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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eleven: A Walk in the Woods, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Eleven: A Walk in the Woods, pt. 3
It's June 1, 90-odd degrees, and I have a cold. And a sunburn. That's just not right.

Anyway, Teddy and Harry were in the woods, starting a long overdue conversation about some relics that were in Harry's possession, though no one really knows what happened except for Harry and his closest allies.

Two things: As was pointed out to me, yes, he said it in front of the Great Hall (I died to protect them), but I forgot he did that (yes, I've only read TDH twice, because, while it's a very good book, it's not a very fun one for me). So I'm going with people just not believing him in any literal way. Maybe there was even some argument in the press about it, possibly with a final statement coming from Hermione (at Harry's request) that of course people aren't raised from the dead by any kind of known magic except for the dark stuff Voldemort used, which of course, Harry wouldn't. Either that, or the people there were too shell-shocked to pay attention, and the people who weren't there would assume it's mythmaking. One way or the other, it's not common knowledge--or at least common belief--that he actually died, and Teddy is getting it from the horse's mouth for the first time. He's also just copped to having the Deathly Hallows, which to Teddy mean precisely one item: the Resurrection Stone, which he is just twigging to as the source of the scar on his palm. As to the bit about Teddy knowing about the Hallows, I thought it seemed natural that after Rita's book and Xeno getting even nuttier that they'd be a subject of mass knowledge, but I think I can clarify that by adding a single sentence after Teddy thinks that "Everyone knew it" (about the symbol). Just make that, "Everyone knew it; Xeno Lovegood had been prattling on about it in the Quibbler for most of Teddy's life."

Teddy ends with saying out loud, "You had the Resurrection Stone."

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Uncle Harry turned to him, his green eyes glassy and haunted. He nodded.

Teddy looked at the scar on his hand again, then around the clearing where he'd come so close to dying four years ago. He'd caught a pebble in his hand, pulled up from the earth in the roots of a strange plant, and then there had been a tall, thin figure in the smoke, a cool hand on his neck, a hoarse voice telling him that he would be all right... and to let go.

"I had it, too," he said.

"Yes," Uncle Harry said. "It found you somehow. Hermione always thought that if you just lost it amongst other pebbles, it would be impossible to find, but magical objects like that aren't all that easy to lose."

"It saved my life. Dad saved my life."


"That's what you said you weren't going to tell me until later."

"I didn't think you were ready. I'm still not sure you are."

The words cut through the icy fog in Teddy's mind like the desert sun. "My Dad saved my life, and you decided that I shouldn't know about it? That I wasn't ready? Maybe Dad thought I was ready. Or did you call him back for a little chat?"

"No, I didn't..."

"Of course not. He might not have wanted you to do that. He might have wanted to talk to me when I wasn't passing out! I never even got to see him. When I turned over, the smoke was in my eyes."

"Teddy, he kept you safe by taking you halfway into the land of the dead. That's why we couldn't see you. That's why you had to let go for us to find you. It kept you out of the way of the Red Caps, but--"

"I wasn't dead. I was with them. I was with Dad and Mum and Sirius and your dad. They came to me. They were real. I said it was a dream and you said you knew. You lied. You knew they were real."

Uncle Harry blinked wildly. "No, I-- Well..."

Teddy shook his head. The world seemed to be shimmering around them, pricked with points of bright, cold light, seen through a veil of sunlit ice. "You always said that if you could have given me my parents, you would have. But you could have. You could and you didn't. You had the Stone right here! You knew where it was!"

"Teddy, that's not them, just a part of them--"

"Part is better than nothing!"

"It's not good for you."

Teddy stood up, his mind whirling with black fire. "My parents wouldn't hurt me! They're just on the other side of a line--"

"It's not the people who hurt you. It's the line. You don't want to get that close to Death."

"I didn't get close to Death. Death got close to me. Thanks to you."

Uncle Harry drew back, his mouth pressed into a tight, thin line. "I know you're angry, Teddy..."

"The only two people who needed to die that night were you and Voldemort."

"The people who chose to go to battle didn't do it lightly," Uncle Harry said. "Don't you dare disrespect them that way."

"I'm not the one who left it all to the last minute."

"Oh, I'm sure you'd have done much better on your own. There must have been something you could have burnt down."

The words swung out like a lash, and Teddy saw the Shrieking Shack, bursting apart at the seams, and this patch of forest, buried under a blanket of suffocating smoke as Frankie and Tinny choked for breath underneath him. "At least nobody died on my watch, except Greyback, and he deserved it."

"So, now you're the one deciding who deserves to live or die."

"You're the one who could have brought them back! You had the Stone!"

"The Stone never worked."

"Yes, it did! I saw them! My father came for me."

"He came as far as he could for you. But they can't really pass all the way back. It never worked. That's why the second brother went crazy."

"The story? You made the call because of a story?"

"Because the story said something important."

"The story said what Beadle the Bard wanted it to say. Maybe I should write it. Better yet, James could. They'd all live happily ever after, while their cats had swordfights with hippogriffs. Would you use it then?"

"It never worked properly," Uncle Harry repeated slowly. Teddy could feel the anger building in the air around him, but couldn't bring himself to care. "Then it was turned into a Horcrux, and after that, it was cracked nearly in half. What exactly do you think it would bring back?"

There was no answer. The only way to know the answer was to do it, but Uncle Harry had never given anyone a choice about finding out.

Teddy turned and started out of the clearing.


Teddy could hear Uncle Harry coming behind him, but didn't turn around.

"Dammit, Teddy, we're not done."

Teddy whirled on him. "What do you want? Do you think this is going to end up with me realizing how wise and right you are? Maybe giving you a pat on the head? Forget it."

"What do you want from me?"

"The Stone."

Uncle Harry, who'd been starting to move forward, stopped dead. "That's never going to happen, Teddy."

"My parents wanted me to have it, or I wouldn't have found it first year, would I?"

"I think it found you."

"And saved my life. Do you wish I hadn't found it?"


"Then let me have it. Let me see them!"

"It wouldn't be them. Just some part of them, some shadow that you need right now--"

"I need all of them, so it ought to bring them back."

"Oh, really? You need your mum moping about for a year over a broken romance? Or maybe your dad trying to run away full tilt as soon as he found out about you? Or maybe you need--"

Teddy closed his eyes and put his hands over his ears. "Shut up!" He felt a cool hand on his wrist and yanked himself away. "Don't touch me," he hissed, then turned, opened his eyes, and blundered his way down the path. This time, he didn't hear any footsteps behind him.

Around him, the Forest seemed to close in, dark shadows making walls on every side. He ran blindly, twisting his ankles on tree roots, turning here and there, not paying attention. A stream appeared from nowhere and he splashed across it. A unicorn scurried out of his way. Somewhere, he could hear centaurs playing pan flutes, but he never caught sight of them. He'd been running for what seemed an hour when he finally tripped over a root that was too big to catch his balance from. He flew, face first, into a patch of dry ferns. A startled fairy buzzed upward, twinkling with alarm. Others burst from other parts of the small clearing, and swarmed toward a high tree.

Teddy rolled over, his arm across his forehead, and looked at the unforgiving sky. The moon, so close to full, glared hungrily down at him. Tomorrow, the werewolves would howl to it, but tonight, it was only Teddy. Were the dead watching? Or had they abandoned him? It was Uncle Harry they'd cared for, after all--Uncle Harry they'd died for. Would they be with him now?

It was a sobering thought.

For the first time, Teddy realized that he didn't know where he was at all. He didn't recognize the clearing, or the high ridge of stone that sheltered it, or the small, deep pool that reflected the moonlight. He didn't know where he'd turned.

He got to his feet slowly and reached into the pocket of his jacket. To his great relief, the Marauder's Map was still there, still folded carefully along its aging lines. He took it out and raised his wand. The tip was shaking as he said, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."

The lines appeared sluggishly, but they did come. He could see into the Forest a little way, but not to where he was. Uncle Harry was roaming the Forest's edge, and Professor Longbottom and Hagrid were with him. Hannah fluttered in, and Teddy guessed she'd been beyond the Map's boundary.

"Show me the way home," Teddy whispered, then groaned, figuring it was too late to stop what was about to happen--the Map wasn't anyone's true voice, and giving it an order only served to do one thing. The lines of the castle disappeared, and handwriting swam up to the surface in their place.

Mr. Prongs would like to express the opinion that Mr. Wings is an idiot.

Mr. Wormtail concurs, and wonders if Mr. Wings was born that way, or if it's a real effort.

Mr. Padfoot--

Teddy folded the Map, not wanting to hear Sirius or Dad joyfully call him names just now.

His arms and legs aching and his ankles an agony, Teddy climbed to the top of the rocky outcropping. He could see the black smear of the lake from here, and he followed it with his eyes to the faint twinkle of Hogwarts Castle. He couldn't see paths he'd need to take. He sighed, raised his wand, and said, "Accio broomstick!"

He didn't like to fly and didn't do it often, but Uncle Harry had always seen to it that he had a broomstick handy, in case he came around. It was currently at the back of his wardrobe behind a pile of dirty school robes. Teddy guessed he'd have to fix the wardrobe door when he got back.

It took nearly five minutes, but the broomstick did come, and he climbed onto it. The flight over the forest was awkward and stiff. He could see Uncle Harry and the others below--it looked like Daniel and Professor Morse had joined them--but he didn't bother to tell them he was all right. They'd find out soon enough. He soared to Gryffindor Tower, found his window, and opened it. Checkmate arched her back, hissed, then ran under his desk.

The Daedalus Maze was sitting on top of the desk.

Teddy stared at it for a long time, feeling numb and confused, then pointed his wand at it and said, "Sulci Numine."

He found himself back in the clearing, atop the stone, with Narcissa Malfoy as his Guide. Below, he could see the world spread out in time and space. He saw ancestors and descendants, friends and enemies. He saw Roderick Brimmann in the crow's nest of his ship, his face running with sores as he tried to hold on to his miserable life long enough to reach a great port (Lisbon, Teddy's mind supplied crazily, where he'll/I'll do his/my last mischief, sharing the cursed plague that had taken his/my men, too bad he'll/I'll never make London in this state...). It seemed he could see and hear everything. Fenrir Greyback lurked in the woods near a child's home--Vivian, they call her Vivian--his unspeakable desires as clear as Teddy's own thoughts. From somewhere else, he could hear the high-pitched laughter of Tom Riddle, leading two orphans to a terrifying fate that he delighted in (he made them hurt one another), and somewhere beyond that, he saw a cruel young man carving a symbol into the wall of a place he had never been before...

Narcissa smiled wickedly and led him down, through twisting paths, ignoring his protests that his ankles hurt, and then he was in the clearing again, and Uncle Harry lay there, broken, with Lord Voldemort standing over him. The Guide became Granny, and he was led back further through the Forest, to the stream, to the grounds beneath the north battlements, and Dad was there, bleeding and in pain, and Mum ran out, and then the Guide changed again, to the only sister left, and she was laughing, her black hair and black eyes a negation of light. She capered behind Mum, her knife glimmering in the moonlight.

Teddy lunged at her, a keening sound escaping his throat. He didn't care what she was meant to show him, didn't care what the Mystery was. He wrapped his hands around her throat before she could reach them and throttled.

The pain was scorching, much worse than it had been the first time he'd tried the Maze, when he'd tried to touch Mum the day Maddie had led him into it. It burrowed into his forearms like hot pokers, and wrapped itself around his skull, drilling into his temples as though the real Bellatrix were really there, with whatever horrible knife she'd acquired after losing the one she'd used to kill Dobby and was stabbing him, over and over, as she'd stabbed Mum, making her bleed out her life as the last thing Dad saw in his.

He didn't let go. She continued to laugh.

The scene became white and bright, and Teddy felt himself lifted from the bloodied ground. Something crashed, and the world was filled with fire, and then he was outside again, lying on the floor of his room in Gryffindor Tower.

The Maze had fallen to the floor and cracked down one side.

Teddy tried to get up, to at least make it to his bed, but he couldn't seem to move.

After a long time, Checkmate crawled out from her hiding place and curled up on his chest.

They both slept.
62 comments or Leave a comment
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izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: June 1st, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Teddy....

*waits impatiently for the next installment*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll try to get it there soon. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 1st, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)


Minor thing: "He fly, face first," should be He flew.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: lovely

:edits quickly:

Dunno what you mean. ;p
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah--there comes a point where Harry lashes out. Ironically, Harry's lash-outs tend to be very Remus-like--go straight for the emotional jugular.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: June 1st, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear. That really hurt, Fern. It was good, but it really hurt. Poor Teddy.

Harry is very Harry here. And I mean DH!Harry, not the trustworthy, comforting Uncle Harry that Teddy knows... he's really a teenager, suddenly disillusioned by the coolest adult he knows. One of the most disappointing feelings in the world, but every teenager has to go through that, no matter how much it hurts.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. It sucks, though. I'd guess that if Remus and Tonks had lived, this would be about the time he figured out that Dad was just about ready to completely flake on him, or that Mum tended to pull a lot of dumb-ass stunts (like, say, running out into a battle) because she has a romance novel view of the world. But then, he'd have Uncle Harry to catch him. Since his parents are gone, his back-up adult male is the one who takes it, and there's not a real back-up after that. I mean, he's even got issues with Bill at the moment.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 1st, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that went well. I don't know who lost it worse, Teddy or Harry, but jeez, do those two have the power to hurt each other. And going into the Maze was doubtless the last thing Teddy should have done in his current state of emotional turmoil, though the sequence was masterfully written. Hope he hasn't done himself a permanent injury.

Wonder how long he and Harry won't be speaking after this? And if Harry will stay at Hogwarts, hoping to mend the breach, or leave because he doesn't want to make the damage worse?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry's supposed to stay for a week, teaching DADA, but I'm not sure. I was actually going to do this at the end of the week, so I'm off my inner Marauder's Map.
rotae From: rotae Date: June 1st, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Fern... *sobs* that was wonderful.

Poor Teddy :( *huggles*

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. And Teddy could use the huggle, so he also says thanks.
wotcher_wombat From: wotcher_wombat Date: June 1st, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whoa, that maze trip got very dark very fast. Teddy is so out of control it's not even funny. I feel for him, but I'm really shaking my head right now.

Speaking of out of control, Harry obviously went way too far when he started insulting Remus and Dora. I feel that it might be a bit too nasty for him, even in a moment of anger/panic. I suppose the point Harry was trying to make was this: The stone would only bring back a part of the Lupins--perhaps a dark and disturbed part of them which would mirror Teddy's own mood at this moment--without their good qualities and wonderful complexities. It would be their image without their humanity. It might leave Teddy with a distorted and unflattering picture of his parents, which would be awful.

That's why the ring is a much healthier alternative; it shows a much better picture of his parents and allows him to maintain some distance from the veil. It also makes his scar very interesting with the stone inside the ring; memories full of life opposed to...the death-zombie puppets the ring would produce.

I'll stop rambling now, since you already know your own symbolism (I just think it's FANTASTIC!). Excellent segment as always! (You make me want to be a writer.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think what Harry was saying was that, despite Teddy's protestations, he wasn't thinking of his parents as whole people (who does, at fifteen), and that no matter what, what he brought back would only be partial--puppets who did what he wanted, rather than whole, breathing people with faults. It might even be nice for him at first, but it would make him crazy really, really fast. People aren't meant to be broken into their various components.
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: June 1st, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, *ouch*. That one really hurt.

I really love Harry in this one; he seems very true to canon.

And... oh, Teddy. *sigh*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. That one was difficult. Harry not being perfect Uncle Harry is always a little hard.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 1st, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful- the fight was very realistic even if Harry's comment about Dora and Remus seems a bit to extreme for him ( angst!Harry or not..) However, the way Harry is acting reminds me a lot more of Remus from DH...except this time I don't think anybody is in the right.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry was just pointing out that Teddy wasn't wanting to bring them back whole. Teddy wants these ideal parents he's made up, not the people who had these (gasp) huge and glaring faults. But yes, he does it a bit too bluntly. Of course, Teddy's more or less accusing him of needlessly causing the deaths of fifty people who didn't need to die, so...
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: June 1st, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Again I must give into incoherence. I mean the confrontation was bad enough but then Teddy just had to dive straight into the Maze because that is really going to help him solve his emotional trauma. And that was almost more harrowing, simply because, in contrast to the scene with harry when, in an interesting use of writing style what we mainly had was their words devoid of the background thoughts or motivations driving their thoughts (not a critasism I thought that it worked realy well as in an argument like that people react instinctively and the style was really good in conveying that lashing out nature of the argument, with the emotional thoughts unnecessary because of the fact that you\\\'ve built up their phsycs so well before hand that it feels like we are in their heads already). If that makes any sense at all.

And then we had the Maze which seemed this time to be all about emotion and showed, with out putting a great big neon sign over it, that Teddy is seriously messed up emotionally at this point.

I do think thought that the next time you have a open prompt thing you are going to be swamped with requests for Harry\\\'s perspective on this scene or the after math. After all because we sepent seven books wandering around in his head we know pretty much what he is thinging, but still...

Also on a side note I know what you mean about not re-reading DH that much. Although for me it is, as well as all my favorite characters getting killed off, mainly to do with the fact that I\\\'m afraid going back to it that without all the pent up emotions coming from me, I\\\'ll be forced to see the flaws in the narative itself that I didn\\\'t see the first time around.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2008 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I was hoping that the dialogue was enough without tags, so thanks... glad to hear that specifically! :)
summoning_muse From: summoning_muse Date: June 1st, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, God. Oh, God. The image, there, of Tonks bleeding and Remus watching and- oh, god, I'm almost crying. And I basically NEVER cry when I read anything. That image makes it more real to me than the image of Harry seeing them lying there ever could.

And, god, Harry was so... Harry. Bad Harry. Angry! 5th year Harry. Not completly stable Harry. And that hurt- God, that hurt. And the maze, oh the MAZE, and Bella- oh, god. All I can SAY is, oh god. You did NOT dissapoint Fern- of course, you never do.

I've always adored your Teddy verse, but Shades will always be my fav story by you, ever. But this entry is up there with every beautiful, heart-wenching line from Shades.

I don't even want to think what's going to happen after this. I just can't. Of course I want to know asap, lol. He's gonna try and use the maze to find the stone again, I bet. Oh, God. Oh God oh God oh God.

Excuse me as I go brawl like a baby. Well, not really, but almost.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 1st, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not that it matters much, but I forgot I was still logged in on my art/fic account.
lucathia_rykatu From: lucathia_rykatu Date: June 1st, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
"The only two people who needed to die that night were you and Voldemort."

Ouch. Harry must've felt the same before...he doesn't need his godson throwing words like these at him. I feel for the both of them!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2008 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
That really was low, but--in a sense--true. If Harry hadn't stuck to Dumbledore's instruction to keep things to himself, Ron and Hermione, then maybe Neville could have been surreptitiously searching the school for Horcruxes, and someone else could have gone for the snake, maybe Bill could have checked the vault without setting off alarms, and in the end, all the only one left would have been Harry. Of course, if any of them had been caught earlier, there wouldn't have been a chance at all... but when you're thinking about people you've lost, there always will have been a better way.
From: kobegrace Date: June 1st, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Harry. Poor Teddy.

Poor Maze. *hugs*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2008 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel bad for them as well.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 1st, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, God.

Poor Harry, having Teddy picking at his emotional scars. Poor Teddy, just... well, poor him. He was an idiot, going into the Maze, and that horrible horrible trip. With dear Great-Aunt Bella in it, how charming.
Oh, God. They need another chat, once they've cooled down.

Anyway, it was beautifully done.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2008 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)

And yes, Teddy has definitely inherited Remus's ability to pick at emotional scars, and his using it probably hits a scar he's not aware of, which is that he reminds Harry of Remus when he does it.
torturedbabycow From: torturedbabycow Date: June 1st, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I second the "poor maze", actually, in addition to the poor Harry/Teddy. Although, even with the huge emotional turmoil, I immediately started thinking "oh wow, he seems to be connecting way deeper with the Maze than most people would (scary!!), I wonder how his conversation with Maddie is going to go, oooh, and who's the cruel young man with the symbol-carving?! Yay Mysteries!"

Maybe I'm just emotionally dead inside, to get so quickly distracted from the horrible, heart-wrenching blowup. :P I just can't wait to see where all these exciting Maze-related bits are going!

(An aside, all this ancestors-and-descendants stuff reminded me of the tantalizing far-future/original story stuff, which I really, really hope works out! Just a general word of encouragement.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 2nd, 2008 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Teddy's right that this is the sort of work he's meant for, but like most people with a prodigious talent, the talent can turn on him, and turn hard.
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