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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 21: Unspeakable, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 21: Unspeakable, pt. 1
Just when they thought it was safe to go back in the water at Hogwarts after the full moon, Mathilde Dubois decides to show off her mad protection-busting skillz by appearing in full daylight in the middle of Hagrid's class. She taunts the magically untrained Vivian and half-trained Hagrid, pins most of the class behind bars, and ultimately, after making some creepy threats to Teddy, disappears with Vivian, saying that Greyback is looking forward to seeing her. Harry and Neville get there just as they disappear. Harry starts getting details from the class. Neville blows his top, yelling at them for not going after her, even though Teddy reminds him that everything went very quickly. Harry calls for Hermione, on the notion that they need new protection spells approximately yesterday, and he also keeps Teddy in the loop. He suspects that Mathilde's entrance wasn't quite as spectacular as she tried to make it look, and she really came up through the Whomping Willow tunnel, Disillusioned, and put on a light show. Either way, she did escape with Vivian. Harry also asked Teddy to borrow the Marauder's Map.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

News of the attack got around, of course. A few parents decided to pull their children out of Hogwarts until the issue of protection was addressed, but there weren't many, and none of them were in Teddy's circle. Most seemed to accept that if Hogwarts wasn't perfectly safe, nowhere else was going to be safer.

On Wednesday, Professor Longbottom appeared at Hagrid's for Teddy's Care of Magical Creatures lesson, looking contrite. He'd left his first years with Professor Sprout, he said, because he owed the class an apology. Aurors had examined the spellwork, and--aside from any natural inhibitions--Mathilde had cast an Apathy Enhancing Spell. They hadn't deserved his outburst. No one held it against him. Donzo, Tinny, Maurice, and Jane were all giving him looks of deep pity. He didn't seem to mind any guesses they were making.

There was no word of Vivian.

Uncle Harry had to cancel Thursday's lesson, as he was working with Père Alderman and the others to start searching. Hamilton had offered himself as bait, kicking off a flashy publicity tour for his book. The others would be planted in the audience, hoping that Greyback or Mathilde would give it a try. Meanwhile, they were moving about, beyond the sanctuary--Neil Overby had apparently been temporarily placed with Fleur's grandmother, Valeska--meeting lone werewolves, following clues that only they might find. Uncle Harry himself had studied the Marauder's Map and asked Teddy for the Keys to the Castle as well. He didn't need all of the Map's tricks and personality, but he wanted to create a very basic form of it, solely to alert Aurors to any new presence, the moment it appeared on Hogwarts grounds.

"We're also all studying Streaming Spells," he added grimly when he told Teddy that they'd need to cancel the lesson. "And until they're mastered, every Auror will be patrolling with a fast broomstick."

Teddy heard this all quite solemnly, until he realized that Uncle Harry had just decided to equip his entire Division with the latest Firebolts.

Uncle Harry caught him smiling and seemed irritated for a minute, then laughed at himself. "Well, it'll be the first good Firebolt I've had for a long while. Maybe you'd like to take it up once this is over? It's better than a school broom."

Teddy thought of his hawk Patronus, and of his accident with his eyes, and thought there might be some sort of flying he'd like to do... but it wasn't on a Firebolt. "That's all right, Uncle Harry," he said. "I'll just fall out of a tree or something to remind myself how it feels."

Uncle Harry shook his head and sighed dramatically. "I try, Teddy. I try so hard. But you're still so odd."

"Maybe Dudley's mum should throw a frying pan at me."

"Absolutely. It cured me of my abnormality brilliantly, as you can see."

After Uncle Harry left, Teddy went up to the castle for lunch. Ruthless had a test in the afternoon, and had her books spread around her, and Victoire was plotting some kind of attack with Kirk, so once Teddy got his food, he moved over to the Hufflepuff table, where Frankie was magically copying his notes onto color-coded study cards, but otherwise didn't seem to be terribly occupied.

"Ted!" he said, by way of a greeting. "This is a good idea. You should try it. I can quiz myself by flipping them over to a question, then checking whether or not I remembered it right."

"Did you get it from Victoire?"

"Yes. She found it in a book in the library, and said it might help me study for my O.W.L.s. How did you know?"

"Wild guess."

"She's quite smart, you know."

"Scary smart," Teddy agreed. "So, everyone's wondering, about you and Tinny..."

"Tinny's a third year," Frankie said, in a tone that told Teddy that the subject was closed. "So, is there any news about Viv..." He trailed off, his brows knitted together. "What on Earth?"

Teddy turned his head to see what Frankie was looking at, and found himself equally flummoxed.

Frankie's mum, Maddie Apcarne, was working her way up between the tables. She waved to them and sped up. Her expression was cheerful and welcoming, but she had no business here, and was wearing her identification tag from the Department of Mysteries. She patted Frankie's shoulder and went up to the high table, where she spoke to the Headmistress.

"What's she doing here?" Frankie asked. "It's not natural."

Teddy shook his head, baffled. "Looks like work."

"Doing what? The Greyback business isn't exactly the sort of mystery Unspeakables study, you know."

Teddy had a better notion of what the Department of Mysteries did than most people, but no clear idea of what Unspeakables actually did there. Maddie had once told him, and Frankie, that a lot of what she wasn't telling them wasn't because she was under orders to keep it secret, but because there were no words, and it couldn't be spoken. Teddy wasn't entirely convinced of this. After all, if something didn't have a word, one could always be made up for the occasion.

Maddie finished her conversation with Professor Sprout, then turned and came bouncing back to the table. "May I sit down, Frankie? Oh, I've missed this table."

Frankie made room for her, blinking owlishly.

"We used to sit at the far end," she said. "Your dad, and Tonks and Sanjiv and me. Usually a good crowd of others. We'd bring games in. How are you, Teddy? Don't you belong a couple of tables over?"

"I, er..." He shook his head. "Maddie, what's going on?"

"Mm. I'll explain later, as well as I can. Suffice it to say that I need to collect you and the rest of your Care of Magical Creatures class as soon as you've finished eating." She smiled tightly, then said, "Oh, just a bit of that treacle tart, Frankie? I know you could get another..."

Frankie got used to her being there by the time she'd stopped nicking his food, and they were catching up on Carny and Mac (both in Daffy's office for the day) when Teddy finished his lunch. Other students were looking at her oddly, but with an Auror presence on the grounds all year, she didn't draw as much attention as she otherwise might have.

She noticed he was done and stood up. "Come on. Let's get the others. Hagrid said he doesn't have a class this afternoon, since it's when the N.E.W.T. levels were scheduled, and he doesn't have any N.E.W.T. students this year."

Teddy found the other students and Maddie got them started on the path down to Hagrid's cabin. She put her hand on Teddy's shoulder to slow him down.

"Hermione called in the Department," she said.

"You do protective spells?"

"You know I'm not going to answer that." She smiled. "But I can tell you that she wants to try and reconceptualize the question of Mathilde Dubois. We've been operating under the assumption that she's been breaking through security, but there's one rather shocking piece of evidence."

"What's that?"

"The security wards have never been disturbed."

"But how..."

"We think they're doing something entirely different. And if we're right about that, it's very good, because instead of dealing with some brilliantly powerful anti-security spell, we just have to find her new method and create a new counter."

"Am I really allowed to know that?"

"Your godfather wants you in the loop. And I'm just as glad, but you know, of course, that it's not something to be discussed generally."

Teddy nodded. "Well, what sort of thing might they be doing?"

"No idea. It's usually useless to go in with a preconceived notion of what you'll find."

"But it would be something that's not like anything else we use." She nodded, and Teddy frowned, trying to eliminate all the ways he knew wizards traveled. Flying, Apparating, Flooing, normal Muggle methods like walking or cars (since a fishing skiff had penetrated Azkaban, the Ministry was being more careful about these).

"What about water? Are there ways to travel through the lake? I heard about the Durmstrang ship..."

"Yes. Water goes through the whole world, and the Russian wizards got particularly adept at using hidden waterways, as they didn't have any warm water ports to work with. But Dumbledore was aware of those ways, and the school is protected."

"Mm." Teddy went on a bit longer, then said, "I really can't think of anything."

Maddie smiled. "It's all right, Teddy. That's sort of my job."

"Oh. Right."

She laughed as they reached the paddock, then told everyone to take the positions they were in when Mathilde had appeared. For the next fifteen minutes, she moved them around, peering in the direction Mathilde had come from, examining the ground where Mathilde and Vivian had disappeared. She seemed quite frustrated with the explanation of whirling lights going upward, which made sense if the Hogwarts security showed no signs of being breached. She kept drawing little tubes from her bag and scraping things into them.

Finally, she straighted up from a barrel of mead she'd been examining, and shook her head. "I'd like to collect everyone's memories for a Pensieve, so my colleagues can get a better view back in London."

"Are you trying to catch Dubois?" Jane Hunter asked, looking avidly at the now-filled bag of samples. "That looks like crime scene forensics. I've seen it on television. I'd love to learn to do that."

"Er... if it's what I think it is, that's something Aurors might do. I'm doing something rather different. May I take each of your memories?"

Maurice shifted uncomfortably. "Would you be able to see what we were thinking about?"

"Why, Maurice?" Corky asked innocently. "What could you have been thinking about when a pretty witch in a short robe showed up?"

Maurice glared. "I was not thinking about... that."

Maddie pressed her lips together to avoid smiling and said, "We won't be able to see anything inside your head. It's like taking a picture, except that we can change the focus and have a look around."

The students all looked at each other awkwardly, then Jane took a deep breath and said, "I'd like to see how it works, anyway."

One by one, they came forward, and Maddie took the thoughts from their minds and stored them in neatly labeled vials. Teddy looked at his own thoughts, which were a pink-tinged silver like the sunset clouds in Dad's memory of camping in Scotland, and wondered if she would give them back later, just so he could have a look at himself from the outside.

Then he remembered that her business was deadly serious. There was one witness whose memories she couldn't take.

He silently wished her luck as she walked away.
46 comments or Leave a comment
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rdprice29 From: rdprice29 Date: December 2nd, 2007 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Still...poor, poor Vivian. I hate to think about what Greyback's doing to her, and I hope you have her escaped/rescued, rather than recovered.

Great chapter, as usual. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm still not sure what's going to happen to Vivian!
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: December 2nd, 2007 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I am so tense right now!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
:rubs hands gleefully:
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 2nd, 2007 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
It's slightly reassuring to see so many branches of the Ministry willing to collaborate on capturing/stopping Greyback. I hope they make a real breakthrough before the next full moon--and Mathilde gets her just deserts, preferably at Vivian's hands.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... I still have April and May full moons before they can really fix it... ;p
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: December 2nd, 2007 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, this anxiety is so frustrating! I never know what to expect and I get so worked up about it because I like to play the different possibilities of what you might do in my mind. Though now I have absolutely no idea whatsoever how DuBois managed to get in. Of course, when you reveal it, I'm going to be like, "that was SO obvious, how could I miss that?"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope so. I don't think I've done anything that would make it seem unlikely.
miss_polyhymnia From: miss_polyhymnia Date: December 2nd, 2007 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
And so the plot thickens....
I love how you work in Teddy's thought processes, hinting toward his future career. He is pretty good at thinking abstractly, even if he doesn't always come up with the answers.

Harry and Teddy's conversation about Firebolts was great. This line especially had me laughing: "Maybe Dudley's mum should throw a frying pan at me."

"Absolutely. It cured me of my abnormality brilliantly, as you can see."

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maddie's finding herself interested in Teddy's thought processes as well. I don't think she's had a good long talk with him since his abstract thinking started falling into place.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 2nd, 2007 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Uncle Harry shook his head and sighed dramatically. "I try, Teddy. I try so hard. But you're still so odd."

That has to be one of my favorite lines ever. Your Harry is too precious. For some reason I don't think Harry is going to be too surprised when Teddy decides to become an Unspeakable.

After a pretty upbeat chapterette what a solemn and sad note to end on. I almost wish this was the end of a chapter because the tone is so perfect.


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Harry has come to expect anything and everything from Teddy.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 2nd, 2007 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I almost prefer that the students didn't draw their wands because of shock and lack of training than excusing it with an apathy charm. In this time-period, it's possible that the wizarding world has relaxed a bit too much because Voldemort is gone. It might make Neville and the other teachers think about whether it might be a good idea to either beef up the Defense against the Dark Arts classes or else have a dueling club. Just a thought.

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 2nd, 2007 07:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Neville could still apologize to the class but, not because they had no choice due to the apathy charm but rather, because he realizes that Hogwarts had failed to teach them to react differently.

aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: December 2nd, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Why, Maurice?" Corky asked innocently. "What could you have been thinking about when a pretty witch in a short robe showed up?"

Maurice glared. "I was not thinking about... that."

May I just say that whenever you feature Corky and Maurice, I just love the pair of them. They're kind of the Slytherin version of Fred and George. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I think they turn their sharp tongues on each other more than Fred and George did, but they mean it amiably enough.
From: smishli Date: December 2nd, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved Teddy as an Unspeakable-in-Training. It really is such a nice-fitting career choice for him! And the little exchange between Teddy and Harry was great. I laughed at Harry's ulterior motives with the Firebolts...

Another great installment, and very much looking forward to the next...the sooner we get updates on Vivian the better!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
It really is such a nice-fitting career choice for him!

Hee...well, it's easier when I decide what he should be during his first year and write him with it in mind. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 2nd, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ow. Now I've started chewing on my finger, which I haven't done since reading HBP.

The frying pan made me laugh, though.

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Careful of that finger-gnawing. That's how Pettigrew ended up losing his hand. :solemn nod:
redlily From: redlily Date: December 2nd, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, this just makes me want to read Teddy-in-Unspeakable-Training fic. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's got some weird little corners in his mind. I have a feeling the other Unspeakables may raise their eyebrows at him from time to time.
From: kobegrace Date: December 2nd, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Goodness, but this is some wicked crazy business. Now I'm going to spend all day wondering how Mathilde got in.

Also: Awesome work, Fern! I'm so smitten with your stories! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm really hoping there's nothing in canon that suggests they'd know how to deal with Mathilde's magic.
sophiap From: sophiap Date: December 2nd, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Maddie in this, and am very intrigued by the Unspeakables.

One thing that has me very worried about Vivian is that we know from JKR that Neville ends up with Hannah Abbott. In other words, the odds are already set against a happy ending for Vivian and Neville.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, there's not a happy Neville/Vivian ending, but I don't know what that means for them individually.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: December 2nd, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really enjoyed that, Fern. The Department of Mysteries has always been a fascinating HP-related subject and I'm glad to see the Unspeakables on display here.

Really liked the frying pan exchange.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really wanted to poke around the DoM more, though at the same time, I'm glad she didn't go back, leaving it open for us to play with. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 2nd, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, how did she get in? There's the tunnel. There's also the willow. Pieces of it have made their way into the world, which might allow some kind of traveling. But, I'm thinking this is like the breakout at Azkaban. It will focus on something mainly Mugglish with just enough magic to slip past the Muggle-proofing defenses.

I just can't think how a Muggle would have pulled this off, either.

Oh, well, loved the exchange on firebolts. I can't see Harry going broomless all these years. Maybe he's been flying around in Sirius' motorcycle? And wouldn't that have freaked out Petunia if that's how he had gotten Dudley home, the kid they tell everyone is hanging out with gangs and criminals comes driving up in a big, black motorcycle with their son on the side carrier. I'd bet Harry would be strongly tempted to add a black, metal studded jacket ("Hogwarts' Angels" on the back) and a few other touches to suggest what he does in his spare time between prison.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 2nd, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry probably has a perfectly serviceable broom, bought in an ecstasy of self-denial at some point, telling himself that he'd left his childhood behind. Now that he has his kids to remind him of being a child, he's starting to think, "Damn, I miss my Firebolt. I want to play!" Which is healthy and good for him.
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