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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Five: Surprise! , pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Five: Surprise! , pt. 2
The school year is very close, and Teddy's friends are planning a surprise party for Ruthless. (Teddy's job is to distract her at the platform while they set up.) Teddy wants to give her both a "regular" birthday present and something of Tonks's as a wish for good luck on her ambition to become an Auror. He's been searching for something when Andromeda finds him and asks. She says she has something.

Sorry for the tardiness. I was putting a lot of extraneous stuff in, and it just didn't really fit.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Distracting Ruthless turned out not to be quite as easy as Teddy had anticipated.

First, the Scrimgeours had actually made it to the platform nearly fifteen minutes before Teddy. This was unprecedented--the Scrimgeours had five children, and were always behind. This had developed a tendency to plan to leave early which usually led to leaving only a bit late, but apparently, this morning, the twins had been exceptionally well-behaved, and the family had managed to get breakfast and get out of the Leaky Cauldron by nine-thirty. Teddy's plan to wait for her had been ruined before Granny found a place to park.

Second, Ruthless had been in charge of keeping her younger brothers in order, and was cross and looking forward to sitting down. She also seemed anxious to talk to Teddy about something, and the most logical place to do so was on the train.

Third, the birthday present had taken all of a minute, as there wasn't exactly personal space for thank yous. It had also led to a rather pained look on her face that made Teddy too nervous about just what she meant to tell him to effectively steer the conversation. The other present--the one Granny had found--wasn't part of the party, and certainly wasn't meant to be given on a crowded platform, so it stayed in Teddy's book bag.

Fourth, he'd nearly forgotten that he was meant to be a prefect. It was hardly an honor, as he was the only Gryffindor in his year, but it had required a sudden rearrangement of priorities, as nearly half of Teddy's year had, by necessity, become prefects, and Donzo and Corky were running around madly trying to get the other prefects to meet at the party instead of in their own compartment. This was inordinately stressful, and for the first time since his first year, Teddy wished that he'd had several dormitory mates, and one of them had been chosen instead.

Finally, he'd neglected to plan for his own family. Uncle Harry had brought James, Al, and Lily along to say goodbye for the year. Teddy was glad to see them, but flummoxed as to what to do with them, or even with Granny, while trying to keep Ruthless from boarding the train. Letting Al push the luggage trolley while James carried Checkmate hadn't kept them occupied for long, and Teddy's usual goodbyes with Uncle Harry and Granny didn't quite work when part of his mind was already with his friends at school.

It was James who finally saved the day, poking around with his usual level of nosiness. He discovered a new basket sitting among Ruthless's things, which contained the ginger kitten Teddy had seen in Diagon Alley. Ruthless brightened immediately.

"Teddy spotted him for me," she said. "I went as soon as we came down here. I never had my own cat before."

"What's his name?" James asked.

"I haven't thought of one yet. I've mostly called him 'Cat.' What do you think? You always name cats for your stories."

James puffed up considerably at the knowledge that Ruthless had actually read his cat stories, and took a long, serious look at the kitten, narrowing his eyes and pursing his lips. Finally, he said, "Ogden."

Ruthless looked surprised. "Ogden?"

"Yeah. I was thinking about fire, and then Firewhiskey, and then Old Ogden's."

"Hmm." Ruthless scooped the sleeping kitten up and looked at his face. "Ogden. Do you like that, Moggie Oggie? Oggie-Oggie-in-for-free?"

The kitten half-opened his eyes, licked his whiskers drowsily, and then flopped his head down on the side of Ruthless's hand.

"I think he likes it," Ruthless said. "Ogden it is. Thanks, Potter."

James looked even more pleased at being called "Potter" than at having named the cat.

The Hogwarts Express sounded its horn and a magically amplified voice called out, "All aboard! All Hogwarts students aboard!"

Lily, who'd been cheerfully petting the sleeping Checkmate, put her hands over her ears and began to cry, and Teddy nearly lost Ruthless in the crowd while he was trying to comfort a disconsolate five-year-old. (Al finally won the day by promising her the use of his brand new box of Metamorphmarkers when they all got home.) Luckily, Granny and Uncle Harry stopped Ruthless with irritating questions about her future while her family got her brothers' belongings to the train, so Teddy was able to keep an eye on her, and was the one who finally walked her to the train, their luggage trolleys bumping companionably against each other. He didn't know if Victoire had managed to finish her decorations yet, as the Weasleys had a first-year to see off as well, but if she hadn't, it was probably too late. There were only so many ways to distract Ruthless once they were actually on the train, and--

Ruthless stopped as soon as they'd actually made it into the narrow corridor. They were among the last on board, and only a few people gave her dirty looks as they maneuvered their own trunks toward compartments. "Teddy, I need to talk to you," she said.

Teddy's stomach rolled over. "What? Is something wrong? Are you... well, not that you shouldn't, we're broken up, but are you going out with--"

She held up her hand. "No. I just... well, there are new rules."

"More Ruthless Rules?"

She smiled, but only a little bit. "I barely made my Potions O.W.L., and you know perfectly well that our little tutoring sessions weren't very useful."

"Well, that wasn't--"

"Teddy." She sighed. "You're very distracting. I'd much rather snog you than work. And I need to work, so..." She raised her eyebrows hopefully. "Do you know what I'm saying?"

Teddy shook his head.

"I'm saying that the new rule is, none of our usual nonsense. They're not taking a lot of Aurors, as there aren't all that many Dark wizards anymore, and if I'm to make it, I have to do well with my N.E.W.T.s. I'm going to keep up with Quidditch--it's good for me to stay in shape--but no boys. Absolutely no boys." She shook her head, and Teddy thought she was mostly talking to herself. "Especially no Teddy Lupin. You're worse than firewhiskey when it comes to fogging up my brain."

"Even as friends?" Teddy asked, incredulous. "We've always been friends, I won't snog you if you don't want me to snog you, I--"

"Of course we're friends. But no..." She shrugged. "You know what the rule is about, Lupin."

Teddy yanked his trunk too hard to get it moving again, and tripped several feet down the corridor. He didn't really feel like attending a birthday party just now, but it was too late to go back on it.

Ruthless followed. "Teddy, it's not you, it's just these damned classes, I've been going through the books..."

Teddy stopped, thinking of the book that was currently wrapped and waiting for her. He debated not giving it to her after all--he'd spent all night up wondering if he'd be able to--but in the end, it might even be better if they weren't going out. It was a tradition he was giving her, not a box of chocolates, and it wasn't even his own tradition to decide on. Besides, she was still his friend. "I know. And I really didn't mean to get back together. It was just an idea. probably a stupid one."

She looked at him timidly, a look so out of place on Ruthless Scrimgeour's face that it took him a long time to recognize it. Then she forced a smile and said, "Yes, it's very stupid, Lupin. I mean, you know you've no shot with me at all. I just can't stand you."

"Right," Teddy said, trying to go along. "And you're boring and ugly, so why would I bother?"

"That's the spirit."

They looked carefully at each other, then Teddy rolled his eyes and started moving his trunk again. By the time they reached the door where Frankie had put up a picture of a tree--the sign for the Forest Guard, the name he'd given his group of friends before Teddy had even arrived at Hogwarts--they were joking about classes and Professor Longbottom's wedding. Teddy let her ahead of him to open the door, and when everyone inside yelled "Surprise!" she seemed genuinely pleased.

The party turned out to be a great success, and Frankie lamented not having thought of it years ago to pass the time between London and Hogsmeade. Donzo played every song that Ruthless enjoyed, and Victoire had outdone herself with festive decorations. Marie jumped right in, dancing with everyone, and when Teddy retrieved Neil Overby--who he'd gone looking for after an hour and found hiding in a crowd and not talking to anyone--she pulled him into a dance they did in the werewolf sanctuary, and he relaxed. A little bit. Teddy began to look forward to arriving at Hogwarts, to the Sorting Feast and the Sorting Song, and the smoke figures he would see of his parents. It was the only time he saw their images that everyone else could see them as well, and he meant to point them out to Neil and Marie.

When the train arrived at Hogsmeade Station, Teddy and the other fifth year prefects (Honoria Higgs and Corky from Slytherin, Lizzie Richardson and Donzo from Ravenclaw, and Roger and Tinny from Hufflepuff) were expected to come out and help corral the first years, so he had to be separated from Ruthless and the others, though she promised to save him "at least a little bit of food." They got the eleven-year-olds arranged in boats, surreptitiously directing the frightened ones toward Hagrid, who made a fuss over them and promised to have them in for tea. Teddy put Neil in a boat with several shy-looking boys who didn't seem very threatening, and Marie in a boat full of rowdy girls. When this was done, they took the thestral-drawn carriages up to the castle. Honoria regaled them all with tales of her summer in Greece, where she had apparently spent the whole time catching up on British gossip. Teddy learned more about the comings and goings of Gregory Goyle than he'd ever wondered about, and ascertained that his cousin, Draco Malfoy, was planning to make some sort of political bid. Honoria opined that this was foolish, as it would only bring his Death Eater past up.

The carriage rolled to a stop on road in front of the castle. Teddy could hear the lake sloshing quietly on its shores, and see the moonlight reflecting on the White Tomb. The Red Caps who had overrun the place after the last battle had finally gone back into hibernation--or whatever state they were in when they weren't manifesting--and it all seemed the same as ever.

Teddy climbed down from the carriage, patted the thestral's neck, and led the way inside.
48 comments or Leave a comment
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amamama From: amamama Date: April 6th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Summer's over, and we're back at school. Nice to se Ruth happily surprised, and I just loved this one: You're worse than firewhiskey when it comes to fogging up my brain. Just the reason to not have a boyfriend. *snorts* Yeah, right. *rolls eyes*

I struggled a bit to make sense of this one, and think you should've had a comma after shouldn't: well, not that you shouldn't we're broken up, but are you going out with--

Looking forward to see what happens next - and what excactly is that present that Granny found?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep, that's definitely missing a comma.

Just the reason to not have a boyfriend.

Well... if you're Ruth, it makes perfect sense. This added to the notion that she kind of suspects Teddy's having some disturbing thoughts about an irritating blonde, anyway.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. You'd think the spell-check would have picked up that missing space! Probably did, and I just didn't notice.

I thought about Rusty or Fireheart for the kitten, but I figured James probably hadn't read Warriors yet. ;p
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: April 6th, 2008 09:14 am (UTC) (Link)
God, everytime I'm reading an update of one of your fics I go to scroll down more and go- wait, no more? (Unless I printed it out, as I do half the time with Teddy updates to read on my hour commute to school when I see it's been updated in the morning. Because obviously then I can just see how long it is.)

It's because I'm so used to reading all your fics completed. Oh, and because you're such a good author lol.

I LOVE Ruthless, have I mentioned this? She's adorable. As is Teddy, of course. And James, though I've noticed you have absolutely no personality what-so-ever for Al while JKR has mentioned he's the one she cares about *Snerks*.

But lord, what DID Andromeda GIVE him for her...

By the way, completly unrelated, but I was wondering about this when I was glancing through your rt challenge entires. Of course, this possibility has been killed by canon, quiet LITERALLY, but it applies to Teddy as well, so ha :P. In your ficvese, what WAS gonna happen to Tonks, what with her not-really-aging? Was she ever going to naturally die? Which of course applies to Teddy as well. *Wondering*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, part of what I cut involved Al, and his delight at being given the privilege of pushing the trolley. He's quieter than James, but he's definitely got a whole Al-vibe going on in my head. (Of course, I'm not sure I believe JKR about caring more about Al... in the epilogue, she managed to give him a whole scene without nearly as much oomph as James had in two lines!)
cornedbee From: cornedbee Date: April 6th, 2008 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha, Teddy's probably taking this way harder than any of their breakups. That's kind of a weird relationship they have there.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the phrase "any of their breakups" probably summarizes it!
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 6th, 2008 10:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I wanted to tell you that before, but never took the time : Thank you for keeping Victoire's family the way you wrote it before the Family Tree of Doom. Thank you so much !

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was just too hard to change everything mentally!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: April 6th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ouch. Not always easy having an on-again, off-again girlfriend, especially since it's clear that Teddy and Ruthless still fancy each other, deep down. Meanwhile, there are those disturbing stirrings Teddy is feeling towards Victoire . . . fifth year looks to be even more full of teen hormones running wild than third year.

Looking forward to the Sort!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, yes. Raging hormones. They always find their way in, don't they?
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: April 6th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't commented since you started this fic, but I have to say it's great as always. =)

I had to comment now because in the end, when you had Teddy patting the thestral... it just gave me a chill! I know it's silly of me, but to think that poor Teddy is only 15 and can already see thestrals...

Edited at 2008-04-06 02:17 pm (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it kind of sucks. Thank you, Greyback.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: April 6th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

"I was putting a lot of extraneous stuff in, and it just didn't really fit."

It wasn't James-ness, was it? Because Jamesly goodness can never be extraneous. There can never be too much James!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: "I was putting a lot of extraneous stuff in, and it just didn't really fit."

It was, I'm afraid, some Potterlet-ness. :) It just got a little distracting from the actual sequence of events, and threatened to get me stuck at Platform Nine and Three Quarters for a very long time.

But if you'd like the DVD-Extras Deleted Scene, here it is ;p:

Uncle Harry was waiting there with all three of his children. James waved merrily and ran up.

"I was going to come alone," he said, "but Dad reckoned that Al and Lily ought to be able to come if they wanted to."

"Well, I'm glad to see you," Teddy told him. "Are you coming through the barrier with me?"

James nodded eagerly.

"Would you like to carry Checkmate?" Teddy picked up the cat-basket from the top of his trunk. Inside it, Checkmate was deep in her enchanted sleep.


Al frowned. "Why can't I carry Checkmate?"

"I'm older," James informed him.

"But Checkmate and I are both girls," Lily said. "So I should carry her."

"That's stupid," Al said. "Teddy's not a girl, and he carries her all the time."

Teddy caught Uncle Harry's eye and grinned. "Al, would you like to push the trolley?"

Al's bright green eyes went wide behind his glasses at the possibility of such a responsible position. "I could? Really?"

"Well, if Granny doesn't mind..."

"It's quite all right," Granny said.

Somewhat dazed by his good fortune, Al took a place behind the trolley. Lily looked at Teddy expectantly.

"Er..." Teddy cast around. "Well, I need to get something out of my book bag, but you may carry it after that, if you like."

She nodded wildly.

Teddy reached in and pulled out Ruthless's birthday present--the brightly wrapped Portable Daydreams. James frowned at it. "A present? You brought a present?"

"It's for Ruthless. Her birthday was yesterday."


Teddy felt a harsh tug and looked down to see Lily's arms hooked around the strap of his book bag. "You said I could carry it."

"Oh, right."

Granny bit her lip to avoid laughing and said, "All right, then, you lot, let's get through the barrier. Follow Granny Andromeda." She held up one hand, waited for some Muggles on Platform Nine to look away, then turned and marched smartly through the wall, raising her knees high for effect. James arranged Al and Lily in age order behind him, and they all marched through after her.

"How long before they figure out I just gave them work?" Teddy asked.

"If James is like you," Uncle Harry said, "I think you have about six months left."
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: April 6th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Teddy/Ruthless interaction is wonderful as always. Great work, Fern. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm not sure how wonderful Teddy thought the interaction was, though! ;p
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: April 6th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love James brightening at the cat-naming but brightening more at being called Potter...

This was a little awkward:
</i>and Teddy's usual goodbyes with Uncle Harry and Granny didn't quite work when part of his mind was already with his friends at school.
How about:
and Teddy's usual goodbyes with Uncle Harry and Granny were a bit off-kilter, since part of his mind was already with his school friends.

Nice touch at the end; Teddy patting the Thestral.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: April 6th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Drat, I replied pre-coffee and switched all my tags. Dumb.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: April 6th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Update! Yay! I'd forgotten about the prefects thing....poor fifth years. There aren't even quite enough of them and the years below them are larger than normal aren't they? I am looking forward to seeing what you do with the first years we know ( Marie and Neil) though.

And, I gotta say, it is just morbid that Teddy is looking forward to seeing smoke apperations of his parents....but it is a good sign that I think that becuase it shows your writing so good we think of these characters like real people!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I forgot about the prefects thing, too. Oops! ;p At least the older prefects are still around to help.

Teddy does have his morbid side, doesn't he?
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: April 6th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't wait until school starts; that's when all the exciting things happen!

Draco in politics...well that's interesting. I guess we don't really know how he's changed over the years since he's not been much of a focus in the Teddy-verse fics, but if this has any significance at all, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know that it's going to play out much at all--it's just a subject Honoria's gossiping about! On the other hand, there's a lot about this story that I don't know yet.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: April 6th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awwww James! So cute!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
[James]Well, as long as you don't pinch my cheeks...[/James] ;p
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: April 6th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
interesting how james brightened up at being called "potter". i know you intend this to be about him feeling like he belonged, but it helps set the tone for their relationship down the road. i can't help but think of that moment james quits the aurors, and how you found it difficult writing them in that scene... somehow it just seems too funny and right in my head when i think it leads up to that

but teddy and ruth... oh the pains of puppy love.

on the editing front, you forgot to "capitalize" the start of this sentence: probably a stupid one
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops, went in and did edits and forgot that one!

I think James kind of digs being "Potter," as it identifies him (quite properly in his opinion) as the "Potter" one really ought to be paying attention to. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 6th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love this as always, but I like that Ruthless called her cat "Cat" until James named him just like Holly in Breakfast at Tiffany's
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 6th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh. That's one of those classic movies that I've never, ever seen. I was actually thinking of Jean Piaget, the developmental psychologist who called his cat "Cat."
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