"I've set aside the old student store room for you," Professor Morse said. "Now that we have the ingredients spread out amongst the tables, I only needed half the cupboard space for extra. I did the same charm on the walls in there, but if you don't care for it, or you'd like different scenery, I'd be happy to change it."
Teddy shook his head. "The meadow is fine. Really."
"Well, it's not very big, but there's space for the magically tended fire. Professor Slughorn told me that you're quite adept at maintaining it."
"Fire is easy," Teddy said. "As long as you keep the potion over it, it should keep. If it goes out, though, you have to brew another batch."
"Finicky," Daniel said.
"Just a bit. Lucky for me. It was Mum having to get Dad the potion every other minute, as he couldn't very well keep a magical fire at Smeltings, that made them fall in love."
"Oh. Then lucky for me, as well," Daniel said. "On any number of levels." He grinned at Professor Morse. Teddy looked away.
Professor Morse opened the door to the store room, and sunlight flooded out. Teddy followed her inside. The room seemed quite a lot bigger than it had been last year. A brand new cauldron stood toward the back, and several plants were lined up on shelves beside it.
"Neville... er, Professor Longbottom... has been tending the plants, and he's happy to keep doing it. If anything seems wrong with them, let him know."
"All right." Teddy looked around. "Is there a calendar here? I haven't been keeping track of the moons as well as I ought to. I haven't needed to since Greyback died."
Professor Morse pointed her wand toward the door and a calendar came flying through it. She affixed it to the wall, where it seemed to hang suspended between two trees.
Teddy studied it. "He has to take it for a week before the full moon, so I think it'll have to be Tuesday. Can I come down on Monday after supper to get the batch started?"
"Yes, of course."
"When does Neil have Potions?"
"Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings, early."
"I think... er..." Teddy flailed. "I think that's early enough for the morning dose. I mean--"
"Can he eat before he takes it?" Daniel prodded.
"Yes! Yes, he can eat anything he'd like."
"And how many doses does he need each day?"
"Three. Mum used to bring it to lunch, and then Dad took it before work and with supper," Teddy said, relieved to have that memory from the ring. Why hadn't he thought about the simplest question of all? Why hadn't Slughorn told him?
"Well, then, it sounds like taking it with meals is a good dosage. Unless there's a magical component to the exact time?"
Teddy shook his head. "No."
Daniel smiled at him. "You'll do just fine, Teddy."
"I hope you'll teach me to help," Professor Morse said.
"I'll show you. I'm not a very good teacher, though." Teddy supposed that Donzo would say this was a flat lie--he'd managed to teach all of them the speaking Patronus Charm over a matter a few days last year--but Professor Morse would be thinking of Dad, and comparatively, Teddy thought that made it true enough. He looked at Daniel. "Speaking of which, when are you going to teach about Muggle Healing?"
"Madam Pomfrey and I are working on a presentation for next week. Will you be there?"
"Of course I will."
"I'm very excited about it," Professor Morse said. "Can you imagine? It's the first time Muggle science will be taught at Hogwarts in a thousand years."
"No pressure, though," Daniel said.
Teddy smiled dutifully. After a few more minutes of being shown around, he made his excuses and went to the Great Hall for dinner. Victoire and Marie were sitting at the far end of the Gryffindor table, and judging by the aggressive jut of Marie's chin and the agitated way Victoire was squirming, they were having another tiff. They weren't loud enough to disturb passing hippogriffs this time, though, and they weren't throwing Curses, so Teddy decided to let them be. Ruthless wasn't there yet, so he didn't really have any Gryffindors to sit with, so he took his plate and wandered over to Hufflepuff, where Frankie Apcarne was putting the cutlery through a complex sort of choreography while a salt shaker hummed a waltz.
"That'll be useful in later life," Teddy said, sitting down beside him.
Frankie shrugged. "Who says everything needs to be useful?" He winked across at Tinny, who was levitating a bit of cloth to serve as the top of a tent.
Tinny flicked her wand, and the cloth developed jolly black and yellow stripes. "Lupin, as long as you're here, you'll have to think of something. We could use drummers, I think."
Teddy cast around for something to charm. Frankie and Tinny each appeared to have finished a chicken leg, so he took the bones and set them to a simple one-two-three beat. "Anything more complicated, and we'll need to ask Donzo," he said.
Further down the table, Roger noticed the game, and soon, his goblet was strolling around, making a sound like a wandering violinist. A few first year 'Puffs said, "Wingardium Leviosa" in unison, and several quills began to float around in a stately manner. Frankie's cutlery promptly flew up to dance around them, to the delight of first years, who didn't seem to care what the social status of a seventh year was, if he was willing to play with them at all. By the time Headmistress Sprout put an end to the game with an irritated, "Oh, for heaven's sake, Mr. Apcarne, you're quite old enough to know better than to play with your utensils," most of the 'Puffs had found something to contribute. Teddy settled in to eat.
"Had a letter from Mum today," Frankie said when everyone's attention had wandered. "She wants to know if you're looking well and eating properly. Shall I tell her the truth?"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"That you look like something Checkmate dragged in from the garden and played with for a few hours before bringing you in."
Teddy started to morph away the puffy little bags under his eyes.
"And don't morph," Frankie said. "I already noticed, so it's a little late."
"Don't tell her. It's not... well, not the thing she's worried about. It's just brewing the potion for Neil, and of course Ruthless broke up with me."
"Yes. But I'll never recover from it this time, you know." Teddy put his hand dramatically over his heart.
"Right. She's got you on some damnably Unspeakable business, hasn't she?"
"Yes, but that has nothing to do with me being tired. Really. You don't need to pass it on. I have a problem with it, but it's... technical, I suppse. Tell her I'll write."
"All right." Frankie toyed with his food. "She also said that Dad's been looking at offices in Diagon Alley. He's been talking to some of his authors, and he's trying to buy a press. He wants to start his own publishing company. Historical things, and maybe some fiction."
"That sounds good."
"He said this summer that if I wanted to do that, I could join him. We could be partners."
"Do you want to?"
"Cheers, then. It's a plan."
"If I can do it. I really don't know that much about it. D'you reckon I could have some of those stories you write for James? I'll see if I can make a book of them. Just to see if I like doing it."
"Sure. Do you want some of James's, too?"
"Er... I think perhaps he's not quite old enough to make a production of it. I was going to send it to Dad. To show I can pick something good."
"You might want to pick something other than the drivel I write for James, then. Granny says Professor Morse writes good poetry."
"I'll stick with your drivel any day," Frankie said, then pointed to a roll on Teddy's tray. "Are you going to eat that?"
Feeling oddly lighthearted--a great release from the stress of Potions--at the thought of the silly stories he'd made up for James being put together into something that looked like a book, Teddy headed back up to his room, did the small bit of homework he'd got, then took out the Daedalus Maze for the first time since he'd been forced to run from Fenrir Greyback.
"Don't try to find Brimmann," he reminded himself. "Don't try."
He hoped this would make it work a bit better, though he decided that if he so much as suspected his guide was a dead cannibal with a taste for children again, he'd leave the Maze without looking around.
He opened it, and found himself beside Granny's pond. To his utter delight, Sirius Black was waiting there for him--fifteen years old, with a dangerous sort of laughter in his face. Teddy could see little James in him, and then he became James, but not Teddy's James--Uncle Harry's father. This James Potter winked from behind his glasses and led Teddy into the Maze, which was formed from the bright flowers of Granny's greenhouse, where Teddy had spent many happy hours pretending to explore the jungle when he was small. At the first turn, James turned into Prongs, then into the large black dog who was Padfoot, then into Sirius. The flowered walls were covered with mirrors, each of them showing Teddy something different when he looked into it. Just morphs, nothing dreadful. He laughed, and glanced at another mirror, in which Mum was laughing back at him.
Sirius became Dad, also fifteen, and Dad led him around another turn, where he could see the Marauders--well, Sirius, Peter, and James, anyway--hunched around their books in the library, then he saw himself and Donzo hunched around the same books, Donzo with his ridiculous mask on. Dad smiled.
Teddy continued to explore this part of the Maze, counting his turns, enjoying appearances by a very young Granny, the Weasley twins, and even his own James Potter. At ten turns, he wasn't altogether sure he'd be able to take another twist in the road, so he followed his path back, his guides morphing along with him, and finally left the maze. Sirius walked back to the pond with him, then grinned and disappeared. Teddy was laughing when the spell ended and he found himself back in his room. It was ten-forty.
So that was why Dumbledore's father had wanted the Maze in Azkaban. It might have frightening turns, but it could also do this, take him through happy things. Was happiness a Mystery? It didn't have its own division, but it could be, at that.
Teddy set the Maze back into its spot under his bed, and turned to get his pajamas on for the night. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and stopped.
He'd long ago stopped morphing his hair into absurd colors on a routine basis, but somehow, in the Maze, it had gone the bright pink that Mum had favored. He hadn't done it deliberately.
Frowning, he relaxed the morph, and let his hair return its natural shade of brown.