honoria.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
There's always a use for a Slytherin with ambition. The trick is getting it on the right side!
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: November 18th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Oo. Oh, she's disturbed. Very intelligent, but very skewed. Makes my spine crawl. Frolicking in the forest, indeed!

I can't *wait* to hear what Teddy's interview will be like!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
It should be good. I hope it will be.
keestone From: keestone Date: November 18th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I had difficulty reading that. No wonder there was trouble writing it. Mathilde's delusions and truth-twisting are stomach turning.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Weird to thank someone for saying something was difficult to read, but that was kind of what I was going for.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: November 18th, 2007 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Sick. Well done. I know from experience how deeply unpleasant it is getting into the heads of loathsome characters, though luckily for me I haven't had to deal with anyone quite like Mathilde.

Poor little orphan children, eh? Murdering their parents would have that effect.

A few comments/queries:

I believe Mathilde would use the French/British spelling of metre.

Did you mean "given sanction" or "given sanctuary"? Sanction works, but my eye was expecting "sanctuary".

"Ten years ago". Isn't it closer to fourteen?

"children frolicking at ongoing picnic" - should it be "picnics"?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Murdering their parents would have that effect.

Funny, that.

On the spelling, I assume all of them would use British spelling, but I'm not British, so I use American spelling. The pronunciation's the same.

"Ten years ago". Isn't it closer to fourteen?

D'oh! :facepalm:

That picnic should either be plural or have an "an."
cleindori From: cleindori Date: November 18th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
My, what a well-spoken young sociopath.

She can share Greyback's fire to die in. I'll donate my paper recyclables to get it started.

By which, of course, I mean "yet another wonderful segment, Fern, in an absolutely creepy-horrible way". Can't wait to read Teddy's interview. :)
amamama From: amamama Date: November 18th, 2007 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)
My, what a well-spoken young sociopath.

She can share Greyback's fire to die in. I'll donate my paper recyclables to get it started.

jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: November 18th, 2007 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Mathilde is quite the persuasive little writer, as long as you don't know what exactly Fenrir Greyback has done over the years. The rosy colored picture she paints of the werewolf "colony" is really creepy. I can understand why you had a hard time writing Mathilde--she is a disturbing person!

I'm glad that Teddy is going to take action, even if that action involves working with Honoria. Hopefully people will listen to what he has to say!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 18th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mathilde may actually have overplayed by bringing up the "rebellion." It wasn't so very long ago, after all, and a little prod might be enough.
Teddy'll be helpful, but Honoria will need more than Teddy for a persuasive article after an "eyewitness" account from Mathilde.
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