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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Five: Surprise! , pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Five: Surprise! , pt. 1
Table of Contents and Summary So Far

After the picnic, the last tattered threads of summer began to unravel.

Teddy unpacked and cleaned his trunk before getting it in order for the year, with his new school books on top and the larger robes Granny had bought for later in the year on the bottom. (He'd got this idea from Victoire, though he didn't care to share that information with her.) Slughorn came for one last brewing lesson, and Professor Longbottom came along to discuss cultivation of the needed plants. He was recently back from his honeymoon, and looked happier than Teddy had ever seen him.

There was a letter from Père Alderman, congratulating Teddy on mastering Wolfsbane Potion and saying that he hadn't really thought Teddy would be stuck with the responsibility on his own quite so quickly. It's more a baptism by fire than penance at this point, and I feel guilty suggesting it to you, he wrote, but hopefully, you won't be alone for long, and if I could absolve you after a few months of it, I would. As I can't, I hope you'll find absolution on your own and in your own way. After that, he went on to give Teddy gossip of parts of the pack he hadn't seen--Coral, who'd finally got a Healer's apprenticeship; Martin Hamilton, who was writing a new book that had nothing to do with werewolves; and of course, Vivian Waters, who he claimed was so determinedly cheerful about Professor Longbottom's marriage that her friends were considering putting her into therapy. She and her foster daughter, Celia--a girl Greyback had forced her to infect--were getting along well, and had been joining Père Alderman on so many missions that werewolves around the world assumed she was nun, much to her chagrin, as she was no more Catholic than Teddy was.

Four days before the Hogwarts Express was due to leave, Teddy had all of his friends except Ruthless over to plan her party on board the train. So far, she suspected nothing, largely because, in the frenzy of leaving in each of the last three years, no one had bothered with her birthday before. They met in the basement, which had somehow become Teddy's domain within the house. Frankie Apcarne and Zach Templeton, who were of age now, were putting magical wrappings on everyone's presents and shrinking them into an old valise. Tinny Gudgeon was double-checking the work and making sure everyone's names were attached. Roger Young and Corky Atkinson--who'd taken an early Portkey just to help--were working on games playable on the train. Victoire insisted on taking charge of decorations.

"As long as nothing explodes," Teddy said, unable to decide if this was Victoire Weasley, Brigadier General of the ongoing Hogwarts Prank War, or Victoire Weasley who had always tried, in her admittedly awkward way, to be Ruthless's friend.

"What about fireworks?" Victoire asked. "Uncle George has some new mini-fireworks. They explode, but I think Ruth would like them. What do you think, Donzo?"

Donzo McCormack, who was sitting on a battered old desk picking at his guitar, didn't look up. "As long as they don't explode in her face, I think she'd like it." He played a few bars of a song he'd been writing (he claimed there were no lyrics yet, though he'd been trying to work in rain and fog), then said, "Do you think she'd like me to play?"

"We can't afford you," Maurice Burke said, appearing from upstairs with a plate of sandwiches. "You have to stop the free concerts. You'll go broke. You should be in charge of food, and I'll buy some music to play. Maybe I'll buy that old song you did before school. 'Hopping About,' wasn't it?"

Donzo turned his nose up. "I have no idea what you mean. I'm a serious artist. Just ask the Daily Prophet. They loved the last one." He poked his cheek out with his tongue.

There was a general snicker, as there had been since Donzo had first released "Into the Gray," a song that had originated during one of Frankie's endless games, when the lot of them had got lost on a foggy moor and had to deal with a serial killer who was hunting there. The Prophet had gone into rhapsodies about Donzo's maturation as an artist, tackling "the existential danger of losing oneself in a world where the markers have disappeared." At first, Donzo had tried to explain the song's genesis, but the reviewer had written it off as "McCormack's trademark self-deprecation."

"So," Teddy said, "against all logic, Donzo is providing food and Maurice is providing music. What am I doing?"

"You have to distract Ruthless," Frankie said.

"Seeing as you're the only one who's ever been able to," Tinny added.

"It's a tough break," Corky said. "You might have to snog her again."

"I suppose I could bear it, if necessary," Teddy said.

Maurice shook his head. "Oh, for God's sake, don't start snogging her. The pair of you will miss the train entirely."

"I'm sure Teddy can think of something else," Victoire said. "They're broken up, after all."

Something not entirely unpleasant turned over in Teddy's stomach. He supposed the thought of snogging Ruthless again was attractive. Perhaps they could get back together. There were not, as far as he knew, any Ruthless Rules that would prohibit it. "I could give her a birthday present," he suggested. "Out on the platform, since of course no one else on board would be getting a present."

"Now, you think of it?" Zach said. "Did we shrink it already?"

"Er... no. I haven't got it yet."

Tinny widened her eyes. "I'd hurry, if I were you, or you can forget snogging of any sort." She gave Frankie a significant look.

Frankie held up his hands in surrender. "I'll get your birthday present before school starts. Really."

Victoire reached into her handbag and tossed an Exploding Earworm at him. "Honestly, Frankie, her birthday's in February." The Earworm exploded and started to play a particularly annoying Weasleys' jingle.

They got the details worked out, and Donzo managed to override Maurice's rule about free concerts ("If I can't play when I feel like it, what's the point?"), as long as they all agreed to keep the door shut so that the whole train wasn't getting free entertainment. Victoire was the last to leave, and she helped Teddy clean up bottles and plates.

"Do you still mean to give Ruth..." She gestured toward the Muggle-room and Mum's wardrobes.

"I still haven't found anything," he said. "But I was just going to get her something normal for her birthday. That was something else."


"What should I get her? I've given her Quidditch things a lot, and her birthday's always right after a trip to Flourish and Blott's, so she has any books she wants. Jewelry's out, and Granny says that clothes are too personal. What did you get?"

"I got her some things to pull short hair back. Mum reckons I was being a bit of a pest, and that Ruth is pretty in her way, and I oughtn't try to make her pretty in anyone else's."

"I wouldn't use that word," Teddy said. "She really doesn't like it."

"What word?"

"Pretty. She nearly hexed Uncle Harry for it once."

"She doesn't want to be told she's pretty?"

"Apparently not."

"You know other girls do, don't you?"

Teddy shrugged. "I judge it on a girl by girl basis." He folded up the table where they'd originally stored the presents. "Here, give me a hand."

Victoire took the other end of the table, and they maneuvered it into the corner, where it lived among the cobwebs. Teddy turned and found himself only inches from Victoire, and she was still very pretty. And still very thirteen, and still very much part of his family. Odd thoughts about her hair and her china blue eyes would only lead to trouble, not to mention very uncomfortable Christmases. He drew away and said, "Well, thanks for helping out. I know you and Ruthless don't get along all that well, so I appreciate it."

"I don't get along with her, but I like her perfectly well."

Teddy didn't even try to make sense of that.

The next day, he Flooed into London and spent several desperate hours in Diagon Alley, looking for a decent birthday present. He considered a cat--Ruthless had no pet of her own and doted on Checkmate--but getting a pet for someone who wasn't expecting one was always a stupid idea, even though he knew she would love a particularly rambunctious ginger tom that he saw at the Magical Menagerie. He decided to just owl her and tell her about him, and let her decide for herself. Which still left him without a present for her. She was just too self-sufficient to make present buying easy. She always seemed to have everything she needed.

In desperation, he finally went to Weasleys', where George steered him to a whole new line of portable daydreams, these action-based and exciting. Teddy bought three of them. He got a discount for first helping George stock standard Muggles and Minions equipment, then develop new lines of toys based on it. He also got a small percent of the money George made on the latter, which was deposited into a vault Granny had got for him at Gringotts. She wouldn't give him the key until he came of age, though.

Now all that was left was the other present, the one that didn't really belong at a party. He got home in the late afternoon and went back to the basement, where he started going through the other six wardrobes, looking for something, anything, that would look like a good gift from an experienced Auror to someone just starting on the path.

The shadows were getting quite long when he heard a rap on the edge of the door. Granny was standing there, a quizzical look on her face. "What are looking for, Teddy?"

Teddy sighed and closed the door of the third wardrobe. "I don't even know," he said, and told her what he'd meant to do. "I'm sorry," he said. "It's all Mum's stuff, anyway, and I shouldn't--"

But Granny was smiling. She held up her hand. "Wait here," she said.
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lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: April 4th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy is such a silly silly boy. He's having the same thoughts Harry did when he first noticed Ginny. Perhaps they've been spending too much time together? ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Quite possible. Though Harry's version of his romance with Ginny may be somewhat different from an objective observer's...
malinbe From: malinbe Date: April 4th, 2008 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Very pretty Victoire-interaction. It's good to see the kids older and older, because two years between thirteen and fifteen are so noticiable (sp?). It was also nice to hear about the rest of the pups, and how Vivian is doing. I loved her since Shades, it's good to hear she's now got a young ward to care for.

Also, "Honestly, Frankie, her birthday's in February." had me laughing double, because at first, for five seconds or so, my mind made the conection between classes starting--It's March (as I live in Southern Hemisphere), so I thought 'How awful, Frankie, you're a whole month delayed!'. And then I realised it was September. Oh, God, that boy has a problem with long term forgetfullness.

Can't wait to see what Andromeda's got for Ruthless.

(I have the feeling I did't made sense here at all. Must go to sleep.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, I always wondered--but for some reason never looked up--whether the southern hemisphere schools used the agricultural calendar or the expectations of European colonists. Thanks for the info. And yes, the hemisphere in question certainly makes Frankie's memory worse! Good thing Tinny's patient.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: April 4th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Teddy you are such a boy!!

Love it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
At least Teddy's friends with enough girls to just let it slide. ;p
willowbough From: willowbough Date: April 4th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy is so Remus's son when it comes to women that it isn't even funny. No, wait--actually, it is funny!

Always enjoy spending time with Teddy's friends. I like them all, but I've grown increasingly fond of Donzo, the teen idol who wants to be a normal boy but who also has genuine musical talent. He reminds me of the rare child stars who managed to make the transition to being successful adult performers, like Jodie Foster or Ron Howard.

Also like hearing anything about the cubs. Poor Vivian--it's hard not to think of "what might have been" had circumstances been kinder. But at least she's made a fresh start for herself in France.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know why, but I've always been interested in writing "normal" performers. I just like the contrast with the image-mongering.
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: April 4th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww, a nice little cliffhanger! Can't wait to see what Andromeda's got up her sleeve. :)

Will Ruthless be getting that cat? I kind of hope so... (Erm, I'm at school, and my cats are at home, so I must look for the joys of pet ownership in stories, he he.)

The Victoire & Ruthless quasi-friendship is always amusing. Victoire just tries so hard, in ways that she thinks are helpful, and never quite gets it right.

"Honestly, Frankie, her birthday's in February." Heeee... *giggles* Oh, Frankie.

I really like how Donzo has changed as well! He's got enough maturity to handle fame now; IIRC, he was a bit stuck up first year.

Teddy had over all of his friends except Ruthless to plan her party on board the train. This sounded a bit awkward to me, but I can't exactly pinpoint an alternative. (Speaking of aforesaid birthday: so Ruthless will be coming of age?)
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: April 4th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)


"I don't get along with her, but I like her perfectly well."

Teddy didn't even try to make sense of that.

:D Oh, that made me *laugh*! Teddy, you're such a complete boy.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 4th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree that you've done a great job of aging these kids realistically - you can see that these are somewhat older teenagers from their interactions (and from the increased maturity of Teddy's internal monologue). Although I probably mentioned this in a comment on Forest Guard, I love that you made Alderman a priest, something that I consider particularly touching given Father Montgomery's role in Shades.

And yeah, thanks for giving Vivian a foster-daughter, and some sense of purpose. She's really been through hell, and I appreciate that you are giving her some happiness without sugarcoating the realities of her life.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
There are professions--or in this case, vocations--that I'm drawn to writing about. Like I said upthread, performing is one of them. But I'm also really drawn to writing Catholic priests. Which is really weird, as I was born Lutheran and have lived Jewish for several years, and have never been Catholic at all! But yes, it's also meant as a connection to Montgomery.

I thought Vivian deserved a break. :)
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: April 4th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
oooh, i can't wait to see what andromeda came up with.

i just finished reading shades from the beginning (yes, it was the first time) and forest guard and the latter part of hunter's moon - this is actually the first story i've been reading as you write, and i rather like knowing just who donzo and maurice and corky are, finally. heheh. i rather liked teddy being the only gryffindor in his year, because he's forced to make friends with the other houses, and it's quite different now than it was harry's time. the slytherins are particularly promising ;)

and vivian... one of your most intriguing characters, and i did wonder before this chapter how she's holding up. i skipped the early part of hunter so my theory that she's a lot like remus is yet to be confirmed, but at least it appears she's opening her heart in other ways nonetheless.

teddy, a bona fide teenage boy, and finally noticing victoire. oh wow. and you're right, he does look a bit like luke skywalker in your icon. heh.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm so glad you've liked the older stories!

Vivian has a lot in common with Remus, though I think she's less a Gryffindor than he was, and not likely to run into a battle until she's thought through the strategy and approved of it.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: April 4th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Random bits that I particularly liked: Neville's happiness after his honeymoon, Alderman putting bits of gossip in his letter, Victoire's comment about Ruthless and Teddy being broken up, and Maurice's complaints about Donzo giving free concerts. :~)

Teddy is really such a boy. I love the way you've aged him.

And I can't wait to see what Andromeda has in mind! :~)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Neville and Hannah will be happy together.

Donzo really does have to wrap his head around the "doing this for a living" thing.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: April 4th, 2008 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
He got a discount for first helping George stock standard Muggles and Minions equipment, then develop new lines of toys based on it. He also got a small percent of the money George made on the latter, which was deposited into a vault Granny had got for him at Gringotts. She wouldn't give him the key until he came of age, though.

This is a bit confusing. I believe Teddy's foray into the world of spinoffs and magical retail all happened in the past and is just serving as background here. As I read it, though, something about the tenses makes it sound kind of like Teddy made the decision to buy some daydreams, then helped George stock some shelves (something about the construction diminishes it), then quick-like-a-bunny developed some toys, earned some money, was denied immediate access to it, and went back to finding gifts for Ruthless.

Your teenagers are as delightful as your pre-teens were. I enjoyed this segment very much.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm not sure that's necessary at all, but if I decide to leave it, it needs cleaning up.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: April 4th, 2008 10:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh was it just me or was this a really long segment. Not that I'm complaining or anything as you packed an awful lot of really great interaction into this bit.

I especially enjoyed the exchange within the gang about how Teddy was going to distract Ruthless and the fact that Victoire was the only one who pointed out that the fact that they had broken up should stop him snogging her. My heart went out to her. Also you've got the teasing banter of friends right down pat so it is a joy to read. And was that a hint that Frankie has finally noticed that Tinny is a girl? Because if so may I give a dignified squee of joy.

One thing that I do find quite interesting is the way that Teddy's main friendship has shifted over the years. Maybe it is just that the focus of you writing has shifted, but I'm curious as to whether the impression I've got of Ruthless as Teddy's "best" friend is intentional. Maybe the issue was clouded in HM by Frankie's OWLs and all the snogging between Teddy and Ruthless but it does seem to me that Frankie no longer has the position that he was in FG with Teddy. Maybe I'm not making a lot of sense but it was something I picked up on which I thought was especially nice because Ruthless didn't even exist at first and now she is so central to Teddy's life.

And another Victoire line I liked was her rather pointed angling "You know other girls do, don't you?" which Teddy in true Remus style is completly oblivious to.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy, oblivious? I don't know what you mean.

Yes, Frankie finally gave in and realized that Tinny is only a little less than two years younger than he is, and that's not a terrible thing.

Before Hogwarts, Frankie was the only boy in Teddy's life even close to his age, and their families were friends. After the mess in FG, Teddy learned to lean on other people. He still loves Frankie to death, but he has more in common with Ruthless (a Gryffindor who may not be the only one in her year, but who's isolated from her yearmates because she doesn't like them) or Donzo and Maurice and Corky.

Edited at 2008-04-04 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: jme1374 Date: April 4th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I take them on a girl-by-girl basis" - I just loved that. It seems like a very Teddy attitude. And while he can be as clueless as any other boy, at least he's already realized that all girls are not the same.

You're missing an "a" early in the story - I'm too lazy to go back and find the exact place, but it should be before "nun" when you're talking about Vivian and Pere Alderman.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Andromeda suggests!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
at least he's already realized that all girls are not the same.

I have a feeling that the girls-are-alike theory never even occurred to him. Cluelessness can have its benefits, one of which is that he approaches each girl as a person, not as a potential romantic conquest.

I found the "a"; I'll get it later, thanks!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: April 4th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fun section!
Teddy unpacked and cleaned his trunk before getting it in order for the year...
If that isn't a funny contrast with Harry fully unpacking his trunk for the first and last time in DH, I don't know what is!

"As long as nothing explodes," Teddy said, unable to decide if this was Victoire Weasley, Brigadier General of the ongoing Hogwarts Prank War, or Victoire Weasley who had always tried, in her admittedly awkward way, to be Ruthless's friend.
Hahahaha, aw, it makes Victoire really lovable that she's so awkward.

I like Maurice coming into his own as Donzo's manager; I can't remember if that has been mentioned anywhere except future-drabbles so far?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think this is the first time, chronologically, that it comes up.

I was definitely contrasting Harry and Teddy with the trunk. Though I adored Harry's trunk-excavation. I thought that was one of JKR's best scenes.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: April 4th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know several people have commented on how well the 13 t0 15 year old transition is in this story, but I wanted to say how much I enjoy really being able to see Victorie's maturation. She seems so very thirteen here. Still young, but there's more of that awareness of the world around you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Especially that part of the world which includes one's crush. ;p

I'm enjoying maturing the kids with each story.
From: marciamarcia Date: April 4th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really finding Maurice and Donzo to be completely and utterly adorable. More please.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 4th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Given that they haven't even boarded the Hogwarts Express yet, I think I can safely say that there will be more. :)
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