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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Three: Unspoken, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Three: Unspoken, pt. 2
I just realized that in the last segment, I forgot to mention Teddy grabbing the Daedalus Maze and carrying it with him to the Ministry, but since it's what he's there for, of course he has it. Oops!

Any Latin speakers who can correct the incantation or come up with something better, please feel free to comment with suggestions!

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




The doors continued to spin for a minute, and Teddy entirely lost track of which he'd come through. He began to feel unstable on his feet, and grabbed the box more tightly, like it might keep him from drowning. An edge pushed against his inner arm harshly, just below the elbow.

Maddie put her hand on his shoulder, then called out, "Beauty!"

The doors came to a sudden stop (though Teddy's head was still spinning), and a door in front of them opened quietly. Soft golden light poured out of it, and Teddy could hear a river somewhere in the distance.

"Hmm," Maddie said. "Apparently, Davies decided to do some work in here after all. At least that better be what he's up to. Come on. The workroom is off to the side; I don't think we'll have to worry about the main room being active."

Teddy followed her in, trying not to look in every direction at once. The Beauty room shimmered and glowed. The walls seemed to open like windows into vistas all over the world. A lovely ghost floated near the ceiling. She turned and smiled and Teddy thought that a Veela would look dowdy beside her.

Maddie waved up to her. "Helen! Is Davies in here somewhere?"

The ghost pointed to a desert vista at sunset. When she spoke, she had a light trace of an accent that Teddy didn't recognize. "Mr. Davies has taken his Miss Bode to explore the intersection between Time and Beauty."

"I'll just bet he has," Maddie muttered. "When he comes out, please remind him that I'll be in the workroom. And that Miss Bode is apprenticed to Mr. Croaker. We'll be... Teddy?"

Teddy realized he was staring stupidly at the ghost, and at a painting beyond her, and a statue beyond that. Beautiful women, one after another.

Maddie grabbed his arm and rolled her eyes. "We should have come in through Faith."

Teddy blushed. "Er..."

"Never mind. You might do for Beauty after all, though not until you can learn to deal with it without losing touch."

She led him through the room at a brisk pace. At the edges, the images began to fade into a dusty, curved corridor. There were doors set regularly, and Teddy realized with a start that beyond them had to be the one room he'd heard described in detail--the Death room, with the veil at the bottom. The lingering sense of beauty left. He turned away from the line of doors. "So, there's Beauty and Faith and Time. And Death. What else is there?"

"The Universe. Identity. Love. No one works in Love; the room is locked."

"Why?"

"Some Mysteries are best left as Mysteries. There is no research that makes love anything other than a great Mystery. So we let it be. It's not one we can afford to damage."

"Has Beauty ever been damaged?"

"Oh, yes. Haven't you noticed that there are times when nearly everything becomes ugly?"

Teddy hadn't, really, so he just continued to follow her. "What about evil? Is evil a Mystery?"

Maddie stopped. "No. There's no mystery about evil. It's just narcissism run rampant. If anything, it's a flaw in Identity, and they sometimes study it there, but if you're looking for an explanation of why your mum's aunt felt it necessary to murder and torture, I don't think you need to look any further than the fact that it amused her to do so." She started walking again. "The Mysteries are the things that would have stopped her from doing whatever happened to enter her mind--a better understanding of Time and consequences, the idea of the vastness of the Universe..."

"The ability to love anyone at all?"

"Truly love, yes. I'm sure there were people she imagined she loved, but..." Maddie shrugged and stopped in front of a nondescript door, opposite one of the doors that led to the Death room. She opened it. "Here we are. Lumos."

Teddy followed her in, trying not to look too curious--or too disappointed once he'd got a good look.

The workroom was an unbroken box. The walls, floor, and ceiling were painted black. Various platforms were scattered around, and cardboard boxes had been shoved against the walls long enough ago that they were draped with cobwebs. It had apparently once been part of the Death room, maybe a higher level of observation, as, at the far side, another bank of seats rose up into the darkness. Several of these were cracked and broken. The room had obviously been used for storage over the years, as a tarnished old flagpole had been carelessly laid across the top row of seats and a wooden file cabinet, its drawers burst open, leaned against the bottom row at a precarious angle.

Something shattered, and Teddy looked involuntarily at the corner, where a tall glass case lay in ruins, spilling out hourglasses. As he watched, it reformed itself, and the hourglasses flew back onto the shelves.

Maddie shook her head. "It took them months to get that in here, but it was driving them quite mad in the Time offices."

"Is that the one that Uncle Harry...?"

"Yes. There was quite a mess in Time. Smashed prophecies all over the place. And this. We haven't been able to get to the Time Turners since. It's probably for the best. They were always mischievous things." She flicked her wand at the cabinet just as it started to shatter again, and the noise vanished, though it still went through its motions. Maddie turned back to Teddy. "I've got permission from Magical Law Enforcement for you to use magic outside school for this very limited purpose. You'll need to use the Maze at school, and that means learning it before you go. I can't teach you to use the safety tools if you can't use your wand."

"All right."

"Good, then. Set the maze down." She Summoned over one of the platforms, and Teddy put the Maze down on it. She examined it, checked a carved latch, then reached into her bag and drew out a small glass globe. "This is the primary safety net," she said. "Ariadne Royce created it, and... well, I'm sure you've picked up that they rather liked the classical references, so they called it Ariadne's Thread." She smiled sheepishly. "I sometimes think they had too much time on their hands."

"Is it like the real Ariadne's thread?" Teddy asked, taking it. "The one that Theseus used to get out of the Labyrinth?"

"Exactly. It keeps track of where you've been, and if you're lost, you can use it to call yourself back to where you started."

"I think it's a good name," Teddy said, then noticed Maddie looking at him oddly. "Mum had a book of myths. I read it when I was little."

"I know about the book, Teddy. She had it at Hogwarts. Did you know it was a present from your dad?"

"No. Granny said she'd forgotten where it came from. She just said Mum had it everywhere. It's falling apart."

"I don't doubt it." Maddie checked the box again. "All right, Teddy. You can take out your wand. The incantation is Sulci Numine."

"What will happen?"

"It's hard to say, exactly. The paradigm is always a maze--it was Dedalus Royce's best notion of how to follow paths, and it's part of the device's core identity. But what sort of maze it will be, or what you'll see in it, depends a great deal on what you bring in. Since we'll be going in together, it's likely to at least start us in places that we share. When you're using it on your own, you may see something entirely different from what we'll see here today."

"Does it matter?"

"For learning to use it? Not at all. You'll learn to use Ariadne's Thread, to follow what you see, to ask questions--those are the sorts of things you'll be doing no matter where it takes you. Are you ready?"

"I think so." Teddy raised his wand, then stopped. "I don't know what I'm bringing with me."

"I'll be there with you."

"If it's something... you won't... well, this is just between us, right? You won't tell anyone what I see?"

"It's between us."

"Even your bosses? Aren't they meant to be judging me?"

"Not on your first try, and once we're past this, you're the only one who'll directly know. When we talk, it's more to explore your aptitude than to discuss anything specific, unless it's something you feel you need to talk about--in which case, I hope you know that I'll listen as a friend and not someone you're talking to about a job."

"It doesn't matter what I see? Really? But wouldn't I need to be able to see specific things?"

Maddie laughed. "That's what Trelawney is for. We don't See on command. Our job is exploration. It's very difficult to explore something if you already know what's there."

Teddy braced himself and raised his wand. "All right, then. Ready for anything. Sulci Numine!"

The world around him grayed and spun into nothingness, a deep London fog. He heard voices in the slipstream, soft and muted, just beyond his comprehension. Shapes began to spring into being around him, shadows and shades, whispered visions. Beneath his feet, something solid started to take form, and he felt himself standing on a rock. A warm hand fell on his shoulder, and he knew Maddie had joined him. The fog began to clear, only a little bit at a time.

They were standing in a high place, the place from Teddy's dream, and beneath them, the maze stretched out into the endless mist. A narrow, rocky path led down to the entrance.

"Don't let go of the Thread," Maddie said. "And never go further than you can remember all of your turns." She looked down the path. "Shall we?"

Teddy nodded and took the first steps down the path. It seemed long at the top of the rise, but it seemed less than ten steps before he reached the arched entrance to the maze. Beyond it, in the mist, he could see a slight figure waiting, hands on her slim hips. She looked over her shoulder and smiled at him, but Teddy already knew who she was.

"Mum," he whispered.

She beckoned to him, and he followed her into the fog, the Thread clasped in one hand, Maddie a few steps behind.
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Comments
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br1gid From: br1gid Date: March 24th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)
as usual, loving the story, being a horrible commenter. i am adoring the department of mysteries! it really hints at the early incarnations of the royal institute and the like.

on the latin, was the meaning you were going for something like "the paths of the divine will"? 'iter, itineris' has more of a sense of a journey along with the idea of a path. if you like iter, then it could be "itinerum numini." just a thought, i do really like sulci, with the primary meaning of "a furrow," teddy is in a way planting his future.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I will stick with the "furrow" one (I do way to much of this by the Latin version of Babelfish).
luisa_bervel From: luisa_bervel Date: March 24th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent as usual! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, as always! :)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: March 24th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Seventeen years, and the Time-Turners still lost. All those poor work-holics who can't take more subjects that it is physically possible...
This is turning into something really interesting, and very different from everything I've read so far in the Shifts-verse, am I right? Don't get me wrong, I'm very hooked. But it feels different...

Can't wait till tomorrow.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know how far it is, exactly--I have Teddy getting stuck in the same room that nearly tripped Remus up in Shifts, and the Mysteries are part of the plot, not the whole plot... but yeah, in the sense that Teddy's preparing for something the others really haven't been preparing for (it's hard to prepare for asking existential questions about life's mysteries while worrying about an apocalyptic war), it's different.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: March 24th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked the bit with the Time Turners. But I can't wait to see more of Teddy's maze!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I can safely say that we'll be seeing more of the Maze. :)
From: geekstcy Date: March 24th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Fantastic! I'm so interested to read what he sees in the maze. This is bizarre, I'm intrigued. (Back again, sorry I stopped commenting for a while)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back! Glad you're enjoying.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: March 24th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Love the tour of the Department of Mysteries. The Maze is fascinating and I'm curious to see where the journey leads. Good job as always, Fern.

I would point out though...it was Neville's fault those Time Turners were destroyed. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but who brought Neville? ;p
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: March 24th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
You do know you're brilliant, don't you?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
There's just no way to answer that. ;p

Thanks!
summoning_muse From: summoning_muse Date: March 24th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
GAH! Could I love your fics anymore? I'm just so INTRIGUED- all the, well, mystery and life and death and love and beyond the grave and- GOD I love it! It's like you're writing a fic catering just to my interests! (Not really, but it makes me happy, anyway.)

I'll be interested to see what happens with Dora and Teddy and Maddie and- GAH. How could I ever have been disappointed that you weren't currently writing Safe? (Not to say that I still don't want Safe, of course, but this is wonderful as well.)

You do know everyone's going to expect you to write Teddy's seventh year as well, right? *Snorts*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I may have to. :) As to the Safe stuff, as it appears not to be coming, I'll try and work it into the Teddy stories more directly.

Glad you're enjoying!
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: March 24th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
great work as always. i'm a fan of neville/luna but i loved the mention of neville's wedding to hannah here.

i especially loved the factoid about dora's myth book being a gift from remus *swoon* i just loved those little details you put in, it's what makes your fics so special.

and maddie. it's like having a junior yoda. hee.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
it's like having a junior yoda. hee.

Given the Luke-ish image of Teddy in that undershirt from rotae's drawing, I'm now having a weird version of Teddy running around with Maddie on his back, doing backflips over the swamp in the Hogwarts corridor...
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: March 24th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm ... you know I kinda like the "sulci". The combination of meanings with "furrow" and "trail" combines nicely for the idea of a maze. Be careful with declining "numen", though, it's third declension. I'm assuming you're going for genitive? You declined it once as numinis (genitive) and once as numini (dative).

Although, if you really wanted to be tricksy (and why not, since the inventor of the spell was an Unspeakable with a Latin fetish anyway?) you might go ablative: sulci numine, "furrows/paths with/by/in divine power". I like the ambiguity of that.

BTW, I know this has been said before (countless times, actually), but I just cannot get over how wonderfully teen-aged Teddy is here. And was that the Helen I thought it was? Funny, in my Latin class, we just passed the part of the Aeneid where Aeneas almost killed her.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: March 24th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Oooh, Latin Class...

"Funny, in my Latin class, we just passed the part of the Aeneid where Aeneas almost killed her."

Nearly half a century ago, I got distracted by Aeneas introducing himself to the goddess Venus (maybe she was still Aphrodite, as he hadn't really arrived yet) thusly: "Sum Pius Aeneas..." which is hilarious as she's his mother.

For a good few weeks I bugged my mother by popping up at her and going "Hi, Mommie! I'm Jayne the Good!"
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
willowbough From: willowbough Date: March 24th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Intriguing as ever. And now Maze!Tonks shows up to make things even more tantalizing. Does this work like the Veil/Dream interface or have you come up with a new twist to increase contact between Teddy and his parents? Either way, I'm not complaining!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
This isn't exactly communication--I'll get into it in the next section. The Maze starts off in Teddy's own mind, though.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: March 24th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't leave me there!!!!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee, sorry, that's where it ended today!
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: March 24th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Lorem Ipsum

Spells aren't real Latin even when they are Latin and not, as in the death curse, Arabic. Or English, as in "Stupefy!

Maybe take a familiar-sounding word or two from a romance language and add fakey Latinoid endings.

Kind of like your little James does, actually...

The engineer battalion where I was stationed at Fort Stewart had as its motto "Gloria Ad Caput Venire", which means nothing even close to what they thought it meant; but it looks as if it sounds cool, and as nobody speaks Latin anymore, it does what a motto (or a spell) is supposed to do.

My high school's motto was Sequere Deum; all the es are short es, which makes the meaning not so much simply "Follow God", as "Follow God -- with the intent of overtaking Him..."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Lorem Ipsum

True enough. I guess as long as I don't drop to the level of "Snakio Letgoio," I'm fine!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad to hear from you!
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: March 24th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I love all of the details you've sprinkled throughout, as always, including the myth book that Remus gave Dora, Teddy getting distracted by the Beauty division, and the broken Time Turner cabinet being stashed in the workroom. I agree with marikenobi, however...don't leave us there! ;~)
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