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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 23: Breaking Through, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 23: Breaking Through, pt. 2
I think I left it off with something boring like gardening, didn't I? ;p

Oh, right, no, it wasn't gardening. It was Greyback. And Mathilde and Vivian, appearing up out of nowhere, by the Whomping Willow, between Teddy and Victoire and their protectors.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy tightened his grip on Victoire's hand and dragged her around, meaning to run back to Hagrid's hut, but something warm swarmed by him, and Mathilde Dubois appeared in front of him, smiling in great good humor. "Eh-eh," she said, shaking her finger. "It's your turn. And 'oo is your pretty friend?"

Teddy drew his wand, but before he cast a spell, Victoire's bag hit his elbow and something flew toward Mathilde. A dungbomb blew up in her face.

Mathilde screeched and said something in French that didn't strike Teddy as one of her over-sweet pleasantries.

Victoire snapped back at her--Teddy caught "connasse" and "putain," among many other words--but before she could really get started, he broke left, hoping to get around Mathilde, but she streamed by them again, obviously meaning to keep them driven toward Greyback and the others. He looked up the hill. Uncle Harry had arrived, and Professor Longbottom was running out from the greenhouses. Maddie and Hagrid were already fighting. Roger was running for the castle (hopefully for help), and Donzo and Ruthless were running down the hill toward the fray. As he watched, Professor Longbottom knocked them backward with a none-too-careful Banishing spell.

A Patronus spun out of the air and formed itself into a stag. Uncle Harry's voice said, "Get to safety."

Teddy tried another break toward Hagrid's house, but Mathilde had got tired of playing the game. She waved her wand, and the whole house was wound about with sharp wires. No sanctuary there.

There was the Forest to one side, of course, but--


Victoire jerked to one side, and Teddy saw Mathilde diving for them. He remembered how she'd taken Vivian. She might not be a big boxer, but he thought Dudley's advice was as good as ever. "Don't let her get a grip!" he said.

"I got that part!"

Teddy didn't have time to think out a complex hex, but he hit Mathilde with a Jelly Legs Jinx, which slowed her enough to pull Victoire out of an arm's reach, but she was already reversing it, and he didn't dare try it again; he couldn't afford to have her come up with a good Shield Charm and bounce it back at him.

"We need to get to the Whomping Willow," he said.

"That's the other side of them!"

"Not completely!"

By then it was true. Uncle Harry was dueling two members of the pack who Teddy didn't know; Professor Longbottom was trying to get to Greyback, and Hagrid was pummeling a huge man with ragged clothes. Hannah had tackled a woman with scraggly black hair. Ron was throwing deadly curses at two werewolves who were jumping aside, completely distracted. The line was broken. If they could just get to the tunnel, he could send Victoire through the floo to Shell Cottage, then...

He let go of Victoire's hand, trusting her to run after him as fast as she could. Side by side, they made for the Whomping Willow, which was waving madly against the red sky. A branch swiped Hagrid off the man he was fighting, and Uncle Harry had to jump to avoid a sweeping root. To Teddy's great satisfaction, a frond slapped Greyback across the face.

Vivian was standing still in the fray, her face white and haunted, somehow missed in her stillness by all of the tree's violence. She must have learned to fool it somehow in her use of the tunnel this year. She had a stick in her hand, and Teddy realized that, no matter who she'd come with, it was him she was waiting for.

"Vivian!" he yelled as he came in range of the branches.

She ran for the knot, but before she got to it, Mathilde Streamed under the canopy and knocked her aside. "Traitor!"

"I am not a traitor!" Vivian screamed. "I'll never be a traitor!"

She shoved Mathilde backward, and the tree knocked her wand out of her hand.

Professor Longbottom ran toward the tree, but was knocked back. "Viv!" he yelled, and then her wand was flying through the air, her wand with its core of werewolf hair, Greyback's wand.

She reached for it, and Teddy thought, Good, she'll take Mathilde out and--

Mathilde jumped to her feet and caught the wand, just beyond the reach of the branches, near where Greyback was standing.

Greyback, who wasn't engaged in fighting anyone--he was letting his lackeys do it--glared at Vivian and said, "That's mine! You stole it, you thieving little twist!"

Mathilde raised it at Vivian, who smiled softly.

"No!" Teddy yelled uselessly. He barely noticed Greyback yelling the same thing.

Mathilde jabbed the wand down, a diagonal motion that Teddy had seen in his nightmares, Dolohov's curse...

There was a flare of light and a deafening explosion. The wand shattered, and Mathilde dropped to her knees, her fingers mangled, her face spattered with blood.

"The only thief was Greyback," Vivian said. "He stole my hair for it, you dumb bint."

Mathilde crawled to Greyback. "Retreat... can't defend..."

Greyback's huge hand fell onto Mathilde's head, like a father about to bestow a blessing. He twisted. Teddy heard the crack before she fell to the ground.

"You don't give the orders around here," Greyback said, and kicked her inert form. He smiled at Teddy through the branches of the Willow.

Vivian jabbed the knot on the roots, and the tunnel opened up. "Go, Teddy!"

Teddy ran into the cover of the branches, into the protection of the tree that had been planted for his father, that had given the wood for his mother's wand, which was now his own. He felt safe, like he'd got through, like--

Greyback thundered inside, clear with all of Teddy's defenders occupied with his packmates. He threw Vivian aside, and she landed hard on the hill, slumping down into unconsciousness. Professor Longbottom screamed her name again, but he was still fighting with Greyback's pack, and couldn't get through.


Uncle Harry's voice thundered through the day, and Teddy ran for the tunnel, meaning to throw Victoire inside, then start the branches again, then follow her. He wanted to be in the fight, but he'd just end up being a distraction again.

Greyback grabbed his arm and swung him around hard. "Back where we started, eh, Lupin?"

"I don't even know you," Teddy said.

"Oh, but we're practically family. You want a family, don't you?"

"He's got one!" Victoire said, dragging at Teddy. She drew her wand and cast an Itching Incantation, but Greyback held on anyway.

The skirmish line broke, and Uncle Harry ran toward them.

Greyback stepped on the knot on the tree. The branches started moving again. One of them clipped Uncle Harry and sent him flying back toward the men he'd been dueling.

"Move with the branches!" Teddy heard, and, to his horror, saw Donzo, holding tight to one of the swinging fronds, as they'd all joked about doing in the autumn. Ruthless was near him, but instead of just trying not to get hit, she was moving inward, her Quidditch robes making her look like an Auror in the shadows. Greyback sliced his wand toward her, and the branch broke. She rolled into the circle. He laughed. "Playing dress up, are we, girl?"

Ruthless drew back her arm, and Teddy saw that it wasn't her wand, but her Quidditch bat in her hand. She drove it into Greyback's wrist like it was a Bludger, and he howled in pain, letting go of Teddy.

"Get out of here, Lupin!" Ruthless shouted.

"You, too!"

Greyback, furious, made a grab for her, but the branch Donzo was clinging to swung by, and he reached down, shouting, "RUTHLESS!"

Ruthless grabbed his hand and let him swing her onto a branch. "Go!" she yelled to Teddy.

Teddy drew his wand and blasted Greyback backward before he could respond, then pulled Victoire toward the roots of the Whomping Willow. "Get in the tunnel," he said. "Crawl as fast as you can. I'll be right behind you."

"Teddy, go first!"

"I'll be there!" he yelled. "Go!"

Victoire reached into her bag and threw a handful of whatever she came to first between Teddy and Greyback. Several fireworks went off and a portable rainstorm started to send lightning around. She jumped down into the tunnel. Teddy caught a glimpse of her wide blue eyes reflecting the evening sun, then felt hand hard around his wrist.

Greyback snarled at him. "I ain't done with you," he said. "We got lessons. Don't you like your lessons? Your dad did."

"Not from you, he didn't."

"And here I thought you didn't know me."

Teddy tried to raise his wand, but Greyback swatted his arm down. "Think you've got a chance, do you?"

"They'll get through your line."

"Doesn't matter. There's always more werewolves to be made, and you'll help me out there, just like Vivian did. Not that she didn't help me out in other ways."

"Let go of me!"

"When we get where we're going," Greyback said. "Can't go quite as fast without Mathilde, but we'll get there." He leaned close enough for Teddy to smell the reek of his breath. "You'll get used to it all right."

Teddy twisted his wand toward the Whomping Willow, not knowing what he meant to do, hoping that the tree would know his wand, know him as part of itself. "Please," he whispered.

A huge limb curled inward and slammed into Greyback's shoulders, throwing him aside like a large rag doll.

Uncle Harry's Patronus appeared again, not affected by the branches swinging through it: "Get to safety now."

Teddy rolled down toward the roots, toward the shifting opening of the tunnel. He waited for it to be clear, then dropped down into the darkness.
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From: ethnotechno Date: December 10th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Go RUTHLESS!!!!!!!!! That beater's bad did come in handy...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Had to do something with it!
beceh From: beceh Date: December 10th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Ohhh so exciting!! Again, can't wait for tomorrow's installment!! And yay, an earlyish post! Get to read it beofre I go to work :-D

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Before work is good. :) The nice thing about it is that now I'm in the part of the story where I know for sure what happens, so once I get my fingers in gear, the story comes out pretty fast.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 10th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Now it's a party!

Can't wait to see the movie version of this scene!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
That'd be fun. :D
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: December 10th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Boy, am I glad I thought to check my f-list earlier than I usually do :D

Having said that, Ruthless + beater's bat = WIN

I only hope that if Vivian must die, it be in her own terms rather than Greyback's.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought it would be good to keep the adults busy and let a bunch of kids beat the crap out of Greyback for a little while. It seemed poetic.
moonythoughts From: moonythoughts Date: December 10th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Ew, Mathilde's death. Just... What a way to go.
Can't wait for the next part!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Mathilde's death. Just... What a way to go.

Covered in dung, fingers twisted, then her neck broken by her lover? Yeah. Couldn't happen to a nicer girl.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: December 10th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Serisously, the beater's bat... amazing, wow.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
That was fun. I'd like to take a bat to Greyback. Magic is just too nice.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: December 10th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, that was amazing! I'm glad you managed to post a little earlier today, I've been waiting for this all day! Wow, there was so much going on that I don't even know what to comment on!

GO RUTHLESS!!! And I loved the bit about the Whomping Willow recognizing itself in Teddy's wand and helping out.

I *almost* wish Mathilde didn't die, just because I think it would be interesting to hear her if she was captured after the battle ended. But I'm not too upset.

And yay for Vivian helping out!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
The Willow was definitely not Greyback's best choice as a place for a showdown. Though it is keeping the defenders away.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 10th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Of all the slimey -- you know, Mathilde only passed for human if you squinted your eyes the right way and ignored the personality, but she deserved way better from Greyback, what with her being his only _enthusiastic_ supporter. Even for a total nutcase, the completely one way road he sees loyalty as being (towards him, not away [granted, he may think his obsessive control issues _count_ as some kind of loyalty]) is just . . . .

Yes, Greyback, congratulations, as low as my opinion of you was, it just went considerably lower. I wouldn't have thought you could do it, bu you did. Bully for you.

So, am I to hope that Victoire gets to the knives and makes Greyback into a really ugly doily or should I hope for them to get to Shell Cottage? There be a certain wonderful irony in Bill getting him (given Greyback's thing about biting people to turn them into werewolves to put them under his control, the guy whose life barely missed a beat [especially compared to the other victims] coming in to protect his children and future son-in-law might have a certain touch to it, they guy Greyback tried to touch but who he never had any power over).

Although this is Teddy's story, so it seems like it should be his right to beat Greyback into little pieces. Just not sure how he's going to do that. Or how he might trap Greyback in the - ahem - gun that has to go off in the third act.

Of course, there's also a revenant sort of blood stain that seems like it should have something to do with the plot at this point, one formed by a guy who had certain issues/memories about people being attacked by werewolves in the Shrieking Shack. Whether or not you see Snape as being somewhat protective towards students (protective of their physical well being, their emotional well being only sporadically even registerd on his radar).

It seems like that is _not_ a bloodstain Greyback is going to step on without waking something pretty nasty up.

Ah, well. I shall (try to) wait and see.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad that was your reaction to Mathilde's death. Yes, I thought it in some ways appropriate for her to be betrayed by what she'd decided was a grand cause, but it was definitely cold. She thought she was an equal. Greyback doesn't allow equals.
From: melissa_renee Date: December 10th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)

I certainly picked an interesting time to catch up

This has been quite a show down so far. I particularly enjoyed it when Victoire lashed back in French at Mathilde, there was just something amusing about that in all the fighting that was going on. I also liked Victoire's assertion that Teddy already has a family. It didn't take any thought on her part because she just knows and accepts that Teddy is part of the extended Weasley clan (though clearly not related enough to prevent him from being her boyfriend, I'm looking forward to Teddy finishing working that one out).

All in all there's too much to comment on so I will just say that you are writing a wonderful fight scene and I'm looking forward to Greyback's final downfall.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I certainly picked an interesting time to catch up

I think Victoire is pissed off that Mathilde has (well, had) the nerve to be French. How insulting!

allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: December 10th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
"You'll get used to it all right."

GO RUTHLESS!! That was awesome!

Augh augh augh, I can't wait until the next bit. The great showdown: Greyback vs. Teddy and Victoire (and those knives).

Nice trick, with the wand and Vivian's hair.

Greyback, erm, disposing of Mathilde? OMGcreepy.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Picked up the "d," thanks. Not one of the things the spellcheck catches!

I thought Ruthless could use a moment before I isolated Teddy and Victoire. She's earned it.
rdprice29 From: rdprice29 Date: December 10th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)

*is breathless with anticipation!*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay. :D
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: December 10th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I know that the professors have to protect the students and getting them away from the battle is the best way to do that, but really... And they're only third years, so maybe they haven't got the skills to take on Greyback et al...

But I'm feeling for those students that Neville Banished.

Great, great chapter, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Neville just didn't have time for a debate with students--least of all Ruth Scrimgeour--about whether or not they belonged in the fight. Of course, they didn't pay much attention, as it turns out...
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 10th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Whew! I checked in early, and am I ever glad! Definitely worth the wait, and most gratifying to see Teddy, Victoire, and a few other students giving as good as they get from Greyback & Company. A little startled but not at all displeased that Greyback dispatched Mathilde: I guess he thought she was getting too uppity for him to keep around. And hooray for the Whomping Willow coming to rescue of one of its own!

On the other side of the veil, Tonks and Remus are doubtless going spare watching all this. Might they be able to lend a ghostly hand or are they stuck in spectator mode?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
They may have lent a hand with the Willow, actually, but they can't do much, unfortunately.

I guess he thought she was getting too uppity for him to keep around.

That's probably what it boils down to. If he hadn't killed her then, it probably wouldn't have been too far in the future, anyway.
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: December 10th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Great post! Don't you just love finals? Everything gets so exciting!

Teddy caught a glimpse of her wide blue eyes reflecting the evening sun, then felt hand hard around his wrist.

I think you are missing an "A".

She shoved Mathilde backward, and the tree knocked her wand out of her hand.

I know what you mean, but I had to read this a couple of times to get all the "her's" straight. Action scenes are hard; you have to be specific with your nouns and pronouns for everything to make sense, but not use so many proper nouns that you sound like a robot. I'm not saying it must be changed, but it is something to consider.

I'm still not sure why the wand exploded, to tell the truth.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I know, action scenes are a bitch. I keep practicing them, but then you always run into the pronouns, the repetitive actions, and all of it. Blargh.

I promise an "Uncle Harry Explains It All" scene. If JKR could do a "Dumbledore Explains It All" a year after the man died, I feel justified in an "explains it all" scene in every story. ;p
cleindori From: cleindori Date: December 10th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)

(That is all. I promise to try and be more coherent at the end of the action sequence, mkay?)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you, in particular, might like the end of the action sequence.
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