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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 24: The Place Between, pt. 2
Greyback and Teddy are left alone in the Shrieking Shack until Harry can get there. Teddy lost hold of his wand in the kitchen, and couldn't get back to it (though he has no intention of leaving without it), so he decides to mess with Greyback's head by morphing himself into Remus. Greyback has an urge to give a disturbing monologue about lycanthropic life and Remus and Tonks's deaths--along with threats about following Teddy anywhere he tries to Floo--but Teddy uses the opportunity to think. He remembers his lesson from Kirley Duke about the inner workings of the Floo system, including the fact that he can get to the outer part of it by going in without stating a destination... but he best not try to get back without more Floo powder. He gives a destination, but waits long enough that it won't connect, then throws in a cube of hardened Floo powder, and drags Greyback with him into the system.

Grr. I can't believe how much trouble I had blocking the action out, given that I've known how it would end almost since I started writing. I couldn't have Harry appear too soon--adults tend to spoil it when the kid is doing something--but I couldn't reasonably delay him much longer.

Anyway, this will be a two-part chapter, because Greyback is done being talky.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy felt the spin begin as soon as he was in the flames, but he threw his own weight--with Greyback's--in the opposite direction, bringing himself to a stop long enough to grab for the back of the fireplace. This wasn't a fancy affair, like Weird World's, just a gap in space, through which he could see the shattered parlor of the Shrieking Shack. A utilitarian ledge ran along the back, with handholds on it for maintenance. Teddy caught one of them sloppily, then pulled himself far enough to get a firm grip.

Greyback tried to spin away from him. "What's this? Talk, boy."

"You were the one who decided to follow," Teddy told him. "I didn't say I was going anywhere."

"I'll kill you in here as easy I would out there!"

"All I have to do is let go, and you'll never get out. I will. And if I don't, you won't, either." Teddy twisted his arm to turn Greyback's. Out here, Greyback's weight was no advantage to him. If he pulled free, he'd just go spinning into nothingness. If he did anything that made Teddy lose his grip, he'd be stuck here. His eyes were twitching in a prelude to panic. Good, Teddy thought. Let him be scared for once.

"I can hurt you in the meantime," Greyback said, but all he did was flex his iron hard fingers on Teddy's wrist.

Teddy concentrated on his morph, wanting Greyback as panicked as he could be. He evened out his skin tone, and threaded gray through his hair. "You've hurt me all you're going to," he said.

"You stop that right now, boy!"

"Don't like this one?" Teddy asked, and morphed himself into Neil Overby.

Greyback tried to pull away.

"How about this one?" He morphed into Père Alderman, then into Nate Blondin, then decided to push it by morphing into Evvie, then Vivian. Neither of these morphs were, strictly speaking, perfect, but he didn't intend to give Greyback a chance to look that closely.

"Stop it right now!"

"Oh, I know! How about this one?" He pushed away Vivian's scars, lightened and curled his hair, and became Astrid Greyback, as she'd been the day she came to Hogwarts.

"You can't do that!"

Teddy morphed back into Dad's face, which settled in comfortably. "Sure I can. What are you going to do about it?"

"Ask your little girlfriend's dad what I do about faces I don't much like." Greyback reached out and grabbed Teddy by the front of his robes. Something made a soft crinkling sound. The Marauder's Map. Uncle Harry had told him not to leave the castle without it, and he'd absently put it in his pocket before going to Hagrid's tonight. It didn't show the Shack, of course, or this place, so he couldn't think what good it would do, but it seemed like there was something, some use...

It clicked into place.

Of course.

Teddy kicked at Greyback with both legs, ignoring the jolt of pain in his injured knee. With a grunt of pain, Greyback let go of him and went spinning out into the nothing. Teddy pulled the Marauder's Map out, not needing to open it. Dad's wand was tethered to it, and it appeared, floating in the wind. Teddy grabbed it and pointed it at Greyback.

"Petrificus Totalis!"

Greyback spun out of the way of the spell.

"Bugger," Teddy hissed, putting the Map back in his pocket. That wouldn't do any good. He'd be somewhere in limbo by the time Uncle Harry got here. "Accio Greyback!"

Greyback flew toward him, teeth bared, blood flying from his face. Teddy meant to catch hold of him and freeze him--or so he told himself later--but Greyback had other ideas. He grabbed one of the other hand holds, then his arm pistoned out, the hand wrapping itself around Teddy's neck, cutting off his air, and his voice. And Uncle Harry had decided he wasn't ready for nonverbal spells. He lost hold of his morph as the world started to develop strange black blotches.

"Bad idea," Greyback said. "I think you're done here."

Teddy thrashed wildly, but Greyback was impossibly strong.

"Maybe I'll just knock you out and take you with me. Or maybe I'm done with you."

Teddy turned Dad's wand in his hand. He might not be able to do any magic, but he did have one chance. He jabbed his arm down as hard as he could, driving the tip of Dad's wand into one of the gaping wounds in Greyback's cheek. Greyback yelled and fell away from Teddy, losing his hold on the back of the fireplace as well. He made a mad grab for Teddy's leg.

Teddy flipped himself forward with all of his strength, bringing his legs around, dragging Greyback toward the grate.

Greyback let go.

And hurled into the high orange flames, shooting back into the parlor of the Shrieking Shack like a living fireball. Teddy saw him lurch into the curtains, and they went up in flames, catching the wallpaper.


He pulled the last Floo cube from his pocket and threw it into the fire, shouting, "Shrieking Shack!" The flames turned green and he jumped back through them into a spreading inferno. Greyback managed one more step, then fell forward, his arm stretching into the corridor. Flames caught the shattered picture frames, and they lit like kindling, Dad's drawings turning to char inside them. The house was catching too quickly, impossibly fast, like it had just been waiting to go up.

Teddy shook his head in negation. Somewhere, he heard a fist thundering against a door.

It didn't matter.

Greyback had ceased all movement, and Teddy stared at his body, trying to feel something other than nausea at the stink. The monster was gone. Whatever man he might have been was also gone. All that was left was something charred and unrecognizable. Teddy tried to convince himself that it had been an accident, that Greyback had gone through without any help, but somehow that didn't matter. Had this been his intent all along? To turn Greyback into this smoking mass of gristle?

"No," he whispered. "I didn't... I didn't want..."

But he had wanted. He knew it. He could have taken Greyback anywhere, could have dragged him in front of any number of adults. Instead, he'd remembered Kirley's warning about bringing extra Floo powder, and then trapped him.

The fire crept up the banister now, twisting into shapes, beautiful shapes, as it spread. He saw a large dog leaping down the stairs, its flame-coat rippling. A rat ran around its paws. In the parlor, there were four boys laughing, and a man and woman were sitting together on the sofa, reading a book to one another.

The flames reached for the kitchen, and Teddy was suddenly filled with horror. He ran for the kitchen, going around the trap door, around the blood stain, now spreading with char, and he saw a smoke figure of a man struggling with a snake. Nearby, taking no notice of him at all, was a flame-stag.

Teddy went into the kitchen from the side, and the flames hadn't reached through. Mum's wand was still at the base of the wall, and he grabbed it, holding it tight, not trying any magic. He could see a woman at the sink, not in flame, but shimmering in the house's memory. She was scrubbing madly. Ghost sponges flew angrily around her. Teddy sank down against the wall, watching.

The kitchen floor caught.

A little girl sprang from it, chased by a smiling, happy man, the man Teddy's father would have been if he'd lived. The girl was Julia. She ran toward Teddy, flame-arms outstretched, wanting a hug.

The front door blew in off its hinges.


Teddy looked up, and Julia broke apart, Uncle Harry was walking through the flames, untouched. He grabbed Teddy's arm. "Are you all right?"

Teddy blinked at him. "The house..."

"We're getting you out of the house."

"Your dad... Snape... MUM..."

Uncle Harry looked at him blankly, and Teddy realized that he couldn't see any of the fire-people. Something crashed, and flames shot out of the parlor, lighting Greyback's body up.

"That's it," Uncle Harry said. "We're getting you out."

He dragged Teddy to his feet. Teddy's knee buckled, but it didn't matter, Uncle Harry had him. Uncle Harry pushed open the back door, the door that led into the overgrown garden, and pulled Teddy out into the warm June night.

"Come on," Uncle Harry said. "I've got you."

"The Shrieking Shack..."

"Sit down. Let me see what I can do."

He set Teddy down on a soft slope beside a monstrous rosebush, and Teddy realized with no surprise at all that it was the rosebush his father had planted the day after the wedding, the day Mum had come out here and they'd talked about their future. Now its thorns clawed at Teddy's robes.

Uncle Harry sent off his Patronus for help, then started to Conjure water, throwing it on the Shack as quickly as he could.

Teddy pulled himself to his feet, looking up at the ruins of his house, at the home that would have been his. In an upper window, he saw a flame-version of Dad, bent over his desk. In another window, Mum was carrying a baby around. And high up, he saw an attic window, and in the window was another Teddy, a Teddy who belonged here, who had his secret places here. This boy hadn't killed anyone, even by accident. He was sitting comfortably on the ledge, across from another boy, a brother.

Teddy raised Mum's wand at the house, at that calm boy who had never existed, at the phantoms swallowed up by the blood shed here.


The top floor of the house exploded outward, sending wooden planks and metal fixtures flying in all directions.

Uncle Harry turned and grabbed Teddy away, shielding him.

Teddy reached under his arm and yelled, "CONFRINGO! CONFRINGO!"

"Teddy, stop it!"


With a boom like thunder, the Shrieking Shack blew out into the night, the boards and windows flying like fireworks. A low rumble came from the far side, and beyond the house's confines, Teddy saw a long, narrow ditch fall into itself as the tunnel collapsed underground.

"Confringo," Teddy said, but he'd lost his strength.

Uncle Harry tackled him down and sheltered him from the flying debris, muttering some kind of comforting patter that Teddy would never remember later.

Teddy curled up on the ground, his mother's wand in his hand, and waited for the last of it to fall.
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From: spitc1899 Date: December 13th, 2007 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh. Wow.
From: spitc1899 Date: December 13th, 2007 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
A little more coherent now. Wow. I wondered since I knew the Shrieking Shack couldn't be fully rehabilitated with Teddy starting Marauder's Roost in a few years, but I didn't know what you were going to do. Poor Teddy. And poor Shrieking Shack. I feel sorry for it after all it went through, as silly as that may sound. It seems like it just never had a chance. The Marauders making it a bit of a home away from home, and then it being abandoned again, and then Dora fixing it up and having to tear it down again . . . Although it's probably good that Teddy and Victoire will start their home on (slightly) less haunted ground.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: December 13th, 2007 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
God almighty. The real people and the might-have-beens, all ghosts in the fire ... what an image. I can see why Teddy did what he did. Really, really good, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. That may or may not have been Teddy's imagination cranked up rather than magic, but either way, it would get inside his head.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 13th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Pathos. Going back to reread this a few times.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: December 13th, 2007 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)
oh teddy...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC) (Link)
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: December 13th, 2007 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Holy cow. I figured the Confringo would come into play sooner or later, but I didn't think it'd be so Teddy could blow the Shrieking Shack sky-high with it.

Also, please remind me again what Kirley Duke taught Teddy about the floo that made Greyback die? I'm not lazy, I'm just out of time to be on the computer and not sure where to find it.
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: December 13th, 2007 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, never mind. Chapter summaries FOR THE WIN.
golden_d From: golden_d Date: December 13th, 2007 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Teddy... :(
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I know.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: December 13th, 2007 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Teddy. I can totally understand why he did it (and hey, he succeeded at the Blasting Curse), but excuse me while I go and cry about the demise of the Shrieking Shack.

I won't waste any tears on Greyback, though. Good riddance, fireball man! But poor Teddy, being the one to do it...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I definitely feel worse for Teddy than for Greyback. Also, worse for the house, the burned up pictures, and the termites in the walls.
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: December 13th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy has far too much of the Lupin guilt in him.

Whooo, fennys DEADDDD XDDDDD
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's probably good that he's not crazy about the thought that he burned someone to death, but yes, getting rid of Greyback can hardly be counted as a bad thing.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 13th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
SO glad greyback's dead! Excellent chapterlet, Fern =)

This part was a bit unclear, though:

Teddy flipped himself forward with all of his strength, bringing his legs around, dragging Greyback toward the grate.

Greyback let go.

And hurled into the high orange flames, shooting back into the parlor of the Shrieking Shack like a living fireball. Teddy saw him lurch into the curtains, and they went up in flames, catching the wallpaper.


He pulled the last Floo cube from his pocket and threw it into the fire, shouting, "Shrieking Shack!" The flames turned green and he jumped back through them into a spreading inferno. Greyback managed one more step, then fell forward, his arm stretching into the corridor.

I had to read it a few times to catch exactly how Greyback caught fire. Maybe giving a little more "remember this?" information about what Kirley Duke taught him? I obviously didn't remember it clearly enough, because I was super confused.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
It might be clear when the whole chapter is up together, since yesterday's segment had Kirley's whole line (with "Be careful to use Floo powder going back, or you'll get cooked") in it, and I didn't want to repeat it so soon. But on re-write, I may go back through and put in more reminders throughout the story that you don't go through the Floo until the flames turn green.
amamama From: amamama Date: December 13th, 2007 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, goodness, woman... That was one shaky ride. I'm delighted Greyback snuffed it, but sad at Teddy's loss of his innocence and his realization that he has ended a life (justified though it is). I guess he'll get some proper help to deal with that. After all, imo Greyback did himself in by choosing his twisted path and by following Teddy with the intent of destroying him. Sicko. (And his nickname for Vivian just makes me nauseous). I bet Kirley Duke will be delighted when he hears his floo teachings came in handy to destroy Greyback. :)

I love how the lessons come in useful - finally he manages confringo, but not in the way I'd thought he would. No more Shrieking Shack, no more tunnel. Maybe a combined Marauder and Remus/Tonks memorial? I'm sorry the house had to go, but it's good it did, too. It wasn't 'classically' haunted, yet for Teddy it was. Haunted with the visions of what could've been. The happy life with mum and dad that he never got, the siblings he never had. >sniff< Great chapter, I look forward to "Harry reveals it all" - and I want to know how Vivian is doing.

Thanks, Fern. Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
He'll definitely get help.

Hauntings are strange things. I think there was more in the Shrieking Shack than Teddy's what-ifs, but it was the what-ifs that really made the haunting real for him.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
cornedbee From: cornedbee Date: December 13th, 2007 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, perfect. Just perfect.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
purebristles From: purebristles Date: December 13th, 2007 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel like the Shrieking Shack - totally, completely blown away by this chapter. Teddy's ingenuity, his dawning realisation of the murder, his bittersweet not-memories of the maybe-future... wow. Thank you, Fern. This chapter is really a blast - pun intended.

12 more days to Christmas!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm not sure it's exactly a murder--a halfway competent defense attorney could get Teddy off on the technicality that Greyback did, in fact, go into the fire on his own, not to mention the self-defense angle--but, well... still more or less a technicality in Teddy's perspective.
rotae From: rotae Date: December 13th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh... wow... Teddy... :(

The only thing I'm a bit unclear on is what happened to Remus's wand and the Marauders Map since it was tethered to it after Teddy shoved it in Greyback? Did I just totally miss that part? lol :D

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Ay, I'd best make that clear, hadn't I? He was just still holding onto it. I'd originally had him Summon Tonks's wand with it, but then I decided to move Teddy around a little bit, and forgot to mention Remus's wand again. He still has both.
From: courtz1994 Date: December 13th, 2007 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh My God!!!!

sorry that's all i can say.......
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's okay, I'll take it. :)
sciathan_file From: sciathan_file Date: December 13th, 2007 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
It's always good to come back from holiday to a chapter of that caliber. :)

Wow, Teddy, wow.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

Yes, Teddy has now joined the ranks of "people it's much wiser not to piss off."
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