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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Ten: The Undelivered Message, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Ten: The Undelivered Message, pt. 2
Saw Indy Yay. Not a "Yay" with an exclamation point, but a solid enough yay, for a'that and a'that. I'll review it later. I'm behind here! (Sorry, the plotted ones write much faster than the "Hey, let's see what happens" ones.)

Anyhow, Teddy's been using the Maze, and it's leaking out into his dreams, which again took him to the Forbidden Forest and Harry's last walk. When he woke, he broke his nose, and heard someone whisper the spell to mend it. He didn't really question this, just went ahead and did it, wiped the blood off his face, and headed out.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

"Lupin, I'd like to see you after class."

Teddy, who'd meant to head down to supper with Maurice and Corky, then go on to Hufflepuff for a game (he was rehearsing possible scenarios with Victoire, should she attempt to mention things he would prefer not to discuss), groaned and waved Corky on. Robards waited until all of the Slytherins were gone, then moved to Corky's desk and sat down. "Brown hair," he said. "Circles under the eyes, pale skin, you didn't laugh when Atkinson Charmed the picture of the vampire to--er--show off its assets--"

"You saw that?"

"I don't care what you do with your books. You own them. If you lads want to explain that sort of thing to your children someday when they're flipping through your Hogwarts books, be my guest." Robards smiled, then let it fade into concern. "Teddy, I saw your mum through a year when she looked extraordinarily like you do now. I've seen you discouraged in the past, but this has been going on for weeks."

"I'm not discouraged!"

"Do an old man a favor--morph."

Teddy concentrated as hard as he could, meaning to turn his hair Mum's favorite shade of pink--it bothered Robards, but if he was going to be nosy, he deserved it--but judging from Robards' lack of reaction, he hadn't accomplished his goal. He frowned and held out his hand, willing the skin to develop a checkered pattern. Simple things, really. A faint darkening occurred, then faded.

"That's what I thought," Robards said. "Your mum was like that for months. Do you need help?"

"No!" Teddy glared at his hand, and the skin finally cooperated, turning itself into a chessboard. "See? I'm fine. Mum lived through it as well, and look how brilliantly it turned out on the other side."

Robards seemed alarmed by this, but didn't say anything to it directly. "I've noticed that you're doing a lot of work on the Brimmann case. Your last three essay topics have all been related to it, and Fifi LaFolle's assistant told me that was the reason for her visit. Is that what's bothering you? If it's frustrating you, stop. I'm not going to reward you for jeopardizing your health or your marks in O.W.L. year--"

"I'm fine."

"Look, your mum--"

"My mum is dead," Teddy said. "Leave her out of it."


"You act like you were some great friend of hers, but you hardly knew her, and when you did, you were only trying to--" Teddy stopped, his face hot. He'd seen some of Mum's friendship with Robards on Dad's ring, and he knew she'd respected him, but he also knew that everyone had thought Robards was out to make her his mistress... and everyone wasn't wrong. Teddy hadn't understood what was happening at first, but he'd caught onto it soon enough. Everyone had. Mum's friend Sanjiv had known and even told her, and--

"I'm going to ignore that for now," Robards said. "Consider it an early birthday present. Are you sleeping, Teddy?"


"Are you eating enough?"

"I'm fine."

"Are you dreaming?"

Teddy swallowed and looked away.

"That's what I thought," Robards said. "Anything you want to talk about?"

Teddy thought about the ship, slipping ghostlike through the Forbidden Forest, while dead men who had once been living boys together moved cheerfully along at the fringes of his vision, surrounding Uncle Harry. He shook his head.

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah. It's just stupid nightmares. They don't mean anything. May I go?"

Robards sighed. "All right, Teddy. Go on."

Teddy stalked up to dinner, then went to the game with very little interest in the adventure Frankie and Tinny had dreamed up (it involved a runaway lorry, a city bus, and "Wings's" airplane). Victoire sat awkwardly by Story the whole time, and at one point, Teddy fantasized taking a swing at Story, breaking his glasses, and throwing him across the room. This alarmed him enough to make his hands shake--the idea that he was thinking of beating up a friend, even a marginal friend like Story Shacklebolt, was unwelcome. Wrath, he reminded himself. Do penance. Rebecca Nolan, a first year Ravenclaw that Story had invited, seemed to need help, so Teddy adjusted her stats for her and explained what she'd need to do to recuperate over a few turns after a failed attack on a mugger. By the time he'd finished, his hands were still and the strange, irrational burst of violent anger had passed. He wasn't even sure why it was there. Story hadn't done anything to deserve it.

"What's that scar from?" Rebecca asked, pointing at Teddy's hand.

Teddy looked down. His hand was open, and she was pointing at the odd scar on his palm, where a large pebble had got caught in Dad's ring. Teddy had been trapped in a forest fire at the time, trying to rescue Frankie and Tinny. He'd crawled into a clearing and passed out, and dreamed vividly of his mother and Prongs and Padfoot living in the Marauder's Map, and of Dad sitting beside him in the burning wood. He'd been bruised, cut, scraped, and nearly killed by smoke that day. None of the other cuts or scrapes had left scars, but that pebble must have dug very deeply into his hand, even though it hadn't seemed sharp. He could see the faint outline of Dad's ring circling a flat white spot near the place where his life line joined his love line in a companionable rope of creases. He shrugged. "Just a weird cut," he said. "It wasn't Healed soon enough, I guess."

Rebecca appeared to be satisfied with the answer, and moved away from him when Tinny told her to roll to regain some hit points.

He couldn't really concentrate on his homework when he got back to his room. Ruthless and Robards had both noticed him acting oddly. He'd kissed Victoire and was now having violent fantasies about the boy who'd asked her out. He couldn't get the Animagus spell right despite a great deal more help than the Marauders had ever got.

"That's it," he muttered to Checkmate, who mewed, then turned over and went back to sleep. "I'm finding out what that stupid dream is about."

He raised his wand at the Maze and said, "Sulci Numine."

He'd fully expected to find Uncle Harry waiting for him at the beginning of the Maze, standing there with a list of answers in his hand. Instead, he found Frankie Apcarne, thirteen years old and looking quite crazed with his search for the soul of a Demented man. He gave Teddy the obstinate, truculent look that had been so common that year, then turned and stalked away toward the Maze, which was made from the trees of an overgrown Forbidden Forest. They were laced through with the strange white vines that Frankie had found, and smoke rested in the paths like a heavy white blanket.

"Frankie?" Teddy called. "Frankie, where are you?"

But Frankie--at least as a guide--had disappeared. He was lying motionless and bloody on the Forest floor. Tinny was right beside him, and as Teddy watched, his own younger self, eyes red and face filthy, lay down on top of both of them, trying to protect them from the smoke. His hands were grasped in fists. He nearly dropped his wand, and Dad's ring, which was in the other hand. He made a wild grab for it, then fell into unconsciousness as a thin shadow appeared in the smoke. It was Dad. He looked up.

Teddy shook his head. "Not this dream. The other one."

Dad nodded and stood up (though in the image of the dream, he also remained at Teddy's side). He went further into the smoke, then turned down a path. Teddy followed him, then he wasn't in the Forest at all anymore. Instead, he was in a room in Gryffindor Tower, where four boys were hunched over a piece of parchment. They were laughing. Dad was drawing. Sirius and James were making bawdy jokes. Peter Pettigrew fretted over runes.

Teddy looked at Dad, not understanding, but the guide Dad was gone, replaced by Sirius, who went through a non-existent arch in the wall and down another corridor of the Maze. Now, Teddy was in a black room with a single table, where six men in another time were Charming the first Maze. Phineas Nigellus, who had a grin exactly like his great-great-grandson's, stood back from a spell and said, "Gentlemen--and Percival, of course--we've brought something new into the world."

"I don't understand," Teddy said. "This isn't my dream."

The scene didn't change. A red-headed man who Teddy recognized from his earlier trip as Percival Dumbledore shook his head. "I don't know, Phineas. What just happened isn't possible. How can we see what we weren't there to see? What no one was there to see?"

A short, compact man with dark hair brushed this off like a horse batting off a fly. Teddy blinked--this had to be Gordon Burke; he could have been Maurice in a Victorian costume. "It's followed connections," he said. "This is what Dedalus wanted it to do in the first place." He nodded to a very short man with a sharp gray beard. "It's succeeded beyond all expectations..."

The guide had become Phineas, who gave Teddy Sirius's devil-may-care smile and led him onward, through other groups of witches and wizards, all of them bent over some sort of mischief or other. Wizards in a desert colony tried a potion to make the sand bloom; wizards in wide ruffs set up a private magical performance for a queen with a powdered face; witches plotted to place a king on the Scottish throne; a lone wizard came out of the woods with a notion to find the High King. Teddy barely got glimpses of these. Phineas had other priorities, which also didn't seem to coincide with Teddy's question. He turned again--Teddy realized that he was hopelessly lost and would have to use Ariadne's Thread to get out--and Teddy found himself in the great hall of a manor house. Three young men were studying near the fire. One had a piece of wood, another a loom, and the third, a box of stones. They were speaking, but they were far enough in the past that Teddy couldn't understand them; the language the spoke was closer to German than to English. Phineas looked at Teddy significantly.

Obediently, Teddy studied the brothers. The tallest had a cocky, arrogant look to him. The one with the stones was studious and sallow. The one at the loom had a shock of unruly black hair, like--

"Uncle Harry!" Teddy said.

The brother didn't look up, but when Teddy turned to look at Phineas again, he was gone, and in his place, finally, was Uncle Harry. The Invisibility Cloak that James liked to play with was draped over his arm. He opened it, and invited Teddy under it.

Together, they walked on, and the walls became trees again, and Teddy could see James--the first--and his wife Lily, and Dad, and Sirius, all around them. Dad turned and said something, but the wind snatched it up. It seemed to have shape and form. A bird swooped down and caught it, and flew away with it.

A hawk.

Teddy looked at Uncle Harry.

He didn't say anything.

The world kept moving around them, and Teddy was in the clearing again, the one where he'd nearly died his first year, only it wasn't overgrown with white plants. A tall man with white skin and red eyes unfolded himself from the shadows, and his wand came up and he said, "Ava--"

"Home!" Teddy yelled, and Ariadne's Thread yanked him backward, through everything again, finally throwing him out onto the floor of his room in Gryffindor Tower.

He took a deep, shaky breath. A message. All of it was about a message. Some message from Dad that Uncle Harry had forgotten about.

Teddy would just have to ask about it.

It was from Dad.

It wouldn't be anything dangerous.
42 comments or Leave a comment
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amamama From: amamama Date: May 23rd, 2008 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, interesting! I've had a great time catching up with five posts, and this cliffie is wonderful. I really don't remember if we've seen/read Remus say anything that might be worthwhile for Teddy, but I can hardly wait to find out. And he's falling for Victoire, even though he's not quite cottoning on to that yet. Sweet boy, great storyteller. *grins* Thanks, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 23rd, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Any time!

What Remus said is in DH, and it's more or less innocuous (to Remus and Harry, though Teddy probably disagrees with that interpretation)--it's the fact that it's a message that was never delivered that's gotten itself caught in the Maze.
From: daphne_23 Date: May 23rd, 2008 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, an early comment for once :) I'm going to see the Indy film tomorrow for a friend's birthday - I'll be interested to hear what you think of it! As for this chapterlet:

Mum lived through it as well, and look how brilliantly it turned out on the other side.

Poor Teddy :(

On a lighter note, I like how his feelings re. Victoire here reflect Harry's re Ginny, except that Teddy is just slightly more clueful (and now I'm inventing words). I'm also intrigued as to how the conversation between Harry and Teddy is eventually going to turn out - I love the dynamic you've created for them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 23rd, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Clueful's not a word? Oh, no! ;p

It's going to be ugly, I think.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: May 23rd, 2008 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
It wouldn't be anything dangerous.
*falls about laughing*
Yeah right, Teddy. I'm very worried where all this is heading. And poor Harry if he *has* forgotten something.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I don't know if he's forgotten, but there's definitely something he's failed to pass along.
satakieli From: satakieli Date: May 23rd, 2008 11:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy! Teddy, Teddy, Teddy. When you don't know how to get back out again, you don't just keep walking, waiting for the Big Bads of the past to try to kill you in Mazespace. You leave at once!

Ok, now if my heart will only start beating at the appropriate speed again, I might be able to say something about the rest of the chapter.

I'm not happy exactly to see Teddy acting more grumpily and irrationally, but it is a good deal more like the way most of us acted at fifteen than his usual relatively sensible self. Cheers. I particularly enjoyed his chat with Robards. Well, "enjoyed" might not be precisely the term...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
When you don't know how to get back out again, you don't just keep walking, waiting for the Big Bads of the past to try to kill you in Mazespace. You leave at once!

Wise advice, which will never be taken by any Gryffindor, I'm afraid. ;p
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: May 23rd, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is getting scarier and scarier. Everything's gonna go CA BOOOM, or is it already? And *FRETS*

I really need to write a better review one of these days. Oh, well. *Goes back to packing for a Con*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Oo, enjoy the con. :)
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: May 23rd, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
It wouldn't be anything dangerous. Um, LOL Teddy. Way to ignore all the signs that are screaming, "Danger, Will Robinson!"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
He's gotten so used to messages from beyond that he's just evaluating the source instead of, you know, the entire concept.
redlily From: redlily Date: May 23rd, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
"It's succeeded beyond all expectations..." is just the kind of thing the mad scientists say before they accidentally become invisible, or they split their own personalities, or a whole crapload of people are violently killed.

I guess what I'm saying is, RUN TEDDY RUN!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
There is a certain Doc Ock sensibility to the line, isn't there?
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: May 23rd, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
*shakes head* They never tell the adult what's wrong, do they? Silly Gryffindors.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course not. :headdesk:
willowbough From: willowbough Date: May 23rd, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brrr! So Teddy's now met the Peverell brothers, if I'm not mistaken. And been given a ton of puzzle pieces that will assemble a picture he's really not going to like! I don't know if I'm dreading the confrontation more for his sake or Harry's.

Nice touch about his not being able to morph easily this year. And going off on his teachers? He's fortunate that Robards is concerned enough to let his outburst pass.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if I'm dreading the confrontation more for his sake or Harry's.

I have to go with Harry's. Teddy's in the most self-centered age, and the most self-righteous. He gets the grim satisfaction of believing himself to be in the absolute whitest of hats. Harry's just in for a nasty turn from someone he loves like one of his own sons.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: May 23rd, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the bit with the Peverell brothers was my favorite. Interesting to see how the tale of the Deathly Hallows came about, because it seems as though they actually made them, instead of given them by Death.

And Teddy, you stupid stupid boy, obviously something is wrong if you can't morph. I'm getting worried.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: May 23rd, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dumbledore thought that too. In the book, he says they were probably just "gifted, dangerous wizards who created those objects."

Now, I wonder if the "cocky, arrogant" one spawned the Blacks? And whose ancestor is the sallow, studious one?
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 23rd, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
And here I am being baffled as to why they give kids OWLs when they're fifteen and obviously insane for that year.

Yeah, good ole' Teddy, see a friend who was obsessed with something dangerous to the point where he looked just like Teddy does now, then see him looking dead as a doornail, and don't take any warnings from it.

For that matter, hear the big warning statement with that group of Unspeakables. People who suddenly "improve" a mystical object they don't fully understand so it does what they _think_ was the original intention . . . . Is it just me, or is that a little like a genius realizing that, if you take out all those extras from a spaceship like oxygen tanks and things to keep off deadly levels of solar radiation and if you don't worry about silly things like hitting a speck of dust at a speed that can rip the ship apart, you can achieve the kind of cruising speeds the original designers wanted but were too dumb to figure out how to get?

I don't know what the minotaur in the center of this labyrinth is, but Teddy is cruising right into it.

Not sure about the witches and wizards in British history part, as it ties into this. I caught Queen Elizabeth, Macbeth, and Merlin, but the only thing I've got going at the moment is an urge to defend Macbeth, who was a pretty good king according to surviving history and who killed Duncan in battle after Duncan pretty much dragged him into it . . . not pertinent to Teddy stories, as far as I can see.

But, warning Teddy Robinson, there is a thing in the center of the maze that waits to devour you.

From: (Anonymous) Date: May 23rd, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I strongly suspect that OWLs are at 15 because, GCSEs, which used to be called O-Levels (O for Ordinary) are at 15 in the UK.
wotcher_wombat From: wotcher_wombat Date: May 23rd, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor, poor Harry. He's just going to turn up at Hogwarts, expecting to spend some quality time with Teddy (which he's sorely missed because Teddy has been so distant this year), and suddenly this storm is going to break on his head. *hugs Harry* Teddy, through no fault of his own, will never be able to understand what it was like for him--there's just no way to explain it. *hugs Teddy* Poor, poor boys.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
And Harry's completely innocent of the idea that this particular storm is coming.
From: kobegrace Date: May 23rd, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
*tears out clumps of hair*

Oh, Fern, I'm so confused!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Eek! Well, Teddy's confused. Hopefully, that's why, and it will be clearer when everything's happened!
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: May 23rd, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Correct me if im wrong.

But i think the maze for teddy is like a scary movie.

You know it's gonna spook you but you can't help but look.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
It's possibly a little less entertaining than your average horror movie, but yeah--once you're in, you're in.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 23rd, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)


if that were true, teddy would be descended, like harry and voldemort, from one of the creators of the hallows.
the original unspeakables scene was incredible, and i have no concrit for this chapter, it's spectacular and well worth the wait.
feel a little bit bad for robards, even though he was trying to get tonks he harassed her a lot less than dawlish and in shades, at least, behaved fairly honorably for someone who wanted to "make her his mistress" as teddy put it. teddy is acting *so* like me on a really bad day... you know its rude, but you say it anyway. good job making his moods realistic, and the connections between the unspeakables, the marauders, and the peverells are fascinating. sorry about the long comment, but i loved this chapter.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 24th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

if that were true, teddy would be descended, like harry and voldemort, from one of the creators of the hallows.

I'd guess that they pretty much all are, by this point. Of course, my question is... the Resurrection Stone guy who was in love with the girl who died... are his children by the Resurrected girl? Zombie genes could explain some Gaunt oddness.
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