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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Three: Unspoken, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Three: Unspoken, pt. 1
Teddy is fifteen and bombarded by questions about his future. His own questions about his future get answers that lead to more questions when he goes to visit his mother's old friend, the Unspeakable, Maddie Apcarne (sounds like a circus act... "Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls, direct your attention to the center ring, for the UNSPEAKABLE MADDIE APCARNE!"). Maddie gives him a testing tool called a Daedalus Maze. She also tells him that she doesn't think his parents would be entirely thrilled with her for this. He takes it anyway.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy started supper an hour before Granny got home from St. Mungo's.

This wasn't unusual; in the past few years, he'd begun to appreciate that Granny was tired when she finished her shift, and she wasn't a young woman anymore. He enjoyed cooking--as long as it was something he liked to eat--so he'd got in the habit of taking that particular duty off her schedule when he was home from school. His particular specialty was grilling fish, but the rainy weather was holding and he still wasn't free to do magic outside of school, so he settled for using the stove. A large steak, fresh potatoes, carrots... he was casting around for something for pudding when Granny came in.

She sat down. "All right, Teddy," she said. "You've managed to put together everything I like. What's going on?"

Teddy looked at the table. He hadn't really thought about it while he was doing it, but he had managed to put together Granny's favorite meal, and had put out the decent china for it. He sat down and said, "Well, I... I had a talk with Maddie Apcarne this morning."

Granny didn't look entirely surprised as Teddy told her about the meeting, and that Maddie had left him with a piece of equipment from the Department of Mysteries. When he finished, she just sighed and said, "Did you have anything in mind for pudding, or shall we head to Diagon Alley for ice cream sundaes? I could do with ice cream. Though the new shop isn't nearly as good as Fortescue's."

There had been seven new ice cream shops in Diagon Alley during Teddy's life. For a very brief time when Teddy was eight, two of them had been operating at the same time. But the "new shop" was never as good as Fortescue's, and proprietors continued to be punished for Fortescue's death.

Teddy pushed his potatoes around on his plate. "What do you think?"

"I think I've never had to ask twice about ice cream before."

"Granny, please."

She set her fork down. "It's not a surprise, Teddy. I've thought about it. I don't like you being in close quarters with that bloody Veil that killed Sirius, but I don't object in principle to the idea of you working in the Department of Mysteries. Those sorts of questions have always been where your curiosity has led you. But it's not safe. You may be safer in body than you would be as an Auror, but..." She frowned, then repeated, "I'm not sure it's safe for you. Will you promise to be careful?"

"Yes. I promise." Teddy managed a few more bites of potato. "Maddie thinks my parents wouldn't like it."

"Maddie's right." Granny waved her wand, and her purse flew over. "Come on. That little theater group in Diagon Alley has a new show opening tonight. If we hurry with the ice cream, we could catch the curtain."

There was no further discussion. The new ice cream shop was satisfactory in Teddy's opinion--geared toward adults, with real art on the walls and actual service to tables instead of just waiting in line--but the play was horrible. Granny and Ellsworth were doing everything they could to support wizarding arts, which they both felt were horribly neglected in the magical curriculum. A few good musicians had come out of the woodwork, and Cho Chang--well, Morse--was writing a book of poetry that Granny insisted was very good, but so far, the playwrights hadn't quite set the world on fire. This particular effort was a turgid musical about a Muggle-born boy trying to fit in, and Granny spent a great deal of time rolling her eyes and muttering about didacticism. Teddy enjoyed the evening anyway, as it ended in Fortescue Park, where he and Granny sat in the shadow of the statue and talked casually about the play and the other arts she'd been supporting, and Teddy's take on things through his friendship with Donzo. It wasn't an especially productive conversation, but Teddy rather enjoyed the fact that Granny was becoming 'Dromeda Tonks more often around him, and he liked 'Dromeda Tonks.

It was fully dark by the time they got home, and Teddy went to his room, where the Daedalus Maze was sitting on his desk. Checkmate was sleeping beside it, her nose touching it lightly. Teddy stroked the soft fur between her ears and she woke up with a drowsy mew, then begged to be picked up. Teddy obliged, and sat down on the bed, scratching between her shoulder blades and looking at the Maze. He wondered if he would dream strangely with it so close.

He didn't.

When he finally fell asleep, the night was passed in light, senseless dreams of his friends and school and ocean breezes. He danced again with Victoire. Lizzie and Laura seemed to be watching. Lizzie said it had all been very didactic. Then James appeared, and started putting everyone into a play, casting Checkmate as Martian and Martian as Teddy and Teddy as Uncle Harry. "There's to be a dance here," he announced importantly. "Everyone must wear tap shoes!"

Teddy woke up the next morning with very clear memories of his dreams, and a distinctly foolish feeling about them. He was going to the Department of Mysteries to learn about being an Unspeakable, and instead of one of his good dreams--the sort where he talked to his parents or put things together and came up with answers--the clearest thing in his head was being ordered to dance with a cat, while both of them wore tap shoes.

Granny had already left for work, but she'd left a large breakfast for him on the kitchen table, along with a note reminding him to behave himself and for heaven's sake dress like he respected the place he was going. She'd also left a copy of the Daily Prophet, with several recent articles on the Ministry marked for him ("It can't hurt to be familiar with the issues"). He read them while he ate, then gave himself a quick check in the mirror. He'd decided his new school robes were appropriate for the day, and made sure his hair wasn't doing anything particularly strange. There was no need to shave--he'd done so for a few weeks when he'd first noticed an odd hair or two on his chin in May, but it had got old quickly, and he'd taken to just morphing his face clean-shaven (Frankie, whose hair grew quickly and frequently in random directions, professed deep envy for this)--and the robes had done away with the need to get a tie right, so he supposed he was ready. He stepped into the fireplace, called "Ministry of Magic," and spun off.

The Floo spat him out in the lobby of the Ministry. Two pieces of statuary had been destroyed during the war, and now, the long room was dominated by a simple fountain with abstract shapes. Daylight streamed down on it. It was a pleasant room, and Teddy had been in it many times with Uncle Harry, but it seemed different today, more foreboding. He went to the desk, where a witch was polishing her nails. She looked upbu with a smile. He didn't recall seeing her before, but people tended to come and go in this job quite a lot. "Good morning," she said. "I'm Romilda. How may I direct you?"

"Er... Department of Mysteries. I'm here to see Maddie Apcarne."

The witch scanned a piece of parchment importantly. "I don't see a Maddie Apcarne on our list. Is it short for something?"

Teddy was momentarily flummoxed. Maddie had never been anything but Maddie, at least in his lifetime, and it seemed a very strange notion that it wasn't her name, but there was some reason that she was called Maddie, it was short for her maiden name, and she'd used it because--

"Dora!" he said. "Her real name is Dora. They called her by her last name so people wouldn't get confused."

Romilda didn't look like she considered this a cure for confusion, but tapped her manicured nail on the parchment twice. "All right," she said. "And you are?"

"Teddy Lupin. Er, Ted."

"Hmm. You're listed." She flicked her wand, and a paper airplane swooped up from under the desk. "Apcarne, Mysteries, Lupin here," she said, and it flew off. She started to go back to her nails, but abruptly stopped after finishing two, looking up with a species of avarice that Teddy recognized far too well. "Lupin? Why, you're not Professor Lupin's son? Harry Potter's godson?"

"No," Teddy said. "Entirely different family, sorry."


Teddy turned. Maddie was behind him. He smiled at her and shrugged.

She rolled her eyes. "Let's go, Teddy," she said. "I have a room set aside." She led him to the lift, and started talking when the door closed. "It's a small room, but we don't need much today. No one's assigned to it just now. It's between Faith and Beauty, and they're both perpetually understaffed. I don't suppose you have any burning interest in Faith or Beauty?" She looked at him without much hope, then shook her head. "Never mind, that's down the road."

The lift came down to the bottom, and Maddie led Teddy down a long, narrow corridor to an unmarked door. She opened it without fanfare, and Teddy found himself in a circular room with doors on every side.

Maddie closed the door to the corridor, and suddenly, the room began to spin, the doors slipping by in a blurry stream. She looked over her shoulder at Teddy and said, "Welcome to the Department of Mysteries."
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From: erv2 Date: March 22nd, 2008 07:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Down the dark corridor and through the door already? Interesting.

I like that Maddie already assumes Teddy's already in, that Andromeda is supportive (to a point), but mostly I just love the abstract notion of the Department of Mysteries. I can't wait to see where this little visit leads.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, he'd know the corridor, so no mystery there, so to speak. ;p Maddie does have a friend in Time, and has probably seen more than she lets on!
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: March 22nd, 2008 08:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked Andromeda's reaction to the whole thing, especially her comment about never before having to ask about ice cream twice.

The whole little bit about the wizarding arts was good. As a big music and arts fan myself, it always seemed a bit strange to only hear about a few wizarding musicians and no other artists.

She looked upbu with a smile. I'm pretty sure "upbu" is a typo. ;~)

Looking forward to more of the Department of Mysteries! :~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm pretty sure "upbu" is a typo. ;~)

You think it won't catch on? ;p (Yeah, my computer kept freezing while I was typing last night--heaven knows why--so I was just glad it didn't crash completely before I hit post; I have no idea what I originally meant. "But" something, I'm sure.)
summoning_muse From: summoning_muse Date: March 22nd, 2008 08:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Something I REALLY REALLY love about your stories is you go -into- the mysteries. I think when everyone read the Department of Mysteries segment of HP5 their first thought was- but what ELSE is there? What's behind the OTHER doors? What's behind the veil, what's in the room of love? So the fact you get into those- and more!- is absolutely fascinating. It brings back memories of nine-year-old-me whom loved Harry Potter for the sheer magic</> behind it. And I miss that part, and wish everyone had it- more amazed by the mysteries of life and what-not than who's snogging who.

Oh, and I love Teddy. "No, entirely different family." Especially, also, when he went OH, YA, HER NAME'S DORA! If dear Romilda had any brains, she could maybe see the connection there.

... Or not. Since I believe she's lacking in that department.

Oh, well :).
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: March 22nd, 2008 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's me- forgot I was still signed into my art/fic account. And I forgot to close a tag, doh.
katyhasclogs From: katyhasclogs Date: March 22nd, 2008 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm enjoying this very much, as ever. I especially can't wait to find out more about the maze.

I'm a bit confused about why Remus and Tonks wouldn't like Teddy wanting to be an Unspeakable though. What's the thinking behind that?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading more of this. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm thinking that the DoM's reputation--aside from the fact that it killed Sirius--is pretty sketchy, and they wouldn't be nuts about Teddy going into a job that he literally can't talk about.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 22nd, 2008 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Romilda! Good spot for her! I like your usage of incidental characters, Millicent being another good example. Their job levels are spot on, matching their canon characterizations very nicely.

Lady Stratford
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I was trying to think of who I could use, whose name would immediately ring bells, but whose achievements wouldn't land her with a posh job anywhere.
sophiap From: sophiap Date: March 22nd, 2008 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Lovely! I particularly like the way the relationship between Teddy and his grandmother is shifting closer to interactiong between adults. It's perfectly believable.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad. It's a tough transition sometimes, but Andromeda is ready to be friends with her only descendant, and Teddy's cool with people older than he is.
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: March 22nd, 2008 12:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
"... It's between Faith and Beauty, and they're both perpetually understaffed. I don't suppose you have any burning interest in Faith or Beauty?"

::raising a hand:: I do! Pick me! ::sigh:: I wish I lived in the Harry Potter world, particularly your corner of it, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
:also raises hand:

I wish we had that job in the Muggle world. At least that didn't require a PhD in something, because I so can't afford to go back to school...
satakieli From: satakieli Date: March 22nd, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
This particular effort was a turgid musical about a Muggle-born boy trying to fit in, and Granny spent a great deal of time rolling her eyes and muttering about didacticism.

A little encapsulation of why I enjoy your writing so much. It serves Granny's character, gives us a glimpse into the evolving social issues in the wizarding world, and isn't just slipped in as distraction to the main plot.


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! That's more or less what I was going for with that! :D
willowbough From: willowbough Date: March 22nd, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's tour of the Department of Mysteries promises to be fascinating. And isn't it fitting that Romilda Vane ends up as a bored Ministry receptionist, who probably spends every spare minute between visitors on her appearance?

Also amused by the woeful state of wizarding art. That musical sounds dire, probably like bad Disney or PBS Kids programming. Did you have any actual model in mind?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I doubt Disney at its worst would put out something that bad. I'm thinking of any number of Afterschool Specials, preachy movies like Ferngully, or, like, Davey and Goliath claymations, where Everyone Learns A Valuable Moral Lesson About [choose issue]. Or Very Special Episodes of nearly anything. ;p
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: March 22nd, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Romilda is ridiculous. But I'm very interested in your depiction of the DoM
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm looking forward to going in with someone who actually knows what everything's for.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: March 22nd, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
the clearest thing in his head was being ordered to dance with a cat, while both of them wore tap shoes.

it's good to know that I have things in common with a Lupin... of course in my case we both wore tiaras instead of tap shoes... ;)

love the chapter
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, yes, I thought it best to put in a normal, nonsensical dream at some point!

Tiaras, eh?
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: March 22nd, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOVING the emergence of 'Dromeda Tonks in Granny's relationship with Teddy. YAY for supporting the wizarding arts!! (And I laughed at Andromeda's mutterings about didacticism.)

Also? Romilda FTW. You are brilliant.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)
YAY for supporting the wizarding arts!!

They do need supporting, don't they?
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: March 22nd, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good thing Teddy avoided Romilda.

Good post, Fern. Like the look at Diagon Alley and the Department of Mysteries.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Good thing Teddy avoided Romilda.

True, that. Though it's probably better to keep her where she can be seen...
ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: March 22nd, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Department of Mysteries FTW! *gins like a maniac* I can't wait for this. :D
By the way, *curse* you Movie Corruption! The MoM in OotP was pretty cool and everything, but I want my old Ministry back, thank you very much.

LOL.I take it Romilda hasn't found some famous, rich,hero-worshipable pureblood husband yet...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL.I take it Romilda hasn't found some famous, rich,hero-worshipable pureblood husband yet...

I don't know that she cares about the pure-blood part. But really, who'd have her that's famous enough for her tastes?
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 22nd, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a treat to have this to savor after a busy morning/early afternoon. I love Teddy for enjoying the woman behind his granny -- it's a gift that not everyone achieves. It's just another aspect of how much he values his entire family, even if most of them aren't blood relatives, and an indication of how well grounded he is, how confident he is of his own worth. (Oh, how I wish his Dad had the opportunity to develop the same.) With your other readers, I'm eager to see what happens in light of Maddie and the Department of Mysteries.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2008 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I think Teddy is definitely pretty grounded, despite what I'm sure others see as an unhealthy fixation on his beloved dead.
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