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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eight: Ghost Writer, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eight: Ghost Writer, pt. 2
In trying to harness the Maze to help with his assignment for Binns, Teddy realizes that he needs to know more about what he's looking at. Unfortunately, no one seems to know much about pirates. The only place he knows anyone has done any detail work is in the Tirza novels... so naturally, he decides that his best bet is to quiz Fifi LaFolle. He asks Nearly Headless Nick how to reach another ghost.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

According to Nick, Fifi LaFolle had a living personal assistant to take care of her business--with no great surprise, Teddy recognized the name of one of Dad's students, Lavender Brown, who'd once patiently sat and helped him with sums--but that it would be more effective to contact her through ghostly means. "The direct approach carries a certain personal touch," Nick pontificated. "And I would be honored to reach Miss LaFolle for you." He straightened his oversized ruff, turned, and disappeared through the castle wall.

The next day at breakfast, a dove arrived with the morning owls (looking quite nervous, Teddy thought), a piece of pink parchment tied to her foot. She landed in front of him and fluttered her wings importantly. Teddy took the parchment and unfolded it. It was bordered with slightly darker pink hearts.

Dear Mr. Lupin,
Miss LaFolle was delighted to entertain Sir Nicholas on your behalf last evening, and asked me to promptly arrange a visit to Hogwarts for her. Headmistress Sprout has given permission for us to meet you tomorrow evening (Wednesday) in the study behind the Great Hall. I will bring any research materials that pertain to pirates. To my surprise, there was a great deal of information stored away. Miss LaFolle takes great pride in her research.

We look forward to seeing you.

Lavender Brown,
for Fifi LaFolle

P.S.: Teddy, I should warn you, she will complain about not being able to pinch your cheeks, and if your robes aren't in good order, she'll keep fussing at you until you fix them. It's her nature; don't take offense. Don't tell her I added this. LB.

"What's that?" Ruthless asked, looking at the dove like it might suddenly attack. "Who's writing to you?"

"Oh, it's for Robards' class," Teddy said.

Victoire leaned over and tried to see the note. "You have a dove for Defense Against the Dark Arts?"

"For that thing he's got you fifth years on?" Ruthless asked. "I wish I could try it. I wonder if he has an extra I could have." She smiled at the note. "Are you after some mad love potion brewer?"

"No. I just needed help about pirates."

"And the best person to give it writes to you on pink parchment?"

Teddy shrugged. "Could be."

"Well, who is she?" Victoire asked.

"No one you know," Teddy said, not wanting to admit that he read Fifi LaFolle, let alone had thought to ask for her help. Ruthless was also trying to see the note now. He folded it and shoved it into his book bag. "Either of you. Honestly."

The Headmistress had apparently passed the information on to Professor Robards, who wanted to see Teddy after class to ask what exactly he was after. Teddy said that he was just getting background, and Fifi LaFolle had, he'd heard from an unspecified person, done some research on wizarding pirates. "I only meant to write to her and ask," he said. "I didn't mean for such a great fuss to be made about it."

He expected Robards to roll his eyes and say it was a ridiculous tactic, but instead, Robards got quiet and said, "All right, Lupin, get on with it, then. Let me know if she has useful information." He waved Teddy off.

He snuck out late for another Animagus practice session with Donzo, but got nowhere. It occurred to him that doves were a food source for hawks, which--given the embarrassment factor--seemed like incentive to finish the spell.

"You know, that is odd," Donzo said when he muttered something about this. "Hawks are quite violent. Not really what I think of with you."

Teddy thought of Fenrir Greyback, running out into the Shrieking Shack, a ball of living fire, and shuddered. That wasn't what his hawk meant at all.

He put on a fresh set of robes after Care of Magical Creatures the next day and made sure all of his insignia were straight, including his prefect badge, which hadn't seen the light of day for quite a while. The hem of the outer robe was further from the floor than it had been when Granny had bought it a month ago, but it wasn't too bad, and he didn't bother morphing to cover it. He took his book bag to dinner, though he didn't need it; it wouldn't do to carry down The Lost Treasure where anyone at all could see it. He also took a fresh scroll and a clean quill. There wasn't much to be done about his ink bottle, which was smeared and milky from four years of use, but it would have to do. He refilled it before he left.

Any notion of subtlety ran aground once he got to the Great Hall. Ghosts were crowding around the High Table, craning their necks and putting their heads through the wall to see into the study. The door was ajar, and Teddy could see the Headmistress amidst piles of pink roses. A little white poodle, trimmed in a silly French style, periodically came out and offered its puffy head for petting by delighted girls. It seemed to particularly like Victoire, as it returned to her repeatedly during the meal. She and Marie had apparently decided that it properly spoke French, and were baby-talking to it in its own language. Ruthless pretended to gag herself, then went upstairs and came back with Ogden. "We need a real animal around here," she said. "Go on, Moggie-Oggie. Make faces."

Ogden looked as disgusted with the spectacle as Ruthless was (they actually looked somewhat alike), but didn't do any special tricks to express this. He just turned his back on the dog and lowered his head. Ruthless leaned down and touched her own forehead to it, then put him on her shoulder and started scratching his neck vigorously. She looked at Teddy. "This is yours, isn't it?"

Before he could answer, Professor Sprout completed the evening by saying, "Mr. Lupin, we're ready for you."

Ignoring the snickering, Teddy gathered his things and went to the study. A pearly ghost with curly white hair hovered behind the desk, staring dreamily at the fire. At the desk, Lavender Brown was arranging scrolls and Muggle notebooks.

"Ah, Teddy," Professor Sprout said. "May I introduce Fifi LaFolle?"

The ghost turned and smiled broadly, floating down toward Teddy in a predatory way. "Oh, my!" she said. "What a very handsome boy! Lavender, take down his looks, we shall have to put him into Celestia's Secret, perhaps that boy down the lane she saw in the last chapter. He could be the one who helps Celestia find a place to meet with Rip..."

Teddy looked at Lavender, alarmed.

She smiled at Fifi LaFolle and said, "Now, then, Miss LaFolle, I think you're frightening him." She turned to Teddy. "Don't worry--she steals people's looks all the time. No one's ever noticed, if they didn't already know."

"You wouldn't like it?" Fifi asked, looking crushed.

Teddy squirmed. "Er... I suppose..." He looked for a chair to occupy himself, and waited for Professor Sprout to leave and close the door. "I... I've actually read a lot of your books."

The disappointed look disappeared immediately. "You have? What's your favorite? What do you like about them?"

"Er... I like the Trials of Tirza. My Mum had just finished The Lost Treasure when she died."

"Did she enjoy it?"

"I... don't know. I was only two weeks old." Teddy looked at Lavender again.

Lavender sighed. "Fifi, you know about Teddy's parents. He has questions to ask you about your books."

"Oh, yes, of course." Fifi floated down and made herself appear to sit in a large wing chair. "What can I answer for you?"

"Well, in Tirza, you spend a lot of time on the pirate ship. You had a lot of details. I wondered if, while you were researching, you happened across anything about a wizarding pirate called Roderick Brimmann."

"Mmm. Yes, of course. There aren't really many wizarding pirates, you know. It's never been one of our vices." She gestured to Lavender, who came over with an open book. Teddy could see that it was hand-written. Fifi glanced at it. "Brimmann was totally unsuitable for a book, of course. Who would want to read about a filth-ridden cretin? But I did use the logs the Aurors recovered to get a sense of life on board a pirate ship. Have you had access to them?"

"No," Teddy said.

"You bought them, Miss LaFolle," Lavender said. "Don't you remember? They were in the Tirza files. You had Miss Crockford acquire them for you."

"Oh, yes. Yes. Dear Doris. She was a capable assistant, though of course, not nearly as sunny as you are, dear." Fifi gave a deeply sweet smile to Lavender. "It's quite amazing what the Ministry is willing to part with, once it's far in the past. Did we bring the logs? We can give them to young Ted here--is that short for Edward or Theodore?"

"It's just Ted," Teddy said. "And mostly, it's Teddy. My grandfather was Ted."

"I see." Fifi looked intrigued by this commonplace bit of knowledge, but at a look from Lavender, didn't pursue whatever had caught her interest. "You're welcome to Brimmann's logs, Teddy. I think I'm quite finished with my pirate stories."

"Thank you," Teddy said as Lavender handed him several scrolls. "I really appreciate it. It's just a school assignment, and I didn't mean to cause such a fuss..."

Fifi brushed it off with one translucent hand. "The days are so alike now," she sighed. "It seemed a good way to change one of them."

"Oh." Teddy fingered the logs, trying to guess their length. "Did you learn anything else?"

"Certainly. Dear Doris took the trouble to travel to Africa for me. There were newspaper articles about his disappearance, though of course, the main issue at the time was the crime he'd committed before sailing off."

"The slave ship, and the party? With all of the dead Muggles?"

"Oh, that was just the start, dear," Fifi said. "He also left behind a vicious Curse. Blistering Bloodspots. It was said that he set it on anyone who dared oppose him. Nearly half the village died from it!" She wrinkled her nose. "If I'd written it, the village wizard would have gone after that ship and dragged it back."

"For a trial and Azkaban?" Teddy asked.

Fifi laughed. "Oh, dear, no. Too distant. That would be a very unsatisfying ending." She thought about it. "I think I would have him put into confinement in the village, where a lovely local girl in the next book would convince him of his evil ways. But first, I'd be certain it was a very unpleasant confinement." She smiled again. "What else would you like to know?"
44 comments or Leave a comment
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rotae From: rotae Date: May 6th, 2008 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I officially love you, Fern. You would not believe the HUNDREDS of wankish comments I got when I put Ted Tonks' full name as Edward when I drew the family tree pre-DH. SO many people saying, "Ted isn't short for Edward wah wah wah" UGH. I had to disable comments eventually, I was so fed up with it. LOL XD But there it is as the first possibility that Fifi comes up with. Ah. Brilliant. *tackles*

I totally love Fifi too. She's so brilliant XD <3

Ugh. This chapter ROCKS SO MUCH. ZOMG. I. MUST. DRAW. TEDDY. TONIGHT. :D XDDDD *huggles*

Thank you so much <3 :D

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee, yes, of course it's short for Edward. Of course, why it's short for Edward may well qualify for a DoM study at some point. Not sure why "Ned" is, either.

Glad to be of service.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: May 6th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
This is rather a sweet chapter really. It must be Fifi\'s influence, after all who\'d want to read about nasty un-fluffy things.

I now ship Nick/Fifi, Ghostly love FTW! Think of all the inuendos you could think of for \"entertaining\". :)

I especially liked the little details you gave to the scene in the great hall, especially Ruthless\'s cat, who reminds me an awful lot of a cat that my mother had when she was younger although natuarally I\'ve only heard about him from stories. And the fact that he resembles his owner quite a bit. Oh if since Ruthless/Teddy is doomed why not Ogden/Cheakmate!! Yes I have gone ship crazy today, it must be Fifi\' influence.

And Lavender was absolutly marvolous, softly prompting the slightly scatter brained author and just generally being very patient. I am always delighted by how you age characters that we\'ve known in the book. (Mainly because you gave us Uncle Harry but you know, everyone else is spot on as well)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Ogden/Checkmate could certainly provide some awkwardly cute Teddy/Ruthless interactions. :)

I was trying to think of some obscure canon character to stick in as the assistant. Doris Crockford was the first one I thought of, then I remembered the "My Sweetheart" necklace and thought--LAV-LAV!
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: May 6th, 2008 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
It was fun to finally meet Fifi LaFolle! Of course she would want to rewrite pirate history into something much fluffier.

Ruthless and Victoire's interest in who was sending Teddy a letter with a dove was hilarious.

Was there a particular reason Robards got quiet? Did he just recognize Tonks's favorite author?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think he just recognized Tonks's sort of tactics.
mrs_redboots From: mrs_redboots Date: May 6th, 2008 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Lavender Brown as secretary to a ghost romance-writer! Oh, it's too perfect (and gives a whole new meaning to the term "ghost-writer"!)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. I realized that I'd had Fifi writing books after her death, so I thought, "Eh, they're just ghost-written under her name." Then I thought, "Hey, it's Harry Potter--ghost writing could be something entirely different, couldn't it?"
From: glynngriffiths Date: May 6th, 2008 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Fifi was just fantastic! And clearly I underestimated Nick's appreciation of bodice-rippers... :) I loved the image of all the ghosts sticking their heads through the wall for a better look. Wonderful image.

Also, Teddy's got clues! And archives! How exciting. (Because I'm a geeky historian.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, it's a ghost celebrity, right? :)

I'd be all over those logs myself.
From: kobegrace Date: May 6th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved this chapter! Fifi came, and she did not disappoint. Can't wait for what's next! :)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good! I liked her, too.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: May 6th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL! Fifi is undeniably a hoot! Very Cartland-esque, right down to the flood of pink and the fluffy little dog. It may be a while before Teddy hears the end of this from his mates. On the other hand, if his tactics pay off--as it seems they have--and he aces Robards' assignment, he'll be having the last laugh.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can just see it. They pick on him during the week he has the Trace off, and poof!
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: May 6th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh. my. god.

I am struggling to keep my face straight, because I read this while eating breakfast at the office and it wouldn't do to crack up, but....this is genius. First of all, one of the things I adore about Teddy is that though he's embarrassed, he also just keeps going and ignores everyone. Harry would have tried to do this in secret or something ridiculous.

Mostly, though, the Fifi-the-ghost.....is.... brilliant. I'm sorry, but I have totally lost track of where the line between interview-canon and Fern-canon is, so I don't know if you made this up, but I assume you did. Of course a romance novelist would just keep writing for all eternity. I am dying laughing inside. Plus her tone is perfect--sweet but sharper than she lets on. I just love this story and this was a wonderful comic interlude with promises of much more than fluff.

(The ministry is awfully careless, isn't it?)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't remember reading any interviews about Fifi, so, with the exception of the Cartland resemblance, I was pretty much just goofing around with her.

Yes, the Ministry is delightfully careless. It makes writing so much easier...
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: May 6th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't type for laughing.

Utterly brilliant.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad to give you a laugh!
cleindori From: cleindori Date: May 6th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was amazing. Fifi LaFolle! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
sannalim From: sannalim Date: May 6th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Well, who is she?" Victoire asked.

"No one you know," Teddy said, not wanting to admit that he read Fifi LaFolle, let alone had thought to ask for her help. Ruthless was also trying to see the note now. He folded it and shoved it into his book bag. "Either of you. Honestly."

Didn't Victorie catch Teddy in his Fifi LaFolle habit when he let her study in his room that one time during Hunter's Moon and she found the book?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was in a ficlet somewhere, though it wasn't supposed to be during HM. I decided to ignore it, or mentally move it to a later time.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: May 6th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was awesome!

More Fifi!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that can be arranged.
From: renesears Date: May 6th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fifi! Woo hoo! That was fantastic. I love how she jumps on Teddy after he tells her he's read her books:

"You have? What's your favorite? What do you like about them?" Hee hee hee. I would totally do the same thing.

Also, Lav-Lav. *dies* PERFECT. This is a very fun segment. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I would totally do the same thing.

I don't know what you mean, and am certainly not aware of how buggy that might drive a reader, as I would never do such a thing to everyone. ;p

Glad you liked it!
From: spitc1899 Date: May 6th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, it's been said already, but Fifi is perfect.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 7th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: May 6th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fifi LaFolle was BRILLIANT! Honestly, she was so intrigued by Teddy that I want her to steal his character for her next book.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 6th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, PLEASE have an aside somewhere with Teddy finding out he's become the main character of a book, whether any of his friends can tell or not. Heh. Might have to remember that idea for a challenge call.

Excellent Fifi! :)

Lady Stratford
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