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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 25: Confession, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 25: Confession, pt. 2
After the destruction of Greyback, Teddy is disconnected and guilty, and Madam Pomfrey keeps him overnight in the hospital wing because she's worried about him. With the full support of his grandmother, he insists on going back to class the next day, and takes a few steps back into his circle of friends, though he continues to feel "out of it." Victoire is staying at Shell Cottage, where Teddy sent her for safety's sake, until it's time to take exams.

This isn't the last section--it ended at a place that sounds like a logical end, but there's one more section left.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Over the next several days, Teddy seemed to spend a lot of time asleep. He went to class, did his homework, then fell, exhausted, to his bed, Checkmate generally curled up on his pillow over his head. He dreamed badly at first, of Greyback, bursting into flames, and then of the Shrieking Shack tearing itself apart on his magical command. Eventually, he found himself on a rowboat, thirsty and hot, headed for Tirza's ship. Tirza--so close to Mum now that there was no difference--pulled him up and put a cool towel on his head. He asked for water, but she said he couldn't eat or drink here. "I'm sorry," she said, covering her face. "I'm sorry, Teddy, I can't help."

"You help," he told her. "I'm sorry about the house."

She smiled sadly, and combed his hair with insubstantial fingers. They didn't talk. The Malaquis clan was coming, and she stood up. "I have to go fight," she said. "Tell me that you understand, Teddy. Please."

Teddy thought about pulling Greyback behind the Floo, about turning to face him after everything he'd done. He nodded. "I understand."

She kissed his forehead, then ran off, shouting orders. Teddy watched her climb onto a boat, and then she was gone, the dream faded away there, as a band of fifth years came in downstairs, celebrating the end of their Potions O.W.L.s, making a huge racket that even Teddy couldn't sleep through. It was they who'd become the raucous Malaquis soldiers, he thought resentfully. He could have stayed asleep, kept talking to Mum, if they hadn't come.

He went to supper, made conversation with Ruthless, and with Frankie, who was stressed about tomorrow's O.W.L. in Defense Against the Dark Arts and trying to remind himself of every spell he knew. Teddy was glad of this. Maurice and Corky joined them after a while, and then Tinny and Jane and Bernice. Roger was trying to get a hatchling Ouzelum bird to look after next year as a special project, and seemed very distressed that the Ministry didn't want him to have one in his Muggle home. Teddy agreed that it was blatantly unfair, as, had he been wizard-born, it would be no more remarkable than a Pygmy Puff.

Ruthless invited him to study down in the Common Room, but he was already sleepy, and went back to bed. He dreamed again of the rowboat in the South Seas, and he knew long before he arrived that he'd find himself on Tirza's island, washed up on the brilliant sand. He looked up and wasn't surprised to see the Shrieking Shack, looking out of place but oddly comfortable, on the jungle-covered mountain that rose beyond the bay. It was freshly painted, and the shutters hung properly. He imagined rosebushes in front, and they appeared.


He rolled over onto his back. Dad was standing there, dressed in Holt's clothes, but with no other attention to Teddy's year-long fantasy. He crouched and put a hand on Teddy's forehead. It was weightless. "You did well."

Teddy blinked. "I wrecked the house."

"You sure did!" Dad laughed and sat down. "That was some Blasting Curse. But you can see, it's fine now."

"Is it really better here?"

Dad grew serious. "No. I don't want you to start thinking that way."

"But--" Teddy pointed to the bright sun, the blue sky, the fish that had appeared, broiled, on a sizzling pan nearby.

"It's paradise," Dad said, "and if I could, I'd trade it forever to get a year with you."

"But you can't."

"But I can't. We do the best we can with what we're given."

"It's not fair." Teddy pulled himself to his feet and looked out across the ocean, putting a hand over his eyes to block the angry glare of the sun. "Everything you went through... for TEN MONTHS!"

"It would have been worth it if it had been for ten minutes." Dad came over to him and stood by his side, hands in his pockets. "Though I suppose Fifi LaFolle would never write an ending like that."

Teddy could smell the fish nearby, brilliant and clear. He wanted some, but Mum had told him not to eat or drink here, so he didn't ask. Instead, he sat with Dad, watching the sun play across the sea. After a while, Mum joined them. She was dragging a rowboat full of boxes and suitcases, and Teddy knew that she meant him to sail off, to wake up. He didn't want to wake up. It was better here. He wanted to go up to the house, to his room. He wanted Julia and Raymond and Orion and Mira and Carina, but they never seemed to show up in his dreams of the island, even after he wrote them there.

He slept through Herbology the next morning, and Professor Longbottom took ten points from Gryffindor. He was, thankfully, not inclined to coddle Teddy on the day of the full moon. Teddy suspected he was thinking of Vivian, worrying about her transformation so soon after an injury.

After his afternoon classes, he wandered back into the Common Room, meaning to go upstairs and sleep until supper, but Ruthless had planted herself at the base of the boys' staircase.

"Lupin, you're staying up," she said. "You're going to come out with me, and we'll meet Frankie and Donzo downstairs. We'll play Muggles and Minions until it's time for supper. Frankie has a whole game set up--and you know how he's been during O.W.L.s--and it's going to keep you hopping."

"I'm tired."

She looked around, then drew him into the space behind the Lionbloom, where Victoire had caught them snogging in some other life. "Teddy, everyone's worried. You're fine when you're with us, but you're sleeping all the time. Are you hurt, or is this just... you know... because you feel bad?"

"I'm just tired," Teddy said again.

She touched his face. "I know. But let's wake up, shall we? You're getting a bit scary."

Her hand on his face was very warm, and very solid, and suddenly, that was all Teddy wanted. He put his arms around her, hooking them up under hers, and pulled her as close as he could, not wanting to kiss her or caress her, just to have her next to him. If she was surprised by this, she didn't show it. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pressed her cheek against his head. Her hair filled his field of vision almost entirely, and tickled against his face.

After a long time, she patted him awkwardly on the back and pulled away, kissing his cheek lightly as she did. "Come on, Lupin," she said, "buck up. Stiff upper lip and all that other stereotypical nonsense."

"Right." He took her hands. "Stereotypical nonsense, coming up." He stuck his chin out dramatically, and morphed it so it was perfectly square.

She laughed.

A branch of the Lionbloom lowered, and Teddy spotted Victoire's pale blue eyes. This time, she looked more amused than upset. "Honestly, Teddy," she said, "this place isn't as private as you think it is."

Teddy let the girls take him downstairs to the Great Hall. Frankie had put together a particularly exciting game, which required Teddy's character to fly to nearly every location. He wasn't given any time away. They played through supper, commandeering the end of the Hufflepuff table for the game. The others all acknowledged what had happened, and chastised Teddy for feeling too bad about it.

"Greyback's not worth a catnap," Corky said, rolling to see if his character would be able to pick the lock on a set of chains, "let alone sleeping for four days."

"Fine, I'll be happy about killing someone."

"No one's saying be happy about it," Frankie said, "but you do need to come up from it, mate."

Victoire didn't join in this. He supposed she knew that it was more about the Shrieking Shack than Greyback. Instead, she gushed about having been there after all for the birth of her new sibling. "A brother!" she said. "Finally, another boy!"

Ruthless made a face. "My sympathies."

"His name is Lance," Victoire said, ignoring this. "Lancelot, actually, but no one's going to call him that. Artie's walking around like he invented him."

"As long as they never meet a girl named Guinevere..." Corky said.

Maurice nodded. "I'd steer clear of Gwens and Jennys as well, just to be safe."

Victoire stuck her tongue out, and grabbed the dice to roll for an escape from an out-of-control taxi with a mad driver.

The game went on until the Headmistress sent them to bed for the night, reminding them that people were trying to study for exams, which would pick up again Monday morning. She didn't seem angry, though. Teddy stayed in the Common Room with Ruthless and Victoire for a long time, slowly working around to talking about what had happened the night Greyback came to Hogwarts.

"Victoire was amazing," Teddy said. "I tried to tell people how amazing she was, but no one seems to have quite got the scale of it."

"That's because you've been out of it," Ruthless said. "And we're not letting you sleep more than eight hours anymore. If you're not up tomorrow morning, we'll be in with a set of drums."

Teddy slept easily that night, dreaming himself into the rowboat, which was well stocked with things he needed--pictures, mostly, and books. Some of the lumpy wrapped packages didn't contain things with names or shapes, but Teddy knew he needed them anyway. He watched the island fade off into the distance. Mum and Dad were there together, watching him go. The Shrieking Shack gleamed white in the tropical sun. He reached Tirza's ship and climbed aboard, bringing up the rowboat with all of its cargo. Victoire started to stow it, and Ruthless was occupying herself with the maps, plotting out a course. Others ran about busily, preparing the ship to sail off to wherever it was going.

Teddy took his first exams the next week, and he thought he did reasonably well. Ruthless was as good as her word about not letting him sleep, and when she couldn't be on keep-Teddy-awake duty, she had Victoire do it. His friends in other Houses didn't let him go back to Gryffindor during the day at all. It got easier.

After his Herbology exam, he waited for the others to leave--giving Tinny and Roger a sign that he meant to catch up with them later--and went to Professor Longbottom, who seemed drawn and pale, but otherwise all right.

"Did you need something, Teddy?"

"I just wondered... have you heard... er... is she all right? Vivian?"

Professor Longbottom set down a Singing Sunflower he was misting and said, "Yes. She's transformed in worse shape than she was in. She said they practically coddled her at St. Mungo's."

"Is she coming back?"

"No. She's not."

"They're not sacking her, are they?"

"She's going to the sanctuary in France," he said. "The rest of the pack is going to take care of her."

Teddy thought about asking what that meant for the pair of them, but decided that was more than he would be allowed to ask. Professor Longbottom gave him a look that said he knew perfectly well what Teddy was thinking, but didn't offer an answer. There was a knock at the door, and a curly-haired man with wire specs--Ernie Macmillan, Teddy remembered--announced with important jocularity that he was "absconding with the Herbology professor, who's required in London on urgent business." Professor Longbottom rolled his eyes, and Teddy rolled his own back. Apparently, Teddy's weren't the only friends with a mission.

Uncle Harry made a point of coming up for a lesson--given in the antechamber outside the Great Hall--but they mainly went over a few of Teddy's favorite Charms before his exam. James had sent him a new story about Julia and Raymond. Uncle Harry asked if he could handle that. "I told James that he might think about changing the names, but he's determined that they're Julia and Raymond. I didn't want to tell him why that might hurt you. I wasn't sure you'd want me to."

"It's all right," Teddy said. "I'm glad someone else knows them."

Uncle Harry nodded, and they went on.

Teddy finished his exams the next week, two days before the Hogwarts Express returned to take them all back to London. He was sitting with Victoire when the carriages appeared, and they both fell out of their conversations. The thestrals were horrible to look at, skeletal and vicious. Victoire shuddered.

They climbed into the carriage together, and Ruthless, Donzo, and Maurice joined them. Teddy watched as his third year retreated into the past.
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kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: December 15th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Is that the end?

Say it's not the end!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
But I did say it's not the end! :)

Srsly, I always write "The End" at the end of long stuff.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
redlily From: redlily Date: December 15th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Lupin is so himself in Teddy's dream -- I wondered for a moment if it was "really" him, but then settled on the idea that Teddy actually knows him quite well from the ring recollections.

Apparently, Teddy's weren't the only friends with a mission.

Bwah! Very perceptive, young Ted.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Moment of bonding between Teddy and Neville, neither of whom is ready to admit how completely grateful he is for his nosy friends.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: December 15th, 2007 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow...I can't believe it's coming to an end.

Great job once again, Fern. It's nice Teddy's friends are there like Harry's were for them. Nice interaction between him and Ruthless too. Also nice to see that Ernie is as pompous as usual.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Ernie. He's so well-meaning, and so insufferable!
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: December 15th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I was going to ask why Victoire could see the thestrals, but then I realized she might have seen Greyback kill DuBois.

I really enjoyed this chapter, especially Teddy's dream with Remus and Tonks and the discussion over Lance and Artie's potential love life disasters.

I'll be sad to see this end, and I hope you will continue with Teddy's story. Even if you don't, I can't wait to read your next story.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Ruthless and Donzo may have seen that murder as well, though they didn't have as much of a front-row seat as Teddy and Victoire.
anj1290 From: anj1290 Date: December 15th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, nice. Love the dreams. And very realistic, too--having observed people who've gone through traumatic events (though obviously not as traumatic as setting a crazed werewolf on fire and losing the house that was their only connection to their dead parents), the sleeping a lot and wandering around vaguely dazed feels exactly right for this situation.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Depression--not much of a plot, but a definite and recognizable state of mind. Otherwise known as Blech.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 15th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Good depiction of Teddy's depression--sleeping jags and general apathy are apparently recognized symptoms, though not as severe as some. I also liked watching his friends, of all ages and Houses, come together to help him through it. And any interaction between Teddy and his parents is bound to move me. Nice touch about Teddy not being permitted to eat and drink beyond the Veil, a la Persephone and Hades. Although I wonder a little why his dream-sibs don't appear on the island either--is it because they never existed, as opposed to having died before their time?

Glad that Neville is being looked after too, although right now he's probably in no mood to appreciate it. Will he and Vivian ever get some closure, even if they're destined not to be together?

Seeing thestrals is definitely a mixed blessing, even if there's no harm in the creatures themselves. I'm looking forward to finding out how Teddy finally puts his most traumatic year to date behind him.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I think they don't appear because they never really existed until Teddy thought of them. They may come to exist in some form (as his children rather than his siblings), but I don't have a working theory on the Beforelife.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: December 15th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
So very good!

More! More!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. One more is coming!
rotae From: rotae Date: December 15th, 2007 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I love how the dreams started off vaguely like people he recognises, but now by the end of it he's naming them because he knows who they are/always were now.

So, this isn't the end... but I have to ask... what are you going to do after this? I hope some more Teddy after a bit of a break :) I need to make you a new icon after all to go with it ;) :D

Edit: And I am always SOOOOOO teary when you Remus into your Teddy stories :( I love them together :3


Edited at 2007-12-15 05:04 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I may be ready to start Safe (in which case, if it's all right, I might use this icon), but first, I'm getting through my move, and I'm going to see if I can get a good original fic going. I have two kicking around in my head that are completely new instead of re-heats of something I've thought of before.
gabrielladusult From: gabrielladusult Date: December 15th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I know you said the chapter title wasn't set in stone, but...shouldn't we be seeing Pere Alderman soon?

Had Teddy inherited some of his Granddad's seer abilities along with his mum's morphing and his second cousin's Animagus skills? Or is he just really perceptive and it shows in his subconscious?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
We'll be seeing Alderman soon.

Teddy's got something, and he can skate very close to the veil, but I think it's not just Teddy working at it. I think that Remus, Tonks, Lily, and the Marauders are all together now (Fred, too, come to think of it), and if that bunch can't think of creative solutions to communication problems with the living, no one can.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 15th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
"It would have been worth it if it had been for ten minutes."

I got all teary-eyed again here. Jo gave us a huge gift in the Kings Cross chapter by showing us that the dead can reach us in our dreams. I wasn't sure if Teddy was solely imagining/dreaming it until you mentioned that he couldn't see his "siblings" and then I was sure it was Remus and Dora reaching out to him in the only way they can. Having Remus be so, well, Remus-y only reinforced that feeling. If I'm wrong, don't tell me, because it just makes me feel so much better for Remus's loss; he knows he's important to Teddy here.

Now, Lancelot? Is this revenge on Jo for Hugo and Scorpius? Or do you just have a really low opinion of Fleur? ;-D But it made me giggle which, in this sad chapter, was a nice break, so thanks.

I usually completely agree with your interpretation of events, characters, etc. but the description of the Thestrals as "vicious" just at the end didn't seem quite right. I always thought of them as gentle. Scary, but gentle, like Hagrid described. And I can't imagine that Teddy and Victoire wouldn't have grown up hearing about them.

But still, what a nice way to bring us down from all the tension in the past few chapters. We're processing everything as Teddy does and I can't wait to read everything through once it's been re-posted on SugarQuill.net and really be able to feel the rhythm of the story.

Whew! That was really long-winded. Sorry for the blabbing; I'll try to be more succinct in future :-)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Lance is more a wink at "Ginevra" (Guenevere). I mean, come on. ;p More a poke at the Weasleys than at Fleur.

I'm not sure about the thestral description myself. They look really freaky and scary, and apparently eat half cows for recreation, but yes, Teddy would know what they were. He may have known intellectually what they looked like, but not been prepared for how awful they look. Of course, they also remind him of what he's just been through.

I don't mind long comments one bit!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
rdprice29 From: rdprice29 Date: December 15th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs Teddy*

*adores Ruthless and Victoire*

Such a great, great story.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Ruthless and Victoire are going to have to learn to deal with each other, because Teddy doesn't function all that well without them.
From: kobegrace Date: December 15th, 2007 05:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy and Victoire can see thestrals.

That made me a whole lot sadder than I ever fathomed it would.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
At just fourteen and twelve? Yeah, it's too soon to see someone die.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 15th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Arthur and Lancelot- Ha!

Safe and two original fics, oh my, I hope that leaves room for another foray into the wonderful world of Teddy Lupin sometime in the not too distant future. Come to think of it, it's pretty much been a nightly/early morning ritual for me to read about little Teddy for months now. One doesn't break such a habit lightly.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
We'll see. I enjoy Teddy's world, as long as I can keep Remus and Tonks involved in it. But my life is about to change radically, so the fanfic might change a lot.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: December 15th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Mundane things first:

tomorrows O.W.L. is missing an apostrophe in "tomorrow's".

and you know how he during O.W.L.s is missing a verb.

This was very good. As others have said, it's a convincing picture of Teddy's reaction.

I think my very favourite part was Remus. What a lovely man. What a wonderful father (and grandfather) he would have been.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderful father (and grandfather) he would have been.

I know. :pouts:

Of course, James would have been, too, but as he was dead all along, that one doesn't hurt quite as badly.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 15th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Love, memories, the general sense of being with them, of being part of them. Maybe forgiveness. If they had names, they'd be easier to name. ;p
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