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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter One: A Professorial Party, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter One: A Professorial Party, pt. 2
I was going to get a new computer today, but I let them talk me into a floor model and it doesn't work properly, so it's going bye-bye tomorrow morning, and I'm still here on my slow, noisy, and reliable model, which has all of my files on it. Blah. But I got new contacts! I wore them for nearly twenty years, then got depressed and stopped spending money on them. The freedom of seeing without frames or anything pinching my nose... ah, it's lovely. And I'm writing again, too! Of course, my schedule is still screwy and the bus system has not miraculously become functional, but all things in good time.

Anyway, it's the summer before Teddy's first year, and he's going with Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione to Neville's stag party (Ginny, Hermione, Luna, and McGonagall have firm opinions on the matter of not letting the ladies in for a friend's party). He's nervous, because he's being treated as a real grown-up.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

It was impossible to fall out of the fireplace at the Hog's Head when Teddy got there; the floor in front of it was far too crowded. He had a brief glimpse of Uncle Harry's friend Seamus, who'd been doing more of the work at the bar since Aberforth Dumbledore had "started getting on in years," and one of Luna Scamander standing on a table and examining something she'd apparently spotted in a corner of the ceiling, then he tripped and landed against Hermione's back, and was solidly thumped away by Ron's arrival. Uncle Harry came next, looking exasperatedly over his shoulder, and then Aunt Ginny came. She turned while the flames were still green and said, "James, I mean it! Tell Nana she can use any means necessary!" She shook ash out of her hair, then reached up and waved over the crowd.


A knot of people broke up, and from the midst of it, Professor Longbottom emerged. His hair was tousled and his pleasant, round face was red. Teddy guessed he'd been at some mead. "Ginny!" he said. "Welcome!"

He came over, and Aunt Ginny stood on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. "I'd say congratulations, but quite honestly, Hannah's the one to be congratulated on the good catch. So I'll settle for happy birthday and you will love being married. Promise. Though please do Hannah a favor and learn to dance."

Professor Longbottom shook his head and held a hand out to Uncle Harry. "You still haven't learned to dance? Honestly, Harry, saving the world isn't the end of your travails. Hasn't anyone told you that yet?"

Hermione laughed, and a moment later, they were all giving each other hugs. Professor Longbottom turned to Teddy, and held out his hand to be shaken. "Teddy, I trust that nothing that happens here will get around the school."

Teddy tried a smile; it seemed to fit. "If it does, it won't be from me."

"Good man. Lee and George are over by the fire with Professor McGonagall. I'd watch out. They've got cards."

Ron snorted. "Teddy's already cleaned George out twice this summer. I think it's George you'd best be warning."

The adults laughed, and veered off into a conversation about betting at Hogwarts, and Teddy found himself forgotten. He wandered off into the crowd.

"Teddy Lupin!" he heard, and was slapped on the shoulder by Seamus's much-younger wife, a girl called Nancy who was weaving through the crowd with a tray held up over her head. She was always waiting tables when Teddy came here during Hogsmeade weekends, and had been particularly fond of Laura Chapman, who had come with him twice last year. "You're a butterbeer man, aren't you? I'll get you a bottle."

Teddy didn't bother to argue, though he thought he was outgrowing butterbeer, and had been trying to develop a taste for the mulled mead that Hagrid sometimes brought to Granny's. He just nodded at her retreating back and went on.

At the bar, something exploded, and a girl made of golden fireworks began to shimmy and shake her way among the glasses. It was hard to tell through the glittering medium, but Teddy thought she looked naked. She danced over the heads of several people and landed on Professor Longbottom's head, where she twirled twice then burst into a shower of whistling sparks.

"Here, help me down."

Teddy looked up. He'd reached the table where Luna was standing, and she was holding out her hand. He took it and eased her down. "What's up there?"

"Oh, I thought it might be a Highland High-leg, but it turned out to just be a garden variety spider. I decided to leave it alone. It seems happy." She glanced around. "My husband was here somewhere. I'd guess he's disappeared off with Hagrid. They're getting Dapple settled."


"The baby hippogriff. One of the litter in France, the only male. We've brought him to live with Buckbeak." She blinked slowly, and there seemed to be a lecture on hippogriff fathering in the offing, but then she shook her head and said, "It seemed a good idea."

"Oi, Teddy!"

Teddy looked up. George Weasley was sitting by a smaller fireplace, waving over a hand of cards. Lee Jordan was beside him, giving a rather shark-like smile. Professor McGonagall, imperturbable as ever, looked up over the top of her glasses.

Teddy looked at Luna. "I should give them a chance to win some gold back from me."

She gave him a vague sort of smile and wandered off toward a knot of people near the window. Teddy recognized Cho Chang and her husband, a Muggle Healer named Daniel Morse. Daniel had known Mum and Dad during the war, and he gave Teddy a friendly sort of wave, but was apparently involved in a debate of some kind with Slughorn, who was holding court with former members of the Slug Club. Teddy ducked into the crowd before old Sluggy saw him--he'd spent quite enough time with the Potions master last year, learning to brew Wolfsbane Potion for little Neil Overby, a werewolf who'd be starting at Hogwarts in September. There would be more lessons next week, and Teddy thought that would be quite enough of Slughorn over the summer.

He emerged at the table where Lee, George, and McGonagall were sitting, and gratefully took the chair that Lee kicked out for him.

"What kept you?" George asked.

"I don't know."

"I'm surprised James didn't tag along."

Teddy smiled. "He tried. What's the game?"

"London Lowball. We haven't got to that yet, but I'm sure you'll pick it up."

"That's not particularly fair," Professor McGonagall said.

"Don't worry," Teddy assured her. "I've been keeping up with my independent reading. Just in case."

Lee laughed, and dealt Teddy in.

McGonagall studied her cards primly while Teddy arranged his hand, and said, "Your... independent reading. I don't suppose you've had a chance to review those books I sent you?" She raised an eyebrow, and Teddy caught the hidden wink.

"Dead boring," he said. "Can't imagine what you think I'm going to do with them."

"I expect you to do nothing at all. You're not nearly old enough to study the Animagus transformation in anything more than a theoretical manner. I know you'd never consider actual practice." She placed her bet and it to George.

Teddy settled in--Lee and George had been teaching him cards for two summers. They'd also tried to teach him to smoke a pipe, but he'd got so sick that they'd given that up entirely. The trick was to make other conversation, so they wouldn't notice what you really thought of your hand. "So," he said, "I've only met Hannah once or twice. What's she like?"

"Nervous," McGonagall said. "I don't envy her bridesmaids. I expect flamingos at the wedding."

"They're on the cake," Lee told her. "Some sort of joke. Susan MacMillan set it up. Said Hannah could use a laugh. Pansy's horrified, of course."

"Pansy!" George made a face. "Not Parkinson! What's she doing nosing around Hannah's cake?"

"Finch-Fletchley," Lee said. "You can't possibly have missed that wedding. She's been going on about how she's seen the light about Muggle-borns. Probably reflects nicely off all that gold in Justin's vault."

Both names were vaguely familiar to Teddy, but he didn't know enough to comment. "Why flamingos?" he asked.

"Her O.W.L.s," George said. "Quite famous, really. She got nervous, and a whole flock of them showed up. Wonder what Lupin will Conjure for us this year." He grinned wickedly.

"I think he'll just freeze up," Lee opined. "We know he always cracks under pressure."

"Scared, Teddy? The O.W.L.s are vicious, you know. The rest of your life depends on them. They--"

"Mr. Weasley!" McGonagall scolded. "Really!"

Lee leaned forward. "She doesn't want you to be too nervous. Nerves could make you fail, and you'll never amount to anything."

Teddy rolled his eyes and said, "What's your bet, Jordan?"

George roared laughter.

Teddy settled in comfortably. He supposed some of the others might look at him oddly, but here, at least, he was just one of them--a holder of the Marauder's Map, a Purveyor of Aids to Magical Mischief Makers. Lee and George had treated him as part of the circle since he'd shown them all of the tricks he'd discovered in it, and he was glad. It wasn't precisely that they treated him as an adult--George found plenty of opportunities to harp on Teddy's youth--but that they treated him as an equal. Teddy's age was no more or less a point of conversation than Lee's career or George's joke shop. Being bound to the Map made generations seem less important.

Or so Teddy thought.

George examined his cards. "Reckon I'm going to need to sell the shop if I keep this up," he said wistfully, and Teddy guessed he was trying to drive the bet up. "Know of any buyers?"

"Well, perhaps Professor Slughorn will be in the market," McGonagall said, and tossed a few coins into the pile. "I imagine he'll grow bored rather quickly."

"Bored?" Teddy asked. "Why would he suddenly get bored?"

"He hasn't told you? I thought he would, with all of those Wolfsbane lessons. I assumed that was why he was training you. Professor Slughorn is retiring this year."
52 comments or Leave a comment
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chelleybeans From: chelleybeans Date: March 11th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
What will you make Teddy Conjure during Owls? I am liking this story very much. I was missing your stories everyday. Everytime I got back from work there would be a new and exciting chapter.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I doubt Teddy will accidentally Conjure anything, though George and Lee are bound and determined to freak him out about it. :)
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: March 11th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, new potions professor! Hopefully they won't be as bad as Snape, though I'm curious as to who's going to fill the position.

Also, in your little blurb before the chapter, you mentioned this was the summer before Teddy's first year. I'm guessing you had a brainfart and really meant to write fifth?

Can't wait to see what's coming. I'm really interested in how the title's going to play in, as I like Greek mythology and know all about the labrynth.
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: March 11th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was going to say *just* that. It's either a typo or Teddy is awfully advanced for a first year (not to mention that this would contradict all the Vivian in the other Teddy stories, but JKR contradicts herself all the time so Fern might as well =P).

etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: March 11th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fern, I missed commenting yesterday, but it's wonderful to see another Teddy-at-school story. The stag (and hen) party scene is great. I almost feel like I'm there enjoying being with all these beloved characters, too. (And quite frankly, I'm not sure I'm ready for "Safe" yet, so am happy to have a reprieve, coward that I am.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
It was fun putting them all together again. I definitely can't see Ginny and Luna, of all people, letting Neville do the whole "boys only" thing for his stag party!
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: March 11th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh ho,O.W.L.S This year. And prefects. With being the only one in his year in Gryffindor I suppose this makes him the only candaitate.

And oh James! Trying to tag along. lolzz

Congrats on the new contacts! I still wear glasses -- but only because no one would know who I was w/o them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yeah, I forgot--he's certainly a prefect shoo-in! ;p I'll get to that after the party.
daksian From: daksian Date: March 11th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
*grins happily*

Good installment. Had me grinning and chuckling all the way through. Yes, I would imagine someone who is over 150 to be considered "getting on in years", lol. And what exactly is Molly being given to use any means necessary to accomplish anyway?

All that and Luna in the first paragraph. Ah, bliss.

I see Neville has the same opinion I made in yesterday's installment! See? Harry should learn to dance!

I loved the comaraderie between Teddy, George, Lee and Minerva...it's nice to see Teddy forming different bonds with the characters, and that it's done in a way that makes sense (the Map connection, animagi, etc.). And yet, it's not a seamless relationship...throughout the chapter, and even in such a welcoming group, you can't shake the feeling that Teddy is a recent graduate from the "kid's table", which is just right for 15. I'm reminded of Harry's opinion of himself in OotP: "[I'm] not a child." But in some ways, he still is.

I also loved the references to the missing Year Four, with Teddy learning how to make Wolfsbane and dating Laura Chapman.

One question (which I'm sure will be answered one way or another in the next segment): is Sluggy now retired, or is he teaching for this year? The wording indicated to me that he'd be retiring at the end of the year, but I see someone else read it as he's already retired.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
And what exactly is Molly being given to use any means necessary to accomplish anyway?

Whatever it takes to get James to behave. I think Ginny may have been authorizing unforgivables. ;p

Sluggy's going away this fall; I'll get to the reasoning in a subsequent chapter.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: March 11th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, nice to see more up, and so early too!

Enjoyed the way George and Lee treat Teddy almost as one of the guys--and how McGonagall is sort of teaching Teddy how to start being an Animagus without, you know, appearing to encourage it. And a new Potions Master? Here's hoping whoever it is isn't as vile as Umbridge or as bitter as Snape! Still, every story needs an antagonist . . .
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think the new potions master will be the antagonist, though I haven't entirely decided about that character yet.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: March 11th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
More Teddy!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Writing as fast as I can!
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: March 11th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, I could get used to frequent updates of Teddy.

As always I am really impressed by the way you are able to skillfully handle a crowd scene with out it ever feeling stilted or clunky. You can really feel the press of people and the atmosphere of a party when you read.

And the way you throw in all these asides about what the canon (and OC characters) are doing now always makes me smile. Especially Pansy, ever the pragmatist, jumping on the "We Love Muggleborns, werewolves and houselves" bandwagon. Which when you think about it really was the most sensible thing she could have done in order to have a good life in the current political climate. And after all she does know how to make someone think that he is the centre of her world, I'm sure that she and Justin are very happy together, I'm sure that the 'Puffs would jump on her if she made one wrong move.

Also I'm sure that Neville is a fantastic dancer by now. He can put it on his card along with Snake Slaying, Leadership skills and Being Just Plain Awesome.

Hannah is lucky to have him. Very lucky.

You can sense that I'm still bitterly mourning the sinking of the HMS Nature Lovers (or some other, less sucky, name). I hope Viv keeping busy in France, I was very pleased to see in one of your drabbles that she had adopted a daughter.

Oh and have I mentioned that I love your McGonagall. Of course there is no way that Teddy is going to learn to become an Animagus and the age of fifteen, what an idea!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
McGonagall rocks in every way, imho. Definitely my favorite non-Remus teacher. ;p
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: March 11th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a fun part! I loved finding out a lot of the "juicy gossip" from this part, like Pansy marrying Justin, Seamus's young wife, and of course the Cho/Daniel. :~)

I like the little group that Teddy is hanging out with, especially McGonagall's casual questions about the Animagi books.

And hello, return of the section cliffhangers! ;~)

Congrats on your new contacts! Welcome to the world of clear vision minus the frames. :~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
For me, one of the best parts about growing up was that I found out one could hang around in multi-age groups. And I thought, after all the exasperation, McGonagall would like the chance to hang out with Lee and George, and they'd all like Teddy.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 11th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
mwahahahaha! Flamingos! I'd totally forgotten about them!

And it's so lovely to "see" all those people again - I'm only now realizing how much I really love all of them.
Looking forward to the next installment (and this will now always be my motivation to do my sort-of homework quickly - there'll be no Teddy until I'm done!
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 11th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
oops. forgot to sign ;)

~Hermione Stranger, who has lost her brain somewhere in her pile of homework~
merrymeerkat From: merrymeerkat Date: March 11th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, the more you write, the more irresistible I find your writing! And Teddy! He's growing up so fast.

This is shaping up to be yet another excellent installment. I'm looking forward to it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm looking forward to it, too, though its shape is sort of shifting in my head (which is appropriate enough for a Teddy story, I guess!)
maxzook From: maxzook Date: March 11th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
He came over, and Aunt Ginny stood on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. "I'd say congratulations, but quite honestly, Hannah's the one to be congratulated on the good catch. So I'll settle for happy birthday and you will love being married. Promise. Though please do Hannah a favor and learn to dance."

Professor Longbottom shook his head and held a hand out to Uncle Harry. "You still haven't learned to dance? Honestly, Harry, saving the world isn't the end of your travails. Hasn't anyone told you that yet?"

I thought this was a little confusing ... is it Neville talking in the second ¶, and how did the subject shift from Neville not knowing how to dance to Harry not knowing?

Also, I assume it was a typo in the preface when you said it was the summer before Teddy's first year ...

And now I'm embarrassed to be sounding like an English teacher when i should be telling you how glad I am that you're writing again!
maxzook From: maxzook Date: March 11th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Okay ...

I went back and re-read part 1 and caught Ginny's reference to Harry not knowing how to dance, so that makes it a little clearer. It still needs to be clarified, is Ginny referring to Neville learning, or Harry, or both?
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 11th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love your characterization of Neville and his relationships. He dated a Patil, Viv, and Luna, so he's not a loser with the ladies. But he couldn't quite get the hang of it until Viv (if I recall correctly). That's the Neville I love. A little self-confidence now, but still not as advanced as the main characters. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are drawn with so few flaws, and Neville has always been a little easier to relate to (for me).

Another great segment!

Lady Stratford
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 12th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Forgot to add above: I love your characterization of Teddy's relationship with George and Lee. I was close to that age when I formed my first peer relationships with adults, and I remember the same sense of wonder and gratitude. Nice memory. :)

sonetka From: sonetka Date: March 11th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
HOORAY, MORE TEDDY! My flist just wasn't the same without you ... :)

I'm also eagerly looking forward to seeing Cho/Daniel, so I'm hoping there's room in the story to squeeze them in! (The fact that Daniel is an excessively cool character who just happens to have my son's name has, of course, nothing to do with this :)).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
A wacky notion occurred to me as I was writing (re Daniel and Cho). I have to see if I can make it work.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: March 11th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
yay! more Teddy. He sounds so much older. Can't wait to see what happens this year!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Looking forward to it myself.
52 comments or Leave a comment
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