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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eight: Ghost Writer, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eight: Ghost Writer, pt. 3
Teddy's interview with Fifi LaFolle is strange, but somewhat productive, as she did actually research the wizarding pirate Teddy's been assigned to find. She is intrigued by Teddy himself, and grateful for a break in her routine.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

The interview lasted for well over an hour, until Professor Longbottom tapped on the door and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, Miss LaFolle, but our curfew is only an hour away, and I'm sure Mr. Lupin has other assignments to see to."

Teddy didn't actually have any more assignments, but he thought he'd got as much as he was going to get from Fifi LaFolle--she was starting to circle around and repeat herself--so he was glad for something handy to hang an ending on. He gathered his things--including Brimmann's logs--and stood up. "Thank you so much for talking to me," he said. "This has been a lot of help."

"I'm happy to help you, dear," Fifi said. "Lavender has told me about your parents." She leaned forward avidly. "It's a very romantic story."

Teddy froze and looked at Lavender, who was shaking her head miserably. He turned back to Fifi and said, "It's not particularly romantic. They died."

"Well, yes, that was a terrible ending, but that could be fixed..."

"Fifi," Lavender said harshly, "we discussed this. This is not yours."

"Hmph," Fifi said, then smiled at Teddy again. "It was romantic. You shouldn't pretend it wasn't."

Teddy felt queasy, but knew he'd never hear the end of a show of bad manners. He bowed. "Thank you, Miss LaFolle. Is there someplace I should escort you to?"

"Oh, I'm staying for a small gathering that Sir Nicholas has arranged."

Lavender waved her wand and all of the remaining items flew into a small satchel. The dog, which had been asleep at her feet, stood up and shifted eagerly from foot to foot. "Well," Lavender said, "I was actually going to join Professors Morse and Longbottom for a late dinner in Hogsmeade, and Desiree here might benefit from a walk as well. Would you care to walk to the greenhouses with me, Teddy?"

Teddy didn't think it was a particularly subtle hint that she wanted to speak to him privately, but Fifi seemed oblivious. "Sure," he said, and walked with her to the door of the study, feeling that he'd forgotten something. Just before he got to the door, he stopped. "Miss LaFolle?"

Fifi turned, her smile wide and friendly again. "Yes, dear?"

"I wonder... is there any way for you to sign a book?"

She looked positively delighted. "My assistant is able to produce my signature upon my explicit approval. Will that do?"

"Yes, Ma'am." Teddy dug into his book bag and brought out The Lost Treasure. He started to hand it to Fifi, then remembered that she couldn't very well take it, so handed it to Lavender instead.

Lavender took it, and held out her wand. "Miss LaFolle, what would you like to say to Teddy?"

"Is that how you want it signed?" Fifi asked. "To Teddy?"

Teddy shook his head. "No. To Dora, if you could. I think she'd like that."

Fifi's face grew soft, nearly living in its expression. "Very well," she said. "Lavender, sign it, To Dora, who understands, and to Teddy, who believes. Love, Fifi LaFolle."

Lavender tapped it with her wand, and the inscription spread over the cover page. Teddy took the book back and read it--he'd never read his name and Mum's in the same place, both in the present tense--then returned it to his satchel and said, "Thank you."

She nodded.

Teddy walked Lavender outside. Desiree the dog stopped to do some less than fluffy business at the lake shore, and Lavender sighed deeply as she looked across the lake. "I did tell her about your parents, Teddy. I just told her it was the most romantic real story I knew. I think that's why she was so eager to meet you. She was keen to write it, but I think I talked her out of it. I told her that was yours, if it was anyone's. I'm sorry--I forget sometimes that she's a ghost. She seems so real. But she only does one thing, and I don't think it occurs to her that it would hurt anyone to have it turned into a cheap paperback novel. Especially if it's the same novel she's been writing since the mid-nineteen-seventies."

Teddy shrugged. "Well, it's a good story. I mean, the one she's been writing, not Mum and Dad's."

"They're both good stories. Fifi may not be fully present, but she does understand romance. It's all she is now."

"But she'd change the ending?"

"Probably. I'm afraid she'll never be appreciated by the finer class of literary critic." Lavender smiled, and tugged at Desiree's lead. Desiree had finished her business and was sniffing around at the lake, too close to the giant squid's reach. Lavender Vanished the evidence of the visit then shook her shoulders and said, "Well, we really ought to be getting to the greenhouses. I don't want to keep your professors waiting."

Teddy walked with her to the greenhouses, where Daniel, Professor Morse, Professor Longbottom, and Hannah were all waiting. Professor Longbottom told him to get inside before it was actually curfew, but they all walked away without checking to see if he obeyed.

He did, at least as far as going to the castle, but instead of going to his dormitory, he climbed to the top of the Astronomy Tower. Far below, he could see the five adults walking together, enjoying the night, laughing. He took the gold ring from the chain around his neck, sat down on the cold flagstones, and brought up a memory of his parents, together in the Muggle flat where Mum had lived undercover. It was the first time they'd read aloud to one another from Fifi's books, and the first time Dad had told her that he loved her, at least that way. In the memory, Mum was nearly glowing, she was so beautiful. Then they went on to read Hadria's Hope to each other, and Teddy smiled. He supposed he didn't have to worry--Fifi LaFolle characters would never fall in love over something as pedestrian as reading a Fifi LaFolle book. They would have to be rescuing the Scroll of Soppiness from some ancient tomb where a bitter aristocrat had hidden it centuries before. It would be Mum's proper inheritance, but it could only be claimed when she found the true love of her life to retrieve it, and Dad wouldn't believe in it until, of course, he was swept away...

Teddy came out of the memory, laughing, then lay down and looked at the sky. He pulled the book from his satchel, opened it, and held it up to the stars. "There, Mum," he said. "Signed and all."

She didn't answer.

It was far after curfew when he got back to Gryffindor Tower, and he duly took five points from himself, as he'd been warned about it several times. He sat by the fire with Ruthless for a long time, doing homework and not talking. Behind them, Marie Weasley was holding court among the first years, laughing and joking. Victoire eventually found her way over to the fire. She had a letter in her hand that seemed to be from her father, and looked dejected, but didn't share the reason behind it. Instead, she stretched out on the floor at an even angle between Teddy and Ruthless (Teddy had the odd idea that she had mentally measured the space before placing herself into it) and started her Muggle Studies homework. Ruthless had got an Outstanding O.W.L. in the subject last year, and after a while, she offered to help. Teddy worked between them, not contributing, until they both disappeared up the girls' staircase.

Neil showed up in the Great Hall the next day at lunch, looking weary and bedraggled after his transformation. The whispers went around again. The Charmer ran an article confirming the story--in Defense Against the Dark Arts, Honoria snapped, "It's not meant to be covered up this time, is it? And nothing I write is worse than the rumors." She had actually managed to do some background research--or Corky, who'd appointed himself her fact checker, had--on lycanthropy, and the article stressed that there was no danger at all. Over the next few days, Teddy saw people cautiously approach Neil, and a week after the full moon, he seemed to have a regular little knot of mates, though most of them weren't exactly at Marie Weasley's level of popularity.

In Care of Magical Creatures, Dapple continued to be enthusiastic and cheerful, much to Buckbeak's disappointment. Teddy and Donzo got a detention for being caught out late, just outside the library, when Peeves caused a great commotion, causing several teachers to come running, blocking off all of the paths that the Marauder's Map showed. Luckily, in the shadows, none of them noticed that Teddy still had feathers in his eyebrows.

All of this was in the background. At the forefront of Teddy's mind were the logs of Roderick Brimmann's ship, the Accursed, which he read late into the night, when his other work was done. He got the feel of the cramped quarters, the wretched smell of the hold, the vastness of the open sea, the capriciousness of the mad captain whose words he was reading.

As September moved into October, Teddy felt he was ready to try the Maze again.
32 comments or Leave a comment
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thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: May 9th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Lavender: \"it was the most romantic real story I knew\". You know I never realy thought about it that way while reading Shifts and Shades, I was probably distracted by the less that romantic subplots, but their story is a love story. And it is wonderful, despite having a such tragic ending.

Speaking of tragic, I thought that there was somthing almost sad about the idea that romance is \"all (Fifi) is now.\" Thinking about it writing the same book over and over again for the rest of eternity sounds like one of those hellish condemnations, like rollong the stone up the mountian, although of course she doesn\'t mind and after all romance is probably the best genre to be writing in if you are going to do that.

For such a fluffy :) chapter this one certainly left me feeling vaguely maudelin, maybe it was just that litle statement of Teddy\'s that his mum didn\'t answer. Because you know, she can\'t. And I wish, along with Teddy I\'m sure, that JKR had been channeling just a little bit of Fifi during DH, just enough for say a happy begining for Remus and Dora.

Although I think it says a lot about our boy that he makes sure to take points off himself for breaking curfew.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, in JKR's world, ghosts aren't full people (probably to explain why Sirius didn't stay as a ghost), and I guess Fifi just retained one aspect of her persona. Could have been worse--could have been an unprofitable aspect!

Although I think it says a lot about our boy that he makes sure to take points off himself for breaking curfew.

Well... when he does it after warnings and not in order to accomplish anything, anyway. He's not exactly docking himself for his Animagus sessions. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 9th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
One minor typo: in paragraph 2 you write "got as much as hew as going" rather than "got as much as he was going"
Intriguiged by Victoire's letter - an injunction against boyfriends? or has Marie been complaining to home about her
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, gotta love typos the spell check doesn't recognize, because they accidentally become words!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, beneath the teenage boy, the secret-Fifi-fan. Beneath the secret-Fifi-fan, the cynic.
sophiap From: sophiap Date: May 9th, 2008 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful as ever! Teddy's getting the book signed for Tonks made me quite verklempt.

Of course, I'm dying to know what was in that letter Victoire received.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll get to the letter pretty soon. :)
redlily From: redlily Date: May 9th, 2008 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
It's so interesting to me how differently Teddy deals with not having his parents around, as opposed to what Harry did. It's not that Harry never evinced curiosity about them, but we never really saw him, say, asking someone what Lily's favorite book was.

I think Tonks and Remus are real to Teddy in a way that James and Lily never quite were to Harry. Perhaps because Harry himself made sure that Teddy felt that way . . . ?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
In Harry's case, he was missing so much--not just his parents, but any happiness in his childhood, any friends, proud moments of achievement with his guardians smiling on, anything at--that James and Lily, though their deaths were at the center of it and would change everything, had become so far away that they were shapeless to him. For Teddy, everything else is there, so he senses that empty space at the center, and it's a very clear cut out of two specific people. And yeah, Harry has a lot to do with Teddy's ability to feel them. And while it seems to hurt Teddy more than it hurt Harry, as Dumbledore pointed out at one point or another, the ability to feel pain about such things is a strength.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: May 9th, 2008 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
For all her fluffiness, it's hard not to warm to Fifi when, even in ghost form, she can appreciate what Remus and Dora shared. The dedication in the book was especially touching--I hope that, behind the Veil, Tonks was pleasantly surprised.

Also enjoyed the update on Hogwarts happenings--wonder what was in that letter Victoire received? Looking forward to the next!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Tonks was happy.

I had to start moving time forward. There's a whole year to get through! :)
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: May 9th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad Neil made friends! I can't get over how great Fifi is! She is so entertaining.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked how Fifi came out. :D

Neil's not exactly in a high social level, and his friends might be kind of tentative, but at least he's starting.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: May 9th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
lovely chapter all around and I especially liked the little things in it. Like Victoire's letter ( and Ruthless helping her with homework too...) and Marie and Neil with the Charmer article. Its sort of interestng to see these characters' lives progress as seen from someone's periphal vision.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 9th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
And most of what Teddy is seeing this year, he seems to see only peripherally, doesn't he? Hmm.

Glad you liked it!
From: ros1ta_rosita3 Date: May 9th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
From: kobegrace Date: May 9th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love that adult!Lavender is so... not like teenage!Lavender. But that's often the way of things, isn't it?

And the whole "To Dora, who understands, and to Teddy, who believes" business -- what a lovely, lovely, touching idea. It's so beautiful, Fern. *wipes tear*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... she is voluntarily working for Fifi LaFolle and is obsessed wtih romance... ;)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: May 9th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was far after curfew when he got back to Gryffindor Tower, and he duly took five points from himself....

God, Teddy! *rolls eyes*

Nice chapter. I loved Fifi and Lavender's perspective on her, and the bit on the Astronomy Tower was so touching. It's also nice to see Hogwarts students warming a bit to Neil, and funny how Honoria is actually trying.

I'm eager to find out about the letter Victoire got (another baby?) and to go into the Maze again.
(and Marie Weasley holding court was hillarious)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Honoria might be telling herself that she's just trying to see how well she can manipulate public opinion, but is carefully avoiding asking herself why she chose the side she did to manipulate for.
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: May 9th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if you know but, Teddy and the FG was rec'd


I want to meet this Fifi, she seems fun :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't know that; thanks! (Though the comment reminds me that I have to finish posting at SQ.)
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: May 9th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, all very interesting. Is Fifi's role all finished, I take it?

Enjoyed the news updates on everyone--the Ruthless/Victoire relationship is getting more interesting as it gets more complex. And it was already interesting! I love that Marie is the "instant popularity" type; your real life work sure has given you crystal clear insight into the casts and castes of middle/high school!

One either typo or clarification:
She looked positively delighted. "My assistant is about to produce my signature upon my explicit approval. Will that do?"
I can see how she's say "My assistant is about to produce..." but I think in context it would be clearer if she says "able to produce," since she then asks if that's ok. I think you might have meant "able" in the first place.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
As an active role, it's over, but of course, Fifi is some spiritual relation of Teddy's. Heck, maybe she'll show up in the Maze... I'm not sure.

Ugh, on the typo. I spotted it before work this morning, but my computer was working too slowly to get to it.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: May 9th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Instead, she stretched out on the floor at an even angle between Teddy and Ruthless (Teddy had the odd idea that she had mentally measured the space before placing herself into it) and started her Muggle Studies homework. Ruthless had got an Outstanding O.W.L. in the subject last year, and after a while, she offered to help. Teddy worked between them, not contributing, until they both disappeared up the girls' staircase.

Wait, is V between R and T, or is T between R and V? Should that last "between" be a "beside"?
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 9th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait, is V between R and T, or is T between R and V?

An interesting philosophical question. ;p But they're fanned at angles to each other, about sixty degrees. They're all between each other. I'll try and get the blocking better--just a case of seeing something in my mind's eye and not bothering to convey it!
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: May 9th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to say Lavender's words are absolutely true- it's why I LOVED your Dora and Remus so much. It was a love story, but it was a REALISTIC love story. It wasn't, well- TAKE ME AWAY OH GREAT LOVE AHHHH!!

Though, err, I think Dora would be VERY amused/happy at seeing a Fifi LaFolle version of her life. Remus would probably be like...... err, all right then. Sirius would be rolling around. Only Teddy would be REALLY uncomfortable, lol.

Oh, and the signing made me grin, insanely. THANK YOU. This was the PERFECT like, post AP test gift. I was even thinking 'I hope there's a new Teddy segment so I can like, treat myself.' AND THERE WAS! And a wonderful one as well! THANK YOU. *Hugs*

I love how Teddy takes five points from himself then is out past midnight trying to become a bird *snorts*. Woot for hypocricy, huh?

Ohhh, Teddy, even after- What, 3?- girlfriends, you're still SOOOO oblivious to Victorie. Snort.

I wanna know how Lavender learned about Remus and Dora's love life though *snorts*

*Goes to re-read the scene you just mentioned in Shifts, tee hee*
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