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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Five: Surprise! , pt. 4 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Five: Surprise! , pt. 4
Teddy's expectations of the school year have already taken several hits--Ruthless wants to stop "[their] usual nonsense," Neil Overby is Sorted to Slytherin, and the Sorting Hat has stopped doing its war memorial. He's disturbed by this, though untamed starving thestrals couldn't drag this from him. He reflects that the post-war recovery has gone so swimmingly that the dead will soon be forgotten.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Headmistress Sprout stood up and raised her goblet, smiling pleasantly to the students. "Welcome to Hogwarts," she said. "There are a few announcements, all of them quite nice this year. While we will miss Professor Slughorn of Slytherin, he is taking a well-deserved retirement, and, Professor Vector will take over as Slytherin's Head of House."

Teddy applauded, though few others did. The wispy witch who was nodding from the High Table had taught Arithmancy for years, and most students thought of this as something between the Cruciatus Curse and a particularly nasty Knock-Out Concoction. Few of them knew Vector very well, and she, as one of the rare Muggle-born Slytherins, had examined her options and decided that a year abroad was called for at the time the heroes were being made. Teddy liked her despite this. It was hard to argue with the logic, unless you were either a Gryffindor or Nymphadora Lupin, née Tonks.

Sprout also applauded politely, then said, "Until the Potions post can be permanently filled, we are happy to welcome Professor Cho Morse."

She gestured to Cho, who stood up and gave a very pretty smile. Teddy could see Daniel beside her, a very large talisman sewn into the front of a Muggle suit. The Ravenclaw table applauded wildly; Cho Chang was in the company of Luna Scamander, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Professor Flitwick in their House roster of heroes. During the final battle--at least according to Donzo--she had taken to her broomstick and used the skills acquired as a longtime Quidditch Seeker snatch weapons from invading giants and strike back at them with deadly accuracy, at one point saving the whole of the north tower from a catastrophic strike that would have sent Trelawney's classroom crashing down into the midst of the battle, on top of nearly a hundred dueling wizards and witches.

The Headmistress waited for the applause to die down. "Professor Morse's husband, er... is it 'Doctor'?"

Daniel nodded.

"Doctor Morse," Sprout said firmly, "will also be on the premises. He is a Muggle Healer, and Madam Pomfrey has persuaded him to offer lectures on that particular art, as well as sharing his techniques with her. This is a unique opportunity for those of us born into the wizarding world, and it is quite generous of Dr. Morse to offer it." She looked around sternly, catching the eyes, particularly, of several Hufflepuffs. Teddy spoke Hufflepuff well enough to know that she was saying, "Under no circumstances are these lectures to be unattended."

There was actually an interested buzz of conversation at this; Roger Young's column on all things Muggle had created an appetite for knowledge of this sort. Teddy wasn't worried about Daniel lecturing to an empty hall.

Sprout looked around. "We are fortunate to have several young people on our staff, and for the first time in many years, the family quarters are being used. Please congratulate our own Professor Longbottom for his recent marriage."

The clapping was deafening this time; Professor Longbottom was wildly popular.

Sprout smiled and waited for it to die down naturally. He had been one of her favorite students, and he'd married a Hufflepuff, to boot. "I hope you will all welcome Mrs. Longbottom."

Hannah, who'd nearly been hiding behind Neville, stood up timidly, and seemed to be knocked back into her chair by a renewal of the applause. She had recently bought the Leaky Cauldron, and Teddy had no idea how she would deal with the crowds there once she finished the renovations she was doing and re-opened (for now, a series of low-ranking Ministry officials were keeping an eye on the Diagon Alley entrance).

Sprout laughed fondly. "Very well; I see Mrs. Longbottom is welcome. In other announcements, the Forbidden Forest remains Forbidden, new additions to Mr. Filch's list of prohibited items have been posted on the library door, and Quidditch tryouts will begin in the second week of the term; see your House captains if you are interested. Miss Higgs of Slytherin has also informed me that our fine Hogwarts newspaper, The Charmer, plans to begin its rigorous weekly schedule this very week, and those interested in reporting, taking pictures, or otherwise contributing, should see her immediately. Anyone else interested in starting a school activity, please see your Heads of House for the proper procedure. There are no further announcements, and no particular warnings, so without further ado, I would like you all to thank Winky and the Hogwarts kitchen elves for the feast you're about to enjoy." She waved her wand, lighting up the corner, where the house elves were waiting in an ecstasy of nervousness about being seen. Winky, at their head, gave a shaky curtsy as the students gave them the loudest cheer yet, then ordered everyone back down to the kitchens. They left with palpable relief, and a moment later, the empty plates on the tables filled with every food Teddy liked to eat.

The feast was cheerful, and after three treacle tarts, a plate full of roast beef and piled with potatoes, and half a pitcher of pumpkin juice, Teddy's discontent was more than muted. He stood at the end of it to join the other Gryffindor prefects in leading everyone up to the Tower, and managed a joke about having to make do a prefect short this year. The castle elves had been busy during the feast, and Teddy found his room clean and warm, his trunk pushed cozily against he wall, Checkmate beginning to stir from her enchanted nap. He curled his fingers into the fur on the nape of her neck, and she purred drowsily.

His book bag was hanging over the back of a chair, and he took it to his bed to open it. It might, he thought, have been packed by an ancient Celt warrior. This morning seemed at least that long ago.

But there was something else he meant to do tonight, a gift he intended to give. Granny had known immediately, and seemed genuinely happy to know what to do with it.

It was nothing special to look at, just a book, a study guide to Defense Against the Dark Arts N.E.W.T.s. It wasn't even up to date. Mum had got it from Mad-Eye Moody; Moody had got it from his own mentor, an Auror called Forrester; Forrester had got it from his mentor, Xavier Prewett--a classmate of Albus Dumbledore. It may have had an owner before Prewett, or even two--the date in the front of the book was eighteen-twenty--but Teddy had no way to know, as there were no names in it, only the memory of passing from student to teacher. In a happier world, Mum might have passed it on to Uncle Harry, and he might eventually have given it to Ruthless anyway. Or maybe Mum would have held onto it longer and passed it on to Ruthless herself.

Everyone who had owned the book had jotted notes here and there. Some had included jokes, or potion recipes. There was a scribbled design for a Dark detector that had never been developed; Teddy guessed this was Mad-Eye's. Mum had written in a cheerful purple ink, her round, even handwriting noting various things she'd learned from Granddad's Muggle psychology books. She'd also drawn a butterfly that flew up and down the margin of page eighty-three, alighting now and then on a diagram of a Yorkshire crime scene, where a mad potion-brewer had bled a pure-blood woman in an attempt to give magical power to his Muggle lover. (It hadn't worked, of course, but Mum had written in the top margin--in the last year of her life--Is this where Umbridge is taking this mad "magic-stealing" notion from?)

It would never have come to Teddy if Mum were alive. He was her son, not her student, not even a would-be apprentice in the Auror division. But he'd found the idea of giving up that one fluttering purple butterfly more difficult than he'd expected, so he'd sat by her wardrobes for a long time last night, morphing aimlessly into the mirrors, thinking of her, using the talent she had bequeathed to him, wishing she were here to tell him about all the other things she'd given him. He'd finally fallen asleep and dreamed of her, but as she told him exactly what he'd been telling himself she'd say, he wasn't sure if it was one of his particularly unusual dreams or not.

He'd wrapped the book this morning in the paper Granny had kept it in, tied with a simple string.

"I'm going to do it, Mum," he said.

She didn't answer.

Teddy raised his wand and sent his Patronus out to Ruthless, asking her to meet him downstairs in the Common Room. The Patronus communication might be meant for emergencies, but, in Teddy's opinion, did just as great a service in communicating with friends who happened to live in a booby-trapped dormitory, or just in other Houses altogether. He'd taught it to his friends last year, and only a few seconds later, Ruthless's fox dropped from the ceiling and told him that she was on her way. He took the book, scratched Checkmate between the ears, and went downstairs to wait.

The Common Room wasn't entirely deserted, and the good spots by the fire were all taken, so Teddy staked out a quiet corner at a study table. Ruthless spotted him when she came downstairs, and came over.

"What is it?" she asked, looking only vaguely curious.

Teddy brought out the package and set it on the table between them. "This isn't a birthday present," he said. "It's... well, it's a good luck present, for your Auror N.E.W.T.s. It's from Mum. Sort of. It was hers."

Ruthless's face lost its vagueness, and her light brown eyes grew sharp. "Teddy, I couldn't take something like that."

Teddy shoved the package across. "Yes, you can. It's not a family thing. It's an Auror thing." As he told her the history of it, he saw her eyes go to it, caressing it. He finished, and bit his lip.

She pulled it toward her and undid the string, letting the paper fall away. She opened it slowly. Teddy leaned over and turned to page eighty-three. "That's Mum's butterfly," he said. "I guess she got bored studying."

Ruthless touched the butterfly, her face tight and unreadable.

Teddy swallowed hard. "Do you like it?"

She picked the book up, closed it, and held it against her heart. "I like it very much, Teddy." Suddenly, she threw her arms around him (he could feel the book's corner pressing against his neck) and kissed his cheek, then, after a moment's hesitation, his mouth.

Teddy kissed her back, then pulled away. "I thought you said none of that this year."

She blinked rapidly, swallowed hard, and found a shaky smile. Her warm hand was resting on his cheek. "Well, classes don't actually start until tomorrow, do they?"

Teddy took her hand. "No. I don't suppose they do."
53 comments or Leave a comment
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alkari From: alkari Date: April 9th, 2008 07:33 am (UTC) (Link)
"Well, classes don't actually start until tomorrow, do they?" LOL - love that future Auror logic!! Another great chapter as usual.

under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: April 9th, 2008 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
yeah, that actually sounded a whole lot like auror tonks *grins*
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops, definitely missed that "to."
rotae From: rotae Date: April 9th, 2008 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Eeeeheheheheee!! :D Okay. Fern. I seriously love you right now. Totally and utterly. *squees* XD

I think I need to draw that last part... :D

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee, I never argue with drawing. :D

I'm glad you liked it!
beceh From: beceh Date: April 9th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice chapter-let! Particuly love "Teddy spoke Hufflepuff well enough to know that she was saying, " hehehe.

Love Teddy. Love the Hufflepuffs. Love Ruthless too. That book was a great idea, and a great gift.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy certainly would have been raised with Hufflepuff as a household language. Given that Andromeda's raised him, he may well speak Slytherin, too.
cambryn From: cambryn Date: April 9th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
The thought of him clinging to that one butterfly just made me tear up. Lovely lovely lovely.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
You cling to what you can find, I guess. Sigh.
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: April 9th, 2008 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
She had recently bought the Three Broomsticks, and Teddy had no idea how she would deal with the crowds there once she finished the renovations she was doing and re-opened (for now, a series of low-ranking Ministry officials were keeping an eye on the Diagon Alley entrance). This paragraph confused me. Did you miswrite and mean the Leaky Cauldron, or has she purchased the Three Broomsticks in addition to the Leaky Cauldron and has been so busy in Hogsmeade making renovations that she has had to temporarily abandon the LC?

Otherwise, one of my favorite chapters in the Teddy stories. I was touched by his thoughts over the book and the butterfly.

Wonderful, as always.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: April 9th, 2008 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found this confusing, too, but I ended up deciding that while she was busy in Hogsmeade and not available to watch the LC Diagon Alley entrance, a series of guards had been posted in the pub. So she now owns both?
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
amamama From: amamama Date: April 9th, 2008 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice chapter, as always. And I really like the book - no problem understanding that giving up the butterfly was hard for Teddy.

One nit: He stood at the end of it to join the other Gryffindor prefects Shouldn't that be the table instead? You haven't mentioned the teble previously, so it's a bit unclrar what 'it' is pointing to.

Very nice, and the logic at the end is just unbeatable, LOL. Hope they got a nice,long snogging night... Evening, at least. :p
ronkaperplexous From: ronkaperplexous Date: April 9th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think "it" is referring to the feast, mentioned in the previous line. I second the confusion, though-- took me a few seconds to realize what was going on.
aimeejmc From: aimeejmc Date: April 9th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy spoke Hufflepuff well enough to know that she was saying, "Under no circumstances are these lectures to be unattended."

I *LOVE* this line.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Good! I wasn't sure if it was too "cutesy" or not, so I'm glad people have mentioned particularly liking it.
From: iamapenguin Date: April 9th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Fern you really do leave me wanting more. I get to the end and i'm like "Where's the Rest?, I want more!"

Is frankie's sister, carny, at school yet?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
She should be, as I was reminded, but as I'd forgotten to mention it, we'll say she's four-and-a-half years behind Teddy, and therefore starting next year. ;p
satakieli From: satakieli Date: April 9th, 2008 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)
*hands tissue*
From: kobegrace Date: April 9th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow... Ruthless must feel so... wondrous and touched by Teddy's gift did. What a mind-blowing honour it must be for her to be made part of such a legacy.

Yeah. Heirlooms, familial or otherwise, rock. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a special fondness for annotated books as heirlooms, though my personal favorite is a parasol that the ancestor I was named for carried over on the boat from France when she came as an indentured servant. It's just such a visceral connection to history!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: April 9th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Stellar. This was a great chapter, all three sections.

I see another reader already pointed out the missing "to" in the Cho sentence... My only other change might be when Teddy is giving Ruthless the book, I feel like he'd let her unwrap it before explaining the history. So he'd say "it's an auror thing" and then she'd unwrap it and he'd tell her the story, then she'd finally flip it open and he'd show the butterfly.

I loved Teddy "speaking Hufflepuff," and the idea of family quarters (I've always loved thinking about the living arrangements at Hogwarts; they're very vivid in my head), etc.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)
That would be a more logical progression, wouldn't it?

There'd have to be somewhere for resident teachers who were married, wouldn't there?
willowbough From: willowbough Date: April 9th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really like the gift Teddy found for Ruthless--and it's good to see that she understands how much to value it. (On a related tangent, it reminds me of a story I heard about a copy of Hamlet being handed down successively by each actor who distinguished himself in the role to his successor in the next generation.)

Hope Hannah overcomes her nervousness enough to function in her new surroundings. Somehow I can't picture Madam Rosmerta looking as if she wanted to run and hide when her customers came.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Oo, I'd love to know more about that Hamlet story!

I think Hannah's just being thrown right back into school days at the moment. She'll find her feet, I'm sure.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: April 9th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was a beautifull chapter. Made my eyes all watery. All that Hufflepuff love, all that Tonks love...

Cho's actions during the battle are really interesting. She's nothing else than a shallow silly girl in most fanfics, and I like that here she proved to be a Ravenclaw and a member of Dumbledore's Army. It was really good.

Looking forward to more Daniel Morse!
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 9th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought the same thing of Cho in canon until she came back. She didn't abandon the DA because she and Harry had broken up. I like the way you've written her, Fern. :)

Lady Stratford
maxzook From: maxzook Date: April 9th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
The line that got me:

Teddy shoved the package across. "Yes, you can. It's not a family thing. It's an Auror thing."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Accepting something that emotionally valuable can take some persuasion.
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